Memorial Day is a special day to honor our fallen heroes. Over the weekend, I found so many of the tributes to fallen family members on social media very moving. It honors their lasting memories and their sacrifice for our country.
The Memorial Day weekend also signals the start of summer and brings its other family traditions like barbeques, trips to the beach, lake, pool, etc and major events like the Indy 500 and the NCAA Lacrosse tournaments. Congrats to the Maryland women who have now won back-to-back NCAA championships and Denver who ousted the Maryland Men’s team preventing a Free State double win. Also congrats to DIII SUNY-Cortland women who hammered Trinity (not an easy task) and Tufts who also made it back-to-back NCAA DIII final victories.
While the hockey and basketball playoffs roll on (the NY Rangers have their backs to the wall again tonight), I hope you didn’t miss the final David Letterman Show last week. While I was not a regular viewer, I did watch the last show and found it enjoyable, modest and one that honored the family around him. It was very well done. His last top 10 List featured a bunch a celebrities saying what they always wanting to say to Dave. Also our friends at Vox wrote a little history of the Letterman Top Ten list.
One big item over the weekend: Securing America’s Future Energy (SAFE) has locked in on its finalists for the SAFE Energy Security Prize in partnership with CNBC and Clemson University. Tech auto expert Jim Motavalli highlighted the four finalists in his Car Talk Blog this weekend detailing each start-up’s innovative ideas to reduce American oil dependence. The companies include Peloton (truck/fleet efficiency), Momentum (wireless charging), Freewire (portable charging) and Seachange (eco fuel for boats, commercial shipping). The winner will get $125,000 prize so get ready to vote. We will have details in future notes.
No action in DC this week with Congress on a week break, but that did prevent an exciting weekend battle over the Patriot Act and late Friday action on the EPA rules. Thursday afternoon, the National Assn of Clean Air Companies put out an extensive 465-page encyclopedia of 25 core compliance options for EPA’s GHG rules. Then Friday, EIA released new analysis that suggests EPA’s GHG plan would spur a quick wave of coal plant retirements and cause a significant increase in power costs. Not to be outdone, late Friday, EPA released the final version of its rule governing emissions of pollutants from power plants, refineries, chemical facilities and other industrial sites during periods of startup, shutdown and malfunction. My colleague Rich Alonso (202-828-5861), a great expert on the issue, says the rule will make it easier for environmental groups to sue industries (as if they needed that).
Special congrats to our friends Charlie Drevna and Tate Bennett. Drevna, who just retired from the AFPM (the refiners) is joining the Institute for Energy Research as a fellow while Bennett is leaving Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s office to join the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association.
Finally, while this week may be slow, there are still a couple of items to keep on your radar. Anytime now, our experts tell me we are expecting decisions for the Supreme Court on Mercury and the DC Circuit on GHG challenges. As well, we have heard that later this week we may see as many as 15 of the Sage Grouse Federal Conservation plans that will impact oil, gas, renewable and other development in most all western states. My colleague Eric Washburn (202-412-5211) is monitoring the issue and is a great resource for you.
IN THE NEWS
Motavalli Details SAFE Auto Tech Prize Finalists – Time to vote…Securing America’s Future Energy (SAFE) has locked in on its finalists for the SAFE Energy Security Prize in partnership with CNBC and Clemson University. Tech auto expert Jim Motavalli highlighted the four finalists in his Car Talk Blog this weekend detailing each start-up’s innovative ideas to reduce American Oil dependence. The Companies include 1) Peloton which improves truck fleet efficiency through cloud and wireless technology. The truck-to-truck wireless link technology makes trucks safer, increases fuel efficiency up to 10% and double trucking company profits by having two trucks traveling closely together to take advantage of the aerodynamics (just as in a bike race) . 2) Momentum has developed a wireless charger that can charge an EV in about 20 minutes which I perfect for businesses and workplaces to get over one of EVs biggest obstacles. 3) Freewire has created a mobile EV charger that gets its power not from the grid but from second-life electric car batteries. 4) Seachange uses the biodiesel waste glycerol and blends it with ULS Diesel for its Eco-Hybrid fuel that can be dropped into existing fuel tanks and improve emissions dramatically without high-cost modifications or expensive down time. The winner will get $125,000 prize. It is a contest so get ready to vote for the most innovative. The winner will be announced at the South Carolina campus of one of the sponsors, Clemson University and highlighted on CNBC.
