Pools, Pools Pools….Well, in my two pools, I managed to pick every game correctly, except Duke-Mercer. The problem is some are on one and the rest are on the other… making them average. A lot of the talk last week was about the Buffett Billion Dollar Challenge which really only took 25 games to blow it up. The only way anyone would get a perfect bracket this year (or maybe any year nowadays) would be to use the Doc Emmett Brown DeLorean Time machine with the Sports Almanac in it. Regardless, it was an exciting first four days though with some great surprises. Back on the horse starting Thursday evening in Memphis with #10 seed Stanford taking on #11 seed Dayton, guaranteeing at least one double-digit seed into the Elite 8. The game to watch may be Friday’s Michigan State-Virginia matchup.
NCAA Hockey brackets for the Frozen Four were announced on Sunday with Minnesota getting the top seed, Boston College, Union (NY) and Wisconsin getting the other regional seeds. Familiar names (Vermont, Ferris State, Notre Dame, North Dakota, UMass-Lowell, Denver) are in with a couple of surprises like Pittsburgh’s Robert Morris, Colgate and Providence. Big names are also missing this year including Michigan, Miami, Yale and Boston U. Action starts Friday in Division I. Congrats to Green Bay’s St. Norbert College who won the Division III hockey title over the weekend (its third in 4 years) beating UW-Stevens Point 3-1 in Maine.
With Congress returning from a Spring Work period, the hearing schedule is very heavy this week, especially with the usual budget appropriations meetings (there are 11 including visits from Interior’s sally Jewell, EPA Gina McCarthy, NASA, DOE Science and APRA-E and many more). The policy hearings start tomorrow with Senate Energy holding new Chair Mary Landrieu’s first hearing on energy export issues featuring EIA. Meanwhile, in the afternoon, the House Energy panel will hold a hearing on Rep. Cory Gardner’s LNG export bill focused on Russia. On Wednesday, House Foreign Affairs will look at the geopolitical potential of the U.S. oil and gas boom featuring Adm. Dennis Blair and refiner Harold Hamm, and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Director Dan Ashe will be at House Resources to discuss Wildlife and energy. And Thursday, the Committee’s energy panel will hold a hearing on earthquake science.
For energy policy education, ELI will begin a three-part series tomorrow looking at the legal and regulatory framework and issues in domestic energy production, energy distribution, and energy consumption. My colleagues Heather Corken and Kirsten Gibbs are among the presenters. As well, for energy policy fun, WCEE will hold its 33rd Annual “Woman of the Year” event on Wednesday at the Capital Hilton. GE’s Deb Frodl will be honored and Bracewell has a table(which is rumored to feature Scott Segal).
Finally, two big policy events on Friday. ACORE will hold its Renewable Energy Policy Forum on Capitol Hill with Energy Secretary Moniz (hosting by our friend Joe Desmond of BrightSource Energy)and EPA’s Gina McCarthy topping the bill. As well, prior to their NCAA sweet 16 game, the University of Michigan Institute for Manufacturing Leadership and U of M’s Energy Institute will host a forum at the Press Club to discuss the way shale gas is changing the American energy economy, energy security policy and the environment. The event will be over with plenty of time to watch the game.
Finally, kudos to my friends at Cabot Oil & Gas, who were named #5 on Forbes 2014 list of “Most Trustworthy Companies.” (See below) Also, this week is the 22nd Environmental Film Festival in Washington, DC. The theme of the 2014 Festival, “Our Cities, Our Planet,” will examine the challenges posed by Earth’s urban environments and the efforts of the world’s cities to balance environmental and economic needs.
IN THE NEWS
Forbes Praises Cabot as #5 on Most Trustworthy Companies – Late Friday, Forbes released its list of America’s most trustworthy companies and at #5 on the list (right behind UnderAmour) is Cabot Oil & Gas. The list was developed James Kaplan, director of proprietary ratings for investment adviser GMI Ratings, after the failure of corporate superpowers Enron and WorldCom. Each year, GMI Ratings provides Forbes with a list of the 100 Most Trustworthy Companies in America. To develop the ranking, GMI reviews the accounting and governance behaviors of more than 8,000 publicly-traded companies in North America. In assessing each company, GMI considers factors including high risk events, revenue and expense recognition methods, SEC actions, and bankruptcy risk as indicators of a company’s credibility. Cabot scored #5 just one point behind UnderArmour. Tops on the list was oil and gas equipment developer Oceaneering International. Other familiar names include Accenture, Wynn resorts, Tyson Foods and Nordstrom.
