It is World Series time and isn’t this exciting: the Cubs are in the World Series for the first time in 71 years and are trying to break a 108-year WS drought. The Indians haven’t won the World Series since 1948, and haven’t been to the dance since 1997. And with Cleveland’s NBA Championship and more importantly, it Calder Cup Championship for the Lake Erie (now the Cleveland) Monsters, it may be starting to challenge as the latest Championship City. And certainly between the Bulls and Blackhawks championships, Chicago can also make its claim to Championship City.
And I know this may sound like it’s getting old, but Hannah scored ANOTHER OT Gamer winner on Saturday as her Wellesley field Hockey team closed out their conference play with a 3-2 victory over Clark University of Mass. It is her third OT GWG this fall!!! Must be something in the Lake Waban water up there…
While Washington remains a little slower because of the political focus, there is no doubt that talk of transitions has become significant, especially among a few Clinton campaign insiders. There is also a steady build for the post-election legislative session that is expected to address tax and budget issues. While there must be some action, it is still uncertain how much action will be taken as much still depends on the election results. As you know, we are watching all the details and will have a full report running up to and after Election Day.
One important event this week that should definitely be on your radar screen is the SAFE event on Capitol Hill looking at autonomous vehicles policy and Washington’s regulatory impacts/possibilities. The event on Wednesday in 2167 Rayburn and features auto trade assn head Mitch Bainwol, American Trucking CEO Chris Spear and auto author and journalist Steve Levine. It will be moderated by SAFE’s Robbie Diamond. Tomorrow is also the Environmental Law Institute Dinner and the preceding policy panels at the Omni. Bracewell is a sponsor and my colleagues Jason Hutt, Ed Krenik and others will attend.
Out of town, AWEA hosts its annual Offshore WINDPOWER event in Rhode Island tomorrow and Wednesday. It is significant because it is the first conference as the first U.S. wind farm connects to the grid. Speakers will include Sen Sheldon Whitehouse, RI Gov. Gina Raimondo, BOEM Director Abby Hopper and DOE’s Jose Zayas, among many others.
We are on it…Call with questions.
“Saying that the U.S. should become more like Europe when it comes to energy policies has become a common refrain in some circles, so our report takes these politicians and interest groups at their word and presents the facts about what that would actually mean for our economy. The types of policies being advocated by leading candidates, such as restricting energy production and imposing new mandates, would drive up energy prices and reduce America’s global competitiveness.”
Karen Harbert, president and CEO of the U.S. Chamber’s Institute for 21st Century Energy.
IN THE NEWS
Chamber Energy Institute Looks at EU-Type Energy Price Impacts – With some politicians and interest groups heralding Europe’s energy policies as a model to follow, the U.S. Chamber’s Institute for 21st Century Energy examined what would happen if the U.S. was forced to pay EU energy prices. In this report, the Institute examined the policies and regulations which have led to much higher prices for energy in the Europe Union. The report found that European energy policies and prices would impose a $676 billion drag on the U.S. residential sector, with the average American household seeing price increases of $4,800 per year for their energy. This increase in prices would lead to the elimination of 7.7 million jobs in the United States. The Energy Institute’s report identifies four key factors that make energy more costly in the European Union: 1) restrictions that inhibit access to low-cost, existing electricity supply and oil and natural gas supplies; 2) more generous subsidies provided by EU members for uneconomic technologies; 3) EU policies that place a tax on carbon emissions and 4) much higher taxes on energy consumption. These factors have driven EU prices over the past several years to rates that are 1.6 to 2.4 times greater than U.S. prices per unit of energy consumed.
Report also Looks at State Impacts – The Energy Institute’s report also provides state-level analyses of seven key states. Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Florida, Ohio, and Wisconsin would all see state GDP loses and less employment with EU energy prices. Florida would see the highest number of job losses (377,400) and annual GDP reduction ($28.5 billion), while Indiana households would see the biggest annual increases in energy prices ($5,450 per household.) The report utilizes publically available data on jobs and production levels and the IMPLAN macro-economic model. A Technical Appendix to the report explains the methodology and sources of data.
