Energy and Environment – Trump and Biden appointees clash in the Safety Council

Biden and Trump officials clash at the Chemical Safety Council, while President Biden announces new global climate initiatives as part of a meeting with major economic powers.

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The exit of the chemical safety chair comes amid tensions

The chairperson of the Trump-appointed State Chemical Safety Board is making her way to the exit Amidst high tension with her colleaguesappointed by President Biden.

The US Board of Chemical Safety and Risk Investigation, better known as the Chemical Safety Board (CSB), has been fighting for a rule governing board operations approved by the incumbent president. Catherine Lemosappointed by Trump.

Lemos announced her resignation on June 10, but she hasn’t actually left the position in weeks and controversy is growing over the fight with her colleagues.

  • The two sides are fighting over a rule known as Board Order 28. It was approved by Lemos when she was the only board member in April 2021 — just months after Biden took office.
  • the two Biden candidates who now sit with her on the board, Steve Owens And the silvia johnson, suppose the base gives a lot of force to the chair. Her colleagues said they voted to get rid of some of the changes she made to him, but Lemos challenges that vote on procedural reasons.

One of their criticisms of the order was that it took issues that were subject to board approval, such as the agency’s budget and expenditures of more than $50,000, and made it the president’s sole responsibility.

“The extent to which the revisions made in April 2021 in Council Order 28 gave the president … complete authority over everything unprecedented in the history of Council operations,” Owens said in a joint interview with The Hill alongside Johnson.

Yes and? Another specific area of ​​disagreement was over the “misconduct” section of the rules governing the board that Johnson described as “punitive”.

“There is a laundry list of infractions for which we are likely to be disciplined – and that discipline includes, but [is] Johnson said, to name a few, to be removed from your email, and reported to the FBI, Congress, the White House – you name it.”

CSB spokeswoman Shauna Lohorn said via email that Lemos did not authorize the matter. It said it was “primarily based” on the work of the Office of the General Counsel of the Board of Directors. Lahorn also said the changes are “narrowly tailored to our enabling legislation and follow the original intent of Congress.”

  • They said Johnson and Owens wanted to make their own changes, and held a vote to do so, but got into a procedural dispute with Lemos over whether their vote was valid.
  • The fight is still going on, even after Lemos tendered her resignation on Friday — around the middle of her designated five-year term. You are expected to remain on the board for several more weeks.

Owens and Johnson said they benefited from an expedited procedure in which a majority vote could approve their changes to Board Order 28. But since Lemos insisted that the issue be brought up at a public meeting, Owens said board members have been trying to get such a scheduled meeting.

Read more about tensions between board members here.

Biden announces global climate initiatives

On Friday, President Biden met with world leaders on climate issues and announced several climate initiatives.

  • The meeting included 19 other countries. Participants represent 80 percent of global GDP, population emissions and global warming emissions.
  • In conjunction with the meeting, eight countries announced that they have updated or updated their 2030 climate goals, The Hill first reported on Friday.

A senior administration official told The Hill that Australia shares an enhanced target, while Chile, Egypt, Indonesia, Mexico, Turkey, the United Arab Emirates and Vietnam plan to advance their 2030 goals.

The United States and the European Union have also unveiled an initiative that seeks to reduce global warming methane emissions from the oil and gas sector.

Specifically, the new initiative aims to eliminate routine flaring – a process in which companies burn excess natural gas that is a by-product of oil production – by 2030.

They were joined by 11 other countries, who became “inaugural members” of the pledge, according to the State Department. These countries are: Argentina, Canada, Denmark, Egypt, Germany, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Nigeria, Norway and Oman.

  • Biden also unveiled other countries with a collective goal of making 50 percent of new cars sold electric, a goal the United States has already set for itself.
  • A senior administration official told The Hill that seven countries and the European Commission would join the initiative.

Biden encouraged other countries to collectively try to access $90 billion in government investment in developing climate-friendly technologies. The European Commission official said that the initiative had the support of six countries.

In addition, the United States and Norway launched an effort aimed at encouraging emissions reductions from the shipping sector by 2050. Nine countries indicated support, according to the official.

Read more about the meeting here.

Democrat to Biden: Do not suspend the gas tax

re come back. Earl Blumenauer (D-Or.) asked President Biden to oppose the suspension of the federal gas tax in a speech Thursday, warning of “disastrous unintended consequences” for infrastructure.

Biden is under pressure from other Democrats to embrace a gas tax break, and The Hill reported this week that the idea is gain strength.

So what’s the problem? Blumenauer cited a market analysis by the Transportation Investment Defense Center indicating that over the past decade, only about 18 percent of government gas tax cuts have been passed to consumers, with the bulk of revenue changes going back to the oil and gas companies themselves.

“While there is undoubtedly a need to exempt American consumers from higher costs, there is no guarantee that suspending the gas tax will lower prices at the pump or stem the broader inflation affecting the global economy, and may only increase the net profits of oil companies,” he wrote. Bluminauer.

Meanwhile, he said the suspension of the federal tax would create a “massive hole” in the infrastructure and transportation budget, particularly the Highway Trust Fund, which has already been running in deficit for years. Suspending the federal gas tax through the end of the fiscal year would cost the fund another $20 billion, according to budget modeling from the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business.

Read more about Blumenauer’s argument here.

Harris Tots Piping Management Work On Lead

Vice President Harris highlighted federal action to replace lead pipes at an event in Pittsburgh on Friday.

The bipartisan infrastructure law that President Biden signed in late 2021 includes more than $4 billion to replace all lead pipes in the country. Lead contamination of water supplies has been linked to lead poisoning and learning disabilities, most notably in the case of Flint, Michigan, which exposed up to 12,000 children to lead.

Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Marcia Fudge also announced in Pittsburgh that the administration will provide $500 million to states and local governments to address lead paint and other similar household environmental hazards.

Meanwhile, in February the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced $20 million in grant funding to remove lead contamination in drinking water in schools and communities. In May, the Environmental Protection Agency also announced that it would provide $728 billion in new grants to the Drinking Water Revolving Fund to tackle pollutants and prepare for natural disasters.

“We know that all people have the right to be able to drink clean water, and that all people have the right to breathe clean air,” Harris said. “So we approach this from this perspective, that as a society and certainly as a government we must ensure that this right is real and that it is protected.”

Read more about Harris’ notes here.

Next week

Tuesday

Wednesday

  • Environmental Protection Agency Chemicals Officer Michel Friedhof will testify Before the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee on Implementation of Amendments to the Toxic Substances Control Act
  • The House Energy and Commerce Committee will hold a he heard on legislation focusing on energy infrastructure, efficiency and finance
  • The House Committee on Science, Space and Technology will hold a he heard On “The Nature of Matter, Energy, Space and Time.” The Department of Energy’s science officer, Asmart Berhe, will testify.

Friday

  • The House Climate Crisis Committee will convene a he heard to reduce methane emissions

what we read

  • No More Backburning: Democrats Set Manchin Talks Over the Party Line Bill on the Backburner (Politico)
  • The head of the United Nations said in a violent attack that fossil fuel companies “have humanity by the throat” (Watchman)
  • How Australia, the largest exporter of coal and liquefied natural gas, faced an energy crisis (Reuters)
  • The Virginia Senate has mixed reactions to the governor’s proposed gas tax exemption.WSLS)

Finally, an odd but persistent thing: Maybe this will make people care about the climate?

That’s it for today, thanks for reading. Check out The Hill’s Energy and Environment page For the latest news and coverage. We’ll see you next week.

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