OVERNIGHT ENERGY: Climate battles near and far

THE NEAR: Democratic climate hawks on Capitol Hill will make the case Wednesday that the public supports their call for limiting greenhouse gas emissions.

The Bicameral Task Force on Climate Change will hold an event with Stanford University’s Jon Krosnick to unveil new polling data.

"Professor Krosnick will present new data on the opinions of people living in nearly all U.S. states on key questions related to the existence, causes, and threat of climate change, whether actions should be taken to address it, and opinions about specific policies to cut greenhouse gas emissions," states an advisory from the task force.

Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.), the top Democrat on the House Energy and Commerce Committee, and Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) launched the bicameral climate group in early 2013.

But they’ll have some competition Tuesday from the other side. The libertarian Cato Institute will host an event with Richard Lindzen, an emeritus professor of meteorology at MIT.

He's a skeptic who is critical of the scientific consensus that human activities are driving substantial climatic changes.

Lindzen will ask "Is Science Progressing?" The 4 p.m. event is webcast here.


THE FAR: There’s plenty of coverage of the ongoing United Nations climate change negotiations in Poland.

From Bloomberg:

"Haiti and the Philippines suffered the biggest climate-related disasters last year, a study showed as United Nations envoys from 195 nations discussed ways to assist countries coping with the impacts of global warming."

Click here for the whole story.

Meanwhile, The Guardian looks at the effects of the huge typhoon that hit the Philippines and questions about the links between climate change and extreme weather.

Foreign Policy magazine looks at the topics here.


ON TAP WEDNESDAY: Sen. Joe Manchin plans to join in on the National Journal Policy Summit "Powering Innovation: Technology and our Energy Future" Wednesday morning.

The summit talk will surround research and development issues of new energy and the role of the federal government in helping push technologies along.

Manchin (D-W.Va.) will be joined by a member of the Bipartisan Policy Center and Center for Climate and Energy Solutions.

You can stream the 8:30 a.m. event here.

Nearby on Capitol Hill: A House Energy and Commerce subcommittee plans to evaluate a Senate bill that would reform the nation's toxic chemical law, put forward by Sen. David Vitter (R-La.) and the late Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.).

The "Chemical Safety Improvement Act" would give the Environmental Protection Agency more power to examine chemical on the market. You can find more on the bill from The Hill's Julian Hattem here.

Later Wednesday ... The Woodrow Wilson Center's Brazil Institute will discuss "The State of the Oceans." The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Greenpeace and others will review a recently released report by a panel of international marine scientists.

According to the report, climate change impacts on the globe's oceans are larger than previously thought.



Check out the stories that ran on E2-Wire on Tuesday...

- House Chairman: EPA trying to control U.S. waters
- Sen. Vitter presses EPA on carbon cost tally
- Lawmaker decries green wood standards
- Organizing for Action seeks comments on EPA carbon rules
- House GOP seeks to thwart mining rule
- Report: Climate measures falling short
- For Opec, don't call it a comeback
- Obama to tap TARP official for CFTC


New front in Keystone XL battle: The International Energy Agency’s annual World Energy Outlook released Tuesday handed opponents of the Keystone XL oil sands pipeline some new ammunition.

The IEA report finds that projections of high oil sands production over the next two decades depend on major new pipeline capacity from the region.

The report forecasts oil sands production of 4.3 million barrels per day in 2035, up from 1.8 million in 2012 — if there’s enough pipeline capacity to transport the stuff. It states:

“While the resources are unquestionably large enough to support such an expansion, achieving it is contingent on the construction of major new pipelines to enable the crude to be exported to Asia and the United States. Two pipelines from the oil sands in Alberta to the Pacific Coast have been proposed – the 530-kbd Northern Gateway line to Kitimat and the expansion, from 300kbd to 890kbd, of the Trans Mountain line to Vancouver – as well as the Keystone XL line to the United States.”
Later, the report notes that production could be higher if controversies over pipelines are "resolved quickly."

That's a crucial point for opponents of Keystone, who argue that building that project and other major pipelines would worsen climate change by enabling expansion of the carbon-intensive oil sands projects.

President Obama says he won’t approve Keystone XL unless he's satisfied that it won’t "significantly" worsen greenhouse gas emissions.

Steve Kretzmann of the anti-Keystone group Oil Change International says environmentalists will try and use the IEA report to bolster their battle against Keystone.

"We and others in the environmental community will send a letter to State Department and White House staff making sure they are aware of the IEA's analysis," he told E2-Wire.

Senators press Energy Department to approve gas exports: Sen. John Barrasso (R-Wyo.) and a number of colleagues from western natural-gas-producing states are urging the Energy Department to approve exports of liquefied natural gas from the Oregon coast.

Check out their new letter to Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz here.


Please send tips and comments to Ben Geman, ben.geman@thehill.com, or Laura Barron-Lopez, laurab@thehill.com