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.
IT'S TUESDAY! Welcome to Overnight Energy, your source for the day's energy and environment news. © Getty Images Overnight Energy: Manchin grills Haaland over Biden oil and gas review | Biden admin reportedly aims for 40 percent of drivers using EVs by 2030 | Lack of DOD action may have caused 'preventable' PFAS risks
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Today we're looking at reported details on the Biden administration's vehicle mileage push, an inspector general probe finding that a lack of Defense Department action may have caused "preventable" PFAS risks and Interior Secretary Deb Haaland facing questions on the federal oil and gas program.
At Alcatraz Island, Haaland highlights Indigenous progress
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — U.S. Interior Secretary Deb Haaland on Saturday said progress has been made by Indigenous people during a visit to Alcatraz Island, which became a symbol of the struggles of Native People for self-determination following its takeover in the 1960s, but more remains to be done. Haaland visited the island off of San Francisco's coast on the 52nd anniversary of the occupation by Indigenous students who were demanding that the U.S. government recognize longstanding agreements with tribes and turn over the deed to the island. The group was removed after a 19-month occupation but the takeover became a watershed moment in Native American activism.
IN THE HOT SEAT: Manchin grills Haaland over Biden oil and gas review
Senate Energy Committee Chairman Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) grilled Interior Secretary Deb Haaland on the status of the Biden administration's review of oil and gas drilling on public lands in a hearing Tuesday.
"While I've supported the administration's desire to pause lease sales to make sure the American people are getting fair returns for our shared resources, we are now well - now into the early summer timeline when we were told the review would be completed," Manchin said during a Tuesday hearing on the Interior Department's fiscal 2022 budget request.
"We need a plan to move forward for responsible oil and gas leasing both onshore and offshore," he added.
Dems confident on methane fee as budget bill moves to Senate
WASHINGTON (AP) — A Democratic plan to impose a fee on methane emissions from oil and gas wells has cleared a key hurdle, but it faces strong opposition from the oil and gas industry and criticism by centrist Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va. The proposed fee on methane — a powerful pollutant that contributes to global warming — was included in a huge social and environmental policy bill passed by House Democrats last Friday. As the bill moves to theThe proposed fee on methane — a powerful pollutant that contributes to global warming — was included in a huge social and environmental policy bill passed by House Democrats last Friday.
In response, Haaland did not commit to a specific timeline but said "the review is being finalized internally and should be out very soon."
A refresher: Haaland said in June that the administration's review of federal oil and gas leasing would be finalized in "early summer."
Read more about Haaland's Capitol Hill testimony here.
INDUSTRY STANDARD? Biden admin reportedly aims for 40 percent of drivers using EVs by 2030
The Biden administration is set to issue vehicle mileage standards that will first restore Obama-era standards and then exceed them, with a goal of 40 percent of U.S. drivers using electric vehicles by 2030, The Associated Press reported.
The rules, which would undo Trump-era rollbacks, would first apply to 2023 cars, which would be subject to California's 2019 rules cutting emissions by 3.7 percent a year. By 2025, the Obama-era level of a 5 percent annual increase would be fully restored and would continue to increase beginning in the model year 2026, according to the AP, citing four officials briefed on the plan.
Interior head: Chaco protections ‘millennia in the making’
CHACO CULTURE NATIONAL HISTORICAL PARK, N.M. (AP) — A few big rigs carried oilfield equipment on a winding road near Chaco Culture National Historical Park, cutting through desert badlands and sage. Mobile homes and traditional Navajo dwellings dotted the landscape, with a smattering of natural gas wells visible in the distance. This swath of northwestern New Mexico has been at the center of a decades-long battle over oil and gas development. OnThis swath of northwestern New Mexico has been at the center of a decades-long battle over oil and gas development.
However, the EPA is expected to announce the requirements will begin increasing faster in 2027 in a nonbinding statement, with hopes that the pressure will nudge the vehicle industry into increasing their electric vehicle output. One of the officials told the AP the EPA will seek to request that new vehicle sales be 40 percent electric by 2030.
The agency declined The Hill's request for comment.
...and speaking of vehicles: A group of 139 Democratic lawmakers is urging the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to "promptly" reinstate California's ability to set its own vehicle emissions standards - which is expected to increase electric vehicle adoption.
In separate letters to EPA Administrator Michael Regan on Tuesday, 26 senators and 113 House members urged the swift reversal of the Trump administration's move to revoke California's emissions standards waiver, a major climate change rollback.
Read more about the reported changes here and about the Democrats' letters here.
NOT SO PFAST: Lack of DOD action may have caused 'preventable' PFAS risks, watchdog says
Equilibrium/ Sustainability — Presented by NextEra Energy — Cockatoo cooperation key to suburban survival
Today is Tuesday. Welcome to Equilibrium, a newsletter that tracks the growing global battle over the future of sustainability. Subscribe here: thehill.com/newsletter-signup. Sulfur-crested cockatoos - sociable birds native to Australia - have learned over the past five years how to open trash bins in three Sydney suburbs to find "edible trash treasures," The Associated Press reported. These innovators taught the practice to cockatoo colleagues in 40 additional suburbs, in what scientists called a rare example of seeing a "cultural trend" spread among wild birds - and one that reveals the ability of some bird species to "adapt brilliantly" to cities, whil
A report from an internal watchdog says that a lack of action from the Defense Department may have led to people being exposed to "preventable" risks from toxic chemicals.
