Overnight Energy & Environment

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

Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.)
Greg Nash

HAPPY TUESDAY! 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 at @BudrykZack

Today we’re reconciling with the future of infrastructure and looking at new legislation and a study on PFAS in cosmetics and an upcoming step toward a strategic uranium reserve. 

BYE BYE BIPARTISAN: Schumer to trigger reconciliation process Wednesday

Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) says he will convene a meeting with all 11 Democratic members of the Senate Budget Committee on Wednesday to begin the process for passing a budget resolution, paving the way for Democrats to pass a major infrastructure bill on a party-line vote.

And climate played a role in the backstory…prior to his announcement:

Two Democratic senators on Tuesday signaled they will oppose a $974 billion, five-year bipartisan infrastructure proposal unveiled last week, faulting it for not doing enough to halt climate change. 

Sens. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) and Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) told reporters they will only support an infrastructure package that is part of a broader guaranteed agreement to invest massively into clean energy infrastructure and urged their party leaders to immediately begin the budget reconciliation process to allow legislation to pass the Senate with only Democratic votes. 

Asked if he could vote for the bipartisan proposal laid out by a group of 10 senators last week if promised a broader reconciliation bill will come to the Senate floor soon after, Markey said, “I could not.”

Read more about Schumer’s announcement here and what Markey/Merkley had to say here.


THE MAKE-UP OF YOUR MAKEUP: Bipartisan lawmakers introduce bill to ban ‘forever chemicals’ in cosmetics as study finds them prevalent

Bipartisan legislation introduced Tuesday would ban the use of so-called forever chemicals in cosmetics, on the heels of a study indicating their presence in more than 100 makeup products.

The study, published Tuesday in Environmental Science and Technology Letters, found per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) in more than half of 231 products in eight categories. The highest levels were found in foundation, mascara and liquid lipstick products, according to the study, with most of them not listing PFAS compounds among their ingredients.

The No PFAS in Cosmetics Act, introduced in the Senate by Sens. Susan Collins (R-Maine) and Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), would ban the use of PFAS chemicals in cosmetics and require the Food and Drug Administration to propose a rule banning intentionally using them in cosmetics.

Rep. Debbie Dingell (D-Mich.) also introduced a House version of the legislation Tuesday.

“Americans should be able to trust that the products they are applying to their hair or skin are safe. To help protect people from further exposure to PFAS, our bill would require the FDA to ban the addition of PFAS to cosmetics products,” Collins said in a statement.

Read more here.


URANIUM ON THE CRANIUM: Biden administration eyes step toward Trump-era proposal for uranium reserve

The Biden administration will take a step toward establishing a reserve for uranium, a proposal pushed by the prior Trump administration that could boost mining of the mineral as well as nuclear energy potential.

Testifying before the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee on Tuesday, Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm said her department would take a step this month toward establishing the reserve.

“We’re about to issue a request for information [RFI] regarding establishing a reserve,” Granholm said. “We are, I think this month, issuing an RFI on that.”

Late last year, Congress provided money to establish the strategic reserve, which would buy U.S.-mined uranium from domestic producers, as one of many provisions in a major government funding bill.

Read more about the step toward the reserve here.


NOM NOM NOM: Updates on Biden nominees, including a former Interior Secretary who will be Ambassador to Mexico

  • Salazar: President Biden will nominate former Interior Secretary and former Colorado Sen. Ken Salazar (D) as ambassador to Mexico, the White House announced on Tuesday. 
  • Freedhoff: Late Monday, the Senate confirmed Michal Freedhoff to be the EPA’s assistant administrator for toxic substances by a voice vote.
  • Getting some cloture: On Tuesday the Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer moved to advance the nomination of deputy Interior secretary nominee Tommy Beaudreau, filing cloture on Tuesday and doing the same Monday for EPA water nominee Radhika Fox



  • Interior Secretary Deb Haaland will appear before the Senate Appropriations Committee to testify on her department’s proposed budget
  • The Senate Environment and Public Works Committee will hold a hearing on Biden EPA nominees Jeffrey Prieto and Jane Nishida to be general counsel and assistant administrator for international and tribal affairs respectively, as well as Alejandra Castillo for a Commerce Department role
  • The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee will hold a hearing on bills relating to public lands and forests



The Louisiana gas industry’s answer to lax safety enforcement? Loosen it more, The Guardian and Louisiana Illuminator report

Feds identify a long list of birds that need TLC, E&E News reports

San Francisco nearing vote to drastically cut refinery pollution with new tech, Reuters reports

New Israeli environment, energy ministers vow to act on climate crisis, the Times of Israel reports


ICYMI: Stories from Tuesday…

US, EU pledge to work together on climate amid reported dissension on coal

Biden nominates Ken Salazar as ambassador to Mexico

Youth climate activists march outside California homes of Pelosi and Feinstein

Bipartisan lawmakers introduce bill to ban ‘forever chemicals’ in cosmetics as study finds them prevalent

Biden administration eyes step toward Trump-era proposal for uranium reserve

Two more Democrats signal opposition to bipartisan infrastructure deal



Tags Charles Schumer Chuck Schumer Deb Haaland Debbie Dingell Ed Markey Jeff Merkley Jennifer Granholm Joe Biden Susan Collins
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