Overnight Energy & Environment

Overnight Energy: Company officially nixes Keystone XL pipeline | Government watchdog finds failings, but no Trump influence, in clearing of Lafayette Square

IT IS WEDNESDAY, MY DUDES. 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 

Today we're looking at the official termination of the Keystone XL pipeline, friction after a top White House adviser suggested climate aspects could be removed from an infrastructure package and an OIG report on the clearing of protesters from Lafayette Square.

STONE DEAD: Company officially nixes Keystone XL pipeline

The company behind the Keystone XL pipeline announced on Wednesday that it's officially scrapping the project after President Biden nixed a border-crossing permit for the project. 

A statement from TC Energy said that after "a comprehensive review of its options, and in consultation with its partner, the Government of Alberta, it has terminated the Keystone XL Pipeline Project."

"We value the strong relationships we've built through the development of this Project and the experience we've gained," company president and CEO  François Poirier said in a statement.

The company also said that it will work with regulators and others to safely terminate the project. 

The story so far: On his first day in office, Biden decided to revoke the key permit for the project, garnering cheers from many environmental and indigenous groups and ire from conservatives.

In an executive order doing so, Biden argued that the proposed oil pipeline "disserves" the U.S. national interest and that "leaving the Keystone XL pipeline permit in place would not be consistent with my Administration's economic and climate imperatives."

Since then, a cohort of states with Republican attorneys general have sued Biden over the decision.

Read more about the decision here

 

GINAH: Democrats blast Biden climate adviser over infrastructure remarks

Congressional Democrats from the party's centrist and left wings blasted comments by White House climate adviser Gina McCarthy suggesting the White House was willing to remove climate measures from its infrastructure plan.

In an interview with Politico published Tuesday, McCarthy said that "while every piece like a clean electricity standard may not end [up] in the final version" of an infrastructure package, "we know that it is necessary, we know that the utilities want it, we are going to fight like crazy to make sure that it's in there. And then we're going to be open to a range of other investment strategies."

Sen. Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) tweeted in response that a package "that goes light on climate and clean energy should not count on every Democratic vote."

House progressives also take aim: Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), who has been one of the highest-profile congressional backers of the Green New Deal and other ambitious climate policies, responded to Heinrich with a simple, "Yep."

"[Senate Minority Leader] Mitch McConnell and the Koch brothers are not worth setting the planet on fire for. I know some Dems may disagree with me, but that's my unpopular opinion of the day," she added.

Rep. Jamaal Bowman (D-N.Y.), an ally of Ocasio-Cortez, tweeted that the climate provisions of the bill are "literally a matter of life or death," adding, "Our plan on climate needs to be built to sustain our planet, not the fossil fuel industry."

Read more about the pushback here

 

LONG-TERM PARKING: Government watchdog finds failings, but no Trump influence, in clearing of Lafayette Square

A government watchdog has determined the law enforcement agencies responsible for clearing protesters gathered outside the White House last summer failed to fully warn the crowd to disperse while fractured radio communications led officers to use chemical irritants that had not been authorized.

The report from the Department of the Interior's Office of the Inspector General (OIG) is the first to evaluate the June 1 clearing of protesters shortly before former President Trump crossed Lafayette Square for a photo-op at a nearby church with a Bible in hand.

While the event spurred accusations from lawmakers and others that the protesters were cleared to enable Trump's passage to the church, the report ultimately determined that Trump's plans to visit the park did not influence the officers' decision to clear it.

The OIG found that while law enforcement learned on the day of the incident that Trump might visit, U.S. Park Police (USPP), the lead agency overseeing Lafayette Square, had already planned to clear the park in order to install additional fencing around the White House.

"The evidence established that relevant USPP officials had made those decisions and had begun implementing the operational plan several hours before they knew of a potential Presidential visit to the park, which occurred later that day," the report states.

Read more about the report here

 

ON TAP TOMORROW:

  • The House Energy & Commerce Committee will hold a markup on the Congressional Review Act resolution on methane emissions

 

WHAT WE'RE READING:

How Biden's EV battery plan could falter, E&E News reports

Lawyer Who Sued Treasury Department for Exxon Nominated to Be Agency's General Counsel, Gizmodo reports

New York project to combine solar power with high-speed broadband, Axios reports

The Drought In The Western U.S. Is Getting Bad. Climate Change Is Making It Worse, NPR reports

Red States Warn of 'Collusive' Tactics by Biden in Climate Case, Bloomberg Law reports

 

ICYMI: Stories from Wednesday (and Tuesday night)...

Trump claims exoneration in Lafayette Square clearing out

Volkswagen says former executive paying $13M over role in emissions scandal

Democrats blast Biden climate adviser over infrastructure remarks

EPA to revise Trump rollback to water pollution protections

Government watchdog finds failings, but no Trump influence, in clearing of Lafayette Square

EPA chief emphasizes staffing, environmental justice in Appropriations testimony

US solar company to open $680M plant in Ohio

 

OFFBEAT AND OFF-BEAT: Why mess with what works?

Outbrain