The department's inspector general said in a report issued last week that in 2011, Defense officials issued an alert saying that firefighting foam that had a type of chemicals known as PFAS in it "contain[s] chemicals that present human health and environmental risks and require[s] special handling and disposal."
It said that this alert wasn't translated into action, however, because officials within the program didn't develop and present their recommendations to an emerging chemicals council - and the department was ultimately not required to act on the risk alert.
The watchdog also found that Department of Defense (DOD) officials including firefighters were not aware of the risk alert.
Taking their time: Risk management actions for PFAS in firefighting foam weren't required for several more years, until 2016.
All in all, the inspector general said that because of the lack of action "people and the environment may have been exposed to preventable risks from PFAS‑containing [firefighting foam]."
And the report generated some calls for change from Capitol Hill.
Bundesliga: Exclusive: Haaland draws it to Real
Erling Haaland tends in the case of a farewell by Borussia Dortmund for information of Spox and Goal to a change to the Spanish record champion Real Madrid. The star door of the BVB has spoken several times privately that the Blancos be his favorite club. However, a decision on Haaland's medium-term future is not yet liked. © Provided by Spox Erling Haaland attracts information from Spox and Goal to Real Madrid.
Rep. Dan Kildee (D-Mich.) in an interview called for a "culture change" at the department on PFAS, saying it should be achieved by making people aware of how the department is handling the issue and through top-down changes in the administration.
"We have to expose the reality of how the Department of Defense is handling this and this is one of the reasons that I led this effort to get the IG to take a look at this," he said, adding that he hopes that "the administration also will take time to direct, through the secretary of Defense right on down, that this be taken more seriously."
Read more about the report here.
NOMS NEWS: Senate approves DOJ environment nominee, Stone-Manning passes procedural vote
- The Senate voted 58-41 Tuesday to confirm Todd Kim to lead the Justice Department's Environment and Natural Resources Division, with eight Republicans crossing the aisle to vote with all the chamber's Democrats.
- Tracy Stone-Manning, Biden's pick to lead the Bureau of Land Management, advanced through a procedural vote 50-49 along party lines
WHAT WE'RE READING:
Oregon governor signs ambitious clean energy bill, The Associated Press reports
London judges reverse course to reopen $7 bln Brazil dam lawsuit against BHP, Reuters reports
Historic floods fuel misery, rage in Detroit, E&E News reports
Florida is buying $300 million in land. It's for the environment - and developers., The Tampa Bay Times reports
ON TAP TOMORROW:
- The Senate Energy & Natural Resources Committee's National Parks Subcommittee will hold a hearing on the impacts of overcrowding in national parks on park resources and visitor experiences
- The Senate Environment & Public Works Committee will hold a hearing to examine the benefits of investing in U.S. Army Corps of Engineers water infrastructure projects
ICYMI: Stories from Tuesday...
In shadow of Texas gas drilling sites, health fears escalate
ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — At a playground outside a North Texas day care center, giggling preschoolers chase each other into a playhouse. Toddlers scoot by on tricycles. A boy cries as a teacher helps him negotiate over a toy. Uphill from the playground, peeking between trees, is a site where Total Energies is pumping for natural gas. The French energy giant wants to drill three new wells on the property next to Mother's Heart Learning Center,Uphill from the playground, peeking between trees, is a site where Total Energies is pumping for natural gas. The French energy giant wants to drill three new wells on the property next to Mother's Heart Learning Center, which serves mainly Black and Latino children.
Biden adviser's brother lobbied National Security Council on GM's behalf
Eight Republicans join Democrats to confirm head of DOJ environmental division
Watchdog: Lack of DOD action may have caused 'preventable' risks from 'forever chemicals'
Manchin grills Haaland over Biden oil and gas
Heavy wildfire smoke linked to increased COVID-19 risk, researchers say
Nearly 140 Democrats urge EPA to 'promptly' allow California to set its own vehicle pollution standards
Biden administration aims for 40 percent of drivers using EVs by 2030: report
OFFBEAT AND OFF-BEAT: A snow leopard also faces consequences of not being vaccinated.
Oil pipeline planned even as California moves away from gas .
LOS ANGELES (AP) — A proposal to replace an oil pipeline that was shut down in 2015 after causing California's worst coastal spill in 25 years is inching though a government review, even as the state moves toward banning gas-powered vehicles and oil drilling. Consideration of the $300 million proposal by Houston-based Plains All American Pipeline is expected to enter a critical phase next year at a time when new scrutiny is being placed on the state’s oil industry after an offshore pipeline break in October near Huntington Beach.