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Politics: Daily on Energy: Centrist support for electric vehicles fees complicates infrastructure push

Daily on Energy: The consensus forming on energy measures in infrastructure legislation

  Daily on Energy: The consensus forming on energy measures in infrastructure legislation 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 AN EMERGING CONSENSUS: The latest infrastructure negotiations could yield a bipartisan bill with limited energy provisions, but the big climate pieces of President Joe Biden’s agenda must be passed with Democrats only. That’s the consensus that appears to be emerging among top Biden administration officials and centrist senators on both sides of the aisle.

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ELECTRIC VEHICLE FEES IN QUESTION: Centrist Senate Democrats could put President Joe Biden in an awkward position if they agree with their Republican colleagues that fees on electric vehicles should be included as a pay-for in their bipartisan infrastructure package.

Liberal Democrats are staking out clear opposition to imposing any fees on electric vehicle users, and clean energy proponents say such a move would deter adoption of electric cars by punishing current and potential electric vehicle consumers.

Congress must pass $8 Billion USPS electrification proposal to jump-start US EV leadership

  Congress must pass $8 Billion USPS electrification proposal to jump-start US EV leadership It is a national security imperative to re-shore both the assembly and the supply chain for electric vehicles. Inside every electric vehicle (EV) is a diverse array of minerals, components, batteries and technologies that underpin the EV future - and China currently exerts vast control over every link of these supply chains. To break this hold and eliminate this national security vulnerability, the United States must move swiftly to electrify large sections of its vehicle fleet, creating the market demand that stimulates upstream investment in this country.

“If it is regressive taxation — you know, raising the gas tax or a fee on electric vehicles, or the privatization of infrastructure, no I wouldn’t support it, but we don’t have the details right now,” Sen. Bernie Sanders said on NBC’s “Meet the Press” yesterday. Sanders is proposing his own $6 trillion spending measure, including on infrastructure and climate, that he would aim to pass with Democrats only through reconciliation (more on that below).

The Biden administration is reportedly drawing a red line on electric vehicle fees, as well as any increase to the gas tax. Imposing a fee on electric cars would clearly contradict Biden’s push to get more consumers driving them, including through a proposal to spend billions on point-of-sale rebates for electric vehicle purchases.

Daily on Energy, Presented by Citizens' Climate Lobby: Early aftermath of injunction against Biden leasing pause

  Daily on Energy, Presented by Citizens' Climate Lobby: Early aftermath of injunction against Biden leasing pause 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 LATEST ON LEASING PAUSE: Interior Secretary Deb Haaland is mum on her agency’s immediate plans after a federal judge wiped out one of President Joe Biden’s signature climate initiatives by blocking his pause on new oil and gas leasing on federal lands and offshore.

Joe Britton, executive director of the Zero Emission Transportation Association, called electric vehicle fees a “false pay-for.” He cited analysis from the Congressional Budget Office showing an annual $100 fee on electric vehicles “would raise just $1.1 billion over the next five years—which is less than 0.19% of the total cost of this bipartisan infrastructure proposal and less than 0.05% of the total cost” of Biden’s infrastructure proposal.

Nonetheless, Republican lawmakers, including some of the centrists negotiating the bipartisan deal, have so far insisted that fees on electric vehicles be part of the deal. The broad outlines of the bipartisan framework leaked last week included an “annual surcharge on electric vehicles” as part of the proposed pay-fors.

Sen. Susan Collins of Maine, speaking earlier this month about the infrastructure talks, said the fees would ensure electric vehicles “pay their fair share” to use U.S. roads and bridges. “Right now, they are literally free riders because they’re not paying any gas tax,” Collins said June 13 on CBS’ “Face the Nation.”

Daily on Energy, Presented by Citizens' Climate Lobby: Yes, the bipartisan infrastructure framework includes climate provisions

  Daily on Energy, Presented by Citizens' Climate Lobby: Yes, the bipartisan infrastructure framework includes climate provisions 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 CLIMATE IN BIPARTISAN INFRASTRUCTURE FRAMEWORK: Liberal senators and activists are encouraging the Biden administration and Democrats to abandon bipartisan infrastructure talks picking up steam because they argue the framework in question does next to nothing to address climate change.

