And I Feel Fine. With yesterday’s final, the World Cup is complete with Germany breaking Europe’s streak of bad luck on American (Latin/South/North) soil with a spectacular goal in the 113th minute of extra time from substitute player Mario Gӧtze. The game ends a great tournament with lots of excitement and lots of emotion. Next up for Brazil, the 2016 summer games. The World Cup heads to Russia in 2018.
Today, our friends at NARUC launch their summer meetings in Dallas with a full slate of discussions about all topics related to utility regulators, including many on the new GHG rules from EPA. There are many different opinions at NARUC on the topic. To that end, this morning, the pro-EPA rule “Analysis” Group, headed by Sue Tierney released a study saying electricity customers would benefit from the new GHG rule for existing power plants. Funny how they often come to that conclusion when it would benefit their favorite position. Most real analysis shows even with a lot of flexibility for states, there will still be significant economic costs on consumers, businesses and states, especially regionally. My colleagues Scott Segal and Jeff Holmstead can offer thoughts on the “analysis” from the Analysis Group. FERC Chair Cheryl LaFleur, Duke’s Lynn Good, American Waterworks Susan Story and many others will also speak.
Back in DC today, the EIA also kicks off its annual energy conference with a full slate of very good speakers tackling the financial and energy implications of the current state of energy play. In addition to Sect. Moniz and Adam Sieminski, IHS’s Dan Yergin and analyst Paul Sankey will speak along with many others. Also, Wednesday the Heritage Foundation will host Canadian auto magnate Frank Stronach for a conversation about politics and business.
The Congressional schedule heats up tomorrow starting with full Senate votes on FERC nominees Cheryl LaFleur to a second term (starting as chair) and Norman Bay. Still lots of questions and bad blood on that issue, but the compromise seems to be sticking. House Resources hones in on implementation of the Helium Act passed last fall (my colleague Salo Zelermyer [202-828-1718] is expert) and House Transportation looks at waters issues including permits, streams and waters of the US (my colleague Lowell Rothschild [202-828-5817] knows best). Tomorrow, House Approps launches on EPA spending (riders on GHGs etc in tow) and Wednesday, the House Science Committee investigates an NRC report about EPA’s IRIS and the longstanding concerns of enviro groups and industry.
And remember, next week, EPA launches its series of public hearings in Atlanta, Denver, DC and Pittsburgh on the GHG rule for existing power plants.
Finally, our friend Jay Newton-Small, a recovering energy reporter who now covers politics for Time, has a great piece today on the Colorado Senate/Governors’ races and the potential impacts from an anti-natgas (not fracking) ballot initiative in the state sponsored by natgas opponent and Congressman, Jared Polis. Jay says the “friendly fire” could cost Democrats the Senate.
Call if you have questions
IN THE NEWS
GW, AU, Duke Energy Join on Solar Project – The George Washington University, GW Hospital and American University are joining with Duke Energy Renewables to develop a groundbreaking solar energy project that will comprise a 450-acre, 52 MW farm in North Carolina. GW’s new solar power buy is the largest of its kind, an innovative 243,000-panel installation at three sites that will offset 50% of GW’s electricity for the next 20 years.
ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK
NARUC Summer Meetings Set – The National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners’ Summer Committee Meetings, one of three conferences NARUC holds each year, will take place at the Omni Dallas Hotel in Dallas, Texas, today through Wednesday. The meeting will feature discussions on the top regulatory challenges across all utility sectors—water, electricity, natural gas, and telecommunications. Panels will tackle the latest developments on the Environmental Protection Agency’s landmark greenhouse gas-emissions proposals, Liquefied Natural Gas exports, Internet neutrality and the transition from traditional telephone service to IP-based networks. Featured speakers include Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Acting Chair Cheryl LaFleur, FERC Commissioner Tony Clark, Federal Communications Commission Member Mignon Clyburn, Environmental Protection Agency Acting Assistant Administrator for the Office of Air and Radiation Janet McCabe, Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration Administrator Cynthia Quarterman, Duke Energy President, CEO Lynn Good, Luminant CEO Mark McFarland, and many more.
