I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving.  I was in Cancun, Mexico looking for the UN Climate Meetings, but they are in Doha this year (Oh, thanks, right…)  Anyway, it was a great way to spend Thanksgiving week even though we didn’t get to discuss the climate and eat a traditional Thanksgiving Dinner (probably saved some pounds).

We did return in time for my 9-year-old Olivia’s lacrosse tournament Sunday where they pounded a bunch of Virginia teams in the Woodson Fall Brawl.  Liv scored 7 goals in the four games, including two the “champions” game as she called it.  Also, for those of you missing hockey, north of the border it’s going to really get slow now as last night the Toronto Argonauts beat the Calgary Stampeders 35-22 to win the 100th Grey Cup (the CFL’s Super Bowl).   Toronto is coached by former Maryland QB Scott Milanovich, who took the Argos to the Cup in his first season as head coach. 

So, I also have my Soundgarden tickets for the kick off show of the 2013 “King Animal” tour in DC on January 18th.  Looking forward to that return after nearly 15 years.  It’s also the 50th anniversary of the Rolling Stones kick off and they have stared a tour with three shows at London’s 02 Arena.  After seeing The Who before Thanksgiving and getting most of the way through Pete Townshend’s Who I Am book (which I highly recommend and features lots of back stories about the Stones, Clapton , Jimi Hendrix, others), I wonder if they will be as good.  We’ll see in NYC with three upcoming shows in December. 

As Time Goes By, it is also the 70th anniversary of the American film classic Casablanca.  It is one of my all-time favorites and for those of you who don’t like it, you may be “trying to convince yourself of something you don’t believe in your heart.”  I can talk about more, but “Play it, Sam, Play it.” 

Of course, while running a saloon was Rick Blaine’s business, you’ll excuse me, gentlemen to return to our business of politics.  To that end, Congress returns this week for at least two weeks of wrangling over the Fiscal Cliff, which is actually great because it gives all of us (my reporter friends, politicians/their staffs and us on the lobby/PR side) something to do for the next few weeks until the Holiday parties begin.  Don’t expect much this week, but the key will be to watch movement among House Republicans, not Senators like Lindsay Graham and Bob Corker.

The UN Climate meetings also begin this week in Doha so I suspect we’ll round up the usual suspects and get the bunch of stories about how important climate change is and how the UN process can fix it.  Again, nothing ever happened until the second week anyway, but again keys to watch will be China (which has already said they’re rejecting emissions limits and are demanding that developed countries do more).  Perhaps they missed the EIA report that says our emissions are approaching 1990 levels because of our sputtering economy and conversation to low-cost natural gas.  Anyway, more on this next week. 

As for events, there are three MUST ATTENDS for you over the next week or so.  Tomorrow, BPC will hold an energy event tomorrow giving us an early look at recommendation for a 2013 report for the President.  On Wednesday, RFF will hold an event to discuss the next decade of US energy policy featuring experts including my colleague Jeff Holmstead. 

Finally and most importantly, next Monday, our friends at Securing Americas Future Energy (SAFE) will release a portfolio of policy recommendations intended to reduce U.S. dependence on oil, which the Council says is a paramount threat to the national, economic and fiscal security of America.  Speakers at the SAFE event at the Newseum will include Sen.  Lamar Alexander,  FedEx CEO Fred Smith, former Director of National Intelligence Admiral Dennis C. Blair and Waste Management CEO David Steiner, among others. 

All great stuff…and there will be a few others as well which are detailed below.  As for Congress, we are tracking closely and will be available to address your questions, provide background about the session or next year’s agenda so don’t hesitate to call. 

Frank Maisano
(202) 8282-5864
c. (202) 997-5932


LA Times Assault on CA Wind Projects Continues – The Los Angeles Times has continued it assault on the solar projects of California with another story that raises questions about economic impacts on Host counties.  The Times reports that an economic consultant hired by Inyo County, who is hosting the $2.7 billion Hidden Hills solar project, almost absurdly found that property tax revenue would be a fraction of the customary amount because portions of the plant qualify for a solar tax exclusion. Fewer than 10 local workers would land permanent positions — and just 5% of the construction jobs would be filled by county residents. And, shockingly, construction workers are likely to spend their money across the nearby state line, in Nevada.  

