This week starts the run up to Memorial Day Weekend, the traditional start of summer (expanding the closet with summer wear and the annual weekend parade to local beaches).  In fact, many will argue that Delaware’s beaches become the de facto summer Capital.  The onset of summer in Memorial Day also means that the Indianapolis Motor Speedway will be alive with the annual 500-mile race to drink from the victory milk jug.  This year’s race will feature Ed Carpenter on the pole averaging about 231 MPH.  Other key starters include Kurt Busch, who will also run NASCAR’s Coke 600 on the same day.  The Indy 500 will start at 12:12 p.m. ET and typically is over in less than three hours. The Coke 600 will start around 6:15 p.m. in Charlotte.  Six plus hours in a car in a day: Sounds like about the typical Annapolis or Fredericksburg to DC commute.

Speaking of races, California Chrome has successfully checked the second box in Baltimore at the Preakness on Saturday. While there have only been 11 Triple Crown winners, there have plenty of Triple Crown near misses. 17 horses have won the Derby and Preakness, but failed to win the Belmont Stakes, 11 since the last TC winner Affirmed in 1978.  They include Spectacular Bid (’79), Pleasant Colony (’81),  Alysheba (’87), Sunday Silence (’89), Silver Charm (’97), Real Quiet (’98), Charismatic (’99) War Emblem (’02), Funny Cide (‘03), Smarty Jones (’04) and Big Brown (’08).  Silver Charm, Real Quiet and Smarty Jones all finished 2nd in New York.

And speaking of Charm City, focus moves from Pimlico to the NCAA Lax Final Fours this weekend featuring Maryland, Notre Dame, Duke and Denver on the men’s side, while Maryland, Syracuse, Northwestern and Virginia will be in the women’s games.  The Men’s DII game will feature LIU Post and Limestone, while Tufts will face Salisbury in the DIII game.  And great news in NCAA DIII Golf, Schreiner University of Texas, which has Bracewell tax expert Mike Pate as its Board of Trustees Chairman, won a 5-stroke victory to capture the Mountaineers’ third national golf title.

As we run up to Memorial Day weekend, House and Senate remain in action this week.  There will be several Appropriations hearings this week and House Resources will look at oil/gas on wildlife refuges, but the big hearing will be the FERC nomination hearing of Norman Bay and Cheryl LeFleur, tomorrow at 10:00 a.m.  The Wall Street Journal, who opined aggressively against previous nominee Ron Binz, has already editorialized and you can expect some fireworks here.  Finally, after a great event at the Press Club on the manufacturing/energy education skills gap, both House Resources and the House Veterans Affairs, who will take a moment away from hammering the VA scandal, will hold hearings tomorrow that will focus on providing energy/ manufacturing jobs, especially for veterans.

We had a great visit on Friday to Northeast Pennsylvania to tour Cabot Oil & Gas drilling rigs, production platforms and water recycling facilities.  It all started with a visit to the Oil & Gas school at Lackawanna College.  The trip also featured Cabot CEO Dan Dinges, ANGA CEO Marty Durbin and the Cabot technical team, which detailed the processes all along the way.  Our only drawback was the monsoon that forced us under umbrellas nearly all day (of course until we were finished).  Thanks to all who were able to join and for those who could not, please let us know when we can get you up there.

Congrats to our friends at Southern Company’s Nuclear Development Communications team.  They won first place in the 2013 Impact Awards Strategic Communications Competition presented by the League of American Communications Professionals.   SoCo finished first in the Best Corporate Communications/PR Program category, winning out over 100 entries from six countries.  The highlight of the team’s effort was its 2014 1Q Timeline video.

