Friends,

The glitz and glamour of the Academy Awards went off last night with just about the same results as the Golden Globes earlier this year.  The wealth was spread among the many good movies we saw this year with Dallas Buyers’ Club holding a slight edge.  Given the terrific performances of Matthew McConaughey and Jared Leto, its honors were well deserved.  As they were for Ellen’s performance as host…She was once again subtle, creative and hilarious.  I loved the pizza stunt.  It was a great way for my daughter to end her 16th birthday, staying up late with school cancelled the next day because of the snow, dinner at Ra, and starting it off by refereeing a game on the Verizon Center Ice prior to the Caps game.

Get your hoops on.  Conference tournaments start this week to set up the NCAA March Madness tourney will be determined in just two weeks.  Shocker that Wichita State made it through the regular season undefeated at 31-0. It is the best start since UNLV began 34-0 in 1991 (but lost in national title game to Duke) and another Missouri Valley team, the Larry Bird-led Indiana State sycamores, won its first 33 games  in 1979 (but lost to Magic Johnson and Michigan State in the title game).  It should be no surprise that WSU is that good though as their last loss came in last year’s Final Four to eventual champion, Louisville.  As well. keep your eye peeled for NHL trade this week with the trade deadline Wednesday.  Already, my Buffalo friends are weeping with the trade of Ryan Miller to St. Louis (and maybe Blackhawks fans as well.)

This week is also Mardi Gras/Fat Tuesday. With Senator Landrieu taking the helm of the Senate Energy Committee, I am pleased to report that our colleague Scott Segal has been deployed strategically for the next few days to again assume his position riding “krewe” in one of the largest parades in New Orleans’ Mardi Gras.  With over 40 floats and 20 marching bands, there is no doubt he will be picking valuable intelligence.  It is alleged that New Orleans founders first reach the spot on the river upon which the city was founded on Fat Tuesday in 1699 – naming their camp Point du Mardi Gras, and the rest his history.  We expect a full report from Scott upon his return.  Or at least some beads…despite last week’s enviro groups reports that they are made from hazardous chemicals.

In case you missed it yesterday morning or were still hung over from the Eagles concert at Verizon on Saturday, Platts Energy Week focused a segment of its show on BrightSource Energy’s recently unveiled Ivanpah project.  My friend Joseph Desmond discussed the competitiveness of utility-scale solar energy.  Other segments featured AAR’s Ed Hamberger discussing the recent DOT rail safety agreement and Norway CCS experts.

This week is 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.

In Washington, besides another spat of snow that closed the government, votes in the House on legislation aimed at streamlining environmental regulations on EPA rules for greenhouse gas emissions, environmental reviews under NEPA and permitting for coalmines, as well as legislation aimed at addressing severe propane shortages in the Midwest.  Also, there is a slate of hearings on Transportation issues this week including MAP-21 and shipping regs, as well as a redo of the postponed Senate Commerce hearing on regulatory questions on the transportation of crude oil, Thursday. And speaking of mining, natural gas and energy, BHP’s MacKenzie will also address CSIS on Thursday.

Finally, get your low flow toilets ready because humorist/author/columnist Dave Barry will be at the National Press Club on Thursday at 1:00 hawking his new book “You Can Date Boys When You’re Forty: Dave Barry on Parenting and Other Topics He Knows Very Little About.” I worked closely with Dave on one of his signature issues, the battle over low-flow toilets when I was working for Michigan Rep. Joe Knollenberg in the mid-1990s.

Speaking of books and spring training, our friend and AP reporter Fred Frommer, who in his spare time is an expert baseball historian, will be signing copies of his newest book “You Gotta Have Heart” tomorrow at 6:30 p.m. at the MLK Library on 9th and G Streets, NW.  The book is a history of baseball in Washington from 1859 to 2012.

 

Call with questions.

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

 

IN THE NEWS

EPA Issues Tier 3 Fuel Rule – EPA released its final “Tier 3” rule setting new emission standards for sulfur in gasoline and vehicles. Refiners will have to cut sulfur in gasoline from 30 parts per million to 10 ppm in 2017, which will allow vehicle emission controls to work more efficiently.  EPA projects health-related benefits will be $6.7 billion to $19 billion annually by 2030, and the standards will provide $13 in benefits for every dollar spent meeting them.

