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

Today were looking at a new move by the Biden administration to reverse Trump-era power plant rules, pressure for climate action in Build Back Better from House Democrats and this weekend’s “bomb cyclone.”

For The Hill, were Rachel Frazin and Zack Budryk. Write to us with tips: [email protected] and [email protected] Follow us on Twitter: @RachelFrazin and @BudrykZack.

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Let’s jump in.

Officials move to reaffirm power plant rule

The Biden administration on Monday proposed restoring the legal underpinnings of power plant pollution regulations following a Trump administration rollback.  

In 2020, the Trump administration undercut a regulation known as the Mercury and Air Toxics Standards (MATS) rule by changing its legal justification in a way that made it more vulnerable to lawsuits.

What does it do? The MATS rule, in general, puts limits on how much of these toxic substances coal and oil power plants can release into the air. Mercury is a neurotoxin that is particularly harmful to children.  

Neither the 2020 rule nor Mondays action made any changes to the Obama-era standards themselves. 

Instead, the Biden administration on Monday proposed to affirm that it is appropriate and necessary to regulate the emissions of these pollutants from power plants, while the Trump administration had said the regulations were not appropriate and necessary.  

Sound science makes it clear that we need to limit mercury and toxins in the air to protect children and vulnerable communities from dangerous pollution, EPA Administrator Michael ReganMichael ReganOvernight Energy & Environment EPA unveils new pollution monitoring in SouthEPA moves to reject industry request to change assessment of risks posed by carcinogenEPA announces pollution monitoring program in vulnerable Southern communitiesMORE said in a statement.  

EPA is committed to aggressively reducing pollution from the power sector so that all people, regardless of zip code or amount of money in their pocket, can breathe clean air and live healthy and productive lives, he said.  

According to the EPA’s website, the standards are estimated to have prevented between 4,200 and 11,000 premature deaths annually. 

Controversial from the start: At the time of the rollback, critics argued that the Trump administration was working to give polluters who wanted to sue in order to eliminate the rules an advantage in court. And, following the changes, a coal company challenged the MATS rule in court. 

Read more about the announcement here.

DEMS PUSH BIDEN TO KEEP CLIMATE FUNDING

Twenty-three Democratic members of Congress on Monday called on President BidenJoe BidenCongress in jeopardy of missing shutdown deadline Senate to get Ukraine, Russia briefing on ThursdayAs Social Security field offices reopen, it’s time to expand and revitalize themMORE to ensure that any amended version of the ambitious Democratic reconciliation bill retain its current climate and resiliency provisions.

The members, led by Rep. Mike Levin (D-Calif.), noted a number of extreme weather events and natural disasters that have occurred in just the two months since the House passed its version of the package, including a tornado that killed at least 78 people in Kentucky. 

The $555 billion in climate investments that passed the U.S. House of Representatives as part of the Build Back Better Act will help our nation meet the test of cutting climate pollution in half by 2030, a goal that you set and that science and justice require. As the deadly and devastating consequences of the climate crisis made clear throughout 2021, the time for transformational climate action is right now, the members wrote.

We urge you in the strongest possible terms to move swiftly to finalize the most comprehensive legislation that can pass the Senate and get this historic progress to your desk for your signature in the coming weeks. 