Finally, as if we need to discuss this issue any more in a “rally” forum, on Wednesday afternoon at the Upper Senate Park (next to Russell), enviro groups and Congressional climate advocates will hold the “Time to Wake Up” rally for climate change action with the top Climate Champions in Congress.  Must be only two weeks to the June 2 EPA rule Roll out day.  While many start their prep for curtain-raisers, our friend and curtain-raising queen Eric Martinson curtain-raises the curtain-raisers.  (can’t believe I used some form of “curtain raiser” four times in a sentence…Grammatically shady, yet impressive)

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


Georgia Power to Build Solar Project on Military Bases – Southern Company’s Georgia Power will build, own and operate three separate solar generation facilities on U.S. Army bases in Georgia. The generation facilities, each capable of producing approximately 30 megawatts (MW) AC of solar energy, will be located at Fort Stewart near Savannah, Fort Benning near Columbus and Fort Gordon near Augusta. Scheduled to be completed by the end of 2016, the facilities are expected to be the largest solar generation facilities operating on U.S. military bases. The announcement was made as part of the company’s updated Renewable Resource Action Plan filed with the Georgia Public Service Commission (PSC).  Georgia Power is committed to developing economical renewable energy as part of a balanced generation portfolio including new nuclear, advanced coal and natural gas, as well as energy efficiency. By 2016, the company projects it will have a solar portfolio of nearly 900 MW – the largest voluntary solar portfolio in the nation. In addition to the new solar projects with the U.S. Army, the company anticipates more than 500 new solar projects will be brought online in the coming years through existing solar programs including the Large-Scale Solar initiative and Georgia Power Advanced Solar Initiative.

Kemper CCS Project Featured by WaPo; Highlights EPA Rule Issues – Speaking of Southern Project, the Washington Post reported on Sunday from Kemper County on the Mississippi Power clean coal project as part of a longer piece on the challenges and opportunities of building the first new coal plant with Carbon capture and storage (CCS).  The project, which has faced the expected (and unexpected) first-of-its-kind challenges, has also become a lightning rod for the policy fight over the EPA’s new rules for new power plants.

MD Gov Vetoes Bill to Delay Wind Project –Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley’s top energy advisor Abbe Hopper said the Governor vetoed a 13-month moratorium on building wind turbines within 56 miles of the U.S. Naval Air Station Patuxent River, saying the bill is unnecessary and would send a chilling message to renewable energy developers.  The bill, strongly supported by Steny Hoyer, Sens Mikulski and Cardin, would have delayed construction on wind turbines to wait for a study on how they could affect radar use around the base. Supporters of the bill argued it was important to consider needs of the base, a big economic engine in southern Maryland. But opponents contended it sent a bad message to businesses and harms wind farm development in Maryland. Lawmakers would need a three-fifths vote in each chamber to override the veto. They would need to petition themselves back into session in order to do that before January. That’s because the Legislature can’t override a veto during the first year of a new legislative term, since the bill would have been passed by the previous Legislature.

EPA Rolls Out Refinery Rule – The EPA has proposed new regulations to limit air pollution from petroleum refineries.  EPA says the rule should cut benzene, toluene and xylene pollution by 5,600 tons a year, and volatile organic compound emissions by 52,000 tons per year.  It also is the first mandatory monitoring of air concentrations at the “fenceline” of refinery facilities. The proposed rule can be viewed in its entirety here and an EPA “Fact Sheet” on the rule is available here.

Bracewell Legal Experts Address Rule – If you are looking for more details about the 813-page rule, former EPA officials Rich Alonso and Grant MacIntyre who are now at Bracewell detailed the rule in a B&G Energy Legal Blog post late Friday.