On the Call – Along with EPA’s Gina McCarthy, the usual suspects joined her in praise of the rule.  The American Lung Assn President Harold Wimmer praised the rule, but also issued a warning they would not accept any more backsliding, especially on the implementation timeline.  NACAA Co-President Tad Aburn also praised the rule and states’ ability to implement it.  Finally, one interesting guest was GM’s Mike Robinson, who praised the rules saying EPA has harmonized state/federal emission requirements for new vehicles, a key cost efficiency.  He added that provisions for lower sulfur with help the auto industry meet lower emissions standards with the new technologies they are adding to new vehicles and well as allowing them to optimize these technologies through current in-use fuels.  Funny how the auto companies like rules where the bulk of the cost is on the fuel.

Refiners Respond – Refiners responded saying EPA’s decision to move forward on Tier 3 is yet the most recent example of the agency’s propensity for illogical and counterproductive rulemaking. AFPM’s Charlie Drevna said Tier 3 rules “not only lacks scientific justification, but in fact will lead to higher greenhouse gas emissions due to the greater energy-intense refining process required to reduce sulfur in gasoline.”  He said to date, refiners have achieved a 90% reduction in sulfur levels and the nation’s energy-related emissions are at their lowest level since 1994 according to EPA data.  Drevna: “Tier 3 will provide little, if any, benefit, while increasing fuel manufacturing costs on the backs of American consumers.  API’s Bob Greco echoed Drevnas’s comments and added they are also concerned about the timeline of EPA’s new rule. Greco: “The rushed timeframe leaves little opportunity for refiners to design, engineer, permit, construct, start up, and integrate the new machinery required. This accelerated implementation only adds costs and potentially limits our industry’s ability to supply gasoline to consumers.”

Enviros Praise Rule – Enviro groups universally praised the rule including NRDC, Sierra Club and several others.  My friend Frank O’Donnell, President of Clean Air Watch this is a great day for the breathing public.  “This could prove to be the signature clean-air accomplishment of the entire Obama second term,” he said.

Klesse to Retire at Valero, Gorder to Take CEO Spot – Speaking of refiners, Valero said CEO Bill Klesse will step down effective May 1. Klesse will remain a Valero director and Chairman of the Board.  Joe Gorder, 56, who was named Valero’s President and Chief Operating Officer in 2012, was elected to the role of CEO effective May 1 and has also been elected a director by the Board of Directors. Gorder will join Valero’s Board of Directors immediately.  Klesse became CEO in 2005 and was named Chairman of the Board in 2007. He has spent his entire 45-year career with Valero and its predecessor companies.  In addition to his current position, Gorder previously held positions at Valero including Executive Vice President, Chief Commercial Officer and President of Valero Europe; Executive Vice President-Marketing and Supply; and Senior Vice President for Corporate Development and Strategic Planning. Joe has been with Valero and its predecessors for 27 years.

NuStar Asphalt Becomes Axeon – Axeon Specialty Products LLC launched last week as a new petroleum products company serving the entire East Coast.  Formerly known as NuStar Asphalt LLC, the San Antonio-based company has a proven track record of making high-performance, cost-effective modified asphalts and warm mix products.  Axeon SP provides an array of petroleum-related specialty products through its refineries and network of company-owned and leased terminals, along with robust and comprehensive technical support services.  Axeon SP intends to make new, substantial investments in the future of its operations in Paulsboro, NJ, where the company provides more than 100 high-skilled, quality jobs.  The Paulsboro facility consists of two petroleum refining units, a liquid storage terminal for petroleum and chemical products, three marine docks, rail offloading capacity, a polymer modified asphalt (PMA) production facility and a testing laboratory.  The storage facility has a capacity of 4.1 million barrels.   Axeon SP also owns and operates a terminal facility in Savannah, GA, which currently provides an additional 24 jobs and has rail offloading capacity and a 1.2 million barrel storage capacity.  Additionally, the Savannah facility houses a fully functional refinery.  Axeon SP is wholly owned by New York-based private investment firm, Lindsay Goldberg, which previously owned a 50 percent stake in the company with NuStar Energy LP.  Originally part of the CITGO Asphalt Refining Company, Axeon SP has a proud industry lineage.

