ALMOST THE WEEKEND! Welcome to Overnight Energy, your source for the day’s energy and environment news.
Today we’re looking at the Senate Energy Committee’s vote on President BidenJoe BidenBiden says wages will need to increase to solve recruitment problems Caitlyn Jenner pledges to support Trump if he makes another bid for the White House Biden: Republicans who say Democrats want to defund the police are lying MORE’s nominee to head the Bureau of Land Management, a bill to address western wildfires and New Jersey’s lates actions on lead pipes.
TIES THAT BIND: Senate panel advances controversial public lands nominee in tie vote
The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee on Thursday voted along party lines to advance President Biden’s nominee to head the Bureau of Land Management.
The committee voted 10-10 on the nomination of Tracy Stone-Manning Thursday, which under the committee rules means it will advance to the full Senate floor.
Stone-Manning has been the subject of mounting Republican opposition over her connection to an act of environmental sabotage known as tree-spiking. She testified in court in the 1990s that she had delivered a letter written by another activist threatening such a spiking, in which metal rods are used to disrupt logging.
The story so far: The Thursday vote came after hours of heated debate on the allegations and whether they should disqualify Stone-Manning, who most recently worked as a senior adviser with the National Wildlife Federation.
“I have taken very seriously, and my staff has done a great deal of research, on all the charges that have been leveled against Ms. Stone-Manning,” Energy and Natural Resources Committee Chairman Joe ManchinJoe ManchinSchumer leaves door open for second vote on bipartisan infrastructure deal On The Money: Bipartisan infrastructure group says it’s still on track after Senate setback | House Democrats want input on bipartisan plan | McConnell warns GOP won’t vote to raise debt ceiling Equilibrium/ Sustainability — Presented by NextEra Energy — West Coast wildfires drive East Coast air quality alerts MORE (D-W.Va.) said in his opening statement Thursday. “Ms. Stone-Manning was never charged with spiking trees, she was never tried for spiking trees, and none of the men who did spike the trees have ever suggested that she did.”
Panel ranking member John BarrassoJohn Anthony BarrassoDemocrats seek to counter GOP attacks on gas prices The Hill’s Morning Report: Afghanistan’s future now up to Afghans, Biden says Budowsky: With great midterm risk, Dem unity is critical MORE (R-Wyo.), however, said in his opening remarks that “Stone-Manning collaborated with eco-terrorists, she lied to this committee and she continues to hold extremist views most Americans find reprehensible.”
FIRED UP: Nevada Democrat introduces bill requiring feds to develop fire management plan
Nevada Sen. Catherine Cortez MastoCatherine Marie Cortez MastoSix takeaways: What the FEC reports tell us about the midterm elections Federal judge blocks new applications to DACA Schumer, Tim Scott lead as Senate fundraising pace heats up MORE (D) on Thursday introduced legislation that would require the federal government to develop fire management plans for federal land in the West.
The bill, dubbed the Western Wildfire Support Act, would require the Interior and Agriculture departments to create management plans for federal land that include pre-fire strategies as well as recovery plans and response management plans.
It would further direct the federal departments to more quickly place wildfire detection technology in areas at high risk of wildfires.
What else?: The bill would also provide $100 million in funding for long-term rehabilitation projects in areas affected by wildfires and put resources toward preventing the spread of wildfire-related invasive species.
“Wildfires present an existential crisis for communities and small businesses across the West, and Nevadans cannot wait any longer for action on the federal level. I’m proposing landmark legislation to revolutionize the way that we address these natural disasters, which get worse and worse every year due to the climate crisis,” Cortez Masto said in a statement.
“Only by taking a comprehensive approach involving fire prevention, suppression, and recovery can we truly combat increasingly dangerous fire seasons and invest in the future of fire-resilient communities.”
GET THE LEAD OUT: NJ requiring public water systems to replace lead pipes in 10 years
New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy (D) signed legislation on Thursday that will require public water systems to catalogue all lead pipes and replace them within 10 years.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has stated lead exposure in water is toxic even at low levels for adults and no safe blood level has been identified in children. The CDC has said that lead exposure in children can cause brain and nervous system damage, learning and behavior problems and slowed growth and development.
Murphy on Thursday estimated that about two-thirds of the state’s housing stock was built before 1980, and said that “the risks of lead exposure run broad,” according to NorthJersey.com.
How would the legislation work?: The legislation maps out how the state will go about taking inventory of the pipes and replacing them. Within the first 30 days after the bill is enacted, unknown pipes and lead water pipes need to be catalogued in an initial inventory and New Jersey’s Department of Environmental Protection must receive that initial inventory within six months, according to The Associated Press.
Another more thorough report would be issued in a year with additional reports to come. Additionally, customers would have to be notified within 30 days of an initial inventory that their pipes contain lead, the wire service reported.
“Our goal is nothing less than having every single lead water service line across New Jersey,” Murphy said on Thursday, according to NorthJersey.com.
WHAT WE’RE READING:
Ex-DOJ enviro chief joins firm to fight ‘federal leviathan’, E&E News reports
Merkel defends U.S. Nord Stream 2 deal as Ukraine cries foul, Reuters reports
Southeast Asian Tycoons Step Up Investments In Renewable Energy Projects Across Indonesia, Vietnam, Forbes reports
Massachusetts’ climate goals at risk due to dispute between energy companies, MassLive reports
In Gaston County, Tension Between A Climate Remedy And Environment, WFAE reports
FROM THE HILL’S OPINION PAGES: “Global electricity demand and coal use are soaring after COVID-19” by Robert Bryce of the Foundation for Research on Equal Opportunity
ICYMI: Stories from Thursday…
NJ requiring public water systems to replace lead pipes in 10 years
Nevada Democrat introduces bill requiring feds to develop fire management plan
Senate panel advances controversial public lands nominee in tie vote
Mercedes-Benz going all-electric by 2025
OFFBEAT AND OFF-BEAT: The bill comes due