Overnight Energy: Report claims Perry in running for DHS chief | EPA science office clears Pruitt | Interior protects Montana monument

Overnight Energy: Report claims Perry in running for DHS chief | EPA science office clears Pruitt | Interior protects Montana monument
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PERRY TO HOMELAND SECURITY?: President Trump is considering naming Energy Secretary Rick Perry to be the new head of the Department of Homeland Security, Bloomberg News reported Wednesday.

Three people familiar with the discussions told Bloomberg News the Trump administration is eyeing Perry to replace John Kelly, who became White House chief of staff earlier this week.

Perry was for 14 years the governor of Texas, which has the longest border with Mexico of any state. DHS's jurisdiction includes Customs and Border Protection.

He ran for governor in 2012, and during the campaign accused his GOP opponents of not having "heart" on immigration.


Trump frequently berated Perry during last year's presidential campaign, but still ended up picking him for the Energy Department post.

Later Wednesday, however, an administration official told Greenwire that Perry is not in the running to lead DHS.

The Energy Department responded to the report on Twitter saying that Perry is happy where he is.

"While @SecretaryPerry is honored to be mentioned, he is happy where he is & focused on carrying out mission POTUS gave him to lead @ENERGY," the agency's press account tweeted.

Read more here.


INTERIOR PROTECTS ANOTHER MONUMENT: The Interior Department said Wednesday it would recommend no changes to the Upper Missouri River Breaks National Monument in Montana as part of its review of federal monument designations.

The Upper Missouri River Breaks National Monument is a 378,000 acre of federally-managed land protecting the upper Missouri River and surrounding countryside. President Bill ClintonWilliam (Bill) Jefferson ClintonOvernight Health Care: CDC details Massachusetts outbreak that sparked mask update | White House says national vaccine mandate 'not under consideration at this time' Biden rolls dice by getting more aggressive on vaccines Amanda Knox blasts 'Stillwater' movie: 'Does my name belong to me? MORE designated it a national monument on January 17, 2001.

"​​The monument is one of the only free-flowing areas of the Missouri that remains as Lewis and Clark saw it more than 200 years ago," Zinke said in a statement.

President Trump has ordered a review of all large monument designations going back to 1996, but the Montana monument is the third that Zinke has so far said he will protect.

He has said he will recommend shrinking or otherwise changing the 1.5 million-acre Bears Ears National Monument in Utah.

Read more here.


PRUITT CLEARED IN SCIENTIFIC INTEGRITY CASE: The Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) Office of the Science Adviser has cleared administrator Scott Pruitt of charges from a green group that he violated the department's Scientific Integrity Policy.

The accusation came from the Sierra Club, which in March complained to EPA's investigative officials that Pruitt may have broken policy by contending that carbon dioxide is not a "primary contributor" to climate change, a position out of line with the scientific consensus.

The office ruled that "the freedom to express one's opinion about science is fundamental to EPA's Scientific Integrity Policy even [and especially] when that point of view might be controversial."

The Sierra Club disputed the findings.

"Pruitt's statements on CNBC were not merely a scientific 'opinion,' as EPA's letter suggests," Sierra Club senior attorney Elena Saxonhouse said in a statement.

"Unfortunately, this letter effectively lets Pruitt off the hook for deceiving the American public regularly in high profile contexts."

Read more here.


GREEN GROUP BACKS ROSEN IN NEVADA SENATE RACE: The League of Conservation Voters' (LCV) political arm is endorsing Nevada Democratic Rep. Jacky Rosen's bid to topple Republican Sen. Dean HellerDean Arthur HellerDemocrat Jacky Rosen becomes 22nd senator to back bipartisan infrastructure deal 9 Senate seats most likely to flip in 2022 On The Trail: Democrats plan to hammer Trump on Social Security, Medicare MORE.

Nevada is considered one of the top Democratic pick-up opportunities in the country, thanks to victories last November by both Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonClintons, Stacey Abrams meeting Texas Democrats Biden says Russia spreading misinformation ahead of 2022 elections Highest-ranking GOP assemblyman in WI against another audit of 2020 vote MORE and now-freshman Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto (D).

The early endorsement is a signal that Rosen will continue to draw major liberal power-players to the closely watched race.

"In Congress and as a community leader, Jacky Rosen has been a strong supporter of investing in clean energy and protecting Nevada's parks and monuments," said LCV Action Fund Senior Vice President of Government Affairs Tiernan Sittenfeld.

"We are thrilled to back Jacky Rosen against Senator Heller, who has a terrible record of voting to undermine protections for our air and water while supporting every climate change denier in Trump's Cabinet. With a 13 percent lifetime score, Senator Heller sides with special interest polluters almost every chance he gets."

Read more here.


ON TAP THURSDAY: The Senate Energy Committee will hold a hearing on wildfires and firefighter safety.



Experts are questioning the conclusion that arson caused the West, Texas chemical plant explosion in 2013, the Houston Chronicle reports.

The pricetag for expanding the Vogtle nuclear plant in Georgia has risen to $25 billion, the Atlanta Journal Constitution reports.

German automakers will upgrade emissions reduction software on 5 million vehicles, the Associated Press reports.



Check out Wednesday's stories ...

-Interior protects Montana monument from review

-Court lets Dem states defend Obama ozone pollution rule

-League of Conservation Voters endorses Dem in Heller race

-EPA clears Pruitt of scientific integrity charges

-Perry under consideration for Homeland Security chief: report

-Gore: Trump has isolated himself from majority on climate


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