Overnight Energy: Schumer votes against USMCA, citing climate impact | Republicans offer details on their environmental proposals | Microsoft aims to be carbon negative by 2030

Overnight Energy: Schumer votes against USMCA, citing climate impact | Republicans offer details on their environmental proposals | Microsoft aims to be carbon negative by 2030
© Greg Nash

USMC-NAY: Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerChuck SchumerMcConnell accuses Democrats of sowing division by 'downplaying progress' on election security Warren, Schumer introduce plan for next president to cancel ,000 in student debt Schumer lashes out at Trump over 'blue states' remark: 'What a disgrace' MORE (D-N.Y.) and other Democrats announced Thursday they would not support the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), citing the proposed deal's failure to address climate change.

"Despite the fact that it includes very good labor provisions, I am voting against USMCA because it does not address climate change, the greatest threat facing the planet," Schumer said in a statement.

"Instead of advancing global climate security by outlining binding and enforceable climate commitments from all three countries, the Trump administration provides significant incentives for manufacturers to move their business and their jobs from the U.S. to Mexico, where clean air and clean water regulations are much weaker," he continued.

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Schumer made his announcement shortly before the Senate was set to vote on the revised North American trade deal on Thursday. The measure overwhelmingly passed the upper chamber in an 89-10 vote after the House signed off on it in December following months of closed-door negotiations.

Several other Democrats opposed the trade deal citing climate concerns, including Sens. Kirsten GillibrandKirsten GillibrandSuburban moms are going to decide the 2020 election Jon Stewart urges Congress to help veterans exposed to burn pits The Hill's Campaign Report: 19 years since 9/11 | Dem rival to Marjorie Taylor Greene drops out | Collin Peterson faces fight of his career | Court delivers blow to ex-felon voting rights in Florida MORE (N.Y.), Kamala HarrisKamala HarrisScott Walker helping to prep Pence for debate against Harris: report California family frustrated that governor, Harris used fire-damaged property for 'photo opportunity' Moderna releases coronavirus vaccine trial plan as enrollment pushes toward 30,000 MORE (Calif.), Ed MarkeyEdward (Ed) John MarkeyMassachusetts town clerk resigns after delays to primary vote count Bogeymen of the far left deserve a place in any Biden administration Senate Democrats urge Amazon to recall, stop sales of explosive products MORE (Mass.), Sheldon WhitehouseSheldon WhitehouseLWCF modernization: Restoring the promise Restaurant owner defends calamari as 'bipartisan' after Democratic convention appearance Warren calls on McConnell to bring Senate back to address Postal Service MORE (R.I.), Jack ReedJohn (Jack) Francis ReedWhen 'Buy American' and common sense collide Hillicon Valley: Russia 'amplifying' concerns around mail-in voting to undermine election | Facebook and Twitter take steps to limit Trump remarks on voting | Facebook to block political ads ahead of election Top Democrats press Trump to sanction Russian individuals over 2020 election interference efforts MORE (R.I), Brian SchatzBrian Emanuel SchatzPolls show trust in scientific, political institutions eroding Emboldened Democrats haggle over 2021 agenda OVERNIGHT ENERGY: Senate Democrats map out climate change strategy | Green groups challenge Trump plan to open 82 percent of Alaska reserve to drilling | 87 lawmakers ask EPA to reverse course after rescinding methane regulations MORE (Hawaii) and Bernie SandersBernie SandersMcConnell accuses Democrats of sowing division by 'downplaying progress' on election security The Hill's Campaign Report: Arizona shifts towards Biden | Biden prepares for drive-in town hall | New Biden ad targets Latino voters Why Democrats must confront extreme left wing incitement to violence MORE (I-Vt.).

Sanders mentioned climate change as a factor in his opposition to the trade deal during Tuesday's night's debate, only to be cut off by the moderator who promised to address climate change later.

"But they're the same," Sanders.

Gillibrand called the deal a "missed opportunity to address the urgent threats we face from climate change. It fails to close loopholes for corporate polluters or set binding, enforceable standards to protect clean air and water." 

Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Andrew WheelerAndrew WheelerOvernight Energy: Smoke from wildfires has reached Europe | EPA postpones environmental justice training | UN report: Countries have failed to meet a single target to protect wildlife in last decade EPA postpones environmental justice training after White House memo OVERNIGHT ENERGY: House Democrats tee up vote on climate-focused energy bill next week | EPA reappoints controversial leader to air quality advisory committee | Coronavirus creates delay in Pentagon research for alternative to 'forever chemicals' MORE defended the deal's climate credentials on Twitter, saying it "provides some of the strongest environmental protections ever negotiated in a free trade agreement, including important provisions to combat marine litter."

Numerous Senate Democrats have announced their support for the deal, including progressive figures such as Brown and Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenWarren, Schumer introduce plan for next president to cancel ,000 in student debt The Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by Facebook - Don't expect a government check anytime soon No new taxes for the ultra rich — fix bad tax policy instead MORE (D-Mass.), a Democratic presidential candidate.

