Friends,

 

Now that we have survived our first “storm” of the year, I feel like we can say that Washington is truly much more dysfunctional when trying to travel in snow than when legislating.  That may tell you how bad it was last Tuesday with only two inches of snow hitting during morning rush hour…   Three days later and numerous school closings, then delays and we are back on track.  Ughh!

 

Hope everyone is ready for the big College Football National Championship tonight.   #2 Oregon takes on #4 Ohio State from Dallas.   While I don’t completely like or accept the playoff format (I think it needs to be expanded), it is always exciting when everything is on the line.  And Hollywood was one its game last night as well with Amy Poehler and Tina Fey scoring big again while hosting the Golden Globes.  They opened with a satirical punch into Hollywood’s face and rolled on from there.  Big winners were Birdman, Fargo, Transparent, Boyhood (Richard Linklater’s great movie that followed actors over 13 years) and Showtimes’s The Affair.  Kevin Spacey, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Michael  Keaton, Patricia Arquette and Amy Adams were among the individual winners.

 

While college football and Hollywood are ready for prime time, it seems everything is on the line for Keystone XL this week as well.  While you know I don’t really like to buy into the hype over Keystone, it really does seem to be a big week for the issue following last week’s House action on Legislation and the Nebraska Supreme Court decision.  The week’s Senate action begins the true test for the new Republican Senate’s commitment to pursue regular order.  It seems like both sides are agreeing that it is just time for a decision from the President.

 

Also today, the North American International Auto Show opens in the Motor City and one of the big items out of Detroit is the new Chevy Volt, which is expected to increase battery duration by almost 30% to 50 miles, as well as improving the interior to seat five (although I kind of like the backseat counsel divider that prevents the “he/she’s on my side” fight).  While that added battery strength is great, I will tell you that I can already get 50 miles on a charge if isn’t so cold.  The cold weather is killing me.   Apparently, they are also introducing the Bolt for 2017, which will be a $30,000 all-electric vehicle which would be capable of driving 200 miles on a single charge.

 

Finally, our friends at the energy efficiency business group, Advanced Energy Economy, announced that four executives have joined its board of directors to support their efforts to spur the growth of secure, clean, affordable energy in the United States. The new directors are GE ecomagination Global Executive Director Deb Frodl; Prasanna Venkatesan, Americas President/CEO of Landis+Gyr; Kevin Self, VP Strategy & Corporate Development at Johnson Controls; and Howard Wenger of SunPower.  AEE’s Monique Hanis can help you if you have questions (202-391-0884)

 

Thanks for the all the feedback on the top five issues.  Today we move in to Part II on the Top 15 for ’15.  If you missed PART I of the Top 15 issues, it is below.

 

On to Part II of the 15 for ‘15…

 

Frank Maisano

(202) 828-5864

  1. (202) 997-5932

 

Top 15 Issues for ’15  ( #6-10)

 

Last week, we shared our top 5 issues of 15 for 2015.  As you know, each year for the first update of the year, we highlight a number of important issues for you to put on your agenda for the year.  This year, we are spreading the cheer over the first three updates doing five at a time.  Here is PART II (Issues 6-10).  If you missed PART I of the Top 15 issues, it is below:

 

6) UN Climate: We’ll Always Have Paris – Among the biggest news we will face in the environmental space this year surrounds the December UN Climate meetings in Paris.  There are always pivotal meetings that are turning points in the UN discussion and it seems that Paris will be one of those meetings.   Already the administration is laying groundwork for negotiations with its power plant rules and individual clean energy and emissions agreements with China.  After initial resistance, look for India to settle on a similar “deal” with the US this Spring.  Another test for the Administration’s position will be regarding the funding requests for the $3 billion UN’s Green Climate Fund. While Congress has already hit the funding in a budget rider before it was even a line item, it will be another true test given the most of the developing world is looking to be “Shown the Money” before agreeing to anything.  Look for the climate hype to really pick up the pace this summer with a grand crescendo to the December meetings.

