With the Olympics kicking off, I am stuck watching as much of it as I can. I hope you are enjoying the Winter Olympic coverage as well. The first few days featured some great women’s hockey and lots of moguls. I always loved skiing and was pretty good, but I just don’t get the mogul thing. Seems way too hard and WAY too dangerous for the knees. Anyway, more great action this week as the men’s hockey competition cranks up on Wednesday, featuring many of the NHL’s brightest stars playing for country and Gold rather than their city and Lord Stanley. We’ll get to that later.
In case you missed it (and you may have because they released it at 4:48 on Friday), EPA has determined in a study that coal ash use in recycled materials is not a hazard. Seems like the first step to getting to a decision that our friend Ed Felker mentioned last week in a Newsmaker interview with an industry source. See the details below.
Several hearings on Capitol Hill this week with House Energy looking at Clean Coal programs at DOE, Senate Homeland Security hosting DHS officials on responding to severe weather and Senate Energy tackling state efficiency and renewables programs. This morning, House Transportation will be in Charleston, WV for a field hearing on the recent chemical spill and finally, with the approval of Max Baucus to be Ambassador to China, the committee leadership swap mentioned last week (Wyden to Finance, Landrieu to Energy) has been implemented. Montana Lt Gov. and 2014 Sen. Candidate John Walsh will be appointed to replace Baucus. His expected Republican opponent Rep. Steve Daines (who also represents the entire state) has a war chest of $2 million and is already up with TV ads. Many experts say it will be tightly contested and a key pick up if Republicans want to get control of the Senate. Game On!
Some interesting action also around town as well with NARUC hosting its winter meetings and the Green Jobs, Good Jobs conference today and tomorrow. Lots of great speakers at each event, including Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx and Sen. Lisa Murkowski at NARUC and Gina McCarthy, Richard Trumpka and others at GJGJ.
Finally, for those of you mired in the doldrums because of the weather, pitchers and catchers (except for A-Rod, who has the year off) are reporting to Florida or Arizona to open spring training this week. As well, college lacrosse games began this past weekend signaling the start of lacrosse season (America’s fastest growing sport). So despite the rough winter and not many signs of relief yet, at least there are some positive signs of Spring, showing us the light at the end of a pretty long and cold winter tunnel. Stay warm, think Spring and start paying attention to college hoops because NCAA March Madness is just around the corner. Call with questions.
c. (202) 997-5932
IN THE NEWS
ERCC: Cold Snap Shows Importance of Coal Utilities – The recent blast of cold weather has had significant impacts on utilities and the power market place. This winter has offered some hard lessons about the importance of reliable and affordable electricity, and the need for policymakers in Washington to be very careful about limiting the flexibility and diversity of our electricity generation options. EPA carbon regulations, coupled with other regulations, push the power sector away from an optimal fuel diversity necessary to best protect American consumers, households, small businesses, and communities in the event of severe cold weather. The most recent experience with the Polar Vortex provided a vivid demonstration of this fact. As the EPA seeks to finalize carbon standards, they must take electric reliability fully into account and must listen to interagency, industry and state/local input in earnest. The cold snap has sent natural gas prices soaring, resulted in shortages of propane used to heat many homes, and has exposed the fact that without fuel flexibility our country could face serious electricity reliability problems in the future. The Electric Reliability Coordinating Council’s Scott Segal recently issues a white paper offer some important lessons on the subject.
Increased NatGas Price Forces Utilities Hand – The paper states that “this year’s cold snap greatly increased natural gas prices, forcing electric generators to turn to emergency expensive supplementary fuel sources, such as jet fuel. During the course of recent cold weather, data from the PJM region encompassing New York and New England have shown substantial increase in wholesale market prices as a direct result of spikes in the underlying market price for natural gas. With half of New England reliant upon natural gas, some local utilities have had to run infrequently used turbines on jet fuel to meet demand.
