Energy Update: Week of April 20

Friends,

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Call with questions.

 

Frank Maisano

(202) 828-5864

  1. (202) 997-5932

 

IN THE NEWS

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

 

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

EARTH DAY – WEDNESDAY

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

CSIS to Hold Global Development Forum – CSIS will hold its inaugural Global Development Forum (GDF) on Thursday. With a significant reduction in extreme poverty and an increase in private financial flows to the developing world over the past two decades, the face of development is rapidly changing. Meeting today’s challenges calls for innovation and effective partnerships across sectors, with an emphasis on improving governance and leveraging the role of the private sector.  GDF will feature keynote addresses by Representative Ander Crenshaw (R-FL) and Dr. Sri Mulyani Indrawati, Managing Director of the World Bank Group. Breakout panel discussions will foster dialogue on topics including private sector partnerships, capacity building and workforce development, innovative finance, the post-2015 global development agenda, Ebola recovery in West Africa, and the strategic role of development in overall U.S. foreign policy. GDF will feature over 40 speakers, including key stakeholders from U.S. government agencies, leading multilateral and non-governmental organizations, foreign governments, and the private sector.

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

FUTURE EVENTS

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

 

FRANK MAISANO
Founding Partner
Ext. 5864
Policy Resolution Group

 

 

Energy Update: Week of April 13

Friends,

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Get those taxes in by Wednesday…  Call with questions.

 

Frank Maisano

(202) 828-5864

  1. (202) 997-5932

 

IN THE NEWS

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

FUTURE EVENTS

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

EARTH DAY – April 22

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

CSIS to Hold Global Development Forum – CSIS will hold its inaugural Global Development Forum (GDF) on Thursday April 23rd. With a significant reduction in extreme poverty and an increase in private financial flows to the developing world over the past two decades, the face of development is rapidly changing. Meeting today’s challenges calls for innovation and effective partnerships across sectors, with an emphasis on improving governance and leveraging the role of the private sector.  GDF will feature keynote addresses by Representative Ander Crenshaw (R-FL) and Dr. Sri Mulyani Indrawati, Managing Director of the World Bank Group. Breakout panel discussions will foster dialogue on topics including private sector partnerships, capacity building and workforce development, innovative finance, the post-2015 global development agenda, Ebola recovery in West Africa, and the strategic role of development in overall U.S. foreign policy. GDF will feature over 40 speakers, including key stakeholders from U.S. government agencies, leading multilateral and non-governmental organizations, foreign governments, and the private sector.

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Energy Update: Week of April 6

Friends,

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Frank Maisano

(202) 828-5864

  1. (202) 997-5932

 

IN THE NEWS

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

FUTURE EVENTS

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

CSIS to Hold Global Development Forum – CSIS will hold its inaugural Global Development Forum (GDF) on Thursday April 23rd. With a significant reduction in extreme poverty and an increase in private financial flows to the developing world over the past two decades, the face of development is rapidly changing. Meeting today’s challenges calls for innovation and effective partnerships across sectors, with an emphasis on improving governance and leveraging the role of the private sector.  GDF will feature keynote addresses by Representative Ander Crenshaw (R-FL) and Dr. Sri Mulyani Indrawati, Managing Director of the World Bank Group. Breakout panel discussions will foster dialogue on topics including private sector partnerships, capacity building and workforce development, innovative finance, the post-2015 global development agenda, Ebola recovery in West Africa, and the strategic role of development in overall U.S. foreign policy. GDF will feature over 40 speakers, including key stakeholders from U.S. government agencies, leading multilateral and non-governmental organizations, foreign governments, and the private sector.

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Energy Update: Week of March 30

Friends,

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Call with questions.

 

Frank Maisano

(202) 828-5864

  1. (202) 997-5932

 

IN THE NEWS

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

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

 

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

 

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

FUTURE EVENTS

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

CSIS to Hold Global Development Forum – CSIS will hold its inaugural Global Development Forum (GDF) on Thursday April 23rd. With a significant reduction in extreme poverty and an increase in private financial flows to the developing world over the past two decades, the face of development is rapidly changing. Meeting today’s challenges calls for innovation and effective partnerships across sectors, with an emphasis on improving governance and leveraging the role of the private sector.  GDF will feature keynote addresses by Representative Ander Crenshaw (R-FL) and Dr. Sri Mulyani Indrawati, Managing Director of the World Bank Group. Breakout panel discussions will foster dialogue on topics including private sector partnerships, capacity building and workforce development, innovative finance, the post-2015 global development agenda, Ebola recovery in West Africa, and the strategic role of development in overall U.S. foreign policy. GDF will feature over 40 speakers, including key stakeholders from U.S. government agencies, leading multilateral and non-governmental organizations, foreign governments, and the private sector.

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

 

FRANK MAISANO
Founding Partner
Ext. 5864
Policy Resolution Group

 

Primer for DOE Furnace Rule Hearing

Friends,

 

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

 

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

 

The public comment period closes June 10, 2015.

 

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

 

Frank Maisano

(202) 997-5932.

 

AHRI Has Concerns

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Background for Reporters


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

 

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

 

AHRI Members Testifying/Attending Tomorrow

 

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

 

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

 

Link to American Gas Association Blog

 

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

 

According to AGA, These counterproductive and unintended consequences include:

 

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

 

Additional Expert Resource

 

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

 

Energy Update: Week of March 23

Friends,

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Call with questions.

 

Frank Maisano

(202) 828-5864

  1. (202) 997-5932

 

IN THE NEWS

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

FUTURE EVENTS

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

 

Energy Update: Week of March 16

Friends,

This is a busy week on a number of fronts.  First, think Green on St. Patrick’s day tomorrow, then St Joseph’s Day for us Italians (which is essential knowledge if you are selling your house), then Friday is the first day of Spring (think Green again) with the vernal equinox falling at 6:45 p.m.

But the big news today is NCAA Hoops March Madness starting tomorrow with 16-seeds Manhattan and Hampton tipping off at 6:40 and 11-seeds BYU/Mississippi live at 9:10.  16s N Florida and Robert Morris and 11s Boise State and Dayton play-in on Wednesday.  The heavy action starts Thursday just after Noon.   It looks like a great tournament with Kentucky, Wisconsin, Duke and Villanova taking the top seeds.  Each is very strong, but Kentucky seems to have an added edge going into the tournament undefeated.  Although the last team to finish undefeated was the 1976 Indiana Hoosiers led by Kent Bentson and Quinn Buckner.  Look out for Arizona who has also been strong all year.   With Justin Anderson a little rusty from his latest medical issues, I would not put a lot of gold on UVa, while North Carolina will likely have its hands full with Harvard.

Some sleeper teams to watch include 11-seed Texas, the always tough/tourney-savvy Michigan State, first-time tourney team Buffalo coached by former Duke floor general Bobby Hurley and Wyoming, who won the Mountain West and plays a controlled pace that will keep them in most games.  As you know, we at Bracewell always have experts for you and we are no different on college basketball, where our trade/campaign finance expert Josh Zive also doubles as a great resource for your NCAA pool.  I am certain that he will only take a small fee and percentage of your earnings should you need his hoops knowledge.

On the Women’s side, top seeds will be determined tonight on ESPN, but most seem to think Maryland, Connecticut, Notre Dame and Baylor, maybe South Carolina are the likely top seeds.   Everything concludes in early April with Men’s Final Four in Indianapolis and Women’s in Tampa.

The craziness translates to Congress as well with a jam-packed hearing schedule in DC – especially given that Thursday most people will be watching basketball.  I have been promised though that all action will cease just after Noon on Thursday!!!!   I’m sure the Senate Majority Leader will want to watch both Louisville and top-seeded Kentucky…but which one will he really root for???

That being said, there are several very important hearings in the House Energy & Commerce Committee this week including tomorrow’s climate legal issues hearing featuring Harvard legal eagle Laurence Tribe, who recently wrote that his protégé President Obama is wrongly using the Clean Air Act on climate issues; a legislative hearing on the bipartisan Coal Ash legislation on Wednesday and a Thursday hearing on thermal water heaters and DOE energy efficiency rules that will feature AHRI member Stephen Koep of Vaughn Thermal Corporation in Massachusetts.

Other important hearings will include a House Science Committee hearing on Ozone impacts tomorrow and the House Small Business Committee on Wednesday looking at regulations and their impacts on small businesses.  The hearing will feature a significant discussion on DOE’s slew of regulations moving forward in the next two years.  AHRI member Vicktor Anderson, of Western Michigan’s Structural Concepts Corporation will be testifying  that the new regs will severely impact his ability to retain current employees and economically produce cost-effective, energy efficient and environmentally friendly refrigeration products.  Keeping the regulations theme, Senate Homeland Security/Govt Affairs will discuss overhauling the government regs’ rulemaking process featuring former OIRA head and Dean at Indiana U’s School of Environment and Public Affairs John Graham.  Senate Energy will focus on grid upgrades and security tomorrow featuring transmission experts like FL PSC/NARUC head Lisa Edgar and EPRI’s Mike Howard.  Senate Energy takes up crude exports with refiners’ Charlie Drevna and CP CEO Ryan Lance on Thursday and tomorrow state officials will be at House Transportation to discuss the highway bill and its importance to state and local officials, led by NC Gov Pat McCrory and Salt Lake City Mayor Ralph Becker.  Finally, the Senate takes up Sportsmen legislation on Wednesday and our resident expert, Eric Washburn can comment (202-412-5211).

Budget hearings this week include tomorrow’s hearings featuring Ag Secretary Vilsack (where ethanol questions will likely come up), offshore’s BOEM and BSEE; National Park Service chief Jon Jarvis, and DOE subcabinet officials and science folks.  Transportation Secretary Foxx goes on Wednesday and Federal Highway, Federal Transit, NHTSA and Maritime Administration officials on testify Thursday.  FWS head Dan Ashe is tomorrow and Thursday, while DOE’s Environmental Management issues are heard on Wednesday.  Forest Service Chief Tom Tidwell also goes Wednesday and NOAA’s Kathryn Sullivan will be at House Approps Wednesday and House Resources Thursday.  Probably missed a hearing or two in there so keep checking.

If you can pull yourself away from the Hill before Thursday, Interior Secretary Sally Jewell visits CSIS tomorrow at 1:00 p.m., WCEE holds a forum on Wednesday at the National Grange looking at energy storage and Thursday morning, The Energy Times will hold an executive energy briefing focused on utilities and how they are changing featuring PSE&G CEO Ralph Izzo and NH Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, among other.

Finally, I noticed again this morning that The Analysis Group, headed by Sue Tierney, seem to be the only folks  that think the EPA Clean Power Rule will be no problem for grid operators like PJM, who have expressed serious concerns about reliability.  I’m sure Jeff Holmstead and Scott Segal would be happy to offer thoughts regarding the topic.

Clear the decks for Thursday and Friday and get those NCAA pools in to your administrator soon…Call with questions.

Frank Maisano

(202) 828-586
(202) 997-5932

IN THE NEWS

Wash Post Fact Checker on Climate Taken to TaskThe Washington Post Fact Check is usually a pretty reasonable place to check the verity of the back and forth in the policy, political or advertising battles.  On Friday, it published a piece last on what they called Sen. Inhofe’s “Misleading Statements on Carbon Emission Rule.”  WPFC took Inhofe’s comment: “EPA also intends to pursue a legislative proposal for an additional $4 billion in mandatory spending for EPA to enforce its climate change regulations … which 32 states oppose and will result in double-digit electricity price increases in 43 states” and applied its scrutiny.  Unfortunately, while claiming to not take a position on the Clean Power Plan, the WPFC in fact advocated several positions in favor of the CPP, hyperlinked to an NRDC site supporting it and didn’t make a similar link to the widespread available links that oppose the plan.  As well, WPFC downplayed state opposition by claiming not all the states really oppose the rules because they have some agencies considering how to implement them.  Of course, that assumption is suspect given the that regulators will always consider what has to be done to comply.  The fact is, the 32-state figure IS as dramatic as it sounds.

ACCCE Fires Back – The American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity (ACCCE) pushed back on the WPFC saying they conducted analysis showing widespread opposition from state officials to the EPA proposal. ACCCE also commissioned a detailed economic analysis of the CPP by NERA Economic Consulting (NERA).  Both analyses have been cited in Congressional hearings and were referenced in the WPFC piece.  The article disputed ACCCE’s analysis of state opposition to the EPA proposal, as well as NERA’s economic analysis. However, the Fact Checker did not check any facts with either ACCCE or NERA. The Fact Checker got facts wrong in the article and omitted other important facts. Applying the Fact Checker’s own criteria to the article, ACCCE says the article deserves at least three Pinocchios for “significant factual errors,” as well as bias.  See the full Fact Check Response here.

