Energy Update: Week of July 27

Friends,

 

Today, we start by honoring one of my favorite icons on his 75th birthday.  Of course, he hasn’t aged a day over the years.  He is a sophisticated world traveler, played baseball, fought in wars, flown airplanes, worked construction, was in the Oil Business, hunted, Square Danced,  led operas/symphonies, fought bulls, cross-dressed and even went to space and back.  And of course, he was always directionally challenged (usually missing that turn at Albuquerque.)   Happy Birthday Bugs Bunny.

 

This week, the Quicken Loans National hosted by Tiger Woods starts Thursday at Robert Trent Jones Golf Club in Gainesville, Va. It is always one of the PGA tour’s biggest shows of support for our national military men and women, so it is always fun to be there.  Next year, it returns to Congressional CC.  Finally, I hope you were able to see the 19 and 20th stages of the Tour d’ France, which featured an amazing battle up Alpe d’Huez.  Britain’s Chris Froome held off Columbian climber Nairo Quintana to win by just over a minute over the 21 stages.

 

Before launching into this week’s schedule, there are two important studies out this morning that are featured in our “In the News” section.  The NRECA has a new study out today that details a devastating relationship between higher electricity prices and job losses, which will be impacted by the new Clean Power Plan.  Secondly, there is new report out today that says crude exports would raise gasoline, diesel and home heating prices, cutting into the vast benefits Americans are enjoying from lower crude oil prices.  Finally, we are happy to discuss today’s “business” meeting at the White House that included discussions of 13 companies pledging to combat warming.

 

In Washington policy circles, today is the deadline for comments on the RFS.  There are several important pieces below in the Special RFS Comment Section including comments on the RFS from former White House energy advisor Ron Minsk.  We can also help with comments from Valero, Tesoro, EWG and more analysis from long-time Bracewell fuels expert Scott Segal.

 

Tomorrow, the Senate Energy Committee marks up bipartisan energy legislation.  Also tomorrow, Secretaries Kerry, Moniz and Lew head to the House Foreign Affairs Committee for another round on Iran and Senate Banking tackles on crude exports.   On the House side tomorrow afternoon, the Whitfield House Energy panel is hosting a roundtable discussion on the potential impacts of EPA’s proposed ozone rule on manufacturing and jobs.

 

On Friday at Clemson U. in SC, SAFE, the InterTech Group, Clemson University and CNBC will announce the winners of the 2015 Energy Security Prize, celebrating companies whose innovations are poised to advance American energy security by helping to end the United States’ dependence on oil.  Final voting ends TODAY so get your votes in: http://www.cnbc.com/safe/

 

For those you still with car seats, tomorrow from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., the Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association in conjunction with Capitol Hill Police and Prince William County Fire & Rescue are hosting a child car seat check to ensure that children’s car seat are properly installed, increasing safety in event of a crash.  The check will be in the Senate Parking Lot directly across from Capitol Hill Police Headquarters at 119 D Street, NE.

 

Finally, next Monday, I will be hosting a National Press Club Newsmakers news conference that will discuss the Iran Nuclear Deal and its impact on regional security, nuclear weapons verification challenges and its impact inside Iran.  My panel will feature widely-respected nuclear inspector Dr. Olli Heinonen of Harvard’s Belfer Center, who served as deputy director of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA); USS Cole Commander Kirk Lippold, who was attacked by terrorists in Yemen in 2000; and Alireza Jafarzadeh, Deputy Director of the U.S. office of the National Council of Resistance of Iran, who first exposed the major nuclear sites of Iran.  It will be a great event and I want a good turnout so please plan to come.

 

You know what to do…

 

Best,

 

Frank Maisano

(202) 828-5864

(202) 997-5932

 

 

THE BIG NEWS: RFS DEADLINE

 

RFS Deadline Hits Today – The comment period closes at midnight tonight on EPA’s proposed Renewable Fuel Standard volumes for 2014 through 2016 (plus biodiesel for 2017). According to our friends at POLITICO tracking the comments, EPA has so far received at least 47,565 comments.

 

The Rulemaking – The rulemaking sets proposed 2014, 2015 and 2016 renewable volume requirements (RVOs) under the RFS along with a proposed 2017 RVO for biomass-based diesel. The proposal aims to set the 2014 RVO at the actual amount biofuel consumed last year. The 2015 RVOs would set a cellulosic requirement of 106 million gallons, a biomass-based diesel requirement of 1.7 billion gallons, an advanced biofuel requirement of 2.9 billion gallons and a requirement for total renewable fuel of 16.3 billion gallons. For 2016, the proposed rule aims to set the cellulosic biofuel RVO at 206 million gallons, with the biomass-based diesel RVO set at 1.8 billion gallons, the advanced biofuel RVO set at 3.4 billion gallons, and the total renewable fuel RVO at 17.40 billion gallons. In addition, the proposed rule aims to set the 2017 RVO for biomass-based diesel at 1.9 billion gallons.

 

The Original Proposal – The EPA released a prepublication version of the rulemaking on May 29. On June 10, the agency published the proposed rule in the Federal Register, officially opening the public comment period.

 

Former White House Official Hit RFS – Former White House Energy official Ron Minsk dropped a letter in the docket as well.  Minsk is the former senior energy advisor at the National Economic Council (NEC) in the Obama Administration, having left government service in April.  He served in a similar capacity in the Clinton Administration.  Basically, the letter says that the purpose of the RFS is to move alternative fuel into the market BUT that volatility in the renewable identification numbers (RINs) market does not serve that purpose and does not increase the penetration of other blends like E-85.  Minsk recommends that EPA change the point of obligation for RINs in order to get the incentives right.    Can send you comments if You need them

 

Biofuels Group to Deliver Comments – Don’t hold your breath for that comments number to stay around 50K.  Biofuels advocates Fuels America plan to take a page out the enviro playbook and hand deliver more than 200,000 comments to EPA this morning.

 

Press Calls – Both API and American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers will hold a press call to discuss their comments and to announce a new RFS social media campaign.

 

Enviros Weigh in – Our friends at EWG are also raising concerns.  Recently, EWG said “There are few things worse for the environment than gasoline, but corn ethanol is one of them. The administration’s decision to blend more corn ethanol into gasoline will mean more greenhouse gas emissions at a time when we drastically need to curb them to slow climate change.  Congress should act now to reform the Renewable Fuel Standard to help drive the development of truly sustainable biofuels.”  EWG’s Scott Faber (202-939-9127) is another excellent resource on this.

 

 

IN THE NEWS

 

NRECA  Study Highlights Impact of Increased Electricity Prices – The National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA) released a new economic study detailing a devastating relationship between higher electricity prices and job losses. The study measures the impact of a 10% and 25% electricity price increase on jobs and gross domestic product (GDP) from 2020 to 2040.  According to the study, a 10% increase in electricity prices results in 1.2 million jobs lost in 2021. Nearly 500,000 of those lost jobs are in rural areas of the country.  The impact of a 25% increase would be more damaging with 2.2 million jobs lost in 2021, with more than 890,000 of those occurring in rural areas. In terms of national GDP from 2020 to 2040, a 10% increase results in a cumulative loss of $2.8 trillion and a 25 percent increase results in a cumulative $5.4 trillion loss.  The impact of higher costs on the electric bills of those who can least afford it will be devastating. On average, 23% of co-op households nationwide earn an annual income of less than $25,000. The average income for households served by electric cooperatives is 11.5% less than the national average.  Previous NRECA research projected that electricity bills would increase by an average of 10 percent as a result of the EPA’s proposed Clean Power Plan.

 

Report: Exports Would Increase Gas Prices – A new report by Alan Stevens of Stancil & Co. for the Crude Coalition says exporting U.S. crude oil would raise gasoline, diesel and home heating prices.  According to the report, Americans currently benefit from lower fuel prices because long-standing export restrictions help provide the lowest free-market base price for gasoline of any nation.  The analysis also finds that exports would hurt the domestic refining sector and America’s balance of trade, and have negative implications for U.S. national security.  The study finds that lifting crude export restrictions would 1) increase domestic crude prices by $3.00 per barrel, impacting all consumers; 2) Raise domestic gasoline, jet fuel, diesel, and heating oil prices; 3) negatively impact the U.S. balance of trade, increase foreign crude oil imports and foreign refined products, while reducing exports of refined products; and 4) Reduce domestic refinery utilization and/or possible cause refinery shutdowns, which would induce layoffs at affected refineries and their service providers, which in turn would affect the wider economy.

 

eCORP Rolls Out “Baby Oil” Fracking Technology – eCORP Technologies has announced plans to deliver a shale gas extraction technology which uses naturally occurring components in conventional and shale hydrocarbon production – a selection of low molecular weight alkanes or light alkanes  usually referred to as “baby oil” in non-scientific terms. These alkanes are non-flammable and completely safe: they are approved by FDA for human ingestion and exposure. They also have no adverse impacts on the environment: they are non-ozone depleting and have zero global warming potential.    Patents are pending worldwide and ecorpStim is conducting further testing and experimentation of this technology in the United States in several basins this year.  Light Alkanes Stimulation (LAS) provides a greater flexibility (broad range of viscosity / density) which enables this new technology to be used in varied shale formations and operating conditions.  With Light Alkanes Stimulation (LAS), pure propane stimulation (PPS) and non-flammable propane stimulation (NFP), ecorpStim is now able to provide a full range of “green” stimulation systems using not a single drop of water and zero chemical additives, and which includes two non-flammable options.

 

Bishop: Feds Undermining Drilling Innovations – In a Houston Chronicle column last week, House Resources Chair Rob Bishop said the Federal government is undermining America’s innovators with regard to drilling technology.  Bishop’s focus is especially relevant in light of low production numbers on federal lands and the extension of the stay of the federal hydraulic fracturing rule until the fall. Since the beginning of the U.S. shale revolution, Bishop says the campaign of unfounded allegations from drilling opponents has been relentless.  He adds, the Obama Administration ignores its own study by moving forward on new regulations that threaten to undo the progress that hydraulic fracturing has made.  Bishop adds the multitude of regulations are a “threat to American entrepreneurs, their innovation and future energy potential. Hydraulic fracturing, directional drilling and the range of other new technologies are highly sophisticated inventions that are the envy of the world, but these policies undermine these technologies, ban producers from developing the offshore and drive them away from developing America’s resource-rich federal lands. The loss of production leads to lost revenue for the Treasury, weakens our economy and diminishes our newfound energy leadership on the world stage.”

 

PTC, Extenders Pass Senate Panel – The Senate Finance Committee passed expired energy tax credits and advanced a package of tax extenders last week.   The Joint Committee on Taxation estimates extending the roughly 54 tax provisions will result in a revenue loss of $95 billion over ten years.  The mark passed, with two amendments being adopted, by a vote of 23-3. There were roughly 31 provisions for business, 13 for energy, and the remainder were primarily for individuals. One of the two amendments that were adopted was the Biodiesel Tax Incentive Reform Act, which essentially  shifts the beneficiary of the credit from the blender of biodiesel to the producer.  The other amendment gives relief to homeowners whose mortgage has been discharged by clarifying that so long as an arrangement entered into and in writing before 2017 will qualify for the benefit.  An interesting side note to this markup is that the 2013 expired tax credit for electric motorcycles was revived even though it was not extended in 2014.  Also, one of the House passed highway bill payfors – the mortgage reporting – was included as a payfor for the amendments that were adopted. This might lead to some accounting gimmickry.   As the highway bill is taking much of the time left on the Senate calendar, it appears the Senate will turn to extenders after the August recess. Some of the delay may be due to figuring out how the House will address extenders.  The House has passed a small number of certain tax extenders on a piecemeal basis and has made them permanent.  My colleague Curt Beaulieu, a former Senate Finance staffer himself, can speak to any issues that you may have On the subject.  You can reach him at 202-828-5806.

 

MS Rejects EPA Rule – Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant joined a growing list of Governors who are exercising their right to reject the EPA’s carbon regulations, which would cripple America’s existing fleet of coal-fired power plants. In a letter to EPA Administrator McCarthy, Governor Bryant cited cost increases for his citizens and threats to grid reliability among his chief concerns with the sweeping regulation. The governor stated, “we do not see how it will be possible to reasonably develop a State Implementation Plan, given the burdensome requirements of EPA’s proposal in its current form.”

 

 

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

Forum to Look at Nuclear Future – The Women’s Council on Energy and the Environment and Nuclear Matters is holding a forum tonight on the future of the U.S. nuclear industry featuring former Indiana Sen. Evan Bayh.  It faces significant uncertainty today – a perfect storm of economic and policy challenges brought on by the unintended consequences of market structure, government policies, and public perception. These factors challenge the potential of this reliable source of carbon-free energy and our Nation’s goal of energy security.  Bayh will explore these issues, discuss some of the approaches being undertaken in different states, and explain the important role that education and public engagement can play in shaping the future of the industry.

 

Wilson Center to Look at Arctic – The Wilson Center will hold a forum tomorrow exploring how human and economic capital can be developed in Arctic regions and how communities work with various levels of government, particularly when decisions made by sub-federal entities must rely on far-away federal capitals with varying degrees of knowledge of the Far North.  This event co-sponsored by the Wilson Center’s Polar Initiative, Environmental Change and Security Program, and Canada Institute and will feature speakers Anthony Speca of Polar Aspect (Nunavut), Alaska Governor Bill Walker advisor Craig Fleener, Anita Parlow of the Harvard-MIT Arctic Fisheries Project and David Biette of the Polar Initiative and Canada Institute.

 

Wilson Look at Latin America, Climate – Also tomorrow , Wilson will hold a forum on climate change adaptation and population dynamics in Latin America and the Caribbean.  The Latin America and Caribbean region is particularly vulnerable to some of the most challenging aspects of climate change—sea-level rise affecting coastal cities, changes in precipitation impacting agriculture, glacial melting threatening water reserves. Population trends—like migration and urbanization—can exacerbate these challenges or, in some cases, serve as methods of adaptation. Building resilience to climate change through adaptation efforts and women’s empowerment are key strategies for enabling continued development across the region in climate-uncertain times.  The Wilson Center has worked closely with USAID Missions in Latin America and the Caribbean over the past two years to convene key stakeholders in the region and to explore promising tools in climate change adaptation through a series of seminars. On July 28, we bring to Washington top experts and policymakers from those seminars in Colombia, Barbados, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, and Peru, to further broaden the dialogue about climate adaptation and population dynamics in Latin America and the Caribbean; and to encourage the development of new policy and programmatic tools that help countries of the region meet the financial, organizational, and political challenges that climate change presents.

 

Cap Hill Police, JPMA to Hold Car Seat Check – Tomorrow from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., the Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association in conjunction with Capitol Hill Police and The Prince William County Fire and Rescue Department host a child Car seat check to ensure that children’s car seat are properly installed, increasing safety in event of a crash.  The check will be in the Senate Parking Lot Directly Across from Capitol Hill Police Headquarters at 119 D Street, NE.  Correctly used car seats can reduce the risk of death in the event of a car crash by as much as 71% but 73% of car seats are not installed or used correctly. JPMA and its member manufacturers in partnership with the U.S. Capitol Hill Police and The Prince William County Fire and Rescue Department will host a car seat check to work with parents and caregivers to ensure their child is riding in the right seat that it is installed correctly. In addition, the trained car seat technicians will inspect seats to ensure they are not recall or expired and supply parents with life-saving information when transporting children.

 

Senate Energy to Mark Up – The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee will hold a business meeting to markup broad, bipartisan energy legislation released last week by Chairman Murkowski and Ranking Member Cantwell.  The Energy Policy Modernization Act of 2015 is  They will also consider the nomination of Jonathan Elkind to be an Assistant Secretary of Energy.

 

Senate Banking Committee to Look at Lifting Crude Oil Export Ban – The Senate Committee on Banking will conduct a hearing tomorrow on lifting the crude oil export ban. The witness on Panel I will be Senate Energy Chair Lisa Murkowski.   The witnesses on Panel II will be Michèle Flournoy of the Center for a New American Security, WPX Energy’s Richard E. Muncrief, AEI’s Ben Zycher and United Steelworkers International President Leo Gerard.

 

NJ to Host Upton – The National Journal and Fawn Johnson, National Journal’s domestic policy reporter will host an in-depth conversation tomorrow at 11:15 a.m. with House Energy & Commerce Chair Fred Upton.  The discussion will focus on the energy and commerce priorities for the committee— including a conversation about the possibility of a bipartisan energy bill this year. That measure would address energy production, regulatory issues, workforce development, energy efficiency and environmentally sound infrastructure upgrades. Other topics of discussion will include next steps for Obamacare, and transparency at the Federal Communications Commission.

 

House Energy Panel to Host Discussion on Ozone Impacts – Tomorrow at 2:00 p.m., the Energy and Power Subcommittee is hosting a roundtable discussion on the potential impacts of EPA’s proposed ozone rule on U.S. manufacturing and jobs.  Participants include Deer Park TX Mayor Jerry Mouton, Jr., Sevier County TN Mayor Larry Waters, Chris Norch of Denison Industries, PMI Energy Solutions CEO George A. Williams, Gregory L. Johnson of the Sherwin-Williams Company and our friend Joe Stanko.

 

Forum to Look at Climate Issues Running Up to Paris – On Wednesday at the Newseum, the Center for American Progress is hosting a policy forum presented by The New Republic will explore climate change on an international stage, will be an opportunity to meet and engage with a cross-section of climate change thinkers and leaders from government, industry, academia, and the nonprofit sector.  Special guest speaker will be White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough.  Other participants include French Ambassador to the United States Gérard Araud, former Wall Street Journal reporter and Stanford Energy Center Scholar Jeffrey Ball,   Rachel Kyte World Bank Group, UN Assistant Secretary-General on Climate Change Janos Pasztor and many more

 

House Oversight to Hit EPA – The House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform will hold a hearing on Wednesday at 9:00 a.m. looking at EPA mismanagement issues.  Witnesses include EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy, EPA equal employment opportunity officer Ronald Harris, EPA Superfund’s chief of enforcement services division Carolyn Bohlen, EPA senior supervisor Ross Tuttle, EPA enforcement attorney Karen Kellen, who is president of the American Federation of Government Employees Council 238.

 

House Science To Host NRC Chair On Licensing Process – The House Science Committee’s Subcommittee on Energy will hold a hearing on Wednesday reviewing the Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s licensing process.  NRC Chair Stephen Burns will testify.

 

Resources Looks at ESA Implications of Climate Regs – The House Resources Committee will hold a hearing on Wednesday looking at how its regulations may affect endangered species.  While other Administration witnesses will attend, no one from U.S. EPA will be there to answer lawmakers’ questions as to whether they largely disregarded the Endangered Species Act.  Michael Bean, Department of the Interior principal deputy assistant secretary for fish and wildlife and parks, and Samuel Rauch, the National Marine Fisheries Service’s deputy assistant administrator for regulatory programs will testify.

 

Co-Ops to Highlight Renewables – EESI and NRECA will hold a briefing on Thursday at 10:00 a.m. featuring rural electric cooperatives which are taking significant action on energy efficiency and renewable energy. Member-owned, not-for-profit electric co-ops are typically smaller than investor-owned utilities, and they are less likely to have significant capital reserves or other resources to implement clean energy programs. But their small size and strong relationships with their member-consumers allow co-ops to be nimble and innovative, particularly with programs directly involving co-op members. As a result, many electric co-ops around the country have become successful clean energy laboratories.  The briefing will feature Great River Energy Gary Connett and Roanoke Electric CEO Curtis Wynn (G&T) co-ops discussing their clean energy innovations, including community solar programs, demand response initiatives, energy efficiency financing, and more.  Other speakers will include MN Sen. and Congressional Farmer Cooperative Caucus co-chair Amy Klobuchar, Kenneth Colburn of the New Hampshire Electric Coop and NRECA’s Martin Lowery.   Speakers will describe the impacts and challenges of each strategy, and why these strategies work for their members.   NRECA found that co-ops had 95 megawatts of solar capacity online in 34 states as of October 2014, with another 144 megawatts in development. EESI has identified at least 50 co-ops in 23 states offering residential on-bill financing programs, where members repay their co-op for energy project investments via their utility bills, often using the savings achieved by the project. While many older programs targeted heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) replacements, newer programs include broad energy efficiency and clean energy opportunities.

 

Forum to Look at Energy Abundance, Strengthening U.S. Leadership – The Atlantic Council will hold a forum on Thursday looking at US energy issues and its impact on global leadership.  The forum will feature Senator Lisa Murkowski, Chairman of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, and Senator Mark Warner as they launch the task force report: Empowering America: How Energy Abundance Can Strengthen US Global Leadership.  Over the past few months, with the Senators as the Co-Chairs, the Atlantic Council convened foreign policy, defense, and energy experts to assess the foreign policy considerations of the US energy boom. The task force details the nature of our energy abundance, the importance of deploying our prowess in energy innovation and technology to others, and the ways in which we can pursue our responsibilities as a global leader on energy and the environment, while leveraging our supply abundance at the same time. It unequivocally determines that America must embrace this new tool to advance our global leadership on trade and security.

 

House Science Panels Look at Power Supply Vulnerabilities – The House Science Committee’s panels on Oversight and Energy will hold a joint hearing on Thursday examining vulnerabilities of America’s power supply. Witnesses will include EPRI’s Richard Lordan, Nadya Bartol of the Utilities Telecom Council, University of Colorado-Boulder Space Sciences Chair Daniel Baker and Hamerschlag and Carnegie Mellon University Electrical Engineering Professor M. Granger Morgan.

 

Forum to Look at China, Investments in US Energy – On Thursday at 9:30 a.m., the Wilson Center will hold a forum on Chinese direct investments in the US energy sector.  Despite China’s slowing domestic economic growth, global foreign direct investment (FDI) by Chinese companies increased 14 percent in the first half of this year. Here in the United States, many of those investments are fueling new U.S. clean energy projects in solar, wind, battery storage, and other emerging clean-tech sectors. When channeled correctly these investments can be a boon for the U.S. energy economy.  Melanie Hart (Center for American Progress) will discuss how removing obstacles to inbound direct investment from China and other nations could play a critical role in helping to maintain and upgrade U.S. energy infrastructure, reduce carbon pollution, and lower energy costs. Damien Ma (Paulson Institute) will discuss recent case studies that examine the successes and failures of specific Chinese investments into the U.S., highlighting how states and municipal governments could devise better strategies to increase and benefit from Chinese FDI. Derek Scissors (American Enterprise Institute)—who created the China Global Investment Tracker—will discuss the broader investment trends of Chinese companies and examine the growing diversification of their energy investments.

Webinar on “Industrial Energy Efficiency, CPP – On Friday at Noon, efficiency advocates will host a webinar on how industrial energy efficiency can make manufacturers more competitive, enhance electric reliability, and reduce emissions.  It will look at NACAA’s Menu of Options, ACEEE’s State and Utility Pollution Reduction (SUPR) Calculator, compliance templates, and State 111 (d) Resource Hub and the CHP Pathway report produced for the American Gas Association, American Chemistry Council, and American Forest & Paper Association

 

Energy Prize to Be Announced – SAFE, The InterTech Group, Clemson University and CNBC will announce the winners of the 2015 Energy Security Prize on Friday , celebrating companies whose innovations are poised to advance American energy security by helping to end the United States’ dependence on oil.  The awards event will feature live broadcast pitches with each of the three Energy Security Prize finalists and CNBC’s Morgan Brennan on Power Lunch, with the announcement of the $125,000 grand prize winner made on-air toward the end of the program. Attendees will also hear from speakers and leaders in the fields of business, policy, and national security, including General T. Michael Moseley, former Chief of Staff of the U.S. Air Force, Anita Zucker, Chair and CEO of The InterTech Group, Larry Kellerman, Managing Partner of Twenty First Century Utilities, and senior executives from Proterra, GE, Michelin, Siemens and Versa, a Battelle company.  This year’s Prize is powered by Charleston’s very own The InterTech Group in memory of its Founder, Jerry Zucker.  Four semifinalists from across the country are in the running for the first-place prize of $125,000, the second-place prize of $35,000 and the third-place price of $15,000. These semifinalists include 1) FreeWire Technologies’ Mobi electric vehicle (EV) charger helps eliminate the “charge rage” facing areas with high EV adoption and insufficient charging capacity; 2) Momentum Dynamics high-power wireless charging system delivers energy to electric vehicles via induction ten times faster than plug-in chargers and can help accelerate consumer EV adoption; 3) Peloton Technology’s wireless communications system and cloud-based management links sensors and braking between pairs of trucks to provide dramatic aerodynamic fuel savings and increased safety and 4) SeaChange Group’s patented Eco-Hybrid fuel uses glycerol, a byproduct of biodiesel production, to reduce emissions in diesel engines and costs for maritime vessels and off-road equipment.

 

 

FUTURE EVENTS

 

Press Club Newsmaker to Host IAEA, Iran Insiders on Nuke Deal – The National Press Club Newsmakers will host a news conference next Monday that will discuss the Iran Nuclear Deal and its impact on regional security, nuclear weapons verification challenges and its impact inside Iran.  My panel will feature widely-respected nuclear inspector Dr. Olli Heinonen of Harvard’s Belfer Center, who served as deputy director of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA); Commander Kirk Lippold, Commander of the USS Cole which was attacked by terrorists in Yemen in 2000; and Alireza Jafarzadeh, Deputy Director of the U.S. office of the National Council of Resistance of Iran, who first exposed the major nuclear sites of Iran in Natanz and Arak in 2002, and is the author of The Iran Threat.  It will be a great event and I want a good turnout so please plan to come.

 

Senate Energy to Look at Nuclear Issues – On August 4th the Senate Energy Committee will hold a hearing to discuss the back-end of the nuclear fuel cycle and related legislation.

 

WCEE to Host Former EPA Fuels Expert – The Women’s Council on Energy and the Environment (WCEE) will hold a forum on Wednesday, August 5th at Noon combating climate change with cleaner, smarter cars that will feature Margo Oge, former Director of the Office of Transportation and Air Quality at EPA.  Oge served at EPA for 32 years, the last 18 of which she directed the Office of Transportation Air Quality and recently wrote a book: Driving the Future: Combating Climate Change with Cleaner, Smarter Cars, which envisions a future of clean, intelligent vehicles with lighter frames and alternative power trains, such as plug in electric and fuel cell vehicles that produce zero emissions and average 100+ mpg. Oge will also provide the ultimate insider’s account of the partnership between federal agencies, California and car manufacturers that led to President Obama’s historic 2012 deal targeting greenhouse gas emissions from passenger vehicles.

 

Wilson Forum to Look at Alberta Govt, Oil/Gas – On Thursday, August 6th at 12:00 p.m., the Woodrow Wilson Center will hold a forum on the future of oil and gas development in the Alberta. The New Democratic Party’s stunning election victory in Alberta this spring has added another wrinkle to the already tumultuous story of Alberta’s, and Canada’s, year in energy. This seismic change in Canada’s political landscape could signal drastic changes for energy production in Alberta and the upcoming federal election.  The Canada Institute holds their second Bring Your Own Lunch (BYOL) Policy Roundtable with David Docherty, PhD, President of Mount Royal College, to discuss the recent trends in Canadian and Alberta politics, their effect on energy producers, and look ahead to the election in the fall.

 

MD Climate Commission to Hold Public Hearing – The Maryland Climate Commission will meet on Thursday August 6th in Largo, MD to get public input on Maryland’s Climate Action Plan. This plan, required by Maryland’s 2009 Greenhouse Gas Reduction Act, contains over 150 programs and policies designed to slash statewide global warming pollution by 25% by 2020. The commission, made up of elected officials, advocates, and heads of state agencies, is charged with reporting on our state’s progress to date and making recommendations about next steps.  The hearing, one of five taking place across the state, is an opportunity to shape the Climate Commission’s final recommendations — which will go to the Governor and the General Assembly before the next legislative session.

 

Texas EnviroSuperconference Set – The 27th Annual Texas Environmental Superconference will be held on Thursday and Friday – August 6th and 7th  in Austin at the Four Seasons Hotel. This year’s theme is clichés and the conference is fittingly entitled “The Greatest Thing Since Sliced Bread”; each topic has an appropriate cliché assigned to it.   Speakers include, from the federal government, U.S. Department of Justice Assistant Attorney General John Cruden, EPA Deputy Administrator Stan Meiburg, EPA Principal Deputy Administrator Larry Starfield, and EPA Region 6 Regional Administrator Ron Curry, and, from the state, Bureau of Economic Geology Director Scott Tinker, Texas Commission on Environmental Quality Chairman Bryan Shaw and Commissioner Toby Baker, Texas Parks & Wildlife Executive Director Carter Smith, and the Governor’s Senior Legislative Advisor, Ashley Morgan, as well as other distinguished representatives from the public and private sectors, including Ross Ramsey from the Texas Tribune.  Bracewell’s Rich Alonso and Tim Wilkins will also be speaking.

 

CSIS Forum Looks at Russian Gas Exports – The CSIS Energy and National Security Program will host a program to discuss the future of Russian gas exports.  Speakers will include Isabel Gorst, Moscow-based Foreign Correspondent and CSIS expert Ed Chow.

 

August Recess – The House is expected to be Out this Wednesday, but the Senate is likely to remain in until August 6th. 

 

GenForum Set For Columbus – ICF International Natural Gas VP Leonard Crook will kick-off the one-day GenForum/POWER-GEN event August 18th on natural gas generation in Columbus, Ohio.  Crook will offer an overview of the recent rise of natural gas-fueled power generation over the years at the expense of coal-fired power plants.  GenForum is organized by PennWell’s GenerationHub. The event is scheduled at the Greater Columbus Convention Center. GenForum leads into PennWell’s POWER-GEN/Natural Gas conference, scheduled for Aug. 18-to-20 at the same convention center.

 

Giuliani to Address Shale Insight – The 2015 Shale Insight Conference will be held in Philadelphia on September 16th & 17th Over the past five years, the conference has built a reputation for strong programmatic content, including an impressive speaker roster of nearly 100 industry experts, political figures and concurrent technical and public affairs session panelists who share their expertise.  Attendees at the 2015 conference will hear from featured presenters, including: Hon. Rudolph W. Giuliani, Partner at Bracewell & Giuliani LLP and former mayor of New York City, as well as Robert Bryce, journalist, author and Senior Fellow at the Manhattan Institute.

 

DOE’s Solar Decathlon Set – The U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon—America’s premier collegiate competition that challenges students from around the world to design, build and operate highly energy-efficient, solar-powered houses—will open October 8 in Irvine, California.  Sixteen collegiate teams involving more than 2,000 students from 27 schools are deep into construction, assembling their innovative houses on or near their campuses. In less than three months, the students will transport and open those houses to the public in the Solar Decathlon village, where they’ll demonstrate just how affordable, attractive and comfortable these zero-energy homes—homes that are so efficient that a solar energy system can offset all or most of their energy consumption—have become.

 

Energy Update: Week of July 20

Friends,

 

The British Open seems to be the tournament that just didn’t want to end.  After a major delay, we were able to get an extra day of golf this morning with a delayed final round.  While Jordan Spieth came up 1-stroke short, Zach Johnson, Marc Leishman and Louis Oosthuizen headed for a 4-hole playoff that Johnson took to win his 2nd major.

