Overnight Energy: Protesters plan Black Friday climate strike | 'Father of EPA' dies | Democrats push EPA to abandon methane rollback

Overnight Energy: Protesters plan Black Friday climate strike | 'Father of EPA' dies | Democrats push EPA to abandon methane rollback
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NOT THAT KIND OF BLACK FRIDAY: Cities across the U.S. will see climate strikes on Black Friday with youth protesters aiming to bring attention to climate action.

The protests, organized by nine youth climate activist groups, will take place in cities including Chicago, Sacramento, Calif., and Colorado Springs, Colo.

The rallies are the latest in an ongoing series of organized national strikes demanding climate action from U.S. leaders. 

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Groups organizing the strike include the Sunrise Foundation and Extinction Rebellion Youth, both groups that recently staged sit-ins in Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiThe Hill's Morning Report - Sponsored by AdvaMed - House panel expected to approve impeachment articles Thursday Democrats seek leverage for trial The Memo: Pelosi-Trump trade deal provokes debate on left MORE's (D-Calif.) Washington, D.C., office to demand more be done on climate change.

The aim of Friday's protests is to turn America's attention away from the traditional shopping deals and towards an imperiled planet.

"On a day typically reserved for deals and shopping, youth in America will boycott this trend and call for a change to business-as-usual to confront the climate crisis," the groups said in a statement.

Read more on their plans here.

 

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

 

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RIP TO AN EPA ORIGINAL: William D. Ruckelshaus, the so-called father of the EPA, died Wednesday at age 87. Ruckelshaus led the EPA from its inception in 1970 through 1973 and again from 1983 through 1985, solidifying its mission to protect public health and the environment.

He also made headlines as deputy attorney general of the Nixon administration, refusing to fire special investigator Archibald Cox during the Watergate scandal.

Ruckelshaus had also been critical of the agency's direction under the Trump administration as well as Republicans' refusal to accept the science behind climate change.

"It's a threat to the country," he told HuffPost in January 2018. "If you don't step up and take care of real problems, and don't do anything about it, lives will be sacrificed." 

More on Ruckelshaus here.

 

METHANE PUSHBACK: Four Democratic senators are pressing the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to abandon a regulatory rollback they say benefits the oil and gas industry.

The agency has twice issued proposals to roll back a 2016 Obama administration rule on methane, a heat trapping gas more potent than carbon that is released during oil and gas production.

The latest proposal, released in August, would eliminate current requirements on oil and gas companies to install technology to monitor methane emissions from pipelines, wells and facilities.

A letter from Democratic Sens. Sheldon WhitehouseSheldon WhitehouseDemocrats rip Barr over IG statement: 'Mouthpiece' for Trump Trump brings pardoned soldiers on stage at Florida fundraiser: report Overnight Energy: Pelosi vows bold action to counter 'existential' climate threat | Trump jokes new light bulbs don't make him look as good | 'Forever chemicals' measure pulled from defense bill MORE (R.I.), Tammy DuckworthLadda (Tammy) Tammy DuckworthLawmakers call for investigation into program meant to help student loan borrowers with disabilities Overnight Energy: Protesters plan Black Friday climate strike | 'Father of EPA' dies | Democrats push EPA to abandon methane rollback Democratic senators push EPA to abandon methane rollback MORE (Ill.), Chris Van HollenChristopher (Chris) Van HollenGOP senator blocks bill aimed at preventing Russia election meddling Democrats rip Barr over IG statement: 'Mouthpiece' for Trump The Hill's Morning Report - Dem dilemma on articles of impeachment MORE (Md.) and Jeff MerkleyJeffrey (Jeff) Alan MerkleyMcConnell says he's 'honored' to be WholeFoods Magazine's 2019 'Person of the Year' Overnight Energy: Protesters plan Black Friday climate strike | 'Father of EPA' dies | Democrats push EPA to abandon methane rollback Warren bill would revoke Medals of Honor for Wounded Knee massacre MORE (Ore.) asks the EPA to withdraw the proposal entirety, saying it was unduly influenced by industry.

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"There is no substantive difference between an agency explicitly telling a company or industry to write a rule for it, and an agency telling a company or industry it will write whatever rule the company or industry wants. In both cases, the substance is all industry, whatever the letterhead, and the public interest is ignored," the senators wrote in a letter Thursday. 

The EPA has said the oil and gas industry already has an incentive to capture methane rather than flare it off.  

"EPA's proposal delivers on President TrumpDonald John TrumpThe Hill's Morning Report - Sponsored by AdvaMed - House panel expected to approve impeachment articles Thursday Democrats worried by Jeremy Corbyn's UK rise amid anti-Semitism Warren, Buttigieg duke it out in sprint to 2020 MORE's executive order and removes unnecessary and duplicative regulatory burdens from the oil and gas industry," EPA Administrator Andrew WheelerAndrew WheelerEPA to resume contract negotiations with employee union Overnight Energy: Critics call EPA air guidance 'an industry dream' | New Energy secretary says Trump wants to boost coal | EPA looks to speed approval of disputed industry pollution permits Latest EPA guidance weakens air protections in favor of industry, critics say MORE said in a statement when the latest rule was announced, referring to a 2017 order pushing for a review of regulation that "potentially burden" domestic energy production.

"The Trump Administration recognizes that methane is valuable, and the industry has an incentive to minimize leaks and maximize its use. Since 1990, natural gas production in the United States has almost doubled while methane emissions across the natural gas industry have fallen by nearly 15 percent. Our regulations should not stifle this innovation and progress." 

Oil and gas companies have largely been in support of regulating methane.

Read more on the controversy here.

 

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OUTSIDE THE BELTWAY: 

-Dover, Del., clears path for extending water lines to homes, businesses affected by contamination, WBOC reports. 

-Evacuations ordered after plant explosion in southeastern Texas, NBC News reports.

-China says it has already hit 2020 carbon reduction goal, we report.

 

ICYMI: Stories from Wednesday...

Youth protesters plan Black Friday climate strike

Americans could use renewable energy from solar, wind and hydro power more than coal by 2021

Democratic senators push EPA to abandon methane rollback

China says it has already hit 2020 carbon reduction goal