Friends,

A short week after yesterday’s MLK holiday, expected to be slowed by some winter storm activity and cold.  After the polar vortex, I thought we might have been in the clear since college lacrosse teams are already starting practices.  But no such luck I think looking at today’s weather forecast/radar.

Our weekend was buoyed by a visit to see the new Panda cub at the National Zoo.  It was crowded but pretty exciting.  Here is the panda cam link should you want to check in on Bao Bao.

The Washington Auto show kicks off this week with some policy follow up to last week’s NAIAS Detroit Show.  All the muscle cars and the policy wonkness in one place.  Sounds like dream for a kid from Detroit that has spent the second half of his life in DC’s policy circles…  Am I talking about Dave Shepardson or myself???

Also two events this week on Arctic issues including our friends at the Bipartisan Policy Commission, who are hosting a major forum on tight oil supply on Thursday and a CSIS/UN Environmental Program event on the future of the Arctic on Wednesday.

Perhaps though, the most important event of the week is Friday’s environmental policy press forum at the Wilson Center hosted by our friends at the Society of Environmental Journalists.  It features real environmental media experts like NYT report Coral Davenport, Douglas Fischer of The Daily Climate, The Guardian’s Suzanne Goldenberg, C&EN’s Cheryl Hogue and former NYT science expert Andy Revkin, among others. Bloomberg BNA Larry Pearl will moderate.

Finally on Wednesday at 5:30 p.m., the Women’s Council on Energy and Environmental (WCEE) will hosts its January Happy Hour at the Bar at the Mayflower Hotel.  It is a good group that does a number of great events so I hope if you are interested you will join them.

Call with questions.

Frank Maisano
(202) 828-5864
c. (202) 997-5932

 

IN THE NEWS

Ivanpah Featured in Solar Expansion Story – With all the discussion of solar in the media last week (remember, I focused on the glass half vs. glass half approaches in the LAT and CNBC), The Washington Post ran an excellent, balanced and significant A1 story on solar projects starting to come on in the West.  The report featured a look at the BrightSource Energy Ivanpah project (where reported Lenny Bernstein visited) and not only had some cool pictures, but a nicely done info graphic (kudos to the Post’s designers for that one.

SAFE Commission on Energy, Geopolitics Releases Oil Security 2025 – Securing America’s Future Energy’s Commission on Energy and Geopolitics released its inaugural report last week.  Oil Security 2025: U.S. National Security Policy in an Era of Domestic Oil Abundance is the first product to be released in association with SAFE’s new P.X. Kelley Center for Energy Security. We are proud to provide you with some of the top broadcast coverage of the Commission, including interviews on CNBC and MSNBC, as well as print articles covering the report’s release by leading investigative reporters in oil and petroleum politics. We hope you enjoy the report and coverage, and thank you for your continued support of SAFE and our work to improve America’s energy security.

Nebraska Files CCS, NSPS Lawsuit – The state of Nebraska is filing suit challenging the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) greenhouse gas standards for new power plants.   “The impossible standards imposed by the EPA will ensure no new power plants are built in Nebraska,” Attorney General Jon Bruning said.  “This federal agency continues to overstep its authority at the detriment of Nebraska businesses.”  Bruning’s challenge comes under the Energy Policy Act of 2005 which prohibits the EPA from considering federally-funded projects when determining the appropriate form of control technology. Contrary to the Act, the EPA proposed greenhouse gas standards based on three inoperable coal plants which have received more than $2.5 billion in federal subsidies. The EPA referenced the inoperable plants as evidence to support Carbon Capture and Storage technology should be the standard for all new coal plants.  A copy of the complaint can be found here.

B&G Launches ShalePlay App – In response to the shale energy boom taking place in the United States and around the world, Bracewell & Giuliani has launched the ShalePlay app. Powered by the firm’s energy law and environmental law attorneys and government relations professionals, the ShalePlay app is the first of its kind, offering a comprehensive resource on news and information related to shale gas and hydraulic fracturing, including the latest industry trends and updates.  With oil and gas production near record levels as a result of hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”), a drilling technique that frees trapped hydrocarbons by injecting water, sand and chemicals into shale rock, this free app will prove vital to companies and individuals interested in keeping up to date with developments in the sector.  The ShalePlay app includes 1) News aggregated from a variety of key sources’ 2) Legislation/regulation

Shale studies, 3) Interactive map of shale plays, 4) Glossary of common terms, 5) Historical timeline of hydraulic fracturing, 6) Analysis from Bracewell & Giuliani attorneys.  The app requires iOS 6.0 or later and is compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. This app is optimized for iPhone 5. An Android version will be available in the first half of 2014.