SEJ Leaders Hammer EPA over Transparency – Our friends at the Society of the Environmental Journalists unloaded on EPA last week in an op-ed that raised serious concerns about communication delays by EPA in responding to media requests. SEJ executive Director Beth Parke and FOIA expert Joe Davis wrote: “Journalists frequently report waiting for days and in some cases weeks to get EPA to respond to routine requests for information or interviews. Parke and Davis added members of the SEJ often are the reporters on the front lines trying to pry information from EPA. They say they have seen an agency that for much of the 1980s and 1990s was considered one of the most open in the federal government become incredibly secretive, especially under the Obama Administration. “As we celebrate “Sunshine Week,” it’s worth noting that nowadays EPA in many cases simply fails to answer questions posed by journalists on behalf of the public – even some that are routine and non-controversial. When the agency does respond, a favorite tactic is to wait until just before or even after a reporter’s deadline and then mail a short written statement that does not answer the questions.” Ouch…
New Study Reveals Billions in Higher Energy Costs, Millions of Lost Jobs – Analysis from the National Economic Research Associates (NERA) estimates that NRDC’s proposal to reduce carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from existing power plants under Section 111(d) of the Clean Air Act could cost consumers billions in higher energy prices and millions of jobs. NRDC’s proposal, released in late 2012 and updated last week, has received attention as an approach EPA might follow to regulate CO2 emissions from power plants. The NERA analysis found that NRDC’s plan could cost consumers $13 billion to $17 billion per year in higher electricity and natural gas prices. Ratepayers in most states could face double digit electricity price increases. NRDC’s updated analysis now projects no costs at all. NERA also found that NRDC’s proposal could cause job losses totaling as high as 2.85 million between 2018 and 2033. By comparison, NRDC projects that its proposal would increase jobs. NERA’s projections regarding natural gas also are at odds with NRDC’s analysis. NRDC projects very little change in natural gas prices, whereas NERA found prices could increase by as much as 16 percent. As a result, families and businesses could pay as much as $54 billion more for natural gas between 2018 and 2033. The NERA analysis, sponsored by ACCCE, relies on data and information from the EIA, EPA, North American Electric Reliability Corporation, National Renewable Energy Laboratory, National Environmental Technology Laboratory and MIT.
Experts Debate Divestment Movement – I mentioned another rejection letter from Hamilton College last week in the fossil fuel divestment debate. In case you missed it because you were watching NCAA hoops last Thursday, out friends at Yale Environment 360, take on the topic of universities divesting their stock holdings in companies that produce oil, natural gas, or coal? In a Point/Counterpoint debate, activist Bob Massie and economist Robert Stavins face off on this controversial issue. Massie, who heads a group pushing for divestment, argues that because our leaders have repeatedly failed to take action on climate, divestment is one of the few effective strategies remaining. Stavins, a Harvard professor, counters that having universities divest from fossil fuels is merely a feel-good measure that would do nothing to address the problem of climate change. Read their Point/Counterpoint debate.
Heitkamp to Promote CCS Legislation – ND Senator Heidi Heitkamp introduced new major legislation to support a viable path forward for coal. Heitkamp unveiled the Advanced Clean Coal Technology Investment in Our Nation Act to provide a path forward for coal-fired power well into the future which provides the United States with almost 40% of its electricity. According to Heitkamp, unlike recent proposals by the Obama Administration, the bill helps make it affordable for coal plants to lower their carbon pollution through the use of advanced clean coal technologies. Our friends at POLITICO looked at the bill and say it allocates $2 billion of DOE’s Loan Guarantee Program for fossil energy to coal projects and removes legal barriers keeping companies from getting multiple types of federal assistance. The bill would also boost tax credits for carbon sequestration and set up price supports for companies that sell CO2.
