Energy and Environment - Progressives Reject Permits in Defense Bill

Energy and Environment – Progressives Reject Permits in Defense Bill

A reported effort to get Sen. Joe Manchin’s (DW.Va.) license reform agreement on a defense spending bill is generating pushback from the left.

Plus: North Carolina is experiencing power outages after an alleged attack and a cap on Russian oil prices goes into effect.

It’s the night of energy and the environment, your source for the latest news focused on energy, the environment and beyond. For The Hill, I’m Rachel Frazin. Subscribe here or in the box below.

Grijalva and Khanna say they would vote against defense bill

At least two progressive Democrats said Monday they would vote against a defense spending bill if it contained material from Sen. Joe Manchin (DW.Va.) allowing for a push for reform.

Representatives Raúl Grijalva (D-Arizona) and Ro Khanna (D-California) tweeted that they would vote against the annual bill, known as the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), if it contained what they described as “gifts to the fossil fuel industry.

“We can advance permits for clean energy without bringing the ax to environmental protection for frontline communities. Not what @RepMcEachin would have wanted,” Grijalva said, citing late Rep. Donald McEachin (D-Va.).

“I will vote against the NDAA rule if we continue with this fossil fuel giveaway,” he added.

Meanwhile, Khanna expressed optimism that the legislation could be stopped.

“I will vote against the rule for review by the NDAA if it includes giveaways to the fossil fuel industry. If even 10 House Progressives vote against, this probably won’t pass,” Khanna tweeted.

A spokesperson confirmed that the lawmaker was referring to authorizing the reform in his tweet.

  • Last year, Grijalva voted for the NDAA while Khanna voted against.
  • Permit reform refers to changes to the energy approval process. Manchin has pushed for changes that should speed up approvals for fossil and renewable energy infrastructure.

So… what did I miss? The Washington Post reported Sunday that Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (DN.Y.) were discussing the inclusion of the provisions with House Armed Services Committee Chairman Adam Smith (D-Wash.).

Learn more about the latest comments here.


Massive power outages in North Carolina over the weekend were caused by gunfire in a suspected criminal attack, authorities said Sunday.

  • Evidence at the scene suggests a gun was used to disable the energy equipment, Moore County Sheriff Ronnie Fields said at a news conference with other local officials.
  • State Sen. Tom McInnis (R) called the incident “an intentional, willful and malicious act” and said the perpetrators would be punished “to the fullest extent of the law”.

The outages began Saturday night and affected much of Moore County. Authorities are investigating the blackouts as a criminal act, and local law enforcement is working with the FBI to find the perpetrator or perpetrators.

Two substations operated by Duke Energy, a Charlotte-based electric and natural gas company, were damaged by the gunfire, Fields said.

Authorities have not identified any motivation behind the incident, and no group has claimed responsibility for the attack, but the sheriff said it was clear the incident was “targeted”.

With the outages expected to continue for a few days, the county declared a state of emergency and a curfew from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m. local time beginning Sunday until the emergency is lifted. .

Moore County law enforcement found signs of “intentional vandalism” in what Fields said was an unprecedented attack on the system.

Read more about blackouts here, from Julia Mueller of The Hill.

Russian oil price cap goes into effect

A cap on Russian oil prices aimed at penalizing Moscow’s war on Ukraine went into effect on Monday.

  • The cap, imposed by the United States and other countries, is intended to prevent Russia from selling oil above $60 a barrel.
  • It works by prohibiting access to services such as insurance and trade finance for the shipment of Russian oil if it is sold above the price cap.

The Group of Seven (G-7) imposes the cap on Russian oil transported by sea with the European Union and Australia. According to a Treasury Department fact sheet, the G-7 controls about 90% of the relevant insurance market.

When Russia launched its offensive in Ukraine, several countries, including the United States, announced that they would stop buying Russian oil. However, not all countries have taken such a pledge and many barrels have been diverted to countries like China and India.

