Unofficial Summer is off and running…. I hope everyone had a few moments to enjoy the Memorial Day Weekend. Hannah and I were in Cali taking in some field hockey and a significant number of In ‘N Out Burgers (good thing I don’t live out there).
With the Stanley Cup Finals underway (Pittsburgh took Game 1 last night 3-2) and the NBA Finals set after last night’s impressive Game 7 win by Golden State (they now take on LeBron and Cleveland in a rematch of last year’s final), it is a pretty great sports time. And how about the way North Carolina took it to Maryland in both the Women’s and Men’s lax finals over the weekend, with the Tar Heel men coming back from a three goal deficit to win in OT. Both of those wins had to be considered upsets.
And I know this goes against my Champ Kind “No Soccer” pledge, but starting Friday, the United States will host one of international soccer’s most famous tournaments, Copa America. To celebrate its 100th anniversary, the crown jewel of South American futbol is venturing outside its continental borders for the first time. The first match will pit the U.S. and Colombia at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, Calif., and culminates June 26 with the championship game at MetLife Stadium in New Jersey. The Wash Post has a great primer here.
First, awesome news breaking late last week that our friend and long-time DC Trade reporter Darren Goode will be leaving the confines of the press to work with conservative clean energy advocate Jay Faison. We are all familiar with Darren’s body of work for POLITICO, National Journal, The Hill and Inside EPA over the years and know we will stay up with him. Also in the new job department, our friend Ellen Carey of Securing America’s Future Energy (SAFE) is leaving for an exciting new opportunity in Audi’s Communications shop. Ellen will help Audi with policy communications, working on autonomous vehicles and other key regulatory issues. So congrats Darren and Ellen…
Slow week this week because of the holiday, but still a few events, including CSIS hosting Chevron’s Ali Moshiri and the State Dept’s Amos Hochstein to discuss Latin American energy issues on Thursday. Also Thursday, CEI hosts its annual dinner featuring Steve Forbes. Out of town, Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz and two dozen of his international counterparts will swap policy ideas in San Francisco this week (starting today) at the 7th Clean Energy Ministerial.
We’ll be around should you have questions, mostly doing our research for next Saturday’s final Triple Crown Jewell, the 148th Belmont Stakes. Right now, I like the looks of a well-rested Suddenbreakingnews (with HoF Jockey Will Smith) to chase Exaggerator. Late closers Cherry Wine and Creator, as well as the speedy Stradivari will all challenge at the longer mile-and-a-half distance. More race updates here next week. Call with questions.
“I couldn’t help but realize today that I have personally carried and birthed a child in the same amount of time in which Rand Paul could have raised objections to the few lines in this bill that he is now calling ‘rushed.’”
Senate EPW Spokesperson Donelle Harder
“Beth Parke has provided SEJ with an incredible level of dedication, service, vision and hard work. Her leadership has led SEJ to become widely admired and its members to become better journalists. I am thankful for all that Beth has done for the SEJ family. And I’m grateful she accepted our job offer almost a quarter century ago.”
Michigan State University Journalism Professor Jim Detjen, SEJ’s founding board president.
IN THE NEWS
SEJ Leader to Step Down After 25 Years – The Society of Environmental Journalists (SEJ) Board of Directors last week announced Beth Parke’s intent to step down from her role as executive director by early 2017, marking more than two decades of remarkable service. The organization is now launching a search for a new executive director to lead SEJ in its mission of informing and engaging the public on energy and environmental issues. Parke will continue in her role as executive director through the search and transition process. As SEJ’s founding executive director, Parke has guided the organization through decades of programs designed to connect, support and educate colleagues and encourage newcomers to the beat. SEJ’s work gained international recognition as thousands of journalists sharpened their skills, advanced their careers and raised public awareness of some of the world’s most challenging and fascinating environmental issues. Under Parke’s leadership, SEJ has become the world’s leading group of professional journalists, reporters, authors and academics who focus on issues of energy and the environment. On any given day, the journalism delivered by SEJ’s 1,300 members can engage tens of millions around North America and the globe. Parke has been a creative, entrepreneurial leader and steadfast steward of SEJ’s mission, particularly during a period of significant change for both environmental issues and the media landscape. She drew together and retained a dedicated and talented staff and hundreds of volunteers supporting thousands of journalists, students and educators as environmental news coverage went from niche to essential mainstream.