FOIA Documents Hit EPA, Sierra Club Over Coordination – A 2012 Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request filed by the Energy & Environment Legal Institute (E&E Legal), has produced several hundred documents affirming an uncomfortably close working relationship between the current EPA officials and environmental activists in their effort to undercut energy resources, particularly coal.  Mostly e-mails between EPA top officials and the Sierra Club, the records illustrate how certain EPA employees with backgrounds working for green pressure groups serve as liaisons to those groups in advancing a shared agenda. Other documents affirm the close advisory role the pressure groups play in key EPA actions, like EPA’s recently published New Source Performance Standards (NSPS) for new coal-fired plants.

How Are They Working Together – The collaboration takes place in many forms: emails providing, e.g., a list of coal plants the green groups insist any EPA standards block from coming or staying on-line, meetings at EPA and at the green groups’ offices where EPA comes to brief them, frequent conference calls, and at the Starbucks at Washington’s J.W. Marriott, across the street from EPA.  The latter is reminiscent of the Caribou Coffee revelations about this most transparent, White House, in history arranging off-site meetings with other lobbyists to avoid signing them in to the building. Numerous other emails show close collaboration on EPA public hearings to generate support for the rule.

Who’s Mostly Involved – The e-mails show the central players to be two EPA officials who worked in the agency’s policy office at the time of the e-mails, Michael Goo (former legislative director of the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) who left EPA for a senior Department of Energy post), Alex Baron, and EPA senior counsel Joe Goffman (a former EDF lawyer).  They all work closely with John Coequyt, who heads the Sierra Club’s “Beyond Coal” campaign.  In one e-mail Coequyt sent to Goo and Barron, he said, “Attached is a list of plants that companies said were shelved because of uncertainty around GHG [greenhouse gas] regulations.  If a standard is set that these plants could meet, there is a small chance that they [sic] company could decide to revive the proposal.”  Coequyt is clearly signaling that that if the EPA sets achievable standards, proposed power plants on hold as the new standards are developed could ultimately be built, which is contrary to his group’s agenda.

Who to Call for More Info, Copies of E-mails – The actions have been spearheaded by FOIA gadfly Chris Horner, Counsel to the Energy & Environment Legal Institute (E&E Legal), formerly the American Tradition Institute.   Primarily through its petition litigation and transparency practice areas, E&E Legal seeks to correct onerous federal and state policies that hinder the economy, increase the cost of energy, eliminate jobs, and do little or nothing to improve the environment.  For More info, you can call Craig Richardson at Richardson@eelegal.org; 703-981-5553.

 

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

BGov Holds Auto Policy Briefing – Bloomberg Government will held Its 2014 Auto Policy Briefing this morning.  American auto sales last year were the highest since 2007, but 2014 will bring new challenges and opportunities, especially on the regulatory front. From fuel-economy standards and infrastructure spending to the prospect of improved export opportunities through new trade deals, policymakers in Washington will have a major impact on the course of the U.S. auto industry.  BGov analysts will offer a detailed look at the policy and regulatory issues facing this important industry in 2014.

Ritter, Zichal, Esty to Discuss New Report on Energy – Colorado State’s Center for the New Energy Economy led by former Colorado Governor Bill Ritter Tuesday will discuss a new report this morning at 9:30 a.m. at the National Press Club’s Holeman Lounge. The report provides a guide to removing or restructuring legal, economic and regulatory barriers to clean energy and climate action. The plan is designed to unleash private capital and unshackle state governments and would require no action from Congress.  Over the past few days, officials representing the executive branch have been briefed on a new plan to push climate and energy policy forward in the United States.  Speakers will include Ritter, former White House Climate advisor Heather Zichal, Connecticut DEP head and former Yale Climate expert Dan Esty and former DOE official Sue Tierney.

Sen. Small Biz Field Hearing to Look at Impacts on Domestic Production – In one of her final hearings as chair, Mary Landrieu will hold a Senate Small Business and Entrepreneurship Committee field hearing today at 3:00 p.m. in Lafayette, LA to discuss empowering small businesses to impact domestic production.  Witnesses will include API’s Stephen Comstock, Gigi Lazenby of Bretagne,  Southwestern Energy’s Jennifer Stewart, Lee Jackson of Jackson Offshore Operators, PerPetro Energy’s  Joe LeBlanc, and Stephen Landry of Ernst & Young.

