Benjamin Hulac

Some climate change panel members are literally invested in the issue
Panel members have investments in fossil fuel companies, and at least two have ties to clean-energy industries

One member of the House committee created to address climate change stands out for what he owns: hundreds of oil and gas wells in North Dakota oil fields worth millions of dollars.

Rep. Kelly Armstrong, a Republican from North Dakota, received at least $400,000 from those wells and as much as $1.1 million in the previous year, as well as $75,000 in salary from Armstrong Corp., his family’s oil and gas business. He also owns at least 289 wells, worth between $2.9 million and $11.5 million, though in a recent interview Armstrong said he owns more than 300 wells.

Conservatives back proposed gray wolf delisting as green groups howl
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service said gray wolf populations recovered significantly after nearly disappearing

The Department of Interior moved on Thursday to remove gray wolves from federal protection, pleasing congressional Republicans and rankling environmental organizations that plan to fight the decision in court.

“Glad to see it,” Montana Sen. Steve Daines who like many western Republicans supports less federal control over at-risk species, told CQ. “Any time we can move a species off the endangered species list should be a victory.”

Creation of a panel disputing climate change causes White House infighting
The Trump administration is considering establishing a cohort of scientists led by climate denier William Happer

Plans to create a White House panel to dispute established climate science are facing sharp opposition from within the building, according to an official familiar with the matter and an administration adviser.

The Trump administration is considering establishing a cohort of scientists at the National Security Council, led by Princeton physicist and climate change denier William Happer, to challenge established scientific conclusions of the severity of climate change and humanity’s contributions to it.

Senate confirms former coal lobbyist to lead EPA
Andrew Wheeler has worked to weaken and delay national and global environmental protections

The Senate on Thursday voted 52-47 to confirm Andrew Wheeler, a former coal lobbyist who has worked to weaken and delay national and global environmental protections, as the head of the EPA.

Wheeler has served as acting EPA administrator since July, when the previous head, Scott Pruitt, resigned under a cloud of more than a dozen federal ethics investigations.

Maine Sen. Susan Collins becomes first Republican to oppose Trump’s EPA nominee
Claims Andrew Wheeler’s policies ‘not in the best interest of our environment and public health’

Maine’s Susan Collins on Wednesday became the first Republican senator to oppose  President Donald Trump’s nominee to lead the EPA as the Senate cleared a procedural hurdle on the nomination.

The Senate voted 52-46 to end debate on the nomination of Andrew Wheeler, the acting EPA administrator, setting up his final confirmation vote for Thursday. Sens. Rick Scott, R-Fla., and Kyrsten Sinema, D-Ariz., did not vote, and Sen. Joe Manchin III, D-W.Va., an ardent supporter of the coal industry, voted against ending debate on Wheeler’s nomination.

Democrats on House panel get a lesson: Showing up is important
Republican walkout came at subcommittee hearing on climate change

Democrats on a House Natural Resources panel got a lesson in full-tackle politics Tuesday when only two members of the majority showed up to a hearing and Republicans shut it down before witnesses spoke.

After opening statements from the chairman and ranking member of the panel’s Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee, Rep. Louie Gohmert of Texas successfully moved to adjourn, a measure Republicans agreed to by a vote of 4-2.

Some GOP lawmakers are thawing on climate change
‘There are some things I’m willing to look at,’ said House Freedom Caucus chairman Rep. Mark Meadows

Congressional Republicans seem to be thawing on climate.

Rep. Mark Meadows, the chairman of the conservative House Freedom Caucus who has denied the science behind climate change, told reporters Wednesday he was open to confront the peril of the warming planet.