Friends,

“Super Bowl in NY” Week starts strong with some great hockey yesterday at Yankee Stadium.  I always love watching outdoor hockey games and was even more fascinated by Saturday night’s game at Dodger Stadium between the Ducks and Kings in 70-degree weather.  Nice work by the NHL’s ice crew to get that set.  How cool was it to see palm trees in the picture as a real NHL game, where the points mattered, raged on.

So despite the cold, get your Super Bowl pool/grids ready and line up the Super menu for Sunday’s big game.  Perhaps the NFL assumed global warming would have taken a stronger hold by now when they awarded NY/NJ (have to add Jersey in there so they don’t feel slighted) the game back in 2010.  But, looks like if you’re going, you’ll have to dress for frigid weather.

And, is it just me, or was there not that much music that actually was rewarded last night?  It seems the better musicians/singers were left out of the winners’ circle in lieu of helmet-dressed clowns and more fake/pop rappers.   And while Arby’s got a good laugh with a tweet asking for its hat back, I also think Dudley Do-Right may be making the same request.   Even the Rock category winners were won by older overdone celebrations of poor shells of Led Zeppelin and Ozzy Osbourne, whom I both love, but readily admit that their best days are long passed.

Lots of events this week in DC, mostly centering around tomorrow’s State of the Union Address by the President.  Our friend Josh Hicks at the Washington Post dropped some fun facts about the SOTU that are worth the read.  We expect some discussion of energy issues, but it will likely take a back seat to other issues such as health care, economic opportunities, education and jobs.  We also will be tweeting/watching/reacting/laughing/harrumphing (click on this one and laugh) as speech rolls on.

As for Congress, House Energy moves the bipartisan GHG emissions delay legislation tomorrow while Senate Energy tackles crude exports for the first hearing on the subject Thursday.

Finally, if you’re looking for some warmer weather, Waste Management will host its Executive Sustainability Forum on Thursday alongside it sponsorship of the PGA’s Phoenix Open.   Play starts Thursday, but of course, actions are already rolling at the TPC Scottsdale, home of the most awesome fan hole in golf.  In its forum, WM will bring together environmental experts and industry pioneers to look at recent innovations that can open new avenues for sustainability in your own environment.  GreenBiz will be streaming the event live.

Call with questions.

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

 

IN THE NEWS

EPA Reconsiders RFS Rule – The EPA said late last week that it will revisit its 2013 volume requirements for cellulosic biofuels in response to industry production that fell below forecasts.  EPA notified the American Petroleum Institute and the American Fuel and Petrochemicals Manufacturers granted their petitions for reconsideration.  Refiner trade assn head Charlie Drevna said “the agency’s optimism for cellulosic biofuel appears to have been tempered by reality.” API’s Bob Greco added that, “It’s refreshing that EPA has finally agreed to reconsider bad public policy, mandating biofuels that do not exist,” and he asked that the mandate be predicated on “actual production rather than projections that — year after year — have fallen far short of reality.”

Green Biz Releases Annual Report – Green Biz released its 7th annual State of Green Business report.  Like the six reports that came before, the report looks at key trends and metrics that assess how, and how well, companies are doing in addressing sustainability challenges. Green Biz partnered with Trucost, the UK firm that has been at the cutting edge of developing performance metrics on natural capital.  This year’s report shows that despite the increase of corporate sustainability achievements and commitments, progress is elusive. Put together, the 2,000 or so companies aren’t moving the needle on greenhouse gas emissions, water efficiency, waste reduction, air pollution and other metrics.  The report is also the basis for the annual GreenBiz Forum, coming up in February. In preparation for the forum, Waste Management will host its Executive Sustainability Forum.  WM will bring together environmental experts and industry pioneers to look at recent innovations that can open new avenues for sustainability in your own environment.  GreenBiz will be streaming the event live, Thursday from 10 am to 5:30 pm Eastern Time.

