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A WOLF IN GREEN CLOTHING: HOW A DEMOCRAT GETS BY IN A FRACKING STATE: Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf has managed to dodge a lot of criticism over fracking in the last two years, after previously facing a lot of pushback in the run-up to the 2016 presidential elections.

As a Democrat in the largest fracking state in the East, Wolf has faced critics trying to cut him down for not doing enough on climate change and stopping oil and natural gas drilling in the Keystone State.

Trump helps Wolf get around the critics: But it could be that President Trump’s policies have done Wolf a great service, forcing more left-leaning environmentalists to back a Democrat in a sea of Republican challengers going into next week’s midterms.

Environmental billionaire Tom Steyer endorsed him early in flooding the state with money to oppose Republican candidates seen as supportive of Trump-style policies. And the anti-fossil fuel movement backed by Bill McKibben’s hasn’t paid Wolf that much attention since 2016 for not doing enough on climate change.

Moving to the middle on fracking: Wolf has struck a middle ground in Pennsylvania, imposing a fracking moratorium limited to state parks, while not touching the energy boom on private lands.

He also agreed to a joint resolution announced last month with Delaware and New York under the Delaware River Basin Commission to issue draft regulations to permanently ban hydraulic fracturing in the Delaware River Basin.

“Governor Wolf knows we must strike the right balance with Pennsylvania’s growing energy economy, and he knows our state parks and forests are unique assets that should be preserved, protected, and utilized by our residents for recreational purposes,” his reelection website reads.

Wolf has sought to boost his state’s commitment to renewable energy with a new loan program for solar.

However, critics say he is avoiding taking steps to address climate change, satisfied with pointing out the lack of knowledge on the issue by his Republican challengers.

“Incumbent Democrat Tom Wolf and Republican challenger Scott Wagner acknowledge climate change is happening, but neither had made addressing it a top priority,” wrote NPR reporter Marie Cusick last week in a report entitled “Climate change: A crisis for humanity, but not a big deal in the Pa. governor’s race.”

Welcome to Daily on Energy, compiled by Washington Examiner Energy and Environment Writers John Siciliano (@JohnDSiciliano) and Josh Siegel (@SiegelScribe). Email for tips, suggestions, calendar items and anything else. If a friend sent this to you and you’d like to sign up, click here. If signing up doesn’t work, shoot us an email and we’ll add you to our list.  

...MEANWHILE, MEMORIES OF PARIS IN PITTSBURGH LINGER: Democratic Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto made Trump’s withdrawal from the Paris climate accord into a local-pushback moment last year.

Peduto defiantly refuted his and the city’s support for pulling out of the Paris deal after Trump co-opted Pittsburgh for sloganeering.

“I was elected by voters of Pittsburgh, not Paris,” said Trump on June 1, 2017, in withdrawing from the deal. “I promised I would exit or renegotiate any deal which fails to serve U.S. interests."

Peduto lashed back on Twitter, saying: “As the Mayor of Pittsburgh, I can assure you that we will follow the guidelines of the Paris Agreement for our people, our economy & future.”

Peduto has declined Trump’s invitation to join him as he visits Pittsburgh in the wake of  Saturday’s shooting at a Jewish synagogue in the neighborhood of Squirrel Hill that killed eleven.  

Peduto had suggested on Monday that Trump not make the visit so soon after the tragedy. Trump will make the Pittsburgh visit the top of his Tuesday agenda.  

A MULVANEY MOMENT NOT TO REMEMBER: White House Office of Management and Budget chief Mick Mulvaney bowed out of giving the keynote at a conference later this week on the U.S.-Saudi relationship, but an updated agenda issued Monday makes out like he was never there.

John first reported on Friday that Mulvaney had declined giving the keynote speech at the National Council on U.S.-Arab Relations’ annual policymakers summit in Washington that kicks off Wednesday.

