Overnight Energy & Environment

Overnight Energy: Climate activist Steyer spending $25M to reach millennials

STEYER BETTING ON MILLENNIALS: Tom Steyer, the billionaire climate change activist and campaign donor, is betting that millennials might hold the key to getting climate-friendly candidates elected this year.

Steyer announced Monday that his launching a $25 million effort to get young people to care about climate change enough to go to the polls and vote for candidates who want to take bold action on climate.

{mosads}Through his NextGen Climate Action, he’s deploying resources to more than 200 college campuses in seven key swing states, pushing students to vote in the presidential and Senate elections and showing them where candidates stand on climate change.

“Today, over 80 percent of young voters prefer candidates who offer clean energy solutions, so they can turn their enthusiasm into real, tangible, political power,” Steyer told reporters Monday.

“When young people engage in the political conversation, when they turn out and vote, when they use the fact that they are the biggest cohort in this election cycle, incredible things can happen,” he said.

Read more here.

THE HILL’S ‘THE FUTURE OF ENERGY’: The Hill on Monday published our special magazine on energy and environment policy, “The Future of Energy in the United States.” Keep an eye out for the print version of it, and check out all the stories here.

In it, we explore in depth some of the major issues dominating the national energy policy sphere, including water scarcity, litigation over President Obama’s environmental agenda and the low price of oil. We’ll be highlighting some of the stories this week.

$30 OIL’S IMPACT ON THE U.S. AND THE WORLD: Historically low oil prices are changing the debate over energy policy as they create concerns for the domestic industry and threaten the global economic order.

Drivers may be reaping the benefits of cheap gasoline, but it’s completely changing the politics surrounding energy, with the White House and Congress under no pressure to reduce gas prices.

The price drop has devastated local oil communities in North Dakota, Louisiana, Oklahoma and Texas, as well as causing pain among foreign oil producers from Russia to the Middle East, Mexico and Venezuela.

That has complicated foreign affairs for the Obama administration while at the same time easing pressure on hot-button political issues like the Keystone XL oil pipeline and offshore drilling.

Analysts don’t know how long low prices will persist, leaving policymakers and industry groups grappling with what to make of a new normal.

Read more here.

Elsewhere in the energy magazine …

-The battle for the Atlantic: Wind, oil fight for influence
-Court holds fate of Obama’s climate legacy
-Electric cars charging ahead

OBAMA CLIMATE ENVOY: WORLD WORRIES ABOUT A GOP PRESIDENT: International climate negotiators are concerned about what a Republican president might do on climate change, President Obama’s top envoy said on Monday.

“There is some concern globally about where we’re headed,” Jonathan Pershing, U.S. Special Envoy for Climate Change, told reporters Monday. Pershing and others attended meetings at the UN over the weekend to mark the signing of the Paris climate deal.

Despite the concerns, Pershing said, “I think we were able to really address it with a couple of really telling points that were persuasive for folks.”

Obama officials, including Pershing’s predecessor, Todd Stern, have long warned the GOP against backing out of the administration’s international climate commitments if a Republican wins the White House this fall.

Pershing said he told allies that won’t happen: there is congressional support for some green initiatives, he said, and U.S. businesses are likely to tap into the international clean energy market.

“The US is a global player and nobody really thinks that when the world market of $1 trillion or more dollars on an annual basis is out there on these new technologies, that the U.S. won’t be an active part of that, and probably a leader in that,” Pershing said.

“While people raised this, it was more to be reassured, and they were not just reassured, they were quite confident, was my take,” he added.

Read more here.

COAL COMPANY SUES AGAIN TO STOP AIR POLLUTION RULE: Murray Energy Corp. is again suing the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to stop its new ozone pollution standard.

Specifically, Murray is taking issue with the recent regulation from the EPA that is designed to fix the problem the Supreme Court identified, which was that the EPA did not consider the costs of the rule before it started to write it.

Murray submitted its complaint Monday to the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. It was a brief filing that does not get into the details of Murray’s objections.

“This final ‘finding’ is flagrantly arbitrary, and fails to comply with the law and with the Supreme Court’s mandate,” the company said in a statement.

“Indeed, the Obama EPA plainly refuses to consider the costs of its decision in light of the reasonable and available alternatives to inflexible and cost-blind federal standards that Murray Energy identified in its comments,” it continued. “This is a fatal error that will require the Courts to strike down this finding.”

CANADA REGULATORS APPROVE PIPELINE PROJECT: Canada’s National Energy Board signed off Monday on a pipeline project that would cross the U.S.-Canada border and stretch across the Upper Midwest.

Enbridge is looking to spend $7.5 billion to replace the Line 3 pipeline. The replacement, a 995-mile project running from Alberta to Superior, Wis., could carry up to 760,000 barrels of oil a day.

The NEB said Monday it would allow the project to move forward if Enbridge meets 89 conditions, CBC News reports.

The project is years away from completion. The Canadian federal government must sign off on its environmental impact first, and environmental groups in Minnesota and elsewhere have challenged it in court. Enbridge says the pipeline won’t begin operating until 2019 at the earliest because it needs to go through American environmental reviews, as well.

ON TAP TUESDAY I: The Senate will resume considering its energy and water spending bill, with amendment debate and votes likely. Read more here.

ON TAP TUESDAY II: The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee will hold a hearing on oil and gas development.

Rest of Tuesday’s agenda …

The Center for Strategic and International Studies will host an event on energy policy after the 2016 elections. Rep. Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.) is among the speakers.


Prince was secretly the main financial force behind Green for All, Van Jones’ group that worked to bring solar panels to low-income areas and otherwise connect environmental activism to class struggles, the San Francisco Chronicle reports.

A Saudi prince has released a plan to end the kingdom’s “addiction” to oil, Reuters reports.

China will further curb its use of coal for electricity generation, stopping plans for new coal-fired power plants around the country and delaying construction on others, the New York Times reports


Check out stories from Monday and the weekend:

-Bundy: Feds don’t own Oregon refuge
-Obama envoy: World leaders worried about US on climate
-Bill Gates: Carbon tax not right for the US
-Climate activist Steyer launching voter drive on college campuses
-EPA smog rule ‘unachievable,’ opponents say
-Week ahead: Senate looks to wrap up energy, water spending bill
-Palestine is latest GOP offensive in climate change wars
-McCain calls for criminal investigation into EPA

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


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