HAPPY WEDNESDAY! Welcome to Overnight Energy, The Hill’s roundup of the latest energy and environment news. Please send tips and comments to Rebecca Beitsch at [email protected]. Follow her on Twitter: @rebeccabeitsch. Reach Rachel Frazin at [email protected] or follow her on Twitter: @RachelFrazin.
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HELPING HER GO HAAL THE WAY: Sen. Joe ManchinJoseph (Joe) ManchinHoyer: House will vote on COVID-19 relief bill Friday Haaland courts moderates during tense Senate confirmation hearing Democrats in standoff over minimum wage MORE (D-W.Va.), a key Senate swing vote, announced on Wednesday that he will vote in favor of confirming Rep. Deb HaalandDeb HaalandHaaland courts moderates during tense Senate confirmation hearing OVERNIGHT ENERGY: Haaland courts moderates during tense confirmation hearing | GOP’s Westerman looks to take on Democrats on climate change | White House urges passage of House public lands package Schumer urges Democrats to stick together on .9T bill MORE (D-N.M.) to lead the Interior Department.
“While we do not agree on every issue, she reaffirmed her strong commitment to bipartisanship, addressing the diverse needs of our country and maintaining our nation’s energy independence,” Manchin said in a statement.
“I believe Deb Haaland will be a Secretary of the Interior for every American and will vote to confirm her,” he added.
Manchin was seen as a crucial vote for Haaland after he announced his opposition to Neera TandenNeera TandenHaaland courts moderates during tense Senate confirmation hearing On The Money: Schumer urges Democrats to stick together on .9T bill | Collins rules out GOP support for Biden relief plan | Powell fights inflation fears Schumer urges Democrats to stick together on .9T bill MORE‘s nomination as President BidenJoe BidenHoyer: House will vote on COVID-19 relief bill Friday Pence huddles with senior members of Republican Study Committee Powell pushes back on GOP inflation fears MORE‘s budget chief.
Haaland, a favorite among progressives, has come under scrutiny by conservatives for her stances on pipelines as well as on a controversial oil and gas extraction method called fracking.
Manchin is not only the evenly split Senate’s swing vote, he also chairs the committee that oversaw Haaland’s nomination, so his support is particularly important to her advancement.
Read more about Manchin’s decision here.
EVENTUALLY, A NEW LEASE ON LIFE (OR JUST ON PUBLIC LANDS): Interior Secretary nominee Deb Haaland said on Wednesday that President Biden’s pause on new oil and gas leasing is a temporary measure and won’t be a “permanent thing.”
“This pause … It’s just that, it’s a pause. It’s not going to be a permanent thing where we’re saying we’re restricting all these lands from something,” Haaland said in response to a question on the moratorium from Sen. Mike LeeMichael (Mike) Shumway LeeOvernight Health Care: US surpasses half a million COVID deaths | House panel advances Biden’s .9T COVID-19 aid bill | Johnson & Johnson ready to provide doses for 20M Americans by end of March 11 GOP senators slam Biden pick for health secretary: ‘No meaningful experience’ Lee after Romney’s impeachment vote: There’s enough room in GOP ‘for both of us’ MORE (R-Utah).
Read more about what Haaland had to say during Day Two of her confirmation hearing here.
OPEN UP AND (DIS)CLOSE: The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) announced Wednesday that it will update its guidelines on how publicly traded companies should disclose climate change-related risks to investors.
Acting SEC Chair Allison Herren Lee said in a Wednesday statement that the commission will review how companies were complying with its 2010 guidelines, discuss climate-related disclosures with firms and analyze how the stock market is handling climate risks. The SEC will then update those guidelines, likely expanding on how much information companies are expected to disclose about the risks climate change poses to their business.
“Now more than ever, investors are considering climate-related issues when making their investment decisions. It is our responsibility to ensure that they have access to material information when planning for their financial future,” said Lee, a Democrat appointed by former President TrumpDonald TrumpRomney: ‘Pretty sure’ Trump would win 2024 GOP nomination if he ran for president Pence huddles with senior members of Republican Study Committee Trump says ‘no doubt’ Tiger Woods will be back after accident MORE.
