OVERNIGHT ENERGY: Al Gore hits talk-show circuit

Speakers include Mitch Bainwol, president and CEO of the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers; and Robert Bienenfeld, senior manager of environment and energy strategy at American Honda Motor Co.

PIPELINE POLITICS The Hill's Alexandra Jaffe has a new story that unwraps what the Keystone XL oil pipeline battle means for vulnerable Senate Democrats.


IN CASE YOU MISSED IT:

Check out these other stories that appeared on E2-Wire on Tuesday ...

– EPA denies regional chief used private email for official business
– Leader of DOE fossil fuel division to step down
– House GOP, citing North African turmoil, boosts Keystone pipeline pressure on Obama
– Nominee Hagel to cut ties with Chevron
– Oil-and-gas lobby might take ethanol fight to Supreme Court
– Oil group: High-ethanol fuel harms cars
– Senior GOP lawmakers demand private emails 
from EPA official
– Gore defends sale of Current TV to ‘distinguished’ news network al Jazeera
– Sale of stimulus-backed energy firm approved despite GOP concerns
– Ex-GOP Rep. LaHood to step down as head of Transportation Dept.


NEWS BITES:

Senate Dems urge Obama to name ‘strong’ EPA chief

Senate Environment and Public Works Committee Chairwoman Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) said Tuesday there’s a letter from Democrats to President Obama in the works about his upcoming choice to lead the Environmental Protection Agency.

“We are asking him to make a strong appointment to the EPA. There are so many important issues that they are going to deal with,” Boxer said in the Capitol.

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Current EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson, who has won praise from Boxer and other liberal Democrats, has announced plans to step down.

The upcoming letter comes as advocates for tougher action on climate change are pushing for strong second-term executive actions from the White House. Capitol Hill legislation to cap greenhouse gas emissions is highly, highly unlikely to advance.

Controversial Chesapeake Energy CEO heads for the exit


Bloomberg reports:

Chesapeake Energy Corp. (CHK) Chief Executive Officer Aubrey McClendon will resign from the company he built into the second-largest U.S. natural gas producer after scrutiny of his personal finances and a corporate cash crunch erased as much as 43 percent of its market value last year.

Click here for the whole story.

BP, Justice Department settlement accepted by federal court



A federal court accepted BP’s plea deal resolving federal criminal charges against the company for its role in the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill, BP announced Tuesday.



The U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana agreed to the $4 billion criminal settlement BP reached with the Justice Department in November.

BP will pay the fine through five years and serve probation for five years.



The 2010 blowout at BP’s Macondo well led to the death of 11 workers and spewed about 4.9 million barrels of oil into the Gulf. Transocean Deepwater Inc., which owned the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig that exploded, also has accepted some responsibility for the disaster.



BP still faces billions of dollars of potential civil penalties for violating the Clean Water Act.



BP names new American chief



Speaking of BP, the London-based oil giant announced Tuesday that John Mingé will serve as chairman and president of BP America.



Mingé previously headed BP Alaska. He replaces Lamar McKay, who will now lead the firm’s upstream operations.



“John Mingé has done a superb job in Alaska, where he has led the way in enhancing safety and making BP Alaska a stronger business,” McKay said in a Tuesday statement. “His background prepares him well for the challenges of representing BP in the US, which is home to our largest and most diverse portfolio of businesses anywhere in the world.”


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