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Overnight Energy: Biden faces calls to shut down Dakota Access pipeline | Hackers breach, attempt to poison Florida city's water supply | Daines seeks to block Haaland confirmation to Interior

Overnight Energy: Biden faces calls to shut down Dakota Access pipeline | Hackers breach, attempt to poison Florida city's water supply | Daines seeks to block Haaland confirmation to Interior
© Greg Nash

IT’S MONDAY! Welcome to Overnight Energy, The Hill's roundup of the latest energy and environment news. Please send tips and comments to Rebecca Beitsch at rbeitsch@thehill.com. Follow her on Twitter: @rebeccabeitsch. Reach Rachel Frazin at rfrazin@thehill.com or follow her on Twitter: @RachelFrazin.

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DOES THE DAPL FALL FAR FROM THE KEY? President BidenJoe BidenObama, Clinton reflect on Mondale's legacy Biden, Harris commend Mondale in paving the way for female VP Mondale in last message to staff: 'Joe in the White House certainly helps' MORE is facing calls to shut down the Dakota Access Pipeline after a court ruled that the Trump administration broke the law when allowing for the pipeline’s construction. 

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In recent days, progressive lawmakers, celebrities and indigenous leaders have asked the president to stop the operation, ahead of a hearing on the court’s decision. 

On Friday, Sens. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenWorld passes 3 million coronavirus deaths Poll: 56 percent say wealth tax is part of solution to inequality Democratic senators call on Biden to support waiving vaccine patents MORE (D-Mass.) and Jeff MerkleyJeff MerkleyA proposal to tackle congressional inside trading: Invest in the US Democratic senators call on Biden to support waiving vaccine patents Lobbying world MORE (D-Ore.) and Reps. Nannette Barragán (D-Calif.),  Raúl Grijalva (D-Ariz.) and Raul RuizRaul RuizBiden urged to appoint Latina prosecutor working on Floyd case as US attorney 33 Democrats urge Biden to shut down Dakota Access Pipeline House GOP holdouts muddle Trump vaccine message MORE (D-Calif.) wrote a letter to Biden asking him to shut down the pipeline project and meet with members of impacted indigenous tribes, including the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe. 

“By shutting down this illegal pipeline, you can continue to show your administration values the environment and the rights of Indigenous communities more than the profits of outdated fossil fuel industries,” the lawmakers wrote. 

“This is a critical step towards righting the wrongs of the past and setting our nation on a path of environmental, climate, and social justice,” they added. 

On Monday, celebrities and indigenous leaders released a similar letter. 

“The U.S. Court of Appeals ruled that the pipeline is operating illegally and gave your Administration the authority to shut down the pipeline,” the letter said. 

“We urge you to remedy this historic injustice and direct the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to immediately shut down the illegal Dakota Access Pipeline while the Environmental Impact Statement process is conducted,” they wrote. 

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Signatories of the letter include actors Scarlett Johansson, Mark Ruffalo, Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Don Cheadle, Chris Hemsworth, Leonardo DiCaprio, Kerry Washington, Jane Fonda, Ryan Reynolds and Shailene Woodley, musicians Cher and Cyndi Lauper and Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers. 

Prominent Native Americans who signed the letter include Jodi Archambault, a former Obama Advisor and citizen of Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and Tom Goldtooth the executive director, Indigenous Environmental Network.

On Tuesday, youth from the Standing Rock and Cheyenne River Sioux Nations will hold a run to show support for stopping the pipeline’s operation. 

A White House spokesperson told The Hill that the administration is reviewing the court’s decision on the pipeline. 

The spokesperson added that the administration will follow its legal obligations, including the requirement to consult with tribal nations on decisions that impact them. 

The push comes ahead of a court status conference this week on the court’s decision on what the federal government will do in response to the court hearing. 

The push also comes after President Biden revoked a permit for the Keystone XL pipeline, which would have transported oil from Canada to the U.S.

Read more about the push from Democrats, celebrities and indigenous leaders here. 

And speaking of pipelines, Biden’s getting some pushback on how he went about the Keystone cancellation…

AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka said he wished that President Biden hadn’t canceled the Keystone XL pipeline project on his first day in office and instead paired it with an announcement about job creation, according to an interview clip that was published Sunday. 

Trumka told Axios’s Jonathan Swan that the Laborers’ International Union of North America was right to condemn Biden for signing an executive order to rescind the Keystone XL pipeline permit, which the union said will cost 1,000 jobs and 10,000 projected construction jobs. 

“It did and will cost us jobs in the process,” Trumka said in the interview. “I wish he had paired that more carefully with the thing that he did second by saying here’s where we’re creating jobs.”

The AFL-CIO president said he thinks Biden realized he made a mistake by not jointly announcing job creation plans saying, “the next time the subject came up it was done the right way.”

White House spokesperson Vedant Patel responded to Trumka's Axios interview in a statement to The Hill, saying “President Biden has proposed transformative investments in infrastructure that will not only create millions of good union jobs but also help tackle the climate crisis.” 

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Environmentalists and Native American groups had protested the Keystone XL pipeline project for years, while TC Energy, the company in charge of the project, previously launched a lawsuit against the U.S. government that it dropped when former President TrumpDonald TrumpHouse votes to condemn Chinese government over Hong Kong Former Vice President Walter Mondale dies at age 93 White House readies for Chauvin verdict MORE took office.

Read more about Trumka’s interview here. 

WATER HACK: Officials said Monday that a hacker had breached and attempted to poison the water supply for the city of Oldsmar, Fla., last week, but had been unsuccessful.  

Pinellas County, Fla., Sheriff Bob Gualtieri announced at a press conference Monday that the hacker had gained control of the operating system at the city’s water treatment facility and had attempted to increase the amount of sodium hydroxide in the water from 100 parts per million to 11,100 parts per million.  