TSCA Approved – The House quickly approved the reforms for TSCA that were held up in the Senate since last year. The legislation was debated last week and the House approved the compromise 403-12 Tuesday evening. The approval sends the Compromise back to Senate before it can go to the White House for the President’s signature. Late Thursday Sen. Rand Paul delayed final Senate approval until after lawmakers return from a week-long Memorial Day break.
Energy Conferees Appointed – The House moved late last week to name their designees to the joint conference committee charged with marrying two relatively disparate Senate and House energy bills. House Republicans named 24 conferees: Energy and Commerce Chairman Fred Upton (Mich.), Natural Resources Chairman Rob Bishop (Utah), Science Chairman Lamar Smith (Texas), Agriculture Chairman Mike Conaway (Texas), and Reps. Joe Barton (Texas), Ed Whitfield (Ky.), John Shimkus (Ill.), Bob Latta (Ohio), Cathy McMorris Rodgers (Wash.), Pete Olson (Texas), David McKinley (W.Va.), Mike Pompeo (Kan.), Morgan Griffith (Va.), Bill Johnson (Ohio), Bill Flores (Texas), Markwayne Mullin (Okla.), Don Young (Alaska), Cynthia Lummis (Wyo.), Jeff Denham (Calif.), Bruce Westerman (Ark.), Randy Weber (Texas), Glenn Thompson (Pa.), Cresent Hardy (Nev.) and Lee Zeldin (N.Y.). House Democrats named 16 conferees: Energy and Commerce ranking member Frank Pallone (N.J.), Natural Resources ranking member Raúl Grijalva (Ariz.), Agriculture ranking member Collin Peterson (Minn.), Science ranking member Eddie Bernice Johnson (Texas), Transportation ranking member Peter DeFazio (Ore.), and Reps. Bobby Rush (Ill.), Lois Capps (Calif.), Doris Matsui (Calif.), Kathy Castor (Fla.), Dave Loebsack (Iowa), John Sarbanes (Md.), Peter Welch (Vt.), Ben Ray Luján (N.M.), Paul Tonko (N.Y.), Jared Huffman (Calif.) and Debbie Dingell (Mich.).
Trump Speech Strike Chord with Both Sides – The North Dakota Energy speech by Republican Presidential hopeful Donald Trump got the conversation going on energy last week. What it really means who knows. Both sides reacted with typical platitudes yet enviros were even more condescending than most. It Is pretty clear though that Trump is likely to be more in line with industry on natural gas drilling and remain skeptical of the Paris climate Agreement and the US’s participation in any international climate agreement.
Cleaning Institute Head to Step Down – Leaving with a clean slate, Ernie Rosenberg, who has led the American Cleaning Institute since 1999, has announced he washing his hands of work and cycling into retirement. After giving it his all for 16 years, Rosenberg go against tide and the will step down as the association’s President and CEO once a successor has been dialed in, no later than February 2018. The ACI Board of Directors, who is already working on plans to choose Rosenberg’s successor, gave him one final Cheer.
Platts Crude Podcast Looks at Iran Oil Exports – The delicate future of the Iran nuclear deal is the focus of this week’s Platts Capitol Crude podcast. Worries from banks and companies about investing in Iran have put the deal on unstable footing even as Iranian oil exports climb to pre-sanctions levels. While the Obama administration works damage control, The Platts’ team discuss whether the deal be imperiled by November’s US elections and next year’s Iranian presidential election?
ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK
RFF to Look at Enviro Public Good – Resources for the Future will hold its June First Wednesday Seminar at 12:45 p.m. to focus on neuroeconomics, which is a new direction for valuing environmental public good. For more than 60 years, experts at RFF and elsewhere have sought to understand people’s preferences and willingness to pay for environmental public goods in order to improve environmental regulations. One of the newest methods for understanding preferences and environmental valuation is neuroeconomics—the study of how the brain makes economic-related decisions. Experts at this seminar, hosted by RFF with New York University’s Institute for the Interdisciplinary Study of Decision Making, will examine new findings from the institute that bring neuroscience to bear on what was once largely an economics question: How do people value environmental goods? Panelists will discuss how these findings compare with traditional contingent valuation (one of the longest-standing, conventional approaches to environmental valuation) and the implications for public policy. Speakers will include NYU’s Paul Glimcher, Georgetown‘s Arik Levinson, Michael Livermore of the UVa School of Law and NOAA’s Juli Trtanj.
Forum to Look at TX Green Energy – The Bi-National Energy Committee along with the City of San Antonio, CPS Energy, the North American Development Bank (NADB) and other organizations will hold the Bi-National Green Energy Forum on Wednesday in San Antonio, TX. Focusing on green energy projects: from renewable sources of energy to new technologies for energy efficiencies, the Forum is great opportunity to learn and discuss with experts and successful companies of Mexico and the US about cross-border opportunities in this vibrant growing bi-national market.
CSIS to Host Latin Energy Discussion – The Center for Strategic International Studies hosts a conversation on Thursday with State Department Resources envoy Amos Hochstein and Chevron’s Ali Moshiri, who will discuss the policy and commercial implications of the current oil market environment and the outlook for energy security in Latin America and Africa.
Forbes to Address CEI Annual Dinner – The Competitive Enterprise Institute’s Annual Dinner and Reception will be held Thursday at the JW Marriott Washington. The event brings together an audience of policy professionals, distinguished scholars, congressional staff, and supporters to celebrate CEI’s effective advocacy for freedom. The theme for this year’s event is “A Night in Casablanca”. Steve Forbes will be the Keynote Speaker.
Heritage to Look at Obama War On Fossil Fuels – Next Monday, June 6th at 12:00 p.m., the Heritage Foundation hosts a forum on the Obama Administration’s efforts against fossil fuels. In only a few short years, the U.S. has become the world’s largest producer of oil and natural gas; it has long been the Saudi Arabia of coal. America has more fossil fuels resources than any nation and can produce and utilize those resources with more environmental sensitivity and energy efficiency. Yet, highly politicized climate policies are pushing a grand-scale shift to unreliable, expensive renewable energy sources inherently incapable of replacing the vast energy services fossil fuels provide. Today, ‘fossil fuel’ has become such a dirty word that even fossil fuel companies feel compelled to apologize for their products. In Fueling Freedom, Kathleen Hartnett White and Stephen Moore make an unapologetic case for fossil fuels, turning around progressives’ protestations to prove that if fossil fuel energy is supplanted by ‘green’ alternatives for political reasons, humanity will take a giant step backwards and the planet will be less safe, less clean, and less free.
Energy, Education Forum Set – Next Tuesday, the National Council on Science and the Environment’s (NCSE) Council of Energy Research and Education Leaders (CEREL) will host the 2nd annual National Energy Education Summit at American University. Energy literate leaders in politics, labor, business, and religion must help citizens and the workforce cope with the challenges and embrace the opportunities of change. Despite the needs for energy literacy, very few college and university students in the United States or elsewhere systematically learn about energy as part of their education. New forms of energy education must become a fundamental part of undergraduate education, in the United States and everywhere else in the world.
Forum to Look at Climate, Air Quality Connections – Next Tuesday, the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace hosts a half-day event on the connection between air quality and climate change and how it might be expected to shape the global energy innovation agenda in the years to come. Speakers will include : Deborah Gordon, Judi Greenwald, Daniel Horton, David Livingston, Varun Rai, Seth Shonkoff.
