Overnight Energy: Trump to sign orders on offshore drilling, national monuments

Overnight Energy: Trump to sign orders on offshore drilling, national monuments
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MORE TRUMP ENERGY ORDERS ON THEIR WAY: President Trump isn't finished with executive orders to roll back former President Barack ObamaBarack Hussein ObamaGovernment's misguided holiday to celebrate itself Virginia can be better than this Democrats have a chance of beating Trump with Julian Castro on the 2020 ticket MORE's environmental agenda.

As part of an effort to ramp up executive orders before Trump hits his 100th day in office, which is Saturday, he's planning two major energy-related orders this week, a White House official says.

The first, on Wednesday, would instruct the Interior Department to formally review national monument designations going back to 1996 to see if they complied with the letter and spirit of the Antiquities Act, and then recommend any legislative or executive changes.


The primary focus of that order is the Bears Ears National Monument, a 1.3 million-acre protected area in Utah that's opposed by the state's leaders but strongly supported by American Indian tribes and conservationists.

But beyond Bears Ears, the order would strike at the heart of Obama's conservation legacy. He used the Antiquities Act to protect more land and water than any previous president, and made the protections a second-term priority.

Experts and conservationists say Trump doesn't have the power to rescind previous monument designations, so if he tries, he would likely get sued.

Offshore order coming Friday: On Friday, Trump is planning an order meant to expand offshore oil and natural gas drilling, the White House said.

It would instruct Interior to review the various ways it could take down barriers to drilling. This is likely to include revising Obama's five-year offshore lease schedule for 2017 to 2022 to include sales in the Arctic and Atlantic Oceans.

It could also include a review of regulations, like new safety rules put in place after the 2010 Deepwater Horizon disaster and specific rules for Arctic drilling.

Changes to the lease sales and regulations would require an extensive regulatory process, including public comment, that could be litigated.

Read more here and here.

MARCH FOR SCIENCE LAST WEEK, CLIMATE MARCH THIS WEEK: Thousands of protesters took to the streets of Washington and other cities this weekend to make their case for science's role in public policy, taking direct aim at policies released or previewed by the Trump administration.

Marchers in Washington heard from science educator Bill Nye "The Science Guy" and other activists and scientists who urged the Trump administration and policymakers to focus on science.

An estimated 40,000 people marched in Chicago's version of the event; thousands more joined marches from Los Angeles, London and even Antarctica.

The march is the first of two science-based demonstrations aimed at American officials this month. On Saturday, tens of thousands of marchers are expected at People's Climate March events, including a signature gathering in Washington.

That event is expected to be even more political than Saturday's; March for Science organizers said their protest was meant to simply promote research, while the climate march is expected to take direct aim at Trump measures to gut federal climate activities.

Both events hope to kick up the type of activism that revealed itself in the Women's March, a landmark protest that drew millions to the streets the day after Trump took office.

The White House defended itself during the March for Science on Saturday, which was also Earth Day.

In a statement, Trump said "rigorous science is critical," but added, "economic growth enhances environmental protection. We can and must protect our environment without harming America's working families. That is why my Administration is reducing unnecessary burdens on American workers and American companies, while being mindful that our actions must also protect the environment," he said.  

Read more about the March for Science here, and the movement surrounding both events here.


-March for Science rallies draw huge crowds around US
-Bill Nye slams lawmakers for 'actively suppressing science'
-Dems knock Trump on Earth Day
-Researchers in Antarctica tweet support for March for Science
-Bill Nye criticizes CNN on air for inviting climate change skeptic
-Clinton to science demonstrators: 'March on!'
-Bill Nye: Pruitt, DeVos 'the least qualified people on the planet' for their agencies
-March for Science demonstrators make colorful protest
-Trump defends climate policies as thousands take part in March on Science

INSPECTOR GENERAL CLEARS EPA OVER WATER CAMPAIGN: The Obama administration's Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) did not violate the law when it partnered with an outside group on a water pollution campaign, agency watchdogs said on Monday.

The campaign, by Washington state's Northwest Indian Fisheries Commission, got $15.7 million from the EPA as part of a cooperative agreement. It was dubbed "What's Upstream?" and urged people -- through billboards, a website and other media -- to push for new restrictions on pollution from farmers.

Congressional Republicans, led by Sens. Jim InhofeJames (Jim) Mountain InhofeAllies wary of Shanahan's assurances with looming presence of Trump On The Money: Trump to sign border deal, declare emergency to build wall | Senate passes funding bill, House to follow | Dems promise challenge to emergency declaration Trump to sign border deal, declare national emergency MORE (Okla.) and Pat RobertsCharles (Pat) Patrick RobertsGOP senators offer praise for Klobuchar: 'She’s the whole package' The Hill's Morning Report - House Dems prepare to swamp Trump with investigations The Hill's Morning Report — Will Ralph Northam survive? MORE (Kansas), sought an investigation into the campaign last year, contending it targeted farmers and ranchers and violated prohibitions against EPA lobbying.

But the agency's Inspector General says in a new report that neither the EPA nor the local group did anything illegal.

"Our reviews of the cooperative agreement and associated project files concluded that EPA Region 10 complied with all applicable laws, regulations and policies when executing the award and carrying out its oversight responsibilities," the report said, referring to the EPA's regional office in Washington.

Read more here.

ON TAP TUESDAY: Bloomberg New Energy Finance's two-day Future of Energy Summit kicks off in New York. Speakers include Energy Secretary Rick Perry, energy industry executives and others.  


U.S. military officials believe a prolonged drought is contributing to an increase in piracy off the coast of Somalia, Newsweek reports.

Friday was Britain's first coal-free day since the Industrial Revolution, Wired reports.

Pennsylvanians with natural gas wells on their land want to turn off the wells when they stop getting royalty checks, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports.


Check out stories from Monday and the weekend ...

-Watchdog clears EPA in water pollution campaign
-Judge declares mistrial in Nevada Bundy ranch case

-Bloomberg: Nations should continue climate work despite Trump
-Trump order could undo designation of national monuments: report
-Week ahead: House to revive Yucca Mountain fight
-Trump will ramp up action on executive orders this week: reports

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