Today, we start by honoring one of my favorite icons on his 75th birthday. Of course, he hasn’t aged a day over the years. He is a sophisticated world traveler, played baseball, fought in wars, flown airplanes, worked construction, was in the Oil Business, hunted, Square Danced, led operas/symphonies, fought bulls, cross-dressed and even went to space and back. And of course, he was always directionally challenged (usually missing that turn at Albuquerque.) Happy Birthday Bugs Bunny.
This week, the Quicken Loans National hosted by Tiger Woods starts Thursday at Robert Trent Jones Golf Club in Gainesville, Va. It is always one of the PGA tour’s biggest shows of support for our national military men and women, so it is always fun to be there. Next year, it returns to Congressional CC. Finally, I hope you were able to see the 19 and 20th stages of the Tour d’ France, which featured an amazing battle up Alpe d’Huez. Britain’s Chris Froome held off Columbian climber Nairo Quintana to win by just over a minute over the 21 stages.
Before launching into this week’s schedule, there are two important studies out this morning that are featured in our “In the News” section. The NRECA has a new study out today that details a devastating relationship between higher electricity prices and job losses, which will be impacted by the new Clean Power Plan. Secondly, there is new report out today that says crude exports would raise gasoline, diesel and home heating prices, cutting into the vast benefits Americans are enjoying from lower crude oil prices. Finally, we are happy to discuss today’s “business” meeting at the White House that included discussions of 13 companies pledging to combat warming.
In Washington policy circles, today is the deadline for comments on the RFS. There are several important pieces below in the Special RFS Comment Section including comments on the RFS from former White House energy advisor Ron Minsk. We can also help with comments from Valero, Tesoro, EWG and more analysis from long-time Bracewell fuels expert Scott Segal.
Tomorrow, the Senate Energy Committee marks up bipartisan energy legislation. Also tomorrow, Secretaries Kerry, Moniz and Lew head to the House Foreign Affairs Committee for another round on Iran and Senate Banking tackles on crude exports. On the House side tomorrow afternoon, the Whitfield House Energy panel is hosting a roundtable discussion on the potential impacts of EPA’s proposed ozone rule on manufacturing and jobs.
On Friday at Clemson U. in SC, SAFE, the InterTech Group, Clemson University and CNBC will announce the winners of the 2015 Energy Security Prize, celebrating companies whose innovations are poised to advance American energy security by helping to end the United States’ dependence on oil. Final voting ends TODAY so get your votes in: http://www.cnbc.com/safe/
For those you still with car seats, tomorrow from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., the Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association in conjunction with Capitol Hill Police and Prince William County Fire & Rescue are hosting a child car seat check to ensure that children’s car seat are properly installed, increasing safety in event of a crash. The check will be in the Senate Parking Lot directly across from Capitol Hill Police Headquarters at 119 D Street, NE.
Finally, next Monday, I will be hosting a National Press Club Newsmakers news conference that will discuss the Iran Nuclear Deal and its impact on regional security, nuclear weapons verification challenges and its impact inside Iran. My panel will feature widely-respected nuclear inspector Dr. Olli Heinonen of Harvard’s Belfer Center, who served as deputy director of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA); USS Cole Commander Kirk Lippold, who was attacked by terrorists in Yemen in 2000; and Alireza Jafarzadeh, Deputy Director of the U.S. office of the National Council of Resistance of Iran, who first exposed the major nuclear sites of Iran. It will be a great event and I want a good turnout so please plan to come.
You know what to do…
THE BIG NEWS: RFS DEADLINE
RFS Deadline Hits Today – The comment period closes at midnight tonight on EPA’s proposed Renewable Fuel Standard volumes for 2014 through 2016 (plus biodiesel for 2017). According to our friends at POLITICO tracking the comments, EPA has so far received at least 47,565 comments.
