Opening Day is here, despite the weather in some places (the Yankees-Astros have been postponed). Three games launched yesterday, but everybody else goes today including the O’s first pitch against the Twins at 3:05 p.m. at the Yard. The Nationals open in Atlanta today at 4:05 p.m. and launch at home Thursday. Get the full MLB Opening Day Schedule here.
Tonight, the College Basketball season ends, crowning either Villanova or North Carolina as champ after Saturday’s semi-final blowouts. One week to go until the NHL hockey playoffs and this weekend is the NCAA Frozen Four. And speaking of weeks, this is the 80th Masters Week. The PGA’s first major of the year is ready to go and top players Jordan Spieth and Jason Day are smarting to become repeat winners of the famous “Green Jacket.” Action launches today and tomorrow with practice rounds, Pro-Am/Par 3 contest on Wednesday and then Showtime Thursday.
With Congress returning this week, we can expect today to start off with some bluster (and that’s not just because it was windy in DC over the weekend). It is because the White House will roll out a major report on climate change and health, an always dubious link despite what EPA’s Gina McCarthy, WH Science Advisor John Holdren, and the US Surgeon General will say during the presser.
House Remains out this week on Spring District Work Period as Wisconsin sets primary votes tomorrow. As for the Senate, they’ll have hearings Wednesday in Senate Ag on Rural Development (or in other words: Renewable Fuels) and Senate Environment hosts NRC Commissioners. Then Thursday, Senate Energy tackles the USGS (look for some discussion of earthquakes) and Senate Environment will discuss water infrastructure (expect a major discussion of Flint, MI). In limbo on the schedule remains the energy legislation mired in Senate “holds” and controversy regarding Flint aid and offshore drilling issues. Insiders seem to think the chances of moving it are narrowing.
Off the hill, there are a bunch of events detailed below with the headliner being a Hudson Institute forum on Wednesday to look at the future natgas economy that features T. Boone Pickens and former VA Rep/Sen/Gov George Allen. Also, EPA chief Gina McCarthy does another Christian Science Monitor breakfast tomorrow morning at the St. Regis. Also Lisa Murkowski and Angus King (and Others) talk Arctic Energy at the Wilson Institute Wednesday. And up in NYC today and tomorrow, Bloomberg New Energy Finance is hosting its annual Energy Summit which features Southern Company CEO Tom Fanning and ClearPath Foundation’s Jay Faison among the speakers. Later in the week, the Wall Street Journal hosts its annual ECO:nomics conference in Santa Barbara with Fanning, Duke CEO Lynn Good, Chris Brown of Vestas and BNSF CEO Matt Rose all speaking among many others. Our WSJ friends Kim Strassel, Lynn Cook, Russ Gold, and Amy Harder will be among the interviewers.
Finally, speaking of NRC, after 12 years running the public affairs shop there, our friend and loyal update reader Eliot Brenner is retiring. Eliot was hoping to get the word out so we could all throw him a big party…oops, um, not that… (we will anyway) but because NRC has posted the job on USAJobs over the next month. It is a career SES position, and they’re advertising to increase the likelihood of getting someone hired before he turns out the lights July 31st. Congrats Eliot and if you’re interested check out the listing.
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IN THE NEWS
Ivanpah Meeting Output Targets – Just after reports of its demise, the Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System solar project in California more than doubled its output last month, putting it on pace to meet its obligations to Pacific Gas and Electric Co. Ivanpah, the world’s biggest solar-thermal power plant, generated 67,300 megawatt-hours electricity in February, up from about 30,300 a year earlier, according to NRG Energy Inc., which operates the faculty and co-owns it with BrightSource Energy Inc. and Alphabet Inc.’s Google. Mitchell Samuelian, NRG’s vice president of operation for utility-scale renewable generation, said the improved performance shows the plant’s technology is viable and that the facility is on track to fulfil its contractual obligations. The release of the February output data comes 12 days after California regulators gave NRG and its partners more time to avoid defaulting on a contract with PG&E for failing to supply power they had guaranteed. “The February numbers were well in excess of what we were targeting,” Samuelian said in an interview. The plant experienced a Normal ramp up that caused it to fall short of production targets for the first 24 months in operation. Last week, California regulators gave the project until Aug. 1 to avoid defaulting on its agreement with PG&E if it pays the utility for past shortfalls in generation and continues to meet future targets. The facility is on pace to generate 102% of its target capacity for March.
