Energy Brief: Week in Review & What’s Ahead

Week in Review

Regulatory rollback continues

  • The Environmental Protection Agency gave states another year to comply with ozone standards set by the Obama administration.
  • The Department of the Interior will review the Obama administration’s rule protecting the sage grouse, a rare Western bird.
  • The Trump administration proposed allowing seismic tests to search for oil and gas reserves under the Atlantic Ocean.

Republicans slam proposed Interior budget

  • Republican House members criticized the White House budget proposal for suggested cuts to a coal-reclamation program, to national parks, and to Native American health and education programs. Zinke defended it as a “starting point” for “what a balanced budget would look like.”

Agency nominees move forward

  • The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee advanced four nominations to the Department of the Interior, Department of Energy, and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.

More Paris fallout

  • California and China signed an agreement to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, following President Donald Trump’s decision to pull out of the Paris agreement.
  • Energy Secretary Rick Perry reassured his Japanese counterpart during a visit in Tokyo that the U.S. is committed to environmental issues and moving toward clean energy.

What’s Ahead

  • It is unclear when President Donald Trump will make a decision on whether to rescind or alter the designation of Bears Ears National Park in Utah, but Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke delivered his recommendation to the White House on Saturday.
  • Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt will testify at a House Appropriations subcommittee hearing on his agency’s requested budget. Last week, Democrats focused heavily on the administration’s climate policies at an Interior appropriations hearing.

Events Calendar (All Times Local)

Tellurian CEO Meg Gentle speaks at Atlantic Council 12 p.m.
House Agriculture subcommittee hearing on watershed infrastructure 10 a.m.
Senate Environment and Public Works Committee hearing on EPA and NRC nominations 10 a.m.
Senate Environment and Public Works Committee legislative hearing on Consumer and Fuel Retailer Choice Act 10 a.m.
House Energy and Commerce subcommittee hearing on energy security 10 a.m.
House Natural Resources subcommittee legislative hearing on SHARE Act 10 a.m.
Senate Energy and Natural Resources subcommittee legislative hearing on hydropower and water bills 2 p.m.
Senate Agriculture Committee hearing on farm bill 9:30 a.m.
BP Statistical Review of World Energy 2017 9:30 a.m.
Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee hearing on Forest Service budget request 10 a.m.
House Natural Resources subcommittee hearing on forest management 10 a.m.
BP Group Chief Economist Spencer Dale speaks at AGA’s Natural Gas Roundtable 12 p.m.
Pruitt testifies at House Appropriations subcommittee 1 p.m.
FERC staff Elizabeth Olson speaks at WCEE lunch 11:45 a.m.


Morning Consult Energy Top Reads

1) US energy chief reassures Japan of commitment to environment
Mari Yamaguchi, The Associated Press

2) U.S. considers possible sanctions against Venezuela oil sector – officials
Girish Gupta and Matt Spetalnick, Reuters

3) EPA delays ozone rule
Sean Reilly, E&E News

4) Trump administration to reconsider protections for rare sage grouse
William Yardley, Los Angeles Times

5) Lawmakers push bill to target ‘super pollutants’
Devin Henry, The Hill

6) Senate panel approves four energy Interior nominees
Devin Henry, The Hill

7) California, China sign climate deal after Trump’s Paris exit
Matthew Brown, The Associated Press

8) Senate back to the nitty gritty of Trump’s energy nominees after Paris drama
John Siciliano, Washington Examiner

9) Trump may restrict length of environmental reviews under infrastructure plan
Melanie Zanona, The Hill

10) Q&A: Coal comeback unlikely after Paris climate pact withdrawal, says utility CEO
Bill Loveless, USA Today