Mulvaney’s cancellation came amid the ongoing row between Saudi Arabia and the U.S. over the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi. Mulvaney declined to speak after Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin canceled a speaking engagement in Riyadh following the murder of the journalist in Instanbul, Turkey.

The Council did not respond to requests for comment after Mulvaney’s office told John of the cancellation without further explanation.

Instead, the group tweeted out an updated schedule on Monday completely scrubbed of any mention of Mulvaney.

Sanctions run-up: Mulvaney canceled the remarks as the White House moves to reimpose oil sanctions on Iran in a week, and the White House is conducting its own investigation into Khashoggi’s death that could lead to congressionally-imposed sanctions on Saudi Arabia.

Taking Mulvaney’s place: Former CIA chief and retired Army general David Petraeus will take centerstage with Mulvaney gone. Petraeus made comments at a conference in Bahrain over the weekend, decrying Iran’s destabilizing role in the Middle East and supporting reimposed sanctions. Petraeus, like Mnuchin, had cancelled his attendance at a Saudi investment conference earlier this month.

DC’S 100 PERCENT RENEWABLE ENERGY BILL GETS ‘CONSENSUS’ SUPPORT: An all-day public hearing on Monday with more than 100 speakers showed strong support for Washington D.C.’s push to move entirely renewable electricity by 2032.

Almost all of those who testified spoke positively about the bill, although some suggested changes.

“I haven't heard anyone say ‘kill the bill,’” said Jamie DeMarco, who focuses on state and local policy for Citizens' Climate Lobby, during his testimony at a D.C. Council committee hearing on the 100 percent renewable energy bill. “That is as close to consensus as humanly possible.”

City councilwoman Mary Cheh’s bill could be voted on by the end of the year, after receiving its second hearing Monday, this one in the Committee on Business and Economic Development.

There were a few qualms: Erika Wadlington, director of government relations at the D.C. Chamber of Commerce, expressed support for the bill’s goals but contested a provision that would require electricity suppliers to engage in long-term contracts for renewable energy. Wadlington testified that the long-term contracts, meant to encourage investment in wind and solar, would lock in rates that could fall out of step with changing market conditions.

Other witnesses said the legislation should expand to allow for carbon-free “clean” energy sources that aren’t renewable to account for the 100-percent target.

AFTER HURRICANE FLORENCE, NORTH CAROLINA GOVERNOR SETS CLIMATE GOALS: North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper, a Democrat, announced an executive order Monday to cut the state’s greenhouse gas emissions, encourage the sale of electric vehicles, and protect the state from future storms after Hurricane Florence struck last month.

In the order, Cooper sets goals to be achieved by 2025.

What the goals are: He wants to reduce North Carolina’s greenhouse gas emissions to 40 percent below 2005 levels and boost the number of zero-emission, electric or hybrid plug-in vehicles driving on the state’s roads to at least 80,000. He seeks to reduce energy consumption in state-owned buildings by at least 40 percent from fiscal year 2002-2003 levels.

Cooper needs Republican support to succeed: Republicans maintain a supermajority in the state legislature, so Cooper will need cooperation..

While many North Carolina Republicans support renewable energy and electric vehicles for their economic benefits, the party is traditionally opposed to government mandates.

EPA’S WHEELER TO SIGN RULE  EXEMPTING REPORTING OF ANIMAL WASTE EMISSIONS: EPA Acting Administrator Andrew Wheeler on Tuesday will sign a proposed rule exempting animal waste emissions from reporting requirements during a visit to Kansas City, Kan.

Wheeler is hosting a roundtable with Sen. Jerry Moran, R-Kan., and agriculture and emergency management leaders. There, Wheeler will sign the animal waste rule, Moran’s spokesperson Morgan Said told Josh.

Earlier this year, Congress passed the Fair Agricultural Reporting Method Act, which exempts animal waste emissions from the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act. But according to Said, Wheeler’s rule would also apply to reporting of animal waste emissions under the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act. That law requires requires industry to report on the releases of hazardous substances to the government. Agricultural industry interests argue emissions from manure on their farms do not constitute an emergency activating a cleanup response.

