OVERNIGHT ENERGY: Feds take step toward Atlantic offshore drilling

SEISMIC TESTS: The Interior Department is laying the ground for possible oil-and-gas development in the Atlantic.

The department released its environment review on Thursday, detailing safeguards contractors that conduct seismic surveying — which includes air gun tests — would need to follow.

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If the process continues without delay, the release of the environmental review would set Interior on a five-year planning process that would open up the Atlantic to development for 2017 and 2022.

BOXER TO PUSH GAO: On Friday, Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) will send a letter to the Government Accountability Office requesting an investigation into the State Department's environmental review process of the Keystone XL oil pipeline.

Boxer said on Wednesday that she would back Rep. Raúl Grijalva's (D-Ariz.) request. Grijalva said the GAO told him they would conduct a probe.

Friday on Capitol Hill ... The House Natural Resources Committee will hold a hearing on increasing flexibility in the Fisheries Management Act.

Off Capitol Hill ... Environmental Protection Agency chief Gina McCarthy will talk about the renewable fuel mandate and coal with Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (D) in the senator's home state of North Dakota.

AROUND THE WEB:

The Houston Chronicle reports vehicles running on natural gas will see a rapid rise across the globe into 2023.

NBC News reports scientists are more certain than ever on climate change, according to a report put forward but the National Academy of Science and the United Kingdom's Royal Society.

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT:

- Senators take another crack at energy bill
- Pelosi endorses Eshoo for top Energy spot
- Interior takes key step on Atlantic drilling
- Mexico, China led on climate action in 2013

Please send tips and comments to Laura Barron-Lopez, laurab@thehill.com