EPA Moves on HFCs, But Rejects Enviro Industry Agreement – The White House Office of Management and Budget approved a proposed EPA rule that aims to phase out certain refrigerants and other hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) that contribute significantly to climate change. The EPA intends to solicit public comment on the regulation and finalize it by August. EPA also is proposing to curtail usage of certain HFCs. Various new limitations would be placed on the use of certain ozone-depleting substances in multiple industrial sectors. The EPA released the proposed rule under the Clean Air Act’s Significant New Alternatives Policy (SNAP) and said it would particularly affect hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) used in the refrigeration and air conditioning, foam blowing, and fire suppression and explosion protection industries. The HVAC industry, which has been a leader on this issue said AHRI and NRDC negotiated an agreement on this issue that would have set the date of implementation as January 1, 2025. The EPA did not accept this agreement, stating in the NOPR that it needs additional analysis to justify that date. While AHRI and other stakeholders will be working with member companies to supply the analysis EPA is asking for, it is nonetheless a disappointment to the HVAC industry because they and NRDC worked diligently to reach the compromise that was presented to EPA, with each side giving something along the way. For the EPA to reject the agreement sets a bad precedent and could discourage further collaboration among stakeholders on these very important issues.
Colorado Gov Says Suspending Ozone Rule Great Idea – During a speech to the Colorado Petroleum Council late last week, Democratic Gov. John Hickenlooper said it would be a great idea for EPA to suspend its stricter new ozone rule. The comments were captured in a video distributed by the Center for Regulatory Solutions. Several state in the region including Colorado will have trouble meeting the new tougher standards because g significant background emissions. “So I think it would be a great idea if they suspended the standard,” Hickenlooper told a panel in Denver. “I mean, just with the background [ozone], if you’re not going to be able to conform to a standard like this, you are leaving the risk or the possibility that there will be penalties of one sort or another that come from your lack of compliance. … I think if they suspend the standards, it’s not going to slow us down from continuing to try and make our air cleaner.”
Key House Republicans Blast Interior Well Control Rule – A new letter from House Natural Resources Chairman Rob Bishop Interior and Environment Appropriations Subcommittee Chair Ken Calvert late Friday blasted new design requirements for offshore oil and gas wells, saying it will “severely limit” energy development on the outer continental shelf. The letter says the rule will have severe “negative unintended consequences.” “Allowing for OCS development and promoting a safe operating environment are not mutually exclusive and it is vitally important to continue improvements and updates to existing safety regulations,” Bishop and Calvert wrote. “However, these rules must be done well and done right.” As you know, our friends at GEST recently worked with Wood Mackenzie on a study that looked at the costs of the new proposed rule on drilling and its impact on economic activity, employment, energy supplies and federal offshore revenues. As well, newly –elected Louisiana Democratic Gov. John Bel Edwards also weighed in with the White House challenging the rule.
Supporters Hit Docket with Brief in Favor of GHG Rules – Supporters of EPA GHG rule for power plants flooded the docket with “friend of the court” briefs on Friday. The US Chamber’s Energy Institute has it all covered here with links to nearly every brief on both sides. My colleague Scott Segal offered these comments for the record on the Congressional brief filed by 200 Members. This group is countered by a larger group of 34 Senators and 171 members of the House that filed a brief pointing out the many legal and policy shortcomings of EPA’s rules on February 23, 2016:
- The environmentalist Congressional brief mirrors the EPA in confusing the alleged importance of CPP in achieving climate objectives with the actual structure and precedent of the Clean Air Act. They begin with overheated rhetoric describing the Act as a declaration of war, allowing EPA essentially to do whatever it is it wants. Of course, many of these same members rejected overbroad “war” rhetoric in virtually every other context. The claim of necessity also stands in marked contrast to statements from senior EPA officials and even the White House itself that CPP was not necessary for the US to meet its national obligation to greenhouse gas reductions established through the Paris process. The Administration and activists have both been emphatic in stating that reauthorization of tax credits coupled with market trends makes CPP unneeded to achieve US goals.
