Anna Burhop Joins Bracewell’s Nationally Recognized Policy Resolution Group in Washington, D.C.

The Policy Resolution Group at Bracewell LLP is pleased to announce that Anna Burhop has joined as a principal in its Washington, D.C. office. Burhop will provide federal legislative and regulatory advice to the firm’s clients on a broad range of environmental, energy and other policy matters. PRG has been recognized as the top performing lobbying/law firm by Bloomberg Government and is the only firm to make the list four years in a row.

Burhop joins Bracewell from the American Chemistry Council (ACC) where she served as a Director of Regulatory and Technical Affairs providing support for the ACC’s environmental advocacy initiatives.  Prior to joining the ACC, Burhop worked for seven years as a professional staff member on the Senate Committee on Environmental and Public Works, serving under both Sen. James Inhofe (R-OK) and Sen. David Vitter (R-LA), and developing policy and oversight strategies on various Clean Air Act Initiatives as well as EPA rulemakings.

“Anna’s extensive experience working on environmental and regulatory issues both in the private sector and on Capitol Hill will be a great asset to Bracewell’s PRG team and our clients,” said Bracewell’s Managing Partner Gregory M. Bopp.  “We’re pleased to welcome Anna to the firm.”

Burhop is the most recent strategic addition to Bracewell’s Washington, D.C. office in the last six months. In March, Robert J. Wagman, Jr. joined as a partner to help lead the firm’s government contracts practice. In early April, Hans P. Dyke joined as a partner adding transactional depth to the firm’s energy, electric power and midstream practices and shortly thereafter, Christine G. Wyman returned to the firm as senior counsel in PRG adding significant industry, legislative and regulatory expertise in energy and environmental policy. Most recently in July, David A. Super joined the firm to lead the Washington, D.C. civil litigation practice.

“Having worked with Anna for more than a decade while she was on Capitol Hill and at ACC, I know our clients will benefit from her knowledge of legislative and regulatory issues on a wide range of policy matters,” said PRG Co-Head Scott H. Segal.

Burhop also was an administrative director for a premier health and wellness community in Louisiana. She earned a Master of Health Administration in Health Systems Management from Tulane University and a B.A. from Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas.

“Bracewell’s PRG has an excellent reputation in Washington, D.C. and I’m very much looking forward to working with its team of accomplished lobbyists and strategic communications professionals,” said Burhop.

Special Energy Update: Week of August 14

Friends,

Not the full update today, but just a quick note to remind you of tomorrow’s U.S. International Trade Commission hearing on the solar trade petition. But before we get to that, it was 14 years ago today, just after 4:10 p.m. that the Northeast suffered its most significant blackout in a generation. The blackout affected an estimated 10 million people in Ontario and 45 million people in eight U.S. states.

Back to the action…The ITC holds its public hearing tomorrow looking at the injury phase of the 201 trade petition filed by Suniva which aims to impose tariffs that place the recent success of the entire solar industry and its workforce at risk. Late last week, we saw Congress weigh in urging ITC to oppose the tariff petition. And tomorrow, just before and after the hearing, hundreds of solar workers from all over the country, including California, Maryland, North Carolina, New Jersey, New York, Florida, Minnesota, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Pennsylvania and Virginia, will converge in Washington to explain the personal impact this case could have on their livelihoods.

We have a full report/primer below with details, schedule, timing, on-the-record comments and background. And speaking of blackouts, remember next Monday, a large swath of the country will focus on the upcoming solar eclipse, which occurs on August 21st. Lots of great coverage, but here is how you will want to view the eclipse.

Finally remember next week, the American Chemical Society holds its 254th annual national meeting during the entire week and will feature tons of events on really complex STEM issues, as well as highlight many important and innovative technological advances. One of the ACS presentations will feature our friends at ISCA Tech, which we will discuss more in the future.

I will be at the ITC tomorrow. Please call with questions.

Best,

Frank Maisano
(202) 828-5864
c. (202) 997-5932

THE BIG EVENT

Solar ITC Hearing Set for Tomorrow – The U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) holds its public hearing tomorrow looking at the injury phase of the 201 trade petition filed by Suniva which aims to impose tariffs that place the recent success of the entire solar industry and its workforce at risk.

