Energy Update: Week of May 18

Friends,

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Frank Maisano

(202) 828-5864

(202) 997-5932

 

 

IN THE NEWS

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

FUTURE EVENTS

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

Energy Update: Week of May 11

Friends,

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Call with questions.

 

Frank Maisano

(202) 828-5864

(202) 997-5932

 

 

IN THE NEWS

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

 

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

 

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

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

 

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

 

 

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

FUTURE EVENTS

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Energy Update: Week of May 4

Friends,

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Frank Maisano

(202) 828-5864

(202) 997-5932

 

IN THE NEWS

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

FUTURE EVENTS

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

Energy Update: Week of April 27

Friends,

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Frank Maisano

(202) 828-5864

(202) 997-5932

 

 

IN THE NEWS

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

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

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

 

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

FUTURE EVENTS

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Energy Update: Week of April 20

Friends,

 

This will be a very crazy week for everybody because it is “Earth Day” Week, and besides a concert with rock stars and TV stars who want to be seen as “Green”, it leads to a lot of good events that discuss and shine the spotlight on issues we here at Bracewell work on every day.  It already has gained the President’s attention as the topic of his Saturday radio address and he heads to Marco Island and the Everglades on Wednesday to follow up with a speech.   But really, Earth Day is not really much of a change for us because every day is Earth Day for us.

 

Before we get to more details, I mentioned rock stars were out on Saturday at the concert in DC, but they were also out in Cleveland where the Rock ‘n Rock Hall of Fame had its 30th Induction Ceremony.  The 2015 class included inductions for Ringo Starr, Bill Withers, Joan Jett & the Blackhearts, Stevie Ray Vaughan & Double Trouble, the Paul Butterfield Blues Band, Green Day, Lou Reed and the “5” Royales.  Great performances all around including John Mayer inducting Stevie Ray Vaughn and Mylie Cyrus joining Joan Jett on stage to rock out. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony will air May 30th at 8:00 p.m. on HBO.

 

And on the sports side, I always remind my friends now that today is the Boston Marathon, one of the premier sports/community events that has taken on heightened significance since the incident two years ago.  Congrats to everyone who will be traveling the course through greater Boston and good luck…

 

Houston is really the center of the energy world/debate this week as IHS-CERA hosts the annual CERA Week energy conference.   The speakers are a laundry list of top leaders on our issues from government, academia and industry.  Lisa Murkowski kicks things off this afternoon while Secretary Jewell (tomorrow), Energy Sect Moniz (Wed) and EPA Administrator McCarthy (Thurs) are all on the agenda.  Lots of company execs too including CP’s Ryan Lance, XOM’s Russ Tillerson and new (and somewhat controversial) Centrus CEO Dan Poneman all also speak.

 

In DC, the House will move efficiency legislation that was approved in Committee last week and in the Senate earlier this month.  The bill includes a fix for thermal water heaters that our friends at NRECA and AHRI have been pushing in partnership with environmental and efficiency groups.   The vote will come under suspension of the House rules.  There is a good chance they’ll get the required two-thirds support since similar legislation passed last year 375-36.  The Senate voted 94-5 for the language when it was offered as an amendment to the Keystone effort in January.

 

The House Appropriations Committee gets down to business on energy spending Wednesday tackling the first real spending bill to hit.  With the Macondo spill’s 5th anniversary , House Resources will focus on safety innovations since the BP accident on Wednesday.

 

Other hearings include House Science on hydraulic fracturing (Thursday), Senate Approps panel on Nuclear (Wed), Transpo Sect Anthony Foxx at the Senate Approps transportation panel  (Wed), Senate Environment  nomination hear of Vanessa Sutherland to lead the new Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board (Wed) and Deputy Interior Secretary Michael Conner addressing potential reforms to the Land and Water Conservation Fund at Sen Energy (Wed).

 

And don’t forget the ACORE Washington Policy Conference starting Thursday morning at the Westin and features policymakers, industry leaders and other perspectives to outline challenges and highlight opportunities facing the sector.

 

Because this week is the 5th anniversary of Macondo, there are several items centering on it beyond the House resources hearing Wednesday.  It all started this morning with a NPR Diane Rehm segment on the event that features my colleague Jason Hutt and Oceana’s Jackie Savitz.  You can catch the replay here.

 

Finally, our good friend Dana Perino returns to DC to promote her new book And the Good News Is…:Lessons and Advice from the Bright Side at the National Press Club Thursday evening, while the White House Correspondents Dinner is Saturday… Get those tuxedos ready as Saturday Night Live’s Cecily Strong will be the entertainment.  The night before, the Mother Nature Network will be hosting the 1st annual “White House Correspondents’ Jam,” featuring performances by some of America’s top journalists and their respective bands.

 

Call with questions.

 

Frank Maisano

(202) 828-5864

  1. (202) 997-5932

 

IN THE NEWS

 

Bracewell PRG Gets Top Legal Marketing Award – Bracewell Giuliani’s Policy Resolution Group took first place in the Legal Marketing Association’s 2015 “Your Honor” Awards in the Social/Interactive Media category for the 2014 Policy Resolution Group Post-Election Campaign.   The LMA Your Honor Awards program recognizes excellence in legal marketing by promoting projects and programs that provide innovation and return on marketing dollar investment. The Your Honor Awards is the longest-running annual national award program recognizing excellence in legal marketing. There are 10 Your Honor Awards categories that cover virtually every area of legal marketing.   This year, there were over 170 entries submitted from firms around the world. The winners were announced the 2015 LMA Annual Conference last week in San Diego. The PRG Post-Election Update.   The Update began as a mere post-election email effort in 2010 has blossomed into a full marketing campaign undertaken by the PRG team.  PRG’s cutting-edge counsel uses industry-leading technology to help clients and contacts better understand what the 2014 election’s probable impact would be on the markets and industries served by Bracewell. The goal of this project was to build on PRG’s 2012 post-election “super” e-newsletter with expanded use of technologies (e.g., webinar, broadcast email, video, social media, blog) to more thoroughly convey the firm’s knowledge and experience to its target markets.  As the polls closed and the concession speeches echoed across the airwaves, PRG was already breaking down the results with nine specific market segmented articles and preparing a 17-page, post-election webinar presentation.  On Nov. 5, 2014, Bracewell had nearly 200 people tune into PRG’s webinar to hear in-depth analysis on 2014 election results and implications.

 

AWEA Report Shows Wind Rebound for 2015 – The American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) said wind industry jobs and turbine deployment regained momentum heading into 2015 in its 2014 U.S. Wind Industry Annual Market ReportThe U.S. wind industry added 23,000 jobs in 2014, boosting the sector’s total to 73,000 jobs. 2015 began with 12,700 MW of wind projects under construction, a record for the start of any year.  Four times more new wind generating capacity came online last year than in 2013. 2013 wind deployment was down 92 percent from 2012 levels because of policy uncertainty caused by the brief lapse of the Production Tax Credit (PTC) at the end of 2012. That lapse resulted in the loss of 30,000 wind industry jobs in America.  In the U.S. wind manufacturing sector specifically, wind now employs nearly 20,000 workers in more than 500 facilities across 43 states, in addition to 53,000 other jobs in project development, construction, operations, and other parts of the industry. The U.S. wind industry drove $12 billion in private investment last year, for a total of more than $100 billion since 2008.

 

States Expanding Wind – Several states are seeing great results according to AWEA’s State-by-state economic benefits and rankings.  The U.S. “wind rush” is at its height in Texas, with 7,500 MW of wind projects currently under construction, more than all other states combined. The wind industry invested $3 billion in Texas last year, bringing total cumulative investment to over $26 billion. The boom resulted in the addition of 9,000 jobs in 2014, bringing Texas to a U.S.-leading 17,000 wind industry jobs. Rounding out the top five states with the most wind industry jobs are Iowa and Colorado with over 6,000 jobs each, Oklahoma with nearly 5,000 jobs, and Michigan with over 3,000 jobs.  Iowa led the nation by producing 28.5% of its electricity from wind power, followed by South Dakota at 25.3% and Kansas at 21.7% in 2014. Wind energy provided more than 15% of the total electricity generated in seven states, more than 10% in a total of nine states, and more than 5% in a total of 19 states. Wind generation has more than tripled since 2008, providing 4.4% of the nation’s electricity in 2014. Wind energy provided the largest increase in generation for any energy source in 2014.

 

Stock Report Calls for Biofuels Reforms –The Center on Global Energy Policy released a new study, The Renewable Fuel Standard: A Path Forward, authored by Dr. James Stock, a former Member of the President’s Council of Economic Advisers and now a Harvard economist and non-resident Fellow at the Center.  In the paper, Stock finds that the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) is currently imposing costs while failing to provide support for low-carbon second-generation biofuels that can help achieve the program’s energy security and environmental goals. Stock considers both regulatory and legislative reforms. Central to these reforms is providing certainty about a future policy path and developing a realistic plan for reducing the costs arising from the E10 blend wall. Stock argues that the RFS should be reformed because, absent a comprehensive market-based solution for lowering GHG emissions, it remains an important policy tool for the United States in its goal to reduce emissions, as well as decrease reliance on foreign oil supplies.  Stock examines three possible policy paths forward for the RFS, and finds that the best option would be for EPA to expand the amount of renewable fuel in the fuel supply, consistent with the intent of the statute. But for this path to be cost effective it needs to be coupled with credible steps to expand the consumption of higher blends of ethanol such as E85. Additional legislative reforms could further reduce the program’s cost while sharpening its focus on second-generation fuels.

 

NY Post Op-Ed Hits Bloomberg, Cuomo on Energy – There must be something in the water up there in NY…Last Monday we mentioned the Journal hammering three separate times on GHGs and then on Friday,  AEA President Thomas Pyle penned an op-ed in the New York Post titled “Lights Out, New York” hammering former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and current New York Governor Andrew Cuomo.  Pyle says their energy policy on Coal and natural gas are turning off the lights on New York’s energy and economic future.

 

DCCC Attacking Republicans on Climate – Our friends at POLITICO this morning wrote that the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee plans to go after several House Republicans this week in honor of Earth Day and the anniversary of the 2010 BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.  They listed a bunch of “deniers” that they will attack.  Good luck with that.  I guess they want to build on the success both Tom Steyer and Harry Reid had in the last election cycle with that approach.

 

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

 

 

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

 

IPAA Investment forum Set for NYC – The Independent Petroleum Association of America will hold its 21st annual Oil & Gas Investment Symposium (OGIS) today through Thursday in New York at the Sheraton Hotel in Times Square.  Nearly 75 U.S. oil and natural gas company CEOS will present their financial portfolios next week to 2,000 Wall Street executives, bankers, analysts, and investors.

 

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

 

JHU Forum to Look at LNG – Johns Hopkins University will host a forum on LNG exports and other gas items today at 12:30 p.m.  Rob Franklin, President of ExxonMobil’s Gas & Power Marketing Company, will explore the global benefits of free trade in the energy sector and make the case for expanding U.S. liquefied natural gas exports.

 

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

 

CSIS to Look at Ukraine Energy – Today at 2:00 p.m., the CSIS Energy and National Security Program will host Alan Riley, Professor of Law at the City Law School with City University in London, to discuss the status of reforms to the Ukrainian energy sector and to provide an update on the European Union’s antitrust case against Gazprom. Following the ousting of Viktor Yanukovych in early 2014, a pro-reform and pro-Western government emerged. Despite the Russian annexation of Crimea and ensuing conflict in eastern Ukraine, much hope is placed in the new Ukrainian government’s ability to institute wide-ranging domestic reforms, particularly in the energy sector. Nonetheless, concrete, effectual changes have yet to materialize.  Simultaneously, the EU is looking to move ahead with its antitrust case against Russian gas giant Gazprom anti-competitive business practices. A well-known authority on both subjects, Professor Riley will provide an overview of the progress being made and the hurdles undermining energy reform in Ukraine as well as the status of the antitrust proceedings against Gazprom. Following Mr. Riley’s presentation, Ambassador Richard Morningstar, Founding Director of the Atlantic Council’s Global Energy Center, former Ambassador to the European Union and former Special Envoy for Eurasian Energy, will provide comments on the issues addressed. Edward Chow, Senior Fellow with the CSIS Energy and National Security Program, will moderate.

 

Forum to Look at Native American Climate Plans – Today at 3:00 p.m., EESI hold a briefing on the impacts of sea level rise and oil and gas extraction on Native American communities.   The briefing will examine some of the recommendations from tribal communities, such as encouraging the incorporation of climate resilience into land use development and management practices.  Speakers for this forum are Albert Naquin, Chief of the Biloxi-Chitimacha-Choctaw in Isle de Jean Charles, Louisiana; Bob Gough of the Intertribal Council on Utility Policy and anthropologist and climate justice expert Julie Maldonado.

 

DOE, EPA Honor ENERGY Star Program winners – The Energy Department and EPA  hold the Energy Star Partner of the Year awards ceremony at the Marriott Wardman Park Hotel tonight.  The event honors 128 businesses and organizations in 33 states “for their commitment to saving energy and protecting the environment through superior energy efficiency achievements.”   Speakers will include EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy and Jim Gibbons, president and CEO of Goodwill Industries International.

 

Commerce Secretary to Address AMS Washington Forum – Tomorrow to Thursday, the 2015 American Meteorological Society Washington Forum will focus on end users of weather, water and climate data, returning to the theme of past years’ User Forum events conducted by the AMS. As the enterprise evolves and adapts to changes in budgets and cost-sharing paradigms, heightened attention to the needs of its end users is key to success for all stakeholders. Particular attention must be given to key areas of industry, such as health and the various modes of transportation. The 2015 forum will promote dialogue between the enterprise and its end users toward that end.  Keynote Speakers will be Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker and NOAA Assistant Administrator for Satellite Information Services Stephen Volz.

 

Leaders to Address Americas Conference – The Americas Society/Council of the Americas will hold its 45th annual Washington Conference on the Americas tomorrow at the State Department.  Speakers will include Inter-American Development Bank President Luis Alberto Moreno, Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz, Secretary of State John Kerry, Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx, Commerce Deputy Secretary Bruce Andrews, NJ Gov. Chris Christie, and Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernandez delivering the luncheon keynote address.

 

Forum to Look at EU Energy – The Atlantic Council will hold a forum tomorrow looking at global issues of European Energy Union.  The Russian invasion of Ukraine and the subsequent establishment of the European Energy Union raise serious political, legal, and economic questions as Europe attempts to advance its objectives of increasing competition and ensuring a secure energy supply. Understanding the implications of the new European Energy Union and the energy regulatory framework is a precondition for understanding the future role of all energy supplies in Europe as well as Europe’s internal and external strategic relationships.  Two panels of European energy experts, including one of the chief architects of EU energy and competition law, will address the intricacies of EU law and assess the legal, political, and geopolitical implications of the European Energy Union.