Drones Moving into Energy Space – The rage over drones are not just for weddings or the White House lawn.  The energy industry is also recognizing the economic and safety benefits of deploying unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) or “drones” for tasks such as pipeline surveys, pipeline inspections or even tracking ice and aquatic life movement prior to drilling offshore.  Taking it further, FAA recently released  a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking focused on the Operation and Certification of Small UAS, which my colleague Mike Weller has discussed in a recent blog.  The FAA is accepting comments on its proposal through April 24, 2015 and in the meantime continues to process case-by-cases requests for authorization under exemptions, which Mike has discussed in another recent blog here.  The blogs are on the record if you are covering this issue.  Should you have questions, you can also talk to Weller at 202-828-5812 or Mike.Weller@bgllp.com

Fallout from RFS Reform Splash Last Week – At the ABLC annual forum last Wednesday, Advance Biofuels head Mike McAdams made a giant splash when he declared that the current dysfunctional RFS program needed fixing.  The comments were the first breech of the ethanol side and the starch ethanol gang respond with volumes of fire and vitriol.  Of course, they only people who are trying to maintain the current program as it clearly is not working.  With a lot expected on this issue this summer, I thought I would forward the text of McAdams speech which make some strong points about the need for RFS reform.  Whatever happens, expect this to be a major fight.

Durbin Introduces Innovation Legislation – Sen. Dick Durbin introduced legislation today that would lift federal budget caps to increase funding for basic scientific research.  Durbin cited China’s outpacing the United States in such spending during the past decade as the main reason for stepping up to issue.  Five programs are targeted by Durbin’s bill: the Department of Energy Office of Science, the National Science Foundation, the Department of Defense Science and Technology Programs, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration Science Directorate and the National Institute of Standards and Technology Scientific and Technical Research.

SoCo CEO Fanning already Talking Energy Innovation – Speaking of Innovation, Southern Company CEO Tom Fanning made that the centerpiece of a discussion at the Atlantic Council last week.  Fanning highlighted the company’s effort to drive energy innovation including the development of new clean coal technologies in Mississippi, new nuclear in Georgia, advanced renewables across their portfolio and the largest biomass plant operating in Texas, among a number of other initiatives.

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

Symposium to Look at Climate Resilience – USAID’s Global Climate Change Office will host the opening session of the Advancing Climate-Resilient Development Symposium in Washington, D.C., today through Thursday.  A host of speakers will discuss key issues during the four-day long symposium.

OMB Talks Budget at House Approps – The House Approps panel on Financial Services and General Government  will hold a hearing today at 3:00 p.m. on the budget for the Office of Management and Budget featuring OMB head Shaun Donovan.

Ashe to Look at Fish/Wildlife Budget – The House Appropriations Interior subpanel will host US FWS head Dan Ashe and budget office Chris Nolan tomorrow at 9:00 a.m.  Ashe will also appear before House Resources on Thursday at 9:30 a.m. in 1334 Longworth.  Of course, our own Eric Washburn can discuss issues like Sage grouse listings that will likely be part of the discussion.

Senate Energy to Focus on Electric Grid – The Senate Committee on Energy & Natural Resources will hold a hearing tomorrow to evaluate the state of technological innovation related to the electrical grid.   Witnesses will include AEP’s Transmission’s Lisa Barton, Florida PSC Commissioner and NARUC President Lisa Edgar, EPRI CEO Michael Howard, Argonne National Laboratory Director Peter Littlewood and Jeff Taft of Pacific Northwest National Laboratory.

House Transpo to Look at State Impacts – House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee will hold a hearing on the surface transportation reauthorization looking at the state and local impacts of transportation on economic growth and job creation.  The hearing will feature Gov. Pat McCrory, D-N.C., on behalf of the National Governors Association; Ralph Becker, mayor of Salt Lake City, Utah, on behalf of the National League of Cities; and John Cox, director of the Wyoming Department of Transportation, on behalf of the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials.

House Energy Panel to Look at Power Plan Legal, Cost Issues – Tomorrow at 10:00 a.m., the House Energy & Commerce Committee’s Subcommittee on Energy and Power will hold a hearing on legal and cost issues with EPA Clean Power Plan.   Harvard Legal Expert Laurence Tribe, who recently wrote that his protégé President Obama is wrongly using the Clean Air Act on climate issues, will testify while NYU’s Richard Revesz will counter Tribe.  Revesz responded to Tribes’s Wall Street Journal piece with one in The Hill attacking Tribe.  (publications tell you a little about their target audiences don’t they).  Hunton’s Allison Wood, Florida PSC Chair Art Graham, Maryland PSC Commissioner Kelly Speakes-Backman,

Ohio EPA head Craig Butler, North Carolina DENR Secretary Donald van der Vaart will also testify.

House Science Looks at Ozone Rule Issues – The House Science Committee will hold a hearing tomorrow on EPA’s proposed ozone standard, its impact and achievability.  Witnesses include Harry Alford of the National Black Chamber of Commerce, Ray Keating of the Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council, Harvard Medical School’s Mary B. Rice and Eldon Heaston of the Mojave Desert and Antelope Valley AQMD.

Resources to Look at Offshore Agency Budgets – The House Resources Energy and Mineral Resources Subcommittee hold a hearing tomorrow at 10:00 a.m. to review the missions and spending priorities of the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement, and Office of Natural Resources Revenue.  BOEM head Abbie Hopper, BSEE head Brian Salerno and Office of Natural Resource Revenue head Greg Gould will testify.  Expect questions on the recently announced 5-year leasing/drilling plans.

Sportsmen Legislation on Tap in Senate EPW Panel – The Senate Environment’s Fisheries, Water and Wildlife Subcommittee will hold a hearing tomorrow on Sportsmen legislation to protect and enhance opportunities for recreational hunting, fishing and shooting.  Witnesses will include Jeff Crane, president of the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation; Dale Hall, CEO of Ducks Unlimited; and Wayne Pacelle, president and CEO of the Humane Society of the United States.  And our resident Sportsman, Eric Washburn can address all your questions (202-412-5211, eric.wasburn@bgllp.com)

Vilsack Hit Senate Approps – The Senate Appropriations Committee’s Ag panel  will host USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack on the proposed budget estimates and justification for FY2016 for the Agriculture Department.  Vilsack will be joined by Chief Economist Robert Johansson and Budget Officer Michael Young.  Expect some ethanol discussion here.

House Approps to Look at DOE Sub Budgets – After visiting with DOE Secretary Moniz, the House Appropriations Committee’s Subcommittee on Energy and Water Development will hold a budget hearing on DOE’s Applied Energy Programs with its sub cabinet officials tomorrow.  Witnesses will include Franklin Orr (Science and Energy), David Danielson (Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy), Peter Lyons (Nuclear Energy), Christopher Smith (Fossil Energy) and Patricia Hoffman (Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability).   Orr and Deputy Director Pat Dehmer will also return at 1:00 p.m. to specifically discuss the DOE Science budget in further detail.

Aviation Forum to Feature Blakey – The U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation is hosting its 14th 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 2015 Summit will focus on the future of space and aviation in the global economy.  Confirmed Speakers include Chamber CEO Tom Donohue, Spirit Airlines CEO Ben Baldanza, Former Continental Airlines CEO Gordon Bethune, former FAA/NTSB/NHTSA head and current CEO of  Aerospace Industries Association (AIA) Marion Blakey, and many others.

Jewell to Address Public Lands, Water – Tomorrow at 1:00 p.m., CSIS will host Interior Secretary Sally Jewell for a public address on Interior’s energy priorities for the next two years. The Department serves as a significant steward of the nation’s public lands, managing one-fifth of the landmass and 1.7 billion acres of the Outer Continental Shelf.

Members Launch of House Caucus on Carbon, Enhanced Oil Recovery – Tomorrow at 4:00 p.m., a group of bipartisan members will launch a Congressional caucus to educate members on the energy security, economic, and environmental benefits of enhanced oil recovery using carbon dioxide. Speakers at the event in 1302 Longworth include organizers Reps. Michael Conaway, Gregg Harper and Marc Veasey, as well as Keith Bowman of Tellus Operating Group, Sasha Mackler of Summit Power, Domenico Parisi of the National Strategic Planning & Analysis Research Center, Bob Perciasepe of the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions, John Risch of SMART (formerly the United Transportation Union), and Kyle Simpson of Hogan Lovells.

Senate Moves on TCSA Legislation – The Senate Environment Committee will hold a hearing on legislation to amend the Toxic Substances Control Act to reauthorize and modernize the act.  Witnesses will include EPA’s Jim Jones, EDF’s Richard Denison, March of Dimes Foundation chief medical officer Edward McCabe, GWU Milken Institute School of Public Health dean Lynn Goldman, EWG’s Ken Cook and new MD AG Brian Frosh.  Sen. Tom Udall (D-N.M.) and Bonnie Lautenberg will also deliver statements.  The legislation aims to update the Toxic Substances Control Act of 1976 and has 7 Democrats and 9 Republicans as sponsors.

House Energy Panel to Look at Coal Ash Rule, Legislation – The House Energy & Commerce panel on Environment will hold a hearing tomorrow on Rep McKinley’s legislation “Improving Coal Combustion Residuals Regulation Act of 2015.”

Foxx, Transpo Officials Hit Hill Approps – The Senate Approps panel on Transportation will host DOT Secretary Anthony Foxx on Wednesday at 10:00 a.m. in 562 Dirksen for a budget hearing.   Meanwhile the next day,  Federal Highway Administration acting administrator Gregory Nadeau, Federal Transit Administration acting administrator Therese McMillan, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration administrator Mark Rosekind and U.S. Maritime Administration administrator Paul Jaenichen will testify before the House Approps Transportation panel at 10:00 a.m. in 2358-A Rayburn .

EPA Officials to Head to House Transpo – Speaking of transportation, on Wednesday at 10:30 a.m., the House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee’s Subcommittee on Water Resources and Environment will convene a hearing on the FY 2016 Budget for EPA.

House Small Biz Tackles Regulations, Impacts – The House Small Business Committee will hold a committee hearing at 11:00 a.m. on Wednesday on regulatory red tape and the challenges for small manufacturers. Those testifying include AHRI member Viktor Anderson, director of engineering for Structural Concepts in Muskegon, Michigan, who will say that new regulations will severely impact his ability to retain current employees and economically produce cost-effective, energy efficient and environmentally friendly refrigeration products.  Other also on the panel include Cynthia Reichard of Arylessence Inc., Janis Herschkowitz of PRL in Cornwall, Pa., representing the American Foundry Association and James Goodwin at the Center for Progressive Reform.

WCEE Forum to Look at Grid Storage – The Women’s Council on Energy and the Environment will hold a forum on Wednesday at the National Grange looking at energy storage.  The event will feature Katherine Hamilton, who will describe the industry players and technologies and update us on the exciting developments from the technological and policy perspective for energy storage.   Hamilton is the Policy Director of the Energy Storage Association. Katherine served as President of the GridWise Alliance, advocating for nearly $5 billion in funding for smart grid projects in the Recovery Act. Prior to that role, Katherine was a policy advisor for Good Energies, Inc., a private investment company with a portfolio in clean energy technologies of nearly $6 billion.  She co-directed the American Bioenergy Association, working with the states of Maryland and New Jersey to develop renewable portfolio standards. At the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), Katherine led buildings research and then managed government relations in Washington, DC. Katherine spent a decade at Virginia Power, designing overhead and underground electrical systems for commercial and residential developments. Katherine studied electrical engineering at Northern Virginia Community College and holds degrees from Cornell University and the Sorbonne. Katherine is part of The Energy Gang podcast through Greentech Media.

Forum, Simulation to Address Cybersecurity Risks – The 3rd Annual Information and Cyber Governance, Data Analytics and Privacy Briefing will be held at the National Press Club on Wednesday.  The program will focus on identifying, protecting and responding to  today’s growing internal and external cybersecurity risks.  SEC Deputy Director Scott Bauguess and FTC General Counsel David Shonka will headline a number of speakers.  During the conference in addition to the moderated Q and A format, the audience will participate in an exercise using a hacking simulator. It has the strategic rigor of chess and the feel of a turn-based card game.  The “Game of Threats™” allows executives to better understand the complexity and fast-paced nature of deciphering threats and crafting the proper response, highlighting the importance of making the right move at the right time to thwart the hackers. My Bracewell colleague and expert on cybersecurity Shamoil Shipchandler is a great resource on the issue.

Foxx, Shuster Head NJ Forum on Transportation – On Thursday at the Newseum, National Journal will host a forum of key stakeholders and experts for a robust discussion about the prospect of finding consensus to strengthen the nation’s infrastructure.  Speakers will include Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx and House T&I Chair Bill Shuster, as well as Casey Dinges of the American Society of Civil Engineers, Standard & Poor’s Steve Dryer, BPC Financial Regulatory Reform Initiative Director Aaron Klein, ARTBA’s Pete Ruane and Frederick “Bud” Wright of the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials.