- The brief makes inappropriate comparisons between CPP and past rule makings found to be within EPA discretion. The truth is that EPA has never proposed as radical a departure from the letter of the Clean Air Act or past precedent. The Supreme Court reminded in the UARG case, EPA cannot simply discover vast reservoirs of new authority from long-extant obscure provisions without explicit authorization from Congress. Filing a brief is at best post hoc rationalization of Congressional intent not supported by actual legislative history.
The more these member stress the importance of the subject matter of its rule, the stronger the case that Congress should use its actual legislative power to define any explicit authorization around which a national consensus can be built.
- Much like EPA, the environmentalist Congressional brief makes much of the Supreme Court’s finding in AEP v. Connecticut which found that federal common law was displaced by federal regulatory action on the subject of climate change. The Court ruled that such tort claims are displaced when federal legislation authorizes EPA to regulate emissions. But nothing in the AEP case created within Section 111(d) the type of authority EPA seeks here. Nothing, for example, allowed the Agency to proposed a rule that goes beyond the fence line of the regulated source in contravention of 40 years of Clean Air Act precedent. And of course the same decision, in footnote 7, also takes explicit notice of the fact that regulation under Section 112 preempts subsequent use of Section 111(d) under the Clean Air Act, meaning that the MATS rule prevents the use of authority cited for CPP.
- Bottom line: CPP remains in serious legal trouble on statutory, constitutional, administrative and implementation grounds. We think any fair panel of judges are likely to be deeply disturbed by EPA’s regulation, regardless of the subject matter it purports to address or the overheated rhetoric with which it is defended.
PUC Commissioners Brief Counters Pro-EPA Commissioners – Remember, with a brief mention of a few well-known pro-EPA former PUC Commissioners (Sue Tierney, Ron Binz, etc) filing a briefing, you should note that another bigger, more diverse group of PUC Commissioners weighed in against the EPA rules as an overreach. The 18 former state public utility commissioners that represented the interests of consumers in over a dozen states said lost in the litigation of EPA’s Power Plan is its permanent and irreversible impact on state regulators and state institutions that will only leave state utility regulators to present customers with the bill for its implementation. Former Colorado PUC Commissioner (who also has some good Binz stories) Ray Gifford (303- 626-2320, email@example.com) is a great resource.
New Web Page on GHG Rules Underscores Coal Impacts on Cost, Reliability – Speaking of CPP, Here is another great site to follow. Over the past several years, the EPA has worked to remove coal-based electricity from our nation’s energy mix for what amounts to negligible environmental benefits. To counter the attack, our friends at ACCCE launched a web page – Coal Facts – that utilizes data that highlights reliable, affordable coal-based electricity. The page provides a handy resource for the full story.
Capitol Crude Looks at Trump Oil Import Ban – Looking for a little Oil politics? Even though Donald Trump’s proposal to ban US imports of Saudi Arabian crude appears unfeasible, but is the plan already chilling investment in the US energy sector and damaging fragile ties with the Saudis and other overseas allies? On this week’s Capitol Crude podcast, Platts senior oil Brian Scheid talks with David Goldwyn, Tim Worstall, George David Banks and James Koehler on the impacts of Trump’s proposed Saudi import ban.
ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK
BNEF Energy Summit Features Kerry, SoCo Fanning – Bloomberg New Energy Finance is hosting at 8th annual Energy Summit today and tomorrow in New York City and will include among its speakers Secretary of State John Kerry, Southern Company CEO Tom Fanning, ClearPath Foundation founder Jay Faison and former Colorado Gov. Bill Ritter among others. See the full agenda and speakers here.
Forum to Discuss Ukraine Energy Security – This afternoon at 4:00 p.m., the Atlantic Council will host a discussion on Ukraine energy with its resident fellow Anders Åslund and Ukrainian Parliament Energy committee Member Olga Bielkova. In his report on the strategic challenges facing Ukraine’s energy sector Dr. Åslund argues that energy sector reform is essential to the survival of Ukraine, as it will assist Ukraine’s fight against corruption, minimize its dependence on Russian gas, and improve Ukrainian national security. The simultaneous support of and pressure from the transatlantic community is critical for Ukraine to complete the reform process in due course to smooth the social costs of the transition, stabilize its energy market, create a favorable environment for indigenous energy production, and improve the country’s overall economic growth prospects. The panel of experts will discuss the findings and recommendations of Dr. Åslund’s report.