Other Industry Reax – Refinery industry trade associations both said EPA’s proposed new rule comes at a high cost with questionable benefits.  API’s Howard Feldman:  “This rule is intended to evaluate what risk, if any, is posed to the public from refinery emissions. But EPA has already concluded the risks associated with refinery emissions are low and the public is protected with an ample margin of safety.  America’s refineries have been reducing emissions for decades and will continue reducing emissions under existing regulations while making the cleanest fuels and helping to improve air quality.”  Meanwhile, AFPM head Charlie Drevna said his group has evaluated the risks based on similar industry emissions data provided and the analysis shows the risk levels were not appreciably higher than they were the first time the rule was finalized in 2009.  (At that time EPA determined no further action was required.)  Drevna: “The risk concerns of this rule do not justify additional controls that EPA is proposing. The rule requires some unprecedented changes such as fenceline monitors that are not justified by the risk findings. EPA’s one-size-fits-all approach to this monitoring will require every facility in the United States, regardless of risk, to install monitoring equipment throughout the facility. “

FERC Says Cove Point Will Have No Impact – FERC released its environmental assessment of Cove Point’s LNG facility late last week saying the project for LNG exports in Maryland would not significantly impact the environment.  The report says that if Dominion follows its application as planned, the Cove Point project would “not constitute a major federal action significantly affecting the quality of the human environment.”  FERC included 82 conditions for construction, including that Dominion must file a plan on how it will address several mitigation factors within 60 days before construction begins and that the company must get written authorization before using hazardous fluids in the facility.

UT Energy Center Named for KBH – The University of Texas at Austin is establishing the Kay Bailey Hutchison Center for Energy, Law and Business, jointly with its School of Law and the McCombs School of Business.  The naming of the center was approved today by the University of Texas System Board of Regents.  The mission of the interdisciplinary center will be to provide the finest educational opportunities in the U.S. to students pursuing careers in energy. The center will also provide critical analyses of legal, business and policy questions related to energy and the energy industry, both domestic and international, including an emphasis on Latin America.  The center will combine three existing centers at the university: the School of Law’s Center for Global Energy, International Arbitrations, and Environmental Law; the McCombs School’s Energy Management and Innovation Center; and the School of Law’s Kay Bailey Hutchison Center for Latin American Law, which the Board of Regents honorifically named for Hutchison last July. The Center for Latin American Law was formally established in 2013 but is not yet active. The new Kay Bailey Hutchison Center for Energy, Law and Business will unite the expertise and resources of these three centers.

Podcast Look at Energy Issues – Our friends at the Energy Gang are doing a fresh pod cast each week on Greentech Media that features three current stories on clean energy. Stephen Lacey, Jigar Shah and Katherine Hamilton engage in lively discussion of technologies, policies and market forces driving energy and environmental issues. The Gang often brings on guests who contribute to the conversation.  See:  You can also find The Energy Gang on Greentech Media (


Building Week Set – This week is High Performance Building Week, an annual celebration of high performing buildings organized by the coalition of building industry stakeholders that support the HPB Congressional Caucus.  The High-Performance Building Congressional Caucus Coalition (HPBCCC) is a private sector coalition providing guidance and support to the High-Performance Buildings Caucus of the U.S. Congress.   The High-Performance Building Congressional Caucus Coalition will work with the Congressional Caucus to promote and showcase best practices in building design and focus on issues reflecting all aspects of high-performance buildings.  Tomorrow night at 5:30 p.m. in Congressional Meeting Room North of the Capitol Visitors Center, the HPB Congressional Caucus Coalition will hold a reception.

Smart Grid Town Hall Meeting Set – Today through Wednesday, the National Town Meeting on Demand Response and Smart Grid will hold its 11th forum looking at of the demand response and smart grid community in Washington, DC.  It is unique in that it devotes an entire day to roundtable discussions featuring CEOs and heads of government agencies having discussions with each other, and with the audience, on the latest trends, issues, and business developments. The National Town Meeting also features two tracks of breakout sessions, with detailed presentations on case studies, the latest research and technology demonstrations. Approximately 400 attendees are expected this year. In 2014, 50 different utilities sent at least one representative to the National Town Meeting.

DOE Methane Meetings Continue – Tomorrow, 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 tomorrow and Wednesday.  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.

