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Politics: Overnight Energy & Environment — White House announces new climate office

Daily on Energy: Large asset manager joins forces with green group

  Daily on Energy: Large asset manager joins forces with green group 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 A PARTNERSHIP TO SWAY COMPANIES: The Environmental Defense Fund and one of the world’s largest global asset managers have formed a new partnership designed to push companies to address the risks posed by climate change and reduce emissions. London-based LGIM, which manages $1.

The White House © Getty Images The White House

Welcome to Wednesday'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 a new division of the Office of Science & Technology Policy with a climate focus, another Exxon lobbyist recording and the energy issue the Beto O'Rourke campaign thinks will help make him governor.

Programming note: We won't be publishing a newsletter on Thursday or Friday. Enjoy your Thanksgiving and we'll see you back here next week!

For The Hill, we're Rachel Frazin and Zack Budryk. Write to us with tips: [email protected] and [email protected]. Follow us on Twitter: @RachelFrazin and @BudrykZack.

Daily on Energy: Biden Gulf of Mexico drilling lease auction generates big interest

  Daily on Energy: Biden Gulf of Mexico drilling lease auction generates big interest 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 Newsletter Default 11-2021 AN EAGERLY AWAITED AUCTION: President Joe Biden can do no right when it comes to grappling with high energy prices. Republicans are blaming Biden’s policies, including his pause on new oil and gas leases on federal lands and waters, while giving him no credit for restarting auctions, rather than doing more to fight a court order.

Let's jump in.

Executive office to coordinate climate policies

The White House is seen from the South Lawn on Sunday, August 29, 2021. © Provided by The Hill The White House is seen from the South Lawn on Sunday, August 29, 2021.

The White House is set to create a new division of the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) that will coordinate federal climate change policy.

The Biden administration will appoint Sally Benson, a professor of energy engineering at Stanford University, to head the newly created division, according to The Washington Post, which was the first to report the news. The Hill has confirmed the creation of the division.

What's its mission? In an announcement Wednesday, the White House said the OSTP Energy Division will be focused on planning the transition to renewable energy and ensuring the U.S. meets its target of reaching net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. The OSTP has also appointed Costa Samaras, an associate professor of civil and environmental engineering at Carnegie Mellon University, to serve as principal assistant director for energy and chief adviser for energy policy at OSTP.

Daily on Energy: Republicans accuse Democrats of trying to have it both ways on oil and gas

  Daily on Energy: Republicans accuse Democrats of trying to have it both ways on oil and gas 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 Newsletter Default 11-2021 CASSIDY AND CRAMER VERSUS DEMOCRATS: Senate Republicans are pushing back on Democratic calls to curb U.S.

In her role as deputy director for energy and chief strategist for the energy transition, Benson will work closely with other officials such as White House climate adviser Gina McCarthy and OSTP Deputy Director for Climate and Environment Jane Lubchenco.

"We have a 120-year-old energy system that was built over a long time period, and we're talking about very quickly changing that to a new system," Benson told the Post. "And this is a huge opportunity for American industry, for American workers, to lead."

"Science and technology have done things once thought impossible: making solar energy the cheapest energy and dramatically lowering the cost of wind power and batteries," OSTP Director Eric Lander said in a statement. "Now we need to do the same with smart grid technologies, clean hydrogen, fusion power, and more - to make carbon-neutral energy the cheapest energy, so it's always the easy choice - by driving the virtuous cycle of invention and deployment that brings down costs."

Daily on Energy: The climate measures in the bipartisan infrastructure deal

  Daily on Energy: The climate measures in the bipartisan infrastructure deal 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 CLIMATE DOWNPAYMENT: The Senate voted yesterday to advance a $1.2 trillion infrastructure package ($550 billion in new spending) after weeks of stalled efforts to reach a bipartisan deal, with 17 Republicans supporting the agreement.

Read more about the new division here.

SECRET RECORDING

Lobbyist suggests climate change not 'catastrophic, inevitable' risk

A lobbyist for Exxon expressed doubt that climate change carries "catastrophic, inevitable risk" in remarks made earlier this month, which were obtained by the watchdog group Documented.

In the Nov. 9 remarks to the Interstate Oil and Gas Compact Commission, lobbyist Erik Oswald states, "The way I look at it as a scientist is, all's I need to think about is, is there, is there a risk? Yes, there's risk. Is it catastrophic, inevitable risk? Not in my mind. But there's risk."

"And so if we're going to work on this, you know, as a, as a society, if we're going to work on this risk, then my only ask is, let's do it as efficiently as possible," Oswald continues in the recording.

What else did he say? "Find me the cheapest way to put the most CO2 in the ground," he says in reference to carbon-capture technology. "And that's what I'm willing to engage in a conversation on."

In the recording, first reported by The Washington Post, Oswald says the company thinks of such technology "not as the crusaders who are going to be the climate fix" but rather "looking at markets," comparing the business opportunities of a "green premium" to consumers' willingness to buy sugar-free foods.

