Overnight Energy: Climate data site closes during shutdown | Gillibrand backing Green New Deal | Bill would ban shark fin trade

Overnight Energy: Climate data site closes during shutdown | Gillibrand backing Green New Deal | Bill would ban shark fin trade

NOAA CLIMATE DATA FALLS VICTIM TO SHUTDOWN: The public can no longer access the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) climate data because of the partial government shutdown, now in its second month.

Visitors to the National Climatic Data Center (NCDC) website are redirected to a page that says, "Access is not available at this time due to a lapse in appropriation."

"NOAA.gov and specific NOAA websites necessary to protect lives and property are operational and will be maintained during this partial closure of the U.S. Government," the page reads.


The NCDC site provides archived meteorological data from ships that are at sea and moored, as well as drifting buoys. It also provides real-time access to weather model forecast data and access to multiple climate datasets. A key tenant of the center is public access.

Other NOAA sites are also being redirected to the same landing page -- governmentshutdown.noaa.gov -- during the shutdown.

"A number of the NOAA websites are not maintained during the lapse in appropriations and are redirected to the page you reference. I am unable to comment on the number of pages across the agency that are currently redirected," a NOAA spokesperson told The Hill.

The spokesperson did not comment on why the NCDC site was pulled down in its entirety instead of leaving up archived data. Weather data is still being collected and shared under NOAA's National Weather Service, as that work is considered critical.

"The issue is under further review," the spokesperson said.

Read more.


Happy Wednesday! The government shutdown clock is at 33 days. The shutdown fight intensified today with Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiCutting tariffs is better than cutting payroll taxes to boost the economy Pelosi speaks with Israeli president after Trump controversy In debate over internet speech law, pay attention to whose voices are ignored MORE (D-Calif.) disinviting President TrumpDonald John TrumpSarah Huckabee Sanders becomes Fox News contributor The US-Iranian scuffle over a ship is a sideshow to events in the Gulf South Korea: US, North Korea to resume nuclear talks 'soon' MORE from delivering the State of the Union address on Jan. 29.

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GILLIBRAND BACKS GREEN NEW DEAL: Potential Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Kirsten GillibrandKirsten Elizabeth GillibrandOvernight Defense: Two US service members killed in Afghanistan | Trump calls on other nations to take up fight against ISIS | Pentagon scraps billion-dollar missile defense program Sanders targets gig economy as part of new labor plan Senate Democrats push for arms control language in defense policy bill MORE (D-N.Y.) said she supports the "Green New Deal" proposal to shift the nation to renewable energy to fight climate change.

The New York senator told the liberal Pod Save America podcast Tuesday that "there's not a lot of details yet behind the Green New Deal" but "the platform of it is really exciting," and she supports it in her possible presidential bid.

"The way I see a green economy is this: I think we need a moonshot. We need to tell the American people 'we are going to have a green economy in the next 10 years, not because it's easy, but because it's hard, because it's a measure of our innovation and effectiveness,' " she said.

Gillibrand also said she wants to put a price on carbon, which would come through something like a carbon tax or cap-and-trade.

"If you really want to attack global climate change effectively, you should put a price on carbon, because what you're doing is you're incentivizing good behavior," she said.

"You're saying, 'if you want to be a polluter, fair enough, but you're going to have to pay a lot more, because you're harming the rest of us, and we're going to have to pay all those hospital bills.' "

Gillibrand had previously expressed support for carbon pricing, including endorsing the 2009 cap-and-trade bill in the Congress and backing carbon pricing last year as part of her Senate reelection campaign.

Read more.


LAWMAKERS LOOK TO BAN SHARK FIN TRADE: A bipartisan group of dozens of House lawmakers introduced legislation on Wednesday that would make it illegal to buy or sell shark fins.

The bill, led by Del. Gregorio Sablan (D-Northern Mariana Islands) and Rep. Michael McCaulMichael Thomas McCaulTrump moves forward with billion F-16 sale to Taiwan Pelosi warns Mnuchin to stop 'illegal' .3B cut to foreign aid Trump moves forward with F-16 sale to Taiwan opposed by China MORE (R-Texas), is meant to further crack down on shark finning, in which fishermen remove fins and release the rest of the animal into the ocean to die.

Finning is already illegal in U.S. waters, but the bill's supporters say that stopping the trade of fins would cut down on finning elsewhere, squeezing the market.

"The strong, bipartisan support for this legislation sends a clear message that we have to pay more attention to protecting the Earth's oceans and the life within those oceans," Sablan said in a statement.

"Banning the sale of shark fins is important, but just a small step towards giving the oceans the full respect they must have in federal law," he added.

Read more.



The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee will host a roundtable discussing the United States's role in the Arctic.

Energy Information Administration chief Linda Capuano will unveil and discuss the agency's Annual Energy Outlook at the Bipartisan Policy Center.

The United States Energy Association will host its annual State of the Energy Industry forum.



Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker (D) acted Wednesday to take the state into the U.S. Climate Alliance, the State Journal-Register reports.


The Vineyard Wind offshore wind project in Massachusetts agreed to take steps to protect whales from harm in building and operating its project, South Coast Today reports.

Pizza restaurants are still a source of strong demand for coal, Bloomberg reports.



Rob Jackson, chairman of the Global Carbon Project and Stanford's Earth System Science Department, says that there are strong economic arguments for the Green New Deal.



Check out Wednesday's stories ...

- Lawmakers propose banning shark fin trade

- Trump administration closes climate data webpage, citing shutdown

- Gillibrand backs Green New Deal to fight climate change

- Warren calls for FEMA administrator to step down during Puerto Rico stop