Energy Update: Week of June 20

Friends,

I hope every enjoyed Father’s Day.  It was super for me, as I  enjoying a wonderful, elegant celebration of my colleague Scott Segal’s marriage (Congrats Scott and Travis), refereed a bunch of lacrosse with Hannah (who may have surpassed me already as the best ref in the family), shared some of my favorite Matthew‘s Crab Pizza (the Best in Baltimore) with her and Olivia (Hannah even paid for the Pizza) and finally relaxed with Adam to watch Dustin Johnson bounce the “No Major” monkey off his back at the US Open and see LeBron bring home the NBA Championship to Cleveland.  The boy likes to ask questions though which is not ideal for serious watching at key moments.

I wasn’t surprised by DJ’s great run down the stretch to close out the PGA’s second Major as he was ready to break though.  But I was surprised to see LeBron and the Cavs come back from a 3-1 deficit to break the 52-year Championship drought in Cleveland, knocking off the 73-9 defending Champion Golden State Warriors.  The final quarter was really riveting and Kyrie Irvin’s clutch 3-pt bomb with 50 seconds left and the game tied was amazing.  It is the first time an NBA team has erased a 3-1 deficit and first time since 1978 that a team (the Wes Unseld–led Washington Bullets) won the NBA title in a Game 7 on the road.

This week on the Hill is focused on the potential energy conferences and politics.  Time is running out on the a broad energy bill with only two or so weeks to really go before a 7-week election recess.   While there has been some movement, it is not promising.  There is also room for movement on funding bills with Interior–EPA and Energy and Water ready, but neither have yet grabbed the attention of Floor schedulers.

The Committees will be busy as well, mostly focused on Wednesday.  House Energy is in action the RFS with EPA’s Janet McCabe, EIA and others to discuss implementation concerns around the renewable fuel standard.  A Senate Environment panel will take up the Ozone legislation, a companion to legislation just passed by the House that would delay EPA reviews of the primary ozone pollutants. House Science will likely give EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy a rough ride as they discuss EPA’s use of scientific data.  Finally, House Resources will examine the role of the always-controversial National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) in permitting decisions.  That’s ALL WEDNESDAY.

Off the Hill, the FTC looks at consumer protections for rooftop solar tomorrow, already fairly controversial in many states.  Also tomorrow, API’s Jack Gerard hosts a discussion on API polling data and the election which should be interesting.   And Thursday, USEA hosts its 27th Annual Energy Efficiency Forum with EPA Administrator McCarthy among the speaker sat the National Press Club while Brits hold a referendum on whether to leave the European Union, or better known as “Brexit.”  The NY Times has a nice primer on the topic.

Congrats to our friend and former reporter John Cramer who is moving his way around the Ivy League…media shops that is.  John is leaving the media shop at Dartmouth to move to Princeton, where he’ll be chief spokesman and head of media relations.  That should help with Admissions for the boys.

And from our friends at POLITICO, after nine years at the helm of POLITICO’s Playbook seven days a week, Mike Allen is handing off control to a trio of Politico’s finest young talent. Our friends Anna Palmer, Jake Sherman and Daniel Lippman will take the reins starting on July 11.

Finally, tonight is the longest day of the year, the Summer Solstice.  So use the extra daylight to do something fun as it is all downhill from here…until next year   Call with questions…

 

Best,

Frank Maisano

(202) 828-5864

(202) 997-5932

 

FRANKLY SPOKEN

“Mr. Holmstead has the requisite credentials for serving as an expert on the CAA.  EPA has argued that Mr. Holmstead should not be permitted to provide expert testimony because he has no ‘scientific, technical or otherwise specialized knowledge.’  Frankly, this argument is ridiculous!”

U.S. District Court Judge John Preston Bailey in an order rejected EPA’s motions to Disqualify my colleague Jeff Holmstead from testimony in the Murray Energy Case.

 

IN THE NEWS

Dem Platform Committee Meets in AZ – The Democratic platform committee met on Friday in Phoenix. The Committee featured filmmaker Josh Foxx, actor Mark Ruffalo and a 25 year old poet, among others. The general theme was “keep it in the ground” and a broad rejection of fossil fuels. A select few individuals argued that natural gas or nuclear theoretically could still be considered.   Democrats’ 2012 blueprint touted an “all-of-the-above energy policy” and lauded natural gas as a “clean fossil fuel,” so adopting a negative tone toward nat gas and embracing greater urgency about climate change in this year’s version would constitute a major shift.  We have a good summary if you are interested.

EPA Moves Clean Energy Program Tied to Stayed Rule – Late last week, EPA released the proposed Clean Energy Incentive Program.  The CEIP is a voluntary program under which states can secure extra credit for power from renewables generated in 2020 and 2021- two years before the Clean Power Plan’s first compliance deadline – though the agency notes there may be changes to those dates given the stay. The proposal expands the previous eligibility list for technologies from just solar and wind to include geothermal and hydropower.  There is controversy over whether EPA should still be moving forward though given the EPA stay and the likely tolling of deadline that will occur.   Some experts like my colleague Jeff Holmstead have argued that all elements of the Rule should be on hold while the SCOTUS looks at its legality.

Judge Snubs ‘Ridiculous’ EPA Claim trying to DQ Holmstead in Case – Speaking of Holmstead, you may have missed this last Friday, but EPA’s effort to get him disqualified as an expert witness in the Murray Energy case have blown up in spectacular fashion.   A federal judge soundly rejected EPA’s request saying EPA’s argument because Holmstead once worked at EPA, he should be disqualified from serving as an expert witness in any case adverse to EPA is a “Dog that won’t hunt.” The judge was particularly dismissive of EPA’s contention that Holmstead does not have requisite “scientific, technical or other specialized knowledge,” writing: “Frankly, this argument is ridiculous!”

Plant Vogtle Project Reaches Final Vertical Level of Construction – Georgia Power has achieved the highest level of vertical construction on a pair of new nuclear reactors at Plant Vogtle. Also, the last of four coolant pumps has been delivered ahead of the time needed for installation for Unit 3.

France Ratifies Paris Treaty – French President François Hollande formally ratified the Paris climate deal on Wednesday, making France the first major nation to do so. More than 170 countries have signed the climate deal, which sees countries set individual greenhouse gas reduction goals as part of a strategy to combat climate change. But the deal won’t formally take effect until 55 countries representing at least 55 percent of the world’s emissions formally ratify the deal. Before France, 17 small countries representing less than 1 percent of global emissions have ratified the agreement.

Manhattan Institute Report Says EPA Overestimates Benefits of CPP – The Manhattan Institute has released a report that argues that the EPA overestimated the benefits of the Clean Power Plan while underestimating its costs.  Among other points, the report says EPA double counts some of the benefits of the rule, and that it’s method of counting benefits globally is inappropriate. On the cost side, it argues that the EPA unfairly calculated the savings from energy efficiency and overestimated the fall in price of renewables.

 

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

Mann to Address Climate Lobby Conference – The Citizens Climate Lobby is holding its annual conference, today and tomorrow at the Omni Shoreham.  The CCL Conference trains activists to climate issues.  Their Keynote Speaker will be Penn State Climate activist Professor Michael Mann.

API to Talk Voter Data, Elections – API President & CEO Jack Gerard will be feature of a forum tomorrow at 9: a.m. at the W Hotel on voter opinion data.  The research covers voters’ opinions on energy issues central to the national debate: regulations, access, taxes, and infrastructure.   In addition, the program includes a one-on-one interview with API President & CEO Jack Gerard with E&ETV’s Monica Trauzzi, followed by a panel featuring some of Washington’s top political and public opinion analysts who will discuss the critical role of energy in the economy and throughout our daily lives, and how it will shape the political landscape as the country prepares to vote in November.  Among the Panelists is our friend Sean Spicer of the RNC.

CAP Forum to Focus on Climate, Security Issues – The Center for American Progress tomorrow morning hosts a forum to discuss potential U.S. policy responses for climate change, environmental deterioration, water management, and food security as key concerns for national security and global governance. The event will draw upon current policy debates in the United States, as well as lessons learned from the November 2015 policy decision-making exercise, “Food Chain Reaction: A Global Food Security Game.”  The event will feature introductory remarks from Jon White, retired Rear Admiral, Navy, Coast Guard and President/CEO of the Consortium for Ocean Leadership.  Panelists will include State’s Special Representative for Global Food Security Nancy Stetson, World Food Program USA CEO Richard Leach, former Assistant Secretary of Defense for Operational Energy Sharon Burke.

EIA Head Leads Deloitte Energy Conference – Tomorrow and Wednesday, Deloitte hosts its 2016 Energy Conference at the Grand Hyatt focusing on exponential technologies driving exponential change.  Deloitte brings together energy executives, researchers, entrepreneurs, investors and regulators from around the globe for an in-depth analysis of key developments and challenges facing today’s global and domestic energy markets at its Energy Conference. Speakers come from a cross-section of the world’s energy industry, and the conference topics are of keen interest to energy company management, boards of directors, investors, and all other industry professionals.  EIA’s Adam Sieminski is the Headliner.

WCEE Forum to Look at Impact of Fed EM Programs – The Women’s Council on Energy and the Environment (WCEE) for a lunch forum tomorrow on the wide-ranging impact of new federal environmental mitigation policies.  The event will focus on how the implementation of these policies and those to be developed by the EPA and other federal agencies will impact projects requiring approval or permitting from these agencies.

FTC to Look at Net Metering in Day-Long Forum – Tomorrow, the Federal Trade Commission wants to know more about net metering, and it’s planning an information session. The meeting won’t be the first time the FTC dipped its toes into solar — in 2013 it issued legal guidance on claims related to sales of renewable energy — and last year Congress asked it to look into leasing practices at companies like SolarCity.  Now the Commission seems to be jumping into net metering policy, hosting a meeting ostensibly intended to give the commission an update on the whole industry. But the public notice of the meeting devotes a third of its questions to net metering, and then another third to questions of how rooftop solar generation competes with utilities — which is another way of talking about net metering.

Senate Energy Tackles Public Land Questions – The Senate Energy panel on Public Lands, Forests and Mining holds a hearing tomorrow on BLM’s “Planning 2.0” initiative, which aims to increase public involvement in land use planning. BLM Director Neil Kornze headlines along with Western Governors’ Association ED Jim Ogsbury, Wyoming Stock Growers Association official Jim Magagna, Colorado Law School expert Mark  Squillace and Western Energy Alliance’s Kathleen Sgamma.

Forum to Look at Cybersecurity Grid – The Lexington Institute is hosting a Capitol Hill Forum in CVC 208-209 on the National Guard’s Role in Cybersecurity for the U.S. Power Grid tomorrow afternoon.  The power grid, which provides electricity to homes, businesses, and government across the United States, is vulnerable to an increasing number of threats, the least understood but potentially most dangerous is a cyberattack.   An approach gaining momentum in many states is collaboration with the National Guard.  The National Guard is rapidly developing expertise in cyber defense, with seven cyber protection teams already in place and plans to create 13 more by 2019.  The National Guard is uniquely positioned for this work by its dual role as an asset available to both state and federal authorities.  But as the Guard assumes increasing responsibilities in this work, new questions regarding the role must also be addressed, including how to reconcile it with the Guard’s prohibition on competing with the private sector.

Dominion Official to Address AWEA Virginia Forum – On Wednesday at James Madison University in Harrisonburg, the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) is hosting the AWEA State Wind Energy Forum – Virginia in collaboration with partners and colleagues in the state. You’ll learn about the benefits and challenges of Virginia’s potential for land-based and offshore wind industry from state policy, industry, government, and other thought leaders, as well as experts on national, regional, and state wind markets; grid integration; wildlife impacts and mitigation; economics; local economic development benefits; and water and air impacts.  Bill Murray of Dominion and our friend Jonathan Miles will speak among several others.

RFF to Look at Coal Leasing – Resources for the Future (RFF) holds a seminar on Wednesday at 8:45 a.m. to look at the economics of coal leasing on Federal Lands, ensuring a fair return for taxpayers.  In 2015, BLM’s federal coal leasing program accounted for nearly 40% of coal production in the United States and supplied some of the lowest-cost coal available. The program has been widely critiqued in recent years for providing a poor return to taxpayers and failing to adequately address the environmental costs of coal extraction and processing. At this RFF seminar, Jason Furman, chairman of the White House Council of Economic Advisers (CEA), will unveil a new CEA report that examines the economic principles underlying the program, discusses the case for reform, and provides quantitative estimates of the effects of such changes. Furman’s remarks will be followed by an expert panel discussion on reforming the federal coal leasing program.  Among the panelists will be Michael Greenstone, Director of the Energy Policy Institute at the University of Chicago, and James Stock of the Harvard Kennedy School.

House Energy Redraws RFS Battle Lines – The House Energy & Commerce Panel on Energy will Hold a hearing on Wednesday morning that will focus on oversight of the EPA’s RFS program, including striking a balance between the interests of ethanol producers and consumers.  EPA Air office Head Janet McCabe and EIA Deputy Administrator Howard Gruenspecht will testify. They will be followed by a panel of refiners, ethanol critics like boat users and ethanol advocates like RFA’s Bob Dineen.  The hearing will be the first since EPA proposed the 2017 RFS rules in late May. The proposed rule would increase RVOs over 2016, but it still falls short of statutory volumes for both conventional and cellulosic ethanol.

McCarty to Headline EPA Science Hearing at House Panel – The House Science, Space and Technology Committee will hold a hearing Wednesday featuring EPA chief Gina McCarthy.  The hearing will cover a broad range of topics where GOP members have been critical about the scientific underpinning of a number of EPA rules.

House Resources to Battle over NEPA – The House Resources Committee will hold an oversight Hearing Wednesday morning on the impact of federal environmental reviews on everything from energy development to logging on national forestlands.  The full committee is expected to explore the role and importance of regulations required under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and how they affect infrastructure, energy and other federal projects.

USEA to Look at CPP Rule, Reliability – On Wednesday at 10:00 a.m., the U.S. Energy Association will host NERC officials to discuss the reliability assessments of EPA’s Clean Power Plan.  NERC recently published a reliability assessment of the final CPP rule – Potential Reliability Implications of EPA’s Clean Power Plan – Phase II. The report finds that combined wind and solar capacity will rise by 10-20 GW over the next 15 years, while coal capacity will decline by up to 27 GW as a result of the CPP. The accelerated transition in the mix of generation resources means a greater emphasis on how renewables and other resources provide essential reliability services – voltage control, load ramping and frequency response.  John Moura, NERC’s Director of Reliability Assessment and System Analysis, will provide an in-depth briefing on the NERC report.

BP Chief to Speak to DC Economic Club – The Economic Club of Washington hosts BP’s Bob Dudley at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center’s Atrium Hall on Wednesday at 11:00 a.m.   Recently, BP released its energy outlook and that should likely be the main topic as well as the current state of the oil and gas industry.

Labor Sect Addresses Press Club – The U.S. Labor Secretary Thomas E. Perez will speak at a National Press Club luncheon on Wednesday at 12:30 p.m. In two and a half years at Labor, Perez has undertaken  a series of aggressive and controversial efforts aimed at worker protections from overtime practices to conflicts of interest that can wreck their retirement savings.

Progress Caucus to Link Tobacco, Climate – In an effort that follows a ridiculous report from Senate Progressives last week linking tobacco and climate, Congressional Progressive Caucus Co-Chairmen Reps. Raúl Grijalva (D-Ariz.) and Keith Ellison (D-Minn.) and the House’s Sustainable Energy and Environment Coalition will host the Capitol Hill event on Wednesday afternoon making similar claims. The forum will examine issues surrounding the fossil fuel industry’s concerted efforts to deceive elected officials, investors, and the American public on the reality of climate change.  Right…I think I’ll pass on this one.

Senate to Look at Ozone Legislation Passed By House – A Senate Environment subcommittee chaired by Sen. Shelley Moore Capito plans a hearing on Wednesday afternoon looking at companion legislation to a House measure passed earlier this month that rolls back implementation of the 70 parts per billion standard by eight years.

Forum to Look at Iran, Oil, Geopolitics – The Woodrow Wilson Center will hold a panel discussion on Wednesday at 3:00 p.m. that will explore the geopolitics of oil and discuss the current state of play in the Gulf region.  The oil markets remain in constant turmoil. Oil prices have yet to recover as OPEC countries have repeatedly failed to agree on production cuts. Following the nuclear deal, Iran has been aggressively looking to increase its oil exports despite secondary non-nuclear sanctions. Iraq is also focusing on increasing its oil exports while mired in a dispute with the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) over revenue sharing. By contrast, the world’s largest producer, Saudi Arabia, is in the midst of a major restructuring of its decision-making apparatus as it also attempts to diversify from its dependence on oil. This panel will feature our friend Elizabeth Rosenberg of the Center for a New American Security and other experts.

EE Forum Set –The US Energy Assn’s 27th annual Energy Efficiency Forum is set for Thursday afternoon at the National Press Club Ballroom.  The event features keynotes from EPA’s Gina McCarthy, Sen. Maria Cantwell, PSEG CEO Ralph Izzo and panels with former Seattle Mayor Greg Nickels and the White House OSTP official Austin Brown.  Energy systems are evolving, with traditional users acting as both energy consumers and producers. Both “prosumers” and traditional energy suppliers are employing distributed generation, energy storage, demand response and information technologies to transform these systems. Improving efficiency in buildings, district energy systems and infrastructure also provides multiple social, economic and environmental benefits to communities and businesses.  At the forum, co-sponsored by the U.S. Energy Association and Johnson Controls, speakers will highlight the pioneering policies, technologies and practices at the center of a future that values energy efficiency as a key driver of energy system innovation.

Forum to Discuss Fuel Cell, Hydrogen Vehicles – The Fuel Cell and Hydrogen Energy Association (FCHEA) and the Senate Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Caucus are co-hosting the Fuel Cell and Hydrogen Energy Policy Forum on Thursday at noon in the Senate Visitors Center 201.  Industry representatives will provide updates on the latest fuel cell and hydrogen advancements. The Forum will feature a range of experts discussing latest fuel cell and hydrogen energy advancements, including speakers from Bloom Energy, FuelCell Energy, Honda, Plug Power, Walmart, and the Department of Energy.

Forum to Look at Climate Impacts on Women – The Wilson Center, UN Foundation, U.S. AID’s Office of Conflict Management and Mitigation, Project Concern International and TetraTech will host a forum on Thursday afternoon to discuss a new report on women and the Impact of climate change.  Struggling to save their failing crops. Walking farther to fetch clean water. Protecting their families from devastating storms and violent conflicts. Experts warn that women in developing countries will be disproportionately affected by climate changes. But women could also hold the keys to solving the climate challenge. Empowering women through education, economic opportunities, and reproductive health care can make surprising contributions to the climate fight. To make this happen, we need to bridge sectoral barriers and work together to ensure that women are climate victors, and not climate victims.

WRI to Look at Transportation Solutions –The World Resources Institute will host a forum on Friday at 10:30 a.m. to look at the role of cities in the global transition to clean energy.  This discussion will highlight the relevance of cities for moving forward with global energy and climate goals by partnering with IEA as it releases the Energy Technology Perspective 2016 report on Sustainable Urban Energy.  The event will bring together top development actors, technology leaders, and investors to discuss and identify shared agendas and pathways to accelerate innovation and transformation across urban energy sectors.  The discussion will use IEA’s Energy Technology Perspective 2016 report as a starting point followed by an expert panel discussion and a Q&A session with attendees.  Speakers will include Kamel Ben Naceur, Director of Sustainability, Technology and Outlooks at the International Energy Agency (IEA), who will make a presentation of the Energy Technology Perspective 2016 report.

EIA, UT Official to Talk Energy, Economy – Sunday afternoon at UDC’s Law School, Energy Xchange will host a roundtable discussion on energy and economy.  The event will feature an in-depth, interactive discussion with leading experts from diverse perspectives about the state-of-knowledge regarding how shifting energy trends will affect the broader economy.  Speakers will include University of Texas Energy Institute’s Carey King and EIA Chief Energy Modeler David Daniels.

 

FUTURE EVENTS

Forum to Look at European Energy Infrastructure – Next Tuesday, June 28th at 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) will hold a seminar for American investors, consultants and suppliers of goods and services on energy and infrastructure opportunities in Europe through the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD).  The EBRD is an international, AAA-rated financial institution, which promotes transition to market economies. It operates in 36 countries, from central Europe to central Asia, the Western Balkans, and the southern and eastern Mediterranean. In the energy sector, EBRD has financed $3.7 billion of investments across 60 projects since the beginning of 2014, leveraging a further $10 billion from private investors and co-financiers. EBRD considers financing for a wide range of energy sector investments including:  renewables (wind, solar PV, biomass and geothermal plants}; thermal power generation; electricity transmission, distribution and demand side management; oil and gas production, refining and distribution; and mining activities.

EIA to Release 2016 Energy Outlook – EIA will release its Annual Energy Outlook 2016 next Tuesday, June 28th at 10:00 a.m. in the Kenney-Herter Auditorium at Johns Hopkins University in DC.  EIA’s Adam Sieminski will present “Annual Energy Outlook 2016” (AEO2016) with projections of U.S. energy supply, demand, and prices to 2040.  The discussion will consider AEO2016 cases that address the Clean Power Plan; proposed fuel economy standards for trucks; alternative resource and technology assumptions; and other key energy topics.

Forum to Look at Role of Nuclear – The Global America Business Institute (GABI) is hosting a roundtable next Tuesday, June 28th at 12:00 p.m. on market failures with respect to nuclear power in the United States. Although nuclear power generates about 20% of U.S. electricity and almost two-thirds of the country’s carbon-free electricity, much of the domestic fleet is under threat of premature closure because current policies and market structures do not adequately value the myriad benefits of nuclear in producing clean, reliable, and affordable energy. Deregulated electricity markets have failed to reward nuclear power for its significant advantages, and injudicious state and federal policies have further distorted the market against nuclear. As a result, nuclear power plants have struggled to remain economically viable and competitive with other energy sources, leading plant owners to prematurely and permanently shut down operable reactors. Ed Kee of Nuclear Economic Consulting will speak.

Forum to Look at Innovation Needed to Meet Paris Climate Goals – Technology, policy and business experts come together Wednesday, June 29th at 1:00 p.m. at the Carnegie Institution for Science to discuss how innovation can help meet the ambitious goals of the Paris Agreement. The event will feature a keynote from Patent and Trademark Office Director Michelle Lee, as well as a discussion moderated by WSJ’s Amy Harder with HP’s Nate Hurst, Kristina Johnson of Cube Hydro Partners; North Carolina State Power Semiconductor Research Center Director Jayant Baliga, and former EPA official Bob Perciasepe, President of the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions. RSVP here: http://bit.ly/RSVPinnovate.

CSIS to Host IEA Gas Outlook – On Tuesday, June 28th at 1:30 p.m., the CSIS Energy and National Security Program will host Costanza Jacazio, Senior Gas Expert in the Gas, Coal & Power Markets Division at the International Energy Agency (IEA), to present the IEA’s Medium-Term Gas Market Report 2016. The annual report, which gives a detailed analysis and five-year projections of natural gas demand, supply and trade developments, examines the interaction of oversupply, low prices and upstream capital expenditure cuts. The impact on global gas markets of changing trade patterns and price mechanisms 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.

Groups to Screen Anti-Coal Film – Next Tuesday evening, the Heinrich Boell Foundation North America, the Environmental and Energy Study Institute (EESI), and the Goethe-Institut Washington will host a free film screening at the Landmark E St Cinemas of “After Coal,” followed by a panel discussion on revitalizing coal communities.  The United States’ use of coal continues to fall and reached its lowest point on record in 2015. All across the country, traditional coal communities find themselves struggling to adapt to this rapid energy transition–a phenomenon not confined to the United States. This panel will discuss ways in which coal communities can participate in, shape and benefit from the transition away from fossil fuels.

Xcel Exec to Keynote TransForum West in Denver – PennWell’s TransmissionHub will host its 5th annual TransForum West event on June 28 and 29 in Denver. Kicking off the event will be Alice Jackson, vice president – Regulatory Rates, Xcel Energy (NYSE:EXC), who will deliver the keynote address on Tuesday.  There will also be several panels, including one on regional planning dynamics in the West that will include such speakers as PacifiCorp’s Carolyn Barbash, Don Fuller of the California ISO and Johannes Pfeifenberger of the Brattle Group.

Patent Head to Talk Innovation, Climate – On Wednesday, June 29th at 1:00 p.m., the Carnegie Institute of Science will host a forum on innovation and climate change.  Innovation is an essential component to meet the challenges of climate change. Better ways to produce, store, conserve, and transmit energy will help the U.S. and other nations meet the ambitious goals set at the United Nations climate change conference held in Paris in December 2015.  Director of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, Michelle K. Lee, and a panel of technology, energy, and climate experts for a discussion on how present and future innovation can change the course of our planet’s future.

NARUC Commissioner Head to Address NatGas Roundtable – The Natural Gas Roundtable is hosting Travis Kavulla, President and Chairman of the Board of Directors of the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC), as its guest speaker at the Jun luncheon at the University Club on Thursday, June 30th.  Kavulla represents the Montana Public Service Commission’s geographically largest district.

July 4th Holiday

Tesoro, Kinder CEOs Headline EIA Conference – The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) will hold its 2016 Energy Conference on July 11th and 12th in Washington, DC. This two-day event provides the opportunity to meet and network with energy analysts, decision makers, and EIA staff.  Conference session topics that may be relevant to EIA stakeholders interested in information about greenhouse gasses include: 1) Clean Power Plan: EIA, EPA, and state and regional perspectives and 2) Climate—next steps: Perspectives from the United States, Europe, and China.  Keynoters are Tesoro’s Greg Goff, Kinder Morgan’s Steve Kean and Dan Gardiner, Advisor to the Canadian PM.  View the full list of speakers and sessions and register today.  Among the Panel speakers include our friends Andrew Gohn of AWEA, NREL’s Bryan Hannegan and EPA’s Joe Goffman.

EESI Holds Congressional Renewables Forum – The Environmental and Energy Study Institute (EESI) holds its 19th annual Congressional Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Expo and Policy Forum on July 12th in the Cannon building.  The forum will bring together up to 50 businesses, trade associations, and government agencies to showcase renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies. In every state across the country, these technologies are having a significant impact in business development and job creation in the manufacturing, transmission, power, transportation, and building sectors. The bipartisan House Renewable Energy & Energy Efficiency Caucus and the Senate Renewable Energy & Energy Efficiency Caucus are honorary co-hosts of the Expo.

Republican Convention – Cleveland will host the Republican Convention at the Quicken Loans Arena July 18-21st.  The Republican National Committee (RNC), the convention will host approximately 2,470 delegates and 2,302 alternate delegates from all 50 states, the District of Columbia and five territories.

Democratic Convention – A week later, the Democrats will head to Philadelphia for the 2016 Democratic National Convention at the Wells Fargo Center on July 25th – 28th.

Energy Update: Week of June 13

Friends,

We start this week by thinking of the victims of the terrorist attack in Orlando.

Well, the long hockey season has come to an end with Pittsburgh’s victory in San Jose last night.  It is the Pens 4th Stanley Cup and Steel City can now celebrate.  Next up, Golden State looks to finish LeBron James and Cleveland tonight to complete back to back NBA titles.  And the Penguins weren’t the only winners last night as Hamilton collected 11 wins at the Tony awards.

The Belmont also provided some excitement on Saturday, but not the kind of excitement I was hoping for as favorite Exaggerator fell way back and blew up my superfecta.  I did manage to win a flyer on Creator, paying out at 34.80, so I was about even.  The mile-and-a-half at Belmont is always the toughest test and it showed its teeth on Saturday.

The Big News TODAY:  Former Utah Rep. Jim Matheson has been named NRECA’s new CEO.  Matheson, a Democrat who served in the House from 2001 to 2015, was a member of the House Energy & Commerce Committee.  The respect Matheson has on both sides of the aisle, and his ability to bridge political and policy divides to find common ground, will serve NRECA and all member cooperatives very well.

Three weeks to go in the official Congressional calendar and lots to do.  The Interior funding bill takes up most of the time this week, while Senate Energy will look at pipeline issues with our Friend Andy Black and others. Also tomorrow, Senate Finance will discuss Tax extenders with the Chamber Energy Institute’s Karen Harbert testifying.

This week, EPA’s Scientific Advisory Board (SAB) meets tomorrow and Wednesday to finalize its report on EPA’s SDWA natgas water report.  Opponents had complained that EPA’s initial finding was too vague when they said there has been “no widespread, systemic impacts on drinking water resources” from fracturing.  WCEE hold events on energy security innovations (tomorrow) and international development leadership (Wed) and Carnegie host forums on driverless cars (tomorrow) and Oil prices and climate (Th).

Two other reports this week should shed some light on where energy markets are going amid low oil prices and aggressive climate policies. BP’s group chief economist Spencer Dale discusses this year’s BP Statistical Review of World Energy tomorrow morning and in the afternoon, Statoil’s chief economist Eirik Waerness will discuss energy perspectives for 2016 at CSIS.

Finally, as some of you may know, my colleague Scott Segal is finally getting hitched this weekend.  It is a great and important day.  In true fashion, I thought you might like reading this fun piece from today’s Washington Post’s Reliable Source that details the big event.

Call with questions…

 

Best,

 

Frank Maisano

(202) 828-5864

(202) 997-5932

 

FRANKLY SPOKEN

“”There’s bipartisanship on this issue, and the bipartisanship is in opposition to a carbon tax”

House Majority Whip Steve Scalise, following Friday’s 237-163 House vote opposing a carbon tax.

“Jim Matheson will bring to the position a broad knowledge of the issues facing rural America and will be an inspirational leader for America’s Electric Cooperatives.”

NRECA member President Mel Coleman announcing former Utah Rep. Jim Matheson will head the rural Co-Op trade group.

 

IN THE NEWS

Matheson to Head Rural Co-op Trade Group – The National Rural Electric Co-Op Assn (NRECA) said today that former Utah Rep. Jim Matheson will be its next CEO.   Matheson is replacing former Missouri Rep. JoAnn Emerson who led NRECA for three years.   He will join the association and assume his duties as CEO in July.  Matheson, currently at Squire Patton Boggs, served in the House from 2001 to 2015 where he was a member of the House Energy & Commerce Committee.  The respect Matheson has on both sides of the aisle, and his ability to bridge political and policy divides to find common ground, will serve NRECA and all member cooperatives very well.  In addition to his extensive background in Congress and public policy, Matheson worked in the energy industry for several years.  He was a project development manager in the independent power industry. He worked at two consulting companies, including his own firm, providing services to large energy consumers.

AHRI Leads Reform Effort at House Panel – A Friday hearing in the House Energy subpanel questioned the continued effectiveness of DOE energy efficiency programs.  While DOE’s efficiency program is one of the most successful energy savers in history, industry representatives who have lead the success are calling for major reforms to the 40-year-old law governing efficiency rules that they say are leading to standards that are not “economically justified.”  Air-Conditioning, Heating and Refrigeration Institute President Stephen Yurek said Congress should require DOE to convene stakeholders to “discuss and recommend a new regulatory framework.”

Consumers Paying Price –  Yurek also said that “consumers are paying a heavy price, both in real monetary costs and in comfort and safety” because of the continuous cycle of Department of Energy (DOE) rulemakings that result in higher and higher energy efficiency levels. “When new equipment costs more than consumers can afford,” he said, “they find alternatives, some of which compromise their comfort and safety, while saving less energy or no energy at all.” Yurek told subcommittee members that while the Clinton Administration issued six major efficiency rules over eight years, the current administration issued eight such rules in 2014 alone.   Citing several examples of rulemakings in which job losses were forecast, Yurek charged that “American jobs are being lost – many of them exported – in part because of ever more stringent efficiency regulations.”

Ohio Statesman Voinovich Passes – The nation lost a great leader when George V. Voinovich, a former two-term United States senator, two-term governor of Ohio and Cleveland mayor, died on Sunday in Cleveland at 79.  Voinovich was known for his ability to bring people together and preached frugality in his personal and public life, as well as occasionally bucked the Republican establishment.

House Opposes Carbon, Oil Tax – The House passed resolutions Friday opposing a carbon Tax and a tax on oil proposed by President Obama.  One of the resolutions would express a sense of Congress that a carbon tax would be “detrimental” to the American economy, and the other opposes President Obama’s budget proposal for a $10.25-per-barrel oil fee. Six Democratic members joined their Republican colleagues in opposing a carbon tax, including Reps. Brad Ashford of Nebraska, Sanford Bishop of Georgia, Henry Cuellar of Texas, Ann Kirkpatrick of Arizona, Collin Peterson of Minnesota and Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona. Democratic Rep. Michelle Lujan Grisham of New Mexico voted “present.”

SCOTUS Leaves Mercury Rule – The Supreme Court will not restart EPA’s overhaul of the mercury pollution rule for power plants.  The SCOTUS remanded the rule saying it should have considered costs when it first decided it was “appropriate and necessary” to regulate.  The court rejected a request from Michigan and other states to take up a new challenge without explanation.

