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Politics Overnight Energy: Democrats seek to tackle climate change with import tax | Advocates say bigger deal needed to meet climate crisis | Western wildfires worsen with 80 different fires

02:01  20 july  2021
02:01  20 july  2021 Source:   thehill.com

'Like a firenado': Homes burn, thousands more threatened as wildfires roar through West

  'Like a firenado': Homes burn, thousands more threatened as wildfires roar through West Major wildfires raged virtually unchecked across the West as an unrelenting heat wave and historic drought turned a wide swath of the US into tinder.The 59 blazes had consumed 1,350 square miles of mostly timber and brush, but an undetermined number of homes have burned and thousands were threatened. More than 12,200 wildland firefighters and support personnel were battling the fires.

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

Chris Coons wearing a suit and tie talking on a cell phone: Sen. Chris Coons (D-Del.) arrives to the Capitol for a series of votes on May 27 © Greg Nash Sen. Chris Coons (D-Del.) arrives to the Capitol for a series of votes on May 27

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 at @BudrykZack .

Today we're looking at the latest on carbon-import tax proposals and pushback from activists on the Biden administration's climate action, as well as wildfires in the West.

TAXIMUM OVERDRIVE: Democrats seek to tackle climate change with import tax

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  Daily on Energy: FERC takes first step toward easing construction of electric transmission lines 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 Default Image - July 2021 THE FIRST STEP: The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission is kicking off a process to usher in long-promised grid reforms to ease the building of electric transmission lines critical to speeding the growth of renewables onto the grid.

Democrats are eyeing a tax on imports from countries that don't have strong policies aimed at combating climate change, seeking to include such a tax in a wide-ranging spending package that could pass without Republican votes.

A senior Democratic aide said that the $3.5 trillion budget deal key Senate Democrats reached Tuesday would propose "polluter import fees" but did not include any further specifics.

Carbon border taxes are increasingly getting interest from policymakers across the globe, with the European Union (EU) proposing a similar idea this week.

How would such a measure pass?: Democrats are seeking to pass a large spending bill later this year without any Republican votes, and climate-related provisions are expected to be a key part of it.

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  Notre Dame 99-to-0: No. 19 Justin Ademilola, senior defensive end Justin Ademilola may have arrived at Notre Dame as a recruiting afterthought, but the senior defense may leave the Irish as a mutli-year contributor.NAME, IMAGE, LIKENESS The early usages of NIL rights have showcased some twins to great profits, and the Ademilola twins are following that trend.

The budget deal would allow a number of climate-related provisions to be included in a spending bill, including the import tax, a clean energy standard and clean energy tax incentives. The goal of the provisions is to meet President Biden's objective of 80 percent clean electricity and a 50 percent reduction in carbon emissions by 2030.

Read more about the proposal here

AND SPEAKING OF THE CARBON IMPORT TAX: Democrats unveil polluter import tax legislation

As Democrats indicate that they want to tax polluter imports, two lawmakers are laying out a potential roadmap.

New legislation from Sen. Chris Coons (D-Del.) and Rep. Scott Peters (D-Calif.), would levy an import fee on goods including aluminum, cement, iron, steel, natural gas, petroleum and coal starting in 2024.

The Coons-Peters bill could be used by lawmakers as they hammer out the finer points of the $3.5 trillion Democratic-led infrastructure package in the Senate, but it's not guaranteed that this is the form it will take.

July's extreme weather events highlight climate's long shadow

  July's extreme weather events highlight climate's long shadow Another record-setting summer of heatwaves, drought, wildfires, floods and hurricanes. Is extreme climate “the new normal" already?As we slide deeper into another record-setting summer of heatwaves, drought, wildfires, floods and hurricanes, many are asking whether this more extreme climate is "the new normal." The reality is worse: not only are we already living in a climate in which these high-impact events are much more likely, but the impacts are set to accelerate in the coming years and decades.

HOW WOULD THE FEE WORK?: Under their proposal, the list of products that the fee will be applied to would also expand as the U.S. determines the carbon intensity of producing various types of items.

The fee would be determined based both on the greenhouse gas emissions that occur during the item's production and annual U.S. estimates of costs incurred by companies to comply with American environmental laws.

Read more about the introduction here

THE ART OF THE DEAL: Advocates say bigger deal needed to meet climate crisis

Some climate change advocates are expressing disappointment with the Senate Democrats' $3.5 trillion budget resolution despite its provisions tackling global warming, arguing it doesn't do enough to fight a growing problem.

While the advocates acknowledge the bill is a huge step forward compared to what previously has been considered by the government, they say it misses a one-in-a-generation opportunity to do even more about the climate crisis.