California Energy Commission Has Different Facts – The facts in the Inyo projects situation are quite different that the Times has portrayed.  Our friends at BrightSource Energy, the project developer, point to an independent California Energy Commission study on the socioeconomic impacts which shows significantly higher economic benefits than that claimed by Cart and Inyo County’s consultant.   The CEC report says the economic impacts from the project occur in two phases and show reasonably foreseeable scenario for increased employment, earnings and output, or product and services sold, within Inyo County.  It shows County earnings rising by $12.1 million for the Construction period and by $25 million over the life of the project.  

Blogger Hammers LAT’s Cart for Unfair Coverage – It seems Clean Energy bloggers have had enough as well.  After the last story, Grist’s David Roberts hammered solar opponents .  This time, Clean energy blogger RL Miller unloads on Cart and The Times in a DailyKos piece (it will be up on Climate Progress too) calling her out for an anti-solar bias.  Miller says the Times is effectively the national paper of record for the California desert.  Miller also reviewed its site for all 170 stories written by Cart (many on unrelated topics) and reviewed them all, saying all of her solar stories portray the solar industry in a bad light. As only one example, today’s story could – but doesn’t – note the negative impacts of climate change on Riverside and Inyo counties, the health burdens of relying on other older energy sources or  whether Inyo County’s worries about the impact of Big Solar on its roads is overblown.

Capito to Take on Rockefeller – An interesting campaign development for the 2014 Senate races already with impacts in the “war on coal” arguments.  Popular WV Congresswoman Shelley Moore Capito will announce today she plans to run for Sen. Jay Rockefeller’s seat in 2014.  Rocky has been considered vulnerable given the state’s make up and his less-than-stellar support for the coal industry.   Should be interesting. 

EPA Mercury Rule Rolled Out – Over the holiday week, the EPA rolled out its Mercury Air Toxics rule.  The new proposal is a reconsideration of part of the agency’s rule that applies to new sources.  After the agency finalized the full rule last December, it received several petitions asking the agency to take another look at the standards. EPA agreed to reformulate the regulations for new power plants.  The proposal slightly lowers the legal limits on several harmful pollutants for new coal- and oil-fired plants, including mercury and acid gases. However, EPA insisted that the overall health benefits will not be reduced because new plants will still need to install the same pollution control technologies in order to meet the new standards as they did with the original regulations.  EPA said it would finalize the MATS changes by next March. My colleague Jeffrey Holmstead, a former EPA air administrator who led the challenge to the rules, said new plants can’t go forward without knowing whether they can meet EPA mercury standards.  He said the agency had no choice but to agree to the changes, which he called largely technical corrections, That’s the same terminology EPA used to describe the proposal.  “The earlier standard would have prevented any new coal plants from being built.” 


BPC to Discuss Energy Future – The Bipartisan Policy will hold an event tomorrow in the National Press Club’s Holeman Lounge with Former Senator Byron L. Dorgan, former U.S. Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott, retired General James L. Jones, and former EPA Administrator William K. Reilly.  They group will address bipartisan recommendations for executive branch organization in energy policy-making developed as part of a comprehensive report to be released in early 2013.  The Bipartisan Policy Center’s (BPC) Energy Project co-chairs will discuss their experiences in the executive and legislative branches, reflect on the experiences that led to the development of these recommendations and describe the changing state of the American energy landscape and the opportunities it presents for the country.  Margot Anderson, executive director of BPC’s Energy Project, will open the event and Jason Grumet, president of BPC, will lead a question and answer session with the audience after the co-chairs’ remarks. 

Company to Announce New Investor for Transmission Project – Clean Line Energy holds a news conference tomorrow at 9:00 a.m. in the National Press Club’s Lisagor Room to announce a new investor, part of a multimillion-dollar equity investment that will help “build more than 2,800 miles of HVDC (high voltage direct current) transmission lines to bring wing energy to market.  CLE President Mike Skelly will lead the effort. 

