OVERNIGHT ENERGY: Senate tees up climate science votes

COMING TO A SENATE FLOOR NEAR YOU: Votes on whether climate change is real. 

Senate Democrats offered their next round of amendments to legislation that would approve the Keystone XL pipeline on Tuesday. Two of the three proposed are on climate change.


One from Sen. Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii) states that climate change is real and caused by humans. The second, proposed by Sen. Sheldon WhitehouseSheldon WhitehouseSenate GOP pledges to oppose any efforts to 'pack' Supreme Court Senate Democrats push Trump to permanently shutter migrant detention facility To cash in on innovation, remove market barriers for advanced energy technologies MORE (D-R.I.), states that "climate change is real and not a hoax."

While the amendments are divisive among Republicans and Democrats, even the staunchest climate skeptic in the Senate, Sen. Jim InhofeJames (Jim) Mountain InhofeIs the Senate ready to protect American interests in space? Republicans grumble over Trump shifting military funds to wall Gun debate to shape 2020 races MORE (R-Okla.) said he doesn't mind the amendment getting a vote.

No Dice... Senate Republicans voted down the first two amendments offered by Democrats on Tuesday, which would have banned the export of oil shipped through the pipeline, and require the project to made out of U.S. steel.  

Bingo... One Republican amendment was passed in a 94-5 vote to be attached to the underlying bill. It is a slimmed down version of Sen. Rob PortmanRobert (Rob) Jones PortmanCost for last three government shutdowns estimated at billion The Hill's Morning Report - Trump takes 2020 roadshow to New Mexico The 13 Republicans needed to pass gun-control legislation MORE's larger energy efficiency bill with Sen. Jeanne ShaheenCynthia (Jeanne) Jeanne ShaheenDemocrats headed for a subpoena showdown with White House Overnight Defense: Dems grill Trump Army, Air Force picks | House chair subpoenas Trump Afghanistan negotiator | Trump officials release military aid to Ukraine Defense spending bill advances over Democratic wall objections MORE (D-N.H.).

Read more on what's next for the Keystone bill here.  

STATE OF THE UNION... Stay tuned and track The Hill's reporters here for coverage of tonight's address. Also, check back to find out what climate change and energy policies President Obama talked about in his speech and what he left out. 

ON TAP WEDNESDAY I: Interior Secretary Sally JewellSarah (Sally) Margaret JewellNational parks pay the price for Trump's Independence Day spectacle Overnight Energy: Zinke extends mining ban near Yellowstone | UN report offers dire climate warning | Trump expected to lift ethanol restrictions Zinke extends mining ban near Yellowstone MORE, Acting Council for Environmental Quality Chairman Mike Boots and the mayors of Denver, Fort Worth, Salt Lake City and Hartford will give a press conference to launch a report pushing for renewal of the Land and Water Conservation Fund. The report will outline the economic benefits of the program, which is due to expire this year and which has almost never been funded to its full level. 

ON TAP WEDNESDAY II: The House is expected to vote on the Natural Gas Pipeline Permitting Reform Act, which would set deadlines for federal agencies for considering natural gas pipeline permits. President Obama threatened to veto the bill Tuesday.  

Rest of Wednesday's agenda...

Energy Secretary Ernest MonizErnest Jeffrey MonizTwo years after Harvey's devastation, the wake-up call has not been heeded Biden under pressure from environmentalists on climate plan Pelosi, Clinton among attendees at memorial reception for Ellen Tauscher MORE and Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) will both speak at the winter meeting of the United States Conference of Mayors. Moniz’s remarks will be part of a session on energy, and Whitehouse’s will be on energy independence and climate protection.  

The Nuclear Energy Institute is hosting its Nuclear Fuel Supply Forum. Rep. Ed WhitfieldWayne (Ed) Edward WhitfieldBottom Line Why Republicans took aim at an ethics watchdog What Azerbaijan wants from Israel? MORE (R-Ky.) was invited to give a morning speech. 

The United States Energy Association will host its State of the Energy Industry Forum. It will feature 20-minute speeches by the leaders of major energy lobbying groups, such as the National Mining Association, the American Petroleum Institute and America’s Natural Gas Alliance.  

The Senate Environment and Public Works Committee will hold its organizational meeting Wednesday. Senators plan to consider a budget resolution for the committee and finalize the committee rules.

The Environmental Law Institute will hold a briefing on the state of federalism in environmental law. The event will feature two law professors and two officials from environmental groups.   


The national average prices of gasoline and diesel each hit a major milestone in the Energy Information Administration’s (EIA) weekly reports Tuesday.

Gasoline’s price fell for the 16th week in a row, a new record for any price that EIA tracks weekly, going back to when records began in 1990. Its average is now $2.07 a gallon.

Diesel hit $2.93, dropping below $3 a gallon for the first time since September 2010, EIA said.


Low oil prices are causing oilfield services giant Baker Hughes Inc. to lay off 7,000 employees, about 11 percent of its workforce, USA Today reports

Eight anti-fracking protesters were arrested Tuesday at the inauguration of Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf (D), StateImpact Pennsylvania reports.  

Officials have found elevated levels of cancer-causing benzene in Montana’s Yellowstone River after an oil pipeline breach over the weekend, the Billings Gazette reports. 



Check out Tuesday's stories...

- Keystone marathon begins in Senate

- White House threatens to veto gas pipeline bill

- Shell Oil Co. affiliates to pay $900,000 to settle EPA charges

- Senators ask feds to walk back oil export guidance

- Keystone support dips ahead of Senate battle

- Obama likely to steer clear of gas tax hike in SOTU

- US won’t intervene in global oil market

- EPA chief to attend Winter X Games

- Senate Dems push Keystone amendments

- Keystone builder files for eminent domain for pipeline route

- NextGen to run climate ad ahead of SOTU

- Montana town brings in drinking water after oil spill


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