OVERNIGHT ENERGY: Keystone clears Senate panel

KEYSTONE MOVES: The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee voted Wednesday to go over President Obama’s head and approve the proposed Keystone XL pipeline.

While many of the senators recognized the administration’s power to review pipeline applications, they made it clear that five years was too long.

“When the administration delays or subverts the process, there is a role for Congress,” Chairman Mary LandrieuMary Loretta LandrieuSenate GOP rejects Trump’s call to go big on gun legislation Project Veritas at risk of losing fundraising license in New York, AG warns You want to recall John McCain? Good luck, it will be impossible MORE (D-La.) said.

Landrieu’s facing a tough reelection fight, and the GOP was quick to make sure she didn’t get any credit for the vote.

It is also unlikely that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) wlll allow the bill a floor vote.

Some Republicans criticized the panel's action as a "show vote."

Read more here and here.


REPUBLICANS TALK CLIMATE: Four former EPA administrators, all tapped by GOP presidents, stressed the need for Republicans who back climate policies to speak out on the matter.

“This should not be a partisan issue,” William Ruckelshaus, the nation's first EPA administrator, said at a Wednesday Senate hearing.

The former administrators asked senators to look at climate change through scientific terms, instead of partisan ones.

William Reilly, who served under President George H.W. Bush, praised EPA’s power plant emissions proposal as the “first significant rule to affect greenhouse gases.” 

Read more here.


CLIMATE WAR BEGINS: A House Energy and Commerce subpanel is hosting a hearing Thursday on the EPA's rules that seek to reduce carbon dioxide emissions from existing power plants 30 percent from 2005 levels by 2030.

It's the first hearing on the new rules, which Republicans have painted as a “war on coal.” EPA's air and radiation chief, Janet McCabe, will be the sole witness, and will likely get an earful from House Republicans about the new standards. 

Read The Hill’s preview of McCabe’s testimony here.


“BRIDGE FUEL” IN SPOTLIGHT: The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee will hold a hearing on the possibly uses of natural gas for export, domestic consumption and transportation. Its emissions are much lower than coal and oil, leading proponents to label it a “bridge fuel” for moving away from carbon-intensive fuels.

Senators will hear from the Chris Smith, head of the Energy Department’s fossil energy programs; Marty Durbin, president of America’s Natural Gas Alliance; and think tank and consultant representatives.


Rest of Thursday’s agenda ...

The House Oversight Committee will hold a hearing Thursday to examine allegations of management deficiencies and whistleblower reprisal at the Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board, the agency responsible for investigating major chemical incidents.

The Senate Appropriations Committee will mark up the fiscal 2015 funding bill for energy and water programs Thursday.

The House Agriculture Committee will host a variety of agricultural stakeholders for a hearing Thursday on the joint Environmental Protection Agency and Army Corps of Engineers rule to redefine the federal government’s jurisdiction for the Clean Water Act.

The Heritage Foundation will host an event on “the moral case” for using fossil fuels, featuring Kathleen Hartnett Whit of the Texas Public Policy Foundation.



Miners come to hearing ... Coal miners working for Alpha Natural Resources and Murray Energy Corp. came to watch the Senate’s climate change hearing Wednesday. They also wanted lawmakers to keep their livelihoods in mind when considering legislation that could harm coal.

“Coal means a lot to us,” Matthew Duvall, a miner from Ohio, told The Hill. “That’s the way we make a living, that’s the way we raise our families, and I’d like to see them get back to thinking with their heads a little bit more than what they are.”

Asked about EPA’s power plant emissions proposal, Duvall said he’s “got to do a lot more thinking about it” before deciding his position.



Following Tuesday’s approval by Canadian officials of the Northern Gateway pipeline to bring oil sands petroleum to the Canada’s west coast, First Nations who are opposed to it vowed to keep fighting, the Calgary Herald reported

Berkeley, Calif., may become the first city to put climate change warnings on fuel pumps at filling stations, the Los Angeles Times reported.

Gasoline production in the United States rose 11 percent to 9.84 million barrels a day last week, the highest since the federal government started keeping data in 1982, Bloomberg News reports.



Check out Wednesday’s stories...

- Coal company sues EPA over climate rules
- GOP doesn't give Landrieu break on Keystone
- House panel approves energy spending bill
- Obama to speak at green group's event
- EPA: Climate rule won't kill coal
- Gore: Obama 'signaled' he will reject Keystone
- After deal, senators advance energy agency nominees
- GOP senators: Committee action on Keystone is 'show vote'
- Senate panel votes to approve Keystone
- EPA chiefs who served under Republicans press for climate action
- Russia says gas supply to Europe uninterrupted
- Clock starts on EPA climate rule comments
- Poll shows support for EPA's climate rules

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