Friends,

Happy Cinco de Mayo, which is NOT Mexican Independence Day, but a celebration of the 1862 battle victory in the Mexican State of Puebla, where an undermanned Mexican Army defeated the French, who were attempting to meddle in the US Civil War with the hope of aiding the South and eventually weakening the U.S.  Today, the day is one that celebrates Mexican heritage and pride with a few cervezas and some guac.

The weekend sports schedule was packed with California Chrome running away with the Derby on Saturday.  It looked like a perfectly executed race plan to bring home the roses.  I always love the hats and Mint Julip stories.  And as a former Hal Rogers staffer, I also love singing “My Old Kentucky Home.”  In fact, I think I can still hear our B&G Colleague and former Louisville Congresswoman Anne Northup still singing in the next office.  Great hockey playoffs continue as well as three NBA Game 7s.  Of course in Washington, the biggest NBA news is the potential conflict between the Washington Wizards-Indiana Pacers Game 6 and the Lady Gaga concert – both slated for the same night next week.   We’ll have to see how that that plays out if necessary, but I think Lady Ga-Gahhh (as Marty Huggins calls her) will have the edge.  NCAA Lax playoffs brackets are set with Duke getting the top seed on the Men’s side and Maryland getting top seed on the Women’s side.   Both championships will be Memorial Day weekend just two weeks from now in Baltimore.

Good to see many of you on Saturday at the 100th White House Correspondents Dinner.  For those I missed, there is always next time.  As for this year, Joel McHale and President Obama:  not very funny.  McHale looked like he was just reading jokes (although the Boehner “Orange” Joke was funny, as well as the shots at Fox, MSNBC and CNN).  The President is a cool character, but I just don’t think it translates to being funny.   The video wasn’t working great and the Sibelius role was forced.   He did have a funny “shoe” clip/joke on Biden and Hillary and the Richard Sherman stuff was good (see #5).  The Seattle Seahawks  star was at The Huffington Post table.

As DC recovers from the annual “nerd prom”, Senate action on energy efficiency legislation (Shaheen-Portman) seems more likely this week as the Senate takes up the bill tomorrow.  Look for more mischief on Keystone XL (I expect a separate vote), LNG (Udall is trying to protect himself from attacks by his CO Sen opponent Cory Gardner), GHG issues from WV Sen. Joe Manchin and the healthcare legislation (Vitter keeps threatening).   Hearings this week will host NRC Commissioners (Yucca Mtn discussions) and Ag Sect Tom Vilsack (Ethanol mandate, Farm Bill).  Finally, House Oversight digs into the EPA inspector general and whether EPA is really cooperating with his investigations on Wednesday.

Tomorrow, there are two additional significant events to follow:  1) a National Press Club Newsmaker (hosted by yours truly) focused on education skills gaps issues in manufacturing and energy.  It is a looming problem as workers retire and vocational schools struggle.  We will have manufacturing CEOs and Lackawanna College (Scranton, PA) President to discuss (remember LC started an Oil/gas degree program in 2009 which has had huge success).  2) Speaking of gas and Pennsylvania, the second event is the “PA Jobs PA Energy” Rally being held in Harrisburg on City Island with speakers from labor, business and industry.

Out of town this week, AWEA is holding is widely-attended giant WINDPOWER conference in Las Vegas while the 2014 Offshore Technology Conference in rolling in Houston and the 2014 International Oil Spill Conference features expert Daniel Yergin in Savannah, GA.

Finally, the national climate assessment will be released tomorrow.  I’m sure many of my friends in the environmental community will go crazy.  We are happy to help with the discussion about what policy options are available both politically and realistically on climate issues.  To that end, the comment period for the new GHG power plant rule will end Friday, so look for our and others comments, which should start to pour in later this week.

Please come to the Newsmaker tomorrow as we are trying to get a nice crowd, as well as discuss a rally important topics that has many facets and impacts the entire energy and manufacturing sectors.  Press Club, 2 p.m.  And remember late next week, Cabot CEO Dan Dinges and ANGA head Marty Durbin will be leading a tour of natgas drilling operations in NE PA.  Please let me know if you are interested in attending as it will cover all aspects of the drilling process and have lots of time for questions.

