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 BoxerBarbara BoxerDem suggests race factored into Obama Senate endorsement Obama, Biden back Kamala Harris in Calif. Senate race Tim Scott says he was targeted by Capitol Police MORE (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 McCarthyGina McCarthyConvention shows Democrats support fracking, activists on the fringe Overnight Energy: Officials close in on new global emissions deal EPA chief: US, negotiators nearing new emissions deal MORE will talk about the renewable fuel mandate and coal with Sen. Heidi HeitkampHeidi HeitkampFeds weigh minimum train crew sizes Senate Dems push Obama for more Iran transparency Emerging technology-based consensus may help clear the air MORE (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