ENERGY BRIEFING: White House May Tap Diesel Fuel Reserve

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The Biden administration is considering tapping a little-used emergency diesel fuel reserve to mitigate a supply crunch amid Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

The White House is weighing an emergency declaration that would allow it to use the Northeast Home Heating Oil Reserve, which contains a cache of 1 million barrels of diesel, according to a White House official.

While the reserve only contains about one day’s supply, and might not substantially reduce diesel prices, it could prevent spot outages of the fuel, the official said.

Inventories of diesel have plunged to historic lows in recent weeks amid mounting demand, a lack of refining capacity and global efforts to side step Russian fuel as a result of the country’s war in Ukraine. Read more from Ari Natter and Jenny Leonard.

Happening on the Hill

Hearings Today:

  • The House Select Committee on the Climate Crisis Tuesday holds a hearing on building a resilient and affordable food supply chain.
  • The Senate Energy and Natural Resources hearing Tuesday on the Forest Service’s fiscal 2023 budget has been rescheduled for a later day, according to a committee spokesperson.
  • BGOV Calendar: See full list of hearings this week.

Manchin Outlines Fiscal Priorities: Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), a key Democrat who opposed his party’s “Build Back Better” economic agenda (H.R. 5376), at a World Economic Forum panel Monday said Democrats could still roll back parts of the Republican 2017 tax cuts bill, pass drug pricing legislation, and pass an energy and climate measure as part of a reconciliation package. Manchin said opposition to the Republican tax law is a unifying force among Democrats. Read more from Jack Fitzpatrick.

Democrats Float $500 Rebate to Combat Gas Prices: Americans would receive a $500 cash rebate under legislation being introduced today by Democratic Reps. Sean Casten (Ill.), Don McEachin (Va.) and Earl Blumenauer (Ore.) that would be paid for by eliminating tax subsidies for the fossil fuel industry, Ari Natter reports.

Energy & Natural Resources

Granholm, Graves, Carter in Louisiana: Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm will travel to Baton Rouge and New Orleans Tuesday to visit the Strategic Petroleum Reserve site at Bayou Choctaw and General Electric’s wind turbine research facility. Rep. Garret Graves (R-La.) and Troy Carter (D-La.) will join Granholm for parts of the trip, according to an agency release.

  • Granholm also participated in the official opening of Air Liquide’s largest liquid hydrogen production facility located in North Las Vegas, Nevada, through a video message with Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.). The grand opening for the facility, which will produce 30 tons of liquid hydrogen per day, was also attended by Rep. Steven Horsford (D-Nev.), according to a press release.

Feds, North Dakota Sue Belle Fourche Over 2016 Pipeline Spill: Belle Fourche Pipeline faces another lawsuit over a 2016 spill that sent about 14,400 barrels of oil into waters in North Dakota, according to a Monday filing in a federal court in the state, Maya Earls reports.

More Headlines:

Environment & Chemicals

Environmental Justice Order Set for Summer Update: A White House effort to strengthen an environmental justice executive order largely untouched since the 1990s is heading to Biden in the coming months, administration officials said. The Council on Environmental Quality is working on recommendations for overhauling an environmental justice order, and a draft “will be ready” for Biden’s review this summer, a White House report says. Dean Scott has more.

Water Protection Prioritized in Interior Mine Cleanup Guidance: Water supply restoration projects are among the Interior Department’s top priorities in agency guidance for how states should spend the first $725 million of infrastructure funding (Public Law 117-58) for abandoned coal mine reclamation. The department on Monday released draft guidance to the states and the Navajo Nation, Bobby Magill reports.

PFAS in Sewage Sludge, Industrial Wastewater Targeted for Rules: Sewage treatment plants around the country and many of the factories that send them wastewater face a new and shifting array of regulations over how they handle PFAS. The Environmental Protection Agency is deciding whether to regulate wastewaters and biosolids with PFAS, a process that would take years, as several states move forward with their own efforts, Pat Rizzuto reports.

Oil Companies Suffer Latest Defeat in Rhode Island Climate Case: Oil giants including Exxon Mobil and Chevron lost another bid on Monday to keep a state climate liability case out of state court. After reviewing an industry appeal in Rhode Island’s climate case for the second time, a US Court of Appeals for the First Circuit panel again ruled to keep the case in state court where it was filed, Maya Earls and Jennifer Hijazi report.

Climate Inaction Costlier Than Investing Now, Deloitte Warns: Deloitte’s top global executive called on corporate and global leaders meeting in Davos, Switzerland, to turn away from fossil fuels, arguing the investment needed to counter climate change would boost global production by $43 trillion over the coming decades, Amanda Iacone reports.

NY Legislature Moves to Conserve 30% of State Land by 2030: New York is moving to conserve at least 30% of state land by 2030 in an effort to combat climate change under a bill headed to the desk of Gov. Kathy Hochul (D), Keshia Clukey reports.

More Headlines:

With assistance from Kellie Lunney and Ari Natter

To contact the reporter on this story: Michaela Ross in Washington at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Giuseppe Macri at

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