Primer for DOE Furnace Rule Hearing

Friends,

 

DOE will hold a public meeting on the notice of proposed rulemaking regarding energy conservation standards for certain residential furnaces, tomorrow, Friday, March 27th from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. at the U.S. Department of Energy, Forrestal Building, Room 8E-089, 1000 Independence Avenue, SW.  There is a link to the Federal Register notice for the rule here.

 

To attend, please notify Ms. Brenda Edwards at (202) 586–2945.  The meeting will also be broadcast as a webinar. Please register for the webinar here.

 

The public comment period closes June 10, 2015.

 

Please feel free to call with questions.  I expect to be at DOE in the morning.  As well if you are doing anything On the water heater rules and legislation recently introduced, we can provide additional information for that as well.

 

Frank Maisano

(202) 997-5932.

 

AHRI Has Concerns

 

In advance of the DOE hearing on the proposed furnace rule, scheduled for Friday, March 27, AHRI is issuing the following statement, which can be attributed to AHRI President & CEO Stephen Yurek:

 

“AHRI and its members have a proud history of working on a consensus basis on efficiency standards that make sense for consumers, manufacturers and the environment.  DOE’s proposed rule makes no sense for anyone, and America’s furnace manufacturers intend to fight – and fight hard – to protect our customers from this economically and environmentally devastating rule.  We will work diligently with our members and with like-minded industry associations to advocate for standards that are not only technically feasible but economically justified for consumers and manufacturers.”

 

On March 12, DOE issued a proposed rule that would set new standards, but at a sharply higher level than the department had agreed to less than four years prior: 92 percent AFUE for the entire nation, from Michigan to Miami, from Seattle to San Antonio.

 

If allowed to go into effect unchanged, this rule would have devastating effects on manufacturers and consumers alike.

 

  • The cost of purchasing and installing a new furnace would skyrocket for every consumer across the nation.  Heating is not a luxury but a necessity for health and safety. So when consumers cannot afford to replace their current furnace with the ultra-efficient products mandated by DOE, they will make other choices, that maybe less safe (using electric space heaters) or endanger their health (repair their current furnace or go without).  The end result would be an increase rather than decrease in the energy consumed to heat a home.
  • Condensing furnaces, which are all that would be allowed under the new rule, have significant installation challenges in some homes, and installation for every homeowner would be more difficult and costly than it is now simply because of different venting requirements than exist for non-condensing furnaces.
  • This over-reach by DOE will result in reduced furnace shipments for manufacturers, inevitably causing job losses.

 

Background for Reporters


In 2011, DOE issued a Direct Final Rule adopting the language in a consensus agreement reached by AHRI and several efficiency groups that recommended the following regional efficiency standards for residential non-weatherized gas furnaces:  90 percent average fuel utilization efficiency (AFUE) for the northern region (defined as > 5,000 heating degree days) and 80 percent AFUE in the south and southwest regions (defined as < 5,000 HDDs).

 

  • Several organizations filed suit against DOE seeking to derail the rule (AHRI and several advocacy groups intervened on behalf of DOE in support of the rule) and in 2014, a settlement was reached through which DOE withdrew the rule and agreed to issue a new rule at a later date.

 

AHRI Members Testifying/Attending Tomorrow

 

These are the companies that will have reps at the hearing tomorrow.  Also present will be contractor members of ACCA- air conditioning contractors of America, and reps from HARDI –heating, airconditioning, and refrigeration distributors International.

 

  • Carrier Corporation
  • Goodman Manufacturing Company
  • Ingersoll Rand
  • Johnson Controls, Inc.
  • Lennox International Inc.
  • Nortek Global HVAC
  • Rheem Manufacturing

 

Link to American Gas Association Blog

 

Another group with significant concern is the American Gas Association who recently wrote in a blog post that while on the surface, the rule appears to be a positive step toward achieving greater energy efficiency, a closer examination reveals counterproductive and unintended consequences that conflict with DOE’s stated goal of improved efficiency and reduced emissions.

 

According to AGA, These counterproductive and unintended consequences include:

 

  • An economic burden on consumers required to bear the prohibitive costs of the expensive equipment and installation.
  • The undermining of efficiency programs and the financial incentives that enable consumers to purchase high-efficiency furnaces.
  • Wasted energy and higher emissions because customers are induced to switch to cheaper equipment, such as electric furnaces, which has a much higher full-fuel-cycle energy and emissions footprint.

 

Additional Expert Resource

 

My colleague Salo Zelermyer (salo.zelermyer@bgllp.com, c. 202-294-2720), former DOE Senior Counsel and attorney at Bracewell & Giuliani who represents energy efficiency and technology clients will be out of town, but is available to provide insights via phone or e-mail.  When the rule was released, Salo said “DOE’s proposed rule clearly admits that increasing the standards on residential furnaces leads to increased switching from natural gas to electric furnaces. Such an approach would actually increase lifecycle GHG emissions and stands in stark contrast to the goals of the President’s climate action plan.”  We are working on a number of these DOE rules with many different members of the EE and HVAC industries and these are items that Salo watched closely when he was at DOE.  He is a great resource.

 

Energy Update: Week of March 23

Friends,

 

Here we go again…A great round of NCAA tournament games this past weekend, taking us down to the Sweet 16.  Some of the surprise winners are familiar names like UCLA, Xavier and Michigan State.  And of course, among the “Shockers” were Kansas, UVa and Villanova’s early exits.  Maybe a little surprising, but not totally.  Big names like UK, Duke, Wisconsin, Gonzaga, Louisville, etc continue on.  On the women’s side, top seeds are rolling with So Carolina and Notre Dame through to the Round of 16.  Today, Maryland should have their hands full with undefeated Princeton and UConn takes on Rutgers as they advance the second 8.

 

On March Madness, our friends at Iberdrola are having some fun with the idea.  Last week they rolled out Megawatt Madness tourney – matching up our 64 renewable locations around the country (mostly Iberdrola wind and solar fleet).   They have moved to the Sweet 16 so click and vote…

 

Finally, the 2015 NCAA Frozen Four hockey pairings were announced yesterday.  WCHA Champ Minnesota State-Mankato is top seed with North Dakota, Boston and Miami, getting No. 1 seeds. Regional play begins Friday and Saturday in Fargo, North Dakota (West Regional), Manchester, New Hampshire (Northeast), Providence, Rhode Island (East), and South Bend, Indiana (Midwest). The Frozen Four will be played in Boston at TD Garden on April 9th and April 11th.  Sleeper this year could be Harvard who won the ECAC and the UP’s Michigan Tech who are solid and return to the tourney for the first time since 1981.

 

Speaking of hockey, there is a big game in town (actually Kettler Arena in Arlington, VA) on Wednesday at 7:00 p.m.   The Congressional Hockey Challenge will feature members of Congress and staff (including a couple of ringers from the Canadian Parliament) playing a team of lobbyists to raise funds for the Thurgood Marshall College Fund (the legendary SCOTUS justice was a huge hockey fan), USA Warriors Hockey and DC inner city youth hockey program Ft. Dupont.  POLITICO Playbook’s Dan Lippman profiles the event and I will be on the ice as part of the officiating crew.  Tickets are $10 so please turn out for this fun event and great cause.

 

Besides lacing up their skates, members will be active this week with several important hearings.  It all started this morning in West Virginia where Sen. Shelly Moore Capito, member of the both Sen. Energy and Enviro Committees held a field hearing in Beckley on EPA’s Clean Power Plan.   There is also a Small Business Committee field hearing in Louisiana with Chair Dave Vitter today on how small businesses are supporting America’s energy renaissance.  Following last week’s hearing on coal ash legislation, EPA’s OSW head Mathy Stanislaus discusses the EPA Rule/legislation in the much anticipated Round 2 tomorrow.   Also tomorrow, Senate Ag hits at the EPA’s Waters of the US rule where my colleague Lowell Rothschild (202-828-1711) is an outstanding resource.  Finally, House Ag will hold two hearings this week on the reauthorization of the CFTC.  My colleagues Bob Pease (202-828-5824) and Dave Perlman (202-828-5804) are great experts on the topic.

 

With the DOE Quadrennial Energy Review being released any day now, Secretary Moniz is supposed to visit Senate Energy on Thursday.   The hearing is not yet for sure as the QER may be delayed.  What is not delayed at Senate Energy is the RETURN of our friend Rosemarie Calabro Tully, who has been energy press secretary for the Bipartisan Policy Center since leaving the Committee when Chairman Bingaman retired, to ENR where she will communications for ranking member Maria Cantwell.

 

The big legal event in DC this week is the Supreme Court of the US hearing the long-awaited mercury rule challenge on Wednesday.  Michigan AG Bill Schuette leads 19 other states in arguing the rule is not attainable and too costly.  My colleagues Jeff Holmstead, Rich Alonso and Scott Segal can respond to any and all of your questions.

 

There are budget hearings this week on Forest Service, DOE with Secretary Moniz on Wednesday, PHSMA, House Energy Approps with all four NRC Commissioners and FBI Director James Comey.

 

Our friends at the Wall Street Journal are hosting ECO:nomics in Cali this week while Heating and AC company leaders flood DC for AHRI annual Washington DC Symposium (#AHRISymposium on Twitter).  If fact, some of those HVAC guys will likely weigh in at Friday’s DOE public hearing on the hotly-contested new Furnace efficiency rule.  My colleague Salo Zelermyer, former DOE Senior Counsel and attorney at Bracewell & Giuliani who represents energy efficiency and technology clients highlighted that DOE’s proposed rule clearly admits that increasing the standards on residential furnaces leads to increased switching from natural gas to electric furnaces which actually increases GHG emissions.  Expect this argument to continue to come up on Friday.  American Gas Assn and furnace-makers at AHRI both have expressed serious concerns about the effectiveness of DOE’s rule as well.

 

Call with questions.

 

Frank Maisano

(202) 828-5864

  1. (202) 997-5932

 

IN THE NEWS

 

Iberdrola Promoting Renewables with “Megawatt Madness”  – Iberdrola Renewables launched a bracket-style tournament last week called Megawatt Madness, which features 64 of our renewable power sites across the United States. The tournament allows employees, landowners, community members and the general public to vote for and share their favorite sites from the Iberdrola Renewables fleet.  This campaign features a website-based bracket, where participants can vote based on images, descriptions, and facts about each site. Participants are encouraged to share on social media to spread the word about what makes their site so special using the hashtag #IR64.  The winners of each round of the tournament will be determined by the amount of votes and social media shares they receive. Bracket match-ups will occur for one month, with the champion being selected after April 10.  Starting today, the sweet 16 are out there so go vote.

 

Atlantic Sunrise Will Create Jobs, Economic Growth –A new study from Penn State University says that the design and construction of Williams’ Atlantic Sunrise natural gas pipeline project will generate approximately $1.6 billion in additional wages, revenues and investments to the regional and state economies of Pennsylvania and Virginia.  The report clearly shows how vital this project and others like it are for Pennsylvania’s economy.  “Economic Impacts of the Atlantic Sunrise Pipeline Project,” lead author Seth Blumsack, Associate Professor of Energy Policy at Penn State, finds that the proposed project would have a major, positive economic impact on the Pennsylvania and Virginia economies where new pipeline facilities would be built and operated.   According to the researchers, the design and construction of the Williams Atlantic Sunrise pipeline project could support approximately 8,000 jobs and an associated $870 million in economic value added during the construction period. Additionally, the ongoing operation of the pipeline would generate approximately $1.9 million in annual economic impact, supporting 29 jobs.   In a related report titled “Estimating the Impact of the Atlantic Sunrise Project on Natural Gas Consumers,” lead author Andrew Kleit, Professor of Energy and Environmental Economics at Penn State, found that consumers served by the Transco pipeline in the southeast and Mid-Atlantic regions could have saved $2.6 billion from 2012-2014 due to increased access to lower-priced Pennsylvania gas supply because of Atlantic Sunrise.

 

Interior Issues BLM NatGas Fracturing Rule – In another Friday afternoon release special, the Interior Department released its long-awaited rule governing hydraulic fracturing for oil and gas on federal and American Indian lands.  The rule, issued by the Bureau of Land Management, will require companies using the process to strengthen wells with concrete barriers to prevent water zones; disclose the chemicals used to the online FracFocus database; and secure recovered waste fluid with stronger interim storage tanks.  The rule will also require companies to submit more information on preexisting wells to prevent cross-well contamination.

 

IER Hammers Rule, Administration – The Institute for Energy Research President said the Administration’s hydraulic fracturing regulation saying the Obama administration is being “dishonest” about its intentions. IER President Tom Pyle: “This new hydraulic fracturing rule isn’t about protecting the environment, but rather about curtailing domestic energy production, which has been this administration’s goal all along.” IER said production on federal lands has actually declined under this administration in the midst of record energy production on state and private lands.  Pyle: “Imposing federal controls on hydraulic fracturing is this administration’s latest regulatory scheme for disrupting America’s domestic energy boom. From proposing to block off ANWR and parts of Alaska’s energy-rich offshore areas to slow-walking drilling permits and fast-tracking green energy leases, President Obama remains determined to strangle domestic energy production by any means necessary.  Pyle Finished by saying the administration’s hydraulic fracturing rule is a solution in search of a problem and states are already regulating hydraulic fracturing on public lands and have done so successfully for years without federal interference.

 

Drillers Sue Over Rule – Not wasting any time, IPAA and the Western Energy Alliance filed a federal lawsuit against the Interior regulations, challenging BLM’s issuance of regulations related to hydraulic fracturing on federal and Indian lands. The Complaint, filed in federal district court in Wyoming, characterizes BLM’s rulemaking as “a reaction to unsubstantiated concerns” and requests the regulations be set aside because the administrative record lacks the factual, scientific, or engineering evidence necessary to sustain the agency’s action. States have an outstanding record of protecting the environment and safeguarding the public. This new rule is simply another regulatory overreach by the Obama Administration that will hurt America’s oil and natural gas producers. WEA President Tim Wigley: Interior “struggles to meet its current workload of leasing, environmental analysis, permitting, monitoring, inspecting, and otherwise administering the federal onshore oil and natural gas program.  Yet it is undertaking an entirely new regulatory regime that it has neither the resources nor the expertise to implement.”

 

Bracewell Experts are Available – Despite another Friday policy announcement from this Administration; this one while NCAA basketball games will be filling most offices on Capitol Hill, in DC and around the nation., we have experts at B&G.  Should you need to discuss this long-awaited announcement on regulations for hydraulic fracturing on Federal land natgas drilling, feel free to call my colleagues Jason Hutt (202-828-5850, Jason.hutt@bgllp.com) and Lowell Rothschild (202-828-5817, lowell.rothschild@bgllp.com).  They will be happy to provide background information, on-the-record quote and policy/legal analysis.

 

More Drama on the Post Fact Check – You may recall last week, we detailed the March 13th Post Fact Checker article by Michelle Ye Hee Lee on recent remarks made by Senator Jim Inhofe (R-OK) on the EPA’s Clean Power Plan.   ACCCE fired back a strongly-worded response highlighting several factual errors and omitted other important facts on state opposition to EPA’s proposal.  Now, ACCCE submitted a Letter to the Editor to The Washington Post, however, the paper rejected the letter as the original article did not appear in print.  Now ACCCE is releasing their L to E from ACCCE head Mike Duncan.

 

The Letter –The letter from Duncan reads: Your Fact Checker’s article “Inhofe’s misleading statements on carbon emissions rule” on March 13 was remarkable for two reasons.   First and foremost, the Fact Checker failed to check any facts with ACCCE or NERA. A single call or email was never even attempted, despite a lengthy piece which criticizes analyses by both organizations.  Secondly, there are a large number of facts the Fact Checker got wrong. For example, the Fact Checker incorrectly claims NERA assumed only a “worst-case scenario” when analyzing the economic impacts of EPA’s Clean Power Plan. NERA’s report, however, makes it crystal clear that several scenarios were modeled, including a best case scenario (referred to in NERA’s report as the “state unconstrained” scenario). The Fact Checker also claims NERA did not analyze regional compliance approaches. Had the Fact Checker read the report or checked with us, she would know for a fact that NERA devoted an entire 10-page appendix to explain its analysis of a regional compliance scenario and the impacts (for example, 41 states would experience double-digit electricity price increases).  In light of the numerous errors in this reporting, we can only assume the Fact Checker’s nose is growing by the moment.

 

Moniz, Pritzker Lead Trade Mission to China – U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker and U.S. Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz will lead a delegation of 25 American companies on a Business Development Trade Mission to Beijing, Shanghai, and Guangzhou, China next month.  The trade mission will help U.S. companies launch or increase their business operations in China for Smart Cities – Smart Growth products and services, such as smart buildings, green data centers, carbon capture utilization and storage, energy efficiency technologies, clean air and water technologies, waste treatment technologies, smart grid and green transportation.  Southern Company and Brightsource Energy are among the companies already working innovative energy technologies with China and others internationally.

 

Platts Cap Crude Looks at Exports – Our friends at Platts Capitol Crude podcast takes a deep dive into the ongoing debate over crude exports following last week’s Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee hearing. The debate has dipped into the future of US oil production, current refining capacity and the influence exports may have on foreign policy. It also comes as the US fossil fuel industry finds itself in the midst of a “body swap” movie where policy has not kept pace with a radical change.

 

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

 

IHS Execs to Discuss Current Oil Issues at CSIS – As part of its ongoing assessment of the impact of low oil prices and policy on the sustainability of domestic energy production, the CSIS Energy and National Security Program is hosting Dan Yergin, Kurt Barrow and Rick Bott of IHS today at 1:00 p.m. to present their most recent analysis looking at the oil export question in light of the fall in oil prices and the impact on investment and in terms of the supply chains in the non-oil producing states. The analysis considers 60 separate supply chain industries and provides granular impact analysis to fully understand the economic and job growth impact across the nation. Frank Verrastro, Senior Vice President and James R. Schlesinger Chair for Energy and Geopolitics at CSIS, will moderate.

 

House Ag to Look at CFTC – The House Agriculture Committee will hold two hearings tomorrow and Wednesday on the reauthorization of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission.  The CFTC — whose oversight of futures markets expanded significantly under the 2010 Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act — has been awaiting reauthorization since September 2013.  My Colleagues Bob Pease (202-828-5824) and Dave Perlman (202-828-5804) are great experts on the topic.

 

NRC Commissioners Head to House Approps for Budget, Yucca – The House Energy and Water Appropriations panel will hear from NRC Chairman Stephen Burns and his fellow commissioners Kristine Svinicki, William Ostendorff and Jeff Baran about the agency’s fiscal 2016 budget request.  Topics concerns include Yucca Mountain, Nevada repository and many other topics.

 

Senate Ag Tackles WOTUS – The highly-controversial Water of the US Rule will be the subject of a hearing at Senate Ag tomorrow at 10:00 a.m.   Vocal critic and ag advocate Pat Roberts will chair the Hearing.  Witnesses will include Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge, North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources secretary Donald van der Vaart, Kansas Department of Agriculture assistant secretary Susan Metzger, Josh Baldi of the Washington State Department of Ecology,  Ouray County, CO commissioner Lynn Padgett and several other farmers representing different sectors.

 

BPC to Host Moniz on Nuclear Future – The Bipartisan Policy Commission will hold a discussion tomorrow morning with Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz looking at the progress to date and examining pathways forward on the future of nuclear waste disposal.   In January 2012, the Blue Ribbon Commission on America’s Nuclear Future recommended a phased, adaptive, consent-based approach for finding a safe, permanent solution for managing nuclear materials.  BPC head Jason Grumet will host the discussion with Moniz.

 

ELI to Look at Coal Ash Rule – The Enviro Law Institute will host a forum tomorrow at Noon for an in-depth examination of the final coal ash rule. ELI’s expert panel will explain the rule’s workings and answer questions on safety, environmental guidelines and other topics.  On December 19, 2014, EPA’s Administrator signed the first ever federal rule regulating the disposal of coal ash, a combustion byproduct from coal-fired power plants.  EPA’s final rule determines that coal ash should be regulated as a solid waste under Subtitle D of the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA), not a hazardous waste, and provides new national minimum criteria for the coal ash disposal.

 

AHRI to Host Annual DC Meeting – The Heating and Air Conditioning trade association AHRI will hold its annual Washington Conference Wednesday and Thursday.  Speakers will include Bracewell’s Scott Segal and folks from Congress and the Administration.

 

Forum to Look at Indigenous People, Industry – The CSIS Project on Prosperity and Development will host a forum on Wednesday at 10:00 a.m.  that will look at maximizing partnerships between indigenous communities and the extractive sector.  The discussion will focus on ways companies in the extractive industry engage indigenous communities in their areas of operation. Many extractive companies find themselves operating in close proximity to indigenous people and their territories. Working constructively with these communities is now a major business priority. The panelists will offer their perspectives on how both companies and indigenous communities can benefit from greater cooperation, whether through creating new education opportunities, offering extractive industry-related job training to potential indigenous employees, and by encouraging local economic growth.  The panel features Simon Boyce of the Navajo Nation, BHP Billiton’s Maria “Malala” Recart and former Canadian House of Commons Member Gary Merasty.

 

WSJ ECO:nomics Conference to Feature Leaders –  Wednesday to Friday, the editors of The Wall Street Journal will hold its ECO:nomics conference in Santa Barbara, CA.  The event brings together global CEOs, top entrepreneurs, environmental experts, policy makers and leading thinkers at ECO:nomics 2015 to identify and assess the most compelling opportunities — and pressing risks— emerging around the world in businesses impacted by the environment.  Through on-stage interviews with leading figures and interactive sessions with peers in diverse industries, participants at ECO:nomics 2015 will debate, discuss and get the inside story on essential issues: investing in innovation, disrupting current business models, the new meaning of sustainability and the future of the environmental movement, where energy policy is heading.  Speakers will include  Former EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson, WV Sen. Jo e Manchin, FERC Commissioner Phil Moeller, coal magnate Bob Murray, former Brightsource CEO and current Google exec John Woolard, Dan Yergin, T. Boone Pickens and Ted Nordhaus of the Breakthrough Institute.

 

SCOTUS to Hear Mercury Case – The Supreme Court of the US (SCOTUS) will hear the long-awaited mercury rule challenge on Wednesday morning.  Michigan AG Bill Schuette leads 19 other states in arguing the rule is not attainable and too costly.  My colleagues Jeff Holmstead, Rich Alonso and Scott Segal can respond to any and all of your questions.

 

Moniz to Head to Senate Approps Panel – Secretary Moniz returns the Senate Approps panel on Energy and Water with Science advisor Frank Orr on Wednesday at 9:30 a.m. to discuss the DOE Budget.

 

Marcellus Shale Meeting Set for NE PA – The Marcellus Shale Coalition will hold a meeting on Wednesday and Thursday in Wilkes-Barre, PA.  Tax proposals from new PA Gov. Tom Wolf will be a significant topic of discussion.

 

Senate Energy to Hear From Moniz on QER – The Senate Energy Committee will review the upcoming release of DOE’s Quadrennial Energy Review in a hearing on Thursday featuring Secretary Ernie Moniz.  The hearing was scheduled but may be delayed if the report is delayed.  Stayed tuned on whether it makes.

 

O’Connor to Address Law Symposium – ELI, ECOS, GWU’s Journal of Energy and Environmental Law and Environmental Law Association, RSM Eramus University Rotterdam  and the International Network for Environmental Compliance and Enforcement will host the Shapiro Enviro Law Symposium at GW Law School on Thursday and Friday.  Former SCOTUS Justice Sandra Day O’Connor will be among the many speakers.

 

NCAA “Sweet 16” Games Start – 12:10 p.m. Thursday.

 

DOE Furnace Public Hearing Set – DOE will host its public hearing on its Furnace Rule on Friday.  DOE rolled out its new efficiency proposal for certain residential natural gas-fired furnaces in Mid -February.  Here is the link for the rule.   My colleague Salo Zelermyer, former DOE Senior Counsel and attorney at Bracewell & Giuliani who represents energy efficiency and technology clients said “DOE’s proposed rule clearly admits that increasing the standards on residential furnaces leads to increased switching from natural gas to electric furnaces. Such an approach would actually increase lifecycle GHG emissions and stands in stark contrast to the goals of the President’s climate action plan.”  We are working on a number of these EE rules with many different members of the EE and HVAC industries and these are items that Salo watched closely when he was at DOE.  He is a great resource.

 

FUTURE EVENTS

 

FERC GHG Technical Conference to Focus on EPA Rule – FERC holds its final GHG technical Conference in St. Louis on March 31st.  Ameren CEO Warner Baxter is expected to present to the panel.  You may recall his recent white paper in which Ameren, a coal-heavy utility in Missouri, feels like some tweaks in the EPA rule can not only make the plan achievable, but also save consumers billions. The full announcement, including a quote by FERC Chairman Cheryl LaFleur, is available here.  The full text of the notice in the Federal Register, including instructions on how to register for the conferences, is available here.  Commissioner Tony Clark released his own statement, available here.

 

Nat Gas Roundtable to Host DOI Offshore Expert – The Natural Gas Roundtable is pleased to announce that Janice Schneider, Assistant Secretary for Land and Minerals Management at Interior (DOI), will be the featured guest speaker at the Natural Gas Roundtable luncheon on Tuesday, March 31st, where she will discuss the current offshore energy production landscape.  Schneider oversees four DOI bureaus including the Bureau of Land Management, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement and the Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement. In this capacity, she guides the Department’s management and use of federal lands and waters and their associated mineral and non-mineral resources, spanning approximately 245 million acres of federal surface lands, 700 million acres of federal mineral interests and the 1.7 billion-acre Outer Continental Shelf.

 

RFF to Host Offshore Energy Discussion – Resources for the Future (RFF) and the Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment will hold an RFF First Wednesday Seminar on Wednesday April 1st at 12:45 p.m., where leading experts will examine offshore oil and gas leasing reform in the US Arctic. Panelists will explore how these new regulations and strategies meet the need for integrated Arctic management and what work remains to be done to design a regulatory approach that appropriately balances resource development, environmental protection, and community livelihoods. The conversation will cover recommendations put forth in the National Petroleum Council’s Arctic study (to be released at the end of March) and lessons for the Arctic from the National Commission on the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and Offshore Drilling.

 

Columbia to Host Panel on Sustainability – Columbia University’s Earth Institute will hold a forum on the state of sustainability policy on Tuesday April 7th at 6:00 p.m. in NYC at the Low Memorial Library.   The event will feature the Earth Institute’s Steve Cohen, Columbia researcher Dong Guo,; NYC Mayor’s Office of Sustainability Director Nilda Mesa and our friend Andy Revkin.   This panel will explore the role that public policy plays in influencing behavior within organizations and among individuals, in order to facilitate and speed up that transition.

 

Solar Forum to Cover Solar Now, Future – Greentech Media will host a Solar Summit in Phoenix, AZ on April 14th – 16th at the Wigwam Resort.  Speakers will include SRP’s Lisa Singleton, Sun Power CEO Tom Werner and our friends Stephen Lacey of Greentech Media,  Shayle Kann of GTM Research, and Brad Heavner of the Cal Solar Energy Industry Assn, among many others.   The Summit focuses on what the solar industry needs to know and includes the research and economic analysis of GTM Research’s team.   This year’s agenda includes panels, engaging debates among the industry’s top thought leaders, and an interactive polling session.   Topics will include dynamics in the global solar market, system performance, asset management, technology integration given new energy customer and the  U.S. solar market in 2016 and beyond.

 

BNEF to Host Energy Summit – Bloomberg New Energy Finance will host a summit on April 13-15th focused on the future of energy at the Grand Hyatt in New York City.  The Future of Energy Summit 2015 is a unique forum providing an unrivaled meeting place at the intersection of the energy markets, regulation, industry, finance and policy.  A decade into the modern age of clean energy, and nearly a decade into the new age of shale gas abundance, the global energy system is not just growing, but shifting shape. At Summit 2015, the agenda will look at how phase change is likely to accelerate for the future.  Al Gore, former Duke CEO Jim Rogers, former Sen. Judd Gregg, former UN Climate head Connie Hedegaard, PSEG CEO Ralph Izzo CSIS expert Sarah Ladislaw and our friend Ethan Zindler of BNEF will speak among the many others.

 

Forum to Focus on Food, Water Nexus – The Bipartisan Policy Center, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation, National Geographic and Lockheed Martin are hosting the third in a series of roundtables, The Energy-Water-Food Nexus: Risks and Opportunities for the Private Sector on April 17th at 1:00 p.m. at National Geographic HQ. The roundtables identify the nexus risks to businesses, and examine why and how leadership from the private sector, in collaboration with key stakeholders, is critical to successfully managing the synergies and tradeoffs among water, food and energy infrastructure for the benefit of society, business and the environment.  This roundtable will focus on best practices and opportunities for harnessing innovation to address nexus challenges in the U.S., and globally.