UD Rolls Out New Offshore Wind Center – The University of Delaware will steer the way toward making offshore wind turbines a reality in the United States through a new initiative it announced last week at a major offshore wind industry conference. The Special Initiative on Offshore Wind, housed at the University’s College of Earth, Ocean, and Environment, will serve as an independent catalyst for offshore wind development and add momentum to a promising industry that is at a critical juncture.  The independent, objective and non-commercial offshore wind program, supported by the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, is designed to advance the U.S. offshore wind industry, drawing together critical information on cutting-edge technologies, financing and collaboration opportunities. The University of Delaware is uniquely positioned to take on such as role given its long history of advancing offshore wind through policy analysis, research, public testimony and industrial partnerships.  For example, in 2010 UD and Gamesa Technology Corporation joined forces to install a utilityscale 2-megawatt coastal wind turbine at the University’s Hugh R. Sharp Campus in Lewes, Del., allowing the company to test the turbine in a coastal environment and students to conduct training and research on an industrial-scale turbine.  The Initiative will connect states with international experts, especially in Europe where more than 2,000 wind turbines are now installed and grid connected in eleven countries. The resource will provide technological, financial and strategic advice to all states exploring offshore wind and help advance customized policy models.  The Special Initiative on Offshore Wind received seed funding from the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, which has been a significant proponent of offshore wind efforts. The program will work with national and international experts in offshore wind, industry participants, NGOs and state and federal policy-makers. While housed at the University of Delaware, the Initiative is national in scope and already is playing a key role in major projects to harness the vast East Coast and Great Lakes wind resources.

EIA launches Coal Data Browser – The EIA launched an interactive, online Coal Data Browser  that brings together in a single tool comprehensive government information, statistics, and visualizations about the U.S. coal sector.  The Coal Data Browser gives users easy access to a vast array of coal information from EIA’s electricity and coal surveys. The browser also allows users to dig through data from the Mine Safety and Health Administration and through coal trade information from the U.S. Census Bureau.

EESI Selected as Non-Profit Partner by Juice Co – Congrats to our friends at the Environmental and Energy Study Institute (EESI) which was selected by Suja Juice Co. as one of the 12 nonprofit partners featured in the Suja Elements Cause Collective™ program. The Elements Cause Collective program seeks to raise $1 million annually for nonprofit organizations whose goals strongly appeal to Suja’s core values. The funds will be raised through the sale of Suja Juice’s ‘Elements’ line of juices and smoothies, with each of the designated nonprofits paired to a particular flavor. Among the 11 other nonprofits benefiting from the program are Healthy Child Healthy World, International Rescue Committee, and Oceana.

 

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

Forum to Look at Shale Gas in Azerbaijan – The CSIS Energy and National Security Program will host tomorrow featuring Vitaliy Baylarbayov, Deputy Vice-President for Investment and Marketing of the State Oil Company of Azerbaijan Republic (SOCAR), to discuss the development of the Shah Deniz gas field in the Caspian Sea. Stage 2 of the development, agreed upon by the project consortium in December 2013, forms the foundation for plans to develop and expand pipeline capacity through Azerbaijan, Georgia, Turkey, Greece, Albania and Italy, establishing what many are calling a new Southern Gas Corridor in Europe. Dr. Baylarbayov, who played an integral role in concluding the final investment decision on the next stage of development and the pipeline discussions, will discuss the future of Azerbaijani gas and the significance of the Southern Gas Corridor. Elizabeth Urbanas, Director of the Office of Russian and Eurasian Affairs at the U.S. Department of Energy, and Robin West, Senior Adviser with the CSIS Energy and National Security Program, will provide comments. Edward Chow, Senior Fellow with the CSIS Energy and National Security Program, will moderate.

House Tranpo Panel to Look at Shipping Fleet Emissions – A panel of the House Transportation Committee will hold a hearing tomorrow at 10:00 a.m. to look at the impact that recent environmental regulatory actions may have on the country’s shipping fleets.  Witnesses will include Rear Adm. Joseph Servidio, assistant commandant for prevention policy for the U.S. Coast Guard; Michael Shapiro, principal deputy assistant administrator for the Office of Water at EPA; Chris Grundler, director of the Office of Transportation and Air Quality in the Office of Air and Radiation at EPA; Thomas Allegretti, president of the American Waterways Operators; Kathy Metcalf, director of maritime affairs for the Chamber of Shipping of America; James Roussos, vice president of boat operations for LaMonica Fine Food LLC; Rod Jones, CEO of the CSL Group and Bill Terry, CEO of Eagle Rock Aggregates.

