I cannot start today without a mention of the Winter Olympics. I just love all the personal stories and herculean efforts. While there were many ups (X Games-type events) and downs (men’s hockey, figure skating), my top three US moments were 1) Women’s Hockey Gold; 2) Jessie Diggins epic gold medal final sprint in the X-country Sprint relay and 3) the surprise US Men’s Curling Gold. And overall, how amazing is Norway’s almost 38-year old cross country skier/mom Marit Bjoergen who won five medals, including two golds, becoming the most decorated career Winter Olympian ever with 15 medals. And how about Czech skier/snowboarder Ester Ledecka, who is the first competitor to win Golds on each.
Congress returns today with focus on gun control issues, infrastructure and budget/dreamers (underscored by this morning’s SCOTUS decision). No votes on Wednesday and Thursday as Rev. Billy Graham – who passed away last week – will lie in The Capitol for a public viewing.
On the environment/energy front, tomorrow morning House Energy handles energy infrastructure and House Oversight hears from Govs Hebert, Martinez and Otter on Federalism, while in the afternoon, House Resources looks at LNG exports with our friend Chris Smith of Cheniere. On Wednesday, the House Energy Committee’s oversight panel will examine the state of Puerto Rico’s electric grid rebuilding after Hurricane Maria, while Senate Energy digs into energy legislation including one that promotes smaller hydropower projects supported by Clearpath’s Rich Powell who cited the “enormous potential in these projects to provide clean and reliable power.” Finally, Thursday the Senate Environment Committee holds a hearing on rebuilding infrastructure featuring Transportation Sect Chao, while Senate energy looks at cybersecurity on energy infrastructure.
And if you are headed to the Senate side any way Thursday, you should come to the other big infrastructure event: the Bracewell infrastructure symposium in 902 Hart which starts at 8:30 a.m. Sen. Ted Cruz and Rep. Will Hurd will lead off the discussion, followed by panels of experts including the White House’s Paul Teller, CEQ’s Alex Hergott, INGAA’s Don Santa, House T&I staff Chris Vieson and DOT’s Jim Wray.
Today is the deadline for comments to be filed on repeal of the Clean Power Plan, so keep your eyes peeled for that. Meanwhile, Wednesday the CPP repeal gets its second additional hearing in San Francisco. I expect that our friends in the enviro community will go all out for this one.
Finally, if you have been watching the ethanol debate lately, you’ll have noticed a lot of action. And again, the temp ramps up tomorrow when Sens. Ted Cruz, Pat Toomey, Chuck Grassley and Joni Ernst head to the White House to meet with President Trump, EPA’s Scott Pruitt and USDA’s Sonny Perdue. They are trying to solve tensions over the RFS’s RINs program. Reports say Pruitt/Perdue will propose capping the price of biofuel credits, a year-round waiver for the sale of 15% ethanol, the creation of credits for exported ethanol and new transparency measures hoping to reduce speculators trading in the program.
We are all over it. See you on Thursday and call with questions. Best,
- (202) 997-5932
“Rep. Curbelo and Sen. Heller have really put their shoulders to the wheel for clean energy, for the good of their constituents and for the country. We need them on Capitol Hill and remain leading Republican voices in Congress for responsible ways to reduce carbon emissions, while strengthening our economy.”
ClearPath Action Fund Founder Jay Faison endorsing Curbelo and Heller.
ON THE POD
Yours Truly on Press Pool – This week On the Pod, I am sharing my recent visit to Sirius XM’s The Press Pool with my Friend Julie Mason. Julie and I talk Olympics, Infrastructure, Trump, gas prices, energy and environment. Check it out here on SoundCloud.
IN THE NEWS
Clearpath to Push Curbelo, Heller –ClearPath Action Fund is endorsing Rep. Carlos Curbelo (R-Fla.) and Sen. Dean Heller (R-Nev.), pledging to make major investments to help their re-election campaigns. Curbelo is a foremost congressional advocate for the need to accelerate carbon capture technology, and broadly has championed innovation for clean energy technology. He is also the original co-sponsor of the Carbon Capture Act, which would expand a crucial tax incentive for carbon capture that was signed into law in the recent budget deal and co-founded the growing bipartisan House Climate Solutions Caucus. Heller has been an indisputable clean energy champion. His lengthy legislative history includes sponsoring a bipartisan bill streamlining permitting for clean energy projects on public lands and a separate Senate-approved plan quickening environmental reviews for geothermal projects. His crowning achievement may have been a five-year extension of the renewable energy tax credit signed into law in 2015. He has also been a major advocate of energy storage legislation, including as a top GOP cosponsor of two bipartisan bills authorizing investment tax credits for businesses and homes and coordinating R&D efforts at the Department of Energy. A Public Opinion Strategies survey last year showed an overwhelming 88% of Nevada voters support clean energy and that Republican candidates can win on the issue. After messaging on clean energy issues, the ballot moved 32 points toward a generic Republican candidate in Nevada.
