Overnight Energy: GOP tees up more Obama energy rules for repeal

Overnight Energy: GOP tees up more Obama energy rules for repeal
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THE REPEAL PARADE: Lawmakers will press forward with the process of carving away Obama-era environmental rules this week.

The House will consider a resolution this week to undo the Bureau of Land Management's "Planning 2.0" regulation finalized in December.

Interior Department officials issued the rule to reorganize the agency's natural resources planning and management strategies. But conservatives -- especially in the West, where the federal government owns and manages large amounts of land -- say the rule gives the feds too much power, and are aiming to pass a Congressional Review Act (CRA) resolution undoing the regulation.

The House Rules Committee is considering the resolution on Monday night, sending it to the floor for a vote this week.

"Planning 2.0 represents a federal power grab that ignores expert knowledge and undermines the ability of state and local governments to effectively manage resources and land use inside their own districts," Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) said in a statement announcing the resolution last week.


"Planning 2.0 dilutes the authority of governors, state regulators, local governments and the public to engage in collaborative land use management planning across huge swaths of the American West."

The House is planning to vote on three other CRA resolutions this week, undoing education and labor rules finalized in the closing days of the Obama administration. All that comes after passing four CRA resolutions last week, targeting -- among other things -- Obama rules on methane, coal mining and financial disclosures for fossil fuel firms.

The latter two resolutions passed both the House and Senate, and President Trump could sign them soon.

Read more about this week's schedule here.  

EPA ALUMS SAY NO TO PRUITT: Nearly 450 former employees of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on Monday sent a letter to senators asking them to oppose Trump's EPA nominee Scott Pruitt.

In a letter to members of the Senate, 447 former EPA employees said Pruitt's history of suing the EPA as Oklahoma's attorney general "strongly suggest that he does not share the vision or agree with the underlying principles of our environmental laws."

The employees also said they are concerned about his views on the federal government's role in environmental regulation and his opinion on the science behind climate change.

"Different administrators have come to different conclusions about how best to apply the law in view of the science, and many of their decisions have been challenged in court, sometimes successfully, for either going too far or not far enough," the group wrote in the letter.

"But in the large majority of cases it was evident to us that they put the public's welfare ahead of private interests. Scott Pruitt has not demonstrated this same commitment."

Republicans on the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee on Thursday approved Pruitt's nomination to lead the EPA. He appears likely to win confirmation when his nomination goes to the floor, though leadership has yet to schedule that vote.

Read more here.

Some current EPA employees aren't too fond of Pruitt either: Former EPA employees aren't the only ones who oppose Pruitt.

Dozens of current EPA employees joined a protest against Pruitt outside the EPA's regional headquarters in Chicago on Monday, ThinkProgress reports.

"People feel pretty beleaguered," union representative Nicole Cantello said of the protest.

OIL LOBBY LOOKS TO CONSUMERS: Did you see the American Petroleum Institute's commercial during the Super Bowl on Sunday?

The group is going to try its hardest to make sure you see it soon.

API has launched a new campaign looking to talk directly to American consumers about the wide-ranging uses for the oil industry's products.

Its goal is to show how deeply modern life and major industries are tied to and depend on oil and natural gas.

"Power Past Impossible is the next step in API's long-running effort to create energy awareness," API president Jack Gerard told reporters Monday.

API said the ad is just the start of a new campaign that will run for years.

Read more here.

DAKOTA PIPELINE ANNOUNCEMENT COULD COME THIS WEEK: The Army could formally issue the easement necessary to build a controversial stretch of the Dakota Access pipeline before the end of the week.

A government lawyer told a federal judge Monday that the easement could come out before Friday, according to reports. Once the easement is issued and construction begins, the project could be complete within 60 days and oil could begin running through the pipeline within 83 days.

President Trump in January ordered the Army Corps of Engineers to quickly issue Dakota Access developers the easement they need to build the pipeline under North Dakota's Lake Oahe. The project is deeply opposed by environmentalists, anti-fossil fuel activists and American Indian tribes.

ON TAP TUESDAY: The House Science Committee will hold a hearing titled, "Making EPA Great Again." The hearing will "examine the Environmental Protection Agency's process for evaluating and using science during its regulatory decision making activities." Former Rep. Rush Holt (D-N.J.), the CEO of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, will testify.  


The North Dakota House of Representatives passed several measures taking aim at anti-Dakota Access protesters, the Bismarck Tribune reports.

Offshore drilling contractors Transocean and Atwood Oceanics have eliminated 200 jobs in the Gulf of Mexico, Fuel Fix reports.

Sixteen wild bison have been relocated to Banff National Park in Canada, the Calgary Herald reports (with must-see video). They are the first bison to roam the park in 140 years.


Check out Monday's stories ...

-GOP chair says report vindicates probe into climate study
-Former EPA employees urge Senate to oppose Pruitt
-Oil lobby targets consumers in new campaign
-Week ahead: Congress tees up more votes on Obama rules

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