The Rulemaking – The rulemaking sets proposed 2014, 2015 and 2016 renewable volume requirements (RVOs) under the RFS along with a proposed 2017 RVO for biomass-based diesel. The proposal aims to set the 2014 RVO at the actual amount biofuel consumed last year. The 2015 RVOs would set a cellulosic requirement of 106 million gallons, a biomass-based diesel requirement of 1.7 billion gallons, an advanced biofuel requirement of 2.9 billion gallons and a requirement for total renewable fuel of 16.3 billion gallons. For 2016, the proposed rule aims to set the cellulosic biofuel RVO at 206 million gallons, with the biomass-based diesel RVO set at 1.8 billion gallons, the advanced biofuel RVO set at 3.4 billion gallons, and the total renewable fuel RVO at 17.40 billion gallons. In addition, the proposed rule aims to set the 2017 RVO for biomass-based diesel at 1.9 billion gallons.
The Original Proposal – The EPA released a prepublication version of the rulemaking on May 29. On June 10, the agency published the proposed rule in the Federal Register, officially opening the public comment period.
Former White House Official Hit RFS – Former White House Energy official Ron Minsk dropped a letter in the docket as well. Minsk is the former senior energy advisor at the National Economic Council (NEC) in the Obama Administration, having left government service in April. He served in a similar capacity in the Clinton Administration. Basically, the letter says that the purpose of the RFS is to move alternative fuel into the market BUT that volatility in the renewable identification numbers (RINs) market does not serve that purpose and does not increase the penetration of other blends like E-85. Minsk recommends that EPA change the point of obligation for RINs in order to get the incentives right. Can send you comments if You need them
Biofuels Group to Deliver Comments – Don’t hold your breath for that comments number to stay around 50K. Biofuels advocates Fuels America plan to take a page out the enviro playbook and hand deliver more than 200,000 comments to EPA this morning.
Press Calls – Both API and American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers will hold a press call to discuss their comments and to announce a new RFS social media campaign.
Enviros Weigh in – Our friends at EWG are also raising concerns. Recently, EWG said “There are few things worse for the environment than gasoline, but corn ethanol is one of them. The administration’s decision to blend more corn ethanol into gasoline will mean more greenhouse gas emissions at a time when we drastically need to curb them to slow climate change. Congress should act now to reform the Renewable Fuel Standard to help drive the development of truly sustainable biofuels.” EWG’s Scott Faber (202-939-9127) is another excellent resource on this.
IN THE NEWS
NRECA Study Highlights Impact of Increased Electricity Prices – The National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA) released a new economic study detailing a devastating relationship between higher electricity prices and job losses. The study measures the impact of a 10% and 25% electricity price increase on jobs and gross domestic product (GDP) from 2020 to 2040. According to the study, a 10% increase in electricity prices results in 1.2 million jobs lost in 2021. Nearly 500,000 of those lost jobs are in rural areas of the country. The impact of a 25% increase would be more damaging with 2.2 million jobs lost in 2021, with more than 890,000 of those occurring in rural areas. In terms of national GDP from 2020 to 2040, a 10% increase results in a cumulative loss of $2.8 trillion and a 25 percent increase results in a cumulative $5.4 trillion loss. The impact of higher costs on the electric bills of those who can least afford it will be devastating. On average, 23% of co-op households nationwide earn an annual income of less than $25,000. The average income for households served by electric cooperatives is 11.5% less than the national average. Previous NRECA research projected that electricity bills would increase by an average of 10 percent as a result of the EPA’s proposed Clean Power Plan.