EIA Analysis Shows Power Price Increase – The Energy Information Administration says in a new analysis that the EPA’s Clean Power Plan would shut down more than double the coal-fired power plant capacity that would occur otherwise by the end of the decade, contributing to a 5% increase in the cost of power generation. The analysis predicts that the EPA’s expected carbon regulations would prompt power producers to shut down 90 gigawatts of coal-fired power generation, far higher than the 40 GW that it currently expects to retire. The report says require massive investments in new power lines and other infrastructure to integrate a growing amount of renewable energy into the electric grid. EIA used its Annual Energy Outlook’s reference, or most likely, case as a baseline to project the impact of the proposed regulations. EPA’s rules for new and existing power plants, aimed at reducing carbon emissions by 30 percent by 2030 compared to 2005 levels, are expected to be finalized in August.
NACAA Releases GHG Compliance Strategies – The National Association of Clean Air Agencies released a 465-page encyclopedia of 25 core compliance options for EPA’s GHG rules. The menu goes far beyond the “building blocks” EPA used to set state emissions goals. EPA based standards on actions the agency thought states could take to make coal plants more efficient, use more natural gas, build renewable energy and cut electricity use through efficiency improvements. My colleague Scott Segal said NACAA tries to outline a roadmap, but it underscores that it will be a bumpy ride. Segal: “Not taking away from the work that went into it, NACAA’s Encyclopedia hardly breaks new ground. Many policy options are advocated on environmental grounds. The hard questions are which of these policies can be advanced without hurting consumers, undermining reliability, and under what ultimate federal authority. Congress certainly never authorized EPA to insist on the implementation of programs of the breadth and complexity that NACAA is suggesting – all under a few hundred, rarely used words of the Clean Air Act.”
Report: Shale Will Remain Strong Despite Price Issues – A new Manhattan Institute paper says despite some doom and gloom predictions about the lower oil price’s effect on shale oil, the industry is poised for a strong second act. Senior Fellow Mark Mills writes that Shale 2.0 will be marked by a move toward big-data analytics that will make shale operations more productive, cost-effective and predictable for energy producers. http://www.manhattan-institute.org/html/eper_16.htm#.VVztd7HD-Uk
Shale Coalition Pushing back on New Taxes in PA – Last week, the PA Chamber Coalition rolled out the Stop New Energy Taxes campaign which includes a website designed to assist allies with their messaging and engagement. As part of the roll out, the coalition sent a letter to Gov. Wolf and the General Assembly outlining our concerns related to Gov. Wolf’s severance tax proposal. The purpose of the coalition is to urge Gov. Wolf and the General Assembly to pursue commonsense policies focused on strengthening our economy and jobs through growth not additional higher energy taxes.
Drevna to Join Energy Think Tank – The Institute for Energy Research announced that our friend Charlie Drevna is joining the organization as a Distinguished Senior Fellow. Drevna will advise IER on a variety of energy topics, particularly fuel and refining issues. Drevna comes to IER with more than 40 years of experience in legislative, regulatory, and public policy issues involving energy and the environment. Most recently, he served as President of the American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers, the national trade association representing 98 percent of U.S. refining capacity, a position he had held since 2007.
ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK
Demand Response Forum Set – The National Town Meeting on Demand Response and Smart Grid will be held on today through Thursday in Washington, DC. The event in the US focused on the business and policy aspects of demand response and its enabling technologies and applications. It is unique in that it devotes an entire day to roundtable discussions featuring experts in demand response and smart grid, who discuss with each other and with the audience the latest trends, issues, and business developments. The National Town Meeting also features panel discussions, case studies, and presentations of best practices. Another hallmark is attendee engagement, whether through Q&A sessions with top business leaders and policymakers, through formal electronic voting, or through the National Town Meeting’s reception and other networking sessions.
Natural Gas Roundtable Hosts CFTC Chair Massad –The Natural Gas Roundtable will host Timothy Massad, Chairman of the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission as the guest speaker at the next luncheon today at Noon at the University Club. Massad was sworn-in as Chairman of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission on June 5, 2014, after being confirmed by the United States Senate as Chairman and as a Commissioner of the CFTC. Previously, Mr. Massad was nominated by President Obama and confirmed by the U.S. Senate as the Assistant Secretary for Financial Stability at the U.S. Department of the Treasury.
RFF to Host Seminar on Creative Conservation – Resources for the Future will Hold a seminar tomorrow at 12:45 p.m. for an expert discussion of creativity, innovation, technology, and natural resources. Ruth DeFries, the Denning Family Chair in Sustainable Development in the Department of Ecology, Evolution, and Environmental Biology at Columbia University and a 2007 recipient of a MacArthur Fellowship “genius grant” award, will discuss key themes in her new book, The Big Ratchet: How Humanity Thrives in the Face of Natural Crisis. A panel of experts in geography, conservation science, and economics will consider the advantages and limits of innovation in using and conserving natural resources.
WRI to Release Low Carbon Future Report – The World Resources Institute will hold a forum at the National Press Club tomorrow at 9:00 a.m. to look at ways to reach a low carbon future. A diverse panel of experts will discuss important questions as the WRI releases Delivering on the U.S. Climate Commitment: A 10-Point Plan Toward a Low-Carbon Future. This landmark publication will examine several pathways for the United States to use existing policies and authority to accelerate technology trends underway to make deep emissions cuts while taking advantage of economic opportunities from improved efficiencies and affordable, low-carbon solutions. Speakers will include Rick Duke of the White House Office of Energy and Climate Change, Richard Kaufmann of NY Governor Andrew Cuomo’s office, Sierra Club’s John Coequyt, Mark Wagner of Johnson Controls and Guardian enviro correspondent Suzanne Goldenberg, who will moderate.
Goldwyn, Loveless to Headline Energy Event – The British-American Business Association’s Energy & Environment Committee, in participation with the French-American Chamber of Commerce, Netherlands America Chamber of Commerce, and Swedish-American Chamber of Commerce will hold a luncheon interview on the energy landscape today amidst rising uncertainty and global challenges. Our friend Bill Loveless, Energy Columnist for USA Today, will interview former State Department energy official David Goldwyn.
DOE to Host Better Buildings Summit – Tomorrow and Thursday, the Department of Energy will hold the Better Buildings Summit at the Marriott Wardman Park Hotel. The Better Buildings Summit is a national meeting where leading organizations across key sectors showcase solutions to cut energy intensity in their buildings portfolio-wide by 20% over the next ten years. This Summit is designed for partners and stakeholders to exchange best practices and highlight demonstrated market solutions with an equal emphasis on discussing future opportunities for greater energy efficiency in America’s homes and buildings. At the 2014 Summit, more than 500 participants engaged in dialogue focused on sharing proven approaches. Speakers from the commercial, industrial, public, and multifamily sectors shared how they draw on energy efficiency technologies, business practices, and partnerships to save money on utility bills, create new jobs, and improve their organization’s competitiveness.
Forum to Look at Improved Nuclear Projects –Thursday morning, the Global America Business Institute will hold a forum on sustainable nuclear energy for the future while improving safety, economics and waste management. Speakers will include Argonne National Laboratory’s Dr. Yoon I. Chang who will discuss prospects for the integral fast reactor and EPRI’s Andrew Sowder who will look at R&D Programs in the US and future commercialization.
