Energy Update: Week of May 2

Friends,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Best,

Frank Maisano

(202) 828-5864

(202) 997-5932

 

IN THE NEWS

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

FUTURE EVENTS

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Energy Update: Week of April 25

Friends,

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Call with questions.

Best,

Frank Maisano

(202) 828-5864

(202) 997-5932

 

EARTH DAY EXTRAVAGANZA

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

IN THE NEWS

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

FUTURE EVENTS

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Energy Update: Week of April 18

Friends,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Call with questions.

Best,

Frank Maisano

(202) 828-5864

(202) 997-5932

 

IN THE NEWS

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

FUTURE EVENTS

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

 

Energy Update: Week of April 11

Friends,

What a shocking Masters finish!  With it seemingly on cruise control after 3 days of domination and 4 straight birdies just prior to making the turn, Jordan Spieth dropped six shots on the next three holes – including a 7 on the famous par 3 12th Hole at Amen Corner.  Wow!!! I was totally in shock.  While Spieth righted the ship and hobbled home to tie for second, take nothing away from unknown Brit Danny Willet, who made a number of huge shots down the stretch to hold off Spieth and Lee Westwood to win his first Green Jacket.

After watching the drama at the first PGA Major of the year unfold, we headed out to Game #2460 of the regular NHL season (the very last) watching the Caps-Ducks play the makeup game postponed by the Snowmageddon Blizzard from February.  Of course, that Game 2460 means the real hockey season begins for 16 teams, including the Caps, who long clinched as the NHL’s top team.  They will Player a rough-and-tumble Flyers team who fought hard to make the playoffs.  Other matchups in the east include Detroit (for the 25th straight year) taking on an injury-depleted, but favored Tampa team, the surprise Florida Panthers taking on the NY Islanders and the NY Rangers-Pittsburgh, which might be the best and nastiest of the Eastern Conference.  Who knows what will happen in the much more difficult West, but it seems the St. Louis-Chicago series may be the most intriguing first round match up.  Chicago is the defending Stanley Cup Champion, while the Blues are desperate to stop underachieving in the Cup chase.  Other great series will include Anaheim-Nashville, the LA Kings-San Jose and Dallas-Minnesota.  It takes 16 wins to bring home the toughest trophy in all major sports…Here we go!!!!  Games start Wednesday.

And finally on the sports page, congrats to the University of North Dakota Fighting Sioux…ooops, I mean the University of North Dakota _________s (it’s a long story which you can read here) who defeated Connecticut’s Quinnipiac University, 5-1, in Tampa Saturday to win the NCAA’s Frozen Four Hockey National Championship.  A Quinnipiac (and NCAA) poll had the Bobcats #1 but I guess, NoDak was within the margin of error.

Congress returns in full for the four-week push to Memorial Day.   The action in the Senate is on the FAA authorization and the expected agreement surrounding extending a few additional energy tax credits.  The most high-profile hearing this week is the House Energy & Commerce’s return to the Flint water issues on Wednesday.  Other important hearings this week include tomorrow’s Senate Enviro Committee look at EPA regs impact on small businesses and a Senate Energy hearing on advanced manufacturing.  On Wednesday, House Ag hearing on oil and gas impacts on the rural economy.  And Thursday, a House Transportation Committee subpanel looks at managing the aftermath of a cyber-attack or other electric grid failure featuring Bobbi Kilmer, President & CEO of Claverack Rural Electric Cooperative in NE PA, while the House Energy & Commerce Energy subpanel will hold an ozone hearing with state officials testifying.

Good events off the Hill include tomorrow’s Pipeline Infrastructure Report from INGAA at the Press Club at 9:30 a.m.  And Wednesday, the US Association for Energy Economics, National Capital Area Chapter (NCAC-USAEE) and the Georgetown Energy and Cleantech Club will host its 20th Annual Washington Energy Policy Conference on Wednesday at Georgetown University.   The event will feature Keynote Speaker, Bill Hogan, of Harvard University and our friends Monica Trauzzi of E&E TV, former NYT reporter Matt Wald of NEI and GDF Suez exec Rob Minter.  Finally, on Wednesday morning, API’s Jack Gerard will again talk politics and 2016 at the W Hotel’s Altitude Ballroom.

Finally, get those taxes ready as Friday is really tax day (although since it is a Friday, the IRS is giving you until Monday midnight to get them in).  Hopefully, it is not a long weekend of searching for receipts, W-2s and bank statements.  Call with questions.

 

Best,

Frank Maisano

(202) 828-5864

(202) 997-5932

 

IN THE NEWS

Wetlands Groups Raises Concerns About Well Control Rule – The America’s WETLAND Foundation (AWF) is raising concerns that some provisions of the proposed Well Control Rule proposed by BSEE could have unintended consequences leading to less safety and environmental protection and a reduction in overall revenue sharing directed to financing coastal restoration.  In a statement today, AWF said “highly prescriptive guidelines mandated in the rule deviate from the application of revised industry-accepted practices and may fail to take into account individual well conditions and monitoring. There is a reasonable debate about whether requirements actually increase the risk of compromised casing and cementing. AWF urges that engineering and environmental certainty prevail in rule requirements.”  AWF added all parties and interests benefit by a process in which best practice and expertise are employed to clarity rule making. AWF encourages BSEE to allow further vetting of the rule requirements that could result in unintended consequences and to engage in further dialogue with informed experts to consider potential changes that will result in safe OCS oil and gas operations, environmental protection and public safety.

AWF History – Through the years, AWF has aggressively advocated for the sharing of offshore oil and gas revenues and for dedication of those future funds to coastal restoration. And, the Foundation continues to encourage private sector participation in restoration initiatives focused on sustaining both environmental and economic assets. However, there is concern that the new rule may take advantage of momentum following the oil spill and create administrative delays that could effectively establish a de facto moratorium on oil and gas drilling and jeopardize the amount of revenues that could be shared with the state.  On September 21, 2010, AWF issued a report, “Secure Gulf Project: Sustaining Natural Resources and the Communities of America’s Energy Coast.” The report was a quick response to the BP Oil Spill and recommended both regulatory and voluntary actions. It also noted President Obama’s comment on the spill in August 2010, when he said, “The real protection for New Orleans and the coast are wetlands. The oil spill is a new opportunity for us to take a look comprehensively and ask how do we do things better and how do we do things smarter than we have done.”  AWF’s report, which focused on response, recovery and resiliency, sounded the call for cooperation and encouraged industry working with federal and state agencies to voluntarily address environmental, safety and health issues laid bare by the BP spill. The report also cited the necessity in building greater agency capacity to understand the complexities of the highly technical industry. Our hope is that for optimum safety the rule meets the proper balance of technical expertise and government oversight. In other words, let’s retain what’s working in favor of untried or speculative procedures.

HVAC Groups, WH to Fund Effort to Research Refrigerants – The White House announced $3 million in funding for flammable refrigerants research at the Montreal Protocol plenary session last week. HVAC professional society ASHRAE and AHRI are contributing $1 million as well for research to support the responsible deployment of flammable refrigerants around the globe.

GHP, Others Ask for Tax Credit Extension – Following the extension of the ITC in the Omnibus legislation in December, Geothermal Heat Pumps (GHPs), Combined Heat & Power (CHP), microturbines, small wind and fuel cells are all looking for renewal of their tax credits in the upcoming FAA Reauthorization. In a letter to Senator Wyden, Geothermal Exchange Organization (GEO) head Doug Dougherty said the 25D and 48(a) tax provisions are essential to the GHP industry.  GHPs, which are recognized as among the most efficient home-heating/cooling  system for homes and buildings, saves consumers money, conserves energy and reduces fossil fuel use.   Buildings are the largest single sector of total U.S. energy consumption, accounting for 41% of primary energy use in 2010. Geothermal heat pumps (GHPs) can efficiently and significantly reduce the heating and cooling loads of buildings, with positive benefits for our environment and economy. Though approximately 2 million GHP systems have been installed, higher “first cost” remains the most problematic competitive barrier to the nascent industry.  GHP tax credits are already helping the nation with consumer cost savings, good jobs, more efficient energy use, enhanced electric utility operations, improved air quality and a better environment for all Americans. And more GHPs mean more benefits accrued to building owners and the nation with the renewable energy they produce, energy cost savings, flattening of electric utility load patterns, and reduction of pollution from burning fossil fuels.  If you have questions on the issues surrounding the tax provisions, you can discuss the background and politics with my Colleague Curt Beaulieu, a former Senate Finance Staffer who has the issue covered end-to-end.  You can reach him at 202-828-5806.

AHRI Raises DOE Concerns Regarding Process on Boiler Rule – The HVAC industry is urging the Energy Department to follow its own procedures when making new rules, while calling for the current rulemaking for revising commercial boiler efficiency standards to be delayed.  In an April 1 letter to the DOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, AHRI Chief Technical Advisor Frank Stanonik decried DOE’s continuing pattern of “violating its own procedures” that govern how the Department goes about setting and amending regulations.  In the letter, Stanonik noted that DOE is in the process of accepting comments on its Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NOPR) for Commercial Boilers while it is also accepting comments on its NOPR for the test procedures for that equipment.  The Process Rule specifically states that “Final modified test procedures will be issued prior to the NOPR on proposed standards,” which clearly did not occur in this case.   Stanonik stated that “proceeding with the standard rulemaking prior to finalization of the test procedure creates confusion for stakeholders and an inability to effectively comment on the standard rulemaking.”  He went on to ask, “If stakeholders, and DOE, do not know the exact procedure for testing equipment to determine compliance with the standard, how can they adequately comment on and evaluate the impact of the efficiency standard?” Here he noted that the Process Rule was put in place precisely to avoid such confusion.

New Polls Shows Bipartisan Concerns About RFS Failures – API has new polling that 77% of registered voters are concerned that breaching the ethanol blend wall could drive up the cost of gasoline for consumers and reduce the nation’s fuel supply (85% of Republicans, 75% of Democrats and 71% of Independents).  It also says 77% are concerned that auto manufacturers have said they may not warranty their vehicles if the car’s owner fuels up with an ethanol blend that is over 10 percent. (84% of Republicans, 75% of Democrats and 68% of Independents).  Finally, the polling Shows that 76% are concerned that diverting more corn to energy production rather than to food could result in higher food costs and contribute to world hunger. (81% of Republicans, 76% of Democrats and 74% of Independents).

BOEM Director Featured on Capitol Crude – On Platts Capitol Crude this week, our friends Brian Scheid and Herman Wang speak with BOEM Director Abby Hopper about the future of drilling in federal waters and Jason Kowalski, 350.org’s policy director, on the impact Gulf production may have on President Obama’s climate legacy.

 

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

JHU Energy Program to Discuss Energy in Eastern Mediterranean – The Johns Hopkins University will host a forum today at 5:00 p.m. featuring Sir Michael Leigh is a senior fellow with the German Marshall Fund and runs GMF’s program on Eastern Mediterranean Energy. He was formerly director-general for enlargement with the European Commission and has held other senior positions at EU institutions for more than 30 years. He has taught at John Hopkins SAIS Europe in Bologna, Italy, as well as the University of Sussex and Wellesley College.  Leigh will focus on energy and geopolitics in the Eastern Mediterranean.

Forum to Look at Energy Innovation in Defense Sector – The Atlantic Council and The Fuse, a group within the think Securing America’s Future Energy (SAFE), will host a panel discussion tomorrow at 9:00 a.m. on energy technology and innovation in the U.S. defense sector. The demand for energy security and evolving geopolitical risks have already impacted the strategic approach of defense institutions, which are actively developing technology and policy alternatives to respond to these challenges. By integrating expertise in both security and energy issues, institutions such as the United States Navy provide a critical perspective in efforts to secure a reliable and sustainable energy supply. Speakers will include Dennis McGinn, Assistant Secretary of the Navy – Energy, Installations, & Environment, Pew’s Clean Energy Initiative Director Phyllis Cuttino and the Atlantic Council’s Dan Chiu.

INGAA to Unveil Oil, Natgas Infrastructure Needs – The INGAA Foundation President and CEO Don Santa, INGAA Foundation Chairman Robert Riess Sr. (President and CEO of Sheehan Pipe Line Construction) and ICF International Vice President Kevin Petak will unveil the Foundation’s newest projections for U.S. and Canadian oil, natural gas and NGL midstream infrastructure needs through 2035 in a briefing at 9:30 a.m. tomorrow at the National Press Club’s Murrow Room.

Chamber to Hold Invest in American Forum – The U.S. Chamber of Commerce holds its Invest in America! Summit tomorrow, focusing on “opportunities for investment and partnerships that encourage sustainable growth in the U.S. economy.” The goal of the Invest in America! initiative is to promote opportunities for investment and partnerships that encourage sustainable growth in the U.S. economy. The inaugural Invest in America! summit on April 12 will kick-off this initiative by convening international institutional investors with important U.S. stakeholders including governors, mayors, development authorities and local chambers of commerce.  Panel discussions will focus on: State Success Stories & New Opportunities, Navigating the Committee on Foreign Investment in U.S. (CFIUS), Public Private Partnerships and Foreign Direct Investment.

Senate Energy to Host Manufacturing Hearing – The Senate Energy Committee will host a hearing tomorrow at 10:00 a.m. to focus on innovative technologies and advanced manufacturing.

Senate Enviro to Look at Enviro Reg Impacts on Small Biz – The Senate Environment Committee holds a hearing tomorrow on American small business’s perspectives on EPA regulatory actions. Witnesses will include Alloy Bellows & Precision Welding CEO Michael Canty, Oklahoma Farm Bureau Federation President Tom Buchanan, South Carolina Small Business Chamber of Commerce CEO Frank Knapp Jr. and Emily Reichert, CEO of Greentown Labs.

CSIS Forum to Look at Energy Developments in Brazil, Venezuela – The CSIS Energy and National Security Program will host a panel discussion tomorrow at 2:00 p.m. on regional energy developments in Latin America, with a focus on Brazil and Venezuela. Our expert panel will examine the political dynamics and economic outlook, highlighting analyses of political issues impacting the oil sector, including production profiles and the outlook for investment.  Following the initial presentations, the panelists will engage in an informal conversation focusing on the latest developments in both countries, and the impact on domestic policy as well as oil markets more generally.

Rogers Headlines Clean Energy Challenge Forum – The Clean Energy Challenge is hold a conference in Chicago tomorrow featuring capitalists, civic leaders, and industry executives to recognize cleantech innovation.  The Clean Energy Trust Challenge is a nationally recognized accelerator for clean energy innovation. Run by Chicago-based Clean Energy Trust, the Challenge has led to the development and growth of 60+ businesses throughout the Midwest.  Speakers will include former Duke CEO Jim Rogers and Ripple Foods CEO Adam Lowry.

Gates to Receive Honor – CSIS and the Brzezinski Institute on Geostrategy will host the Inaugural Zbigniew Brzezinski Annual Prize and Lecture tomorrow at 5:00 p.m.  The Zbigniew Brzezinski Annual Prize honors the legacy of Dr. Brzezinski by recognizing and promoting the importance of geostrategic thinking with a transcending moral purpose.  This year’s inaugural Prize Recipient is former U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates. The mission of the Brzezinski Institute on Geostrategy is to examine the unique interaction of history, geography, and strategy, with a goal of developing policy-relevant analysis and recommendations. The Institute seeks to further the study of geostrategy and to develop a new generation of strategic policy thinkers in the United States and abroad.

Catching Sun Film Screened – Tomorrow evening, the Institute for Policy Studies will host a screening of Catching the Sun, with a post-film Q&A led by the Director of IPS’ Climate Policy Program, Janet Redman.  An unemployed American worker, a Tea Party activist, and a Chinese solar entrepreneur race to lead the clean energy future. But who wins and who loses the battle for power in the 21st century? Through the stories of workers and entrepreneurs in the U.S. and China, Catching the Sun is a feature length documentary that explores the global race to a clean energy future. The film follows the hope and heartbreak of unemployed American workers seeking jobs in the solar industry and sheds light on the path to an economically and environmentally sustainable future. Through personal stories that illuminate the universal theme of hope for a better life, and set against the struggle to build a ‘green economy,’ Catching the Sun will engage new audiences in solutions to climate change and income inequality.

USAEE Washington Energy Conference Set for Georgetown – The US Association for Energy Economics, National Capital Area Chapter (NCAC-USAEE) and the Georgetown Energy and Cleantech Club will host its 20th Annual Washington Energy Policy Conference on Wednesday at Georgetown University.   The event will feature Keynote Speaker, Bill Hogan, of Harvard University and our friends Monica Trauzzi of E&E TV, former NYT reporter Matt Wald of NEI and GDF Suez exec Rob Minter.

API Head to Look at Energy Policy Recommendations – American Petroleum Institute (API) President & CEO Jack Gerard will make a presentation of the 2016 Platform Committee Report on Wednesday at the W Hotel at 8:30 a.m.  The morning’s briefing will reveal API’s energy policy recommendations to the platform committees of the Democratic and Republican parties and set the stage for the corresponding panel discussions to follow.

Ethanol Supporters to Hold Washington Fly-In – The American Coalition for Ethanol is organizing a series of briefings and meetings on Wednesday and Thursday with congressional offices to advocate for continued support of ethanol fuel. The meetings will take place at the Washington Court Hotel and on Capitol Hill.

House Ag to Look at Oil, Gas Issues – Following last week’s RFS/Rural Economy hearing, the House Agriculture Committee will hold another hearing on Wednesday on the impacts of oil and gas production.

Forum Looks at Renewables in EU – The US Energy Association will hold a forum on Wednesday at 10:00 a.m. on renewables deployment in the EU.  The European Union has decided an ambitious program to transform its energy system. A binding target of at least 40% domestic reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 has been endorsed – compared with 1990 emission levels. Further targets include doubling the share of renewable energy in total consumption and increasing energy efficiency. Due to strong governmental support, the share of renewables in total EU power demand has doubled within the last ten years, from 15% in 2005 to 30% in 2015. But this strong development has a price. Net subsidy paid by the customers to plant operators reached, alone in Germany, which has one of the most ambitious programs in favor of renewables, $23 billion in 2015 and $140 billion in total for the period 2000 to 2015. This has led to power prices in the EU, which are twice as high as the U.S. average. Power producers, too, have to face new challenges.

CSIS Forum Looks at Infrastructure – On Wednesday, the Center for Strategic and International Studies will hold an expert panel discussion on meeting infrastructure demands around the world. According to the World Bank’s Global Infrastructure Facility, the unmet demand for infrastructure around the world is estimated to be above $1 trillion per year. Meeting the financing need for bankable and sustainable projects must be a priority, for both governments and the private sector, in the coming decades. In addition to financing needs, donors and the private sector must work together to build capacity and provide technical assistance that will ensure continued success long after the individual projects have been completed. Panelists will discuss ways in which infrastructure can become a driver of development and stability, and how targeted investments in smart projects and capacity building can produce measurable results to pave the way for sustainable economic growth in low and middle-income countries.

Forum Looks at Philanthropy, Climate – On Wednesday at 5:00 p.m., the German Marshall Fund of the United States will hold a forum that will explore the ways philanthropy and government can link the equity and climate policy agendas at the city, national, and global level. The dialogue will feature speakers working on this issue in the United States and Europe and build a discussion led by GMF as part of the Paris Climate Summit for Local Leaders.

Ocean Film Screening Set – George Mason University will host a special screening of “Ocean Frontiers II” Wednesday at 5:45 p.m. in the Founders Hall Auditorium, followed by a Q & A on ocean planning with a panel of regional and international experts. In a region steeped in old maritime tradition, the film tells the story of a modern wave of big ships, offshore wind energy and a changing climate, and how people are coming together to plan for a healthy ocean off their coast.  The interactive panel discussion with regional and international experts includes Beth Kerttula of the National Ocean Council, John T. Kennedy of DOT’s Maritime Administration, GMU’s Chris Parsons and Amy Trice of Ocean Conservancy.

House Transpo Look at Grid Security – On Thursday, the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee’s Subcommittee on Economic Development, Public Buildings, and Emergency Management will hold a hearing on Blackout preparation and managing the aftermath of a cyber-attack or any other failure of the electrical grid. Bobbi Kilmer, President & CEO of Claverack Rural Electric Cooperative in NE PA will be among the witnesses.

House Energy Panel Looks at Ozone Regs – The House Energy & Commerce Energy subpanel will hold a hearing Thursday at 10:15 to look at the Administration’s ozone regulations and legislation to limit the impact on state implementation.

Argentine, US Ambassadors Look at Country Relations – On Thursday at 10:00 a.m., the CSIS Americas Program will host a conversation with Noah B. Mamet, U.S. Ambassador to Argentina, and Martín Lousteau, Argentine Ambassador to the United States, on the future of the U.S.-Argentina bilateral relationship.  After four short months in office, Mauricio Macri, the new President of Argentina, has undertaken broad economic and political reforms and has dramatically reoriented Argentina’s foreign policy. President Barack Obama traveled to Argentina for a state visit March 23-24 and articulated his strong support for President Macri and his new vision for Argentina. Together, the two presidents committed to significant new cooperation and joint work in trade, investment, energy, and security. We will hear first-hand from Ambassadors Noah B. Mamet and Martín Lousteau about the bilateral talks and about what a new and closer relationship means for both countries – and for the Americas.

Kurdistan Gov PM to Address Forum – The U.S. Institute of Peace and the Woodrow Wilson Center will hold a discussion on Thursday at 10:00 a.m. looking at Kurdistan regional government’s challenges from terrorism to declining oil prices.  The event features a discussion with Qubad Talabani, the Deputy Prime Minister of the Kurdistan Regional Government of Iraq (KRG).

Holdren, Moniz Address AAAS Policy Forum – The American Association for the Advancement of Science holds its 41st annual Forum on Science and Technology Policy on Thursday and Friday.  Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz will speak at 10:00 a.m. and OSTP head John Holdren will Keynote just prior.  NOAA head Kathryn Sullivan speaks at the end of the day.

Moniz Headline Boston QER Stakeholder Meeting – The Quadrennial Energy Review Task Force will hold a public stakeholder meeting at 9:30 a.m. Thursday at the Marriott Long Wharf, Salons DEFL. The Marriott Long Wharf is located at 296 State Street, Boston, Massachusetts. Doors open at 9:00 a.m. The meeting will also be livestreamed at energy.gov/live. Energy Secretary Moniz, who Is expected to attend will have to make a quick jump to Boston from his speech at AAAS the same morning.  The purpose of the meeting is to solicit stakeholder input for the second installment of the Quadrennial Energy Review (QER), which will be an integrated study of the electricity system from generation to end-use. The meeting will feature remarks by government officials, moderated panel discussions from a diverse group of energy policy experts from the private and public sector, and an opportunity for comments during an open microphone session.

Climate Hustle Film to Premier in DC – The premiere of CFACT’s new documentary, Climate Hustle, will take place at a Capitol Hill briefing in Rayburn Office Building, including a riveting panel discussion on climate change featuring Gov. Sarah Palin and other notable guests. The briefing and panel discussion will be held on Thursday at 4:00 p.m. The event comes just a week prior to the opening for signature of the U.N. Paris Agreement on climate change on Earth Day (April 22), and just a short time before Climate Hustle is seen in select U.S. cinemas for a one-night presentation by Fathom Events and SpectiCast on May 2nd at 7:00 p.m. local time.  House Science Chair Lamar Smith and former Alaska Gov and VP candidate Gov. Sarah Palin will join a taped panel that will be shown during the national theater event.  The discussion will be moderated by Brent Bozell, Founder and President of the Media Research Center, and will also include other notable experts including respected climatologist Dr. David Legates and a special video appearance by Emmy Award-winning educator Bill Nye, the Science Guy. The panel will further examine some of the science, politics, and media coverage of the climate issue, and go far toward helping debunk much of the alarmism and hype exposed in the Climate Hustle film.

Forum to Look at Sanctions, Security – The Center for a New American Security (CNAS) and the Center on Law and Security at NYU School of Law will hold a public conference on U.S. sanctions and national security on Friday at the NYU DC Office.  The event will feature an overview of administration policy on sanctions and a discussion among distinguished former policy leaders on the role for coercive economic measures in tackling the security challenges of the future. The event coincides with the release of a CNAS report on the effects and effectiveness of sanctions since 9/11, which will be presented by our friend Elizabeth Rosenberg. Some questions this conference will explore include: how can the United States measure and achieve intended effects from the use of coercive economic measures? What place should sanctions have in the U.S. national security arsenal? And as American rivals become more familiar with the tools of economic statecraft, what defensive measures are available to protect U.S. interests from retaliation for the imposition of sanctions?   The keynote address will be provided by acting Treasury Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence Adam Szubin.  There will also be a distinguished panel discussion with former Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Export Administration Sue Eckert (now at Brown U), former Deputy Treasury Secretary Ambassador Robert Kimmitt and former Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Middle East Policy Matt Spence (now at Yale).

More 350K Celebrate Science Expo – The 4th USA Science & Engineering Festival, the largest and only national science festival, will be held Friday, Saturday and Sunday at the Washington Convention Center in DC.  The event features nationwide contests and school programs, including the popular ‘Nifty 50′ science speaker program and X-STEM Symposium. The Festival will culminate in a Grand Finale Expo with Sneak Peek Friday kicking off the weekend.  More than 350,000 attendees will celebrate science at the Expo, and engage in activities with some of the biggest names in STEM, hear stories of inspiration and courage, and rock out to science during our incredible stage show performances.  See full agenda here.

Skulnik to Speak on MD Solar Law – On Sunday at 2:15 p.m. in the Aspen Hill Library, our friend Gary Skulnik will discuss the new Maryland community solar law.  Skulnik is the founder of a new social enterprise called Neighborhood Sun, www.neighborhoodsun.solar. As President of Clean Currents, Gary started the movement for clean power in Maryland and the region.  Last week, Skulnik spoke at a similar event in Silver Spring.

 

FUTURE EVENTS

Group to Host Nuclear Week Activities – The Alliance for Nuclear Accountability is hosting its 27th annual DC Days Sunday April 17th through Wednesday April 20th to voice concerns about nuclear weapons, power, and waste.  Of course, you can always get that info with our friends at NEI.

Conference to Look at PA Drilling – Shale Directories will host Upstream 2016 on April 19th at the Penn Stater in State College, PA to look at action in PA.  Despite cutbacks in budgets, there are still opportunities for this and next year and Cabot, Seneca and others will be there to discuss when Drilling may ramp up again, what you can do to help the industry and how to prepare for the growth. As well, Faouizi Aloulou, Senior Economist with the Energy Information Agency, will give a presentation on the uncertainties of shale resource development under low price environment.

