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Politics Daily on Energy: Biden working to integrate climate into every agency’s work

04:50  30 may  2021
04:50  30 may  2021 Source:   washingtonexaminer.com

Overnight Energy: Biden signs order directing studies of climate-related financial risks | Biden administration takes step toward light bulb efficiency standard

  Overnight Energy: Biden signs order directing studies of climate-related financial risks | Biden administration takes step toward light bulb efficiency standard IT'S THURSDAY!!!! 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 an executive order requiring government departments to assess climate risks on the financial system and government, the Energy Department's step toward a lightbulb efficiency standard and some of the U.S. Park Police getting body cameras soon.

Biden proposes steep tax hikes on businesses and the wealthy to fund the huge new social programs in his budget, but the government must borrow roughly 50 cents of every dollar it spends this year and next. Government spending to tackle the COVID crisis - as well as Biden ' s newly-unveiled budget - have Venezuela, meanwhile, is an unmitigated economic catastrophe. Primarily reliant on oil exports, the country' s socialist government has steered the country into a brick wall, and Venezuela has been in a state of total economic collapse since the mid 2010 s . Roughly 90 percent of the population lives in

But the agency heads, whose names will be announced in the coming days, will be the ones tasked to find a path around Congress with regulations that can cut planet-warming emissions and survive judicial review. But many of Mr. Biden ’ s advisers fear that she lacks the experience to manage the sprawling complex agency . Ms. Haaland nonetheless remains a contender, in part because of her political star power. Among those campaigning for her are the Lakota People’ s Law Action Center and the actor and environmentalist Mark Ruffalo, who posted a video on Twitter with tribal leaders speaking on her behalf.

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The Biden administration unveiled two new climate-focused initiatives yesterday that, on their face, aren’t controversial but show how President Joe Biden is seeking to make climate change a priority of every federal agency.

During a trip to the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s headquarters, Biden announced it would direct $1 billion to help state, local, and tribal governments prepare for weather disasters made more extreme by climate change. That level of funding is double what FEMA offered last year.

To solve climate change, the innovations we need are financial

  To solve climate change, the innovations we need are financial We have all the technology we need to solve the climate crisis. And if we implement them fast enough, it’ll save us tons of moneyThe main thread between these is this: The innovation we need to solve the climate crisis is not so much technological but rather innovations in the world of finance.

These included directing all federal agencies to develop climate action plans, and the creation of a White House agency focused on overseeing a "fair transition plan for coal workers " and their communities. Will US action push the world in the right direction? Biden ' s plans would also have an effect on the global scale, according to a new analysis by Climate Action Tracker (CAT), which tracks commitments and actions of countries on climate change. The architects from Al Borde in Ecuador try to integrate locals into their projects.

President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr. will embed climate policy throughout his government, not only in environmental agencies but in departments like justice, defense, the Treasury and transportation. And one of Mr. Biden ’ s early executive orders is expected to require that every federal agency , department and program prepare to address climate change. “We have to re-establish American leadership globally on climate change, and re-establishing global leadership is going to require getting our house in order domestically,” said Ernest Moniz, a former energy secretary and adviser to Mr

“We all know that these storms are coming, and we’re going to be prepared. We have to be ready,” Biden said, pointing to 2020’s intense hurricane season with the most named storms on record.

Also yesterday, NASA announced it would create a new Earth System Observatory, dedicated to research missions that will help improve understanding of climate change and its effects.

The Biden administration’s “response to climate change matches the magnitude of the threat: a whole of government, all hands-on-deck approach to meet this moment,” said NASA Administrator Bill Nelson in a statement.

Nelson added the new Earth System Observatory will expand on NASA’s satellite observations and research over the past three decades, “providing the world with an unprecedented understanding of our Earth’s climate system, arming us with next-generation data critical to mitigating climate change, and protecting our communities in the face of natural disasters.”

