Energy Update: Week of June 29

Friends,

 

Happy 4th of July week….   While it has been a crazy few weeks, the July 4th Congressional break can’t really get started until today’s SCOTUS decision on Mercury.  Full response below, but feel free to connect with either Scott Segal (202-828-5845) or Jeff Holmstead (202-828-5852) as many of you already have.

 

It appears the EPA will also publish the Waters of the US rule (or now known as the Clean Water Rule) in the Federal Register today and EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy will hold an event today at the National  Zoo to talk about the rule.  My colleague Lowell Rothschild (512-739-2352) is a great contact on the subject and is always happy to discuss.    He has also done a series of blogs on the topic at http://www.energylegalblog.com

 

And with John Kerry negotiating with the P5+1 in Vienna trying to get a nuclear deal for Iran, the illusory June 30th is tomorrow.   That is not a hard deadline, but regardless we have some good information and resources on the topics that we can forward should you need it.  Please let me know what you need.

 

Finally, on Saturday, despite his recent stage mishap and some cancelled tour dates, Dave Grohl and Foo Fighters will be headlining his Sonic Highways July 4th extravaganza is set to roll.  The Foo Fighters are slated for a North American tour for most of July, beginning with Saturday’s RFK event.  But Foo Fighters management has been silent about whether Grohl will be ready to rock. His doctors had put him on rest after the surgery, which included Grohl getting six metal pins in his repaired right leg.  Bets are the show goes On with Grohl moving a little slower than normal.  The July 4th event is a daylong, multi-act concert, motorcycle rally and barbecue, with fireworks to top it off. Acts slated to perform include Heart, Joan Jett & The Blackhearts, LL Cool J featuring DJ Z-Trip, Buddy Guy, Gary Clark Jr., D.C.’s own Trouble Funk and Trombone Shorty, all acts that played a role in his documentary Sonic Highways.

 

Jeff and Scott are ready to discuss the SCOTUS ruling.  Please don’t hesitate to call.

 

Frank Maisano

(202) 828-5864

(202) 997-5932

 

 

THE BIG NEWS 

SCOTUS On MATS – The Supreme Court has dealt a significant blow to a major Obama administration rule that limits the amount of mercury and other hazardous pollutants from power plants, ruling 5-4 today that EPA erred while writing the rule. The rule has already pushed dozens of coal-fired power plants into retirement, and has been criticized by fossil fuel advocates as a key part of the administration’s “war on coal.” The administration had argued that it would bring billions of dollars in benefits for public health and the environment.

 

Segal on Ruling – Scott Segal, director of the Electric Reliability Coordinating Council, a group of power plants working on reasonable Clean Air Act implementation, said the ruling is significant when assessing expected upcoming legal challenges on the Administration’s GHG rules.

 

“As you may have heard, the Supreme Court has now ruled on the MATS case, Michigan v. EPA/UARG v. EPA.  The decision favored state and industry petitioners on a 5-4 decision.  Here are some important take-aways:

 

  1. The Court found that EPA elected not to consider cost when deciding whether to regulate mercury and air toxic emissions from power plants.  EPA had said such cost considerations were irrelevant.  Failing to consider costs meant that EPA could not possibly determine if the rule was appropriate, or even rational.  This failure far exceeded the flexibility EPA so frequently relies upon under the Chevron doctrine.

 

  1. As children, we learn that every day can’t be Christmas.  EPA just learned that today.  The Agency cannot continue to write rules without regard to their cost, simply because the Agency believes its cause is just.  The fact is that Congress envisioned a more balanced approach under which economic and environmental endpoints both play a vital role.  Blithe statements that EPA will take costs into consideration at some ill-defined future moment are insufficient, particularly when billions of dollars can be spent even as rules make their way through judicial review.

 

  1. Just a week ago, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill that would stay implementation of the proposed Clean Power Plan – the EPA’s carbon rule for power plants – until such time as final judicial review is complete.  Today’s decision which reverses a rule after great amounts of resources have already been spent is morality tale that demonstrates that the approach taken by the House is sensible and pragmatic.  When the Agency fails to consider the real world implications of its rules and stretches the limit of its legal authority, implementation should await final judicial review.

 

  1. Some have asked about the effect of the rule on the pending Clean Power Plan, the EPA power-plant carbon rule.  Today the Supreme Court clearly had cautionary words for an agency that would proceed without due consideration of cost.  The Court reminded the Agency of the unique position the power sector plays due to its current level of regulation and its importance to the economy as a whole.  These considerations should serve as important warnings to consider cost and reliability in a thorough manner before it finalizes its carbon rules.  Failure to do so will place legacy before legality.”

 

Dartmouth Study Shows Mercury Changes – Speaking of mercury, a Dartmouth-led study using a 600-year-old ice core shows that global mercury pollution increased dramatically during the 20thcentury, but that mercury concentrations in the atmosphere decreased faster than previously thought beginning in the late 1970s when emissions started to decline. The findings suggest that present-day efforts to cut mercury emissions will reduce pollution more quickly than current models predict.  The study appears in the journalEnvironmental Science & Technology.

 

 

IN THE NEWS

Efficiency Study –  Conventional wisdom suggests that energy efficiency (EE) policies are beneficial because they induce investments that pay for themselves and lead to emissions reductions. However, a new paper from researchers at the Becker Friedman Institute says the upfront investment costs are about twice the actual energy savings. Further, the model-projected savings are roughly 2.5 times the actual savings. While this might be attributed to the “rebound” effect – when demand for energy end uses increases as a result of greater efficiency – the paper fails to find evidence of significantly higher indoor temperatures at weatherized homes. Even when accounting for the broader societal benefits of energy efficiency investments, the costs still substantially outweigh the benefits; the average rate of return is approximately -9.5% annually. The results of an part of an experimental evaluation of the nation’s largest residential EE program conducted on a sample of more than 30,000 households by UC-Berkley researchers Meredith Fowlie and Catherine Wolfram and U of Chicago’s Michael Greenstone.

 

Groups Release Multistate GHG Resources – The Eastern Interconnection States Planning Council (EISPC) and the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC) have released the final installment of the Multistate Coordination Resources for Clean Power Plan Compliance.   Funded by the Department of Energy, this final package includes information not found in the May 2015 publication, such as a brief that examines the legislative role(s) that need to be considered in any potential interstate compliance collaborations in response to the Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean Power Plan. The brief also includes sample legislative authorities and a checklist developed by the National Conference of State Legislatures. As states develop their compliance plans, they are proactively exploring a variety of options: single-state, multi-state, unit-based—in anticipation of the Clean Power Plan being finalized. Although NARUC’s member states have diverse opinions of the plan, there is ongoing, intense activity underway by states to better understand what these coordination efforts will entail if pursued as an option to successfully navigate the rules of compliance if the final plan goes forward.  NARUC plans to convene a meeting this fall among State Commissions, consumer advocates, air agencies, and energy offices to see whether the multistate tools developed by EISPC, NARUC, the National Association of Clean Air Agencies, and others fit together, and how.   A copy of the multistate package is available on NARUC’s website at http://bit.ly/1LAprBE.

 

BrightSource, NRG Respond to WSJ on Ivanpah Story – Both NRG and Brightsource responded to a recent Wall Street Journal story that questioned Ivanpah’s productions recently.  BrightSource cited recent reports that production output has improved 170% over last year at this time.  The NRG letter in the Journal said they have always assumed a four-year ramp rate to 100% plant capacity. They also added that the plant has “experienced operating days when the plant is meeting, and in some instances exceeding, projections for this stage of operations.”

 

 

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

 

Stanford Forum to Look at Enviro Capital Issues – Next Tuesday, the Nature Conservancy and the Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment, in cooperation with their Natural Capital Project partners, the World Wildlife Fund and the University of Minnesota, are holding a forum at RFF at 9:00 a.m. on Integrating natural capital into decisions. The event will feature leading academics and practitioners in the field of ecosystem services as well as experts from the public and non-profit sectors, addressing core sustainability challenges of the 21st century.  Speakers and panelists will highlight the latest advances in the science and practice of using ecosystem services to inform decisions. The discussion will provide insights into how this information can best be used by government agencies, multilateral institutions, and the broader sustainable development community to structure and implement policies that are simultaneously sound from environmental and economic perspectives. A panel of leading experts, including authors from a recently published Special Feature of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences on “Nature as Capital,” will discuss key components of bringing natural capital considerations into mainstream decision making on issues such as agriculture, energy, infrastructure, urban planning, finance and national security.  Speakers will include former Bush Interior official Lynn Scarlett, USDA Research under secretary Ann Bartuska, WWF’s Tom Dillon, IADB’s Michele Lemay and Mary Ruckleshaus of the Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment

 

MCOG to Hold EV Workshop – The Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments will hold a Electric Vehicle Readiness Workshop tomorrow to present EV deployment strategies taking place in the region, as well as strategies for advancing public and private charging development. Panelists include – the Transportation and Climate Initiative, US Department of Energy, World Wildlife Fund, Pepco, BG&E, Dominion Power, and the local Clean Cities Coalitions.  Participating governments include the District of Columbia, Prince George’s Co., Hyattsville, MD, Fairfax County, VA, and the Cities of Bowie and Baltimore. The lunch time presentation will address the Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV) Eight State MOU and how the region could assist in advancing the ZEV Action Plan.

 

Cato Forum to Look at Free Markets, Energy – The Cato Institute will hold a forum on the case for free markets in energy next Tuesday in its Hayek Auditorium.  Since the 1970s, however, more libertarian voices have been heard on these issues. IER founder and CEO Rob Bradley, who has been involved with free-market energy policy since its inception, will discuss the history of libertarian thinking on past energy policy and its relevance for current policy debates.

 

Forum to Look at Nat Gas Issues in Europe – The Institute of World Politics will hold a forum on Tuesday, June 30th at 1:00 p.m. featuring a  a lecture on rival gas pipelines for Europe.  The event will feature Vilen Khlgatyan, Vice Chairman, Political Developments Research Center.  In recent years, the competition for supplying Europe with natural gas has heated up once again and has taken a more urgent course due to the conflict in Ukraine. Two pipeline routes are vying for dominance and are backed by different states with their own geopolitical considerations. In December 2014, it was announced that Russia’s Gazprom would re-route its proposed South Stream Pipeline to the Turkish-Greek border via the Black Sea and Turkey. Likewise, the U.S.-backed Nabucco pipeline was sidelined by the less ambitious and costly Trans-Anatolian Pipeline and Trans-Adriatic Pipeline, which will see Azerbaijani gas and potentially Iranian and Turkmen gas cross Turkey to reach markets in Greece, the Balkans and Italy. Both pipelines have their advantages and disadvantages. This lecture will consider the economics and geopolitics of the rival pipelines and what’s at stake for the concerned parties.  Khlgatyan is Vice-Chairman of Political Developments Research Center (PDRC), a think tank based in Yerevan, Armenia. He specializes in the geopolitics of energy, non-kinetic warfare, and the post-Soviet region with an emphasis on the Caucasus.

 

USEA Forum to Look at Modeling – The US Energy Association will hold a forum Tuesday, June 30th at 2:00 p.m. on MIT’s global models that are project energy and climate issues. Using a projection modeling system developed by MIT’s Joint Program on the Science and Policy of Global Change, the Integrated Global System Model (IGSM), we provide an integrated assessment of how human activities, given our current development path, are interacting with complex Earth systems and ultimately affecting the natural resources on which we depend. In the first part of the presentation (lead by Dr, Erwan Monier), we introduce the IGSM, and describe the capabilities of the modeling system to simulate the uncertainty in the future climate response to anthropogenic emissions of greenhouse gases and aerosols. In the second part of the presentation (lead by Dr, Sergey Paltsev), we provide an integrated economic and climate projection of the 21st century–not a prediction, as the future will ultimately be determined by actions taken over the next decades that are intended to stabilize our relationship with the planet. We incorporate the emissions targets currently proposed by the international community to address the challenges of climate change.

 

Perry to Address National  Press Club Luncheon – Rick Perry, the former three-term governor of Texas and a 2016 presidential candidate, will lay out an economic plan at a National Press Club luncheon on Thursday. The former U.S. Air Force pilot, who left office in January, will discuss how to fight “the cycle of hopelessness and lost opportunity that so many Americans feel trapped in.  The son of tenant farmers in Paint Creek, Texas, Perry is one of several governors and former governors in the large Republican presidential field. His state has the 12th largest economy in the world by GDP and since 2000 has created almost one-third of all new private sector jobs in the United States. As governor, Perry dealt with the border crisis, an ebola outbreak and refugees from Hurricane Katrina.

 

EPA’s McCarthy, NBC’s Anne Thompson to Look at Pope’s Climate Approach – Georgetown University will hold a forum Wednesday at 6:00 p.m. on Pope Francis’ just-released encyclical on care for creation and climate change.  The dialogue brings together a distinguished panel from government, media, academia, and business to discuss the encyclical, its moral framework, and its potential religious, ethical, and policy impacts.  Speakers will include EPA’s Gina McCarthy and NBC’s Anne Thompson, among others.

 

July 4th

 

FUTURE EVENTS

 

CSM to Host McCarthy on Paris Talks – Recharge, the Christian Science Monitor’s energy section, will host EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy for a talk on Tuesday July 7th at 9:30 p.m. looking at US energy and climate policy on the path to Paris negotiations.  As diplomats across the globe prepare for December’s climate talks, the US is working to meet its own ambitious emissions targets. Administrator McCarthy will outline progress to-date on greenhouse gas reductions, and will discuss what challenges remain for the world’s second-largest emitter.

 

WCEE Forum to Look at Grid Design – The Women’s Council on Energy and the Environment (WCEE) will hold a forum Tuesday, July 7th at Noon at Energetics looking at designing a successful transition to clean, renewable energy.  Nicole Steele, Executive Director of GRID Alternatives’ Mid-Atlantic office will discuss the success stories of providing community-scale solar access at the local and regional scale, where there are often different rules, permitting and incentives.  She will discuss how GRID works with community partners, volunteers and job trainees to implement solar power and energy efficiency for low-income families, and describe what works in which areas and why, including low income solar rebate programs, single-family versus multi-family and community solar models, homeowners  versus renters, and innovative job training workforce development approaches involving schools or veteran communities.

 

House Committee to Look at DHS Climate Focus – The House Homeland Security Committee’s Subcommittee on Oversight and Management Efficiency will hold a hearing on Wednesday July 8th  examining DHS’s focus on climate change.

 

House Resources to Look at Helium Issues – The House Resources Committee will hold a hearing on Wednesday July 8th on recent legislation on the US Helium reserve.

 

House Energy Panel to Target Climate Issues – The House Energy panel at Energy & Commerce will hold a hearing on Wednesday July 8th looking at the GHG rule.

 

Congressional Renewable Energy Forum, Expo Set – The 18th Annual Congressional Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Technology EXPO and Policy Forum will be held on Thursday, July 9th in the Cannon House Office Building.  The exhibits will be in Cannon Caucus Room (Cannon 345) while the Policy Forum will be in 334 Cannon. The event brings together close to 50 businesses, trade associations, and government agencies to showcase renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies and is Co-Hosted by the House and Senate’s Renewable Energy & Energy Efficiency Caucuses, as well as the Sustainable Energy Coalition.

 

Company to Highlight Data Destruction Method – On July 9th on Capitol Hill, Phiston Technologies will be leading a discussion and technology demonstration of their High Security Data Storage Media Destruction machines.  They will encourage people to bring old computer hard drives, solid state drives, cell phones, CDs/DVDs and ID cards and we will destroy them safely in seconds.   The event will be in 210 Cannon.

 

Senate Energy to Look at Nuclear Issues – On August 4th the Senate Energy Committee will hold a hearing to discuss the back-end of the nuclear fuel cycle and related legislation.

 

August Recess

 

GenForum Set For Columbus – ICF International Natural Gas VP Leonard Crook will kick-off the one-day GenForum/POWER-GEN event August 18th on natural gas generation in Columbus, Ohio.  Crook will offer an overview of the recent rise of natural gas-fueled power generation over the years at the expense of coal-fired power plants.  GenForum is organized by PennWell’s GenerationHub. The event is scheduled at the Greater Columbus Convention Center. GenForum leads into PennWell’s POWER-GEN/Natural Gas conference, scheduled for Aug. 18-to-20 at the same convention center.

 

Energy Update: Week of June 22

Friends,

 

Hope it was a Happy Fathers’ Day and Summer Solstice yesterday (officially at 12:39 p.m.).  It was the longest daylight of the year with sunrise at 5:43 a.m. with the daylight lasting 14 hrs, 53 mins and 54 secs until 8:37 p.m.    I spent all of those daylight hours with Hannah and Olivia refereeing lacrosse in Richmond and then heading to Kings Dominion on the way home to avoid traffic for some serious rollercoaster riding.  Meanwhile, my wife was at Firefly Festival in Delaware all three-plus days, making the weekend even more awesome because I ate whatever I wanted and stayed up late watching stupid (I mean awesome) movies.  All-the-while, I was getting weather and concert-going reports such as the smell during Sublime and Snoop Dog performance (if you know what I mean), among many other great insights into the minds and souls of four-day festival goers (muddy, drunk/high, smelly).

 

A Father’s Day with the remote also meant watching as much golf as I could, especially at the end of Sunday.  With the west coast US Open venue, it was great to catch the end after a tough day of rollercoasting.  It great to see Jordan Spieth take his second consecutive major while difficult to watch Dustin Johnson let a win, then a tie slip away.  I for One was hoping for a ties as that would have led to watching more golf today.  And can’t leave sports without shoutouts to Golden State, The Blackhawks and the Nats Max Scherzer, who was one-strike and an elbow away from a perfect game only to “settle” for a no-hitter.

 

This week remains busy as we start the run up to July 4th week.  First, it is the last week of the SCOTUS term which means  since we haven’t seen any Mercury decision this morning that it will likely arrive on Thursday.  Second, it Is energy week the House with a full slate of legislation headed to the floor including bipartisan TCSA Reform, Rep. McKinley’s coal ash and Chairman Whitfield’s Ratepayer Protection bill, which pauses EPA’s GHG rule until the courts ruled on its legality.  As well, the EPA/Interior spending bill is expected on the floor likely leading to lots of amendments and late nights.

 

In the hearing rooms, Senate Environment has UMW’s Gene Trisko and Black Chamber President Harry Alford tomorrow on the GHG rule impacts on businesses, while House Foreign Affairs looks into crude exports and Senate Homeland security Has former OIRA head Susan Dudley on drafting regulations.   On Wednesday House Science hits the EIA analysis of the GHG rule while House resources looks at a GAO report on BLM mismanagement of wind and solar reclamation bonds.  Finally Thursday, after last week’s work at the House Energy & Commerce panel on Health, GMO labeling returns at an House Ag panel to focus on the Pompeo legislation and states’ rights issues and the Senate Foreign Relations Committee looks into the Iran Nuclear discussions which hit a deadline at the end of June.  Remember, last week, a number of US leaders went to Paris to support regime change and limits on any Iran Nuclear deal.

 

Finally, some other interesting event s in DC this week, including a Washington Post forum tomorrow on innovation/technology featuring Southern CEO Tom Fanning and others, a Wednesday forum from the House Natural Gas Caucus featuring Cabot’s George Stark, a Thursday POLITICO Panel on the environment and youth featuring former Speaker Newt Gingrich and our friend Elana Schor and Friday, the Center for New American Security’s Annual Conference featuring a bunch of great panels/speakers on Iran, crude exports, oil security and many other topics.

 

Speaking of SoCo’s Fanning, he also headlines ACORE hosts it 12th annual REFF-Wall Street 2015 on Wednesday and Thursday at The Grand Hyatt in New York City.  REFF-Wall Street is the premier renewable energy financing event in the U.S.

 

Frank Maisano

(202) 828-5864

(202) 997-5932

 

 

IN THE NEWS

EPA Release Heavy Duty Truck Rule – EPA and DOT released fuel efficiency standards for medium- and heavy-duty trucks, which they said would cut 1 billion metric tons of carbon when they take full effect.  The Phase 2 standards cover the 2021 to 2027 model years, and build upon a previous standard for trucks with model years between 2014 and 2018, would aim to cut emissions from combination tractors – large freight vehicles –  by 24%, compared with the previous standard, by 2027.  It would also seek a 16% reduction for pick-up trucks, light vans and vocational vehicles, compared with the Phase 1 standard, on the same timeline.   Officials touted the economic benefits of the rule saying increased fuel efficiency has produced major dividends for the national economy and for energy security.  They said new tractor trailers would cost $10,000 to $12,000 more under the new standards, but owners would recoup that investment in two years.

 

SAFE Touts Energy Security Over Emissions – While most were focused on GHG emissions, SAFE Said that the rule is really an oil security issue.  They said the rule marks a critical step in the effort to reduce the United States’ dependence on oil.   Gen. James Conway, former Commandant of the U.S. Marine Corps said “Increasing the efficiency of a sector of the economy that is such a large and growing oil consumer will strengthen our national security, give our armed forces more flexibility, and make our servicemen and women less likely to go into harm’s way,” Last week, Adml. Dennis Blair penned a letter to the New York Times saying the truck rule will really curb our oil appetite and strengthen American security.

 

DTF: New Fleet is Already Cleaner – The Diesel Technology Forum says more clean diesel trucks are already on the road.  DTF released new research that shows emissions are going down and fuel savings and greenhouse gas emissions benefits are going up in the nation’s commercial trucking fleet as more truckers invest in new technology clean diesel engines.  The new fleet is a growing portion of the total diesel commercial truck population with more than 37% of all US diesel medium- and heavy-duty commercial trucks registered now equipped with newer technology clean diesel engines – those manufactured in Model Year 2007 or newer that have near zero particulate emissions.  And nearly 22% of all diesel trucks in operation are now the newest clean diesel technology (2010 and later model year) that are also near zero emissions in nitrogen oxides.

 

Big Fleets, Manufacturers Weigh In – An alliance of the country’s largest names in trucking said today that they look forward to working with Federal regulators on the Obama Administration’s Notice of Proposed Rule Making (NPRM) for the second phase of national fuel efficiency and greenhouse gas emission standards for heavy-duty vehicles. Noting the success of Phase I standards finalized in 2011, the group said it is supportive of a process to achieve substantial environmental and economic benefits by reducing GHG emissions, improving fuel efficiency and delivering fuel cost savings for fleets.  WM CEO David Steiner said: “Our hope with the Phase II rule is that we can continue our investment in a natural gas collection fleet that has proven to be good for our customers and communities, good for the environment and good for business.  We have eliminated the use of 8,000 gallons of diesel fuel per year with each of our more than 4,000 natural gas trucks. Each truck eliminates nearly all particulate emissions, significantly reduces smog-forming NOx emissions and cuts GHG emissions by over 20 percent.”

 

SAFE Announces Energy Tech Prize Finalists – Speaking of SAFE, they announced four semifinalists for its 2015 Energy Security Prize, awarding a total of $175,000 to companies whose innovations are poised to advance American energy security by helping to end the United States’ dependence on oil.  One of the companies, Peleton has a technology that will be helpful in addressing the new Heavy-duty truck rule Just released by EPA.  The winner of the 2015 Prize will receive $125,000, the first runner up $35,000 and the second runner up $15,000. The four semifinalists are FreeWire Technologies, Momentum Dynamics, Peloton Technology, and SeaChange Group. Videos of the semifinalists can be viewed at secureenergy.org/prize. These four semifinalists were selected by two rounds of judging by expert panels comprised of industry leaders, energy and transportation specialists, and academics. This year’s three finalists will be announced in the days leading up to the Energy Security Prize awards ceremony, to be held in Charleston, S.C. on July 31.  Partners CNBC and Clemson University will join SAFE in Charleston to announce the grand prize winner, runner up, and second runner up of the 2015 Prize at an event featuring leaders in the fields of business, policy, and national security, celebrating these technologies and selecting those with the greatest potential to transform the way the world moves goods and people.

 

The Companies:

FreeWire Technologies’ Mobi electric vehicle (EV) charger helps eliminate the “charge rage” facing areas with high EV adoption and insufficient charging capacity. Mobis decouple infrastructure from parking spots by using repurposed EV batteries to deliver power via a fully motorized platform. Each Mobi, with its 40 kilowatt-hour capacity, can top off up to four vehicles in the morning, recharge, and be ready to power additional EVs in the afternoon.

 

Momentum Dynamics seeks to take DC fast charging for electric vehicles to the next level, pioneering a wireless charging system designed for the workplace and public locations like shopping centers and restaurants. Their unique 25-kilowatt wireless charging pad delivers power via magnetic induction ten times faster than home-based plug-in chargers, overcoming barriers to EV adoption by allowing EVs to charge frequently, quickly and automatically.

 

Peloton Technology aims to increase safety, efficiency, and profits for America’s trucking fleets with its Truck Platooning System, which wirelessly links pairs of tractor-trailers. These two-truck “platoons” share collision avoidance radar and other sensors, braking automatically and nearly instantaneously, allowing trucks to travel at closer distances, providing aerodynamic fuel savings of up to 10 percent for both vehicles. A cloud-based network operations center improves driver awareness and dynamically manages platooning to ensure it is only done under appropriate conditions.

 

SeaChange Group is tackling an important opportunity for oil displacement: maritime vessels, locomotives and off-road equipment. Using the primary byproduct from biodiesel production, glycerol, SeaChange has created a fuel blend to markedly reduce oil use and emissions from all manner of seafaring vessels (to start) while eliminating the need for costly add-ons such as exhaust scrubbers. On top of the environmental and health benefits, SeaChange’s Eco-Hybrid™ fuel is cheaper than regular diesel. The company is currently testing the new fuel at sea and producing 1,000 gallons daily with its pilot processor.

 

Stakeholders come to Major Agreement on Commercial HV AC DOE rule – The Appliance Standards Awareness Project (ASAP), the Air-Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration Institute (AHRI), and the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy (ACEEE) today applauded the success of the Commercial Package Air Conditioners and Commercial Warm Air Furnaces Working Group, established by the Department of Energy on April 1, to negotiate conservation standards for these products. After six meetings, the working group, comprised of industry, energy efficiency and environmental advocates, contractors and agency representatives, including AHRI and ASAP, reached consensus and provided recommendations for energy conservation standards, test procedures, and metrics.  AHRI’s Steve Yurek: “Bringing stakeholders together to develop a rule that is both effective and achievable is the best way to ensure that our members’ products and equipment provide consumers and businesses with comfort, safety, and productivity while helping the nation achieve its energy reduction targets.”  The committee was tasked with addressing rules for the energy efficiency of commercial package air conditioners and heat pumps (specifically, air-cooled with rated cooling capacities greater than or equal to 65,000 Btu per hour and less than 760,000 Btu per hour split and package AC and HP) and commercial warm air furnaces, as authorized by the Energy Policy and Conservation Act (EPCA) of 1975, as amended. The scope excluded package terminal air conditioners and heat pumps (PTAC/PTHP), single package vertical units (SPVU), computer room air conditioners (CRAC), and variable refrigerant flow (VRF) systems.

 

VT Asst AG Weighs in on States Rights, GMO Labeling – In testimony at the House Energy & Commerce Committee late last week, told representatives that the federal draft legislation would prematurely derail Vermont’s GMO labeling law and end any GMO labeling efforts by states.  Daloz told the committee that the state is simply providing consumers with information.   “It’s not a warning. It’s a notification. There was tremendously strong demand in Vermont for this labeling bill.  The legislature found that giving consumers this information enables them to make a choice similar to calorie counts.  This is the state simply providing information for consumers.”  Vermont Rep. Peter Welch questioned what their problem is with allowing labeling.   “It’s a consumer right to know issue.  I agree with my colleagues that a national standard would be good. But there is no national standard in this bill.  It’s a voluntary labeling, which means there will be no labeling what-so-ever. If GMO’s are so safe, and I’m not here to challenge that assertion, but if they’re so safe why not label? Why would anyone be afraid of so labeling those products so that consumers would have a right to know?”

 

Blog Says GMO Legislation Limits States, Undermines Public Opinion – EWG’s Scott Faber wrote a blog just prior to the hearing saying the new version of H.R. 1599 – dubbed the Deny Americans the Right to Know or “DARK” Act – is a radical overreach that does not simply deny consumers the right to know what’s in their food or how it is grown, but also denies state and local governments the right to protect farmers and rural residents from the environmental impacts of GMO crops.  Faber said the legislation doubles down on efforts to blocks states from requiring GMO labeling. The new version also block states from regulating how GMO crops are produced.  Faber added it is especially shocking in light of new polls by the Mellman Group andConsumers Union that show 9-in-10 Americans want mandatory GMO labeling – regardless of age, income, education, race or even party affiliation.  Consumers simply want the right to know what’s in their food and how it was grown – a right held by consumers in 64 other nations.

 

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

 

DOE Hosts Sustainable Transpo Day – Today is Sustainable Transportation Day, an afternoon on the grounds of the Forrestal Building in D.C., with the Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy’s (EERE’s) Bioenergy Technologies Office, Fuel Cell Technologies Office, and Vehicle Technologies Office.  You can meet with federal staff, EERE leadership, and stakeholders from the public sector and private industry. Enjoy exhibits such as the Green Racing Simulator—a one-of-a-kind racing game that brings together sustainable transportation and arcade thrills;  the first Washington, D.C. visit of the 12.2 mpg Freightliner SuperTruck; and a unique opportunity to see some of the world’s first commercial fuel cell electric vehicles.  EERE wil also discuss its strategic investments in sustainable transportation research, development, and demonstration projects are improving vehicle efficiency, advancing the use of alternative fuel vehicles, and lowering production costs of advanced biofuels and hydrogen.

 

Wilson Report Focus On Climate, Security Issues – Today at 3:00 p.m., the Wilson Center for Scholars will convene leaders from the development, diplomatic, and security communities and the report’s coauthors for the U.S. launch of a “New Climate for Peace.” The high-level interagency panel will explore how these climate-fragility challenges are changing the way the United States and its partners work, and will also identify opportunities for joint action to address them.  The ultimate “threat multiplier,” climate change is increasing the challenges facing the U.S. development, diplomatic, and security communities.  “A New Climate for Peace: Taking Action on Climate and Fragility Risks,” an independent report commissioned by the members of the G7, identifies seven compound climate-fragility risks that pose serious threats to stability in the decades ahead. Based on a thorough assessment of existing policies, the report recommends that the G7 take concrete actions to tackle climate-fragility risks and increase the resilience of states and societies.

 

Bay, Clark, Moeller Headline Utility Commissioners Education Forum – The 20th Annual Education Conference of the Mid-Atlantic Conference of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (MACRUC) will be held today through Wednesday at the Williamsburg Lodge in Virginia.  Speakers will include former Senator/Governor Evan Bayh, FERC Commissioners Norman Bay, Tony Clark and Philip Moeller, NARUC President and Florida PSC Chair Lisa Edgar, Dominion CEO Tom Farrell, PSE&G President  Ralph LaRossa, and American Water Works CEO Susan Story.

 

Energy CyberSecurity Forum Set for Houston – The 3rd Annual Cyber Security for Oil and Gas Summit will be held in Houston today through Wednesday.  The event brings together the oil and gas industry to address critical concerns and trends with regard to the development of cyber security practices.  The complex nature of cyberattacks and those specifically levied against the oil and gas industry have been increasing over the years and while the industry is well prepared, continuous improvement is always necessary to maintain an edge on the nefarious actors working against the industry.

 

Bio Energy Event, DOE Conference Set – Tonight, Leaders in Energy will host bioenergy and clean energy professionals to discuss the evolving bioeconomy and renewable fuels.  Topics will include the renewable fuels standard, how bioenergy resources can be produced in sustainable ways, utilizing algae as a way to produce products and capture carbon, and employment and career opportunities in the bioenergy sector.  This event will take place on the evening before the U.S. Department of Energy, Bioenergy 2015 Conference tomorrow and Wednesday at the DC Convention Center.  The DOE Bioenergy 2015 conference is the 8th annual conference and will look at opportunities in the changing energy landscape.  The Clean Energy Research and Education Foundation co-hosts this year’s conference, which will focus on opportunities and challenges in our current highly dynamic energy ecosystem.  Each year, approximately 600 participants attend the conference, including key stakeholders from the bioenergy industry, Congress, national laboratories, academia, and the financial community.

 

WP host Answers Forum with Moniz, Fanning, Others – Tomorrow morning, The Washington Post will host business leaders, elected officials, government innovators, tech pioneers and scientists from around the country at a forum to discuss and debate what’s working in their cities, states and businesses when it comes to producing, delivering, securing and conserving energy. The event, the third live event in The Washington Post’s America Answers series, will look at technologies, policies and programs related to clean energy, batteries and energy storage, the grid, energy efficiency, innovations in oil and gas and more.  Speakers with include Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz, Southern Company CEO Tom Fanning, Hawai’i Gov. David Ige, Phoenix, AZ Mayor Greg Stanton, former Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour, former EPA head Carol Browner, and several others.

 

API to Release New Policy Study – The American Petroleum Institute’s (API) President/CEO Jack Gerard will host a briefing tomorrow morning at the St. Regis Hotel’s Astor Ballroom to release a new policy study conducted by industry experts Wood Mackenzie. A panel of leading energy stakeholders will discuss the importance of an all of the above approach to U.S. energy policies and a pro-growth strategy for our energy future leading up to the 2016 elections. Panelists will include Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council President Karen Kerrigan, American Association of Blacks in Energy (AABE) President Paula Jackson, Vets4Energy National Liaison Rear Admiral Don Loren, USN (RET.) and LIUNA General President Terry O’Sullivan.

 

House Science Tackles EIA Report on GHG Plan – The House Science Committee will hold a hearing tomorrow on the recent EIA report that focused on the Administration’s Clean Power Plan.   EIA’s Howard Gruenspecht is expected to testify with several others.

 

Senate Environment to Look at GHG Impacts on Energy Costs – The Senate Committee on Environment Subcommittee on Clean Air and Nuclear Safety will hold a hearing tomorrow at 2:00 p.m. on EPA GHG regulations and their impact on energy costs for American businesses, rural communities and families.

 

Inhofe Headline Social Cost of Carbon Event – The Heritage Foundation host a forum tomorrow at 2:00 p.m. in its Allison Auditorium for a discussion on the social cost of carbon, and the science, policy, and politics of carbon regulation.  The Administration is forcefully pushing its carbon regulations with the quantitative basis for these rules being the social cost of carbon (SCC).  Heritage research shows the models used to calculate the SCC can support encouraging CO2 emissions rather than actually restricting them. Other quantitative measures of CO2 policy, such as the likely impact on world temperatures, provide little support for any of the policies offered to date. Ignoring this evidence, the Obama Administration appears resolute in its stance to promote its policy goals – even at the detriment of those adversely impacted by these misguided policies.  Keynote speaker will be Senate Environment Committee Chair Jim Inhofe. There will also be a panel discussion hosted by our friend David Kreutzer of Heritage.

