Overnight Energy: White House, Congress pledge support for storm-ravaged Puerto Rico

Overnight Energy: White House, Congress pledge support for storm-ravaged Puerto Rico
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WASHINGTON PLEDGES AID TO PUERTO RICO: Congress and the White House on Monday promised to help Puerto Rico, a U.S. territory, recover from Hurricane Maria, even as some Democrats slammed President Trump for not focusing enough on the island.

House Speaker Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanSenate Dems build huge cash edge in battlegrounds Kelly lobbied Republicans to rebuke Trump after Putin press conference: report Lobbying world MORE (R-Wis.) said Monday that Congress will work "to ensure necessary resources get to the U.S. territory," where island-wide power outages and widespread damage have imperiled more than 3 million citizens.

"The stories and images coming out of Puerto Rico are devastating," Ryan said. "Our fellow citizens in Puerto Rico remain in our prayers as we make sure they have what they need."

The White House has dispatched Federal Emergency Management Agency Director Brock Long and Homeland Security Adviser Tom Bossert to Puerto Rico to assess damage following Maria, which swept across the island last week as a major hurricane.

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Trump attracted criticism from some Democrats, though, who have accused him of not focusing enough on recovery efforts following the storm. Trump has sent 18 tweets since Friday directed at athletes and protests during the national anthem at sporting events, leading some to say he's focused more on "dividing the country" than helping storm victims.  

Washington's reaction to Maria comes amid dire warnings from officials there. Gov. Ricardo Rosselló said this week that federal aid has not come fast enough.

"We still need some more help. This is clearly a critical disaster in Puerto Rico," he told The Washington Post. "It can't be minimized and we can't start overlooking us now that the storm passed, because the danger lurks."

Read more about Ryan's pledge here and the White House's statement here.

 

SOLARWORLD PLEDGES NEW HIRING AFTER ITC WIN: SolarWorld Americas Inc. is promising to hire up to 200 workers by next May following a win before the United States trade board last week.

The International Trade Commission voted 4-0 on Friday in favor of SolarWorld and Suniva Inc., which have said cheap imports of solar panels are harming the two manufacturers.

With the board soon to submit potential remedies, including tariffs, to the White House for consideration, SolarWorld said Monday it would make boosting production a priority going forward.

"With relief from surging imports in sight, we believe we can rev up our manufacturing engine and increase our economic impact," Juergen Stein, the CEO and president of SolarWorld Americas, said in a statement.

Read more here.

 

REPORT FINDS BENEFITS IN WATER BOTTLE BANS: A National Park Service report in May found "significant" environmental benefits from an Obama administration policy meant to reduce the use of plastic water bottles in parks.

The report was released publicly in response to a Freedom of Information Act request, more than a month after the NPS rescinded the policy, which had been opposed by the bottled water industry and some Republicans.

In the report prepared in May, NPS staff estimated that on an annual basis, at least 1.32 million disposable plastic water bottles, and up to 2.01 million, were not purchased due to the 2011 policy.

That saved up to 111,743 pounds of plastic, 141 million tons of carbon dioxide-equivalent greenhouse gases and 3.4 billion British thermal units of energy, the NPS report estimated, based on the 23 Park Service units that submitted data.

The results demonstrate "the program has significant positive environmental benefits that encompass the entire life cycle" of disposable bottles, and that officials at the parks themselves support the program, the report said.

In a preface to the 16-page report, the agency distanced itself from the conclusions, saying it was prepared to help leaders understand the policy and it "lacked the data necessary to ensure the report's findings."

Read more here.

 

CLIMATE CAUCUS PICKS UP NEW MEMBERS: The House's bipartisan Climate Solutions Caucus picked up six new members on Monday.

Reps. John Larson (D-Conn.), Pat Tiberi (R-Ohio), Nydia Velázquez (D-N.Y.), Chris Collins (R-N.Y.), Stephanie Murphy (D-Fla.), and Jack Bergman (R-Mich.) all joined the bipartisan caucus on Monday. That brings the caucus' membership to 58, evenly split between Republicans and Democrats.

 

ON TAP TUESDAY I: Interior Secretary Ryan ZinkeRyan Keith ZinkeOvernight Energy: Fewer than half of school districts test for lead | Dems slam proposed changes to Endangered Species Act | FEMA avoids climate change when discussing plan for future storms Trump’s policies blasting at the foundations of conservation in public land law Watchdog: First lady spokeswoman may have violated Hatch Act with ‘MAGA’ tweet MORE and Energy Secretary Rick PerryJames (Rick) Richard PerryDon’t worry (too much) about Kavanaugh changing the Supreme Court Overnight Energy: Pruitt gone, but investigations remain | Interim EPA chief called Trump a 'bully' in 2016 | Court rules for greens in air pollution case Trump coal plan could lead to 1 pollution-related death for every 2 jobs: study MORE will speak at the National Clean Energy Week symposium.  

 

ON TAP TUESDAY II: The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee will hold a confirmation hearing for two Energy Department nominees: Bruce Walker, to be assistant secretary for electricity delivery and energy reliability, and Steven Winberg, to be an assistant secretary for fossil energy.

 

Rest of Tuesday's agenda ...

A House Oversight subcommittee will hold a hearing on nuclear waste storage.

The Energy and Commerce Committee will hold a hearing on technology in the energy sector.

 

AROUND THE WEB:

The German elections could spell trouble for the country's coal sector, the Telegraph reports.

Massachusetts fishing magnate Carlos Rafael -- dubbed the "Codfather" -- was sentenced Monday to 46 years in prison on numerous federal charges related to his fishing business, the Gloucester Times reports.

The wolf population in Minnesota has surged, WCCO reports.

The final turbine in the Nordsee One offshore wind farm in the North Sea has been installed, and the facility could begin producing power by the end of the year, CNBC reports.

 

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT:

Check out stories from Monday and the weekend ...

-Park Service report: Obama water bottle policy had 'significant' benefits

-US solar manufacturer vows hiring spree after win in trade case

-Trump officials sent to Puerto Rico

-Dems urge Trump to focus on Puerto Rico recovery amid NFL criticism

-Exxon aims to slash methane emissions

-Dem lawmaker: Trump should help Puerto Rico instead of dividing country

-Ryan pledges aid for storm-ravaged Puerto Rico

-Week ahead: Lawmakers eye new hurricane relief package

-Military stretched thin by hurricane relief efforts

 

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