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Politics OVERNIGHT ENERGY: Biden seeks GOP support for infrastructure plan | House GOP's planned environmental bills drop Democratic priorities | Advocates optimistic Biden infrastructure plan is a step toward sustainability

02:50  13 april  2021
02:50  13 april  2021 Source:   thehill.com

Targeting federal spending to help EPA promote environmental justice

  Targeting federal spending to help EPA promote environmental justice A small portion of the EPA’s grants budget was earmarked for environmental justice — the Biden administration is moving aggressively to remedy this. A first step in tackling environmental justice was the president's January executive order on climate, which provided no new resources but adopted a policy "to secure environmental justice" for disadvantaged communities that have been "historically marginalized and overburdened by pollution." And now the administration's American Jobs Plan proposes to use EPA's water infrastructure, Superfund and brownfields programs to achieve that goal.

IT'S MONDAY! Welcome to Overnight Energy, your source for the day's energy and environment news.

a man wearing a suit and tie: President Biden © UPI Photo President Biden

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Today we're looking at President Biden's meeting with bipartisan lawmakers on infrastructure, a forthcoming GOP climate package and ways in which advocates are hoping the infrastructure package contributes to sustainability.

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  Infrastructure plan: How Biden's zero-carbon revolution would broaden the energy map President Joe Biden's push for a green power revolution could expand the economic benefits of energy production to a significantly broader swath of communities across America -- if he can maneuver past the blockade of fossil-fuel-producing states that has prevented congressional action on climate change for years. Included in Biden's massive $2 trillion infrastructure package is a provision that would require every state to generate all of its electricity by 2035 from fuels that do not produce any of the carbon emissions linked to global climate change.

Environmental sustainability is no longer optional; it's become an imperative. Join The Hill for a national multi-day virtual event including multiple tracks of programming featuring fireside chats with policy leaders and practitioners in the sustainability ecosystem including WH Climate Advisor Gina McCarthy, former GE CEO Jeff Immelt, Gov. Jay Inslee, AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka, fashion designer Tracy Reese and many more. View the full schedule and RSVP today.

IT'S STILL INFRASTRUCTURE WEEK: Biden seeks GOP support for infrastructure plan

President Biden on Monday intensified his effort to win broad congressional support for his massive infrastructure plan, huddling with eight lawmakers from both chambers in search of that rarest of things in today's hyperpolarized Washington: bipartisanship.

'Child care is infrastructure': Democrats mocked for expanded definition beyond roads and bridges

  'Child care is infrastructure': Democrats mocked for expanded definition beyond roads and bridges Arguments from Democrats in favor of an expanded definition of infrastructure as it relates to President Joe Biden's $2 trillion American Jobs Plan, widely described as an infrastructure package, reached a new level on Wednesday. © Provided by Washington Examiner "Paid leave is infrastructure. Child care is infrastructure. Caregiving is infrastructure," New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand said in a tweet. Paid leave is infrastructure.Child care is infrastructure.Caregiving is infrastructure.

The gathering marked the first time the president has met with a bipartisan group of lawmakers on infrastructure since he introduced his American Jobs Plan on March 31 in Pittsburgh. He previously hosted a small cadre of Republican and Democratic senators in the Oval Office in February.

But the two parties remained far apart after the nearly two-hour meeting.

What did Republicans say after the meeting? Mississippi Sen. Roger Wicker, the top Republican on the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee, called it a "good discussion," one in which Biden did most of the talking. But Wicker said pieces of Biden's proposal would be "non-starters" for Republicans, particularly his idea to pay for the package through big corporate tax increases.

Wicker said it "would be an almost impossible sell for the president to come to a bipartisan agreement that included the undoing" of the GOP's 2017 tax cuts law.

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  Roads, bridges ... and caregivers? Why Biden is pushing a ‘radical shift’ to redefine infrastructure Caregiving is the most glaring example of how Biden expanded the traditional definition of infrastructure in his $2 trillion jobs plan."Caregivers – we're the maintainers of life," an impassioned Williams, 34, said during a zoom call with frontline health care workers hosted by the soon-to-be president.

"I did tell him that," Wicker told reporters after the meeting. "Whether we'll be able to come to a bipartisan agreement that gets as expansive and as massive as he would like to, I don't know."

"I certainly appreciated the words in the room, but obviously the follow-up actions are ... most important," Rep. Garret Graves (R-La.), a member of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, told The Hill after the meeting.

What's the plan, Stan? Democrats are leaning toward a plan to separate the package into two smaller proposals: one featuring the more conventional infrastructure projects, which party leaders believe have a better chance of winning Republican support; and the other focused on the family care provisions, which face stronger headwinds from the right.

And some of the challenges? Internally, Democrats are at odds over the size of the package, with liberals urging Biden to go bigger while moderates are more wary of deficit spending.

Across the aisle, the president is also facing heavy resistance from conservatives who say the package is too large, leans heavily on tax increases and covers too many issues outside the realm of traditional infrastructure.

On The Money: Biden seeks GOP support for infrastructure plan | Democrats debate tax hikes on wealthy | Biden, Congress target semiconductor shortage

  On The Money: Biden seeks GOP support for infrastructure plan | Democrats debate tax hikes on wealthy | Biden, Congress target semiconductor shortage Happy Monday and welcome back to On The Money, where we're eagerly awaiting reports on Major Biden's training. I'm Sylvan Lane, and here's your nightly guide to everything affecting your bills, bank account and bottom line.See something I missed? Let me know at slane@thehill.com or tweet me @SylvanLane. And if you like your newsletter, you can subscribe to it here: http://bit.ly/1NxxW2N.Write us with tips, suggestions and news: slane@thehill.com, njagoda@thehill.com and nelis@thehill.com. Follow us on Twitter: @SylvanLane, @NJagoda and @NivElis.