Energy Conference Set – The Energy Smart Conference will be held at the Gaylord today through Wednesday. The event features top enterprises, energy service providers, and technology leaders to rethink the industry and refine energy management. Main speakers will be Colin Powell, author of Drive: The Surprising Truth of What Motivates Us Daniel Pink and Green to Gold Author Andrew Winston.
McCarthy to Address CSM Breakfast – EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy will again revisit the Christian Science Monitor breakfast series at the St. Regis Hotel at 9:00 a.m. You know what to expect, but this time with a heavy dose of health impact issues given today’s White House Health-Climate Report.
CSIS to Discuss China Energy Outlook – Tomorrow at 10:00 a.m., the CSIS Energy and National Security Program and Freeman Chair in China Studies will host Xiaojie Xu, Chief Fellow at the Institute of World Economics and Politics, part of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences in Beijing, to present the World Energy China Outlook 2016. The annual outlook presents a Chinese perspective on world energy trends with a focus on domestic energy development and global implications. The 2016 edition compares the implications of a Current Policies Scenario (CPS), examining recently released government policies, as well as an Eco-friendly Energy Strategy (EES), an alternative set of policies emphasizing a new pattern of economic development with increasing quality of growth, an optimized energy system, higher efficiency and lower-carbon development. Jane Nakano, Senior Fellow with the CSIS Energy and National Security Program, will moderate.
RFF to Launch Revesz/Lienke Book – Resources for the Future will hold a book launch tomorrow for the book, Struggling for Air: Power Plants and the “War on Coal” by Richard Revesz and Jack Lienke. Pro EPA advocates Revesz and Lienke argue that the Cross-State Air Pollution Rule, the Mercury and Air Toxics Standards, and the Clean Power Plan are the latest in a long line of efforts by presidential administrations of both parties to compensate for a tragic flaw in the Clean Air Act of 1970—the “grandfathering” that spared existing power plants from complying with the sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides emissions limits applicable to new plants. At this discussion, Revesz and Lienke will clarify their arguments and a panel of experts will weigh in on the inherent challenges of Clean Air Act regulations and the future of environmental policies such as the Clean Power Plan. A panel of experts will discuss the issues.
Forum to Look at Transition in Coal Country – The Environmental and Energy Study Institute (EESI) hosts a webinar tomorrow at 2:00 p.m. that will explore how traditionally coal-reliant communities can transition, diversify and strengthen their economies as the United States moves toward a cleaner, more sustainable energy future. The event will discuss the funding opportunities and work being done at the local, regional and federal levels to help these communities grow vibrant local economies. This webinar will highlight the range of actions being taken by various coal-reliant regions to diversify and develop new jobs and sources of revenue.
FERC’s Honorable to Headline Energy Times Forum – The Energy Times will hold a conference on California Renewables at the Fairmont San Francisco on Wednesday. Keynoters will in broad strokes paint a picture of what is happening in the world of electric utilities, energy infrastructure and the power grid today. They will suggest what will be needed in the future and they will begin our consideration of what it will take for us to get there. Speakers will include FERC Commissioner Colette Honorable and Edison International’s Andrew Murphy, among many others.
Forum to Look at Arctic Energy Issues – The Institute of the North and The Wilson Center, in association with the Arctic Parliamentarians, Arctic Economic Council and Alaska Arctic Council Host Committee, will host a forum on Wednesday to consider ways in which northern governments and businesses can advance broadly beneficial and responsible economic development. The day-long forum will address the potential for Arctic economic development, the barriers, and the paths toward greater economic prosperity. This Forum is dedicated to improving the business environment in the American Arctic, which clearly intersects with the economies of other Arctic nations, other regions of the United States, and multiple sectors of the economy. Panel discussions and presentations will focus on areas of mutual interest and concern, including trade, infrastructure, investment, risk mitigation, and improving the living and economic conditions of people of the north. Confirmed speakers include Sens. Lisa Murkowski and Maine’s Angus King, as well as Arctic Economic Council Chair Tara Sweeney, Icelandic Arctic Chamber of Commerce rep Haukur Óskarsson, Julie Gourley of the US State Department, Canada’s Susan Harper, Norway Parliament Member Eirik Sivertsen, Denmark Parliament Member Aaja Chemnitz Larsen, Russian Sen. Vladimir Torlopov and several other business officials.
