Overnight Energy: Ivanka Trump to meet EPA chief on Paris decision

Overnight Energy: Ivanka Trump to meet EPA chief on Paris decision
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PARIS DUEL: Ivanka Trump and Scott Pruitt are planning to meet next week to discuss their different views on the Paris climate change agreement.

Axios reported Thursday that the president's daughter, a White House adviser who supports staying in the pact, will discuss the matter directly with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) head, an opponent. Their summit comes before a larger meeting on the agreement that will include more administration officials.

The face-to-face meeting is part of what's been reported as Ivanka's support for climate change policies, despite her father's disdain for the matter and his string of actions to dismantle former President Barack ObamaBarack Hussein ObamaObama urges people to sign up for health insurance after ruling striking down law The 2020 Democratic nomination will run through the heart of black America Gillibrand says she's worried about top options in Dem 2020 poll being white men MORE's climate agenda.


Her husband and fellow Trump adviser, Jared Kushner, agrees with her, as do Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Energy Secretary Rick Perry. Pruitt and strategist Stephen Bannon are among those who want Trump to exit the pact, as he promised during last year's campaign season.

Within the last week, White House officials have started to turn against staying in the pact. They're concerned that the agreement would now allow Trump to reduce Obama's commitment, and that environmentalists could use the agreement in court to prevent Trump from rolling back climate regulations.

Read more here.

WYDEN FILES ENERGY TAX BILL: The top Democrat on the Senate Finance Committee is pushing to overhaul the system of federal tax incentives for clean energy projects.

Sen. Ron WydenRonald (Ron) Lee WydenHillicon Valley — Presented by AT&T — New momentum for privacy legislation | YouTube purges spam videos | Apple plans B Austin campus | Iranian hackers targeted Treasury officials | FEC to let lawmakers use campaign funds for cyber FEC votes to allow lawmakers to use campaign funds for personal cybersecurity Senate votes to overturn IRS guidance limiting donor disclosure MORE (D-Ore.) introduced a bill on Thursday to streamline the 44 different federal clean energy tax credits into just three.

His bill, the "Clean Energy for America Act," would rely on a "technology-neutral" tax credit for utilities that expand their clean energy options, available in the form of either a production or investment tax credit. It would also create a tax credit for the development of cleaner-burning transportation fuel and another to incentivize energy conservation in homes and commercial buildings.

"This bill is built around the proposition that the law ought to reward innovative energy technologies with incentives that spark investment in the private economy," Wyden said in a statement.

Wyden's proposal -- which is a standalone version of several provisions Democrats included in a $1 trillion infrastructure proposal in January -- comes in the early stages of what is expected to be a lengthy, complicated debate over tax reform in Congress.

Read more here.

Who likes the bill?  Wyden's bill won immediate plaudits from a host of energy industry lobbying groups on Thursday.

After Wyden's office released the bill, the Business Council for Sustainable Energy, Biotechnology Innovation Organization, Growth Energy, American Council on Renewable Energy, Renewable Fuels Association and Solar Energy Industries Association released statements praising the legislation.

The wide-ranging support suggests the energy industry could rally around the bill during tax reform discussions this session.  

PRUITT ADVISER TO COAL: WE'RE HERE TO HELP: A top adviser to Pruitt told a coal industry meeting Thursday that the EPA wants to help coal thrive.

Mandy Gunasekara, senior policy adviser at the agency, highlighted Pruitt's message to the coal sector that not only are the Obama days over, but the Trump administration is specifically focused on coal, SNL Financial reported.

"I'm here to talk to you to make sure what we're doing in D.C. is beneficial for you," Gunasekara said at a conference in Florida. "If it's not working, I want to hear about it so that we can work it out."

She went on to say that she is "in a position where I can make a big difference and do things to help out and tear back the problems that stemmed from decisions of the last administration," and boasted that the EPA is going to "keep going" in its deregulatory streak.

UN CLIMATE CHIEF'S WARNING: The United Nations' climate chief says the United States will lost energy sector jobs if it pulls out of the Paris climate deal.

In an interview with Reuters, the UN's Erik Solheim warned that if the U.S. is not party to the Paris deal, "you will lose out."

"The main losers of course will be the people of the United States itself because all the interesting, fascinating new green jobs would go to China and to the other parts of the world that are investing heavily in this," Solheim said.

Solheim's warnings echo those from the business sector, who have told the White House that the United States needs to stay in the Paris deal or risk falling behind other countries that focus on implementing the terms of the deal.

Sources said this week that the White House is leaning towards leaving the Paris deal.


Executives of a former biofuels company in Pennsylvania were indicted on federal biodiesel fraud charges Thursday, the Harrisburg Patriot News reports.

Florida's state House passed legislation meant to incentivize wind and solar energy by making equipment exempt from property taxes, the Palm Beach Post reports.

Floodwaters are receding after heavy rain in Missouri this week, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports.


Check out Thursday's stories ...

-Conservation group sues Trump administration over sharks
-Dem senator pushes bill to overhaul clean energy tax credits
-Ivanka Trump to meet with EPA chief ahead of Paris climate pact decision
-Oil prices dip to lowest level in five months

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