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

 

IN THE NEWS

EPA Delayed Rule to Get out of 2014 Election Cycle – Senate Republicans are saying that the EPA may have intentionally delayed issuing a regulation limiting carbon dioxide emissions from new power plants so the rule would not be finalized until after the midterm elections.  After inquiring with the leadership of the Federal Register, Sen. Jim Inhofe has raised serious questions about whether EPA intentionally delayed submitting the rule to avoid a messy political vote.  Inhofe cited a Politico story by our friend Erica Martinson that highlighted the unusually long lag time between the release of the rule and its submission for publishing in the Federal Register.  Interestingly, while it took 66 days to get the rule printed in the Federal Register because of the typical administrative process, it only took FedReg officials only 6 days to response to Inhofe’s inquiry  and completely undermines EPA’s claims.  If you haven’t seen the exchange between Inhofe and the Federal Register, it is quite entertaining and I can forward it.

AGA Utilities Provided $3.7B in Low Income Assistance in 2012 – A new report compiled by the American Gas Association (AGA) says utilities contributed nearly $3.7 billion in assistance to low income customers in 2012. The assistance came in the form of discounted rates, arrearage forgiveness, weatherization and efficiency programs and support provided to charitable organizations that provide resources for customers in need. This utility funding was roughly equal to the $3.47 billion provided by the federal government through the Low Income Heating Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) in the same year.  Hardship funds, discounted rates, and arrearage forgiveness accounted for nearly $3 billion in 2012. Natural gas and electric utilities also spent almost $695 million on conservation programs that deliver weatherization services and equipment repair or replacement—often at little or no cost. Finally, utilities play a major role in fundraising and providing administrative assistance to private charities that raised $20 million from utility employees, shareholders and the public in 2012. This follows a March report were AGA said that efficiency programs administered by utilities in the United States saved customers $117 on their annual natural gas bills in 2012.

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

WINDPOWER Set for Vegas – AWEA will hold its annual WINDPOWER conference in Las Vegas today through Thursday at the Mandalay Bay.   Keynoter will be Seth Goldman of HonesTea.

OTC Set for Houston – Offshore Technology Conference 2014 will be held at Reliant Park in Houston starting today.  OTC is the world’s foremost event for the development of offshore resources in the fields of drilling, exploration, production, and environmental protection. OTC is sponsored by 13 industry organizations and societies, who work cooperatively to develop the technical program. OTC also has endorsing and supporting organizations.

Yergin to Headline Spill Conference – The International Oil Spill Conference (IOSC) 2014 will be held in Savannah, GA today through Thursday.  The event provides a vital forum for professionals from the international response community, private sector, government, and non-governmental organizations to come together to tackle the greatest challenges with sound science, practical innovation, social engineering and imagination. The Keynote Speaker will be Daniel Yergin, Pulitzer Prize-winning author and energy expert.

Murkowski to Address Water, Energy, Ag Forum – The Atlantic Council and the US Chamber of Commerce Foundation Corporate Citizenship Center are hosting a series of roundtables regarding the Energy, Water, and Agriculture starting next Monday at 3:00 p.m.   The forum will focus on the risks and opportunities for the private sector. The roundtables will pinpoint the nexus risks to businesses and why leadership from the private sector, in collaboration with key stakeholders, is critical to successfully manage the inter-linkages and tradeoffs between water, food, and energy for the benefit of society, business, and the environment.  The roundtable will define the three nexus issues; delve into the ways that energy, water, and food interact; explore the risks to business; and shine a spotlight on national security implications.  The following morning, Senate Energy top Republican Lisa Murkowski will release a white paper and deliver a speech on the fundamental interdependencies between energy and water production and use.

Forum to Look at China, Clean Tech – The Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars will hold a book event on next Monday with Kelly Sims Gallagher on the globalization of clean energy technology and lessons from China.  Using case studies from China’s solar photovoltaic, gas turbine, advanced battery, and coal gasification industries to examine both barriers and incentives in clean energy technology transfer, Kelly Sims Gallagher demonstrates that clean energy technologies already cross borders through foreign direct investment, licensing, joint R& D and other channels. She finds that the barriers are not as daunting as many assume, IP infringement is not as widespread as business leaders fear, and that while financing does present an obstacle, the biggest single barrier is a lack of policy incentives.  Gallagher is Director of the Center for International Environment and Resource Policy and Associate Professor of Energy and Environmental Policy at Tufts University’s Fletcher School.