Propane Takes Hit Too – Segal says the cold snap has stressed the natural gas supply as well, resulting in propane shortages that threaten the safety and well-being of millions of Americans. In turn, as natural gas flows to electric generation at high costs, the incentive to remove natural gas liquids that are necessary for America’s propane consumers decreases. As a result, there has been significant propane shortages for consumers in the Midwest, Northeast and Southeast. About 14 million Americans rely on propane for home heating.
Reliability Threatened – The cold snap has threatened electric reliability and exposed weaknesses in relying on some sources of alternative energy, according to Segal. FERC recently noted that: “Last week, cold temperatures stressed the bulk power system with high loads, increased generator forced outages, and other challenging operating conditions….PJM filed an application with the Commission for a week-long waiver…[which] allowed PJM to engage in unit-specific review of day-ahead plans with the interstate natural gas pipelines to help ensure that adequate supplies of natural gas were available and to confirm unit availability…Wind turbines were also affected by the cold, with some wind turbine models reaching their minimum operating temperatures.” As well, Segal adds that coal-powered generating facilities will frequently have two to three month’s supply on hand, making them particularly useful for the increased demand associated with unusually cold weather. By contrast, natural gas facilities rely on a continuous delivery of fuel by pipeline, which can be subject to interruption under the circumstances of high demand.
Nearly 90% of Coal Capacity Slated to Close Was Operating Full Out – Just last week in their earnings call, AEP leaders said 89% of the plants slated for retirement by mid-2015 in order to comply with MATS under the EPA’s current timeline were needed at full capacity during the Polar Vortex. They said: “When 89% of our coal capacity slated for retirement in mid-2015 is called upon and running, natural gas delivery is challenged and voltage and load reductions are occurring, it is a clear reminder that we should carefully plan and design the social safety net, we call the electric grid to meet extreme requirements, not just steady state conditions. We believe the nexus of EPA initiatives, energy market development and security threats, whether physical or cyber is a national security issue.
Fitch: Higher Natural Gas Reliance Shows US Power Vulnerability – Fitch Ratings says the recent cold spell in the northeastern U.S. underscores the vulnerability of the power sector’s natural gas supply during extreme cold weather conditions, according to. The frequency of disruptions and price spikes will likely increase in the future, particularly during periods of extreme winter weather as competing natural gas space heating demand may take precedence over natural gas as a source of fuel for electricity generation. On-peak wholesale power prices rose to as high as $765/MWh in PJM Interconnection LLC (PJM) operated wholesale electricity markets and $510/MWh in New York as natural gas prices and electricity demand soared. PJM reported that about 4000MW of 9,000MW of forced plant outages during the polar vortex weather event were due to unavailability of natural gas. New England faced natural gas shortages for the second winter in a row. Falling natural gas prices supported by plentiful supply and a clean-fuel profile under the existing U.S. environmental regulations to control air polluting emissions has turned natural gas as a preferred fuel for electricity generation. Natural gas-fired power plants are also critical in supporting intermittent renewable energy resources, such as wind and solar. In the PJM operated electricity wholesale market, natural gas fired electricity generation capacity is expected to grow from about 25% of the installed megawatt capacity to about 29% of installed capacity by 2016. In 2012, natural gas was fuel on the margin in California, Texas, New England, and New York where at least 40% of electricity was generated from natural gas-fired power generation facilities. For the U.S. as a whole, natural-gas fired generation capacity will grow 10% by 2016 from 2012 levels, based on Fitch’s estimation of the planned developments.
EPA Finds Coal Ash Use Appropriate – Late Friday, EPA released its evaluation of the two largest beneficial uses of coal ash: 1) use in concrete as a substitute for portland cement, and 2) the use fluegas gypsum as a substitute for mined gypsum in wallboard. EPA’s evaluation concluded that the beneficial use of encapsulated CCRs in concrete and wallboard is appropriate because they are comparable to virgin materials or below the agency’s health and environmental benchmarks. The study that assures the two largest uses for recycled coal ash are safe. EPA’s report comes as the agency is facing a court-agreed deadline of Dec. 19 to finish its rulemaking process for coal ash, and considering options to regulate coal ash as either a hazardous or non-hazardous waste product.