IF YOU GO: The hearing starts at 9:30 a.m. at ITC, 500 E Street, SW. Media must register in advance with PA officer Peg O’Laughlin (202-205-1819)

SEIA: Trade Case Petitioners Brought Collapse of Businesses on Themselves – Suniva and SolarWorld have failed to show that a rising level of imports caused them serious injury and left them unable to compete in the U.S. market, the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) and others stated in pre-hearing written arguments to ITC. In an executive summary of its remarks, SEIA points out that the petitioners were unable to produce the needed solar modules to succeed in the ever-changing solar markets. Utility-scale projects use 72-cell modules, which neither Suniva nor SolarWorld could produce in the quantities demanded by the booming U.S. marketplace. Therefore, imports of solar cells and modules were pulled into the U.S. utility market by increased demand that could not be met domestically.

Congress Weighs In Support of Solar Industry – A bipartisan group of 16 senators and 53 members of the House of Representatives sent open letters to ITC Chairman Rhonda Schmidtlein urging it to reject a petition that would slap tariffs on imported solar panels and cells. “Solar companies in our states believe the requested trade protection would double the price of solar panels,” the Senate letter to the ITC said. “Increasing costs will stop solar growth dead in its tracks, threatening tens of thousands of American workers in the solar industry and jeopardizing billions of dollars in investment in communities across the country.” Lawmakers who led the letter effort to the ITC include: Senators Thom Tillis (R-NC) and Martin Heinrich (D-NM) and Representatives Mark Sanford (R-SC), Mike Thompson (D-CA), Pat Meehan (R-PA) and Matt Cartwright (D-PA).

Coalition Calls for End of Bad Case – The Energy Trade Action Coalition (ETAC) urged ITC to end the Section 201 trade case on imported solar components that currently is threatening the U.S. solar industry. ETAC is a group of companies, associations and organizations who joined together to oppose the trade petition. ETAC spokesman Paul Nathanson said the Section 201 petition is not designed to protect or grow solar jobs in the U.S., but an attempt by two companies that made poor business decisions to recover lost funds for their own financial gain at the expense of the rest of the solar industry. Nathanson: “As the solar industry continues to grow and compete with other energy traditional and renewable energy sources, now is not the time to undercut its momentum by doubling the price of solar panels for consumers. This is why ETAC members, which includes utilities, power co-ops, retailers and other large commercial users, are so active in making their voices heard to prevent these unwarranted tariffs.” ETAC works to raise awareness of the importance of maintaining access to globally priced products to support American energy industry competitiveness, sustain tens of thousands of good-paying American manufacturing jobs and preserve the principles of free and fair trade in a global marketplace.

Conservative Groups Supporting Solar Industry View – Most free trade advocates have strongly supported the solar industry’s position on this trade petition. Here are several key quotes from conservative groups:

“Tariffs meant to protect one industry can, and often do, have significant damaging effects on other domestic industries. Imposing tariffs under Section 201, as Suniva and SolarWorld request, would be a step backward by adding another layer of federal subsidies which is something the Heritage Foundation opposes in all instances.”
Tori K. Whiting, Research Associate at The Heritage Foundation.

“Voluntary free trade is always a good thing. And it’s a good thing for every consumer; not just a few individuals or companies. The solar case is an example of the worst kind of trade protectionism. We’re delighted to stand for freedom and free markets.”
Eli Lehrer, president of the R Street Institute.

“Our country’s trade laws were set up to facilitate and promote an even playing field, not provide shelter to those unable to compete.”
Karla Jones, Director of the Federalism and International Relations Task Force at American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC).

“The Section 201 solar industry trade case will undermine one of the fastest growing All of the Above Energy jobs sectors in states across the country, solar energy installation. We must avoid rewarding this opportunistic use of U.S. trade laws.”
Sarah E. Hunt, Director of the Center for Innovation and Technology at ALEC.

