As Spring Breaks are beginning, it is time to start locking in on your favorites for those NCAA March Madness hoops pools.  Keep an eye this week on all the Conference championships to see who’s playing well (Kansas/Michigan State) and who has struggled lately (Maryland, Oklahoma).  It may also help you find some sleepers (Monmouth, Providence, Stephen F Austin, Little Rock).  And how about Yale, winning the Ivys and making the tourney for the first time since 1962.  Only Dartmouth (1959) has gone longer without making an appearance.

Tomorrow votes are hitting in Michigan, as well as Idaho (R), Hawaii (R) and Mississippi.  Most of the focus for both sides is Michigan, which hosted both Republican and Democratic debates over the last few days.  In fact, should you have any questions about the latest Democratic Prez positioning on natgas drilling (Sanders is opposed, Clinton announced a bunch of hoops that no one can get through)  let us know.  My colleagues can discuss the reality vs the politics.   One week to Super Tuesday, Part II.

Budget discussions continue this week with Secretary Vilsack and Secretary Moniz heading to Senate Approps’ panels after several visits last week.  Moniz was a champion with three marathon sessions at House Energy, Senate Energy and House Energy Approps last week.   Senate Environment jumps into state regulation and how states are impacted on Wednesday following a recent letter from Chairman Inhofe to the 20 states covered by the Committee asking for their “perspective” on EPA regulations.

Off the Hill, there is a great event tomorrow at 10:00 a.m. that is a “must attend.”  The National Press Club’s Newsmaker Committee will host Republican entrepreneur turned philanthropist Jay Faison, Founder and CEO of ClearPath, a new non-profit foundation dedicated to finding and promoting conservative clean energy solutions in the Club’s Bloomberg Room.   It is his first foray into DC since announcing his intention to play a bigger energy role with Republicans and with the Newsmaker format, you’ll have a great opportunity to inquire.

Finally, this weekend, South By Southwest begins in Austin Texas on Friday and runs through the following week.  Originally just a small music festival, SXSW has also become a popular policy and political forum.  On Friday, President Obama will sit down with Evan Smith, Texas Tribune Editor-in-Chief, for a conversation about civic engagement in the 21st Century before an audience of creators, early adopters and entrepreneurs who are defining the future of our connected lives.   There are many environmental, technology, policy and political issues on the agenda…and, as expected, some awesome music.  See the full schedule of events here.

Congrats (I think) to my friend and ex-biofuel reporter Rachel Gantz who starts TODAY as RFA’s New Comms Director.  Good luck with that…

Call with questions.


Frank Maisano

(202) 828-5864

(202) 997-5932





SCOTUS Rejects Mercury Stay – Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. on Thursday refused to block EPA’s regulation limiting emissions of mercury from coal-fired power plants.  The decision comes a few weeks after they approved an extraordinary stay to block the Administration’s plan for regulating GHGs.  My colleague Jeff Holmstead told the New York Times the decision was a pretty strong way of sending a signal that the fact that the court granted a stay of the Clean Power Plan was highly extraordinary, and they don’t want to be inundated with these.  Holmstead: “I think this is Justice Roberts’ effort to say that the Clean Power Plan is an extraordinary situation.” Holmstead and other experts noted that blocking the mercury rule would have had little practical impact, because most electric utilities have already put it into effect, closing almost 100 coal-fired power plants.


Chamber Energy Institute White Paper on Stay Impacts on Deadlines – We have all heard EPA Administrator McCarthy saying many different things about the impacts of the Supreme Court’s stay on the GHG rules, including that that “[l]ife is continuing [in] the exact same direction it was before the stay,” that the stay “didn’t mean that anything on the ground really had changed,” the stay “is not going to slow us down” and finally, that the stay won’t push back the compliance deadlines.  As my colleague Jeff Holmstead has mentioned to many of you, the SCOTUS stay WILL delay all the deadlines of the Clean Power Plan even if the courts eventually uphold the rule.  This is also the focus of a new paper from the US Chamber’s Energy Institute.  With regard to the stay, the paper says: “the proper interpretation of the Court’s order is that the Stay tolls all the Rule’s deadlines—not just those that actually fall during the Stay—for at least the period of time the Stay is in place.”  Chamber Energy expert Dan Byers has also summed up the issues in a good, public and quotable blog.   And of course, as one of the attorneys in the case, Holmstead Is happy to discuss the issues and the protocols  going forward.