Daily on Energy: Biden risks backlash if he pulls away from favoring critical mineral mining

  Daily on Energy: Biden risks backlash if he pulls away from favoring critical mineral mining Subscribe today to the Washington Examiner magazine and get Washington Briefing: politics and policy stories that will keep you up to date with what's going on in Washington. SUBSCRIBE NOW: Just $1.00 an issue! © Provided by Washington Examiner DOE Header 2020 WHAT ABOUT ‘MINED IN AMERICA’? The Biden administration would be “short-sighted” if it backs off support for domestic production of critical minerals, says Rich Nolan, CEO of the National Mining Association. “This whole ‘made in America’ drive needs to begin with 'mined in America',” Nolan told Josh in an interview this morning.

“ Every country will need to invest in new clean energy technologies as we work forward to deal with net zero emissions.” The US president said the country was rejoining various international alliances to accelerate innovation in renewable energy and reduce planet-heating emissions from agriculture. Biden said the production of solar panels, wind turbines and electric cars, along with upgrades to electricity grids and to buildings to make them more energy efficient would “create millions of good paying jobs around the world, jobs that bring greater quality of life, greater dignity to people”.

Foreign leaders broadly welcome Biden ’s climate pledge. Big Oil is cautious. Biden picks a NOAA chief, looking to end the agency ’ s long stretch without a leader. “It needs to be fully integrated with every aspect of our analysis in order to allow us not only to monitor the threat but also, critically, to ensure that policymakers understand the importance of climate change on seemingly unrelated policies,” Ms. Haines said. Her comments came after NATO officials announced they would likely agree on a climate “action plan” to reduce emissions by military units and conduct an alliance-wide

Putting these announcements in context: Unlike other sweeping climate actions from the Biden administration, neither of these announcements were met with much criticism. In fact, many Republican lawmakers have generally expressed support for increased funding to help protect states and cities from natural disasters.

The new initiatives from FEMA and NASA are also lower-stakes politically than other Biden climate policies, such as the executive order Biden signed last week to incorporate climate change in agencies’ financial decisions and the clean electricity requirements Biden has proposed as part of his infrastructure plan.

Nonetheless, the announcements show the Biden administration is searching every pocket of the federal government for ways to bolster efforts to curb climate change. Biden isn’t keeping his climate initiatives largely concentrated at a few federal agencies, as the Obama administration did — an approach that is welcome news to environmental activists but has Republicans wary of new mandates and climate bureaucracy.

Biden proposes to spend big on combatting climate change

  Biden proposes to spend big on combatting climate change President Joe Biden is proposing massive spending increases across federal agencies to combat the effects of climate change and promote clean energy technologies — though he will have to win support from Congress for his plans to succeed. © Provided by Washington Examiner The White House budget proposal for fiscal year 2022, released Friday, incorporates Biden’s $2.3 trillion infrastructure plan, which already includes significant funding to boost technologies such as renewable energy, electric vehicles, and nascent clean energy technologies such as carbon capture and storage.

He has held back American workers from leading the world on clean energy , giving China and other countries a free pass to outcompete us in key technologies and the jobs that come with them. And instead of supporting more tax credits that keep solar and wind workers employed here at home, Trump showered tax cuts on multinational companies that encourage offshoring. Joe Biden ’ s Build Back Better plan ensures that – coming out of this profound public health and economic crisis, and facing the persistent climate crisis – we are never caught flat-footed again.

Work to create a “new class of well-paying jobs and job training around climate resilient industries.” Those would include resilient infrastructure design, construction, and evaluation, and coastal restoration. 3. 'Rally the rest of the world to meet the threat of climate change'. Biden ' s plan also addresses the impact of a transition to cleaner energy on jobs in coal mining and related industries, with promises to help those workers and their communities. 5. 'Fulfill our obligation to workers and communities who powered our industrial revolution and subsequent decades of economic growth'.

Welcome to Daily on Energy, written by Washington Examiner Energy and Environment Writers Josh Siegel (@SiegelScribe) and Abby Smith (@AbbySmithDC). Email jsiegel@washingtonexaminer.com or asmith@washingtonexaminer.com for tips, suggestions, calendar items, and anything else. If a friend sent this to you and you’d like to sign up, click here. If signing up doesn’t work, shoot us an email, and we’ll add you to our list.

