OVERNIGHT ENERGY: Obama's climate moment arrives

COMING TUESDAY: President Obama will outline his second-term climate agenda in a speech at Georgetown University.

The plan is expected to include greenhouse gas regulations for existing power plants, further expansion of renewable energy on public lands, and bolstering energy efficiency.

Such actions follow Obama's pledge in his State of the Union address to use executive powers on climate if Congress doesn’t pass major legislation.

White House press secretary Jay Carney said Monday that the plan “reflects reality,” adding, “We’ve seen Congress attempt to deal with this issue and fail to.”

Check in with E2-Wire on Tuesday for more coverage of Obama’s speech.


Markey, Gomez face off in Senate contest

Massachusetts voters will choose their junior senator Tuesday in the special election to fill Secretary of State John Kerry's former seat.

The race has attracted considerable cash from green groups, which have opened their wallets in support of Rep. Edward Markey (D-Mass.). He enters the contest the favorite over Republican candidate Gabriel Gomez.

Markey has earned plaudits from the environmental community by being an active voice on climate change issues. Markey, a supporter of renewable energy technology, has also been a vocal critic of offshore drilling.

Energy and water spending under microscope

The Senate Appropriations subcommittee on Energy and Water Development will mark up the fiscal 2014 energy and water spending bill on Tuesday.

Click here for more on the markup, which begins at 10 a.m.

Energy efficiency bills on the docket

A subpanel of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee will consider a slew of energy efficiency bills on Tuesday.

The measures affect various entities, including nonprofit organizations and schools. The committee will also consider legislation introduced last week that would create a $200 million “Race to the Top” energy efficiency grant program.

Click here for more on the 2:30 p.m. hearing.

Interior chief to talk conservation

Interior Secretary Sally Jewell will discuss the Obama administration’s public lands policy and conservation efforts Tuesday at the Center for American Progress.

Her remarks are in the context of reducing obesity. The Center for American Progress, a left-leaning think tank, is leading a new effort that promotes public lands protection as a means for encourage children to exercise.

“These places that belong to each and every one of us are critically important to meeting modern challenges such as ‘nature-deficit disorder’ and the obesity epidemic,” an advisory states.

Click here for more on the 3:30 p.m. event.

Natural gas prices in focus

Former Sen. Byron Dorgan (D-N.D.) will present research that says domestic natural-gas prices are unlikely to rise substantially even if the United States chooses to export its supplies.

Dorgan is now a senior fellow with think tank the Bipartisan Policy Center, which produced the reports he’ll comment on Tuesday at the American Gas Association’s Natural Gas Roundtable.

The research touches on a brewing Capitol Hill debate about whether the Energy Department should allow a major expansion of natural-gas exports.

Some Democrats have raised concerns that sending more natural gas abroad would raise domestic prices and hurt consumers.

But proponents say the market will restrain exports, as other nations are also rushing to fill demand for natural gas. They say that will keep domestic price bumps modest.

Export boosters have accused the Obama administration of slow-walking decisions. But Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz has said his agency will evaluate the export proposals “expeditiously.”


Check out these stories that ran on E2-Wire Monday and over the weekend ...

— Supreme Court declines to hear ethanol fuel case

— Justices take up air pollution rules

— The week ahead: Obama’s climate plan arrives

— Senator: Obama climate rules a ‘game-changer’ for carbon tax proposal

— Obama to lay out ‘national plan’ on climate change


US probes oil price-fixing

Bloomberg reports:

The U.S. Federal Trade Commission opened a formal investigation into how prices of crude oil and petroleum-derived products are set, mirroring a European Union inquiry, two people familiar with the matter said.

Click here for the whole story.

Study: Fracking can increase methane in water

The Los Angeles Times reports:

Scientists have found that methane and other gases pose a significant risk of contaminating drinking-water wells near natural gas drilling, raising new questions about possible health and safety risks from the production technique known as fracking.

Click here for the whole story.

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