Carbon Capture Coalition Launches – A diverse, non-partisan national coalition dedicated to fostering widespread adoption of carbon capture technologies launched on Friday. Building on growing momentum and political support that culminated in passage of landmark legislation in Congress earlier this month, the Carbon Capture Coalition becomes the new brand for the six-year-old National Enhanced Oil Recovery Initiative (NEORI). The Coalition will now undertake a more expansive agenda following accomplishment of NEORI’s signature priority, the reform and extension of the federal Section 45Q tax credit for carbon dioxide (CO2) storage. The Carbon Capture Coalition was announced at a press briefing at the AFL-CIO headquarters in Washington, D.C. that featured speakers and participants from a broad cross-section of energy, environmental, technology, industrial and agricultural interests who advocate for carbon capture technologies. Speakers included Coalition participants Tom Trotter of the AFL-CIO, BPC’s Jason Grumet, National Farmers Union President Roger Johnson, and several others. The new Coalition participants are: Bipartisan Policy Center, Carbon Wrangler, LLC, ClearPath Foundation, EnergyBlue Project, LanzaTech, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries America, National Farmers Union, NET Power, New Steel International, Renewable Fuels Association, Shell and Third Way.
Rig Count Up – Baker Hughes Rig Count says the number of US oil and natural gas rigs rose by three to 978 last week as drillers added two gas rigs and one oil rig. The Permian Basin in Texas as well as other oilfields in Colorado, Wyoming, North Dakota, New Mexico and Ohio posted gains.
Cabot Moving NatGas in PA – Cabot Oil & Gas plans to drill 85 net wells and complete 95 net wells in the Marcellus Shale in 2018 at a cost per well of $8.3 million for drilling, completion and facilities. Cabot has about 179,000 net acres in the dry gas window of the Marcellus shale, primarily in Susquehanna County, Pa., with two rigs running. The average lateral length for the 2018 Marcellus shale drilling program is 8,300 ft and the expected average well cost is $8.3 million for drilling, completion, and facilities.
ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK
CSIS to Look at Short-Term Oil Outlook – The CSIS Energy & National Security Program will host a conference tomorrow on the short-term outlook for U.S. tight oil production and its implications for global oil markets. As we enter the new year with renewed commitment from the OPEC/non-OPEC partnership, Brent has continued to climb from $45 per barrel low in 2017 to $70 in January 2018. Global economic growth continues to look robust, oil stocks are clearly in decline, geopolitical challenges remain ever-present, and market sentiment looks bullish (for now). However, persistently higher prices have the potential to bring on additional supply from both OPEC and non-OPEC sources. In this context, much attention is being directed to prospective U.S. supply growth. Based on assessments of resource strength, well productivity, hedging activity, cash flow, break even costs, and a sizeable backlog in drilled-but-uncompleted wells (DUCs), estimates of U.S. near-term output vary widely and challenges remain. Against this backdrop, the CSIS Energy & National Security Program will host a distinguished group of experts to discuss the outlook moving forward. Our friend Paul Sankey will speak at the event.
ERCOT Market Forum Set – The ERCOT Market Summit will be held tomorrow to Thursday. The forum will look at perspectives on ERCOT Market Reform, end-use customers, Plant Retirements, Resource Adequacy and Reliability and dealing with the Impacts of Wholesale Price Volatility in ERCOT.
Forum to Look at Coal Issues – Tomorrow at 8:30 a.m., New York University Washington, DC Center marks the release of the Winter 2018 Issues in Science and Technology with comments from Charles Herrick and Ana Unruh Cohen. Herrick and Cohen will discuss how US greenhouse gas regulations affect the coal industry and other energy sectors. They will look at what other factors have led to a decline in the country’s coal use, and how these forces might shape US energy production in the future.
House Energy to Look at Energy Infrastructure – The House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Energy, holds a hearing tomorrow at 10:00 a.m. featuring a broad discussion of pipelines, transmission lines, hydropower and more. The focus will be what Congress should do to improve the infrastructure. Witnesses will include ITC’s Brian Slocum, IBEW’s Jim Ross, Director, International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, San Jacinto College Chancellor Brenda Hellyer, HDR’s John Devine, NRDC’s Jennifer Chen and Schenectady NY Mayor Gary McCarthy.
