After a couple weeks of preview, March Madness has finally arrived. Top seeds are Kansas, UNC, Oregon and Virginia, who after losing the ACC final to UNC still managed to squeak by Big 10 Champion Michigan State. Some key sleeper teams to watch include VCU, UNC-Wilmington (over Duke for you anti-Dukees), Gonzaga, Iowa and Hawaii. . Play-in games start tomorrow with Florida Gulf Coast/Fairleigh Dickinson and Vanderbilt/Wichita St.
Here are a couple of pool tips for you:
- Pay Attention to Current Form – Look for teams playing well in conference tourneys or down the stretch.
- Use Betting Odds to Your Advantage – Lines will often give you educated tips.
- Look For Unknown Stars – Star players can pull off major upsets when these stars catch fire on the right day. Look for those stars.
- Cream Rises to the Top – Pick occasional upsets in rounds 1&2, but strong teams to go deep.
- Home Cooking – Teams that land close to home (even at lower seeds) can be tough to beat.
Don’t sleep on the lower divisions as well. DII is in the Elite 8 with two #1 seeds already knocked out, while DIII is already has a Final Four (Amherst MA, Benedictine IL, St. Thomas MN and Chris. Newport U VA). The Women’s DI Bracket releases tonight.
Over the weekend, SXSW launched with its music and policy festival. On Saturday, Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx, Barbara Bennett (President/COO of Paul Allen’s Vulcan) and NXP Semiconductors CEO Rick Clemmer announced seven finalists for DOT’s Smart City Challenge. DOT has pledged up to $40 million to one city to help it define what it means to be a “Smart City “and become the country’s first city to fully integrate innovative technologies – self-driving cars, connected vehicles, and smart sensors – into their transportation network. The finalists are: Austin, TX; Columbus, OH; Denver, CO; Kansas City, MO; Pittsburgh, PA; Portland, OR; and San Francisco, CA. The rollout was at the C3 Connected Mobility Showcase at the South by Southwest conference (SXSW).
Also, it is rodeo week in Houston, which is the world’s largest rodeo. Only the top cowboys and cowgirls are invited to compete at RodeoHouston competing for more than $2 million in seven events: bareback riding, barrel racing, bull riding, saddle bronc riding, steer wrestling, team roping and tie-down roping. Since the Show began in 1932, more than $400 million has been committed to Texas students. The Show has presented more than 16,000 scholarships since the first scholarship was awarded in 1957.
In DC, Congress is running to the finish line for Easter/Spring break. While the budget hearings roll on, there will be action on the GMO labeling legislation and there was some thought that the Senate Energy Bill may resurface on the Senate Floor toward the end of the week. Unfortunately, the recent delays stem from offshore drilling questions from FL Sen. Bill Nelson. Speaking of the offshore drilling, this may be the week (or maybe next) Interior’s most recent five-year drilling plan rolls out. Look for a middle ground that stills allows drilling in most places (although at these prices probably won’t occur), but also restricts important/sensitive areas. Other interesting hearings include a Sen. Commerce hearing tomorrow afternoon on autonomous (self-driving) vehicles, Senate Energy on natural resources controversies and Senate Enviro on WRDA.
It is the most busy week for the House Oversight Committee who will host two big hearings this week on the Flint, MI Water crisis with Flint officials tomorrow and MI Gov. Rick Snyder and EPA’s Gina McCarthy on Thursday. Not to be outdone, other House Oversight panels will hold a Wednesday hearing investigating the RFS and tomorrow afternoon challenging OIRA Chief Howard Shelanski for a hearing to scrutinize his White House office, which is responsible for reviewing thousands of federal regulatory activities.
Also this week, both the HVAC industry and the ACORE will hold Policy Forums. AHRI’s Public Policy Symposium helps bring the HVACR industry together with key public officials to discuss important issues facing their industry. ACORE forum will feature all parts of the renewable industry and will provide in-depth analyses of important policies and critical challenges the implementation of the Clean Power Plan, the achievement of the nation’s COP21 commitments, and the policy signals and business models needed to drive continued market evolution and expansion.