Electrical Workers, Contractors See Petition as Trouble – The National Electrical Contractors Association fears that its work force, many of them union workers, will be hurt by the trade petition and the potential loss of jobs. James Willson, head of the LA County Chapter of NECA said they strongly oppose the proposed tariffs and minimum prices on imported CSPV cells and modules being considered by the ITC. Willson: “In our area (Los Angeles County) over the past 5 years, we have averaged over 1,000 electricians installing utility scale and roof top solar systems. These are good middle class jobs which promote apprenticeship, community based hiring, and veterans. This proposed tariff would increase solar costs 90-110% and if implemented would make America the highest-priced solar country and decimate the market – likely bringing a halt to utility scale solar. This extreme tariff would have such a negative impact not only in our jurisdiction but throughout the country.”

Retailers Urge Rejection of Petition – The National Retail Federation said the trade petition would harm businesses and large-scale, commercial users of solar. “A growing number of retailers are relying on solar to meet their energy needs,” said NRF VP Jon Gold. “Our members’ use of solar as an energy source is a direct result of the solar industry’s ability to compete with other sources of energy by providing cost-competitive power generation on an increasingly large scale. This misguided 201 trade petition would punish our members for being innovative and significantly raising their costs. The U.S. International Trade Commission should find no injury and terminate this investigation as soon as possible.”

Utilities Long-Term Planning Hurt by Petition – Utilities have also expressed real concerns that the trade Petition will undermine their ability to affordable use solar to meet customer demand and state renewable requirements. Scott Segal, Director of the Electric Reliability Coordinating Council said utilities and public power have increasingly diversified their portfolios for a variety of strategic reasons over the last several years. Segal: “This means that power companies have developed solar projects or have purchased solar-generated power or both. As a rule, power companies plan on a 20 year cycle and depend on predictable cost structures, particularly for solar developments. Inappropriate imposition of trade remedies on solar technology can fundamentally change the landscape for renewables without any consequent societal benefits. ERCC members include Ameren, DTE Energy, Duke, Salt River Project, Southern Company and Vistra.

Venture Capitalists Worry About Capital Investments – Chris Diaz head of Seminole Financial Services, which funds energy projects including solar projects, sees tariffs as a step that could undermine current capital investments. Diaz: “The solar industry is a strong sector for capital investment right now because of its competitiveness in the marketplace. Billions of dollars are flowing into projects that are leading to good-paying jobs, new economic opportunities, technological advancement and much-needed revenue for communities — all-the-while meeting increasing consumer demand for cleaner energy. This tariff petition and the resulting direct increase in the cost of doing business in the solar industry, threatens that competitiveness. It undermines the certainty of current investments in the solar industry and puts almost all future investments at significant risk.”

Other Key Quotes:

“As one of the most experienced solar installers in the U.S., Borrego Solar strongly disputes Suniva and SolarWorld’s claims before the ITC. These companies’ financial troubles are largely self-inflicted, and their failure to compete with manufacturers in both the U.S. and the rest of the world should not be used as an excuse to set the American clean energy industry back precisely when the need to increase our domestic clean energy supply is greatest.”
– Mike Hall, CEO, Borrego Solar Systems, Inc.

“The Suniva/Solar World bailout request will cause rooftop solar installation costs to sky rocket. Many Florida residents choose to install solar panels on their roofs to save money on their electric bills and to protect the environment. The requested bailout will make it harder for consumers to afford solar. Retirees will be hit the hardest.”
– Tory Perfetti, Florida Director of Conservatives for Energy Freedom.

“There are over 200,000 good, high paying jobs in solar right now, and that number is growing quickly. Protectionist trade barriers will not make American solar manufacturing more competitive, but absolutely will kill the good jobs that exist by pricing many customers out of the market.”
– Anthony Fotopoulos, Co-Founder of Keystone Power Holdings

The Background

The case – Filed by two heavily indebted solar companies, the 201 trade petition asks the Trump Administration to impose a drastic mix of tariffs and a floor price on imports of solar cells and modules that would double the price of solar equipment and damage the U.S. solar industry.

Remedy – The Section 201 “Petition for Global Safeguard Relief – Crystalline Silicon Photovoltaic Cells and Modules” seeks a tariff of 40 cents per watt on all foreign-made solar cells and a floor price of 78 cents per watt on all foreign-made panels, doubling the price for the basic ingredients of the broader U.S. solar industry.

