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TRUMP CANCELS DEREGULATION SPEECH AFTER LAS VEGAS SHOOTING: President Trump canceled his “Cut the Red Tape” all-day event because of Sunday night’s shooting attack that killed more than 50 people and injured hundreds at a country musical festival in Vegas.
The president’s event was supposed to be a celebration of his push to roll back regulations, but the national security priorities of Sunday’s attack have superseded the event, especially in light of the Islamic State group taking credit for the shooting.
“My warmest condolences and sympathies to the victims and families of the terrible Las Vegas shooting. God bless you!” Trump tweeted.
During a speech on the attack Monday morning, Trump called the shooting "an act of pure evil”and said he would visit the city Wednesday to meet with first responders.
"We are joined together today in sadness, shock and grief," Trump said. "In moments of tragedy and harm, America comes together as one, and it always has."
BIG DECISIONS FROM EPA LIKELY THIS WEEK: The Environmental Protection Agency was not scheduled to participate in the all-day breakout sessions that were supposed to accompany Trump’s now-canceled deregulation speech, causing some to speculate as to why.
A lot on its plate: The EPA is expected to deliver its proposal for former President Barack Obama’s Clean Power Plan, the signature climate rule of the previous administration, by week’s end.
EPA administrator Scott Pruitt told the Washington Examiner last month that he has directed his team to craft the best plan and look at all its options under the law.
Helping coal: Many lobbyists and others anticipate a new rule that looks to help coal-fired power plants make efficiency upgrades that the industry would support. The rules that support cap-and-trade programs and renewable energy policies would be scrapped.
Scrapping strict smog rules? Pruitt is also expected to make a key decision on Obama’s costly rules for smog-causing ozone emissions, which were so strict that many national parks would not be able to comply with the standards.
EPA’s Tuesday meeting with industry: The agency will start its Smart Sectors program with a wide range of industry sectors Tuesday.
The agency revealed the new program last week in a Federal Register notice. It will be holding a quick meeting with industry the same day Trump is scheduled to visit Puerto Rico.
Pruitt in PR? The EPA is staffing up as part of its hurricane response team on the island, but it is not clear if EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt will accompany Trump to the ravaged U.S. territory.
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TRUMP LEAST REGULATORY PRESIDENT SINCE REAGAN: That’s according to the Competitive Enterprise Institute, which is cheering Trump’s ongoing regulatory rollback.
Less paper, fewer problems: CEI notes that the Federal Register stands at 45,658 pages today compared with 67,900 pages last year at this time.
Fewer rules: The Trump administration is also issuing fewer rules. CEI says this White House has imposed 2,183 rules. Former President Barack Obama issued 2,686 rules in the same period.
Trump’s reg legacy: Trump is seeking to undo a number of Obama environmental regulations, such as the Clean Power Plan and Waters of the U.S. Many of those efforts likely will be challenged in court, just as Obama faced lawsuits for imposing the rules and regulations in the first place.
Read the full CEI report here.
SAN JUAN MAYOR WANTS TRUMP TO CUT THE RED TAPE OF HURRICANE RELIEF: Mayor Carmen Yulin Cruz of San Juan Puerto Rico, speaking on ABC's "This Week," used the deregulation theme to underscore the plight of the U.S. island territory.
Not critical: Cruz said she is not critical of the federal agencies' response effort but needs Trump to cut the red tape of bureaucratic process to get the necessary aid to the territory faster.
Cut the red tape: "I've been quite complimentary of the people from HHS and FEMA. Their heart is in the right place. But we have to cut the red tape," Cruz said Sunday.
Power is the priority: "Putting back the power grid as soon as we can" is the number one priority, she added. "Because that has an immediate effect on our ability to recover financially."
Meeting Trump: Cruz said she is open to meeting Trump when he visits the U.S. island territory Tuesday.
TRUMP’S PATH TO GLOBAL COAL DOMINATION PICKS UP: The Trump administration may gain an ally at the United Nations for its pro-fossil fuel agenda to build cleaner coal power plants globally.
Trump and the U.N.: President Trump often touts his support for clean coal technology, and even though he is withdrawing the U.S. from the Paris climate change agreement, his administration still wants to use the U.N. in ways that help implement its agenda to export more U.S. energy and expertise abroad.
One of the more supportive areas is the U.N. Economic Council on Europe's Committee on Sustainable Energy, which is looking for ways to support electricity from fossil fuels through its Cleaner Electricity Production from Fossil Fuels working group.
Making coal more efficient: The clean electricity group looks for ways to make coal plants more efficient and push technologies that reduce greenhouse gas emissions. It is committed to keeping fossil fuels in the global energy mix, recognizing that coal and other fossil fuels make up more than half of the energy consumed in Europe alone.
Energy dominance: Most of the U.N. group's goals would dovetail surprisingly well with Trump's agenda for coal. Energy Secretary Rick Perry talked up the administration's support for carbon capture technology last week at clean energy conferences around Washington, saying the goal is to export U.S. innovation abroad and expand the market for American coal expertise.
U.N. working group: The administration is "aware of this effort within the [United Nations]," said Barry Worthington, chairman of the U.N. Cleaner Electricity Production working group. "I would say the Department of Energy is very engaged" with the U.N. Economic Council on Europe's sustainability committee.
CLIMATE ACTIVIST FACES TRIAL FOR ATTACK ON PIPELINES: A climate change activist who attempted to shut down five oil pipelines in four states last year goes on trial Monday.
Michael Foster is the first of a group of activists who were involved in an effort to block the flow of oil from Canada to bring attention to the global threat of climate change.
Breaking the law: Foster and the other members of the activist group plan to argue that breaking the law was in the public interest because of the harm fossil fuels pose to the Earth's climate.