PA Rally Supports Shale – Shale advocates in Pennsylvania will hold the Pennsylvania Jobs- Pennsylvania Energy Rally tomorrow in Harrisburg.  The rally is the start of the advocates’ effort to highlight the economic opportunities from shale gas.  Already, thee have created United Shale Advocates (USA),  an online neighborhood for committed advocates of shale gas and those who want to learn more about the industry.   Rally speakers PA Chamber of Business & Industry head Gene Barr, MSC Chairman Scott Roy of Range, union leader Jim Kunz, Western PA Junior Achievement CEO Dennis Gilfoyle and American Association of Blacks in Energy President Paula Jackson, as well as local officials and

Education Leaders to Discuss Energy, Manufacturing Skills Gap – The Newsmakers Committee of the National Press Club will host a Newsmaker forum tomorrow  at 2:00 p.m.  to discuss the “skills gap” challenge facing the U.S. energy and manufacturing sectors today.  U.S. manufacturing employs more than 11,000,000 U.S. workers  directly and creates almost 7,000,000 more jobs in related industries.  There are an estimated 600,000 skilled manufacturing jobs that are currently unfilled and 2.7  million manufacturing employees are expected to retire in the next decade. In a recent survey of its members,  the Precision Metalforming Association (PMA) and the National Tooling and Machining Association (NTMA) stated that 74% reported they currently have skilled job openings. Further underscoring the problem, 90% of respondents said they are having severe or moderate challenges recruiting qualified employees.  Manufacturing technology continues to advance as does the need for highly skilled workers. With many manufacturing technology  programs at secondary and post-secondary schools having closed in  recent years, there are not enough skilled people to fill these essential  roles.  Speakers will include Lackawanna College President Mark Volk, who hosted President Obama last year to talk about jobs and the economy.  Volk has launched a curriculum in the study of petroleum and natural gas in 2009 at the two-year college situated in the heart of Pennsylvania’s bountiful Marcellus Shale.  PMA President William Gaskin and NTMA President Dave Tilstone or CEOs from two of their member manufacturing companies will discuss their training initiatives and other programs to attract young workers to manufacturing, as well as ways in which the federal government and U.S. Congress can help close the skills gap in manufacturing. Finally,  Brig Gen. (retired) Marianne Watson of American Jobs for American Heroes (AJAH), which focuses on connecting manufacturers with members of the military, will also be on the panel.

Climate Advisory Committee to Meeting – The National Climate Assessment and Development Advisory Committee will meet via conference call tomorrow.  The administration will release the final NAC report which details the science of climate change and its effects on the U.S.  At 5:00 p.m. the Union of Concerned Scientists will team up with The White House and lead NCA authors to provide an overview of this important climate change report on the day of the release.

StatOil CEO to Address CSIS – The CSIS Energy and National Security Program will host StatOil CEO Helge Lund tomorrow to discuss developments in the energy landscape. As one of the world’s leading energy companies, Statoil has built a global oil and gas production portfolio and a reputation for responsible and technology-driven resource development in challenging environments. The company is active in exciting energy resource areas of North America with a focus on deep-water exploration and production, shale and tight rock hydrocarbons and heavy oil. Sarah Ladislaw, Director and Senior Fellow in the CSIS Energy and National Security Program, will moderate. John J. Hamre, President, CEO, and the Pritzker Chair at CSIS, will provide introductory remarks.

Brookings Forum to Discuss Ukraine – Tomorrow at 5:30 p.m., Brookings Project on International Order and Strategy (IOS) will host a Statesman’s Forum with Danish Foreign Minister Martin Lidegaard, who will offer a European perspective on how the Ukraine crisis demonstrates the need for a coherent European energy policy – one in which strategic investments in renewable energy and green technology  must play a central role. All of this is particularly timely given the emergence of 2014 as a defining year in Europe’s future climate and energy policy.  Lidegaard has been the foreign minister of Denmark since February 2014. Previously, he was the minister for climate, energy and buildings from 2011-2014 and prior to that he founded and directed the Danish climate think tank CONCITO. He has an extensive background in environmental policy and is a leading proponent of renewable energy.  Brookings Managing Director William Antholis will introduce the foreign minister. A question and answer session moderated by IOS Director and Brookings Senior Fellow Bruce Jones will follow Lidegaard’s remarks.