Bozzella to Head Global Automakers – The Association of Global Automakers has selected John Bozzella as its new president, replacing our long-time friend and auto industry veteran Mike Stanton announced his plans to retire early last year. Bozzella joins the Association from Cerberus, bringing 20 years of experience as a public policy executive with Chrysler and Ford Motor Company. Prior to his time at Cerberus, John spent five years at Chrysler and DaimlerChrysler leaving as Senior Vice President of External Affairs and Public Policy in 2009. He is credited for playing a major role mobilizing government support for the significant restructuring of Chrysler. John also spent 10 years at Ford Motor Company in positions in government and community relations from 1994-2005.
Khosla Venture Failure Undercuts RFS – Vinod Khosla–led KiOR, which makes cellulosic biofuels using woody biomass and non-food feedstocks, will not likely reopen its plant in Columbus, Mississippi it said late last week. The announcement is another setback for the industry and its efforts to prevent rollbacks in the RFS. KiOR was expected to make 9 million gallons this year towards RFS goals of 17 million gallons of cellulosic biofuels.
ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK
- House Approps energy and water panel on DOE’s applied energy funding. 9:30 a.m. DOE Asst Sects. Smith, Hoffman, Lyons and Danielson testify.
- House Approps Interior panel on Interior’s budget. Secretary Jewell testifies. 1:30 p.m.
- House Approps energy and water panel on DOE’s science budget. 2:00 p.m.
- House Resources’ water and power panel on the budgets of the Bureau of Reclamation, the power marketing administrations and the U.S. Geological Survey’s water program. 2:00 p.m.
- Sen. Environment on EPA’s budget. McCarthy Testifies. 10:00 a.m.
- Sen. Approps Interior panel on Interior’s budget. Secretary Jewell testifies. 9:15 a.m.
- House Approps energy and water panel on the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers budget. 10:00 a.m.
- House Science Committee on science agency budgets. OSTP Director John Holdren testifies. 10:00 a.m.
- House Approps energy and water panel on the Bureau of Reclamation budget. 2:00 p.m.
- House Science Committee’s space panel on NASA’s budget. 9:00 a.m.
- House Approps Commerce Justice Science panel on the National Science Foundation budget. 10:00 a.m.
- House Approps Interior-EPA panel on EPA budget. EPA’s McCarthy testifies. 10:00 a.m.
Former LLNL Director to Address Nuclear Weapons Challenges – The Nuclear Policy Talks and the Center for International Science and Technology Policy will hold a forum today at 4:00 p.m. at GWU on the nuclear stockpile and modernization challenges facing the Department of Energy. Parney Albright will speak. He served as Director of the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) from 2009 – 2013. As director, he was responsible for the management of the Laboratory and also served as President of Lawrence Livermore National Security, LLC. Dr. Albright has extensive experience in executive leadership; policy direction; strategic planning; Congressional and Executive branch interactions; financial and personnel management of large mission-focused science and technology organizations; and research, development, testing, and evaluation of national security technologies and systems. He has a broad and deep understanding of U.S. and international civilian and military requirements, functions, and processes in the national security arena.
Refiners Meeting to Hear from McChrystal, Dobbs – The American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers (AFPM) will hold its annual meeting in Orlando next Sunday through Tuesday. The meeting is the world’s premier refining meeting, assembling key executives and technical experts from refining and marketing organizations worldwide, as well as representatives from associated industries. The general session features high profile speakers who will address current issues of widespread importance to the refining industry. During management and technical sessions, leading industry experts share valuable insights with attendees on major issues, including energy and environmental initiatives, and the latest technological developments impacting refining and petrochemical industry management and performance. Speakers will include former Commander of U.S. and International Forces in Afghanistan General Stanley McChrystal and Fox News host Lou Dobbs, among many others.
Landrieu to Hold First Hearing on Energy Exports – The Senate Energy Committee will hold new Chair Mary Landrieu’s first hearing tomorrow focused on energy exports. Those testifying include EIA Administrator Adam Sieminski, Lithuanian energy minister Jaroslav Neverovic, NERA’s David Montgomery, former State Department official David Goldwyn and CSIS expert Edward Chow.