Pickens, Allen to Discuss NatGas Future – The Hudson Institute hosts a forum on Wednesday to look at the future natgas economy. America’s abundance of shale natural gas represents a historic opportunity for the United States to achieve a burst of clean economic growth—and gives American energy security and independence a new meaning. Will natural gas serve as an essential bridge in the coming era of clean renewable energy sources? Four panels of experts will discuss how the transition to natural gas as a leading power source and industrial feedstock will impact key sectors of the American economy. George Allen, former governor and U.S. senator from Virginia, will keynote the conference. Energy entrepreneur, financier, and philanthropist T. Boone Pickens will take part in a lunchtime dialogue on America’s natural gas future with Hudson Senior Fellow Arthur Herman. Other speakers will include our friends David Montgomery of NERA, Michael Jackson of Fuel Freedom Foundation and ACC’s Owen Kean among others.
Senate Agriculture to Look at USDA Rural Development Programs – Next Wednesday at 10:00 a.m., the Senate Agriculture Committee’s Subcommittee on Rural Development and Energy will hold a hearing on USDA Rural Development Programs and their economic impact across America. USDA’s Lisa Mensah, Under Secretary of Rural Development will testify along with Iowa Farm Bureau Federation President Craig Hill, our friend Iowa Renewable Fuels Association Executive Director Monte Shaw and Cris Sommerville, President of Dakota Turbines in North Dakota.
Senate Enviro Hosts NRC Commissioners on Budget – The Senate Environment Committee will hold an oversight hearing next Wednesday on the President’s FY 2017 Budget Request for the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. All NRC Commissioners will testify.
RFF to Look at Deforestation – Resources for the Future will hold its First Wednesday Seminar at 12:45 p.m. that focused on the opportunities for and challenges of reducing supply chain deforestation using private and regulatory strategies, potential synergies among these strategies, and linkages with Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD+). The event will feature leading companies, nongovernmental organizations, and multi-stakeholder initiatives using and promoting these approaches.
WCEE Lunch to Look at EE in Commercial Buildings – The Women’s Council on Energy and the Environment (WCEE) will host a lunch on Wednesday at Noon on new environmental policies, efficiency programs, climate change mitigation, and building codes. These items have been crucial to the design of sustainable infrastructure and development of energy efficient products, services and practices for commercial buildings and industrial plants. The market offers a wide assortment of programs, services and products but…which are the most suitable for commercial buildings or industrial plants? Panelists share their experience on energy efficiency programs implemented in different facilities. Smita Chandra Thomas will discuss how energy efficiency in commercial buildings can contribute to climate change mitigation and the eco-system that makes it possible. Julie Hughes from IMT will present on building energy performance policies–discussing how local, state, and federal government are crucial for making the built environmental more energy efficient. Alana Hutchinson will give an overview of ENERGY STAR best practices for establishing a comprehensive energy management program for buildings and plants. Corrine Figueredo will explain EDGE, an innovative tool developed by the IFC to help build a business case for Green buildings in more than a 100 countries.
SoCo’s Fanning, Duke’s Good, UN Sect, Others Headline WSJ ECO:nomics Forum – The Wall Street Journal hosts its annual ECO:nomics Conference in Santa Barbara on Wednesday evening, Thursday and Friday. The event brings together a diverse group of global CEOs, top entrepreneurs, environmental experts and policy makers for ECO:nomics 2016 in Santa Barbara. This year’s conference will give attendees the opportunity to join the national debate over energy policy, sustainability and climate. Speakers for the annual big shindig include Southern’s Tom Fanning, Duke’s Lynn Good, former UN Secretary-General Ban ki-moon West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin and Ford’s Mark Fields.
Green Symposium Set for DC – On Thursday and Friday at UDC, the 8th annual World Green Energy Symposium (WGES) will hold an educational and informational exchange platform featuring top decision makers and thought leaders who are seeking energy usage savings solutions and/or to increase economic development through the use of sustainable technologies and products. The WGES is a rare opportunity to meet firsthand some of the most innovative and advanced technologies to meet those demands, whether an innovator, investor, purchaser, or decision maker in new energy.