Forum to Look at California EV, Grid Connections – Infocast is holding its 2nd Annual EVs & the Grid Summit in Long Beach Marriott in Cali on April 19th looking at transport and power convergence.  Automakers will share their views on the market, latest models, and how to overcome adoption hurdles.  Third-party solution providers will assess partnership opportunities and requirements for equipment, software, energy storage & conversion and on-site renewables.  Policy-makers & utilities will hash out potential business models for capturing new value streams from electrification and a digital, distributed grid.  Port & airport authorities, municipalities, fleet managers and commercial building owners will share perspectives and explore partnering opportunities with solution providers.

Forum to Look at Electricity Pricing Issues – The CSIS Energy and National Security Program will hold a panel discussion on Wednesday April 20th at 1:00 p.m. looking at time-variant electricity pricing as part of our ongoing series, “Electricity in Transition.” For a century, the retail rate structure in the United States has remained virtually unchanged. Nearly all retail customers in the U.S. pay a flat rate regardless of the time of day or the actual cost of electricity. While this pricing structure insulates consumers from price volatility, it may also lead to inefficiency in resource allocation. Enabled by the increasing deployment of smart meters, some states have been experimenting with new retail rate designs that reflect the fact that wholesale electricity prices vary over the course of the day. Time-variant pricing allows utilities and regulators accurately reflect market dynamics for customers, encouraging more efficient resource distribution. But do consumers actually respond to changing prices and Can time-variant pricing impact the adoption of new distributed energy technologies?   The panelists will discuss the objectives of moving to time-varying electricity rates, including the advantages and disadvantages of different rate structures, the distributional impacts of time-variant pricing, and the broader energy, environmental, and economic impacts of time-variant pricing. In addition, panelists will discuss recent experiences with time variant rates in different jurisdictions.

Segal, McKinley Headlining POLITICO Energy Forum – POLITICO hosting a forum Thursday, April 21 at 8:30 a.m. at the W Hotel focused on America’s Energy Agenda.  The event will look at new prices and new policies and examines the future of energy. Topics will include fluctuating energy costs and the calculus for Washington regulators and innovation.  Strategic priorities for building energy infrastructure and potential changes for a new administration.  Featured speakers include Rep. David McKinley and my colleague Scott Segal, among others.

EARTH DAY April 22 – Not only is this Earth Day, but it is expected to be the UN Paris Climate Agreement signing day in New York.  Secretary of State John Kerry and EPA head Gina McCarthy are expected to be in New York as the

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Energy Update: Week of April 4

Friends,

Opening Day is here, despite the weather in some places (the Yankees-Astros have been postponed).  Three games launched yesterday, but everybody else goes today including the O’s first pitch against the Twins at 3:05 p.m. at the Yard.  The Nationals open in Atlanta today at 4:05 p.m. and launch at home Thursday.  Get the full MLB Opening Day Schedule here.

Tonight, the College Basketball season ends, crowning either Villanova or North Carolina as champ after Saturday’s semi-final blowouts.  One week to go until the NHL hockey playoffs and this weekend is the NCAA Frozen Four.  And speaking of weeks, this is the 80th Masters Week.  The PGA’s first major of the year is ready to go and top players Jordan Spieth and Jason Day are smarting to become repeat winners of the famous “Green Jacket.”  Action launches today and tomorrow with practice rounds, Pro-Am/Par 3 contest on Wednesday and then Showtime Thursday.

With Congress returning this week, we can expect today to start off with some bluster (and that’s not just because it was windy in DC over the weekend).  It is because the White House will roll out a major report on climate change and health, an always dubious link despite what EPA’s Gina McCarthy, WH Science Advisor John Holdren, and the US Surgeon General will say during the presser.

House Remains out this week on Spring District Work Period as Wisconsin sets primary votes tomorrow.  As for the Senate, they’ll have hearings Wednesday in Senate Ag on Rural Development (or in other words: Renewable Fuels) and Senate Environment hosts NRC Commissioners.  Then Thursday, Senate Energy tackles the USGS (look for some discussion of earthquakes) and Senate Environment will discuss water infrastructure (expect a major discussion of Flint, MI).   In limbo on the schedule remains the energy legislation mired in Senate “holds” and controversy regarding Flint aid and offshore drilling issues.  Insiders seem to think the chances of moving it are narrowing.

Off the hill, there are a bunch of events detailed below with the headliner being a Hudson Institute forum on Wednesday to look at the future natgas economy that features T. Boone Pickens and former VA Rep/Sen/Gov George Allen.  Also, EPA chief Gina McCarthy does another Christian Science Monitor breakfast tomorrow morning at the St. Regis.  Also Lisa Murkowski and Angus King (and Others) talk Arctic Energy at the Wilson Institute Wednesday.  And up in NYC today and tomorrow, Bloomberg New Energy Finance is hosting its annual Energy Summit which features Southern Company CEO Tom Fanning and ClearPath Foundation’s Jay Faison among the speakers.  Later in the week, the Wall Street Journal hosts its annual ECO:nomics conference in Santa Barbara with Fanning, Duke CEO Lynn Good, Chris Brown of Vestas and BNSF CEO Matt Rose all speaking among many others.  Our WSJ friends Kim Strassel, Lynn Cook, Russ Gold, and Amy Harder will be among the interviewers.

Finally, speaking of NRC, after 12 years running the public affairs shop there, our friend and loyal update reader Eliot Brenner is retiring. Eliot was hoping to get the word out so we could all throw him a big party…oops, um, not that… (we will anyway) but because NRC has posted the job on USAJobs over the next month.  It is a career SES position, and they’re advertising to increase the likelihood of getting someone hired before he turns out the lights July 31st.   Congrats Eliot and if you’re interested check out the listing.

Call with questions.

Best,

Frank Maisano
(202) 828-5864
c. (202) 997-5932

IN THE NEWS

Ivanpah Meeting Output Targets – Just after reports of its demise, the Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System solar project in California more than doubled its output last month, putting it on pace to meet its obligations to Pacific Gas and Electric Co.  Ivanpah, the world’s biggest solar-thermal power plant, generated 67,300 megawatt-hours electricity in February, up from about 30,300 a year earlier, according to NRG Energy Inc., which operates the faculty and co-owns it with BrightSource Energy Inc. and Alphabet Inc.’s Google.  Mitchell Samuelian, NRG’s vice president of operation for utility-scale renewable generation, said the improved performance shows the plant’s technology is viable and that the facility is on track to fulfil its contractual obligations. The release of the February output data comes 12 days after California regulators gave NRG and its partners more time to avoid defaulting on a contract with PG&E for failing to supply power they had guaranteed.  “The February numbers were well in excess of what we were targeting,” Samuelian said in an interview. The plant experienced a Normal ramp up that caused it to fall short of production targets for the first 24 months in operation. Last week, California regulators gave the project until Aug. 1 to avoid defaulting on its agreement with PG&E if it pays the utility for past shortfalls in generation and continues to meet future targets.  The facility is on pace to generate 102% of its target capacity for March.

EPA Moves on HFCs, But Rejects Enviro Industry Agreement – The White House Office of Management and Budget approved a proposed EPA rule that aims to phase out certain refrigerants and other hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) that contribute significantly to climate change.  The EPA intends to solicit public comment on the regulation and finalize it by August.  EPA also is proposing to curtail usage of certain HFCs.  Various new limitations would be placed on the use of certain ozone-depleting substances in multiple industrial sectors. The EPA released the proposed rule under the Clean Air Act’s Significant New Alternatives Policy (SNAP) and said it would particularly affect hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) used in the refrigeration and air conditioning, foam blowing, and fire suppression and explosion protection industries.  The HVAC industry, which has been a leader on this issue said AHRI and NRDC negotiated an agreement on this issue that would have set the date of implementation as January 1, 2025.  The EPA did not accept this agreement, stating in the NOPR that it needs additional analysis to justify that date.  While AHRI and other stakeholders will be working with member companies to supply the analysis EPA is asking for, it is nonetheless a disappointment to the HVAC industry because they and NRDC worked diligently to reach the compromise that was presented to EPA, with each side giving something along the way.  For the EPA to reject the agreement sets a bad precedent and could discourage further collaboration among stakeholders on these very important issues.

Colorado Gov Says Suspending Ozone Rule Great Idea – During a speech to the Colorado Petroleum Council late last week, Democratic Gov. John Hickenlooper said it would be a great idea for EPA to suspend its stricter new ozone rule.  The comments were captured in a video distributed by the Center for Regulatory Solutions. Several state in the region including Colorado will have trouble meeting the new tougher standards because g significant background emissions. “So I think it would be a great idea if they suspended the standard,” Hickenlooper told a panel in Denver.I mean, just with the background [ozone], if you’re not going to be able to conform to a standard like this, you are leaving the risk or the possibility that there will be penalties of one sort or another that come from your lack of compliance. … I think if they suspend the standards, it’s not going to slow us down from continuing to try and make our air cleaner.”

Key House Republicans Blast Interior Well Control Rule – A new letter from House Natural Resources Chairman Rob Bishop Interior and Environment Appropriations Subcommittee Chair Ken Calvert late Friday blasted new design requirements for offshore oil and gas wells, saying it will “severely limit” energy development on the outer continental shelf.  The letter says the rule will have severe “negative unintended consequences.”  “Allowing for OCS development and promoting a safe operating environment are not mutually exclusive and it is vitally important to continue improvements and updates to existing safety regulations,” Bishop and Calvert wrote. “However, these rules must be done well and done right.”  As you know, our friends at GEST recently worked with Wood Mackenzie on a study that looked at the costs of the new proposed rule on drilling and its impact on economic activity, employment, energy supplies and federal offshore revenues.   As well, newly –elected Louisiana Democratic Gov. John Bel Edwards also weighed in with the White House challenging the rule.

Supporters Hit Docket with Brief in Favor of GHG Rules – Supporters of EPA GHG rule for power plants flooded the docket with “friend of the court” briefs on Friday.  The US Chamber’s Energy Institute has it all covered here with links to nearly every brief on both sides.  My colleague Scott Segal offered these comments for the record on the Congressional brief filed by 200 Members.  This group is countered by a larger group of 34 Senators and 171 members of the House that filed a brief pointing out the many legal and policy shortcomings of EPA’s rules on February 23, 2016:

  1. The environmentalist Congressional brief mirrors the EPA in confusing the alleged importance of CPP in achieving climate objectives with the actual structure and precedent of the Clean Air Act.  They begin with overheated rhetoric describing the Act as a declaration of war, allowing EPA essentially to do whatever it is it wants.  Of course, many of these same members rejected overbroad “war” rhetoric in virtually every other context.  The claim of necessity also stands in marked contrast to statements from senior EPA officials and even the White House itself that CPP was not necessary for the US to meet its national obligation to greenhouse gas reductions established through the Paris process.  The Administration and activists have both been emphatic in stating that reauthorization of tax credits coupled with market trends makes CPP unneeded to achieve US goals.
  1. The brief makes inappropriate comparisons between CPP and past rule makings found to be within EPA discretion.  The truth is that EPA has never proposed as radical a departure from the letter of the Clean Air Act or past precedent.  The Supreme Court reminded in the UARG case, EPA cannot simply discover vast reservoirs of new authority from long-extant obscure provisions without explicit authorization from Congress.  Filing a brief is at best post hoc rationalization of Congressional intent not supported by actual legislative history.

The more these member stress the importance of the subject matter of its rule, the stronger the case that Congress should use its actual legislative power to define any explicit authorization around which a national consensus can be built.

  1. Much like EPA, the environmentalist Congressional brief makes much of the Supreme Court’s finding in AEP v. Connecticut which found that federal common law was displaced by federal regulatory action on the subject of climate change.  The Court ruled that such tort claims are displaced when federal legislation authorizes EPA to regulate emissions.  But nothing in the AEP case created within Section 111(d) the type of authority EPA seeks here.  Nothing, for example, allowed the Agency to proposed a rule that goes beyond the fence line of the regulated source in contravention of 40 years of Clean Air Act precedent.   And of course the same decision, in footnote 7, also takes explicit notice of the fact that regulation under Section 112 preempts subsequent use of Section 111(d) under the Clean Air Act, meaning that the MATS rule prevents the use of authority cited for CPP.
  1. Bottom line:  CPP remains in serious legal trouble on statutory, constitutional, administrative and implementation grounds.  We think any fair panel of judges are likely to be deeply disturbed by EPA’s regulation, regardless of the subject matter it purports to address or the overheated rhetoric with which it is defended.

PUC Commissioners Brief Counters Pro-EPA Commissioners – Remember, with a brief mention of a few well-known pro-EPA former PUC Commissioners (Sue Tierney, Ron Binz, etc) filing a briefing, you should note that another bigger, more diverse group of PUC Commissioners weighed in against the EPA rules as an overreach.  The 18 former state public utility commissioners that represented the interests of consumers in over a dozen states said lost in the litigation of EPA’s Power Plan is its permanent and irreversible impact on state regulators and state institutions that will only leave state utility regulators to present customers with the bill for its implementation.   Former Colorado PUC Commissioner (who also has some good Binz stories) Ray Gifford (303- 626-2320, rgifford@wbklaw.com) is a great resource.

New Web Page on GHG Rules Underscores Coal Impacts on Cost, Reliability – Speaking of CPP, Here is another great site to follow.  Over the past several years, the EPA has worked to remove coal-based electricity from our nation’s energy mix for what amounts to negligible environmental benefits. To counter the attack, our friends at ACCCE launched a web page – Coal Facts – that utilizes data that highlights reliable, affordable coal-based electricity. The page provides a handy resource for the full story.

Capitol Crude Looks at Trump Oil Import Ban – Looking for a little Oil politics? Even though Donald Trump’s proposal to ban US imports of Saudi Arabian crude appears unfeasible, but is the plan already chilling investment in the US energy sector and damaging fragile ties with the Saudis and other overseas allies?  On this week’s Capitol Crude podcast, Platts senior oil Brian Scheid talks with David Goldwyn, Tim Worstall, George David Banks and James Koehler on the impacts of Trump’s proposed Saudi import ban.

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

BNEF Energy Summit Features Kerry, SoCo Fanning – Bloomberg New Energy Finance is hosting at 8th annual Energy Summit today and tomorrow in New York City and will include among its speakers Secretary of State John Kerry, Southern Company CEO Tom Fanning, ClearPath Foundation founder Jay Faison and former Colorado Gov. Bill Ritter among others.  See the full agenda and speakers here.

Forum to Discuss Ukraine Energy Security – This afternoon at 4:00 p.m., the Atlantic Council will host a discussion on Ukraine energy with its resident fellow Anders Åslund and Ukrainian Parliament Energy committee Member Olga Bielkova.  In his report on the strategic challenges facing Ukraine’s energy sector Dr. Åslund argues that energy sector reform is essential to the survival of Ukraine, as it will assist Ukraine’s fight against corruption, minimize its dependence on Russian gas, and improve Ukrainian national security. The simultaneous support of and pressure from the transatlantic community is critical for Ukraine to complete the reform process in due course to smooth the social costs of the transition, stabilize its energy market, create a favorable environment for indigenous energy production, and improve the country’s overall economic growth prospects. The panel of experts will discuss the findings and recommendations of Dr. Åslund’s report.

Energy Conference Set – The Energy Smart Conference will be held at the Gaylord today through Wednesday.  The event features top enterprises, energy service providers, and technology leaders to rethink the industry and refine energy management.  Main speakers will be Colin Powell, author of Drive: The Surprising Truth of What Motivates Us Daniel Pink and Green to Gold Author Andrew Winston.

McCarthy to Address CSM Breakfast – EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy will again revisit the Christian Science Monitor breakfast series at the St. Regis Hotel at 9:00 a.m.  You know what to expect, but this time with a heavy dose of health impact issues given today’s White House Health-Climate Report.

CSIS to Discuss China Energy Outlook – Tomorrow at 10:00 a.m., the CSIS Energy and National Security Program and Freeman Chair in China Studies will host Xiaojie Xu, Chief Fellow at the Institute of World Economics and Politics, part of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences in Beijing, to present the World Energy China Outlook 2016. The annual outlook presents a Chinese perspective on world energy trends with a focus on domestic energy development and global implications. The 2016 edition compares the implications of a Current Policies Scenario (CPS), examining recently released government policies, as well as an Eco-friendly Energy Strategy (EES), an alternative set of policies emphasizing a new pattern of economic development with increasing quality of growth, an optimized energy system, higher efficiency and lower-carbon development. Jane Nakano, Senior Fellow with the CSIS Energy and National Security Program, will moderate.

RFF to Launch Revesz/Lienke Book – Resources for the Future will hold a book launch tomorrow for the book, Struggling for Air: Power Plants and the “War on Coal” by Richard Revesz and Jack Lienke.   Pro EPA advocates Revesz and Lienke argue that the Cross-State Air Pollution Rule, the Mercury and Air Toxics Standards, and the Clean Power Plan are the latest in a long line of efforts by presidential administrations of both parties to compensate for a tragic flaw in the Clean Air Act of 1970—the “grandfathering” that spared existing power plants from complying with the sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides emissions limits applicable to new plants. At this discussion, Revesz and Lienke will clarify their arguments and a panel of experts will weigh in on the inherent challenges of Clean Air Act regulations and the future of environmental policies such as the Clean Power Plan.  A panel of experts will discuss the issues.

Forum to Look at Transition in Coal Country – The Environmental and Energy Study Institute (EESI) hosts a webinar tomorrow at 2:00 p.m. that will explore how traditionally coal-reliant communities can transition, diversify and strengthen their economies as the United States moves toward a cleaner, more sustainable energy future. The event will discuss the funding opportunities and work being done at the local, regional and federal levels to help these communities grow vibrant local economies. This webinar will highlight the range of actions being taken by various coal-reliant regions to diversify and develop new jobs and sources of revenue.

FERC’s Honorable to Headline Energy Times Forum – The Energy Times will hold a conference on California Renewables at the Fairmont San Francisco on Wednesday.  Keynoters will in broad strokes paint a picture of what is happening in the world of electric utilities, energy infrastructure and the power grid today. They will suggest what will be needed in the future and they will begin our consideration of what it will take for us to get there.  Speakers will include FERC Commissioner Colette Honorable and Edison International’s Andrew Murphy, among many others.

Forum to Look at Arctic Energy Issues – The Institute of the North and The Wilson Center, in association with the Arctic Parliamentarians, Arctic Economic Council and Alaska Arctic Council Host Committee, will host a forum on Wednesday to consider ways in which northern governments and businesses can advance broadly beneficial and responsible economic development.  The day-long forum will address the potential for Arctic economic development, the barriers, and the paths toward greater economic prosperity. This Forum is dedicated to improving the business environment in the American Arctic, which clearly intersects with the economies of other Arctic nations, other regions of the United States, and multiple sectors of the economy. Panel discussions and presentations will focus on areas of mutual interest and concern, including trade, infrastructure, investment, risk mitigation, and improving the living and economic conditions of people of the north.  Confirmed speakers include Sens. Lisa Murkowski and Maine’s Angus King, as well as Arctic Economic Council Chair Tara Sweeney, Icelandic Arctic Chamber of Commerce rep Haukur Óskarsson, Julie Gourley of the US State Department, Canada’s Susan Harper, Norway Parliament Member Eirik Sivertsen, Denmark Parliament Member Aaja Chemnitz Larsen, Russian Sen. Vladimir Torlopov and several other business officials.

Pickens, Allen to Discuss NatGas Future – The Hudson Institute hosts a forum on Wednesday to look at the future natgas economy.  America’s abundance of shale natural gas represents a historic opportunity for the United States to achieve a burst of clean economic growth—and gives American energy security and independence a new meaning.  Will natural gas serve as an essential bridge in the coming era of clean renewable energy sources? Four panels of experts will discuss how the transition to natural gas as a leading power source and industrial feedstock will impact key sectors of the American economy.  George Allen, former governor and U.S. senator from Virginia, will keynote the conference. Energy entrepreneur, financier, and philanthropist T. Boone Pickens will take part in a lunchtime dialogue on America’s natural gas future with Hudson Senior Fellow Arthur Herman.  Other speakers will include our friends David Montgomery of NERA, Michael Jackson of Fuel Freedom Foundation and ACC’s Owen Kean among others.

Senate Agriculture to Look at USDA Rural Development Programs – Next Wednesday at 10:00 a.m., the Senate Agriculture Committee’s Subcommittee on Rural Development and Energy will hold a hearing on USDA Rural Development Programs and their economic impact across America.  USDA’s Lisa Mensah, Under Secretary of Rural Development will testify along with Iowa Farm Bureau Federation President Craig Hill, our friend Iowa Renewable Fuels Association Executive Director Monte Shaw and Cris Sommerville, President of Dakota Turbines in North Dakota.

Senate Enviro Hosts NRC Commissioners on Budget – The Senate Environment Committee will hold an oversight hearing next Wednesday on the President’s FY 2017 Budget Request for the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. All NRC Commissioners will testify.

RFF to Look at Deforestation – Resources for the Future will hold its First Wednesday Seminar at 12:45 p.m. that focused on the opportunities for and challenges of reducing supply chain deforestation using private and regulatory strategies, potential synergies among these strategies, and linkages with Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD+).  The event will feature leading companies, nongovernmental organizations, and multi-stakeholder initiatives using and promoting these approaches.

WCEE Lunch to Look at EE in Commercial Buildings – The Women’s Council on Energy and the Environment (WCEE) will host a lunch on Wednesday at Noon  on new environmental policies, efficiency programs, climate change mitigation, and building codes.  These items have been crucial to the design of sustainable infrastructure and development of energy efficient products, services and practices for commercial buildings and industrial plants. The market offers a wide assortment of programs, services and products but…which are the most suitable for commercial buildings or industrial plants?  Panelists share their experience on energy efficiency programs implemented in different facilities. Smita Chandra Thomas will discuss how energy efficiency in commercial buildings can contribute to climate change mitigation and the eco-system that makes it possible.  Julie Hughes from IMT will present on building energy performance policies–discussing how local, state, and federal government are crucial for making the built environmental more energy efficient.  Alana Hutchinson will give an overview of ENERGY STAR best practices for establishing a comprehensive energy management program for buildings and plants. Corrine Figueredo will explain EDGE, an innovative tool developed by the IFC to help build a business case for Green buildings in more than a 100 countries.

SoCo’s Fanning, Duke’s Good, UN Sect, Others Headline WSJ ECO:nomics Forum – The Wall Street Journal hosts its annual ECO:nomics Conference in Santa Barbara on Wednesday evening, Thursday and Friday.  The event brings together a diverse group of global CEOs, top entrepreneurs, environmental experts and policy makers for ECO:nomics 2016 in Santa Barbara. This year’s conference will give attendees the opportunity to join the national debate over energy policy, sustainability and climate. Speakers for the annual big shindig include Southern’s Tom Fanning, Duke’s Lynn Good, former UN Secretary-General Ban ki-moon West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin and Ford’s Mark Fields.

Green Symposium Set for DC – On Thursday and Friday at UDC, the 8th annual World Green Energy Symposium (WGES) will hold an educational and informational exchange platform featuring top decision makers and thought leaders who are seeking energy usage savings solutions and/or to increase economic development through the use of sustainable technologies and products. The WGES is a rare opportunity to meet firsthand some of the most innovative and advanced technologies to meet those demands, whether an innovator, investor, purchaser, or decision maker in new energy.

EPA Sets Biomass Workshop – States and stakeholders have shown strong interest in the role biomass can play in state strategies to address carbon pollution. Many states have extensive expertise in the area of sound carbon- and GHG-beneficial forestry and land management practices, and exhibit approaches to biomass and bioenergy that are unique to each state’s economic, environmental and renewable energy goals.  To support efforts to further evaluate the role of biomass in stationary source carbon strategies, EPA is hosting this public workshop on Thursday to share their successes, experiences and approaches to deploying biomass in ways that have been, and can be, carbon beneficial.

Senate Energy to Look at USGS – The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee will hold a hearing on Thursday to conduct oversight of the U.S. Geological Survey.  Expect a strong dose of earthquake discussions following last week’s release on new reports looking at man-made earthquakes in place like Oklahoma.

Forum to Discuss Energy with Presidential Advisors – The STEM Capitol Hill Power Lunch Series returns on Thursday at Noon in B-338 featuring a debate with energy, tech, and education advisors to Presidential candidates. The event features a debate with education, tech, and/or energy policy advisors to leading presidential candidates. You’re invited to enjoy a lively conversation about substantive policy issues affecting the growth of our innovation economy while networking with congressional staff and officials from federal and local government agencies along with tech and energy sector executives, other STEM professionals, policy advocates, educators, and students.

NAS Report to Look at Extreme Weather Issues – On Thursday evening at the Marian Koshland Science Museum the NAS will hold a forum on a new report on extreme weather that examines the current state of the science of attribution of extreme weather events to human-caused climate change and natural variability. The report considers different attribution approaches and different extreme event types, and identifies future research priorities.  Report Chair David Titley of the Penn State and committee member Adam Sobel of Columbia University. Remarks will be followed by open audience Q&A, moderated by our friends Heidi Cullen of Climate Central and AP Science Writer Seth Borenstein.

HuffPost Podcast to Be Featured – Our friend Dana Yeganian, former Progress Energy PR person, is hosting a Happy Hour on Thursday at NBCUniversal’s office at 300 NJ Ave featuring the new HuffPost podcast Candidate Confessional.  CC Hosts Sam Stein and Jason Chekis will provide an inside look at life on the losing side of the campaign trial.

FUTURE EVENTS

Forum to Discuss Enviro Book – The CSIS Project on Prosperity and Development will host a forum on Next Monday at 10:30 a.m. for an armchair conversation with Antoine van Agtmael and Fred Bakker, authors of The Smartest Places on Earth: Why Rustbelts Are the Emerging Hotspots of Global Innovation. In their new book, the authors argue that manufacturing rustbelts in Europe and the United States are transforming as universities, large corporations, and policymakers collaborate to foster innovation ecosystems and empower visionary entrepreneurs.  As these regions become new centers of economic dynamism there are lessons to be learned for any country or region seeking modern economic competitiveness.

JHU Energy Program to Discuss Energy in Eastern Mediterranean – The Johns Hopkins University will host a forum next Monday at 5:00 p.m. featuring Sir Michael Leigh is a senior fellow with the German Marshall Fund and runs GMF’s program on Eastern Mediterranean Energy. He was formerly director-general for enlargement with the European Commission and has held other senior positions at EU institutions for more than 30 years. He has taught at John Hopkins SAIS Europe in Bologna, Italy, as well as the University of Sussex and Wellesley College.  Leigh will focus on energy and geopolitics in the Eastern Mediterranean.

