Hope you enjoyed the incredible basketball over the weekend now with the Final Four set.  And there was some pretty good college hockey as well with the Frozen Four also locked in.  The only thing that remains is to lock down the final two spots in the Women’s Final Four.

This weekend was also a beautiful couple days for seeing DC’s famous “cherry blossoms” which are in full force.  The only problem with heading out to the Tidal Basin are the throngs of people who are doing the same sightseeing.  Hopefully today’s early rain won’t put a damper on the cherry blossoms stay.

Last week also found new songs headed in the National Archives, including a couple of my favorites: the Metallica Classic Master of Puppets, Billy Joel’s Piano Man and Bobby Darin’s Mack the KnifeMack is one of my karaoke favorites!!!

Seems like a slow week with yesterday’s Easter holiday and the Congressional Spring break.  I hope you all enjoyed your family for a few days break.  Regardless, there are still a few events that you may want to take a look at below, including PHMSA Chief Marie Therese Dominguez talking pipeline safety, the agency’s impending reorganization and what that means for its pipeline safety program at CSIS on Wednesday at 11 a.m.   DOE’s Paul a Gant also speaks to the NatGas Roundtable Thursday and The Nuclear Energy industry host a summit Wednesday through Friday at the Grand Hyatt.

Briefs are also due today for EPA responding to lawsuits seeking to block its new GHG rules.  My colleague Jeff Holmstead says the EPA has 42,000 words to explain itself and respond to charges that the rule is illegal or economically disastrous.  And tomorrow, states, utilities, green groups and clean energy interests supporting EPA file their briefs, and Friday is the deadline for EPA’s amicus supporters.  Briefing will wrap up April 22nd.  Also, for the first time ever, the U.S. Geological Survey is chronicling the potential hazards of human-induced earthquakes in a report being released today, perhaps my colleague Jason Hutt (202-255-2042) can help.

And for your radar screen:  OPEC and major non-OPEC producers are set to meet in Doha in less than three weeks to, possibly, freeze output at January levels.  On this week’s Platt’s Capitol Crude, Michael Cohen, head of energy commodities research at Barclays, talks about what impact this plan could have on global and US supply, prices and exports.

Finally today, the local newspaper in our area, the Annapolis Capital, ran a great piece on my daughter Hannah and her budding officiating career.  It is a very nice article and I’m proud of the work she has done to earn it.

Opening day just a week or so away…  Call with questions.


Frank Maisano

(202) 828-5864

(202) 997-5932





New LA Dem Gov Edwards Urges Review of BSEE Well Control Rule – The newly–elected Democratic Governor of Louisiana, John Bel Edwards wrote a letter last week to the Obama administration urging them to revise its rule tightening standards for blowout prevention systems and other well controls for offshore drillers.  Edwards said the soon-to-be-released rule, could devastate Louisiana’s economy.  In a letter delivered to OIRA chief Howard Shelanski during their meeting, Edwards said the BSEE’s rule as proposed issues “highly prescriptive technical mandates” that won’t end up improving offshore safety. Instead, it will lead to less drilling in the Gulf of Mexico, draining both federal and state coffers.  “No state was hit harder by the 2010 Deepwater Horizon tragedy than Louisiana, and we are all deeply committed to preventing a similar disaster from happening again,” Edwards wrote. “It is essential today that regulators and industry participants alike take the most constructive path possible to improving the safety of offshore operations. I do not believe the current draft of the Well Control Rule is the best path forward.”