Sankey to Join Wolfe Research – Our friend Paul Sankey is joining Wolfe Research as a Managing Director to lead Wolfe’s new Energy sector research effort. Sankey will be joined and supported by a large and talented team. His initial product will focus on Global Oil and Gas markets, with coverage of Major Oils and US Refining. Over time Sankey’s team’s coverage will extend into Oil & Gas Exploration & Production, and in due course into Oil Services & Equipment, with potential for longer term expansion into further Oil & Gas related sectors. Sankey joins Wolfe Research after thirteen years at Deutsche Bank, where his team was consistently top ranked. Among numerous accolades, Sankey has been voted for eight consecutive years onto Institutional Investor’s All-America Research Team, with the #1 ranking in each of the past three years. He has been ranked #1 in Greenwich Associates & Bloomberg top analyst survey four times, including consecutively in the past three years.
DOE, NASCAR Push More EV Charging Stations – At the NASCAR Plaza in Charlotte, N.C. last week, officials from the Energy Department, NASCAR and Sprint Corp. announced the companies’ participation in the Department’s Workplace Charging Challenge – a collaborative effort to increase the number of U.S. employers offering workplace charging by tenfold. The Challenge also supports the broader efforts of the Department’s EV Everywhere Grand Challenge to make plug-in electric vehicles (PEVs) as affordable and convenient for the American family as gasoline-powered vehicles within the next 10 years. As part of today’s announcement, NASCAR unveiled five Eaton Level 2 electric vehicle (EV) charging stations at its Charlotte location, bringing the total number of EV charging stations to 20 across NASCAR facilities located in Daytona Beach, Concord, Charlotte and at Michigan International Speedway. The charging stations power electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles of NASCAR employees and guests. Last year, NASCAR entered a Memorandum of Understanding with the DOE to jointly promote clean, efficient energy technologies that strengthen U.S. competitiveness. NASCAR’s participation in the Workplace Charging Challenge is the latest example of these ongoing collaborative efforts to build a cleaner, more sustainable energy economy. More than 55 employers have already committed to the Workplace Charging Challenge, including a number of NASCAR Official Partners such as 3M, Coca-Cola Company, Ford Motor Company, and General Motors. Find additional information on the Workplace Charging Challenge at www.electricvehicles.energy.gov.
Oil, Gas Jobs Up Again – Friday’s employment report from the Department of Labor showed again that jobs in the oil and gas sector rose to 206,000 employees last month, about a one percent improvement. In addition, coal mining jobs saw a slight Increase as well. Employment in petroleum and coal products manufacturing was up 1.4% to 112,700 jobs. Since last year, jobs in the oil/gas sector have increased by 6.6% from January 2013.
ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK
NARUC Winter Meetings Set – The National Assn of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC) will host its Winter Meetings today to Wednesday 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 delivered a keynote address at the Opening General Session this morning. Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz will speak at the closing session on Wednesday. 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 discussed resource adequacy issues yesterday. Tomorrow, FERC commissioners will also join the NARUC Committees on Electricity and Energy Resources and the Environment for a joint meeting.
