Hope everyone enjoyed their Halloween. We have crossed another threshold at our house as Hannah handed out candy, Adam was at Boarding School and Olivia went out trick-or-treating with her friends and wanted nothing to do with us… A little sad, but at least I didn’t have to walk around the entire neighborhood.
Now that was a World Series weekend with the Royals closing out the Mets with two consecutive come-from-behind victories. With the Baseball season officially in the books, pitchers and catchers report in 108 days… And if you are looking for an interesting early NHL season test, watch tomorrow night as the Washington Capitals travel to Madison Square Garden to take on the NY Rangers. Both are off to a hot start and this may be a matchup we’ll see in May. In case you were wondering, I wasn’t at the Halloween night Tool show in Arizona. But I heard from some friends that roadtripped that it was pretty awesome. Hoping this means a tour is on Tool’s docket soon.
With Thanksgiving and UN Climate talks less than a month away now, Congress and the policy advocacy world are all focused on key events running up to Paris. Almost every day you can find an event focused on UN Climate talks and one group or another positioning itself. An overlay to this Paris focus are the controversies surrounding the EPA GHG rules for power plants. In fact, starting tomorrow the House Energy Committee will mark up the Congressional Disapproval Petition of the rules. The Senate has already launched their effort as well with ND Dem Heidi Hietkamp leading the charge.
This week in Congress, we will also see amendments to the House highway bill that would lift the crude oil export ban. Meanwhile, tomorrow the Senate is scheduled to begin floor debate on efforts to overturn the controversial (and now court stayed) Waters of the United States rule. Finally, OMB has started its investigation of the RFS rule which is expected later this month. Last year, EPA reached a settlement agreement with the petroleum industry to release the RFS by November 30th. House Science panels take up the topic tomorrow.
Finally, tomorrow is election day (don’t forget to vote for our favorite Louden County Supervisor Matt Letourneau), where Kentucky is holding key Governor’s race. It also marks the one-year point to the 2016 Presidential. The next 365 promise to be very interesting. Speaking of that, API, moderated by our friend Elana Schor, will host an election briefing tomorrow morning at the W Hotel.. Call with questions…Best,
IN THE NEWS
Iranian Dissidents Attacked in Iraq – In case any of you are focused on Iran-related issues, last week Iranian dissidents were attacked by Shi’ite Muslim militia aligned with the Iranian government, killing 23 people and injuring several dozen more. The attack was widely condemned by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon, Secretary of State John Kerry, Armed Services Chair John McCain, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, House Foreign Affairs leaders Ed Royce and Eliot Engel and many more. If you or your Colleagues are covering this, please let me know as we have a bunch of excellent resources.
UGI Energy completes Auburn Pipeline Project – The Auburn Loop is the latest expansion of the Auburn gathering system and consists of a new nine-mile, 24-inch pipeline running from Susquehanna County to UGI Energy Services’ Manning Compressor Station in Wyoming County. The Auburn Loop parallels the existing 12-inch Auburn pipeline, and is scheduled to start delivering locally developed, natural gas on November 1, 2015. Installation of the Auburn Loop, alongside the November 2014 installation of three additional compressor units at the Manning Compressor Station, completes the third phase of the expansion of the Auburn Gathering System. The new pipeline expands UGI Energy Services’ existing Auburn Gathering System by approximately 150,000 dekatherms per day, bringing the total capacity of the system to 470,000 dekatherms per day. The Auburn Loop will transport low-cost natural gas produced primarily by Cabot Oil & Gas Corporation, one of the leading northeast Pennsylvania natural gas producers.
Cabot’s Stark Says Pipeline Will Help Communities – George Stark, director of external affairs at Cabot Oil & Gas said Cabot is excited to celebrate the addition of the Auburn Loop. “As we head into winter and the heating season, we’re excited and proud to know we will have a hand in helping local families and businesses — our friends and neighbors — have greater access to an environmentally-friendly, affordable, reliable source of homegrown fuel.”
Ads Target RFS – API and its allies opposing the RFS, launched a new advertising campaign targeting the renewable fuel standard as EPA finalizes new standards for refiners for 2014, 2015 and 2016. The ads highlight criticism of corn ethanol by anti-hunger and environmental groups and RFS opposition from newspaper editorials and lawmakers from both parties. The Washington, D.C., campaign comprises television, radio and online ads and will run through the next month. The ads focus on the negative consequences that higher ethanol mandates EPA is considering could have on consumers, including unexpected repair bills and potentially broad harm to our nation’s economy. Right now, the majority of gasoline contains 10% ethanol by volume. But EPA’s initial proposal for 2016, if finalized, would increase ethanol volume requirements and breach the blend wall– the point at which the mandate exceeds the safe level of 10% ethanol in the fuel supply.