USEA to Host Summit Power Group on CCS, EOR – The US Energy Association will host Summit Power Group Thursday at 10:00 a.m. to discuss CCS technologies. Summit is an energy development company with a focus on carbon capture for enhanced oil recovery. Sasha Mackler, Vice President of Summit Carbon Capture, will provide a high-level overview of the status of CCUS in the power industry and discuss how different policy mechanisms under consideration can enable projects and support the growth of this emerging industry.
Forum to Look at BLM Fracking Rule – On Thursday at noon, the Environmental Law Institute will hold a discussion about the BLM natural gas drilling rule and its ramifications when it goes into effect on June 24, 2015. What will the effect be on fracking operations, oil and gas development, and energy production overall? The panel of experts on these issues includes Texx Lone Bear, Acting Director of the Natural Resources Division at the Mandan, Hidatsa, and Arikara Nation, NRDC’s Amy Mall, Interior’s Richard McNeer and Western Energy Alliance’s Kathleen Sgamma.
EESI Head to Lead EnviroRun – Thursday’s Envirorun will feature Environmental and Energy Study Institute Executive Director Carol Werner. EESI is a non-profit education and policy organization that is dedicated to sustainable development, believing that a sound environment and a sound economy go hand in hand. Launch for the four-miler is 6:00 p.m. with the comments after at Bar Louie.
Forum to Look at Saudi Leadership Changes, Impacts – On Friday at 10:00 a.m., the Atlantic Council will host a discussion on leadership changes in Saudi Arabia. Last month, Saudi Arabia’s King Salman reshuffled his cabinet and appointed a new line of succession in a major reorganization of the top echelons of power in the kingdom. Following the announcement, reports indicated that the state-owned oil giant, Saudi Aramco, would be restructured to operate independently from the Saudi oil industry. Panelists include CSIS’s Anthony Cordesman, Director of the Atlantic Council’s Rafik Hariri Center for the Middle East Francis Ricciardone and Jean-François Seznec, Visiting Associate Professor at Georgetown University’s Center for Contemporary Arab Studies. Former State Department official David Goldwyn will moderate the discussion and The Hon. Richard Morningstar, Founding Director of the Atlantic Council’s Global Energy Center, will deliver welcome remarks.
Forum to Look at Renewables, Future – Next Monday at 4:00 p.m., the Atlantic Council will host a discussion on the emergence of renewable energy as an important component of US energy policy. The panel will explore the benefits that renewables can bring to domestic and international considerations on climate change, energy security, and economic developments. The panel will also discuss a recent roadmap released by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) called REmap 2030 which overviews renewable energy potential in the United States and countries across the globe over the next fifteen years. Speakers will include International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) Director General Adnan Amin, US State Department Special Energy Envoy Amos Hochstein, DOE’s EERE Deputy Mike Carr and ACORE’s Dennis McGinn.
Hill Hosts Technology, Innovation Forum – On Tuesday, June 2nd, The Hill will host a discussion on the effects of new technologies and innovation in energy, the implications of energy policies and regulations, ongoing efforts to meet carbon emission goals, and the role nuclear energy could play in the global economy. Featured speakers Third Way’s Matt Bennett, Sarah Chamberlain of the Main Street Partnership, Center For Climate And Energy Solutions Eileen Claussen and Westinghouse Electric Company President & CEO Danny Roderick. There will also be a keynote interview with Illinois Congressman Adam Kinizinger.
Moniz to Head back to House Energy – After cancellation last Thursday, the House Energy and Commerce Committee Subcommittee on Energy and Power will hold its rescheduled hearing next Tuesday with Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz about the Quadrennial Energy Review and related legislation.