BH: Higher Prices Bringing Rigs Back Online – New rig data from Baker Hughes shows that oil producers brought rigs online for a second straight week last week as prices hover around the $50-a-barrel mark.  Rigs targeting crude in the U.S. rose by 3 to 328, after 9 were added last week.  The move is a watch point for reaction to the rising oil price and when companies when companies would start bringing rigs back on line.

Connecting Grids Will Increase Emissions – A new study by the California Independent System Operator says carbon emissions would likely rise across the West if a proposal to merge California’s energy market with PacifiCorp goes forward.  But operators say coordinating energy grids is key to keeping costs down, enhancing reliability and helping states meet clean energy requirements. An initial feasibility study found merging western grids could save customers almost $9 billion over the next 20 years.  Politicians like Wyoming Gov. Matt Mead worry the plan could allow California to import its policies of getting at least 50 percent of its electricity from clean sources by 2030.

 

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

Forum to Look at Climate Mitigation Issues – The Wilson Center and US AID will host a forum tomorrow at 9:30 a.m. on climate change mitigation.  As governments move to implement the commitments made at COP 21, this event will feature discussion by key decision-makers on what the Paris Agreement means for mitigation efforts globally. The panel of experts will reflect on actions being taken by developing countries and by the development community to implement countries’ international climate pledges, known as Nationally Determined Contributions. They will explore how to integrate climate change mitigation into government policies and programs and strengthen collaboration across the range of actors working on these issues.

Senate Finance to Look at Extra Tax Extenders – The Senate Finance Committee will hold an oversight hearing tomorrow at 9:30 a.m. on tax extenders and existing tax credits.  Witnesses will include our friend Karen Harbert of the Chamber’s Energy Institute, as well as AEI’s Benjamin Zycher, Bulk Handling Systems CEO Steve Miller and Susan Kennedy, CEO of Advanced Microgrid Solutions.

Panels to Mark Up Interior Budget Bill – The Senate Appropriations Committee’s Subcommittee on Department of the Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies will hold a business meeting tomorrow to 9:30 a.m. to markup an original bill entitled, “Department of the Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, Fiscal Year 2017.  On Wednesday, the full House Committee on Appropriations will meet to markup the FY 2017 Interior and Environment Bill.

Senate Energy to Look at Pipeline Challenges – The Senate Energy Committee will hold a hearing tomorrow at 10:00 a.m. to examine oil and gas pipeline infrastructure and the economic, safety, environmental, permitting, construction, and maintenance considerations associated with that infrastructure.  Witnesses will Include Andy Black of the Association of Oil Pipe Lines, NAM’s Ross Eisenberg, Sean McGarvey of the North America’s Building Trades Unions, CRS’s Energy and Infrastructure specialist Paul Parfomak and EDF’s Jonathan Peress.

EPA SAB to Meet on Findings For NatGas Drilling – The EPA’s Scientific Advisory Board (SAB) meets tomorrow and Wednesday in Alexandria, VA to finalize for submission comments which found that EPA’s SDWA fracking report was too vague in its assertion of no “widespread, systemic impacts on drinking water resources” from fracking.  This has been a controversial process but we’ll see where they land.

Forum to Look at Hydropower in Myanmar – The Stimson Center will host a case study forum on hydropower in Myanmar tomorrow at 10:30 a.m. The Nature Conservancy, in partnership with WWF and the University of Manchester, demonstrated a system-scale planning framework that was applied in Myanmar and could be replicated worldwide, called Hydropower by Design, which seeks to compare alternative development scenarios upfront and identify those scenarios that can most effectively balance energy development with the protection of other social and environmental resources for better hydropower planning. The Stimson Center invites you to join us for a discussion. TNC’s Jeff Opperman, Director and Lead Scientist of the Great Rivers Program will discuss the Hydropower by Design approach as it was applied in Myanmar as well as the results and lessons learned from that effort. In addition, Jorge Gastelumendi, Policy Innovation Lead at TNC, will discuss the opportunity for innovative financial mechanisms that have the potential to enable and encourage this better, system-scale planning approach for hydropower. The Stimson Center’s Southeast Asia Program Director Richard Cronin will moderate and provide discussion on the opportunities and challenges in applying the Hydropower by Design approach to a transnational river like the Mekong.

Forum to Look at Transportation Sector Impacts, Changes for Climate – The Carnegie Endowment for International Peace will hold a conversation tomorrow at Noon with key thinkers on the future of driverless cars and how they could aid efforts to decarbonize the transport sector.  Former NHTSA Administrator David Strickland and Levi Tillemann, author of The Great Race: The Global Quest for the Car of the Future, which is an analysis of the rise of electric vehicles and the intersection between policy and innovation in the global auto industry, will lead the discussion.

WCEE to Look at Energy Security Innovations – Tomorrow at Noon, the Women’s Council on Energy and the Environment (WCEE) will hold another Lunch event on energy security issues and how technology and innovation are changing the picture.  The advance of new technologies and the introduction of new players and new potential interactions on the grid have made the industry very aware of threats and potential game changers. Cyber security and physical security are just two of the constant concerns of those who manage the industry’s assets.  Speakers at the event will be former Chief Technology Officer at DOE Pete Tseronis and Jeff Lane, former DOE Assistant Secretary for Congressional and Intergovernmental Affairs.

Offshore Energy Seminar Set – The American Geosciences Institute will hold a Congressional webinar tomorrow at 1:00 p.m. to explain the scientific and engineering tools that enable production in challenging environments far from land or in miles-deep water.  Speakers will also address the environmental challenges of offshore energy production.  BOEM’s James Bennett is among the speakers.

Statoil Official to Discuss Energy Market Outlook – The CSIS Energy and National Security Program is hosting a forum tomorrow at 1:00 p.m.; featuring Eirik Wærness, Chief Economist of Statoil, to present the company’s newly released Energy Perspectives 2016 publication. The report describes the macroeconomic and market outlook to 2040 including supply, demand, energy trade and CO2 impacts, as well as illustrates some of the key uncertainties that will influence these factors in 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, Rivalry, and Renewal, respectively.

Forum to Look at Climate Policy, Ethics – The Wilson Center and the Institute for Philosophy and Public Policy at George Mason University will hold a debate on Wednesday at 9:30 a.m. between two of the most trenchant scholars on the human dimensions of climate change and the relevance of ethics in creating global climate policy. Stephen Gardiner argues that climate change is fundamentally an ethical issue. A robust response must attend to difficult issues, including justice, rights, political legitimacy, and humanity’s relationship to nature. Consequently, climate policy that ignores ethics is at risk of “solving” the wrong problem, perhaps even to the extreme of endorsing forms of climate extortion.  In contrast, David Weisbach argues that existing ethical theories are not well suited to addressing climate change because they suffer from internal logic problems and suggest impractical strategies. He argues that the central motivation for climate policy is straightforward: it is in the common interest of people and nations to dramatically reduce emissions in order to prevent terrible harms.  Gardiner and Weisbach are co-authors of Debating Climate Ethics. This is their first public appearance together since its publication this month. Following their debate, a panel of climate policy practitioners and academics will discuss the practical implications of this exchange.

BP Stat Review Set – On Wednesday at 9:30 a.m., the Atlantic Council will host the US launch of the BP Statistical Review of World Energy 2016 with Spencer Dale, Group Chief Economist for BP.  Global energy markets have entered a period of accelerating volatility. The US shale revolution has upended global oil and gas markets. Alternative energy sources are bourgeoning, and climate policies are reshaping energy systems. Dale will present key trends and findings from the 2016 Statistical Review. Following his presentation, Richard Morningstar, Founding Director and Chairman of the Global Energy Center, will lead a moderated discussion.

House Science Looks at Solar Fuels, Storage – The House Science Committee’s Subcommittee on Energy will convene a hearing on Wednesday looking at innovation in solar fuels, electricity storage and advanced materials.  Witnesses will include Nate Lewis of Cal Tech, Daniel Scherson of Case Western Reserve University, Collin Broholm of Johns Hopkins University and Daniel Hallinan of Florida A&M University.

Carnegie to Release Report on Oil, Climate Issues – On Wednesday, the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace will release its new report, Smart-Tax: Pricing Oil for a Safe Climate. For the first time, it is possible to estimate the value and profile of GHG emissions from oils throughout their supply chain using an Oil-Climate Index. This allows for the replacement of blunt tax designs with a smart tax that captures oil’s total emissions with minimal economic cost and maximum efficiency.  The release of the report will be followed by a panel discussion about a smart-tax design, why U.S.—and North American—involvement will be critical, and why national policymaking must catch up to the new realities of today’s oil landscape.  Speakers will include Rhode Island Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, former Idaho Rep. Walter Minnick of the Partnership for Responsible Growth and Deborah Gordon, director of Carnegie’s Energy and Climate Program.

WCEE Leadership Forum Tackles Women’s Role in International Development – On Wednesday at 11:30 a.m. at Clyde’s of Gallery Place, WCEE’s Women in Leadership (WIL) luncheon panel discussion will showcase some of the exciting work that federal agencies are doing globally in clean energy and climate change, and in particular how women around the world are impacted by and are tackling these complex issues. The panel will discuss how the U.S. public sector advances clean energy entrepreneurship, helps developing countries meet their COP 21 commitments, encourages women in leadership within the energy sector, and supports access to energy around the world.  Panelists will include State’s Rachel Kastenberg, DOE’s Caroline McGregor and USAID’s Kathryn Stratos.

McKinley, Welch Headline Briefing For High Performance Buildings – On Wednesday at noon, as part of High Performance Building Week, there will be a Congressional briefing on Capitol Hill featuring Reps. David McKinley and Peter Welch.  Around the country States and cities are calling for high performance green residential and commercial buildings. But what exactly are high performance buildings, why is there a demand, what tools are available to meet this demand, what challenges exist, and how can Congress help? Join us for a fast-paced series of presentations from experts on cutting-edge trends in the building industry.  Other presentations include NASEO’s Todd Sims, Kara Saul Rinaldi of the Home Performance Coalition and Efficiency First, NAHB’s John Barrows and Lawrence Schoen, Vice Chair of ASHRAEO’s Standing Standard Project Committee.

Summer Solstice Solar Event Set – The Solar Foundation will be having its Summer Solstice event on Thursday from 6:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m. at the Capitol View at 400.  Every June, in honor of the longest day of the year, 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 taking over an incredible rooftop in downtown Washington, D.C. to roll out the “yellow carpet” in recognition of all things solar. This year’s Solstice guests will be treated to great food and drinks, electrifying beats, amazing twilight views of the Capital’s skyline, and the company of many of the most eclectic personalities in solar.

Forum to Feature PJM Official on CPP Implementation – On Friday, the USAEE-NCAC will hold its next installment of our monthly lunch series featuring Paul Sotkiewicz, Ph.D., Senior Economic Policy Advisor for the PJM Wholesale Power Market.  He will discuss recent updates and results from PJM’s Capacity Market Auction, Clean Power Plan implementation, and investment decisions in PJM.

USEA Forum to Look at More Capture Technologies – On Friday at 2:00 p.m., the U.S. Energy Association will host a forum on the technical basis for direct air capture of CO2.  The event will hear from Geoff Holmes, who will address the operation of Carbon Engineering’s air capture demonstration plant in Squamish, B.C.  Holmes will discuss opportunities for commercialization and deployment of the technology.  Carbon Engineering has been developing direct air capture technology since 2009, and has innovated a process based on wet scrubbing and chemical recovery that shows great promise for deployment at industrial scale. CE is now piloting this process with a fully end-to-end 1-ton-CO2/day demonstration plant.

 

FUTURE EVENTS

Wisconsin Energy Fair Set – The 27th annual Energy Fair will be held in Custer, Wisconsin on June 17th to 19th.  The event hosted by the Midwest Renewable Energy Association in Central Wisconsin, features over 250 workshops and over 200 exhibitors, with live music, inspiring keynotes, and activities

Mann to Address Climate Lobby Conference – The Citizens Climate Lobby is holding its annual conference on Sunday-Tuesday, June 19-21 at the Omni Shoreham.  The CCL Conference trains activists to climate issues.  Their Keynote Speaker will be Penn State Climate activist Professor Michael Mann.

Dominion Official to Address AWEA Virginia Forum – On June 22nd at James Madison University in Harrisonburg, the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) is hosting the AWEA State Wind Energy Forum – Virginia in collaboration with partners and colleagues in the state. You’ll learn about the benefits and challenges of Virginia’s potential for land-based and offshore wind industry from state policy, industry, government, and other thought leaders, as well as experts on national, regional, and state wind markets; grid integration; wildlife impacts and mitigation; economics; local economic development benefits; and water and air impacts.  Bill Murray of Dominion and our friend Jonathan Miles will speak among several others.

RFF to Look at Coal Leasing – Resources for the Future (RFF) holds a seminar on Wednesday June 22nd at 8:45 a.m. to look at the economics of coal leasing on Federal Lands, ensuring a fair return for taxpayers.  In 2015, BLM’s federal coal leasing program accounted for nearly 40% of coal production in the United States and supplied some of the lowest-cost coal available. The program has been widely critiqued in recent years for providing a poor return to taxpayers and failing to adequately address the environmental costs of coal extraction and processing. At this RFF seminar, Jason Furman, chairman of the White House Council of Economic Advisers (CEA), will unveil a new CEA report that examines the economic principles underlying the program, discusses the case for reform, and provides quantitative estimates of the effects of such changes. Furman’s remarks will be followed by an expert panel discussion on reforming the federal coal leasing program.  Among the panelists will be Michael Greenstone, Director of the Energy Policy Institute at the University of Chicago, and James Stock of the Harvard Kennedy School.

CSIS to Host IEA Gas Outlook – On Tuesday, June 28th at 1:30 p.m., the CSIS Energy and National Security Program will host Costanza Jacazio, Senior Gas Expert in the Gas, Coal & Power Markets Division at the International Energy Agency (IEA), to present the IEA’s Medium-Term Gas Market Report 2016. The annual report, which gives a detailed analysis and five-year projections of natural gas demand, supply and trade developments, examines the interaction of oversupply, low prices and upstream capital expenditure cuts. The impact on global gas markets of changing trade patterns and price mechanisms 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.

July 4th Holiday

Republican Convention – Cleveland will host the Republican Convention at the Quicken Loans Arena July 18-21st.  The Republican National Committee (RNC), the convention will host approximately 2,470 delegates and 2,302 alternate delegates from all 50 states, the District of Columbia and five territories.

Democratic Convention – A week later, the Democrats will head to Philadelphia for the 2016 Democratic National Convention at the Wells Fargo Center on July 25th – 28th.

Energy Update: Week of June 6

Friends,

We start today by thanking and honoring Muhammad Ali, who was the original transcender of policy, politics, sports, character and humor.  He was a giant and is well-deserving of any and all praise (especially this type of Barbershop praise) he receives for changing the way we look at athletes.

We had a very exciting weekend at the Maisano House as Hannah finally crossed the stage to graduate from Severn School with Honors.  It is a very exciting first step as she prepares for Wellesley.  In the meantime, she was appointed to umpire USA Field Hockey’s two national championships – The National Futures (best individual players) and the National Club Championships (Best Teams).  And the Cherry on the dessert:  She will be umpiring USA Field Hockey/AAU Junior Olympics in Houston in August (Houston in August doesn’t sound very fun), but she is one of only 8 umpires across the nation to be selected for the event.  It is a great honor and we are very proud of her accomplishments both in school, sports and officiating.

Of course, Saturday brings us the final Triple Crown Jewell, the 148th Belmont Stakes.  Right now (and with Nyquist out), I like the looks of a well-rested Suddenbreakingnews (with HoF Jockey Mike Smith) to chase 6-5 favorite, Exaggerator.  Another horse that is rested and should be good if the pace is slow is Governor Malibu, who recently “placed” at the Peter Pan Stakes at Belmont.  He is strong and runs close to pace.  He also fits the Belmont’s penchant for running an upset winner that hasn’t won any graded stakes.  Late closers Cherry Wine and Creator, as well as the speedy Stradivari will all challenge at the longer mile-and-a-half distance.  While all the closers benefited from the fast early pace in Baltimore, I suspect we won’t see that fast first quarter in New York.  Destin and Brody’s Cause both ran the Derby but passed on the Preakness and could be fresher than those that ran in Baltimore. Depending on weather, I’d box Exaggerator, Suddenbreakingnews and Governor Malibu for at least one trifecta.  I also might try one with Cherry Wine.  As for Superfecta, I might consider playing two, mixing the previous five or maybe swapping Stradivari in.  Straight up: A “win” flyer bet on Governor Malibu is probably worth it at 25-1, although I don’t suspect the line will stay there.   Of course, some of this may change as the positions are drawn (Wednesday), the weather forecast changes and the field firms up.  Post time is around 6:50 p.m. Saturday.

It will be a busy week in DC as Congress returns to run its final multi-week session before really breaking for the fall elections.  The main event is a Senate Environment hearing on Thursday on the SCOTUS stay of EPA’s GHG rule featuring Hunton expert Allison Wood and Tri-State Generation CEO Mike McInnes, among others.   Also Thursday, a House Foreign Affairs panel will hear from EIA Head Adam Sieminski and others on energy security in the Americas.  Tomorrow, a Senate Environment panel looks at EPA’s unfunded mandates.  Finally, Friday morning at 9:30 a.m., House Energy will host AHRI President Steve Yurek and others for a hearing on appliance energy standards.

The biggest event off the Hill this week is the US Energy Stream’s Washington Oil & Gas Conference on Thursday at the Cosmos Club featuring Republican House Whip Steve Scalise, former House Energy Chair Joe Barton and Resources Chair Rob Bishop. The Forum focuses on the international aspects of the American oil and gas industry and will address the international impact of the shale gas revolution.  Other events in town include Heritage hosting TX AG Ken Paxton on Friday while Bracewell hosts a WCEE forum on Wednesday looking at the future of Utilities.  There are also Clean Energy, Paris and oil-price events sponsored by The Atlantic, Brookings, Carnegie, USEA and Johns Hopkins throughout the week.  Everything is listed below.

Out of town on Wednesday, Kansas will host an EPA public meeting on the RFS’s RVO rule and the Geothermal industry gathers.

Finally, the US Chamber’s Energy Institute is expected to launch its International Index of Energy Security Risk sometime this week so stayed tuned for that.

In case you haven’t noticed, it’s an election year.  Between the Trump energy event last week and a Mark Drajem  Interview with Bloomberg Analyst Rob Barnett on Sander’s Presidential Fracking position, got us thinking to start paying closer attention to energy-related action on the campaign trail (which many times is a little light on substance, historical perspective and reality) so keep us as a background resource.  We’ll have people at both conventions – yes we are a bipartisan group.  Anyway, the countdown is on: 42 days to Cleveland, 49 days to Philly and 155 days to Election Day.

 

Best,

Frank Maisano

(202) 828-5864

(202) 997-5932

 

FRANKLY SPOKEN

“If we are serious about combating climate change, we need to put an end to fracking all over this country.”

Presidential Candidate and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders last week after a speech in California.

 

IN THE NEWS

AHRI, ASHRAE, DOE Partner to Fund Flammable Refrigerant Research – The Air-Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration Institute (AHRI), ASHRAE, and the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) are collaborating to fund vital research that will establish a more robust fact base about the properties and the use of flammable refrigerants. This $5.2 million research program is part of an ongoing global effort to phase down the use of high-global warming potential (GWP) refrigerants and identify appropriate climate-friendly alternatives. Of the total, DOE is contributing $3 million, ASHRAE $1.2 million, and AHRI $1 million.  In anticipation of a global plan to phase down high-GWP refrigerants, the industry has spent the past five years researching potential alternatives. Through that effort, several promising refrigerants were identified, many of which are low toxicity, but are classified as mildly flammable or flammable. This new research program will provide the technical knowledge needed to facilitate and accelerate the safe use of these refrigerants.

Industry Group May Challenge Methane Rule – The Western Energy Alliance is “exploring litigation” over the new EPA rules aimed that reducing methane for new oil and gas.  WEA official Kathleen Sgemma, said the alliance has been involved in litigation on a number of regulations that western oil and gas producers say would hobble the industry. Sgemma said the alliance was successful in suing against the first round of fracking regulations that the Bureau of Land Management tried to impose, winning a federal court injunction to stay the rules until a decision on the merits is made.

Interior to Open Up Waters Off NY for Offshore Wind – The federal government is expanding its offshore wind energy program to New York, the Department of Interior announced Thursday.  Interior said more than 81,000 acres of the Atlantic Ocean off the New York coast will be available for wind energy leases.  The section of ocean is in the New York Wind Energy Area, a portion of the outer continental shelf 11 miles south of Long Island. The department will publish a sales notice in the Federal Register on Monday, opening a 60-day public comment period.  As with other WEAs, the question is not whether Interior can open it up, but if somebody will build any projects.  So far, not much luck.

Paris Is Now Banning All Pre-1997 Cars – While France gets most of its electricity from nuclear power, it still has some of the most polluted air in Paris because of traffic issues.    Paris has tried just about everything to combat its terrible smog problem. The city has launched attempts to take half the cars off its road, introduce regular car-free days, and close famous streets to vehicular traffic—but nothing has worked. Now a much bigger idea is going into effect: Kicking the oldest cars out of the city. Starting July 1, all cars registered before 1997 and motorcycles registered before 2000 will be banned from the city center during weekdays.

Platts Crude Discusses OPEC – This week’s Capitol Crude podcast is live from Vienna where Brian and Herman go inside last week’s OPEC meeting, the first for the new Saudi energy minister. What did the meeting mean for OPEC, as well as US producers and policy? The podcast also addresses the view from OPEC on the ongoing US presidential race and its impact on the world oil market. With appearances from Khalid al-Falih, Amos Hochstein and Joe McMonigle.

Exelon to Close IL Nuke Plants – Exelon says it will close two of its nuclear plants in the state starting next year because if the sustained low wholesale power prices, capacity auction results, regulatory uncertainty and questions regarding the future of the EPA’s Clean Power Plan for its decision to close the two plants.  They also tried to convince the Illinois General Assembly to pass zero-carbon energy standard legislation that could have helped keep them competitive.  Exelon will close the Clinton nuclear plant on June 1, 2017, and the Quad Cities plant in 2018. The closures will come several years before the plants’ NRC licenses run out.

TVA Nuke Plant Finally Producing Energy – Speaking of Nukes, the long-awaited second reactor at the Tennessee Valley Authority’s Watts Bar nuclear plant has been synced to the grid and will next undergo systems and controls testing.  The next step is full-plant testing of systems and controls at increasing reactor power levels up to 100 percent power by this summer.  Combined with Watts Bar Unit 1, the plant will supply power to roughly 1.3 million homes in the TVA service area.

 

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

Fuel Cell Techs Under Review by DOE – This week, DOE will host a series on reviews on fuel cell vehicle technologies.  Each year, projects funded by the Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) Fuel Cell Technologies Office and Vehicle Technologies Office are reviewed for their merit at the Annual Merit Review and Peer Evaluation Meeting (AMR). DOE uses the results of this merit review and peer evaluation, along with additional review processes, to make funding decisions for upcoming years.

Heritage to Look at Obama War On Fossil Fuels – Today at 12:00 p.m., the Heritage Foundation hosts a forum on the Obama Administration’s efforts against fossil fuels. In only a few short years, the U.S. has become the world’s largest producer of oil and natural gas; it has long been the Saudi Arabia of coal. America has more fossil fuels resources than any nation and can produce and utilize those resources with more environmental sensitivity and energy efficiency. Yet, highly politicized climate policies are pushing a grand-scale shift to unreliable, expensive renewable energy sources inherently incapable of replacing the vast energy services fossil fuels provide. Today, ‘fossil fuel’ has become such a dirty word that even fossil fuel companies feel compelled to apologize for their products. In Fueling Freedom, Kathleen Hartnett White and Stephen Moore make an unapologetic case for fossil fuels, turning around progressives’ protestations to prove that if fossil fuel energy is supplanted by ‘green’ alternatives for political reasons, humanity will take a giant step backwards and the planet will be less safe, less clean, and less free.

Energy, Education Forum Set – The National Council on Science and the Environment’s (NCSE) Council of Energy Research and Education Leaders (CEREL) will host the 2nd annual National Energy Education Summit tomorrow at the American University. Energy literate leaders in politics, labor, business, and religion must help citizens and the workforce cope with the challenges and embrace the opportunities of change. Despite the needs for energy literacy, very few college and university students in the United States or elsewhere systematically learn about energy as part of their education. New forms of energy education must become a fundamental part of undergraduate education, in the United States and everywhere else in the world.

Forum to Look at Climate, Air Quality Connections – The Carnegie Endowment for International Peace hosts a half-day event tomorrow on the connection between air quality and climate change and how it might be expected to shape the global energy innovation agenda in the years to come. Speakers will include Deborah Gordon, Judi Greenwald, Daniel Horton, David Livingston, Varun Rai, Seth Shonkoff.

Senate Enviro to Tackle Unfunded Mandates — The Senate Environment Committee’s Subcommittee on Superfund, Waste Management, and Regulatory Oversight will hold a hearing tomorrow providing oversight of EPA Unfunded Mandates on State, Local, and Tribal Governments.  Witnesses include Tennessee state Senate majority Mark Norris representing the Council of State Governments, Berks County, PA Commission Chair Christian Leinbach on behalf of the National Association of Counties; Quapaw Tribe of Oklahoma chair John Berrey, DC Water/Sewer Authority CEO George Hawkins and George Washington University environmental law professor Robert Glicksman.

Brookings Forum to Look at Paris Climate Deal – Tomorrow at 4:00 p.m., Brookings will host a panel to assess the challenges as well as the opportunities in implementing the Paris Climate Agreement.  The Paris agreement, recently signed onto by 196 countries, is a milestone in recognizing the threat posed by climate change and securing collective commitment to hold global temperature rise to “well below 2 degrees Celsius.” The task now is to translate this ambitious commitment into a concrete implementation agenda.  This high level panel, which will include eminent climate expert Lord Nicholas Stern, World Bank Managing Director Sri Mulyani Indrawati, and University of Maryland Dean Public Policy and longtime climate advisor Robert Orr, as well as Vice President Kemal Dervis and Senior Fellow Amar Bhattacharya of Global Economy and Development program at Brookings.

Geothermal Conference Set – The Baseload Renewable Energy Summit will be held tomorrow and Wednesday at the Grand Sierra Resort and Casino in Reno, NV will examine key issues facing the geothermal, biomass and hydropower industries at the federal, state and local levels.  The event is Geothermal Energy Association (GEA) 5th annual National Geothermal Summit, but with a twist. This year, the leading forum for western state policy discussions will team up with the National Hydropower Association (NHA) and the Biomass Power Association (BPA) to create a new spin on the annual event. Wednesday will feature a full day program opening remarks by Rahm Orenstein, Vice President of Business Development, Ormat Technologies Inc. Following through the day panels of experts from power producers, utilities, government officials and others will examine key questions facing the future of the geothermal, biomass and hydropower industries.

EPA RFS Hearing In Kansas City – EPA announced it will hold a public hearing Thursday in Kansas City, Missouri, on its proposed rule for the 2017 renewable fuels standard (RFS).  The EPA released its proposed rule to set 2017 renewable volume obligations (RVOs) under the RFS, along with the 2018 RVO for biomass-based diesel, on May 18. The agency has proposed to set the 2017 RVO for cellulosic biofuel at 312 million gallons, with the advanced biofuel RVO at 4 billion gallons and the RVO for total renewable fuel at 18.8 billion gallons. The 2018 RVO for biomass-based diesel has been proposed at 2.1 billion gallons…

WCEE Forum on Future Utility of Future – On Wednesday at 12:00 noon in the swanky new office at Bracewell, the Women’s Council on Energy and the Environment (WCEE) will host a forum on the utility of the future.  Based on data published by EIA, US demand for electricity hit a plateau in 2006 for a variety reasons – the transition of our economy from manufacturing towards services, improvements in energy efficiency, and changing building codes.  There are also growing regional trends to shift towards clean energy, in some cases driven by legislative mandates or the Clean Power Plan, and an increase in the popularity of customer generated electricity.  But, at its simplest, the utility business model, forged at the turn of the 20th century, is based on a perpetual increasing demand for electricity.  The event features DC Public Service Commissioner Joanne Doddy Fort, former Maryland PSC Chair and current Alliance to Save Energy official Kelly Speakes-Backman, Katharine Bond of Dominion Virginia Power and Cheryl Roberto of  Twenty First Century Utilities.

JHU to Look at Living with Lower Oil Prices – Johns Hopkins SAIS, the International Monetary Fund, and the Middle East Institute will host a high level discussion on Wednesday at 12:30 p.m. looking at living with cheaper oil and the policy adjustments necessary in Middle Eastern and Central Asian oil exporting countries.  The event features a presentation by Min Zhu, Deputy Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund and Martin Sommer, IMF’s Deputy Chief, Middle East and Central Asia Regional Studies Division.

Forum to Look at Energy Storage – Wednesday at 2:00 p.m., the Joint Center for Energy Storage Research (JCESR) will hold a briefing to discuss energy storage.  JCESR is a public/private partnership that brings together world-leading scientists, engineers, and manufacturers with an important mission: develop clean energy storage technologies for transportation and the electricity grid. The Center was established by the Department of Energy as an Energy Innovation Hub in 2012 and is led by Argonne National Laboratory. Their partners include five national laboratories, ten universities, and five industrial firms.  JCESR was launched with a bold vision: to create game-changing, next-generation battery technologies that will transform transportation and the electricity grid the way lithium-ion batteries transformed personal electronics.

Atlantic Forum to Look at Clean EnergyThe Atlantic will host a forum on Thursday morning called Access to Power: A Forum on Energy Equity at the Newseum. The Atlantic‘s Ron Brownstein and Rebecca Rosen will be joined on stage by Michelle Moore (Groundswell), Richard Kauffman (New York Governor’s Office), Jim Kapsis (Opower) and others to discuss making the future of clean energy accessible to all.

Senate Enviro to Look at GHG Rule – Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works will hold a hearing Thursday on the implications of the Supreme Court Stay of EPA’s Clean Power Plan.  Testifying will be Tri-State Generation CEO Mike McInnis, Hunton’s Allison Wood Missouri State House Rep. Jack Bondon, NYU’s Richard Revesz and Connecticut DEEP deputy commissioner Katie Dykes.

EIA, DOE, State to Talk Energy – The House Foreign Affairs Committee’s Subcommittee on the Western Hemisphere will convene a hearing Thursday at 10:00 a.m. on the impact of low oil prices on energy security in the Americas.  Witnesses include EIA’s Adam Sieminski, DOE’s Melanie Kenderdine and State’s Amos Hochstein.

USEA Forum to Look at Paris, Future of Energy – On Thursday, USEA will host a forum looking at all sectors of the energy industry and the pressure from a combination of ultra-low prices, dislike of big business, accusations of crony capitalism and, last but not least, what for many are existential threats from environmental concerns.  The speakers, respectively the former Chief Climate Counsel for Sierra Club and Head of Climate Policy at ExxonMobil, talk frankly about what the future holds: what the Paris agreement means (and does not mean) for the energy industry; why the 2016 election may make less difference than many think – or hope – and what the reality of a carbon-constrained policy world means for the fossil and renewable energy industries. Former Sierra Club Counsel David Bookbinder has litigated cases under all of the major environmental statutes as Sierra Club’s Chief Climate Counsel. He then represented environmental groups in both stationary- and mobile-source carbon matters, including California’s greenhouse gas vehicle standards. Bookbinder has helped lead efforts on both global warming legislation and Clean Air Act greenhouse gas regulation, and has testified in front of House and Senate committees on these issues.  David Bailey has 35 years-experience in managing energy related issues around the world and has worked at literally every level of the coal and oil and gas industries, from the UK National Coal Board during the economic and labor upheavals under the Thatcher government to responsibility for ExxonMobil’s climate policy.

Scalise, Barton, Others Headline Oil, Gas Forum – US Energy Stream will hold a Washington Oil & Gas Forum on Wednesday and Thursday at the Cosmos Club in DC.  Speakers will include Reps. Steve Scalise, Rob Bishop, Joe Barton, as well as State’s Amos Hochstein and DOE’s Paula Gant.  The Washington Oil & Gas Forum focuses on the international aspects of the American oil and gas industry and is the only commercial forum in Washington that addresses the international impact of the shale gas revolution.  This year’s primary focus is the impact of the U.S. LNG exports on global energy markets.  More specifically, the topics include U.S. LNG and crude oil exports; oil prices; the impact of shale gas on the global energy markets; U.S. energy independence; upstream developments in the major U.S. shale plays; U.S. oil and gas investments in the international energy markets.

House Energy Panel to Look at Energy Efficiency Standards – On Friday morning, the House Energy Panel will hold a hearing on stakeholder perspectives on Appliance EE standards.  Among those testifying will be Steve Yurek, President of AHRI.

