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OVERNIGHT ENERGY: Republicans put procedural delay on Haaland's nomination | Interior Department announces next steps in review of oil and gas lease moratorium | Judge approves $1.5B Daimler settlement in diesel emissions probe

OVERNIGHT ENERGY: Republicans put procedural delay on Haaland's nomination | Interior Department announces next steps in review of oil and gas lease moratorium | Judge approves $1.5B Daimler settlement in diesel emissions probe
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HAPPY TUESDAY! Welcome to Overnight Energy, The Hill's roundup of the latest energy and environment news. Please send tips and comments to Rachel Frazin at rfrazin@thehill.com. Follow her on Twitter: @RachelFrazin. Reach Zack Budryk at zbudryk@thehill.com or follow him on Twitter: @BudrykZack.

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HOLD UP: Two GOP senators have put holds on Rep. Deb HaalandDeb HaalandSenate panel advances Biden's deputy Interior pick Interior secretary approves new Cherokee constitution providing citizenship rights for freedmen Carter sworn in as House member to replace Richmond, padding Democrats' majority MORE’s nomination to be Interior Secretary, putting up a procedural hurdle that will delay the New Mexico Democrat's final confirmation vote.

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Republican Sens. Steve DainesSteven (Steve) David DainesGOP senator urges Biden to withdraw support for COVID vaccine patent waiver Overnight Energy: 5 takeaways from the Colonial Pipeline attack | Colonial aims to 'substantially' restore pipeline operations by end of week | Three questions about Biden's conservation goals House conservatives take aim at Schumer-led bipartisan China bill MORE (Mont.) and Cynthia LummisCynthia Marie LummisHillicon Valley: Global cybersecurity leaders say they feel unprepared for attack | Senate Commerce Committee advances Biden's FTC nominee Lina Khan | Senate panel approves bill that would invest billions in tech Senate Commerce Committee advances Biden's FTC nominee Lina Khan Senate votes to repeal OCC 'true lender' rule MORE (Wyo.) said they will force debate on Haaland’s nomination, which would last for 30 hours.

Despite the delay: Haaland is still expected to be confirmed since she’ll need just a simple majority to eventually get to the floor.

A statement from Daines’s office said the senator thinks it's important to have a floor debate on Haaland’s record.

“I will be forcing debate on Rep. Haaland’s nomination to Interior,” Daines said in a statement.“Her views will hurt the Montana way of life and kill Montana jobs. We must consider the impact she will have on the West.”

Lummis, in a statement, cited President BidenJoe Biden28 Senate Democrats sign statement urging Israel-Hamas ceasefire Franklin Graham says Trump comeback would 'be a very tough thing to do' Schools face new pressures to reopen for in-person learning MORE’s energy policies in her statement, adding that Haaland “will be a champion of this and even more radical policies.”

Haaland stressed during her Senate confirmation hearing that she’ll be implementing Biden’s agenda, not her own, and said fossil fuels will still play a role in the country’s energy mix.

Read more about the procedural move here. 

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But, with one step back comes a small step forward: Senate Majority Leader Chuck SchumerChuck SchumerBiden 'encouraged' by meeting with congressional leaders on infrastructure Republicans welcome the chance to work with Democrats on a bipartisan infrastructure bill Cheney sideshow distracts from important battle over Democrats' partisan voting bill MORE (D-NY) filed cloture on Haaland’s nomination on Tuesday, continuing the process toward her eventual confirmation vote. 

 

IN THE INTERIM: The Interior Department announced Tuesday that it will publish an “interim report” on its review of oil and gas leases on public lands this summer after President Biden froze new leases in January.

The report will be based in part on feedback the department receives at a virtual forum on March 25. Participants in the forum will include industry figures, labor organizations, environmental and natural resource groups.

“The federal oil and gas program is not serving the American public well. It’s time to take a close look at how to best manage our nation’s natural resources with current and future generations in mind,” Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Land and Minerals Management Laura Daniel-Davis said in a statement. 

“This forum will help inform the Department’s near-term actions to restore balance on America’s lands and waters and to put our public lands’ energy programs on a more sound and sustainable conservation, fiscal and climate footing,” she added.

Read more about Interior’s next steps here.

 

ALL SETTLED: A federal judge on Tuesday approved a $1.5 billion settlement for the German automaker Daimler and its subsidiary Mercedes-Benz over alleged cheating on emissions tests. 

Daimler will make the payment following what the EPA said in September was cheating involving about 250,000 vehicles sold in the U.S. between 2009 and 2016. 

They said: At the time, the company rejected the accusations, saying in a statement that it “denies the authorities’ allegations as well as the class action plaintiffs’ claims and does not admit any liability.”

The settlement, approved by D.C. federal judge Emmet Sullivan, included $875 million in civil penalties as well as the cost of recalling the vehicles and funding for mitigation projects in California, which was also a plaintiff in the case.

Read more about the settlement here.

 

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TAKING SIDES: The Biden administration is siding with a pipeline company in a dispute over whether it can seize land from the state of New Jersey in order to complete construction. 

In a brief filed Monday in support of PennEast’s position, the Justice Department argued that states aren’t exempt from a law allowing permit-holders from taking necessary property for infrastructure projects that were approved by federal regulators.

Next steps: The Supreme Court agreed to hear the case last month after a lower court ruled against the use of eminent domain to acquire land for the PennEast gas pipeline. 

Read more about its decision here. 

 

QUOTE OF NOTE:

Energy Secretary Jennifer GranholmJennifer GranholmOVERNIGHT ENERGY: Gas shortages likely to linger for days | Biden administration issues second shipping waiver amid fuel shortages | EPA orders St. Croix refinery to shut down for 60 days due to 'imminent threat' to islanders' health The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Biden expresses optimism on bipartisanship; Cheney ousted Overnight Energy: Colonial Pipeline restarting operations after cyberattack | Gas shortages spread to more states | EPA relaunches website tracking climate change indicators MORE discussed the importance of changes to the transportation sector in President Biden’s goal of reaching carbon neutrality by 2050 and pledged to put “billions of dollars” into electric vehicles.  

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"The transportation sector is the largest source of those emissions so we need to jam on the accelerator here. DOE is going to invest billions of dollars over the next few years in the technologies that are going to make that EV future a reality," she said during an event by the organization Securing America’s Future Energy. 

 

ON TAP TOMORROW:

 

WHAT WE’RE READING:

Illinois bill would ban celebratory balloon releases, Capitol News Illinois reports

Just Energy Group seeks bankruptcy protection after Texas loss, The Houston Chronicle reports

Republicans' new favorite study trashes Biden's climate plans – but who's behind it? The Guardian reports

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Florida state legislators advance bills to preempt local clean energy regulations, The Miami Herald and the Tampa Bay Times report

 

ICYMI:Stories from Tuesday…

Kerry calls for 'decade of action' on climate change

Rutgers to divest from fossil fuel industry

Interior Department announces virtual forum to review oil and gas lease moratorium

Judge approves $1.5B Daimler settlement in diesel emissions probe