OVERNIGHT ENERGY: Cruz adds to GOP onslaught against climate regs

THE OFFENSE: Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) announced a sweeping energy plan on Tuesday that puts President Obama's climate agenda in his crosshairs.

While much of what is included in Cruz's broad energy bill are already key goals for many GOP lawmakers, it is perhaps a sign of the fight to come, which Republicans will likely use during the 2014 campaigns.

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Adding to the battle cry, House Republicans will drill administration officials on Tuesday during a House Energy and Commerce Committee hearing.

"Billions of dollars and years of research have been poured into [the Department of Energy's] clean coal programs, but carbon capture and sequestration technology still has a long way to go before it’s commercially viable or technically achievable," said Rep Tim Murphy (R-Pa.), chairman of the Oversight and Investigations sub panel, in an email. 

"Despite these challenges, the [Envuronmental Protection Agency] is moving forward with a major new regulatory scheme requiring the use of CCS technologies in any new coal plant. Before we can determine what CCS will mean for the future of coal, we need a complete and accurate picture of the status of this technology today."

Murphy's comment leading up to the hearing represents a key element of the GOP's arguments against a fundamental pillar of Obama's climate legacy — his proposed carbon pollution limits on coal-fired power plants.

The rule requires new plants use carbon capture technology to help curb emissions, which Republican's argue isn't ready and will hurt the development of coal-fired plants as well as energy jobs.


THE DEFENSE: Environmental Protection Agency chief Gina McCarthy stood by the rule during a BlueGreen Alliance conference in Washington on Monday.

Speaking to labor leaders and environmentalists, McCarthy fired back at GOP accusations that more stringent climate regulations will hurt the economy.

"We know it's never been about choosing the economy or environment," McCarthy said. "It's always been about choosing both."

McCarthy added that the administration is on track to "propose commonsense standards for existing power plants in June."


ON TAP TUESDAY: A slew of lawmakers will speck at the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners Winter Meeting.

Those in attendance include Sens. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), Mark Pryor (D-Ark.), Mary Landrieu (D-La.) and Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.).


Rest of Tuesday's agenda...

The BlueGreen Alliance Foundation will continue its "Good Jobs, Green Jobs" conference.

And former Obama administration climate czar Carol Browner will speak at an event hosted by The Aspen Institute on the energy and climate change opportunities ripe for exploration between India and the United States.

Later in the afternoon on Tuesday, Rep. Anna Eshoo (D-Calif.) will speak at the Environmental and Energy Study Institute's briefing on a census of 2013 solar jobs.

AROUND THE WEB:

Bloomberg reports a new study in the journal Nature says stronger Pacific Ocean winds may explain the slowdown in the rate of global warming since the start of the 21st century.

The Associated Press reports oil prices rose Monday, closing above $100 a barrel for the first time in 2014. The rise was expected as the country nears its annual driving season.

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT:

Here's what ran on E2-Wire on Monday...

- Melting snow, puddles affecting Winter Games
- US presses India to change solar panel rules
- Sen. Cruz takes on the 'regulatory state' with sweeping energy bill
- Canadian PM: Keystone XL 'inevitable'
- Envoy: Rejecting Keystone will 'strain' relations with Canada
- Cruz looks beyond Keystone XL
- Week ahead: House GOP to scrutinize Obama's clean-coal program

 

Please send tips and comments to Laura Barron-Lopez, laurab@thehill.com.