Welcome to Daily on Energy, written by Washington Examiner Energy and Environment Writers Josh Siegel (@SiegelScribe) and Abby Smith (@AbbySmithDC). Email [email protected] or [email protected] 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.

CENTRISTS HONE PITCH TO BIDEN: Backers of the bipartisan agreement are touting the measure’s climate and EV infrastructure spending provisions (Josh reported those details last week) while acknowledging it falls short of what Biden wants.

Democratic Sen. John Hickenlooper of Colorado, speaking on MSNBC this morning, said the proposal includes "several hundred billions of dollars that's going to have a direct impact on addressing climate change.”

“Is that enough? Probably not. We need to look at other ways to bring more to the table,” Hickenlooper added.

Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina challenged Biden to pursue the bipartisan path, even if that means upsetting liberals who want him to proceed on a higher-spending reconciliation package with no delay. He prodded Biden to “decide what kind of presidency you want.”

Daily on Energy, Presented by Citizens' Climate Lobby: G7 agreement on coal puts new pressure on China

  Daily on Energy, Presented by Citizens' Climate Lobby: G7 agreement on coal puts new pressure on China 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 NEW PRESSURE ON CHINA: Most of the media is portraying the G7 meeting that ended this weekend as a failure because the most advanced countries in the world did not agree to set an end-date to coal use for electricity.

"President Biden, you've got a party that's divided, you've got a Republican Party that's willing to meet you in the middle for a trillion dollars of infrastructure that could fundamentally change the way America does business in roads, ports, and bridges and accelerate electrical vehicles," Graham said on “Fox News Sunday.”

MEANWHILE...DEMOCRATS BALK AT BERNIE’S $6 TRILLION SPENDING PLAN: Sanders last week unveiled a proposal to pass a $6 trillion spending package for infrastructure, climate, and social programs that some fellow Democrats say is far too expensive.

Sanders, a Vermont independent, pitched the massive proposal in a closed-door meeting with Democratic members of the Senate Budget Committee, which he leads, the Washington Examiner’s Susan Ferrechio reports.

Sanders told reporters his spending package would address climate change, homelessness, cut prescription drug prices, and lower the age enrolling in Medicare to 60 while expanding Medicare services. The measure could also wrap in immigration reform, Sanders confirmed.

But Sanders will have difficulty rounding up enough support for such a costly plan to pass, even if Democrats employ the budgetary tactic reconciliation that would allow them to circumvent an otherwise certain GOP filibuster.

The Hill's Equilibrium — Presented by NextEra Energy — Tasmanian devil wipes out penguin population

  The Hill's Equilibrium — Presented by NextEra Energy — Tasmanian devil wipes out penguin population Today is Monday. Welcome to Equilibrium, a new newsletter that tracks the growing global battle over the future of sustainability. Sign up for the newsletter here: thehill.com/newsletter-signupA marauding mob of marsupials has obliterated an Australian island's entire penguin population, Donna Lu reported in The Guardian on Monday. Officials had introduced 28 Tasmanian devils to Maria Island in 2012, in an attempt to safeguard the species from a deadly facial tumor disease. But the devils - notorious for their endless appetite and short fuse - have now eliminated the 3,000 breeding pairs of little penguins who inhabited the island a decade ago.

Key centrists, including Jon Tester of Montana, Mark Warner of Virginia, and Joe Manchin of West Virginia, have refused to commit to such a high-priced spending plan.

Tester told the Washington Examiner he wouldn’t vote for anywhere near the top-line number Sanders is pitching.

“If we're going to spend $4 trillion? No,” Tester said. “I think we should do it for as efficient an amount of money possible to solve the problems.”

HYDROPOWER OUTPUT THREATENED BY DROUGHT: States across the West are at risk of electricity shortages because an extreme drought is crimping the amount of water used to generate hydropower, a dominant energy source in that part of the country, Josh reports for a story posted this morning.