 

Cato Forum to Look at Oil, Gas Renaissance – The Cato Institute will hold a forum tomorrow at 1:00 p.m. in 2168 Rayburn on sustaining the American energy renaissance in oil and gas.  Directional drilling, horizontal drilling, hydraulic fracturing, and radical new advances in offshore platform technology and global positioning software have revolutionized both onshore and offshore oil and gas production. These advances have required considerable capital investment that would have been less likely in a nation constrained by a cap-and-trade or carbon-tax system.  The event will feature Petroleum Geologist Ned Mamula, formerly with the U.S. Geological Survey, MMS and the CIA, and Cato’s Pat Michaels,

 

Senate Enviro to Look at GHG Costs on Businesses – The Senate Environment Committee’s Subcommittee on Clean Air and Nuclear Safety will hold a hearing tomorrow at 2:00 p.m. on the impacts of EPA’s proposed Carbon Regulations on Energy Costs for American Businesses, Rural Communities and Families.  Witnesses will include Industrial Energy Consumers of America President Paul Cicio, NY DEC Commissioner Joseph Martens, UMWA’s Gene Trisko, Harvard Med School instructor Mary Rice and National Black Chamber of Commerce President Harry Alford.

 

Senate Foreign Relations to Look at Crude Exports – The Senate Foreign Relations Committee’s Subcommittee on Multilateral International Development, Multilateral Institutions, and International Economic Energy, and Environmental Policy will hold a hearing tomorrow at 2:45 p.m. on American energy exports and opportunities for allies and national security.  Witnesses include former White House official Bob McNally, David Gordon of the Center for a New American Security and Jamie Webster of IHS Energy.

 

Coal Council Exec to Discuss CCS Report – USEA will host Janet Gellici, Executive Vice President & COO of the National Coal Council tomorrow at 2:00 p.m. to discuss a recently completed a report for the U.S. Secretary of Energy that provides recommendations on how to accelerate the deployment of CCS technologies.  The U.S. Department of Energy is a world leader in the development of CCS technology.  The DOE CCS/CCUS program, however, has not yet achieved critical mass.  There is a need for a substantial increase in the number of large scale demonstration projects for both capture and storage technologies before either system even approaches commercialization.

 

SoCo Fanning Headlines REFF Wall Street – ACORE hosts it 12th annual REFF-Wall Street 2015 on Wednesday and Thursday at The Grand Hyatt in New York City.  REFF-Wall Street is the premier renewable energy financing event in the U.S.  Attendees of this event include CEOs and other senior company officials, lenders, investors, investment bankers, private equity investors, venture capitalists and other top transactional professionals in renewable energy finance.  The event draws an especially senior audience, comprising of over 600 senior decision makers, financiers and professionals in the renewable energy finance field.  Southern Company CEO Tom Fanning will headline a list of speakers that also includes DOE EERE’s David Danelson and former EERE head Cathy Zoi.

 

ACCO Holds Climate Strategies Forum – On Wednesday to Friday, the Association of Climate Change Officers will hold its Climate Strategies Forum’s at the Washington Marriott.  The event is ACCO’s primary conference offering half-day training sessions for credit applicable to the Climate Governance Certificate under the CCO CertificationTM program. The Forum also features a suite of keynote conversations, a Women’s Climate Collaborative speed mentoring session, CCO Roundtable sessions, networking events, a tools and methodologies showcase and a tabletop exhibition.

 

Sen. Gardner to Headline ASE Event – The Alliance to Save Energy will have an intimate Policy Perspectives discussion with Senator Cory Gardner on Wednesday at 8:45 a.m. at Bobby Van’s Steakhouse.  Gardner has served in both the House and the Senate and is a national leader on energy efficiency initiatives.

 

DOE Innovation Competition Set – On Wednesday at the Pew Charitable Trusts, the DOE’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy National Clean Energy Business Plan Competition (NCEBPC) will hold its national competition on the new technologies highlighted.  This year, student-led teams competed in five DOE-sponsored regional competitions by submitting business plans for innovative clean energy technologies. Each regional winner received a DOE-sponsored prize.  The NCEBPC culminates in the annual National Competition, which brings together public, private, and nonprofit sector stakeholders. On Wednesday, regional finalists and runners-up will showcase their technologies, NCEBPC alumni will discuss the paths they have taken since participating in the competition, and finalists will compete for the National Prize. Five regional finalists will pitch their business plans to an esteemed panel of judges, industry leaders, and audience members. The winning team will take home the DOE National Prize of $50,000 and various in-kind services.

 

Book Forum to Look at Energy, Economy – The Wilson Center will hold a book forum on Wednesday at 10:00 a.m. featuring UK economic Professors Stacy Closson and Evan Hillebrand.  In the book, they forecast the most significant drivers of global economic growth over the next forty years. The authors discuss eight scenarios they have modeled of possible global futures, emphasizing the interconnectedness of energy prices, economic growth, and geopolitics. They will discuss the probability of each scenario and share their conclusions.

 

House Science Panel to Look at EIA GHG Report – The House Science Committee’s Subcommittee on Environment and Subcommittee on Energy Hearing will hold a hearing on Wednesday at 10:00 a.m. looking at the EIA report on the EPA’s Clean Power Plan. Witnesses include EIA Deputy Administrator Howard Gruenspecht, Chamber climate expert Stephen Eule, pro-climate policy gadfly Susan Tierney, Senior Advisor and Heritage senior statistician and researcher Kevin Dayaratna.

 

House to Look at GAO Report on Mismanagement – The House Natural Resources Committee’s Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations will convene an oversight hearing on Wednesday on a new GAO report documenting BLM’s mismanagement of wind and solar reclamation bonds.

 

Whitman to Be Featured at Young Professional Energy Event – On Wednesday at 12:30 p.m., Young Professionals in Energy will hold a meet and greet with former New Jersey Governor and U.S. EPA Administrator Christine Todd Whitman for an informal and off-the-record lunchtime gathering.  Governor Whitman will talk about her role co-chairing the pro-nuclear group, Clean and Safe Energy Coalition (CASEnergy).

 

BPC to Look at Energy Efficiency Standards – On Wednesday at 2:00 p.m., the Bipartisan Policy Center will hold a forum on four decades of appliance energy efficiency standards.  The forum will look at what has been accomplished and the more that 20 pending rules at DOE may be headed.  DOE’s Appliance Efficiency Standards, dating back to 1979, currently cover products accounting for approximately 90% of home energy use and 60% of commercial building energy use. Although the program has had its challenges over the years, existing standards are expected to cumulatively save 70 quadrillion British thermal units (BTUs) of energy and lead to consumer savings approaching $1 trillion by 2020.  As “smart grid” technology, new utility business models, and other opportunities arise to enable appliances to communicate and interact with the grid, new opportunities and challenges for efficiency standards are likely to emerge.   The event will feature a panel discussion to explore what efficiency standards have accomplished, what the future could bring, and what Congress should have in mind as it considers new energy legislation.    Speakers include Robert McArver of the Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers and ACEEE’s Steve Nadel.

House Natural Gas Caucus to Host Forum – The House Natural Gas Caucus will host a forum on Wednesday at 3:30 p.m. looking at the importance of infrastructure to the demand coming from new natural gas power plants.   Speakers will include Cabot’s George Stark, a member company representative from INGAA and  LIUNA’s Dave Mallino. They also may have a panelist from the Congressional Research Service to go over the natural gas infrastructure reform bills introduced this Congress.

 

Solar Foundation to Hold Solstice Event – Speaking of Summer Solstice, every June, the Solar Foundation (TSF) hosts its Summer Solstice, a celebration of solar energy and the beneficial role it plays across many aspects of our society. We will be returning to the most incredible rooftop in downtown Washington, D.C. to roll out the “yellow carpet” in recognition of all things solar.  With their admission, this year’s Solstice guests will be treated to great food and drinks, barefoot bocce ball, electrifying beats, amazing twilight views of the Capital’s skyline, and the company of many of the most eclectic personalities in solar! The evening will also play host to the presentation of the 2015 Solar Foundation Awards, honoring the year’s preeminent solar heroes.

 

Gingrich to Lead POLITICO Forum Discussion on Youth, Environment – POLITICO will host a cutting-edge conversation on Thursday morning at the Hamilton exploring how millennials are impacting the future of environmental sustainability.   Panelists will look at whether millennial lifestyle choices and technology is making cities more sustainable as well as how young voters are impacting environmental politics.  Panelists include former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, Millennial Action Project President and Founder Steven Olikara, POLITICO Magazine Editor Garrett Graff and our friend Elana Schor, who covers energy for POLITICO.

 

Energy Breakfast Focused on Utility of Future – ICF International will hold its Energy and Environment Breakfast on Thursday at the National Press Club, featuring one of the top U.S. utilities and one of its leading regulatory thinkers for a discussion on the utility of the future.  Much discussion has surrounded distributed energy resources such as rooftop solar, storage, and demand side management (DSM). Some regions are considering the best ways to reform the distribution system, perhaps by turning its operation over to a nonprofit entity—for example, a regional transmission organization (RTO) at the distribution level—and allowing third parties to use the system to offer an innovative set of energy services to customers.  Speakers will include Garry Brown, Former Chair and Commissioner of the NY PSC and Mark Webb, General Counsel, and Chief Risk Officer of Dominion

 

BPC Event to Feature Udall, Shimkus on TSCA – On Thursday, the Bipartisan Policy Center hosts a bicameral, bipartisan dialogue where Sen. Tom Udall (D-NM) and Rep. John Shimkus (R-IL) provide their views on why the Toxic Substance Control Act (TSCA) needs updating, and what the next steps are toward modernizing this important law.    Udall and Shimkus will join a Bridge-Builder discussion about the nation’s chemical safety law.  At nearly 40 years old, TSCA has been rendered ineffective by court decisions and is in need of serious reform. This year, it just might get one. Both the House Energy and Commerce Committee as well as the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee have reported bipartisan bills.  BPC’s Bridge-Builder Series highlights the institutions and individuals who are crossing party lines and developing solutions to the critical challenges facing our country.

 

IEA to Present Medium-term Gas Report – On Thursday at 10:00 a.m., the CSIS Energy and National Security Program will host Laszlo Varro, Head of Gas, Coal & Power Markets Division at the International Energy Agency (IEA), to present the IEA’s Medium-Term Gas Market Report 2015. The annual report, which gives a detailed analysis and five-year projections of natural gas demand, supply and trade developments, examines the interaction of increased gas demand in light of substantial price drops while the upstream sector is suffering amid large capital expenditure cuts. The impact on global gas markets of Russia’s strategic shift in its gas export policy and the rising tide of liquefied natural gas supplies are also given special consideration. The Medium-Term Gas Market Report is part of a series of annual reports the IEA devotes to each of the main primary energy sources: oil, gas, coal, renewable energy and energy efficiency.

 

House Ag Panel Looks at GMO Labeling – Following last week’s hearing the House E&C Health Subcommittee, the House Ag Committee will revisit the GMO Labeling Issues.   The hearing will look at a new draft of the “Deny Americans the Right to Know” (DARK) Act which would not only preempt state laws that require labeling of food containing genetically engineered ingredients but would also strip away the right of local government to regulate GMO crops.  EWG’s Scott Faber says the effort will keep consumers in the dark by also blocking state efforts to protect farmers and rural residents from dangerous herbicides used with GMO crops.  “The American people have a right to know what’s in their food,” said Dr. John Boyd, Jr., founder and president of the National Black Farmers Association. “As a farmer, I grow both GMO and non-GMO crops, and know that labeling would not hurt my bottom line. I firmly believe that no matter where people buy their groceries, they should be given basic information about the presence of GMOs in their food.”  Earlier this month the Mellman Group released a poll, funded by Just Label It, showing that nearly 90% of Americans – regardless of party affiliation, age, race or education – want mandatory GMO labeling.

 

Senate Foreign Relations to Look at Iran Deal – The Senate Foreign Affairs Committee will take a drive into discussions surrounding Iran Nuclear deal on Thursday at 10:30 a.m.   Witnesses will include David Albright of the Institute for Science and International Security, CFR’s Ray Takeyh and MIT’s  Jim Walsh

Forum to Look at Green Finance Tools – The Center for Climate and Energy Solutions (C2ES) is hosting a forum at GWU’s Lerner Hall on Thursday morning looking at states and companies deploying new tools like green bonds, clean energy banks, energy service companies and more to pay for improved energy technology and infrastructure.  Speakers will looking into progress, scalability, past efforts and what financial tools can spur clean energy and efficiency upgrades.  They include Robert Martineau of the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation, Pennsylvania Deputy Treasurer Keith Welks,  Treasury, JPMorgan Chase’s  Granville Martin, Anna Pavlova of Schneider Electric, Citi’s Bruce Schlein and Bob Perciasepe, President, Center for Climate and Energy Solutions (C2ES).

 

CHP Webinar to Look at Markets – The Combined Heat and Power Association will hold a Webinar on Thursday at Noon to look at U.S. Energy Markets and the CHP Market in Particular.  The webinar will look at the broader US energy market trends and their international, national, and regional trends. Speakers will specifically discuss upcoming U.S. energy legislation, the U.S. energy market and its influence to the international energy landscape, current CHP market trends from the CHP Installation Database, market drivers for continued CHP development, and the micro affects regional energy providers may experience.

 

Cato Offers Skeptical Look at Ozone Science – On Thursday at 4:00 p.m. the Cato Institute will hold a forum on the new EPA Ozone regulation.  The EPA’s most costly air-pollution and global-warming regulations are justified by the belief that small particles in outdoor air, like soot and dust, kill people. Based upon internal EPA documents and original research, Steven Milloy, publisher of the widely read blog JunkScience.com, will demonstrate that the agency’s belief does not pass scientific muster. As has been the case with climate change research, the dangerous liaison between regulatory agencies and academia has again resulted in a substantial distortion of reality. Please join us for a probing critique of science in service to regulatory overreach.  The event will feature Steven Milloy, Founder, JunkScience.com and be moderated by Pat. Michaels.

 

National Security Conference Set – The 2015 Center for New American Security Annual Conference will be held on Friday at the JW Marriott Hotel in Washington, D.C.  CNAS’s annual national security conference will feature keynote addresses and discussion topics designed to chart a course for the next administration and beyond.  Lots of great speakers, including a great panel on any Iran Nuclear Deal that features Sen. Tom Cotton and former State Dept Amb. Nicholas Burns.

 

IEA Leader to Discuss World Energy Outlook on Climate – On Friday at 9:00 a.m., the CSIS Energy and National Security Program is hosting Dr. Fatih Birol, Chief Economist and incoming Executive Director of the International Energy Agency (IEA), to present the IEA’s World Energy Outlook 2015 Special Report on Energy and Climate Change. The special report presents a detailed first assessment of the energy sector impact of known and signaled national climate pledges for the climate change meeting in Paris in December 2015 (COP21). Additionally, it proposes a bridging strategy to deliver a near-term peak in global energy-related greenhouse-gas emissions, based on five pragmatic measures that can advance climate goals through the energy sector without blunting economic growth. Lastly, it highlights the urgent need to accelerate the development of emerging technologies that are, ultimately, essential to transforming the global energy system into one that is consistent with the world’s climate goals, and recommends four key pillars on which COP21 can build success from an energy sector perspective.

 

FUTURE EVENTS

 

Stanford Forum to Look at Enviro Capital Issues – Next Tuesday, the Nature Conservancy and the Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment, in cooperation with their Natural Capital Project partners, the World Wildlife Fund and the University of Minnesota, are holding a forum at RFF at 9:00 a.m. on Integrating natural capital into decisions. The event will feature leading academics and practitioners in the field of ecosystem services as well as experts from the public and non-profit sectors, addressing core sustainability challenges of the 21st century.  Speakers and panelists will highlight the latest advances in the science and practice of using ecosystem services to inform decisions. The discussion will provide insights into how this information can best be used by government agencies, multilateral institutions, and the broader sustainable development community to structure and implement policies that are simultaneously sound from environmental and economic perspectives. A panel of leading experts, including authors from a recently published Special Feature of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences on “Nature as Capital,” will discuss key components of bringing natural capital considerations into mainstream decision making on issues such as agriculture, energy, infrastructure, urban planning, finance and national security.  Speakers will include former Bush Interior official Lynn Scarlett, USDA Research under secretary Ann Bartuska, WWF’s Tom Dillon, IADB’s Michele Lemay and Mary Ruckleshaus of the Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment

 

Cato Forum to Look at Free Markets, Energy – The Cato Institute will hold a forum on the case for free markets in energy next Tuesday in its Hayek Auditorium.  Since the 1970s, however, more libertarian voices have been heard on these issues. IER founder and CEO Rob Bradley, who has been involved with free-market energy policy since its inception, will discuss the history of libertarian thinking on past energy policy and its relevance for current policy debates.

 

Forum to Look at Nat Gas Issues in Europe – The Institute of World Politics will hold a forum on Tuesday, June 30th at 1:00 p.m. featuring a  lecture on rival gas pipelines for Europe.  The event will feature Vilen Khlgatyan, Vice Chairman, Political Developments Research Center.  In recent years, the competition for supplying Europe with natural gas has heated up once again and has taken a more urgent course due to the conflict in Ukraine. Two pipeline routes are vying for dominance and are backed by different states with their own geopolitical considerations. In December 2014, it was announced that Russia’s Gazprom would re-route its proposed South Stream Pipeline to the Turkish-Greek border via the Black Sea and Turkey. Likewise, the U.S.-backed Nabucco pipeline was sidelined by the less ambitious and costly Trans-Anatolian Pipeline and Trans-Adriatic Pipeline, which will see Azerbaijani gas and potentially Iranian and Turkmen gas cross Turkey to reach markets in Greece, the Balkans and Italy. Both pipelines have their advantages and disadvantages. This lecture will consider the economics and geopolitics of the rival pipelines and what’s at stake for the concerned parties.  Khlgatyan is Vice-Chairman of Political Developments Research Center (PDRC), a think tank based in Yerevan, Armenia. He specializes in the geopolitics of energy, non-kinetic warfare, and the post-Soviet region with an emphasis on the Caucasus.

 

USEA Forum to Look at Modeling – The US Energy Association will hold a forum Tuesday, June 30th at 2:00 p.m. on MIT’s global models that are project energy and climate issues. Using a projection modeling system developed by MIT’s Joint Program on the Science and Policy of Global Change, the Integrated Global System Model (IGSM), we provide an integrated assessment of how human activities, given our current development path, are interacting with complex Earth systems and ultimately affecting the natural resources on which we depend. In the first part of the presentation (lead by Dr. Erwan Monier), we introduce the IGSM, and describe the capabilities of the modeling system to simulate the uncertainty in the future climate response to anthropogenic emissions of greenhouse gases and aerosols. In the second part of the presentation (lead by Dr. Sergey Paltsev), we provide an integrated economic and climate projection of the 21st century–not a prediction, as the future will ultimately be determined by actions taken over the next decades that are intended to stabilize our relationship with the planet. We incorporate the emissions targets currently proposed by the international community to address the challenges of climate change.

 

July 4th

 

Congressional Renewable Energy Forum, Expo Set – The 18th Annual Congressional Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Technology EXPO and Policy Forum will be held on Thursday, July 9th in the Cannon House Office Building.  The exhibits will be in Cannon Caucus Room (Cannon 345) while the Policy Forum will be in 334 Cannon. The event brings together close to 50 businesses, trade associations, and government agencies to showcase renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies and is Co-Hosted by the House and Senate’s Renewable Energy & Energy Efficiency Caucuses, as well as the Sustainable Energy Coalition.

 

Company to Highlight Data Destruction Method – On July 9th on Capitol Hill, Phiston Technologies will be leading a discussion and technology demonstration of their High Security Data Storage Media Destruction machines.  They will encourage people to bring old computer hard drives, solid state drives, cell phones, CDs/DVDs and ID cards and we will destroy them safely in seconds.   The event will be in 210 Cannon.

 

Senate Energy to Look at Nuclear Issues – On August 4th the Senate Energy Committee will hold a hearing to discuss the back-end of the nuclear fuel cycle and related legislation.

 

August Recess

 

GenForum Set For Columbus – ICF International Natural Gas VP Leonard Crook will kick-off the one-day GenForum/POWER-GEN event August 18th on natural gas generation in Columbus, Ohio.  Crook will offer an overview of the recent rise of natural gas-fueled power generation over the years at the expense of coal-fired power plants.  GenForum is organized by PennWell’s GenerationHub. The event is scheduled at the Greater Columbus Convention Center. GenForum leads into PennWell’s POWER-GEN/Natural Gas conference, scheduled for Aug. 18-to-20 at the same convention center.

 

Energy Update: Week of June 15

Friends,

 

Finally we are to the point in the basketball and hockey seasons where the Naismith trophy and Lord Stanley’s Cup will be “in the house” at a pair of Game 6s tonight/tomorrow, and at latest, be awarded this week, if not sooner.  Both series have been great with the hockey being among the best I’ve seen in a while.  And the battle between Steph Curry and LeBron James has been pretty strong as well with each putting their team on his back at key times.   What will be do after it is over?  Look to late July/early August for the launch of Football and the Baseball playoff stretch.   By the way, already getting college and HS Football officiating assignments so it is not that far off…

 

While it was supposed to come out Thursday, apparently an Italian Magazine leaked the Pope’s encyclical on climate change today.  Former Financial Times DC bureau friend Steph Kirchgaessner, now in Rome with The Guardian,  has the scoop featuring the document in Italian which says the Pope hoped his encyclical would inspire action not just by Roman Catholics but by people of all creeds and religions around the world.  It also calls for changes in lifestyles and energy consumption to avert the “unprecedented destruction of the ecosystem” before the end of this century.  Following the leak, the conservative E&E Legal Foundation posted a video that says flawed policies to tackle climate change will actually cause more harm for the world’s poor.

 

In town today and tomorrow is the big EIA 2015 Energy Conference at the Renaissance Washington, DC Downtown Hotel.  Keynote Speakers will be DOE Secretary Ernie Moniz, Mexican Energy secretary Pedro Joaquín Coldwell, ND Sen. John Hoeven, Tesla’s JB Straubel, BNSF CEO Matt Rose and Continental Resources CEO Harold Hamm.  It is always a high-profile event that is a news generator.  See you there…

 

Lots going on in Congress this week with tomorrow focused on Interior/EPA funding as both the full House Approps Committee and Lisa Murkowski’s Approps panel handling their versions of the funding.   There will also be a joint hearing in House E&C on the potential impacts of EPA’s proposed ozone standard on manufacturers and House Resources on the latest Interior Arctic drilling plan.  On Wednesday, Senate Environment discusses Coal Ash with NRECA member South Texas Electric Cooperative GM Mike Kezar leading the testimony.  After a bumpy performance last week on Ozone, EPA’s Janet McCabe visits Senate Homeland Security to discuss another controversial subject, the EPA’s management of the RFS (hint:  NOT GOOD).  Look for more bumps as they discuss the latest ethanol proposal.  Also Thursday, the House E&C Health Subcommittee will take up the Rep. Pompeo-led GMO labeling bill—critics have dubbed it the DARK Act—that would preempt state efforts to mandate GMO labeling.  We can provide experts and info on this issue should you need it.   Speaking of GMOs, looks like France just banned glyphosate (Round Up to you and me) today.  I’m sure that will come up a time or two on Thursday.

 

Today is Global Wind Day.  Every year on June 15th Global Wind Day celebrates a chance to reflect and be inspired by all that great opportunities and advances wind power in making in the world. Wind farms now operate in more than 75 countries, while here in the US, they power the equivalent of 15.5 million homes.  You can tweet about it on #GlobalWindDay and find 8 Fun Wind Day Facts here.

 

Finally, if you are Looking for some networking opportunities, on Wednesday evening at Hawk ‘n Dove on Capitol Hill, OurEnergyPolicy.org (OEP) and the Women’s Council on Energy and the Environment are hosting a happy hour for DC area energy professionals.  RSVP Here.

 

Frank Maisano

(202) 828-5864

(202) 997-5932

 

 

IN THE NEWS

 

DOE Furnace Rule Analysis Flawed – In a meeting last week with key environmental and industry stakeholders to discuss in Energy’s Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on Energy Conservation Standards for Residential Furnaces, AGA unveiled a significant flaw in the economic model used to test the rule, which has led to faulty outcomes and an inaccuracy in what the Department indicates will occur if this rule is put in place.  The DOE model began with 10,000 sample homes and used a “Monte Carlo” method to determine which households are “affected” by the rule and which ones are not, by assigning furnaces to homes in a random fashion irrespective of economics. The determination whether or not the family would have an 80% energy efficient natural gas furnace or a 92% efficient natural gas furnace was completely random, removing the rational, economic decision making process that takes place both with homeowners and builders. AGA’s analysis points to a few specific homes included in the DOE model, including one California household that would pay $3,287 to replace its furnace, but would only see annual savings of $27 with a payback period of 90 years, and a New York household that would not install an efficient furnace despite associated savings of $1,656 in installation costs and $76 annually. AGA, AHRI and other industry groups contend the rule would have unintended consequences, including raising costs for low-income customers and causing customers to switch from gas to electric heat, in some cases increasing greenhouse gas emissions.

 

Summit Discusses Key Issues Facing Rural Communities – On Thursday, NRECA hosted the Summit on Rural America where policymakers and leaders discussed the future of our rural communities. Numerous speakers, including several from the administration, Congress and other key stakeholders in rural America offered insights on the rural agenda.  As well, Arkansas statewide CEO Duane Highley represented electric co-ops at a U.S. Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources hearing. Duane testified on the importance of sharing information with utilities in the event of cybersecurity threats. He also shared concerns over coordination between agencies and stakeholders when new rules are implemented that could threaten grid reliability.

 

France Bans Weedkiller Used On GMOs – French Ecology Minister Segolene Royal yesterday asked French garden centers to stop selling the popular weedkiller Roundup as part of a wider fight against pesticides that have been deemed potentially harmful to humans.  The active ingredient in Roundup, glyphosate, was in March classified as “probably carcinogenic to humans” by the UN’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC).

 

Clean Air Group releases Ozone Survey that Raises Concerns – The Association of Air Pollution Control Agencies (AAPCA) released a new survey, State Environmental Agency Perspectives on Background Ozone & Regulatory Relief. This report includes a review of all state environmental agency comments on U.S. EPA’s proposed revision to National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) for ground-level ozone, as well as a detailed follow up survey of state members of AAPCA’s Board of Directors.  The results indicate that a majority of state environmental agencies, including geographically-diverse states with differing perspectives on the proposed ozone NAAQS revisions, view background ozone as a potential implementation and achievability challenge. While U.S. EPA has stated that there are “tools for air agencies to address exceedances of an ozone standard potentially caused by background ozone,” this survey found significant limitations and several common concerns with Clean Air Act tools designed to address exceptional events, international transport, and rural transport areas.

 

E&E Hub Interview: Honorable sees a ‘proactive’ FERC on Clean Power Plan – FERC should play a “proactive” role in helping states and regions respond to challenges posed by compliance with the forthcoming final version of U.S. EPA’s Clean Power Plan, Colette Honorable, FERC’s newest member, said in a Friday interview with our friend s at E&E News’ Power Plan Hub.  While Honorable and her colleagues are on record in support of EPA, including a so-called reliability safety valve in the final rule, she also wants FERC to use its “tools” to “provide certainty and support for this [EPA] planning effort.”  “It might be a technical conference or FERC could direct assessments or studies to be conducted. FERC is going to be needed now more than ever to support the vast work that will have to be undertaken in states, in [organized market] regions and in multistate groups that are not part of regions.”

 

US Adds Solar in 1Q – On the renewable front, the first quarter numbers are in and the U.S. added more than 1.3 gigawatts of new solar from January to March. GTM Research and the Solar Energy Industries Association project a total of 7.9 gigawatts of new solar by the end of the year. Check out our solar map that demonstrates the depth and breadth of co-op solar projects.

 

Vogtle Adds Concrete Dome to Protect Back up Power Sources – Georgia Power has erected a 39-foot-tall, 50-foot-wide dome at Plant Vogtle that will guard backup power equipment for emergencies. The dome boasts 2-foot-thick concrete walls that can withstand an earthquake or a direct hit from a tornado.  Nuclear facilities across the U.S. built concrete domes with backup equipment as part of the nation’s response to the 2011 nuclear meltdown at Fukushima Daiichi in Japan. Vogtle will unveil its dome today during an emergency preparedness event.

 

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

 

EIA Annual Energy Conference Set – EIA will hold its 2015 Energy Conference today and tomorrow in Washington, DC at the Renaissance Washington, DC Downtown Hotel.  Keynote Speakers will DOE Secretary Ernie Moniz, Mexican Energy secretary Pedro Joaquín Coldwell, ND Sen. John Hoeven, Tesla’s JB Straubel, BNSF CEO Matt Rose and Continental Resources CEO Harold Hamm, among others.  Breakout session topics will include the effects of changing world oil prices: production, economy, and geopolitics, North American energy markets, the role of emerging energy storage technologies in electricity markets, domestic and global natgas markets, greenhouse gas emissions on power and methane, developments in hydrocarbon gas liquids markets, electric distribution markets in the 21st century, energy by rail and water, energy infrastructure needs and options and residential and commercial energy consumption.  You can see the full agenda here.

 

Lt Dan to Speak to National Press Club – Academy Award nominee and Emmy-winning actor and director Gary Sinise will address an NPC Speakers Breakfast tomorrow at 8:30 a.m.  Sinise will discuss his tireless advocacy for America’s servicemen and women through the Gary Sinise Foundation.  Sinise will be in Washington to receive the 2015 Service to America Leadership Award from the NAB Education Foundation (NABEF).

 

Senate Energy to Look at DOE Nominees – The Senate Energy Committee will hold a hearing to consider the nominations of Jonathan Elkind to be an Assistant Secretary of Energy (International Affairs), and Monica Regalbuto to be an Assistant Secretary of Energy (Environmental Management).

 

House Approps , Senate Panel Mark Up Interior, EPA Funding – The House Appropriations Committee will hold a full markup of the FY 2016 Interior and Environment Appropriations Bill tomorrow morning at 10:00 a.m.  Following that, Senate Approps Subcommittee on the bill will mark up their version of same funding bill at 2:30 p.m.

 

House E&C Panels Look at Ozone Impact on Manufacturers – Two panels of the House Energy & Commerce Committee will hold a joint hearing tomorrow focusing on how the EPA Ozone proposal could affect the nation’s manufacturing sector. The hearing comes after the above mentioned rough ride EPA air office head Janet McCabe received last week on the agency’s plans for the standard and the potential costs of the proposal.   Witnesses include NAM’s Ross Eisenberg, Erin Monroe Wesley of the Baton Rouge Area Chamber, Michael Freeman of WD-40 Co. and several others.

 

House Resources to Look at Arctic Drilling Plan – The House Natural Resources panel on Energy and Mineral Resources will hold a hearing tomorrow that will scrutinize the new Interior draft rule governing oil and gas exploration in the Arctic Ocean.  The hearing before the Subcommittee will feature diverging views on the Interior Department rule, released in February, which garnered praise from conservationists and criticism from industry.  Witnesses will include BSE head Brian Salerno, Richard Glenn of the Arctic Slope Regional Corp., Christine Resler of Schlumberger and Michael LeVine of Oceana.

 

WCEE Forum to Look at Water-Energy Nexus – The Women’s Council on Energy and the Environment (WCEE) will host a lunchtime forum on the challenges and opportunities in the water-energy nexus.  Energy and water are undeniably linked, and droughts, such as the one that California is currently experiencing, can constrain the operation of power plants and other energy production activities.  Moreover, vital water infrastructure serving millions of people can lose power during major storm events, as we witnessed during Hurricane Sandy.  Becoming more resilient to these types of events will require a mix of policy and technology.  Panelists will break down the issues and suggest ways for meeting the challenges to ensure that our energy and water needs continue to be met.  They include EEI’s Richard Bozek, Chris Kearney of the Senate Energy Committee and Eileen O’Neill of the Water Environment Federation.

 

ELI Forum Looks At Oil Pollution Act – The Environmental Law Institute will hold a forum tomorrow at Noon on oil pollution issues.  In 1990, following the Exxon Valdez oil spill, Congress enacted the Oil Pollution Act (OPA) to strengthen the federal government’s ability to prevent and respond to oil spills, establish financial resources to aid response, and raise standards for contingency planning.  The 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill cleanup and allocation of responsibility have severely tested that program, as have a variety of transportation related spills, both from pipelines and railroads. As U.S. domestic oil production rapidly increases and strains the transportation system’s capacity to move large new volumes of crude oil and refined product without mishap, the time is ripe to address how the legal system is adapting to these new and unexpected challenges.  ELI’s expert panelists , including former DOT Secretary Rodney Slater, will brief participants about developments in oil pollution law and related issues such as the pending Deepwater Horizon civil penalty action and resolution of related issues stemming from the disaster, challenges posed by rapidly increasing pipeline and railroad transportation of crude oil and products,  developments regarding natural resource damage assessments and liability and how current law can be used to address future challenges in the supply and demand of crude oil.   ELI will also be making copies of Oil Pollution Deskbook authored by Russ Randle available.

 

Forum Looks at RFS – The Center on Global Energy Policy will hold a presentation and discussion tomorrow at 2:30 p.m. on the future of the Renewable Fuel Standard. Dr. James Stock, a non-resident Fellow at the Center, former member of the President’s Council of Economic Advisers and the Harold Hitchings Burbank Professor of Political Economy at the Harvard Kennedy School, will present the findings of his new report, “The Renewable Fuel Standard: A Path Forward.”  After the presentation, there will be two panel discussions moderated by Center Founding Director Jason Bordoff. The first will feature analysis and commentary from Iowa State Bruce Babcock, Scott Irwin of the University of Illinois, former Bush White House Energy National Economic Council staffer Bob McNally, former Obama White House National Economic Council staffer Ron Minsk, and James Stock.  The second panel will feature Growth Energy’s Tom Buis, Michael McAdams of the Advanced Biofuels Association and Shell’s John Reese, among others.

 

NAS to Host Truck Rule Assessment – The National Academy of Sciences will host a forum on the assessment of technologies and approaches for reducing the fuel consumption of medium- and heavy-duty vehicles.  The rule is expected to be released this week.