Forum to Look at Ex-Im Bank – On Thursday at 9:00 a.m., the CSIS Project on Prosperity and Development will host a reschedule forum  on the Export-Import Bank’s contribution to the U.S. economy, future directions and challenges, and ways the U.S. Congress continue to support the Bank. Since 2009, the Export-Import Bank has helped create 1.2 million private-sector jobs by financing small business exporters. Over the last five years, it has generated $2 billion more than the cost of its operations. However, the Bank is currently operating on a short term extension of its charter which expires on June 30, 2015. Given the forthcoming deadline, a conversation on the role the Bank plays in growing American jobs and its contribution to the global economy is needed to spur further support from the U.S. government.   Illinois Rep. Robert Dold will make keynote remarks, while Other speakers will include Export-Import Bank Chairman and President Fred Hochberg, Ex-Im Advisory Committee Member Don Nelson, World Trade Center of Greater Philadelphia President and Former Ex-Im Vice Chair Linda Conlin and NAM’s Linda Dempsey.

House Energy Panel to Look at Water Heater Efficiency – The House Energy panel  of the Energy & Commerce Committee will hold a hearing on legislation to modify the efficiency standards for grid-enabled water heaters.  NERCA and AHRI members are expected to participate, including AHRI member Steve Koep of Vaughn in Massachusetts.

PSE&G’s Izzo, Sen. Shaheen  to Headline Energy Briefing – On Thursday morning, the Energy Times will hold an executive energy briefing focused on utilities and how they are changing. Innovators and policymakers will be speak including PSE&G CEO Ralph Izzo, NH Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, NY State PSC Chair Audrey Zibelman and NIST’s Steven Busby.

Sen Energy to Tackle Crude Exports – The U.S. Senate Committee on Energy & Natural Resources will hold a hearing to receive testimony on U.S. crude oil export policy on Thursday at 10:00 a.m.   Last year at this time, Murkowski offered her thoughts on crude exports at CERA Week.  Witnesses will include former State Dept official Carlos Pascual, ConocoPhillips CEO Ryan Lance, Jeff Warman of Monroe Energy and our friends Elizabeth Rosenberg of the Center for a New American Security and AFPM President Charlie Drevna.

Senate Govt Comm Look sat Rulemaking Improvements – The Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee has a hearing Thursday at 10:00 a.m. to explore some ways to revamp the government’s rulemaking process. The committee will hear from experts including John Graham, who led the White House regulatory review office during the George W. Bush administration, as well as Neil Eisner, senior fellow at the Administrative Conference of the United States; NAM’s Drew Greenblatt and former executive director of the Consumer Product Safety Commission Pamela Gilbert.

NCAA Games Start – 12:10 p.m. Thursday.

FUTURE EVENTS

AHRI to Host Annual DC Meeting – The Heating and Air Conditioning trade association AHRI will hold its annual Washington Conference on March 24-25th.  More on this as it comes into shape.

Forum to Look at Indigenous People, Industry – The CSIS Project on Prosperity and Development will host a forum on Wednesday, March 25th at 10:00 a.m.  that will look at maximizing partnerships between indigenous communities and the extractive sector.  The discussion will focus on ways companies in the extractive industry engage indigenous communities in their areas of operation. Many extractive companies find themselves operating in close proximity to indigenous people and their territories. Working constructively with these communities is now a major business priority. The panelists will offer their perspectives on how both companies and indigenous communities can benefit from greater cooperation, whether through creating new education opportunities, offering extractive industry-related job training to potential indigenous employees, and by encouraging local economic growth.  The panel features Simon Boyce of the Navajo Nation, BHP Billiton’s Maria “Malala” Recart and former Canadian House of Commons Member Gary Merasty.

WSJ ECO:nomics Conference to Feature Leaders –  On March 25th to 27th, the editors of The Wall Street Journal will hold its ECO:nomics conference in Santa Barbara, CA.  The event brings together global CEOs, top entrepreneurs, environmental experts, policy makers and leading thinkers at ECO:nomics 2015 to identify and assess the most compelling opportunities — and pressing risks— emerging around the world in businesses impacted by the environment.  Through on-stage interviews with leading figures and interactive sessions with peers in diverse industries, participants at ECO:nomics 2015 will debate, discuss and get the inside story on essential issues: investing in innovation, disrupting current business models, the new meaning of sustainability and the future of the environmental movement, where energy policy is heading.  Speakers will include  Former EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson, WV Sen. Jo e Manchin, FERC Commissioner Phil Moeller, coal magnate Bob Murray, former Brightsource CEO and current Google exec John Woolard, Dan Yergin, T. Boone Pickens and Ted Nordhaus of the Breakthrough Institute.

Marcellus Shale Meeting Set for NE PA – The Marcellus Shale Coalition will hold a meeting on March 26 and 27th in Wilkes-Barre, PA.  Tax proposals from new PA Gov. Tom Wolf will be a significant topic of discussion.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Energy Update: Week of March 3

Friends,

 

March and Spring look like they have finally sprung…and we mean it this time.  No more snow days around here.   NCAA basketball is heating up as we approach next week’s NCAA March Madness Selection Show on Sunday.  While there are a lot of great stories that we can get into more next week, this week Maryland and Geo Washington U’s women’s teams seem to stand out above the crowd.  The Lady Terps rolled through the Big 10 in their first season undefeated, while my students at GW won the Atlantic 10 yesterday and are currently 29-3 with one of their losses coming to Maryland.  March Madness is on…

 

The House is out this week but the Senate will hold a big, important hearing on Wednesday where states will weigh in on how to implement EPA’s Clean Power Plan.  Witnesses include officials from California, NY, Wisconsin, Wyoming and Indiana.  When implementing, consider the item suggested a few weeks ago Ameren CEO Warner Baxter.  Ameren, a coal-heavy utility in Missouri, feels like some tweaks in the EPA rule can not only make the plan achievable, but also save consumers billions.

 

Off the Hill, Southern Company CEO Tom Fanning will kick off a new Atlantic Council CEO series tomorrow highlighting a discussion on how innovation and advances in energy technologies will impact the future of power industry.   A dynamic speaker, Fanning has addressed this subject a number of times including last summer as keynoter at a Bipartisan Policy Center Energy Forum in Washington, DC.  The event starts at 1:30 p.m. and will be live webcast at this link.

 

As well, the National League of Cities, American Public Power and American Association of State Highway are holding Washington forum focused on environment and other issues, while Transportation Officials and the American Public Transportation Association are in town highlighting their “2015 Bottom Line Report” on transportation investment needs.

 

Finally, my colleague Curt Beaulieu, former Senate Finance Committee tax counsel for Sen. Hatch recently wrote an article for Tax Notes on the upcoming debate over reforms in the tax code.   I also have a PDF if you cannot link to it…   Call with questions.

 

Frank Maisano

(202) 828-5864

  1. (202) 997-5932

 

IN THE NEWS

 

Leno Hammers Ethanol In AutoWeek – Now I read this last week because I get AutoWeek at home, and was waiting to put in today’s update.  Former Tonight Show Host, comedian and well-known car collector Jay Leno pummeled ethanol in an essay entitled, “Jay Leno Hates Ethanol.”   Leno say the ethanol in modern gasoline—about 10% in many states—is so corrosive, it eats through either the fuel-pump diaphragm, old rubber fuel lines or a pot metal part, then leaks out on a hot engine causing car fires.   Leno: “Blame the Renewable Fuel Standard. This government-mandated rule requires certain amounts of ethanol and other biofuels be blended with gasoline and diesel fuel. But when Congress first passed RFS as part of the Energy Policy Act in 2005, our demand for energy was increasing. Today, it’s the opposite. Total demand for fuel has decreased thanks to more-efficient vehicles, more hybrids and increased environmental awareness. The EPA is set to release the 2015 standard in June. Meanwhile, some legislators are pushing to reform or eliminate the Renewable Fuel Standard entirely.”

 

EPA RFS Source on Capitol Crude – This week’s version of Capitol Crude hits the RFS and Ethanol.  Our friends Brian Schied and Herman Wang channel their inner 80s new music Sirus XM “1st Wave”:  EPA’s Chris Grundler may not be a member of Depeche Mode, but to Platts senior editors Brian Scheid and Herman Wang his appearance at the recent National Ethanol Conference unfolded like the seminal British electronic goth band’s discography.  Grundler, whose office is in charge of the Renewable Fuel Standard, apologized to conference attendees for failing to Shake the Disease of missing statutory deadlines to set the 2014 and 2015 mandates. But he asked the audience to Walk In My Shoes, saying the annual rule is difficult to manage. Renewable Fuels Association President Bob Dinneen, meanwhile, said he hopes the EPA will Never Let Me Down Again by setting the biofuels mandates below statutory levels.   Also on the podcast, RFA Senior Vice President Geoff Cooper gives us the World In My Eyes, talking about how exports are a top priority for the US ethanol industry, in the face of RFS uncertainty.

 

Power Plan Hub and More form E&E – I know I already mentioned the new Power Plan Hub from our friends at E&E News, but I noticed they are also writing a weekly Monday column for it too. It’s a preview of the week’s events, wrap-up of their recent stories and synopsis of new data/documents on the hub. It’s on the main page, under the map, so check it out.

 

CMU Study Highlights Benefits of LNG Export – A new Carnegie Mellon University study – the first peer-reviewed paper of its kind – says exporting clean-burning U.S. liquefied natural gas (LNG) “would help reduce global GHG emissions” and such policy will be “good for the climate.” This research follows a recently released White House Council of Economic Advisers report, which underscores the “key role” that natural gas continues to play in strengthening America’s geopolitical leverage, heightening our energy security and enhancing our environment. Taken together, these studies – and countless others – reflect the fact that America’s energy outlook has shifted from scarcity and weakness to abundance and strength.  Carnegie Mellon University’s College of Engineering researchers determined that exporting natural gas to Asia or Europe will not cause increased greenhouse gas emissions. Their findings were recently published in a paper in “Environmental Science and Technology.”  Prior to 2008, U.S. domestic natural gas production did not meet projected demand growth, and the national natural gas debate centered on LNG imports. … As unconventional natural gas production (shale gas) became economically viable, U.S. technically recoverable natural gas reserves increased by 665 Tcf, which represents an increase in total U.S. natural gas resources of 38%.  As regulation progresses and the domestic fugitive emissions rate decreases, it will become more likely that LNG exports will result in global emissions savings. … From a global emissions perspective, this study has shown that exporting LNG can help to reduce life cycle GHG emissions from electricity generation and industrial heating.

 

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

 

McCarthy, Foxx, Moniz to Address City Officials – The National League of Cities hold its annual Congressional City conference today through Wednesday at the Marriott.  President Obama addressed delegates this morning, but EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy, Transportation Secretary Anthony Fox and Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz will speak on a panel about infrastructure and climate change later today.

 

Public Power Capitol Conference Set – The American Public Power Assn is also holding its annual Washington meeting focused on the EPA’s Clean Power Plan.   Panels today and tomorrow with visits to Capitol Hill on Wednesday.   Bob Woodward addresses the crowd at the Grand Hyatt tomorrow at lunch.

 

Cyprus Energy Minster to Speak – The German Marshall Fund of the United States will welcome Yiorgos Lakkotrypis, minister of energy, commerce, industry and tourism, Republic of Cyprus, who will share his views on natural gas developments in Cyprus and the Eastern Mediterranean tonight.  Minister Lakkotrypis’ remarks will be followed by a roundtable discussion with Edward C. Chow (Center for Strategic and International Studies), Simon Henderson (Washington Institute for Near East Policy), and Brenda Shaffer (Georgetown University). The panel will discuss developments in world gas markets and prospects for the Eastern Mediterranean.

 

And at the Atlantic Council as Well – The Atlantic Council’s Dinu Patriciu Eurasia Center will also host Lakkotrypris.  Minister Lakkotrypis is responsible for boosting the island’s economy through encouraging tourism and foreign investment, and improving the international standing of Cyprus.   In his remarks, Minister Lakkotrypis will focus on the challenges Cyprus faces in developing an oil and gas industry, as well as energy-related developments in the Eastern Mediterranean in a regional context.  Minister Lakkotrypis will be introduced by Atlantic Council’s Eurasian Energy Future Initiative Director David Koranyi. The keynote speech will be followed by a discussion moderated.

 

Transmission Summit Set – Tomorrow through Thursday, Infocast holds its 18th annual Transmission Summit at the Almas Temple Club in Washington, DC.  Policy makers, executives and industry leaders will meet to discuss the transmission industry.  FERC Commissioner Phil Moeller, NJ BPU Commissioner Dianne Solomon, former NY PSC chair Garry Brown, D.C. PSC Chair Betty Ann Kane and Bracewell’s Cathy McCarthy will be among the speakers.

