Overnight Energy: Keystone to restart Tuesday | Michigan cuts deal to keep oil pipeline open | Greens, coal gear up for climate rule hearing

Overnight Energy: Keystone to restart Tuesday | Michigan cuts deal to keep oil pipeline open | Greens, coal gear up for climate rule hearing

KEYSTONE COMING BACK ONLINE: The Keystone pipeline will return to service on Tuesday, operators announced, nearly two weeks after spilling about 5,000 barrels of oil in rural South Dakota.

Keystone operator TransCanada said the pipeline will operate at reduced pressure "to ensure a safe and gradual increase in the volume of crude oil moving through the system."

The company said federal pipeline safety regulators had signed off on plans for a "safe and controlled return to service."

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Keystone leaked 5,000 barrels of oil, or about 210,000 gallons, on Nov. 16, causing a section of the 2,147-mile pipeline to go offline. TransCanada said on Friday that it had cleaned up some of the 44,000 gallons of the oil spilled from Keystone in Marshall County, South Dakota.

Read more here.

 

Leaks top TransCanada projections: Spills from Keystone have so far leaked more oil, more often than TransCanada predicted when they applied to build and operate the pipeline, Reuters reported Monday.

According to documents, TransCanada Corp. and a risk management company told regulators they estimated the risk of a Keystone leak of more than 50 barrels of oil was "not more than once every seven to 11 years over the entire length of the pipeline in the United States."

In South Dakota, the firms estimated the pipeline would leak "no more than once every 41 years."

The leak comes as TransCanada aims to secure the permits for its Keystone XL pipeline expansion. Nebraska regulators approved a plan allowing the pipeline to run through the state last week.

Read more here.

 

What lies ahead for KXL: While that approval was a key moment in the Keystone XL saga, it wasn't the last word on the project.

And in a way, it raises more questions than answers about Keystone XL's future.

Developers of the pipeline still need to secure federal permits for the project, and opponents are suing every step of the way. Because the route Nebraska approved is different from the one TransCanada proposed, greens have also raised questions about the validity of existing permits.

TransCanada is also conducting an economic review of the project to ensure it's still viable, and opponents are gearing up for massive protests against the project as early as next spring.

For a look at what's next for Keystone, click here.  

 

MICHIGAN, ENBRIDGE REACH DEAL ON LINE 5: Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder (R) and Enbridge Inc. reached a deal Monday for the company to increase safety precautions on its controversial Line 5 petroleum pipeline under the Straits of Mackinac.

The agreement means Enbridge can, for the time being, keep operating the line, despite intense scrutiny in recent years from regulators and environmentalists.

Line 5 is decades old, and regulators have said it is at risk of leaking due to corrosion, anchors, missing coating and other factors.

"Business as usual by Enbridge is not acceptable and we are going to ensure the highest level of environmental safety standards are implemented to protect one of Michigan's most valuable natural resources," Snyder said in a statement.

"The items required in this agreement are good strides forward. The state is evaluating the entire span of Enbridge's Line 5 pipeline and its future, but we cannot wait for the analyses to be completed before taking action to defend our waterways."

Read more here.

 

CLEAN POWER PLAN FANS, FOES TO GATHER IN WEST VIRGINIA: Supporters and opponents of the Clean Power Plan are preparing for a two-day Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) hearing starting tomorrow on the Trump administration's proposed repeal.

EPA head Scott PruittEdward (Scott) Scott PruittEnvironmentalists renew bid to overturn EPA policy barring scientists from advisory panels Six states sue EPA over pesticide tied to brain damage Overnight Energy: Trump EPA looks to change air pollution permit process | GOP senators propose easing Obama water rule | Green group sues EPA over lead dust rules MORE announced the Charleston, W.Va., hearing earlier this month, as part of an effort to show that the administration cares about the impact of the regulation on the coal industry and the areas that depend on it.

Expect interests on both sides to repeat the arguments they've made in recent years about the rule, which envisioned a 32 percent cut in the power sector's carbon dioxide emissions by 2030.

"The Clean Power Plan is literally a life-saver: It would prevent 3,600 premature deaths and 90,000 asthma attacks every year by 2030 and would also lower electricity bills by roughly 8 percent -- the list of benefits goes on and on," Mary Anne Hitt, director of the Sierra Club's Beyond Coal campaign, wrote in an op-ed Monday in The Hill.

"By cleaning up air pollution and reducing dangerous emissions that threaten our climate, it gives our kids a fighting chance at a safe, sustainable future."

The coal industry disagrees.

"The Clean Power Plan was intended to commandeer every state's electricity grid under the suspicious auspices of addressing climate change. The EPA assigned each state, including West Virginia, a target for reducing emissions of carbon dioxide -- for which reasonably available technology did not exist," wrote West Virginia Coal Association head Bill Raney and National Mining Association head Hal Quinn in the Charleston Gazette-Mail.

ClimateWire said nearly 300 people are planning to give testimony, and some groups have booked multiple speaking slots.

 

ON TAP TUESDAY I: The Senate Environment and Public Works Committee will hold a nomination hearing for three nominees for the Tennessee Valley Authority board of directors.  

 

ON TAP TUESDAY II: Steven Winberg, the new assistant secretary for fossil energy at the Department of Energy, will speak at a Center for Strategic and International Studies event on carbon capture technology.

 

ALSO STARTING TUESDAY, check out The Hill's new daily podcasts. Journalists Alexis Simendinger and Niv Elis provide a behind-the-scenes view of the latest breaking developments, drilling deep to get to the heart of what's happening, and why it matters to you. Listen to AM View weekday mornings, PM View weekday afternoons, and Power Politics on the weekend.

Subscribe now: Apple Podcasts | Soundcloud | Stitcher | Google Play | TuneIn

 

FROM THE HILL'S OPINION PAGE:

Devin Hartman, the electricity policy manager at the R Street Institute, writes that Congress should get involved to stop a Department of Energy plan to prop up the coal and nuclear sectors.

 

AROUND THE WEB:

Former United Nations climate chief Christiana Figueres has signed on to advise Formula E, the international electric vehicle racing organization, Reuters reports.

Two firms are putting up solar panels inside the Chernobyl zone at an initial cost of around $1.2 million, Bloomberg reports.

A train carrying molten sulfur derailed in central Florida and local officials advised residents to stay indoors, NPR reports.

 

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT:

Check out stories from Monday and the weekend ...

-Keystone pipeline to restart operations on Tuesday

-Michigan gets deal to keep controversial oil pipeline running

-Keystone spills larger than company predicted before it was built

-44K gallons recovered so far from Keystone pipeline spill

-Five things to watch in the new Keystone fight

-Whitefish resumes repair work in Puerto Rico after being paid

 

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