Chamber to Host Economists on 1Q GDP – The U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation will hold an Economic Roundtable and Briefing on Wednesday at 9:00 a.m. with Chamber economist Martin Regalia.  Regalia will deliver a keynote address based on GDP data released by the U.S. Department of Commerce from the first quarter, before leading a panel of economists and experts representing crucial sectors of the economy. These briefings will offer the business community better insight into the impact of policies on their industries as well as to offer solutions to potentially negative effects.   Other confirmed speakers include Standard & Poor’s Ratings U.S. Chief Economist Beth Ann Bovino, and Freddie Mac’s Frank Nothaft.

NRC Commissioner To Testify at House Energy Panel – The House Energy and Commerce Committee’s Subcommittee on Energy and Power will convene a hearing on Wednesday at 10;00 a.m. on the NRC FY 2015 budget and policy issues.   The hearing will review the NRC’s budget request and the range of issues confronting the agency. Nuclear Regulatory Commission Chairman Allison Macfarlane will testify alongside NRC Commissioners Kristine Svinicki, George Apostolakis, William Magwood, and William Ostendorff.

House Resources to Look at Fire Risks, Electricity – The House Committee on Natural Resources will hold an oversight hearing on Wednesday looking at electricity and reducing catastrophic forest fire risk by proper management of electricity rights of way on Federal lands.  The hearing will examine existing challenges to proactive forest management needed to ensure reliable electricity supply, low cost energy for homes and businesses, and public safety by reducing the risk of catastrophic wildfires.

Forum to Discuss Crude Rail Transport – The Environmental Law Institute will host a forum on Wednesday at Noon to discuss the relative risks and merits of different methods of shipping crude oil long distances.   As America’s oil and natural gas boom spreads across the country, producers are finding it difficult to get oil from the wells to market. Pipeline capacity is limited, and shipping crude by rail has raised concerns in the media.  A panel of experts will discuss and includes Michaela Noble who is chief of the Environmental Law Division in the Office of Maritime and International Law at the Coast Guard), Connie S. Roseberry of Union Pacific Railroad and NRDC’s Anthony Swift.

CSIS Forum on Uranium, Security in the Front-End of the Fuel Cycle – The Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) on Wednesday at 1:30 p.m. for a discussion with Dr. Cindy Vestergaard, director of the Governing Uranium project and senior researcher at the Danish Institute for International Studies, on the results of the ‘Governing Uranium’ project thus far.  Sharon Squassoni, senior fellow and director of the Proliferation Prevention Program at CSIS, will moderate the discussion. CSIS has partnered with the Danish Institute for International Studies (DIIS) and other international think-tanks in the on-going “Governing Uranium” project to explore the dimensions of security of natural uranium in a changing global market.

DOE’s Kenderdine to Keynote New CSIS Series on Electricity – The CSIS Energy and National Security Program is hosting a new series on the changes underway on the U.S. electricity sector. The series will explore the challenges facing actors in the sector—from merchant generators to vertically-integrated utilities to public utilities to state and federal regulators—and what the options are for public policymakers at the state and federal level.  At the inaugural event on Thursday, Melanie Kenderdine, Director of the Office of Energy Policy and Systems Analysis at the Department of Energy, will present on the Administration’s Quadrennial Energy Review (QER) and how it will tackle these challenges. A panel discussion will follow, providing an overview of the sector’s challenges and competing priorities, from decarbonization to reliability to affordability.

Senate Energy to Look at Energy Boom – Continuing its new series on North American energy issues, the Senate Energy Committee will hold a hearing on Thursday to examine the North American energy boom, focusing on realizing the opportunities and the challenges.

Forum to Look at China Oil Future – The Carnegie Endowment for International Peace will hold a forum on Thursday at 1:00 p.m. on China’s oil future.  China’s energy future will be shaped by its major oil ambitions, including the opportunity to exploit newly accessible domestic resources. As the second-largest consumer of oil and—by the end of 2014 – the world’s largest net oil importer, China’s growing demand comes at a time when the petroleum industry is experiencing the most significant paradigm shift since the oil crisis of 1973. High crude prices combined with technological advances are unlocking a new class of previously unattainable oils in North America, China, and around the globe. With Beijing’s new leadership seeking to ensure China’s economic growth charts a more sustainable path, Mikkal Herberg, Wang Tao, and Anthony Yuen will address the nation’s future oil opportunities and challenges. Carnegie’s Deborah Gordon will moderate.

C2ES Water-Energy Webinar Set – The Center for Climate and Energy Solutions is hosting a webinar on Thursday at 2:00 p.m. on water and energy issues for utilities. Craig Zamuda from the Department of Energy will present key findings from DOE’s recently released water/energy nexus report.  Kristen Averyt, Director of the Western Water Assessment at the University of Colorado, will present her research regarding water-energy challenges now and in the future.

