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Politics Overnight Energy: Republicans request documents on Kerry's security clearance process| EPA official directs agency to ramp up enforcement in overburdened communities | Meet Flint prosecutor Kym Worthy

02:30  05 may  2021
02:30  05 may  2021 Source:   thehill.com

Prosecuting the Flint water case

  Prosecuting the Flint water case Kym Worthy never thought in law school that she would wind up a prosecutor. Now she's behindone of the most prominent criminal cases against public officials in the country.Worthy, the top prosecutor in Wayne County, Mich., co-leads the Flint water crisis case with Michigan Solicitor General Fadwa Hammoud.In January, they rolled out a slate of charges against nine people, including accusing former Gov. Rick Snyder (R) of willful neglect of duty and charging with involuntary manslaughter both Nicolas Lyon, the former director of the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, and Eden Wells, former Michigan chief medical executive.

IT'S 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 on Twitter: @BudrykZack . Signup for our newsletter and others HERE.

John Kerry wearing a suit and tie: Overnight Energy: Republicans request documents on Kerry's security clearance process| EPA official directs agency to ramp up enforcement in overburdened communities | Meet Flint prosecutor Kym Worthy © Getty Images Overnight Energy: Republicans request documents on Kerry's security clearance process| EPA official directs agency to ramp up enforcement in overburdened communities | Meet Flint prosecutor Kym Worthy

Today we're looking at the GOP asking for documents related to special climate envoy John Kerry's security clearance, an EPA move to step up environmental enforcement in overburdened communities and our profile of one of the Flint water crisis prosecutors.

John Kerry facing calls to resign by GOP over leaked Iran tapes

  John Kerry facing calls to resign by GOP over leaked Iran tapes John Kerry is facing mounting calls from Republicans to step down from his position as the U.S. special envoy for climate change for allegedly discussing Israeli military operations with Iran's foreign minister.The backlash against Kerry stems from a report published in the New York Times showing leaked audio recorded in March captured Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif saying that Kerry told him Israel attacked Iran's interests in Syria at least 200 times. It is unclear if the alleged conversation happened when Kerry was acting as President Barack Obama's secretary of state or if it happened during the Trump presidency.

CLEARANCE ITEM: Republicans request documents on Kerry's security clearance process

Republicans on the House Oversight and Reform Committee are requesting documents from the White House regarding Special Climate Envoy John Kerry's security clearance after Iran's foreign minister reportedly said Kerry informed him of Israeli attacks on Iranian interests in Syria.

"We are conducting oversight of Special Envoy for Climate John Kerry's reported decision to provide potentially classified intelligence to Iran," they said in a Tuesday letter to White House counsel Dana Remus. The letter was signed by all but three of the Republicans on the panel.

In the letter the lawmakers raised concerns about "Kerry's fitness to serve in his current role with the National Security Council (NSC) and whether these allegations should affect Secretary Kerry's ability to maintain a security clearance."

OVERNIGHT ENERGY: Supreme Court considers whether US should pay for Guam hazardous waste cleanup | EPA eyes reversal of Trump revocation of California vehicle emissions waiver | Kerry faces calls to step down over leaked Iran tapes

  OVERNIGHT ENERGY: Supreme Court considers whether US should pay for Guam hazardous waste cleanup | EPA eyes reversal of Trump revocation of California vehicle emissions waiver | Kerry faces calls to step down over leaked Iran tapes HAPPY MONDAY! 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 the Supreme Court heard a case on hazardous waste policy, the EPA eyed its next move to roll back Trump-era policies and Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm offered thoughts on the Biden administration's energy goals.

A refresher: The New York Times and other outlets reported last week that in leaked audio recorded in March, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said that Kerry told him Israel had attacked Iran's interests in Syria at least 200 times.

Zarif reportedly expressed astonishment at the revelation and did not say when Kerry, who served as secretary of State between 2013 and 2017, made the admission.

The official response: Kerry denied the allegations in a tweet last week, saying, "This never happened - either when I was Secretary of State or since."

State Department spokesperson Ned Price didn't comment on the contents of the reportedly leaked audio last week but appeared to dismiss that the Iranian foreign minister's astonishment was genuine.

"I would just make the broad point that if you go back and look at press reporting from the time, this certainly was not secret, and governments that were involved were speaking to this publicly, on the record," he said.