Forum to Look at Energy Innovation in Defense Sector – The Atlantic Council and The Fuse, a group within the think Securing America’s Future Energy (SAFE), will host a panel discussion next Tuesday at 9:00 a.m. on energy technology and innovation in the U.S. defense sector. The demand for energy security and evolving geopolitical risks have already impacted the strategic approach of defense institutions, which are actively developing technology and policy alternatives to respond to these challenges. By integrating expertise in both security and energy issues, institutions such as the United States Navy provide a critical perspective in efforts to secure a reliable and sustainable energy supply. Speakers will include Dennis McGinn, Assistant Secretary of the Navy – Energy, Installations, & Environment, Pew’s Clean Energy Initiative Director Phyllis Cuttino and the Atlantic Council’s Dan Chiu,

CSIS Forum to Look at Energy Developments in Brazil, Venezuela – The CSIS Energy and National Security Program will host a panel discussion next Tuesday at 2:00 p.m. on regional energy developments in Latin America, with a focus on Brazil and Venezuela. Our expert panel will examine the political dynamics and economic outlook, highlighting analyses of political issues impacting the oil sector, including production profiles and the outlook for investment.  Following the initial presentations, the panelists will engage in an informal conversation focusing on the latest developments in both countries, and the impact on domestic policy as well as oil markets more generally.

Rogers Headlines Clean Energy Challenge Forum
– The Clean Energy Challenge is hold a conference in Chicago on April 12th featuring capitalists, civic leaders, and industry executives to recognize cleantech innovation.  The Clean Energy Trust Challenge is a nationally recognized accelerator for clean energy innovation. Run by Chicago-based Clean Energy Trust, the Challenge has led to the development and growth of 60+ businesses throughout the Midwest.  Speakers will include former Duke CEO Jim Rogers and Ripple Foods CEO Adam Lowry.

Gates to Receive Honor – CSIS and the Brzezinski Institute on Geostrategy will host the Inaugural Zbigniew Brzezinski Annual Prize and Lecture next Tuesday, April 12th at 5:00 p.m.  The Zbigniew Brzezinski Annual Prize honors the legacy of Dr. Brzezinski by recognizing and promoting the importance of geostrategic thinking with a transcending moral purpose.  This year’s inaugural Prize Recipient is former U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates. The mission of the Brzezinski Institute on Geostrategy is to examine the unique interaction of history, geography, and strategy, with a goal of developing policy-relevant analysis and recommendations. The Institute seeks to further the study of geostrategy and to develop a new generation of strategic policy thinkers in the United States and abroad.

USAEE Washington Energy Conference Set for Georgetown – The US Association for Energy Economics, National Capital Area Chapter (NCAC-USAEE) and the Georgetown Energy and Cleantech Club will host its 20th Annual Washington Energy Policy Conference on Wednesday, April 13th at Georgetown University.   The event will feature Keynote Speaker, Bill Hogan, of Harvard University and our friends Monica Trauzzi of E&E TV, former NYT reporter Matt Wald of NEI and GDF Suez exec Rob Minter.

API Head to Look at Energy Policy Recommendations – American Petroleum Institute (API) President & CEO Jack Gerard will make a presentation of the 2016 Platform Committee Report on Wednesday, April 13th at the W Hotel at 8:30 a.m.  The morning’s briefing will reveal API’s energy policy recommendations to the platform committees of the Democratic and Republican parties and set the stage for the corresponding panel discussions to follow.

Ethanol Supporters to Hold Washington Fly-In – The American Coalition for Ethanol is organizing a series of briefings and meetings on Wednesday and Thursday with congressional offices to advocate for continued support of ethanol fuel. The meetings will take place at the Washington Court Hotel and on Capitol Hill.

Forum Looks at Renewables in EU – The US Energy Association will hold a forum on Wednesday, April 13th at 10:00 a.m. on renewables deployment in the EU.  The European Union has decided an ambitious program to transform its energy system. A binding target of at least 40% domestic reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 has been endorsed – compared with 1990 emission levels. Further targets include doubling the share of renewable energy in total consumption and increasing energy efficiency. Due to strong governmental support, the share of renewables in total EU power demand has doubled within the last ten years, from 15% in 2005 to 30% in 2015. But this strong development has a price. Net subsidy paid by the customers to plant operators reached, alone in Germany, which has one of the most ambitious programs in favor of renewables, $23 billion in 2015 and $140 billion in total for the period 2000 to 2015. This has led to power prices in the EU, which are twice as high as the U.S. average. Power producers, too, have to face new challenges.

CSIS Forum Looks at Infrastructure – On Wednesday at 2:00 p.m., the Center for Strategic and International Studies will hold an expert panel discussion on meeting infrastructure demands around the world. According to the World Bank’s Global Infrastructure Facility, the unmet demand for infrastructure around the world is estimated to be above $1 trillion per year. Meeting the financing need for bankable and sustainable projects must be a priority, for both governments and the private sector, in the coming decades. In addition to financing needs, donors and the private sector must work together to build capacity and provide technical assistance that will ensure continued success long after the individual projects have been completed. Panelists will discuss ways in which infrastructure can become a driver of development and stability, and how targeted investments in smart projects and capacity building can produce measurable results to pave the way for sustainable economic growth in low and middle-income countries.

Forum Looks at Philanthropy, Climate – On Wednesday, April 13th at 5:00 p.m., the German Marshall Fund of the United States will hold a forum that will explore the ways philanthropy and government can link the equity and climate policy agendas at the city, national, and global level. The dialogue will feature speakers working on this issue in the United States and Europe and build a discussion led by GMF as part of the Paris Climate Summit for Local Leaders.

Ocean Film Screening Set – George Mason University will host a special screening of “Ocean Frontiers II” Wednesday, April 13th 5:45 p.m. in the Founders Hall Auditorium, followed by a Q & A on ocean planning with a panel of regional and international experts. In a region steeped in old maritime tradition, the film tells the story of a modern wave of big ships, offshore wind energy and a changing climate, and how people are coming together to plan for a healthy ocean off their coast.  The interactive panel discussion with regional and international experts includes Beth Kerttula of the National Ocean Council, John T. Kennedy of DOT’s Maritime Administration, GMU’s Chris Parsons and Amy Trice of Ocean Conservancy.

House Transpo Look at Grid Security – On Thursday, April 14th, the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee’s Subcommittee on Economic Development, Public Buildings, and Emergency Management will hold a hearing on Blackout preparation and managing the aftermath of a cyber-attack or any other failure of the electrical grid.

More 350K Celebrate Science Expo – The 4th USA Science & Engineering Festival, the largest and only national science festival, will be held next Friday, Saturday and Sunday at the Washington Convention Center in DC.  The event features nationwide contests and school programs, including the popular ‘Nifty 50′ science speaker program and X-STEM Symposium. The Festival will culminate in a Grand Finale Expo with Sneak Peek Friday kicking off the weekend on April 15th.  More than 350,000 attendees will celebrate science at the Expo, and engage in activities with some of the biggest names in STEM, hear stories of inspiration and courage, and rock out to science during our incredible stage show performances.  See full agenda here.

Skulnik to Speak on MD Solar Law – On Sunday, April 17th at 2:15 p.m. in the Aspen Hill Library, our friend Gary Skulnik will discuss the new Maryland community solar law.  Skulnik is the founder of a new social enterprise called Neighborhood Sun, www.neighborhoodsun.solar. As President of Clean Currents, Gary started the movement for clean power in Maryland and the region.  Last week, Skulnik spoke at a similar event in Silver Spring.

Group to Host Nuclear Week Activities – The Alliance for Nuclear Accountability is hosting its 27th annual DC Days Sunday April 17th through Wednesday April 20th to voice concerns about nuclear weapons, power, and waste.  Of course, you can always get that info with our friends at NEI.

Conference to Look at PA Drilling – Shale Directories will host Upstream 2016 on April 19th at the Penn Stater in State College, PA to look at action in PA.  Despite cutbacks in budgets, there are still opportunities for this and next year and Cabot, Seneca and others will be there to discuss when Drilling may ramp up again, what you can do to help the industry and how to prepare for the growth. As well, Faouizi Aloulou, Senior Economist with the Energy Information Agency, will give a presentation on the uncertainties of shale resource development under low price environment.

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

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

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

Energy Update: Week of March 28

Friends,

Hope you enjoyed the incredible basketball over the weekend now with the Final Four set.  And there was some pretty good college hockey as well with the Frozen Four also locked in.  The only thing that remains is to lock down the final two spots in the Women’s Final Four.

This weekend was also a beautiful couple days for seeing DC’s famous “cherry blossoms” which are in full force.  The only problem with heading out to the Tidal Basin are the throngs of people who are doing the same sightseeing.  Hopefully today’s early rain won’t put a damper on the cherry blossoms stay.

Last week also found new songs headed in the National Archives, including a couple of my favorites: the Metallica Classic Master of Puppets, Billy Joel’s Piano Man and Bobby Darin’s Mack the KnifeMack is one of my karaoke favorites!!!

Seems like a slow week with yesterday’s Easter holiday and the Congressional Spring break.  I hope you all enjoyed your family for a few days break.  Regardless, there are still a few events that you may want to take a look at below, including PHMSA Chief Marie Therese Dominguez talking pipeline safety, the agency’s impending reorganization and what that means for its pipeline safety program at CSIS on Wednesday at 11 a.m.   DOE’s Paul a Gant also speaks to the NatGas Roundtable Thursday and The Nuclear Energy industry host a summit Wednesday through Friday at the Grand Hyatt.

Briefs are also due today for EPA responding to lawsuits seeking to block its new GHG rules.  My colleague Jeff Holmstead says the EPA has 42,000 words to explain itself and respond to charges that the rule is illegal or economically disastrous.  And tomorrow, states, utilities, green groups and clean energy interests supporting EPA file their briefs, and Friday is the deadline for EPA’s amicus supporters.  Briefing will wrap up April 22nd.  Also, for the first time ever, the U.S. Geological Survey is chronicling the potential hazards of human-induced earthquakes in a report being released today, perhaps my colleague Jason Hutt (202-255-2042) can help.

And for your radar screen:  OPEC and major non-OPEC producers are set to meet in Doha in less than three weeks to, possibly, freeze output at January levels.  On this week’s Platt’s Capitol Crude, Michael Cohen, head of energy commodities research at Barclays, talks about what impact this plan could have on global and US supply, prices and exports.

Finally today, the local newspaper in our area, the Annapolis Capital, ran a great piece on my daughter Hannah and her budding officiating career.  It is a very nice article and I’m proud of the work she has done to earn it.

Opening day just a week or so away…  Call with questions.

Best,

Frank Maisano

(202) 828-5864

(202) 997-5932

 

 

IN THE NEWS

 

New LA Dem Gov Edwards Urges Review of BSEE Well Control Rule – The newly–elected Democratic Governor of Louisiana, John Bel Edwards wrote a letter last week to the Obama administration urging them to revise its rule tightening standards for blowout prevention systems and other well controls for offshore drillers.  Edwards said the soon-to-be-released rule, could devastate Louisiana’s economy.  In a letter delivered to OIRA chief Howard Shelanski during their meeting, Edwards said the BSEE’s rule as proposed issues “highly prescriptive technical mandates” that won’t end up improving offshore safety. Instead, it will lead to less drilling in the Gulf of Mexico, draining both federal and state coffers.  “No state was hit harder by the 2010 Deepwater Horizon tragedy than Louisiana, and we are all deeply committed to preventing a similar disaster from happening again,” Edwards wrote. “It is essential today that regulators and industry participants alike take the most constructive path possible to improving the safety of offshore operations. I do not believe the current draft of the Well Control Rule is the best path forward.”

McConnell Urges States to Stand Down On GHG Rule – Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell wrote to the nation’s governors last week urging states to stand down because of the Supreme Court’s recent nationwide stay of the Obama Administration’s GHG rules.  McConnell called the plan a massive regulatory plan that will not have a meaningful impact on global emissions but will punish states’ most vulnerable citizens and ship middle-class jobs overseas.  The letter follows one he sent governors in March 2015, urging them to carefully review the consequences of this deeply-misguided plan and to reject submitting a state implementation plan to the Obama Administration until the courts rule on its legality.  In the letter, Senator McConnell wrote, “The court’s action in State of West Virginia et.al. v. EPA et.al. will likely extend well beyond this administration, providing a welcome reprieve to states while simultaneously underlining the serious legal and policy concerns I wrote you about last year. In that letter I advised you to carefully consider the significant economic and legal ramifications at stake before signing your states up to a plan that may well fall in court, given that it was unclear — in my view, unlikely — such a plan could survive legal scrutiny… This is precisely why I suggested a ‘wait-and-see’ approach with respect to the CPP last year… even if the CPP is ultimately upheld, the clock would start over and your states would have ample time to formulate and submit a plan; but if the court overturns the CPP as I predict, your citizens would not be left with unnecessary economic harm. Nor would your states be left with responsibility for billions in unnecessary investment obligations.”  The full text of Senate Majority Leader McConnell’s letter is HERE.

 

BrightSource Launches New Technologies Deployed at Israel’s Ashalim Solar Thermal Plant BrightSource Energy, a leading concentrating solar power technology (CSP) company rolled out several new, advanced solar field technologies currently being deployed at the 121 megawatt (MW) Ashalim Solar Thermal Power Station located in Israel’s Negev Desert. The fourth generation of BrightSource’s solar field technologies features improvements to the heliostats, solar field communications network and solar field control system. These technologies are designed to further optimize power production, reduce construction time and lower project costs.  The 392 MW Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System, located in California’s Mojave Desert, is the world’s largest CSP tower project and is entering its third year of operation. The Ashalim project, which is now under construction, builds on the experience gained at Ivanpah. BrightSource’s technologies being deployed at Ashalim are designed to deliver performance improvements in all areas of solar field operations.

 

What Are They?  – The technologies will reduce cost and improve performance dramatically.  They include:

 

New Heliostat Design: With fewer components and an easier assembly, new heliostats cost less and can be installed much faster. Each heliostat consists of four flat, low-iron glass mirrors that provide maximum reflectivity for the life of the project. The new streamlined design maximizes the total reflective surface within the constraints of the mechanical drive systems and allowable wind load.

 

Dual-Axis Trackers Now Powered by the Sun: Each heliostat is individually controlled and features an integrated, dual-axis tracking system capable of 360 degree positioning. Movement is powered by a small photovoltaic panel and rechargeable lithium-ion battery power supply unit. This system significantly reduces electrical wiring and cabling in the solar field. Long-term reliability is also improved.

Industry First Wireless Solar Field Communications and Control: BrightSource’s solar field integrated control system (SFINCS) manages the distribution of energy across the solar receiver using real-time heliostat-aiming and closed-loop feedback. At Ashalim, each of the 50,600 heliostats positioned in the 3.15-square-kilometer solar field will communicate wirelessly with the SFINCS. The wireless system reduces cabling by as much as 85 percent in the solar field, further reducing costs and accelerating the construction schedule.

 

Ashalim Construction Update – With more than 1,000 construction workers on site, the construction of the Ashalim Solar Thermal Power Station is on track. To date, more than 22,000 pylons have been installed in the solar field and more than 6,000 heliostats have been assembled and installed onsite. Additionally, the power block is starting to take shape with the majority of the earthwork completed, and construction of the 250 meter tower has begun. The facility is scheduled to be completed in late 2017.  The project is the largest of its kind in Israel, and will contribute significantly to the government’s clean power goals when complete.  The Ashalim plant is being constructed by Megalim Solar Power, a Build, Operate, Transfer (B.O.T.) company owned by NOY Fund, BrightSource and General Electric (GE). GE is responsible for the engineering, the procurement and the construction (EPC) of the solar power station. The facility is located on Plot-B of the Ashalim solar complex, which includes two solar thermal projects and one photovoltaic project. In total, these facilities at Ashalim are expected to produce nearly 300 MW of power, about two percent of Israel’s electricity production capacity, supporting Israel’s commitment to reach 10% of the country’s electricity production from renewable sources by 2020.

 

Congress Urges Approps Limits – Rep. Garret Graves and Charles Boustany, Jr., along with led with 26 other members sent a letter to the House Appropriations Committee leaders requesting that language be included in the Interior, Environment and Related Appropriations Act for Fiscal Year 2017 prohibiting the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) from using any funds for the implementation of the agency’s proposed well control rule.  The rule has come under criticism from stakeholders who say the rule imposes an impossible mandate on drilling in the Gulf of Mexico, requiring technology that has not been developed and will not have a demonstrable benefit to safety. These stakeholders argue the rule could amount to a de facto drilling moratorium in the Gulf until new technology to meet the rule’s requirements is developed over the coming years. Experts at Wood Mackenzie concluded that if this rule went into effect, as many as 190,000 direct jobs would be lost due to a decrease in exploration and production. The well control rule is currently under review at the Office of Information and Regulatory affairs within the Office of Management and Budget.

 

 

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

Transmission Summit Set to Address Challenges – The 19th Annual Transmission Summit will be held on March 29-31 at the Washington Marriott Georgetown.  The event will feature senior executives from MISO, NYISO, PJM, SPP and ISO-NE, who will discuss their system needs and market changes, and representatives from such prominent transmission owners and developers as Clean Line Energy Partners LLC, Con Edison, DATC, Exelon Corp., LS Power Development LLC, National Grid, Xcel Energy and others will provide insights into their development plans and projects.

 

Forum to Look at Health Consequence of Nuclear Terror Scenario – The CSIS Global Health Policy Center will host Timothy Jorgensen, Associate Professor and Director, Health Physics and Radiation Protection Program, Georgetown University, today at 4:00 p.m. to speak on the topic of “Predicting the Health Consequences of Nuclear Terrorism Scenarios,” drawing on the experiences of Hiroshima and Fukushima.  Tim’s talk occurs soon after Princeton University Press publishes his new book, “Strange Glow: The Story of Radiation.”

GP Bush Headlines TX Energy Conference – Bush Others Lead Texas Energy Conference – George P. Bush Texas Land Commissioner will lead efforts speaking tomorrow in Austin, Texas at the historic Paramount Theatre. ETS16 will debate the state and future of energy and a fascinating cross-section of established leaders and unsung heroes rewriting the next generation of energy.  As Texas Land Commissioner, Bush works to ensure Texas veterans get the benefits they’ve earned, oversees investments that earn billions of dollars for public education and manages state lands to produce the oil and gas that is helping make America energy independent.  Other speakers will include Google’s Vint Cerf, NRG’s Leah Seligman, NASA’s Tom Wagner, ERCOT’s Bill Magness, Luis Reyes of the Kit Carson Electric Coop and John Hewa of the Pedernales Electric Coop.

Forum to Preview Nuke Summit – In advance of the final Nuclear Security Summit, the CSIS Proliferation Prevention Program hold a forum to bring together leaders from three Centers of Excellence to share how their centers have helped build nuclear security in East Asia as well as discuss what the future may hold for them in the post-summit environment.  Dr. Jongsook Kim, Director General of the Korea Institute of Nuclear Nonproliferation and Control International Nuclear Nonproliferation and Security Academy and Mr. Yosuke Naoi, Deputy Director of the Japan Atomic Energy Agency Integrated Support Center for Nuclear Nonproliferation and Nuclear Safety will brief on the current status of their centers.  They will be joined by Ambassador Bonnie Jenkins, Chair of IAEA NSSC Network and Threat Reduction Programs at the State Department and Mr. David G. Huizenga, Principal Deputy Administrator for Defense Nuclear Nonproliferation at the Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration for a panel discussion on nuclear security efforts after the 2016 Nuclear Security Summit, moderated by Ms. Sharon Squassoni, Director and Senior Fellow of the CSIS Proliferation Prevention Program.

Forum to Look at Africa Food Crisis – The CSIS Africa Program and the CSIS Global Food Security Project will hold a discussion on Tuesday March 29th at 2:00 p.m. on examining Africa’s latest food crisis.  The 2015-2016 El Niño weather pattern, among the strongest on record, has caused intense drought in Eastern and Southern Africa and has left up to 60 million people in the two regions in need of emergency food assistance. Ethiopia has called the current drought its worst in 30 years, South Africa its worst in over a century. As the resulting food and health emergency grows, experts on food security, resilience, and climate change in Africa will join us to discuss the scale and impact of the current crisis and evaluate the response to date, with an eye toward what the U.S. and broader international community can do to support resilience to mounting climate variability challenges.

Forum to Look at Solar Designs – The Environmental and Energy Study Institute (EESI) will host a briefing tomorrow at 2:00 p.m. in 121 Cannon about a “solar secure” recreation center in Brooklyn and a “high performance” school in Kentucky that are benefiting their communities as well as those who use the buildings. The briefing will show how sustainable public buildings can collectively reduce emissions and clear the air, especially in disadvantaged communities where energy utilities are often sited. Case studies will feature buildings–both in urban and in rural areas–that are improving public health and driving economic growth, while protecting and serving their communities and neighborhoods even during emergencies.  It will feature a retrofit project in the Red Hook neighborhood of Brooklyn in New York City and a net-zero energy high school in rural Kentucky, as well as projects incorporating sustainability principles in Prince George’s County, Maryland. For vocational students near Lexington, Kentucky, the Locust Trace AgriScience Center embodies the principles of sustainability. With daylit classrooms and low-impact land development, the buildings and campus provide hands-on learning of new skills for today’s jobs with minimal energy/water use and low carbon emissions. The Redevelopment Authority (RDA) of Prince George’s County, MD, is developing mixed-income/mixed-use projects and affordable housing in urban communities near transit centers using sustainability principles that promote walkability, green design, and energy and water efficiency.

 

CAP hosts Transpo Sect Foxx – The Center for American Progress will host U.S. Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx Wednesday at 9:30 a.m. as he outlines the history of transportation decision-making and its role in shaping society. He will lay out core principles for future inclusive design that will help ensure that transportation projects will work to connect –and reconnect — communities to opportunities and the American Dream. Throughout our nation’s history, transportation has connected the country, but transportation infrastructure decisions have also worked to divide us.

PHMSA Head to Address CSIS Forum – The CSIS Energy and National Security Program is hosting a conversation with Marie Therese Dominguez, Administrator of the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Administration (PHMSA) on Wednesday March 30th at 11:00 a.m.  As administrator, Dominguez is responsible for overseeing PHMSA’s development and enforcement of regulations for the safe, reliable, and environmentally sound operation of the nation’s 2.6 million miles of gas and liquid pipelines and nearly 1 million daily shipments of hazardous materials by land, sea, and air.  Dominguez will provide an overview of PHMSA as well as her thoughts on the country’s main challenges and opportunities with regard to the transportation of energy and hazardous materials that are essential to daily life.

 

WCEE to Look at Solar Growth – The Women’s Council on Energy and the Environment (WCEE) will hold a brown bad lunch at Duane Morris on Wednesday, March 30th looking at the challenges and growth in solar.  The burgeoning solar industry presents a number of opportunities and challenges. The recent extension of the Investment Tax Credit (ITC) provides a strong boost for the solar industry. At the same time, grid reliability and interconnection are of utmost important as increased solar capacity is added to the grid.  Anya Schoolman discusses solar programs and incentives, use of tax credits, and explores solar co-ops as a means to undertake solar PV projects. Kevin Lynn will then delve deeper into the issues of solar PV and grid integration through the lenses of technical, market, and regulatory challenges. Lastly, Erik Heinle will speak from his experience of working with various project owners, developers, and investors on issues surrounding facility construction and financing, power purchase agreements/net metering and interconnection issues as well as issues related to PURPA.

 

Forum to Look at Solar Book – The GW Sustainability Collaborative and the GW Solar Institute will host an event Wednesday at Noon with author Philip Warburg to discuss his new book Harness the Sun: America’s Quest for a Solar-Powered Future.  Solar power was once the domain of futurists and environmentally minded suburbanites. Today it is part of mainstream America. Scan the skyline of downtown neighborhoods, check out the rooftop of the nearest Walmart, and take a close look at your local sports arena. In Harness the Sun, Warburg takes readers on a far-flung journey that explores America’s solar revolution. Beginning with his solar-powered home in New England, he introduces readers to the pioneers who are spearheading our move toward a clean energy economy. We meet the CEOs who are propelling solar power to prominence and the intrepid construction workers who scale our rooftops installing panels. We encounter the engineers who are building giant utility-scale projects in prime solar states like Nevada, Arizona, and California, and the biologists who make sure wildlife is protected at those sites.

 

McGinn Featured at Roundtable – The Association of Climate Change Officers (ACCO) will hold a new Defense & National Security Roundtable on Wednesday, March 30th at 4:00 p.m. featuring Dennis McGinn.  The event is part of a bi-monthly roundtable series featuring special guests from across sectors discussing critical climate change and national security initiatives in a town hall format.  McGinn, currently Assistant Secretary of the Navy (Energy, Installations & Environment), was the former director of ACORE.

 

Energy to Host QER Meetings Around Country – The Department of Energy has announced a series of public meetings around the country to seek input on the second installment of the Quadrennial Energy Review (QER 1.2), which is a study the of the nation’s electricity system from generation to end-use. The stated purpose of the QER 1.2 is to develop a set of findings and policy recommendations to help guide the modernization of the nation’s electric grid and ensure its reliability, safety, security, affordability and environmental performance through 2040.  Meetings will include remarks from government officials, moderated panel discussions with public and private sector energy experts, and open microphone/public comment sessions. Meeting dates and locations will include Atlanta, GA (3/31), Boston, MA (4/15), Salt Lake City, UT (4/25), Des Moines, IA (5/6), Los Angeles, CA (5/10) and Austin, TX.

 

DOE Official to Address NatGas Roundtable – The Natural Gas Roundtable will host Dr. Paula Gant, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Office of International Affairs at the Department of Energy for its monthly lunch Thursday at the University Club.  Previously, Gant served as the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Oil and Natural Gas in the Department of Energy’s Office of Fossil Energy.  As Deputy Assistant Secretary, Dr. Gant administered domestic and international oil and gas programs, including policy analysis and liquefied natural gas import and export authorization.

 

Forum to Look at European Pipeline Project, Security – The Atlantic Council will host forum on Friday at 9:30 a.m. looking at the pipeline project Nord Stream 2 and whether it is a threat to Energy Security in Europe.  Amidst the Ukraine Crisis and continuing tensions between Russia and the European Union, the proposed Nord Stream 2 pipeline presents a strategic dilemma to the European Union. The project would increase shipments of gas directly to Gazprom’s core Western European markets by circumventing Ukraine deemed too risky a transit state by some member states. At the same time, it deeply divides member states and poses dilemmas in the context of the EU’s diversification and LNG strategies.

