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OVERNIGHT ENERGY: Court sets in motion EPA ban on pesticide linked to developmental issues | Trump Interior Secretary Zinke files to run for Congress, again | Senate passes bipartisan $35B water infrastructure bill

OVERNIGHT ENERGY: Court sets in motion EPA ban on pesticide linked to developmental issues | Trump Interior Secretary Zinke files to run for Congress, again | Senate passes bipartisan $35B water infrastructure bill
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Today we’re looking at a court ruling paving the way for a ban on a pesticide linked to developmental issues, Ryan ZinkeRyan Keith ZinkeThe Hill's Morning Report - Biden launches blitz for jobs plan with 'thank you, Georgia' OVERNIGHT ENERGY: Court sets in motion EPA ban on pesticide linked to developmental issues | Trump Interior Secretary Zinke files to run for Congress, again | Senate passes bipartisan B water infrastructure bill Trump Interior Secretary Zinke files to run for Congress, again MORE’s potential return to Congress and a water infrastructure bill that passed the Senate.

 

THE BAN WAGON: Court sets in motion EPA ban on pesticide linked to developmental issues

A federal appeals court on Thursday said the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) must ban a pesticide linked to developmental issues in children within 60 days unless it can find a safe use for the chemical.

The 9th Circuit ruled that the evidence compiled by the EPA fails to show that the substance chlorpyrifos is not harmful. Studies have linked exposure to chlorpyrifos to lower IQ, impaired working memory and negative impacts on motor development. 

“The EPA has spent more than a decade assembling a record of chlorpyrifos’s ill effects and has repeatedly determined, based on that record, that it cannot conclude, to the statutorily required standard of reasonable certainty, that the present tolerances are causing no harm,” wrote Judge Jed Rakoff, a Clinton appointee, in the majority opinion. He was joined by Judge Jacqueline Nguyen, an Obama appointee.

On the other side: Judge Jay Bybee, a George W. Bush appointee, dissented, arguing that his colleagues “misread” EPA’s obligations to review certain uses that it previously determined were safe and that the majority “substituted its own judgment for EPA’s decision.”

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What the EPA has to say: Asked about the ruling, EPA spokesperson Ken Labbe said in an email that the agency is reviewing the decision as it weighs its options.

Read more about the ruling here.

 

TRADING PARK TRAILS FOR CAMPAIGN TRAILS:  Trump Interior Secretary Zinke files to run for Congress, again

Ryan Zinke, who served as Interior secretary during the Trump administration, has filed papers with the Federal Election Commission to seek a new term in Congress, six years after leaving office to join the Trump administration. 

Zinke won two elections to represent Montana’s lone congressional district, in 2014 and 2016. 

In case you forgot: In office, Zinke courted controversy, coming under investigation for using private planes to travel to events and to raise funds for Republican causes. He cited the investigations into what he called “false allegations” in a statement announcing his departure in 2018.

Where will he run? Zinke’s filing indicates he plans to run for Montana’s 2nd Congressional District, a seat that does not yet exist on paper. The Census Bureau earlier this week said Montana's population has grown by a sufficient amount to qualify for a second district. The state lost its second district after the 1990 census and reapportionment cycle.

Read more about the FEC filing here.

 

IS EVERY WEEK INFRASTRUCTURE WEEK? : Senate passes bipartisan $35B water infrastructure bill

A bipartisan bill to boost funding for states' water infrastructure passed the Senate 89-2 Thursday, sending it to the House of Representatives.

The measure, the Drinking Water and Wastewater Infrastructure Act of 2021, would put $35 billion toward state water infrastructure programs. It authorizes gradual increases in funding for state water infrastructure systems from fiscal 2022 through 2026, beginning with $2.4 billion and ending with $3.25 billion.

The bill also establishes an operational sustainability program for smaller water systems such as those under the jurisdiction of Native American tribes, and authorizes $50 million annually for fiscal years 2022-2026.

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It would also nearly double funding for grants aimed at removing lead from drinking water, from $60 million to $100 million per year.

Read more about the bill here.

 

IN THE HOT SEAT: Biden Interior nominee questioned on past work for fossil fuel industry

President BidenJoe BidenKinzinger, Gaetz get in back-and-forth on Twitter over Cheney vote Cheney in defiant floor speech: Trump on 'crusade to undermine our democracy' US officials testify on domestic terrorism in wake of Capitol attack MORE’s pick for the No. 2 spot at the Interior Department fielded a question Thursday on his previous work for fossil fuel companies during his confirmation hearing. 

“There’s been some criticism of your nomination because of your associations in your private sector experience in recent years with fossil fuel companies and other commercial entities. ... Can you answer those questions and address any allegations of conflict of interest or tainting of your views in terms of the issues that’ll come before the department?” Sen. Angus KingAngus KingSenate panel deadlocks in vote on sweeping elections bill Senate descends into hours-long fight over elections bill 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 MORE (I-Maine) asked Tommy Beaudreau.

What he has to say about it: “I have been in government service for a long period of time during the Obama administration. I am accepting of the scrutiny and criticism that comes with holding these roles,” Beaudreau responded. 

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He added that he’s “a little bewildered” by some of the criticism because of “what I believe was a very strong track record during the Obama administration on conservation,” as well as what he described as his “tough but ... fair-minded” reputation as a regulator.

Beaudreau also said that he has already started working with Interior’s ethics staff and will be mindful of his ethical obligations. 

The question comes amid concerns from a coalition of progressive environmental groups Thursday about Beaudreau’s work for companies including oil giant Total and multinational mining company BHP. 

Read more about Beaudreau’s confirmation hearing here.

 

WHAT WE’RE READING:

Tap water could be linked to dangerous lead levels in Jackson’s kids. Mississippi isn’t keeping track, Southerly Magazine reports 

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The U.S. Will Need a Lot of Land for a Zero-Carbon Economy, Bloomberg reports

A Russian telecoms magnate plans to spend billions on a Siberian coal project, Reuters reports 

$302M in BP oil spill money budgeted to restore ecosystems, The Associated Press reports

 

ICYMI: Stories from Thursday (and Wednesday night)…

Senate passes bipartisan $35B water infrastructure bill

Biden Interior nominee questioned on past work for fossil fuel industry

Court sets in motion EPA ban on pesticide linked to developmental issues

Trump Interior Secretary Zinke files to run for Congress, again

Nuclear plant north of New York City shutting down

Biden touts climate investment as creating jobs

GOP leaders from 19 states ask Supreme Court to review power plant regulation ruling

GOP lawmakers ask acting inspector general to investigate John KerryJohn KerryChina emitted more greenhouse gasses than US, developed world combined in 2019: analysis Overnight Energy: Republicans request documents on Kerry's security clearance process| EPA official directs agency to ramp up enforcement in overburdened communities | Meet Flint prosecutor Kym Worthy Republicans request documents on Kerry's security clearance process MORE

California state Democrats propose spending $3.4B on drought

GOP leaders from 19 states ask Supreme Court to review power plant regulation ruling

Energy Dept. warns nuclear waste tank may be leaking in Washington state

 

OFF-BEAT AND OFFBEAT: Read about a giant duck who lives on an English college campus