TX AG Headlines Heritage Forum on Climate Speech Challenges– The Heritage Foundation will host a forum on Friday at Noon featuring TX AG Ken Paxton discuss the recent efforts to attack scientific dissent.  A group of state attorneys general are targeting companies and others whom they claim “mislead the public about the dangers of climate change.” With the help of some private plaintiffs’ law firms, state AGs are opening up potential civil/criminal investigations. Other state AGs are objecting to these prosecutions as both ill-advised and violations of the First Amendment. The forum will look at whether this is a misuse of the law and are First Amendment rights being violated.

REFF Wall Street Meeting Set for NYC – REFF-Wall Street 2016 will be held on Saturday and Sunday at The Grand Hyatt, New York.  REFF-Wall Street is the premier renewable energy financing event in the U.S. The event draws an especially senior audience, comprising of over 600 decision makers, lenders, investors, investment bankers, private equity investors, venture capitalists, and other top transactional professionals in renewable energy finance. Delek CEO Yaniv Friedman, Grover Norquist, AGA’s David Sweet and Columbia’s Jason Bordoff will also speak among the many others.

 

FUTURE EVENTS

Forum to Look at Climate Mitigation Issues – The Wilson Center and US AID will host a forum next Tuesday at 9:30 a.m. on climate change mitigation.  As governments move to implement the commitments made at COP 21, this event will feature discussion by key decision-makers on what the Paris Agreement means for mitigation efforts globally. The panel of experts will reflect on actions being taken by developing countries and by the development community to implement countries’ international climate pledges, known as Nationally Determined Contributions. They will explore how to integrate climate change mitigation into government policies and programs and strengthen collaboration across the range of actors working on these issues.

Forum to Look at Transportation Sector Impacts, Changes for Climate – The Carnegie Endowment for International Peace will hold a conversation next Tuesday at Noon with key thinkers on the future of driverless cars and how they could aid efforts to decarbonize the transport sector.  Former NHTSA Administrator David Strickland and Levi Tillemann, author of The Great Race: The Global Quest for the Car of the Future, which is an analysis of the rise of electric vehicles and the intersection between policy and innovation in the global auto industry, will lead the discussion.

WCEE to Look at Energy Security Innovations – Next Tuesday at Noon, the Women’s Council on Energy and the Environment (WCEE) will hold another Lunch event on energy security issues and how technology and innovation are changing the picture.  The advance of new technologies and the introduction of new players and new potential interactions on the grid have made the industry very aware of threats and potential game changers. Cyber security and physical security are just two of the constant concerns of those who manage the industry’s assets.  Speakers at the event will be former Chief Technology Officer at DOE Pete Tseronis and Jeff Lane, former DOE Assistant Secretary for Congressional and Intergovernmental Affairs.

Offshore Energy Seminar Set – The American Geosciences Institute will hold a Congressional webinar on Tuesday, June 14th at 1:00 p.m. to explain the scientific and engineering tools that enable production in challenging environments far from land or in miles-deep water.  Speakers will also address the environmental challenges of offshore energy production.  BOEM’s James Bennett is among the speakers.

Statoil Official to Discuss Energy Market Outlook – The CSIS Energy and National Security Program is hosting a forum on Tuesday, June 14th at 1:00 p.m.; featuring Eirik Wærness, Chief Economist of Statoil, to present the company’s newly released Energy Perspectives 2016 publication. The report describes the macroeconomic and market outlook to 2040 including supply, demand, energy trade and CO2 impacts, as well as illustrates some of the key uncertainties that will influence these factors in 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, Rivalry, and Renewal, respectively.

Forum to Look at Climate Policy, Ethics – The Wilson Center and the Institute for Philosophy and Public Policy at George Mason University will hold a debate on Wednesday June 15th at 9:30 a.m. between two of the most trenchant scholars on the human dimensions of climate change and the relevance of ethics in creating global climate policy. Stephen Gardiner argues that climate change is fundamentally an ethical issue. A robust response must attend to difficult issues, including justice, rights, political legitimacy, and humanity’s relationship to nature. Consequently, climate policy that ignores ethics is at risk of “solving” the wrong problem, perhaps even to the extreme of endorsing forms of climate extortion.  In contrast, David Weisbach argues that existing ethical theories are not well suited to addressing climate change because they suffer from internal logic problems and suggest impractical strategies. He argues that the central motivation for climate policy is straightforward: it is in the common interest of people and nations to dramatically reduce emissions in order to prevent terrible harms.  Gardiner and Weisbach are co-authors of Debating Climate Ethics. This is their first public appearance together since its publication this month. Following their debate, a panel of climate policy practitioners and academics will discuss the practical implications of this exchange.

WCEE Leadership Forum Tackles Women’s Role in International Development – On Wednesday June 15th at 11:30 a.m. at Clyde’s of Gallery Place, WCEE’s Women in Leadership (WIL) luncheon panel discussion will showcase some of the exciting work that federal agencies are doing globally in clean energy and climate change, and in particular how women around the world are impacted by and are tackling these complex issues. The panel will discuss how the U.S. public sector advances clean energy entrepreneurship, helps developing countries meet their COP 21 commitments, encourages women in leadership within the energy sector, and supports access to energy around the world.  Panelists will include State’s Rachel Kastenberg, DOE’s Caroline McGregor and USAID’s Kathryn Stratos.

Summer Solstice Solar Event Set – The Solar Foundation will be having its Summer Solstice event on Thursday, June 16th from 6:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m. at the Capitol View at 400.  Every June, in honor of the longest day of the year, 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 taking over an incredible rooftop in downtown Washington, D.C. to roll out the “yellow carpet” in recognition of all things solar. This year’s Solstice guests will be treated to great food and drinks, electrifying beats, amazing twilight views of the Capital’s skyline, and the company of many of the most eclectic personalities in solar.

Forum to Feature PJM Official on CPP Implementation – On Friday June 17th, the USAEE-NCAC will hold its next installment of our monthly lunch series featuring Paul Sotkiewicz, Ph.D., Senior Economic Policy Advisor for the PJM Wholesale Power Market.  He will discuss recent updates and results from PJM’s Capacity Market Auction, Clean Power Plan implementation, and investment decisions in PJM.

USEA Forum to Look at More Capture Technologies – On Friday, June 17th at 2:00 p.m., the U.S. Energy Association will host a forum on the technical basis for direct air capture of CO2.  The event will hear from Geoff Holmes, who will address the operation of Carbon Engineering’s air capture demonstration plant in Squamish, B.C.  Holmes will discuss opportunities for commercialization and deployment of the technology.  Carbon Engineering has been developing direct air capture technology since 2009, and has innovated a process based on wet scrubbing and chemical recovery that shows great promise for deployment at industrial scale. CE is now piloting this process with a fully end-to-end 1-ton-CO2/day demonstration plant.

Wisconsin Energy Fair Set – The 27th annual Energy Fair will be held in Custer, Wisconsin on June 17th to 19th.  The event hosted by the Midwest Renewable Energy Association in Central Wisconsin, features over 250 workshops and over 200 exhibitors, with live music, inspiring keynotes, and activities.

Mann to Address Climate Lobby Conference – The Citizens Climate Lobby is holding its annual conference on Sunday-Tuesday, June 19-21 at the Omni Shoreham.  The CCL Conference trains activists to climate issues.  Their Keynote Speaker will be Penn State Climate activist Professor Michael Mann.

Dominion Official to Address AWEA Virginia Forum – On June 22nd at James Madison University in Harrisonburg, the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) is hosting the AWEA State Wind Energy Forum – Virginia in collaboration with partners and colleagues in the state. You’ll learn about the benefits and challenges of Virginia’s potential for land-based and offshore wind industry from state policy, industry, government, and other thought leaders, as well as experts on national, regional, and state wind markets; grid integration; wildlife impacts and mitigation; economics; local economic development benefits; and water and air impacts.  Bill Murray of Dominion and our friend Jonathan Miles will speak among several others.

RFF to Look at Coal Leasing – Resources for the Future (RFF) holds a seminar on Wednesday June 22nd at 8:45 a.m. to look at the economics of coal leasing on Federal Lands, ensuring a fair return for taxpayers.  In 2015, BLM’s federal coal leasing program accounted for nearly 40% of coal production in the United States and supplied some of the lowest-cost coal available. The program has been widely critiqued in recent years for providing a poor return to taxpayers and failing to adequately address the environmental costs of coal extraction and processing. At this RFF seminar, Jason Furman, chairman of the White House Council of Economic Advisers (CEA), will unveil a new CEA report that examines the economic principles underlying the program, discusses the case for reform, and provides quantitative estimates of the effects of such changes. Furman’s remarks will be followed by an expert panel discussion on reforming the federal coal leasing program.  Among the panelists will be Michael Greenstone, Director of the Energy Policy Institute at the University of Chicago, and James Stock of the Harvard Kennedy School.

CSIS to Host IEA Gas Outlook – On Tuesday, June 28th at 1:30 p.m., the CSIS Energy and National Security Program will host Costanza Jacazio, Senior Gas Expert in the Gas, Coal & Power Markets Division at the International Energy Agency (IEA), to present the IEA’s Medium-Term Gas Market Report 2016. The annual report, which gives a detailed analysis and five-year projections of natural gas demand, supply and trade developments, examines the interaction of oversupply, low prices and upstream capital expenditure cuts. The impact on global gas markets of changing trade patterns and price mechanisms 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.

July 4th Holiday

Republican Convention – Cleveland will host the Republican Convention at the Quicken Loans Arena July 18-21st.  The Republican National Committee (RNC), the convention will host approximately 2,470 delegates and 2,302 alternate delegates from all 50 states, the District of Columbia and five territories.

Democratic Convention – A week later, the Democrats will head to Philadelphia for the 2016 Democratic National Convention at the Wells Fargo Center on July 25th – 28th.

Memorial Day Energy Update

Friends,

Unofficial Summer is off and running….  I hope everyone had a few moments to enjoy the Memorial Day Weekend.  Hannah and I were in Cali taking in some field hockey and a significant number of In ‘N Out Burgers (good thing I don’t live out there).

With the Stanley Cup Finals underway (Pittsburgh took Game 1 last night 3-2) and the NBA Finals set after last night’s impressive Game 7 win by Golden State (they now take on LeBron and Cleveland in a rematch of last year’s final), it is a pretty great sports time.  And how about the way North Carolina took it to Maryland in both the Women’s and Men’s lax finals over the weekend, with the Tar Heel men coming back from a three goal deficit to win in OT.  Both of those wins had to be considered upsets.

And I know this goes against my Champ Kind “No Soccer” pledge, but starting Friday, the United States will host one of international soccer’s most famous tournaments, Copa America. To celebrate its 100th anniversary, the crown jewel of South American futbol is venturing outside its continental borders for the first time. The first match will pit the U.S. and Colombia at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, Calif., and culminates June 26 with the championship game at MetLife Stadium in New Jersey.  The Wash Post has a great primer here.

First, awesome news breaking late last week that our friend and long-time DC Trade reporter Darren Goode will be leaving the confines of the press to work with conservative clean energy advocate Jay Faison.   We are all familiar with Darren’s body of work for POLITICO, National Journal, The Hill and Inside EPA over the years and know we will stay up with him.  Also in the new job department, our friend Ellen Carey of Securing America’s Future Energy (SAFE) is leaving for an exciting new opportunity in Audi’s Communications shop.  Ellen will help Audi with policy communications, working on autonomous vehicles and other key regulatory issues.  So congrats Darren and Ellen…

Slow week this week because of the holiday, but still a few events, including CSIS hosting Chevron’s Ali Moshiri and the State Dept’s Amos Hochstein to discuss Latin American energy issues on Thursday.  Also Thursday, CEI hosts its annual dinner featuring Steve Forbes.  Out of town, Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz and two dozen of his international counterparts will swap policy ideas in San Francisco this week (starting today) at the 7th Clean Energy Ministerial.

We’ll be around should you have questions, mostly doing our research for next Saturday’s final Triple Crown Jewell, the 148th Belmont Stakes.  Right now, I like the looks of a well-rested Suddenbreakingnews (with HoF Jockey Will Smith) to chase Exaggerator.  Late closers Cherry Wine and Creator, as well as the speedy Stradivari will all challenge at the longer mile-and-a-half distance.  More race updates here next week.  Call with questions.

 

Best,

Frank Maisano

(202) 828-5864

(202) 997-5932

 

FRANKLY SPOKEN

“I couldn’t help but realize today that I have personally carried and birthed a child in the same amount of time in which Rand Paul could have raised objections to the few lines in this bill that he is now calling ‘rushed.’”

Senate EPW Spokesperson Donelle Harder

“Beth Parke has provided SEJ with an incredible level of dedication, service, vision and hard work. Her leadership has led SEJ to become widely admired and its members to become better journalists. I am thankful for all that Beth has done for the SEJ family. And I’m grateful she accepted our job offer almost a quarter century ago.”

Michigan State University Journalism Professor Jim Detjen, SEJ’s founding board president.

 

IN THE NEWS

SEJ Leader to Step Down After 25 Years – The Society of Environmental Journalists (SEJ) Board of Directors last week announced Beth Parke’s intent to step down from her role as executive director by early 2017, marking more than two decades of remarkable service. The organization is now launching a search for a new executive director to lead SEJ in its mission of informing and engaging the public on energy and environmental issues. Parke will continue in her role as executive director through the search and transition process.  As SEJ’s founding executive director, Parke has guided the organization through decades of programs designed to connect, support and educate colleagues and encourage newcomers to the beat.  SEJ’s work gained international recognition as thousands of journalists sharpened their skills, advanced their careers and raised public awareness of some of the world’s most challenging and fascinating environmental issues. Under Parke’s leadership, SEJ has become the world’s leading group of professional journalists, reporters, authors and academics who focus on issues of energy and the environment. On any given day, the journalism delivered by SEJ’s 1,300 members can engage tens of millions around North America and the globe.  Parke has been a creative, entrepreneurial leader and steadfast steward of SEJ’s mission, particularly during a period of significant change for both environmental issues and the media landscape. She drew together and retained a dedicated and talented staff and hundreds of volunteers supporting thousands of journalists, students and educators as environmental news coverage went from niche to essential mainstream.

TSCA Approved – The House quickly approved the reforms for TSCA that were held up in the Senate since last year.  The legislation was debated last week and the House approved the compromise 403-12 Tuesday evening.  The approval sends the Compromise back to Senate before it can go to the White House for the President’s signature.  Late Thursday Sen. Rand Paul delayed final Senate approval until after lawmakers return from a week-long Memorial Day break.

Energy Conferees Appointed – The House moved late last week to name their designees to the joint conference committee charged with marrying two relatively disparate Senate and House energy bills.  House Republicans named 24 conferees: Energy and Commerce Chairman Fred Upton (Mich.), Natural Resources Chairman Rob Bishop (Utah), Science Chairman Lamar Smith (Texas), Agriculture Chairman Mike Conaway (Texas), and Reps. Joe Barton (Texas), Ed Whitfield (Ky.), John Shimkus (Ill.), Bob Latta (Ohio), Cathy McMorris Rodgers (Wash.), Pete Olson (Texas), David McKinley (W.Va.), Mike Pompeo (Kan.), Morgan Griffith (Va.), Bill Johnson (Ohio), Bill Flores (Texas), Markwayne Mullin (Okla.), Don Young (Alaska), Cynthia Lummis (Wyo.), Jeff Denham (Calif.), Bruce Westerman (Ark.), Randy Weber (Texas), Glenn Thompson (Pa.), Cresent Hardy (Nev.) and Lee Zeldin (N.Y.).  House Democrats named 16 conferees: Energy and Commerce ranking member Frank Pallone (N.J.), Natural Resources ranking member Raúl Grijalva (Ariz.), Agriculture ranking member Collin Peterson (Minn.), Science ranking member Eddie Bernice Johnson (Texas), Transportation ranking member Peter DeFazio (Ore.), and Reps. Bobby Rush (Ill.), Lois Capps (Calif.), Doris Matsui (Calif.), Kathy Castor (Fla.), Dave Loebsack (Iowa), John Sarbanes (Md.), Peter Welch (Vt.), Ben Ray Luján (N.M.), Paul Tonko (N.Y.), Jared Huffman (Calif.) and Debbie Dingell (Mich.).

Trump Speech Strike Chord with Both Sides – The North Dakota Energy speech by Republican Presidential hopeful Donald Trump got the conversation going on energy last week.  What it really means who knows.  Both sides reacted with typical platitudes yet enviros were even more condescending than most.   It Is pretty clear though that Trump is likely to be more in line with industry on natural gas drilling and remain skeptical of the Paris climate Agreement and the US’s participation in any international climate agreement.

Cleaning Institute Head to Step Down – Leaving with a clean slate, Ernie Rosenberg, who has led the American Cleaning Institute since 1999, has announced he washing his hands of work and cycling into retirement.  After giving it his all for 16 years, Rosenberg go against tide and the will step down as the association’s President and CEO once a successor has been dialed in, no later than February 2018. The ACI Board of Directors, who is already working on plans to choose Rosenberg’s successor, gave him one final Cheer.

Platts Crude Podcast Looks at Iran Oil Exports – The delicate future of the Iran nuclear deal is the focus of this week’s Platts Capitol Crude podcast. Worries from banks and companies about investing in Iran have put the deal on unstable footing even as Iranian oil exports climb to pre-sanctions levels. While the Obama administration works damage control, The Platts’ team discuss whether the deal be imperiled by November’s US elections and next year’s Iranian presidential election?

 

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

RFF to Look at Enviro Public Good – Resources for the Future will hold its June First Wednesday Seminar at 12:45 p.m. to focus on neuroeconomics, which is a new direction for valuing environmental public good.  For more than 60 years, experts at RFF and elsewhere have sought to understand people’s preferences and willingness to pay for environmental public goods in order to improve environmental regulations. One of the newest methods for understanding preferences and environmental valuation is neuroeconomics—the study of how the brain makes economic-related decisions. Experts at this seminar, hosted by RFF with New York University’s Institute for the Interdisciplinary Study of Decision Making, will examine new findings from the institute that bring neuroscience to bear on what was once largely an economics question: How do people value environmental goods? Panelists will discuss how these findings compare with traditional contingent valuation (one of the longest-standing, conventional approaches to environmental valuation) and the implications for public policy. Speakers will include NYU’s Paul Glimcher, Georgetown‘s Arik Levinson, Michael Livermore of the UVa School of Law and NOAA’s Juli Trtanj.

Forum to Look at TX Green Energy – The Bi-National Energy Committee along with the City of San Antonio, CPS Energy, the North American Development Bank (NADB) and other organizations will hold the Bi-National Green Energy Forum on Wednesday in San Antonio, TX.  Focusing on green energy projects: from renewable sources of energy to new technologies for energy efficiencies, the Forum is great opportunity to learn and discuss with experts and successful companies of Mexico and the US about cross-border opportunities in this vibrant growing bi-national market.

CSIS to Host Latin Energy Discussion – The Center for Strategic International Studies hosts a conversation on Thursday with State Department Resources envoy Amos Hochstein and Chevron’s Ali Moshiri, who will discuss the policy and commercial implications of the current oil market environment and the outlook for energy security in Latin America and Africa.

Forbes to Address CEI Annual Dinner – The Competitive Enterprise Institute’s Annual Dinner and Reception will be held Thursday at the JW Marriott Washington.  The event brings together an audience of policy professionals, distinguished scholars, congressional staff, and supporters to celebrate CEI’s effective advocacy for freedom. The theme for this year’s event is “A Night in Casablanca”.  Steve Forbes will be the Keynote Speaker.

 

FUTURE EVENTS

Heritage to Look at Obama War On Fossil Fuels – Next Monday, June 6th at 12:00 p.m., the Heritage Foundation hosts a forum on the Obama Administration’s efforts against fossil fuels. In only a few short years, the U.S. has become the world’s largest producer of oil and natural gas; it has long been the Saudi Arabia of coal. America has more fossil fuels resources than any nation and can produce and utilize those resources with more environmental sensitivity and energy efficiency. Yet, highly politicized climate policies are pushing a grand-scale shift to unreliable, expensive renewable energy sources inherently incapable of replacing the vast energy services fossil fuels provide. Today, ‘fossil fuel’ has become such a dirty word that even fossil fuel companies feel compelled to apologize for their products. In Fueling Freedom, Kathleen Hartnett White and Stephen Moore make an unapologetic case for fossil fuels, turning around progressives’ protestations to prove that if fossil fuel energy is supplanted by ‘green’ alternatives for political reasons, humanity will take a giant step backwards and the planet will be less safe, less clean, and less free.

Energy, Education Forum Set – Next Tuesday, the National Council on Science and the Environment’s (NCSE) Council of Energy Research and Education Leaders (CEREL) will host the 2nd annual National Energy Education Summit at American University. Energy literate leaders in politics, labor, business, and religion must help citizens and the workforce cope with the challenges and embrace the opportunities of change. Despite the needs for energy literacy, very few college and university students in the United States or elsewhere systematically learn about energy as part of their education. New forms of energy education must become a fundamental part of undergraduate education, in the United States and everywhere else in the world.

Forum to Look at Climate, Air Quality Connections – Next Tuesday, the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace hosts a half-day event on the connection between air quality and climate change and how it might be expected to shape the global energy innovation agenda in the years to come. Speakers will include : Deborah Gordon, Judi Greenwald, Daniel Horton, David Livingston, Varun Rai, Seth Shonkoff.

Brookings Forum to Look at Paris Climate Deal – Next Tuesday, June 7th at 4:00 p.m., Brookings will host a panel to assess the challenges as well as the opportunities in implementing the Paris Climate Agreement.  The Paris agreement, recently signed onto by 196 countries, is a milestone in recognizing the threat posed by climate change and securing collective commitment to hold global temperature rise to “well below 2 degrees Celsius.” The task now is to translate this ambitious commitment into a concrete implementation agenda.  This high level panel, which will include eminent climate expert Lord Nicholas Stern, World Bank Managing Director Sri Mulyani Indrawati, and University of Maryland Dean Public Policy and longtime climate advisor Robert Orr, as well as Vice President Kemal Dervis and Senior Fellow Amar Bhattacharya of Global Economy and Development program at Brookings.

WCEE Forum on Future Utility of Future – On Wednesday, June 8th at 12:00 noon in the swanky new office at Bracewell, the Women’s  Council on Energy and the Environment (WCEE) will host a forum on the utility of the future.  Based on data published by EIA, US demand for electricity hit a plateau in 2006 for a variety reasons – the transition of our economy from manufacturing towards services, improvements in energy efficiency, and changing building codes.  There are also growing regional trends to shift towards clean energy, in some cases driven by legislative mandates or the Clean Power Plan, and an increase in the popularity of customer generated electricity.  But, at its simplest, the utility business model, forged at the turn of the 20th century, is based on a perpetual increasing demand for electricity.  The event features DC Public Service Commissioner Joanne Doddy Fort, former Maryland PSC Chair and current Alliance to Save Energy official Kelly Speakes-Backman, Katharine Bond of Dominion Virginia Power and Cheryl Roberto of  Twenty First Century Utilities.

JHU to Look at Living with Lower Oil Prices – Johns Hopkins SAIS, the International Monetary Fund, and the Middle East Institute will host a high level discussion on Wednesday, June 8th at 12:30 p.m. looking at living with cheaper oil and the policy adjustments necessary in Middle Eastern and Central Asian oil exporting countries.  The event features a presentation by Min Zhu, Deputy Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund and Martin Sommer, IMF’s Deputy Chief, Middle East and Central Asia Regional Studies Division.

USEA Forum to Look at Paris, Future of Energy – On Thursday June 9th, US EA will host a forum looking at all sectors of the energy industry and the pressure from a combination of ultra-low prices, dislike of big business, accusations of crony capitalism and, last but not least, what for many are existential threats from environmental concerns.  The speakers, respectively the former Chief Climate Counsel for Sierra Club and Head of Climate Policy at ExxonMobil, talk frankly about what the future holds: what the Paris agreement means (and does not mean) for the energy industry; why the 2016 election may make less difference than many think – or hope – and what the reality of a carbon-constrained policy world means for the fossil and renewable energy industries. Former Sierra Club Counsel David Bookbinder has litigated cases under all of the major environmental statutes as Sierra Club’s Chief Climate Counsel. He then represented environmental groups in both stationary- and mobile-source carbon matters, including California’s greenhouse gas vehicle standards. Bookbinder has helped lead efforts on both global warming legislation and Clean Air Act greenhouse gas regulation, and has testified in front of House and Senate committees on these issues.  David Bailey has 35 years-experience in managing energy related issues around the world and has worked at literally every level of the coal and oil and gas industries, from the UK National Coal Board during the economic and labor upheavals under the Thatcher government to responsibility for ExxonMobil’s climate policy.

Oil, Gas Forum Set – US Energy Stream will hold a Washington Oil & Gas Forum on June 8th and 9th at the Cosmos Club in DC.  More on this as it gets closer, but you can go here: http://www.energystreamcmg.com/

REFF Wall Street Meeting Set for NYC – REFF-Wall Street 2016 will be held on June 11th and 12th at The Grand Hyatt, New York.  REFF-Wall Street is the premier renewable energy financing event in the U.S. The event draws an especially senior audience, comprising of over 600 decision makers, lenders, investors, investment bankers, private equity investors, venture capitalists, and other top transactional professionals in renewable energy finance.

Energy Update: Week of May 23

Friends,

Two races down following Saturday’s muddy Preakness run and unfortunately, I knew the 22¼ first quarter would be a problem for Nyquist.  He fought a good fight but the tactically-brilliant race from Exaggerator and the hard-charge from Cherry Wine won out.  Actually, our crew that attended the race really won the day as we took the track for some nice payouts in the big race with several hitting Trifectas and a couple of our guys hitting the Super by adding Stradivari.  It all made the traffic-laden trek home from much more relaxing.  Belmont in 3 weeks….

While I know it is before Memorial Day, I still broke out the flashy summer styles for Pimlico despite the soggy day, all in preparation for the upcoming Memorial Day weekend, when the Delaware beaches become the summer, de facto home of Washington DC.  But be careful heading out through Annapolis as this week is “Commissioning Week” at the US Naval Academy.  Wednesday features the annual Blue Angels flight show (practice runs tomorrow).  Finally, Memorial Day also means it is time to return to the Brickhouse for 500 miles at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.  Winner drinks the jug of Milk…and a little champagne.

If you are not “going to down to the shore,” (there’s a link to the 80s classic Bitchin’ Camaro) you could head to New Orleans for WINDPOWER, AWEA’s super-huge wind policy/product conference today through Thursday.  Or you could head to Miami where NEI is hosting its annual conference at the Trump National Doral today through Wednesday.  After meeting in the Donald J. Trump Grand Ballroom do they have to have to give Hillary Clinton an equal name billing somewhere – especially since support for zero emissions baseload nuclear is bipartisan?  It is not all fun and games but the headliner is Peyton Manning, now that he has much more time on his hands along with another Super Bowl ring. Speaking of Trump, he is the other big out-of-town story as he heads to North Dakota to talk energy on Thursday.  I suspect we’ll see more of North Dakota Rep. Kevin Cramer, who really is one of the House’s real energy experts having served with fellow North Dakotan and current FERC Commissioner Tony Clark on the state’s Public Service Commission on the early 2000s.

Slower going on the Hill this week with most of the focus on the TSCA (not the Opera) conference agreement that ill reform the law for the first time in more than 25 years, as well as energy funding bills.  The House Rules Committee is slated to meet tomorrow to report out a rule on the Senate’s energy legislation, the first formal step toward a conference of the two chambers’ energy bills. Tomorrow afternoon, Senate EPW takes on WOTUS and a House Judiciary panel will hear from former Bush OIRA head John Graham.  On Thursday, the House Science Committee will hold a hearing on the impact of the CPP on states, with Oklahoma AG Scott Pruitt testifying, among others.  Also on Thursday, Chamber Energy Institute President Karen Harbert addressed the NatGas Roundtable as well.

Finally, the BIG EVENT TODAY: at 3:00 p.m. West Virginia AG Patrick Morrisey, who has coordinated a coalition of 30 states opposing the rule will speak on the latest twists and turns with the legal case to at a National Press Club Newsmaker on the case with former EPA Air office head Jeff Holmstead and utility analyst Christi Tezak.  E&E News utility reporter Rod Kuckro will moderate.  One the topics on the agenda will be Morrisey’s call to stop spending federal tax dollars to comply with the halted Power Plan.  He and Texas AG Ken Paxton sent a letter to EPA earlier today.  Bloomberg BGov also profiles AG Morrisey today (link will be active sometime today) in its weekly feature, which – ICYMI last week – featured yours truly.

See you at the Press Club and call with questions.

 

Best,

Frank Maisano

(202) 828-5864

(202) 997-5932

 

FRANKLY SPOKEN

“We always believed we were right on the law, that what the administration is doing is grossly illegal and unprecedented. That’s why we think the Supreme Court sided with us, even though what they did was unprecedented in terms of reaching down to a lower court and freezing the regulation.”

West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey (Bloomberg News)

“The entire point of the Supreme Court’s extraordinary action in putting a stop to the Power Plan was to preserve the status quo pending the outcome of the litigation.  EPA should respect that action by leaving things the way they are until the courts have had their say.”

West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey to EPA this morning.

 

IN THE NEWS

West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey today said and Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton recently sent a letter urging the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to stop spending federal tax dollars to comply with the halted Power Plan.  The letter responds to a request by 14 state environmental agency officials seeking additional information and technical assistance from the EPA related to the Power Plan.  Attorneys General Morrisey and Paxton ask that EPA decline the invitation to spend federal taxpayer dollars to aid compliance, specifically by discontinuing work on the “Clean Energy Incentive Program” (“CEIP”) and the non-final carbon trading rules.

NERC Report Says Coal to Increase With Trading – A new study from the North American Electric Reliability Corp. says a national allowance trading program under EPA’s Clean Power Plan could lead to more coal consumption and less natural gas use than other implementation strategies.  The report says a trading program would allow states with a heavy reliance on coal to continue running those plants by purchasing allowances from states with renewables and gas that have surpassed their goals. NERC’s study notes that its modeling assumes fully optimized trading, a scenario that isn’t likely to reality. The conclusion echoes the recent findings from West Virginia regulators that trading with states less reliant on coal is the most economically feasible option.  The study, the second of NERC’s three-phase reliability analysis of the CPP, also found that wind and solar will make major gains with or without the rule, that the rule will flatten growth in energy demand, and nuclear retirements will further accelerate gas and renewables growth.

EIA Data Shows Differing CPP Impacts – The Energy Information Administration released initial data related to its 2016 Annual Energy Outlook. The early release focused on two model runs, a reference case assuming implementation of CPP, and a “no CPP” case. The initial reporting on AEO analysis has highlighted that EIA projects that the CPP will have a comparatively modest impact on electricity rates (though this estimate is based on the assumption that states will comply by auctioning credits and then rebating auction revenues to customers). However, EIA is projecting the CPP to have significantly greater economic impacts than projected by EPA and others. For example, EIA is projecting that electricity bills (not just rates) will increase under the CPP, whereas EPA has claimed that bills would go down significantly. EIA also projects that CPP will have a major impact on coal production, reduce GDP by an average of about $60 billion, and result in about 375,000 fewer jobs in 2030 than if the rule weren’t in place.

Chamber Expert Tackles EIA Data – The Chamber Energy Institute’s Steve Eule has a Great blog post on the topic here: The Coal Hard Facts about EPA Regulation Shocking! Electricity Bills Will Rise Under EPA’s Clean Power Plan.

 

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

WV AG to Headline Press Club Newsmaker – With the looming Legal arguments In the Clean Power Plan case, the National Press Club’s Newsmakers Committee will host an afternoon forum with West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey to discuss his role in this hugely-important case.

WCEE to Host Discuss on Electricity Markets – The Women’s Council on Energy and the Environment (WCEE) will hold a discussion today at Noon at FERC with Emma Nicholson, Ph.D., an economist at FERC’s Office of Energy Policy and Innovation. Emma has played a lead role in the Commission’s price formation effort, and is the lead author of the recent FERC technical paper: Operator‐Initiated Commitments in RTO and ISO Markets.

Manning Addresses NEI Assembly – NEI holds its 63rd annual Industry Conference and Supplier Expo today through Thursday at the Trump National Doral.  The Nuclear Energy Assembly is the annual conference of the nuclear technologies industry that brings together industry leaders from all levels. The conference draws hundreds of senior executives and policymakers from around the world.  Just retired Bronco quarterback and Super Bowl Champ Peyton Manning will be the headliner.

Forum to Look at Asia Water Issues – The Stimson Center will hold a forum today at 3:30 p.m. looking at one of the most pressing challenges facing mainland Southeast Asia: water resource management in the context of drought, the impacts of climate change, and continued development of hydropower and rising tensions over water. Stimson’s Southeast Asia Program’s Deputy Director Brian Eyler will share his insights after recently returning from a regional conference on trans-boundary water management in Can Tho, Vietnam and meetings with policy-makers in Hanoi about the rising challenge of resource management in an increasingly unstable climate. Eyler will also share first-hand analysis of the severe drought currently affecting the Mekong Delta. Panelists will discuss how climate change and water management are becoming issues of national security in Vietnam and how the U.S. Rebalance to Asia provides new opportunities for the United States to engage on climate resilience and adaptation.

