Overnight Energy: Trump EPA's pollution reduction numbers are lowest in a decade | Exxon, Chevron see oil production rise | Lawmakers gear up for climate hearings

Overnight Energy: Trump EPA's pollution reduction numbers are lowest in a decade | Exxon, Chevron see oil production rise | Lawmakers gear up for climate hearings
© Stefani Reynolds

TRUMP EPA WASTE REDUCTION NUMBERS LOWEST IN DECADE: The pounds of pollutants and waste that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has reduced under the Trump administration are at their lowest levels in a decade, according to an analysis by the Environmental Data and Governance Initiative (EDGI) published Friday.

EPA's 2018 reduction of pollution and hazardous waste is the second-lowest amount on record, dating back to 2008. President TrumpDonald John TrumpThe Hill's Morning Report - White House, Congress: Urgency of now around budget GOP presses Trump to make a deal on spending Democrats wary of handing Trump a win on infrastructure MORE's first year in office, 2017, was the worst year, according to the analysis.

According to numbers released in EPA's annual year in review this week, EPA in 2018 was responsible for the "treatment, disposal, or elimination of 809 million pounds of pollutants and waste."

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The number is nearly double the 462 million pounds of waste EPA discarded in 2017. However, both are in stark contrast to levels reported in previous years under the Obama administration and the last year of the George W. Bush administration.

Between 2008 and 2016, EPA reduced an average of 11,438 million pounds of pollutants per year, according to EDGI's analysis of EPA data.

The third-lowest year on record was 2015, during which the EPA reduced waste by 1,068 million pounds. The figure is roughly 25 percent more than the latest Trump administration numbers.

In 2016, former President Obama's last year in office, the EPA reduced 62,224 million pounds of pollution -- the highest number under his administration. EPA reduced 10,473 million pounds during former President George W. Bush's first year.

The EPA touted the waste number this week in its annual review as an indicator of the "major accomplishments and environmental progress during the Trump administration," which also showed that "America is on a path to a stronger, safer, and cleaner future."

The waste measurement is an alternative measurement to EPA's civil and criminal penalty data that instead considers the outcome of enforcement actions. Two things are considered in the waste calculation: "pollution reduced, treated or eliminated" and "hazardous waste reduced, treated, or properly disposed of," according to EPA.

Read more here.

 

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OIL OUTPUT UP AT EXXON, CHEVRON: Two of the nation's largest oil and natural gas companies reported growing oil production Friday, though their quarterly profits went in different directions.

Exxon Mobil Corp. said that in the fourth quarter of 2018, it produced 2.3 million barrels per day of liquids, a category that includes crude oil, natural gas liquids and other products. That was a 4 percent increase over the previous year.

Chevron Corp.'s total production of fossil fuels hit 3.1 million barrels of oil equivalent per day, a new record for the company and a 12 percent year-over-year increase.

But different corporate structures resulted in very different profit outcomes for the companies.

At Exxon, the nation's largest oil company, profits fell 28 percent to $6 billion, it said. But if impacts from the 2017 tax law are not taken into account, Exxon's profit was $6.41 billion, and a 72 percent increase.

Chevron's profit jumped almost 20 percent to $3.73 billion in the same time period.

Read more.

 

ON TAP NEXT WEEK: Get ready for a big week in energy and environment policy.

Perhaps most significantly, two House committees will simultaneously hold hearings on climate change. Democrats, who took the House majority last month for the first time in eight years, see the hearings as a big return for climate debate after years of Republican control.

The House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on climate and environment on Wednesday morning will have its hearing on "addressing the environmental and economic effects of climate change." The panel hasn't announced its witness list.

At the same time, the full House Natural Resources Committee will hold its hearing on "impacts and the need to act" on climate change.

That hearing will have two panels of witnesses. The first will include North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper (D) and Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker (R), and the second will feature academics and activists.

It's the first hearing of the year for both committees.

EPA Acting Administrator Andrew Wheeler will get his first vote in his bid to become the agency's official administrator. The Senate Environment and Public Works Committee will take a vote Tuesday to advance his nomination to the full Senate for consideration.

Also next week, Trump will give his annual State of the Union address to Congress. Politico is reporting that abortion will be a main focus of the speech. Check in to TheHill.com for Trump's remarks on energy and environment matters.

 

OUTSIDE THE BELTWAY:

BP plans to link bonuses for 36,000 employees to the company's greenhouse gas emissions reductions and support a shareholder move to formally align the company's goals with the Paris agreement, CNN reports.

A Canadian firm is scrapping plants to mine land that was once part of the Grand Staircase-Escalante monument, the Huffington Post reports.

Researchers say European colonizers killed so many Native Americans that it changed the global climate, CNN reports.

 

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT:

Check out Friday's stories...

-Senators call on EPA to restrict key drinking water contaminants

-Trump EPA's pollution, waste reduction numbers are lowest in a decade

-Exxon, Chevron report growth in oil production