Super Tuesday Part III tomorrow is all about Florida and Ohio… It is been a little crazy on the election front (I think that’s all I’ll say!!) Call with questions.
IN THE NEWS
EPA Proposes New Methane Rules for Existing Oil, Gas – EPA said last Thursday it propose regulations for existing sources of methane from the oil and gas industry for the first time as part of the meeting between President Obama and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. Next month, EPA will begin a formal process to compel energy companies to provide information about the methane emissions produced along a series of oil and gas activities, including production, transmission, processing and storage. The EPA is already finishing a rule that would require oil and gas companies to upgrade equipment and search out methane leaks at new and modified wells. As with the previous proposals to address methane, the new regulations to address existing wells are really unnecessary window dressing as industry is already reducing methane dramatically. The fact is, industry has been ahead of the curve on this for years, working diligently on its own to reduce methane emissions. It’s both good environmental stewardship and makes sense from a business standpoint; since companies strive for efficiency, it makes sense to capture as much product as you can.
What the Best Industry Methane Expert Says – My Bracewell colleague and O/G methane expert Sandra Snyder (202-828-5810) can be a big help on the issue. On Thursday, she said she would also emphasize that even if industry is already taking these steps to capture and sell more product, the manpower to carry out the regulatory burdens is not insignificant. “When companies own tens of thousands of wells, documentation and recordkeeping becomes a real issue. A system is required to manage all of that information and additional training is required to ensure that recordkeeping is conducted properly. Regulation might also reduce the methods available to achieve the desired results – reducing leaks. For example, industry may prefer leak detection methods that are cheaper than EPA may adopt in its regulations (e.g., using soap bubbles rather than expensive IR cameras to detect leaks). All of this imposes an additional strain on an industry that is struggling under low oil and gas prices.”
Who’s Really Responsible for Methane – A new study in the Journal of Science says agriculture, not the oil and gas boom, is responsible for spiking methane levels. The study says policymakers might make more progress on global warming if they focus on curbing emissions from agriculture or animal husbandry, primarily in the tropics. Lead author Hinrich Schaefer, an atmospheric scientist at the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research in Wellington, New Zealand, said “we have to find ways to reduce methane emissions from rice agriculture, beef and dairy farming while still feeding the world’s population if we want to mitigate climate change.” Scientists have been trying to identify the source of the methane, a challenging task because there are so many potential sources. Anaerobic bacteria in wetlands decompose vegetation and release methane. The gas also escapes from cows and manure lagoons on dairy farms, from submerged rice fields and finally, from coal and oil fields.
Arkansas Puts Pen Down on GHG Plan – Arkansas last week became the 19th state to halt planning activities related to potential compliance with U.S. EPA’s Clean Power Plan. According to our friends at E&E News, who are monitoring the action on the Power Plan Hub, that brings the tally to 19 states suspending, 19 states continuing and nine states assessing whether to move forward with the rule to curb emissions from power plants. See the full breakdown here.
DOT’s Foxx Announces 7 Finalist Cities for Smart City Challenge – Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx, joined by Barbara Bennett, President and COO of Paul G. Allen’s Vulcan Inc. and Rick Clemmer CEO of NXP Semiconductors, announced seven finalists for the DOT’s Smart City Challenge. DOT has pledged up to $40 million (funding subject to future appropriations) to one city to help it define what it means to be a “Smart City “and become the country’s first city to fully integrate innovative technologies – self-driving cars, connected vehicles, and smart sensors – into their transportation network. The finalists are: Austin, TX; Columbus, OH; Denver, CO; Kansas City, MO; Pittsburgh, PA; Portland, OR; and San Francisco, CA. Secretary Foxx was joined by representatives of the seven city finalists, including Austin Mayor Steve Adler, Columbus Mayor Andrew Ginther, Kansas City Mayor Sly James, Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto, and Portland Mayor Charlie Hales for the announcement at the C3 Connected Mobility Showcase being held during the South by Southwest conference (SXSW). SAFE is Vulcan’s implementation partner in the project.