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Read more about the Democratic opposition here.

 

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GIVE US THE DEETS: House Republicans offered new details about their plans for environmental legislation after Democrats rolled out their own sweeping proposal last week, though leadership said the move was not a response to the Democrats' plan.

At a Thursday morning meeting first reported by The Hill, lawmakers pitched their colleagues on a variety of approaches that could be incorporated into the eventual package. 

House Energy and Commerce Ranking Member Greg WaldenGregory (Greg) Paul WaldenTrump order on drug prices faces long road to finish line Ignore the misinformation: The FDA will ensure the safety of any COVID-19 vaccine Hillicon Valley: Trump backs potential Microsoft, TikTok deal, sets September deadline | House Republicans request classified TikTok briefing | Facebook labels manipulated Pelosi video MORE (R-Ore.) told The Hill that the proposals would build upon a legislative package already endorsed by the minority, ranging from "forestry ideas" to investing in new research and planting trees.

"This really I think sets the stage for our involvement not only in climate but other environmental related issues," he said. 

House Select Committee on the Climate Crisis Ranking Member Garret GravesGarret Neal GravesOVERNIGHT ENERGY: Democrats push resolution to battle climate change, sluggish economy and racial injustice | Senators reach compromise on greenhouse gas amendment stalling energy bill | Trump courts Florida voters with offshore drilling moratorium The Hill's Coronavirus Report: Rep. Fred Upton says it is 'tragic' to see Americans reject masks, social distancing; Russia claims it will approve COVID-19 vaccine by mid-August Overnight Energy: House passes major conservation bill, sending to Trump | EPA finalizes rule to speed up review of industry permits MORE (R-La.) told The Hill that at the meeting, Republicans discussed a mix of both old and new bills. 

He said that a package, which could come out in the coming months, could include investing in research and development as well as efforts to make communities more resilient to the effects of climate change.

Thursday's meeting follows the announcement of a broad package being developed by Democrats that requires 100 percent carbon-free electricity by 2050, a mandate that includes a clean energy credit trading system. The transportation sector would also have to be emissions free by 2050 through increasingly tight vehicle standards. 

Buildings and industry would also be required to use materials from more eco-friendly sources and meet stricter building codes under the Democratic plan. 

The Republican effort is being led by House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthyKevin Owen McCarthyTrump's sharp words put CDC director on hot seat House GOP leader says he trusts Trump over CDC director on vaccine timing The Hill's Morning Report - Sponsored by The Air Line Pilots Association - Trump contradicts CDC director on vaccine, masks MORE (R-Calif.), whose office stressed in a Wednesday email to The Hill that it was not a response to the Democrats' proposal. 

"This is a policy conference to discuss how conservative solutions have been the greatest driver of emissions reductions in the world and how these principles are the road map for a cleaner environment here at home and around the globe," McCarthy spokesman Matt Sparks said by email. 

Graves told The Hill that at the meeting, GOP lawmakers also talked about "concerns related to some of the proposals that have been proffered on climate" by Democrats. He cited economic factors and possible reliance on foreign fuels. 

Environmental advocates, however, criticized the Republican conference based on the party's past record on the issues. 

"Let's get real: Congressional Republicans and Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpHR McMaster says president's policy to withdraw troops from Afghanistan is 'unwise' Cast of 'Parks and Rec' reunite for virtual town hall to address Wisconsin voters Biden says Trump should step down over coronavirus response MORE just blocked a package of clean energy tax credits from being included in the year-end tax and budget deal," Sierra Club global climate policy director John Coequyt said in a statement. 

Read more about their plans here

 

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MICROSOFT'S CARBON PUSH: Tech giant Microsoft announced Thursday it would seek to be carbon negative by 2030.

"The world's climate experts agree that the world must take urgent action to bring down emissions. Ultimately, we must reach "net zero" emissions, meaning that humanity must remove as much carbon as it emits each year," the company said in a release.

"While the world will need to reach net zero, those of us who can afford to move faster and go further should do so. That's why today we are announcing an ambitious goal and a new plan to reduce and ultimately remove Microsoft's carbon footprint."

The plan involves increasing its own internal carbon price while imposing it for the first time on its suppliers.

The company will also shift to renewable electricity and an all-electric vehicle fleet.

 

OUTSIDE THE BELTWAY: 

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Toxic refinery leaks imperiled Philadelphia residents, E&E News reports

Florida moves to purchase land to protect Everglades from oil drilling, we report

Germany agrees timeline, compensation for coal phase-out, The Associated Press reports

 

ICYMI: Stories from Thursday...

Schumer votes against USMCA, citing climate implications

Republicans offer details on environmental proposals after Democrats roll out plan

Florida moves to purchase land to protect Everglades from oil drilling