Morning Consult Energy: Sinema Reaches Deal on Reconciliation Package


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August 5, 2022
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  • Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) reached an agreement to move forward with the Inflation Reduction Act after Democrats removed a $14 billion carried interest tax provision from the bill, as the Senate prepares to take the first procedural vote on the package on Saturday. While not mentioned in a statement from Sinema, she is reportedly expected to have added some $5 billion in drought resilience money, as the proposed funding gained the support of Western lawmakers whose home states are facing historic droughts. (E&E News)
  • In a 50-47 vote, Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) teamed up with Republicans to advance a resolution to reverse the Biden administration’s new National Environmental Policy Act rules requiring federal agencies to consider certain climate change impacts in agency reviews. It is unlikely that the measure will pass the House, where Democrats hold a slim majority, but the vote represents Manchin’s commitment to work with Republicans to further a permitting reform deal he struck with Democrats, which helped the senator agree to their reconciliation package. (Politico)
  • A new study led by Princeton University shows the Inflation Reduction Act could reduce annual U.S. carbon emissions by about 1 billion metric tons by the end of the decade by accelerating the deployment of clean electricity and electric vehicles. The measure would help lower carbon emissions by about 42% by 2030, from 2005 levels, and lower energy costs by at least 4% over the same period, the study said. (Utility Dive)

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What Else You Need to Know


How Republicans Are ‘Weaponizing’ Public Office Against Climate Action

David Gelles, The New York Times

A Times investigation revealed a coordinated effort by state treasurers to use government muscle and public funds to punish companies trying to reduce greenhouse gases.


Congress’ thirst for earmarks fuels state, EPA concerns

Hannah Northey, E&E News

Lawmakers are once again targeting popular state water infrastructure programs for congressionally directed spending, also known as earmarks — a trend that’s raising questions about the long-term fate of the programs, the role of environmental justice and whether EPA has enough staffing in place to deploy the funding quickly.


Advocates: Senate bill means environmental health, also harm

Drew Costley, The Associated Press

Billions of dollars in climate and environment investments could flow to communities in the United States that have been plagued by pollution and climate threats for decades, if the proposed Inflation Reduction Act becomes law. 


Axed from climate deal, these ideas might be revived by Dems

Corbin Hiar and Adam Aton, E&E News

Democrats and environmentalists are giddy with anticipation now that a landmark climate spending bill has a clear shot at passing the Senate. But modeling shows that the “Inflation Reduction Act” wouldn’t cut emissions enough to meet the nation’s climate goals.


Controversial federal court changes debated in Manchin negotiations

Rachel Weiner, The Washington Post

The deal this week that secured the support of Sen. Joe Manchin III (D-W.Va.) for major economic legislation contained a small provision that could have an outsized impact in federal courts.


New report quantifies the costs of buying a home that has previously flooded

Zoya Teirstein, Grist

Buying a property that has a history of flooding can cost you tens of thousands of dollars.

Climate Change and Emissions

Methane-Tax Compromise Backed by Democrats Faces Industry Skepticism

Katy Stech Ferek and Benoit Morenne, The Wall Street Journal

While bill would exempt oil-and-gas companies that meet tougher rules, some say voluntary efforts make levy unnecessary.


The EPA has identified 23 U.S. facilities that are emitting toxic air pollution that puts people at risk

Kiah Collier and Maya Miller, The Texas Tribune

One of them is in Laredo, which has elevated rates of cancer, according to a recent state analysis. The findings come after reporting by ProPublica and The Texas Tribune.


Anti-redlining law could soon account for climate change

Avery Ellfeldt, E&E News

Environmentalists and community development groups want U.S. bank regulators to account for the impacts of climate change on underserved communities when overhauling an outdated anti-redlining law.


Wall Street firms are paying climate scientists into the millions for an investing edge on a warming planet

Rebecca Ungarino and Catherine Boudreau, Insider Premium

Banks and fund managers need them to help deliver on big promises to combat global warming.


Wildfires destroy almost all forest carbon offsets in 100-year reserve, study says

Camilla Hodgson, Financial Times

Carbon released by US forests burnt in recent blazes expected to wipe out most of the buffer in Californian trading system.

Renewables and Storage

The US Climate Bill Could Make Now the Best Time to Go Solar

Todd Woody, Bloomberg

Generous incentives mean you can replace fossil fuel home appliances and cars with electric versions — and power them with clean energy.


NRG to Use Renewable-Finance Strategy to Build New Gas Plants

Naureen S. Malik, Bloomberg

Company would buy output from new gas peakers funded by others.