 

RFF, Sweden to Host Climate Forum – The Swedish Embassy and Resources For the Future (RFF) will hold a forum at the embassy tomorrow at 1:30 p.m. to look at international perspectives on national commitments from the European Union, the United States, and China.  Later this year, the world will focus its attention on Paris for the 2015 UN Climate Change Conference. In the meantime, countries are determining how they can mitigate the effects of climate change in their own jurisdictions, and how these actions can be used to demonstrate their commitment to a new climate agreement in Paris.  This policy dialogue will examine these issues and feature comments from experts who play key roles in crafting an international agreement that can be signed in Paris.

 

Forum to Look at Wildfires, Climate – Tomorrow at 5:00 p.m., Johns Hopkins University will host a forum on wildfires and climate risk.  Speakers will include JMcLeod, Director, Climate Risk & Resilience, The Nature Conservancy; and Meredith Hollowell, Presidential Management Fellow, Forestry and Wildfire Expert, will discuss the topic.

 

Cal Event to Look at Climate Negotiations – Tomorrow evening, the University of California – Washington Center will hold a forum on international climate policy.  With the Kyoto Protocol’s end in 2012, the international community is working to find another approach to global climate change and the implications of a changing environment.  This year, the UN Council on Climate Change will meet in Paris to discuss the next steps towards developing an international policy that will seek to reduce global greenhouse gas emissions and to limit the rise in global temperatures to two degrees Celsius.

 

GW Event to Discuss Renewables in India, China, US – Elliott School of International Affairs at GWU will hold a forum tomorrow evening on renewable energy cooperation between the US, China and India. It will feature a presentation on the ways the U.S., India, and China can tri-lateralize cooperation on the roll-out of renewable energy (specifically solar) as first steps to broader cooperation to address climate change and energy independence while encouraging economic growth. Particularly, how India and China’s aggressive solar expansion targets can increase governmental, business, and interpersonal cooperation between the three leading emitters of CO2.

 

EARTH DAY – WEDNESDAY

 

EPA CAAAC to Meet – On Wednesday morning, EPA holds a meeting of the Clean Air Act Advisory Committee on economic, environmental, technical, scientific and enforcement policy issues at the Crowne Plaza Washington National Airport Hotel in Arlington, Va.

 

House Resources to Look at Safety, Macondo – The House Resources Committee will hold a hearing on Wednesday at 9:30 a.m. focused on innovations in safety since the 2010 Macondo Incident.  Witnesses will include BSEE director Brian Salerno, API’s Holly Hopkins, Center for Offshore Safety head Charlie Williams, David Coatney, of the Helix Well Containment Group and Steven Murawski of the University of South Florida.

 

Commission to review Nat Labs Effectiveness – On Wednesday at the Hilton at Mark Center, in Alexandria, VA, the Commission to Review the Effectiveness of the National Energy Laboratories will review whether the DOE national laboratories are properly aligned with the Department’s strategic priorities, have clear and balanced missions, have unique capabilities to meet current energy and national security challenges, are appropriately sized to meet the Department’s energy and national security missions, and are appropriately supporting other Federal agencies. The Commission will also look for opportunities to more effectively and efficiently use the capabilities of the national laboratories and analyze the effectiveness of the use of laboratory directed research and development (LDRD) to meet the Department’s science, energy and national security goals.

 

House Oversight to Look at Uranium Management – The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee’s Interior Subcommittee will hold a hearing on Wednesday at 10:00 a.m. examining the Department of Energy’s excess uranium management Plan.

 

House Approps Marks Energy Funding – The full House Appropriations Committee will meet to markup the Energy and Water Appropriations Bill, FY 2016 on Wednesday at 10:45 a.m.

 

AEI Looks at Carbon Taxes – AEI will hold a forum on Wednesday at 12:00 p.m. on the practicality and prospects for carbon taxes. Carbon taxes are potentially the most efficient instrument for mitigating climate change and represent a practical extension of fuel excise taxes. At the same time, carbon taxes can be part of a broader fiscal reform enabling decreases in other taxes and reducing the need for future fiscal consolidation. Falling energy prices, rising debt-to-GDP ratios, and the need for countries to pledge emissions mitigation actions in the run-up to the December 2015 United Nations climate conference in Paris have all heightened interest in carbon taxes and similar instruments.  A new International Monetary Fund–Brookings Institution–Resources for the Future book, “Implementing a US Carbon Tax: Challenges and Debates,” containing papers written by leading experts in the field, will be presented. Complimentary copies will be available at the event.  Rep. John Delaney and former Rep. Bob Inglis will speak.

 

Webinar to Look at Coal Ash Rule – The Catawba Riverkeeper Foundation, Kutak Rock LLP, Nova Engineering and Environmental, Schiff Hardin LLP, TetraTech, and B2BWebinars.com will hold a webinar on Wednesday at 1:00 p.m. looking at the new coal ash regulations.  The long-delayed EPA final coal ash CCR has been issued, and coal generators throughout the nation will soon move to comply with its provisions.

 

Wilson Event Features Sachs on Sustainability – The Woodrow Wilson Center will hold a forum on Wednesday at 3:00 p.m. featuring Jeffrey Sachs of Columbia University discussing sustainable development. The theme for this Earth Day seminar is anticipating and responding to mega trends and promoting “Years of Sustainable development.”  This event is organized by the Wilson Center, EPA, and the World Environment Center (WEC). It is a part of our “Managing Our Planet” seminar series, developed jointly by George Mason University, the Brazil Institute, and the Environmental Change and Security Program. It is based on the premise that the impacts of humanity on the environment (including natural resources) are at a planetary scale, requiring planetary-scale solutions.

 

Senate Approps Looks at Nuclear – The Senate Appropriations Committee’s Subcommittee on Energy & Water Development will hold a hearing Wednesday at 3:00 p.m. on nuclear power.  Witnesses will include DOE Nuclear Energy Office’s John Kotek, NEI’s Alex Flint, and CSIS expert John Hamre.

 

Forum to Look at Food, Water, Climate Nexus – The Henry L. Stimson Center holds a discussion on Wednesday at 3:00 p.m. on climate change and the food-water-energy nexus.   Speakers will include Brian Richter, chief scientist for the Global Water Program at the Nature Conservancy; Richard Cronin, director of the Southeast Asia Program at Stimson; and David Michel, director of the Environmental Security Program at Stimson.

 

JHU Forum Electricity Storage – On Wednesday at 4:30 p.m., Johns Hopkins University will host a forum on storage in the electricity sector.  Witnesses will include FERC’s Arnie Quinn, Colleen Lueken of AES Energy Storage and others.

 

MD OSW Meeting to Honor BOEM Director Hopper – The Business Network for Maryland Offshore Wind’s (BizMDOSW) will hold its annual meeting in Baltimore, Maryland on Wednesday and Thursday at Camden Yards.  The meeting is a 2-day gathering of European and American business executives, government officials, technical experts and academics brought together to build expertise among local companies. The event will have more than 150 participants from the U.S., Germany and Denmark including Dong Energy, Siemens, Bladt Industries, Blue Water Shipping and A2Sea.   The April 22nd dinner will be a celebration honoring U.S. Bureau of Ocean and Energy Management Director Abigail Hopper for outstanding achievement within the offshore wind industry.  The all-day April 23rd meeting will focus on creating jobs locally and regionally, including subcontracting opportunities for Maryland businesses and will also include reports on the East Coast regional offshore wind industry in Rhode Island, Virginia, New Jersey, Massachusetts and Maryland. The Maryland offshore wind development is projected to have steel in the water by 2019, and the development team expects to submit its OREC application to the state and to seek further permitting from U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management.  Among the speakers will be our friends Bill Wall of the Atlantic Wind Connection and Clint Plummer of Deepwater.

 

CSIS to Hold Global Development Forum – CSIS will hold its inaugural Global Development Forum (GDF) on Thursday. With a significant reduction in extreme poverty and an increase in private financial flows to the developing world over the past two decades, the face of development is rapidly changing. Meeting today’s challenges calls for innovation and effective partnerships across sectors, with an emphasis on improving governance and leveraging the role of the private sector.  GDF will feature keynote addresses by Representative Ander Crenshaw (R-FL) and Dr. Sri Mulyani Indrawati, Managing Director of the World Bank Group. Breakout panel discussions will foster dialogue on topics including private sector partnerships, capacity building and workforce development, innovative finance, the post-2015 global development agenda, Ebola recovery in West Africa, and the strategic role of development in overall U.S. foreign policy. 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.

 

House Science to Tackle Fracturing Questions, Benefits – The House Science Committee will hold a hearing on Thursday at 9:00 a.m. on hydraulic fracturing.  Witnesses will include , , Texas Railroad Commission Chairman Christi Craddick, Syracuse’s Donald Siegel, EID’s Simon Lomax and EDF’s Elgie Holstein.

 

Webinar Looks at EPA GHG Plan – The Environmental Markets Association will hold its first webinar of 2015 on Wednesday at 11:00 a.m. on what else:  perspectives and updates on EPA’s Clean Power Plan featuring Denton’s James Rubin and Aaron Flynn of Hunton & Williams.  Rubin and Flynn will provide an update on the latest developments in the proposed Clean Power Plan, EPA’s proposal to regulate carbon emissions from existing power plants.  The webinar will provide a brief summary of the proposed rule, a timeline and a description of regulatory and other significant actions recently taken which will help shape the final rule.  The two presenters will then review the legal challenges and arguments against the rule, including updates on recent court cases, as well as EPA’s likely defense.  The presenters will also review some of the more significant comments regarding the proposal, and explore how EPA might respond in the final rule.  Finally, they will discuss the role that market-based systems may play in the final rule and in state implementation plans.

 

Wilson Center to Host Discussion on Enviro Behavior – The Wilson Center will hold a discussion at 12:30 p.m. on Thursday about how psychology and behavioral economics can help us begin to address our most pressing energy and environmental challenges – and how this can potentially improve policy choices in government and beyond.   The panel, moderated by Ruth Greenspan Bell, a Public Policy Scholar at the Wilson Center, will examine which sorts of strategies encourage energy efficiency, how they can best be implemented and how one branch of the military is looking at incorporating these strategies to improve operational reach. Event panelists include Per Espen Stoknes, a psychologist and economist at the BI Norwegian Business School, will discuss how strategies rooted in human psychology might help address climate change; Elke Weber of the Columbia University School of Business will discuss how these strategies can be applied across institutions and within policymaking and Capt. James Goudreau, director of policy and partnerships in the Office of the Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Energy, will discuss how these insights can help the Navy forge a culture of energy and water efficiency

 

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

 

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

 

Forum to Look at Renewables – On Friday at 9:00 a.m., the Atlantic Council will host a discussion on how the financial, regulatory, and design aspects of renewables will impact the future of sustainable energy. Panelists include Ross Chanin, Visiting Scholar at Stanford University’s Precourt Institute for Energy, Peter Dean, a faculty member of the Rhode Island School of Design’s Nature-Culture-Sustainability Studies, and David Milner, CEO of NuGen Capital. The Hon. Richard Morningstar, Founding Director of the Atlantic Council’s Global Energy Center will deliver welcome remarks and moderate the discussion.

 

Arctic Council Ministerial Set for Iqaluit – On Friday, Secretary of State John Kerry, his fellow Arctic Council Foreign Ministers and indigenous representatives will gather in Iqaluit, Canada for a ministerial meeting focused on the Arctic.  Following the meeting, the United States will assume its two-year chairmanship of the Arctic Council.

 

Journo Bands Rock Before Correspondents Dinner – The Mother Nature Network is hosting the 1st annual “White House Correspondents’ Jam,” to be held Friday evening at the Fairmont the night before the annual Washington D.C. dinner, featuring performances by some of America’s top journalists and their respective bands.  The bands will be joined by Stones keyboardist Chuck Leavell, reuniting next month with the legendary band on the 15-city “Sticky Fingers” stadium tour across America.

 

White House Correspondents Dinner – Saturday April 25th, Washington Hilton featuring Saturday Night Live’s Cecily Strong.

 

FUTURE EVENTS

 

NHA to Set Hydro Conference – The National Hydropower Association holds its annual conference at the Capitol Hilton on April 27-29th.  The Conference is a well-rounded conference program designed to discuss, prepare and foresee the future of hydropower throughout the nation. Speakers will include NY Rep. Paul Tonko and White House OSTP staff Cristin Dorgelo.

 

Marine Tech Conferences Alongside NHA Meeting – The 3rd Annual Marine Energy Technology Symposium (METS) will be held as part of the inaugural International Marine Renewable Energy Conference on April 27-29th at the Capital Hilton Hotel in Washington, D.C., and will be co-located with the National Hydropower Association’s annual conference.  METS provides a venue where technical experts can publish and present wave and water current energy research that helps accelerate the pace of technology development. Holding METS in conjunction with the International Marine Renewable Energy Conference will provide researchers with the invaluable opportunity to interact with public and private industry stakeholders.

 

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

 

Senate Energy to Look at QER – After a delay last month, the Senate Energy Committee will hold a hearing next Tuesday, April 28th at 10:00 a.m.to receive testimony on the administration’s Quadrennial Energy Review.  Secretary Moniz will testify.

 

Honorable to Address NatGas Roundtable – Next Tuesday, April 28th, the Natural Gas Roundtable will host FERC Commissioner Colette Honorable as the guest speaker at the next luncheon.  Honorable was nominated to FERC in August 2014, and previously served on the Arkansas Public Service Commission.  Honorable was elected President of the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners in November 2013.

 

Newsmaker to Host Presidential Medal Winner on GMOs, Pesticide Use – The National Press Club’s Newsmakers Committee will host an forum with Presidential Medal of Freedom award recipient Dolores Huerta on Genetically Modified Foods  (GMOs), health effects of pesticide and herbicide use on Farmworkers and the current debate in Congress.  The discussion will be hosted by me next Tuesday at 4:00 p.m. in the Club’s Bloomberg Room.  Huerta launched the National Farm Workers Association with the legendary César Chavez and has been a high profile advocate working tirelessly for the working poor, women, and children.

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Experts to Look at Security Implications of Shale – The University of Texas System Office will host a forum on Thursday, April 30th at 8:00 a.m. to discuss the national security impacts of the shale revolution.  New oil and gas production technologies such as hydraulic fracturing, horizontal drilling, and deepwater drilling have already begun to redraw the map of energy production. Because oil is traded in a global market, increased domestic production does not insulate the U.S. from supply shocks and price volatility. Nevertheless, changes in the geography of energy production could still have an important impact.  For the past year, LBJ School professor Eugene Gholz has led a team of researchers investigating how changing trade flows and energy revenues affect U.S. national security focusing on two potential mechanisms: shifts in U.S. bilateral relationships with oil-exporting countries and disruptions in regional security as the revenue outlook changes for those producers.  The event will feature a discussion of the key findings with State Department expert Richard Westerdale.