 

DOE Loan Official to Speak at Offshore Conference – Peter Davidson, the Executive Director of the Department of Energy’s Loan Programs Office to give Special Luncheon Address at Infocast’s 6th North American Offshore Wind Development & Finance Summit, Wednesday and Thursday in New York. Leading offshore wind players will discuss the unique value of offshore wind, the latest financial innovations, public/private partnerships, and technological advances being developed to reduce development time and cost and maximize ROI of offshore wind power projects in North America.

 

Brookings to Host Forum on Advanced Nuclear – On Wednesday at 12:30 p.m., Brookings will gather four energy experts at the Senate Visitor’s Center to talk about the opportunities for advanced nuclear energy and the challenges posed both in the U.S. and abroad. The conversation will be moderated by Quartz Washington Correspondent Steve LeVine and will feature Josh Freed of Third Way and others.

 

WRI Forum to Look at Security, Climate – The World Resources Institute will hold a forum on Wednesday at 8:30 a.m. accelerating on-grid technology solutions to improve electricity access. Energy planners and other stakeholders can tap into these opportunities to improve grid performance and integration of renewable resources, as well as being able to deliver more reliable electricity.  WRI will host a salon-style approach where distinguished panelists are featured, but the audience size is limited to encourage open and active audience discussion.  Sarah Martin and Joshua Ryor from the World Resource Institute will kick the conversation off as our lead speakers.

 

Senate Environment to Look at Coal Ash – On Wednesday, at 9:30 a.m., the Senate Environment Committee is holding an oversight hearing on EPA’s final rule to regulate disposal of coal ash from electric utilities.  Witnesses will include Alexandra Dunn of ECOS, Frank Holleman of the Southern Environmental Law Center, South Texas Electric Cooperative GM Mike Kezar on behalf of NRECA,  Danny Gray for the American Coal Ash Association and Nancy Cave of the Coastal Conservation League.

 

CSIS Forum to Look at Community Relations in Extractive Industries – CSIS will hold a discussion on Wednesday looking at 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.

 

Atlantic Council Forum Aims at Global Security, Climate – On Wednesday at 10:00 a.m., the Atlantic Council hosts a forum on COP21 and global security issues surrounding climate.  In honor of the European Union’s (EU) Climate Diplomacy Day, the Atlantic Council will be joined by EU members for a discussion exploring the critical dynamic between climate change and global security. An introduction will be delivered by H.E. David O’Sullivan, the Ambassador of the EU to the United States and keynote remarks will be provided by H.E. Gerard Araud, the Ambassador of France to the United States. Panelists include The Hon. Sharon Burke, Senior Adviser to the New America Foundation’s International Security Program, Tom Burke, Founding Director and Chairman of E3G, Third Generation Environmentalism, Major General Munir Muniruzzaman (Ret.), Chairman of the Global Military Advisory Council on Climate Change (GMACCC) and President and CEO of the Bangladesh Institute of Peace and Security Studies (BIPSS), and Dennis Tänzler, Director of International Climate Policy at Adelphi.  The discussion will be moderated by Dan Chiu, Deputy Director of the Brent Scowcroft Center on International Security at the Atlantic Council.

 

House Science to Look at Energy Innovation Hubs – The House  Science Committee’s Subcommittee on Energy will convene an oversight hearing on Wednesday at 10:30 a.m. to look at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Energy Innovation Hubs.  Witnesses will include Harry Atwater of the Joint Center for Artificial Photosynthesis (JCAP), Jess Gehin of the Consortium for Advanced Simulation of Light Water Reactors (CASL), George Crabtree of the Joint Center for Energy Storage Research (JCESR) and Alex King of the Critical Materials Institute (CMI).

 

House Small Biz to Look at Crude Export Ban – On Wednesday at 11:00 a.m., the House Committee on Small Business will hold a held a hearing on the crude export ban and its impacts on America’s small businesses.  Witnesses will include several small business owners, Ken Medlock of the Center for Energy Studies and Public Citizen’s Tyson Slocum.

 

Brookings to Host Forum on Advanced Nukes – On Wednesday at 12:30 p.m., Brookings will gather four energy experts at the Senate Visitor’s Center to talk about the opportunities for advanced nuclear energy and the challenges posed both in the U.S. and abroad. The conversation will be moderated by Quartz Washington Correspondent Steve LeVine and feature Leslie Dewan of Transatomic Power, Josh Freed of Third Way and Brookings’ Charles Ebinger. Nuclear energy was once regarded by many as the answer to our energy needs. That enthusiasm waned in the U.S. after the Three Mile Island accident in 1979. Today, there’s a growing interest in advanced nuclear energy and new reactor designs that are safer and more efficient. As Third Way’s Josh Freed details in his Brookings Essay, “Back to the Future,” a flood of young engineers and private firms are focusing on advanced nuclear energy as the best option for battling climate change. Freed also argues that if the U.S. doesn’t invest in these new technologies, other countries will lead the way in this game-changing field.

 

WRI to Host Food Security Forum – The World Resources Institute will hold a discussion on Wednesday at 2:00 p.m. featuring the keynote presentation “Agricultural Research on Adaptation to Climate Change” by Dr. François Houllier, the President of INRA (the French National Institute for Agricultural Research).  A discussion on “Food Security in the Face of Climate Change” will follow the presentation and will include a panel that features US AID’s Rob Bertram, Keith Wiebe of the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) and Princeton’s Tim Searchinger also with WRI.

 

Senate Homeland Security Committee Tackles RFS, Program Management – The Senate Homeland Security Committee’s Subcommittee on Regulatory Affairs and Federal Management will hold a hearing on Thursday on re-examining EPA’s management of the RFS program.  The hearing will feature Janet McCabe, Acting Assistant Administrator at EPA’s Office of Air and Radiation.

 

House E&C Panel Looks at GMO Labeling – The House E&C panel on Health will hold a hearing on Thursday at 10:00 a.m. in 2123 Rayburn labeling of Biotechnology in Food.  The hearing will discuss the role biotechnology plays on our nation’s farms, food supply, and economy. They will hear from experts about the safety of foods derived from genetically engineered crops and the need for national review and labeling standards for such products. Committee members Rep. Mike Pompeo (R-KS) and Rep. G. K. Butterfield (D-NC) have introduced H.R. 1599, the Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act, and together are circulating updated legislative language, building on their continued efforts in this space.  The subcommittee last year heard from the Food and Drug Administration, outside experts, and interested stakeholders about the agency’s current review process for food ingredients and discussed the role that foods with genetically modified ingredients play in our nation’s food supply and economy.

 

Members to Speak at Hill NatGas Roundtable – The Natural Gas Roundtable will host a forum on Capitol Hill Thursday.  Members of Congress Tom Reed (R-NY), Jim Costa (D-CA), Gene Green (D-TX) and Glenn Thompson (R-PA) will speak at a special Natural Gas Roundtable Luncheon on Capitol Hill in B339-340 Rayburn.

 

Forum to Look at Grid – The Global America Business Institute (GABI) and the Korea Institute of Energy Research (KIER) will host a roundtable discussion on Thursday at Noon focused on rethinking the Electric Grid.  Guest Speaker will be Edward Yim, the Associate Director of Energy Policy & Compliance in the DC Department of the Environment.

 

USEA Look at DOE’s Loan Program – On Thursday at 2:00 p.m., the US Energy Assn will host a forum on the DOE’s Loan Guarantee office.  DOE’s Loan Programs Office (LPO) invests in the power of American innovation.  LPO investments accelerate the deployment of innovative clean energy projects and advanced vehicle manufacturing facilities across the United States. The office’s team of financial, technical, environmental, and legal professionals is dedicated to advancing an all-of-the-above energy strategy that avoids, reduces, or sequesters greenhouse gases.  To date, LPO has supported a large, diverse portfolio of more than $30 billion in loans, loan guarantees, and commitments covering more than 30 projects in the United States. Together, these projects have generated more than $50 billion in total project investment, supported tens of thousands of jobs, cut pollution, and enhanced American competitiveness in the global economy.  This presentation will focus on the more than $40 billion in remaining loan and loan guarantee authority LPO currently has available through open solicitations to finance innovative clean energy projects and advanced technology vehicle manufacturing.

 

FUTURE EVENTS

 

DOE Hosts Sustainable Transpo Day – Next Monday, June 22nd  is Sustainable Transportation Day, an afternoon on the grounds of the Forrestal Building in D.C., with the Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy’s (EERE’s) Bioenergy Technologies Office, Fuel Cell Technologies Office, and Vehicle Technologies Office.  You can meet with federal staff, EERE leadership, and stakeholders from the public sector and private industry. Enjoy exhibits such as the Green Racing Simulator—a one-of-a-kind racing game that brings together sustainable transportation and arcade thrills;  the first Washington, D.C. visit of the 12.2 mpg Freightliner SuperTruck; and a unique opportunity to see some of the world’s first commercial fuel cell electric vehicles.  EERE will also discuss its strategic investments in sustainable transportation research, development, and demonstration projects are improving vehicle efficiency, advancing the use of alternative fuel vehicles, and lowering production costs of advanced biofuels and hydrogen.

 

Wilson Report Focus On Climate, Security Issues – Next Monday at 3:00 p.m., the Wilson Center for Scholars will convene leaders from the development, diplomatic, and security communities and the report’s coauthors for the U.S. launch of a “New Climate for Peace.” The high-level interagency panel will explore how these climate-fragility challenges are changing the way the United States and its partners work, and will also identify opportunities for joint action to address them.  The ultimate “threat multiplier,” climate change is increasing the challenges facing the U.S. development, diplomatic, and security communities.  “A New Climate for Peace: Taking Action on Climate and Fragility Risks,” an independent report commissioned by the members of the G7, identifies seven compound climate-fragility risks that pose serious threats to stability in the decades ahead. Based on a thorough assessment of existing policies, the report recommends that the G7 take concrete actions to tackle climate-fragility risks and increase the resilience of states and societies.

 

Bay, Clark, Moeller Headline Utility Commissioners Education Forum – The 20th Annual Education Conference of the Mid-Atlantic Conference of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (MACRUC) will be held on June 21 – 24 at the Williamsburg Lodge in Virginia.  Speakers will include former Senator/Governor Evan Bayh, FERC Commissioners Norman Bay, Tony Clark and Philip Moeller, NARUC President and Florida PSC Chair Lisa Edgar, Dominion CEO Tom Farrell, PSE&G President  Ralph LaRossa, and American Water Works CEO Susan Story.

 

Energy CyberSecurity Forum Set for Houston – The 3rd Annual Cyber Security for Oil and Gas Summit will be held in Houston on June 22-24th.  The event brings together the oil and gas industry to address critical concerns and trends with regard to the development of cyber security practices.  The complex nature of cyberattacks and those specifically levied against the oil and gas industry have been increasing over the years and while the industry is well prepared, continuous improvement is always necessary to maintain an edge on the nefarious actors working against the industry.

 

Bio Energy Event, DOE Conference Set – On Monday evening next week, Leaders in Energy will host bioenergy and clean energy professionals to discuss the evolving bioeconomy and renewable fuels.  Topics will include the renewable fuels standard, how bioenergy resources can be produced in sustainable ways, utilizing algae as a way to produce products and capture carbon, and employment and career opportunities in the bioenergy sector.  This event will take place on the evening before the U.S. Department of Energy, Bioenergy 2015 Conference on Tuesday and Wednesday, June 23-24th at the DC Convention Center.  The DOE Bioenergy 2015 conference is the 8th annual conference and will look at opportunities in the changing energy landscape.  The Clean Energy Research and Education Foundation co-hosts this year’s conference, which will focus on opportunities and challenges in our current highly dynamic energy ecosystem.  Each year, approximately 600 participants attend the conference, including key stakeholders from the bioenergy industry, Congress, national laboratories, academia, and the financial community.

 

WP host Answers Forum with Moniz, Fanning, Others – On June 23, The Washington Post will host business leaders, elected officials, government innovators, tech pioneers and scientists from around the country at a forum to discuss and debate what’s working in their cities, states and businesses when it comes to producing, delivering, securing and conserving energy. The event, the third live event in The Washington Post’s America Answers series, will look at technologies, policies and programs related to clean energy, batteries and energy storage, the grid, energy efficiency, innovations in oil and gas and more.  Speakers with include Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz, Southern Company CEO Tom Fanning, Hawai’i Gov. David Ige, Phoenix, AZ Mayor Greg Stanton, former Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour, former EPA head Carol Browner, and several others.

 

API to Release New Policy Study – The American Petroleum Institute’s (API) President/CEO Jack Gerard will host a briefing next Tuesday morning at the St. Regis Hotel’s Astor Ballroom to release a new policy study conducted by industry experts Wood Mackenzie. A panel of leading energy stakeholders will discuss the importance of an all of the above approach to U.S. energy policies and a pro-growth strategy for our energy future leading up to the 2016 elections. Panelists will include Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council President Karen Kerrigan, American Association of Blacks in Energy (AABE) President Paula Jackson, Vets4Energy National Liaison Rear Admiral Don Loren, USN (RET.) and LIUNA General President Terry O’Sullivan.

 

House Science Tackles EIA Report on GHG Plan – The House Science Committee will hold a hearing next Tuesday on the recent EIA report that focused on the Administration’s Clean Power Plan.   EIA’s Howard Gruenspecht is expected to testify with several others.

 

Inhofe Headline Social Cost of Carbon Event – The Heritage Foundation host a forum Next Tuesday at 2:00 p.m. in its Allison Auditorium for a discussion on the social cost of carbon, and the science, policy, and politics of carbon regulation.  The Administration is forcefully pushing its carbon regulations with the quantitative basis for these rules being the social cost of carbon (SCC).  Heritage research shows the models used to calculate the SCC can support encouraging CO2 emissions rather than actually restricting them. Other quantitative measures of CO2 policy, such as the likely impact on world temperatures, provide little support for any of the policies offered to date. Ignoring this evidence, the Obama Administration appears resolute in its stance to promote its policy goals – even at the detriment of those adversely impacted by these misguided policies.  Keynote speaker will be Senate Environment Committee Chair Jim Inhofe. There will also be a panel discussion hosted by our friend David Kreutzer of Heritage.

 

Coal Council Exec to Discuss CCS Report – USEA will host Janet Gellici, Executive Vice President & COO of the National Coal Council on next Tuesday at 2:00 p.m. to discuss a recently completed a report for the U.S. Secretary of Energy that provides recommendations on how to accelerate the deployment of CCS technologies.  The U.S. Department of Energy is a world leader in the development of CCS technology.  The DOE CCS/CCUS program, however, has not yet achieved critical mass.  There is a need for a substantial increase in the number of large scale demonstration projects for both capture and storage technologies before either system even approaches commercialization.

 

SoCo Fanning Headlines REFF Wall Street – ACORE hosts it 12th annual REFF-Wall Street 2015 on June 24 and 25th at The Grand Hyatt in New York City.  REFF-Wall Street is the premier renewable energy financing event in the U.S.  Attendees of this event include CEOs and other senior company officials, lenders, investors, investment bankers, private equity investors, venture capitalists and other top transactional professionals in renewable energy finance.  The event draws an especially senior audience, comprising of over 600 senior decision makers, financiers and professionals in the renewable energy finance field.  Southern Company CEO Tom Fanning will headline a list of speakers that also includes DOE EERE’s David Danielson and former EERE head Cathy Zoi.

 

Summer Solstice Begins – June 24th, the Longest Day of the Year.

 

Sen. Gardner to Headline ASE Event – The Alliance to Save Energy will have an intimate Policy Perspectives discussion with Senator Cory Gardner on Wednesday, June 24th at 8:45 a.m. at Bobby Van’s Steakhouse.  Gardner has served in both the House and the Senate and is a national leader on energy efficiency initiatives.

 

House Natural gas Caucus to Host Forum – The House Natural Gas Caucus will host a forum on infrastructure on the importance of infrastructure to the demand coming from new natural gas power plants.   Speakers will include Cabot’s George Stark, a member company representative from INGAA and  LIUNA’s Dave Mallino. They also may have a panelist from the Congressional Research Service to go over the natural gas infrastructure reform bills introduced this Congress.

 

Solar Foundation to Hold Solstice Event – Speaking of Summer Solstice, every June, the Solar Foundation (TSF) hosts its Summer Solstice, a celebration of solar energy and the beneficial role it plays across many aspects of our society. We will be returning to the most incredible rooftop in downtown Washington, D.C. to roll out the “yellow carpet” in recognition of all things solar.  With their admission, this year’s Solstice guests will be treated to great food and drinks, barefoot bocce ball, electrifying beats, amazing twilight views of the Capital’s skyline, and the company of many of the most eclectic personalities in solar! The evening will also play host to the presentation of the 2015 Solar Foundation Awards, honoring the year’s preeminent solar heroes.

 

Energy Breakfast Focused on Utility of Future – ICF International will hold its Energy and Environment Breakfast on Thursday at the National Press Club, featuring one of the top U.S. utilities and one of its leading regulatory thinkers for a discussion on the utility of the future.  Much discussion has surrounded distributed energy resources such as rooftop solar, storage, and demand side management (DSM). Some regions are considering the best ways to reform the distribution system, perhaps by turning its operation over to a nonprofit entity—for example, a regional transmission organization (RTO) at the distribution level—and allowing third parties to use the system to offer an innovative set of energy services to customers.  Speakers will include Garry Brown, Former Chair and Commissioner of the NY PSC and Mark Webb, General Counsel, and Chief Risk Officer of Dominion

 

BPC Event to Feature Udall, Shimkus on TSCA – On Thursday June 25th, the Bipartisan Policy Center hosts a bicameral, bipartisan dialogue where Sen. Tom Udall (D-NM) and Rep. John Shimkus (R-IL) provide their views on why the Toxic Substance Control Act (TSCA) needs updating, and what the next steps are toward modernizing this important law.    Udall and Shimkus will join a Bridge-Builder discussion about the nation’s chemical safety law.  At nearly 40 years old, TSCA has been rendered ineffective by court decisions and is in need of serious reform. This year, it just might get one. Both the House Energy and Commerce Committee as well as the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee have reported bipartisan bills.  BPC’s Bridge-Builder Series highlights the institutions and individuals who are crossing party lines and developing solutions to the critical challenges facing our country.

 

IEA to Present Medium-term Gas Report – On Thursday, June 25th at 10:00 a.m., the CSIS Energy and National Security Program will host Laszlo Varro, Head of Gas, Coal & Power Markets Division at the International Energy Agency (IEA), to present the IEA’s Medium-Term Gas Market Report 2015. The annual report, which gives a detailed analysis and five-year projections of natural gas demand, supply and trade developments, examines the interaction of increased gas demand in light of substantial price drops while the upstream sector is suffering amid large capital expenditure cuts. The impact on global gas markets of Russia’s strategic shift in its gas export policy and the rising tide of liquefied natural gas supplies are also given special consideration. The Medium-Term Gas Market Report is part of a series of annual reports the IEA devotes to each of the main primary energy sources: oil, gas, coal, renewable energy and energy efficiency.

 

Forum to Look at Green Finance Tools – The Center for Climate and Energy Solutions (C2ES) is hosting a forum at GWU’s Lerner Hall on Thursday morning, June 25th looking at states and companies deploying new tools like green bonds, clean energy banks, energy service companies and more to pay for improved energy technology and infrastructure.  Speakers will looking into progress, scalability, past efforts and what financial tools can spur clean energy and efficiency upgrades.  They include Robert Martineau of the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation, Pennsylvania Deputy Treasurer Keith Welks,  Treasury, JPMorgan Chase’s  Granville Martin, Anna Pavlova of Schneider Electric, Citi’s Bruce Schlein and Bob Perciasepe, President, Center for Climate and Energy Solutions (C2ES).

 

Cato Offers Skeptical Look at Ozone Science – On Thursday, June 25th at 4:00 p.m. the Cato Institute will hold a forum on the new EPA Ozone regulation.  The EPA’s most costly air-pollution and global-warming regulations are justified by the belief that small particles in outdoor air, like soot and dust, kill people. Based upon internal EPA documents and original research, Steven Milloy, publisher of the widely read blog JunkScience.com, will demonstrate that the agency’s belief does not pass scientific muster. As has been the case with climate change research, the dangerous liaison between regulatory agencies and academia has again resulted in a substantial distortion of reality. Please join us for a probing critique of science in service to regulatory overreach.  The event will feature Steven Milloy, Founder, JunkScience.com and be moderated by Pat. Michaels.

 

National Security Conference Set – The 2015 Center for New American Security Annual Conference will be held on June 26th at the JW Marriott Hotel in Washington, D.C.  CNAS’ annual national security conference will feature keynote addresses and discussion topics designed to chart a course for the next administration and beyond.

 

July 4th

 

Congressional Renewable Energy Forum, Expo Set – The 18th Annual Congressional Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Technology EXPO and Policy Forum will be held on Thursday, July 9th in the Cannon House Office Building.  The exhibits will be in Cannon Caucus Room (Cannon 345) while the Policy Forum will be in 334 Cannon. The event brings together close to 50 businesses, trade associations, and government agencies to showcase renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies and is Co-Hosted by the House and Senate’s Renewable Energy & Energy Efficiency Caucuses, as well as the Sustainable Energy Coalition.

 

August Recess

 

GenForum Set For Columbus – ICF International Natural Gas VP Leonard Crook will kick-off the one-day GenForum/POWER-GEN event August 18th on natural gas generation in Columbus, Ohio.  Crook will offer an overview of the recent rise of natural gas-fueled power generation over the years at the expense of coal-fired power plants.  GenForum is organized by PennWell’s GenerationHub. The event is scheduled at the Greater Columbus Convention Center. GenForum leads into PennWell’s POWER-GEN/Natural Gas conference, scheduled for Aug. 18-to-20 at the same convention center.

 

Energy Update: Week of June 8

Friends,

 

It was a very big deal when American Pharoah rolled to victory in Saturday’s Belmont Stakes.  Breaking a 37-year drought, AP became only the 12th horse to complete the Triple Crown. America had elected five presidents, fought three wars and lived through at least three economic downturns since Affirmed had last completed the feat in 1978. In the interim, 13 other horses had pulled into the starting gate in Elmont, NY on Long Island with a chance to become the next great horse, only to fall short.  In other notes, the last NCAA championship – the men’s College World Series – gets started in Omaha this week. This past weekend, Florida won the Women College World Series with a 4-1 over Michigan.

 

On Capitol Hill this week, the Senate Energy Committee hold the last of its energy hearings that will eventually lead to Murkowski-Cantwell legislation, while Wednesday Senate EPW looks at Federal water quality protections and some EPA nominations on Thursday.   In the House, the Appropriations Subcommittee on Interior/EPA is set to take up its funding bill while House Energy will tackle ozone and look into the problems with nuclear waste issues at WIPP in New Mexico on Friday.  There will also be a two-day mark up of legislation in House Resources Committee that includes Stream Buffer Zone rules, natgas pipeline siting on federal lands and forest management policies.

 

Off the Hill on Thursday, the NRECA is holding a rural summit to discuss jobs, infrastructure and quality of life in rural America. Transportation Secretary Foxx,  Reps. Frank Lucas and Collin Peterson will be among the speakers at the Capitol Hill Hyatt.  Other events include StatOil CEO Speaking on Wednesday, CSIS hosting the 64th annual BP Global Energy Statistics Review Thursday and USEA hosting its annual Energy Efficiency forum, also Thursday.

 

Out of town, EEI is holding its annual convention in New Orleans today though Wednesday, and starting tomorrow, the Aspen Global energy forum launches which always is a great event (and some great weather/environment) examining new pricing realities in international oil and gas markets.  Our colleague and environmental expert Jason Hutt will be on the ground in Aspen if you need to know.

 

As well, Thursday is the 54th annual Roll Call Congressional Baseball game at Nats Park.  While it is not the Congressional Hockey Classic, it is a long standing tradition that provides members of Congress the opportunity to transcend partisan and chamber differences in a good-natured but competitive contest. The Democrats are on a roll of late with last year’s 15-6 victory, collecting their 6th straight win.  It seems it has led to the dismissal of long-time GOP manager Joe Barton who will be replaced this year by former Atlanta Brave and current Texas Rep. Roger Williams.  As well, the Democrats’ streak is at risk because ace pitcher, Louisiana Rep. Cedric Richmond recently had shoulder surgery and may be unavailable.   First pitch is Thursday at 7:05 p.m., tickets are $10 with proceeds going to three worthy and effective DC area charities: The Washington Literacy Center, The Boys and Girls Club of Greater Washington, and The Nationals Dream Foundation.

 

With the Paris climate meetings set for later this year, today the G7 Nations talked more about climate change pledging to limit global warming to 2 degrees Celsius above preindustrial levels.   While it makes for a nice press release and lot of social media actions from advocates, there remains significant stumbling blocks to actually meeting the pledges.  We can give you more on this if you are interested.

 

Speaking of Paris, for those of you (or your colleagues) following Iran, the on-going Iran nuclear discussions, or the Wash Post reporter issue, this Saturday, Iranian expatriates will hold their biggest event of the year in Villepinte – Paris to challenge the current Iranian government and any Iran nuclear deal that allows them to keep access to weapons.  The annual event will feature U.S. and international political leaders, military officials and former diplomats including Bill Richardson, Rudy Giuliani, James Woolsey, Tom Ridge, Ed Rendell and more calling for freedom and democracy in Iran.   The June 13th event will focus on the ongoing negotiations with Iran over its nuclear program just two weeks before the June 30th deadline for a final agreement and on the growing crises in the Middle East, highlighted by the rise of ISIS and the Iranian regime’s meddling in Yemen.  The event will be live streamed at a number of websites including: http://www.ncr-iran.org/en/.   You can also follow the event live on Twitter Saturday morning  @4FreedominIran #IranFreedom

 

Frank Maisano

(202) 828-5864

(202) 997-5932

 

 

IN THE NEWS

 

EPA NatGas Water Draft Study Release – The EPA is releasing a draft assessment today on the potential impacts of hydraulic fracturing activities on drinking water resources in the US.  You can read the executive summary here and the full report here.  The assessment, done at the request of Congress, shows that while hydraulic fracturing activities in the U.S. are carried out in a way that have not led to widespread, systemic impacts on drinking water resources, there are potential vulnerabilities in the water lifecycle that could impact drinking water. The assessment follows the water used for hydraulic fracturing from water acquisition, chemical mixing at the well pad site, well injection of fracking fluids, the collection of hydraulic fracturing wastewater(including flowback and produced water), and wastewater treatment and disposal.  My colleagues Jason Hutt (202-255-2042, Jason.hutt@bgllp.com) and Lowell Rothschild (512-739-2352, Lowell.rothschild@bgllp.com) can add background and answer process questions for you.  Please don’t hesitate to reach to any of us.   Energy Analysts Kevin Book (202-506-5744) and Jim Lucier (202-548-0072) both have flash reports out on the subject as well and can be helpful on the impacts of the draft report.

 

CRS report Raises Concerns About Lifting  Crude Export Ban – Many of you may have heard last night that CRS released a memo this week which looked at the U.S.’ ability to impact Russian influence via crude oil exports.  The memo identified several potential impediments to U.S. influence in this area.    Here are three key takeaways that raise doubt:

 

  • Refinery configuration: Refineries have a degree of flexibility, but ultimately many Eastern European refiners are optimized to run Russian crude, which is a medium/heavy crude quality.  Eastern European refiners would need a price discount to compensate for the additional costs or reductions in efficiency.
  • Infrastructure constraints: Much of the Russian crude oil moves through Eastern European countries  via pipeline.  Countries in Eastern Europe lack the basic infrastructure, such as port infrastructure, pipelines and other modes of moving crude oil from a seaborne delivery point to the refinery assets.
  • Price constraints: CRS casts doubt of the willingness of European refiners to pay more per barrel of delivered crude than the already economical price of Russian oil.  CRS goes on to say that they may even require a price discount if the crude type purchased results in less than optimal operations.  CRS also noted that, from the perspective of the U.S. producer, crude will have to be priced to compete with Russian oil, which sells at a discount from the international benchmark already.  Basically, Eastern European refiners would have to make a concerted decision to pay more for U.S. oil than Russian oil.

 

An important point to note in this discussion: European countries already have access to crude oil from geographically closer markets that make more economic sense for them.  For example, the Czech Republic can and already imports light crude from nearby Azerbaijan, and has the ability to purchase crude oil from any number of other nations, including Kazakhstan, Norway, Nigeria, and Algeria.  Other nations, like Poland, even have ability to purchase U.S. crude oil from Alaska but choose not to.  They choose not to because the economics of shipping costs and the regional price of oil are the ultimate determining factor in how they source crude oil.   The CRS memo has demonstrated that ultimately this is a complicated issue in need of further analysis from the relevant committees of jurisdiction.

 

CFR’s Levi Also Discussed This Topic – For more information on this topic, you might also want to take a look at Michael Levi’s writing on the topic from the Council on Foreign Relations.  As he said: As the standoff between Russia and Ukraine drags on, there are increasing calls to use U.S. oil and gas exports to weaken Vladimir Putin’s hand. There’s something to this, but it’s likely to be a lot less powerful than most pundits seem to think… You might have noticed that I haven’t said anything about oil. That’s because the idea that U.S. oil exports would give Europe some sort of special buffer is silly. The world oil market is pretty flexible, and U.S. exports would be a drop in an already large sea. To the extent that Europe is constrained in its ability to switch oil sources quickly, that’s because of infrastructure, something U.S. exports wouldn’t change.  Levi, who is the David M. Rubenstein Senior Fellow for Energy and the Environment and Director of the Maurice R. Greenberg Center for Geoeconomic Studies at CFR, can be reached at 1.212.434.9495 or mlevi@cfr.org

 

BSE Signs MOU with Chinese Cos to Build Solar – Every two years, energy leaders from the US and China convene at the U.S.-China Renewable Energy Industries Forum to discuss ongoing clean #energy collaborations and explore new opportunities that can help create jobs, drive economic growth, and address climate change—in both countries. At this year’s forum, three new U.S.-China clean energy partnerships were recognized, including one with American #solar company BrightSource Energy to build the first commercial scale concentrating solar power plant in Qinghai, China (rendering here). Learn more about these partnerships and the U.S.-China Renewable Energy Partnership here.  The US-China REIF also featured a signing ceremony that initiated a memorandum of understanding (MOU) between BrightSource Energy, Shanghai Electric Group Co., Ltd and China Power Investment Group Corporation (CPI), the parent company of Huanghe Hydropower Development Co., Ltd, to support the development of a utility scale solar facility in China’s Qinghai Province.

 

AGA to Lead International Gas Group – The United States, through the American Gas Association (AGA), will accept the Presidency of the International Gas Union (IGU) tomorrow at the 26th World Gas Conference in Paris. The U.S. will lead the organization, made up of the gas industries of 91 nations, for a three year term which will conclude with the 27th World Gas Conference in June 2018 in Washington, DC. The mission of IGU is to advocate gas as an integral part of a sustainable global energy system, and to promote the political, technical and economic progress of the gas industry. The more than 140 members of IGU are associations and corporations of the gas industry representing over 95% of the global gas market.  The organization provides opportunities for over 1,000 members of the global gas community to share best practices and engage in discussions relating to all segments of the natural gas value chain.

 

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

 

Moniz, Musk to Speak at EEI Convention – The Edison Electric Institute (EEI), the trade group for Investor-Owned Utilities will hold its annual convention in New Orleans today through Wednesday.   Speakers will include Energy Secretary Ernie Moniz, Tesla/SolarCity magnate Elon Musk and retired General David Petraeus.

 

CSIS to Look at Electricity Distribution – The CSIS Energy and National Security Program will host a discussion this afternoon on the evolution of the distribution system as integration continues for distributed energy resources. Diane X. Burman, Commissioner of the New York Public Service Commission, will deliver the keynote address on the outlook for New York and introduction of the Reforming the Energy Vision (REV) initiative.  Following the keynote, an expert panel featuring Bryan Hannegan, Associate Laboratory Director of the Energy Systems Integration at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), and Richard Sedano, Director of U.S. Programs at the Regulatory Assistance Project, will discuss the technical issues facing utilities and others at the distribution level, as well as the regulatory and policy developments at the distribution level across the United States. Sarah O. Ladislaw, Director and Senior Fellow with the CSIS Energy and National Security Program, will moderate.

 

WRI to Look at Water Scarcity – Today at 2:00 p.m., the World Resources Institute is hosting an event on water pricing in an age of scarcity.  The IMF and World Resources Institute will hold a dialogue of policymakers, economists, and water resource experts on new approaches to water pricing to manage rapidly increasing risks in an efficient, equitable, and sustainable manner.  The IMF’s David Lipton, WRI’s Charles Iceland will present a recent report followed by a panel discussion that adds Jorge Ducci of the IADB and IMF’s Asia expert Kalpana Kochhar.

 

Forum to Look at Tech Innovations – The XPRIZE and the Senate Ocean Caucus are holding a panel discussion today at 2:00 p.m. in the Capitol Visitors Center on how incentivized prize competitions are being used to catalyze ocean technology innovation.  The Wendy Schmidt Ocean Health XPRIZE is a $2 million global competition that challenges teams of engineers, scientists and innovators from all over the world to create pH sensor technology that will affordably, accurately and efficiently measure ocean chemistry.

 

BPC to Look at Batteries, EVs – This afternoon at 3:00 p.m., the Bipartisan Policy Center will host a forum on batteries for vehicles and the electric grid.  Next-generation battery technologies are powering vehicles and connecting directly to the electric grid. As a result, international competition to develop and supply new battery technology has intensified in recent years. This event will discuss the linkages between federal R&D investment, next-generation battery technology development, and U.S. business competitiveness.  The American Energy Innovation Council (AEIC) is a group of current and retired CEOs of major innovation-driven companies that advocate for greater federal investment in energy technology innovation. This event is the first in a series that follows AEIC’s February report, Restoring American Energy Innovation Leadership, to elevate conversations on the role of federal energy innovation investments in economic growth and international competitiveness.   Speakers will include Argonne’s Jeff Chamberlain, Johnson Controls’ Perry Watts and our friend Steve Levine.

 

Aspen Global Energy Forum Set This Week – Tomorrow through Friday, the 2015 Forum on Global Energy, Economy, and Security will take place in Colorado, examining new pricing realities in international oil and gas markets. In recognition of increasingly globalized oil and gas markets and the strong links between energy and national economic and security concerns, the Forum on Global Energy, Economy, and Security was initially convened in 2005. Each summer since then a diverse group of about 70 experts has been assembled to share information and insights on these intersecting issues. The goal of this Forum, as well as our other annual energy forums, is to encourage candor and cross-disciplinary thinking among people with diverse experiences, disciplines and views.  For the past several years, discussions at this Forum have focused primarily on the durability and international implications of the North American oil and gas production boom. Individual sessions have examined technical and environmental production challenges, the changing rationale for national and international energy security measures, and the midstream and downstream impacts of the production boom. Very brief presentations introduce each session but the majority of time is reserved for informal and forthright dialogue among all the participants – all discussions are off-the-record.

