Last Friday’s attack in Paris have now taken up a large portion of the news coverage and cast a long shadow on the upcoming Paris Climate meetings. While most leaders are dedicated to forging on, reports are showing that the security will be much tighter and many outside groups that had planned to attend are now reconsider plans. Already, the French have suggested that side events will be cancelled. We will keep you In the loop as to what we hear.
With Paris two weeks away, leaders of the G20 countries were meeting in Turkey this weekend and upcoming climate talks did make the agenda as a major topic. One interesting twist out of the meeting so far seems to be an unwillingness from India and Saudi Arabia to agree to five-year reviews. This may be a signal as to how some will approach the talks in Paris.
Congress returns this week for a pre-Thanksgiving session and there will be significant action on the climate issues. Both the Senate Environment Committee and the House Science Committee will hold hearings Wednesday on the negotiations. Meanwhile, the House Energy & Commerce Committee will move resolutions of disapproval on the Administration’s GHG rule for new and existing power plants through Committee and to the Floor, although the House Schedulers have said the resolutions will not get a vote this week – the last days in session before the beginning of the Paris conference. Many are expecting a House vote the week following Thanksgiving while the President is in Paris.
Finally, throughout the week, EPA will hold public hearings in Denver, DC and Atlanta on the controversial Federal portion of the GHG rule. The Denver action starts today while DC is Wednesday/Thursday and Atlanta is Thursday and Friday. We have folks sharing their views at all the hearings, including our friends at Tri-State in Denver and Segal here in DC.
Call with questions…Best,
IN THE NEWS
Miss State Report: Energy Security is Viable through Use of CO2-EOR – Using CO2-EOR as a framework could lead to energy security and result in a new United States energy policy, according to a new report from the National Strategic Planning & Analysis Research Center, a research unit (NSPARC) at Mississippi State University. “CO2-EOR can advance a “triple e” approach resulting in energy security, environmental quality and economic viability,” said Dr. Domenico “Mimmo” Parisi, executive director of NSPARC. Parisi said CO2-EOR is a mature technology that creates a safe, secure and economically viable supply of fossil fuel-based energy and reduces CO2-EOR emissions. The CO2-EOR technology generates around 300,000 barrels of oil each day in the U.S., or about three percent of all the oil produced, leaving room for substantial growth. In Mississippi, in the latest year reported, around 50 percent of oil produced was extracted by means of CO2-EOR, said Parisi. Another economic advantage of the CO2-EOR technology in Mississippi, added Parisi, is that pipeline infrastructure continues to expand with private sector investment, which has the advantage of not being subject to common carrier provisions.
Kemper Cost Agreement Set – Speaking of Kemper, last week Mississippi Power and Mississippi Public Service Commission staff reached an agreement related to the recovery of certain costs for portions of the Kemper County energy facility that are already in service. While the innovative coal gasification project is expected to be completed next year, the facility has already been generating electricity to meet Mississippi Power customers’ energy needs using natural gas for more than a year. The agreement is contingent upon PSC approval. Part of the deal includes Mississippi Power Co. accepting a smaller rate increase for part of Kemper. The agreement will reduce the increase to 15% from 18%. For a residential customer who uses 1,000 kilowatt hours per month, rates would fall from $144 a month to about $138. More on this here.
House Energy Leaders Question EPA Delay of Routine, Nonpartisan Codification of Law – House Energy Committee leaders sent a letter to EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy seeking further information concerning apparent efforts by the agency to prevent the codification of an important provision of the Clean Air Act. Based on documents introduced at a House Judiciary Committee markup earlier this week, it appears that EPA officials may have inhibited the nonpartisan congressional Office of Law Revision Counsel (OLRC) as it sought to fulfill its responsibility to codify the language used in the Clean Air Act and other statutory provisions. OLRC has been undertaking a systematic, multi-year process and EPA has declined for almost seven years to review the codification bills submitted by the OLRC to the Judiciary Committee. During this time period the agency was developing its proposed (Clean Air Act section) 111(d) rule for existing power plants. The correspondence appears to show that EPA may have been blocking this routine, statutorily-prescribed process because it would undermine the agency’s legal arguments supporting its 111(d) rulemaking.