State Sends $500M to Green Climate Fund – The State Department announced that Obama administration has paid $500 million to the Green Climate Fund, the international entity that helps developing countries deal with the effects of climate change. The payment is the first in a multi-year $3 billion pledge to the fund from solidified in the Paris Meeting last year. The GCF has long been a scourge to Republicans, who did not include any money for the fund in last year’s omnibus spending bill. Democrats did successfully beat back a Republican efforts that would have prevented State from contributing to the fund.
Barrasso Hammers State Move – Sen. John Barrasso said the State Department GCF funding action violates the law. At the State Department budget hearing, Barrasso said “what the president is doing here in this misuse of taxpayer dollars in complete violation of the law.” Barrasso said State violated the Antideficiency Act, which prevents federal employees from making expenditures in excess of what has been appropriated by Congress. He added that violation of the law “comes with criminal and civil penalties and I think you’re going to deal with that.” Committee Chairman Bob Corker also chided State, arguing that the department’s decision to transfer to the money for the GCF “really breaks down trust.” Also hammering the move, American Energy Alliance President Thomas Pyle said President Obama continues to prioritize his political interests over the interests of the American people. “The administration intends to funnel hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars into the U.N.’s climate slush fund while pursuing a domestic agenda that will raise energy costs and leave all Americans poorer. By diverting this money with little to no transparency or clear authorization, the Obama Administration implicitly ignores even more pressing demands, such as help for those grappling with the aftermath of the EPA’s Animas River spill. With no more campaigns to run, the president is no longer accountable to the American people. That makes it even more important that Congress holds him accountable. After all, they hold the power of the purse. Now they must show they can use it.”
Oil Rigs Fallen To Lowest Level in Years – The oil-field services company Baker Hughes reported the number of rigs drilling for oil and natural gas in the United States has fallen to the lowest level since at least the 1940s. Combined rigs in United States oil and gas fields fell by nine this week to 480, overwriting a previous record low of 488 in April 1999. Oil rigs alone fell for a 12th week in a row, and gas rigs fell to the lowest level since at least 1987.
AHRI Releases January 2016 U.S. Heating and Cooling Equipment Shipment Data –AHRI released its released its January U.S. Heating and Cooling Equipment Shipment Data. The industry data is aggregated from the information supplied by AHRI member companies that participate in the statistics program and can be subject to revision. Published year-to-date data is inclusive of all revisions. For previous monthly shipment releases and historical data, please see http://www.ahrinet.org/statistics.
Residential Storage Water Heaters
U.S. shipments of residential gas storage water heaters for January 2016 decreased 14.2 percent to 353,708 units, down from 412,410 units shipped in January 2015. Residential electric storage water heater shipments decreased 21.1 percent in January 2016 to 321,065 units, down from 406,853 units shipped in January 2015.
Commercial Storage Water Heaters
Commercial gas storage water heater shipments decreased 10.8 percent in January 2016 to 7,125 units, down from 7,991 units shipped in January 2015. Commercial electric storage water heater shipments increased 30.3 percent in January 2016 to 7,196 units, up from 5,524 units shipped in January 2015.
Warm Air Furnaces
U.S. shipments of gas warm air furnaces for January 2016 increased 0.7 percent to 195,348 units, up from 194,057 units shipped in January 2015. Oil warm air furnace shipments increased 18.2 percent to 3,344 units in January 2016, up from 2,828 units shipped in January 2015.
