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Overnight Energy: Climate Summit Day 2 — Biden says US will work with other countries on climate innovation

Overnight Energy: Climate Summit Day 2 — Biden says US will work with other countries on climate innovation
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TGIF! Welcome to Overnight Energy, your source for the day’s 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 . Signup for our newsletter and others HERE

Today we’re looking at President BidenJoe BidenObama: Ensuring democracy 'continues to work effectively' keeps me 'up at night' New Jersey landlords prohibited from asking potential tenants about criminal records Overnight Defense: Pentagon pulling some air defense assets from Middle East | Dems introduce resolution apologizing to LGBT community for discrimination | White House denies pausing military aid package to Ukraine MORE’s assessment of the White House climate summit, a new announcement on renewable energy by Energy Secretary Jennifer GranholmJennifer GranholmCleaner US gas can reduce Europe's reliance on Russian energy Overnight Energy: Schumer to trigger reconciliation process Wednesday | Bipartisan bill would ban 'forever chemicals' in cosmetics | Biden admin eyes step toward Trump-era proposal for uranium reserve Biden administration eyes step toward Trump-era proposal for uranium reserve MORE, and a bipartisan congressional caucus recommending a gas tax as one possible option to pay for infrastructure.

 

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HOWDY, PARTNER! Biden says US will work with other countries on climate innovation

President Biden on Friday said that the United States will partner with other countries on climate-related innovations while speaking at the White House climate summit. 

In particular, he said the U.S. would team up with Sweden and India to decarbonize the industrial sector, the United Kingdom to reach a carbon-free power sector and work on agriculture with the United Arab Emirates and others. 

Biden also said he was “heartened” by Russian President Vladimir PutinVladimir Vladimirovich PutinOvernight Defense: Pentagon pulling some air defense assets from Middle East | Dems introduce resolution apologizing to LGBT community for discrimination | White House denies pausing military aid package to Ukraine White House denies pausing military aid package to Ukraine It's well past time for strategic defenses and counterpunches on cybersecurity MORE’s call to collaborate with other countries on advancing carbon dioxide removal.

“The United States looks forward to working with Russia and other countries on that endeavor,” he said. “It has great promise.” 

Everything is infrastructure: Biden also said on Friday said the U.S. needs to invest in new technologies and clean infrastructure and argued doing so would create new jobs while also tackling climate change, using the remarks to plug his $2.25 trillion jobs plan unveiled last month. 

The president said that putting money toward climate change would create new opportunities for working Americans in construction, manufacturing and fields that “we haven’t even conceived of yet.”

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Read more about his comments here.

GOOOOOOOAL: Granholm announces goal to make hydrogen power, EV batteries more affordable

Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm on Friday announced new goals to lower the cost of clean energy and other climate change technologies, including reducing the cost of hydrogen and batteries for electric vehicles.

In particular, Granholm said that she wants to reduce the price of hydrogen energy by 80 percent before 2030 and said this would make it “competitive with natural gas,” during remarks at the White House’s international climate summit.  

She also aims to cut battery cell prices in half in order to make electric vehicles more affordable. 

The energy official also said that the administration will aim to “dramatically” reduce the cost of industrial carbon capture, still-developing technology that seeks to pull carbon from the air. She added that there would be an increase in incentives for “large-scale” efforts around the world. 

Read more about the announcement here.

 

NOBODY RIDES FOR FREE: Problem Solvers Caucus calls gas tax increase a possible infrastructure funding option

The House Problem Solvers Caucus on Friday said that a gas tax increase was a possible option to pay for infrastructure measures as an alternative to a corporate tax hike.

In a report released by the 58-member centrist caucus, the group called to index gasoline and diesel taxes to a number of factors, including highway construction costs, inflation and fuel economy standards. The caucus also suggested a possible vehicle miles traveled tax (VMT), which proponents have noted would collect revenue from electric vehicle drivers as well.

The caucus's suggestions came as part of a broader package of recommendations to pay for the Biden administration’s $2 trillion American Jobs Plan.