Duke Sees ‘Robust Market’ for Sale of $4 Billion Renewable Unit

Josh Saul, Bloomberg

Review is part of utility trend to focus on regulated business.


Manchin deal: Renewables boon or states’ rights menace?

Miranda Willson, E&E News

A slew of permitting reforms backed by the White House and Senate Energy and Natural Resources Chair Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) could make it harder for states and tribes to obstruct natural gas pipelines and other energy facilities they don’t want, analysts say.

Oil, Gas and Alternative Fuels

Oil companies see ‘net positive’ in climate bill

Mike Lee, E&E News

Oil and gas executives are finding a lot to like in the Senate climate and energy bill, though they are still opposed to some provisions.


Conoco forecasts low, single-digit oil production growth this year


ConocoPhillips on Wednesday said its full year oil and gas production could rise at a low-single digit percentage rate over last year, with stronger gains in the top U.S. shale oil field.


Judge rejects federal plans for fossil fuel mining in Powder River Basin

Zack Budryk, The Hill

A federal judge on Wednesday night threw out two resource management plans developed by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), finding they failed to account for the risk of fossil fuel leasing on public lands in Montana and Wyoming. 


Conoco sweetens shareholder returns by $5 billion as profit jumps


ConocoPhillips on Thursday raised its shareholder payout target by 50% after the largest U.S. independent oil producer beat Wall Street’s earnings estimates on surging energy prices.


After Losing Favor to Electric Cars, Plug-In Hybrids Gain Ground

Lawrence Ulrich, The New York Times

There has been a surge in the sales of cars that can travel short distances on just electricity and have a gasoline engine for longer trips.


The Great American Road Trip Is Almost Electric

Kyle Stock, Bloomberg

In fact, many of America’s favorite driving journeys are still off the map for non-Tesla EVs.


Albemarle studying ways to recycle lithium in North America


Albemarle Corp. on Thursday said it is studying ways to develop a battery recycling business in North America and believes there would be many similarities with its current lithium operations.


Electric Cars’ Surging Prices Mean Fewer Buyers Can Use Tax Credit

Keith Laing, Bloomberg

Fewer buyers eligible with limits on EV prices and incomes.


Lithium Miner Ioneer Finds Workaround for Wildflower That’s Stalling US Project

Yvonne Yue Li, Bloomberg

Ford’s lithium supplier says Nevada mine will start producing in 2025 if environmental hurdle cleared.


Nikola Sales Gain Despite Battery Crunch Pressuring Deliveries

Edward Ludlow, Bloomberg

Truck maker beats analyst expectations for revenue, loss.

Electricity, Utilities and Infrastructure

How Manchin’s climate deal could thwart EPA permitting rule

Hannah Northey and Kelsey Brugger, E&E News

Permitting reforms that Sen. Joe Manchin is pursuing in return for his approval of a burgeoning climate and energy deal on Capitol Hill could clash with and possibly stymie EPA’s ongoing efforts to finalize a new Clean Water Act rule.

Environment, Land and Resources

Atlantic hurricane season still looks unusually active, NOAA warns

Andrew Freedman, Axios

The upcoming Atlantic hurricane season is still likely to be unusually active, though not quite as severe as initially predicted, according to a forecast update from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) on Thursday.


California crews make fire gains; Washington town evacuated

Haven Daley and Christopher Weber, The Associated Press

California firefighters made gains against the state’s deadliest and largest wildfire of the year just as an eastern Washington town was evacuated Thursday because of a blaze that was burning homes.


Fire victims seek over $85 million for Tamarack Fire damages

Gabe Stern, The Associated Press

People who lost their homes and property in last summer’s Tamarack Fire in northern Nevada and California have filed a claim against the U.S. Forest Service seeking more than $85 million.


200 million acres of forest cover have been lost since 1960

Joseph Winters, Grist

“Unprecedented” logging, mining, and agricultural expansion are razing forests faster than they can replenish, report finds.


Energy secretary: Nuclear is key to meeting US energy goals

Keith Ridler, The Associated Press

Research at an eastern Idaho nuclear facility is key to boosting nuclear energy to meet President Joe Biden’s goals of 100% clean electricity by 2035 and net zero emissions by 2050, Energy Department Secretary Jennifer Granholm said.

Opinions, Editorials and Perspectives

The Democrats and Manchin: Who’s Taking Whom for a Ride?

Ramesh Ponnuru, Bloomberg

The senator wanted expedited permitting for energy projects. Instead, his colleagues are offering a grab bag of new taxes and spending and calling it inflation reduction.

Morning Consult