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Politics Overnight Energy & Environment — Presented by the League of Conservation Voters — Senate Finance chair backs budget action on fossil fuel subsidies

06:00  23 september  2021
06:00  23 september  2021 Source:   thehill.com

Overnight Energy & Environment — Presented by Climate Power — Democratic leaders vow climate action amid divide

  Overnight Energy & Environment — Presented by Climate Power — Democratic leaders vow climate action amid divide Welcome to Monday'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 President Biden and Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) pledging to take climate action, even with questions about whether they can accomplish their climate goals, a reported move on methane and the latest in a key house markup. ForToday we're looking at President Biden and Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) pledging to take climate action, even with questions about whether they can accomplish their climate goals, a reported move on methane and the latest in a key house markup.

Welcome to Tuesday's Overnight Energy & Environment, your source for the latest news focused on energy, the environment and beyond. Subscribe here: thehill.com/newsletter-signup.

a train crossing a bridge with a mountain in the background: Overnight Energy & Environment — Presented by the League of Conservation Voters — Senate Finance chair backs budget action on fossil fuel subsidies © Getty Images Overnight Energy & Environment — Presented by the League of Conservation Voters — Senate Finance chair backs budget action on fossil fuel subsidies

Today we're looking at the top Democrat on the Senate Finance Committee vowing to push for action on fossil fuel subsidies, John Kerry's call for China to do more on climate and updated clean-air guidelines from the WHO.

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.

Daily on Energy: House and Senate Democrats face differences on clean energy tax subsidies

  Daily on Energy: House and Senate Democrats face differences on clean energy tax subsidies 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 DIFFERENCES BETWEEN HOUSE AND SENATE: The House Ways and Means Committee advanced its sweeping green energy tax plan yesterday as part of what Democrats called the single most important piece of climate legislation Congress has had the chance of passing.

Let's jump in.

Top finance Democrat says he'll push to address fossil tax breaks

Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) speaks to reporters outside the Senate Chamber during a nomination vote on Monday, September 20, 2021. © Provided by The Hill Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) speaks to reporters outside the Senate Chamber during a nomination vote on Monday, September 20, 2021.

Senate Finance Committee Chairman Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) said Wednesday that he's pushing for legislation to address fossil fuel tax breaks to be included in Democrats' $3.5 trillion spending bill.

"President Biden, to his credit, in the campaign, said that there should not be special tax breaks - his words, not mine - for fossil fuels. Clean Energy for America meets that campaign pledge," he told reporters, referring to a bill that passed through the committee.

"We're going to push for it in the reconciliation bill as well," he added during a press conference.

Overnight Energy & Environment — Presented by the League of Conservation Voters — White House plans extreme heat workplace standard

  Overnight Energy & Environment — Presented by the League of Conservation Voters — White House plans extreme heat workplace standard Welcome to Monday'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 the Biden administration's latest plans for an extreme heat workplace standard, a world leader saying major economies must do more on climate change, and a look at Alaska's post-fossil fuels future. For The Hill, we're Rachel Frazin and ZackToday we're looking at the Biden administration's latest plans for an extreme heat workplace standard, a world leader saying major economies must do more on climate change, and a look at Alaska's post-fossil fuels future.

His comments come as such provisions apparently were not included in the House's version of the bill - sparking some criticism from progressives.

What's next? During the press conference, Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) also said the Democratic bill "may well have" provisions like a carbon tax to drive the transition to clean energy.

"Will any of these be in it? Well, we will see, but I wanted to mention that they are part of the conversation at this point," he added, also referring to a methane fee and a carbon border fee.

But, the future of the entire reconciliation package remains uncertain amid doubts from moderates in the caucus, including Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), over the large price tag. Democrats can't lose any votes given the Senate's even split and the fact that no Republicans are expected to vote for the measure.

Read more about the push here.

Kerry: 'We can't get where we need to go' on climate if China isn't joining in

Overnight Energy & Environment — Presented by the League of Conservation Voters — EPA finalizing rule cutting HFCs

  Overnight Energy & Environment — Presented by the League of Conservation Voters — EPA finalizing rule cutting HFCs Welcome to Thursday'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 moves to phase down the use of greenhouse gases called hydrofluorocarbons, a preliminary report form FERC and NERC on the Texas power outages from earlier this year and Interior Secretary Deb Haaland's latest remarks on public lands drilling. 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.