House Oversight to Explore Federalism – The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee holds hearing tomorrow at 10:00 a.m. on the roles of states in the federal decision-making process. Witnesses will be Utah Gov Gary Herbert, NM Gov Susana Martinez and Idaho Gov. Butch Otter.
ANS Head to Address Nuke Issues – Tomorrow at Noon, Virginia Tech Research Center – Arlington hosts a speech by Dr. John E. Kelly, Vice-President/President-Elect of the American Nuclear Society. Kelly recently retired from the U.S. Department of Energy as the Chief Technology and was responsible for establishing the strategic technical direction for the Office of Nuclear Energy’s research, development, demonstration, and deployment portfolios.
House Resources to Focus on LNG Exports – The House Natural Resources Committee’s energy and mineral resources subpanel will hold a hearing tomorrow at 2:00 p.m. to discuss liquefied natural gas exports and their impact on geopolitics. Witnesses will include Peter Doran of the Center for European Policy Analysis, Tellurian CEO Meg Gentle, David Livingston of the Atlantic Council and Cheniere’s Christopher Smith, a former Obama DOE official.
House Energy to Update PR Electricity Situation – On Wednesday at 10:00 a.m., the House Energy Committee’s oversight panel will examine the state of Puerto Rico’s electric grid rebuilding after Hurricane Maria.
House Transpo to Look at Water Infrastructure projects – The House Transportation Water Resources and Environment Subcommittee will hold a hearing on Wednesday at 10:00 a.m. looking at America’s water resources infrastructure projects and policies.
Chemical Conference Set – American Chemistry Council holds its Global Chemical Regulations conference starting Wednesday and running through Friday at the Omni Shoreham. GlobalChem has been the chemical industry’s policy and regulatory conference. Each year, this annual gathering of industry professionals offers a valuable opportunity to review key developments in the global chemicals management arena while looking ahead to some of the most pressing issues the industry faces.
DTE CEO, McCarthy, Canadian Climate Leader to Address Denver Conference – The 2018 Climate Leadership Conference is set for Denver, CO starting Wednesday. DTE CEO Gerry Anderson, Canadian Environment and Climate Change Minister Catherine McKenna and Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper are among the speakers. Others speakers at the annual gathering include Energy Department Senior Policy Adviser Craig Zamuda, former EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy and California EPA Secretary Matthew Rodriquez. Topics include state efforts to meet climate-change goals and local economies’ collaborations on resilience planning.
EPA Hosts CPP Repeal Hearing – EPA holds its second Clean Power plan repeal listening session on the proposed repeal of the Clean Power Plan on Wednesday in San Francisco. The session will run from 8:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. PST. At the San Francisco Main Public Library. I say get some video in this meeting, that’s for sure…
Bracewell to Host Infrastructure Event – Bracewell will hold an infrastructure symposium on Thursday at 8:30 a.m. in 902 Hart. The event will feature Sen. Ted Cruz, CEQ Infrastructure lead Alex Hergott and many other Bracewell experts.
Wilson to Look at Climate, Women – On Thursday at 9:30 a.m., the Woodrow Wilson Center hosts a discussion of how climate displacement is changing the role of women in their communities and how women are leading their communities to overcome its impacts. With panelists from the development sector, academia, and journalism, we will look at this issue globally and dive into individual stories of resilience and leadership.
Senate Enviro Tackles Key Energy Infrastructure – The Senate Environment Committee will hold a hearing Thursday at 10:00 a.m. on rebuilding infrastructure. Elaine Chao will testify.
Sen Energy to Address Cybersecurity, Energy Infrastructure – The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee holds a hearing on Thursday at 10:00 a.m. looking into the state of cybersecurity in the nation’s critical energy infrastructure. Dragos CEO Robert Lee will testify.
RFF, Stanford Experts Launch Climate, Policy Book – On Friday at 9:00 a.m., Resources for the Future (RFF) and the Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment hold the public launch of Confronting the Climate Challenge: US Policy Options, a new book that presents a unique framework for evaluating the impacts of a range of US climate-policy options, both for the economy overall and for particular household groups, industries, and regions. Authors Marc Hafstead and Lawrence Goulder will discuss the book, followed by a moderated Q&A session.
