By Anthony Adragna | 12/05/2017 10:00 AM EDT

With help from Alex Guillén and Tanya Snyder

UPPING THE ANTE ON ANWR: Environmental advocates and Democrats are upping the pressure on the House GOP's self-styled climate hawks to withhold their vote on the final tax package H.R. 1 (115) if it contains a Senate provision allowing oil and gas drilling in the Alaska National Wildlife Refuge. But those efforts don't appear to have borne any fruit yet, Pro's Ben Lefebvre and your ME host report. The rider - a key priority for Senate Energy Chairman Lisa Murkowski - is just one of many dicey items Senate and House negotiators must work through as they go to conference to iron out differences in their bills, even as drilling opponents push Republican members of the Climate Solutions Caucus to back up their words with action.

Six of the 12 House GOPers who signed a letter last week opposing ANWR drilling backed the initial tax bill, and activists staged protests at the offices of Reps. Pat Meehan and Carlos Curbelo on Monday. Three of those six tax bill supporters who oppose ANWR - Reps. Dave Reichert, Ryan Costello and Curbelo - suggested the fate of the ANWR rider wouldn't determine their final vote. "It would be very disappointing, but I doubt that I would deny all of my constituents the opportunity to experience tax relief because of any one provision," Curbelo told ME at Monday votes.

Earthjustice, the Center for Biological Diversity and other groups sent a letter to Climate Solutions Caucus Republicans asking them, among other things, to work against opening ANWR. And Democrats say the final tax bill vote offered a concrete opportunity for members of the group to demonstrate their pro-climate stance. "It would certainly be nice if the symbolic power of them acknowledging climate change through this caucus translated into action at some point," Rep. Jared Huffman told ME. "This would be a good point."

Two interesting polls suggest there's no widespread public support for opening ANWR despite the vocal backing of Alaska's delegation. One, from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and POLITICO, found 67 percent of respondents said opening ANWR "should not be a priority" for the federal government. The other poll, conducted for the Yale Program on Climate Change Communication, found that 70 percent of Americans oppose drilling in ANWR.

Late Monday, Speaker Paul Ryan named four lawmakers of particular note to ME fans to the House's conference committee: Natural Resources Chairman Rob Bishop, Energy and Commerce Chairman Greg Walden, John Shimkus and Don Young. Also joining the Republican conference party: Ways and Means Chairman Kevin Brady, Devin Nunes, Peter Roskam, Diane Black and Kristi Noem.

WELCOME TO TUESDAY! I'm your host Anthony Adragna, and Squire Patton Boggs' Lem O. Smith was first to identify Sen. Lamar Alexander as the one-time Trent Lott roommate. For today: Who was the original House sponsor of the Energy Policy Act of 2005? Send your tips, energy gossip and comments to aadragna@politico.com, or follow us on Twitter @AnthonyAdragna, @Morning_Energy and @POLITICOPro.

FIRST MONUMENT LAWSUITS FILED: A coalition of environmental groups filed the first lawsuit challenging President Donald Trump's long-expected move to shrink the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument just hours after he announced his decision to significantly pare two national monuments in Utah. The groups argue in their complaint filed in Washington federal court that the Antiquities Act "does not authorize Presidents to abolish [national monuments] either in whole or in part, as President Trump's action attempts to do." And the Native American Rights Fund, representing the Hopi Tribe, Navajo Nation, Pueblo of Zuni and Ute Mountain Ute Tribe, filed its own challenge the Bears Ears proclamation late Monday evening.

Report's coming today: While on hand for Trump's announcement in Utah, Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke told the press pool to expect the release of the results today of his review of several dozen national monument designations. And Natural Resources Chairman Rob Bishop, as well as Utah Reps. Chris Stewart and John Curtis, host a pen and pad briefing this morning at 11 a.m. where they'll discuss Trump's visit and the introduction of related legislation on Utah monuments.

Pro's DataPoint has whipped up a nifty graphic showing Trump's drastic reductions to the Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante national monuments in Utah. Check that out here.

The quote everyone's talking about: "Does he know the interior. He's knows it, he loves it. He loves seeing it and riding on it," Trump on Zinke.