John Kerry wearing a suit and tie © Provided by The Hill

John Kerry, the special presidential envoy for climate, says the world "can't get where we need to go" in the climate fight if China does not join the effort.

Kerry, during an interview with MSNBC's "Morning Joe" on Wednesday, pointed to China's high percentage of emissions as a reason why their cooperation is needed to become net-zero by 2050.

"I'm confident President Xi, President Biden will meet at some point, I don't know when, but I'm going to be going back to China somewhere in the next weeks to follow up on the conversation that President Xi and President Biden had with hope that China, that produces 28 percent of all the world's emissions - we're at 11 percent, China's at 28 - we can't get where we need to go to be net-zero by 2050 if China isn't joining in that effort," Kerry said.

And not for the first time: Kerry sounded a similar note earlier this month, when he discussed the importance of U.S.-Chinese cooperation to address the global environment during a virtual meeting with Han Zheng, China's vice premier.

According to a statement from a State Department official, the two leaders discussed "the importance of U.S.-China cooperation in the global effort to reduce emissions and tackle the climate crisis."

Fossil fuel firms find friends in Bitcoin mining

  Fossil fuel firms find friends in Bitcoin mining “When people don’t see pollution, they don’t think it’s there,” one expert said.Today, through a holding company based in Kennerdell, Pennsylvania, called Stronghold Digital Mining that bought the plant, Scrubgrass burns enough coal waste to power about 1,800 cryptocurrency mining computers. These computers, known as miners, are packed into shipping containers next to the power plant, the company stated in documents filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission ahead of its initial public offering. Coal waste is a byproduct from decades of mining in the region, left behind in enormous black piles.

Read more about Kerry's comments here.

A MESSAGE FROM THE LEAGUE OF CONSERVATION VOTERS

a green sign with white text © Provided by The Hill

We're calling on Congress to pass the climate test -- and only support a reconciliation package with real climate action that cuts climate pollution in half by 2030. Read LCV's letter now.

WHO toughens air quality guidelines

  Overnight Energy & Environment — Presented by the League of Conservation Voters — Senate Finance chair backs budget action on fossil fuel subsidies © Provided by The Hill

The World Health Organization (WHO) on Wednesday announced its first updated air quality standards in 15 years, saying health dangers associated with air pollution kick in at lower levels than previously thought.

The new, nonbinding guidelines include downward revisions for recommended levels of six pollutants: ozone, nitrogen dioxide, sulfur dioxide and carbon monoxide, as well as two forms of particulate matter, PM 2.5 and PM 10. The latter two are particularly hazardous, according to the WHO, as both are small enough to travel deep into the lungs and PM 2.5 is small enough to enter the bloodstream.

The organization noted that some 7 million deaths a year are attributed to air pollution, and, according to a WHO analysis, nearly 80 percent of PM 2.5-related deaths alone could be averted. Wide disparities already exist between wealthier and developing countries on air-pollution-related health outcomes, and this gap is expected to widen as developing countries industrialize, increasing pollutants.

A Danish man found buried treasure from the Iron Age using a metal detector, just hours after turning it on for the first time

  A Danish man found buried treasure from the Iron Age using a metal detector, just hours after turning it on for the first time A metal detectorist has uncovered one of the largest gold hoards ever found in Denmark. An Iron Age chieftain buried the treasure 1,500 years ago.Within hours of turning his detector on, Schytzlast stumbled across one of the largest treasure hoards ever found in the country.

But the consequences aren't equal: More than 90 percent of people worldwide live in areas with higher PM 2.5 concentrations than the 2005 guidelines recommended as of 2019, according to the WHO. Those same disparities exist for people of color in the U.S., who are disproportionately exposed to PM 2.5, according to research published in April in the journal Science Advances. Black Americans are exposed to above-average PM 2.5 concentrations from sources contributing to 78 percent of exposures, compared to 87 percent of sources for Hispanic Americans and 73 percent of sources for Asian Americans, the study found.

Conversely, the research indicated white Americans had below-average exposure to the pollutant from sources accounting for 60 percent of exposure.

"Air pollution is a threat to health in all countries, but it hits people in low- and middle-income countries the hardest," WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said in a statement Wednesday. "WHO's new Air Quality Guidelines are an evidence-based and practical tool for improving the quality of the air on which all life depends. I urge all countries and all those fighting to protect our environment to put them to use to reduce suffering and save lives."