 

Vandy, ELI Host Annual Law Review – On Friday at 9:30 a.m. on 2168 Rayburn (The Gold Room), Vanderbilt University Law School and the Environmental Law Institute will hold their annual event to identify innovative environmental law and policy proposals in the academic literature. Please join leading professors, policymakers and practitioners to discuss the proposals selected this year.

 

Statoil Exec to Address Energy Issues, Climate – The CSIS Energy and National Security Program is hosting a roundtable on Friday with Irene Rummelhoff, Executive Vice President for New Energy Solutions at Statoil to discuss what role energy companies may play in the transition to a global low carbon economy.  As the policies and economics evolve to address climate change, many energy companies are adjusting their long-term vision to ensure an active role in this transition to low carbon energy future. Statoil’s New Energy Solutions has a long term goal of reducing carbon emissions and exploring new low-carbon business opportunities, especially in ways that complement traditional oil and gas assets with profitable renewable energy and other low carbon energy solutions.

 

Skulnik to Speak on MD Solar Law – On Sunday, April 3rd at 2:15 p.m. in the Silver Spring, our friend Gary Skulnik will discuss the new Maryland community solar law.  Skulnik is the founder of a new social enterprise called Neighborhood Sun, www.neighborhoodsun.solar. As President of Clean Currents, Gary started the movement for clean power in Maryland and the region.

 

 

FUTURE EVENTS

Forum to Discuss Ukraine Energy Security – Next Monday at 4:00 p.m., the Atlantic Council will host a discussion on Ukraine energy with its resident fellow Anders Åslund and Ukrainian Parliament Energy committee Member Olga Bielkova.  In his report on the strategic challenges facing Ukraine’s energy sector Dr. Åslund argues that energy sector reform is essential to the survival of Ukraine, as it will assist Ukraine’s fight against corruption, minimize its dependence on Russian gas, and improve Ukrainian national security. The simultaneous support of and pressure from the transatlantic community is critical for Ukraine to complete the reform process in due course to smooth the social costs of the transition, stabilize its energy market, create a favorable environment for indigenous energy production, and improve the country’s overall economic growth prospects. The panel of experts will discuss the findings and recommendations of Dr. Åslund’s report.

 

Energy Conference Set – The Energy Smart Conference will be held at the Gaylord on April 4-6th.  The event features top enterprises, energy service providers, and technology leaders to rethink the industry and refine energy management.  Main speakers will be Colin Powell, author of Drive: The Surprising Truth of What Motivates Us Daniel Pink and Green to Gold Author Andrew Winston.

 

CSIS to Discuss China Energy Outlook – Next Tuesday at 10:00 a.m., the CSIS Energy and National Security Program and Freeman Chair in China Studies will host Xiaojie Xu, Chief Fellow at the Institute of World Economics and Politics, part of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences in Beijing, to present the World Energy China Outlook 2016. The annual outlook presents a Chinese perspective on world energy trends with a focus on domestic energy development and global implications. The 2016 edition compares the implications of a Current Policies Scenario (CPS), examining recently released government policies, as well as an Eco-friendly Energy Strategy (EES), an alternative set of policies emphasizing a new pattern of economic development with increasing quality of growth, an optimized energy system, higher efficiency and lower-carbon development. Jane Nakano, Senior Fellow with the CSIS Energy and National Security Program, will moderate.

RFF to Launch Revesz/Lienke Book – Resources for the Future will hold a book launch on April 5th for the book, Struggling for Air: Power Plants and the “War on Coal” by Richard Revesz and Jack Lienke.   Pro EPA advocates Revesz and Lienke argue that the Cross-State Air Pollution Rule, the Mercury and Air Toxics Standards, and the Clean Power Plan are the latest in a long line of efforts by presidential administrations of both parties to compensate for a tragic flaw in the Clean Air Act of 1970—the “grandfathering” that spared existing power plants from complying with the sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides emissions limits applicable to new plants. At this discussion, Revesz and Lienke will clarify their arguments and a panel of experts will weigh in on the inherent challenges of Clean Air Act regulations and the future of environmental policies such as the Clean Power Plan.  A panel of experts will discuss the issues.

 

Forum to Look at Transition in Coal Country – The Environmental and Energy Study Institute (EESI) hosts a webinar next Tuesday at 2:00 p.m. that will explore how traditionally coal-reliant communities can transition, diversify and strengthen their economies as the United States moves toward a cleaner, more sustainable energy future. The event will discuss the funding opportunities and work being done at the local, regional and federal levels to help these communities grow vibrant local economies. This webinar will highlight the range of actions being taken by various coal-reliant regions to diversify and develop new jobs and sources of revenue.

FERC’s Honorable to Headline Energy Times Forum – The Energy Times will hold a conference on California Renewables at the Fairmont San Francisco on April 6th.  Keynoters will in broad strokes paint a picture of what is happening in the world of electric utilities, energy infrastructure and the power grid today. They will suggest what will be needed in the future and they will begin our consideration of what it will take for us to get there.  Speakers will include FERC Commissioner Colette Honorable and Edison International’s Andrew Murphy, among many others.

 

Forum to Look at Arctic Energy Issues – The Institute of the North and The Wilson Center, in association with the Arctic Parliamentarians, Arctic Economic Council and Alaska Arctic Council Host Committee, will host a forum to consider ways in which northern governments and businesses can advance broadly beneficial and responsible economic development.  The day-long forum will address the potential for Arctic economic development, the barriers, and the paths toward greater economic prosperity. This Forum is dedicated to improving the business environment in the American Arctic, which clearly intersects with the economies of other Arctic nations, other regions of the United States, and multiple sectors of the economy. Panel discussions and presentations will focus on areas of mutual interest and concern, including trade, infrastructure, investment, risk mitigation, and improving the living and economic conditions of people of the north.  Confirmed speakers include Sens. Lisa Murkowski and Maine’s Angus King, as well as Arctic Economic Council Chair Tara Sweeney, Icelandic Arctic Chamber of Commerce rep Haukur Óskarsson, Julie Gourley of the US State Department, Canada’s Susan Harper, Norway Parliament Member Eirik Sivertsen, Denmark Parliament Member Aaja Chemnitz Larsen, Russian Sen. Vladimir Torlopov and several other business officials.

 

Pickens, Allen to Discuss NatGas Future – The Hudson Institute hosts a forum on Wednesday April 6th to look at the future natgas economy.  America’s abundance of shale natural gas represents a historic opportunity for the United States to achieve a burst of clean economic growth—and gives American energy security and independence a new meaning.  Will natural gas serve as an essential bridge in the coming era of clean renewable energy sources? Four panels of experts will discuss how the transition to natural gas as a leading power source and industrial feedstock will impact key sectors of the American economy.  George Allen, former governor and U.S. senator from Virginia, will keynote the conference. Energy entrepreneur, financier, and philanthropist T. Boone Pickens will take part in a lunchtime dialogue on America’s natural gas future with Hudson Senior Fellow Arthur Herman.  Other speakers will include our friends David Montgomery of NERA, Michael Jackson of Fuel Freedom Foundation and ACC’s Owen Kean among others.

Senate Agriculture to Look at USDA Rural Development Programs – Next Wednesday, April 6th at 10:00 a.m., the Senate Agriculture Committee’s Subcommittee on Rural Development and Energy will hold a hearing on USDA Rural Development Programs and their economic impact across America.  USDA’s Lisa Mensah, Under Secretary of Rural Development will testify along with Iowa Farm Bureau Federation President Craig Hill, our friend Iowa Renewable Fuels Association Executive Director Monte Shaw and Cris Sommerville, President of Dakota Turbines in North Dakota.

 

Senate Enviro Hosts NRC Commissioners on Budget – The Senate Environment Committee will hold an oversight hearing next Wednesday April 6th on the President’s FY 2017 Budget Request for the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. All NRC Commissioners will testify.

 

RFF to Look at Deforestation – Resources for the Future will hold its First Wednesday Seminar on April 6th at 12:45 p.m. that focused on the opportunities for and challenges of reducing supply chain deforestation using private and regulatory strategies, potential synergies among these strategies, and linkages with Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD+).  The event will feature leading companies, nongovernmental organizations, and multi-stakeholder initiatives using and promoting these approaches.

WCEE Lunch to Look at EE in Commercial Buildings – The Women’s Council on Energy and the Environment (WCEE) will host a lunch on Wednesday April 6th at Noon  on new environmental policies, efficiency programs, climate change mitigation, and building codes.  These items have been crucial to the design of sustainable infrastructure and development of energy efficient products, services and practices for commercial buildings and industrial plants. The market offers a wide assortment of programs, services and products but…which are the most suitable for commercial buildings or industrial plants?  Panelists share their experience on energy efficiency programs implemented in different facilities. Smita Chandra Thomas will discuss how energy efficiency in commercial buildings can contribute to climate change mitigation and the eco-system that makes it possible.  Julie Hughes from IMT will present on building energy performance policies–discussing how local, state, and federal government are crucial for making the built environmental more energy efficient.  Alana Hutchinson will give an overview of ENERGY STAR best practices for establishing a comprehensive energy management program for buildings and plants. Corrine Figueredo will explain EDGE, an innovative tool developed by the IFC to help build a business case for Green buildings in more than a 100 countries.

 

EPA Sets Biomass Workshop – States and stakeholders have shown strong interest in the role biomass can play in state strategies to address carbon pollution. Many states have extensive expertise in the area of sound carbon- and GHG-beneficial forestry and land management practices, and exhibit approaches to biomass and bioenergy that are unique to each state’s economic, environmental and renewable energy goals.  To support efforts to further evaluate the role of biomass in stationary source carbon strategies, EPA is hosting this public workshop on Thursday April 7th to share their successes, experiences and approaches to deploying biomass in ways that have been, and can be, carbon beneficial.

 

HuffPost Podcast to Be Featured – Our friend Dana Yeganian, former Progress Energy PR person, is hosting a Happy Hour on Thursday, April 7th at NBCUniversal’s office at 300 NJ Ave featuring the new HuffPost podcast Candidate Confessional.  CC Hosts Sam Stein and Jason Chekis will provide an inside look at life on the losing side of the campaign trial.

 

Rogers Headlines Clean Energy Challenge Forum – The Clean Energy Challenge is hold a conference in Chicago on April 12th featuring capitalists, civic leaders, and industry executives to recognize cleantech innovation.  The Clean Energy Trust Challenge is a nationally recognized accelerator for clean energy innovation. Run by Chicago-based Clean Energy Trust, the Challenge has led to the development and growth of 60+ businesses throughout the Midwest.  Speakers will include former Duke CEO Jim Rogers and Ripple Foods CEO Adam Lowry.

 

USAEE Washington Energy Conference Set for Georgetown – The US Association for Energy Economics, National Capital Area Chapter (NCAC-USAEE) and the Georgetown Energy and Cleantech Club will host its 20th Annual Washington Energy Policy Conference on Wednesday, April 13th at Georgetown University.   The event will feature Keynote Speaker, Bill Hogan, of Harvard University and our friends Monica Trauzzi of E&E TV, former NYT reporter Matt Wald of NEI and GDF Suez exec Rob Minter.

 

Conference to Look at PA Drilling – Shale Directories will host Upstream 2016 on April 19th at the Penn Stater in State College, PA to look at action in PA.  Despite cutbacks in budgets, there are still opportunities for this and next year and Cabot, Seneca and others will be there to discuss when Drilling may ramp up again, what you can do to help the industry and how to prepare for the growth. As well, Faouizi Aloulou, Senior Economist with the Energy Information Agency, will give a presentation on the uncertainties of shale resource development under low price environment.

 

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

 

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

 

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

Energy Update: Week of March 21

Friends,

What a great hoops weekend for both the Men’s and Women’s NCAA tourney.  Kansas, UNC and UVa look strong and I love the surprises, like Middle Tennessee St knocking off Michigan State and Stephen F Austin and Northern Iowa, who both let Notre Dame and Texas A&M off the hook.  Not really a surprise that Gonzaga and Syracuse (even though they are high seeds) are in the Sweet 16 as they have been there before. On the Women’s side, traditional powerhouses UConn, South Carolina, Baylor, Notre Dame and Maryland have rolled so far with UConn and Baylor both expected to jump into the Sweet 16 tonight.

And the Frozen Four Hockey Bracket is out.  The top seed is polling experts Quinnipiac, while other tops seed went to St. Cloud St (MN), North Dakota and Providence.  Other perennial powerhouses including Big 10 champ Michigan, Ivy champ Harvard, BU, BC, MN-Duluth, Denver, Notre Dame, UMass-Lowell, Yale and Ferris St. all made the grade.  Frozen Four Finals set for April 7-9 in Tampa.  Congrats to the Minnesota women’s hockey team who this weekend defeated previously unbeaten Boston College to win back-to-back NCAA titles.

Spring Break and Easter week means a quick break in DC.  But not for the PRG Team at Bracewell.  We and our colleagues are taking the week to move to brand-new offices at 2001 M Street.  Yes, we are leaving our K street office of over 25 years for new construction.  While I wish we were moving closing to Annapolis, the new offices will be a nice change.  We are there starting next Monday.

As for this week, with all the crazy political issues swirling in the Presidential race, the Aspen Institute Energy and Environment Program and Colorado State University’s Center for the New Energy Economy will host a special public panel discussion on Thursday to explore the politics of clean energy and climate action in this presidential-election year.

Other great events include tonight’s (6pm) University of Chicago Energy Policy Institute forum on the Clean Power Plan and look at its potential impacts on U.S. energy policy, markets and the environment.  Tomorrow, the Hudson Institute examines how U.S. oil and natural gas exports have reshaped the balance of global energy power, featuring Rep. Mike Pompeo (R-KS).  And also tomorrow, the Bipartisan Policy Center will host experts on how states and municipalities are tackling permitting delays and if it is enough to facilitate the investments in infrastructure crucial to keeping the American economy competitive and growing.

The Senate is out, but the House is here until Wednesday.  Following last week’s Gina McCarthy-MI Gov Rick Snyder Show on Flint water in House Gov’t Oversight, McCarthy returns to the House tomorrow for Appropriations Committee in the morning and House Energy panels in the afternoon to discuss the EPA Budget.   Tomorrow House Science has Secretary Moniz for the DOE Budget and Wednesday it hits Ozone standards, while House Resources has OSM’s Joe Pizarchik.

Finally, today is the 10th anniversary of Twitter.  Who ever thought 140 characters would be so valuable but still not be making any money: #awesome!!!  Please enjoy your family and friends over the Easter Holiday.  See you from our new offices next week!  Call with questions.

 

Best,

Frank Maisano

(202) 828-5864

(202) 997-5932

 

IN THE NEWS

Cal PUC Approves Ivanpah Extension – The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) approved an agreement between the Ivanpah plant investors NRG Energy Inc., Google and BrightSource Energy Inc. and utility Pacific Gas and Electric Co. (PG&E) to allow project operators at least six months, and possibly a year more, to meet current production targets of 448,000 MWh annually.  Ivanpah’s performance has improved dramatically in 2015 during the four-year expected ramp up, and the forecast for 2016 shows it will be operating a near-full power.

CleanTechnica Tackles Details of CPUC, Ivanpah – CleanTechnica technology reporter Susan Kraemer dug into the details to provide the most detail analysis of the current situation at Ivanpah and why the forbearance agreement with CPUC and PG&E was necessary.   You can see it here.

Pipeline Regs Designate Moderate, High Population Areas – Pipelines and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) said natural gas pipelines running through moderately densely populated areas and those built before 1970 would be newly regulated.  The agency does not address whether or not to require installation of automatic shutoff valves as some advocates called for after the 2010 San Bruno pipeline accident.  My colleague Kevin Ewing (202-828-7638) knows the PHMSA issues inside and out if you need a backgrounder.

Interior to Impose New Air Regs – Following its five-year drilling Plan, Interior also announced a new proposal to enact new federal offshore air quality monitoring regulations on oil and gas development and service vehicles supplying rigs.  IPAA’s Dan Naatz said it’s clear this administration continues to mount an aggressive climate agenda against America’s oil and natural gas producers. “Earlier this week, the White House reduced the areas where the offshore industry can explore for America’s abundant and low-cost energy resources. Today, it proposes a highly complicated 349-page regulatory scheme that toughens measuring, tracking, and reporting of air quality emissions, which will no doubt add yet another layer of burdensome and costly requirements on an already-suffering industry and could affect American energy development.  Continuing to impose these challenging regulations, at a time when the industry is hurting under constrained market conditions, makes producers’ jobs of exploring and developing America’s plentiful oil and natural gas resources prohibitively expensive. Not only is this administration making it harder for American operators to stay in business, it is robbing the American taxpayers of billions of dollars in additional revenue that would be generated from this production.”  My colleague Rich Alonso (202-828-5861), former EPA enforcement official, has worked on similar topics and can be a great resource.

TPPF Video Shows GHG Rule Impact on Navajo Nation – A new video from the Texas Public Policy Foundation shows the negative effects of the Clean Power Plan on the Navajo Nation, Arizona and the Southwest where EPA’s regulation threatens to shut down two large power plants and coal mines—operations that provide much of the revenue for the Navajo Nation as well as good-paying jobs. Told through the eyes of the Navajo people as well as Arizona elected officials, this film offers a real practical experience to what this already disadvantaged and poor communities will face.

NASDAQ, Clean Edge Forum Changes Companies –  Clean Edge announced the results of the semi-annual evaluation of the NASDAQ® Clean Edge® Green Energy Index (NASDAQ: CELS) and the NASDAQ® Clean Edge® Smart Grid Infrastructure Index (NASDAQ: QGRD), both of which became effective prior to today’s market open. NASDAQ Clean Edge Green Energy Index (CELS):  The following five securities have been added to the CELS Index: Acuity Brands, Inc. (AYI); 8point3 Energy Partners, LP (CAFD); FuelCell Energy, Inc. (FCEL); TerraForm Global, Inc. (GLBL); and Sunrun, Inc. (RUN).  The NASDAQ Clean Edge Green Energy Index is designed to track the performance of clean-energy companies that are publicly traded in the U.S. The Index includes companies engaged in the manufacturing, development, distribution, and installation of emerging clean-energy technologies such as solar photovoltaics, advanced batteries, hybrid and electric vehicles, and renewable materials. The five major sub-sectors that the index covers are Renewable Electricity Generation; Renewable Fuels; Energy Storage & Conversion; Energy Intelligence; and Advanced Energy-Related Materials. The securities must also meet other eligibility criteria which include minimum requirements for market value, average daily share volume, and price. The NASDAQ® Clean Edge® Green Energy Index is re-ranked semi-annually in March and September.

Platts Looks at Cuba, Oil Issues – President Barack Obama makes his trip to Cuba this week and Platts Capitol Crude asks: could a cargo of WTI crude from Corpus Christi soon follow him to Havana?  On this week’s podcast, Platts senior editors Brian Scheid and Herman Wang look at what a potential end to the long-standing trade embargo means for US crude oil and petroleum products exports. Jorge Pinon, director of the University of Texas at Austin’s Latin America and Caribbean Energy Program, says the future of US oil in Cuba may hinge on the situation in Venezuela as much as it does on US trade policy.

Prez Not Going to NYC for Climate Signing – Speaking of President Obama, our friend in the trade press are reporting that he will not travel to New York City for the April climate pact signing where world leaders and other top international officials will sign the document.  Some had suspected that Obama would attend be he will be in Europe and the Middle East during that time so Secretary of State John Kerry is expected to go to the United Nations ceremony to sign instead.

 

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

Forum Looks at PR Energy Concerns – The American Security Project  will host a discussion today on energy, economy, and security in Puerto Rico and how understanding the ongoing debt crisis through these lenses will strengthen our response.  Puerto Rico, America’s largest Caribbean territory, has long been an important U.S. geopolitical outpost and now finds itself on the verge of catastrophe under the weight of massive debt and a costly, inefficient energy supply. The impacts have triggered a large-scale resettlement to the U.S. mainland where gridlock has turned the Island’s future into a political hot potato rather than an issue of long-term strategic importance for U.S. national security.  As Congress recommits itself to a resolution, understanding the issues plaguing Puerto Rico through the lens of energy security and risk management offers opportunities to reverse the current trends, gain political support and address the future of 3.3 million U.S. citizens on the island.

Forum to Look at Sustainable Housing – The Environmental and Energy Study Institute (EESI) is holding a briefing today at 2:30 p.m. in 122 Cannon regarding energy efficient, “green” affordable housing and how it is improving health and safety in distressed communities while providing economic and environmental benefits to states. This is the second in a series of EESI briefings examining environmental justice as it relates to the EPA’s Clean Power Plan. This briefing will show how sustainable affordable housing can save money for low-income families and strengthen community resilience while serving as a CPP compliance strategy.  Speakers will showcase sustainable affordable housing developments in Pittsburgh, PA, as well as a retrofit in Washington, DC, and will discuss the national movement to “green” affordable housing. The briefing will also feature the passive building retrofit of Weinberg Commons, a multifamily housing complex for low-income families in Southeast DC. The nation’s capital uses Enterprise Community Partners’ Green Communities Criteria as the baseline green building standard for its public and publicly-financed projects.

USEA to Look at Fossil Fuels – The US Energy Assn will host a forum today at 3:00 p.m. on addressing fossil fuels. Scientists believe significant climate change is unavoidable without a drastic reduction in the emissions of greenhouse gases from the combustion of fossil fuels. However, few countries have implemented comprehensive policies that price this externality or devote serious resources to developing low-carbon energy sources. In many respects, the world is betting that we will greatly reduce the use of fossil fuels because we will run out of inexpensive fossil fuels (there will be decreases in supply) and/or technological advances will lead to the discovery of less-expensive low-carbon technologies (there will be decreases in demand). The historical record indicates that the supply of fossil fuels has consistently increased over time and that their relative price advantage over low-carbon energy sources has not declined substantially over time. Without robust efforts to correct the market failures around greenhouse gases, relying on supply and/or demand forces to limit greenhouse gas emissions is relying heavily on hope.  Thomas Covert, Assistant Professor at the University of Chicago will speak.

EPIC Forum Looks at GHG Plan – This evening at 6:00 p.m., our friends at the Energy Policy Institute at the University of Chicago will host a forum on the Clean Power Plan and look at its potential impacts on U.S. energy policy, markets and the environment.  The panel discussion will highlight key provisions of the Clean Power Plan (CPP) and the controversy surrounding this rule, including the recent stay ordered by the Supreme Court of the United States; Cap-and-Trade, Carbon Taxation, and the CPP — their differences, pros and cons, and the best solution for reducing carbon emissions; the potential impact of the CPP on traditional energy markets and energy prices (if upheld); the clean energy market and how the CPP could potentially catapult its growth (if upheld); and the impact of the judicial stay on COP21 commitments and global diplomatic relations, environmental law regulations, and future U.S. energy policies.  Speakers include EEI’s Ed Comer, EPIC’s Thomas Covert, former DOJ official Thomas Lorenzen, Constellation Energy Richard Wilson and several others.

Hudson Conference Looking at Shale Revolution – The Hudson Institute will host a conference tomorrow examining how U.S. oil and natural gas exports have reshaped the balance of global energy power. Congressman Mike Pompeo of Kansas, a senior member of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, will discuss the geopolitics of energy and the outlook on Capitol Hill for expanding American global energy leadership through hydraulic fracturing. Manhattan Institute Senior Fellow Mark P. Mills will keynote the conference, and four distinguished panels of experts will address the impact of the American shale revolution in different world regions.

BPC to Host Permitting Forum – The Bipartisan Policy Center will hold a forum tomorrow at 9:00 a.m. to hear from experts on how states and municipalities are tackling the problem and if it is enough to facilitate the investments in infrastructure crucial to keeping the American economy competitive and growing.  America faces a growing infrastructure funding gap. One way to help meet that need is to encourage private capital to come in from the sidelines. Yet delays in the federal environmental review and permitting process—which can increase costs and uncertainty—are a barrier to private investment and the speedy delivery of needed projects. Recognizing this challenge, members of Congress and the Obama Administration have recently advanced various efforts designed to modernize, streamline and accelerate the review and permitting process. Speakers include Susan Binder of Cambridge Systematics, Christopher Hodgkins of the Miami Access Tunnel and NRDC’s Deron Lovaas.

McCarthy Heads to House Approps – The House Appropriations Committee’s Subcommittee on Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies will conduct a budget hearing on the EPA budget, with EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy and CFO David Bloom testifying.

House Science Holds Hearing on DOE Budget Request – The full House Science Committee will hold a hearing tomorrow for an overview of the DOE Budget Proposal for Fiscal Year 2017.  DOE Secretary Ernie Moniz will testify.

Forum to Look at U.S.-Japanese Nuclear Cooperation, Plutonium – Tomorrow at Noon at the US Capitol Visitors Center 215, NPEC will hold a forum that will focus on one nuclear security issue that, while important, is sure to go unmentioned at the upcoming Nuclear Security Summit on March 31 – April 1: What are the diplomatic and regional security implications of Japan opening a reprocessing plant capable of producing more than 1,000 bombs’ worth of plutonium per year at Rokkasho on the very eve of the US-Japan civilian nuclear cooperative agreement’s renewal?  Most government officials assume that this agreement will be renewed automatically. More than a few outside experts and former senior officials, however, have voiced concerns that the opening of Rokkasho could spark a fissile materials competition with China and South Korea.  To clarify what’s at stake and what alternative courses of action might be taken, NPEC has assembled a panel of Japanese and American experts. These include Fumihiko Yoshida, formerly the Deputy Director of The Asahi Shimbun, now resident at the Carnegie Endowment; Masakatsu Ota of Kyodo News; and William Tobey former Deputy Administrator, National Nuclear Security Administration. In addition, Congressman Brad Sherman, Ranking Member of the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on East Asia and the Pacific, will share his views.  Congressman Brad Sherman will make remarks.

