TOP ENERGY NEWS
WHITE HOUSE FINALIZES CLIMATE-RULE OPTICS. President Obama will devote Saturday's weekly radio address to promotion of EPA's imminent carbon-emissions rules for power plants. He'll also hold a conference call with public-health groups Monday that's open to the press.
Separately, EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy will roll out the draft regulation for existing power plants—a centerpiece of the White House climate agenda—on Monday at agency headquarters.
OBAMA'S SPOKESMAN: 'WE OWN THIS.' Outgoing White House press secretary Jay Carney batted aside a question about why Obama was not participating in the EPA rollout, telling reporters that the Saturday address and conference call show that the White House is all-in.
"I think we own this," he said, adding that Obama is "proud to own this." Carney said Obama believes the nation can become more energy secure and address climate change in ways that aid the economy.
CLIMATE RULE COULD BRING CALIFORNIA LOVE. The looming EPA power-plant rule means California's neighboring states "may finally get the nudge they need to jump into the $20 million-a-day California market for emitting carbon dioxide," Reuters reports. (Rory Carroll, Reuters)
WHITE HOUSE GIVES DEMS A HEADS-UP ON CLIMATE RULE. Senior White House climate adviser John Podesta briefed high-ranking House Democrats on Wednesday on the contents of the EPA climate rule ahead of its formal release on Monday. (Derek Wallbank, Jonathan Allen, and Mark Drajem, Bloomberg)
GREENS STRUGGLE TO MAKE CLIMATE CHANGE POLITICALLY RELEVANT. Even as scientists warn about the mounting dangers of climate change, political operatives are confronting the same problem that has plagued the movement to curb carbon-dioxide emissions for decades: How can they make the dangers of global warming real for voters? (Alex Roarty, National Journal)
MITCH MCCONNELL IS DETERMINED TO KILL THE CLIMATE RULE. The Senate minority leader announced Friday that he plans to introduce legislation next week that would block EPA's regulations to curb carbon emissions from power plants. Read McConnell's press release here.
CAN AMERICA BECOME THE NEXT VIRGINIA? Often held up as a bellwether for red states shifting blue, Virginia's as good a test case as any for the changing politics of coal. (Lucia Graves, National Journal)
LCV ENDORSES JOHN WALSH. The League of Conservation Voters Action Fund has given Democratic Sen. John Walsh of Montana its seal of approval in his bid for reelection.
JUSTICE DEPARTMENT: DON'T LET CITGO OFF THE HOOK. There's a new twist in a story we covered last week about the ongoing legal battle over Citgo's 2007 criminal conviction for a decade of air-pollution violations at a Corpus Christi, Texas, refinery.
The Justice Department on Thursday signaled that it may appeal an April 30 federal judge's ruling that denied victims' bid for tens of millions of dollars to fund future health care and help move away from the refinery's fence line.
The filing protects the option to appeal, but a department spokesman said no final decision has been made. Stay tuned.
CAN UKRAINE AND RUSSIA EVER BE FRIENDS? After weeks of tensions running high, the two countries are moving closer toward negotiating a deal over natural-gas prices. Ukrainian officials have agreed to settle part of the country's debt owed to Russia for the purchase of gas and will pay the Kremlin close to $800 million Friday. (Anton Troianovski, Wall Street Journal)
WHAT INSIDERS ARE SAYING
Next week's National Journal Energy and Environment Insiders Discussion asks the question: Will the climate rule create winners and losers? What power sources stand to gain a leg up in energy markets once the regulations have been set in stone? What staples of the U.S. power supply stand to suffer?
CLIMATE-RULE ROLLOUT. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Gina McCarthy will formally unveil the White House draft proposal to curb carbon emissions from the nation's fleet of power plants in an announcement set to take place at 10:30 a.m. at EPA headquarters.
OZONE AIR-QUALITY MEETING. Ozone Air Quality Review holds a meeting by teleconference to review and finalize draft letters reviewing the three EPA draft documents cited in the March 13, 2014 notice as part of the agency's review of the National Ambient Air Quality Standards for ozone.