House Energy Panel to Discuss Gardner Export Legislation – Speaking of exports, the House Energy panel of the Energy and Commerce Committee will hold a hearing tomorrow at 1:30 p.m. on Rep. Cory Gardner’s bill to approve pending permits to export liquefied natural gas. Gardner’s bill would immediately authorize approval of export applications currently filed at the Energy Department and expedite future permits. Many supporters are focusing on LNG exports in an attempt to undercut Russian natural gas exports to Ukraine and other countries in Central and Eastern Europe. Doe’s Paula Gant, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Oil and Natural Gas will testify, as will former Rep. Jim Bacchus, Hungarian Ambassador-at-Large for Energy Security Anita Orbán, Dave Schryver of the American Public Gas Association, CRA’s Ken Ditzel and Montgomery of NERA.
ELI Series to Tackle Energy Issues Framework – ELI will begin a three-part series tomorrow looking at the legal and regulatory framework and issues in domestic energy production, energy distribution, and energy consumption. The energy market continues to evolve, and this evolution brings with it business opportunities and risks. But energy growth and environmental impacts are increasingly intertwined through complicated federal and state regulations. The series is a collaborative effort between the American Law Institute and the Environmental Law Institute (ELI) and will include forums on April 8th on Getting Energy to Market and April 22nd on Electricity Consumption. Tomorrow’s forum will be on the regulatory framework of domestic energy production and will look at the infrastructure and regulatory framework of energy in the US. The session will focus on the federal regulations at play in oil and gas exploration and production, pipeline regulation, and electricity generation. The session will also examine how natural resources are affected during domestic energy production and transportation via pipelines. State analogues to the federal laws at play will also be touched upon. Panelists will include by Bracewell colleagues Heather Corken Palmer (who will moderate) and Kirstin Gibbs, as well as EEI’s Emily Sanford Fisher, and NRDC’s Noah Long and Kate Sinding.
House Resources to Look at Wildlife, Energy – On Wednesday, the House Committee on Natural Resources will hold an oversight hearing on oversight of the Obama Administration’s enforcement approach for America’s wildlife laws and its impact on domestic energy. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Director Dan Ashe will testify.
House Foreign Affairs to Look at Energy – Also tomorrow, the House Foreign Affairs Committee will hold a hearing at 10:00 a.m. on the geopolitical impacts of U.S. energy. Admiral Dennis Blair CFR’s Michael Levi and Continental refining head Harold Hamm are among those testifying.
Brookings Panel to Look at Arctic Oil, Gas – The Energy Security Initiative at Brookings will host a discussion on Wednesday at 2:00 p.m. to launch the release of its Policy Brief on how the U.S. can meet the challenges posed by this activity, especially as it assumes Chairmanship of the Arctic Council in 2015.This Policy Brief is the result of a year of research including over 80 interviews with leading Arctic specialists (government, industry, academia, native leaders, and NGOs) across the region. Heather Conley, director of the Europe Program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies will moderate a discussion with two co-authors of the Brookings policy brief: Charles Ebinger, senior fellow and director of ESI and John Banks, nonresident senior fellow at ESI.
Forum to Look on Transmission – The Environmental and Energy Study Institute and WIRES will start a series of important briefings on Wednesday at 2:00 p.m. in Senate CVC 209 focusing on the modernization of the nation’s critical network of high-voltage transmission. Designed and built well before the digital age to serve more localized customer loads, the “grid” is struggling to support active and increasingly competitive wholesale power markets that now operate regionally. It is often congested or inadequate to deliver domestic energy resources that are not close to customers. Its aging facilities have acknowledged weather and cyber vulnerabilities. Moreover, the planning and regulation of this fundamental infrastructure is complex, often uncoordinated, and slow to produce results. However, despite the combined effects of the recession and greater energy efficiency, the grid will be called upon to serve 30 percent more electrical demand over the next two decades. Modern transmission is the fundamental enabler of competition, new technologies, and our high standard of living. Upgrading and expanding the system is a priority. Transmission 201 will provide a basic understanding of how the high-voltage system works and then move to key issues affecting the grid: economic regulation; actual siting and permitting of the facilities; the regional markets that transmission supports; and the range of diverse economic, environmental, and operational benefits that transmission provides to the whole electric system and electricity consumers.
POSTPONED – Press Club to Host Philly Mayoral Frontrunner – The National Press Club Newsmakers Committee meeting with Pennsylvania State Senator and leading Philadelphia Mayoral candidate Tony Williams for Wednesday has been POSTPONED because of scheduling conflicts.