Cities Launch Energy Security  Coalition – A group of medium and large-size cities from around the country announced the launch of the Energy Secure Cities Coalition (ESCC), a partnership of communities dedicated to transitioning their municipal fleets from petroleum-fueled vehicles to those powered by alternative fuels, like electricity and natural gas. Each ESCC city has the potential to improve quality of life for its residents as well as boost its economic competitiveness—regionally and globally—by saving millions of valuable taxpayer dollars over the next decade through the lower fuel and vehicle maintenance costs of alternative fuel vehicles.  The Energy Secure Cities Coalition includes Atlanta, Ga.; Charlotte, N.C.; Indianapolis, Ind.; Orlando, Fla.; Rochester, N.Y.; Sacramento Calif.; San Diego, Calif.; and West Palm Beach, Fla.  The ESCC plans to grow to at least 25 cities with the goal of taking 50,000 petroleum-powered vehicles off the road, saving 500,000 barrels of oil every year and protecting city budgets from volatile and unpredictable global oil prices, directly influenced by geopolitical instability and conflict. Fleets are some of the largest single fuel consumers in a given city and represent an opportunity to jump-start a community’s effort to reduce its dependence on oil, promote fuel diversity, and set an example for other cities across the country to follow. The Energy Secure Cities Coalition offers participating cities a network to learn from each other before, during and after the fleet conversion process, participating in a forum in which municipalities can share best practices on communicating their goals, engaging their communities, recognizing obstacles and solving problems. The ESCC is a project of its member cities in collaboration with Securing America’s Future Energy and the Electrification Coalition. Learn more at


Report: Property Values Unaffected By Pipelines – A new study conducted by Integra Realty Resources on behalf of The INGAA Foundation says the presence of an underground natural gas transmission pipeline does not affect the sales prices or value of residential properties.  The independent study of residential properties in proximity to natural gas pipelines in the Southeast, Midwest, Mid-Atlantic and Northeast United States,  Pipeline Impact to Property Value and Property Insurability, identifies residential neighborhoods that were bordered or bisected by at least one pipeline and isolated home sales of similar properties both on and off the pipelines.  The study then performed a direct comparison of the properties for normal valuation purposes.   IRR analyzed property sales in communities in four states – Ohio, New Jersey, Virginia and Mississippi – and determined that “there is no measurable impact on the sales price of properties located along or in proximity to a natural gas pipeline versus properties which are not located along or in proximity to the same pipeline.” A fifth analysis, of a community in Pennsylvania, conducted by a separate appraisal company also was included in the analysis.  IRR analyzed actual residential property sales data in each area, normalized by significant factors (i.e. gross living area, size, age, date of transaction, etc.) to derive adjustments used to account for differences, in each area, both on and off pipeline easements, in like and similar conditions.  It then applied linear regression analyses to see if a correlation existed between sales price and location “on” or “off” the pipeline easement.  In every area of study, IRR found no negative impact on price, and no correlation between price and proximity to pipeline easement.  IRR also found that buyers purchasing homes along pipeline easements in each area studied were able to obtain conventional, Federal Housing Administration and Veterans Affairs loans. “This indicates that a presence of a natural gas pipeline had no effect on obtaining a mortgage,” the report said.  Moreover, insurance companies and agents interviewed said there was no indication that the presence of a natural gas pipeline would hinder a buyer’s ability to acquire property insurance. They also said there was no indication that premiums paid for insurance policies would increase because of the presence of a natural gas pipeline.


Morning Consult National Poll Shows Support for Coal Generation – In a new national poll conducted by Morning Consult, 54% of registered voters ‘totally approve’ the use of coal to generate electricity, compared to 32% who ‘totally disapprove.’ 14% have no opinion.  ACCCE’s Laura Sheehan said “Despite the near-constant fearmongering campaign conducted by this administration and its allies, the electorate continues to recognize the importance coal plays in the production of affordable and reliable energy.”