 

Some sad news: There was this kid I grew up with; he was younger than me. Sorta looked up to me, you know…As much as anyone, I loved him and trusted him. Later on he had an idea to build a city out of a desert stop-over for GI’s on the way to the West Coast. That kid’s name was Moe Greene, and the city he invented was Las Vegas. This was a great man, a man of vision and guts. And there isn’t even a plaque, or a signpost or a statue of him in that town! Someone put a bullet through his eye. No one knows who gave the order. When I heard it, I wasn’t angry; I knew Moe, I knew he was head-strong, talking loud, saying stupid things. So when he turned up dead, I let it go. And I said to myself, this…is the business…we’ve chosen; I didn’t ask who gave the order, because it had nothing to do with business!  RIP Moe Greene (Alex Rocco).

 

After last week’s Iran Deal, this week is still about what happens when Congress starts the 60-day clock.  There will be an important briefing sponsored by Iranian-American groups  tomorrow at 11:30 a.m. in the Senate Kennedy Caucus room that will raise concerns from the Iranian people about the agreement. Senator Blunt will open up the panel that will feature former Sen. Joe Lieberman, former CIA director Jim Woolsley and many more.  A Persian Lunch will be served so please join us in the Russell Building.

 

On Wednesday, the National Press Club is hosting a morning news conference at 9:30 a.m. to mark the first anniversary of the imprisonment of Washington Post Tehran Bureau Chief, Jason Rezaian with Wash Post Exec Editor Martin Baron.  As well, House Financial Services looks into Iran Nuclear Deal and its Impact on terrorism financing.  On Thursday, Secretary Kerry, Secretary Muniz, and Secretary Jack Lew will defend the Iran nuclear deal before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.  And next week, the Senate Armed Services Committee is planning to take up the issue of Camp Liberty and the issues related to that in a hearing.  A lot going on with the Iran Nuclear Deal and we have excellent resources on the topic that can discuss politics, policy, implications, and Iran’s negotiating tactics.  If it’s not you, please let your colleagues covering know that we can help.

 

In non-Iran news in Congress, tomorrow, the House may take up a rule to bring the both the State GMO labeling ban and the McKinley Coal Ash legislation to the floor.  On Wednesday, House Resources takes up the Social Cost of Carbon and the hearing will feature my expert colleague Scott Segal.  Our friend Bridgette Bourge of NRECA testifies at Senate Homeland Security on energy infrastructure issues.  And another big House Science hearing with take pace Thursday when they look into the EPA’s RFS.

 

Speaking of GMO Labeling, later this week look for specific state opinion polling on requiring labels for foods that have been genetically modified or contain genetically modified ingredients. The Environmental Working Group and the Just Label It campaign will have data from a handful of key states.  The legislation mentioned above in the Rules Committee consideration not only restricts the FDA’s ability to develop a national GMO labeling system, but would also block states from establishing their own GMO labeling laws and regulating the production of GMO crops.

 

This is also that last week is for you to exercise your voting rights… for the SAFE Energy Prize, which will award a total of $175,000 to companies whose innovations are poised to advance American energy security by helping to end the United States’ dependence on oil.  Vote for your favorite technology at www.secureenergy.org. This morning, Cleantechnica ran a five part “op-ed” about the Prize and then 250-word pitches from the semifinalists. Please check it out.

 

Finally, Congrats to our friends Lauren Gardner and Matt Piotrowski.  Lauren is moving from CQ-Rollcall to POLITICO to cover transportation and Matt moved on from Energy Intelligence and just started at SAFE’s new site The Fuse.

 

Best,

 

Frank Maisano

(202) 828-5864

  1. (202) 997-5932

 

IN THE NEWS

 

Rural Coop Execs Meet With OMB – CEO’s and Generation and Transmission Managers representing electric cooperatives met with OMB on Friday to address concerns with the Administration’s soon-to-be-released Clean Power Plan.  They addressed the following issues the importance of preserving the remaining useful life of co-op power plants and avoiding stranding those assets, shortcomings in each of the 4 Building Blocks and the need to modify the interim goals, the importance of including a dynamic Reliability Safety Valve and ideas for how one would work and the impact of 111(d) on co-ops (i.e. prematurely forcing existing plants to retire) and the impact on co-op member consumers.  Member-owned co-ops are an integral part of America’s rural communities, providing power to approximately 42 million people in 47 states. There are nearly 850 distribution co-ops and 65 generation and transmission co-ops in the United States.  Electric cooperatives are private, independent, non-profit electric utilities that are owned by the customers they serve.  They were established to provide at-cost electric service, mostly to rural communities that are underserved.  Electric co-ops reach 12 percent of the nation’s population cover 75% Of the country’s land mass.  They also include 93% of the counties that are persistent poverty counties.  The Cooperative Executives attending today’s meeting included Seminole Electric (FL) CEO Lisa Johnson, Arizona G&T Cooperatives CEO Patrick Ledger, Hoosier Energy CEO Steve Smith, East Kentucky Power Cooperative CEO Tony Campbell and South Mississippi Electric Power Association CEO Jim Compton.

 

Keep Voting…for Energy Tech Prize – The voting continues for the SAFE 2015  Energy Security Prize, which will award a total of $175,000 to companies whose innovations are poised to advance American energy security by helping to end the United States’ dependence on oil. The winner of the 2015 Prize will receive $125,000, the first runner up $35,000 and the second runner up $15,000.  SAFE is imploring the public to cast their votes for one of four semifinalists–FreeWire Technologies, Momentum Dynamics, Peloton Technology, and SeaChange Group—to determine the winners. Vote for your favorite technology at www.secureenergy.org. This morning, Cleantechnica ran a five part “op-ed” about the Prize and then 250-word pitches from the semifinalists. Please check it out.

 

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

 

ACCF to Hold Climate Forum – The American Council for Capital Formation will hold a briefing tomorrow at 11:00 a.m. at the Cosmos Club on the impacts of limiting greenhouse gases.  A panel of experts with the American Council for Capital Formation will provide their views on domestic economic, legal, and political issues that are crucial in determining the success or failure of the U.S. pledge and other climate-related commitments. Panelists will include the Chamber’s Stephen Eule, former EPA Counsel Roger Martella, McConnell climate policy advisor Neil Chatterjee and Derrick Freeman of the Progressive Policy Institute.

 

NatGas Roundtable to Host FERC Chair – Tomorrow, the Natural Gas Roundtable will host FERC Chairman Norman C. Bay will be the guest speaker at its next luncheon at the University Club.

 

Forum to Look at Middle East Energy – Atlantic Council will hold a forum on Wednesday at 10:00 a.m. looking at Energy markets in the Middle East.  The event will feature a discussion with Majid Jafar, Chief Executive Officer of Crescent Petroleum, as part of the Global Energy Center’s CEO Series. Mr. Jafar will discuss how conflict and security issues in the Middle East coupled with the low oil price environment have impacted hydrocarbon producing countries in the region.  He will also address the steps that countries like Iraq should take in improving energy infrastructure, tackling subsidies, and reforming oil laws and regulations to improve investment in the oil and gas sector and bolster domestic stability.

 

Forum to Look at Middle East Issues – The Atlantic Council will host a discussion on Wednesday with Majid Jafar, Chief Executive Officer of Crescent Petroleum, as part of the Global Energy Center’s CEO Series. Mr. Jafar will discuss how conflict and security issues in the Middle East coupled with the low oil price environment have impacted hydrocarbon producing countries in the region.  He will also address the steps that countries like Iraq should take in improving energy infrastructure, tackling subsidies, and reforming oil laws and regulations to improve investment in the oil and gas sector and bolster domestic stability.

 

Senate Homeland Security Looks at Grid Infrastructure – On Wednesday at 10:00 a.m., the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs will convene a hearing protecting the electric grid from the potential threats of solar storms and electromagnetic pulse.  Witnesses include former CIA Director James Woolsey, FERC’s Energy Infrastructure Joe McClelland, GAO’s Chris Currie and NRECA’s Bridgette Bourge.

 

Segal to Testify at House Resources on the Social Cost of Carbon – The House Resources Committee will conduct an oversight hearing on Wednesday looking at the Obama Administration’s use of the Social Cost of Carbon.  Bracewell’s Scott Segal will be among the witnesses.

 

WCEE Event to Look at Mexico Energy Reforms – The Women’s Council on Energy and the Environment will continue their Lunch & Learn Series on Wednesday at Noon looking at Mexico’s energy reforms.  These reforms provide an historic opportunity to revitalize its state-owned energy sector and bolster the overall economy. No Mexican assets will be privatized, but the nation’s vast oil resources, including offshore and unconventional fields, will open to international players. Offshore deep-water areas have generated excitement in the investor community, as has the potential for unconventional development. The electricity sector is also poised for major change, new investment and expansion. The essential elements of the reform will be discussed at this event.

 

CSIS to Look at Future of Russian Gas Exports – The CSIS Energy and National Security Program will host a program on Wednesday at 2:00 p.m. to discuss the future of Russian gas exports. Isabel Gorst, Moscow-based Foreign Correspondent and Edward Chow, Senior Fellow, Energy and National Security Program, CSIS will speak.

 

EPA, CHP Groups Hold Webinar – On Wednesday at 2:00 p.m., the EPA CHP Partnership (CHPP) and the CHP Association (CHPA) will co-host a webinar about the LEED® point impact CHP can have on buildings seeking LEED® certification.  CHP, also known as cogeneration, has a long record of providing buildings with reliable electricity, steam, hot water, and cooling with lower cost and emissions than grid-supplied electricity and an on-site boiler. New modular CHP units, absorption chiller improvements, and 3rd party ownership models have also made CHP more viable for a wider array of applications. And, because of its superior energy efficiency and lower energy cost, CHP can earn buildings seeking LEED® certification significant LEED® points.

House Science Tackles RFS – The House Science Committee panels on Energy and Oversight will hold a joint hearing Thursday entitled on EPA’s Renewable Fuel Standard Mandate.  Witnesses will include Matthew Smorch of CountryMark Refining, Jason Hill of the University of Minnesota, Chuck Red of Applied Research Associates and Mercury Marine’s Tim Reid.

 

Cato Book Forum Looks at Environmental Progress – The Cato Institute will hold a Book Forum on Thursday at Noon featuring authors Ronald Bailey, Science Correspondent, Reason magazine and Indur M. Goklany, Author, The Improving State of the World: Why We’re Living Longer, Healthier, More Comfortable Lives on a Cleaner Planet. Throughout the past five decades there have been many forecasts of impending environmental doom. These projections have universally been proven wrong. Those who have bet on human resourcefulness, however„ have almost always been correct. In his book, Bailey provides a detailed examination of the theories, studies, and assumptions currently spurring forecasts of calamity and shaping environmental policy.

 

House Foreign Affairs Looks at Mexico Energy Reforms – The House Foreign Affairs Committee’s Subcommittee on the Western Hemisphere will hold a hearing on Thursday at 2:00 p.m. pursuing North American energy independence by looking at Mexico’s energy reforms.  Witnesses include former U.S. Ambassador to Mexico Carlos Pascual, Thomas Tunstall of the University of Texas at San Antonio Institute for Economic Development, Rice’s Tony Payan of the Baker Institute for Public Policy Mexico Center and Eric Farnsworth of the Council of the Americas and Americas Society.

 

White House to Hold Rural Council Meeting – The White House Rural Council and USDA’s Rural Utilities Service (RUS) will hold a meeting on Friday focused on advancing energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies in rural economies.  The discussion will include a broad range of federal resources that can potentially be leveraged by rural electric cooperatives for energy efficiency and renewable energy deployment as they consider important investment decisions about their generation, transmission and distribution infrastructure.

 

FUTURE EVENTS

 

Forum to Look at Nuclear Future – The Women’s Council on Energy and the Environment and Nuclear Matters is holding a forum next Monday on the future of the U.S. nuclear industry featuring former Inidiana Sen. Evan Bayh.  It faces significant uncertainty today – a perfect storm of economic and policy challenges brought on by the unintended consequences of market structure, government policies, and public perception. These factors challenge the potential of this reliable source of carbon-free energy and our Nation’s goal of energy security.  Bayh will explore these issues, discuss some of the approaches being undertaken in different states, and explain the important role that education and public engagement can play in shaping the future of the industry.

 

Wilson Center to Look at Arctic – The Wilson Center will hold a forum exploring how human and economic capital can be developed in Arctic regions and how communities work with various levels of government, particularly when decisions made by sub-federal entities must rely on far-away federal capitals with varying degrees of knowledge of the Far North.  This event co-sponsored by the Wilson Center’s Polar Initiative, Environmental Change and Security Program, and Canada Institute and will feature speakers Anthony Speca of Polar Aspect (Nunavut), Alaska Governor Bill Walker advisor Craig Fleener, Anita Parlow of the Harvard-MIT Arctic Fisheries Project and David Biette of the Polar Initiative and Canada Institute.

 

Wilson Look at Latin America, Climate – Also next Tuesday, Wilson will hold a forum on climate change adaptation and population dynamics in Latin America and the Caribbean.  The Latin America and Caribbean region is particularly vulnerable to some of the most challenging aspects of climate change—sea-level rise affecting coastal cities, changes in precipitation impacting agriculture, glacial melting threatening water reserves. Population trends—like migration and urbanization—can exacerbate these challenges or, in some cases, serve as methods of adaptation. Building resilience to climate change through adaptation efforts and women’s empowerment are key strategies for enabling continued development across the region in climate-uncertain times.  The Wilson Center has worked closely with USAID Missions in Latin America and the Caribbean over the past two years to convene key stakeholders in the region and to explore promising tools in climate change adaptation through a series of seminars. On July 28, we bring to Washington top experts and policymakers from those seminars in Colombia, Barbados, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, and Peru, to further broaden the dialogue about climate adaptation and population dynamics in Latin America and the Caribbean; and to encourage the development of new policy and programmatic tools that help countries of the region meet the financial, organizational, and political challenges that climate change presents.

 

NJ to Host Upton – The National Journal and Fawn Johnson, National Journal’s domestic policy reporter will host an in-depth conversation with Representative Fred Upton, Chairman of the Energy and Commerce Committee.  The discussion will focus on the energy and commerce priorities for the committee— including a conversation about the possibility of a bipartisan energy bill this year. That measure would address energy production, regulatory issues, workforce development, energy efficiency and environmentally sound infrastructure upgrades. On the commerce front, we’ll ask the Chairman about his 21st Century Cures Act which seeks to encourage health care innovation. Other topics of discussion will include next steps for Obamacare, and transparency at the Federal Communications Commission.

 

Co-Ops to Highlight Renewables – EESI and NRECA will hold a briefing On Thursday, July 30th at 10:00 a.m. featuring rural electric cooperatives which are taking significant action on energy efficiency and renewable energy. Member-owned, not-for-profit electric co-ops are typically smaller than investor-owned utilities, and they are less likely to have significant capital reserves or other resources to implement clean energy programs. But their small size and strong relationships with their member-consumers allow co-ops to be nimble and innovative, particularly with programs directly involving co-op members. As a result, many electric co-ops around the country have become successful clean energy laboratories.  The briefing will feature Great River Energy Gary Connett and Roanoke Electric CEO Curtis Wynn (G&T) co-ops discussing their clean energy innovations, including community solar programs, demand response initiatives, energy efficiency financing, and more.  Other speakers will include MN Sen. and Congressional Farmer Cooperative Caucus co-chair Amy Klobuchar, Kenneth Colburn of the New Hampshire Electric Coop and NRECA’s Martin Lowery.   Speakers will describe the impacts and challenges of each strategy, and why these strategies work for their members.   NRECA found that co-ops had 95 megawatts of solar capacity online in 34 states as of October 2014, with another 144 megawatts in development. EESI has identified at least 50 co-ops in 23 states offering residential on-bill financing programs, where members repay their co-op for energy project investments via their utility bills, often using the savings achieved by the project. While many older programs targeted heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) replacements, newer programs include broad energy efficiency and clean energy opportunities.

 

Forum to Look at Energy Abundance, Strengthening U.S. Leadership – The Atlantic Council will hold a forum on Thursday, July 30th looking at US energy issues and its impact on global leadership.  The forum will feature Senator Lisa Murkowski, Chairman of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, and Senator Mark Warner as they launch the task force report: Empowering America: How Energy Abundance Can Strengthen US Global Leadership.  Over the past few months, with the Senators as the Co-Chairs, the Atlantic Council convened foreign policy, defense, and energy experts to assess the foreign policy considerations of the US energy boom. The task force details the nature of our energy abundance, the importance of deploying our prowess in energy innovation and technology to others, and the ways in which we can pursue our responsibilities as a global leader on energy and the environment, while leveraging our supply abundance at the same time. It unequivocally determines that America must embrace this new tool to advance our global leadership on trade and security.

 

Webinar on “Industrial Energy Efficiency, CPP – On Friday, July 31st at Noon, efficiency advocates will host a webinar on how industrial energy efficiency can make manufacturers more competitive, enhance electric reliability, and reduce emissions.  It will look at NACAA’s Menu of Options, ACEEE’s State and Utility Pollution Reduction (SUPR) Calculator, compliance templates, and State 111 (d) Resource Hub and the CHP Pathway report produced for the American Gas Association, American Chemistry Council, and American Forest & Paper Association

 

Senate Energy to Look at Nuclear Issues – On August 4th the Senate Energy Committee will hold a hearing to discuss the back-end of the nuclear fuel cycle and related legislation.

 

Texas EnviroSuperconference Set – The 27th Annual Texas Environmental Superconference will be held on Thursday and Friday – August 6th and 7th  in Austin at the Four Seasons Hotel. This year’s theme is clichés and the conference is fittingly entitled “The Greatest Thing Since Sliced Bread”; each topic has an appropriate cliché assigned to it.   Speakers include, from the federal government, U.S. Department of Justice Assistant Attorney General John Cruden, EPA Deputy Administrator Stan Meiburg, EPA Principal Deputy Administrator Larry Starfield, and EPA Region 6 Regional Administrator Ron Curry, and, from the state, Bureau of Economic Geology Director Scott Tinker, Texas Commission on Environmental Quality Chairman Bryan Shaw and Commissioner Toby Baker, Texas Parks & Wildlife Executive Director Carter Smith, and the Governor’s Senior Legislative Advisor, Ashley Morgan, as well as other distinguished representatives from the public and private sectors, including Ross Ramsey from the Texas Tribune.

 

CSIS Forum Looks at Russian Gas Exports – The CSIS Energy and National Security Program will host a program to discuss the future of Russian gas exports.  Speakers will include Isabel Gorst, Moscow-based Foreign Correspondent and CSIS expert Ed Chow.

 

August Recess

 

GenForum Set For Columbus – ICF International Natural Gas VP Leonard Crook will kick-off the one-day GenForum/POWER-GEN event August 18th on natural gas generation in Columbus, Ohio.  Crook will offer an overview of the recent rise of natural gas-fueled power generation over the years at the expense of coal-fired power plants.  GenForum is organized by PennWell’s GenerationHub. The event is scheduled at the Greater Columbus Convention Center. GenForum leads into PennWell’s POWER-GEN/Natural Gas conference, scheduled for Aug. 18-to-20 at the same convention center.

 

Giuliani to Address Shale Insight – The 2015 Shale Insight Conference will be held in Philadelphia on September 16th & 17th Over the past five years, the conference has built a reputation for strong programmatic content, including an impressive speaker roster of nearly 100 industry experts, political figures and concurrent technical and public affairs session panelists who share their expertise.  Attendees at the 2015 conference will hear from featured presenters, including: Hon. Rudolph W. Giuliani, Partner at Bracewell & Giuliani LLP and former mayor of New York City, as well as Robert Bryce, journalist, author and Senior Fellow at the Manhattan Institute.

 

DOE’s Solar Decathlon Set – The U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon—America’s premier collegiate competition that challenges students from around the world to design, build and operate highly energy-efficient, solar-powered houses—will open October 8 in Irvine, California.  Sixteen collegiate teams involving more than 2,000 students from 27 schools are deep into construction, assembling their innovative houses on or near their campuses. In less than three months, the students will transport and open those houses to the public in the Solar Decathlon village, where they’ll demonstrate just how affordable, attractive and comfortable these zero-energy homes—homes that are so efficient that a solar energy system can offset all or most of their energy consumption—have become.

 

 

Energy Update: Week of July 13

Friends,

Last week was pretty bizarre on Capitol Hill, marked by the pulling of the EPA-Interior funding bill.  We’ll see if it returns, but most experts expect to see it only when the Senate takes it up.

This week and last have been European Sports weeks.  Last weekend, the Tour d’ France launched only to get a massive crash in Stage 4, which knocked out the leader.  Stages roll through July 26th with the run into Paris.  Secondly, Wimbledon wrapped up this past weekend with Serena Williams and Novak Djokovic both adding to their world tennis domination.  Williams has now won the last four majors and is currently holding the title Grand Slam.  She goes for the Calendar Grand Slam in September at the US Open.  This upcoming Thursday, the British Open kicks off from the historic St. Andrews, so I may not be paying attention much on Thursday and Friday morning.  Oh and don’t forget the trip to Spain for the running of the bulls.. it really gores me when people forget about that historic event.

Despite the delays in the Iran Nuclear Talks, this week is still about what happens with Iran.  We have excellent resources on the topic that can discuss politics, policy, implications, and Iran’s negotiating tactics.  If its not you, please let your colleagues covering know that we can help.

Also important this week is for you to exercise your voting rights… for the SAFE Energy Prize, which will award a total of $175,000 to companies whose innovations are poised to advance American energy security by helping to end the United States’ dependence on oil.  Vote for your favorite technology here.

Secondly, the comment period for the infamous DOE Furnace Rule ends on Friday, so I have responses and information from AHRI, AGA, and many more “hot furnace” items.

Several important hearings this week, including a House Energy grilling of PHMSA over pipeline issues tomorrow.  That feature new, interim Admin Stacy Cummings and our friend Andy Black of AOPL.  Also tomorrow, the House Resources Committee will host BOEM Director Abby Hopper and others to look at the use of seismic testing to explore for oil and gas deposits in the Outer Continental Shelf.

The House Agriculture Committee will vote tomorrow to advance a controversial bill to block state initiatives to label foods made with genetically modified organisms.  To that end, advocates for national, mandatory labeling including Stonyfield Farms Gary Hirshberg, will host a press call tomorrow at 1:30 PM ET to discuss the latest developments and next steps.  The latest version of this bill would overturn state GMO labeling laws, prevent local government from regulating the production of GMO crops, keep FDA from ever creating a mandatory GMO labeling standard, and create even more consumer confusion around the word “natural” on a food label.  EWG’s Scott Faber is great resource on this topic (202-939-9127).  They have a number of resources and experts who can address both the state labeling issues and other pesticide issues.

Wednesday will also feature a Resources Committee hearing on natgas drilling plans on public land while the Judiciary Committee will host OIRA’s Howard Shelanksi. On Thursday, Shelankski heads to the Senate Govt Affairs/Homeland Security panel on to improve the regulatory process, while two Foreign Affairs subcommittees will review renewal of the U.S.-China civil nuclear agreement.

Finally, start getting your GHG rule things together as there are only four weeks until August recess and we expect they will roll it out before.  And one bit of history:  Yesterday in 1804, Vice President Aaron Burr shot and killed former  Secretary of the Treasury Alexander Hamilton in one of the most famous duels in American history.

Best,

Frank Maisano

(202) 828-5864

(202) 997-5932

 

 

IN THE NEWS

Excising your Right to Vote…for Energy Tech Prize — Voting is underway for the SAFE 2015  Energy Security Prize, which will award a total of $175,000 to companies whose innovations are poised to advance American energy security by helping to end the United States’ dependence on oil. The winner of the 2015 Prize will receive $125,000, the first runner up $35,000 and the second runner up $15,000.  SAFE is imploring the public to cast their votes for one of four semifinalists–FreeWire Technologies, Momentum Dynamics, Peloton Technology, and SeaChange Group—to determine the winners. Vote for your favorite technology here.

AHRI Says Furnace Run Impractical – The Air-Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration Institute (AHRI) late Friday filed comments in response to the DOE’s rule for Residential FurnacesFor many reasons, AHRI cannot support the proposed revised minimum 92% AFUE standard for non-weatherized and mobile home gas furnaces.  AHRI says the NOPR and associated Technical Support Document has identified significant errors and invalid assumptions that lead us to conclude the proposed standard is not economically justified.  They point to 1) DOE’s decision to use randomly assigned variables rather than actual market conditions to determine potential energy savings will result in 40 percent less energy saved, in our estimation; 2) DOE underestimating projected shipments of condensing furnaces in the absence of a new standard by 10%, while overestimating the percentage of the population that would be positively affected by the proposed new standard; 3) DOE’s estimate of the life-cycle costs to consumers for purchase and installation of these products is 2-3 times lower than what those costs would actually be, based on real-world cost data; 4) DOE’s estimate of the increase in manufacturer costs to comply with the proposed rule is too low by approximately 35%; and 5) In 15-20% of situations nationally, there will be installation issues that make it impractical and even impossible to install units that comply with the proposed standard.

AHRI President Says – “Since the passage of the National Appliance Energy Conservation Act of 1987, our furnace manufacturer members have worked continuously to include models at the highest levels of efficiency as part of expanded product lines that provide cost effective choices to meet the diverse heating needs of American consumers,” said AHRI President & CEO Stephen Yurek.  “Even though the federal minimum efficiency standard for residential furnaces has been essentially unchanged since 1992, today one out of every two residential furnaces shipped by our members is a condensing model utilizing the most efficient technology currently available. It is apparent that consumers are making energy efficient choices, based on their own economic situations, rather than responding to a federal mandate,” he added.

AGA Hits Furnace Rule in Comments – AGA filed comments on DOE’s Furnace rule. The proposed rule would mandate that natural gas furnaces meet a 92 percent or higher specification for energy efficiency. At first glance, the rule appears to be a positive step forward for energy efficiency. In reality, DOE’s proposal would create a number of counterproductive and unintended consequences that could increase energy use.  “Natural gas utilities support energy conservation standards that are technologically feasible, economically justified, based on reasoned analysis and will result in significant conservation of energy as laid out in the Energy Policy and Conservation Act,” said Kathryn Clay, vice president, Policy Strategy for the American Gas Association. “This rule does not meet those standards. Due to flawed analysis and a raft of unintended consequences, this rule, if implemented, would place an undue burden on low-income customers and lead to an increase in carbon dioxide emissions. We have laid out this analysis in detail in our comments submitted today and we urge the Department of Energy to rethink this rulemaking.”  Most furnaces in the U.S. are non-condensing and generally vent through the roof or chimney of a home. Furnaces that meet the 92 percent annual fuel utilization (AFUE) efficiency requirement are condensing furnaces and cannot be connected to the existing venting in a home. They require a new venting system and possible relocation of the equipment. In some homes this is impossible and in others it greatly increases the installation cost of the more energy efficient natural gas heating system options. On average, condensing furnaces cost about $350 more than non-condensing furnaces, along with an additional $1,500 to $2,200 in installation costs.

Complaints About DOE’s Economic Analysis in Rule – Both AGA, APGA and AHRI have complained loudly economic justification and energy savings has significant methodological and data flaws. A corrected analysis shows that a 92 percent AFUE standard is not economically justified and would impose significant costs on American consumers.  DOE’s analysis underestimates the number of consumers that are likely to switch away from natural gas heat and misidentifies which consumers are likely to switch due to the Proposed Rule. These methodological flaws have led DOE to overestimate the benefits, and underestimate the costs, of the proposed standard. Their analysis estimates that its proposed 92 percent AFUE standard would drive 16.3 percent of affected consumers that would otherwise purchase natural a non-condensing gas furnaces to shift to electric heat.  Such fuel switching increases primary energy consumption.  Under DOE’s analysis, the direct energy savings and emission benefits of increased furnace efficiency requirements are offset in very significant part by increased electricity usage from fuel switching caused by the rule.  Moreover, after correcting for DOE’s analytical errors, the proposed standard results in increased source energy use and increased carbon dioxide emissions.  According to DOE’s life-cycle cost analysis, many consumers are worse off under the proposed standard.  DOE projects that the “middle” 41 percent of American consumers would receive no benefit from the proposed standard while 20 percent of households would face higher costs.  In the replacement market, fully one quarter of all households would see a net cost increase. Low-income families and consumers in the Southern U.S. would be the hardest hit, with 39 percent of low-income households in the South bearing higher costs as a direct result of the proposed rule.

The Evidence – A recent study by the Gas Technology Institute (GTI) that provides strong technical analysis and demonstrates that DOE’s economic and energy impact analyses use a materially flawed methodology to estimate the costs and benefits of the proposed standard.  These methodological flaws lead DOE to overestimate benefits, and underestimate the costs, of the proposed standard. GTI also conducted a study in June 2014 to evaluate the potential impact of fuel switching if new minimum efficiency standards for natural gas furnaces were to require condensing equipment in the replacement and new construction markets.

White House Praises Community Solar in Larger Rural Pitch – The White House announced a new initiative to increase solar access for rural America, highlighting a number of state, community and private efforts to expand solar.  One of the items highlighted in the White House materials addressed the more than 30 member-owned, not-for-profit rural electric cooperatives in 17 states across the country are committing to install community solar projects by the end of 2016.  This builds on the nearly 20 co-ops nationally that have already brought online community solar projects in the last year.  One of those key places where community solar is having an impact is in Roanoke County, NC where the co-op lead by Curtis Wynne has been a leader in developing solar options for local members.  See more here.

Senators Introduce Offshore Wind Legislation – Sens. Tom Carper and Susan Collins introduced legislation late last week to provide critical financial incentives to encourage investment in offshore wind energy. This legislation would create an investment tax credit that is redeemable for the first 3,000 megawatts of offshore wind facilities placed into service, amounting to approximately 600 wind turbines.  In the past, Congress has offered a temporary credit for investments in wind power, the last extension of this credit expired December 31, 2014. This credit has been a lifeline to the nascent offshore wind industry, but it has only been extended by periods of one and two years at a time. This leaves the offshore wind industry without the predictability it needs to fully take advantage of the incentive. The Incentivizing Offshore Wind Power Act would give the industry the certainty needed to plan investments and maximize deployment of this clean power technology.  The legislation defines offshore facilities as any facility located in the inland navigable waters of the United States, including the Great Lakes, or in the coastal waters of the United States, including the territorial seas of the United States, the exclusive economic zone of United States, and the outer Continental Shelf of the United States.

Groups Urges State Commissions to Protect Consumers – The Institute for Energy Research is sending letters to public utility commissions in all 50 states urging them to protect American families from the imprudent costs of the EPA’s so-called “Clean Power Plan.” The letter highlights the findings of IER’s new report on electricity costs. Using data from EIA and FERC, the report finds that existing sources of electricity generation are more affordable than new sources. Electricity from even the least expensive new sources is nearly double the cost of that from existing coal power.  Public utility commissions, which have a responsibility to keep electricity rates affordable, should protect the American people from unnecessary electricity hikes by rejecting policies like the Clean Power Plan.

 

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

Senate Energy Discusses on Islanded Energy Systems – The full Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee will hold a hearing tomorrow to receive testimony on islanded energy systems, as well as energy and infrastructure challenges and opportunities in Alaska, Hawaii and the U.S. Territories.

Forum to Look at Global Oil Issues – Carnegie Endowment for International Peace will hold a forum tomorrow morning global oil issues. The sharp drop in oil prices is one of the most important global economic developments over the past year. While oil’s long term price outlook remains highly uncertain, a substantial part of its decline is expected to persist into the medium term. IMF’s Aasim M. Husain will discuss implications of these developments for the global economy and financial markets, as well as recommended policy responses for key country groups. He will be joined by BP’s Mark Finley and Carnegie’s Uri Dadush to discuss market trends as well as their economic and political implications for oil-exporting and oil-importing countries.