Solar Webinar to Address DOE Facilities – The Solar Energy Industries Association and DOE will hold a webinar tomorrow at 1:00 p.m. using DOE’s newest facilities. This webinar will examine six new facilities that specialize in photovoltaic validation, testing and monitoring. Energy Department participants include Steve Chalk, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Renewable Energy, and Lidija Sekaric, Program Manager for the SunShot Initiative.

DOE Solar Seminar to Look at Installations – At 3:00 p.m. the same day, the DOE will present a live webinar titled “Adding Solar to Your Building Portfolio.”  Several Better Buildings Challenge partners are incorporating solar power into their portfolio energy strategy as the technology becomes more efficient and affordable. The Dysart Unified School District in Arizona is nearing its goal of powering its buildings entirely by solar energy. MGM Resorts International is installing solar at the famous Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino in Las Vegas. The Denver Housing Authority is adding solar to multifamily housing such as apartments and condominiums.  Join these partners as they share lessons learned and best practices on going solar.

Symposium Looks at Global Implications of Enhanced Oil Recovery – On Wednesday, Mississippi will welcome state and national leaders to discuss enhanced oil recovery through carbon capture and utilization.  Hosts include the Institute for 21st Century Energy, Interstate Oil & Gas Compact Commission, Southern States Energy Board, North American Carbon Capture & Storage Association and the Mississippi Energy Institute.  The Symposium will be at the Jackson Marriott Hotel.  Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant will provide welcoming remarks to be followed by several guest speakers and panelists throughout the day.

Forum to Look at Future Electric Power Systems – The German Marshall Fund of the United States (GMF), in collaboration with the Energy Future Coalition and the Enel Group, will be holding a panel discussion on Wednesday at 9:00 a.m. looking at the future of electric power systems. Electricity systems in the United States and Europe are facing unprecedented challenges. Flattening demand for electricity, rapid adoption of energy efficiency measures, and significant expansions of renewable energy generation are fundamentally altering traditional dynamics. Consumers are beginning to demand new relationships with their utilities, and technological advances are empowering smarter energy use. Simultaneously, utilities are set to become the largest consumers of information technology services.  On both sides of the Atlantic, these trends are already sparking considerable innovation. Europe is quickly becoming a hotbed for renewable energy support policies and collaborative regional approaches to new network investments. In the United States, there has been particular success in developing regional markets for reserve capacity and ancillary services in which demand-side management could also actively participate. While significant advancements are being made, further collaborative engagement amongst utilities, regulators, policymakers, investors, and consumers will be necessary for maintaining reliability, security, and affordability during this transition.

House Transpo Panel to Start MAP-21 Review – A House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee panel will hold a hearing on Wednesday looking at the role public-private partnerships can play in transportation projects. Witnesses will include CBO’s Joseph Kile, Texas DOT head James Bass, Phillip Washington of the Regional Transportation District and Fluor’s Richard Fierce on behalf of the Associated General Contractors of America.

House Energy to Continue Hearing Series on Energy – On Thursday at 9:00 a.m. the House Energy & Commerce Committee’s Subcommittee on Energy and Power will hold part two of the hearing series started last week on energy issues and improving fuel supple and infrastructure.  Witnesses will include Association of American Railroads President Edward Hamberger; National Propane Gas Association President Richard Roldan; Interstate Natural Gas Association of America President Donald Santa; Energy Information Administration chief Adam Sieminski; Association of Oil Pipe Lines President Andrew Black; Shorty Whittington, representing the American Trucking Associations and the National Tank Truck Carriers; Andrew Logan, director of oil and gas at CERES; and World Resources Institute Senior Associate Michael Obeiter.

BHP CEO to Discuss Future Energy Needs – The CSIS Energy and National Security Program will host a conversation on Thursday at 10:00 a.m. with Andrew Mackenzie, CEO of BHP Billiton, to discuss how the world can meet the demand for resources as 1.7 billion people gain access to electricity over the next 20 years and energy demand grows by 30%. With a portfolio spanning steel making materials, metals, energy and fertilizer BHP Billiton is the world’s largest diversified resources company and the only firm to produce oil, gas, coal and uranium as well as the metals used in renewables like copper. Headquartered in Australia, the company has operations in 26 countries and a workforce of approximately 128,000 people.  Andrew Mackenzie was appointed Chief Executive Officer of BHP Billiton in May 2013. He has had over 30 years’ experience in oil and gas, petrochemicals and minerals and has held a number of senior roles at BP and Rio Tinto.