Who signed? The other signers of the letter were Democratic Reps. Cindy AxneCindy AxnePlanned Parenthood endorses nearly 200 House incumbents ahead of midterms House passes bill to strengthen shipping supply chainOn The Money Congress races to keep the lights onMORE (Iowa), Matt CartwrightMatthew (Matt) Alton CartwrightNew York House Democrat tests positive for COVID-19Dearborn office of Rep. Debbie Dingell vandalizedWith Build Back Better, Dems aim to correct messaging missteps MORE (Pa.), Angie Craig (Minn.), Sharice DavidsSharice DavidsKansas GOP’s redistricting plan targets Rep. Sharice DavidsAbortion rights group endorsing 12 House DemocratsOvernight Health Care Presented by Altria Vulnerable House Dems push drug pricing planMORE (Kan.), Antonio DelgadoAntonio Ramon DelgadoNew York redistricting panel surrenders over impasseClyburn tests positive for COVID-19 in breakthrough caseNew York House Democrat tests positive for COVID-19MORE (N.Y.), Josh GottheimerJoshua (Josh) GottheimerDCCC expands list of vulnerable House Democrats SALT change likely to be cut from bill, say Senate DemocratsRedistricting reform key to achieving the bipartisanship Americans claim to want MORE (N.J.), Josh Harder (Calif.), Jahana HayesJahana HayesHouse GOP campaign arm releases ad hitting Democrats on IRS bank-reporting proposal Ilhan Omar to Biden: ‘Deliver on your promise to cancel student debt’Katie Hill launches effort to protect Democratic majority in HouseMORE (Conn.), Marcy KapturMarcia (Marcy) Carolyn KapturDCCC expands list of vulnerable House Democrats The Hill’s Morning Report – Biden: Russia attack ‘would change the world’ Ukraine president, US lawmakers huddle amid tensions with RussiaMORE (Ohio), Dan KildeeDaniel (Dan) Timothy KildeeDCCC expands list of vulnerable House Democrats Michigan Republicans sue over US House district linesPandemic pushes teachers unions to center stage ahead of midtermsMORE (Mich.), Andy Kim (N.J.), Susie LeeSuzanne (Susie) Kelley LeeMORE (Nev.), Tom MalinowskiThomas (Tom) MalinowskiDemocratic rep tests positive for COVID-19 upon return from Ukraine tripGOP faces divisions over siding with Ukraine against RussiaMeeks leading bipartisan trip to Ukraine amid Russia tensionsMORE (N.J.), Tom O’Halleran (Ariz.) Chris PappasChristopher (Chris) Charles PappasNew Hampshire Republicans advance map with substantially redrawn districtsChris Pappas launches reelection bid in New Hampshire Top House Democratic group launches six-figure ad campaign to sell infrastructure package MORE (N.H.), Katie Porter (Calif.), Kurt SchraderWalter (Kurt) Kurt SchraderHouse passes bill to strengthen shipping supply chainFive takeaways: House passes Biden’s sweeping benefits billHouse passes giant social policy and climate measureMORE (Ore.), Kim SchrierKimberly (Kim) Merle SchrierOvernight Energy & Environment EPA unveils new pollution monitoring in SouthNearly 1 million child COVID-19 infections reported in past weekPhysician-lawmakers team up to urge boostersMORE (Wash.), Abigail SpanbergerAbigail Davis SpanbergerPelosi says she’s open to stock trading ban for CongressOn The Money Ban on stock trading for Congress gains steamJoining Pelosi, Hoyer says lawmakers should be free to trade stocksMORE (Va.), Haley StevensHaley Maria StevensDCCC expands list of vulnerable House Democrats Lawmakers coming under increased threats sometimes from one anotherTlaib announces run in new Detroit district with Lawrence retiringMORE (Mich.), Dina TitusAlice (Dina) Costandina TitusOvernight Health Care  Biden faces pressure from Democrats on COVID-19Democrats call on Biden to step up virus responseRapper French Montana talks opioid epidemic, immigration on Capitol HillMORE (Nev.) and Susan WildSusan WildTo boost economy and midterm outlook, Democrats must pass clean energy billThe Hill’s Morning Report – Presented by Altria – Marking the Jan. 6 ‘chaos and carnage’Overnight Defense & National Security Nation marks 1 year since Capitol riotMORE (Pa.). 

The signers included members associated with the centrist wing of the party and members considered to be particularly at risk in the 2022 midterms. 

In December, Sen. Joe ManchinJoe ManchinCongress in jeopardy of missing shutdown deadline A strategic pivot to healthcare reform could save the midterms for DemocratsCarville says he’d help fundraise for potential Gallego Senate bidMORE (D-W.Va.) declared after months of negotiations that he could not back the bill in its current form. Although Manchin has frequently clashed with progressives on energy and environmental issues, he has signaled willingness to back the bills climate provisions. 

Read more about the letter here.

Nor’easter leaves thousands without power

A noreaster, sometimes called a bomb cyclone, hit the East Coast on Saturday, knocking power out for thousands of people.  

More than 100,000 people were without power in Massachusetts as the weekend began, according to poweroutage.us. More than 20 inches of snow is predicted for some of the state.  

Virginia, New Jersey, New York, Maryland and Delaware have all issued states of emergencies due to the storm as more power outages are expected. 

More than 4,000 flights have been canceled due to the storm, which lasted into Sunday. 

“Out of an abundance of caution I am declaring a State of Emergency today as this storm is poised to create dangerous travel conditions, heavy snowfall rates and sustained winds over 50 mph tonight into Saturday,” New York Gov. Kathy HochulKathy HochulNor’easter leaves thousands without power on East CoastGovernors declare state of emergency ahead of severe winter weatherMask-or-vaccine mandate in New York extended to mid-February, Hochul saysMORE (D) said Friday.

“My team and I are laser focused on the forecast and we’ve been deploying emergency response assets ahead of the storm to assist with response efforts in the downstate areas. 

Read more about the storm here.

WHAT WERE READING

  • EPA, Supreme Court jockey to define Clean Water Acts reach (E&E News) 
  • Scientists count the world’s tree species (spoiler: it’s a bunch) (Reuters) 
  • Justices uphold dismissal of climate lawsuit brought by 16 young Alaskans (Alaska Public Media) 
  • Measuring climate change: Its not just heat, its humidity (The Associated Press) 
  • Australian regulator finds large-scale emissions misreporting by coalminer Peabody (The Guardian) 

And finally, something offbeat and off-beat:Ineffable 

Thats it for today, thanks for reading. Check out The Hills energy & environment page for the latest news and coverage. Well see you tomorrow.