Distributed Solar Forum Set – Infocast will hold its Distributed Solar East Forum tomorrow through Thursday at the DoubleTree Crystal City.  Solar project developers and integrators, utilities, regulators, investors, lenders, panel suppliers, contractors, installers, EPCs and other industry players will gather at Distributed Solar East 2014 to explore how to move distributed solar forward. The Summit has developed into a major networking event for the entire distributed solar community— where people connect, build relationships and get valuable new insights into the distributed solar markets in the East and strategies for financing distributed solar projects.

Bay, LeFleur Hearing Set for FERC – The Senate Energy Committee will meet tomorrow to consider the pending nominations of Cheryl LaFleur and Norman Bay, to be Members of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.  Should be Interesting…

SEIA to Hold Webinar on Upcoming EPA Carbon Regulations – Tomorrow at 1:00 p.m., the Solar Energy Industry Association (SEIA) will hold a webinar to learn how the EPA’s upcoming carbon regulations on existing power plants will affect the solar industry. Participants will learn how the significant benefits solar energy offers ties in to the EPA’s goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and how investments in solar may be allowed to count towards state compliance for reducing carbon emissions under Section 111(d) of the Clean Air Act.  Speakers will include SEIA’s Carrie Cullen Hitt and attorney David Wooley of Fox & Wiedman LLP.

Forum to Look at Climate, Historic Landmarks – The Environmental and Energy Study Institute (EESI) and the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) will hold a forum tomorrow at 1:30 p.m. in 902 Hart highlighting the risks climate change poses to landmark historic sites around the United States. This briefing will unveil a new report from UCS which highlights climate threats to the nation’s iconic landmarks and historic sites, and details steps being taken to protect these national treasures. The report includes 30 at-risk sites, including places where the “first Americans” lived, the Spaniards ruled, English colonists landed, slavery rose and fell, and gold prospectors struck it rich. Some of the sites also commemorate more modern “firsts,” such as the race to put the first man on the moon.  Speakers for this forum are  NM Sen. Martin Heinrich, Alan Spears of the National Parks Conservation Association  and several more.

House Resources to Hold Hearing on Energy Jobs; Oil, Gas, Wildlife Refuge System – The House Natural Resources Committee’s Subcommittee on Fisheries, Wildlife, Oceans and Insular Affairs will hold an oversight hearing tomorrow at 2:00 p.m. on oil and gas activities within the US Wildlife Refuge System.  Prior to that, the Committee’s energy panel holds a hearing on U.S. energy jobs and manufacturing at 10:00 a.m..

House Veterans Panel to Look at Jobs, Energy for Veterans – The House Veterans Affairs Committee panel will hold a hearing tomorrow at 2:00 p.m. exploring jobs for veterans in the energy sector.  Last week, Steve Nowlan, Executive Director of American Jobs for American Heroes, was featured at a press club newsmaker that addresses the skills gap in manufacturing and energy.  AJAH is a program that focuses on addressing the skills gap by connecting manufacturers with members of the military.

Forum to Look at Arctic 2014 – The Woodrow Wilson Center’s new Polar Initiative and Kissinger Institute on China and the United States, the Canada Institute, China Environment Forum, Kennan Institute, and Global Europe Program will hold a forum on Wednesday morning on the state of the Arctic in 2014 and why it matters,  Tensions over security, access, and environmental impacts in the Arctic are rising. While members of the Arctic Council (Canada, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Russia, Sweden, United States) assert their established rights under new circumstances, an increasing number of non-Arctic states (including China, Korea, Japan, and Singapore) seek an active role in the region. The discussion will focus on emerging challenges facing Arctic governance, analyze the goals and policies of key stakeholder nations, and evaluate means of promoting international cooperation in dealing with a rapidly changing environment.

Senate Approps to Tackle Energy Security & Research – The House Appropriations Committee’s Subcommittee on Department of Defense will convene a hearing on Wednesday to examine energy security and research.   Witnesses will include DoD’s Edward Thomas Morehouse, Assistant Secretary of the Navy, Energy, Installations & Environment Dennis McGinn, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Strategy OUSD (Policy)Dan Chiu and Brig Gen Kenneth Lewis, Director of Trans-Regional Policy and Partnership Strategy, Joint Staff (J5).