Forum to Look at Iran, Nuclear – The Carnegie Endowment for International Peace will hold a forum tomorrow morning focused on the Iran Nuclear summit and nuclear Production. The Nuclear Security Summit has made little progress on preventing the production of fissile material that has no plausible use. One way forward would be to establish a norm that such production should be consistent with reasonable civilian needs.  The Nuclear Security Summit process has broken considerable ground on enhancing the security of vulnerable nuclear material. But it has made much less progress on preventing the production of fissile material that has no plausible use. One way forward, which would also complement nonproliferation efforts, would be to establish a norm that such production should be consistent with reasonable civilian needs.  Carnegie’s James M. Acton, Ariel Levite, and Togzhan Kassenova will explore the potential value of this norm and discuss whether progress is possible. Ambassador Thomas R. Pickering, former U.S. undersecretary of state for political affairs, will moderate.

Forum to Look at Sustainable India – The South Asia Policy Research Initiative in collaboration with Georgetown U India Initiative, Science, Technology and International Affairs Major (STIA) and McCourt Energy and Environment Policy will host a panel discussion tomorrow at Noon on the balance between environmental protection and Economic Growth. The panel includes Muhammad Khan (Former Aide to Minister of Environment and Forests, India), and Professor Uwe Brandes (Founding Executive Director, Urban and Regional Planning, Georgetown University), and Professor Mark Giordano (Director, Science, Technology and International Affairs Major (STIA)), as we explore sustainable development in India that also protects the environment.  Muhammad Khan will discuss his experience and hear the views of Prof. Uwe Brandes and Mark Giordano who have great expertise in sustainable development and environment.

Chamber to Host Aviation Summit – The U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation are hosting the 15th annual Aviation Summit tomorrow at the Renaissance Hotel to bring together top experts and leaders from all sectors of aviation to discuss critical issues facing the industry. The 2016 Summit will focus on innovation and emerging technologies.

House Energy Panels Host McCarthy on EPA FY’17 Budget – The House Energy & Commerce Committee’s Subcommittee on Energy and Power and the Subcommittee on Environment and the Economy will also host EPA’s McCarthy to look at the FY2017 EPA Budget.

BGov Webinar Looks at Budget – Bloomberg Government holds a webinar tomorrow at 2:00 p.m. on the current state of budget planning in the House.  Speakers will include Thomas A. Roe Institute for Economic Policy Studies Deputy Director and Heritage Foundation research fellow Romina Boccia joining BGOV’s legislative analyst Loren Duggan and BGOV’s senior budget analyst Cameron Leuthy.

Forum to Look at Shareholder Action – Tomorrow at 4 p.m. at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel, Ceres and the Council of Institutional Investors will host a forum on shareholder resolutions with energy companies. Investors in Ceres’ Investor Network on Climate Risk (INCR) have filed resolutions at key U.S. companies calling for companies to analyze the impacts of a 2 degree scenario on their portfolio of oil and gas reserves and resources and assess the resilience of the companies’ business strategies through 2040. The event features a panel discussion among resolution filers, analysts looking at 2 degree scenarios and the 50/50 Climate Project (focused on achieving “climate competent” corporate boards).  Speakers will include James Andrus of CalPERS, Helen Vine-Fiestas of BNP Paribas and Rich Ferlauto of the 50/50 Climate Project.

EEI to Host Leaders in Energy – The Edison Electric Institute hosts a panel of experts tomorrow evening at 7:00 p.m. who will discuss and explore interesting questions related to the evolving Smart Grid and Advanced Metering Insfrastructure (AMI) deployments that utilize unlicensed spectrum and its impact on energy efficiency.  Thought leaders from the utility, federal Smart Grid program, and telecommunications sectors will be at Leaders in Energy educational and professional networking event to explore issues related to the use of the unlicensed spectrum, advanced metering infrastructure communication platforms, and related Smart Meter applications in Smart Grid deployments to improve energy performance, benefit the environment, and services for utilities and customers.

House Oversight to Look at Leasing Program – The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee’s Subcommittee on the Interior will hold a hearing on Wednesday to examine the Bureau of Land Management’s Public Lands Leasing Program.

OSM Director Heads to House Resources –The House Natural Resources Committee’s Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources will conduct a hearing on Wednesday looking at entitled impacts of the FY 2017 Budget and Legislative Proposals for the Office of Surface Mining on private sector job creation, domestic energy production, state programs and deficit reduction. The witness will be Joe Pizarchik, Director of Interior’s Office of Surface Mining and Reclamation Enforcement.

House Science Looks at Ozone Regs – The House Science Committee’s Subcommittee on Environment will hold a hearing on Wednesday examining EPA’s Regional Haze Program and its possible benefits.  Witnesses will include CEI’s William Yeatman, Tom Schroedter of the Oklahoma Industrial Energy Consumers, Environmental Policy Consultant Bruce Polkowsky and Aaron Flynn of Hunton & Williams LLP.

Wilson Forum Looks at Climate Adaption Issues – On Thursday at 9:30 a.m., the Woodrow Wilson Center and USAID will hold an event that will feature a high-level discussion to explore what the Paris Agreement means for adaptation efforts globally. Speakers will identify specific activities being undertaken to support those efforts, with particular attention to National Adaptation Plans (NAPs) and the NAP Global Network.  As the dust settles following COP21, we are rapidly sorting out what the Paris Agreement means in practice and what role the climate, development, and diplomacy communities should play in implementing it. The event is the first in a series of dialogues on post-Paris climate adaptation, mitigation, and financing.

Forum to Look at Energy Politics – The Aspen Institute Energy and Environment Program and Colorado State University’s Center for the New Energy Economy will host a special public panel discussion on Thursday to explore the politics of clean energy and climate action in this presidential election year. Specifically, can Republicans, Democrats and Independents find common ground on the role of the federal government on these issues? If so, what are the most promising areas for bipartisan agreement?  The bipartisan panel will feature former Rep. and Carbon tax advocate Bob Inglis, former CO Gov. Bill Ritter, Theodore Roosevelt IV of Barclays Capital Corporation and former White House Climate official Heather Zichal.

Cato Event Looks at Minerals, Mining – On Thursday at Noon in B-354 Rayburn, Cato will host a forum on the future of US mineral resources. Domestic minerals and metals are a cornerstone of the U.S. economy, but data just published by the Energy Information Agency (EIA) show that investment in U.S. mining and exploration declined an incredible 35 percent last year—from $135 billion in 2014 to $88 billion in 2015—representing the second largest decline since 1948. The withdrawal of federal lands, often with permanent restrictions on mining force manufacturers to look elsewhere, and the permitting process is long and drawn out.  Federal holdings used to be called the “land of many uses,” but increasingly Washington has decided that one of those uses is no longer the mining of coal and minerals. Millions of acres, largely in the West, are now zoned for no mining, no matter how remote or rich they might be. The event will feature Ned Mamula, Center for the Study of Science, Cato Institute; and Patrick J. Michaels, Center for the Study of Science, Cato Institute; moderated by Peter Russo, Director of Congressional Affairs, Cato Institute.

 

FUTURE EVENTS

Transmission Summit Set to Address Challenges – The 19th Annual Transmission Summit will be held on March 29-31 at the Washington Marriott Georgetown.  The event will feature senior executives from MISO, NYISO, PJM, SPP and ISO-NE, who will discuss their system needs and market changes, and representatives from such prominent transmission owners and developers as Clean Line Energy Partners LLC, Con Edison, DATC, Exelon Corp., LS Power Development LLC, National Grid, Xcel Energy and others will provide insights into their development plans and projects.

Forum to Look at Africa Food Crisis – The CSIS Africa Program and the CSIS Global Food Security Project will hold a discussion on Tuesday March 29th at 2:00 p.m. on examining Africa’s latest food crisis.  The 2015-2016 El Niño weather pattern, among the strongest on record, has caused intense drought in Eastern and Southern Africa and has left up to 60 million people in the two regions in need of emergency food assistance. Ethiopia has called the current drought its worst in 30 years, South Africa its worst in over a century. As the resulting food and health emergency grows, experts on food security, resilience, and climate change in Africa will join us to discuss the scale and impact of the current crisis and evaluate the response to date, with an eye toward what the U.S. and broader international community can do to support resilience to mounting climate variability challenges.

PHMSA Head to Address CSIS Forum – The CSIS Energy and National Security Program is hosting a conversation with Marie Therese Dominguez, Administrator of the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Administration (PHMSA) on Wednesday March 30th at 11:00 a.m.  As administrator, Dominguez is responsible for overseeing PHMSA’s development and enforcement of regulations for the safe, reliable, and environmentally sound operation of the nation’s 2.6 million miles of gas and liquid pipelines and nearly 1 million daily shipments of hazardous materials by land, sea, and air.  Dominguez will provide an overview of PHMSA as well as her thoughts on the country’s main challenges and opportunities with regard to the transportation of energy and hazardous materials that are essential to daily life.

WCEE to Look at Solar Growth – The Women’s Council on Energy and the Environment (WCEE) will hold a brown bad lunch at Duane Morris on Wednesday, March 30th looking at the challenges and growth in solar.  The burgeoning solar industry presents a number of opportunities and challenges. The recent extension of the Investment Tax Credit (ITC) provides a strong boost for the solar industry. At the same time, grid reliability and interconnection are of utmost important as increased solar capacity is added to the grid.  Anya Schoolman discusses solar programs and incentives, use of tax credits, and explores solar co-ops as a means to undertake solar PV projects. Kevin Lynn will then delve deeper into the issues of solar PV and grid integration through the lenses of technical, market, and regulatory challenges. Lastly, Erik Heinle will speak from his experience of working with various project owners, developers, and investors on issues surrounding facility construction and financing, power purchase agreements/net metering and interconnection issues as well as issues related to PURPA.

McGinn Featured at Roundtable – The Association of Climate Change Officers (ACCO) will hold a new Defense & National Security Roundtable on Wednesday, March 30th at 4:00 p.m. featuring Dennis McGinn.  The event is part of a bi-monthly roundtable series featuring special guests from across sectors discussing critical climate change and national security initiatives in a town hall format.  McGinn, currently Assistant Secretary of the Navy (Energy, Installations & Environment), was the former director of ACORE.

Energy to Host QER Meetings Around Country – The Department of Energy has announced a series of public meetings around the country to seek input on the second installment of the Quadrennial Energy Review (QER 1.2), which is a study the of the nation’s electricity system from generation to end-use. The stated purpose of the QER 1.2 is to develop a set of findings and policy recommendations to help guide the modernization of the nation’s electric grid and ensure its reliability, safety, security, affordability and environmental performance through 2040.  Meetings will include remarks from government officials, moderated panel discussions with public and private sector energy experts, and open microphone/public comment sessions. Meeting dates and locations will include Atlanta, GA (3/31), Boston, MA (4/15), Salt Lake City, UT (4/25), Des Moines, IA (5/6), Los Angeles, CA (5/10) and Austin, TX.

DOE Official to Address NatGas Roundtable – The Natural Gas Roundtable will host Dr. Paula Gant, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Office of International Affairs at the Department of Energy for Its monthly lunch at the University Club.  Previously, Gant served as the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Oil and Natural Gas in the Department of Energy’s Office of Fossil Energy.  As Deputy Assistant Secretary, Dr. Gant administered domestic and international oil and gas programs, including policy analysis and liquefied natural gas import and export authorization.

Energy Conference Set – The Energy Smart Conference will be held at the Gaylord on April 4-6th.  The event features top enterprises, energy service providers, and technology leaders to rethink the industry and refine energy management.  Main speakers will be Colin Powell, author of Drive: The Surprising Truth of What Motivates Us Daniel Pink and Green to Gold Author Andrew Winston.

RFF to Launch Revesz/Lienke Book – Resources for the Future will hold a book launch on April 5th for the book, Struggling for Air: Power Plants and the “War on Coal” by Richard Revesz and Jack Lienke.   Pro EPA advocates Revesz and Lienke argue that the Cross-State Air Pollution Rule, the Mercury and Air Toxics Standards, and the Clean Power Plan are the latest in a long line of efforts by presidential administrations of both parties to compensate for a tragic flaw in the Clean Air Act of 1970—the “grandfathering” that spared existing power plants from complying with the sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides emissions limits applicable to new plants. At this discussion, Revesz and Lienke will clarify their arguments and a panel of experts will weigh in on the inherent challenges of Clean Air Act regulations and the future of environmental policies such as the Clean Power Plan.  A panel of experts will discuss the issues.

FERC’s Honorable to Headline Energy Times Forum – The Energy Times will hold a conference on California Renewables at the Fairmont San Francisco on April 6th.  Keynoters will in broad strokes paint a picture of what is happening in the world of electric utilities, energy infrastructure and the power grid today. They will suggest what will be needed in the future and they will begin our consideration of what it will take for us to get there.  Speakers will include FERC Commissioner Colette Honorable and Edison International’s Andrew Murphy, among many others.

RFF to Look at Deforestation – Resources for the Future will hold its First Wednesday Seminar on April 6th at 12:45 p.m. that focused on the opportunities for and challenges of reducing supply chain deforestation using private and regulatory strategies, potential synergies among these strategies, and linkages with Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD+).  The event will feature leading companies, nongovernmental organizations, and multi-stakeholder initiatives using and promoting these approaches.

HuffPost Podcast to Be Featured – Our friend Dana Yeganian, former Progress Energy PR person, is hosting a Happy Hour on Thursday, April 7th at NBCUniversal’s office at 300 NJ Ave featuring the new HuffPost podcast Candidate Confessional.  CC Hosts Sam Stein and Jason Chekis will provide an inside look at life on the losing side of the campaign trial.

Rogers Headlines Clean Energy Challenge Forum – The Clean Energy Challenge is hold a conference in Chicago on April 12th featuring capitalists, civic leaders, and industry executives to recognize cleantech innovation.  The Clean Energy Trust Challenge is a nationally recognized accelerator for clean energy innovation. Run by Chicago-based Clean Energy Trust, the Challenge has led to the development and growth of 60+ businesses throughout the Midwest.  Speakers will include former Duke CEO Jim Rogers and Ripple Foods CEO Adam Lowry.

USAEE Washington Energy Conference Set for Georgetown – The US Association for Energy Economics, National Capital Area Chapter (NCAC-USAEE) and the Georgetown Energy and Cleantech Club will host its 20th Annual Washington Energy Policy Conference on Wednesday, April 13th at Georgetown University.   The event will feature Keynote Speaker, Bill Hogan, of Harvard University and our friends Monica Trauzzi of E&E TV, former NYT reporter Matt Wald of NEI and GDF Suez exec Rob Minter.

Conference to Look at PA Drilling – Shale Directories will host Upstream 2016 on April 19th at the Penn Stater in State College, PA to look at action in PA.  Despite cutbacks in budgets, there are still opportunities for this and next year and Cabot, Seneca and others will be there to discuss when Drilling may ramp up again, what you can do to help the industry and how to prepare for the growth. As well, Faouizi Aloulou, Senior Economist with the Energy Information Agency, will give a presentation on the uncertainties of shale resource development under low price environment.

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

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

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

Energy Update: Week of March 14

Friends,

After a couple weeks of preview, March Madness has finally arrived.  Top seeds are Kansas, UNC, Oregon and Virginia, who after losing the ACC final to UNC still managed to squeak by Big 10 Champion Michigan State.   Some key sleeper teams to watch include VCU, UNC-Wilmington (over Duke for you anti-Dukees), Gonzaga, Iowa and Hawaii. . Play-in games start tomorrow with Florida Gulf Coast/Fairleigh Dickinson and Vanderbilt/Wichita St.

Here are a couple of pool tips for you:

  1. Pay Attention to Current Form – Look for teams playing well in conference tourneys or down the stretch.
  2. Use Betting Odds to Your Advantage – Lines will often give you educated tips.
  3. Look For Unknown Stars – Star players can pull off major upsets when these stars catch fire on the right day. Look for those stars.
  4. Cream Rises to the Top – Pick occasional upsets in rounds 1&2, but strong teams to go deep.
  5. Home Cooking – Teams that land close to home (even at lower seeds) can be tough to beat.

Don’t sleep on the lower divisions as well.  DII is in the Elite 8 with two #1 seeds already knocked out, while DIII is already has a Final Four (Amherst MA, Benedictine IL, St. Thomas MN and Chris. Newport U VA).  The Women’s DI Bracket releases tonight.

Over the weekend, SXSW launched with its music and policy festival.  On Saturday, Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx, Barbara Bennett (President/COO of Paul Allen’s Vulcan) and NXP Semiconductors CEO Rick Clemmer announced seven finalists for DOT’s Smart City Challenge.  DOT has pledged up to $40 million to one city to help it define what it means to be a “Smart City “and become the country’s first city to fully integrate innovative technologies – self-driving cars, connected vehicles, and smart sensors – into their transportation network.   The finalists are: Austin, TX; Columbus, OH; Denver, CO; Kansas City, MO; Pittsburgh, PA; Portland, OR; and San Francisco, CA.  The rollout was at the C3 Connected Mobility Showcase at the South by Southwest conference (SXSW).

Also, it is rodeo week in Houston, which is the world’s largest rodeo.  Only the top cowboys and cowgirls are invited to compete at RodeoHouston competing for more than $2 million in seven events: bareback riding, barrel racing, bull riding, saddle bronc riding, steer wrestling, team roping and tie-down roping. Since the Show began in 1932, more than $400 million has been committed to Texas students.  The Show has presented more than 16,000 scholarships since the first scholarship was awarded in 1957.

In DC, Congress is running to the finish line for Easter/Spring break.  While the budget hearings roll on, there will be action on the GMO labeling legislation and there was some thought that the Senate Energy Bill may resurface on the Senate Floor toward the end of the week.  Unfortunately, the recent delays stem from offshore drilling questions from FL Sen. Bill Nelson.  Speaking of the offshore drilling, this may be the week (or maybe next) Interior’s most recent five-year drilling plan rolls out.  Look for a middle ground that stills allows drilling in most places (although at these prices probably won’t occur), but also restricts important/sensitive areas.  Other interesting hearings include a Sen. Commerce hearing tomorrow afternoon on autonomous (self-driving) vehicles, Senate Energy on natural resources controversies and Senate Enviro on WRDA.

It is the most busy week for the House Oversight Committee who will host two big hearings this week on the Flint, MI Water crisis with Flint officials tomorrow and MI Gov. Rick Snyder and EPA’s Gina McCarthy on Thursday.  Not to be outdone, other House Oversight panels will hold a Wednesday hearing investigating the RFS and tomorrow afternoon challenging OIRA Chief Howard Shelanski for a hearing to scrutinize his White House office, which is responsible for reviewing thousands of federal regulatory activities.

Also this week, both the HVAC industry and the ACORE will hold Policy Forums. AHRI’s Public Policy Symposium helps bring the HVACR industry together with key public officials to discuss important issues facing their industry.  ACORE forum will feature all parts of the renewable industry and will provide in-depth analyses of important policies and critical challenges the implementation of the Clean Power Plan, the achievement of the nation’s COP21 commitments, and the policy signals and business models needed to drive continued market evolution and expansion.

Super Tuesday Part III tomorrow is all about Florida and Ohio…  It is been a little crazy on the election front (I think that’s all I’ll say!!) Call with questions.

Best,

Frank Maisano

(202) 828-5864

(202) 997-5932

 

IN THE NEWS

EPA Proposes New Methane Rules for Existing Oil, Gas – EPA said last Thursday it propose regulations  for existing sources of methane from the oil and gas industry for the first time as part of the meeting between President Obama and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.  Next month, EPA will begin a formal process to compel energy companies to provide information about the methane emissions produced along a series of oil and gas activities, including production, transmission, processing and storage.  The EPA is already finishing a rule that would require oil and gas companies to upgrade equipment and search out methane leaks at new and modified wells.   As with the previous proposals to address methane, the new regulations to address existing wells are really unnecessary window dressing as industry is already reducing methane dramatically.  The fact is, industry has been ahead of the curve on this for years, working diligently on its own to reduce methane emissions.  It’s both good environmental stewardship and makes sense from a business standpoint; since companies strive for efficiency, it makes sense to capture as much product as you can.

What the Best Industry Methane Expert Says – My Bracewell colleague and O/G methane expert Sandra Snyder (202-828-5810) can be a big help on the issue.  On Thursday, she said she would also emphasize that even if industry is already taking these steps to capture and sell more product, the manpower to carry out the regulatory burdens is not insignificant.  “When companies own tens of thousands of wells, documentation and recordkeeping becomes a real issue.  A system is required to manage all of that information and additional training is required to ensure that recordkeeping is conducted properly.  Regulation might also reduce the methods available to achieve the desired results – reducing leaks.  For example, industry may prefer leak detection methods that are cheaper than EPA may adopt in its regulations (e.g., using soap bubbles rather than expensive IR cameras to detect leaks).  All of this imposes an additional strain on an industry that is struggling under low oil and gas prices.”

Who’s Really Responsible for Methane – A new study in the Journal of Science says agriculture, not the oil and gas boom, is responsible for spiking methane levels.  The study says policymakers might make more progress on global warming if they focus on curbing emissions from agriculture or animal husbandry, primarily in the tropics.  Lead author Hinrich Schaefer, an atmospheric scientist at the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research in Wellington, New Zealand, said “we have to find ways to reduce methane emissions from rice agriculture, beef and dairy farming while still feeding the world’s population if we want to mitigate climate change.” Scientists have been trying to identify the source of the methane, a challenging task because there are so many potential sources. Anaerobic bacteria in wetlands decompose vegetation and release methane. The gas also escapes from cows and manure lagoons on dairy farms, from submerged rice fields and finally, from coal and oil fields.

Arkansas Puts Pen Down on GHG Plan – Arkansas last week became the 19th state to halt planning activities related to potential compliance with U.S. EPA’s Clean Power Plan.  According to our friends at E&E News, who are monitoring the action on the Power Plan Hub, that brings the tally to 19 states suspending, 19 states continuing and nine states assessing whether to move forward with the rule to curb emissions from power plants. See the full breakdown here.

DOT’s Foxx Announces 7 Finalist Cities for Smart City Challenge – Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx, joined by Barbara Bennett, President and COO of Paul G. Allen’s Vulcan Inc. and Rick Clemmer CEO of NXP Semiconductors, announced seven finalists for the DOT’s Smart City Challenge.  DOT has pledged up to $40 million (funding subject to future appropriations) to one city to help it define what it means to be a “Smart City “and become the country’s first city to fully integrate innovative technologies – self-driving cars, connected vehicles, and smart sensors – into their transportation network.  The finalists are: Austin, TX; Columbus, OH; Denver, CO; Kansas City, MO; Pittsburgh, PA; Portland, OR; and San Francisco, CA. Secretary Foxx was joined by representatives of the seven city finalists, including Austin Mayor Steve Adler, Columbus Mayor Andrew Ginther, Kansas City Mayor Sly James, Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto, and Portland Mayor Charlie Hales for the announcement at the C3 Connected Mobility Showcase being held during the South by Southwest conference (SXSW). SAFE is Vulcan’s implementation partner in the project.

State Sends $500M to Green Climate Fund – The State Department announced that Obama administration has paid $500 million to the Green Climate Fund, the international entity that helps developing countries deal with the effects of climate change.  The payment is the first in a multi-year $3 billion pledge to the fund from solidified in the Paris Meeting last year.  The GCF has long been a scourge to Republicans, who did not include any money for the fund in last year’s omnibus spending bill.   Democrats did successfully beat back a Republican efforts that would have prevented State from contributing to the fund.

Barrasso Hammers State Move – Sen. John Barrasso said the State Department GCF funding action violates the law.  At the State Department budget hearing, Barrasso said “what the president is doing here in this misuse of taxpayer dollars in complete violation of the law.” Barrasso said State violated the Antideficiency Act, which prevents federal employees from making expenditures in excess of what has been appropriated by Congress. He added that violation of the law “comes with criminal and civil penalties and I think you’re going to deal with that.”  Committee Chairman Bob Corker also chided State, arguing that the department’s decision to transfer to the money for the GCF “really breaks down trust.” Also hammering the move, American Energy Alliance President Thomas Pyle said President Obama continues to prioritize his political interests over the interests of the American people. “The administration intends to funnel hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars into the U.N.’s climate slush fund while pursuing a domestic agenda that will raise energy costs and leave all Americans poorer.  By diverting this money with little to no transparency or clear authorization, the Obama Administration implicitly ignores even more pressing demands, such as help for those grappling with the aftermath of the EPA’s Animas River spill. With no more campaigns to run, the president is no longer accountable to the American people. That makes it even more important that Congress holds him accountable. After all, they hold the power of the purse. Now they must show they can use it.”

Oil Rigs Fallen To Lowest Level in Years – The oil-field services company Baker Hughes reported the number of rigs drilling for oil and natural gas in the United States has fallen to the lowest level since at least the 1940s. Combined rigs in United States oil and gas fields fell by nine this week to 480, overwriting a previous record low of 488 in April 1999. Oil rigs alone fell for a 12th week in a row, and gas rigs fell to the lowest level since at least 1987.

AHRI Releases January 2016 U.S. Heating and Cooling Equipment Shipment Data –AHRI released its released its January U.S. Heating and Cooling Equipment Shipment Data.  The industry data is aggregated from the information supplied by AHRI member companies that participate in the statistics program and can be subject to revision. Published year-to-date data is inclusive of all revisions.  For previous monthly shipment releases and historical data, please see http://www.ahrinet.org/statistics.

Residential Storage Water Heaters
U.S. shipments of residential gas storage water heaters for January 2016 decreased 14.2 percent to 353,708 units, down from 412,410 units shipped in January 2015. Residential electric storage water heater shipments decreased 21.1 percent in January 2016 to 321,065 units, down from 406,853 units shipped in January 2015.

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Commercial Storage Water Heaters

Commercial gas storage water heater shipments decreased 10.8 percent in January 2016 to 7,125 units, down from 7,991 units shipped in January 2015. Commercial electric storage water heater shipments increased 30.3 percent in January 2016 to 7,196 units, up from 5,524 units shipped in January 2015.

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Warm Air Furnaces
U.S. shipments of gas warm air furnaces for January 2016 increased 0.7 percent to 195,348 units, up from 194,057 units shipped in January 2015. Oil warm air furnace shipments increased 18.2 percent to 3,344 units in January 2016, up from 2,828 units shipped in January 2015.

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Central Air Conditioners and Air-Source Heat Pumps
U.S. shipments of central air conditioners and air-source heat pumps totaled 424,102 units in January 2016, down 11.6 percent from 479,484 units shipped in January 2015. U.S. shipments of air conditioners decreased 10.7 percent to 257,616 units, down from 288,361 units shipped in January 2015. U.S. shipments of air-source heat pumps decreased 12.9 percent to 166,486 units, down from 191,123 units shipped in January 2015.