 

Senate to Look at Energy Efficiency Legislation – The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee will hold a hearing Thursday, April 30th to receive testimony on energy efficiency legislation.

 

Navy Sect to Address Press Club – The Press Club will host an NPC Luncheon with Navy Secretary Ray Mabus on April 30th at Noon.  Mabus will discuss the state of America’s sea services and the maritime, budgetary and resource challenges facing the force in the 21st century.

 

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

 

Cato to Highlight UT Shale, Security Study – The Cato Institute will hold another forum on Friday, May 1st at Noon looking at the Texas study investigating how changing trade flows and energy revenues affect U.S. national security via two potential mechanisms: shifts in U.S. bilateral relationships with oil-exporting countries and disruptions in regional security.  Lead researcher, Eugene Gholz, presents the findings, followed by comments and discussion among experts in the field.  Along with Gholz, several other experts will address the issue including Philip Auerswald of George Mason University and RAND’s Keith Crane.

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

 

FRANK MAISANO
Founding Partner
Ext. 5864
Policy Resolution Group

 

 

Energy Update: Week of April 13

Friends,

 

Washington becomes a much busier place this week but not before we were treated to a great week of sports.  The week started with Duke and UConn rolling to NCAA National Hoops Championships, saw a great kick off to the 2015 MLB season, an even better close to the NHL regular season, an unbelievable NCAA Frozen Four outcome, then ended with Jordan Spieth’s amazing wire-to-wire Masters victory.   The 21 year-old Dallas native become the youngest Champ since 1997 when Tiger won and the first to lead wire-to-wire since (my father-in-law’s Florida golf/sporting clays partner) Ray Floyd did it in 1976.  He also managed a safe cushion all day Sunday over venerable 3-time Masters champ Phil Mickelson, who finished 2nd in a major for the 10th time to go along with his 5 wins.

 

The second NHL season begins Wednesday after 1,230 regular season games to pursue the most coveted prize in hockey, Lord Stanley’s Cup, who I recently visited with at the Press Club.  It didn’t offer any insights to me about where it expected to land in July, but for good measure, I didn’t touch it just in case.  Of course, I’ll be paying close attention to the Red Wings-Lightning series and headed to Caps-Isles Game 2 at Verizon on Friday.  I know my friends who are Ranger fans love that they are getting Pittsburgh.  Similarly, I don’t know if Montreal is too excited to get Ottawa who was the hottest team in the NHL down the stretch.  And finally, without LA and San Jose, look for a rough and tumble series between Anaheim and Winnipeg, as well as a battle in Western Canada with Vancouver and Calgary.   This is the first time since 2004 that Canada has 5 teams make the post season.

 

Finally, if you missed the incredible NCAA Frozen Four Final, the 4-3 Providence victory over Boston U goes to show you that just about anything can happen in hockey.   Check out 1:40 into this summary of the game for the most unlikely of bounces that turned the game.  Providence was the 15th of 16 teams in the tourney and won its first national championship.

 

The big news in the political world is Hillary Clinton’s long-expected entry into the 2016 Presidential race.  Then, she was joined by Florida Sen. Marco Rubio.  Both have set off a whirl in environmental/energy circles.  Enviros are already attacking Rubio as a science denier, while they are also trying to pin down Clinton on a number of initiatives including Keystone.  Our friends at SEJ have a great round up on the Clinton nerves/hopes which I noticed when posted by Andy Revkin.

 

While Washington is lighting up this week, I want to start in NYC where our friends at Bloomberg’s New Energy Finance are holding their Future of Energy Summit.  Former VP Al Gore kicks off a laundry list of top speakers on the energy issues today and tomorrow.

 

Congress returns after a two-week recess, facing a busy slate.  But, the big event will be the roll out of EIA’s 2015 Energy Outlook at CSIS tomorrow.  It will spur a hearing on Capitol Hill Thursday in the Senate Energy Committee.  As well, tomorrow, the House Energy & Commerce panel takes up thermal water heater legislation that has widespread support from industry, efficiency groups and environmental activists, as well as coal ash legislation, while other E&C panels will tackle GHG issues in states and ratepayers and new TSCA legislation that follows on the recent Senate action.  Other important hearings including tomorrow’s Senate EPW’s Oversight Panel hosting IGs on EPA and the Chem Safety Board and House Transpo hosting Federal officials on railcar rules; Wednesday looks in House Resources on Interior’s 5-year drilling plan, several appropriations markups including energy/water and a House Science Hearing on the Obama administration’s United Nations climate pledge; and finally Senate Environment on Wednesday hearing from NRC Chairman Stephen Burns and three commissioners — Kristine Svinicki, William Ostendorff and Jeff Baran on budget and Yucca.

 

On Thursday, the D.C. Circuit will hear oral arguments on the challenge to EPA’s GHG authority under 111 (d) of the Clean Air Act or the Murray Energy Case.  The case certainly underscores the many legal, political, and practical hurdles EPA faces on the way to implementation of its rules. Holmstead and Segal are monitoring it and the mercury rule compliance which also kicks in on Thursday, so call if you have questions.

 

Finally, lots of late action last week with refiners settling the long-awaited RFS situation and a spat of editorial work from the Wall Street Journal on EPA GHG rules and Sen. McConnell, states and Reliability; the White House Blackout last week and the Bloomberg anti-coal gift to Sierra Club; and finally an opinion piece from Ameren CEO Warner Baxter on a better way to fix EPA’s effort on GHGs.

 

Congrats to our friend David Roberts, who has left Grist to join Vox.  Maybe we’ll be able to get him to use a phone now…  On Twitter you can catch him @drvox.  That’s Doctor Vox to you…

 

Get those taxes in by Wednesday…  Call with questions.

 

Frank Maisano

(202) 828-5864

  1. (202) 997-5932

 

IN THE NEWS

 

House to Move on Water Heater Bill – With Congress back in town, a group of businesses, trade associations and electric grid operators are urging the House to move quickly on effort to avoid an impending Energy Department deadline for large-volume electric resistance water heaters as reported by our friend Kevin Rogers of EnergyGuardian.  The effort is part of legislation introduced and passed by Sens. Shaheen and Portman which includes a number of other measures aimed to boost energy efficiency.  The standards would prevent the manufacture of such heaters, used by electric cooperatives to cope with spikes in demand.  The 57 organizations, in a Thursday letter to House leaders, called for swift action on the legislation to beat out the deadline.   Bipartisan legislation to exempt the heaters is to be marked up this week. That bill would exempt heaters larger than 75 gallons or larger used for demand response programs.  The bill has the support of industry groups, manufacturers and some environmental groups, who say the benefits of the heaters outweigh their inefficiency. The Air-Conditioning, Heating and Refrigeration Institute, one of the signers, said the heaters that would get exemption under both the Shaheen-Portman and the House bills serve an important purpose for cooperatives. The effort to exempt the water heaters has the support of efficiency and environmental groups, who say the benefits of the grid-enabled heaters outweigh their inefficiency across cooperative systems.

 

RFS Timeline Agreement Set…Maybe – The EPA reached agreement with the American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers (AFPM) and the American Petroleum Institute (API) to issue long overdue rules implementing the federal Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). The annual RFS rules set the volumes of ethanol and biodiesel that must be blended into the U.S. transportation fuel supply. The consent decree obligates the Environmental Protection Agency to issue final RFS rules for 2014 and 2015 by November 30 of this year. EPA’s delay in issuing the rules, which in the case of 2014 is more than a year late, has forced refiners to guess at their legal obligations to blend renewable fuels, and resulted in unnecessary market uncertainty that ultimately harms the U.S. refining industry, biofuel producers, and consumers.

 

Refiners Still Have Concerns – And why not…it’s not like this is the first time EPA missed deadlines on issue.  Either way, AFPM General Counsel Rich Moskowitz raised concerns.  “While we are pleased that we were able to negotiate a deadline that requires EPA to issue the overdue RFS rules, we remain concerned with the government’s implementation of this broken program.  EPA’s failure to comply with the statutory deadlines injures refiners and exacerbates the problems associated with this unreasonable government mandate.  We hope that this outcome will enable EPA to issue future RFS implementation rules in accordance with the Congressionally-mandated deadlines that were designed to provide refiners with some regulatory certainty and the ability to adjust their compliance strategies throughout the compliance period.”

 

Wall Street Journal Editorial Page Focuses on Climate Issues – The Wall Street Journal Editorial page has taking up the climate change issue recently featuring three separate pieces focused on the topic:

 

GHGs, States, Sen McConnell – On Thursday, the page editorialized on EPA’s GHG rule and its resistance in the statesWSJ: For the first time the EPA is also telling states to roam “outside the fence line” of power plants to force coal and eventually natural gas to shut down, mandate quotas for renewables like wind and solar, and impose energy conservation.  The problem is that the federal government has no legal power outside the fence line. Last year the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals slapped down the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s bid to claim authority over “demand response” on the electric grid.   The EPA’s imperiousness is creating the case for noncooperation. States can only protect their energy futures by declining to do the EPA’s dirty work.

 

Blackouts and Beyond Coal? – Then Friday, they weighed in on the recent blackout that affected Potomac River areas of Washington DC Including the White House and State Department and former NYC mayor Bloomberg $30 million gift to anti-coal activists saying blackout was relatively minor, but it likely could have been prevented if D.C. was still served by a coal-fired power plant called Potomac River Generating Station in Alexandria, Virginia. That “must run” 482-megawatt unit used to help manage electric demand in downtown Washington at peak times and would have been tripped as a substitute in emergencies like the one in Maryland. While the 60-year-old Potomac station was rarely run, it was a particular target of the anti-fossil fuel movement given its proximity to Washington. In 2011 Michael Bloomberg even announced a $50 million donation to the Sierra Club on a boat docked in front of the station, with its smoke stacks as the political backdrop.

 

Ameren CEO Op-Ed Shows a Better Way to Get GHG Reductions – Finally, this morning, the WSJ published an op-ed by Ameren CEO Warner Baxter that says EPA could fix the rule and still get significant reductions in GHGs.  Baxter: A few solutions would significantly reduce the reliability and cost risks of the EPA’s proposed plan. A critical first step is that the EPA must replace its aggressive interim targets with a process that allows states to set their own paths toward the final goals. Each state should be allowed to tailor its compliance plan to local circumstances, balancing unique factors such as cost, fuel diversity and environmental benefits. In exchange for this flexibility, enhanced interim reporting requirements would help the EPA monitor the progress while providing a more accurate idea of the work under way—and challenges involved—in achieving the targets.  He added additional mechanisms to deal with reliability issues and a reliability safety valve will offer assurances that utilities won’t be penalized for keeping the lights on.

 

President Called to Mat on Asthma by USA Today – The President boldly tied health issues to climate change last week by linking his daughter’s asthma to global warming.  But was a little too much for USA Today Columnist James Robbins who wrote that  our air quality has substantially improved; aggregate emissions of common pollutants have decreased 62% between 1980 and 2013. It is unlikely that cleaner air is causing the increase in asthma.  Robbins then adds the President might look in the mirror for the asthma cause.  Robbins: “The president, who quit smoking years ago, has long kept his tobacco use out of doors. That’s a common-sense tactic…but sometimes, science can show that common sense has less sense than you think.  Research funded by the National Institutes of Health has shown that smoking outside doesn’t totally protect children from secondhand smoke. Even when smoking is done outside, nicotine in infants’ hair is five times higher for babies with outside smoking parents than non-smoking parents. Smoking-related chemicals in infants’ urine is seven times higher. Other studies have found similar results.

 

BOEM Opens Comment Period on Shell Arctic Drilling Plan – The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) has deemed submitted Shell Gulf of Mexico’s revised multi-year Exploration Plan (EP), and opened up public review and comment. The revised EP describes Shell’s proposal to conduct exploration drilling in the shallow waters of the Chukchi Sea Outer Continental Shelf, off the northwest coast of Alaska. An EP describes all exploration activities planned by the operator for a specific lease or leases, including the timing of these activities, information concerning drilling vessels, the location of each planned well, and actions to be taken to meet important safety and environmental standards and to protect access to subsistence resources. Shell’s revised EP proposes to continue the multi-year Chukchi Sea exploration drilling program the company began in July 2012. This program includes drilling up to six wells within the Burger Prospect, located in approximately 140 feet of water about 70 miles northwest of the village of Wainwright. Shell would conduct its operations using the drillship M/V Noble Discoverer and the semi-submersible drilling unit Transocean Polar Pioneer, with each vessel providing relief-well capability for the other. The two drilling units and their supporting vessels would depart the Chukchi Sea at the conclusion of each exploration drilling season.

 

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

 

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

 

McCarthy to Address Water Policy Forum – EPA Chief Gina McCarthy will address the National Assn of Clean Water Agencies’ 2015 National Water Policy Forum today at the Westin in DC.   Tomorrow they head to Capitol Hill to here rom Members on transportation and water issues.

 

Worldwatch to Release Report on Threats to Sustainability –Today at 1:00 p.m., the Worldwatch Institute will release of the latest edition of its annual publication, State of the World 2015: Confronting Hidden Threats to Sustainability.  Speakers include Worldwatch Project directors Michael Renner and Tom Prugh, as well as Catherine Machalaba of EcoHealth Alliance, Nathan John Hagens of the University of Minnesota and York University’s Peter Victor.

 

Green Jobs Conference Set – The Good Jobs, Green Jobs Conference will be held today and tomorrow at the Washington Hilton The conference focuses on renewables and other climate issues, as well as creating New Jobs.  The forum is presented by the BlueGreen Alliance Foundation.  Elizabeth warren and our friend Clint Plummer of Deepwater Wind will speak.

 

JHU Forum to Look at Biofuels, Sustainability – Johns Hopkins SAIS Global Issues in Agriculture Speaker Series will host Simo Honkanen, Senior Vice President of Neste Corporation, Sustainability and Public Affairs tomorrow at Noon.  Honkanen will speak on the sustainability of biofuels – a global operator’s perspective.

 

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

 

Forum to Look at China Climate, Energy Issues – The CSIS Energy and National Security Program will host a forum tomorrow at 9:30 a.m. on China’s energy and climate goals  The event will feature Frederick Weston, Principal and China Program Director with the Regulatory Assistance Project, Trevor Houser, Partner with the Rhodium Group, and Chris Johnson, Senior Adviser and Freeman Chair in China Studies with CSIS to discuss the challenges and opportunities arising out of the interplay between China’s energy sector and climate goals. Jane Nakano, Senior Fellow with the CSIS Energy and National Security Program, will moderate.

