Overnight Energy & Environment — Biden set to restore national monuments rolled back by Trump

Overnight Energy & Environment — Biden set to restore national monuments rolled back by Trump
© Getty Images

 

Welcome to Wednesday’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 restorations expected to be announced soon to national monuments rolled back by Trump, Democrats continuing to push for strong climate action even though it has been a bit of a sticking point, and new federal government resilience plans. 

ADVERTISEMENT

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.

Biden expected to restore national monument protections scaled down by Trump

President BidenJoe Biden White House: US has donated 200 million COVID-19 vaccines around the world Police recommend charges against four over Sinema bathroom protest K Street revenues boom MORE this week is expected to order the restoration of the original borders for two national monuments in Utah that were reduced in size by former President TrumpDonald TrumpTrump announces new social media network called 'TRUTH Social' Virginia State Police investigating death threat against McAuliffe Meadows hires former deputy AG to represent him in Jan. 6 probe: report MORE.

Utah officials on Thursday said they were informed by Interior Secretary Deb HaalandDeb HaalandOvernight Energy & Environment — Presented by the American Petroleum Institute — Dems vow to keep emissions cuts Biden administration orders two-year study on Minnesota metals mine Overnight Energy & Environment — Presented by ExxonMobil — Biden administration breaks down climate finance roadmap MORE of the forthcoming move.

“We learned this afternoon from Secretary Haaland that President Biden will soon be announcing the restoration of both Grand Staircase-Escalante and Bears Ears National Monuments," said a joint statement from Utah Gov. Spencer Cox (R) and other top officials, who voiced frustration with the planned action

“We expected and hoped for closer collaboration between our state and national leaders, especially on matters that directly impact Utah and our citizens," they said, adding Biden’s decision “fails to provide certainty as well as the funding for law enforcement, research, and other protections which the monuments need and which only Congressional action can offer."

The White House and the Interior Department declined comment when contacted by The Hill. 

Haaland issued recommendations on the matter several months ago and reportedly called for full restoration. According to The Washington Post, she also recommended a full restoration of the Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Marine National Monument near Massachusetts, an area Trump opened up for commercial fishing.

The New York Times reported Thursday that protections for that monument would also be restored.

Read more about the anticipated restoration here. 

Democrats double down on ‘no climate, no deal’ 

Four Democratic senators joined climate activists outside the Capitol Thursday to demand climate provisions be included in the two infrastructure packages as a condition of their support.

What do we want? Climate! Outlining the provisions the senators consider non-negotiable, Sen. Ed MarkeyEd MarkeyUnder pressure, Democrats cut back spending House passes bills to secure telecommunications infrastructure Emanuel to take hot seat in Senate confirmation hearing MORE (Mass.) named the creation of a Civilian Climate Corps, as well as a Clean Energy Performance Program, which would provide financial incentives for energy companies to transition to renewable energy.

“It is possible to find middle ground in many areas of politics; I know, because I have done it,” Markey added. “But we cannot compromise on science. There isn’t a middle ground between a livable and unlivable world.”

Markey was joined by Sens. Ron WydenRonald (Ron) Lee WydenUnder pressure, Democrats cut back spending The Memo: Cuts to big bill vex Democrats Democrats say they're committed to reducing emissions in Biden plan MORE (D-Ore.), Tina SmithTina Flint SmithProgressives push back on decision to shrink Biden's paid family leave program Democrats scramble for climate alternatives Manchin climate stance threatens to shatter infrastructure bargain MORE (D-Minn.) and Chris van Hollen (D-Md.), as well as climate activists. 

When do we want it? Now! Markey, who co-sponsored the Senate version of Green New Deal legislation, called on his colleagues to pass both the reconciliation package and the bipartisan infrastructure bill before the COP26 climate summit in Glasgow, which starts Oct. 31. 

“We must act in Congress before Joe Biden goes to meet with the rest of the world,” Markey said. “President Biden must be able to put a deal on the table that reflects what we then expect from the rest of the world so that we begin a downward trajectory in terms of the greenhouse gases that are going up into the atmosphere.”

What does Manchin want? The senators later addressed Sen. Joe ManchinJoe ManchinK Street revenues boom Biden champions economic plan as Democrats scale back ambitions On The Money — Democrats eye tough choices as deadline looms MORE’s (D-W.V.) objections to the climate provisions of the reconciliation package. The West Virginia Democrat has specifically identified the CEPP as among his reservations with the $3.5 trillion package and called for the inclusion of carbon-capture provisions.

Read more about what they had to say here. 

Government agencies release climate resilience plans 

ADVERTISEMENT
I-66 corridor in Merrifield, Va.

More than 20 federal agencies on Thursday released plans to improve the resilience of their facilities and operations against climate change. 

“Agencies face a multitude of risks caused by climate change, including rising costs to maintain and repair damaged infrastructure from more frequent and extreme weather events, challenges to program effectiveness and readiness, and health and safety risks to federal employees who work outside,” said a White House fact sheet. 

“By taking action now to better manage and mitigate climate risks, we will minimize disruptions to federal operations, assets and programs while creating safer working conditions for employees,” it continued. 

The plans detail different steps being taken by different parts of the government. 

Like what? The Transportation Department will add resilience criteria into some of its grant and loan programs. It will also consider how changing heat and air quality will impact disadvantaged communities when it is designing and choosing sites for projects. 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will use a tool that provides real-time heat data to help states and localities prepare for extreme heat events. 

Read more about the plans here. 

ADVERTISEMENT

WHAT WE’RE READING

EPA power plant rules could be part of bigger initiative, E&E News reports

BP wins over Greenpeace in North Sea oil court case, Reuters reports

NC House approves compromise energy bill, sending it on to Gov. Roy Cooper, the Raleigh News & Observer reports

Earth’s climate is chaotic. The winners of the 2021 Nobel Prize in physics found patterns in the noise, Vox reports

ICYMI:

Pentagon climate plan prepares military for extreme conditions

ADVERTISEMENT

Prolonged exposure to air and noise pollution may increase heart failure risk in women: study

Biden takes big step on rules for environmental reviews

Turkey becomes last G-20 country to ratify Paris climate agreement 

And finally, something offbeat and off-beat: More zebras escaping!

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.