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Former Marshall Institute Starts New Coalition – Last year, the Marshall Institute was split into two parts. The work on space, defense and intelligence was transferred to the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS). The work on climate has been taken over by a new non-profit, educational organization, the CO2 Coalition.  So they established the CO2 Coalition last year as a 501(c)(3) for the purpose of educating thought leaders, policy makers, and the public about the evidence showing that more CO2 in the atmosphere will be a net benefit to the world. Concerns about carbon dioxide being a “pollutant” are not valid. Climate change is proceeding very slowly and the likely increase in temperature for the 21st century is about 1 degree C or less.  The members of the CO2 Coalition include globally-recognized scientists, engineers and economists who are well informed about the technical and humanitarian details of climate science and its policy implications. The Coalition emphasizes two scientific reasons for its conclusions: (1) most climate models have predicted much more warming (a factor of 3 or more) than has been seen over the past decades; (2) current CO2 levels are far below optimum for the growth of many plants, including most trees, crops like wheat and soybeans, and many others. The views of the CO2 Coalition are summarized in the white paper, Carbon Dioxide Benefits the World, See for Yourself, available on our website www.CO2Coalition.org.

 

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

AHRI Public Policy Forum Set – The Air Conditioning, Heating and Refrigeration Institute (AHRI) holds its annual Public Policy Forum tomorrow and Wednesday.  The 2016 Public Policy Symposium is designed to bring AHRI members together with key public officials to discuss important issues facing the HVACR and water heating industry. The two-day event provides participants with the opportunity for face-to-face meetings with lawmakers and Congressional staff on Capitol Hill, and with key officials in federal agencies. Near-miss Virginia Senate Candidate and former political operative Ed Gillespie will keynote the forum.

CQ Forum to Look at Ethanol – CQ Roll Call will host a policy briefing tomorrow morning at 8:00 a.m. at the Newseum looking at ethanol politics and policy. The event will bring together members of Congress, agriculture and energy policy experts, political scientists and industry stakeholders to discuss where we go from here on ethanol and the Renewable Fuel Standard.  Sen. Mike Rounds (R-S.D.) and Rep. Peter Welch (D-Vt.) will keynote with an panel discussion moderated by our friend Ed Felker featuring Drake professor Anthony Gaughan, Northern Iowa politics professor Christopher Larimer, Iowa State economics professor David Swenson and Democratic consultant Paul Tewes.

Low Income Solar Guide Launched – GRID Alternatives, Vote Solar and Center for Social Inclusion tomorrow at 8:00 a.m. in 2168 Rayburn will  launch a new Low-Income Solar Policy Guide, a comprehensive guide to proven policies and program models that are successfully expanding access to solar power and solar jobs around the country. Learn about this exciting new online tool for policymakers and community leaders, and engage with a panel of national, state and local leaders who are at the forefront of solar access.  Opening remarks will be offered by Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN), while a panel discussion will featured Reps. Tony Cárdenas and Barbara Lee, as well as Dan Utech, Deputy Assistant to the President for Energy and Climate Change.

Chamber Summit to Look at Competitiveness – The U.S. Chamber’s Center for Capital Markets Competitiveness holds the 10th Annual Capital Markets Summit tomorrow looking at the foundation of economic growth.  This year, the event will examine the current state of the capital markets, including how innovation is changing the landscape, and explore what changes are necessary to ensure these markets are modernized and well-regulated to ensure economic growth.

Forum to Look at Argentine Energy Issues – Inter-American Dialogue will host a forum tomorrow on the energy environment In Argentina.  The election of Argentina’s new president Mauricio Macri promises to bring important changes to the investment landscape for the country’s oil and gas industry. Within weeks of taking office, Macri slashed energy subsidies by raising electricity tariffs and lifted capital controls. He has vowed to negotiate more transparently with oil companies and has already reached agreements with many of Argentina’s creditors to improve the country’s access to international capital markets.  This discussion will address these questions with opening remarks by Ambassador of Argentina to the United States Martín Lousteau, followed by a panel of experts. The Inter-American Dialogue will also present our forthcoming report on shale regulation in the United States and Latin America.

IMPA Panel to Look at US Diesel Passenger Vehicle Market – In the lead-up to the 2016 New York International Auto Show, Allen Schaeffer, Executive Director of the Diesel Technology Forum, and Alan Baum of Baum and Associates, will use the latest data, including sales and registration information and product launch calendars to provide the most current projections for the future of diesel passenger vehicles at the International Motor Press Association meeting in New York City. The event will be tomorrow at Noon in the 3 West Club in NYC.  The panel will discuss how government regulations – especially fuel economy regulations – will help or hinder the U.S. diesel market, and the different strategies automakers will be employing to meet the upcoming fuel economy standards.   The role of diesels in the passenger car sector and the pickup truck and SUV sectors will also be explored.

House Oversight to Hear from Gov Snyder, EPA’s McCarthy – The House Oversight Committee will host two hearings on the lead-poisoned water of Flint, Mich., featuring some of the top stars of the Flint drama. Tomorrow, the panel will hear from Darnell Earley, Flint’s former emergency manager, former Flint Mayor Dwayne Walling, former EPA Region 5 head Susan Hedman, and VA Tech’s Marc Edwards, who helped uncover the lead poisoning.  EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy and MI Gov. Snyder will testify before the committee on Thursday.

Senate Energy Tackles Presidential Memo on Resources – The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee will hold a hearing tomorrow at 10:00 p.m. to conduct oversight on the Presidential Memorandum issued on November 3, 2015 entitled, “Mitigating Impacts on Natural Resources from Development and Encouraging Related Private Investment.”  Witnesses will include Michael Bean, Interior principal deputy assistant secretary for fish, wildlife and parks; Brian Ferebee, Forest Service associate deputy chief for the National Forest System; Sara Longan, executive director of the Office of Project Management and Permitting at Alaska’s Department of Natural Resources; Shaun Sims, president of the Wyoming Association of Conservation Districts; Laura Skaer, executive director of the American Exploration and Mining Association; Doug Lashley, managing member of GreenVest LLC; and Lynn Scarlett, the Nature Conservancy’s global managing director.

Approps Panel Looks at EM Budget – The House Appropriations Committee’s Subcommittee on Energy and Water Development, will hold a budget hearing tomorrow at 10:30 a.m. on DOE’s Environmental Management Program.  Witness will be Dr. Monica Regalbuto, DOE’s Assistant Secretary for Environmental Management.

House Science Looks at EPA Regulation – The House Science panel on Oversight hold a hearing tomorrow on EPA’s latest regulatory overreach on amateur car enthusiasts/drivers.  Trade association SEMA says that EPA would effectively prohibit the conversion of regular cars into racing vehicles through a provision in proposed regulations mainly intended to improve fuel efficiency and curb greenhouse gas emissions from heavy-duty trucks. Witnesses will include Rep. Patrick McHenry (R-N.C.); Christopher Kersting, CEO of the Specialty Equipment Market Association; Ralph Sheheen, National Speed Sports News president; and Brent Yacobucci, the Congressional Research Service’s energy and minerals research section manager.

House Oversight also Hosts OIRA Chief – The House Oversight Committee will also host OMB’s OIRA Chief Howard Shelanski tomorrow at 2:00 p.m. for a hearing to scrutinize the White House office responsible for reviewing thousands of federal regulatory activities.  Other witnesses include GAO’s Michelle Sager,  Richard Williams of George Mason University’s Mercatus Center and American Action Forum director of regulatory policy Sam Batkins.

Senate Commerce Look at Self-Driving Cars – The Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, will convene a hearing tomorrow at 2:30 p.m. looking at the future of self-driving cars.  The hearing will explore advancements in autonomous vehicle technology and its anticipated benefits for Americans. Witnesses have been asked to testify on their continued efforts to develop automated vehicles, their views on the appropriate role of government in promoting innovation including removing unnecessary hurdles, and their strategy to grow consumer adoption of this new technology.  Witnesses include Google X Director Chris Urmson, GM’s Mike Ableson, Delphi Automotive’s Glen DeVos, Lyft’s Joseph Okpaku and Duke University Robotics lab Director Dr. Missy Cummings.   My friend Ellen Carey at SAFE is a good resource on this issue.  SAFE has an autonomous driving Task Force.

Forum to Look at Transportation Sustainability – The American Public Transportation Association (APTA) and EESI will host a briefing tomorrow at 3:15 p.m. exploring how shared mobility technology is transforming transportation services, and what impact this may have on public transportation. APTA sponsored a study examining who uses ride-sourcing services, when, and for what purposes. Research was conducted in seven U.S. cities (Austin, Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle and Washington, D.C.). The study’s findings and recommendations will be presented at the briefing and discussed.   Speakers for this forum are Valarie McCall of the Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority, APTA CEO Michael Melaniphy, Transportation Mobility Policy Manager Andrew Satzberg and Lyft Director of Transportation Emily Castor.

Forum to Focus on Geothermal – EESI and the Geothermal Energy Association is hosting a briefing on Wednesday at 2:00 p.m. in 212-10 in the Capitol Visitors Center highlighting the state of the geothermal energy industry and its near-term prospects in the United States and in more than 80 other countries working to expand its use. With demand for clean energy accelerating around the globe, geothermal energy has major potential as a renewable resource that can provide power around-the-clock, complementing intermittent renewable power technologies. Speakers will include International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) Deputy Director-General Sakari Oksanen, U.S. Geothermal President  Doug Glaspey and several others.

Wilson Center Forum to Look at Developing Country Support – On Wednesday, the Wilson Center will host a panel of experts from CIGI, ICCCAD, and United Nations University to discuss the current status and future of financing and insurance for combating climate-related loss and damage.  The 2015 Paris Climate Agreement focused on support for vulnerable countries in the face of looming climate-related “loss and damage.”

BCSE to Host Clean Energy Forum –The Business Council for Sustainable Energy will hold a Clean Energy Forum on Wednesday for its Members to look at the 2016 clean Energy Agenda.

Defense Renewables Summit Set – Infocast hosts the 6th Defense Renewables Summit tomorrow and Wednesday at the Sheraton Pentagon City in Arlington, VA, to bring DoD, Air Force, Army and Navy decision-makers together with renewable energy developers, utilities, system integrators, financiers, EPCs, cybersecurity, energy storage, smartgrid and telecom experts to meet the renewable energy goals and security needs of the DoD. The summit will explore how viable, financeable projects can be developed to the benefit of all. The summit will provide the latest on emerging guidelines and processes that merges the complexity of federal acquisitions with the risk allocation methods of project finance.

ACORE Policy Forum Set – The 2016 ACORE National Renewable Energy Policy Forum will be on Wednesday and Thursday at the W Hotel in Washington, D.C.  Senator Wyden, ranking member of the Senate Finance Committee and member of the Energy and Natural Resources Committee, will provide the Mid-Morning Keynote.  The event has a great line up including moderators Joe Desmond of Bightsource Energy, Greg Wetstone of ACORE and Dan Reicher, former DOE official and Google exec at Stanford’s Steyer-Taylor Center.

House Science Looks at NOAA Budget – The House Science Committee will hold a hearing Wednesday at 2:00 p.m. on the budget proposal for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration for NOAA for FY2017. NOAA Administrator Kathryn Sullivan will testify.

House Oversight to Look at Ethanol, RFS – The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee’s Subcommittees on Interior and on Health Care, Benefits, and Administrative Rules will hold a hearing Wednesday to examine the Renewable Fuel Standard.  Witnesses will include EPA’s Transportation and Air Quality Director Christopher Grundler, John DeCicco of the University of Michigan Energy Institute, ActionAid USA’s Kelly Stone, Purdue University’s Wally Tyner and heritage policy analysis Nick Loris.

NAS to Look at Fuel Consumption on Trucks – The National Academies of Science’s Division on Engineering and Physical Sciences – Transportation Research Board will host a meeting on Wednesday at 4:00 p.m. at the Keck Center to assess technologies and approaches for reducing the fuel consumption of medium- and heavy-duty vehicles.  Leading a discussion of new items in rulemaking docket will be James Tamm, Chief, Fuel Economy Division, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

GEA Sets Geo Energy Showcase – The Geothermal Energy Assn will be holding its 3rd U.S. and International Geothermal Energy Showcase in Washington, DC on Thursday at the Ronald Reagan International Trade Center. This year’s Showcase will focus on the building blocks for successful geothermal projects and highlight key geothermal projects, trends, and governmental policies in the U.S. and the international markets. The program will showcase geothermal projects, trends, and governmental policies in the U.S. and around the world. Topics covered will include: the geothermal market today, projects under development in the U.S. and internationally, outlook for the future of the geothermal market, policies driving geothermal development, new technologies, and federal agency support at home and abroad. Over 36 countries will be represented at the Showcase. Represented countries include the United States, United Kingdom, Jamaica, United Arab Emirates, Djibouti, India, Belgium, Guatemala, Hungary, Uganda, Turkey, the Philippines, Fiji, Costa Rica, Indonesia, Burundi, St. Kitts, Kenya, Mexico, Japan, Ethiopia, Qatar, Iceland, Taiwan, Albania, Nevis, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Burkina Faso, Vanuatu, Italy, Taiwan, Peru, Colombia, and more.  Speakers will include International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) Deputy Director-General Sakari Oksanen and Nevada Senator Dean Heller.

Forum to Look at Critical Infrastructure – Next Thursday at 9:30 a.m. at the Reserve Officers Association, the Secure the Grid Coalition and Homeland Security Today Magazine will hold a forum on critical infrastructure and a secure electric grid.  This symposium will explore the path from today’s vulnerabilities to tomorrow’s mitigations for the civilian electrical grid from major system failures and long-term power outages. How vulnerable are we to catastrophic level black outs? What does that mean for the major power consumers of the civilian electrical grid?  Homeland Security Today Magazine’s Editor and Chief Anthony Kimery will host a discussion with panelists that include President Bill Clinton’s former Director of Central Intelligence Ambassador James Woolsey, Senate Homeland Security Committee Chairman Ron Johnson, and several other experts.

Speaker to Address Hawaii to Renewable Energy – On Thursday at 11:45 a.m. in the National Press Club’s McClendon Room, Wharton DC Green Business Forum will host Pete May, President & CEO, Green Biz Group and in charge of VERGE Hawaii.  May will discuss moving Hawaii to 100% renewable energy by 2045.  May is President and Co-Founder of GreenBiz Group, the leading media and events company at the intersection of business, technology and sustainability. GreenBiz Group is the publisher of GreenBiz.com, the leading website for the business of sustainability, as well as the producer of leading events such as GreenBiz 16 and VERGE. We are fortunate to be having him, a very prominent speaker in the Green Energy field, speak on a special visit to the DC area.  In his presentation, May will describe the journey of GreenBiz Group in energy and sustainability the last ten years, the focus of VERGE, and the mission of VERGE Hawaii in helping the State of Hawaii arrive at their legislated mandate of 100% of energy coming from renewable sources by 2045.

Discussion to Focus on Electricity Industry – The Institute for Electric Innovation holds a discussion Thursday at 12:00 p.m. at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel on key trends driving change in transforming the electric power industry.  The event will bring together a group of electric utility and technology company executives; policymakers; regulators; and other thought leaders for an afternoon of dialogue and discussion on the transformation of the electric utility industry. Our friend Bill Loveless is among the speakers.

Forum to Look at Ethanol, Advanced Biofuels – The Advanced Biofuels Association (ABFA) will host a panel discussion on Thursday at Noon exploring ideas to strengthen the RFS and speed the expansion of advanced and cellulosic biofuels.  Moderated by Harvard University’s Harold Hitchings Professor of Political Economy and a former member of President Obama’s Council of Economic Advisers, this forum will include diverse perspectives from the environmental and petroleum refining communities, plus representatives of advanced biofuel manufacturers.  Panelists will include the National Wildlife Federation’s Julie Sibbing, API’s Frank Macchiarola, Elizabeth Farina of the Brazilian Sugarcane Industry Association (UNICA) and ABFA President Michael McAdams.

DC Bar Forum to Focus on Trade Deal Challenges – On Thursday at 12:00 p.m., the D.C. Bar hosts a forum trade deal challenges and related items.  The challenges to the denial of the Keystone XL pipeline simultaneously in both US federal court and through the North American Free Trade Agreement’s (NAFTA) investment chapter raise issues as to how challenges to US regulatory actions might be handled in international arbitration and the future of new trade agreements. Our panel of experts will discuss the dual tracks chosen in the Keystone XL Pipeline context, and more generally the implications of such challenges under NAFTA and other trade agreements, including the Trans-Pacific Partnership.  Speakers will include Dan Magraw, School of Advanced International Studies, Center for Biological Diversity ‘s Bill Snape and Todd Weiler of the University of Western Ontario, London.

Forum to Look at Specialty Metals – The Atlantic Council will hold a forum on Thursday at 2:30 p.m. featuring a discussion on the new resource challenges – specialty metals. Obscure resources we paid little attention to are increasingly playing critical roles as we switch to new energy sources, as high-tech proliferates globally, and as military technologies proliferate. A lack of understanding and production of these materials will limit their development and deployment of critical technologies.  Most notably, as the global community transitions from fossil fuels to clean energy, demand for rare metals will increase dramatically. Potential shortages and volatile prices will keep some technologies out of reach or limit the implementation of our most effective energy solutions.  And with Beijing allocating vast sums to produce and process these materials, geopolitical risks abound.  The panelists will explore this budding war over the periodic table by discussing what the geopolitical implications of rare metals are and hoe their production differs.  It will also look at international transparency and other production process issues.

American to Host Panel on Woman, Climate – On Thursday at 7:00 p.m., American University hosts a forum on how women are disproportionately impacted by climate change. This panel will focus on this gender imbalance and the role women play in combating climate change. The panel will also discuss the impact of climate change on girls’ education.  The panelists are Maggie Roth, Anisa Baldwin Metzger, and Rebecca Lefton. Lefton, Director of Policy and Research at Climate Advisors, specializes in international sustainable development. Baldwin Metzger is the School District Sustainability Manager at the US Green Building Council and was heavily involved in revitalizing schools in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. Roth is a Communications Officer at the International Union for Conservation’s Global Gender Office and is committed to engaging the public in climate issues.

Forum to Look at China, Climate – The Wilson Center will host a forum on Friday at 9:00 a.m.  China and climate issues after Paris.  At this meeting, speakers will discuss how the Paris Climate Agreement and China’s climate actions may be helping to put the brakes on carbon in China. Duncan Marsh (The Nature Conservancy) will examine the structure and nature of the Paris agreement and the role of the United States and China to help move it forward. Michael Davidson (MIT) will draw on his recent fieldwork examining grid operations in north China to discuss some of the obstacles in decarbonizing the country’s power sector. Joanna Lewis (Georgetown University) will discuss some options for China to improve its greenhouse gas MRV system to meet the country’s climate commitments.

Forum to Feature Specialty Metals Book Author – On Friday at Noon, the local chapter of the US Assn of Energy Economists will host a lunch with David Abraham as he discusses how countries are lining up sides on the next geopolitical resource battle — specialty metals. Abraham is the author of “The Elements of Power: Gadgets, Guns, and the Struggle for a Sustainable Future in the Rare Metals Age.”  The Economist said”…[Abraham] persuasively explains the danger of underestimating a business that, by one estimate, generates $4 billion of revenues a year and also plays a critical role in systems worth about $4 trillion. China, which develops more rare metals than any other country, understands the calculus. The West, his book suggests, does not.”

 

FUTURE EVENTS

Forum Looks at PR Energy Concerns – Next Monday, the American Security Project  will host a discussion on energy, economy, and security in Puerto Rico and how understanding the ongoing debt crisis through these lenses will strengthen our response.  Puerto Rico, America’s largest Caribbean territory, has long been an important U.S. geopolitical outpost and now finds itself on the verge of catastrophe under the weight of massive debt and a costly, inefficient energy supply. The impacts have triggered a large-scale resettlement to the U.S. mainland where gridlock has turned the Island’s future into a political hot potato rather than an issue of long-term strategic importance for U.S. national security.  As Congress recommits itself to a resolution, understanding the issues plaguing Puerto Rico through the lens of energy security and risk management offers opportunities to reverse the current trends, gain political support and address the future of 3.3 million U.S. citizens on the island.

Forum to Look at Sustainable Housing – The Environmental and Energy Study Institute (EESI) is holding a briefing on March 21st at 2:30 p.m. in 122 Cannon regarding energy efficient, “green” affordable housing and how it is improving health and safety in distressed communities while providing economic and environmental benefits to states. This is the second in a series of EESI briefings examining environmental justice as it relates to the EPA’s Clean Power Plan. This briefing will show how sustainable affordable housing can save money for low-income families and strengthen community resilience while serving as a CPP compliance strategy.  Speakers will showcase sustainable affordable housing developments in Pittsburgh, PA, as well as a retrofit in Washington, DC, and will discuss the national movement to “green” affordable housing. The briefing will also feature the passive building retrofit of Weinberg Commons, a multifamily housing complex for low-income families in Southeast DC. The nation’s capital uses Enterprise Community Partners’ Green Communities Criteria as the baseline green building standard for its public and publicly-financed projects.

USEA to Look at Fossil Fuels – Next Monday, the US Energy Assn will host a forum on addressing fossil fuels. Scientists believe significant climate change is unavoidable without a drastic reduction in the emissions of greenhouse gases from the combustion of fossil fuels. However, few countries have implemented comprehensive policies that price this externality or devote serious resources to developing low-carbon energy sources. In many respects, the world is betting that we will greatly reduce the use of fossil fuels because we will run out of inexpensive fossil fuels (there will be decreases in supply) and/or technological advances will lead to the discovery of less-expensive low-carbon technologies (there will be decreases in demand). The historical record indicates that the supply of fossil fuels has consistently increased over time and that their relative price advantage over low-carbon energy sources has not declined substantially over time. Without robust efforts to correct the market failures around greenhouse gases, relying on supply and/or demand forces to limit greenhouse gas emissions is relying heavily on hope.  Thomas Covert, Assistant Professor at the University of Chicago will speak.

Hudson Conference Looking at Shale Revolution – Next Tuesday, the Hudson Institute will host a conference examining how U.S. oil and natural gas exports have reshaped the balance of global energy power. Congressman Mike Pompeo of Kansas, a senior member of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, will discuss the geopolitics of energy and the outlook on Capitol Hill for expanding American global energy leadership through hydraulic fracturing. Manhattan Institute Senior Fellow Mark P. Mills will keynote the conference, and four distinguished panels of experts will address the impact of the American shale revolution in different world regions.

Chamber to Host Aviation Summit – The U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation are hosting the 15th annual Aviation Summit on Tuesday, March 22nd at the Renaissance Hotel to bring together top experts and leaders from all sectors of aviation to discuss critical issues facing the industry. The 2016 Summit will focus on innovation and emerging technologies.

EEI to Host Leaders in Energy – The Edison Electric Institute hosts a panel of experts next Tuesday evening at 7:00 p.m. who will discuss and explore interesting questions related to the evolving Smart Grid and Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) deployments that utilize unlicensed spectrum and its impact on energy efficiency.  Thought leaders from the utility, federal Smart Grid program, and telecommunications sectors will be at Leaders in Energy educational and professional networking event to explore issues related to the use of the unlicensed spectrum, advanced metering infrastructure communication platforms, and related Smart Meter applications in Smart Grid deployments to improve energy performance, benefit the environment, and services for utilities and customers.

Forum to Look at Energy Politics – The Aspen Institute Energy and Environment Program and Colorado State University’s Center for the New Energy Economy will host a special public panel discussion on Thursday March 24th to explore the politics of clean energy and climate action in this presidential election year. Specifically, can Republicans, Democrats and Independents find common ground on the role of the federal government on these issues? If so, what are the most promising areas for bipartisan agreement?  The bipartisan panel will feature former Rep. and Carbon tax advocate Bob Inglis, former CO Gov. Bill Ritter, Theodore Roosevelt IV of Barclays Capital Corporation and former White House Climate official Heather Zichal.

Transmission Summit Set to Address Challenges – The 19th Annual Transmission Summit will be held on March 29-31 at the Washington Marriott Georgetown.  The event will feature senior executives from MISO, NYISO, PJM, SPP and ISO-NE, who will discuss their system needs and market changes, and representatives from such prominent transmission owners and developers as Clean Line Energy Partners LLC, Con Edison, DATC, Exelon Corp., LS Power Development LLC, National Grid, Xcel Energy and others will provide insights into their development plans and projects.

Energy Conference Set – The Energy Smart Conference will be held at the Gaylord on Aril 4-6th.  The event features top enterprises, energy service providers, and technology leaders to rethink the industry and refine energy management.  Main speakers will be Colin Powell, author of Drive: The Surprising Truth of What Motivates Us Daniel Pink and Green to Gold Author Andrew Winston.

Rogers Headlines Clean Energy Challenge Forum – The Clean Energy Challenge is hold a conference in Chicago on April 12th featuring capitalists, civic leaders, and industry executives to recognize cleantech innovation.  The Clean Energy Trust Challenge is a nationally recognized accelerator for clean energy innovation. Run by Chicago-based Clean Energy Trust, the Challenge has led to the development and growth of 60+ businesses throughout the Midwest.  Speakers will include former Duke CEO Jim Rogers and Ripple Foods CEO Adam Lowry.

Conference to Look at PA Drilling – Shale Directories will host Upstream 2016 on April 19th at The Penn Stater in State College, PA to look at action in PA.  Despite cutbacks in budgets, there are still opportunities for this and next year and Cabot, Seneca and others will be there to discuss when Drilling may ramp up again, what you can do to help the industry and how to prepare for the growth. As well, Faouizi Aloulou, Senior Economist with the Energy Information Agency, will give a presentation on the Uncertainties of Shale Resource Development Under Low Price Environment.

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

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

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

Energy Update: Week of March 7

Friends,

As Spring Breaks are beginning, it is time to start locking in on your favorites for those NCAA March Madness hoops pools.  Keep an eye this week on all the Conference championships to see who’s playing well (Kansas/Michigan State) and who has struggled lately (Maryland, Oklahoma).  It may also help you find some sleepers (Monmouth, Providence, Stephen F Austin, Little Rock).  And how about Yale, winning the Ivys and making the tourney for the first time since 1962.  Only Dartmouth (1959) has gone longer without making an appearance.

Tomorrow votes are hitting in Michigan, as well as Idaho (R), Hawaii (R) and Mississippi.  Most of the focus for both sides is Michigan, which hosted both Republican and Democratic debates over the last few days.  In fact, should you have any questions about the latest Democratic Prez positioning on natgas drilling (Sanders is opposed, Clinton announced a bunch of hoops that no one can get through)  let us know.  My colleagues can discuss the reality vs the politics.   One week to Super Tuesday, Part II.