Senate Banking to Hear from Transpo Unions – The Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee on Thursday will take up transportation reauthorization on Thursday. The hearing will focus on public transportation and hear from union and transit leaders. Witnesses will include Utah House Majority Whip Gregory Hughes, Michael Melaniphy of the American Public Transportation Association, Community Transportation Association of America Board President Barbara Cline and Larry Hanley, international president of the Amalgamated Transit Union.

Senate Panel to Look at Crude Transport – A Senate Commerce subpanel will hold a hearing Thursday on regulatory questions surrounding the successful transportation of both people and crude oil.  The hearing in the surface transport subpanel was postponed from its original date by previous snowy weather in the capital.  The hearing will include will include representatives from the American Petroleum Institute (API) and Association of America Railroads, as well as the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) and the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA)

Dave Barry to Speak at Press Club – On Thursday at 1:00 p.m., my friend and Pulitzer Prize winner/New York Times–bestselling author Dave Barry will be at the National Press Club to discuss his new book “You Can Date Boys When You’re Forty: Dave Barry on Parenting and Other Topics He Knows Very Little About.” A book signing will follow the discussion.  In uproarious, brand-new pieces, Barry tackles everything from family trips, bat mitzvah parties and dating (he’s serious about that title: “When my daughter can legally commence dating—February 24, 2040—I intend to monitor her closely, even if I am deceased”) to funeral instructions (“I would like my eulogy to be given by William Shatner”), the differences between male and female friendships, the deeper meaning of Fifty Shades of Grey, and a father’s ultimate sacrifice: accompanying his daughter to a Justin Bieber concert (“It turns out that the noise teenaged girls make to express happiness is the same noise they would make if their feet were being gnawed off by badgers”).   I worked closely with Dave on one of his signature issues, the battle over low-flow toilets.

Enviro Attorneys to Discuss GHG Case – EESI will hold a briefing on Thursday at 2:00 p.m. in SVC 209 looking at last week’s Supreme Court case, Utility Air Regulatory Group v. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), which is considering whether the EPA’s authority to regulate the greenhouse gas emissions of new motor vehicles also extends to stationary sources, such as existing power plants. The case is the result of six separate challenges to EPA authority from industry groups and 12 states. On February 24, the Supreme Court heard oral arguments in the consolidated case.  This briefing will examine the arguments brought forth on February 24 and what can be derived from the line of questioning by the Justices. What is and is not at stake in this case, and what are the potential outcomes of the Court’s decision? What does the relatively narrow focus of the case, despite a much broader challenge, mean for future judicial challenges to EPA’s regulatory authority concerning greenhouse gases?  Speakers for this forum are Michael B. Gerrard of the Columbia Law School’s Center for Climate Change Law and former NRDC attorney Amanda Leiter of American University’s Washington College of Law.

DOT Rail Meeting Expected to Touch New Agreement – The Rail Energy Transportation Advisory Committee (RETAC) will hold its semi- annual public meeting on Thursday in Washington, D.C. Established by the Surface Transportation Board (STB) of the Department of Transportation in 2007, RETAC serves as a forum for government, industry and others to discuss emerging issues in the transportation by rail of biofuels, conventional hydrocarbons and coal. Its 25 voting members span across large and small railroads, coal producers, electric utilities, the biofuels industry, the petroleum industry and the private railcar industry.  Following last week announcement by AAR and DOT, there will likely be more interest in this meeting.

 

FUTURE EVENTS

RFF to Look at Stanford Public Climate Polling – On Tuesday, March 11th at 10:30 a.m., RFF and Stanford will present additional results from the survey and provide an in-depth discussion on what this could mean for climate policy in the United States. This event will not only offer information on American’s views as a whole but, equally important, it will also explain how these issues are viewed on a state-by-state basis. Read more about the poll here.  A recent poll by Resources for the Future (RFF), Stanford University, and USA Today reveals American’s attitudes on climate change and issues such as clean energy, power plant emissions, and energy subsidies, to name a few. Some of the survey results were previously released by USA Today regarding climate change and the Keystone pipeline. Jon Krosnick, RFF University Fellow and Frederic O. Glover Professor in Humanities and Social Sciences at Stanford University will join RFF President Phil Sharp to discuss the study.