Energy Guardian Source: EPA Won’t Impose Toughest Regs on Coal Ash – Our good friend Ed Felker of Energy Guardian reported late last week that the Obama Administration will continue to treat the power plant waste as a non-hazardous substance.  Felker reports that the decision, which could come as early as next week, would be a victory for recyclers and utilities and a setback for environmentalists who have pressed to regulate coal ash more stringently as a hazardous waste following the TVA coal ash incident in 2010.  The head of the nation’s largest recycler of coal fly ash Kirk Benson, chief executive of Utah-based Headwaters, told Felker that EPA plans to comply with a federal judge’s order to set a date to finalize new ash disposal regulations under Section D of the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act, which covers non-hazardous wastes.

Former MD Gov to Release New Book – Former Maryland Gov. and Rep. Bob Ehrlich recently released his second book on the future of the political system in America.   The book takes aim at what the former MD Governor calls a “venomous progressivism” commanding national politics.  Ehrlich highlights flaws in the Affordable Care Act, and covers the Obamacare debate and key controversial issues like the contraception mandate.  Former NYC Mayor Rudy Giuliani, an Ehrlich friend and a political ally did the foreword for the book. Ehrlich will be featured at a book event in DC on Tuesday February 11th at Liberty Place, (325 7th St. NW) at 4:00 p.m.

E&E’s Energy Wire Increases Scope, Hires Key Reporters – Our friends at Environment & Energy Publishing LLC have recently announced a major expansion of EnergyWire’s scope of coverage, adding the various forces reshaping the electric utility industry to its longstanding coverage of unconventional energy — from environmental concerns to energy security to the infrastructure necessary to support this massive new resource.  Among the major consequences stemming from unconventional energy development is the huge increase in domestic natural gas production, an event that is dramatically reshaping the electric utility industry as gas becomes the go-to fuel for base-load power, displacing other sources. Other factors, from expanded solar energy utilization to “smart grids,” are also changing the traditional electric utility model, and the expansion of EnergyWire will bring all these elements together in one premier daily service, staffed with some of the best reporters in the business.  EnergyWire has recently added a bunch of our media friends including former Bloomberg Houston reporter Ed Klump, new technologies and alternative energy development expert and former NYT, Forbes and Guardian reporter David Ferris, former Atlanta J-C and Palm Beach Post Business/utilities reporter Kristi Swartz, former St. Louis Post-Dispatch/Bloomberg News Midwest energy/industry expert Jeffrey Tomich, longtime editor-in-chief of Platts’ electric power group Rod Kuckro and veteran Bloomberg/Ft. Worth Star-Telegram veteran Mike Lee.

Report: Solar Creating Significant Job Growth – The nonprofit Solar Foundation released a jobs census report from bw Research Partners and the George Washington University’s Solar Institute saying the solar industry added 23,682 jobs in 2013, increasing its employment to 142,698 people, a 19.9% year-over-year increase.  Solar employers expect to add 22,000 in 2014, according to the survey.

 

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

Energy Summit Set – The 2014 American Energy Summit will be held today and tomorrow 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.

House GHG Emission Bill Markup Set – The full House Energy and Commerce Committee will hold a markup of the Whitfield-Manchin bill targeting EPA greenhouse gas regulations and a building efficiency bill tomorrow staring at 10:00 a.m.  Recently, the Energy and Power Subcommittee approved the legislation.  Opening statements begin today around 5:00 p.m.

STATE OF THE UNION, January 28th – President Obama will deliver his State of the Union Address to Congress tomorrow.  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 tomorrow through Thursday 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 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 tomorrow 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 tomorrow 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 – a national energy conference will be held on tomorrow and Wednesday 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 tomorrow 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 IEA’s Medium-Term Coal Market Report from 2013 in Wednesday at 1:00 p.m.  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 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 at 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 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.

Wind Guideline Discussion Set – The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is hosting a training broadcast series Wednesday at 2:00 p.m. to cover the voluntary Land-based Wind Energy Guidelines (WEG) and how it applies to distributed wind.  Host Christy Johnson-Hughes will be joined by Kathy Boydston (Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies), Charles Newcomb (Endurance Wind Power), and Jennifer Norris (Ohio Department of Natural Resources). The broadcast will focus on how the WEG apply to distributed wind energy projects; coordination with State agencies; and the identification of “species of habitat fragmentation concern” as defined in the WEG.

