So the big story last night from the Grammys is how big of an idiot Kanye West continues to be. He once again has deflected much-deserved attention from the winners and of course got coverage. In case you missed it, Sam Smith was the big winner, taking home three of the top four awards, including song and record of the year for “Stay With Me,” and best new artist, while Beck was surprise winner of album of the year, causing West’s outburst. Solid performances by Madonna and Annie Lennox.
While it is snowing so much in the Northeast that any talk of spring sounds crazy, pitchers and catchers report this week to Florida and Arizona to kickoff baseball’s annual spring training ritual. I’m interested to know how Derek Jeter will feel when he doesn’t report for the first time in 20-plus years. And for those of you in lax states like Maryland, colleges open their SEASONS soon and high school tryouts are right around the corner.
After last week’s White House budget announcement and an initial hearing featuring OMB, Congress hits the budget trail full tilt this week. Expect to see DOE Secretary Moniz on both sides of the Capitol on Wednesday and Thursday.
Senate Environment will take its first look at the EPA GHG rule in this Congress on Wednesday. There is a lot going on this week on GHG issues from both environmental groups and industries so stay tuned. This is already on top of reports from our friends in the media who are writing that the House will package and roll out new energy legislation early this week.
On Thursday, SAFE holds a webinar featuring Sam Ori discussing the SAFE Energy Security Fact Pack, a comprehensive, quarterly review of current trends affecting American energy security and the global oil market, and our friend Steve LeVine will discuss his new book The Powerhouse: Inside the Invention of a Battery to Save the World at a New America Foundation.
For those of you following the DOE residential furnace rule (it is one of a plethora of DOE you can expect over the next two years) has cleared OMB after a significant delay. My colleague Salo Zelermyer, a former DOE Senior Counsel on these topic can be of great assistance on background or on the record. You can reach Salo at 202-828-1718.
Finally, the Environmental Law Institute and the D.C. Bar’s Environment, Energy and Natural Resources Section is holding a networking event at the Laughing Man Tavern to build community and connections among environmental professionals and to relax and have fun!
We are all in Houston today so I’m keeping it short. Call with questions and keep your eyes peeled for developments on the GHG front.
IN THE NEWS
Report Shows Energy Trends – A new report from Bloomberg New Energy Finance says the US saw continued growth in renewable energy, natural gas and energy efficiency in 2014, The 3rd annual Sustainable Energy in America Factbook shows that U.S. deployment of sustainable energy increased as prices continued to fall and that investment in U.S. clean energy grew at a higher rate. The report found that “over the 2007–2014 period, U.S. carbon emissions from the energy sector dropped 9%, U.S. natural gas production rose 25% and total U.S. investment in clean energy (renewables and advanced grid, storage and electrified transport technologies) reached $386 billion.” The full 2015 edition of the Sustainable Energy in America Factbook is available here.
Platts Oil Podcast Tackles Iran – This week on Capitol Crude, Platts senior editors Herman Wang andBrian Scheid compare the ongoing negotiations over Iran’s nuclear program with trashy reality television. They also get a little help from our good friend Kevin Book at ClearView Energy Partners, who helps them explain what high stakes global diplomacy and looming congressional action over western sanctions on Iran’s oil sector have to do with a TLC show about getting married in 90 days.
ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK
Moniz, Napolitano to Headline ARPA-E Forum – Today through Wednesday, DOE will host its annual ARPA-E Energy Innovation Summit at the Gaylord National Hotel and Convention Center. The event is an annual conference and technology showcase that brings together experts from different technical disciplines and professional communities to think about America’s energy challenges in new and innovative ways. Now in its sixth year, the Summit offers a unique, three-day program aimed at moving disruptive energy technologies out of the lab and into the market. The ARPA-E Energy Innovation Summit brings together the very best minds in business, academia, and government to advance cutting-edge technologies that could fundamentally change the way we generate, use and store energy.
Electric Car Forum Set – The Electric Drive Transportation Association’s Electric Drive Congress 2015 will be held tomorrow and Wednesday. The forum is a multifaceted program to convene electric drive industry executives, policymakers, leaders in regional deployment and other stakeholders. Participants will discuss the road ahead for electric drive: what to expect in the market and what role federal and regional leaders will play in speeding access to next generation transportation options.
