Overnight Energy: Trump nixes foreign payment disclosure rule

Overnight Energy: Trump nixes foreign payment disclosure rule
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TRUMP'S KILLS DISCLOSURE RULE: President Trump signed a resolution Tuesday that repeals a foreign payment transparency rule for oil, natural gas and coal companies.

Trump's signature kicks off a new chapter in an aggressive deregulatory effort by the congressional GOP and the administration, targeting numerous Obama-era rules under the Congressional Review Act (CRA).

The legislation is the first time in 16 years that the CRA has been used to repeal a regulation, and only the second time in the two decades that act has been law. The House and Senate passed the measure earlier this month.

The resolution repeals a Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) rule written under the 2010 Dodd-Frank financial reform law.

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It was meant to fight corruption in resource-rich countries by mandating that companies on United States stock exchanges disclose the royalties and other payments that oil, natural gas, coal and mineral companies make to governments.

At a signing ceremony in the Oval Office, Trump said the legislation is part of a larger regulatory rollback that he and congressional Republicans are undertaking with the goal of economic and job recovery.

"This is a big signing, very important signing," Trump said, flanked at his desk by House Speaker Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanJuan Williams: Pelosi shows her power Cheney takes shot at Trump: 'I like Republican presidents who win re-election' Cheney allies flock to her defense against Trump challenge MORE (R-Wis.), House Financial Services Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling (R-Texas), Sen. Jim InhofeJames (Jim) Mountain InhofeOvernight Defense & National Security — Presented by Raytheon Technologies — Biden backtracks on Taiwan GOP lawmakers worry vaccine mandate will impact defense supply chain Top GOP senators want joint review of Afghan visa process MORE (R-Okla.) and other lawmakers.

"We're bringing back jobs big league. We're bringing them back at the plant level, we're bringing them back at the mine level. The energy jobs are coming back," he continued. "A lot of people going back to work now."

Read more here.

DEMS TRY TO HIT THE BRAKES ON PRUITT: Democrats want Senate leadership to delay a floor vote on Scott Pruitt while a lawsuit against him over email records plays out.

Sen. Tom CarperThomas (Tom) Richard CarperDemocrats say they're committed to reducing emissions in Biden plan Is the Biden administration afraid of trade? Congress sends 30-day highway funding patch to Biden after infrastructure stalls MORE (D-Del.) and other Democrats on the Environment and Public Works Committee said that documents released in response to a public records request at the Oklahoma attorney general's office could play into how senators decide to vote.

A liberal group recent sued Pruitt's office for waiting more than two years on a request it filed for communications between Pruitt's aides and energy and conservative interests.

"Granting this request -- to schedule consideration of Mr. Pruitt's nomination at a time that permits Senators to receive and review the information we previously requested -- is compelled, in our view, by the Senate's obligation to provide advice and consent on Mr. Pruitt's nomination," the Democrats wrote in a letter to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellBiden says he's open to altering, eliminating filibuster to advance voting rights Pelosi says GOP senators 'voted to aid and abet' voter suppression for blocking revised elections bill Manchin insists he hasn't threatened to leave Democrats MORE (R-Ky.).

"These records are needed for the Senate to evaluate Mr. Pruitt's suitability to serve in the position for which he has been nominated."

Sen. John BarrassoJohn Anthony BarrassoSenate appears poised to advance first Native American to lead National Park Service Sunday shows preview: Senate votes to raise debt ceiling; Facebook whistleblower blasts company during testimony The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - After high drama, Senate lifts debt limit MORE (R-Wyo.), the panel's chairman, slammed the request and said that Pruitt's confirmation process should proceed at its usual pace.

McConnell on Monday teed up a vote on Pruitt, which is likely to happen this week.

Read more here.

US GREENHOUSE GASES DECLINE: Emissions of greenhouse gases in the United States declined by 2.2 percent between 2014 and 2015, federal officials reported on Tuesday citing the most up-to-date statistics.

In the draft version of its annual report on greenhouse gases, the EPA said emissions were down for the first time since 2012.

The EPA attributed the decline to lower carbon dioxide emissions from burning fossil fuels. Three factors contributed to that development: declining electric-sector coal consumption in favor of natural gas, a warm winter with lower demand for heating fuel and reduced electricity demand overall.

Overall, the U.S. produced 6,586.2 million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent in 2015, and annual emissions declined for the first time since 2012. Emissions increased 2.2 percent in 2013 and 0.9 percent in 2014.

Read more here.

PEBBLE MINE DEVELOPER'S STOCK PLUNGES: The company aiming to build a precious metals mine in Alaska took a hit on Wall Street Tuesday after the release of a report critical of the project.

Shares of Northern Dynasty Minerals fell more than 21 percent following a Kerrisdale Capital study that concluded the long-delayed Pebble Mine project "isn't commercially viable."

Developers have looked to build the gold and copper mine on Alaska's Bristol Bay for years, but its efforts are hobbled by the EPA, which has sought to restrict the project.

Kerrisdale concluded that even without potential EPA restrictions, "the upfront capital costs necessary to build and operate the mine are so onerous that the mine isn't commercially viable."

Tomorrow in The Hill: Opponents of the Dakota Access pipeline are facing extra pressure to quash the project now that construction on the line has commenced in North Dakota.

The first thing they're looking for a court decision in their favor, and they've launched several efforts designed to secure one.

Dakota Access developers hope to get their pipeline up and running within two months, raising the stakes in the court fight over the project. More on the battles ahead, tomorrow in The Hill.  

ON TAP WEDNESDAY I: The Senate Environment and Public Works Committee will hold a hearing on modernizing the Endangered Species Act. Wyoming Gov. David Freudenthal will testify, as will former Fish and Wildlife Service Director Dan Ashe.

ON TAP WEDNESDAY II: Two subpanels of the House Science Committee will hold a hearing on the Energy Department's controversial loan and loan guarantee programs. Lawmakers will hear from think tank and academic representatives who support or oppose the program.

Rest of Wednesday's agenda: A House Energy Committee panel will hold a hearing on energy infrastructure issues. Witnesses to watch include Chad Harrison, a councilman for the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, Joey Mahmoud, a project director for the Dakota Access pipeline and Terry O'Sullivan, the general president for the Laborers' International Union of North America.

AROUND THE WEB:

Officials are telling evacuees near California's Oroville Dam that the lake and dam structures are safe enough that they can return home after Sunday's evacuation, the Sacramento Bee reports.

Environmental groups in Pennsylvania are going to court to try to stop the controversial Mariner East 2 pipeline, which the state approved Monday, the Philadelphia Inquirer reports.

Colorado Attorney General Cynthia Coffman (R) is suing Boulder County for its moratorium on oil and natural gas drilling permits, the Denver Post reports.

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT:

Check out Tuesday's stories ...

-EPA: US greenhouse gas emissions declined in 2015
-Trump signs repeal of transparency rule for oil companies
-Senate Dems want Pruitt vote delayed over emails
-Utilities aim to close major Arizona coal plant
-McConnell sets up votes on six Trump nominees

Please send tips and comments to Timothy Cama, tcama@thehill.com; and Devin Henry, dhenry@thehill.com. Follow us on Twitter: @Timothy_Cama@dhenry@thehill