HFC Agreement Will Likely Head to Senate for Approval – Last week we highlighted the historic Kigali UN agreement on limited HFCs, and today, our friends at POLITICO are reporting that a State Department official said they are reviewing whether the amendment requires approval as a treaty. State is saying the deal is an amendment to the Montreal Protocol, and not an “adjustment.” Under the terms of the treaty, adjustments are small technical changes that automatically go into effect, while amendments require ratification by each country. The previous four amendments that were set at international meetings in the 1990s in London, Copenhagen, Montreal and Beijing were all approved by the Senate, the latter two by voice vote. It seems unlikely that the deal won’t get bipartisan support to win the approval of at least 67 senators since the announcement of the deal in Kigali drew little criticism from Republican senators, unlike the Paris climate agreement. As we mentioned, both industry (AHRI) and environmental groups (NRDC) all supported the effort. AHRI CEO Stephen Yurek said the goals are ambitious, but says his industry “is confident we can meet them and continue to provide quality, innovative, energy efficient products and equipment for the benefit of the world’s citizens.”
AGA Releases 2017 Winter Outlook – The direct use of natural gas continues to be the most affordable energy option for home heating and offers lower greenhouse gas emissions than other home energy sources. The American Gas Association (AGA) held its annual winter outlook event today where the Association explored expectations for the 2016-17 winter heating season. After an extraordinarily warm winter last year, normal conditions would mean that residential customers this year would use more gas on average and therefore, see slightly higher bills. AGA consumers could experience a nine to eleven percent increase in overall heating bills this winter compared to the 2015-16 winter heating season. Increased use of natural gas can achieve significant efficiency improvements and carbon emissions reductions. The production of natural gas through its delivery into buildings is more efficient than grid-delivered electricity, propane, or oil. Even as more renewable sources are added to our nation’s electric generation mix, the direct use of natural gas will remain an efficient, affordable and low-carbon option for consumers. Encouraging direct use is therefore a valuable way to meet efficiency and emissions goals. According to AGA’s Chris McGill, the price of natural gas this winter is largely due to stable production and a strong underground storage position. Utilities work all year to prepare for the possibility of extreme temperatures and employ a portfolio approach to help ensure they can meet the needs of their customers at affordable prices on the coldest days of the year. Natural gas storage levels in the U.S. are nearing four trillion cubic feet and storage can provide as much as 20 percent of all gas consumed during a five-month winter heating season. You can view the entire presentation here.
Furnace Rule Challenged – The U. S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) held a hearing on its Supplemental Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on Energy Conservation Standards for Residential Furnaces. The American Gas Association (AGA) has said the rule will place an undue burden on far too many low income consumers. AGA said a threshold of 70 kbtu rather than the proposed 55 kbtu – that would provide a superior balance between the goals of achieving energy efficiency nationally and the need to protect vulnerable consumers from unnecessary economic harm.
ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK
Engineers Conference Set for OK –The 34th USAEE/IAEE Conference will be held in Tulsa, OK today through Wednesday. So the U.S. Presidential election will be only two weeks away and the election will be followed by many months of transition, with uncertainty as who will be in charge of what; how policies, spending, and contracting might change; and what expectations for those already working in government agencies will be. Seasoned policy experts from both sides of the political aisle will offer their perspective on what lies ahead after Election Day. The full program can be found online here.
Moniz to Headline CSIS Nuclear Conference – CSIS will host Nuclear Energy at a Crossroads conference this afternoon to examine different aspects of the economics of nuclear power generation. Speakers will discuss the characteristics of domestic and global markets where nuclear power is flourishing as well as the relative advantages and disadvantages of nuclear as an electricity generation technology. Where nuclear reactors are being shut down, what are the implications of decommissioning on a national economy. The discussion will also focus on how the rise of new suppliers and emerging global partnerships affect the viability of nuclear power generation and whether there are potential energy security implications. Finally, speakers will explore what low carbon pathways look like with and without nuclear energy. Energy Secretary Moniz keynotes the lunch session while former NRC commissioner Allison Macfarlane will be among the other speakers.
Book Discussion to Look at Germany Renewables – The Goethe-Institut Washington will hold a book discussion today at 6:30 p.m. on energy democracy and Germany’s Energiewende to Renewables. Arne Jungjohann, author and political scientist, will discuss the origins of the Energiewende movement in Germany from the Power Rebels of Schönau to German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s shutdown of eight nuclear power plants following the 2011 Fukushima nuclear accident. He will provide insights into how Germans convinced their politicians to pass laws allowing citizens to make their own energy, even though it hurt utility companies to do so. Jungjohann will offer evidence that the transition to renewables is a one-time opportunity to strengthen communities and democratize the energy sector – in Germany and around the world.