Panel to Look at PTC Denial – The Heritage Foundation will hold a forum in its Lehrman Auditorium tomorrow at 11:30 a.m. discussing the production tax credit.  For 20 years now the wind industry has received an annual subsidy worth billions of dollars in the form of a production tax credit. Set to expire this year, PTC supporters are fighting to extend it and politicians on both sides of the aisle are joining their fight.   A panel of opponents will discuss including Exelon’s David Brown, Jonathan Lesser of Continental Economics and Heritage’s David Kreutzer.  

IEA Expert to Look at World Energy Outlook – Johns Hopkins University’s Energy, Resources and Environment Program Global Leaders Forum will host a briefing on 2012 World Energy Outlook at its Bernstein-Offit Building – Room 500 tomorrow at 4:00 p.m.   The event will feature Maria Van Der Hoeven, executive director of the International Energy Agency, who will discuss the findings of the recently released International Energy Agency’s 2012 World Energy Outlook report. 

Solar Forum Features Woolsey – The MD-DC-VA Solar Energy Industries Association will host the 6th annual Solar Energy Focus conference at the Marriott at Metro Center, tomorrow and Wednesday.   Solar Energy Focus 2012 is the leading business-to-business solar event on the East Coast. This year’s post-election conference promises to the most expansive event to date, and features a packed schedule filled with notable speakers including founder of the U.S. Energy Security Council R. James Woolsey, Solar Energy Industries Association President & CEO Rhone Resch, Senior DOE Advisor to the Energy Secretary Richard Kauffman, and solar visionary and champion Jigar Shah. The conference will have a variety of breakout discussion sessions and opportunities for high-level networking with hundreds of key professionals and decision makers in the renewable energy sector. Seating at the conference is limited, register today to ensure your attendance at one of 2012’s most important solar industry gatherings  Solar Energy Focus gets underway on the 27th with a VIP Dinner, Silent Auction and keynote address from Former CIA Director R. James Woolsey. Wednesday the 28th will be a packed day of plenaries, breakout sessions, and high-level networking with hundreds of industry professionals, key renewable energy decision makers, and other stakeholders. 

RFF to Look at Future Energy Issues, Holmstead to Speak – Resources for the Future will hold an RFF First Wednesday Seminar on Wednesday at 12:45 p.m. to discuss the next decade of US energy policy.  This seminar will highlight the future of five key fuels—oil, coal, natural gas, renewables, and nuclear—over the next decade, while also considering the future of energy efficiency. In the past few years, several factors—including the shale gas and tight oil revolutions, US Environmental Protection Agency regulatory activities on carbon dioxide and conventional pollutants, and the Deepwater Horizon and Fukushima disasters—have combined to create a highly uncertain picture of future US energy supply and use. This uncertainty, in turn, leads to a challenging environment for both policy and investment decisions.  The session will begin with a brief overview of the US Energy Information Administration’s (EIA) projection for each fuel, setting the stage for remarks by panelists on what market and policy drivers may influence or change those projections. This 90-minute event will offer insight into the future of energy use in the United States, including what additional research is needed to best understand the US energy outlook in 2020.  Speakers will include opening remarks from RFF President Phil Sharp and EIA projections from EIA’s Michael Schaal.   Other panelists will include former NRC Commissioner Richard Meserve of the Carnegie Institution for Science (Nuclear), Frank Verrastro of CSIS (Oil), RFF’s Alan Krupnick (NatGas), NREL’s Doug Arent (Renewables) and RFF’s Karen Palmer (Energy Efficiency).  The will also have a coal Speaker as well. 

