Overnight Energy — Sponsored by the National Biodiesel Board — Key Dem backs Green New Deal | Activists protest fossil fuel presentation at climate meeting | Judge won't allow 'preconstruction' work on Keystone XL

NEW BACKER FOR GREEN DEAL: Environmentalists got a powerful lawmaker to back their Green New Deal proposal to transition the country to 100 percent renewable energy.

Hundreds of protesters with the Sunrise Movement went to the offices of leading House Democrats Monday, and got Rep. Jim McGovern (D-Mass.), the likely next chairman of the Rules Committee, to back their proposal for a select committee charged with writing Green New Deal legislation.

"The answer is yes," he told protesters outside his Capitol Hill office after he was asked his position on Rep.-elect Alexandria Ocasio-CortezAlexandria Ocasio-CortezOmar controversy looms over AIPAC conference Senate gears up for Green New Deal vote Overnight Energy: Green New Deal vote set to test Dem unity | Renewables on track to phase out coal, study finds | EPA chief reportedly recuses himself from mine review MORE's (D-N.Y.) resolution.

McGovern's endorsement is key, because the Rules Committee will have to approve any proposal for a select committee before the full House does. He said he hopes to create the committee on Jan. 3, the day the House is sworn in and the day Democrats will vote on the rules to govern the next two years for the chamber.

McGovern went on to say that he wants to ensure that existing committees still have authority to review whatever legislation comes out of the new panel.

"We have some really good members of Congress who are on the Energy and Commerce Committee, and who are on Ways and Means, which would do the stuff. They're committed to this stuff as well. I think the controversy comes down to when you're going to say, 'we're going to take away their jurisdiction.' We're not saying that at all," he said.

"We're saying this select committee, you know, will come up with ideas, but it will go through the committees of jurisdiction."

McGovern later clarified to The Hill that while he supports forming a House select committee, he still wants to see details hammered out on what protesters are specifically calling for in terms of their plan.

"As I pointed out to them, their special select committee is evolving, it's changing. So I support a special select committee. But we need to work out the details, and I think we will, and it will be something that, you know, I think will help elevate this issue and focus attention on solutions," McGovern said.

The protests: Protesters also targeted the offices of the likely incoming Speaker, Rep. Nancy PelosiNancy Patricia D'Alesandro PelosiThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Pass USMCA Coalition - Dems look for traction following Barr-Mueller findings Democrats face dilemma after Mueller probe ends Raskin embraces role as constitutional scholar MORE (D-Calif.), and the next Majority Leader, Rep. Steny HoyerSteny Hamilton HoyerOmar controversy looms over AIPAC conference Raskin embraces role as constitutional scholar Hoyer says AIPAC remarks were 'misinterpreted' MORE (D-Md.).

Most of the hundreds of protesters moved out of the hallways when asked, but officers ended up arresting 138 for not moving, the Capitol Police said.

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PROTESTERS GREET TRUMP OFFICIALS IN POLAND: In other protest news, activists disrupted a presentation by Trump administration officials promoting fossil fuels at the United Nations climate conference in Poland Monday.

Approximately 100 protesters in the audience at the event, entitled "U.S. innovative technologies spur economic dynamism," seized a microphone and interrupted opening remarks by Wells Griffith, the senior director for energy at the National Security Council, Reuters reports.

The group waved banners, chanting, "Keep it in the ground."

"I'm 19 years old and I'm pissed," shouted Vic Barrett, who is a plaintiff in Juliana v. United States, a lawsuit filed by 21 young people against the federal government for allowing activities to continue that they say contribute to climate change.

"I am currently suing my government for perpetuating the global climate change crisis," Barrett said. "Young people are at the forefront of leading solutions to address the climate crises and we won't back down."

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JUDGE STOPS 'PRECONSTRUCTION' KEYSTONE WORK: A federal judge said the developer behind the proposed Keystone XL oil pipeline can't even haul pipe in preparation for the project.

Judge Brian Morris of the federal District Court for the District of Montana rejected TransCanada Corp.'s request Friday to complete various "preconstruction" activities in preparation for building the Canada-to-Texas pipeline, saying they could lead to the irreparable harm he is trying to prevent.

"The irreparable injury threatened by the ... preconstruction activities go beyond merely the ground-disturbing injuries alleged by plaintiffs," Morris, nominated to the bench by former President Obama, wrote in his order, saying the activities "could skew the [State] Department's future analysis and decision-making regarding the project."

Morris's order follows his November ruling that blocked President TrumpDonald John TrumpPapadopoulos claims he was pressured to sign plea deal Tlaib asking colleagues to support impeachment investigation resolution Trump rips 'Mainstream Media': 'They truly are the Enemy of the People' MORE's permit for Keystone XL. He ruled that the State Department didn't properly consider several factors in evaluating the pipeline and didn't properly explain why it is ignoring the Obama administration's climate change concerns.

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HOUSE PASSES OFFSHORE WIND BILL FOR TERRITORIES: The House passed a bill Monday to allow the Interior Department to lease waters near United States territories for offshore wind turbines.

The bipartisan Offshore Wind for Territories Act passed by voice vote. It would put territories like the U.S. Virgin Islands and Guam on a similar level to states for offshore wind purposes, including the process of evaluating, leasing and managing offshore wind farms.

"Too often, Americans in the U.S. territories are our forgotten citizens. The Offshore Wind for Territories Act empowers U.S. territories such as Guam and Puerto Rico to tap their offshore resources and strengthen their energy security, all while providing jobs and economic growth for hardworking Americans," Randall Luthi, president of the National Ocean Industries Association, said in a statement.

The United States only has one utility-scale offshore wind farm, but none in federal waters. Deepwater Wind, off the coast of Rhode Island, is in state waters.

 

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OUTSIDE THE BELTWAY:

Ricardo Salles, the incoming environment minister in Brazil, has said climate change is a "secondary" issue, the Guardian reports.

Oil prices fell Monday, erasing their gain from last week on OPEC's production cut, Reuters reports.

 

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT:

Check out Monday's stories ...

- Former Koch adviser to oversee Interior Department's FOIA requests

- The Year Ahead: Dems under pressure to deliver on green agenda

- Washington governor plans major climate initiatives

- Court blocks 'preconstruction' Keystone XL work

- More protesters storm Pelosi's office demanding climate change action

- Protesters disrupt US fossil fuels promotional event: 'Keep it in the ground'

- NYT's Krugman: US, Russia and Saudi Arabia are 'new axis of evil'