OVERNIGHT ENERGY: ‘State’ secrets to be revealed Tuesday night

COMING TUESDAY: President Obama’s State of the Union address is likely to add specifics to the president's recent pledge to focus on global warming in his second term.

With climate legislation dead in Congress, all eyes are on what Obama will do in wielding executive power — and whether he will put the full weight of the presidency behind it.


“If he were to just repeat what he said in the inaugural address, that would be considered a missed opportunity, but I don’t believe he will. I believe he will be more specific about what he is going to do,” one climate advocate said.

Check out The Hill’s website and print edition Tuesday for a full preview of the speech.


Senate Energy Committee talks natural-gas exports

The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee will convene a long-awaited hearing Tuesday on whether the U.S. should expand exports of liquefied natural gas (LNG).

The oil-and-gas industry and other business groups are pushing the Energy Department (DOE) to approve more export deals to nations that lack free-trade agreements with the United States. 

Applications to those countries undergo more stringent evaluation.

Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle are digging in their heels on the issue, which is garnering more Capitol Hill attention as of late.

Much of the debate has centered on a DOE-commissioned study that said boosting exports would be a net economic win for the U.S.

Sen. Ron WydenRonald (Ron) Lee WydenHillicon Valley: Biden calls for revoking tech legal shield | DHS chief 'fully expects' Russia to try to interfere in 2020 | Smaller companies testify against Big Tech 'monopoly power' Lawmakers call for FTC probe into top financial data aggregator Overnight Health Care: Progressives raise red flags over health insurer donations | Republican FTC commish backs Medicare negotiating drug prices | Trump moves to protect money for religious groups MORE (D-Ore.), the committee chairman, and some other senior Democrats are skeptical about the report’s findings. They say shipping too much of it overseas would raise domestic prices, eliminating a new-found competitive advantage for U.S. manufacturing.

Republicans and industry associations say the economic benefits of exporting LNG outweigh any potential price increases, which they say will be minimal. They say more exports could add jobs and generate more revenue for the federal government.

Witnesses for the 10 a.m. hearing, which will be webcast, include Dow Chemical CEO Andrew Liveris, Natural Resources Defense Council President Frances Beinecke and American Petroleum Institute CEO Jack Gerard.

Hydropower bill likely to sail through House

The House is expected to pass a bill Tuesday that would remove barriers for the construction of small and conduit hydropower projects.

The bill, co-sponsored by Reps. Cathy McMorris RodgersCathy McMorris RodgersKoch network could target almost 200 races in 2020, official says Lawmakers voice skepticism over Facebook's deepfake ban House Ethics Committee finds McMorris Rodgers misused official resources MORE (R-Wash.) and Diana DeGette (D-Colo.), mirrors one passed unanimously last year by the House.

The also bill would direct the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to conduct a feasibility study on implementing a two-year permitting process for hydropower. Currently, no timetable exists for such projects.

For more on the bill, click here.


Check out these stories that ran on E2-Wire Monday and over the weekend ...

— Obama cybersecurity order would create program for power grid, other networks
— GOP pressures Obama to build pipeline with new 'Keystone Clock'
Alec Baldwin, Morgan Freeman press Obama to fight climate change
— Murkowski explains her ‘Pollyanna’ optimism on energy bills
— The week ahead: All eyes on Obama for climate agenda
— Former Gov. Granholm, noting past swipes at GOP, dismisses Cabinet talk
— Sen. Murkowski: 'Energy is good' 


White paper looks at carbon tax and tax swap

A new Urban Institute and Brookings Institution study looks at different options for using a carbon tax to offset other tax code changes, such as reducing the corporate tax rate.

From the study, which can be read in full here:

“Adding a carbon tax to the discussion could help facilitate needed reforms. The environmental argument for a carbon tax is strong, given growing evidence of a changing climate. And the resulting revenue could play a vital role in facilitating tax reform and deficit reduction.”

Conservative think tank pushes for natural-gas exports

The Heritage Foundation published a paper Monday that touts the economic benefits of expanding LNG exports.

The paper urges Congress to “remove the DOE’s authority for authorizing natural gas export permits,” instead letting states control environmental reviews and permitting decisions.

From the study, which can be found here: “Unfortunately, the anemic permit authorization from the Department of Energy is preventing exporters from realizing the potential.”

Please send tips and comments to Ben Geman, ben.geman@thehill.com, and Zack Colman, zcolman@thehill.com.

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