OVERNIGHT ENERGY: Kerry to confront Keystone (or is it the other way around?)


See our “In Case You Missed It” section below for more of Thursday’s coverage of the controversial pipeline.

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The meeting with Baird, to be sure, will address far, far more than Keystone, Nuland said, including other environmental topics.

“Secretary Kerry and Foreign Minister Baird will discuss ways to deepen cooperation across the extensive U.S.-Canada relationship including in bilateral trade, invests, energy, security and environmental stewardship as well as securing and streamlining trade and travel at our shared border,” she said at a briefing.

“They'll also explore ways to strengthen North American cooperation and U.S.-Canadian collaboration in advancing human rights, democracy, security and good governance in the Americas and — around the globe,” Nuland said.


IN CASE YOU MISSED IT:

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

– DOE considers furloughs as part of sequestration plan
– Senior Dem: Obama vows to tackle climate – eventually
– Energy chief plays along with report of 'carousing' in The Onion
– Keystone pipeline on agenda as Kerry, Canadian minister to meet
– Poll: Greenhouse gas regulation favored over carbon taxes
– EPA to issue climate change plan Friday
GOP to Obama: Keystone ‘can no longer be put on hold’
– TransCanada CEO treks to State for closed-door meeting on Keystone
– Rep. Issa revives plan to name US coastal waters after Reagan


NEWS BITES:

House, Senate bills take on biofuel mandate

A trio of GOP senators introduced a bill Thursday that would change the federal biofuel-blending mandate to back off a requirement on the use of next-generation fuels.

Republican Sens. David Vitter (La.), Jeff Flake (Ariz.) and Mike Crapo (Idaho) want the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to limit blending targets for cellulosic biofuels, arguing that the fuels haven't made it into the marketplace in large quantities.

Vitter is the ranking member of the Environment and Public Works Committee, which has jurisdiction over the biofuel rule.

Currently, the EPA sets levels of these cellulosic fuels, which are made from non-edible feedstock, that must be blended annually into the nation's gasoline supply. But the oil refining industry and Capitol Hill critics say that EPA is mandating blending of fuels that don't yet exist in commercial volumes.

The bill mirrors a version introduced Wednesday in the House by Reps. Gregg Harper (R-Miss.) and Jim Matheson (D-Utah).

Wanted: A better power grid

The Bipartisan Policy Center — a think tank founded by several former Senate majority leaders — has unveiled a major set of recommendations to enhance the reliability and efficiency of the nation’s aging power grid.

They include improved federal powers to site interstate transmission lines, funding to help improve state policies to help integrate advanced grid technologies, and many other steps to improve system planning and reliability.

“The U.S. electric power sector faces a significant transition over the next decade, with implications for the cost, reliability, and environmental impacts of the electricity supply. Specifically, economic trends and state and federal energy and environmental policies will continue to increase the share of natural gas and renewable energy in the generation mix,” the report states.

“This ongoing shift provides an important opportunity to consider policies and institutional structures that help the electric grid adapt to changes in market conditions, policy, and technology in ways that enhance system reliability and maintain affordability,” it states.

Check out the whole thing here.

Sen. Warner, others propose energy efficiency policies

A report released Thursday said U.S. businesses could shave $169 billion off energy bills by 2030 if they follow policy recommendations to ramp up efficiency efforts.

The Alliance Commission on National Energy Efficiency Policy, co-chaired by Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.) and National Grid President Tom King, suggested various tax code changes and competitive grant programs to spur energy efficiency upgrades.

“The recommendations stated goal of doubling energy productivity by 2030 is an aggressive, yet achievable goal,” Warner and King wrote. “This blueprint provides a path for federal, state and local officials to make policy decisions that will unleash investment in energy productivity and allow us to bolster our energy security.”

Click here for the report.


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