Many scientists blame the burning of fossil fuels for raising the temperature of the Earth and resulting in potentially catastrophic effects such as drought and more severe hurricanes.
Four-state attack: Foster and the activists were with the group Climate Direct Action when they were arrested for attempting to shut down pipelines in North Dakota, Minnesota, Montana and Washington state. The action was meant to protest the nation's continued use of fossil fuels, while showing solidarity with people protesting against the Dakota Access pipeline that was still under construction.
Trespassing: Foster and the activists trespassed on private property with the intent of closing valves for five pipelines operated by Enbridge, Spectra Energy, Kinder Morgan and TransCanada that built the Dakota Access line.
All five pipelines are used to move oil from Canada to the United States, according to the Associated Press.
Dakota Access: Approving the Dakota Access pipeline has been a priority for Trump and his administration. The president signed an executive order this year that sped up the pipeline's permitting. The pipeline opened this summer.
More recently, however, a federal court ordered a new environmental review for part of the line that goes underneath Lake Oahe, which has since stopped oil from flowing through part of the pipeline.
WATCHDOG CALLS FOR ZINKE INVESTIGATION: A watchdog group asked the Interior Department's inspector general on Friday to investigate whether Secretary Ryan Zinke violated the law by chartering private planes for purposes that may represent conflicts of interest.
The Campaign for Accountability, a watchdog group focused on public accountability, asked the Interior Department's Office of Special Counsel and the inspector general to investigate whether Zinke violated conflict of interest laws and the Hatch Act by using private charter flights to travel for public speaking events, including addressing professional sports teams, as part of his official duties.
WILL NEW ‘BLADE RUNNER’ SUFFER FROM CLIMATE POLITICS?: The sequel to the 1982 science-fiction classic film “Blade Runner,” which opens this week, looks to give climate change a starring role, according to official summaries and timelines released by the film’s production house.
The film opens nationwide on Friday. Set 30 years in the future from the original film’s 2019 setting, “Blade Runner 2049” shows an Earth devastated by the ravages of climatic shifts in temperature and sea-level rise, which has plunged large chunks of Los Angeles underwater.
Build the wall: The film’s website says L.A. has been forced to erect a colossal sea wall around the remaining sectors of the city. By the looks of it, the wall also generates electricity through a complex hydropower conduit and wave-power system.
Polar vortex and extinct solar plants: LA is also 30 or more degrees cooler and subject to sub-arctic blasts. The city also has hundreds of solar thermal power plants similar to the current Ivanpah facility in California. But they all appear to be dormant.
Climate change in the film doesn’t seem to jibe with popular notions that suggest if the world replaces all its fossil fuel with renewable energy, it can stave off a potential climate catastrophe. It looks like maybe war has upended that notion. The film’s official website talks about the detonation of a nuclear weapon over the U.S. that created an intense electromagnetic pulse that fried all electronics and crippled the U.S. for months.
The EMP could have killed off the solar power plants, leaving millions of acres of solar junkyard behind.
Worm farming: The film also appears to poke at the idea of replacing cattle and sheep farming to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by limiting industrial-scale animal processing. It’s an idea that has grown in popularity in Europe in the last decade, where restaurants offer insect protein as a substitute to beef, lamb and chicken.
But in “Blade Runner 2049,” the idea of surviving on worms and insect larvae doesn’t look that appealing.
The film suggests humans eating insects as their sole source of protein is a harsh proposition at best. Genetic engineers scrape out a living trying to craft new strains of worms and leeches for humanity to survive on, while mega-corporations create monopolies by keeping people from starving.
The bottom line: “Blade Runner 2049” is not trying to make a statement on climate change. It’s just one part of the film’s tapestry. Like the first film, it offers only enough explanation to drive the story. The rest is left to the viewer to interpret.
New York Times Alternative energy jobs are thriving in coal country
Propublica The military’s use of contractors adds to a legacy of environmental damage
Bloomberg Oil market stars risk being dimmed by China's mega refineries
Miami Herald New research shows livestock are producing more methane gas than previously estimated
Los Angeles Times Ancient bristlecone pine forests are threatened by climate change
Reuters Saudi Arabia and Russia to invest in $1 billion fund to invest in energy projects
TUESDAY, OCT. 3
9 a.m., National Press Club, 529 14th St. NW. The Global CCS Institute hosts “Carbon Capture: A Business Opportunity in the Global Low-Carbon Economy.”
10 a.m., 2318 Rayburn. The House Science, Space, and Technology Committee holds a hearing called, “Resiliency: The Electric Grid’s Only Hope.” The purpose of the hearing is to define resiliency, examine electric resiliency from both physical and cyber threats and to study the effectiveness of private and government coordination on resiliency across the electricity delivery sectors.
10 a.m., 1334 Longworth. The House Natural Resources Committee’s Subcommittee on Federal Lands holds a hearing on a bill to promote innovative approaches to outdoor recreation on federal land and to open up opportunities for collaboration with non-federal partners, and for other purposes.
WEDNESDAY, OCT. 4
10 a.m., 2318 Rayburn. The House Science, Space and Technology Committee’s space subcommittee holds a hearing on “Powering Exploration: An Update on Radioisotope Production and Lessons Learned from Cassini.” The purpose of the hearing is to evaluate NASA and Department of Energy’s efforts to reconstitute the production of Plutonium-238 (Pu-238). Pu-238 is used in radioisotope thermonuclear generators that provide electrical power for spacecraft that cannot use solar energy, but production ceased in the 1980s.
FRIDAY, OCT. 6
10 a.m., 11555 Rockville Pike, Rockville, Md. Nuclear Regulatory Commission meeting with Advisory Committee on Reactor Safeguards.This meeting will be webcast live.