Tennessee Study Underscores RFS ineffectiveness – A new University of Tennessee report finds that the RFS and its ethanol mandates fall short on a number of environmental fronts, and that without mandated ethanol use the corn ethanol industry couldn’t survive commercially. The report: Looking back over the last 10 years, the RFS and its resulting promotion of corn ethanol as a leading oxygenate supplement to conventional transportation fuels did not meet intended environmental goals. Corn ethanol’s environmental record has failed to meet expectations across a number of metrics that include air pollutants, water contamination, and soil erosion. Corn ethanol has resulted in a number of less favorable environmental outcomes when compared to a scenario in which the traditional transportation fuel market had been left unchanged. The report says corn ethanol production and use is associated with a number of major pollutants – including volatile organic compounds (VOCs), nitrogen oxides (NOx), particulate matter, sulfur dioxide (SOx) and ammonia – and notes University of Minnesota research showing that corn ethanol increases lifecycle emissions of those pollutants relative to gasoline: From the inception of the original RFS mandate, ethanol has been lauded as an environmentally-friendly oxygenate. Oxygenates are added to gasoline mainly to reduce carbon monoxide (CO). While ethanol has been shown to reduce CO, other major pollutants actually increase over the ethanol lifecycle.
AGA Looks Back at Hurricane Sandy – Three years ago last week, high winds, tidal surges and flooding caused by Hurricane Sandy put natural gas utilities throughout the country to the test. They passed – working in the bitter cold to restore gas service to thousands of homes and businesses within days after the storm ended and ahead of the threat of a quickly approaching nor’easter. More than 300 utility workers left the comforts of their homes in the south, mid-west and Canada to assist in recovery efforts. The American Gas Association (AGA) has released a video to mark the anniversary of this extraordinary effort. The video tells the stories of teams from Alliant Energy in Iowa and Wisconsin that drove to the affected area and New Jersey Natural Gas which provides safe, reliable natural gas to half a million customers in parts of New Jersey that saw massive devastation from Hurricane Sandy.
ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK
Forum Looks at Global Energy Trends – The CSIS Energy and National Security Program held a discussion this morning looking at emerging market economic and energy trends and their implications for the near and longer term global energy outlook with Joyce Chang, Managing Director and Global Head of Research at J.P. Morgan Chase & Co., and Catherine Wolfram, Faculty Director at the Energy Institute at Berkeley’s Haas School of Business.
Energy Summit Set for Houston – The Energy Summit Series which will take place today and tomorrow at the JW Marriott Houston. The event will be co-located Transmission & Distribution and Distribution Technology & Innovation Summits.
Resch to Headline Solar Conference – The U.S. Solar Market Insight 2015 conference is today Thursday Wednesday in San Diego, CA. Among the panels, Shayle Kann, Senior Vice President of GTM Research will sit down with Rhone Resch, the President and CEO of the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA), the national trade organization for America’s solar energy industry. Rhone and Shayle will discuss the “Prospects and Probabilities of ITC Extension”.
Forum Looks Nat’l Labs, Argonne – The GWU Center for International Science and Technology Policy will hold a discussion today led by Dr. Keith S. Bradley. Dr. Bradley is the Director of National & Global Security Programs at Argonne National Laboratory (ANL). He is also currently serving as the Director of the Global Security Sciences Division. Dr. Bradley has over 30 years of experience in national security and advanced nuclear energy research and development. Bradley works with scientists, engineers, and managers across the laboratory to formulate and execute a strategic future in national and global security programs. Most of Bradley’s career has focused on national nuclear security, with particular emphasis on nuclear capabilities and threats. Previously he worked at Lawrence Livermore and Los Alamos National Laboratories, studying inertial confinement fusion, nuclear weapons physics and design, technology development for nuclear nonproliferation, nuclear counterterrorism and research to advance and protect civilian nuclear fuel cycles. Prior to his current responsibilities, Dr. Bradley served as the National Technical Director of the Nuclear Energy Advanced Modeling & Simulation Program for the DOE office of Nuclear Energy.