EIA Energy Conference to Feature Upton – The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) will hold its 2014 EIA Energy Conference today and tomorrow. The EIA Energy Conference has become a premier forum for addressing energy issues in the United States and around the world. This event will bring together thought leaders from industry, government, and academia to discuss current and future challenges facing domestic and international energy markets and policymakers. The conference will feature keynote speakers including House Energy and Commerce Committee Chair Fred Upton, IEA Director Maria van der Hoeven and IHS Vice Chairman Daniel Yergin, among many others.
House Approps Marks EPA Spending — The House Appropriations Committee marks up its 2015 Interior-EPA spending bill tomorrow at 9:00 a.m. A number of key provisions passed in the subcommittee mark up for the $30 billion legislation despite opposition from Democrats on the panel, limiting EPA ability to spend on climate and other activities. Among the most controversial are efforts to block EPA’s proposed rules for carbon dioxide emissions from existing power plants and increasing the number of streams and wetlands that get automatic protection under the Clean Water Act. Additional action may come on coal ash issues and the EPA/Administration’s social cost of carbon.
Transpo to Focus on EPA, Clean Water — The House Transportation Committee’s water panel holds a hearing tomorrow at 10:00 a.m. on EPA’s permit veto authority under the Clean Water Act. With several mine permit cases and the current waters of the US act as hot topics, the issue will be interesting. My colleague Lowell Rothschild (202-828-5817) can answer many of your questions on the subject. Witnesses will include the US Chamber’s Bill Kovacs, NMA’s Hal Quinn, ARTBA’s Nick Ivanhoff, Leah Pilconis of the Associated General Contractors of America, Richard Faulk of the George Mason University School of Law and Patrick Parenteau of the Vermont Law School.
House Resources to Look at Helium Act Implementation — The House Resources Committee’s mineral resources panel will hold a hearing tomorrow at 10:00 a.m. on implementing the 2013 Helium Stewardship Act. Witnesses will include Interior’s Linda Lance, who is deputy director of the Bureau of Land Management, and Anne-Marie Fennell, director of the Natural Resources and Environment Team of the U.S. Government Accountability Office. Of course, my colleague Salo Zelermyer was instrumental in getting this passed and can give you many of the details, as well as connect you with key sources.
EPA to Host Clif Bar, Steelcase to Discuss Supply Chain Sustainability – EPA’s Green Power Partnership (GPP) will host a webinar tomorrow at 1:00 p.m. on supply chain sustainability and green power use. The session will focus on supply chain sustainability efforts, including ways to engage suppliers to use green power. Carbon management within the supply chain is becoming essential to an organization’s overall carbon reduction strategy, and encouraging suppliers to use green power for their own operations can lead to impressive results. For companies and organizations looking to take the next step in their green power strategies, supply chain engagement can be an excellent way to achieve substantial environmental benefits. This webinar will feature EPA Green Power Partners Clif Bar & Company and Steelcase. Speakers include EPA’s Mollie Lemon, Clif Bar’s Elysa Hammond and Steelcase’s John DeAngelis. You also may recall our friend Keely Wachs who formerly worked with us at Brightsource Energy works at Clif Bar.
House Science to Look at EPA’s IRIS — The House Science Committee’s Environment and Oversight panels hold a hearing on reforms to EPA’s Integrated Risk Information System at 2:00 p.m. The IRIS has long been under attack from both enviros and industry. The report will focus on recent findings of a National Research Council report that evaluated changes made to EPA’s IRIS. Witnesses will include NRC panel member David Dorman, EPA’s National Center for Environmental Assessment director Kenneth Olden, Maryland professor and enviro activist Rena Steinzor and Michael Walls, vice president of regulatory and technical affairs at the American Chemistry Council.
Forum to Look at Venezuela Oil – The Atlantic Council’s Adrienne Arsht Latin America Center will host a discussion on Wednesday on Latin American energy and the future of Petrocaribe. The huge Venezuelan oil subsidy enters its 10th year, and continues to provide Caracas with political support from its closest neighbors – but at what cost to the region? Given Venezuela’s economic demise, will Petrocaribe continue delivering into the future? Now is the moment to examine energy alternatives for the Caribbean and Central America. This event will launch the Atlantic Council’s new report, “Uncertain Energy: The Caribbean’s Gamble with Venezuela,” authored by Arsht Center Senior Nonresident Energy Fellow David L. Goldwyn and his associate, Cory R. Gill.