 

7) Changes to RFS Coming? – Around Thanksgiving, EPA completely dropped the ball on its 2014 Renewable Fuel Standard proposal.  The original law establishing the RFS set in place an increasing level of use for ethanol expressed in terms of actual volume numbers.  As time has gone by, however, the actual total gasoline fuel pool has declined due to more efficient autos, more mass transit, and even electric cars.  As a result, the volume number – if EPA fails to adjust it downward – will exceed 10% by volume of gasoline.  But above that level, autos have significant performance issues.  The ethanol folks want the continued higher growth; fuel makers and consumers are queasy about the higher numbers.  There is little environmental case for higher ethanol use any more.  Indeed, major enviro groups like EWG have produced studies showing the higher levels are actually worse for carbon emissions when the ethanol lifecycle is taken into account.  Last year’s morass also featured the added complication of a competitive Iowa Senate race.  There was little doubt among experts that the holdup in finalizing the reduced ethanol numbers were in part to assist IA Dem Senate Candidate Bruce Braley in arguing that he was keeping ethanol criticism at bay.  Obviously that gambit didn’t work as Republican Joni Ernst swept to victory.  So now, industries have been left with delay, market confusion, questionable legality, and just appearance of incompetence.  It is likely the RFS won’t be repealed, but a wholesale revision is closer to a reality that ever.  Now, Congress will be expected to once again roll up its sleeves on a bipartisan basis and amend the law to a more functioning workable approach.

 

8) Nuclear Over the Top – With Vermont Yankee closing down and Southern’s Vogtle springing to new life, the nuclear industry is definitely in a state of flux.  The brightest shining light continues to be Southern’s Vogtle Plant, which is fighting through the challenges, some increased costs, but keeps hitting key construction milestones.  This year the project crosses the point where we know it will happen.  Keep a close eye on Georgia, especially now that several older coal plants are also timelined to close in a few years, which makes Vogtle that much more important.  Southern has an ongoing photo timeline of activity that you can see here.

 

9) Crude Oil Exporting New Policy– With Senate Energy Chair Lisa Murkowski speaking out regularly and strongly on the need to move crude oil export legislation, the issue is certain to get more serious investigation this year with Republicans in Congress of both Houses.   The coming year promises more studies, hearings, and proposals to change the regulations and legislation limiting the export of U.S. crude oil.  And, all discussions of crude exports are controversial because they implicate producers, refiners, consumers, and environmentalists.  With new market pressures calling into question a regulatory and legislative regime that was created in the 1970s, any action taken by legislators or the Department of Commerce can be easily misinterpreted .    My colleague Josh Zive is well-versed on the law and on the arguments surrounding the crude export debate and is always ready to help to folks wade through the complexities, but look for this issue to remain in the forefront.

 

10) SCOTUS Looking at Mercury Cost in Spring – In Spring, the Supreme Court of the US will hear arguments challenging EPA’s Mercury and Air Toxics Standards. The rule is one of a number of key administration environmental regulations that have raised the hackles of many utilities and coal companies that claim they are being singled out.  Remember that compliance with MATS is required by April 2015, even though some plants can receive one-year extensions from state air regulators based on reliability needs.  My colleague Jeff Holmstead, a former EPA air office head who has lots of experience with this rule, noted that the Court seems troubled that EPA refused to consider that cost of the regulation when it made a formal determination that it was “appropriate” to regulate hazardous air pollutants from power plants under the Clean Air Act.  This is the sole issue that the justices will consider, but a ruling against EPA could invalidate MATS in its entirety.  Challenger briefs are due next week from industry groups and State AGs like Michigan’s Bill Schuette who have lead the charge against the mercury rule.  Holmstead is always ready and happy to discuss. A decision from the Supreme Court on the MATS rule is likely by the end of the Court’s term, in late June or early July 2015. Given the timing, it is possible the Court could stay implementation of the rule until a decision is reached.

 

Next week:

 

11) Tax Reform Finally?

12) Offshore Wire in Deepwater

13) DOE Rules A Plenty

14) LNG/Coal Exports

15) Transportation Bill/Oil Trains

 

Last Week’s TOP FIVE

 

1) Republicans in Control – In 2014, Republicans won big victories in the Midterm Elections, winning key gubernatorial and congressional races in what many are viewing as a “wave election.”   My colleague Scott Segal said in a video that several changes are anticipated in the new Congress, with both chambers set for Republican control.  He adds key factors include more oversight of key Administration initiatives, notably in energy, the environment, and immigration; a return to a more traditional appropriations process; and the prospects for negotiations between the White House and Congress on key policy initiatives.  Energy issues will be an important part of the in the 114th Congress, according to Segal. With Sen. Murkowski as Senate Energy chair and Sen. Inhofe as Senate Environment chair, both Committees will undoubtedly step up their oversight of EPA, with a particular focus on the President’s “Clean Power Plan.” Murkowski is a strong advocate of oil and natural gas development on federal lands, will work aggressively on reliability issues.