 

Forum Looks at TransAtlantic Solutions – Tomorrow at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, the American Institute for Contemporary German Studies (AICGS) will hold its second annual “Transatlantic Dialogue of the States, Cities, and Communities.” While German-American relations focus mainly on the connections between Berlin and Washington, this dialogue will bring together civic leaders from throughout Germany and the United States to discuss common challenges and innovative programs at the sub-national level. The focus this year will be the role of cities and states as international actors on topics including energy, immigration, and trade.  The event will feature panels on “How Cities are Responding to the Energy Transformation,” “Immigration Reform and Cities of Migration,” and “TTIP: The Impact on Cities and States.”

 

Senate Energy to Continue Energy Hearing Process –The Senate Energy Committee will hold another hearing tomorrow to receive testimony on energy accountability and reform legislation. Energy Department Undersecretary for Science and Energy Lynn Orr will testify and more than 40 bills will be discussed.

 

Statoil to Offer 2015 Energy Perspectives – On Wednesday at 8:30 a.m., the CSIS Energy and National Security Program will host Eirik Wærness, Chief Economist in Statoil, to present the company’s newly released Energy Perspectives 2015 publication. The report describes the macroeconomic and market outlook to 2040 including supply, demand, energy trade and CO2 impacts. The outlook illustrates some of the uncertainties about the future through modeling various scenarios. This year’s report describes the possible development in global energy markets towards 2040 through three alternative scenarios, called Reform, Renewal and Rivalry, respectively.

 

Forum to Look at Grid, Distributed Solar – On Wednesday at 9:00 a.m. the Progressive Policy Institute will host a forum focused on the future of the grid and a discussion of distributed solar and wind.

 

AEI Forum to Look to Carbon Tax Issues – AEI will host a forum on Wednesday at 2:30 p.m. on Sheldon Whitehouse’s carbon tax proposal.  The debate over whether the US should implement a carbon tax is both highly important and highly controversial. Supporters of a carbon tax argue that it would be the most efficient way of addressing climate change implementing broader fiscal reform, while opponents of such a tax suggest that it would harm the economy and have almost no effect on the climate.

 

Forum to Look at Transportation, Cal Energy Challenge – On Wednesday in Sacramento, CA, a panel of thought leaders in policy, academia and industry will convene to debate California Governor Jerry Brown’s new energy and climate proposal calling for a 50 percent reduction in petroleum use by 2030 — “50/50/50 by 2030.”  The event keynote speaker with Cal Senate President Pro Tempore Kevin de León.  Carl Cannon, Washington Bureau Chief of RealClearPolitics will then moderate a panel of experts including Wayne Eckerle of Cummins Inc., NRDC’s Roland Hwang, Neste’s Lars-Peter Lindfors, U-C Davis energy expert Amy Myers Jaffe and Rob Lapsley of the California Business Roundtable.

 

Foxx, Reps. Peterson, Lucas to Address NRECA Rural Summit – The National Rural Electric Coop Assn (NRECA) will hold a one-day summit Thursday focused on rural America.  NRECA has gathered experts from around the country to discuss jobs, infrastructure and quality of life on Main Street in rural America. U.S. Secretary of Transportation Foxx and Reps Frank Lucas and Collin Peterson will be among the speaker at the Capitol Hill Hyatt in Washington, D.C.  The 200-300 leaders represent a cross-section of interests from the public, private and non-profit communities.  This Summit is the first event in what’s anticipated to be a multiple year collaboration around both advocacy and a series of national/regional events designed to draw attention to what’s required to build a strong and prosperous 21st century rural economy.   For more information on the event, you should connect with NRECA’s Debbie Wing at 703-907-5732 or Debbie.Wing@nreca.coop

 

CSIS to Host BP Stat Review –Thursday at 8:30 a.m., the CSIS Energy and National Security Program will host Spencer Dale, Group Chief Economist at BP, to present BP’s Statistical Review of World Energy 2015. The 64th  annual edition of the review continues a tradition of providing objective, global data on energy markets to inform discussion, debate and decision-making.  The review takes on important and timely questions on global oil production and consumption, slower economic growth in China and other emerging markets and the continuing strong growth in US shale oil and gas production.

 

Congressional Briefing on High Performance Buildings Set – On Thursday at 9:30 a.m. on Capitol Hill, the High Performance Building Congressional Caucus will hold an event on High Performance Building Week.  HPB is next week and is an annual celebration of high performing buildings organized by the coalition of building industry stakeholders that support the HPB Congressional Caucus. This year, the coalition will be announcing several policy priorities during the week. The 2015 Policy Priorities will act as the framework for lobbying efforts between the members and Congress. As part of the High-Performance Building Week program, the National Institute of Building Sciences is conducting a briefing on some of the newest reports and topics including the Consultative Council report.  Speakers will include Reps. David McKinley and Peter Welch, Co-Chairs of the Caucus.  Highlights include a discussion of the 2014 NIBS Report.

 

USEA Energy Forum Set – The US Energy Assn’s 26th Annual Energy Efficiency Forum will be on Thursday at the National Press Club.  The U.S. is now an energy superpower: #1 in natural gas production and soon to be #1 in oil production. But this forum will look at what will it take for us to be an Energy Efficiency Superpower  The U.S. has made great strides over the last 25 years, but other countries still rank higher when it comes to energy efficiency. The Energy Efficiency Forum has addressed topics and issues of importance to our economy, our environment and our national security for 25 years. Speakers from both sides of the aisle, from the Executive Branch, from the U.S. Congress, from federal agencies, from the military and from business and industry address the Forum every year.

 

Forum to Look at Transpo Sector Fuels – The Environmental and Energy Study Institute (EESI) and the Governors’ Biofuels Coalition will hold a briefing on Friday at 10:00 a.m. in 334 Cannon examining the current state and potential future of the transportation fuel supply. While combustion engines are more efficient and cleaner than ever, the transportation sector is still responsible for 27 percent of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions as well as half of all toxic emissions in the United States. Researchers from Argonne National Laboratory (ANL), the National Renewable Energy Lab (NREL), and Oak Ridge National Lab (ORNL) are conducting coordinated studies to address the opportunities and challenges to deploying a high octane mid-level ethanol blend to the passenger vehicle fleet. They found such fuels, which blend between 25 to 40 percent ethanol and 60 to 75 percent conventional gasoline (instead of the current 10 to 90 percent ratio), could lead to greater fuel efficiencies and lower overall GHG emissions.

 

FUTURE EVENTS

 

EIA Annual Energy Conference Set – EIA will hold its 2015 Energy Conference on June 15 – 16th in Washington, DC.  Keynote Speakers will DOE Secretary Ernie Moniz, Mexican Energy secretary Pedro Joaquín Coldwell and Continental Resources CEO Harold Hamm, among others.

 

Lt Dan to Speak to National Press Club – Academy Award nominee and Emmy-winning actor and director Gary Sinise will address an NPC Speakers Breakfast on Tuesday, June 16th at 8:30 a.m.  Sinise will discuss his tireless advocacy for America’s servicemen and women through the Gary Sinise Foundation.  Sinise will be in Washington to receive the 2015 Service to America Leadership Award from the NAB Education Foundation (NABEF).

 

DOE Loan Official to Speak at Offshore Conference – Peter Davidson, the Executive Director of the Department of Energy’s Loan Programs Office to give Special Luncheon Address at Infocast’s 6th North American Offshore Wind Development & Finance Summit, June 17-18th in New York. Leading offshore wind players will discuss the unique value of offshore wind, the latest financial innovations, public/private partnerships, and technological advances being developed to reduce development time and cost and maximize ROI of offshore wind power projects in North America.

 

Bay, Clark, Moeller Headline Utility Commissioners Education Forum – The 20th Annual Education Conference of the Mid-Atlantic Conference of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (MACRUC) will be held on June 21 – 24 at the Williamsburg Lodge in Virginia.  Speakers will include former Senator/Governor Evan Bayh, FERC Commissioners Norman Bay, Tony Clark and Philip Moeller, NARUC President and Florida PSC Chair Lisa Edgar, Dominion CEO Tom Farrell, PSE&G President  Ralph LaRossa, and American Water Works CEO Susan Story.

 

Energy CyberSecurity Forum Set for Houston – The 3rd Annual Cyber Security for Oil and Gas Summit will be held in Houston on June 22-24th.  The event brings together the oil and gas industry to address critical concerns and trends with regard to the development of cyber security practices.  The complex nature of cyberattacks and those specifically levied against the oil and gas industry have been increasing over the years and while the industry is well prepared, continuous improvement is always necessary to maintain an edge on the nefarious actors working against the industry.

 

SoCo Fanning Headlines REFF Wall Street – ACORE hosts it 12th annual REFF-Wall Street 2015 on June 24 and 25th at The Grand Hyatt in New York City.  REFF-Wall Street is the premier renewable energy financing event in the U.S.  Attendees of this event include CEOs and other senior company officials, lenders, investors, investment bankers, private equity investors, venture capitalists and other top transactional professionals in renewable energy finance.  The event draws an especially senior audience, comprising of over 600 senior decision makers, financiers and professionals in the renewable energy finance field.  Southern Company CEO Tom Fanning will headline a list of speakers that also includes DOE EERE’s David Danielson and former EERE head Cathy Zoi.

 

National Security Conference Set – The 2015 Center for New American Security Annual Conference will be held on June 26th at the JW Marriott Hotel in Washington, D.C.  CNAS’ annual national security conference will feature keynote addresses and discussion topics designed to chart a course for the next administration and beyond.

 

July 4th

 

August Recess

 

GenForum Set For Columbus – ICF International Natural Gas VP Leonard Crook will kick-off the one-day GenForum/POWER-GEN event August 18th on natural gas generation in Columbus, Ohio.  Crook will offer an overview of the recent rise of natural gas-fueled power generation over the years at the expense of coal-fired power plants.  GenForum is organized by PennWell’s GenerationHub. The event is scheduled at the Greater Columbus Convention Center. GenForum leads into PennWell’s POWER-GEN/Natural Gas conference, scheduled for Aug. 18-to-20 at the same convention center.

 

Energy Update: Week of June 1

Friends,

 

Today launches hurricane season 2015 and despite the Presidential visit last week and talk of climate change, most real experts see this season being  slower than an average season, with six to 11 named storms (see the 2015 storm name line up here).  While that’s no guarantee that a major storm won’t make a landfall, this season got off to an early start when Tropical Storm Ana brought heavy rain to the North Carolina coast in early May.  Important to also note that it has been 10 years though since our busiest hurricane season ever: 2005. That year saw 28 named storms — 15 of them hurricanes — including Hurricane Katrina, Rita and Wilma which devastated the Gulf Coast. Hurricane Dennis was the first of the four major hurricanes that hit the U.S. in 2005.  That season also a launched a very serious and well-documented debate about hurricanes and climate change that only the Administration seems to have not followed.

 

This Saturday also is the 147th Belmont Stakes, the third jewel of horse racing’s triple crown.  As I mentioned a couple weeks ago, this is the 14th time since 1978’s triple crown win that we have had a horse win the first two legs of the triple crown, but in each case since back-to-back triple crowns from Seattle Slew (1977) and Affirmed (1978), the horse has failed to win the Belmont.  The 1.5-mile Belmont Stakes has a way of ending hot streaks.  While earning the Triple Crown is a test of endurance for one horse who must win three consecutive races in five weeks, challengers often enter the Belmont Stakes as a spoiler after resting up for the race. You may recall last year this issue leading to a tirade from the owner of California Chrome after Tonalist, a horse that did not run in the Kentucky Derby or Preakness Stakes, ran away to victory in Elmont.

 

After last week’s news dump – Waters of US on Wed, Sage Grouse on Thurs and RFS Fri – (all covered below with special section on RFS) Congress returns to action with a busy slate of energy hearings.  Busiest will be House Energy and Commerce which hosts Energy Secretary Moniz and others on the QER tomorrow, holds a big energy efficiency hearing on Wed/Thursday and a TSCA reform markup tomorrow and Wednesday.

 

Other key hearings include Senate environment on the new ozone rule and Senate Small Business on the WOTUS rule on Wednesday; Senate Energy on more legislation aimed at filling comprehensive energy legislation and a Senate Homeland Security subcommittee roundtable on how to improve the regulatory process on Thursday.   On the House Side, House Science looks at Reg impacts on business Thursday, while House Transportation digs into the recent Amtrak crash tomorrow.

 

Off the Hill on Wednesday, the U.S.-China Renewable Energy Industries Forum (REIF) hold its 4th annual forum at the Reagan Center on Wednesday.  There will be a media briefing on Wednesday morning at 10ish and it will feature DOE, NREL and our friend Joe Desmond of BrightSource, among others.  Why BSE? Because last week they initiated a JV with Chinese Companies Huanghe and Shanghai Electric to develop CSP (Ivanpah) solar technology to be built in China’s Qinghai Province. (again See below)

 

Finally, our friends at Securing America’s Future Energy (SAFE) today launched a new online portal—The Fuse, www.energyfuse.org—which creates a go-to destination for high-level news, analysis and discussion on all aspects affecting U.S. energy security.  In conjunction with the 167th meeting of OPEC in Vienna, The Fuse will feature live online and broadcast coverage, delivering first-hand reporting as well as social media and video accounts directly from the meeting. Fuse staff will also interview prominent attendees on OPEC’s role in today’s new oil market environment.  The Fuse offers incisive and prescient analysis of how the evolving energy landscape impacts U.S. economy, geopolitics, domestic production and advanced technology and will be updated daily with content from oil market and energy policy experts, as well as business and NGO leaders.

 

Frank Maisano

(202) 828-5864

(202) 997-5932

 

 

The Big News: ETHANOL

Ethanol Volumes Finally Released – On Friday, EPA proposed long-delayed biofuel targets for 2014 and 2015 and issued a proposal setting the mandates for 2016.

 

2014: Despite 2014 being over, refiners will have to show that they have blended or purchased fuel credits for 13.25 billion gallons of conventional ethanol and 2.68 billion ethanol-equivalent gallons of non-food advanced biofuels.

 

2015: EPA will require a total of 16.3 billion gallons of renewable fuels, of which 13.4 gallons would be conventional ethanol and 2.9 billion ethanol-equivalent gallons advanced biofuels.

 

2016: EPA will require refiners use 17.4 billion gallons, 14 billion gallons corn-based ethanol and 3.4 billion ethanol-equivalent gallons is to be advanced biofuel.

ClearView Says Plan Ambitious – Kevin Book and his energy experts at ClearView Energy called the EPA RFS Plan the “ambitious” 2016 target of 17.4 B gal may require 0.46 B RINs from a potential RIN bank of 2.43 B RINs, which could mitigate RIN price concerns. Uncertainty between now and the final rule, to say nothing of likely court action, could contribute to elevated RIN prices.  You Can reach Book and his ClearView Energy team at book@cvenergy.com or 202-506-5744.

Cap Alpha Experts Question – Other experts led by Jim Lucier at Cap Alpha observed that the RFS numbers still far short of those envisioned in the statute. EPA appears to be inviting Congress to revisit the statute at some point to set more attainable goals and to address distribution issues which may affect their attainability. In effect, we believe, EPA is endorsing the concept of the blend wall as an immediate practical consideration.  But for now, EPA is avoiding actions which would create near-term RIN scarcity. The increases seem consistent with increases in the gasoline pool that bring the RFS right up to the blend wall and perhaps a bit over, given the 14 billion number for 2016 (we estimate the blend wall level would be 13.8 billion based on EIA data.)  In short, whether one believes there is a blend wall or not, EPA appears to be treating it as a practical reality for the time being.  You can reach Lucier and his Cap Alpha team at 202-548-0072 or james.lucier@capalphadc.com.

Industry, Enviro, Legal, Policy Sources – Beside analysts like Book and Lucier, we have several excellent resources for you to follow up.  On the enviro side, you can call Scott Faber of the Environmental Working Group (202-939-9127, sfaber@ewg.org).  For the refining sector, please call Tesoro’s Stephen Brown (202-744-5578 or stephen.h.brown@tsocorp.com) or Valero’s Bill Day (210-345-2928, bill.day@valero.com).  You can also connect with Bracewell subject experts Eric Washburn (202-412-5211), Salo Zelermyer (202-828-1718) or Scott Segal (202-828-5845).

USDA/Biofuel Infrastructure – As part of the effort to support the relatively aggressive (unrealistic) assumptions of E15 and E85 penetration, USDA announced it is planning to spend up to $100 million to support infrastructure needed to allow for higher blends of ethanol at fuel pumps. The money will be administered through a state grant program that requires matching funds to promote and test new approaches to distributing higher blends of fuels, including E15 and E 85.

 

Who’s For, Who’s Against – Lots of groups put out statements Friday on the RFS.  Here is a list and links to those for and against.  Note the interesting folks on the against side like EWG and anti-poverty group Action Aid.  And of course, who could possible go against the National Frozen Pizza Institute.

 

FOR:  Renewable Fuels Assn, Biodiesel Board, National Corn Growers, Growth Energy, BIO, Advanced Biofuels Assn, American Coalition for Ethanol, Advanced Ethanol Council.

 

AGAINST:  API, AFPM, National Chicken Council, American Energy Alliance, Environmental Working Group, NRDC, Action Aid, National Turkey Federation, the National Pork Producers, the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, Milk Producers Council, National Restaurant Association and the Grocery Manufacturers, Snack Food Assn, National Frozen Pizza Institute.

 

Blast from the Past: Popcorn Prices –  Back in July 2007, there was major concern over a significant increase in popcorn prices due to ethanol.  Our friend Chris Doering of Reuters detailed the problem as did NPR, CBS and many others.

 

IN THE NEWS

 

BrightSource’s China Project Moves Forward – Chinese Company Huanghe, Shanghai Electric and BrightSource Energy initialed a joint venture company agreement for construction of the Delingha Concentrated Solar Power (CSP) project late last week.  The signing was conducted at Qinghai Shengli Hotel by Xie Xiaoping, Chairman and Secretary of CPC Group, BrightSource Chairman/CEO David Ramm and Bi Chengye, General Manager of Shanghai Electric. Qinghai Provincial Governor Hao Peng and U.S. Ambassador to China Max Baucus attended. The execution of the agreement will play a significant role in changing Qinghai’s energy mix and in kicking off a green era featuring energy efficiency and emission reductions.  Huanghe and BrightSource will build  two 135MW CSP projects with energy storage systems in Qinghai.  Expect this to be part of the discussion at this week’s China Renewable Energy Industries Forum (REIF) at the Reagan Center.

 

SAFE to Launch Energy Web site – Securing America’s Future Energy (SAFE) today launched a new online portal, The Fuse, that creates a go-to online home for high-level news, analysis and discussion of critical developments affecting U.S. energy security today.   The site will be launched and live from the OPEC meetings in Vienna this week where it will bring live social media, video and reporting of the OPEC meeting, covering the event first-hand.  Fuse staff will also interview prominent attendees on OPEC role in today’s new oil market environment.   Launched amidst an unprecedented abundance of domestic oil and natural gas coupled with renewed volatility among major, long-term energy suppliers such as Iraq, Venezuela, Russia and Libya, The Fuse offers incisive and prescient analysis of how the evolving energy landscape impacts the U.S. economic and security outlook. Updated daily with content from oil market and energy policy experts, The Fuse will serve as a centralized resource for written analysis, visual data, videos, and exclusive insights from high-profile guest contributors on a wide variety of energy-related topics.  The launch of The Fuse features content from guest contributors including Frederick W. Smith, President and CEO of FedEx Corporation; Arun Majumdar, former Vice President for Energy at Google.org, and Founding Director of the Advanced Research Projects Agency – Energy (ARPA-E); T. Boone Pickens, former oil industry magnate and current chairman of hedge fund BP Capital Management; and Greg Ballard, former U.S. Marine and current Mayor of the City of Indianapolis.

 

Sage Grouse Plans Released – The Obama administration on Thursday released plans to conserve the habitat of the greater sage grouse in several Western states that include limits on oil and natural-gas drilling, a move that could have a broad impact on the West’s economy.  The plans drew fire from western Republicans and the oil and gas industry, who said they would extend federal land control and threaten state economies without properly protecting the bird.  But Secretary Jewell made the announcement with Wyoming’s Republican governor Matt Mead.  As well, Environmentalists seemed split, with some saying the moves did not go far enough.  Remember, my colleague Eric Washburn is in the middle of this discussion and can be a great resource (202-412-5211)

WOTUS Rule Released, BG Experts Providing Key Info – The EPA and Army Corps of Engineers finalized their long-awaited and controversial rule aimed at clarifying what bodies of water fall under the agencies’ jurisdiction.  The Waters of the United States rule would give the agencies authority over tributaries that have a physical feature of flowing water, including a bed, bank and high water marks. The rule also protects bodies of waters adjacent to lakes, rivers and their tributaries and would regulate ditches that function as streams.  Interestingly, perhaps in a nod to its massive public outreach program chronicled by the New York Times, they have changed the name to the Clean Water Rule.  I’m sure that poll-tested well…  Anyway, we have the absolute best resource on the WOTUS rule:  Lowell Rothschild.  He is happy to answer your questions and can be reached at 512.739.2352 or lowell.rothschild@bgllp.com  Lowell is also blogging many more details that I can write here regularly on the B&G Energy Blog.

 

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

 

Forum to Look at Renewables, Future – Today at 4:00 p.m., the Atlantic Council will host a discussion on the emergence of renewable energy as an important component of US energy policy. The panel will explore the benefits that renewables can bring to domestic and international considerations on climate change, energy security, and economic developments. The panel will also discuss a recent roadmap released by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) called REmap 2030 which overviews renewable energy potential in the United States and countries across the globe over the next fifteen years.  Speakers will include International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) Director General Adnan Amin, US State Department Special Energy Envoy Amos Hochstein, DOE’s EERE Deputy Mike Carr and ACORE’s Dennis McGinn.

 

Hill Hosts Technology, Innovation Forum – Tomorrow morning, The Hill will host a discussion on the effects of new technologies and innovation in energy, the implications of energy policies and regulations, ongoing efforts to meet carbon emission goals, and the role nuclear energy could play in the global economy.  Featured speakers Third Way’s Matt Bennett, Sarah Chamberlain of the Main Street Partnership, Center For Climate And Energy Solutions Eileen Claussen and Westinghouse Electric Company President & CEO Danny Roderick.  There will also be a keynote interview with Illinois Congressman Adam Kinizinger.

 

Moniz to Head back to House Energy – After cancellation last Thursday, the House Energy and Commerce Committee Subcommittee on Energy and Power will hold its rescheduled hearing next Tuesday with Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz about the Quadrennial Energy Review and related legislation.  Several others will also be testifying including our friend BPC President Jason Grumet, who will target the shifting the strategy of U.S. energy diplomacy by improving coordination and planning and removing barriers to trade among allies and partners.  Others on the panel include Association of International Petroleum Negotiators expert Rudolf Dolzer, Lancaster County PA Commissioner Scott Martin, IHS’s Gerald Keeps, Alison Cassady of Center for American Progress and George Washington University Law School professor Emily Hammond.

 

BPC Forum to Look at Second Term Presidents – The Bipartisan Policy Center’s Democracy Project, in partnership with the Henry M. Jackson Foundation, will hold a discussion tomorrow at 10:30 a.m. about second-term presidents.   Former white House Staff like Sandy Berger and Ken Duberstein and USA Today Washington Bureau chief Susan Page will discuss how past second-term presidents worked with Congress, with their own party, and with the opposing party, shipping foreign policy goals and engaging  with the presidential candidates aiming to succeed them.   Drawn from the wisdom of those who have served and covered second-term presidents, panelists will address several dynamics with which a second-term president must contend that are unlike those from their first terms.

 

NJ Hosts House Oversight Chair – Ahead of tomorrow’s hearing exploring the challenges faced by those seeking public information under the Freedom of Information Act, National Journal and Steve Clemons, National Journal’s Washington editor-at-large will host an in-depth conversation at the Reagan Trade Center at 11:15 a.m. with Rep. Jason Chaffetz, chairman of the U.S. House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.  The discussion will focus on the upcoming hearing and other priorities of a committee that oversees every aspect of the government’s functioning.

 

NAS to Hold Discussion on Aviation Emissions – The National Academy of Sciences holds a meeting on propulsion and energy systems to reduce commercial aviation carbon emissions tomorrow and Wednesday at NAS 2100 C Street NW.  Steve Csonka, executive director of the Commercial Aviation Alternative Fuels Initiative, delivers remarks among others.

 

Wald to Headline WCEE Event – Tomorrow, the Women’s Council on Energy and the Environment will host a brown bag Luncheon with the Nuclear Energy Institute’s Matt Wald.  Wald reported on energy and airline safety issues for most of his 37 years as a reporter at the New York Times. He will publish an article in the EPRI Journal this summer on the “rush to renewables” and how that may impact the reliability of the electricity grid. Wald has a long background in energy technology, especially in nuclear energy. He has covered every aspect of the energy business, including wind, solar, fuel cells, coal mining and combustion, fracking, liquid motor fuel production, and grid operations. He looks forward to analyzing the many new challenges faced by the industry.

 

US China Partnership Event Set for Reagan Center – The U.S.-China Renewable Energy Industries Forum (REIF) hold its 4th annual forum at the Reagan Center on Wednesday.  There will be a media briefing on Wednesday morning.  REIF is the annual event of the U.S.-China Renewable Energy Partnership, brings together more than 150 government, industry, and academic leaders from both countries to discuss policy and market outlook, share best practices, assess joint work, prioritize future collaborations, and unlock commercial opportunities.  The event is being co-hosted by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and China’s National Energy Administration (NEA) and supported by the American Council on Renewable Energy (ACORE) and the Chinese Renewable Energy Industries Association (CREIA). The event will highlight important policy developments, financing trends, quality assurance and manufacturing practices, opportunities and challenges of utility and distributed projects, renewable energy integration, and local-level leadership.  Our friend Joe Desmond from BrightSource Energy will be attending.

 

Geothermal Forum Set – The Geothermal Energy Association (GEA) will be holding its 5th annual National Geothermal Summit on Wednesday and Thursday at the Grand Sierra Resort and Casino in Reno, NV. The National Geothermal Summit is the leading forum for western state policy discussions, bringing together the geothermal industry for a dialogue with state and federal policy makers.

 

House Energy Hearing Looks at DOE, Efficiency – The House Energy and Commerce subcommittee on energy and power will hold a hearing Wednesday and Thursday on the Discussion Draft on Accountability and Department of Energy Perspectives on Title IV: Energy Efficiency. The hearing will examine Title IV’s Subtitle A on Energy Efficiency and Subtitle B on Accountability.

 

Press Club to Host Speaker on Climate – The National Press Club’s Event Committee will hold a forum on Wednesday at 9:00 a.m. on climate change with Dr. Andy Jorgensen for a presentation about the phenomenon and methods which have been used to characterize these changes. The human dimension of the problem will be emphasized then we will consider solutions.

 

Senate Enviro Looks at EPA Ozone Plans – The Senate Environment and Public Works Committee will hold a hearing on Wednesday at 9:30 a.m. to look EPA’s proposal to tighten the national ozone standard. The hearing will focus on the “challenges and implications” of a tighter ozone standard. It will mostly feature as witnesses local and regional air quality regulators who would be in charge of putting in place a more stringent limit, including Uintah County Commission chair Michael McKee, MWCOG Transportation Director Kanathur Srikanth, Boone County, KY  judge-executive Gary Moore, JHU professor of medicine, epidemiology and environmental health science Gregory Diette and Larry Greene, executive director of the Sacramento Metropolitan Air Quality Management District.

 

House Science to Look at Competitiveness – The House Science Committee will hold a hearing on EPA Regulatory overreach and its impacts on American competitiveness on Thursday at 9:00 a.m. Witnesses will include Bill Kovacs of U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Bob Kerr and NAM’s Ross Eisenberg.

 

Forum to Look at Arctic Sustainability – The Institute for European, Russian and Eurasian Studies will host a conference on Thursday and Friday at George Washington University addressing a variety of topics central to promoting Arctic urban sustainability. The panels will address such issues as the role of cities in Russia, sustainability in various Arctic urban centers, energy resource development in the Arctic, and the future of Arctic cities in comparative perspective.

 

Plug Power Execs to Discuss Hydrogen Fuel Cells – On Thursday, Plug Power Inc., leader in the development and deployment of commercial hydrogen and fuel cell technology made in the USA, will host an event featuring Andy Marsh, President & CEO and Gerry Conway, Vice President & General Counsel at the Willard. They will be traveling with members of Plug Power’s executive team from city to city to meet with individual shareholders to talk about their hydrogen infrastructure, fuel cell material handling technology, revenue goals and long-term plans.

 

CSIS to Look at RGGI Issues – The Center for Strategic and International Studies Energy and National Security Program will host a discussion on Thursday at 10:00 a.m. looking at the future of the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) under changing leadership.   The keynote address will be by Katie Dykes, Chair of the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) and Deputy Commissioner for Energy in Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection.

 

ELI Forum to Look at NatGas Regs – On Thursday, ELI will Host a forum on EPA’s plans to regulate methane emissions from the oil and gas sector.  EPA’s announcement of its forthcoming action has fueled considerable debate as domestic oil and gas production has reached historic levels in a volatile price market.   Leaders will respond to issues.  Speakers will Include EPA’s Paul Gunning, NRDC’s Dave Doniger, ANGA’s Amy Farrell, former EPA official Bob Sussman, Theresa Pugh of INGAA, former EPA #2 Bob Perciasepe and API’s Howard Feldman, among others.

 

USEA to Host Mitsubishi on CCS Technology – The US Energy Assn will host speakers from Mitsubishi Heavy Industries to discussion carbon capture issues on Thursday at 10:00 a.m.   Mitsubishi began R&D activities for Carbon capture in 1990 and has developed a high efficiency chemical solvent process, the KM CDR Process®, in collaboration with the Kansai Electric Power Co., Inc. The process has been applied to eleven (11) worldwide commercial CO2 capture plants which are providing captured CO2 from natural gas-fired flue gas to enhance chemical production such as urea and methanol.  One of the most urgent challenges faced today, with the apparent advent of global warming, is the capture of CO2 from coal fired power plants, which is the largest single source of global CO2 emissions. MHI and Southern Company have successfully completed a demonstration test program of a 500 tpd fully integrated CCS plant applied to a coal-fired power plant for the past 4 years. In addition, MHI has received an order for the world’s largest post-combustion CO2 capture plant of 4,776 tpd from an enhanced oil recovery (EOR) project mainly promoted by NRG Energy Inc. and JX Nippon Oil & Gas Exploration Corporation, which is now under construction.

 

Senate Panel Roundtable to Look at Reg Process – The Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Regulatory Affairs and Federal Management Subcommittee will hear from several experts on how to improve the regulatory process  in a roundtable on Thursday at 1:00 p.m. The roundtable will discuss federal rules and regulations as well as what can be done to improve the rulemaking process.

 

Forum to Look at Zero Energy Buildings – ACEEE and the National Association of State Energy Officials will host a forum on Thursday at 1:00 p.m. in B354 Rayburn to focus on Zero Net Energy (ZNE) buildings.  Residential and commercial buildings consume a whopping 41% of all energy in the United States. And the majority of that energy is used to heat, ventilate and cool our buildings throughout the year. We have the technology and techniques today that can significantly reduce building energy consumption to virtually zero, which drastically reduces monthly utility bills and carbon emissions.  This briefing will provide an overview of what’s behind the growth in the ZNE building market, its economic and environmental benefits, and why Zero Net Energy is important to your district. Speakers will highlight current and future ZNE projects and identify stakeholders’ roles in these efforts, including small businesses, builders, developers, State and local committees, technology producers and NGOs.  Speakers Include NASEO’s Executive Director David Terry, Bosch Thermotechnology’s Mark Stimson, ACEEE’s Jennifer Amann and Greg Guess, Director of Efficiency and Conservation of the Kentucky Department of Energy Development and Independence.

 

Beacon Exec to Discuss Energy Storage – On Thursday at 3:00 p.m.,  Aaron Bullwinkel, Vice President & General Counsel, Beacon Power, will discuss the opportunities and challenges facing the energy storage industry, as it develops from a nascent industry to a viable, economic alternative to transmission and distribution development, a means to achieve energy savings, an operations tool, and an answer to service interruptions.

 

BPC Forum to Focus On Midwest GHG Issues – The Great Plains Institute and Bipartisan Policy Center will hold a workshop Friday in Detroit at the Westin Metro Airport to discuss implementation options for EPA’s Proposed Clean Power Plan in the Midcontinent region.   States will soon have to develop and submit plans to achieve EPA’s goals. States and stakeholders in the region have been working to evaluate the policy options available to states for inclusion in state plans. In the Midcontinent region, state officials have been active in the Midcontinent States Environmental and Energy Regulators (MSEER) group. Also, the Midwestern Power Sector Collaborative, convened by the Great Plains Institute, brings state officials and stakeholders together to explore and engage on these policy issues. Please join us and contribute your ideas and input to these regional efforts.   This workshop will gather states, stakeholders, and experts, including those participating in MSEER and the Power Sector Collaborative.   The agenda includes a keynote address by Valerie Brader, Executive Director of the Michigan Agency for Energy and several panels exploring policy pathways for states to achieve state emissions goals and opportunities/challenges for multistate collaboration, among other items.

 

NARUC, NACAA, NASEO to Address GHG Compliance Issues – The Environmental and Energy Study Institute (EESI) will hold a briefing on Friday at 10:30 a.m. in 2168 Rayburn examining the options available for states to comply with EPA’s proposed Clean Power Plan, which will be finalized later this summer.   State energy, environmental, and utility officials are already working closely together to identify compliance options, with the National Association of Clean Air Agencies (NACAA), National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC), and National Association of State Energy Officials (NASEO) leading the way. On May 21, NACAA, which represents air regulators in 41 states and over 100 local agencies, released a comprehensive document examining potential state compliance strategies under the Clean Power Plan.  NARUC and NASEO are helping to disseminate the report, Implementing EPA’s Clean Power Plan: A Menu of Options, to state energy offices and utility commissions throughout the country. The report does not include recommendations, but instead provides an objective assessment of the strengths and weaknesses of the different approaches to Clean Power Plan compliance. The speakers will discuss the co-benefits, costs and effectiveness of these different approaches, as well as the opportunities and challenges the Clean Power Plan represents to states.  Speakers for this forum are NACAA’s Bill Becker, NASEO’s David Terry and NARUC’s Charles Gray.