PA NatGas Public Hearings to Look at Court Ruling, Regs – On the heels of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court’s recent decision that struck down key portions of the state’s oil and gas law, the PA Environmental Quality Board is holding public hearings throughout the state to accept public comment on proposed new regulations for oil and gas development in Pennsylvania. The new regulations will significantly shape PA DEP’s actions on oil and gas activities. After four hearing last week, they continue in Washington County Wednesday, Indiana County on Thursday and Wyoming County next Monday.  A complete listing of hearing dates and locations, as well as other information, can be found here.

Detroit Auto Show Rolls On – The North American International Auto Show in Detroit launched last week in Detroit with a flood of public officials and parties.  Vice President Biden, Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx, Commerce’s Penny Pritzker and EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy all attended last week.  The public show runs through Sunday of this week.  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.

EPA Science Committee Meeting Set to Discuss GHG Concerns – EPA’s Science Advisory Board will hold a teleconference today from 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. to conclude its discussion about questions board members had about the science backing EPA’s proposed greenhouse regulations for new power plants.  Late last year, the SAB raised concerns about whether EPA appropriately reviewed the issue before deciding that carbon capture and sequestration is commercially available for new coal-fired power plants.  House Science Chair Lamar Smith and other committee members highlighted the problems in a recent letter to EPA Administrator McCarthy.  Specifically, the Committee members pointed out that any EPA rule requiring the capture of carbon must address where the carbon is stored.

Early Stage Tech Webinar Set – ARPA-E will hold a webinar today at 1:00 p.m. that will identify path to market for early-stage technologies.  In early 2013, ARPA-E partnered with NSF for a pilot program that put several ARPA-E project teams through the rigorous I-Corps program curriculum. I-Corps guides applied research teams through an iterative customer and business model discovery process aimed at identifying a path to market for early-stage technologies. Join us for an informative discussion about the i-Corps process and its value to researchers.  ARPA-E Program Director and Senior Commercialization Advisor Dr. Ilan Gur will moderate a session featuring first-hand accounts by Dr. Anita LaSalle, NSF I-Corps Program Officer, and Sri Narayan, Professor of Chemistry at the University of Southern California and recent I-Corps graduate.

Program to Look at Energy, Environment in Turkmenistan The Central Asia Program at IERES will host a forum tomorrow at 4:30 p.m. at George Washington University’s Voesar Conference Room, Suite 412 to discuss environment, human rights, and oil development in Turkmenistan.  Kate Watters, Co-Founder and Executive Director, Crude Accountability will discuss the links between environmental and human rights violations and oil and gas development in Turkmenistan, one of the world’s most opaque and authoritarian countries. She will focus on the various responses of international financial institutions, multi-national oil companies and western governments to Turkmenistan’s official policies, and discuss the role of civil society in highlighting and uncovering environmental and human rights abuses.

CSIS to Host Arctic Forum – Center for Strategic and International Studies and the United Nations Environment Program will hold the second session of its Arctic Speaker Series forum on Wednesday at 3:30 p.m. aimed at understanding the 21st Century Arctic.  The series is designed to provide important information on critical political, environmental, economic, and governance developments in the Arctic.  This particular session will gather leading environmental scientists and U.S. government officials to examine the dramatic environmental changes confronting the Arctic region and their implications for Arctic and non-Arctic states alike.  The expert panel will address what the environmental, economic, and security consequences of the rapidly melting ice in the High North could be and how the phenomenon affect Arctic and non-Arctic actors.  Speakers will be OSTP’s Brendan Kelly, Oceanographer and Navigator of the Navy Rear Admiral Jonathan W. White and United States Arctic Research Commission advisor Martin Jeffries.

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  Wednesday 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

McCarthy to Head to World Economic Forum in Davos – The World Economic Forum will be held in Davos, Switzerland Wednesday through Saturday and why wide-ranging in its issues scope, it will likely touch on environmental and energy issues.  EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy will be there to highlight President Obama’s Climate Action Plan and discuss the business and economic opportunities that come from addressing climate change.

DOE’s Kenderdine Addresses ICF Breakfast Series – ICF International’s Energy Breakfast Series continues on Thursday, January 23rd at 8:00 a.m. when it hosts DOE’s Melanie A. Kenderdine as the keynote speaker at the University Club to address a wide range of topics pertinent to DOE’s current and future roles, including energy policy and systems analysis office, quadrennial energy review and the President’s climate action plan.  Additional discussion topics include new energy technologies, the impact of expanded oil and gas production, and grid reliability.

Iowa to Hold Public Session on EPA Ethanol Regs – Gov. Terry Branstad is hosting a public hearing on Thursday in Des Moines to give Iowa citizens a chance to comment on the EPA proposal that would reduce the amount of ethanol in the nation’s fuel supply.  Wonder what they’ll say?

