Overnight Energy: Trump reportedly set to weaken methane rule | Exxon appeals climate case to Supreme Court | California commits to 100 percent clean energy | Tribes sue over Keystone XL pipeline

Overnight Energy: Trump reportedly set to weaken methane rule | Exxon appeals climate case to Supreme Court | California commits to 100 percent clean energy | Tribes sue over Keystone XL pipeline
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TRUMP SET TO WEAKEN METHANE RULE: The Trump administration is poised to roll back existing regulations on methane gas as early as this week, The New York Times reported Monday.

The proposal would weaken an Obama-era requirement that companies must monitor and repair any methane leaks, according to documents the Times reviewed. The new rule is anticipated to allow for far more air pollution and leaks of the gas.


While methane only makes up about 10 percent of greenhouse gases, according to the EPA, the methane rule was key to the Obama administration's push to lessen the impacts of climate change. Methane, a primary component of natural gas is a noxious fume.

The two largest contributors of methane are leaks from natural gas systems and the raising of livestock.

Big picture: The proposed rule would be the third major step the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has made this year to change the way air pollutants are regulated.

Since January, the agency has taken strides to roll back two capstone Obama-era rules that aimed to regulate tailpipe emissions from cars and carbon pollution from coal fired power plants.

Read more here.


EXXON APPEALS MASSACHUSETTS CLIMATE CASE: Exxon Mobil Corp. is asking the Supreme Court to block Massachusetts's attorney general from demanding certain information in an investigation over climate change.

The nation's largest oil company says that state Attorney General Maura Healey's (D) wide-ranging demand for documents violates the "due process" clause of the Constitution's 14th Amendment, since Exxon is headquartered outside of Massachusetts.

It's an appeal of an April ruling by Massachusetts's highest court, which said that the company had to comply with Healey's civil investigative demand, akin to a subpoena.

"In the decision under review, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court compelled compliance with sweeping investigatory requests by the state's attorney general for decades' worth of documents concerning petitioner's knowledge of, and the relationship of petitioner's products to, climate change," the company wrote to the nation's highest court.

"It justified that exercise of judicial power based principally on advertisements, despite the attorney general's admission that the ads at issue did not speak to the subject matter of the investigation and even though the corporation did not even create or approve the vast majority of the ads."

Read more here.


CALIFORNIA COMMITS TO 100 PERCENT CLEAN ENERGY BY 2045: California Gov. Jerry Brown (D) signed into law Monday a bill that commits the state to achieving a 100 percent renewable energy power grid by 2045.

The clean energy bill sponsored by state Sen. Kevin de León (D), who is challenging Sen. Dianne FeinsteinDianne Emiel FeinsteinBottom line Trump vetoes bipartisan driftnet fishing bill Dumping Abraham Lincoln? A word of advice to the 'cancel culture' MORE (D) for her seat this fall, makes California the world's largest economy to commit to relying completely on renewable energy generated from solar, wind and water.

The bill additionally increases the state's clean energy goals from 50 percent by 2030 to 60 percent.

At the signing ceremony, Brown called the bill part of the state's commitment to achieve the benchmarks laid out in the Paris climate accord.

President TrumpDonald TrumpIran convicts American businessman on spying charge: report DC, state capitals see few issues, heavy security amid protest worries Pardon-seekers have paid Trump allies tens of thousands to lobby president: NYT MORE announced he was pulling the U.S. out of the agreement last year, making the U.S. the only nation on Earth not part of it.

"This bill and the executive order I am going to sign will put California on the path to meet the Paris agreement and beyond. It's not going to be easy, and it won't be immediate, but it must be done," Brown said.

De León called the legislation a "labor of love" and called climate change a real, dangerous and expensive threat. The bill aims to address both the scientific and economic setbacks of a warming globe, he said.

"Today California sends an unmistakable message to the nation and the world, regardless of who occupies the White House, California will always lead on climate change," he said at the presser.

Read more here.


TRIBES SUE OVER KEYSTONE XL PIPELINE: Two Native American tribes are suing the Trump administration over its approval of the Keystone XL oil pipeline, which they say will damage important cultural sites.

The Fort Belknap and Rosebud Sioux tribes brought the lawsuit against the State Department on Monday, claiming the pipeline was approved last year without consideration of the harm it could inflict.

The tribes are asking a court to rescind the permit, arguing that the president ignored their human rights and specific protections for tribes when he approved the project last year.

"All historical, cultural, and spiritual places and sites of significance in the path of the pipeline are at risk of destruction," the tribes told the federal District Court for the District of Montana in their filing.

The lawsuit is the latest in a series of ongoing legal battles which have stalled the pipeline's construction since the State Department issued a permit allowing it to move ahead in 2017.

Read more here.


ON TAP THIS WEEK: While the House and Senate will be out until late Wednesday, Congress is still expecting to hold a few key hearings and votes.

The House is planning this week to vote on an appropriations package that includes the funding legislation for the Energy Department and water infrastructure.

House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthyKevin McCarthyHouse GOP lawmaker: Trump 'put all of our lives at risk' Sasse, in fiery op-ed, says QAnon is destroying GOP Democrats seize on GOP donor fallout MORE (R-Calif.) announced Friday that the bill is on deck. It is the result of ongoing House-Senate negotiations, which Rep. Mike SimpsonMIchael (Mike) Keith SimpsonDuring a time of uncertainty, Great American Outdoors Act deserves our support Dentists want coronavirus testing kits before reopening MLB, Congress play hardball in fight over minor leagues MORE (R-Idaho) said are nearing the finish line as of Friday, with small items remaining to be hashed out.

The House Energy and Commerce Committee's environment subcommittee will dive into this year's aggressive wildfires with a hearing Thursday on the impact to air quality from the fires and what could be done to mitigate it.

The House Science Committee will convene its own Thursday hearing on the EPA's regulation of glider trucks, trucks with new bodies and old engines.

The trucks aren't subject to current pollution rules, and the Obama administration limited the number of glider trucks that manufacturers could sell. But the Trump administration tried last year to repeal that regulation.

The Science Committee has been investigating research that EPA staff conducted last year showing much higher pollution levels from glider trucks are than from completely new ones. The EPA's OIG agreed this week to examine the research as well.

The House Natural Resources Committee will also Thursday take up a bipartisan proposal to pay for the multi-billion maintenance backlog at national parks and within the Bureau of Land Management, a source confirmed to The Hill. The Restore Our Parks and Public Lands Act, which Interior Secretary Zinke supported in a tweet today, aims to fund the backlog largely through royalties from oil drilling on public lands.

On the other side of Capitol Hill, the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee will discuss liquefied natural gas exports and their European gas demand.



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Check out stories from Monday and over the weekend ...

- Trump set to weaken methane air pollution rule: report

-Wildlife group details growing illicit animal trade on Facebook

-Native American tribes sue over Keystone XL pipeline

-Exxon appeals Massachusetts climate case to Supreme Court

-California commits to 100 percent renewable energy by 2045

-EPA to plan one hearing on coal rule

-Poll finds support for business-backed carbon tax plan

-Pipeline spills 8K gallons of fuel into Indiana river

-EPA lost more than 1,500 workers in first 18 months of Trump administration: report

-Blue macaw parrot extinct in wild, study concludes