Central Air Conditioners and Air-Source Heat Pumps
U.S. shipments of central air conditioners and air-source heat pumps totaled 424,102 units in January 2016, down 11.6 percent from 479,484 units shipped in January 2015. U.S. shipments of air conditioners decreased 10.7 percent to 257,616 units, down from 288,361 units shipped in January 2015. U.S. shipments of air-source heat pumps decreased 12.9 percent to 166,486 units, down from 191,123 units shipped in January 2015.
Former Marshall Institute Starts New Coalition – Last year, the Marshall Institute was split into two parts. The work on space, defense and intelligence was transferred to the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS). The work on climate has been taken over by a new non-profit, educational organization, the CO2 Coalition. So they established the CO2 Coalition last year as a 501(c)(3) for the purpose of educating thought leaders, policy makers, and the public about the evidence showing that more CO2 in the atmosphere will be a net benefit to the world. Concerns about carbon dioxide being a “pollutant” are not valid. Climate change is proceeding very slowly and the likely increase in temperature for the 21st century is about 1 degree C or less. The members of the CO2 Coalition include globally-recognized scientists, engineers and economists who are well informed about the technical and humanitarian details of climate science and its policy implications. The Coalition emphasizes two scientific reasons for its conclusions: (1) most climate models have predicted much more warming (a factor of 3 or more) than has been seen over the past decades; (2) current CO2 levels are far below optimum for the growth of many plants, including most trees, crops like wheat and soybeans, and many others. The views of the CO2 Coalition are summarized in the white paper, Carbon Dioxide Benefits the World, See for Yourself, available on our website www.CO2Coalition.org.
ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK
AHRI Public Policy Forum Set – The Air Conditioning, Heating and Refrigeration Institute (AHRI) holds its annual Public Policy Forum tomorrow and Wednesday. 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.
CQ Forum to Look at Ethanol – CQ Roll Call will host a policy briefing tomorrow morning at 8:00 a.m. at the Newseum looking at ethanol politics and policy. The event will bring together members of Congress, agriculture and energy policy experts, political scientists and industry stakeholders to discuss where we go from here on ethanol and the Renewable Fuel Standard. Sen. Mike Rounds (R-S.D.) and Rep. Peter Welch (D-Vt.) will keynote with an panel discussion moderated by our friend Ed Felker featuring Drake professor Anthony Gaughan, Northern Iowa politics professor Christopher Larimer, Iowa State economics professor David Swenson and Democratic consultant Paul Tewes.
Low Income Solar Guide Launched – GRID Alternatives, Vote Solar and Center for Social Inclusion tomorrow at 8:00 a.m. in 2168 Rayburn will launch a new Low-Income Solar Policy Guide, a comprehensive guide to proven policies and program models that are successfully expanding access to solar power and solar jobs around the country. Learn about this exciting new online tool for policymakers and community leaders, and engage with a panel of national, state and local leaders who are at the forefront of solar access. Opening remarks will be offered by Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN), while a panel discussion will featured Reps. Tony Cárdenas and Barbara Lee, as well as Dan Utech, Deputy Assistant to the President for Energy and Climate Change.
Chamber Summit to Look at Competitiveness – The U.S. Chamber’s Center for Capital Markets Competitiveness holds the 10th Annual Capital Markets Summit tomorrow looking at the foundation of economic growth. 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 Look at Argentine Energy Issues – Inter-American Dialogue will host a forum tomorrow on the energy environment In Argentina. The election of Argentina’s new president Mauricio Macri promises to bring important changes to the investment landscape for the country’s oil and gas industry. Within weeks of taking office, Macri slashed energy subsidies by raising electricity tariffs and lifted capital controls. He has vowed to negotiate more transparently with oil companies and has already reached agreements with many of Argentina’s creditors to improve the country’s access to international capital markets. This discussion will address these questions with opening remarks by Ambassador of Argentina to the United States Martín Lousteau, followed by a panel of experts. The Inter-American Dialogue will also present our forthcoming report on shale regulation in the United States and Latin America.
