OVERNIGHT ENERGY: Industry gangs up on EPA climate rule

CLIMATE WAR EPISODE I: On Tuesday, leading industry groups laid out their grievances in a united front against the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) signature climate rule.

Groups like the American Petroleum Institute (API), which said earlier this month that lobbying against the EPA's regulations to cut carbon dioxide from existing power plants would not be a priority, joined the push against it Tuesday.

ADVERTISEMENT
API said on a call with six other industry groups that the regulations would have "adverse consequences" and a "chilling effect" on investments across the entire energy sector.

A main point of contention for the industry is that the rule allows broad flexibility, which would allow states to regulate "beyond the fence" of the fossil-fuel plants in question.

"The EPA regulation is unprecedented in its scope and will force changes well beyond the fossil fuel plants it proposes to regulate," U.S. Chamber CEO Karen Harbert said on a call with reporters. "It forces changes into other industries and other sources."

The industry leaders called for an extended public comment period, more public hearings, and substantial alterations to the rule. The National Mining Association demanded the rule be withdrawn altogether.

The EPA says it will respond to the industry's concerns and stakeholders will have until October 16, to comment on the proposal.

Read more here.

CLIMATE WAR EPISODE II: On Wednesday, EPA chief Gina McCarthy will testify before the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee on the agency's proposal to cut carbon emissions from the nation's fleet of existing power plants 30 percent by 2030.

It's the first hearing in the Senate since the EPA proposed it's rule on June 2, and Republicans on the committee are sure to take their frustration out on McCarthy over the new standards, which they have dubbed a "war on coal."

ENERGY INNOVATION: The Bipartisan Policy Center is hosting an all-day conference Wednesday called “Driving Resources into Energy Innovation.” Speakers will including Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz, Bank of America Chairman Chad Holliday and Southern Company Chief Executive Officer Tom Fanning.

Rest of Wednesday's agenda...

The Nuclear Infrastructure Council will host a summit on nuclear energy economics. It will include Howard Gruenspecht, deputy administrator of the Energy Information Administration; and James Asselstine, former member of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

The House Energy and Commerce Committee’s subcommittee on the environment and the economy will host a hearing on “modernizing the business of environmental regulation and protection.” Witnesses will represent three states’ environmental protection departments and three advocacy groups.

The House Natural Resources Committee’s subcommittee on energy and mineral resources will hold a hearing to examine the country’s domestic supply and demand of critical minerals, and what that means for metals and minerals security. Members will hear from stakeholders and a representative of the Idaho National Laboratory.

The House Natural Resources Committee’s subpanel on fisheries, wildlife, oceans and insular affairs will hold a hearing on four bills within its jurisdiction.

NEWS BITE:

LNG exports ... Don't hold out hope if you are waiting for the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee to mark up Sen. Mark Udall's (D-Colo.) bill to speed up liquefied natural gas exports to non-Free Trade Agreement countries by putting the Energy Department on the clock when it reviews applications.

"That is under dissuasion, our time is so limited," Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-La.), chairwoman of the committee, said late last week. "The administration has been fairly aggressive in leaning forward on exports. We will continue to push and to get the good information that clearly shows the evidence — that we have a lot of gas here in America and export. We have basically two weeks left and a lot to do and we aren't going to be able to do it all in two weeks."

Climate war Episode III ...  A House Energy and Commerce subcommittee said on Tuesday that it will hold a hearing next week to hear from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission on what it has to say about the president's carbon emissions rules on existing power plants.

The hearing is titled "FERC Perspectives: Questions Concerning EPA's Proposed Clean Power Plan and other Grid Reliability Challenges." The subcommittee invited all five commissioners at FERC, but a list of witnesses has not been finalized. While FERC is not responsible for implementing the rule, a number of lawmakers have expressed concern over the little-known commission's ability to reign in the EPA if the reliability of the nation's electric grid is threatened.

AROUND THE WEB:

Exxon Mobil Corp. is moving forward on a project with Russian state-owned oil company Rosneft, despite new United States sanctions targeting the company, the New York Times reports.

An audit of Pennsylvania’s Department of Environmental Protection found numerous shortcomings in the agency’s oversight of the natural gas industry, concluding it is “underfunded, understaffed, and does not have the infrastructure” to oversee the booming shale business, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports.

Wichita Falls, Texas, has opened its $13 million wastewater recycling facility, but it’s having trouble convincing people the water is alright to drink, Reuters reports.

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT:

Check out Tuesday's stories ...

- Obama announces picks for Nuclear Regulatory Commission
- Climate change hits all Pentagon operations, officials says
- Landrieu pushes new revenue model for offshore drilling
- Key Senate Dems to Obama: Broaden Russian sanctions
- Sen. Murkowski blames Obama for drop in federal land energy production
- Green group targets Gardner on oil and gas contributions
- Industry to EPA: Climate rule 'not workable'
- EPA improves radiation monitor system
- Maine city bans oil sands exports
- Britain to cut carbon emissions in half despite opposition
- EPA sends tweet about Kim Kardashian game
- On thin ice
 

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