OVERNIGHT ENERGY: Snowball thrown in Senate climate fight

A SENATOR WALKS ONTO THE SENATE FLOOR WITH A SNOWBALL: And throws it at a page. 

No joke.

"Do you know what this is? It's a snowball. And it's just from outside here. So it's very, very cold out. Very unseasonable," Sen. Jim InhofeJames (Jim) Mountain InhofeThe Hill's Morning Report - Dems look to rebuild 'blue wall' Funding caps, border wall set stage for defense budget battle Trump's claims of defeating ISIS roil Congress MORE (R-Okla.) said. 

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So what does that incident have in common with terrorism? 

Well, not much really, but Inhofe wanted to illustrate a point: That climate change is not a greater threat to Americans than terror groups like the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria. 

“His repeated failure to understand the real threat to our national security and his inability to establish a coherent national security strategy has put this nation at a level of risk that has been unknown for decades," said Inhofe, one of the Senate's staunchest climate skeptics, about President Obama.

To which White House spokesman Frank Benanati tweeted: "Just wow."

Read more here

OVERRIDE TIME: Sen. John HoevenJohn Henry HoevenDem lawmaker 'confident' bipartisan group will strike deal on border funding Congress in painful start to avoid second shutdown Republicans want Trump to keep out of border talks MORE (R-N.D.) said he is working to get more Democrats on board with voting to override President Obama's veto of legislation to approve Keystone XL. Hoeven wouldn't identify which senators he is trying to sway but said he expects all 63 who voted to approve the project earlier this year will get behind the override movement. 

"We are still at 63, but we are working to see if there are others we can get and see if there is something we can do to encourage them," Hoeven said. 

Democratic Sens. Joe ManchinJoseph (Joe) ManchinManchin says he won't support LGBTQ protection bill as written Senators offer bipartisan bill to fix 'retail glitch' in GOP tax law Murkowski, Manchin call for 'responsible solutions' to climate change MORE (W.Va.), Heidi HeitkampMary (Heidi) Kathryn HeitkampRed dresses displayed around American Indian museum to memorialize missing, murdered native women Lobbying World Lobbying World MORE (N.D.), Mark WarnerMark Robert WarnerTrump, Congress brace for Mueller findings The wisdom of Trump's lawyers, and the accountability that must follow Mueller's report Hillicon Valley: Kushner accused of using WhatsApp, personal email for official work | White House rejects request for Trump-Putin communications | Facebook left 'hundreds of millions' of passwords unsecured | Tech pressured to root out extremism MORE (Va.), Claire McCaskillClaire Conner McCaskillLobbying world Dem candidate has Hawley served subpoena at CPAC Annual scorecard ranks GOP environmental efforts far below Dems in 2018 MORE (Mo.), Bob CaseyRobert (Bob) Patrick CaseyTrump officials take bold steps on Medicaid Overnight Health Care — Presented by PCMA — Trump health chief reveals talks with states on Medicaid block grants | New head of FDA faces tough test | Trump officials defends work requirements in court Trump health chief reveals talks with states on Medicaid block grants MORE (Pa.), and Joe DonnellyJoseph (Joe) Simon DonnellyLobbying World Lobbying World Overnight Energy: Trump taps ex-oil lobbyist Bernhardt to lead Interior | Bernhardt slams Obama officials for agency's ethics issues | Head of major green group steps down MORE (Ind.) all plan to vote to override the veto, according to Senate aides. But Democratic Sens. Michael BennetMichael Farrand BennetMichael Bennet is close to deciding on possible presidential bid Senators ask CBO to review options for preventing surprise medical bills Court-packing becomes new litmus test on left MORE (Colo), Tom CarperThomas (Tom) Richard CarperBiden's challenge: Satisfying the left Dems introduce bill requiring disclosure of guest logs from White House, Trump properties Lobbying world MORE (Del.) and Jon TesterJonathan (Jon) TesterSanders, Ocasio-Cortez back 'end the forever war' pledge Dems wrestle over how to vote on ‘Green New Deal’ White House pleads with Senate GOP on emergency declaration MORE (Mont.) have yet to say which way they will vote. Hoeven said he expects them to still back the pipeline.  

"Nobody has indicated at this point that they would change their position," Hoeven said.

Still, he admitted that he isn't betting on the override to succeed.

"I think it's more likely we are going to look to something like the highway bill and attaching it there. That's an infrastructure bill, this is about infrastructure. " Hoeven said. "We have strong support in the House. Obviously we have everybody on our side."

When pressed on comments made by John Podesta, recent adviser to Obama, that there is "no must-pass bill" that could convince the president to go against his policies, Hoeven said the highway bill would change his mind.

"There will be bills that the president is not going to veto," he said. "A six-year highway bill is something I believe we can do this year and we all want to do on both sides of the aisle. And I believe the president would sign it."

FRIDAY'S AGENDA:

The House Energy and Commerce Committee’s subpanel on the environment will hold a hearing to assess the unique needs of drinking water systems in rural and small communities. Lawmakers will hear from representatives of various small town governments as well as a Government Accountability Office official. 

Various experts and think tank officials will gather for an American Institute for Contemporary German Studies discussion on the geopolitics of energy. 

The Center for Strategic and International Studies will hold an event on the International Energy Agency’s (IEA) most recent mid-term oil market report. Antoine Halff, head of the IEA’s oil division, will present the report. 

NEWS BITE: Climatologist Judith Curry took to her blog to slam Rep. Raúl Grijalva’s (D-Ariz.) investigation of climate change skeptics as a witch hunt. 

“It looks like it is ‘open season’ on anyone who deviates even slightly from the consensus,” Curry wrote.

While Curry has agreed with many of the consensus conclusions on human-caused climate change, though not all, and that was enough to get on Grijalva’s radar for his investigation into the funding of climate-skeptic science. Curry said this is the first time she’s been attacked for her research, and that Georgia Tech, her employer, has a strong conflict-of-interest policy.

“I don’t think anything good will come of this,” she wrote, questioning Grijalva’s authority to investigate. “I anticipate that Grijalva will not find any kind of an undisclosed fossil fuel smoking gun from any of the 7 individuals under investigation.” 

AROUND THE WEB:

Major offshore drilling companies reported falling earnings and orders Thursday, Reuters reports

There are now 77 gray wolves in Oregon, an increase of 13 over last year, the Statesman Journal reports

Ninety-four percent of Californians think that the state’s current drought is serious, the Associated Press reports

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT: 

Check out Thursday's stories... 

- Inhofe hurls snowball on Senate floor

- Dems introduce bill to help 'clean coal'

- Bipartisan Senate duo pushes for repeal of ethanol mandate

- Greens petition California to ban fracking

- Manufacturers: Even with costs halved, ozone reg could still be most expensive

- French president in Philippines for climate push

- East Coast saw 'unprecedented' sea level surge

 

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