 

FERC’s Honorable, Former Sen Bingaman Address Utility Issues Conference – On April 19th to 22nd in Santa Fe, NM, the Center for Public Utilities’ Advisory Council will hold a Current Issues conference dealing with important topics affecting the industry today. Through a series of panels, industry leaders and Commissioners discuss the current issues facing the Electric, Natural Gas, Telecommunications and Water industries. The panels are designed to create meaningful dialog between the panelists and audience in an informal setting conducive to audience participation.  Former NM Senator Jeff Bingaman, former Chairman, Energy & Natural Resources Committee and FERC Commissioner Colette Honorable speak Monday morning April 20. Lisa Edgar, NARUC President, will also be on the program, along with many NARUC Committee Chairman.

 

Fiorina To Address Lugar Speaker Series – On Monday, April 20th, the Richard G. Lugar Excellence in Public Service Series will hold its the 25th Annual Lugar Series Luncheon featuring Carly Fiorina, former CEO of Hewlett-Packard and Prospective Candidate as its keynote speaker.  The event will be held at the Indianapolis Marriott Downtown.

 

Tillerson, Hess Kinder, Others Headline CERA WeekCERAWeek 2015 will be held on April 20th through 24th in Houston, TX.  CERA Week usually offers comprehensive insight on what’s ahead for global energy. The oil price collapse has created new risks and realities – with profound impacts on key regions, industries, and economies. The event features industry and thought leaders proving fresh understanding of geopolitics, technology, markets, investment, strategy and regulatory policy.  Speakers will include Peabody Energy’s Greg Boyce, Exxon’s Rex Tillerson, Sen. Lisa Murkowski, BP’s Bob Dudley, Energy Secretary Moniz, former BrightSource exec now at Google John Woolard and many more.

 

Perino to Hold Book Event at Press Club – Our friend Dana Perino, former White House Press Secretary for President George W. Bush and current co-host of The Five, will discuss and sign copies of her new book “And the Good News Is…:Lessons and Advice from the Bright Side” at an April 24th book rap scheduled for 6:30 p.m. in the ballroom at the National Press Club.

 

ACORE Policy Forum Set – ACORE will hold Its Renewable Energy Policy Forum on April 22-23 at the Westin City Center in Washington, DC.  ACORE’s Policy Forum champions the progress of the industry in reducing costs and deploying at scale, and will feature policymakers, industry leaders and other perspectives to outline challenges and highlight opportunities facing the sector. The Forum will drive bipartisan renewable energy policy priorities and strategy for the next two years, setting up a successful long-term outlook for the industry. The outcome of the Forum – the policy agenda for renewable energy policy – will be shared with the President and Congress, as well as governors, legislators, and regulators in the states.  Speakers will include Energy Secretary Moniz, EPA’s Gina McCarthy, former FERC Chair John Wellinghoff, Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, Georgia PSC Commissioner Bubba McDonald, and our friends, Joe Desmond of Brightsource Energy, Dan Reicher of Stanford, Michael McAdams of the Advanced Biofuels Coalition and AWEA’s Tom Kiernan.

 

 

 

Energy Update: Week of March 16

Friends,

This is a busy week on a number of fronts.  First, think Green on St. Patrick’s day tomorrow, then St Joseph’s Day for us Italians (which is essential knowledge if you are selling your house), then Friday is the first day of Spring (think Green again) with the vernal equinox falling at 6:45 p.m.

But the big news today is NCAA Hoops March Madness starting tomorrow with 16-seeds Manhattan and Hampton tipping off at 6:40 and 11-seeds BYU/Mississippi live at 9:10.  16s N Florida and Robert Morris and 11s Boise State and Dayton play-in on Wednesday.  The heavy action starts Thursday just after Noon.   It looks like a great tournament with Kentucky, Wisconsin, Duke and Villanova taking the top seeds.  Each is very strong, but Kentucky seems to have an added edge going into the tournament undefeated.  Although the last team to finish undefeated was the 1976 Indiana Hoosiers led by Kent Bentson and Quinn Buckner.  Look out for Arizona who has also been strong all year.   With Justin Anderson a little rusty from his latest medical issues, I would not put a lot of gold on UVa, while North Carolina will likely have its hands full with Harvard.

Some sleeper teams to watch include 11-seed Texas, the always tough/tourney-savvy Michigan State, first-time tourney team Buffalo coached by former Duke floor general Bobby Hurley and Wyoming, who won the Mountain West and plays a controlled pace that will keep them in most games.  As you know, we at Bracewell always have experts for you and we are no different on college basketball, where our trade/campaign finance expert Josh Zive also doubles as a great resource for your NCAA pool.  I am certain that he will only take a small fee and percentage of your earnings should you need his hoops knowledge.

On the Women’s side, top seeds will be determined tonight on ESPN, but most seem to think Maryland, Connecticut, Notre Dame and Baylor, maybe South Carolina are the likely top seeds.   Everything concludes in early April with Men’s Final Four in Indianapolis and Women’s in Tampa.

The craziness translates to Congress as well with a jam-packed hearing schedule in DC – especially given that Thursday most people will be watching basketball.  I have been promised though that all action will cease just after Noon on Thursday!!!!   I’m sure the Senate Majority Leader will want to watch both Louisville and top-seeded Kentucky…but which one will he really root for???

That being said, there are several very important hearings in the House Energy & Commerce Committee this week including tomorrow’s climate legal issues hearing featuring Harvard legal eagle Laurence Tribe, who recently wrote that his protégé President Obama is wrongly using the Clean Air Act on climate issues; a legislative hearing on the bipartisan Coal Ash legislation on Wednesday and a Thursday hearing on thermal water heaters and DOE energy efficiency rules that will feature AHRI member Stephen Koep of Vaughn Thermal Corporation in Massachusetts.

Other important hearings will include a House Science Committee hearing on Ozone impacts tomorrow and the House Small Business Committee on Wednesday looking at regulations and their impacts on small businesses.  The hearing will feature a significant discussion on DOE’s slew of regulations moving forward in the next two years.  AHRI member Vicktor Anderson, of Western Michigan’s Structural Concepts Corporation will be testifying  that the new regs will severely impact his ability to retain current employees and economically produce cost-effective, energy efficient and environmentally friendly refrigeration products.  Keeping the regulations theme, Senate Homeland Security/Govt Affairs will discuss overhauling the government regs’ rulemaking process featuring former OIRA head and Dean at Indiana U’s School of Environment and Public Affairs John Graham.  Senate Energy will focus on grid upgrades and security tomorrow featuring transmission experts like FL PSC/NARUC head Lisa Edgar and EPRI’s Mike Howard.  Senate Energy takes up crude exports with refiners’ Charlie Drevna and CP CEO Ryan Lance on Thursday and tomorrow state officials will be at House Transportation to discuss the highway bill and its importance to state and local officials, led by NC Gov Pat McCrory and Salt Lake City Mayor Ralph Becker.  Finally, the Senate takes up Sportsmen legislation on Wednesday and our resident expert, Eric Washburn can comment (202-412-5211).

Budget hearings this week include tomorrow’s hearings featuring Ag Secretary Vilsack (where ethanol questions will likely come up), offshore’s BOEM and BSEE; National Park Service chief Jon Jarvis, and DOE subcabinet officials and science folks.  Transportation Secretary Foxx goes on Wednesday and Federal Highway, Federal Transit, NHTSA and Maritime Administration officials on testify Thursday.  FWS head Dan Ashe is tomorrow and Thursday, while DOE’s Environmental Management issues are heard on Wednesday.  Forest Service Chief Tom Tidwell also goes Wednesday and NOAA’s Kathryn Sullivan will be at House Approps Wednesday and House Resources Thursday.  Probably missed a hearing or two in there so keep checking.

If you can pull yourself away from the Hill before Thursday, Interior Secretary Sally Jewell visits CSIS tomorrow at 1:00 p.m., WCEE holds a forum on Wednesday at the National Grange looking at energy storage and Thursday morning, The Energy Times will hold an executive energy briefing focused on utilities and how they are changing featuring PSE&G CEO Ralph Izzo and NH Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, among other.

Finally, I noticed again this morning that The Analysis Group, headed by Sue Tierney, seem to be the only folks  that think the EPA Clean Power Rule will be no problem for grid operators like PJM, who have expressed serious concerns about reliability.  I’m sure Jeff Holmstead and Scott Segal would be happy to offer thoughts regarding the topic.

Clear the decks for Thursday and Friday and get those NCAA pools in to your administrator soon…Call with questions.

Frank Maisano

(202) 828-586
(202) 997-5932

IN THE NEWS

Wash Post Fact Checker on Climate Taken to TaskThe Washington Post Fact Check is usually a pretty reasonable place to check the verity of the back and forth in the policy, political or advertising battles.  On Friday, it published a piece last on what they called Sen. Inhofe’s “Misleading Statements on Carbon Emission Rule.”  WPFC took Inhofe’s comment: “EPA also intends to pursue a legislative proposal for an additional $4 billion in mandatory spending for EPA to enforce its climate change regulations … which 32 states oppose and will result in double-digit electricity price increases in 43 states” and applied its scrutiny.  Unfortunately, while claiming to not take a position on the Clean Power Plan, the WPFC in fact advocated several positions in favor of the CPP, hyperlinked to an NRDC site supporting it and didn’t make a similar link to the widespread available links that oppose the plan.  As well, WPFC downplayed state opposition by claiming not all the states really oppose the rules because they have some agencies considering how to implement them.  Of course, that assumption is suspect given the that regulators will always consider what has to be done to comply.  The fact is, the 32-state figure IS as dramatic as it sounds.

ACCCE Fires Back – The American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity (ACCCE) pushed back on the WPFC saying they conducted analysis showing widespread opposition from state officials to the EPA proposal. ACCCE also commissioned a detailed economic analysis of the CPP by NERA Economic Consulting (NERA).  Both analyses have been cited in Congressional hearings and were referenced in the WPFC piece.  The article disputed ACCCE’s analysis of state opposition to the EPA proposal, as well as NERA’s economic analysis. However, the Fact Checker did not check any facts with either ACCCE or NERA. The Fact Checker got facts wrong in the article and omitted other important facts. Applying the Fact Checker’s own criteria to the article, ACCCE says the article deserves at least three Pinocchios for “significant factual errors,” as well as bias.  See the full Fact Check Response here.

Drones Moving into Energy Space – The rage over drones are not just for weddings or the White House lawn.  The energy industry is also recognizing the economic and safety benefits of deploying unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) or “drones” for tasks such as pipeline surveys, pipeline inspections or even tracking ice and aquatic life movement prior to drilling offshore.  Taking it further, FAA recently released  a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking focused on the Operation and Certification of Small UAS, which my colleague Mike Weller has discussed in a recent blog.  The FAA is accepting comments on its proposal through April 24, 2015 and in the meantime continues to process case-by-cases requests for authorization under exemptions, which Mike has discussed in another recent blog here.  The blogs are on the record if you are covering this issue.  Should you have questions, you can also talk to Weller at 202-828-5812 or Mike.Weller@bgllp.com

Fallout from RFS Reform Splash Last Week – At the ABLC annual forum last Wednesday, Advance Biofuels head Mike McAdams made a giant splash when he declared that the current dysfunctional RFS program needed fixing.  The comments were the first breech of the ethanol side and the starch ethanol gang respond with volumes of fire and vitriol.  Of course, they only people who are trying to maintain the current program as it clearly is not working.  With a lot expected on this issue this summer, I thought I would forward the text of McAdams speech which make some strong points about the need for RFS reform.  Whatever happens, expect this to be a major fight.

Durbin Introduces Innovation Legislation – Sen. Dick Durbin introduced legislation today that would lift federal budget caps to increase funding for basic scientific research.  Durbin cited China’s outpacing the United States in such spending during the past decade as the main reason for stepping up to issue.  Five programs are targeted by Durbin’s bill: the Department of Energy Office of Science, the National Science Foundation, the Department of Defense Science and Technology Programs, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration Science Directorate and the National Institute of Standards and Technology Scientific and Technical Research.

SoCo CEO Fanning already Talking Energy Innovation – Speaking of Innovation, Southern Company CEO Tom Fanning made that the centerpiece of a discussion at the Atlantic Council last week.  Fanning highlighted the company’s effort to drive energy innovation including the development of new clean coal technologies in Mississippi, new nuclear in Georgia, advanced renewables across their portfolio and the largest biomass plant operating in Texas, among a number of other initiatives.

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

Symposium to Look at Climate Resilience – USAID’s Global Climate Change Office will host the opening session of the Advancing Climate-Resilient Development Symposium in Washington, D.C., today through Thursday.  A host of speakers will discuss key issues during the four-day long symposium.

OMB Talks Budget at House Approps – The House Approps panel on Financial Services and General Government  will hold a hearing today at 3:00 p.m. on the budget for the Office of Management and Budget featuring OMB head Shaun Donovan.

Ashe to Look at Fish/Wildlife Budget – The House Appropriations Interior subpanel will host US FWS head Dan Ashe and budget office Chris Nolan tomorrow at 9:00 a.m.  Ashe will also appear before House Resources on Thursday at 9:30 a.m. in 1334 Longworth.  Of course, our own Eric Washburn can discuss issues like Sage grouse listings that will likely be part of the discussion.

Senate Energy to Focus on Electric Grid – The Senate Committee on Energy & Natural Resources will hold a hearing tomorrow to evaluate the state of technological innovation related to the electrical grid.   Witnesses will include AEP’s Transmission’s Lisa Barton, Florida PSC Commissioner and NARUC President Lisa Edgar, EPRI CEO Michael Howard, Argonne National Laboratory Director Peter Littlewood and Jeff Taft of Pacific Northwest National Laboratory.

House Transpo to Look at State Impacts – House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee will hold a hearing on the surface transportation reauthorization looking at the state and local impacts of transportation on economic growth and job creation.  The hearing will feature Gov. Pat McCrory, D-N.C., on behalf of the National Governors Association; Ralph Becker, mayor of Salt Lake City, Utah, on behalf of the National League of Cities; and John Cox, director of the Wyoming Department of Transportation, on behalf of the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials.

House Energy Panel to Look at Power Plan Legal, Cost Issues – Tomorrow at 10:00 a.m., the House Energy & Commerce Committee’s Subcommittee on Energy and Power will hold a hearing on legal and cost issues with EPA Clean Power Plan.   Harvard Legal Expert Laurence Tribe, who recently wrote that his protégé President Obama is wrongly using the Clean Air Act on climate issues, will testify while NYU’s Richard Revesz will counter Tribe.  Revesz responded to Tribes’s Wall Street Journal piece with one in The Hill attacking Tribe.  (publications tell you a little about their target audiences don’t they).  Hunton’s Allison Wood, Florida PSC Chair Art Graham, Maryland PSC Commissioner Kelly Speakes-Backman,

Ohio EPA head Craig Butler, North Carolina DENR Secretary Donald van der Vaart will also testify.

House Science Looks at Ozone Rule Issues – The House Science Committee will hold a hearing tomorrow on EPA’s proposed ozone standard, its impact and achievability.  Witnesses include Harry Alford of the National Black Chamber of Commerce, Ray Keating of the Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council, Harvard Medical School’s Mary B. Rice and Eldon Heaston of the Mojave Desert and Antelope Valley AQMD.

Resources to Look at Offshore Agency Budgets – The House Resources Energy and Mineral Resources Subcommittee hold a hearing tomorrow at 10:00 a.m. to review the missions and spending priorities of the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement, and Office of Natural Resources Revenue.  BOEM head Abbie Hopper, BSEE head Brian Salerno and Office of Natural Resource Revenue head Greg Gould will testify.  Expect questions on the recently announced 5-year leasing/drilling plans.

Sportsmen Legislation on Tap in Senate EPW Panel – The Senate Environment’s Fisheries, Water and Wildlife Subcommittee will hold a hearing tomorrow on Sportsmen legislation to protect and enhance opportunities for recreational hunting, fishing and shooting.  Witnesses will include Jeff Crane, president of the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation; Dale Hall, CEO of Ducks Unlimited; and Wayne Pacelle, president and CEO of the Humane Society of the United States.  And our resident Sportsman, Eric Washburn can address all your questions (202-412-5211, eric.wasburn@bgllp.com)

Vilsack Hit Senate Approps – The Senate Appropriations Committee’s Ag panel  will host USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack on the proposed budget estimates and justification for FY2016 for the Agriculture Department.  Vilsack will be joined by Chief Economist Robert Johansson and Budget Officer Michael Young.  Expect some ethanol discussion here.

House Approps to Look at DOE Sub Budgets – After visiting with DOE Secretary Moniz, the House Appropriations Committee’s Subcommittee on Energy and Water Development will hold a budget hearing on DOE’s Applied Energy Programs with its sub cabinet officials tomorrow.  Witnesses will include Franklin Orr (Science and Energy), David Danielson (Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy), Peter Lyons (Nuclear Energy), Christopher Smith (Fossil Energy) and Patricia Hoffman (Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability).   Orr and Deputy Director Pat Dehmer will also return at 1:00 p.m. to specifically discuss the DOE Science budget in further detail.

Aviation Forum to Feature Blakey – The U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation is hosting its 14th Annual Aviation Summit tomorrow at the Renaissance Hotel to bring together top experts and leaders from all sectors of aviation to discuss critical issues facing the industry. The 2015 Summit will focus on the future of space and aviation in the global economy.  Confirmed Speakers include Chamber CEO Tom Donohue, Spirit Airlines CEO Ben Baldanza, Former Continental Airlines CEO Gordon Bethune, former FAA/NTSB/NHTSA head and current CEO of  Aerospace Industries Association (AIA) Marion Blakey, and many others.

Jewell to Address Public Lands, Water – Tomorrow at 1:00 p.m., CSIS will host Interior Secretary Sally Jewell for a public address on Interior’s energy priorities for the next two years. The Department serves as a significant steward of the nation’s public lands, managing one-fifth of the landmass and 1.7 billion acres of the Outer Continental Shelf.

Members Launch of House Caucus on Carbon, Enhanced Oil Recovery – Tomorrow at 4:00 p.m., a group of bipartisan members will launch a Congressional caucus to educate members on the energy security, economic, and environmental benefits of enhanced oil recovery using carbon dioxide. Speakers at the event in 1302 Longworth include organizers Reps. Michael Conaway, Gregg Harper and Marc Veasey, as well as Keith Bowman of Tellus Operating Group, Sasha Mackler of Summit Power, Domenico Parisi of the National Strategic Planning & Analysis Research Center, Bob Perciasepe of the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions, John Risch of SMART (formerly the United Transportation Union), and Kyle Simpson of Hogan Lovells.

Senate Moves on TCSA Legislation – The Senate Environment Committee will hold a hearing on legislation to amend the Toxic Substances Control Act to reauthorize and modernize the act.  Witnesses will include EPA’s Jim Jones, EDF’s Richard Denison, March of Dimes Foundation chief medical officer Edward McCabe, GWU Milken Institute School of Public Health dean Lynn Goldman, EWG’s Ken Cook and new MD AG Brian Frosh.  Sen. Tom Udall (D-N.M.) and Bonnie Lautenberg will also deliver statements.  The legislation aims to update the Toxic Substances Control Act of 1976 and has 7 Democrats and 9 Republicans as sponsors.

House Energy Panel to Look at Coal Ash Rule, Legislation – The House Energy & Commerce panel on Environment will hold a hearing tomorrow on Rep McKinley’s legislation “Improving Coal Combustion Residuals Regulation Act of 2015.”

Foxx, Transpo Officials Hit Hill Approps – The Senate Approps panel on Transportation will host DOT Secretary Anthony Foxx on Wednesday at 10:00 a.m. in 562 Dirksen for a budget hearing.   Meanwhile the next day,  Federal Highway Administration acting administrator Gregory Nadeau, Federal Transit Administration acting administrator Therese McMillan, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration administrator Mark Rosekind and U.S. Maritime Administration administrator Paul Jaenichen will testify before the House Approps Transportation panel at 10:00 a.m. in 2358-A Rayburn .

EPA Officials to Head to House Transpo – Speaking of transportation, on Wednesday at 10:30 a.m., the House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee’s Subcommittee on Water Resources and Environment will convene a hearing on the FY 2016 Budget for EPA.

House Small Biz Tackles Regulations, Impacts – The House Small Business Committee will hold a committee hearing at 11:00 a.m. on Wednesday on regulatory red tape and the challenges for small manufacturers. Those testifying include AHRI member Viktor Anderson, director of engineering for Structural Concepts in Muskegon, Michigan, who will say that new regulations will severely impact his ability to retain current employees and economically produce cost-effective, energy efficient and environmentally friendly refrigeration products.  Other also on the panel include Cynthia Reichard of Arylessence Inc., Janis Herschkowitz of PRL in Cornwall, Pa., representing the American Foundry Association and James Goodwin at the Center for Progressive Reform.

WCEE Forum to Look at Grid Storage – The Women’s Council on Energy and the Environment will hold a forum on Wednesday at the National Grange looking at energy storage.  The event will feature Katherine Hamilton, who will describe the industry players and technologies and update us on the exciting developments from the technological and policy perspective for energy storage.   Hamilton is the Policy Director of the Energy Storage Association. Katherine served as President of the GridWise Alliance, advocating for nearly $5 billion in funding for smart grid projects in the Recovery Act. Prior to that role, Katherine was a policy advisor for Good Energies, Inc., a private investment company with a portfolio in clean energy technologies of nearly $6 billion.  She co-directed the American Bioenergy Association, working with the states of Maryland and New Jersey to develop renewable portfolio standards. At the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), Katherine led buildings research and then managed government relations in Washington, DC. Katherine spent a decade at Virginia Power, designing overhead and underground electrical systems for commercial and residential developments. Katherine studied electrical engineering at Northern Virginia Community College and holds degrees from Cornell University and the Sorbonne. Katherine is part of The Energy Gang podcast through Greentech Media.

Forum, Simulation to Address Cybersecurity Risks – The 3rd Annual Information and Cyber Governance, Data Analytics and Privacy Briefing will be held at the National Press Club on Wednesday.  The program will focus on identifying, protecting and responding to  today’s growing internal and external cybersecurity risks.  SEC Deputy Director Scott Bauguess and FTC General Counsel David Shonka will headline a number of speakers.  During the conference in addition to the moderated Q and A format, the audience will participate in an exercise using a hacking simulator. It has the strategic rigor of chess and the feel of a turn-based card game.  The “Game of Threats™” allows executives to better understand the complexity and fast-paced nature of deciphering threats and crafting the proper response, highlighting the importance of making the right move at the right time to thwart the hackers. My Bracewell colleague and expert on cybersecurity Shamoil Shipchandler is a great resource on the issue.

Foxx, Shuster Head NJ Forum on Transportation – On Thursday at the Newseum, National Journal will host a forum of key stakeholders and experts for a robust discussion about the prospect of finding consensus to strengthen the nation’s infrastructure.  Speakers will include Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx and House T&I Chair Bill Shuster, as well as Casey Dinges of the American Society of Civil Engineers, Standard & Poor’s Steve Dryer, BPC Financial Regulatory Reform Initiative Director Aaron Klein, ARTBA’s Pete Ruane and Frederick “Bud” Wright of the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials.

Forum to Look at Ex-Im Bank – On Thursday at 9:00 a.m., the CSIS Project on Prosperity and Development will host a reschedule forum  on the Export-Import Bank’s contribution to the U.S. economy, future directions and challenges, and ways the U.S. Congress continue to support the Bank. Since 2009, the Export-Import Bank has helped create 1.2 million private-sector jobs by financing small business exporters. Over the last five years, it has generated $2 billion more than the cost of its operations. However, the Bank is currently operating on a short term extension of its charter which expires on June 30, 2015. Given the forthcoming deadline, a conversation on the role the Bank plays in growing American jobs and its contribution to the global economy is needed to spur further support from the U.S. government.   Illinois Rep. Robert Dold will make keynote remarks, while Other speakers will include Export-Import Bank Chairman and President Fred Hochberg, Ex-Im Advisory Committee Member Don Nelson, World Trade Center of Greater Philadelphia President and Former Ex-Im Vice Chair Linda Conlin and NAM’s Linda Dempsey.

House Energy Panel to Look at Water Heater Efficiency – The House Energy panel  of the Energy & Commerce Committee will hold a hearing on legislation to modify the efficiency standards for grid-enabled water heaters.  NERCA and AHRI members are expected to participate, including AHRI member Steve Koep of Vaughn in Massachusetts.

PSE&G’s Izzo, Sen. Shaheen  to Headline Energy Briefing – On Thursday morning, the Energy Times will hold an executive energy briefing focused on utilities and how they are changing. Innovators and policymakers will be speak including PSE&G CEO Ralph Izzo, NH Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, NY State PSC Chair Audrey Zibelman and NIST’s Steven Busby.

Sen Energy to Tackle Crude Exports – The U.S. Senate Committee on Energy & Natural Resources will hold a hearing to receive testimony on U.S. crude oil export policy on Thursday at 10:00 a.m.   Last year at this time, Murkowski offered her thoughts on crude exports at CERA Week.  Witnesses will include former State Dept official Carlos Pascual, ConocoPhillips CEO Ryan Lance, Jeff Warman of Monroe Energy and our friends Elizabeth Rosenberg of the Center for a New American Security and AFPM President Charlie Drevna.

Senate Govt Comm Look sat Rulemaking Improvements – The Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee has a hearing Thursday at 10:00 a.m. to explore some ways to revamp the government’s rulemaking process. The committee will hear from experts including John Graham, who led the White House regulatory review office during the George W. Bush administration, as well as Neil Eisner, senior fellow at the Administrative Conference of the United States; NAM’s Drew Greenblatt and former executive director of the Consumer Product Safety Commission Pamela Gilbert.

NCAA Games Start – 12:10 p.m. Thursday.

FUTURE EVENTS

AHRI to Host Annual DC Meeting – The Heating and Air Conditioning trade association AHRI will hold its annual Washington Conference on March 24-25th.  More on this as it comes into shape.

Forum to Look at Indigenous People, Industry – The CSIS Project on Prosperity and Development will host a forum on Wednesday, March 25th at 10:00 a.m.  that will look at maximizing partnerships between indigenous communities and the extractive sector.  The discussion will focus on ways companies in the extractive industry engage indigenous communities in their areas of operation. Many extractive companies find themselves operating in close proximity to indigenous people and their territories. Working constructively with these communities is now a major business priority. The panelists will offer their perspectives on how both companies and indigenous communities can benefit from greater cooperation, whether through creating new education opportunities, offering extractive industry-related job training to potential indigenous employees, and by encouraging local economic growth.  The panel features Simon Boyce of the Navajo Nation, BHP Billiton’s Maria “Malala” Recart and former Canadian House of Commons Member Gary Merasty.

WSJ ECO:nomics Conference to Feature Leaders –  On March 25th to 27th, the editors of The Wall Street Journal will hold its ECO:nomics conference in Santa Barbara, CA.  The event brings together global CEOs, top entrepreneurs, environmental experts, policy makers and leading thinkers at ECO:nomics 2015 to identify and assess the most compelling opportunities — and pressing risks— emerging around the world in businesses impacted by the environment.  Through on-stage interviews with leading figures and interactive sessions with peers in diverse industries, participants at ECO:nomics 2015 will debate, discuss and get the inside story on essential issues: investing in innovation, disrupting current business models, the new meaning of sustainability and the future of the environmental movement, where energy policy is heading.  Speakers will include  Former EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson, WV Sen. Jo e Manchin, FERC Commissioner Phil Moeller, coal magnate Bob Murray, former Brightsource CEO and current Google exec John Woolard, Dan Yergin, T. Boone Pickens and Ted Nordhaus of the Breakthrough Institute.

Marcellus Shale Meeting Set for NE PA – The Marcellus Shale Coalition will hold a meeting on March 26 and 27th in Wilkes-Barre, PA.  Tax proposals from new PA Gov. Tom Wolf will be a significant topic of discussion.

FERC GHG Technical Conference to Focus on EPA Rule – FERC holds its final GHG technical Conference in St. Louis on March 31st.  Ameren CEO Warner Baxter is expected to present to the panel.  You may recall his recent white paper in which Ameren, a coal-heavy utility in Missouri, feels like some tweaks in the EPA rule can not only make the plan achievable, but also save consumers billions. The full announcement, including a quote by FERC Chairman Cheryl LaFleur, is available here.  The full text of the notice in the Federal Register, including instructions on how to register for the conferences, is available here.  Commissioner Tony Clark released his own statement, available here.

Nat Gas Roundtable to Host DOI Offshore Expert – The Natural Gas Roundtable is pleased to announce that Janice Schneider, Assistant Secretary for Land and Minerals Management at Interior (DOI), will be the featured guest speaker at the Natural Gas Roundtable luncheon on Tuesday, March 31st, where she will discuss the current offshore energy production landscape.  Schneider oversees four DOI bureaus including the Bureau of Land Management, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement and the Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement. In this capacity, she guides the Department’s management and use of federal lands and waters and their associated mineral and non-mineral resources, spanning approximately 245 million acres of federal surface lands, 700 million acres of federal mineral interests and the 1.7 billion-acre Outer Continental Shelf.