Former EIA Director to Address Georgetown – Georgetown University will host former EIA director Jay Hakes to promote his new book A Declaration of Energy Independence on Wednesday at 4:00 p.m. at its Edward Bunn Intercultural Center to discuss has long-term U.S. energy policy been a success or a failure. Hakes served as director of the Energy Information Agency in the 1990s and recently retired as head of the Carter Presidential Library. The book takes a nonpartisan approach to fundamental questions and obliterates the political and economic myths. Hakes combines real facts and solid science with historical context to ask the right questions and propose the best answers. He also adds a seven-point plan for breaking free from the costly energy trap and enhancing American influence abroad. This is an important and timely book for all Americans.
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 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 Thursday 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.
Senate Environment Starts Transportation Legislation Review – The full Senate Environment Committee will hold a hearing on Thursday at 9:45 a.m. looking at MAP-21 Reauthorization focusing on state and local perspectives on transportation priorities and funding.
Senate FR to Discuss Power Africa Initiative – The Senate Foreign Relations Committee’s Subcommittee on African Affairs will hold a hearing on Thursday at 10:30 a.m. on the Power Africa Initiative. Those testifying will include USAID Administrator Earl Gast, Ex-Im Bank Africa Director Rick Angiuoni and OPIC exec Mimi Alemayehou, among others.
LaFleur to Address NatGas Roundtable – The Natural Gas Roundtable will be hosting Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Acting Chairman Cheryl A. LaFleur at its next luncheon at the University Club. LaFleur was nominated by President Barack Obama to serve as a member of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission in 2010 and confirmed by the U.S. Senate for a term that ends in June 2014. She became Acting Chairman on November 25 of last year
Forum to Look at 5 Years of BC Carbon Tax Policy – Climate Desk, Climate Access, and Bloomberg BNA are partnering to present “The Carbon Tax Return: Lessons Learned From British Columbia’s First Five Years of Taxing Emissions.” A distinguished panel, preceded by a cocktail reception, will take place on Thursday at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre Salon C in Vancouver, British Columbia with doors opening at 5:30 p.m. PDT. Speakers will include Spencer Chandra Herbert, Environment Critic and Member of the BC Legislative Assembly; Merran Smith, Director, director of Clean Energy Canada; Ross Beaty, Chairman Alterra Power Corp.; and Jeremy Hainsworth, contributor to Bloomberg BNA (BBNA) and the Associated Press. Our friend Chris Moody will moderate.
McCarthy, Wellinghoff, Trade Assn Heads Headline ACORE Forum – The ACORE National Renewable Energy Policy Forum will be held on Friday in the Kennedy Caucus Room in the Russell Senate Building. After an opening reception Thursday night at Union Station, the event will feature keynote remarks from EPA’s Gina McCarthy, discussions about policy innovations with Rep. Sander Levin and Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse and outlooks from trade association heads including our friends Michael McAdams of the Advance Biofuels Coalition, Ted Michaels of the Energy Recovery Council, SEIA’s Rhone Resch, AWEA’s Tom Kiernan and several others. Finally, our friend Joe Desmond of BrightSource Energy will moderate the afternoon keynote session featuring former FERC Chair Jon Wellinghoff, Sen. Mazie Hirano and NV Energy CEO Michael Yackira.
University of Michigan to Host Shale Gas Symposium at Press Club – The University of Michigan Institute for Manufacturing Leadership and the University of Michigan Energy Institute will host a group of leaders in American government agencies, industry, NGOs and academia at the National Press Club on Friday to discuss the way shale gas is changing the American energy economy, energy security policy and the environment. Shale gas as an energy source poses a huge potential boon to American manufacturers of all stripes, but the relationship between the shale gas boom and U.S. manufacturing competitiveness needs clearer understanding. The forum will craft recommendations aimed at increasing American manufacturing competitiveness with the utilization of affordable, U.S.-produced shale gas. With an emphasis on the chemical industry and energy-intensive manufacturing sectors, the symposium will also include the perspective of recent studies on price, environmental and health impacts, technology and public acceptance. The symposium will feature a keynote by Norman Augustine, former Chairman and CEO of Lockheed Martin Corporation. Representatives from the American Chemistry Council, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, steel, aluminum and paper industries, the American Gas Association, the White House, Department of Energy, and the Environmental Defense Fund will also speak. The forum will end by 4:00 p.m. because the Wolverines play at 7:00 p.m. in the NCAA Midwest Regional Semifinal against Tennessee.
