By Anthony Adragna | 12/06/2017 10:00 AM EDT

With help from Emily Holden, Catherine Boudreau and Eric Wolff

ODDS LOOKING GOOD FOR ANWR: Senior House Republicans said Tuesday they were optimistic a provision opening the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil and gas drilling would make it into Congress' final tax package, even as a handful of their colleagues expressed unease. "I've been asking for ANWR for a long, long time," said Natural Resources Chairman Rob Bishop, who is on the conference committee sorting out the differences between the House and Senate bills. "And so have most rational people. I expect it to be part of the final product." Alaska Republican Rep. Don Young, also a conferee, said he was "feeling pretty good" about the provision's chances of making it through conference.

Alaska Sen. Dan Sullivan summed up the state of play over ANWR: "You don't want to jinx it and we're going to continue to work hard, but we're confident and we're going to have good representation on the conference." Senate Energy Chairman Lisa Murkowski is expected to join Young as a conferee once the Senate votes to go for conference. Sullivan added his vote on the package would be in jeopardy if the ANWR provision doesn't make it into the finished product.

Grassley ready to rumble: Senate Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley suggested he'd throw his weight around to alter provisions in the House-passed bill that would change qualification terms for some renewable energy projects and trim the renewable production tax credit. "I would think they'd be embarrassed of even putting it in," he told reporters. "What is there about wind that would cause them to do something that they haven't done for anything else?" Grassley also said changing the tax credits went against a promise he'd received from Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin back in January. A coalition of right-of-center clean energy groups sent a letter outlining their own concerns about the House and Senate bills on Tuesday.

Extenders package coming together: Legislation extending expired tax provisions, including short-term tax benefits to promote renewable energy sources like biodiesel and solar power, is expected to come together in the next couple of weeks, Pro Tax's Aaron Lorenzo and Bernie Becker report, citing senior GOP senators. Multiple sources say a package could hitch a ride with an end-of-year government funding agreement. Sens. Johnny Isakson and Tim Scott are advocating to extend a 2020 deadline on tax credits for new nuclear energy projects, while Grassley has pushed a biodiesel credit.

Meanwhile, senior congressional Republicans are drawing a line in the sand by promising they won't grant Democrats concessions in a second short-term spending bill later this month to keep the government open, Pro Budget & Appropriations Brief's Jennifer Scholtes and Sarah Ferris report. "If we pass a bill on or about the 22nd and go home, then the Senate will need to make up its mind about what to do about that," Rep. Hal Rogers said. "The option is either: Pass or have a shutdown in place."

WELCOME TO WEDNESDAY! I'm your host Anthony Adragna, and the ClearPath Foundation's Spencer Nelson was first up to identify Joe Barton as the original sponsor of the Energy Policy Act of 2005. For today: What was the smallest national monument ever created in the U.S.? Send your tips, energy gossip and comments to aadragna@politico.com, or follow us on Twitter @AnthonyAdragna, @Morning_Energy and @POLITICOPro.

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NEVER HEARD OF THIS BEFORE: EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt will only stay for an hour during a Thursday appearance at an Energy and Commerce subcommittee before returning later in the afternoon. "Congressional Republicans need to grow a backbone and stand up to President Trump and the members of his cabinet, like Administrator Pruitt, who have repeatedly ignored any Congressional oversight," ranking member Frank Pallone told ME in a statement. "It's clear that we're simply not going to get any real oversight of the Trump Administration from Congressional Republicans anytime soon." A committee spokesman confirmed the arrangement and said it was to accommodate a meeting at the White House. EPA didn't respond to request for comment.

Context here: ME's never heard of a Cabinet official taking a lengthy break in the middle of a congressional hearing, regardless of the reason. And, remember, this is slated to be Pruitt's first appearance before the Energy and Commerce Committee.

Ahead of the appearance, more than 1,000 scientists asked congressional leaders to question Pruitt about efforts to overhaul the agency's science advisory panels. "Without the best available scientific advice, the EPA will be ill-equipped to tackle emerging environmental and public health challenges, and the American people will suffer," they write.

GOOD DAY, SUNSHINE: TRADE REP TO HEAR SOLAR CASE: The U.S. Trade Representative will hear arguments today at 9:30 a.m. for what kind of tariffs or quotas - if any - the president should impose on imported solar panels. The hearing will likely be a rehash of arguments that were made to the U.S. International Trade Commission before that body proposed its own set of remedies for the damage done to U.S. trade manufacturers by low cost imports.

Trump gets to make the call: The president will ultimately have full latitude to impose penalties on imported solar cells and panels, and the Solar Energy Industries Association is hoping to influence his decision by recasting their arguments against a tariff in Trump's preferred terms. The group rolled out its America First Plan for Solar Energy, saying rejecting tariffs would promote "U.S. energy dominance," help national security and save jobs. Trump must make a decision by Jan. 26.

Republicans urge no tariffs: 35 House and six Senate Republicans sent letters ahead of the hearing urging the Trump administration not to slap tariffs on imported solar equipment.

ZINKE FLOATS SHRINKING MORE MONUMENTS: Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke urged Trump in his 20-page final recommendations to downsize Nevada's Gold Butte and Oregon's Cascade-Siskiyou national monuments, in addition to the drastic scalebacks of Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante national the president announced Monday. Management plans at half a dozen other monuments would be changed, though their boundaries would not be altered. And Zinke suggests creating three new national monuments: Camp Nelson in Kentucky; Medgar Evers's home in Mississippi; and the Badger II Medicine Area in Zinke's own homestate of Montana.

