I hope everyone enjoyed the Thanksgiving/Hanukkah Holiday. I came out of a turkey coma just in time to see some great football on Friday and Saturday. On Friday night, I was on the field for the Maryland State 4A Semifinal as the game’s back judge and while it was cold, I stayed warm by running nonstop. The score of the game was 35-30 and that was just halftime. We ended up two 93-yd TD runs and 13 more plays of over 50 yards with both teams effectively running spread offenses (and tiring me out as the only guy back there.)
My game Friday was clearly outdone by the two Saturday classics at the Big House and in the Iron Bowl. Michigan and Ohio State’s epic battle came down to M Coach Brady Hoke’s call to unsuccessfully go for two and the win in the final seconds, setting up an instant Big 10/M-OSU classic. And boy are the Buckeyes glad they hung on to win after watching the evening Auburn-‘Bama game. Wow!!! Probably the most exciting end to a college football game EVER.
Then, I topped the weekend off with a full Sunday of lacrosse as my 10-year-old Olivia’s Crofton 5th/6th grade team smoked the entire field at the Fairfax Fall Brawl winning all six games comfortably en route to free “Champions” T-shirts and their picture on the Web and Facebook.
We slowly start back this week to begin the four-week roll to Christmas/New Years. Not much Congressional action other than a few mark ups and a House Energy panel hearing on FERC’s role in the energy landscape on Thursday, but definitely some other good events to think about.
Tomorrow at 9:30 a.m., CSIS will host IEA’s Fatih Birol to present the IEA’s 2013 World Energy Outlook 2013. On Wednesday morning, WCEE will host a Women in Leadership Holiday breakfast featuring new FERC Acting Chair Cheryl LaFleur.
Also Wednesday at 10:00 a.m., I will host a Press Club Newsmaker with FBI agents that will discuss how sequestration’s mandated budget cuts are affecting daily FBI operations and hampering criminal and national security investigations.
Thursday, BPC’s Energy Project – along with the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC) – will host the second workshop on GHG power plant regulations focusing on the use of economic modeling to understand the potential impacts. Finally, after opening its 60-day comment period Black Friday on its latest, controversial RFS proposal, EPA will hold a public hearing Thursday on the topic at the Hyatt Regency Crystal City. Look for the usual suspects.
And more on this next week, but for you energy geeks, next Tuesday, December 10th, Houston Mayor Annise Parker will make a luncheon speech at the National Press Club and the city’s energy renaissance will be among the items she will be discussing. Bracewell’s PRG is hosting a table at the event.
Finally, today is three months to my daughter Hannah’s 16th Birthday. Now, in Maryland at least, you know what that means. Yes, I am getting the update out a little early today in order to pick her up from school and attempt to negotiate the Maryland DMV’s new driver/permit process. Stay tuned for the details on this and other items at @FrankTalk19 and stay off the roads in the Annapolis area!!!!
c. (202) 997-5932
IN THE NEWS
Congrats to Friends Making Media Moves – In case you hadn’t heard, major Congrats to our friends on the move in the press. Coral Davenport, Ben Geman and Keith Johnson are all making moves to new outlets. Coral is headed to fill the spot of John Broder at The New York Times, while Ben, who has been at The Hill what seems like forever, will take Coral’s place at National Journal. Ben move comes on the heels of Zac Colman’s move from The Hill to The Washington Examiner. Finally, longtime Wall Street Journal vet Johnson is moving over to Foreign Policy to cover geopolitics of energy.
Top Oil Companies Ranked, Shale Gains – Our friends at Energy Intelligence, the publishers of scribes like Oil Daily and Petroleum Intelligence Weekly have just released this year’s rankings of the world’s 50 largest oil companies. The ranking sees Russia’s Gazprom moving ahead of international majors Chevron and Total to eighth place, while Rosneft climbed three places and is poised to enter the top 10 following its acquisition of TNK-BP earlier this year. Saudi Aramco remains in the top spot, followed by Iran’s NIOC and Exxon Mobil. This year’s rankings also demonstrate the impact of the US shale revolution for the first time, with a number of large US independents doing especially well due to their shale exposure. Anadarko jumped two spots to #44 and Apache rose one spot to #40. Oklahoma City-based Chesapeake Energy broke into the Top 50 for the first time, ranking #47 and Devon Energy rose three places to #41. These companies have all managed to improve their performance despite low natural gas prices, write-downs of gas reserves and sales of assets as they refocused investment on higher-value liquids plays. By contrast to the dynamic performance of some key national oil companies and US independents, the international majors are not keeping up. While Chevron and Total declined in the rankings, Exxon Mobil, BP and Royal Dutch Shell stood still. EI has produced an infographic of the report, which highlights some of news stories from the ranking. The PIW Top 50 ranking has an unrivaled pedigree, having been executed annually for the last 25 years. The ranking is based on six operational criteria and, unlike other corporate ranking systems in this industry, it allows for comparisons of both national oil companies and private sector firms. These Top 50 companies represent over 70% of global oil production and fully two-thirds of global refined product sales, making these rankings truly comprehensive and global. The rankings are based on 2012 data, the latest annual figures available.