BPC to Look at Arctic Oil Issues – The Bipartisan Policy Center will hold a forum on Thursday at the Washington Court Hotel focused on navigating the oil frontier that will focus on the implications of the tight oil boom on Arctic and ultra-deepwater oil development. The topics include disaster response and spill cleanup, Arctic climate change adaptation, and the specific challenges of the Arctic’s unique geology and environment.

WRI to Look ay On-Grid Renewable Resources – The World Resources Institute will launch the first publication in the 10 Questions to Ask series on Thursday at 4:30 p.m. The “10 Questions to Ask About Scaling On-Grid Renewable Energy” is a framework designed to facilitate multi-stakeholder engagement for improving renewable energy policy. The authors will present the framework, and WRI partners from India, Brazil, South Africa and Kyrgyzstan will discuss its relevance to their respective countries. A wine reception will follow.  By the end of 2012, 138 countries worldwide had introduced renewable energy (RE) targets, and investments in new RE capacity totaled US$244 billion that year. Globally, RE is gaining momentum, with over 480 gigawatts (GW) of installed renewable power capacity. RE is now at the forefront of many national energy development plans.  The progress made in many countries has also highlighted the complexities of increasing the rate of RE deployment at the national level. Deploying renewable energy on an economy-wide scale requires solutions to a range of short- medium- and long-term challenges. These include resolving economic questions about how the costs of new RE generation will be distributed among electricity consumers, investors, taxpayers, and other stakeholders, and technological challenges such as accommodating intermittent supply, upgrading or adding transmission and distribution grids, and addressing knowledge gaps.  Speakers will include report authors Davida Wood and Sarah Martin of WRI and Shantanu Dixit of Prayas Energy Group, India.

SEJ to Host Forum to Look at Year Ahead in Energy, Environment – The Society of Environmental Journalists, the Wilson Center and the Global Sustainability and Resilience Program will host a panel on Friday at 3:00 p.m. at the Wilson Center to look at the year ahead in environmental and energy issues. A panel of veteran journalists will offer their thoughts on what will be the biggest environment and energy stories in the U.S. and around the world. Bloomberg BNA’s Larry Pearl will kick off the discussion with an overview of the key legislative, regulatory, and legal developments expected in 2014, followed by a roundtable with six top journalists covering local, national, and international environmental issues.  Others panelists will include Douglas Fischer of The Daily Climate, NYT’s Coral Davenport, Dennis Dimick of National Geographic Magazine, The Guardian’s Suzanne Goldenberg, Cheryl Hogue of Chemical & Engineering News and Andy Revkin, New York Times Environmental Blogger (Dot Earth) and Pace University Journalism professor.

SEIA will Host “Shout Out” Day on Social Media – On Friday, the Solar Energy Industry Association will host its National “Shout Out For Solar” Day. Supported by both business and environmental groups, hundreds of thousands of people from across the United States and around the world are expected to take part in the event taking place on Facebook, Twitter and other social media venues. The event coincides with SEIA’s 40th anniversary as a national trade association and the “voice” of solar energy in America.  It will also mark the launch of a new “America Supports Solar” campaign, which will highlight solar energy’s explosive growth across the United States, as well as its record-shattering year in 2013.  It’s estimated that the U.S. now has 13 gigawatts of installed solar capacity – enough to power more than 2 million American homes.  What’s more, when all of the numbers are in, solar is expected to account for more new electric capacity in the U.S. in 2013 than any other renewable energy source. To participate: 1. Take a picture with your sign
2. Upload your picture to Facebook, Twitter or Instagram and use the hashtag #GoSolar.  Today, there are nearly 120,000 Americans employed by the U.S. solar industry at more than 6,100 American companies.  While 2013 was a record-breaking year, 2014 may be even better, with 30 percent growth being forecast. Part of this unprecedented growth is due to the fact that the average price of a solar system has dropped by more than 50 percent since 2010, benefitting consumers, businesses, schools and government entities.

JHU Forum to Discuss GHGs from Cars – The Johns Hopkins University’s African Studies program hosts an event on Friday at 4:30 p.m. featuring Antonio Bento, associate professor with the Charles H. Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management at Cornell University.  Bento will discuss “Reducing Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Passenger Vehicles: Evidence from Programs around the World”.

  

FUTURE EVENTS

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.

STATE OF THE UNION, January 28th – President Obama will deliver his State of the Union Address to Congress on Tuesday, January 28th.  While healthcare and job creation are expected to get top billing, Energy is expected to play a prominent role.