IEA to Release Investment Report at CSIS – The CSIS Energy and National Security Program will host the release of the International Energy Agency’s (IEA) inaugural World Energy Investment 2016 report tomorrow. The report looks at the level of investment in the global energy system in 2015 and will feature Laszlo Varro, Chief Economist at the IEA. Varro leads the newly-created Economics and Investments Office, which aims to provide sound and consistent energy economics and methodological support for the Agency’s work. Varro also served as IEA Head of Gas, Coal and Power Markets.
Deepwater Project Connection Headline AWEA Offshore Conference – AWEA hosts its annual Offshore WINDPOWER Conference Crown Plaza Hotel Providence-Warwick in Warwick, Rhode Island tomorrow and Wednesday. It is a historic time as the first U.S. wind farm connects finally to the grid. Speakers will include Sen Sheldon Whitehouse, RI Gov. Gina Raimondo, BOEM Director Abby Hopper and DOE’s Jose Zayas. Industry leaders will also speak including Deepwater Wind CEO Jeff Grybowski and Dr. Carolyn Heeps of RES.
ELI Annual Dinner Honors Paulson – The Environmental Law Institute will hold its annual dinner tomorrow where they will honor former Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson at the Omni Shoreham. As usual, the event will launch in the afternoon at 1:30 p.m. with the Business of Water forum. ELI and an expert panel of business leaders, legal minds, academics, and nongovernmental advocates for an in-depth discussion about the law, policies, and private initiatives that will play important roles in the future of water resource governance. Then at 3:30, ELI will host a multidisciplinary panel to discuss some of the complementary mechanisms that will facilitate the transition to a climate sensitive future. With special emphasis on implications and opportunities for law and policy, this discussion promises to add value to the emerging dialogue about what implementing and satisfying the Paris Agreement will mean for private actors and civil society. Experts will participate in a moderated discussion and field questions from the audience.
Atlantic Council to Host Climate Envoy Pershing – The Atlantic Council will host a discussion tomorrow at 11:30 a.m. featuring US Special Envoy for Climate Change Jonathan Pershing. Pershing will attend this historic conference to help set the agenda for implementation of the goals set by the signatories. Prior to his departure to Marrakech, he will join AC for a discussion on US climate policy priorities at COP22. Our friend Coral Davenport will moderate the discussion.
Heritage to Host Energy Policy Forum – The Heritage Foundation will host a forum tomorrow at Noon that will look at what an aggressively pro-energy policy would look like. Recent developments in smart-drilling technologies have led to a dramatic reappraisal of our energy resources. Instead of declining domestic production and ever-increasing dependency on unfriendly petroleum suppliers, the U.S. has the potential to be an energy powerhouse. Speakers will include Dan Simmons of the Institute for Energy Research, Energy In Depth spokesperson Katie Brown and heritage data specialist Kevin Dayaratna.
Forum to Look at Arctic Energy Issus – The Atlantic Council will convene a leading group of officials and experts tomorrow at 3:30 p.m. to address these challenges and take forward the debate on how the opening Arctic region impacts US national security. Speakers will include White House Arctic Executive Steering Committee member and National Security Council Staff advisor Amy Pope, State’s Special Representative for the Arctic Admiral Robert J. Papp, Jr., former Deputy Under Secretary of Defense Sherri Goodman and several others.
McGinn to Address Energy Forum – The Alliance to Save Energy will host a Policy Perspectives Breakfast Wednesday at 8:30 a.m. at AGA featuring Dennis V. McGinn, Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Energy, Installations and Environment, who has been a leader in the energy and efficiency industry throughout his career. Prior to his appointment by President Obama, Mr. McGinn served as the president of the American Council on Renewable Energy (ACORE), where he led efforts to communicate the significant economic, security and environmental benefits of renewable energy.
Solar Insight Conference Set – GTM will host the U.S. Solar Market Insight Conference tomorrow and Wednesday at the Loews Coronado Bay Resort in San Diego, CA. The event will provide industry thought leaders and insights into the U.S. solar industry. NARUC’s Travis Kavulla will speak along with a number of others.