KKR Speaker to Highlight Green Portfolio – November’s meeting of the Wharton Club of DC’s Green Business Roundtable will be held Wednesday at Noon at Oppenheimer’s offices (in the B&G building at 2000 K) and will feature speaker Elizabeth Seeger, Principal at KKR.  Seeger will discuss responsible investment in private equity and KKR’s Green Portfolio Program.  Elizabeth Seeger joined Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co (KKR) in 2009 to help oversee the management of environmental and social responsibility issues and opportunities across KKR’s portfolio, including through KKR’s Green Portfolio Program. Elizabeth was previously a Project Manager in the Corporate Partnerships Program of Environmental Defense Fund. Prior to EDF, Elizabeth was a consultant with the Corporate Executive Board, where she advised companies across a broad range of industries in Europe and the United States. Elizabeth was also an Associate at the Environmental Law Institute, a non-profit organization focused on environmental law and policy research and education. 

PRG Among Those Named FT InnovatorsThe Financial Times will roll out its annual innovative companies, Lawyers etc for 2012.  This year Bracewell Giuliani’s Policy Resolution Group will be among those honored.  PRG’s innovative work  has been ranked in the Financial Times Innovative Lawyers report 2012.  There over 300 submissions from 60 of the top US law firms in the Am Law 100. These are all thoroughly validated by client and expert interviews by The FT and RSG Consulting.  The report will be launched on Wednesday night in NYC at the Bryant Park Grill. The event is for the law firm and corporate counsel innovators who have been ranked in the 2012 report. It will be hosted by Martin Dickson, the FT’s Managing Editor. Advance copies of the report will be released on the evening and will be available on  Past winners include those with the Atlantic Wind Connection, the innovative offshore wind transmission project that was honored in 2011.  

Whitfield Continues CAA Forums – Rep. Ed Whitfield, Chairman of the House Energy & Commerce Committee’s Subcommittee on Energy and Power, has scheduled a third, bipartisan Clean Air Act forum for Thursday at 10:00 a.m. in 2123 Rayburn.   The third forum continues the theme of the first two events: “State, Local, and Federal Cooperation in the Clean Air Act.”  The forum series is intended to provide an opportunity for members of Congress to hear a broad range of perspectives from experts about their experiences in implementing the Clean Air Act.  Speakers will include Montana DEQ’s David Klemp, Seyed Sadredin of the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District, Tennessee DEC Commissioner Robert Martineau, Jr., Arturo Blanco of the Houston Department of Health and Human Services, Martha Rudolph of the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, PA DEP head Michael Krancer and Gila River Indian Lieutenant Governor Stephen Roe Lewis.

Hawaii Gas President to Address NatGas Roundtable – The Natural Gas Roundtable is hosting Jeffrey Kissel, President and Chief Executive Officer of The Gas Company (Hawaii Gas) as the guest speaker at its next luncheon on Thursday at 12:30 p.m. at the University Club.  Kissel became president and chief executive officer of The Gas Company in December 2007. He came to the company from the energy and engineering industries with experience in oil trading, commodity risk management, and large scale construction in the US and abroad. Prior to joining the Gas Company he worked with companies in North America, Europe and Asia in global finance, operations and growth strategy.    

Forum Looks at Challenges of the Changing Climate for Russian Perspective – George Washington University’s IERES will host a forum Thursday at 4:00 p.m. in its Voesar Conference Room featuring Oleg Anisimov, Professor of Physical Geography, Hydrological Institute (Russia).  Oleg will lay out the climate changes that have occurred in Russia so far. It will define the critical climate thresholds beyond which the environmental impacts require adaptation and examine what they mean for Russia in socio-economic terms. In this regard, the speaker will talk about the interplay of potential climate-related benefits and threats for Russia. The talk will conclude with the geopolitical implications of the climate impacts, particularly associated with the changes in the Arctic, including the fight for the Arctic shelf, remilitarization of the Arctic and other issues. 

Canadian Officials Look at Energy, Arctic – George Washington University’s Latin America and Hemispheric Studies Program and the Embassy of Canada will host a panel on Thursday at 6:30 p.m. looking at Canadian Perspectives on Hemispheric Issues related to the environment, energy and the Arctic.  Speakers will include Canadian Embassy officials Catherine Godin and Sebastian Tirado. 