WINDPOWER Set for New Orleans – AWEA Is hosting its annual WINDPOWER conference in New Orleans this year today through Thursday at the Convention Center.  This year over 400 exhibitors, many of them new firms, will be filling a show floor including GE Renewable Energy, Siemens, Vestas, Goldwind, Gamesa, Nordex and many more. But there will be over 100 smaller firms exhibiting as well. Among the speakers will be our friend Russ Gold of the Wall Street Journal.  Others include keynoter Steve Farber, former LA Senator Mary Landrieu,  Vestas CEO Chris Brown and many more.

Aspen to Look at Carbon Price for North America – The Aspen Institute holds a North American Carbon Price Roundtable Forum tomorrow at 9:00 a.m.  with experts from Canada, Mexico and the United States.

CSIS to Look at China Energy – Tomorrow at 10:00 a.m., the CSIS Energy and National Security Program will host Dr. Kang Wu, Vice Chairman for Asia and Managing Director of FGE China to present a draft of his forthcoming paper, “Energy in China: Market Dynamics and Policy Development,” written for the CSIS Energy Program. Dr. Wu’s report focuses on the political economy of China’s energy sector, examining the impacts of lower economic growth on China’s energy mix and energy supply and demand balance, while also considering the shifts in Chinese energy policy embodied in the country’s 13th Five-Year Plan. Jane Nakano, Senior Fellow with the CSIS Energy and National Security Program will moderate the discussion.

Group to Look at Climate, Equity – The Institute for Policy Studies holds a discussion tomorrow at 12:30 p.m. on how to tackle climate change and equity in a transformative way.  The event will focus on solutions to combat social and economic inequality, as part five of our discussion series exploring the many facets of IPS’s movement-building work.

Brookings Looks at Energy Poverty – The Energy Security and Climate Initiative (ESCI) at Brookings will host a debate tomorrow at 2:00 p.m. at JHU’s Nitze Building looking at solutions to increase energy access.  The forum will feature a discussion between Daniel Kammen, Class of 1935 distinguished professor of energy at the University of California, Berkeley, and Ted Nordhaus, co-founder and research director of the Breakthrough Institute. Our friend and ClimateWire Editor Lisa Friedman will moderate the discussion and audience Q&A.

USEA Forum to Look at Gas Exports – The US Energy Assn will hold a forum tomorrow at 2:00 p.m. to look at natgas export issues. US LNG exports are coming on to the global gas market at a time of a glut of supply, both pipeline and LNG, and low gas prices.  The outlook for demand – outside the US – is mostly pessimistic as well, suggesting the glut of supply could last for many years. Europe is seen as a key battleground for LNG against Russian pipeline gas but post 2020 China will come into that category as well.  What are the real prospects for US LNG exports with this background; could Russia engage in a price war in Europe, will there be any more FIDs on large scale LNG export projects before 2020, and what does all them imply for gas prices? Nexant Global Gas Principal Mike Fulwood will discuss.

Senate Enviro Panel Tackles WOTUS – The Senate Environment Fisheries, Water and Wildlife Subcommittee hold a hearing tomorrow at 2:30 p.m. focused on the WOTUS implementation.  Witnesses will include Farm Bureau Reg Director Don Parrish, Damien Schiff of the Pacific Legal Foundation, National Association of Homebuilders rep Valerie Wilkinson of EGS Companies, Georgetown prof William Buzbee and Scott Kovarovics of the Izaak Walton League.

Former OIRA Head Graham to Visit House Judiciary Reg Panel – Tomorrow at 3:00 p.m., a House Judiciary panel will host John Graham, the former head of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs under President George W. Bush for a hearing on federal rules.  Graham, who is now dean of the Indiana University School of Public and Environmental Affairs, will testify to the House Judiciary Committee’s task force on executive overreach.  Others testifying include Sofie Miller, senior policy analyst at the George Washington University Regulatory Studies Center; Amit Narang, regulatory policy advocate at Public Citizen; and Gail Heriot, professor at the University of San Diego School of Law.

Cal Experts to Discuss Energy Research – University of California experts will hold a briefing tomorrow in 421 Cannon at 2:30 p.m. on current research, operations and tech startup stewardship that make UC a living laboratory for clean energy solutions.  UC has helped lead California to remarkable progress in clean energy development and dramatic reductions in air pollution.  UC continues to drive clean energy progress in California and beyond by setting ambitious goals to improve our own environmental sustainability and clean energy future – and offering our solutions and lessons learned to others.  Faculty and staff from UC Davis, UC Irvine, the UC Office of the President and the UC-managed Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory will discuss how the University leverages its clean energy research, technical expertise and investments to improve UC’s operational performance and expand technology development into new business opportunities and jobs.

Forum to Discuss Energy Data, Metrics – The DC Sustainable Energy Utility and the Smarter DC Challenge will hold an informational forum on Wednesday morning at Clydes looking at how to collect building data, analyze it, and make proactive decisions that save money and streamline building operations.  Speakers include experts in the field, including GSA Green Building director Kevin Kampschroer and several others.

NAS Workshop to Look at Flowback Water Innovation – The National Academy of Sciences holds a workshop on Wednesday and Thursday looking at unconventional hydrocarbon development and the use of flowback and produced waters.  The workshop will look at the opportunities and challenges for innovation.

Atlantic Council Forum Looks at Sustainability – On Wednesday at 9:00 a.m., the Atlantic Council hosts a discussion with Dr. Michael Ben-Eli, founder of The Sustainability Laboratory and author of the widely acclaimed “Sustainability: The Five Core Principles: A New Framework.” Pressure is rapidly mounting to transition towards a cleaner global energy system. Achieving the necessary structural changes will require wide-reaching innovation and creative leadership. Dr. Ben-Eli will share with us five basic tenants of sustainability that can help speed and smooth the transition to cleaner fuels and more renewable energy.

USEA to Feature NatGas Technology Discussion – On Wednesday at 10:00 a.m., the U.S. Energy Association will host Bill Brown of NET Power to discuss an emissions-free natural gas power system that will allow the world to meet 100% of its climate targets without having to pay more for electricity.  NET Power uses the Allam Cycle, an oxy-fuel supercritical CO2 power cycle, to produce electricity from natural gas for the same cost as conventional power plants, but without producing any air emissions.  The system’s only byproducts are liquid water and pipeline-ready CO2. The technology will be the low-cost, reliable, flexible cornerstone of a clean energy future. The company is owned by Exelon, CB&I and 8 Rivers Capital.  Together with Toshiba, NET Power and its investors are building a 50MW demonstration plant in Texas that is currently under construction.

Forum to Look at Sustainability – On Wednesday at 10:00 a.m., the Atlantic Council hold a discussion with Dr. Michael Ben-Eli, founder of The Sustainability Laboratory and author of the widely acclaimed “Sustainability: The Five Core Principles: A New Framework.” Pressure is rapidly mounting to transition towards a cleaner global energy system. Achieving the necessary structural changes will require wide-reaching innovation and creative leadership. Dr. Ben-Eli will share with us five basic tenants of sustainability that can help speed and smooth the transition to cleaner fuels and more renewable energy.

Heritage to Host Author Talk on Rockefellers, Oil Empire – On Wednesday at noon, the Heritage Foundation holds a discussion with author Peter Doran, who will discuss the oil rivalries of the late 19th century.  Marcus Samuel, Jr., is an unorthodox Jewish merchant trader. Henri Deterding is a take-no-prisoners oilman. In 1889, John D. Rockefeller is at the peak of his power. Having annihilated all competition and possessing near-total domination of the market, even the U.S. government is wary of challenging the great “anaconda” of Standard Oil. The Standard never loses – that is until Samuel and Deterding team up to form Royal Dutch Shell.  At the beginning of the 20th Century vast fortunes were made and lost. Breaking Rockefeller traces Samuel’s rise from outsider to the heights of the British aristocracy, Deterding’s conquest of America, and the collapse of Rockefeller’s monopoly. From the rough and tumble of East London’s streets, the twilight turmoil of czarist Russia, the halls of the British Parliament, to down Broadway in New York City, Doran offers a detailed perspective on how the world’s richest man was beaten at his own game.

House Science Hosts Ark AG Pruitt – On Thursday the House Science Committee will hold a hearing on the impact of the CPP on states, with Oklahoma AG Scott Pruitt testifying, among others.  Former DOE Fossil Office Head Chuck McConnell, now at Rice University, will also testify.

Chamber Energy Exec to Address NatGas Roundtable – On Thursday at Noon, the Natural Gas Roundtable is hosting Karen Harbert, President and CEO of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Institute for 21st Century Energy, as its next luncheon speaker.  Harbert leads the Institute’s efforts to build support for meaningful energy action nationally and internationally through policy development, education, and advocacy. Under Harbert’s leadership, the Energy Institute has evolved into a premier national and international organization dedicated to advancing a constructive energy agenda with the business community, policymakers, and consumers. Harbert frequently testifies in front of Congress and provides analysis to the media, policymakers, and industry leaders.

BPC Event to Focus on Ag Sustainability – On Thursday at 10:00 a.m., the Bipartisan Policy Center’s CEO Council on Sustainability and Innovation will share case studies that illustrate sustainable best practices. The council will also unveil a call to action encouraging others along the supply chain to join the journey to a sustainable future.  Speakers at the forum will include Kellogg CEO John Bryant, DuPont EVP James Collins, Hormel Foods CEO Jeff Ettinger, Land O’Lakes CEO Chris Policinski.  The event will be moderated by former U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Dan Glickman.

 

FUTURE EVENTS

RFF to Look at Enviro Public Good – Resources for the Future will hold its June First Wednesday Seminar on June 1st at 12:45 p.m. to focus on neuroeconomics, which is a new direction for valuing environmental public good.  For more than 60 years, experts at RFF and elsewhere have sought to understand people’s preferences and willingness to pay for environmental public goods in order to improve environmental regulations. One of the newest methods for understanding preferences and environmental valuation is neuroeconomics—the study of how the brain makes economic-related decisions. Experts at this seminar, hosted by RFF with New York University’s Institute for the Interdisciplinary Study of Decision Making, will examine new findings from the institute that bring neuroscience to bear on what was once largely an economics question: How do people value environmental goods? Panelists will discuss how these findings compare with traditional contingent valuation (one of the longest-standing, conventional approaches to environmental valuation) and the implications for public policy. Speakers will include NYU’s Paul Glimcher, Georgetown‘s Arik Levinson, Michael Livermore of the UVa School of Law and NOAA’s Juli Trtanj.

CSIS to Host Latin Energy Discussion – The Center for Strategic International Studies hosts a conversation on Wednesday June 2nd with State Department Resources envoy Amos Hochstein and Chevron’s Ali Moshiri, who will discuss the policy and commercial implications of the current oil market environment and the outlook for energy security in Latin America and Africa.

Forum to Look at TX Green Energy – The Bi-National Energy Committee along with the City of San Antonio, CPS Energy, the North American Development Bank (NADB) and other organizations will hold the Bi-National Green Energy Forum on June 2nd in San Antonio, TX.  Focusing on green energy projects: from renewable sources of energy to new technologies for energy efficiencies, the Forum is great opportunity to learn and discuss with experts and successful companies of Mexico and the US about cross-border opportunities in this vibrant growing bi-national market.

USEA Forum to Look at Paris, Future of Energy – On Thursday June 9th, US EA will host former Sierra Club Counsel David Bookbinder to discuss Paris, the Presidential election and the future of energy.  As an environmental policy lawyer, Bookbinder has litigated cases under all of the major environmental statutes as Sierra Club’s Chief Climate Counsel. He then represented environmental groups in both stationary- and mobile-source carbon matters, including California’s greenhouse gas vehicle standards. Bookbinder has helped lead efforts on both global warming legislation and Clean Air Act greenhouse gas regulation, and has testified in front of House and Senate committees on these issues. In pursuing his goal of practical, cost-effective carbon solutions Bookbinder has frequently told environmental groups, members of Congress, and federal and state agencies things they did not want to hear.  In this briefing, Bookbinder will address the current complexities of carbon policy based upon his extensive experience in environmental law.

Oil, Gas Forum Set – US Energy Stream will hold a Washington Oil & Gas Forum on June 8th and 9th at the Cosmos Club in DC.  More on this as it gets closer, but you can go here: http://www.energystreamcmg.com/

RFF Wall Street Meeting Set for NYC – REFF-Wall Street 2016 will be held on June 11th and 12th at The Grand Hyatt, New York.  REFF-Wall Street is the premier renewable energy financing event in the U.S. The event draws an especially senior audience, comprising of over 600 decision makers, lenders, investors, investment bankers, private equity investors, venture capitalists, and other top transactional professionals in renewable energy finance.

Energy Update: Week of May 16

Friends,

Unfortunately, yesterday, I missed the big anti-fossil fuel protest, but I did hear that traffic was a nightmare around the downtown Washington, which I’m sure was great for the environment.  I was busy watching wall-to-wall Men’s & Women’s NCAA Lax playoffs.

With the Derby down, the sports world turns to Baltimore this week for the Preakness Stakes’ running for the Black-Eyed Susans.  The second jewel in the Triple Crown, Post Time for the 141st Preakness is 6:18 p.m. Saturday at Pimlico Race Course (Yes, I will be there!)The field will be set on Wednesday at the post-position draw.  The Preakness is one-half furlong shorter than the 1.25-mile Kentucky Derby. Derby-winner Nyquist again is the early favorite, with “Place” & “Show” horses Exaggerator and Gun Runner running again as well.  Suddenbreakingnews will pass B’more and hold for the Belmont.  New horses to watch are Baffort-trained Collected, who will be fresh but has been somewhat inconsistent, California speed horse Uncle Lino (1/2-brother of Nyquist) and unknown, but impressive Stradivari, who won his last two races by combined 25+ lengths.

Finally, while this has been locked for two weeks, this weekend’s final matches made it official that 5000-1 longshot Leicester City officially became the holder of the Sky Bet Champions trophy in European Football’s Premier League.  Parade Action starts at 3:00 p.m. GMT today with parade route and all the agenda here.

While the UN kicks off climate meetings in Bonn today, there is also a lot of action on Capitol Hill this week. On Wednesday, the House Energy and Commerce Committee will vote on Ozone Standards legislation and Advanced Nuclear Technology legislation, while the Senate Environment Committee votes on coal ash and nuclear legislation.  On the hearing side, tomorrow, Senate Energy hosts experts on Nuclear Including Southern Nuclear CEO Steve Kuczynski, while Thursday afternoon Senate Energy discusses BOEM’s Five-Year Plan likely featuring our friend and BOEM Director Abby Hopper.   Related, tomorrow House Resources looks at the Administration’s Ocean Policy.  On Wednesday morning, POLITICO Playbook hosts a talk with Energy Secretary Moniz.

This Big Event this week is Thursday morning as Securing America’s Future Energy releases its National Strategy for Energy Security: The Innovation Revolution.  Reporter Roundtable starts at 8:00 a.m. and panels start at 9:00 a.m.  John Krafcik, CEO of Google Self-Driving Cars will discuss autonomous cars’ role, Fed Ex CEO Fred Smith and others tackle the 5-yr plan recommendations and other supply issues and North Dakota Rep Kevin Cramer will discuss his OPEC legislation.  Cramer has been in the news lately being cited at Trump’s first energy advisor.    Please attend as it will be a great event.

Finally, next Monday at 3:00 p.m. in advance of the highly-anticipated Clean Power Plan oral arguments at the DC Circuit, West Virginia AG Patrick Morrissey, who has coordinated a coalition of 30 states opposing the rule will speak at a National Press Club Newsmaker on the case with former EPA Air office head Jeff Holmstead.  E&E News utility reporter Rod Kuckro will moderate.

 

Call with questions.

 

Best,

Frank Maisano

(202) 828-5864

(202) 997-5932

 

FRANKLY SPOKEN

“Global energy-related carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions are projected to increase by one-third between 2012 and 2040, largely driven by increased energy use in countries outside of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).”  — EIA International Energy Outlook 2016

 

IN THE NEWS

HVAC Industry Urges to Rethink Red Tape – In response to the growing number of government regulations that unfairly burden America’s small businesses, manufacturers, and startups, AHRI is supporting the newly launched Rethink Red Tape coalition and advocacy campaign, a project of the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) and Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council (SBE Council).   The multimillion-dollar campaign, which will engage lawmakers in Washington, D.C., and up to a dozen states, will highlight the challenges regulations pose to small businesses and small manufacturers. Its goal is to empower entrepreneurs, small business employees, and key stakeholders to advocate for legislative reforms that will lead to smarter regulations that help small manufacturers thrive throughout the United States. The growing regulatory burden is severely impacting manufacturers across the United States, limiting their ability to maintain their vital workforce while providing the quality, affordable products and equipment their customers expect.

Methane Rules Roll Out – As predicted in last Monday’s update (first the Derby and now Methane…forget it, I’m headed to Maryland Live Casino NOW), EPA rolled out its new methane rules on Thursday.  The plan to regulate the oil and gas industry’s methane will cover new and modified emissions sources. Check out the regulations here, and a fact sheet on the rules here.

Key Points to Consider on Details – A few key items in the EPA Rule from our expert Sandra Snyder:

Oil/Gas New Source Performance Standards – A key element of today’s announcement is the NSPS for new oil and gas sources.  EPA made a few significant changes to the NSPS from the proposed rule.  Some of these changes are wins for industry, while others will likely be viewed negatively.  On the one hand, it is encouraging that EPA will allow the use of the Method 21 sniffer test in lieu of mandating the use of expensive optical gas imaging equipment when conducting leak surveys.  EPA is also providing a pathway to request approval to utilize new technologies to monitor leaks.  These changes both benefit industry.  Another improvement in the rule is that EPA has provided more time for companies to repair leaks detected during surveys.  EPA originally proposed that leaks must be repaired within 15 days of the survey, but the final rule requires that repairs must be made within 30 days unless the repair will require shutting down production which would increase emissions.  On the other hand, the final rule increased the burden of several requirements.  For example, EPA did not approve the proposed exemption for low production wells, which means leaks from these new wells with low production rates must be monitored.  EPA also increased the number of times that leaks from compressor stations must be monitored – from twice per year in the proposed rule to four times per year in the final rule.  In addition, EPA removed the proposed performance-based schedule for monitoring leaks and instead set a schedule that applies to all well sites (twice per year) and compressor stations (four times per year).  This change is disappointing because the performance based schedule would have rewarded companies by reducing their reporting burdens if they consistently maintained low leak rates.

Source Determination Rule – EPA’s decision regarding the source determination rule is also favorable to industry.  In the past, there has been a lot of confusion about whether emissions from interconnected oil and gas sources are considered adjacent and should be aggregated together when making permitting decisions.  The final rule sets a more clear-cut standard by clarifying that sources are only adjacent if they are located on the same site or sites that share equipment and are located within ¼ mile of each other.  This clarification will eliminate situations where emissions from sources that are located 10 or 20 miles apart were aggregated together during the permitting process.

Information Collection Requests (ICRs) – The draft ICR that would require oil and gas companies to submit information regarding existing sources shows that EPA is moving ahead quickly with its plans to regulate emissions from existing oil and gas sources.  This information collection effort is a critical step that must be undertaken to accurately understand the impact of future regulations on existing sources.  Because there are hundreds of thousands of existing sources, such a rule could potentially be very expensive and require a lot of additional manpower to execute.  With low oil and gas prices and reduced workforces, companies may find it challenging to do even more to monitor and reduce emissions from existing sources with fewer resources.

Bracewell Methane Expert Says Standard for New, Existing Wells Create Challenge – My Bracewell colleague and you know by now, a great methane expert, Sandra Snyder says with regard to existing wells, EPA will need to closely review the cost-benefit analysis of regulating existing sources.  For example, because existing wells will likely have a shorter remaining lifespan and will be operating at a lower production rate than when they were new wells, it may not be economical to install the same types of emissions controls on existing sources as new wells.

EIA Says Utility CO2 Hit 22-year Low – EIA said Friday that carbon dioxide emissions from electricity production hit a 22-year low in 2015, according to the Energy Information Administration.

Power plants emitted 1,925 million metric tons of carbon dioxide last year, the agency says, a level not seen since 1993 and 21 percent below 2005’s level of 2,416 MMT. EIA attributed the drop to the shift away from coal and toward lower-emitting natural gas and zero-emitting renewables, as electricity demand has remained relatively flat in recent years. Total carbon dioxide emissions from the electric power sector declined even as demand for electricity remained relatively flat over the previous decade.  A main reason for the lower rate was because, dduring at least seven months of 2015, electricity generated from natural gas exceeded coal generation.

What About Nuclear and Renewables – Other changes in the electric generating mix have also worked to reduce CO2 emissions. Renewable energy sources are gaining an increasing share of generation, driven primarily by increases in wind and solar capacity. Nuclear generation was relatively flat over the past decade but remains the single largest source of generation without CO2 emissions. Together, renewables and nuclear provided about 33% of overall U.S. electricity production in 2015, the highest share on record.

CO2 Emissions Will Grow Most in Developing Countries – Global energy-related carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions are projected to increase by one-third between 2012 and 2040 in EIA’s International Energy Outlook 2016 (IEO2016) Reference case, largely driven by increased energy use in countries outside of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). The continuing increase in total emissions occurs despite a moderate decrease in the carbon intensity (CO2 per unit of energy) of the global energy supply. In conjunction with the 21st Conference of Parties in Paris (also known as COP21), many countries submitted emissions reduction goals, or Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs), under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCC). EIA has tried to incorporate some of the specific details, such as renewable energy goals, in the IEO2016 Reference case. The wide array of approaches generated by the COP21 participants includes absolute reductions, reductions from business-as-usual cases, and reductions in intensity, peaking targets, and specific policy actions, making quantification of these goals difficult. In addition, the NDCs include elements beyond the energy sector, such as land use change and forestry pledges. Pledges include all greenhouse gases (GHGs), not just the energy-related CO2 emissions discussed here. Largely because of data limitations, EIA does not attempt to model every country individually but instead aggregates countries into 16 world regions. EIA’s projections for energy-related CO2 emissions may change significantly as laws and policies aimed at affecting GHG emissions are implemented and as existing laws are enhanced.

Crude Podcast Looks at Saudi Leadership Changes – On this week’s Platts Capitol Crude podcast, senior editor Herman Wang looks at all the implications of former Saudi Aramco CEO Khalid al-Falih’s ascension last week to the Saudi energy minister post and his task of implementing Saudi Deputy Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman’s Vision 2030 plan of moving away from oil.  Herman Look sat what these historic changes in Saudi Arabia’s oil leadership mean for world markets and the Kingdom’s energy relations with the US.

 

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

Chamber Hosts Sustainability Forum – The U.S. Chamber of Commerce holds its 6th annual Sustainability Forum today and tomorrow with the theme “Better Business, Better World: Mainstreaming the Circular Economy.” The event will convene thought leaders and practitioners from business, government, academia, nonprofit organizations and other stakeholder groups to explore opportunities and best practices for unlocking the value of the circular economy, and accelerating scalable solutions across global supply chains.  The circular economy, marked by creative innovations and a systems-level approach, can be used to tackle many of the world’s most complex environmental and social challenges.

Group Looks at Impacts of Public Safety Broadband Network – Today at 4:00 p.m., the First Responder Network Authority holds a meeting on the potential environmental impacts of the proposed nationwide public safety broadband network in the East Region, composed of Connecticut, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia and West Virginia.

House Ag to Look at Enviro Regs, Conservation – A House Ag panel will continue its focus on the farm economy with a hearing tomorrow on the impacts of environmental regulations and voluntary conservation solutions.  The main Focus of the hearing will be EPA’s Water of the US rule which has been challenged and stayed by Courts.  Many groups say the runs will be a significant problem for farmers and the farm community.

Senate Energy Looks at Advanced Nuclear – The full Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee holds a hearing tomorrow to examine the status of advanced nuclear technologies.  Witnesses will include Southern Nuclear CEO Steve Kuczynski, NuScale CEO John Hopkins and Idaho Lab Director Mark Peters, among others.

House Resources Tackles Obama Ocean Policy – The House Resources Water, Power and Oceans Subcommittee will hold a hearing tomorrow on the implications of President Obama’s National Ocean Policy. Witnesses include National Ocean Council Director Elizabeth Kerttula, Family Farm Alliance Executive Director Dan Keppen, Magellan Wind CEO Jim Lanard, Seafreeze’s Meghan Lapp, and Bob Zales, president of the National Association of Charterboat Operators.

House Forum to Look at Grid – The Battery Storage Energy Caucus and the representatives Department of Energy will hold a briefing tomorrow at 11:00 a.m. on the DOE Grid Modernization Initiative and the SunShot Initiative.  The Energy Department’s Grid Modernization Initiative (GMI) represents a comprehensive effort to help shape the future of our nation’s grid and solve the challenges of integrating conventional and renewable sources with energy storage and smart buildings, while ensuring that the grid is resilient and secure to withstand growing cybersecurity and climate challenges.

Forum to Look at Spent Nuclear Fuel Issues – The Precourt Institute for Energy, MacArthur Foundation, George Washington University, Center for International Security and Cooperation will hold a two-day conference tomorrow and Wednesday on resetting U.S. nuclear waste management strategy and policy. The meeting will bring together U.S. and international speakers from industry, government, universities, national laboratories and broader community interests in a combination of presentation and panel discussion formats.  Speakers will discussion issues and address key questions including what barriers are preventing integration of the spent fuel management system, what a better-integrated spent fuel management system might look like for the US, the potential benefits, timing and cost of integrating spent fuel management and many more topics.  Speakers will be from National labs Like Sandia and Idaho, industry like NEI’s Rod McCallum and Exelon’s Adam Levine, officials from NRC and environmental group experts like David Lochbaum of UCS.

Moniz to Discuss Energy Policy, Politics – POLITICO’s Chief White House Correspondent Mike Allen and POLITICO Energy Reporter Darius Dixon will hold a POLITICO forum at The W Hotel on Wednesday at 8:00 a.m. featuring U.S. Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz.  The event will take POLITICO’s Playbook live with Moniz for a conversation about policy, politics, and the news of the day.

PHMSA to Host LNG Workshop – The US Department of Transportation’s Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) will hold an LNG workshop on Wednesday and Thursday.  The workshop is a forum for PHMSA to collect input regarding challenges operators face locating, designing, fabricating, constructing, replacing, or upgrading LNG facilities due to regulations that may not address these changes or due to the incorporation of older versions of technical standards.  They will also focus on focusing on the requirements for transporting LNG in commerce by rail, highway, and waterway.

RFF, Duke Host Oil, Gas Impacts Forum – Resources for the Future (RFF) and Duke University will host a seminar on Wednesday at 12:30 p.m. to explore the key issues facing local governments in this new era of oil and gas development.  RFF’s Alan Krupnick will describe RFF’s Community Impacts Initiative. Richard Newell and Daniel Raimi from Duke University will present the results of their Shale Public Finance project, which examines the fiscal impacts of oil and gas development on local governments in every major producing region of the United States. The seminar will also feature comments by Aliza Wasserman of the National Governors Association and further discussion with the presenters and the audience on key findings and implications.

 

SEIA Looks Solar in Africa with US AID Officials – On Wednesday at Noon, the Solar Energy Industries Association will hold a forum featuring speakers from the US Agency for International Development (USAID) to look at solar’s role in powering Africa. Power Africa brings together technical and legal experts, the private sector, and governments from around the world to work in partnership to increase the number of people with access to power.   USAID’s goals include enabling electricity access by adding 60 million new electricity connections and 30,000 MW of new and cleaner power generation in sub-Saharan Africa.  USAID speakers Drew Bennett, Commerce Liaison & Portfolio Manager and Denise Mortimer of the Power Africa Policy Team will address these and other key issues.

 

GBRT to Host Innovation Authors – The Green Business Roundtable will host a forum on Wednesday at 4:15 p.m. at AEE looking at the intersection of business and sustainability.  Leading the discussion will be author Bruce Piasecki, who will describe the Future of Capitalism and what we can learn from the best companies in our growing global economy while Adel Ebeid brings decades of expertise in innovation, information, big data and analytics into the equation.  Bringing these two thought leaders together will no doubt be a 2016 highlight for those of us interested in how business will succeed in the future.

CSIS to Hold Development Forum – The second annual Global Development Forum (GDF) at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) on Thursday. The GDF will feature over 40 speakers, including key stakeholders from U.S. government agencies, leading multilateral and non-governmental organizations, foreign governments, and the private sector.  The 2016 GDF seeks to address the complex issues highlighted by the recently adopted Sustainable Development Goals. Participants will examine the role and purpose of official development assistance against a backdrop of global trends including rising incomes, rapid urbanization, uneven economic growth, and widespread unemployment. In particular, discussions will explore ways in which official donors and key partners, including the private sector, civil society, and multilateral institutions can improve livelihoods, strengthen governance, and facilitate access to key resources including food, energy, and infrastructure.

 

SAFE to Release Autonomous Car Strategy Report – John Krafcik, CEO of Google Self-Driving Cars, will join Securing America’s Future Energy on Thursday at 9:00 a.m. at The Newseum for the release of its National Strategy for Energy Security: The Innovation Revolution.  The United States’ near-total dependence on oil to power our mobility destabilizes our economy and weakens our national security. Fortunately, America is on the cusp of an innovation revolution, one in which increased fuel diversity in transportation improves our country’s energy security and the rapid emergence of driverless cars enhances safety and redefines mobility for millions.  FedEx CEO Fred Smith, General James T. Conway and members of the Energy Security Leadership Council will the launch of the report. The event will feature the country’s foremost experts across the spectrum of energy and transportation, from the founders of the American shale revolution to the innovators redefining transportation through self-driving cars.  The event launches at 8:00 a.m. with a media roundtable.

 

Latta, Nuclear Experts to Discuss Advanced Reactors – On Thursday at 8:30 a.m. in Rayburn 2322, the Global America Business Institute will host a Capitol Hill briefing on developing a regulatory framework to facilitate nuclear energy innovation.,  The event will feature remarks by Rep. Bob Latta of Ohio, House Energy and Commerce Committee staff Andy Zach, Professional Staff Member, NRC advanced reactor engineering office deputy Deborah Jackson and our friend Irfan Ali, who is a senior advisor to the Energy Innovation Reform Project (EIRP).

 

Senate Energy to Look at Offshore Drilling Leases – The Senate Energy Committee will hold a hearing on Thursday to examine the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management’s 2017-2022 OCS Oil and Gas Leasing Program.  Our friend Abby Hopper will lead the crew of those testifying.

 

EESI to Look at Enviro Justice – The Environmental and Energy Study Institute (EESI) will host a briefing on Thursday in G-11 Dirksen presenting EPA’s EJSCREEN, a mapping and environmental justice screening tool that EPA developed to help fulfill its responsibility to protect public health and the environment. The tool, freely available to the public online, enables users to compare environmental and demographic information in locations across the country. EPA uses EJSCREEN to find communities that may qualify for extra consideration, engagement and analysis as the agency develops its enforcement, compliance and permitting strategies. Stakeholders outside of EPA may also find EJSCREEN helpful for community awareness projects, education, research, and many other uses. EJSCREEN can show users where minority and low-income areas are located, the demographics in these communities, and the environmental issues they face. The speaker for this forum is Kevin Olp, Director of Communications in EPA’s Office of Environmental Justice.

 

Speakers to Look at Pacific Island Meeting – On Thursday at 4:00 p.m., USAID’s May Adaptation Community will hear from speakers, NOAA’s Britt Parker and Dr. John Marra will discuss USAID Adaptation Community Meeting: Enhancing Global Climate Change Adaptation Capacity In The Pacific Small Island Developing States – Efforts By NOAA, USAID And The State Department” and share approaches and outcomes from a two year program to support climate change adaptation in the Pacific Islands, including the development of a climate services storybook that provides case studies for decision-makers.

 

Energy Economists Forum to Look at Oil Markets, OPEC – The NCAC Chapter of the US Assn of Energy Economists will host their May luncheon on Friday at Carmines Restaurant hosting Jamie Webster, Global Energy Expert, as he discusses the outlook for oil markets ahead of the next round of OPEC meetings in early June.  Jamie will address the following: “Although global oil prices have bounced off their January lows, this seems remarkably similar to 2015.  Is the balance really occurring and how has the perception and reality for US producers changed since last year?  Will the next OPEC meeting just be more Doha or is there any chance OPEC could re-exert itself?”  Webster has more than 15-years experience providing analysis and strategic advice on domestic and international energy markets, with a focus on oil, natural gas and electricity issues. Current work is centered on energy policy in the Americas, OPEC policy choices and Middle Eastern energy markets.

 

 

FUTURE EVENTS

 

WCEE to Host Discuss on Electricity Markets – The Women’s Council on Energy and the Environment (WCEE) will hold a discussion at Noon at FERC with Emma Nicholson, Ph.D., an economist at FERC’s Office of Energy Policy and Innovation. Emma has played a lead role in the Commission’s price formation effort, and is the lead author of the recent FERC technical paper: Operator‐Initiated Commitments in RTO and ISO Markets.