House Energy to Hear PHMSA Chief – The House Energy & Commerce panel on Energy will host Stacy Cummings, the interim head of the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, at a hearing tomorrow.  The hearing will explore PHMSA’s progress in implementing mandates included in a 2011 pipeline safety law.  Other witnesses will include Carl Weimer of the Pipeline Safety Trust, Santa Barbara planning director Dianne Black and AOPL head Andy Black.

House Resources to Look at Drilling – The House Resources Committee will host BOEM Director Abby Hopper and others tomorrow to look at the use of seismic testing to explore for oil and gas deposits in the Outer Continental Shelf.  The witnesses include BOEM Director Abigail Ross Hopper and Robert Gisiner, director of marine environment for the International Association of Geophysical Contractors.  Jim White, the president of Houston’s ARKeX Inc., which provides geospatial subsurface data, will also testify, along with Richie Miller, president of Spectrum Geo Inc., another seismic firm servicing the oil and gas industry from Houston.  Douglas Nowacek, a marine conservation professor from Duke University’s schools of engineering and the environment, will round out the panel.

DOE’s Kenderdine to Discuss QER – The CSIS Energy and National Security Program will host DOE’s Melanie Kenderdine tomorrow at 10:00 a.m. to discuss energy security in the first installment of the Quadrennial Energy Review (QER).  The QER focuses on energy infrastructure and identifies the threats, risks, and opportunities for U.S. energy and climate security, enabling the federal government to translate policy goals into a set of integrated actions. This discussion will highlight energy security in the QER, while examining ongoing work in the next installment.

Senate Small Biz to Look at Energy, Manufacturing – The Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship will hold a hearing tomorrow at 2:30 p.m. on the challenges and opportunities for small businesses engaged in energy development and energy intensive manufacturing.  Witnesses will include SOWELA Technical Community College Chancellor Neil Aspinwall, ASE’s Kateri Callahan, Energy Equipment and Infrastructure Alliance CEO Toby Mack and Tyson Slocum of Public Citizen’s Energy Program

EWG’s Faber, Others to Discuss RFS – The DC Bar and the Environmental Law Institute will host a forum tomorrow at Noon looking at the EPA’s Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) Program.  A panel of distinguished government, private sector and non-profit experts will explore recent developments in RFS. Topics will include an overview of the RFS program, the impact of EPA’s recently proposed 2014 and 2015 RFS production targets, the impact of fraud in the renewables fuel market, the so-called blend wall and legislative developments.  Speakers will Include EWG’s Scott Faber, API’s Erik Baptist and several others.

Forum to Look at China Climate Moves – EESI and the ChinaFAQs Project of the World Resources Institute will hold a briefing tomorrow at 1:30 p.m. looking at China’s actions on climate change and clean energy and U.S.-China cooperation. Now the largest greenhouse gas emitter, and with a fast-growing economy and the world’s largest population, China will play a unique and vital role in the effort to address climate change.  University, government, and business experts will discuss the results of the recent U.S.-China Strategic and Economic Dialogue, as well as current actions and future prospects for China’s shift to low-carbon energy-including China’s recently announced contribution (“INDC”) to the international climate agreement in Paris this December.  Among the speakers for forum will be the State Department’s David Vance Wagner, China Counsellor at State’s Office of the Special Envoy for Climate Change.

USEA Forum Looks at CO2 Storage – The US Energy Association will host a forum on Thursday at 2:00 p.m. looking at recent achievements of monitoring onshore CO2 Storage, as well as the prospects of offshore CCUS in U.S. & China.  The Gulf Coast Carbon Center (GCCC) at the Bureau of Economic Geology at the University of Texas at Austin has been a leader in CCUS research for over a decade.  The GCCC gained extensive experiences in site characterization, project design and execution, and monitoring from several CO2 injection and EOR projects in the Gulf Coast Region. The GCCC has also been studying the prospects of CO2 sequestration and EOR in Texas offshore and recently completed a characterization project for site characterization in Gulf of Mexico. Meanwhile, a proposal of integrated carbon capture and storage in the offshore Pearl River Mouth Basin in China is recently selected under the framework of US-China Climate Change Working Group. The GCCC, as one of the partners of the project, will provide technical support to the Chinese colleagues. This presentation reports the recent developments on these fronts.

 

FUTURE EVENTS

WCEE Event to Look at Mexico Energy Reforms – The Women’s Council on Energy and the Environment will continue their Lunch & Learn Series on Wednesday July 22nd at Noon looking at Mexico’s energy reforms.  These reforms provide an historic opportunity to revitalize its state-owned energy sector and bolster the overall economy. No Mexican assets will be privatized, but the nation’s vast oil resources, including offshore and unconventional fields, will open to international players. Offshore deep-water areas have generated excitement in the investor community, as has the potential for unconventional development. The electricity sector is also poised for major change, new investment and expansion. The essential elements of the reform will be discussed at this event.

EPA, CHP Groups Hold Webinar – On Wednesday, July 22nd at 2:00 p.m., the EPA CHP Partnership (CHPP) and the CHP Association (CHPA) will co-host a webinar about the LEED® point impact CHP can have on buildings seeking LEED® certification.  CHP, also known as cogeneration, has a long record of providing buildings with reliable electricity, steam, hot water, and cooling with lower cost and emissions than grid-supplied electricity and an on-site boiler. New modular CHP units, absorption chiller improvements, and 3rd party ownership models have also made CHP more viable for a wider array of applications. And, because of its superior energy efficiency and lower energy cost, CHP can earn buildings seeking LEED® certification significant LEED® points.

White House to Hold Rural Council Meeting –The White House Rural Council and USDA’s Rural Utilities Service (RUS) will hold a meeting on July 24th  focused on advancing energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies in rural economies.  The discussion will include a broad range of federal resources that can potentially be leveraged by rural electric cooperatives for energy efficiency and renewable energy deployment as they consider important investment decisions about their generation, transmission and distribution infrastructure.

NatGas Roundtable to Host FERC Chair – Next Tuesday, the Natural Gas Roundtable will host FERC Chairman Norman C. Bay will be the guest speaker at its next luncheon at the University Club

Senate Energy to Look at Nuclear Issues – On August 4th the Senate Energy Committee will hold a hearing to discuss the back-end of the nuclear fuel cycle and related legislation.

Forum to Look at Middle East Energy – Atlantic Council will hold a forum on Wednesday, April 22nd at 10:00 a.m. looking at Energy markets in the Middle East.  The event will feature a discussion with Majid Jafar, Chief Executive Officer of Crescent Petroleum, as part of the Global Energy Center’s CEO Series. Mr. Jafar will discuss how conflict and security issues in the Middle East coupled with the low oil price environment have impacted hydrocarbon producing countries in the region.  He will also address the steps that countries like Iraq should take in improving energy infrastructure, tackling subsidies, and reforming oil laws and regulations to improve investment in the oil and gas sector and bolster domestic stability.

Texas EnviroSuperconference Set – The 27th Annual Texas Environmental Superconference will be held on Thursday and Friday – August 6th and 7th  in Austin at the Four Seasons Hotel. This year’s theme is clichés and the conference is fittingly entitled “The Greatest Thing Since Sliced Bread”; each topic has an appropriate cliché assigned to it.   Speakers include, from the federal government, U.S. Department of Justice Assistant Attorney General John Cruden, EPA Deputy Administrator Stan Meiburg, EPA Principal Deputy Administrator Larry Starfield, and EPA Region 6 Regional Administrator Ron Curry, and, from the state, Bureau of Economic Geology Director Scott Tinker, Texas Commission on Environmental Quality Chairman Bryan Shaw and Commissioner Toby Baker, Texas Parks & Wildlife Executive Director Carter Smith, and the Governor’s Senior Legislative Advisor, Ashley Morgan, as well as other distinguished representatives from the public and private sectors, including Ross Ramsey from the Texas Tribune.

CSIS Forum Looks at Russian Gas Exports – The CSIS Energy and National Security Program will host a program to discuss the future of Russian gas exports.  Speakers will include Isabel Gorst, Moscow-based Foreign Correspondent and CSIS expert Ed Chow.

August Recess

GenForum Set For Columbus – ICF International Natural Gas VP Leonard Crook will kick-off the one-day GenForum/POWER-GEN event August 18th on natural gas generation in Columbus, Ohio.  Crook will offer an overview of the recent rise of natural gas-fueled power generation over the years at the expense of coal-fired power plants.  GenForum is organized by PennWell’s GenerationHub. The event is scheduled at the Greater Columbus Convention Center. GenForum leads into PennWell’s POWER-GEN/Natural Gas conference, scheduled for Aug. 18-to-20 at the same convention center.

 

Energy Update: Week of July 6

Friends,

 

Welcome back from the July 4th recess week, which was supposed to be slow so I could enjoy watching my daughter play in the All-American Lacrosse tourney.  Unfortunately, the SCOTUS Mercury decision and the constant back-and-forth over the Iran Nuclear Talks kept us all hopping all the way to Saturday.  Then the two most exciting things happened and I’m not talking about Secretary Kerry Press briefing in Vienna on Sunday (although that was a little exciting).  No, I’m talking about the July RFK Concert with the Foo Fighters followed by the unbelievable Women’s World Cup Final.

 

Yes, like many of you, I missed the first part of the game because nothing really happens at the beginning anyway right?  Whoa… 4 US goals in 15-plus minutes and I thought it was a typo on my daughter’s phone.    Super props to the US Women for an awesome victory in Vancouver, and nicely done Canada for hosting a well-run event from coast-to- coast.  Really though, who thinks that FIFA trophy should be a little more substantial?  I mean it’s no Stanley Cup…

 

In case you were celebrating the 4th with family and didn’t hear, Dave Grohl and Foo Fighters played an unbelievable show for more than 50,000 at RFK Stadium in DC.  Grohl after getting six metal pins in his broken right leg when he tripped and fell off the stage last month, played the show from a specially-designed “throne”.  That wasn’t the only great show though over the weekend as our man in Havana, Josh Zive attended the one of the final Grateful Dead shows in Chicago as well and he says they were really excellent as well.

 

Back in the action, tomorrow marks the new deadline for a final agreement with Iran over its nuclear program. We wouldn’t be surprised to see the deadline slip to July 9, after which the Congressional review period doubles from 30 to 60 days.   We have some great bipartisan expert/resources on the topic and they were featured in a recent letter which appeared in the Congressional Record on June 24th.  The document is signed by 38 noteworthy individuals – US military and political leaders in both parties – calling for close engagement with key groups of Iranian opposition as an alternative to a foreign policy dominated by agreement with the current regime.

 

As Congress returns from fireworks, baseball and parades, this week they restart debate on the EPA-Interior appropriations bill.  The measure reduces EPA’s budget, blocks the agency’s new water and carbon rules, holds up an Interior Department hydraulic fracturing rule for public lands and restricts ESA rulemaking for the sage-grouse.  All these issues we know inside-and-out and have great experts, so feel free to call for perspective.

On the hearing side, it is a packed week, headlined by the Wednesday “climate showdown” in Senate Environment looking at the Administration’s pledge to reduce emissions 26-28%.  Former Sierra Club attorney David Bookbinder and my Bracewell colleague Jeff Holmstead have both raised significant concerns about whether meeting the pledge is even possible and they will headline the discussion.  I would expect some fireworks.

 

Other great hearings include a Wednesday look in House Resources at the US Helium reserve, which was the subject of recent bipartisan concern.  The hearing features Air Liquide expert David Joyner among those on the witness stand.  A triple-decker on Thursday, with three hearings of significance starting with the Energy and Commerce Committee discussing the crude oil export ban, featuring USS Cole Commander Kirk Lippold, who raised concerns about the move last month at a Sen Foreign relations Committee hearing.  EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy will also be in the hot seat when she testifies before the House Science on EPA overreach and House Foreign Affairs looks at the aforementioned Iran Nuclear Deal if it goes down.

 

In addition to the hearing load this week, Wednesday at Old Ebbitt Grill, Just Label It will host a media breakfast on the public health and environmental costs of herbicides in the production of GMO crops. The briefing will cover recent findings on cancer connections and chemical proliferation, plus a legislative update.   As well, the 18th annual Congressional Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Technology EXPO and Policy Forum will be held on Thursday in the Cannon House Office Building.

 

Finally, for you Caps/hockey fans, the National Press Club will be hosting Caps Coach Barry Trotz at a luncheon speech on Wednesday at Noon to look at head to next season.  It’s only been a month since the Cup final ended in Chicago, yet we still had the NHL awards, the draft and Hockey Hall-of- Fame inductee nominations, so it’s never too early to start talking hockey. Please don’t hesitate to call.

 

Frank Maisano

(202) 828-5864

(202) 997-5932

 

 

IN THE NEWS

EPA Finalizes AC Rule – In case you missed trying to escape early on Thursday, Late last week, EPA finalized a rule to prohibit certain uses of chemicals that significantly contribute to climate change in favor of safer, more climate-friendly alternatives. This action responds to President Obama’s Climate Action Plan by reducing emissions of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), a class of potent greenhouse gases used in air-conditioning, refrigeration, and other equipment.  In the United States, HFC emissions are expected to nearly double by 2020 and triple by 2030. New technologies and new climate-friendly refrigerants can significantly reduce these emission increases. EPA estimates this final rule will reduce greenhouse gas emissions of 54 to 64 million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent in 2025, equal to the carbon dioxide emissions from the annual energy use of more than 5.8 million homes.  AHRI, who represents manufacturers of AC and refrigeration equipment expressed concern about EPA holiday rule drop.   AHRI CEO Stephen Yurek: “Due to its pre-publication release shortly before the holiday weekend, AHRI members have not had sufficient opportunity to review the EPA rule and thus AHRI will not have a formal comment at this time.  However, it should be noted that in its comments on the proposed rule, AHRI requested at least 6 years for our member companies to comply (3 years for commercial refrigeration equipment) and while the EPA granted some additional compliance time, it still is likely to be inadequate in most cases.  As AHRI noted in their comments on the proposed rule, “a typical equipment design cycle takes on average 7 years from start to finish when non-flammable refrigerants are used. For flammable refrigerants, the design cycle is even longer, up to 11 years as more steps are needed to ensure that products and factories can handle these refrigerants safely.”  This means the rule will disproportionately affect smaller manufacturers in an adverse way and the final rule does very little to dispel that belief.

 

Climate Pledge Raises Concerns – In light of Wednesday’s hearing, just wanted to remind you of the questions at hand on the Administration’s climate pledge to reduce emissions by 26-28% and some of the concerns that have been raised about it.  Former Sierra Club lawyer David Bookbinder and former EPA Air chief Jeff Holmstead have argued that President Barack Obama’s 2025 climate change target is unattainable based on the plan the administration outlined to the United Nations earlier this year.  Bookbinder and Holmstead will testify on Wednesday at Senate Environment, pointing to an April blog post Bookbinder published on the Niskanen Center’s website that argues that the measures the Obama administration submitted to the UN earlier this year fall “dramatically short” of those needed to meet the U.S. target of cutting emissions 26-28 percent below 2005 levels by 2025.

 

Bipartisan Letter Raises Questions About Iran Nuclear Talks, Iranian Claims –  A bipartsian group of public officials including former NYC Mayor Rudy Giuliani, former DNC heads and Dem Govs. Howard Dean and Ed Rendell, former UN ambassador Bill Richardson and many other raise major concerns about Iran negotiations in a recent letter which appeared in the Congressional Record on June 24th.  The document  signed by 38 noteworthy US military and political leaders in both parties calls for close engagement with key groups of Iranian opposition as an alternative to a foreign policy dominated by agreement with the current regime.   In case you are looking for expert commenters on the Iran Nuclear Talks.  Just last week, the experts outlined major issues with the Iranian Government’s negotiating tactics.

White House Calls for Update to Biotech Regulation – The White House called for updates the system that evaluates the safety of crops and food produced by genetic engineering on Thursday saying it is a foundation for building a more transparent food system that includes mandatory GMO labeling.  The White House has directed EPA, Food and Drug and the Dept of Agriculture to update the Coordinated Framework, a regulatory policy that governs safety evaluations of plants, animals, and microbes that have been developed through genetic engineering. The Coordinated Framework was originally issued in 1986 and hasn’t been updated since 1992.  Scott Faber, senior Vice President of the Environmental Working Group called the move an important step saying the system for reviewing GMO crops is “badly outdated and long overdue” Faber:  “Today’s announcement confirms the need for more transparency in our food system and only further illustrates why mandatory GMO labeling is so necessary. The President should not wait to make good on his 2007 campaign pledge to require mandatory labeling, and he should make clear that he will reject legislation, notably the DARK Act, that would make it harder to label GMOs.”

 

CEOs, Celebs Send Letter on GMO Labeling – Speaking of GMOs, a coalition of 125 business leaders and celebrity advocates are calling on President Obama to keep his campaign promise and give Americans the right to know what’s in their food by directing the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to issue mandatory labeling rules for products that contain genetically modified organisms (GMOs).  The group organized by the GMO labeling advocacy groups Just Label It sent a letter to Obama on Wednesday urging him to fulfill the commitment he made in 2007 and veto any legislation that prevents federal labeling and deny states the right to enact their own labeling legislation.  The letter recalls President Obama’s 2007 campaign promise to “let folks know whether their food has been genetically modified because Americans should know what they’re buying.”  The letter: “As a candidate, you pledged to give consumers the right to know if their food contains GMOs. National polls show that nine out of ten Americans share your view. Regardless of age, income, education level or even party affiliation, Americans want the right to know what is in their food and how it was produced – the same right held by citizens in 64 other nations.”  The full text of the letter and the list of signatories is available here.  Learn more about the Just Label It campaign on the Just Label It website or by following @justlabelit on Twitter.

 

Bishop, Grijalva Urge BLM to Address Concerns Helium Law Implementation – The Leaders of the House Resources Committee sent a letter to BLM Director Neil Kornze last week raising concerns with its implementation of the Helium Stewardship Act (HSA), which passed Congress on a bipartisan basis and was signed into law on October 2, 2013.  Chairman Rob Bishop (R-UT) and Ranking Member Raúl Grijalva (D-AZ)  wrote Congress carefully crafted the law in a bipartisan manner that would ensure competitive access for all stakeholders to the federal helium supply, adding “we are concerned that (your) interpretation of the HSA has led to results counter to the intent of the Act.”  The Federal Helium Reserve, which is managed by BLM, was created in 1960 in part to ensure the federal government had an adequate stockpile of helium during the Cold War.  The Reserve was scheduled to close in October 2013, an event that would have adversely affected a range of economic sectors dependent on helium, including both the defense and medical industries. The HSA prevented the closure of the Reserve and instituted market-based reforms to increase competition in federal helium sales.  “Rather than moving toward increased market competition of helium, BLM’s implementation of the HSA has unfortunately resulted in less,” the Committee leaders write.  A recent U.S. Government Accountability Office report on the BLM’s implementation of the HSA found the number of companies purchasing helium for fiscal year 2015 decreased by 50%.

Renewables Hit High – U.S. consumers are increasingly turning to solar, wind and biomass for their energy needs, driving domestic renewable energy consumption to its highest peak since the 1930s. A recent analysis by EIA found that renewables’ share of the nation’s energy consumption hit 9.8% in 2014. That percentage returns the country to its 1930 levels of renewable energy consumption, when wood was a larger contributor to domestic energy supplies. Year to year growth, on average, was 5% from 2001-2014 for renewable energy consumption, due in large part to the growing use of wind, solar and biofuels.  Wind energy grew by 70 trillion BTUs in 2001 to 1,700 trillion Btu in 2014, while solar energy grew from 64 trillion Btu to 427 trillion Btu.

 

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

 

CSM to Host McCarthy on Paris Talks – Recharge, the Christian Science Monitor’s energy section, will host EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy for a talk on tomorrow at 9:30 p.m. looking at US energy and climate policy on the path to Paris negotiations.  As diplomats across the globe prepare for December’s climate talks, the US is working to meet its own ambitious emissions targets. Administrator McCarthy will outline progress to-date on greenhouse gas reductions, and will discuss what challenges remain for the world’s second-largest emitter.

 

WCEE Forum to Look at Grid Design – The Women’s Council on Energy and the Environment (WCEE) will hold a forum tomorrow at Noon at Energetics looking at designing a successful transition to clean, renewable energy.  Nicole Steele, Executive Director of GRID Alternatives’ Mid-Atlantic office will discuss the success stories of providing community-scale solar access at the local and regional scale, where there are often different rules, permitting and incentives.  She will discuss how GRID works with community partners, volunteers and job trainees to implement solar power and energy efficiency for low-income families, and describe what works in which areas and why, including low income solar rebate programs, single-family versus multi-family and community solar models, homeowners  versus renters, and innovative job training workforce development approaches involving schools or veteran communities.

 

Webinar to Discuss Northeast NatGas Supply, Demand – Pace Global will hold a webinar on Northeast natgas supply and demand tomorrow at 1:00 p.m.  Participants will include Pace’s Clair Behrens and Ben Hadden.

 

Experts to Discuss, GMO Labeling Issues –  Just Label It will host a media breakfast on Wednesday at Old Ebbitt Grill looking at the public health and environmental costs of herbicides in the production of GMO crops. The briefing will cover recent findings on cancer connections and chemical proliferation, plus a legislative update. New GMO labeling legislation is currently making its way through Congress and the House is expected to vote on it within the next couple of weeks.  This will be a rare opportunity to hear from and speak with experts, including Dr. Charles Benbrook – Program Leader at the Center for Sustaining Agriculture and Natural Resources (CSANR) – Washington State University; Chenseng (Alex) Lu, Ph.D. –  Associate Professor of Environmental Exposure Biology at Harvard’s Department of Environmental Health; and EWG expert Mary Ellen Kustin.

 

Senate Environment to Look at U.S. Climate Promises – The Senate Environment Committee will hold a hearing on Wednesday entitled President Obama’s international climate agenda and implications for environmental law.  The hearing will examine the President’s Climate Action Plan with a particular focus on his international goals in the context of the ongoing international climate negotiations.  Among the witnesses will be my B&G colleague and former EPA Air Administrator Jeff Holmstead and former Sierra Club general counsel David Bookbinder, who have aggressively argued that the US will have difficulty meeting its 26-28% obligation made for the Paris Meeting.  Other witnesses will be George Mason’s Jeremy Rabkin, WRI’s Karl Hausker and CSIS’s Sarah O. Ladislaw.

 

House Committee to Look at DHS Climate Focus – The House Homeland Security Committee’s Subcommittee on Oversight and Management Efficiency will hold a hearing on Wednesday examining DHS’s focus on climate change.

 

House Resources to Look at Helium Issues – The House Resources Committee will hold a hearing on Wednesday on recent legislation on the US Helium reserve.   Witnesses will include Air Liquide’s expert David Joyner, as well as GAO’s Anne-Marie Fennell,  BLM’s Tim Spisak, Northwestern University’s William Halperin and GlobalHelium’s Walter Nelson.  Recently, leaders of the House Natural Resources Committee raised concern over BLM’s implementation of a 2013 law governing federal helium sales, saying the bureau’s new auction system may be limiting access to some companies.  Resources Chairman Rob Bishop and ranking member Raúl Grijalva outlined their complaints on the Helium Stewardship Act of 2013 in a letter to BLM Director Neil Kornze last week.  “Congress carefully crafted the HSA in a bipartisan manner that would ensure competitive access for all stakeholders to the federal helium supply,” the letter states. “However, we are concerned that the U.S. Bureau of Land Management’s interpretation of the HSA has led to results counter to the intent of the Act.”

 

House Ag to Look at Crude Exports, Rural Economy – While House Energy rips into Crude exports Issues/legislation on Thursday, the House Ag Committee will hold a hearing on Wednesday looking at the economic impact of exporting crude oil.  Obviously,  the same resources on can help here.

 

CSIS to Host BHP Commodity Expert – As part of the CSIS U.S.- Australia Speaker Series, the CSIS Energy and National Security Program will host a forum featuring Dean Dalla Valle, Chief Commercial Officer at BHP Billiton.  Dalla Valle will discuss global commodity trends, including analysis and discussion of consumption and demand around the world, with a special focus on China. The diverse portfolio of BHP Billiton provides a unique perspective on the developments shaping energy and commodity sectors in the twenty first century.

 

House Foreign Affairs to Look at US-China Civil Nuclear Cooperation – The House Foreign Affairs Committee panels on Asia and the Pacific and Terrorism, Nonproliferation, and Trade will hold a joint hearing on Wednesday at 2:00 p.m. reviewing the U.S.-China civil nuclear cooperation agreement.

Witnesses will State’s Thomas Countryman, DOE/NNSA undersecretary Lt Gen Frank Klotz, USAF, Retired, NEI’s Daniel Lipman, CSIS’s Sharon Squassoni and Henry Sokolski of the Nonproliferation Policy Education Center.

 

Forum to Address IMF Sustainable Goals – On Wednesday at 3:00 p.m., the Global Economy and Development program at Brookings will host International Monetary Fund (IMF) Managing Director Christine Lagarde for keynote remarks and a subsequent panel discussion on IMF’s sustainable development goals. This month, the international community will meet in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia to discuss the policy reforms, financing, and international coordination challenges involved in implementing a new sustainable development agenda. The targets—the Sustainable Development Goals—driving that agenda are ambitious, and intended to be applicable to all countries.

 

Congressional Renewable Energy Forum, Expo Set – The 18th Annual Congressional Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Technology EXPO and Policy Forum will be held on Thursday in the Cannon House Office Building.  The exhibits will be in Cannon Caucus Room (Cannon 345) while the Policy Forum will be in 334 Cannon. The event brings together close to 50 businesses, trade associations, and government agencies to showcase renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies and is Co-Hosted by the House and Senate’s Renewable Energy & Energy Efficiency Caucuses, as well as the Sustainable Energy Coalition.

 

McCarthy Testifying at House Science – The House Science Committee will hold a hearing on Thursday examining EPA’s regulatory overreach featuring EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy.

 

House Energy Committee Holds Hearing on Crude Oil Exports – On Thursday at 10:00 a.m., the House Committee on Energy and Commerce’s Subcommittee on Energy and Power will hold a hearing new legislation to prohibit restrictions on the export of crude oil.  One of the key witnesses will Cmdr Kirk Lippold, former commander of the USS Cole, who has raised concerns about lifting the ban in testimony last month at Senate Foreign Relations

 

CAP to Discuss Climate Resilience – On Thursday morning, the Center for American Progress will hold a forum on cities, states, and tribes and the rising costs of climate change.  They will be joined by the National League of Cities for a discussion about the progress made on the task force recommendations, new resilience initiatives, and the challenges and opportunities for equitable climate resilience funding and action.  OMB Director Shaun Donovan will make opening remarks and the panel will feature Salt Lake Mayor Ralph Becker, Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Chairwoman Karen Diver and HUD’s Harriet Tregoning.

 

Wilson Forum Look at Iran, Middle East Energy – On Thursday at 10:00 am, the Wilson Center for Scholars will host a forum on Middle East energy beyond the Iran Nuclear Talks.  Iran hopes that the pending nuclear framework agreement will lead to much needed foreign investment in its oil and gas sector. Insofar as eased sanctions permit, billions of dollars will be needed to reverse production declines and re-establish production growth. How realistic are Iran’s aspirations to attract such investment, and what increased production and exports can be reasonably expected over the near to medium term.  As well, what will be the impact of increased Iranian exports on its neighbors, notably Iraq and Saudi Arabia, and their desire to secure a larger share of the global market? How will the Saudis and other Gulf monarchies react to Iranian moves? What are the implications of changes in Saudi national and energy leadership and of Kurdish moves to produce and export separately from Baghdad? What is the effect of these regional changes on the global energy balance?  Energy experts will explore these issues in this eighth event in the Wilson Center’s Regional and Global Energy Series and will include former State Dept official David Goldwyn, among others.

 

Company to Highlight Data Destruction Method – On Thursday on Capitol Hill, Phiston Technologies will be leading a discussion and technology demonstration of their High Security Data Storage Media Destruction machines.  They will encourage people to bring old computer hard drives, solid state drives, cell phones, CDs/DVDs and ID cards and we will destroy them safely in seconds.   The event will be in 210 Cannon.

 

CSIS to Host IEA Technology Expert – The CSIS Energy and National Security Program will host a forum Friday at 10:00 a.m. featuring Jean-François Gagné, Head of Energy Technology Policy Division with the International Energy Agency. Gagné will present the IEA’s Energy Technology Perspectives 2015. As climate negotiators work towards a deal that would limit the increase in global temperatures, interest is growing in the essential role technology innovation can and must play in enabling the transition to a low-carbon energy system. The 2015 edition of Energy Technology Perspectives examines innovation in the energy technology sector and seeks to increase confidence in the feasibility of achieving short- and long-term climate change mitigation targets through effective research, development, demonstration and deployment. The report also shows how emerging economies, and China in particular, can foster a low-carbon transition through innovation in energy technologies and policy. Guy Caruso, Senior Adviser with the CSIS Energy and National Security Program, will moderate.

 

 

FUTURE EVENTS

WCEE to Host Key Energy Enviro Staff for Outlook – Next Monday morning, the Women’s Council on Energy and the Environment will hold a forum looking at current energy and environmental legislation on Capitol Hill from key staffers.  This year, Congress is contemplating a variety of legislative initiatives in spite of a calendar that threatens to be constrained by must-pass legislation and the annual budget debate.  The conversation about these topics over breakfast will feature key Congressional staffers who will offer their insights and opinions on the busy summer and fall that lie ahead.  Speakers will include Senate EPW’s Majority policy advisor Annie Caputo, Senate EPW Minority staff head Bettina Poirier, House Energy and Commerce Committee Minority advisor Rick Kessler, Minority Senior Advisor, House Energy and Power Subcommittee Majority Chief Counsel Tom Hassenboehler and Senate Energy Majority/Minority staffers Kellie Donnelly and Angela Becker-Dippman.

 

Senate Energy Discusses on Islanded Energy Systems – The full Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee will hold a hearing next Tuesday to receive testimony on islanded energy systems, as well as energy and infrastructure challenges and opportunities in Alaska, Hawaii and the U.S. Territories.

 

DOE’s Kenderdine to Discuss QER – The CSIS Energy and National Security Program will host DOE’s Melanie Kenderdine next Tuesday at 10:00 a.m. to discuss energy security in the first installment of the Quadrennial Energy Review (QER).  The QER focuses on energy infrastructure and identifies the threats, risks, and opportunities for U.S. energy and climate security, enabling the federal government to translate policy goals into a set of integrated actions. This discussion will highlight energy security in the QER, while examining ongoing work in the next installment.

 

EWG’s Faber, Others to Discuss RFS – The DC Bar and the Environmental Law Institute will host a forum Next Tuesday at Noon looking at the EPA’s Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) Program.  A panel of distinguished government, private sector and non-profit experts will explore recent developments in RFS. Topics will include an overview of the RFS program, the impact of EPA’s recently proposed 2014 and 2015 RFS production targets, the impact of fraud in the renewables fuel market, the so-called blend wall and legislative developments.  Speakers will Include EWG’s Scott Faber, API’s Erik Baptist and several others.

