OVERNIGHT ENERGY: Climate change a greater threat than terrorism?

A CLEAR AND PRESENT DANGER: The White House stood by comments President Obama made that climate change poses a graver threat day-in and day-out to Americans than terrorism. 

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Obama made the comments in an interview with Vox and cited climate changes as a threat on par with terrorism and disease in his national security strategy released last week. 

White House spokesman Josh Ernest sought to clarify both by stating, that climate change directly impacts more Americans than terrorism does. 

"The point that the president is making is that there are many more people on an annual basis who have to confront the direct impact on their lives of climate change or on the spread of a disease than on terrorism," Earnest said.

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ON TAP WEDNESDAY I: The House will vote Wednesday on the Senate’s bill to approve the Keystone XL oil pipeline. The House previously passed the bill last month, but the Senate amended it, adding provisions that acknowledge climate change, encourage energy efficiency in buildings and other actions. It is likely to pass, but President Obama has promised to veto it. 

ON TAP WEDNESDAY II: Janet McCabe, head of air and radiation for the Environmental Protection Agency, will testify before the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee on the administration's carbon pollution rules for new and existing power plants. 

Rest of Wednesdays agenda...

Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz will testify before the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee about the Energy Department’s budget request for fiscal year 2016. 

Chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee Rep. Fred Upton (R-Mich.) will speak at the Ripon Society.

The Senate Appropriations Committee will hold a hearing on the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers and Interior Department's 2016 budget request.

The Advanced Research Projects Agency - Energy (ARPA-E) will wrap up its Energy Innovation Summit. Wednesday’s events will feature Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz, Rep. Randy Weber (R-Texas), Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), former Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson and various private-sector representatives. 

NEWS BITE: Sens. John Barrasso (R-Wyo.) and Heidi Heitkamp (D-N.D.) introduced a bill that they say would reduce natural gas leaks and flaring without any new regulations on the oil and gas industry.

Instead, the bill would expedite approvals for gas gathering pipelines on federal and Indian land, which the sponsors say would make it easier for private companies to make use of the gas coming out of wells.

The bill is a response to the Environmental Protection Agency’s proposal to regulate methane leaks from the oil and gas sector.

“Rather than issuing more regulations which will further drive oil and gas production off federal and Indian land, the Department of the Interior should meet its current responsibilities,” Barrasso said in a statement. “Our bipartisan bill will help the Department expedite the permitting of natural gas gathering lines so we can capture more natural gas and boost revenue for American taxpayers.”

AROUND THE WEB:

California Democrats Tuesday unveiled a suite of bills aimed at fulfilling Gov. Jerry Brown’s (D) goals in renewable energy, gasoline use and divesting the state’s pension fund of fossil fuels, the San Jose Mercury News reports. 

Houston is going through an office building boom, but the drop in oil prices is threatening to stall it, the Wall Street Journal reports. 

Oilfield services firm Halliburton Co. is planning to cut up to 8 percent of its workforce as oil prices collapse, Bloomberg Business reports

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT

Check out Tuesday's stories...

- Apple to build $850M solar farm in Calif.

- Survey shows strong support for easing oil export ban

- WH: Climate change directly impacts more Americans than terrorism

- Obama unveils $2B goal for private investments in climate fight

- GOP senators say EPA's numbers don't add up on ozone

- No shortcut for stopping climate change, federal report finds

- Calif. proposes changes in protecting drinking water from oil wells

- Oil prices likely to increase later this year

- Obama to declare new national monument

 

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