Columbia to Host Panel on Sustainability – Columbia University’s Earth Institute will hold a forum on the state of sustainability policy on Tuesday April 7th at 6:00 p.m. in NYC at the Low Memorial Library.   The event will feature the Earth Institute’s Steve Cohen, Columbia researcher Dong Guo,; NYC Mayor’s Office of Sustainability Director Nilda Mesa and our friend Andy Revkin.   This panel will explore the role that public policy plays in influencing behavior within organizations and among individuals, in order to facilitate and speed up that transition.

Solar Forum to Cover Solar Now, Future – Greentech Media will host a Solar Summit in Phoenix, AZ on April 14th – 16th at the Wigwam Resort.  Speakers will include SRP’s Lisa Singleton, Sun Power CEO Tom Werner and our friends Stephen Lacey of Greentech Media,  Shayle Kann of GTM Research, and Brad Heavner of the Cal Solar Energy Industry Assn, among many others.   The Summit focuses on what the solar industry needs to know and includes the research and economic analysis of GTM Research’s team.   This year’s agenda includes panels, engaging debates among the industry’s top thought leaders, and an interactive polling session.   Topics will include dynamics in the global solar market, system performance, asset management, technology integration given new energy customer and the  U.S. solar market in 2016 and beyond.

BNEF to Host Energy Summit – Bloomberg New Energy Finance will host a summit on April 13-15th focused on the future of energy at the Grand Hyatt in New York City.  The Future of Energy Summit 2015 is a unique forum providing an unrivaled meeting place at the intersection of the energy markets, regulation, industry, finance and policy.  A decade into the modern age of clean energy, and nearly a decade into the new age of shale gas abundance, the global energy system is not just growing, but shifting shape. At Summit 2015, the agenda will look at how phase change is likely to accelerate for the future.  Al Gore, former Duke CEO Jim Rogers, former Sen. Judd Gregg, former UN Climate head Connie Hedegaard, PSEG CEO Ralph Izzo CSIS expert Sarah Ladislaw and our friend Ethan Zindler of BNEF will speak among the many others.

Forum to Focus on Food, Water Nexus – The Bipartisan Policy Center, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation, National Geographic and Lockheed Martin are hosting the third in a series of roundtables, The Energy-Water-Food Nexus: Risks and Opportunities for the Private Sector on April 17th at 1:00 p.m. at National Geographic HQ. The roundtables identify the nexus risks to businesses, and examine why and how leadership from the private sector, in collaboration with key stakeholders, is critical to successfully managing the synergies and tradeoffs among water, food and energy infrastructure for the benefit of society, business and the environment.  This roundtable will focus on best practices and opportunities for harnessing innovation to address nexus challenges in the U.S., and globally.

FERC’s Honorable, Former Sen Bingaman Address Utility Issues Conference – On April 19th to 22nd in Santa Fe, NM, the Center for Public Utilities’ Advisory Council will hold a Current Issues conference dealing with important topics affecting the industry today. Through a series of panels, industry leaders and Commissioners discuss the current issues facing the Electric, Natural Gas, Telecommunications and Water industries. The panels are designed to create meaningful dialog between the panelists and audience in an informal setting conducive to audience participation.  Former NM Senator Jeff Bingaman, former Chairman, Energy & Natural Resources Committee and FERC Commissioner Colette Honorable speak Monday morning April 20. Lisa Edgar, NARUC President, will also be on the program, along with many NARUC Committee Chairman.

Fiorina To Address Lugar Speaker Series – On Monday, April 20th, the Richard G. Lugar Excellence in Public Service Series will hold its the 25th Annual Lugar Series Luncheon featuring Carly Fiorina, former CEO of Hewlett-Packard and Prospective Candidate as its keynote speaker.  The event will be held at the Indianapolis Marriott Downtown.

Tillerson, Hess Kinder, Others Headline CERA WeekCERAWeek 2015 will be held on April 20th through 24th in Houston, TX.  CERA Week usually offers comprehensive insight on what’s ahead for global energy. The oil price collapse has created new risks and realities – with profound impacts on key regions, industries, and economies. The event features industry and thought leaders proving fresh understanding of geopolitics, technology, markets, investment, strategy and regulatory policy.  Speakers will include Peabody Energy’s Greg Boyce, Exxon’s Rex Tillerson, Sen. Lisa Murkowski, BP’s Bob Dudley, Energy Secretary Moniz, former BrightSource exec now at Google John Woolard and many more.

Perino to Hold Book Event at Press Club – Our friend Dana Perino, former White House Press Secretary for President George W. Bush and current co-host of The Five, will discuss and sign copies of her new book “And the Good News Is…:Lessons and Advice from the Bright Side” at an April 24th book rap scheduled for 6:30 p.m. in the ballroom at the National Press Club.

ACORE Policy Forum Set – ACORE will hold Its Renewable Energy Policy Forum on April 22-23 at the Westin City Center in Washington, DC.  ACORE’s Policy Forum champions the progress of the industry in reducing costs and deploying at scale, and will feature policymakers, industry leaders and other perspectives to outline challenges and highlight opportunities facing the sector. The Forum will drive bipartisan renewable energy policy priorities and strategy for the next two years, setting up a successful long-term outlook for the industry. The outcome of the Forum – the policy agenda for renewable energy policy – will be shared with the President and Congress, as well as governors, legislators, and regulators in the states.  Speakers will include Energy Secretary Moniz, EPA’s Gina McCarthy, former FERC Chair John Wellinghoff, Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, Georgia PSC Commissioner Bubba McDonald, and our friends, Joe Desmond of Brightsource Energy, Dan Reicher of Stanford, Michael McAdams of the Advanced Biofuels Coalition and AWEA’s Tom Kiernan.

Energy Update: Week of March 3

Friends,

 

March and Spring look like they have finally sprung…and we mean it this time.  No more snow days around here.   NCAA basketball is heating up as we approach next week’s NCAA March Madness Selection Show on Sunday.  While there are a lot of great stories that we can get into more next week, this week Maryland and Geo Washington U’s women’s teams seem to stand out above the crowd.  The Lady Terps rolled through the Big 10 in their first season undefeated, while my students at GW won the Atlantic 10 yesterday and are currently 29-3 with one of their losses coming to Maryland.  March Madness is on…

 

The House is out this week but the Senate will hold a big, important hearing on Wednesday where states will weigh in on how to implement EPA’s Clean Power Plan.  Witnesses include officials from California, NY, Wisconsin, Wyoming and Indiana.  When implementing, consider the item suggested a few weeks ago Ameren CEO Warner Baxter.  Ameren, a coal-heavy utility in Missouri, feels like some tweaks in the EPA rule can not only make the plan achievable, but also save consumers billions.

 

Off the Hill, Southern Company CEO Tom Fanning will kick off a new Atlantic Council CEO series tomorrow highlighting a discussion on how innovation and advances in energy technologies will impact the future of power industry.   A dynamic speaker, Fanning has addressed this subject a number of times including last summer as keynoter at a Bipartisan Policy Center Energy Forum in Washington, DC.  The event starts at 1:30 p.m. and will be live webcast at this link.

 

As well, the National League of Cities, American Public Power and American Association of State Highway are holding Washington forum focused on environment and other issues, while Transportation Officials and the American Public Transportation Association are in town highlighting their “2015 Bottom Line Report” on transportation investment needs.

 

Finally, my colleague Curt Beaulieu, former Senate Finance Committee tax counsel for Sen. Hatch recently wrote an article for Tax Notes on the upcoming debate over reforms in the tax code.   I also have a PDF if you cannot link to it…   Call with questions.

 

Frank Maisano

(202) 828-5864

  1. (202) 997-5932

 

IN THE NEWS

 

Leno Hammers Ethanol In AutoWeek – Now I read this last week because I get AutoWeek at home, and was waiting to put in today’s update.  Former Tonight Show Host, comedian and well-known car collector Jay Leno pummeled ethanol in an essay entitled, “Jay Leno Hates Ethanol.”   Leno say the ethanol in modern gasoline—about 10% in many states—is so corrosive, it eats through either the fuel-pump diaphragm, old rubber fuel lines or a pot metal part, then leaks out on a hot engine causing car fires.   Leno: “Blame the Renewable Fuel Standard. This government-mandated rule requires certain amounts of ethanol and other biofuels be blended with gasoline and diesel fuel. But when Congress first passed RFS as part of the Energy Policy Act in 2005, our demand for energy was increasing. Today, it’s the opposite. Total demand for fuel has decreased thanks to more-efficient vehicles, more hybrids and increased environmental awareness. The EPA is set to release the 2015 standard in June. Meanwhile, some legislators are pushing to reform or eliminate the Renewable Fuel Standard entirely.”

 

EPA RFS Source on Capitol Crude – This week’s version of Capitol Crude hits the RFS and Ethanol.  Our friends Brian Schied and Herman Wang channel their inner 80s new music Sirus XM “1st Wave”:  EPA’s Chris Grundler may not be a member of Depeche Mode, but to Platts senior editors Brian Scheid and Herman Wang his appearance at the recent National Ethanol Conference unfolded like the seminal British electronic goth band’s discography.  Grundler, whose office is in charge of the Renewable Fuel Standard, apologized to conference attendees for failing to Shake the Disease of missing statutory deadlines to set the 2014 and 2015 mandates. But he asked the audience to Walk In My Shoes, saying the annual rule is difficult to manage. Renewable Fuels Association President Bob Dinneen, meanwhile, said he hopes the EPA will Never Let Me Down Again by setting the biofuels mandates below statutory levels.   Also on the podcast, RFA Senior Vice President Geoff Cooper gives us the World In My Eyes, talking about how exports are a top priority for the US ethanol industry, in the face of RFS uncertainty.

 

Power Plan Hub and More form E&E – I know I already mentioned the new Power Plan Hub from our friends at E&E News, but I noticed they are also writing a weekly Monday column for it too. It’s a preview of the week’s events, wrap-up of their recent stories and synopsis of new data/documents on the hub. It’s on the main page, under the map, so check it out.

 

CMU Study Highlights Benefits of LNG Export – A new Carnegie Mellon University study – the first peer-reviewed paper of its kind – says exporting clean-burning U.S. liquefied natural gas (LNG) “would help reduce global GHG emissions” and such policy will be “good for the climate.” This research follows a recently released White House Council of Economic Advisers report, which underscores the “key role” that natural gas continues to play in strengthening America’s geopolitical leverage, heightening our energy security and enhancing our environment. Taken together, these studies – and countless others – reflect the fact that America’s energy outlook has shifted from scarcity and weakness to abundance and strength.  Carnegie Mellon University’s College of Engineering researchers determined that exporting natural gas to Asia or Europe will not cause increased greenhouse gas emissions. Their findings were recently published in a paper in “Environmental Science and Technology.”  Prior to 2008, U.S. domestic natural gas production did not meet projected demand growth, and the national natural gas debate centered on LNG imports. … As unconventional natural gas production (shale gas) became economically viable, U.S. technically recoverable natural gas reserves increased by 665 Tcf, which represents an increase in total U.S. natural gas resources of 38%.  As regulation progresses and the domestic fugitive emissions rate decreases, it will become more likely that LNG exports will result in global emissions savings. … From a global emissions perspective, this study has shown that exporting LNG can help to reduce life cycle GHG emissions from electricity generation and industrial heating.

 

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

 

McCarthy, Foxx, Moniz to Address City Officials – The National League of Cities hold its annual Congressional City conference today through Wednesday at the Marriott.  President Obama addressed delegates this morning, but EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy, Transportation Secretary Anthony Fox and Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz will speak on a panel about infrastructure and climate change later today.

 

Public Power Capitol Conference Set – The American Public Power Assn is also holding its annual Washington meeting focused on the EPA’s Clean Power Plan.   Panels today and tomorrow with visits to Capitol Hill on Wednesday.   Bob Woodward addresses the crowd at the Grand Hyatt tomorrow at lunch.

 

Cyprus Energy Minster to Speak – The German Marshall Fund of the United States will welcome Yiorgos Lakkotrypis, minister of energy, commerce, industry and tourism, Republic of Cyprus, who will share his views on natural gas developments in Cyprus and the Eastern Mediterranean tonight.  Minister Lakkotrypis’ remarks will be followed by a roundtable discussion with Edward C. Chow (Center for Strategic and International Studies), Simon Henderson (Washington Institute for Near East Policy), and Brenda Shaffer (Georgetown University). The panel will discuss developments in world gas markets and prospects for the Eastern Mediterranean.

 

And at the Atlantic Council as Well – The Atlantic Council’s Dinu Patriciu Eurasia Center will also host Lakkotrypris.  Minister Lakkotrypis is responsible for boosting the island’s economy through encouraging tourism and foreign investment, and improving the international standing of Cyprus.   In his remarks, Minister Lakkotrypis will focus on the challenges Cyprus faces in developing an oil and gas industry, as well as energy-related developments in the Eastern Mediterranean in a regional context.  Minister Lakkotrypis will be introduced by Atlantic Council’s Eurasian Energy Future Initiative Director David Koranyi. The keynote speech will be followed by a discussion moderated.

 

Transmission Summit Set – Tomorrow through Thursday, Infocast holds its 18th annual Transmission Summit at the Almas Temple Club in Washington, DC.  Policy makers, executives and industry leaders will meet to discuss the transmission industry.  FERC Commissioner Phil Moeller, NJ BPU Commissioner Dianne Solomon, former NY PSC chair Garry Brown, D.C. PSC Chair Betty Ann Kane and Bracewell’s Cathy McCarthy will be among the speakers.

 

NRC to Host Reg Conference – The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s (NRC) will hold its 27th annual Regulatory Information Conference (RIC) tomorrow through Thursday at the at the Bethesda North Hotel and Conference Center.  The RIC is an annual forum hosted by the NRC that brings together diverse groups of stakeholders to learn, share, and discuss information on significant and timely nuclear regulatory activities and emergent issues.  NRC Commissioners Burns, Svinicki, Ostroff and Baran will all speak.

 

House Transpo Committee to Hold TX Roundtable – The House May be out of session but the House T&I Committee will be In the field holding a roundtable in Houston at Rice University at 9:00 Central.  Participants will include Texas Congressmen  Blake Farenthold, Brian Babin, Gene Green and Kevin Brady, as well as Kirby Corp CEO David Grzebinski, Ronald McClain of Kinder Morgan,  Wal-Mart Stores private fleet  VP Bryan Most,  Steve Bobb of BNSF Railway and Roger Guenther of the Port of Houston.

 

Wilson Forum to Look at Africa Energy – The Wilson Center will Host an event tomorrow at 10:30 a.m. on energy security in Africa.  Energy production in African nations has ballooned in recent decades, with proven oil and natural gas reserves more than doubling in the past 30 years. While Nigeria, Angola, and a host of smaller producers have accounted for most of the oil and gas production on the continent for years, significant hydrocarbons discoveries throughout Africa – including natural gas off the East African coast, deep-water oil in upper West Africa, and new oil reserves in Kenya and Uganda – are bringing about wide-ranging changes to the continent’s energy markets.   Sub-Saharan Africa is the fifth topic of the Wilson Center’s bimonthly Regional and Global Energy Series, which has already covered Russia and Ukraine, China and Asia Pacific, and North America, as well as a 2015 energy policy outlook keynoted by US Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz.  The framework for this Center Series is provided by Energy & Security: Strategies for a World in Transition, now in its second edition, which focuses on regional and global energy issues and is published by the Wilson Center Press and Johns Hopkins University Press.  Speakers will include former editor of South Africa’s Mail & Guardian newspaper Phillip van Niekerk, former State Dept special envoy David Goldwyn and former  IMF and World Bank advisor Charles McPherson.

 

Gruenspecht to Address Luncheon – The Asian Americans in Energy, the Environment and Commerce (AE2C) is hosting its 2015 Lunar New Year event tomorrow at lunch featuring EIA Deputy Administrator Howard Gruenspecht.  Gruenspecht will be speaking about the outlook for the global and U.S. oil and gas industry and its potential impacts. Over the past 35 years, Dr. Gruenspecht has worked extensively on electricity policy issues, including restructuring and reliability, regulations affecting motor fuels and vehicles, energy-related environmental issues, and economy-wide energy modeling. Before joining EIA, he was a Resident Scholar at Resources for the Future. From 1993 to 2000, he served as Director of Economic, Electricity and Natural Gas Analysis in the Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Policy, having originally come to DOE in 1991 as Deputy Assistant Secretary for Economic and Environmental Policy. His accomplishments as a career senior executive at DOE have been recognized with three Presidential Rank Awards.

 

Fanning to Address First Atlantic Council CEO Forum – The Atlantic Council’s Global Energy Center will hold the first event in its CEO Series tomorrow at 1:30 p.m. with Southern’s Tom Fanning, featuring a discussion on how innovation and advances in energy technologies will impact the future of power industry.  Mr. Fanning’s remarks will be followed by a moderated discussion with Ambassador Richard Morningstar, Founding Director of the Atlantic Council’s Global Energy Center.

Forum to Look at Transportation System – The Environmental and Energy Study Institute (EESI) and the American Public Transportation Association (APTA), in conjunction with the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) will hold a briefing tomorrow at 4:00 p.m. in 334 Cannon on the investment requirements for America’s multi-modal transportation infrastructure.  The recent AASHTO-APTA Bottom Line report estimates that $163 billion is needed annually over six years to fix the nation’s aging surface transportation system ($120 billion for roads and bridges, and $43 billion for transit). At present, public investment in transportation infrastructure is only $100 billion a year ($83 billion for roads and bridges, and $17 billion for transit). With the looming May expiration of the transportation bill, Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century (MAP-21), and with 70 million new U.S. citizens expected by 2050, now is the time to address these investment needs. Speakers for this forum are Bud Wright of AASHTO and APTA’s Michael Melaniphy.

 

EPA, DOE to Address Biofuels Leaders – The Advanced Biofuels Leadership Conference will be held on Wednesday to Friday at the Capital Hilton in DC.  ABLC is the gathering point for the top leaders in the Advanced Bioeconomy — bringing together the entire spectrum of advanced Fuels, Chemicals & Materials CEOs and senior executives, business development, R&D leaders, strategic partners, financiers, equity analysts, policymakers and industry suppliers. EPA’s Paul Argyropoulos, DOE’s David Danielson and our friend Michael McAdams will be among the speakers.  ABLC looks at key technologies heading for scale, or deploying in force, plus advanced policies and financing strategies — and features definitive statements on direction, priorities, value chain build-out and supply chain selection from more than 100 C-Level execs.

 

Interior Official to Address Policy Issues at UColorado—The University of Colorado Law School will host Deputy Secretary of Interior Mike Connor for a policy speech tomorrow.

 

Senate to Hear from States on GHG Plan – The Senate Environment Committee will hold a hearing on Wednesday to hear states weigh in on how to implement EPA’s Clean Power Plan.  Witnesses will include WI PSC chairwoman Ellen Nowak, Wyoming DEQ director Todd Parfitt, Indiana DEM commissioner Thomas Easterly, former EPA official and CARB Chair Mary Nichols and Michael Myers, chief of environmental litigation in NY Attorney General Eric Schneiderman’s office.

 

FERC GHG Technical Conference to Focus on EPA Rule – The FERC holds its third GHG technical Conference on Wednesday in Washington. The fourth conference will be a staff-led conference in St. Louis on March 31st.  The full announcement, including a quote by FERC Chairman Cheryl LaFleur, is available here.  The full text of the notice in the Federal Register, including instructions on how to register for the conferences, is available here.  Commissioner Tony Clark released his own statement, available here.

 

Senate Panel Holds Military Enviro Budget Hearing – A Senate Armed Service panel will host military budget hearing on Wednesday at 2:30 p.m. in Hart 216.  Witnesses will include John Conger, acting assistant Defense secretary for energy, installations and environment; Katherine Hammack, assistant secretary of the Army for installations, energy and environment; Dennis McGinn, assistant secretary of the Navy for energy, installations and environment; and Miranda Ballentine, assistant secretary of the Air Force for installations, environment and energy.

 

Oil-Climate Index to be Released – The Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, Stanford University, and the University of Calgary have developed the first-of-its-kind Oil-Climate Index, modeling these complex interactions. This data will shape how consumers, investors, industries, NGOs, and policymakers approach current and future oil production, refining, and consumption.  They will release the index on Wednesday morning.

 

Diesel Forum to Focus on Engine Technologies – On Wednesday at 11:30 a.m. in 268 Capitol Visitors Center, the Diesel Technology Forum will hold a luncheon briefing to learn more about advanced engine technologies that are helping automobile manufacturers improve fuel economy.  With increasingly stringent fuel economy requirements that will be mandated in the near future, manufacturers from all over the globe are introducing more fuel efficient technology options, including clean diesel choices, into their line-ups. Advanced diesel vehicles are growing in popularity with consumers and manufacturers are planning to meet this demand. 47 diesel cars, pickup trucks, SUVs and passenger vans are currently available and 15 more having been officially announced to be introduced in the next two years. Many analysts predict that diesels will increase to 7 to 10 percent of the total U.S. vehicle market by 2020. While diesels prove popular with drivers they also promote energy independence, fuel efficiency and result in significant emissions reductions.

 

Trade Admin to Look at Renewables – The International Trade Administration holds a meeting of the Renewable Energy And Energy Efficiency Advisory Committee Thursday morning at 8:30 a.m. to discuss priority issues identified in advance by the committee chair and hear from interagency partners on issues impacting the competitiveness of the U.S. renewable energy and energy efficiency industries.

 

Green Forum to Discuss Innovation – The World Green Energy Symposium will be held on Thursday at the University of the District of Columbia.  WGES will focus on the latest technologies and focus on discussions with top decision makers through a carefully planned  strategic process.

 

Kerry to Address Importance Climate Negotiations – On Thursday, the Atlantic Council will host a public address by Secretary of State John Kerry on the importance of the 2015 Conference of the Parties climate change negotiations.

 

CSIS to Discuss Nuclear Project – On Thursday at 9:00 a.m. CSIS will hold a briefing to discuss its New Approaches to the Fuel Cycle (NAFC) project, its findings, its recommended “best practices,” and their role in ensuring a secure and sustainable nuclear future.  In early 2011, the Nuclear Threat Initiative and the CSIS Proliferation Prevention Program launched the NAFC project to develop an integrated approach to nuclear supply and demand that would improve the robustness of the nonproliferation regime without dampening the sustainability of nuclear energy. Drawing from industry, government, and NGO community expertise in the United States and abroad, the NAFC project is the first comprehensive approach to managing nuclear energy that would address “future Irans,” seeking to close gaps in the system that allow the spread of sensitive fuel cycle technologies and enable states to produce weapons-usable nuclear material.  Speakers include Dr. John Hamre, President, CEO, and Pritzker Chair, Center for Strategic and International Studies, Ms. Joan Rohlfing, President and COO, Nuclear Threat Initiative, Ms. Sharon Squassoni, Director and Senior Fellow, Proliferation Prevention Program, Center for Strategic and International Studies, Dr. Andrew Newman, Senior Program Officer, Material Security and Minimization, Nuclear Threat Initiative, and Dr. Everett Redmond, Senior Director, Policy Development, Nuclear Energy Institute.

 

Brookings Forum to Focus on Arctic – On Thursday at 10:30 a.m., the Energy Security and Climate Initiative (ESCI) at Brookings will host a forum featuring  Admiral Robert J. Papp, Jr., the U.S. special representative for the Arctic, for a keynote address on the future of U.S. policy for the region. Deputy Director for Foreign Policy at Brookings Bruce Jones will provide introductory remarks, and ESCI Senior Fellow Charles Ebinger will moderate the discussion and audience Q&A.

 

Building Tech Budget Addressed in Forum – On Thursday at 2:00 p.m. in 210 Cannon, EESI will hold a briefing on the programs and priorities of the Department of Energy’s Building Technologies Office (BTO), as reflected in its FY 2016 budget request. Buildings represent 40 percent of the total energy used in the United States and a whopping 70 percent of the electricity used (for lighting, air-conditioning, appliances, electronics). Making buildings and the products that go into them more energy efficient will make a serious dent in U.S. energy use, save billions of dollars each year, improve comfort, and reduce pollution and greenhouse gas emissions. BTO is seeking to reduce U.S. building energy consumption by 50% from a 2010 baseline.  In addition to providing an overview of the Building Technologies Office, the briefing will highlight successful industry-government partnerships that are bringing technologies like solid-state lighting to the marketplace and helping builders construct “zero-energy” homes. The panel will also address the role of Congress and building/energy issues on the horizon in the current session.  Panelists include DOE’s Roland Risser and House Science Dem Staff Director Adam Rosenberg.

 

CSIS to Release Paper on Mining – On Friday at 9:30 a.m., CSIS will host an expert panel to launch FSG’s new report Extracting with Purpose: Creating Shared Value in the Oil and Gas and Mining Sectors’ Companies and Communities. The extractives sectors can be invaluable in facilitating economic and social development around the world, yet close to 80 percent of countries whose economies depend on extractives industries have per-capita income levels that fall below the global average.  This new paper focuses on how private-sector stakeholders can best promote shared value and seize opportunities in the developed and developing world. Shared value, or policies and activities that measurably improve socio-economic outcomes and improve related core business performance, helps businesses frame potential opportunities to address societal issues and to deliver real business value as well as community development.

 

FUTURE EVENTS

 

Symposium to Look at Climate Resilience – USAID’s Global Climate Change Office will host the opening session of the Advancing Climate-Resilient Development Symposium in Washington, D.C., March 16-19th.  A host of speakers will discuss key issues during the four-day long symposium.

 

Senate Energy to Focus on Electric Grid – The Senate Committee on Energy & Natural Resources will hold a hearing to evaluate the state of technological innovation related to the electrical grid on Tuesday, March 17th.

 

House Approps to Look at DOE Sub Budgets – After visiting with DOE Secretary Moniz, the House Appropriations Committee’s Subcommittee on Energy and Water Development will hold a budget hearing on DOE’s Applied Energy Programs with its sub cabinet officials.  Witnesses will include Franklin Orr (Science and Energy), David Danielson (Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy), Peter Lyons (Nuclear Energy), Christopher Smith (Fossil Energy) and Patricia Hoffman (Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability).   Orr and Deputy Director Pat Dehmer will also return at 1:00 p.m. to specifically discuss the DOE Science budget in further detail.

 

House Energy Panel to Look at Power Plan Legal, Cost Issues – Next Tuesday, March 17th at 10:00 a.m., the House Energy & Commerce Committee’s Subcommittee on Energy and Power will hold a hearing on legal and cost issues with EPA Clean Power Plan.  .

 

Aviation Forum to Feature Blakey – The U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation is hosting its 14th Annual Aviation Summit on Tuesday, March 17th at the Renaissance Hotel to bring together top experts and leaders from all sectors of aviation to discuss critical issues facing the industry. The 2015 Summit will focus on the future of space and aviation in the global economy.  Confirmed Speakers include Chamber CEO Tom Donohue, Spirit Airlines CEO Ben Baldanza, Former Continental Airlines CEO Gordon Bethune, former FAA/NTSB/NHTSA head and current CEO of  Aerospace Industries Association (AIA) Marion Blakey, and many others.

 

EPA Officials to Head to House Transpo – Next Wednesday, March 18th at 10:30 a.m., the House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee’s Subcommittee on Water Resources and Environment will convene a hearing on the FY 2016 Budget for EPA.

 

WCEE Forum to Look at Grid Storage – The Women’s Council on Energy and the Environment will hold a forum on Wednesday, March 18th at the National Grange looking at energy storage.  The event will feature Katherine Hamilton, who will describe the industry players and technologies and update us on the exciting developments from the technological and policy perspective for energy storage.   Hamilton is the Policy Director of the Energy Storage Association. Katherine served as President of the GridWise Alliance, advocating for nearly $5 billion in funding for smart grid projects in the Recovery Act. Prior to that role, Katherine was a policy advisor for Good Energies, Inc., a private investment company with a portfolio in clean energy technologies of nearly $6 billion.  She co-directed the American Bioenergy Association, working with the states of Maryland and New Jersey to develop renewable portfolio standards. At the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), Katherine led buildings research and then managed government relations in Washington, DC. Katherine spent a decade at Virginia Power, designing overhead and underground electrical systems for commercial and residential developments. Katherine studied electrical engineering at Northern Virginia Community College and holds degrees from Cornell University and the Sorbonne. Katherine is part of The Energy Gang podcast through Greentech Media.

 

Forum, Simulation to address Cybersecurity Risks – The 3rd Annual Information and Cyber Governance, Data Analytics and Privacy Briefing will be Held at the National Press Club on March 18th.  The program will focus on identifying, protecting and responding to  today’s growing internal and external cybersecurity risks.  SEC Deputy Director Scott Bauguess and FTC General Counsel David Shonka will headline a number of speakers.  During the conference in addition to the moderated Q and A format, the audience will participate in an exercise using a hacking simulator. It has the strategic rigor of chess and the feel of a turn-based card game.  The “Game of Threats™” allows executives to better understand the complexity and fast-paced nature of deciphering threats and crafting the proper response, highlighting the importance of making the right move at the right time to thwart the hackers. My Bracewell colleague and expert on cybersecurity Shamoil Shipchandler is a great resource on the issue.

