Overnight Energy: US projected to be net energy exporter | Water rule lawsuits roll in | GOP chair challenges cancer agency over pesticides

Overnight Energy: US projected to be net energy exporter | Water rule lawsuits roll in | GOP chair challenges cancer agency over pesticides

US PROJECTED TO BECOME NET ENERGY EXPORTER: The United States is on pace to become a net exporter of energy, according to new data released Tuesday by the U.S. Energy Information Association (EIA).

The 2018 annual report on the U.S. energy outlook projects that the country will shift from mostly importing energy to primarily exporting it by 2022. The cause is the continued development of U.S. shale, oil and gas resources, as well as a bump in energy consumption, according to the report.

"The United States energy system continues to undergo an incredible transformation," said EIA Administrator Linda Capuano. "This is most obvious when one considers that the [report] shows the United States becoming a net exporter of energy during the projection period in the Reference case and in most of the sensitivity cases as well--a very different set of expectations than we imagined even five or ten years ago."

The U.S. has been a net energy importer since 1953, according to the EIA.

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The study also found that economic conditions will be favorable to oil producers in the U.S., with expectations of rising oil prices until 2040. But EIA experts predict thata following 2040 the industry will likely drop due to stalling technological innovations in the sector.

Read more here.

 

STATES, GREENS SUE OVER WATER RULE DELAY: Ten Democratic states and a coalition of environmental groups sued the Trump administration Tuesday for delaying enforcement of an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rule meant to protect waterways.

Led by New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman (D), the Southern Environmental Law Center and the Natural Resources Defense Council, the challengers say EPA chief Scott PruittEdward (Scott) Scott PruittOvernight Energy: EPA declines to write new rule for toxic spills | Senate blocks move to stop Obama water rule | EPA bought 'tactical' pants and polos Grassley wants to subpoena Comey, Lynch after critical IG report Senate blocks bid to stop Obama water rule MORE violated required legal processes and ignored his legal obligation to protect water supplies when he pushed off the Clean Water Rule.

Pruitt last week finalized an action to delay the rule, also known as Waters of the United States, for two years. He is in the process of completely repealing and replacing it, but the delay ensures that it won't take effect while that process is ongoing.

"Clean water is fundamental to New Yorkers' health, environment, and economy," Schneiderman said.

"The Trump administration's suspension of the Clean Water Rule is clearly illegal, threatening New York's decades-long efforts to ensure our residents have access to safe, healthy water," he said. "We will fight back against this reckless rollback and the Trump administration's continued assault on our nation's core public health and environmental protections.

"The administration is pretending that pollution dumped upstream doesn't flow downstream, but its plan puts the water used by hundreds of millions of Americans for drinking, bathing, cooking, and recreation at risk," said Blan Holman, an attorney with the Southern Environmental Law Center.

"We are going to court to protect clean water across the country."

The EPA shot back against the lawsuits, pointing out that the 2015 rule never went into effect.

"It's worth noting that these lawsuits are over an embattled regulation that's been put on hold by the courts to prevent it from taking effect," said EPA spokesman Jahan Wilcox. "Our delay rule will keep in place that status quo."

Read more here.

 

SMITH TAKES ON UN HEALTH AGENCY OVER GLYPHOSATE: The chairman of the House Science, Space and Technology Committee on Tuesday slammed an international body's cancer research on a common pesticide and questioned whether the United States should contribute funding to the body.

Rep. Lamar SmithLamar Seeligson SmithLawmakers scold NASA for cost overruns Big Tobacco’s smoke and mirrors revived by Pruitt’s science transparency policy Freedom Caucus bruised but unbowed in GOP primary fights MORE (R-Texas) called the International Agency for Research on Cancer's (IARC) conclusions on the pesticide glyphosate "unsubstantiated" and "not backed by reliable data."

He also accused the agency of using "cherry-picked" information.

"IARC's conclusion about glyphosate relied only on data that was favorable to its conclusion and ignored contradictory data," Smith said at a hearing about the IARC process.

"The selective use of data and the lack of public disclosure raise questions about why IARC should receive any government funding in the future."

IARC is part of the World Health Organization, itself a United Nations agency. It gets money from the U.S. through the National Institutes of Health's National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences.

The hearing focused on a 2015 conclusion from IARC that found that glyphosate, an extremely common pesticide sold by Monsanto Co. as Roundup, is "probably carcinogenic to humans."

That finding contrasts with studies by the United States EPA and government researchers in Canada and Europe.

Read more here.

 

ON TAP WEDNESDAY I: The Senate Environment and Public Works Committee will vote on the confirmation of Andrew Wheeler, an energy industry lawyer and former lobbyist, to be the deputy administrator at the EPA.

 

ON TAP WEDNESDAY II: Right after the vote, the Environment Committee will hold a hearing on the impact of federal environmental laws on farming and ranching communities. Senators will hear from representatives of various farming and ranching groups and Delaware Secretary of Agriculture Michael Scuse.

 

Rest of Wednesday's agenda ...

The Senate Energy Committee's subcommittee on public lands, forests and mining will hold a hearing on 15 bills in its jurisdiction.

 

AROUND THE WEB:

Scientists have found depletions in a specific part of the ozone layer and they do not know why, The Washington Post reports.

An environmental activist was sentence to a year in prison for breaking a fence and turning off a pipeline valve, the Associated Press reports.

Miners and their allies rallied in Phoenix Tuesday to try to save the coal-fired Navajo Generating Station from potential closure, AZCentral reports.

 

FROM THE HILL'S OPINION SECTION:

-Charles W. Zahn Jr, the chairman of the Port of Corpus Christi, argues that benefits from energy exportation start with investing in ports.

-Drew Bond, director of energy innovation programs at the American Council for Capital Formation Center for Policy Research, says that the U.S. benefits from government involvement in energy technology innovation.

 

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT:

Check out Tuesday's stories ...

- Lawmakers scold Trump official over Pacific island trust fund

- States, greens sue Trump over Obama EPA water rule delay

- Dem senator questions EPA on stark decline in grant awards

- US projected to become net exporter of energy by 2022

- GOP chairman questions US funding for international cancer research agency