Wisconsin Field Hearing Blasts CPP, Water Rule – Sen. Ron Johnson hosted a Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee field hearing at the Dreyfus University Center in Stevens Point, Wisconsin on Friday. Johnson, chairman of the panel who is locked in a reelection battle, heard from state government and trade group officials that hammered EPA for its rules, specifically the Clean Power Plan and the Waters of the U.S. rule. Bruce Ramme, a vice president at WEC Energy Group Inc., said EPA’s plan to reduce carbon emissions from power plants could lead to higher energy costs: “One thing is certain: Costs will increase for our customers,” Ramme said. The Wisconsin Farm Bureau blasted the water rule and Wisconsin assistant deputy attorney general Danielle Breuer called the rule “the largest overreach we have seen in decades.”
AGA Report Shows Growth, Success of Federal Pipeline Safety Program – America’s natural gas pipeline network is safer and more reliable today than at any other point in history. According to a report published last week by the American Gas Foundation entitled Natural Gas Pipeline Safety and Reliability: An Assessment of Progress, this is due to collaborative efforts between industry, federal and local regulators and programs set forth in federal legislation passed in 2006 and 2011 that are still being instituted. The report states that observations to date indicate that these new approaches are making meaningful contributions to the safety of customers and communities. The report charts the growth of the U.S. Department of Transportation’s (DOT) oversight of the nation’s federal pipeline safety program for more than five decades. The program has expanded significantly, growing from a fledgling agency with a handful of federal employees and very limited financial resources to a more robust regulator with a projected federal workforce of more than 300 federal employees and almost $150 million in annual funding. Data from the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, part of the DOT, shows a significant reduction over the last two decades in the number of natural gas pipeline incidents per year involving fatalities or injuries.
IEA Details Oil Price Forecast – The International Energy Agency predicted last week that oil prices will likely to remain flat until demand catches up to supply in 2020. Then, IEA says they expect crude prices to go back to around $80 per barrel. In its annual energy outlook, the IEA also predicted that China would increasingly rely on natural gas while demand for oil in developed countries like the United States will continue to decline.
ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK
CSIS Global Forum Set – CSIS’s International Security Program will hold its flagship annual Global Security Forum 2015 today. It will feature John Brennan as Keynote and will have an energy panel that features EIA Director Adam Sieminski as a panelist.
Hudson Forum to Look at China, US Emission, Energy – The Hudson Institute will host a day-long conference today featuring energy policy experts from both China and the U.S. As the world’s second largest economy, China’s energy demands are growing fast. In the next fifteen years, China is projected to overtake the U.S. as the world’s largest oil consumer, and Russia as the world’s second largest natural gas consumer. By 2035, China is expected to become the world’s largest energy importer, as its energy production rises 47%, while consumption rises by 60%. China’s oil import dependence is projected to rise from 60% in 2013 to 75% in 2035.
Fuel Cell Seminar Set for LA – The 2015 Fuel Cell Seminar & Energy Exposition will be held in Los Angeles this week at the Westin Bonaventure. The event is the premier U.S. conference for the fuel cell and hydrogen industry and attracts an international audience. The Fuel Cell Seminar features the latest fuel cell and hydrogen products, technical and market research, policy updates and commercialization strategies for all applications and market sectors. The Fuel Cell Seminar is the foremost event for networking with industry representatives, customers, stakeholders and decision makers interested in the clean, reliable, and resilient power potential of fuel cells.