 

Foxx, Shuster Head NJ Forum on Transportation – On Thursday, March 19th at the Newseum, National Journal will host a forum of key stakeholders and experts for a robust discussion about the prospect of finding consensus to strengthen the nation’s infrastructure.  Speakers will include Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx and House T&I Chair Bill Shuster, as well as Casey Dinges of the American Society of Civil Engineers, Standard & Poor’s Steve Dryer, BPC Financial Regulatory Reform Initiative Director Aaron Klein, ARTBA’s Pete Ruane and Frederick “Bud” Wright of the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials.

 

Sen Energy to Tackle Crude Exports – The U.S. Senate Committee on Energy & Natural Resources will hold a hearing to receive testimony on U.S. crude oil export policy on Thursday, March 19th at 10:00 a.m.   Last year at this time, Murkowski offered her thoughts on crude exports at CERA Week.

 

AHRI to Host Annual DC Meeting – The Heating and Air Conditioning trade association AHRI will hold its annual Washington Conference on March 24-25th.  More on this as it comes into shape.

 

WSJ ECO:nomics Conference to Feature Leaders –  On March 25th to 27th, the editors of The Wall Street Journal will hold its ECO:nomics conference in Santa Barbara, CA.  The event brings together global CEOs, top entrepreneurs, environmental experts, policy makers and leading thinkers at ECO:nomics 2015 to identify and assess the most compelling opportunities — and pressing risks— emerging around the world in businesses impacted by the environment.  Through on-stage interviews with leading figures and interactive sessions with peers in diverse industries, participants at ECO:nomics 2015 will debate, discuss and get the inside story on essential issues: investing in innovation, disrupting current business models, the new meaning of sustainability and the future of the environmental movement, where energy policy is heading.  Speakers will include  Former EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson, WV Sen. Jo e Manchin, FERC Commissioner Phil Moeller, coal magnate Bob Murray, former Brightsource CEO and current Google exec John Woolard, Dan Yergin, T. Boone Pickens and Ted Nordhaus of the Breakthrough Institute.

 

Marcellus Shale Meeting Set for NE PA – The Marcellus Shale Coalition will hold a meeting on March 26 and 27th in Wilkes-Barre, PA.  Tax proposals from new PA Gov. Tom Wolf will be a significant topic of discussion.

 

Forum to Focus on Food, Water Nexus – The Bipartisan Policy Center, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation, National Geographic and Lockheed Martin are hosting the third in a series of roundtables, The Energy-Water-Food Nexus: Risks and Opportunities for the Private Sector on April 17th at 1:00 p.m. at National Geographic HQ. The roundtables identify the nexus risks to businesses, and examine why and how leadership from the private sector, in collaboration with key stakeholders, is critical to successfully managing the synergies and tradeoffs among water, food and energy infrastructure for the benefit of society, business and the environment.  This roundtable will focus on best practices and opportunities for harnessing innovation to address nexus challenges in the U.S., and globally.

 

FERC’s Honorable, Former Sen Bingaman Address Utility Issues Conference – On April 19th to 22nd in Santa Fe, NM, the Center for Public Utilities’ Advisory Council will hold a Current Issues conference dealing with important topics affecting the industry today. Through a series of panels, industry leaders and Commissioners discuss the current issues facing the Electric, Natural Gas, Telecommunications and Water industries. The panels are designed to create meaningful dialog between the panelists and audience in an informal setting conducive to audience participation.  Former NM Senator Jeff Bingaman, former Chairman, Energy & Natural Resources Committee and FERC Commissioner Colette Honorable speak Monday morning April 20. Lisa Edgar, NARUC President, will also be on the program, along with many NARUC Committee Chairman.

 

Fiorina To Address Lugar Speaker Series – On Monday, April 20th, the Richard G. Lugar Excellence in Public Service Series will hold its the 25th Annual Lugar Series Luncheon featuring Carly Fiorina, former CEO of Hewlett-Packard and Prospective Candidate as its keynote speaker.  The event will be held at the Indianapolis Marriott Downtown.

 

Tillerson, Hess Kinder, Others Headline CERA WeekCERAWeek 2015 will be held on April 20th through 24th in Houston, TX.  CERA Week usually offers comprehensive insight on what’s ahead for global energy. The oil price collapse has created new risks and realities – with profound impacts on key regions, industries, and economies. The event features industry and thought leaders proving fresh understanding of geopolitics, technology, markets, investment, strategy and regulatory policy.  Speakers will include Peabody Energy’s Greg Boyce, Exxon’s Rex Tillerson, Sen. Lisa Murkowski, BP’s Bob Dudley, Energy Secretary Moniz, former BrightSource exec now at Google John Woolard and many more.

 

Perino to Hold Book Event at Press Club – Our friend Dana Perino, former White House Press Secretary for President George W. Bush and current co-host of The Five, will discuss and sign copies of her new book “And the Good News Is…:Lessons and Advice from the Bright Side” at an April 24th book rap scheduled for 6:30 p.m. in the ballroom at the National Press Club.

 

ACORE Policy Forum Set – ACORE will hold Its Renewable Energy Policy Forum on April 22-23 at the Westin City Center in Washington, DC.  ACORE’s Policy Forum champions the progress of the industry in reducing costs and deploying at scale, and will feature policymakers, industry leaders and other perspectives to outline challenges and highlight opportunities facing the sector. The Forum will drive bipartisan renewable energy policy priorities and strategy for the next two years, setting up a successful long-term outlook for the industry. The outcome of the Forum – the policy agenda for renewable energy policy – will be shared with the President and Congress, as well as governors, legislators, and regulators in the states.  Speakers will include Energy Secretary Moniz, EPA’s Gina McCarthy, former FERC Chair John Wellinghoff, Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, Georgia PSC Commissioner Bubba McDonald, and our friends, Joe Desmond of Brightsource Energy, Dan Reicher of Stanford, Michael McAdams of the Advanced Biofuels Coalition and AWEA’s Tom Kiernan.

 

Energy Update: Week of February 23

Friends,

While the usual parade and hype around the 87th annual Oscars was fun, I didn’t think that Doogie Howser was particularly good this year.  I thought he was much funnier in the past.   A media columnist at Forbes hammered the show saying anything that could go wrong did…  Anyway, not many surprises at the Oscars with actors, designers and directors from Birdman, Grand Budapest (nice timing for the sequel coming out soon) Boyhood and Imitation Game taking home awards.  Perhaps the best moment of the night was John Legend and Common performing their song “Glory” from the movie Selma.

Another blast of snow on Saturday in DC that then gave way to sunny and 50s on Sunday set up a true reminder that Spring Training for Baseball and Spring Lacrosse (at least in our area) are in full motion.  Pitchers and catchers are already arriving and full rosters show up in Florida and Arizona this week as well, while the Cubs are still tied for first.  In other fun lacrosse news, my daughter’s high school team Severn School is ranked 4th in the nation in USA’s Preseason Top 25 Poll.  Of course, their arch-rival, Baltimore’s McDonogh is ranked #1 again, having won 112 straight games.  Last year, Severn lost 13-12 in the playoffs.  The date to circle on the calendar is April 21st when the teams will first tangle.

As mentioned last Monday, I started the weekend off Friday in with an acoustic show featuring Live’s Ed Kowalczyk playing the band’s smash hit album Throwing Copper as it celebrates its 20th anniversary since release.   The show was in a small venue in Annapolis and was really awesome.  The next big show is March 3rd when Bush comes to the Filmore in Silver Spring.  Everything Zen?

This will be a budget heavy week in Washington with a number of agency heads flooding Capitol Hill.  Most prominent in our space include Interior’s Sally Jewell at Senate Energy tomorrow, EPA’s Gina McCarthy at House Energy & Commerce Wednesday and House Approps Interior/Enviro Subpanel on Thursday and DOE Secretary Moniz at House Approps on Energy/Water on Thursday.  John Kerry also hits the House Approps State/Foreign Ops subpanel on Wednesday, while those of you looking at train car rules and infrastructure will want to hear Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx on Thursday at House Approps’ Transpo panel.   If you want to see Foxx, you’ll want to check out Senate Environment & PUBLIC WORKS on Wednesday, who will have state transpo officials and businesses from around the nation to discuss the upcoming highway bill.  Finally on Thursday, House Oversight jumps into examining the impacts of EPA air and water regs on States featuring AGs from Montana and Arkansas.

Finally, in Houston on Thursday and Friday, Platts will hold its 14th Annual Liquefied Natural Gas Conference.  The event will feature a number of key LNG players including Philip Olivier of GDF Suez, Bill Allen of Dominion Cove Point and my Bracewell colleagues Kevin Ewing and Kristin Gibbs, among several others.

Call with questions.

Frank Maisano

(202) 828-5864

(202) 997-5932

 

IN THE NEWS

Arctic Drilling Rolls out – In the unusual Friday afternoon time slot, this time the Department of Interior released first-time draft safety standards for Arctic oil and gas drilling.  The proposal includes a requirement for oil companies to keep a second rig standing by to drill a relief well as well as submitting integrated operations plans that address all phases of the exploration program, have access to Source Control and Containment Equipment and “have the necessary equipment, training, and personnel for oil spill response on the Arctic OCS.” The proposal is likely to take more than a year to finalize but includes much of what Shell has been undertaking with Interior ahead of the company’s Arctic drilling plans.

Murkowski Weighs In – Sen. Lisa Murkowski said she was reserving judgment on Interior’s new draft regulations for oil and natural gas activities in Alaska’s Chukchi and Beaufort seas.  She added if this administration is truly committed to developing our Arctic resources then it’s imperative that the Interior Department provide clear direction to Shell and the other leaseholders in the region on how they can proceed.  Murkowski:  “It’s important that any changes to existing regulations covering the Chukchi and Beaufort seas allow companies the flexibility to respond to changing conditions and for the deployment of new drilling technologies.”

How Much is Up There – Alaska’s Beaufort and Chukchi seas contain an estimated 23.6 billion barrels of oil and 104.4 trillion cubic feet of natural gas. Dozens of wells have been safely drilled in these areas since the 1970s. Interior estimates its new proposed regulations will add up to $1.4 billion over 10 years to the cost of development.

Wyden Weighs In On Train Car Rule – The pace of the oil train rule seems to have sped up after several recent incidents, including a fiery crash in West Virginia.  The DOT rule, which was “amtraking” along (that means late and slow) at OMB, seems to be getting the attention of a number of Democrats that want some action.  House transportation top Democrat Pete DeFazio has already weighed in on this and now  Sen. Ron Wyden said the rule should address the potential risks of newer rail cars involved in two derailments in addition to the older cars still in use.  My colleague Lowell Rothschild is the best expert to discuss the overall status of the DOT rule and its policy impacts.  Look for members of both parties to increase the heat on getting a new rule moving.  Feel free to connect with him if have questions at 202-828-5817 or lowell.rothschild@bgllp.com

President to Get Keystone Legislation – After years of delays and obstruction, our friends at POLITICO report that Republicans plan to officially send the White House their Keystone XL legislation tomorrow, setting up an expected presidential veto soon afterward.

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

National Govs Meeting in DC – You may have noticed it from the talk on the Sunday Shows, but the National Governors Assn is holding the 2015 NGA Winter Meeting over the weekend and today. During the meeting, governors will discuss issues affecting states and share best practices that lead to innovative solutions.  The Governors meet with President Obama today.

POLITICO Hosting State Solutions Conference – In light of the NGA being in DC,  POLITICO is hosting its 5th annual State Solutions conference all day today. The conference will feature a series of conversations with governors from across the country focusing on innovative approaches their states have taken to address complex problems.

Climate Conference Set – The Climate Leadership Conference 2015 will be held today through Wednesday at Ritz-Carlton Pentagon City.  The Climate Leadership Conference is an annual exchange for addressing global climate change through policy, innovation, and business solutions. Forward-thinking leaders from business, government, academia, and the non-profit community convene to explore market transformation, share energy and climate related solutions, and provide support for those addressing climate change in their operations.  Speakers include Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus, former U.S. Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin, EPA Acting Deputy Administrator Stan Meiburg, and National Academy of Sciences President Ralph Cicerone.

Forum to Look at NatGas Global Markets – The Johns Hopkins University will hold a forum in its Rome Auditorium today at 4:00 p.m. featuring SAIS alumnus Nikos Tsafos and a senior commentator to look at global markets for natural gas.

Forum to Oil, Latin America –Tomorrow at 8:30 a.m., Georgetown University’s McCourt School of Public Policy will host presentations from two distinguished IADB experts focused on oil markets and Latin America.  Dr. Ramon Espinasa and Dr. Osmel Manzano. Will offer an oil market overview and impact on consumers and producers in the region.

Whitfield to Lead Energy Forum – Faegre Baker Daniels’ and FaegreBD Consulting’s will host its annual energy and environmental symposium tomorrow afternoon at the Ronald Reagan Center.  This year’s event will focus on energy security, and speakers and panelists will examine energy imports/exports, grid reliability and cybersecurity, among other topics.  The featured keynote speaker is Rep. Ed Whitfield, Chairman of the House Subcommittee on Energy and Power, as well as our friend Brendan Williams of AFPM.

Heller to Headline Geothermal Event – The Geothermal Energy Association’s State of the Geothermal Energy Industry Briefing will be held tomorrow at the Hyatt Regency Capitol Hill. The program will provide an update on the US and international geothermal industry featuring release of the 2015 Annual Geothermal Industry Update and presentations and panel discussions by key leaders in US and international development, finance, technology, policy and regulatory issues.  Nevada Sen Dean Heller will lead a list of speakers.

Jewell Heads to Senate Energy – The Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources will convene a hearing tomorrow  to examine the President’s proposed budget request for fiscal year 2016 for the Department of the Interior.  Interior Secretary Sally Jewell will testify.

Kenderline to Address NatGas Roundtable – Tomorrow at Noon, the Natural Gas Roundtable will host Melanie A. Kenderdine, Director of the Office of Energy Policy and Systems Analysis of the Department of Energy will be the guest speaker at the next luncheon.

RFF to Look at Climate Engineering – Resources for the Future will hold a forum tomorrow at 12:45 p.m. to look at climate engineering.   On February 10, the US National Academy of Sciences (NAS) released two major reports on climate engineering (also known as geoengineering), to help inform the ethical, legal, and political discussions on climate “intervention.” At this seminar, a panel of experts will first review the reports’ major findings and then consider their political and economic implications.  The release of the reports comes at a critical moment. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s recent Fifth Assessment Report suggests that the window for addressing global warming is fast closing. This year, the international community is working toward a post-Kyoto agreement on greenhouse gas emissions reductions. The United States has already announced new bilateral cooperation with China and India on renewable energy development and climate action. Climate engineering has long hovered on the fringes of these conversations. Panelists will include NRDC’s David Goldston, former House Science Committee Chair Bart Gordon, EDF’s Steve Hamburg,  and NOAA’s Admiral David Titley.

Ambassador, Louisa Rep to Focus on Japan, US Energy  Issues – The National Bureau of Asian Research (NBR) is hosting a forum on adapting to a new energy strategy for U.S., Japanese, and Asian energy security.” This event will be held tomorrow  at 2:00 p.m. in 2322 Rayburn.  The event will detail the findings of NBR’s two-year program on “Adapting to a New Energy Era” and will feature panel discussions with senior experts on energy security, including Minister Yasushi Akahoshi from Embassy of Japan in the United States and Rep. Charles Boustany.

CSIS Paper to Look at Trade Issues – On Wednesday morning, the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) will release a new paper, Opportunities in Strengthening Trade Assistance, the final report of the CSIS Bipartisan Task Force on Trade Capacity Building. The task force, co-chaired by Reps. Charles Boustany and Jared Polis, met in 2014 to determine how the U.S. government can best implement TCB programs that build physical, human, and institutional capacities across the developing world and allow countries to benefit from trade and investment opportunities.  CSIS’s new paper highlights the critical role that TCB can and should play in an evolving U.S. development agenda. The report distills lessons from past TCB efforts and builds a practical.

McCarthy Heads to House Energy, Approps – EPA Head Gina McCarthy will visit the House Energy and Commerce Committee on Wednesday to examine the President’s proposed budget request for fiscal year 2016 for EPA.  Then on Thursday, McCarthy will head to the House Approps Panel on Interior and the Environment.

Kerry Hits House Approps Subpanel on Budget – The House Appropriations Subcommittee on State and Foreign Operations reviews the State Department’s fiscal 2016 budget on Wednesday  at 2:00 p.m. Secretary of State John Kerry testifies and while ISIS, Iran and Other Foreign affairs topics will be on the agenda, expect some discussion of global warming and international climate efforts.

RFF to Discuss AB 32 Legislation – Resources for the Future will hold a forum on Wednesday assessing progress under California’s AB 32 Cap-and-Trade Program.  At this RFF seminar, experts from the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) will examine the market, emissions, and economic data behind California’s successful climate agenda as detailed in their recent report: Carbon Market California: A Comprehensive Analysis of the Golden State’s Cap-and-Trade Program, Year Two. Presenters from RFF, EDF, and California’s largest utility, Pacific Gas and Electric, will discuss the current and future direction of the state’s climate policy, including the status of accomplishments such as putting a carbon price on transportation pollution and establishing a climate dividend for ratepayers.  Speakers will include EDF’s Tim O’Connor and Derek Walker, as well as PG&E’s Ray Williams and Melissa Lavinson.

Forum to Look at EERE Budget – On Wednesday at 2:00 p.m. in 210 Cannon, the Environmental and Energy Study Institute — in partnership with the House Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Caucus – will host a briefing on the energy efficiency and renewable energy implications of the fiscal year (FY) 2016 budget proposal released by President Obama on February 2. The Administration’s overall $4 trillion budget proposal provides a renewed focus on addressing climate change, and would invest $7.4 billion in clean energy technology programs across all agencies, led by the Department of Energy, the Department of Defense, the National Science Foundation, and the Department of Agriculture. This briefing will focus on the DOE’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), whose budget would increase 42 percent over 2015 enacted levels, to $2.7 billion.  Speakers from the Department of Energy and the Congressional Research Service (CRS) will give an overview of the EERE budget requests, explain the Office’s budget priorities, and provide context on how these priorities and trends compare to prior years.

CSIS Forum to Look at Latin America, Oil/Gas – The CSIS Energy and National Security Program and the CSIS Americas Program  will host David Voght and John Padilla, Managing Directors at IPD Latin America, on Wednesday at 2:00 p.m. to discuss recent developments in Latin American oil and gas markets. Carl Meacham, Director of the Americas Program at CSIS, will discuss the political implications of these shifts in the energy landscape. Sarah O. Ladislaw, Director and Senior Fellow at the CSIS Energy and National Security Program, will moderate.

Forum to Address Mexico Energy Reform – The Atlantic Council will hold a forum on Thursday at 9:00 a.m. on Mexico’s energy reform and its exciting promise and challenges. The event will feature a conversation with Juan Carlos Zepeda, the head of Mexico’s National Hydrocarbons Commission (CNH), Mexico’s upstream oil and gas regulatory agency charged with playing a key role establishing and overseeing the rules of the road governing Mexico’s reform process.   He will chart the progress CNH has made to date implementing the reforms, offer a real-time update on the energy reform regulatory infrastructure, and explain the efforts CNH has undertaken to ensure the regulations provide for energy sector transparency. The Atlantic Council’s David Goldwyn will also provide commentary.

Australian Ambassador, US Trade Rep to Discuss Free Trade – On Thursday at 10:00 a.m., the CSIS Pacific Partners Initiative will also host an armchair discussion with H.E. Kim Beazley, ambassador of Australia to the United States and Deputy U.S. trade representative Wendy Cutler. The discussion will mark the 10-year anniversary of the Australia-U.S Free Trade Agreement and consider the achievements of the past decade.

Moniz Heads to House Energy Approps – The House Energy and Water Appropriations panel will examine the President’s proposed budget request for fiscal year 2016 for DOE on Thursday withEnergy Secretary Ernie Moniz testifying.

Bracewell Experts to Lead Platts LNG Conference – Platts will hold its 14th Annual Liquefied Natural Gas Conference Thursday and Friday in Houston, Texas.   The event will feature a number of key LNG players including Philip Olivier of GDF Suez, Bill Allen of Dominion Cove Point and my Bracewell colleague Kevin Ewing and Kristin Gibbs, among several others.  Issues covered will include North American exports from Canadian and US East, West, and Gulf Coast facilities, with focus on regulatory questions, timelines and contracts; Global competition and export capacity in the Middle East, Africa, Southeast Asia, Australia, and Russia focused on growth outlook and competitive forces/differentiators.  They will also look at issues like regional demand and pricing.

Conover, Louda to Talk CHP at Webinar – On Thursday at Noon, the Combined Heat and Power Assn and Grayling will hold a joint webinar looking at state energy efficiency programs and how many of them impact combined heat and power.  The webinar will feature speakers from CHP Association, Grayling, and experts in state energy efficiency policies.  Speakers will include Our friends Dale Louda of the CHP Association and former DOE official Dave Conover.

Foxx Hits House Approps Subpanel on Transportation Issues – The House Appropriations Subcommittee on Transportation reviews DOT’s fiscal 2016 budget on Wednesday  at 2:00 p.m. Secretary Anthony Foxx testifies with Highway Trust Fund concerns, oil train car rules and infrastructure updates all on the agenda.

AGs head to House Oversight Hearing – On Thursday at 2:00 p.m., the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee subpanel on Interior will hold a hearing looking at U.S. EPA air and water rules and their impacts on states.  A number of state attorneys general suing to stop their implementation will testify as well as a number of economists who have done studies outlining impacts.  Montana Attorney General Tim Fox and Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge will lead the hearing with NERA Economic Consultants Anne Smith and David Harrison also on the agenda.

Green Tie Event Set – The 14th Annual Green Tie Affair will be held on Thursday evening at the  Capitol Riverfront District  The USGBC National Capital Region (USGBC-NCR), the Washington Chapter of the American Institute of Architects (AIA|DC), and the Association of Energy Engineers (AEE) host one of the premier social events for the clean energy industry. In addition to the usual activities, this special edition of the event will serve as a kickoff for what promises to be a landmark year for sustainable building in our region, as DC prepares to host 30,000 guests for the Greenbuild International Conference and Expo in November.

IEA Official to Present Oil Market Report – On Friday at 9:30 a.m., CSIS’s Energy and National Security Program will host Antoine Halff, Head of the Oil Industry and Markets Division at the International Energy Agency, to present the IEA’s 2015 Medium-Term Oil Market Report (MTOMR). Guy Caruso, Senior Adviser with the CSIS Energy and National Security Program, will moderate.

Forum Focused on Geopolitics of Energy – On Friday, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace will host a forum on the geopolitical implications of rapid change in energy markets.  The AICGS Foreign & Domestic Policy Program  will hold for a conference focused on a German and American perspective of global energy markets.  Experts from both countries will discuss their work on topics such as the future of fuels and cities, instability and the resource nexus, and energy and statecraft.

FUTURE EVENTS

Forum to Discuss Solar Jobs – Next, Monday at 3:00 p.m., the Environmental and Energy Study Institute (EESI) and the Solar Foundation will hold a briefing on the recently released 2014 National Solar Jobs Census. The Census found that the solar industry added 31,000 jobs last year, accounting for 1.3 percent of all new U.S. jobs, and representing a growth rate almost 20 times greater than the national average. Today, 173,807 Americans are employed in the solar industry, almost twice as many as in U.S. coal mining.    Speakers for this forum are Solar Foundation head Andrea Luecke, GW Solar Institute head Amit Ronen, DOE’s Mike Carr and SunEdison’s Matt Herzberg.

CP CEO to Address US Chamber Energy Forum – The Institute for 21st Century Energy and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation will host their CEO Leadership Series luncheon featuring on Tuesday, March 3rd art Noon featuring Ryan Lance, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of ConocoPhillips.  Lance will address the current state of the oil industry and challenges it is facing with lower oil prices.

Interior Official to Address Policy Issues at UColorado—The University of Colorado Law School will host Deputy Secretary of Interior Mike Connor for a policy speech on March 10th.

Aviation Forum to Feature Blakey – The U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation is hosting its 14th Annual Aviation Summit on Tuesday, March 17th at the Renaissance Hotel to bring together top experts and leaders from all sectors of aviation to discuss critical issues facing the industry. The 2015 Summit will focus on the future of space and aviation in the global economy.  Confirmed Speakers include Chamber CEO Tom Donohue, Spirit Airlines CEO Ben Baldanza, Former Continental Airlines CEO Gordon Bethune, former FAA/NTSB/NHTSA head and current CEO of  Aerospace Industries Association (AIA) Marion Blakey, and many others.

Forum, Simulation to address Cybersecurity Risks – The 3rd Annual Information and Cyber Governance, Data Analytics and Privacy Briefing will be Held at the National Press Club on March 18th.  The program will focus on identifying, protecting and responding to  today’s growing internal and external cybersecurity risks.  SEC Deputy Director Scott Bauguess and FTC General Counsel David Shonka will headline a number of speakers.  During the conference in addition to the moderated Q and A format, the audience will participate in an exercise using a hacking simulator. It has the strategic rigor of chess and the feel of a turn-based card game.  The “Game of Threats™” allows executives to better understand the complexity and fast-paced nature of deciphering threats and crafting the proper response, highlighting the importance of making the right move at the right time to thwart the hackers. My Bracewell colleague and expert on cybersecurity Shamoil Shipchandler is a great resource on the issue.

AHRI to Host Annual DC Meeting – The Heating and Air Conditioning trade association AHRI will hold its annual Washington Conference on March 24-25th.  More on this as it comes into shape.

WSJ ECO:nomics Conference to Feature Leaders –  On March 25th to 27th, the editors of The Wall Street Journal will hold its ECO:nomics conference in Santa Barbara, CA.  The event brings together global CEOs, top entrepreneurs, environmental experts, policy makers and leading thinkers at ECO:nomics 2015 to identify and assess the most compelling opportunities — and pressing risks— emerging around the world in businesses impacted by the environment.  Through on-stage interviews with leading figures and interactive sessions with peers in diverse industries, participants at ECO:nomics 2015 will debate, discuss and get the inside story on essential issues: investing in innovation, disrupting current business models, the new meaning of sustainability and the future of the environmental movement, where energy policy is heading.  Speakers will include  Former EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson, WV Sen. Jo e Manchin, FERC Commissioner Phil Moeller, coal magnate Bob Murray, former Brightsource CEO and current Google exec John Woolard, Dan Yergin, T. Boone Pickens and Ted Nordhaus of the Breakthrough Institute.

Energy Update: Week of February 17

Friends,

With President’s Day holiday, snowy blizzards lacing New England and the Mid-Atlantic and Fat Tuesday all upon us, this week will be a short week  Therefore also a short Intro, but mostly because I traveled to Connecticut College, Colby College and Skidmore College (Yes all sound very expensive and offer no scholarships) this weekend, driving through a massive blizzard, that would even test the most hearty New Englanders.  I’ll tell you it was pretty amazing on Sunday morning driving Boston’s 495 Outer Loop in blizzard conditions and virtually no cars on the road.  We had the road to ourselves…

As well, my colleague Scott Segal again graced the streets of the Crescent City in the run up to Mardi Gras as his usual Krewe worked the Bacchus Parade on Sunday.  I will get a full report tonight in when we meet up in the Big Apple.  That’s right…Fat Tuesday is today so have a king cake for me.

The snow in DC should slow folks down this week, (not us here at the Update as I was able to get into office in record time with the roads empty) but also not our friends at NARUC, who are holding their (REALLY) Winter meetings at the Renaissance Hotel.  Today’s line-up includes EPA’s Gina McCarthy, Energy Secretary Moniz, FCC Chair Tom Wheeler and FERC Chair Cheryl LaFleur.  Platts also starts its nuclear conference today in DC with NRC’s Stephen Burns keynoting.

While Congress is in a brief recess this week for President Day, the action swings to FERC though as on Thursday, they will hold the first of four planned technical conferences on the market and reliability impacts of EPA’s proposed carbon GHG rules. The technical conferences will provide more insight on the Commission’s thoughts on the plan and on the state of power markets in general.  We will be there…

 

At the NARUC event and at FERC on Thursday, you may come across a detailed ERCC White Paper on Reliability issues and the new GHG rule, a key point shared by several members of FERC and a number of NARUC Commissioners.   More of this and interviews with Holmstead and Segal as the week rolls on.  And speaking of white papers, did you catch the Ameren CEO’s thoughts on fixing the EPA’s GHG rule last week.   Ameren, a coal-heavy utility in Missouri, feels like some tweaks in the EPA rule can not only make the plan achievable, but also save consumers billions.  A number of trade press folks detailed the idea here and here.  And speaking of trade press, our friends at EE News have activated an on-line Clean Power Plan tool they built that includes a number of state related documents and articles.  It’s free for all to check out.