Rural Co-Ops Support LIHEAP Action Day – Yesterday was LIHEAP Action Day. LIHEAP is the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program, which provides those in need with assistance paying their home heating and cooling bills.  The National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA) strongly supports action on LIHEAP because it reinforces one of cooperatives’ core principles: concern for community. While focusing on member needs, cooperatives work for the sustainable development of their communities through policies accepted by their members.  NRECA Interim CEO Jeffrey Connor said since 1981, LIHEAP has helped millions of low-income Americans pay their energy bills, delivering critical short-term aid to our nation’s most vulnerable citizens, including senior citizens on fixed incomes and the poor.  “America’s electric co-ops, which serve 93 percent of the nation’s persistent poverty counties, are acutely aware of LIHEAP’s importance and the need to fully fund it in fiscal year 2017,” Connor added.   Helen Holton, Baltimore City Council member since 1995 and executive director for the National Organization of Black County Officials wrote in Roll Call a clear call for support of the program, which assisted 6.8 million American households last year.  The National Energy and Utility Affordability Coalition (NEUAC) sponsored LIHEAP Action Day along with member companies of NRECA, the American Gas Association (AGA) and the Edison Electric Institute. The annual day-long event is aimed at building awareness for LIHEAP, a program providing financial assistance to low and fixed-income individuals for fuel and utility bills, as well as low-cost weatherization and energy-related home repairs. On LIHEAP Action Day, nearly 300 meetings took place in offices on Capitol Hill.  LIHEAP champions and advocates converged on the nation’s capital city to discuss the importance of fully funding the program at $4.7 billion for FY2017.


Report: Energy Storage Improving – The U.S. energy storage market just had both its best quarter and best year of all time. According to the GTM Research/Energy Storage Association’s U.S. Energy Storage Monitor 2015 Year in Review, the U.S. deployed 112 megawatts of energy storage capacity in the fourth quarter of 2015, bringing the annual total to 221 megawatts. This represents 161 megawatt-hours for the year.  The 112 megawatts deployed in the fourth quarter 2015 represented more than the total of all storage deployments in 2013 and 2014 combined. Propelled by that historic quarter, the U.S. energy storage market grew 243 percent over 2014’s 65 megawatts (86 megawatt-hours).

RFA Hires New Comms Director
– The Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) has hired our friend and former biofuels industry reporter Rachel Gantz as its new communications director. Gantz will serve as the RFA’s spokesperson, communicating the group’s top messages to reporters, and will focus on growing RFA’s footprint in the media.  She starts today.  Gantz spent nearly 17 years as a reporter, most recently at Oil Price Information Service, where she was a senior reporter covering the biofuels industry. She also worked at Hart Energy Publishing’s Oxy Fuel News and Argus’ Air Daily, covering the biofuels and air emissions industries.





McCarthy to Headline Climate Conference – The 2016 Climate Leadership Conference will take place today through Thursday in Seattle.  The event convenes a global audience of climate, energy, and sustainability professionals to address climate change through policy, innovation, and business solutions. Now in its fifth year, the 2016 event will host the first U.S. climate conference post-Paris to further accelerate climate solutions and a low-carbon economy.  Speakers include EPA Head Gina McCarthy, former CNN and current GWU School of Media & PA head Frank Sesno, Microsoft’s Dan Reicher and former CO Governor Bill Ritter.


Press Club to Host Faison, Will Outline Plans to Move Republicans on Energy Agenda  – The National Press Club’s Newsmaker Committee will host Republican entrepreneur turned philanthropist Jay Faison, Founder and CEO of ClearPath, a new non-profit foundation dedicated to finding and promoting conservative clean energy solutions, tomorrow at 10:00 a.m. in the Club’s Bloomberg Room.  Faison  will outline the organization’s conservative approach to environmental and energy issues at a Tues., March 8 Newsmaker news conference. Faison also will detail the organization’s plans to influence policymakers and the role ClearPath intends to play in the 2016 elections.  Last year, Faison, made headlines when he announced that he was donating  $165 million to start ClearPath with the goal of moving the Republican Party forward on clean energy.  He believes smaller government, free markets and American innovation are the best way to solve energy challenges and reduce environmental and health risks caused by air and carbon pollution.


DOE to Hold Biomass Meetings – The Department of Energy has announced an open meeting of its Biomass Research and Development Technical Advisory Committee tomorrow and Wednesday.  The purpose of the meeting is to develop advice and guidance that promotes research and development leading to the production of biobased fuels and biobased products. The tentative agenda includes updates on USDA and DOE biomass research and development activities, as well as an update on the Biomass Research and Development Initiative. The meeting is also expected to include an overview of the DOE Bioenergy Technologies Office 2016 budget, focused on new areas and activities, along with an overview of the 2016 budget, along with new areas and activities for USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture and Agricultural Research Service. In addition, the meeting is scheduled to include a presentation on biomass-related ARPA-E activities.