 

WV AG to Headline Press Club Newsmaker – With the looming Legal arguments In the Clean Power Plan case, the National Press Club’s Newsmakers Committee will host an afternoon forum with West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrissey to discuss his role in this hugely-important case.   More details on this next week.

 

Forum to Look at Asia Water Issues – The Stimson Center will hold a forum next Monday at 3:30 p.m. looking at one of the most pressing challenges facing mainland Southeast Asia: water resource management in the context of drought, the impacts of climate change, and continued development of hydropower and rising tensions over water. Stimson’s Southeast Asia Program’s Deputy Director Brian Eyler will share his insights after recently returning from a regional conference on trans-boundary water management in Can Tho, Vietnam and meetings with policy-makers in Hanoi about the rising challenge of resource management in an increasingly unstable climate. Eyler will also share first-hand analysis of the severe drought currently affecting the Mekong Delta. Panelists will discuss how climate change and water management are becoming issues of national security in Vietnam and how the U.S. Rebalance to Asia provides new opportunities for the United States to engage on climate resilience and adaptation.

 

WINDPOWER Set for New Orleans – AWEA Is hosting its annual WINDPOWER conference in New Orleans this year on May 23rd through 26th at the Convention Center.  This year over 400 exhibitors, many of them new firms, will be filling a show floor including GE Renewable Energy, Siemens, Vestas, Goldwind, Gamesa, Nordex and many more. But there will be over 100 smaller firms exhibiting as well. Among the speakers will be our friend Russ Gold of the Wall Street Journal.  Others include keynoter Steve Farber, former LA Senator Mary Landrieu,  Vestas CEO Chris Brown and many more.

 

CSIS to Look at China Energy – Next Tuesday, May 24th at 10:00 am – 11:30 am, the CSIS Energy and National Security Program will host Dr. Kang Wu, Vice Chairman for Asia and Managing Director of FGE China to present a draft of his forthcoming paper, “Energy in China: Market Dynamics and Policy Development,” written for the CSIS Energy Program. Dr. Wu’s report focuses on the political economy of China’s energy sector, examining the impacts of lower economic growth on China’s energy mix and energy supply and demand balance, while also considering the shifts in Chinese energy policy embodied in the country’s 13th Five-Year Plan. Jane Nakano, Senior Fellow with the CSIS Energy and National Security Program will moderate the discussion.

 

USEA Forum to Look at Gas Exports – The US Energy Assn will hold a forum on May 24th at 2:00 p.m. to look at natgas export issues. US LNG exports are coming on to the global gas market at a time of a glut of supply, both pipeline and LNG, and low gas prices.  The outlook for demand – outside the US – is mostly pessimistic as well, suggesting the glut of supply could last for many years. Europe is seen as a key battleground for LNG against Russian pipeline gas but post 2020 China will come into that category as well.  What are the real prospects for US LNG exports with this background; could Russia engage in a price war in Europe, will there be any more FIDs on large scale LNG export projects before 2020, and what does all them imply for gas prices? Nexant Global Gas Principal Mike Fulwood will discuss.

 

Atlantic Council Forum Looks at Sustainability – On Wednesday, May 25th at 9:00 a.m., the Atlantic Council hosts a discussion with Dr. Michael Ben-Eli, founder of The Sustainability Laboratory and author of the widely acclaimed “Sustainability: The Five Core Principles: A New Framework.” Pressure is rapidly mounting to transition towards a cleaner global energy system. Achieving the necessary structural changes will require wide-reaching innovation and creative leadership. Dr. Ben-Eli will share with us five basic tenants of sustainability that can help speed and smooth the transition to cleaner fuels and more renewable energy.

 

USEA to Feature NatGas Technology Discussion – On Wednesday, May 25th at 10:00 a.m., the U.S. Energy Association will host Bill Brown of NET Power to discuss an emissions-free natural gas power system that will allow the world to meet 100% of its climate targets without having to pay more for electricity.  NET Power uses the Allam Cycle, an oxy-fuel supercritical CO2 power cycle, to produce electricity from natural gas for the same cost as conventional power plants, but without producing any air emissions.  The system’s only byproducts are liquid water and pipeline-ready CO2. The technology will be the low-cost, reliable, flexible cornerstone of a clean energy future. The company is owned by Exelon, CB&I and 8 Rivers Capital.  Together with Toshiba, NET Power and its investors are building a 50MW demonstration plant in Texas that is currently under construction.

Chamber Energy Exec to Address NatGas Roundtable – On Thursday, May 26th at Noon, the Natural Gas Roundtable is hosting Karen Harbert, President and CEO of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Institute for 21st Century Energy, as its next luncheon speaker.  Harbert leads the Institute’s efforts to build support for meaningful energy action nationally and internationally through policy development, education, and advocacy. Under Harbert’s leadership, the Energy Institute has evolved into a premier national and international organization dedicated to advancing a constructive energy agenda with the business community, policymakers, and consumers. Harbert frequently testifies in front of Congress and provides analysis to the media, policymakers, and industry leaders.

 

BPC Event to Focus on Ag Sustainability – On Thursday May 26 at 10:00 a.m., the Bipartisan Policy Center’s CEO Council on Sustainability and Innovation will share case studies that illustrate sustainable best practices. The council will also unveil a call to action encouraging others along the supply chain to join the journey to a sustainable future.  Speakers at the forum will include Kellogg CEO John Bryant, DuPont EVP James Collins, Hormel Foods CEO Jeff Ettinger, Land O’Lakes CEO Chris Policinski.  The event will be moderated by former U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Dan Glickman.

 

RFF to Look at Enviro Public Good – Resources for the Future will hold its June First Wednesday Seminar on June 1st at 12:45 p.m. to focus on neuroeconomics, which is a new direction for valuing environmental public good.  For more than 60 years, experts at RFF and elsewhere have sought to understand people’s preferences and willingness to pay for environmental public goods in order to improve environmental regulations. One of the newest methods for understanding preferences and environmental valuation is neuroeconomics—the study of how the brain makes economic-related decisions. Experts at this seminar, hosted by RFF with New York University’s Institute for the Interdisciplinary Study of Decision Making, will examine new findings from the institute that bring neuroscience to bear on what was once largely an economics question: How do people value environmental goods? Panelists will discuss how these findings compare with traditional contingent valuation (one of the longest-standing, conventional approaches to environmental valuation) and the implications for public policy. Speakers will include NYU’s Paul Glimcher, Georgetown‘s Arik Levinson, Michael Livermore of the UVa School of Law and NOAA’s Juli Trtanj.

 

Forum to Look at TX Green Energy – The Bi-National Energy Committee along with the City of San Antonio, CPS Energy, the North American Development Bank (NADB) and other organizations will hold the Bi-National Green Energy Forum on June 2nd in San Antonio, TX.  Focusing on green energy projects: from renewable sources of energy to new technologies for energy efficiencies, the Forum is great opportunity to learn and discuss with experts and successful companies of Mexico and the US about cross-border opportunities in this vibrant growing bi-national market.

 

USEA Forum to Look at Paris, Future of Energy – On Thursday June 9th, US EA will host former Sierra Club Counsel David Bookbinder to discuss Paris, the Presidential election and the future of energy.  As an environmental policy lawyer, Bookbinder has litigated cases under all of the major environmental statutes as Sierra Club’s Chief Climate Counsel. He then represented environmental groups in both stationary- and mobile-source carbon matters, including California’s greenhouse gas vehicle standards. Bookbinder has helped lead efforts on both global warming legislation and Clean Air Act greenhouse gas regulation, and has testified in front of House and Senate committees on these issues. In pursuing his goal of practical, cost-effective carbon solutions Bookbinder has frequently told environmental groups, members of Congress, and federal and state agencies things they did not want to hear.  In this briefing, Bookbinder will address the current complexities of carbon policy based upon his extensive experience in environmental law.

 

Oil, Gas Forum Set – US Energy Stream will hold a Washington Oil & Gas Forum on June 8th and 9th at the Cosmos Club in DC.  More on this as it gets closer, but you can go here: http://www.energystreamcmg.com/

 

RFF Wall Street Meeting Set for NYC – REFF-Wall Street 2016 will be held on June 11th and 12th at The Grand Hyatt, New York.  REFF-Wall Street is the premier renewable energy financing event in the U.S. The event draws an especially senior audience, comprising of over 600 decision makers, lenders, investors, investment bankers, private equity investors, venture capitalists, and other top transactional professionals in renewable energy finance.

 

 

Energy Update: Week of May 9

Friends,

Now that was a great Kentucky Derby.  If you checked your update date last week, you’d notice that if you bet the four horses I mentioned (Nyquist, Exaggerator, Gun Runner and Mohaymen) in a superfecta box, you would have won some big money (it paid out at $542 on a $1 bet). THIS IS WHY YOU READ THE UPDATE EVERY WEEK!!!!.  My money did come in on Nyquist, who I felt really ran a tactically perfect race, and Exaggerator in an Exacta winner.  I might have tossed a few dollars at the Superfecta Box as well.  I almost can’t wait to see who heads to Baltimore for the Preakness on Saturday May 21 just two weeks away.  The hype is already started and since the Stanley Cup was in the Nyquist barn on Saturday, I’m treating the superstition issues just like the hockey playoffs, so I won’t be saying anything that could be a jinx for now.

This week EPA is expected to issue its regulations mandating cuts in methane emissions from oil and gas production, rules the industry says are unnecessary because it is already voluntarily managing them effectively.  For example, Cabot Oil & Gas has been achieving substantial methane emissions reductions for years. Starting back in 2011, Cabot unleashed new technological initiatives to decrease methane emissions from its operations.  The company cut methane emissions by 85% between 2011 and 2014—particularly impressive given that its natural gas production grew 250% during the same period.  My colleague Sandra Snyder (202-828-5810) is the best methane expert in industry.  She is ready to handle your calls on the subject.

While Congress returns this week, the action is slower than normal with Energy and Water returning to the Senate Floor and House Science hosting the DOE Fossil Office.  Other good events in town include CSIS hosting EIA head Adam Sieminski Wednesday morning to present EIA’s International Energy Outlook 2016 and Thursday, SoCo CEO Tom Fanning headlines a CSM discussion on cybersecurity threats to the grid.  Out of town, after last week’s QER meeting in Iowa that featured Secretary Moniz, the public meeting roadshow and Moniz move to Austin, TX today.  There is also a QER hearing in LA tomorrow.

Remember to put on your schedule next week: John Krafcik, CEO of Google Self-Driving Cars, will join Securing America’s Future Energy, Fed Ex CEO Fred Smith and others next Thursday morning, May 19th at The Newseum for the release of its National Strategy for Energy Security: The Innovation Revolution.

And since your marking your calendars, take this one down too.  On the afternoon of Monday May 23rd in advance of the highly-anticipated Clean Power Plan oral arguments at the DC Circuit, West Virginia AG Patrick Morrissey, who has coordinated a coalition of 30 states opposing the rule will speak at a National Press Club Newsmaker on the case with former EPA Air office Head Jeff Holmstead and Pedernales Electric Co-op CEO John Hewa, who was in DC last week discussing Pedernales’ brief in the case and their innovative approach on renewables.  One of his stops was on E&E TV and it is featured in today’s edition.

Finally, I am adding a new feature this week that I have successfully used in other outreach over the years: an interesting, timely, perhaps provocative public quote relevant to energy issues, policy or politics.  First edition below, enjoy and send if you have any good ones.

Call with questions.

 

Best,

Frank Maisano

(202) 828-5864

(202) 997-5932

 

 

FRANKLY SPOKEN

 

“At ExxonMobil, we share the view that the risks of climate change are serious, and they warrant thoughtful action,” Exxon CEO Rex Tillerson said at the U.S. Energy Association annual Policy Forum at the National Press Club last Thursday in Washington.

 

“It’s going to take a very long time before we can wean ourselves from fossil fuels. So I think to keep it in the ground is naive; to think we can shift to 100% renewables is naive. We’re really going to have a transition over time,” Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell told our friend Sammy Roth at the Desert Sun on Friday.

 

 

IN THE NEWS

 

Hydraulically fractured wells provide two-thirds of U.S. natural gas production – The Energy Information Administration (EIA) said last week over the past 10 years hydraulic fracturing has become the technique by which most natural gas is produced in the United States. Based on the most recent data from states, EIA estimates that natural gas production from hydraulically fractured wells now makes up about two-thirds of total U.S. marketed gas production. This share of production is even greater than the share of crude oil produced using that method, where hydraulic fracturing accounts for about half of current U.S. crude oil production. You can see the EIA graph and read more here.

 

POLL: Most People Don’t Know Obama GHG Rules – A new national poll from the Program for Public Consultation at the University of Maryland’s School of Public Policy found 7 in 10 voters have heard “just a little or nothing at all” about EPA’s regulation to rein in carbon emissions from power plants.  The results match another recent survey of Texas voters from the Texas Clean Energy Coalition that said 85% of respondents surveyed had not “seen, read or heard of a federal policy called the Clean Power Plan.”  After digging through the spin, the bottom line remains: there isn’t much universal, broad support for a plan that most know little or nothing about.

 

FERC Approves Atlantic Sunrise Pipeline – Despite last week’s denial of permits for the Constitution Pipeline in NY, FERC has given preliminary approval for construction of the $3 billion Atlantic Sunrise pipeline after agreeing with environmental mitigation plans. The project is an expansion of the Transcontinental pipeline system and involves the construction of 197.7 miles of pipeline. FERC is taking comments on the environmental impact statement, and the project must still attain state environmental permits. Shockingly, environmental groups filed a lawsuit against the project. The Atlantic Sunrise is an expansion of the Transco system, which includes more than 10,000 miles of pipeline moving 10% of the nation’s natural gas across the country to utilities and power plants. Transco is operated by Williams, which submitted an application to FERC last year. The project includes construction of 197.7 miles of new pipeline, most of which would be in Pennsylvania, and designed to move Marcellus Shale gas from Northeast Pennsylvania as far south as Alabama. The new lines would cross through 10 Pennsylvania counties.

 

What’s Next for Atlantic? – The National Environmental Policy Act requires FERC to do the environmental impact statement. The 60-day public comment period closes on June 27, and FERC says it will issue the final EIS in October. In addition to federal regulatory approval, interstate pipelines also need state environmental permits. The Delaware Riverkeeper Network has already challenged state water quality permits, calling the PDEP water quality certificates for the project a violation of the Clean Water Act.

 

Unions Says Give NJ Pipeline a Chance – In New Jersey, union leaders are urging support for another pipeline project running across New York and New Jersey.  Greg Lalevee of the International Union of Operating Engineers, Local 825, argues in The Journal News that the Pilgrim pipeline should get a fair shake.

 

IRS Extends Renewables Construction Period – The IRS issued a notice detailing how wind projects qualify for the production tax credit (PTC) last week indicating projects now have four years or more to enter into service after their start-construction deadlines to qualify for the tax credit (up from two years or more).  This should benefit projects that are already getting ready to build and is consistent with standard IRS policy.  According to tax experts, the IRS had to update prior guidance in light of the PTC and ITC extensions late last year because some of the dates in prior guidance documents had come and gone making them no longer applicable.  AWEA says the change will provide “companies certainty about the rules, which are generally consistent with prior guidance, and can finalize business decisions and investments for this year and beyond.”  Of course, the regular opponents of the PTC were also commenting with IER President Tom Pyle calling the change “theft” from taxpayers.  Pyle: “The IRS is far more concerned about providing special interest handouts through the wind PTC than protecting the American families who actually pay taxes.” Pyle called on Congress “to clean up the taxpayer-funded mess this administration has made” but I think that may be a fight they would lose.  AWEA has chronicled the interest of Republicans in renewable energy.

 

West Virginia Coal Miners Not Wasting Time For Trump – While Many Republicans a concerned over apparent Presidential nominee Donald Trump, the West Virginia Coal Association is all in after presumptive Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton’s visit last week.  The group announced it’s all in for Trump, who promised to bring coal jobs back to Appalachia. “Trump has said he will reverse the Democratic regulatory assault that has cost the coal industry more than 40 percent of our production and jobs since 2008,” Bill Raney, the group’s president, said in a statement. (At his rally in West Virginia last night, Trump donned a hard hat and mimed shoveling coal.)

 

Exxon, FuelCell Venture to Capture CO2 – Exxon Mobil Corporation and FuelCell Energy said last week they are pursuing a novel technology in power plant carbon dioxide capture through a new application of carbonate fuel cells, which could substantially reduce costs and lead to a more economical pathway toward large-scale application globally.  Two years of comprehensive laboratory tests have demonstrated that the unique integration of two existing technologies – carbonate fuel cells and natural gas-fired power generation – captures carbon dioxide more efficiently than existing scrubber conventional capture technology. The potential breakthrough comes from an increase in electrical output using the fuel cells, which generate power, compared to a nearly equivalent decrease in electricity using conventional technology.  The resulting net benefit has the potential to substantially reduce costs associated with carbon capture for natural gas-fired power generation, compared to the expected costs associated with conventional separation technology. A key component of the research will be to validate initial projected savings of up to one-third.

 

 

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

QER Meeting Set for Iowa, Texas – The Quadrennial Energy Review Task Force will hold a public stakeholder today in Austin, Texas and tomorrow in Los Angeles.  There will be a final meeting in Atlanta on Tuesday, May 24th Atlanta.

 

Forum to Discuss North American Manufacturing Issues –The Wilson Center’s Mexico Institute, Canada Institute, and the International Monetary Fund are launching a new the book Power Play: Energy and Manufacturing in North America today at 4:00 p.m.  Despite the recent fall in energy prices, fuller development of energy resources in North America has potentially important implications for global energy markets and the competitiveness of North American manufacturing industries. The book “Power Play: Energy and Manufacturing in North America” describes the transformation of the energy landscape in North America due to the upsurge in unconventional energy production since the mid-2000s and tells the story of the energy-manufacturing nexus from the perspective of Canada, Mexico, and the United States, and the region as a whole.  Based on the research done at the International Monetary Fund, the book discusses the energy boom and its macroeconomic implications for the three countries individually and for the region overall, exploring also how the changing energy landscape can affect the potential benefits of greater integration across the three North American economies.

 

Forum to Look at Mitigating Climate Risks –Tomorrow at Noon, Climate Advisers and DC Net Impact will host a panel discussion about climate risk, how investors address these risks, and how firms present potential financial solutions which can mitigate climate risk. During the discussion, the panelists will discuss various case studies specific to palm oil and Southeast Asia. There will be breakout sessions with each of the panelists following the panel discussion. Sarah Conway, Lead Climate Finance Negotiator at the State Department will lead the discussion.

 

Event to Focus on Climate, Cities – Tomorrow afternoon, Worldwatch Institute will launch a new forum/publication: “State of the World: Can a City Be Sustainable?”  Cities are the world’s future. Today, more than half of the global population– 3.7 billion people– are urban dwellers and that number is expected to double by 2050. Will the world invest in the physical and social infrastructure necessary for livable, equitable, and sustainable cities?  The discussion aims to discover the most pressing challenges facing cities and the most promising solutions currently being developed.

 

Climate Gala Set – The 2016 Earth Day Network Climate Leadership Gala will be held tomorrow evening at the Mayflower Hotel in Washington, DC.  The event will feature women in climate leadership including CERES head Mindy Lubbers. On top of our two award winners, the night will include Melanne Verveer of Georgetown’s Institute for Women, Peace and Security, as well as Karuna Singh who leads Earth Day Network’s efforts all throughout India. We are also very excited to include Virginia Tech’s Dr. Amy Pruden who helped uncover the water crisis in Flint, Michigan.

EIA to Present International Energy Outlook – The CSIS Energy and National Security Program will host Adam Sieminski, Administrator of the Energy Information Administration (EIA) on Wednesday at 9:30 a.m. to present the EIA’s International Energy Outlook 2016 (IEO2016).  The EO2016 includes projections of world energy demand by region and primary energy source through 2040; electricity generation by energy source; and energy-related carbon dioxide emissions.  Among other topics, Sieminski will discuss EIA’s view on long-term petroleum and other liquids fuel supplies, prospects for global natural gas markets, energy demand growth among developing nations, and key uncertainties that may alter the long-term projections.

 

House Science Hosts DOE Fossil Office – The House Science Committee’s Subcommittee on Energy will convene an oversight hearing on Wednesday at 10:00 a.m. looking at the DOE’s Office of Fossil Energy.  Chris Smith, Assistant Secretary for Fossil Energy, will testify.

Solar Summit Set For AZ – On Wednesday and Thursday in Scottsdale, Arizona, the 9th annual Solar Summit will dive deep into a unique blend of research and economic market analysis from the GTM Research team and industry experts. This year’s agenda will feature themes from Latin America to BOS to the Global Solar Market.   DOE’s Lidija Sekaric and ERCOT’s Bill Magness lead a large group of speakers.

 

CSIS to host NatGas, Low Carbon Discussion – The CSIS Energy and National Security Program is hosting a discussion on Wednesday at 4:00 p.m. with Doug Arent, Executive Director, Joint Institute for Strategic Energy Analysis (JISEA), on the potential role that natural gas may play in various low carbon pathways in the United States.  Earlier this spring, JISEA released analysis on natural gas and the electricity sector and explores the question of natural gas as a bridge to a more sustainable electricity sector. Arent will provide an overview of the JISEA work has underway and as well as present the findings from this recent report. Sarah Ladislaw, Director and Senior Fellow, CSIS Energy and National Security Program, will moderate the discussion.

 

 

Fanning to Headline CyberSecurity Discussion – The Christian Science Monitor’s Passcode will hold a forum on Thursday morning to at the Capitol Hyatt to explore protecting the power grid from today’s cyber threats. Speakers will include DOE Deputy Secretary Elizabeth Sherwood-Randall, Southern Company CEO Tom Fanning, founder of Dragos Security Robert Lee and Rep. Will Hurd (R-Tex.) who will look closely at how hackers pulled off the Ukraine hack, whether we are prepared for similar attacks, and how industry and government are partnering to safeguard the US power supply.

 

Summit to Focus on Energy, Manufacturing – The Council on Competitiveness will hold its Northeast regional version of the American Energy & Manufacturing Competitiveness Summit on Thursday at City College of New York. Speakers include top executives, Dept. of Energy officials, and clean energy scientists. The Summits are packed days of moderated panels, keynote speakers and exhibits to address critical topics in energy and manufacturing, including the roles manufacturing and energy productivity in global, the effect of America’s domestic energy abundance on reshaping the global economy and strengthening US manufacturing and the importance of continued advanced research and technological innovation.

 

CAP to Host Ag Climate Forum – The Center for American Progress for a discussion on Thursday regarding agriculture, USDA actions and climate change. U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack and other distinguished guests will speak about the remarkable strides over the past seven years to address climate change, both domestically and internationally. Yet there is widespread agreement that more must be done to reduce pollution and increase resilience to an already changing climate.

 

USEA to Talk Smart Grid in Emerging Markets – The U.S. Energy Association will host a forum on Thursday at 10:00 a.m. on smart grid infrastructure in emerging markets.  Utilities across the world are in the process of modernizing their assets, including significant investment in smart grid infrastructure. This includes smart metering, or advanced metering infrastructure (AMI), distribution automation and other advancements in transmission and distribution infrastructure that leverage two-way communications and sensors. To-date, the majority of smart grid deployments have taken place in North America and Western Europe. However, over the course of the next decade, investment is shifting to emerging market countries. By 2026, smart grid investment in emerging markets will exceed that of developed countries, with $226 billion in cumulative investment over the period 2016-2026. In this briefing, Northeast Group’s Ben Gardner will present the results from its 5th annual Emerging Markets Smart Grid: Outlook 2016 study and highlight some of the leading countries deploying smart grid infrastructure over the next decade.

 

Resources Panel to Look at State Views of BLM Policy – The House Resources Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations on Thursday will hear the views of state and county officials on how BLM’s proposal will affect their ability to influence agency decisions on land uses like grazing, energy development and recreation.  Testifying will be Pete Obermueller of the Wyoming County Commissioners Association; New Mexico secretary of environment and the natural resources Ryan Flynn, Humboldt County, NV commissioner Jim French and several others.

 

Senate Energy to Host IG Nominee – The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee will hold a hearing to consider the nomination of Susan Beard to be Inspector General at the Department of Energy on Thursday. Beard has served as assistant general counsel for general law at DOE over the past 12 years and deputy assistant general counsel for standards of conduct, information law, legal counsel and general law.  Prior to DOE, she was an attorney at the Federal Election Commission.

 

NAS Looks at Fuel Transportation – The Division on Engineering and Physical Sciences’ Transportation Research Board at the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine will meet on Thursday to discuss domestic transportation of petroleum, natgas and ethanol.

 

Enviros Rally Against Drilling – On Sunday at 1:00 p.m., activists will return to the White House to rally for keeping all fossil fuels in the ground with a primary focus on all offshore drilling.  With a previous success On Keystone, the groups, which includes 350.org, Center for Biological Diversity, Chesapeake Climate Action Network, CREDO, Environment America, Friends of the Earth, Greenpeace, League of Conservation Voters, Natural Resources Defense Council, Oil Change International, Rainforest Action Network, Sierra Club, Waterkeeper Alliance, World Wildlife Fund and many others.  With the economic, revenue and energy independence benefits of established Gulf of Mexico drilling as well as many of the Shale drilling in the US readily apparent, it will be hard to imagine that will be covered by this group. Of course, we are happy to provide that perspective.

 

 

FUTURE EVENTS

 

Forum to Look at Spent Nuclear Fuel Issues – The Precourt Institute for Energy, MacArthur Foundation, George Washington University, Center for International Security and Cooperation will hold a two-day conference next Tuesday and Wednesday on resetting U.S. nuclear waste management strategy and policy. The meeting will bring together U.S. and international speakers from industry, government, universities, national laboratories and broader community interests in a combination of presentation and panel discussion formats.  Speakers will discussion issues and address key questions including what barriers are preventing integration of the spent fuel management system, what a better-integrated spent fuel management system might look like for the US, the potential benefits, timing and cost of integrating spent fuel management and many more topics.  Speakers will be from National labs Like Sandia and Idaho, industry like NEI’s Rod McCallum and Exelon’s Adam Levine, officials from NRC and environmental groups experts like David Lochbaum of UCS.

RFF, Duke Host Oil, Gas Impacts Forum – Resources for the Future (RFF) and Duke University will host a seminar on Wednesday May 18th at 12:30 p.m. to explore the key issues facing local governments in this new era of oil and gas development.  RFF’s Alan Krupnick will describe RFF’s Community Impacts Initiative. Richard Newell and Daniel Raimi from Duke University will present the results of their Shale Public Finance project, which examines the fiscal impacts of oil and gas development on local governments in every major producing region of the United States. The seminar will also feature comments by Aliza Wasserman of the National Governors Association and further discussion with the presenters and the audience on key findings and implications.

 

SEIA Looks Solar in Africa with US AID Officials – On Wednesday, May 18th at Noon, the Solar Energy Industries Association will hold a forum featuring speakers from the US Agency for International Development (USAID) to look at solar’s role in powering Africa. Power Africa brings together technical and legal experts, the private sector, and governments from around the world to work in partnership to increase the number of people with access to power.   USAID’s goals include enabling electricity access by adding 60 million new electricity connections and 30,000 MW of new and cleaner power generation in sub-Saharan Africa.  USAID speakers Drew Bennett, Commerce Liaison & Portfolio Manager and Denise Mortimer of the Power Africa Policy Team will address these and other key issues.

 

CSIS to Hold Development Forum – The second annual Global Development Forum (GDF) at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) on Thursday May 19. The GDF will feature over 40 speakers, including key stakeholders from U.S. government agencies, leading multilateral and non-governmental organizations, foreign governments, and the private sector.  The 2016 GDF seeks to address the complex issues highlighted by the recently adopted Sustainable Development Goals. Participants will examine the role and purpose of official development assistance against a backdrop of global trends including rising incomes, rapid urbanization, uneven economic growth, and widespread unemployment. In particular, discussions will explore ways in which official donors and key partners, including the private sector, civil society, and multilateral institutions can improve livelihoods, strengthen governance, and facilitate access to key resources including food, energy, and infrastructure.

 

SAFE to Release Autonomous Car Strategy Report – John Krafcik, CEO of Google Self-Driving Cars, will join Securing America’s Future Energy on Thursday May 19th at 9:00 a.m. at The Newseum for the release of its National Strategy for Energy Security: The Innovation Revolution.  The United States’ near-total dependence on oil to power our mobility destabilizes our economy and weakens our national security. Fortunately, America is on the cusp of an innovation revolution, one in which increased fuel diversity in transportation improves our country’s energy security and the rapid emergence of driverless cars enhances safety and redefines mobility for millions.  FedEx CEO Fred Smith, General James T. Conway and members of the Energy Security Leadership Council will the launch of the report. The event will feature the country’s foremost experts across the spectrum of energy and transportation, from the founders of the American shale revolution to the innovators redefining transportation through self-driving cars.

 

Energy Economists Forum to Look at Oil Markets, OPEC – The NCAC Chapter of the US Assn of Energy Economists will host their May luncheon on Friday May 20th at Carmines Restaurant hosting Jamie Webster, Global Energy Expert, as he discusses the outlook for oil markets ahead of the next round of OPEC meetings in early June.  Jamie will address the following: “Although global oil prices have bounced off their January lows, this seems remarkably similar to 2015.  Is the balance really occurring and how has the perception and reality for US producers changed since last year?  Will the next OPEC meeting just be more Doha or is there any chance OPEC could re-exert itself?”  Webster has more than 15-years’ experience providing analysis and strategic advice on domestic and international energy markets, with a focus on oil, natural gas and electricity issues. Current work is centered on energy policy in the Americas, OPEC policy choices and Middle Eastern energy markets.

 

WV AG to Headline Press Club Newsmaker – With the looming Legal arguments In the Clean Power Plan case, the National Press Club’s Newsmakers Committee will host an afternoon forum with West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrissey to discuss his role in this hugely-important case.   More details on this next week.

 

WINDPOWER Set for New Orleans – AWEA Is hosting its annual WINDPOWER conference in New Orleans this year on May 23rd through 26th at the Convention Center.  This year over 400 exhibitors, many of them new firms, will be filling a show floor including GE Renewable Energy, Siemens, Vestas, Goldwind, Gamesa, Nordex and many more. But there will be over 100 smaller firms exhibiting as well. Among the speakers will be our friend Russ Gold of the Wall Street Journal.  Others include keynoter Steve Farber, former LA Senator Mary Landrieu,  Vestas CEO Chris Brown and many more.

 

USEA Forum to Look at Gas Exports – The US Energy Assn will hold a forum on May 24th at 2:00 p.m. to Look at natgas export issues. US LNG exports are coming on to the global gas market at a time of a glut of supply, both pipeline and LNG, and low gas prices.  The outlook for demand – outside the US – is mostly pessimistic as well, suggesting the glut of supply could last for many years. Europe is seen as a key battleground for LNG against Russian pipeline gas but post 2020 China will come into that category as well.  What are the real prospects for US LNG exports with this background; could Russia engage in a price war in Europe, will there be any more FIDs on large scale LNG export projects before 2020, and what does all them imply for gas prices? Nexant Global Gas Principal Mike Fulwood will discuss.

 

Forum to Look at TX Green Energy – The Bi-National Energy Committee along with the City of San Antonio, CPS Energy, the North American Development Bank (NADB) and other organizations will hold the Bi-National Green Energy Forum on June 2nd in San Antonio, TX.  Focusing on green energy projects: from renewable sources of energy to new technologies for energy efficiencies, the Forum is great opportunity to learn and discuss with experts and successful companies of Mexico and the US about cross-border opportunities in this vibrant growing bi-national market.

 

USEA Forum to Look at Paris, Future of Energy – On Thursday June 9th, US EA will host former Sierra Club Counsel David Bookbinder to discuss Paris, the Presidential election and the future of energy.  As an environmental policy lawyer, Bookbinder has litigated cases under all of the major environmental statutes as Sierra Club’s Chief Climate Counsel. He then represented environmental groups in both stationary- and mobile-source carbon matters, including California’s greenhouse gas vehicle standards. Bookbinder has helped lead efforts on both global warming legislation and Clean Air Act greenhouse gas regulation, and has testified in front of House and Senate committees on these issues. In pursuing his goal of practical, cost-effective carbon solutions Bookbinder has frequently told environmental groups, members of Congress, and federal and state agencies things they did not want to hear.  In this briefing, Bookbinder will address the current complexities of carbon policy based upon his extensive experience in environmental law.

 

Oil, Gas Forum Set – US Energy Stream will hold a Washington Oil & Gas Forum on June 8th and 9th at the Cosmos Club in DC.  More on this as it gets closer, but you can go here: http://www.energystreamcmg.com/

 

RFF Wall Street Meeting Set for NYC – REFF-Wall Street 2016 will be held on June 11th and 12th at The Grand Hyatt, New York.  REFF-Wall Street is the premier renewable energy financing event in the U.S. The event draws an especially senior audience, comprising of over 600 decision makers, lenders, investors, investment bankers, private equity investors, venture capitalists, and other top transactional professionals in renewable energy finance.