SAFE Panel to Look at AV Policy – Securing America’s Future Energy (SAFE) is convening leading thinkers for a panel discussion on Capitol Hill Wednesday at 11:45 a.m. to review the sweeping impacts of driverless mobility, explore the emerging policy challenges, and discuss the advantages of a hands-off regulatory approach that prioritizes innovation and prosperity. Robbie Diamond, President and CEO of SAFE, will moderate a conversation that delves into the unique policy challenges that this technology creates. He will be joined by panelists AAM’s Mitch Bainwol, Disability advocate Henry Claypool, American Trucking CEO Chris Spear and Steve LeVine, Author of The Powerhouse and Washington Correspondent for Quartz.
ELI to Host DOI Asst Secretary – Wednesday at Noon, ELI will host a discussion with DOI’s Assistant Secretary for Land & Minerals Management Janice Schneider. In recent months as the Obama Administration reaches its close, the Department of the Interior has launched several regulatory initiatives relating to the public lands and the Outer Continental Shelf. What has the DOI achieved and what remains to be done to cross the finish line?
GW to Host Electricity System Forum – On Wednesday, George Washington University Law School will convene top policy-makers and industry leaders for a one-day conference on the interface of state and federal initiatives addressing the way in which electricity in the U.S. will be produced, delivered and used in the future. The learning sessions will examine the work occurring in Minnesota, California and the Southeast and at FERC, NERC and U.S. DOE. Additional learning sessions will include remarks from a leading consumer advocate and a newer market entrant, plus a lunchtime presentation on grid architecture for the future grid. The facilitated discussion session, in which all are encouraged to participate, will address how federal, state, and local efforts complement or conflict, and seek ideas from the discussion panel and the audience for additional means for coordination across jurisdictions and regions.
Forum to Look at Arctic Policy – The Carnegie Endowment for International Peace will hold a discussion Wednesday at 2:30 p.m. on Arctic policy challenges and opportunities. A distinguished group of Arctic policy leaders and the inaugural cohort of scholars from the Fulbright Arctic Initiative to discuss pressing Arctic policy challenges.
AAAS Enviro Lecture to Feature Lubchenco – The American Association for the Advancement of Science holds the 16th annual Barnard Lecture on Wednesday at 6:00 p.m. looking at current environmental issues. The 2016 lecture is presented by the Honorable Dr. Jane Lubchenco, University Distinguished Professor and Advisor in Marine Studies, Oregon State University, and U.S. Science Envoy for the Ocean, Department of State.
Forum to Look at Paris Commitments – The Information Technology and Innovation Foundation will host a forum on Thursday at 9:00 a.m. to look at the present and future clean energy plans that will help meet the Paris commitments. ITIF to discuss what the United States has been doing to keep this promise and what may be on the horizon for federal clean energy research, development, and demonstration (RD&D) in the next four years. ITIF will also release a new report on the need for an aggressive, smart energy innovation policy at the event.
CSIS to Host Forum on Energy Security issues – On Thursday at 1:30 p.m., the CSIS Energy and National Security Program holds a discussion on global refining with Fereidun Fesharaki. The global refining sector is in a period of adjustment that has far reaching implications for investment, regional and global trade, market developments, prices, and security considerations. Today refining assets provide businesses and countries with particular opportunities and advantages but also face challenges. U.S. refineries, among the most complex in the world, export to Latin America and Europe and will soon be exporting large volumes to Asia, which accounts for some two-thirds of the global oil demand growth.
USEA Look at CCS Legislation –The US Energy Assn will host a forum on Thursday at 2:00 p.m. to discuss the Carbon Capture, Utilization and Storage Act (S. 3179), introduced by Sens. Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) and Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV). This act would remove the cap currently on the Section 45Q federal tax credit. In addition, it would increase the value for each ton of CO2 captured and stored from power plants and industrial facilities. Lawmakers from both parties have endorsed this major legislation as it promotes domestic energy security and reduces carbon emissions. The panelists will explain why they support this bill and its significance in accelerating commercial deployment of carbon capture, utilization and storage (CCUS) technologies. Panelists include J with Sen. Capito, Sen. Whitehouse energy advisor Aaron Goldner, Shannon Angielski of the Coal Utilization Research Council, DOE’s David Mohler and Judi Greenwald. , Deputy Director for Climate, Environment, and Energy Efficiency at DOE.
