OVERNIGHT ENERGY: Energy Dept. gives thumbs up to more gas exports

GAS EXPORTS MOVING ALONG: The Energy Department cleared the way for two liquefied natural gas (LNG) export terminals Wednesday, only the second and third projects to get full federal approval to export LNG.

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Sempra Energy’s Cameron LNG plant in southwestern Louisiana was cleared to ship gas, along with the Carib Energy plant in Florida.

They were the first two export plants to be approved under the Energy Department’s new process it put into place in August.

Under intense pressure to speed up exports, Energy switched around how it considers applications in a move it said would streamline the process and better prioritize its resources. Read more here

 

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ON TAP THURSDAY I: The House Natural Resources Committee will hold a hearing Thursday on the Interior Department’s Office of Inspector General. The panel has accused the office of failing to comply with a subpoena. The subpoena called for an unredacted version of a report on Interior’s proposed stream buffer zone rule, which it is working on to protect certain streams from mountaintop removal mining. Mary Kendall, Interior’s deputy inspector general, will be the sole witness. 

ON TAP THURSDAY II: The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee will vote on the nomination of Elizabeth Sherwood-Randall to be the deputy secretary of Energy. Sherwood-Randall, with an extensive background in defense and nuclear non-proliferation, had an uneventful confirmation hearing in July after being nominated earlier that month.

Rest of Thursday's agenda...

The American Petroleum Institute (API) will hold a conference call with reporters Thursday on its concerns with the renewable fuel standard (RFS). Bob Greco, API’s downstream manager, will speak about recent reports that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will increase the volume requirements from last year’s proposal.

The International Food Policy Research Institute will host a discussion about building resilience to climate change into food systems. The event will include experts, academics and stakeholders on climate change, including Rachel Kyte, the World Bank’s special envoy for climate change.

Environmental groups will hold a call on the State Department's move to allow Canadian company Enbridge to bypass an environmental review for its shipment of crude oil across the Canada-U.S. border. The groups will consider legal action against State for giving Enbridge the thumbs up on its plan to switch crude oil from one pipeline to another before it crosses the border. 

The World Resource Institute will host a briefing on global shale exploration and water risk. 

NEWS BITES:

From US with love... Senate Energy Committee Chairwoman Mary LandrieuMary LandrieuCNN producer on new O'Keefe video: Voters are 'stupid,' Trump is 'crazy' CNN's Van Jones: O'Keefe Russia 'nothingburger' video 'a hoax' Trump posts O'Keefe videos on Instagram MORE (D-La.) swiftly took credit Wednesday for pressuring the Energy Department to approve more LNG export terminals.

“Cameron LNG will create thousands of high-paying jobs in Southwest Louisiana, open new markets for American producers, and position the United States as an energy superpower,” she said in a statement.

Landrieu is in a tough reelection fight against challenger Rep. Bill Cassidy (R-La.).

Sen. John HoevenJohn HoevenMcCain absence adds to GOP agenda’s uncertainty McCain diagnosis looms over GOP healthcare talks This week: ObamaCare repeal faces latest setback in Senate MORE (R-N.D.) said the approval should not distract from the need for legislation to increase exports.

“The Energy Department’s approval of this application for exporting natural gas is a positive step, but we still need legislation to expedite the approval of the other pending applications,” he said.

Not all smiles... Environmental group Friends of the Earth slammed President Obama for the Energy Department's approval of more exports.

"In supporting liquefied natural gas exports, President Obama is treating climate change like a game of peak-a-boo, opening his eyes to the harmful impacts of carbon but closing them to the devastating disruption potential of methane. Allowing more LNG exports completely counteracts President Obama’s expressed commitment to reduce emissions and protect the public health," said Kate DeAngelis, campaigner for Friends of the Earth. 

AROUND THE WEB:

People who live near natural gas wells are more than twice as likely than others to have skin and upper respiratory problems, USA Today reports, citing a Yale University study from southwestern Pennsylvania. 

New Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who used to call for bold action on climate change, is now questioning scientific conclusions on whether the climate is changing, the Guardian reports

Californians saved 17 billion gallons of water in July, falling short of Gov. Jerry Brown’s (D) calls for a 20 percent cut in water use, Reuters reports

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT: 

Check out Wednesday's stories...

- Treasury to step up efforts against ISIS oil sales
- Watchdogs: Agencies obstructing probes
- US, EU sanctions could put energy giants at risk
- 15 GOP governors to Obama: Climate rule breaks the law
- DOE clears natural gas exports at two sites
- Lawmakers clash over transparency at wildlife agency
- Chamber to tour Keystone XL path
- Energy secretary to visit Canada
- Canadian oil sands companies to adopt environmental standards
- Google to invest $145 million in Calif. solar project
- GOP Senate candidate tethered to Kochs in ad

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