USEA Look at CCS Utilization – The US Energy Association hosts a forum tomorrow at 2:00 p.m. on utilization of CO2 for enhanced oil recovery.  The “U” in CCUS, is a key component of essentially all major CO2 capture and storage projects such as Summit’s Texas Clean Energy Project, Petra Nova’s Parish project, Boundary Dam, and Kemper. This briefing will assess the market dynamics, issues and opportunities at play.  Speaker will be Michael Moore, Vice President of Energy Commodities and Advisory Services at FearnOil.


JHU Forum Looks at Renewables – Johns Hopkins University’s SAIS will hold a forum tomorrow at 4:30 p.m. as part of the SAIS Research Seminar Series in Politics and Political Economy, 2015-2016 on how power sectors reforms are shaping renewable energy issues across the globe.  Johannes Urpelainen, the speaker for this seminar, is Associate Professor of Political Science at Columbia University.


POLITICO Forum to Look at Canada Visit – As President Barack Obama prepares to welcome Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau for a historic state visit, POLITICO and CABC will hold a series of high-level conversations tomorrow evening at The Newseum on North American leadership in energy, the global economy, security and the refugee crisis.  Featured speakers include US Customs and Border Protection Commissioner Gil Kerlikowske; Alan Bersin, Assistant Secretary for International Affairs and Chief Diplomatic Officer at U.S. Department of Homeland Security and Richard Duke, Deputy Director for Climate Policy in the White House Office of Energy and Climate Change.  Other speakers will include State’s Simon Henshaw, NRDC’s Canada Project analyst Danielle Droitsch and Port Metro Vancouver CEO Robin Silvester.


Groups Look at Ag Impacts on Climate – The Organic Consumers Association and Regeneration International will hold a workshop on Wednesday to discuss the science and management of the remarkable bio-chemical process called carbon sequestration.  Scientists will explain how it works and climate policy experts will describe initiatives to drive the rapid, large-scale, worldwide adoption of regenerative agriculture techniques that can sequester carbon, improve both quantity and quality of foods produced, and concurrently decrease atmospheric CO2.  Some of the speakers include Catherine Geslain-Laneelle, Kristine Nichols, David Johnson, and Richard Teague.


Senate Environment to Hear From States on Regulating – The Senate Environment Committee will hold a hearing Wednesday at 9:30 a.m. looking at state views of Federal regulations.   Witnesses will include South Dakota DENR secretary Steven Pirner, Arkansas DEQ director Becky Keogh, WV DEP Secretary Randy Huffman, Vermont Agency of Natural Resources secretary Deborah Markowitz, secretary and Delaware DNREC Air Quality director Ali Mirzakhalili.


AGA Expert Feature In CHP/NatGas Webinar – The Alliance for Industrial Efficiency is cohosting a webinar with the Business Council for Sustainable Energy on Wednesday at Noon on the state of the market and implications for natgas & CHP.   Expert panelists will explore data from the 2016 BCSE Sustainable Energy Factbook on the state of the market for natural gas and combined heat and power (CHP), and provide their perspectives on prospects for continued growth.   They will also will explore data from the 2016 BCSE Sustainable Energy Factbook on the state of the market for natural gas and combined heat and power (CHP), and provide their perspectives on prospects for continued growth.  Among the speakers will be our friend Richard Meyer, Manager of Energy Analysis & Standards at the American Gas Association.


Vilsack Former Ag Secretaries to Talk Nutrition at BPC – As part of National Nutrition Month, the Bipartisan Policy Center is hosting a conversation on food and nutrition, featuring Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack on Wednesday at 10:00 a.m..  The event will be a robust discussion with a bipartisan panel on the current state of nutrition in America and innovative approaches to creating a healthier future.   Joining Vilsack on the panel will be former Ag Secretaries Ann Veneman and Dan Glickman.


Forum to Look at National Labs Budget – The Environmental and Energy Study Institute (EESI), in partnership with the House and Senate Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Caucuses, will hold a briefing on Wednesday at 1:00 p.m. looking at the energy efficiency and renewable energy provisions of the President’s budget request for Fiscal Year (FY) 2017.  Speakers from the Department of Energy, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, and the Congressional Research Service (CRS) will give an overview of the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy’s (EERE) budget request, explain the EERE Office budget priorities, and provide context on how these priorities and trends compare to prior years.  DOE’s David Friedman, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary, Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, will launch the conversation and CRS experts and Scott Sklar will also join the panel.