Budget discussions continue this week with Secretary Vilsack and Secretary Moniz heading to Senate Approps’ panels after several visits last week.  Moniz was a champion with three marathon sessions at House Energy, Senate Energy and House Energy Approps last week.   Senate Environment jumps into state regulation and how states are impacted on Wednesday following a recent letter from Chairman Inhofe to the 20 states covered by the Committee asking for their “perspective” on EPA regulations.

Off the Hill, there is a great event tomorrow at 10:00 a.m. that is a “must attend.”  The National Press Club’s Newsmaker Committee will host Republican entrepreneur turned philanthropist Jay Faison, Founder and CEO of ClearPath, a new non-profit foundation dedicated to finding and promoting conservative clean energy solutions in the Club’s Bloomberg Room.   It is his first foray into DC since announcing his intention to play a bigger energy role with Republicans and with the Newsmaker format, you’ll have a great opportunity to inquire.

Finally, this weekend, South By Southwest begins in Austin Texas on Friday and runs through the following week.  Originally just a small music festival, SXSW has also become a popular policy and political forum.  On Friday, President Obama will sit down with Evan Smith, Texas Tribune Editor-in-Chief, for a conversation about civic engagement in the 21st Century before an audience of creators, early adopters and entrepreneurs who are defining the future of our connected lives.   There are many environmental, technology, policy and political issues on the agenda…and, as expected, some awesome music.  See the full schedule of events here.

Congrats (I think) to my friend and ex-biofuel reporter Rachel Gantz who starts TODAY as RFA’s New Comms Director.  Good luck with that…

Call with questions.

Best,

Frank Maisano

(202) 828-5864

(202) 997-5932

 

 

IN THE NEWS

 

SCOTUS Rejects Mercury Stay – Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. on Thursday refused to block EPA’s regulation limiting emissions of mercury from coal-fired power plants.  The decision comes a few weeks after they approved an extraordinary stay to block the Administration’s plan for regulating GHGs.  My colleague Jeff Holmstead told the New York Times the decision was a pretty strong way of sending a signal that the fact that the court granted a stay of the Clean Power Plan was highly extraordinary, and they don’t want to be inundated with these.  Holmstead: “I think this is Justice Roberts’ effort to say that the Clean Power Plan is an extraordinary situation.” Holmstead and other experts noted that blocking the mercury rule would have had little practical impact, because most electric utilities have already put it into effect, closing almost 100 coal-fired power plants.

 

Chamber Energy Institute White Paper on Stay Impacts on Deadlines – We have all heard EPA Administrator McCarthy saying many different things about the impacts of the Supreme Court’s stay on the GHG rules, including that that “[l]ife is continuing [in] the exact same direction it was before the stay,” that the stay “didn’t mean that anything on the ground really had changed,” the stay “is not going to slow us down” and finally, that the stay won’t push back the compliance deadlines.  As my colleague Jeff Holmstead has mentioned to many of you, the SCOTUS stay WILL delay all the deadlines of the Clean Power Plan even if the courts eventually uphold the rule.  This is also the focus of a new paper from the US Chamber’s Energy Institute.  With regard to the stay, the paper says: “the proper interpretation of the Court’s order is that the Stay tolls all the Rule’s deadlines—not just those that actually fall during the Stay—for at least the period of time the Stay is in place.”  Chamber Energy expert Dan Byers has also summed up the issues in a good, public and quotable blog.   And of course, as one of the attorneys in the case, Holmstead Is happy to discuss the issues and the protocols  going forward.

 

Cities Launch Energy Security  Coalition – A group of medium and large-size cities from around the country announced the launch of the Energy Secure Cities Coalition (ESCC), a partnership of communities dedicated to transitioning their municipal fleets from petroleum-fueled vehicles to those powered by alternative fuels, like electricity and natural gas. Each ESCC city has the potential to improve quality of life for its residents as well as boost its economic competitiveness—regionally and globally—by saving millions of valuable taxpayer dollars over the next decade through the lower fuel and vehicle maintenance costs of alternative fuel vehicles.  The Energy Secure Cities Coalition includes Atlanta, Ga.; Charlotte, N.C.; Indianapolis, Ind.; Orlando, Fla.; Rochester, N.Y.; Sacramento Calif.; San Diego, Calif.; and West Palm Beach, Fla.  The ESCC plans to grow to at least 25 cities with the goal of taking 50,000 petroleum-powered vehicles off the road, saving 500,000 barrels of oil every year and protecting city budgets from volatile and unpredictable global oil prices, directly influenced by geopolitical instability and conflict. Fleets are some of the largest single fuel consumers in a given city and represent an opportunity to jump-start a community’s effort to reduce its dependence on oil, promote fuel diversity, and set an example for other cities across the country to follow. The Energy Secure Cities Coalition offers participating cities a network to learn from each other before, during and after the fleet conversion process, participating in a forum in which municipalities can share best practices on communicating their goals, engaging their communities, recognizing obstacles and solving problems. The ESCC is a project of its member cities in collaboration with Securing America’s Future Energy and the Electrification Coalition. Learn more at www.energysecurecities.org.

 

Report: Property Values Unaffected By Pipelines – A new study conducted by Integra Realty Resources on behalf of The INGAA Foundation says the presence of an underground natural gas transmission pipeline does not affect the sales prices or value of residential properties.  The independent study of residential properties in proximity to natural gas pipelines in the Southeast, Midwest, Mid-Atlantic and Northeast United States,  Pipeline Impact to Property Value and Property Insurability, identifies residential neighborhoods that were bordered or bisected by at least one pipeline and isolated home sales of similar properties both on and off the pipelines.  The study then performed a direct comparison of the properties for normal valuation purposes.   IRR analyzed property sales in communities in four states – Ohio, New Jersey, Virginia and Mississippi – and determined that “there is no measurable impact on the sales price of properties located along or in proximity to a natural gas pipeline versus properties which are not located along or in proximity to the same pipeline.” A fifth analysis, of a community in Pennsylvania, conducted by a separate appraisal company also was included in the analysis.  IRR analyzed actual residential property sales data in each area, normalized by significant factors (i.e. gross living area, size, age, date of transaction, etc.) to derive adjustments used to account for differences, in each area, both on and off pipeline easements, in like and similar conditions.  It then applied linear regression analyses to see if a correlation existed between sales price and location “on” or “off” the pipeline easement.  In every area of study, IRR found no negative impact on price, and no correlation between price and proximity to pipeline easement.  IRR also found that buyers purchasing homes along pipeline easements in each area studied were able to obtain conventional, Federal Housing Administration and Veterans Affairs loans. “This indicates that a presence of a natural gas pipeline had no effect on obtaining a mortgage,” the report said.  Moreover, insurance companies and agents interviewed said there was no indication that the presence of a natural gas pipeline would hinder a buyer’s ability to acquire property insurance. They also said there was no indication that premiums paid for insurance policies would increase because of the presence of a natural gas pipeline.

 

Morning Consult National Poll Shows Support for Coal Generation – In a new national poll conducted by Morning Consult, 54% of registered voters ‘totally approve’ the use of coal to generate electricity, compared to 32% who ‘totally disapprove.’ 14% have no opinion.  ACCCE’s Laura Sheehan said “Despite the near-constant fearmongering campaign conducted by this administration and its allies, the electorate continues to recognize the importance coal plays in the production of affordable and reliable energy.”

 

Rural Co-Ops Support LIHEAP Action Day – Yesterday was LIHEAP Action Day. LIHEAP is the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program, which provides those in need with assistance paying their home heating and cooling bills.  The National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA) strongly supports action on LIHEAP because it reinforces one of cooperatives’ core principles: concern for community. While focusing on member needs, cooperatives work for the sustainable development of their communities through policies accepted by their members.  NRECA Interim CEO Jeffrey Connor said since 1981, LIHEAP has helped millions of low-income Americans pay their energy bills, delivering critical short-term aid to our nation’s most vulnerable citizens, including senior citizens on fixed incomes and the poor.  “America’s electric co-ops, which serve 93 percent of the nation’s persistent poverty counties, are acutely aware of LIHEAP’s importance and the need to fully fund it in fiscal year 2017,” Connor added.   Helen Holton, Baltimore City Council member since 1995 and executive director for the National Organization of Black County Officials wrote in Roll Call a clear call for support of the program, which assisted 6.8 million American households last year.  The National Energy and Utility Affordability Coalition (NEUAC) sponsored LIHEAP Action Day along with member companies of NRECA, the American Gas Association (AGA) and the Edison Electric Institute. The annual day-long event is aimed at building awareness for LIHEAP, a program providing financial assistance to low and fixed-income individuals for fuel and utility bills, as well as low-cost weatherization and energy-related home repairs. On LIHEAP Action Day, nearly 300 meetings took place in offices on Capitol Hill.  LIHEAP champions and advocates converged on the nation’s capital city to discuss the importance of fully funding the program at $4.7 billion for FY2017.

 

Report: Energy Storage Improving – The U.S. energy storage market just had both its best quarter and best year of all time. According to the GTM Research/Energy Storage Association’s U.S. Energy Storage Monitor 2015 Year in Review, the U.S. deployed 112 megawatts of energy storage capacity in the fourth quarter of 2015, bringing the annual total to 221 megawatts. This represents 161 megawatt-hours for the year.  The 112 megawatts deployed in the fourth quarter 2015 represented more than the total of all storage deployments in 2013 and 2014 combined. Propelled by that historic quarter, the U.S. energy storage market grew 243 percent over 2014’s 65 megawatts (86 megawatt-hours).

RFA Hires New Comms Director
– The Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) has hired our friend and former biofuels industry reporter Rachel Gantz as its new communications director. Gantz will serve as the RFA’s spokesperson, communicating the group’s top messages to reporters, and will focus on growing RFA’s footprint in the media.  She starts today.  Gantz spent nearly 17 years as a reporter, most recently at Oil Price Information Service, where she was a senior reporter covering the biofuels industry. She also worked at Hart Energy Publishing’s Oxy Fuel News and Argus’ Air Daily, covering the biofuels and air emissions industries.

 

 

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

 

McCarthy to Headline Climate Conference – The 2016 Climate Leadership Conference will take place today through Thursday in Seattle.  The event convenes a global audience of climate, energy, and sustainability professionals to address climate change through policy, innovation, and business solutions. Now in its fifth year, the 2016 event will host the first U.S. climate conference post-Paris to further accelerate climate solutions and a low-carbon economy.  Speakers include EPA Head Gina McCarthy, former CNN and current GWU School of Media & PA head Frank Sesno, Microsoft’s Dan Reicher and former CO Governor Bill Ritter.

 

Press Club to Host Faison, Will Outline Plans to Move Republicans on Energy Agenda  – The National Press Club’s Newsmaker Committee will host Republican entrepreneur turned philanthropist Jay Faison, Founder and CEO of ClearPath, a new non-profit foundation dedicated to finding and promoting conservative clean energy solutions, tomorrow at 10:00 a.m. in the Club’s Bloomberg Room.  Faison  will outline the organization’s conservative approach to environmental and energy issues at a Tues., March 8 Newsmaker news conference. Faison also will detail the organization’s plans to influence policymakers and the role ClearPath intends to play in the 2016 elections.  Last year, Faison, made headlines when he announced that he was donating  $165 million to start ClearPath with the goal of moving the Republican Party forward on clean energy.  He believes smaller government, free markets and American innovation are the best way to solve energy challenges and reduce environmental and health risks caused by air and carbon pollution.

 

DOE to Hold Biomass Meetings – The Department of Energy has announced an open meeting of its Biomass Research and Development Technical Advisory Committee tomorrow and Wednesday.  The purpose of the meeting is to develop advice and guidance that promotes research and development leading to the production of biobased fuels and biobased products. The tentative agenda includes updates on USDA and DOE biomass research and development activities, as well as an update on the Biomass Research and Development Initiative. The meeting is also expected to include an overview of the DOE Bioenergy Technologies Office 2016 budget, focused on new areas and activities, along with an overview of the 2016 budget, along with new areas and activities for USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture and Agricultural Research Service. In addition, the meeting is scheduled to include a presentation on biomass-related ARPA-E activities.

 

USEA Look at CCS Utilization – The US Energy Association hosts a forum tomorrow at 2:00 p.m. on utilization of CO2 for enhanced oil recovery.  The “U” in CCUS, is a key component of essentially all major CO2 capture and storage projects such as Summit’s Texas Clean Energy Project, Petra Nova’s Parish project, Boundary Dam, and Kemper. This briefing will assess the market dynamics, issues and opportunities at play.  Speaker will be Michael Moore, Vice President of Energy Commodities and Advisory Services at FearnOil.

 

JHU Forum Looks at Renewables – Johns Hopkins University’s SAIS will hold a forum tomorrow at 4:30 p.m. as part of the SAIS Research Seminar Series in Politics and Political Economy, 2015-2016 on how power sectors reforms are shaping renewable energy issues across the globe.  Johannes Urpelainen, the speaker for this seminar, is Associate Professor of Political Science at Columbia University.

 

POLITICO Forum to Look at Canada Visit – As President Barack Obama prepares to welcome Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau for a historic state visit, POLITICO and CABC will hold a series of high-level conversations tomorrow evening at The Newseum on North American leadership in energy, the global economy, security and the refugee crisis.  Featured speakers include US Customs and Border Protection Commissioner Gil Kerlikowske; Alan Bersin, Assistant Secretary for International Affairs and Chief Diplomatic Officer at U.S. Department of Homeland Security and Richard Duke, Deputy Director for Climate Policy in the White House Office of Energy and Climate Change.  Other speakers will include State’s Simon Henshaw, NRDC’s Canada Project analyst Danielle Droitsch and Port Metro Vancouver CEO Robin Silvester.

 

Groups Look at Ag Impacts on Climate – The Organic Consumers Association and Regeneration International will hold a workshop on Wednesday to discuss the science and management of the remarkable bio-chemical process called carbon sequestration.  Scientists will explain how it works and climate policy experts will describe initiatives to drive the rapid, large-scale, worldwide adoption of regenerative agriculture techniques that can sequester carbon, improve both quantity and quality of foods produced, and concurrently decrease atmospheric CO2.  Some of the speakers include Catherine Geslain-Laneelle, Kristine Nichols, David Johnson, and Richard Teague.

 

Senate Environment to Hear From States on Regulating – The Senate Environment Committee will hold a hearing Wednesday at 9:30 a.m. looking at state views of Federal regulations.   Witnesses will include South Dakota DENR secretary Steven Pirner, Arkansas DEQ director Becky Keogh, WV DEP Secretary Randy Huffman, Vermont Agency of Natural Resources secretary Deborah Markowitz, secretary and Delaware DNREC Air Quality director Ali Mirzakhalili.

 

AGA Expert Feature In CHP/NatGas Webinar – The Alliance for Industrial Efficiency is cohosting a webinar with the Business Council for Sustainable Energy on Wednesday at Noon on the state of the market and implications for natgas & CHP.   Expert panelists will explore data from the 2016 BCSE Sustainable Energy Factbook on the state of the market for natural gas and combined heat and power (CHP), and provide their perspectives on prospects for continued growth.   They will also will explore data from the 2016 BCSE Sustainable Energy Factbook on the state of the market for natural gas and combined heat and power (CHP), and provide their perspectives on prospects for continued growth.  Among the speakers will be our friend Richard Meyer, Manager of Energy Analysis & Standards at the American Gas Association.

 

Vilsack Former Ag Secretaries to Talk Nutrition at BPC – As part of National Nutrition Month, the Bipartisan Policy Center is hosting a conversation on food and nutrition, featuring Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack on Wednesday at 10:00 a.m..  The event will be a robust discussion with a bipartisan panel on the current state of nutrition in America and innovative approaches to creating a healthier future.   Joining Vilsack on the panel will be former Ag Secretaries Ann Veneman and Dan Glickman.

 

Forum to Look at National Labs Budget – The Environmental and Energy Study Institute (EESI), in partnership with the House and Senate Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Caucuses, will hold a briefing on Wednesday at 1:00 p.m. looking at the energy efficiency and renewable energy provisions of the President’s budget request for Fiscal Year (FY) 2017.  Speakers from the Department of Energy, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, and the Congressional Research Service (CRS) will give an overview of the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy’s (EERE) budget request, explain the EERE Office budget priorities, and provide context on how these priorities and trends compare to prior years.  DOE’s David Friedman, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary, Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, will launch the conversation and CRS experts and Scott Sklar will also join the panel.

 

Senate Approps Hosts Vilsack – The Senate Appropriations Committee’s Subcommittee on Agriculture, Food, and Drug Administration will hold a hearing on Wednesday at 2:00 p.m. to review the Fiscal Year 2017 budget request and funding justification for the U.S. Department of Agriculture.  Secretary Vilsack will testify.

 

Moniz Head to Senate Energy Approps Panel – After last week’s testimony barrage, Secretary Moniz returns to the Senate Appropriations Committee’s Subcommittee on Energy and Water Development Wednesday at 2:30 p.m. a hearing to examine proposed budget estimates and justification for fiscal year 2017 for the Department of Energy.

 

ELI host Enviro Social Event – The Environmental Law Institute and the D.C. Bar’s Environment, Energy and Natural Resources Section will hold a networking event Wednesday night to build community and connections among environmental professionals.

 

Murkowski Honored by WCEE – The Women’s Council on Energy and the Environment (WCEE) will hold its Woman of the Year Gala Wednesday evening at the Capital Hilton Hotel.  The 2016 WCEE Woman of the Year is Senate Energy Chair Lisa Murkowski.  Murkowski is Alaska’s senior representative in the U.S. Senate and chairman of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee and Senate Appropriations Interior and Environment Subcommittee.

 

Forum to Focus on Clean Power Plan – The Environmental Law Institute will hold its 2016 J.B. & Maurice C. Shapiro Environmental Law Symposium on Thursday and Friday at GWU.  The event will focus on environmental, economic, and governance issues for the electricity mix in the coming two-to-three decades. The two-day Symposium will bring together a multi-disciplinary group of experts for a series of panels and discussions structured around issues surrounding the Clean Power Plan.

ARPA-E Director Talks Innovation, Grid – The CSIS Energy and National Security Program will hold a discussion on Thursday with Ellen Williams, Director of ARPA-E, the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy. Dr. Williams and  ARPA-e play a critical role in incubating new energy technologies.  One issue where real progress on both technology and market deployment continues to be needed is the electric grid.  Dr. Williams will discuss key areas of focus for ARPA-E in 2016, with a  special focus on grid management and grid storage as well as the new initiatives including Mission Innovation. Sarah Ladislaw, Director and Senior Fellow with the CSIS Energy and National Security Program, will provide a brief introduction and Frank O’Sullivan, Director of Research and Analysis with the MIT Energy Initiative and Senior Associate with the CSIS Energy and National Security Program will moderate the discussion.

 

Forum to Look at Japan Priorities in Middle East – On Thursday, the Atlantic Council’s Rafik Hariri Center for the Middle East and Global Energy Center will bring together Japanese scholars and practitioners alongside US analysts to discuss Japanese energy priorities and policies in the Middle East. These experts will discuss how the Middle Eastern landscape impacts Japan’s energy policies, and how Japanese policies in turn impact the region.

 

Poneman to Discuss Argentina, Energy – The Atlantic Council for a discussion on Friday looking at Argentina’s energy outlook in the new administration of President Mauricio Macri era. The event will launch the Atlantic Council’s latest policy brief, The New Argentina: Time to Double Down on the Energy Sector?, authored by Argentine energy expert Cristian Folgar.  Among the speakers will be Dan Poneman, former Deputy Secretary of Energy.

 

 

FUTURE EVENTS

 

AHRI Public Policy Forum Set – The Air Conditioning, Heating and Refrigeration Institute (AHRI) hold its annual Public Policy Forum on March 15th and 16th.  The 2016 Public Policy Symposium is designed to bring AHRI members together with key public officials to discuss important issues facing the HVACR and water heating industry. The two-day event provides participants with the opportunity for face-to-face meetings with lawmakers and Congressional staff on Capitol Hill, and with key officials in federal agencies. Near-miss Virginia Senate Candidate and former political operative Ed Gillespie will keynote the forum.

 

Chamber Summit to Look at Competitiveness – The U.S. Chamber’s Center for Capital Markets Competitiveness holds the 10th Annual Capital Markets Summit looking at the foundation of economic growth on March 15th.  This year, the event will examine the current state of the capital markets, including how innovation is changing the landscape, and explore what changes are necessary to ensure these markets are modernized and well-regulated to ensure economic growth.

 

Forum to Focus on Geothermal – EESI and the Geothermal Energy Association is hosting a briefing on Wednesday March 16th at 2:00 p.m. in 212-10 in the Capitol Visitors Center highlighting the state of the geothermal energy industry and its near-term prospects in the United States and in more than 80 other countries working to expand its use. With demand for clean energy accelerating around the globe, geothermal energy has major potential as a renewable resource that can provide power around-the-clock, complementing intermittent renewable power technologies. Speakers will include International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) Deputy Director-General Sakari Oksanen, U.S. Geothermal President  Doug Glaspey and several others.

 

Wilson Center Forum to Look at Developing Country Support – Next Wednesday March 16th, the Wilson Center will host a panel of experts from CIGI, ICCCAD, and United Nations University to discuss the current status and future of financing and insurance for combating climate-related loss and damage.  The 2015 Paris Climate Agreement focused on support for vulnerable countries in the face of looming climate-related “loss and damage.”

 

GEA Sets Geo Energy Showcase – The Geothermal Energy Assn will be holding its 3rd U.S. and International Geothermal Energy Showcase in Washington, DC on Thursday, March 17th at the Ronald Reagan International Trade Center. This year’s Showcase will focus on the building blocks for successful geothermal projects and highlight key geothermal projects, trends, and governmental policies in the U.S. and the international markets. The program will showcase geothermal projects, trends, and governmental policies in the U.S. and around the world. Topics covered will include: the geothermal market today, projects under development in the U.S. and internationally, outlook for the future of the geothermal market, policies driving geothermal development, new technologies, and federal agency support at home and abroad. Over 36 countries will be represented at the Showcase. Represented countries include the United States, United Kingdom, Jamaica, United Arab Emirates, Djibouti, India, Belgium, Guatemala, Hungary, Uganda, Turkey, the Philippines, Fiji, Costa Rica, Indonesia, Burundi, St. Kitts, Kenya, Mexico, Japan, Ethiopia, Qatar, Iceland, Taiwan, Albania, Nevis, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Burkina Faso, Vanuatu, Italy, Taiwan, Peru, Colombia, and more.  Speakers will include International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) Deputy Director-General Sakari Oksanen and Nevada Senator Dean Heller.

 

BCSE to Host Clean Energy Forum –The Business Council for Sustainable Energy will hold a Clean Energy Forum on March 16th for its Members to look at the 2016 clean Energy Agenda.

 

Defense Renewables Summit Set – Infocast hosts the 6th Defense Renewables Summit on March 15-16th at the Sheraton Pentagon City in Arlington, VA, to bring DoD, Air Force, Army and Navy decision-makers together with renewable energy developers, utilities, system integrators, financiers, EPCs, cybersecurity, energy storage, smartgrid and telecom experts to meet the renewable energy goals and security needs of the DoD. The summit will explore how viable, financeable projects can be developed to the benefit of all. The summit will provide the latest on emerging guidelines and processes that merges the complexity of federal acquisitions with the risk allocation methods of project finance.

 

ACORE Policy Forum Set – The 2016 ACORE National Renewable Energy Policy Forum will be on March 16th and 17th at the W Hotel in Washington, D.C.  Senator Wyden, ranking member of the Senate Finance Committee and member of the Energy and Natural Resources Committee, will provide the Mid-Morning Keynote.  The event has a great line up including moderators Joe Desmond of Bightsource Energy, Greg Wetstone of ACORE and Dan Reicher, former DOE official and Google exec at Stanford’s Steyer-Taylor Center.

 

Forum to Look at Critical Infrastructure – Next Thursday, March 17th at 9:30 a.m. at the Reserve Officers Association, the Secure the Grid Coalition and Homeland Security Today Magazine will hold a forum on critical infrastructure and a secure electric grid.  This symposium will explore the path from today’s vulnerabilities to tomorrow’s mitigations for the civilian electrical grid from major system failures and long-term power outages. How vulnerable are we to catastrophic level black outs? What does that mean for the major power consumers of the civilian electrical grid?  Homeland Security Today Magazine’s Editor and Chief Anthony Kimery will host a discussion with panelists that include President Bill Clinton’s former Director of Central Intelligence Ambassador James Woolsey, Senate Homeland Security Committee Chairman Ron Johnson, and several other experts.

 

Forum to Look at Specialty Metals – The Atlantic Council will hold a forum on Thursday March 17th at 2:30 p.m. featuring a discussion on the new resource challenges – specialty metals. Obscure resources we paid little attention to are increasingly playing critical roles as we switch to new energy sources, as high-tech proliferates globally, and as military technologies proliferate. A lack of understanding and production of these materials will limit their development and deployment of critical technologies.  Most notably, as the global community transitions from fossil fuels to clean energy, demand for rare metals will increase dramatically. Potential shortages and volatile prices will keep some technologies out of reach or limit the implementation of our most effective energy solutions.  And with Beijing allocating vast sums to produce and process these materials, geopolitical risks abound.  The panelists will explore this budding war over the periodic table by discussing what the geopolitical implications of rare metals are and hoe their production differs.  It will also look at international transparency and other production process issues.

 

Forum to Feature Specialty Metals Book Author – On Friday, March 18th at Noon, the local chapter of the US Assn of Energy Economists will host a lunch with David Abraham as he discusses how countries are lining up sides on the next geopolitical resource battle — specialty metals. Abraham is the author of “The Elements of Power: Gadgets, Guns, and the Struggle for a Sustainable Future in the Rare Metals Age.”  The Economist said”…[Abraham] persuasively explains the danger of underestimating a business that, by one estimate, generates $4 billion of revenues a year and also plays a critical role in systems worth about $4 trillion. China, which develops more rare metals than any other country, understands the calculus. The West, his book suggests, does not.”