Forum to Look at Climate Assessment – EESI will host a briefing on Thursday at 2:30 p.m. in 485 Russell looking at the Third National Climate Assessment (NCA), which will be released tomorrow. Required by the Global Change Act of 1990, this report examines the current state of the climate in the United States, as well as its historic trends and potential future changes.   The Third National Climate Assessment covers regional impacts in the Northeast, Southeast, Northwest, Southwest, Midwest, Great Plains, Alaska and the Arctic, as well as Hawaii and the Pacific Islands. The report’s authors examined climate impacts to human health, water, energy, transportation, agriculture, forests, ecosystems, coastal areas, oceans and marine resources. Thirteen federal agencies collaborated to produce the report under the auspices of the Global Change Research Program (USGCRP). More than 240 scientists from academia, state, local and federal government, the private sector, and the nonprofit sector volunteered their time as authors.   In this briefing, NCA authors will explore the risks inherent in the changes occurring in the United States, the latest findings highlighted in the report, and the science and scientific process informing the NCA’s conclusions.  Speakers for this forum are Gary Yohe, Huffington Foundation Professor of Economics and Environmental Studies at Wesleyan University and Don Wuebbles, Professor of Atmospheric Science at the University of Illinois. Yohe and Wuebbles both hold leadership positions as part of the NCA and Development Advisory Committee, and have long been involved in climate science and impact assessments.

FUTURE EVENTS

ACEEE to Host Energy Efficiency Forum – The 8th annual 2014 ACEEE Energy Efficiency Finance Forum will take place on Sunday through Tuesday, May 11-13th at Capital Hilton Hotels designed specifically for investors, financiers, utilities, and policymakers, the Energy Efficiency Finance Forum will explore the latest opportunities in financing and investing in energy efficiency. Over the past seven years, the conference has grown to become one of the premier venues for discussions of energy efficiency financing policies, and an important networking opportunity.

GU event to Look at Arab Energy Issues – Next Monday, Georgetown University’s Center for Contemporary Arab Studies will hold its annual MAAS lecture “Energy and America’s Long War in the Middle East” featuring Toby Jones, Associate Professor, Department of History, Rutgers University.  Oil and war have a deeply entangled history. Nowhere has this been more true than in the oil rich Persian Gulf, where oil producing states and outside powers, especially the United States, have struggled sometimes violently to secure their primacy over what has become a global energy regime. While it is commonly posited that wars in the region can or should be understood as struggles for control over oil, “Energy and America’s Long War in the Middle East” encourages a new way of seeing the relationships between oil, energy, war, and global capitalism. In particular, by examining the technopolitical and militarized relations that came into being around oil and its distribution in the 1980s, I argue that the distinction between energy and war were erased, collapsed in a new material order of militarized-energy networks with its epicenter in the Persian Gulf.   Jones is an associate professor of history at Rutgers University. He has lived and worked extensively in the Middle East, including several years in Saudi Arabia and Bahrain.

Forum to Discuss LNG Exports, Impacts – The U.S. Energy Association will host a forum next Tuesday at 10:00 a.m. looking at the LNG exports and the impact on the world gas market.  Nexant’s proprietary World Gas Model  will be used to analyze the impact on the world gas market of LNG exports from North America.  How much will be exported, which markets will it go to and what are the implications for gas pricing in different markets, especially Europe and Asia Pacific.  The impact of differing levels of LNG exports on the North American.

Deloitte Energy Conference to Look at Local Impacts, Global Issues – The 2014 Deloitte Energy Conference will be held in Washington, DC on May 13-14th.  For two days, energy executives, researchers, entrepreneurs, investors, and regulators from around the globe will join Deloitte’s energy professionals for an in-depth analysis of key developments and challenges facing today’s global and domestic energy markets. Speakers represent a cross-section of the world’s energy industry, and the conference topics are of keen interest to energy company management, boards of directors, investors, and all other industry professionals.  The first day of this conference features plenary sessions focusing on macro industry issues, such as the global and domestic energy outlook, the globalization of gas markets, the future of coal, the energy investment environment, and responding to water scarcity. The second day offers a mix of plenary and elective sessions which bring together specialists from across disciplines to share knowledge, experiences, and perspectives about the latest trends in the energy industry. Join industry colleagues and Deloitte’s energy specialists for two days of sharing points of view in an interactive setting.

