While governments gather in Paris for the second week of a United Nations conference to hammer out a global agreement to fight climate change, a different sort of climate debate will take place in the halls of the Senate. Presidential contender and well-known climate-change doubter Ted Cruz will hold a hearing in the Space, Science and Competitiveness subcommittee of the Commerce Committee questioning the role of humans in climate change, with a witness list full of scientists who have questioned the mainstream consensus on the issue.
Interior Secretary Sally Jewell will testify at a Wednesday hearing in the House Natural Resources Committee about her agency’s role in the August spill of mining waste in Colorado, which was caused by an EPA-backed team.
On Friday, the Securities and Exchange Commission will unveil draft rules that would force oil and mining companies to disclose payments to foreign governments for projects in their countries. A federal court shot down an earlier version in 2013, and now the big question is whether the revised version will provide exemptions (or loopholes, depending who you ask) that powerful oil companies such as Exxon and Shell have lobbied for.
The long-delayed regulation is required under the 2010 Dodd-Frank financial overhaul law. It’s aimed at increasing transparency in order to combat the “resource curse”—the corruption, conflict, and poverty that often afflict energy-rich nations in Africa and elsewhere. The SEC, which has slow-walked the rule, has promised a federal judge that it would finalize the regulation by June of 2016.