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OVERNIGHT ENERGY: Graham, Sullivan signal possible support for Haaland confirmation | Agency says Biden leasing pause won't impact 2021 energy production | Senate panel unanimously advances Biden pick for deputy Energy chief

OVERNIGHT ENERGY: Graham, Sullivan signal possible support for Haaland confirmation | Agency says Biden leasing pause won't impact 2021 energy production | Senate panel unanimously advances Biden pick for deputy Energy chief
© Washington Examiner/Pool

 

THE WEEKEND’S IN SIGHT!

Welcome to Overnight Energy, your source for the day’s energy and environment news. 

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DEB AND FLOW: Graham, Sullivan signal possible support for Haaland confirmation

Four Republican senators, including Sens. Lindsey Graham (S.C.) and Dan Sullivan (Alaska), have signaled they could vote with Democrats to confirm 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 (D-N.M.), President BidenJoe BidenVirginia GOP gubernatorial nominee acknowledges Biden was 'legitimately' elected BuzzFeed News finds Biden's private Venmo account Kid reporter who interviewed Obama dies at 23 MORE's pick to lead the Interior Department. 

Graham and Sullivan were joined by fellow Republicans Sens. Lisa MurkowskiLisa Ann MurkowskiSenate panel deadlocks over Biden pick to lead DOJ civil rights division Senate GOP dismayed by vote to boot Cheney Cheney set to be face of anti-Trump GOP MORE (Alaska) and Susan Collins (Maine) in supporting the advancement during the procedural vote. Murkowski and Collins have previously announced that they would support the nomination. 

A spokesperson for Sullivan indicated in an email that the senator hadn't made his decision on the nomination yet. 

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"Senator Sullivan had another hour-long meeting with Congresswoman Haaland yesterday and is following up on numerous commitments Haaland has made to him and continuing to evaluate her responses to questions he has raised," said spokesperson Nate Adams. 

What does this mean for the final vote? Votes on procedural measures ahead of a confirmation vote are often viewed as previews of what final vote tallies could look like, although they’re not guaranteed to be identical. 

The nomination has become a political flashpoint, as supporters hail the historic nature of appointing a Native American woman to the cabinet, particularly over a department with significant responsibility to tribes, while opponents have gone after her stances on fossil fuels.

Read the full story here

 

ENERGY SUPPORT: Senate panel unanimously advances Biden pick for deputy Energy chief

The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee voted 20-0 Thursday to advance the nomination of David Turk to become deputy Energy secretary.

Both Chairman Joe ManchinJoe ManchinFormer OMB pick Neera Tanden to serve as senior adviser to Biden The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Masks off: CDC greenlights return to normal for vaccinated Americans Jill Biden, Jennifer Garner go mask-free on vaccine-promoting West Virginia trip MORE (D-W.Va.) and ranking member John BarrassoJohn Anthony BarrassoBiden says he and GOP both 'sincere about' seeking infrastructure compromise Senate panel advances Biden's deputy Interior pick The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Biden expresses optimism on bipartisanship; Cheney ousted MORE (R-Wyo.) praised Turk’s experience on energy policy.

“I was highly impressed by Mr. Turk at our hearing last week. He clearly has a firm grasp on the wide range of issues facing the Department of Energy,” Manchin said in his opening statement.

Turk, who served on the National Security Council and in the State Department during the Obama administration, became deputy executive director of the International Energy Agency after Obama left office.

A rare agreement on an energy nominee: The Senate panel has frequently been at odds in the past over President Biden’s nominees and policies on energy and the environment, with committee Republicans frequently arguing Biden's policies will hurt jobs and economic growth.

Read more about the vote here

 

LEASE YOU CAN DO: Agency says Biden leasing pause won't impact 2021 energy production

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President Biden’s temporary moratorium on leasing federal lands and waters for oil and gas drilling is expected to have “no effects” until 2022, the Energy Information Administration (EIA) said this week. 

“No effects will likely occur until 2022 because there is roughly a minimum eight-to-ten month delay from leasing to production in onshore areas,” the EIA said in its "short-term energy outlook." 