 

Forum to Look at China Climate Moves – EESI and the ChinaFAQs Project of the World Resources Institute will hold a briefing on Tuesday July 14th at 1:30 p.m. looking at China’s actions on climate change and clean energy and U.S.-China cooperation. Now the largest greenhouse gas emitter, and with a fast-growing economy and the world’s largest population, China will play a unique and vital role in the effort to address climate change.  University, government, and business experts will discuss the results of the recent U.S.-China Strategic and Economic Dialogue, as well as current actions and future prospects for China’s shift to low-carbon energy-including China’s recently announced contribution (“INDC”) to the international climate agreement in Paris this December.  Among the speakers for forum will be the State Department’s David Vance Wagner, China Counsellor at State’s Office of the Special Envoy for Climate Change.

 

USEA Forum Looks at CO2 Storage – The US Energy Association will host a forum on Thursday, July 16th  at 2:00 p.m. looking at recent achievements of monitoring onshore CO2 Storage, as well as the prospects of offshore CCUS in U.S. & China.  The Gulf Coast Carbon Center (GCCC) at the Bureau of Economic Geology at the University of Texas at Austin has been a leader in CCUS research for over a decade.  The GCCC gained extensive experiences in site characterization, project design and execution, and monitoring from several CO2 injection and EOR projects in the Gulf Coast Region. The GCCC has also been studying the prospects of CO2 sequestration and EOR in Texas offshore and recently completed a characterization project for site characterization in Gulf of Mexico. Meanwhile, a proposal of integrated carbon capture and storage in the offshore Pearl River Mouth Basin in China is recently selected under the framework of US-China Climate Change Working Group. The GCCC, as one of the partners of the project, will provide technical support to the Chinese colleagues. This presentation reports the recent developments on these fronts.

Senate Energy to Look at Nuclear Issues – On August 4th the Senate Energy Committee will hold a hearing to discuss the back-end of the nuclear fuel cycle and related legislation.

 

August Recess

 

GenForum Set For Columbus – ICF International Natural Gas VP Leonard Crook will kick-off the one-day GenForum/POWER-GEN event August 18th on natural gas generation in Columbus, Ohio.  Crook will offer an overview of the recent rise of natural gas-fueled power generation over the years at the expense of coal-fired power plants.  GenForum is organized by PennWell’s GenerationHub. The event is scheduled at the Greater Columbus Convention Center. GenForum leads into PennWell’s POWER-GEN/Natural Gas conference, scheduled for Aug. 18-to-20 at the same convention center.

 

Energy Update: Week of June 29

Friends,

 

Happy 4th of July week….   While it has been a crazy few weeks, the July 4th Congressional break can’t really get started until today’s SCOTUS decision on Mercury.  Full response below, but feel free to connect with either Scott Segal (202-828-5845) or Jeff Holmstead (202-828-5852) as many of you already have.

 

It appears the EPA will also publish the Waters of the US rule (or now known as the Clean Water Rule) in the Federal Register today and EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy will hold an event today at the National  Zoo to talk about the rule.  My colleague Lowell Rothschild (512-739-2352) is a great contact on the subject and is always happy to discuss.    He has also done a series of blogs on the topic at http://www.energylegalblog.com

 

And with John Kerry negotiating with the P5+1 in Vienna trying to get a nuclear deal for Iran, the illusory June 30th is tomorrow.   That is not a hard deadline, but regardless we have some good information and resources on the topics that we can forward should you need it.  Please let me know what you need.

 

Finally, on Saturday, despite his recent stage mishap and some cancelled tour dates, Dave Grohl and Foo Fighters will be headlining his Sonic Highways July 4th extravaganza is set to roll.  The Foo Fighters are slated for a North American tour for most of July, beginning with Saturday’s RFK event.  But Foo Fighters management has been silent about whether Grohl will be ready to rock. His doctors had put him on rest after the surgery, which included Grohl getting six metal pins in his repaired right leg.  Bets are the show goes On with Grohl moving a little slower than normal.  The July 4th event is a daylong, multi-act concert, motorcycle rally and barbecue, with fireworks to top it off. Acts slated to perform include Heart, Joan Jett & The Blackhearts, LL Cool J featuring DJ Z-Trip, Buddy Guy, Gary Clark Jr., D.C.’s own Trouble Funk and Trombone Shorty, all acts that played a role in his documentary Sonic Highways.

 

Jeff and Scott are ready to discuss the SCOTUS ruling.  Please don’t hesitate to call.

 

Frank Maisano

(202) 828-5864

(202) 997-5932

 

 

THE BIG NEWS 

SCOTUS On MATS – The Supreme Court has dealt a significant blow to a major Obama administration rule that limits the amount of mercury and other hazardous pollutants from power plants, ruling 5-4 today that EPA erred while writing the rule. The rule has already pushed dozens of coal-fired power plants into retirement, and has been criticized by fossil fuel advocates as a key part of the administration’s “war on coal.” The administration had argued that it would bring billions of dollars in benefits for public health and the environment.

 

Segal on Ruling – Scott Segal, director of the Electric Reliability Coordinating Council, a group of power plants working on reasonable Clean Air Act implementation, said the ruling is significant when assessing expected upcoming legal challenges on the Administration’s GHG rules.

 

“As you may have heard, the Supreme Court has now ruled on the MATS case, Michigan v. EPA/UARG v. EPA.  The decision favored state and industry petitioners on a 5-4 decision.  Here are some important take-aways:

 

  1. The Court found that EPA elected not to consider cost when deciding whether to regulate mercury and air toxic emissions from power plants.  EPA had said such cost considerations were irrelevant.  Failing to consider costs meant that EPA could not possibly determine if the rule was appropriate, or even rational.  This failure far exceeded the flexibility EPA so frequently relies upon under the Chevron doctrine.

 

  1. As children, we learn that every day can’t be Christmas.  EPA just learned that today.  The Agency cannot continue to write rules without regard to their cost, simply because the Agency believes its cause is just.  The fact is that Congress envisioned a more balanced approach under which economic and environmental endpoints both play a vital role.  Blithe statements that EPA will take costs into consideration at some ill-defined future moment are insufficient, particularly when billions of dollars can be spent even as rules make their way through judicial review.

 

  1. Just a week ago, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill that would stay implementation of the proposed Clean Power Plan – the EPA’s carbon rule for power plants – until such time as final judicial review is complete.  Today’s decision which reverses a rule after great amounts of resources have already been spent is morality tale that demonstrates that the approach taken by the House is sensible and pragmatic.  When the Agency fails to consider the real world implications of its rules and stretches the limit of its legal authority, implementation should await final judicial review.

 

  1. Some have asked about the effect of the rule on the pending Clean Power Plan, the EPA power-plant carbon rule.  Today the Supreme Court clearly had cautionary words for an agency that would proceed without due consideration of cost.  The Court reminded the Agency of the unique position the power sector plays due to its current level of regulation and its importance to the economy as a whole.  These considerations should serve as important warnings to consider cost and reliability in a thorough manner before it finalizes its carbon rules.  Failure to do so will place legacy before legality.”

 

Dartmouth Study Shows Mercury Changes – Speaking of mercury, a Dartmouth-led study using a 600-year-old ice core shows that global mercury pollution increased dramatically during the 20thcentury, but that mercury concentrations in the atmosphere decreased faster than previously thought beginning in the late 1970s when emissions started to decline. The findings suggest that present-day efforts to cut mercury emissions will reduce pollution more quickly than current models predict.  The study appears in the journalEnvironmental Science & Technology.

 

 

IN THE NEWS

Efficiency Study –  Conventional wisdom suggests that energy efficiency (EE) policies are beneficial because they induce investments that pay for themselves and lead to emissions reductions. However, a new paper from researchers at the Becker Friedman Institute says the upfront investment costs are about twice the actual energy savings. Further, the model-projected savings are roughly 2.5 times the actual savings. While this might be attributed to the “rebound” effect – when demand for energy end uses increases as a result of greater efficiency – the paper fails to find evidence of significantly higher indoor temperatures at weatherized homes. Even when accounting for the broader societal benefits of energy efficiency investments, the costs still substantially outweigh the benefits; the average rate of return is approximately -9.5% annually. The results of an part of an experimental evaluation of the nation’s largest residential EE program conducted on a sample of more than 30,000 households by UC-Berkley researchers Meredith Fowlie and Catherine Wolfram and U of Chicago’s Michael Greenstone.

 

Groups Release Multistate GHG Resources – The Eastern Interconnection States Planning Council (EISPC) and the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC) have released the final installment of the Multistate Coordination Resources for Clean Power Plan Compliance.   Funded by the Department of Energy, this final package includes information not found in the May 2015 publication, such as a brief that examines the legislative role(s) that need to be considered in any potential interstate compliance collaborations in response to the Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean Power Plan. The brief also includes sample legislative authorities and a checklist developed by the National Conference of State Legislatures. As states develop their compliance plans, they are proactively exploring a variety of options: single-state, multi-state, unit-based—in anticipation of the Clean Power Plan being finalized. Although NARUC’s member states have diverse opinions of the plan, there is ongoing, intense activity underway by states to better understand what these coordination efforts will entail if pursued as an option to successfully navigate the rules of compliance if the final plan goes forward.  NARUC plans to convene a meeting this fall among State Commissions, consumer advocates, air agencies, and energy offices to see whether the multistate tools developed by EISPC, NARUC, the National Association of Clean Air Agencies, and others fit together, and how.   A copy of the multistate package is available on NARUC’s website at http://bit.ly/1LAprBE.

 

BrightSource, NRG Respond to WSJ on Ivanpah Story – Both NRG and Brightsource responded to a recent Wall Street Journal story that questioned Ivanpah’s productions recently.  BrightSource cited recent reports that production output has improved 170% over last year at this time.  The NRG letter in the Journal said they have always assumed a four-year ramp rate to 100% plant capacity. They also added that the plant has “experienced operating days when the plant is meeting, and in some instances exceeding, projections for this stage of operations.”

 

 

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

 

Stanford Forum to Look at Enviro Capital Issues – Next Tuesday, the Nature Conservancy and the Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment, in cooperation with their Natural Capital Project partners, the World Wildlife Fund and the University of Minnesota, are holding a forum at RFF at 9:00 a.m. on Integrating natural capital into decisions. The event will feature leading academics and practitioners in the field of ecosystem services as well as experts from the public and non-profit sectors, addressing core sustainability challenges of the 21st century.  Speakers and panelists will highlight the latest advances in the science and practice of using ecosystem services to inform decisions. The discussion will provide insights into how this information can best be used by government agencies, multilateral institutions, and the broader sustainable development community to structure and implement policies that are simultaneously sound from environmental and economic perspectives. A panel of leading experts, including authors from a recently published Special Feature of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences on “Nature as Capital,” will discuss key components of bringing natural capital considerations into mainstream decision making on issues such as agriculture, energy, infrastructure, urban planning, finance and national security.  Speakers will include former Bush Interior official Lynn Scarlett, USDA Research under secretary Ann Bartuska, WWF’s Tom Dillon, IADB’s Michele Lemay and Mary Ruckleshaus of the Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment

 

MCOG to Hold EV Workshop – The Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments will hold a Electric Vehicle Readiness Workshop tomorrow to present EV deployment strategies taking place in the region, as well as strategies for advancing public and private charging development. Panelists include – the Transportation and Climate Initiative, US Department of Energy, World Wildlife Fund, Pepco, BG&E, Dominion Power, and the local Clean Cities Coalitions.  Participating governments include the District of Columbia, Prince George’s Co., Hyattsville, MD, Fairfax County, VA, and the Cities of Bowie and Baltimore. The lunch time presentation will address the Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV) Eight State MOU and how the region could assist in advancing the ZEV Action Plan.

 

Cato Forum to Look at Free Markets, Energy – The Cato Institute will hold a forum on the case for free markets in energy next Tuesday in its Hayek Auditorium.  Since the 1970s, however, more libertarian voices have been heard on these issues. IER founder and CEO Rob Bradley, who has been involved with free-market energy policy since its inception, will discuss the history of libertarian thinking on past energy policy and its relevance for current policy debates.

 

Forum to Look at Nat Gas Issues in Europe – The Institute of World Politics will hold a forum on Tuesday, June 30th at 1:00 p.m. featuring a  a lecture on rival gas pipelines for Europe.  The event will feature Vilen Khlgatyan, Vice Chairman, Political Developments Research Center.  In recent years, the competition for supplying Europe with natural gas has heated up once again and has taken a more urgent course due to the conflict in Ukraine. Two pipeline routes are vying for dominance and are backed by different states with their own geopolitical considerations. In December 2014, it was announced that Russia’s Gazprom would re-route its proposed South Stream Pipeline to the Turkish-Greek border via the Black Sea and Turkey. Likewise, the U.S.-backed Nabucco pipeline was sidelined by the less ambitious and costly Trans-Anatolian Pipeline and Trans-Adriatic Pipeline, which will see Azerbaijani gas and potentially Iranian and Turkmen gas cross Turkey to reach markets in Greece, the Balkans and Italy. Both pipelines have their advantages and disadvantages. This lecture will consider the economics and geopolitics of the rival pipelines and what’s at stake for the concerned parties.  Khlgatyan is Vice-Chairman of Political Developments Research Center (PDRC), a think tank based in Yerevan, Armenia. He specializes in the geopolitics of energy, non-kinetic warfare, and the post-Soviet region with an emphasis on the Caucasus.

 

USEA Forum to Look at Modeling – The US Energy Association will hold a forum Tuesday, June 30th at 2:00 p.m. on MIT’s global models that are project energy and climate issues. Using a projection modeling system developed by MIT’s Joint Program on the Science and Policy of Global Change, the Integrated Global System Model (IGSM), we provide an integrated assessment of how human activities, given our current development path, are interacting with complex Earth systems and ultimately affecting the natural resources on which we depend. In the first part of the presentation (lead by Dr, Erwan Monier), we introduce the IGSM, and describe the capabilities of the modeling system to simulate the uncertainty in the future climate response to anthropogenic emissions of greenhouse gases and aerosols. In the second part of the presentation (lead by Dr, Sergey Paltsev), we provide an integrated economic and climate projection of the 21st century–not a prediction, as the future will ultimately be determined by actions taken over the next decades that are intended to stabilize our relationship with the planet. We incorporate the emissions targets currently proposed by the international community to address the challenges of climate change.

 

Perry to Address National  Press Club Luncheon – Rick Perry, the former three-term governor of Texas and a 2016 presidential candidate, will lay out an economic plan at a National Press Club luncheon on Thursday. The former U.S. Air Force pilot, who left office in January, will discuss how to fight “the cycle of hopelessness and lost opportunity that so many Americans feel trapped in.  The son of tenant farmers in Paint Creek, Texas, Perry is one of several governors and former governors in the large Republican presidential field. His state has the 12th largest economy in the world by GDP and since 2000 has created almost one-third of all new private sector jobs in the United States. As governor, Perry dealt with the border crisis, an ebola outbreak and refugees from Hurricane Katrina.

 

EPA’s McCarthy, NBC’s Anne Thompson to Look at Pope’s Climate Approach – Georgetown University will hold a forum Wednesday at 6:00 p.m. on Pope Francis’ just-released encyclical on care for creation and climate change.  The dialogue brings together a distinguished panel from government, media, academia, and business to discuss the encyclical, its moral framework, and its potential religious, ethical, and policy impacts.  Speakers will include EPA’s Gina McCarthy and NBC’s Anne Thompson, among others.

 

July 4th

 

FUTURE EVENTS

 

CSM to Host McCarthy on Paris Talks – Recharge, the Christian Science Monitor’s energy section, will host EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy for a talk on Tuesday July 7th at 9:30 p.m. looking at US energy and climate policy on the path to Paris negotiations.  As diplomats across the globe prepare for December’s climate talks, the US is working to meet its own ambitious emissions targets. Administrator McCarthy will outline progress to-date on greenhouse gas reductions, and will discuss what challenges remain for the world’s second-largest emitter.

 

WCEE Forum to Look at Grid Design – The Women’s Council on Energy and the Environment (WCEE) will hold a forum Tuesday, July 7th at Noon at Energetics looking at designing a successful transition to clean, renewable energy.  Nicole Steele, Executive Director of GRID Alternatives’ Mid-Atlantic office will discuss the success stories of providing community-scale solar access at the local and regional scale, where there are often different rules, permitting and incentives.  She will discuss how GRID works with community partners, volunteers and job trainees to implement solar power and energy efficiency for low-income families, and describe what works in which areas and why, including low income solar rebate programs, single-family versus multi-family and community solar models, homeowners  versus renters, and innovative job training workforce development approaches involving schools or veteran communities.

 

House Committee to Look at DHS Climate Focus – The House Homeland Security Committee’s Subcommittee on Oversight and Management Efficiency will hold a hearing on Wednesday July 8th  examining DHS’s focus on climate change.

 

House Resources to Look at Helium Issues – The House Resources Committee will hold a hearing on Wednesday July 8th on recent legislation on the US Helium reserve.

 

House Energy Panel to Target Climate Issues – The House Energy panel at Energy & Commerce will hold a hearing on Wednesday July 8th looking at the GHG rule.

 

Congressional Renewable Energy Forum, Expo Set – The 18th Annual Congressional Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Technology EXPO and Policy Forum will be held on Thursday, July 9th in the Cannon House Office Building.  The exhibits will be in Cannon Caucus Room (Cannon 345) while the Policy Forum will be in 334 Cannon. The event brings together close to 50 businesses, trade associations, and government agencies to showcase renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies and is Co-Hosted by the House and Senate’s Renewable Energy & Energy Efficiency Caucuses, as well as the Sustainable Energy Coalition.

 

Company to Highlight Data Destruction Method – On July 9th on Capitol Hill, Phiston Technologies will be leading a discussion and technology demonstration of their High Security Data Storage Media Destruction machines.  They will encourage people to bring old computer hard drives, solid state drives, cell phones, CDs/DVDs and ID cards and we will destroy them safely in seconds.   The event will be in 210 Cannon.

 

Senate Energy to Look at Nuclear Issues – On August 4th the Senate Energy Committee will hold a hearing to discuss the back-end of the nuclear fuel cycle and related legislation.

 

August Recess

 

GenForum Set For Columbus – ICF International Natural Gas VP Leonard Crook will kick-off the one-day GenForum/POWER-GEN event August 18th on natural gas generation in Columbus, Ohio.  Crook will offer an overview of the recent rise of natural gas-fueled power generation over the years at the expense of coal-fired power plants.  GenForum is organized by PennWell’s GenerationHub. The event is scheduled at the Greater Columbus Convention Center. GenForum leads into PennWell’s POWER-GEN/Natural Gas conference, scheduled for Aug. 18-to-20 at the same convention center.

 

Energy Update: Week of June 22

Friends,

 

Hope it was a Happy Fathers’ Day and Summer Solstice yesterday (officially at 12:39 p.m.).  It was the longest daylight of the year with sunrise at 5:43 a.m. with the daylight lasting 14 hrs, 53 mins and 54 secs until 8:37 p.m.    I spent all of those daylight hours with Hannah and Olivia refereeing lacrosse in Richmond and then heading to Kings Dominion on the way home to avoid traffic for some serious rollercoaster riding.  Meanwhile, my wife was at Firefly Festival in Delaware all three-plus days, making the weekend even more awesome because I ate whatever I wanted and stayed up late watching stupid (I mean awesome) movies.  All-the-while, I was getting weather and concert-going reports such as the smell during Sublime and Snoop Dog performance (if you know what I mean), among many other great insights into the minds and souls of four-day festival goers (muddy, drunk/high, smelly).

 

A Father’s Day with the remote also meant watching as much golf as I could, especially at the end of Sunday.  With the west coast US Open venue, it was great to catch the end after a tough day of rollercoasting.  It great to see Jordan Spieth take his second consecutive major while difficult to watch Dustin Johnson let a win, then a tie slip away.  I for One was hoping for a ties as that would have led to watching more golf today.  And can’t leave sports without shoutouts to Golden State, The Blackhawks and the Nats Max Scherzer, who was one-strike and an elbow away from a perfect game only to “settle” for a no-hitter.

 

This week remains busy as we start the run up to July 4th week.  First, it is the last week of the SCOTUS term which means  since we haven’t seen any Mercury decision this morning that it will likely arrive on Thursday.  Second, it Is energy week the House with a full slate of legislation headed to the floor including bipartisan TCSA Reform, Rep. McKinley’s coal ash and Chairman Whitfield’s Ratepayer Protection bill, which pauses EPA’s GHG rule until the courts ruled on its legality.  As well, the EPA/Interior spending bill is expected on the floor likely leading to lots of amendments and late nights.

 

In the hearing rooms, Senate Environment has UMW’s Gene Trisko and Black Chamber President Harry Alford tomorrow on the GHG rule impacts on businesses, while House Foreign Affairs looks into crude exports and Senate Homeland security Has former OIRA head Susan Dudley on drafting regulations.   On Wednesday House Science hits the EIA analysis of the GHG rule while House resources looks at a GAO report on BLM mismanagement of wind and solar reclamation bonds.  Finally Thursday, after last week’s work at the House Energy & Commerce panel on Health, GMO labeling returns at an House Ag panel to focus on the Pompeo legislation and states’ rights issues and the Senate Foreign Relations Committee looks into the Iran Nuclear discussions which hit a deadline at the end of June.  Remember, last week, a number of US leaders went to Paris to support regime change and limits on any Iran Nuclear deal.

 

Finally, some other interesting event s in DC this week, including a Washington Post forum tomorrow on innovation/technology featuring Southern CEO Tom Fanning and others, a Wednesday forum from the House Natural Gas Caucus featuring Cabot’s George Stark, a Thursday POLITICO Panel on the environment and youth featuring former Speaker Newt Gingrich and our friend Elana Schor and Friday, the Center for New American Security’s Annual Conference featuring a bunch of great panels/speakers on Iran, crude exports, oil security and many other topics.

 

Speaking of SoCo’s Fanning, he also headlines ACORE hosts it 12th annual REFF-Wall Street 2015 on Wednesday and Thursday at The Grand Hyatt in New York City.  REFF-Wall Street is the premier renewable energy financing event in the U.S.

 

Frank Maisano

(202) 828-5864

(202) 997-5932

 

 

IN THE NEWS

EPA Release Heavy Duty Truck Rule – EPA and DOT released fuel efficiency standards for medium- and heavy-duty trucks, which they said would cut 1 billion metric tons of carbon when they take full effect.  The Phase 2 standards cover the 2021 to 2027 model years, and build upon a previous standard for trucks with model years between 2014 and 2018, would aim to cut emissions from combination tractors – large freight vehicles –  by 24%, compared with the previous standard, by 2027.  It would also seek a 16% reduction for pick-up trucks, light vans and vocational vehicles, compared with the Phase 1 standard, on the same timeline.   Officials touted the economic benefits of the rule saying increased fuel efficiency has produced major dividends for the national economy and for energy security.  They said new tractor trailers would cost $10,000 to $12,000 more under the new standards, but owners would recoup that investment in two years.

 

SAFE Touts Energy Security Over Emissions – While most were focused on GHG emissions, SAFE Said that the rule is really an oil security issue.  They said the rule marks a critical step in the effort to reduce the United States’ dependence on oil.   Gen. James Conway, former Commandant of the U.S. Marine Corps said “Increasing the efficiency of a sector of the economy that is such a large and growing oil consumer will strengthen our national security, give our armed forces more flexibility, and make our servicemen and women less likely to go into harm’s way,” Last week, Adml. Dennis Blair penned a letter to the New York Times saying the truck rule will really curb our oil appetite and strengthen American security.

 

DTF: New Fleet is Already Cleaner – The Diesel Technology Forum says more clean diesel trucks are already on the road.  DTF released new research that shows emissions are going down and fuel savings and greenhouse gas emissions benefits are going up in the nation’s commercial trucking fleet as more truckers invest in new technology clean diesel engines.  The new fleet is a growing portion of the total diesel commercial truck population with more than 37% of all US diesel medium- and heavy-duty commercial trucks registered now equipped with newer technology clean diesel engines – those manufactured in Model Year 2007 or newer that have near zero particulate emissions.  And nearly 22% of all diesel trucks in operation are now the newest clean diesel technology (2010 and later model year) that are also near zero emissions in nitrogen oxides.

 

Big Fleets, Manufacturers Weigh In – An alliance of the country’s largest names in trucking said today that they look forward to working with Federal regulators on the Obama Administration’s Notice of Proposed Rule Making (NPRM) for the second phase of national fuel efficiency and greenhouse gas emission standards for heavy-duty vehicles. Noting the success of Phase I standards finalized in 2011, the group said it is supportive of a process to achieve substantial environmental and economic benefits by reducing GHG emissions, improving fuel efficiency and delivering fuel cost savings for fleets.  WM CEO David Steiner said: “Our hope with the Phase II rule is that we can continue our investment in a natural gas collection fleet that has proven to be good for our customers and communities, good for the environment and good for business.  We have eliminated the use of 8,000 gallons of diesel fuel per year with each of our more than 4,000 natural gas trucks. Each truck eliminates nearly all particulate emissions, significantly reduces smog-forming NOx emissions and cuts GHG emissions by over 20 percent.”

 

SAFE Announces Energy Tech Prize Finalists – Speaking of SAFE, they announced four semifinalists for its 2015 Energy Security Prize, awarding a total of $175,000 to companies whose innovations are poised to advance American energy security by helping to end the United States’ dependence on oil.  One of the companies, Peleton has a technology that will be helpful in addressing the new Heavy-duty truck rule Just released by EPA.  The winner of the 2015 Prize will receive $125,000, the first runner up $35,000 and the second runner up $15,000. The four semifinalists are FreeWire Technologies, Momentum Dynamics, Peloton Technology, and SeaChange Group. Videos of the semifinalists can be viewed at secureenergy.org/prize. These four semifinalists were selected by two rounds of judging by expert panels comprised of industry leaders, energy and transportation specialists, and academics. This year’s three finalists will be announced in the days leading up to the Energy Security Prize awards ceremony, to be held in Charleston, S.C. on July 31.  Partners CNBC and Clemson University will join SAFE in Charleston to announce the grand prize winner, runner up, and second runner up of the 2015 Prize at an event featuring leaders in the fields of business, policy, and national security, celebrating these technologies and selecting those with the greatest potential to transform the way the world moves goods and people.

 

The Companies:

FreeWire Technologies’ Mobi electric vehicle (EV) charger helps eliminate the “charge rage” facing areas with high EV adoption and insufficient charging capacity. Mobis decouple infrastructure from parking spots by using repurposed EV batteries to deliver power via a fully motorized platform. Each Mobi, with its 40 kilowatt-hour capacity, can top off up to four vehicles in the morning, recharge, and be ready to power additional EVs in the afternoon.

 

Momentum Dynamics seeks to take DC fast charging for electric vehicles to the next level, pioneering a wireless charging system designed for the workplace and public locations like shopping centers and restaurants. Their unique 25-kilowatt wireless charging pad delivers power via magnetic induction ten times faster than home-based plug-in chargers, overcoming barriers to EV adoption by allowing EVs to charge frequently, quickly and automatically.

 

Peloton Technology aims to increase safety, efficiency, and profits for America’s trucking fleets with its Truck Platooning System, which wirelessly links pairs of tractor-trailers. These two-truck “platoons” share collision avoidance radar and other sensors, braking automatically and nearly instantaneously, allowing trucks to travel at closer distances, providing aerodynamic fuel savings of up to 10 percent for both vehicles. A cloud-based network operations center improves driver awareness and dynamically manages platooning to ensure it is only done under appropriate conditions.

 

SeaChange Group is tackling an important opportunity for oil displacement: maritime vessels, locomotives and off-road equipment. Using the primary byproduct from biodiesel production, glycerol, SeaChange has created a fuel blend to markedly reduce oil use and emissions from all manner of seafaring vessels (to start) while eliminating the need for costly add-ons such as exhaust scrubbers. On top of the environmental and health benefits, SeaChange’s Eco-Hybrid™ fuel is cheaper than regular diesel. The company is currently testing the new fuel at sea and producing 1,000 gallons daily with its pilot processor.

 

Stakeholders come to Major Agreement on Commercial HV AC DOE rule – The Appliance Standards Awareness Project (ASAP), the Air-Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration Institute (AHRI), and the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy (ACEEE) today applauded the success of the Commercial Package Air Conditioners and Commercial Warm Air Furnaces Working Group, established by the Department of Energy on April 1, to negotiate conservation standards for these products. After six meetings, the working group, comprised of industry, energy efficiency and environmental advocates, contractors and agency representatives, including AHRI and ASAP, reached consensus and provided recommendations for energy conservation standards, test procedures, and metrics.  AHRI’s Steve Yurek: “Bringing stakeholders together to develop a rule that is both effective and achievable is the best way to ensure that our members’ products and equipment provide consumers and businesses with comfort, safety, and productivity while helping the nation achieve its energy reduction targets.”  The committee was tasked with addressing rules for the energy efficiency of commercial package air conditioners and heat pumps (specifically, air-cooled with rated cooling capacities greater than or equal to 65,000 Btu per hour and less than 760,000 Btu per hour split and package AC and HP) and commercial warm air furnaces, as authorized by the Energy Policy and Conservation Act (EPCA) of 1975, as amended. The scope excluded package terminal air conditioners and heat pumps (PTAC/PTHP), single package vertical units (SPVU), computer room air conditioners (CRAC), and variable refrigerant flow (VRF) systems.

 

VT Asst AG Weighs in on States Rights, GMO Labeling – In testimony at the House Energy & Commerce Committee late last week, told representatives that the federal draft legislation would prematurely derail Vermont’s GMO labeling law and end any GMO labeling efforts by states.  Daloz told the committee that the state is simply providing consumers with information.   “It’s not a warning. It’s a notification. There was tremendously strong demand in Vermont for this labeling bill.  The legislature found that giving consumers this information enables them to make a choice similar to calorie counts.  This is the state simply providing information for consumers.”  Vermont Rep. Peter Welch questioned what their problem is with allowing labeling.   “It’s a consumer right to know issue.  I agree with my colleagues that a national standard would be good. But there is no national standard in this bill.  It’s a voluntary labeling, which means there will be no labeling what-so-ever. If GMO’s are so safe, and I’m not here to challenge that assertion, but if they’re so safe why not label? Why would anyone be afraid of so labeling those products so that consumers would have a right to know?”

 

Blog Says GMO Legislation Limits States, Undermines Public Opinion – EWG’s Scott Faber wrote a blog just prior to the hearing saying the new version of H.R. 1599 – dubbed the Deny Americans the Right to Know or “DARK” Act – is a radical overreach that does not simply deny consumers the right to know what’s in their food or how it is grown, but also denies state and local governments the right to protect farmers and rural residents from the environmental impacts of GMO crops.  Faber said the legislation doubles down on efforts to blocks states from requiring GMO labeling. The new version also block states from regulating how GMO crops are produced.  Faber added it is especially shocking in light of new polls by the Mellman Group andConsumers Union that show 9-in-10 Americans want mandatory GMO labeling – regardless of age, income, education, race or even party affiliation.  Consumers simply want the right to know what’s in their food and how it was grown – a right held by consumers in 64 other nations.