McConnell Urges States to Stand Down On GHG Rule – Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell wrote to the nation’s governors last week urging states to stand down because of the Supreme Court’s recent nationwide stay of the Obama Administration’s GHG rules.  McConnell called the plan a massive regulatory plan that will not have a meaningful impact on global emissions but will punish states’ most vulnerable citizens and ship middle-class jobs overseas.  The letter follows one he sent governors in March 2015, urging them to carefully review the consequences of this deeply-misguided plan and to reject submitting a state implementation plan to the Obama Administration until the courts rule on its legality.  In the letter, Senator McConnell wrote, “The court’s action in State of West Virginia v. EPA will likely extend well beyond this administration, providing a welcome reprieve to states while simultaneously underlining the serious legal and policy concerns I wrote you about last year. In that letter I advised you to carefully consider the significant economic and legal ramifications at stake before signing your states up to a plan that may well fall in court, given that it was unclear — in my view, unlikely — such a plan could survive legal scrutiny… This is precisely why I suggested a ‘wait-and-see’ approach with respect to the CPP last year… even if the CPP is ultimately upheld, the clock would start over and your states would have ample time to formulate and submit a plan; but if the court overturns the CPP as I predict, your citizens would not be left with unnecessary economic harm. Nor would your states be left with responsibility for billions in unnecessary investment obligations.”  The full text of Senate Majority Leader McConnell’s letter is HERE.


BrightSource Launches New Technologies Deployed at Israel’s Ashalim Solar Thermal Plant BrightSource Energy, a leading concentrating solar power technology (CSP) company rolled out several new, advanced solar field technologies currently being deployed at the 121 megawatt (MW) Ashalim Solar Thermal Power Station located in Israel’s Negev Desert. The fourth generation of BrightSource’s solar field technologies features improvements to the heliostats, solar field communications network and solar field control system. These technologies are designed to further optimize power production, reduce construction time and lower project costs.  The 392 MW Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System, located in California’s Mojave Desert, is the world’s largest CSP tower project and is entering its third year of operation. The Ashalim project, which is now under construction, builds on the experience gained at Ivanpah. BrightSource’s technologies being deployed at Ashalim are designed to deliver performance improvements in all areas of solar field operations.


What Are They?  – The technologies will reduce cost and improve performance dramatically.  They include:


New Heliostat Design: With fewer components and an easier assembly, new heliostats cost less and can be installed much faster. Each heliostat consists of four flat, low-iron glass mirrors that provide maximum reflectivity for the life of the project. The new streamlined design maximizes the total reflective surface within the constraints of the mechanical drive systems and allowable wind load.


Dual-Axis Trackers Now Powered by the Sun: Each heliostat is individually controlled and features an integrated, dual-axis tracking system capable of 360 degree positioning. Movement is powered by a small photovoltaic panel and rechargeable lithium-ion battery power supply unit. This system significantly reduces electrical wiring and cabling in the solar field. Long-term reliability is also improved.

Industry First Wireless Solar Field Communications and Control: BrightSource’s solar field integrated control system (SFINCS) manages the distribution of energy across the solar receiver using real-time heliostat-aiming and closed-loop feedback. At Ashalim, each of the 50,600 heliostats positioned in the 3.15-square-kilometer solar field will communicate wirelessly with the SFINCS. The wireless system reduces cabling by as much as 85 percent in the solar field, further reducing costs and accelerating the construction schedule.


Ashalim Construction Update – With more than 1,000 construction workers on site, the construction of the Ashalim Solar Thermal Power Station is on track. To date, more than 22,000 pylons have been installed in the solar field and more than 6,000 heliostats have been assembled and installed onsite. Additionally, the power block is starting to take shape with the majority of the earthwork completed, and construction of the 250 meter tower has begun. The facility is scheduled to be completed in late 2017.  The project is the largest of its kind in Israel, and will contribute significantly to the government’s clean power goals when complete.  The Ashalim plant is being constructed by Megalim Solar Power, a Build, Operate, Transfer (B.O.T.) company owned by NOY Fund, BrightSource and General Electric (GE). GE is responsible for the engineering, the procurement and the construction (EPC) of the solar power station. The facility is located on Plot-B of the Ashalim solar complex, which includes two solar thermal projects and one photovoltaic project. In total, these facilities at Ashalim are expected to produce nearly 300 MW of power, about two percent of Israel’s electricity production capacity, supporting Israel’s commitment to reach 10% of the country’s electricity production from renewable sources by 2020.


