OVERNIGHT ENERGY: Podesta tells GOP to tread carefully on energy

BE CAREFUL WHAT YOU WISH FOR: White House adviser John Podesta warned that President Obama may veto an energy efficiency bill set to hit the Senate floor Tuesday if it is approved with “unacceptable riders.”

Republicans want at least four energy-related amendments on the bill as of Monday evening, including a binding measure to approve Keystone XL, and another to block the administration’s climate regulations on coal-fired power plants.

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But if the bill gets to Obama’s desk with those amendments then he may veto it, Podesta indicated on Monday during the White House press briefing.

“We hope that it passes, but if it passes with unacceptable riders, then it will be headed to the watery depths,” he said.

 

CLIMATE PUSH: President Obama is gearing up to discuss the third national climate change report with TV meteorologists across the nation on Tuesday.

The White House will release the National Climate Assessment Tuesday morning, which is expected to look at regional impacts in the U.S. of the globe’s changing climate and the number of extreme weather events.

Today show weather forecaster Al Roker will be among those interviewing Obama about the report.

The report and outreach by Obama are the latest sign the president is making a reinvigorated push this year to act on climate change.

Why hold one-on-one interviews with just meteorologists? First, this is more targeted and strategic media placement than in prior years when the White House released the climate report.

Second, Obama may be relying on TV weathercasters to communicate the news from the climate report because meteorologists are the scientists the U.S. public deals with most on a daily basis, Mashable reports.

Check The Hill Tuesday for coverage on the report.

 

KEYSTONE VOTE: There are two ways a vote to approve Keystone XL may move forward Tuesday: A stand-alone vote on the pipeline, or an amendment to the energy efficiency bill.

As of Monday evening, a deal had yet to be made between Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and Republican leadership.

A congressional source told The Hill that late last week during a conversation between Reid and Sen. John Hoeven (R-N.D.), who dropped a new bill to approve Keystone on Thursday, the majority leader said he would allow a stand-alone vote on the pipeline if Republicans agreed to no amendments on the energy efficiency bill.

The problem: Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), and a number of other Republicans want those amendments.

Now, the danger is Reid may call all deals off if Republicans try and fail to get amendments attached to the bill when it comes to a vote Tuesday.

Stay tuned. 

 

Rest of Tuesday’s agenda:

The Atlantic Council will host a discussion Tuesday with Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) about her bill, the Nexus of Energy and Water for Sustainability (NEWS) Act. She will release a white paper about the proposal.

The bill, sponsored by Murkowski and Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), would create a committee within the National Science and Technology Committee to coordinate federal activities related to water, energy and interactions between the two. The discussion will also include Atlantic Council president Fred Kempe and Jon Huntsman, former Utah governor and current chairman of the Atlantic Council.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation is holding an event Tuesday about companies’ efforts to reduce energy and water consumption. The Chamber Foundation’s annual sustainability forum will include representatives from major companies, Department of Transportation Senior Sustainability Officer Brodi Fontenot and Mark Mykleby, a retired Marine Corps colonel. 

 

NEWS BITES:

Keystone vote. The building trades unions sent a letter to Senate Democrats on Tuesday calling on them to vote to approve the Keystone XL pipeline.

"Our decision to seek a legislative solution to KXL's permitting delay is not undertaken lightly," said Sean McGarvey, president of North America's Building Trades Unions.  "The Democratic Party has a long history of supporting America's middle-class and its workers.  Now is the time for Senate Democrats to demonstrate their commitment is steadfast and not subject to changing political winds."

The Sierra Club is pushing its own agenda on social media, asking its members to urge senators to vote no on Keystone if a vote comes to the floor.

The green group tweeted a banner voicing its opposition to the vote on Monday.

“The Senate could vote to approve Keystone XL as early as tomorrow. Kill the bill,” the group wrote.

 

AROUND THE WEB: 

The energy boom spurred by hydraulic fracturing is causing an increase in traffic fatalities, with some areas seeing quadruple the road deaths that they had in 2004, the Associated Press reports.

Lisa Schwartz, director of Oregon’s Department of Energy, resigned last week, leaving the agency to look for its fifth director in as many years, the Oregonian reports.

European Union officials met in a closed-door session Monday to discuss options to wean the continent off Russian natural gas, including increasing the use of coal, using more shale gas and reducing energy demand, Reuters reports. 

 

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT: 

Check out the stories that ran on Monday.

- Mining industry files lawsuit against coal dust rule

- Podesta warns GOP on energy fights

- House plans hearing on alleged EPA investigation obstruction

- Obama turns toward climate action

- Feds: No plans to regulate agricultural methane emissions

- Federal judge clears Mass. Offshore wind project

- Oil lobby goes for broke on Keystone vote

- Yellowstone bans drones

- Obama to talk climate with meteorologists

- Rahall touts pro-cola, anti-EPA vote in ad

- Schumer: Expect vote on Keystone

- Week ahead: Senate to vote on energy efficiency bill

 

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