 

Finally, for those of you focused on rail safety issues in light of the crude accident in West Virginia and the ethanol derailment in Iowa, my colleague Lowell Rothschild is the best expert to discuss the overall status of the DOT rule and its policy impacts.  Look for members of both parties to increase the heat on getting a new rule moving.  Feel free to connect with him if have questions at 202-828-5817 or lowell.rothschild@bgllp.com

 

Frank Maisano

(202) 828-5864

(202) 997-5932

 

IN THE NEWS

Ameren Says With Minor Changes EPA Rule Can Work – Ameren Corp CEO Warner Baxter says in a new white paper says constructive and common-sense alterations to the EPA’s GHG plan could avoid imposing staggering costs on utility customers and significant risks to electric grid reliability. Ameren’s approach would achieve the same final CO2 emission reduction goals as EPA’s own plan while saving $4 billion in costs.  You can get see the white paper on-line here, but I am also attaching it and a press release (below) from the Ameren PR team with contact info for reaching out to Mr. Baxter, although he may be difficult to reach today. Feel free to quote freely from the paper, as it is on the record. You will also be able to discuss the issue with Ameren Washington office head Joe Power, who you can reach at 703-624-3234 or jpower@ameren.com.  Finally, my colleague Scott Segal, who heads the industry coalition ERCC, has seen the paper and would be happy to discuss it, as well, should you want an outside voice. You can reach Scott at 202-262-5845 or scott.segal@bgllp.com.

DOE Rolls Out Furnace Rule – In case you missed it late yesterday, DOE rolled out its new efficiency proposal for certain residential natural gas-fired furnaces.  Here is the link for the rule.   My colleague Salo Zelermyer, former DOE Senior Counsel and attorney at Bracewell & Giuliani who represents energy efficiency and technology clients said “DOE’s proposed rule clearly admits that increasing the standards on residential furnaces leads to increased switching from natural gas to electric furnaces. Such an approach would actually increase lifecycle GHG emissions and stands in stark contrast to the goals of the President’s climate action plan.”  We are working on a number of these EE rules with many different members of the EE and HVAC industries and these are items that Salo watched closely when he was at DOE.  He is a great resource.

 

AGA Releases NatGas Use Guide – Americans continue to save money and improve their environmental footprint by using natural gas, according to the 2015 American Gas Association (AGA) Playbook. The freshly updated guide for natural gas information shows that natural gas customers saved an average of $693 per year from 2012-2013 while reducing their carbon dioxide emissions by half a million metric tons. In addition, emissions from distribution pipelines dropped an additional six percent in 2014 as utilities continued to upgrade and modernize infrastructure to enhance safety.

 

New PA Gov Proposes NatGas Tax – Gov. Tom Wolf proposed a five-percent severance tax on natural gas drilling activity in Pennsylvania. The natural gas industry already pays significant taxes in Pennsylvania and natural gas operators pay the same taxes that every other business in Pennsylvania pays, which has helped generate more than $2.1 billion through 2013.  Pennsylvania is the only state that imposes a special impact tax that will have generated nearly $830 million by April of this year, directly benefitting all 67 counties throughout the Commonwealth.  Pennsylvanians have realized more than $700 million in royalties from energy-development on public lands. By any measure, these are significant revenues that are boosting local communities, as well as important environmental programs.  More importantly, revenue estimates fail to account for the more than 200,000 hard-working Pennsylvanians who are employed by or support this industry and generate substantial revenue for the Commonwealth by paying their taxes.  Marcellus Shale Coalition president David Spigelmyer said while they will evaluate the policy details outlined by Wolf, “it’s clear that new energy taxes will discourage capital investment into the commonwealth and make Pennsylvania less competitive. Make no mistake, adding a five percent tax to any business sector – including the energy industry – is going to reduce capital spending and hit the supply chain, especially Pennsylvania-based small and mid-sized businesses, as well as our region’s labor and building trades.”

 

Global Divestment Day Passes…And No One Noticed – It’s kind of a steady stream of bad news for the global divestment movement, an effort by activists aiming to get Universities & Colleges to divest their endowments from fossil fuels.  The problem is, four plus years into the effort and none are doing it.  Even some of the most vaunted liberal institution like Harvard, Yale, Middlebury College and Brown have rejected pleas to divest.  A recent article by Val Richardson highlighted the woes out at the University of Colorado this weekend, where a Global Divestment Day rally was held and only a handful of people showed.

 

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

 

FCC Chair, Moniz, McCarthy to Address NARUC Winter Meetings – The 2015 NARUC Winter Committee Meetings launched yesterday and will run through Wednesday at the Renaissance Washington Hotel.  The Winter Meetings is the first substantive utility-regulatory conference of the year. Discussions will focus on the new Congress’ outlook for energy and telecommunications priorities.  DOE Secretary Ernie Moniz, EPA’s Gina McCarthy and FCC Chair Tom Wheeler will be among the keynote speakers.

 

NRC Commissioner to Address Nuclear Forum – Platts holds its 11th annual Nuclear Energy Conference at the Mandarin Oriental today and tomorrow.  NRC’s Stephen Burns will speak, as well as our friends Craig Piercy and Senate Energy Committee staffer Pat McCormick among many others.

 

Ameren CEO, EPA’s McCabe , DOE to Address Utility Conference – EUEC 2015 is the 18th annual energy, utility and environment conference will be held at the San Diego Convention Center on today and tomorrow.  EPA’s Janet McCabe, will be the keynote speaker at EUEC 2015, which offers a ten track technical program with over 400 expert speakers from utility, government and academia, presenting current issues and updates on air policy and regulations, mercury and multi-pollutant control, air pollution monitoring, energy policy, control technologies. EPA climate change regulations, renewable energy, operations and management, carbon capture and storage, water and EPA 316(b) rules, and alternate fuel technologies. EUEC is the longest running and largest event of its kind in the U.S.  Other speakers will include DOE’s Julio Freedman and Ameren CEO Warner Baxter.  EUEC will be jointly held with the Clean Car Expo, which will bring together the world’s leading alternative fuel vehicle (AFV) manufacturers, infrastructure developers, fuel providers, and consultants to discuss the latest developments in electric vehicles (EVs), compressed natural gas vehicles (CNG), hydrogen vehicles (H2), natural gas vehicles (NGV), biofuel, ethanol, propane, hybrid and fleet vehicles. Over 3,000 delegates including 400 fleet operators are expected to the joint conference and expo.

 

Smart Grid Forum Set – The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Power & Energy Society holds the 6th Conference on Innovative Smart Grid Technologies today and tomorrow at the Washington Grand Hyatt in Washington, DC. The Conference will be a forum for participants to discuss state-of-the-art innovations in smart grid technologies and will feature plenary and panel sessions as well as technical paper presentations and poster sessions. Tutorials by international experts on smart grid applications will also be available. The overall theme for 2015 is “Smart Grid – Present and Future”, focusing on the future migration path for the smart grid as new and emerging technologies converge with power system developments to create smart energy systems.  DOE’s Pat Hoffman is the keynote speaker.

 

George P. Bush to Address TX, Mexico Forums – The Border Energy Forum is hosting two forums where new Texas Land Commissioner George P. Bush will present a keynote address addresses.  The first is the Mexico Shale Summit in San Antonio today and tomorrow.  The event is highly focused Mexico Energy industry event bringing the relevant players together to discuss the opportunities associated with entering the Mexican energy market.  Then the following week in Austin, Bush will keynote the Texas Mexico Business Forum, which provides insight into business opportunities in four sectors important to the wealth of Texas and Mexico: Technology, Energy, Automobile, Higher education and Healthcare.

 

SNL to Host Forum – SNL Energy is hosting the 28th Annual Power and Gas M&A Symposium on Wednesday and Thursday at the Ritz-Carlton Battery Park in New York.  The Power and Gas M&A Symposium attracts senior executives and advisers from across the industry in an interactive conference that connects people, provides insights and fosters new opportunities like no other forum.  Former NYC Mayor Rudy Giuliani and Ameren CEO Baxter Warner will address the forum.

 

Forum to Focus on DOE Labs – On Wednesday at Noon, the Technology Transfer Society will host a forum on reforming the DOE National Labs at the Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities.  DOE’s 17 national labs stand as potentially pivotal institutions in many of the nation’s metropolitan economies and for overall national growth, innovation, and competitiveness. As centers of basic and applied technology research and development (R&D), the labs are well-positioned to serve as unique focal points for technology exchange among regional firms, universities, and economic development intermediaries. However, the labs have not made technology transfer, commercialization, or metropolitan cluster development a top priority. As a result, they have struggled to properly connect to the broader U.S. innovation ecosystem and deliver on their responsibility to contribute to regional and national economic growth.  There is a growing recognition among policymakers that it’s past time for lab reform, opening a window of opportunity to reshape the role of the labs as engines of national and regional economic growth. Congress has taken up bipartisan legislation to enhance lab flexibility when engaging with the private sector. Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz has made lab reform a priority. And a Congressionally-mandated commission is assessing potential areas of reform, including technology transfer, lab management, private sector engagement, and budget consolidation. This presentation, featuring information technology expert Matt Stepp, will discuss some (but not all) potential issues at the national labs and give an overview of ongoing policy discussions.  Stepp is Executive Director of The Information Technology & Innovation Foundation’s Center for Clean Energy Innovation (CCEI), where he researches, analyzes and comments on a number of issues related to climate and energy policy.

 

FERC GHG Technical Conference to Focus on EPA Rule – The FERC holds its GHG technical Conference on Thursday in Washington. There will be four conferences: one “National Overview” conference led by the Commission at FERC headquarters on Thursday followed by three staff-led regional conferences in Washington, D.C., St. Louis, and Denver.  According to FERC’s website, participants at the National Overview technical conference will discuss whether state utility and environmental regulators, regulated entities and others have the appropriate tools to identify reliability and/or market issues that may arise.  They will also look at potential strategies for complying with the EPA regulations and coordinating with FERC-jurisdictional wholesale and interstate markets.  The full announcement, including a quote by FERC Chairman Cheryl LaFleur, is available here.  The full text of the notice in the Federal Register, including instructions on how to register for the conferences, is available here.  Commissioner Tony Clark released his own statement, available here.

 

ICF Breakfast to Look at Climate – On Thursday morning at the National Press Club, ICF International will hold its energy breakfast featuring energy experts from the World Bank. Discussion topics will include hot-button greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions issues and key questions.  Speakers will include World Bank’s Charles Feinstein and former State Department negotiator Jonathan Pershing.

 

New Website Looks at Governing Uranium – CSIS and the Danish Institute for International Studies (DIIS) will host the launch of the new, interactive Governing Uranium website at 9:00 a.m. Thursday.  Based on the results of the Governing Uranium research project, the website allows users to explore the front-end of the nuclear fuel cycle and ‘follow the uranium trail’ from mining to conversion.  It offers information, maps and analysis on the regulatory structures and industry best practices that govern uranium production and trade across fifteen uranium producing and consuming states.

 

Forum to Explore Perspectives on Energy, Water & Agriculture – On Thursday at 12:15 p.m., the International Food Policy Research Institute will hold a forum on how clean energy technology can be used to intensify agricultural production.  Former Governor Bill Ritter, Jr. will speak from his experience working both domestically and internationally with legislators, regulators, planners, and policymakers to make clean energy a reality and focus on the major issues and opportunities both in the U.S. and in developing countries. A panel of experts will join Governor Ritter to explore the nexus between clean energy, water and agriculture, and share their thoughts on ways to ramp up partnerships–working across sectors–and apply cutting edge technologies to tackle some of our greatest development challenges.

 

Forum Look at Mediterranean Energy – On Thursday at 2:00 p.m., the Brookings Institution’s Energy Security and Climate Initiative and the Center for Middle East Policy at Brookings will launch three papers dealing with the Eastern Mediterranean gas energy discoveries. The first looks at the potential development of the Palestinian Gaza Marine gas field and its importance to the Palestinian economy. The second discusses the evolution of Israel’s energy policy since large discoveries were made in Israeli waters, and the effect of this process on regional cooperation. The third publication, an edited volume published by the PRIO Cyprus Centre, explores the hydrocarbon findings offshore Cyprus and their effects Cypriot relations with its neighbors.  The panelists, who authored the papers, will discuss the natural gas findings in the Eastern Mediterranean and the potential of these discoveries to enable regional energy cooperation. After the program, the panelists will take audience questions.

 

ASE to Offer Primer on Energy Efficiency – The Alliance to Save Energy will host a Capitol Hill Briefing on Thursday at 3:00 p.m. focusing on the building blocks of energy efficiency policy.  A full load of speakers will be announced on topics like EnergySTAR, building codes, Weatherization, Appliance Standards and much more.

 

Energy & Sustainability Extravaganza Set for New GWU Science Hall – On Friday afternoon, the National Capital Chapter of the Association of Energy Engineer’s will co-host the Energy & Sustainability Extravaganza at George Washington University/s new Science and Engineering Hall.  Other co-hosts include the GW School of Engineering and Applied Science’s Office of Graduate Admissions, the Alexandria Emerging Technology Center, and DC Green Drinks.

 

FUTURE EVENTS

 

Climate Conference Set – The Climate Leadership Conference 2015 will be held next Monday through Wednesday, February 23-25th at Ritz-Carlton Pentagon City.  The Climate Leadership Conference is an annual exchange for addressing global climate change through policy, innovation, and business solutions. Forward-thinking leaders from business, government, academia, and the non-profit community convene to explore market transformation, share energy and climate related solutions, and provide support for those addressing climate change in their operations.  Speakers include Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus, former U.S. Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin, EPA Acting Deputy Administrator Stan Meiburg, and National Academy of Sciences President Ralph Cicerone.

 

Forum to Look at NatGas Global Markets – The Johns Hopkins University will hold a forum in its Rome Auditorium on Monday, February 23rd at 4:00 p.m. featuring SAIS alumnus Nikos Tsafos and a senior commentator to look at global markets for natural gas.

 

Forum to Oil, Latin America – Next Tuesday, February 24th at 8:30 a.m., Georgetown University’s McCourt School of Public Policy will host presentations from two distinguished IADB experts focused on oil markets and Latin America.  Dr. Ramon Espinasa and Dr. Osmel Manzano. Will offer an oil market overview and impact on consumers and producers in the region.

 

Heller to Headline Geothermal Event – The Geothermal Energy Association’s State of the Geothermal Energy Industry Briefing will be held on Tuesday, February 24th at the Hyatt Regency Capitol Hill. The program will provide an update on the US and international geothermal industry featuring release of the 2015 Annual Geothermal Industry Update and presentations and panel discussions by key leaders in US and international development, finance, technology, policy and regulatory issues.  Nevada Sen Dean Heller will lead a list of speakers.

 

Jewell Heads to Senate Energy – The Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources will convene a hearing on Tuesday February 24th to examine the President’s proposed budget request for fiscal year 2016 for the Department of the Interior.  Interior Secretary Sally Jewell will testify.

 

Kenderline to Address NatGas Roundtable – Next Tuesday, at Noon, the Natural Gas Roundtable will host Melanie A. Kenderdine, Director of the Office of Energy Policy and Systems Analysis of the Department of Energy will be the guest speaker at the next luncheon.

 

RFF to Look at Climate Engineering – Resources for the Future will hold a forum next Tuesday, February 24th at 12:45 p.m. to look at climate engineering.   On February 10, the US National Academy of Sciences (NAS) released two major reports on climate engineering (also known as geoengineering), to help inform the ethical, legal, and political discussions on climate “intervention.” At this seminar, a panel of experts will first review the reports’ major findings and then consider their political and economic implications.  The release of the reports comes at a critical moment. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s recent Fifth Assessment Report suggests that the window for addressing global warming is fast closing. This year, the international community is working toward a post-Kyoto agreement on greenhouse gas emissions reductions. The United States has already announced new bilateral cooperation with China and India on renewable energy development and climate action. Climate engineering has long hovered on the fringes of these conversations. Panelists will include NRDC’s David Goldston, former House Science Committee Chair Bart Gordon, EDF’s Steve Hamburg,  and NOAA’s Admiral David Titley.

 

Ambassador, Louisa Rep to Focus on Japan, US Energy  Issues – The National Bureau of Asian Research (NBR) is hosting a forum on adapting to a new energy strategy for U.S., Japanese, and Asian energy security.” This event will be held on Tuesday, February 24th at 2:00 p.m. in 2322 Rayburn.  The event will detail the findings of NBR’s two-year program on “Adapting to a New Energy Era” and will feature panel discussions with senior experts on energy security, including Minister Yasushi Akahoshi from Embassy of Japan in the United States and Rep. Charles Boustany.

 

CSIS Paper to Look at Trade Issues – On Wednesday morning, February 25th the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) will release a new paper, Opportunities in Strengthening Trade Assistance, the final report of the CSIS Bipartisan Task Force on Trade Capacity Building. The task force, co-chaired by Reps. Charles Boustany and Jared Polis, met in 2014 to determine how the U.S. government can best implement TCB programs that build physical, human, and institutional capacities across the developing world and allow countries to benefit from trade and investment opportunities.  CSIS’s new paper highlights the critical role that TCB can and should play in an evolving U.S. development agenda. The report distills lessons from past TCB efforts and builds a practical.

 

RFF to Discuss AB 32 Legislation – Resources for the Future will hold a forum on Wednesday, February 25th assessing progress under California’s AB 32 Cap-and-Trade Program.  At this RFF seminar, experts from the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) will examine the market, emissions, and economic data behind California’s successful climate agenda as detailed in their recent report: Carbon Market California: A Comprehensive Analysis of the Golden State’s Cap-and-Trade Program, Year Two. Presenters from RFF, EDF, and California’s largest utility, Pacific Gas and Electric, will discuss the current and future direction of the state’s climate policy, including the status of accomplishments such as putting a carbon price on transportation pollution and establishing a climate dividend for ratepayers.  Speakers will include EDF’s Tim O’Connor and Derek Walker, as well as PG&E’s Ray Williams and Melissa Lavinson.

 

Forum to Look at EERE Budget – On Wednesday, February 25th at 2:00 p.m. in 210 Cannon, the Environmental and Energy Study Institute — in partnership with the House Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Caucus – will host a briefing on the energy efficiency and renewable energy implications of the fiscal year (FY) 2016 budget proposal released by President Obama on February 2. The Administration’s overall $4 trillion budget proposal provides a renewed focus on addressing climate change, and would invest $7.4 billion in clean energy technology programs across all agencies, led by the Department of Energy, the Department of Defense, the National Science Foundation, and the Department of Agriculture. This briefing will focus on the DOE’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), whose budget would increase 42 percent over 2015 enacted levels, to $2.7 billion.  Speakers from the Department of Energy and the Congressional Research Service (CRS) will give an overview of the EERE budget requests, explain the Office’s budget priorities, and provide context on how these priorities and trends compare to prior years.

 

Forum to Address Mexico Energy Reform – The Atlantic Council will hold a forum on Thursday, February 26th at 9:00 a.m. on Mexico’s energy reform and its exciting promise and challenges. The event will feature a conversation with Juan Carlos Zepeda, the head of Mexico’s National Hydrocarbons Commission (CNH), Mexico’s upstream oil and gas regulatory agency charged with playing a key role establishing and overseeing the rules of the road governing Mexico’s reform process.   He will chart the progress CNH has made to date implementing the reforms, offer a real-time update on the energy reform regulatory infrastructure, and explain the efforts CNH has undertaken to ensure the regulations provide for energy sector transparency. The Atlantic Council’s David Goldwyn will also provide commentary.

 

Bracewell Experts to Lead Platts LNG Conference – Platts will hold its 14th Annual Liquefied Natural Gas Conference on February 26-27th in Houston, Texas.   The event will feature a number of key LNG players including Philip Olivier of GDF Suez, Bill Allen of Dominion Cove Point and my Bracewell colleague Kevin Ewing and Kristin Gibbs, among several others.  Issues covered will include North American exports from Canadian and US East, West, and Gulf Coast facilities, with focus on regulatory questions, timelines and contracts; Global competition and export capacity in the Middle East, Africa, Southeast Asia, Australia, and Russia focused on growth outlook and competitive forces/differentiators.  They will also look at issues like regional demand and pricing.

 

Conover, Louda to Talk CHP at Webinar – On Thursday at Noon, the Combined Heat and Power Assn and Grayling will hold a joint webinar looking at state energy efficiency programs and how many of them impact combined heat and power.  The webinar will feature speakers from CHP Association, Grayling, and experts in state energy efficiency policies.  Speakers will include Our friends Dale Louda of the CHP Association and former DOE official Dave Conover.

 

Green Tie Event Set – The 14th Annual Green Tie Affair will be held on Thursday evening, February 26th at the  Capitol Riverfront District  The USGBC National Capital Region (USGBC-NCR), the Washington Chapter of the American Institute of Architects (AIA|DC), and the Association of Energy Engineers (AEE) host one of the premier social events for the clean energy industry. In addition to the usual activities, this special edition of the event will serve as a kickoff for what promises to be a landmark year for sustainable building in our region, as DC prepares to host 30,000 guests for the Greenbuild International Conference and Expo in November.

 

Forum Focused on Geopolitics of Energy – On Friday, February 27th,  Carnegie Endowment for International Peace will host a forum on the geopolitical implications of rapid change in energy markets.  The AICGS Foreign & Domestic Policy Program  will hold a for a conference focused on a German and American perspective of global energy markets.  Experts from both countries will discuss their work on topics such as the future of fuels and cities, instability and the resource nexus, and energy and statecraft.

 

CP CEO to Address US Chamber Energy Forum – The Institute for 21st Century Energy and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation will host their CEO Leadership Series luncheon featuring on Tuesday, March 3rd art Noon featuring Ryan Lance, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of ConocoPhillips.  Lance will address the current state of the oil industry and challenges it is facing with lower oil prices.

 

Interior Official to Address Policy Issues at UColorado—The University of Colorado Law School will host Deputy Secretary of Interior Mike Connor for a policy speech on March 10th.

 

Aviation Forum to Feature Blakey – The U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation is hosting its 14th Annual Aviation Summit on Tuesday, March 17th at the Renaissance Hotel to bring together top experts and leaders from all sectors of aviation to discuss critical issues facing the industry. The 2015 Summit will focus on the future of space and aviation in the global economy.  Confirmed Speakers include Chamber CEO Tom Donohue, Spirit Airlines CEO Ben Baldanza, Former Continental Airlines CEO Gordon Bethune, former FAA/NTSB/NHTSA head and current CEO of  Aerospace Industries Association (AIA) Marion Blakey, and many others.

 

AHRI to Host Annual DC Meeting – The Heating and Air Conditioning trade association AHRI will hold its annual Washington Conference on March 24-25th.  More on this as it comes into shape.

 

 

Energy Update: Week of February 9

Friends,

So the big story last night from the Grammys is how big of an idiot Kanye West continues to be.   He once again has deflected much-deserved attention from the winners and of course got coverage.  In case you missed it, Sam Smith was the big winner, taking home three of the top four awards, including song and record of the year for “Stay With Me,” and best new artist, while Beck was surprise winner of album of the year, causing West’s outburst.   Solid performances by Madonna and Annie Lennox.

While it is snowing so much in the Northeast that any talk of spring sounds crazy, pitchers and catchers report this week to Florida and Arizona to kickoff baseball’s annual spring training ritual.  I’m interested to know how Derek Jeter will feel when he doesn’t report for the first time in 20-plus years.   And for those of you in lax states like Maryland, colleges open their SEASONS soon and high school tryouts are right around the corner.

After last week’s White House budget announcement and an initial hearing featuring OMB, Congress hits the budget trail full tilt this week.  Expect to see DOE Secretary Moniz on both sides of the Capitol on Wednesday and Thursday.

Senate Environment will take its first look at the EPA GHG rule in this Congress on Wednesday.  There is a lot going on this week on GHG issues from both environmental groups and industries so stay tuned.  This is already on top of reports from our friends in the media who are writing that the House will package and roll out new energy legislation early this week.

On Thursday, SAFE holds a webinar featuring Sam Ori discussing the SAFE Energy Security Fact Pack, a comprehensive, quarterly review of current trends affecting American energy security and the global oil market, and our friend Steve LeVine will discuss his new book The Powerhouse: Inside the Invention of a Battery to Save the World at a New America Foundation.

For those of you following the DOE residential furnace rule (it is one of a plethora of DOE you can expect over the next two years) has cleared OMB after a significant delay.  My colleague Salo Zelermyer, a former DOE Senior Counsel on these topic can be of great assistance on background or on the record.  You can reach Salo at 202-828-1718.

Finally, the Environmental Law Institute and the D.C. Bar’s Environment, Energy and Natural Resources Section is holding a networking event at the Laughing Man Tavern to build community and connections among environmental professionals and to relax and have fun!

We are all in Houston today so I’m keeping it short.  Call with questions and keep your eyes peeled for developments on the GHG front.

Frank Maisano

(202) 828-5864

(202) 997-5932

 

IN THE NEWS

Report Shows Energy Trends – A new report from Bloomberg New Energy Finance says the US saw continued growth in renewable energy, natural gas and energy efficiency in 2014, The 3rd annual Sustainable Energy in America Factbook shows that U.S. deployment of sustainable energy increased as prices continued to fall and that investment in U.S. clean energy grew at a higher rate.  The report found that “over the 2007–2014 period, U.S. carbon emissions from the energy sector dropped 9%, U.S. natural gas production rose 25% and total U.S. investment in clean energy (renewables and advanced grid, storage and electrified transport technologies) reached $386 billion.”   The full 2015 edition of the Sustainable Energy in America Factbook is available here.

Platts Oil Podcast Tackles Iran – This week on Capitol Crude, Platts senior editors Herman Wang andBrian Scheid compare the ongoing negotiations over Iran’s nuclear program with trashy reality television. They also get a little help from our good friend Kevin Book at ClearView Energy Partners, who helps them explain what high stakes global diplomacy and looming congressional action over western sanctions on Iran’s oil sector have to do with a TLC show about getting married in 90 days.

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

Moniz, Napolitano to Headline ARPA-E Forum – Today through Wednesday, DOE will host its annual ARPA-E Energy Innovation Summit at the Gaylord National Hotel and Convention Center.  The event is an annual conference and technology showcase that brings together experts from different technical disciplines and professional communities to think about America’s energy challenges in new and innovative ways. Now in its sixth year, the Summit offers a unique, three-day program aimed at moving disruptive energy technologies out of the lab and into the market. The ARPA-E Energy Innovation Summit brings together the very best minds in business, academia, and government to advance cutting-edge technologies that could fundamentally change the way we generate, use and store energy.

Electric Car Forum Set – The Electric Drive Transportation Association’s Electric Drive Congress 2015 will be held tomorrow and Wednesday.  The forum is a multifaceted program to convene electric drive industry executives, policymakers, leaders in regional deployment and other stakeholders. Participants will discuss the road ahead for electric drive: what to expect in the market and what role federal and regional leaders will play in speeding access to next generation transportation options.

EESI, EDTA to Host Merkley, Carper – To that end, the Environmental and Energy Study Institute (EESI) and the Electric Drive Transportation Association (EDTA) will hold a briefing at 10:00 a.m. in the US Capitol Visitors Center Auditorium to discuss the road ahead for electric drive vehicles as industry executives, policymakers, and other stakeholders gather to address the outlook for the market and what role policymakers can play in accelerating the electric fleet. Policymakers and industry leaders will provide their expert insights, and a moderated Q&A will follow.  Featured speakers for the Capitol Hill briefing include Sens.  Jeff Merkley and Tom Carper, as well as Tracy Woodard of Nissan.

EDTA Will Also Hold Symposium – In addition to the above Congressional briefing, EDTA is also holding an Electric Drive Symposium at the Washington Court Hotel. Highlights include a keynote luncheon sponsored by Volkswagen Group of America, federal and state policy forums, and a networking reception.  Featured speakers for the symposium include Arun Banskota of NRG Energy Electric Vehicle Service, PG&E’s Melissa Lavinson, Toyota’s Robert R. Wimmer – Toyota Motor North America, Greg Dierkers of the National Governors Association, Ashley Horvat  from the State of Oregon, Karen Glitman of the Vermont Energy Investment Corporation (VEIC) and DOE’s Linda Bluestein.

CHP Association to Host DOE Officials for Webinar – Tomorrow at 2:00 p.m., the Joint Energy Solutions Center and the Combined Heat & Power Association will host a webinar to discuss DOE’s CHP Technical Assistance Partnerships, and what they will do for customers.  Speakers will include our friend Dale Louda, who heads the the CHP Association and DOE program officials Claudia Tighe and Ted Bronson.

 

Senate Enviro Takes First Look at EPA GHG Rules – On Wednesday at 9:30 a.m., the Senate Environment Committee will hold its first oversight hearing to examine EPA’s proposed carbon dioxide emissions rules from new, modified, and existing power plants. The purpose of the hearing is to examine the proposed rules, their impacts and obtain general status update.  The star of the show will be EPA Air Chief Janet McCabe.