Congress Urges Approps Limits – Rep. Garret Graves and Charles Boustany, Jr., along with led with 26 other members sent a letter to the House Appropriations Committee leaders requesting that language be included in the Interior, Environment and Related Appropriations Act for Fiscal Year 2017 prohibiting the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) from using any funds for the implementation of the agency’s proposed well control rule.  The rule has come under criticism from stakeholders who say the rule imposes an impossible mandate on drilling in the Gulf of Mexico, requiring technology that has not been developed and will not have a demonstrable benefit to safety. These stakeholders argue the rule could amount to a de facto drilling moratorium in the Gulf until new technology to meet the rule’s requirements is developed over the coming years. Experts at Wood Mackenzie concluded that if this rule went into effect, as many as 190,000 direct jobs would be lost due to a decrease in exploration and production. The well control rule is currently under review at the Office of Information and Regulatory affairs within the Office of Management and Budget.




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.


Forum to Look at Health Consequence of Nuclear Terror Scenario – The CSIS Global Health Policy Center will host Timothy Jorgensen, Associate Professor and Director, Health Physics and Radiation Protection Program, Georgetown University, today at 4:00 p.m. to speak on the topic of “Predicting the Health Consequences of Nuclear Terrorism Scenarios,” drawing on the experiences of Hiroshima and Fukushima.  Tim’s talk occurs soon after Princeton University Press publishes his new book, “Strange Glow: The Story of Radiation.”

GP Bush Headlines TX Energy Conference – Bush Others Lead Texas Energy Conference – George P. Bush Texas Land Commissioner will lead efforts speaking tomorrow in Austin, Texas at the historic Paramount Theatre. ETS16 will debate the state and future of energy and a fascinating cross-section of established leaders and unsung heroes rewriting the next generation of energy.  As Texas Land Commissioner, Bush works to ensure Texas veterans get the benefits they’ve earned, oversees investments that earn billions of dollars for public education and manages state lands to produce the oil and gas that is helping make America energy independent.  Other speakers will include Google’s Vint Cerf, NRG’s Leah Seligman, NASA’s Tom Wagner, ERCOT’s Bill Magness, Luis Reyes of the Kit Carson Electric Coop and John Hewa of the Pedernales Electric Coop.

Forum to Preview Nuke Summit – In advance of the final Nuclear Security Summit, the CSIS Proliferation Prevention Program hold a forum to bring together leaders from three Centers of Excellence to share how their centers have helped build nuclear security in East Asia as well as discuss what the future may hold for them in the post-summit environment.  Dr. Jongsook Kim, Director General of the Korea Institute of Nuclear Nonproliferation and Control International Nuclear Nonproliferation and Security Academy and Mr. Yosuke Naoi, Deputy Director of the Japan Atomic Energy Agency Integrated Support Center for Nuclear Nonproliferation and Nuclear Safety will brief on the current status of their centers.  They will be joined by Ambassador Bonnie Jenkins, Chair of IAEA NSSC Network and Threat Reduction Programs at the State Department and Mr. David G. Huizenga, Principal Deputy Administrator for Defense Nuclear Nonproliferation at the Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration for a panel discussion on nuclear security efforts after the 2016 Nuclear Security Summit, moderated by Ms. Sharon Squassoni, Director and Senior Fellow of the CSIS Proliferation Prevention Program.

Forum to Look at Africa Food Crisis – The CSIS Africa Program and the CSIS Global Food Security Project will hold a discussion on Tuesday March 29th at 2:00 p.m. on examining Africa’s latest food crisis.  The 2015-2016 El Niño weather pattern, among the strongest on record, has caused intense drought in Eastern and Southern Africa and has left up to 60 million people in the two regions in need of emergency food assistance. Ethiopia has called the current drought its worst in 30 years, South Africa its worst in over a century. As the resulting food and health emergency grows, experts on food security, resilience, and climate change in Africa will join us to discuss the scale and impact of the current crisis and evaluate the response to date, with an eye toward what the U.S. and broader international community can do to support resilience to mounting climate variability challenges.