CSIS to Look at Oil Exports – The CSIS Energy and National Security Program will hold a conference this morning at 9:30 a.m. to 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. They include our friend Kevin Book of ClearView Energy and several others
Cato to Hold Event on Oil Exports – The Cato Institute will hold a forum this morning at 10:00 a.m. on oil exports featuring former Rep. James Bacchus, International Trade Attorney Scott Lincicome and Mark Perry, Professor of Economics, University of Michigan–Flint. Cato’s Daniel Ikenson will moderate. , Director, Herbert A. Stiefel Center for Trade Policy Studies, Cato Institute. A once-in-a-generation supply shock is transforming global energy markets, lowering crude oil and natural gas prices, and quickly making the United States the world’s largest producer of oil and gas. But energy politics threatens to short-circuit this American economic boom. Of immediate concern are federal regulations — in particular, discretionary export-licensing systems for natural gas and crude oil — that were implemented during the 1970s, an era of energy scarcity. By restricting exports and subjecting approvals to the whims of politicians, the current licensing systems distort energy prices and deter investment and employment in these promising sectors of the U.S. economy. They also irritate global trading partners, likely violate U.S. trade treaty obligations, and undermine other U.S. policy objectives.
Good Job, Green Jobs Conference Set – The Alliance to Save Energy will hold Its Good Jobs, Green Jobs Conference in Washington at the Washington Hilton Hotel today and tomorrow. It is the event where jobs and the environment meet, and it will feature keynote speakers, informative workshops, and opportunities to network with people from around the country making a difference in their communities tackling climate change and creating jobs. This year’s Conference is focused on repairing the systems Americans rely on every day. Whether getting us back and forth to work, supplying our power, keeping us safe from storms and floods, communicating with police and fire during emergencies, or ensuring the institutions where our children learn are safe and healthy, we need to repair these systems today to create quality, family-sustaining jobs, to address the threat of climate change, and to ensure the health and safety of our workplaces and our communities. Speakers will include Gina McCarthy, Sens. Amy Klobuchar and Jeff Merkley, AFL-CIO head Richard Trumpka, NRDC’s Frances Beinecke, Sierra Club’s Michael Brune and Leo Gerard of the United Steelworkers, among others.
Forum to Look at Conservative, Environmental Issues – The R Street Institute will hold a half-day forum today at The Loft on Conservative Environmentalism. Twenty-five years after President Reagan left office, conservatives find themselves in an often bitter fight with the left over environmental policy. From green energy to the Keystone pipeline to public land management, the right and the left are frequently at odds over the best approach to secure both wise environmental stewardship and strong economic growth. At this half-day conference, two panels will examine these questions. The first will discuss President Reagan’s environmental legacy, including the Coastal Barrier Resources Act, the 1986 Water Resources Development Act, and Reagan’s public lands designations. It will draw out the president’s guiding principles and examine the positive and negative aspects of each policy. The second panel will discuss free-market solutions to today’s issues, including energy research, stormwater runoff, the state of the Coastal Barrier Resources System, and the Gulf Coast in the wake of the BP oil spill. How should federal and state officials think about these problems? The conference will end with a lunch keynote by environmental policy expert and Reagan historian Steven Hayward.
Bracewell to Host Environmental Symposium in Houston – Tomorrow, Bracewell & Giuliani will host a forum on environment issues in Houston. 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.
Markey to Speak at Film Festival on Uranium – The Heinrich Böll Foundation and the Goethe-Institute are hosting the International Uranium Film Festival in Washington DC today and tomorrow. Climate change, energy security and demographics continue to determine the global development agenda well into the twenty-first century. At the same time, the nuclear industry portrays nuclear as a viable and secure solution to those challenges, and mining companies are constantly looking for new uranium deposits. Yet, nuclear accidents do happen, and when they do, have most devastating effects on local and regional populations. The featured movies will highlight some of those personal stories and will include the film Nuclear Savage, footage never seen before in the US. The International Uranium Film Festival is the first festival of its kind that addresses the problems and challenges related to nuclear and radioactive issues. After premiering in Rio de Janeiro in 2011, the festival has traveled to major cities around the world, including São Paulo, Recife, Salvador & Fortaleza in Brazil; Lisbon and Porto in Portugal; Berlin and Munich in Germany; and ten major cities in India including New Delhi, Hyderabad and Mumbai. The festival is now – for the first time – coming to Washington DC. Screenings will take place on three consecutive nights, followed by a panel discussion featuring film directors and policy experts, including Sen. Ed Markey.