Forum to Look at Resilient Buildings – The Environmental and Energy Study Institute (EESI) and the National Association of State Energy Officials (NASEO) hold a briefing on Friday at Noon looking at the public/private drive toward resilient buildings. These are structures that are located, designed and built (or renovated) to withstand extreme weather, cyberterrorism, and other hazards now and for years to come. This briefing will explore what makes buildings resilient; why resilience is important for multiple policy challenges, including infrastructure modernization, emergency preparedness, disaster response, and research funding; and how public-private sector collaboration in research, worker training and investment partnerships benefit society now and well into the future. Speakers will include National Roofing Contractors Association head and former Rep. Reid Ribble, Debra Ballen of the Insurance Institute for Business and Home Safety (IBHS) and Paul Totten of WSP USA.
WCEE to Discuss Western Energy Imbalance – The Women’s Council on Energy and the Environment (WCEE) will hold a lunch and learn forum on Friday at Noon to get an overview of the Western Energy Imbalance Market from FERC staff Elisabeth Olson who worked in the California electricity market during EIM implementation.
IN THE FUTURE
CERAWEEK Set for Houston – CERAWEEK’s 2018 conference will be held in Houston from March 5-9th at the Hilton Americas. Speakers this year include OPEC SG Mohammad Barkindo, GM’s Mary Berra, BP’s Bob Dudley, IAE’s Fatih Birol, FERC Commissioner Robert Powelson, Alaska Sen. Dan Sullivan, Exelon’s Chris Crane, Energy Transfer’s Kelsey Warren, Paul Spencer of the Clean Energy Collective, Sunnova’s John Berger, and many, many more.
Wilson to Look at Green Finance – On Monday, March 6th at 9:30 a.m., the Woodrow Wilson Center ‘s China Environment Forum hosts a discussion of China’s rapid rise as a green finance champion. CEF is bringing in three experts to delve into the financial and environmental opportunities and risks as China moves into this new era of green financing. Derek Ip, a Senior Analyst at Trucost, will discuss the findings of a recently published report on the financial and water risks in China’s coal-to-chemical sector in western China, and how this risk approach could spur better environmental performance from other pollution- and energy-intense industries in China. Alan Xiangrui Meng, a market analyst in Climate Bonds Initiative’s London office will explore the expanding green bond market in China, which is spurring new environmental protection and clean energy industries, as well as some greyer industries. Carolyn Szum, who heads the U.S.-China Clean Energy Research Center Building Energy Efficiency (CERC-BEE) Integrated Team on Systems, Economic Analysis, and Modeling, will explain how CERC-BEE is working with U.S. and Chinese financial institutions to develop and pilot innovative financing mechanisms to scale up energy efficiency in China.
Third Way Forum to Look at Future Nukes – Third Way holds its third annual Advanced Nuclear Summit on March 6th in Washington, DC. As the advanced nuclear sector gets closer to licensing and constructing new power plants, we will explore how nuclear leaders can engage with communities on the ground, how these technologies can help meet their needs, and how to address the challenges that concern them. The forum is co-hosted by GAIN and the Idaho, Oak Ridge, and Argonne National Labs.
Wind Forum Set – The Business Network for Offshore Wind hold a forum on March 6th at the Hilton Baltimore BWI Airport Hotel. The forum will look at the regional offshore wind market, discuss opportunities for US developers and Tier 1 and 2 supplier, and listen to available State resources. Speakers include MEA’s Mary Beth Tung, BOEM’s Daryl Francois and our friends Clint Plummer of Deepwater Wind and Raul Rich of US Wind.
Transmission Forum Set – Infocast’s 21st annual Transmission Summit East will be held on March 7th through 9th to discuss the latest transmission business strategies and the changing policy landscape. More than 20 interactive panels and presentations will address topics including the new FERC Commission’s impacts on Transmission, new FERC ROE frameworks affecting project economics and financing, resiliency, renewables growth and grid modernization needs and co-opting generation and transmission. Speakers include Clean Line’s Michael Skelly, Southern Transmission’s John Lucas, PJM’s Paul McGlynn and many others.
EESI, BSCE to Host Staff Brief on Factbook – The Business Council for Sustainable Energy and the Environmental and Energy Study Institute hosts a lunch briefing on Friday March 9th In 2168 Rayburn focused on the 2018 Sustainable Energy in America Factbook. A panel of executives from BCSE member companies and analysts from Bloomberg New Energy Finance will discuss.