Brookings to Look at Post Paris Clean Energy Issues –Next Monday, the Cross-Brookings Initiative on Energy and Climate will host the U.S. launch of the International Energy Agency’s “Medium-Term Renewable Energy Market Report 2016.” This annual study examines how renewable energy in the power, heat, and transportation sectors will evolve over the next five years and explores recent renewable deployment and policy trends across different regions and countries. IEA’s Heymi Bahar will present the findings of the report, after which Energy Security and Climate Initiative Senior Fellow Charles Ebinger will moderate a panel discussion and audience Q&A.
Former SEC Chief to Look at Climate Disclosure Issues – The Atlantic Council will host a forum next Monday at Noon to discuss two complimentary efforts to encourage the disclosure of climate-related risk information to stakeholders and increase transparency across sectors. These disclosures will allow the public and private sectors to be better equipped to measure and respond to climate-related risk and play an important role in a smoother transition to a lower-carbon economy. The event will feature a conversation with former SEC Chair Mary Schapiro and White House OMB advisor for natural resources, energy and science Ali Zaidi.
Forum to Look at Party Energy Platforms – The Environmental Law Institute will host a forum next Tuesday at 3:00 p.m. that features a panel discussion on the environmental and energy priorities of the major political parties, their potential implications post-election, as well as areas for potential coalition-building. As the 2016 Presidential and Congressional elections near, the two major parties have outlined positions on key energy and environmental issues in their respective platforms. Unsurprisingly, there is stark contrast between the Republican and Democratic positions. Despite substantial differences, there are some aspects of the platforms that suggest opportunities for consensus-building. The Republicans cite conservation as being inherent to conservatism. Both parties mention the need to modernize the electrical grid, support increasing access to public lands, and recognize the important role of farmers to the country’s conservation efforts. Speakers will include Cato’s Pat Michaels and LCV’s Tiernan Sittenfeld.
Conference to Focus on Consumers, Cities – On November 1st and 2nd, The Energy Times 2nd annual Empowering Customers and Cities conference will be held in Chicago. The conference we will feature Jeremy Rifkin, bestselling author of 20 books on science, technology and the economy, society and the environment. Rifkin will kick off our conference and lay out his entire vision for the coming global transformation and how it will transform electric power production and consumption. Anne Pramaggiore, President and CEO of ComEd, will discuss ComEd’s vision of what its customers will want and need in coming years, and the steps they are taking to provide those services. Thomas Birr, Chief Strategy Officer of RWE, Germany’s second largest utility, will discuss what RWE is doing to become the utility of the future and the steps they are taking to secure the most innovative and potent technologies to help build a 21st century energy enterprise.
CSIS to Look at GHG Issues – The CSIS Energy and National Security Program is hosting an expert discussion on November 2nd at 9:00 a.m. looking at some of the regulatory, legislative, international and subnational efforts that may be pursued to reduce future emissions. Kyle Danish from Van Ness Feldman will discuss the regulatory options; Adele Morris from the Brookings Institution will discuss the notion of a carbon tax or other market based mechanisms; and Bob Perciasepe from C2ES will focus on the feasibility of these approaches as well as how important local, state, and international actions are to achieving these emissions reduction goals. Each speaker will address the feasibility and merits of these approaches as well as the challenges they are likely to face.
USEA Forum to Look at CCS Future – The US Energy Assn will hold a forum on Thursday, November 3rd at 2:00 p.m. to address the high fidelity modeling of carbon capture systems on fossil fueled power plants, and what can be gained via an accurate simulation of an existing or proposed plant. TRAX has provided high fidelity, dynamic simulation models of both pre-combustion and post-combustion CO2 capture systems for plants in Korea and Canada. These models provide unique tools for process design, control system design and optimization, examination of fault scenarios, and development of operating procedures. Speakers will include TRAX, LLC expert John Coleman, John Kenney and Greg Kosowski.
COP 22 Marrakesh – November 7-21
ELECTION DAY – November 8th
TransForum East Set for Nov – GenerationHub’s TransForum East is scheduled for November 15-16 at the Capital Hilton in DC. TransForum East brings together electric transmission executives who operate, plan, build, regulate and invest in electric power transmission systems in Eastern North America.
This regional forum provides two days of interaction and collaboration on the business of power transmission. You’ll gain insight from case studies of successful business models, regional planning strategies, financing trends and practical lessons learned from new construction and upgraded transmission projects occurring in the United States and Canada.