OVERNIGHT ENERGY: Earth too hot for its own good, says UN

IT’S GETTING HOT IN HERE: So the planet needs to turn down the heat, and greenhouse gases, according to the United Nations World Meteorological Organization.

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The WMO said this year is on track to become one of the hottest ever recorded. If high temperatures continue at current levels then 2014 will be the hottest ever in 135 years of record-keeping.

“Record-high greenhouse gas emissions and associated atmospheric concentrations are committing the planet to a much more uncertain and inhospitable future,” said Michel Jarraud, WMO secretary-general.

Read more here.

 

TAX EXTENDERS UPDATE: The House voted to pass a one-year renewal of more than 50 tax breaks that expired in 2013, and the hot button one for the energy world is the extension of credits for the wind industry.

Oil and gas groups called the extension a vote in favor of the president’s climate agenda, but the wind industry, and greens argue that what amounts to a three-week extension is too little too late.

“The House just delivered a blow to wind power by adopting a meaningless three-week extension of clean energy tax credits,” said  Anna Aurilio of Environment America. “Now it’s up to the Senate to push for a two-year renewal of these incentives, so that Americans can reap the benefits of less global warming pollution and cleaner air."

American Wind Energy Association CEO Tom Kiernan said the brief extension “kills jobs and provides businesses little ability to create the jobs we want to create.”

Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) tried to convince House Republicans to sign onto a deal that included a two-year extension for provisions like the wind production tax credit. A spokeswoman from his office said “we are disappointed that at this point there doesn’t appear to be a procedural path forward.”

Read more here.

 

ON TAP THURSDAY I: Sens. Tom UdallThomas (Tom) Stewart UdallOvernight Health Care: Democratic bill would require insurance to cover OTC birth control | House Dems vote to overturn ban on fetal tissue research | New rule aims to expand health choices for small businesses Overnight Health Care: Democratic bill would require insurance to cover OTC birth control | House Dems vote to overturn ban on fetal tissue research | New rule aims to expand health choices for small businesses Hillicon Valley: House Judiciary opens antitrust probe of tech giants | Senate to receive election security briefing | Quest Diagnostics breach exposes data on 11.9 million patients | House sets hearing on 'deepfakes' MORE (D-N.M.) and Ed MarkeyEdward (Ed) John MarkeyDemocratic White House hopefuls push to expand health care in US territories Democratic White House hopefuls push to expand health care in US territories Hillicon Valley: Democratic state AGs sue to block T-Mobile-Sprint merger | House kicks off tech antitrust probe | Maine law shakes up privacy debate | Senators ask McConnell to bring net neutrality to a vote MORE (D-Mass.) will host a news conference Thursday to push for a long-term extension of the wind energy production tax credit. They will also release a report on the potential of wind to replace other forms of energy in the coming decades.

 

ON TAP THURSDAY II: The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee will hold a hearing on President Obama’s nomination of Collette Honorable to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). Honorable, chairwoman of the Arkansas Public Service Commission and president of the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners, was nominated in September to replace John Norris. 

 

Rest of Thursday’s agenda...

The House Natural Resources Committee subcommittee on Fisheries, Wildlife, Oceans and Insular Affairs will hold a hearing on the Gulf of Mexico Red Snapper Conservation Act of 2013.

The National Research Council will host a workshop on real-time monitoring of offshore oil and gas operations.

The Woodrow Wilson Center will host a talk on building resilience to climate change. Experts in biology, family planning and anthropology from the London School of Economics, George Mason University and more will participate.

 

NEWS BITES:

Federal loans... Rep. Ed WhitfieldWayne (Ed) Edward WhitfieldWhy Republicans took aim at an ethics watchdog What Azerbaijan wants from Israel? Overnight Energy: Green group sues Exxon over climate science MORE (R-Ky.) pledged to shine a light next year on President Obama’s federal loans for green energy, which he called “green payoffs.”

“As our nation struggles under the yoke of a nearly $18 trillion federal debt, headlines and actions like this require that we as lawmakers begin a comprehensive review of government in the energy sector,” Whitfield said.

Whitfield, chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee’s energy and power subcommittee, said he was prompted to look into the Energy Department’s loans by a Fox News story alleging that a company applied for a federal grant to pay a federal loan.  

Comings and goings... The incoming chairwoman of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, Lisa MurkowskiLisa Ann MurkowskiHillicon Valley: Hacker group targeted electric grid | House Democrats press CBP over facial recognition program | Senators offer bill to protect health data | Groups file FCC complaint over carriers' use of location data Hillicon Valley: Hacker group targeted electric grid | House Democrats press CBP over facial recognition program | Senators offer bill to protect health data | Groups file FCC complaint over carriers' use of location data Klobuchar, Murkowski introduce legislation to protect consumer health data MORE (R-Alaska), welcomed new additions to her committee staff.

Michael Pawlowski, a lifelong Alaskan, will join Murkowski’s staff, and focus on energy and natural resources issues of importance to Alaska and the West. Colin Hayes, a lobbyist with McBee Strategic, will be returning to the committee as deputy staff director.

 

AROUND THE WEB:

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio (D) today combined two existing city environmental agencies to create a sustainability office, WNYC reports.

Environmentalists are pushing for protections to ensure that money from the United Nations’ Green Climate Fund stays away from fossil fuels, the Associated Press reports

An Oklahoma fueling station dropped its gasoline price to $1.999 a gallon today, the first station with sub-$2 gas since July 2010, Bloomberg News reports

Exxon Mobil Corp. Chief Executive Officer Rex Tillerson told CNBC that his company can withstand a big downturn in oil markets, all the way down to about $40 a barrel. 

 

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT:

Check out Wednesday’s stories...

— Obama: Your kids ‘could not breathe’ in Beijing

— Senators clash over nuclear regulator’s confirmation

— White House names 16 communities as climate ‘champions’

— Lawmakers press for gas tax hike

— AAA: ‘Remarkable’ drop in gas prices isn’t over

— Energy, public land measures tacked onto defense bill

— Cruz decries ‘extreme land grab’ in defense bill

— Boxer: Nuclear regulators haven’t learned from Fukushima

— UN: 2014 on track to be hottest year on record

— US, Europe disagree on legal force of international climate pact

— New oil and gas well permits fall 40 percent in November

— Streisand: Inhofe ‘frightening

 

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