“This is obviously a significant and potentially dangerous increase,” Gualtieri told reporters. “Sodium hydroxide, also known as lye, is the main ingredient in liquid drain cleaners. It is used to control water acidity and remove metals from drinking water in water treatment plants.”

The hack took place Friday, with one intrusion occurring early in the morning, and a second in the afternoon. 

Gualtieri stressed that the treatment center’s operator immediately noticed the increase, with the hacker hijacking the mouse and opening various applications to make the change. The operator on duty immediately reversed the changes made.  

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“At no time was there a significant adverse effect on the water being treated. Importantly, the public was never in danger,” Gualtieri said. “Even if the plant operator had not quickly reversed the increased amount of sodium hydroxide, it would have taken between 24 and 36 hours for that water to hit the water supply system, and there are redundancies in place where the water had been checked before it was released.”

The sheriff said that his office was working with the FBI and other federal partners to investigate the breach, alongside state and local authorities, and had warned other critical infrastructure groups over the weekend. Gualtieri said the hacker responsible could potentially face state and federal felony charges if caught. 

Read more about the breach here.

NOT ALL IN ON HAALAND: Sen. Steve DainesSteven (Steve) David Daines15 Senate Republicans pledge to oppose lifting earmark ban Senate GOP to face off over earmarks next week Trump faces test of power with early endorsements MORE (R-Mont.) has indicated that he will try to block the confirmation of Rep. Deb HaalandDeb HaalandOvernight Energy: Treasury creates hub to fight climate change through finance | Sanders, Ocasio-Cortez introduce 'Green New Deal for Public Housing' | Tomorrow's energy economy demands reform at the Interior Department OVERNIGHT ENERGY: Interior says it isn't immediately reinstating coal leasing moratorium despite revoking Trump order | Haaland seeks to bolster environmental law targeted by Trump | Debate heats up over role of carbon offsets in Biden's 'net-zero' goal MORE (D-N.M.) as Interior secretary. 

“I'm deeply concerned with the Congresswoman's support on several radical issues that will hurt Montana, our way of life, our jobs and rural America, including her support for the Green New Deal and President Biden's oil and gas moratorium, as well as her opposition to the Keystone XL pipeline,” the senator said in a statement following a conversation with Haaland. 

“I’m not convinced the Congresswoman can divorce her radical views and represent what's best for Montana and all stakeholders in the West. Unless my concerns are addressed, I will block her confirmation,” he added.

Daines could stall the nomination by placing a hold preventing her from advancing through a procedural vote and instead forcing a cloture vote, which could take a significant amount of time.

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Haaland is likely to ultimately prevail though, as only a simple majority would be needed to eventually get her nomination to the floor.

Read more about attempts to block nominees here. 

A ROCK IN A HARD PLACE? The Pebble Limited Partnership, which is behind the controversial Pebble Mine project in Alaska, and its former CEO Tom Collier have been subpoenaed by the U.S. attorney's office in Alaska, according to the company that owns the partnership.

Northern Dynasty Minerals said in a statement Friday that the subpoenas for documents were issued as part of a grand jury investigation.

The investigation is “apparently involving previously disclosed recordings of private conversations regarding the Pebble Project,” the statement said. 

Last year, investigators with an environmental group pretended to be potential investors in the mine, and released tapes of their conversations with Collier and Northern Dynasty CEO Ronald Thiessen. 

On the tapes, the officials discussed extending the mine’s operation for a longer time and expanding their production to greater levels than they had indicated to Congress. They also claimed to have close relationships with government officials. 

Following the publication of the tapes, Collier stepped down from his position. 

In its new statement on Friday, Northern Dynasty said it was not aware of any charges against entities or individuals. 

It also said that the Pebble Partnership and Collier plan to cooperate with the investigation. 

Asked about the probe, Thiessen told The Hill in a statement that the company hasn't discussed the nature of the probe with the US Attorney's office, but that they "look forward to the opportunity."

“Northern Dynasty has long said that, while the Pebble Partnership seeks to permit a project with a 20-year mine life, that operation would develop less than 11% of the known mineral resource," he added. "With those caveats, we have been clear and consistent that Pebble could support additional decades of mining."

Read more about the subpoenas here. 

ON TAP TOMORROW:

  • The House Energy and Commerce Committee will hold a virtual hearing titled "Back in Action: Restoring Federal Climate Leadership."

WHAT WE’RE READING:

Second court says Enbridge can continue construction of $2.6B pipeline in Minnesota, The Star Tribune reports

A Disillusioned ExxonMobil Engineer Quits to Take Action on Climate Change, InsideClimateNews reports

Court order delays construction at ConocoPhillips' Alaska project, Reuters reports

UN chief urges leaders to start Cop26 climate negotiations online, The Guardian reports

Biden’s auto dilemma: How hard to push for electric cars? The Los Angeles Times reports

Scientists warn over misuse of climate models in financial markets, Reuters reports

'A big promise': Biden's climate spending pledge faces early test, Politico reports

ICYMI:Stories from Monday and the weekend…

Court pauses litigation on Trump-California vehicle emissions fight

Green groups threaten to sue Biden over Trump-era waterway permits

Hackers breach, attempt to poison Florida city's water supply

Biden faces calls to shut down Dakota Access pipeline

Pebble Mine company, ex-CEO subpoenaed in grand jury probe

AFL-CIO head said he wished Biden hadn't canceled Keystone XL on his first day

Daines seeks to block Haaland confirmation to Interior

FROM THE HILL’S OPINION PAGES:

Corporations should stop funding climate science deniers in Congress, writes Elliott Negin, a senior writer at the Union of Concerned Scientists