It has been a bizarre week and there are few words that I can connect to make sense of it. I can’t say it any better than Dallas Police Chief David Brown did yesterday in a lengthy interview (here is link for Part II) with CNN’s Jake tapper. I highly recommend you review it. Not only were we impacted by the tragedy in Dallas, we in the DC policy community suffered our own tragic loss when RFF’s Molly Macauley was tragically lost to senseless violence late Friday. We offer our sympathies to her family, our friends at RFF and all those who knew her as a colleague. These times are difficult times.
Serena Williams and Andy Murray both rolled to straight set victories at Wimbledon and tomorrow, Major League Baseball hosts its 87th mid-summer All-Star Classic in San Diego. Home Run Contest is tonight.
The Democratic Platform crossed another milestone over the weekend in Orlando. Those following the energy-related aspects of the process featuring activist Bill McKibbon, Josh Fox and others over “keep it in the ground” and other climate-related issues should feel free to call. We have folks that can address the topic. Democrats seemed have given in to the progressive wing on nearly all issues despite falling short of calling for a national moratorium on natgas drilling.
This week Congress continues to roll to its summer election-year recess. It looks like we may see a vote to send energy legislation to a conference and finalize a few more environmental budget bills. The Congressional Renewable Energy Expo will also start tomorrow and House Resources digs into Colorado shale tomorrow, renewable energy on public lands legislation on Wednesday and past renewable projects like Ivanpah on Thursday.
The main event this week is today and tomorrow’s EIA Annual Energy Conference, which will feature Tesoro CEO Greg Goff and several others.
One week until the GOP Convention in Cleveland…Two weeks to Democratic Convention Philadelphia. We will have teams at both events and are covering the action. And only four weeks now until the launch of the Summer Olympics In Rio. Finally, remember our PRG team will be covering elections closely and offering our analysis running up to and following the November vote. So stay in touch on the topic.
“We have produced by far the most progressive platform that this party has seen in multiple generations.”
Connecticut Gov. Dan Malloy (D), co-chairman of the Democratic platform committee.
IN THE NEWS
Cabot to Supply NatGas for New PA Power Plant – Cabot Oil & Gas will provide natural gas to a new gas-fired power plant in Pennsylvania under a 10-year agreement. Cabot will supply Invenergy’s 1,500MW Lackawanna Energy Center power plant in Lackawanna county. Billed as one of the most efficient power plants in the country, the Lackawanna Energy Center power plant will start full-scale operations by the end of 2018. Dan Dinges, the company’s top executive, said the agreement is unique in that it will power a state-of-the-art facility from natural gas “directly in our backyard.”
Dems Finalization Uber Progressive Platform – The Washington Post reports from swelter Orlando that the Democratic Party shifted further to the left in one election than perhaps since 1972, embracing once-unthinkable stances on carbon pricing, police reform, abortion rights, the minimum wage and the war on drugs. It did so with very little ideological resistance and a lot of comity between the supporters of Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton. Dems approved language that while not outright banning natural gas drilling, it prioritized the building of solar and wind plants before natural-gas facilities. That change contradicted eight years of consensus that natural gas was a “bridge” to energy independence.
New Documents Show AGs Block Access – New responses from state Attorneys General offices (OAGs) obtained by the Energy & Environment Legal Institute (E&E Legal) and the Free Market Environmental Law Clinic (FME Law) confirm that the coalition of Democratic Attorneys General using racketeering laws to investigate universities, climate scientists, free market think tanks and energy companies are hiding behind a contract with each other — also apparently with outside activists helping the campaign — to avoid releasing public records relating to their pursuit of political opponents. This confirms suggestions in prior emails, obtained under state open records laws, that the AGs had entered what they are calling a Common Interest Agreement (CIA), with green activists and other AGs, and are using this contract of nondisclosure among themselves to keep public records regarding their RICO push from the public. CIAs are common instruments, but what the AGs and green groups have attempted is not; nor is keeping the pact itself from the public normal. To be legitimate, parties to a common interest agreement must have imminent litigation, a clear scope and clearly shared interests. Instead, documents obtained to date show that these AGs and their green-group colleagues with inherently disparate interests have entered not a legitimate CIA, but a pact of secrecy, covering broad topics, not specific matters, simply to avoid scrutiny of otherwise public records relating to their extraordinarily controversial abuse of political opponents’ First Amendment rights.
