Overnight Energy & Environment

OVERNIGHT ENERGY: Senate kicks off Keystone showdown

IF AT FIRST YOU DON’T SUCCEED: Senate Republicans are pushing forward with legislation to approve the Keystone XL pipeline.

The Senate will resume debate over the Keystone bill on Tuesday, and could begin voting on amendments by the afternoon.

So far three amendments are in the queue for votes: Sen. Ed Markey’s (D-Mass.) ban on exports of oil shipped through the $8 billion pipeline, Sen. Rob Portman’s (R-Ohio) energy efficiency package, and Sen. Al Franken’s (D-Minn.) requirement that the pipeline be constructed using U.S. steel.

Tuesday will kick-off what is expected to be a weeks-long battle over the legislation.

FROM TIME TO TIME: President Obama shall give to Congress information of the State of the Union. It will be his sixth such address on Tuesday and there are sure to be a handful of mentions about his climate change agenda and energy policies.

Last year, Obama focused heavily on natural gas, calling it the “bridge fuel” to help combat global warming. He also pressed heavily on his climate change agenda, declaring “Climate change is a fact. The debate is settled.”

Obama didn’t mention the Keystone XL pipeline in his address last year. Sidestepping the issue again this year would enrage Republicans.

ALSO ON TUESDAY: The House Rules Committee will meet Tuesday to consider a bill to ease permitting requirements for natural gas pipelines. It would give the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission a year to consider any applications, and other federal agencies would have 90 days after that to consider their approvals. Rep. Mike Pompeo (R-Kan.) is expecting a vote on the House floor Wednesday. Read more about the bill here.


KXL battle continues… Landowners in Nebraska have opened a new chapter in the fight against the Keystone XL pipeline.

Activist group Bold Nebraska said Friday that multiple landowners in Keystone’s path have filed lawsuits to prevent TransCanada Corp. from using eminent domain to take the land for the pipeline.

Bold Nebraska said the lawsuits could provide another opportunity to challenge the pipeline in court following the Nebraska Supreme Court’s decision earlier this month that the law setting the route can stand.

MLK Day… Environmental Protection Agency head Gina McCarthy and Interior Secretary Sally Jewell volunteered Monday at various charitable projects in Washington, D.C., for Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

McCarthy said on Twitter that she helped Habitat for Humanity build a house, and she posted pictures of her with a caulking tool to prove it. 

Across town, Jewell worked with the Student Conservation Association to clean trash in and around the Anacostia River. 


British Gas, the United Kingdom’s largest domestic energy supplier, is planning to cut its rates 5 percent next month, BBC News reports

The gas industry is complaining that New York relied on research from anti-hydraulic fracturing activists when it chose to ban the practice, Fox News reports.


Check out Monday’s stories…

– Crews clean oil spill in Montana river

– More drillers cut 2015 spending

– GOP finds its secret weapon

– Poll: Majority support completing Keystone review before approval

– Climate change researcher to sit with first lady at SOTU

– Oil prices slip amid Iraq production

– Steyer outlines Senate goals for climate, taxes, education


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

Follow us on Twitter: @thehill @lbarronlopez @Timothy_Cama

Tags Al Franken Climate change Ed Markey Gina McCarthy Keystone XL Rob Portman Sally Jewell State of the Union
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