NJ Hosts House Oversight Chair – Ahead of a June 2nd hearing exploring the challenges faced by those seeking public information under the Freedom of Information Act, National Journal and Steve Clemons, National Journal’s Washington editor-at-large will host an in-depth conversation at the Reagan Trade Center at 11:15 a.m. with Rep. Jason Chaffetz, chairman of the U.S. House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. The discussion will focus on the upcoming hearing and other priorities of a committee that oversees every aspect of the government’s functioning.
Wald to Headline WCEE Event – Next Tuesday, the Women’s Council on Energy and the Environment will host a brown bag Luncheon with the Nuclear Energy Institute’s Matt Wald. Wald reported on energy and airline safety issues for most of his 37 years as a reporter at the New York Times. He will publish an article in the EPRI Journal this summer on the “rush to renewables” and how that may impact the reliability of the electricity grid. Wald has a long background in energy technology, especially in nuclear energy. He has covered every aspect of the energy business, including wind, solar, fuel cells, coal mining and combustion, fracking, liquid motor fuel production, and grid operations. He looks forward to analyzing the many new challenges faced by the industry.
Geothermal Forum Set – The Geothermal Energy Association (GEA) will be holding its 5th annual National Geothermal Summit on June 3-4th at the Grand Sierra Resort and Casino in Reno, NV. The National Geothermal Summit is the leading forum for western state policy discussions, bringing together the geothermal industry for a dialogue with state and federal policy makers.
CSIS to Look at RGGI Issues – The Center for Strategic and International Studies Energy and National Security Program will host a discussion on Thursday, June 4th at 10:00 a.m. looking at the future of the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) under changing leadership. The keynote address will be by Katie Dykes, Chair of the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) and Deputy Commissioner for Energy in Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection.
ELI Forum to Look at NatGas Regs – On Thursday, June 4th, ELI will Host a forum on EPA’s plans to regulate methane emissions from the oil and gas sector. EPA’s announcement of its forthcoming action has fueled considerable debate as domestic oil and gas production has reached historic levels in a volatile price market. Leaders will respond to issues. Speakers will Include EPA’s Paul Gunning, NRDC’s Dave Doniger, ANGA’s Amy Farrell, former EPA official Bob Sussman, Theresa Pugh of INGAA, former EPA #2 Bob Perciasepe and API’s Howard Feldman, among others.
USEA to Host Mitsubishi on CCS Technology – The US Energy Assn will host speakers from Mitsubishi Heavy Industries to discussion carbon capture issues on Thursday, June 4th at 10:00 a.m. Mitsubishi began R&D activities for Carbon capture in 1990 and has developed a high efficiency chemical solvent process, the KM CDR Process®, in collaboration with the Kansai Electric Power Co., Inc. The process has been applied to eleven (11) worldwide commercial CO2 capture plants which are providing captured CO2 from natural gas-fired flue gas to enhance chemical production such as urea and methanol. One of the most urgent challenges faced today, with the apparent advent of global warming, is the capture of CO2 from coal fired power plants, which is the largest single source of global CO2 emissions. MHI and Southern Company have successfully completed a demonstration test program of a 500 tpd fully integrated CCS plant applied to a coal-fired power plant for the past 4 years. In addition, MHI has received an order for the world’s largest post-combustion CO2 capture plant of 4,776 tpd from an enhanced oil recovery (EOR) project mainly promoted by NRG Energy Inc. and JX Nippon Oil & Gas Exploration Corporation, which is now under construction.
Forum to Look at Zero Energy Buildings – ACEEE and the National Association of State Energy Officials will host a forum on Thursday, June 4th at 1:00 p.m. in B354 Rayburn to focus on Zero Net Energy (ZNE) buildings. Residential and commercial buildings consume a whopping 41% of all energy in the United States. And the majority of that energy is used to heat, ventilate and cool our buildings throughout the year. We have the technology and techniques today that can significantly reduce building energy consumption to virtually zero, which drastically reduces monthly utility bills and carbon emissions. This briefing will provide an overview of what’s behind the growth in the ZNE building market, its economic and environmental benefits, and why Zero Net Energy is important to your district. Speakers will highlight current and future ZNE projects and identify stakeholders’ roles in these efforts, including small businesses, builders, developers, State and local committees, technology producers and NGOs. Speakers Include NASEO’s Executive Director David Terry, Bosch Thermotechnology’s Mark Stimson, ACEEE’s Jennifer Amann and Greg Guess, Director of Efficiency and Conservation of the Kentucky Department of Energy Development and Independence.
