Overnight Energy: Fallout after Supreme Court blocks climate rule

POWER PLAN SCRAMBLE: Supporters and opponents of President Obama's climate agenda had strong reactions to the Supreme Court decision to block his rule for power plants.

In the Senate, Minority Leader Harry ReidHarry ReidChris Murphy’s profile rises with gun tragedies Republicans are headed for a disappointing end to their year in power Obama's HHS secretary could testify in Menendez trial MORE (D-Nev.) slammed it as a "short-sighted decision by the court's five conservative justices" and an "unfortunate setback." But he expressed confidence that the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) Clean Power Plan will stand up on its merits.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellGun proposal picks up GOP support Children’s health-care bill faces new obstacles Dems see Trump as potential ally on gun reform MORE (R-Ky.) celebrated the move.

"[Obama] can't stop the Supreme Court from making the right-decision, as we hope it ultimately will," he said, adding that the stay shows the rule is "likely illegal."

The White House sought to limit the public relations damage, particularly among the international community, coming just under two months after the landmark Paris climate agreement.

White House spokesman Eric Schultz said the world's faith in the pact should be as strong as ever, despite the setback for the United States's main action under the accord.

"The litigation will be concluded well in time for the United States to make its commitments under the Paris agreement," he said. "There are driving forces that will allow the United States to meet its commitments outside of the Clean Power Plan rule."

Asked whether the United States would meet its pledge, he said "the answer to that is unequivocally, yes."

The Republican attorneys general of West Virginia and Texas, who are leading the litigation against the rule, took a victory lap Wednesday.

"It's my hope that the American public will begin to learn just how far reaching Obama's power plan is. It represents a radical transformation of energy policy and will have a sweeping impact on American life," said West Virginia's Patrick Morrisey.

Read more of The Hill's Clean Power Plan coverage from Wednesday:

-Republican AGs take a victory lap
-Reid berates the court
-The White House looks to protect the Paris deal

TOMORROW IN THE HILL: The stay of the Clean Power Plan supercharges climate change politics going into this November's races, up and down the ballot. We break it down tomorrow, in The Hill.

HOUSE MOVES ON FLINT: The House took its first legislative action in response to the Flint, Mich., drinking water crisis Wednesday.

Lawmakers passed a bill from Reps. Dan Kildee (D) and Fred Upton (R) to mandate certain disclosures from the EPA and others in cases of drinking water contamination.

Though it's a far cry from the hundreds of millions of dollars Flint needs to recover from the crisis, lawmakers said it's an important first step.

"The thing that makes me most upset -- sad, yes, but also angry -- is that this crisis situation, which will last for decades in its impact, was completely avoidable," Kildee said of Flint.

"This bill unfortunately is too late to help them, but it can help the next Flint, perhaps."

House Democrats, meanwhile, hosted a hearing on the Flint crisis. They used the occasion to shame Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder (R).

"If you have it within your power to correct your mistake, to make it up to those whom you wronged, you have a moral obligation to do that," Kildee told reporters. "He hasn't done that. The governor of Michigan has treated this as ... a public relations problem for him, not a public health crisis for 100,000 people."

Rep. Xavier BecerraXavier BecerraOvernight Regulation: Trump temporarily lifts Jones Act for Puerto Rico | Bill would exempt some banks from Dodd-Frank | Senators unveil driverless car bill Calif. AG: Trump backs down on greenhouse gas rule Overnight Energy: California cities sue oil giants over climate change MORE (D-Calif.) called the crisis "a disaster. But it's not a natural disaster, it's a man-made disaster."

Back in Michigan, Snyder rolled out his annual budget proposal, with a $195 million request specifically to address the problems in Flint.

Read more of The Hill's Flint coverage from Wednesday:

-House votes on EPA bill
-Dems take aim at Snyder
-The governor makes his budget request

ON TAP THURSDAY I: EPA head Gina McCarthyGina McCarthyTrump plans to roll back environmental rule everyone agrees on EPA chief to visit Colorado mine spill site In the fight between Rick Perry and climate scientists, Perry is winning MORE will testify before the House Agriculture Committee for a hearing on the impacts of her agency's actions on farmers, ranchers and rural economies. Expect extensive discussions of the EPA's new Clean Water Rule, also known as waters of the United States -- and, probably, the stay of the Clean Power Plan.

ON TAP THURSDAY II: McCarthy will also be a featured speaker at the National Association of State Energy Officials' annual energy policy conference.

Rest of Thursday's agenda...

An Energy and Commerce subpanel continues its markup of 12 energy bills.

Former Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle (D) will give the keynote address at a Center for American Progress discussion on the impact of climate change on the global food system.


A group in the UK is asking Christians to give up fossil fuel-powered energy for Lent, the Washington Post reports.  

California regulators rejected a new proposal for a solar power farm near Joshua Tree National Park, the Desert Sun reports.

Transatlantic flights will get longer as climate change warms and speeds up the jet stream, The Guardian reports.


Check out Wednesday's stories...

-Two green groups back Feingold in Wisconsin Senate race
-Danger: Feds warn of winter pipeline hazards
-House votes to require EPA lead warnings after Flint crisis
-Michigan governor seeks $195M more for Flint
-Dems accuse Mich. governor of ducking accountability in Flint
-WH looks to defend Paris deal after carbon rule halt
-Reid slams SCOTUS decision on power plant rules
-GOP attorneys general take victory lap on power plan

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