Report: Exports Would Increase Gas Prices – A new report by Alan Stevens of Stancil & Co. for the Crude Coalition says exporting U.S. crude oil would raise gasoline, diesel and home heating prices. According to the report, Americans currently benefit from lower fuel prices because long-standing export restrictions help provide the lowest free-market base price for gasoline of any nation. The analysis also finds that exports would hurt the domestic refining sector and America’s balance of trade, and have negative implications for U.S. national security. The study finds that lifting crude export restrictions would 1) increase domestic crude prices by $3.00 per barrel, impacting all consumers; 2) Raise domestic gasoline, jet fuel, diesel, and heating oil prices; 3) negatively impact the U.S. balance of trade, increase foreign crude oil imports and foreign refined products, while reducing exports of refined products; and 4) Reduce domestic refinery utilization and/or possible cause refinery shutdowns, which would induce layoffs at affected refineries and their service providers, which in turn would affect the wider economy.
eCORP Rolls Out “Baby Oil” Fracking Technology – eCORP Technologies has announced plans to deliver a shale gas extraction technology which uses naturally occurring components in conventional and shale hydrocarbon production – a selection of low molecular weight alkanes or light alkanes usually referred to as “baby oil” in non-scientific terms. These alkanes are non-flammable and completely safe: they are approved by FDA for human ingestion and exposure. They also have no adverse impacts on the environment: they are non-ozone depleting and have zero global warming potential. Patents are pending worldwide and ecorpStim is conducting further testing and experimentation of this technology in the United States in several basins this year. Light Alkanes Stimulation (LAS) provides a greater flexibility (broad range of viscosity / density) which enables this new technology to be used in varied shale formations and operating conditions. With Light Alkanes Stimulation (LAS), pure propane stimulation (PPS) and non-flammable propane stimulation (NFP), ecorpStim is now able to provide a full range of “green” stimulation systems using not a single drop of water and zero chemical additives, and which includes two non-flammable options.
Bishop: Feds Undermining Drilling Innovations – In a Houston Chronicle column last week, House Resources Chair Rob Bishop said the Federal government is undermining America’s innovators with regard to drilling technology. Bishop’s focus is especially relevant in light of low production numbers on federal lands and the extension of the stay of the federal hydraulic fracturing rule until the fall. Since the beginning of the U.S. shale revolution, Bishop says the campaign of unfounded allegations from drilling opponents has been relentless. He adds, the Obama Administration ignores its own study by moving forward on new regulations that threaten to undo the progress that hydraulic fracturing has made. Bishop adds the multitude of regulations are a “threat to American entrepreneurs, their innovation and future energy potential. Hydraulic fracturing, directional drilling and the range of other new technologies are highly sophisticated inventions that are the envy of the world, but these policies undermine these technologies, ban producers from developing the offshore and drive them away from developing America’s resource-rich federal lands. The loss of production leads to lost revenue for the Treasury, weakens our economy and diminishes our newfound energy leadership on the world stage.”
PTC, Extenders Pass Senate Panel – The Senate Finance Committee passed expired energy tax credits and advanced a package of tax extenders last week. The Joint Committee on Taxation estimates extending the roughly 54 tax provisions will result in a revenue loss of $95 billion over ten years. The mark passed, with two amendments being adopted, by a vote of 23-3. There were roughly 31 provisions for business, 13 for energy, and the remainder were primarily for individuals. One of the two amendments that were adopted was the Biodiesel Tax Incentive Reform Act, which essentially shifts the beneficiary of the credit from the blender of biodiesel to the producer. The other amendment gives relief to homeowners whose mortgage has been discharged by clarifying that so long as an arrangement entered into and in writing before 2017 will qualify for the benefit. An interesting side note to this markup is that the 2013 expired tax credit for electric motorcycles was revived even though it was not extended in 2014. Also, one of the House passed highway bill payfors – the mortgage reporting – was included as a payfor for the amendments that were adopted. This might lead to some accounting gimmickry. As the highway bill is taking much of the time left on the Senate calendar, it appears the Senate will turn to extenders after the August recess. Some of the delay may be due to figuring out how the House will address extenders. The House has passed a small number of certain tax extenders on a piecemeal basis and has made them permanent. My colleague Curt Beaulieu, a former Senate Finance staffer himself, can speak to any issues that you may have On the subject. You can reach him at 202-828-5806.
