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E2 Round-up: Inquiry examines 'blasting' as cause of mine disaster, Europe better than U.S. at turning waste to fuel, Kerry says SCOTUS pick no threat to climate bill

* The United States lags behind Europe in turning waste into fuel

From the New York Times: “Across Europe, there are about 400 [waste-to-energy plants], with Denmark, Germany and the Netherlands leading the pack in expanding them and building new ones.

"By contrast, no new waste-to-energy plants are being planned or built in the United States, the Environmental Protection Agency says — even though the federal government and 24 states now classify waste that is burned this way for energy as a renewable fuel, in many cases eligible for subsidies. There are only 87 trash-burning power plants in the United States, a country of more than 300 million people, and almost all were built at least 15 years ago,” the Times reports.

Part of the explanation lies in the fact that incinerators still raise red flags for many environmental groups.

“Incinerators are really the devil,” Laura Haight, a senior environmental associate with the New York Public Interest Research Group, told the Times.

* Environmental advocates downgrade expectations for global climate agreement

The Washington Post’s Juliet Eilperin writes that, “leaders and environmental advocates have focused their efforts on reaching agreement on a few top priorities, including preserving tropical forests and helping developing countries cope with climate change,” as prospects for an overarching global climate accord evaporate.

“The U.N.-sponsored climate talks in Cancun, Mexico, in December are increasingly viewed as an interim step to a final deal,” according to the Post.

* Kerry doesn’t expect Supreme Court pick to slow climate change debate

From Bloomberg: “President Barack ObamaBarack Hussein ObamaOvernight Energy: Dems ask Pruitt to justify first-class travel | Obama EPA chief says reg rollback won't stand | Ex-adviser expects Trump to eventually rejoin Paris accord Overnight Regulation: Trump to take steps to ban bump stocks | Trump eases rules on insurance sold outside of ObamaCare | FCC to officially rescind net neutrality Thursday | Obama EPA chief: Reg rollback won't stand Ex-US ambassador: Mueller is the one who is tough on Russia MORE’s plan to quickly replace retiring Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens won’t prevent the U.S. Senate from taking up climate-change legislation before elections this year, Senator John KerryJohn Forbes Kerry2020 Dem contenders travel to key primary states When it comes to Colombia, America is in a tough spot 36 people who could challenge Trump in 2020 MORE said.”

Kerry claims Congress is capable of “doing more than one thing at the same time.”

Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamCongress punts fight over Dreamers to March Pence tours Rio Grande between US and Mexico GOP looks for Plan B after failure of immigration measures MORE (R-S.C.), who is working on climate legislation with Kerry and Sen. Joseph Lieberman (I-Conn.), isn't so sure.