House Energy to Look at Clean Coal Program – The House Energy & Commerce Committee’s Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations will hold a hearing tomorrow on DOE’s Oversight of Energy Oversight of Clean Coal Programs. Witnesses will include DOE assistant secretary Julio Friedmann and NTEL acting director Scott Klara.
House Science Focused on Ensuring Open Science at EPA – The House Science, Space & Technology Committee’s Subcommittee on Environment will hold a hearing tomorrow at 10:00 a.m. looking at ensuring open Science at EPA. Witnesses will include former bush OIRA chief and current IU Dean John Graham, Dr. Louis Anthony Cox, Jr. of NextHealth at Colorado Health Sciences Center, JHU’s Bloomberg School of Public Health professor Ellen and Raymond Keating of the Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council.
DOE Webinar Focused on Manufacturing for Fuel Cells –The Energy Department’s Fuel Cell Technology Office will present a live webinar tomorrow at noon looking at additive manufacturing for Fuel Cells.” During this webinar, Eaton will share their experience using additive manufacturing for prototype development and Nuvera will cover recent developments in additive manufacturing for full-scale production. EERE’s Advanced Manufacturing Office will also present an overview of additive manufacturing technologies and current R&D activity being supported by the Energy Department. This webinar will be of interest to hydrogen and fuel cell manufacturers and those interested in advanced techniques for hydrogen and fuel cell component manufacturing.
Aspen Forum to look at India, US energy Cooperation – The Aspen Institute will hold a forum tomorrow at 2:00 p.m. looking at U.S. India cooperation on climate change and energy issues. A strong strategic India-United States partnership on the policy and technical innovation pathways necessary to advance clean energy technology, resilience strategies, energy access, and multilateral development on climate change presents a unique opportunity for diplomatic and economic gains on both sides. The moderated panel discussion will explore the future of the bilateral dialogue and collaboration between the two governments and non-state actors in both countries. WRI’s Manish Bapna moderates a panel that includes Carol Browner, CARB Chair Mary Nichols, Indian Environment Minister Suresh Prabhu and manufacturer Jamshyd Godrej.
Forum to Look at Solar Jobs – The Environmental and Energy Study Institute (EESI) will hold a forum on tomorrow at 2:30 p.m. looking at the Solar Foundation’s National Solar Jobs Census 2013, which found record growth in the U.S. solar industry. The Census, which is based on over 75,000 phone calls and emails to solar industry employers, determined that the solar industry grew at ten times the national average last year, creating 24,000 new jobs. Survey respondents cited declining equipment costs as the primary driver behind the industry’s remarkable growth and were optimistic about creating new jobs in 2014. Since the start of the annual Census in 2010, U.S. solar industry employment has increased 53 percent and now employs more than 142,000 Americans. Speakers will include Rep. Anna Eshoo, Andrea Luecke of the Solar Foundation, Amit Ronen of the GW Solar Institute and DOE’s Jason Walsh.
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 tomorrow and Wednesday 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.
Elliott School Program to Discuss Energy, Turkmenistan – George Washington University’s Central Asia program will host a forum tomorrow at 4:30 p.m. looking at the environment, human rights and oil development in Turkmenistan. Kate Watters, co-founder and Executive Director of 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 Turkmenistans official policies, and discuss the role of civil society in highlighting and uncovering environmental and human rights abuses.
Senate Environment to Tackle Transpo Legislation – The Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works will hold a hearing on Wednesday on MAP-21 transportation reauthorization legislation. The hearing will focus on the economic importance of maintaining Federal investments in our transportation infrastructure. Witnesses will include US Chamber President Tom Donohue, NAM’s Jay Timmons, Richard L. Trumka of the AFL-CIO, American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials president and Kentucky Transportation Cabinet Secretary Mike Hancock and American Road and Transportation Builders Association CEO Peter Ruane.