 

Senate Environment to Host IGs on EPA, CSB, Interior – The Senate Environment Oversight Panel will dive into oversight of inspector General report of EPA, the Chemical safety Board and Interior tomorrow at 9:30 a.m. EPA Inspector General Arthur Elkins and Interior Department Deputy Inspector General Mary Kendall testify.

 

House Panel to Talk GHGs, Judicial Review, Ratepayer Protections – The Energy Panel of the House Energy & Commerce Committee will hold a hearing tomorrow at 10:00 a.m.  on legislation allowing Judicial review of the EPA’s GHG rule before forcing compliance.  The legislation will also allow states to consider adverse impacts of the rules on reliability and ratepayers.  Witnesses will include EPA Air Office head Janet McCabe, Union Coal attorney Gene Trisko, Seminole Electric CEO Lisa Johnson, Kevin Sunday of the Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry, Industrial Energy Consumers of America President Paul Cicio, former DOE official Sue Tierney and Mass AG Energy bureau chief Melissa Hoffer.

 

House Transpo Looks at Rail, Pipeline Oversight – The House Transportation Committee’s panel on Railroads, Pipelines, and Hazardous Materials will hold a hearing on oversight of the ongoing rail, pipeline and hazmat rulemakings.  Witnesses will include Federal Railroad Administration Acting Administrator Sarah Feinberg, PHMSA Administrator Tim Butters and Chris Hart, Chairman of the National Transportation Safety Board.

 

House Enviro Panel Takes Up TSCA Legislation – The House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Environment and the Economy, chaired by Rep. John Shimkus (R-IL), will hold a legislative hearing on a discussion draft of the TSCA Modernization Act tomorrow at 10:15 a.m. in 2322 Rayburn. Shimkus put forward the new discussion draft last week, which builds off the subcommittee’s work to reform chemical management last Congress and further bipartisan negotiations this year.  The draft legislation seeks to reform the decades-old Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) in an effort to improve the safety of chemicals while encouraging continued innovation and economic growth. The draft bill will provide a new system by which EPA will evaluate risks associated with chemicals already on the market. EPA Assistant Administrator Jim Jones and a panel of stakeholders are expected to testify.

 

House Foreign Affairs to Look at Oil Exports – The House Foreign Affairs Committee’s Subcommittee on Terrorism, Nonproliferation, and Trade will hold a hearing tomorrow at 10:15 a.m. looking at the crude oil export ban.  Witnesses will include Michèle Flournoy, Co-Founder and CEO of Center for a New American Security, BPC head Jason Grumet and Columbia’s Jason Bordoff.

 

WCEE Event to Focus on Dairy Issues – Tomorrow at Noon, the Women’s Council on Energy and the Environment (WCEE) will hold an event at the World Wildlife Fund on international dairy sustainability. Today, 7.2 billion people consume one-and-a-half times what the Earth’s natural resources can supply. By 2050, the world’s population will exceed 9 billion and the demand for food will double. According to the United Nations, the global demand for dairy alone will increase 58 percent by that time. It’s up to the world’s farmers to meet this demand while reducing waste and conserving land, water, and energy. How will dairy producers accomplish this.  WWF’s Sandra Vijn, lead of the dairy program of the Sustainable Food Team of the World Wildlife Fund, to discuss challenges, opportunities and innovative solutions around the world to reduce the impact of dairy production on our environment and to learn how the humble dairy cow herself can be productive and sustainable.

 

EIA to Release Outlook – The CSIS Energy and National Security Program will host Adam Sieminski, Administrator of the U.S. Energy Information Administration, tomorrow at 1:00 p.m. to present the EIA’s Annual Energy Outlook 2015 (AEO). The EIA report presents long-term projections of U.S. energy supply, demand, and prices through 2040. The projections focus on the factors that shape the U.S. energy system over the long term. Under the assumption that current laws and regulations remain unchanged throughout the projections, the Outlook’s Reference case projections provide the basis for examination and discussion of energy production, consumption, technology, and market trends and the direction they may take in the future. It also serves as a starting point for analysis of potential changes in energy policies. CSIS’s Frank Verrastro will moderate.

 

House Resources Looks at Water Issues – A House Resources panel will hold an oversight hearing on water issues tomorrow at 1:30 p.m.  Witnesses will include  Bureau of Reclamation Commissioner Estevan Lopez, Forest Service Deputy Chief Leslie Weldon, Jennings, Louisiana Electric Co-op GM Mike Heinen, Clear Creek County, Colorado Commissioner Tim Mauck, Washington State Water Resources Association President Tom Myrum and Jim Ogsbury of the Western Governors’ Association will testify.

 

Wilson Forum to Look at Southern Energy Corridor – Tomorrow at 2:30 p.m., the Wilson Center will hold a function on the Southern European energy corridor at the Reagan Center.  New pipelines are carrying natural gas and oil from the Caspian and Russia to Turkey and beyond to Europe.  In this southern European landscape, pipeline proposals like Nabucco and South Stream have given way to more focused initiatives, including the Southern Corridor Pipeline and a newly proposed “Turkish Stream” to parallel the Blue Stream pipeline from Russia across the Black Sea to Turkey. At stake is the energy security of Central and Eastern Europe, which historically have depended almost entirely on Russia for their energy supplies.  The European Union is stepping up its efforts to diversify its energy supplies with the vision of an energy union at the end of the process, but EU members vary in their approach.  Senior experts from industry, government and think tanks will assess the status, prospects and geopolitics of the Southern European Energy Corridor.  Opening Speakers will be the State Department’s Amos Hochstein and BP’s Joe Murphy.   Other speakers include former US Ambassadors to Azerbaijan Richard Kauzlarich and Richard Morningstar, among others.

 

Forum to Look at Climate, Central Asia – The Central Asia-Caucasus Institute will host a forum tomorrow at 5:00 p.m. at  JHU’s Rome Building on climate change and central Asia.  Speakers will include Central Asia-Caucasus Institute chair Fred Starr, Chairman,  World Bank expert Kulsum Ahmed and Bucknell professor Amanda Wooden.

 

Cheniere CEO to Address Forum – On Wednesday at 9:00 a.m., the Atlantic Council continues its Global Energy Center’s CEO Series hosting a discussion with Charif Souki, President, CEO, and Chairman of Cheniere Energy. Souki will focus on the changing role of the United States in global energy markets and the need for adaptation by industry to a new phase of cyclical volatility. Fred Kempe, President and CEO of the Atlantic Council, will provide welcome remarks and moderate the discussion.

 

House Resources Panel Looking at Offshore Drilling Plans – The House Resources panel on Energy will hold an oversight hearing on Wednesday at 10:00 a.m. on examining the future impacts of President Obama’s offshore energy plan.  NC Gov Pat McCrory, offshore industry advocates and BOEM’s Abby Hopper, Shell’s  Mark Shuster, Greater Lafourche Port Commission head Chett Chiasson and other will testify.

 

House Science Looks at Obama Climate Pledge – The House Science Committee will hold a hearing Wednesday on the Obama administration’s United Nations climate pledge, which Chairman Lamar Smith says is not based on scientific justification. Witnesses include Georgia Tech climate expert Judith Curry, Chamber Energy expert Karen Harbert, NRDC’s Jake Schmidt and Margo Thorning of the American Council for Capital Formation.

 

Conference to Look at European Energy Security – The American Security Project will host a half-day conference on Wednesday to examine the energy security challenges faced in the Eastern Mediterranean. Over the course of three panel discussions, the event will first examine the geopolitical importance of the region, focusing on the recent discovery of major natural gas fields in Israel. The next panel will look at the challenges of promoting energy cooperation throughout the Eastern Mediterranean, and will attempt to offer prescriptions for increasing energy security. The final panel will discuss the potential role that the US can play in the region in terms of investment opportunities and regional cooperation.

 

Forum to Look at GHG Rule Implementation – The Center for Climate and Energy Solutions (C2ES) will hold a forum on Wednesday that brings together state leaders and industry experts to explore market-based approaches to implementing EPA’s proposed Clean Power Plan.  Speakers include  Rhode Island DEM Director Janet Coit, Virginia DEQ Director David Paylor, Colorado DPHE Director of Environmental Programs Martha Rudolph, DTE’s Skiles Boyd, Holcim’s Erika Guerra, Duke Energy’s Kevin Leahy, Exelon’s Kathleen Robertson, Adele Morris of the Brookings Institution, Michael Wara of the Stanford Law School and former EPA #2 and current C2ES head Bob Perciasepe.

 

ACORE to Discuss Offshore Wind in Webinar – ACORE will hold a webinar on Wednesday at Noon on opportunities for offshore wind farm projects.  Off-shore projects are confronting a number of hurdles that undermine their ability to attract construction financing.  In some cases, local opposition has resulted in protracted permitting delays.  In others, design and engineering challenges threaten the ability of turnkey contractors to make “fixed price/date certain” commitments.  Advances in scientific knowledge, engineering know-how and equipment/software technology are advancing wind farm developments for both large and small projects.  ACORE’s Todd Foley will provide a legislative update, and EDF Renewables Jared Kassebaum and Brian O’Hara, President of the Southeastern Wind Coalition will speak.

 

JHU forum Set to Tackle International Financing – On Wednesday at  4:30 p.m., Johns Hopkins University will host a forum on International financing framework.  From the viewpoint of an electric power business active in these regions, Dr. Onoi, a senior J-POWER officer, will discuss the future for investment in power assets including gas thermal, coal thermal, renewable energy and nuclear power generation. He will also discuss related questions concerning an international financing framework.

 

Senate Energy Looks at 2015 EIA Outlook – On Thursday, the Senate Energy Committee will hold a committee hearing to receive testimony on the Energy Information Administration’s Annual Energy Outlook for 2015.  EIA Administrator Adam Sieminski will testify.

 

DC Oral arguments for Murray Energy Case – Thursday at 10:00 a.m.  Following the event on Thursday afternoon, the DC bar will host a round up on the arguments. Speakers will include Mark DeLaquil of Baker & Hostetler, NRDC’s Ben Longstreth and EPA Deputy General Counsel Ethan Shenkman.

 

Forum to Look at Arctic Council – On Thursday at Noon, the Ecologic Institute will host Caitlyn Antrim — Executive Director, Rule of Law Committee for the Oceans — and Arne Riedel — Coordinator Arctic Issues, Ecologic Institute Berlin — for presentations and a discussion on how to protect the Arctic region while providing opportunities to the indigenous populations.  The United States will assume the Chair of the Arctic Council, an intergovernmental forum to address issues specific to the Arctic region and its peoples. However, discussions around climate change have heightened the need for cooperative action and evidence-based solutions. Additionally, more international actors, such as the EU and China, have begun asserting their agendas in the region.

 

Science Museum to Host Discussion on Electricity Generation Balance – On Thursday at 6:30 p.m., the Marian Koshland Science Museum will host an interactive program exploring the tradeoffs we face as our nation endeavors to meet electricity demands of the 21st century. Speakers include DOE’s Douglas Hollett and Kathryn Clay of AGA.  After brief introductions from the speakers about the present and future of energy technologies, work in teams to explore the benefits and tradeoffs of various technologies, share ideas and propose potential solutions. The program will wrap up with a question and answer session with all participants.

 

Press Club to Host Dinner with UN Chief – The United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon will speak at a National Press Club dinner Thursday.  Ban, who succeeded Kofi Annan in 2007 and won a re-election in 2011, will become the sixth UN secretary-general to speak at the NPC.  The event will follow the typical NPC luncheon format, except that it will be a dinner. The event will begin with a VIP reception at 6 p.m.

 

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

 

Murkowski to address Arctic Chairmanship Goals, Objectives – On Friday morning, CSIS will host a forum on the upcoming Arctic Council Chairmanship the US assumes next week.  The forum will feature keynote remarks by Senator Lisa Murkowski followed by a discussion on the future of offshore energy development in the American Arctic based on the recent release of the National Petroleum Council’s Arctic Study as well as a discussion on developments in Arctic health and well-being upon the occasion of the release of a new CSIS policy report on Arctic Health and the U.S. Arctic Council Chairmanship.

 

Forest Report, Discussion Set – On Friday morning, the World Resources Institute releases its first “State Of Global Forest” report.  Global Forest Watch will release the analysis of global tree cover loss for 2013, produced by Global Forest Watch partners at the University of Maryland and Google.   The event will provide the exclusive opportunity to hear about this new data from leading scientist Matt Hansen, preview emerging trends in global forest change and forest monitoring with Nigel Sizer, and participate in discussion between top land use experts.

 

FUTURE EVENTS

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

CSIS to Look at Ukraine Energy – On Monday April 20th at 2:00 p.m., the CSIS Energy and National Security Program will host Alan Riley, Professor of Law at the City Law School with City University in London, to discuss the status of reforms to the Ukrainian energy sector and to provide an update on the European Union’s antitrust case against Gazprom. Following the ousting of Viktor Yanukovych in early 2014, a pro-reform and pro-Western government emerged. Despite the Russian annexation of Crimea and ensuing conflict in eastern Ukraine, much hope is placed in the new Ukrainian government’s ability to institute wide-ranging domestic reforms, particularly in the energy sector. Nonetheless, concrete, effectual changes have yet to materialize.  Simultaneously, the EU is looking to move ahead with its antitrust case against Russian gas giant Gazprom anti-competitive business practices. A well-known authority on both subjects, Professor Riley will provide an overview of the progress being made and the hurdles undermining energy reform in Ukraine as well as the status of the antitrust proceedings against Gazprom. Following Mr. Riley’s presentation, Ambassador Richard Morningstar, Founding Director of the Atlantic Council’s Global Energy Center, former Ambassador to the European Union and former Special Envoy for Eurasian Energy, will provide comments on the issues addressed. Edward Chow, Senior Fellow with the CSIS Energy and National Security Program, will moderate.

 

RFF Forum to Look at China Renewable Scenario – Resources for the Future (RFF) will release the China 2050 High Renewable Energy Penetration Scenario and Roadmap Study on Monday April 20th at 10:30 a.m.   Wang Zhongying, director of CNREC, will present an overview of the methods, data, and key findings of the study. A panel of experts from China and the United States will offer additional perspectives.  The study was supported by Energy Foundation China with guidance from China’s National Energy Administration. This event is hosted by RFF and sponsored by Energy Foundation China.  Samuel Baldwin, Chief Science Officer in the DOE’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy will join Zhongying on the panel.

 

Forum to Look at Native American Climate Plans – Next Monday at 3:00 p.m., EESI hold a briefing on the impacts of sea level rise and oil and gas extraction on Native American communities.   The briefing will examine some of the recommendations from tribal communities, such as encouraging the incorporation of climate resilience into land use development and management practices.  Speakers for this forum are Albert Naquin, Chief of the Biloxi-Chitimacha-Choctaw in Isle de Jean Charles, Louisiana; Bob Gough of the Intertribal Council on Utility Policy and anthropologist and climate justice expert Julie Maldonado.