 

NRC to Host Reg Conference – The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s (NRC) will hold its 27th annual Regulatory Information Conference (RIC) tomorrow through Thursday at the at the Bethesda North Hotel and Conference Center.  The RIC is an annual forum hosted by the NRC that brings together diverse groups of stakeholders to learn, share, and discuss information on significant and timely nuclear regulatory activities and emergent issues.  NRC Commissioners Burns, Svinicki, Ostroff and Baran will all speak.

 

House Transpo Committee to Hold TX Roundtable – The House May be out of session but the House T&I Committee will be In the field holding a roundtable in Houston at Rice University at 9:00 Central.  Participants will include Texas Congressmen  Blake Farenthold, Brian Babin, Gene Green and Kevin Brady, as well as Kirby Corp CEO David Grzebinski, Ronald McClain of Kinder Morgan,  Wal-Mart Stores private fleet  VP Bryan Most,  Steve Bobb of BNSF Railway and Roger Guenther of the Port of Houston.

 

Wilson Forum to Look at Africa Energy – The Wilson Center will Host an event tomorrow at 10:30 a.m. on energy security in Africa.  Energy production in African nations has ballooned in recent decades, with proven oil and natural gas reserves more than doubling in the past 30 years. While Nigeria, Angola, and a host of smaller producers have accounted for most of the oil and gas production on the continent for years, significant hydrocarbons discoveries throughout Africa – including natural gas off the East African coast, deep-water oil in upper West Africa, and new oil reserves in Kenya and Uganda – are bringing about wide-ranging changes to the continent’s energy markets.   Sub-Saharan Africa is the fifth topic of the Wilson Center’s bimonthly Regional and Global Energy Series, which has already covered Russia and Ukraine, China and Asia Pacific, and North America, as well as a 2015 energy policy outlook keynoted by US Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz.  The framework for this Center Series is provided by Energy & Security: Strategies for a World in Transition, now in its second edition, which focuses on regional and global energy issues and is published by the Wilson Center Press and Johns Hopkins University Press.  Speakers will include former editor of South Africa’s Mail & Guardian newspaper Phillip van Niekerk, former State Dept special envoy David Goldwyn and former  IMF and World Bank advisor Charles McPherson.

 

Gruenspecht to Address Luncheon – The Asian Americans in Energy, the Environment and Commerce (AE2C) is hosting its 2015 Lunar New Year event tomorrow at lunch featuring EIA Deputy Administrator Howard Gruenspecht.  Gruenspecht will be speaking about the outlook for the global and U.S. oil and gas industry and its potential impacts. Over the past 35 years, Dr. Gruenspecht has worked extensively on electricity policy issues, including restructuring and reliability, regulations affecting motor fuels and vehicles, energy-related environmental issues, and economy-wide energy modeling. Before joining EIA, he was a Resident Scholar at Resources for the Future. From 1993 to 2000, he served as Director of Economic, Electricity and Natural Gas Analysis in the Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Policy, having originally come to DOE in 1991 as Deputy Assistant Secretary for Economic and Environmental Policy. His accomplishments as a career senior executive at DOE have been recognized with three Presidential Rank Awards.

 

Fanning to Address First Atlantic Council CEO Forum – The Atlantic Council’s Global Energy Center will hold the first event in its CEO Series tomorrow at 1:30 p.m. with Southern’s Tom Fanning, featuring a discussion on how innovation and advances in energy technologies will impact the future of power industry.  Mr. Fanning’s remarks will be followed by a moderated discussion with Ambassador Richard Morningstar, Founding Director of the Atlantic Council’s Global Energy Center.

Forum to Look at Transportation System – The Environmental and Energy Study Institute (EESI) and the American Public Transportation Association (APTA), in conjunction with the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) will hold a briefing tomorrow at 4:00 p.m. in 334 Cannon on the investment requirements for America’s multi-modal transportation infrastructure.  The recent AASHTO-APTA Bottom Line report estimates that $163 billion is needed annually over six years to fix the nation’s aging surface transportation system ($120 billion for roads and bridges, and $43 billion for transit). At present, public investment in transportation infrastructure is only $100 billion a year ($83 billion for roads and bridges, and $17 billion for transit). With the looming May expiration of the transportation bill, Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century (MAP-21), and with 70 million new U.S. citizens expected by 2050, now is the time to address these investment needs. Speakers for this forum are Bud Wright of AASHTO and APTA’s Michael Melaniphy.

 

EPA, DOE to Address Biofuels Leaders – The Advanced Biofuels Leadership Conference will be held on Wednesday to Friday at the Capital Hilton in DC.  ABLC is the gathering point for the top leaders in the Advanced Bioeconomy — bringing together the entire spectrum of advanced Fuels, Chemicals & Materials CEOs and senior executives, business development, R&D leaders, strategic partners, financiers, equity analysts, policymakers and industry suppliers. EPA’s Paul Argyropoulos, DOE’s David Danielson and our friend Michael McAdams will be among the speakers.  ABLC looks at key technologies heading for scale, or deploying in force, plus advanced policies and financing strategies — and features definitive statements on direction, priorities, value chain build-out and supply chain selection from more than 100 C-Level execs.

 

Interior Official to Address Policy Issues at UColorado—The University of Colorado Law School will host Deputy Secretary of Interior Mike Connor for a policy speech tomorrow.

 

Senate to Hear from States on GHG Plan – The Senate Environment Committee will hold a hearing on Wednesday to hear states weigh in on how to implement EPA’s Clean Power Plan.  Witnesses will include WI PSC chairwoman Ellen Nowak, Wyoming DEQ director Todd Parfitt, Indiana DEM commissioner Thomas Easterly, former EPA official and CARB Chair Mary Nichols and Michael Myers, chief of environmental litigation in NY Attorney General Eric Schneiderman’s office.

 

FERC GHG Technical Conference to Focus on EPA Rule – The FERC holds its third GHG technical Conference on Wednesday in Washington. The fourth conference will be a staff-led conference in St. Louis on March 31st.  The full announcement, including a quote by FERC Chairman Cheryl LaFleur, is available here.  The full text of the notice in the Federal Register, including instructions on how to register for the conferences, is available here.  Commissioner Tony Clark released his own statement, available here.

 

Senate Panel Holds Military Enviro Budget Hearing – A Senate Armed Service panel will host military budget hearing on Wednesday at 2:30 p.m. in Hart 216.  Witnesses will include John Conger, acting assistant Defense secretary for energy, installations and environment; Katherine Hammack, assistant secretary of the Army for installations, energy and environment; Dennis McGinn, assistant secretary of the Navy for energy, installations and environment; and Miranda Ballentine, assistant secretary of the Air Force for installations, environment and energy.

 

Oil-Climate Index to be Released – The Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, Stanford University, and the University of Calgary have developed the first-of-its-kind Oil-Climate Index, modeling these complex interactions. This data will shape how consumers, investors, industries, NGOs, and policymakers approach current and future oil production, refining, and consumption.  They will release the index on Wednesday morning.

 

Diesel Forum to Focus on Engine Technologies – On Wednesday at 11:30 a.m. in 268 Capitol Visitors Center, the Diesel Technology Forum will hold a luncheon briefing to learn more about advanced engine technologies that are helping automobile manufacturers improve fuel economy.  With increasingly stringent fuel economy requirements that will be mandated in the near future, manufacturers from all over the globe are introducing more fuel efficient technology options, including clean diesel choices, into their line-ups. Advanced diesel vehicles are growing in popularity with consumers and manufacturers are planning to meet this demand. 47 diesel cars, pickup trucks, SUVs and passenger vans are currently available and 15 more having been officially announced to be introduced in the next two years. Many analysts predict that diesels will increase to 7 to 10 percent of the total U.S. vehicle market by 2020. While diesels prove popular with drivers they also promote energy independence, fuel efficiency and result in significant emissions reductions.

 

Trade Admin to Look at Renewables – The International Trade Administration holds a meeting of the Renewable Energy And Energy Efficiency Advisory Committee Thursday morning at 8:30 a.m. to discuss priority issues identified in advance by the committee chair and hear from interagency partners on issues impacting the competitiveness of the U.S. renewable energy and energy efficiency industries.

 

Green Forum to Discuss Innovation – The World Green Energy Symposium will be held on Thursday at the University of the District of Columbia.  WGES will focus on the latest technologies and focus on discussions with top decision makers through a carefully planned  strategic process.

 

Kerry to Address Importance Climate Negotiations – On Thursday, the Atlantic Council will host a public address by Secretary of State John Kerry on the importance of the 2015 Conference of the Parties climate change negotiations.

 

CSIS to Discuss Nuclear Project – On Thursday at 9:00 a.m. CSIS will hold a briefing to discuss its New Approaches to the Fuel Cycle (NAFC) project, its findings, its recommended “best practices,” and their role in ensuring a secure and sustainable nuclear future.  In early 2011, the Nuclear Threat Initiative and the CSIS Proliferation Prevention Program launched the NAFC project to develop an integrated approach to nuclear supply and demand that would improve the robustness of the nonproliferation regime without dampening the sustainability of nuclear energy. Drawing from industry, government, and NGO community expertise in the United States and abroad, the NAFC project is the first comprehensive approach to managing nuclear energy that would address “future Irans,” seeking to close gaps in the system that allow the spread of sensitive fuel cycle technologies and enable states to produce weapons-usable nuclear material.  Speakers include Dr. John Hamre, President, CEO, and Pritzker Chair, Center for Strategic and International Studies, Ms. Joan Rohlfing, President and COO, Nuclear Threat Initiative, Ms. Sharon Squassoni, Director and Senior Fellow, Proliferation Prevention Program, Center for Strategic and International Studies, Dr. Andrew Newman, Senior Program Officer, Material Security and Minimization, Nuclear Threat Initiative, and Dr. Everett Redmond, Senior Director, Policy Development, Nuclear Energy Institute.

 

Brookings Forum to Focus on Arctic – On Thursday at 10:30 a.m., the Energy Security and Climate Initiative (ESCI) at Brookings will host a forum featuring  Admiral Robert J. Papp, Jr., the U.S. special representative for the Arctic, for a keynote address on the future of U.S. policy for the region. Deputy Director for Foreign Policy at Brookings Bruce Jones will provide introductory remarks, and ESCI Senior Fellow Charles Ebinger will moderate the discussion and audience Q&A.

 

Building Tech Budget Addressed in Forum – On Thursday at 2:00 p.m. in 210 Cannon, EESI will hold a briefing on the programs and priorities of the Department of Energy’s Building Technologies Office (BTO), as reflected in its FY 2016 budget request. Buildings represent 40 percent of the total energy used in the United States and a whopping 70 percent of the electricity used (for lighting, air-conditioning, appliances, electronics). Making buildings and the products that go into them more energy efficient will make a serious dent in U.S. energy use, save billions of dollars each year, improve comfort, and reduce pollution and greenhouse gas emissions. BTO is seeking to reduce U.S. building energy consumption by 50% from a 2010 baseline.  In addition to providing an overview of the Building Technologies Office, the briefing will highlight successful industry-government partnerships that are bringing technologies like solid-state lighting to the marketplace and helping builders construct “zero-energy” homes. The panel will also address the role of Congress and building/energy issues on the horizon in the current session.  Panelists include DOE’s Roland Risser and House Science Dem Staff Director Adam Rosenberg.

 

CSIS to Release Paper on Mining – On Friday at 9:30 a.m., CSIS will host an expert panel to launch FSG’s new report Extracting with Purpose: Creating Shared Value in the Oil and Gas and Mining Sectors’ Companies and Communities. The extractives sectors can be invaluable in facilitating economic and social development around the world, yet close to 80 percent of countries whose economies depend on extractives industries have per-capita income levels that fall below the global average.  This new paper focuses on how private-sector stakeholders can best promote shared value and seize opportunities in the developed and developing world. Shared value, or policies and activities that measurably improve socio-economic outcomes and improve related core business performance, helps businesses frame potential opportunities to address societal issues and to deliver real business value as well as community development.

 

FUTURE EVENTS

 

Symposium to Look at Climate Resilience – USAID’s Global Climate Change Office will host the opening session of the Advancing Climate-Resilient Development Symposium in Washington, D.C., March 16-19th.  A host of speakers will discuss key issues during the four-day long symposium.

 

Senate Energy to Focus on Electric Grid – The Senate Committee on Energy & Natural Resources will hold a hearing to evaluate the state of technological innovation related to the electrical grid on Tuesday, March 17th.