The Cost to the Solar Industry – The $23 billion U.S. solar industry employs 260,000 American workers in good-paying jobs across the country. If successful, the protectionist initiative would slash demand for new projects and make solar less competitive with other sources of power, decimating one of America’s most promising high-tech growth industries. A recent study showed that an estimated 88,000 jobs, about one-third of the current American solar workforce, would be lost if trade protections proposed in the petition are granted.

Timing – The International Trade Commission (ITC) is currently conducting a review to determine whether there is evidence of injury, of which this hearing is a part of – which is expected to be completed by September 22. If the ITC decides in favor of the petitioners, it must recommend specific trade barriers to President Trump by November 13. The president then has 60 days to act on the recommendation.

ON THE SCHEDULE FOR AUGUST

Trade petition Hearing Set – The US International Trade Commission will hold its first hearing on the injury phase of the Solar 201 trade petition filed by Suniva on August 15th beginning at 9:30 a.m. at the USITC in Washington, DC. In the event that the Commission makes an affirmative injury determination or is equally divided on the question of injury in this investigation, a second hearing on the question of remedy will be held beginning at 9:30 a.m. on October 3rd.

USEA Forum to Look at Energy-Water Nexus – The US Energy Association will host a forum on Tuesday August 15th at 10:00 a.m. featuring Verdant Power looking at the water-energy nexus. According to DOE’s “The Water Energy Nexus: Challenges and Opportunities” report, several trends are increasing urgency to address the water-energy nexus in an integrated and proactive way: climate change, which is affecting precipitation and temperature patterns throughout the world; population growth and regional migration trends that are likely to increase, which complicate management of energy and water systems; new technologies in energy and water domains that shift water-energy demands; and developments in policies that are introducing additional incentives and challenges for decision making. Verdant Power is addressing the water-energy nexus in an integrated and proactive way resulting from its successful R&D efforts at the company’s Roosevelt Island Tidal Energy (RITE) Project in New York City’s East River – the world’s first grid-connected array of marine renewable energy (MRE) turbines systems. Verdant Power’s Trey Taylor will look at their holistic, strategic approach in helping build sustainable communities through MRE-based integrated energy and hybrid power systems, microgrids, and water management.

WCEE Forum To Discuss FERC Issues – On Friday at Noon, the Women’s Council on Energy and the Environment will hold another Lunch & Learn presentation by Emma Nicholson, Ph.D., a WCEE member and economist at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s (FERC) Office of Energy Policy and Innovation. Nicholson will explain what capacity is, the role it plays in reliability, and how capacity markets in FERC-jurisdictional wholesale electricity markets work.

ACS to Host National Meeting, Innovative Technologies Event – The American Chemical Society hosts its 254th national meeting and expo on August 20th through 24th in DC at the Walter Washington Convention Center focusing on chemistry’s impact on the global economy. The week will be filled with more science and chemistry events than anyone could ever want. They will also honor innovative technologies toward the end of the conference and we will have more Information about that closer to the event.

USEA Forum to Look at So Korea Carbon Capture – Next Monday at 12:30 p.m., the US Energy Association holds a briefing to discuss the current status of carbon capture, utilization and sequestration technology R&D in South Korea. The presentation involves CCUS related R&D budget investments (in terms of scale, allocation and portfolio), main R&D projects, and international cooperation activities. Furthermore, the implementation status of carbon capture, storage, utilization and EOR projects which are operated by institutions and electric power companies will be provided. The speaker will be Sean Sangjoo Baek of the Korea Institute of Energy Technology Evaluation and Planning.

IN THE FUTURE

McIntyre, Glick Head to Confirmation Hearing – The Senate Energy Committee will hold a confirmation hearing on Thursday at 10:00 a.m. for Rich Glick and Kevin McIntyre to join FERC.

Platts Forum to Look at Pipeline Issues – Platts will hold its 12th annual conference in Houston at the Houstonian on September 7th and 8th looking at pipeline development and expansion. During the conference, my colleague George Felcyn and our friend George Stark of Cabot will be featured on a panel on building pipeline support from the grassroots. This workshop will focus on ways for pipeline companies to build public support, shape media coverage, influence regulators and successfully see their planned projects through to completion.