 

Commerce Secretary to Address AMS Washington Forum – Next week, Tuesday to Thursday, the 2015 American Meteorological Society Washington Forum will focus on end users of weather, water and climate data, returning to the theme of past years’ User Forum events conducted by the AMS. As the enterprise evolves and adapts to changes in budgets and cost-sharing paradigms, heightened attention to the needs of its end users is key to success for all stakeholders. Particular attention must be given to key areas of industry, such as health and the various modes of transportation. The 2015 forum will promote dialogue between the enterprise and its end users toward that end.  Keynote Speakers will be Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker and NOAA Assistant Administrator for Satellite Information Services Stephen Volz.

 

Forum to Look at EU Energy – The Atlantic Council will hold a forum on Tuesday morning, April 21st looking at global issues of European Energy Union.  The Russian invasion of Ukraine and the subsequent establishment of the European Energy Union raise serious political, legal, and economic questions as Europe attempts to advance its objectives of increasing competition and ensuring a secure energy supply. Understanding the implications of the new European Energy Union and the energy regulatory framework is a precondition for understanding the future role of all energy supplies in Europe as well as Europe’s internal and external strategic relationships.  Two panels of European energy experts, including one of the chief architects of EU energy and competition law, will address the intricacies of EU law and assess the legal, political, and geopolitical implications of the European Energy Union.

 

RFF, Sweden to Host Climate Forum – The Swedish Embassy and Resources For the Future (RFF) will hold a forum at the embassy on Tuesday, April 21st at 1:30 p.m. to look at international perspectives on national commitments from the European Union, the United States, and China.  Later this year, the world will focus its attention on Paris for the 2015 UN Climate Change Conference. In the meantime, countries are determining how they can mitigate the effects of climate change in their own jurisdictions, and how these actions can be used to demonstrate their commitment to a new climate agreement in Paris.  This policy dialogue will examine these issues and feature comments from experts who play key roles in crafting an international agreement that can be signed in Paris.

 

EARTH DAY – April 22

 

AEI Looks at Carbon Taxes – AEI will hold a forum on Wednesday, April 22nd at 12:00 p.m. on the practicality and prospects for carbon taxes. Carbon taxes are potentially the most efficient instrument for mitigating climate change and represent a practical extension of fuel excise taxes. At the same time, carbon taxes can be part of a broader fiscal reform enabling decreases in other taxes and reducing the need for future fiscal consolidation. Falling energy prices, rising debt-to-GDP ratios, and the need for countries to pledge emissions mitigation actions in the run-up to the December 2015 United Nations climate conference in Paris have all heightened interest in carbon taxes and similar instruments.  A new International Monetary Fund–Brookings Institution–Resources for the Future book, “Implementing a US Carbon Tax: Challenges and Debates,” containing papers written by leading experts in the field, will be presented. Complimentary copies will be available at the event.

 

Webinar to Look at Coal Ash Rule – The Catawba Riverkeeper Foundation, Kutak Rock LLP, Nova Engineering and Environmental, Schiff Hardin LLP, TetraTech, and B2BWebinars.com will hold a webinar on Wednesday, April 22nd at 1:00 p.m. looking at the new coal ash regulations.  The long-delayed EPA final coal ash CCR has been issued, and coal generators throughout the nation will soon move to comply with its provisions.

 

MD OSW Meeting to Honor BOEM Director Hopper – The Business Network for Maryland Offshore Wind’s (BizMDOSW) will hold its annual meeting in Baltimore, Maryland on April 22-23, at Camden Yards.  The meeting is a 2-day gathering of European and American business executives, government officials, technical experts and academics brought together to build expertise among local companies. The event will have more than 150 participants from the U.S., Germany and Denmark including Dong Energy, Siemens, Bladt Industries, Blue Water Shipping and A2Sea.   The April 22nd dinner will be a celebration honoring U.S. Bureau of Ocean and Energy Management Director Abigail Hopper for outstanding achievement within the offshore wind industry.  The all-day April 23rd meeting will focus on creating jobs locally and regionally, including subcontracting opportunities for Maryland businesses and will also include reports on the East Coast regional offshore wind industry in Rhode Island, Virginia, New Jersey, Massachusetts and Maryland. The Maryland offshore wind development is projected to have steel in the water by 2019, and the development team expects to submit its OREC application to the state and to seek further permitting from U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management.  Among the speakers will be our friends Bill Wall of the Atlantic Wind Connection and Clint Plummer of Deepwater.

 

CSIS to Hold Global Development Forum – CSIS will hold its inaugural Global Development Forum (GDF) on Thursday April 23rd. With a significant reduction in extreme poverty and an increase in private financial flows to the developing world over the past two decades, the face of development is rapidly changing. Meeting today’s challenges calls for innovation and effective partnerships across sectors, with an emphasis on improving governance and leveraging the role of the private sector.  GDF will feature keynote addresses by Representative Ander Crenshaw (R-FL) and Dr. Sri Mulyani Indrawati, Managing Director of the World Bank Group. Breakout panel discussions will foster dialogue on topics including private sector partnerships, capacity building and workforce development, innovative finance, the post-2015 global development agenda, Ebola recovery in West Africa, and the strategic role of development in overall U.S. foreign policy. 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.

 

Wilson Center to Host Discussion on Enviro Behavior – The Wilson Center will hold a discussion at 12:30 p.m. on April 23rd about how psychology and behavioral economics can help us begin to address our most pressing energy and environmental challenges – and how this can potentially improve policy choices in government and beyond.   The panel, moderated by Ruth Greenspan Bell, a Public Policy Scholar at the Wilson Center, will examine which sorts of strategies encourage energy efficiency, how they can best be implemented and how one branch of the military is looking at incorporating these strategies to improve operational reach. Event panelists include Per Espen Stoknes, a psychologist and economist at the BI Norwegian Business School, will discuss how strategies rooted in human psychology might help address climate change; Elke Weber of the Columbia University School of Business will discuss how these strategies can be applied across institutions and within policymaking and Capt. James Goudreau, director of policy and partnerships in the Office of the Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Energy, will discuss how these insights can help the Navy forge a culture of energy and water efficiency

 

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

 

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

 

Arctic Council Ministerial Set for Iqaluit – On April 24-25th, Secretary of State John Kerry, his fellow Arctic Council Foreign Ministers and indigenous representatives will gather in Iqaluit, Canada for a ministerial meeting focused on the Arctic.  Following the meeting, the United States will assume its two-year chairmanship of the Arctic Council.

 

NHA to Set Hydro Conference – The National Hydropower Association holds its annual conference at the Capitol Hilton on April 27-29th.  The Conference is a well-rounded conference program designed to discuss, prepare and foresee the future of hydropower throughout the nation. Speakers will include NY Rep. Paul Tonko and White House OSTP staff Cristin Dorgelo.

 

Navy Sect to Address Press Club – The Press Club will host an NPC Luncheon with Navy Secretary Ray Mabus on April 30th at Noon.  Mabus will discuss the state of America’s sea services and the maritime, budgetary and resource challenges facing the force in the 21st century.

 

Marine Tech Conferences Alongside NHA Meeting – The 3rd Annual Marine Energy Technology Symposium (METS) will be held as part of the inaugural International Marine Renewable Energy Conference on April 27-29th at the Capital Hilton Hotel in Washington, D.C., and will be co-located with the National Hydropower Association’s annual conference.  METS provides a venue where technical experts can publish and present wave and water current energy research that helps accelerate the pace of technology development. Holding METS in conjunction with the International Marine Renewable Energy Conference will provide researchers with the invaluable opportunity to interact with public and private industry stakeholders.

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Energy Update: Week of April 6

Friends,

 

I hope everyone enjoyed family time at Easter and Passover.  While official Washington/Congress is slow again for another week, the sports world rolls on with the NCAA hoops men’s/women’s finals, NCAA Frozen Four on Thursday, The Masters, the final week of the NHL season and Opening Day for baseball.

 

Getting the update out early today because we are taking advantage of a no school Monday to make another college visit in New England, this time at Wellesley.  I am seeing a theme in Hannah’s potential colleges and while to trend is favorable to a great education and serious Division III sports programs, I am starting to worry a little about…well, you know…no scholarships.  Ouch!

 

Even though Congress Is out, there are still some good events this week, headlined by AGA’s presser on Wednesday at 9:00 a.m. to release the major findings of the year-end 2014 biennial report: Potential Supply of Natural Gas in the United States, and discuss how customers and the nation can benefit from domestic natural gas resources.  The Atlantic Council holds several events including today at 12:30 featuring battery technology and our friend Steve LeVine.   EESI has an event on the status of transportation legislation and USEA hosts Abengoa on thermal storage Thursday.  Finally, on Wednesday, DOE’s National Coal Council meets.

 

And you know when Congress is away, the mice play, so there were several really important announcements last week including lots of action on Iran, the EPA GHG rule and Senator McConnell’s views of it, a new Enviro Science & Tech report from Wash St. U that says EPA’s natgas emissions are largely overstated, an NRDC “study” of natgas drilling spills, violations that is misleading and contentious and two important announcements by Southern Company where they acquired a large wind project and opened a new technology innovation center.   See the “In The News” section below.

 

Finally, perhaps the best show of the week (even better than the Kentucky-Wisconsin game on Saturday), had to be my colleague Scott Segal’s discussion with on E&E TV’s Monica Trauzzi.  Segal dives into great detail on the politics, legality and practicality of EPA’s approach to tackling GHGs and the challenges that the policy will face going forward.  See it here.

 

Go Wisconsin, Go UConn, Go Fighting Sioux (ooops, did I say that, I meant North Dakota).  By the way, after last night’s opening game, the Cubs are already out of first place. Maybe there’s next year.  Call with questions… I will answer even if it is Thursday and I am watching the live feed of Amen Corner.

 

Frank Maisano

(202) 828-5864

  1. (202) 997-5932

 

IN THE NEWS

 

Segal Talks McConnell, GHGs on E&E TV – With U.S. EPA expected to release a federal implementation plan for Clean Power Plan compliance this summer, how much flexibility does the “just say no” option buy states?  My colleague Scott Segal, director of the Electric Reliability Coordinating Council, discusses the politics of “just say no” with Monica Trauzzi He also explains why he believes a reliability safety valve is only part of the solution to ensuring reliability under the power plan.

 

Conservative Groups: States Should Just Say No To EPA’s Power Grab – The American Energy Alliance joined with a coalition of conservative and free-market groups to support of Sen. Mitch McConnell’s work with state leaders to contest the EPA’s Clean Power Plan. The 32 organizations sent a letter to Sen. McConnell saying they applauded his work with state governors and legislators to push back against EPA’s usurpation of state electricity policy. “Both federal and state officials are right to question the CPP’s legality and the repercussions that would result from submission of a State Implementation Plan.”  Click here to see the original text of the letter and the undersigned organizations.

 

Southern Grabs First Wind Project in OK – Southern Company landed its first wind and largest renewable project with the acquisition of the Kay Wind Project in Oklahoma.  The 299 MW facility is being built and will be operated and maintained by Apex Clean Energy. Blattner Energy, Inc. has constructed 12 facilities in Oklahoma and will serve as the engineering, procurement and construction contractor. The plant is expected to achieve commercial operation in the fourth quarter of 2015.  The project is expected to use 130 wind turbines manufactured by Siemens Energy, Inc. and will be capable of generating enough electricity to help meet the energy needs of approximately 100,000 average U.S. homes.  The electricity and associated renewable energy credits (RECs) generated by the facility will be sold under 20-year power purchase agreements with Westar Energy, Inc. in Kansas and Grand River Dam Authority (GRDA) in Oklahoma. Westar Energy, Inc. has contracted for approximately 199 MW and GRDA has contracted for approximately 100 MW. Both companies will have the option to either keep or sell the RECs.  With the addition of the Kay Wind project, Southern Power will own more than 970 MW of renewable energy generating capacity that is either already in operation or under development. The company owns seven solar projects in partnership with Turner Renewable Energy and one solar project in partnership with First Solar. Southern Power also owns one of the nation’s largest biomass power plants in Nacogdoches, Texas, and has recently announced plans to develop a 131-MW solar facility in Taylor County, Georgia, and two projects in south Georgia’s Decatur County totaling 99 MW.

 

SoCo Rolls Out Innovation Center – Speaking of Southern, they also announced their new the creation of a new innovation hub that will help the company deliver the solutions its customers need for today – and for tomorrow. A mainstay of highlight recent speeches from Southern CEO Tom Fanning, Southern Company’s hub – to be known as the Energy Innovation Center and located in Atlanta’s Technology Square – will look for better, more reliable and more efficient ways to increase value for customers through products and services. Among the first ideas to be tested: those submitted by Southern Company system employees for a companywide competition aimed at harnessing the power of employees’ innovation and collaboration to address future energy challenges.  FANNING: “Our employees understand what our customers want; they serve them every day. Their ideas will help deliver an energy future that is clean, safe, reliable and affordable,” continued Fanning. “What better place to make those ideas come to life than our new hub in the heart of Georgia’s technology sector? We are excited about the possibilities.”  Southern Company will seek partnerships with leading Southeast universities and other strategic partners to be named in the coming months.  The Energy Innovation Center will become a place where ideas, innovation, and investment will intersect to develop a better customer experience. And it is a perfect complement to the nearly $2 billion investment the Southern Company system has managed in robust, proprietary research and development since 1970, helping to improve the ways it produces and delivers electricity to customers.

 

Whitfield to EPA: HFC Deadline Too Aggressive – House Energy Panel chair Ed Whitfield sent EPA a letter last week saying its deadline to phase out certain hydrofluorocarbon (HFC) refrigerants is too aggressive and unrealistic.  Starting January 1, 2016, Manufacturers must replace hydrofluorocarbon (HFC) refrigerants with cost-effective alternatives, but there is near-unanimity that replacing HFCs as refrigerants by the date is impossible.  EPA changed the status of several HFCs and HFC-containing blends that are currently listed as acceptable alternatives under the agency’s significant new alternatives policy (SNAP) program, which identifies alternatives to ozone-depleting substances on August of last year.   Last week, a number of members of Congress rose concerns about EPA and DOE coordination and conflicting mandates on several issues facing small and large manufacturers relating to the SNAP program.  Rep. Bill Huizenga leads a group that includes Reps. Pat Meehan, Bill Johnson, Chris Collins, Mike Fitzpatrick, Ryan Costello, Joe Wilson and David Rouzer.  They specifically question is the timeline that is forcing manufacturers to fully integrate their compliance with all applicable energy efficiency requirements.