 

House Approps to Look at DOE Sub Budgets – After visiting with DOE Secretary Moniz, the House Appropriations Committee’s Subcommittee on Energy and Water Development will hold a budget hearing on DOE’s Applied Energy Programs with its sub cabinet officials.  Witnesses will include Franklin Orr (Science and Energy), David Danielson (Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy), Peter Lyons (Nuclear Energy), Christopher Smith (Fossil Energy) and Patricia Hoffman (Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability).   Orr and Deputy Director Pat Dehmer will also return at 1:00 p.m. to specifically discuss the DOE Science budget in further detail.

 

House Energy Panel to Look at Power Plan Legal, Cost Issues – Next Tuesday, March 17th at 10:00 a.m., the House Energy & Commerce Committee’s Subcommittee on Energy and Power will hold a hearing on legal and cost issues with EPA Clean Power Plan.  .

 

Aviation Forum to Feature Blakey – The U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation is hosting its 14th Annual Aviation Summit on Tuesday, March 17th at the Renaissance Hotel to bring together top experts and leaders from all sectors of aviation to discuss critical issues facing the industry. The 2015 Summit will focus on the future of space and aviation in the global economy.  Confirmed Speakers include Chamber CEO Tom Donohue, Spirit Airlines CEO Ben Baldanza, Former Continental Airlines CEO Gordon Bethune, former FAA/NTSB/NHTSA head and current CEO of  Aerospace Industries Association (AIA) Marion Blakey, and many others.

 

EPA Officials to Head to House Transpo – Next Wednesday, March 18th at 10:30 a.m., the House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee’s Subcommittee on Water Resources and Environment will convene a hearing on the FY 2016 Budget for EPA.

 

WCEE Forum to Look at Grid Storage – The Women’s Council on Energy and the Environment will hold a forum on Wednesday, March 18th at the National Grange looking at energy storage.  The event will feature Katherine Hamilton, who will describe the industry players and technologies and update us on the exciting developments from the technological and policy perspective for energy storage.   Hamilton is the Policy Director of the Energy Storage Association. Katherine served as President of the GridWise Alliance, advocating for nearly $5 billion in funding for smart grid projects in the Recovery Act. Prior to that role, Katherine was a policy advisor for Good Energies, Inc., a private investment company with a portfolio in clean energy technologies of nearly $6 billion.  She co-directed the American Bioenergy Association, working with the states of Maryland and New Jersey to develop renewable portfolio standards. At the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), Katherine led buildings research and then managed government relations in Washington, DC. Katherine spent a decade at Virginia Power, designing overhead and underground electrical systems for commercial and residential developments. Katherine studied electrical engineering at Northern Virginia Community College and holds degrees from Cornell University and the Sorbonne. Katherine is part of The Energy Gang podcast through Greentech Media.

 

Forum, Simulation to address Cybersecurity Risks – The 3rd Annual Information and Cyber Governance, Data Analytics and Privacy Briefing will be Held at the National Press Club on March 18th.  The program will focus on identifying, protecting and responding to  today’s growing internal and external cybersecurity risks.  SEC Deputy Director Scott Bauguess and FTC General Counsel David Shonka will headline a number of speakers.  During the conference in addition to the moderated Q and A format, the audience will participate in an exercise using a hacking simulator. It has the strategic rigor of chess and the feel of a turn-based card game.  The “Game of Threats™” allows executives to better understand the complexity and fast-paced nature of deciphering threats and crafting the proper response, highlighting the importance of making the right move at the right time to thwart the hackers. My Bracewell colleague and expert on cybersecurity Shamoil Shipchandler is a great resource on the issue.

 

Foxx, Shuster Head NJ Forum on Transportation – On Thursday, March 19th at the Newseum, National Journal will host a forum of key stakeholders and experts for a robust discussion about the prospect of finding consensus to strengthen the nation’s infrastructure.  Speakers will include Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx and House T&I Chair Bill Shuster, as well as Casey Dinges of the American Society of Civil Engineers, Standard & Poor’s Steve Dryer, BPC Financial Regulatory Reform Initiative Director Aaron Klein, ARTBA’s Pete Ruane and Frederick “Bud” Wright of the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials.

 

Sen Energy to Tackle Crude Exports – The U.S. Senate Committee on Energy & Natural Resources will hold a hearing to receive testimony on U.S. crude oil export policy on Thursday, March 19th at 10:00 a.m.   Last year at this time, Murkowski offered her thoughts on crude exports at CERA Week.

 

AHRI to Host Annual DC Meeting – The Heating and Air Conditioning trade association AHRI will hold its annual Washington Conference on March 24-25th.  More on this as it comes into shape.

 

WSJ ECO:nomics Conference to Feature Leaders –  On March 25th to 27th, the editors of The Wall Street Journal will hold its ECO:nomics conference in Santa Barbara, CA.  The event brings together global CEOs, top entrepreneurs, environmental experts, policy makers and leading thinkers at ECO:nomics 2015 to identify and assess the most compelling opportunities — and pressing risks— emerging around the world in businesses impacted by the environment.  Through on-stage interviews with leading figures and interactive sessions with peers in diverse industries, participants at ECO:nomics 2015 will debate, discuss and get the inside story on essential issues: investing in innovation, disrupting current business models, the new meaning of sustainability and the future of the environmental movement, where energy policy is heading.  Speakers will include  Former EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson, WV Sen. Jo e Manchin, FERC Commissioner Phil Moeller, coal magnate Bob Murray, former Brightsource CEO and current Google exec John Woolard, Dan Yergin, T. Boone Pickens and Ted Nordhaus of the Breakthrough Institute.

 

Marcellus Shale Meeting Set for NE PA – The Marcellus Shale Coalition will hold a meeting on March 26 and 27th in Wilkes-Barre, PA.  Tax proposals from new PA Gov. Tom Wolf will be a significant topic of discussion.

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Energy Update: Week of February 23

Friends,

While the usual parade and hype around the 87th annual Oscars was fun, I didn’t think that Doogie Howser was particularly good this year.  I thought he was much funnier in the past.   A media columnist at Forbes hammered the show saying anything that could go wrong did…  Anyway, not many surprises at the Oscars with actors, designers and directors from Birdman, Grand Budapest (nice timing for the sequel coming out soon) Boyhood and Imitation Game taking home awards.  Perhaps the best moment of the night was John Legend and Common performing their song “Glory” from the movie Selma.

Another blast of snow on Saturday in DC that then gave way to sunny and 50s on Sunday set up a true reminder that Spring Training for Baseball and Spring Lacrosse (at least in our area) are in full motion.  Pitchers and catchers are already arriving and full rosters show up in Florida and Arizona this week as well, while the Cubs are still tied for first.  In other fun lacrosse news, my daughter’s high school team Severn School is ranked 4th in the nation in USA’s Preseason Top 25 Poll.  Of course, their arch-rival, Baltimore’s McDonogh is ranked #1 again, having won 112 straight games.  Last year, Severn lost 13-12 in the playoffs.  The date to circle on the calendar is April 21st when the teams will first tangle.

As mentioned last Monday, I started the weekend off Friday in with an acoustic show featuring Live’s Ed Kowalczyk playing the band’s smash hit album Throwing Copper as it celebrates its 20th anniversary since release.   The show was in a small venue in Annapolis and was really awesome.  The next big show is March 3rd when Bush comes to the Filmore in Silver Spring.  Everything Zen?

This will be a budget heavy week in Washington with a number of agency heads flooding Capitol Hill.  Most prominent in our space include Interior’s Sally Jewell at Senate Energy tomorrow, EPA’s Gina McCarthy at House Energy & Commerce Wednesday and House Approps Interior/Enviro Subpanel on Thursday and DOE Secretary Moniz at House Approps on Energy/Water on Thursday.  John Kerry also hits the House Approps State/Foreign Ops subpanel on Wednesday, while those of you looking at train car rules and infrastructure will want to hear Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx on Thursday at House Approps’ Transpo panel.   If you want to see Foxx, you’ll want to check out Senate Environment & PUBLIC WORKS on Wednesday, who will have state transpo officials and businesses from around the nation to discuss the upcoming highway bill.  Finally on Thursday, House Oversight jumps into examining the impacts of EPA air and water regs on States featuring AGs from Montana and Arkansas.

Finally, in Houston on Thursday and Friday, Platts will hold its 14th Annual Liquefied Natural Gas Conference.  The event will feature a number of key LNG players including Philip Olivier of GDF Suez, Bill Allen of Dominion Cove Point and my Bracewell colleagues Kevin Ewing and Kristin Gibbs, among several others.

Call with questions.

Frank Maisano

(202) 828-5864

(202) 997-5932

 

IN THE NEWS

Arctic Drilling Rolls out – In the unusual Friday afternoon time slot, this time the Department of Interior released first-time draft safety standards for Arctic oil and gas drilling.  The proposal includes a requirement for oil companies to keep a second rig standing by to drill a relief well as well as submitting integrated operations plans that address all phases of the exploration program, have access to Source Control and Containment Equipment and “have the necessary equipment, training, and personnel for oil spill response on the Arctic OCS.” The proposal is likely to take more than a year to finalize but includes much of what Shell has been undertaking with Interior ahead of the company’s Arctic drilling plans.

Murkowski Weighs In – Sen. Lisa Murkowski said she was reserving judgment on Interior’s new draft regulations for oil and natural gas activities in Alaska’s Chukchi and Beaufort seas.  She added if this administration is truly committed to developing our Arctic resources then it’s imperative that the Interior Department provide clear direction to Shell and the other leaseholders in the region on how they can proceed.  Murkowski:  “It’s important that any changes to existing regulations covering the Chukchi and Beaufort seas allow companies the flexibility to respond to changing conditions and for the deployment of new drilling technologies.”

How Much is Up There – Alaska’s Beaufort and Chukchi seas contain an estimated 23.6 billion barrels of oil and 104.4 trillion cubic feet of natural gas. Dozens of wells have been safely drilled in these areas since the 1970s. Interior estimates its new proposed regulations will add up to $1.4 billion over 10 years to the cost of development.

Wyden Weighs In On Train Car Rule – The pace of the oil train rule seems to have sped up after several recent incidents, including a fiery crash in West Virginia.  The DOT rule, which was “amtraking” along (that means late and slow) at OMB, seems to be getting the attention of a number of Democrats that want some action.  House transportation top Democrat Pete DeFazio has already weighed in on this and now  Sen. Ron Wyden said the rule should address the potential risks of newer rail cars involved in two derailments in addition to the older cars still in use.  My colleague Lowell Rothschild is the best expert to discuss the overall status of the DOT rule and its policy impacts.  Look for members of both parties to increase the heat on getting a new rule moving.  Feel free to connect with him if have questions at 202-828-5817 or lowell.rothschild@bgllp.com

President to Get Keystone Legislation – After years of delays and obstruction, our friends at POLITICO report that Republicans plan to officially send the White House their Keystone XL legislation tomorrow, setting up an expected presidential veto soon afterward.

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

National Govs Meeting in DC – You may have noticed it from the talk on the Sunday Shows, but the National Governors Assn is holding the 2015 NGA Winter Meeting over the weekend and today. During the meeting, governors will discuss issues affecting states and share best practices that lead to innovative solutions.  The Governors meet with President Obama today.

POLITICO Hosting State Solutions Conference – In light of the NGA being in DC,  POLITICO is hosting its 5th annual State Solutions conference all day today. The conference will feature a series of conversations with governors from across the country focusing on innovative approaches their states have taken to address complex problems.

Climate Conference Set – The Climate Leadership Conference 2015 will be held today through Wednesday at Ritz-Carlton Pentagon City.  The Climate Leadership Conference is an annual exchange for addressing global climate change through policy, innovation, and business solutions. Forward-thinking leaders from business, government, academia, and the non-profit community convene to explore market transformation, share energy and climate related solutions, and provide support for those addressing climate change in their operations.  Speakers include Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus, former U.S. Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin, EPA Acting Deputy Administrator Stan Meiburg, and National Academy of Sciences President Ralph Cicerone.

Forum to Look at NatGas Global Markets – The Johns Hopkins University will hold a forum in its Rome Auditorium today at 4:00 p.m. featuring SAIS alumnus Nikos Tsafos and a senior commentator to look at global markets for natural gas.

Forum to Oil, Latin America –Tomorrow at 8:30 a.m., Georgetown University’s McCourt School of Public Policy will host presentations from two distinguished IADB experts focused on oil markets and Latin America.  Dr. Ramon Espinasa and Dr. Osmel Manzano. Will offer an oil market overview and impact on consumers and producers in the region.

Whitfield to Lead Energy Forum – Faegre Baker Daniels’ and FaegreBD Consulting’s will host its annual energy and environmental symposium tomorrow afternoon at the Ronald Reagan Center.  This year’s event will focus on energy security, and speakers and panelists will examine energy imports/exports, grid reliability and cybersecurity, among other topics.  The featured keynote speaker is Rep. Ed Whitfield, Chairman of the House Subcommittee on Energy and Power, as well as our friend Brendan Williams of AFPM.