Forum to Look at Renewables, EE Budget – Also on Friday at 3:00 p.m. in 215 Capitol Visitor Center (House side), EESI, in partnership with the House Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Caucus, will hold a briefing on the energy efficiency and renewable energy implications of the fiscal year (FY) 2015 budget proposal released by President Obama on March 4. The $3.9 trillion budget proposal reflects the Administration’s “all of the above” energy strategy as well as its focus on climate change, following the unveiling of the President’s Climate Action Plan in June 2013. Speakers from the Department of Energy and the Congressional Research Service will give an overview of the budget requests for various clean energy programs, explain budget priorities, and provide context on how these priorities and trends compare to prior years. Speakers include DOE’s Jason Walsh of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, CRS Energy Policy Specialist Fred Sissine and our friend Scott Sklar.
CEA Head Furman to Talk Taxes at AEP Forum – Next Monday morning, AEP will hold a forum on the economic effects of territorial taxation. Council of Economic Advisors head Jason Furman will keynote eth event. As Congress deliberates business tax reform options, the international aspects often prove most complex. All Group of Eight countries other than the United States have territorial tax systems that exempt 95 to 100 percent of qualified dividends repatriated from foreign subsidiaries. This half-day conference, cohosted by AEI and the International Tax Policy Forum, will explore the economic effects of territorial taxation. Panelists will use their international experience to examine the effects of international tax rules on base erosion and profit shifting, repatriation of foreign profits, and cross-border mergers and acquisitions and headquarters location. The conference will conclude with a luncheon address by Jason Furman, chairman of the White House Council of Economic Advisers.
Transportation Summit Set – The Transportation Energy Partner’s Energy Independence Summit 2014 will be held on Sunday, March 30th to Wednesday, April 2nd at the Hyatt Regency Crystal City at Reagan National Airport. The Summit will feature educational sessions and presentations from the nation’s leading clean transportation experts on Federal funding and incentives to promote alternative fuels, vehicles and infrastructure; successful alternative fuels and vehicle projects across the country; and innovative state and local policies and programs that are advancing markets for cleaner fuels and vehicles.
Forum to Look at Converting Fleets to Alt Fuels – EESI and WIRES will host a briefing coordination with Transportation Energy Partners (TEP) and NAFA Fleet Management Association on Tuesday, April 1st at 8:30 a.m. in the CVC Auditorium about the strides public and private sector vehicle fleet managers in nearly every state are making in converting to alternative fuels (e.g., biofuels, electricity, natural gas, propane). This is a chance to learn first-hand about why they are converting their fleets, the challenges they face, and the importance of federal and state incentives in overcoming these challenges.
NIEHS to Hold Forum on Vehicle Emissions – The National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) and the Institute of Medicine are holding a symposium on Tuesday, April 1st at the National Academy of Sciences focused on the health effects of fine particles from vehicle emissions. The forum will bring together leading researchers and other experts on the sources, extent, mechanics, and health implications of ultra-fine airborne particles to discuss their origins, nature and potential health effects, and to help researchers identify remaining questions. Please join us to learn about the growing body of research that links petroleum-derived particle pollution to a variety of ever larger serious health problems and premature death. While there has been significant research into the origins and effects of larger particles, there is much less known about the nature and effects of ultra-fine particulates (UFPs).
Climate Action Goes to Washington (State) – Continuing its Northwest swing, Climate Desk will host a forum on State action in Washington featuring Governor Jay Inslee on Tuesday April 1st at the University of Washington in Seattle. The recent agreement between Washington state, British Columbia, Oregon and California to harmonize their climate and energy policies has the potential to not just accelerate greenhouse gas reductions but also catalyze a strong, clean, and resilient economy. Inslee, along with distinguished industry and climate science leaders will discuss the future of clean energy as part of Climate Desk Live, a partnership between the University of Washington’s College of the Environment, Climate Access, and Climate Desk, sponsored by Bloomberg BNA. Hosted by Chris Mooney, the discussion will cover a range of key climate policy issues from coal terminals, to fuel efficiency standards, to carbon pricing, with an eye toward innovation and new energy solutions.