Alt Fuels Workshops Set for Next Week at DC Auto Show – The Greater Washington Region Clean Cities Coalition and the Washington Auto Show are partnering Tuesday-Thursday, January 28-30 to provide alternative fuels training, workshops, and panels during this year’s show. This represents the first time that the Coalition is partnering with the Auto Show in this way, and we will be providing alternative fuels training, panels, and workshops relevant to the needs of fleets and organizations in our region.

The agenda is available here.

Conference to Look at Science, Climate Solutions – The 14th  National Conference & Global Forum on Science, Policy & the Environment will be held on Tuesday-Thursday, January 28-30th at the Hyatt Regency Crystal City at Reagan National Airport.  Over 1,200 key individuals from many fields of sciences and engineering, government and policy, business and civil society to advance solutions to climate change.  The conference will be organized around two areas: [1] The Built Environment; and, [2] Agriculture and Natural Resources.

Forum to Look at 2014 Energy Choices – The American Security Project will host a forum on Tuesday, January 28th at 8:30 a.m. to look at America’s Energy Choices for 2014.  The way America uses and produces energy remains a hotly debated issue in Washington and around the country. We will discuss the various energy choices available to the United States currently and in the years to come.  A range of speakers from across multiple energy producing industries will be announced shortly.

Krosnick, Sharp to Discuss Climate Public Attitudes – The Environmental and Energy Study Institute (EESI) invites you to a briefing Tuesday, January 28th at 3:00 p.m. in 2325 Rayburn discussing American perceptions of climate change following a new in-depth survey conducted in December by Resources for the Future, Stanford University, and USA Today. For the first time, the survey explored in detail the public’s attitudes toward generating electricity from various sources and its attitude toward fracking in particular.  Speakers will include Stanford’s  Jon Krosnick and RFF President Phil Sharp.  Initial results from the survey were featured in the December 20 issue of USA Today, but Dr. Krosnick will present a wide array of additional results, including whether the public believes climate change has been happening, what should and should not be done about it, whether the public supports or opposes specific government policies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and more. RFF President Phil Sharp will discuss the poll results in the context of the current U.S. climate and energy policy landscape.

SNL Conference On Energy M&A Set for NYC – SNL Energy’s 27th Annual Exnet Power and Gas M&A Symposium – an national energy conference will be held on January 28th and 29th  at the Ritz-Carlton in New York.  The Symposium is the annual go-to event for industry executives, as well as financial and legal advisors who are concerned with strategic planning, business development and the economics of the sector. The speakers and audience are comprised of industry decision-makers, plus heads of power and utility practices at leading investment banks, law firms and consultancies.

Energy Happy Hour Set – The Leaders in Energy LinkedIn and CSRinDC (Corporate Social Responsibility) Meetup group will be co-hosting their professional networking Happy Hour on Tuesday, January 28th at 6:00 p.m. at the Banana Cafe & Piano Bar.  The mission of the Leaders in Energy group is to gather people together who delight in thinking about, discussing, and collaborating on energy, environmental and sustainability topics.

IEA Coal Report to be Released at CSIS – The CSIS Energy and National Security Program will release the IAE’s Medium-Term Coal Market Report from 2013 in Wednesday January 29th.  The event will feature Keisuke Sadamori, Director for Energy Markets and Security at the International Energy Agency (IEA), to present IEA’s Report. The report, part of the IEA’s Medium-Term Reports series, provides IEA forecasts on coal markets for the coming five years as well as an in-depth analysis of recent developments in global coal demand, supply, and trade.  This third annual report shows that while coal continues to be a growing source of primary energy worldwide, its future is increasingly tied to developments in non-OECD countries, led by China. The current low prices for coal add a new challenge to the sector, which is facing uncertainty due to increasing environmental legislation and competition from other fuels, like US shale gas or European renewables. The report addresses significant questions including whether depressed prices for coal will boost the fuel’s consumption; if other developing countries will follow in China’s footsteps by increasingly relying on coal to fuel economic growth; and, above all, whether the strong growth of coal in China will continue between now and 2018. Jane Nakano, Fellow with the CSIS Energy and National Security Program, will moderate.

Fusion Power to Be Focus of Forum – The American Security Project will host a forum on Wednesday, January 29th at Noon in 2325 Rayburn (House Energy/Commerce) focused on fusion power.  Sustainable and controlled fusion power has been a dream for the scientific community for decades. However, recent advances in research and technology have raised hopes that fusion could become a new source of electricity. U.S. ITER Project Office Director Ned Sauthoff will discuss the topic with a panel.