MS Rejects EPA Rule – Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant joined a growing list of Governors who are exercising their right to reject the EPA’s carbon regulations, which would cripple America’s existing fleet of coal-fired power plants. In a letter to EPA Administrator McCarthy, Governor Bryant cited cost increases for his citizens and threats to grid reliability among his chief concerns with the sweeping regulation. The governor stated, “we do not see how it will be possible to reasonably develop a State Implementation Plan, given the burdensome requirements of EPA’s proposal in its current form.”
ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK
Forum to Look at Nuclear Future – The Women’s Council on Energy and the Environment and Nuclear Matters is holding a forum tonight on the future of the U.S. nuclear industry featuring former Indiana Sen. Evan Bayh. It faces significant uncertainty today – a perfect storm of economic and policy challenges brought on by the unintended consequences of market structure, government policies, and public perception. These factors challenge the potential of this reliable source of carbon-free energy and our Nation’s goal of energy security. Bayh will explore these issues, discuss some of the approaches being undertaken in different states, and explain the important role that education and public engagement can play in shaping the future of the industry.
Wilson Center to Look at Arctic – The Wilson Center will hold a forum tomorrow exploring how human and economic capital can be developed in Arctic regions and how communities work with various levels of government, particularly when decisions made by sub-federal entities must rely on far-away federal capitals with varying degrees of knowledge of the Far North. This event co-sponsored by the Wilson Center’s Polar Initiative, Environmental Change and Security Program, and Canada Institute and will feature speakers Anthony Speca of Polar Aspect (Nunavut), Alaska Governor Bill Walker advisor Craig Fleener, Anita Parlow of the Harvard-MIT Arctic Fisheries Project and David Biette of the Polar Initiative and Canada Institute.
Wilson Look at Latin America, Climate – Also tomorrow , Wilson will hold a forum on climate change adaptation and population dynamics in Latin America and the Caribbean. The Latin America and Caribbean region is particularly vulnerable to some of the most challenging aspects of climate change—sea-level rise affecting coastal cities, changes in precipitation impacting agriculture, glacial melting threatening water reserves. Population trends—like migration and urbanization—can exacerbate these challenges or, in some cases, serve as methods of adaptation. Building resilience to climate change through adaptation efforts and women’s empowerment are key strategies for enabling continued development across the region in climate-uncertain times. The Wilson Center has worked closely with USAID Missions in Latin America and the Caribbean over the past two years to convene key stakeholders in the region and to explore promising tools in climate change adaptation through a series of seminars. On July 28, we bring to Washington top experts and policymakers from those seminars in Colombia, Barbados, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, and Peru, to further broaden the dialogue about climate adaptation and population dynamics in Latin America and the Caribbean; and to encourage the development of new policy and programmatic tools that help countries of the region meet the financial, organizational, and political challenges that climate change presents.
Cap Hill Police, JPMA to Hold Car Seat Check – Tomorrow from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., the Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association in conjunction with Capitol Hill Police and The Prince William County Fire and Rescue Department host a child Car seat check to ensure that children’s car seat are properly installed, increasing safety in event of a crash. The check will be in the Senate Parking Lot Directly Across from Capitol Hill Police Headquarters at 119 D Street, NE. Correctly used car seats can reduce the risk of death in the event of a car crash by as much as 71% but 73% of car seats are not installed or used correctly. JPMA and its member manufacturers in partnership with the U.S. Capitol Hill Police and The Prince William County Fire and Rescue Department will host a car seat check to work with parents and caregivers to ensure their child is riding in the right seat that it is installed correctly. In addition, the trained car seat technicians will inspect seats to ensure they are not recall or expired and supply parents with life-saving information when transporting children.
Senate Energy to Mark Up – The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee will hold a business meeting to markup broad, bipartisan energy legislation released last week by Chairman Murkowski and Ranking Member Cantwell. The Energy Policy Modernization Act of 2015 is They will also consider the nomination of Jonathan Elkind to be an Assistant Secretary of Energy.