2) GHGs, Clean Power Plan – This epic battle began in full force in 2014.  So much to say…but in 2015, this battle will hit it high point as the Administration tries to jump through the legal and procedural morass to finalize the regulations for both new and existing power plants.  Most experts continue to say the challenges will be much more difficult, more costly and legally questionable.   They also expect the timelines to slip even more than they did this year, which turned out to be an especially tough political year for the President and Democrats.  A first test may be seen in in January when the Congress moves Keystone legislation, looking at what legislative amendments and/or riders may be advanced to curtail the scope and speed of the Clean Power Plan.  Points of focus for States and Republican legislators include: the interim targets for emissions reductions states must meet by 2020, the impact the Clean Power Plan is likely to have on electrical reliability, and the enforceability of the Clean Power Plan in light of widespread opposition from numerous governors.

 

3) Falling Oil, Gas Price Impacts – The most amazing change we’ve seen in 2014 was the rapid fall of the crude price toward the end of the year, and the requisite fall of the gasoline price.  While I haven’t put gas in my Volt for almost two months, my wife’s SUV has welcomed the change, saving us $30 a fill up, and the diesel price for our Jetta is also sunk to $2.70  That cost drop has had a positive impact for consumers, but it has hurt production, especially offshore drillers who have been hit not only by the price drop but by a long-term demand slide.  The implications for 2015 will be as dramatic, both from a domestic and foreign policy perspective.  Here at home, the boom has brought us closer to energy independence than we have ever been since the 1970s.  From an international perspective, our domestic boom and the international price drop has put significant pressure on many oil-producing countries like Iran, Venezuela, Russia and OPEC nations.

 

4) Ozone 2015 – One of the biggest political and policy fights of 2015 reared its head the day before Thanksgiving: the Ozone/NAAQS fight.  While the low end of the range in the proposed rule (65ppb) is very troubling for industry and states, as low as background levels of ozone in many parts of the country and pushing as much as 94% of the nation out of attainment, EPA is also taking comment on 60ppb, which would be devastating for manufacturing, oil and gas production and agriculture across the country.  The approach seems to be part of EPA’s typical proposing an unreasonable standard; take comment on a more unreasonable one; and claim the government is reasonable by comparison.  But the Administration only has so much political capital at its disposal and it has made clear that controlling greenhouse gases is its legacy issue.  It is unclear that the Administration has the bandwidth to sustain both rules.  There is no doubt that many in Congress and the states will demand that the proposed ozone NAAQS be placed on a more realistic course.  One thing to keep in mind with Ozone/NAAQS: Oil and gas production has been one of the only bright spots in the jobless recovery, and the range proposed for ozone may impose real, practical limitations on that production.  The expense associated with the rule could reverse what economic gains we have seen recently.

 

5) Keystone – Is it finally time?  Probably yes given the new makeup of Congress and the fact that is it one the agenda in the first week.  Many question why this has become such a flash point for some environmental activists and they will turn all their focus to lobbying the Administration to stop the pipeline and veto any legislation.  Last year, I expected the President to eventually accept the pipeline, but a year later and with the current Congressional change, now I’m not so sure.  He probably gets more political mileage by fighting the bipartisan Congressional effort (although somewhat less bipartisan that in the last Congress).  No matter the decision, it is vital to remember implementing the new GHG rules, will have a much more dramatic impact on the environment and the economy.

 

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

 

Detroit Auto Show to Roll Out New Vehicles – The 2015 North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) will open for Press Preview today and tomorrow at Cobo Center in Detroit.  Now in its 27th year as an international event, the NAIAS is among the most prestigious auto shows in the world, providing unparalleled access to the automotive products, people and ideas that matter most – up close and in one place.  On January  16th, rock legend Steve Miller Band will perform at the largest single night fundraiser in the world: the North American International Auto Show’s Charity Preview.

 

Public Hearings on Exelon-Pepco Merger Held in DC, MD – More hearings on the Exelon-Pepco Merger will be held tonight at 6:00 pm in the SW Library Community Room and tomorrow in Maryland.  The DC Public Service Commission is attempting to determine if the proposed Pepco Holding, Inc. and Exelon Corporation merger, transaction is in the public interest.  Tomorrow at PG Community College in Largo and at the Montgomery County Council Office Building Auditorium, the Maryland PSC will hold community hearings to receive comments from the public to determine if the proposed Pepco Holding, Inc. and Exelon Corporation merger, transaction is in the public interest.