AFPM Annual Meeting Set for New Orleans – The American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers will hold its 2018 annual meeting in New Orleans on March 11 -13th at the Hilton Riverside. The meeting is the world’s premier refining meeting, assembling key executives, decision-makers, and technical experts from refining businesses, technology providers, contracting and consulting firms, and equipment manufacturers around the world. It will address current issues of importance to the industry, including industry and community impacts of the 2017 hurricane season. The breakout sessions will feature presentations and panels on process safety, key regulatory issues, innovation, workforce development, economic/commercial issues, the use of big data and emerging technologies. Speakers include former Tonight Show host Jay Leno, NFL CMO Dawn Hudson, political analyst Charlie Cook Koch CEO Brad Razook and GM’s Dan Nicholson.
BPC Infrastructure Hub Sets Innovation Forum – The BPC Infrastructure Lab hold its second event in a series on Infrastructure Ideas and Innovations on Tuesday March 13th at 10:00 a.m. The American economy is increasingly driven by a powerful network of billions of “smart” and connected devices, ranging from miniscule sensors to massive industrial machines. From autonomous vehicles to smart water meters, today’s innovations are transforming how we live and how our core industries do business. These technological advancements also raise important policy questions: What infrastructure investments must be made to ensure that the Industrial Internet of Things (IIOT), the infrastructure that underlies the innovation, has the powerful and reliable communications network needed to sustain it? How can we incorporate IIoT innovations, such as custom private networks that combine satellite-terrestrial technologies, to improve the quality and competitiveness of our infrastructure?
ACORE Renewable Policy Forum Set for Cap Hill – The annual 2018 ACORE Renewable Energy Policy Forum will be held on Capitol Hill on March 14th. The ACORE National Renewable Energy Policy Forum is the only pan-technology renewable energy policy summit to address federal and state policy. This signature conference brings together industry leaders and policymakers to discuss energy and tax policy, debate pressing issues in the changing electricity marketplace, and identify priorities for Congress, the states, and relevant agencies.
Solar Operations Conference Set – On March 13-14th, Solar Asset Management North America will hold its 5th edition in San Francisco. The event is the leading conference focused on the operational phase of solar plants and portfolios. The recommendations on the Section 201 solar trade case as well as the new tax provisions will also affect the existing assets, budgets and O&M. The conference aims to fully assess and quantify the impact on the future of the solar industry.
International PetroChem Conference Ready – AFPM holds its 2018 International Petrochemical Conference in San Antonio on March 25-27th. The International Petrochemical Conference is the world’s largest and most prestigious conference representing the petrochemical industry. The meeting consists of a variety of sessions covering key political, economic, and environmental issues affecting the petrochemical industry. The sessions emphasize global competitiveness in the petrochemical business and are presented by recognized experts in the areas of petrochemical markets, economics, and politics.
EPA Clean Power Plan Repeal Hearing Heads for WY – EPA’s final listening sessions for its proposed repeal of the Clean Power Plan start in Gillette, Wyoming on March 27th. The EPA had already held one two-day meeting in West Virginia in late 2017.
Offshore Wind Partnership Forum Set – The Business Network for Offshore Wind hold its 2018 International Offshore Wind Partnering Forum on April 3rd to 6th in Princeton New Jersey. The IPF is the leading technical conference for offshore wind in the United States and is dedicated to moving the industry forward. Among the speakers will be BOEM’s Walter Cruickshank and James Bennett, Statoil’s Sebastian Bringsværd, U of Delaware’s Jeremy Firestone, NYSERDA’s Greg Lampman, Recharge’s Darius Snieckus Deepwater’s Jeff Grybowski and NWF’s Collin O’Mara.
Refiners Security Conference Set – The annual AFPM Security Conference will be held on April 23-25 in New Orleans and presents current topics of vital importance to critical infrastructure, keeping security professionals up to date on security issues, policies, and future regulations. The event will relay the latest information on security regulations from DHS and the Coast Guard. This year’s conference will also go beyond just the regulations with sessions on hurricane response efforts, environmental NGO activism, cybersecurity and other emerging security and terror threats.
WINDPOWER Set for Chicago – The American Wind Energy Assn (AWEA) will hold WINDPOWER 2018 in Chicago from May 7th to 10th. The industry closed 2017 strong, delivering 7,017 megawatts (MW) of new wind power capacity. That new capacity represents $11 billion in new private investment. There are now 89,077 MW of wind power installed across 41 states, enough to power 26 million American homes. The wind industry is expected to continue its growth into 2018. WINDPOWER is where the industry comes together to plan for the future and keep this success story growing.