EPA Sets Biomass Workshop – States and stakeholders have shown strong interest in the role biomass can play in state strategies to address carbon pollution. Many states have extensive expertise in the area of sound carbon- and GHG-beneficial forestry and land management practices, and exhibit approaches to biomass and bioenergy that are unique to each state’s economic, environmental and renewable energy goals. To support efforts to further evaluate the role of biomass in stationary source carbon strategies, EPA is hosting this public workshop on Thursday to share their successes, experiences and approaches to deploying biomass in ways that have been, and can be, carbon beneficial.
Senate Energy to Look at USGS – The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee will hold a hearing on Thursday to conduct oversight of the U.S. Geological Survey. Expect a strong dose of earthquake discussions following last week’s release on new reports looking at man-made earthquakes in place like Oklahoma.
Forum to Discuss Energy with Presidential Advisors – The STEM Capitol Hill Power Lunch Series returns on Thursday at Noon in B-338 featuring a debate with energy, tech, and education advisors to Presidential candidates. The event features a debate with education, tech, and/or energy policy advisors to leading presidential candidates. You’re invited to enjoy a lively conversation about substantive policy issues affecting the growth of our innovation economy while networking with congressional staff and officials from federal and local government agencies along with tech and energy sector executives, other STEM professionals, policy advocates, educators, and students.
NAS Report to Look at Extreme Weather Issues – On Thursday evening at the Marian Koshland Science Museum the NAS will hold a forum on a new report on extreme weather that examines the current state of the science of attribution of extreme weather events to human-caused climate change and natural variability. The report considers different attribution approaches and different extreme event types, and identifies future research priorities. Report Chair David Titley of the Penn State and committee member Adam Sobel of Columbia University. Remarks will be followed by open audience Q&A, moderated by our friends Heidi Cullen of Climate Central and AP Science Writer Seth Borenstein.
HuffPost Podcast to Be Featured – Our friend Dana Yeganian, former Progress Energy PR person, is hosting a Happy Hour on Thursday at NBCUniversal’s office at 300 NJ Ave featuring the new HuffPost podcast Candidate Confessional. CC Hosts Sam Stein and Jason Chekis will provide an inside look at life on the losing side of the campaign trial.
Forum to Discuss Enviro Book – The CSIS Project on Prosperity and Development will host a forum on Next Monday at 10:30 a.m. for an armchair conversation with Antoine van Agtmael and Fred Bakker, authors of The Smartest Places on Earth: Why Rustbelts Are the Emerging Hotspots of Global Innovation. In their new book, the authors argue that manufacturing rustbelts in Europe and the United States are transforming as universities, large corporations, and policymakers collaborate to foster innovation ecosystems and empower visionary entrepreneurs. As these regions become new centers of economic dynamism there are lessons to be learned for any country or region seeking modern economic competitiveness.
JHU Energy Program to Discuss Energy in Eastern Mediterranean – The Johns Hopkins University will host a forum next Monday at 5:00 p.m. featuring Sir Michael Leigh is a senior fellow with the German Marshall Fund and runs GMF’s program on Eastern Mediterranean Energy. He was formerly director-general for enlargement with the European Commission and has held other senior positions at EU institutions for more than 30 years. He has taught at John Hopkins SAIS Europe in Bologna, Italy, as well as the University of Sussex and Wellesley College. Leigh will focus on energy and geopolitics in the Eastern Mediterranean.
Forum to Look at Energy Innovation in Defense Sector – The Atlantic Council and The Fuse, a group within the think Securing America’s Future Energy (SAFE), will host a panel discussion next Tuesday at 9:00 a.m. on energy technology and innovation in the U.S. defense sector. The demand for energy security and evolving geopolitical risks have already impacted the strategic approach of defense institutions, which are actively developing technology and policy alternatives to respond to these challenges. By integrating expertise in both security and energy issues, institutions such as the United States Navy provide a critical perspective in efforts to secure a reliable and sustainable energy supply. Speakers will include Dennis McGinn, Assistant Secretary of the Navy – Energy, Installations, & Environment, Pew’s Clean Energy Initiative Director Phyllis Cuttino and the Atlantic Council’s Dan Chiu,
CSIS Forum to Look at Energy Developments in Brazil, Venezuela – The CSIS Energy and National Security Program will host a panel discussion next Tuesday at 2:00 p.m. on regional energy developments in Latin America, with a focus on Brazil and Venezuela. Our expert panel will examine the political dynamics and economic outlook, highlighting analyses of political issues impacting the oil sector, including production profiles and the outlook for investment. Following the initial presentations, the panelists will engage in an informal conversation focusing on the latest developments in both countries, and the impact on domestic policy as well as oil markets more generally.
