Hope everyone enjoyed the Labor Day weekend and an extra day off. No big intro today as we sit in between conventions with lots of great energy events getting under way in Charlotte. My colleagues Dee Martin, Paul Nathanson and Caitlin Andrews are on the ground in the Queen City if you need anything. As for RNC, I discuss below more, but whether you really think climate change is a top tier issues or not, you have to appreciate the multiple meanings in Mitt Romney climate zinger in his RNC speech targeting the President’s grander view, but more out-of-touch view. The evidence of its effectiveness: the hysterical, hair on-fire reaction of many of my enviro friends.
I wanted to mention one other event tomorrow in DC when WCEE hosts Heather Zichal to talk energy issues at the Capitol Hilton.
Finally, one little update on getting older…My daughter player her first High School field hockey game on Friday. If that wasn’t bad enough, while that game was ongoing (actually, I wasn’t there, I was refereeing a high school football game), my son took a shot to the head during his 12U football game and made a (questionable in my mind) trip to the emergency room via ambulance. He was fine, of course, but you can never be too sure, especially when they couldn’t get ahold of us. I knew he was really okay when he told me that it was cool to ride in the ambulance and that he asked the driver to turn on the siren and run some red lights. I guess he won’t be getting a license until he turns 20.
Happy to talk about the role of energy/environment in this race. Call with questions.
c. (202) 997-5932
IN THE NEWS
Most Drilling Operation Back in Action Anyway – Most drilling operation, shut in by Isaac for a few days have started back up throughout the weekend. Inspections were done Thursday and Friday and most are ready to get back to work. My friend Jim Noe (713-301-6797) at Hercules Offshore can walk you through some of the particulars of the getting back up and running if you are interested.
Energy Plays Role in Romney Speech – Mitt Romney in his convention speech dove into energy issues calling for greater production of fossil fuels one of the key elements of his plan to create jobs and restore the economy. He made it all as part of a call to attain energy independence by 2020. He also infuriated most enviros with his signature line of the speech saying: “President Obama promised to slow the rise of the oceans and to heal the planet. My promise is to help you and your family.” In one line, he both hinted at the President being out-of-touch on real issues while also giving him a shot for soaring rhetoric and tendency toward self-aggrandizement. Of course, the enviro blogosphere erupted with outrage, completely proving the point of how effective the line was and how self-flatulating they are.
Energy Events Make Splash at RNC – There were a several good energy events at the Republican National Convention in Tampa that outlined several interesting issues. They included:
POLITICO Event with T. Boone, API’s Durbin, ASE’s Callahan – POLITICO held an energy policy luncheon Wednesday that feature Boone Pickens, API’s Marty Durbin and Alliance to Save Energy President Kateri Callahan. Pickens said that natural gas vehicles will prosper even without his so-called Pickens Plan. Durbin highlighted a number of challenges in the offshore oil/gas market while praising the effort to create jobs with shale production. Callahan praised Mitt Romney for his energy efficient policies as governor of Massachusetts. She said he had a “record that is really good on energy efficiency” as governor, including support of a 50 miles per gallon fuel efficiency standard and investing in building efficiency.
Bloomberg Forums Feature Gerard, Pickens – Pickens also held a one-on-one at Bloomberg’s Link (which had some of the best food by the way). Pickens hit many of the same themes he discussed at the POLITICO forum highlighting natural gas vehicles, natgas prices and current efforts on wind. The day prior, API’s Jack Gerard also visited the same forum and led a spirited discussion of offshore drilling, natgas/ shale issues and the job growth in the oil/gas industry.
National Journal Events with Southern, Capito, Others – Perhaps one of the best events was a panel discussion Tuesday lead by National Journal’s Coral Davenport featuring Cap Alpha’s Jim Lucier, CAP’s Richard Caperton, Jerry Taylor of Cato and EPRI’s Mike Howard. The panel was an outstanding mix of policy and politics, with lots of energy, both in discussion and in temperament. It followed a one-on-one with WV Rep. Shelly Moor Capito. Southern Tom fanning led the discussion with comments about the current state of energy policy. Any earlier event focused on green buildings and energy use and featured Lucier, AGA’s Larry Borgard, former Gainesville Mayor Pegeen Hanrahan and Green Building Council exec Roger Platt.
