• HOUSE NATURAL RESOURCES COMMITTEE: (09/18/08) — Rep. Edward MarkeyEd MarkeyFCC approves new privacy rules for 'sensitive' internet data Senate Dems target Wells Fargo auditor Senate Dems want major women's golf event moved off Trump course MORE (D-Mass.) called a recent inspector general report concerning ethical lapses at the Mineral Management Service (MMS) a “blistering, scalding indictment of the Bush administration’s oversight of the Department of Interior.”

Markey made the comments to Interior Secretary Dirk Kempthorne at a House Natural Resources Committee hearing on the scandal.

Panel Chairman Nick RahallNick RahallWest Virginia is no longer Clinton country Solution needed: Rail congestion is stifling economic growth Lobbying World MORE (D-W.Va.) said he held the hearing to “see if we can get some inkling as to the extent that the cronyism between MMS employees and the oil and gas companies has cost the Treasury, in terms of royalty underpayments, lack of royalty payments and shortcomings in royalty-in-kind transactions.”

Rahall also called Kempthorne a “person of courage and conviction” and noted his efforts to emphasize ethics at the department. Kempthorne started at the agency in May 2006. The events detailed in the report took place between 2002 and 2006.

— Chairman Henry Waxman (D-Calif.) announced his committee would hold a hearing into the bailout of AIG and the Lehman Brothers bankruptcy.

“Lax oversight and reckless investments on Wall Street are causing massive disruption throughout our economy,” Waxman said.

The committee will hold at least two hearings, on Oct. 6 and 7. Waxman wrote letters to executives from Lehman and from AIG to testify.

• HOUSE ENERGY AND COMMERCE COMMITTEE: (09/16/08) — Committee Chairman John Dingell (D-Mich.) joined two Democratic leaders on the Hazardous Waste subcommittee in writing EPA Administrator Stephen Johnson for additional information concerning environmental hazards at three military bases.

Reps. Dingell, Gene GreenGene GreenHouse Dems call for NHL to reduce head injuries Top Dem: Cures bill funding cut to B Lawmakers pledge push for cures bill in lame-duck MORE (D-Texas) and Hilda Solis (D-Calif.) wrote Johnson that they expected EPA would have taken “vigorous and concrete actions” in responding to complaints that the military had not complied with the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act.

“That appears not to be the case,” the three wrote.