Solar Groups Look at Green Building – The SunShot Initiative, SEIA, and PVMC are hosting a Green Building Solar Summit today at 1:00 p.m. that will coincide with Greenbuild Conference and Expo, which will bring thousands of architects, builders, and real estate professionals to Washington DC. The Summit will feature a mix of panels and facilitated discussion to explore critical structural, contractual and financial barriers and identify opportunities to work collaboratively to find innovative solutions and expand the commercial solar market. Elaine Ulrich, Program Manager, Soft Costs with the U.S. Department of Energy SunShot Initiative, and Rhone Resch, President & CEO of Solar Energy Industries Association, will open the day with introductory remarks followed by a series of lighting talks to provide context on the trends and issues across the solar and green building communities. PVMC will also provide a preview of its 2016 Commercial Solar Initiative. The second part of the afternoon will be dedicated to engaging the commercial real estate and green building communities in discussion on innovative financing instruments. SEIA will also present its new Finance Initiative, spearheaded by the organization’s Senior Director, Project Finance, and Mike Mendelsohn.
VLS Forum to Look at CPP –The Vermont Law School tomorrow holds its second annual alumni in Energy Symposium will look at EPA’s Clean Power Plan and the lawsuits challenging it. This panel will discuss the ongoing litigation related to the Clean Power Plan and likely outcomes. Speakers will include NRDC’s David Doniger, RFF’s Dallas Burtraw, former EPA General Counsel and industry Coalition legal lead Roger Martella and NYU’s Richard Revesz.
Wilson Center to Focus on Climate, Security Issues – Tomorrow at 3:00 p.m., the Wilson Center will release a report exploring the intersection of climate change, drivers of insecurity, and U.S. national security priorities in the Asia-Pacific region. As the United States reorients its foreign policy approach to the Asia-Pacific region, it must seriously consider the impacts of climate change, argues a new report from the Center for Climate and Security. How can the United States help improve the region’s climate resilience, and at the same time, strategically adapt to a rapidly changing security environment?
EPA CAAAC to Meet on Ozone Implementation, CPP – EPA will host a CAAAC and Air Toxics Work Group meetings tomorrow and Wednesday.
McCarthy to Talk Energy with Bloomberg – On Wednesday, Bloomberg will host a breakfast conversation with Mark Halperin and John Heilemann, managing editors of Bloomberg Politics and hosts of “With All Due Respect” on Bloomberg Television, to discuss the future of energy and where the 2016 candidates stand. EPA’s Gina McCarthy will sit down with Mark and John for an interview about the state of energy and climate policy in America, followed by a wide-ranging panel discussion about how policy and politics intersect to shape the energy marketplace, featuring former South Carolina Republican Congressman and Executive Director of republicEn.org Bob Inglis, GE Ventures’ Senior Executive Director of Energy Ventures Colleen Calhoun, and more.
EPA to Host DC Public Hearing On Power Plant Rule – WEDNESDAY/THURSDAY
Senate Enviro to Hold Climate Hearing – On Wednesday at 9:30 a.m., the Senate Environment Committee will hold a hearing examining the International Climate negotiations. Witnesses will include Oren Cass of the Manhattan Institute for Policy Research, Chamber of Commerce Institute for 21st Century Energy VP Steve Eule, Lisa Jacobson of the Business Council for Sustainable Energy and several others.
Former EPA Official to Address Climate Issues – ICF will host an Energy Breakfast on Thursday 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.
House Science Tackle Paris Climate Meeting – The House Science Committee will hold a hearing on Wednesday at 10:00 a.m. on the international climate discussions. Witnesses will include NERA Expert Anne Smith, ERCOT General Counsel Bill Magness, CT DEEP Deputy Commissioner Katie Dykes, and Cato’s Paul Knappenberger.
Science Looks at National Labs – Later that afternoon at 2:00 p.m., House Science will hold a hearing to examine the recommendations of the Commission to Review the Effectiveness of the National Energy Laboratories. Witnesses will include TJ Glauthier and Jared Cohon, Co-Chairs of the Commission to Review the Effectiveness of the National Energy Laboratories, as well as Peter Littlewood, Director of the Argonne National Laboratory.