 

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

 

DOE Hosts Sustainable Transpo Day – Today is Sustainable Transportation Day, an afternoon on the grounds of the Forrestal Building in D.C., with the Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy’s (EERE’s) Bioenergy Technologies Office, Fuel Cell Technologies Office, and Vehicle Technologies Office.  You can meet with federal staff, EERE leadership, and stakeholders from the public sector and private industry. Enjoy exhibits such as the Green Racing Simulator—a one-of-a-kind racing game that brings together sustainable transportation and arcade thrills;  the first Washington, D.C. visit of the 12.2 mpg Freightliner SuperTruck; and a unique opportunity to see some of the world’s first commercial fuel cell electric vehicles.  EERE wil also discuss its strategic investments in sustainable transportation research, development, and demonstration projects are improving vehicle efficiency, advancing the use of alternative fuel vehicles, and lowering production costs of advanced biofuels and hydrogen.

 

Wilson Report Focus On Climate, Security Issues – Today at 3:00 p.m., the Wilson Center for Scholars will convene leaders from the development, diplomatic, and security communities and the report’s coauthors for the U.S. launch of a “New Climate for Peace.” The high-level interagency panel will explore how these climate-fragility challenges are changing the way the United States and its partners work, and will also identify opportunities for joint action to address them.  The ultimate “threat multiplier,” climate change is increasing the challenges facing the U.S. development, diplomatic, and security communities.  “A New Climate for Peace: Taking Action on Climate and Fragility Risks,” an independent report commissioned by the members of the G7, identifies seven compound climate-fragility risks that pose serious threats to stability in the decades ahead. Based on a thorough assessment of existing policies, the report recommends that the G7 take concrete actions to tackle climate-fragility risks and increase the resilience of states and societies.

 

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 today through Wednesday 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 today through Wednesday.  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.

 

Bio Energy Event, DOE Conference Set – Tonight, Leaders in Energy will host bioenergy and clean energy professionals to discuss the evolving bioeconomy and renewable fuels.  Topics will include the renewable fuels standard, how bioenergy resources can be produced in sustainable ways, utilizing algae as a way to produce products and capture carbon, and employment and career opportunities in the bioenergy sector.  This event will take place on the evening before the U.S. Department of Energy, Bioenergy 2015 Conference tomorrow and Wednesday at the DC Convention Center.  The DOE Bioenergy 2015 conference is the 8th annual conference and will look at opportunities in the changing energy landscape.  The Clean Energy Research and Education Foundation co-hosts this year’s conference, which will focus on opportunities and challenges in our current highly dynamic energy ecosystem.  Each year, approximately 600 participants attend the conference, including key stakeholders from the bioenergy industry, Congress, national laboratories, academia, and the financial community.

 

WP host Answers Forum with Moniz, Fanning, Others – Tomorrow morning, The Washington Post will host business leaders, elected officials, government innovators, tech pioneers and scientists from around the country at a forum to discuss and debate what’s working in their cities, states and businesses when it comes to producing, delivering, securing and conserving energy. The event, the third live event in The Washington Post’s America Answers series, will look at technologies, policies and programs related to clean energy, batteries and energy storage, the grid, energy efficiency, innovations in oil and gas and more.  Speakers with include Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz, Southern Company CEO Tom Fanning, Hawai’i Gov. David Ige, Phoenix, AZ Mayor Greg Stanton, former Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour, former EPA head Carol Browner, and several others.

 

API to Release New Policy Study – The American Petroleum Institute’s (API) President/CEO Jack Gerard will host a briefing tomorrow morning at the St. Regis Hotel’s Astor Ballroom to release a new policy study conducted by industry experts Wood Mackenzie. A panel of leading energy stakeholders will discuss the importance of an all of the above approach to U.S. energy policies and a pro-growth strategy for our energy future leading up to the 2016 elections. Panelists will include Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council President Karen Kerrigan, American Association of Blacks in Energy (AABE) President Paula Jackson, Vets4Energy National Liaison Rear Admiral Don Loren, USN (RET.) and LIUNA General President Terry O’Sullivan.

 

House Science Tackles EIA Report on GHG Plan – The House Science Committee will hold a hearing tomorrow on the recent EIA report that focused on the Administration’s Clean Power Plan.   EIA’s Howard Gruenspecht is expected to testify with several others.

 

Senate Environment to Look at GHG Impacts on Energy Costs – The Senate Committee on Environment Subcommittee on Clean Air and Nuclear Safety will hold a hearing tomorrow at 2:00 p.m. on EPA GHG regulations and their impact on energy costs for American businesses, rural communities and families.

 

Inhofe Headline Social Cost of Carbon Event – The Heritage Foundation host a forum tomorrow at 2:00 p.m. in its Allison Auditorium for a discussion on the social cost of carbon, and the science, policy, and politics of carbon regulation.  The Administration is forcefully pushing its carbon regulations with the quantitative basis for these rules being the social cost of carbon (SCC).  Heritage research shows the models used to calculate the SCC can support encouraging CO2 emissions rather than actually restricting them. Other quantitative measures of CO2 policy, such as the likely impact on world temperatures, provide little support for any of the policies offered to date. Ignoring this evidence, the Obama Administration appears resolute in its stance to promote its policy goals – even at the detriment of those adversely impacted by these misguided policies.  Keynote speaker will be Senate Environment Committee Chair Jim Inhofe. There will also be a panel discussion hosted by our friend David Kreutzer of Heritage.

 

Cato Forum to Look at Oil, Gas Renaissance – The Cato Institute will hold a forum tomorrow at 1:00 p.m. in 2168 Rayburn on sustaining the American energy renaissance in oil and gas.  Directional drilling, horizontal drilling, hydraulic fracturing, and radical new advances in offshore platform technology and global positioning software have revolutionized both onshore and offshore oil and gas production. These advances have required considerable capital investment that would have been less likely in a nation constrained by a cap-and-trade or carbon-tax system.  The event will feature Petroleum Geologist Ned Mamula, formerly with the U.S. Geological Survey, MMS and the CIA, and Cato’s Pat Michaels,

 

Senate Enviro to Look at GHG Costs on Businesses – The Senate Environment Committee’s Subcommittee on Clean Air and Nuclear Safety will hold a hearing tomorrow at 2:00 p.m. on the impacts of EPA’s proposed Carbon Regulations on Energy Costs for American Businesses, Rural Communities and Families.  Witnesses will include Industrial Energy Consumers of America President Paul Cicio, NY DEC Commissioner Joseph Martens, UMWA’s Gene Trisko, Harvard Med School instructor Mary Rice and National Black Chamber of Commerce President Harry Alford.

 

Senate Foreign Relations to Look at Crude Exports – The Senate Foreign Relations Committee’s Subcommittee on Multilateral International Development, Multilateral Institutions, and International Economic Energy, and Environmental Policy will hold a hearing tomorrow at 2:45 p.m. on American energy exports and opportunities for allies and national security.  Witnesses include former White House official Bob McNally, David Gordon of the Center for a New American Security and Jamie Webster of IHS Energy.

 

Coal Council Exec to Discuss CCS Report – USEA will host Janet Gellici, Executive Vice President & COO of the National Coal Council tomorrow at 2:00 p.m. to discuss a recently completed a report for the U.S. Secretary of Energy that provides recommendations on how to accelerate the deployment of CCS technologies.  The U.S. Department of Energy is a world leader in the development of CCS technology.  The DOE CCS/CCUS program, however, has not yet achieved critical mass.  There is a need for a substantial increase in the number of large scale demonstration projects for both capture and storage technologies before either system even approaches commercialization.

 

SoCo Fanning Headlines REFF Wall Street – ACORE hosts it 12th annual REFF-Wall Street 2015 on Wednesday and Thursday at The Grand Hyatt in New York City.  REFF-Wall Street is the premier renewable energy financing event in the U.S.  Attendees of this event include CEOs and other senior company officials, lenders, investors, investment bankers, private equity investors, venture capitalists and other top transactional professionals in renewable energy finance.  The event draws an especially senior audience, comprising of over 600 senior decision makers, financiers and professionals in the renewable energy finance field.  Southern Company CEO Tom Fanning will headline a list of speakers that also includes DOE EERE’s David Danelson and former EERE head Cathy Zoi.

 

ACCO Holds Climate Strategies Forum – On Wednesday to Friday, the Association of Climate Change Officers will hold its Climate Strategies Forum’s at the Washington Marriott.  The event is ACCO’s primary conference offering half-day training sessions for credit applicable to the Climate Governance Certificate under the CCO CertificationTM program. The Forum also features a suite of keynote conversations, a Women’s Climate Collaborative speed mentoring session, CCO Roundtable sessions, networking events, a tools and methodologies showcase and a tabletop exhibition.

 

Sen. Gardner to Headline ASE Event – The Alliance to Save Energy will have an intimate Policy Perspectives discussion with Senator Cory Gardner on Wednesday at 8:45 a.m. at Bobby Van’s Steakhouse.  Gardner has served in both the House and the Senate and is a national leader on energy efficiency initiatives.

 

DOE Innovation Competition Set – On Wednesday at the Pew Charitable Trusts, the DOE’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy National Clean Energy Business Plan Competition (NCEBPC) will hold its national competition on the new technologies highlighted.  This year, student-led teams competed in five DOE-sponsored regional competitions by submitting business plans for innovative clean energy technologies. Each regional winner received a DOE-sponsored prize.  The NCEBPC culminates in the annual National Competition, which brings together public, private, and nonprofit sector stakeholders. On Wednesday, regional finalists and runners-up will showcase their technologies, NCEBPC alumni will discuss the paths they have taken since participating in the competition, and finalists will compete for the National Prize. Five regional finalists will pitch their business plans to an esteemed panel of judges, industry leaders, and audience members. The winning team will take home the DOE National Prize of $50,000 and various in-kind services.

 

Book Forum to Look at Energy, Economy – The Wilson Center will hold a book forum on Wednesday at 10:00 a.m. featuring UK economic Professors Stacy Closson and Evan Hillebrand.  In the book, they forecast the most significant drivers of global economic growth over the next forty years. The authors discuss eight scenarios they have modeled of possible global futures, emphasizing the interconnectedness of energy prices, economic growth, and geopolitics. They will discuss the probability of each scenario and share their conclusions.

 

House Science Panel to Look at EIA GHG Report – The House Science Committee’s Subcommittee on Environment and Subcommittee on Energy Hearing will hold a hearing on Wednesday at 10:00 a.m. looking at the EIA report on the EPA’s Clean Power Plan. Witnesses include EIA Deputy Administrator Howard Gruenspecht, Chamber climate expert Stephen Eule, pro-climate policy gadfly Susan Tierney, Senior Advisor and Heritage senior statistician and researcher Kevin Dayaratna.

 

House to Look at GAO Report on Mismanagement – The House Natural Resources Committee’s Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations will convene an oversight hearing on Wednesday on a new GAO report documenting BLM’s mismanagement of wind and solar reclamation bonds.

 

Whitman to Be Featured at Young Professional Energy Event – On Wednesday at 12:30 p.m., Young Professionals in Energy will hold a meet and greet with former New Jersey Governor and U.S. EPA Administrator Christine Todd Whitman for an informal and off-the-record lunchtime gathering.  Governor Whitman will talk about her role co-chairing the pro-nuclear group, Clean and Safe Energy Coalition (CASEnergy).

 

BPC to Look at Energy Efficiency Standards – On Wednesday at 2:00 p.m., the Bipartisan Policy Center will hold a forum on four decades of appliance energy efficiency standards.  The forum will look at what has been accomplished and the more that 20 pending rules at DOE may be headed.  DOE’s Appliance Efficiency Standards, dating back to 1979, currently cover products accounting for approximately 90% of home energy use and 60% of commercial building energy use. Although the program has had its challenges over the years, existing standards are expected to cumulatively save 70 quadrillion British thermal units (BTUs) of energy and lead to consumer savings approaching $1 trillion by 2020.  As “smart grid” technology, new utility business models, and other opportunities arise to enable appliances to communicate and interact with the grid, new opportunities and challenges for efficiency standards are likely to emerge.   The event will feature a panel discussion to explore what efficiency standards have accomplished, what the future could bring, and what Congress should have in mind as it considers new energy legislation.    Speakers include Robert McArver of the Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers and ACEEE’s Steve Nadel.

House Natural Gas Caucus to Host Forum – The House Natural Gas Caucus will host a forum on Wednesday at 3:30 p.m. looking at the importance of infrastructure to the demand coming from new natural gas power plants.   Speakers will include Cabot’s George Stark, a member company representative from INGAA and  LIUNA’s Dave Mallino. They also may have a panelist from the Congressional Research Service to go over the natural gas infrastructure reform bills introduced this Congress.

 

Solar Foundation to Hold Solstice Event – Speaking of Summer Solstice, every June, the Solar Foundation (TSF) hosts its Summer Solstice, a celebration of solar energy and the beneficial role it plays across many aspects of our society. We will be returning to the most incredible rooftop in downtown Washington, D.C. to roll out the “yellow carpet” in recognition of all things solar.  With their admission, this year’s Solstice guests will be treated to great food and drinks, barefoot bocce ball, electrifying beats, amazing twilight views of the Capital’s skyline, and the company of many of the most eclectic personalities in solar! The evening will also play host to the presentation of the 2015 Solar Foundation Awards, honoring the year’s preeminent solar heroes.

 

Gingrich to Lead POLITICO Forum Discussion on Youth, Environment – POLITICO will host a cutting-edge conversation on Thursday morning at the Hamilton exploring how millennials are impacting the future of environmental sustainability.   Panelists will look at whether millennial lifestyle choices and technology is making cities more sustainable as well as how young voters are impacting environmental politics.  Panelists include former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, Millennial Action Project President and Founder Steven Olikara, POLITICO Magazine Editor Garrett Graff and our friend Elana Schor, who covers energy for POLITICO.

 

Energy Breakfast Focused on Utility of Future – ICF International will hold its Energy and Environment Breakfast on Thursday at the National Press Club, featuring one of the top U.S. utilities and one of its leading regulatory thinkers for a discussion on the utility of the future.  Much discussion has surrounded distributed energy resources such as rooftop solar, storage, and demand side management (DSM). Some regions are considering the best ways to reform the distribution system, perhaps by turning its operation over to a nonprofit entity—for example, a regional transmission organization (RTO) at the distribution level—and allowing third parties to use the system to offer an innovative set of energy services to customers.  Speakers will include Garry Brown, Former Chair and Commissioner of the NY PSC and Mark Webb, General Counsel, and Chief Risk Officer of Dominion

 

BPC Event to Feature Udall, Shimkus on TSCA – On Thursday, the Bipartisan Policy Center hosts a bicameral, bipartisan dialogue where Sen. Tom Udall (D-NM) and Rep. John Shimkus (R-IL) provide their views on why the Toxic Substance Control Act (TSCA) needs updating, and what the next steps are toward modernizing this important law.    Udall and Shimkus will join a Bridge-Builder discussion about the nation’s chemical safety law.  At nearly 40 years old, TSCA has been rendered ineffective by court decisions and is in need of serious reform. This year, it just might get one. Both the House Energy and Commerce Committee as well as the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee have reported bipartisan bills.  BPC’s Bridge-Builder Series highlights the institutions and individuals who are crossing party lines and developing solutions to the critical challenges facing our country.

 

IEA to Present Medium-term Gas Report – On Thursday at 10:00 a.m., the CSIS Energy and National Security Program will host Laszlo Varro, Head of Gas, Coal & Power Markets Division at the International Energy Agency (IEA), to present the IEA’s Medium-Term Gas Market Report 2015. The annual report, which gives a detailed analysis and five-year projections of natural gas demand, supply and trade developments, examines the interaction of increased gas demand in light of substantial price drops while the upstream sector is suffering amid large capital expenditure cuts. The impact on global gas markets of Russia’s strategic shift in its gas export policy and the rising tide of liquefied natural gas supplies are also given special consideration. The Medium-Term Gas Market Report is part of a series of annual reports the IEA devotes to each of the main primary energy sources: oil, gas, coal, renewable energy and energy efficiency.

 

House Ag Panel Looks at GMO Labeling – Following last week’s hearing the House E&C Health Subcommittee, the House Ag Committee will revisit the GMO Labeling Issues.   The hearing will look at a new draft of the “Deny Americans the Right to Know” (DARK) Act which would not only preempt state laws that require labeling of food containing genetically engineered ingredients but would also strip away the right of local government to regulate GMO crops.  EWG’s Scott Faber says the effort will keep consumers in the dark by also blocking state efforts to protect farmers and rural residents from dangerous herbicides used with GMO crops.  “The American people have a right to know what’s in their food,” said Dr. John Boyd, Jr., founder and president of the National Black Farmers Association. “As a farmer, I grow both GMO and non-GMO crops, and know that labeling would not hurt my bottom line. I firmly believe that no matter where people buy their groceries, they should be given basic information about the presence of GMOs in their food.”  Earlier this month the Mellman Group released a poll, funded by Just Label It, showing that nearly 90% of Americans – regardless of party affiliation, age, race or education – want mandatory GMO labeling.

 

Senate Foreign Relations to Look at Iran Deal – The Senate Foreign Affairs Committee will take a drive into discussions surrounding Iran Nuclear deal on Thursday at 10:30 a.m.   Witnesses will include David Albright of the Institute for Science and International Security, CFR’s Ray Takeyh and MIT’s  Jim Walsh

Forum to Look at Green Finance Tools – The Center for Climate and Energy Solutions (C2ES) is hosting a forum at GWU’s Lerner Hall on Thursday morning looking at states and companies deploying new tools like green bonds, clean energy banks, energy service companies and more to pay for improved energy technology and infrastructure.  Speakers will looking into progress, scalability, past efforts and what financial tools can spur clean energy and efficiency upgrades.  They include Robert Martineau of the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation, Pennsylvania Deputy Treasurer Keith Welks,  Treasury, JPMorgan Chase’s  Granville Martin, Anna Pavlova of Schneider Electric, Citi’s Bruce Schlein and Bob Perciasepe, President, Center for Climate and Energy Solutions (C2ES).

 

CHP Webinar to Look at Markets – The Combined Heat and Power Association will hold a Webinar on Thursday at Noon to look at U.S. Energy Markets and the CHP Market in Particular.  The webinar will look at the broader US energy market trends and their international, national, and regional trends. Speakers will specifically discuss upcoming U.S. energy legislation, the U.S. energy market and its influence to the international energy landscape, current CHP market trends from the CHP Installation Database, market drivers for continued CHP development, and the micro affects regional energy providers may experience.

 

Cato Offers Skeptical Look at Ozone Science – On Thursday at 4:00 p.m. the Cato Institute will hold a forum on the new EPA Ozone regulation.  The EPA’s most costly air-pollution and global-warming regulations are justified by the belief that small particles in outdoor air, like soot and dust, kill people. Based upon internal EPA documents and original research, Steven Milloy, publisher of the widely read blog JunkScience.com, will demonstrate that the agency’s belief does not pass scientific muster. As has been the case with climate change research, the dangerous liaison between regulatory agencies and academia has again resulted in a substantial distortion of reality. Please join us for a probing critique of science in service to regulatory overreach.  The event will feature Steven Milloy, Founder, JunkScience.com and be moderated by Pat. Michaels.

 

National Security Conference Set – The 2015 Center for New American Security Annual Conference will be held on Friday at the JW Marriott Hotel in Washington, D.C.  CNAS’s annual national security conference will feature keynote addresses and discussion topics designed to chart a course for the next administration and beyond.  Lots of great speakers, including a great panel on any Iran Nuclear Deal that features Sen. Tom Cotton and former State Dept Amb. Nicholas Burns.

 

IEA Leader to Discuss World Energy Outlook on Climate – On Friday at 9:00 a.m., the CSIS Energy and National Security Program is hosting Dr. Fatih Birol, Chief Economist and incoming Executive Director of the International Energy Agency (IEA), to present the IEA’s World Energy Outlook 2015 Special Report on Energy and Climate Change. The special report presents a detailed first assessment of the energy sector impact of known and signaled national climate pledges for the climate change meeting in Paris in December 2015 (COP21). Additionally, it proposes a bridging strategy to deliver a near-term peak in global energy-related greenhouse-gas emissions, based on five pragmatic measures that can advance climate goals through the energy sector without blunting economic growth. Lastly, it highlights the urgent need to accelerate the development of emerging technologies that are, ultimately, essential to transforming the global energy system into one that is consistent with the world’s climate goals, and recommends four key pillars on which COP21 can build success from an energy sector perspective.

 

FUTURE EVENTS

 

Stanford Forum to Look at Enviro Capital Issues – Next Tuesday, the Nature Conservancy and the Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment, in cooperation with their Natural Capital Project partners, the World Wildlife Fund and the University of Minnesota, are holding a forum at RFF at 9:00 a.m. on Integrating natural capital into decisions. The event will feature leading academics and practitioners in the field of ecosystem services as well as experts from the public and non-profit sectors, addressing core sustainability challenges of the 21st century.  Speakers and panelists will highlight the latest advances in the science and practice of using ecosystem services to inform decisions. The discussion will provide insights into how this information can best be used by government agencies, multilateral institutions, and the broader sustainable development community to structure and implement policies that are simultaneously sound from environmental and economic perspectives. A panel of leading experts, including authors from a recently published Special Feature of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences on “Nature as Capital,” will discuss key components of bringing natural capital considerations into mainstream decision making on issues such as agriculture, energy, infrastructure, urban planning, finance and national security.  Speakers will include former Bush Interior official Lynn Scarlett, USDA Research under secretary Ann Bartuska, WWF’s Tom Dillon, IADB’s Michele Lemay and Mary Ruckleshaus of the Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment

 

Cato Forum to Look at Free Markets, Energy – The Cato Institute will hold a forum on the case for free markets in energy next Tuesday in its Hayek Auditorium.  Since the 1970s, however, more libertarian voices have been heard on these issues. IER founder and CEO Rob Bradley, who has been involved with free-market energy policy since its inception, will discuss the history of libertarian thinking on past energy policy and its relevance for current policy debates.

 

Forum to Look at Nat Gas Issues in Europe – The Institute of World Politics will hold a forum on Tuesday, June 30th at 1:00 p.m. featuring a  lecture on rival gas pipelines for Europe.  The event will feature Vilen Khlgatyan, Vice Chairman, Political Developments Research Center.  In recent years, the competition for supplying Europe with natural gas has heated up once again and has taken a more urgent course due to the conflict in Ukraine. Two pipeline routes are vying for dominance and are backed by different states with their own geopolitical considerations. In December 2014, it was announced that Russia’s Gazprom would re-route its proposed South Stream Pipeline to the Turkish-Greek border via the Black Sea and Turkey. Likewise, the U.S.-backed Nabucco pipeline was sidelined by the less ambitious and costly Trans-Anatolian Pipeline and Trans-Adriatic Pipeline, which will see Azerbaijani gas and potentially Iranian and Turkmen gas cross Turkey to reach markets in Greece, the Balkans and Italy. Both pipelines have their advantages and disadvantages. This lecture will consider the economics and geopolitics of the rival pipelines and what’s at stake for the concerned parties.  Khlgatyan is Vice-Chairman of Political Developments Research Center (PDRC), a think tank based in Yerevan, Armenia. He specializes in the geopolitics of energy, non-kinetic warfare, and the post-Soviet region with an emphasis on the Caucasus.

 

USEA Forum to Look at Modeling – The US Energy Association will hold a forum Tuesday, June 30th at 2:00 p.m. on MIT’s global models that are project energy and climate issues. Using a projection modeling system developed by MIT’s Joint Program on the Science and Policy of Global Change, the Integrated Global System Model (IGSM), we provide an integrated assessment of how human activities, given our current development path, are interacting with complex Earth systems and ultimately affecting the natural resources on which we depend. In the first part of the presentation (lead by Dr. Erwan Monier), we introduce the IGSM, and describe the capabilities of the modeling system to simulate the uncertainty in the future climate response to anthropogenic emissions of greenhouse gases and aerosols. In the second part of the presentation (lead by Dr. Sergey Paltsev), we provide an integrated economic and climate projection of the 21st century–not a prediction, as the future will ultimately be determined by actions taken over the next decades that are intended to stabilize our relationship with the planet. We incorporate the emissions targets currently proposed by the international community to address the challenges of climate change.

 

July 4th

 

Congressional Renewable Energy Forum, Expo Set – The 18th Annual Congressional Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Technology EXPO and Policy Forum will be held on Thursday, July 9th in the Cannon House Office Building.  The exhibits will be in Cannon Caucus Room (Cannon 345) while the Policy Forum will be in 334 Cannon. The event brings together close to 50 businesses, trade associations, and government agencies to showcase renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies and is Co-Hosted by the House and Senate’s Renewable Energy & Energy Efficiency Caucuses, as well as the Sustainable Energy Coalition.

 

Company to Highlight Data Destruction Method – On July 9th on Capitol Hill, Phiston Technologies will be leading a discussion and technology demonstration of their High Security Data Storage Media Destruction machines.  They will encourage people to bring old computer hard drives, solid state drives, cell phones, CDs/DVDs and ID cards and we will destroy them safely in seconds.   The event will be in 210 Cannon.

 

Senate Energy to Look at Nuclear Issues – On August 4th the Senate Energy Committee will hold a hearing to discuss the back-end of the nuclear fuel cycle and related legislation.

 

August Recess

 

GenForum Set For Columbus – ICF International Natural Gas VP Leonard Crook will kick-off the one-day GenForum/POWER-GEN event August 18th on natural gas generation in Columbus, Ohio.  Crook will offer an overview of the recent rise of natural gas-fueled power generation over the years at the expense of coal-fired power plants.  GenForum is organized by PennWell’s GenerationHub. The event is scheduled at the Greater Columbus Convention Center. GenForum leads into PennWell’s POWER-GEN/Natural Gas conference, scheduled for Aug. 18-to-20 at the same convention center.

 

Energy Update: Week of June 15

Friends,

 

Finally we are to the point in the basketball and hockey seasons where the Naismith trophy and Lord Stanley’s Cup will be “in the house” at a pair of Game 6s tonight/tomorrow, and at latest, be awarded this week, if not sooner.  Both series have been great with the hockey being among the best I’ve seen in a while.  And the battle between Steph Curry and LeBron James has been pretty strong as well with each putting their team on his back at key times.   What will be do after it is over?  Look to late July/early August for the launch of Football and the Baseball playoff stretch.   By the way, already getting college and HS Football officiating assignments so it is not that far off…

 

While it was supposed to come out Thursday, apparently an Italian Magazine leaked the Pope’s encyclical on climate change today.  Former Financial Times DC bureau friend Steph Kirchgaessner, now in Rome with The Guardian,  has the scoop featuring the document in Italian which says the Pope hoped his encyclical would inspire action not just by Roman Catholics but by people of all creeds and religions around the world.  It also calls for changes in lifestyles and energy consumption to avert the “unprecedented destruction of the ecosystem” before the end of this century.  Following the leak, the conservative E&E Legal Foundation posted a video that says flawed policies to tackle climate change will actually cause more harm for the world’s poor.

 

In town today and tomorrow is the big EIA 2015 Energy Conference at the Renaissance Washington, DC Downtown Hotel.  Keynote Speakers will be DOE Secretary Ernie Moniz, Mexican Energy secretary Pedro Joaquín Coldwell, ND Sen. John Hoeven, Tesla’s JB Straubel, BNSF CEO Matt Rose and Continental Resources CEO Harold Hamm.  It is always a high-profile event that is a news generator.  See you there…

 

Lots going on in Congress this week with tomorrow focused on Interior/EPA funding as both the full House Approps Committee and Lisa Murkowski’s Approps panel handling their versions of the funding.   There will also be a joint hearing in House E&C on the potential impacts of EPA’s proposed ozone standard on manufacturers and House Resources on the latest Interior Arctic drilling plan.  On Wednesday, Senate Environment discusses Coal Ash with NRECA member South Texas Electric Cooperative GM Mike Kezar leading the testimony.  After a bumpy performance last week on Ozone, EPA’s Janet McCabe visits Senate Homeland Security to discuss another controversial subject, the EPA’s management of the RFS (hint:  NOT GOOD).  Look for more bumps as they discuss the latest ethanol proposal.  Also Thursday, the House E&C Health Subcommittee will take up the Rep. Pompeo-led GMO labeling bill—critics have dubbed it the DARK Act—that would preempt state efforts to mandate GMO labeling.  We can provide experts and info on this issue should you need it.   Speaking of GMOs, looks like France just banned glyphosate (Round Up to you and me) today.  I’m sure that will come up a time or two on Thursday.

 

Today is Global Wind Day.  Every year on June 15th Global Wind Day celebrates a chance to reflect and be inspired by all that great opportunities and advances wind power in making in the world. Wind farms now operate in more than 75 countries, while here in the US, they power the equivalent of 15.5 million homes.  You can tweet about it on #GlobalWindDay and find 8 Fun Wind Day Facts here.

 

Finally, if you are Looking for some networking opportunities, on Wednesday evening at Hawk ‘n Dove on Capitol Hill, OurEnergyPolicy.org (OEP) and the Women’s Council on Energy and the Environment are hosting a happy hour for DC area energy professionals.  RSVP Here.

 

Frank Maisano

(202) 828-5864

(202) 997-5932

 

 

IN THE NEWS

 

DOE Furnace Rule Analysis Flawed – In a meeting last week with key environmental and industry stakeholders to discuss in Energy’s Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on Energy Conservation Standards for Residential Furnaces, AGA unveiled a significant flaw in the economic model used to test the rule, which has led to faulty outcomes and an inaccuracy in what the Department indicates will occur if this rule is put in place.  The DOE model began with 10,000 sample homes and used a “Monte Carlo” method to determine which households are “affected” by the rule and which ones are not, by assigning furnaces to homes in a random fashion irrespective of economics. The determination whether or not the family would have an 80% energy efficient natural gas furnace or a 92% efficient natural gas furnace was completely random, removing the rational, economic decision making process that takes place both with homeowners and builders. AGA’s analysis points to a few specific homes included in the DOE model, including one California household that would pay $3,287 to replace its furnace, but would only see annual savings of $27 with a payback period of 90 years, and a New York household that would not install an efficient furnace despite associated savings of $1,656 in installation costs and $76 annually. AGA, AHRI and other industry groups contend the rule would have unintended consequences, including raising costs for low-income customers and causing customers to switch from gas to electric heat, in some cases increasing greenhouse gas emissions.

 

Summit Discusses Key Issues Facing Rural Communities – On Thursday, NRECA hosted the Summit on Rural America where policymakers and leaders discussed the future of our rural communities. Numerous speakers, including several from the administration, Congress and other key stakeholders in rural America offered insights on the rural agenda.  As well, Arkansas statewide CEO Duane Highley represented electric co-ops at a U.S. Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources hearing. Duane testified on the importance of sharing information with utilities in the event of cybersecurity threats. He also shared concerns over coordination between agencies and stakeholders when new rules are implemented that could threaten grid reliability.

 

France Bans Weedkiller Used On GMOs – French Ecology Minister Segolene Royal yesterday asked French garden centers to stop selling the popular weedkiller Roundup as part of a wider fight against pesticides that have been deemed potentially harmful to humans.  The active ingredient in Roundup, glyphosate, was in March classified as “probably carcinogenic to humans” by the UN’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC).