IMPA Panel to Look at US Diesel Passenger Vehicle Market – In the lead-up to the 2016 New York International Auto Show, Allen Schaeffer, Executive Director of the Diesel Technology Forum, and Alan Baum of Baum and Associates, will use the latest data, including sales and registration information and product launch calendars to provide the most current projections for the future of diesel passenger vehicles at the International Motor Press Association meeting in New York City. The event will be tomorrow at Noon in the 3 West Club in NYC. The panel will discuss how government regulations – especially fuel economy regulations – will help or hinder the U.S. diesel market, and the different strategies automakers will be employing to meet the upcoming fuel economy standards. The role of diesels in the passenger car sector and the pickup truck and SUV sectors will also be explored.
House Oversight to Hear from Gov Snyder, EPA’s McCarthy – The House Oversight Committee will host two hearings on the lead-poisoned water of Flint, Mich., featuring some of the top stars of the Flint drama. Tomorrow, the panel will hear from Darnell Earley, Flint’s former emergency manager, former Flint Mayor Dwayne Walling, former EPA Region 5 head Susan Hedman, and VA Tech’s Marc Edwards, who helped uncover the lead poisoning. EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy and MI Gov. Snyder will testify before the committee on Thursday.
Senate Energy Tackles Presidential Memo on Resources – The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee will hold a hearing tomorrow at 10:00 p.m. to conduct oversight on the Presidential Memorandum issued on November 3, 2015 entitled, “Mitigating Impacts on Natural Resources from Development and Encouraging Related Private Investment.” Witnesses will include Michael Bean, Interior principal deputy assistant secretary for fish, wildlife and parks; Brian Ferebee, Forest Service associate deputy chief for the National Forest System; Sara Longan, executive director of the Office of Project Management and Permitting at Alaska’s Department of Natural Resources; Shaun Sims, president of the Wyoming Association of Conservation Districts; Laura Skaer, executive director of the American Exploration and Mining Association; Doug Lashley, managing member of GreenVest LLC; and Lynn Scarlett, the Nature Conservancy’s global managing director.
Approps Panel Looks at EM Budget – The House Appropriations Committee’s Subcommittee on Energy and Water Development, will hold a budget hearing tomorrow at 10:30 a.m. on DOE’s Environmental Management Program. Witness will be Dr. Monica Regalbuto, DOE’s Assistant Secretary for Environmental Management.
House Science Looks at EPA Regulation – The House Science panel on Oversight hold a hearing tomorrow on EPA’s latest regulatory overreach on amateur car enthusiasts/drivers. Trade association SEMA says that EPA would effectively prohibit the conversion of regular cars into racing vehicles through a provision in proposed regulations mainly intended to improve fuel efficiency and curb greenhouse gas emissions from heavy-duty trucks. Witnesses will include Rep. Patrick McHenry (R-N.C.); Christopher Kersting, CEO of the Specialty Equipment Market Association; Ralph Sheheen, National Speed Sports News president; and Brent Yacobucci, the Congressional Research Service’s energy and minerals research section manager.
House Oversight also Hosts OIRA Chief – The House Oversight Committee will also host OMB’s OIRA Chief Howard Shelanski tomorrow at 2:00 p.m. for a hearing to scrutinize the White House office responsible for reviewing thousands of federal regulatory activities. Other witnesses include GAO’s Michelle Sager, Richard Williams of George Mason University’s Mercatus Center and American Action Forum director of regulatory policy Sam Batkins.
Senate Commerce Look at Self-Driving Cars – The Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, will convene a hearing tomorrow at 2:30 p.m. looking at the future of self-driving cars. The hearing will explore advancements in autonomous vehicle technology and its anticipated benefits for Americans. Witnesses have been asked to testify on their continued efforts to develop automated vehicles, their views on the appropriate role of government in promoting innovation including removing unnecessary hurdles, and their strategy to grow consumer adoption of this new technology. Witnesses include Google X Director Chris Urmson, GM’s Mike Ableson, Delphi Automotive’s Glen DeVos, Lyft’s Joseph Okpaku and Duke University Robotics lab Director Dr. Missy Cummings. My friend Ellen Carey at SAFE is a good resource on this issue. SAFE has an autonomous driving Task Force.
