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 Lew Wednesday.

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Steyer's meeting set off buzz around Capitol Hill. Sen. Jim Inhofe (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 Gardner'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 Udall (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 Moniz, and Interior Secretary Sally Jewell 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 McCarthy and Sens. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) and David Vitter (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 Murkowski’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 Boxer (D-Calif.) said she'd be open to a 60-vote threshold for the anti-EPA amendment being pushed by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (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


 

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