Overnight Energy: Trump signs climate order | Greens vow to fight back

Overnight Energy: Trump signs climate order | Greens vow to fight back
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TRUMP KICKS OFF CLIMATE ROLLBACK: President Trump signed his long-awaited executive order on climate change Tuesday, kicking off the process of rolling back former President Barack ObamaBarack Hussein ObamaMcCarthy: ‘No deadline on DACA’ Democrats will need to explain if they shut government down over illegal immigration Trump’s first year in office was the year of the woman MORE's aggressive global warming agenda.

While the regulatory process of undoing some of the major pieces of the Obama agenda could take years, Trump's action sends a clear signal domestically and internationally that he does not believe climate change to be anywhere near the crisis that Obama identified.

Trump signed the order in a ceremony at the headquarters of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the agency responsible for many of the major policies being targeted.

He was flanked by coal miners -- who EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt joked "might never have been to the EPA before" -- as well as Cabinet officials and Vice President Pence, who celebrated the executive order as a repudiation of the Obama administration's climate agenda.

"My administration is putting an end to the war on coal," Trump said, using a term coined by the industry and its supporters to describe government regulations harmful to their industry.

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"I am taking an historic step to lift the restrictions on American energy, to reverse government intrusion and to cancel job-killing regulations."

Trump gave his speech on somewhat hostile territory. EPA employees have been unabashed in their criticisms of the Republican president and his opposition to much of their recent work, and their union undertook an unprecedented effort to lobby against Pruitt's confirmation by the Senate.

But the room was filled with lawmakers and supporters of Trump's agenda, who cheered often during his speech.

The administration is pitching the order primarily as a move to increase the nation's energy independence, with the added effect of increasing jobs in affected sectors and related industries.

Trump said the order fulfills a promise made to coal miners during his presidential campaign. He recounted a trip to West Virginia when he met with miners who told him they wanted to continue working in the industry despite a downturn in employment.

Trump's allies applauded the order.

"It is an important day for energy-producing states like Wyoming," Sen. John BarrassoJohn Anthony BarrassoTrump’s infrastructure plan may slip to next month Overnight Finance: Trump, lawmakers take key step to immigration deal | Trump urges Congress to bring back earmarks | Tax law poised to create windfall for states | Trump to attend Davos | Dimon walks back bitcoin criticism Trump's infrastructure team to huddle with senators MORE (R-Wyo.), chairman of the Environment and Public Works Committee, said in a statement. "The Obama administration's punishing regulations have done far more harm to our economy than good for the environment."

Read more here.

Environmentalists, Dems vow to resist: Greens and Democrats said on Tuesday the would not take the executive order laying down.

Democratically controlled states indicated they will continue to crack down on greenhouses gases through state policies. And they lambasted what they saw as a backwards-moving action.

"We're very confident that the EPA cannot simply dismantle the CPP [Clean Power Plan] and leave nothing in its place," New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman (D) said during a conference call with other attorneys general Tuesday afternoon.

"We regret the fact that the president is trying to bow back history. But it's not going to happen. The markets are moving. The states are moving."

Several states vowed to maintain climate rules, including New York and California, who have aggressive greenhouse gas targets on the books.

Separately, environmentalists said they would aggressively fight back against the order.

Lawsuits are likely to be the main strategy these groups have for fighting back against Trump, and many hinted at future litigation in their reactions on Tuesday.

"President Trump and EPA Administrator Pruitt will find that they cannot simply eliminate these initiatives with the stroke of a pen," Ann Weeks, legal director at the Clean Air Task Force, said in a statement. "When they try, we will see them in court."

But they said they will work to win American voters to their side -- and convince lawmakers to follow them.

"The best way to fight against these executive orders is to take to the streets," said May Boeve, executive director of 350.org.

"From the upcoming congressional recess through the People's Climate March and beyond, we'll be putting pressure on lawmakers to defend the climate and building power to stop the fossil fuel industry for good."

Read more about the reaction from states here, and environmentalists here.

TOMORROW IN THE HILL: The executive order has thrown a wrench into the Paris climate agreement.

Though Trump's action on Tuesday didn't address the climate accord, a massive global agreement to cut climate change-causing pollutants, it undermined key Obama administration efforts to meet the goals outlined in the pact.