Forum to Look at Transportation Sustainability – The American Public Transportation Association (APTA) and EESI will host a briefing tomorrow at 3:15 p.m. exploring how shared mobility technology is transforming transportation services, and what impact this may have on public transportation. APTA sponsored a study examining who uses ride-sourcing services, when, and for what purposes. Research was conducted in seven U.S. cities (Austin, Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle and Washington, D.C.). The study’s findings and recommendations will be presented at the briefing and discussed. Speakers for this forum are Valarie McCall of the Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority, APTA CEO Michael Melaniphy, Transportation Mobility Policy Manager Andrew Satzberg and Lyft Director of Transportation Emily Castor.
Forum to Focus on Geothermal – EESI and the Geothermal Energy Association is hosting a briefing on Wednesday 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 – On Wednesday, 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.”
BCSE to Host Clean Energy Forum –The Business Council for Sustainable Energy will hold a Clean Energy Forum on Wednesday for its Members to look at the 2016 clean Energy Agenda.
Defense Renewables Summit Set – Infocast hosts the 6th Defense Renewables Summit tomorrow and Wednesday 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 Wednesday and Thursday 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.
House Science Looks at NOAA Budget – The House Science Committee will hold a hearing Wednesday at 2:00 p.m. on the budget proposal for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration for NOAA for FY2017. NOAA Administrator Kathryn Sullivan will testify.
House Oversight to Look at Ethanol, RFS – The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee’s Subcommittees on Interior and on Health Care, Benefits, and Administrative Rules will hold a hearing Wednesday to examine the Renewable Fuel Standard. Witnesses will include EPA’s Transportation and Air Quality Director Christopher Grundler, John DeCicco of the University of Michigan Energy Institute, ActionAid USA’s Kelly Stone, Purdue University’s Wally Tyner and heritage policy analysis Nick Loris.
NAS to Look at Fuel Consumption on Trucks – The National Academies of Science’s Division on Engineering and Physical Sciences – Transportation Research Board will host a meeting on Wednesday at 4:00 p.m. at the Keck Center to assess technologies and approaches for reducing the fuel consumption of medium- and heavy-duty vehicles. Leading a discussion of new items in rulemaking docket will be James Tamm, Chief, Fuel Economy Division, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
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 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.
Forum to Look at Critical Infrastructure – Next Thursday 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.
Speaker to Address Hawaii to Renewable Energy – On Thursday at 11:45 a.m. in the National Press Club’s McClendon Room, Wharton DC Green Business Forum will host Pete May, President & CEO, Green Biz Group and in charge of VERGE Hawaii. May will discuss moving Hawaii to 100% renewable energy by 2045. May is President and Co-Founder of GreenBiz Group, the leading media and events company at the intersection of business, technology and sustainability. GreenBiz Group is the publisher of GreenBiz.com, the leading website for the business of sustainability, as well as the producer of leading events such as GreenBiz 16 and VERGE. We are fortunate to be having him, a very prominent speaker in the Green Energy field, speak on a special visit to the DC area. In his presentation, May will describe the journey of GreenBiz Group in energy and sustainability the last ten years, the focus of VERGE, and the mission of VERGE Hawaii in helping the State of Hawaii arrive at their legislated mandate of 100% of energy coming from renewable sources by 2045.
Discussion to Focus on Electricity Industry – The Institute for Electric Innovation holds a discussion Thursday at 12:00 p.m. at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel on key trends driving change in transforming the electric power industry. The event will bring together a group of electric utility and technology company executives; policymakers; regulators; and other thought leaders for an afternoon of dialogue and discussion on the transformation of the electric utility industry. Our friend Bill Loveless is among the speakers.
