HILLARY CLINTON'S KEYSTONE DANCE
Don't hold your breath waiting to hear Hillary Clinton's verdict on the Keystone XL pipeline. In Toronto on Monday she tiptoed around the subject—as she has in her book and elsewhere—in a discussion with former Canadian Ambassador to the U.S. Frank McKenna.
McKenna pointed out that Canada views the pipeline debate as a proxy for the diplomatic relationship between the two countries and asked the former secretary of State to weigh in.
"This is an issue that has become a proxy for everything." Clinton said, while declining to cast judgment on the project. "These are people making arguments in good faith," she said.
She did, however, sneak in a joke: "We have lots of pipelines crossing the border," she added. "Don't tell anybody, they might get upset."
An interview in The Globe and Mail didn't provide any more clarity. Asked point-blank if she believes the U.S. should approve the pipeline, Clinton replied: "I can't respond."
"[T]his particular decision is a very difficult one because there are so many factors at play. I can't really comment at great length because I had responsibility for it and it's been passed on and it wouldn't be appropriate, but I hope that Canadians appreciate that the United States government—the Obama administration—is trying to get it right," Clinton continued.
"Getting it right doesn't mean you will agree or disagree with the decision, but that it will be one based on the best available evidence and all of the complex local, state, federal, interlocking laws and concerns," she added.
TOP ENERGY NEWS
RUSSIA PULLS THE PLUG ON NATURAL GAS. Russia has moved to end natural-gas delivery to Ukraine after Kiev failed to pay up nearly $2 billion in debt owed to Russia on Monday. For now, Russia insists that Ukraine allow natural gas to continue flowing uninterrupted to the rest of the European Union through pipelines that pass through the country. But onlookers fear that the dispute could disrupt gas for other European nations as well. (Natalia Zinets and Vladimir Soldatkin, Reuters)
SENIOR ENERGY ADVISER STEPS DOWN. State Department special envoy and coordinator for international energy affairs Carlos Pascual is leaving the administration to join Columbia University's Center on Global Energy Policy. (Amy Harder, Wall Street Journal)
CRUDE EXPORTS HIT RECORD HIGH. In April, U.S. crude-oil exports hit a 15-year high of 268,000 barrels per day, according to the Energy Information Administration. Read more about it and see how crude-oil exports have surged in recent years here.
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GOP GOVS TO OBAMA: RESCIND REGULATIONS. In a letter to President Obama, nine Republican governors ask him to rescind EPA's power-plant rule and a proposed expansion of Clean Water Act authority. "Disposing of these regulations will protect Americans from the costs and burdens the rules would impose upon them and will ensure the continuation of America's energy renaissance, which is indispensable to our country's economic recovery and job creation and which is largely a result of State policies," the letter reads.
Notably absent from the letter's signatories? Florida's Rick Scott.
FERC SHUFFLE LOSES STEAM. Negotiations led by Sens. Mary Landrieu and Lisa Murkowski aimed at convincing Senate leadership to let Cheryl LaFleur head up the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission appear to be losing steam. (Glen Boshart, SNL Energy)
GREENPEACE'S BAD BET. Greenpeace International has acknowledged losing $5.2 million after an employee acting outside his bounds tried to benefit the environmental group via currency trading. The group has promised to absorb the loss by trimming back "infrastructure investments" and will not cut its environmental campaigns. (AP)
COAL'S GLOBAL SHARE OF ENERGY DEMAND RISES ... Bloomberg read BP's big annual world energy analysis and reports: "Coal dominated world energy markets last year by supplying the biggest share of demand since 1970, making it the fastest growing fossil fuel, according to an annual review by BP Plc."
... AS WORLD OIL THIRST OUTPACES PRODUCTION. The Wall Street Journal looks at a separate aspect of BP's big new report. "The BP Statistical Review of Energy, unveiled Monday morning at a Moscow conference, found that worldwide, oil consumption grew 1.4%, or 1.4 million barrels a day, which is slightly above the historical average. But oil production grew by just .6%, or 560,000 barrels a day," the paper reports. (Justin Scheck and Benoit Faucon, Wall Street Journal).
KOCH BROTHERS GET READY TO SPEND BIG ON ENERGY. The Daily Beast reports that conservative financiers Charles and David Koch are gearing up to steer close to $300 million into the midterms to push priorities that include an antiregulatory energy agenda. (Peter Stone, Daily Beast)
SOLAR ADVOCATES AND UTILITIES STRIKE A DEAL. Despite the fact that utility providers and the solar industry have long been at odds in many states over a policy that allows rooftop solar customers to sell electricity back to the grid, Massachusetts lawmakers are floating legislation that both sides agree on. (Herman Trabish, Greentech Media)
WHAT INSIDERS ARE SAYING
This week's National Journal Energy and Environment Insiders Discussion asks the question: Will the House leadership shuffle impact energy policy? Will the Republican Party move further to the right when it comes to pushing an energy agenda? Or has the GOP already gone as far in that direction as it can go?
ENERGY SPENDING BATTLE BEGINS. The Senate Appropriations Committee Energy and Water Development Subcommittee holds a markup of the fiscal 2015 Energy and Water Development Appropriations bill at 10 a.m.
OBAMA, KERRY, DICAPRIO PROMOTE OCEAN PROTECTION. The State Department continues its "Our Ocean" conference, focused on sustainable fisheries, marine pollution, and ocean acidification. Participants include Secretary of State John Kerry and actor Leonardo DiCaprio. President Obama will provide video remarks.
AMID KEYSTONE FIGHT, SENATORS, DIPLOMATS HEADLINE ENERGY SUMMIT. The Canadian American Business Council holds its spring policy summit "North America Fueling the Future." Canada's ambassador to the U.S., U.S. Sens. Susan Collins and Ron Johnson, and others will speak. Expect to hear about the proposed Keystone XL pipeline.
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