 

Green Forum Set for Convention Center – This weekend, starting Friday, Green Festivals will hold the DC Green Festival and Expo at the Walter Washington Convention Center.   Green Festival is inspiring and empowering consumers, communities and businesses to work green, play green and live green. At each event, you will find of the widest selection of green products and services, where people can shop and enjoy vegan, vegetarian, organic foods, and learn how to live healthier, more sustainable lives through hands-on demos, educational activities and inspirational speakers. This marks the 11th Green Festival at the D.C. Convention Center.

 

 

FUTURE EVENTS

 

BPC to Look at Batteries, EVs – Next Monday at 3:00 p.m., the Bipartisan Policy Center will host a forum on batteries for vehicles and the electric grid.  Next-generation battery technologies are powering vehicles and connecting directly to the electric grid. As a result, international competition to develop and supply new battery technology has intensified in recent years. This event will discuss the linkages between federal R&D investment, next-generation battery technology development, and U.S. business competitiveness.  The American Energy Innovation Council (AEIC) is a group of current and retired CEOs of major innovation-driven companies that advocate for greater federal investment in energy technology innovation. This event is the first in a series that follows AEIC’s February report, Restoring American Energy Innovation Leadership, to elevate conversations on the role of federal energy innovation investments in economic growth and international competitiveness.   Speakers will include Argonne’s Jeff Chamberlain, Johnson Controls’ Perry Watts and our friend Steve Levine.

 

Forum Looks at TransAtlantic Solutions – Next Tuesday at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, the American Institute for Contemporary German Studies (AICGS) will hold its second annual “Transatlantic Dialogue of the States, Cities, and Communities.” While German-American relations focus mainly on the connections between Berlin and Washington, this dialogue will bring together civic leaders from throughout Germany and the United States to discuss common challenges and innovative programs at the sub-national level. The focus this year will be the role of cities and states as international actors on topics including energy, immigration, and trade.  The event will feature panels on “How Cities are Responding to the Energy Transformation,” “Immigration Reform and Cities of Migration,” and “TTIP: The Impact on Cities and States.”

 

Senate Energy to Continue Energy Hearing Process –The Senate Energy Committee will hold another hearing next Tuesday to receive testimony on energy accountability and reform legislation.

 

Statoil to Offer 2015 Energy Perspectives – On Wednesday, June 10th at 8:30 a.m., the CSIS Energy and National Security Program will host Eirik Wærness, Chief Economist in Statoil, to present the company’s newly released Energy Perspectives 2015 publication. The report describes the macroeconomic and market outlook to 2040 including supply, demand, energy trade and CO2 impacts. The outlook illustrates some of the uncertainties about the future through modeling various scenarios. This year’s report describes the possible development in global energy markets towards 2040 through three alternative scenarios, called Reform, Renewal and Rivalry, respectively.

 

Forum to Look at Grid, Distributed Solar – On Wednesday, June 10th at 9:00 a.m. the Progressive Policy Institute will host a forum focused on the future of the grid and a discussion of distributed solar and wind.

 

AEI Forum to Look to Carbon Tax Issues – AEI will host a forum on Wednesday, June 10th at 2:30 p.m. on Sheldon Whitehouse’s carbon tax proposal.  The debate over whether the US should implement a carbon tax is both highly important and highly controversial. Supporters of a carbon tax argue that it would be the most efficient way of addressing climate change implementing broader fiscal reform, while opponents of such a tax suggest that it would harm the economy and have almost no effect on the climate.

 

CSIS to Host BP Stat Review – Next Thursday at 8:30 a.m., the CSIS Energy and National Security Program will host Spencer Dale, Group Chief Economist at BP, to present BP’s Statistical Review of World Energy 2015. The 64th annual edition of the review continues a tradition of providing objective, global data on energy markets to inform discussion, debate and decision-making.  The review takes on important and timely questions on global oil production and consumption, slower economic growth in China and other emerging markets and the continuing strong growth in US shale oil and gas production.

 

Congressional Briefing on High Performance Buildings Set – On Thursday, June 11th at 9:30 a.m. on Capitol Hill, the High Performance Building Congressional Caucus will hold an event on High Performance Building Week.  HPB is next week and is an annual celebration of high performing buildings organized by the coalition of building industry stakeholders that support the HPB Congressional Caucus. This year, the coalition will be announcing several policy priorities during the week. The 2015 Policy Priorities will act as the framework for lobbying efforts between the members and Congress. As part of the High-Performance Building Week program, the National Institute of Building Sciences is conducting a briefing on some of the newest reports and topics including the Consultative Council report.  Speakers will include Reps. David McKinley and Peter Welch, Co-Chairs of the Caucus.  Highlights include a discussion of the 2014 NIBS Report.

 

USEA Energy Forum Set – The US Energy Assn’s 26th Annual Energy Efficiency Forum will be on Thursday, June 11th at the National Press Club.  The U.S. is now an energy superpower: #1 in natural gas production and soon to be #1 in oil production. But this forum will look at what will it take for us to be an Energy Efficiency Superpower  The U.S. has made great strides over the last 25 years, but other countries still rank higher when it comes to energy efficiency. The Energy Efficiency Forum has addressed topics and issues of importance to our economy, our environment and our national security for 25 years. Speakers from both sides of the aisle, from the Executive Branch, from the U.S. Congress, from federal agencies, from the military and from business and industry address the Forum every year.

 

EIA Annual Energy Conference Set – EIA will hold its 2015 Energy Conference on June 15 – 16th in Washington, DC.  Keynote Speakers will DOE Secretary Ernie Moniz, Mexican Energy secretary Pedro Joaquín Coldwell and Continental Resources CEO Harold Hamm, among others.

 

Lt Dan to Speak to National Press Club – Academy Award nominee and Emmy-winning actor and director Gary Sinise will address an NPC Speakers Breakfast on Tuesday, June 16th at 8:30 a.m.  Sinise will discuss his tireless advocacy for America’s servicemen and women through the Gary Sinise Foundation.  Sinise will be in Washington to receive the 2015 Service to America Leadership Award from the NAB Education Foundation (NABEF).

 

DOE Loan Official to Speak at Offshore Conference – Peter Davidson, the Executive Director of the Department of Energy’s Loan Programs Office to give Special Luncheon Address at Infocast’s 6th North American Offshore Wind Development & Finance Summit, June 17-18th in New York. Leading offshore wind players will discuss the unique value of offshore wind, the latest financial innovations, public/private partnerships, and technological advances being developed to reduce development time and cost and maximize ROI of offshore wind power projects in North America.

 

Bay, Clark, Moeller Headline Utility Commissioners Education Forum – The 20th Annual Education Conference of the Mid-Atlantic Conference of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (MACRUC) will be held on June 21 – 24 at the Williamsburg Lodge in Virginia.  Speakers will include former Senator/Governor Evan Bayh, FERC Commissioners Norman Bay, Tony Clark and Philip Moeller, NARUC President and Florida PSC Chair Lisa Edgar, Dominion CEO Tom Farrell, PSE&G President  Ralph LaRossa, and American Water Works CEO Susan Story.

 

Energy CyberSecurity Forum Set for Houston – The 3rd Annual Cyber Security for Oil and Gas Summit will be held in Houston on June 22-24th.  The event brings together the oil and gas industry to address critical concerns and trends with regard to the development of cyber security practices.  The complex nature of cyberattacks and those specifically levied against the oil and gas industry have been increasing over the years and while the industry is well prepared, continuous improvement is always necessary to maintain an edge on the nefarious actors working against the industry.

 

SoCo Fanning Headlines REFF Wall Street – ACORE hosts it 12th annual REFF-Wall Street 2015 on June 24 and 25th at The Grand Hyatt in New York City.  REFF-Wall Street is the premier renewable energy financing event in the U.S.  Attendees of this event include CEOs and other senior company officials, lenders, investors, investment bankers, private equity investors, venture capitalists and other top transactional professionals in renewable energy finance.  The event draws an especially senior audience, comprising of over 600 senior decision makers, financiers and professionals in the renewable energy finance field.  Southern Company CEO Tom Fanning will headline a list of speakers that also includes DOE EERE’s David Danielson and former EERE head Cathy Zoi.

 

National Security Conference Set – The 2015 Center for New American Security Annual Conference will be held on June 26th at the JW Marriott Hotel in Washington, D.C.  CNAS’ annual national security conference will feature keynote addresses and discussion topics designed to chart a course for the next administration and beyond.

 

July 4th

 

August Recess

 

GenForum Set For Columbus – ICF International Natural Gas VP Leonard Crook will kick-off the one-day GenForum/POWER-GEN event August 18th on natural gas generation in Columbus, Ohio.  Crook will offer an overview of the recent rise of natural gas-fueled power generation over the years at the expense of coal-fired power plants.  GenForum is organized by PennWell’s GenerationHub. The event is scheduled at the Greater Columbus Convention Center. GenForum leads into PennWell’s POWER-GEN/Natural Gas conference, scheduled for Aug. 18-to-20 at the same convention center.

 

Energy Update: Week of May 25

Friends,

 

Memorial Day is a special day to honor our fallen heroes.  Over the weekend, I found so many of the tributes to fallen family members on social media very moving.  It honors their lasting memories and their sacrifice for our country.

 

The Memorial Day weekend also signals the start of summer and brings its other family traditions like barbeques, trips to the beach, lake, pool, etc and major events like the Indy 500 and the NCAA Lacrosse tournaments.   Congrats to the Maryland women who have now won back-to-back NCAA championships and Denver who ousted the Maryland Men’s team preventing a Free State double win.  Also congrats to DIII SUNY-Cortland women who hammered Trinity (not an easy task) and Tufts who also made it back-to-back NCAA DIII final victories.

 

While the hockey and basketball playoffs roll on (the NY Rangers have their backs to the wall again tonight), I hope you didn’t miss the final David Letterman Show last week.  While I was not a regular viewer, I did watch the last show and found it enjoyable, modest and one that honored the family around him.  It was very well done.  His last top 10 List featured a bunch a celebrities saying what they always wanting to say to Dave.  Also our friends at Vox wrote a little history of the Letterman Top Ten list.

 

One big item over the weekend: Securing America’s Future Energy (SAFE) has locked in on its finalists for the SAFE Energy Security Prize in partnership with CNBC and Clemson University.   Tech auto expert Jim Motavalli highlighted the four finalists in his Car Talk Blog this weekend detailing each start-up’s innovative ideas to reduce American oil dependence.  The companies include Peloton (truck/fleet efficiency), Momentum (wireless charging), Freewire (portable charging) and Seachange (eco fuel for boats, commercial shipping).  The winner will get $125,000 prize so get ready to vote.  We will have details in future notes.

 

No action in DC this week with Congress on a week break, but that did prevent an exciting weekend battle over the Patriot Act and late Friday action on the EPA rules.  Thursday afternoon, the National Assn of Clean Air Companies put out an extensive 465-page encyclopedia of 25 core compliance options for EPA’s GHG rules.  Then Friday, EIA released new analysis that suggests EPA’s GHG plan would spur a quick wave of coal plant retirements and cause a significant increase in power costs.  Not to be outdone, late Friday, EPA released the final version of its rule governing emissions of pollutants from power plants, refineries, chemical facilities and other industrial sites during periods of startup, shutdown and malfunction.  My colleague Rich Alonso (202-828-5861), a great expert on the issue, says the rule will make it easier for environmental groups to sue industries (as if they needed that).

 

Special congrats to our friends Charlie Drevna and Tate Bennett.  Drevna, who just retired from the AFPM (the refiners) is joining the Institute for Energy Research as a fellow while Bennett is leaving Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s office to join the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association.

 

Finally, while this week may be slow, there are still a couple of items to keep on your radar.  Anytime now, our experts tell me we are expecting decisions for the Supreme Court on Mercury and the DC Circuit on GHG challenges.  As well, we have heard that later this week we may see as many as 15 of the Sage Grouse Federal Conservation plans that will impact oil, gas, renewable and other development in most all western states.   My colleague Eric Washburn (202-412-5211) is monitoring the issue and is a great resource  for you.

 

Frank Maisano

(202) 828-5864

(202) 997-5932

 

 

IN THE NEWS

Motavalli Details SAFE Auto Tech Prize Finalists – Time to vote…Securing America’s Future Energy (SAFE) has locked in on its finalists for the SAFE Energy Security Prize in partnership with CNBC and Clemson University.   Tech auto expert Jim Motavalli highlighted the four finalists in his Car Talk Blog this weekend detailing each start-up’s innovative ideas to reduce American Oil dependence.  The Companies include 1) Peloton which improves truck fleet efficiency through cloud and wireless technology.  The truck-to-truck wireless link technology makes trucks safer, increases fuel efficiency up to 10% and double trucking company profits by having two trucks traveling closely together to take advantage of the aerodynamics (just as in a bike race) .  2) Momentum  has developed a wireless charger that can charge an EV in about 20 minutes which I perfect for businesses and workplaces to get over one of EVs biggest obstacles.  3) Freewire has created a mobile EV charger that gets its power not from the grid but from second-life electric car batteries.  4) Seachange uses the biodiesel waste glycerol and blends it with ULS Diesel for its Eco-Hybrid fuel that can be dropped into existing fuel tanks and improve emissions dramatically without high-cost modifications or expensive down time.  The winner will get $125,000 prize.  It is a contest so get ready to vote for the most innovative. The winner will be announced at the South Carolina campus of one of the sponsors, Clemson University and highlighted on CNBC.

 

EIA Analysis Shows Power Price Increase – The Energy Information Administration says in a new analysis that the EPA’s Clean Power Plan would shut down more than double the coal-fired power plant capacity that would occur otherwise by the end of the decade, contributing to a 5% increase in the cost of power generation.  The analysis predicts that the EPA’s expected carbon regulations would prompt power producers to shut down 90 gigawatts of coal-fired power generation, far higher than the 40 GW that it currently expects to retire.  The report says require massive investments in new power lines and other infrastructure to integrate a growing amount of renewable energy into the electric grid. EIA used its Annual Energy Outlook’s reference, or most likely, case as a baseline to project the impact of the proposed regulations. EPA’s rules for new and existing power plants, aimed at reducing carbon emissions by 30 percent by 2030 compared to 2005 levels, are expected to be finalized in August.

NACAA Releases GHG Compliance Strategies – The National Association of Clean Air Agencies released a 465-page encyclopedia of 25 core compliance options for EPA’s GHG rules.   The menu goes far beyond the “building blocks” EPA used to set state emissions goals. EPA based standards on actions the agency thought states could take to make coal plants more efficient, use more natural gas, build renewable energy and cut electricity use through efficiency improvements.   My colleague Scott Segal said NACAA tries to outline a roadmap, but it underscores that it will be a bumpy ride.  Segal: “Not taking away from the work that went into it, NACAA’s Encyclopedia hardly breaks new ground.  Many policy options are advocated on environmental grounds.  The hard questions are which of these policies can be advanced without hurting consumers, undermining reliability, and under what ultimate federal authority.  Congress certainly never authorized EPA to insist on the implementation of programs of the breadth and complexity that NACAA is suggesting – all under a few hundred, rarely used words of the Clean Air Act.”

 

Report: Shale Will Remain Strong Despite Price Issues – A new Manhattan Institute paper says despite some doom and gloom predictions about the lower oil price’s effect on shale oil, the industry is poised for a strong second act. Senior Fellow Mark Mills writes that Shale 2.0 will be marked by a move toward big-data analytics that will make shale operations more productive, cost-effective and predictable for energy producers. http://www.manhattan-institute.org/html/eper_16.htm#.VVztd7HD-Uk

 

Shale Coalition Pushing back on New Taxes in PA – Last week, the PA Chamber Coalition rolled out the Stop New Energy Taxes campaign which includes a website designed to assist allies with their messaging and engagement.  As part of the roll out, the coalition sent a letter to Gov. Wolf and the General Assembly outlining our concerns related to Gov. Wolf’s severance tax proposal.  The purpose of the coalition is to urge Gov. Wolf and the General Assembly to pursue commonsense policies focused on strengthening our economy and jobs through growth not additional higher energy taxes.

 

Drevna to Join Energy Think Tank – The Institute for Energy Research announced that our friend Charlie Drevna is joining the organization as a Distinguished Senior Fellow. Drevna will advise IER on a variety of energy topics, particularly fuel and refining issues.   Drevna comes to IER with more than 40 years of experience in legislative, regulatory, and public policy issues involving energy and the environment. Most recently, he served as President of the American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers, the national trade association representing 98 percent of U.S. refining capacity, a position he had held since 2007.

 

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

 

Demand Response Forum Set – The National Town Meeting on Demand Response and Smart Grid will be held on today through Thursday in Washington, DC.  The event in the US focused on the business and policy aspects of demand response and its enabling technologies and applications. It is unique in that it devotes an entire day to roundtable discussions featuring experts in demand response and smart grid, who discuss with each other and with the audience the latest trends, issues, and business developments. The National Town Meeting also features panel discussions, case studies, and presentations of best practices. Another hallmark is attendee engagement, whether through Q&A sessions with top business leaders and policymakers, through formal electronic voting, or through the National Town Meeting’s reception and other networking sessions.

 

Natural Gas Roundtable Hosts CFTC Chair Massad –The Natural Gas Roundtable will host Timothy Massad, Chairman of the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission as the guest speaker at the next luncheon today at Noon at the University Club.  Massad was sworn-in as Chairman of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission on June 5, 2014, after being confirmed by the United States Senate as Chairman and as a Commissioner of the CFTC. Previously, Mr. Massad was nominated by President Obama and confirmed by the U.S. Senate as the Assistant Secretary for Financial Stability at the U.S. Department of the Treasury.

 

RFF to Host Seminar on Creative Conservation – Resources for the Future will Hold a seminar tomorrow at 12:45 p.m. for an expert discussion of creativity, innovation, technology, and natural resources. Ruth DeFries, the Denning Family Chair in Sustainable Development in the Department of Ecology, Evolution, and Environmental Biology at Columbia University and a 2007 recipient of a MacArthur Fellowship “genius grant” award, will discuss key themes in her new book, The Big Ratchet: How Humanity Thrives in the Face of Natural Crisis. A panel of experts in geography, conservation science, and economics will consider the advantages and limits of innovation in using and conserving natural resources.

 

WRI to Release Low Carbon Future Report – The World Resources Institute will hold a forum at the National Press Club tomorrow at 9:00 a.m. to look at ways to reach a low carbon future.  A diverse panel of experts will discuss important questions as the WRI releases Delivering on the U.S. Climate Commitment: A 10-Point Plan Toward a Low-Carbon Future. This landmark publication will examine several pathways for the United States to use existing policies and authority to accelerate technology trends underway to make deep emissions cuts while taking advantage of economic opportunities from improved efficiencies and affordable, low-carbon solutions.  Speakers will include Rick Duke of the White House Office of Energy and Climate Change, Richard Kaufmann of NY Governor Andrew Cuomo’s office, Sierra Club’s John Coequyt, Mark Wagner of Johnson Controls and Guardian enviro correspondent Suzanne Goldenberg, who will moderate.

 

Goldwyn, Loveless to Headline Energy Event – The British-American Business Association’s Energy & Environment Committee, in participation with the French-American Chamber of Commerce, Netherlands America Chamber of Commerce, and Swedish-American Chamber of Commerce will hold a luncheon interview on the energy landscape today amidst rising uncertainty and global challenges.  Our friend Bill Loveless, Energy Columnist for USA Today, will interview former State Department energy official David Goldwyn.

 

DOE to Host Better Buildings Summit – Tomorrow and Thursday, the Department of Energy will hold the Better Buildings Summit at the Marriott Wardman Park Hotel.  The Better Buildings Summit is a national meeting where leading organizations across key sectors showcase solutions to cut energy intensity in their buildings portfolio-wide by 20% over the next ten years. This Summit is designed for partners and stakeholders to exchange best practices and highlight demonstrated market solutions with an equal emphasis on discussing future opportunities for greater energy efficiency in America’s homes and buildings.  At the 2014 Summit, more than 500 participants engaged in dialogue focused on sharing proven approaches. Speakers from the commercial, industrial, public, and multifamily sectors shared how they draw on energy efficiency technologies, business practices, and partnerships to save money on utility bills, create new jobs, and improve their organization’s competitiveness.

 

Forum to Look at Improved Nuclear Projects –Thursday morning, the Global America Business Institute will hold a forum on sustainable nuclear energy for the future while improving safety, economics and waste management.  Speakers will include Argonne  National Laboratory’s Dr. Yoon I. Chang who will discuss prospects for the integral fast reactor and EPRI’s Andrew Sowder who will look at R&D Programs in the US and future commercialization.

 

USEA to Host Summit Power Group on CCS, EOR – The US Energy Association will host Summit Power Group Thursday at 10:00 a.m. to discuss CCS technologies.  Summit  is an energy development company with a focus on carbon capture for enhanced oil recovery. Sasha Mackler, Vice President of Summit Carbon Capture, will provide a high-level overview of the status of CCUS in the power industry and discuss how different policy mechanisms under consideration can enable projects and support the growth of this emerging industry.

 

Forum to Look at BLM Fracking Rule – On Thursday at noon, the Environmental Law Institute will hold a discussion about the BLM natural gas drilling rule and its ramifications when it goes into effect on June 24, 2015. What will the effect be on fracking operations, oil and gas development, and energy production overall?  The panel of experts on these issues includes Texx Lone Bear, Acting Director of the Natural Resources Division at the  Mandan, Hidatsa, and Arikara Nation, NRDC’s Amy Mall, Interior’s Richard McNeer and Western Energy Alliance’s Kathleen Sgamma.

 

EESI Head to Lead EnviroRun – Thursday’s Envirorun will feature Environmental and Energy Study Institute Executive Director Carol Werner. EESI is a non-profit education and policy organization that is dedicated to sustainable development, believing that a sound environment and a sound economy go hand in hand.  Launch for the four-miler is 6:00 p.m. with the comments after at Bar Louie.

 

Forum to Look at Saudi Leadership Changes, Impacts – On Friday at 10:00 a.m., the Atlantic Council will host a discussion on leadership changes in Saudi Arabia.  Last month, Saudi Arabia’s King Salman reshuffled his cabinet and appointed a new line of succession in a major reorganization of the top echelons of power in the kingdom. Following the announcement, reports indicated that the state-owned oil giant, Saudi Aramco, would be restructured to operate independently from the Saudi oil industry.   Panelists include CSIS’s Anthony Cordesman, Director of the Atlantic Council’s Rafik Hariri Center for the Middle East Francis Ricciardone and Jean-François Seznec, Visiting Associate Professor at Georgetown University’s Center for Contemporary Arab Studies.  Former State Department official David Goldwyn will moderate the discussion and The Hon. Richard Morningstar, Founding Director of the Atlantic Council’s Global Energy Center, will deliver welcome remarks.

 

FUTURE EVENTS

 

Forum to Look at Renewables, Future – Next Monday at 4:00 p.m., the Atlantic Council will host a discussion on the emergence of renewable energy as an important component of US energy policy. The panel will explore the benefits that renewables can bring to domestic and international considerations on climate change, energy security, and economic developments. The panel will also discuss a recent roadmap released by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) called REmap 2030 which overviews renewable energy potential in the United States and countries across the globe over the next fifteen years.  Speakers will include International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) Director General Adnan Amin, US State Department Special Energy Envoy Amos Hochstein, DOE’s EERE Deputy Mike Carr and ACORE’s Dennis McGinn.

 

Hill Hosts Technology, Innovation Forum – On Tuesday, June 2nd, The Hill will host a discussion on the effects of new technologies and innovation in energy, the implications of energy policies and regulations, ongoing efforts to meet carbon emission goals, and the role nuclear energy could play in the global economy.  Featured speakers Third Way’s Matt Bennett, Sarah Chamberlain of the Main Street Partnership, Center For Climate And Energy Solutions Eileen Claussen and Westinghouse Electric Company President & CEO Danny Roderick.  There will also be a keynote interview with Illinois Congressman Adam Kinizinger.

 

Moniz to Head back to House Energy – After cancellation last Thursday, the House Energy and Commerce Committee Subcommittee on Energy and Power will hold its rescheduled hearing next Tuesday with Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz about the Quadrennial Energy Review and related legislation.

 

NJ Hosts House Oversight Chair – Ahead of a June 2nd hearing exploring the challenges faced by those seeking public information under the Freedom of Information Act, National Journal and Steve Clemons, National Journal’s Washington editor-at-large will host an in-depth conversation at the Reagan Trade Center at 11:15 a.m. with Rep. Jason Chaffetz, chairman of the U.S. House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.  The discussion will focus on the upcoming hearing and other priorities of a committee that oversees every aspect of the government’s functioning.

 

Wald to Headline WCEE Event – Next Tuesday, the Women’s Council on Energy and the Environment will host a brown bag Luncheon with the Nuclear Energy Institute’s Matt Wald.  Wald reported on energy and airline safety issues for most of his 37 years as a reporter at the New York Times. He will publish an article in the EPRI Journal this summer on the “rush to renewables” and how that may impact the reliability of the electricity grid. Wald has a long background in energy technology, especially in nuclear energy. He has covered every aspect of the energy business, including wind, solar, fuel cells, coal mining and combustion, fracking, liquid motor fuel production, and grid operations. He looks forward to analyzing the many new challenges faced by the industry.

 

 

Geothermal Forum Set – The Geothermal Energy Association (GEA) will be holding its 5th annual National Geothermal Summit on June 3-4th at the Grand Sierra Resort and Casino in Reno, NV. The National Geothermal Summit is the leading forum for western state policy discussions, bringing together the geothermal industry for a dialogue with state and federal policy makers.

 

CSIS to Look at RGGI Issues – The Center for Strategic and International Studies Energy and National Security Program will host a discussion on Thursday, June 4th at 10:00 a.m. looking at the future of the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) under changing leadership.   The keynote address will be by Katie Dykes, Chair of the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) and Deputy Commissioner for Energy in Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection.

 

ELI Forum to Look at NatGas Regs – On Thursday, June 4th, ELI will Host a forum on EPA’s plans to regulate methane emissions from the oil and gas sector.  EPA’s announcement of its forthcoming action has fueled considerable debate as domestic oil and gas production has reached historic levels in a volatile price market.   Leaders will respond to issues.  Speakers will Include EPA’s Paul Gunning, NRDC’s Dave Doniger, ANGA’s Amy Farrell, former EPA official Bob Sussman, Theresa Pugh of INGAA, former EPA #2 Bob Perciasepe and API’s Howard Feldman, among others.

 

USEA to Host Mitsubishi on CCS Technology – The US Energy Assn will host speakers from Mitsubishi Heavy Industries to discussion carbon capture issues on Thursday, June 4th at 10:00 a.m.   Mitsubishi began R&D activities for Carbon capture in 1990 and has developed a high efficiency chemical solvent process, the KM CDR Process®, in collaboration with the Kansai Electric Power Co., Inc. The process has been applied to eleven (11) worldwide commercial CO2 capture plants which are providing captured CO2 from natural gas-fired flue gas to enhance chemical production such as urea and methanol.  One of the most urgent challenges faced today, with the apparent advent of global warming, is the capture of CO2 from coal fired power plants, which is the largest single source of global CO2 emissions. MHI and Southern Company have successfully completed a demonstration test program of a 500 tpd fully integrated CCS plant applied to a coal-fired power plant for the past 4 years. In addition, MHI has received an order for the world’s largest post-combustion CO2 capture plant of 4,776 tpd from an enhanced oil recovery (EOR) project mainly promoted by NRG Energy Inc. and JX Nippon Oil & Gas Exploration Corporation, which is now under construction.

 

Forum to Look at Zero Energy Buildings – ACEEE and the National Association of State Energy Officials will host a forum on Thursday, June 4th at 1:00 p.m. in B354 Rayburn to focus on Zero Net Energy (ZNE) buildings.  Residential and commercial buildings consume a whopping 41% of all energy in the United States. And the majority of that energy is used to heat, ventilate and cool our buildings throughout the year. We have the technology and techniques today that can significantly reduce building energy consumption to virtually zero, which drastically reduces monthly utility bills and carbon emissions.  This briefing will provide an overview of what’s behind the growth in the ZNE building market, its economic and environmental benefits, and why Zero Net Energy is important to your district. Speakers will highlight current and future ZNE projects and identify stakeholders’ roles in these efforts, including small businesses, builders, developers, State and local committees, technology producers and NGOs.  Speakers Include NASEO’s Executive Director David Terry, Bosch Thermotechnology’s Mark Stimson, ACEEE’s Jennifer Amann and Greg Guess, Director of Efficiency and Conservation of the Kentucky Department of Energy Development and Independence.

 

Beacon Exec to Discuss Energy Storage – On Thursday June 4th at 3:00 p.m.,  Aaron Bullwinkel, Vice President & General Counsel, Beacon Power, will discuss the opportunities and challenges facing the energy storage industry, as it develops from a nascent industry to a viable, economic alternative to transmission and distribution development, a means to achieve energy savings, an operations tool, and an answer to service interruptions.

 

BPC Forum to Focus On Midwest GHG Issues – The Great Plains Institute and Bipartisan Policy Center will hold a workshop Friday June 5th in Detroit at the Westin Metro Airport to discuss implementation options for EPA’s Proposed Clean Power Plan in the Midcontinent region.   States will soon have to develop and submit plans to achieve EPA’s goals. States and stakeholders in the region have been working to evaluate the policy options available to states for inclusion in state plans. In the Midcontinent region, state officials have been active in the Midcontinent States Environmental and Energy Regulators (MSEER) group. Also, the Midwestern Power Sector Collaborative, convened by the Great Plains Institute, brings state officials and stakeholders together to explore and engage on these policy issues. Please join us and contribute your ideas and input to these regional efforts.   This workshop will gather states, stakeholders, and experts, including those participating in MSEER and the Power Sector Collaborative.   The agenda includes a keynote address by Valerie Brader, Executive Director of the Michigan Agency for Energy and several panels exploring policy pathways for states to achieve state emissions goals and opportunities/challenges for multistate collaboration, among other items.

 

EIA Annual Energy Conference Set – EIA will hold its 2015 Energy Conference on June 15 – 16th in Washington, DC.  Keynote Speakers will DOE Secretary Ernie Moniz, Mexican Energy secretary Pedro Joaquín Coldwell and Continental Resources CEO Harold Hamm, among others.

 

DOE Loan Official to Speak at Offshore Conference – Peter Davidson, the Executive Director of the Department of Energy’s Loan Programs Office to give Special Luncheon Address at Infocast’s 6th North American Offshore Wind Development & Finance Summit, June 17-18th in New York. Leading offshore wind players will discuss the unique value of offshore wind, the latest financial innovations, public/private partnerships, and technological advances being developed to reduce development time and cost and maximize ROI of offshore wind power projects in North America.

 

Bay, Clark, Moeller Headline Utility Commissioners Education Forum – The 20th Annual Education Conference of the Mid-Atlantic Conference of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (MACRUC) will be held on June 21 – 24 at the Williamsburg Lodge in Virginia.  Speakers will include former Senator/Governor Evan Bayh, FERC Commissioners Norman Bay, Tony Clark and Philip Moeller, NARUC President and Florida PSC Chair Lisa Edgar, Dominion CEO Tom Farrell, PSE&G President  Ralph LaRossa, and American Water Works CEO Susan Story.

 

Energy CyberSecurity Forum Set for Houston – The 3rd Annual Cyber Security for Oil and Gas Summit will be held in Houston on June 22-24th.  The event brings together the oil and gas industry to address critical concerns and trends with regard to the development of cyber security practices.  The complex nature of cyberattacks and those specifically levied against the oil and gas industry have been increasing over the years and while the industry is well prepared, continuous improvement is always necessary to maintain an edge on the nefarious actors working against the industry.

 

National Security Conference Set – The 2015 Center for New American Security Annual Conference will be held on June 26th at the JW Marriott Hotel in Washington, D.C.  CNAS’ annual national security conference will feature keynote addresses and discussion topics designed to chart a course for the next administration and beyond.

 

Energy Update: Week of May 18

Friends,

 

Did you notice that every day last week was actually a palindrome if you used the numerical date (i.e. 5/15/15)? As the dad of a palindrome daughter (Hannah), I pay attention to those kinds of things.

 

Mid-May means that college graduation season launches in full force this weekend and with next weekend’s Memorial Day, it is also US Naval Academy Commissioning Week down in Annapolis.  It is a great week where we honor the young leaders who have worked so hard to make it through the Naval Academy.  It also sports a great Blue Angels show on Wednesday.

 

Not to be outdone, mid-May in Baltimore also means Preakness and Saturday, American Pharoah splashed through a muddy track to win the wreath of Black-eyed Susans going away.  This is the 14th time since 1978 that we’ve had a horse win the first two jewels of the Triple Crown.  More details and history on this as we get ready for the Belmont in just under 3 weeks.

 

Of course, I mentioned Memorial Day and that brings the unofficial beginning of summer, often moving the Nation’s Capital to the shores of Delaware – at least on weekends.  We are kicking off the weekend in California where Adam is trying out for the Boys U15 US National Field Hockey team.  Can’t wait to grab an In ‘N Out Burger every day!!!   But it unfortunately means we will miss the NCAA lax championships this weekend.  On the men’s side at Lincoln Financial Field in Philly, Notre Dame will battle Denver while Maryland and Johns Hopkins both scored upsets to lock an all-Maryland, All-Big 10 matchup in the other semi.  On the women’s side, the top four seeds rolled into the final four with #1 Maryland getting #4 Syracuse and #2 North Carolina taking on #3 Duke at PPL Park in Philly.

 

Last night’s Billboard Awards ceremony was a smash for Taylor Swift as she surpassed Garth Brooks as the most decorated Billboard artist of all time.  Although the show ended on a ridiculous note with Kanye West’s performance.  It felt like I was watching on a bad Internet connection that kept freezing up as the screeners dubbed out so much of the (apparently vulgar) performance.   The Billboard awards also reminded me that 5 years ago Saturday, metal legend Ronnie James Dio passed away.   Dio’s career spanned over 50 and his legacy lives in his Stand Up & Shout Cancer Fund is dedicated to support research and education that furthers early detection, prevention and treatment of prostate, colon and stomach cancers.

 

With the run up to Memorial Day, the Congress has packed the week with action – especially Tuesday when House Energy will host a reliability hearing with Southern Co CEO Tom Fanning and NERC head Gerry Cauley, among others.  Other hearings tomorrow include House Resources looking at the Sage Grouse listing issues, Senate Energy tackling energy supply legislation, Senate Enviro and Senate Small Biz looking at WOTUS and Senate Approps marking up Energy/Water Funding.  On Wednesday, Senate Environment should see fireworks when it looks at EPA science advisory panels and House Resources will energy security corridors and electric reliability in separate hearings.  Finally, Thursday, Secretary Moniz returns to the House Energy Committee to discuss the DOE’s QER.