Forum to Look at Ethanol, Advanced Biofuels – The Advanced Biofuels Association (ABFA) will host a panel discussion on Thursday at Noon exploring ideas to strengthen the RFS and speed the expansion of advanced and cellulosic biofuels. Moderated by Harvard University’s Harold Hitchings Professor of Political Economy and a former member of President Obama’s Council of Economic Advisers, this forum will include diverse perspectives from the environmental and petroleum refining communities, plus representatives of advanced biofuel manufacturers. Panelists will include the National Wildlife Federation’s Julie Sibbing, API’s Frank Macchiarola, Elizabeth Farina of the Brazilian Sugarcane Industry Association (UNICA) and ABFA President Michael McAdams.
DC Bar Forum to Focus on Trade Deal Challenges – On Thursday at 12:00 p.m., the D.C. Bar hosts a forum trade deal challenges and related items. The challenges to the denial of the Keystone XL pipeline simultaneously in both US federal court and through the North American Free Trade Agreement’s (NAFTA) investment chapter raise issues as to how challenges to US regulatory actions might be handled in international arbitration and the future of new trade agreements. Our panel of experts will discuss the dual tracks chosen in the Keystone XL Pipeline context, and more generally the implications of such challenges under NAFTA and other trade agreements, including the Trans-Pacific Partnership. Speakers will include Dan Magraw, School of Advanced International Studies, Center for Biological Diversity ‘s Bill Snape and Todd Weiler of the University of Western Ontario, London.
Forum to Look at Specialty Metals – The Atlantic Council will hold a forum on Thursday 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.
American to Host Panel on Woman, Climate – On Thursday at 7:00 p.m., American University hosts a forum on how women are disproportionately impacted by climate change. This panel will focus on this gender imbalance and the role women play in combating climate change. The panel will also discuss the impact of climate change on girls’ education. The panelists are Maggie Roth, Anisa Baldwin Metzger, and Rebecca Lefton. Lefton, Director of Policy and Research at Climate Advisors, specializes in international sustainable development. Baldwin Metzger is the School District Sustainability Manager at the US Green Building Council and was heavily involved in revitalizing schools in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. Roth is a Communications Officer at the International Union for Conservation’s Global Gender Office and is committed to engaging the public in climate issues.
Forum to Look at China, Climate – The Wilson Center will host a forum on Friday at 9:00 a.m. China and climate issues after Paris. At this meeting, speakers will discuss how the Paris Climate Agreement and China’s climate actions may be helping to put the brakes on carbon in China. Duncan Marsh (The Nature Conservancy) will examine the structure and nature of the Paris agreement and the role of the United States and China to help move it forward. Michael Davidson (MIT) will draw on his recent fieldwork examining grid operations in north China to discuss some of the obstacles in decarbonizing the country’s power sector. Joanna Lewis (Georgetown University) will discuss some options for China to improve its greenhouse gas MRV system to meet the country’s climate commitments.
Forum to Feature Specialty Metals Book Author – On Friday 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 Looks at PR Energy Concerns – Next Monday, the American Security Project will host a discussion on energy, economy, and security in Puerto Rico and how understanding the ongoing debt crisis through these lenses will strengthen our response. Puerto Rico, America’s largest Caribbean territory, has long been an important U.S. geopolitical outpost and now finds itself on the verge of catastrophe under the weight of massive debt and a costly, inefficient energy supply. The impacts have triggered a large-scale resettlement to the U.S. mainland where gridlock has turned the Island’s future into a political hot potato rather than an issue of long-term strategic importance for U.S. national security. As Congress recommits itself to a resolution, understanding the issues plaguing Puerto Rico through the lens of energy security and risk management offers opportunities to reverse the current trends, gain political support and address the future of 3.3 million U.S. citizens on the island.
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.