Rogers Headlines Clean Energy Challenge Forum – The Clean Energy Challenge is hold a conference in Chicago on April 12th featuring capitalists, civic leaders, and industry executives to recognize cleantech innovation. The Clean Energy Trust Challenge is a nationally recognized accelerator for clean energy innovation. Run by Chicago-based Clean Energy Trust, the Challenge has led to the development and growth of 60+ businesses throughout the Midwest. Speakers will include former Duke CEO Jim Rogers and Ripple Foods CEO Adam Lowry.
Gates to Receive Honor – CSIS and the Brzezinski Institute on Geostrategy will host the Inaugural Zbigniew Brzezinski Annual Prize and Lecture next Tuesday, April 12th at 5:00 p.m. The Zbigniew Brzezinski Annual Prize honors the legacy of Dr. Brzezinski by recognizing and promoting the importance of geostrategic thinking with a transcending moral purpose. This year’s inaugural Prize Recipient is former U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates. The mission of the Brzezinski Institute on Geostrategy is to examine the unique interaction of history, geography, and strategy, with a goal of developing policy-relevant analysis and recommendations. The Institute seeks to further the study of geostrategy and to develop a new generation of strategic policy thinkers in the United States and abroad.
USAEE Washington Energy Conference Set for Georgetown – The US Association for Energy Economics, National Capital Area Chapter (NCAC-USAEE) and the Georgetown Energy and Cleantech Club will host its 20th Annual Washington Energy Policy Conference on Wednesday, April 13th at Georgetown University. The event will feature Keynote Speaker, Bill Hogan, of Harvard University and our friends Monica Trauzzi of E&E TV, former NYT reporter Matt Wald of NEI and GDF Suez exec Rob Minter.
API Head to Look at Energy Policy Recommendations – American Petroleum Institute (API) President & CEO Jack Gerard will make a presentation of the 2016 Platform Committee Report on Wednesday, April 13th at the W Hotel at 8:30 a.m. The morning’s briefing will reveal API’s energy policy recommendations to the platform committees of the Democratic and Republican parties and set the stage for the corresponding panel discussions to follow.
Ethanol Supporters to Hold Washington Fly-In – The American Coalition for Ethanol is organizing a series of briefings and meetings on Wednesday and Thursday with congressional offices to advocate for continued support of ethanol fuel. The meetings will take place at the Washington Court Hotel and on Capitol Hill.
Forum Looks at Renewables in EU – The US Energy Association will hold a forum on Wednesday, April 13th at 10:00 a.m. on renewables deployment in the EU. The European Union has decided an ambitious program to transform its energy system. A binding target of at least 40% domestic reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 has been endorsed – compared with 1990 emission levels. Further targets include doubling the share of renewable energy in total consumption and increasing energy efficiency. Due to strong governmental support, the share of renewables in total EU power demand has doubled within the last ten years, from 15% in 2005 to 30% in 2015. But this strong development has a price. Net subsidy paid by the customers to plant operators reached, alone in Germany, which has one of the most ambitious programs in favor of renewables, $23 billion in 2015 and $140 billion in total for the period 2000 to 2015. This has led to power prices in the EU, which are twice as high as the U.S. average. Power producers, too, have to face new challenges.
CSIS Forum Looks at Infrastructure – On Wednesday at 2:00 p.m., the Center for Strategic and International Studies will hold an expert panel discussion on meeting infrastructure demands around the world. According to the World Bank’s Global Infrastructure Facility, the unmet demand for infrastructure around the world is estimated to be above $1 trillion per year. Meeting the financing need for bankable and sustainable projects must be a priority, for both governments and the private sector, in the coming decades. In addition to financing needs, donors and the private sector must work together to build capacity and provide technical assistance that will ensure continued success long after the individual projects have been completed. Panelists will discuss ways in which infrastructure can become a driver of development and stability, and how targeted investments in smart projects and capacity building can produce measurable results to pave the way for sustainable economic growth in low and middle-income countries.