Senate Banking Committee to Look at Lifting Crude Oil Export Ban – The Senate Committee on Banking will conduct a hearing tomorrow on lifting the crude oil export ban. The witness on Panel I will be Senate Energy Chair Lisa Murkowski. The witnesses on Panel II will be Michèle Flournoy of the Center for a New American Security, WPX Energy’s Richard E. Muncrief, AEI’s Ben Zycher and United Steelworkers International President Leo Gerard.
NJ to Host Upton – The National Journal and Fawn Johnson, National Journal’s domestic policy reporter will host an in-depth conversation tomorrow at 11:15 a.m. with House Energy & Commerce Chair Fred Upton. The discussion will focus on the energy and commerce priorities for the committee— including a conversation about the possibility of a bipartisan energy bill this year. That measure would address energy production, regulatory issues, workforce development, energy efficiency and environmentally sound infrastructure upgrades. Other topics of discussion will include next steps for Obamacare, and transparency at the Federal Communications Commission.
House Energy Panel to Host Discussion on Ozone Impacts – Tomorrow at 2:00 p.m., the Energy and Power Subcommittee is hosting a roundtable discussion on the potential impacts of EPA’s proposed ozone rule on U.S. manufacturing and jobs. Participants include Deer Park TX Mayor Jerry Mouton, Jr., Sevier County TN Mayor Larry Waters, Chris Norch of Denison Industries, PMI Energy Solutions CEO George A. Williams, Gregory L. Johnson of the Sherwin-Williams Company and our friend Joe Stanko.
Forum to Look at Climate Issues Running Up to Paris – On Wednesday at the Newseum, the Center for American Progress is hosting a policy forum presented by The New Republic will explore climate change on an international stage, will be an opportunity to meet and engage with a cross-section of climate change thinkers and leaders from government, industry, academia, and the nonprofit sector. Special guest speaker will be White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough. Other participants include French Ambassador to the United States Gérard Araud, former Wall Street Journal reporter and Stanford Energy Center Scholar Jeffrey Ball, Rachel Kyte World Bank Group, UN Assistant Secretary-General on Climate Change Janos Pasztor and many more
House Oversight to Hit EPA – The House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform will hold a hearing on Wednesday at 9:00 a.m. looking at EPA mismanagement issues. Witnesses include EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy, EPA equal employment opportunity officer Ronald Harris, EPA Superfund’s chief of enforcement services division Carolyn Bohlen, EPA senior supervisor Ross Tuttle, EPA enforcement attorney Karen Kellen, who is president of the American Federation of Government Employees Council 238.
House Science To Host NRC Chair On Licensing Process – The House Science Committee’s Subcommittee on Energy will hold a hearing on Wednesday reviewing the Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s licensing process. NRC Chair Stephen Burns will testify.
Resources Looks at ESA Implications of Climate Regs – The House Resources Committee will hold a hearing on Wednesday looking at how its regulations may affect endangered species. While other Administration witnesses will attend, no one from U.S. EPA will be there to answer lawmakers’ questions as to whether they largely disregarded the Endangered Species Act. Michael Bean, Department of the Interior principal deputy assistant secretary for fish and wildlife and parks, and Samuel Rauch, the National Marine Fisheries Service’s deputy assistant administrator for regulatory programs will testify.
