OVERNIGHT ENERGY: Obama unveils plan to protect more of Pacific

THE DEEP BLUE: President Obama on Tuesday announced plans to expand a sanctuary of the Pacific Ocean, marking it as off limits to fishing and energy exploration.

The move sparked cries of executive overreach from a number of Republicans on Capitol Hill.

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The administration will declare more of the Pacific Remote Islands Marin National Monument in the south-central Pacific Ocean as a protected sanctuary, expanding the 87,000 square miles already designated by former President George W. Bush. 

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ON TAP WEDNESDAY I: The Environment and Public Works Committee is holding a hearing on the impacts of climate change. Four former Environmental Protection Agency administrators will testify at the hearing, all of whom were in office under Republican presidents.

ON TAP WEDNESDAY II: The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee will meet Wednesday to vote on a bill to approve the Keystone XL pipeline and on two nominations to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC).

The Keystone bill is sponsored by committee Chairwoman Mary Landrieu (D-La.) and Sen. John Hoeven (R-N.D.). Supporters of the pipeline tried to get it into the Senate’s major energy efficiency bill last month, but the bill did not pass.

President Obama has nominated Norman Bay to lead FERC and acting chairwoman Cheryl LaFleur to a new term on the commission.


Rest of Wednesday's agenda ...

The Bipartisan Policy Center will host a discussion Wednesday on the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) carbon reduction rules for power plants. The event will feature former EPA Assistant Administrator for Air and Radiation Jeffrey Holmstead and former Assistant Energy Secretary for Policy Susan Teirney.

The American Petroleum Institute is holding a conference call on the latest delay of the Renewable Fuel Standard.

The House Natural Resources Committee will examine the opportunities for U.S. energy jobs.

The House Appropriations Committee will consider the fiscal 2015 funding bill for energy and water programs Wednesday.
 

NEWS BITES:

Comings and goings ... With the move of its director to the Energy Department, the BlueGreen Alliance announced Kim Glas, deputy assistant secretary of Commerce will come on as executive director.

BlueGreen Alliance also named Susan Green as a legislative and policy director.

"This is an exciting opportunity to join a dynamic partnership that’s leading efforts to build a cleaner, fairer and a more competitive economy,” Glas said. “I’m delighted to carry forward the torch of this great organization.”

Leo comes to Washington ... Actor Leonardo DiCaprio delivered remarks at the State Department's Our Ocean conference Tuesday.

"While we’ve heard a lot about the impacts of climate change on dry land, the oceans will be the sink that absorbs the brunt of our pollution and the danger of higher temperatures," DiCaprio said. "This is especially troubling since oceans are the source of most of our oxygen and life-giving nutrients on this planet."

AROUND THE WEB:

Canada’s federal government has approved the Northern Gateway pipeline, which would run from Alberta’s oil sands to a Pacific Ocean port, the Ottawa Citizen reports.

Oil giant BP has struck a deal worth about $20 billion to supply China with liquefied natural gas, Reuters reports.

The European Union has the largest natural gas reserves in three years, which could protect the continent from Russian supply disruptions, Bloomberg News reports.

Indian reservations, which host some of the most polluting power plants, are exempt from the Environmental Protection Agency’s carbon limits for power plants, as are territories, the Huffington Post reports.


IN CASE YOU MISSED IT:

Check out Tuesday's stories ...

- BlueGreen Alliance chief heads to Energy Department
- North Dakota's oil production reaches 1 million barrels a day
- Elon Musk acquires solar panel maker
- EPA's McCarthy: No 'war on coal'
- FTC turns lights on decorative bulbs
- Obama to declare more of the Pacific off-limits
- Pro-McConnell group calls Grimes 'two-faced' on coal
- US, Canadian officials predict Keystone approval by April
- Energy efficiency bill symbolizes Senate 'dysfunction,' Heitkamp says
- McConnell chides EPA chief for HBO appearance
- Manchin: White House responsive to swapping nominees
- Manchin: Don't renew wind tax credit
- White House wants EU, Russia gas talks to continue


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