WAPA Forum to Look at Nissan Cab – The Washington Automotive Press Assn and Nissan North America will host the April WAPA lunch on Wednesday, April 2nd hosting Peter Bedrosian, Senior Manager, Product Planning for a background session to discuss the all-new Nissan NV200 Taxi. You’ll hear how the NV200 made it to service in New York City in October 2013 and also learn about its passenger-friendly features, including USB charging, anti-fatigue seats, panoramic roof with sky views of the city, reduced odors, improved leg room, more cargo space and other conveniences.
Forum to EESI Climate Risks in SW – EESI will hold a briefing on Wednesday April 2nd 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 expected soon – 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 for this forum are Eleanor Bastian, Legislative Director for Rep. Diana DeGette; Patrick Gonzalez of the U.S. National Park Service; Chris Treese of the Colorado River District; Margaret Bowman of the Walton Family Foundation and Louis Blumberg of The Nature Conservancy.
WSJ to Host ECO:nomics Forum – The Wall Street Journal will host its ECO:nomics Green Business Forum on April 2-4th at the Bacara Resort in Santa Barbara. Speakers will include AEP‘s Nick Adkins, Edison International’s Ted Craver, Statoil’s Helge Lunde, DOE Loan Guarantee expert Peter Davidson and many more. Moderators will include our WSJ friends Joe White, Kim Strassel, Russ Gold and Jeff Ball.
Forum to Look at Regional Transmission Issues – Americans for a Clean Energy Grid will hold a series of regionally-focused webinars starting Wednesday, April 2nd at 2:00 p.m. on what’s going on in the world of transmission running from Fall 2013 to Winter 2014. Each webinar will span one hour, featuring presentations by transmission experts from the region in question and a discussion of environmental, economic, and political issues including planning, siting, and cost allocation. The next webinar in Americans for a Clean Energy Grid’s series of regionally-focused webinars will focus on the West. Presenters will include NRDC’s Director of Western Transmission Carl Zichella and Xcel’s Stephen Beuning.
Forum to Discuss Greenland, Energy Development – On Thursday, April 3rd at 4:00 p.m., GWU’s IERES and Department of Geography will host Inuuteq Holm Olsen of the Embassy of Denmark to discuss Greenland’s goals with Arctic Energy development and its future plans. Largely, but not only, due to the effects of climate change, the Arctic is becoming a hot spot on the global agenda. Similarly along those lines, Greenland is seeking to develop its natural resources as it develops politically. In that context, the forces of globalization have reached the Arctic including new emerging powers.
Chamber to Hold Aviation Summit Featuring Airline CEOs – The U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation is hosting 13th Annual Aviation Summit on Thursday, April 3rd in the Walter E. Washington Convention Center. This forum will bring together top experts and leaders from all sectors of aviation to discuss critical issues facing the industry. This year we will examine one of the least understood topics in aviation: the true costs of flying. Among the many confirmed speakers will be Delta CEO Richard Anderson, Spirit CEO Ben Baldanza, JetBlue Airways CEO David Barger, former FAA Administrator and Aerospace Industries Association head Marion Blakey and Sir Richard Branson of Virgin Group, among many others.
Forum to Discuss Tax Reforms – AEI and the Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center will hold a forum on Friday, April 4th at 9:00 a.m. focused on the US corporate income tax. Most argue the tax is deeply flawed, particularly in its treatment of foreign-source income. At this event, Eric Toder of the Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center and AEI’s Alan D. Viard will present a report, funded by the Peter G. Peterson Foundation, explaining that the current corporate income tax system bases tax liability on two concepts that defy easy definition — the source of corporate income and the residence of corporations. Toder and Viard call for structural reform that would either find an internationally agreed-upon way to define those concepts or restructure the tax system so that it no longer relies on them. They will outline two options: seeking international agreement on how to allocate multinational corporations’ income among countries or replacing the corporate income tax with taxation of dividends and accrued capital gains of American shareholders at ordinary income tax rates. Martin A. Sullivan of Tax Analysts and Pamela Olson of PricewaterhouseCoopers will discuss the strengths and weaknesses of both ideas.
