OVERNIGHT ENERGY: Vulnerable Dem Begich lays down markers on Alaskan energy

His senior Senate colleague, Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), has led the charge for revenue-sharing along with Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-La.), who wants to speed up the process for Gulf states.

Murkowski and Landrieu, along with Energy and Natural Resources Committee Chairman Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), are working on a wider-ranging offshore revenue proposal.

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As ranking Republican on the Energy and Natural Resources Committee, Murkowski has a more visible Capitol Hill platform on energy than her junior Alaskan colleague. But Begich shares her support for his conservative state’s oil-and-gas industry.

He also co-sponsored legislation Thursday that would guarantee federal approval of natural-gas exports to NATO allies and Japan.

Alaskan officials are looking to international export markets at a time when the U.S. shale gas boom has sapped momentum for long-stalled plans for a pipeline from Alaska to the lower 48 states.

COMING FRIDAY: Panel to discuss pollution, climate, food security

The Environmental and Energy Study Institute and the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) during a Friday panel will discuss international efforts to curb a slew of harmful air pollutants.

The panelists will speak about the effect that short-lived climate pollutants, such as black-carbon and methane, have on climate change, public health and food security.

Speakers include Amy Fraenkel, director of the UNEP regional office for North America, and John Thompson, deputy director of the office of environmental quality and transboundary issues with the State Department.

For more on the 2 p.m. event at the Dirksen Senate Office Building, click here. The event will be webcast.


IN CASE YOU MISSED IT:

Check out these stories that ran on E2-Wire Thursday ...

Enviros praise LaHood as 'unexpected champion of green policies'
Biofuel-blending battle rages on as EPA releases new projections
— Senate bill would greenlight natural-gas exports to US allies
Chu mum on his future, but chatty on electric cars
— Hagel vows focus on alt-fuels, energy efficiency if confirmed
Dems ask NFL, NBA for suggestions on how to battle climate change
— Sen. Carper plans renewed push for offshore wind credit legislation 


NEWS BITES:

EPA floats tweaks to renewable fuel credit system

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposed changes Thursday to a renewable fuel credit trading program that has been scarred by fraud.

The program allows refiners to buy credits instead of blending actual biofuels into petroleum. It is part of the Renewable Fuel Standard, which requires refiners to mix 36 billion gallons of biofuels into transportation fuel by 2022.

EPA said it needed to make changes in light of “a number of high profile” slip-ups in which biodiesel producers sold fake credits to refiners.

The agency said the new system “would provide a recognized means for independent third parties to audit the production of renewable fuel and verify” the credits.

Biofuels and oil-and-gas groups said they were reviewing EPA’s proposals.

Green group official joins colleague on Senate enviro committee staff

The National Wildlife Federation (NWF) is becoming quite the pipeline to senior Senate environmental jobs.

NWF’s Jeremy Symons is moving to the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee to serve as Chairwoman Barbara Boxer’s (D-Calif.) deputy staff director.

The announcement arrives three weeks after another senior NWF official, Joe Mendelson, took a job as Boxer’s “chief climate counsel” on the committee. Mendelson was previously policy director of NWF’s climate and energy program.

Boxer hailed the hiring of Symons in a statement Thursday.

“Jeremy is one of the most effective and innovative conservation advocates in the nation. His experience with a broad range of environmental issues and his ability to work in a bipartisan way to promote conservation make him an exciting addition to my strong EPW team,” she said.

Symons is coming to the Senate panel from his role as NWF’s Senior Vice President for Conservation and Education. He has previously led NWF’s Climate Change Campaign, and has worked for EPA as well.

Hill staffer heads to Bracewell & Giuliani

The Republican staff director for former Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee Chairman Pete Domenici (R-N.M.) is joining Bracewell & Giuliani, the law firm announced Thursday.

Frank Macchiarola will join the firm’s Policy Resolution Group, where he will assist on energy and environmental issues, as well as healthcare and education.

Macchiarola was most recently Republican staff director for former Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee ranking member Sen. Mike Enzi (R-Wyo.).


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