House Approps to Mark-Up of FY’15 Transportation Bill – On Wednesday, the full House Appropriations Committee will meet to mark up the FY 2015 Transportation, Housing and Urban Development Appropriations Bill.

House Foreign Affairs Committee to Look at Central Asia Energy Resources – On Wednesday at 2:00 p.m., the House Foreign Affairs Committee’s Subcommittee on Europe, Eurasia, and Emerging Threats will hold a hearing on the development of energy resources in Central Asia.  Witnesses will include U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission Chairman Dennis Shea, Charlie Santos of the Uzbekistan Investment Group and former NSC Director of Europe and Eurasia David Merkel.

DOE to Look at 2014 Farm Bill’s Renewable Energy for America Program – On Wednesday at 3:00 p.m., DOE will present a live webinar looking at the 2014 Farm Bill’s Renewable Energy for America Program. The Renewable Energy for America Program (REAP) provides grants and loan guarantees to farmers, ranchers, and rural small businesses and electric cooperatives to install energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies. During the webinar, Andy Olsen, a senior policy advocate for the Environmental Law and Policy Center, will describe the funding allocated to REAP in 2014, eligible recipients and technologies, application deadlines, and how to submit a complete application. In addition, Charles Newcomb, director of technology for Endurance Wind Power, will provide an industry perspective on the Farm Bill.

Forum to Look at Blue Carbon Issues – The Woodrow Wilson Center will hold a forum on Wednesday at 3:00 p.m. looking at blue carbon.  Blue carbon is the carbon taken up and stored by coastal and marine ecosystems.  It represents a vast, previously unrecognized natural carbon sink. Coastal blue carbon habitats, including salt marshes, mangroves, and seagrasses, sequester carbon at rates 10 times higher than forested ecosystems and store carbon in their soil that is often hundreds or thousands of years old. As such, in addition to giving other important climate adaptation benefits to coastal communities like storm protection, nursery habitats for fish, and water purification, this coastal blue carbon reserve is a crucial part of natural climate mitigation.  A panel of leading experts will discuss the importance of blue carbon and the ramifications of its release.  Speakers include UN Foundation’s Thomas Lovejoy, NOAA’s Ariana Sutton-Grier, Diane Hoskins of Restore America’s Estuaries,  Conservation International Jennifer Howard and GMU Professor of Oceanography Paul Schopf.

Platts NYC to Discuss Future Of Electric Utility – On Wednesday at 5:30 p.m. in McGraw-Hill’s New York City office, Platts will hold a forum looking at the future of the electric utility.  Speakers will be Sergej Mahnovski,  director in the Utility of the Future team at Con Edison, and also is the former Director of the Mayor’s Office of Long Term Planning and Sustainability where he managed citywide energy policy and oversaw New York City’s comprehensive sustainability initiative, and Anthony Yuen, who leads global macro, gas and power strategy within Commodities Research at Citigroup. He is also a key contributor to studies on oil and coal and a reviewer of IEA’s World Energy Outlook.

Kasparov to Speak at Cato Dinner – The Cato Institute will announce its Milton Friedman Prize for Advancing Liberty at its 2014 Biennial Dinner on Wednesday 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.

Groups to Focus On GHG Target Setting – The WWF, World Resources Institute and CDP will hold a  one day workshop on Thursday to learn about and provide input on a new method to develop science-based corporate GHG reduction targets. This workshop is part of a larger public consultation process we are opening for companies to share useful insights for the improvement of this method.  Workshop objectives include creating an understanding of approaches to science-based corporate target setting and the need for increased ambition in achieving GHG emission reductions, getting input on a new sector-specific methodology to science-based target setting and getting input on proposed guidance for companies on how to implement science-based target setting.