TX Renewable Summit Set – On September 18th – 20th, the Texas Renewable Energy Summit will be held in Austin at Omni Southpark. The summit will offer the latest insights into the market and hear from key players about the key trends impacting renewable energy project development, finance and investment in Texas. The falling price of solar panels is driving a surge in interest by public utilities and corporate customers in contracting for solar power, while a huge queue of wind projects is forming. As much as 16 GW of new wind and solar projects could come to fruition in Texas. However, development and financing challenges must be surmounted to assure project success and bankability. Large quantities of solar may drive the dispatch curve and market prices in unpredictable directions.

Ideas Conference Set – The Atlantic and the Aspen Institute holds its 9th annual Washington Ideas conference on September 26-28. “Washington Ideas” convenes the nation’s leaders in politics, business, health, science, technology, arts, culture and journalism for three days of can’t miss conversation and connections. In the heart of the nation’s capital, we will tackle the most consequential issues facing the country and the world.

Coal Event to Hear from Alpha CEO – The 40th annual Coal Marketing Days forum will be held on September 26-27 at the Omni William Penn Hotel in Pittsburgh. The event hosts a variety of coal suppliers and buyers, coal transport companies, and industry-wide analysts who exchange in-depth knowledge on the current state of the global and domestic coal-producing markets and focuses on the current trends and challenges shaping the business. Alpha Natural Resources CEO David Stetson is the keynote.

EEI Comms Conference Set – Our friends at EEI hold their annual Communicators Conference On Monday October 2 and Tuesday October 3rd in Washington. Utility Communicators from across the Country will be in town to discuss policy and best practice issues, among other items.

SEJ Set for Pittsburgh – Speaking of Pittsburgh, SEJ’s 27th annual conference is set for October 4-8 in Steel City.

Vets in Energy Forum Set – Veterans In Energy will hold a forum on October 5th through 7th at NRECA in Arlington. VIE provide transition, retention and professional development support to the growing population of military veterans who have chosen energy careers. Speakers will include Chris Hale of GI Jobs and Gen. John Allen, former Dep Commander of US Central Command.

Renewable Tour Set for October Shenandoah Fall – JMU’s Center for Wind Energy joins the nonprofit American Solar Energy Society (ASES) and hundreds of solar-savvy installers and grassroots organizations throughout America to showcase thousands of solar-powered homes, schools and businesses in Virginia and across North America — for the 22nd Annual National Solar Tour, the world’s largest grassroots solar event. The ASES National Solar Tour shows families and businesses real-life examples of how their neighbors are harnessing free energy from the sun to generate electricity, warm and cool their homes, heat water and slash monthly utility bills.

PRG’s Christine Wyman Co-Authors Analysis of DC Circuit Decision to Vacate EPA’s Stay of Methane Rule Requirement

PRG Senior Counsel Christine Wyman co-authored a blog post for Bracewell’s Energy Legal Blog with Whit Swift and Brittany Pemberton of Bracewell.  The post, titled “DC Circuit Vacates EPA’s Initial Stay of Methane Rule Requirements,” explores the July 3 U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit decision to vacate the EPA’s initial 90-day stay of parts of the 2016 Methane Rule, a rule that establishes methane emissions standards for the oil and gas industry.

“While it vacated the 90-day stay of the Methane Rule requirements, the court emphasized that nothing in its opinion limits EPA’s authority to reconsider the final rule, or to proceed with the proposed stay published on June 16,” writes Wyman, Swift, and Pemberton.  “As a result, while compliance with the parts of the Methane Rule is no longer delayed by an administrative stay, EPA will likely continue with its plans to finalize the separate, longer stay of the Methane Rule requirements that it proposed on June 16.  While a review of the June 16 proposal did not identify the specific authority cited for the proposed two-year stay, EPA has previously claimed authority for such stays under both its general rulemaking authority under CAA section 301(a)(1), as well as an agency’s authority under section 705 of the federal Administrative Procedure Act (‘APA’) to postpone the effective date of an action pending judicial review ‘when an agency finds that justice so requires.'”

To read the complete post, click here.

