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Today we were leading with lead, and also looking at the Biden administration’s moves on banking & showerheads.
Rachel Frazin and Zack Budryk were the Hill’s editors. Send us your tips: email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow us on Twitter: @RachelFrazin @BudrykZack.
Lets jump in.
Officials announce plans for lead pipes
On Thursday, the Biden administration published a new plan to remove the country’s lead pipes. It also stated that it would allow for a long-delayed Trump administration rule.
According to a factsheet, the Environmental Protection Agency will develop new regulations for lead pipes as part of the plan.
A senior administration official informed reporters Wednesday that a Trump rule governing lead pipes that was twice delayed would still be in effect.
What do they think of Trump’s rule? According to the official, overall, the Biden administration felt that the rule was more protective than previous ones. He also cited a Trump rule provision that required utilities to create inventories.
However, they raised concerns about the rule. It did not, as some environmentalists hoped it would, lower lead concentrations in the water. Cities must take preventative actions.
The official expressed concern that Trump’s rules did not require the removal of all lead pipes.
Although the administration did not provide any details about its forthcoming lead rule, a spokesperson said that it would require 100% of lead service lines to be removed as soon as possible.
What could this rule contain? The EPA sent a notice that highlighted considerations such as: improving ways of identifying and triggering action in at-risk communities, and equitably improving protections to communities that can’t afford to replace their pipe.
It also stated that stakeholders were concerned by the Trump-rule’s failure to lower the level of lead that needed action. Accordingly, the agency should set a standard for limiting lead concentrations to 5 parts per million (ppb) in drinking waters systems.
These individuals also suggested that the agency lower the standard that compels action if it does not set it. The agency does not have to follow the comments of stakeholder.
Find out what else the administration has been up to here.
Bank regulator proposes climate risk guidance
The first ever federal climate guidance was proposed by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency on Thursday by the OCC.
This guidance would be used to identify, manage and mitigate risks related to climate change or ecological catastrophe at any national bank or OCC-governed institution with assets greater than $100 billion.
The OCC stated that financial institutions should consider climate-related risks when deciding bank strategies and operations. It also suggested how these risks could impact stakeholder expectations.
OCC recommends that banks develop plans to monitor climate risks and collect data to determine the risk. OCC suggests that managers should analyze specific climate-related scenarios in their risk planning.
Spend Valentine’s Day thinking about climate change The comment period on the proposed guidance ends February 14, 2013.
Learn more about the guidance by clicking here.
Biden reverses Trump shower efficiency rule
The Energy Department announced Tuesday the repeal of a Trump-era rule loosening restrictions on water flow through showerheads.
The new rule reinstates regulations regarding how much water can be carried by showerheads. The previous rule had the entire shower considered under flow limits of 2.5 gallons/minute. The definition of showerhead was changed by Trump.
Each nozzle in a single product could have two to three times the limit.
The restoration is not expected to have any major impact on the showerhead market. Trump frequently complained that showerheads don’t have enough water.
It doesn’t matter if you take a shower or not. You want to wash the hands, but the water won’t come out. What are you supposed to do? You either stand there for longer or take a longer shower. My hair, I don’t know about you but it must be perfect, the former president stated in 2020.
The Obama-era regulation was an update to 1994 regulations. It was meant as an update to reflect manufacturing of multiple nozzle shower fixtures.
You can read more about the reversal by clicking here.
President BidenJoe BidenSinema backs the drilling fee hike in Overnight Energy & Environment Senate panel MOREThe Senate appears to be in serious danger of losing the $2 trillion climate and social spending bill. It appeared to have strong momentum when it passed in the House a month back.
Democratic senators now admit that there is no chance of passing Build Back Better Act before year’s end, as they had hoped.
On Thursday, a Senate Republican aide stated that the Senate Majority Leader was the Senate Majority Leader Charles SchumerChuck SchumerManchin-led Committee proposes raising federal drilling fees Schumer, Cruz in standoff over Biden nominees. Exclusive: Schumer and Latino leaders trumpet spending plan’s environmental credentials.(D-N.Y.), and Republicans are close together to a deal to confirm some nominees and hold others over until January. This would clear the Senate calendar for 2021 and allow senators back home for Christmas.
However, it is possible that the entire Build back Better bill will need to be reworked to accommodate Sen. Joe ManchinJoe ManchinSinema backs the drilling fee hike Manchin-led panel proposes a hike in federal drilling feesD-W.Va.’s opposition to including a one year extension of the expanded child credit in the bill
Manchin said he is not against the tax credit, which was supported in previous legislation. He argues, however, that the credit will likely be renewed over the next ten years and its true cost does not reflect in the current bill’s official Congressional Budget Office score
The West Virginia senator would like the bill to reflect the 10-year tax credit cost. This would require additional tax hikes or spending cuts in order to keep the bill’s cost from rising.
With the Senate evenly divided Democrats admit they can’t move forward with Manchin and that the bill will need to wait until 2022.
Learn more from the Senate team here.
BUT IF THEY WORK IT OUT, THERE’S SOME NEW CLIMATE TEXT
Senate Democrats released legislative text that proposes to keep a key climate program in their climate bill and social spending bill, as they prepare for the Senate parliamentarian.
The Senate Environment and Public Works Committee has released a text which is virtually identical to that of the House.
The committee made a statement indicating that they may revise the text after discussions with senators who are interested and with the parliamentarian who acts as a referee to determine if the legislation is in compliance with Senate rules.
A Senate Democratic aide with methane negotiations with Manchin said to The Hill that they continue to move forward in a positive direction.
The text also increases funding for a program to pay for improved infrastructure for zero emission vehicles. According to The Hill, funding for the program, which is part of $27.5 billion Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund would increase from $2 Billion to $3 Billion under the text of the committee.
The committee text would also double the amount of grants available for low-carbon construction materials. It would increase their value from $900 million up to $2 billion.
Find out more about the committees proposal..
WHAT WE ARE READING
Finally, something a little offbeat and unorthodox: The neighborhog is gone.
This is it for today. Thanks for reading. Check out The HillsEnergy & Environment PageFor the most recent news and coverage. We hope to see you again tomorrow.