API: Oil Completions Drop in 2Q – The American Petroleum Institute (API) estimates in its 2016 Quarterly Well Completion Report that US oil well completions fell 69% in the second quarter compared with year-ago levels. Estimated exploratory gas well completions in the second quarter decreased 84% year-over-year. So far this year, development well footage has declined 53% while exploratory well footage has declined 64%, the report indicates.
ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK
Tesoro, Kinder CEOs Headline EIA Conference – The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) will hold its 2016 Energy Conference today and tomorrow in Washington, DC. This two-day event provides the opportunity to meet and network with energy analysts, decision makers, and EIA staff. Conference session topics that may be relevant to EIA stakeholders interested in information about greenhouse gasses include: 1) Clean Power Plan: EIA, EPA, and state and regional perspectives and 2) Climate—next steps: Perspectives from the United States, Europe, and China. Keynoters are Tesoro’s Greg Goff, Kinder Morgan’s Steve Kean and Dan Gardiner, Advisor to the Canadian PM. OSTP Director John Holdren, Sen. Jeff Flake and Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson will also be on the agenda. View the full list of speakers and sessions and register today. Among the Panel speakers include our friends Andrew Gohn of AWEA, NREL’s Bryan Hannegan and EPA’s Joe Goffman.
Energy to Host Transportation Summit – The U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), will hold its first ever Sustainable Transportation Summit today and tomorrow. The Summit will bring together transportation and mobility leaders to discuss the technology, policy and market innovations that hold the potential to shape the transportation system of the future. This year’s Summit will highlight progress and achievements in sustainable transportation R&D and efforts to bring new technologies to market, including the President’s EV Everywhere Grand Challenge. It will also serve as a forum to share ideas and perspectives on opportunities to accelerate the commercialization and deployment of advanced transportation technologies and smart mobility systems over the next decade.
WCEE, Bracewell to Host NY PSC Chair – The Women’s Council on Energy and Environment and Bracewell are hosting a reception for NY State Public Service Commission Chairwoman Audrey Zibelman this evening at 5:30 p.m. Zibelman leads the regulatory process redesigning the state’s electricity market, called Reforming the Energy Vision (REV). Facing a $30B cost to maintain NY’s electricity grid over the next 10 years, and keenly aware of the vulnerability of the grid after Superstorm Sandy crippled Long Island and southern portions of the state, NY sought alternatives to reduce the need for new infrastructure, maximize the utilization of existing assets and encourage clean energy, and created NY REV.
WFI Hosts Climate Film Screening – The Washington Film Institute invites you to a Special Screening Event hosted by Participant Media and Congressman Ted Lieu: “Merchants of Doubt.” The movie takes audiences on a satirically comedic, yet illuminating ride into the heart of conjuring American spin on climate change and other public threats. A panel discussion follows the movie with U.S. Rep. Ted Lieu (CA-33), Dr. Naomi Oreskes, Bob Inglis – Executive Director of Republicen.org, Greg Dotson – VP of Energy Policy at the Center for American Progress, and remarks by Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (RI).
EESI Holds Congressional Renewables Forum – The Environmental and Energy Study Institute (EESI) holds its 19th annual Congressional Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Expo and Policy Forum in the Cannon building. The forum will bring together up to 50 businesses, trade associations, and government agencies to showcase renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies. In every state across the country, these technologies are having a significant impact in business development and job creation in the manufacturing, transmission, power, transportation, and building sectors. The bipartisan House Renewable Energy & Energy Efficiency Caucus and the Senate Renewable Energy & Energy Efficiency Caucus are honorary co-hosts of the Expo.
House Resources to Look at CO Shale – The House Natural Resources Committee’s Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources will hold an oversight hearing tomorrow on the opportunities and challenges of developing Colorado’s Mancos Shale Resource. Witnesses will include Gunnison Energy CEO Robert Downey, Carbondale, CO Rancher Bill Fales, USGS Energy Resource Director Walter Guidroz, Program Coordinator and Mesa County Commissioner Rose Pugliese.
