OVERNIGHT ENERGY: House holds first hearing on climate rule

COLD SHOULDER: House Republicans had nothing nice to say about the new Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposal to cut carbon pollution from the nation's existing power plants.

But that doesn't mean they didn't say anything at all.

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GOP lawmakers lashed out at EPA acting administrator for air and radiation, Janet McCabe, calling the rules a "devastating one-two punch" for coal.

McCabe held her ground though, reasoning that the nation, as the EPA and industry groups they have talked with see it, is transitioning away from coal.

Still, Rep. Morgan Griffith (R-Va.) said if the EPA isn't waging a war on coal, then the standards are still "pretty close to hell." Read more here.

REPUBLICANS AND DEMS AGREE ON THIS: That Chemical Safety Board Chairman Rafael Moure-Eraso should resign.

The push from House Oversight Committee representatives on both sides of the aisle came after an eight-month committee investigation that “revealed an agency in crisis," Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) said Thursday at a hearing.

The agency is also "unable to properly function and serve its mission because of poor leadership and mismanagement,” he added.

Members said Moure-Eraso squashed disagreement among board members and employees, blocked inspector general investigations and intimidated whistleblowers, among other allegations. Read more here.
 

ON TAP FRIDAY I: A House Natural Resources subpanel is holding a hearing on two energy infrastructure bills. One of the bills being considered seeks to speed up permits for natural gas gathering lines on federal and Indian land. The second bill aims to expedite permits for natural gas, oil and petroleum product pipelines.

ON TAP FRIDAY II: The Energy Department is wrapping up its Twitter chat in honor of its new series on how energy works.

NEWS BITE:

One at a time ... At one point the administration said it also wanted to propose carbon pollution standards for the country's refineries, but that seems to be out of sight and out of mind for the EPA.

After a hearing on the new carbon pollution standards for existing power plants, acting EPA administrator for air and radiation, Janet McCabe, said nothing was in the cooker.

"What I can say is we are not working on one now," McCabe told reporters. "Our focus is on power plants."

Given the little amount of time left for the agency to wrap up rules before the end of Obama's term it's likely the chance for such a proposal is long gone.

AROUND THE WEB:

Former White House climate czar Heather Zichal has been elected to the board of Cheniere Energy Inc., SNL Financial reports. She will receive $180,000 a year for her position.

Michael Grunwald, Time magazine’s senior national correspondent, said he is “underwhelmed” with the Environmental Protection Agency’s climate rules for power plants.

Anders Fogh Rasmussen, NATO’s outgoing secretary general and former prime minister of Denmark, said Russia is coordinating environmental opposition to hydraulic facturing in Europe, the Independent reports.

 

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT:

Check out Thursday's stories ...

- 30 GOP senators sponsor bill to stop EPA's water rule
- Senate Republicans want White House officials to testify on climate rule
- Lawmakers call for chemical board chairman to resign
- Canada invites Boehner to talk Keystone
- House Republicans press EPA to nix climate rule
- House GOP grills EPA official in first hearing on new carbon rule
- Louisiana gas export project gets final OK
- Calif. town considers climate change warning labels
- Deputy Energy secretary to step down
- McConnell: Dems afraid to fight Obama climate rule
- Udall bill sets new limit on DOE's natural gas export process
- Senate Dems cancel spending bill vote amid GOP threat on EPA rules
- AAA: Iraq uncertainty increasing gas prices 

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