Chevron – OVERNIGHT ENERGY: Intel community warns of fragile future shaped by pandemics, climate change | Haaland meets with Utah politicians, tribes as Biden weighs monument change | Biden admin could decide whether to wade into DAPL fight
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Today we’re looking at an intelligence report warning of pandemic and climate impacts, Interior Secretary Deb HaalandDeb HaalandIndigenous advocacy group launches campaign against new voting bills Biden nominates Interior deputy as department’s top lawyer Overnight Energy: Haaland making moves: Discusses public lands drilling, creates unit to investigate missing and murdered Native Americans MORE’s visit to Utah and a hearing tomorrow on the fate of the Dakota Access Pipeline.
YOUR DAILY DOSE OF DOOM AND GLOOM: Intel community warns of fragile future shaped by pandemics, climate change
A new report from the U.S. intelligence community paints a bleak picture of what Americans can expect over the next 20 years, warning of a planet that will be ravaged by pandemics and climate change.
“In coming years and decades, the world will face more intense and cascading global challenges ranging from disease to climate change to the disruptions from new technologies and financial crises,” the report states.
The Global Trends report comes from the National Intelligence Council, a wing of the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, and provides an assessment every four years on the “trends and uncertainties” the U.S. can expect over the next two decades.
Climate change will act as a disrupter, both economically and on the world stage, according to the report.
The report predicts greater climate migration — a trend already seen as rural populations struggling to farm in changing weather conditions increasingly move to urban areas.
“Climate change probably will exacerbate this as sea level rise or extreme heat makes certain locales permanently uninhabitable, although mainly after 2040,” the report warns, particularly in coastal areas where flooding and weather will become more extreme.
Read more about the report here.
A MONUMENTAL VISIT: Haaland meets with Utah politicians, tribes as Biden weighs monument change
Interior Secretary Deb Haaland met with Utah politicians, tribal leaders and other stakeholders on Wednesday and Thursday as President BidenJoe BidenManchin throws cold water on using budget reconciliation Moderate GOP senators and Biden clash at start of infrastructure debate Omar slams Biden admin for continuing ‘the construction of Trump‘s xenophobic and racist wall’ MORE weighs whether to change the boundaries of two monuments that were shrunk by President TrumpDonald TrumpGaetz trip to Bahamas part of federal sex trafficking investigation: report Omar slams Biden admin for continuing ‘the construction of Trump‘s xenophobic and racist wall’ Biden to announce executive action on ghost guns, red flag laws MORE.
“I spent time on the land, I looked at pictographs, vistas that take your breath away,” Haaland said during a press conference on Thursday during her trip to the Bears Ears National Monument in southeastern Utah.
“I’m meeting with as many people as possible: tribal leaders, the governor, senators, Congress members, hearing from local folks, county commissioners later on today, local ranchers and the mining industry … the outdoor recreation folks, small business owners, conservation organizations, and, of course, the scientists,” Haaland added.
On her trip, which comes ahead of a report that she will send to Biden, she’s also expected to visit the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument in southern Utah.
In an executive order earlier this year, Biden directed Haaland to review the monuments, as well as an East Coast marine monument, in order to determine “whether restoration of the monument boundaries and conditions that existed as of January 20, 2017, would be appropriate.”
Haaland did not say Thursday what the Biden administration will ultimately decide, noting “it’ll be up to the president.”
Read more about the visit here.
SOMETHING TO DAPL WITH: Biden admin could decide whether to wade into DAPL fight
The Biden administration could decide Friday whether or not it is up to them to shut down the Dakota Access Pipeline.
A federal appeals court in January determined that the government did not adequately evaluate the environmental impacts of a 2017 easement that enabled the pipeline’s construction, and ordered the government to do a more robust analysis.
The closely watched question on whether to stop the pipeline’s operations during this process is politically fraught, as progressives have called for a shutdown while conservatives want to keep the oil flowing.
The legal stuff: Following years of legal battles over the pipeline, a court ruled in January that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers did not sufficiently evaluate the environmental impacts of the easement.
However, the three-judge panel reversed a lower court’s decision that also shut down the pipeline in the meantime, saying that the lower court did not use the right legal process to do so.
The panel also said that “it may well be” that “the law or the Corps’s regulations oblige the Corps to vindicate its property rights by requiring the pipeline to cease operation.”
On the record: no comment. Asked what the administration’s position was on the Dakota Access Pipeline during a Thursday press briefing, White House press secretary Jen PsakiJen PsakiOmar slams Biden admin for continuing ‘the construction of Trump‘s xenophobic and racist wall’ Biden administration not discussing boycott of Beijing Olympics: White House Megan Rapinoe gushes about White House visit: ‘Total kid in the candy store’ MORE declined to say.
“We would look at each individual pipeline separately and do an analysis of the costs and benefits on the environment and jobs which, as my assumption, would be happening here,” she told reporters.
“I don’t have an assessment of that, but we look at each of them individually,” she added.
Read more about the decision here.
THANKS, BUT NO THANKS: Two oil executives decline Sanders invite to testify
Oil executives are apparently rejecting Senate Budget Committee Chair Bernie SandersBernie SandersTwitter will not allow Trump account archive on platform McConnell looking for Democratic defections on .25 trillion infrastructure plan Democrats see opportunity as states push new voting rules MORE’s (I-Vt.) invitation to testify at a hearing on the costs of climate change.
A statement from the committee said that Sanders invited chief executives from Chevron, ExxonMobil and BP America to testify, and that two, BP America and Chevron, declined. The statement did not say whether the committee had heard back from Exxon.
BP America spokesperson Josh Hicks declined The Hill’s request for comment, and a spokesperson for ExxonMobil didn’t respond to a request for comment. Chevron spokesperson Sean Comey in an email confirmed the company declined to attend the hearing, and added “our leaders frequently engage with policy makers with diverse views on energy transition and climate issues as we seek to help advance a lower carbon future for all.”
The hearing was first reported by Politico.
LIFE IN THE PFAS LANE: EPA updates toxicity assessment for chemical after alleging political interference during Trump administration
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on Thursday released an updated toxicity assessment for a chemical known as PFBS after it alleged that there had been political interference in the assessment during the Trump administration.
Jennifer Orme-Zavaleta, the acting assistant administrator for the agency’s Office of Research and Development and the agency’s science advisor, said in a statement that the new assessment “fixes the errors in the version issued earlier this year, was developed by EPA career scientists, and upholds the values of scientific integrity.”
David Dunlap, a Trump administration official who had been serving as deputy assistant administrator in the EPA’s Office of Research and Development, denied that there was a scientific integrity issue with the original assessment.
WHAT WE’RE READING:
ICYMI: Stories from Thursday…
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