OVERNIGHT ENERGY: Pope to call climate change a 'principal' challenge

Pope FrancisPope Francis Pope calls on young people to protect environment The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by ExxonMobil - Gosar censured as GOP drama heightens Equilibrium/Sustainability — Presented by Southern Company — Native solar startups see business as activism MORE SCOOPED: Climate change is "one of the principal challenges now facing humanity," Pope Francis will say in his highly anticipated climate change encyclical this week. 

In the encyclical, Francis will blame human activity for increasing temperatures around the globe and ask readers to change their "styles of life, of production and consumption" to reduce its impact.

That's according to a draft version of the encyclical leaked to an Italian magazine. The Vatican will formally release Francis' encyclical on Thursday, but the church was scooped by L'Espresso magazine, which posted the 192-page document online Monday.


The encyclical will call for a move toward renewable energy and say the Earth "protests for the evil that we've caused" by relying on natural resources.

"We grew up thinking we were the earth's owners and dominators, authorized to pillage it," Francis writes in the draft encyclical. "Violence in the human heart wounded by sin shows itself also in the symptoms of disease that we see in the soil, the water, the air and living creatures."

Green groups, climate scientists and many Catholics have eagerly awaited the encyclical, which will present a moral case for preventing climate change ahead of a major climate conference later this year.

Read more here.

ON TAP TUESDAY I: The House Interior Appropriations Committee will consider its Interior and Environment spending bill, which imposes deep cuts on the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The Senate Appropriations Committee's environment and interior subcommittee will mark up the upper chamber's EPA bill, as well. 

ON TAP TUESDAY II: The White House will host a summit on clean energy. Vice President Joe Biden, senior Obama advisor Brian Deese and science advisor John Holdren will speak.

Rest of Tuesday's agenda...

The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee will hear testimony from two Energy Department nominees, Jonathan Elkind and Monica Regalbuto.

The House Natural Resources Committee will hold a hearing on Arctic Ocean energy resources. Brian Salerno, the director of the Interior Department's Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement, will testify.

Sen. John Hoeven (R-N.D.) will speak at the Energy Information Administration's energy conference.

The Environmental Law Institute will host a discussion on oil pollution issues. Former Transportation Secretary Rodney Slater will participate.

Two House Energy and Commerce Committee subpanels will hold a joint hearing on the EPA's proposed ozone standard. Industry experts are scheduled to testify.

NEWS BITE: The problems that allowed EPA official and fake CIA spy John Beale to get away with his crimes are not widespread, the agency's watchdog concluded.

The EPA's Office of Inspector General looked into employees who took more than four consecutive weeks off while paid and didn't find any cases of time and attendance fraud, the watchdog said Monday.

"Our audit did not identify any instances of time and attendance fraud for employees receiving salary payments while absent from their duties for an extended period of time," auditors said in the Monday report. "All employees interviewed provided evidence of login or had a valid explanation for not logging into the agency's email system," it said.

The inspector general launched the investigation after Beale pleaded guilty in 2013 to stealing nearly $900,000 in pay, benefits and expenses. He pretended to be a CIA spy, allowing him to take time off and go on vacations on the agency's dime.

But while looking into employees taking a lot of time off, the inspector general's office did find some areas of concern in the accuracy of the EPA's attendance system, employees using personal computers for work and employees who telework full-time.


China and the European Union will soon unveil a joint climate pledge in advance of the December climate talks in Paris, Reuters reports.

Indiana's decision to end its energy efficiency program is being blamed for high electricity rates, WSJV reports

Frightening fish are falling from the sky in Alaska. The Washington Post has the story -- and the photos.


Check out Monday's stories ... 

-Energy agency: Climate plans won't prevent temperature increase
-GOP threatens subpoena for Keystone records
-GOP chairmen: Obama's climate rule would hurt manatees
-Pope's climate change encyclical leaks
-Shell oil rig leaves Seattle amid protests
-UK nears first fracking approval
-Feds eye small nuclear reactors for key role in U.S. energy policy
-Week ahead: House GOP takes aim at EPA funding

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