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Overnight Energy: Trump will review UN climate report | EPA chief liked racist Obama meme | Supreme Court rejects appeal of Kavanaugh ruling on greenhouse gases | Exxon puts $1M behind carbon taxes

Overnight Energy: Trump will review UN climate report | EPA chief liked racist Obama meme | Supreme Court rejects appeal of Kavanaugh ruling on greenhouse gases | Exxon puts $1M behind carbon taxes
© Greg Nash

TRUMP WILL REVIEW UN CLIMATE REPORT: President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump: 'I don't trust everybody in the White House' JPMorgan CEO withdraws from Saudi conference Trump defends family separations at border MORE said he'll "absolutely" review a new dire report on climate change from the United Nations, though he expressed some skepticism about its authors.

"It was given to me and I want to look at who drew it, which group drew it," Trump told reporters at the White House on Tuesday just before leaving for an Iowa campaign rally.

"Because I can give you reports that are fabulous and I can give you reports that aren't so good," he said. "But I'll be looking at it, absolutely."

The remarks were the president's first comments on the report since it was released by the U.N.'s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) late Sunday.

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Among its warnings were that the world ought to dramatically cut emissions in an unprecedented way by 2030 or face grave consequences such as coral reef die-offs and lower crop yields. Scientists predicted some of those impacts even with just 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 Fahrenheit) of global warming.

The report was commissioned in 2015 as part of the Paris agreement. Its authors came from dozens of countries and major institutions like the University of Oxford, Duke University and Japan's National Institute for Environmental Studies.

Read more here.

 

EPA CHIEF LIKED RACIST OBAMA MEME ONLINE: The head of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has a history of social media engagement that includes liking a racist meme of the Obamas and retweeting a renowned conspiracy theorist.

A look back at Andrew Wheeler's social media use across various platforms shows that the former energy lobbyist turned EPA administrator has for years engaged with and endorsed conservative-leaning and occasionally offensive material, HuffPost first reported on Tuesday.

Examples of his social media use include a meme he liked from his personal Facebook account in 2013 that depicted then-President Obama and first lady Michelle ObamaMichelle LeVaughn Robinson ObamaNoisy democracy, or rude people behaving like children? The Kavanaugh debate was destructive tribalism on steroids: Here’s how we can stop it from happening again Sanders weighs in on aggressiveness of Democratic protests: 'I am not a great fan of being rude or disrupting activities' MORE sitting at a sports game looking on intently while a white person's hand holds up a banana.

"Over the years, I have been a prolific social media user and liked and inadvertently liked countless social media posts. Specifically, I do not remember the post depicting President Obama and the First Lady. As for some of the other posts, I agreed with the content and was unaware of the sources," Wheeler said in a statement provided to The Hill.

More recently, Wheeler liked a tweet from right-wing documentary filmmaker Dinesh D'Souza last month that cast doubt on Christine Blasey Ford's sexual assault accusations against then-Supreme Court nominee Brett KavanaughBrett Michael KavanaughTrump says GOP wouldn't have won on Kavanaugh without speech mocking Ford Former campaign aide to New Jersey governor says she was sexually assaulted by his ex-staffer Flake: Congress should not continue Kavanaugh investigations MORE.

The tweet read: "Even if she told her psychiatrist the same thing--which she did not--one cannot corroborate one's own story. That requires independent evidence entirely missing in this case. #KavanaughConfirmation."

The same month, Wheeler also liked a tweet from Paul Joseph Watson, an editor at the conspiracy site InfoWars. His tweet said the blocking of Hollywood actor James Wood from Twitter was a result of the platform's biased views against conservatives.

Read more here.

 

Happy Tuesday! Welcome to Overnight Energy, The Hill's roundup of the latest energy and environment news.

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SCOTUS WON'T HEAR GREENHOUSE GAS CASE RULED ON BY KAVANAUGH: The Supreme Court on Tuesday declined to take up a lawsuit challenging a lower court ruling written by Justice Brett Kavanaugh when he was a judge on the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals.

The decision to pass on the case, announced during Kavanaugh's first day as an associate justice, means the Supreme Court will not consider the lower court's August 2017 ruling that struck down an Obama-era regulation pertaining to a greenhouse gas. Kavanaugh did not participate in the Supreme Court's decision on whether to take up the case.

Kavanaugh authored the ruling that overturned the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rule on hydrofluorocarbons (HFC), commonly found in air conditioners and refrigerators. He argued that the federal government did not have the jurisdiction to regulate the gas under the Clean Air Act.

Kavanaugh likely would have recused himself from this case. Justices routinely recuse themselves from participating in cases they previously heard or worked on in the lower courts.

Environmentalist groups sought to appeal the lower court's ruling and reinstate the 2016 regulation. But the Trump administration in August asked the Supreme Court not to take up the case since it was planning to submit a new HFC rule.

"Coming only a day after the world's leading climate scientists called for urgent action to curb dangerous carbon pollution, the court's decision lets irresponsible companies to continue harming our planet -- even though safer alternatives exist," said David Doniger, an attorney and senior strategic director of the climate and clean energy program at the Natural Resources Defense Council.

Read more here.

 

EXXON DOUBLES DOWN ON CARBON TAX CAMPAIGN WITH $1 MILLION: Exxon Mobil Corp. is making a $1 million contribution to an advocacy effort calling for a tax on carbon dioxide emissions.

The money is going to Americans for Carbon Dividends, the advocacy arm of the Climate Leadership Council, a group that has proposed a $43 per metric ton tax on carbon dioxide emissions. All revenue would be distributed to taxpayers via tax refunds or direct payments.

The proposal is backed by big businesses and former GOP policymakers like James Baker and George Shultz, who each served as secretary of State under a Republican administration.

"This is a significant step in furtherance of the Baker-Shultz carbon dividends proposal," said Greg Bertelsen, senior vice president of the Climate Leadership Council. "We are still very early in the process. The organization is now just three months old. With Exxon's contribution, we already have over $3 million committed to this effort."

Read more here.

 

ON TAP WEDNESDAY:

The Senate's Environment and Public Works Committee will hold a hearing on the conservation and recovery of key wildlife species including the Yellowstone grizzly bear and the Chesapeake Delmarva fox squirrel. The hearing comes as Republicans are pushing legislation that would make it easier to delist species from the Endangered Species Act. The Yellowstone Grizzly was delisted last year but a court last month reinstated the protections after the judge found best science was not considered in the decision.

 

OUTSIDE THE BELTWAY:

Colorado coal plant files for bankruptcy

Dutch appeals court upholds landmark climate change ruling

Denmark does u-turn on electric cars to reach fossil-free future

 

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT:

Check out stories from Tuesday...

New EPA chief liked racist Obama memes, retweeted conspiracy theorist

Trump declares state of emergency in Florida ahead of Hurricane Michael

Supreme Court declines to hear appeal in greenhouse gas case ruled on by Kavanaugh

Exxon contributes $1 million to carbon tax campaign

China cuts US gas imports in trade fight

White House announces plan to expand ethanol use linked to increased pollution