"You can't just make up words and add 'infrastructure' at the end," Graves said in the phone interview, panning what Democrats are calling "social infrastructure."

In the interview Graves, the top Climate Committee Republican, also told The Hill that infrastructure *can* entailI: Major waterways that go through multiple states, flood protection "in some cases" and broadband "in some cases."

Read more about the meeting here.

GREEN RIGHT: House GOP's planned environmental bills drop Democratic priorities

Congressional Republicans are set to unveil environmental legislation in the coming weeks that eschews the Biden administration's focus on energy and carbon emissions in favor of reducing U.S. dependence on so-called critical minerals and an initiative to plant 1 trillion trees worldwide.

A spokesperson for Republicans on the House Natural Resources Committee on Monday confirmed to The Hill that Republicans in the chamber will reintroduce the Trillion Trees Act in the weeks ahead.

What else does the package involve?: The spokesperson told The Hill on Monday that a separate bill will also seek to reduce American dependence on critical minerals obtained from China and African nations.

In February, President Biden signed an executive order requiring a 100-day review of critical product supply chains, including critical and rare-earth minerals.

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Republicans plan to unveil the measures next week to coincide with Earth Day, ahead of a planned White House-hosted climate summit with other world leaders next Thursday.

The GOP measures are not expected to include mandatory greenhouse gas emissions caps or carbon pricing, according to Bloomberg. The latter, once ferociously opposed by the energy industry, has moved into the mainstream over the past decade, with the American Petroleum Association endorsing such a plan earlier this year.

Read more about the bills here:

RAILING TO GO: Advocates optimistic Biden infrastructure plan is a step toward sustainability

Environmental advocates are hopeful that parts of the White House's multi-trillion-dollar infrastructure package's sustainability measures can gain traction with lawmakers in Congress despite GOP claims that they fall outside the definition of infrastructure.

Advocates have long called expansion of rail infrastructure a major opportunity to reduce the environmental impact of transportation and improve its sustainability.

Sierra Club legislative director Melinda Pierce told The Hill the organization is particularly pleased with the legislation's provisions on rail transportation.

What does the package do for rail?: The $2.25 trillion plan includes $85 billion to modernize public transit, including updating and replacing rail cars, station repairs and railway expansion. Another $80 billion would address Amtrak's repair backlog and increase the cities connected by Amtrak routes along the rail system's northeastern corridor.

OVERNIGHT ENERGY: Trump official delayed releasing information on cancer-linked chemical in Illinois: watchdog | Advocacy groups say tech giants need to 'step it up' on sustainability | GOP senator: Raising corporate taxes is a 'non-starter'

  OVERNIGHT ENERGY: Trump official delayed releasing information on cancer-linked chemical in Illinois: watchdog | Advocacy groups say tech giants need to 'step it up' on sustainability | GOP senator: Raising corporate taxes is a 'non-starter' THE WEEKEND IS NEAR! 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 on Twitter: @BudrykZack . Signup for our newsletter and others HERE. Today we're looking at a watchdog report that says a Trump official delayed the release of info to the public on a cancer-linked chemical, calls for big tech to do more on sustainability and Republican comments on how to pay for (or how not to pay for) infrastructure. But first...

Biden is the "best salesman for building out a transportation infrastructure," Pierce said. "Now might be that moment - now we might see bold investments in rail as an option and an option to take freight off the roads."

Read more here:

IT'S PERSONNEL: Nixed Interior nominee appointed to different department role

An official who President Biden originally wanted to nominate to be the second-in-command at the Interior Department has found a new political position in the agency after reported opposition from swing-vote senators.

Elizabeth Klein, who had been slated to be nominated as Interior's deputy secretary, will now instead be senior counselor to the secretary.

Read more about the appointment here.

ON TAP TOMORROW:

The House Committee on Natural Resources' Subcommittee on Indigenous Peoples of the United States will hold a hearing on H.R. 1884, the "Save Oak Flat Act."

WHAT WE'RE READING:

A California county, despite the state's climate goals, further embraces fossil fuels, The Washington Post reports

How a shocking environmental disaster was uncovered off the California coast after 70 years, CBS News reports

Early environmental activist John Topping dies at 77, The New York Times reports

Old documents fuel latest bid to halt Nevada lithium mine, according to The Associated Press

Leaked calls show ALEC's secret plan to fight Biden on climate, GRIST reports

ICYMI: Stories from Monday and the weekend...

House GOP's planned environmental bills drop Democratic priorities

New Oregon laws aim to reduce whale deaths from crab fishing linesAdvocates optimistic Biden infrastructure plan is a step toward sustainability

Companies face pressure to promote sustainable products, avoid 'green washing'

Iran launches advanced centrifuges at nuclear plant

Nixed Interior nominee appointed to different department role

Against mounting odds, Biden seeks GOP support for infrastructure plan

FROM THE HILL'S OPINION PAGES:

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And lastly: Hold me closer, tiny Prancer

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Happy Wednesday! 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 on Twitter: @BudrykZack . Signup for our newsletter and others HERE. Today we're looking at the Biden administration's emissions goals for the decade, the next step in the administration's goals on gas and oil leasing, and a Democratic proposal that would overhaul energy tax credits.

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