Forum to Look at State & Federal Options For Carbon Pricing – The Center for Climate and Energy Solutions will hold a forum on Thursday at 9:30 a.m. at the U.S. Capitol Visitor Center Room SVC 202-203 on carbon pricing.  Carbon pricing is widely viewed as a cost-effective way to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and encourage energy innovation.  Different forms of carbon pricing are employed in a growing number of jurisdictions around the world.  Experts join C2ES to explore options for expanding the use of carbon pricing in the United States — in particular, as a way for states to implement upcoming federal standards to reduce carbon emissions from power plants

Forum to Look at Managing Climate Risks in the Southeast – The Environmental and Energy Study Institute will hold a briefing on Thursday at 10:00 a.m. in 428 Russell examining the current and projected impacts of climate change in the Southeast, and efforts to manage these risks. According to the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration, the Southeast region has experienced more billion-dollar natural disasters than any other region in the United States, primarily from hurricanes, but also from tornadoes and winter storms. Climate change will increase the frequency and strength of such extreme weather events. Coastal areas in the Gulf already grapple with hurricane damages that cost an average $14 billion a year, and conservative estimates project that these costs could rise to $23 billion by 2030, with 50 percent of this increase attributable to climate change. Rising sea levels also have the potential to create widespread damage. The Third National Climate Assessment (NCA) projects between 1 to 4 feet of sea level rise by 2100, and many of the region’s major cities are in low-lying, coastal areas, as are critical highways, trade ports, and military installations.  Speakers for this forum are USGS chief scientist Virginia Burkett, Oceanographer and Navigator of the Navy Rear Admiral Jonathan White, the Navy’s Deputy Assistant Secretary for Environment Don Schregardus and Robert Kafalenos, Federal Highway Administration Environmental Protection Specialist.

Green BRT to Look at Business Model Innovation – The Green Business Roundtable will host JP Leous to discuss Business Model Innovation on the environment on Thursday at 11:30 a.m.  at Elizabeth’s on L.  The idea of business model innovation captivates business leaders and sustainability advocates alike. The inner workings of a business model—its products and processes, its interactions with stakeholders, what and how it measures, the transactions it requires—influence a company’s ability to thrive in the future, and shape its impacts on people and planet.   As global trends — environmental, social, political, technological — continue to shift the foundations of our current business models, incremental innovation will become less effective in enabling companies, industries and whole economies to adapt and succeed. There is an urgent need for fundamentally different approaches to value creation.  Innovative thinker, JP Leous (Senior Manager, SustainAbility), drives client-focused solutions on brand positioning and performance through innovative projects, corporate sustainability strategy, materiality and trends analysis, business case development and external stakeholder engagement.  Prior to joining SustainAbility JP worked on and off Capitol Hill with civil society organizations focused on a number of climate-related legislative campaigns. JP also serves as a Lecturer at The George Washington University’s School of Public Health and Health Services.

Wharton DC Green Business Forum To Host Walmart Director of Sustainability – The DC Wharton Club’s Green Business Forum, will hold its upcoming meeting Friday at 11:45 a.m. where it discusses topics at the intersection of business and our environment. This forum will feature Katherine Neebe, Director of Sustainability & Stakeholder Engagement, Walmart.  Environmental sustainability has become an essential ingredient to doing business responsibly and successfully. As the world’s largest retailer, Walmart understands that its actions have the potential to save customers money and help ensure a better world for generations to come. Neebe will share how Walmart is translating sustainability principles into day-to-day action, delivering value to its customers, and averting risk.