 

Off the hill, CSIS hosts a roundtable discussion on recent oil market developments on Wednesday and the US Energy Assn hold a discussion on Thursday with EIA on its Energy Outlook.

 

Out of DC this week, AWEA holds its annual massive confab WINDPOWER – this year in Orlando – starting today.  Speakers include Energy Secretary Moniz tomorrow as well as IKEA President Doug Greenholz.   The event is the U.S. wind industry’s biggest event all year with thousands of industry workers, company leaders, decision-makers, and over 400 exhibiting companies gathering for four days of high-level discussion and cutting-edge technology demonstrations.

 

Finally, it was my little girl Olivia’s 12th birthday on Saturday.  In addition to her winning her county lacrosse championship and celebrating with a sleepover, it also was a reminder for me that I’ve spent 12 years here at Bracewell as Olivia was born on my first day on the job in 2003.  It was been a fast but fun 12 years and I look forward to keeping it going…

 

Enjoy your Memorial Day Weekend and feel free to call with questions.

 

Frank Maisano

(202) 828-5864

(202) 997-5932

 

 

IN THE NEWS

 

FERC Commissioners Offers Suggestions to EPA On GHG Rules – FERC’s five commissioners sent several suggestions to EPA on Friday to address reliability concerns related to the Administration’s GHG rules.  The letter captures the recommendations and analysis from the series of technical conferences FERC held earlier around the country.  Among the suggestions, FERC recommends EPA include a “reliability safety valve” to resolve potential conflicts between complying with EPA’s rule and FERC standards as well as giving FERC more oversight to monitor reliability issues as states submit compliance plans.   Finally, the commissioners said that with any threats to reliability, EPA should have a process by which FERC or the North American Electric Reliability Corp. would review state plans to look any concerns.

 

SAFE Releases Energy Security Facts – Securing America’s Future Energy (SAFE) released its Energy Security Fact Pack for Q1 2015. This edition explores the effects of lower oil prices on American consumers, whose spending on gasoline this year could fall by approximately 30% versus 2014. The good news though should be welcomed with caution, as global oil market price volatility has returned to levels not seen since 2009 in the wake of the financial crisis. The first quarter of 2015 marked the first significant consumer response to lower gasoline prices, as increases in the average fuel economy rating of new light-duty vehicles weakened and light-duty trucks increased market share in first-quarter sales figures. U.S. demand for petroleum fuels has in fact been growing steadily since 2013, though it still remains 8 percent below its pre-recession peak. In addition, Americans are driving more, with total vehicle miles traveled growing by 280 million miles year-over-year in Q1, the largest increase since 2000. On the international stage, while global oil supply outages increased only incrementally quarter-over-quarter, geopolitical tensions in and around oil-producing countries continue to threaten oil supplies and transit chokepoints. This includes the proxy war in Yemen between Saudi Arabia and Iran, plus conflict in Iraq, both of which continue to dominate headlines. The Fact Pack also contains new data on electric vehicle market penetration and sales, refueling infrastructure, and broader trends in light-duty vehicle fuel economy. Sales of plug-in electric vehicles in Q1 were essentially the same year-over-year. Nevertheless, automotive manufacturers continue to announce plans to deliver more plug-in electric vehicle models to consumers.  Visit SAFE’s website to download the Q1 2015 Energy Security Fact Pact in its entirety.

 

Report Says Crude Exports Would Help Flexibility, Resiliency – The Center for a New American Security (CNAS) Energy, Economics, and Security (EES) Program has released a new report, Crude Oil Export & U.S. National Security. The report’s authors, Elizabeth Rosenberg, Senior Fellow and Director of the CNAS EES Program; David Gordon, a CNAS Adjunct Senior Fellow; and Ellie Maruyama, an EES Research Associate, make the case that lifting the U.S. ban on exporting crude oil would “help make U.S. energy producers more nimble and the economy more resilient, while at the same time strengthening Washington’s influence and leverage around the world.”

 

Germany Rolling Back Climate Regs Amid Concerns over Economy – Germany, often cited by our friends in the environmental community as a bastion of clean energy, is apparently is not going to be as tough on their coal-fired power plants.   According to an economy ministry document cited by Reuters, Germany is weakening regulations for power plant greenhouse gas emissions that were expected to close numerous coal-fired plants.  Following massive protest and concerns raised by German utilities, the economy ministry is now planning to require coal plant operators to reduce their emissions by 16 million metric tons by 2020, compared with the previous coal of 22 million metric tons.

 

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

 

US, China Renewable Energy Industry Forum Set for Early June – While it was mentioned as happening last week in this update, ACORE will actually host the U.S.-China Renewable Energy Industry Forum in early June.  The forum will convene private and public sector leaders from the U.S. and Chinese renewable energy industries on project financing and cross-border investment.

 

Moniz, KEA President Launch WINDPOWER – Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz will speak at WINDPOWER – the U.S. wind industry’s largest event all year. This will be the first time ever that the head of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) attends the annual conference and exhibition, which will be held this year in Orlando, FL today through Friday.  Moniz will speak during the Welcome & Opening General Session tomorrow at 8:30 a.m. He is expected to discuss Wind Vision, the DOE’s definitive new report that shows how wind energy can create ample economic, environmental and health benefits and continue to provide key contributions to the nation’s energy portfolio. He will also explore advancements in wind turbine technology that could open up economic wind opportunities in many parts of the country.  Doug Greenholz, President of IKEA also will be speaking. Greenholz manages IKEA’s 40 existing stores and support units in the U.S. He is expected to talk about IKEA’s investment in U.S. wind farms and wind energy across the globe. IKEA announced late last year the purchase of a 165-megawatt Texas wind farm, the single largest renewable energy investment made by the company ever.

 

Forum to Look at Nuclear – The Global America Business Institute (GABI) will hold a Capitol Hill briefing today at Noon in B-339 Rayburn on the role of nuclear power in Energy Reliability.  Speakers will include Exelon’s David Brown and Andrew Paterson of the Environmental Business International.

 

WCEE Forum to Look at Latin, Caribbean Energy Issues – Today at Noon, the Women’s Council on Energy and the Environment (WCEE) will hold a Brown Bag luncheon at Louis Berger focused on energy issues in Latin America and the Caribbean.  The Inter-American Development Bank experts Natacha Marzolf and Gerard Alleng will speak.  Marzoff will provide an overview of the current energy situation, policy challenges and country risks in Latin America and the Caribbean, while Alleng discusses the potential hazards threatening Trinidad & Tobago due to climate change and the economic costs and benefits of mitigation.

 

STEM4US! Honors 2015 Energy Innovation – STEM4US! will join with energy, tech, and education sectors tonight to salute to Congressmen Bobby Rush, Ed Whitfield, Bill Johnson — the sponsors of the 21st Century Energy Workforce Development Jobs Initiative Act of 2014.  This event follows the STEM & Innovation Congressional Welcoming Reception, which STEM4US! co-hosted at the start of this Congress with some of the top education and innovation leaders in the nation and region including the United Negro College Fund, Edison Electric Institute, Pepco, and Duke Energy.  Sponsored by Speaker Boehner in the US Capitol, the event drew around 150 government and industry leaders to salute Members of the House and Senate Education, Science, and Energy Committees in the 114th Congress.  DOE Sect Moniz and FERC Commissioner Colette Honorable will speak as well as well as Sen. Maria Cantwell and House Energy & Commerce Chair Fred Upton.  Industry Speakers include our friend Don Santa of INGAA, PEPCO Holdings Tom Graham, Paula Jackson of the American Association of Blacks in Energy and Telsa’s James Chen.

 

Senate Energy Continues Energy Hearings – Tomorrow at 10:00 a.m., the Senate Energy Committee will hold another hearing to receive testimony on energy supply legislation. The hearing agenda will focus on legislation from providing coastal states a share of offshore drilling revenue to creating a nationwide renewable energy standard. Hydropower, geothermal, biomass and coal are among the sources targeted by particular bills.

 

Fanning, NERC CEO to Lead House Energy Committee Hearing on Energy Reliability, Security –Tomorrow at 10:00 a.m., the House Energy & Commerce Committee’s Energy and Power Subcommittee will hold a hearing on its discussion draft on Energy Reliability and Security to be included in the committee’s Architecture of Abundance energy legislation. The subcommittee will review the draft legislation at this hearing.  Witnesses NERC Chair Gerry Cauley, SoCo CEO Tom Fanning, FERC electric reliability director Mike Bardee, Veolia Energy’s Elinor Haider, Exelon’s Joseph Dominguez, Mike Bergey for the Distributed Wind Energy Association, NRDC’s John Moore, John Di Stasio of the Large Public Power Council, ABB’s Emily Heitman for the National Electric Manufacturers Association and EDF’s Elgie Holstein.

 

Senate Approps to Mark Energy, Water – The Senate Appropriations Committee’s Subcommittee on Energy & Water Development will meet tomorrow at 2:30 p.m. to markup the Energy and Water Development Appropriations Act for Fiscal Year 2016.  Earlier in May, the House passed a $34.5 billion energy and water appropriations bill.

 

Senate Hearings Look at WOTUS Rule – The Senate will hold two hearing tomorrow on the Obama’s Administration’s Waters of the US (WOTUS) Rule.  The Senate Environment Committee will hold a hearing at 10:00 a.m. in 406 Dirksen featuring witnesses Andrew Lemle of New Belgium Brewing Co., Vermont Law School’s Patrick Parenteau, Kansas Department of Agriculture assistant secretary Susan Metzger, Mark Pifher of Colorado Springs Utilities and Robert Pierce with Wetland Training Institute Inc.  At 2:00 p.m., the Senate Small Business Committee will also tackle WOTUS with witnesses Charles Maresca of the Small Business Administration’s Office of Advocacy, Benjamin Bulis of the American Fly Fishing Trade Association, 5th-generation Iowa farmer Darcy Dougherty Maulsby, NFIB’s Elizabeth Milito and Karl Randall Noel of Reve Inc.

 

House Resources Looks at Sage Grouse – The House Natural Resources Committee tomorrow holds a hearing on how Western states are managing greater sage grouse.  The decision will look at actions by several governors aimed at limited the actions the federal government may take in its upcoming decision on whether to list the birds under the Endangered Species Act.  Already Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper has issued measures to address the Sage Grouse issues while others are contemplating similar actions.  My colleague Eric Washburn (202-412-5211) is in the middle of the discussions and can helpful should you need background.

 

Wilson Forum to Look at Caribbean, Latin Energy –Tomorrow at 11:30 a.m., the Wilson Center for Scholars will hold a forum on the importance of the energy sector in Latin America and the Caribbean.   The region contains some of the largest proven oil reserves in the world along with significant reserves of natural gas. Moreover, approximately half of U.S. energy imports flow from the Western Hemisphere. As the United States increases its own energy production simultaneously with engagement in the region, many countries continue to face infrastructure and governance deficits that hamper production.  Energy experts will explore the US role and impacts in the 7th event in the Wilson Center’s Regional and Global Energy Series.  Keynotes will be from former White House Chief of Staff for President Bill Clinton Thomas “Mack” McLarty and Chevron President for Africa and Latin America Ali Moshiri.  Other speakers will include former State Department official David Goldwyn and UT-Austin Latin America and Caribbean Energy Program Director Jorge R. Piñon.

 

EMA to Host Roundtable – Tomorrow at Noon in NYC, the Environmental Markets Association and over 60 environmental professionals will participate in the fourth installment of EMA’s Regional Thought Leader Round Table focused on Northeast RECs. This half day meeting is formatted to produce open discussions between speakers and attendees.

 

Report to Detail Enviro Democracy Index – The Access Initiative and the World Resources Institute will launch the first ever Environmental Democracy Index (EDI) on Wednesday at 9:00 a.m. in the National Press Club. The index will offer new insights into the state of environmental democracy around the world and opportunities to use the tool to support reform. EDI is the first index to measure how well countries’ national laws protect environmental democracy rights, namely the right of the public to freely access relevant and timely information, to provide public input and scrutiny in decision-making and to seek justice before an independent and fair legal authority in cases of environmental harm or violation of rights.  Developed by The Access Initiative (TAI) and the World Resources Institute (WRI), the EDI is the first comprehensive index designed specifically to measure procedural rights in an environmental context. The United Nations Environment Program’s (UNEP) Bali Guidelines for the Development of National Legislation on Access to Information, Public Participation and Access to Justice in Environmental Matters provide EDI with an international standard against which national laws can be assessed. EPA General Counsel Avi Garbow will be among the speakers.

 

Senate Enviro to look at Oversight of Scientific Advisory Panels, EPA Processes – On Wednesday at 9:30 a.m., The Senate Committee on Environment Subcommittee on Superfund, Waste Management, and Regulatory Oversight will hold a hearing on oversight of scientific advisory panels and processes at EPA.  Witnesses will include Roger McClellan, Pacific Legal Foundation Ted Hadzi-Antich, GAO’s Alfredo Gomez, World Environment Center CEO Terry Yosie and our friend Scott Faber of the Environmental Working Group.

 

House Natural Resources Committee Hearing Tackles National Energy Security Corridors – On Wednesday at 10:00 a.m., the House Natural Resources Committee’s Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources will hold a legislative hearing on the “National Energy Security Corridors Act”.

 

Forum to Look at Oil Price Balance – The CSIS Energy and National Security Program will host a roundtable discussion on Wednesday at 1:00 p.m. to Look at recent oil market developments and what to expect going forward.  10 months into the oil price collapse and despite the recent price rebound, companies of all sizes continue to adjust to the new economic, financial, and geopolitical realities. In the United States, the largest source of incremental oil supply growth globally over the past several years, output has remained remarkably resilient. That said, evidence of a slowdown continues, though the impact is likely to be uneven.  Featured discussions will examine and interpret these developments, and discuss the implications for oil markets going forward.  Speakers will include Michelle Foss of the University of Texas’ Bureau of Economic Geology’s Center for Energy Economics, Robert Kleinberg of the Schlumberger-Doll Research Center and former Vice Chairman of the New York Mercantile Exchange Albert Helmig, now CEO of Grey House.

 

House Resources Looks at Hearing Draft on Electricity Reliability, Forest Protection – On Wednesday at 1:30 p.m., the House Natural Resource Committee’s Subcommittee on Water, Power and Oceans will hold a hearing on Electricity Reliability and Forest Protection Act” discussion draft?

 

House Energy Panel, Moniz to Discuss QER – The House Energy panel of Energy & Commerce will hold a hearing on Thursday at 10:00 a.m. on featuring Ernie Moniz discussing the administration’s Quadrennial Energy Review (QER).  Moniz was asked to discuss the QER recommendations aimed at addressing aging natural gas pipeline networks, electric grid modernization, rail traffic and other elements of the nation’s infrastructure.

 

USEA to Look at EIA Outlook – The US Energy Association will hold a forum on Thursday at 10:00 a.m. to look at the “Annual Energy Outlook 2015,” prepared by the U.S. Energy Information Administration, presents long-term annual projections of energy supply, demand, and prices through 2040. The projections, focused on U.S. energy markets, are based on results from EIA’s National Energy Modeling System. NEMS enables EIA to make projections under alternative, internally-consistent sets of assumptions, the results of which are presented as cases. The analysis in AEO2015 focuses on six cases: Reference case, Low and High Economic Growth cases, Low and High Oil Price cases, and High Oil and Gas Resource case.  EIA’s Paul Holtberg, Team Leader of EIA’s Analysis Integration Team, will speak.

 

FUTURE EVENTS

 

Demand Response Forum Set – The National Town Meeting on Demand Response and Smart Grid will be held on May 26 through 28th in Washington, DC.  The event in the US focused on the business and policy aspects of demand response and its enabling technologies and applications. It is unique in that it devotes an entire day to roundtable discussions featuring experts in demand response and smart grid, who discuss with each other and with the audience the latest trends, issues, and business developments. The National Town Meeting also features panel discussions, case studies, and presentations of best practices. Another hallmark is attendee engagement, whether through Q&A sessions with top business leaders and policymakers, through formal electronic voting, or through the National Town Meeting’s reception and other networking sessions.

 

Natural Gas Roundtable Hosts CFTC Chair Massad – Next Tuesday, May 26th at Noon, at the University Club, the Natural Gas Roundtable will host Timothy Massad, Chairman of the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission as the guest speaker at the next luncheon.  Massad was sworn-in as Chairman of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission on June 5, 2014, after being confirmed by the United States Senate as Chairman and as a Commissioner of the CFTC. Previously, Mr. Massad was nominated by President Obama and confirmed by the U.S. Senate as the Assistant Secretary for Financial Stability at the U.S. Department of the Treasury.

 

RFF to Host Seminar on Creative Conservation – Resources for the Future will Hold a seminar on May 27th at 12:45 p.m. for an expert discussion of creativity, innovation, technology, and natural resources. Ruth DeFries, the Denning Family Chair in Sustainable Development in the Department of Ecology, Evolution, and Environmental Biology at Columbia University and a 2007 recipient of a MacArthur Fellowship “genius grant” award, will discuss key themes in her new book, The Big Ratchet: How Humanity Thrives in the Face of Natural Crisis. A panel of experts in geography, conservation science, and economics will consider the advantages and limits of innovation in using and conserving natural resources.

 

WRI to Release Low Carbon Future Report – The World Resources Institute will hold a forum at the National Press Club on Wednesday, May 27th at 9:00 a.m. to look at ways to reach a low carbon future.  A diverse panel of experts will discuss important questions as the WRI releases Delivering on the U.S. Climate Commitment: A 10-Point Plan Toward a Low-Carbon Future. This landmark publication will examine several pathways for the United States to use existing policies and authority to accelerate technology trends underway to make deep emissions cuts while taking advantage of economic opportunities from improved efficiencies and affordable, low-carbon solutions.  Speakers will include Rick Duke of the White House Office of Energy and Climate Change, Richard Kaufmann of NY Governor Andrew Cuomo’s office, Sierra Club’s John Coequyt, Mark Wagner of Johnson Controls and Guardian enviro correspondent Suzanne Goldenberg, who will moderate.

 

DOE to Host Better Buildings Summit – On Wednesday and Thursday, May 27-28th, the Department of Energy will hold the Better Buildings Summit at the Marriott Wardman Park Hotel.  The Better Buildings Summit is a national meeting where leading organizations across key sectors showcase solutions to cut energy intensity in their buildings portfolio-wide by 20% over the next ten years. This Summit is designed for partners and stakeholders to exchange best practices and highlight demonstrated market solutions with an equal emphasis on discussing future opportunities for greater energy efficiency in America’s homes and buildings.  At the 2014 Summit, more than 500 participants engaged in dialogue focused on sharing proven approaches. Speakers from the commercial, industrial, public, and multifamily sectors shared how they draw on energy efficiency technologies, business practices, and partnerships to save money on utility bills, create new jobs, and improve their organization’s competitiveness.

 

Forum to Look at Improved Nuclear Projects – Next Thursday morning, the Global America Business Institute will hold a forum on sustainable nuclear energy for the future while improving safety, economics and waste management.  Speakers will include Argonne  National Laboratory’s Dr. Yoon I. Chang who will discuss prospects for the integral fast reactor and EPRI’s Andrew Sowder who will look at R&D Programs in the US and future commercialization.

 

USEA to Host Summit Power Group on CCS, EOR – Next Thursday, May 28th at 10:00 a.m., the US Energy Association will host Summit Power Group to discuss CCS technologies.  Summit  is an energy development company with a focus on carbon capture for enhanced oil recovery. Sasha Mackler, Vice President of Summit Carbon Capture, will provide a high-level overview of the status of CCUS in the power industry and discuss how different policy mechanisms under consideration can enable projects and support the growth of this emerging industry.

 

Forum to Look at BLM Fracking Rule – On Thursday, May 28th at noon, the Environmental Law Institute will hold a discussion about the BLM natural gas drilling rule and its ramifications when it goes into effect on June 24, 2015. What will the effect be on fracking operations, oil and gas development, and energy production overall?  The panel of experts on these issues includes Texx Lone Bear, Acting Director of the Natural Resources Division at the  Mandan, Hidatsa, and Arikara Nation, NRDC’s Amy Mall, Interior’s Richard McNeer and Western Energy Alliance’s Kathleen Sgamma.

 

EESI Head to Lead EnviroRun – Next Thursday’s May 28th Envirorun will feature Environmental and Energy Study Institute Executive Director Carol Werner. EESI is a non-profit education and policy organization that is dedicated to sustainable development, believing that a sound environment and a sound economy go hand in hand.  Launch for the four-miler is 6:00 p.m. with the comments after at Bar Louie.

 

Geothermal Forum Set – The Geothermal Energy Association (GEA) will be holding its 5th annual National Geothermal Summit on June 3-4th at the Grand Sierra Resort and Casino in Reno, NV. The National Geothermal Summit is the leading forum for western state policy discussions, bringing together the geothermal industry for a dialogue with state and federal policy makers.

 

BPC Forum to Focus On Midwest GHG Issues – The Great Plains Institute and Bipartisan Policy Center will hold a workshop Friday June 5th in Detroit at the Westin Metro Airport to discuss implementation options for EPA’s Proposed Clean Power Plan in the Midcontinent region.   States will soon have to develop and submit plans to achieve EPA’s goals. States and stakeholders in the region have been working to evaluate the policy options available to states for inclusion in state plans. In the Midcontinent region, state officials have been active in the Midcontinent States Environmental and Energy Regulators (MSEER) group. Also, the Midwestern Power Sector Collaborative, convened by the Great Plains Institute, brings state officials and stakeholders together to explore and engage on these policy issues. Please join us and contribute your ideas and input to these regional efforts.   This workshop will gather states, stakeholders, and experts, including those participating in MSEER and the Power Sector Collaborative.   The agenda includes a keynote address by Valerie Brader, Executive Director of the Michigan Agency for Energy and several panels exploring policy pathways for states to achieve state emissions goals and opportunities/challenges for multistate collaboration, among other items.

 

EIA Annual Energy Conference Set – EIA will hold its 2015 Energy Conference on June 15 – 16th in Washington, DC.  Keynote Speakers will DOE Secretary Ernie Moniz, Mexican Energy secretary Pedro Joaquín Coldwell and Continental Resources CEO Harold Hamm, among others.

 

DOE Loan Official to Speak at Offshore Conference – Peter Davidson, the Executive Director of the Department of Energy’s Loan Programs Office to give Special Luncheon Address at Infocast’s 6th North American Offshore Wind Development & Finance Summit, June 17-18th in New York. Leading offshore wind players will discuss the unique value of offshore wind, the latest financial innovations, public/private partnerships, and technological advances being developed to reduce development time and cost and maximize ROI of offshore wind power projects in North America.

 

Bay, Clark, Moeller Headline Utility Commissioners Education Forum – The 20th Annual Education Conference of the Mid-Atlantic Conference of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (MACRUC) will be held on June 21 – 24 at the Williamsburg Lodge in Virginia.  Speakers will include former Senator/Governor Evan Bayh, FERC Commissioners Norman Bay, Tony Clark and Philip Moeller, NARUC President and Florida PSC Chair Lisa Edgar, Dominion CEO Tom Farrell, PSE&G President  Ralph LaRossa, and American Water Works CEO Susan Story.

 

Energy CyberSecurity Forum Set for Houston – The 3rd Annual Cyber Security for Oil and Gas Summit will be held in Houston on June 22-24th.  The event brings together the oil and gas industry to address critical concerns and trends with regard to the development of cyber security practices.  The complex nature of cyberattacks and those specifically levied against the oil and gas industry have been increasing over the years and while the industry is well prepared, continuous improvement is always necessary to maintain an edge on the nefarious actors working against the industry.

 

National Security Conference Set – The 2015 Center for New American Security Annual Conference will be held on June 26th at the JW Marriott Hotel in Washington, D.C.  CNAS’ annual national security conference will feature keynote addresses and discussion topics designed to chart a course for the next administration and beyond.

Energy Update: Week of May 11

Friends,

 

I know it is not Memorial Day yet, but in line with the switch to summer fuels, I am breaking out the linen pants and summer shirts anyway given the turn of the weather to “humid”.  I’ll leave it up to the debate as to whether it is because of climate change, but it does really expand the available wardrobe for me which is exciting.

 

I definitely didn’t need anything other than “RED” at the Caps game last night.  Despite the loss, the game was awesome.  I know my Ranger-fan readers are excited to get to a Game 7 and feel they have the momentum.  Tampa and Montreal are also headed for an extended series after the Bolts early 3-0 lead, while the Western Conference is already set with Anaheim and Chicago.  At the same time the Washington Wizards are still playing in NBA playoffs, along with Chicago, Cleveland, Atlanta, Memphis, Houston, the Golden State Warriors and the LAClippers.  In fact, Washington and Chicago remain the only team still changing arenas from Hockey to Hoops on alternating days at Washington’s Verizon Center and Chicago’s United Center.  (Ice last night, court tonight)  Here’s a very cool video of the Verizon transition.

 

Speaking of exciting, the first rounds of the NCAA men’s and women’s Lacrosse Championships gave us some great games over the weekend as well.  The most exciting play occurred in the UAlbany-Cornell game when junior goalkeeper Blaze Riorden scooped up the ball in his crease and rumbled his 215-pound frame all the way to the Cornell goal, splitting defenders and burying a shot with just a few seconds left in the 3rd period.  I’m sure my son Adam, a good, young goalie in his own right, will be trying this next weekend.

 

The House returns this week after a short, district work period, while the Senate continues to roll on. Senate Energy begins its focus on energy infrastructure with a hearing on Thursday to go through nearly two dozen bills to improve the electric grid as well as bills to speed up or slow the approval of natural gas infrastructure. They will revisit other topics on May 19 and June 4, while energy efficiency was addressed recently.   In the House,  Energy & Commerce continues its energy abundance effort Wednesday focused on hydropower and the siting and natural gas pipelines siting.  Also Wednesday, BLM’s Neil Kornze heads to the Senate Approps panel on Interior and Environment and House Resources looks at CEQ’s recently-revised draft guidance for GHG emissions.  Finally on Friday, a House E&C panel will revisit nuclear waste policy issues featuring SoCo Nuclear CEO Stephen Kucynski.

 

Among the events off the Hill include an energy infrastructure forum hosted by ANGA Thursday, and NEI’s Nuclear Energy  Assembly running tomorrow through Thursday.   The industry-wide forum will discuss the technology’s future, hear from members of Congress and administration officials, and engage in policy discussions on environment, trade, market and other issues.

 

Call with questions.

 

Frank Maisano

(202) 828-5864

(202) 997-5932

 

 

IN THE NEWS

NOAA Study Hammers Ethanol Plants on Emissions – A new research study led by Joost de Gouw of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has concluded that ethanol refineries emit up to 30 times more air pollutants than originally thought. The pollutants – referred to as volatile organic compounds or VOC – are the principle culprits when ozone forms at ground level.  VOCs are not the only issue. Strikingly, the NOAA researchers found that when a refinery produced one kilogram of ethanol, 170 times more ethanol escapes into the air than burning the same amount in a car. When ethanol escapes into the air, it leads to the formation of acetaldehyde, a probable carcinogen and strong contributor to ground level ozone. The study is slated for publication soon in the Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres.

 

PA Study Says Sev Tax Will be Expensive – A new study released today by University Of Wyoming Professor Tim Considine for the Associated Petroleum Industries of Pennsylvania says Gov.Wolf’s proposed natural gas severance tax would cause a cumulative production loss of $11.2 billion over the next 10 years.  Wolf is Pushing a 5% severance tax to replace the current impact fee imposed in 2012. The new governor’s plan also includes a fixed fee of 4.7 cents for every thousand feet of gas produced, and uses a price floor that API-PA projected “will increase the burden of the severance tax when natural gas prices are low, which are times when the industry is least capable of absorbing a cost increase.”

 

Southern’s Georgia Power Adds EVs – Georgia Power added 32 new electric vehicles (EVs) to the company’s fleet last week.  The new, Georgia Power-branded Chevy Volts will be highly visible in local communities from Savannah to Columbus to Rome and will be driven daily by Georgia Power employees as they serve customers.  The EVs will be used primarily by the company’s energy efficiency experts as they travel to conduct energy audits at homes and businesses, a service provided to help Georgia Power customers save money and energy.   In 2014, Georgia Power launched a new electric transportation initiative to advance Georgia as an exceptionally EV-friendly state through its Get Current. Drive Electric.™ program. The program currently includes an ongoing public education campaign, EV charger rebates for business and residential customers and special rates and charging options for EV customers.

Cove Point Gets Final DOE Approval – DOE gave final approval for Dominion’s Cove Point facility to export liquefied natural gas to nations that don’t have free trade pacts with the U.S., bringing the $3.8 billion terminal closer to fruition.  Of course, the enviros sued…again. U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, applauded DOE’s decision saying it is another positive step forward.   Murkowski: “Our rising production of natural gas allows us to satisfy our own energy needs here at home, while helping our friends and allies around the world. This is also a chance to play a constructive role in the global energy market as a leader, not just an importer and consumer.”

 

Chamber Energy Institute Launches New Website – The Institute for 21st Century Energy has launched new website. The new site has several new features that you can use as a resource for energy facts, infographics, blog posts, studies and all things social media.  Sections include “The Latest” where you’ll find current articles, the Chamber energy blog, infographics, tweets, Facebook posts.  An “In the States” section that includes an energy profile and rankings of all 50 states and several different energy metrics, all in in a pdf format which can be printed and used as handouts.   An “Action Center” that houses all the Institute’s requests for comments and grassroots advocacy on key issues facing the energy industry.  A “Policy Center” is where you can find the 9 planks of Energy Works for US, the Chamber’s energy policy platform.  And finally the “Resource Center” where you can view analysis and activities on current energy issues like the Keystone XL pipeline and EPA regulations.

 

 

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

 

US, China Renewable Energy Industry Forum Set – ACORE will host the U.S.-China Renewable Energy Industry Forum this week, convening private and public sector leaders from the U.S. and Chinese renewable energy industries on project financing and cross-border investment.

 

Forum to Look at LNG, GHG, Climate – The Center for Liquefied Natural Gas hosts a panel discussion today at 2:00 p.m. in the Capitol Visitors Center  focused on the regulatory implications of the Council on Environmental Quality’s revised guidance for federal agencies on greenhouse gas emissions and the effects of climate change. Room 200.

 

Forum Looks at NatGas, Low Prices – The Atlantic Council will hold a discussion today  at 3:00 p.m. on how low oil prices have impacted fracking and the shale boom in the United States and the potential for fracking to spread across the globe and succeed in Europe and countries like Mexico, Argentina, and China.  Panelists include Subash Chandra, Managing Director and Senior Equity Analyst at Guggenheim Partners, Dr. Terry Engelder, Professor of Geosciences at Penn State University, known as the “Father of Fracking”, and Russell Gold, Senior Energy Reporter at the Wall Street Journal and author of The Boom: How Fracking Ignited the American Energy Revolution and Changed the World. Cynthia Quarterman, Nonresident Senior Fellow at the Atlantic Council’s Global Energy Center, will moderate the discussion.

 

Energy Efficiency Forum Set – The Walter Washington Convention Center in DC will host EE Global’s 2015 Energy Efficiency Global Forum this week to convene hundreds of energy efficiency influencers for two-days of unparalleled discussion and networking aimed at driving actionable plans for the next generation of energy efficiency.  EE Global hand selects high caliber industry professionals, academics and policy makers looking to exchange the latest technology and information forge partnerships and develop “best practices” policies and strategies for global implementation of energy efficiency.

 

Nuclear Energy Industry Leaders Connect in DC – Last week it was Rural co-ops, this week nuclear energy industry leaders will convene tomorrow through Thursday in the nation’s capital to discuss the technology’s future, hear from members of Congress and administration officials, and engage in policy discussions on environment, trade, market and other issues at the Nuclear Energy Institute’s annual conference, the Nuclear Energy Assembly.  The conference convenes as significant progress is being made in the construction of five reactors in the Southeast and nearly 70 reactors worldwide. Twenty-seven of the reactors are being built in China and South Korea, and the U.S. government is reauthorizing nuclear energy trade agreements with each.  The conference also occurs as the federal government grapples anew with nuclear waste management policies. The Obama administration recently unveiled plans to pursue disposal of high-level radioactive waste from U.S. defense programs separately from commercial used nuclear fuel, and Congress is showing interest in enacting new nuclear waste management legislation that could include provisions advancing consolidated interim storage of used uranium fuel in a willing host state.

 

CSIS to Look at Central Asia Issues – The CSIS Russia and Eurasia Program is holding a discussion tomorrow at 9:00 a.m. on U.S. Policy interests and recommendations in Central Asia. The project includes a series of reports on Central Asia in a Reconnecting Eurasia. The decision to initiate these activities with Central Asia stemmed from a concern that the drawdown of U.S. and allied troops from Afghanistan would augur declining U.S. interest. For U.S. policymakers, turning away from Central Asia now would be a serious miscalculation. The five states of Central Asia (Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan) are located at the heart of the Eurasian landmass, in close proximity to four of Washington’s biggest foreign policy challenges: Afghanistan/Pakistan, Iran, Russia, and China. For that reason alone, the United States has a strong interest in developing economic and security ties with the states of Central Asia, and doing so in a way that is no longer driven by the exigencies of the war in Afghanistan, but is responsive to the needs and interests of the region itself, as well as enduring U.S. interests.

 

Forum to Look at Costs of Divesture – The US Energy Association will hold a forum tomorrow at 10:00 a.m. to focus on a new study on fossil divesture issues.  As opponents of oil and gas development continue to urge colleges and universities to divest their endowments of fossil-fuel related stocks, a new study suggests the costs associated with adopting such policies are real and enormous. Authored by Professor Daniel R. Fischel, president of Compass Lexecon and a professor emeritus of law and business at the University of Chicago Law School, this first-of-its-kind report compares two investment portfolios over a 50-year period: one that included energy-related stocks, and another that did not.  Based on those models, Prof. Fischel and his team found the costs of divestment will result in the displacement of billions annually from school endowments that could be otherwise used to improve services, enhance academic programs, and provide support to students from disadvantaged backgrounds, all while having no discernible effect on the companies actually being targeted by these divestment policies.