Report Cites Importance of “Loophole” in Shale Revolution – Speaking of Energy Intelligence, our friend Bill Murray has a new report out with his colleague Lauren Craft on the legislative genesis of the shale revolution. The special report is focused on ‘Halliburton Loophole’ and its key role in spawning the current Shale Boom. Murray and Craft argue that the technologies such as horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing that are largely credited with clearing the path for the US unconventional gas revolution find their origins in language buried within a 551-page energy bill enacted in 2005 that limited EPA from regulating hydraulic fracturing under its underground injection control program. This move spared oil and gas firms from red tape and litigation that would have likely occurred – even on private land – where shale gas has blossomed in recent years. Craft and Murray say the provision would be very difficult to scrap now given the powerful role of shale in the forefront of our energy picture. For copies or more info, Please feel free to contact Bill at email@example.com
IER Hits Wind PTC Issue – The Conservative anti-wind crusaders from the Institute for Energy Research said today in a new study that that 30 states and the District of Columbia are marking up net losses to fund the wind Production Tax Credit (PTC) and pour millions of their taxpayer dollars into the pockets of wind producers. According to IER researchers, five U.S. states were net payers of more than $100 million in 2012, meaning that the burden of these states to pay for the wind Production Tax Credit surpassed the subsidy benefit received by producers in those states. Meanwhile, producers in states like Texas, Oklahoma, and Iowa are being paid hundreds of millions of dollars in subsidy transfers from poorer states. On a regional basis, the Northeast and Southeast were the biggest net payers, subsidizing other areas with net losses of $591.8 million and $559.3 million, respectively.
Wind: Study Overlooks Manufacturing Benefit – The wind industry says the study is too narrow and doesn’t account for the broader positive impact of wind energy on the economy and the environment. Wind is one of the most broadly dispersed energy sources, with manufacturing in 44 states now and turbines installed in 39 states plus Puerto Rico. The wind industry currently employs 80,000 people across construction, development, engineering, operations with tens of thousands employed at 550 U.S. manufacturing facilities. A Navigant study said that extending the PTC will create an additional 17,000 new American jobs, boosting the manufacturing sector by one-third. In addition, U.S. wind investment will grow to $16.3 billion in 2016, and annual wind installations will be 8-10 GW through 2016. On the environmental side, in 2012, the roughly 140 million MWh generated by wind energy avoided 79.9 million metric tons of CO2 – the equivalent of reducing power-sector CO2 emissions by 3.6%, or taking over 14 million cars off the road.
ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK
DOE, NASEO to Discuss Energy Systems at Workshop – The U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability and National Association of State Energy Officials, will host the 2013 Energy Assurance and Interdependency Workshop today at the Fairmont Hotel in Washington, DC. The purpose of the one and a half day workshop is to inform and educate participants on interconnected energy systems and their cascading impacts on other critical infrastructure and essential public services. The workshop will feature a variety of scenarios and their immediate and long-term effects. The interactive workshop will also feature presentations and perspectives from industry owners and operators as well as public officials who are responsible for restoring life-line services after a catastrophic event. State and local governments will have the opportunity to evaluate their energy emergency preparedness and energy assurance plans against potential energy emergency conditions. Speakers will include ERCOT’s John Adams, DOE’s Pat Hoffman, and Judi Greenwald, CITGO’s Jack McCrossin and NASEO Executive Director David Terry.
NAS to Look at Markets, Clean Energy – The National Academy of Sciences will host a meeting on today at the Keck Center on market adoption of advanced energy efficiency and clean energy technologies.
IEA Head to Speak at CSIS – The CSIS Energy and National Security Program will host Fatih Birol, Chief Economist at the International Energy Agency to present the IEA’s 2013 World Energy tomorrow at 9:30 a.m. The outlook presents a full update of energy projects through to 2035 and insights into what they mean for energy security, climate change, economic development, and universal access to modern energy services. Oil, coal, natural gas, renewables, and nuclear power are all covered, along with an update on developments for fossil fuels and renewable energy. This year, the World Energy Outlook also gives a special focus to topical energy sector issues including the implications for economic competitiveness of the changing energy map, oil supply, demand, and trade, and energy in Brazil. Sarah Ladislaw, Co-Director and Senior Fellow with the CSIS Energy and National Security Program, will moderate.
