OVERNIGHT ENERGY: House climate votes, gas export push loom

The plan also paves the way for expedited DOE approval of exports to other nations if the State Department, in consultation with the Defense Department, determines that it would promote U.S. security interests. Exports still need Federal Energy Regulatory Commission approval, Turner’s office notes.

SENATE ENERGY CHIEFS LAY OUT GOALS: Energy exports (see above) are among the big topics facing the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee. But there are plenty of others. 

Committee Chairman Ron WydenRonald (Ron) Lee WydenWeek ahead: Senate takes up surveillance bill This week: Time running out for Congress to avoid shutdown Senate Finance Dems want more transparency on trade from Trump MORE (D-Ore.) and Sen. Lisa MurkowskiLisa Ann MurkowskiSessions torched by lawmakers for marijuana move Calif. Republican attacks Sessions over marijuana policy Trump's executive order on minerals will boost national defense MORE (R-Alaska), the panel’s top Republican, will both have op-eds on their visions for the committee in Wednesday’s edition of The Hill.

They will also be posted Tuesday night on The Hill’s website. Stay tuned.


Interior Secretary Salazar talks renewables

Outgoing Interior Secretary Ken Salazar and other federal officials will be among the speakers at the American Council on Renewable Energy’s annual Capitol Hill policy forum.

Click here for the full agenda.

Senior GOP lawmaker talks cybersecurity

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Rogers (R-Mich.) will discuss congressional efforts to address cybersecurity Wednesday at a conference for utility regulators.

Cybersecurity is a hot topic for the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners, whose members are charged with overseeing electric utilities.

Many regulators feel the power grid has been left vulnerable to attack because of conflicting federal and state jurisdiction on cybersecurity. Attempts at legislation fizzled out last summer, though President Obama is planning to issue an executive order on the matter.

The subject is more timely after DOE announced Monday that it had been hit by a cyberattack that compromised personal identification information for “several hundred” employees and contractors.

Republicans, former Obama climate adviser discuss energy policy

The Nuclear Energy Institute and Bloomberg Government will host a panel on energy policy Wednesday morning.

Sen. Johnny IsaksonJohn (Johnny) Hardy Isakson'Apprentice' winner Randal Pinkett on Trump: 'No question in my mind he’s a racist' GOP senator: Trump 'owes the people of Haiti and all of mankind an apology' Reforming veterans health care for all generations of veterans MORE (R-Ga.), Rep. John Shimkus (R-Ill.) and Carol Browner, Obama’s former climate czar and EPA chief under former President Clinton, will participate. Former Rep. Heath Shuler (D-N.C.), now vice president of federal affairs with Duke Energy, will also join.

Report looks at climate options without Congress

The World Resources Institute, an environmental think tank, will unveil a report Wednesday that explores “pathways for the United States to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions using existing federal authorities and state actions.”

The report arrives as climate legislation is frozen in Congress and activists are pressing for more aggressive executive branch action.

“The report explores whether the U.S. is on track to meet its commitment to reduce its emissions by 17 percent by 2020 (below 2005 levels). It looks at what steps the federal government and states can take to meet this goal, and to go further. And, it explains why this matters at home and overseas,” an advisory states.


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

— EPA: Power plants accounted for two-thirds of industrial emissions in 2011
— Waxman to push for climate hearings
— Study: CBO underestimates revenues from expanded oil-and-gas drilling
— Sierra Club chief ‘confident’ that Kerry, Obama will scuttle pipeline
— Coal, solar companies claim Super Bowl outage makes their case
— GOP lawmaker threatens battle over EPA regulation 


Former Interior chief urges Obama to balance drilling, conservation on federal lands

Former Interior Secretary Bruce Babbitt said Tuesday that he wants President Obama to set aside more public land for permanent protection from energy development.

“So far under President Obama, industry has been winning the race as it obtains more and more land for oil and gas,” Babbitt said during a National Press Club event in Washington, D.C., according to the Houston Chronicle.

Babbitt, who served eight years under former President Clinton, wants Obama to permanently protect one acre for every acre leased for energy production.

He noted that energy companies leased 6 million acres during the past four years, compared with 2.6 million acres that have received permanent protection.

An Interior Department spokeswoman told the Chronicle that the Obama administration has “charted an impressive course for conservation.”

EPA to release final Alaska mine assessment this year

The Environmental Protection Agency announced Tuesday that it will finalize a study of how a proposed mine in Alaska will affect surrounding waters, a step that industry and some Republicans say could lead EPA to reject the mine.

EPA has been using modeling to study how the Pebble Limited Partnership’s proposed gold-and-copper mine would affect the sockeye salmon population in Bristol Bay, Alaska.

Pebble has yet to submit a formal blueprint for the mine. That has sparked concerns from some Republicans and industry that EPA is overstepping its authority with the environmental tests because the agency is not weighing an actual plan.

They fear the agency might be moving to preemptively veto the mine, which they say could deter mining projects near waterways.

Green groups, commercial fishermen, state officials and native tribes say EPA has many of the mine specifics from Securities and Exchange Commission filings. They also say any mine would endanger Bristol Bay’s sockeye salmon, which comprise nearly half the world’s total.

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