Overnight Energy: Trump adviser affirms intent to leave Paris deal | Officials report leaks at Superfund site after Harvey | Hurricane Maria now a major storm

Overnight Energy: Trump adviser affirms intent to leave Paris deal | Officials report leaks at Superfund site after Harvey | Hurricane Maria now a major storm
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COHN SAYS TRUMP STILL EXITING PARIS: President Trump's top economic adviser reiterated to foreign officials Monday that the president still plans to leave the Paris climate change agreement.

Speaking at a closed-door breakfast with energy and climate ministers from foreign nations, Gary Cohn sought to tamp down rumors that Trump was going soft on his June pledge to withdraw.

"We made the president's position unambiguous, to where the president stands, where the administration stands on Paris," he said after the New York City breakfast, timed to precede the United Nations General Assembly, according to Reuters.

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A senior White House official said Cohn reiterated Trump's position that "we are withdrawing from the Paris agreement unless we can re-engage on terms more favorable to the United States," and that was "made very clear" in the Monday morning breakfast.

The Wall Street Journal initially reported Saturday that a White House official had told climate ministers in Montreal that Trump had decided not to pull out of the Paris accord.

The White House quickly denied that, but repeated, as before, Trump could be open to a different agreement.

Cohn also used the Monday meeting to outline Trump's energy agenda and how officials around the world can work together to reduce energy costs, the senior White House official said.

Read more here.

 

SUPERFUND LEAKS REPORTED AFTER HARVEY: Pollution control officials in Houston reported potential leaks from a Superfund site in the wake of Hurricane Harvey last month, the Associated Press reported Monday.

A cleanup team called an emergency federal hotline in late August to report a spill in Texas's Vince Bayou near the U.S. Oil Recovery Superfund site.

Officials reported two more potential spills from the U.S. Oil Recovery facility, a former waste-processing plant southeast of Houston in Pasadena, Texas.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) told the AP it is still assessing the site. Last Thursday, the agency reported that U.S. Oil Recovery is one of two Superfund sites that warrant a more thorough review following the storm.

The agency said then that officials would sample standing water in open tanks and remove excess storm water from the site.

The EPA said that it had "conducted an inspection of Vince Bayou to follow up on a rumor that material was offsite and did not find any evidence of a black oily discharge or material from the U.S. Oil Recovery site."

Read more here.

 

Hurricane Maria now a major storm: Islands in the Caribbean are bracing for another major hurricane.

Forecasters said Monday that Hurricane Maria is now a Category 4 storm with maximum sustained winds of 130 miles per hour.

Hurricane warnings are in effect for the Leeward Islands, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico and others.

The storm comes two weeks after Hurricane Irma passed through the region.

 

SIERRA CLUB SUES EPA FOR RECORDS: The Sierra Club sued the EPA Monday under the federal Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), saying it has delayed releasing records requested more than three months ago.

The group sought various records of communications with outside groups and calendars of top officials to expose what the green group sees as undue industry influence over EPA decisions.

The EPA has not yet determined whether it will release the records or given a timetable for such a decision, the Sierra Club said.

"These disturbing delays are unprecedented, unjustified, and unlawful," Sierra Club attorney Matthew Miller said in a statement. "The Sierra Club will hold Scott PruittEdward (Scott) Scott Pruitt2018 Earth Day — black women are leading the fight against environmental racism White House aide: Trump has full confidence in Pruitt Pruitt explains plan for scientific transparency initiative at EPA MORE's EPA accountable to make sure the public learns the truth about his behind-the-scenes efforts to nullify rules and policies that are vital to the agency's duty to protect human health and the environment."

 

NOAA: YEAR TO DATE IS SECOND HOTTEST ON RECORD: 2017 has been the second-warmest year on record to this point, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) reported Monday.

The global average temperature has been 1.58 degrees Fahrenheit above the 20th century average of 57.3 degrees, the agency said. Only 2016 was warmer between January and August.

The average temperature in August was 1.49 degrees above the average, NOAA said, making it the third warmest on record. North America, though, observed its coolest August since 2009.

Read NOAA's assessment here.

 

ON TAP TUESDAY I: The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee will vote on five Trump administration nominees, including the president's two remaining picks for the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), Kevin McIntyre and Richard Glick.

 

ON TAP TUESDAY II: The committee will also hold a hearing on vegetation management on federal land.

 

AROUND THE WEB:

Consol Energy will start mining a new panel at its massive Bailey Mine in Pennsylvania while it awaits a permit for a controversial plan to mine under a stream near a state park, the Washington Observer-Reporter reports.

Coal that spilled in a train derailment in Washington last month is smoldering at the site, the Spokesman-Review reports.

Residents in a Baltimore neighborhood had to "shelter in place" Monday due to an acid leak from a plant, the Baltimore Sun reports.

 

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT:

Check stories from Monday and the weekend...

-Officials report potential spills at Texas Superfund site after Harvey: report

-California governor compares Trump supporters to cave-dwellers

-Schumer calls for gas price 'gouge watch' after hurricanes

-Maria strengthens into Category 4 hurricane

-Trump adviser tells foreign officials no change on Paris climate deal

-Week ahead: Senate panel to vote on Trump nominees | Cohn to meet foreign climate officials

-Interior Dept recommends reducing Bears Ears, other protected land: report

-Game of Thrones actor to Trump: Leaving Paris agreement a 'mistake'

-Tillerson: Trump open to Paris climate deal 'under the right conditions'

-Left says Trump EPA heavy on industry, political insiders

-WH denies Trump is softening stance on Paris climate deal

 

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