Company to Demonstrate Green Thermal Tech –Today at 2:00 p.m. in Rayburn’s Gold Room Brillouin Energy Corp will hold a demonstration for policymakers of breakthrough thermal energy technology from. Brillouin is a clean-technology company located in Berkeley, CA, which is developing, in collaboration with the Stanford Research Institute (SRI) in Menlo Park, CA, an ultra-clean, low-cost, renewable energy technology that is capable of producing commercially useful amounts of thermal energy. The Brillouin technology is based on low energy nuclear reactions (LENR). The result is ultra-clean, low-cost, and sustainable renewable energy that doesn’t rely on any type of fossil fuel, chemical, or nuclear fuel. This process produces zero emissions and solid wastes which pollute the environment.
Forum to Feature Cardinal Discussing Pope Encyclical – Today at 4:00 p.m., Georgetown University Law Center will host the Initiative on Catholic Social Thought and Public Life for a Public Dialogue on Pope Francis’ Environmental Encyclical: Protecting the Planet and the Poor, a conversation with Cardinal Oscar Rodriguez. Cardinal Rodriguez is Chair of Pope Francis’ Council of Cardinals, the first Cardinal from Honduras, and leads the Church’s efforts to protect the planet and the poor. The conversation will be moderated by John Carr, Director of the Initiative. Faculty from Georgetown Law Center will respond including Edith Brown Weiss, Francis Cabell Brown Professor of International Law; and John Podesta, Distinguished Visitor from Practice and former Counselor to President Barack Obama on climate change and energy policy.
Forum to Address UN Conference – Tonight at 6:15 p.m., the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History will hold a forum regarding the upcoming UN Climate Change Conference. The discussion around climate change, will feature best-selling author and world-renowned scientist and environmentalist Tim Flannery.
UN Official to Speak at CSM Event – Tomorrow morning, the Christian Science Monitor is hosting a conversation with Christiana Figueres, executive secretary of the UNFCCC , the official charged with bringing 195 nations together to agree on a global climate plan at the St. Regis Hotel in Washington, D.C. The theme of the talk will be the state of global energy and climate heading into the Paris climate talks. Where do we stand with less than a month until diplomats meet in Paris to finalize an international climate agreement? Executive Secretary Figueres will provide an update on the negotiations and share her perspectives on what needs to happen during and after the summit in early December.
API to Hold Political Briefing – American Petroleum Institute (API) President & CEO Jack Gerard will hold an exclusive briefing tomorrow at the W Hotel – one year out from the election – examining the opinions of the nation’s electorate on energy issues. In addition, a panel featuring some of Washington’s top political and public opinion analysts will discuss the issues driving voter opinions during the 2016 election cycle. Panelists will include Glen Bolger of Public Opinion Strategies, Rob Engstrom of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, pollster Keith Frederick and Nathan Gonzales of the Rothenberg & Gonzales Political Report. POLITICO’s Elana Schor will moderate.
House Science Panels to Tackle RFS – The House Science Committee’s Subcommittees on Oversight and on Environment will hold a joint hearing tomorrow on the history of the Renewable Fuel Standard. Witnesses will include CBO’s Terry Dinan, WEN-GAP CEO Ed Anderson, University of Michigan Energy Institute expert John DeCicco, Brooke Coleman of the Advanced Biofuels Business Council and former refinery trade assn head Charlie Drevna.
House Energy Panel to Mark Up Disapproval Resolution – Tomorrow at 1:00 p.m., the House Energy and Commerce Committee’s Subcommittee Energy and Power will markup two Congressional Disapproval resolutions.
JHU Forum to Look at National Oil Companies – The Johns Hopkins University – SAIS Program will hold a forum tomorrow at 4:30 p.m. where Andrew Cheon, an Assistant Professor of International Political Economy at SAIS, will address questions on expansions at national oil companies.
Forum to Look at Customers, Cities – The Energy Times is hosting an Empowering Customers & Cities Forum on Wednesday in Chicago. Energy customers are demanding more reliable service and sustainable solutions to deliver on their ever-increasing demand for power. At the same time, deregulation and legislative policy is forcing utilities and energy providers to rethink their business models. Now, more than ever, collaboration is required around the future of energy delivery and consumption.
Sen. Lee Headline Climate Preview Forum – On Wednesday at 2:30 p.m., the Heritage Foundation will hold a forum on the upcoming Paris climate negotiations. Senator Mike Lee provides his views on the President’s plan followed by a panel of leading experts who will address what will happen in Paris later this year and what Congress can do about it. Other speakers include the US Chamber’s Steve Eule and conservative FOIA gadfly Chris Horner, and former State Department official Harlan Watson.