Beacon Exec to Discuss Energy Storage – On Thursday June 4th at 3:00 p.m., Aaron Bullwinkel, Vice President & General Counsel, Beacon Power, will discuss the opportunities and challenges facing the energy storage industry, as it develops from a nascent industry to a viable, economic alternative to transmission and distribution development, a means to achieve energy savings, an operations tool, and an answer to service interruptions.
BPC Forum to Focus On Midwest GHG Issues – The Great Plains Institute and Bipartisan Policy Center will hold a workshop Friday June 5th in Detroit at the Westin Metro Airport to discuss implementation options for EPA’s Proposed Clean Power Plan in the Midcontinent region. States will soon have to develop and submit plans to achieve EPA’s goals. States and stakeholders in the region have been working to evaluate the policy options available to states for inclusion in state plans. In the Midcontinent region, state officials have been active in the Midcontinent States Environmental and Energy Regulators (MSEER) group. Also, the Midwestern Power Sector Collaborative, convened by the Great Plains Institute, brings state officials and stakeholders together to explore and engage on these policy issues. Please join us and contribute your ideas and input to these regional efforts. This workshop will gather states, stakeholders, and experts, including those participating in MSEER and the Power Sector Collaborative. The agenda includes a keynote address by Valerie Brader, Executive Director of the Michigan Agency for Energy and several panels exploring policy pathways for states to achieve state emissions goals and opportunities/challenges for multistate collaboration, among other items.
EIA Annual Energy Conference Set – EIA will hold its 2015 Energy Conference on June 15 – 16th in Washington, DC. Keynote Speakers will DOE Secretary Ernie Moniz, Mexican Energy secretary Pedro Joaquín Coldwell and Continental Resources CEO Harold Hamm, among others.
DOE Loan Official to Speak at Offshore Conference – Peter Davidson, the Executive Director of the Department of Energy’s Loan Programs Office to give Special Luncheon Address at Infocast’s 6th North American Offshore Wind Development & Finance Summit, June 17-18th in New York. Leading offshore wind players will discuss the unique value of offshore wind, the latest financial innovations, public/private partnerships, and technological advances being developed to reduce development time and cost and maximize ROI of offshore wind power projects in North America.
Bay, Clark, Moeller Headline Utility Commissioners Education Forum – The 20th Annual Education Conference of the Mid-Atlantic Conference of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (MACRUC) will be held on June 21 – 24 at the Williamsburg Lodge in Virginia. Speakers will include former Senator/Governor Evan Bayh, FERC Commissioners Norman Bay, Tony Clark and Philip Moeller, NARUC President and Florida PSC Chair Lisa Edgar, Dominion CEO Tom Farrell, PSE&G President Ralph LaRossa, and American Water Works CEO Susan Story.
Energy CyberSecurity Forum Set for Houston – The 3rd Annual Cyber Security for Oil and Gas Summit will be held in Houston on June 22-24th. The event brings together the oil and gas industry to address critical concerns and trends with regard to the development of cyber security practices. The complex nature of cyberattacks and those specifically levied against the oil and gas industry have been increasing over the years and while the industry is well prepared, continuous improvement is always necessary to maintain an edge on the nefarious actors working against the industry.
National Security Conference Set – The 2015 Center for New American Security Annual Conference will be held on June 26th at the JW Marriott Hotel in Washington, D.C. CNAS’ annual national security conference will feature keynote addresses and discussion topics designed to chart a course for the next administration and beyond.