Overnight Energy: French president defends Paris deal at UN | EPA climate science review could last months | Zinke puts 'Big Buck Hunter' in Interior Department cafeteria

Overnight Energy: French president defends Paris deal at UN | EPA climate science review could last months | Zinke puts 'Big Buck Hunter' in Interior Department cafeteria
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PARIS IN SPOTLIGHT AT UN ASSEMBLY: The United Nations General Assembly on Tuesday featured a warning from French President Emmanuel Macron that the Paris climate deal will not be renegotiated -- no matter what President Trump says.

Macron defended the 2015 climate accord during his General Assembly speech, saying "we won't go back" on the agreement.

The French president added that he "respects" Trump's decision to pull the United States out of the climate deal unless he can get a better deal. But that doesn't mean the rest of the world will buy into that plan.

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President Trump did not mention the Paris agreement or climate change during his General Assembly address on Tuesday.

But several administration officials have reiterated Trump's position on the agreement in the lead-up to the UN's annual meeting. Gary Cohn, one of his chief economic advisers, told foreign climate and energy diplomats on Monday that the U.S. is committed to pulling out of the deal.

Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott PruittEdward (Scott) Scott PruittOvernight Energy: Trump administration to repeal waterway protections| House votes to block drilling in Arctic refuge| Administration takes key step to open Alaskan refuge to drilling by end of year Trump administration to repeal waterway protections The Hill's Morning Report - Gillibrand drops out as number of debaters shrinks MORE told "Fox and Friends" on Tuesday that Trump has been "steadfast" in opposition to Paris.

He added that it took "courage" for the president "to stand in the Rose Garden in June and say to the world that he was going to put America's interest first and not be apologetic to the rest of the world."

Read more here.

 

PRUITT SAYS CLIMATE SCIENCE REVIEW COULD TAKE MONTHS: Pruitt said Tuesday that he expects his "red-team blue-team" review of the science behind climate change to take months, once it gets off the ground.

There's a framework being discussed on how it would occur," Pruitt said at the Concordia Summit, noting that other agencies, including the Energy Department, are due to participate.

"This would not be an overnight thing or something done in a month. It would likely last many, many months," Pruitt said.

Pruitt's plan would see the government recruit scientists to take different positions on, and debate the validity of, climate change, which is widely accepted by researchers and scientists.

Read more here.

 

COMMITTEE ADVANCES NOMINEES: The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee voted Tuesday to advance five of Trump's energy nominees.

Senators voted to easily approve Kevin McIntyre and Richard Glick to be Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) members, Ryan Nelson to be the Interior Department's solicitor, Joseph Balash to be Interior's assistant secretary for land and mineral management and David Jonas to be general counsel at the Energy Department.

Trump plans to name McIntyre FERC's chairman if he is confirmed. With him and Glick, the commission would have its full five-member roster.

The Interior and Energy departments currently have only two Senate-confirmed officials, making it difficult for the Trump administration to move on some of its major policy priorities at those departments.

McIntyre, Glick, Nelson and Balash were approved by a voice vote, with only Sen. Al FrankenAlan (Al) Stuart FrankenPoliticon announces lineup including Comey, Hannity, Priebus Scarlett Johansson defends Woody Allen: 'I believe him' Trump mocks Gillibrand after exit: 'She was the one I was really afraid of!' MORE (D-Minn.) voting against Balash.

Jonas's nomination was approved by a vote of 14 to 9, mostly along party lines.

Read more here.

 

EPA nominee due to argue against workplace rule in court: William Wehrum, Trump's nominee to lead the EPA's powerful air and radiation office, next week is due to argue on behalf of industry against an Obama administration rule limiting workers' exposure to silica.

Wehrum, a Hunton & Williams attorney, confirmed in a Tuesday court filing that he will head to the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit to argue against the Occupational Safety and Health Administration's (OSHA) silica dust rule.

His ties to industry and history of representing many companies that the EPA regulates have proven controversial since Trump nominated him to the EPA post.

While the OSHA silica rule has faced opposition from numerous industry groups, the Trump administration is nonetheless defending it against the challenge from Wehrum and others.

 

Senate nomination hearing postponed: Wehrum was due to face the Senate Environment and Public Works (EPW) Committee Wednesday for a confirmation hearing, but the hearing was postponed.

The Senate closed its week Tuesday due to Rosh Hashana starting Wednesday evening, so the EPW hearing on Wehrum and three other EPA nominees has been postponed.

The panel was going to consider Matthew Leopold to be the EPA's general counsel, Michael Dourson to head the chemical safety office, and David Ross to run the water office, along with Jeffrey Baran's nomination for a new Nuclear Regulatory Commission term.

The committee did not immediately reschedule the hearing.

 

BIG BUCK HUNTER AT INTERIOR: The Interior Department is encouraging its employees to go hunting, on the job and at its downtown Washington headquarters ... sort of.

The department installed a temporary version of the video game "Big Buck Hunter Pro" in the employee cafeteria on Wednesday. Secretary Ryan ZinkeRyan Keith ZinkeThe Hill's Morning Report - Gillibrand drops out as number of debaters shrinks BLM issues final plan for reduced Utah monument New policy at Interior's in-house watchdog clamps down on interactions with press MORE was on hand to kick off a employee competition, culminating next month, that rewards a sharp-shooting Interior staffer with a "Beverage on the Balcony" with Zinke in October.

The contest and the game -- a fixture in dive bars, and one which both of your trusty correspondents have extensive experience playing -- are designed to promote hunting, fishing and conservation at the department.

 

BRACEWELL HIRES ANNA BURHOP: Law and lobbying firm Bracewell has brought on Clean Air Act expert Anna Burhop to be a principal in its Policy Resolution Group.

Burhop comes from the American Chemistry Council, where she worked on numerous air regulation issues such as ozone. She previously worked for Republicans on the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee.

"Anna's extensive experience working on environmental and regulatory issues both in the private sector and on Capitol Hill will be a great asset to Bracewell's PRG team and our clients," Bracewell Managing Partner Gregory Bopp said in a statement.

 

AROUND THE WEB:

The Wall Street Journal examines the re-emergence of the North Sea drilling industry.

"Babe" actor James Cromwell has been charged for participating in a protest against SeaWorld in San Diego in July, the San Diego Union-Tribune reports.

Some cities and towns in Japan are transitioning to renewable power and micro-grids in the wake of the country's 2011 earthquake and tsunami, Reuters reports.

 

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT:

Check out Tuesday's stories...

-Major earthquake rocks Mexico City

-Trump EPA nominee to fight worker safety rule in court

-French president: Paris climate deal 'will not be renegotiated'

-EPA chief: Climate science review could take months

-Senate panel approves Trump energy nominees

-Hurricane Maria regains Category 5 status

-Pruitt: President 'has been steadfast' on Paris agreement

-Baseball star Syndergaard: Hurricanes may be 'global warming karma' for Trump pulling out of Paris deal

-EPA chief: We know humans contribute to climate changing 'in some way'

 

Please send tips and comments to Timothy Cama, tcama@thehill.com and Devin Henry dhenry@thehill.com. Follow us on Twitter: @Timothy_Cama@dhenry@thehill