Brazilian Ambassador to Discuss COP-21 Issues – The World Affairs Council will host Brazilian Ambassador to the US Luiz Alberto Figueiredo Machado at the Reagan Center at 6:00 p.m. Ambassador Machado will be discussing sustainability, climate change and the upcoming COP-21 meeting. Also known as the 2015 Paris Climate Conference, the COP-21 will seek to achieve a legally binding and universal agreement to stabilizing the climate.
Fall Wind Symposium Set – AWEA is hosting its annual Fall Symposium in Albuquerque, NM on Thursday at the Tamaya Resort. The event will feature a community engagement seminar among the many other panels.
Summit to Focus on RPS – The Clean Energy States Alliance with funding support from The Energy Foundation and the U.S. Department of Energy will host the 2015 National Summit on RPS on Thursday and Friday at the Westin Crystal City.
Solar Forum to Look at Distributed Energy Issues in Mid-Atlantic – On Thursday, the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) will host a roundtable discussion regarding new developments in Maryland, the District of Columbia, Virginia and Delaware that are creating investment opportunities for renewable and distributed energy projects. Industry and governmental leaders will discuss these ongoing changes and emerging strategies for taking advantage of these opportunities.
Women, Money, Power Summit Set for Press Club – On Thursday, the Feminist Majority is hosting its annual Women, Money, Power Summit in DC at the National Press Club at noon. Speakers will include Congresswomen Barbara Lee, Louise Slaughter and Donna Edwards, among others.
Forum to Look at Climate Issues – The Atlantic Council will hold a discussion on Thursday looking at the immediate impacts of climate change on US economic and national security. As the COP21 talks in Paris approach, the attention of the international community is fixated more than ever on climate. Still, much of today’s climate discourse focuses on the long-term impacts rather than the immediate ramifications of climate change. This panel of climate experts seeks to highlight the urgency of these issues from the perspective of both the public and the private sector. Joining us for this session are Judge Alice Hill, Senior Director for Resilience Policy at the National Security Council, The Hon. Sherri Goodman, President and CEO of the Consortium for Ocean Leadership, and Alex Kaplan, Vice President of Global Partnerships at Swiss Re.
REFF West to Focus on Key Renewable Financing Issues – The 8th annual Renewable Energy Finance Forum-West (REFF-West) 2015 will be held at the Four Seasons in San Francisco, CA on Thursday and Friday. With a focus on renewable energy development in the Western U.S., REFF-West will highlight financing trends in renewable power, energy storage, system integration, and transportation; review important developments in Western power market expansion and in the role of the emerging corporate customer market segment; and discuss renewable energy’s role in smarter resource use and response to the Western water crisis.
Congressional Security Forum with EU Leaders Set – On Thursday at 10:00 a.m., the House Energy and Commerce Committee will hold a Congressional Energy Security Roundtable. Chairman Fred Upton has invited European members of the Transatlantic Legislators’ Dialogue to engage with members of the Subcommittee on Energy and Power. The event will be co-chaired by Chairman Jerzy Buzek of the European Parliament. The Transatlantic Legislators’ Dialogue (TLD) is the formal exchange between Congress and the European Parliament, with semi-annual meetings that began in 1972. Subcommittee members will host members of the European Parliament next week to discuss a broad range of energy issues that collectively impact the energy security of the United States and our European allies. Earlier this year, bipartisan members of the committee traveled to key energy and policy hubs across Europe where they received an outpouring of appreciation from allies who were optimistic about a future where we can partner together. This forum seeks to build on the work and relationships formed during that trip and the committee’s work examining opportunities to strengthen energy security, lower energy prices, and improve economic competitiveness.
Forum to Look at Renewables – On Thursday, the Embassy of Italy, the Business Council for Sustainable Energy, and Enel Green Power North America for an evening discussion on the state of the renewable energy industry in the United States. As shared in the Sustainable Energy in America Factbook, renewable energy is a prominent part of many US states’ capacity mix, with 205GW installed across the country. Among the speakers will be our friend Ethan Zindler of Bloomberg New Energy Finance and OK Secretary of Energy & Environment Michael Teague, among the others.
Cato Hill Forum to Focus on UN Climate Meeting – Following Last week’s forum, the Cato Institute will hold a Capitol Hill briefing on Friday at Noon in B354 Rayburn featuring Pat Michaels and Joseph Verruni. In this special event presented by Cato, they will answer questions as the world prepares for December’s 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference, which intends to create a legal framework for governments to regulate carbon emissions and create a $100 billion climate finance fund to redistribute wealth from developed states to least developed countries.