About half of the total utility-scale hydroelectricity generation capacity in the United States is concentrated in Washington, California, and Oregon, according to the Energy Information Administration.

Hydroelectricity generation typically varies based on precipitation levels, but California is being especially challenged by extreme heat and dry weather.

California also imports hydropower from across the Pacific Northwest, but exports from other states are constrained because of low water levels.

One take-away: The challenges facing hydropower are a reminder of the effects climate change can have on the performance of all renewable resources, both negative and positive. For example, output from wind can also decline in drought conditions, while solar generation could increase during sunny times of extreme heat.

6 crucial climate actions the Senate left out of its infrastructure deal

  6 crucial climate actions the Senate left out of its infrastructure deal The infrastructure deal is a disappointment on climate change, but it’s only part one. Here’s what’s next.Many of the promises President Joe Biden made on the campaign trail and early in his presidency — to slash rising greenhouse gas emissions and prepare America’s aging infrastructure for a changed climate — were missing from his announcement Thursday that 21 senators had reached a bipartisan $973 billion infrastructure deal.

"This is just one example of what the rising impacts of climate change can do to our slate of renewable energy resources, and it means we will have to both be even more aggressive about addressing climate change and more sophisticated about managing our renewable resources," Dan Reicher, a senior scholar at Stanford University's Woods Institute for the Environment, told Josh.

BIDEN SELECTS KEY NEW INTERIOR NOMINEE: Biden nominated Laura Daniel-Davis on Friday to be the Interior Department’s assistant secretary for Land and Minerals Management.

Davis would oversee the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management and the Bureau of Land Management, which regulate offshore and onshore energy production on federal lands, respectively.

Davis is already working at Interior on an acting basis, helping to lead the agency’s pending report on the future of the oil and gas leasing program as principal deputy assistant secretary of Land and Minerals Management.

In March, she said the purpose of the administration’s updates to the federal oil and gas leasing program are to “restore balance on America’s lands and waters and to put our public lands’ energy programs on a more sound and sustainable conservation, fiscal and climate footing.”

Davis was previously chief of policy and advocacy at the National Wildlife Federation and s chief of staff to former Obama administration Interior secretaries Ken Salazar and Sally Jewell.

BIDEN TO TALK CLIMATE WITH FINANCIAL REGULATORS: Biden meets today with top financial regulators for discussions that will include climate-related financial risk, according to the White House.

Biden has broadly sought to enlist the financial sector in fighting climate change, both through dedicated efforts to reduce climate-related economic risks and actions to minimize public investment in fossil fuels. In a sweeping executive order last month, he directed financial regulators to identify and take steps to address climate-related financial risk.

Overnight Energy: White House says bipartisan deal will get rid of all lead pipes | House panel draft proposal includes $15.6B increase in Interior funds | Green groups shift energy to reconciliation package

  Overnight Energy: White House says bipartisan deal will get rid of all lead pipes | House panel draft proposal includes $15.6B increase in Interior funds | Green groups shift energy to reconciliation package 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 [email protected] . Follow her on Twitter: @RachelFrazin . Reach Zack Budryk at [email protected] or follow him at @BudrykZack . Today We're looking at lead removal provisions in the bipartisan infrastructure deal, the House Appropriations Committee's fiscal 2022 budget request for the EPA and Interior Department, and environmentalists' infrastructure lobbying plan.

One of the Biden administration’s most significant actions on climate finance, however, is yet to come. The Securities and Exchange Commission just wrapped up taking input on how to establish a framework for climate-related financial disclosures.

It is increasingly likely the SEC will require public companies to report their greenhouse gas emissions and the risks they face from climate change. Mandatory climate disclosure has gained the support of some of the biggest investors, asset managers, pension funds, and even major public corporations themselves.

Republican lawmakers and energy companies, however, are wary of the effort, expressing concern that climate disclosures could deter investment in coal, oil, and gas production.