Senate Approps Hosts Vilsack – The Senate Appropriations Committee’s Subcommittee on Agriculture, Food, and Drug Administration will hold a hearing on Wednesday at 2:00 p.m. to review the Fiscal Year 2017 budget request and funding justification for the U.S. Department of Agriculture.  Secretary Vilsack will testify.


Moniz Head to Senate Energy Approps Panel – After last week’s testimony barrage, Secretary Moniz returns to the Senate Appropriations Committee’s Subcommittee on Energy and Water Development Wednesday at 2:30 p.m. a hearing to examine proposed budget estimates and justification for fiscal year 2017 for the Department of Energy.


ELI host Enviro Social Event – The Environmental Law Institute and the D.C. Bar’s Environment, Energy and Natural Resources Section will hold a networking event Wednesday night to build community and connections among environmental professionals.


Murkowski Honored by WCEE – The Women’s Council on Energy and the Environment (WCEE) will hold its Woman of the Year Gala Wednesday evening at the Capital Hilton Hotel.  The 2016 WCEE Woman of the Year is Senate Energy Chair Lisa Murkowski.  Murkowski is Alaska’s senior representative in the U.S. Senate and chairman of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee and Senate Appropriations Interior and Environment Subcommittee.


Forum to Focus on Clean Power Plan – The Environmental Law Institute will hold its 2016 J.B. & Maurice C. Shapiro Environmental Law Symposium on Thursday and Friday at GWU.  The event will focus on environmental, economic, and governance issues for the electricity mix in the coming two-to-three decades. The two-day Symposium will bring together a multi-disciplinary group of experts for a series of panels and discussions structured around issues surrounding the Clean Power Plan.

ARPA-E Director Talks Innovation, Grid – The CSIS Energy and National Security Program will hold a discussion on Thursday with Ellen Williams, Director of ARPA-E, the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy. Dr. Williams and  ARPA-e play a critical role in incubating new energy technologies.  One issue where real progress on both technology and market deployment continues to be needed is the electric grid.  Dr. Williams will discuss key areas of focus for ARPA-E in 2016, with a  special focus on grid management and grid storage as well as the new initiatives including Mission Innovation. Sarah Ladislaw, Director and Senior Fellow with the CSIS Energy and National Security Program, will provide a brief introduction and Frank O’Sullivan, Director of Research and Analysis with the MIT Energy Initiative and Senior Associate with the CSIS Energy and National Security Program will moderate the discussion.


Forum to Look at Japan Priorities in Middle East – On Thursday, the Atlantic Council’s Rafik Hariri Center for the Middle East and Global Energy Center will bring together Japanese scholars and practitioners alongside US analysts to discuss Japanese energy priorities and policies in the Middle East. These experts will discuss how the Middle Eastern landscape impacts Japan’s energy policies, and how Japanese policies in turn impact the region.


Poneman to Discuss Argentina, Energy – The Atlantic Council for a discussion on Friday looking at Argentina’s energy outlook in the new administration of President Mauricio Macri era. The event will launch the Atlantic Council’s latest policy brief, The New Argentina: Time to Double Down on the Energy Sector?, authored by Argentine energy expert Cristian Folgar.  Among the speakers will be Dan Poneman, former Deputy Secretary of Energy.





AHRI Public Policy Forum Set – The Air Conditioning, Heating and Refrigeration Institute (AHRI) hold its annual Public Policy Forum on March 15th and 16th.  The 2016 Public Policy Symposium is designed to bring AHRI members together with key public officials to discuss important issues facing the HVACR and water heating industry. The two-day event provides participants with the opportunity for face-to-face meetings with lawmakers and Congressional staff on Capitol Hill, and with key officials in federal agencies. Near-miss Virginia Senate Candidate and former political operative Ed Gillespie will keynote the forum.


Chamber Summit to Look at Competitiveness – The U.S. Chamber’s Center for Capital Markets Competitiveness holds the 10th Annual Capital Markets Summit looking at the foundation of economic growth on March 15th.  This year, the event will examine the current state of the capital markets, including how innovation is changing the landscape, and explore what changes are necessary to ensure these markets are modernized and well-regulated to ensure economic growth.