IPAA Hosts 86th Annual Meeting in New Orleans – On November 8-10th, the Independent Petroleum Association of America will host its 86th annual meeting at The Ritz-Carlton in New Orleans, La. Speakers will include The Honorable Edward Djerejian, Alex Epstein, David Wasserman with The Cook Political Report, and John England, among others.
AEI to Host UK Foreign Secretary on Climate Innovation – The American Enterprise Institute (AEI) will host as the UK’s Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond next Tuesday at 9:00 a.m. to discuss conservative beliefs in innovation and free markets — and how they shape his approach to the risks and opportunities of a changing climate.
USEA to Host Forum On Crude Exports – Next Tuesday, November 10th at Noon, the U.S. Energy Association will host Brookings expert Charles Ebinger to speak on the potential for U.S. crude oil exports. Ebinger will discuss the economic advantages of lifting the crude oil export ban as well as Keystone XL, falling oil prices, and drilling in Alaska.
Georgetown Forum Looks at Arctic, Climate – The Mortara Center for International Studies host the next meeting of the Energy and Climate Policy Research Seminar next Tuesday at 12:30 p.m. at Georgetown looking at the impacts and effects of climate change in the Arctic. The energy and climate policy research seminar aims to enhance intellectual exchange among faculty and students by providing a forum to discuss research and policy topics related to the international and domestic dimensions of energy and climate change policy. Speakers will include members of the Georgetown community as well as invited faculty and practitioners from the Washington area and beyond.
AU Symposium to Look at UN Paris Meeting – The American University Sustainable Development Law & Policy publication will hold its annual symposium on Wednesday November 11th looking at the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Conference of the Parties in Paris taking place in December of this year. This conference will be of ultimate importance in determining how to move the world forward in addressing climate change. The 195 countries that are parties to the UNFCCC committed to create a new international climate agreement by the end of COP-21. The symposium will include panels featuring leading experts on climate change, domestic environmental law, and international environmental law who will discuss various issues surrounding the negotiations. The topics will include particular focus on President Obama’s Clean Power Plan, economic implications of the negotiations, the 2- degree goal and whether it is feasible, and the means for reaching the goals and purposes of the UNFCCC.
JHU to Look at Climate in Caucuses – Next Wednesday at 5:00 p.m. in the Rome Building, the Johns Hopkins University will host a forum that will discuss climate change in the Caucasus.
Forum Looking at Energy Project Finance Set – The Women’s Council on Energy & the Environment (WCEE), AE2C and Johns Hopkins’ SAIS program will host a lunchtime seminar on next Thursday featuring Jenny Hou, a General Partner at SunEnergi Capital. Hou will provide an overview of the energy project finance decision-making process and offers insight as to why some energy projects are successful while others are not.
Goodell to Address AU Forum – The Forum for Climate Engineering Assessment, the Global Environmental Politics Program at American University’s School of International Service, American University, and Eco-Sense, American University’s student run environmental organization, is hosting a forum with Jeff Goodell on Thursday, November 12th. Goodell will join Professor Paul Wapner to talk about his conversation with the President, the prospects for a climate agreement in Paris and what comes next, and his thoughts on the world’s options for avoiding catastrophic climate change.
NAS Social Carbon Cost Board to Meet – On Friday, November 13th at noon, the National Academies of Science’s Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education – Board on Environmental Change and Society is convening the third meeting of its Committee on Assessing Approaches to Updating the Social Cost of Carbon. More on this next week.
CSIS Global Forum Set – CSIS’s International Security Program will hold its flagship annual Global Security Forum 2015 on Monday, November 16th.
Former EPA Official to Address Climate Issues – ICF will host an Energy Breakfast on November 19th at the National Press Club to look at the Paris Climate Meeting. Starting in late November, the 21st meeting of the Council of Parties (COP 21) to the United Nations’ Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) will gather in Paris to deliberate on how countries can individually and collectively mitigate global climate change. Former EPA #2 Bob Perciasepe, a regular participant in these negotiations, as he handicaps the negotiations and informs us about what will be the “make or break” issues in Paris this time.
THANKSGIVING – November 26
PARIS UN COP 21 Meeting – November 30th to December 11th
Transmission Forum Set – The 5th annual TransForum East, will be held December 1st and 2nd in Washington, D.C. at the Westin Georgetown. As in previous Forum events, our presenters and panelists have been hand selected by the TransmissionHub editorial team to address the most important issues facing stakeholders in the Eastern Interconnection. You can view the agenda and speaker lineup here.