Heller to Headline Geothermal Event – The Geothermal Energy Association’s State of the Geothermal Energy Industry Briefing will be held tomorrow at the Hyatt Regency Capitol Hill. The program will provide an update on the US and international geothermal industry featuring release of the 2015 Annual Geothermal Industry Update and presentations and panel discussions by key leaders in US and international development, finance, technology, policy and regulatory issues.  Nevada Sen Dean Heller will lead a list of speakers.

Jewell Heads to Senate Energy – The Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources will convene a hearing tomorrow  to examine the President’s proposed budget request for fiscal year 2016 for the Department of the Interior.  Interior Secretary Sally Jewell will testify.

Kenderline to Address NatGas Roundtable – Tomorrow at Noon, the Natural Gas Roundtable will host Melanie A. Kenderdine, Director of the Office of Energy Policy and Systems Analysis of the Department of Energy will be the guest speaker at the next luncheon.

RFF to Look at Climate Engineering – Resources for the Future will hold a forum tomorrow at 12:45 p.m. to look at climate engineering.   On February 10, the US National Academy of Sciences (NAS) released two major reports on climate engineering (also known as geoengineering), to help inform the ethical, legal, and political discussions on climate “intervention.” At this seminar, a panel of experts will first review the reports’ major findings and then consider their political and economic implications.  The release of the reports comes at a critical moment. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s recent Fifth Assessment Report suggests that the window for addressing global warming is fast closing. This year, the international community is working toward a post-Kyoto agreement on greenhouse gas emissions reductions. The United States has already announced new bilateral cooperation with China and India on renewable energy development and climate action. Climate engineering has long hovered on the fringes of these conversations. Panelists will include NRDC’s David Goldston, former House Science Committee Chair Bart Gordon, EDF’s Steve Hamburg,  and NOAA’s Admiral David Titley.

Ambassador, Louisa Rep to Focus on Japan, US Energy  Issues – The National Bureau of Asian Research (NBR) is hosting a forum on adapting to a new energy strategy for U.S., Japanese, and Asian energy security.” This event will be held tomorrow  at 2:00 p.m. in 2322 Rayburn.  The event will detail the findings of NBR’s two-year program on “Adapting to a New Energy Era” and will feature panel discussions with senior experts on energy security, including Minister Yasushi Akahoshi from Embassy of Japan in the United States and Rep. Charles Boustany.

CSIS Paper to Look at Trade Issues – On Wednesday morning, the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) will release a new paper, Opportunities in Strengthening Trade Assistance, the final report of the CSIS Bipartisan Task Force on Trade Capacity Building. The task force, co-chaired by Reps. Charles Boustany and Jared Polis, met in 2014 to determine how the U.S. government can best implement TCB programs that build physical, human, and institutional capacities across the developing world and allow countries to benefit from trade and investment opportunities.  CSIS’s new paper highlights the critical role that TCB can and should play in an evolving U.S. development agenda. The report distills lessons from past TCB efforts and builds a practical.

McCarthy Heads to House Energy, Approps – EPA Head Gina McCarthy will visit the House Energy and Commerce Committee on Wednesday to examine the President’s proposed budget request for fiscal year 2016 for EPA.  Then on Thursday, McCarthy will head to the House Approps Panel on Interior and the Environment.

Kerry Hits House Approps Subpanel on Budget – The House Appropriations Subcommittee on State and Foreign Operations reviews the State Department’s fiscal 2016 budget on Wednesday  at 2:00 p.m. Secretary of State John Kerry testifies and while ISIS, Iran and Other Foreign affairs topics will be on the agenda, expect some discussion of global warming and international climate efforts.

RFF to Discuss AB 32 Legislation – Resources for the Future will hold a forum on Wednesday assessing progress under California’s AB 32 Cap-and-Trade Program.  At this RFF seminar, experts from the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) will examine the market, emissions, and economic data behind California’s successful climate agenda as detailed in their recent report: Carbon Market California: A Comprehensive Analysis of the Golden State’s Cap-and-Trade Program, Year Two. Presenters from RFF, EDF, and California’s largest utility, Pacific Gas and Electric, will discuss the current and future direction of the state’s climate policy, including the status of accomplishments such as putting a carbon price on transportation pollution and establishing a climate dividend for ratepayers.  Speakers will include EDF’s Tim O’Connor and Derek Walker, as well as PG&E’s Ray Williams and Melissa Lavinson.

Forum to Look at EERE Budget – On Wednesday at 2:00 p.m. in 210 Cannon, the Environmental and Energy Study Institute — in partnership with the House Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Caucus – will host a briefing on the energy efficiency and renewable energy implications of the fiscal year (FY) 2016 budget proposal released by President Obama on February 2. The Administration’s overall $4 trillion budget proposal provides a renewed focus on addressing climate change, and would invest $7.4 billion in clean energy technology programs across all agencies, led by the Department of Energy, the Department of Defense, the National Science Foundation, and the Department of Agriculture. This briefing will focus on the DOE’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), whose budget would increase 42 percent over 2015 enacted levels, to $2.7 billion.  Speakers from the Department of Energy and the Congressional Research Service (CRS) will give an overview of the EERE budget requests, explain the Office’s budget priorities, and provide context on how these priorities and trends compare to prior years.

CSIS Forum to Look at Latin America, Oil/Gas – The CSIS Energy and National Security Program and the CSIS Americas Program  will host David Voght and John Padilla, Managing Directors at IPD Latin America, on Wednesday at 2:00 p.m. to discuss recent developments in Latin American oil and gas markets. Carl Meacham, Director of the Americas Program at CSIS, will discuss the political implications of these shifts in the energy landscape. Sarah O. Ladislaw, Director and Senior Fellow at the CSIS Energy and National Security Program, will moderate.

Forum to Address Mexico Energy Reform – The Atlantic Council will hold a forum on Thursday at 9:00 a.m. on Mexico’s energy reform and its exciting promise and challenges. The event will feature a conversation with Juan Carlos Zepeda, the head of Mexico’s National Hydrocarbons Commission (CNH), Mexico’s upstream oil and gas regulatory agency charged with playing a key role establishing and overseeing the rules of the road governing Mexico’s reform process.   He will chart the progress CNH has made to date implementing the reforms, offer a real-time update on the energy reform regulatory infrastructure, and explain the efforts CNH has undertaken to ensure the regulations provide for energy sector transparency. The Atlantic Council’s David Goldwyn will also provide commentary.

Australian Ambassador, US Trade Rep to Discuss Free Trade – On Thursday at 10:00 a.m., the CSIS Pacific Partners Initiative will also host an armchair discussion with H.E. Kim Beazley, ambassador of Australia to the United States and Deputy U.S. trade representative Wendy Cutler. The discussion will mark the 10-year anniversary of the Australia-U.S Free Trade Agreement and consider the achievements of the past decade.

Moniz Heads to House Energy Approps – The House Energy and Water Appropriations panel will examine the President’s proposed budget request for fiscal year 2016 for DOE on Thursday withEnergy Secretary Ernie Moniz testifying.

Bracewell Experts to Lead Platts LNG Conference – Platts will hold its 14th Annual Liquefied Natural Gas Conference Thursday and Friday in Houston, Texas.   The event will feature a number of key LNG players including Philip Olivier of GDF Suez, Bill Allen of Dominion Cove Point and my Bracewell colleague Kevin Ewing and Kristin Gibbs, among several others.  Issues covered will include North American exports from Canadian and US East, West, and Gulf Coast facilities, with focus on regulatory questions, timelines and contracts; Global competition and export capacity in the Middle East, Africa, Southeast Asia, Australia, and Russia focused on growth outlook and competitive forces/differentiators.  They will also look at issues like regional demand and pricing.

Conover, Louda to Talk CHP at Webinar – On Thursday at Noon, the Combined Heat and Power Assn and Grayling will hold a joint webinar looking at state energy efficiency programs and how many of them impact combined heat and power.  The webinar will feature speakers from CHP Association, Grayling, and experts in state energy efficiency policies.  Speakers will include Our friends Dale Louda of the CHP Association and former DOE official Dave Conover.

Foxx Hits House Approps Subpanel on Transportation Issues – The House Appropriations Subcommittee on Transportation reviews DOT’s fiscal 2016 budget on Wednesday  at 2:00 p.m. Secretary Anthony Foxx testifies with Highway Trust Fund concerns, oil train car rules and infrastructure updates all on the agenda.

AGs head to House Oversight Hearing – On Thursday at 2:00 p.m., the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee subpanel on Interior will hold a hearing looking at U.S. EPA air and water rules and their impacts on states.  A number of state attorneys general suing to stop their implementation will testify as well as a number of economists who have done studies outlining impacts.  Montana Attorney General Tim Fox and Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge will lead the hearing with NERA Economic Consultants Anne Smith and David Harrison also on the agenda.

Green Tie Event Set – The 14th Annual Green Tie Affair will be held on Thursday evening at the  Capitol Riverfront District  The USGBC National Capital Region (USGBC-NCR), the Washington Chapter of the American Institute of Architects (AIA|DC), and the Association of Energy Engineers (AEE) host one of the premier social events for the clean energy industry. In addition to the usual activities, this special edition of the event will serve as a kickoff for what promises to be a landmark year for sustainable building in our region, as DC prepares to host 30,000 guests for the Greenbuild International Conference and Expo in November.

IEA Official to Present Oil Market Report – On Friday at 9:30 a.m., CSIS’s Energy and National Security Program will host Antoine Halff, Head of the Oil Industry and Markets Division at the International Energy Agency, to present the IEA’s 2015 Medium-Term Oil Market Report (MTOMR). Guy Caruso, Senior Adviser with the CSIS Energy and National Security Program, will moderate.

Forum Focused on Geopolitics of Energy – On Friday, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace will host a forum on the geopolitical implications of rapid change in energy markets.  The AICGS Foreign & Domestic Policy Program  will hold for a conference focused on a German and American perspective of global energy markets.  Experts from both countries will discuss their work on topics such as the future of fuels and cities, instability and the resource nexus, and energy and statecraft.

FUTURE EVENTS

Forum to Discuss Solar Jobs – Next, Monday at 3:00 p.m., the Environmental and Energy Study Institute (EESI) and the Solar Foundation will hold a briefing on the recently released 2014 National Solar Jobs Census. The Census found that the solar industry added 31,000 jobs last year, accounting for 1.3 percent of all new U.S. jobs, and representing a growth rate almost 20 times greater than the national average. Today, 173,807 Americans are employed in the solar industry, almost twice as many as in U.S. coal mining.    Speakers for this forum are Solar Foundation head Andrea Luecke, GW Solar Institute head Amit Ronen, DOE’s Mike Carr and SunEdison’s Matt Herzberg.

CP CEO to Address US Chamber Energy Forum – The Institute for 21st Century Energy and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation will host their CEO Leadership Series luncheon featuring on Tuesday, March 3rd art Noon featuring Ryan Lance, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of ConocoPhillips.  Lance will address the current state of the oil industry and challenges it is facing with lower oil prices.

Interior Official to Address Policy Issues at UColorado—The University of Colorado Law School will host Deputy Secretary of Interior Mike Connor for a policy speech on March 10th.

Aviation Forum to Feature Blakey – The U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation is hosting its 14th Annual Aviation Summit on Tuesday, March 17th at the Renaissance Hotel to bring together top experts and leaders from all sectors of aviation to discuss critical issues facing the industry. The 2015 Summit will focus on the future of space and aviation in the global economy.  Confirmed Speakers include Chamber CEO Tom Donohue, Spirit Airlines CEO Ben Baldanza, Former Continental Airlines CEO Gordon Bethune, former FAA/NTSB/NHTSA head and current CEO of  Aerospace Industries Association (AIA) Marion Blakey, and many others.

Forum, Simulation to address Cybersecurity Risks – The 3rd Annual Information and Cyber Governance, Data Analytics and Privacy Briefing will be Held at the National Press Club on March 18th.  The program will focus on identifying, protecting and responding to  today’s growing internal and external cybersecurity risks.  SEC Deputy Director Scott Bauguess and FTC General Counsel David Shonka will headline a number of speakers.  During the conference in addition to the moderated Q and A format, the audience will participate in an exercise using a hacking simulator. It has the strategic rigor of chess and the feel of a turn-based card game.  The “Game of Threats™” allows executives to better understand the complexity and fast-paced nature of deciphering threats and crafting the proper response, highlighting the importance of making the right move at the right time to thwart the hackers. My Bracewell colleague and expert on cybersecurity Shamoil Shipchandler is a great resource on the issue.

AHRI to Host Annual DC Meeting – The Heating and Air Conditioning trade association AHRI will hold its annual Washington Conference on March 24-25th.  More on this as it comes into shape.