Lee’s announcement is the SEC’s first step toward expanding the scope of information publicly traded companies are expected to reveal about their vulnerability to climate change. The SEC was widely expected to boost its emphasis on climate-related disclosures after President Biden’s election, which gave Democrats a chance to establish a majority at the independent agency.
Read more about the announcement here.
PAYING THE PRICE: Texas’s deregulated electricity market has raised costs to consumers by $28 billion since 2004, according to a Wall Street Journal analysis published Wednesday.
The analysis found that consumers purchasing power from the deregulated electricity market have paid significantly more than state residents whose sources were traditional electric utilities.
The report comes after widespread power outages in Texas that left millions of residents without power for days amid freezing temperatures.
Read more about the analysis here.
CONFIRMATION WATCH: The Senate on Wednesday voted 67-32 to limit debate on the nomination of Jennifer GranholmJennifer GranholmHaaland courts moderates during tense Senate confirmation hearing Overnight Defense: Law enforcement officials blame Pentagon ‘reluctance’ to deploy National Guard in first hearing on Capitol attack | Watchdog report finds Pentagon didn’t fully evaluate border deployment requests | Biden’s UN ambassador confirmed Haaland courts moderates during tense confirmation hearing MORE to lead the Energy Department, setting up a quicker route for her confirmation.
QUOTE OF NOTE: William BurnsWilliam BurnsOvernight Defense: Law enforcement officials blame Pentagon ‘reluctance’ to deploy National Guard in first hearing on Capitol attack | Watchdog report finds Pentagon didn’t fully evaluate border deployment requests | Biden’s UN ambassador confirmed The Hill’s 12:30 Report – Presented by Facebook – Supreme Court’s blow to Trump This week: House to vote on Biden’s .9 trillion coronavirus bill MORE, Biden’s pick to lead the CIA, said that it’s in China’s best interest to cooperate with the U.S. on climate change, when asked by Sen. Ben SasseBen SasseJosh Hawley is a conservative without a clue Republican Party going off the rails? Polarization may win in media or politics, but our country loses MORE (R-Neb.) about the potential to take pressure off the Asian nation on other issues in order to make gains on climate.
“I just think it’s important for the United States to view cooperation with China on climate issues is not a favor to the United States, it’s in the self interest of China to do that, so in other words, it’s not something to be traded. It’s in the self interest of China as well to work on these issues and it’s important for us to be clear eyed about that as I’m sure the President and Secretary Kerry will be,” Burns said.
ON TAP TOMORROW:
- The House Agriculture Committee will hold a hearing on climate change and the U.S. agriculture and forestry sectors
- The House Appropriations Committee will hold a hearing on strategies for energy and climate innovation
WHAT WE’RE READING:
House Republicans held secret climate summit in Utah, The Washington Examiner reports
California sued over its oil and gas permitting practices, The Palm Springs Desert Sun reports
Orphaned South Dakota Gas Wells Could Soon Power Bitcoin Mining, South Dakota Public Broadcasting reports
Arctic ice loss forces polar bears to use four times as much energy to survive – study, The Guardian reports
ICYMI:Stories from Wednesday (and Tuesday night)…
Trudeau swipes at Trump: US leadership on climate ‘has been sorely missed’
Manchin will back Haaland’s confirmation
Haaland on drilling lease moratorium: ‘It’s not going to be a permanent thing’
Texas’s deregulated electricity market raised consumer costs by $28B: WSJ
SEC to update climate-related risk disclosure requirements
FROM THE HILL’S OPINION PAGES:
The disasters keep coming but not the funds for FEMA, write Edward Johnson, former FEMA chief financial officer and Elizabeth Zimmerman, former FEMA associate administrator.
Our national forests can help us or they can burn us — again, writes Bill Imbergamo, the executive director of the Federal Forest Resource Coalition.