OVERNIGHT ENERGY: Obama nominee faces the heat

FERC: President Obama's second nominee to head the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission came under fire from Republicans Tuesday during a Senate hearing.

Sen. Lisa MurkowskiLisa Ann MurkowskiOvernight Energy: Green groups sue Trump over Endangered Species Act changes | Bureau of Land Management retirees fight plan to relocate agency | Wildfires in Amazon rainforest burn at record rate Bureau of Land Management retirees fight plan to relocate agency out west The Hill's Morning Report - Progressives, centrists clash in lively Democratic debate MORE (R-Alaska), ranking member on the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, questioned Obama's pick, Norman Bay, on his energy policy experience.


"When it comes to specifics on policy there are still areas where you have yet to gain that level of experience on that policy side," Murkowksi said to Bay.

She told reporters after the hearing that she can't understand why the administration didn't nominate acting chairwoman, Cheryl LaFleur, to stay on as head of FERC instead of appointing Bay, who has no experience as a commissioner.

Still, Bay may fare better than Obama's first pick. He has gained some bipartisan support.

"It isn't always that we get a candidate of this stature," former Sen. Pete Domenici (R-N.M.) said during the hearing, urging the committee to approve Bay's nomination. Read more here.

DEAD FISH: Green groups aren’t pleased with the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) rule finalized Monday to protect fish from industrial water intakes.

Reed Super, an attorney for the Riverkeeper alliance of environmental groups, said Tuesday there is a “very strong likelihood” the group will sue EPA, saying the water intake standards do not comply with the Clean Water Act.

These same groups sued in 1992 to force EPA to issue the rule, but held back when the agency agreed to work in the standards. Read more here.

ON TAP WEDNESDAY: Energy Secretary Ernest MonizErnest Jeffrey MonizBiden under pressure from environmentalists on climate plan Pelosi, Clinton among attendees at memorial reception for Ellen Tauscher 2020 is the Democrats' to lose — and they very well may MORE will speak at the Alliance to Save Energy’s Energy Efficiency Global Forum. The topic of the session where he’ll speak is what the United States can do to double energy productivity by 2030.

ON TAP WEDNESDAY II: Billionaire Tom Steyer's climate action group will host a meeting with Washington reporters on new details about its plans for the midterms. Check The Hill for more on this Thursday.


Rest of Wednesday's agenda...

Keystone XL: Reps. Fred Upton (R-Mich.) and Lee Terry (R-Neb.) will host a Google hangout to talk about the oil-sands pipeline. The two congressmen will again urge the administration and Senate to act on Keystone XL. They will be joined by David Mallino of the Laborers International Union of North America and Nebraska landowner Bob Hilger.

Climate rally: Sens. Barbara BoxerBarbara Levy BoxerOnly four Dem senators have endorsed 2020 candidates Hispanic civil rights icon endorses Harris for president California AG Becerra included in Bloomberg 50 list MORE (D-Calif.) and Sheldon WhitehouseSheldon WhitehouseSenate Democrats push Trump to permanently shutter migrant detention facility To cash in on innovation, remove market barriers for advanced energy technologies Democrats give cold shoulder to Warren wealth tax MORE (D-R.I.) will lead a rally Wednesday on Capitol Hill to “wake up” Congress on climate change and the actions that should be taken. The event is organized by a variety of congressional energy and environment caucuses, and lawmakers are billing it as a follow-up to March’s all-nighter, in which senators spoke on the floor throughout the night to bring attention to climate change.

Wildlife trafficking: The Senate Foreign Relations Committee’s subpanels for Africa, East Asia and the Pacific will host a hearing on wildlife trafficking. Fish and Wildlife Service Director Dan Ashe will speak, as well as top officials from the State Department and the U.S. Agency for International Development.

Post-Sandy recovery: Brig. Gen. Kent Savre, who oversees the Army Corps of Engineers’ North Atlantic Division, will speak Wednesday at the National Press Club about the Corps’ recovery efforts from Hurricane Sandy in 2012. Savre will also cover his division’s efforts to restore beaches impacted by Sandy.


Texas banks are offering extremely cheap loans to oil and gas companies along with very favorable payout terms, which concerns regulators, the Houston Chronicle reports.

Nate Cohn of the New York Times’ Upshot blog predicts that if El Niño hits this fall, it could validate scientists’ predictions that the climate is changing and alter the climate change debate.

Dan Sullivan, candidate for lieutenant governor of Alaska, said that if he were governor, he’d “probably invade” the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, Gawker reports.


Read Wednesday's energy and environment stories.

- Green groups to urge Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonTrump preps conspiracy theory to explain faltering economy The ideological divide on vaping has a clear winner: Smokers Biden struggles to hit it off with millennials MORE to take a side on Keystone

- Mining group runs ads attacking Obama's climate regs

- Experts debate government role in alternative fuels

- Coal rules may derail second Obama nominee

- Why climate change may ruin breakfast

- Green groups ready to sue EPA over dead fish

- Court refuses to reconsider BP oil spill settlement case

- Scientists: Climate change puts historic sites at risk

Please send tips and comments to Laura Barron-Lopez, laurab@thehill.com and Timothy Cama, tcama@thehill.com.