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Today we’re looking at a re-introduced bill aiming to tackle PFAS contamination, the White House saying a gas tax won’t be part of their infrastructure plan, and Climate Envoy John KerryJohn KerryCO2 tax support is based in myth: Taxing essential energy harms more than it helps Kerry says he’s ‘hopeful, not confident’ that China will cooperate on emissions Overnight Energy: EPA pledges new focus on environmental justice | Republicans probe EPA firing of Trump-appointed science advisers | Biden administration asks court to toss kids’ climate lawsuit MORE’s upcoming travel to China.
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2 PFAS 2 PFURIOUS: Reps. Debbie DingellDeborah (Debbie) Ann DingellBipartisan lawmakers urge Biden to send more vaccines to Michigan amid spike Biden risks first major fight with progressives A year later, lawmakers long for hugs and Chuck E. Cheese MORE (D-Mich.) and Fred UptonFrederick (Fred) Stephen UptonBipartisan lawmakers call for action on anti-hate crime measures Bipartisan lawmakers urge Biden to send more vaccines to Michigan amid spike University of Michigan regent, who chairs state GOP, censured over ‘witches’ comment MORE (R-Mich.) have reintroduced legislation targeting so-called forever chemicals that previously passed the House, expressing optimism that the Democratic Senate is more likely to pass the measure
The legislation would establish a national drinking water standard for perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) and allow the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to clean up sites contaminated by such substances under its Superfund program.
It would also provide annual funds of $200 million toward wastewater treatment and water utility assistance.
So, what’s new??? In a virtual press conference Tuesday, Dingell confirmed that the reintroduced bill is “identical” to the earlier version but said it would stand a better chance of becoming law in a Democratic Senate.
GAS WHO? White House says gas tax won’t be part of infrastructure bill
The White House said Tuesday that raising the federal gasoline tax is not being considered as part of President BidenJoe BidenTrump: McConnell ‘helpless’ to stop Biden from packing court Biden, first lady send ‘warmest greetings’ to Muslims for Ramadan The business case for child care reform MORE’s infrastructure package.
White House press secretary Jen PsakiJen PsakiOvernight Defense: Biden nominating first female Army secretary | Israel gets tough on Iran amid nuclear talks | Army’s top enlisted soldier ‘very proud’ of officer pepper sprayed by police Israel gets tough with Iran as Biden signals shift from Trump Shocking killing renews tensions over police MORE said that a gas tax increase is not being discussed when asked about reports that Biden was considering a hike to pay for his $2.25 trillion package.
The president has proposed raising the corporate tax rate to pay for the package.
“I think that was a little bit of a garble, unintentional, but in yesterday’s meeting with members of Congress the president mentioned the gas tax only to make a point that even a significant increase in the gas tax, which some people have proposed would pay for only a fraction of the investment the country needs,” she said.
Psaki added that Biden believes raising the gas tax would be burdensome to Americans.
“Now, fundamentally, he does not believe that paying for this historic investment in rebuilding our nation’s infrastructure and creating millions of jobs should be on the backs of Americans,” she said.
WHERE IN THE WORLD IS KERRY? Kerry to visit China ahead of White House climate summit
U.S. climate envoy John Kerry will become the first Biden administration official to visit China as the U.S. attempts to enlist the world’s top greenhouse gas emitter in efforts to reduce international emissions.
In a statement Tuesday, a State Department spokesperson said Kerry will visit Shanghai and Seoul from April 14 to April 17 and discuss “raising global climate ambition” with South Korean and Chinese leaders. The trip will come days before an April 22 White House climate summit, where President Biden is set to announce the new emissions target under the Paris climate agreement. Biden reentered the pact after former President TrumpDonald TrumpTrump: McConnell ‘helpless’ to stop Biden from packing court Romney on NRSC awarding Trump: Not ‘my preference’ McConnell sidesteps Trump calling him ‘dumb son of a b—-‘ MORE withdrew the U.S. from it.
Chinese President Xi Jinping and South Korean President Moon Jae-in are among the 40 world leaders who have been invited to Washington for the meeting.
The announcement of Kerry’s meeting comes as he has emphasized the necessity of cooperation from Beijing for nations to meet emissions reduction targets. Last week, during a diplomatic trip to India, Kerry told reporters he was “hopeful [but] not confident at this point” about Chinese cooperation.
ON THE INTERIOR: Biden reportedly picks deputy Interior secretary
President Biden will nominate Tommy Beaudreau to be second-in-command at the Interior Department, E&E News reported Tuesday.
Sources told the news outlet that he could be nominated as soon as Wednesday.
Beaudreau worked at the department for six years under the Obama administration, including serving as the first director of the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, as well as acting assistant secretary for land and minerals management and chief of staff.
AMERICA FIRST, COMING UP NEXT: Former Energy Secretary (and former Texas Governor, presidential candidate, etc.) Rick PerryRick PerrySenators urge Energy chief to prioritize cybersecurity amid growing threats Rachel Maddow calls into question Cornyn connection to Gupta Exclusive: GOP officials offer support for Vanita Gupta MORE is among the Trump administration alumni who are part of a new group called the America First Policy Institute. Perry will head the group’s Center for Energy Independence.
ON TAP TOMORROW:
WHAT WE’RE READING:
Analysis: 8 counties got half of 2020 flood claims, E&E News reports
U.S. energy secretary says state incentives could boost clean energy standard, Reuters reports
Environmental groups sue over contentious California cannabis grow, the Times-Standard reports
ICYMI: Stories from Tuesday…
Tensions emerge between green groups and Biden over Dakota Access Pipeline
Florida wastewater reservoir to close after leak, DeSantis says
Appeals court backs drilling protections reinstated by Biden
White House says gas tax won’t be part of infrastructure bill
Kerry to visit China ahead of White House climate summit
Companies, European leaders call on US to halve emissions by 2030
Nearly 400 state and local officials call for ban on new fracking permits
Japan plans to dump treated water from Fukushima disaster into the ocean