 

Military Mobile Power Summit to Look at Energy, Power – Tomorrow and Wednesday at Alexandria’s Mary Gates Learning Center, DSI will hold its Military Mobile Power Summit.  The Summit is a senior level, educational “Town Hall” forum that will bring together selected technology, engineering, and requirements offices, along with thought leaders to key policy-makers across military and civilian offices in a forum for the discussion of current and future energy and power initiatives.  This year, the event will focus on enhancing military capability through effective and efficient operational energy.

 

HUD Sect Castro to Address Press Club – Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Julian Castro will speak at a National Press Club news conference at noon tomorrow.  Castro will address the state of housing and HUD’s plans for the coming year.  Castro, a former mayor of San Antonio, is considered a rising star in the Democratic Party. He delivered the keynote address at the Democratic National Convention in 2012 and was the first Hispanic ever to give the keynote speech at a national political convention.

 

Expert to Address Cuba’s Energy Revolution – On Wednesday at 12:00 p.m., the Washington Office on Latin America will hold a forum that will focus on Cuba’s steps to transform its energy system, climate change adaptation measures, and what it takes for a culture to minimize energy consumption.  In 2005, in response to the loss of a dependable source of cheap oil, Cuba began a national campaign dubbed the “Energy Revolution” to revamp the country’s energy system through a five-part strategy. Among other measures, the government began to prioritize the improvement of energy efficiency in homes and businesses and the development of renewable energy sources. Now, nearly 10 years later, Cuba is recognized worldwide for its emphasis on sustainable and ecologically friendly development practices. What has Cuba learned in those 10 years, and what are its recommendations for other states?  Energy educator and author Mario Alberto Arrastía Avila was responsible for the energy educational campaign that encouraged Cubans to voluntarily choose the energy-efficiency measures of the 2005 Cuban Energy Revolution. Dr. Arrastía, who is touring the United States with Community Solutions, will speak.

 

CP Chair To Discuss Oil, Gas – On Wednesday at 2:00 p.m., the CSIS Energy and National Security Program will host Ryan Lance, Chairman and CEO of ConocoPhillips, to discuss the new North American oil and natural gas resource abundance and its U.S. energy policy implications. Burgeoning tight oil and shale gas development in the United States, oil sands development in Canada and underexplored conventional resources in Mexico combine to make North America one of the most dynamic oil and gas development plays in the world. The ability to continue developing these vast resources and benefiting from the resulting job creation and economic stimulation represents great opportunity, while also posing non-trivial challenges, particularly in the face of new price realities and impending surpluses. Mr. Lance will discuss these and other key issues. Frank Verrastro, Senior Vice President and James R. Schlesinger Chair for Energy and Geopolitics at CSIS, will moderate.

 

Australian Leader to Speak at CSIS – The CSIS Pacific Partners Initiative and the Australian National University will hold the Banyan Tree Leadership Forum on Wednesday at 2:00 p.m. featuring a speech by The Hon. Wayne Swan, former Treasurer and Deputy Prime Minister of Australia. He will discuss the need to promote global economic growth and tackle income inequality, and argue that “if we don’t grow together we will grow apart.”  Swan was Treasurer of Australia from December 2007 and deputy prime minister from June 2010 until June 2013.  During his time in Parliament, Swan was involved with reform of the tax and transfer payments system, labor market participation, climate change, and ageing and population policy.

 

Former Mexican Pres to Keynote World Bank Transportation Conference – On Thursday and Friday, the World Bank will hold its annual Transforming Transportation conference, co-hosted by EMBARQ, part of the WRI Ross Center for Sustainable Cities, and the World Bank.  The event convenes leading transport and urban development experts from national and local governments, multilateral development banks, foundations, civil society, research institutions, and businesses from around the world. At Transforming Transportation, they share the latest experiences, information, and best practices around sustainable transport.  This year’s event will focus on “Smart Cities for Shared Prosperity,” and will examine how smart, connected urban mobility can improve quality of life in cities. Sessions will address how the upcoming United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) will impact urban transport, with an emphasis on data and technology, governance, and international financial flows.  The Keynote Speaker will be former Mexican President Felipe Calderón, current Chair of the Global Commission on the Economy and Climate.  See a full list of additional speakers and updated agenda at www.transformingtransportation.org.