Co-Ops to Highlight Renewables – EESI and NRECA will hold a briefing on Thursday at 10:00 a.m. featuring rural electric cooperatives which are taking significant action on energy efficiency and renewable energy. Member-owned, not-for-profit electric co-ops are typically smaller than investor-owned utilities, and they are less likely to have significant capital reserves or other resources to implement clean energy programs. But their small size and strong relationships with their member-consumers allow co-ops to be nimble and innovative, particularly with programs directly involving co-op members. As a result, many electric co-ops around the country have become successful clean energy laboratories. The briefing will feature Great River Energy Gary Connett and Roanoke Electric CEO Curtis Wynn (G&T) co-ops discussing their clean energy innovations, including community solar programs, demand response initiatives, energy efficiency financing, and more. Other speakers will include MN Sen. and Congressional Farmer Cooperative Caucus co-chair Amy Klobuchar, Kenneth Colburn of the New Hampshire Electric Coop and NRECA’s Martin Lowery. Speakers will describe the impacts and challenges of each strategy, and why these strategies work for their members. NRECA found that co-ops had 95 megawatts of solar capacity online in 34 states as of October 2014, with another 144 megawatts in development. EESI has identified at least 50 co-ops in 23 states offering residential on-bill financing programs, where members repay their co-op for energy project investments via their utility bills, often using the savings achieved by the project. While many older programs targeted heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) replacements, newer programs include broad energy efficiency and clean energy opportunities.
Forum to Look at Energy Abundance, Strengthening U.S. Leadership – The Atlantic Council will hold a forum on Thursday looking at US energy issues and its impact on global leadership. The forum will feature Senator Lisa Murkowski, Chairman of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, and Senator Mark Warner as they launch the task force report: Empowering America: How Energy Abundance Can Strengthen US Global Leadership. Over the past few months, with the Senators as the Co-Chairs, the Atlantic Council convened foreign policy, defense, and energy experts to assess the foreign policy considerations of the US energy boom. The task force details the nature of our energy abundance, the importance of deploying our prowess in energy innovation and technology to others, and the ways in which we can pursue our responsibilities as a global leader on energy and the environment, while leveraging our supply abundance at the same time. It unequivocally determines that America must embrace this new tool to advance our global leadership on trade and security.
House Science Panels Look at Power Supply Vulnerabilities – The House Science Committee’s panels on Oversight and Energy will hold a joint hearing on Thursday examining vulnerabilities of America’s power supply. Witnesses will include EPRI’s Richard Lordan, Nadya Bartol of the Utilities Telecom Council, University of Colorado-Boulder Space Sciences Chair Daniel Baker and Hamerschlag and Carnegie Mellon University Electrical Engineering Professor M. Granger Morgan.
Forum to Look at China, Investments in US Energy – On Thursday at 9:30 a.m., the Wilson Center will hold a forum on Chinese direct investments in the US energy sector. Despite China’s slowing domestic economic growth, global foreign direct investment (FDI) by Chinese companies increased 14 percent in the first half of this year. Here in the United States, many of those investments are fueling new U.S. clean energy projects in solar, wind, battery storage, and other emerging clean-tech sectors. When channeled correctly these investments can be a boon for the U.S. energy economy. Melanie Hart (Center for American Progress) will discuss how removing obstacles to inbound direct investment from China and other nations could play a critical role in helping to maintain and upgrade U.S. energy infrastructure, reduce carbon pollution, and lower energy costs. Damien Ma (Paulson Institute) will discuss recent case studies that examine the successes and failures of specific Chinese investments into the U.S., highlighting how states and municipal governments could devise better strategies to increase and benefit from Chinese FDI. Derek Scissors (American Enterprise Institute)—who created the China Global Investment Tracker—will discuss the broader investment trends of Chinese companies and examine the growing diversification of their energy investments.
