OVERNIGHT ENERGY: Fracking rule is ‘imminent’

It’s Interior’s second swing at the plan after pulling back an earlier version in January.

The measure will require disclosure of chemicals used in the hydraulic fracturing process, and also includes provisions on well integrity and management of “flowback” water.

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The rule faces pushback from industry groups who fear new costs and say state-level regulation is protective enough, while green groups are in favor of new federal requirements.

Industry lobbyists, environmentalists and others have held around a dozen meetings with the White House Office of Management and Budget on the plan this year. The latest one listed was on March 28, when Exxon representatives met with OMB.


COMING FRIDAY:

Jewell era at Interior set to begin


Sally Jewell is expected to be sworn in as Interior secretary on Friday.

She easily won Senate approval Wednesday in an 87-11 vote.

Acting EPA chief speaks at air pollution event

Environmental Protection Agency Acting Administrator Bob Perciasepe will deliver the keynote address Friday at the Environmental Law Institute’s Clean Air Act forum.

The event takes a look at the ways the Obama administration might use the Clean Air Act to pursue climate- and pollution-related policies during the president’s second term.

For more on the event, click here.

Bill blocking costly EPA regs gets a look

A subpanel of the House Energy and Commerce Committee will explore a bill that would block environmental regulations that “cause significant adverse effects to the economy.”

The bill would bar the Environmental Protection Agency from enacting energy-related rules costing more than $1 billion if the Energy Department says the rules would harm the economy.

Known as the Energy Consumers Relief Act of 2013, the bill would allow the rules to go forward only if the EPA meets additional requirements, such as determining that they would not significantly raise energy prices.

The legislation could pass the GOP-controlled House, which sent a slew of bills aimed at handcuffing the EPA to the Senate last session. But the bill is likely dead on arrival in the upper chamber.

Witnesses include Brendan Williams, vice president of advocacy with American Fuel and Petrochemical Manufacturers; Paul Cicio, president of Industrial Energy Consumers of America; and Rena Steinzor, president of the Center for Progressive Reform and a University of Maryland law professor.

Click here for more on the 9:30 a.m. hearing, which will be webcast. 


IN CASE YOU MISSED IT:

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

– White House budget funds Gore climate change satellite
– EPA nominee's supporters stress history of work for GOP
– DOE official: Focusing on Yucca prevents 'progress' on nuclear waste
– Inhofe on climate 'hoax': Don't forget Soros, MoveOn.org

– G8 ministers seek better response to climate change
– House staffer heads to DOE
– EPA proposes loosening natural-gas storage standards
– Obama's EPA nominee: ‘I do not conduct business through personal email’

– Liberal lawmakers press White House to reject Keystone pipeline project
– Business groups push for regulatory transparency 


NEWS BITES:

EPA aliases: A short history (with tofu)

Republicans have criticized former Environmental Protection Agency chief Lisa Jackson’s use of a secondary federal email account under the alias “Richard Windsor.”

Senate Environment and Public Works Committee Chairwoman Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) defended the practice Thursday, and noted EPA administrators from both parties have had secondary accounts.

Here’s Boxer at Thursday’s confirmation hearing for Gina McCarthy, the White House nominee to replace Jackson:

Secondary emails have been used because top officials at EPA simply receive too many messages through their primary email account to be manageable. For example, Administrator Jackson received roughly 1.5 million emails a year -- more than 41,000 emails a day. 



For her secondary work email account, Administrator Jackson used the name “Richard Windsor,” Administrator Whitman used “ToWhit,” Administrator Johnson used “ToCarter,” Acting Administrator Horinko used “ToDuke,” and Deputy Administrator Peacock used the name “Tofu@epa.gov.”

BP engineer blasts feds in oil spill trial

A BP engineer accused of deleting text messages and voicemails regarding the oil firm's 2010 Gulf of Mexico spill called federal prosecutors' allegations "farcical."

The Associated Press explains the latest development in the ongoing federal civil trial:

A court filing Wednesday by Kurt Mix’s defense attorneys asks a judge to bar prosecutors from making any references at trial to nearly 350 voicemails that couldn’t be recovered from Mix’s phone.

Click here for the full story.

The future of Venezuela’s oil

National Public Radio looks at Venezuela’s oil economy after the death of President Hugo Chávez:

As Venezuela's president, Hugo Chavez thought in grandiose terms, and his country's vast oil riches enabled him to act on his vision. But Chavez died before he had to deal with the flaws in his model, and some hard choices await his successor.

Check out the story here.


Please send tips and comments to Ben Geman, ben.geman@thehill.com, and Zack Colman, zcolman@thehill.com.

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