Bioenergy Forum Set – The U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) Bioenergy Technologies Office (BETO) will host its ninth annual conference—Bioenergy 2016: Mobilizing the Bioeconomy through Innovation on Wednesday. Partnering with the Clean Energy Research and Education Foundation (CEREF), this year’s conference will focus on opportunities to grow future feedstock supplies and breakthrough technology barriers to achieve a stronger bioeconomy. Each year, approximately 600 participants attend the conference, including key stakeholders from the bioenergy industry, Congress, national laboratories, academia, and the financial community. For more information about the program and schedule for Bioenergy 2016, please contact the Department of Energy Bioenergy Technologies Office (BETO) at Bioenergy2016@ee.doe.gov.
Senate Energy to Look at Infrastructure Legislation – The Senate Energy Committee’s Subcommittee on Energy will hold a hearing tomorrow to receive testimony on S. 3018, the Securing Energy Infrastructure Act, and to examine protections designed to guard against energy disruptions. Witnessed include DOE’s Patricia Hoffman, NRECA Board Member and Arkansas Electric Cooperative Corporation Duane Highley, EPRI’s Rob Manning and Brent Stacey of the Idaho National Laboratory.
CSIS Papers to Look at China, Global Energy Security – The CSIS Energy and National Security Program is hosting Boston University’s Kevin Gallagher and Oklahoma’s Bo Kong on Wednesday to discuss the role of Chinese state financing in global energy development and to present findings from two of their recently published studies from the Global Economic Governance Initiative at BU. The first study authored by Dr. Gallagher, ‘Fueling Growth and Financing Risk’, examines the benefits and risks of China’s development finance in the global energy sector. The other study led by Dr. Bo Kong, entitled ‘The Globalization of Chinese Energy Companies’, tracks the role that the Chinese state has played in helping domestic energy firms to become global household names in the industry. Edward Chow, Senior Fellow with the CSIS Energy and National Security Program, will moderate the discussion.
House Resources to Look Renewables on Public Lands – The House Natural Resources Committee’s Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources will hold a Legislative Hearing Wednesday at 2:00 p.m. on H.R. 2663 (Rep. Paul Gosar), to promote the development of renewable energy on public land, and for other purposes.”
Former Petrobras Exec Discusses Brazil Energy – On Thursday at 9:00 a.m., the Atlantic Council will host a forum with former Petrobras CEO Decio Oddone. As Brazil continues down the path of political uncertainty, the promise of its energy sector has been thrown into question. With state-owned Petrobras still reeling from political scandal, is the country’s energy sector — once heralded as the key to its economic expansion — down for the count? Or, amid the downturn, does the oil and gas sector hold unprecedented opportunity? What does the interim Brazilian government need to achieve to ensure a light at the end of tunnel?
Shelk Headline Capacity Markets – The CSIS Energy and National Security Program will hold a forum on Thursday at 10:00 a.m. looking at the future of capacity markets. The event will feature EPSA CEO John Shelk, the Regulatory Assistance Project’s Michael Hogan and our friend Christi Tezak of ClearView Energy Partners. Ensuring that there is adequate electric power generation to meet established reliability standards is an imperative task for regulators. In organized wholesale markets, however, how exactly to ensure medium- to long-term resource adequacy continues to be the subject of debate and experimentation. Different jurisdictions have adopted different responses, with several markets mandating the procurement of capacity through organized capacity markets. Although the existence and operation of the capacity markets varies across jurisdictions, persistent concerns remain about the functioning and adequacy of capacity markets to ensure long-term reliability—especially in light of a rapidly changing grid with higher penetration of variable renewables and distributed energy resources. This session is part of the Electricity in Transition series from the Energy and National Security Program and will cover the basic theory behind capacity markets, discuss the pathways different jurisdictions have pursued, as well as the challenges perceived by states and market participants.
House Resources will Look at Ivanpah, Other BLM Projects – The House Natural Resources Committee’s Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations will convene an oversight hearing on Thursday at 10:00 a.m. on the status of Ivanpah and other Federal Loan-Guaranteed Solar Energy Projects on BLM management lands.