WHITMER’S BATTLE TO SHUT DOWN OIL PIPELINE: Gov. Gretchen Whitmer is fighting to shut down a crude oil pipeline in a battle that has long been waged in Michigan but is gaining attention nationally as environmental activists ramp up pressure on fossil fuel infrastructure across the country.

Whitmer had ordered the 645-mile Line 5 pipeline operated by Canadian energy company Enbridge to shut down by May 12, citing risks that the pipeline could leak or spill oil any day. Enbridge’s Line 5, which carries up to 540,000 barrels per day of crude oil and natural gas liquids, runs under the Straits of Mackinac connecting Lake Michigan and Lake Huron.

A bold budget vision for climate

  A bold budget vision for climate The Biden administration’s proposed federal budget confronts the challenge of climate change with a bold agenda for addressing it. It provides funding to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, invest in infrastructure and climate resiliency, expand climate research and policy development, and partner with the global community to respond to this shared challenge. The budget turns climate goals into achievable actions.

Enbridge is defying the shutdown order, however, saying the pipeline hasn’t leaked once in its more than 65 years of operation. After the Colonial Pipeline hack and shutdown led to gasoline shortages along the East Coast, the company and its allies are saying the United States must keep the pipeline running to preserve energy security.

Currently, the state and Enbridge are duking it out in court, fighting over whether litigation to force the Canadian company to shutter the pipeline should be heard in state or federal court.

The Biden administration, for its part, has steered away from this pipeline fight so far, although some activists are pressing Biden to state opposition to Line 5, citing his decision to cancel the Keystone XL pipeline.

Get up to speed on the Line 5 fight in Abby’s story posted this morning.

SEC’S LEE ADDRESSES CLIMATE DISCLOSURE ‘MISCONCEPTIONS’: Allison Herren Lee, a commissioner and former acting chair of the Securities and Exchange Commission, is dispelling several arguments critics of climate change disclosures use to argue the commission can’t require companies to report their greenhouse gas emissions and climate risk.

Some critics of climate disclosures have said the SEC cannot require companies to disclose emissions information unless the agency can demonstrate it is material, or substantially relevant to a company’s bottom line. Lee said this claim is “legally incorrect, historically unsupported, and inconsistent with the needs of modern investors.”

Biden heads to the beach for Jill's 70th birthday

  Biden heads to the beach for Jill's 70th birthday President Joe Biden traveled to Delaware solo Wednesday afternoon for his first trip as president to his Rehoboth Beach house to celebrate first lady Jill Biden's 70th birthday.'No birthday plans. Just a quiet birthday at home,' Michael LaRosa, the first lady's spokesman, told DailyMail.com about the first couple's itinerary for the mid-week break.

Other critics say any climate information that is material to investors would already be reported by companies under other SEC requirements.

“This is simply not true, and reflects a fundamental misunderstanding of the securities laws,” Lee said yesterday during an event hosted by the American Institute of CPAs & the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants, Sustainability Accounting Standards Board, and the Center for Audit Quality.

“The bottom line is that absent a duty to disclose, the importance or materiality of information alone simply does not mandate its disclosure,” she added.

Biden’s team is moving on climate disclosures: Lee’s remarks come as the SEC is weighing how to establish a framework for climate change disclosures, which would likely require public companies to report their greenhouse gas emissions and the physical risks they face from climate change.

Last week, Biden signed an executive order strongly encouraging federal agencies to improve climate disclosures and outlining steps for agencies across the federal government to incorporate climate change into their financial decision making.

“There are a lot of companies and organizations that have been helping to lead the way when it comes to understanding climate risks and voluntarily disclosing them, but it simply isn't enough,” White House national climate adviser Gina McCarthy said last week. “This cannot be voluntary. This cannot be optional. The stakes are simply too high.”

EXXON’S LAST MINUTE CONCESSION AHEAD OF KEY PROXY VOTE: U.S. oil and gas giant ExxonMobil is promising that it will add a director to its board with “climate experience,” a possible concession ahead of a crucial shareholder vote tomorrow on a proposal from activist investors for the company to install four new independent board members.