NAS to Hold Seminar on EVs – The National Academies of Science will hold a forum tomorrow and Wednesday at its Keck Center on overcoming barriers to electric vehicle deployment. Speakers will include MIT’s John Kassakian, NRC’s John Holmes, Russ Musgrove of FedEx and several auto dealers.
Heritage to Host Hillsdale College Author – The Heritage Foundation will hold a Book Event tomorrow at Noon for Hillsdale College author David J. Bobb on his new book, Humility An Unlikely Biography of America’s Greatest Virtue. In our current age of arrogance, humility is associated with wimps and wallflowers not success. A culture of narcissism and a society of self-promoters has obscured our past, blinding us to the hidden strength of humility. not success. A culture of narcissism and a society of self-promoters has obscured our past, blinding us to the hidden strength of humility. David Bobb is Executive Director of Citizen Education for Hillsdale College and lecturer in politics. He is the Founding Director of two national centers for Hillsdale, the Washington, D.C.-based Kirby Center for Constitutional Studies and Citizenship and the Hoogland Center for Teacher Excellence.
Forum to Look at German Move to Renewables – The Wharton Green Business Forum will hold at event tomorrow at the National Press Club’s McClendon Room at 12:30 p.m. to discuss Germany’s transition from traditional to renewable sources of energy this program, its costs, benefits and prospects, plus lessons for the U.S. and other nations. Dr. Georg Maue, German First Secretary for Climate and Energy Policy, will speak.
LaFleur Headlines WCEE Breakfast – The Women’s Council on Energy and the Environment on Wednesday at 8:00 a.m. at the Cosmos Club for a Women in Leadership Holiday breakfast featuring FERC Commissioner Cheryl A. LaFleur. LaFleur has an impressive resume and may be the next FERC Chair. She will speak on a number of important energy issues over which FERC has authority as well as her career and offer insight on how she came to the important role she now plays.
Press Club to Host FBI Agents on Sequestration Impacts on Law Enforcement – The National Press Club’s Newsmakers Committee will host FBI agents on Wednesday to discuss how sequestration’s mandated budget cuts are affecting daily FBI operations and hampering criminal and national security investigations, as well as the risks associated with additional budget cuts and furloughs expected early next year. Leaders of the FBI Agents Association (FBIAA) will also update the group’s recent report Voices from the Field: FBI Agent Accounts of the Real Consequences of Budget Cuts. The report contains field reports from FBI Special Agents illustrating the impact of budget cuts on their work. Speaking at the Newsmaker news conference will be FBIAA President Reynaldo Tariche and several active duty FBI agents from around the country.
RFF Seminar to Look at ESA, Species Conservation – On Wednesday at 12:45 p.m., Resources for the Future (RFF) will hold its December First Wednesday Seminar looking at the US Endangered Species Act (ESA) and species conservation. ESA has provided a critical safety net for conserving the nation’s species in the 40 years since it was passed. However, effective implementation of the ESA remains a challenge in light of increasing threats to species; uncertainties about the pace, scope, and extent of environmental changes and their impacts on species; and limited resources for implementing species protection. Furthermore, the ESA traditionally has taken a species-by-species approach that constrains the ability to focus on the health of ecosystems and address complex threats that often unfold at the landscape scale. This RFF First Wednesday Seminar brings together diverse panelists to discuss strategies and opportunities for overcoming these challenges. Panelists will draw on examples of success and new strategies to suggest paths for increasing the effectiveness of ESA implementation going forward. Panelists will include US Fish and Wildlife Service Director Dan Ashe, Brad Gruver of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, EDF’s David Festa and Terry Fankhauser of the Colorado Cattlemen’s Association. National Wildlife Federation VP John Kostyack and former Interior official Lynn Scarlett of The Nature Conservancy will also provide comments.
JHU Forum To Hear From WRI Expert on Climate Risk – The Johns Hopkins Washington, DC Center will hold a forum on Wednesday at 12:00 p.m. featuring Mark Trexler from the World Resources Institute. Trexler will address climate risk management issues. Trexler joined the World Resources Institute’s nascent Climate, Energy and Pollution Program in 1988, and focused for many years on climate change mitigation options and strategies. He was a Lead Author for the IPCC’s Second Assessment Report, is widely published across mitigation and adaptation topics, and has worked with companies around the world on climate risk management efforts. He was Director of Climate Risk for the global risk management firm of Det Norske Veritas (DNV) from 2009 through 2012. His current work focuses on the application of knowledge management tools to the communication and management of climate risk. More information is available at his website.