PRG’s Podcast ‘The Lobby Shop’ & Host Josh Zive Featured in National Law Journal Article

PRG’s new podcast The Lobby Shop and its host, PRG Partner Josh Zive, were featured today in a National Law Journal article titled “In New Podcast, a Bracewell Lobbyist Reports from the Swamp.”

“‘It’s been a hell of a week,’ Josh Zive, a lobbyist and senior principal in the Washington, D.C., office of Bracewell, told his podcast audience last week,” writes NLJ reporter Miriam Rozen.  “Zive, who performs stand-up comedy in his spare time, knows the podcasts reach a limited audience at this point. But he takes pride in his new series and claims it distinguishes him as perhaps the sole big-firm lawyer to host a podcast for his employer.

“His aim: to use the podcasts to elevate in the public debate his firm’s and its clients’ advocacy. Launched in earnest last month, the weekly series is known as The Lobby Shop. The idea of talking casually and openly about lobbying strategies makes many of his professional peers uncomfortable, Zive said.

“‘At a lot of firms it’s ingrained in their cultures to not talk very publicly,’ he said.

“But Bracewell has embraced his podcast series, he said, and other partners regularly join Zive as guests in the recordings.”

To read the rest of the article, click here.

To listen to The Lobby Shop, click here or download wherever you listen to podcasts.

Article by PRG’s George Felcyn Featured in ACORE Blog

 

PRG Senior Director George Felcyn authored an article published today by the American Council on Renewable Energy (ACORE).  The article, titled “Offshore Wind in the US: A Look at Industry Prospects,” explores America’s renewable energy potential regarding offshore wind, an innovation booming in Europe.

“There is a lot to like about the prospects for offshore wind development in the U.S.,” writes Felcyn.  “The basic ingredients are all there: higher sustained wind speeds offshore with the potential to increase electricity output by 50 percent compared to onshore wind farms, coupled with the added advantage that winds tend to blow strongly during late summer afternoons, when electricity consumption is peaking; technological advances leading to larger turbines with higher power ratings; and a cost structure that has seen significant improvement in the more mature European offshore wind industry as increasing efficiencies and scale have taken hold.”

To read the complete article, click here.

Energy Policy Advocate Christine Wyman Returns to Policy Resolution Group

The Policy Resolution Group at Bracewell LLP today announced that Christine G. Wyman has joined the firm as senior counsel. Wyman will provide federal legislative and regulatory advice to the firm’s clients on a broad range of energy, environmental and other policy matters.

Wyman joins Bracewell from the American Gas Association, where as senior counsel, she advocated for natural gas utilities on federal environmental, energy and pipeline safety matters. She worked with member companies and interacted with a variety of federal agencies, including the White House, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, U.S. Department of Energy, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, U.S. Department of the Interior, and the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration.

“We’re very excited to welcome Christine back to the PRG team,” said PRG Co-Head Scott H. Segal. “Her experience with energy policy and the inner workings of Washington will greatly benefit our clients.”

“I am thrilled to rejoin my colleagues in the Policy Resolution Group,” said Wyman. “Their extensive knowledge of energy, environment, manufacturing and other issues, the firm’s reputation as a leading government relations firm in Washington are just some of the many reasons that I’m excited to be part of the PRG team.”

Prior to launching her legal career, Wyman worked at Bracewell in the government relations section, and later as a Bracewell fellow while attending law school. Following law school, Wyman joined an international law firm, where she represented clients in a broad range of environmental matters, providing counsel on compliance and enforcement matters, and advocating for clients’ interests through the federal rulemaking process.

In addition to earning her J.D. from The Georgetown University Law Center, Wyman earned a Master’s Degree in Environmental Management from Duke University and a B.S. from the University of North Carolina at Asheville.

PRG’s Scott Segal Analyzes AG Pruitt Hearing in E&E News Facebook Live Interview

 

PRG Founding Partner Scott Segal spoke with E&E News’ Monica Trauzzi today on the confirmation hearing of Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt to be EPA administrator. NRDC’s John Walke and E&E News reporters Robin Bravender and Kevin Bogardus also weighed in.

The full video can be viewed above or at this link, and the article on AG Pruitt’s hearing and this discussion can be found here.