EESI, EDTA to Host Merkley, Carper – To that end, the Environmental and Energy Study Institute (EESI) and the Electric Drive Transportation Association (EDTA) will hold a briefing at 10:00 a.m. in the US Capitol Visitors Center Auditorium to discuss the road ahead for electric drive vehicles as industry executives, policymakers, and other stakeholders gather to address the outlook for the market and what role policymakers can play in accelerating the electric fleet. Policymakers and industry leaders will provide their expert insights, and a moderated Q&A will follow. Featured speakers for the Capitol Hill briefing include Sens. Jeff Merkley and Tom Carper, as well as Tracy Woodard of Nissan.
EDTA Will Also Hold Symposium – In addition to the above Congressional briefing, EDTA is also holding an Electric Drive Symposium at the Washington Court Hotel. Highlights include a keynote luncheon sponsored by Volkswagen Group of America, federal and state policy forums, and a networking reception. Featured speakers for the symposium include Arun Banskota of NRG Energy Electric Vehicle Service, PG&E’s Melissa Lavinson, Toyota’s Robert R. Wimmer – Toyota Motor North America, Greg Dierkers of the National Governors Association, Ashley Horvat from the State of Oregon, Karen Glitman of the Vermont Energy Investment Corporation (VEIC) and DOE’s Linda Bluestein.
CHP Association to Host DOE Officials for Webinar – Tomorrow at 2:00 p.m., the Joint Energy Solutions Center and the Combined Heat & Power Association will host a webinar to discuss DOE’s CHP Technical Assistance Partnerships, and what they will do for customers. Speakers will include our friend Dale Louda, who heads the the CHP Association and DOE program officials Claudia Tighe and Ted Bronson.
Senate Enviro Takes First Look at EPA GHG Rules – On Wednesday at 9:30 a.m., the Senate Environment Committee will hold its first oversight hearing to examine EPA’s proposed carbon dioxide emissions rules from new, modified, and existing power plants. The purpose of the hearing is to examine the proposed rules, their impacts and obtain general status update. The star of the show will be EPA Air Chief Janet McCabe.
Moniz to Discuss Budget at House Energy Panel – Also Wednesday at 2:00 p.m., the House Energy & Commerce Committee’s energy panel will host DOE Secretary Ernie Moniz for a hearing on the 2016 DOE budget.
Georgetown Forum Look at Shale Impacts – On Wednesday through Friday, Georgetown University’s SFS Center for Contemporary Arab Studies will hold its annual symposia to assess the political, economic, human, and environmental impacts of shale oil and its technologies of extraction globally, and particularly on the societies and economies of the MENA region.
Moniz Heads to Senate Energy for Budget – On Thursday at 9:30 a.m., the Senate Energy Committee will hold a hearing on the Department of Energy’s budget request for fiscal year 2016. Secretary Moniz will testify.
House Foreign Affairs to Look at Azerbaijan, U.S. Energy – The House Foreign Affairs Committee’s Subcommittee on Europe, Eurasia, and Emerging Threats will convene a hearing on Thursday to discuss Azerbaijan & U.S. Energy, Security, and Human Rights. Witnesses will include Wilson Center expert Audrey Altstadt, former American Ambassador to Azerbaijan Richard Kauzlarich of George Mason University and JHU’s Svante Cornell, the Director of its Central Asia-Caucasus Institute.
Former Gov Ritter Leads CO Law School Forum – University of Colorado Law School will hold its 2015 Martz Winter Symposium in its Wittemyer Courtroom on Thursday and Friday. Many believe that global institutions and frameworks are failing to generate necessary progress on issues such as climate change, water scarcity, biodiversity, food security and nutrition, and poverty eradication; and that state, tribal, and local governments and communities, innovative companies, social and technology entrepreneurs, NGOs, impact investors, consumers and philanthropists increasingly are taking the lead in creating bottom-up solutions to these challenges. The conference will explore this dynamic in detail, with an emphasis on the drivers behind these ground level innovations, and on how they can better “filter up” to inform the global conversations occurring on how best to address various dimensions of “global change”. Former Colorado Governor Bill Ritter leads a list of distinguished speakers.
SAFE Webinar to Look at Oil Dynamics, Markets, Policy – On Thursday, Securing America’s Future Energy Executive Vice President Sam Ori will host a webinar discussing the SAFE Energy Security Fact Pack. The report is a comprehensive, quarterly review of current trends affecting American energy security and the global oil market. The fourth-quarter 2014 release examines current oil market dynamics and the effect lower oil prices are having on industry valuation and capital expenditures, in addition to U.S. rig counts and oil production. Webinar participants will have the opportunity to engage with SAFE’s policy experts on these topics, as well as broader U.S. energy security and advanced technology vehicles and fuels.