 

FOIA Request Target DOE On Furnace Rule – For a while, groups have pressed EPA over FOIA issues and disclosure, now DOE is in the sights of groups raising concerns over their process surrounding its recent Furnace rule.  Both AHRI and AGA have raised concerns about DOE “showing its work” and short-circuiting the rulemaking process.   Both themes are now be revisited by a FOIA request from AGA to DOE to obtain documents that would disclose methodologies, models and/or conclusions used in DOE’s Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on Energy Conservation Standards for Residential Furnaces. Despite written inquiries, questions submitted by AGA to the DOE have gone almost completely unanswered. This is particularly troubling given the immense complexity of the proposed rule and its reliance on highly sophisticated and opaque modeling methodologies. Much of the DOE analysis apparently relies on methodologies that are proprietary or otherwise outside the public domain. DOE has failed to provide sufficient information to develop a clear understanding of the technical analysis supporting this rule making it impossible to ascertain whether or not the proposed rule meets the criteria established by Energy Policy and Conservation Act for establishing new and/or amended standards.  I bet DOE gives up as little info as possible…and what they do will likely be heavily redacted. More on this as things continue.

 

Study Shows Decreasing Emissions from Local Natural Gas Distribution Systems – A study published today in Environmental Science & Technology led by a team from Washington State University (WSU) found that emissions from local natural gas distribution systems in cities and towns throughout the U.S. have decreased in the past 20 years, to levels 36 to 70 percent lower than current estimates. This reduction reflects significant upgrades at metering and regulating stations, improvements in leak detection and maintenance activities and replacement of older pipeline materials.  Led by Regents Professor Brian Lamb in WSU’s Laboratory for Atmospheric Research with assistance from Conestoga-Rovers and Associates, an engineering and environmental consulting firm, the study provides the most comprehensive set yet of direct measurements of emissions from the distribution system. They estimate that emissions from the distribution system range from approximately 393 to 854 gigagrams per year, which is between 0.1 and 0.2 percent of the natural gas delivered nationwide.  EPA’s annual Inventory of U.S. Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Sinks currently uses data collected in the 1990s in a study sponsored by the Gas Research Institute and the EPA. The WSU researchers found dramatically lower emissions, particularly, at metering and regulating (M&R) stations. In fact, because of the significant differences they saw from data from the early 1990s, the researchers revisited nine sites from the previous study and found an average of one-twelfth fewer emissions than 20 years ago from those M&R stations. The researchers also measured reductions in emissions from individual pipeline leaks as compared to earlier studies.

 

NRDC Hits NatGas Drillers – The anti-natgas crew at NRDC rolled a new report attacking states for not disclosing enough information on spills and violations.  They also attacked individual companies who they said have the most violations.  The report was vague and lacked detailed on its charges with as NRDC admitting it is difficult to tell if any issues are directly a result of hydraulic fracturing.  Industry has fired back saying the number of violations or spills isn’t a sign of deficiencies, and actually states are increasing reporting and inspections.  Our friend Jon Haubert, industry spokesman in Colorado: “People have an assurance, because we have such tight regulation and enforcement, you aren’t seeing an increase in spills, you are seeing an increase in the reporting of spills, and I would argue that’s a good thing.”  The report doesn’t categorize the infractions, but only lists examples such as poor well construction and a ruptured pipeline.  A fair amount of these ‘violations’ involve paperwork and other administrative issues.  While those are things that certainly should be corrected, it’s dishonest of NRDC to suggest errors that accountants can fix are the same thing as imminent environmental threats.  As for the individual companies named in the report, I suspect they would rather be judged on their specific and strong environmental and water recycling efforts, their use of its own gas to help power operations and fleet of vehicles and the long list of economic, education and lifestyle-enhancing contributions to their community partners.

 

Energy In Depth Takes NRDC to Task in Blog – Industry group Energy in Depth took the NRDC report on directly in a blog post from Randy Hildreth, saying a review of their research shows NRDC and FTA taking a page out of the anti-fracking playbook, namely by suggesting, erroneously, that if information can’t be found through a simple google search it’s somehow not publicly available, and by elevating clerical or paperwork errors to major environmental incidents.  The report faults a select group of operators for violations of less than one-half of a percent of all wells drilled during a four-year period.

 

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

 

Atlantic Forum to Look at Battery Techs – Today at 12:30 p.m., our friend Steve LeVine hosts another forum on the road to the Super-Battery and the Electric Age 2.0 at the Atlantic Council.  Steve will be joined by Jeffrey Chamberlain, Executive Director of the Joint Center for Energy Storage Research at Argonne National Lab to discuss the next generation of battery technologies. Pf course, Steve is the Washington Correspondent for Quartz and recent author of The Powerhouse: Inside the Invention of a Battery to Save the World.

 

Senate Environment Hold Field Hearings in Alaska – Today and Wednesday, the Senate Environment Committee will hold field Hearings that will examine the impacts of EPA’s proposed WOTUS rule on state and local governments and stakeholders in Anchorage and Fairbanks.  Sen. Dan Sullivan, chairman of the Fish, Water, and Wildlife subcommittee will chair his first field hearing in Anchorage, featuring Larry Hartig, Commissioner Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation; Kara Moriarty, President/CEO Alaska Oil and Gas Association; Rick Rogers, Executive Director Resource Development Council for Alaska; Tara Sweeney, Executive Vice President External Affairs Arctic Slope Regional Corporation; Rod Hanson, Vice President Alyeska Pipeline Service Co.; Kathie Wasserman, Executive Director Alaska Municipal League; and Lorali Simon, Vice President External Affairs Usibelli Coal Mine.

 

Forum to Look at Mexican Energy Reforms – The Atlantic Council will hold a forum tomorrow morning at 9:00 a.m. to discuss the Mexican energy reforms under way.  More than seven months since implementing legislation was enacted, Mexican energy officials are optimistic about the promise of the country’s historic energy reforms. The reforms hold exciting promise, but questions about the pace, implementation, and contracting have arisen. With Mexico offering the first oil blocks to domestic and foreign investors in eighty years, will oil and gas companies line up as expected? Is Mexico ready to become a first-in-class investment destination for the energy industry? What are the effects of the low oil prices? Mexican Deputy Secretary of Energy Lourdes Melgar, former President Juan Carlos Zepeda (now President Commissioner of the National Hydrocarbons Commission of Mexico) and Mexican Finance Secretariat Salvador Ugalde will join former State Department official David Goldwyn for a conversation with top officials implementing the reform. They will chart the progress made to date in implementing the reforms, offer a real-time update on the regulatory infrastructure, and explain the regulations to provide for energy sector transparency.

 

CSIS to Host World Bank President – Tomorrow at 9:30 a.m., CSIS will host World Bank President Jim Yong Kim for a public address on what can be done to end extreme poverty by the year 2030 and key lessons from the last half century.

 

CSIS to Focus on Sustainable Energy Infrastructure –Tomorrow at 1:00 p.m., the CSIS Energy and National Security Program is hosting Peter Evans, President for the Center for Global Enterprise, Amos Avidan, Senior Vice President and Manager of Engineering and Technology, with Bechtel, Jan Vrins, Managing Director at Navigant, and David Rodgers, Senior Climate Change Specialist for Climate and Chemicals with the Global Environment Facility, to discuss sustainable energy infrastructure. Natural disasters, resource constraints and new patterns of urbanization and development require companies and governments to plan for energy and other related infrastructure to be both resilient and sustainable. Panelists will address strategies for deploying sustainable resilient infrastructure in a variety of locations around the world, from the pre-existing well-built environments to infrastructure deficient regions, with a focus on highly urbanized communities. Sarah O. Ladislaw, Director and Senior Fellow with the CSIS Energy and National Security Program, will moderate.

 

Georgetown Forum Looks at GHGs, States – Georgetown University will holds a seminar tomorrow at 1:00 p.m. focused on climate risk governance in U.S. states. Mark Stephan, associate professor at Washington State University’s School of Politics, Philosophy and Public Affairs will speak.

 

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

 

AGA to Release Gas Supply Report – The American Gas Association (AGA) and the Potential Gas Committee (PGC) will hold a press conference on Wednesday at 9:00 a.m. to release the major findings of the PGC’s year-end 2014 biennial report: Potential Supply of Natural Gas in the United States, and discuss how customers and the nation can benefit from domestic natural gas resources. The report is expected to reveal that domestic estimates of undiscovered natural gas resources continue to grow, due largely to the existence of technologies that continue to unlock energy resources from shale and other producing formations. Dr. John B. Curtis, Director of the Potential Gas Agency and Colorado School of Mines and AGA Supply expert Chris McGill will discuss the report.

 

Coal Council to Meet – The DOE holds is annual meeting of the National Coal Council on Wednesday at 9:00 a.m. at the Gran Hyatt.  Speakers will include remarks by DOE, a presentation by Mike Marsh, President & CEO, SaskPower on Boundary Dam’s CCS Retrofit Project; Presentation on Opportunities for Grid-Scale Energy Storage for Coal Power Plants; Presentation by Center for Climate & Energy Solutions (C2ES) & the National Enhanced Oil Recovery Initiative (NEORI) on Opportunities for Financing CCS Projects & the Impact of Oil Prices on CO2-EOR; Presentation by Wood Mackenzie on What Lies Ahead for Global Coal; Council Business: Finance report by Finance Committee Chair Greg Workman, Coal Policy Committee report by Coal Policy Committee Chair Fred Palmer, and NCC Business Report & Communications Committee Report by NCC Executive Vice President & COO Janet Gellici.

 

WCEE to Look at Climate, Cherry Blossoms – The cherry blossoms are a big deal in DC and Wednesday at Noon, the Wpmen’s Council on Energy and the Environment (WCEE) will host a discussion of the peak blossoms.  Every year the National Park Service attempts to predict the timing and peak of the gorgeous cherry blossom trees in Washington, DC.  How do they do it and is climate change affecting bloom times?  National Park Service Climate Scientist, Dr. Patrick Gonzalez, and Park Ranger, Dorene Ruffing, will lead a private tour of the blossoms and explain how they can sometimes be fooled by the cherry trees

 

EESI Forum to Look at States, GHGs – The Environmental and Energy Study Institute (EESI) holds a briefing on Wednesday in B318 Rayburn at 2:00 p.m. examining key policy and legal issues associated with the Environmental Protection Agency’s proposed rules to limit carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from existing power plants, which account for 38.7 percent of domestic carbon emissions. According to the EPA, its proposed Clean Power Plan (CPP) would lead to a 30 percent cut in carbon emissions from the power sector by 2030, compared to 2005 levels. How will these cuts be implemented? And will the CPP hold up in court?  Speakers will include Michael Burger of the Columbia Law School and Kenneth Colburn of the Regulatory Assistance Project

 

European Energy Report to Be Released Discussed – The Atlantic Council will release a news report and hold a panel discussion Wednesday at 2:00 p.m. on a new report, “Completing Europe: From the North-South Corridor to Energy, Transportation and Telecommunications.”  Participants will include former White House Security/Energy aide, retired Marine Corps Gen. James Jones, Pawel Olechnowicz of Central Europe Energy Partners, the Atlantic Council’s Damon Wilson and David Koranyi, director of the Eurasian Energy Futures Initiative at the Atlantic Council.

 

Abengoa Exec to Discuss Thermal Energy Storage – On Thursday at 10:00 a.m., the US Energy Assn will hold a forum looking on flexible renewable energy on demand focusing on the evolution of thermal energy storage technologies.  Abengoa Solar CTO Hank Price will speak.  Another great expert on the topic is my friend Joe Desmond of BrightSource Energy.

 

Forum to Look at Transportation Bill – EESI and the American Public Transportation Association (APTA) will hold a briefing on Thursday at 2:00 p.m. in B-2369 Rayburn about the looming expiration of the Transportation Bill. How does uncertainty over federal transportation funding put jobs and local economies at risk? What can be done to ensure stable, long-term federal investment in public transit, highways, and bridges? How can new information from APTA, to be released at the briefing, help us understand how the federal funding at risk impacts specific regions and the nation as a whole?  Speakers for this forum are Paul Balmer of Rep. Earl Blumenauer  office,  APTA CEO Michael Melaniphy, Normal, IL Mayor Chris Koos, and Drew Preston, Manager of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

 

Forum to Look at Cyber, Space Security – On Friday at 9:00 a.m. in Arlington, the George C. Marshall Institute and the TechAmerica Space Enterprise Council will host a panel of top national security experts to discuss the latest on how industry and government are addressing emerging cyber threats that threaten information assurance and mission resilience.   The Discussion will be moderated by John B. Sheldon, Executive Director of the Marshall Institute, and David Logsdon of the TechAmerica Space Enterprise Council. The panelists will be Colonel Daniel “Sphinx” Dant, Director of Programming, Operations & Governance on DoD’s OSD AT&L; Travis Cottom of the George C. Marshall Institute and Yadunath Zambre, Chief Scientist and Senior Fellow in Lockheed Martin Space Systems Advanced Technology Center.  The TechAmerica offices are at 1525 Wilson Blvd., Arlington, Va., two blocks west of the Rosslyn Metro Station.

 

FUTURE EVENTS

 

Worldwatch to Release Report on Threats to Sustainability – Next Monday at 1:00 p.m., the Worldwatch Institute will release of the latest edition of its annual publication, State of the World 2015: Confronting Hidden Threats to Sustainability.  Speakers include Worldwatch Project directors Michael Renner and Tom Prugh, as well as Catherine Machalaba of EcoHealth Alliance, Nathan John Hagens of the University of Minnesota and York University’s Peter Victor

 

Green Jobs Conference Set – The Good Jobs, Green Jobs Conference will be held next Monday and Tuesday at the Washington Hilton The conference focuses on renewables and other climate issues, as well as creating New Jobs.  The forum is presented by the BlueGreen Alliance Foundation.

 

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

 

JHU Forum to Look at Biofuels, Sustainability – On Tuesday, April 14th, Johns Hopkins SAIS Global Issues in Agriculture Speaker Series will host Simo Honkanen, Senior Vice President of Neste Corporation, Sustainability and Public Affairs.  Honkanen will speak on the sustainability of biofuels – a global operator’s perspective.

 

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

 

Forum to Look at China Climate, Energy Issues – The CSIS Energy and National Security Program will host a forum on Tuesday April 14th at 9:30 a.m. on China’s energy and climate goals  The event will feature Frederick Weston, Principal and China Program Director with the Regulatory Assistance Project, Trevor Houser, Partner with the Rhodium Group, and Chris Johnson, Senior Adviser and Freeman Chair in China Studies with CSIS to discuss the challenges and opportunities arising out of the interplay between China’s energy sector and climate goals. Jane Nakano, Senior Fellow with the CSIS Energy and National Security Program, will moderate.