WSJ ECO:nomics Conference to Feature Leaders –  On March 25th to 27th, the editors of The Wall Street Journal will hold its ECO:nomics conference in Santa Barbara, CA.  The event brings together global CEOs, top entrepreneurs, environmental experts, policy makers and leading thinkers at ECO:nomics 2015 to identify and assess the most compelling opportunities — and pressing risks— emerging around the world in businesses impacted by the environment.  Through on-stage interviews with leading figures and interactive sessions with peers in diverse industries, participants at ECO:nomics 2015 will debate, discuss and get the inside story on essential issues: investing in innovation, disrupting current business models, the new meaning of sustainability and the future of the environmental movement, where energy policy is heading.  Speakers will include  Former EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson, WV Sen. Jo e Manchin, FERC Commissioner Phil Moeller, coal magnate Bob Murray, former Brightsource CEO and current Google exec John Woolard, Dan Yergin, T. Boone Pickens and Ted Nordhaus of the Breakthrough Institute.

Energy Update: Week of February 17

Friends,

With President’s Day holiday, snowy blizzards lacing New England and the Mid-Atlantic and Fat Tuesday all upon us, this week will be a short week  Therefore also a short Intro, but mostly because I traveled to Connecticut College, Colby College and Skidmore College (Yes all sound very expensive and offer no scholarships) this weekend, driving through a massive blizzard, that would even test the most hearty New Englanders.  I’ll tell you it was pretty amazing on Sunday morning driving Boston’s 495 Outer Loop in blizzard conditions and virtually no cars on the road.  We had the road to ourselves…

As well, my colleague Scott Segal again graced the streets of the Crescent City in the run up to Mardi Gras as his usual Krewe worked the Bacchus Parade on Sunday.  I will get a full report tonight in when we meet up in the Big Apple.  That’s right…Fat Tuesday is today so have a king cake for me.

The snow in DC should slow folks down this week, (not us here at the Update as I was able to get into office in record time with the roads empty) but also not our friends at NARUC, who are holding their (REALLY) Winter meetings at the Renaissance Hotel.  Today’s line-up includes EPA’s Gina McCarthy, Energy Secretary Moniz, FCC Chair Tom Wheeler and FERC Chair Cheryl LaFleur.  Platts also starts its nuclear conference today in DC with NRC’s Stephen Burns keynoting.

While Congress is in a brief recess this week for President Day, the action swings to FERC though as on Thursday, they will hold the first of four planned technical conferences on the market and reliability impacts of EPA’s proposed carbon GHG rules. The technical conferences will provide more insight on the Commission’s thoughts on the plan and on the state of power markets in general.  We will be there…

 

At the NARUC event and at FERC on Thursday, you may come across a detailed ERCC White Paper on Reliability issues and the new GHG rule, a key point shared by several members of FERC and a number of NARUC Commissioners.   More of this and interviews with Holmstead and Segal as the week rolls on.  And speaking of white papers, did you catch the Ameren CEO’s thoughts on fixing the EPA’s GHG rule last week.   Ameren, a coal-heavy utility in Missouri, feels like some tweaks in the EPA rule can not only make the plan achievable, but also save consumers billions.  A number of trade press folks detailed the idea here and here.  And speaking of trade press, our friends at EE News have activated an on-line Clean Power Plan tool they built that includes a number of state related documents and articles.  It’s free for all to check out.

 

Finally, for those of you focused on rail safety issues in light of the crude accident in West Virginia and the ethanol derailment in Iowa, my colleague Lowell Rothschild is the best expert to discuss the overall status of the DOT rule and its policy impacts.  Look for members of both parties to increase the heat on getting a new rule moving.  Feel free to connect with him if have questions at 202-828-5817 or lowell.rothschild@bgllp.com

 

Frank Maisano

(202) 828-5864

(202) 997-5932

 

IN THE NEWS

Ameren Says With Minor Changes EPA Rule Can Work – Ameren Corp CEO Warner Baxter says in a new white paper says constructive and common-sense alterations to the EPA’s GHG plan could avoid imposing staggering costs on utility customers and significant risks to electric grid reliability. Ameren’s approach would achieve the same final CO2 emission reduction goals as EPA’s own plan while saving $4 billion in costs.  You can get see the white paper on-line here, but I am also attaching it and a press release (below) from the Ameren PR team with contact info for reaching out to Mr. Baxter, although he may be difficult to reach today. Feel free to quote freely from the paper, as it is on the record. You will also be able to discuss the issue with Ameren Washington office head Joe Power, who you can reach at 703-624-3234 or jpower@ameren.com.  Finally, my colleague Scott Segal, who heads the industry coalition ERCC, has seen the paper and would be happy to discuss it, as well, should you want an outside voice. You can reach Scott at 202-262-5845 or scott.segal@bgllp.com.

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

 

AGA Releases NatGas Use Guide – Americans continue to save money and improve their environmental footprint by using natural gas, according to the 2015 American Gas Association (AGA) Playbook. The freshly updated guide for natural gas information shows that natural gas customers saved an average of $693 per year from 2012-2013 while reducing their carbon dioxide emissions by half a million metric tons. In addition, emissions from distribution pipelines dropped an additional six percent in 2014 as utilities continued to upgrade and modernize infrastructure to enhance safety.

 

New PA Gov Proposes NatGas Tax – Gov. Tom Wolf proposed a five-percent severance tax on natural gas drilling activity in Pennsylvania. The natural gas industry already pays significant taxes in Pennsylvania and natural gas operators pay the same taxes that every other business in Pennsylvania pays, which has helped generate more than $2.1 billion through 2013.  Pennsylvania is the only state that imposes a special impact tax that will have generated nearly $830 million by April of this year, directly benefitting all 67 counties throughout the Commonwealth.  Pennsylvanians have realized more than $700 million in royalties from energy-development on public lands. By any measure, these are significant revenues that are boosting local communities, as well as important environmental programs.  More importantly, revenue estimates fail to account for the more than 200,000 hard-working Pennsylvanians who are employed by or support this industry and generate substantial revenue for the Commonwealth by paying their taxes.  Marcellus Shale Coalition president David Spigelmyer said while they will evaluate the policy details outlined by Wolf, “it’s clear that new energy taxes will discourage capital investment into the commonwealth and make Pennsylvania less competitive. Make no mistake, adding a five percent tax to any business sector – including the energy industry – is going to reduce capital spending and hit the supply chain, especially Pennsylvania-based small and mid-sized businesses, as well as our region’s labor and building trades.”

 

Global Divestment Day Passes…And No One Noticed – It’s kind of a steady stream of bad news for the global divestment movement, an effort by activists aiming to get Universities & Colleges to divest their endowments from fossil fuels.  The problem is, four plus years into the effort and none are doing it.  Even some of the most vaunted liberal institution like Harvard, Yale, Middlebury College and Brown have rejected pleas to divest.  A recent article by Val Richardson highlighted the woes out at the University of Colorado this weekend, where a Global Divestment Day rally was held and only a handful of people showed.

 

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

 

FCC Chair, Moniz, McCarthy to Address NARUC Winter Meetings – The 2015 NARUC Winter Committee Meetings launched yesterday and will run through Wednesday at the Renaissance Washington Hotel.  The Winter Meetings is the first substantive utility-regulatory conference of the year. Discussions will focus on the new Congress’ outlook for energy and telecommunications priorities.  DOE Secretary Ernie Moniz, EPA’s Gina McCarthy and FCC Chair Tom Wheeler will be among the keynote speakers.

 

NRC Commissioner to Address Nuclear Forum – Platts holds its 11th annual Nuclear Energy Conference at the Mandarin Oriental today and tomorrow.  NRC’s Stephen Burns will speak, as well as our friends Craig Piercy and Senate Energy Committee staffer Pat McCormick among many others.

 

Ameren CEO, EPA’s McCabe , DOE to Address Utility Conference – EUEC 2015 is the 18th annual energy, utility and environment conference will be held at the San Diego Convention Center on today and tomorrow.  EPA’s Janet McCabe, will be the keynote speaker at EUEC 2015, which offers a ten track technical program with over 400 expert speakers from utility, government and academia, presenting current issues and updates on air policy and regulations, mercury and multi-pollutant control, air pollution monitoring, energy policy, control technologies. EPA climate change regulations, renewable energy, operations and management, carbon capture and storage, water and EPA 316(b) rules, and alternate fuel technologies. EUEC is the longest running and largest event of its kind in the U.S.  Other speakers will include DOE’s Julio Freedman and Ameren CEO Warner Baxter.  EUEC will be jointly held with the Clean Car Expo, which will bring together the world’s leading alternative fuel vehicle (AFV) manufacturers, infrastructure developers, fuel providers, and consultants to discuss the latest developments in electric vehicles (EVs), compressed natural gas vehicles (CNG), hydrogen vehicles (H2), natural gas vehicles (NGV), biofuel, ethanol, propane, hybrid and fleet vehicles. Over 3,000 delegates including 400 fleet operators are expected to the joint conference and expo.

 

Smart Grid Forum Set – The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Power & Energy Society holds the 6th Conference on Innovative Smart Grid Technologies today and tomorrow at the Washington Grand Hyatt in Washington, DC. The Conference will be a forum for participants to discuss state-of-the-art innovations in smart grid technologies and will feature plenary and panel sessions as well as technical paper presentations and poster sessions. Tutorials by international experts on smart grid applications will also be available. The overall theme for 2015 is “Smart Grid – Present and Future”, focusing on the future migration path for the smart grid as new and emerging technologies converge with power system developments to create smart energy systems.  DOE’s Pat Hoffman is the keynote speaker.

 

George P. Bush to Address TX, Mexico Forums – The Border Energy Forum is hosting two forums where new Texas Land Commissioner George P. Bush will present a keynote address addresses.  The first is the Mexico Shale Summit in San Antonio today and tomorrow.  The event is highly focused Mexico Energy industry event bringing the relevant players together to discuss the opportunities associated with entering the Mexican energy market.  Then the following week in Austin, Bush will keynote the Texas Mexico Business Forum, which provides insight into business opportunities in four sectors important to the wealth of Texas and Mexico: Technology, Energy, Automobile, Higher education and Healthcare.

 

SNL to Host Forum – SNL Energy is hosting the 28th Annual Power and Gas M&A Symposium on Wednesday and Thursday at the Ritz-Carlton Battery Park in New York.  The Power and Gas M&A Symposium attracts senior executives and advisers from across the industry in an interactive conference that connects people, provides insights and fosters new opportunities like no other forum.  Former NYC Mayor Rudy Giuliani and Ameren CEO Baxter Warner will address the forum.

 

Forum to Focus on DOE Labs – On Wednesday at Noon, the Technology Transfer Society will host a forum on reforming the DOE National Labs at the Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities.  DOE’s 17 national labs stand as potentially pivotal institutions in many of the nation’s metropolitan economies and for overall national growth, innovation, and competitiveness. As centers of basic and applied technology research and development (R&D), the labs are well-positioned to serve as unique focal points for technology exchange among regional firms, universities, and economic development intermediaries. However, the labs have not made technology transfer, commercialization, or metropolitan cluster development a top priority. As a result, they have struggled to properly connect to the broader U.S. innovation ecosystem and deliver on their responsibility to contribute to regional and national economic growth.  There is a growing recognition among policymakers that it’s past time for lab reform, opening a window of opportunity to reshape the role of the labs as engines of national and regional economic growth. Congress has taken up bipartisan legislation to enhance lab flexibility when engaging with the private sector. Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz has made lab reform a priority. And a Congressionally-mandated commission is assessing potential areas of reform, including technology transfer, lab management, private sector engagement, and budget consolidation. This presentation, featuring information technology expert Matt Stepp, will discuss some (but not all) potential issues at the national labs and give an overview of ongoing policy discussions.  Stepp is Executive Director of The Information Technology & Innovation Foundation’s Center for Clean Energy Innovation (CCEI), where he researches, analyzes and comments on a number of issues related to climate and energy policy.

 

FERC GHG Technical Conference to Focus on EPA Rule – The FERC holds its GHG technical Conference on Thursday in Washington. There will be four conferences: one “National Overview” conference led by the Commission at FERC headquarters on Thursday followed by three staff-led regional conferences in Washington, D.C., St. Louis, and Denver.  According to FERC’s website, participants at the National Overview technical conference will discuss whether state utility and environmental regulators, regulated entities and others have the appropriate tools to identify reliability and/or market issues that may arise.  They will also look at potential strategies for complying with the EPA regulations and coordinating with FERC-jurisdictional wholesale and interstate markets.  The full announcement, including a quote by FERC Chairman Cheryl LaFleur, is available here.  The full text of the notice in the Federal Register, including instructions on how to register for the conferences, is available here.  Commissioner Tony Clark released his own statement, available here.