Webinar on “Industrial Energy Efficiency, CPP – On Friday at Noon, efficiency advocates will host a webinar on how industrial energy efficiency can make manufacturers more competitive, enhance electric reliability, and reduce emissions. It will look at NACAA’s Menu of Options, ACEEE’s State and Utility Pollution Reduction (SUPR) Calculator, compliance templates, and State 111 (d) Resource Hub and the CHP Pathway report produced for the American Gas Association, American Chemistry Council, and American Forest & Paper Association
Energy Prize to Be Announced – SAFE, The InterTech Group, Clemson University and CNBC will announce the winners of the 2015 Energy Security Prize on Friday , celebrating companies whose innovations are poised to advance American energy security by helping to end the United States’ dependence on oil. The awards event will feature live broadcast pitches with each of the three Energy Security Prize finalists and CNBC’s Morgan Brennan on Power Lunch, with the announcement of the $125,000 grand prize winner made on-air toward the end of the program. Attendees will also hear from speakers and leaders in the fields of business, policy, and national security, including General T. Michael Moseley, former Chief of Staff of the U.S. Air Force, Anita Zucker, Chair and CEO of The InterTech Group, Larry Kellerman, Managing Partner of Twenty First Century Utilities, and senior executives from Proterra, GE, Michelin, Siemens and Versa, a Battelle company. This year’s Prize is powered by Charleston’s very own The InterTech Group in memory of its Founder, Jerry Zucker. Four semifinalists from across the country are in the running for the first-place prize of $125,000, the second-place prize of $35,000 and the third-place price of $15,000. These semifinalists include 1) FreeWire Technologies’ Mobi electric vehicle (EV) charger helps eliminate the “charge rage” facing areas with high EV adoption and insufficient charging capacity; 2) Momentum Dynamics high-power wireless charging system delivers energy to electric vehicles via induction ten times faster than plug-in chargers and can help accelerate consumer EV adoption; 3) Peloton Technology’s wireless communications system and cloud-based management links sensors and braking between pairs of trucks to provide dramatic aerodynamic fuel savings and increased safety and 4) SeaChange Group’s patented Eco-Hybrid fuel uses glycerol, a byproduct of biodiesel production, to reduce emissions in diesel engines and costs for maritime vessels and off-road equipment.
Press Club Newsmaker to Host IAEA, Iran Insiders on Nuke Deal – The National Press Club Newsmakers will host a news conference next Monday that will discuss the Iran Nuclear Deal and its impact on regional security, nuclear weapons verification challenges and its impact inside Iran. My panel will feature widely-respected nuclear inspector Dr. Olli Heinonen of Harvard’s Belfer Center, who served as deputy director of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA); Commander Kirk Lippold, Commander of the USS Cole which was attacked by terrorists in Yemen in 2000; and Alireza Jafarzadeh, Deputy Director of the U.S. office of the National Council of Resistance of Iran, who first exposed the major nuclear sites of Iran in Natanz and Arak in 2002, and is the author of The Iran Threat. It will be a great event and I want a good turnout so please plan to come.
Senate Energy to Look at Nuclear Issues – On August 4th the Senate Energy Committee will hold a hearing to discuss the back-end of the nuclear fuel cycle and related legislation.
WCEE to Host Former EPA Fuels Expert – The Women’s Council on Energy and the Environment (WCEE) will hold a forum on Wednesday, August 5th at Noon combating climate change with cleaner, smarter cars that will feature Margo Oge, former Director of the Office of Transportation and Air Quality at EPA. Oge served at EPA for 32 years, the last 18 of which she directed the Office of Transportation Air Quality and recently wrote a book: Driving the Future: Combating Climate Change with Cleaner, Smarter Cars, which envisions a future of clean, intelligent vehicles with lighter frames and alternative power trains, such as plug in electric and fuel cell vehicles that produce zero emissions and average 100+ mpg. Oge will also provide the ultimate insider’s account of the partnership between federal agencies, California and car manufacturers that led to President Obama’s historic 2012 deal targeting greenhouse gas emissions from passenger vehicles.
Wilson Forum to Look at Alberta Govt, Oil/Gas – On Thursday, August 6th at 12:00 p.m., the Woodrow Wilson Center will hold a forum on the future of oil and gas development in the Alberta. The New Democratic Party’s stunning election victory in Alberta this spring has added another wrinkle to the already tumultuous story of Alberta’s, and Canada’s, year in energy. This seismic change in Canada’s political landscape could signal drastic changes for energy production in Alberta and the upcoming federal election. The Canada Institute holds their second Bring Your Own Lunch (BYOL) Policy Roundtable with David Docherty, PhD, President of Mount Royal College, to discuss the recent trends in Canadian and Alberta politics, their effect on energy producers, and look ahead to the election in the fall.