PRG’s George Felcyn Co-Authors Article for The Bond Buyer

The Bond Buyer

 

PRG Senior Director George Felcyn co-authored an article with Bracewell attorney Charles Almond published today in The Bond Buyer.  The commentary article titled “Make-America-Great-Again Bonds?” explores investment in public infrastructure and its increased discussion since the 2016 election was decided.

“If federal policymakers are indeed serious about incentivizing public infrastructure investment and realizing the related job-creation benefits in the relatively near future, an ‘all of the above’ approach is essential,” write Almond and Felcyn. “Innovative P3 approaches enhanced by tax credits for equity investments may well attract private-equity capital and foster cost savings for certain types of projects. However, the bread and butter of public finance has always been, and will likely continue to be, debt capital that is subsidized one way or another by the federal government. While the old dogs in the public-finance arena are learning the new tricks of the P3 world, efforts should be made to improve the ability to access low-interest-rate debt capital from the tried and true state and local  bond market to supplement those new tricks and continue to fill the many gaps that will never be filled by private equity alone.”

To read the complete article, click here.

PRG’s Salo Zelermyer Discusses Trump’s DOE Pick with MSNBC

capture

PRG Partner Salo Zelermyer spoke with MSNBC’s Kate Snow today on President-elect Donald Trump’s pick to lead the Department of Energy: Former Texas Governor Rick Perry.

Zelermyer and Snow discussed Perry’s history in Texas and his influence on the state’s energy infrastructure, comparing his background with those of previous Energy secretaries.

For the full video, click here.

 

 

PRG’s 2016 Post-Election Analysis Report

The 2016 election results have significant implications for companies across a wide range of industry sectors. From environmental policy to financial services to tax reform, President-elect Trump has committed to sweeping action on a variety of fronts, and will have a Republican-controlled House and Senate to work with on priority issues. Nevertheless, the GOP-led Senate is not filibuster-proof, and many of the finer points of Trump’s agenda remain unclear. Accordingly, it is important for interested stakeholders to begin thinking through how their own priorities will track with the next President and Congress.

The Policy Resolution Group at Bracewell LLP (PRG) has prepared this post-election report to identify some of the key issues slated for action in Washington next term. Our team of lobbyists, lawyers and strategic communications professionals combines decades of experience working on these issues in the private sector, on Capitol Hill and at federal agencies—and stands ready to help our clients make sure their voices are heard by policymakers and the public.

Among the contents of the Policy Resolution Group’s Post-Election Analysis Report are:

  • PRG’s 2016 Post-Election Webinar
  • PRG’s Post-Election Updates
    • Energy
    • Environment
    • Tax
    • Appropriations & Budget
    • Trade
    • Consumer Protection
    • Financial Services
  • PRG’s Post-Election Video Analyses & Podcasts
    • “Election Day Takeaways and What to Expect in the Trump Presidency”
    • “Outlook for the Clean Power Plan and Other Environmental Issues”
    • “Outlook for Energy Policy”
    • “Thoughts from a Former Senator”
    • “Trade and Tax Policy After the Election”

2016 Post-Election Webinar

Watch the complete webinar, recorded on November 9, below:

 

The complete slide deck for the webinar can be found at here.


Post-Election Updates

ENERGY

By Scott Segal, Dee Martin, and Salo Zelermyer

Although there was almost zero discussion of energy policy in the presidential debates, President-elect Donald Trump frequently cited energy policy as a cornerstone of his plans to grow the U.S. economy.

While the dust settles on this historic election and as Americans await the inauguration of their new President, those interested in energy policy can expect that questions about energy infrastructure, the power sector, the transportation sector and upstream production will be hotly debated in Washington during 2017.

(Read the complete analysis here.)

 

ENVIRONMENT

By Scott Segal, Frank Maisano, and Salo Zelermyer

From the clean energy components of the stimulus to the Paris Climate Agreement, President Obama staked a significant amount of his legacy on actions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. How instrumental was opposition to these actions in electing Donald Trump? It is hard to say at this stage but President-elect Trump’s message of rolling back federal regulations—specifically, environmental regulations—that have stifled economic growth may have been one key factor in turning major portions of the “Rust Belt” from blue to red. Our expectation is that loosening regulatory restrictions on all aspects of the energy sector is likely to be an early and constant core element of Trump’s domestic policy agenda.