Brooking Forum to Discuss Russian Gas Matrix – The Brookings Energy Security Initiative (ESI) and the Center on the United States and Europe (CUSE) at Brookings will host a discussion on Tuesday, May 27th at 10:00 a.m. to launch the Oxford Institute for Energy Studies’ (OIES) new book on The Russian Gas Matrix: How Markets are Driving Change. This study looks at the shifting relationship between supply and demand for Russian gas and Russia’s influence in the European and Asian energy sectors. James Henderson, co-editor of the study, will present OIES’s findings along with Jonathan Stern, one of the book’s contributors and chairman of the Natural Gas Research Program at OIES. After their remarks, Edward C. Chow, senior fellow at the Center for Strategic & International Studies, will serve as a discussant and Charles K. Ebinger, senior fellow and director of ESI, will moderate the discussion.

Forum to Look at Second Gen Biofuel Risks – The George Washington University Environmental Law Studies Program, the Society for Risk Analysis National Capital Area Chapter, the Women’s Council on Energy and the Environment (WCEE); Risk, Policy and Law Specialty Group, Society for Risk Analysis (SRA RPLSG); and USDA Office of Risk Assessment and Cost Benefit Analysis (ORACBA) will host an event on Tuesday, May 27th at 6:00 p.m. at Burns Hall Room 505 on the risk regarding increasing demand for sustainable bioenergy feedstocks (other than corn) to meet U.S. renewable fuel mandates.   Practitioners will discuss the challenges of navigating the need for ecological protection while also fostering the development of renewable bio-based sources of energy and chemicals, and what role risk analysis can play in the process.

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.

Forum to Look at Financing the Green Economy – The Johns Hopkins University will host a forum on Wednesday, May 28th at 4:00 p.m. with Nick Robins, director of the Climate Change Centre of Excellence at HSBC, and Simon Zadek, visiting scholar at Tsinghua School of Economics and Management and a senior fellow at the Global Green Growth Institute.  Both will discuss financing the green economy and changing the rules of the game.

NOIA’s Luthi, Others Featured on Oil Pollution Act Update Panel – On Thursday, May 29th at 12:00 p.m., a panel of experts will the Oil Pollution Act and attempts to update it given recent spill activity.  In 1990, following the Exxon Valdez oil spill, President George H.W. Bush signed the Oil Pollution Act (OPA) into law to strengthen the federal government’s ability to prevent and respond to oil spills, establish financial resources to aid response, and raise standards for contingency planning.  In 2010, in response to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, President Barack Obama signed an Executive Order to establish the National Commission on the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and Offshore Drilling. This bipartisan presidential commission “tasked with providing recommendations on how the United States can prevent and mitigate the impact of any future spills that result from offshore drilling.” Three years after the Commission’s 2011 report, much has happened in the area of oil pollution law, though only one aspect of OPA has been amended.  An expert panel will discuss developments in oil pollution law, including discussions on developments in the Houston Ship Channel oil spill, the Deepwater Horizon disaster and the pending civil penalty action, the oil transport disaster in Lac-Mégantic, Quebec, the Deepwater Horizon Natural Resource Damage Assessment, and the status of claims made under the BP compensation Fund.  Panelists will include DOJ’s Assistant Chief of Environmental Enforcement William Brighton, NOIA’s Randy Luthi and Cynthia Sarthou of the Gulf Restoration Network.

FERC to Hold Cove Point LNG Public Meeting – FERC will hold a public meeting on the Dominion LNG project on May 31st at Patuxent High School in Lusby, Md.  Last week FERC approved the project saying it would have virtually no impact on the environment.  A contingent of environmental activists oppose the project and will likely organize in full force for the public meeting.

GHG Existing Power Plants Rule Roll Out – June 2

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.

EIA Head to Keynote International Energy Conference in NYC – Adam Sieminski, administrator of the Energy Information Administration will address the international implications of the U.S. energy renaissance at the 37th annual International Association for Energy Economics conference at the New Yorker Hotel in the big apple on June 16th.  The conference goes through June 18 and also features thought leaders across business, government and academia including representatives from Statoil, National Renewable Energy Labs, IMF, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, UC Davis, Baker Hughes, Citi Research, SunEdison and many more. See the Detailed conference schedule here.

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.