Good morning and welcome back to Generate, where today we're taking a tour of energy and climate news that ranges from Washington to the Gulf of Mexico and up to the Arctic. Please email tips and feedback to your well-traveled (not really) host at email@example.com. Let's look around . . .
It's easy to forget amid the onshore shale boom, but big, deep-pocketed energy companies are still interested in new drilling in the Gulf of Mexico.
Insight: Analysts from Wood Mackenzie made a few points in a post-game podcast . . .
Lawmakers who will craft fiscal year 2018 spending plans for enviro and energy agencies will probably be stuck in low gear until the Trump administration fills out. Rep. Mike Simpson, who heads a subcommittee that writes DOE's spending plan, said it's been a "challenge" getting undersecretaries and staff in place.
Why it matters: The White House has floated aggressive budget cuts for message purposes, but the absence of a detailed plan and the lack of agency staff could keep the spending process from really getting down to specifics for a while. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, an Appropriations Committee member who oversees Interior and EPA, said new Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, who she has met with in recent days, is also dealing with the lean times:
OMB Director Mick Mulvaney sent agency heads a March 17 memo warning that for now any testimony before Congress should be limited to what's in last week's "skinny" proposal. A more detailed plan is expected in May.
Two gavel-wielding House Republicans are gearing up to challenge the scientific consensus on global warming.
Why it matters:
Even as many Republicans frame their case against Obama's regulations around economic arguments and challenging Obama's interpretation of the Clean Air Act, a vocal contingent of the GOP is also keeping up their rebellion against mainstream climate science.
The winter reach of Arctic sea ice is at record lows for the third straight year, according to National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) analysis based on four decades of satellite records.
Why it matters: It's fresh evidence of climate change at a time of raging political battles over U.S. policy.
Ethanol advocates are adding lobbying muscle as fights over the future of the Renewable Fuel Standard intensify.
Bloomberg reports that environmentalists are carefully pouring over Trump's tweets and the phrasing of his executive orders for evidence of political motive or pre-cooked decisions about regulatory reviews.
New Gallup polling shows a wide partisan gap in how people view the state of the environment.
Do climate change deniers deserve special legal protections? A Maine lawmaker says yes.
Via the Associated Press:
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