Learn more about price caps here.


The EPA said Monday it was proposing to close a previous “loophole” that allowed some companies to no longer report their releases of certain types of toxic chemicals.

  • The agency said it proposed to end stipulations that allowed companies not to disclose the amount of PFAS – per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, a group of chemicals, some of which have been linked to cancers and diseases. other diseases – that they poured out.
  • Under current regulations, implemented under former President Trump’s administration, companies were not required to disclose the presence of PFAS if they represented only a small concentration of an overall release.

The EPA said fewer companies than expected reported PFAS releases in 2021 and 2022, and noted that some of them cited this concentration threshold, which the agency is now proposing to remove.

“PFAS continue to pose an urgent threat to our country, and communities deserve to know if they may be exposed because of how these chemicals are managed, recycled, or released,” said the EPA Administrator, Michael Regan, in a statement.

“By closing this reporting gap, we are advancing the work set out in the Agency’s strategic roadmap on PFAS and ensuring that companies are reporting even on small concentrations of PFAS,” he said. -he adds.

Learn more about the proposal here.

Desalination offers a partial solution to California’s drought.

As water in the western United States becomes an increasingly scarce commodity, the driest states seek solutions for an even drier future – investing heavily in technologies to maximize conservation and the creation of the region’s most valuable resource.

  • With more than 1,000 miles of Pacific Ocean coastline, California seems to have access to a spring that other arid states lack.
  • The technology to turn this unlimited supply of clean water into clean water has been around for decades, through a process called desalination.
  • Yet while two new desalination plants have received approvals in the past two months, the California coast isn’t exactly teeming with such facilities.

Why the lack of facilities: The technology, which is both expensive and energy-intensive, can leave a gigantic footprint on surrounding communities and marine life, even as it helps quench the thirst of a parched population.

With few signs of respite from the region’s water problems, experts agree that desalination will continue to play a critical, albeit partial, role in a crisis that promises to last.

  • “Our attitude toward ocean desalination is that it’s a tool in the toolbox,” Garry Brown, founder and president of Orange County Coastkeeper, told The Hill during a briefing. a telephone interview this summer.
  • “But it’s a tool of last resort – after you’ve exhausted all your other options,” Brown continued. “Ocean desalination, as we have learned here, has the greatest environmental impacts, the greatest energy requirement, and is by far the most expensive.”

How it works: Desalination is the process of removing excess salt from water, usually by means of a technology called reverse osmosis which separates water molecules from seawater or salty brackish water found inside the ground.

Although the process generates drinking water, it also produces a high concentration salt solution called brine which is usually discharged to a receiving body of water.

Arid countries such as Saudi Arabia, Israel, and the United Arab Emirates have long relied on seawater desalination to form a considerable part of their drinking water supply despite its drawbacks.

“It’s almost romantic to think, ‘Let’s just stick a straw in the ocean and we don’t have to worry about the water,'” Brown said. “But it’s much more.”

Read more here, from Sharon Udasin of The Hill


The Los Angeles City Council on Friday unanimously approved a ban on oil and gas drilling within city limits, finalizing steps toward a ban that were first made earlier this year.

Council members approved 12-0 a resolution enacting an immediate ban on all new oil and drilling. The city will also decommission existing oil wells and operations within 20 years, according to a fact sheet.

Ahead of the vote, City Council Speaker Paul Krekorian called the city’s upcoming ban a “watershed moment” for climate action.

Read more about The Hill’s Brad Dress here.


  • House Natural Resources Committee to Hold Hearing on Overpopulation in National Parks
  • The House Select Committee on the Climate Crisis will hold a hearing entitled
    “Solving the Climate Crisis: Key Achievements, Additional Opportunities and the Need for Continued Action”


That’s all for today, thanks for reading. Check out The Hill’s Energy and Environment page for the latest news and coverage. Until tomorrow.

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