 

Moniz to Discuss Budget at House Energy Panel – Also Wednesday at 2:00 p.m., the House Energy & Commerce Committee’s energy panel will host DOE Secretary Ernie Moniz for a hearing on the 2016 DOE budget.

Georgetown Forum Look at Shale Impacts – On Wednesday through Friday, Georgetown University’s SFS Center for Contemporary Arab Studies will hold its annual symposia to assess the political, economic, human, and environmental impacts of shale oil and its technologies of extraction globally, and particularly on the societies and economies of the MENA region.

 

Moniz Heads to Senate Energy for Budget – On Thursday at 9:30 a.m., the Senate Energy Committee will hold a hearing on the Department of Energy’s budget request for fiscal year 2016.  Secretary Moniz will testify.

 

House Foreign Affairs to Look at Azerbaijan, U.S. Energy – The House Foreign Affairs Committee’s Subcommittee on Europe, Eurasia, and Emerging Threats will convene a hearing on Thursday to discuss Azerbaijan & U.S. Energy, Security, and Human Rights.  Witnesses will include Wilson Center expert Audrey Altstadt, former American Ambassador to Azerbaijan Richard Kauzlarich of George Mason University and JHU’s Svante Cornell, the Director of its Central Asia-Caucasus Institute.

 

Former Gov Ritter Leads CO Law School Forum – University of Colorado Law School will hold its 2015 Martz Winter Symposium in its Wittemyer Courtroom on Thursday and Friday.  Many believe that global institutions and frameworks are failing to generate necessary progress on issues such as climate change, water scarcity, biodiversity, food security and nutrition, and poverty eradication; and that state, tribal, and local governments and communities, innovative companies, social and technology entrepreneurs, NGOs, impact investors, consumers and philanthropists increasingly are taking the lead in creating bottom-up solutions to these challenges.  The conference will explore this dynamic in detail, with an emphasis on the drivers behind these ground level innovations, and on how they can better “filter up” to inform the global conversations occurring on how best to address various dimensions of “global change”.  Former Colorado Governor Bill Ritter leads a list of distinguished speakers.

 

SAFE Webinar to Look at Oil Dynamics, Markets, Policy – On Thursday,  Securing America’s Future Energy Executive Vice President Sam Ori will host a webinar discussing the SAFE Energy Security Fact Pack.  The report is a comprehensive, quarterly review of current trends affecting American energy security and the global oil market. The fourth-quarter 2014 release examines current oil market dynamics and the effect lower oil prices are having on industry valuation and capital expenditures, in addition to U.S. rig counts and oil production.   Webinar participants will have the opportunity to engage with SAFE’s policy experts on these topics, as well as broader U.S. energy security and advanced technology vehicles and fuels.

 

Conference to Focus on DOE Communities – On Thursday and Friday at the Liaison Hotel, Energy Communities Alliance will hold a conference featuring the community officials and local governments around DOE sites as we discuss key issues.  DOE Officials, administration officials and Washington insiders will discuss important issues.  Speakers will include Idaho Rep. Mike Simpson, DOE’s Peter Lyons and our friend Jeff Crater of Babcock &Wilcox.

 

LeVine to Discuss New Book on Battery Tech – The New America Foundation will host a forum featuring our friend Steve LeVine on Thursday at Noon to look as his New book, The Powerhouse: Inside the Invention of a Battery to Save the World.  For all the global obsession with oil that has marked the past decades, the real future of energy may be something quite different. An advanced lithium-ion battery could power our electric cars and help relieve climate change. But the race is on in laboratories all over the world to be the first to solve this scientific enigma—and the United States may not necessarily be the winner. Levine will be joined by Donna Harris, co-founder of Washington DC start-up hub, 1776. They will explore how geopolitics, competition, and the scientists themselves could shape technology’s next great watershed.

 

Hudson to Look at Falling Oil Impacts – The Hudson Institute will hold a forum on Friday at 10:30 a.m. on assessing the economic, political and geopolitical impacts of falling oil prices.  The price of world crude oil has plunged more than 50 percent since July 2014. The price drop has spawned predictions of job losses and financial collapse for America’s booming oil and shale industry, as well as a renaissance for U.S. manufacturing and a new burst of prosperity for consumers. Warnings of the doom of OPEC and international “Big Oil” have been balanced by forecasts that cheap oil’s boost to economic growth around the world will trigger a renewed price rise in the future.  Hudson will host a panel of experts led by Anne Korin, co-director of the Institute for Analysis of Global Security and senior advisor to the U.S. Energy Security Council; Dov Zigler, Financial Markets Economist at Scotiabank; and Matt Leggett, Energy Policy Counsel at the U.S. Senate Republican Policy Committee. Hudson Senior Fellow Arthur Herman will moderate this event.

 

 

FUTURE EVENTS

 

FCC Chair to Address NARUC Winter Meetings – The 2015 NARUC Winter Committee Meetings will be held on February 15-18th at the Renaissance Washington Hotel.  The Winter Meetings is the first substantive utility-regulatory conference of the year. Discussions will focus on the new Congress’ outlook for energy and telecommunications priorities.  Tom Wheeler, Chairman of the  Federal Communications Commission will be among the keynote speakers.

 

Ameren CEO, EPA’s McCabe , DOE to Address Utility Conference – EUEC 2015 is the 18th annual energy, utility and environment conference will be held at the San Diego Convention Center on February 16-18th.  EPA’s Janet McCabe, will be the keynote speaker at EUEC 2015, which offers a ten track technical program with over 400 expert speakers from utility, government and academia, presenting current issues and updates on air policy and regulations, mercury and multi-pollutant control, air pollution monitoring, energy policy, control technologies. EPA climate change regulations, renewable energy, operations and management, carbon capture and storage, water and EPA 316(b) rules, and alternate fuel technologies. EUEC is the longest running and largest event of its kind in the U.S.  Other speakers will include DOE’s Julio Freedman and Ameren CEO Warner Baxter.  EUEC will be jointly held with the Clean Car Expo, which will bring together the world’s leading alternative fuel vehicle (AFV) manufacturers, infrastructure developers, fuel providers, and consultants to discuss the latest developments in electric vehicles (EVs), compressed natural gas vehicles (CNG), hydrogen vehicles (H2), natural gas vehicles (NGV), biofuel, ethanol, propane, hybrid and fleet vehicles. Over 3,000 delegates including 400 fleet operators are expected to the joint conference and expo.

 

George P. Bush to Address TX, Mexico Forums – The Border Energy Forum is hosting two forums where new Texas Land Commissioner George P. Bush will present a keynote address addresses.  The first is the Mexico Shale Summit in San Antonio on February 17-18th and is highly focused Mexico Energy industry event bringing the relevant players together to discuss the opportunities associated with entering the Mexican energy market.  Then the following week in Austin, Bush will keynote the Texas Mexico Business Forum, which provides insight into business opportunities in four sectors important to the wealth of Texas and Mexico: Technology, Energy, Automobile, Higher education and Healthcare.

 

FERC GHG Technical Conference to Focus on EPA Rule – The FERC holds its GHG technical Conference on February 19 in Washington.  More on this next week.

 

SNL to Host Forum – SNL Energy is hosting the 28th Annual Power and Gas M&A Symposium on February 18-19th at the Ritz-Carlton Battery Park in New York.  The Power and Gas M&A Symposium attracts senior executives and advisers from across the industry in an interactive conference that connects people, provides insights and fosters new opportunities like no other forum.  Former NYC Mayor Rudy Giuliani and Ameren CEO Baxter Warner will address the forum.

 

Forum to Focus on DOE Labs – Next Wednesday, February 18th at Noon, the Technology Transfer Society will host a forum on reforming the DOE National Labs at the Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities.  DOE’s 17 national labs stand as potentially pivotal institutions in many of the nation’s metropolitan economies and for overall national growth, innovation, and competitiveness. As centers of basic and applied technology research and development (R&D), the labs are well-positioned to serve as unique focal points for technology exchange among regional firms, universities, and economic development intermediaries. However, the labs have not made technology transfer, commercialization, or metropolitan cluster development a top priority. As a result, they have struggled to properly connect to the broader U.S. innovation ecosystem and deliver on their responsibility to contribute to regional and national economic growth.  There is a growing recognition among policymakers that it’s past time for lab reform, opening a window of opportunity to reshape the role of the labs as engines of national and regional economic growth. Congress has taken up bipartisan legislation to enhance lab flexibility when engaging with the private sector. Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz has made lab reform a priority. And a Congressionally-mandated commission is assessing potential areas of reform, including technology transfer, lab management, private sector engagement, and budget consolidation. This presentation, featuring information technology expert Matt Stepp, will discuss some (but not all) potential issues at the national labs and give an overview of ongoing policy discussions.  Stepp is Executive Director of The Information Technology & Innovation Foundation’s Center for Clean Energy Innovation (CCEI), where he researches, analyzes and comments on a number of issues related to climate and energy policy.

 

ICF Breakfast to Look at Climate – On Thursday, February 19th at the National Press Club, ICF International will hold its energy breakfast featuring featuring energy experts from the World Bank. Discussion topics will include hot-button greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions issues and key questions.  Speakers will include World Bank’s Charles Feinstein and former State Department negotiator Jonathan Pershing.

 

Forum to Explore Perspectives on Energy, Water & Agriculture – On Thursday, February 19th at 12:15 p.m., the International Food Policy Research Institute will hold a forum on how clean energy technology can be used to intensify agricultural production.  Former Governor Bill Ritter, Jr. will speak from his experience working both domestically and internationally with legislators, regulators, planners, and policymakers to make clean energy a reality and focus on the major issues and opportunities both in the U.S. and in developing countries. A panel of experts will join Governor Ritter to explore the nexus between clean energy, water and agriculture, and share their thoughts on ways to ramp up partnerships–working across sectors–and apply cutting edge technologies to tackle some of our greatest development challenges.

 

ASE to Offer Primer on Energy Efficiency – The Alliance to Save Energy will host a Capitol Hill Briefing on Thursday, February 19th at 3:00 p.m. focusing on the building blocks of energy efficiency policy.  A full load of speakers will be announced on topics like EnergySTAR, building codes, Weatherization, Appliance Standards and much more.

 

Energy & Sustainability Extravaganza Set for New GWU Science Hall – On Friday afternoon, February 20th, the National Capital Chapter of the Association of Energy Engineer’s will co-host the Energy & Sustainability Extravaganza at George Washington University/s new Science and Engineering Hall.  Other co-hosts include the GW School of Engineering and Applied Science’s Office of Graduate Admissions, the Alexandria Emerging Technology Center, and DC Green Drinks.

 

Geothermal Event Set for February – The Geothermal Energy Association’s State of the Geothermal Energy Industry Briefing will be held on Tuesday, February 24th at the Hyatt Regency Capitol Hill.

 

CP CEO to Address US Chamber Energy Forum – The Institute for 21st Century Energy and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation will host their CEO Leadership Series luncheon featuring on Tuesday, March 3rd art Noon featuring Ryan Lance, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of ConocoPhillips.  Lance will address the current state of the oil industry and challenges is facing with lower oil prices.

 

Interior Official to Address Policy Issues at UColorado—The University of Colorado Law School will host Deputy Secretary of Interior Mike Connor for a policy speech on March 10th.

 

Aviation Forum to Feature Blakey – The U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation is hosting its 14th Annual Aviation Summit on Tuesday, March 17th at the Renaissance Hotel to bring together top experts and leaders from all sectors of aviation to discuss critical issues facing the industry. The 2015 Summit will focus on the future of space and aviation in the global economy.  Confirmed Speakers include Chamber CEO Tom Donohue, Spirit Airlines CEO Ben Baldanza, Former Continental Airlines CEO Gordon Bethune, former FAA/NTSB/NHTSA head and current CEO of  Aerospace Industries Association (AIA) Marion Blakey, and many others.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Energy Update: Week of February 2

Friends,

 

So the big story last night from the Grammys is how big of an idiot Kanye West continues to be.   He once again has deflected much-deserved attention from the winners and of course got coverage.  In case you missed it, Sam Smith was the big winner, taking home three of the top four awards, including song and record of the year for “Stay With Me,” and best new artist, while Beck was surprise winner of album of the year, causing West’s outburst.   Solid performances by Madonna and Annie Lennox.

 

While it is snowing so much in the Northeast that any talk of spring sounds crazy, pitchers and catchers report this week to Florida and Arizona to kickoff baseball’s annual spring training ritual.  I’m interested to know how Derek Jeter will feel when he doesn’t report for the first time in 20-plus years.   And for those of you in lax states like Maryland, colleges open their SEASONS soon and high school tryouts are right around the corner.

 

After last week’s White House budget announcement and an initial hearing featuring OMB, Congress hits the budget trail full tilt this week.  Expect to see DOE Secretary Moniz on both sides of the Capitol on Wednesday and Thursday.

 

Senate Environment will take its first look at the EPA GHG rule in this Congress on Wednesday.  There is a lot going on this week on GHG issues from both environmental groups and industries so stay tuned.  This is already on top of reports from our friends in the media who are writing that the House will package and roll out new energy legislation early this week.

 

On Thursday, SAFE holds a webinar featuring Sam Ori discussing the SAFE Energy Security Fact Pack, a comprehensive, quarterly review of current trends affecting American energy security and the global oil market, and our friend Steve LeVine will discuss his new book The Powerhouse: Inside the Invention of a Battery to Save the World at a New America Foundation.

 

For those of you following the DOE residential furnace rule (it is one of a plethora of DOE you can expect over the next two years) has cleared OMB after a significant delay.  My colleague Salo Zelermyer, a former DOE Senior Counsel on these topic can be of great assistance on background or on the record.  You can reach Salo at 202-828-1718.

 

Finally, the Environmental Law Institute and the D.C. Bar’s Environment, Energy and Natural Resources Section is holding a networking event at the Laughing Man Tavern to build community and connections among environmental professionals and to relax and have fun!

 

We are all in Houston today so I’m keeping it short.  Call with questions and keep your eyes peeled for developments on the GHG front.

 

Frank Maisano

(202) 828-5864

  1. (202) 997-5932

 

IN THE NEWS

 

Report Shows Energy Trends – A new report from Bloomberg New Energy Finance says the US saw continued growth in renewable energy, natural gas and energy efficiency in 2014, The 3rd annual Sustainable Energy in America Factbook shows that U.S. deployment of sustainable energy increased as prices continued to fall and that investment in U.S. clean energy grew at a higher rate.  The report found that “over the 2007–2014 period, U.S. carbon emissions from the energy sector dropped 9%, U.S. natural gas production rose 25% and total U.S. investment in clean energy (renewables and advanced grid, storage and electrified transport technologies) reached $386 billion.”   The full 2015 edition of the Sustainable Energy in America Factbook is available here.

 

Platts Oil Podcast Tackles Iran – This week on Capitol Crude, Platts senior editors Herman Wang andBrian Scheid compare the ongoing negotiations over Iran’s nuclear program with trashy reality television. They also get a little help from our good friend Kevin Book at ClearView Energy Partners, who helps them explain what high stakes global diplomacy and looming congressional action over western sanctions on Iran’s oil sector have to do with a TLC show about getting married in 90 days.

 

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

 

Moniz, Napolitano to Headline ARPA-E Forum – Today through Wednesday, DOE will host its annual ARPA-E Energy Innovation Summit at the Gaylord National Hotel and Convention Center.  The event is an annual conference and technology showcase that brings together experts from different technical disciplines and professional communities to think about America’s energy challenges in new and innovative ways. Now in its sixth year, the Summit offers a unique, three-day program aimed at moving disruptive energy technologies out of the lab and into the market. The ARPA-E Energy Innovation Summit brings together the very best minds in business, academia, and government to advance cutting-edge technologies that could fundamentally change the way we generate, use and store energy.

 

Electric Car Forum Set – The Electric Drive Transportation Association’s Electric Drive Congress 2015 will be held tomorrow and Wednesday.  The forum is a multifaceted program to convene electric drive industry executives, policymakers, leaders in regional deployment and other stakeholders. Participants will discuss the road ahead for electric drive: what to expect in the market and what role federal and regional leaders will play in speeding access to next generation transportation options.

 

EESI, EDTA to Host Merkley, Carper – To that end, the Environmental and Energy Study Institute (EESI) and the Electric Drive Transportation Association (EDTA) will hold a briefing at 10:00 a.m. in the US Capitol Visitors Center Auditorium to discuss the road ahead for electric drive vehicles as industry executives, policymakers, and other stakeholders gather to address the outlook for the market and what role policymakers can play in accelerating the electric fleet. Policymakers and industry leaders will provide their expert insights, and a moderated Q&A will follow.  Featured speakers for the Capitol Hill briefing include Sens.  Jeff Merkley and Tom Carper, as well as Tracy Woodard of Nissan.

 

EDTA Will Also Hold Symposium – In addition to the above Congressional briefing, EDTA is also holding an Electric Drive Symposium at the Washington Court Hotel. Highlights include a keynote luncheon sponsored by Volkswagen Group of America, federal and state policy forums, and a networking reception.  Featured speakers for the symposium include Arun Banskota of NRG Energy Electric Vehicle Service, PG&E’s Melissa Lavinson, Toyota’s Robert R. Wimmer – Toyota Motor North America, Greg Dierkers of the National Governors Association, Ashley Horvat  from the State of Oregon, Karen Glitman of the Vermont Energy Investment Corporation (VEIC) and DOE’s Linda Bluestein.

 

CHP Association to Host DOE Officials for Webinar – Tomorrow at 2:00 p.m., the Joint Energy Solutions Center and the Combined Heat & Power Association will host a webinar to discuss DOE’s CHP Technical Assistance Partnerships, and what they will do for customers.  Speakers will include our friend Dale Louda, who heads the the CHP Association and DOE program officials Claudia Tighe and Ted Bronson.

 

Senate Enviro Takes First Look at EPA GHG Rules – On Wednesday at 9:30 a.m., the Senate Environment Committee will hold its first oversight hearing to examine EPA’s proposed carbon dioxide emissions rules from new, modified, and existing power plants. The purpose of the hearing is to examine the proposed rules, their impacts and obtain general status update.  The star of the show will be EPA Air Chief Janet McCabe.

 

Moniz to Discuss Budget at House Energy Panel – Also Wednesday at 2:00 p.m., the House Energy & Commerce Committee’s energy panel will host DOE Secretary Ernie Moniz for a hearing on the 2016 DOE budget.

Georgetown Forum Look at Shale Impacts – On Wednesday through Friday, Georgetown University’s SFS Center for Contemporary Arab Studies will hold its annual symposia to assess the political, economic, human, and environmental impacts of shale oil and its technologies of extraction globally, and particularly on the societies and economies of the MENA region.

 

Moniz Heads to Senate Energy for Budget – On Thursday at 9:30 a.m., the Senate Energy Committee will hold a hearing on the Department of Energy’s budget request for fiscal year 2016.  Secretary Moniz will testify.

 

House Foreign Affairs to Look at Azerbaijan, U.S. Energy – The House Foreign Affairs Committee’s Subcommittee on Europe, Eurasia, and Emerging Threats will convene a hearing on Thursday to discuss Azerbaijan & U.S. Energy, Security, and Human Rights.  Witnesses will include Wilson Center expert Audrey Altstadt, former American Ambassador to Azerbaijan Richard Kauzlarich of George Mason University and JHU’s Svante Cornell, the Director of its Central Asia-Caucasus Institute.

 

Former Gov Ritter Leads CO Law School Forum – University of Colorado Law School will hold its 2015 Martz Winter Symposium in its Wittemyer Courtroom on Thursday and Friday.  Many believe that global institutions and frameworks are failing to generate necessary progress on issues such as climate change, water scarcity, biodiversity, food security and nutrition, and poverty eradication; and that state, tribal, and local governments and communities, innovative companies, social and technology entrepreneurs, NGOs, impact investors, consumers and philanthropists increasingly are taking the lead in creating bottom-up solutions to these challenges.  The conference will explore this dynamic in detail, with an emphasis on the drivers behind these ground level innovations, and on how they can better “filter up” to inform the global conversations occurring on how best to address various dimensions of “global change”.  Former Colorado Governor Bill Ritter leads a list of distinguished speakers.

 

SAFE Webinar to Look at Oil Dynamics, Markets, Policy – On Thursday,  Securing America’s Future Energy Executive Vice President Sam Ori will host a webinar discussing the SAFE Energy Security Fact Pack.  The report is a comprehensive, quarterly review of current trends affecting American energy security and the global oil market. The fourth-quarter 2014 release examines current oil market dynamics and the effect lower oil prices are having on industry valuation and capital expenditures, in addition to U.S. rig counts and oil production.   Webinar participants will have the opportunity to engage with SAFE’s policy experts on these topics, as well as broader U.S. energy security and advanced technology vehicles and fuels.

 

Conference to Focus on DOE Communities – On Thursday and Friday at the Liaison Hotel, Energy Communities Alliance will hold a conference featuring the community officials and local governments around DOE sites as we discuss key issues.  DOE Officials, administration officials and Washington insiders will discuss important issues.  Speakers will include Idaho Rep. Mike Simpson, DOE’s Peter Lyons and our friend Jeff Crater of Babcock &Wilcox.

 

LeVine to Discuss New Book on Battery Tech – The New America Foundation will host a forum featuring our friend Steve LeVine on Thursday at Noon to look as his New book, The Powerhouse: Inside the Invention of a Battery to Save the World.  For all the global obsession with oil that has marked the past decades, the real future of energy may be something quite different. An advanced lithium-ion battery could power our electric cars and help relieve climate change. But the race is on in laboratories all over the world to be the first to solve this scientific enigma—and the United States may not necessarily be the winner. Levine will be joined by Donna Harris, co-founder of Washington DC start-up hub, 1776. They will explore how geopolitics, competition, and the scientists themselves could shape technology’s next great watershed.

 

Hudson to Look at Falling Oil Impacts – The Hudson Institute will hold a forum on Friday at 10:30 a.m. on assessing the economic, political and geopolitical impacts of falling oil prices.  The price of world crude oil has plunged more than 50 percent since July 2014. The price drop has spawned predictions of job losses and financial collapse for America’s booming oil and shale industry, as well as a renaissance for U.S. manufacturing and a new burst of prosperity for consumers. Warnings of the doom of OPEC and international “Big Oil” have been balanced by forecasts that cheap oil’s boost to economic growth around the world will trigger a renewed price rise in the future.  Hudson will host a panel of experts led by Anne Korin, co-director of the Institute for Analysis of Global Security and senior advisor to the U.S. Energy Security Council; Dov Zigler, Financial Markets Economist at Scotiabank; and Matt Leggett, Energy Policy Counsel at the U.S. Senate Republican Policy Committee. Hudson Senior Fellow Arthur Herman will moderate this event.

 

 

FUTURE EVENTS

 

FCC Chair to Address NARUC Winter Meetings – The 2015 NARUC Winter Committee Meetings will be held on February 15-18th at the Renaissance Washington Hotel.  The Winter Meetings is the first substantive utility-regulatory conference of the year. Discussions will focus on the new Congress’ outlook for energy and telecommunications priorities.  Tom Wheeler, Chairman of the  Federal Communications Commission will be among the keynote speakers.

 

Ameren CEO, EPA’s McCabe , DOE to Address Utility Conference – EUEC 2015 is the 18th annual energy, utility and environment conference will be held at the San Diego Convention Center on February 16-18th.  EPA’s Janet McCabe, will be the keynote speaker at EUEC 2015, which offers a ten track technical program with over 400 expert speakers from utility, government and academia, presenting current issues and updates on air policy and regulations, mercury and multi-pollutant control, air pollution monitoring, energy policy, control technologies. EPA climate change regulations, renewable energy, operations and management, carbon capture and storage, water and EPA 316(b) rules, and alternate fuel technologies. EUEC is the longest running and largest event of its kind in the U.S.  Other speakers will include DOE’s Julio Freedman and Ameren CEO Warner Baxter.  EUEC will be jointly held with the Clean Car Expo, which will bring together the world’s leading alternative fuel vehicle (AFV) manufacturers, infrastructure developers, fuel providers, and consultants to discuss the latest developments in electric vehicles (EVs), compressed natural gas vehicles (CNG), hydrogen vehicles (H2), natural gas vehicles (NGV), biofuel, ethanol, propane, hybrid and fleet vehicles. Over 3,000 delegates including 400 fleet operators are expected to the joint conference and expo.

 

George P. Bush to Address TX, Mexico Forums – The Border Energy Forum is hosting two forums where new Texas Land Commissioner George P. Bush will present a keynote address addresses.  The first is the Mexico Shale Summit in San Antonio on February 17-18th and is highly focused Mexico Energy industry event bringing the relevant players together to discuss the opportunities associated with entering the Mexican energy market.  Then the following week in Austin, Bush will keynote the Texas Mexico Business Forum, which provides insight into business opportunities in four sectors important to the wealth of Texas and Mexico: Technology, Energy, Automobile, Higher education and Healthcare.

 

FERC GHG Technical Conference to Focus on EPA Rule – The FERC holds its GHG technical Conference on February 19 in Washington.  More on this next week.

 

SNL to Host Forum – SNL Energy is hosting the 28th Annual Power and Gas M&A Symposium on February 18-19th at the Ritz-Carlton Battery Park in New York.  The Power and Gas M&A Symposium attracts senior executives and advisers from across the industry in an interactive conference that connects people, provides insights and fosters new opportunities like no other forum.  Former NYC Mayor Rudy Giuliani and Ameren CEO Baxter Warner will address the forum.

 

Forum to Focus on DOE Labs – Next Wednesday, February 18th at Noon, the Technology Transfer Society will host a forum on reforming the DOE National Labs at the Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities.  DOE’s 17 national labs stand as potentially pivotal institutions in many of the nation’s metropolitan economies and for overall national growth, innovation, and competitiveness. As centers of basic and applied technology research and development (R&D), the labs are well-positioned to serve as unique focal points for technology exchange among regional firms, universities, and economic development intermediaries. However, the labs have not made technology transfer, commercialization, or metropolitan cluster development a top priority. As a result, they have struggled to properly connect to the broader U.S. innovation ecosystem and deliver on their responsibility to contribute to regional and national economic growth.  There is a growing recognition among policymakers that it’s past time for lab reform, opening a window of opportunity to reshape the role of the labs as engines of national and regional economic growth. Congress has taken up bipartisan legislation to enhance lab flexibility when engaging with the private sector. Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz has made lab reform a priority. And a Congressionally-mandated commission is assessing potential areas of reform, including technology transfer, lab management, private sector engagement, and budget consolidation. This presentation, featuring information technology expert Matt Stepp, will discuss some (but not all) potential issues at the national labs and give an overview of ongoing policy discussions.  Stepp is Executive Director of The Information Technology & Innovation Foundation’s Center for Clean Energy Innovation (CCEI), where he researches, analyzes and comments on a number of issues related to climate and energy policy.

 

ICF Breakfast to Look at Climate – On Thursday, February 19th at the National Press Club, ICF International will hold its energy breakfast featuring featuring energy experts from the World Bank. Discussion topics will include hot-button greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions issues and key questions.  Speakers will include World Bank’s Charles Feinstein and former State Department negotiator Jonathan Pershing.

 

Forum to Explore Perspectives on Energy, Water & Agriculture – On Thursday, February 19th at 12:15 p.m., the International Food Policy Research Institute will hold a forum on how clean energy technology can be used to intensify agricultural production.  Former Governor Bill Ritter, Jr. will speak from his experience working both domestically and internationally with legislators, regulators, planners, and policymakers to make clean energy a reality and focus on the major issues and opportunities both in the U.S. and in developing countries. A panel of experts will join Governor Ritter to explore the nexus between clean energy, water and agriculture, and share their thoughts on ways to ramp up partnerships–working across sectors–and apply cutting edge technologies to tackle some of our greatest development challenges.

 

ASE to Offer Primer on Energy Efficiency – The Alliance to Save Energy will host a Capitol Hill Briefing on Thursday, February 19th at 3:00 p.m. focusing on the building blocks of energy efficiency policy.  A full load of speakers will be announced on topics like EnergySTAR, building codes, Weatherization, Appliance Standards and much more.

 

Energy & Sustainability Extravaganza Set for New GWU Science Hall – On Friday afternoon, February 20th, the National Capital Chapter of the Association of Energy Engineer’s will co-host the Energy & Sustainability Extravaganza at George Washington University/s new Science and Engineering Hall.  Other co-hosts include the GW School of Engineering and Applied Science’s Office of Graduate Admissions, the Alexandria Emerging Technology Center, and DC Green Drinks.

 

Geothermal Event Set for February – The Geothermal Energy Association’s State of the Geothermal Energy Industry Briefing will be held on Tuesday, February 24th at the Hyatt Regency Capitol Hill.

 

CP CEO to Address US Chamber Energy Forum – The Institute for 21st Century Energy and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation will host their CEO Leadership Series luncheon featuring on Tuesday, March 3rd art Noon featuring Ryan Lance, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of ConocoPhillips.  Lance will address the current state of the oil industry and challenges is facing with lower oil prices.