Forum Looks at Philanthropy, Climate – On Wednesday, April 13th at 5:00 p.m., the German Marshall Fund of the United States will hold a forum that will explore the ways philanthropy and government can link the equity and climate policy agendas at the city, national, and global level. The dialogue will feature speakers working on this issue in the United States and Europe and build a discussion led by GMF as part of the Paris Climate Summit for Local Leaders.
Ocean Film Screening Set – George Mason University will host a special screening of “Ocean Frontiers II” Wednesday, April 13th 5:45 p.m. in the Founders Hall Auditorium, followed by a Q & A on ocean planning with a panel of regional and international experts. In a region steeped in old maritime tradition, the film tells the story of a modern wave of big ships, offshore wind energy and a changing climate, and how people are coming together to plan for a healthy ocean off their coast. The interactive panel discussion with regional and international experts includes Beth Kerttula of the National Ocean Council, John T. Kennedy of DOT’s Maritime Administration, GMU’s Chris Parsons and Amy Trice of Ocean Conservancy.
House Transpo Look at Grid Security – On Thursday, April 14th, the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee’s Subcommittee on Economic Development, Public Buildings, and Emergency Management will hold a hearing on Blackout preparation and managing the aftermath of a cyber-attack or any other failure of the electrical grid.
More 350K Celebrate Science Expo – The 4th USA Science & Engineering Festival, the largest and only national science festival, will be held next Friday, Saturday and Sunday at the Washington Convention Center in DC. The event features nationwide contests and school programs, including the popular ‘Nifty 50’ science speaker program and X-STEM Symposium. The Festival will culminate in a Grand Finale Expo with Sneak Peek Friday kicking off the weekend on April 15th. More than 350,000 attendees will celebrate science at the Expo, and engage in activities with some of the biggest names in STEM, hear stories of inspiration and courage, and rock out to science during our incredible stage show performances. See full agenda here.
Skulnik to Speak on MD Solar Law – On Sunday, April 17th at 2:15 p.m. in the Aspen Hill Library, our friend Gary Skulnik will discuss the new Maryland community solar law. Skulnik is the founder of a new social enterprise called Neighborhood Sun, www.neighborhoodsun.solar. As President of Clean Currents, Gary started the movement for clean power in Maryland and the region. Last week, Skulnik spoke at a similar event in Silver Spring.
Group to Host Nuclear Week Activities – The Alliance for Nuclear Accountability is hosting its 27th annual DC Days Sunday April 17th through Wednesday April 20th to voice concerns about nuclear weapons, power, and waste. Of course, you can always get that info with our friends at NEI.
Conference to Look at PA Drilling – Shale Directories will host Upstream 2016 on April 19th at the Penn Stater in State College, PA to look at action in PA. Despite cutbacks in budgets, there are still opportunities for this and next year and Cabot, Seneca and others will be there to discuss when Drilling may ramp up again, what you can do to help the industry and how to prepare for the growth. As well, Faouizi Aloulou, Senior Economist with the Energy Information Agency, will give a presentation on the uncertainties of shale resource development under low price environment.
Water Power Conferences Set for DC – The all-new Waterpower Week in Washington will present three events in one, showcasing the entire world of waterpower. The National Hydropower Association Annual Conference, International Marine Renewable Energy Conference and Marine Energy Technology Symposium will all take place at the Capital Hilton in Washington, D.C., April 25-27.
Pollution Agencies to Host Spring Meeting – The Association of Air Pollution Control Agencies’ will hold its 2016 Spring Meeting on April 28th and 29th at the Columbia Marriott in Columbia, South Carolina. The event will feature panels and presentations related to multipollutant planning, NOx controls, the Clean Power Plan, NAAQS implementation, Clean Air Act cost-benefit analysis, and legal updates.
Solar Summit Set For AZ – On May 11 and 12 in Scottsdale, Arizona, the 9th annual Solar Summit will dive deep into a unique blend of research and economic market analysis from the GTM Research team and industry experts. This year’s agenda will feature themes from Latin America to BOS to the Global Solar Market. DOE’s Lidija Sekaric and ERCOT’s Bill Magness lead a large group of speakers.