Senate Homeland Security Looks at Extreme Weather Events – The Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs will hold a hearing Wednesday on extreme weather events and the costs of not being prepared. Witnesses will include DHS assistant Secretary for Policy David Heyman, DHS Assistant Secretary for Infrastructure Protection Caitlin Durkovich, GAO’s Mark Gaffigan, Delaware DNREC Secretary Collin O’Mara, UNH’s Paul Kirshen and Zurich Insurance’s Chief Climate Product Officer Lindene Patton.
Senate Energy to Look at State Efforts to Implement Efficiency, Renewable Policy – Sen. Al Franken will chair a Senate Energy Subcommittee hearing on Wednesday at 2:30 p.m. focused on what states are doing to create jobs through innovative renewable energy and energy efficiency policies. Sen. Franken said he hopes to use the hearing as an opportunity to hear from businesses about the potential for economic growth, learn about states’ innovative energy policies, and to identify opportunities the federal government can take to support job creation and innovation at the local level. Witnesses will include Minnesota Department of Commerce Commissioner Mike Rothman, Randy Clark of NORESCO, American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy executive director Steve Nadel, Hawaii State Energy Office and Administrator of the Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism Mark Glick, Texas State Energy Conservation Office director Bill Taylor and Bill Rodgers, CEO of GoodCents.
CSIS to Hold Africa, Water Symposium – The Center for Strategic and International Studies will host a symposium on Thursday morning focused on opportunities for women’s access to water and clean energy in Africa. Practitioners, thought leaders, experts and policy makers will discuss and explore the opportunities in water-energy access in Africa, and give examples of successful policies and entrepreneurial ventures that are helping to increase women’s participation in, and contribution to, the water and energy sectors in Africa. The panel sessions will focus on removing barriers to women’s access to energy and water, and on harnessing opportunities at the water-energy access nexus through innovative social, impact, and for-profit investment models, and diaspora networks and platforms to establish business ventures and relationships that catalyze more investments.
Forum to Look at Drought Issues – The Environmental and Energy Study Institute will host a briefing Thursday at 2:00 p.m. In 210 Cannon examining the current and projected impacts of climate change in the Southwest and regional efforts to manage these risks. The Southwest is already the driest and hottest region in the United States, and California is in the midst of a historic drought. The draft Third National Climate Assessment (NCA) – the final version is due in March – projects that the region’s climate may become even more severe. These changes are having substantial adverse effects on the regional economy and quality of life, forcing local leaders to develop creative solutions to combat drought and other extreme conditions. How can the Southwest best address current impacts while also building climate resiliency to manage risk and foster long-term prosperity? Speakers will include Eleanor Bastian of Rep. Diana DeGette’s office, National Park Service climate scientist Patrick Gonzalez, Chris Treese of the Colorado River District and Margaret Bowman, Acting Environment Program Director of the Walton Family Foundation.
DOE Webinar to Solicit Input on Solar Forecasting Metrics – The Energy Department’s SunShot Initiative will present a live webinar on Thursday at 3:00 p.m. on solar forecasting metrics. During this webinar, the Department of Energy (DOE), the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) and IBM will describe and solicit input on preliminary statistical and economic solar forecasting metrics and on proposed processes to determine baselines and target values for the metrics. The information gathered from this webinar will enable DOE, NOAA, NCAR, and IBM to develop a stakeholder-vetted set of metrics that is expected to serve as a reference document for the solar forecasting industry and users.
CEQ’s Sutley to Address CAP Forum on Last Day – The Center for American Progress will hold a conversation with Nancy Sutley on her final day as chair of the White House Council on Environmental Quality on Friday at 10:00 a.m. After five years as President Barack Obama’s environmental policy advisor, Nancy will share her insights on the administration’s record on climate change and conservation, the president’s environmental agenda moving forward, and why the role of CEQ is more important than ever. Carol Browner will host.