 

Interior Official to Address Policy Issues at UColorado—The University of Colorado Law School will host Deputy Secretary of Interior Mike Connor for a policy speech on March 10th.

 

Aviation Forum to Feature Blakey – The U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation is hosting its 14th Annual Aviation Summit on Tuesday, March 17th at the Renaissance Hotel to bring together top experts and leaders from all sectors of aviation to discuss critical issues facing the industry. The 2015 Summit will focus on the future of space and aviation in the global economy.  Confirmed Speakers include Chamber CEO Tom Donohue, Spirit Airlines CEO Ben Baldanza, Former Continental Airlines CEO Gordon Bethune, former FAA/NTSB/NHTSA head and current CEO of  Aerospace Industries Association (AIA) Marion Blakey, and many others.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Energy Update: Week of January 26

Friends,

 

This week Arizona becomes the center of the sports world.  Now I don’t want to let the air out the room… but there’s that little game on Sunday in Glendale featuring the Patriots and Seahawks.  But wait, also in Arizona, just across town starting tomorrow, our friends at Waste Management are hosting the Greenest Show on Grass, the Waste Management 2015 Phoenix Open (which features the most raucous and exciting hole in golf).  It all starts tomorrow with WM’s annual Sustainability Forum featuring many of the nation’s foremost thought leaders on sustainability. The Pro-Am will tee off on Wednesday morning on TPC Scottsdale’s Stadium Course and will feature country music star Dierks Bentley, ESPN sportscaster Chris Berman, NBA legend Julius “Dr. J” Erving, 2015 Baseball Hall of Fame inductee Randy Johnson, National Champ Ohio State University Head Football Coach Urban Meyer, Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, NFL Hall of Famer Emmitt Smith and Heisman Trophy winner Tim Tebow and many more.  As for PGA Players, the line-up includes Scottsdale hometown regular Phil Mickelson, Tiger Woods, defending champ Kevin Stadler, Padraig Harrington, Bubba Watson, Lucas Glover, Retief Goosen and Angel Cabrera among the field of 132 that will vie for the $6.3 million purse.  Of course, tomorrow

 

Away from the fun and back in Washington, the Keystone debate rolled on with 14 amendments last week, following through on the first steps of Majority Leader McConnell’s effort to restore “Regular Order” to Senate procedure.  As evidence of the effort, the 14 amendments on the Keystone XL legislation were more than occurred on ALL the legislation in the Senate during the entire previous Congress.

 

And while the President was wrapping with India on Climate (see below), his players at Interior fired another missive across the bow of Congress, this time on ANWR.  I thought we were done with ANWR a long time ago, but in this administration’s environmental “Every That Is Old Is New Again” agenda, the ANWR fight  is now reemerging.  This approach may not bode well for the new 5-year drilling plan, expected in the next week or so.  As well, there are probably many political implications that are yet to play out here.  Bracewell’s Ewing, Rothschild and/or Hutt can tackle background and questions that you may have.  Sens. Murkowski, Sullivan and Rep. Don Young will hold a presser in the Senate Radio/TV Gallery at 2:00.  I would expect some rich language there…  Finally, a number of House and Senate Committees are holding their organizing meetings this week to get rolling on their committee agendas.  As they do we may be helpful.  For example, our friends at the Senate Ag panel are expected to make CFTC issues a major priority and my Bracewell colleague David Perlman (202-828-5804) is one of the best experts on the topic in DC.

 

Tomorrow, my friends and I at the National Press Club will be hosting a lunch with FERC Chair Cheryl LaFleur, who will speak about the challenges her agency faces to maintain the reliability of the nation’s electricity grid and reasonable prices for consumers.  Also returning to the forefront this week will be the Ozone/NAAQS question.  One of the biggest regular political/policy fights, the EPA rolled out its new proposal just before Thanksgiving and Thursday, EPA rolls into its public hearings in DC, Dallas and LA.  Scott Segal, Jeff Holmstead and Joe Stanko are always good sources.   The Senate Energy Committee looks at LNG export issues/legislation as well on Thursday, while BPC holds a forum on stakeholder reactions to the proposed EPA regulation for existing power plants, which will include a number of key State Commissioners.

 

Finally, on Saturday, I was able to take in my first Monster Jam thanks to my friend Jeanne Mitchell, who hosted my son Adam and I at the Verizon Center to watch Grave Digger, Crush-Station and the others smash things, roar the engines and jump giant dirt mounds.  Quite a fun evening (including a Grave Digger rollover during the Donut competition) and all part of what goes on when the Caps/Bullets (I mean, Wizards) have a break.  Next up at Verizon on Friday, Fleetwood Mac for those of you in my age range and above….  And remember the Washington Auto Show rolls on all week at the Washington Convention Center with lots of great cars.

 

Frank Maisano

(202) 828-5864

  1. (202) 997-5932

 

IN THE NEWS

 

President Moves to Limit ANWR Drilling – In a move that is sure to draw significant opposition from Congress, President Obama moved to limit drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) in his new management plan for the Alaska region.  The reforms proposes taking millions of acres off-limits to oil and gas drilling by designating them wilderness areas.   Of course Alaska delegation, including Senate Energy Chair Lisa Murkowski were furious.  (cue the oversight hearing agenda…)  The entire delegation including new Gov. Bill Walker released an unusual Sunday news release where Murkowski called the move “a stunning attack on our sovereignty and ability to develop a strong economy.”  New House Resources Chair Rob Bishop called it “irrational.” The announcement is sure to set up another old fight with congressional Republicans, who have been spent decades unsuccessfully trying to open the refuge to oil exploration. It is important to note that the refuge is currently already is closed to fossil fuel development.

 

Finzel to Start PR Firm – Our great friend Ben Finzel is hanging out his own shingle.  After stops at a number of PR Firms, Congress and DOE over the past 25 years, Ben is opening Renew PR.   The firm is focused on “restoring common sense to communications” and will provide senior counsel, advice and outreach to corporate, association, non-governmental organization, alliance, coalition and foundation clients.  Ben writes that he looks forward to providing senior counsel and leadership based on four principles: truth, clarity, engagement and collaboration.

 

India “deal” Less “deal” than  China – Talk is nice, but it is not expensive.   It also doesn’t really help with press releases.  In a meeting in India this weekend, President Modi and President Obama said they will continue work together on climate issues but nothing in the discussion was substantive or even specific.  The U.S. and India on Sunday announced a modest deal to curb hydrofluorocarbons, a greenhouse gas emitted by refrigerators and air conditioners; work together at climate talks in Paris later this year; and finance India’s solar power targets. Unlike the arrangement with China late last year, the discussion is far more limited.  In fact, Modi said, “India is an independent country, and there is no pressure on us from any country or any person.”  The bottom line remains that for India, revitalizing economic growth, addressing the nation’s energy shortfall, and creating jobs will be taking precedence.

 

SEJ Forum Looked at Energy, Environment Issues for 2015 – In case you missed it Friday, for the third year in a row, the Society of Environmental Journalists held a public discussion at the Woodrow Wilson Center for International Scholars in Washington, DC. The event ran from 3:00-5:00 p.m., followed by a reception. SEJ Board President Jeff Burnside introduced leading reporters and editors, who offered their predictions on the critical energy and environmental stories that will shape 2015. The event was also webcast live (see if you can hear my questions to the panelists).  Larry Pearl, director of environmental news for Bloomberg BNA, presented a brief overview then Doug Fischer, director of Environmental Health Sciences, moderated a panel that included Amy Harder, Neela Bannerjee, Randy Loftis of the Dallas Morning News, ClimateWire’s Lisa Friedman, and science reporter Lisa Palmer.

 

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

 

Caribbean Energy Forum Set – The White House and State Department in partnership with the Atlantic Council and the Council of the Americas will host a Caribbean energy security summit in Washington, D.C. today at the White House.  Representatives from countries including the Dominican Republic, Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago, and Grenada are expected to attend the summit as well as business and other political leaders.  The event will promote a cleaner and more sustainable energy future in the Caribbean through improved energy governance, greater access to finance and donor coordination.

 

AC-HV Expo Set – The Air Condition, Heating and Refrigeration Institute (AHRI) and  the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE)are holding their 2015 AHR Expo, the world’s largest HVACR marketplace, at Chicago’s McCormick Place today through Wednesday.  The Show brings together over 2,000 exhibiting companies and 40,000 visitors, representing the entire spectrum of the industry including HVACR manufacturers, engineers, contractors, OEMs, facility managers, and other professionals. In addition, there are over 100 educational seminars, workshops (presented by ASHRAE and others) and new product presentations.

 

National Energy Education Summit Set – Today at the Hyatt Regency Crystal City, the Council of Energy Research and Education Leaders (CEREL) of the National Council for Science and the Environment (NCSE) will host the National Energy Education Summit. The Summit will engage energy educators at all levels and students to build, improve, and expand energy education and serve the needs of diverse populations of students and citizens. The Summit will cover what we teach in energy education, how we teach it, how we can collaborate to teach it better, and how we can overcome critical challenges.  The Summit will include organized symposia, contributed presentations, posters and workshops on how to advance various aspects of energy education. We will also hear from leaders in government, business and industry and civil society in plenary sessions.  Dr. Michael E. Webber, Deputy Director of the Energy Institute, Co-Director of the Clean Energy Incubator, Josey Centennial Fellow in Energy Resources, and Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering, at the University of Texas at Austin will present the opening keynote at the National Energy Education Summit.  Other speakers will include Scott Sklar and former Obama advisor Dan Kammen.

 

Wilson Forum to Look at Urban Climate Issues – Today at 1:00 p.m., the Wilson Center will host a forum on climate perspectives for urban communities.  Over the next two decades the number of city dwellers will soar to nearly five billion, 60 percent of the world’s population.  Recognizing the need to strengthen the ties between urban policymaking and new scholarly work on urban development, and to disseminate evidence-based research on urban programming, the Wilson Center’s Urban Sustainability Laboratory, USAID, the International Housing Coalition, the World Bank and Cities Alliance have teamed together to cosponsor the fifth annual “Reducing Urban Poverty” paper competition for advanced graduate students. Winning authors of the 2014 Graduate Student Urban Poverty Paper Competition will present their solutions-oriented research, with commentary offered by experienced professionals working in the urban sector.

 

Energy & Climate Change Conference Set – The 15th National Conference and Global Forum on Science, Policy and the Environment: Energy and Climate Change will be held tomorrow to Thursday in Crystal City.  The event will feature more than 20 speakers and develop and advance partnerships that focus on transitioning the world to a new “low carbon” and “climate resilient” energy system. It will emphasize putting ideas into action – moving forward on policy and practice.

 

Forum to Look at Midwest Energy Issues – The U.S. Energy Association will host the Mid-West Energy Research Consortium (M-WERC) tomorrow at 10:00 a.m.  M-WERC envisions that, through its efforts, the Midwest Region will become the leading region in the United States for the energy, power and control industries and will be known worldwide for its leading-edge research and technology development in these areas, resulting in innovative products, market leadership, employment opportunities, and vibrant technology transfer.  M-WERC represents one of America’s largest clusters of energy, power and control companies, educational and research institutions, and other key industry stakeholders.  M-WERC acts as a catalyst for the growth of these companies and industries, located in the greater Mid-West Region, through technology innovation, advanced research, market development, information sharing, workforce development, and strategic collaboration.

 

CSIS Forum to Look at Grid Storage – The CSIS Energy and National Security Program is hosting a panel discussion tomorrow looking at grid storage technologies.  The event will  feature Haresh Kamath, Program Manager for Energy Storage at the Electric Power Research Institute, Judith Judson-McQueeney, Director of Emerging Technologies at Customized Energy Solutions, Praveen Kathpal, Vice President of AES Energy Storage, and Katherine Hamilton, Policy Director of the Energy Storage Association.  Grid storage is often touted as a way to help integrate intermittent sources of electricity such as wind and solar onto the grid. The development of grid storage technology, however, is about much more than just renewable integration. This session will address various grid storage technologies and their current and future potential to help create a more resilient and cost-effective energy infrastructure. Panelists will discuss existing and emerging grid storage technologies and applications, market factors affecting storage development, the deployment of storage technologies and regulatory/policy factors affecting grid storage deployment. Sarah O. Ladislaw, Director and Senior Fellow with the CSIS Energy and National Security Program, will moderate.

 

Press Club to Host FERC Chair – Cheryl LaFleur, chairman of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, will speak about the challenges her agency faces to maintain the reliability of the nation’s electricity grid and reasonable prices for consumers at a National Press Club luncheon tomorrow at 12:30 p.m.  LaFleur, chairman of the commission since July 2014, will also talk about the expansion of the nation’s natural gas supply system as the result of unprecedented production from the use of hydraulic fracturing technologies.

 

Utech to Head Climate Discussion – Tomorrow at 12:30 p.m., the Atlantic Council’s Global Energy Center will hold the inaugural event in its Road to Paris Climate Series, featuring an event with Dan Utech, President Obama’s top advisor on energy and climate issues, among other prestigious experts.   Panelists will assess the national climate plans already announced by the United States and China and how their commitments could shape reactions by the European Union and lesser developed countries, which will shape the success or failure of an agreement at the Paris Conference of Parties in December 2015.  Former climate advisor Heather Zichal with moderate a panel with Utech, CAP’s Peter Ogden and WRI’s Andrew Steer.

 

Forum to Look at Ukraine Energy, Security – The Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars will hold a forum on the security and energy implications for the South Caucasus after Ukraine on Wednesday at 9:00 a.m.  As the Ukrainian crisis, and the associated political conflict between Russia and the West, continues, there is elevated risk of unanticipated spillover effects in neighboring regions. The focus of this conference, the South Caucasus, is particularly sensitive to the continuing conflict to the north, including the competition for political and economic influence in the region.  The conference will be divided into two panels. The first panel will look at geopolitical implications of the Ukrainian conflict on the region, such as Armenia’s joining the Eurasian Union and the region’s relations with other neighbors, including Turkey and Iran. The second panel will examine energy-related issues, including the impact of world supply and demand for energy; the EU’s evolving dependence on energy from Russia; and Russia’s challenges and opportunities in the region.  The conference will conclude with a lunch and keynote address.

 

EIA Head to Address Forum – On Wednesday at 8:30 a.m. at the St. Regis – Washington, D.C., Recharge will host a conversation with Adam Sieminski, administrator of the US Energy Information Administration.  The theme of the talk will be global energy after the oil price fall. How do plummeting oil prices change the international energy industry, and, specifically, the role the US plays in it? What does the future hold for all types of energy in a new era of cheaper oil?  The event is sponsored by America’s Natural Gas Alliance.

 

Senate EPW to Host Transpo Sect, Govs on Legislation – Senate Environment and Public Works will hold a hearing on Wednesday to take its first look at Transportation Reauthorization issues.  The hearing aims to provide state and federal perspectives on the importance of reauthorization.   Witnesses will include Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx, Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley (R), South Dakota Gov. Dennis Daugaard (R), Vermont Gov. Peter Shumlin (D) and Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy (D).  Meanwhile, tomorrow, the House Transportation Committee will gather to organize.

 

CSIS Forum to Look at Oil Prices, Impacts – On Wednesday at 10:00 a.m., the CSIS Energy and National Security Program will host Rusty Braziel, President & Principal Energy Markets Consultant for RBN Energy, James Jensen, President of Jensen Associates, Jim Burkhard, Vice President and Head of Global Oil Market Research and Energy Scenarios at IHS, and David Knapp, Senior Editor at Energy Intelligence Group, to discuss the energy market impacts of low oil prices.  For the past several years, oil prices have remained in a predictably stable price “band” of around $100/barrel – in spite of an unprecedented spate of global disruptions and new geopolitical unrest. A combination of lackluster oil demand growth, an unprecedented supply surge courtesy of U.S. tight oil production, and other market factors has led to a rapid decline in global oil prices. While it is likely too early to answer the critical questions about how low prices will go, how long they will stay there, and whether this recent price collapse will lead to a new oil price band or an era of greater price volatility, it is a good time to start assessing some of the key variables to watch. This session is an opportunity explore the various oil market dynamics at play and assess the potential implications and outlooks for the future. Sarah Ladislaw, Director and Senior Fellow with the CSIS Energy and National Security Program, will moderate.

 

RFF Seminar to look at Climate, Food Supply – Resources for the Future will hold a seminar on Wednesday at 12:45 p.m. on how climate change will affect our global food supply.  According to recent studies, climate change could reduce agricultural productivity, decreasing global food supplies and harming households that rely on crops, livestock, and fisheries for income. What types of policies can be developed today to help protect against the worst of these impacts? At this RFF seminar, experts will examine recent research on this important topic and discuss how the United States and other countries are addressing the challenge.

 

AWWA, MWCOG to Discuss Water Issues – On Wednesday at 1:00 p.m., the American Water Works Association and Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments will hold a discussion of water and wastewater utility energy efficiency programs, both today and potential for the future. This workshop will highlight successes and challenges in the region, with an emphasis on how water and wastewater utilities could participate in state and energy sector efficiency incentive programs.  The forum will bring together representatives from local water and energy utilities to demonstrate past energy efficiency and/or renewable energy projects that have been completed or are proposed for a future date.

 

NAS to Look at Fukushima, Nuclear – On Thursday, the National Academy of Sciences will hold a meeting on Fukushima and current nuclear challenges.   The day-long Conference will focus on the 2004 NAS Spent Fuel Report and the Fukushima  accident.

 

Ozone Public Hearing Set for DC – EPA will hold its ozone rule hearing on Thursday at EPA headquarters.  EPA will hold several public hearings on the proposed updates to the national air quality standards for ground-level ozone, also known as smog. EPA has proposed to strengthen the standards to a level within a range of 65 to 70 parts per billion to better protect American’s health and the environment, while taking comment on a level as low as 60 ppb. While the low end of the range in the proposed rule (65ppb) is very troubling for industry and states, as low as background levels of ozone in many parts of the country and pushing as much as 94% of the nation out of attainment, 60ppb would be devastating for manufacturing, oil and gas production and agriculture across the country.  One thing to consider: the Administration only has so much political capital at its disposal and it has made clear that controlling greenhouse gases is its legacy issue.  It is unclear that the Administration has the bandwidth to sustain both rules.  There is no doubt that many in Congress and the states will demand that the proposed ozone NAAQS be placed on a more realistic course.  Look for Strong pushback on Ozone/NAAQS from Oil and gas.  Oil/gas production has been one of the only bright spots in the jobless recovery, and the range proposed for ozone may impose real, practical limitations on that production.

 

Senate Energy to Tackle LNG Permit Legislation – The Senate Energy Committee will hold a hearing on LNG permitting legislation on Thursday at 10:00 a.m.  The LNG Certainty and Transparency Act (S. 33) was introduced last week and would provide certainty with respect to the timing of Department of Energy decisions to approve or deny applications to export natural gas. Witnesses will include DOE’s Chris Smith, Paul Cicio of the Industrial Energy Consumers of America, ANGA’s Marty Durbin, NAM’s Ross Eisenberg and David Koranyi, the Eurasian Energy Future Initiative at the Atlantic Council.

 

BPC to Hold Event on Climate Stakeholders, Comments – On Thursday at 10:00 a.m., the Bipartisan Policy Center will hold a forum on stakeholder reactions to the proposed section 111(d) regulation for existing power plants.  Over a million comments have been submitted on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s proposed Clean Power Plan. Pulling from a broad swath of interested stakeholders, the Bipartisan Policy Center will gather a mix of panelists to share highlights from their submitted comments on this regulatory undertaking.  Speakers will include Arizona DEQ director Henry Darwin, Florida PSC President Lisa Edgar, ACORE’s Todd Foley, Basic Power Co-op’s Elizabeth Gore, Jack Ihle of Xcel, Missouri PSC Robert Kennedy, ECOS President and TN Bob Martineau, NRDC’s Derek Murrrow, EEI’s Quin Shea and NY State DEC.

Forum to Look at IL Nuclear Power, Economy – Regional Economic Models, Inc. (REMI) will hold its monthly policy luncheon on Thursday at 11:00 a.m.  For this luncheon, guest speaker David Bradish, manager of energy and economic analysis at the Nuclear Energy Institute, will discuss how he estimated the facilities’ economic impacts on the Illinois economy using modeling tools.

 

ASE to Hold Congressional Briefing – The Alliance to Save Energy will hold a congressional briefing on Thursday at 3:00 p.m. in 366 Dirksen on energy efficiency building blocks.  Energy efficiency has been a hot topic in Congress over the last few years. The afternoon briefing to discuss the fundamental tools of energy efficiency and energy efficiency policy.

FUTURE EVENTS

 

National Zero Energy Building Forum Set – The Getting to Zero National Building Forum will be held Sunday-Tuesday, February 1-3rd at the Fairmont Georgetown Hotel. Zero energy buildings are ultra-efficient structures that use only as much energy as can be produce onsite through renewable energy resources. Research from New Buildings Institute (NBI) reports 300% growth in the number of buildings targeting zero energy performance goals in just two years. Other studies have quantified the value of the zero energy building market to be $1.4 trillion annually by 2035. While this market is still in the beginning stages, much like LEED, experts anticipate rapid growth in the next two decades.  The event will take an in-depth look at the world of zero net energy (ZNE) buildings, share perspectives on the growth of ZNE policies and projects and discuss the future of these extremely efficient buildings that produce as much energy as they consume over the course of a year.

 

CSIS Experts to Look at Turkish NatGas Pipeline Implications – On Monday, February 2nd, CSIS will host a forum on natural gas pipeline issues in Turkey.  In December 2014, Russia announced unexpectedly that it was cancelling its South Stream gas pipeline project. Instead, during a visit to Ankara, Russian President Vladimir Putin unveiled a new pipeline project that would send additional gas to Europe through Turkey to the Greek border, which he dubbed Turkish Stream.  With much speculation as to the winners and losers of this decision, CSIS experts will endeavor to answer the many questions the new project raises.

 

JHU to Host Eni CEO – Next Monday, February 2nd at Noon, the Johns Hopkins University will hold a forum featuring Claudio Descalzi, CEO of Eni, who will discuss the future of oil markets.  Descalzi has been the CEO of Eni since May 2014.

 

Forum to Discuss Auto Innovations – New America will hold a conversation on February 2nd at 12:15 p.m. to discuss auto policy innovations.  Speakers will include Levi Tillemann, author of The Great Race: The Global Quest for the Car of the Future, and Daniel Yergin, author of The Quest and The Prize, and they will focus on the century-long battle between automakers and the contest to build the car of the future.

 

NASEO Energy Policy Outlook Conference Set – On February 3-6 in Washington D.C., the National Assn of State Energy Officials (NASEO) will Hold its 2015 Energy Policy Outlook Conference.  The event will focus on the energy and economic opportunity in modernizing the nation’s energy infrastructure—electric grid, pipelines, buildings, and transportation—to achieve a more resilient, sustainable, and energy efficient future. The need to modernize our aging energy infrastructure is among the most important global competitive challenges facing the United States.

 

USEA to Look at Solar Economics for Utilities – Next Tuesday, February 3rd at 2:00 p.m., the U.S. Energy Association will hold a forum assessing the economics of solar PV in the electric utility industry.  APPA’s James Cater will speak.  Solar photovoltaics (PV) makes up a small but rapidly growing portion of the nation’s electric generation capacity. Notwithstanding the increasing popularity and growth, questions remain regarding the basic costs and benefits, the nature and magnitude of subsidies, impacts on electric rates, and cost shifting among utility customers. This presentation provides an analytical framework for assessing the economics of solar PV within the electric utility sector. The intent is not to offer conclusions on the merits of solar PV as a power resource, but rather to present an analytical framework that may help decision makers assess the benefits and costs, and manage the trade-offs inherent in the use of this technology.

 

Hill Newspaper Forum to Look at Grid SecurityThe Hill will host a forum on grid resilience and security on Wednesday, February 4th at 8:00 a.m. in B-340 Rayburn. Leaders from Congress and the Obama Administration will discuss the role new energy technologies are playing in modernization, as well as steps for protecting a 21st Century power grid. Vulnerabilities in the security of the U.S. power grid — from the high-profile attack on a California substation to ongoing cyber incursions — has made protecting the grid a key policy issue for both the security and energy communities. Recent hacking incidents against major retailers, Hollywood, and the military’s social media accounts are only increasing concerns about the ability to protect America’s critical systems.

 

ASP to Hold Forum on Energy Security in Caribbean – On Wednesday, February 4th at Noon, the American Security Project will host a conference on energy security in the Caribbean.  Energy insecurity and availability are challenges that countries around the world face, but few places in the world face it like the islands of the Caribbean do. The islands are a diverse mix, ranging from Communist Cuba to the American territory of Puerto Rico, from small, isolated islands like Anguilla to large, multi-ethnic islands like Hispaniola. Most of the islands in the Caribbean have few indigenous fossil fuel resources, so virtually all of their energy needs are met by imported fossil fuels. To compound this, because of the lack of scale, costs for infrastructure are often much higher than for mainland, continental states.  Over the course of three panel discussions, the event will first examine the geopolitical importance of the region, and discuss what role energy plays in the balance of power. The next panel will look at the unique challenges of providing power to islands, and will attempt to offer lessons from other islands around the world. The final panel will look at existing and future solutions that could provide energy security, economic growth, and a cleaner environment.

 

RFF Forum to Look at Climate Agreement Action – Resources for the Future will host a First Wednesday Seminar  on February 4th at 12:45 p.m.  looking at countries level Of effort to reach a climate agreement.  Under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, countries have committed to finalize a new international agreement to take action on climate change. To prepare for Paris, each country must outline Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs), the actions it will take to reduce its emissions.  A collaborative and functional negotiation process around the new agreement will require a solid understanding of the levels of effort represented by the INDCs, particularly surrounding mitigation. However, comparing mitigation efforts is a challenging exercise, given the likely diversity of the proposed actions of each country.  At this RFF First Wednesday Seminar, experts will discuss a new method for comparing the INDCs, based on work by a team from Harvard University, Duke University, Japan’s Research Institute of Innovative Technology for the Earth, and Resources for the Future. They will also present a preliminary assessment of mitigation actions announced by several key jurisdictions, and a negotiator from the US State Department will offer comments.  State’s Trigg Talley and experts Joe Aldy and Bill Pizer will speak.

 

Forum to Look at Global Oil Issues – The Wilson Center will convene an expert global panel, assembled from Russia, Colombia, Canada, Iran, and Nigeria, on Wednesday February 4th at 1:30 p.m. to discuss the economic and political repercussions of depressed energy prices, as well as the effects of the lower prices on competitiveness and investment.  The event will be an exploration of the political, economic, and security implications of tumbling oil prices in various parts of the globe. For more information, please visit our event page.

 

Purdue Expert to Address Climate Impacts on Land Use, Poverty – On Thursday, February 5th at 4:30 p.m., the Johns Hopkins University will host a forum featuring Thomas Hertel of Purdue University, who will address the impacts of climate change and mitigation policies on global land use and poverty.  Professor Hertel is Distinguished Professor of Agricultural Economics at Purdue University, where his research focuses on the economy-wide impacts of global trade and environmental policies. Professor Hertel’s most recent research has focused on the impacts of climate change and mitigation policies on global land use and poverty. Previously, Professor Hertel has conducted extensive research on the impacts of multilateral trade agreements, including the linkages between global trade policies and poverty in developing countries.

 

Former Gov Ritter Leads CO Law School Forum – University of Colorado Law School will hold its 2015 Martz Winter Symposium in its Wittemyer Courtroom on February 12-13th.  Many believe that global institutions and frameworks are failing to generate necessary progress on issues such as climate change, water scarcity, biodiversity, food security and nutrition, and poverty eradication; and that state, tribal, and local governments and communities, innovative companies, social and technology entrepreneurs, NGOs, impact investors, consumers and philanthropists increasingly are taking the lead in creating bottom-up solutions to these challenges.  The conference will explore this dynamic in detail, with an emphasis on the drivers behind these ground level innovations, and on how they can better “filter up” to inform the global conversations occurring on how best to address various dimensions of “global change”.  Former Colorado Governor Bill Ritter leads a list of distinguished speakers.

 

FCC Chair to Address NARUC Winter Meetings – The 2015 NARUC Winter Committee Meetings will be held on February 15-18th at the Renaissance Washington Hotel.  The Winter Meetings is the first substantive utility-regulatory conference of the year. Discussions will focus on the new Congress’ outlook for energy and telecommunications priorities.  Tom Wheeler, Chairman of the  Federal Communications Commission will be among the keynote speakers.

 

Geothermal Event Set for February – The Geothermal Energy Association’s State of the Geothermal Energy Industry Briefing will be held on Tuesday, February 24th at the Hyatt Regency Capitol Hill.

 

Interior Official to Address Policy Issues at UColorado—The University of Colorado Law School will host Deputy Secretary of Interior Mike Connor for a policy speech on March 10th.