ANOTHER INTENSE WILDFIRE SEASON: Extreme heat and drought in the West are sparking another intense wildfire season this year, intensifying the debate around Biden's efforts to curb climate change and the controversy over federal and state government forest management, Abby reports in a story posted over the weekend.

More than 1 million acres have burned already this year, which is more than the United States saw by this time in 2020, according to the National Interagency Fire Center. Arizona experienced one of its 10 largest blazes in history, and large fires have burned in Utah, California, and Alaska.

During the 2020 campaign, Biden spoke of the Western wildfires as a manifestation of climate change, and he boasted that his aggressive policies to tackle greenhouse gas emissions would ultimately help prevent more severe wildfire seasons in the future.

But Biden’s aggressive climate policies won’t immediately quell the wildfires in the West, and the president is already facing pressure from lawmakers to take steps to mitigate more intense fires through better forest management.

NEW FINANCING PUSH TO BOOST RENEWABLE ENERGY: The Rockefeller Foundation and the IKEA Foundation announced this morning they will jointly fund a $1 billion initiative to support distributed renewable energy in developing countries.

Through the effort, the two foundations aim to slash 1 billion tons of greenhouse gas emissions by providing people in developing nations with distributed renewable energy, or smaller scale zero-carbon power rather than large centralized power plants. The foundations hope to further leverage public finance, as well, targeting $10 billion in financing from global development agencies to complement their private investment, according to a report from the Financial Times.

“We’re not gambling here. We’ve seen it work in India. We know what it takes to become successful,” Rockefeller Foundation president Rajiv Shah told the Financial Times.

The foundations’ announcement comes after a recent report from the International Energy Agency said clean energy investments in developing countries must expand by more than seven times over the next decade, to reach an annual spending level of more than $1 trillion, for the world to stay within reach of the Paris Agreement’s climate goals.

IRAN NUCLEAR PLANT SHUTS DOWN: Iran’s sole nuclear power plant has been shut down for an unexplained emergency, according to the Associated Press.

An official from the state electric company Tavanir, said on a talk show that aired yesterday that the Bushehr plant shutdown began on Saturday and would last “for three to four days.” He said that power outages could result.

The nuclear plant first went online in 2011 with help from Russia.

The Rundown

New York Times Shell gets greener, even as climate advocates say, ‘go faster’

Washington Post Why has Andy Karsner frightened the mighty ExxonMobil?

Wall Street Journal Climate fight brews as SEC moves toward mandate for risk disclosure

Calendar

WEDNESDAY | JUNE 23

10 a.m. 1324 Longworth. Interior Secretary Deb Haaland will testify before the House Natural Resources Committee about the agency’s fiscal 2022 budget proposal.

10 a.m. SD-192. Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm will testify before the energy and water development subcommittee of the Senate Appropriations Committee on the agency’s fiscal 2022 budget proposal.

2 p.m. 366 Dirksen. The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee’s energy subcommittee will hold a hearing to examine existing programs and future opportunities to ensure access to affordable, reliable, and clean energy for rural and low-income communities.

THURSDAY | JUNE 24

9:30 a.m. 366 Dirksen. The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee will hold a hearing to examine the infrastructure needs of the U.S. energy sector, western water and public lands.

10 a.m. 406 Dirksen. The Senate Environment and Public Works Committee will hold an oversight hearing entitled, “The Role of Natural and Nature-Based Features in Water Resources Projects.”

Tags: Energy and Environment, Daily on Energy

Original Author: Josh Siegel, Abby Smith

Original Location: Daily on Energy: Centrist support for electric vehicles fees complicates infrastructure push

Overnight Energy: White House says bipartisan deal will get rid of all lead pipes | House panel draft proposal includes $15.6B increase in Interior funds | Green groups shift energy to reconciliation package .
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 [email protected] . Follow her on Twitter: @RachelFrazin . Reach Zack Budryk at [email protected] or follow him at @BudrykZack . Today We're looking at lead removal provisions in the bipartisan infrastructure deal, the House Appropriations Committee's fiscal 2022 budget request for the EPA and Interior Department, and environmentalists' infrastructure lobbying plan.

See also