OVERNIGHT ENERGY: DOE Secretary Chu to chat with mayors

Interior Secretary Ken Salazar announced Wednesday that he is stepping down, and EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson is on her way out too. Chu is widely expected to leave as part of the second-term Cabinet turnover as well, but hasn’t announced his plans. Yet.


ALSO COMING THURSDAY:

Keystone pipeline foes press climate case

Environmentalists will try and increase pressure on the White House to reject the proposed Keystone XL oil sands pipeline on Thursday.

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Several groups will unveil research showing that “the climate impact of the tar sands pipeline will be significantly worse than previously estimated,” an advisory states.

They’re taking aim at the argument that Canada’s oil sands production will keep expanding regardless of what happens with Keystone, the proposed project to bring Canadian oil sands to Gulf Coast refineries

“The experts will explain the research showing that without the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline, industry plans to nearly triple tar sands production by 2030 will be seriously hampered,” the advisory states.The Natural Resources Defense Council, Oil Change International and 350.org are hosting a press conference to present the findings.

Oil-and-gas industry press natural-gas export case


American Petroleum Institute officials will hold a press briefing Thursday to make the case that the Obama administration should approve a slew of natural-gas export proposals.

“API Chief Economist John Felmy will address the risks of delay and the possibility of losing billions of dollars in U.S. investments and jobs. He will also discuss the oil and natural gas industry’s ability to use new technologies to safely expand production in the U.S. and the opportunities that these investments provide to help meet our growing energy demands, and address our economic challenges,” an advisory states.

World Bank hosts transportation event

EMBARQ and the World Bank will hold a two-day transportation conference beginning Thursday at World Bank headquarters.

Improving health and safety in cities and advancing sustainable transportation are two topics scheduled for discussion.

Speakers include World Bank President Jim Yong Kim and New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

For more on the event, click here.


IN CASE YOU MISSED IT:

Check out these items that ran on E2-Wire on Wednesday ...

— Mining group criticizes reports on coal exports
— Oil-and-gas lobby sees 'early breakthrough' for offshore royalty bill
— Capitol Hill gas-export backers ready new pressure on DOE
— API's Gerard: 'Respect' for Salazar, hopes 'reality has now settled in' on drilling
— Departing EPA chief: Delivering BP spill fines to Gulf states a proud moment
— Republicans: Keep carbon tax buried
 Interior Secretary Salazar to step down


NEWS BITES:

House Dems defend SEC oil payments rule in court case


A dozen House Democrats are urging a federal court to uphold Securities and Exchange Commission rules that will force oil, gas and mining companies to disclose payments to foreign governments.

The Democrats filed an amicus, or friend-of-the-court, brief Wednesday to help parry litigation against the rules brought by oil industry and business groups.

The rules are required under the 2010 Dodd-Frank financial overhaul law, and the Democrats' brief says the SEC did exactly what Congress instructed.

“Dodd-Frank explicitly mandated the Commission to release the Resource Extraction Rule. By laying out precise and specific commands dictating the rule’s scope and nature, Congress left the Commission no relevant discretion to utilize when promulgating the rule,” the brief states.

The SEC rule is aimed at increasing transparency to help undo the so-called “resource curse,” in which some impoverished countries in Africa and elsewhere are plagued by high levels of corruption and conflict alongside their energy and mineral wealth.

But the American Petroleum Institute, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and two other groups are challenging the mandate, alleging it imposes costly burdens and that the underlying SEC economic analysis was badly flawed, among other claims.

Lawmakers including Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.), Rep. Eliot Engel (D-N.Y.) and Rep. Jim McDermott (D-Wash.) filed the brief. Click here to read it.

Issa plans oversight of separate EPA email accounts

The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee plans to probe the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on its use of separate internal email accounts.

Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) wrote EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson that her use of a “Richard Windsor” alias for some agency correspondence has raised concerns.

“The use of an alias to conduct government business via email raises the prospect that communications and records ... may not be properly archived,” Issa wrote in a Tuesday letter.

EPA said it has used the internal accounts for a decade. The department said it hands over all emails from those accounts in public records requests.


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