MD Climate Commission to Hold Public Hearing – The Maryland Climate Commission will meet on Thursday August 6th in Largo, MD to get public input on Maryland’s Climate Action Plan. This plan, required by Maryland’s 2009 Greenhouse Gas Reduction Act, contains over 150 programs and policies designed to slash statewide global warming pollution by 25% by 2020. The commission, made up of elected officials, advocates, and heads of state agencies, is charged with reporting on our state’s progress to date and making recommendations about next steps. The hearing, one of five taking place across the state, is an opportunity to shape the Climate Commission’s final recommendations — which will go to the Governor and the General Assembly before the next legislative session.
Texas EnviroSuperconference Set – The 27th Annual Texas Environmental Superconference will be held on Thursday and Friday – August 6th and 7th in Austin at the Four Seasons Hotel. This year’s theme is clichés and the conference is fittingly entitled “The Greatest Thing Since Sliced Bread”; each topic has an appropriate cliché assigned to it. Speakers include, from the federal government, U.S. Department of Justice Assistant Attorney General John Cruden, EPA Deputy Administrator Stan Meiburg, EPA Principal Deputy Administrator Larry Starfield, and EPA Region 6 Regional Administrator Ron Curry, and, from the state, Bureau of Economic Geology Director Scott Tinker, Texas Commission on Environmental Quality Chairman Bryan Shaw and Commissioner Toby Baker, Texas Parks & Wildlife Executive Director Carter Smith, and the Governor’s Senior Legislative Advisor, Ashley Morgan, as well as other distinguished representatives from the public and private sectors, including Ross Ramsey from the Texas Tribune. Bracewell’s Rich Alonso and Tim Wilkins will also be speaking.
CSIS Forum Looks at Russian Gas Exports – The CSIS Energy and National Security Program will host a program to discuss the future of Russian gas exports. Speakers will include Isabel Gorst, Moscow-based Foreign Correspondent and CSIS expert Ed Chow.
August Recess – The House is expected to be Out this Wednesday, but the Senate is likely to remain in until August 6th.
GenForum Set For Columbus – ICF International Natural Gas VP Leonard Crook will kick-off the one-day GenForum/POWER-GEN event August 18th on natural gas generation in Columbus, Ohio. Crook will offer an overview of the recent rise of natural gas-fueled power generation over the years at the expense of coal-fired power plants. GenForum is organized by PennWell’s GenerationHub. The event is scheduled at the Greater Columbus Convention Center. GenForum leads into PennWell’s POWER-GEN/Natural Gas conference, scheduled for Aug. 18-to-20 at the same convention center.
Giuliani to Address Shale Insight – The 2015 Shale Insight Conference will be held in Philadelphia on September 16th & 17th Over the past five years, the conference has built a reputation for strong programmatic content, including an impressive speaker roster of nearly 100 industry experts, political figures and concurrent technical and public affairs session panelists who share their expertise. Attendees at the 2015 conference will hear from featured presenters, including: Hon. Rudolph W. Giuliani, Partner at Bracewell & Giuliani LLP and former mayor of New York City, as well as Robert Bryce, journalist, author and Senior Fellow at the Manhattan Institute.
DOE’s Solar Decathlon Set – The U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon—America’s premier collegiate competition that challenges students from around the world to design, build and operate highly energy-efficient, solar-powered houses—will open October 8 in Irvine, California. Sixteen collegiate teams involving more than 2,000 students from 27 schools are deep into construction, assembling their innovative houses on or near their campuses. In less than three months, the students will transport and open those houses to the public in the Solar Decathlon village, where they’ll demonstrate just how affordable, attractive and comfortable these zero-energy homes—homes that are so efficient that a solar energy system can offset all or most of their energy consumption—have become.