 

House Energy to Look at Hydro, Gas Pipelines – On Wednesday, the House Energy and Power Subcommittee will hold a hearing to continue the committee’s work on its Architecture of Abundance energy legislation with a review of Discussion Drafts Addressing Hydropower Regulatory Modernization and FERC Process Coordination under the Natural Gas Act.  As a clean, renewable source of electricity, hydropower is an essential component of an all-of the-above energy strategy and an important source of jobs. The draft legislation to be considered at next Wednesday’s hearing seeks to modernize and improve the hydropower licensing and relicensing process to make it more efficient and transparent, while also preserving environmental protections. The draft text also facilitates new hydropower development at non-powered dams, which would create thousands of new jobs and thousands of megawatts of clean, affordable power. The draft builds upon the discussion draft previously released by Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) – the Hydropower Regulatory Modernization Act of 2015.  The subcommittee will also discuss draft legislation designed to expedite consideration of much-needed natural gas pipelines by reforming and modernizing the siting and review process. The draft text reinforces the role of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) as the lead agency for siting interstate natural gas pipelines and instructs FERC to coordinate with all other agencies involved and set reasonable timelines for review. The legislation also increases transparency and accountability in the review process. This draft builds upon legislation that was previously introduced by Rep. Mike Pompeo (R-KS) and passed the House earlier this year. Maine Gov. Paul LePage and our friend Don Santa of INGAA lead the testimony.  Others include FERC’s Ann Miles, PG&E’s Randy Livingston, NYPA’s John Suloway, and John Collins, managing director of business development at Cube Hydro Partners.

 

House Resources to Look at CEQ Draft GHG Guidance – The House Resources Committee will hold an oversight hearing on Wednesday looking at the CEQ’s recently-revised draft guidance for GHG emissions and the effects of Climate Change.  Witnesses will include CEQ’s director Christy Goldfuss, former EPA official Roger Martella, John Christy at National Space Science and Technology Center at the University of Alabama-Huntsville and Ray Clark of Rivercrossing Strategies.

 

House Science to Look at Nuclear Energy Innovation, National Labs – A House Science Committee panel will convene a hearing Wednesday on energy innovation and the National Labs.  Witnesses will include Argonne’s Mark Peters, Frank Batten of the Landmark Foundation, General Fusion CEO Nathan Gilliland and General Atomics executive John Parmentola.

 

Forum to Look at Transportation Infrastructure – The Environmental and Energy Study Institute (EESI) and the American Public Transportation Association (APTA) will host an Infrastructure Week briefing Wednesday in B318 Rayburn about how transit investments affect the nation’s competitiveness. The world’s economies are increasingly based on knowledge and information. High-tech, knowledge-based innovation districts are increasingly shaping the U.S. economy.   Speakers for this forum are Linda Watson of the Capital Metropolitan Transportation Authority in Austin, Texas and Joanna Turner, Executive Director of the National Association of Regional Councils.

 

SEIA to Address Treasury Grant Litigation – On Wednesday at 1:00 p.m., SEIA will hold a webinar that will provide an update on Section 1603 Treasury grants litigation.  Section 1603 Treasury Grants were made available to solar and other renewable energy projects in lieu of tax credits by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Tax Act of 2009.  Hunton’s Tim Jacobs and David Lowman, chair of SEIA’s Tax Committee will speak.

 

ANGA to Look at Energy Infrastructure – On Thursday morning, ANGA will hold a forum on the energy infrastructure.  Our nation’s pipeline infrastructure must be expanded and modernized—to power growth and economic opportunity in industrial/manufacturing corridors and bring the many benefits of clean, affordable, domestic energy to communities across our country.

 

Senate Energy To Start Energy Legislation Process – The Senate Energy Committee will convene a hearing to receive testimony on energy infrastructure legislation Thursday. The agenda includes 22 bills introduced by members on both sides of the aisle.

 

House Foreign Affairs to Look at Energy Revolution – On Thursday at 2:00 p.m., the House Foreign Affairs Committee’s Subcommittee on the Western Hemisphere will hold a hearing on the energy revolution in the Western Hemisphere.  The hearing will look at opportunities and challenges for the U.S.   Witnesses will include our friend Kevin Book of Clearview Energy Partners and James Knapp, of the University of South Carolina.

 

Czech Trade/Industry Minister to Address Atlantic Council – On Thursday at 4:00 p.m., the Atlantic Council will host Jan Mládek, the Czech Republic’s Minister of Industry and Trade. Mládek will deliver remarks on the state of Czech energy and economic affairs, with a particular focus on the newly announced European Energy Union and the future of nuclear energy in the Czech Republic.  He will also discuss how the Czech Republic’s economy and energy security have been impacted by the conflict in Ukraine.  Minister Mládek’s address will also be followed by a moderated discussion with David Koranyi, Director of the Eurasian Energy Futures Initiative at the Atlantic Council. The Hon. Richard L. Morningstar, Founding Director of the Atlantic Council’s Global Energy Center will provide welcome remarks

 

FERC’s LaFleur to Address Energy Breakfast – On Friday, May 15th at 8:00 a.m. at the National Press Club, ICF International holds another Energy and Environment Breakfast that hosts former FERC Chair and current commissioner Cheryl LaFleur.  She will discuss FERC’s agenda—one of the key fulcrums of the energy universe today.

 

House Energy to Look at Nuclear Waste Policy – The House Energy & Commerce Committee’s Subcommittee on Environment and the Economy will hold a hearing Friday at 9:00 a.m. to update on the current Status of nuclear waste management policy.  Our friend Stephen Kucynski, chairman and CEO of Southern Nuclear will be testifying.  Other include Andrew Fitz, senior counsel for the Office of the Attorney General in the state of Washington; Josephine Piccone, director of the Yucca Mountain Directorate at the Nuclear Regulatory Commission; and Greg White, chairman of the Michigan Public Service Commission and chairman of the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners’ Subcommittee on Nuclear Issues-Waste Disposal.

 

Chamber Hosts Innovation Day – The US Chamber of Commerce, 1776 and Free Enterprise will hold Innovation Economy Day on Friday at 10:00 a.m.   Innovation Economy Day brings together entrepreneurs, policymakers, corporate leaders, and industry experts from domestically and abroad to discuss major themes about innovation in highly entrenched industries and approaches and solutions that can be applied across sectors.  The Foundation, Free Enterprise and 1776 will also release a first-of-its-kind study on the state of civic innovation in eight leading American cities. The results provide a roadmap for how cities can catalyze entrepreneurial innovation in the civic sector. Over the last six months, representatives from 1776 and the U.S. Chamber traveled the country to hear firsthand what is working and what is not as cities build healthy and vibrant start-up communities in key civic sectors, such as education, energy & sustainability, health and cities. The report also evaluates how cities can empower startups to work with established corporations and government agencies to foster growth.

 

Forum to Look at Energy Production Issues – On Friday, May 15th at Noon, the Cato Institute will hold a forum on energy production and natgas. Since 2008, oil production has more than doubled and natural gas production is up about 24 percent, according to the Energy Information Agency. Advances in technology have driven this remarkable achievement. Three major techniques that have revolutionized both onshore and offshore oil and gas production are directional drilling, horizontal drilling, and hydraulic fracturing, also known as “fracking.” In addition, offshore drilling in a record 10,500 feet of water — and then through thousands of feet of sediment below the seafloor — has been made possible by radical new advances in offshore platform technology tied in with global positioning software. These advances in technology have required considerable capital investment that would have been less likely in a nation constrained by a cap-and-trade or carbon-tax system.  The forum will look at recent successes in energy production and their implications for public policy and features Ned Mamula, Petroleum Geologist, formerly with the U.S. Geological Survey, Minerals Management Service, and the Central Intelligence Agency.

 

FUTURE EVENTS

 

Driving Energy Efficiency With IT – The Center for Climate and Energy Solutions (C2ES) will hold a morning forum on Monday, May 18th that will brings together state, city and business leaders to explore implementing EPA’s proposed Clean Power Plan through energy efficiency, and how information technologies can help, in the second of a three-part clean power series. Speakers include PSEG CEO Ralph Izzo; Jessica Burdette, Minnesota Department of Commerce Conservation Improvement Program Supervisor; Alyssa Caddle, Principle Program Manager of EMC’s Office of Sustainability; Rick Counihan, Nest Head of Energy Regulatory and Government Affairs; Katherine Gajewski, City of Philadelphia’s Director of Sustainability; Steve Harper, Intel Corporation Global Director of Environment and Energy Policy; and Nate Hurst, HP Global Director of Sustainability and Social Innovation.

 

Brookings to Highlight IMF Energy Subsidies Study – Next Monday morning, Brookings will host Vitor Gaspar, director of the IMF’s Fiscal Affairs Department, to present the key findings of a new IMF study that provides a comprehensive, updated picture of energy subsidies at the global and regional levels. First, energy subsidies are dramatically higher than previously estimated, and projected to remain high despite the sharp decline in international energy prices. Second, the vast majority of energy subsidies reflect domestic externalities, so countries should move ahead with energy subsidy reform unilaterally in their own interests. Third, the potential fiscal, environmental and welfare impacts of energy subsidy reform are substantial. A panel discussion will follow and include a question and answer session with the audience.

 

Forum to Look at Nuclear – The Global America Business Institute (GABI) will hold a Capitol Hill briefing next Monday at Noon in B-339 Rayburn on the role of nuclear power in  Energy  Reliability.  Speakers will include Exelon’s David Brown  and Andrew Paterson of the Environmental Business International.

 

WCEE Forum to Look at Latin, Caribbean Energy Issues – Next Monday, the Women’s Council on Energy and the Environment (WCEE) will hold a Brown Bag luncheon at Louis Berger focused on energy issues in Latin America and the Caribbean.  The Inter-American Development Bank experts Natacha Marzolf and Gerard Alleng will speak.  Marzoff will provide an overview of the current energy situation, policy challenges and country risks in Latin America and the Caribbean, while Alleng discusses the potential hazards threatening Trinidad & Tobago due to climate change and the economic costs and benefits of mitigation.

 

Senate Energy Continues Energy Hearings – On Tuesday, May 19th at 10:00 a.m., the Senate Energy Committee will hold another  hearing to receive testimony on energy supply legislation.

 

Wilson Forum to Look at Caribbean, Latin Energy – Next Tuesday, May 19th at 11:30 a.m., the Wilson Center for Scholars will hold a forum on the importance of the energy sector in Latin America and the Caribbean.   The region contains some of the largest proven oil reserves in the world along with significant reserves of natural gas. Moreover, approximately half of U.S. energy imports flow from the Western Hemisphere. As the United States increases its own energy production simultaneously with engagement in the region, many countries continue to face infrastructure and governance deficits that hamper production.  Energy experts will explore the US role and impacts in the 7th event in the Wilson Center’s Regional and Global Energy Series.  Keynotes will be from former White House Chief of Staff for President Bill Clinton Thomas “Mack” McLarty and Chevron President for Africa and Latin America Ali Moshiri.  Other speakers will include former State Department official David Goldwyn and UT-Austin Latin America and Caribbean Energy Program Director Jorge R. Piñon.

 

Forum to Look at Oil Price Balance – The CSIS Energy and National Security Program will host a roundtable discussion on Wednesday May 20th to Look at recent oil market developments and what to expect going forward.  10 months into the oil price collapse and despite the recent price rebound, companies of all sizes continue to adjust to the new economic, financial, and geopolitical realities. In the United States, the largest source of incremental oil supply growth globally over the past several years, output has remained remarkably resilient. That said, evidence of a slowdown continues, though the impact is likely to be uneven.  Featured discussions will examine and interpret these developments, and discuss the implications for oil markets going forward.  Speakers will include Michelle Foss of the University of Texas’ Bureau of  Economic Geology’s Center for Energy Economics, Robert Kleinberg of the Schlumberger-Doll Research Center and former Vice Chairman of the New York Mercantile Exchange Albert Helmig, now CEO of Grey House.

 

USEA to Look at EIA Outlook – The US Energy Association will hold a forum on Thursday, May 21st at 10:00 a.m. to look at the “Annual Energy Outlook 2015,” prepared by the U.S. Energy Information Administration, presents long-term annual projections of energy supply, demand, and prices through 2040. The projections, focused on U.S. energy markets, are based on results from EIA’s National Energy Modeling System. NEMS enables EIA to make projections under alternative, internally-consistent sets of assumptions, the results of which are presented as cases. The analysis in AEO2015 focuses on six cases: Reference case, Low and High Economic Growth cases, Low and High Oil Price cases, and High Oil and Gas Resource case.  EIA’s Paul Holtberg, Team Leader of EIA’s Analysis Integration Team, will speak.

 

Demand Response Forum Set – The National Town Meeting on Demand Response and Smart Grid will be held on May 26 through 28th in Washington, DC.  The event in the US focused on the business and policy aspects of demand response and its enabling technologies and applications. It is unique in that it devotes an entire day to roundtable discussions featuring experts in demand response and smart grid, who discuss with each other and with the audience the latest trends, issues, and business developments. The National Town Meeting also features panel discussions, case studies, and presentations of best practices. Another hallmark is attendee engagement, whether through Q&A sessions with top business leaders and policymakers, through formal electronic voting, or through the National Town Meeting’s reception and other networking sessions.

 

RFF to Host Seminar on Creative Conservation – Resources for the Future will Hold a seminar on May 27th at 12:45 p.m. for an expert discussion of creativity, innovation, technology, and natural resources. Ruth DeFries, the Denning Family Chair in Sustainable Development in the Department of Ecology, Evolution, and Environmental Biology at Columbia University and a 2007 recipient of a MacArthur Fellowship “genius grant” award, will discuss key themes in her new book, The Big Ratchet: How Humanity Thrives in the Face of Natural Crisis. A panel of experts in geography, conservation science, and economics will consider the advantages and limits of innovation in using and conserving natural resources.

 

EIA Annual Energy Conference Set – EIA will hold its 2015 Energy Conference on June 15 – 16th in Washington, DC.  Keynote Speakers will DOE Secretary Ernie Moniz, Mexican Energy secretary Pedro Joaquín Coldwell and Continental Resources CEO Harold Hamm, among others.

 

Peter W. Davidson, the Executive Director of the Department of Energy’s Loan Programs Office to give Special Luncheon Address at Infocast’s 6th North American Offshore Wind Development & Finance Summit, June 17-18th in New York. Leading offshore wind players will discuss the unique value of offshore wind, the latest financial innovations, public/private partnerships, and technological advances being developed to reduce development time and cost and maximize ROI of offshore wind power projects in North America.

 

Bay, Clark, Moeller Headline Utility Commissioners Education Forum – The 20th Annual Education Conference of the Mid-Atlantic Conference of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (MACRUC) will be held on June 21 – 24 at the Williamsburg Lodge in Virginia.  Speakers will include former Senator/Governor Evan Bayh, FERC Commissioners Norman Bay, Tony Clark and Philip Moeller, NARUC President and Florida PSC Chair Lisa Edgar, Dominion CEO Tom Farrell, PSE&G President  Ralph LaRossa, and American Water Works CEO Susan Story.

 

Energy CyberSecurity Forum Set for Houston – The 3rd Annual Cyber Security for Oil and Gas Summit will be held in Houston on June 22-24th.  The event brings together the oil and gas industry to address critical concerns and trends with regard to the development of cyber security practices.  The complex nature of cyberattacks and those specifically levied against the oil and gas industry have been increasing over the years and while the industry is well prepared, continuous improvement is always necessary to maintain an edge on the nefarious actors working against the industry.

 

Energy Update: Week of May 4

Friends,

 

This weekend was a super sports weekend with the hockey and basketball playoffs, the Kentucky Derby (American Pharoah held off Firing Line and BTW see the 811 info below on AP jockey Victor Espinoza) and the big Mayweather-Pacquiao fight (Mayweather won) in Vegas.  Even after the busy sports weekend (plus all the kids’ sports events), my daughter Hannah and I did manage to slip out to Merriweather Post yesterday evening to catch the last few acts of the DC101 KerfufflePanic at the Disco (who I hadn’t heard of) offered a brilliant cover of Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody, while The Offspring was totally entertaining and super fun. (You don’t realize how many of Offspring songs you know and are big hits) But the night was capped with an unbelievable performance from one of my favorite groups Incubus, who were absolutely brilliant playing most of their classic hits.  It was a great treat.  Off to Caps-Rangers Game 3 tonight.

 

Down to Business:  After moving its first funding bill through the House early Friday morning, the lower chamber moves into a district work period this week.  The Senate remains in action though and will have a key hearing tomorrow in Senate Environment on legal implications of the new GHG rule.  Oklahoma AG Scott Pruitt and West Virginia AG Patrick Morrissey lead a panel of folks to discuss.

 

Other hearings in the Senate this week include a hugely-important mark up and budget hearing in the full Senate Environment Committee on Sage Grouse and other ESA items where FWS Head Dan Ashe testifies.  My colleague Eric Washburn is in the middle of these issues and can be a huge help.  As well, the Senate Small Business looks at seafood safety standards on Wednesday (my colleague Paul Nathanson can help with sources there).

 

Even though the House is out, rural coops will be fanning out on Capitol Hill during the early part of the week to talk about the EPA’s GHG plan and its impact on rural communities and electric reliability.  They will also highlight demand side management issues (including last week’s legislative victory over DOE on thermal water heaters) and focus aggressively on their expanding efforts to offer renewable energy options to the rural customers.  Also on the Hill tomorrow, our friends at Air Liquide will be among the folks spotlighted at the Fuel Cell & Hydrogen Energy Policy Forum in Rayburn.  Look for some cool vehicles…

 

Off the Hill, there are several good events including Thursday events at the Hudson Institute featuring my colleague Scott Segal as lunch keynote and American Action Forum  featuring Jeff Holmstead, both looking more closely at the EPA’s GHG plan for power plants.  Encana CEO Doug Suttles speaks at the Chamber of Commerce’s CEO series on Wednesday and CSIS hosts DOE’s Chris Smith to address the future of the SPR, with our friend Kevin Book and others on a panel following.

 

Finally this morning, the Supreme Court agreed to hear FERC’s appeal of a lower court decision that supported a challenge to its 2011 “demand response” rule, known as Order No. 745.  Last year, the court said FERC had waded into state-regulated retail electricity markets too much.  Our FERC electricity experts can be helpful if you need them.

 

Have a great “Cinco de Mayo” tomorrow.   Call with questions.

 

Frank Maisano

(202) 828-5864

(202) 997-5932

 

IN THE NEWS

 

Court Hits EPA on Backup Generator Rule – The D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals said EPA must reconsider parts of a 2013 emissions rules for backup generators used in emergency demand response programs. The EPA had revised rules concerning reciprocating internal combustion engines that usually run on diesel and are used by major power users, including oil and gas facilities and industrial sites.   My colleague Scott Segal told reporters the decision is interesting and has some profound implications for the EPA Clean Power Plan.  Segal “EPA has increasingly admitted that it must address reliability concerns.  It claims to do so through some program flexibility and through multi-state plans (which it mentions over a 100 times in the proposal’s preamble).  The Agency appears also to be considering some form of safety valve.  But as almost every ISO and NERC have indicated, the Agency needs to do far more.  It needs to address the actual suggested emission rates and time frames.  Segal also adds that EPA was chastised in this case by the court for failing to coordinate with real reliability experts.  Recently, NERC released a series of scenarios that demonstrated significant reliability issues with the proposal.  Rather than thanking NERC and seeking to adopt strategies to avoid these outcomes, EPA bristled at NERC claiming that it should have kept its thoughts to itself until EPA finalizes the rule.  But of course by then all the key decisions will be made, and it will be too late.  That is just the kind of “having it both ways” that this court strongly rejected.

 

Co-Benefits Study Says EPA Rules will Improve Health – A new study in Nature Climate Change says carbon dioxide EPA’s emissions standards for power plants will influence the fuels and technologies used to generate electricity, alter emissions of pollutants such as sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxide, and therefore improve ambient air quality and public health.  The report calculates about 3,500 premature deaths prevented from smog and soot reductions from the president’s clean power plan.  My colleague Scott Segal responded though saying “over the course of the last several years, the Administration has used the exact same health benefits to justify the adoption of several overlapping rules that increase the cost of energy substantially.”  Supporters of EPA rules that have little if any direct health benefit argue that the rules reduce small particle emissions and therefore produce secondary health benefits.  However, the Administration has already claimed these exact same indirect health benefits to support lots of other rules – rules dealing with air toxics, visibility, interstate emissions, and others.  That’s called double counting – and corporations get in trouble if they do that on their balance sheets,” according to Segal.  He added that EPA knows these health benefits aren’t really linear as there is a point at which the level of particles is fully protective of human health and the environment with an adequate margin of safety.

 

And Don’t Forget This Point – Segal raises on other interesting point about the study.  EPA and supporters of its rules are more than happy to double count inflated secondary benefits from their proposed rules.  However, they steadfastly refuse to consider real world human health effects associated with compliance costs and reliability impacts associated with their rules.  For example, Dr. Harvey Brenner, an internationally known epidemiologist, has estimated the relationship between unemployment, loss of income and premature mortality.  Applying that model to environmental policy that increases the cost of electricity by backing out coal, Brenner found that “the adverse impact on household income and unemployment could result in 195,000 premature deaths annually.”   But these indirect health consequences of the EPA carbon rules are not included for even studied by EPA and its supporters.

 

DOT Puts Forth New Train Regs – The Obama administration imposed tougher safety regulations Friday for trains carrying crude oil, responding to growing alarm about the spread of oil-by-rail traffic and a series of fiery derailments across the U.S. and Canada.  The rules include tougher construction standards for rail tank cars made after October 1st, requirements for phasing out older cars as soon as January 2018, mandates for using advanced brakes and permanent versions of the speed limits that DOT had previously announced.  My colleague and rail transport expert Lowell Rothschild said the proposed rule strikes a balance – it imposes significant enhancement to rail car reliability – both in terms of car sturdiness and electronic braking – that are on the high end of that proposed (and even a bit beyond that probably envisioned by industry).  But, on the other side, the rule recognizes the logistical difficulties (and cost) associated with the improvements, giving industry a longer period to make the changes than originally proposed.  In particular, it allows the 1232 cars currently in service to operate for a considerable period of time before upgrading, apparently recognizing the investment industry has made in these cars and (presumably), their general reliability.

 

Co-ops, Public Power Welcome EPA Small Biz Review for GHG Rules – The National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA) and the American Public Power Association (APPA) have urged EPA to initiate a full Small Business Advocacy Review (SBAR) process for the federal implementation plan for the 111(d) proposed regulation and now the agency has agreed to conduct it.  NRECA head Jo Ann Emerson said the co-ops welcome news that the EPA will hold a small business review panel for the GHG reg for power plans.  Emerson: “We strongly urge that it be a comprehensive process to fully understand the impact that the federal implementation plan will have on small businesses. 62% of electric generation and transmission cooperatives qualify as small business entities and stand to experience enormous challenges, if not closure, from this regulation. It is imperative EPA fully and completely hear from all small entity parties as to the impact of this regulation before finalizing the rule.”  APPA represents many small government entities that own or operate boilers, integrated gasification combined cycle systems, or combustion turbines that may be subject to this rule.   APPA President Sue Kelly said it is only fair that EPA give public power utilities that qualify as small businesses an opportunity to be heard.  Kelly: “Imposing undue burdens on these not-for-profit entities will adversely impact their ability to provide reliable electricity at affordable rates.”  APPA and NRECA submitted letters to the EPA requesting a SBAR on April 3 and 29, respectively.

 

Southern Adds More Solar With North Star Project – The Southern Company has surpassed 1,000MW of renewable energy development with the acquisition of a controlling interest in the 60-MW North Star Solar Facility in California from First Solar. First Solar will build, operate and maintain the North Star Solar Facility. Construction began in July 2014, and the plant is expected to enter commercial operation this June. The facility is expected to be capable of generating enough electricity to help meet the energy needs of more than 21,000 average homes.  Southern Power’s fifth solar acquisition in California, the North Star Solar Facility will be located on 626 acres in Fresno County and is expected to consist of approximately 750,000 of First Solar’s thin-film photovoltaic solar modules mounted on single-axis tracking tables. This is the first facility in Fresno County for Southern Power and First Solar.

 

811 Derby Jockey Brings Home Roses for Second Straight Year – For the second year in a row, jockey Victor Espinoza won the Kentucky Derby – terrific feat for him and his sponsor, Call 811.  811 is a national number for people to call to locate utility lines before beginning any digging project, no matter how small. Espinoza has been very supportive of this cause, wearing 811 gear, on and off the track and recording this video.  Last year, he rode California Chrome to a victory in the Preakness as well while sporting the 811 logo.  A utility line is damaged once every eight minutes in the United States due to excavation. Striking a single line can cause injury and outages, and incur repair costs and fines. In fact, excavation damage remains the leading cause of pipeline incidents in the United States.  AGA, INGAA and others are sponsors of the 811 program

 

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

 

BPC to Feature Governor Senators – The Bipartisan Policy Center will hold the next installment of its Agenda Setters Series tomorrow morning featuring former governors and current senators, Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Senator Mike Rounds (R-SD).  In a candid conversation with BPC’s Jason Grumet, the sitting senators will reflect on lessons learned from their tenures as governors, as well as offer their unique perspectives and current goals for the 114th Congress.  Launched in tandem with the start of the new Congress, the Agenda Setters series explores timely, compelling and impactful issues in policymaking and politics for 2015. Each series segment highlights leaders and decision-makers putting forth innovative thinking about how to solve present day challenges.

 

Senate to Hear Legal Issues on GHG Rule – A Senate Environment Committee panel will hold a hearing on the legal issues surrounding the Administration’s GHG plan for power plants.  West Virginia AG Patrick Morrissey, Oklahoma AG Scott Pruitt , former EPA officials Roger Martella and Lisa Heinzerling and Maryland PSC Chair Kelly Speakes-Backman will testify.

 

Forum to Look at Oil, Venezuela, China – On Wednesday at 10:30 a.m., the Carnegie Institute will hold a forum looking at ties between China and Venezuela.  Venezuela has the world’s largest oil reserves, and the United States and China are the world’s largest oil importers, yet Venezuela’s relations with Beijing and Washington couldn’t be more different. China has built a massive state-to-state, loans-for-oil relationship with Venezuela, while U.S. oil imports from the country continue to decline as diplomatic ties further fray.  Matt Ferchen will present his findings from his recent Carnegie article, Crude Complications: Venezuela, China, and the United States, and Francisco Gonzalez will offer comments. He is a resident scholar at the Carnegie–Tsinghua Center for Global Policy, where he runs the China and the Developing World Program.

 

Air Liquide Vehicle Expert to Speak at Fuel Cell, Hydrogen Forum – The 2015 Fuel Cell & Hydrogen Energy Policy Forum will be held tomorrow  at 11:30 a.m. in B-340 Rayburn.  The Fuel Cell and Hydrogen Energy Association is co-hosting  lunch briefing with the House Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Caucus.  Industry representatives will provide updates on the latest fuel cell advancements, Discussion will cover fuel cell electric vehicles, hydrogen infrastructure, stationary fuel cell power, materials handling, and backup power.  Speakers our friend Andrew Temple of Air Liquide, as well as Bloom Energy’s Jon Powers, Gerry Conway of Plug Power and Toyota’s Charlie Ing.

 

Encana CEO Headline Chamber Event – The Institute for 21st Century Energy and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation will continue its CEO Leadership Series Wednesday at Noon with a luncheon featuring Doug Suttles, President and CEO of Encana. The energy renaissance, brought on by innovation in the American oil and gas industry, has positioned the United States once again as a global energy superpower. Suttles will discuss the value that domestic production of oil and natural gas brings to the country and local communities. He will highlight the importance of infrastructure and lifting the 40-year old crude oil export ban to realizing the full benefits of the oil and gas renaissance.

 

Senate Enviro Holds Fish/Wildlife Budget Hearing, Markup – The Senate Environment will hold a budget hearing on the US Fish and Wildlife’s budget where USFWS head Dan Ashe will testify.  At the hearing, the Committee will also mark up several pieces of legislation aimed at increasing transparency regarding the ESA process.   One is legislation by Sen. Cory Gardner to delay any FWS listing of the sage grouse for at least six years in Western states that have proposed their own sage grouse conservation plans.  My colleague Eric Washburn is in the middle of these discussions and can be a huge help.

 

RFF to Host Forum on Environment, Jobs – Resources for the Future will hold a First Wednesday Seminar at 12:45 p.m. on how environmental policies impact employment.  RFF researchers recently developed a new model to more accurately study how environmental regulation affects employment and unemployment. At this event, they will join a panel of experts to discuss the new RFF model, the challenges of measuring the impacts of regulation on unemployment, and the implications of the research results for future environmental regulations and jobs.  Presenters will include RFF’s Richard Morgenstern and Roberton Williams with additional panelists including Anne Smith of NERA and CBO’s Terry Dinan.

 

DOE Fossil Head to Talk SPR – The CSIS Energy and National Security Program will host Christopher Smith, Assistant Secretary for Fossil Energy at DOE, on Wednesday at 1:30 p.m. to deliver a keynote address on the future of the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR), and current Department of Energy work on the functionality and strategic purpose of the SPR.   Following the keynote, an expert panel will further discuss how the SPR is designed to work as well as domestic policy challenges and prospects for reform of the SPR. Additionally, the panel will examine global strategic stocks systems, and current positions in the changing global crude and product supply system. Sarah O. Ladislaw, Director and Senior Fellow with the CSIS Energy and National Security Program, will moderate the groups which includes DOE’s Bob Corbin, Martin Tallett of EnSys Energy, IEA’s Martin Young and our friend Kevin Book of ClearView Energy Partners.

 

Senate Small Biz to Look at Seafood Safety – The Senate Small Business and Entrepreneurship Committee will hold a Wednesday hearing at 2:30 p.m. on the Food and Drug Administration’s role in ensuring that imported seafood meets U.S. safety standards.  Witnesses will include FDA’s Steven Solomon and Assistant Labor Secretary Portia Wu of the Employment and Training Administration.

 

Indian Spiritual Leader to Address Climate, Himalayas – The Organization for Asian Studies will be hosting a conversation at GWU’s Elliot School at 3:30 p.m. on Wednesday with His Holiness the Gyalwang Drukpa, head of the Drukpa Lineage, one of the main schools of Buddhism. This discussion will focus on the effects of climate change on the ecology of the Himalayas and the challenges the region faces.  Drukpa is a humanitarian and the spiritual head of the Drukpa Lineage, one of the main schools of Buddhism. He is the founder of Live to Love International, a global network of non-profit organizations focusing on developing sustainable solutions in the areas of environmental preservation, disaster relief and aid, education, medical services, and heritage preservation. In 2010, he received a United Nations Millennium Development Goals Award in recognition of his work throughout the Himalayas as well as the Green Hero Award, given by the President of India. He is currently working with the Observer Research Foundation, a think-tank in India, on an initiative called The Future of the Himalayas, to raise discussion on the strategic, ecological, and cultural importance of the Himalayas.

 

DOE Official to Address Efficiency – The ACCO Climate & Energy Roundtable Series continues on Wednesday at 4:00 p.m. hen DOE’s Kathleen Hogan speaks to the group.  The Series is a bi-monthly roundtable featuring discussions on critical climate change and energy initiatives in a town hall format.

 

Segal Headlines Hudson Fuels, Energy Forum – The Hudson Institute will hold a forum on Thursday starting at 9:00 a.m.  The day-long conference will address the critical economic, political, and technological issues surrounding future fuels and their impact on America’s energy security. My Bracewell colleague Scott Segal will be the Luncheon speaker and John Hofmeister, the former president of Shell Oil Company, will deliver the keynote address.  Panelists will discuss the lessons the U.S. can learn from other countries—and from its own automotive industry—in transitioning to alcohol fuels for vehicles and evaluate the risks and opportunities on the road ahead for a future fuel-driven transportation system. Panelists will also shed new light on the steps policymakers can take to create a common competitive market for future fuels that preserves the advantages of the free market while embracing technological breakthroughs.  Other speakers along with Segal and Hofmeister include DOE’s Deputy Assistant Secretary for Transportation Reuben Sarkar, GM biofuels manager Coleman Jones, Oak Ridge National Labs Fuels, Engines and Emissions Research Center Deputy Director Brian West, John Eichberger  of the National Association of Convenience Store Owners, Methanol Institute CEO Greg Dolan and many more.

 

Sen Alexander, Holmstead lead Forum on EPA, Financial Reg Reform Issues – The American Action Forum is holding an event on Thursday looking at regulatory reform that will offer a broad analysis of options in the areas of health care, EPA, and financial services.   The event will start with keynote remarks from Senator Lamar Alexander and move to a panel of experts that can shed light on the regulatory processes in each area and offer a critique of how that process might be improved. We’re envisioning opening remarks from each panelist followed by a discussion moderated by Doug Holtz-Eakin and a member of the press.    My Colleague Jeff Holmstead will join the panel on the Clean Power Plan, while BRT’s Mike Ryan will discuss financial services.  Finally, my old friend Mark Merritt, President and CEO, Pharmaceutical Care Management Association, will discuss health care regs.

 

DOE’s Kenderdine to Talk QER – On Thursday at 2:30 p.m., the Wilson Center will hold a forum on the DOE’s Quadrennial Energy Review (QER). At this special event, QER lead framer and coordinator Melanie Kenderdine, Counselor to the US Secretary of Energy and Director, Office of Energy Policy and Systems Analysis at DOE, will discuss the main findings and recommendations of the first annual QER installment.

 

Honorable, NERC Head to Speak at BPC Event – On Friday morning, the Bipartisan Policy Committee will hold forum at the National Press Club on the reliability mechanisms for the Clean Power Plan. Over the past few months, FERC held a series of technical conferences across the country to explore the potential impacts of EPA’s proposed Clean Power Plan. While FERC’s technical conferences covered a broad array of issues, reliability emerged as a key topic. Two reliability-related proposals in particular were discussed by a number of speakers: the reliability assurance mechanism (RAM) and the reliability safety valve (RSV). These mechanisms have been proposed by several stakeholders in their comments to the EPA, including the ISO/RTO Council, PJM, Ameren, and others. Stakeholders have proposed that FERC play a significant role in implementing either or both of these mechanisms.  Following on from the questions and issues raised during FERC’s technical conferences, the Bipartisan Policy Center (BPC) will host a half-day technical workshop in Washington, D.C. to delve into the details of designing and implementing an RSV and/or RAM, and FERC’s potential role in implementing these mechanisms.  Speakers will include FERC Commissioner Colette Honorable, NERC head Gerry Cauley, Kentucky Public Service Commission James Gardner (NARUC Vice Chair), NRDC’s John Moore and former DOE official Sue Tierney.

 

Draft Report on Health, Climate to Be Discussed – On Friday, the National Research Council will review a draft interagency report on the impacts of climate change on human health.  HEI’s Dan Greenbaum will lead the discussion.