Panel to Look at Geothermal – The American Geosciences Institute will host an event on Wednesday at 2:30 p.m. in 1334 Longworth looking at geothermal resources and value chains.  According to the U.S. Geological Survey, heat from the Earth’s interior could fuel more than 10 percent of the nation’s current electrical generating capacity.  The United States is already the world leader, accounting for 28 percent of the global installed geothermal capacity.  Nevada, California, Utah, and Oregon have the greatest amount of current geothermal development, but other states have significant potential, particularly as new technologies are developed.  Innovative processes, such as enhanced geothermal systems, extracting strategic materials from geothermal brines, and large-scale direct-use applications are just some of the new developments happening in the industry.  West Virginia’s Brian Anderson, Patrick Dobson of the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and Chad Augustine of the National Renewable Energy Laboratory will join the panel moderated by DOE’s Director of Geothermal Technologies.

Forum to Discuss Energy Security Book – Georgetown University will host a book launch Wednesday 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 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 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 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.  Harold Hamm, CEO of Continental Resources, will testify, as well as CAP’s Daniel Weiss, University of California-Davis energy and sustainability executive director Amy Myers Jaffe and Delta Air Lines’ Graeme Burnett.

Senate Environment to Hear from NRC – The Senate Environment Committee will hold a hearing on Thursday featuring all five NRC commissioners.  The hearing will focus on implementation of Fukushima near-term task force recommendations and other safety issues.

Forum to Address Oil, Gas, Asian Markets – The Center for a New American Security (CNAS) will hold an on-the-record panel discussion on Thursday at 9:15 a.m. at the Army-Navy Club in DC looking at the role of North American unconventional oil and natural gas production in a dynamic Asia-Pacific energy sector, and key security issues for Asian energy markets. Panelists will include Fluor’s William Bodie, former Daewoo Shipbuilding VP JungHan Lee, Harvard University’s Holly Morrow and Kanji Yamanouchi from the Embassy of Japan.

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 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.

Waste Management to Host Forum – Waste Management will host its Executive Sustainability Forum on Thursday alongside it sponsorship of the PGA’s Phoenix Open.   WM will bring together environmental experts and industry pioneers to look at recent innovations that can open new avenues for sustainability in your own environment.  GreenBiz will be streaming the event live.

Levi to address JHU Forum – Johns Hopkins University’s African Studies program will host a speech on Thursday at 4:30 p.m. from Michael Levi, the David M. Rubenstein senior fellow for Energy and Environment at the Council on Foreign Relations.  Levi will discuss the international consequences of the U.S. oil and gas boom.

Green BRT to Look at Forestry – The January Green Business Roundtable will be held on Friday 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.

 

FUTURE EVENTS

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.

BGov Transportation Forum to Feature LaHood, Rendell – Bloomberg Government and Building America’s Future will hold a conversation on Tuesday, February 4th at 8:00 a.m. about the transportation challenges in Washington and across the country.  Speakers will include Congressman Bill Shuster (R-PA), Chairman, House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure and Victor Mendez, Acting Deputy Secretary, U.S. Department of Transportation.  Panelists will include former Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, former PA Gov. Ed Rendell and former VA DOT Secretary Sean Connaughton.

Rogers, Binz Headline Brookings Utility Forum – The Brookings Energy Security Initiative will host Brookings Trustee and former Duke CEO Jim Rogers and ESI Nonresident Senior Fellows Mike Chesser and Ron Binz to discuss the future of the electric utility industry, including regulatory challenges, implications for customers and impact on utility strategy.   The existing utility business model is under threat globally. Major transformative trends in the U.S., Europe, Australia and elsewhere are affecting the relationship between utilities and customers, creating opportunities for a wide array of new, non-utility players. Some call this “disintermediation” or “edge power,” where services such as data analytics, distributed generation, storage, demand response, energy efficiency, and financing are provided by non-utility entities along the value chain from generation to customer end-use. How are utilities reacting and what future utility business models could emerge?