Buick, WAPA to Host Ride, Drive – The Washington Automotive Press Assn (WAPA) and Buick will hold an end-of-the-year drive opportunity and the 2013 WAPA Holiday Reception at the Ritz-Carlton Georgetown on Wednesday, starting at 2:00 p.m. Vehicles include the Buick Regal, Regal GS, LaCrosse and Verano.
Annual SoCo Washington DC Holiday Event – Wednesday Night
EPA to Hold RFS Public Hearing – EPA will hold a public hearing Thursday on its proposed 2014 mandate for the renewable fuel standard program at the Hyatt Regency Crystal City at 2799 Jefferson Davis Highway in Arlington. EPA announced recently that it plans to cut the amount of ethanol required to be blended into fuel.
CSIS to Host Clean Report Release – On Thursday at 9:30 a.m., the CSIS Energy and National Security Program and the CSIS Americas Program will host Ethan Zindler, Head of Policy Analysis at Bloomberg New Energy Finance, and Carrie McKellogg, Chief of Access to Basic Services & Green Growth at the Multilateral Investment Fund of the Inter-American Development Bank Group. The two will present Climatescope 2013, a new report, online tool, and data resource profiling clean energy market and investment conditions in 26 Latin American and Caribbean nations. Sarah Ladislaw, Co-Director and Senior Fellow at the CSIS Energy and National Security Program, will moderate the discussion. Sponsored by the MIF and researched by BNEF, Climatescope assesses low-carbon energy markets from Mexico south within the western hemisphere. First released in 2012, it scores nations on their local conditions for attracting capital in support of clean energy development. Climatescope takes into account 39 data points encompassing a country’s enabling framework for clean energy investment, its history of clean energy investment and climate financing, its availability of low-carbon business and clean energy value chain segments, and its greenhouse gas management efforts. Zindler and McKellogg will discuss which countries scored highest in the Climatescope, which lagged behind, and why.
SEIA Webinar to Discuss Solar Integration – SEIA will hold a webinar on Thursday at 1:00 p.m. for a timely discussion on the recent regulatory changes for energy storage and how these changes will affect grid integration, solar energy expansion, and improvements to grid reliability. Both the FERC and CPUC have adopted new rules and procurement requirements to encourage energy storage as a resource, enhance power system operations, increase efficiency, and reduce costs. FERC adopted these rule changes with the intent of fostering opportunities for energy storage technologies such as compressed air energy storage, regenerative fuel cells, batteries, superconducting magnetic energy storage, flywheels and thermal energy storage systems to participate in electricity markets and supply ancillary services to wholesale electric market participants and electric transmission providers. CPUC adopted energy storage procurement requirements for the state’s three largest investor-owned utilities, retail electric suppliers and its community aggregators. The state’s investor-owned utilities will begin procuring energy storage assets or services in 2014. The expert speakers will discuss these regulatory changes and implications from the regulatory, company, and technology perspective, including Joel Meister of Solar Grid Storage and Carrie Cullen Hitt of SEIA, among others.
BPC, NARUC to Hold 2nd Clean Air Act Workshop –Thursday, BPC’s Energy Project – along with the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC) – will host the second workshop on section 111(d), which will focus on the use of economic modeling to understand the potential impacts of GHG power plant regulation. The event will also explore the use of economic modeling to understand the potential impacts of GHG regulations. The three panels will focus on: 1) state considerations and policy design issues; 2) important drivers that could impact carbon dioxide emissions from the power sector and 3) modeling impacts of different proposals under section 111(d). BPC will include participants from state organizations, industry and environmental organizations. Former EPA Administrator Bill Reilly, a BPC’s Energy Project Co-chair, will keynote. Other speakers will include ACCCE’s Paul Bailey, Exelon’s Kathleen Barron, AEP’s Bruce Braine, RFF’s Dallas Burtraw, NRDC’s Dan Lashoff and Jason Grumet.
Forum to Look at Renewable Investments – The Business Council for Sustainable Energy will host a congressional briefing on Friday in B-369 Rayburn looking at renewable energy market investments and policy trends. This event is being put on in cooperation with the United States House of Representatives Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Caucus.
Houston Mayor to Address Press Club –The National Press Club will host a luncheon with Houston mayor Annise Parker on Tuesday, December 10th at Noon. Parker, one of the first openly gay mayors in the U.S. and the head of the “energy capital of America” will talk about her political future and past, the renaissance of American oil and gas energy industry, Texas’s thriving economy and the challenges of managing city finances.
