Overnight Energy: Trump outlines 'America First' energy plan in North Dakota

TRUMP DIVES INTO ENERGY POLICY: Donald TrumpDonald TrumpTrump criticizes Justice for restoring McCabe's benefits Biden: Those who defy Jan. 6 subpoenas should be prosecuted Hillicon Valley — Presented by LookingGlass — Hackers are making big money MORE outlined an energy plan he's calling "America First" on Thursday, using a speech in North Dakota's oil country to promote oil, natural gas and coal for the country's future.

The presumptive GOP nominee's plan, is as much about helping the fossil fuel sector as it is about fighting what he sees as "job-killing" policies from the Obama administration that Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonTrump criticizes Justice for restoring McCabe's benefits Biden sends 'best wishes' to Clinton following hospitalization The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Altria - Jan. 6 panel flexes its muscle MORE would only further.


It aligns closely with longstanding priorities of federal Republican policymakers, but also veers away from GOP orthodoxy as the billionaire businessman has done in other policy areas.

"American energy dominance will be declared a strategic, economic and foreign policy goal of the United States," Trump said in the speech at a petroleum conference in Bismarck, N.D. "It's about time."

He said he'd allow far more oil, gas and coal production on federal land and offshore, and pledged to save the coal industry, though gave few specifics on how he would do that.

Trump would ask TransCanada Corp. to resubmit its application to build the Keystone XL oil pipeline through America's heartland. Obama rejected the pipeline in November, but Trump said he would approve it, provided the U.S. gets a share of TransCanada's profits in return.

"I want the Keystone pipeline, but the people of the United States should be given a significant piece of the profits," Trump said.

"That's how we're going to make our country rich again, and it's how we're going to make America great again."

Trump hit Obama for issuing a host of environmental regulations that he said have handcuffed American energy production. He cast this fall's election as "a choice between sharing in this great energy wealth or sharing the poverty promised by Hillary Clinton."

"If President Obama wanted to weaken America, he couldn't have done a better job. ... As bad as President Obama is, Hillary Clinton would be worse."

Read more about Trump's speech here; his Keystone plans here; and his attacks on Obama and Clinton here.

LGBT FIGHT SINKS ENERGY AND WATER BILL: A $37.5 billion energy and water spending bill died on the House floor on Thursday after a fight over LGBT rights blew up around the bill.

Members on Wednesday night adopted a Democratic amendment to the 2017 energy and water spending bill that would enforce a 2014 executive order prohibiting federal contractors from discriminating on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity.

Because of the measure, most Republicans voted against the underlying spending bill. Coupled with unrelated Democratic opposition to funding levels and policy riders, the legislation failed 112-305.

It was the second time in as many weeks the House has waged a floor fight over LGBT rights. The amendment in question, from Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney (D-N.Y.), would enforce an executive order prohibiting federal contractors from discriminating on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity. The House dramatically voted down a similar amendment last week when several Republicans changed their votes on the House floor.

The chaos over the energy and water bill imperils the entire appropriations process, officials said Thursday. Several Republicans -- including Speaker Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanJuan Williams: Pelosi shows her power Cheney takes shot at Trump: 'I like Republican presidents who win re-election' Cheney allies flock to her defense against Trump challenge MORE (R-Wis.) and Appropriations Chairman Hal Rogers (R-Ky.) -- said they hope to bring up other funding bills this year, but leadership aides acknowledged the fight might sink any of those efforts.

Asked whether the House can pass more spending bills this year, Rogers said, "I think so, yeah," adding that ending the open amendment process would "be considered."

"We'll adapt to the circumstances and move on," he said.

Read more here.

Rand PaulRandal (Rand) Howard PaulDemocrats fret as longshot candidates pull money, attention Journalist Dave Levinthal discusses 'uptick' in congressional stock trade violations McConnell vows GOP won't help raise debt ceiling in December after Schumer 'tantrum' MORE DELAYS CHEMICAL BILL: The bill to overhaul the nation's chemical safety rules got delayed by about two weeks Thursday, thanks to Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.).

Paul revealed Thursday afternoon that he has a hold on the bill, preventing quick Senate consideration. He complained that he hasn't had time to read the 180-page bill.

Paul's action prevented the Senate from voting on the bipartisan, widely supported bill Thursday. Senate leaders had hoped for the vote, which would put it on President Obama's desk.

"This bill came here on Tuesday. It's 180 pages long. It involves new criminalization, new crimes that will be created at the federal level. It includes preemption of states," the former presidential candidate said.

"And so I think it deserves to be read, to be understood and to be debated, and so I object to just rushing this through and saying 'Oh, you can't read the bill.' "

Paul's colleagues criticized him, saying that even though the final bill only came out Tuesday, its provisions have been known for months.

"The final version of the bill has been publicly available for everyone to read, dissect and digest for about a week. It is largely similar to the Senate version that passed months ago to which there was no objection raised," said Sen. David VitterDavid Bruce VitterBiden inaugural committee to refund former senator's donation due to foreign agent status Bottom line Lysol, Charmin keep new consumer brand group lobbyist busy during pandemic MORE (R-La.).

Donelle Harder, spokeswoman for Environment and Public Works Committee Chairman Jim inhofe (R-Okla.), told reporters that she has "personally carried and birthed a child in the same amount of time in which Rand Paul could have raised objections to the few lines in this bill that he is now calling 'rushed.' "

Between recess and the time to go through the Senate process, Paul has pushed consideration of the bill by about two weeks.

Read more here.


Republican lawmakers in North Carolina are fighting with Gov. Pat McRory over coal ash clean-up plans, North Carolina Public Radio reports.

Local officials in Colorado have formed Colorado Communities for Climate Action, a political group pushing for more action on greenhouse gas emissions, the Denver Post reports.

Thailand is shutting down several diving sites as a way to cut down on coral bleaching there, AFP reports.


Check out Thursday's stories...

-Trump outlines 'America First' energy plan
-Trump slams Obama, Clinton energy platform in ND speech
-Trump demands share of profits in exchange for Keystone approval
-Paul blocks chemical safety bill in Senate
-LGBT fight dooms spending bill on House floor
-Senators float bipartisan wildfire bill

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