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.

Press Club Congressional Dinner Set – The Washington Press Club Foundation holds its 70th Annual Congressional Dinner on Wednesday February 5th in the evening at The Mandarin Oriental Hotel’s Grand Ballroom Concourse.

RFF to Discuss Unconventional Ideas For Resources – Resources For the Future (RFF) will hold its February First Wednesday Seminar on Wednesday February 5th at 12:45 p.m.  Demographers emphasize that the population growth rate has steadily declined over the last four decades and is expected to continue declining at a rapid rate. What does this demographic phenomenon signify for demands on natural resources and ecological systems? What other factors may concurrently come into play? This moderated panel discussion will draw on the emerging insight that humankind may be in the era of the “Anthropocene,” prompting us to reconsider interrelationships among people, resources, ecology, and the way public policies shape these linkages. The State Department’s Jack Bobo will discuss some of the key demographic trends. UMBC Professor Erle Ellis, who has developed the still more recent concept of the “anthrome,” will discuss implications for ecological systems, including whether the potential to conserve biodiversity may, paradoxically, be increased by rapid urbanization and more intensive use of agricultural land. Roger Sedjo and Joel Darmstadter will emphasize the joint influence of markets and policy intervention, particularly in the cases of forests, agriculture, and energy.

POLITICO Forum to Discuss 2014 Energy Issues – POLITICO will host an in-depth look at the landscape for energy policy in 2014 and the implications for Congress and the administration on Thursday, February 6th at 8:00 am at the Hyatt Regency Capitol Hill.  Special Guests will include Sens. John Barrasso and Sheldon Whitehouse as well as Reps. Joe Barton, Diana DeGette, Gene Green and John Shimkus.

Sustainable Energy Factbook Released – Bloomberg New Energy Finance & the Business Council for Sustainable Energy will release the 2014 Sustainable Energy in America Factbook on Thursday, February 6th at Noon.   Over the past five years, the US economy has continued its shift to the increased production and consumption of lower-carbon energy. Join Bloomberg New Energy Finance and the Business Council for Sustainable Energy for the release of the Sustainable Energy in America Factbook to find out more about what happened in this complex US energy transformation in 2013 and the reasons why.  In 2013, some clean energy technologies solidified their market shares and gained traction while others were stymied by stalled policy activity that could have propelled further growth. The second edition of the Factbook will detail this and other trends while offering fresh analysis of the “state of sustainable energy” in the United States.  The Factbook includes new data on 1) Clean energy investment and deployment levels in the states; 2) Energy efficiency, biomass, biogas, and waste-to-energy industries ; 3) Smart technologies that aim to improve productivity and lower costs for consumers and businesses; and 4) Emerging trends such as “resilient” energy infrastructure and distributed generation.  The Factbook is an objective and quantitative report that provides up-to-date (through year-end 2013), accurate market intelligence about the broad range of industries – energy efficiency, renewable energy and natural gas – that are contributing to the country’s rapid shifts in energy production, distribution and use.  These sectors are no longer sources of “alternative” energy, but are quickly embedding themselves into the mainstream fabric of the US energy economy.

Segal, Holmstead Featured in ELI Debate on GHG Issues – The Environmental Law Institute will host a debate on Thursday, February 6th at 12:00 p.m. regulating emissions outside the facility fenceline under Clean Air Act Section 111. Whether U.S. EPA and states can regulate emissions outside the facility fenceline is a critical factor in shaping the regulatory response to climate change using Clean Air Act Section 111. There has been much rhetoric about the ability of states and EPA to create regulatory tools such as a emissions trading of greenhouse gasses, but policy experts and professionals need a more definitive answer.  To address this topic, ELI announces its second seminar in a debate format. Loosely following an academic debate structure, two expert teams will argue the resolution, ask questions of the other side, and identify points of agreement and disagreement. Following the debate, the discussion will open to audience questions. We hope this format will help to crystallize issues and separate fact from rhetoric.  Debaters in the AFFIRMATIVE include Megan Ceronsky of EDF and NRDC’s David Doniger while debaters in the NEGATIVE will include Bracewell’s Jeffrey Holmstead and Scott Segal.