Forum to Look at Solar Designs – The Environmental and Energy Study Institute (EESI) will host a briefing tomorrow at 2:00 p.m. in 121 Cannon about a “solar secure” recreation center in Brooklyn and a “high performance” school in Kentucky that are benefiting their communities as well as those who use the buildings. The briefing will show how sustainable public buildings can collectively reduce emissions and clear the air, especially in disadvantaged communities where energy utilities are often sited. Case studies will feature buildings–both in urban and in rural areas–that are improving public health and driving economic growth, while protecting and serving their communities and neighborhoods even during emergencies.  It will feature a retrofit project in the Red Hook neighborhood of Brooklyn in New York City and a net-zero energy high school in rural Kentucky, as well as projects incorporating sustainability principles in Prince George’s County, Maryland. For vocational students near Lexington, Kentucky, the Locust Trace AgriScience Center embodies the principles of sustainability. With daylit classrooms and low-impact land development, the buildings and campus provide hands-on learning of new skills for today’s jobs with minimal energy/water use and low carbon emissions. The Redevelopment Authority (RDA) of Prince George’s County, MD, is developing mixed-income/mixed-use projects and affordable housing in urban communities near transit centers using sustainability principles that promote walkability, green design, and energy and water efficiency.


CAP hosts Transpo Sect Foxx – The Center for American Progress will host U.S. Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx Wednesday at 9:30 a.m. as he outlines the history of transportation decision-making and its role in shaping society. He will lay out core principles for future inclusive design that will help ensure that transportation projects will work to connect –and reconnect — communities to opportunities and the American Dream. Throughout our nation’s history, transportation has connected the country, but transportation infrastructure decisions have also worked to divide us.

PHMSA Head to Address CSIS Forum – The CSIS Energy and National Security Program is hosting a conversation with Marie Therese Dominguez, Administrator of the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Administration (PHMSA) on Wednesday March 30th at 11:00 a.m.  As administrator, Dominguez is responsible for overseeing PHMSA’s development and enforcement of regulations for the safe, reliable, and environmentally sound operation of the nation’s 2.6 million miles of gas and liquid pipelines and nearly 1 million daily shipments of hazardous materials by land, sea, and air.  Dominguez will provide an overview of PHMSA as well as her thoughts on the country’s main challenges and opportunities with regard to the transportation of energy and hazardous materials that are essential to daily life.


WCEE to Look at Solar Growth – The Women’s Council on Energy and the Environment (WCEE) will hold a brown bad lunch at Duane Morris on Wednesday, March 30th looking at the challenges and growth in solar.  The burgeoning solar industry presents a number of opportunities and challenges. The recent extension of the Investment Tax Credit (ITC) provides a strong boost for the solar industry. At the same time, grid reliability and interconnection are of utmost important as increased solar capacity is added to the grid.  Anya Schoolman discusses solar programs and incentives, use of tax credits, and explores solar co-ops as a means to undertake solar PV projects. Kevin Lynn will then delve deeper into the issues of solar PV and grid integration through the lenses of technical, market, and regulatory challenges. Lastly, Erik Heinle will speak from his experience of working with various project owners, developers, and investors on issues surrounding facility construction and financing, power purchase agreements/net metering and interconnection issues as well as issues related to PURPA.


Forum to Look at Solar Book – The GW Sustainability Collaborative and the GW Solar Institute will host an event Wednesday at Noon with author Philip Warburg to discuss his new book Harness the Sun: America’s Quest for a Solar-Powered Future.  Solar power was once the domain of futurists and environmentally minded suburbanites. Today it is part of mainstream America. Scan the skyline of downtown neighborhoods, check out the rooftop of the nearest Walmart, and take a close look at your local sports arena. In Harness the Sun, Warburg takes readers on a far-flung journey that explores America’s solar revolution. Beginning with his solar-powered home in New England, he introduces readers to the pioneers who are spearheading our move toward a clean energy economy. We meet the CEOs who are propelling solar power to prominence and the intrepid construction workers who scale our rooftops installing panels. We encounter the engineers who are building giant utility-scale projects in prime solar states like Nevada, Arizona, and California, and the biologists who make sure wildlife is protected at those sites.


McGinn Featured at Roundtable – The Association of Climate Change Officers (ACCO) will hold a new Defense & National Security Roundtable on Wednesday, March 30th at 4:00 p.m. featuring Dennis McGinn.  The event is part of a bi-monthly roundtable series featuring special guests from across sectors discussing critical climate change and national security initiatives in a town hall format.  McGinn, currently Assistant Secretary of the Navy (Energy, Installations & Environment), was the former director of ACORE.