Against this backdrop, those interested in environmental policy should look at four key issues: the Clean Power Plan and climate policy; methane emissions and shale; appliance standards; and pipeline approvals.

(Read the complete analysis here.)

 

TAX

By Curt Beaulieu

After a decade of discussion and debate, the election of Donald Trump makes it likely that substantive tax reform will finally occur in the next two years or sooner. Congressional tax-writing committees are now forming, and tax reform proposals have now been put forward by a group of House Republicans, and both Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-UT) and Ranking Member Ron Wyden (D-OR). The timing of legislation will depend on how fast the Trump administration wants to move tax reform forward.

(Read the complete analysis here.)

 

APPROPRIATIONS & BUDGET

By Ed Krenik and John Lee

With a government funding deadline looming on December 9, 2016, Congress will have its fair share of work to do upon its return after the national elections. The following is a review of the current Continuing Resolution (CR) passed in September, how Congress might decide to fund the government moving forward, and potential leadership changes in the 115th Congress for the Appropriations Committee.

(Read the complete analysis here.)

 

TRADE

By Gene Godley, Paul Nathanson, and Josh Zive

The 2016 elections featured the most focus on U.S. international trade policy since 1992. President-elect Donald Trump placed harsh criticisms of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and China and made international trade the center of his economic agenda.

With Trump’s victory it is safe to say that the political environment on trade issues is more volatile than it has been in decades. As the international trade community prepares for President-elect Trump and the new Congress a few issues are front and center.

(Read the complete analysis here.)

 

CONSUMER PROTECTION

By Ed Krenik, Paul Nathanson, and John Lee

Donald Trump’s win on Election Day will greatly change the composition of the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), as the change from a Democratic administration to a Republican administration means the commission will eventually have a new chairman as well as a majority of Republican commissioners. Additionally, the Republican majority in the Senate will ensure that oversight over the agency’s rulemaking activities remains a top priority.

(Read the complete analysis here.)

 

FINANCIAL SERVICES

By George Felcyn and Josh Zive

As President-elect Trump prepares to assume office in January, many questions have been raised about what kind of approach he will take in key policy areas, a result of the relative lack of specific proposals that emerged during his campaign. What’s in store for Wall Street and financial reform remains one of the larger unknowns about a Trump administration. Let’s examine a few clues that suggest how a Trump administration will handle this area of policy.

(Read the complete analysis here.)


Post-Election Video Analyses & Podcasts

2016 ELECTION: ELECTION DAY TAKEAWAYS AND WHAT TO EXPECT IN THE TRUMP PRESIDENCY

Dee Martin and Scott Segal, co-heads of Bracewell’s Policy Resolution Group, discuss their reactions to the surprising results of the 2016 elections and what to expect during the first 100 days of a Trump administration.

 

2016 ELECTION: OUTLOOK FOR THE CLEAN POWER PLAN AND OTHER ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUES

Scott Segal, co-head of Bracewell’s Policy Resolution Group, and Jeff Holmstead, head of the Environmental Strategies Group at Bracewell, discuss how the next President and Congress will confront issues such as climate change, the Clean Power Plan, and other environmental regulations.

 

2016 ELECTION: OUTLOOK FOR ENERGY POLICY

Dee Martin, co-head of Bracewell’s Policy Resolution Group, and Salo Zelermyer, a partner in Bracewell’s Policy Resolution Group, discuss what the results of the election may mean for oil and gas, renewable energy, and fuels.

 

2016 ELECTION: THOUGHTS FROM A FORMER SENATOR

Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison, senior counsel at Bracewell and a 20-year veteran of the U.S. Senate, discusses her reactions to the 2016 election results.

 

TRADE AND TAX POLICY AFTER THE ELECTION

Josh Zive, Paul Nathanson and Curt Beaulieu, of Bracewell’s Policy Resolution Group, chat about tax and trade policy following the results of the 2016 election. Take a listen to PRG’s first The Lobby Shop podcast.

Click here to listen to the podcast.