SAFE Event to Address Geo political Flashpoints, Energy Security – On Wednesday, the Foreign Policy Initiative (FPI) and Securing America’s Future Energy (SAFE) will hold a luncheon briefing on Capitol Hill in 2203 Rayburn to discuss geopolitical flashpoints in oil producing countries and the implications for U.S. national and energy security. Speakers will include Admiral Michael Mullen and John Hannah in a panel discussion moderated by our friend Steve Mufson of the Washington Post. Rep. Cory Gardner will begin the panel with opening remarks. Events across the globe offer stark reminders that energy security and national security are inextricably linked, and that the global oil market is subject to economically-damaging instability. Sustained high oil prices are fueling an increasingly assertive Russian foreign policy and emboldening dangerous actors like Iran. Meanwhile, a series of oil production outages in Iraq, Libya, Sudan, Syria, and elsewhere have tightened global supplies, elevating the risk of a serious price spike in 2014. Although the United States is producing more oil domestically than it has since the 1980s, further progress on American and allied energy security is urgently needed.
Senate Environment to Discuss Climate Bills – The Senate Environment Committee’s Subcommittee on Water and Wildlife will meet on Wednesday to consider a number of bills including S.1202, the SAFE Act, to establish an integrated Federal program to respond to ongoing and expected impacts of extreme weather and climate change by protecting, restoring, and conserving the natural resources of the United States, and to maximize government efficiency and reduce costs, in cooperation with state, local, and tribal governments and other entities.
Heritage to Host Discussion with Auto Parts, Magnate – The Heritage Foundation will host a discussion on Wednesday at noon with auto parts magnate Frank Stronach. Stronach is a legendary, dynamic and outspoken business leader who holds strong views on business, leadership, and public policy, including manufacturing and tax policy issues. Stronach immigrated to Canada from Austria as a young man and built the largest auto supply company in the world out of his garage. He also now owns horse racing and gaming operations across the country. Last year, he funded a political campaign in his native Austria that garnered 12 victories in national political elections. Becky Dunlop Norton is hosting the event and Mark Tapscott Executive Editor, The Washington Examiner, will be interviewing Stronach.
WCEE To Discuss Electricity Market Status – The Women’s Council on Energy and the Environment will hold a brown-bag Luncheon on Wednesday at noon focused on electricity markets. The brown bag discussion will highlight the different perspectives on the constantly evolving wholesale electricity markets and the challenges that face market participants when the perceptions of what is “right” and “wrong” behavior change. The discussion will cover what market operators tend to expect from market participants related to compliance with the market’s rules, interacting with market monitors, transparency in FERC’s Enforcement philosophy and processes, the role of trading companies in the wholesale power markets and the impact of unclear market rules and enforcement procedures on infrastructure investment and market participation. Speakers will be Vince Duane, Vice President and General Counsel of PJM Interconnection and Kevin Gates of the Powhatan Energy Fund.
McCabe to Address ICF Energy Breakfast – ICF hosts its July Energy Breakfast on Thursday at the National Press Club featuring EPA Air Administrator Janet McCabe. McCabe will discuss EPA’s newly released Existing Source Performance Standards (ESPS) regulations for power plants. The discussion will focus on how the regulations affect states, regions, companies and customers as well as are the benefits worth the costs.
Forum to Look at SCOTUS Decisions on Air Rules – The Women’s Council on Energy and the Environment (WCEE) and Air and Waste Management Assn (AWMA) will hold a forum on Thursday to look at an industry view of recent Supreme Court Decisions on Air Rules. The forum will look at the Supreme Court decisions on the Cross State Air Pollution Rule (CSAPR) and the GHG PSD Rule. CSAPR applies to air emissions from electric generation facilities that EPA determined has impact across state lines; the GHG PSD rule applies to all industry and if upheld, EPA can lower the trigger threshold to cover more facilities. EPA’s exercise of authority for both rules are likely to have broader implications for industry for other air pollution issues. Roger Martella, former General Counsel of EPA and partner at Sidley Austin LLP, and Linda Kelly, Vice President and General Counsel for the National Association of Manufacturers, will share their views on the Supreme Court decisions and the implications for industry. Clara Maria Poffenberger will serve as moderator.