USEA to Host Alberta Energy Official – On Thursday at 11:00 a.m., US Energy Association will host a forum featuring a discussion about the Alberta Energy Regulator. The AER operates within the province of Alberta, Canada, and is the single provincial regulator for oil, natural gas, oil sands, and coal development within Alberta. The AER ensures the safe, efficient, orderly, and environmentally responsible development of hydrocarbon resources over their entire life cycle. This includes allocating and conserving water resources, managing public lands, and protecting the environment while providing economic benefits for all Albertans. Kirk Bailey, executive vice president of the Operations Division at AER, will speak to the AER’s transformation, highlighting critical initiatives under its purview.
ASE Forum to Look at Grid Modernization – The Alliance to Save Energy is hosting a Congressional Briefing on Thursday at Noon in the Capitol Visitors Center on the role of energy efficiency in a modernizing energy system. The term ‘grid edge’ refers to the hardware, software and business innovations that are increasingly enabling smart, connected infrastructure to be installed at the ‘edge’ of the power grid. Depending on who you talk to, grid edge could either be the future of a modern and efficient energy system or fizzle out like so many other ambitious concepts.
USEA to Look at CCS Projects – Also on Thursday at 2:00 p.m., the U.S. Energy Association will hold a forum on financing Carbon Capture & Storage (CCS) demonstration projects. Over two decades, more than a dozen other CCS demonstration projects came on-line. However, there were many more projects that were announced that never came to fruition. By studying both the successful and unsuccessful projects, one can discern patterns and learn valuable lessons that can be applied to future efforts. This presentation summarizes a study that analyzes the financing of large-scale CCS demonstration projects and reports the lessons learned. Speaker will be MIT’s Howard Herzog.
Forum to Discuss Panama Canal Shipping Issues – The National Capital Area Chapter of the United States Association for Energy Economics will hold its next installment of its monthly lunch series on Friday at Noon in Carmines. The forum will feature Basil Karatzas, CEO of Karatzas Maritime Advisors who will focus on the implications on energy shipping economics, including the significant effect on US LNG and petroleum shipments to Asia following the historic completion of the Panama Canal expansion and official unveiling last weekend. Basil attended the official ceremony and recently spoke on the impact of the expansion on shipping economics at a conference in Panama.
Education, Energy Conference Set – The 2016 Energy Conference for Educators will be held Sunday, July 17 to Thursday, July 21st at the Hyatt Regency Crystal City. The event brings together educators that are passionate about bringing energy education to their classrooms. In five interactive days in Washington, D.C., the conference provides teachers with the most up-to-date information on all aspects of energy including the science of energy, sources of energy, transportation, electricity, efficiency and environmental and economic impacts. Participants receive the training and materials to implement innovative hands-on energy units in their classrooms, multi-disciplinary teams, and after-school programs. They also receive the materials, training and support to conduct in-services in their areas to introduce the NEED program to others. NEED leaders at the conference help participants develop specialized units that meet state standards and can be utilized with students of all learning styles.
Republican Convention – Cleveland will host the Republican Convention at the Quicken Loans Arena July 18-21st. The Republican National Committee (RNC), the convention will host approximately 2,470 delegates and 2,302 alternate delegates from all 50 states, the District of Columbia and five territories.
WaPo to Host Faison Energy Conversation – The Washington Post will host an Energy Conversation with ClearPath Founder Jay Faison on Tuesday July 19th at the their GOP convention HQ in Cleveland.
Forum to Look at Bioenergy – The Environmental and Energy Study Institute (EESI) will host a forum on Tuesday July 19th at 1:30 p.m. in 1300 Longworth assessing the ability of the United States to sustainably produce 1 billion tons of renewable non-food biomass every year. This could potentially displace more than 30 percent of the country’s petroleum consumption. The briefing will focus on key findings from volume 1 of the 2016 Billion-Ton Update, which examines the technical feasibility of a billion-ton annual biomass supply chain by 2040. The 2016 report, to be released at the Bioenergy 2016 conference in mid-July, builds and expands on previous Billion-Ton studies, released in 2005 and 2011 by the Department of Energy’s Bioenergy Technologies Office (BETO). Speakers for this forum DOE’s Alison Goss Eng, USDA Bioenergy Chief Scientist Valerie Reed and USDA Energy Policy Director Harry Baumes.