POLITICO to Host Energy Forum – The POLITICO Pro Energy team will host a for a dynamic conversation at the Mayflower Hotel on next Tuesday at Noon focused on the role of energy issues in the 2014 midterm elections and future policy implications.  More next week.

RFF Forum to Host Exelon CEO – Resources for the Future will host an RFF Policy Leadership Forum on Tuesday May 13th featuring a conversation with Exelon CEO Christopher Crane.  Crane, will be featured in a one-on-one conversation with RFF President Phil Sharp about the massive shifts affecting the energy industry and how they will shape the economy in years to come. From the changing generation mix to new consumer behaviors to emerging technologies, Crane will share his thoughts on the future of energy.

Forum to Look at Internet of Things – The Center for Data Innovation, Microsoft, ITIC and DESSC will host a breakfast and a panel discussion to learn how public and private partnerships are building 21st century campuses and cities by connecting systems to the Internet of Things (IoT). Cities face a number of challenges from providing adequate transportation to improving energy efficiency to conserving water. From the smart grid to smart parking, the emergence of the IoT-smart, Internet-connected devices-has created new opportunities for cities to leverage technology to offer new services to their citizens, optimize the efficiency of existing services, and improve the overall sustainability of their communities.

Forum to Look at Climate, Africa – On Wednesday, May 14th at 3:00 p.m., the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars will host a discussion with leading researchers to identify the critical questions and gaps in understanding what needs to be addressed, and how a population perspective can contribute to the development of effective adaptation strategies in Africa.  A strong call for action has been issued with the newly released 5th IPCC report, which illustrates the high environmental and security risks imposed by climate change. This call for action extends to the role of demographers in anticipating how climate change will interact with demographic factors such as population growth, women’s empowerment, age-structure, migration, and urbanization. At the same time, it’s important to address the population, environment, and security implications of extreme weather events and climate variability.

EIA’s Gruenspecht to Discuss Outlook at ICF Forum – On Thursday, May 15th, ICF International will host EIA’s Deputy Administrator Howard Gruenspecht at the National Press Club to discuss EIA’s latest forecasts and the sensitivity of that outlook to key changes. With nearly every facet of energy markets in considerable flux, the EIA’s authoritative take explains how the pieces fit together and the kinds of transitions we will soon undergo.  Every year, EIA issues an Annual Energy Outlook (AEO) that serves as the touchstone for those trying to look over the horizon and improve their perspective on what future energy markets hold. With its impressive set of experts and analytics capabilities, EIA pulls together trends in fuel dynamics (e.g., shale gas and oil), electricity markets, environmental regulations, international developments, the economy, and much more.

Hurricane Forum To Discuss Forecasting – On May 15th at the Stafford Centre in Stafford, Texas (South Houston), the 25th Annual Hurricane Symposium will be held looking at the latest forecasting technologies, incident management tactics and risk mitigation programs.  Speakers will include National Hurricane Center former Director Bill Read, KPRC Local 2 Chief Meteorologist Frank Billingsley, Port of Houston’s Captain Marcus Woodring, Hospital Corporation of America Executive Director of Emergency Services Allen Johnson, our friend and Houston Chronicle SciGuy Blogger Eric Berger, University of Miami’s Dr. Sharan Majumdar, Houston Airport System Safety and Emergency Management Manager Steve Runge and Spectra Energy’s Thomas McNulty.

CNA Military Board to Update Climate, Security Report – On Thursday, May 15th, the Wilson Center and CNA Corporation will the launch of an update to the seminal 2007 report, National Security and the Threat of Climate Change, from CNA’s Military Advisory Board.  The nature and pace of climate changes being observed today and the consequences projected by  consensus scientific opinion are serious and pose severe risks for our national security. The CNA Military Advisory Board (MAB), a group of more than a dozen admirals and generals from all four branches of the U.S. military, first published a report on these threats in 2007. After nearly a decade of advances in scientific understanding and slow, or in many cases non-existent, reactions to projected changes, the MAB felt compelled to provide an update.  A panel of MAB members and report authors will hold a discussion on what has changed and why the national security implications of climate change are still important. During their decades of experience in the U.S. military, the members of the MAB have addressed many national security challenges, from containment and deterrence of the Soviet nuclear threat during the Cold War to terrorism and extremism in recent years. The national security risks of the changing climate, they contend, are as serious as any of these.