Forum to Look at Midwest Climate Impacts – The Environmental and Energy Study Institute (EESI) will hold a briefing on Thursday in 406 Dirksen examining the current and projected impacts of climate change in the Midwest, as well as strategies being developed to mitigate the associated risks. The Midwest (defined in the National Climate Assessment as Minnesota, Iowa, Missouri, Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan and Ohio) has about 20 percent of the nation’s population, and produces 19 percent of the nation’s GDP. According to the Third National Climate Assessment (NCA), climate change has wide-reaching impacts in the region, affecting the agricultural industry, the Great Lakes, northern forests, the energy system, and public health, generally in detrimental ways. In addition, the Midwest’s economy is highly energy-intensive, releasing 22 percent more greenhouse gas emissions per capita than the U.S. average. Briefing speakers will discuss how reducing emissions and taking action to improve the resilience and adaptation of Midwest communities, businesses, and farms can help mitigate climate change-exacerbated economic and social stresses. Speakers for this forum are U of M National Climate Assessment author Rosina Bierbaum, Carmel Mayor James Brainard, Cincinnati City Environment Director Larry Falkin and Jeremy Emmi of the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition.
Group to Host Forum, Social – The Leaders in Energy and the Center for the Advancement of the Steady State Economy (CASSE) will co-hosted professional networking Happy Hour on Thursday at 6:00 p.m. at the Bier Baron Tavern with a focus on new economic and energy paradigms. The event will focus on steady state economics questioning how consumption and economic growth impact essential ecosystems and ecological limits and feature noted author and founder of CASSE, Dr. Brian Czech. How sustainable are current economic policies which promote economic growth and consumption? Reports indicate that we currently consume the equivalent of 1.5 planets and, at current rates, this will increase to 2 planets by 2030. The problem is…we only have one planet. Some visionaries are calling for a new paradigm designated as “Steady State Economics” that will promote policies and mechanisms for an economy that thrives within ecological bounds and is more equitable for all. In his book, “Supply Shock: Economic Growth at the Crossroads and the Steady State Solution”, Dr. Brian Czech marries economics, biology, and political science in a brilliant account of why we need to rethink growth.
CSIS to Look at Nuclear Training – The CSIS Proliferation Prevention Program will hold a day-long workshop on Friday that will cover: the accomplishments of the three Centers of Excellence established by the 2010 Nuclear Security Summit. The COEs are aimed at training professionals in nuclear security and improving physical protection of nuclear materials. With growing demand for nuclear energy in Asia, these COEs have an increased stake in improving national nuclear governance and potentially providing venues for regional collaboration in nuclear security. It will focus on the perspectives of officials in these countries on the progress and goals for their facilities, and discussion among government officials and experts on the future of cooperation in these areas. This event is co-sponsored by CSIS, the U.S. Department of Energy/National Nuclear Security Administration, and the Japan Atomic Energy Agency.
Forum to Focus on Nuclear Overview – The Foundation for Nuclear Studies will hold a luncheon briefing on Friday in 2322 Rayburn to discuss nuclear energy. In pursuit of its mission, the Foundation sponsors a highly regarded Congressional Briefing Series with forums on a broad spectrum of issues related to nuclear technology, ranging from medical isotopes to the transportation of nuclear materials. The events attract high-quality speakers and seek to provide a balanced presentation of differing perspectives. Speakers will include Craig Piercy of the American Nuclear Society and IBEW’s Dan Gardner, International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers.
Press Club to Host Transpo Sect Foxx – The National Press Club will hold a luncheon next Monday featuring Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx. Foxx will discuss several items including many of the important issues on rail safety and crude issues.
DOE Looking for R&D Insights – Next Tuesday morning, the Office of Fossil Energy of the U.S. Department of Energy is seeking industry’s involvement in developing a R&D agenda on subsurface technology and engineering. They will hold a forum at USEA led by Mark Ackiewicz, Program Manager for the Division of CCS Research at the U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Fossil Energy, this briefing will aim to facilitate a dialogue with industry on what they perceive as the key challenges and opportunities regarding adaptive control of fractures and fluid flow.