Trump's presidency has always raised questions about the U.S.'s involvement in the climate accord. Tomorrow in The Hill, a look at what Tuesday's order means for the agreement, and what comes next for international climate change efforts.

MARYLAND ON THE VERGE OF BANNING FRACKING: The Maryland General Assembly on Monday voted to ban hydraulic fracturing in the state.

Gov. Larry Hogan's (R) promised signature on the measure will make Maryland the second state to formally block fracking after New York banned it in 2015.

The vote was a victory half a decade in the making for Maryland anti-fracking activists, since drillers began considering operations in the state's portion of the Marcellus Shale basin.

"This vote was the result of an incredible grassroots movement across Maryland, and especially in Western Maryland, that demanded the legislature protect their families, livelihoods, and clean water and air from the irreversible damage caused by fracking," said Betsy Nicholas, executive director of the Waterkeepers Chesapeake group, a member of an anti-fracking coalition in the state.

The oil and gas industry said the measure will prevent the industry from providing an economic boom for parts of the state.

Read more here.

BEER GIANT PROMISES POLLUTION-FREE PALE ALE: International beer giant Anheuser-Busch InBev said Tuesday that it plans to get all of the electricity for its operations from renewable sources by 2025.

The company estimated that it would have to move about 6 terawatt-hours of electricity from fossil fuel-fired power plants to sources like wind and solar to comply with its new promise.

Carlos Brito, AB InBev's CEO, said the move is good for business, regardless of Trump's climate order Tuesday.

"This has no political connotations at all." Brito told Bloomberg. "We just think this is good for our business and the environment."

About a quarter of the power will be generated at AB InBev facilities, with technologies like solar panels on buildings, Bloomberg reported.

MOVERS AND SHAKERS: Eben Burnham-Snyder, who was a top public affairs official at the Energy Department under Obama-era Secretary Ernest MonizErnest Jeffrey MonizOvernight Energy: Zinke under fire for exempting Florida from drilling plan | Trump floats staying in Paris deal | NYC sues big oil over climate A Department of Energy foundation: An idea whose time has come Stop wasting tax dollars on failing nuclear projects MORE from 2015 until January, has landed at Cheniere Energy Inc.

Burnham-Snyder is moving to Houston for the position as vice president for communications, but told reporters he'll likely be in D.C. often.

Cheniere operates the Sabine Pass liquefied natural gas (LNG) export facility in Louisiana, the only LNG export terminal operating in the lower 48 states.

Burnham-Snyder was long a communications staffer for now-Sen. Ed MarkeyEdward (Ed) John MarkeyDemocrats search for 51st net neutrality vote Overnight Regulation: Dems claim 50 votes in Senate to block net neutrality repeal | Consumer bureau takes first step to revising payday lending rule | Trump wants to loosen rules on bank loans | Pentagon, FDA to speed up military drug approvals Dems say they have 50 votes in Senate to overrule net neutrality repeal MORE (D-Mass.), a leading climate activist and sponsor of the ill-fated 2009 cap-and-trade legislation.

ON TAP WEDNESDAY I: The House Science Committee will hold a hearing examining the science of climate change.

ON TAP WEDNESDAY II: EPA and Army Corps officials, among others, will testify at a Senate Environment and Public Works hearing on clean-up efforts at Cold War sites.  

Rest of Wednesday's agenda ...

The House Energy and Commerce Committee will hold a hearing on energy industry tax policies.

AROUND THE WEB:

Australian cities are cleaning up after a large hurricane made landfall, the Sydney Morning Herald reports.

Staff of the Maine Public Service Commission want the body to declare that none of the state's proposed natural gas storage sites would be in the public interest, the Associated Press reports.

Japan-based Toshiba Corp. is planning as soon as Tuesday to file bankruptcy protection for Westinghouse Electric Co., it's U.S.-based nuclear reactor manufacturer, Reuters reports.

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT:

Check out Tuesday's stories ...

-Dem states pledge climate action in face of Trump roll-back
-Greens promise war over Trump's climate rollback
-Perez: Trump climate order helps 'the worst polluters'
-White House wants to slash billions from energy research, grants, foreign aid
-Trump signs order to roll back Obama's climate moves
-Maryland lawmakers vote to ban fracking
-Obama photographer rips Trump on Instagram: 'Climate change is not a hoax'
-Trump to undo Obama's climate change agenda

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