Dominoes Falling, Landrieu Rising
Max Baucus goes to China, Ron Wyden goes to Finance, and Mary Landrieu goes to Energy.
That's how the dominoes are likely to fall upon the Senate's unanimous confirmation of Baucus as the ambassador to China today.
The oil industry's dream team will lead the Energy and Natural Resources Committee until at least November. Landrieu will be chair alongside ranking member Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska. Landrieu will have the best shot she may ever get to pass her signature issue: revenue-sharing for coastal energy-producing states (including Louisiana).
Here's how the dominoes could fall post-midterms.
If the Senate stays blue and Landrieu wins reelection, the ranking member would be Sen. John Barrasso, R-Wyo., who is not a shoo-in supporter of her revenue-sharing bill. If the Senate goes red, the Landrieu-Murkowski team remains intact, albeit flipped.
If Landrieu loses, Sen. Maria Cantwell of Washington, who just today penned a letter about oil exports with current Energy Chairman Ron Wyden, is poised to be the top Democrat.
Dominoes could turn out to be a lucrative game for the energy industry.
TOP ENERGY NEWS
DEMS TAKE CLIMATE MESSAGE OUTSIDE WALLS OF CONGRESS. In the face of what they call congressional inaction on climate change, members of the House Safe Climate Caucus will get their message out via op-eds and YouTube videos.
- Our take: Democrats in both chambers are getting more aggressive on climate change, but the most pivotal battles on the horizon will probably be in the courts, where EPA's planned power plant rules will face certain industry attacks.
CRUDE RUSH BECOMES EXPLOSIVE ISSUE. Regulators are increasingly turning their attention to the volatility of oil from North Dakota.
HOUSE GOP CAN'T AGREE ON CRUDE EXPORTS. The battle over crude-oil exports is growing, but House Republicans are still weighing positions.
DEMS SEEK 'COMPREHENSIVE' STUDY OF CRUDE-OIL EXPORTS. Two Senate Democrats want Energy Department numbers-crunchers to launch a broad study of how ending the ban on U.S. crude-oil exports would affect energy prices and production levels.
ARE BIG BANKS FUELING GLOBAL WARMING? Investors are pushing banks to disclose lending practices that contribute to greenhouse-gas emissions.
COALITION GOES TO BAT OVER LNG EXPORTS. Oil and natural gas industry stakeholders and pro-business groups are making a push to lobby for greater exports of liquefied natural gas.
IS THE LEFT'S ANTI-KEYSTONE UNITY BREAKING? MSNBC host Ed Schultz comes out as a lonely voice on the left in support of the pipeline. Could he be just the first of many to split with the pack?
WHITE HOUSE TAPS INSIDER FOR ACTING ENVIRO COUNCIL HEAD. The Council on Environmental Quality's chief of staff will move into the top slot on an acting basis.
KEYSTONE PROTESTS HEAT UP. Police issued citations to dozens of protesters who came out to oppose the oil sands pipeline in San Francisco.
ELECTRICITY DEMAND ROSE LAST YEAR. The surge in usage led to a rise in carbon emissions.
EU LEADERS MAKE PUSH TO STRENGTHEN CARBON MARKET. Lawmakers are hoping to curb pollution by making carbon credits for major polluters more expensive.
WHAT INSIDERS ARE SAYING...
SHOULD OBAMA GREEN-LIGHT KEYSTONE XL? Should President Obama approve or deny a permit for the Keystone XL pipeline?
"What have we learned from the fifth exhaustive Keystone XL pipeline review in five years? The same fact we learned in the previous four reviews: That Keystone XL is safe for the environment and a boon to job creation and energy security." -Jack Gerard, president and CEO, American Petroleum Institute
"President Obama Should Stop Playing Politics with the Keystone XL Pipeline. Currently, growing volumes of crude oil from the Alberta oil sands and the Bakken Shale play are being transported by rail. For example, last year about 75% of Bakken oil left North Dakota and Montana in rail tanker cars, a 25-fold increase since 2008. But rail isn't the safest way to move oil. With Keystone, this oil could be delivered more quickly, cheaply and safely to refineries in Texas and the Midwest." -Bernard Weinstein, associate director, Maguire Energy Institute