It forecasted that in 2022, the change will result in a dip of less than 100,000 barrels of crude oil per day. As of 2018, the country produced an average of nearly 11 million barrels per day of crude oil. 

In a January executive order, Biden temporarily paused the issuance of new oil and gas leases “pending completion of a comprehensive review and reconsideration of Federal oil and gas permitting and leasing practices.”

Read more about the EIA’s determination here

 

THANK U, NEXTCAR: DoE awards $18 million for automated vehicles

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The Department of Energy has awarded $18 million in funding to four automotive projects it says will advance the White House’s target of net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.

The funds will be awarded as part of phase II of Next-Generation Energy Technologies for Connected and Automated On-Road Vehicles, a program launched in 2016 by the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy. The program works to develop Connected and Automated Vehicle technology, with its first phase emphasizing the development of such technology for all vehicle classes.

The second phase will emphasize light-duty passenger vehicles and target a 30 percent overall cut in energy usage. Such vehicles comprise nearly 60 percent of all vehicles’ energy consumption, according to the department.

Read more about the new funding award here

 

WHAT’S MY LINE: Lawmakers aim to incentivize weatherizing power lines  

A new Senate bill aims to incentivize companies to weatherize the power grid and prevent power lines from starting wildfires. 

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The legislation, introduced Thursday by Democratic Oregon Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley, would create an annual $10 billion matching grant program for companies that want to reduce the risk of their power lines from causing wildfires or seek to make the grid more resilient to natural disasters. 

“No American should have to worry about their life being at risk because they’ve been stranded for days or weeks on end without electricity, or because their community is on the verge of being enveloped in a catastrophic wildfire started by a power line spark,” Merkley said in a statement.

Read more about the bill here:

 

DID THEY FOLLOW THE RECOMMENDATIONS? An International regulator said his organization is looking into whether Texas followed recommendations his organization and federal regulators laid out in 2011 for how to prevent blackouts during winter storms during a Senate hearing on grid reliability. 

“We will know the answer to that when we complete our inquiry into this most recent event,” said James Robb, President of North American Electric Reliability Corporation. “The recommendations that were put in that report were not subject to audit and compliance monitoring from our agency so I really don't know the answers to what actions were actually taken.”

“Considering the massiveness of the failure in Texas, I think that they probably didn’t follow your recommendations very well,” replied Sen. Mazie HironoMazie Keiko HironoMore than 75 Asian, LGBTQ groups oppose anti-Asian crime bill Biden-McConnell cold war unlikely to end at White House If you want Julie Su at the DOL, don't point to her resume MORE (D-Hawaii). 

The 2011 report, which followed a black out at that time, recommended steps including winterization measures and said that electricity generating companies “failed to adequately prepare for winter,” citing inadequate insulation and a failure to train operators and maintenance personnel on winter preparations. 

 

QUOTE OF THE DAY:

“I’m grateful to President Biden for entrusting me to lead the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency at this critical moment in our country’s history. EPA’s career officials are the backbone of this agency, and I am humbled to work alongside them as we confront climate change, stand up for justice and equity, and ensure science is at the heart of our decision-making.- Michael S. Regan, the newly-sworn-in Environmental Protection Agency administrator

 

WHAT WE’RE READING:

Utah agency reverses course, pulls back energy leases in original Bears Ears monument, The Salt Lake Tribune reports

Environmental group pushes for removal of Ocklawaha River dam, WCJB reports

Environmental group files new lawsuit over F-35 decision, The Wisconsin Examiner reports

“All countries need to do better” on climate change, U.S. Climate Envoy John KerryJohn KerryBiden's climate policies: Adrift in economic and scientific fantasyland The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Biden expresses optimism on bipartisanship; Cheney ousted Watch live: John Kerry testifies on climate change MORE tells FRANCE 24

 

ICYMI:Stories from Thursday…

Biden federal leasing pause won't impact energy production this year, agency says

Graham, 3 other GOP senators signal possible support for Haaland confirmation

Energy Department awards $18 million for automated vehicle development

Lawmakers aim to incentivize weatherizing power lines

Senate panel unanimously advances Biden pick for deputy Energy chief

Senators introduce bill to increase oversight of carbon monoxide detectors

 

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