CITIES RALLY ON CLIMATE: Some 36 U.S. mayors signed an agreement Tuesday vowing to do their part to curb greenhouse gas emissions even as the Trump administration has signaled its intent to leave the Paris agreement. Former President Barack Obama later delivered brief remarks to the gathering in Chicago thanking cities for showing "the kind of leadership that is needed at the moment" and mayors for helping to keep "our word on the world stage." Obama said "cities and states and businesses and universities and nonprofits have emerged as the new face of American leadership on climate change."

MCINTYRE MIA? It's been 34 days since Jones Day attorney Kevin McIntyre was confirmed by the Senate to be a FERC commissioner, and two weeks since he got his signed commission. Commissioners basically get to decide for themselves when they want to get sworn in, so speculation has swirled about why the would-be chairman hasn't shown up for work. McIntyre still has a webpage at Jones Day, which usually is one of the first things to go when a big firm lawyer takes a government job. An out-of-office reply from his work email account said he he would be back on Dec. 14. The White House did not respond to a request for comment, and a FERC spokesman said, "We have nothing on that at this time."

AIN'T NO THING: Grassley is downplaying the significance of the meeting that Sen. Ted Cruz secured with Trump and several Cabinet members on Thursday to discuss biofuels and vehicle fuel-efficiency policy. "The president keeps doing what he told the voters of Iowa, as well as me and Senator [Joni] Ernst , which is supporting ethanol," Grassley told reporters Tuesday, adding that it's not unusual for the president to accept a meeting request from senators. The Iowa Republican also said he thinks Cruz's leverage has diminished since the EPA last week released the rule setting 2018 blending requirements for biofuels - which kept flat the levels for corn ethanol.

SWEET TREAT: Bishop gave Trump a special little treat during his Monday visit to Utah to unveil his monument recommendations: a box of chocolates from a store in his district. "It was cheesy but I thought why not?" he said. "He says he likes chocolates." No word on what Trump thought of the candy, which Bishop said was the store's popular nut roll.

And another gift: At a tax event at the White House on Tuesday, North Dakota state Sen. Jessica Unruh gave Trump a Make Coal Great Again hat as she praised the tax overhaul. "The production tax credit has destroyed the energy market, especially in the Midwest. We don't have a lot of electricity produced from natural gas in North Dakota. So wind production has really eroded our state tax base and replaced coal production when it comes to electricity production," she said. "We're also very thankful for all the regulatory reform we've seen come from your office."

NO NOMINATION VACATION: The Senate Environment and Public Works Committee takes up R.D. James' nomination to run the Army Corps of Engineers this morning at 10 a.m. in Dirksen 406. The nomination earlier this month cleared the Senate Armed Services Committee on a voice vote, though the crowded December to-do list suggests he may not get a floor vote until next year.

In the afternoon, an EPW subcommittee holds a hearing entitled "Challenges Facing Superfund and Waste Cleanup Efforts Following Natural Disasters." Witnesses are from Texas and California alone.

SEE YOU IN COURT (AGAIN): Joining environmental and public health groups, a coalition of 15 Democratic attorneys general sued EPA on Tuesday for missing a key deadline related to implementation of its 2015 ozone standard, Pro's Alex Guillén reports.

MAIL CALL! DON'T TURN THE CAR (STANDARDS) AROUND: At least 22 Democratic senators, led by Ed Markey, Sheldon Whitehouse and Kamala Harris , are sending Pruitt a letter this morning urging him not to weaken emissions standards for model years 2021 through 2025. "Regulated industries should not be able to undermine technically sound standards that have clear environmental and health benefits," they'll say in letter which ME has glimpsed. And their letter comes as the Union of Concerned Scientists releases a new report arguing automakers have for decades repeated a "familiar pattern" of attacking new policies as technologically infeasible.

TAKE A LOOK PLEASE! Seven Democratic senators asked GAO in a letter to examine how the Trump administration developed its lower social cost of carbon figure. In particular, they asked for an examination of how other states and countries created similar measures. Link here.

FIGHTING PARK SERVICE CUTS: The NRDC Action Fund is launching a five-figure, TV ad campaign in Montana today against the Trump administration's proposed cuts to the National Park Service and urging Sen. Jon Tester to continue fighting them. Watch it here.

FOR YOUR RADAR: The American Legislative Exchange Council is meeting today through Friday in Nashville and conservative legislators will weigh a model resolution calling on EPA to review the endangerment finding, which requires regulations to limit greenhouse gas emissions. ALEC members will vote on the proposal Thursday. Exxon Mobil, a private sector member of ALEC, is opposing the push, particularly because of its language questioning climate science, The Hill reports.

STUDY BUDDIES: E2, former DOE head Ernest Moniz's Energy Futures Initiative and the National Association of State Energy Officials are teaming up on a detailed analysis of energy jobs for every state, including jobs in solar, wind, energy efficiency and clean transportation. The groups expect the report out by Spring 2018.

HOW TO DIGITIZE AN ELECTRIC GRID: The Bipartisan Policy Center released a series of recommendations Tuesday for how to digitize the electric grid. Among their suggestions: Having DOE convene a task force on the issue and including funding for modernizing grid investment as part an infrastructure package. Read the whole report here.

QUICK HITS

- A radical startup has invented the world's first zero-emissions fossil-fuel power plant. Quartz.

- EPA Reaches Settlement With Energy Plant Over Toxic Odors. AP.

- Trump science job nominees missing advanced science degrees. AP.

- The Environmental Case Against Bitcoin. New Republic.

- Lisa Murkowski warns Trump nominee to keep federal energy data free of politics. Washington Examiner.

- PPL expects sharp decline in coal fleet by 2050. Utility Dive.

THAT'S ALL FOR ME!

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