Dems Will Host Energy Events – Many of the above events will also have a sister event in Charlotte this week at the Democratic National Convention. In fact this morning, The Washington Post hosted a great panel discussion on energy issues with Reps. Ed Markey and Ben Lujan, Montana Gov. Brian Schweitzer, Paul Bledsoe of the Bipartisan Policy Center, Michael Levi of the Council on Foreign Relations, Joshua Freed of Third Way and Margo Thorning of the American Council for Capital Formation at the Ritz-Carlton. Mary Landrieu was supposed to be there but stayed home to tend to Hurricane Isaac issues. Also this morning, National Journal and The Atlantic host a forum on America’s energy outlook. Our friend Amy Harder interviewed Senate Energy Committee new top Democrat Ron Wyden, and then lead a panel discussion with NEI chief Marv Fertel, Michael Levi of the Council on Foreign Relations, EPRI CEO Mike Howard (who also participated last week with Southern) and former EIA head Richard Newell, now a professor at the Nicholas School of the Environment. Also today, Delaware Gov. Jack Markell will be on a panel of folks hosted by POLITICO discussing Jobs and the economy and it is certain that Markell will discuss offshore wind as a major opportunity for his state and the Mid-Atlantic region. Finally, speaking of POLITICO, they and AWEA will reprise their energy event on Wednesday.
Speakers Line Up – Finally to some of the speeches, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar Speaks tonight, while Duke Energy CEO – and convention co-chair – Jim Rogers will discuss energy issues on Thursday prior to President Obama’s speech at Bank of America Stadium.
Dems Release Energy Platform – Democrats released a platform focused On an “all-of the-above” strategy. While it mentions fossil fuels slightly, it leans heavily on clean energy for job creation, as well as natural gas resources. I’m sure that won’t go over well with the Josh Fox crowd. It also spends a significant amount of time attacking Republicans. See it here.
Shell Gets Start in Alaska on Drilling – Shockingly, just before Romney’s speech that was to talk about energy independence and oil/gas jobs, the Interior Department announced that Shell received permission to perform “limited preparatory activities” in the Chukchi Sea. The permit allows Shell to begin work to create a mud-line cellar and install two segments of pipe — actions to help install and protect the blowout preventer during production — in non-oil-containing formations. Salazar speaks tonight and my bet is he mentions this and other drilling items many times.
WCEE to Host Zichal – The Women’s Council on Energy and the Environment (WCEE) will host a luncheon tomorrow at Noon featuring Heather Zichal, Deputy Assistant to the President for Energy and Climate Change. The WCEE Women in Leadership series, sponsored by our friends at ClearView Energy and Southern Company, showcases successful women who are leaders in their fields, and Ms. Zichal is certainly outstanding. The event is at the Capitol Hilton (16th/K St., NW).
RFF Forum to Look at International Climate Issues – Resources for the Future will host a panel tomorrow at 12:45 p.m. in its First Floor Conference Center to look at the role of border measures in the design of unilateral climate policy. Issues of competitiveness and emissions leakage have been at the fore of the climate policy debate in all the major economies implementing or proposing to implement significant emissions cap-and-trade programs. While unilateral policy cannot directly impose emissions prices on foreign sources, it can complement domestic emissions pricing with border carbon adjustments to reduce leakage and increase global cost-effectiveness. Theory suggests that border adjustment measures constitute a second-best instrument to complement unilateral emissions pricing. Although border measures have a theoretical efficiency rationale, their practical implementation is subject to serious caveats. Against this background, panelists at this RFF First Wednesday Seminar will highlight recent research on the efficiency and distributional impacts of border measures, offer design guidelines to ensure their environmental effectiveness while limiting the scope for protectionism, and discuss the implications of such measures for international climate policymaking and negotiations. RFF’s Carolyn Fischer hosts panelists Thomas Rutherford of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Aaron Cosbey of the International Institute for Sustainable Development and Nigel Purvis of Climate Advisers.
House Resource to Get Chu on Power Marketing Memo – The full House Committee on Natural Resources will convene an oversight hearing on entitled Tuesday, September 11th at 11:30 a.m. to discuss DOE Secretary Steven Chu’s Power Marketing Administration Memorandum directives and their potential impact on increasing electricity costs for over 40 million families and small businesses. Chairman Doc Hastings sent a letter to Department of Energy Secretary Steven Chu inviting him to testify at the Full Committee hearing on his Memorandum, which mandates new missions for the Power Marketing Administrations and could raise energy costs for over 40 million Americans. Secretary Chu was originally invited to testify at a hearing on April 26, 2012, but declined due to foreign travel. In June, over 160 House members and Senators sent a bipartisan letter to Secretary Chu expressing concerns with the missions outlined in his Memorandum. The House also passed bipartisan appropriations language prohibiting funding for any new activities in the document.