Forum to Focus on Geothermal – EESI and the Geothermal Energy Association is hosting a briefing on Wednesday March 16th at 2:00 p.m. in 212-10 in the Capitol Visitors Center highlighting the state of the geothermal energy industry and its near-term prospects in the United States and in more than 80 other countries working to expand its use. With demand for clean energy accelerating around the globe, geothermal energy has major potential as a renewable resource that can provide power around-the-clock, complementing intermittent renewable power technologies. Speakers will include International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) Deputy Director-General Sakari Oksanen, U.S. Geothermal President  Doug Glaspey and several others.


Wilson Center Forum to Look at Developing Country Support – Next Wednesday March 16th, the Wilson Center will host a panel of experts from CIGI, ICCCAD, and United Nations University to discuss the current status and future of financing and insurance for combating climate-related loss and damage.  The 2015 Paris Climate Agreement focused on support for vulnerable countries in the face of looming climate-related “loss and damage.”


GEA Sets Geo Energy Showcase – The Geothermal Energy Assn will be holding its 3rd U.S. and International Geothermal Energy Showcase in Washington, DC on Thursday, March 17th at the Ronald Reagan International Trade Center. This year’s Showcase will focus on the building blocks for successful geothermal projects and highlight key geothermal projects, trends, and governmental policies in the U.S. and the international markets. The program will showcase geothermal projects, trends, and governmental policies in the U.S. and around the world. Topics covered will include: the geothermal market today, projects under development in the U.S. and internationally, outlook for the future of the geothermal market, policies driving geothermal development, new technologies, and federal agency support at home and abroad. Over 36 countries will be represented at the Showcase. Represented countries include the United States, United Kingdom, Jamaica, United Arab Emirates, Djibouti, India, Belgium, Guatemala, Hungary, Uganda, Turkey, the Philippines, Fiji, Costa Rica, Indonesia, Burundi, St. Kitts, Kenya, Mexico, Japan, Ethiopia, Qatar, Iceland, Taiwan, Albania, Nevis, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Burkina Faso, Vanuatu, Italy, Taiwan, Peru, Colombia, and more.  Speakers will include International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) Deputy Director-General Sakari Oksanen and Nevada Senator Dean Heller.


BCSE to Host Clean Energy Forum –The Business Council for Sustainable Energy will hold a Clean Energy Forum on March 16th for its Members to look at the 2016 clean Energy Agenda.


Defense Renewables Summit Set – Infocast hosts the 6th Defense Renewables Summit on March 15-16th at the Sheraton Pentagon City in Arlington, VA, to bring DoD, Air Force, Army and Navy decision-makers together with renewable energy developers, utilities, system integrators, financiers, EPCs, cybersecurity, energy storage, smartgrid and telecom experts to meet the renewable energy goals and security needs of the DoD. The summit will explore how viable, financeable projects can be developed to the benefit of all. The summit will provide the latest on emerging guidelines and processes that merges the complexity of federal acquisitions with the risk allocation methods of project finance.


ACORE Policy Forum Set – The 2016 ACORE National Renewable Energy Policy Forum will be on March 16th and 17th at the W Hotel in Washington, D.C.  Senator Wyden, ranking member of the Senate Finance Committee and member of the Energy and Natural Resources Committee, will provide the Mid-Morning Keynote.  The event has a great line up including moderators Joe Desmond of Bightsource Energy, Greg Wetstone of ACORE and Dan Reicher, former DOE official and Google exec at Stanford’s Steyer-Taylor Center.


Forum to Look at Critical Infrastructure – Next Thursday, March 17th at 9:30 a.m. at the Reserve Officers Association, the Secure the Grid Coalition and Homeland Security Today Magazine will hold a forum on critical infrastructure and a secure electric grid.  This symposium will explore the path from today’s vulnerabilities to tomorrow’s mitigations for the civilian electrical grid from major system failures and long-term power outages. How vulnerable are we to catastrophic level black outs? What does that mean for the major power consumers of the civilian electrical grid?  Homeland Security Today Magazine’s Editor and Chief Anthony Kimery will host a discussion with panelists that include President Bill Clinton’s former Director of Central Intelligence Ambassador James Woolsey, Senate Homeland Security Committee Chairman Ron Johnson, and several other experts.


