Six Republicans break ranks on carbon tax vote

POLITICS: Six Republicans break ranks to vote against a resolution in the U.S. House opposing a carbon tax, most GOP members of the bipartisan Climate Solutions Caucus voted to approve the symbolic bill. (E&E News, InsideClimate News)

ALSO: Florida GOP Rep. Carlos Cubelo plans to introduce his carbon tax bill on Monday, which while highly unlikely to pass, marks the first policy effort by Republicans on climate change in a decade. (Reuters)

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CLIMATE:
• A judge dismisses New York’s climate change lawsuit against Exxon Mobil and other major oil companies, saying global warming should not be addressed by the judiciary branch.

EPA weakens Obama-era coal ash regulations

EPA: The EPA weakens 2015 standards for coal ash storage and monitoring, a sign that the agency’s direction will remain unchanged under acting administrator Andrew Wheeler, a former coal lobbyist. (E&E News, Reuters)

ALSO: In a departure from former administrator Scott Pruitt, under Wheeler the EPA is taking steps to be more open and transparent with the media and the public. (E&E News)

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CLIMATE: An initiative launched by California Gov. Jerry Brown and former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg outlines a “bottom-up” approach to climate action, with businesses, cities and states leading the way.

Carbon tax plan faces headwinds in Congress

CLIMATE: A Florida congressman plans to introduce legislation that would pause federal climate change regulations in exchange for a carbon emissions tax. (E&E News)

ALSO:
• Koch Industries is backing a House resolution opposing carbon taxes. (The Hill)
• A recent study finds that carbon taxes will have minimal impact on the economy. (The Guardian)
• A New York conservation group is suing FERC over a policy to limit its consideration of climate impacts when approving natural gas infrastructure projects. (E&E News)

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Study finds EPA vastly underestimating methane emissions

OIL AND GAS: A new study finds the EPA is vastly underestimating methane emissions from oil and gas production. (New York Times)

ALSO: Conservation groups file a lawsuit alleging federal wildlife agencies failed to complete mandatory reporting on how oil drilling could affect endangered species in the Gulf of Mexico. (Associated Press)

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CLIMATE:
• Backers of a bipartisan push for a carbon tax don’t expect anything to happen under the Trump administration, but “public attitudes on this topic are shifting.” (E&E News)
• Republican senators from Texas, Kentucky, and Oklahoma call for an investigation into whether a meteorologist training program is trying to “influence political and social debate.” (InsideClimate News)

GRID:
• A report from the North American Electric Reliability Corp.

Major energy companies backing bipartisan carbon tax push

CLIMATE: Exelon, First Solar and the American Wind Energy Association are among the companies supporting a new bipartisan campaign for a carbon tax. (Bloomberg)

EPA: At a confirmation hearing, Senate Democrats push two EPA nominees on administrator Scott Pruitt’s ethical scandals and denial of climate science; while Oklahoma Sen. James Inhofe softens his criticism of Pruitt. (The Hill)

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BIOFUELS: The EPA is expected to announce a plan to reallocate wavied biofuel requirements to other refineries.