Read more about the new guidelines here.

CALIFORNIA DRYIN

Water usage in parts of Southern California increased in July but saw a minor reduction statewide as Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) requested that residents cut back amid a historic drought, according to new state data released Tuesday.

How Republicans blocked cities from advancing climate solutions

  How Republicans blocked cities from advancing climate solutions The natural gas industry was losing in cities across the US. Then came an obscure tactic called preemption.While many answers to climate change require national and even international action, cities often have the unilateral power to craft local rules like building codes. But before the city of Tucson could even look at possible building reforms, the Republican-led state legislature took away its power to do so — by passing a state law that natural gas utilities are “not subject to further regulation by a municipality.

The State Water Resources Control Board data showed that water usage in California decreased by only 1.8 percent in July, which the Los Angeles Times noted was equal to the amount that was reduced at the same point last year.

Water use increased by 0.7 percent in Los Angeles and by 1.3 percent in San Diego, according to the state data.

The numbers indicate that California residents were unsuccessful in meeting Newsom's goal announced in early July to voluntarily reduce water consumption by 15 percent compared to 2020 levels.

The board's chairman, Joaquin Esquivel, told The Sacramento Bee Tuesday, "On conservation, we're going to be needing to do more."

However, the chair noted that compared to 2014 levels, during another drought, Californians are now using 15 percent per capita less water.

Read more here.

ON TAP TOMORROW

  • The Joint Economic Committee will hold a hearing on the benefits of electrifying U.S. homes and buildings

  • The Senate Environment and Public Works Committee will vote on the nominations of Jeffrey Prieto to be the EPA's top lawyer, and Stephen Owens, Jennifer Sass and Sylvia Johnson to be members of the Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board

  • The Senate EPW Committee will also hold a hearing titled "The Circular Economy as a Concept for Creating a More Sustainable Future"

A MESSAGE FROM THE LEAGUE OF CONSERVATION VOTERS

a green sign with white text © Provided by The Hill

We're calling on Congress to pass the climate test -- and only support a reconciliation package with real climate action that cuts climate pollution in half by 2030. Read LCV's letter now.

WHAT WE'RE READING

  • Republicans to Fight Clean Power Program With 'Byrd' Budget Rule, Bloomberg reports
  • China Just Entered a Major International Climate Agreement. Now Comes the Hard Part, Inside Climate News reports
  • Michigan to have nation's first electrified road to wirelessly charge EVs, Whitmer says, The Detroit Free Press reports
  • The false promise of massive tree-planting campaigns, Vox reports

ICYMI

UK: Soldiers to start driving fuel tankers in coming days

  UK: Soldiers to start driving fuel tankers in coming days LONDON (AP) — The British government's reserve tanker fleet was deployed Wednesday to help deliver gasoline to empty pumps across the U.K., and military drivers will begin operating fuel tankers in the coming days to ease the country's fuel-supply crisis, a top official said. The comments from Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng came as the fuel industry said in a statement that the crisis, triggered by a shortage of truck drivers, was easing. © Provided by Associated Press Petrol pumps out of use at a petrol station in London, Wednesday, Sept. 29, 2021.

Solar companies warn tariffs on imported panels would be devastating

Progressives push for fossil subsidy repeal in spending bill

Foundations pledge $5 billion in record funding for biodiversity

EPA to propose cuts to biofuel blending requirement: report

AND FINALLY...SOME FUN STUFF

  • For late night hosts, tonight is climate night

  • Happy 100th to Betty Reid Soskin, the National Park Service's oldest ranger

  • Rep. Sean Casten (D-Ill.) continued his "hot FERC summer" campaign today with a new floor speech about "FERC-ing 9 to 5" complete with a Dolly Parton-themed floor chart

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.

UK: Soldiers to start driving fuel tankers in coming days .
LONDON (AP) — The British government's reserve tanker fleet was deployed Wednesday to help deliver gasoline to empty pumps across the U.K., and military drivers will begin operating fuel tankers in the coming days to ease the country's fuel-supply crisis, a top official said. The comments from Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng came as the fuel industry said in a statement that the crisis, triggered by a shortage of truck drivers, was easing. © Provided by Associated Press Petrol pumps out of use at a petrol station in London, Wednesday, Sept. 29, 2021.

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