 

ICF Breakfast to Look at Climate – On Thursday morning at the National Press Club, ICF International will hold its energy breakfast featuring energy experts from the World Bank. Discussion topics will include hot-button greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions issues and key questions.  Speakers will include World Bank’s Charles Feinstein and former State Department negotiator Jonathan Pershing.

 

New Website Looks at Governing Uranium – CSIS and the Danish Institute for International Studies (DIIS) will host the launch of the new, interactive Governing Uranium website at 9:00 a.m. Thursday.  Based on the results of the Governing Uranium research project, the website allows users to explore the front-end of the nuclear fuel cycle and ‘follow the uranium trail’ from mining to conversion.  It offers information, maps and analysis on the regulatory structures and industry best practices that govern uranium production and trade across fifteen uranium producing and consuming states.

 

Forum to Explore Perspectives on Energy, Water & Agriculture – On Thursday at 12:15 p.m., the International Food Policy Research Institute will hold a forum on how clean energy technology can be used to intensify agricultural production.  Former Governor Bill Ritter, Jr. will speak from his experience working both domestically and internationally with legislators, regulators, planners, and policymakers to make clean energy a reality and focus on the major issues and opportunities both in the U.S. and in developing countries. A panel of experts will join Governor Ritter to explore the nexus between clean energy, water and agriculture, and share their thoughts on ways to ramp up partnerships–working across sectors–and apply cutting edge technologies to tackle some of our greatest development challenges.

 

Forum Look at Mediterranean Energy – On Thursday at 2:00 p.m., the Brookings Institution’s Energy Security and Climate Initiative and the Center for Middle East Policy at Brookings will launch three papers dealing with the Eastern Mediterranean gas energy discoveries. The first looks at the potential development of the Palestinian Gaza Marine gas field and its importance to the Palestinian economy. The second discusses the evolution of Israel’s energy policy since large discoveries were made in Israeli waters, and the effect of this process on regional cooperation. The third publication, an edited volume published by the PRIO Cyprus Centre, explores the hydrocarbon findings offshore Cyprus and their effects Cypriot relations with its neighbors.  The panelists, who authored the papers, will discuss the natural gas findings in the Eastern Mediterranean and the potential of these discoveries to enable regional energy cooperation. After the program, the panelists will take audience questions.

 

ASE to Offer Primer on Energy Efficiency – The Alliance to Save Energy will host a Capitol Hill Briefing on Thursday at 3:00 p.m. focusing on the building blocks of energy efficiency policy.  A full load of speakers will be announced on topics like EnergySTAR, building codes, Weatherization, Appliance Standards and much more.

 

Energy & Sustainability Extravaganza Set for New GWU Science Hall – On Friday afternoon, the National Capital Chapter of the Association of Energy Engineer’s will co-host the Energy & Sustainability Extravaganza at George Washington University/s new Science and Engineering Hall.  Other co-hosts include the GW School of Engineering and Applied Science’s Office of Graduate Admissions, the Alexandria Emerging Technology Center, and DC Green Drinks.

 

FUTURE EVENTS

 

Climate Conference Set – The Climate Leadership Conference 2015 will be held next Monday through Wednesday, February 23-25th at Ritz-Carlton Pentagon City.  The Climate Leadership Conference is an annual exchange for addressing global climate change through policy, innovation, and business solutions. Forward-thinking leaders from business, government, academia, and the non-profit community convene to explore market transformation, share energy and climate related solutions, and provide support for those addressing climate change in their operations.  Speakers include Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus, former U.S. Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin, EPA Acting Deputy Administrator Stan Meiburg, and National Academy of Sciences President Ralph Cicerone.

 

Forum to Look at NatGas Global Markets – The Johns Hopkins University will hold a forum in its Rome Auditorium on Monday, February 23rd at 4:00 p.m. featuring SAIS alumnus Nikos Tsafos and a senior commentator to look at global markets for natural gas.

 

Forum to Oil, Latin America – Next Tuesday, February 24th at 8:30 a.m., Georgetown University’s McCourt School of Public Policy will host presentations from two distinguished IADB experts focused on oil markets and Latin America.  Dr. Ramon Espinasa and Dr. Osmel Manzano. Will offer an oil market overview and impact on consumers and producers in the region.

 

Heller to Headline Geothermal Event – The Geothermal Energy Association’s State of the Geothermal Energy Industry Briefing will be held on Tuesday, February 24th at the Hyatt Regency Capitol Hill. The program will provide an update on the US and international geothermal industry featuring release of the 2015 Annual Geothermal Industry Update and presentations and panel discussions by key leaders in US and international development, finance, technology, policy and regulatory issues.  Nevada Sen Dean Heller will lead a list of speakers.

 

Jewell Heads to Senate Energy – The Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources will convene a hearing on Tuesday February 24th to examine the President’s proposed budget request for fiscal year 2016 for the Department of the Interior.  Interior Secretary Sally Jewell will testify.

 

Kenderline to Address NatGas Roundtable – Next Tuesday, at Noon, the Natural Gas Roundtable will host Melanie A. Kenderdine, Director of the Office of Energy Policy and Systems Analysis of the Department of Energy will be the guest speaker at the next luncheon.

 

RFF to Look at Climate Engineering – Resources for the Future will hold a forum next Tuesday, February 24th at 12:45 p.m. to look at climate engineering.   On February 10, the US National Academy of Sciences (NAS) released two major reports on climate engineering (also known as geoengineering), to help inform the ethical, legal, and political discussions on climate “intervention.” At this seminar, a panel of experts will first review the reports’ major findings and then consider their political and economic implications.  The release of the reports comes at a critical moment. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s recent Fifth Assessment Report suggests that the window for addressing global warming is fast closing. This year, the international community is working toward a post-Kyoto agreement on greenhouse gas emissions reductions. The United States has already announced new bilateral cooperation with China and India on renewable energy development and climate action. Climate engineering has long hovered on the fringes of these conversations. Panelists will include NRDC’s David Goldston, former House Science Committee Chair Bart Gordon, EDF’s Steve Hamburg,  and NOAA’s Admiral David Titley.

 

Ambassador, Louisa Rep to Focus on Japan, US Energy  Issues – The National Bureau of Asian Research (NBR) is hosting a forum on adapting to a new energy strategy for U.S., Japanese, and Asian energy security.” This event will be held on Tuesday, February 24th at 2:00 p.m. in 2322 Rayburn.  The event will detail the findings of NBR’s two-year program on “Adapting to a New Energy Era” and will feature panel discussions with senior experts on energy security, including Minister Yasushi Akahoshi from Embassy of Japan in the United States and Rep. Charles Boustany.

 

CSIS Paper to Look at Trade Issues – On Wednesday morning, February 25th the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) will release a new paper, Opportunities in Strengthening Trade Assistance, the final report of the CSIS Bipartisan Task Force on Trade Capacity Building. The task force, co-chaired by Reps. Charles Boustany and Jared Polis, met in 2014 to determine how the U.S. government can best implement TCB programs that build physical, human, and institutional capacities across the developing world and allow countries to benefit from trade and investment opportunities.  CSIS’s new paper highlights the critical role that TCB can and should play in an evolving U.S. development agenda. The report distills lessons from past TCB efforts and builds a practical.

 

RFF to Discuss AB 32 Legislation – Resources for the Future will hold a forum on Wednesday, February 25th assessing progress under California’s AB 32 Cap-and-Trade Program.  At this RFF seminar, experts from the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) will examine the market, emissions, and economic data behind California’s successful climate agenda as detailed in their recent report: Carbon Market California: A Comprehensive Analysis of the Golden State’s Cap-and-Trade Program, Year Two. Presenters from RFF, EDF, and California’s largest utility, Pacific Gas and Electric, will discuss the current and future direction of the state’s climate policy, including the status of accomplishments such as putting a carbon price on transportation pollution and establishing a climate dividend for ratepayers.  Speakers will include EDF’s Tim O’Connor and Derek Walker, as well as PG&E’s Ray Williams and Melissa Lavinson.

 

Forum to Look at EERE Budget – On Wednesday, February 25th at 2:00 p.m. in 210 Cannon, the Environmental and Energy Study Institute — in partnership with the House Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Caucus – will host a briefing on the energy efficiency and renewable energy implications of the fiscal year (FY) 2016 budget proposal released by President Obama on February 2. The Administration’s overall $4 trillion budget proposal provides a renewed focus on addressing climate change, and would invest $7.4 billion in clean energy technology programs across all agencies, led by the Department of Energy, the Department of Defense, the National Science Foundation, and the Department of Agriculture. This briefing will focus on the DOE’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), whose budget would increase 42 percent over 2015 enacted levels, to $2.7 billion.  Speakers from the Department of Energy and the Congressional Research Service (CRS) will give an overview of the EERE budget requests, explain the Office’s budget priorities, and provide context on how these priorities and trends compare to prior years.

 

Forum to Address Mexico Energy Reform – The Atlantic Council will hold a forum on Thursday, February 26th at 9:00 a.m. on Mexico’s energy reform and its exciting promise and challenges. The event will feature a conversation with Juan Carlos Zepeda, the head of Mexico’s National Hydrocarbons Commission (CNH), Mexico’s upstream oil and gas regulatory agency charged with playing a key role establishing and overseeing the rules of the road governing Mexico’s reform process.   He will chart the progress CNH has made to date implementing the reforms, offer a real-time update on the energy reform regulatory infrastructure, and explain the efforts CNH has undertaken to ensure the regulations provide for energy sector transparency. The Atlantic Council’s David Goldwyn will also provide commentary.

 

Bracewell Experts to Lead Platts LNG Conference – Platts will hold its 14th Annual Liquefied Natural Gas Conference on February 26-27th in Houston, Texas.   The event will feature a number of key LNG players including Philip Olivier of GDF Suez, Bill Allen of Dominion Cove Point and my Bracewell colleague Kevin Ewing and Kristin Gibbs, among several others.  Issues covered will include North American exports from Canadian and US East, West, and Gulf Coast facilities, with focus on regulatory questions, timelines and contracts; Global competition and export capacity in the Middle East, Africa, Southeast Asia, Australia, and Russia focused on growth outlook and competitive forces/differentiators.  They will also look at issues like regional demand and pricing.

 

Conover, Louda to Talk CHP at Webinar – On Thursday at Noon, the Combined Heat and Power Assn and Grayling will hold a joint webinar looking at state energy efficiency programs and how many of them impact combined heat and power.  The webinar will feature speakers from CHP Association, Grayling, and experts in state energy efficiency policies.  Speakers will include Our friends Dale Louda of the CHP Association and former DOE official Dave Conover.

 

Green Tie Event Set – The 14th Annual Green Tie Affair will be held on Thursday evening, February 26th at the  Capitol Riverfront District  The USGBC National Capital Region (USGBC-NCR), the Washington Chapter of the American Institute of Architects (AIA|DC), and the Association of Energy Engineers (AEE) host one of the premier social events for the clean energy industry. In addition to the usual activities, this special edition of the event will serve as a kickoff for what promises to be a landmark year for sustainable building in our region, as DC prepares to host 30,000 guests for the Greenbuild International Conference and Expo in November.

 

Forum Focused on Geopolitics of Energy – On Friday, February 27th,  Carnegie Endowment for International Peace will host a forum on the geopolitical implications of rapid change in energy markets.  The AICGS Foreign & Domestic Policy Program  will hold a for a conference focused on a German and American perspective of global energy markets.  Experts from both countries will discuss their work on topics such as the future of fuels and cities, instability and the resource nexus, and energy and statecraft.

 

CP CEO to Address US Chamber Energy Forum – The Institute for 21st Century Energy and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation will host their CEO Leadership Series luncheon featuring on Tuesday, March 3rd art Noon featuring Ryan Lance, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of ConocoPhillips.  Lance will address the current state of the oil industry and challenges it is facing with lower oil prices.

 

Interior Official to Address Policy Issues at UColorado—The University of Colorado Law School will host Deputy Secretary of Interior Mike Connor for a policy speech on March 10th.

 

Aviation Forum to Feature Blakey – The U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation is hosting its 14th Annual Aviation Summit on Tuesday, March 17th at the Renaissance Hotel to bring together top experts and leaders from all sectors of aviation to discuss critical issues facing the industry. The 2015 Summit will focus on the future of space and aviation in the global economy.  Confirmed Speakers include Chamber CEO Tom Donohue, Spirit Airlines CEO Ben Baldanza, Former Continental Airlines CEO Gordon Bethune, former FAA/NTSB/NHTSA head and current CEO of  Aerospace Industries Association (AIA) Marion Blakey, and many others.

 

AHRI to Host Annual DC Meeting – The Heating and Air Conditioning trade association AHRI will hold its annual Washington Conference on March 24-25th.  More on this as it comes into shape.