Overnight Energy & Environment — Biden to release 50M barrels from oil reserve

  Overnight Energy & Environment — Biden to release 50M barrels from oil reserve 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.Today we're looking at the Biden administration's release of oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR), what that will and won't mean at the pump and some GOP pushback. For The Hill, we're Rachel Frazin and Zack Budryk. Write to us with tips: [email protected] and [email protected] Follow us on Twitter: @RachelFrazin and @BudrykZack.Let's jump in.

Exxon leaders have said they acknowledge the reality of climate change and fossil fuels' contribution to it, and that they take the threat seriously. In October testimony before the House Oversight Committee, CEO Darren Woods testified that the energy company "does not ask people to lobby anything different than our publicly supported position."

Read more about the recording here.

O'Rourke seizes on Texas power grid

  Overnight Energy & Environment — White House announces new climate office © Provided by The Hill

Former Rep. Beto O'Rourke (D) is seizing on Texans' concerns over their energy grid following the devastating winter storm earlier this year in his bid to oust Gov. Greg Abbott (R).

The O'Rourke campaign sees the grid as a solid wedge issue in the traditionally red state and will emphasize what it characterizes as failures by Abbott to protect his constituents from deadly temperatures and soaring power bills.

"People in their homes were literally freezing, and it was because their government had failed them," campaign manager Nick Rathod said in an interview. "They literally felt it, and that's why it resonates well with Texans."

And O'Rourke's already hitting the issue: O'Rourke launched his bid earlier this month talking about the February blizzard and deep freeze that has been estimated to contribute to as many as 700 deaths amid the power outages.

Daily on Energy: Lessons from Oregon’s clean electricity standard for Senate Democrats

  Daily on Energy: Lessons from Oregon’s clean electricity standard for Senate Democrats 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 LESSONS FROM OREGON: Oregon’s Democratic Gov. Kate Brown signed into law yesterday a clean electricity standard tied for the fastest timeline for eliminating emissions from the power sector out of all U.S. states, in what environmentalists hope is a model for a similar policy at the federal level.

"I'm running for governor, and I want to tell you why," the 2020 presidential candidate said in a video. "This past February, when the electricity grid failed and millions of our fellow Texans were without power, which meant that the lights wouldn't turn out, the heat wouldn't run, and pretty soon their pipes froze and the water stopped flowing, they were abandoned by those who were elected to serve and look out for them."

O'Rourke has also brought up the storm at campaign events, telling a crowd in Corpus Christi: "Some of you told me that you were without lights or heat or running water for more than a week."

Read more about the O'Rourke campaign's strategy here.

THE WIND-UP

The Interior Department on Wednesday announced its approval of the second offshore wind project in federal waters off the coast of Rhode Island.

The South Fork wind project marks the second commercial-scale offshore project approved by Interior. It will be sited some 19 miles off Block Island and generate about 130 megawatts of wind power, according to the department. The first such project located off the shore of Massachusetts, broke ground last week.

"We have no time to waste in cultivating and investing in a clean energy economy that can sustain us for generations," Interior Secretary Deb Haaland said in a statement.

"Just one year ago, there were no large-scale offshore wind projects approved in the federal waters of the United States. Today there are two, with several more on the horizon. This is one of many actions we are taking in pursuit of the President's goal to open the doors of economic opportunity to more Americans."

Overnight Energy: Democrats request interview with Exxon lobbyist after undercover tapes | Biden EPA to reconsider Trump rollback on power plant pollution in 2022 | How climate change and human beings influence wildfires

  Overnight Energy: Democrats request interview with Exxon lobbyist after undercover tapes | Biden EPA to reconsider Trump rollback on power plant pollution in 2022 | How climate change and human beings influence wildfires 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 congressional action on that Exxon tape, the Biden administration's latest move on water regulations, and how climate change can exacerbate man- made wildfires.

The announcement comes as the Biden administration has set a goal of 30 gigawatts of offshore wind power, amid a broader goal of cutting U.S. carbon emissions in half by the end of the decade. In October, the administration issued an offshore wind power roadmap that would have the green energy source installed along nearly the entire U.S. coastline in the years ahead.

Read more about the announcement here.

WHAT WE'RE READING

  • Mass. solar setback may threaten climate plans, E&E News reports
  • China so far non-committal to Washington's oil release, OPEC+ unmoved, Reuters reports
  • From environment to economy: what to expect from new German government, The Guardian reports
  • Maryland Sues Monsanto Over Chemicals' 'Long-Lasting Harm' On Environment, CBS Baltimore reports

ICYMI

  • Lahore named most polluted city in world
  • China, Japan announce releases of oil reserves
  • Manchin calls on Biden to restore Keystone XL pipeline

Offbeat and off-beat: Driven to distraction

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 Monday.

Less than 2 percent of philanthropy goes toward our biggest threat — climate change .
Giving Tuesday: After reflecting on all that we’re grateful for over Thanksgiving, today we give back.Some predict that we'll collectively reach in our pockets and donate over $3 billion today. That's incredible.

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