The progressive Sunrise Movement had pushed for a $10 trillion deal, while Budget Committee Chairman Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) had originally proposed $6 trillion - though that spending wouldn't be solely on climate-related measures.

The poor pay more for energy — the US can correct the imbalance

  The poor pay more for energy — the US can correct the imbalance Poor consumers sometimes pay a higher price per unit of energy than higher-income ones, and in other cases are actually subsidizing wealthier consumers. So just as the poor can face a higher tax rate than the rich, the same can happen with energy prices. For example, as recently described by the University of California-Berkeley's Energy Institute at Haas, "net metering" programs - which provide financial benefits to encourage installation of home solar systems - result in energy costs being shifted from higher-income consumers to lower-income ones who can't access these benefits (e.g.

The package announced by senators last week is set to include clean energy tax credits, a clean electricity standard requiring power providers to get a certain percentage of their energy from clean sources and a climate jobs program called the Civilian Climate Corps.

A number of environmentalists praised the inclusion of these provisions, but they said they were worried they would not get enough funding.

Read more about the dispute here

BURNING HIGHER: Western wildfires worsen with 80 different fires

The 2021 wildfire season is intensifying in the western United States, with 80 large fires burning as of the beginning of the week, including an Oregon blaze covering more than 300,000 acres.

Statistics from the National Interagency Fire Center (NIFC) indicated 80 large fires have burned more than 1.15 million acres across 13 states as of Sunday.

The bulk of the fires are in Montana, with 18, and Idaho, where there are 17. California has nine fires, while Oregon has eight. The NIFC defines a "large" fire as any fire comprising at least 100 acres of timber or at least 300 acres of grasslands or rangelands.

Read more about the growing problem here

WHAT WE'RE READING:

Building Solar Farms May Not Build the Middle Class, The New York Times reports

It's Not a Border Crisis. It's a Climate Crisis, Politico reports

EXPLAINER: As wildlife smoke spreads, who's at risk?

  EXPLAINER: As wildlife smoke spreads, who's at risk? BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — Smoke from wildfires in the western U.S. and Canada is blanketing much of the continent, including thousands of miles away on the East Coast. And experts say the phenomenon is becoming more common as human-caused global warming stokes bigger and more intense blazes. Pollution from smoke reached unhealthy levels this week in communities from Washington state to Washington D.C. Get used to it, researchers say. “These firesPollution from smoke reached unhealthy levels this week in communities from Washington state to Washington D.C.

US, Northwest pushing limits of firefighting resources: 'Worst possible conditions' Oregon Live reports

The US city that proves replacing lead water lines needn't be a pipe dream, The Guardian reports

Study: Hotter temps increased workplace injuries in California; incidents undercounted, The Los Angeles Times reports

ON TAP TOMORROW:

- Join The Hill Virtually at 1p.m. ET for The Road to Zero-Emissions Trucks: Rep. Debbie Dingell, Proterra CEO Jack Allen and more join The Hill's Steve Clemons. RSVP here

- The Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee will hold hearings to examine 21st century communities focusing on climate change, resilience and reinsurance

- The House Committee on Natural Resources' Subcommittee on Indigenous Peoples of the United States will hold a legislative hearing on H.R. 442, the Southeast Alaska Regional Health Consortium Land Transfer Act, and H.R. 3496, the Urban Indian Health Providers Facilities Improvement Act

- The House Committee on Natural Resources' Subcommittee on National Parks, Forests, and Public Lands will hold a hearing examining the potential for a Civilian Climate Corps

ICYMI: Stories from Monday (and the weekend)...

White House throws support behind House bill aimed at tackling 'forever chemicals'

Annual Energy Department report finds slight recovery in energy industry jobs

Democrats unveil polluter import tax legislation

Western wildfires worsen with 80 different fires

Advocates say bigger deal needed to meet climate crisis

Death toll climbs to over 180 in European flooding

More evacuations ordered after California wildfire jumps highway

Democrats seek to tackle climate change with import tax

European flood death toll rises past 150

Oregon wildfires creating 'fire clouds,' potential for 'fire tornadoes'

OFF-BEAT AND OFFBEAT: The yearbooks of power

Overnight Energy: Bipartisan framework remains mostly consistent on climate | Pelosi, Schumer vow climate action: 'It is an imperative' .
IT IS WEDNESDAY, MY DUDES. 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 at @BudrykZack . Today we're looking at the latest bipartisan infrastructure deal, vows to stick to ambitious climate targets from Democratic leaders, and a reported Biden administration plan to compensate industries affected by offshore wind.

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