Overnight Energy & Environment

Overnight Energy & Environment — Presented by Climate Power — Democratic leaders vow climate action amid divide

Welcome to Monday's Overnight Energy & Environment, your source for the latest news focused on energy, the environment and beyond. Subscribe here: thehill.com/newsletter-signup.

Today we're looking at President Biden and Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) pledging to take climate action, even with questions about whether they can accomplish their climate goals, a reported move on methane and the latest in a key house markup. 

For The Hill, we're Rachel Frazin and Zack Budryk. Write to us with tips: rfrazin@thehill.com and zbudryk@thehill.com. Follow us on Twitter: @RachelFrazin and @BudrykZack.

Let's jump in.

Manchin remarks don't sway Dem leaders

In the course of the past day, Biden and Schumer are pledging to take on climate change even though opposition from Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) could put their plans in peril.  

Biden projected confidence while visiting a renewable energy lab in Colorado on Tuesday. 

"We've set a goal and the goal is achievable and I promise you, I promise you, it's going to create great economic growth, reduce inflation, and put people in a place where those beautiful children in the back are never going to have worry about what we're worrying about right now," he said. 

"Remember, there's not a damn thing we're unable to do when we come together," he added.

Meanwhile, Schumer highlighted the urgency of the moment during a Monday evening climate rally alongside several other lawmakers. 

"The Senate will act in a way that's commensurate with the magnitude of the climate crisis, by reducing carbon pollution, making our infrastructure more resilient, creating green jobs of the future, and as we move towards climate resiliency, do it with economic justice once and for all," he added. 

The story so far: Though they didn't refer to the West Virginia Democrat's opposition directly, their remarks come after comments from the West Virginia moderate cast doubt on whether and to what extent Democrats will be able to pass significant climate reforms.

Manchin on Sunday specifically expressed opposition to a key climate policy called the clean electricity payment program, under which power providers would be paid to shift towards clean electricity. 

And, some see negotiations as ongoing. "We're in the middle of negotiations," Sen. TIna Smith (D-Minn.) said in a statement to The Hill on Monday. "I am confident that we can come to a consensus on a plan that provides for affordable, reliable clean electricity for the future. I will keep pushing forward with good faith partners in negotiations like Senator Manchin."

Read more about Biden's speech here, Schumer's comments here and Manchin's opposition to the clean electricity program here.


US, EU agree to cut methane emissions: report

The U.S. and European Union will reportedly aim to cut their methane emissions by 30 percent during this decade

Methane is a powerful greenhouse gas that is a significant contributor to climate change and can come from agriculture, oil and gas and other sectors. 

Reuters reported late Monday that the EU and U.S. will later this week pledge to cut their methane emissions 30 percent by 2030, citing a draft of the so-called Global Methane Pledge. 

The wire service also reported that a separate document says that countries including China, Russia, India, Brazil, Saudi Arabia, Britain and South Africa could also join the pledge. 

The State Department, White House and European Commission declined to comment. 

Read more about the reported agreement here.


Energy and Commerce markup heads to Day 2

After many hours of debate on Monday, the Energy and Commerce Committee's markup of its $486.5 billion portion of Democrats' $3.5 trillion spending bill continued into its second day on Tuesday and was still ongoing as this newsletter was being written. 

Along the way, Democrats advanced their provisions pertaining to air pollution in a 31-26 vote, hazardous waste in a 31-26 vote and drinking water in a 31-25 vote on Monday. 

Among the provisions in these portions of the legislation included a methane fee on the oil and gas sector and provisions to get rid of lead service lines. 

On Tuesday, its energy provisions, including a clean electricity performance program advanced, in a 30-27 vote. 

Democratic Rep. Kurt Schrader (Ore.) opposed the passage of the four energy and environment-related subtitles, but the votes for these portions of the package otherwise fell along party lines. 

In his opening remarks on Monday, Chairman Frank Pallone (D-N.J.) stressed the importance of the climate provisions. 

"There is no time for delay. This summer, the communities of nearly one in three Americans were hit by an extreme weather disaster," he said. "Bold action is clearly needed - the days of incremental change are long gone."

But the House's continuation with the spending bill comes amid questions as to whether it'll ultimately pass, particularly in the Senate.


The Senate Environment and Public Works Committee will hold a hearing on the nominations of Amanda Howe, David Uhlmann and Carlton Waterhouse for top roles at the EPA's Mission Support, Enforcement and Compliance Assurance and Land and Emergency Management offices respectively.



  • Illinois Gov. says  he'll sign sweeping energy proposal that bails out nuclear plants, sets ambitious clean-energy targets, following Senate approval, The Chicago Tribune reports
  • EPA pesticide ban overlooks some farmworkers, E&E News reports
  • How to end the American obsession with driving, Vox reports
  • Meat accounts for nearly 60% of all greenhouse gases from food production, study finds, The Guardian reports



Gregory Barker, co-chair of the World Bank's Carbon Pricing Leadership Coalition, argues that  carbon pricing will ensure a just and equitable net-zero future




That's it for today, thanks for reading. Check out The Hill's energy & environment page for the latest news and coverage. We'll see you tomorrow.