OVERNIGHT ENERGY: EPA sued over fuel mandate docs

RENEWABLE FUELS: A watchdog group filed a lawsuit against the Environmental Protection Agency on Wednesday over documents related to the renewable fuel mandate.

Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) sued the EPA for failing to release communications with the oil industry over the 2014 fuel mandate, which tells refiners how much biofuels they need to blend into the nation’s fuel supply.

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The group accuses the EPA, and White House officials of bending to pressure from lobbyists for the Carlyle Group and Delta Air Lines to reduce the amount of ethanol and other biofuels that must be blended for 2014.

“Is the EPA slow-walking its release of these documents because it does not want the public to learn how political the RFS [Renewable Fuel Standard] has become? The RFS should be based on sound energy policy, not politics. CREW’s lawsuit will shed light on what really went on at the EPA,” said Melanie Sloan, executive director of CREW.

Read more here.

THURSDAY’S AGENDA:

Energy Secretary Ernest MonizErnest Jeffrey MonizAl Franken to host SiriusXM radio show Two years after Harvey's devastation, the wake-up call has not been heeded Biden under pressure from environmentalists on climate plan MORE is heading to Berkeley, Calif. to attend the ribbon-cutting ceremony of the new General Purpose Laboratory. Later he will participate in a discussion on climate change.

Director of public engagement at the Energy Department, Heidi VanGenderen, will keynote the Clean Tech Open Innovation summit.

The Business Council for International Understanding is scheduled to hold a luncheon conversation with Acting Assistant Energy Secretary for International Affairs Jonathan Elkind.

NEWS BITES:

GOP agenda... House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthyKevin Owen McCarthyWhite House calls Democratic witness's mentioning of president's youngest son 'classless' Republicans disavow GOP candidate who said 'we should hang' Omar Nunes accuses Democrats of promoting 'conspiracy theories' MORE (R-Calif.) sent out a rough agenda for what Republicans will focus on next year to “make government functional again.”

In the memo to House Republicans on Wednesday, McCarthy said the government has failed to “approve energy infrastructure projects in a timely fashion.”

“The House has already passed energy legislation to improve the permitting process for pipelines, and with a new majority, I am confident the bill won’t be ignored in the Senate,” he added.

Powered by the sun... The Energy Department announced $53 million for 40 innovative research and development projects aimed at cutting the cost of solar energy on Wednesday.

“Today, the U.S. has 15.9 gigawatts of installed solar power — enough to power more than 3.2 million average American homes,” Moniz said. “The projects announced today will help the U.S. solar energy industry continue to grow, ensuring America can capitalize on its vast renewable energy sources, cut carbon pollution, and continue to lead in the world in clean energy innovation.”

I’ll show you mine, if you show me yours... Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) gave Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) a tour of a few energy facilities in West Virginia on Wednesday. The tour comes a week after Manchin toured coastal parts of Whitehouse’s home state of Rhode Island.

“We agree that we must face the reality of climate change without delay, but we also agree that fossil fuels will be a vital part of our energy portfolio for decades to come,” Manchin said. “Working together, I hope that we can find that balance and show not only America, but the world, that we can look past our differences to better this planet now and for our future.”

AROUND THE WEB:

Total SA named Patrick Pouyanne, head of refining and chemicals as its CEO days after the death of the French company’s Chairman and CEO Christophe de Margerie in a plane crash, the Wall Street Journal reports.

NPR takes a look at a day in the life of Lynn Good, CEO of Duke Energy, who said “I don’t think of myself as a powerful woman.”

Fossil fuel divestment campaigns are setting their sights on the United Kingdom’s five biggest banks, Responding to Climate Change reports. According to a report by European Greens, one in five people want banks to stop investing in fossil fuels.

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT:

Check out Wednesday’s stories...

- Sen. Wyden presses DOE for study on US petroleum reserve
- Efficiency rules target air conditioners, clothes dryers
- Peru could add to UN climate fund ahead of Lima talks
- Green group funnels $4.2M behind Sen. Hagan in NC
- Energy group: Midterm voters dislike EPA climate rule
- Watchdog sues EPA over renewable fuel mandate
- EPA hits BMW over gas mileage claims
- Steyer’s climate group hits Gardner on ‘personhood’ support
- Is the planet headed for its hottest year on record?
- Report: Energy-producing states fared better after recession

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