Forum to Look at Specialty Metals – The Atlantic Council will hold a forum on Thursday March 17th at 2:30 p.m. featuring a discussion on the new resource challenges – specialty metals. Obscure resources we paid little attention to are increasingly playing critical roles as we switch to new energy sources, as high-tech proliferates globally, and as military technologies proliferate. A lack of understanding and production of these materials will limit their development and deployment of critical technologies.  Most notably, as the global community transitions from fossil fuels to clean energy, demand for rare metals will increase dramatically. Potential shortages and volatile prices will keep some technologies out of reach or limit the implementation of our most effective energy solutions.  And with Beijing allocating vast sums to produce and process these materials, geopolitical risks abound.  The panelists will explore this budding war over the periodic table by discussing what the geopolitical implications of rare metals are and hoe their production differs.  It will also look at international transparency and other production process issues.


Forum to Feature Specialty Metals Book Author – On Friday, March 18th at Noon, the local chapter of the US Assn of Energy Economists will host a lunch with David Abraham as he discusses how countries are lining up sides on the next geopolitical resource battle — specialty metals. Abraham is the author of “The Elements of Power: Gadgets, Guns, and the Struggle for a Sustainable Future in the Rare Metals Age.”  The Economist said”…[Abraham] persuasively explains the danger of underestimating a business that, by one estimate, generates $4 billion of revenues a year and also plays a critical role in systems worth about $4 trillion. China, which develops more rare metals than any other country, understands the calculus. The West, his book suggests, does not.”


Forum to Look at Sustainable Housing – The Environmental and Energy Study Institute (EESI) is holding a briefing on March 21st at 2:30 p.m. in 122 Cannon regarding energy efficient, “green” affordable housing and how it is improving health and safety in distressed communities while providing economic and environmental benefits to states. This is the second in a series of EESI briefings examining environmental justice as it relates to the EPA’s Clean Power Plan. This briefing will show how sustainable affordable housing can save money for low-income families and strengthen community resilience while serving as a CPP compliance strategy.  Speakers will showcase sustainable affordable housing developments in Pittsburgh, PA, as well as a retrofit in Washington, DC, and will discuss the national movement to “green” affordable housing. The briefing will also feature the passive building retrofit of Weinberg Commons, a multifamily housing complex for low-income families in Southeast DC. The nation’s capital uses Enterprise Community Partners’ Green Communities Criteria as the baseline green building standard for its public and publicly-financed projects.


Chamber to Host Aviation Summit – The U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation are hosting the 15th annual Aviation Summit on Tuesday, March 22nd at the Renaissance Hotel to bring together top experts and leaders from all sectors of aviation to discuss critical issues facing the industry. The 2016 Summit will focus on innovation and emerging technologies.


Transmission Summit Set to Address Challenges – The 19th Annual Transmission Summit will be held on March 29-31 at the Washington Marriott Georgetown.  The event will feature senior executives from MISO, NYISO, PJM, SPP and ISO-NE, who will discuss their system needs and market changes, and representatives from such prominent transmission owners and developers as Clean Line Energy Partners LLC, Con Edison, DATC, Exelon Corp., LS Power Development LLC, National Grid, Xcel Energy and others will provide insights into their development plans and projects.


Energy Conference Set – The Energy Smart Conference will be held at the Gaylord on Aril 4-6th.  The event features top enterprises, energy service providers, and technology leaders to rethink the industry and refine energy management.  Main speakers will be Colin Powell, author of Drive: The Surprising Truth of What Motivates Us Daniel Pink and Green to Gold Author Andrew Winston.


Conference to Look at PA Drilling – Shale Directories will host Upstream 2016 on April 19th at The Penn Stater in State College, PA to look at action in PA.  Despite cutbacks in budgets, there are still opportunities for this and next year and Cabot, Seneca and others will be there to discuss when Drilling may ramp up again, what you can do to help the industry and how to prepare for the growth. As well, Faouizi Aloulou, Senior Economist with the Energy Information Agency, will give a presentation on the Uncertainties of Shale Resource Development Under Low Price Environment.


Water Power Conferences Set for DC – The all-new Waterpower Week in Washington will present three events in one, showcasing the entire world of waterpower.  The National Hydropower Association Annual Conference, International Marine Renewable Energy Conference and Marine Energy Technology Symposium will all take place at the Capital Hilton in Washington, D.C., April 25-27.