OPIOID SERIES:

OVERNIGHT ENERGY: Billionaire Steyer to visit White House

CLIMATE CHANGE: To mark the one-year anniversary of President Obama's Georgetown speech, in which he unveiled his second-term climate agenda, the White House is hosting a meeting with billionaire Tom Steyer, and former administration officials.

Steyer and former George W. Bush Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson, will meet with White House officials and current Treasury Secretary Jack LewJacob (Jack) Joseph LewTreasury pushes back on travel criticism with data on Obama-era costs Big tech lobbying groups push Treasury to speak out on EU tax proposal Overnight Finance: Hatch announces retirement from Senate | What you can expect from new tax code | Five ways finance laws could change in 2018 | Peter Thiel bets big on bitcoin MORE Wednesday.

ADVERTISEMENT
Steyer's meeting set off buzz around Capitol Hill. Sen. Jim InhofeJames (Jim) Mountain InhofeDems give muted praise to Pompeo-Kim meeting Overnight Energy: Former Pruitt aide alleges more wasteful spending, retaliation | Senate confirms EPA No. 2 | Zinke backs off big park fee increases Senate approves Trump’s pick for No. 2 at EPA MORE (R-Okla.) railed against the White House for it's close ties to Steyer on the Senate floor Tuesday.

The meeting with the White House will be centered around a new report issued by Steyer, Paulson, and former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg's climate group Risky Business. The report details the financial risks the U.S. will incur if little action is taken on climate change.

Read more on the meeting here, and the report here.


CROSS-BORDER PIPELINES: The House passed legislation Tuesday that would bypass the president's authority to review cross-border pipelines.

It instead requires the Secretary of State to issue a "certificate of crossing" for oil, natural gas pipelines, as well as electric transmission facilities that cross the border with Mexico and Canada.

The State Department would have to issue the certificate within 120 days after the final environmental impact review.

The White House warned Congress Tuesday against passing the bill, saying President Obama would veto it if it came to his desk.

In a statement, the White House said the bill “would impose an unreasonable deadline that would curtail the thorough consideration of the issues involved, which could result in serious security, safety, foreign policy, environmental, economic, and other ramifications.”


LNG EXPORTS: The House is set to vote on Rep. Cory GardnerCory Scott GardnerColorado must fight to protect net neutrality Senators demand info on unusual surveillance activity in DC Family, friends mourn death of Barbara Bush MORE's (R-Colo.) bill Wednesday, which would expedite the approval of natural gas exports to non-Free Trade Agreement countries.

The bill is expected to pass the House, and would allow Gardner to tout his energy chops on the campaign trail. Gardner is challenging Sen. Mark UdallMark Emery UdallSenate GOP rejects Trump’s call to go big on gun legislation Democratic primary could upend bid for Colorado seat Picking 2018 candidates pits McConnell vs. GOP groups MORE (D-Colo.) for his Senate seat in the midterms. Both have proposed similar natural gas export legislation.

Gardner's bill requires the Department of Energy to approve a pipeline 30-days after it's environmental review is over if it's in the nation's best interest.

CLIMATE ACTION: Energy Secretary Ernest MonizErnest Jeffrey MonizOvernight Energy: Pruitt defends first-class travel | Watchdog says contractor charged Energy Department for spas, lobbying | Experts see eased EPA enforcement under Trump Obama energy secretary named to utility giant’s board Give Trump new nukes and we are that much closer to war MORE, and Interior Secretary Sally JewellSarah (Sally) Margaret JewellInterior Dept. officials call CNN correspondent 'a f---ing idiot' Zinke and his wife took security detail on vacation to Turkey, Greece: report Zinke: I never took a private jet anywhere MORE will keynote an event hosted by the League of Conservation Voters Wednesday in honor of the one-year anniversary of President Obama's climate change agenda.

Later Wednesday evening, Obama will be the feature guest at LCV's annual Capital Dinner to mark the anniversary, and to discuss his recent proposal on carbon pollution from existing power plants.

EPA MANAGEMENT: The House Oversight Committee will hold a hearing Wednesday entitled “Management Failures: Oversight of the EPA.”

It will feature EPA Administrator Gina McCarthyRegina (Gina) McCarthyEPA chief upgraded official car to one with bulletproof seat covers Watchdog requests probe into relationship between top EPA aide and man investigating him GOP senators push back on calls to investigate Pruitt MORE and Sens. Sheldon WhitehouseSheldon WhitehouseWatchdog requests probe into relationship between top EPA aide and man investigating him Overnight Energy: Former Pruitt aide alleges more wasteful spending, retaliation | Senate confirms EPA No. 2 | Zinke backs off big park fee increases Senate approves Trump’s pick for No. 2 at EPA MORE (D-R.I.) and David VitterDavid Bruce VitterPlanned Parenthood targets judicial nominee over abortion comments Trump nominates wife of ex-Louisiana senator to be federal judge Where is due process in all the sexual harassment allegations? MORE (R-La.) as witnesses.