POSTPONED — Senate Energy to Look at Well Control Rule – Thursday’s Senate Energy Committee oversight hearing on the Well Control Rule and other regulations related to offshore oil and gas production has been postponed to early December.
Carolina Climate on My Mind – The UNC Institute for the Environment (IE) Energy and Environment Seminar Series will host an energy discussion with Wall Street Journal reporter Amy Harder on Thursday. The seminar presents speakers working in the nexus between issues of energy management, policy and technology, and environmental concerns.
Forum to Look at Climate Solutions – DC Net Impact will hold a discussion on Thursday looking at how donor agencies and implementers are adapting to, and mitigating the effects of, climate change in the energy and agriculture sectors. In addition to discussing climate change, the panelists will describe their career paths and answer your questions.
Forum to Look at Russian Oil Issues – The CSIS Energy and National Security Program will host Tatiana Mitrova, Head of the Oil and Gas Department at the Energy Research Institute in Moscow on Thursday at 2:00 p.m. to discuss her latest paper on the Russian energy sector. Russia remains one of the of the world’s largest hydrocarbon resource holders, producers, and exporters. It is a dominant supplier both for Europe and for its neighbors. Russia is now going through an uncertain economic and energy transition. Mitrova will present the initial findings of her research on how the Russian oil and gas sector is evolving, including an examination of future potential changes under a range of oil price scenarios and potential ways Russia might use to overcome those challenges.
Rep. Beyer to Host Climate Forum I Arlington – On Thursday at 7:00 p.m., U.S. Rep. Don Beyer will host a forum on climate change in the auditorium of George Mason University’s Arlington campus. Panelists will include experts from government, academia and nonprofit organizations, including Megan Ceronsky of the White House Office of Energy and Climate Change, EPA’s Shawn Garvin, GMU’s Mona Sarfaty and NRDC’s Aliya Haq.
Cheniere Exec to Discuss LNG at NatGas Roundtable – The Natural Gas Roundtable will host Cheniere’s vice president of finance, Tarek Souki to be the guest speaker at the Tuesday, November 24th luncheon. He will discuss the outlook for natural gas exports from the US and the dynamics of the global LNG market including supply, demand and pricing linkages to Henry Hub.
THANKSGIVING – November 26
PARIS UN COP 21 Meeting – November 30th to December 11th
IEA Outlook Discussed at CSIS – The CSIS Energy and National Security Program will host Dr. Fatih Birol, Executive Director at the International Energy Agency to present the IEA’s World Energy Outlook 2015 on Monday November 30th at 1:00 p.m. The presentation will include updated projections for the evolution of the global energy system to 2040, based on the latest data and market developments, as well as detailed insights on the prospects for fossil fuels, renewables, the power sector and energy efficiency and analysis on trends in CO2 emissions and fossil-fuel and renewable energy subsidies. In addition, the WEO 2015 includes in-depth analysis on several key issues including the implications of a lower oil price future, India’s energy sector, on the competitive position of fast-growing renewable energy technologies in different markets, new analysis of energy efficiency policies, and unconventional gas with a particular focus on China.
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.
Utility Execs Looking at Storage – The 2015 U.S. Energy Storage Summit will be Held in December 8th and 9th in San Francisco. Utility speakers will offer presentations, case studies, and panel sessions on the status and technology of energy storage. Our friend Stephen Lacey will be among those leading the discussion.
Bloomberg Reception Honors Hess Book – Bloomberg will host a reception on Wednesday, December 9th at 6:00 p.m. congratulating our friends Tina Davis and Jessica Resnick-Ault on the publication of their new book, Hess: The Last Oil Baron, published by Bloomberg Press and John Wiley & Sons. It will Be at the Bloomberg offices in NYC on Lexington Avenue.
FERC’S Clark to Address ICF Breakfast – ICF will host FERC Commissioner Tony Clark at its December 10th Energy Breakfast at the National Press Club. Clark will discuss FERC’s cutting-edge energy agenda.