ABC, CBS, NBC, and MSNBC all ignore New York Times report on Kerry allegedly leaking Israeli intel to Iran

  ABC, CBS, NBC, and MSNBC all ignore New York Times report on Kerry allegedly leaking Israeli intel to Iran Many major news outlets ignored a bombshell New York Times report that presidential envoy for climate John Kerry shared intelligence with Iran about covert Israeli military operations. © Provided by Washington Examiner ABC, CBS, NBC, and 24-hour news network MSNBC dedicated zero coverage on their morning and evening news programs to the Sunday New York Times report, according to Fox News. Zero minutes of coverage for John Kerry’s leaked tape controversy on the main networks, notes Fox pic.twitter.

Read more about Tuesday's request here.

MAY THE ENFORCE BE WITH YOU: EPA official directs agency to ramp up enforcement in overburdened communities

The Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) compliance chief instructed staff to step up enforcement in communities disproportionately affected by pollution.

In a Friday memo, acting assistant administrator Lawrence Starfield instructed the EPA's offices to "strengthen enforcement of violations of cornerstone environmental statutes" in such communities.

In the memo, Starfield states that to put this goal into practice, the agency will review what types of inspections are best suited to addressing those threats and the extent to which inspections have already occurred.

Starfield acknowledges the logistical issues of resuming widespread in-person inspections in the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, and writes that the agency will designate inspections as mission-critical in cases where failure to act could be a threat to public health.

Starfield also asks EPA staff to "think creatively" about developing settlement agreements related to pollution-related noncompliance.

Overnight Energy: EPA takes major step to battle climate change

  Overnight Energy: EPA takes major step to battle climate change MONDAY AGAIN. 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 EPA's latest move on greenhouse gases, the chair of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee's request on tailpipe emissions, and a lawsuit over a federal permit for pipeline construction.

Read more about the memo here.

ON THE CASE: Meet Flint prosecutor Kym Worthy

Kym Worthy never thought in law school that she would wind up a prosecutor. Now she's behind one of the most prominent criminal cases against public officials in the country.

Worthy, the top prosecutor in Wayne County, Mich., co-leads the Flint water crisis case with Michigan Solicitor General Fadwa Hammoud.

In January, they rolled out a slate of charges against nine people, including accusing former Gov. Rick Snyder (R) of willful neglect of duty and charging with involuntary manslaughter both Nicolas Lyon, the former director of the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, and Eden Wells, former Michigan chief medical executive.

Read more from The Hill's profile of Worthy here.

ON TAP TOMORROW:

  • The House Appropriations Committee will hold a hearing on the Energy Department budget request. Secretary Jennifer Granholm is slated to appear.
  • The House Natural Resources Committee will have a member day hearing which will feature testimony from lawmakers both on and off the committee on various issues

WHAT WE'RE READING:

Republicans ask why White House removed climate scientist, The Associated Press reports

Climate activists urge BlackRock, Vanguard to vote against Exxon directors, Reuters reports

Kerry says trusting China on climate would be 'stupid and malpractice'

  Kerry says trusting China on climate would be 'stupid and malpractice' "It's not a matter of taking things by trust," Kerry said. "It would be stupid and malpractice if we just set up a sort of trust thing."The news: Kerry positioned China as an adversary and global economic competitor that requires not only United States pressure but a coordinated international effort to ensure the world can keep temperatures from rising 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels.

Environmental protests being criminalized around world, say experts, The Guardian reports

ICYMI: Stories from Tuesday (and Monday night)...

New NOAA climate 'normals' warmer than ever

EPA official directs agency to ramp up enforcement in communities hit hard by pollution

Prosecuting the Flint water case

Haaland: Government 'ready to solve' crisis of missing and murdered Native Americans

Experts warn emissions may quickly return to pre-pandemic levels

Republicans request documents on Kerry's security clearance process

Padilla introduces bill to expand California public lands

Grassley asks Blinken to provide potential conflicts involving John Kerry

Senate Democrats announce $73B clean bus plan

OFF-BEAT AND OFFBEAT: A woman in Georgia may be giving a whole new meaning to the phrase "high heels."

EPA official directs agency to ramp up enforcement in communities hit hard by pollution .
The Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) compliance chief instructed staff to step up enforcement in communities disproportionately affected by pollution.In an April 30 memo obtained by The Hill, acting assistant administrator Lawrence Starfield instructed the EPA's offices to "strengthen enforcement of violations of cornerstone environmental statutes" in such communities.In the memo, Starfield states that to put this goal into practice, the agency will review what types of inspections are best suited to addressing those threats and the extent to which inspections have already occurred.

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