O’Malley, Wellinghoff to Headline Retail Energy Event – Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley and Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Chairman Jon Wellinghoff are featured speakers at the Retail Energy Supply Association’s 2012 Energy Competition Symposium in Baltimore on Sept. 12. The half-day event will explore the state of play for retail energy competition nationally. Other featured speakers include Douglas Scott, chairman of the Illinois Commerce Commission, Douglas Nazarian, chairman of the Maryland Public Service Commission, Todd Snitchler, chairman of the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio, Rob Powelson, chairman of the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission, William Massey, former FERC commissioner and counsel to the COMPETE Coalition, and Itron’s Daniel Pfeiffer. The symposium will feature panel discussions on the value of customer choice in retail energy markets, the future outlook for customer choice in energy, and an overview of the innovative product and service offerings being developed in competitive retail energy markets. The afternoon event will close with a cocktail reception.
Senate Energy Committee Hearing on Nuclear Waste Bill – The Senate Committee on Energy & Natural Resources will hold a hearing Wednesday, September 12 at 9:30 a.m. to receive testimony on S. 3469, the Nuclear Waste Administration Act of 2012.
Ohio Shale Gas Conference to Look at Successes, Challenges – Infocast will host Black Gold Ohio, a conference focused on shale gas development in the Utica Shale region at the Westin Columbus on September 12-13th. The conference will look at the revival of Ohio manufacturing with the Utica and Marcellus booms. As a result, Ohio has seen a significant rise in demand for steel mills, surveyors, pipe makers, tankers for hauling water, trailers for transporting frac sand and other supporting manufacturing and development. It’s predicated that by 2015, the Utica and Marcellus shale booms will have created 200,000 jobs, generated a $12 billion growth in overall wages in the State and increased $22 billion in economic output of the Ohio State. Speakers will include the Ohio Oil & Gas Assn head Tom Stewart and Chesapeake Energy’s Scott Rotruck, among many others.
Spill Containment Conference Set for Caribbean Drilling – OPEN FORUM and the Energy Chamber of Trinidad will hold the first-ever regional conference on emergency response issues for offshore drilling in Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago, Thursday, September 13th. The event will focus on the critical issues related to emergency spill response procedures and protocols following the BP/Deepwater Horizon incident two years ago. Speakers will include former BOEMRE chief Michael Bromwich and John Slaughter of the U.S. Coast Guard. Among other experts, our friends at Helix, former IADC head Lee Hunt and Bracewell’s very own Kevin Ewing. Hunt, who joined with Helix to organize the conference said “While the international focus has been largely an effort by the United States to protect its shores, this conference will give Caribbean nations the opportunity to focus on how they can learn from each other and work together to build deepwater response capabilities.”
WAPA to Feature KIA at September Lunch – The Washington Automotive Press Assn‘s September luncheon will be held on Friday at the National Press Club’s Zenger Room at 12:00pm. Michael Sprague, executive vice president of marketing & communications, and Tom Loveless, executive vice president of sales of Kia Motors will tell the story of Kia’s brand transformation and share insights about the company’s commitment to world-class design and standout from the crowd marketing initiatives that have delivered unprecedented growth and momentum and turned Kia into the seventh largest auto brand in the U.S. During the meeting members and guests also will have a first look at the new Soul Ad Campaign, new vehicles and future technologies from Kia Motors.
Corbett, Koppel Headline NatGas Conference – Following last year’s inaugural success, the Marcellus Shale Coalition will return to Philadelphia’s Pennsylvania Convention Center to host the SHALE GAS INSIGHT™ 2012 Conference on September 20-21 to offer insights on natural gas development in in the region. Industry and policy experts from top producing, midstream, and supply chain firms; academia; government; and the NGO community will provide the latest insights and analysis on state and federal policies, technological advancements in the industry, and much more. Speakers will include veteran newsman Ted Koppel, PA Gov. Tom Corbett, our WSJ friend Russell Gold and many more.
AWEA Offshore Conference Set for VA Beach – AWEA will host its annual offshore wind conference in Virginia Beach on October 11-13th. Stay tuned for more details, but BOEM’s Tommy Beaudreau will kick off the event and AWC President Bob Mitchell will speak on Thursday morning, providing a development update on the project and its implications for accelerating offshore wind in the Mid-Atlantic.
SEJ Ready for Lubbock – SEJ Kicks off at Texas Tech in Lubbock on October 17 through the 22nd. Bracewell will of course be sponsoring its Thursday night event, so we hope to see you there.