 

Forum to Discuss Driverless Cars – On Friday at 10:00 a.m., the Center for Technology Innovation at Brookings and the U.S. Department of State will convene industry experts and research scientists to discuss how the United States and Germany, two of the world’s leading markets for advanced automobiles, are leveraging research and development to promote innovation and inform regulation of driverless cars. Panelists will also explore the balance between competition and cooperation when transforming the global technological landscape for next generation automobiles.  Speakers will include State’s Jonathan Margolis and several others.  Last week, SAFE board members Michael Granoff and Olaf Sakkers addressed this topic in an op-ed in the Detroit News.

 

FUTURE EVENTS

 

US, China Renewable Energy Industry Forum Set – Next week in Washington, DC, ACORE will host the U.S.-China Renewable Energy Industry Forum will convene private and public sector leaders from the U.S. and Chinese renewable energy industries on project financing and cross-border investment.

 

Forum Looks at NatGas, Low Prices – The Atlantic Council will hold a discussion next Monday at 3:00 p.m. on how low oil prices have impacted fracking and the shale boom in the United States and the potential for fracking to spread across the globe and succeed in Europe and countries like Mexico, Argentina, and China.  Panelists include Subash Chandra, Managing Director and Senior Equity Analyst at Guggenheim Partners, Dr. Terry Engelder, Professor of Geosciences at Penn State University, known as the “Father of Fracking”, and Russell Gold, Senior Energy Reporter at the Wall Street Journal and author of The Boom: How Fracking Ignited the American Energy Revolution and Changed the World. Cynthia Quarterman, Nonresident Senior Fellow at the Atlantic Council’s Global Energy Center, will moderate the discussion.

 

Energy Efficiency Forum Set – Next week at the Walter Washington Convention Center in DC, EE Global’s 2015 Energy Efficiency Global Forum will be held to convene hundreds of energy efficiency influencers for two-days of unparalleled discussion and networking aimed at driving actionable plans for the next generation of energy efficiency.  EE Global hand selects high caliber industry professionals, academics and policy makers looking to exchange the latest technology and information forge partnerships and develop “best practices” policies and strategies for global implementation of energy efficiency.

 

Forum to Look at Costs of Divesture – The US Energy Association will hold a forum on Tuesday at 10:00 a.m. to focus on a new study on fossil divesture issues.  As opponents of oil and gas development continue to urge colleges and universities to divest their endowments of fossil-fuel related stocks, a new study suggests the costs associated with adopting such policies are real and enormous. Authored by Professor Daniel R. Fischel, president of Compass Lexecon and a professor emeritus of law and business at the University of Chicago Law School, this first-of-its-kind report compares two investment portfolios over a 50-year period: one that included energy-related stocks, and another that did not.  Based on those models, Prof. Fischel and his team found the costs of divestment will result in the displacement of billions annually from school endowments that could be otherwise used to improve services, enhance academic programs, and provide support to students from disadvantaged backgrounds, all while having no discernible effect on the companies actually being targeted by these divestment policies.

 

ANGA to Look at Energy Infrastructure – On Thursday morning, May 14th, ANGA will hold a forum on the energy infrastructure.  Our nation’s pipeline infrastructure must be expanded and modernized—to power growth and economic opportunity in industrial/manufacturing corridors and bring the many benefits of clean, affordable, domestic energy to communities across our country.

 

FERC’s LaFleur to Address Energy Breakfast – On Friday, May 15th at 8:00 a.m. at the National Press Club, ICF International holds another Energy and Environment Breakfast that hosts former FERC Chair and current commissioner Cheryl LaFleur.  She will discuss FERC’s agenda—one of the key fulcrums of the energy universe today.

 

Forum to Look at Energy Production Issues – On Friday, May 15th at Noon, the Cato Institute will hold a forum on energy production and natgas. Since 2008, oil production has more than doubled and natural gas production is up about 24 percent, according to the Energy Information Agency. Advances in technology have driven this remarkable achievement. Three major techniques that have revolutionized both onshore and offshore oil and gas production are directional drilling, horizontal drilling, and hydraulic fracturing, also known as “fracking.” In addition, offshore drilling in a record 10,500 feet of water — and then through thousands of feet of sediment below the seafloor — has been made possible by radical new advances in offshore platform technology tied in with global positioning software. These advances in technology have required considerable capital investment that would have been less likely in a nation constrained by a cap-and-trade or carbon-tax system.  The forum will look at recent successes in energy production and their implications for public policy and features Ned Mamula, Petroleum Geologist, formerly with the U.S. Geological Survey, Minerals Management Service, and the Central Intelligence Agency.

 

Driving Energy Efficiency With IT – The Center for Climate and Energy Solutions (C2ES) will hold a morning forum on Monday, May 18th that will brings together state, city and business leaders to explore implementing EPA’s proposed Clean Power Plan through energy efficiency, and how information technologies can help, in the second of a three-part clean power series. Speakers include PSEG CEO Ralph Izzo; Jessica Burdette, Minnesota Department of Commerce Conservation Improvement Program Supervisor; Alyssa Caddle, Principle Program Manager of EMC’s Office of Sustainability; Rick Counihan, Nest Head of Energy Regulatory and Government Affairs; Katherine Gajewski, City of Philadelphia’s Director of Sustainability; Steve Harper, Intel Corporation Global Director of Environment and Energy Policy; and Nate Hurst, HP Global Director of Sustainability and Social Innovation

 

EIA Annual Energy Conference Set – EIA will hold its 2015 Energy Conference on June 15 – 16th in Washington, DC.  Keynote Speakers will DOE Secretary Ernie Moniz, Mexican Energy secretary Pedro Joaquín Coldwell and Continental Resources CEO Harold Hamm, among others.

 

Bay, Clark, Moeller Headline Utility Commissioners Education Forum – The 20th Annual Education Conference of the Mid-Atlantic Conference of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (MACRUC) will be held on June 21 – 24 at the Williamsburg Lodge in Virginia.  Speakers will include former Senator/Governor Evan Bayh, FERC Commissioners Norman Bay, Tony Clark and Philip Moeller, NARUC President and Florida PSC Chair Lisa Edgar, Dominion CEO Tom Farrell, PSE&G President  Ralph LaRossa, and American Water Works CEO Susan Story.

 

Energy CyberSecurity Forum Set for Houston – The 3rd Annual Cyber Security for Oil and Gas Summit will be held in Houston on June 22-24th.  The event brings together the oil and gas industry to address critical concerns and trends with regard to the development of cyber security practices.  The complex nature of cyberattacks and those specifically levied against the oil and gas industry have been increasing over the years and while the industry is well prepared, continuous improvement is always necessary to maintain an edge on the nefarious actors working against the industry.

Energy Update: Week of April 27

Friends,

 

It was a great weekend in Washington with events surrounding the White House Correspondents Dinner.  The President was very funny and a huge hit with the mostly nerdy, political crowd (I guess not all nerdy since Bradley Cooper was there).  Here is the link to the C-SPAN coverage.  An even bigger success (if that’s possible) was the Friday night event featuring the rock bands of a number of journalists who joined Rolling Stones Keyboardist Chuck Leavell.  We, at my house, were focused on Hannah’s first Prom which was fun, but exhausting…and I didn’t even attend!

 

The hockey and hoops playoffs head into the second round this week with some exciting games but most importantly, this weekend holds the second rite in the passage to Spring (after The Masters), Saturday’s Run for the Roses:  The Kentucky Derby.  The 141st running of the Derby at storied Churchill Downs in Louisville posts at 6:24 p.m. Saturday.  The “most exciting two-minutes in sports” is also the first leg of the Triple Crown of Horse Racing.  We still haven’t had a TC winner since 1979. Workouts begin at Churchill Downs tomorrow morning, and the 20-horse field will be set Wednesday with the starting gate draw at 5:30 p.m.  Early favorites are Arkansas Derby winner American Pharaoh and Santa Anita Derby winner Dortmund, both trained by 3-time winning trainer Bob Baffert.   My favorite for Saturday is Carpe Diem (because that is an awesome name) who won the Blue Grass Stakes earlier this month.

 

This week on Capitol Hill is very busy with energy and water funding rolling onto the House Floor.  But the biggest event will be the long-awaited Senate Approps showdown between Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and EPA Admin Gina McCarthy, who testifies Wednesday on Budget (and I suspect a few more items).  The Approps panel chair is Lisa Murkowski, who knows a thing or two on energy/enviro issues as well…

 

There are also several important hearings including Energy Sect. Moniz (fresh off his CERA Week lovefest) where he will discuss the QER at Senate Energy and Sen Enviro’s TCSA Reform mark up tomorrow.  On Wednesday, the House Resources Committee looks at politics and science in enviro decision making and Senate Commerce jumps onto the Deepwater Horizon five-year look back.   The House Energy & Commerce will also hold a hearing on Thursday to look at the bipartisan, comprehensive, Architecture of Abundance” energy legislation that is being pushed by Committee leaders, while the Senate Energy Committee rips into energy efficiency legislation and will feature AHRI, AGA, ACEEE and several others.  And finally, House Science looks at Energy Storage on Friday.

 

Off the Hill, SAFE releases its quarterly Oil Security Index tomorrow, measuring and ranking 16 countries in terms of their economies’ structural dependence on oil, exposure to oil price changes and volatility, and security in terms of oil physical supplies.   And on Thursday morning, ICF hosts an energy breakfast with gas price/market experts Lynn Westfall and Jason Bordoff.

 

Finally, tomorrow, the Press Club’s Newsmakers Committee will host a great event with Presidential Medal of Freedom winner Dolores Huerta, co-founder of the National Farm Workers Association.  With all the news swirling around the TPP and arguments that it will promote Genetically Modified Foods, Huerta, will discuss GMOs, health effects of pesticide and herbicide use on farmworkers and the current debate in Congress tomorrow at 4 p.m. in the Bloomberg Room.  Joining Huerta will be Environmental Working Group expert Scott Faber.  I am hosting so please come out… Call with questions.

 

Frank Maisano

(202) 828-5864

(202) 997-5932

 

 

IN THE NEWS

 

NERC Report Raises Concerns on Timing – A new report from the North American Electric Reliability Corporation raises potential risks to reliability resulting from the proposed EPA’s Clean Power Plan.  NERC modeled scenarios focused on evaluating generation and transmission adequacy and potential reliability impacts.  NERC says while the generation mix in the United States is going through a fundamental change, policy considerations, such as the proposed CPP, impact and accelerate this transition. The goal of NERC’s assessment is to call attention to potential areas of concern for reliability and identify challenges that, if addressed, could ease the transition and allow for both environmental and reliability goals to be achieved.  While EPA panned the report, Chairman Murkowski spokesman Robert Dillon pushed back at EPA saying it is not the expert on grid reliability. “If it were, EPA would not be dismissive of an analysis as ‘premature.’ The agency should welcome analysis — including on the cumulative impact of the avalanche of proposed rules — every step of the way.”

 

House Passes Efficiency Legislation, Sends to President – Last week, Congress passed a bill focused on improving energy efficiency in buildings and water heaters, a move celebrated by both parties for breaking longstanding partisan gridlock.  President Obama is expected to sign into law this week.  The bill included a fix for thermal water heaters that our friends at NRECA and AHRI have been pushing in partnership with environmental and efficiency groups.   DOE’s water heater rule went  into effect on Thursday, April 16th and effectively banned large “electric resistance” water heaters.  The bipartisan bill supported by manufacturers, utilities, and environmental advocates was a common-sense fix to the water heater rule.  It enables rural utilities to continue to use large electric-resistance water heaters in demand-response programs that they rely on to manage their grids and integrate more renewable energy (primarily wind).  Under the DOE rule, manufacturers would be unable to continue to manufacture the large electric resistance units that are used in the demand-response programs.  AHRI President & CEO Stephen Yurek: “The water heater language is good for consumers, good for utilities, and good for manufacturers.  We are hopeful that Congress can get this quickly to the President’s desk and we can continue to use these water heaters to help reduce demand for expensive peak energy.”

 

Lackawanna to Develop New Oil/Gas Training Simulator Tech – The Lackawanna College School of Petroleum & Natural Gas in New Milford, Pa., will soon be the second school in the nation to utilize a unique training system.  Through a $250,000 in-kind gift by Check-6 Training Systems, a recognized leader in the training and safety of Primary and Secondary Well control technology, Lackawanna College will implement a Learning Management Software Server and Well Control VI (Virtual Instructor) training system. The gift will help deploy two Well Control VI workstations, as well as a 60-inch, high-definition touch screen monitor at the front of the classroom.  Currently, only Texas Tech Petroleum Engineering School has received a similar software package and services from Check-6. This unique action further positions Lackawanna College as a leader in petroleum- and natural gas-based education and training in northeastern Pennsylvania and the nation.  Additionally, Lackawanna College has been awarded a $150,000 Workforce Development Tech Grant from the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry Workforce Investment Administration. The grant will afford Lackawanna College the opportunity to purchase needed hardware, setup, and configuration of the unique Well Control VI system.  Here is more detail.

 

Mississippi Power Starts Solar Projects with Navy – Mississippi Power is partnering with two solar businesses and the U.S. Navy to build utility-scale solar farms at two different locations in Mississippi. With a combined total of approximately 53MW, these projects represent the largest solar installations in Mississippi.   Together these new solar facilities can produce the amount of energy used annually by approximately 7,800 homes.   Mississippi Power and Strata Solar, a turn-key solar provider, are working to develop a 50 MW solar project located on 450 acres at Hattiesburg-Forrest County Industrial Park located near Hattiesburg.  In addition to the Strata solar project, Mississippi Power is also partnering with the U.S. Navy and Hannah Solar at the Naval Construction Battalion Center Gulfport on a 23-acre, 3-4 MW facility. The project is part of the Navy’s efforts to meet the Secretary of the Navy’s goal to produce or procure one gigawatt of renewable energy.  These projects follow an announcement regarding 5 other Southern solar projects at Gul Power and Georgia Power.

 

Refiners Show Success in Cleaner Air – New analysis from Sage Environmental Consulting experts shows emissions from U.S. fuel manufacturers have decreased substantially over the last two decades, even as U.S. petroleum fuel production increased during the same time period. These findings, combined with other Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) data showing continuous and significant reductions in all criteria pollutants economy-wide, raise further questions regarding EPA’s rationale for proposing new National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS).  The American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers (AFPM) commissioned Sage to conduct the analysis using EPA data.  The Sage report revealed a significant reduction in both criteria air pollutant (CAP) emissions and hazardous air pollutants (HAP) emissions during the period of investigation from 1990 to 2013.   The analysis also highlights that despite density and sulfur content of crude oil feedstocks increasing over 16 percent during the study period, the primary CAP emissions – sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxides and volatile organic compounds – fell by 91%, 67% and 69%, respectively. Total HAP emissions similarly declined by 66%.

 

Study Highlights Risks, Costs of Not Planning Transmission Network – A new study commissioned by WIRES says policy makers must press electric grid planners to recognize and evaluate a full spectrum of enhanced transmission benefits and improved interregional planning processes, while also considering the risks and potentially high costs of an insufficiently robust and flexible grid.  Challenges to the electricity-dependent economy cannot be met unless planning processes fully explore the range of benefits and risk mitigation that most transmission projects can provide, according to Toward More Effective Transmission Planning: Addressing the Costs and Risks of an Insufficiently Flexible Electricity Grid, prepared by economists at The Brattle Group. According to the analysis, transmission planners need to more fully recognize that a modernized, more flexible transmission system is key to take advantage of regional fuel diversity, facilitate competitive markets, and support economic growth.  If planners fail to study and mitigate the risks and costs to consumers from an insufficiently flexible transmission system, a suboptimal grid could result in higher costs over time, the study finds. Brattle analysts say regional planning systems today consider an overly narrow set of economic or reliability criteria, ignoring many transmission-related benefits and values that would allow

Investments in building more flexible transmission grid. The current focus on new digital and distributed technologies may increase the risk imposed by inadequate transmission infrastructure.   Transmission has in fact become more important to reliability and the deployment of those technologies.  Brattle’s study also found that the current interregional planning processes developed in response

to FERC’s Order No. 1000 are generally ineffective.

 

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

 

NHA to Set Hydro Conference – The National Hydropower Association holds its annual conference at the Capitol Hilton today to Wednesday.  The Conference is a well-rounded conference program designed to discuss, prepare and foresee the future of hydropower throughout the nation. Speakers will include NY Rep. Paul Tonko and White House OSTP staff Cristin Dorgelo.

 

Marine Tech Conferences Alongside NHA Meeting – The 3rd Annual Marine Energy Technology Symposium (METS) will be held as part of the inaugural International Marine Renewable Energy Conference today to Wednesday at the Capital Hilton Hotel in Washington, D.C., and will be co-located with the National Hydropower Association’s annual conference.  METS provides a venue where technical experts can publish and present wave and water current energy research that helps accelerate the pace of technology development. Holding METS in conjunction with the International Marine Renewable Energy Conference will provide researchers with the invaluable opportunity to interact with public and private industry stakeholders.

 

Groups to Outline Sustainable Fact Book – Today at 2:00 p.m., the Business Council for Sustainable Energy, EPA CHP Partnership, and CHP Association will host a webinar on the “Sustainable Energy in America Factbook.”  The US economy is continuing its shift to the increased production and consumption of lower-carbon energy. Join us for a webinar focused on findings from the third edition of the Sustainable Energy in America Factbook produced in partnership with Bloomberg New Energy Finance to find out more about what happened in this complex US energy transformation in 2014 and the reasons why. The webinar will provide added focus on issues of importance related to the combined heat and power (CHP) industry as well as an update on the NY REV program and its treatment of CHP.  Our friends Dale Louda of the CHP Association and Yvonne McIntyre of Calpine Corporation are among the speakers.

 

BPC Regional Event Looks at Nuke Waste – Tonight in Richland, WA, the  Bipartisan Policy Center’s project, “America’s Nuclear Future: Taking Action to Address Nuclear Waste,” will hold a discussion on local and national perspectives on the disposal of defense waste and the impacts of the lack of action on Native American tribes.  BPC’s project was designed to reinvigorate and expand the discussion on nuclear waste, identify barriers prohibiting progress on storage and disposal of the waste, and explore options to create a viable national strategy for its long-term and safe disposition.

 

Securing America’s Future Energy (SAFE) releases Quarterly Oil Security Index – SAFE releases its quarterly Oil Security Index tomorrow, measuring and ranking 16 countries in terms of their economies’ structural dependence on oil, exposure to oil price changes and volatility, and security in terms of oil physical supplies. This quarter’s report adds France, Indonesia and Norway to the list of countries and shines a spotlight on Saudi Arabia, the nation ranked last in the Index due to its deep dependence on oil export revenues and its inefficient overconsumption of petroleum. In today’s low oil price environment, Saudi Arabia’s accumulated reserves enable it to weather a short-term decline in the oil export revenue upon which it depends. The full Oil Security Index quarterly update will be available found here.

 

Forum to Look at Mexico Energy – Tomorrow at 9:00 a.m., the Wilson Center’s Mexico Institute will  host Mexico’s Under Secretary of Energy Planning and Transition, Leonardo Beltrán, who will speak on both Mexico’s energy reform process and the prospects for renewable energy and carbon gas emissions reductions. At the same time, Wilson will launch a new publication “Renewable Energy in Mexico’s Northern Border Region,” which analyzes the current renewable energy situation in the north of the country and potential opportunities to engage in a productive relationship with the private and the public sectors in the United States. Jonathan Pinzón, one of the report’s authors and GreenMomentum COO, will present the report’s findings and discuss the current state of renewables in Mexico and will discuss with Hector Castro Vizcarra, the Embassy’s Minister for Energy Affairs.

 

Senate Energy to Look at QER – After a delay last month, the Senate Energy Committee will hold a hearing tomorrow at 10:00 a.m.to receive testimony on the administration’s Quadrennial Energy Review.  Secretary Moniz will testify.

 

Senate Enviro to Mark TCSA Legislation – The Senate Environment Committee will vote to approve bipartisan but contentious chemical safety reform bill tomorrow.  As part of the package, the Committee will vote on amendments meant to solidify support for the controversial measure. The committee will mark up S. 697, or the “Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st  Century Act” which updates the Toxic Substances Control Act.  Its sponsors include Sens. Tom Udall (D-N.M.) and David Vitter (R-La.) and has bipartisan support. However, it has been attacked by Sen Boxer and some environmental groups.

 

Honorable to Address NatGas Roundtable – The Natural Gas Roundtable will host FERC Commissioner Colette Honorable tomorrow as the guest speaker at the next luncheon.  Honorable was nominated to FERC in August 2014, and previously served on the Arkansas Public Service Commission.  Honorable was elected President of the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners in November 2013.

 

Forum to Look at Innovative Co-Op Financing – The Midwest Energy Efficiency Alliance (MEEA) and the Environmental and Energy Study Institute (EESI) will host a  webinar tomorrow at Noon regarding on-bill financing and, specifically, its applications for member-owned utilities in the Midwest. This presentation will look at successful on-bill financing programs developed by two Midwestern rural electric cooperatives, as well as an innovative on-bill financing program run by the Electric Cooperatives of South Carolina, in partnership with the Central Electric Power Cooperative and EESI.  Speakers for this forum are Lindsey Smith of the Electric Cooperatives of South Carolina, Bob Dickey of the Eastern Illini Electric Cooperative and Brian Dreiling of Midwest Energy.

 

UCS Webinar to Counter Anti-EPA GHG Rule Issues – The Union of Concerned Scientists is holding a webinar at 3:00 p.m. tomorrow to counter industry opposition to the EPA Rule.

 

Pope to Host Climate Meeting in Vatican – The Vatican is set to host a major conference on climate change next Tuesday that will feature leading researchers on global warming and an opening address by U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.  The one-day summit will also include participants from major world religions and aims to “elevate the debate on the moral dimensions of protecting the environment in advance of the papal encyclical,” as the papal document is known.

 

Forum to Look at Canada’s Hydropower, GHGs – On Wednesday, April 29th, the Wilson Center’s Canada Institute will host a panel discussion of Hydropower and the Administration’s clean power plan. C2ES’s Kyle Aarons will discuss the latest C2ES policy brief, “Canadian Hydropower and the Clean Power Plan.” Additional speakers from Minnesota Power, Manitoba Hydro, MISO, and NRDC will discuss technical and policy issues related to expanding Canadian hydropower in the domestic electricity mix and how imports of Canadian hydropower can help states achieve their goals under the Clean Power Plan.

 

Sen Commerce Tackle Deepwater Spill 5 Years Later – The Senate Commerce Committee will hold a hearing on Wednesday at 9:30 a.m. looking at five years after Deepwater Horizon, looking at improvements and challenges in prevention and response.  This hearing, coming after a request from the committee’s ranking member, Sen. Bill Nelson, will hear testimony from expert witnesses on the improvements in prevention and response that have occurred following the oil spill, as well as ongoing challenges and opportunities.  This hearing will review the lessons learned in the wake of the spill and the steps taken to make offshore oil and gas exploration safer.  It will also explore advances in response technology.  Senate Commerce has jurisdiction over the U.S. Coast Guard and NOAA which were both involved in the response and remediation efforts.

 

House Resources to Look at Politics, Science – On Wednesday at 2:00 p.m., House Resources’ Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations will hold a hearing “politically-driven” science.

 

McConnell, McCarthy Tangle on EPA Budget – On Wednesday at 2:30 p.m. in 124 Dirksen, the Senate Appropriations Committee’s Subcommittee on Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies will hold a hearing to review the Fiscal Year 2016 funding request and budget justification for EPA.  EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy will testify and likely face the wrath of Majority Leader McConnell who is a member of the panel.

 

Experts to Discuss Gas Prices, Markets – On Thursday, April 30th at the National Press Club, ICF International hold its regular energy Breakfast featuring one of the U.S. government’s foremost experts on petroleum and a founding director from Columbia University for a discussion on issues related to the dramatic fall in world oil prices, which are at their lowest levels since 2007. Former Tesoro exec and friend Lynn Westfall, who currently serves as EIA’s director of energy markets and financial analysis, will speak along with Jason Bordoff.

 

Experts to Look at Security Implications of Shale – The University of Texas System Office will host a forum on Thursday at 8:00 a.m. to discuss the national security impacts of the shale revolution.  New oil and gas production technologies such as hydraulic fracturing, horizontal drilling, and deepwater drilling have already begun to redraw the map of energy production. Because oil is traded in a global market, increased domestic production does not insulate the U.S. from supply shocks and price volatility. Nevertheless, changes in the geography of energy production could still have an important impact.  For the past year, LBJ School professor Eugene Gholz has led a team of researchers investigating how changing trade flows and energy revenues affect U.S. national security focusing on two potential mechanisms: shifts in U.S. bilateral relationships with oil-exporting countries and disruptions in regional security as the revenue outlook changes for those producers.  The event will feature a discussion of the key findings with State Department expert Richard Westerdale.

 

Oversight: EPA Under Fire – On Thursday at 9:00 a.m., the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee will delve into workforce and management scandals that have hamper EPA in recent years.  The hearing will examine a number of misconduct issues that have been ongoing at the EPA including sexual harassment, time and attendance fraud, abuse of information systems and failure to respond to FOIA requests in a timely manner.  Last year, the Society of Environmental Journalists began blasting EPA for its FOIA responses and the Inspector General has issued several investigations.

 

Senate to Look at Energy Efficiency Legislation – The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee will hold a hearing Thursday to receive testimony on energy efficiency legislation. Weatherization Enhancement and Local Energy Efficiency Investment and Accountability Act (S. 703); Sen. Portman and Sen. Shaheen – Energy Savings and Industrial Competitiveness Act of 2015 (S. 720); and Sen. Gardner and Sen. Coons – Energy Savings Through Public-Private Partnerships Act of 2015 (S. 858) are all on the agenda.

 

House Energy Tackles Energy Legislation – The House Energy & Commerce Committee’s Energy and Power Subcommittee will hold a hearing Thursday at 10:15 a.m. to continue the committee’s work on its Architecture of Abundance energy legislation with a review of Strategic Petroleum Reserve Discussion Draft and Title IV Energy Efficiency.  Changing global energy markets and the surge in domestic oil production have underscored the need to modernize the SPR.  The draft legislation seeks to ensure that our stockpiles of petroleum are kept safely and readily accessible in times of national emergency by directing the Department of Energy to conduct a long-range review of the SPR and recommend an action plan to achieve optimal capacity, location, composition, storage, and distributional capabilities.  And Energy efficiency is a simple and affordable way to help meet U.S. energy demands and reduces costs for consumers and the federal government. Title IV seeks to capitalize on energy efficiency opportunities across the private and public sectors by facilitating the development and deployment of innovative technologies and encouraging energy savings techniques. The legislation seeks to improve efficiency of the federal government through improved technologies and energy performance contracting, promote greater energy savings in products and buildings, and reduce the compliance costs and burdens on manufacturers of energy-efficient technologies.

 

CAP, NOAA to Look at Climate Resilience – On Thursday at Noon, the Center for American Progress and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration will hold a discussion about how new data sources, innovation, and risk management combine to make communities stronger and healthier in the long term.  Resilience is a concept that has appeared with growing urgency in the lexicon of governments, industry, and the public as climate change has brought sea-level rise, extreme weather events, drought, and flooding to increasingly populated communities. Nationally, these hazards have wrought damage to the tune of $227 billion over the past four years. As these cities and towns seek to maintain their social, economic, and ecological integrity, the science of resilience continues to evolve with the progression of data and innovation.

 

Navy Sect to Address Press Club – The Press Club will host an NPC Luncheon with Navy Secretary Ray Mabus on Thursday at Noon.  Mabus will discuss the state of America’s sea services and the maritime, budgetary and resource challenges facing the force in the 21st century.

 

JHU Forum to Look at KXL – The Johns Hopkins University’s Canadian Studies Program will host an event on Thursday at 12:30 p.m. looking at the Canadian pipeline saga and understanding Keystone XL in the context of the North American midstream.

 

Sen Energy Panel Look at BLM Fracturing Rule – The Senate Energy Committee’s Subcommittee on Public Lands, Forests, and Mining will hold a hearing Thursday at 2:30 p.m.to receive testimony on the Bureau of Land Management’s final rule on hydraulic fracturing.  BLM Director Neil Kornze; others will testify.

 

DOE Friedmann to Speak at Maryland – On Thursday at 4:00 p.m. at the J. M. Patterson Building at the University of Maryland, College Park, DOE’s  Deputy Assistant Secretary for Clean Coal and Carbon Management in the Office of Fossil Energy Julio Friedmann will discuss current and emerging technologies to help manage the risks posed by fossil fuel use at this Transforming Energy Lecture.

 

House Science Looks Energy Storage – On Friday at 9:00 a.m., the House Science Committee’s Subcommittee on Energy will hold a hearing on innovations in battery storage for renewable energy.  Witnesses include DOE’s Energy Storage Program Manager Imre Gyuk , Jud Virden of Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Ambri CEO Phil Giudice and Jay Whitacre of Aquion Energy.

 

Brookings to Host India Discussion – On Friday at 10:00 a.m., the Energy Security and Climate Initiative (ESCI) at Brookings will host a conversation with Rahul Tongia, nonresident fellow with Brookings India in New Delhi, on the future of renewable energy in India. Tongia will highlight findings from “Making Renewable Power Sustainable in India,” a recent Brookings India publication. ESCI Senior Fellow Charles Ebinger will moderate the discussion and audience Q&A.

 

Cato to Highlight UT Shale, Security Study – The Cato Institute will hold another forum on Friday at Noon looking at the Texas study investigating how changing trade flows and energy revenues affect U.S. national security via two potential mechanisms: shifts in U.S. bilateral relationships with oil-exporting countries and disruptions in regional security.  Lead researcher, Eugene Gholz, presents the findings, followed by comments and discussion among experts in the field.  Along with Gholz, several other experts will address the issue including Philip Auerswald of George Mason University and RAND’s Keith Crane.

 

FUTURE EVENTS

 

Air Liquide Vehicle Expert to Speak at Fuel Cell, Hydrogen Forum – The 2015 Fuel Cell & Hydrogen Energy Policy Forum will be held on Tuesday, May 5th at 11:30 a.m. in B-340 Rayburn.  The Fuel Cell and Hydrogen Energy Association is co-hosting  lunch briefing with the House Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Caucus.  Industry representatives will provide updates on the latest fuel cell advancements, Discussion will cover fuel cell electric vehicles, hydrogen infrastructure, stationary fuel cell power, materials handling, and backup power.  Speakers our friend Andrew Temple of Air Liquide, as well as Bloom Energy’s Jon Powers, Gerry Conway of Plug Power and Toyota’s Charlie Ing.

 

Encana CEO Headline Chamber Event – The Institute for 21st Century Energy and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation will continue its CEO Leadership Series Wednesday, May 6th at Noon with a luncheon featuring Doug Suttles, President and CEO of Encana. The energy renaissance, brought on by innovation in the American oil and gas industry, has positioned the United States once again as a global energy superpower. Suttles will discuss the value that domestic production of oil and natural gas brings to the country and local communities. He will highlight the importance of infrastructure and lifting the 40-year old crude oil export ban to realizing the full benefits of the oil and gas renaissance.

 

RFF to Host Forum on Environment, Jobs – Resources for the Future will hold a First Wednesday Seminar on May 6th at 12:45 p.m. on how environmental policies impact employment.  RFF researchers recently developed a new model to more accurately study how environmental regulation affects employment and unemployment. At this event, they will join a panel of experts to discuss the new RFF model, the challenges of measuring the impacts of regulation on unemployment, and the implications of the research results for future environmental regulations and jobs.  Presenters will include RFF’s Richard Morgenstern and Roberton Williams with additional panelists including Anne Smith of NERA and CBO’s Terry Dinan.

 

Segal Headlines Hudson Fuels, Energy Forum – The Hudson Institute will hold a forum on Thursday, May 7th starting at 9:00 a.m.  The day-long conference will address the critical economic, political, and technological issues surrounding future fuels and their impact on America’s energy security. My Bracewell colleague Scott Segal will be the Luncheon speaker and John Hofmeister, the former president of Shell Oil Company, will deliver the keynote address.  Panelists will discuss the lessons the U.S. can learn from other countries—and from its own automotive industry—in transitioning to alcohol fuels for vehicles and evaluate the risks and opportunities on the road ahead for a future fuel-driven transportation system. Panelists will also shed new light on the steps policymakers can take to create a common competitive market for future fuels that preserves the advantages of the free market while embracing technological breakthroughs.  Other speakers along with Segal and Hofmeister include DOE’s Deputy Assistant Secretary for Transportation Reuben Sarkar, GM biofuels manager Coleman Jones, Oak Ridge National Labs Fuels, Engines and Emissions Research Center Deputy Director Brian West, John Eichberger  of the National Association of Convenience Store Owners, Methanol Institute CEO Greg Dolan and many more.

 

DOE Fossil Head to Talk SPR – The CSIS Energy and National Security Program will host Christopher Smith, Assistant Secretary for Fossil Energy at DOE, on Wednesday May 7th at 1:30 p.m. to deliver a keynote address on the future of the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR), and current Department of Energy work on the functionality and strategic purpose of the SPR.   Following the keynote, an expert panel will further discuss how the SPR is designed to work as well as domestic policy challenges and prospects for reform of the SPR. Additionally, the panel will examine global strategic stocks systems, and current positions in the changing global crude and product supply system. Sarah O. Ladislaw, Director and Senior Fellow with the CSIS Energy and National Security Program, will moderate.

 

EIA Annual Energy Conference Set – EIA will hold its 2015 Energy Conference on June 15 – 16th in Washington, DC.  Keynote Speakers will DOE Secretary Ernie Moniz, Mexican Energy secretary Pedro Joaquín Coldwell and Continental Resources CEO Harold Hamm, among others.

 

Bay, Clark, Moeller Headline Utility Commissioners Education Forum – The 20th Annual Education Conference of the Mid-Atlantic Conference of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (MACRUC) will be held on June 21 – 24 at the Williamsburg Lodge in Virginia.  Speakers will include former Senator/Governor Evan Bayh, FERC Commissioners Norman Bay, Tony Clark and Philip Moeller, NARUC President and Florida PSC Chair Lisa Edgar, Dominion CEO Tom Farrell, PSE&G President  Ralph LaRossa, and American Water Works CEO Susan Story.

 

Energy CyberSecurity Forum Set for Houston – The 3rd Annual Cyber Security for Oil and Gas Summit will be held in Houston on June 22-24th.  The event brings together the oil and gas industry to address critical concerns and trends with regard to the development of cyber security practices.  The complex nature of cyberattacks and those specifically levied against the oil and gas industry have been increasing over the years and while the industry is well prepared, continuous improvement is always necessary to maintain an edge on the nefarious actors working against the industry.