 

Forum to Look at Sustainable Housing – The Environmental and Energy Study Institute (EESI) is holding a briefing on March 21st at 2:30 p.m. in 122 Cannon regarding energy efficient, “green” affordable housing and how it is improving health and safety in distressed communities while providing economic and environmental benefits to states. This is the second in a series of EESI briefings examining environmental justice as it relates to the EPA’s Clean Power Plan. This briefing will show how sustainable affordable housing can save money for low-income families and strengthen community resilience while serving as a CPP compliance strategy.  Speakers will showcase sustainable affordable housing developments in Pittsburgh, PA, as well as a retrofit in Washington, DC, and will discuss the national movement to “green” affordable housing. The briefing will also feature the passive building retrofit of Weinberg Commons, a multifamily housing complex for low-income families in Southeast DC. The nation’s capital uses Enterprise Community Partners’ Green Communities Criteria as the baseline green building standard for its public and publicly-financed projects.

 

Chamber to Host Aviation Summit – The U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation are hosting the 15th annual Aviation Summit on Tuesday, March 22nd at the Renaissance Hotel to bring together top experts and leaders from all sectors of aviation to discuss critical issues facing the industry. The 2016 Summit will focus on innovation and emerging technologies.

 

Transmission Summit Set to Address Challenges – The 19th Annual Transmission Summit will be held on March 29-31 at the Washington Marriott Georgetown.  The event will feature senior executives from MISO, NYISO, PJM, SPP and ISO-NE, who will discuss their system needs and market changes, and representatives from such prominent transmission owners and developers as Clean Line Energy Partners LLC, Con Edison, DATC, Exelon Corp., LS Power Development LLC, National Grid, Xcel Energy and others will provide insights into their development plans and projects.

 

Energy Conference Set – The Energy Smart Conference will be held at the Gaylord on Aril 4-6th.  The event features top enterprises, energy service providers, and technology leaders to rethink the industry and refine energy management.  Main speakers will be Colin Powell, author of Drive: The Surprising Truth of What Motivates Us Daniel Pink and Green to Gold Author Andrew Winston.

 

Conference to Look at PA Drilling – Shale Directories will host Upstream 2016 on April 19th at The Penn Stater in State College, PA to look at action in PA.  Despite cutbacks in budgets, there are still opportunities for this and next year and Cabot, Seneca and others will be there to discuss when Drilling may ramp up again, what you can do to help the industry and how to prepare for the growth. As well, Faouizi Aloulou, Senior Economist with the Energy Information Agency, will give a presentation on the Uncertainties of Shale Resource Development Under Low Price Environment.

 

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

 

Energy Update: Week of February 29

Friends,

Happy Leap Day…once every four years a leap day is observed because a complete revolution around the Sun takes slightly longer than 365 days. We compensate for this lag, realigning the calendar with the Earth’s position in the solar system with an extra day.  Happy Birthday to those who were born on this special day, even though they might get extra scrutiny from bartenders, bouncers, doctors and government agencies about the birthdates on their ID cards.

Leap Day also means Spring training is underway, NHL/NBA are hitting playoff stretch runs and NCAA March Madness is just around the corner.  It also means the Oscars — and even more importantly — the Congressional Hockey Challenge.

While the Oscars were somewhat shrouded in controversy (which I thought Chris Rock handled brilliantly), the Congressional Hockey Challenge is not.  The CHC is a charity game between teams of members of Congress/staff and Lobbyists that has raised over $560,000 for our featured charities since 2009. This year the game will feature Reps Erik Paulson, Tom Emmer, Pat Meehan, Larry Bucshon, John Katko and several Canadian members of Parliament .  It is preceded by a full day of events on Capitol Hill for Hockey Day on the Hill which features events with Lord Stanley’s Cup.  Game Time Wednesday Night at 7:00 p.m. at the Kettler IcePlex in Arlington.   Oh and I might be on the ice…as one of the referees in the game.

On Capitol Hill this week, there are a number of budget hearings leading the agenda.  Secretary Moniz has three hearings and Secretary Jewell will make a second appearance.  Also at House Resources on Wednesday, BSEE’s Brian Salerno and BOEM’s Abby Hopper will be testify on the budget impacts of the Administration’s offshore/onshore rules.  GEST’s Lori LeBlanc, after a meeting with OMB today and a series of Hill Meetings tomorrow.

Down the road at the Gaylord, ARPA-E launches its innovation summit.  Today, Air Liquide CEO Mike Graff and  BASF CEO Wayne Smith will sit with FORTUNE innovation writer Katie Fehrenbacher to discuss hydrogen vehicles and other new technologies.  Other speakers at the three-day event will include Sen Energy Chair Lisa Murkowski, Energy Secretary Moniz and former VP Al Gore tomorrow, and EPA’s Gina McCarthy and Sen. Chris Coons on Wednesday.

Finally, Bracewell’s Policy Resolution Group was recognized as the top performing lobbying/law firm in 2015 by Bloomberg Government in its annual review of the best advocacy firms in Washington, DC. The review ranks the top 15 firms based on performance, growth, customer satisfaction and profitability. The report noted that “Bracewell is the only firm to make Bloomberg Government’s top-performing lobbying/law firms list for the fourth time in a row. Earning the top spot on the 2015 rankings, Bracewell’s impressive year was reflected in its top five performances in four of the five criteria.” The ranking criteria include one-year client retention, three-year client retention, revenue growth, accretive growth and revenue per registered client.

Call with questions.

 

Best,

Frank Maisano

(202) 828-5864

(202) 997-5932

 

IN THE NEWS

Bracewell Named Top Performing Lobbying/Law Firm of 2015 by Bloomberg Government – Bracewell’s Policy Resolution Group  (PRG) was recognized as the top performing lobbying/law firm in 2015 by Bloomberg Government in its annual review of the best advocacy firms in Washington, DC. The review ranks the top 15 firms based on performance, growth, customer satisfaction and profitability.  The report noted that “Bracewell is the only firm to make Bloomberg Government’s top-performing lobbying/law firms list for the fourth time in a row. Earning the top spot on the 2015 rankings, Bracewell’s impressive year was reflected in its top five performances in four of the five criteria.” The ranking criteria include one-year client retention, three-year client retention, revenue growth, accretive growth and revenue per registered client.   According to the report, the Bracewell PRG one-year client retention rate is 93% and its three-year client retention rate is 78%, placing it near the top of its class in each category.

SoCo to Acquire Distributed Generation Leader – Southern Company will acquire PowerSecure, a leading provider of utility and energy technologies to electric utilities, and their industrial, institutional and commercial customers. PowerSecure provides products and services in the areas of Interactive Distributed Generation ® (IDG®), solar energy, energy efficiency and utility infrastructure.  Southern believes that the advancement of distributed infrastructure technologies – the very technologies in which PowerSecure specializes through its unique business model – helps meet customers’ future energy needs as part of the full portfolio of energy resources. These technologies typically receive highest demand largely in markets outside of the Southeast, where distributed infrastructure investments tend to provide greater customer value. Through this natural evolution of the companies’ current business models, the combined company would be particularly suited to address reliability concerns and promote technology advances with a focus on the future.   As Southern Company and PowerSecure prepare for tomorrow, the combination of one of America’s leading energy companies with a successful, customer-focused provider of differentiated energy solutions and innovative energy infrastructure is designed to expand Southern Company’s opportunities to provide customized energy products to customers.

Bipartisan Group  Introduces CCS Incentive Bill – Speaking of SoCo and innovation, their Kemper Carbon Capture Plant is expected to open later this year.  Last week, Federal legislation was introduced to spur commercial deployment of technologies to capture carbon dioxide emissions from power plants and industrial facilities for use in enhanced oil recovery (CO2-EOR) Rep. Mike Conaway and  18 bipartisan co-sponsors.  The legislation will make the existing federal carbon capture and storage incentive—known as the Section 45Q tax credit—permanent, thereby providing certainty that project developers need to obtain private sector financing of carbon capture projects. The current 45Q tax credit expires upon reaching its current cap of 75 million tons of CO2, meaning that investors in projects under development cannot count on the credit being available.  The bill would also gradually increase the credit value for CO2 storage through enhanced oil recovery or other types of geologic storage (from $10/ton and $20/ton, respectively) to $30 per ton by 2025.  For over 40 years, the U.S. independent oil and gas industry has led the world in using CO2 for oil production and geologic storage of carbon, and CO2-EOR currently provides around 4 percent of domestic oil production and utilizes roughly 65 million tons of CO2 annually.

Conservative Groups Oppose a Carbon Tax – The American Energy Alliance and over 20 free-market and conservative groups sent a letter to Majority Whip Steve Scalise in support of his resolution opposing a carbon tax. As the budget and appropriations process gets underway, Congress should reject efforts that would impose a carbon tax on American families, including President Obama’s recent proposal to levy a $10.25 per barrel carbon tax on oil. Below is an excerpt from the letter:  We write to collectively voice our support for House Concurrent Resolution 89, expressing the sense of Congress that a carbon tax would be detrimental to the United States economy.  As organizations that support free markets as a fundamental pathway to American prosperity, we oppose government policies – such as a carbon tax–that punish some and reward others in accordance with the government’s prevailing viewpoint on market ideals. Such marketplace manipulation represents a recipe for unintended consequences and self-inflicted economic damage. Too often, poor and middle class families bear the burden.  Indeed, independent studies demonstrate that a carbon tax would impose considerable harm on Americans. Such a tax will lead directly to higher electricity and transportation fuel costs for American families and businesses. This, in turn, will inexorably lead to increased costs for consumer goods across the board. Furthermore, a carbon tax would be regressive, imposing disproportionately high costs on middle- and lower-income families and thereby harming most those who can afford it least.

MD Get s Offshore Wind Application Process Rolling – The Maryland Public Service Commission received its first Offshore Wind Renewable Energy Credit (OREC) Application, opening competition for the $1.9B OREC financing set in place by the Maryland Offshore Wind Energy Act of 2013.  There is a 180 day window for all other developers to apply.  In addition to the OREC, the Maryland Offshore Wind Energy Act of 2013 established a number of provisions for a qualified offshore wind project, which is required to be located on the outer continental shelf, between 10 and 30 miles off the coast. Projects must satisfying several ratepayer impact protection measures, the offshore wind project must demonstrate positive net economic, environmental and health benefits to the State as a condition of approval.  The Maryland OREC application submission marks a milestone on the development timeline of the US offshore wind industry. The process will bring economic development and investment to Maryland, the Mid-Atlantic and North East regions and could reach down into the Gulf of Mexico.  The next step in the process is the approval of the OREC application, which is paramount to the growth of a pipeline of projects in the East Coast and realization of the full economic benefits associated with offshore wind.

 

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

Air Liquide CEO, Others Headline ARPA-E Event –This morning , Air Liquide CEO Mike Graff will launch the annual ARPA-E Innovation Summit with the featured “Fireside Chat.”  Graff will be interviewed by FORTUNE innovation writer Katie Fehrenbacher along with BASF CEO Wayne Smith.  Other speakers at the three-day event will include Sen Energy Chair Lisa Murkowski, Energy Secretary Moniz and former VP Al Gore tomorrow, and EPA’s Gina McCarthy and Sen. Chris Coons on Wednesday.

BOEM Director Headlines Offshore Wind Conference – The 2016 U.S. Offshore Wind Leadership Conference is being held today through Wednesday at the InterContinental Hotel in Boston, Massachusetts.   Speakers include BOEM Director Abby Hopper, Sen Ed Markey, NWF CEO Colin O’Mara, Deepwater CEO Jeff Grybowski, Delaware Special Initiative on Offshore Wind director Stephanie McClellan, UD’s Willett Kempton, AWEA’s Nany Sopko, Liz Burdick of the Business Network for OSW and many more.

Brookings to Host Australian Energy Leader – Today at 1:30 p.m., the Global Economy and Development program at Brookings will host The Hon Josh Frydenberg MP, Australia’s Minister for Resources, Energy and Northern Australia. Minister Frydenberg will address what Australia is doing to ensure it remains a world leader on energy and resources, the continued importance of the U.S. and growing importance of Asian markets for energy and resources markets, and what the Paris climate change agreement means for Australia’s energy sector. Following the remarks, Brookings Senior Fellow Joshua Meltzer will engage the Minister in a one-on-one discussion. After the program, the participants will take audience questions.

Revkin to Discuss Science, Climate Writing – Tonight, my friend and former NY Times science reporter Andy Revkin will be at the Marian Koshland Science Museum at 6:30 p.m. for a wide-ranging conversation about the challenges of writing about climate change and making an impact on readers through personal narrative. He will be joined by Lee Gutkind, founding editor of Creative Nonfiction, and Daniel Sarewitz, co-editor of Issues in Science and Technology; Andrew’s essay appears in the current issues of both magazines.

Energy Funding, Energy Panels Host Moniz, DOE on Budgets – The House and Senate Energy and Water Approps Subcommittee and the House Energy panel will all hear testimony from  Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz as they hold budget hearings on the Department of Energy.  House Approps hosts tomorrow at 9:30 a.m., House Energy Wednesday at 10:00 a.m., Senate Energy Thursday at 10:00 a.m.  As well, DOE Undersecretaries Franklin Orr (Science), Dave Danielson (EERE), John Kotek (Nuclear), Chris Smith (Fossil) and Pat Hoffman (Electricity Delivery/Reliability) will all testify before House Energy Water Approps on Wednesday at 10:30 a.m.

Jewell, Interior Returns to Hill – Starting tomorrow, Interior Secretary  Sally Jewell will return to Capitol to discuss 2017 budgets.  House Resources will host tomorrow wat 10 am, while Senate Interior Approps will Host on Wednesday at 10 a.m. and House Interior Approps on Wednesday afternoon.   Finally. BLM’s Neil Kornze heads to House Interior Approps on Thursday at 10am.

House Energy Panel to Unveil Pipeline Legislation – The House Energy and Commerce subcommittee on Energy will unveil draft reauthorization legislation for pipeline safety in a hearing tomorrow. The draft bill to be discussed tomorrow would also reauthorize PHMSA through 2019, but the bill would also include multiple new mandates to “increase transparency and accountability, complete overdue regulations, and improve safety,” according to a statement from the committee.  Good resources on this include AGA’s Jake Rubin and Don Santa of INGAA.  PHMSA Administrator Marie Therese Dominguez Administrator will testify.

Canada Energy Future Highlighted – The CSIS Energy Program will feature a discussion on Wednesday of Canada’s 2016 energy future.  The event will feature members of the Canadian National Energy Board, including Abha Bhargava, Director of Energy Integration, as well as Energy Futures Project Managers Bryce Van Sluys and Matthew Hansen.

House Energy Panel Hosts Moniz on Budget – As mentioned above, the House Energy and Commerce Committee’s Energy and Power Subcommittee hold a hearing on Wednesday at 10:00 a.m. looking at the FY2017 DOE Budget featuring Secretary Moniz.

Senate FR Looks at Oil Price Impacts – The Senate Committee on Foreign Relations will hold a hearing on Wednesday at 10:00 a.m. looking at the geopolitical implications of low oil & gas prices.  Witnesses will include Institute of International Finance head Tim Adams, and Robert Kahn, a Fellow for International Economics at the Council on Foreign Relations.

Resources Panel to Look at Leasing Issues at Interior – The House Resource Committee’s panel on Energy and Mineral Resources will hold an oversight hearing on Wednesday at 10:00 a.m. on the President’s FY 2017 Budget on the energy and mineral leasing.  IT will also look at the production missions of the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement and the Bureau of Land Management.  Our friends, Abby Hopper and Brian Salerno will be among those testifying.

RFF Seminar to Look at Climate Trade Offs – Resources For the Future holds it March First Wednesday Seminar on Wednesday at 12:45 p.m. to look at trade-offs in climate policy options.  On the heels of the Paris climate negotiations, carbon pricing policies – either carbon taxes or cap-and-trade programs – are receiving renewed attention across the globe. In the meantime, US federal climate policy is being driven by regulatory authority, but with a strong focus on program flexibility via credit trading. Against this evolving background, the time is right to revisit the trade-offs among various carbon pricing and other climate policy options. At this RFF First Wednesday Seminar, Tom Lawler of the International Emissions Trading Association will highlight the benefits of emissions trading programs, and Jerry Taylor of the Niskanen Center will present the case for a carbon tax. Both will then participate in a broader panel discussion on the interplay between carbon pricing and regulatory measures.

Groups to Offer Recommendation of Fish, Wildlife – On Wednesday at 3:00 p.m., a group of energy, business and conservation leaders will release their recommendations on how to avert the growing fish and wildlife crisis in this country. The Blue Ribbon Panel on Sustaining America’s Diverse Fish & Wildlife Resources was created in 2014 to develop policy options on the most sustainable and equitable model to fund conservation of fish and wildlife. The panel was co-chaired by former Wyoming governor, David Freudenthal, and John L. Morris, founder and CEO of Bass Pro Shops, and includes representatives from the outdoor recreation retail and manufacturing sector, the energy and automotive industries, private landowners, educational institutions, conservation organizations, sportsmen’s groups and state fish and wildlife agencies.  Speakers will include New Jersey Division of Fish & Wildlife Director Dave Chanda, Freudenthal, Morris, Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation President Jeff Crane and NWF head Collin O’Mara.

Senate Energy to Host Moniz – As mentioned above, the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources will convene a hearing Thursday to examine the President’s proposed budget request for fiscal year 2017 for the Department of Energy.  Secretary Moniz will testify.

House Science to Look at Loan Guarantee Programs – House Science Committee subpanels will host DOE Lean program director Mike McCall Thursday at 9:30 a.m. to discuss the future of the program.   Joining McCall will be GAO’s Frank Rusco, program defender Greg Kats and Heritage Critic Nicolas Loris.

Pew Honors Clean Energy Leadership – Pew Charitable Trusts hosts a reception Thursday at 5:30 p.m. to highlight advances in clean energy. The reception will include remarks from Phyllis Cuttino, director of The Pew Charitable Trusts’ Clean Energy Initiative and Dr. Ellen Williams, director of The Advanced Research Projects Agency – Energy.

Forum to Look at Local Clean Energy Issues – Leaders in Energy and the United Nations Association will host an interactive  panel discussion on Thursday at 6;30 p.m. looking at acting on clean energy.  UNA-NCA, in partnership with Leaders in Energy, will host a discussion on the newly enacted 2015 Paris Climate Agreement  and the United Nations’ Global Goal 7, which is aimed at ensuring access to affordable clean energy.   The panel discussion will foster a dialogue with attendees and compile practical actions and next steps that local residents can take in the District of Columbia, Maryland, and Northern Virginia.

Atlantic Forum to Look at Energy in Developing World – The Atlantic Council holds a discussion on Friday at 9:30 a.m. looking at a U.S. strategy for sustainable energy security.  The event will focus on the energy needs of the developing world.

 

FUTURE EVENTS

McCarthy to Headline Climate Conference – The 2016 Climate Leadership Conference will take place March 8th through 10 in Seattle.  The event convenes a global audience of climate, energy, and sustainability professionals to address climate change through policy, innovation, and business solutions. Now in its fifth year, the 2016 event will host the first U.S. climate conference post-Paris to further accelerate climate solutions and a low-carbon economy.  Speakers include EPA Head Gina McCarthy, former CNN and current GWU School of Media & PA head Frank Sesno, Microsoft’s Dan Reicher and former CO Governor Bill Ritter.

USEA Look at CCS Utilization – The US Energy Association hosts a forum next Tuesday at 2:00 p.m. on utilization of CO2 for enhanced oil recovery.  The “U” in CCUS, is a key component of essentially all major CO2 capture and storage projects such as Summit’s Texas Clean Energy Project, Petra Nova’s Parish project, Boundary Dam, and Kemper. This briefing will assess the market dynamics, issues and opportunities at play.  Speaker will be Michael Moore, Vice President of Energy Commodities and Advisory Services at FearnOil.

JHU Forum Looks at Renewables – Johns Hopkins University’s SAIS will hold a forum next Tuesday at 4:30 p.m. as part of the SAIS Research Seminar Series in Politics and Political Economy, 2015-2016 on how power sectors reforms are shaping renewable energy issues across the globe.  Johannes Urpelainen, the speaker for this seminar, is Associate Professor of Political Science at Columbia University.

Groups Look at Ag Impacts on Climate – The Organic Consumers Association and Regeneration International will hold a workshop on Wednesday March 9th to discuss the science and management of the remarkable bio-chemical process called carbon sequestration.  Scientists will explain how it works and climate policy experts will describe initiatives to drive the rapid, large-scale, worldwide adoption of regenerative agriculture techniques that can sequester carbon, improve both quantity and quality of foods produced, and concurrently decrease atmospheric CO2.  Some of the speakers include Catherine Geslain-Laneelle, Kristine Nichols, David Johnson, and Richard Teague.

AGA Expert Feature In CHP/NatGas Webinar – The Alliance for Industrial Efficiency is cohosting a webinar with the Business Council for Sustainable Energy on Wednesday March 9th at Noon on the state of the market and implications for natgas & CHP.   Expert panelists will explore data from the 2016 BCSE Sustainable Energy Factbook on the state of the market for natural gas and combined heat and power (CHP), and provide their perspectives on prospects for continued growth.   They will also will explore data from the 2016 BCSE Sustainable Energy Factbook on the state of the market for natural gas and combined heat and power (CHP), and provide their perspectives on prospects for continued growth.  Among the speakers will be our friend Richard Meyer, Manager of Energy Analysis & Standards at the American Gas Association.

ARPA-E Director Talks Innovation, Grid – The CSIS Energy and National Security Program will hold a discussion on March 10th with Ellen Williams, Director of ARPA-E, the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy. Dr. Williams and  ARPA-e play a critical role in incubating new energy technologies.  One issue where real progress on both technology and market deployment continues to be needed is the electric grid.  Dr. Williams will discuss key areas of focus for ARPA-E in 2016, with a  special focus on grid management and grid storage as well as the new initiatives including Mission Innovation. Sarah Ladislaw, Director and Senior Fellow with the CSIS Energy and National Security Program, will provide a brief introduction and Frank O’Sullivan, Director of Research and Analysis with the MIT Energy Initiative and Senior Associate with the CSIS Energy and National Security Program will moderate the discussion.

Forum to Look at Japan Priorities in Middle East – On March 10th, the Atlantic Council’s Rafik Hariri Center for the Middle East and Global Energy Center will bring together Japanese scholars and practitioners alongside US analysts to discuss Japanese energy priorities and policies in the Middle East. These experts will discuss how the Middle Eastern landscape impacts Japan’s energy policies, and how Japanese policies in turn impact the region.

Poneman to Discuss Argentina, Energy – The Atlantic Council for a discussion on Friday, March 11th looking at Argentina’s energy outlook in the new administration of President Mauricio Macri era. The event will launch the Atlantic Council’s latest policy brief, The New Argentina: Time to Double Down on the Energy Sector?, authored by Argentine energy expert Cristian Folgar.  Among the speakers will be Dan Poneman, former Deputy Secretary of Energy.

AHRI Public Policy Forum Set – The Air Conditioning, Heating and Refrigeration Institute (AHRI) hold its annual Public Policy Forum on March 15th and 16th.  The 2016 Public Policy Symposium is designed to bring AHRI members together with key public officials to discuss important issues facing the HVACR and water heating industry. The two-day event provides participants with the opportunity for face-to-face meetings with lawmakers and Congressional staff on Capitol Hill, and with key officials in federal agencies. Near-miss Virginia Senate Candidate and former political operative Ed Gillespie will keynote the forum.

Chamber Summit to Look at Competitiveness – The U.S. Chamber’s Center for Capital Markets Competitiveness holds the 10th Annual Capital Markets Summit looking at the foundation of economic growth on March 15th.  This year, the event will examine the current state of the capital markets, including how innovation is changing the landscape, and explore what changes are necessary to ensure these markets are modernized and well-regulated to ensure economic growth.

Forum to Focus on Geothermal – EESI and the Geothermal Energy Association is hosting a briefing on Wednesday March 16th at 2:00 p.m. in 212-10 in the Capitol Visitors Center highlighting the state of the geothermal energy industry and its near-term prospects in the United States and in more than 80 other countries working to expand its use. With demand for clean energy accelerating around the globe, geothermal energy has major potential as a renewable resource that can provide power around-the-clock, complementing intermittent renewable power technologies. Speakers will include International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) Deputy Director-General Sakari Oksanen, U.S. Geothermal President  Doug Glaspey and several others.

GEA Sets Geo Energy Showcase – The Geothermal Energy Assn will be holding its 3rd U.S. and International Geothermal Energy Showcase in Washington, DC on Thursday, March 17th at the Ronald Reagan International Trade Center. This year’s Showcase will focus on the building blocks for successful geothermal projects and highlight key geothermal projects, trends, and governmental policies in the U.S. and the international markets. The program will showcase geothermal projects, trends, and governmental policies in the U.S. and around the world. Topics covered will include: the geothermal market today, projects under development in the U.S. and internationally, outlook for the future of the geothermal market, policies driving geothermal development, new technologies, and federal agency support at home and abroad.

Defense Renewables Summit Set – Infocast hosts the 6th Defense Renewables Summit on March 15-16th at the Sheraton Pentagon City in Arlington, VA, to bring DoD, Air Force, Army and Navy decision-makers together with renewable energy developers, utilities, system integrators, financiers, EPCs, cybersecurity, energy storage, smartgrid and telecom experts to meet the renewable energy goals and security needs of the DoD. The summit will explore how viable, financeable projects can be developed to the benefit of all. The summit will provide the latest on emerging guidelines and processes that merges the complexity of federal acquisitions with the risk allocation methods of project finance.

ACORE Policy Forum Set – The 2016 ACORE National Renewable Energy Policy Forum will be on March 16th and 17th at the W Hotel in Washington, D.C.  Senator Wyden, ranking member of the Senate Finance Committee and member of the Energy and Natural Resources Committee, will provide the Mid-Morning Keynote.  The event has a great line up including moderators Joe Desmond of Brightsource Energy, Greg Wetstone of ACORE and Dan Reicher, former DOE official and Google exec at Stanford’s Steyer-Taylor Center.

Chamber to Host Aviation Summit – The U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation are hosting the 15th annual Aviation Summit on Tuesday, March 22nd at the Renaissance Hotel to bring together top experts and leaders from all sectors of aviation to discuss critical issues facing the industry. The 2016 Summit will focus on innovation and emerging technologies.

Conference to Look at PA Drilling – Shale Directories will host Upstream 2016 on April 19th at The Penn Stater in State College, PA to look at action in PA.  Despite cutbacks in budgets, there are still opportunities for this and next year and Cabot, Seneca and others will be there to discuss when Drilling may ramp up again, what you can do to help the industry and how to prepare for the growth. As well, Faouizi Aloulou, Senior Economist with the Energy Information Agency, will give a presentation on the Uncertainties of Shale Resource Development Under Low Price Environment.

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