Overnight Energy: White House deflects blame on rising gas prices | Florida braces for hurricanes after Surfside | Company behind Keystone XL seeks $15B in damages from US

Overnight Energy: White House deflects blame on rising gas prices | Florida braces for hurricanes after Surfside | Company behind Keystone XL seeks $15B in damages from US
© Screenshot courtesy of Twitter/@MLopezSanMartin

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 looking at gas prices and what the White House has to say about them, Florida preparing for what could be its first hurricane this year right after the recent condo collapse and TC Energy seeking damages for the Keystone XL pipeline’s end. 

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PUMP IT UP: White House deflects blame on rising gas prices

The White House on Tuesday deflected blame on rising gas prices across the U.S., stating that there is sometimes a misunderstanding about what causes prices to rise.

“I think there sometimes is a misunderstanding of what causes gas prices to increase and so, to convey to the American people that we’re working on it and certainly the supply availability of oil has a huge impact,” White House press secretary Jen PsakiJen PsakiAly Raisman defends former teammate Biles: 'I'm proud of her' On The Money: Schumer, Warren call on Biden to extend student loan pause | IMF estimates 6 percent global growth this year CDC backtracks with new mask guidance MORE said during her Tuesday briefing.

The comments from Psaki come amid attacks from Republicans that President BidenJoe BidenRealClearPolitics reporter says Freedom Caucus shows how much GOP changed under Trump Iowa governor suggests immigrants partially to blame for rising COVID-19 cases Biden officials pledge to confront cybersecurity challenges head-on MORE is to blame for an increase in gas prices.

The national gas price average is up 40 percent since the start of the year as of Tuesday, according to AAA. Gas prices are expected to increase another 10 to 20 cents per gallon through August, which would make the national average price over $3.25. 

Experts say the rise in gas prices could be due to the economy reopening, which has caused Americans to travel again, among other factors.

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Read more about the gas prices here and the White House comments here.

 

FLORIDA ON MY MIND: Florida braces for hurricanes after Surfside collapse

Florida is bracing for what is expected to be a furious hurricane season, even as the state deals with the fallout from the trauma of the condominium collapse in the Miami suburb of Surfside.

Tropical Storm Elsa is projected to make landfall across the north Florida Gulf Coast Wednesday, with meteorologists saying it may become a full hurricane by then.

National Hurricane Center meteorologists predicted hurricane conditions along the state’s west coast Tuesday night and early Wednesday.

This year’s hurricane season is expected to be above average, with as many as three to five major hurricanes forecast to hit the United States. 

But this year is different from all other years: Hurricane season always brings risks, but the backdrop is different with the collapse of the 12-story Champlain Towers South in Surfside.

Elsa has already impacted recovery efforts, and the collapse has raised new questions about the integrity of buildings up and down the coast that must survive the conditions of South Florida. Thirty-six people have so far been declared dead from the collapse, and more than 100 people are still unaccounted for.

An intense storm season could pose further risks for the state’s coastal infrastructure, according to Dmitry Dukhovskoy, an associate research scientist at Florida State University’s Center for Ocean-Atmospheric Prediction Studies. 

Read more about the situation here.

 

‘YOU’LL PAY FOR THIS’: Company behind Keystone XL seeks $15B in damages from US

The company behind the now-abandoned Keystone XL project hopes to obtain more than $15 billion from the U.S. government, alleging damages from President Biden’s revocation of its permit for the project. 

TC Energy announced in a Friday press release that it had filed a notice of intent with the State Department’s Office of the Legal Adviser to “initiate a legacy North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) claim under the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement.” 

The company, which announced last month that it was officially scrapping the pipeline project after Biden revoked a key permit on his first day in the Oval Office, said that it is seeking compensation for losses "suffered as a result of the U.S. Government’s breach of its NAFTA obligations."

Read more about their notice here.

 

WATCHING US ALL WITH THE EYE...OF THE FIRE: Giant fire erupts in Gulf after pipeline leak

In case you weren't on social media this weekend...Fire officials spent more than five hours Friday putting out a fire that erupted in the Gulf of Mexico that officials with Mexico's state-owned oil company said was due to a pipeline leak.

Videos of the blaze west of Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula went viral on social media, with users calling the massive circular blaze erupting from within the water an “eye of fire.” 

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The flames could be seen a short distance away from an oil platform at Petróleos Mexicanos's (Pemex) Ku Maloob Zaap oil field. 

Read more about the blaze here.

 

WHAT WE’RE READING:

Oil firm's plan to abandon 1,700 Gulf of Mexico wells could mean 'environmental disaster,' say rivals, Nola.com reports

A national climate service? Interest builds under Biden, E&E News reports

Public, not polluters, too often pay to clean up environment, EU auditors say, Reuters reports

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Company drops plans for Byhalia pipeline, The Memphis Commercial Appeal reports

 

ICYMI: Stories from Tuesday and the long weekend…

EPA employees allege changes to assessments that downplayed chemical risks

White House announces new rules for labeling meat 'product of USA'

Gas prices projected to increase up to 20 cents over summer

White House deflects blame on rising gas prices

Record heatwave hits Finland's Arctic Lapland

Focus shifts to EPA on methane regulation after Biden action

Oregon governor: Heat wave death toll 'absolutely unacceptable'

Company behind Keystone XL seeks $15B in damages from US

Three people dead in Caribbean as Tropical Storm Elsa makes its way north

Antarctica hit record high temperature in 2020, scientists confirm

Giant fire erupts in Gulf after pipeline leak

Florida braces for hurricanes, with Surfside on its mind

 

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