The hearing is a follow-up to a May hearing that focused on allegations that EPA officials obstructed Inspector General investigations. It also brought to light numerous other employee misconduct cases that are certain to come up at Wednesday’s hearing, as well as the case of fake CIA agent John Beale.

Rest of Wednesday's agenda ...

The Senate Energy and Natural Resources subcommittee on Water and Power will hold a hearing on Sen. Lisa MurkowskiLisa Ann MurkowskiSenators press administration on mental health parity Overnight Energy: Watchdogs unveil findings on EPA, Interior controversies | GAO says EPA violated law with soundproof booth | IG says Zinke could have avoided charter flight | GOP chair probes Pruitt's four email addresses GOP fractures over push to protect Russia probe MORE’s (R-Alaska) bill, the Nexus of Energy and Water for Sustainability Act. The panel will hear from representatives of the Energy Department, the Interior Department, the Congressional Research Service, the Edison Power Research Institute and the Alliance for Water Efficiency.

A House Natural Resources subpanel will examine increasing carbon soil sequestration on public land. Lawmakers will hear from local officials from Arizona and Utah, a researcher from Texas A&M University and a representative from the Marin Carbon Project in California.


NEWS BITES:

Blame game ... Sen. Barbara BoxerBarbara Levy BoxerThe ‘bang for the buck’ theory fueling Trump’s infrastructure plan Kamala Harris endorses Gavin Newsom for California governor Dems face hard choice for State of the Union response MORE (D-Calif.) said she'd be open to a 60-vote threshold for the anti-EPA amendment being pushed by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellSenate blocks bill that opponents say weakens water pollution rules Pittsburgh police told to prepare for protests over potential Mueller firing: report Senate repeals auto-loan guidance in precedent-shattering vote MORE (R-Ky.), and that it's his fault the Senate appropriations package has been stalled.

"What's derailing it is Sen. McConnell. He's always said that if anybody feels there is a controversial amendment they can get 60 votes, he's derailed it, because he won't do that," Boxer said.

As for a vote on the anti-EPA amendment, Boxer said, "I don't mind at all, I've offered a 60-vote threshold."

SCOTUS ruling “pretty good” ...  White House press secretary Josh Earnest reacted positively Tuesday to the Supreme Court’s ruling a day earlier on the Environmental Protection Agency’s rules for greenhouse gas permitting, noting that EPA can still regulate 83 percent of carbon dioxide from stationary sources.

“We actually see this as a pretty good ratification of the authority that's vested in the EPA to take the kinds of common-sense steps that are clearly in the best interests of our country and that are clearly in the best interests of our economy,” Earnest said at his second daily press briefing as Obama’s top spokesman.

Earnest also reiterated Obama’s commitment to taking action against climate change. “It is the view of this administration and certainly the view of the president that that can be done in a way that's actually good for the economy,” he said.

AROUND THE WEB:

The Canadian Transportation Safety Board is calling on U.S. regulators to phase out the use of older rail cars to transport crude oil, as Canada has recently committed to doing, Reuters reports.

Researchers say they have conclusively linked the increased use of certain pesticides to the deaths of bees and other pollinators, BBC News reports.

American University, George Washington University and George Washington University Hospital signed 20-year deals with Duke Energy Renewables to buy solar power from forthcoming North Carolina solar farms, the Associated Press reports.

 

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT:

Check out Tuesday's stories...

- House passes pipeline permitting bill
- Manchin, Whitehouse to debate climate, coal on Senate floor
- Republicans push Keystone vote in Senate
- Heritage urges 'yes' vote on gas exports
- WH: 'No misgivings' about Steyer meeting
- Committee targets EPA's 'secret science'
- Fat Tire brewery pours out praise for EPA rule
- WH threatens veto of House oil pipeline bill
- 'Risky Business' report: Climate change inaction will cost US billions
- Green groups tie Iowa Senate nominee to Palin
- Paulson to visit White House to talk financial risks of climate change


 

Please send tips and comments to Laura Barron-Lopez, laurab@thehill.com, and Timothy Cama, tcama@thehill.com

Follow us on Twitter: @thehill @lbarronlopez @Timothy_Cama