Platts Global Awards Set for NYC – The 2012 Platts Global Energy Awards will be held on Thursday at Cipriani Wall Street in New York.  Over the past 13 years, the Global Energy Awards have honored and recognized those who have transcended the status quo in the name of excellence in leadership, innovation and performance in the energy industry.  See the Finalists here.  They include Southern’s Tom Fanning, PJM’s Terry Boston for top exec, Chesapeake and Southern for Industry Leadership, Opower for Company Rising Star, Tony Clifford of Standard Solar for Individual Rising Star, BrightSource, Chesapeake, NRG, Exelon and Peabody for Strategic Deal.  There are also a bunch of other awards for projects, commodities and leading technologies. 

Forum Looks at Data Center Efficiency – Congresswoman Anna Eshoo will host an informative briefing on Friday at 9:00 a.m. on innovative approaches to promoting energy efficiency at data centers. Data centers are a critical part of our national infrastructure, found in nearly every sector of the economy from banking and financial services, to media, manufacturing, education, healthcare and government.  The increased use of electronic information has increased the use of data centers and the power needed to run them. Supporting appropriate data center energy efficiency measures will not only save energy, it will save money.  A diverse group of speakers representing the leading edge of the effort will discuss policy proposals, emerging technologies and practices, and potential benefits and challenges for improving data center energy efficiency. The briefing will include Opening Remarks by Eshoo and panelists including John Tuccillo of Schneider Electric, Ebay’s Dean Nelson, NRDC’s Pierre Delforge and EMC’s Kathleen Winkler. 

House Science to Look at Energy R&D – The House Science, Space, and Technology Committee’s Energy and Environment panel will hold a hearing on Friday at 9:30 a.m. exploring tapping America’s energy potential through research and development. 

AMS Panel to Look at Fire Causes, Aftermath – The American Meteorological Society as part of its Climate series will host a briefing on Friday at 11:00 a.m. in 328A Dirksen on Capitol Hill to look at the causes and aftermath of the 2012 forest fires.   Speakers will include University of Montana Nobel Laureate Dr. Steven Running and Us Forest Service Fire and Aviation Asst Director Dr. Elizabeth Reinhardt.

ELI Forum to Highlight Green Business Issues – The Environmental Law Institute will host a forum on Friday at Noon to look at defining, encouraging and supporting green business.   This seminar will address whether green business is green and, if so, how policymakers should encourage it. Speakers will review the empirical literature on voluntary green business practices, assessing whether corporate initiatives truly benefit the environment or whether they are more properly characterized as green washing. The discussion will identify ways that law and policy can promote green business, assess the regulatory strategies proposed thus far—as well as some that have not yet been considered—and examine which will best encourage companies to go green in a meaningful, verifiable way. The seminar will provide cutting-edge thinking on the relationships among green business, law, and policy and will offer ideas for how policymakers can best move forward in this important area.  Speakers include Dennis Hirsch of the Capital University Law School, Jennifer Nash of Harvard, BP’s Karen St. John and UConn Law School’s Kurt Strasser. 

Speakers to Look at Energy, Water Challenge – Johns Hopkins University’s School of Advanced International Studies, Asian Development Bank, The George Washington University Elliott School of International Affairs and Georgetown University Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service all will host a forum on Friday at 12:30 p.m. looking at water and energy.  The event at JHU’s Rome Building, will feature Tanvi Nagpal, professorial lecturer in the SAIS International Development Program, and Amy Leung, chair of the Water Community of Practice at the Asian Development Bank.  


