Energy Brief: Week in Review & What’s Ahead

Week in Review

Trump’s budget aims to slash EPA funds

  • The White House released its budget blueprint, calling for a 31 percent cut to the Environmental Protection Agency’s budget. It drew some Republican criticism over the elimination of a Great Lakes cleanup program and its support for the Yucca Mountain nuclear waste repository, among other items.

EPA, DOT to review auto emission standards

  • The Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Transportation will reopen a review of their greenhouse gas emission standards for cars and light trucks from 2022 to 2025, opening the door for the requirements to be loosened.

Back and forth on climate change

  • President Donald Trump is expected to sign a directive to undo an Obama administration requirement that executive agencies consider climate change in their environmental reviews of infrastructure projects.
  • Secretary of Defense James Mattis wrote in unpublished testimony to a Senate committee that climate change is a threat to Pentagon assets and to American interests abroad.
  • The Trump administration has been asking U.S. energy companies about their views on the Paris climate agreement, and many companies have said they prefer the U.S. remain in the agreement while reducing its commitment to cut emissions.
  • BlackRock, the world’s largest asset manager, plans to put more pressure on companies to explain how climate change could affect their business.
  • Worldwide greenhouse gas emissions were flat for a third consecutive year despite economic growth, according to the International Energy Agency.

What’s Ahead

  • President Donald Trump is still expected to sign an executive order aimed at reining in the greenhouse gas-cutting Clean Power Plan.
  • A House Energy and Commerce subcommittee will hold a markup Wednesday on Rep. Pete Olson’s (R-Texas) bill that would delay some of the EPA’s National Ambient Air Quality Standards deadlines, and direct the agency to consider the cost and technological feasibility.

Events Calendar (All Times Local)

No events scheduled
Senate Energy and Natural Resources Commitee hearing on infrastructure 10 a.m.
House T&I subcommittee hearing on railroads 10 a.m.
House Natural Resources subcommittee hearing on raw materials for infrastructure projects 10 a.m.
House Science subcommittee hearing on National Science Foundation 10 a.m.
Brookings discussion on solar power in China, U.S. 10 a.m.
CSIS discussion on Australian, Indonesian energy 1:30 p.m.
House Oversight subcommittee hearing on BSEE 2 p.m.
American Coalition for Ethanol D.C. fly-in 8:30 a.m.
House Energy & Commerce subcommittee markup of Ozone Standards Implementation Act 10 a.m.
House Natural Resources subcommittees hearing on Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority 10 a.m.
Environmental Law Institute climate policy outlook 12:30 p.m.
Senate Foreign Relations subcommittee hearing on conflict minerals 2:30 p.m.
International Conference on Climate Change 7:30 a.m.
American Coalition for Ethanol D.C. fly-in 8:30 a.m.
Bipartisan Energy Center on the North American energy trade 2 p.m.
Chevron CEO John S. Watson speaks to Economic Club of D.C. 6 p.m.
Georgetown University Library discussion on energy policy 6 p.m.
International Conference on Climate Change 7:30 a.m.


Morning Consult Energy Top Reads

1) Scott Pruitt’s office deluged with angry callers after he questions the science of global warming
Juliet Eilperin and Brady Dennis, The Washington Post

2) Tillerson Used ‘Alias’ Email for Climate Messages, Schneiderman Says
Erik Larson, Bloomberg News

3) Trump will offer boost for carmakers today
Melissa Burden and Melissa Nann Burke, Detroit News

4) Trump’s budget would torpedo Obama’s investments in climate change and clean energy
Chris Mooney, The Washington Post

5) Questions trail agency critic’s exit
Kevin Bogardus, E&E News

6) Trump to Drop Climate Change From Environmental Reviews, Source Says
Jennifer A Dlouhy, Bloomberg News

7) Donald Trump Budget Slashes Funds for E.P.A. and State Department
Glenn Thrush and Coral Davenport, The New York Times

8) Scientists are conspicuously missing from Trump’s government
Chris Mooney, The Washington Post

9) Elon Musk makes bold bet to end Australia power crisis
Jamie Smyth, Financial Times

10) Interior Department to withdraw Obama-era fracking rule, filings reveal
Juliet Eilperin, The Washington Post