 

Clean Air Group releases Ozone Survey that Raises Concerns – The Association of Air Pollution Control Agencies (AAPCA) released a new survey, State Environmental Agency Perspectives on Background Ozone & Regulatory Relief. This report includes a review of all state environmental agency comments on U.S. EPA’s proposed revision to National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) for ground-level ozone, as well as a detailed follow up survey of state members of AAPCA’s Board of Directors.  The results indicate that a majority of state environmental agencies, including geographically-diverse states with differing perspectives on the proposed ozone NAAQS revisions, view background ozone as a potential implementation and achievability challenge. While U.S. EPA has stated that there are “tools for air agencies to address exceedances of an ozone standard potentially caused by background ozone,” this survey found significant limitations and several common concerns with Clean Air Act tools designed to address exceptional events, international transport, and rural transport areas.

 

E&E Hub Interview: Honorable sees a ‘proactive’ FERC on Clean Power Plan – FERC should play a “proactive” role in helping states and regions respond to challenges posed by compliance with the forthcoming final version of U.S. EPA’s Clean Power Plan, Colette Honorable, FERC’s newest member, said in a Friday interview with our friend s at E&E News’ Power Plan Hub.  While Honorable and her colleagues are on record in support of EPA, including a so-called reliability safety valve in the final rule, she also wants FERC to use its “tools” to “provide certainty and support for this [EPA] planning effort.”  “It might be a technical conference or FERC could direct assessments or studies to be conducted. FERC is going to be needed now more than ever to support the vast work that will have to be undertaken in states, in [organized market] regions and in multistate groups that are not part of regions.”

 

US Adds Solar in 1Q – On the renewable front, the first quarter numbers are in and the U.S. added more than 1.3 gigawatts of new solar from January to March. GTM Research and the Solar Energy Industries Association project a total of 7.9 gigawatts of new solar by the end of the year. Check out our solar map that demonstrates the depth and breadth of co-op solar projects.

 

Vogtle Adds Concrete Dome to Protect Back up Power Sources – Georgia Power has erected a 39-foot-tall, 50-foot-wide dome at Plant Vogtle that will guard backup power equipment for emergencies. The dome boasts 2-foot-thick concrete walls that can withstand an earthquake or a direct hit from a tornado.  Nuclear facilities across the U.S. built concrete domes with backup equipment as part of the nation’s response to the 2011 nuclear meltdown at Fukushima Daiichi in Japan. Vogtle will unveil its dome today during an emergency preparedness event.

 

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

 

EIA Annual Energy Conference Set – EIA will hold its 2015 Energy Conference today and tomorrow in Washington, DC at the Renaissance Washington, DC Downtown Hotel.  Keynote Speakers will DOE Secretary Ernie Moniz, Mexican Energy secretary Pedro Joaquín Coldwell, ND Sen. John Hoeven, Tesla’s JB Straubel, BNSF CEO Matt Rose and Continental Resources CEO Harold Hamm, among others.  Breakout session topics will include the effects of changing world oil prices: production, economy, and geopolitics, North American energy markets, the role of emerging energy storage technologies in electricity markets, domestic and global natgas markets, greenhouse gas emissions on power and methane, developments in hydrocarbon gas liquids markets, electric distribution markets in the 21st century, energy by rail and water, energy infrastructure needs and options and residential and commercial energy consumption.  You can see the full agenda here.

 

Lt Dan to Speak to National Press Club – Academy Award nominee and Emmy-winning actor and director Gary Sinise will address an NPC Speakers Breakfast tomorrow at 8:30 a.m.  Sinise will discuss his tireless advocacy for America’s servicemen and women through the Gary Sinise Foundation.  Sinise will be in Washington to receive the 2015 Service to America Leadership Award from the NAB Education Foundation (NABEF).

 

Senate Energy to Look at DOE Nominees – The Senate Energy Committee will hold a hearing to consider the nominations of Jonathan Elkind to be an Assistant Secretary of Energy (International Affairs), and Monica Regalbuto to be an Assistant Secretary of Energy (Environmental Management).

 

House Approps , Senate Panel Mark Up Interior, EPA Funding – The House Appropriations Committee will hold a full markup of the FY 2016 Interior and Environment Appropriations Bill tomorrow morning at 10:00 a.m.  Following that, Senate Approps Subcommittee on the bill will mark up their version of same funding bill at 2:30 p.m.

 

House E&C Panels Look at Ozone Impact on Manufacturers – Two panels of the House Energy & Commerce Committee will hold a joint hearing tomorrow focusing on how the EPA Ozone proposal could affect the nation’s manufacturing sector. The hearing comes after the above mentioned rough ride EPA air office head Janet McCabe received last week on the agency’s plans for the standard and the potential costs of the proposal.   Witnesses include NAM’s Ross Eisenberg, Erin Monroe Wesley of the Baton Rouge Area Chamber, Michael Freeman of WD-40 Co. and several others.

 

House Resources to Look at Arctic Drilling Plan – The House Natural Resources panel on Energy and Mineral Resources will hold a hearing tomorrow that will scrutinize the new Interior draft rule governing oil and gas exploration in the Arctic Ocean.  The hearing before the Subcommittee will feature diverging views on the Interior Department rule, released in February, which garnered praise from conservationists and criticism from industry.  Witnesses will include BSE head Brian Salerno, Richard Glenn of the Arctic Slope Regional Corp., Christine Resler of Schlumberger and Michael LeVine of Oceana.

 

WCEE Forum to Look at Water-Energy Nexus – The Women’s Council on Energy and the Environment (WCEE) will host a lunchtime forum on the challenges and opportunities in the water-energy nexus.  Energy and water are undeniably linked, and droughts, such as the one that California is currently experiencing, can constrain the operation of power plants and other energy production activities.  Moreover, vital water infrastructure serving millions of people can lose power during major storm events, as we witnessed during Hurricane Sandy.  Becoming more resilient to these types of events will require a mix of policy and technology.  Panelists will break down the issues and suggest ways for meeting the challenges to ensure that our energy and water needs continue to be met.  They include EEI’s Richard Bozek, Chris Kearney of the Senate Energy Committee and Eileen O’Neill of the Water Environment Federation.

 

ELI Forum Looks At Oil Pollution Act – The Environmental Law Institute will hold a forum tomorrow at Noon on oil pollution issues.  In 1990, following the Exxon Valdez oil spill, Congress enacted the Oil Pollution Act (OPA) to strengthen the federal government’s ability to prevent and respond to oil spills, establish financial resources to aid response, and raise standards for contingency planning.  The 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill cleanup and allocation of responsibility have severely tested that program, as have a variety of transportation related spills, both from pipelines and railroads. As U.S. domestic oil production rapidly increases and strains the transportation system’s capacity to move large new volumes of crude oil and refined product without mishap, the time is ripe to address how the legal system is adapting to these new and unexpected challenges.  ELI’s expert panelists , including former DOT Secretary Rodney Slater, will brief participants about developments in oil pollution law and related issues such as the pending Deepwater Horizon civil penalty action and resolution of related issues stemming from the disaster, challenges posed by rapidly increasing pipeline and railroad transportation of crude oil and products,  developments regarding natural resource damage assessments and liability and how current law can be used to address future challenges in the supply and demand of crude oil.   ELI will also be making copies of Oil Pollution Deskbook authored by Russ Randle available.

 

Forum Looks at RFS – The Center on Global Energy Policy will hold a presentation and discussion tomorrow at 2:30 p.m. on the future of the Renewable Fuel Standard. Dr. James Stock, a non-resident Fellow at the Center, former member of the President’s Council of Economic Advisers and the Harold Hitchings Burbank Professor of Political Economy at the Harvard Kennedy School, will present the findings of his new report, “The Renewable Fuel Standard: A Path Forward.”  After the presentation, there will be two panel discussions moderated by Center Founding Director Jason Bordoff. The first will feature analysis and commentary from Iowa State Bruce Babcock, Scott Irwin of the University of Illinois, former Bush White House Energy National Economic Council staffer Bob McNally, former Obama White House National Economic Council staffer Ron Minsk, and James Stock.  The second panel will feature Growth Energy’s Tom Buis, Michael McAdams of the Advanced Biofuels Association and Shell’s John Reese, among others.

 

NAS to Host Truck Rule Assessment – The National Academy of Sciences will host a forum on the assessment of technologies and approaches for reducing the fuel consumption of medium- and heavy-duty vehicles.  The rule is expected to be released this week.

 

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

 

Brookings to Host Forum on Advanced Nuclear – On Wednesday at 12:30 p.m., Brookings will gather four energy experts at the Senate Visitor’s Center to talk about the opportunities for advanced nuclear energy and the challenges posed both in the U.S. and abroad. The conversation will be moderated by Quartz Washington Correspondent Steve LeVine and will feature Josh Freed of Third Way and others.

 

WRI Forum to Look at Security, Climate – The World Resources Institute will hold a forum on Wednesday at 8:30 a.m. accelerating on-grid technology solutions to improve electricity access. Energy planners and other stakeholders can tap into these opportunities to improve grid performance and integration of renewable resources, as well as being able to deliver more reliable electricity.  WRI will host a salon-style approach where distinguished panelists are featured, but the audience size is limited to encourage open and active audience discussion.  Sarah Martin and Joshua Ryor from the World Resource Institute will kick the conversation off as our lead speakers.

 

Senate Environment to Look at Coal Ash – On Wednesday, at 9:30 a.m., the Senate Environment Committee is holding an oversight hearing on EPA’s final rule to regulate disposal of coal ash from electric utilities.  Witnesses will include Alexandra Dunn of ECOS, Frank Holleman of the Southern Environmental Law Center, South Texas Electric Cooperative GM Mike Kezar on behalf of NRECA,  Danny Gray for the American Coal Ash Association and Nancy Cave of the Coastal Conservation League.

 

CSIS Forum to Look at Community Relations in Extractive Industries – CSIS will hold a discussion on Wednesday looking at 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.

 

Atlantic Council Forum Aims at Global Security, Climate – On Wednesday at 10:00 a.m., the Atlantic Council hosts a forum on COP21 and global security issues surrounding climate.  In honor of the European Union’s (EU) Climate Diplomacy Day, the Atlantic Council will be joined by EU members for a discussion exploring the critical dynamic between climate change and global security. An introduction will be delivered by H.E. David O’Sullivan, the Ambassador of the EU to the United States and keynote remarks will be provided by H.E. Gerard Araud, the Ambassador of France to the United States. Panelists include The Hon. Sharon Burke, Senior Adviser to the New America Foundation’s International Security Program, Tom Burke, Founding Director and Chairman of E3G, Third Generation Environmentalism, Major General Munir Muniruzzaman (Ret.), Chairman of the Global Military Advisory Council on Climate Change (GMACCC) and President and CEO of the Bangladesh Institute of Peace and Security Studies (BIPSS), and Dennis Tänzler, Director of International Climate Policy at Adelphi.  The discussion will be moderated by Dan Chiu, Deputy Director of the Brent Scowcroft Center on International Security at the Atlantic Council.

 

House Science to Look at Energy Innovation Hubs – The House  Science Committee’s Subcommittee on Energy will convene an oversight hearing on Wednesday at 10:30 a.m. to look at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Energy Innovation Hubs.  Witnesses will include Harry Atwater of the Joint Center for Artificial Photosynthesis (JCAP), Jess Gehin of the Consortium for Advanced Simulation of Light Water Reactors (CASL), George Crabtree of the Joint Center for Energy Storage Research (JCESR) and Alex King of the Critical Materials Institute (CMI).

 

House Small Biz to Look at Crude Export Ban – On Wednesday at 11:00 a.m., the House Committee on Small Business will hold a held a hearing on the crude export ban and its impacts on America’s small businesses.  Witnesses will include several small business owners, Ken Medlock of the Center for Energy Studies and Public Citizen’s Tyson Slocum.

 

Brookings to Host Forum on Advanced Nukes – On Wednesday at 12:30 p.m., Brookings will gather four energy experts at the Senate Visitor’s Center to talk about the opportunities for advanced nuclear energy and the challenges posed both in the U.S. and abroad. The conversation will be moderated by Quartz Washington Correspondent Steve LeVine and feature Leslie Dewan of Transatomic Power, Josh Freed of Third Way and Brookings’ Charles Ebinger. Nuclear energy was once regarded by many as the answer to our energy needs. That enthusiasm waned in the U.S. after the Three Mile Island accident in 1979. Today, there’s a growing interest in advanced nuclear energy and new reactor designs that are safer and more efficient. As Third Way’s Josh Freed details in his Brookings Essay, “Back to the Future,” a flood of young engineers and private firms are focusing on advanced nuclear energy as the best option for battling climate change. Freed also argues that if the U.S. doesn’t invest in these new technologies, other countries will lead the way in this game-changing field.

 

WRI to Host Food Security Forum – The World Resources Institute will hold a discussion on Wednesday at 2:00 p.m. featuring the keynote presentation “Agricultural Research on Adaptation to Climate Change” by Dr. François Houllier, the President of INRA (the French National Institute for Agricultural Research).  A discussion on “Food Security in the Face of Climate Change” will follow the presentation and will include a panel that features US AID’s Rob Bertram, Keith Wiebe of the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) and Princeton’s Tim Searchinger also with WRI.

 

Senate Homeland Security Committee Tackles RFS, Program Management – The Senate Homeland Security Committee’s Subcommittee on Regulatory Affairs and Federal Management will hold a hearing on Thursday on re-examining EPA’s management of the RFS program.  The hearing will feature Janet McCabe, Acting Assistant Administrator at EPA’s Office of Air and Radiation.

 

House E&C Panel Looks at GMO Labeling – The House E&C panel on Health will hold a hearing on Thursday at 10:00 a.m. in 2123 Rayburn labeling of Biotechnology in Food.  The hearing will discuss the role biotechnology plays on our nation’s farms, food supply, and economy. They will hear from experts about the safety of foods derived from genetically engineered crops and the need for national review and labeling standards for such products. Committee members Rep. Mike Pompeo (R-KS) and Rep. G. K. Butterfield (D-NC) have introduced H.R. 1599, the Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act, and together are circulating updated legislative language, building on their continued efforts in this space.  The subcommittee last year heard from the Food and Drug Administration, outside experts, and interested stakeholders about the agency’s current review process for food ingredients and discussed the role that foods with genetically modified ingredients play in our nation’s food supply and economy.

 

Members to Speak at Hill NatGas Roundtable – The Natural Gas Roundtable will host a forum on Capitol Hill Thursday.  Members of Congress Tom Reed (R-NY), Jim Costa (D-CA), Gene Green (D-TX) and Glenn Thompson (R-PA) will speak at a special Natural Gas Roundtable Luncheon on Capitol Hill in B339-340 Rayburn.

 

Forum to Look at Grid – The Global America Business Institute (GABI) and the Korea Institute of Energy Research (KIER) will host a roundtable discussion on Thursday at Noon focused on rethinking the Electric Grid.  Guest Speaker will be Edward Yim, the Associate Director of Energy Policy & Compliance in the DC Department of the Environment.

 

USEA Look at DOE’s Loan Program – On Thursday at 2:00 p.m., the US Energy Assn will host a forum on the DOE’s Loan Guarantee office.  DOE’s Loan Programs Office (LPO) invests in the power of American innovation.  LPO investments accelerate the deployment of innovative clean energy projects and advanced vehicle manufacturing facilities across the United States. The office’s team of financial, technical, environmental, and legal professionals is dedicated to advancing an all-of-the-above energy strategy that avoids, reduces, or sequesters greenhouse gases.  To date, LPO has supported a large, diverse portfolio of more than $30 billion in loans, loan guarantees, and commitments covering more than 30 projects in the United States. Together, these projects have generated more than $50 billion in total project investment, supported tens of thousands of jobs, cut pollution, and enhanced American competitiveness in the global economy.  This presentation will focus on the more than $40 billion in remaining loan and loan guarantee authority LPO currently has available through open solicitations to finance innovative clean energy projects and advanced technology vehicle manufacturing.

 

FUTURE EVENTS

 

DOE Hosts Sustainable Transpo Day – Next Monday, June 22nd  is Sustainable Transportation Day, an afternoon on the grounds of the Forrestal Building in D.C., with the Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy’s (EERE’s) Bioenergy Technologies Office, Fuel Cell Technologies Office, and Vehicle Technologies Office.  You can meet with federal staff, EERE leadership, and stakeholders from the public sector and private industry. Enjoy exhibits such as the Green Racing Simulator—a one-of-a-kind racing game that brings together sustainable transportation and arcade thrills;  the first Washington, D.C. visit of the 12.2 mpg Freightliner SuperTruck; and a unique opportunity to see some of the world’s first commercial fuel cell electric vehicles.  EERE will also discuss its strategic investments in sustainable transportation research, development, and demonstration projects are improving vehicle efficiency, advancing the use of alternative fuel vehicles, and lowering production costs of advanced biofuels and hydrogen.

 

Wilson Report Focus On Climate, Security Issues – Next Monday at 3:00 p.m., the Wilson Center for Scholars will convene leaders from the development, diplomatic, and security communities and the report’s coauthors for the U.S. launch of a “New Climate for Peace.” The high-level interagency panel will explore how these climate-fragility challenges are changing the way the United States and its partners work, and will also identify opportunities for joint action to address them.  The ultimate “threat multiplier,” climate change is increasing the challenges facing the U.S. development, diplomatic, and security communities.  “A New Climate for Peace: Taking Action on Climate and Fragility Risks,” an independent report commissioned by the members of the G7, identifies seven compound climate-fragility risks that pose serious threats to stability in the decades ahead. Based on a thorough assessment of existing policies, the report recommends that the G7 take concrete actions to tackle climate-fragility risks and increase the resilience of states and societies.

 

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.

 

Bio Energy Event, DOE Conference Set – On Monday evening next week, Leaders in Energy will host bioenergy and clean energy professionals to discuss the evolving bioeconomy and renewable fuels.  Topics will include the renewable fuels standard, how bioenergy resources can be produced in sustainable ways, utilizing algae as a way to produce products and capture carbon, and employment and career opportunities in the bioenergy sector.  This event will take place on the evening before the U.S. Department of Energy, Bioenergy 2015 Conference on Tuesday and Wednesday, June 23-24th at the DC Convention Center.  The DOE Bioenergy 2015 conference is the 8th annual conference and will look at opportunities in the changing energy landscape.  The Clean Energy Research and Education Foundation co-hosts this year’s conference, which will focus on opportunities and challenges in our current highly dynamic energy ecosystem.  Each year, approximately 600 participants attend the conference, including key stakeholders from the bioenergy industry, Congress, national laboratories, academia, and the financial community.

 

WP host Answers Forum with Moniz, Fanning, Others – On June 23, The Washington Post will host business leaders, elected officials, government innovators, tech pioneers and scientists from around the country at a forum to discuss and debate what’s working in their cities, states and businesses when it comes to producing, delivering, securing and conserving energy. The event, the third live event in The Washington Post’s America Answers series, will look at technologies, policies and programs related to clean energy, batteries and energy storage, the grid, energy efficiency, innovations in oil and gas and more.  Speakers with include Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz, Southern Company CEO Tom Fanning, Hawai’i Gov. David Ige, Phoenix, AZ Mayor Greg Stanton, former Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour, former EPA head Carol Browner, and several others.

 

API to Release New Policy Study – The American Petroleum Institute’s (API) President/CEO Jack Gerard will host a briefing next Tuesday morning at the St. Regis Hotel’s Astor Ballroom to release a new policy study conducted by industry experts Wood Mackenzie. A panel of leading energy stakeholders will discuss the importance of an all of the above approach to U.S. energy policies and a pro-growth strategy for our energy future leading up to the 2016 elections. Panelists will include Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council President Karen Kerrigan, American Association of Blacks in Energy (AABE) President Paula Jackson, Vets4Energy National Liaison Rear Admiral Don Loren, USN (RET.) and LIUNA General President Terry O’Sullivan.

 

House Science Tackles EIA Report on GHG Plan – The House Science Committee will hold a hearing next Tuesday on the recent EIA report that focused on the Administration’s Clean Power Plan.   EIA’s Howard Gruenspecht is expected to testify with several others.

 

Inhofe Headline Social Cost of Carbon Event – The Heritage Foundation host a forum Next Tuesday at 2:00 p.m. in its Allison Auditorium for a discussion on the social cost of carbon, and the science, policy, and politics of carbon regulation.  The Administration is forcefully pushing its carbon regulations with the quantitative basis for these rules being the social cost of carbon (SCC).  Heritage research shows the models used to calculate the SCC can support encouraging CO2 emissions rather than actually restricting them. Other quantitative measures of CO2 policy, such as the likely impact on world temperatures, provide little support for any of the policies offered to date. Ignoring this evidence, the Obama Administration appears resolute in its stance to promote its policy goals – even at the detriment of those adversely impacted by these misguided policies.  Keynote speaker will be Senate Environment Committee Chair Jim Inhofe. There will also be a panel discussion hosted by our friend David Kreutzer of Heritage.

 

Coal Council Exec to Discuss CCS Report – USEA will host Janet Gellici, Executive Vice President & COO of the National Coal Council on next Tuesday at 2:00 p.m. to discuss a recently completed a report for the U.S. Secretary of Energy that provides recommendations on how to accelerate the deployment of CCS technologies.  The U.S. Department of Energy is a world leader in the development of CCS technology.  The DOE CCS/CCUS program, however, has not yet achieved critical mass.  There is a need for a substantial increase in the number of large scale demonstration projects for both capture and storage technologies before either system even approaches commercialization.

 

SoCo Fanning Headlines REFF Wall Street – ACORE hosts it 12th annual REFF-Wall Street 2015 on June 24 and 25th at The Grand Hyatt in New York City.  REFF-Wall Street is the premier renewable energy financing event in the U.S.  Attendees of this event include CEOs and other senior company officials, lenders, investors, investment bankers, private equity investors, venture capitalists and other top transactional professionals in renewable energy finance.  The event draws an especially senior audience, comprising of over 600 senior decision makers, financiers and professionals in the renewable energy finance field.  Southern Company CEO Tom Fanning will headline a list of speakers that also includes DOE EERE’s David Danielson and former EERE head Cathy Zoi.

 

Summer Solstice Begins – June 24th, the Longest Day of the Year.

 

Sen. Gardner to Headline ASE Event – The Alliance to Save Energy will have an intimate Policy Perspectives discussion with Senator Cory Gardner on Wednesday, June 24th at 8:45 a.m. at Bobby Van’s Steakhouse.  Gardner has served in both the House and the Senate and is a national leader on energy efficiency initiatives.

 

House Natural gas Caucus to Host Forum – The House Natural Gas Caucus will host a forum on infrastructure on the importance of infrastructure to the demand coming from new natural gas power plants.   Speakers will include Cabot’s George Stark, a member company representative from INGAA and  LIUNA’s Dave Mallino. They also may have a panelist from the Congressional Research Service to go over the natural gas infrastructure reform bills introduced this Congress.

 

Solar Foundation to Hold Solstice Event – Speaking of Summer Solstice, every June, the Solar Foundation (TSF) hosts its Summer Solstice, a celebration of solar energy and the beneficial role it plays across many aspects of our society. We will be returning to the most incredible rooftop in downtown Washington, D.C. to roll out the “yellow carpet” in recognition of all things solar.  With their admission, this year’s Solstice guests will be treated to great food and drinks, barefoot bocce ball, electrifying beats, amazing twilight views of the Capital’s skyline, and the company of many of the most eclectic personalities in solar! The evening will also play host to the presentation of the 2015 Solar Foundation Awards, honoring the year’s preeminent solar heroes.

 

Energy Breakfast Focused on Utility of Future – ICF International will hold its Energy and Environment Breakfast on Thursday at the National Press Club, featuring one of the top U.S. utilities and one of its leading regulatory thinkers for a discussion on the utility of the future.  Much discussion has surrounded distributed energy resources such as rooftop solar, storage, and demand side management (DSM). Some regions are considering the best ways to reform the distribution system, perhaps by turning its operation over to a nonprofit entity—for example, a regional transmission organization (RTO) at the distribution level—and allowing third parties to use the system to offer an innovative set of energy services to customers.  Speakers will include Garry Brown, Former Chair and Commissioner of the NY PSC and Mark Webb, General Counsel, and Chief Risk Officer of Dominion

 

BPC Event to Feature Udall, Shimkus on TSCA – On Thursday June 25th, the Bipartisan Policy Center hosts a bicameral, bipartisan dialogue where Sen. Tom Udall (D-NM) and Rep. John Shimkus (R-IL) provide their views on why the Toxic Substance Control Act (TSCA) needs updating, and what the next steps are toward modernizing this important law.    Udall and Shimkus will join a Bridge-Builder discussion about the nation’s chemical safety law.  At nearly 40 years old, TSCA has been rendered ineffective by court decisions and is in need of serious reform. This year, it just might get one. Both the House Energy and Commerce Committee as well as the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee have reported bipartisan bills.  BPC’s Bridge-Builder Series highlights the institutions and individuals who are crossing party lines and developing solutions to the critical challenges facing our country.

 

IEA to Present Medium-term Gas Report – On Thursday, June 25th at 10:00 a.m., the CSIS Energy and National Security Program will host Laszlo Varro, Head of Gas, Coal & Power Markets Division at the International Energy Agency (IEA), to present the IEA’s Medium-Term Gas Market Report 2015. The annual report, which gives a detailed analysis and five-year projections of natural gas demand, supply and trade developments, examines the interaction of increased gas demand in light of substantial price drops while the upstream sector is suffering amid large capital expenditure cuts. The impact on global gas markets of Russia’s strategic shift in its gas export policy and the rising tide of liquefied natural gas supplies are also given special consideration. The Medium-Term Gas Market Report is part of a series of annual reports the IEA devotes to each of the main primary energy sources: oil, gas, coal, renewable energy and energy efficiency.

 

Forum to Look at Green Finance Tools – The Center for Climate and Energy Solutions (C2ES) is hosting a forum at GWU’s Lerner Hall on Thursday morning, June 25th looking at states and companies deploying new tools like green bonds, clean energy banks, energy service companies and more to pay for improved energy technology and infrastructure.  Speakers will looking into progress, scalability, past efforts and what financial tools can spur clean energy and efficiency upgrades.  They include Robert Martineau of the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation, Pennsylvania Deputy Treasurer Keith Welks,  Treasury, JPMorgan Chase’s  Granville Martin, Anna Pavlova of Schneider Electric, Citi’s Bruce Schlein and Bob Perciasepe, President, Center for Climate and Energy Solutions (C2ES).

 

Cato Offers Skeptical Look at Ozone Science – On Thursday, June 25th at 4:00 p.m. the Cato Institute will hold a forum on the new EPA Ozone regulation.  The EPA’s most costly air-pollution and global-warming regulations are justified by the belief that small particles in outdoor air, like soot and dust, kill people. Based upon internal EPA documents and original research, Steven Milloy, publisher of the widely read blog JunkScience.com, will demonstrate that the agency’s belief does not pass scientific muster. As has been the case with climate change research, the dangerous liaison between regulatory agencies and academia has again resulted in a substantial distortion of reality. Please join us for a probing critique of science in service to regulatory overreach.  The event will feature Steven Milloy, Founder, JunkScience.com and be moderated by Pat. Michaels.

 

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

 

July 4th

 

Congressional Renewable Energy Forum, Expo Set – The 18th Annual Congressional Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Technology EXPO and Policy Forum will be held on Thursday, July 9th in the Cannon House Office Building.  The exhibits will be in Cannon Caucus Room (Cannon 345) while the Policy Forum will be in 334 Cannon. The event brings together close to 50 businesses, trade associations, and government agencies to showcase renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies and is Co-Hosted by the House and Senate’s Renewable Energy & Energy Efficiency Caucuses, as well as the Sustainable Energy Coalition.

 

August Recess

 

GenForum Set For Columbus – ICF International Natural Gas VP Leonard Crook will kick-off the one-day GenForum/POWER-GEN event August 18th on natural gas generation in Columbus, Ohio.  Crook will offer an overview of the recent rise of natural gas-fueled power generation over the years at the expense of coal-fired power plants.  GenForum is organized by PennWell’s GenerationHub. The event is scheduled at the Greater Columbus Convention Center. GenForum leads into PennWell’s POWER-GEN/Natural Gas conference, scheduled for Aug. 18-to-20 at the same convention center.

 

Energy Update: Week of June 8

Friends,

 

It was a very big deal when American Pharoah rolled to victory in Saturday’s Belmont Stakes.  Breaking a 37-year drought, AP became only the 12th horse to complete the Triple Crown. America had elected five presidents, fought three wars and lived through at least three economic downturns since Affirmed had last completed the feat in 1978. In the interim, 13 other horses had pulled into the starting gate in Elmont, NY on Long Island with a chance to become the next great horse, only to fall short.  In other notes, the last NCAA championship – the men’s College World Series – gets started in Omaha this week. This past weekend, Florida won the Women College World Series with a 4-1 over Michigan.

 

On Capitol Hill this week, the Senate Energy Committee hold the last of its energy hearings that will eventually lead to Murkowski-Cantwell legislation, while Wednesday Senate EPW looks at Federal water quality protections and some EPA nominations on Thursday.   In the House, the Appropriations Subcommittee on Interior/EPA is set to take up its funding bill while House Energy will tackle ozone and look into the problems with nuclear waste issues at WIPP in New Mexico on Friday.  There will also be a two-day mark up of legislation in House Resources Committee that includes Stream Buffer Zone rules, natgas pipeline siting on federal lands and forest management policies.

 

Off the Hill on Thursday, the NRECA is holding a rural summit to discuss jobs, infrastructure and quality of life in rural America. Transportation Secretary Foxx,  Reps. Frank Lucas and Collin Peterson will be among the speakers at the Capitol Hill Hyatt.  Other events include StatOil CEO Speaking on Wednesday, CSIS hosting the 64th annual BP Global Energy Statistics Review Thursday and USEA hosting its annual Energy Efficiency forum, also Thursday.

 

Out of town, EEI is holding its annual convention in New Orleans today though Wednesday, and starting tomorrow, the Aspen Global energy forum launches which always is a great event (and some great weather/environment) examining new pricing realities in international oil and gas markets.  Our colleague and environmental expert Jason Hutt will be on the ground in Aspen if you need to know.

 

As well, Thursday is the 54th annual Roll Call Congressional Baseball game at Nats Park.  While it is not the Congressional Hockey Classic, it is a long standing tradition that provides members of Congress the opportunity to transcend partisan and chamber differences in a good-natured but competitive contest. The Democrats are on a roll of late with last year’s 15-6 victory, collecting their 6th straight win.  It seems it has led to the dismissal of long-time GOP manager Joe Barton who will be replaced this year by former Atlanta Brave and current Texas Rep. Roger Williams.  As well, the Democrats’ streak is at risk because ace pitcher, Louisiana Rep. Cedric Richmond recently had shoulder surgery and may be unavailable.   First pitch is Thursday at 7:05 p.m., tickets are $10 with proceeds going to three worthy and effective DC area charities: The Washington Literacy Center, The Boys and Girls Club of Greater Washington, and The Nationals Dream Foundation.

 

With the Paris climate meetings set for later this year, today the G7 Nations talked more about climate change pledging to limit global warming to 2 degrees Celsius above preindustrial levels.   While it makes for a nice press release and lot of social media actions from advocates, there remains significant stumbling blocks to actually meeting the pledges.  We can give you more on this if you are interested.