House Resources to Look at California Energy Independence – On Friday, April 4th at 9:30 a.m. in 1334 Longworth, the House Natural Resources Committee’s Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources will conduct an oversight hearing on domestic opportunities to reverse California’s growing dependence on foreign oil. Since 2000, California has experienced a surge in foreign oil imports. Today, California gets 50% of its oil from foreign sources and half of those imports come from the Middle East through the Strait of Hormuz. California’s unemployment is higher than the national average at 8.7 percent, energy prices in California are among the highest in the nation, and California is in the midst of a fiscal crisis. The U.S. Energy Information Administration estimates that California’s Monterey Shale contains over 15 billion barrels of oil – more than estimates of North Dakota’s Bakken Shale.
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.
FirstEnergy CEO to Address Chamber Leadership Series – The Institute for 21st Century Energy and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation will host its CEO Leadership Series luncheon on Tuesday, April 8th at 11:30 a.m. featuring FirstEnergy President and CEO Anthony Alexander. The electric utility industry is in a time of unprecedented change. Alexander’s remarks will focus on some of the regulatory challenges and mandates that are making it more difficult for electric utilities to provide reliable, affordable service to customers. He also will emphasize the importance of a national energy policy that drives economic expansion, creates jobs, and recognizes the high value that customers place on the use of electricity.
Book Forum To Discuss Sci-Fi Thriller – On Wednesday, April 9th, the Future Tense Book Club will meet at the New America Foundation to discuss Shovel Ready. The novel, by New York Times Magazine culture editor Adam Sternbergh, imagines a near-future New York City that is decaying while the wealthy who remain take refuge in an alternate reality. Our guide to Sternbergh’s engrossing dystopia: a garbage man turned hit man. In a conversation on Slate, Sternbergh’s editor, Zack Wagman, described the book as “noir, detective, sci-fi world-building, speculative dystopia, and just out-and-out thriller.”
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.
UC-Boulder Forum to Look at Climate, Extreme Weather – On April 16th, the University of Colorado-Boulder will hold a forum on how scientists can forecast where extreme events will occur and their severity. Kathleen Tierney, Director of the CU Boulder’s Natural Hazards Center and Kevin Trenberth from the Climate Analysis Section at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) will join facilitators Dr. Anne Gold of CIRES and Deb Morrison of University Colorado Boulder in an interactive panel discussion. These experts will cover what communities and governments can do to increase resiliency to extreme weather events and how the scientific community can help prepare citizens and government.
INGAA Head Santa to Discuss Report – ICF International will host our friend Don Santa, President and CEO of the Interstate Natural Gas Association of America (INGAA), on April 17th for its April Energy Breakfast. Santa will discuss the INGAA Foundation’s new report on dynamics and issues affecting midstream infrastructure development. The report discusses the needs for midstream pipeline infrastructure in North America through 2035 to meet the booming production of natural gas, natural gas liquids (NGL), and petroleum.
FWS to Hold Final Wind, Wildlife Training – On April 23rd at 2:00 p.m., U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will host its final bimonthly training broadcast covering emerging issues and providing direction for wind energy facility planning, development, and operations to avoid impacts to wildlife and their habitat. The final broadcast of the series will focus on the latest and greatest in research. Host Christy Johnson-Hughes will be joined by Cris Hein of Bat Conservation International and Chad Le Beau and Wally Erickson of WEST, Inc. to share research results and conclusions related to bats, grassland birds, and sage grouse.
PBF, Valero Speaker to Headline Platts Conference – Platts will hold its 3rd Annual North American Refined Products conference in Houston at the Marriott West Loop on May 20th and 21st. The event explores supply and demand for refined products from the North American PADD regions and the opportunities and challenges in those markets. Keynote speaker will be Todd O’Malley of PBF Energy. Other speakers will include Valero’s Richard Grissom.
Kasparov to Speak at Cato Dinner – The Cato Institute will announce its Milton Friedman Prize for Advancing Liberty at its 2014 Biennial Dinner on May 21st at the Waldorf–Astoria Hotel in New York City. The keynote address will be presented by Garry Kasparov, former Chess champion, Russian Pro-Democracy leader and Global Human-Rights activist. The Milton Friedman Prize for Advancing Liberty, named in honor of perhaps the greatest champion of liberty in the 20th century, is presented every other year to an individual who has made a significant contribution to advance human freedom. The prize carries a cash award of $250,000.