 

EIA to Release Outlook – The CSIS Energy and National Security Program will host Adam Sieminski, Administrator of the U.S. Energy Information Administration, on Tuesday April 14th at 1:00 p.m. to present the EIA’s Annual Energy Outlook 2015 (AEO). The EIA report presents long-term projections of U.S. energy supply, demand, and prices through 2040. The projections focus on the factors that shape the U.S. energy system over the long term. Under the assumption that current laws and regulations remain unchanged throughout the projections, the Outlook’s Reference case projections provide the basis for examination and discussion of energy production, consumption, technology, and market trends and the direction they may take in the future. It also serves as a starting point for analysis of potential changes in energy policies. CSIS’s Frank Verrastro will moderate.

 

Conference to Look at European Energy Security – The American Security Project will host a half day conference on Wednesday April 15th to examine the energy security challenges faced in the Eastern Mediterranean. Over the course of three panel discussions, the event will first examine the geopolitical importance of the region, focusing on the recent discovery of major natural gas fields in Israel. The next panel will look at the challenges of promoting energy cooperation throughout the Eastern Mediterranean, and will attempt to offer prescriptions for increasing energy security. The final panel will discuss the potential role that the US can play in the region in terms of investment opportunities and regional cooperation.

 

Forum to Look at GHG Rule Implementation – The Center for Climate and Energy Solutions (C2ES) will hold a forum on Wednesday, April 15th that brings together state leaders and industry experts to explore market-based approaches to implementing EPA’s proposed Clean Power Plan.  Speakers include  Rhode Island DEM Director Janet Coit, Virginia DEQ Director David Paylor, Colorado DPHE Director of Environmental Programs Martha Rudolph, DTE’s Skiles Boyd, Holcim’s Erika Guerra, Duke Energy’s Kevin Leahy, Exelon’s Kathleen Robertson, Adele Morris of the Brookings Institution, Michael Wara of the Stanford Law School and former EPA #2 and current C2ES head Bob Perciasepe.

 

Senate Energy Looks at 2015 EIA Outlook – On Thursday, April 16th, the Senate Energy Committee will hold a committee hearing to receive testimony on the Energy Information Administration’s Annual Energy Outlook for 2015.  EIA Administrator Adam Sieminski will testify.

 

Science Museum to Host Discussion on Electricity Generation Balance – On Thursday, April 16th at 6:30 p.m., the Marian Koshland Science Museum will host an interactive program exploring the tradeoffs we face as our nation endeavors to meet electricity demands of the 21st century. Speakers include DOE’s Douglas Hollett and Kathryn Clay of AGA.  After brief introductions from the speakers about the present and future of energy technologies, work in teams to explore the benefits and tradeoffs of various technologies, share ideas and propose potential solutions. The program will wrap up with a question and answer session with all participants.

 

Press Club to Host Dinner with UN Chief – The United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon will speak at a National Press Club dinner Thursday April 16th.  Ban, who succeeded Kofi Annan in 2007 and won a re-election in 2011, will become the sixth UN secretary-general to speak at the NPC.  The event will follow the typical NPC luncheon format, except that it will be a dinner. The event will begin with a VIP reception at 6 p.m.

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

RFF, Sweden to Host Climate Forum – The Swedish Embassy and Resources For the Future (RFF) will hold a forum at the embassy on Tuesday, April 21st at 1:30 p.m. to look at international perspectives on national commitments from the European Union, the United States, and China.  Later this year, the world will focus its attention on Paris for the 2015 UN Climate Change Conference. In the meantime, countries are determining how they can mitigate the effects of climate change in their own jurisdictions, and how these actions can be used to demonstrate their commitment to a new climate agreement in Paris.  This policy dialogue will examine these issues and feature comments from experts who play key roles in crafting an international agreement that can be signed in Paris.

 

MD OSW Meeting to Honor BOEM Director Hopper – The Business Network for Maryland Offshore Wind’s (BizMDOSW) will hold its annual meeting in Baltimore, Maryland on April 22-23, at Camden Yards.  The meeting is a 2-day gathering of European and American business executives, government officials, technical experts and academics brought together to build expertise among local companies. The event will have more than 150 participants from the U.S., Germany and Denmark including Dong Energy, Siemens, Bladt Industries, Blue Water Shipping and A2Sea.   The April 22nd dinner will be a celebration honoring U.S. Bureau of Ocean and Energy Management Director Abigail Hopper for outstanding achievement within the offshore wind industry.  The all-day April 23rd meeting will focus on creating jobs locally and regionally, including subcontracting opportunities for Maryland businesses and will also include reports on the East Coast regional offshore wind industry in Rhode Island, Virginia, New Jersey, Massachusetts and Maryland. The Maryland offshore wind development is projected to have steel in the water by 2019, and the development team expects to submit its OREC application to the state and to seek further permitting from U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management.  Among the speakers will be our friends Bill Wall of the Atlantic Wind Connection and Clint Plummer of Deepwater.

 

CSIS to Hold Global Development Forum – CSIS will hold its inaugural Global Development Forum (GDF) on Thursday April 23rd. With a significant reduction in extreme poverty and an increase in private financial flows to the developing world over the past two decades, the face of development is rapidly changing. Meeting today’s challenges calls for innovation and effective partnerships across sectors, with an emphasis on improving governance and leveraging the role of the private sector.  GDF will feature keynote addresses by Representative Ander Crenshaw (R-FL) and Dr. Sri Mulyani Indrawati, Managing Director of the World Bank Group. Breakout panel discussions will foster dialogue on topics including private sector partnerships, capacity building and workforce development, innovative finance, the post-2015 global development agenda, Ebola recovery in West Africa, and the strategic role of development in overall U.S. foreign policy. 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.

 

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

 

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

 

NHA to Set Hydro Conference – The National Hydropower Association holds its annual conference at the Capitol Hilton on April 27-29th.  The Conference is a well-rounded conference program designed to discuss, prepare and foresee the future of hydropower throughout the nation. Speakers will include NY Rep. Paul Tonko and White House OSTP staff Cristin Dorgelo.

 

Navy Sect to Address Press Club – The Press Club will host an NPC Luncheon with Navy Secretary Ray Mabus on April 30th at Noon.  Mabus will discuss the state of America’s sea services and the maritime, budgetary and resource challenges facing the force in the 21st century.

 

Marine Tech Conferences Alongside NHA Meeting – The 3rd Annual Marine Energy Technology Symposium (METS) will be held as part of the inaugural International Marine Renewable Energy Conference on April 27-29th at the Capital Hilton Hotel in Washington, D.C., and will be co-located with the National Hydropower Association’s annual conference.  METS provides a venue where technical experts can publish and present wave and water current energy research that helps accelerate the pace of technology development. Holding METS in conjunction with the International Marine Renewable Energy Conference will provide researchers with the invaluable opportunity to interact with public and private industry stakeholders.

 

 

 

 

 

Energy Update: Week of March 30

Friends,

 

How about those games over the weekend.  Undefeated Kentucky had their hands full with Notre Dame but managed to pull it out, while Wisconsin showed they are the “Real Cheese” making their second-consecutive trip to the Final Four besting a tough Arizona team.  Meanwhile yesterday, surprising, but tourney perennial Michigan State took out Louisville in OT and Duke overpowered Gonzaga, sending a third #1 seeds to Indianapolis.  All the action kicks off on Saturday with the winners meeting next Monday Night.  On the women’s side, the top teams have so far played out with #1-seed Notre Dame ousting #2 Baylor yesterday and #1 seed South Carolina moving on to Tampa.  Strongly favored #1 Maryland plays Tennessee tonight after the Lady Vols roared back from 20-points to beat Gonzaga Saturday and overall #1 seed UConn, who routed Texas by 51 points, plays 7th seed Dayton to lock in the Final Four.   UConn’s victory margins have been 66, 36 and 51.  That is domination.

 

And don’t forget the ice…There was some great action in the NCAA Men’s ice hockey tourney over the weekend including late game heroics by Boston U in games aGAINst Yale and Minnesota-Dulute (I know on the spelling, but that’s how they say it) to move on to the Frozen Four.  As well, a late controversial goal by Rochester Institute of Tech knocked out overall #1 seed Minnesota St.-Mankato.  The semis are set for TD Garden in Boston starting April 9th with BU taking on North Dakota and Providence playing UNebraska-Omaha, who bounced RIT after its big upset.  Finally, mark your calendar, two weeks until the quest begins for Lord Stanley’s Cup.

 

With Congress on recess ahead of the Passover and Easter holidays, there won’t be much action in DC this week, but we will keep you covered regarding any potential long-awaited but politically sensitive policy developments, like Iran and the DOE’s Quadrennial Energy Review, which was supposed to arrive last week.

 

In a fun recess twist as the 150th anniversary of the assassination of Abraham Lincoln approaches on April 14th, my friend Rick Klein of ABC Politics conducted an extraordinary interview with Abraham Lincoln.  See it here.  I thought Rick should have told him to skip the theater that night, but I suppose he didn’t want to be like Marty McFly and alter history.

 

One good item today at 11:30 at The Newseum, POLITICO’s Chief White House Correspondent Mike Allen takes Playbook live for an afternoon conversation with Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx and EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy about policy, politics and the news of the day.

 

And tomorrow, FERC holds its final GHG technical Conference in St. Louis.  Ameren CEO Warner Baxter is expected to present to the panel.  You may recall his recent white paper where they say some tweaks in the EPA rule can not only make the plan achievable, but also save consumers billions.  I will send you his testimony for tomorrow should you be interested.

 

Finally, congrats to our friend Dina Cappiello who leaves the AP enviro beat to join Edelman’s DC office today.   Who will Borenstein argue with now, Dina?  He is going to have to call Marc Morano!!!

 

Call with questions.

 

Frank Maisano

(202) 828-5864

  1. (202) 997-5932

 

IN THE NEWS

 

SCOTUS WRAP – A divided Supreme Court weighed new regulations aimed at reducing power plant emissions of mercury last week.  The justices heard arguments Wednesday in a challenge brought by a bipartisan group of Attorneys General like by Michigan AG Bill Schuette.  My colleagues Jeff Holmstead and Scott Segal have been commenting since with Holmstead saying the Supreme Court was clearly divided in the MATS case.  Holmstead: “On the statutory issue – what does the word “appropriate” mean in context – it really seems as though industry and the states had the stronger side of the argument.  If the government prevails, necessary and appropriate would essentially have the same meaning.  And most experts on statutory construction believe that any interpretation of which renders a word meaningless is not to be preferred.”  Segal added once the Agency is forced to consider cost, it is clear that the regulatory outcome would be different.  The benefits of mercury control under the MATS rule is between $4 to $6 million on a cost of $9.6 billion – making the rule one of the most expensive in EPA history.  Segal: “All the while claiming they needn’t do a comprehensive cost analysis, EPA manages to claim the regulation will save billions.  But their process is to once again count particulate-matter benefits EPA has already claimed advancing other rules, a dubious accounting sleight-of-hand called double counting.  As the Chief Justice said, this approach raises “a red flag.”  24 states challenged this rule before the D.C. Circuit, including six Democratic attorneys general, making the opposition bipartisan and multi-regional.  Looking forward, Segal added if the Supreme Court rejects an EPA rule high in cost with very speculative benefits, that “can’t be good for the EPA’s plans on controlling carbon for existing power plants.”  Some of the best legal experts in the country, including Harvard Constitutional law expert Laurence Tribe have argued that the carbon rule is on even shakier legal footing.

 

BLM Releases Nat Gas Drilling Rules – We all know that Interior, three years after its initial proposal, finalized new regulations applicable to hydraulic fracturing activities on federal and Indian lands.  BLM previously released a draft proposed rule in May 2012 and revised draft in May 2013.   My colleagues Jason Hutt and Mike Weller do a DEEP DIVE on the rule.  Key aspects of the final rule include requirements to:  (1) request approval of hydraulic fracturing before commencement of operations; (2) disclose chemicals after completing hydraulic fracturing activities (preferably via FracFocus); (3) perform well integrity and cement evaluation tests and obtain approval if cement remediation is required; (4) use steel tanks for the storage of recovered waste fluids from hydraulic fracturing; and (5) supply information  on estimated fractures and existing wellbores to reduce the risk of impacts to existing wells, i.e., “frack-hits.”  The Independent Petroleum Association of America (IPAA) and the Western Energy Alliance filed lawsuits the same day challenging the rule.  The state of Wyoming filed suit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Wyoming on March 26, 2015.  The final rule is effective on June 24, 2015.

 

Mexico Says It Will Peak Emissions – A lot of climate advocates are perking up regarding late last week’s announcement by Mexico that they plan to “peak” emissions by 2026, then reduce by 22% by 2030.  The approach captures the new view that developing countries continue to do what they want for 10-15 years and then try to reduce.  It also follows the path of many climate pledges of past years that have been left wanting after the UN meetings conclude.   While folks like WWF’s Jen Morgan praised the action as a major turning point, they rightfully point out that the “devil is in the details.”  I, for one, have been at the rodeo before, and I’m skeptical the pledges will ever come to pass. I will be skeptical until people actually start to do what they say they’re going to do, which to date at UN Meetings has  been never.

 

DOE Meeting Coverage – Following the two-day member symposium, several AHRI furnace manufacturers like Rheem, Johnson Controls , Carrier, Lennox, Goodman and Ingersoll Rand remained in Washington to attend a hearing at DOE Headquarters on the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking for residential furnaces on Friday.  DOE got an earful from critics on the plan which AHRI, AGA and individual companies say will raise costs and unnecessarily burden consumers. Those challenging the rule say it will increase costs for consumers by $6-12 billion, with most of that burden falling “unevenly” on low and fixed-income residents.  The American Gas Association, who recently wrote in a blog post that while on the surface, the rule appears to be a positive step toward achieving greater energy efficiency, a closer examination reveals counterproductive and unintended consequences that conflict with DOE’s stated goal of improved efficiency and reduced emissions.

 

AHRI Member Companies Storm Capitol – Speaking of the two-day symposium, manufacturers of heating, ventilation, air conditioning, commercial refrigeration (HVACR) and water heating equipment descended on Washington last week to meet with their representatives and learn more about the legislative process.  The manufacturers engaged in a Public Policy Symposium organized by the Air-Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration Institute (AHRI).  Attendees heard from CBS News White House Correspondent Major Garrett at lunch on Wednesday, followed by panel sessions in the afternoon.  The visit to the nation’s capital came at a pivotal time for the industry.  The Department of Energy (DOE) has taken an extremely aggressive approach to rulemaking in the past two years, and is poised to issue some 18 new regulations on the industry over the next two years.   In Congressional and Senate meetings on Thursday, the AHRI members detailed that while the industry is not opposed to regulation, they have a right to expect that DOE conduct its rulemakings through a fair and transparent process – one that works to the benefit of manufacturers, consumers, and the environment.  Accordingly, the manufacturers will be advocating for legislation to amend the Energy Policy Act to accomplish that goal.

