OVERNIGHT ENERGY: Obama’s fracking plans under the microscope

Click here to read the “hearing charter” that has more info about what the GOP-led House panel is exploring.

ALSO FRIDAY: Energy development on tribal lands in focus

A Friday hearing in a House Natural Resources Committee subpanel will discuss legislation to lift regulations that bill supporters say impede energy development on Native American lands.

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Rep. Don Young’s (R-Alaska) Native American Energy Act (H.R. 1548) is designed to give Native American tribes more control over their land for energy production and other purposes.

Michael Black, director of the Bureau of Indian Affairs with the Interior Department, will testify at the 11 a.m. hearing.

Click here for more information.


IN CASE YOU MISSED IT:

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

— Senator: Texas explosion has exposed 'toothless' chemical regulations
— House GOP moves to shield oil companies from disclosure rule
— Senate panel's paper suggests looking at carbon tax
— Senators float nuclear waste storage draft bill
— Organizing for Action attacks GOP on climate change
— Wind power lobby names new CEO 


NEWS BITES:

Bipartisan bill would thwart EPA on mine permit vetoes

Several Republicans and conservative Democrats are floating legislation that would restrict the EPA’s power to “retroactively” veto Clean Water Act permits issued by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

The bill is a response to the agency’s 2011 decision to scuttle a big West Virginia mountaintop removal coal mining project that the Corps had permitted several years earlier.

The EPA’s action enraged many Republicans and conservative Democrats, and their concern grew this week when an appeals court upheld — for now — its decision.

“As we continue to face a recovering economy, American businesses must have certainty in the marketplace. It is simply common sense to allow companies that already have been granted permits to finish the work they have started,” said Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.).

The other sponsors are Sens. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), John Hoeven (R-N.D.), Mary Landrieu (D-La.), Rob Portman (R-Ohio), Jay Rockefeller (D-W.Va.) and David Vitter (R-La.).

State Dept. to make Keystone comments public

The State Department will publish comments on its draft environmental review of the Keystone XL oil sands pipeline on Regulations.gov, InsideClimate News reported Thursday.

The news outlet said the decision marks the first time State has made such comments public. Previously, people seeking the comments needed to file a Freedom of Information Act request.

The draft review has been a flashpoint in the debate on the Canada-to-Texas pipeline’s environmental impact. It said Keystone would not accelerate production of carbon-intensive oil sands or significantly increase greenhouse gas emissions.

Here's the full story.

Cantwell energy aide to lead George Washington U solar group

Amit Ronen, a longtime energy aide to Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.), is leaving Capitol Hill to become director of The George Washington University’s Solar Institute.

Ronen has been with Cantwell, a member of the Senate’s Energy and Finance committees, for more than a decade, and has been her deputy chief of staff since 2009.

He has been in the thick of energy policy development on Capitol Hill, working on development of smart-grid programs, toughening federal energy market oversight, crafting and extending various of green energy tax incentives, and more.

“We are so pleased to have Amit join the GW community in May and look forward to continuing our work on solar energy and finding ways to meet global energy needs and environmental challenges,” said Peg Barratt, dean of GW’s Columbian College of Arts and Sciences.

Ronen, before joining Cantwell’s office, worked in the Energy Department’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy from 2000-2003, and before that held positions in the Transportation Department and White House Council on Environmental Quality.

“He brings to the Solar Institute a wide-ranging knowledge of government and extensive experience in energy and environmental policy strategy,” the university said in announcing the hire.

Ronen holds a master's degree from Princeton University.

Transocean ordered to comply with subpoenas

A federal judge ordered Transocean on Thursday to hand over documents regarding the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill.

Transocean owned the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig that exploded in that April 2010 disaster, which killed 11 people and spewed millions of barrels of oil into the Gulf.

The development is the latest in the ongoing federal civil trial on the incident.

From the Houston Chronicle:

At issue are five subpoenas that the safety board issued to Transocean in 2010 and 2011 while that independent federal agency sought to learn more about the explosion of the company’s Deepwater Horizon rig in the Gulf of Mexico. When Transocean asked the federal court to dismiss those subpoenas, the Justice Department intervened to argue on behalf of the CSB’s authority and the document requests.

Click here for the rest of the story.

EIA suspends annual energy review

The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) won’t publish its annual energy review this year.

The statistics arm of the Energy Department chalked the pause up to “budget considerations.”

While it won’t put out its voluminous yearly publication, the EIA said Thursday it would stuff more information into its monthly reports.


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

Follow E2 on Twitter: @E2Wire, @Ben_Geman, @zcolman

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