NEW REQUESTS FOR KEYSTONE XL PROJECT: Environmental groups are asking the Trump administration to conduct a new supplemental environmental impact statement and Endangered Species Act consultation after the Nebraska Public Service Commission approved a modified path for the Keystone XL pipeline last month. "Now the administration has no choice but to update its assessment to reflect the pipeline's current proposed route," Doug Hayes, a senior attorney with the Sierra Club, said in a statement. That comes as the Nebraska regulators scheduled a Dec. 12 hearing for TransCanada and environmental groups to argue it should reconsider its decision on the controversial pipeline, Pro's Ben Lefebvre reports.

Meanwhile, the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration said a weight put in place to keep the Keystone pipeline from moving may have played a role in the 210,000 gallon oil spill in South Dakota last month, Reuters reports. It's a finding that could trigger costly inspections of tens of thousands of miles of underground pipelines.

KEEPING THE LIGHTS ON: House Republican leaders think they'll have enough votes from their caucus alone to pass a two-week, stopgap spending package to keep the lights on this week, Pro Budget & Appropriations Brief reports. But a warning signal went up Friday as the Florida and Texas delegations (that's 63 people for those counting at home) threatened to withhold support unless they get a more generous disaster aid package. That threat didn't appear to refer directly to the two-week bill currently under consideration, but shows how much power the two delegations could exert on the spending debates going forward.

Even amid the now-routine House hiccups over the short-term package, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell coolly predicted his chamber "will pass it before the end of this week."

Green groups launch new push: Ahead of the funding deadline, a collection of environmental and public health groups are unveiling a new website today highlighting local stories of the importance of environmental protections and what budget cuts could mean for health and safety. That comes as Mike Mikulka, president of the largest union for EPA Region 5 employees, warned a government shutdown would "create an unprecedented emergency for human health and our environment."

And a dozen environmental and union groups are sending a letter to congressional leaders calling for a disaster supplemental package that is "robust, funds recovery and rebuilding efforts in a way that results in stronger and more resilient communities." Link here.

Oh and ICYMI: House Republicans, including Ryan, weighed stripping House Appropriations Chairman Rodney Frelinghuysen of his gavel after the long-time New Jersey Republican voted against their tax bill, POLITICO's Rachael Bade and John Bresnahan report.

AMERICA FIRST FOR SOLAR PLAN: The Solar Energy Industries Association this morning rolls out its plan for Trump that it argues would keep America First and, at its core, reiterates the group's push against any tariffs or quotas on imported solar equipment. SEIA argues imposing tariffs represents a "bailout" for two foreign-owned companies that are exploiting U.S. trade law and would be a "bad deal for America." One idea floated in the plan is an import license fee that the group says would "get hundreds of millions of dollars in direct investment help to U.S. companies and our economy." They'll roll the whole thing out at 9:15 a.m. at the National Press Club.

DOT PUTS THE BRAKES ON ECP MANDATE: DOT Monday rescinded the mandate for trains carrying crude oil and ethanol to be equipped with electronically controlled pneumatic brakes, with the understanding that such brakes would reduce the risk of derailment in cases of emergency. The 2014 FAST Act ordered a scientific evaluation of ECP brake performance in emergencies, with a requirement for a final decision on the rule's fate by Monday - the two-year anniversary of the law's passage. The scientific study was inconclusive, and a GAO study found that DOT didn't have enough data to make a call. But a DOT analysis in October found that the costs outweighed the benefits of an ECP mandate by a factor of three. Commerce Committee Chairman John Thune praised the repeal decision. "Repealing this rule puts sound science and careful study ... over flawed guesswork," he said in a statement.

MOVING MORE NOMINATIONS: The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Commitee takes up the nominations of Timothy R. Petty to be Interior assistant secretary for water and science and Linda Capuano to run the Energy Information Administration today at 10 a.m. Watch here.

LAWSUIT ROUNDUP! SUIT FILED OVER MISSED SMOG DEADLINES: Ten environmental and public health groups filed a lawsuit Monday over a missed Oct. 1 statutory deadline for EPA to say which parts of the U.S. were meeting the 2015 ozone standard, Pro's Alex Guillén reports. A coalition of Democratic attorneys general is also expected to sue EPA soon.