Conference to Focus on DOE Communities – On Thursday and Friday at the Liaison Hotel, Energy Communities Alliance will hold a conference featuring the community officials and local governments around DOE sites as we discuss key issues. DOE Officials, administration officials and Washington insiders will discuss important issues. Speakers will include Idaho Rep. Mike Simpson, DOE’s Peter Lyons and our friend Jeff Crater of Babcock &Wilcox.
LeVine to Discuss New Book on Battery Tech – The New America Foundation will host a forum featuring our friend Steve LeVine on Thursday at Noon to look as his New book, The Powerhouse: Inside the Invention of a Battery to Save the World. For all the global obsession with oil that has marked the past decades, the real future of energy may be something quite different. An advanced lithium-ion battery could power our electric cars and help relieve climate change. But the race is on in laboratories all over the world to be the first to solve this scientific enigma—and the United States may not necessarily be the winner. Levine will be joined by Donna Harris, co-founder of Washington DC start-up hub, 1776. They will explore how geopolitics, competition, and the scientists themselves could shape technology’s next great watershed.
Hudson to Look at Falling Oil Impacts – The Hudson Institute will hold a forum on Friday at 10:30 a.m. on assessing the economic, political and geopolitical impacts of falling oil prices. The price of world crude oil has plunged more than 50 percent since July 2014. The price drop has spawned predictions of job losses and financial collapse for America’s booming oil and shale industry, as well as a renaissance for U.S. manufacturing and a new burst of prosperity for consumers. Warnings of the doom of OPEC and international “Big Oil” have been balanced by forecasts that cheap oil’s boost to economic growth around the world will trigger a renewed price rise in the future. Hudson will host a panel of experts led by Anne Korin, co-director of the Institute for Analysis of Global Security and senior advisor to the U.S. Energy Security Council; Dov Zigler, Financial Markets Economist at Scotiabank; and Matt Leggett, Energy Policy Counsel at the U.S. Senate Republican Policy Committee. Hudson Senior Fellow Arthur Herman will moderate this event.
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.
Ameren CEO, EPA’s McCabe , DOE to Address Utility Conference – EUEC 2015 is the 18th annual energy, utility and environment conference will be held at the San Diego Convention Center on February 16-18th. EPA’s Janet McCabe, will be the keynote speaker at EUEC 2015, which offers a ten track technical program with over 400 expert speakers from utility, government and academia, presenting current issues and updates on air policy and regulations, mercury and multi-pollutant control, air pollution monitoring, energy policy, control technologies. EPA climate change regulations, renewable energy, operations and management, carbon capture and storage, water and EPA 316(b) rules, and alternate fuel technologies. EUEC is the longest running and largest event of its kind in the U.S. Other speakers will include DOE’s Julio Freedman and Ameren CEO Warner Baxter. EUEC will be jointly held with the Clean Car Expo, which will bring together the world’s leading alternative fuel vehicle (AFV) manufacturers, infrastructure developers, fuel providers, and consultants to discuss the latest developments in electric vehicles (EVs), compressed natural gas vehicles (CNG), hydrogen vehicles (H2), natural gas vehicles (NGV), biofuel, ethanol, propane, hybrid and fleet vehicles. Over 3,000 delegates including 400 fleet operators are expected to the joint conference and expo.
George P. Bush to Address TX, Mexico Forums – The Border Energy Forum is hosting two forums where new Texas Land Commissioner George P. Bush will present a keynote address addresses. The first is the Mexico Shale Summit in San Antonio on February 17-18th and is highly focused Mexico Energy industry event bringing the relevant players together to discuss the opportunities associated with entering the Mexican energy market. Then the following week in Austin, Bush will keynote the Texas Mexico Business Forum, which provides insight into business opportunities in four sectors important to the wealth of Texas and Mexico: Technology, Energy, Automobile, Higher education and Healthcare.
FERC GHG Technical Conference to Focus on EPA Rule – The FERC holds its GHG technical Conference on February 19 in Washington. More on this next week.
SNL to Host Forum – SNL Energy is hosting the 28th Annual Power and Gas M&A Symposium on February 18-19th at the Ritz-Carlton Battery Park in New York. The Power and Gas M&A Symposium attracts senior executives and advisers from across the industry in an interactive conference that connects people, provides insights and fosters new opportunities like no other forum. Former NYC Mayor Rudy Giuliani and Ameren CEO Baxter Warner will address the forum.