Energy to Host QER Meetings Around Country – The Department of Energy has announced a series of public meetings around the country to seek input on the second installment of the Quadrennial Energy Review (QER 1.2), which is a study the of the nation’s electricity system from generation to end-use. The stated purpose of the QER 1.2 is to develop a set of findings and policy recommendations to help guide the modernization of the nation’s electric grid and ensure its reliability, safety, security, affordability and environmental performance through 2040.  Meetings will include remarks from government officials, moderated panel discussions with public and private sector energy experts, and open microphone/public comment sessions. Meeting dates and locations will include Atlanta, GA (3/31), Boston, MA (4/15), Salt Lake City, UT (4/25), Des Moines, IA (5/6), Los Angeles, CA (5/10) and Austin, TX.


DOE Official to Address NatGas Roundtable – The Natural Gas Roundtable will host Dr. Paula Gant, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Office of International Affairs at the Department of Energy for its monthly lunch Thursday at the University Club.  Previously, Gant served as the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Oil and Natural Gas in the Department of Energy’s Office of Fossil Energy.  As Deputy Assistant Secretary, Dr. Gant administered domestic and international oil and gas programs, including policy analysis and liquefied natural gas import and export authorization.


Forum to Look at European Pipeline Project, Security – The Atlantic Council will host forum on Friday at 9:30 a.m. looking at the pipeline project Nord Stream 2 and whether it is a threat to Energy Security in Europe.  Amidst the Ukraine Crisis and continuing tensions between Russia and the European Union, the proposed Nord Stream 2 pipeline presents a strategic dilemma to the European Union. The project would increase shipments of gas directly to Gazprom’s core Western European markets by circumventing Ukraine deemed too risky a transit state by some member states. At the same time, it deeply divides member states and poses dilemmas in the context of the EU’s diversification and LNG strategies.


Vandy, ELI Host Annual Law Review – On Friday at 9:30 a.m. on 2168 Rayburn (The Gold Room), Vanderbilt University Law School and the Environmental Law Institute will hold their annual event to identify innovative environmental law and policy proposals in the academic literature. Please join leading professors, policymakers and practitioners to discuss the proposals selected this year.


Statoil Exec to Address Energy Issues, Climate – The CSIS Energy and National Security Program is hosting a roundtable on Friday with Irene Rummelhoff, Executive Vice President for New Energy Solutions at Statoil to discuss what role energy companies may play in the transition to a global low carbon economy.  As the policies and economics evolve to address climate change, many energy companies are adjusting their long-term vision to ensure an active role in this transition to low carbon energy future. Statoil’s New Energy Solutions has a long term goal of reducing carbon emissions and exploring new low-carbon business opportunities, especially in ways that complement traditional oil and gas assets with profitable renewable energy and other low carbon energy solutions.


Skulnik to Speak on MD Solar Law – On Sunday, April 3rd at 2:15 p.m. in the Silver Spring, our friend Gary Skulnik will discuss the new Maryland community solar law.  Skulnik is the founder of a new social enterprise called Neighborhood Sun, As President of Clean Currents, Gary started the movement for clean power in Maryland and the region.




Forum to Discuss Ukraine Energy Security – Next Monday at 4:00 p.m., the Atlantic Council will host a discussion on Ukraine energy with its resident fellow Anders Åslund and Ukrainian Parliament Energy committee Member Olga Bielkova.  In his report on the strategic challenges facing Ukraine’s energy sector Dr. Åslund argues that energy sector reform is essential to the survival of Ukraine, as it will assist Ukraine’s fight against corruption, minimize its dependence on Russian gas, and improve Ukrainian national security. The simultaneous support of and pressure from the transatlantic community is critical for Ukraine to complete the reform process in due course to smooth the social costs of the transition, stabilize its energy market, create a favorable environment for indigenous energy production, and improve the country’s overall economic growth prospects. The panel of experts will discuss the findings and recommendations of Dr. Åslund’s report.


Energy Conference Set – The Energy Smart Conference will be held at the Gaylord on April 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.