Daily on Energy: US growth in natural gas exports could challenge Biden agenda

  Daily on Energy: US growth in natural gas exports could challenge Biden agenda Subscribe today to the Washington Examiner magazine and get Washington Briefing: politics and policy stories that will keep you up to date with what's going on in Washington. SUBSCRIBE NOW: Just $1.00 an issue! © Provided by Washington Examiner DOE Header 2020 LNG EXPORT TENSIONS: Whether the Biden administration likes it or not, the U.S. solidified its position last year — even amid a pandemic — as a top exporter of natural gas. The International Gas Union’s World LNG Report, released this morning, finds the U.S. exported 44.

At its annual meeting tomorrow, shareholders will vote whether to replace some of Exxon’s current slate of 12 directors with four candidates nominated by activist hedge fund Engine No.1, who would seek to push the oil giant to invest in clean energy and move off fossil fuels more quickly.

In a SEC filing dated May 23, Exxon leadership pledges to install two new members within a year, including one with climate experience.

Climate activists interpreted Exxon’s filing to be a compromise counter-offer intended to persuade large investors such as BlackRock and Vanguard to oppose the board members offered by Engine No. 1.

Exxon’s charm offensive not working? So far, the country’s three largest pension funds — the California State Teachers’ Retirement System, California Public Employees’ Retirement System and the New York State Common Retirement Fund — have vowed to oppose Exxon’s current board.

BlackRock, the world’s largest asset manager, is expected to vote for three of Engine No. 1's four board candidates, Reuters reported this morning.

Engine No. 1 has argued that Exxon’s strategy of doubling-down on investments in its core oil and gas business has not produced strong financial results.

Exxon late last year made new commitments setting short-term targets for reducing emissions beginning to publish data on the use of its products, and also back-tracked on a plan to substantially increase spending on oil and gas production.

But it is focusing clean energy investments on areas supplementing its oil and gas business, such as carbon capture and hydrogen, rather than spending on renewables as European majors are doing.

FEDERAL SCIENTIST PROTESTS OVER CLIMATE SKEPTIC INVITE: Ben Santer, a long-time atmospheric scientist at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, is ending his affiliation with the lab over its invitation for Steven Koonin to give a seminar this week.

Progressive groups are “fed up” with Biden’s infrastructure playbook

  Progressive groups are “fed up” with Biden’s infrastructure playbook Progressives want Biden to stop negotiating with Republicans and embrace budget reconciliation.Progressive groups, who cheered Biden passing his $1.9 trillion Covid-19 stimulus bill through Congress with only Democratic support early on, are growing increasingly frustrated over Biden’s prolonged infrastructure negotiations with Senate Republicans.

Koonin, who has long raised questions about mainstream climate science, published a book earlier this month suggesting that much of the widely accepted science about warming global temperatures and greenhouse gas emissions contribution is “misleading.”

In addition, Koonin, a professor at New York University, promoted the idea of holding a “red-team, blue-team” exercise to test climate scientific conclusions — a proposal the Trump EPA strongly considered but ultimately abandoned.

Santer, in a statement posted yesterday by the Union of Concerned Scientists, said Koonin is “not an authoritative voice on climate science” and the decision to invite him to speak at the lab won’t help it “attract and retain the best and brightest climate scientists.” Santer said he raised his concerns with management at Lawrence Livermore National Lab, which didn’t adequately address them.

“It is simply untrue that Prof. Koonin is confronting climate scientists with unpleasant facts they ignored or failed to understand,” Santer wrote. “The climate science community treats uncertainties in an open and transparent way. It has done so for decades.”

CLIMATE ACTIVISTS CLOSING PUSH ON INFRASTRUCTURE...IT’S GO TIME: The group Climate Power is launching a seven-figure ad campaign over the next two weeks urging Congress to pass an infrastructure package that invests heavily in clean energy and electric vehicles. The ads will air in D.C., on national cable, and online.

“The time has come to turn plans into action and invest in clean energy solutions like manufacturing electric vehicles in the U.S.,” said Climate Power executive director Lori Lodes.

