OVERNIGHT ENERGY: Election gives GOP votes to pass Keystone

FILIBUSTER-PROOF: The seven Senate seats picked up by Republicans Tuesday night not only ushered in a GOP majority, but a path for the Keystone XL pipeline to move forward.

Going into Tuesday’s election, Keystone proponents had 57 votes backing binding legislation in the Senate, but emerged with 61 votes, reaching past a filibuster-proof majority.

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GOP Sens.-elect Mike Rounds (S.D.), Shelley Moore CapitoShelley Wellons Moore CapitoPress beat lawmakers to keep trophy in annual softball game Bipartisan senators propose forcing EPA to set drinking water standard for 'forever chemicals' August recess under threat as yearly spending bills pile up MORE (W.Va.) Cory GardnerCory Scott GardnerMcSally on Moore running for Senate again: 'This place has enough creepy old men' Hillicon Valley: Senate sets hearing on Facebook's cryptocurrency plans | FTC reportedly investigating YouTube over children's privacy | GOP senator riles tech with bill targeting liability shield | FAA pushed to approve drone deliveries Senate panel advances bill to protect government devices against cyber threats MORE (Colo.) and Joni Ernst (Iowa) are all Keystone backers.

Supporters of the pipeline will be working with likely incoming Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellBiden, Eastland and rejecting the cult of civility California governor predicts 'xenophobic' GOP will likely be third party in 15 years This week: Congress set for clash on Trump's border request MORE to “get a vote on the floor shortly after the new Congress is seated,” said Ryan Bernstein, Sen. John HoevenJohn Henry HoevenMcConnell ups pressure on White House to get a budget deal Senators introduce bill to prevent border agency from selling personal data Overnight Energy: Bipartisan Senate group seeks more funding for carbon capture technology | Dems want documents on Interior pick's lobbying work | Officials push to produce more electric vehicle batteries in US MORE’s (R-N.D.) chief of staff.

Read more here.

GOP WISH LIST: During a post-election press conference, McConnell laid out the list of priorities he hopes to tackle when he becomes majority leader in January.

High on that list is passing legislation to approve the Keystone pipeline, and pushing back against administration regulations on carbon pollution from coal-fired power plants, McConnell said.

SENATE ENERGY: Sen. Lisa MurkowskiLisa Ann MurkowskiGOP lawmakers want Mulvaney sidelined in budget talks Overnight Defense: Officials brief Congress after Iran shoots down drone | Lawmakers fear 'grave situation' | Trump warns Iran | Senate votes to block Saudi arms sales | Bombshell confession at Navy SEAL's murder trial The 7 GOP senators who voted to block all or part of Trump's Saudi arms sale MORE (R-Alaska) will be the new chairwoman of the Energy and Natural Resources Committee, and plans to push more “oversight of the administration,” in her new post, according to her top energy aide. Read more here.

SENATE EPW: Sen. Jim InhofeJames (Jim) Mountain InhofeTrump urged to quickly fill Pentagon post amid Iran tensions Trump says he intends to nominate Esper to lead Pentagon The Hill's Morning Report - Trump's reelection message: Promises kept MORE (R-Okla.,) one of the upper chamber's most vocal climate change skeptics, told supporters that he will become chairman of the Environment and Public Works Committee thanks to Republican control of the Senate. He was easily reelected to his seat. Read more here

UPTON: Despite an infusion of campaign money against him late in the race, Rep. Fred Upton (R-Mich.), chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, was reelected. Read more here.

TERRY: Rep. Lee Terry (R-Neb.) a strong advocate for construction of the Keystone XL pipeline is poised to lose his reelection bid. Latest numbers have Democrat Brad Ashford ahead with 49 percent of the vote, nearly three percentage points ahead of Terry. Anti-Keystone landowners cheered Terry’s probably loss, claiming they gave him “the boot.”

THURSDAY’S AGENDA...

The Natural Resources Defense Council will host a press briefing with its top lobbyist David Goldston to review the impact of the midterm election on various environmental policies and regulations.

American University’s Washington College of Law will hold a symposium on clean energy. It will include some Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) officials and discussions on the EPA’s carbon rules for power plants and international efforts toward sustainable energy.

The Woodrow Wilson Center will host a forum on the recent oil and natural gas boom in North America and what it means for the continent's energy security. It will feature many think tank officials and Shirley Neff, a senior adviser at the Energy Information Administration.

The National Building Museum and the Nature Conservancy will host a discussion on the impact of rising sea levels on the Chesapeake Bay.

NEWS BITES:

Climate politics ... Billionaire climate activist Tom Steyer refused Wednesday to admit defeat in the midterm elections on which his NextGen Climate group spent $65 million.

“I feel as if we did better than we expected, and we are in this for the long run,” Steyer told the San Jose Mercury News. “I feel energized. I am not feeling down one iota."

In a column in the Huffington Post, Steyer argued that he helped to level the playing field against fossil fuel interests and said he’ll stay in the election game for 2016. 

'Energy wins' ... The CEO of the nation’s top oil lobby the American Petroleum Institute said energy “was the clear winner” Tuesday night.

“In the 2014 election cycle energy was the clear winner,” said Jack Gerard. “[Congress] should waste no time in advancing a pro-energy, pro-growth agenda. That includes approving a Keystone XL pipeline, expanding access to domestic oil and natural gas resources and [repealing] the Renewable Fuel Standard.”

AROUND THE WEB:

Pennsylvania’s oil and gas interests expect the election victory of Democrat Tom Wolf to be harmful for them, NPR reports.

Florida passed a ballot measure to designate billions of dollars for conservation over the next two decades, the Associated Press reports.

Brent crude oil fell to a four-year low price Wednesday as members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries resisted a push to cut production, Bloomberg News reports.

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT:

Check out Wednesday's stories...

- Without Energy gavel, can Landrieu prove she carries clout?
- Power reliability group questions EPA climate rule
- Alaska votes to restrict large mine
- Rep. Grijalva wants top Dem spot on House Natural Resources
- Keystone ‘small aspect’ of total US energy-picture, Obama says
- Senate GOP to fight on Keystone, climate rules, McConnell says
- Greens beaten back but not broken after election
- Mixed results for local anti-fracking measures
- TransCanada eager for renewed Keystone push in Senate
- Inhofe: I’ll chair Environment committee
- Hickenlooper holds on as Colorado governor
- Murkowski readies for reins of Senate Energy
- Climate change supporters suffer losses
- GOP has votes to pass Keystone
- Half-victory for climate billionaire