USEA to Look at Fossil Fuels – Next Monday, the US Energy Assn will host a forum on addressing fossil fuels. Scientists believe significant climate change is unavoidable without a drastic reduction in the emissions of greenhouse gases from the combustion of fossil fuels. However, few countries have implemented comprehensive policies that price this externality or devote serious resources to developing low-carbon energy sources. In many respects, the world is betting that we will greatly reduce the use of fossil fuels because we will run out of inexpensive fossil fuels (there will be decreases in supply) and/or technological advances will lead to the discovery of less-expensive low-carbon technologies (there will be decreases in demand). The historical record indicates that the supply of fossil fuels has consistently increased over time and that their relative price advantage over low-carbon energy sources has not declined substantially over time. Without robust efforts to correct the market failures around greenhouse gases, relying on supply and/or demand forces to limit greenhouse gas emissions is relying heavily on hope. Thomas Covert, Assistant Professor at the University of Chicago will speak.
Hudson Conference Looking at Shale Revolution – Next Tuesday, the Hudson Institute will host a conference examining how U.S. oil and natural gas exports have reshaped the balance of global energy power. Congressman Mike Pompeo of Kansas, a senior member of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, will discuss the geopolitics of energy and the outlook on Capitol Hill for expanding American global energy leadership through hydraulic fracturing. Manhattan Institute Senior Fellow Mark P. Mills will keynote the conference, and four distinguished panels of experts will address the impact of the American shale revolution in different world regions.
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.
EEI to Host Leaders in Energy – The Edison Electric Institute hosts a panel of experts next Tuesday evening at 7:00 p.m. who will discuss and explore interesting questions related to the evolving Smart Grid and Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) deployments that utilize unlicensed spectrum and its impact on energy efficiency. Thought leaders from the utility, federal Smart Grid program, and telecommunications sectors will be at Leaders in Energy educational and professional networking event to explore issues related to the use of the unlicensed spectrum, advanced metering infrastructure communication platforms, and related Smart Meter applications in Smart Grid deployments to improve energy performance, benefit the environment, and services for utilities and customers.
Forum to Look at Energy Politics – The Aspen Institute Energy and Environment Program and Colorado State University’s Center for the New Energy Economy will host a special public panel discussion on Thursday March 24th to explore the politics of clean energy and climate action in this presidential election year. Specifically, can Republicans, Democrats and Independents find common ground on the role of the federal government on these issues? If so, what are the most promising areas for bipartisan agreement? The bipartisan panel will feature former Rep. and Carbon tax advocate Bob Inglis, former CO Gov. Bill Ritter, Theodore Roosevelt IV of Barclays Capital Corporation and former White House Climate official Heather Zichal.
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.
Rogers Headlines Clean Energy Challenge Forum – The Clean Energy Challenge is hold a conference in Chicago on April 12th featuring capitalists, civic leaders, and industry executives to recognize cleantech innovation. The Clean Energy Trust Challenge is a nationally recognized accelerator for clean energy innovation. Run by Chicago-based Clean Energy Trust, the Challenge has led to the development and growth of 60+ businesses throughout the Midwest. Speakers will include former Duke CEO Jim Rogers and Ripple Foods CEO Adam Lowry.
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.
Pollution Agencies to Host Spring Meeting – The Association of Air Pollution Control Agencies’ will hold its 2016 Spring Meeting on April 28th and 29th at the Columbia Marriott in Columbia, South Carolina. The event will feature panels and presentations related to multipollutant planning, NOx controls, the Clean Power Plan, NAAQS implementation, Clean Air Act cost-benefit analysis, and legal updates.
Solar Summit Set For AZ – On May 11 and 12 in Scottsdale, Arizona, the 9th annual Solar Summit will dive deep into a unique blend of research and economic market analysis from the GTM Research team and industry experts. This year’s agenda will feature themes from Latin America to BOS to the Global Solar Market. DOE’s Lidija Sekaric and ERCOT’s Bill Magness lead a large group of speakers.