Energy Update: Week of May 2

Friends,

What a great evening on Saturday at the WHCA Dinner.  The president was definitely on his game, both in the speech and in the awesome video featuring former House Speaker John Boehner.  I also have included President Bush’s final 2008 WHCA dinner which also was pretty awesome just for historical perspective.

For those of you I saw, it was great to see you.  For those of you I missed, sorry we couldn’t connect this time but we’ll have other opportunities.  I wish I would have hung around long enough to see the fight between Fox News and HuffPost at all places but the Institute of Peace (you just can’t make this stuff up).  Seems like maybe a scene from the Anchorman movies.

Rural Co-op execs are in DC this week today and tomorrow.  This morning they talk politics and 2016 with operative Charlie Black and tomorrow they will take to the Hill to discuss their efforts on expanding use of renewables, efforts to limit the GHG impacts on their members and their focus on cybersecurity.   Also in town in this week are advocates from the National Brain Tumor Association, whose CEO has just landed on the White House, Biden-led “Moonshot” Initiative.

This week, the signature event seems to be the Climate Action Summit 2016 on Thursday and Friday, although many have wondered aloud what this group of big names (or usual suspects) will be summiting that they already haven’t summited in the last 6 months.  Al Gore and Ban ki-Moon are on the agenda and many side events are centered around it.

Speaking of Thursday, USEA holds a more interesting Public Policy forum at the National Press Club.  That will feature ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson, as well as NRC Chair Stephen Burns, FERC Commissioner Colette Honorable and DOE Energy office Director Melanie Kenderdine, among others.

Tomorrow, CSIS hosts Marie Therese Dominguez, the new PHMSA administrator to discuss what she’s doing to restore lawmakers’ and residents’ faith in the pipeline regulator.  Given the recent pipeline news, it should be a lively discussion.

Wednesday, WCEE hosts a discussion of waste fuels, while ELI features a discussion of Sage Grouse/ESA issues with our former Bracewell colleague Matt Haynie among the panel experts.

This evening, if you are not watching Game 3 of the entertaining, tight Pittsburgh Penguins-Washington Caps series, you could go see the Marc Morano film Climate Hustle as it makes its one-night debut in theaters across the country.  It is sure to annoy activists in the environmental community but I think that is reason he does it.

Finally, Saturday is the 142nd running of the Kentucky Derby.  Following last year’s record, streak-breaking Triple Crown run by American Pharoah, this year’s Run for the Roses may have trouble living up last year’s hype.  But for 2016, I am especially excited given the race favorite is named for Detroit Red Wings winger Gustav Nyquist.  Nyquist is owned by SoCal’s Paul Reddam, a rabid Red Wings fans.  In fact, they will have the Stanley Cup in his barn on Saturday morning for inspiration.  You know that link has former NHL star, current NBC commentator and horse expert Eddie Olczyk fired up.   The clear favorite this year, Nyquist has won all seven of his career races and is currently 10-3 to win, ahead of Gun Runner (Derby points leader), Mohaymen (who Nyquist thrashed in the Florida Derby) and Exaggerator (who is a serious threat because of his previous competition).  Race officials draw for post positions on Wednesday, with the Kentucky Oaks Race on Friday and Derby Post Time at 6:34 p.m. Saturday.  It still is the most exciting two minutes in sports.

Call with policy, political or betting questions and Happy Cinco de Mayo

 

Best,

Frank Maisano

(202) 828-5864

(202) 997-5932

 

IN THE NEWS

Groups Join Together for Carbon Research Center – NRECA joined with members of a public-private partnership in Gillette, WY last week to break ground on an industrial-scale laboratory that will test innovative methods for removing and utilizing carbon emissions from coal-fired power plants. The center’s projected completion date is the summer of 2017. The Wyoming Integrated Test Center (ITC) will allow researchers to test the capture, utilization and sequestration of carbon. The center will use flue gas from the Dry Fork Station, a 422-megawatt generation facility owned by Basin Electric Power Cooperative. NRECA contributed $1 million to the project.  Joining NRECA and Basin Electric in the ITC partnership are Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association, the NRG COSIA Carbon XPRIZE and the state of Wyoming, which contributed $15 million to the project. Tri-State contributed $5 million to the ITC.  XPRIZE will use the facility for the final phase of its $10 million carbon competition. It will award prize money to the developer of the most successful new technology for transforming coal based flue gas into a commercial product. Transforming carbon dioxide emissions into revenue-producing products could offset the high cost of carbon removal and go a long way toward solving the carbon challenge, while potentially keeping energy plants in operation, saving jobs and sparing local communities from economic hardship. Products made from waste carbon dioxide could include chemicals, fuels, building materials and graphene, an exotic allotrope of carbon that has extraordinary properties, such as being 100 times stronger than steel.  The XPRIZE competition will conclude in 2020.

Consumer Group Paper Cites Benefits of Community Solar Projects – A white paper prepared by the Consumer Federation of America (CFA) last week lauded public power companies and rural electric co-ops for their leadership on community (or “shared”) solar. The paper,  Public Power and Rural Electric Leadership on Community Solar Initiatives, represents a third solar option to rooftop panels and utility-installed farms  While still in its infancy, these community solar blocks have provided key benefits to consumers, especially to the roughly 50% for whom rooftop solar is not available.  The white paper reports that a disproportionate share of the more than 100 community solar projects have been initiated by rural electric co-ops and public power companies.  This fact helps explain the U.S. Department of Energy’s “Guide to Community Solar” assessment that “in general, public owned utilities have taken the lead in deploying community solar projects.”  A recent article in PVTECH concurred:  “The push for community solar has largely been driven by cooperative and municipal utilities.”  Community solar involves customer investment in the purchase of power from solar panels in the same geographical area.  These customers receive a credit on their monthly bills reflecting the amount of electricity they use and the amount produced by their purchase.  In most cases, electric utilities or non-profit community organizations initiate community solar.  Participating consumers have the opportunity not only to invest in solar power but also, typically, to obtain long-term rate stability. Community solar offers several advantages compared to rooftop solar including:

  • It can be made available to everyone in a utility service area. Roughly 50 percent of all residences are not suitable for rooftop panels because of one or more factors, including insufficient sunlight.
  • Because of economies of scale, community solar can be produced much less expensively than rooftop solar.
  • Participating consumers are not directly responsible for the installation and maintenance of the solar panels.
  • There are fewer potential conflicts between customers with solar investments and those without a solar stake.

New EPIC Partnership With Forbes – The experts at the Energy Policy institute at the University of Chicago (EPIC) has partnered with Forbes.com, where you can now access the latest energy insights.  EPIC’s posts will target policymakers, influencers and the public and offer a direct connection to its research findings and latest analysis on today’s energy issues. .  You can see the first few posts here.   And while we are on the EPIC subject, its director, our friend Sam Ori had another piece in the Wall St. Journal on how emerging nations can use data to curb pollution.

ACCCE Hits Clinton During Appalachia Tour – Democratic front runner Hillary Clinton is embarking on a two-day tour of Appalachia, making campaign stops in Kentucky, West Virginia and Ohio.  The former Secretary of State is a vocal supporter of President Obama’s costly power plan – a plan with a price tag approaching $300 billion that will raise electricity prices in 48 states including Kentucky, West Virginia and Ohio yet does nothing to prevent global climate change.  “It’s a bold move to stand before the very communities that will be devastated by the policies Secretary Clinton supports continuing and ask that they put their trust in her,” said Laura Sheehan, senior vice president of communications for the American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity.  “This isn’t even political misdirection; Sec. Clinton has made it very clear that she would be a virtual Obama 2.0, backing regulations that would stunt economic growth and hurt those who can least afford it the most.”  Clinton had previously boasted that coal miners would lose their jobs if she were elected President.  She has since backtracked after being chastised by a member of her own party, West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin (D).  “We can only hope that as this election cycle continues and Secretary Clinton meets first hand with those she proposes to put of work, that she takes a step back and asks herself if the cost of Obama’s illegal carbon regulations, which will have no meaningful effect on global climate change, are worth the risk to everyday hardworking Americans struggling to make ends meet,” said Sheehan.

Buffet Group Rejects Climate Shareholder Resolution – Berkshire Hathaway shareholders reject a climate resolution despite testimony from James Hansen and others last week.   The AP reported that Buffett agrees that dealing with climate change is important for society, but he doesn’t think climate change creates serious risks for Berkshire’s insurance businesses.  Buffett said the fact that Berkshire generally writes insurance policies for one-year periods allows it to regularly re-evaluate risks, such as climate change.  The activists who proposed the motion tried to urge Buffett to take a public stance in favor of measures to reduce consumption of fossil fuels, but he resisted.

 

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

IEEE to Host Transmission Technology Conference – IEEE will hold its annual Transmission PES Conference in Dallas at the Convention Center today through Thursday.  The electric grid is undergoing transformations enabled by the integration of new technologies, such as advanced communication and power electronic devices and the increasing penetration of distributed generation. Such changes introduce a new paradigm in the cultural infrastructure of power systems, which requires a great deal of cooperation between utilities, power generation companies, consumers, governments and regulators.

Cato Host Forum on Critical Minerals – The Cato Institute is hosting a forum today at 4:00 p.m. on critical and strategic minerals. The forum will focus on our dependence despite federal land management policies have become increasingly restrictive. New efforts are needed to help increase domestic supply and limit our reliance on foreign imports of critical and strategic minerals that come from hostile or unstable nations. Speakers will address the renewed emphasis on exploration and distribution of critical mineral deposits; quantifying domestic and global supply and demand; path to responsible mining of critical minerals; and issues of stewardship on federal lands.  The event will feature Cato’s Ned Mamula and CRS Specialist in Mineral Policy Marc Humphries.

Climate Hustle Film Makes Debut – The Marc Morano film Climate Hustle will make its one-night national theater debut at an event tonight.  Last week, the film was screened at an event at the House Science Committee. A pre-film panel discussion featured Governor Sarah Palin, University of Delaware climatologist Dr. David Legates, and film host Marc Morano, and was moderated by Brent Bozell of the Media Research Center. It also included a special video appearance by Bill Nye “the Science Guy.”

Atlantic Council Caribbean Energy Summit – Tomorrow at 8:30 a.m., the Atlantic Council will hold a discussion on these developments one day before leaders gather in Washington, DC for the US-Caribbean-Central America Energy Summit. The discussion will address opportunities for increased cooperation in the region’s energy integration. It will also launch the latest Atlantic Council report on the subject, The Waning of Petrocaribe?: Central America and Caribbean Energy in Transition, written by David L. Goldwyn and Cory R. Gill.  Energy security remains at the forefront of issues facing the Caribbean and Central America. With Venezuela’s economy in a tailspin, the eleven-year-old Petrocaribe oil alliance could suffer an abrupt demise. This could have serious regional consequences even though Central American and Caribbean member-nations have taken strides to diversify and transition into cheaper, cleaner energy sources. Speakers also include State Department expert Amos Hochstein.

PHMSA Head to Focus on Future of Pipeline Activity, Safety – Tomorrow at 1:30 pm., the CSIS Energy and National Security Program will host a conversation with Marie Therese Dominguez, Administrator of the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Administration (PHMSA). As administrator, Ms. Dominguez is responsible for overseeing PHMSA’s development and enforcement of regulations for the safe, reliable, and environmentally sound operation of the nation’s 2.6 million miles of gas and liquid pipelines and nearly 1 million daily shipments of hazardous materials by land, sea, and air.  Dominguez will provide an overview of PHMSA as well as her thoughts on the country’s main challenges and opportunities with regard to the transportation of energy and hazardous materials that are essential to daily life.

Forum Looks at Fukushima, Chernobyl – The Goethe-Institut Washington will hold a forum tomorrow afternoon focusing on nuclear issues in light of the 30 years since the Chernobyl nuclear reactor explosion in Ukraine and 5 years since the Fukushima nuclear disaster began in Japan. Leading scientists, medical personnel and policy experts will present their findings on the lasting impacts of Chernobyl and Fukushima.

MD Climate Conference Set – The University of Maryland is hosting the Climate Action 2016 forum on Wednesday as a public conference in support of the objectives of the Climate Action 2016 multi-stakeholder summit to be held in Washington, DC on Thursday and Friday.  The forum will provide an opportunity for discussion among academia as well as a diverse range of stakeholders with an interest in advancing the climate implementation agenda.  The Climate Action 2016 forum will feature both, the thematic areas of Climate Action 2016 summit in Washington, DC, as well as cross-cutting discussions on effective implementation of climate and sustainable development goals.

Transport Forum Set – On Wednesday at the Mayflower Hotel, the World Bank, World Resources Institute and the Paris Process on Mobility and Climate (PPMC) are co-organizing a Transport Workday. This event, ahead of the Climate Action 2016 Summit, aims to inform the transport discussions at the Summit.  At this Transport Workday, leaders from government, business, cities, and civil society as they look into the future interaction of mobility and climate change. With the Paris Climate agreement as a backdrop, this meeting will discuss a global vision, a set of objectives, and a roadmap of action to transform the world’s mobility.

Moniz, EU Officials Headline Energy Forum – The Delegation of the European Union to the United States will host a climate action event on Wednesday at the Newseum to highlight and promote global clean energy transition as a formidable transatlantic opportunity for economic growth, innovation, and climate action.  The conference, organized on the eve of the Climate Action Summit, will bring together the public, private, and non-profit sectors from both sides of the Atlantic, highlighting the critical role played by the EU and the U.S. in both securing the Paris Agreement and the need for a strong transatlantic partnership to ensure its successful implementation.  The Going Green Conference will include Maros Sefcovic, Vice President of the European Commission for the Energy Union; Energy Secretary Ernie Moniz; Miguel Arias Canete, European Commissioner for Climate Action and Energy and State Department Climate Envoy Official Jonathan Pershing.  Others will include WRI’s Andrew Steer, ACORE’s Greg Wetstone, Altanta Mayor Kasim Reed and former EPA official Bob Perciasepe of C2ES.

Brookings Forum to Look at Zika, Climate – On Wednesday at 9:00 a.m., the Brookings Institution will hold a forum on potential links between Zika and climate change.  Princeton University and the Brookings Institution will release the spring 2016 issue of The Future of Children. The title of the issue is “Children and Climate Change.” The journal contains nine chapters dealing with various effects of climate change on children.  Also released will be a policy brief, “Children and Temperature: Taking Action Now,” which reviews the threat posed to children’s health by rising temperatures, especially the link between rising temperatures and the spread of mosquitoes and the Zika virus.  The event will focus on the Obama administration’s initiative and will include a keynote address by Debra Lubar, Director, of the Office of Appropriations at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The event will also feature remarks by a panel of experts with extensive knowledge about the impact of rising temperatures on children’s health. All participants will take questions from the audience.

CSIS to Look at Oil/Gas Risk, Reform – On Wednesday at 11:00 a.m., the Center for Strategic and International Studies will hold a forum on risk and reform for oil and gas exporting.  As energy prices seem set to remain low in the medium term, countries dependent on oil and gas export revenue face the challenge of reforming their economies and repairing their finances, while facing political and security risks. This event reviews the menu of reform options available to countries facing fiscal difficulties resulting from low hydrocarbon prices, as well as the particular challenges faced by Nigeria, Iraq, and Algeria, and the reform pathways those countries’ governments are undertaking.  The discussion will feature Benedict Clements, Aaron Sayne, Jared Levy and Haim Malka, moderated by Sarah Ladislaw.

ELI to Host Sage Grouse Discussion – The Environmental Law Institute will hold a discussion Wednesday at Noon on “eco-pragmatism” and state conservation efforts related to the Endangered Species Act.   Speakers will include our former Bracewell colleague Matt Haynie, now a Counsel at API, as well as USFWS Assistant Director for Endangered Species Gary Frazer and the Center for Biological Diversity’s Brett Hartl.

WCEE to Look at Waste Fuels – The Women’s Council on Energy and the Environment (WCEE) will hold a discussion on Wednesday at Noon on substantial organic waste streams and recycled products (e.g. food scraps, manures, recycled fats oils & grease [FOG]).  These fuels are produced within our urban and rural areas. These waste streams are already being converted to renewable energy, transportation fuels, and bio-products – and they have tremendous potential for growth.  The event will focus on companies working to convert waste to fuels, what roadblocks they are encountering, what the policy landscape looks like, and what the future holds for this industry.  Speakers will include Pernille Hager, who has been supporting the global development and launch of a production platform for sustainable synthetic fuels from household waste. She currently works with Fulcrum BioEnergy, a CA based company in the process of building a first-of-its-kind Biofuels plant in Sierra Nevada producing synthetic jet fuel from MSW.  Joining her will be Anne Steckel, Vice President of Federal Affairs at the National Biodiesel Board.

Forum Looks at Light Water Reactors – The Global America Business Institute (GABI) regularly hosts roundtables on nuclear energy issues. These roundtables are intimate, off-the-record discussions on the various policy, technical, and commercial aspects of nuclear power.  On Wednesday at Noon, GABI is hosting a roundtable on the prospects for small modular reactors (SMRs) based on non light-water reactor (LWR) technologies. Next-generation non LWR concepts have the potential for enhanced passive safety, more manageable waste streams, non-electricity applications, and greater resource utilization and sustainability. In the U.S., nuclear regulators have paid greater attention towards light water SMRs, although it is recognized that many of the issues being examined may be applicable for non-LWR designs in the future. The roundtable seeks to spur discussion on the regulatory, R&D, and economic factors that currently impact the future outlook for non-LWR SMRs.

Forum to Discuss EU-US Energy Relations – The Atlantic Council holds a discussion on Wednesday at 2:00 p.m. looking at outcomes of the EU-U.S. Energy Council.  The event will feature Amos Hochstein, special envoy at the U.S. Department of State and Dominique Ristori, director general for energy at the European Commission.

Ban, Gore, Others to Headline DC Climate Summit – The Climate Action 2016 Summit will convene global leaders from government, business and civil society on Thursday and Friday in Washington, DC to showcase and discuss actions all sectors are taking regarding the Paris Climate Agreement.  Climate Action 2016 is co-hosted by a broad coalition of partners and will include dynamic plenary and working sessions with leaders and luminaries who have been at the forefront of the climate battle.  In addition to the co-hosts listed below, speakers include Ban Ki-moon, Sen. Ben Cardin, OMB Head Shaun Donovan, Al Gore, Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo, White House Office of Science & Technology head John Holdren, Bill Nye, Unilever CEO Paul Polman, and Ségolène Royal, French Minister of Ecology and Sustainable Development and Energy, who also served as President of COP21. For the full list of speakers and the Summit agenda go to Climateaction2016.org/#program.

Wilson Forum Looks at Paris Agreement – The Woodrow Wilson Center’s Environmental Change and Security Program holds a discussion on Thursday at 10:00 a.m. looking at the Paris agreement and whether it can successfully address climate, conflict and development. The forum features Nick Mabey, founder and Chief Executive of E3G, will provide his analysis of these processes with commentary by Ken Conca, author of An Unfinished Foundation: The United Nations and Global Environmental Governance, and Sherri Goodman, former deputy undersecretary of defense for environmental security and current Wilson Center public policy fellow.

High Profile Energy Speakers Headline USEA Policy Forum – The U.S. Energy Association holds its annual membership meeting and public Policy forum at the National Press Club on Thursday from 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.  Speakers will include NRC Chair Stephen Burns, FERC Commissioner Colette Honorable, DOE Office of Energy Policy & Systems Analysis Director Melanie Kenderdine, USAID Assistant Administrator for Europe & Eurasia Thomas Melia, AEP COO Robert Powers, ExxonMobil’s Rex Tillerson, and William Von Hoene, Senior Vice President & Chief Strategy Officer at Exelon Corporation.

EPIC to Hold GHG Forum – On Thursday at 1:00 p.m., the Energy Policy Center at the University of Chicago (EPIC) will hold a forum that will be an insider’s debate over the legal merits of the Clean Power Plan and its likely path through the courts with lawyers representing opposite sides of the case.  Environmental lawyer Sean Donahue and former Justice Department official Thomas Lorenzen will discuss the legal arguments and briefs have been flying in preparation for a hearing by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit in early June. Lorenzen is representing rural co-operatives.

Forum Look at Climate Challenges – The International Bar Association is hosting a forum on Thursday at 2:30 p.m. looking at companies and climate change and its legal liability and human rights challenges.  It is an official side event of Climate Action 2016, a multi-stakeholder summit.  Summit co-hosts include the United Nations, World Bank, University of Maryland, and the World Business Council on Sustainable Development.  Speakers will include Chris Jochnick of Landsea and former EPA official and industry attorney Roger Martella.

NAS Host Social Cost of Carbon Meeting – The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine will host the 5th meeting of the Committee on Assessing Approaches to Updating the Social Cost of Carbon on Wednesday at 2:30 p.m. at the Keck Center.

Wilson Forum Looks at Climate Security Risks – On Friday at 10:00 a.m., the Woodrow Wilson Center hosts a forum on climate change, sustainable development, and peace-building. Where are the opportunities at the intersection of these processes to address climate security risks and build peace? What needs to happen in the next five years for these frameworks to achieve their long-term goals?  Nick Mabey, founder and Chief Executive of E3G, will provide his analysis of these processes with commentary by Ken Conca, author of An Unfinished Foundation: The United Nations and Global Environmental Governance, and Sherri Goodman, former deputy undersecretary of defense for environmental security and current Wilson Center public policy fellow.

QER Meeting Set for Iowa, Texas – The Quadrennial Energy Review Task Force will hold a public stakeholder on Friday in Des Moines, Iowa.  The will also be meetings next Monday, May 9th in Austin, Texas and next Tuesday, May 10th in Los Angeles.  There will be a final meeting in Atlanta on Tuesday, May 24th Atlanta.

Green Expo Set for DC – Starting Friday and running through the weekend, the Green Festival Expo will be held at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center.  Green Festival is the largest and longest-running sustainability event in the United States, now in its 15th year. Its mission is to bring together the world’s most trusted companies, innovative speakers, national and local innovative businesses, conscious consumers and pioneering thinkers in one place to promote the best in sustainability and green living.

 

FUTURE EVENTS

Forum to Discuss North American Manufacturing Issues –The Wilson Center’s Mexico Institute, Canada Institute, and the International Monetary Fund are launching a new the book Power Play: Energy and Manufacturing in North America. Despite the recent fall in energy prices, fuller development of energy resources in North America has potentially important implications for global energy markets and the competitiveness of North American manufacturing industries. The book “Power Play: Energy and Manufacturing in North America” describes the transformation of the energy landscape in North America due to the upsurge in unconventional energy production since the mid-2000s and tells the story of the energy-manufacturing nexus from the perspective of Canada, Mexico, and the United States, and the region as a whole.  Based on the research done at the International Monetary Fund, the book discusses the energy boom and its macroeconomic implications for the three countries individually and for the region overall, exploring also how the changing energy landscape can affect the potential benefits of greater integration across the three North American economies.

Forum to Look at Mitigating Climate Risks – Next Tuesday at Noon, Climate Advisers and DC Net Impact will host a panel discussion about climate risk, how investors address these risks, and how firms present potential financial solutions which can mitigate climate risk. During the discussion, the panelists will discuss various case studies specific to palm oil and Southeast Asia. There will be breakout sessions with each of the panelists following the panel discussion. Sarah Conway, Lead Climate Finance Negotiator at the State Department will lead the discussion.

Event to Focus on Climate, Cities – Next Tuesday afternoon, Worldwatch Institute will launch a new forum/publication: “State of the World: Can a City Be Sustainable?”  Cities are the world’s future. Today, more than half of the global population– 3.7 billion people– are urban dwellers and that number is expected to double by 2050. Will the world invest in the physical and social infrastructure necessary for livable, equitable, and sustainable cities?  The discussion aims to discover the most pressing challenges facing cities and the most promising solutions currently being developed.

EIA to Present International Energy Outlook – The CSIS Energy and National Security Program will host Adam Sieminski, Administrator of the Energy Information Administration (EIA) on Wednesday May 11th at 9:30 a.m. to present the EIA’s International Energy Outlook 2016 (IEO2016).  The EO2016 includes projections of world energy demand by region and primary energy source through 2040; electricity generation by energy source; and energy-related carbon dioxide emissions.  Among other topics, Sieminski will discuss EIA’s view on long-term petroleum and other liquids fuel supplies, prospects for global natural gas markets, energy demand growth among developing nations, and key uncertainties that may alter the long-term projections.

Solar Summit Set For AZ – On May 11 and 12 in Scottsdale, Arizona, the 9th annual Solar Summit will dive deep into a unique blend of research and economic market analysis from the GTM Research team and industry experts. This year’s agenda will feature themes from Latin America to BOS to the Global Solar Market.   DOE’s Lidija Sekaric and ERCOT’s Bill Magness lead a large group of speakers.

CSIS to host NatGas, Low Carbon Discussion – The CSIS Energy and National Security Program is hosting a discussion on Wednesday May 11th at 4:00 p.m. with Doug Arent, Executive Director, Joint Institute for Strategic Energy Analysis (JISEA), on the potential role that natural gas may play in various low carbon pathways in the United States.  Earlier this spring, JISEA released analysis on natural gas and the electricity sector and explores the question of natural gas as a bridge to a more sustainable electricity sector. Arent will provide an overview of the JISEA work has underway and as well as present the findings from this recent report. Sarah Ladislaw, Director and Senior Fellow, CSIS Energy and National Security Program, will moderate the discussion.

USEA to Talk Smart Grid in Emerging Markets – The U.S. Energy Association will host a forum on Thursday, May 12th at 10:00 a.m. on smart grid infrastructure in emerging markets.  Utilities across the world are in the process of modernizing their assets, including significant investment in smart grid infrastructure. This includes smart metering, or advanced metering infrastructure (AMI), distribution automation and other advancements in transmission and distribution infrastructure that leverage two-way communications and sensors. To-date, the majority of smart grid deployments have taken place in North America and Western Europe. However, over the course of the next decade, investment is shifting to emerging market countries. By 2026, smart grid investment in emerging markets will exceed that of developed countries, with $226 billion in cumulative investment over the period 2016-2026. In this briefing, Northeast Group’s Ben Gardner will present the results from its 5th annual Emerging Markets Smart Grid: Outlook 2016 study and highlight some of the leading countries deploying smart grid infrastructure over the next decade.

NAS Looks at Fuel Transportation – The Division on Engineering and Physical Sciences’ Transportation Research Board at the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine will meet on Thursday, May 12th to discuss domestic transportation of petroleum, natgas and ethanol.

Enviros Rally Against Drilling – On Sunday, May 15th at 1:00 p.m., activists will return to the White House to rally for keeping all fossil fuels in the ground with a primary focus on all offshore drilling.  With a previous success On Keystone, the groups, which includes 350.org, Center for Biological Diversity, Chesapeake Climate Action Network, CREDO, Environment America, Friends of the Earth, Greenpeace, League of Conservation Voters, Natural Resources Defense Council, Oil Change International, Rainforest Action Network, Sierra Club, Waterkeeper Alliance, World Wildlife Fund and many others.  With the economic, revenue and energy independence benefits of established Gulf of Mexico drilling as well as many of the Shale drilling in the US readily apparent, it will be hard to imagine that will be covered by this group. Of course, we are happy to provide that perspective.

RFF, Duke Host Oil, Gas Impacts Forum – Resources for the Future (RFF) and Duke University will host a seminar on Wednesday May 18th at 12:30 p.m. to explore the key issues facing local governments in this new era of oil and gas development.  RFF’s Alan Krupnick will describe RFF’s Community Impacts Initiative. Richard Newell and Daniel Raimi from Duke University will present the results of their Shale Public Finance project, which examines the fiscal impacts of oil and gas development on local governments in every major producing region of the United States. The seminar will also feature comments by Aliza Wasserman of the National Governors Association and further discussion with the presenters and the audience on key findings and implications.

CSIS to Hold Development Forum – The second annual Global Development Forum (GDF) at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) on May 19. The GDF will feature over 40 speakers, including key stakeholders from U.S. government agencies, leading multilateral and non-governmental organizations, foreign governments, and the private sector.  The 2016 GDF seeks to address the complex issues highlighted by the recently adopted Sustainable Development Goals. Participants will examine the role and purpose of official development assistance against a backdrop of global trends including rising incomes, rapid urbanization, uneven economic growth, and widespread unemployment. In particular, discussions will explore ways in which official donors and key partners, including the private sector, civil society, and multilateral institutions can improve livelihoods, strengthen governance, and facilitate access to key resources including food, energy, and infrastructure.

SAFE to Release Autonomous Car Strategy Report – John Krafcik, CEO of Google Self-Driving Cars, will join Securing America’s Future Energy on Thursday May 19th at 9:00 a.m. at The Newseum for the release of its National Strategy for Energy Security: The Innovation Revolution.  The United States’ near-total dependence on oil to power our mobility destabilizes our economy and weakens our national security. Fortunately, America is on the cusp of an innovation revolution, one in which increased fuel diversity in transportation improves our country’s energy security and the rapid emergence of driverless cars enhances safety and redefines mobility for millions.  FedEx CEO Fred Smith, General James T. Conway and members of the Energy Security Leadership Council will the launch of the report. The event will feature the country’s foremost experts across the spectrum of energy and transportation, from the founders of the American shale revolution to the innovators redefining transportation through self-driving cars.

Forum to Look at TX Green Energy – The Bi-National Energy Committee along with the City of San Antonio, CPS Energy, the North American Development Bank (NADB) and other organizations will hold the Bi-National Green Energy Forum on June 2nd in San Antonio, TX.  Focusing on green energy projects: from renewable sources of energy to new technologies for energy efficiencies, the Forum is great opportunity to learn and discuss with experts and successful companies of Mexico and the US about cross-border opportunities in this vibrant growing bi-national market.

Oil, Gas Forum Set – US Energy Stream will hold a Washington Oil & Gas Forum on June 8th and 9th at the Cosmos Club in DC.  More on this as it gets closer, but you can go here: http://www.energystreamcmg.com/

Energy Update: Week of April 25

Friends,

I hope everyone enjoyed a quiet, reflective launch to Passover this past weekend, enjoying family/friends and maybe watching a little golf at the Valero Texas Open, some playoff basketball or even the near wrap up of the first round of the Stanley Cup playoffs.

First, I need to bounce back to last week.  I must be getting lame because last Monday I missed the Boston Marathon and the release of the Pulitzer Prize winners/finalists.  My daughter Hannah, who is headed for Wellesley next year, reminded me of the Marathon because she received videos from her friends on campus of the “Wellesley Scream Tunnel” at Mile 13 (a proud annual tradition that dates back to the original Boston Marathon in 1897).  On the Pulitzers, congrats to our friends who were winners, including The Washington Post’s Joby Warrick for his book on ISIS called Black Flag and T. Miller for his examination and exposé of law enforcement’s enduring failures to investigate reports of rape properly and to comprehend the traumatic effects on its victims.

The Congress focuses this week energy and water appropriations while there are a number of interesting Congressional hearings.  Tomorrow, Interior hold its DC Five-Year Drilling Plan public meeting following two last week in New Orleans and Houston.  Last week, Gulf Economic Survival Team Director Lori LeBlanc said continued energy production in the Gulf of Mexico and support of American energy workers who fuel this nation is essential.  Also tomorrow, NRECA’s Jeff Leahey heads a panel session at the National Hydro Assn’s annual conference which starts today and featured keynotes from Sen. Cantwell and Rep. McNerney.  Senate Energy also revisits a hearing rescheduled from last week on oil/gas production and development.

On Wednesday, BGov hosts EPA Air office head Janet McCabe discussing the nearing release of methane rules.  Mark Brownstein of the Environmental Defense Fund and Mark Boling of Southwestern Energy will join at the event.  The House Resources Committee hits the topic right after at 10:00 a.m. and will look at pump storage and other Hydropower issues at 2:00 p.m.

And on Friday, EESI and the Business Council for Sustainable Energy (BCSE) will hold a briefing that releases the “2016 Sustainable Energy in America Factbook.”

Finally, last Friday was Earth Day, or should we call it UN “Signing Day.”  It kind of seems like national letter of intent signing day for all the high school athletes committing to their future colleges.   Of course, almost of all of them will go to the colleges and compete, while those that sign the UN agreement will probably (if history is any guide) will do nothing more than sign away.  Anyway, I forwarded a few items and added a few more for this morning in case you may have missed it.

 

Call with questions.

Best,

Frank Maisano

(202) 828-5864

(202) 997-5932

 

EARTH DAY EXTRAVAGANZA

UN Paris Agreement Signing – Representatives from nearly 170 countries, including the United States, are slated to sign the Paris climate change deal at a ceremony in New York today – The UN event will feature a bevy of speeches from heads of state and high-ranking officials and celebrities, including U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, French President François Hollande and even Leonardo DiCaprio.  John Kerry signs for the US.

Timing – Our friends at the World Resources Institute have produced a great interactive map that tracks which countries have signed and joined the agreement in real time.   You can see the map here.

What’s Next – Friday’s signing ceremony only a first, symbolic step toward ratification. Now countries will have to present formal ratification documents to their respective governments.  The Paris Agreement takes effect when 55 countries representing 55% of global greenhouse-gas emissions have ratified.