CSIS to Discuss China Energy Outlook – Next Tuesday at 10:00 a.m., the CSIS Energy and National Security Program and Freeman Chair in China Studies will host Xiaojie Xu, Chief Fellow at the Institute of World Economics and Politics, part of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences in Beijing, to present the World Energy China Outlook 2016. The annual outlook presents a Chinese perspective on world energy trends with a focus on domestic energy development and global implications. The 2016 edition compares the implications of a Current Policies Scenario (CPS), examining recently released government policies, as well as an Eco-friendly Energy Strategy (EES), an alternative set of policies emphasizing a new pattern of economic development with increasing quality of growth, an optimized energy system, higher efficiency and lower-carbon development. Jane Nakano, Senior Fellow with the CSIS Energy and National Security Program, will moderate.

RFF to Launch Revesz/Lienke Book – Resources for the Future will hold a book launch on April 5th for the book, Struggling for Air: Power Plants and the “War on Coal” by Richard Revesz and Jack Lienke.   Pro EPA advocates Revesz and Lienke argue that the Cross-State Air Pollution Rule, the Mercury and Air Toxics Standards, and the Clean Power Plan are the latest in a long line of efforts by presidential administrations of both parties to compensate for a tragic flaw in the Clean Air Act of 1970—the “grandfathering” that spared existing power plants from complying with the sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides emissions limits applicable to new plants. At this discussion, Revesz and Lienke will clarify their arguments and a panel of experts will weigh in on the inherent challenges of Clean Air Act regulations and the future of environmental policies such as the Clean Power Plan.  A panel of experts will discuss the issues.


Forum to Look at Transition in Coal Country – The Environmental and Energy Study Institute (EESI) hosts a webinar next Tuesday at 2:00 p.m. that will explore how traditionally coal-reliant communities can transition, diversify and strengthen their economies as the United States moves toward a cleaner, more sustainable energy future. The event will discuss the funding opportunities and work being done at the local, regional and federal levels to help these communities grow vibrant local economies. This webinar will highlight the range of actions being taken by various coal-reliant regions to diversify and develop new jobs and sources of revenue.

FERC’s Honorable to Headline Energy Times Forum – The Energy Times will hold a conference on California Renewables at the Fairmont San Francisco on April 6th.  Keynoters will in broad strokes paint a picture of what is happening in the world of electric utilities, energy infrastructure and the power grid today. They will suggest what will be needed in the future and they will begin our consideration of what it will take for us to get there.  Speakers will include FERC Commissioner Colette Honorable and Edison International’s Andrew Murphy, among many others.


Forum to Look at Arctic Energy Issues – The Institute of the North and The Wilson Center, in association with the Arctic Parliamentarians, Arctic Economic Council and Alaska Arctic Council Host Committee, will host a forum to consider ways in which northern governments and businesses can advance broadly beneficial and responsible economic development.  The day-long forum will address the potential for Arctic economic development, the barriers, and the paths toward greater economic prosperity. This Forum is dedicated to improving the business environment in the American Arctic, which clearly intersects with the economies of other Arctic nations, other regions of the United States, and multiple sectors of the economy. Panel discussions and presentations will focus on areas of mutual interest and concern, including trade, infrastructure, investment, risk mitigation, and improving the living and economic conditions of people of the north.  Confirmed speakers include Sens. Lisa Murkowski and Maine’s Angus King, as well as Arctic Economic Council Chair Tara Sweeney, Icelandic Arctic Chamber of Commerce rep Haukur Óskarsson, Julie Gourley of the US State Department, Canada’s Susan Harper, Norway Parliament Member Eirik Sivertsen, Denmark Parliament Member Aaja Chemnitz Larsen, Russian Sen. Vladimir Torlopov and several other business officials.