 

USEA Forum to Look at Smart Grid Techs – On Thursday at 10:00 a.m., USEA will hold a forum on advanced smart grids that feature Distribution System Operators. DSOs are key players in the energy transition and thanks to Advanced Smart Grids they will be able to better take advantage from existing distribution networks.  Energy transition is underway in many regions of the world. This a real challenge for electric systems and a paradigm shift for existing distribution networks. With the help of “advanced” smart technologies, DSOs will have a central role in the integration of renewable generation, electric and hybrid vehicles, and demand response programs. Smart Grids are a mean for DSOs to ensure the quality and security of power supply.  Marc Boillot, Senior Vice President for Regional Actions, Électricité de France (EDF) will speak on a singular approach based on practical experience from DSOs which will complement the generally academic focus of previous approaches. It is systematically illustrated with ongoing experimentations conducted worldwide.

 

IIHS President Adrian Lund to Look at Vehicle Safety – On Thursday, WAPA and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) will hold a luncheon to discuss “Vehicle Safety Improvements and What’s Ahead.”  The Institute’s president, Adrian Lund, will be sharing research on how better vehicle crashworthiness is saving lives and how technology – both new and old – can improve safety in the future.

 

Forum to Feature UN Environment Program, Climate Change – On Thursday at 12:00 p.m., the Environmental Law Institute and the DC Bar will host Patricia Beneke, Director of UNEP’s Regional Office of North America, to discuss UNEP’s work on climate change. As time allows, Beneke will also address UNEP’s work to support governments in establishing, implementing and strengthening the necessary institutions, laws and policies to achieve sustainable development.  UNEP is the leading environmental authority in the United Nations system. Created in 1972, UNEP uses its expertise to strengthen environmental standards and practices while helping implement environmental obligations at the country, regional and global level.

 

DOE Webcast on Hurricane Metocean Environment – On Thursday at 3:00 p.m., the Energy Department will hold a live webcast on design conditions for the Hurricane Metocean Environment.  Joel Cline from the Energy Department will moderate speakers including NOAA’s Mark Powell, Peter Vickery of Applied Research Associates and George Hagerman of Virginia Tech.

 

Shout Out For Solar Day Set – The Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) is sponsoring the 2nd annual National “Shout Out For Solar” Day on Friday, taking place on Facebook, Twitter and other social media venues.  Click here to download a handy factsheet on Shout Out For Solar Day.

 

GWU Forum to Look at Climate Mitigation in DC Metro – The George Washington University will host a seminar on Friday at 3:00 p.m. in the SMPA building to discuss adaptation, resilience and mitigation on climate issues. The Dutch city of Rotterdam is responding to the challenges of climate change by introducing innovative urban solutions to cope with flooding, sea-level rise and other threats, while reducing green-house gas emissions from the largest port operation in Europe and the growing coastal city. The Municipality of Rotterdam is leading this process of change, with the support of Dutch national climate programs and within the framework of European climate policies.  Metropolitan Washington, may face similar climate vulnerability as the region grows. The Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments is developing integrated strategies to address such issues in coordination with the responsible State and Local Governments, which are already implementing related programs.  Presenters will include Rotterdam Deputy Mayor Pex Langenberg and urban planning director Paula Verhoeven.  MWCOG’s Director of Environmental Programs Stephen Walz will also speak.

 

FUTURE EVENTS

 

SOTU Set – President Barack Obama will deliver his State of the Union address to Congress on Tuesday, January 20th.

 

USEA State of the Energy Industry Forum Set – On Wednesday January 21st at the National Press Club, USEA holds its 11th Annual State of the Energy Industry Forum.  The heads of the Five families…I mean all the DC energy trade associations will speak starting with AGA’s Dave McCurdy just after noon.  The full agenda and batter order is listed here.

 

DC Policy Auto Show Set – The 2015 Washington Auto Show Public Policy Days are set for Wednesday, January 21st in the Cannon House Office Building and Thursday, January 22nd at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center.    The annual Sneak Peek Reception, the highly anticipated social and networking event held before Washington’s largest public show opens to attendees, offers automotive industry thought leaders and decision maker’s exclusive early access to the most impressive new models and technological innovations on display at the 2015 Washington Auto Show.  Set for Thursday, January 22, from 5-8 p.m. the Sneak Peek Reception marks the finale of the 2015 Public Policy days, which brings together executives and legislators who influence the automotive sector to address the key issues affecting the industry, its employees and customers, including energy conservation, the environment, and consumer safety technologies.  The Show opens on January 23rd and runs through February 1st.

