The federal government has indicated it may cut water allocations from the Colorado River.
Meanwhile, President Biden is set to sign the climate treaty and attend the UN climate conference, and at least one progressive lawmaker is pushing for a gasoline export ban.
This is Overnight Energy & EnvironmentA source of breaking news focused on , energy, the environment and more. The Hill is Rachel Frazien and Zach Badrick.
Inland areas may cut river quotas amid drought
The Department of the Interior signaled on Friday that action may be taken over the next two years to reduce downstream water discharge from the Hoover and Glen Canyon dams to address the ongoing drought on the Colorado River. .
In its announcement, the department provided three options for the public to comment between now and December 20th.range of options Including the unilateral actions of the Reclamation Bureau regarding the allocation of river waterserving seven states and parts of Mexico.
Two other options outlined in the Home Office announcement include taking no action and letting state, tribal and local policymakers devise alternatives.
The Bureau plans to publish a draft next spring based on feedback.
- The river’s water is managed by a 100-year-old compact that has not been updated to reflect current water levels. In other words, we currently have more water allocated than there actually is. The Home Office had warned states that they might step in if they were unable to reach an agreement by the summer, but negotiations fell apart.
- As the region’s drought enters its 30th year, local residents and federal officials are growing increasingly concerned that the two giant reservoirs of Lake Mead and Lake Powell could drop to “deadpool” levels. . water and hydropower.
“The Department of the Interior continues to pursue a coordinated, consensus-based approach to addressing the drought crisis plaguing the West. We undertake to take necessary swift and decisive action.
“The revision of the current interim operational guidelines for Glen Canyon and the Hoover Dam is one of many important departmental efforts underway to better protect the system in light of the rapidly changing conditions in the watershed. .”
You can read more about the situation here.
Biden to attend World Climate Summit
The White House confirmed Friday night that President Biden will attend a global climate change summit in Egypt.
“On November 11, President Biden will attend the 27th session of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP27) in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt,” said Karine Jean of the White House. spokesman Pierre said in a statement.
“At COP27, he will build on the important work the United States has done to advance the fight against global climate change and help the most vulnerable build resilience to climate impacts. and underscores the need for global action in this decisive decade,” she said.
Every year, world leaders meet to discuss the progress of climate change and negotiate further efforts to slow global warming. At the 2015 Climate Summit, leaders negotiated the Paris Agreement.
The Washington Post previously reported that Mr. Biden would attend the conference this year, but officials at the time hit back, saying the plans weren’t finalized yet.
Biden had previously attended the conference last year. At the time, questions were being raised as to whether the United States could make significant progress amid tense negotiations over climate change legislation.
This year, he plans to promote the Inflation Reduction Act — the Democratic climate, tax and health care bill. The administration has signaled it is seeking to rebuild US confidence on the world stage after former President Trump’s climate change denial and environmental setbacks.
You can read more about Biden’s plans here.
Biden Signs Climate Treaty Aimed at Curbing Greenhouse Gases
President Biden on Thursday signed a treaty aimed at limiting the use of powerful greenhouse gases used in refrigeration.
Known as the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol, the treaty aims to phase out the use of gases called hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs).
Unlike many other climate actions, it was relatively bipartisan, passing the Senate 69 to 27. It was also endorsed by many industry insiders.
background: HFCs have been a major climate challenge, but the US is already trying to limit them, with or without treaties.
- Congress passed in 2020, and then-President Trump signed into law a bipartisan energy bill calling for an 85% phase-out of HFCs over 15 years. This is a law the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is already taking steps to implement.
- So on the climate front, ratification is largely symbolic. However, there were trade implications for the few remaining HFCs.
Under the Kigali Amendment, parties to the Convention are prohibited from trading HFCs with countries that are not. Had the US not signed, it would have had a hard time trading her HFCs, which are still on the market during the phase down.
Biden celebrated the signing of the treaty in a tweet – touting it as a victory for both climate change and US manufacturing.
“I am proud to sign the Kigali Amendment, a historic and bipartisan victory for American manufacturing and global climate action,” he wrote.
“My administration is phasing out super-polluting chemicals so that the United States can lead the future cleantech market and free up thousands of new jobs,” he added.
Learn more about development here.
Canna submits bill to ban gasoline exports
Rep. Ro Canna (D-California), a vocal critic of the business practices of big oil companies, introduced a law on Friday to ban the export of refined gasoline products while gas prices are soaring in the country.
This law restricts exports during a seven-day period when the national average gas price is $3.12 per gallon or more.
Khanna’s office said in a statement that the law would apply specifically to gasoline products, which are mainly exported to Latin America, and would affect exports of diesel, a lifeline for European countries ending the use of Russian fuel. He said he would not give
“While Big Oil reports salacious gains this week, American households can’t afford gas at the pump. “My bill will temporarily limit exports as long as prices remain above the 2019 average price.”
- U.S. gas prices have fallen from their summer peak to record U.S. highs following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
- But OPEC+ countries announced a few weeks ago that they would cut production by about 1 million barrels per day, which was expected to push up prices.
- Khanna explicitly framed the law as a countermeasure against the growing demand for oil outstripping its production.
The bill is unlikely to pass Congress, but it could make sense in terms of the message. Prominent and progressive members of Congress are calling for action not endorsed by the Biden administration.
The Biden administration has called on companies to regulate exports, but has not said the regulation itself will be introduced.
Learn more about billing here.
what we are reading
- Exxon refutes attack on Biden’s interests because of dividend payment (Bloomberg)
- Five more nuclear power plants to be built in Wyoming, Utah (Casper Star-Tribune)
- For top U.S. oil producers, Permian shale production is losing momentum (Reuters)
- The EPA has closed a refinery after it rained oil. Now it’s a “ticking time bomb”. (Washington Post)
- Carbon emissions from energy will peak in 2025, a “historic tipping point,” says the IEA (The Guardian).
more from the hill
That’s all for today, thanks for reading. For the latest news and coverage, visit The Hill’s Energy & Environment page. see you on monday.