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.
CSIS to Tackle NatGas Supply, Demand Issues – The CSIS Energy and National Security Program will hold a forum on Tuesday February 18th offering a reassessment of gas supply and demand prospects as well as a discussion of the path forward. More efficient drilling, new technologies, and a deeper geological understanding have not only increased access to domestic gas resources but have also allowed for the development of an updated profile of the resource itself. The rapidly evolving nature of U.S. unconventional gas development has rendered resource estimates made only a few years ago already out of date. At the same time, opportunities for new demand growth have also increased. Yet challenges to realizing the full potential of this resource remain.
USEA to Discuss Smart Grid – The U.S. Energy Association will host a discussion on Tuesday, February 18th at 10:00 a.m. to familiarize participants with Smart Grid concepts and solutions, including Distribution Optimization, Transmission Optimization, Asset Optimization, Demand Optimization, Smart Meters and Communications, and Workforce and Engineering Design Optimization. Smart Grid industry standards efforts will be discussed, including SGIP 2.0, IEEE, CIGRE and IEC. The impact of policy on Smart Grid technology investment will be shown globally. An overview of recent Smart Grid deployments will be given, including the lessons learned. GE Energy’s John McDonald will speak.
Discussion to Look at Political & Ethical Issues with Geo-Engineering – The George Washington University Climate and Water Security Initiatives the Elliot School will host a discussion on Tuesday, February 18th at 5:30 p.m. Elizabeth Chalecki, Visiting Research Fellow from the Stimson Center, will discuss this topic.
Panel to Look at China, Renewables – The Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars China Environment Forum (CEF) together with WWF will hold a panel on Wednesday, February 19th at 9:00 a.m. that delves into china role for coal in its economy and a transition to renewables. The discussion will be anchored by a new WWF and Energy Transition Research Institute (Entri) report China’s Future Generation: Assessing the Maximum Potential for Renewable Power Sources in China to 2050 that assesses the scenarios at which China can technically transition to majority renewable electricity over the next 36 years. The analysis shows that with existing commercially available technology and aggressive policies shifting the country away from energy-intensive industries, around 80 percent of China’s electricity generation can be met by renewable sources by 2050. The report will be released the day of this meeting and available online. The panel of industry, research, and NGO representatives will reflect on the near-term opportunities for businesses and the gaps that NGOs and other stakeholders could fill to accelerate this transition. Our friend Ethan Zindler, Global Head of Policy Analysis of Bloomberg New Energy Finance, will be among the speakers.
Moniz to Address Press Club Luncheon – U.S. Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz will speak at the National Press Club Luncheon on Wednesday, February 19th at 12:30 p.m. Moniz, the former MIT faculty member and this year’s designated SOTU “survivor” is wrestling with the challenges posed by unprecedented domestic supplies of energy and the demands in some quarters to push for more exports. He will address that and many other topics.
BP Energy Outlook 2035 Released at JHU Forum – The Johns Hopkins University will host BP for the release of its annual BP Energy Outlook 2035 Wednesday, February 19th at 4:30 p.m. Mark Finley, general manager of Global Energy Markets and U.S. Economics at BP, and Wil Kohl, founding director and senior adviser of the Energy, Resources and Environment Program at SAIS, will discuss the report.
Segal, Holmstead Featured in ELI Debate on GHG Issues – The Environmental Law Institute will host a debate on Thursday, February 20th 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 an 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.
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.
Steyer to Speak at Climate Leadership Conference – Leaders from business, government, academia and nonprofits will share innovative ways to address climate change through policy and business solutions at the 2014 Climate Leadership Conference February 24th to the 26th in San Diego. Climate philanthropist Tom Steyer, EPA Acting Assistant Administrator for the Office of Air and Radiation Janet McCabe, California Air Resources Board Chairman Mary Nichols, and Penn State University climate scientist Michael Mann will be among more than 75 speakers. For more information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Maisano Media Seminar Reset for February 25 – For those of you focused on media relations and policy communications, I am conducting a webinar Tuesday February 25th at 1:00 p.m. 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.