RFF Event to Look at Forest, GHG Management – Resources for the Future will host an event on Wednesday, January 29th 12:30 p.m. in its First Floor Conference Center on the contributions of forest on GHG management. Responsible management of temperate forests in the United States can play an important and ongoing role in climate change mitigation at a national and international scale. This RFF Seminar, co-sponsored by Resources for the Future and the Society of American Foresters, will delve into some of the questions that surround carbon accounting and forest management. The event, moderated by RFF Senior Fellow Roger Sedjo, will feature presentations by David Cleaves, explaining the integral role of the US Forest Service’s Forest Inventory and Analysis Program in determining carbon stocks; William Stewart, describing the results of new research comparing best practices and regulators’ assumptions about the carbon profiles of managed forests and the harvested products from such forests in northern California; and Robert Malmsheimer, discussing the recent work of the SAF’s Carbon Accounting Team to dissect the latest science underlying these discussions.

Forum, Report to Look at Arctic Energy – The Canada Institute, the Kennan Institute, and the Wilson Center’s Environmental Change and Security Program will launch of “In Search of Arctic Energy” on Wednesday, January 29th at 1:00 p.m.  The program will discuss the findings of the new paper and delve into the implications that arctic energy exploration will have for the region and the globe’s energy economy.  Speakers will include Mikkal Herberg of the National Bureau of Asian Research, Chevron’s Bill Scott, RFF’s Joel Darmstadter and State of Alaska State-Federal Relations Director Kip Knudson, among others.

Forum to Discuss Energy Security Book – Georgetown University will host a book launch Wednesday, January 29th at 6:00 p.m. in the Mortara Building Boardroom to celebrate the recent publication of Energy and Security: Strategies for a World in Transition  (co-editors Jan Kalicki and David Goldwyn) by Wilson Center Press and Johns Hopkins University Press.  Goldwyn, Kalicki, Dr. Raad Alkadiri and Dr. Brenda Shaffer will also join in a panel discussion.

USDA Industry Day to Focus on Biofuels – The USDA will host an industry day on Thursday, January 30th for the newly established Farm to Fleet program. Under the Navy Biofuels program established through the Defense Production Act Title III, the USDA is required to support one-third of the total $510 million program. Through the Farm to Fleet program, the USDA will commit Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC) funds to purchase 70 million gallons of JP-5 or F-76 fuel for the Navy from biofuel blends ranging up to 50 percent. If biofuels meeting these specifications have a higher cost than the bulk fuel purchase made by the Defense Logistics Agency (DLA), CCC funds will be used to offset this price difference and result in an overall price-equivalent biofuel portion of the total 700 million gallons of JP-5 and F-76 to be purchased in this round of contracts.  The Industry Day will include discussions on which feedstocks are eligible or preferred, as well as partnerships between experienced biofuel developers who have worked with the Navy, Air Force, or DLA and traditional suppliers of bulk fuel contracts. Sample contracts may become available as soon as this month.

EEI, ELI to Host GHG Emissions Conference – The Edison Electric Institute and the Environmental Law Institute will hold a day-long conference on Thursday, January 30th to look at GHG regulations. As you know, the President aims at reducing U.S. greenhouse gas emissions to 17% below 2005 levels by 2020 by using Section 111 of the Clean Air Act to reduce both new and existing power plant greenhouse gas emissions with a goal of implementing regulations before the end of his term in office.  The legal issues inherent in undertaking this task are extremely complex with significant economic, environmental, and social implications. And the timetable laid out by the President is extremely ambitious.  This conference brings together top experts in the field of energy and environmental law to discuss the legal hurdles and possibilities as well as the real-world ramifications of using Section 111 to address power plant greenhouse gas emissions.  Discussion leaders will focus on the legal uncertainties EPA and power producers will face as well as the day-to-day implications these regulations and the regulatory uncertainty will have for power producers, users, and state regulators as this new regulatory regime is constructed.  In a wrap up session, panelists will discuss relevant legislative history and review likely legal arguments to be made in response to and in support of proposed GHG rules for the power sector.

Senate to Tackle Crude Exports – The Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources will hold an oversight hearing on Thursday, January 30th to examine opportunities and challenges associated with lifting the ban on United States crude oil exports.  Already, Senator Murkowski has made several important speeches on the topic, which is fast becoming an issue of importance.

