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 ObamaPelosi: Intel chair Nunes is 'deeply compromised' on Russia investigation Supreme Court has a duty to safeguard election integrity House panel to challenge climate science 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 KerryOne year ago today we declared ISIS atrocities as genocide Trump’s realism toward Iran is stabilizing force for Middle East 134 foreign policy experts condemn Trump travel ban MORE said.”

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

Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey GrahamGorsuch rewrites playbook for confirmation hearings Dem senator: House Intel chairman may have revealed classified info The Hill's 12:30 Report MORE (R-S.C.), who is working on climate legislation with Kerry and Sen. Joseph Lieberman (I-Conn.), isn't so sure.