Overnight Energy: Trump, California leaders clash over fires | Trump says oil prices should be 'much lower' | Zinke criticizes media coverage | Officials consider new truck pollution rule

Overnight Energy: Trump, California leaders clash over fires | Trump says oil prices should be 'much lower' | Zinke criticizes media coverage | Officials consider new truck pollution rule

TRUMP VS. CALIFORNIA OVER WILDFIRES: President TrumpDonald John TrumpAustralia recognizes West Jerusalem as Israeli capital, won't move embassy Mulvaney will stay on as White House budget chief Trump touts ruling against ObamaCare: ‘Mitch and Nancy’ should pass new health-care law MORE and California's political leaders are engaging in a war of words over the cause of wildfires that have devastated the state, killing at least 31 people.

Gov. Jerry Brown (D) blamed climate change at a press conference Sunday, days after Trump pointed the finger at the state's forest management programs.

"Managing all the forests everywhere we can does not stop climate change, and those who deny that definitely are contributing to the tragedies that we are witnessing and will continue to witness," Brown said in remarks directed toward the president.

Trump's argument, that extensive logging and a change in California's water practices could alleviate its fire problems, is regularly touted by Republicans who support logging industry groups out West. Those lawmakers include California GOP Reps. Kevin McCarthyKevin Owen McCarthyTrump leaves GOP in turmoil with shutdown looming McCarthy calls on incoming Democrats to embrace bipartisanship, not 'food fight' or investigations GOP congresswoman says she opted out of NRCC run because McCarthy had 'a different plan' MORE and Devin NunesDevin Gerald NunesSchiff plans to obtain Deutsche Bank records of Trump's personal finances Comey’s confession: dossier not verified before, or after, FISA warrant GOP struggles to find right Republican for Rules MORE, who have long fought for more water access in their districts in California's Central Valley.

"There is no reason for these massive, deadly and costly forest fires in California except that forest management is so poor," Trump tweeted late Friday, threatening to withhold federal funds even as firefighters in the state grappled with the blazes.

"Billions of dollars are given each year, with so many lives lost, all because of gross mismanagement of the forests. Remedy now, or no more Fed payments!" Trump tweeted.

California lawmakers and fire experts quickly denounced Trump's comments as partisan posturing.

"Lives have been lost. Entire towns have been burned to the ground. Cars abandoned on the side of the road. People are being forced to flee their homes. This is not a time for partisanship. This is a time for coordinating relief and response and lifting those in need up," California Gov.-elect Gavin Newsom (D) tweeted.

Others pointed out that many of the fires scorching the state are not in fact burning in forests at all, but on hillsides near city centers and coastlines.

 

Appropriations coming?: Despite Trump's threat to cut off federal funding to California over its forest management, Congress might appropriate some extra money to the wildfire effort.

Congress is facing a Dec. 7 deadline to pass legislation to fund most of the government, and lawmakers could attach special disaster funding to that bill.

A spokesman for Rep. Nita LoweyNita Sue LoweyThe Year Ahead: Tough tests loom for Trump trade agenda Oval Office clash ups chances of shutdown Overnight Defense: Trump, Dem leaders fight before cameras over border wall | GOP skeptical of having military build wall | US spars with Russia, Venezuela over bomber deployment MORE (N.Y.), the top Democrat on the House Appropriations Committee and its likely chairman when the party takes over in January, said Democrats will insist on money for the wildfires and other recent natural disasters.

"Congress must build upon the down payment agreed in September by swiftly passing an emergency supplemental appropriations bill in the lame duck session that will assist the communities affected by Hurricane Florence, Hurricane Michael, Typhoon Yutu, and the wildfires burning throughout the West," the spokesman said.

Blair Taylor, a spokesman for Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Richard ShelbyRichard Craig ShelbyOn The Money: Trump leaves GOP in turmoil with shutdown looming | Trump names Mulvaney acting chief of staff | China agrees to 3-month freeze of auto tariffs | Dem to seek Deutsche Bank records of Trump's personal finances The Hill's Morning Report — Trump maintains his innocence amid mounting controversies Trump leaves GOP in turmoil with shutdown looming MORE (R-Ala.), left the door open for disaster funding for the wildfires, saying the panel's priority is the Dec. 7 funding deadline.