Forum to Look at Energy in Ukraine, Belarus, Lithuania – The George Washington University’s IERES Petrach Program on Ukraine will hold a forum on Thursday, January 30th at 4:00 p.m. to look at the politics of energy in Ukraine, Belarus and Lithuania.  Recent events in Ukraine again bring up the question of countries’ energy policy choices and the role of powerful domestic groups in relation to Russia and the EU. The Politics of Energy Dependency looks at these issues from the perspective of post-independence energy politics in three post-Soviet states: Ukraine, Belarus, and Lithuania. It compares these three states’ reactions to the serious external shock of their sudden transformation from constituents of a single energy-rich state to separate energy-poor entities heavily dependent on Russia, as well as politically-independent transit states. Using extensive field research and until now untapped local sources in Ukrainian, Belarusian, Russian, and Lithuanian, the book analyzes how these states’ unique location, powerful domestic economic actors often making a profit of their situation of energy dependency (oligarchs), and Russian power, has affected Russia’s ability to use energy as a foreign policy tool in the region, and these states’ own political development.  Seton Hall University’s Margarita M. Balmaceda will address the topic.

Green BRT to Look at Forestry – The January Green Business Roundtable will be held on Friday, January 31st at 11:30 a.m. at the National Wildlife Federation National Advocacy Center to look at sustaining forests and improving supply chains via credible certifications.  Forest products for industrial and personal consumption are some of the most freely traded commodities in today’s global marketplace. But the trade in these products have also been implicated in the increasingly historic loss of forest cover worldwide, contributing 15-20 % of the CO2 emissions attributed to the global climate change challenge.  Forestry economics expert Bruce Cabarle will speak to his efforts during his 20 year tenure with the World Wildlife Fund and the Forest Stewardship Council to promote sustainable supply chains via public-private partnerships to promote environmentally, socially and economically sound solutions to this challenge.

Forum to Look at Energy in Ukraine, Belarus, Lithuania – The George Washington University’s IERES Petrach Program on Ukraine will hold a forum on Thursday, January 30th at 4:00 p.m. to look at the politics of energy in Ukraine, Belarus and Lithuania.  Recent events in Ukraine again bring up the question of countries’ energy policy choices and the role of powerful domestic groups in relation to Russia and the EU. The Politics of Energy Dependency looks at these issues from the perspective of post-independence energy politics in three post-Soviet states: Ukraine, Belarus, and Lithuania. It compares these three states’ reactions to the serious external shock of their sudden transformation from constituents of a single energy-rich state to separate energy-poor entities heavily dependent on Russia, as well as politically-independent transit states. Using extensive field research and until now untapped local sources in Ukrainian, Belarusian, Russian, and Lithuanian, the book analyzes how these states’ unique location, powerful domestic economic actors often making a profit of their situation of energy dependency (oligarchs), and Russian power, has affected Russia’s ability to use energy as a foreign policy tool in the region, and these states’ own political development.  Seton Hall University’s Margarita M. Balmaceda will address the topic.

Green BRT to Look at Forestry – The January Green Business Roundtable will be held on Friday, January 31st at 11:30 a.m. at the National Wildlife Federation National Advocacy Center to look at sustaining forests and improving supply chains via credible certifications.  Forest products for industrial and personal consumption are some of the most freely traded commodities in today’s global marketplace. But the trade in these products have also been implicated in the increasingly historic loss of forest cover worldwide, contributing 15-20 % of the CO2 emissions attributed to the global climate change challenge.  Forestry economics expert Bruce Cabarle will speak to his efforts during his 20 year tenure with the World Wildlife Fund and the Forest Stewardship Council to promote sustainable supply chains via public-private partnerships to promote environmentally, socially and economically sound solutions to this challenge.

Maisano to Headline Media Seminar – For those of you focused on media relations and policy communications, I will be participating in a webinar on February 4th focused on creating a successful media strategies for the policy environment.  We will look at the nexus between policy communications and government affairs, as well as crisis management.  Finally, we will offer some of the tools of the trade.  We can also help you with a discount if you want to join in.

ELI Panel to Look at 2014 Enviro Agenda – The Environmental Law Institute will hold an ELI Research Seminar on February 5th to discuss of what effects the next Obama Administration will have on environmental law, policy, and practice in 2014. Four expert practitioners will have an “inside-baseball” discussion about upcoming policies and regulatory agendas at the Environmental Protection Agency, the Department of Justice, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, and the Department of Interior, among other regulatory agencies.  Panelists will include former EPA GC Scott Fulton, former White House CEQ expert Gary Guzy, former FERC enforcement expert Sheila Slocum Hollis and Bill Meadows of the Wilderness Society.