 

Reps Wants DOE, EPA Coordinating Better – A number of Congressmen are raising concerns about EPA and DOE coordination and conflicting mandates on several issues facing small and large manufacturers.  Rep Bill Heuzinga leads a group that includes Reps Pat Meehan, Bill Johnson, Chris Collins, Mike Fitzpatrick, Ryan Costello, Joe Wilson and David Rouzer.  They specific question is the timeline that is forcing manufacturers to fully integrate their compliance with all applicable energy efficiency requirements, for the of the Significant New Alternatives Policy (SNAP) program which in this case is focused on substitutes used in the commercial and residential refrigeration and foam-blowing sectors.

 

Gallup Says American Care Less About Environment – Americans’ concern about several major environmental threats has eased after increasing last year. As in the past, Americans express the greatest worry about pollution of drinking water, and the least about global warming or climate change. The results are based on Gallup’s annual Environment survey, conducted March 5-8. Gallup trends on many of these items stretch back more than two decades. Last year’s increased worry has proved temporary, with the current level of worry on each of the problems back to about where it was in 2013.

Despite ups and downs from year to year in the percentage worried about the various issues, the rank order of the environmental problems has remained fairly consistent over the decades. Americans express greater concern over more proximate threats – including pollution of drinking water, as well as pollution of rivers, lakes and reservoirs, and air pollution – than they do about longer-term threats such as global warming and plant and animal extinction. The amount Americans worry about the various threats tends to rise and recede in unison, with concern higher in the late 1980s and early 1990s during the revival of environmentalism, and in the late 1990s and early 2000s amid the economic boom. Since then, Americans’ worry has fallen, with concern dipping to record lows on most issues in 2010 or 2011. The current level of worry on each issue remains at or near those record lows.

 

NARUC Has New Comms Person – We knew that our friend Rob Thormeyer is headed to FERC, but now we know who will replace him at NARUC.  The utility commissioner group has hired Regina Davis as its new Director of Communications, effective April 13th.  Davis will be the Association’s main point-of-contact with the press and will help write, edit, and distribute press releases, speeches, testimony, and other official NARUC correspondence. She will also assist in promoting the Association’s three annual meetings.  Davis joins NARUC after several years as Communications Director for the Maryland PSC, where she served as the commission’s primary spokesperson in the media and at civic, non-profit, charitable, and educational organizations and community associations. Prior to joining the Maryland PSC in 2011, Davis worked in similar capacities at the Council of State Governments Justice Center, the University of Maryland Dental School, and the University of Maryland Baltimore’s Office of External Affairs.

 

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

 

Foxx, McCarthy to Headline POLITICO PB Forum – POLITICO’s Chief White House Correspondent Mike Allen takes Playbook live for an afternoon conversation with Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx and EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy about policy, politics and the news of the day.  The action begins at The Newseum at 11:30 a.m.

 

ELI, DC Bar to Host  Social Cost of Carbon Forum – ELI and the DC Bar will host a forum today at Noon on the social cost of carbon.  The SCC tool assesses the economic costs of greenhouse gas emissions.  The panel of experts will offer a primer on the tool and debate the advantages and shortcomings of relying on it as a factor in agency decision-making.  Richard Ayres is among the nation’s most knowledgeable and well-respected environmental attorneys and policy makers. He has significantly shaped the country’s environmental policies, including the Clean Air Act, and their implementation.  Dr. Kevin D. Dayaratna specializes in tax, energy and health policy issues as Senior Statistician and Research Programmer in The Heritage Foundation’s Center for Data Analysis (CDA). An applied statistician, he has researched and published on the use of high-powered statistical models in public policy.  Dr. Laurie Johnson is the chief economist at NRDC’s climate and clean air program in Washington, DC. She focuses on modeling the costs and benefits of reducing greenhouse gas emissions, the impacts of environmental regulation on employment, economic analyses of regulation by industry, and macroeconomic modeling of climate change legislation and its distributional impacts.  Patrick Traylor practices in the area of environmental law, with a particular focus on the Clean Air Act, environmental litigation, and energy infrastructure development and climate change.

 

Roundtable to Look at Energy in Japan, Korea, China – The Energy Security Worldviews in Asia will hold a Roundtable tomorrow at Noon at GWU that examines how key actors with an influence on energy decision making in Japan, South Korea, and China view their country’s energy vulnerability and security.  Speakers will include GW experts Mike Mochizuki and Robert Sutter, as well as Korean Studies expert Scott Snyder of the Council on Foreign Relations.

 

WCEE to Discuss Cheap Oil, Gas prices with AAA – The Women’s Council on Energy and the Environmental (WCEE) will hold a brown bag lunch tomorrow at Noon on low price oil and its impact on gasoline prices   Avery Ash, Director, Federal Relations at the American Automobile Association (AAA) will discuss the recent fluctuations in gas prices, expectations for the short term and long term and give some insight into the work AAA does to forecast prices for their members and the public.  Ash serves as Director of Federal Relations for AAA. In this capacity Avery is responsible for the Association’s work on energy issues, in particular crude oil and gasoline. This includes the publishing of AAA’s weekly Fuel Gauge Report, which provides analysis of prices and trends, and the AAA Daily Fuel Gauge Report, the most current and accurate source of gasoline prices surveying more than 100,000 stations every day. Avery has also led in development of the Association’s engagement strategy for electric vehicles. This includes the roll-out of AAA’s first-in-nation level 2 and level 3 charging services as well as an engagement and education strategy to serve AAA’s more than 53 million members. Prior to joining AAA, Avery served as Legislative and Special Assistant for Congresswoman Chellie Pingree, where he focused on economic development issues.

 

NAS to Release reporters on Climate Intervention at USEA – The National Academy of Sciences will release two reports on Climate Intervention at the US Energy Association tomorrow at 2:00 p.m.  Climate intervention is no substitute for reductions in carbon dioxide emissions and adaptation efforts aimed at reducing the negative consequences of climate change. However, as our planet enters a period of changing climate never before experienced in recorded human history, interest is growing in the potential for deliberate intervention in the climate system to counter climate change. This study assesses the potential impacts, benefits, and costs of two different proposed classes of climate intervention: (1) carbon dioxide removal and (2) albedo modification (reflecting sunlight). Carbon dioxide removal strategies address a key driver of climate change, but research is needed to fully assess if any of these technologies could be appropriate for large-scale deployment. Albedo modification strategies could rapidly cool the planet’s surface but pose environmental and other risks that are not well understood and therefore should not be deployed at climate-altering scales; more research is needed to determine if albedo modification approaches could be viable in the future.    AAAS head Marcia McNutt will speak.

 

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

 

Nat Gas Roundtable to Host DOI Offshore Expert – The Natural Gas Roundtable will host Janice Schneider, Assistant Secretary for Land and Minerals Management at Interior (DOI), at its luncheon tomorrow, where she will discuss the current offshore energy production landscape.  Schneider oversees four DOI bureaus including BLM, BOEM, BSEE and the Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement. In this capacity, she guides the Department’s management and use of federal lands and waters and their associated mineral and non-mineral resources, spanning approximately 245 million acres of federal surface lands, 700 million acres of federal mineral interests and the 1.7 billion-acre Outer Continental Shelf.

 

Forum to Look at Climate Prep – The Environmental and Energy Study Institute (EESI) will hold a briefing Wednesday in 485 Russell examining the recommendations of the White House State, Local and Tribal Leaders Task Force on Climate Preparedness and Resilience. The bipartisan Task Force of 26 governors, mayors, tribal leaders, and other officials spent a year compiling recommendations on how the federal government could help local communities be more resilient to climate change impacts. From an initial 500 ideas, the Task Force produced a report of 35 concrete recommendations for tools, training, funding and services the Federal Government can provide to help the nation’s communities increase their resilience. Even without taking into account the effects of climate change, making communities more resilient saves lives-and saves money in the long run.  Speakers for this forum are Jennifer Jurado, Director, Environmental Planning & Community Resilience in Broward County; Governor Jay Inslee Washington DC Office Director Sam Ricketts and Carolyn Berndt, Program Director for Sustainability at the National League of Cities.

 

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

 

Post to Host Energy, Innovation Future Event The Washington Post will gather leaders from the energy, defense and technology sectors Thursday at 8:30 a.m. at Charlie Palmer Steak  to discuss and debate innovative solutions for securing the country’s energy resources. This live event will explore threats to national security, including cyberattacks, as well as efforts to mitigate the effects of natural disasters on the energy ecosystem.  Speakers will include FERC commissioner Tony Clark and Robert “RJ” Johnston, Chief Executive of the Eurasia Group.

 

CSIS Forum to Look at Crude, Refining Export Issues – The CSIS Energy and National Security Program is hosting a conference on Thursday morning focused on the latest developments in the crude oil export debate as well as the role of refining (both domestic and globally) in finding an economically viable home for US light oil production. As debates heat up over domestic policy choices affecting both the upstream and downstream sectors, the need for informed (and perhaps more detailed) discussion has become increasingly important. This conference seeks to both inform and supplement the debate on two issues that will have a large impact on the future domestic U.S. energy landscape as well as global investment going forward.  The Refining panel, featuring Joanne Shore, Chief Industry Analyst at AFPM, EnSys Energy’s Martin Tallett and Lynn Westfall, Petroleum Markets Analyst with EIA’s Office of Energy Markets and Financial Analysis, will provide a primer on the U.S. refining sector, addressing refinery configurations, operations and economics; the ability of the domestic and global refining system to accommodate additional light oil production and some of the implications of investment choices and oil flows in the near and medium terms. The Exports panel, featuring ClearView Energy’s Kevin Book and Sharon Burke of the New America Foundation, will address the current regulatory framework, the politics of exports and the potential geopolitical implications of allowing or impeding such activity. Frank Verrastro and Sarah Ladislaw of CSIS will moderate.

 

DOE’s Kenderline to Discuss QER – On Thursday at 10:00 a.m., the Atlantic Council will host a discussion on the Quadrennial Energy Review (QER) with Melanie Kenderdine, Energy Counselor to US Secretary of Energy, Ernest Moniz, and Director of the Department of Energy’s Office of Energy Policy and Systems Analysis.   On January 9, 2014, President Obama issued a Presidential Memorandum directing the administration to conduct the first-ever QER to help the Federal Government better meet the nation’s energy goals. With a focus on energy infrastructure and US energy and climate security, the QER assists the government in translating energy policy goals into a set of integrated actions through improved interagency dialogue and increased engagement of external stakeholders.  Welcome remarks will be delivered by The Hon. Richard Morningstar, Founding Director of Atlantic Council’s Global Energy Center and the discussion will be moderated by David Koranyi, Director of the Eurasian Energy Futures Initiative at the Atlantic Council.

 

FUTURE EVENTS

 

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

 

AGA to Release Gas Supply Report – The American Gas Association (AGA) and the Potential Gas Committee (PGC) will hold a press conference on Wednesday, April 8th at 9:00 a.m. to release the major findings of the PGC’s year-end 2014 biennial report: Potential Supply of Natural Gas in the United States, and discuss how customers and the nation can benefit from domestic natural gas resources. The report is expected to reveal that domestic estimates of undiscovered natural gas resources continue to grow, due largely to the existence of technologies that continue to unlock energy resources from shale and other producing formations. Dr. John B. Curtis, Director of the Potential Gas Agency and Colorado School of Mines and AGA Supply expert Chris McGill will discuss the report.

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

MD OSW Meeting to Honor BOEM Director Hopper – The Business Network for Maryland Offshore Wind’s (BizMDOSW) will hold its annual meeting in Baltimore, Maryland on April 22-23, at Camden Yards.  The meeting is a 2-day gathering of European and American business executives, government officials, technical experts and academics brought together to build expertise among local companies. The event will have more than 150 participants from the U.S., Germany and Denmark including Dong Energy, Siemens, Bladt Industries, Blue Water Shipping and A2Sea.   The April 22nd dinner will be a celebration honoring U.S. Bureau of Ocean and Energy Management Director Abigail Hopper for outstanding achievement within the offshore wind industry.  The all-day April 23rd meeting will focus on creating jobs locally and regionally, including subcontracting opportunities for Maryland businesses and will also include reports on the East Coast regional offshore wind industry in Rhode Island, Virginia, New Jersey, Massachusetts and Maryland. The Maryland offshore wind development is projected to have steel in the water by 2019, and the development team expects to submit its OREC application to the state and to seek further permitting from U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management.  Among the speakers will be our friends Bill Wall of the Atlantic Wind Connection and Clint Plummer of Deepwater.

 

CSIS to Hold Global Development Forum – CSIS will hold its inaugural Global Development Forum (GDF) on Thursday April 23rd. With a significant reduction in extreme poverty and an increase in private financial flows to the developing world over the past two decades, the face of development is rapidly changing. Meeting today’s challenges calls for innovation and effective partnerships across sectors, with an emphasis on improving governance and leveraging the role of the private sector.  GDF will feature keynote addresses by Representative Ander Crenshaw (R-FL) and Dr. Sri Mulyani Indrawati, Managing Director of the World Bank Group. Breakout panel discussions will foster dialogue on topics including private sector partnerships, capacity building and workforce development, innovative finance, the post-2015 global development agenda, Ebola recovery in West Africa, and the strategic role of development in overall U.S. foreign policy. 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.

 

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

 

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

 

NHA to Set Hydro Conference – The National Hydropower Association holds its annual conference at the Capitol Hilton on April 27-29th.  The Conference is a well-rounded conference program designed to discuss, prepare and foresee the future of hydropower throughout the nation. Speakers will include NY Rep. Paul Tonko and White House OSTP staff Cristin Dorgelo.

 

Marine Tech Conferences Alongside NHA Meeting – The 3rd Annual Marine Energy Technology Symposium (METS) will be held as part of the inaugural International Marine Renewable Energy Conference on April 27-29th at the Capital Hilton Hotel in Washington, D.C., and will be co-located with the National Hydropower Association’s annual conference.  METS provides a venue where technical experts can publish and present wave and water current energy research that helps accelerate the pace of technology development. Holding METS in conjunction with the International Marine Renewable Energy Conference will provide researchers with the invaluable opportunity to interact with public and private industry stakeholders.

 

 

 

FRANK MAISANO
Founding Partner
Ext. 5864
Policy Resolution Group

 

Primer for DOE Furnace Rule Hearing

Friends,

 

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

 

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

 

The public comment period closes June 10, 2015.

 

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

 

Frank Maisano

(202) 997-5932.

 

AHRI Has Concerns

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Background for Reporters


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

 

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

 

AHRI Members Testifying/Attending Tomorrow

 

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

 

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

 

Link to American Gas Association Blog

 

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

 

According to AGA, These counterproductive and unintended consequences include:

 

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

 

Additional Expert Resource

 

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

 

Energy Update: Week of March 23

Friends,

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Call with questions.

 

Frank Maisano

(202) 828-5864

  1. (202) 997-5932

 

IN THE NEWS

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

FUTURE EVENTS

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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