Overnight Energy: Trump aide's Canada trip to put spotlight on Keystone

Overnight Energy: Trump aide's Canada trip to put spotlight on Keystone
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CANADA TRIP: Top Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpDavid Axelrod after Ginsburg cancer treatment: Supreme Court vacancy could 'tear this country apart' EU says it will 'respond in kind' if US slaps tariffs on France Ginsburg again leaves Supreme Court with an uncertain future MORE adviser Kellyanne Conway will visit the Alberta oil sands region in January, a move likely previewing the Trump administration's openness to the Keystone XL pipeline.

Conway, Trump's campaign manager and adviser, will tour the region during a January fundraising trip with the conservative Alberta Prosperity Fund, the group announced on Tuesday.


Alberta is the source of the oil that was set to flow through the Keystone XL pipeline. President Obama rejected that project last year, but Trump has said he will approve it after he takes office.

TransCanada, Keystone XL's developer, said it would "engage" Trump after he becomes president next year. He has promised to allow the pipeline to move forward in exchange for a fee on the oil that runs through it, though Republicans have pushed him to simply approve the project.

"This visit by such an influential member of a U.S. administration should stand as a call to action for all Alberta industry," Prosperity Fund founder and President Barry McNamar said in a statement.

"I hope that Ms. Conway receives an enthusiastic welcome here in Alberta and can return to the US with an informed attitude towards Canadian export products."

The Alberta Prosperity Fund formed after voters in the province swept a center-left party to power last year. Conway will be paid for her appearance, CBC News reports, though her office originally pitched the trip.

A Trump official did not respond to requests for comment.

Read more here.

EPA TO CONSIDER ASBESTOS BAN: The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) listed the first 10 chemicals it will consider restricting under this year's chemical safety bill, including asbestos.

The list was mandated by the Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act, and includes substances that advocates have been pushing for years to restrict or ban.

Along with asbestos, the list includes the solvent methylene chloride, the dry cleaning substance tetrachloroethylene, solvent 1-Bromopropane and others.

"Under the new law, we now have the power to require safety reviews of all chemicals in the marketplace" Jim Jones, the EPA's assistant administrator for chemical safety, said in a statement. "We can ensure the public that we will deliver on the promise to better protect public health and the environment."

The EPA will now take up to three years to consider whether each of the substances unreasonably harms health or the environment, and can then move to restrict or ban them.

Read more here.

NO DAKOTA BLOCKADE: North Dakota officials Tuesday backed off threats to block supplies going to the Dakota Access pipeline protest camp.

The Morton County Sheriff's Department had initially said it would block supplies like food and building materials, Reuters reports. But the governor's office said there was no such plan, and the sheriff relented.

The blockade would have been part of the response to Gov. Jack Dalrymple's (R) order late Monday that everyone at the camp evacuate immediately, due to coming winter weather.

On Monday night and Tuesday, protesters at the camp told CBS News that they would stay put and not leave despite Dalrymple's order.

The state has no current plans to forcibly remove people from the protest site.

WILDFIRE KILLS 3 IN TENNESSEE: A wildfire that swept through Tennessee on Monday killed at last three people, the Knoxville News Sentinel reports.

The fast-moving fire destroyed more than 150 homes and businesses, displaced 14,000 residents and attracted more than 200 firefighters from across the state.

"This is a fire for the history books," Gatlinburg Fire Chief Greg Miller said Tuesday. "The likes of this has never been seen here. But the worst is definitely over with."

The fire started Monday night when embers from a fire in the Great Smoky Mountain National Park drifted into town. Winds topping 80 miles per hour sent the blaze though the town of Gatlinburg, and the wildfire eventually grew to 500 acres in size.

Gatlinburg is an entry point for national park, which was closed due to the blaze on Tuesday.

"In my 25 years of federal (park) service, I've participated in many fires, but none of that could have prepared me for this," park superintendent Cassius Cash said.

The Washington Post has harrowing video of two men escaping the fire.

ON TAP WEDNESDAY: A House Natural Resources Committee panel will hold a hearing on three public lands bills.


Visitors at Big Bend National Park in Texas are worried that if Trump follows through on his pledge to build a border wall, it could greatly harm the park, the Dallas Morning News reports.

Tioga County, Pa., saw an earlier boom-and-bust cycle for natural gas drilling than many other areas in Pennsylvania, reports the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, which looked at how the county is handling the bust.

The Florida Public Service Commission voted Tuesday to allow Florida Power & Light to increase electricity rates by $400 million next year, the Miami Herald reports.


Check out Tuesday's stories ...

-Feds to consider renewed protections for bird species
-Trump adviser Conway to tour Alberta oil sands
-EPA to consider banning asbestos, other chemicals
-Top Republican urges regulators to back off
-Pope pushes world leaders on climate after Trump's election
-ND governor orders evacuation at pipeline protest camp

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