 

Aviation Forum to Feature Blakey – The U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation is hosting its 14th Annual Aviation Summit on Tuesday, March 17th at the Renaissance Hotel to bring together top experts and leaders from all sectors of aviation to discuss critical issues facing the industry. The 2015 Summit will focus on the future of space and aviation in the global economy.  Confirmed Speakers include Chamber CEO Tom Donohue, Spirit Airlines CEO Ben Baldanza, Former Continental Airlines CEO Gordon Bethune, former FAA/NTSB/NHTSA head and current CEO of  Aerospace Industries Association (AIA) Marion Blakey, and many others.

 

Energy Update: Week of January 20

Friends,

 

This week Arizona becomes the center of the sports world.  Now I don’t want to let the air out the room… but there’s that little game on Sunday in Glendale featuring the Patriots and Seahawks.  But wait, also in Arizona, just across town starting tomorrow, our friends at Waste Management are hosting the Greenest Show on Grass, the Waste Management 2015 Phoenix Open (which features the most raucous and exciting hole in golf).  It all starts tomorrow with WM’s annual Sustainability Forum featuring many of the nation’s foremost thought leaders on sustainability. The Pro-Am will tee off on Wednesday morning on TPC Scottsdale’s Stadium Course and will feature country music star Dierks Bentley, ESPN sportscaster Chris Berman, NBA legend Julius “Dr. J” Erving, 2015 Baseball Hall of Fame inductee Randy Johnson, National Champ Ohio State University Head Football Coach Urban Meyer, Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, NFL Hall of Famer Emmitt Smith and Heisman Trophy winner Tim Tebow and many more.  As for PGA Players, the line-up includes Scottsdale hometown regular Phil Mickelson, Tiger Woods, defending champ Kevin Stadler, Padraig Harrington, Bubba Watson, Lucas Glover, Retief Goosen and Angel Cabrera among the field of 132 that will vie for the $6.3 million purse.  Of course, tomorrow

 

Away from the fun and back in Washington, the Keystone debate rolled on with 14 amendments last week, following through on the first steps of Majority Leader McConnell’s effort to restore “Regular Order” to Senate procedure.  As evidence of the effort, the 14 amendments on the Keystone XL legislation were more than occurred on ALL the legislation in the Senate during the entire previous Congress.

 

And while the President was wrapping with India on Climate (see below), his players at Interior fired another missive across the bow of Congress, this time on ANWR.  I thought we were done with ANWR a long time ago, but in this administration’s environmental “Every That Is Old Is New Again” agenda, the ANWR fight  is now reemerging.  This approach may not bode well for the new 5-year drilling plan, expected in the next week or so.  As well, there are probably many political implications that are yet to play out here.  Bracewell’s Ewing, Rothschild and/or Hutt can tackle background and questions that you may have.  Sens. Murkowski, Sullivan and Rep. Don Young will hold a presser in the Senate Radio/TV Gallery at 2:00.  I would expect some rich language there…  Finally, a number of House and Senate Committees are holding their organizing meetings this week to get rolling on their committee agendas.  As they do we may be helpful.  For example, our friends at the Senate Ag panel are expected to make CFTC issues a major priority and my Bracewell colleague David Perlman (202-828-5804) is one of the best experts on the topic in DC.

 

Tomorrow, my friends and I at the National Press Club will be hosting a lunch with FERC Chair Cheryl LaFleur, who will speak about the challenges her agency faces to maintain the reliability of the nation’s electricity grid and reasonable prices for consumers.  Also returning to the forefront this week will be the Ozone/NAAQS question.  One of the biggest regular political/policy fights, the EPA rolled out its new proposal just before Thanksgiving and Thursday, EPA rolls into its public hearings in DC, Dallas and LA.  Scott Segal, Jeff Holmstead and Joe Stanko are always good sources.   The Senate Energy Committee looks at LNG export issues/legislation as well on Thursday, while BPC holds a forum on stakeholder reactions to the proposed EPA regulation for existing power plants, which will include a number of key State Commissioners.

 

Finally, on Saturday, I was able to take in my first Monster Jam thanks to my friend Jeanne Mitchell, who hosted my son Adam and I at the Verizon Center to watch Grave Digger, Crush-Station and the others smash things, roar the engines and jump giant dirt mounds.  Quite a fun evening (including a Grave Digger rollover during the Donut competition) and all part of what goes on when the Caps/Bullets (I mean, Wizards) have a break.  Next up at Verizon on Friday, Fleetwood Mac for those of you in my age range and above….  And remember the Washington Auto Show rolls on all week at the Washington Convention Center with lots of great cars.

 

Frank Maisano

(202) 828-5864

  1. (202) 997-5932

 

IN THE NEWS

 

President Moves to Limit ANWR Drilling – In a move that is sure to draw significant opposition from Congress, President Obama moved to limit drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) in his new management plan for the Alaska region.  The reforms proposes taking millions of acres off-limits to oil and gas drilling by designating them wilderness areas.   Of course Alaska delegation, including Senate Energy Chair Lisa Murkowski were furious.  (cue the oversight hearing agenda…)  The entire delegation including new Gov. Bill Walker released an unusual Sunday news release where Murkowski called the move “a stunning attack on our sovereignty and ability to develop a strong economy.”  New House Resources Chair Rob Bishop called it “irrational.” The announcement is sure to set up another old fight with congressional Republicans, who have been spent decades unsuccessfully trying to open the refuge to oil exploration. It is important to note that the refuge is currently already is closed to fossil fuel development.

 

Finzel to Start PR Firm – Our great friend Ben Finzel is hanging out his own shingle.  After stops at a number of PR Firms, Congress and DOE over the past 25 years, Ben is opening Renew PR.   The firm is focused on “restoring common sense to communications” and will provide senior counsel, advice and outreach to corporate, association, non-governmental organization, alliance, coalition and foundation clients.  Ben writes that he looks forward to providing senior counsel and leadership based on four principles: truth, clarity, engagement and collaboration.

 

India “deal” Less “deal” than  China – Talk is nice, but it is not expensive.   It also doesn’t really help with press releases.  In a meeting in India this weekend, President Modi and President Obama said they will continue work together on climate issues but nothing in the discussion was substantive or even specific.  The U.S. and India on Sunday announced a modest deal to curb hydrofluorocarbons, a greenhouse gas emitted by refrigerators and air conditioners; work together at climate talks in Paris later this year; and finance India’s solar power targets. Unlike the arrangement with China late last year, the discussion is far more limited.  In fact, Modi said, “India is an independent country, and there is no pressure on us from any country or any person.”  The bottom line remains that for India, revitalizing economic growth, addressing the nation’s energy shortfall, and creating jobs will be taking precedence.

 

SEJ Forum Looked at Energy, Environment Issues for 2015 – In case you missed it Friday, for the third year in a row, the Society of Environmental Journalists held a public discussion at the Woodrow Wilson Center for International Scholars in Washington, DC. The event ran from 3:00-5:00 p.m., followed by a reception. SEJ Board President Jeff Burnside introduced leading reporters and editors, who offered their predictions on the critical energy and environmental stories that will shape 2015. The event was also webcast live (see if you can hear my questions to the panelists).  Larry Pearl, director of environmental news for Bloomberg BNA, presented a brief overview then Doug Fischer, director of Environmental Health Sciences, moderated a panel that included Amy Harder, Neela Bannerjee, Randy Loftis of the Dallas Morning News, ClimateWire’s Lisa Friedman, and science reporter Lisa Palmer.

 

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

 

Caribbean Energy Forum Set – The White House and State Department in partnership with the Atlantic Council and the Council of the Americas will host a Caribbean energy security summit in Washington, D.C. today at the White House.  Representatives from countries including the Dominican Republic, Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago, and Grenada are expected to attend the summit as well as business and other political leaders.  The event will promote a cleaner and more sustainable energy future in the Caribbean through improved energy governance, greater access to finance and donor coordination.

 

AC-HV Expo Set – The Air Condition, Heating and Refrigeration Institute (AHRI) and  the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE)are holding their 2015 AHR Expo, the world’s largest HVACR marketplace, at Chicago’s McCormick Place today through Wednesday.  The Show brings together over 2,000 exhibiting companies and 40,000 visitors, representing the entire spectrum of the industry including HVACR manufacturers, engineers, contractors, OEMs, facility managers, and other professionals. In addition, there are over 100 educational seminars, workshops (presented by ASHRAE and others) and new product presentations.

 

National Energy Education Summit Set – Today at the Hyatt Regency Crystal City, the Council of Energy Research and Education Leaders (CEREL) of the National Council for Science and the Environment (NCSE) will host the National Energy Education Summit. The Summit will engage energy educators at all levels and students to build, improve, and expand energy education and serve the needs of diverse populations of students and citizens. The Summit will cover what we teach in energy education, how we teach it, how we can collaborate to teach it better, and how we can overcome critical challenges.  The Summit will include organized symposia, contributed presentations, posters and workshops on how to advance various aspects of energy education. We will also hear from leaders in government, business and industry and civil society in plenary sessions.  Dr. Michael E. Webber, Deputy Director of the Energy Institute, Co-Director of the Clean Energy Incubator, Josey Centennial Fellow in Energy Resources, and Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering, at the University of Texas at Austin will present the opening keynote at the National Energy Education Summit.  Other speakers will include Scott Sklar and former Obama advisor Dan Kammen.

 

Wilson Forum to Look at Urban Climate Issues – Today at 1:00 p.m., the Wilson Center will host a forum on climate perspectives for urban communities.  Over the next two decades the number of city dwellers will soar to nearly five billion, 60 percent of the world’s population.  Recognizing the need to strengthen the ties between urban policymaking and new scholarly work on urban development, and to disseminate evidence-based research on urban programming, the Wilson Center’s Urban Sustainability Laboratory, USAID, the International Housing Coalition, the World Bank and Cities Alliance have teamed together to cosponsor the fifth annual “Reducing Urban Poverty” paper competition for advanced graduate students. Winning authors of the 2014 Graduate Student Urban Poverty Paper Competition will present their solutions-oriented research, with commentary offered by experienced professionals working in the urban sector.

 

Energy & Climate Change Conference Set – The 15th National Conference and Global Forum on Science, Policy and the Environment: Energy and Climate Change will be held tomorrow to Thursday in Crystal City.  The event will feature more than 20 speakers and develop and advance partnerships that focus on transitioning the world to a new “low carbon” and “climate resilient” energy system. It will emphasize putting ideas into action – moving forward on policy and practice.

 

Forum to Look at Midwest Energy Issues – The U.S. Energy Association will host the Mid-West Energy Research Consortium (M-WERC) tomorrow at 10:00 a.m.  M-WERC envisions that, through its efforts, the Midwest Region will become the leading region in the United States for the energy, power and control industries and will be known worldwide for its leading-edge research and technology development in these areas, resulting in innovative products, market leadership, employment opportunities, and vibrant technology transfer.  M-WERC represents one of America’s largest clusters of energy, power and control companies, educational and research institutions, and other key industry stakeholders.  M-WERC acts as a catalyst for the growth of these companies and industries, located in the greater Mid-West Region, through technology innovation, advanced research, market development, information sharing, workforce development, and strategic collaboration.

 

CSIS Forum to Look at Grid Storage – The CSIS Energy and National Security Program is hosting a panel discussion tomorrow looking at grid storage technologies.  The event will  feature Haresh Kamath, Program Manager for Energy Storage at the Electric Power Research Institute, Judith Judson-McQueeney, Director of Emerging Technologies at Customized Energy Solutions, Praveen Kathpal, Vice President of AES Energy Storage, and Katherine Hamilton, Policy Director of the Energy Storage Association.  Grid storage is often touted as a way to help integrate intermittent sources of electricity such as wind and solar onto the grid. The development of grid storage technology, however, is about much more than just renewable integration. This session will address various grid storage technologies and their current and future potential to help create a more resilient and cost-effective energy infrastructure. Panelists will discuss existing and emerging grid storage technologies and applications, market factors affecting storage development, the deployment of storage technologies and regulatory/policy factors affecting grid storage deployment. Sarah O. Ladislaw, Director and Senior Fellow with the CSIS Energy and National Security Program, will moderate.

 

Press Club to Host FERC Chair – Cheryl LaFleur, chairman of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, will speak about the challenges her agency faces to maintain the reliability of the nation’s electricity grid and reasonable prices for consumers at a National Press Club luncheon tomorrow at 12:30 p.m.  LaFleur, chairman of the commission since July 2014, will also talk about the expansion of the nation’s natural gas supply system as the result of unprecedented production from the use of hydraulic fracturing technologies.

 

Utech to Head Climate Discussion – Tomorrow at 12:30 p.m., the Atlantic Council’s Global Energy Center will hold the inaugural event in its Road to Paris Climate Series, featuring an event with Dan Utech, President Obama’s top advisor on energy and climate issues, among other prestigious experts.   Panelists will assess the national climate plans already announced by the United States and China and how their commitments could shape reactions by the European Union and lesser developed countries, which will shape the success or failure of an agreement at the Paris Conference of Parties in December 2015.  Former climate advisor Heather Zichal with moderate a panel with Utech, CAP’s Peter Ogden and WRI’s Andrew Steer.

 

Forum to Look at Ukraine Energy, Security – The Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars will hold a forum on the security and energy implications for the South Caucasus after Ukraine on Wednesday at 9:00 a.m.  As the Ukrainian crisis, and the associated political conflict between Russia and the West, continues, there is elevated risk of unanticipated spillover effects in neighboring regions. The focus of this conference, the South Caucasus, is particularly sensitive to the continuing conflict to the north, including the competition for political and economic influence in the region.  The conference will be divided into two panels. The first panel will look at geopolitical implications of the Ukrainian conflict on the region, such as Armenia’s joining the Eurasian Union and the region’s relations with other neighbors, including Turkey and Iran. The second panel will examine energy-related issues, including the impact of world supply and demand for energy; the EU’s evolving dependence on energy from Russia; and Russia’s challenges and opportunities in the region.  The conference will conclude with a lunch and keynote address.

 

EIA Head to Address Forum – On Wednesday at 8:30 a.m. at the St. Regis – Washington, D.C., Recharge will host a conversation with Adam Sieminski, administrator of the US Energy Information Administration.  The theme of the talk will be global energy after the oil price fall. How do plummeting oil prices change the international energy industry, and, specifically, the role the US plays in it? What does the future hold for all types of energy in a new era of cheaper oil?  The event is sponsored by America’s Natural Gas Alliance.

 

Senate EPW to Host Transpo Sect, Govs on Legislation – Senate Environment and Public Works will hold a hearing on Wednesday to take its first look at Transportation Reauthorization issues.  The hearing aims to provide state and federal perspectives on the importance of reauthorization.   Witnesses will include Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx, Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley (R), South Dakota Gov. Dennis Daugaard (R), Vermont Gov. Peter Shumlin (D) and Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy (D).  Meanwhile, tomorrow, the House Transportation Committee will gather to organize.

 

CSIS Forum to Look at Oil Prices, Impacts – On Wednesday at 10:00 a.m., the CSIS Energy and National Security Program will host Rusty Braziel, President & Principal Energy Markets Consultant for RBN Energy, James Jensen, President of Jensen Associates, Jim Burkhard, Vice President and Head of Global Oil Market Research and Energy Scenarios at IHS, and David Knapp, Senior Editor at Energy Intelligence Group, to discuss the energy market impacts of low oil prices.  For the past several years, oil prices have remained in a predictably stable price “band” of around $100/barrel – in spite of an unprecedented spate of global disruptions and new geopolitical unrest. A combination of lackluster oil demand growth, an unprecedented supply surge courtesy of U.S. tight oil production, and other market factors has led to a rapid decline in global oil prices. While it is likely too early to answer the critical questions about how low prices will go, how long they will stay there, and whether this recent price collapse will lead to a new oil price band or an era of greater price volatility, it is a good time to start assessing some of the key variables to watch. This session is an opportunity explore the various oil market dynamics at play and assess the potential implications and outlooks for the future. Sarah Ladislaw, Director and Senior Fellow with the CSIS Energy and National Security Program, will moderate.

 

RFF Seminar to look at Climate, Food Supply – Resources for the Future will hold a seminar on Wednesday at 12:45 p.m. on how climate change will affect our global food supply.  According to recent studies, climate change could reduce agricultural productivity, decreasing global food supplies and harming households that rely on crops, livestock, and fisheries for income. What types of policies can be developed today to help protect against the worst of these impacts? At this RFF seminar, experts will examine recent research on this important topic and discuss how the United States and other countries are addressing the challenge.

 

AWWA, MWCOG to Discuss Water Issues – On Wednesday at 1:00 p.m., the American Water Works Association and Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments will hold a discussion of water and wastewater utility energy efficiency programs, both today and potential for the future. This workshop will highlight successes and challenges in the region, with an emphasis on how water and wastewater utilities could participate in state and energy sector efficiency incentive programs.  The forum will bring together representatives from local water and energy utilities to demonstrate past energy efficiency and/or renewable energy projects that have been completed or are proposed for a future date.

 

NAS to Look at Fukushima, Nuclear – On Thursday, the National Academy of Sciences will hold a meeting on Fukushima and current nuclear challenges.   The day-long Conference will focus on the 2004 NAS Spent Fuel Report and the Fukushima  accident.

 

Ozone Public Hearing Set for DC – EPA will hold its ozone rule hearing on Thursday at EPA headquarters.  EPA will hold several public hearings on the proposed updates to the national air quality standards for ground-level ozone, also known as smog. EPA has proposed to strengthen the standards to a level within a range of 65 to 70 parts per billion to better protect American’s health and the environment, while taking comment on a level as low as 60 ppb. While the low end of the range in the proposed rule (65ppb) is very troubling for industry and states, as low as background levels of ozone in many parts of the country and pushing as much as 94% of the nation out of attainment, 60ppb would be devastating for manufacturing, oil and gas production and agriculture across the country.  One thing to consider: the Administration only has so much political capital at its disposal and it has made clear that controlling greenhouse gases is its legacy issue.  It is unclear that the Administration has the bandwidth to sustain both rules.  There is no doubt that many in Congress and the states will demand that the proposed ozone NAAQS be placed on a more realistic course.  Look for Strong pushback on Ozone/NAAQS from Oil and gas.  Oil/gas production has been one of the only bright spots in the jobless recovery, and the range proposed for ozone may impose real, practical limitations on that production.

 

Senate Energy to Tackle LNG Permit Legislation – The Senate Energy Committee will hold a hearing on LNG permitting legislation on Thursday at 10:00 a.m.  The LNG Certainty and Transparency Act (S. 33) was introduced last week and would provide certainty with respect to the timing of Department of Energy decisions to approve or deny applications to export natural gas. Witnesses will include DOE’s Chris Smith, Paul Cicio of the Industrial Energy Consumers of America, ANGA’s Marty Durbin, NAM’s Ross Eisenberg and David Koranyi, the Eurasian Energy Future Initiative at the Atlantic Council.

 

BPC to Hold Event on Climate Stakeholders, Comments – On Thursday at 10:00 a.m., the Bipartisan Policy Center will hold a forum on stakeholder reactions to the proposed section 111(d) regulation for existing power plants.  Over a million comments have been submitted on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s proposed Clean Power Plan. Pulling from a broad swath of interested stakeholders, the Bipartisan Policy Center will gather a mix of panelists to share highlights from their submitted comments on this regulatory undertaking.  Speakers will include Arizona DEQ director Henry Darwin, Florida PSC President Lisa Edgar, ACORE’s Todd Foley, Basic Power Co-op’s Elizabeth Gore, Jack Ihle of Xcel, Missouri PSC Robert Kennedy, ECOS President and TN Bob Martineau, NRDC’s Derek Murrrow, EEI’s Quin Shea and NY State DEC.

Forum to Look at IL Nuclear Power, Economy – Regional Economic Models, Inc. (REMI) will hold its monthly policy luncheon on Thursday at 11:00 a.m.  For this luncheon, guest speaker David Bradish, manager of energy and economic analysis at the Nuclear Energy Institute, will discuss how he estimated the facilities’ economic impacts on the Illinois economy using modeling tools.

 

ASE to Hold Congressional Briefing – The Alliance to Save Energy will hold a congressional briefing on Thursday at 3:00 p.m. in 366 Dirksen on energy efficiency building blocks.  Energy efficiency has been a hot topic in Congress over the last few years. The afternoon briefing to discuss the fundamental tools of energy efficiency and energy efficiency policy.

FUTURE EVENTS

 

National Zero Energy Building Forum Set – The Getting to Zero National Building Forum will be held Sunday-Tuesday, February 1-3rd at the Fairmont Georgetown Hotel. Zero energy buildings are ultra-efficient structures that use only as much energy as can be produce onsite through renewable energy resources. Research from New Buildings Institute (NBI) reports 300% growth in the number of buildings targeting zero energy performance goals in just two years. Other studies have quantified the value of the zero energy building market to be $1.4 trillion annually by 2035. While this market is still in the beginning stages, much like LEED, experts anticipate rapid growth in the next two decades.  The event will take an in-depth look at the world of zero net energy (ZNE) buildings, share perspectives on the growth of ZNE policies and projects and discuss the future of these extremely efficient buildings that produce as much energy as they consume over the course of a year.

 

CSIS Experts to Look at Turkish NatGas Pipeline Implications – On Monday, February 2nd, CSIS will host a forum on natural gas pipeline issues in Turkey.  In December 2014, Russia announced unexpectedly that it was cancelling its South Stream gas pipeline project. Instead, during a visit to Ankara, Russian President Vladimir Putin unveiled a new pipeline project that would send additional gas to Europe through Turkey to the Greek border, which he dubbed Turkish Stream.  With much speculation as to the winners and losers of this decision, CSIS experts will endeavor to answer the many questions the new project raises.

 

JHU to Host Eni CEO – Next Monday, February 2nd at Noon, the Johns Hopkins University will hold a forum featuring Claudio Descalzi, CEO of Eni, who will discuss the future of oil markets.  Descalzi has been the CEO of Eni since May 2014.

 

Forum to Discuss Auto Innovations – New America will hold a conversation on February 2nd at 12:15 p.m. to discuss auto policy innovations.  Speakers will include Levi Tillemann, author of The Great Race: The Global Quest for the Car of the Future, and Daniel Yergin, author of The Quest and The Prize, and they will focus on the century-long battle between automakers and the contest to build the car of the future.

 

NASEO Energy Policy Outlook Conference Set – On February 3-6 in Washington D.C., the National Assn of State Energy Officials (NASEO) will Hold its 2015 Energy Policy Outlook Conference.  The event will focus on the energy and economic opportunity in modernizing the nation’s energy infrastructure—electric grid, pipelines, buildings, and transportation—to achieve a more resilient, sustainable, and energy efficient future. The need to modernize our aging energy infrastructure is among the most important global competitive challenges facing the United States.

 

USEA to Look at Solar Economics for Utilities – Next Tuesday, February 3rd at 2:00 p.m., the U.S. Energy Association will hold a forum assessing the economics of solar PV in the electric utility industry.  APPA’s James Cater will speak.  Solar photovoltaics (PV) makes up a small but rapidly growing portion of the nation’s electric generation capacity. Notwithstanding the increasing popularity and growth, questions remain regarding the basic costs and benefits, the nature and magnitude of subsidies, impacts on electric rates, and cost shifting among utility customers. This presentation provides an analytical framework for assessing the economics of solar PV within the electric utility sector. The intent is not to offer conclusions on the merits of solar PV as a power resource, but rather to present an analytical framework that may help decision makers assess the benefits and costs, and manage the trade-offs inherent in the use of this technology.

 

Hill Newspaper Forum to Look at Grid SecurityThe Hill will host a forum on grid resilience and security on Wednesday, February 4th at 8:00 a.m. in B-340 Rayburn. Leaders from Congress and the Obama Administration will discuss the role new energy technologies are playing in modernization, as well as steps for protecting a 21st Century power grid. Vulnerabilities in the security of the U.S. power grid — from the high-profile attack on a California substation to ongoing cyber incursions — has made protecting the grid a key policy issue for both the security and energy communities. Recent hacking incidents against major retailers, Hollywood, and the military’s social media accounts are only increasing concerns about the ability to protect America’s critical systems.

 

ASP to Hold Forum on Energy Security in Caribbean – On Wednesday, February 4th at Noon, the American Security Project will host a conference on energy security in the Caribbean.  Energy insecurity and availability are challenges that countries around the world face, but few places in the world face it like the islands of the Caribbean do. The islands are a diverse mix, ranging from Communist Cuba to the American territory of Puerto Rico, from small, isolated islands like Anguilla to large, multi-ethnic islands like Hispaniola. Most of the islands in the Caribbean have few indigenous fossil fuel resources, so virtually all of their energy needs are met by imported fossil fuels. To compound this, because of the lack of scale, costs for infrastructure are often much higher than for mainland, continental states.  Over the course of three panel discussions, the event will first examine the geopolitical importance of the region, and discuss what role energy plays in the balance of power. The next panel will look at the unique challenges of providing power to islands, and will attempt to offer lessons from other islands around the world. The final panel will look at existing and future solutions that could provide energy security, economic growth, and a cleaner environment.

 

RFF Forum to Look at Climate Agreement Action – Resources for the Future will host a First Wednesday Seminar  on February 4th at 12:45 p.m.  looking at countries level Of effort to reach a climate agreement.  Under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, countries have committed to finalize a new international agreement to take action on climate change. To prepare for Paris, each country must outline Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs), the actions it will take to reduce its emissions.  A collaborative and functional negotiation process around the new agreement will require a solid understanding of the levels of effort represented by the INDCs, particularly surrounding mitigation. However, comparing mitigation efforts is a challenging exercise, given the likely diversity of the proposed actions of each country.  At this RFF First Wednesday Seminar, experts will discuss a new method for comparing the INDCs, based on work by a team from Harvard University, Duke University, Japan’s Research Institute of Innovative Technology for the Earth, and Resources for the Future. They will also present a preliminary assessment of mitigation actions announced by several key jurisdictions, and a negotiator from the US State Department will offer comments.  State’s Trigg Talley and experts Joe Aldy and Bill Pizer will speak.

 

Forum to Look at Global Oil Issues – The Wilson Center will convene an expert global panel, assembled from Russia, Colombia, Canada, Iran, and Nigeria, on Wednesday February 4th at 1:30 p.m. to discuss the economic and political repercussions of depressed energy prices, as well as the effects of the lower prices on competitiveness and investment.  The event will be an exploration of the political, economic, and security implications of tumbling oil prices in various parts of the globe. For more information, please visit our event page.

 

Purdue Expert to Address Climate Impacts on Land Use, Poverty – On Thursday, February 5th at 4:30 p.m., the Johns Hopkins University will host a forum featuring Thomas Hertel of Purdue University, who will address the impacts of climate change and mitigation policies on global land use and poverty.  Professor Hertel is Distinguished Professor of Agricultural Economics at Purdue University, where his research focuses on the economy-wide impacts of global trade and environmental policies. Professor Hertel’s most recent research has focused on the impacts of climate change and mitigation policies on global land use and poverty. Previously, Professor Hertel has conducted extensive research on the impacts of multilateral trade agreements, including the linkages between global trade policies and poverty in developing countries.

 

Former Gov Ritter Leads CO Law School Forum – University of Colorado Law School will hold its 2015 Martz Winter Symposium in its Wittemyer Courtroom on February 12-13th.  Many believe that global institutions and frameworks are failing to generate necessary progress on issues such as climate change, water scarcity, biodiversity, food security and nutrition, and poverty eradication; and that state, tribal, and local governments and communities, innovative companies, social and technology entrepreneurs, NGOs, impact investors, consumers and philanthropists increasingly are taking the lead in creating bottom-up solutions to these challenges.  The conference will explore this dynamic in detail, with an emphasis on the drivers behind these ground level innovations, and on how they can better “filter up” to inform the global conversations occurring on how best to address various dimensions of “global change”.  Former Colorado Governor Bill Ritter leads a list of distinguished speakers.

 

FCC Chair to Address NARUC Winter Meetings – The 2015 NARUC Winter Committee Meetings will be held on February 15-18th at the Renaissance Washington Hotel.  The Winter Meetings is the first substantive utility-regulatory conference of the year. Discussions will focus on the new Congress’ outlook for energy and telecommunications priorities.  Tom Wheeler, Chairman of the  Federal Communications Commission will be among the keynote speakers.

 

Geothermal Event Set for February – The Geothermal Energy Association’s State of the Geothermal Energy Industry Briefing will be held on Tuesday, February 24th at the Hyatt Regency Capitol Hill.

 

Interior Official to Address Policy Issues at UColorado—The University of Colorado Law School will host Deputy Secretary of Interior Mike Connor for a policy speech on March 10th.

 

Aviation Forum to Feature Blakey – The U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation is hosting its 14th Annual Aviation Summit on Tuesday, March 17th at the Renaissance Hotel to bring together top experts and leaders from all sectors of aviation to discuss critical issues facing the industry. The 2015 Summit will focus on the future of space and aviation in the global economy.  Confirmed Speakers include Chamber CEO Tom Donohue, Spirit Airlines CEO Ben Baldanza, Former Continental Airlines CEO Gordon Bethune, former FAA/NTSB/NHTSA head and current CEO of  Aerospace Industries Association (AIA) Marion Blakey, and many others.