 

NERC Expert to Discuss EPA Rules, Retirements, Reliability – On Thursday, January 22nd at the National Press Club, ICF International will hold its regular Energy and Environment Breakfast.  This event will feature the North American Electric Reliability Corporation’s (NERC) Tom Burgess, one of its top energy experts.  Burgess will provide an overview of NERC’s preliminary review and potential areas of reliability concern related to the newest U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulations and the potential impacts to reliability. In November 2014, NERC’s preliminary review of the current draft assumptions and timelines called attention to potential reliability impacts resulting from implementation of CPP’s rule. Together with the Mercury and Air Toxics (MATS) rule promulgated in late 2011, some say that 100 GW or more could decide to retire earlier based on these two regulations.

 

USEA to Look at CCS Collaboration Project – On Thursday, January 22nd at 2:00 p.m., the US Energy Association will hold a forum on CCS collaboration projects.  The CCP is a partnership of several oil and gas companies working together to advance CCS technologies since 2000. The third phase of work, which operated between 2009-2014, helped deliver 3 significant demonstration projects, amongst numerous other component achievements. The fourth phase of work is planning to make further advances in CCS technology deployment and knowledge for the oil and gas industry. This presentation will summarize our achievements and seek input on our forward plans.  The Speaker will be Nigel Jenvey, Americas Resource & Projects Manager at BP Group Technology.

 

Forum to Revisit Lima Climate Negotiations – On Thursday, January 22nd at 1:00 p.m., a panel of experts will address the current status of international climate negotiations and recap the developments at the Conference of the Parties (COP 20) in Lima.  Also on the agenda will be prospects for a future treaty in Paris in 2015, and what it all means for businesses and governments. Our speakers will provide a balanced perspective from different countries (i.e., the US and China/developing nations), governments, NGOs, and the private sector. Speakers will include the State Department’s lead climate change lawyer for more than 20 years Sue Biniaz, former Chinese climate negotiator and former UNFCCC Secretariat lawyer Xueman Wang of the World Bank, EDF’s Annie Petsonk  and Norine Kennedy of the US Council for International Business.

 

USDA, Energy Host Webinar on Solar Program – The Energy Department and U.S. Department of Agriculture will present a live webinar on Thursday, January 22nd at 3:00 p.m. offering an overview of its solar program.  Solar experts will discuss the fundamentals of developing a solar power program in your community. This webinar will introduce a range of policy and program options that have been successfully field tested in cities and counties around the country, and highlight lessons learned and best practices.

 

SEJ, Enviro Reporters Look Ahead to Year in Environment, Energy – On Friday, January 23rd at 3:00 p.m., BNA, the Wilson Center and our friends at Society of Environmental Journalists will hold a forum looking at the year ahead in environment and energy. With the GOP now in control of Congress, President Obama forging ahead with his climate policies, environmental and energy issues will be grabbing lots of news headlines in 2015. The event is the 3rd annual forum third annual “Year Ahead in Environment and Energy” event, where leading reporters and editors will discuss the critical issues that will shape 2015. Larry Pearl, director of environmental news for Bloomberg BNA, will present Bloomberg’s Environmental Outlook 2015, followed by a panel discussion moderated by Daily Climate Editor Douglas Fischer.  A reception sponsored by Bloomberg BNA, Environmental Law Institute, Resource Media, Earthjustice, and the Wilson Center’s Canada Institute and Science and Technology Innovation Program will follow.  Speakers include our friends Neela Banerjee of InsideClimate (former LA Times), SEJ President and KOMO-TV Investigative Reporter Jeff Burnside, Lisa Friedman of ClimateWire, WSJ’s Amy Harder, Dallas Morning News Environmental Writer Randy Loftis and several others.

 

RFF Seminar to look at Climate, Food Supply – Resources for the Future will hold a seminar on Wednesday, January 28th at 12:45 on how climate change will affect our global food supply.  According to recent studies, climate change could reduce agricultural productivity, decreasing global food supplies and harming households that rely on crops, livestock, and fisheries for income. What types of policies can be developed today to help protect against the worst of these impacts? At this RFF seminar, experts will examine recent research on this important topic and discuss how the United States and other countries are addressing the challenge.

 

FCC Chair to Address NARUC Winter Meetings – The 2015 NARUC Winter Committee Meetings will be held on February 15-18th at the Renaissance Washington Hotel.  The Winter Meetings is the first substantive utility-regulatory conference of the year. Discussions will focus on the new Congress’ outlook for energy and telecommunications priorities.  Tom Wheeler, Chairman of the  Federal Communications Commission will be among the keynote speakers.

 

Geothermal Event Set for February – The Geothermal Energy Association’s State of the Geothermal Energy Industry Briefing will be held on Tuesday, February 24th at the Hyatt Regency Capitol Hill.