CHP Conference Set – The Combined Heat and Power (CHP) Association will hold its annual conference in Washington DC on December 10th and 11th. This year’s theme is “Making the Business Case for Combined Heat & Power”. The conference will bring together different leaders within the CHP industry to discuss access to financing, a major barrier to CHP deployment. The conference will also focus on demonstrating the business benefits of CHP for different sectors. Representatives from Coca Cola, Procter and Gamble, Schneider Electric, American Gas Association, Edison Electric Institute, Veolia Energy, General Electric, Caterpillar, Cargill, and many others working on the issue of combined heat and power will be on the agenda. Topics will include financing, electric utilities finding value in CHP, environmental issues, debt financing for small to medium projects and natural gas among many other items.
Forum to Look at IPCC Document – George Washington University’s IERES program will host a presentation on Friday, December 6th at 4:00 p.m. featuring Oleg Anisimov, Professor of Physical Geography at the Hydrological Institute in St. Petersburg, Russia. His presentation will start with a brief discussion of the Fifth Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change assessment report, where he served as a coordinating author. The report is almost ready, and will be officially released at the end of March 2014. The discussion will focus on the impacts of the changing climate in the polar regions, including the socio-economical dimension in the Arctic. It will then provide two examples of impacts that escaped the IPCC s attention. The first is the potential impact on the Arctic urban population (the current emphasis is on indigenous peoples). The second is related to the drivers of climate change associated with the potential release of methane, with implications for environmental policy making, particularly the post-Kyoto negotiation process.
Court to Hear Mercury Cases in December – The U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit has scheduled oral arguments on December 10th on two consolidated cases concerning EPA’s Mercury and Air Toxics Standards for power plants. Both rules were finalized in 2012. The Oral arguments for both White Stallion Energy Center LLC v. EPA and Utility Air Regulatory Group v. EPA will be held at 9:30 a.m. in DC before Chief Judge Merrick Garland and Circuit Judges Judith Rogers and Brett Kavanaugh.
Experts to Discuss Court Cases – Following the court arguments, the DC Bar’s Air and Water Quality Committee of the Environment, Energy and Natural Resources Section and the Environmental Law Institute will host a discussion with the litigants of the major issues and possible outcomes in these seminal cases. EPA’s attempts to regulate pollutants that cross state lines have been struck down twice by the D.C. Circuit. Now the Supreme Court will have its chance to opine on EPA’s authority under the “good neighbor” provisions of the Clean Air Act. On the same day, the D.C. Circuit will test the MATS rule, which EPA says is necessary to protect public health but which industry casts as burdensome and ineffective.
Forum to Look at Energy Infrastructure – The Atlantic will hold an Energy and Infrastructure Super Summit on the morning of Thursday, December 12th in Washington, D.C. The event will include a select group of senior leaders from a diversity of sectors, this year’s summit will cover topics including innovative water conservation efforts, evolving green building standards, and the future of energy policy and infrastructure investment. We will feature one-on-one interviews and panel discussions exploring these topics from all angles and make time for audience engagement through Q&A. Speakers will include Brendan FitzSimons of EDF, AT&T’s John Schultz and Lee McIntire of CH2M HILL.
Detroit Auto Show Rolls Again after New Year – Just like the sun rising, a New Year means important college football games and the roll out of the North American International Auto Show in Detroit launches January 13th through the 26th. Now in its 26th year as an international event, the NAIAS is among the most prestigious auto shows in the world, providing unparalleled access to the automotive products, people and ideas that matter most – up close and in one place.
Policy Auto Show Locked In, Ford COO to Keynote – Following Detroit, the Washington Auto Show, the automotive industry’s annual public policy show and the largest public show held in Washington, D.C., will be held on January 22, 2014 through February 2nd. This year, Mark Fields, chief operating officer of Ford Motor Company, will deliver the keynote address at the Newsmaker Breakfast on Wednesday to launch the event. The Newsmaker Breakfast – co-sponsored by Washington Automotive Press Association (WAPA) and the International Motor Press Association (IMPA) – is part of the show’s Public Policy Days. The breakfast follows the Policy Days’ kickoff event on Capitol Hill. For more information about The Washington Auto Show, please visit www.washingtonautoshow.com
Energy Summit Set – The 2014 American Energy Summit will be held on January 27 – 28, 2014 in Arlington, Virginia and will focus on the hundreds of billions of dollars being spent on new energy projects by the federal government, state and local governments, and by private industry.