SAFE Report to Highlight Plan to Oil Independence –  On Monday, December 3rd, members of Securing America’s Future Energy’s (SAFE) Energy Security Leadership Council (ESLC) will release a portfolio of policy recommendations intended to reduce U.S. dependence on oil, which the Council says is a paramount threat to the national, economic and fiscal security of America.  The Council will unveil its report, “National Strategy for Energy Security: Harnessing American Resources and Innovation,” at the Newseum in Washington, DC.   The Council’s recommendations will focus on three major goals:  Increasing domestic production by taking full advantage of American oil and natural gas resources; Reducing domestic oil consumption through innovation and the adoption of new technologies; Invigorating initiatives in both production and consumption by reforming and streamlining the regulatory process.  The report will also discuss more internationally-focused developments on the horizon which could significantly impact America’s energy security outlook.  Speakers will include FedEx CEO Fred Smith, Sen.  Lamar Alexander,  former Director of National Intelligence Admiral Dennis C. Blair, Waste Management CEO David Steiner, former USMC Commandant General James Conway and former Goldman Sachs Asset Management Co-CEO Eric Schwartz. 

New NARUC President Hosts Media Briefing – New National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners President Philip Jones of Washington will be hosting a Media Briefing on Monday, December 3rd at NARUC’s Washington headquarters.  The event will start at 12 noon and run for approximately one hour. A light lunch will be provided on a first come, first serve basis.  This event will focus on energy issues.  Please RSVP to NARUC Director of Communications Rob Thormeyer by Friday, if you plan on attending so they can have an accurate headcount for lunch. 

Sachs to Address Sustainability GWU – George Washington University’s Institute for International Economic Policy will host Columbia University’s Jeffrey Sachs in its City View Room, 7th Floor, on Monday, December 3rd at 4:00 p.m.   Sustainable Development is emerging as the defining challenge of our generation, and it will critically require a new kind of interaction between policy and research. The Sustainable Development Forum is a series of talks by leaders in academia and in policy which will attempt to set the research agenda for sustainable development following the Rio +20 conference. What will sustainable development entail? What are the most crucial questions we need to be asking? How should academia go about searching for answers that will actually inform real action and policy changes? 

Forum to Look at GrowthThe Atlantic’s Forum on Conservation, Efficiency, and Growth, taking place Tuesday, December 4th  at The W Hotel in Washington, DC.  The forum will feature expert discussions on corporate sustainability initiatives, and convene panels to explore how sustainable business practices influence our economy, our workforce, and America’s ability to compete in the global marketplace.

Forum to Look at 20 Years of Energy Policy Act of ’92 – The Compete Coalition will host a policy forum on Wednesday, December 5th at 8:30 a.m. at the  Phoenix Park Hotel on the Energy Policy Act of 1992, commemorating the 20th Anniversary of a landmark statute.  Key architects of the legislation and today’s electricity industry leaders will look back (and look ahead) at the ongoing impact of EPAct ’92 on competitive electricity markets and the benefits those markets are delivering for our nation’s electricity consumers.  Speakers will include former Senators Bennett Johnston and Don Nickles, former FERC Chair and Deputy Secretary of Energy Betsy Moler, former FERC Commissioner Bill Massey, former U.S. Secretary of Energy Federico Peña and former Deputy Secretary of Energy Linda Stuntz, among others. 

McAuliffe to Headline 2012 VA Renewable Meeting – Potential VA Governor candidate Terry McAuliffe will be joining the Virginia Renewable Energy Assn for its annual meeting in Richmond on December 5th.  McAuliffe has been a leading voice and entrepreneur in the Renewable Energy Industry and has recently announced his intentions to run for Governor of Virginia in 2013.  

WAPA , Buick to Hold Ride, Drive – The Washington Automotive Press Assn (WAPA) and Buick will hold a Holiday Buick Encore ride-and-drive and happy hour on Wednesday, December 5 at Indigo Landing in Alexandria, VA.  Buick is on pace for its best retail sales year since 2006, thanks to a product line-up that features the style, performance and technology luxury buyers expect and demand.  For the 2013 model year, along with a redesigned Enclave and a new high-performing, turbo-charged model for Verano, the all-new Buick Encore luxury crossover will begin arriving in dealerships soon and we’d like you to be among the first to drive it.  In addition to the ride-and-drive, Buick marketing and engineering executives including Roger McCormack, Director Buick Global Marketing will be on-hand to provide perspective on the Encore.  Buick Encore is the second of four new or significantly revised Buick vehicles to be introduced in the next 12 months, and is a beautiful, quiet, comfortable 5-passenger crossover with the right balance of performance and purposeful technology.  Encore also continues to expand the Buick portfolio by appealing to a whole new audience of luxury buyers as we expect the segment to grow more than a half million units by 2015.

