Overnight Energy: NY probes Exxon over climate change allegations

NY PROBES #EXXONKNEW ALLEGATIONS: New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman is investigating whether ExxonMobil Corp. lied to the public and investors about its knowledge of climate change and the risks associated with it.

Schneiderman sent a subpoena to Exxon late Wednesday seeking various communications, ads and other documents to show what it knew about climate change and what it said publicly.


It's the latest twist in the saga that has followed investigations by InsideClimate News and the Los Angeles Times into Exxon's history with climate research.

The journalists alleged that Exxon had a deep understanding of climate change and its link to fossil fuels as early as the 1970s, but chose to sow doubt about climate instead of acting on it.

Exxon has denied the allegations repeatedly.

New York has significant power to probe allegations of corporate fraud thanks to the Martin Act.

Read more here

GOP CONSERVATION BILL DROPS: Rep. Rob Bishop (R-Utah) unveiled his bill to overhaul the Land and Water Conservation Fund on Thursday, setting up a fight with Democrats and conservation advocates over the future of the program. 

Bishop's bill significantly reforms the LWCF, shifting the bulk of its spending toward state-based conservation programs and diminishing the federal government's ability to make new land acquisitions.

Bishop and other western Republicans have criticized the program for giving the federal government too much power to make land purchases. Bishop said his bill is closer to the LWCF's original mission. 

"We've got to reshape the discussion so that we're actually talking about how we can make all this money that we are using useful, so it actually helps people and we can be proud of the progress we are making," he said Thursday.  

The bill would also shift funding to offshore energy production -- the program's funding mechanism -- which drew criticism from conservation organizations on Thursday. 

The LWCF's charter lapsed in September, and Bishop has resisted calls to reauthorize the program in its current form. 

"It would be my hope that we could actually authorize this even this year, but we need to reauthorize the program and we need to make the reforms and we need to have people be serious talking about how we make this program better," he said.

Read more here

MINE SPILL PROBE WIDENS: The Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) internal watchdog said Thursday it is widening its investigation into the August mine waste spill the agency caused in Colorado.

The Office of Inspector General (OIG) said its decision came after the Interior Department released its own report on the spill and what led to it. Additionally, lawmakers have asked for more detail in the probe.

OIG said it's now interested in a whole slew of details about the spill, from the qualifications of the employees and contractors on the project and the differences between what Interior knew for its report and what other officials knew to any delays in relaying information about the incident to local, tribal and state governments.

TOMORROW IN THE HILL: After a week of news on the Keystone XL pipeline fight, Democrats say Obama should move to block the project before an international climate change conference next month. Read more about their argument at TheHill.com

ON TAP FRIDAY I: The White House hosts a summit on nuclear power. The summit, the White House says, is a "forum for highlighting the administration's commitment to nuclear energy as a clean energy and climate mitigation solution."

ON TAP FRIDAY II: Several Obama administration officials will speak at a renewable energy summit put on by the Clean Energy States Alliance, the Energy Foundation, and the U.S. Department of Energy. The agenda is here


California Gov. Jerry Brown (D) had state regulators assess his family's land for potential drilling and mining opportunities, the Associated Press reports

Keystone XL developer TransCanada has said it will scrap plans to build an oil export terminal in Quebec, Reuters reports. The move is a setback for the company's other controversial pipeline project, Energy East. 

Renewable Fuel Standard foes have released a report on the ethanol mandate's impact on the climate and economy in Ohio. The Akron Beacon Journal reports on its findings. 


Check out Thursday's stories ... 

-Dems push Obama on endangered species protections 
-NY attorney general subpoenas Exxon for climate change docs 
-Rubio proposes cutting 'outdated' gas tax by 80 percent 
-Colorado gov wants to stop state's EPA lawsuits
-Dem bill would force mining companies to pay royalty fees 
-Top Republican looks to overhaul conservation program 
-Climate change made some extreme weather more likely in 2014, feds say 
-Nuclear power plants warn of closure crisis 

Please send tips and comments to Timothy Cama, tcama@thehill.com; and Devin Henry, dhenry@thehill.com. Follow us on Twitter: @Timothy_Cama@dhenry@thehill