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.  Five U.S. senators and two cabinet secretaries will address a gathering of State utility regulators.  Sens. Lamar Alexander of Tennessee, Mary Landrieu of Louisiana, Joe Manchin of West Virginia, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, and Mark Pryor of Arkansas will speak during the morning general session on Tuesday, February 11th. U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx will deliver a keynote address at the Opening General Session Monday, February 10th.  Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz will speak at the closing session on Wednesday, February 12th. Dan Utech, director for Energy and Climate Change at the White House, will join Secretary Moniz. Also, EPA Air office head Janet McCabe will participate in a panel discussion on Tuesday.  Other speakers include EPRI CEO Mike Howard, Edison Electric Institute Executive Vice President of Business Operations David Owens, NRDC Energy Program Co-Director Ralph Cavanagh, and many more.  The cross-cutting agenda will feature discussions on net-neutrality, climate policy, energy efficiency, renewable energy development, gas pipeline safety, telecommunications legislative policy, and distributed generation and the smart grid, among other topics.

NARUC, FERC to Discuss Resources – In addition to the NARUC Winter meeting, the NARUC and Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Sunday Morning Collaborative will discuss resource adequacy issues on Sunday, February 9th. FERC commissioners will also join the NARUC Committees on Electricity and Energy Resources and the Environment for a joint meeting Tuesday, February 11th.

Market Experts to Tackle Crude Exports Question – CSIS’s North American Oil and Gas Infrastructure Working Group will hold a forum on Monday, February 10th at 9:30 a.m. looking at crude oil export market drivers and near-term implications.  This session will examine the impact of surging domestic crude oil production on the potential for changing current policy restricting crude oil exports. As the price differential between domestic and international crudes remains wide, producers have become more vocal about their desire for a less restrictive export system. Recently, leading producer appeals have been joined by calls for reform from Washington, including from Ranking Member of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee Lisa Murkowski, and Senate Democratic ENR Committee member Mary Landrieu.  As the debate about crude oil exports heats up, many questions remain. Why have crude exports become an issue, and what are the consequences of inaction? The panelists will present their assessments of the market impact restricting or allowing crude exports. A discussion will follow with speakers Roger Diwan of IHS Energy Insight, Citi Research’s Ed Morse, Kevin Book of ClearView Energy Partners and Michael Cohen of Barclays.

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.

Moniz, The Fray to Open Ivanpah Solar Project – NRG Energy, BrightSource, Google and Bechtel will hold a grand opening of the Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System on February 12th and February 13th in Las Vegas.  Ivanpah, the world’s largest solar thermal project, which is located in the Mojave Desert near the California-Nevada border, uses 347,000 sunfacing mirrors to produce 392 Megawatts of electricity – enough clean energy to power more than 140,000 California homes.  The event will feature a first look at Ivanpah during the two-day event.  There will be a dinner on Wednesday followed by tour, ribbon cutting and lunch on Thursday.  U.S. Secretary of Energy Dr. Ernest Moniz will be the keynote speaker and there will be an appearance by Grammy-nominated band The Fray. Images used in the lyric video for “Love Don’t Die,” the first song released from the Fray’s album, Helios, were shot at Ivanpah.

GreenBiz Forum Set for AZ – The GreenBiz Forum 2014 will be held on February 18-20th at the Montelucia Resort & Spa in Arizona.  Presented in partnership with The Sustainability Consortium and ASU’s Global Institute of Sustainability, the sixth annual GreenBiz Forum defines the trends, challenges and opportunities in sustainable business now. The Forum is framed by the annual State of Green Business report, the seventh annual edition of GreenBiz’s acclaimed accounting of key sustainability metrics and trends.

RFA Conference to Tackle Challenges to Ethanol – The Renewable Fuels Association will hold the 19th annual National Ethanol Conference at the JW Marriott in Orlando, Florida on February 17th through 19th.  Among the number of issues panels and forum, on Tuesday, February 18th, Led Zeppelin 2, a premier Led Zeppelin cover band, will play at the event.

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.