 

Speaking of Paris, for those of you (or your colleagues) following Iran, the on-going Iran nuclear discussions, or the Wash Post reporter issue, this Saturday, Iranian expatriates will hold their biggest event of the year in Villepinte – Paris to challenge the current Iranian government and any Iran nuclear deal that allows them to keep access to weapons.  The annual event will feature U.S. and international political leaders, military officials and former diplomats including Bill Richardson, Rudy Giuliani, James Woolsey, Tom Ridge, Ed Rendell and more calling for freedom and democracy in Iran.   The June 13th event will focus on the ongoing negotiations with Iran over its nuclear program just two weeks before the June 30th deadline for a final agreement and on the growing crises in the Middle East, highlighted by the rise of ISIS and the Iranian regime’s meddling in Yemen.  The event will be live streamed at a number of websites including: http://www.ncr-iran.org/en/.   You can also follow the event live on Twitter Saturday morning  @4FreedominIran #IranFreedom

 

Frank Maisano

(202) 828-5864

(202) 997-5932

 

 

IN THE NEWS

 

EPA NatGas Water Draft Study Release – The EPA is releasing a draft assessment today on the potential impacts of hydraulic fracturing activities on drinking water resources in the US.  You can read the executive summary here and the full report here.  The assessment, done at the request of Congress, shows that while hydraulic fracturing activities in the U.S. are carried out in a way that have not led to widespread, systemic impacts on drinking water resources, there are potential vulnerabilities in the water lifecycle that could impact drinking water. The assessment follows the water used for hydraulic fracturing from water acquisition, chemical mixing at the well pad site, well injection of fracking fluids, the collection of hydraulic fracturing wastewater(including flowback and produced water), and wastewater treatment and disposal.  My colleagues Jason Hutt (202-255-2042, Jason.hutt@bgllp.com) and Lowell Rothschild (512-739-2352, Lowell.rothschild@bgllp.com) can add background and answer process questions for you.  Please don’t hesitate to reach to any of us.   Energy Analysts Kevin Book (202-506-5744) and Jim Lucier (202-548-0072) both have flash reports out on the subject as well and can be helpful on the impacts of the draft report.

 

CRS report Raises Concerns About Lifting  Crude Export Ban – Many of you may have heard last night that CRS released a memo this week which looked at the U.S.’ ability to impact Russian influence via crude oil exports.  The memo identified several potential impediments to U.S. influence in this area.    Here are three key takeaways that raise doubt:

 

  • Refinery configuration: Refineries have a degree of flexibility, but ultimately many Eastern European refiners are optimized to run Russian crude, which is a medium/heavy crude quality.  Eastern European refiners would need a price discount to compensate for the additional costs or reductions in efficiency.
  • Infrastructure constraints: Much of the Russian crude oil moves through Eastern European countries  via pipeline.  Countries in Eastern Europe lack the basic infrastructure, such as port infrastructure, pipelines and other modes of moving crude oil from a seaborne delivery point to the refinery assets.
  • Price constraints: CRS casts doubt of the willingness of European refiners to pay more per barrel of delivered crude than the already economical price of Russian oil.  CRS goes on to say that they may even require a price discount if the crude type purchased results in less than optimal operations.  CRS also noted that, from the perspective of the U.S. producer, crude will have to be priced to compete with Russian oil, which sells at a discount from the international benchmark already.  Basically, Eastern European refiners would have to make a concerted decision to pay more for U.S. oil than Russian oil.

 

An important point to note in this discussion: European countries already have access to crude oil from geographically closer markets that make more economic sense for them.  For example, the Czech Republic can and already imports light crude from nearby Azerbaijan, and has the ability to purchase crude oil from any number of other nations, including Kazakhstan, Norway, Nigeria, and Algeria.  Other nations, like Poland, even have ability to purchase U.S. crude oil from Alaska but choose not to.  They choose not to because the economics of shipping costs and the regional price of oil are the ultimate determining factor in how they source crude oil.   The CRS memo has demonstrated that ultimately this is a complicated issue in need of further analysis from the relevant committees of jurisdiction.

 

CFR’s Levi Also Discussed This Topic – For more information on this topic, you might also want to take a look at Michael Levi’s writing on the topic from the Council on Foreign Relations.  As he said: As the standoff between Russia and Ukraine drags on, there are increasing calls to use U.S. oil and gas exports to weaken Vladimir Putin’s hand. There’s something to this, but it’s likely to be a lot less powerful than most pundits seem to think… You might have noticed that I haven’t said anything about oil. That’s because the idea that U.S. oil exports would give Europe some sort of special buffer is silly. The world oil market is pretty flexible, and U.S. exports would be a drop in an already large sea. To the extent that Europe is constrained in its ability to switch oil sources quickly, that’s because of infrastructure, something U.S. exports wouldn’t change.  Levi, who is the David M. Rubenstein Senior Fellow for Energy and the Environment and Director of the Maurice R. Greenberg Center for Geoeconomic Studies at CFR, can be reached at 1.212.434.9495 or mlevi@cfr.org

 

BSE Signs MOU with Chinese Cos to Build Solar – Every two years, energy leaders from the US and China convene at the U.S.-China Renewable Energy Industries Forum to discuss ongoing clean #energy collaborations and explore new opportunities that can help create jobs, drive economic growth, and address climate change—in both countries. At this year’s forum, three new U.S.-China clean energy partnerships were recognized, including one with American #solar company BrightSource Energy to build the first commercial scale concentrating solar power plant in Qinghai, China (rendering here). Learn more about these partnerships and the U.S.-China Renewable Energy Partnership here.  The US-China REIF also featured a signing ceremony that initiated a memorandum of understanding (MOU) between BrightSource Energy, Shanghai Electric Group Co., Ltd and China Power Investment Group Corporation (CPI), the parent company of Huanghe Hydropower Development Co., Ltd, to support the development of a utility scale solar facility in China’s Qinghai Province.

 

AGA to Lead International Gas Group – The United States, through the American Gas Association (AGA), will accept the Presidency of the International Gas Union (IGU) tomorrow at the 26th World Gas Conference in Paris. The U.S. will lead the organization, made up of the gas industries of 91 nations, for a three year term which will conclude with the 27th World Gas Conference in June 2018 in Washington, DC. The mission of IGU is to advocate gas as an integral part of a sustainable global energy system, and to promote the political, technical and economic progress of the gas industry. The more than 140 members of IGU are associations and corporations of the gas industry representing over 95% of the global gas market.  The organization provides opportunities for over 1,000 members of the global gas community to share best practices and engage in discussions relating to all segments of the natural gas value chain.

 

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

 

Moniz, Musk to Speak at EEI Convention – The Edison Electric Institute (EEI), the trade group for Investor-Owned Utilities will hold its annual convention in New Orleans today through Wednesday.   Speakers will include Energy Secretary Ernie Moniz, Tesla/SolarCity magnate Elon Musk and retired General David Petraeus.

 

CSIS to Look at Electricity Distribution – The CSIS Energy and National Security Program will host a discussion this afternoon on the evolution of the distribution system as integration continues for distributed energy resources. Diane X. Burman, Commissioner of the New York Public Service Commission, will deliver the keynote address on the outlook for New York and introduction of the Reforming the Energy Vision (REV) initiative.  Following the keynote, an expert panel featuring Bryan Hannegan, Associate Laboratory Director of the Energy Systems Integration at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), and Richard Sedano, Director of U.S. Programs at the Regulatory Assistance Project, will discuss the technical issues facing utilities and others at the distribution level, as well as the regulatory and policy developments at the distribution level across the United States. Sarah O. Ladislaw, Director and Senior Fellow with the CSIS Energy and National Security Program, will moderate.

 

WRI to Look at Water Scarcity – Today at 2:00 p.m., the World Resources Institute is hosting an event on water pricing in an age of scarcity.  The IMF and World Resources Institute will hold a dialogue of policymakers, economists, and water resource experts on new approaches to water pricing to manage rapidly increasing risks in an efficient, equitable, and sustainable manner.  The IMF’s David Lipton, WRI’s Charles Iceland will present a recent report followed by a panel discussion that adds Jorge Ducci of the IADB and IMF’s Asia expert Kalpana Kochhar.

 

Forum to Look at Tech Innovations – The XPRIZE and the Senate Ocean Caucus are holding a panel discussion today at 2:00 p.m. in the Capitol Visitors Center on how incentivized prize competitions are being used to catalyze ocean technology innovation.  The Wendy Schmidt Ocean Health XPRIZE is a $2 million global competition that challenges teams of engineers, scientists and innovators from all over the world to create pH sensor technology that will affordably, accurately and efficiently measure ocean chemistry.

 

BPC to Look at Batteries, EVs – This afternoon at 3:00 p.m., the Bipartisan Policy Center will host a forum on batteries for vehicles and the electric grid.  Next-generation battery technologies are powering vehicles and connecting directly to the electric grid. As a result, international competition to develop and supply new battery technology has intensified in recent years. This event will discuss the linkages between federal R&D investment, next-generation battery technology development, and U.S. business competitiveness.  The American Energy Innovation Council (AEIC) is a group of current and retired CEOs of major innovation-driven companies that advocate for greater federal investment in energy technology innovation. This event is the first in a series that follows AEIC’s February report, Restoring American Energy Innovation Leadership, to elevate conversations on the role of federal energy innovation investments in economic growth and international competitiveness.   Speakers will include Argonne’s Jeff Chamberlain, Johnson Controls’ Perry Watts and our friend Steve Levine.

 

Aspen Global Energy Forum Set This Week – Tomorrow through Friday, the 2015 Forum on Global Energy, Economy, and Security will take place in Colorado, examining new pricing realities in international oil and gas markets. In recognition of increasingly globalized oil and gas markets and the strong links between energy and national economic and security concerns, the Forum on Global Energy, Economy, and Security was initially convened in 2005. Each summer since then a diverse group of about 70 experts has been assembled to share information and insights on these intersecting issues. The goal of this Forum, as well as our other annual energy forums, is to encourage candor and cross-disciplinary thinking among people with diverse experiences, disciplines and views.  For the past several years, discussions at this Forum have focused primarily on the durability and international implications of the North American oil and gas production boom. Individual sessions have examined technical and environmental production challenges, the changing rationale for national and international energy security measures, and the midstream and downstream impacts of the production boom. Very brief presentations introduce each session but the majority of time is reserved for informal and forthright dialogue among all the participants – all discussions are off-the-record.

 

Forum Looks at TransAtlantic Solutions – Tomorrow at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, the American Institute for Contemporary German Studies (AICGS) will hold its second annual “Transatlantic Dialogue of the States, Cities, and Communities.” While German-American relations focus mainly on the connections between Berlin and Washington, this dialogue will bring together civic leaders from throughout Germany and the United States to discuss common challenges and innovative programs at the sub-national level. The focus this year will be the role of cities and states as international actors on topics including energy, immigration, and trade.  The event will feature panels on “How Cities are Responding to the Energy Transformation,” “Immigration Reform and Cities of Migration,” and “TTIP: The Impact on Cities and States.”

 

Senate Energy to Continue Energy Hearing Process –The Senate Energy Committee will hold another hearing tomorrow to receive testimony on energy accountability and reform legislation. Energy Department Undersecretary for Science and Energy Lynn Orr will testify and more than 40 bills will be discussed.

 

Statoil to Offer 2015 Energy Perspectives – On Wednesday at 8:30 a.m., the CSIS Energy and National Security Program will host Eirik Wærness, Chief Economist in Statoil, to present the company’s newly released Energy Perspectives 2015 publication. The report describes the macroeconomic and market outlook to 2040 including supply, demand, energy trade and CO2 impacts. The outlook illustrates some of the uncertainties about the future through modeling various scenarios. This year’s report describes the possible development in global energy markets towards 2040 through three alternative scenarios, called Reform, Renewal and Rivalry, respectively.

 

Forum to Look at Grid, Distributed Solar – On Wednesday at 9:00 a.m. the Progressive Policy Institute will host a forum focused on the future of the grid and a discussion of distributed solar and wind.

 

AEI Forum to Look to Carbon Tax Issues – AEI will host a forum on Wednesday at 2:30 p.m. on Sheldon Whitehouse’s carbon tax proposal.  The debate over whether the US should implement a carbon tax is both highly important and highly controversial. Supporters of a carbon tax argue that it would be the most efficient way of addressing climate change implementing broader fiscal reform, while opponents of such a tax suggest that it would harm the economy and have almost no effect on the climate.

 

Forum to Look at Transportation, Cal Energy Challenge – On Wednesday in Sacramento, CA, a panel of thought leaders in policy, academia and industry will convene to debate California Governor Jerry Brown’s new energy and climate proposal calling for a 50 percent reduction in petroleum use by 2030 — “50/50/50 by 2030.”  The event keynote speaker with Cal Senate President Pro Tempore Kevin de León.  Carl Cannon, Washington Bureau Chief of RealClearPolitics will then moderate a panel of experts including Wayne Eckerle of Cummins Inc., NRDC’s Roland Hwang, Neste’s Lars-Peter Lindfors, U-C Davis energy expert Amy Myers Jaffe and Rob Lapsley of the California Business Roundtable.

 

Foxx, Reps. Peterson, Lucas to Address NRECA Rural Summit – The National Rural Electric Coop Assn (NRECA) will hold a one-day summit Thursday focused on rural America.  NRECA has gathered experts from around the country to discuss jobs, infrastructure and quality of life on Main Street in rural America. U.S. Secretary of Transportation Foxx and Reps Frank Lucas and Collin Peterson will be among the speaker at the Capitol Hill Hyatt in Washington, D.C.  The 200-300 leaders represent a cross-section of interests from the public, private and non-profit communities.  This Summit is the first event in what’s anticipated to be a multiple year collaboration around both advocacy and a series of national/regional events designed to draw attention to what’s required to build a strong and prosperous 21st century rural economy.   For more information on the event, you should connect with NRECA’s Debbie Wing at 703-907-5732 or Debbie.Wing@nreca.coop

 

CSIS to Host BP Stat Review –Thursday at 8:30 a.m., the CSIS Energy and National Security Program will host Spencer Dale, Group Chief Economist at BP, to present BP’s Statistical Review of World Energy 2015. The 64th  annual edition of the review continues a tradition of providing objective, global data on energy markets to inform discussion, debate and decision-making.  The review takes on important and timely questions on global oil production and consumption, slower economic growth in China and other emerging markets and the continuing strong growth in US shale oil and gas production.

 

Congressional Briefing on High Performance Buildings Set – On Thursday at 9:30 a.m. on Capitol Hill, the High Performance Building Congressional Caucus will hold an event on High Performance Building Week.  HPB is next week and is an annual celebration of high performing buildings organized by the coalition of building industry stakeholders that support the HPB Congressional Caucus. This year, the coalition will be announcing several policy priorities during the week. The 2015 Policy Priorities will act as the framework for lobbying efforts between the members and Congress. As part of the High-Performance Building Week program, the National Institute of Building Sciences is conducting a briefing on some of the newest reports and topics including the Consultative Council report.  Speakers will include Reps. David McKinley and Peter Welch, Co-Chairs of the Caucus.  Highlights include a discussion of the 2014 NIBS Report.

 

USEA Energy Forum Set – The US Energy Assn’s 26th Annual Energy Efficiency Forum will be on Thursday at the National Press Club.  The U.S. is now an energy superpower: #1 in natural gas production and soon to be #1 in oil production. But this forum will look at what will it take for us to be an Energy Efficiency Superpower  The U.S. has made great strides over the last 25 years, but other countries still rank higher when it comes to energy efficiency. The Energy Efficiency Forum has addressed topics and issues of importance to our economy, our environment and our national security for 25 years. Speakers from both sides of the aisle, from the Executive Branch, from the U.S. Congress, from federal agencies, from the military and from business and industry address the Forum every year.

 

Forum to Look at Transpo Sector Fuels – The Environmental and Energy Study Institute (EESI) and the Governors’ Biofuels Coalition will hold a briefing on Friday at 10:00 a.m. in 334 Cannon examining the current state and potential future of the transportation fuel supply. While combustion engines are more efficient and cleaner than ever, the transportation sector is still responsible for 27 percent of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions as well as half of all toxic emissions in the United States. Researchers from Argonne National Laboratory (ANL), the National Renewable Energy Lab (NREL), and Oak Ridge National Lab (ORNL) are conducting coordinated studies to address the opportunities and challenges to deploying a high octane mid-level ethanol blend to the passenger vehicle fleet. They found such fuels, which blend between 25 to 40 percent ethanol and 60 to 75 percent conventional gasoline (instead of the current 10 to 90 percent ratio), could lead to greater fuel efficiencies and lower overall GHG emissions.

 

FUTURE EVENTS

 

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.

 

Lt Dan to Speak to National Press Club – Academy Award nominee and Emmy-winning actor and director Gary Sinise will address an NPC Speakers Breakfast on Tuesday, June 16th at 8:30 a.m.  Sinise will discuss his tireless advocacy for America’s servicemen and women through the Gary Sinise Foundation.  Sinise will be in Washington to receive the 2015 Service to America Leadership Award from the NAB Education Foundation (NABEF).

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

SoCo Fanning Headlines REFF Wall Street – ACORE hosts it 12th annual REFF-Wall Street 2015 on June 24 and 25th at The Grand Hyatt in New York City.  REFF-Wall Street is the premier renewable energy financing event in the U.S.  Attendees of this event include CEOs and other senior company officials, lenders, investors, investment bankers, private equity investors, venture capitalists and other top transactional professionals in renewable energy finance.  The event draws an especially senior audience, comprising of over 600 senior decision makers, financiers and professionals in the renewable energy finance field.  Southern Company CEO Tom Fanning will headline a list of speakers that also includes DOE EERE’s David Danielson and former EERE head Cathy Zoi.

 

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

 

July 4th

 

August Recess

 

GenForum Set For Columbus – ICF International Natural Gas VP Leonard Crook will kick-off the one-day GenForum/POWER-GEN event August 18th on natural gas generation in Columbus, Ohio.  Crook will offer an overview of the recent rise of natural gas-fueled power generation over the years at the expense of coal-fired power plants.  GenForum is organized by PennWell’s GenerationHub. The event is scheduled at the Greater Columbus Convention Center. GenForum leads into PennWell’s POWER-GEN/Natural Gas conference, scheduled for Aug. 18-to-20 at the same convention center.

 

Energy Update: Week of June 1

Friends,

 

Today launches hurricane season 2015 and despite the Presidential visit last week and talk of climate change, most real experts see this season being  slower than an average season, with six to 11 named storms (see the 2015 storm name line up here).  While that’s no guarantee that a major storm won’t make a landfall, this season got off to an early start when Tropical Storm Ana brought heavy rain to the North Carolina coast in early May.  Important to also note that it has been 10 years though since our busiest hurricane season ever: 2005. That year saw 28 named storms — 15 of them hurricanes — including Hurricane Katrina, Rita and Wilma which devastated the Gulf Coast. Hurricane Dennis was the first of the four major hurricanes that hit the U.S. in 2005.  That season also a launched a very serious and well-documented debate about hurricanes and climate change that only the Administration seems to have not followed.

 

This Saturday also is the 147th Belmont Stakes, the third jewel of horse racing’s triple crown.  As I mentioned a couple weeks ago, this is the 14th time since 1978’s triple crown win that we have had a horse win the first two legs of the triple crown, but in each case since back-to-back triple crowns from Seattle Slew (1977) and Affirmed (1978), the horse has failed to win the Belmont.  The 1.5-mile Belmont Stakes has a way of ending hot streaks.  While earning the Triple Crown is a test of endurance for one horse who must win three consecutive races in five weeks, challengers often enter the Belmont Stakes as a spoiler after resting up for the race. You may recall last year this issue leading to a tirade from the owner of California Chrome after Tonalist, a horse that did not run in the Kentucky Derby or Preakness Stakes, ran away to victory in Elmont.

 

After last week’s news dump – Waters of US on Wed, Sage Grouse on Thurs and RFS Fri – (all covered below with special section on RFS) Congress returns to action with a busy slate of energy hearings.  Busiest will be House Energy and Commerce which hosts Energy Secretary Moniz and others on the QER tomorrow, holds a big energy efficiency hearing on Wed/Thursday and a TSCA reform markup tomorrow and Wednesday.

 

Other key hearings include Senate environment on the new ozone rule and Senate Small Business on the WOTUS rule on Wednesday; Senate Energy on more legislation aimed at filling comprehensive energy legislation and a Senate Homeland Security subcommittee roundtable on how to improve the regulatory process on Thursday.   On the House Side, House Science looks at Reg impacts on business Thursday, while House Transportation digs into the recent Amtrak crash tomorrow.

 

Off the Hill on Wednesday, the U.S.-China Renewable Energy Industries Forum (REIF) hold its 4th annual forum at the Reagan Center on Wednesday.  There will be a media briefing on Wednesday morning at 10ish and it will feature DOE, NREL and our friend Joe Desmond of BrightSource, among others.  Why BSE? Because last week they initiated a JV with Chinese Companies Huanghe and Shanghai Electric to develop CSP (Ivanpah) solar technology to be built in China’s Qinghai Province. (again See below)

 

Finally, our friends at Securing America’s Future Energy (SAFE) today launched a new online portal—The Fuse, www.energyfuse.org—which creates a go-to destination for high-level news, analysis and discussion on all aspects affecting U.S. energy security.  In conjunction with the 167th meeting of OPEC in Vienna, The Fuse will feature live online and broadcast coverage, delivering first-hand reporting as well as social media and video accounts directly from the meeting. Fuse staff will also interview prominent attendees on OPEC’s role in today’s new oil market environment.  The Fuse offers incisive and prescient analysis of how the evolving energy landscape impacts U.S. economy, geopolitics, domestic production and advanced technology and will be updated daily with content from oil market and energy policy experts, as well as business and NGO leaders.

 

Frank Maisano

(202) 828-5864

(202) 997-5932

 

 

The Big News: ETHANOL

Ethanol Volumes Finally Released – On Friday, EPA proposed long-delayed biofuel targets for 2014 and 2015 and issued a proposal setting the mandates for 2016.

 

2014: Despite 2014 being over, refiners will have to show that they have blended or purchased fuel credits for 13.25 billion gallons of conventional ethanol and 2.68 billion ethanol-equivalent gallons of non-food advanced biofuels.

 

2015: EPA will require a total of 16.3 billion gallons of renewable fuels, of which 13.4 gallons would be conventional ethanol and 2.9 billion ethanol-equivalent gallons advanced biofuels.

 

2016: EPA will require refiners use 17.4 billion gallons, 14 billion gallons corn-based ethanol and 3.4 billion ethanol-equivalent gallons is to be advanced biofuel.

ClearView Says Plan Ambitious – Kevin Book and his energy experts at ClearView Energy called the EPA RFS Plan the “ambitious” 2016 target of 17.4 B gal may require 0.46 B RINs from a potential RIN bank of 2.43 B RINs, which could mitigate RIN price concerns. Uncertainty between now and the final rule, to say nothing of likely court action, could contribute to elevated RIN prices.  You Can reach Book and his ClearView Energy team at book@cvenergy.com or 202-506-5744.

Cap Alpha Experts Question – Other experts led by Jim Lucier at Cap Alpha observed that the RFS numbers still far short of those envisioned in the statute. EPA appears to be inviting Congress to revisit the statute at some point to set more attainable goals and to address distribution issues which may affect their attainability. In effect, we believe, EPA is endorsing the concept of the blend wall as an immediate practical consideration.  But for now, EPA is avoiding actions which would create near-term RIN scarcity. The increases seem consistent with increases in the gasoline pool that bring the RFS right up to the blend wall and perhaps a bit over, given the 14 billion number for 2016 (we estimate the blend wall level would be 13.8 billion based on EIA data.)  In short, whether one believes there is a blend wall or not, EPA appears to be treating it as a practical reality for the time being.  You can reach Lucier and his Cap Alpha team at 202-548-0072 or james.lucier@capalphadc.com.

Industry, Enviro, Legal, Policy Sources – Beside analysts like Book and Lucier, we have several excellent resources for you to follow up.  On the enviro side, you can call Scott Faber of the Environmental Working Group (202-939-9127, sfaber@ewg.org).  For the refining sector, please call Tesoro’s Stephen Brown (202-744-5578 or stephen.h.brown@tsocorp.com) or Valero’s Bill Day (210-345-2928, bill.day@valero.com).  You can also connect with Bracewell subject experts Eric Washburn (202-412-5211), Salo Zelermyer (202-828-1718) or Scott Segal (202-828-5845).

USDA/Biofuel Infrastructure – As part of the effort to support the relatively aggressive (unrealistic) assumptions of E15 and E85 penetration, USDA announced it is planning to spend up to $100 million to support infrastructure needed to allow for higher blends of ethanol at fuel pumps. The money will be administered through a state grant program that requires matching funds to promote and test new approaches to distributing higher blends of fuels, including E15 and E 85.

 

Who’s For, Who’s Against – Lots of groups put out statements Friday on the RFS.  Here is a list and links to those for and against.  Note the interesting folks on the against side like EWG and anti-poverty group Action Aid.  And of course, who could possible go against the National Frozen Pizza Institute.

 

FOR:  Renewable Fuels Assn, Biodiesel Board, National Corn Growers, Growth Energy, BIO, Advanced Biofuels Assn, American Coalition for Ethanol, Advanced Ethanol Council.

 

AGAINST:  API, AFPM, National Chicken Council, American Energy Alliance, Environmental Working Group, NRDC, Action Aid, National Turkey Federation, the National Pork Producers, the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, Milk Producers Council, National Restaurant Association and the Grocery Manufacturers, Snack Food Assn, National Frozen Pizza Institute.

 

Blast from the Past: Popcorn Prices –  Back in July 2007, there was major concern over a significant increase in popcorn prices due to ethanol.  Our friend Chris Doering of Reuters detailed the problem as did NPR, CBS and many others.

 

IN THE NEWS

 

BrightSource’s China Project Moves Forward – Chinese Company Huanghe, Shanghai Electric and BrightSource Energy initialed a joint venture company agreement for construction of the Delingha Concentrated Solar Power (CSP) project late last week.  The signing was conducted at Qinghai Shengli Hotel by Xie Xiaoping, Chairman and Secretary of CPC Group, BrightSource Chairman/CEO David Ramm and Bi Chengye, General Manager of Shanghai Electric. Qinghai Provincial Governor Hao Peng and U.S. Ambassador to China Max Baucus attended. The execution of the agreement will play a significant role in changing Qinghai’s energy mix and in kicking off a green era featuring energy efficiency and emission reductions.  Huanghe and BrightSource will build  two 135MW CSP projects with energy storage systems in Qinghai.  Expect this to be part of the discussion at this week’s China Renewable Energy Industries Forum (REIF) at the Reagan Center.

 

SAFE to Launch Energy Web site – Securing America’s Future Energy (SAFE) today launched a new online portal, The Fuse, that creates a go-to online home for high-level news, analysis and discussion of critical developments affecting U.S. energy security today.   The site will be launched and live from the OPEC meetings in Vienna this week where it will bring live social media, video and reporting of the OPEC meeting, covering the event first-hand.  Fuse staff will also interview prominent attendees on OPEC role in today’s new oil market environment.   Launched amidst an unprecedented abundance of domestic oil and natural gas coupled with renewed volatility among major, long-term energy suppliers such as Iraq, Venezuela, Russia and Libya, The Fuse offers incisive and prescient analysis of how the evolving energy landscape impacts the U.S. economic and security outlook. Updated daily with content from oil market and energy policy experts, The Fuse will serve as a centralized resource for written analysis, visual data, videos, and exclusive insights from high-profile guest contributors on a wide variety of energy-related topics.  The launch of The Fuse features content from guest contributors including Frederick W. Smith, President and CEO of FedEx Corporation; Arun Majumdar, former Vice President for Energy at Google.org, and Founding Director of the Advanced Research Projects Agency – Energy (ARPA-E); T. Boone Pickens, former oil industry magnate and current chairman of hedge fund BP Capital Management; and Greg Ballard, former U.S. Marine and current Mayor of the City of Indianapolis.

 

Sage Grouse Plans Released – The Obama administration on Thursday released plans to conserve the habitat of the greater sage grouse in several Western states that include limits on oil and natural-gas drilling, a move that could have a broad impact on the West’s economy.  The plans drew fire from western Republicans and the oil and gas industry, who said they would extend federal land control and threaten state economies without properly protecting the bird.  But Secretary Jewell made the announcement with Wyoming’s Republican governor Matt Mead.  As well, Environmentalists seemed split, with some saying the moves did not go far enough.  Remember, my colleague Eric Washburn is in the middle of this discussion and can be a great resource (202-412-5211)

WOTUS Rule Released, BG Experts Providing Key Info – The EPA and Army Corps of Engineers finalized their long-awaited and controversial rule aimed at clarifying what bodies of water fall under the agencies’ jurisdiction.  The Waters of the United States rule would give the agencies authority over tributaries that have a physical feature of flowing water, including a bed, bank and high water marks. The rule also protects bodies of waters adjacent to lakes, rivers and their tributaries and would regulate ditches that function as streams.  Interestingly, perhaps in a nod to its massive public outreach program chronicled by the New York Times, they have changed the name to the Clean Water Rule.  I’m sure that poll-tested well…  Anyway, we have the absolute best resource on the WOTUS rule:  Lowell Rothschild.  He is happy to answer your questions and can be reached at 512.739.2352 or lowell.rothschild@bgllp.com  Lowell is also blogging many more details that I can write here regularly on the B&G Energy Blog.

 

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

 

Forum to Look at Renewables, Future – Today at 4:00 p.m., the Atlantic Council will host a discussion on the emergence of renewable energy as an important component of US energy policy. The panel will explore the benefits that renewables can bring to domestic and international considerations on climate change, energy security, and economic developments. The panel will also discuss a recent roadmap released by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) called REmap 2030 which overviews renewable energy potential in the United States and countries across the globe over the next fifteen years.  Speakers will include International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) Director General Adnan Amin, US State Department Special Energy Envoy Amos Hochstein, DOE’s EERE Deputy Mike Carr and ACORE’s Dennis McGinn.

 

Hill Hosts Technology, Innovation Forum – Tomorrow morning, The Hill will host a discussion on the effects of new technologies and innovation in energy, the implications of energy policies and regulations, ongoing efforts to meet carbon emission goals, and the role nuclear energy could play in the global economy.  Featured speakers Third Way’s Matt Bennett, Sarah Chamberlain of the Main Street Partnership, Center For Climate And Energy Solutions Eileen Claussen and Westinghouse Electric Company President & CEO Danny Roderick.  There will also be a keynote interview with Illinois Congressman Adam Kinizinger.

 

Moniz to Head back to House Energy – After cancellation last Thursday, the House Energy and Commerce Committee Subcommittee on Energy and Power will hold its rescheduled hearing next Tuesday with Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz about the Quadrennial Energy Review and related legislation.  Several others will also be testifying including our friend BPC President Jason Grumet, who will target the shifting the strategy of U.S. energy diplomacy by improving coordination and planning and removing barriers to trade among allies and partners.  Others on the panel include Association of International Petroleum Negotiators expert Rudolf Dolzer, Lancaster County PA Commissioner Scott Martin, IHS’s Gerald Keeps, Alison Cassady of Center for American Progress and George Washington University Law School professor Emily Hammond.

 

BPC Forum to Look at Second Term Presidents – The Bipartisan Policy Center’s Democracy Project, in partnership with the Henry M. Jackson Foundation, will hold a discussion tomorrow at 10:30 a.m. about second-term presidents.   Former white House Staff like Sandy Berger and Ken Duberstein and USA Today Washington Bureau chief Susan Page will discuss how past second-term presidents worked with Congress, with their own party, and with the opposing party, shipping foreign policy goals and engaging  with the presidential candidates aiming to succeed them.   Drawn from the wisdom of those who have served and covered second-term presidents, panelists will address several dynamics with which a second-term president must contend that are unlike those from their first terms.