Forum to Look at Population, Climate Adaption – The Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars will hold a discussion on Tuesday, March 11th at 12:00 p.m. with Monica Das Gupta and Kathleen Mogelgaard as they explore these co-benefits and strategies to integrate them into climate change responses.  Often lacking from high-level discussions on climate change adaptation and mitigation is the inevitable role that rapid population growth plays in exacerbating vulnerability in developing countries. As Monica Das Gupta noted in her recent report, Population, Poverty, and Climate Change, “it is estimated that the effect of a 40 percent reduction in CO2 emissions per capita in developed countries between 2000 and 2050 would be entirely offset by the increase in emissions attributable to expected population growth in poorer countries over this period.” As communities grapple with the effects of climate change, there is a growing movement pointing to the multiple co-benefits that could emerge from policy interventions targeted at reducing fertility through voluntary access to family planning.

WAPA to Host Gala – The Washington Automotive Press Assn will hold its annual gala on March 13th at the National Press Club.

SoCo Expert to Speak at Forum on Transmission in SE Region – The Energy Future Coalition will be hosting a webinar for its Americans for a Clean Energy Grid initiative, on Thursday, March 13th at 3:00 p.m. The webinar topic will be Transmission in the Southeast. The event will feature John Lucas, GM of Transmission Policy and Services, Southern Company; and Frank Rambo, Senior Attorney with the Southern Environmental Law Center. The driver behind the webinars is to follow-up/update to our in-person Regional Transmission Summits that we’ve been hosting around the country for the last few years, and the content of them will be discussion of hot-button transmission issues in the region, whether that be landowner compensation, siting, cost allocation, planning, or many other ones.

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.

AWEA Announces Siting Seminar – Following a weather postponement, the AWEA Project Siting Seminar has been rescheduled for March 19 and 20th in New Orleans at the Hilton New Orleans Riverside.  The program will be a dedicated siting program that hones in on the latest strategies and information to effectively minimize siting and permitting risks while maximizing energy output.  Keynote Speaker will be USFWS Director Dan Ashe.

MD PSC Head to Address Energy Breakfast – ICF International will hold its March Morning Energy Breakfast on March 20th at the National Press Club , featuring Maryland Public Service Commissioner Kelly Speakes-Backman.  Backman will address the multiplicity of challenges confronting state regulators—and Maryland in particular—in the face of a changing utility sector. Discussion topics also include today’s critical issues affecting the electricity and gas industry that state regulators need to approve before key changes can take place.

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.

Chamber Women in Business Summit to Look at Challenges, Leadership – The US Chamber of Commerce’s Center for Women in Business will hold its 3rd annual summit on March 27th at the Chamber to celebrate the successes of businesswomen around the country while also discussing their unique challenges.  The summit will address the importance of finding supportive and reliable networks necessary for success, as well the common roadblocks that women face in accessing and using capital—one of the most common reasons why women’s business dreams lag in comparison to men’s.   Speakers will include Schnitzer Steel CEO Tamara Lundgren, Barnard College President Debora Spar and Kat Cole of Cinnabon, among many others.

Energy Bar Conference to Focus on Secure Energy – The Energy Bar Association will hold Its Annual Meeting & Conference on April 8th and 9th in Washington.  The conference will focus on the challenges of generating and delivering energy securely.

Center for Offshore Safety Holds Forum – On April 9th and 10th, the Center for Offshore Safety will hold its 2nd annual safety forum in Houston at the Westin Memorial City.  The Center is focused on promoting the highest levels of safety and environmental protection for offshore drilling, completions and production operations in deepwater Gulf of Mexico. The forum’s agenda has been created to provide an update on progress made by the Center and its cross-industry work groups. The agenda is complemented by interactive panel sessions regarding SEMS implementation and industry, auditor and regulator experiences with the recent SEMS audits. Additionally, senior leadership from the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement and U.S. Coast Guard will provide keynote presentations. The forum is an excellent opportunity to gain an insight and understanding of SEMS, SEMS implementation, SEMS auditing and the work being undertaken by the COS.