EPA GETS TESTY OVER REPORTS OF EMISSIONS COVER UP: The EPA on Tuesday slammed media reports that it “inaccurately misrepresented” is actions in curbing toxic ethylene oxide emissions at the Sterigenics facility in Willowbrook, Illinois, as part of a cover-up.

“When informed in June 2018 of Region 5’s monitoring results, EPA leadership acted decisively, working with state and local governments and others to lower EtO emissions at the facility and communicate risk to the public in a responsible way,” the agency said in a sternly-worded release.

The Chicago Tribune reported on Friday that Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner’s administration knew in December that toxic air pollution coming from the Sterigenics plant was likely responsible for some of the highest cancer risks in the nation, according to documents it obtained.

The newspaper reported that the governor’s office and the Rauner-led Illinois Environmental Protection Agency kept the “politically explosive” information under wraps for eight months, then downplayed the dangers posed by the company, which is owned in part by the governor’s former private equity firm.

Records also showed that Trump’s EPA worked with the Rauner administration between December and August to investigate Sterigenics and discuss potential solutions, deferring to the Trump administration on “when and how the public was told about what insiders understood months earlier,” the paper reported.

ENERGY CONSULTANCY RUES HIGHER PREDICTED WINTER HEATING PRICES: Consulting group Stratas Advisors released a report Monday highlighting rising home heating bills predicted this winter for U.S. households who use heating oil as their primary fuel.

The Energy Information Administration expects home heating oil bills to rise an average of 20 percent this winter. Stratas Advisors says that higher crude oil prices, as a result of tightening supply, are the primary reason for rising home heating costs. The group says the weather is not to blame, noting that the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration doesn’t expect the U.S. to face an especially cold winter.

NEW GE CHIEF SLASHES DIVIDEND AS US REVIEWS $22 BILLION POWER WRITEDOWN: General Electric is cutting its dividend for the third time in a decade, a move that will save $3.9 billion a year, as new Chief Executive Officer Lawrence Culp works to restore the conglomerate's fortunes after a large, ill-timed expansion in its power business. GE posted a quarterly loss of $22.9 billion, largely due to a $22 billion writedown in the power unit. Both the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Department of Justice are reviewing the charge.

Culp, the former CEO of Danaher, was appointed to GE's top job at the start of October, replacing John Flannery, who presided over a 54 percent drop in the company's stock during a little more than a year at the helm after Jeff Immelt's departure.


Utility Dive Chatterjee, changed: FERC watchers see a more focused, less political chairman

Wall Street Journal BP swimming in cash as earnings soar on high oil prices

Washington Post Bitcoin’s popularity has a downside: It’s an energy glutton that could hurt Earth’s climate, study finds

Bloomberg French plan to store wind, solar energy stymied by EU deadlock


WEDNESDAY | October 31

9:30 a.m., 500 Fifth Street NW. The National Academy of Sciences (NAS) Board on Earth Sciences and Resources holds a meeting on "Minerals, Water and Energy: The science that drives their interdependencies, feedbacks and tradeoffs."

11:59 p.m., Deadline for comments on EPA’s proposal to replace the Clean Power Plan with revised emissions guidelines called the Affordable Clean Energy rule.

THURSDAY | November 1

3:30 p.m., 1300 Pennsylvania Avenue NW. The United States Energy Association holds a technology briefing on "What Does 'Resilience' of the Electric Power Sector Mean Today?"

TUESDAY | November 6

Midterm elections.

THURSDAY | November 15

10 a.m., 366 Dirksen. Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee holds a full committee hearing on the nominations of Rita Baranwal to be an assistant Energy secretary for nuclear energy; Bernard L. McNamee to be a member of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission; and Raymond David Vela to be director of the National Park Service.