 

NJ Hosts House Oversight Chair – Ahead of tomorrow’s hearing exploring the challenges faced by those seeking public information under the Freedom of Information Act, National Journal and Steve Clemons, National Journal’s Washington editor-at-large will host an in-depth conversation at the Reagan Trade Center at 11:15 a.m. with Rep. Jason Chaffetz, chairman of the U.S. House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.  The discussion will focus on the upcoming hearing and other priorities of a committee that oversees every aspect of the government’s functioning.

 

NAS to Hold Discussion on Aviation Emissions – The National Academy of Sciences holds a meeting on propulsion and energy systems to reduce commercial aviation carbon emissions tomorrow and Wednesday at NAS 2100 C Street NW.  Steve Csonka, executive director of the Commercial Aviation Alternative Fuels Initiative, delivers remarks among others.

 

Wald to Headline WCEE Event – Tomorrow, the Women’s Council on Energy and the Environment will host a brown bag Luncheon with the Nuclear Energy Institute’s Matt Wald.  Wald reported on energy and airline safety issues for most of his 37 years as a reporter at the New York Times. He will publish an article in the EPRI Journal this summer on the “rush to renewables” and how that may impact the reliability of the electricity grid. Wald has a long background in energy technology, especially in nuclear energy. He has covered every aspect of the energy business, including wind, solar, fuel cells, coal mining and combustion, fracking, liquid motor fuel production, and grid operations. He looks forward to analyzing the many new challenges faced by the industry.

 

US China Partnership Event Set for Reagan Center – The U.S.-China Renewable Energy Industries Forum (REIF) hold its 4th annual forum at the Reagan Center on Wednesday.  There will be a media briefing on Wednesday morning.  REIF is the annual event of the U.S.-China Renewable Energy Partnership, brings together more than 150 government, industry, and academic leaders from both countries to discuss policy and market outlook, share best practices, assess joint work, prioritize future collaborations, and unlock commercial opportunities.  The event is being co-hosted by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and China’s National Energy Administration (NEA) and supported by the American Council on Renewable Energy (ACORE) and the Chinese Renewable Energy Industries Association (CREIA). The event will highlight important policy developments, financing trends, quality assurance and manufacturing practices, opportunities and challenges of utility and distributed projects, renewable energy integration, and local-level leadership.  Our friend Joe Desmond from BrightSource Energy will be attending.

 

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

 

House Energy Hearing Looks at DOE, Efficiency – The House Energy and Commerce subcommittee on energy and power will hold a hearing Wednesday and Thursday on the Discussion Draft on Accountability and Department of Energy Perspectives on Title IV: Energy Efficiency. The hearing will examine Title IV’s Subtitle A on Energy Efficiency and Subtitle B on Accountability.

 

Press Club to Host Speaker on Climate – The National Press Club’s Event Committee will hold a forum on Wednesday at 9:00 a.m. on climate change with Dr. Andy Jorgensen for a presentation about the phenomenon and methods which have been used to characterize these changes. The human dimension of the problem will be emphasized then we will consider solutions.

 

Senate Enviro Looks at EPA Ozone Plans – The Senate Environment and Public Works Committee will hold a hearing on Wednesday at 9:30 a.m. to look EPA’s proposal to tighten the national ozone standard. The hearing will focus on the “challenges and implications” of a tighter ozone standard. It will mostly feature as witnesses local and regional air quality regulators who would be in charge of putting in place a more stringent limit, including Uintah County Commission chair Michael McKee, MWCOG Transportation Director Kanathur Srikanth, Boone County, KY  judge-executive Gary Moore, JHU professor of medicine, epidemiology and environmental health science Gregory Diette and Larry Greene, executive director of the Sacramento Metropolitan Air Quality Management District.

 

House Science to Look at Competitiveness – The House Science Committee will hold a hearing on EPA Regulatory overreach and its impacts on American competitiveness on Thursday at 9:00 a.m. Witnesses will include Bill Kovacs of U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Bob Kerr and NAM’s Ross Eisenberg.

 

Forum to Look at Arctic Sustainability – The Institute for European, Russian and Eurasian Studies will host a conference on Thursday and Friday at George Washington University addressing a variety of topics central to promoting Arctic urban sustainability. The panels will address such issues as the role of cities in Russia, sustainability in various Arctic urban centers, energy resource development in the Arctic, and the future of Arctic cities in comparative perspective.

 

Plug Power Execs to Discuss Hydrogen Fuel Cells – On Thursday, Plug Power Inc., leader in the development and deployment of commercial hydrogen and fuel cell technology made in the USA, will host an event featuring Andy Marsh, President & CEO and Gerry Conway, Vice President & General Counsel at the Willard. They will be traveling with members of Plug Power’s executive team from city to city to meet with individual shareholders to talk about their hydrogen infrastructure, fuel cell material handling technology, revenue goals and long-term plans.

 

CSIS to Look at RGGI Issues – The Center for Strategic and International Studies Energy and National Security Program will host a discussion on Thursday at 10:00 a.m. looking at the future of the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) under changing leadership.   The keynote address will be by Katie Dykes, Chair of the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) and Deputy Commissioner for Energy in Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection.

 

ELI Forum to Look at NatGas Regs – On Thursday, ELI will Host a forum on EPA’s plans to regulate methane emissions from the oil and gas sector.  EPA’s announcement of its forthcoming action has fueled considerable debate as domestic oil and gas production has reached historic levels in a volatile price market.   Leaders will respond to issues.  Speakers will Include EPA’s Paul Gunning, NRDC’s Dave Doniger, ANGA’s Amy Farrell, former EPA official Bob Sussman, Theresa Pugh of INGAA, former EPA #2 Bob Perciasepe and API’s Howard Feldman, among others.

 

USEA to Host Mitsubishi on CCS Technology – The US Energy Assn will host speakers from Mitsubishi Heavy Industries to discussion carbon capture issues on Thursday at 10:00 a.m.   Mitsubishi began R&D activities for Carbon capture in 1990 and has developed a high efficiency chemical solvent process, the KM CDR Process®, in collaboration with the Kansai Electric Power Co., Inc. The process has been applied to eleven (11) worldwide commercial CO2 capture plants which are providing captured CO2 from natural gas-fired flue gas to enhance chemical production such as urea and methanol.  One of the most urgent challenges faced today, with the apparent advent of global warming, is the capture of CO2 from coal fired power plants, which is the largest single source of global CO2 emissions. MHI and Southern Company have successfully completed a demonstration test program of a 500 tpd fully integrated CCS plant applied to a coal-fired power plant for the past 4 years. In addition, MHI has received an order for the world’s largest post-combustion CO2 capture plant of 4,776 tpd from an enhanced oil recovery (EOR) project mainly promoted by NRG Energy Inc. and JX Nippon Oil & Gas Exploration Corporation, which is now under construction.

 

Senate Panel Roundtable to Look at Reg Process – The Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Regulatory Affairs and Federal Management Subcommittee will hear from several experts on how to improve the regulatory process  in a roundtable on Thursday at 1:00 p.m. The roundtable will discuss federal rules and regulations as well as what can be done to improve the rulemaking process.

 

Forum to Look at Zero Energy Buildings – ACEEE and the National Association of State Energy Officials will host a forum on Thursday at 1:00 p.m. in B354 Rayburn to focus on Zero Net Energy (ZNE) buildings.  Residential and commercial buildings consume a whopping 41% of all energy in the United States. And the majority of that energy is used to heat, ventilate and cool our buildings throughout the year. We have the technology and techniques today that can significantly reduce building energy consumption to virtually zero, which drastically reduces monthly utility bills and carbon emissions.  This briefing will provide an overview of what’s behind the growth in the ZNE building market, its economic and environmental benefits, and why Zero Net Energy is important to your district. Speakers will highlight current and future ZNE projects and identify stakeholders’ roles in these efforts, including small businesses, builders, developers, State and local committees, technology producers and NGOs.  Speakers Include NASEO’s Executive Director David Terry, Bosch Thermotechnology’s Mark Stimson, ACEEE’s Jennifer Amann and Greg Guess, Director of Efficiency and Conservation of the Kentucky Department of Energy Development and Independence.

 

Beacon Exec to Discuss Energy Storage – On Thursday at 3:00 p.m.,  Aaron Bullwinkel, Vice President & General Counsel, Beacon Power, will discuss the opportunities and challenges facing the energy storage industry, as it develops from a nascent industry to a viable, economic alternative to transmission and distribution development, a means to achieve energy savings, an operations tool, and an answer to service interruptions.

 

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

 

NARUC, NACAA, NASEO to Address GHG Compliance Issues – The Environmental and Energy Study Institute (EESI) will hold a briefing on Friday at 10:30 a.m. in 2168 Rayburn examining the options available for states to comply with EPA’s proposed Clean Power Plan, which will be finalized later this summer.   State energy, environmental, and utility officials are already working closely together to identify compliance options, with the National Association of Clean Air Agencies (NACAA), National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC), and National Association of State Energy Officials (NASEO) leading the way. On May 21, NACAA, which represents air regulators in 41 states and over 100 local agencies, released a comprehensive document examining potential state compliance strategies under the Clean Power Plan.  NARUC and NASEO are helping to disseminate the report, Implementing EPA’s Clean Power Plan: A Menu of Options, to state energy offices and utility commissions throughout the country. The report does not include recommendations, but instead provides an objective assessment of the strengths and weaknesses of the different approaches to Clean Power Plan compliance. The speakers will discuss the co-benefits, costs and effectiveness of these different approaches, as well as the opportunities and challenges the Clean Power Plan represents to states.  Speakers for this forum are NACAA’s Bill Becker, NASEO’s David Terry and NARUC’s Charles Gray.

 

Green Forum Set for Convention Center – This weekend, starting Friday, Green Festivals will hold the DC Green Festival and Expo at the Walter Washington Convention Center.   Green Festival is inspiring and empowering consumers, communities and businesses to work green, play green and live green. At each event, you will find of the widest selection of green products and services, where people can shop and enjoy vegan, vegetarian, organic foods, and learn how to live healthier, more sustainable lives through hands-on demos, educational activities and inspirational speakers. This marks the 11th Green Festival at the D.C. Convention Center.

 

 

FUTURE EVENTS

 

BPC to Look at Batteries, EVs – Next Monday at 3:00 p.m., the Bipartisan Policy Center will host a forum on batteries for vehicles and the electric grid.  Next-generation battery technologies are powering vehicles and connecting directly to the electric grid. As a result, international competition to develop and supply new battery technology has intensified in recent years. This event will discuss the linkages between federal R&D investment, next-generation battery technology development, and U.S. business competitiveness.  The American Energy Innovation Council (AEIC) is a group of current and retired CEOs of major innovation-driven companies that advocate for greater federal investment in energy technology innovation. This event is the first in a series that follows AEIC’s February report, Restoring American Energy Innovation Leadership, to elevate conversations on the role of federal energy innovation investments in economic growth and international competitiveness.   Speakers will include Argonne’s Jeff Chamberlain, Johnson Controls’ Perry Watts and our friend Steve Levine.

 

Forum Looks at TransAtlantic Solutions – Next Tuesday at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, the American Institute for Contemporary German Studies (AICGS) will hold its second annual “Transatlantic Dialogue of the States, Cities, and Communities.” While German-American relations focus mainly on the connections between Berlin and Washington, this dialogue will bring together civic leaders from throughout Germany and the United States to discuss common challenges and innovative programs at the sub-national level. The focus this year will be the role of cities and states as international actors on topics including energy, immigration, and trade.  The event will feature panels on “How Cities are Responding to the Energy Transformation,” “Immigration Reform and Cities of Migration,” and “TTIP: The Impact on Cities and States.”

 

Senate Energy to Continue Energy Hearing Process –The Senate Energy Committee will hold another hearing next Tuesday to receive testimony on energy accountability and reform legislation.

 

Statoil to Offer 2015 Energy Perspectives – On Wednesday, June 10th at 8:30 a.m., the CSIS Energy and National Security Program will host Eirik Wærness, Chief Economist in Statoil, to present the company’s newly released Energy Perspectives 2015 publication. The report describes the macroeconomic and market outlook to 2040 including supply, demand, energy trade and CO2 impacts. The outlook illustrates some of the uncertainties about the future through modeling various scenarios. This year’s report describes the possible development in global energy markets towards 2040 through three alternative scenarios, called Reform, Renewal and Rivalry, respectively.

 

Forum to Look at Grid, Distributed Solar – On Wednesday, June 10th at 9:00 a.m. the Progressive Policy Institute will host a forum focused on the future of the grid and a discussion of distributed solar and wind.

 

AEI Forum to Look to Carbon Tax Issues – AEI will host a forum on Wednesday, June 10th at 2:30 p.m. on Sheldon Whitehouse’s carbon tax proposal.  The debate over whether the US should implement a carbon tax is both highly important and highly controversial. Supporters of a carbon tax argue that it would be the most efficient way of addressing climate change implementing broader fiscal reform, while opponents of such a tax suggest that it would harm the economy and have almost no effect on the climate.

 

CSIS to Host BP Stat Review – Next Thursday at 8:30 a.m., the CSIS Energy and National Security Program will host Spencer Dale, Group Chief Economist at BP, to present BP’s Statistical Review of World Energy 2015. The 64th annual edition of the review continues a tradition of providing objective, global data on energy markets to inform discussion, debate and decision-making.  The review takes on important and timely questions on global oil production and consumption, slower economic growth in China and other emerging markets and the continuing strong growth in US shale oil and gas production.

 

Congressional Briefing on High Performance Buildings Set – On Thursday, June 11th at 9:30 a.m. on Capitol Hill, the High Performance Building Congressional Caucus will hold an event on High Performance Building Week.  HPB is next week and is an annual celebration of high performing buildings organized by the coalition of building industry stakeholders that support the HPB Congressional Caucus. This year, the coalition will be announcing several policy priorities during the week. The 2015 Policy Priorities will act as the framework for lobbying efforts between the members and Congress. As part of the High-Performance Building Week program, the National Institute of Building Sciences is conducting a briefing on some of the newest reports and topics including the Consultative Council report.  Speakers will include Reps. David McKinley and Peter Welch, Co-Chairs of the Caucus.  Highlights include a discussion of the 2014 NIBS Report.

 

USEA Energy Forum Set – The US Energy Assn’s 26th Annual Energy Efficiency Forum will be on Thursday, June 11th at the National Press Club.  The U.S. is now an energy superpower: #1 in natural gas production and soon to be #1 in oil production. But this forum will look at what will it take for us to be an Energy Efficiency Superpower  The U.S. has made great strides over the last 25 years, but other countries still rank higher when it comes to energy efficiency. The Energy Efficiency Forum has addressed topics and issues of importance to our economy, our environment and our national security for 25 years. Speakers from both sides of the aisle, from the Executive Branch, from the U.S. Congress, from federal agencies, from the military and from business and industry address the Forum every year.

 

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.

 

Lt Dan to Speak to National Press Club – Academy Award nominee and Emmy-winning actor and director Gary Sinise will address an NPC Speakers Breakfast on Tuesday, June 16th at 8:30 a.m.  Sinise will discuss his tireless advocacy for America’s servicemen and women through the Gary Sinise Foundation.  Sinise will be in Washington to receive the 2015 Service to America Leadership Award from the NAB Education Foundation (NABEF).

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

SoCo Fanning Headlines REFF Wall Street – ACORE hosts it 12th annual REFF-Wall Street 2015 on June 24 and 25th at The Grand Hyatt in New York City.  REFF-Wall Street is the premier renewable energy financing event in the U.S.  Attendees of this event include CEOs and other senior company officials, lenders, investors, investment bankers, private equity investors, venture capitalists and other top transactional professionals in renewable energy finance.  The event draws an especially senior audience, comprising of over 600 senior decision makers, financiers and professionals in the renewable energy finance field.  Southern Company CEO Tom Fanning will headline a list of speakers that also includes DOE EERE’s David Danielson and former EERE head Cathy Zoi.

 

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

 

July 4th

 

August Recess

 

GenForum Set For Columbus – ICF International Natural Gas VP Leonard Crook will kick-off the one-day GenForum/POWER-GEN event August 18th on natural gas generation in Columbus, Ohio.  Crook will offer an overview of the recent rise of natural gas-fueled power generation over the years at the expense of coal-fired power plants.  GenForum is organized by PennWell’s GenerationHub. The event is scheduled at the Greater Columbus Convention Center. GenForum leads into PennWell’s POWER-GEN/Natural Gas conference, scheduled for Aug. 18-to-20 at the same convention center.

 

Energy Update: Week of May 25

Friends,

 

Memorial Day is a special day to honor our fallen heroes.  Over the weekend, I found so many of the tributes to fallen family members on social media very moving.  It honors their lasting memories and their sacrifice for our country.

 

The Memorial Day weekend also signals the start of summer and brings its other family traditions like barbeques, trips to the beach, lake, pool, etc and major events like the Indy 500 and the NCAA Lacrosse tournaments.   Congrats to the Maryland women who have now won back-to-back NCAA championships and Denver who ousted the Maryland Men’s team preventing a Free State double win.  Also congrats to DIII SUNY-Cortland women who hammered Trinity (not an easy task) and Tufts who also made it back-to-back NCAA DIII final victories.

 

While the hockey and basketball playoffs roll on (the NY Rangers have their backs to the wall again tonight), I hope you didn’t miss the final David Letterman Show last week.  While I was not a regular viewer, I did watch the last show and found it enjoyable, modest and one that honored the family around him.  It was very well done.  His last top 10 List featured a bunch a celebrities saying what they always wanting to say to Dave.  Also our friends at Vox wrote a little history of the Letterman Top Ten list.

 

One big item over the weekend: Securing America’s Future Energy (SAFE) has locked in on its finalists for the SAFE Energy Security Prize in partnership with CNBC and Clemson University.   Tech auto expert Jim Motavalli highlighted the four finalists in his Car Talk Blog this weekend detailing each start-up’s innovative ideas to reduce American oil dependence.  The companies include Peloton (truck/fleet efficiency), Momentum (wireless charging), Freewire (portable charging) and Seachange (eco fuel for boats, commercial shipping).  The winner will get $125,000 prize so get ready to vote.  We will have details in future notes.

 

No action in DC this week with Congress on a week break, but that did prevent an exciting weekend battle over the Patriot Act and late Friday action on the EPA rules.  Thursday afternoon, the National Assn of Clean Air Companies put out an extensive 465-page encyclopedia of 25 core compliance options for EPA’s GHG rules.  Then Friday, EIA released new analysis that suggests EPA’s GHG plan would spur a quick wave of coal plant retirements and cause a significant increase in power costs.  Not to be outdone, late Friday, EPA released the final version of its rule governing emissions of pollutants from power plants, refineries, chemical facilities and other industrial sites during periods of startup, shutdown and malfunction.  My colleague Rich Alonso (202-828-5861), a great expert on the issue, says the rule will make it easier for environmental groups to sue industries (as if they needed that).

 

Special congrats to our friends Charlie Drevna and Tate Bennett.  Drevna, who just retired from the AFPM (the refiners) is joining the Institute for Energy Research as a fellow while Bennett is leaving Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s office to join the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association.

 

Finally, while this week may be slow, there are still a couple of items to keep on your radar.  Anytime now, our experts tell me we are expecting decisions for the Supreme Court on Mercury and the DC Circuit on GHG challenges.  As well, we have heard that later this week we may see as many as 15 of the Sage Grouse Federal Conservation plans that will impact oil, gas, renewable and other development in most all western states.   My colleague Eric Washburn (202-412-5211) is monitoring the issue and is a great resource  for you.

 

Frank Maisano

(202) 828-5864

(202) 997-5932

 

 

IN THE NEWS

Motavalli Details SAFE Auto Tech Prize Finalists – Time to vote…Securing America’s Future Energy (SAFE) has locked in on its finalists for the SAFE Energy Security Prize in partnership with CNBC and Clemson University.   Tech auto expert Jim Motavalli highlighted the four finalists in his Car Talk Blog this weekend detailing each start-up’s innovative ideas to reduce American Oil dependence.  The Companies include 1) Peloton which improves truck fleet efficiency through cloud and wireless technology.  The truck-to-truck wireless link technology makes trucks safer, increases fuel efficiency up to 10% and double trucking company profits by having two trucks traveling closely together to take advantage of the aerodynamics (just as in a bike race) .  2) Momentum  has developed a wireless charger that can charge an EV in about 20 minutes which I perfect for businesses and workplaces to get over one of EVs biggest obstacles.  3) Freewire has created a mobile EV charger that gets its power not from the grid but from second-life electric car batteries.  4) Seachange uses the biodiesel waste glycerol and blends it with ULS Diesel for its Eco-Hybrid fuel that can be dropped into existing fuel tanks and improve emissions dramatically without high-cost modifications or expensive down time.  The winner will get $125,000 prize.  It is a contest so get ready to vote for the most innovative. The winner will be announced at the South Carolina campus of one of the sponsors, Clemson University and highlighted on CNBC.

 

EIA Analysis Shows Power Price Increase – The Energy Information Administration says in a new analysis that the EPA’s Clean Power Plan would shut down more than double the coal-fired power plant capacity that would occur otherwise by the end of the decade, contributing to a 5% increase in the cost of power generation.  The analysis predicts that the EPA’s expected carbon regulations would prompt power producers to shut down 90 gigawatts of coal-fired power generation, far higher than the 40 GW that it currently expects to retire.  The report says require massive investments in new power lines and other infrastructure to integrate a growing amount of renewable energy into the electric grid. EIA used its Annual Energy Outlook’s reference, or most likely, case as a baseline to project the impact of the proposed regulations. EPA’s rules for new and existing power plants, aimed at reducing carbon emissions by 30 percent by 2030 compared to 2005 levels, are expected to be finalized in August.

NACAA Releases GHG Compliance Strategies – The National Association of Clean Air Agencies released a 465-page encyclopedia of 25 core compliance options for EPA’s GHG rules.   The menu goes far beyond the “building blocks” EPA used to set state emissions goals. EPA based standards on actions the agency thought states could take to make coal plants more efficient, use more natural gas, build renewable energy and cut electricity use through efficiency improvements.   My colleague Scott Segal said NACAA tries to outline a roadmap, but it underscores that it will be a bumpy ride.  Segal: “Not taking away from the work that went into it, NACAA’s Encyclopedia hardly breaks new ground.  Many policy options are advocated on environmental grounds.  The hard questions are which of these policies can be advanced without hurting consumers, undermining reliability, and under what ultimate federal authority.  Congress certainly never authorized EPA to insist on the implementation of programs of the breadth and complexity that NACAA is suggesting – all under a few hundred, rarely used words of the Clean Air Act.”

 

Report: Shale Will Remain Strong Despite Price Issues – A new Manhattan Institute paper says despite some doom and gloom predictions about the lower oil price’s effect on shale oil, the industry is poised for a strong second act. Senior Fellow Mark Mills writes that Shale 2.0 will be marked by a move toward big-data analytics that will make shale operations more productive, cost-effective and predictable for energy producers. http://www.manhattan-institute.org/html/eper_16.htm#.VVztd7HD-Uk

 

Shale Coalition Pushing back on New Taxes in PA – Last week, the PA Chamber Coalition rolled out the Stop New Energy Taxes campaign which includes a website designed to assist allies with their messaging and engagement.  As part of the roll out, the coalition sent a letter to Gov. Wolf and the General Assembly outlining our concerns related to Gov. Wolf’s severance tax proposal.  The purpose of the coalition is to urge Gov. Wolf and the General Assembly to pursue commonsense policies focused on strengthening our economy and jobs through growth not additional higher energy taxes.

 

Drevna to Join Energy Think Tank – The Institute for Energy Research announced that our friend Charlie Drevna is joining the organization as a Distinguished Senior Fellow. Drevna will advise IER on a variety of energy topics, particularly fuel and refining issues.   Drevna comes to IER with more than 40 years of experience in legislative, regulatory, and public policy issues involving energy and the environment. Most recently, he served as President of the American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers, the national trade association representing 98 percent of U.S. refining capacity, a position he had held since 2007.

 

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Goldwyn, Loveless to Headline Energy Event – The British-American Business Association’s Energy & Environment Committee, in participation with the French-American Chamber of Commerce, Netherlands America Chamber of Commerce, and Swedish-American Chamber of Commerce will hold a luncheon interview on the energy landscape today amidst rising uncertainty and global challenges.  Our friend Bill Loveless, Energy Columnist for USA Today, will interview former State Department energy official David Goldwyn.

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Forum to Look at Saudi Leadership Changes, Impacts – On Friday at 10:00 a.m., the Atlantic Council will host a discussion on leadership changes in Saudi Arabia.  Last month, Saudi Arabia’s King Salman reshuffled his cabinet and appointed a new line of succession in a major reorganization of the top echelons of power in the kingdom. Following the announcement, reports indicated that the state-owned oil giant, Saudi Aramco, would be restructured to operate independently from the Saudi oil industry.   Panelists include CSIS’s Anthony Cordesman, Director of the Atlantic Council’s Rafik Hariri Center for the Middle East Francis Ricciardone and Jean-François Seznec, Visiting Associate Professor at Georgetown University’s Center for Contemporary Arab Studies.  Former State Department official David Goldwyn will moderate the discussion and The Hon. Richard Morningstar, Founding Director of the Atlantic Council’s Global Energy Center, will deliver welcome remarks.

 

FUTURE EVENTS

 

Forum to Look at Renewables, Future – Next Monday at 4:00 p.m., the Atlantic Council will host a discussion on the emergence of renewable energy as an important component of US energy policy. The panel will explore the benefits that renewables can bring to domestic and international considerations on climate change, energy security, and economic developments. The panel will also discuss a recent roadmap released by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) called REmap 2030 which overviews renewable energy potential in the United States and countries across the globe over the next fifteen years.  Speakers will include International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) Director General Adnan Amin, US State Department Special Energy Envoy Amos Hochstein, DOE’s EERE Deputy Mike Carr and ACORE’s Dennis McGinn.

 

Hill Hosts Technology, Innovation Forum – On Tuesday, June 2nd, The Hill will host a discussion on the effects of new technologies and innovation in energy, the implications of energy policies and regulations, ongoing efforts to meet carbon emission goals, and the role nuclear energy could play in the global economy.  Featured speakers Third Way’s Matt Bennett, Sarah Chamberlain of the Main Street Partnership, Center For Climate And Energy Solutions Eileen Claussen and Westinghouse Electric Company President & CEO Danny Roderick.  There will also be a keynote interview with Illinois Congressman Adam Kinizinger.

 

Moniz to Head back to House Energy – After cancellation last Thursday, the House Energy and Commerce Committee Subcommittee on Energy and Power will hold its rescheduled hearing next Tuesday with Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz about the Quadrennial Energy Review and related legislation.

 

NJ Hosts House Oversight Chair – Ahead of a June 2nd hearing exploring the challenges faced by those seeking public information under the Freedom of Information Act, National Journal and Steve Clemons, National Journal’s Washington editor-at-large will host an in-depth conversation at the Reagan Trade Center at 11:15 a.m. with Rep. Jason Chaffetz, chairman of the U.S. House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.  The discussion will focus on the upcoming hearing and other priorities of a committee that oversees every aspect of the government’s functioning.

 

Wald to Headline WCEE Event – Next Tuesday, the Women’s Council on Energy and the Environment will host a brown bag Luncheon with the Nuclear Energy Institute’s Matt Wald.  Wald reported on energy and airline safety issues for most of his 37 years as a reporter at the New York Times. He will publish an article in the EPRI Journal this summer on the “rush to renewables” and how that may impact the reliability of the electricity grid. Wald has a long background in energy technology, especially in nuclear energy. He has covered every aspect of the energy business, including wind, solar, fuel cells, coal mining and combustion, fracking, liquid motor fuel production, and grid operations. He looks forward to analyzing the many new challenges faced by the industry.

 

 

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

 

CSIS to Look at RGGI Issues – The Center for Strategic and International Studies Energy and National Security Program will host a discussion on Thursday, June 4th at 10:00 a.m. looking at the future of the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) under changing leadership.   The keynote address will be by Katie Dykes, Chair of the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) and Deputy Commissioner for Energy in Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection.

 

ELI Forum to Look at NatGas Regs – On Thursday, June 4th, ELI will Host a forum on EPA’s plans to regulate methane emissions from the oil and gas sector.  EPA’s announcement of its forthcoming action has fueled considerable debate as domestic oil and gas production has reached historic levels in a volatile price market.   Leaders will respond to issues.  Speakers will Include EPA’s Paul Gunning, NRDC’s Dave Doniger, ANGA’s Amy Farrell, former EPA official Bob Sussman, Theresa Pugh of INGAA, former EPA #2 Bob Perciasepe and API’s Howard Feldman, among others.

 

USEA to Host Mitsubishi on CCS Technology – The US Energy Assn will host speakers from Mitsubishi Heavy Industries to discussion carbon capture issues on Thursday, June 4th at 10:00 a.m.   Mitsubishi began R&D activities for Carbon capture in 1990 and has developed a high efficiency chemical solvent process, the KM CDR Process®, in collaboration with the Kansai Electric Power Co., Inc. The process has been applied to eleven (11) worldwide commercial CO2 capture plants which are providing captured CO2 from natural gas-fired flue gas to enhance chemical production such as urea and methanol.  One of the most urgent challenges faced today, with the apparent advent of global warming, is the capture of CO2 from coal fired power plants, which is the largest single source of global CO2 emissions. MHI and Southern Company have successfully completed a demonstration test program of a 500 tpd fully integrated CCS plant applied to a coal-fired power plant for the past 4 years. In addition, MHI has received an order for the world’s largest post-combustion CO2 capture plant of 4,776 tpd from an enhanced oil recovery (EOR) project mainly promoted by NRG Energy Inc. and JX Nippon Oil & Gas Exploration Corporation, which is now under construction.

 

Forum to Look at Zero Energy Buildings – ACEEE and the National Association of State Energy Officials will host a forum on Thursday, June 4th at 1:00 p.m. in B354 Rayburn to focus on Zero Net Energy (ZNE) buildings.  Residential and commercial buildings consume a whopping 41% of all energy in the United States. And the majority of that energy is used to heat, ventilate and cool our buildings throughout the year. We have the technology and techniques today that can significantly reduce building energy consumption to virtually zero, which drastically reduces monthly utility bills and carbon emissions.  This briefing will provide an overview of what’s behind the growth in the ZNE building market, its economic and environmental benefits, and why Zero Net Energy is important to your district. Speakers will highlight current and future ZNE projects and identify stakeholders’ roles in these efforts, including small businesses, builders, developers, State and local committees, technology producers and NGOs.  Speakers Include NASEO’s Executive Director David Terry, Bosch Thermotechnology’s Mark Stimson, ACEEE’s Jennifer Amann and Greg Guess, Director of Efficiency and Conservation of the Kentucky Department of Energy Development and Independence.

 

Beacon Exec to Discuss Energy Storage – On Thursday June 4th at 3:00 p.m.,  Aaron Bullwinkel, Vice President & General Counsel, Beacon Power, will discuss the opportunities and challenges facing the energy storage industry, as it develops from a nascent industry to a viable, economic alternative to transmission and distribution development, a means to achieve energy savings, an operations tool, and an answer to service interruptions.

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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