OVERNIGHT ENERGY: The climate rule blitz

YEAH, IT WAS LIKE LIGHTNING, EVERYBODY WAS FRIGHTENING, AND IT TURNED INTO A CLIMATE BLITZ: Environmental Protection Agency chief Gina McCarthy is trying to be the calm before the storm, telling people not to believe the hype as the agency begins a week of public hearings on the administration's signature carbon pollution rule.

"We are bound to hear this week and beyond that EPA actions are bad for the economy," she said on a call with reporters Monday. "Every time the EPA has put out a rule like this there has been innovations."

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McCarthy touted the "historic" outreach the agency and the White House made before even proposing the rules, which mandate states cut carbon dioxide from the nation's fleet of power plants 30 percent by 2030 from 2005 levels.

Firing back at industry claims that the agency isn't listening to businesses on the damaging impact they say the rules will have on coal miners, and the energy sector, McCarthy said the "White House has a point person working specifically with unions, businesses, and local communities" on the new standards. Read more from the call with McCarthy here.

But the storm is inevitable... Industry groups including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and the American Petroleum Institute plan on telling the agency during the public hearings that the rules are "not workable."

And the National Mining Association is one of many coal groups that plans to rally over 1,000 coal miners, industry and union leaders at the Denver hearing on the rules. It will also mobilize over 2,000 at the Pittsburgh hearing.

MAN IN THE BACK SAID EVERYONE ATTACK, CLIMATE BLITZ I: Tuesday is the first day of 11-hour hearings in Atlanta, Denver and Washington, D.C., where the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will gather input on its plan to reduce carbon dioxide pollution from power plants. Each hearing will continue Wednesday, while Pittsburgh’s hearings will be Thursday and Friday.

GIRL IN THE CORNER SAID I WANT TO WARN YA, CLIMATE BLITZ II: Natural Gas Roundtable, a monthly event hosted by the American Gas Association, will meet Tuesday to discuss the EPA’s power plant rule with Janet McCabe, the acting assistant administrator for the EPA’s air and radiation office. Attendees will also watch a new film about the benefits of the natural gas boom.

IT'S A CLIMATE BLITZ III: The House Energy and Commerce subcommittee on energy and power will hear from all five members of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Tuesday to hear their thoughts on the EPA climate rule. Republicans are concerned that the proposal would lead to a reduction in electrical reliability, and will likely try to get the commissioners to agree with them.

OH, A CLIMATE BLITZ IV: The Senate Budget Committee will hold a hearing on the impacts to the federal budget from climate change and from continuing to avoid major action to prevent it. The panel will hear from the Government Accountability Office, corporate sustainability group Ceres, CNA Corp., NERA Economic Consulting and Copenhagen Consensus Center.


Rest of Tuesday's climate agenda, and other energy news...

Before the EPA public hearing begins in Washington, D.C., a diverse group of faith leaders who endorse the proposal will give a blessing outside EPA headquarters, where the hearings will take place.

Ben & Jerry’s, in partnership with the Climate Reality Project, will set up in each of the cities where there are hearings to serve free ice cream and encourage people to participate in the hearings.

The Senate Environment and Public Works subcommittee on clear air and nuclear safety will examine threats to nuclear power safety from climate change. They will hear from representatives of five different stakeholders in the nuclear power and climate change debate.

Three subpanels of the House Natural Resources Committee will hold hearings on a wide variety of bills in their respective purviews. The bills deal with renewable and geothermal energy on public land, various changes in Interior Department land designations and Indian and Alaska Native Tribes.

A Senate Commerce subcommittee with responsibility over oceans will hold a hearing on implementation of the 2012 law that sought to restore the Gulf of Mexico and its shores after the Deepwater Horizon disaster of 2010. They will hear from federal and state officials responsible for implementation of the programs and a representative of the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation.

The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee will hold a hearing on how the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) could more efficiently process energy production permits on federal land. Senators will hear from BLM Director Neil Kornze, representatives of industries that produce energy on federal land and local government leaders.

NEWS BITES:

Budgetary costs... The administration and the Senate is pushing climate change action through a new lens this week: federal budget projects. As we noted earlier, the Senate Budget Committee is holding a hearing about the impact climate change will have on the federal budget. Why? Well, it's one more way to package the need to act on climate change now for the administration.

A spokesperson for Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.), who is leading the hearing Tuesday, said: "This week’s actions are part of our continued efforts to build support for climate change solutions that we know would help the environment, help the economy, and help the federal budget."

Florida's climate politics... Democratic gubernatorial candidate Charlie Crist is putting as wide a gap as possible between himself and incumbent Gov. Rick Scott (R) on climate change issues. Scott recently came under the spotlight after a group of climate scientists from Florida universities requested a meeting with the governor.

Crist said he listened to a scientific presentation last week from an Florida State oceanography professor on climate change, the Miami Herald reports.

“I noticed that my opponent, Rick Scott, would not meet with this wonderful scientist,” Crist, who believes in climate change, said, "It makes a great statement about the two different views of the world by the two of us, myself and Rick Scott.”

AROUND THE WEB:

Oil and gas companies are moving away from developing countries and toward wealthier ones for exploration, counting on political stability, the Wall Street Journal reports.

The Morning Consult surveyed utility regulators from across the country to get their input on the Environmental Protection Agency’s power plant carbon emissions rule.

Controversial climate change writer Roger Pielke Jr. has parted ways with Nate Silver’s FiveThirtyEight after a rocky start, Discover magazine reports.

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT:

Check out Monday's stories...

- Grassley files amendments to restore wind, biodiesel tax credits
- Greenpeace calls for halt to federal coal leasing
- General Mill to reduce GHG emissions from agriculture
- Lawmaker: Coal is Obama's 'kryptonite'
- Greens expect 'busloads' to support EPA climate rule at hearings
- EPA chief won't attend public hearings on climate rule
- Power outage forces EPA to move climate hearing
- EPA chief: Climate rule 'changing tone' of talks
- Public Citizen hits Murray Energy on climate rule
- W.Va. Dem turns off lights on White House
- Liberal ad ties Iowa candidate to oil industry
- Week ahead: EPA heads into battle on climate rule
- GOP: Border patrol agents handcuffed by wildlife rules

 

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