NASEO Policy Outlook Conference Set for DC – The National Assn of state Energy Officials will hold its 2014 Energy Policy Outlook Conference at the Fairmont on February 4th through 7th.   The conference will focus on the energy and economic opportunity in modernizing the nation’s energy infrastructure—electric grid, pipelines, buildings, and transportation—to achieve a more resilient, sustainable, and energy efficient future.   The need to modernize our aging energy infrastructure is among the most important global competitive challenges facing the United States.  Our energy system is being stressed in order to meet complex operational demands, such as grid integration, shifts in resources and energy flows, cybersecurity, and an infusion of digital technologies across every sector of the economy.

NARUC Winter Meetings Set – The National Assn of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC) will host its Winter Meetings on February 9th through 12th at the Renaissance Washington Hotel.  Speakers will Include Sens. Lamar Alexander, Mary Landrieu, Joe Manchin, Lisa Murkowski and Mark Pryor, as well as EPRI CEO Mike Howard, among others.

Bracewell to Host Environmental Symposium in Houston – On February 11th, Bracewell & Giuliani will host a forum on environment issues in Houston.  More on this in the upcoming weeks.  While it will not be open to the media, it will feature B&G experts in a series of briefings and discussions about the most challenging environmental legal issues facing the energy and heavy industries today.

Chamber Sets Transpo Summit – On February 20th, the U.S. Chamber will gather leaders and experts from all sectors of transportation for the second annual Let’s Rebuild America Transportation Summit-Infrastructure Intersection-to examine the important role transportation infrastructure plays across major sectors of America’s economy. At the summit, presenters will explore five key infrastructure intersections-Energy, Manufacturing, Agriculture, Technology, and Healthcare-and how each sector requires well-functioning transportation infrastructure systems to realize its full potential.

Vilsack, Ag Economist Glauber, Trade Rep Froman to Headline USDA Forum – The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) will hold the 2014 Agricultural Outlook Forum on February 20th and 21st at the Crystal Gateway Marriott Hotel, Arlington, Va.  Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack will moderate two general session panels on the Future of Agriculture.  Speaking in the first panel will be Administrator of the U. S. Agency for International Development Rajiv Shah; President of the Produce Marketing Association Cathy Burns; and Kellee James, founder and CEO of Mercaris, a market trading platform for organic agricultural commodities.  The second panel focuses on young farmers and includes Executive Director of the Farmer Veteran Coalition Michael O’Gorman; Joanna Carraway, a young Kentucky farmer who won the 2013 Top Producer Horizon Award; Greg Wegis, who operates a 17,600-acre vegetable and nut farm in California; and the Interim Director of the National Young Farmers Coalition, Emily Oakley.  USDA’s Chief Economist Joseph Glauber will deliver the 2014 Agricultural & Foreign Trade Outlooks. The Forum’s dinner speaker will be U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman.

Interior Sects, former WY Gov Headline CO Law Forum – The University of Colorado Law School will host the inaugural Martz Winter Symposium on February 27th and 28th in Boulder.  People from different disciplines and backgrounds will discuss the specific challenges confronting efforts to operationalize sustainability in the context of natural resource industries. The symposium will discuss the idea of sustainability and how it is taking shape in particular places and sectors; rigorously explore current efforts to re-organize certain business practices under the rubric of sustainability; and endeavor to identify practical, meaningful actions to deepen ongoing efforts to make sustainability a central tenet of our economic, social, and environmental future.  Speakers will include Jeff Bingaman, former Chair of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee and U.S. Senator from New Mexico, Deputy Secretary of the Interior Designate Michael Connor, former Governor of Wyoming Dave Freudenthal, former Interior Secretaries Gale Norton and Ken Salazar.

Methanol Forum Set – The Methanol Institute, the Institute for the Analysis of Global Security and the U.S. Energy Security Council will host the 2014 Methanol Policy Forum in Washington, D.C. on March 18th at the Hyatt Regency on Capitol Hill.  The event will bring together industry leaders, energy policy experts, executive branch officials, Members of Congress, academics and the media to share information about methanol’s potential as a liquid transportation fuel. Against the backdrop of the shale gas revolution and a resurgence of domestic methanol production.  The event will kick-off with a panel of CEO’s representing the growing number of methanol producers opening plants in Louisiana, Texas and beyond. It will provide the most up-to-date information on methanol fuel blending around the globe, with experts from China, Israel, Australia and Europe. Officials from the Department of Energy and the Environmental Protection Agency will join with technology innovators to discuss how to unlock our vehicles to methanol. Plus, there will be a special luncheon discussion with members of the U.S. Energy Security Council — a “who’s who” of Washington policy leaders – on fuel choices.