Overnight Energy & Environment

Overnight Energy & Environment — Presented by the American Petroleum Institute — PennEast drops pipeline plans despite Supreme Court victory


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 a pipeline operator quitting while it’s ahead, a study with worrisome news for the next generation, and pushback against a Democratic tax plan from the plastics industry.

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.

PennEast stops pipeline development 

PennEast will stop developing its proposed Pennsylvania-New Jersey natural gas pipeline despite a court ruling bolstering the project this summer.

Spokesperson Pat Kornick confirmed to The Hill that the company was stopping development after not receiving some permits for the New Jersey portion of the vessel.

“PennEast received a Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity from FERC to construct the proposed pipeline and obtained some required permits, PennEast has not received certain permits, including a water quality certification and other wetlands permits under Section 401 of the Clean Water Act for the New Jersey portion of the Project,” Kornick said in a statement.

“Therefore, the PennEast partners, following extensive evaluation and discussion, recently determined further development of the Project no longer is supported. Accordingly, PennEast has ceased all further development of the Project,” the statement continued.

The story so far: The Supreme Court in June ruled that the pipeline could sue New Jersey to seize land from the state.

This is not the first pipeline project in recent months to stop construction despite getting a favorable ruling from the high court. 

Last year, companies behind the Atlantic Coast Pipeline called it quits despite also notching a Supreme Court victory over permitting.

Read more about the decision here.

Kids will experience about three times as many climate-related disasters as their grandparents: study

Experts have long warned climate change will disproportionately affect poor and disadvantaged demographics, but it will also have an outsize impact on younger generations, according to a study published in the journal Science.

Researchers estimate that under current international Paris climate agreement commitments, people born in 2020 will face twice the risk of wildfires as those born in 1960, as well as 2.8 times the crop failures, 2.6 times the droughts, 2.8 times the river flooding and just under seven times the heat waves.

“Our results highlight a severe threat to the safety of young generations and call for drastic emission reductions to safeguard their future,” co-author Wim Thiery, a research professor at Belgium’s Vrije Universiteit Brussel, said in a statement.

But that’s not the only option: Researchers also analyzed a scenario in which warming is kept to 1.5 degrees Celsius, the most optimistic scenario projected by the International Panel on Climate Change. In this case, they wrote, people born in 2020 would see their lifetime exposure to heat waves reduced by 45 percent and their exposure to droughts reduced by 39 percent. River flooding, meanwhile, would see a 38 percent risk reduction, along with 28 percent for crop failures and 10 percent for wildfires.

However, Thiery noted, even at or above 1.5 degrees Celsius of warming, people born after 1980 would still see a level of exposure to those phenomena that was unheard of in preindustrial history.

“This basically means that people younger than 40 today will live an unprecedented life even under the most stringent climate change mitigation scenarios,” he said.

Read more about the study here.



These relationships…help us plan for the future,” says Andreas Shamel, of Ford Motor Company. That future includes lower CO2 emissions, achieved through partnerships with U.S. natural gas and oil companies.


Plastics industry lashes out at ‘regressive’ Democratic tax plan 

A Democratic proposal to help finance the party’s $3.5 trillion spending bill by taxing single-use plastics is generating sharp pushback from members of the industry, who argue it would produce more waste and hurt average Americans.

The Senate Finance Committee is weighing the idea of a tax on the sale of virgin plastic resin — the base materials used to make single-use plastics — as one potential way to pay for the mammoth spending bill, according to a document released earlier this month.

But the proposal has garnered fierce opposition from the plastics division of the American Chemistry Council (ACC), a trade group representing 28 companies including oil giants such as ExxonMobil, Chevron and Shell as well as major chemical manufacturers such as DuPont and Dow Chemical.

The group argues that such a levy would amount to some $40 billion in additional taxes and “punish Americans” who depend on plastics in electric vehicles, home insulation, electronics and packaging, while funding unrelated government programs and fueling inflation.

Read more about the pushback here.


Hurricane Sam, a Category 4 storm, is picking up speed as it sweeps north over the Atlantic, but will likely avoid a U.S. landfall, according to AccuWeather.

The storm is still a major hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale, with sustained winds of 150 miles per hour.

Hurricane-force winds are extending out up to 30 miles from the center of the storm, and tropical-storm-force winds were moving up to 90 miles from the center.

The National Weather Center had said Sam is expected to remain a major hurricane for several days.

Sam started moving more northward this weekend, and it will continue to bend towards the north as the week moves forward, AccuWeather reported.

Read more here.


The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee will hold a hearing “to review the administration of laws under the jurisdiction of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.” All four FERC Commissioners are slated to appear. 


These relationships…help us plan for the future,” says Andreas Shamel, of Ford Motor Company. That future includes lower CO2 emissions, achieved through partnerships with U.S. natural gas and oil companies.




Nearly one-third of BP stations in UK almost out of fuel

Celebrity chef José Andrés shares video of active volcano on La Palma

And finally, something offbeat and off-beat: You’d think they’d prefer Tusk-any

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 Tuesday. 

Tags Michael Bennet Mitt Romney
See all Hill.TV See all Video