Overnight Energy: States take climate rule fight to Supreme Court

OFF TO SCOTUS?: States opposed to President Obama's landmark climate change rule are looking for a fast track to the nation's highest court.

Twenty-six states, led by West Virginia and Texas, asked the Supreme Court on Tuesday to block the regulation temporarily, after last week's rejection of their stay request by a lower appeals court.

If the Supreme Court bites, it could give the opponents an audience with the justices much faster than if they waited until the lower court ruled on the merits of the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) rule and the states appealed.

"While we know a stay request to the Supreme Court isn't typical at this stage of the proceedings, we must pursue this option to mitigate further damage from this rule," West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey said in a statement. "Real people are hurting in West Virginia and it's my job to fight for them."

They told the court that, without a stay, the rule "will continue to unlawfully impose massive and irreparable harms upon the sovereign states."

The same coalition has tried other longshot methods in the past against the EPA's Clean Power Plan, including a failed attempt to get the appeals court to block it before it was made final.

Read more here.

PIPELINES TO GET CLIMATE TEST IN CANADA: Canada is due to start considering climate change when deciding whether to permit oil and natural gas pipelines.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced the plan Tuesday with reporters. He said it's part of the liberal party's effort to improve the pipeline approval process, and that it's not his job to be a cheerleader for the industry, according to Reuters.

"The federal role is to put into place a process by which TransCanada and any other company could demonstrate that their projects are in the public interest and could have public support," Trudeau told reporters after meeting Montreal Mayor Denis Coderre, Reuters reported.

"And what we are going to roll out very soon, as we promised in our election campaign, is to establish a clear process which will consider all the greenhouse gas emissions tied to a project, which will build on the work already done."

The move affects a number of major projects on the horizon, along with a planned liquefied natural gas export facility in British Columbia.

Read more here.

WORLD BANK: CHEAP OIL CONTINUES THIS YEAR: Oil will remain below $40 a barrel this year, the World Bank projected Tuesday, slashing its previous estimates as prices continue to drop.

Oil briefly traded below $30 per barrel earlier this year, but has since rebounded slightly. But the World Bank -- which projected a price higher than $50 last fall -- said the price of crude likely won't top $40 in 2016.

"Low prices for oil and commodities are likely to be with us for some time," John Baffes, senior economist and lead author of the group's commodity price report, said in a statement. "While we see some prospect for commodity prices to rise slightly over the next two years, significant downside risks remain."

Continued low demand in developing economies, combined with high production in the U.S. and the return of Iranian oil exports will combine to keep prices low, the bank said.

Read more here.

ETHANOL FORCES TAKE AIM AT CRUZ: America's Renewable Future, a pro-ethanol group in Iowa, is taking aim at Republican presidential candidate Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzSenate left in limbo by Trump tweets, House delays The Hill's Morning Report — Sponsored by PhRMA — Immigration drama grips Washington Senate Gang of Four to meet next week on immigration MORE with less than a week to go before the state's caucuses.

The group is launching a five-figure radio ad buy against Cruz, accusing him of hypocrisy on the federal ethanol mandate.

"Ted Cruz claims he's not in Big Oil's pocket and that he wants to level the energy playing field," the ad says. "Yet, he has introduced three bills to repeal the Renewable Fuel Standard, but has never taken a single step to end Big Oil's 103 years of taxpayer subsidies. What a hypocrite."

Cruz favors a phase-out of the ethanol mandate, something opposed by those in the industry.

The Texas senator is battling Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpGOP lawmakers preparing to vote on bill allowing migrant children to be detained longer than 20 days: report Wasserman Schultz: Infants separated from their parents are in Florida immigrant shelters Ex-White House ethics chief: Sarah Sanders tweet violates ethics laws MORE for the lead in Iowa with only a few days of campaigning remaining.

Read more about ethanol in Iowa here.

ON TAP WEDNESDAY I: The Senate is due to start debating the broad energy bill sponsored by Sens. Lisa MurkowskiLisa Ann MurkowskiHeitkamp ad highlights record as Senate race heats up Icebreaking ships are not America’s top priority in the Arctic 13 GOP senators ask administration to pause separation of immigrant families MORE (R-Alaska) and Maria CantwellMaria Elaine CantwellTrump rips media for not covering 'permanent separations' by undocumented immigrants Energy commission sees no national security risk from coal plant closures OPEC and Russia may raise oil output under pressure from Trump MORE (D-Wash.).

Murkowski and Cantwell started to speak about the bill Tuesday, when they noticed something peculiar: everyone on the Senate floor was a woman. Read about that here, via the Washington Post.

ON TAP WEDNESDAY II: Three national laboratories and think tank Third Way are hosting a summit on advanced nuclear energy technology. 


Last weekend's snowstorm rated as a category 4 on NOAA's scale -- a "crippling event," according to the agency.

Officials in San Diego are considering whether the city should be able to buy its own electricity as it looks to shift to 100 percent renewables, NPR reports.

State and local officials have not yet started replacing corroded lead pipes in Flint, Mich., NBC News reports.


Check out Tuesday's stories...

-Feds blame chemical storage for deadly Texas plant explosion
-States appeal to Supreme Court in fight against Obama's climate rule
-GOP chairman: Paris climate agreement will fail
-Doomsday Clock: World more dangerous than during Cold War
-World Bank: Oil to stay under $40 a barrel for '16
-Canada to consider climate change in future pipeline approvals
-California pushing insurers to cut coal investments

Please send tips and comments to Timothy Cama, tcama@thehill.com; and Devin Henry, dhenry@thehill.com. Follow us on Twitter: @Timothy_Cama@dhenry@thehill