Consumers to Rollout Auto Issue at WAPA Lunch – The Washington Automotive Press Association will hold a forum at The National Press Club on Tuesday, February 26th at noon, where Consumer Reports will announce their Top Picks for 2014 and offer their insights into today’s most pressing automotive consumer and industry questions. Each spring, consumers and auto industry insiders alike look to Consumer Reports’ Auto issue for its Top Picks in cars and trucks. From best and worst in fuel economy, safety and overall value to special tips to get the most car for the money in this economy, the issue provides the ratings, recommendations, and advice that will influence consumer purchases. Which manufacturers are making the best cars? Consumer Reports auto issue also features its annual car brand report card that take an in-depth look at which brands offer the most for consumers combining scoring for test performance, reliability and safety across their entire product line.
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.
CA Clean Energy Roundtable Set – The Environmental Markets Association and PG&E will hold the first Thought Leader Round Table of 2014 on Friday, February 28th in San Francisco at the offices of PG&E. EMA’s Regional Round Tables are designed to promote open discussions between industry professionals and regulatory officials. With 30-50 attendees at each of the Round Tables, presenters and attendees come away with a new knowledge and understanding of issues and potential solutions.
AWC Speakers to Address Offshore Wind Conference in Boston – The 5th annual Green Power Offshore Wind Conference will be held in Boston, Mass on February 26th and 27th at the Hynes Conference Center. Speakers will include AWC exec Bob Mitchell and AWC funder John Breckenridge of Bregal Energy. Other speakers are Interior’s Tommy Beaudreau and DOE’s Dan Poneman and Peter Davidson, as well as Jim Gordon of Cape Wind, Jeff Grybowski of Deepwater and Abby Hopper of the Maryland Energy Administration.
CERA Week Set – March 3-7th will be CERA week in Houston. CERAWeek 2014, presented by IHS Energy, will focus on the accelerating pace of change in energy markets, technologies, and geopolitics—and the emerging competitive playing field. The competitive landscape is evolving rapidly, affecting countries, companies, sources of supply, fuels for end-use markets, investment, logistics, human capital, and technological innovation. Companies face considerable risk as they seek to invest to support long-term growth. Again, CERAWeek has a crazy list of speakers including Valero CEO Bill Klesse, Duke CEO Lynn Good, EPA’s Gina McCarthy, Energy Sect Ernie Moniz, EIA’s Adam Sieminski, Sen Energy ranking member Lisa Murkowski, BHP Billiton CEO Andrew MacKenzie, Chesapeake CEO Doug Lawler and many, many more.
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. Speakers will include former Louisiana Sen. and Energy Committee Chair J. Bennett Johnston, former National Security Advisor, Robert McFarlane and former President of Shell John Hofmeister.
WCEE to Honor GE, Deloitte Energy Leaders –The Women’s Council on Energy and the Environment will hold its 33rd Annual Woman of the Year Reception and Dinner Gala on Wednesday, March 26th at the Capital Hilton Hotel in Washington DC. WCEE said that its members have voted to honor Deb Frodl, Global Executive Director at GE, ecomagination as WCEE’s 2014 Woman of the Year. Frodl leads GE’s business strategy and commitment to “accelerate innovation and growth in a resource constrained world through efficient and resilient solutions.” Committed to encouraging the success of women in her field, Frodl also serves as Executive Champion of the Minneapolis GE Women’s Network and is a member of the Executive Steering Committee for GE Commercial Women. WCEE is also honoring Greg Aliff, Vice Chairman and Senior Partner of Energy Resources at Deloitte LLP, is WCEE’s 2014 Champion.