Overnight Energy & Environment – Biden Sanctions Russian Nord Stream Gas Pipeline

Welcome to the Wednesday Energy and Environment Night, your source for the latest news focused on energy, the environment and beyond. Subscribe here: thehill.com/newsletter-signup.

Today we are looking at the The Biden administration’s sanctions on the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, the Postal Service formalizing its order of fossil-fuel trucks, and a White House overthrow of the Trump administration on a mining route in Alaska.

For The Hill, we are Rachel Frazin and Zack Budryk. Write to us with advice: [email protected] and [email protected]. Follow us on twitter: @RachelFrazin and @BudrykZack.

Let’s go.

Biden imposes sanctions on Nord Stream 2

President BidenJoe BidenPentagon approves National Guard deployment request ahead of DC truck convoy Lee Harris discusses past of new Development Finance Corporation CEO Defense and national security: US and allies hit Russia with sanctions MORE on Wednesday announced sanctions against the company behind a controversial Russian gas pipeline in response to Moscow’s decision to send troops to eastern Ukraine.

Biden said in a statement that his administration would impose sanctions on Nord Stream 2 AG, the parent company of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, and its executives.

“These measures are another element of our initial tranche of sanctions in response to Russia’s actions in Ukraine. As I have made clear, we will not hesitate to take further action if Russia continues to escalate,” Biden said.

The story so far: The Biden administration last year waived sanctions on the pipeline, prompting pushback from Democrats and Republicans who said he should take a tougher line on Russia.

The administration’s decision to lift sanctions on the pipeline was widely seen as a move intended to appease Germany, after relations between the United States and Germany crumbled under the previous Trump administration.

But after Russia’s incursion into breakaway regions of Ukraine this week, Germany has also turned against the pipeline. Tuesday he announced that he would block his certification.

What happens afterwards? The pipeline is fully constructed but awaiting regulatory review before it can be operational.

In recent weeks, Biden had promised to shut down the Nord Stream 2 pipeline in the event of a Russian invasion of Ukraine, but German Chancellor Olaf Scholz had refrained from explicitly promising to block the pipeline during an appearance at the White House earlier this month.

Biden announced on Tuesday other sanctions against Russian financial institutions, elites and sovereign debt.

Administration too sent additional troops to Germany, Poland and Romania.

Biden administration officials have said the United States is prepared to impose tougher sanctions if Russia launches a broader invasion of Ukraine.

Domestically, the new sanctions against the Nord Stream 2 move have helped advance some of Biden’s State Department candidates, like the senator. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzMcConnell says he didn’t think Biden’s announcement to appoint a black woman to SCOTUS was ‘inappropriate’ Missouri Senate candidate Eric Schmitt to host fundraiser at Trump’s Mar-a -Lago The Hill’s Morning Report – Russian aggression triggers US and EU sanctions MORE (R-Texas) said he would get up a hold he had placed on them in response to last year’s waiver.

Learn more about the announcement here.

La Poste finalizes petrol trucks

The U.S. Postal Service on Wednesday announced its finalized plans to order a new fleet of mostly gas-powered vehicles, despite congressional Democrats’ denial that doing so would contravene the Biden administration’s emissions targets.

In a statement, the Postmaster General Louis DeJoyLouis DeJoyDemocrat of Illinois asks for details on new president’s vision for Postal Service Overnight Energy & Environment – Biden says Russian attack could drive up oil prices said the Postal Service had completed its required environmental impact assessment under the National Environmental Protection Act. DeJoy reiterated his argument that the agency lacked the financial resources to transition to an all-electric fleet.

DeJoy, which awarded the vehicle contract to Oshkosh in February 2021, only committed to having 10% of new vehicles electrified, despite an executive order from President Biden calling on the federal government to achieve net zero emissions by 2050. The Postal Service has the largest civilian fleet in the nation.

What is DeJoy’s argument? As our financial position improves through the continued implementation of our 10-year plan, Delivering for America, we will continue to pursue the acquisition of additional BEVs [battery electric vehicles] as additional funds — from internal sources or from Congress — become available,” DeJoy said. “But the process must continue to move forward. The men and women of the U.S. Postal Service have waited long enough for safer, cleaner vehicles to fulfill our Universal Service Obligation to deliver to 161 million addresses in all climates and topographies six days a week.

The move was fiercely opposed by congressional Democrats and the Biden administration’s Environmental Quality Council, as well as the Environmental Protection Agency, which sent a letter seeking clarification earlier. in the month. Environmental groups also strongly opposed it.

Learn more about ordering here.

Officials to review mine road approval

The Biden administration announced Tuesday evening that it hoped to review a road that would provide access to a mining area in Alaska.

The administration on Tuesday asked a federal court to allow it to review rulings approving the road, which would have provided access to the Ambler mining district in northwest Alaska.

This region is home to deposits of minerals such as copper and zinc, and proponents of the project have sought to boost mining of these minerals.

But opponents have expressed concerns about potential impacts on indigenous communities and wildlife.

In a statement on Tuesday, Interior Department spokeswoman Melissa Schwartz said the department wanted to re-examine the draft to address “significant deficiencies” in its underlying analyses.

And Schwartz said the department would suspend its current approval pending the review to “ensure no ground-disturbing activity takes place that could potentially impact the resources in question.”

The announcement follows other mining announcements made Tuesday by the Biden administration.

Learn more about the announcement here.

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FACE THE MUSIC

Facebook has labeled half of climate change denial posts related to content from major publishers of this disinformation, according to a report from the Center for Countering Digital Hate (CCHR) published on Wednesday.

CCHR is among advocacy groups pushing Facebook, now under parent company Meta, to do more to fight misinformation than enforce the labels, which advocates say have not proven to be a tool. effective attenuation.

But Facebook’s failure to deliver on its promise to take even “minimal” action in enforcing the labels underscores its reluctance to tackle climate denial, said CCDH chief executive Imran Ahmed.

“They know it’s a problem. They know this misinformation is being spread on their platform. That’s why they announced that they would do certain things,” Ahmed said, referring to the labels.

“So they have already acknowledged that evil has been created on their platform, but they still fail to deliver on their promises,” he added.

The new report builds on CCHR’s research into the spread of climate misinformation, adding to a report published in November identifying ten publishers, the ‘Toxic Ten’, responsible for 69% of digital denial of the change. climatic.

Learn more about the report here.

WHAT WE READ

  • Former ERCOT chief says he was following Abbott’s lead when they racked up billions in bills during the freeze (The Houston Chronicle)
  • The only group of people that Americans actually trust in climate science (Atlantic)
  • Pepco fee puts solar panels out of reach, DC residents say (The Washington Post)
  • Tesla and EPA reach settlement after automaker’s Clean Air Act violations (CNBC)

ICYMI

And finally, something quirky and quirky: Team work!

That’s all for today, thanks for reading. Discover The Hill’s energy & environment page for the latest news and coverage. We’ll see you on Thursday.

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