Negotiations at an impasse: The push comes as bipartisan talks between the White House and Senate Republicans over infrastructure are collapsing, according to reports this morning by Politico and Punchbowl News.

Climate activists have urged Biden and Democrats to move on from negotiations and act alone using reconciliation, since Republicans are not interested in significant clean energy provisions, especially electric vehicle funding.

The White House's latest $1.7 trillion offer costs $500 billion less than the original version of Biden’s plan, but it still proposes to extend renewable energy tax, provide point-of-sale rebates for electric cars, and include a clean electricity standard requiring utilities to purchase increasing amounts of carbon-free power.

Republicans plan to submit a counterproposal this week, but Democrats are facing pressure to forge ahead soon if the two sides can’t reach a deal.

GRANHOLM MAKES PITCH IN HOUSTON: Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm will travel to Houston, Texas on Friday to tout Biden’s infrastructure proposal and its investments to “build a clean energy economy, save consumers money, and reduce the health impacts of pollution,” the Energy Department announced this morning.

Granholm is likely to plug the administration’s increased focus on climate resilience, tying her pitch to Hurricane Harvey devastating Houston in 2017, along with environmental justice, since the city is home to dozens of oil refineries.

ALL THAT POWER: The U.S. will consume more electricity this summer as the economy recovers from the pandemic, the Energy Information Administration said in a note this morning.

U.S. retail sales of electricity will rise 1.5% compared to last summer, with most of the growth coming from the commercial and industrial sectors.

But residential power consumption is set to decline 0.9% this summer, EIA projects, as homes and apartments use less air conditioning because of milder weather forecasted.

MOVERS AND SHAKERS: The Center for Climate and Energy Solutions has named Nat Keohane as its new president.

Keohane joins C2ES from the Environmental Defense Fund, where he was senior vice president for climate. He was previously an energy and environment aide to former President Barack Obama. Keohane replaces Bob Perciasepe, who will stay at C2ES as a senior advisor after being president for seven years.

The Rundown

Bloomberg After blackouts, Texas moves to make power plants weatherize

Reuters Biden looks abroad for electric vehicle metals, in blow to U.S. miners

E&E News Interior OKs Trump-era drilling leases despite Biden freeze

Los Angeles Times Another summer of California power outages poses threat to Newsom as he faces recall

Calendar

TUESDAY | MAY 25

11:30 a.m. The House Energy and Commerce Committee’s Environment and Climate Change Subcommittee will hold a virtual hearing on the drinking water provisions of the CLEAN Future Act.

WEDNESDAY | MAY 26

9:45 a.m. 301 Russell. The Senate Environment and Public Works Committee will hold a business meeting to consider the 2021 surface transportation reauthorization bill and the nominations of Shannon Estenoz to be assistant secretary for Fish and Wildlife and Parks, Radhika Fox to be EPA’s assistant administrator for water, and Michal Freedhoff to be the EPA’s assistant administrator for chemical safety.

10 a.m. 366 Dirksen. The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee will hold a subcommittee hearing on the state of the national park system.

1 p.m. The United States Energy Association will hold a program briefing with the Clean Hydrogen Future Coalition.

THURSDAY | MAY 27

10 a.m. 419 Dirksen. The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee will hold a business meeting to consider the nominations of Robert Anderson to be solicitor of the Interior Department, Shannon Estenoz to be assistant secretary for Fish and Wildlife and Parks and Tanya Trujillo, to be an assistant secretary of the Interior for water and science.

Tags: Energy and Environment, Daily on Energy

Original Author: Josh Siegel, Abby Smith

Original Location: Daily on Energy: Biden working to integrate climate into every agency’s work

Progressive groups are “fed up” with Biden’s infrastructure playbook .
Progressives want Biden to stop negotiating with Republicans and embrace budget reconciliation.Progressive groups, who cheered Biden passing his $1.9 trillion Covid-19 stimulus bill through Congress with only Democratic support early on, are growing increasingly frustrated over Biden’s prolonged infrastructure negotiations with Senate Republicans.

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