Europe Won’t Be Ratifying Soon– Both E&E News and now POLITICO are highlighting that internal politics within the European Union are delaying ratification there. The problem for the EU is that corralling all 28 countries into ratifying the agreement is difficult because there are deep divisions within the bloc over the EU’s internal climate targets for cutting emissions and how these should be distributed among countries.  Shockingly, that seems to be the same problem we’ve had for more than 20 years outside the EU.  Of course, they just say they’ll agree to ratify it and then don’t.

Green Analysis: Paris, CPP Distract from Climate Problem Solving – Speaking of Better ways to address climate, I came across this interesting analysis on how both Paris and CPP may be counterproductive because they distract time, attention, and resources away from adaptation.  In light of today’s Paris signing, the author, Chris Cooper definitively says that he is not optimistic that it will have the intended impact.  Cooper served as an international spokesperson for the Global Resource Action Center for the Environment (GRACE), a New York-based energy and environmental nonprofit with official consultative status before the United Nations.  He was also Executive Director of the Network for New Energy Choices, a nonprofit advocacy group that pushed for a national Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) and spearheaded efforts in dozens of states to reform net metering laws.  He still works for regional and national enviro groups as an expert witness on regulatory stuff and has written several books on renewable power.  If you can’t get the link to work, I have a pdf that I can send for you…

NYT: Climate Plans Won’t Have Much Impact – Our friends Coral Davenport and Justin Gillis have an in-depth piece in the New York Times that says despite the hard work and negotiations of international leaders, their planned actions, even if faithfully carried out, will likely fall far short of cutting emissions enough to meet the Paris goal.  Worth a good read.

Q&A With UN Sect General – Our friend Elana Schor has an interesting Q&A with UN Secretary-Generale Ban Ki-moon.  Would love to have a few tougher Qs though than pinned Ban down on the 20-year history of missed agreements and the future changes that will be required beyond the Paris agreement.

Rural Coops Highlight International Efforts to Provide Reliable, Clean Energy – On Earth Day, America’s Electric Cooperatives celebrate the community of cooperatives around the world.  From member-owned electric cooperatives in Bangladesh and Haiti to agricultural cooperatives in Ghana and Kenya, the cooperative business model puts the needs of members first, improving the quality of life and strengthening local economies.  Fifty years ago, the newly developed U.S. Agency for International Development joined forces with NRECA International to bring electricity to developing countries worldwide.  More than 110 million people around the globe have benefited from access to electricity. Increased access to electricity in more than 42 countries has boosted agricultural productivity, created new jobs in micro and small enterprises and raised both incomes and quality of life.  Co-ops consumer-centric utility model, a model that aligns the goals of the utility with the interests of consumers, promotes innovation and mitigates the risks that come with rapid technological change. Consistent with this consumer-centric model, cooperatives are leading the industry in the development of community approaches to solar and energy storage.  Co-ops own or purchase 6700 megawatts of renewable capacity. As of March of this year, 96 distribution co-ops in 29 states have developed or are planning community solar programs.

CCS Technology Still Opportunity – Our friend Ben Finzel reminds that Carbon Capture, Utilization and Storage (CCUS) technology is key to successful implementation of the Paris agreement. To that end, leaders from Center for Climate and Energy Solutions, Great Plains Institute, Clean Air Task Force and Third Way that says technological innovation will be critical in meeting the goal the world’s nations set out in the Paris Agreement to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and limit global warming.  In a statement on CCUS, leaders of these enviro groups say CCUS technology can capture and safely store CO2 emissions from power plants and industrial facilities that the IPCC and International Energy Agency have concluded are essential to limit global warming to 2 degrees Celsius.  They also add it’s worth highlighting that CCUS projects are now operating or under construction in eight countries with several new plants on the way around the world. And countries as diverse as Canada, China, the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, and Norway have specifically included CCUS technology in their intended nationally determined contributions (INDCs) to the agreement. The United States has adopted an “all-of-the-above” strategy that includes CCUS.

Third Way Video Highlights Challenges, Opportunities in Climate Issues – Third Way also has a new video out that says getting beyond 30% renewables will be a challenge.   Josh Freed says they love solar and wind energy as they are essential pieces of the effort to decarbonize the grid and meet our aggressive climate goals.  But, he adds, TW is also a pretty practical bunch, underscoring the notion that to get to 100% clean energy, we will need a mix of other low and zero-emissions energy sources to solve the climate challenge. You might recognize that voice in the video, it former Manchin staffer, Erin Burns.

ACCCE Takes on Power Plan AS UN Signing Continues – Speaking of videos, our friends at ACCCE are also discussing the COP21 agreement signing at UN Headquarters in New York City. The president and his allies are touting this agreement as a historic undertaking, in which American leadership is paving the way forward in the global effort to combat climate change.  Unfortunately, ACCCE is highlighting some of the smoke, mirrors and weaknesses in a new video that says it promotes false promises & puts politics over American families.   See the video here.

More ACCCE: Signing is Purely Symbolic – American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity president and CEO Mike Duncan said today’s signing of the Paris Climate Agreement is “nothing more than a parlor game lacking consequence or purpose; it’s purely symbolic.  The simple truth of the matter is that the agreement is an exercise in futility as the reduction targets are wholly unachievable.”  Duncan added that while the agreement is being signed, the president’s power plan on which the global agreement is based, has been halted by the U.S. Supreme Court until legal challenges to the rule are resolved.  Duncan: “A hallmark of President Obama’s second term has been action through executive fiat. As a result, we’ve seen one bad policy follow another with the Power Plan being the most egregious,” continued Duncan.  “The COP21 agreement isn’t worth more than the paper it’s printed on but will result in billions of dollars spent denying people access to the affordable, reliable power needed to grow economies and overcome poverty. That’s a sad state of affairs that should not be allowed to take place.”

It’s Wonderful Energy – The Chamber Energy Institute’s climate expert Steve Eule has a great piece in RealClearEnergy today that is a take on It’s a Wonderful Life, the 1946 American Christmas classic based on the short story “The Greatest Gift.” The film stars James Stewart as George Bailey, a man who has given up his dreams in order to help others, and whose imminent suicide on Christmas Eve brings about the intervention of his guardian angel, who shows George all the lives he has touched and how different life in his community of Bedford Falls would be had he never been born.  Eule spoofs the format in It’s A Wonderful Fuel, offering a fun read and important context for Earth Day and any day.

Diesel Techs Getting Cleaner – On Earth Day, Allen Schaeffer, the Executive Director of the Diesel Technology Forum has a great column focused on clean diesel technology ion the marketplace and the industry’s now near-zero in emissions.  See the piece plus a great picture of the industry’s “clean white handkerchief” test.

AEI Paper Lists Questionable Earth Day ClaimsAEI’s Mark Perry looks at 18 spectacularly wrong predictions made around the time of the first Earth Day in 1970 that set the tone for the way we may want to consider the claims we hear today.   “In the May 2000 issue of Reason Magazine, award-winning science correspondent Ronald Bailey wrote an excellent article titled “Earth Day, Then and Now” to provide some historical perspective on the 30th anniversary of Earth Day. In that article, Bailey noted that around the time of the first Earth Day, and in the years following, there was a “torrent of apocalyptic predictions” and many of those predictions were featured in his Reason article. Well, it’s now the 46th anniversary of  Earth Day, and a good time to ask the question again that Bailey asked 16 years ago: How accurate were the predictions made around the time of the first Earth Day in 1970? The answer: “The prophets of doom were not simply wrong, but spectacularly wrong,” according to Bailey.”

 

IN THE NEWS

NY Denies Constitution Pipeline Water Permits – On Friday, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) denied the Section 401 Water Quality Certification for the Constitution Pipeline Project.  Constitution builders say they remain steadfastly committed to pursuing the federally-approved energy infrastructure project.  “In spite of NYSDEC’s unprecedented decision, we remain absolutely committed to building this important energy infrastructure project, which will create an important connection between consumers and reliable supplies of clean, affordable natural gas. We believe NYSDEC’s stated rationale for the denial includes flagrant misstatements and inaccurate allegations, and appears to be driven more by New York State politics than by environmental science,” the project sponsors said in a joint statement.

Where will they get there Energy? – With opponents blocking natgas drilling, pipelines, fighting Indian Point and Other nuclear projects, questions remain where NY will get power/energy to meet its needs.  Constitution Pipeline worked closely with NYSDEC staff for more than three years to ensure that water quality measures are met before, during and after construction. As a result of that dialogue, Constitution Pipeline voluntarily agreed to the agency’s requests to incorporate re-routes, adopt trenchless construction methodologies, commit to site-specific trout stream restoration and agreed to fund approximately $18 million for wetland mitigation and banking and approximately $8.6 million for the restoration and preservation of migratory bird habitats.  The FERC-certificated route was developed after extensive environmental and engineering analysis, which included a comprehensive review of route alternatives. In its Final Environmental Impact Statement, the FERC concluded that environmental impacts associated with these alternatives were significantly greater than the preferred route. Despite this, in the spirit of collaboration we followed NYSDEC guidance and further altered our preferred route to adopt NYSDEC staff recommendations.

NY Never Discussed Outstanding Issues – Developers also said the decision was a surprise given the ongoing dialogue.  “Contrary to NYSDEC statements, the company was not informed of any outstanding issues that it had not agreed to address as a condition of the permit. In fact, during the past nine months, weekly inquiries were made to the department to ensure no additional data was needed. Those inquiries were either ignored or responded to in the negative. It is obvious that the NYSDEC deliberately chose to remain silent to bolster the political campaign of the State.”  The developers also took serious issue with claims that its application lacked information related to stream crossings, depth of pipe, or blasting.  The project sponsors continued, “Completely contrary to NYSDEC’s assertion, we provided detailed drawings and profiles for every stream crossing in New York, including showing depth of pipe.  In fact, all stream crossings were fully vetted with the NYSDEC throughout the review process. We are appalled with the comments that Constitution failed to provide sufficient data to ensure every crossing was totally in compliance with the NYSDEC guidelines.”

DOE Proposes Revised Commercial Water Heater Efficiency Standards – The Department of Energy (DOE) issued the pre-publication version of its notice of proposed rulemaking (NOPR) to revise efficiency standards for commercial water heaters (CWH). The proposed standards increase the stringency of the current minimum thermal efficiency and maximum standby loss requirements for all gas water heaters and hot water supply boilers. The proposed minimum thermal efficiency for these products will require the use of condensing technology. The NOPR also lowers the maximum standby loss requirement for all electric storage water heaters and proposes minimum uniform energy factor standards for residential-duty commercial water heaters. No changes are proposed for the minimum efficiency standards for the remaining CWH equipment classes. The effective date will likely be in late 2019 or early 2020, which would be three years after the publication of the final rule, which is expected late this year or in early 2017.  A public meeting to discuss the NOPR will be held on June 6, from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m., at DOE’s offices in Washington, D.C.

ACI Biofuel Subsidies Distort Soap Industry Marketplace – The American Cleaning Institute (ACI) said it supports legislation that would eliminate tax credits for biofuels produced with animal fats.  As part of the 2015 year-end legislative package of tax extenders, biodiesel and renewable diesel that is produced from animal fats is eligible for a $1 per gallon tax credit. The Joint Committee on Taxation estimates eliminating the tax credit for biofuels that use animal fats would save $299 million in fiscal year 2016. Douglas Troutman, ACI General Counsel and Vice President, Government Affairs said ACI is not opposed to biofuels, but oppose misguided government subsidies that negatively affect the price and availability of animal fats, a key feedstock for the oleochemical industry.”  ACI represents the producers of oleochemicals, such as fatty acids and alcohols made from seed oils and animal fats, historically used in soaps and detergents.  The biofuel subsidy in question distorts the domestic market for animal fats by diverting this important raw material away from use in the manufacturing of cleaning products and towards the production of biodiesel. As a result, animal fats have seen a 116 percent increase in cost since 2006, the year the tax credit first became law.  Animal fats are the traditional feedstock for cleaning and personal care products such as laundry detergent, toothpaste, bar soap, bath gels and shampoos. Animal fats provide domestic chemical producers with a raw material that affords them a cost advantage over foreign manufacturers that use palm oil and similar materials as their primary feedstock. This industry supports approximately 25,000 American jobs. The supply of animal fats in the U.S. is largely inelastic (animals are raised for their meat, not fat), therefore the increased demand has rapidly outstripped supply, placing American cleaning product manufacturers at a tremendous market disadvantage.

EIA Updates State Energy Profiles – The Energy Information Administration has updated its State Energy Profiles with new data, including series for electricity, petroleum, and natural gas.  Activities covered by these series include prices, supply, and consumption.  The Profiles also feature updated annual data covering consumption, expenditures, emissions, vehicle fueling stations, and weather.  Quick Facts and analytical narratives have been updated for four states.  Puerto Rico also features an updated narrative.  Users can learn facts such Kentucky, the third-largest coal-mining state, produced more than 61 million short tons of bituminous coal in 2015; In 2014, Michigan had more underground natural gas storage capacity – almost 1.1 trillion cubic feet – than any other state in the nation; The Utica Shale has contributed to the rapid increase in natural gas production in Ohio, which was more than 12 times greater in 2015 than 2011; In 2015, 8.4% of Wisconsin’s net electricity generation came from renewable energy resources, split among biomass, wind, and conventional hydroelectric power; From July 2012 to April 2015, distributed solar photovoltaic generating capacity in Puerto Rico increased by a factor of nine, bringing distributed solar capacity to 37 megawatts. Solar capacity at utility-scale installations totaled 52 megawatts.  State and Territory Energy Profiles provide Quick Facts and an analytical narrative for each of the 56 states and territories.  In addition, the Profiles offer 91 key data series for each state, including state rankings for 10 of the series.  To view all 56 Profiles, visit the State Energy Profiles home page.

 

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

Forum to Look at Arctic Chairmanship at Half Point – Today at 2:00 p.m., the Energy Security and Climate Initiative (ESCI) at Brookings will host U.S. Special Representative for the Arctic Admiral Robert J. Papp, Jr. for a keynote address on the state and future of U.S. leadership in the Arctic. ESCI Senior Fellow Charles Ebinger will moderate the discussion and audience Q&A.

QER Meeting Set for Utah – On April 25 at 8:30 a.m., the Quadrennial Energy Review Task Force will hold a public stakeholder meeting at Western Electricity Coordinating Council, 155 North 400 West, Salt Lake City, Utah. It will also be livestreamed at energy.gov/live. The meeting is the second of six regional QER public input meetings (scroll down for dates and locations for the rest), all of which are based on wholesale market footprints as a convenient approach to capturing and assisting the Interagency QER Task Force in understanding the nation’s regional electricity diversity, which is characterized by differing resource mixes, state policies, and a host of other factors.  The Salt Lake City meeting covers the footprint of thirteen of the fourteen states (outside California) which are, all or in part, in the Western Interconnection, and represented by the Western Electricity Coordinating Council. Electricity issues related to California will be covered during a May 10th QER meeting in Los Angeles. In addition to today’s meeting in Salt Lake City the QER Review Task Force will hold public stakeholder meetings this spring in the following locations on Friday May 6th in Des Moines, Iowa, Monday, May 9th in Austin, Texas, Tuesday, May 10th in LA and Tuesday, May 24th Atlanta.

Water Power Conferences Set for DC – Today through Wednesday, the all-new Waterpower Week in Washington will present three events in one, showcasing the entire world of waterpower.  The National Hydropower Association Annual Conference, International Marine Renewable Energy Conference and Marine Energy Technology Symposium will all take place at the Capital Hilton in Washington, D.C. NRECA’s will be Jeff Leahey featured speaker on a panel on Congressional activities while keynotes will come from Sen. Maria Cantwell and Rep. Jerry McNerney.

5-YR Plan Public Meetings Start—The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) will hold public meetings in Washington DC tomorrow on its five-year plan.  There were two meetings last week in New Orleans and Houston.  Recently, Interior rolled out the new five-year plan for drilling which set the scope of drilling for the years between 2017-2022. Gulf Economic Survival Team Director Lori LeBlanc said continued energy production in the Gulf of Mexico and support of American energy workers who fuel this nation is essential during a news conference hosted last week by the Consumer Energy Alliance. “The total economic impact of Gulf energy is immense.  It creates jobs in every state in the U.S., with some 430,000 jobs nationwide estimated to link to Gulf energy activity, along with tens of thousands here in Louisiana alone. Those of us on the Gulf Coast are proud to produce the energy to fuel America and we recognize that Gulf oil accounts for nearly one-fifth of our nation’s oil production. The U.S. Treasury directly benefits to the tune of over $5 to $8 billion dollars each year from energy production in the Gulf — making it one of the largest revenue streams for the federal government.”

Forum to Look at Energy Policy In the 2016 Election – The CSIS Energy and National Security Program will host a day-long seminar tomorrow looking at U.S. Energy Policy in the 2016 Elections.  The event will feature panel discussions on the importance of bipartisan Energy Policy, oil/natgas production, distribution and refining, the electric power sector, the future of transportation and State and City leadership. Each election cycle affords policymakers an opportunity to assess the state of the nation’s energy sector in the context of shared objectives and within the context of a dynamic global energy landscape.  U.S. energy policy is driven by economic, security, and environmental priorities, but fundamental tensions continue to exist between those priorities and among the various constituencies involved in the nation’s energy sectors. The purpose of this conference is to inform the current debate on U.S. energy policymaking and assess what areas are ripe for action.

Senate Energy Looks at Oil/Gas Development – After last week’s delay, the Senate Energy Committee tomorrow will return to hold an oversight hearing to examine challenges and opportunities for oil and gas development in different price environments.  Witnesses with include Columbia Energy expert Jason Bordoff, Oren Cass of the Manhattan Institute, Michael Ratner of CRS and several others in the oil/gas industry.

House Energy Takes up Pipeline Safety Reauth – The House Energy and Commerce Committee on Wednesday will mark up legislation to reauthorize PHMSA’s pipeline safety program. Similar legislation cleared the Transportation committee last week.  Both would force PHMSA to regulate natural gas storage and grant the Transportation secretary authority to issue emergency orders. Opening statements will be on Tuesday afternoon, with the markup scheduled for Wednesday morning.

McCabe to Headline BGov Methane Breakfast Forum – BGov hosts EPA Air office Head Janet McCabe and others for a panel discussion on the role methane plays in future climate discussions and the impact of the administration’s environmental initiatives.  Mark Boling of Southwestern Energy and Mark Brownstein of EDF will join McCabe.

Discussion to Look at Paris, Climate Action – Microsoft and the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions (C2ES) will hold a lively discussion Wednesday at 8:30 that will bring together senior representatives from various sectors to discuss innovative and proactive solutions to climate change, what Paris means four months later, and how to move from agreement to action on climate change.  Speakers will include former EPA official Bob Perciasepe, Tamara “TJ” DiCaprio of  Microsoft, Cathy Woollums of Berkshire Hathaway Energy and Alex Liftman of Bank of America.

Forum to Look at Russian Energy Politics – On Wednesday at 9:30 a.m., Carnegie Endowment for International Peace will hold a day-long conference on energy and geopolitics in the Black Sea and South Caucasus.  Panels will cover all the different potential energy issues facing the region, including pipeline, supply and transportation issues.  Greg Saunders of BP will be a key speaker.

House Resources to Look at Methane Regulations – The House Natural Resources Committee’s Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources will hold a hearing on Wednesday at 10:00 a.m. looking at the Bureau of Land Management’s regulatory overreach into methane emissions regulation.  Witnesses will include Interior’s Amanda Leiter, Mark Watson of the Wyoming Oil and Gas Conservation Commission, Rio Blanco County, CO commissioner Shawn Bolton, North Dakota Department of Mineral Resources director Lynn Helms and La Plata County, CO commissioner Gwen Lachelt.

Senate Small Biz to Look at Water Rule Impact – The Senate Small Business Committee will examine the Waters of the U.S. rule, or WOTUS, on Wednesday looking at small business impacts and reforms to the Regulatory Flexibility Act.  Following Senate Environment’s recent hearing on the topic, RFA requires federal agencies to consider the impact of regulations on small businesses and consider less burdensome options if that effect is significant.  Witnesses will include NAM’s Rosario Palmieri, Darryl DePriest of the Small Business Administration’s Office of Advocacy, NFIB’s Elizabeth Milito and South Carolina Small Business Chamber of Commerce CEO Frank Knapp.

DOE Hosts Pumped Storage Hydro Public Meeting – The Wind and Water Power Technologies Office within the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) recently released a Request for Information to identify the challenges and opportunities faced by the pumped storage hydropower industry. Now DOE will host a public meeting on Wednesday at 1:00 p.m. for individual stakeholder insight into the technical and market challenges and potential pathways to facilitate the development of pumped storage in the United States.

House Resources Looks at Hydropower Issues – The House Natural Resources Committee’s Subcommittee on Water, Power and Oceans will hold a hearing on Wednesday at 2:00 p.m. on realizing the potential of hydropower as a clean, renewable and domestic energy resource.  The hearing will focus on the barriers to nonfederal hydropower development.  Witnesses will include Steve Boyd of the Turlock Irrigation District, Snohomish County Public Utility District’s Jessica Matlock, and Debbie Powell of Pacific Gas and Electric.

CSIS to Look at Financing Production Resilience – On Thursday, CSIS Energy and the National Security program will host a conversation with former Vice Chairman of NY Mercantile Exchange Albert Helmig, Energy Intelligence Energy Casey Sattler and Betsy Graseck of Morgan Stanley, moderated by our friend Kevin Book.  Oil and gas producers have responded to six consecutive calendar quarters of price weakness by high-grading production, downsizing workforce and paring back capital spending. Financial investors’ continuing appetite for oil industry debt – and, more recently, equity – has continued to support U.S. production, too. Unexpectedly resilient output and stubbornly low commodity prices continue to erode corporate resources, however, raising several imminent questions.

Group to Discuss Nuclear Waste Storage – Waste Control Specialists will hold a news conference on storage facilities for nuclear waste on Thursday at 12:30 p.m. at the National Press Club’s Holeman Lounge. A little over a year ago Waste Control Specialists (WCS) filed a Notice of Intent with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) and announced it would submit an application to the NRC for a license to build and operate a consolidated interim storage facility for used nuclear fuel in 2016. WCS President Rod Baltzer will discuss the recent announcement that WCS expects to meet that timetable.

Pollution Agencies to Host Spring Meeting – The Association of Air Pollution Control Agencies’ will hold its 2016 Spring Meeting on Thursday and Friday at the Columbia Marriott in Columbia, South Carolina. The event will feature panels and presentations related to multipollutant planning, NOx controls, the Clean Power Plan, NAAQS implementation, Clean Air Act cost-benefit analysis, and legal updates.

BPC to Focus on Water/Energy Book – On Thursday 10:00 a.m., the Bipartisan Policy Center holds a book session on “Thirst for Power: Energy, Water and Human Survival” by author Michael Webber and a discussion about the interconnections between energy and water, their vulnerabilities, and the path toward a more reliable and abundant future for humanity.  Although it is widely understood that energy and water are the world’s two most critical resources, their vital interconnections and vulnerabilities are less often recognized. A new book offers a fresh, holistic way of thinking about energy and water—a big picture approach that reveals the interdependence of the two resources, identifies the seriousness of the challenges, and lays out an optimistic approach with an array of solutions to ensure the continuing sustainability of both.

Forum to Look at LNG – The Atlantic Council hosts the US LNG Exports and European Energy Security Conference on Thursday.  The event takes place shortly after the inauguration ceremony of Cheniere’s Sabine Pass LNG export terminal in Louisiana and will discuss the implications of US LNG exports on European energy security in the context of climate action post Paris COP21 and changing global energy markets.  There is an excellent list of great speakers, including a wide array of Foreign ministers from European countries on a panel moderated by our FP friend Keith Johnson.  A second panel moderated by our friend Amy Harder of the Wall Street Journal will include API’s Marty Durbin and DOE’s Paula Gant among others.

Anti-Nuke Groups Look at Indian Point – On Thursday at 2:00 p.m. the anti-nuclear group Nuclear Information & Resource Service will host a webinar that features the Union of Concerned Scientists’ nuclear safety expert David Lochbaum.  Lochbaum will review the recent discovery of a major safety issue: hundreds of missing and degraded bolts in the reactor vessel of Indian Point unit 2, which has implications for reactors across the country.

House Energy Panel to Look at Nuclear Legislation – The House Energy and Committee Committee’s Subcommittee on Energy and Power will hold a hearing on Friday at 9:30 a.m. on upcoming nuclear legislation on the Advanced Nuclear Technology Development Act of 2016 and the Nuclear Utilization of Keynote Energy Policies Act.

Sustainable Factbook to Be Released – On Friday at Noon in B-338 Rayburn, the Environmental and Energy Study Institute (EESI) and the Business Council for Sustainable Energy (BCSE) will hold a briefing that will provide information on the rapid changes occurring in the U.S. energy sector. The findings of the “2016 Sustainable Energy in America Factbook” show that the U.S. energy sector, and the power sector in particular, have experienced unprecedented growth in newer, cleaner sources of energy.  The briefing will feature an overview presentation by Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) on the findings from the Factbook, followed by a moderated industry panel with senior executives from a range of clean energy industries.  Speakers for this forum include BNEF’s Colleen Regan, BCSE’s Lisa Jacobson, AGA’s Kathryn Clay, SEIA’s Katherine Gensler, Owen Smith of Ingersoll Rand, Covanta’s Paula Soos, Mark Wagner of Johnson Controls and Jeff Leahey of the National Hydropower Association.

WCEE to Look at Paris Implementation – The Women’s Council on Energy and the Environment (WCEE) will hold a discussion on Friday at Noon on the role of states in implementing the Paris Climate Agreement.  Maryland Public Service Commissioner Anne Hoskins, DOE Deputy Director for Climate, Environment & Energy Efficiency Judi Greenwald and EPRI’s Steve Rose  will all , Senior Research Economist, Electric Power Research Institute all look at the options states considering to continue de-carbonizing the electricity generation sector and what role of regulators will play in achieving these goals.

 

FUTURE EVENTS

IEEE to Host Transmission Technology Conference – IEEE will hold its annual Transmission PES Conference in Dallas at the Convention Center May 2-5.  The electric grid is undergoing transformations enabled by the integration of new technologies, such as advanced communication and power electronic devices and the increasing penetration of distributed generation. Such changes introduce a new paradigm in the cultural infrastructure of power systems, which requires a great deal of cooperation between utilities, power generation companies, consumers, governments and regulators.

Climate Hustle Film Makes Debut – The Marc Morano film Climate Hustle will make its one-night national theater debut at an event on May 2nd.  Last week, the film was screened at an event at the House Science Committee. A pre-film panel discussion featured Governor Sarah Palin, University of Delaware climatologist Dr. David Legates, and film host Marc Morano, and was moderated by Brent Bozell of the Media Research Center. It also included a special video appearance by Bill Nye “the Science Guy.”

Atlantic Council Caribbean Energy Summit – Next Tuesday, May 3rd at 8:30 a.m., the Atlantic Council will hold a discussion on these developments one day before leaders gather in Washington, DC for the US-Caribbean-Central America Energy Summit. The discussion will address opportunities for increased cooperation in the region’s energy integration. It will also launch the latest Atlantic Council report on the subject, The Waning of Petrocaribe?: Central America and Caribbean Energy in Transition, written by David L. Goldwyn and Cory R. Gill.  Energy security remains at the forefront of issues facing the Caribbean and Central America. With Venezuela’s economy in a tailspin, the eleven-year-old Petrocaribe oil alliance could suffer an abrupt demise. This could have serious regional consequences even though Central American and Caribbean member-nations have taken strides to diversify and transition into cheaper, cleaner energy sources. Speakers also include State Department expert Amos Hochstein.

PHMSA Head to Focus on Future of Pipeline Activity, Safety – Next Tuesday, May 3rd at 1:30 pm., the CSIS Energy and National Security Program will host a conversation with Marie Therese Dominguez, Administrator of the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Administration (PHMSA). As administrator, Ms. Dominguez is responsible for overseeing PHMSA’s development and enforcement of regulations for the safe, reliable, and environmentally sound operation of the nation’s 2.6 million miles of gas and liquid pipelines and nearly 1 million daily shipments of hazardous materials by land, sea, and air.  Dominguez will provide an overview of PHMSA as well as her thoughts on the country’s main challenges and opportunities with regard to the transportation of energy and hazardous materials that are essential to daily life.

Forum Looks at Fukushima, Chernobyl – The Goethe-Institut Washington will hold a forum Next Tuesday afternoon focusing on nuclear issues in light of the 30 years since the Chernobyl nuclear reactor explosion in Ukraine and 5 years since the Fukushima nuclear disaster began in Japan. Leading scientists, medical personnel and policy experts will present their findings on the lasting impacts of Chernobyl and Fukushima.

MD Climate Conference Set – The University of Maryland is hosting the Climate Action 2016 forum on Wednesday May 4th as a public conference in support of the objectives of the Climate Action 2016 multi-stakeholder summit to be held in Washington, DC on May 5-6.  The forum will provide an opportunity for discussion among academia as well as a diverse range of stakeholders with an interest in advancing the climate implementation agenda.  The Climate Action 2016 forum will feature both, the thematic areas of Climate Action 2016 summit in Washington, DC, as well as cross-cutting discussions on effective implementation of climate and sustainable development goals.

Brookings Forum to Look at Zika, Climate – Next Wednesday at 9:00 a.m., the Brookings Institution will hold a forum on potential links between Zika and climate change.  Princeton University and the Brookings Institution will release the spring 2016 issue of The Future of Children. The title of the issue is “Children and Climate Change.” The journal contains nine chapters dealing with various effects of climate change on children.  Also released will be a policy brief, “Children and Temperature: Taking Action Now,” which reviews the threat posed to children’s health by rising temperatures, especially the link between rising temperatures and the spread of mosquitoes and the Zika virus.  The event will focus on the Obama administration’s initiative and will include a keynote address by Debra Lubar, Director, of the Office of Appropriations at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The event will also feature remarks by a panel of experts with extensive knowledge about the impact of rising temperatures on children’s health. All participants will take questions from the audience.

CSIS to Look at Oil/Gas Risk, Reform – Next Wednesday, May 4th at 11:00 a.m., the Center for Strategic and International Studies will hold a forum on risk and reform for oil and gas exporting.  As energy prices seem set to remain low in the medium term, countries dependent on oil and gas export revenue face the challenge of reforming their economies and repairing their finances, while facing political and security risks. This event reviews the menu of reform options available to countries facing fiscal difficulties resulting from low hydrocarbon prices, as well as the particular challenges faced by Nigeria, Iraq, and Algeria, and the reform pathways those countries’ governments are undertaking.  The discussion will feature Benedict Clements, Aaron Sayne, Jared Levy and Haim Malka, moderated by Sarah Ladislaw.

WCEE to Look at Waste Fuels – The Women’s Council on Energy and the Environment (WCEE) will hold a discussion on Wednesday at Noon on substantial organic waste streams and recycled products (e.g. food scraps, manures, recycled fats oils & grease [FOG]).  These fuels are produced within our urban and rural areas. These waste streams are already being converted to renewable energy, transportation fuels, and bio-products – and they have tremendous potential for growth.  The event will focus on companies working to convert waste to fuels, what roadblocks they are encountering, what the policy landscape looks like, and what the future holds for this industry.  Speakers will include Pernille Hager, who has been supporting the global development and launch of a production platform for sustainable synthetic fuels from household waste. She currently works with Fulcrum BioEnergy, a CA based company in the process of building a first-of-its-kind Biofuels plant in Sierra Nevada producing synthetic jet fuel from MSW.  Joining her will be Anne Steckel, Vice President of Federal Affairs at the National Biodiesel Board.

High Profile Energy Speakers Headline USEA Policy Forum – The U.S. Energy Association holds its annual membership meeting and public Policy forum at the National Press Club on Thursday May 5th from 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.  Speakers will include NRC Chair Stephen Burns, FERC Commissioner Colette Honorable, DOE Office of Energy Policy & Systems Analysis Director Melanie Kenderdine, USAID Assistant Administrator for Europe & Eurasia Thomas Melia, AEP COO Robert Powers, ExxonMobil’s Rex Tillerson, and William Von Hoene, Senior Vice President & Chief Strategy Officer at Exelon Corporation.

QER Meetings Set for Iowa, Texas, LA, Atlanta – The DOE’s QER Review Task Force will hold public stakeholder meetings this spring in the following locations on Friday May 6th in Des Moines, Iowa, Monday, May 9th in Austin, Texas, Tuesday, May 10th in LA and Tuesday, May 24th Atlanta.

EIA to Present International Energy Outlook – The CSIS Energy and National Security Program will host Adam Sieminski, Administrator of the Energy Information Administration (EIA) on Wednesday May 11th at 9:30 a.m. to present the EIA’s International Energy Outlook 2016 (IEO2016).  The IEO2016 includes projections of world energy demand by region and primary energy source through 2040; electricity generation by energy source; and energy-related carbon dioxide emissions.  Among other topics, Sieminski will discuss EIA’s view on long-term petroleum and other liquids fuel supplies, prospects for global natural gas markets, energy demand growth among developing nations, and key uncertainties that may alter the long-term projections.