Pickens, Allen to Discuss NatGas Future – The Hudson Institute hosts a forum on Wednesday April 6th to look at the future natgas economy.  America’s abundance of shale natural gas represents a historic opportunity for the United States to achieve a burst of clean economic growth—and gives American energy security and independence a new meaning.  Will natural gas serve as an essential bridge in the coming era of clean renewable energy sources? Four panels of experts will discuss how the transition to natural gas as a leading power source and industrial feedstock will impact key sectors of the American economy.  George Allen, former governor and U.S. senator from Virginia, will keynote the conference. Energy entrepreneur, financier, and philanthropist T. Boone Pickens will take part in a lunchtime dialogue on America’s natural gas future with Hudson Senior Fellow Arthur Herman.  Other speakers will include our friends David Montgomery of NERA, Michael Jackson of Fuel Freedom Foundation and ACC’s Owen Kean among others.

Senate Agriculture to Look at USDA Rural Development Programs – Next Wednesday, April 6th at 10:00 a.m., the Senate Agriculture Committee’s Subcommittee on Rural Development and Energy will hold a hearing on USDA Rural Development Programs and their economic impact across America.  USDA’s Lisa Mensah, Under Secretary of Rural Development will testify along with Iowa Farm Bureau Federation President Craig Hill, our friend Iowa Renewable Fuels Association Executive Director Monte Shaw and Cris Sommerville, President of Dakota Turbines in North Dakota.


Senate Enviro Hosts NRC Commissioners on Budget – The Senate Environment Committee will hold an oversight hearing next Wednesday April 6th on the President’s FY 2017 Budget Request for the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. All NRC Commissioners will testify.


RFF to Look at Deforestation – Resources for the Future will hold its First Wednesday Seminar on April 6th at 12:45 p.m. that focused on the opportunities for and challenges of reducing supply chain deforestation using private and regulatory strategies, potential synergies among these strategies, and linkages with Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD+).  The event will feature leading companies, nongovernmental organizations, and multi-stakeholder initiatives using and promoting these approaches.

WCEE Lunch to Look at EE in Commercial Buildings – The Women’s Council on Energy and the Environment (WCEE) will host a lunch on Wednesday April 6th at Noon  on new environmental policies, efficiency programs, climate change mitigation, and building codes.  These items have been crucial to the design of sustainable infrastructure and development of energy efficient products, services and practices for commercial buildings and industrial plants. The market offers a wide assortment of programs, services and products but…which are the most suitable for commercial buildings or industrial plants?  Panelists share their experience on energy efficiency programs implemented in different facilities. Smita Chandra Thomas will discuss how energy efficiency in commercial buildings can contribute to climate change mitigation and the eco-system that makes it possible.  Julie Hughes from IMT will present on building energy performance policies–discussing how local, state, and federal government are crucial for making the built environmental more energy efficient.  Alana Hutchinson will give an overview of ENERGY STAR best practices for establishing a comprehensive energy management program for buildings and plants. Corrine Figueredo will explain EDGE, an innovative tool developed by the IFC to help build a business case for Green buildings in more than a 100 countries.


EPA Sets Biomass Workshop – States and stakeholders have shown strong interest in the role biomass can play in state strategies to address carbon pollution. Many states have extensive expertise in the area of sound carbon- and GHG-beneficial forestry and land management practices, and exhibit approaches to biomass and bioenergy that are unique to each state’s economic, environmental and renewable energy goals.  To support efforts to further evaluate the role of biomass in stationary source carbon strategies, EPA is hosting this public workshop on Thursday April 7th to share their successes, experiences and approaches to deploying biomass in ways that have been, and can be, carbon beneficial.


HuffPost Podcast to Be Featured – Our friend Dana Yeganian, former Progress Energy PR person, is hosting a Happy Hour on Thursday, April 7th at NBCUniversal’s office at 300 NJ Ave featuring the new HuffPost podcast Candidate Confessional.  CC Hosts Sam Stein and Jason Chekis will provide an inside look at life on the losing side of the campaign trial.


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.


USAEE Washington Energy Conference Set for Georgetown – The US Association for Energy Economics, National Capital Area Chapter (NCAC-USAEE) and the Georgetown Energy and Cleantech Club will host its 20th Annual Washington Energy Policy Conference on Wednesday, April 13th at Georgetown University.   The event will feature Keynote Speaker, Bill Hogan, of Harvard University and our friends Monica Trauzzi of E&E TV, former NYT reporter Matt Wald of NEI and GDF Suez exec Rob Minter.


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.