OVERNIGHT ENERGY: Advice tumbles forth

Rep. Ed Whitfield (R-Ky.), who leads the Energy and Power subcommittee, will lay out his view of what a "21st Century" energy policy should look like.

“The administration’s misguided ‘all of the above but nothing from below’ approach treats our abundant hydrocarbons as a hazardous energy source of the past, not worthy of the future,” writes Whitfield, whose goals include construction of the Keystone XL oil sands pipeline.

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Bill McKibben, founder of the climate advocacy group 350.org, will explain why environmentalists are convening a big rally in Washington, D.C. on Feb. 17 to push for tougher action on global warming — starting with a rejection of Keystone.

He writes that for Obama, “this is the one clear pure test of his climate resolve.”

“Block it, and he’ll have us at his back; approve it, and his climate legacy is written,” McKibben writes.


QUOTE OF THE DAY:

“We’ll take any climate change vote offered. We look forward to it.” — Rep. John Shimkus (R-Ill.), chairman of the House Energy and Commerce subcommittee on Energy and Environment, on Democrats potentially forcing Republicans to vote on climate change measure.

Shimkus made the comment during a Washington, D.C., event hosted by Bloomberg Government and the Nuclear Energy Institute.


IN CASE YOU MISSED IT:

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

— Green group pushes back on biofuel ‘bogeyman’
— Obama praises Interior pick Jewell as ‘strong and capable leader’
— White House: Interior pick Jewell is ‘uniquely qualified’
— US trade officials file case over India's solar program
— Senior House GOP lawmaker says nuclear waste bill without Yucca will fail
— House Republicans reject Democrats' call for climate science hearings
— Senate energy chief Wyden: Get gas policy right
— Obama nominates REI chief executive Jewell for Interior secretary
— Former Sen. Hutchison joins lobby firm 


NEWS BITES:

Outgoing Interior chief predicts Senate glide path for replacement ...

Interior Secretary Ken Salazar said he expects REI CEO Sally Jewell, President Obama’s pick to succeed the departing Cabinet official, to breeze through the Senate confirmation process.

“I think she is such a stellar candidate that she should have no problem in confirmation. I expect she’ll walk through the Senate because I think she’s going to have the great support of both Democrats and Republicans,” Salazar told reporters Wednesday after speaking at an American Council On Renewable Energy event in Washington.

... as he talks about unfinished wind energy business

Salazar said Interior is planning to move forward with a program to fast-track permitting for onshore wind turbines on federal lands.

The program would mirror a similar Interior initiative for solar energy on public lands in six Western states.

He said the department is currently looking at sites, noting it is taking extra care to avoid areas that conflict with bird flight paths.

“There is a whole host of discussions and efforts that we have under way to make sure that we’re siting the facilities in the right places,” Salazar told reporters.

Rep. Markey grabs green group endorsement

The Sierra Club announced Wednesday that it is backing Rep. Edward Markey (D-Mass.) in the special election to replace Secretary of State John Kerry in the Senate.

“Ed Markey has been a staunch defender of the environment and champion for clean energy. Time and time again, he has led fights to clean up our air and water, curb the dangerous carbon pollution that is disrupting our climate, and put our nation on the path to an energy efficiency economy powered by clean, safe energy,” Sierra Club Executive Director Michael Brune said in a statement.

Markey, a favorite of environmental groups for his clean-energy and climate advocacy, is running against Rep. Stephen Lynch (D-Mass.) in the Democratic primary.

House Dems float bill calling for mountaintop mining health study

Democratic Reps. John Yarmuth (Ky.) and Louise Slaughter (N.Y.) introduced legislation Wednesday to conduct a comprehensive health study on mountaintop removal mining.

The practice involves blasting away mountain peaks to access coal seams, in the process pushing waste into adjacent valleys and streams.

The bill, H.R. 526, would freeze new permitting for mountaintop removal mining projects.

“Mountaintop removal coal mining destroys entire ecosystems and contaminates the water supplies in mining communities, making people sick and jeopardizing their safety,” Yarmuth said in a Wednesday statement.


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