Solar Summit Set For AZ – On May 11 and 12 in Scottsdale, Arizona, the 9th annual Solar Summit will dive deep into a unique blend of research and economic market analysis from the GTM Research team and industry experts. This year’s agenda will feature themes from Latin America to BOS to the Global Solar Market.   DOE’s Lidija Sekaric and ERCOT’s Bill Magness lead a large group of speakers.

CSIS to Hold Development Forum – The second annual Global Development Forum (GDF) at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) on May 19. The GDF will feature over 40 speakers, including key stakeholders from U.S. government agencies, leading multilateral and non-governmental organizations, foreign governments, and the private sector.  The 2016 GDF seeks to address the complex issues highlighted by the recently adopted Sustainable Development Goals. Participants will examine the role and purpose of official development assistance against a backdrop of global trends including rising incomes, rapid urbanization, uneven economic growth, and widespread unemployment. In particular, discussions will explore ways in which official donors and key partners, including the private sector, civil society, and multilateral institutions can improve livelihoods, strengthen governance, and facilitate access to key resources including food, energy, and infrastructure.

The Bi-National Energy Committee along with the City of San Antonio, CPS Energy, the North American Development Bank (NADB) and other organizations will hold the Bi-National Green Energy Forum on June 2nd in San Antonio, TX.  Focusing on green energy projects: from renewable sources of energy to new technologies for energy efficiencies, the Forum is great opportunity to learn and discuss with experts and successful companies of Mexico and the US about cross-border opportunities in this vibrant growing bi-national market.

Oil, Gas Forum Set – US Energy Stream will hold a Washington Oil & Gas Forum on June 8th and 9th at the Cosmos Club in DC.  More on this as it gets closer, but you can go here: http://www.energystreamcmg.com/

Energy Update: Week of April 18

Friends,

With all the action last week, one might think that official Washington was trying to get everything possible it can done before Memorial Day.  Man, a lot of stuff happened last week including the FAA bill losing its energy/tax wings, the “other long-suffering” energy bill springing back to life, the final well control rule, GHG opposition briefs, a new/final-er (I know, it’s not a word) mercury rule and API outlining its items for the Party Platforms this summer.

The demise of the FAA tax credits was offset late last week by the sudden resurgence of the Senate Energy legislation.  The FAA failure seemed to catch too many headwinds after it just kept taking on more luggage/passengers than it could handle.   As for the new/old energy bill, many of the controversial provisions were just yanked out, so it appears that it may now be headed for final approval as early as next week.

I know many of you are following yesterday’s OPEC meetings in Doha, where 18 OPEC and non-OPEC nations gathered to try and freeze oil production at January levels – only to see talks collapse over Saudi Arabia’s insistence that Iran join the agreement.  Our friends at SAFE can speak to a number of the issues.  Check in with Ellen Carey at 202-461-2381.

It is a busy week on Capitol Hill.  Tomorrow, Senate Environment is hosting Gina McCarthy on the EPA Budget, Senate Energy Looks at oil/gas price determinations and House Homeland Security Looks at Pipeline Security.  USFWS head Dan Ashe talks ESA Designations/de-listing challenges as both House Oversight and House Resources hold three separate hearings on the topic this week (my colleague Eric Washburn is excellent on this topic: 202-412-5211).

On Wednesday, the Christian Science Monitor hosts another breakfast with DOE Secretary Moniz and Wilson Center talks hydrogen society/vehicles with Japanese experts while the Hudson Institute looks at Rural Broadband issues (something our friends at NRECA know very well).  On Thursday, POLITICO hosts a great energy event featuring my colleague Scott Segal, who will join Sen. Angus King and Rep. David McKinley on a panel to discuss the future of energy.

And so while Friday is Earth Day, it is also the big day for Secretary of State John Kerry when he will join other world leaders in New York to sign the Paris Climate agreement.  Sounds Like Gina McCarthy may not join him because she may have to be at the Senate Indians Affairs field hearing in Phoenix.

Finally, as I mentioned last week, today is the last day to file your taxes for 2015, so don’t forget since they gave us 3 extra days…And the Interior Five-Year Offshore Drilling Plan public hearing started this morning in NOLA.  Here are the GEST Comments from Lori LeBlanc.  Another hearing is Wednesday in Houston and then next Tuesday in DC.

 

Call with questions.

Best,

Frank Maisano

(202) 828-5864

(202) 997-5932

 

IN THE NEWS

Well Control Rule Released – BSEE released its long-awaited well control rule on Friday, just days before the six-year anniversary of the Deepwater Horizon accident.  The rule seeks to address safety concerns unearthed in the aftermath of the BP spill.  Interior claims to have addressed the concerns of industry enumerated by API and other groups in extensive comments on the proposed rule but that remains unclear.  issued a year ago.  The rule will go into effect 90 days after it is published in the Federal Register.

GEST LeBlanc: Rule Raises Significant Concerns – Lori LeBlanc, head of the Gulf Economic Survival Team (GEST) said their experts are currently reviewing the final Well Control Rule to determine what changes BSEE has made and whether industry’s recommendations were incorporated into the final rule.  “GEST shares BSEE’s intent of adopting a rule that enhances safety and environmental protection and we hope that this final rule will have addressed those technical flaws that would have resulted in unintended consequences and could have made offshore operations less safe,” said GEST Executive Director Lori LeBlanc.  “We are very disappointed to see the Interior Department release such a major rule without resubmitting it for public comment and consultation. Given how far off the mark the previous version was, the sheer complexity of the issues at hand, and the lack of substantive dialogue with industry experts during this process, we are concerned that this rule may not be ready for prime time.  LeBlanc added that GEST remains concerned about the economic impacts of the rule if several of the provisions have not been corrected, which could result in Gulf energy companies that operate globally deciding to shift investment and jobs to other parts of the world.

WoodMac Study Shows Rules Likely Impacts – Remember, earlier this year, Wood Mackenzie analysts study the rule’s impacts on drilling activities and the economic impacts and the results were not so good.  The study found that if the rule as proposed could reduce industry investment in the Gulf by up to $11 billion annually; reduce government tax revenues up to $5 billion annually through 2030, jeopardizing coastal restoration efforts; and place over 100,000 jobs at risk by 2030.  “We are concerned that Interior’s decision to go forward with this rule will lead to stranded assets in the Gulf, harming U.S. energy security while dealing a potentially devastating blow to Gulf communities stung by the industry downturn,” said LeBlanc.

Court: BSEE Can’t Hold Contractors Liable – In other offshore drilling news from late last week, a Federal court in New Orleans ruled definitively that BSEE cannot enforce against offshore contractors.  BSEE’s claimed authority over offshore contractors that have no leasehold or other rights from the federal government has been in serious contention since the Macondo incident.  That’s when BSEE reversed decades of consistent practice and policy to try to regulate entities that Congress never intended.  Several offshore contractors have disputed BSEE’s arrogation of enforcement authority and pursued the matter through administrative appeal and federal court action.  This decision marks the first federal court decision on the question, and it definitively states and explains the limitations of BSEE’s authority.  This decision brings the agency back to core principles of Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act (OCSLA) and puts to rest the many uncertainties raised by BSEE’s abandonment of longstanding legal policy and precedent.  My colleague Kevin Ewing (202-828-7837) can address the issue in depth.

Opposition Reply Briefs Filed in GHG Case – While it is headed for oral arguments in June, another round of briefs from opponents of the rule were filed on Friday.  Petitioners representing the 28 states and numerous trade groups and industry supporters responded in the D.C. Circuit on Friday to EPA’s defense of the Clean Power Plan. Most argued the rule isn’t legal saying “EPA ties itself in knots, torn between touting the Rule’s significance and downplaying the extraordinary nature of what it seeks to do. On one hand, EPA describes the Rule as ‘a significant step forward in addressing the Nation’s most urgent environmental threat,’ necessary for ‘critically important reductions in carbon dioxide emissions’ from fossil fuel-fired power plants.  On the other hand, EPA claims the Rule is not ‘transform[ative],’ because ‘industry trends’ will result in ‘significant reductions in coal-fired generation … even in the Rule’s absence.'”   Intervenors representing six corporations, including the bankrupt Peabody Energy, and the Gulf Coast Lignite Coalition, a group of power and coal companies, filed an intervenor reply brief outlining some similar arguments.

NRECA Weighs In – Rural Coops filed a reply brief with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit concerning the Clean Power Plan litigation.  NRECA Jeffrey Connor said the EPA has crossed a line by assigning itself vast regulatory authority that surpasses anything ever contemplated by Congress. “The agency wants to have it both ways, touting the Clean Power Plan as a major environmental milestone, while downplaying to the point of absurdity the rule’s unprecedented legal overreach. The fact is that EPA didn’t produce a rule simply to reduce emissions—it crafted a radical plan to restructure the U.S. power sector.”

Mercury Rule Finished by EPA – EPA today issued its Supreme Court-ordered fix for an error in its 2012 mercury pollution regulation.  The new “appropriate and necessary” finding – this time factoring compliance costs into EPA’s considerations – still concludes it’s proper to regulate mercury emissions from power plants. EPA would have written essentially the same regulation if it had made that finding when it originally considered the issue, it says, and thus the mercury rule will stay in place.

Read the finding here.  My colleague Jeff Holmstead said as expected, EPA responded to the Supreme Court’s decision in the MATS case (known as Michigan v EPA) with a new regulatory finding:  even taking into account the $9.6 billion a year in regulatory costs, it is “appropriate” to regulate coal-fired power plants under the air toxics provisions of the Clean Air Act.  In the Michigan case, the Supreme Court struck down EPA’s earlier finding because the Agency had refused to consider the cost of regulation when it determined that it was “appropriate” to regulate.  EPA said that the price tag is still a bargain because MATS will provide public health benefits of at least $37 billion a year.  But there is likely to be litigation over this new finding because virtually all of these claimed benefits come from reducing a type of pollution that EPA is not authorized to regulate under the air toxics provisions – so called “fine particle pollution.”  Holmstead says the Clean Air Act provides a very detailed regulatory process for regulating fine particles – a process that places clear limits on EPA’s authority.  He adds that opponents of last week’s finding are expected to argue that EPA is trying to circumvent those limits by using MATS to require reductions in fine particles that go well beyond what EPA is authorized to do under the fine particles provisions of the Clean Air Act.

Legal Group Claims Internal Emails Show Coordination by AGs on Climate –New York AG Eric Schneiderman and other politically-aligned AGs secretly teamed-up with anti-fossil fuel activists in their investigations against groups whose political speech challenged the global warming policy agenda, according to e-mails obtained by the Energy & Environment Legal Institute (E&E Legal).  E&E Legal released these emails on the heels of a Wall Street Journal report about a January meeting, in which groups funded by the anti-fossil fuel Rockefeller interests met to urge just this sort of government investigation and litigation against their political opponents.  After the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI) criticized these AGs’ intimidation campaign, the U.S. Virgin Islands’ Claude Earl Walker — one of the AGs working with Schneiderman — subpoenaed 10 years of CEI records relating to the global warming issue.  The e-mail correspondence between Schneiderman’s staff, the offices of several state attorneys general, and activists was obtained under Vermont’s Public Records Law, and also show Schneiderman’s office tried to obscure the involvement of outside activists.  His top environmental lawyer encouraged one green group lawyer who briefed the AGs before their March 29 “publicity stunt” press conference with former U.S. Vice President Al Gore not to tell the press about the coordination.  At that event the AGs announced they were teaming up to target opponents of the global warming agenda. The AGs went as far as trying to claim privilege for discussions and emails even with outside groups in this effort to go after shared political opponents, including each state that receives an open records request immediately alerting the rest to that fact.  In that case, according to the Schneiderman office’s draft, every state was to immediately return any records to New York.  To its credit Vermont objected to that as, naturally, being against state laws.  See the full slate of issues and emails here.

 

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

5-YR Plan Public Meetings Start—The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) will hold public meetings in New Orleans and Houston today and Wednesday on its five-year plan.  There will be another in Washington next Tuesday on April 26th.  Recently, Interior rolled out the new five-year plan for drilling which set the scope of drilling for the years between 2017-2022. Gulf Economic Survival Team Director Lori LeBlanc said continued energy production in the Gulf of Mexico and support of American energy workers who fuel this nation is essential during a news conference hosted by the Consumer Energy Alliance. “The total economic impact of Gulf energy is immense.  It creates jobs in every state in the U.S., with some 430,000 jobs nationwide estimated to link to Gulf energy activity, along with tens of thousands here in Louisiana alone. Those of us on the Gulf Coast are proud to produce the energy to fuel America and we recognize that Gulf oil accounts for nearly one-fifth of our nation’s oil production. The U.S. Treasury directly benefits to the tune of over $5 to $8 billion dollars each year from energy production in the Gulf — making it one of the largest revenue streams for the federal government.”

CEI to Discuss Green Climate Fund – Today at Noon, the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI) will host a lunch on Capitol Hill to discuss what can be done about two Obama administration efforts to circumvent Congress and push its climate agenda: the Paris Climate Treaty and the Green Climate Fund.  The Obama Administration announced it will sign the Paris Climate Treaty along with 130 other nations at the United Nations Headquarters in New York City on April 22, 2016. The State Department also announced that the United States will officially become a party to the agreement later in the year. How can the United States become a party to the agreement without going through “its own national legislative requirements” to ratify it, as specified by the UN? CEI experts will discuss what is wrong with this agreement and how Congress can respond.  Congress did not appropriate any money for the Green Climate Fund (GCF) for FY 2016. Nonetheless, in March the State Department re-programmed $500 million from the Economic Support Fund account to the GCF. Initial contributions by the United States and other developed countries are meant to prepare GCF for full funding of $100 billion per year beginning in 2020. CEI experts will discuss what the Green Climate Fund is and why Congress should not fund this initiative.

JHU to Look at Enviro Diplomacy –Tonight at 6:00 p.m., the Johns Hopkins SAIS program will host a forum on what environmental diplomacy entails and how it differs from standard notions of American diplomacy.  The forum will also look at the tactics necessary within negotiating historic agreements.  Speakers featured include former State Dept negotiator Dan Reifsnyder and SAIS alum Lynn Wager.

Conference to Look at PA Drilling – Shale Directories will host Upstream 2016 tomorrow at the Penn Stater in State College, PA to look at action in PA.  Despite cutbacks in budgets, there are still opportunities for this and next year and Cabot, Seneca and others will be there to discuss when Drilling may ramp up again, what you can do to help the industry and how to prepare for the growth. As well, Faouizi Aloulou, Senior Economist with the Energy Information Agency, will give a presentation on the uncertainties of shale resource development under low price environment.

Forum to Look at California EV, Grid Connections – Infocast is holding its 2nd Annual EVs & the Grid Summit in Long Beach Marriott in Cali tomorrow looking at transport and power convergence.  Automakers will share their views on the market, latest models, and how to overcome adoption hurdles.  Third-party solution providers will assess partnership opportunities and requirements for equipment, software, energy storage & conversion and on-site renewables.  Policy-makers & utilities will hash out potential business models for capturing new value streams from electrification and a digital, distributed grid.  Port & airport authorities, municipalities, fleet managers and commercial building owners will share perspectives and explore partnering opportunities with solution providers.

Senate Enviro to Look at EPA Budget – The Senate Environment Committee will hold an oversight hearing tomorrow at 10:00 a.m. examining the President’s FY 2017 budget request for EPA.  The hearing will feature EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy.

Senate Energy to Look Oil, Gas Price – The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee will hold an oversight hearing to examine challenges and opportunities for oil and gas development in different price environments.  Witnesses with include Columbia Energy expert Jason Bordoff, Oren Cass of the Manhattan Institute, Michael Ratner of CRS and several others in the oil/gas industry.

House Resources/Oversight to Look at ESA – The  House Committee on Natural Resources will hold an oversight hearing tomorrow on recent changes to Endangered Species Critical Habitat Designation and Implementation.  The hearing will feature Fish and Wildlife Service Director Dan Ashe.  My Colleague Eric Washburn is a great resource on the topics.  Also on Wednesday and Thursday, the House Oversight Committee looks at barriers to ESA de-listing after a species has recovered.  That hearing will be at 2:00 p.m. Wednesday and 9:00 a.m. Thursday in 2154 Rayburn.

House Homeland Security to Look at Pipeline Security – The House Homeland Security Committee will hold a hearing tomorrow at 2:00 p.m. on how the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) works with pipeline stakeholders to secure this critical infrastructure.  Witnesses will include our friend Andy Black of the AOPL, as well as DHS TSA security official Sonya Proctor, National Grid’s Kathleen Judge for AGA and CRS Energy/Infrastructure expert Paul Parfomak.

Jewell to Speak on National Park Week – Tomorrow at 2:00 p.m. at the National Geographic Society, Interior Secretary Sally Jewell will deliver a major speech on the Obama Administration’s approach to conservation and the need for a course correction in order to ensure healthy lands, water and wildlife for the next century of American conservation. Following Jewell’s remarks, Editor in Chief of the National Geographic Magazine Susan Goldberg will hold a one-on-one conversation with the Secretary on threats facing public lands and Jewell’s vision for the future of conservation. National Park Service Director Jonathan B. Jarvis will offer opening remarks to celebrate the 100-year milestone of America’s national parks, focusing on connecting with and creating the next generation of park visitors, supporters and advocates. As part of National Park Week (April 16-24), visitors can enjoy all national parks – from iconic landscape parks like Acadia National Park in Maine to urban cultural sites like San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park in California – for free.

Forum to Look at European Energy Security – Reuters will host a forum tomorrow at 6:00 p.m. on Europe’s Energy Security.  From worries about Russia to the collapse of global energy prices and the rise of renewables, what will Europe’s energy security picture look like in the years to come? This event will be contacted under Chatham House rules.  Reuters global affairs columnist Peter Apps will Moderate a panel that includes Roric McCorristin of the Heinrich Böll Foundation, energy analyst Patricia Schouker and Belgian deputy Chief of Mission Thomas Lambert.

Moniz to Headline CSM Breakfast – Following its last breakfast with EPA’s Gina McCarthy, the Christian Science Monitor hosts a live interview with U.S. Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz on the impact of COP21 on Wedensday at 8:30 a.m. at the St. Regis.  The theme of the event will be the state of global energy and climate four months after last December’s historic summit in Paris, and just days before leaders convene in New York City for the official signing ceremony.  The talk with the Secretary will be followed by an expert panel featuring WRI President Andrew Steer, Georgetown’s Joanna Lewis, WRI’s Andrew Light, and C2ES’s Elliot Diringer.

Forum to Look at Rural Broadband – The Hudson Institute will host a discussion on Wednesday at 9:15 a.m. about closing the urban-rural economic gap through enhancing rural broadband. Hudson Senior Fellow Hanns Kuttner will present a new Hudson report, The Economic Impact of Rural Broadband. Joining him to discuss the industry’s impact and prospects will be.  There will also be a panel featuring  Shirley Bloomfield, CEO of NTCA; Nancy White, CEO of a rural broadband company in Lafayette, Tenn.; and rural broadband consultant Leo Staurulakis.

Senate Approps Panel Looks at EPA Budget – Following up on Senate Enviro’s review of the EPA budget, the Senate Appropriations panel on Interior/Environment will take Its turn with EPA head Gina McCarthy.

House Science Looks at Fusion – On Wednesday at 10:00 a.m., the House Science Committee’s Subcommittee on Energy will convene a hearing that will be an overview of Fusion Energy Science.  Witnesses will include Dr. Bernard Bigot, Director General, ITER Organization; Dr. Stewart Prager, Director of the Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory; and Dr. Scott Hsu, Scientist at the Los Alamos National Laboratory.

NRC Commissioners Head to House Energy Panel – The House Energy & Commerce Committee’s Subcommittee on Environment and the Economy will hold a hearing Wednesday at 10:00 a.m. looking at the NRC Fiscal Year 2017 budget.  Commissioners will testify.

WCEE to Look at Solar Power Growth – The Women’s Council on Energy and the Environment (WCEE) will hold a discussion on Wednesday looking at solar power growth over the next 25 years.  Forecasts for US solar power penetration in the next 25 years range from almost inconsequential levels to an exponential progression in which solar accounts for nearly all power generation. While these are two extremes and the actual path is likely somewhere in between, WCEE will look “under the hood” at some key projections and the assumptions behind them, based on the Deloitte Center for Energy Solutions’ paper of US Solar Power Growth through 2040.  Following that,  the event will take an up-close look at what the DOE’s SunShot initiative is doing to reduce the soft costs of solar and ensure that solar is fully cost-competitive with other energy sources by 2020.   Speaker will include Suzanna Sanborn of Deloitte Center for Energy Solutions and Elaine Ulrich, Program Manager of DOE’s SunShot.

Forum to Look at Electricity Pricing Issues – The CSIS Energy and National Security Program will hold a panel discussion on Wednesday at 1:00 p.m. looking at time-variant electricity pricing as part of our ongoing series, “Electricity in Transition.” For a century, the retail rate structure in the United States has remained virtually unchanged. Nearly all retail customers in the U.S. pay a flat rate regardless of the time of day or the actual cost of electricity. While this pricing structure insulates consumers from price volatility, it may also lead to inefficiency in resource allocation. Enabled by the increasing deployment of smart meters, some states have been experimenting with new retail rate designs that reflect the fact that wholesale electricity prices vary over the course of the day. Time-variant pricing allows utilities and regulators accurately reflect market dynamics for customers, encouraging more efficient resource distribution. But do consumers actually respond to changing prices and Can time-variant pricing impact the adoption of new distributed energy technologies?   The panelists will discuss the objectives of moving to time-varying electricity rates, including the advantages and disadvantages of different rate structures, the distributional impacts of time-variant pricing, and the broader energy, environmental, and economic impacts of time-variant pricing. In addition, panelists will discuss recent experiences with time variant rates in different jurisdictions.

Segal, McKinley Headlining POLITICO Energy Forum – POLITICO hosting a forum Thursday, April 21 at 8:30 a.m. at the W Hotel focused on America’s Energy Agenda.  The event will look at new prices and new policies and examines the future of energy. Topics will include fluctuating energy costs and the calculus for Washington regulators and innovation.  Strategic priorities for building energy infrastructure and potential changes for a new administration.  Featured speakers include Sen. Angus King, Rep. David McKinley and my colleague Scott Segal, as well as BLM’s Neil Kornze, former AWEA head Denise Bode and BCSE’s Lisa Jacobsen.

Forum to Look at Hydrogen Economy – On Thursday at 9:00 a.m., the Woodrow Wilson Center and the Embassy of Japan will host a forum on hydrogen.  Dubbed “the energy of the future” by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, Japan has been investing heavily on the potential of hydrogen as an alternative energy source. With zero emissions, it is an element that is plentiful, and the prospect for hydrogen-powered cars and hydrogen fuel-cell use at home is alluring. But from advancing the technology to developing the needed infrastructure, the cost to make hydrogen society a reality is high. The event will be a discussion ahead of Earth Day on the prospects of using hydrogen energy, and the outlook for cooperation between the United States and Japan to make hydrogen society a reality.

Panel to Look at Advanced Nuclear Reactors – The Senate Environment Committee’s Subcommittee on Clean Air and Nuclear Safety will hold a hearing Thursday at 9:45 a.m. on enabling advanced reactors and legislation targeting advancing It.  Witnesses will include NRC’s Victor McCree, former NRC commissioner Jeff Merrifield, NEI’s Maria Korsnick, and several others.

USEA to Host Penn St Expert on CO2 Transformation – The US Energy Assn will host a discussion on Thursday at 10:00 a.m. looking at turning CO2 into sustainable chemicals and fuels.  Capturing CO2 and converting it into chemicals, materials, and fuels using renewable energy, is an important path for sustainable development and a major challenge in 21st century. Concentrated CO2 can be used for manufacturing chemicals (lower olefins such as ethylene and propylene, methanol, and carbonates), and fuels (such as liquid transportation fuels or synthetic natural gas). Penn State expert Chunshan Song will be the featured speaker.

NGV Leader to Address NatGas Roundtable – On Thursday, the Natural Gas Roundtable will host Matthew Godlewski, President of NGVAmerica will be the guest speaker at its next luncheon at the University Club. Godlewski’s topic will be: “Natural Gas Vehicles in Today’s Marketplace.”

Forum Look at Enrichment, Processing – On Thursday at 1:00 p.m., the Center for Strategic and International Studies will hold a forum on limiting enrichment and processing of nuclear materials.  The United States has long had a policy of discouraging the further spread of dual-use technologies that can be used either to make fissile material for nuclear weapons or for peaceful uses like reactor fuel – that is, uranium enrichment and spent fuel reprocessing.   The international community, on the other hand, has long resisted serious limits on enrichment and reprocessing beyond restraining nuclear trade.  And yet, the case of Iran illustrates just how close a country can get to a latent nuclear weapons capability in the absence of legally binding restrictions.  In light of these challenges, how well is the U.S. policy working?  What additional tools might we expect to employ in the coming years? Speakers will include Thomas Countryman, Assistant Secretary of State and Edward McGinnis, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Energy, among several others.

EARTH DAY April 22 – Not only is this Earth Day, but it is expected to be the UN Paris Climate Agreement signing day in New York.  Secretary of State John Kerry is expected to be in New York as the President will be overseas.

Senate Indian Affairs Field Hearing to Blast EPA – While McCarthy was originally expected to join Kerry, there is rumor that she may have to be in Phoenix at the Senate Indian Affairs field hearing at 12:30 p.m. examining EPA’s unacceptable response to Indian tribes.  I guess Sen. McCain is the spoil sport on the signing.  While McCarthy may not come, EPA’s assistant administrator of Land/Emergency Management Mathy Stanislaus will for sure attend.  Navajo President Russell Begaye, Navajo Council member LoRenzo Bates and Hopi Chairman Herman Honanie, whose reservation is also downstream from Gold King Mine, will also testify.

 

FUTURE EVENTS

Water Power Conferences Set for DC – The all-new Waterpower Week in Washington will present three events in one, showcasing the entire world of waterpower.  The National Hydropower Association Annual Conference, International Marine Renewable Energy Conference and Marine Energy Technology Symposium will all take place at the Capital Hilton in Washington, D.C., April 25-27.

Forum to Look at Energy Policy In the 2016 – Election The CSIS Energy and National Security Program will host a day-long seminar on Tuesday, April 26th looking at U.S. Energy Policy in the 2016 Elections.  The event will feature panel discussions on the importance of bipartisan Energy Policy, oil/natgas production, distribution and refining, the electric power sector, the future of transportation and State and City leadership. Each election cycle affords policymakers an opportunity to assess the state of the nation’s energy sector in the context of shared objectives and within the context of a dynamic global energy landscape.  U.S. energy policy is driven by economic, security, and environmental priorities, but fundamental tensions continue to exist between those priorities and among the various constituencies involved in the nation’s energy sectors. The purpose of this conference is to inform the current debate on U.S. energy policymaking and assess what areas are ripe for action.

CSIS to Look at Financing Production Resilience – On Thursday, April 28th, CSIS Energy and the National Security program will host a conversation with former Vice Chairman of NY Mercantile Exchange Albert Helmig, Energy Intelligence Energy Casey Sattler and Betsy Graseck of Morgan Stanley, moderated by our friend Kevin Book.  Oil and gas producers have responded to six consecutive calendar quarters of price weakness by high-grading production, downsizing workforce and paring back capital spending. Financial investors’ continuing appetite for oil industry debt – and, more recently, equity – has continued to support U.S. production, too. Unexpectedly resilient output and stubbornly low commodity prices continue to erode corporate resources, however, raising several imminent questions.

Pollution Agencies to Host Spring Meeting – The Association of Air Pollution Control Agencies’ will hold its 2016 Spring Meeting on April 28th and 29th at the Columbia Marriott in Columbia, South Carolina. The event will feature panels and presentations related to multipollutant planning, NOx controls, the Clean Power Plan, NAAQS implementation, Clean Air Act cost-benefit analysis, and legal updates.

BPC to Focus on Water/Energy Book – On Thursday, April 28 at 10:00 a.m., the Bipartisan Policy Center holds a book session on “Thirst for Power: Energy, Water and Human Survival” by author Michael Webber and a discussion about the interconnections between energy and water, their vulnerabilities, and the path toward a more reliable and abundant future for humanity.  Although it is widely understood that energy and water are the world’s two most critical resources, their vital interconnections and vulnerabilities are less often recognized. A new book offers a fresh, holistic way of thinking about energy and water—a big picture approach that reveals the interdependence of the two resources, identifies the seriousness of the challenges, and lays out an optimistic approach with an array of solutions to ensure the continuing sustainability of both.

Forum to Look at LNG – The Atlantic Council hosts the US LNG Exports and European Energy Security Conference on Thursday April 28th.  The event takes place shortly after the inauguration ceremony of Cheniere’s Sabine Pass LNG export terminal in Louisiana and will discuss the implications of US LNG exports on European energy security in the context of climate action post Paris COP21 and changing global energy markets.  There is an excellent list of great speakers, including a wide array of Foreign ministers from European countries on a panel moderated by our FP friend Keith Johnson.  A second panel moderated by our friend Amy Harder of the Wall Street Journal will include API’s Marty Durbin and DOE’s Paula Gant among others.

Sustainable Factbook to Be Released – On Friday, April 29th at Noon in B-338 Rayburn, the Environmental and Energy Study Institute (EESI) and the Business Council for Sustainable Energy (BCSE) will hold a briefing that will provide information on the rapid changes occurring in the U.S. energy sector. The findings of the “2016 Sustainable Energy in America Factbook” show that the U.S. energy sector, and the power sector in particular, have experienced unprecedented growth in newer, cleaner sources of energy.  The briefing will feature an overview presentation by Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) on the findings from the Factbook, followed by a moderated industry panel with senior executives from a range of clean energy industries.  Speakers for this forum include BNEF’s Colleen Regan, BCSE’s Lisa Jacobson, AGA’s Kathryn Clay, SEIA’s Katherine Gensler, Owen Smith of Ingersoll Rand, Covanta’s Paula Soos, Mark Wagner of Johnson Controls and Jeff Leahey of the National Hydropower Association.

WCEE to Look at Paris Implementation – The Women’s Council on Energy and the Environment (WCEE) will hold a discussion on Friday, April 29th at Noon on the role of states in implementing the Paris Climate Agreement.  Maryland Public Service Commissioner Anne Hoskins, DOE Deputy Director for Climate, Environment & Energy Efficiency Judi Greenwald and EPRI’s Steve Rose  will all , Senior Research Economist, Electric Power Research Institute all look at the options states considering to continue de-carbonizing the electricity generation sector and what role of regulators will play in achieving these goals.

IEEE to Host Transmission Technology Conference – IEEE will hold its annual Transmission PES Conference in Dallas at the Convention Center May 2-5.  The electric grid is undergoing transformations enabled by the integration of new technologies, such as advanced communication and power electronic devices and the increasing penetration of distributed generation. Such changes introduce a new paradigm in the cultural infrastructure of power systems, which requires a great deal of cooperation between utilities, power generation companies, consumers, governments and regulators.

 

EIA to Present International Energy Outlook – The CSIS Energy and National Security Program will host Adam Sieminski, Administrator of the Energy Information Administration (EIA) on Wednesday May 11th at 9:30 a.m. to present the EIA’s International Energy Outlook 2016 (IEO2016).  The IEO2016 includes projections of world energy demand by region and primary energy source through 2040; electricity generation by energy source; and energy-related carbon dioxide emissions.  Among other topics, Sieminski will discuss EIA’s view on long-term petroleum and other liquids fuel supplies, prospects for global natural gas markets, energy demand growth among developing nations, and key uncertainties that may alter the long-term projections.

Solar Summit Set For AZ – On May 11 and 12 in Scottsdale, Arizona, the 9th annual Solar Summit will dive deep into a unique blend of research and economic market analysis from the GTM Research team and industry experts. This year’s agenda will feature themes from Latin America to BOS to the Global Solar Market.   DOE’s Lidija Sekaric and ERCOT’s Bill Magness lead a large group of speakers.

 

CSIS to Hold Development Forum – The second annual Global Development Forum (GDF) at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) on May 19. The GDF will feature over 40 speakers, including key stakeholders from U.S. government agencies, leading multilateral and non-governmental organizations, foreign governments, and the private sector.  The 2016 GDF seeks to address the complex issues highlighted by the recently adopted Sustainable Development Goals. Participants will examine the role and purpose of official development assistance against a backdrop of global trends including rising incomes, rapid urbanization, uneven economic growth, and widespread unemployment. In particular, discussions will explore ways in which official donors and key partners, including the private sector, civil society, and multilateral institutions can improve livelihoods, strengthen governance, and facilitate access to key resources including food, energy, and infrastructure.

 

Oil, Gas Forum Set – US Energy Stream will hold a Washington Oil & Gas Forum on June 8th and 9th at the Cosmos Club in DC.  More on this as it gets closer, but you can go here: http://www.energystreamcmg.com/