RFF Panel to Look at Markets, Enviro Regs – Resources for the Future will hold its December First Wednesday Seminar on Wednesday December 5th at 12:45 p.m. looking at markets for environmental regulations.  Over the past 60 years, environmental economists have pioneered the idea of market-based approaches to solving environmental problems. Regulators have implemented market-based programs for air pollution, water pollution, land management, and other environmental policy problems at local, state, federal, and—in the case of greenhouse gas regulation—international levels. Some applications hew more closely than others to ideal market-based policy design, as defined by economic theory, and programs have met with varying degrees of success. As part of RFF’s Resources 2020 lecture series—our 60th anniversary exploration of how economic inquiry can address future environmental challenges—panelists at this seminar will discuss what we can learn from successful and unsuccessful applications of market-based policy and its desirability, feasibility, and design in the future. The panel includes RFF experts on environmental markets for air, water, and land, as well as leaders in the policy community with diverse experience on these issues, including former Clinton OMB Director Sally Katzen, NRDC’s David Doniger, former Bush 41 White House Counsel C. Boyden Gray and RFF experts Dallas Burtraw, Art Fraas, Margaret Walls and Leonard Shabman. 

German Chamber Sets Wind Energy Conference – For the 5th time since 2007, the German American Chamber of Commerce of the Midwest is bringing a delegation of German wind energy companies to Chicago for the German American Wind Energy Business Conference.  This conference on December 5th will provide attendees with the chance to learn about the wind technology innovations and supply chain and service practices that German manufacturers use to stay competitive. Current wind energy opportunities and programs in Illinois will also be addressed.  Attending the conference provides an excellent opportunity to connect with the German wind energy delegation companies to discuss business and partnership opportunities. 

Forum to Look at Iranian Oil – The Atlantic Council’s South Asia Center will host a discussion on Wednesday, December 5th at 2:00 p.m. entitled “Can the World Live Without Iranian Oil,” with Sara Vakhshouri, president of SVB Energy International; and Denise Natali, Minerva Chair, Institute of National Strategic Studies, National Defense University.  Over the past year, Iranian oil production and exports have declined drastically to levels last seen at the end of the 1980-88 Iran-Iraq war. Yet the price of oil has remained relatively constant at around $100 per barrel or lower. Increasing oil production in neighboring Iraq and new discoveries in the United States and elsewhere, coupled with sluggish demand, raise the question of whether the world can live without Iranian oil and what that means for Iran’s ability to pursue a provocative nuclear program.  The Iran Task Force, co-chaired by Atlantic Council Chairman Senator Chuck Hagel and Ambassador Stuart E. Eizenstat, seeks to perform a comprehensive analysis of Iran’s internal political landscape, its role in the region and globally, and any basis for an improved relationship with the West. 

Transmission Conference to Look at New Year, Agenda – Energy Central and TransmissionHub will host a symposium on December 5th in Washington, DC to Look at Transmission policy in the new year.  TransForum East is the second of three regional gatherings of key industry decision makers that Energy Central kicked off in April 2012 with TransForum Texas.  It is an event focused just on the Eastern Interconnection.  I will speak on the “Implications of the 2012 Presidential Election on Electric Power Policy,” at 2:00 p.m.    Other speakers include Trans-Elect/AWC CEO Bob Mitchell, Michael Skelly of Clean Line Energy and many others.  

Houston Conference to Look at Regional Wind Issues – AWEA holds its Southwest Regional Wind Energy Summit on December 5th and 6th in Houston at the Hyatt Regency.  The conference will provide a comprehensive view of all critical aspects of wind energy in the Southwest Power Pool (SPP) and Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) regions of the United States, and delve deep into the most important present and forecasted issues facing wind energy development in these regions.  Former Bush Administration official Jimmy Glotfelty will chair the event and speakers include former FERC Chair Pat Wood, SPP’s Carl Monroe and EDF Renewables CEO Gabriel Alonso. 

