Energy & Environment – ​​Biden EV playing field faces headwinds – Low Calorie Diets Tips

The government’s aggressive push towards electric cars could come at its own expense, a former Secretary of the Interior could return to Congress and Biden is targeting Big Oil.

This is Overnight Energy & Environment, your source for the latest news on energy, the environment and more. For The Hill we are Rachel Frazin and Zack Budryk. Someone forwarded this newsletter to you? Subscribe here.

Hurdles remain as Biden’s EV push comes to life

President Biden’s push for more electric vehicles (EVs) on the road and more charging stations across the US is gaining momentum as Americans continue to face historically high gas prices at the pump.

The president has focused on an ambitious climate agenda that has largely stalled in the Senate, but federal funding for the manufacture of electric vehicle infrastructure was passed in the bipartisan infrastructure bill the president signed into law in November.

  • The law earmarked $7.5 billion for electric vehicle chargers
  • Since then, the Biden administration has provided funding for kick-start programs with the goal of making EVs more common on American roads by the end of the decade.

“I think the amount of money makes me optimistic. Of course, most of this will be distributed to the states, and the states will have to use this infrastructure money strategically. And I think that will mean a strong emphasis on making charging options available to apartment dwellers,” said Jenny Carter, an assistant professor at the Vermont Law School’s Institute for Energy and the Environment.

The goal: Biden’s target of 50 percent EV sales in the U.S. by 2030 also includes producing a network of 500,000 chargers that will help make EVs accessible to all Americans for both local and long-distance travel.

The White House has emphasized its focus on justice to get more electric vehicles on the road, while electric cars are still largely seen as an item for the wealthy or exclusively for people who can afford them and have room for chargers in their homes.

“The EV charging challenge: If you look at how people are currently charging their own EVs, everything is at home. People who own electric vehicles tend to have higher incomes and have a garage or driveway,” said Tim Johnson, chair of the Master of Environmental Management Energy and Environment program at Duke University.

“Building our public charging network is truly critical to half of US homes. What the administration is doing, yes I think from a charger standpoint and the money that is pouring in, it is critical. It complements what manufacturers are doing,” he added.

Read more from The Hill’s Alex Gangitano.

FEATURE

This week, The Hill explores what’s next for electric and autonomous vehicles in the series “Driving into the future. Articles from Hill reporters and opinion leaders will be posted here throughout the week.

Zinke secures GOP nomination for House seat

Former Interior Minister Ryan Zinke is on track to return to the House of Representatives.

Zinke is expected to beat four other Republicans, including his main rival — surgeon Al Olszewski — in the GOP primary for Montana’s 1st congressional district. The win makes him a big favorite to represent the district in Washington next year.

The primary took place on Tuesday. The Associated Press called Thursday’s race at 7:52 p.m. ET.

A refresher:

  • Zinke represented Montana’s congressional district at large from 2015 to 2017, when former President Trump appointed him head of the Interior Department
  • He resigned as Home Secretary in 2019 following multiple inquiries into his trip and potential conflicts of interest
  • The allegations of misconduct have fueled attacks from Zinke’s main competitors, which have raised questions about his ethics and conduct in public office

Despite these controversies, Zinke is seeking a return to Washington, and he has the support of his former boss. Trump endorsed his congressional bid last month during a tele-rally for Zinke.

Read more from The Hill’s Max Greenwood.

Biden: “Exxon made more money than God this year”

President Biden on Friday called on Exxon to rake in big profits while tackling high inflation, and urged Congress to take action to address it.

“Why don’t you tell them how much Exxon’s profits were this year? This quarter? Exxon made more money than God this year,” he said in a speech at the Port of Los Angeles. “Exxon, start investing. Start paying your taxes.”

  • Biden has urged Congress to pass tax reform to get the wealthiest Americans and big corporations to pay their fair share to ease inflationary pressures
  • His comments follow the release of data by the Labor Department on Friday that showed the consumer price index rose 1 percent in the last month alone and 8.6 percent in the 12 months to May

“But make no mistake, I understand that inflation is a real challenge for American families. Today’s inflation report confirms what Americans already know: Putin’s price hike is hitting America hard. Gas prices at the pump, energy and food prices account for half of monthly price increases since May,” Biden said, referring to Russian President Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine.

The president said there were more than “9,000 permits to drill” but that the oil companies were “not drilling.”

“Why aren’t they drilling anymore? Because they make more money not producing oil. On the one hand, prices are rising. #2, the reason they’re not drilling is because they’re buying back their own stock should be taxed openly. They’re buying back their own shares and not making any new investments,” he said.

Read more from The Hill’s Alex Gangitano.

Oil price hikes have pushed up monthly and annual inflation

Consumer price growth rose in May as a further rise in oil prices pushed up inflation across the US economy, according to data released by the Labor Department on Friday.

  • The Labor Department’s Consumer Price Index (CPI), a closely watched indicator of inflation, was last seen rising 1 percent in May alone and 8.6 percent in the 12 months to May
  • Inflation was well above the 0.7 percent monthly inflation rate economists had forecast, rising quickly from a monthly price increase of 0.3 percent in April
  • The annual inflation rate also rose to 8.6 percent from 8.3 percent in April, where economists had expected it last month
  • Annual inflation in May marked the fastest annual price growth since inflation hit 8.9 percent annually in December 1981

“Inflation is not only hitting the volatile food and energy categories, which themselves seem to remain at high levels, particularly groceries, but has sunk deep into the cost of services and accommodations, while moving into commodity categories that we thought would would cool remains high,” Robert Frick, chief economist for the Navy Federal Credit Union, said in a Friday analysis.

Rising housing, gas and food prices drove most of the rise in inflation in May, particularly after a brief dip in oil prices in April eased some pressure.

Energy prices rose 3.9 percent in the last month alone after falling 2.7 percent in April. Gasoline prices rose 4.1 percent in May and are now almost 50 percent higher than in May 2021.

Read more from The Hill’s Sylvan Lane

ON TAP NEXT WEEK

Tuesday

  • The Senate Energy Committee will vote on whether to approve the nominations of David Applegate to direct the United States Geological Survey, Carmen Cantor to direct Interior and International Affairs, and Evelyn Wang to direct the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy ( ARPA-E) should be promoted. The votes will be followed immediately by a hearing to consider short- and long-term solutions to the extreme drought in the western United States. Camille C. Touton, Commissioner of the Bureau of Reclamation, will testify.
  • The House Select Committee on the Climate Crisis will hold a hearing entitled “State Perspectives on Methane Pollution”. New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham (D) and Wyoming Gov. Mark Gordon (R) will testify.

Wednesday

  • The Senate Environment and Public Works Committee will hold a hearing to consider a number of coastal and water-related bills
  • The House Agriculture Committee will hold a hearing entitled “The Role of Climate Research in Supporting Agricultural Resiliency.”

WHAT WE READ

  • 3M’s ‘Forever Chemicals’ Crisis Has Arrived in Europe (Bloomberg)
  • Exxon Mobil hit an all-time high this week. According to analysts (CNBC), this is next for the energy behemoth
  • Louisiana is gearing up for an LNG boom. The projects will emit millions of tons of greenhouse gases. (The Acadiana Lawyer)
  • Wild gold-mining boom in Bolivia’s Amazon fuels tensions over the environment (Reuters)

And finally, something fancy and quirky: Let him in.

That’s it for today, thanks for reading. Visit The Hill’s energy and environment page for the latest news and reports. We meet next week.

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