ELI Forum to Focus on Energy Performance – The Environmental Law Institute will hold a forum on Tuesday, July 22 at noon to look at improving energy performance at industrial facilities. In the last decade, the U.S. Department of Energy and the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) have raised the bar for energy performance in industrial facilities. Speakers will include General Dynamics Stephen Cannizzaro, Robert Bruce Lung of the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy and DOE’s Paul Scheihing.
BPC Forum to Focus on Innovation – On Wednesday July 23rd, the Bipartisan Policy Center’s (BPC) American Energy Innovation Council (AEIC) will gather experts, business leaders, academics and policymakers to assess the state of American energy innovation and new approaches to drive more resources into it. Southern Company CEO Tom Fanning will be the keynote speaker. Former Dow exec Chad Holliday, DOE Secretary Ernie Moniz, DOE’s David Danielson, MIT Energy Initiative Director and many others will be among the other speakers.
WCEE to Hold Annual Legislative Roundtable – The Women’s Council on Energy and the Environment will hold its Annual Legislative Roundtable next Thursday morning at 8:00 a.m. at the American Gas Assn. The event will highlight key issues facing the US Congress this fall. The event will discuss highly contested legislative issues ranging from crude oil and LNG exports to renewable policies in the electricity and transportation sectors. Senior congressional staff will share with us their predictions regarding the role these issues are playing in the midterm elections and how the outcome will likely impact the policies that shape the energy industry. Speakers will include Senate Energy Committee directors Liz Craddock and Karen Billups, as well as reps from the House Energy and Commerce Committee. Out friend Christi Tezak moderates.
WRI to Release Report – On Thursday morning at NPR, the World Resources Institute (WRI) and the Resources and Rights Initiative (RRI) unveil the report “Securing Rights, Combating Climate Change: How Strengthening Community Forest Rights Mitigates Climate Change.” The analysis will offer the most comprehensive review to date linking legal recognition and government protection of community forest rights with healthier forests and reduced carbon pollution from deforestation. More than 11 percent of global emissions are due to deforestation and other land use, and this new analysis offers an exciting and largely untapped tool to help reduce global emissions. As discussions head toward the next round of international climate negotiations in Lima, Peru and Paris in 2015, this report and discussion will offer a fresh perspective for how strengthening rights of local and indigenous communities can be an exceptionally powerful tool for climate action and forest protection. Armed with the report’s results, practitioners and policy makers should be convinced that safeguarding forest rights is as crucial of a climate solution as others like REDD+, renewable energy and low-carbon urban design.
USEA to Focus on China, CCS – On Thursday, July 24th at 10:00 a.m., the U.S. Energy Association will hold a forum on coal issues in China. The presentation will review some of the most recent CCS developments in China, including an overview of the ongoing research, demonstration and deployment as well as an overview of recent policy actions taken. Additionally, Jim Wood, Director for the US-China Clean Energy Research Center for Coal for West Virginia University, will present on the US-China collaboration on CCS.
EPA Public Meetings Set – EPA will hold public meetings in Atlanta, Denver, Washington and Pittsburgh. The Atlanta and Denver meeting will be on July 29th while DC will be July 30th and Pittsburgh on July 31st.
Annual Congressional Renewable Expo Set – The 17th annual Congressional Renewable Energy & Energy Efficiency EXPO + Forum will be held Thursday, July 31st (9:30 am – 4:30 pm) in the Cannon House Office building in cooperation with the House and Senate Renewable Energy & Energy Efficiency Caucuses.
Press Club to Host Nigerian President – The National Press Club will host Nigeria President Goodluck Jonathan at a NPC luncheon on July 31st to talk about the prospects of Africa’s largest oil producer. More here and as we get closer.
TX Enviro Superconference Set for Austin – The 26th annual Texas Environmental Superconference will be held on Thursday and Friday, August 7th and 8th, at the Four Seasons. Several Bracewell attorneys will be speaking on panels with speakers including Lowell Rothschild, Rich Alonso and Tim Wilkins. TCEQ’s Bryan Shaw and EPA’s Ron Curry will also speak.