Brookings Forum to Look at Paris Climate Deal – Next Tuesday, June 7th at 4:00 p.m., Brookings will host a panel to assess the challenges as well as the opportunities in implementing the Paris Climate Agreement. The Paris agreement, recently signed onto by 196 countries, is a milestone in recognizing the threat posed by climate change and securing collective commitment to hold global temperature rise to “well below 2 degrees Celsius.” The task now is to translate this ambitious commitment into a concrete implementation agenda. This high level panel, which will include eminent climate expert Lord Nicholas Stern, World Bank Managing Director Sri Mulyani Indrawati, and University of Maryland Dean Public Policy and longtime climate advisor Robert Orr, as well as Vice President Kemal Dervis and Senior Fellow Amar Bhattacharya of Global Economy and Development program at Brookings.
WCEE Forum on Future Utility of Future – On Wednesday, June 8th at 12:00 noon in the swanky new office at Bracewell, the Women’s Council on Energy and the Environment (WCEE) will host a forum on the utility of the future. Based on data published by EIA, US demand for electricity hit a plateau in 2006 for a variety reasons – the transition of our economy from manufacturing towards services, improvements in energy efficiency, and changing building codes. There are also growing regional trends to shift towards clean energy, in some cases driven by legislative mandates or the Clean Power Plan, and an increase in the popularity of customer generated electricity. But, at its simplest, the utility business model, forged at the turn of the 20th century, is based on a perpetual increasing demand for electricity. The event features DC Public Service Commissioner Joanne Doddy Fort, former Maryland PSC Chair and current Alliance to Save Energy official Kelly Speakes-Backman, Katharine Bond of Dominion Virginia Power and Cheryl Roberto of Twenty First Century Utilities.
JHU to Look at Living with Lower Oil Prices – Johns Hopkins SAIS, the International Monetary Fund, and the Middle East Institute will host a high level discussion on Wednesday, June 8th at 12:30 p.m. looking at living with cheaper oil and the policy adjustments necessary in Middle Eastern and Central Asian oil exporting countries. The event features a presentation by Min Zhu, Deputy Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund and Martin Sommer, IMF’s Deputy Chief, Middle East and Central Asia Regional Studies Division.
USEA Forum to Look at Paris, Future of Energy – On Thursday June 9th, US EA will host a forum looking at all sectors of the energy industry and the pressure from a combination of ultra-low prices, dislike of big business, accusations of crony capitalism and, last but not least, what for many are existential threats from environmental concerns. The speakers, respectively the former Chief Climate Counsel for Sierra Club and Head of Climate Policy at ExxonMobil, talk frankly about what the future holds: what the Paris agreement means (and does not mean) for the energy industry; why the 2016 election may make less difference than many think – or hope – and what the reality of a carbon-constrained policy world means for the fossil and renewable energy industries. Former Sierra Club Counsel David Bookbinder has litigated cases under all of the major environmental statutes as Sierra Club’s Chief Climate Counsel. He then represented environmental groups in both stationary- and mobile-source carbon matters, including California’s greenhouse gas vehicle standards. Bookbinder has helped lead efforts on both global warming legislation and Clean Air Act greenhouse gas regulation, and has testified in front of House and Senate committees on these issues. David Bailey has 35 years-experience in managing energy related issues around the world and has worked at literally every level of the coal and oil and gas industries, from the UK National Coal Board during the economic and labor upheavals under the Thatcher government to responsibility for ExxonMobil’s climate policy.
Oil, Gas Forum Set – US Energy Stream will hold a Washington Oil & Gas Forum on June 8th and 9th at the Cosmos Club in DC. More on this as it gets closer, but you can go here: http://www.energystreamcmg.com/
REFF Wall Street Meeting Set for NYC – REFF-Wall Street 2016 will be held on June 11th and 12th at The Grand Hyatt, New York. REFF-Wall Street is the premier renewable energy financing event in the U.S. The event draws an especially senior audience, comprising of over 600 decision makers, lenders, investors, investment bankers, private equity investors, venture capitalists, and other top transactional professionals in renewable energy finance.