Forum to Focus on DOE Labs – Next Wednesday, February 18th at Noon, the Technology Transfer Society will host a forum on reforming the DOE National Labs at the Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities. DOE’s 17 national labs stand as potentially pivotal institutions in many of the nation’s metropolitan economies and for overall national growth, innovation, and competitiveness. As centers of basic and applied technology research and development (R&D), the labs are well-positioned to serve as unique focal points for technology exchange among regional firms, universities, and economic development intermediaries. However, the labs have not made technology transfer, commercialization, or metropolitan cluster development a top priority. As a result, they have struggled to properly connect to the broader U.S. innovation ecosystem and deliver on their responsibility to contribute to regional and national economic growth. There is a growing recognition among policymakers that it’s past time for lab reform, opening a window of opportunity to reshape the role of the labs as engines of national and regional economic growth. Congress has taken up bipartisan legislation to enhance lab flexibility when engaging with the private sector. Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz has made lab reform a priority. And a Congressionally-mandated commission is assessing potential areas of reform, including technology transfer, lab management, private sector engagement, and budget consolidation. This presentation, featuring information technology expert Matt Stepp, will discuss some (but not all) potential issues at the national labs and give an overview of ongoing policy discussions. Stepp is Executive Director of The Information Technology & Innovation Foundation’s Center for Clean Energy Innovation (CCEI), where he researches, analyzes and comments on a number of issues related to climate and energy policy.
ICF Breakfast to Look at Climate – On Thursday, February 19th at the National Press Club, ICF International will hold its energy breakfast featuring featuring energy experts from the World Bank. Discussion topics will include hot-button greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions issues and key questions. Speakers will include World Bank’s Charles Feinstein and former State Department negotiator Jonathan Pershing.
Forum to Explore Perspectives on Energy, Water & Agriculture – On Thursday, February 19th at 12:15 p.m., the International Food Policy Research Institute will hold a forum on how clean energy technology can be used to intensify agricultural production. Former Governor Bill Ritter, Jr. will speak from his experience working both domestically and internationally with legislators, regulators, planners, and policymakers to make clean energy a reality and focus on the major issues and opportunities both in the U.S. and in developing countries. A panel of experts will join Governor Ritter to explore the nexus between clean energy, water and agriculture, and share their thoughts on ways to ramp up partnerships–working across sectors–and apply cutting edge technologies to tackle some of our greatest development challenges.
ASE to Offer Primer on Energy Efficiency – The Alliance to Save Energy will host a Capitol Hill Briefing on Thursday, February 19th at 3:00 p.m. focusing on the building blocks of energy efficiency policy. A full load of speakers will be announced on topics like EnergySTAR, building codes, Weatherization, Appliance Standards and much more.
Energy & Sustainability Extravaganza Set for New GWU Science Hall – On Friday afternoon, February 20th, the National Capital Chapter of the Association of Energy Engineer’s will co-host the Energy & Sustainability Extravaganza at George Washington University/s new Science and Engineering Hall. Other co-hosts include the GW School of Engineering and Applied Science’s Office of Graduate Admissions, the Alexandria Emerging Technology Center, and DC Green Drinks.
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.
CP CEO to Address US Chamber Energy Forum – The Institute for 21st Century Energy and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation will host their CEO Leadership Series luncheon featuring on Tuesday, March 3rd art Noon featuring Ryan Lance, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of ConocoPhillips. Lance will address the current state of the oil industry and challenges is facing with lower oil prices.
Interior Official to Address Policy Issues at UColorado—The University of Colorado Law School will host Deputy Secretary of Interior Mike Connor for a policy speech on March 10th.
Aviation Forum to Feature Blakey – The U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation is hosting its 14th Annual Aviation Summit on Tuesday, March 17th at the Renaissance Hotel to bring together top experts and leaders from all sectors of aviation to discuss critical issues facing the industry. The 2015 Summit will focus on the future of space and aviation in the global economy. Confirmed Speakers include Chamber CEO Tom Donohue, Spirit Airlines CEO Ben Baldanza, Former Continental Airlines CEO Gordon Bethune, former FAA/NTSB/NHTSA head and current CEO of Aerospace Industries Association (AIA) Marion Blakey, and many others.