Overnight Energy: TransCanada reapplies to build Keystone XL

Overnight Energy: TransCanada reapplies to build Keystone XL
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KEYSTONE XL, TAKE TWO: The company hoping to build the Keystone XL pipeline sent in a new federal application Thursday, two days after President Trump invited it to.

TransCanada Corp. said it's formally seeking a presidential permit to build across the United States-Canada border.

Under the memo Trump signed Tuesday, the State Department was asked to consider the application within 60 days of receiving it, though the ultimate decision will be up to Trump.

"This privately funded infrastructure project will help meet America's growing energy needs as well as create tens of thousands of well-paying jobs and generate substantial economic benefit throughout the U.S. and Canada," TransCanada president Russ Girling said in a statement.

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"KXL will strengthen the United States' energy security and remains in the national interest. The project is an important new piece of modern U.S. infrastructure that secures access to an abundant energy resource produced by a neighbor that shares a commitment to a clean and healthy environment."

Trump said Tuesday when he signed the memo that Keystone would create "a lot of jobs. 28,000 jobs. Great construction jobs." The number of permanent positions actually numbers in the dozens.

President Obama rejected TransCanada's last application to build Keystone in 2015, seven years after it was initially submitted, to the chagrin of Republicans and the oil industry.

The project was a lightning rod and a symbol of the fight between increased use of oil from allies and decreased use of fossil fuels.

Read more here.

DEM SLAMS PRUITT'S RESPONSES: Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) nominee Scott Pruitt's answers to Senate questions for the record are in, and Sen. Tom CarperThomas (Tom) Richard CarperDemocrats scramble to contain Franken fallout  Pruitt to testify on EPA agenda at House, Senate hearings Senate confirms top air regulator at EPA MORE (D-Del.) doesn't like them.

Carper, the top Democrat on the Environment and Public Works Committee, which is considering Pruitt's nomination, released the 242 pages of questions and answers Pruitt gave to Democrats late Wednesday.

"Any candidate to serve as EPA administrator should've been able to provide sophisticated answers to all of them," Carper said of the written questions the Democrats sent.

"However, Mr. Pruitt's responses were shockingly devoid of substance, did not rely on empirical evidence and did not reflect the thorough effort that a task so important to our democracy demands," Carper continued.

Sen. John BarrassoJohn Anthony BarrassoPruitt to testify on EPA agenda at House, Senate hearings Overnight Energy: Senate confirms top EPA air regulator | Feds to roll back emissions rule for big trucks | Defense bill mandates climate study Senate confirms top air regulator at EPA MORE (R-Wyo.), the panel's chairman, disagreed, saying that the information Pruitt provided to the committee show he is qualified for the job.

Among the 242 pages of answers from Pruitt are numerous instances of the current Oklahoma attorney general vowing to follow the law.

He also told Democrats multiple times to file public records requests with the attorney general's office to get information they requested about his tenure there.

Read more here.

TRUMP TAPS OBAMA NOMINEE TO LEAD ENERGY COMMISSION -- FOR NOW: Trump has named Cheryl LaFleur to be the acting chairwoman of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), putting an Obama nominee in charge of the agency on a temporary basis.

"While I recognize that FERC is in a state of transition as we await nominations to fill vacant seats at the agency, it is important that FERC's work on the nation's energy markets and infrastructure move forward," LaFleur said in a Thursday statement.

LaFleur has attracted bipartisan support during her time at FERC, the board that oversees the nation's electric grid.

When she was confirmed to a second four-year term on a 90-7 vote in 2014, Republicans insisted she lead the department for several months before Obama's nominee for chairman, Norman Bay, was allowed to take over.

Read more here.

Bay announces resignation: Bay, meanwhile, formally submitted his resignation to Trump on Thursday.

In a six-page letter to Trump, Bay highlighted his work as the nation's lead energy regulator, saying he "sought to help consumers realize the benefits from" dramatic shifts in the energy industry, including the rise of renewable energy and increasingly cheaper natural gas.

"I will always be grateful to President Obama for being given the opportunity to serve on the Commission," he wrote.

"It has been the honor of a lifetime. FERC is a gem of an agency, and its work touches the life of every single American, 24/7, 365 days out of the year. You and my successors at FERC have my best wishes as you build on the progress we have achieved to date and work to address the energy challenges of the future."

Bay's last day at FERC is Feb. 3. Read his letter here.

AROUND THE WEB:

Florida lawmakers have a $2.4 billion plan for the state to buy up some farmland to build a reservoir that would help stop pollution from reaching the Everglades, the Tampa Bay Times reports.

Half of California has emerged from its years-long drought, the Los Angeles Times reports.

The New Yorker eulogizes a climate activist who was walking across the country barefoot when he was struck and killed by a car.

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT:

Check out Thursday's stories ...

-Keystone XL builder sends new permit application to Trump
-Al GoreAl GoreOvernight Energy: Trump officials defend fossil fuels, nuclear at UN climate summit | Dems commit to Paris goals | Ex-EPA lawyers slam 'sue and settle' policy Al Gore: A new president in 2020 could keep US in Paris agreement Ron Klain: ‘It’s not even going to be that close’ MORE will host canceled climate change summit
-Elon Musk floated carbon tax to Trump
-House Dems: Trump's federal 'gag orders' likely illegal
-Trump names Obama nominee as temporary top energy regulator
-Dem: Trump's EPA pick gave answers 'shockingly devoid of substance'

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