TOP ENERGY NEWS
ENERGY REGULATOR FACES ROUGH WATERS. President Obama's pick to head the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, Norman Bay, is finding that confirmation doesn't come easily. Support for Bay's nomination on the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee appears to be in decline, with a number of Republican members of the panel along with Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia indicating that they would rather see current acting Chairwoman Cheryl LaFleur nominated to fill the post. An official switch-up would need to come direct from the White House, which has not yet commented on the situation. (Amy Harder, Wall Street Journal)
AMERICANS DON'T MIND PAYING TO FIGHT CLIMATE CHANGE. Bloomberg reports: "By an almost two-to-one margin, 62 percent to 33 percent, Americans say they would pay more for energy if it would mean a reduction in pollution from carbon emissions, according to the Bloomberg National Poll." The article goes on to say: "While Republicans were split, with 46 percent willing to pay more and 49 percent opposed to it, 82 percent of Democrats and 60 percent of independents say they'd accept higher bills." (Lisa Lerer, Bloomberg)
SHALLOW-WATER DRILLING SEES A REVIVAL. In the aftermath of the BP spill and the permitting freeze that followed, industry officials and Obama administration critics warned of a mortal blow to the Gulf's oil and gas development. But four years after the spill, the shallow-water region has seen a whirlwind of deal-making as aggressive players snap up assets. (Ben Geman, National Journal)
EPA CHIEF HUDDLES WITH POWER EXECS ON CLIMATE RULE. Administrator Gina McCarthy met Monday with electricity industry officials at the Las Vegas meeting of the Edison Electric Institute, a trade group of for-profit power companies, EnergyWire reports.
From their story: " 'I think it was positive she came out to face a group of CEO executives so soon after the proposed rule was released,' said Nick Akins, chairman, president and CEO of American Electric Power Company Inc., whose power plant fleet is among the nation's chief emitters of greenhouse gases."
MARK YOUR CALENDARS. The first House hearing on EPA's climate plan is set for next Thursday, when the Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Energy and Power will tackle the greenhouse-gas regulations. EPA's acting air chief, Janet McCabe, will be the only witness, the committee said.
OHIO GOVERNOR WILL SIGN BILL FREEZING RENEWABLES MANDATE. Gov. John Kasich will sign a controversial bill that would put a hold on Ohio's renewable-energy and efficiency laws for at least two years. But the energy adviser to former Gov. Ted Strickland, a Democrat who signed in the clean-energy law, said he expects the state to continue to invest in clean energy and work to defeat the hold. (John Funk, Cleveland Plain Dealer)
JUDGE TELLS EXXON TO HAND OVER PIPELINE DOCS. Via Reuters: "A U.S. federal judge has denied ExxonMobil Corp's bid to dismiss a government lawsuit and instead ordered the oil giant to hand over documents going back decades on a pipeline that ruptured last year and inundated an Arkansas town with oil." (Mica Rosenberg, Reuters)
SENATORS INTRODUCE BUFFALO BILL. Republican Sen. Tim Johnson of South Dakota and Republican John Hoeven of North Dakota have introduced legislation that would designate the bison as the national mammal of the United States. (Jon Walker, Argus Leader)
ON THE CAMPAIGN TRAIL
VIRGINIA CARBON-TAX ADVOCATE HEADS FOR CONGRESS. Don Beyer on Tuesday won the Democratic primary for the deep-blue Northern Virginia district seat that Rep. Jim Moran is vacating. Beyer, the state's former lieutenant governor, has made his advocacy for a carbon tax a major pillar of his campaign.
ABOUT THAT OTHER HOUSE ELECTION IN VIRGINIA. Where does Dave Brat, who stunningly upset House Majority Leader Eric Cantor in Tuesday's primary, stand on energy and climate change? Who knows.
The man who was given little chance to win until he suddenly did has little on his campaign website. What's there is just boilerplate. It reads: "I support a broad-spectrum energy approach that relies on the free market. The private sector must be set free to invest in natural gas, wind, solar, oil, nuclear, and other forms of energy as we move forward. Ending our reliance on foreign oil and moving toward energy independence is vital to the future welfare of America."
RAHALL: NOT WITH KOCHS, NOT WITH OBAMA. A new campaign ad from West Virginia Democrat Nick Rahall betrays his tricky position of trying to fend off attacks from the right without losing his coal-state cred. The ad slams "out-of-state billionaires"—the Koch brothers—"and their puppet," challenger Evan Jenkins, before pivoting to criticize EPA's climate rule and highlight Rahall's legislation to block it.
BEGICH CHALLENGER WANTS TO BAN OUTSIDE MONEY. Former Alaska Attorney General Dan Sullivan, a Republican, is pressing incumbent Democratic Sen. Mark Begich to sign a pledge that would end third-party television ad spending in the Alaska Senate race. Begich has yet to comment on the pledge. (Andrea Drusch, National Journal)
HAGAN HIT ON UNEMPLOYMENT. A Koch brothers-backed group put down six figures for an ad buy aimed at getting youth voters to oppose Kay Hagan in North Carolina. The ad blames Hagan for high unemployment rates in the state. (Jim Morrill, Charlotte Observer)
WHAT INSIDERS ARE SAYING
WILL THE CLIMATE RULE BE A POLITICAL LIABILITY? The administration is moving forward with regulations to cap carbon emissions from power plants. But where does that leave moderate Democrats facing tough reelection fights?
"The EPA's Clean Power Plan can be a political asset in November. Polls have repeatedly shown that the public supports action, and forthright supporters of climate action have won elections in recent years, even in more conservative states." —Heather Taylor-Miesle, director, NRDC Action Fund
MCCARTHY TALKS CLIMATE PLAN. EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy will discuss the Clean Power Plan as part of the U.S. Energy Association's Energy Efficiency Forum.
ENERGY JOBS HEARING. The House Natural Resources Committee holds a hearing on innovation opportunities as part of a series on jobs in the energy sector.
NATURAL GAS DISCUSSION. The Natural Gas Roundtable and the Senate Natural Gas Caucus hold a discussion on natural gas.