CSIS Forum to Look at US Energy Role – On Friday, May 16th at 10:00 a.m., the CSIS Energy and National Security Program will host Fereidun Fesharaki, Chairman of FACTS Global Energy, to discuss the changing U.S. role in the energy landscape and the implications for global markets and Asia, the Middle East, Russia, and Europe. The emergence of the U.S. as a growing oil and gas producer has surprised the energy world.  The backdrop of changes in supply from other regions, persistent supply disruptions, growing demand for natural gas and oil, raises the question of the future role of the U.S. in global markets  and the implications for other major producers and consumers.  Fesharaki, a leading expert on global oil and gas markets, will discuss these dynamics as well as other oil and gas  market developments. David Pumphrey, Senior Adviser in the CSIS Energy and National Security Program, will moderate.

Forum to Discuss Hydrogen Fuel Cells – On Friday, May 16th at Noon in the Senate Visitor Center Room 208, the Fuel Cell and Hydrogen Energy Association, in cooperation with the Senate Fuel Cell and Hydrogen Caucus will host a presentation looking at resiliency and efficiency with hydrogen fuel cells.  Speakers will include DOE’s Deputy Asst. Secretary for Transportation Reuben Sarkar, Scott Gerke of Honda, Gwen Bluemich of Daimler, Frank Wolak of FuelCell Energy and Proton’s Steve Szymanski.

DOE Methane Meetings Continue – On May 20th, DOE will hold another methane roundtable featuring academics, non-governmental organizations, and environmental groups.  Previous meetings included Labor and manufacturing groups.  There will also be one more meeting on June 11th with natural gas companies.

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.

RFF Seminar to Look at Ecology – Resources for the Future will hold a First Wednesday Seminar on May 28th at 12:45 p.m. focused on natural resources, ecology and public policy. Demographers emphasize that the population growth rate has steadily declined over the last four decades and is expected to continue declining at a rapid rate. What does this demographic phenomenon signify for demands on natural resources and ecological systems? What other factors may concurrently come into play? This moderated panel discussion will draw on the emerging insight that humankind may be in the era of the “Anthropocene,” prompting us to reconsider interrelationships among people, resources, ecology, and the way public policies shape these linkages. Jack Bobo will discuss some of the key demographic trends. Erle Ellis, who has developed the still more recent concept of the “anthrome,” will discuss implications for ecological systems, including whether the potential to conserve biodiversity may, paradoxically, be increased by rapid urbanization and more intensive use of agricultural land. Roger Sedjo and Joel Darmstadter will emphasize the joint influence of markets and policy intervention, particularly in the cases of forests, agriculture, and energy.

Forbes Exec to Keynote Energy Capital Conference – The 7th annual Energy Capital Conference will be held June 9-10th at the Omni Houston Hotel.  The event addresses effective strategies for oil and gas executives interested in expanding their knowledge of how to successfully access and deploy capital.  The keynote speaker will be entrepreneur-turned-publisher, columnist, television commentator, private investor and board director, Rich Karlgaard.  Karlgaard has a unique vantage point on the trends driving the business and investment climates. His insights help audiences see the global marketplace with new eyes.

FERC Commissioners to Address Regional Regulators Conference – The Mid-Atlantic Conference of Regulatory Utilities Commissioners (MACRUC) will hold its 19th  Annual Education Conference on June 22nd through 25th at the Hotel Hershey.  Speakers will include FERC Commissioners John Norris and Phil Moeller, as well as NARUC head Colette Honorable, New Jersey Natural Gas CEO Laurence Downes, Bill Colton of ExxonMobil, Walter Lynch of American Water and Exelon Utilities CEO Denis O’Brien.

Summit to Target Crude By Rail Issues – American Business Conferences will hold a Crude By Rail summit on June 24-25 in Houston to focus specifically on how each stakeholder can cost effectively optimize safety in their operations to restore confidence and promote reliability.  As the only crude by rail event specifically focused on optimizing safety, the Crude By Rail Safety Initiative 2014 host speakers from every key stakeholder group, including regulators, shippers, railroad operators, transloaders and refiners to quantify the cost-impacts of improving the safety of crude by rail operations.  Expert speakers will breakdown railroad strategies for improving safety and shipper strategies for crude testing, classification and transloading, provide a cost-analysis of railcar upgrades, clarify how the emerging regulatory landscape will impact each stakeholder and examine best practice emergency response and hazmat training.