"As we set about that work, we will keep a close eye on this and other areas with a disaster declaration and remain in close contact with those states and the administration regarding need," he said.

Read more on the wildfires here.

 

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

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TRUMP SLAMS OPEC OVER OIL PRICES: Trump on Monday said he hopes Saudi Arabia and OPEC don't cut oil production hours after the Saudi energy minister indicated the country would reduce its output next month.

"Hopefully, Saudi Arabia and OPEC will not be cutting oil production. Oil prices should be much lower based on supply!" Trump tweeted Monday afternoon.

The president, who has no public events scheduled for Monday, commented on oil prices the same day Saudi Arabia said it would cut its oil output by 500,000 barrels per day in December.

CNN reported that Saudi Energy Minister Khalid Al Falih said members of OPEC could further reduce supply next year to balance the market. The organization could reach a decision at its Dec. 6 meeting in Vienna.

"The consensus among all members is that we need to do whatever it takes to balance the market," Al Falih said, according to CNN. "If that means trimming supply by a million [barrels per day], we will do it."

Read more.

 

ZINKE CALLS REPORTING ON HIS SCANDALS 'B.S.': Interior Secretary Ryan ZinkeRyan Keith ZinkeOvernight Energy — Sponsored by the National Biodiesel Board — Trump EPA to roll out plan for fighting lead exposure | Top Interior lawyer once said women shouldn't be NFL referees | California moving toward electric bus fleet by 2040 Top lawyer at Interior once said women shouldn’t be NFL referees because they PMS Alaska oil and gas lease sale nets .5 million MORE took to a conservative talk show to slam reporting on his ethics scandals as "B.S."

Speaking Friday on "Montana Talks," Zinke took particular issue with Politico's recent report that he is looking for jobs outside of the Trump administration. But he used that story to criticize mainstream media writ large for its reporting on allegations of coziness with officials in industries he regulates, among other issues.

"They're very angry, and truth doesn't matter to these people anymore," Zinke said of mainstream journalists, saying that President Trump "nearly [got] assaulted" by CNN's Jim Acosta.

"You know what, I do my job, I disregard the B.S.," Zinke said of the Politico story in a fiery interview in which he repeatedly blamed the left and liberals in the media for his scandals.

"You know, it comes from the same liberal reporters that have lost their ability to tell the truth," he continued. "Here's one for you: I think I'm going to probably be the commander of Space Command," he joked.

Read more.

 

TRUMP OFFICIALS CONSIDER NEW TRUCK POLLUTION RULE: The Trump administration is planning to formally consider major new restrictions on a key pollutant produced by heavy-duty diesel trucks.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is due to kick off the consideration process this week for a regulation that would further restrict allowable nitrogen oxides (NOx) emissions from big trucks, two sources familiar with the initiative said. Reuters first reported the plans Monday.

The rule would be a rare move by the Trump administration to consider a stringent new regulation. In contrast, the EPA under President Trump has taken dozens of actions intended to roll back or eliminate regulations.

Read more.

 

ON TAP TUESDAY:

Undersecretary of Energy Mark Menezes will speak at an Atlantic Council event on the landscape for United States liquefied natural gas (LNG).

The House Rules Committee will meet to set rules for the House's debate of the Manage our Wolves Act, which would remove Endangered Species Act protections from the gray wolf.

 

OUTSIDE THE BELTWAY:

A former employee at Wisconsin's environmental agency says she was pressured to approve a golf course on sensitive wetlands, Wisconsin Public Radio reports.

Utah state lawmakers want to commission a study to determine the value of federal lands in Utah, in order to send a bill to the federal government, the Deseret News reports.

Protesters in the United Kingdom glued their hands to the building housing the government's energy agency, the Guardian reports.

 

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT:

Check out stories from Monday and the weekend ...

- Trump, California battle over climate and cause of fires

- Trump: Oil prices should be much lower

- Zinke slams reporting on his scandals

- Trump: 'Proper forest management' can stop 'devastation' in California