What are the caucus’s suggestions?: “Historically, the federal government has paid its share through the Highway Trust Fund, which is funded primarily through the federal user fee on gasoline,” the report states. “However, in 2008, spending exceeded declining revenue in the fund for the first time since its inception in 1956.”

The report also notes that changing federal fuel economy standards and the increased proliferation of electric vehicles have made gas tax revenues less sufficient.

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The caucus suggests “alternative user fees that take into account changes in technology and mobility use, and equitably distribute the costs of maintaining and constructing transportation infrastructure.”

Read more about the report here.

 

NOM NOM NOM: Biden announces picks to lead oceans, lands agencies

President Biden on Thursday announced a slate of environmental nominees, including his choices to lead the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the Bureau of Land Management. 

NOAA: He’ll nominate Rick Spinrad, NOAA's former chief scientist to be the agency's administrator. Spinrad was at the agency during the Obama administration, when he also co-led a White House committee that developed ocean priorities. He is currently a professor of oceanography at Oregon State University.

The oceans and weather agency did not have a Senate-confirmed leader during the Trump administration, and came under fire during that time in what became known as the “Sharpiegate” controversy in 2019. 

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BLM: To lead the Bureau of Land Management, Biden picked Tracy Stone-Manning, as The Hill and other outlets previously reported. Stone-Manning is currently a senior adviser at the National Wildlife Federation and previously worked as then-Montana Gov. Steve BullockSteve BullockBiden 'allies' painting him into a corner Democratic Kansas City, Mo., mayor eyes Senate run Overnight Energy: Climate Summit Day 2 — Biden says US will work with other countries on climate innovation MORE’s (D) chief of staff. 

State: Another appointee, Monica Medina, will be nominated as assistant secretary in the State Department's Bureau and Oceans and International Environmental and Science Affairs. Medina, a professor and former NOAA official, is married to White House chief of staff Ron KlainRon Klain'It's still a BFD': Democrats applaud ruling upholding ObamaCare Vermont governor lifts restrictions as state becomes first to reach 80 percent vaccinated Biden's no-drama White House chief MORE

Read more about the nominees here.

 

ON TAP NEXT WEEK: 

On Tuesday:

  • The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee will hold a hearing on the Interior Department’s onshore oil and gas leasing program. Bureau of Land Management official Nada Culver is slated to appear.
  • The House Natural Resources Committee will hold a hearing titled “Wildlife Trafficking and theGrowing Online Marketplace”
  • The Senate Environment and Public Works Committee will hold a hearing on a proposal to establish a national climate bank. 

On Wednesday:

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  •  The Senate Environment and Public Works Committee will hold a hearing on the administration’s proposed EPA budget for next year.
  • The Senate Indian Affairs Committee will hold an oversight hearing to examine the COVID-19 response in Native communities, focusing on Native education systems one year later.

On Thursday: 

  • The Senate Energy & Natural Resources Committee will hold a hearing to examine the nomination of Tommy P. Beaudreau as  Deputy Secretary of the Interior
  • The House Energy & Commerce Committee will hold a hearing on the Environmental Protection Agency’s 2022 budget



WHAT WE’RE READING:

New York state pension fund backs activist nominees in Exxon proxy fight, Reuters reports

DOE does U-turn on historian move after pushback, E&E News reports

Connecticut considers stretch code that lets cities push builders on efficiency, Energy News Network reports

Florida lawmakers seek to outlaw local governments banning gas stations, the South Florida Sun-Sentinel reports

A Fossil Fuel Power Plant That Mines Bitcoin Is About to Massively Expand, Vice reports

 

ICYMI: Stories from Thursday night and Friday...

Iowa electric provider announces plans for solar farm

Appeals court denies new hearing over Dakota Access pipeline permit

Problem Solvers Caucus comes out in support for gas tax

Biden says US will work with other countries on climate innovation

Honda sets goal of all electric vehicle sales by 2040

Granholm announces goal to make hydrogen power, EV batteries more affordable

Biden announces picks to lead oceans, lands agencies

 

OFF-BEAT AND OFFBEAT: Hot on the tail