Pioneer CEO to Discuss Industry at CSIS – The CSIS Energy and National Security Program is hosting Scott Sheffield, Chairman and CEO of Pioneer Natural Resources, on Tuesday July 19th at 1:30 p.m. to discuss developments in the U.S. onshore oil and gas industry. Mr. Sheffield has held the position of CEO for Pioneer Natural Resources since August 1997 and assumed the position of chairman of the board in August 1999. In this position Sheffield heads one of the leading producers of unconventional oil and gas in the United States. Sheffield will share his views on recent market developments and regulatory changes in the oil and gas landscape, as well as Pioneer’s strategy for addressing the challenges and opportunities facing the industry today and in the future.
Faison, Cramer Headline POLITICO RNC Energy Forum – POLITICO will host an energy caucus live on Wednesday July 20 at 12:45 in its Hub in Cleveland. The forum will be a deep dive discussion, featuring a variety of perspectives, about the energy policy issues facing the next president and how the candidates are resonating in battleground states. Featured speakers will; include Rep. Kevin Cramer (R-ND), ClearPath’s Jay Faison and Jai Chabria of Mercury, along with a few others.
Webinar to explore financing climate resilience – The Center for Climate and Energy Solutions (C2ES) hosts a webinar, Thursday, July 21st at Noon looking at financing climate resilience. Extreme weather events and disasters are already impacting our infrastructure. The need to update infrastructure provides an opportunity to build in climate resilience. This webinar will explore options for financing resilience and will feature an interactive discussion with experts in the field about opportunities and potential challenges. Speakers will include HUD’s Bruce Ciallella, expert Shalini Vajjhala, C2ES expert Katy Maher and Fatima Maria Ahmad. You can register here.
USEA to Host Duke Energy Exec on Advanced Fossil Fuels – On Thursday July 21st at 2:00 p.m., USEA will host a forum on advanced fossil fuels. Neil Kern of Duke Energy will review some of the factors impacting today’s utility business models and the resulting new demands being placed on central generation plants. As renewable energy deployment increases and movement towards lower carbon footprints continues, central station operating profiles are fundamentally changing. New technologies must be developed to maintain grid reliability and enable this transition. The presentation will discuss some of the advanced generation technologies, including supercritical CO2 and CCUS, being developed to address these new challenges while identifying their benefits, research gaps, and what needs to be done to encourage adoption by industry.
Democratic Convention – A week later, the Democrats will head to Philadelphia for the 2016 Democratic National Convention at the Wells Fargo Center on July 25th – 28th.
DEM Convention Forum Set – The New Policy Institute and NDN will host a major event at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia, on Tuesday, July 26th looking ahead at the future of America and American Politics. This event will feature a dozen inspiring thought leaders who will offer their different perspectives on what is coming down the road for the US and our politics. The event will take place at the Pennsylvania Convention Center, Room 204C, 200 Level Concourse, and run from 10:30 am to 2:30 pm. If you would like to attend, please RSVP on our Eventbrite page today. The event is free and open to the public.
Annual Enviro Superconference Set for Austin – The 28th annual Texas Environmental Superconference is set for August 4th and 5th at the Four Seasons in Austin, TX. This year’s theme is Yogi Berra quotes and the conference is fittingly entitled “It’s like déjà vu all over again”; each topic has an appropriate quote assigned to it. The event is co-sponsored by the State Bar of Texas Environmental and Natural Resources Law Section, the Air & Waste Management Association – Southwest Section, the Water Environment Association of Texas, the Texas Association of Environmental Professionals, The Auditing Roundtable, and the American Bar Association Section of Environment, Energy, and Resources. Bracewell will be hosting an event on Thursday, August 4th during the superconference with cocktails, small bites and a live performance by Quiet Company. Speakers will include Gary Jonesi of EPA’s Enforcement office and Bryan Shaw of TCEQ. See more on the event here.
Power-Gen Forum Set for Columbus – Regardless of the Democratic Platform challenge of natgas, Pennwell will host Mark McCullough, Executive Vice President, American Electric Power to discuss the growing role in natural gas in power generation at the upcoming GenForum scheduled August 22nd in Columbus, Ohio. The half-day event is connected with PennWell’s POWER-GEN/Natural Gas.