Commerce to Host Webinar on Exporting Renewable Technology – The Department of Commerce/Commercial Service is holding a webinar on Thursday December 6th looking at export finance for Renewable Energy Technologies.  This webinar will feature an update of USG export finance programs (Ex-Im, OPIC,TDA) for renewable energy technologies as well as export finance best practices from a private-sector perspective.  Speakers include Craig O’Connor of the , Ex-Im Bank of the United States, Brian O’Hanlon of the Overseas Private Investment Corporation, Andrea Lupo of the U.S. Trade and Development Agency and Ed Sappin of the Willowbrook Company. 

Panel to Look at Carbon Tax, Fiscal Cliff – Johns Hopkins University’s School of Advanced International Studies will hold a Panel on Thursday, December 6th at 5:00 p.m. in its Rome Auditorium, #806 looking at Carbon prices and the fiscal cliff.  With the looming threat of the ‘fiscal cliff,’ and effects of super-storm Sandy, there is renewed talk in policy circles of the benefits of putting a price on carbon, as a means of dealing with the federal deficit while tackling climate change.  Leading experts about the viability of carbon market mechanisms throughout North America, like the Western Climate Initiative involving Québec and California will discuss the realities of a federal clean energy standard and the application of a national carbon tax in the context of simultaneously addressing emissions reductions and fiscal constraints.  Panelists include Brookings Adele Morris, Richard Caperton of the Center for American Progress and Manik Roy of the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions.  This event will be held in collaboration with the Québec Government Office in Washington, the Association for Canadian Studies in the United States, Johns Hopkins University and the University of Québec in Montréal (Chair Raoul-Dandurand).

Panel to Look at National Security, Election Coverage – The National Security and New Media Journalism Project will present its National Security and New Media Conference panel and  Mightier Pen Award Luncheon on Tuesday, December 11th at the Union League Club in New York.  The Project was established to provide professional development for the next generation of national security journalists in an objective environment informed by the burgeoning opportunities of the new Media.  It will honor Monica Crowley of FOX News.  Panels prior to lunch will discuss new media, national security and the election.  Panelists will include Rich Miniter of Forbes Magazine, former Washington Times security expert Bill Gertz and NRO Columnists Andrew McCarthy, among others. 

Annual POWER-GEN Conference Tackles Key Issues – The annual POWER-GEN Conference will be held in Orlando, Florida on December 11-13 at the Orange County Convention Center. Nearly 200 industry experts will present new solutions and innovations for the future in 36 conference sessions broken up in 12 tracks. Click here to download the Conference-at-a-Glance PDF.  The conference sessions are organized into multiple concurrent session tracks including industry trends / competitive power generation, environmental issues, emissions control, fossil technologies, gas turbine technologies, on-site power and plant performance.  There will also be separate Tracks on Nuclear, Renewable and Geothermal power. 

RFF to Host Geoengineering Lecture – Resources for the Future will continue its 60th anniversary Resources 2020 Nobel Laureate lecture series on Thursday, December 13th featuring Thomas Schelling, 2005 Nobel Laureate in Economic Sciences, who will discuss Geoengineering and some gentle experimentation.  

Chamber to Host Farm Innovation Forum – The U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the National Chamber Foundation will co-host a program on Wednesday, December 19th highlighting the innovations and emerging opportunities that today’s agriculture industry are presenting. This program will identify many of the latest innovations and advances in agriculture and show how America’s agriculture community continues to feed an ever growing global population while at the same time supporting American job creation and competitiveness.  Speakers include USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack, Secretary, Chamber President Tom Donohue, former Education Secretary Margaret Spellings (current President of the National Chamber Foundation), Peter Klein  of the University of Missouri, AEI’s Nick Schulz, John Deere FarmSight Director Jerry Roell and Blake Hurst of the Missouri Farm Bureau.