Interior appeals loss in methane rule stay suit: The Interior Department said Monday evening it will appeal a federal judge's October ruling that said its delay of the Obama administration's methane waste rule was illegal. The judge said the Bureau of Land Management should have gone through notice-and-comment rulemaking to delay the rule since it had already taken effect. Interior proposed an 18-month delay and took public comments into November. It is unclear when that delay will be finalized. Interior's appeal will go to the 9 th Circuit.

Are you new here? A lawsuit challenging EPA's delay of a regulation limiting power plants' toxic wastewater discharge was transferred from an Obama appointee to newly confirmed Judge Dabney L. Friedrich on Monday, Pro's Alex Guillén reports. Environmental advocates originally filed the case in May, and in September EPA finalized the delay of certain implementation deadlines.

ANOTHER HIRE AT EPA: Clint Woods, the head of an association that represents conservative state air agencies, will become the deputy assistant administrator of EPA's air office, Pro's Emily Holden reports. Woods is executive director of the Association of Air Pollution Control Agencies. He previously worked for the energy and environment subpanel of the House Science Committee and for the American Legislative Exchange Council. He'll begin his new job at EPA in mid-December.

NEW EPA PUSH ON PFAS: EPA announced Monday it was launching a cross-agency effort to address PFAS contamination around the country that will include identifying a set of near-term actions it can take to help local communities. No details were given though. You'll remember that concerns over PFAS contamination in North Carolina waterways were one of the major concerns for that state's senators in deciding they couldn't support Michael Dourson's nomination to run the agency's chemical office.

MUSICAL CHAIRS AT E&C: Mississippi Rep. Gregg Harper takes over as chairman of the Energy and Commerce Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee, Chairman Greg Walden announced Monday. Also of interest to ME readers: South Carolina Rep. Jeff Duncan joins both the Energy and Environment subcommittees.

PERRY'S IN UAE! Energy Secretary Rick Perry's swing through the Middle East next takes him to Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates, where he'll co-chair the Carbon Sequestration Leadership Forum along with UAE Minister of Energy Suhail Mohamed Al Mazroui. Agenda here . The visit comes after he inked a memorandum of understanding with Saudi Arabia during his trip there to increase research and collaboration on carbon capture technologies. "This MOU outlines a future alliance not only in supercritical carbon dioxide, but also in a range of clean fossil fuels and carbon management opportunities," Perry said in a statement.

Also, guys, he's having the best time! Check out these pictures of Perry with his feet in the sand, shopping and doing other fun looking things here.

TAKE A GLANCE! The American Council for Capital Formation is out with a report today blaming the struggles of the California Public Employees' Retirement System, the nation's largest public pension fund, in part on investments in "certain political causes and issues at the expense of doing what's necessary to improve fund performance." It argues prioritizing environmental, social and governance investments frequently comes "at the expense of other investments more likely to optimize returns."

FOR YOUR VIEWING PLEASURE: Vice President Al Gore is hosting The Climate Reality Project's seventh-annual 24 Hours of Reality through 6:30 p.m. today with people like California Gov. Jerry Brown, San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz, Mariah Carey, Sheryl Crow, Ellie Goulding and others talking up the importance of climate action and activism. Watch online here and a schedule of speakers is here.

STREAMLINING UTILITY SUSTAINABILITY REPORTING: The Edison Electric Institute announced Monday a pilot template that it said would help utilities more consistently provide investors with sustainability and other similar information. Utilities participating in the pilot project will begin using the template as they report 2016 information in the coming weeks.

LIGHTER CLICK! Pruitt tweeted out scenes from what seemed like a lovely holiday party in his office. Check them out here.

QUICK HITS

- Trump Disbands Group Meant to Prepare Cities for Climate Shocks. Bloomberg.

- Trump's Attack Dog on the Environment. Outside.

- OPEC oil output falls in November to lowest since May. Reuters.

- Secrecy surrounds pro-coal group eyeing Ohio wind cases. Midwest Energy News.

- Governor's staff struck climate change language from Act 250 report. Burlington Free Press.

THAT'S ALL FOR ME!

To view online:
https://www.politico.com/newsletters/morning-energy/2017/12/05/trying-to-turn-gop-climate-talk-into-action-040348

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