Energy Update 1/16

Friends,

Holy cow…I still can’t believe Minnesota stayed alive by winning that playoff football game on Sunday.  NHL All-Star game in Tampa this weekend (with the awesome 3-on-3 format), Super Bowl Sunday is just three weeks away and the Winter Olympics starts right after in South Korea.

We are early today because of a number of events in this short week. The bulk of the oxygen this week will focus on the budget with a Friday deadline to extend government funding.  There is also a lot of activity on the trade issues with NAFTA, aluminum, steel, washing machine and solar issues all seeing discussions.  In fact, in an editorial Friday, the Washington Post hit the President’s approach to trade, saying that it be exceedingly difficult to achieve his goal of tearing down international trade actions.  The Post said not all trade deals were perfect, but “broadly speaking, increasingly free trade over the past 70-plus years has brought tremendous benefits both to the hundreds of millions lifted out of poverty in Asia, Africa and Latin America and to Americans who have enjoyed a wider choice of quality products, at lower cost, and high wages in export industries.”

As mentioned, Congress is in town despite the MLK holiday yesterday to deal with the budget. Hearings include this morning’s Senate Energy hearing on the domestic/global energy outlook with IEA’s Faith Birol and a Senate Environment hearing on water infrastructure tomorrow.  House Energy looks at Superfund and House Resources looks at onshore energy burdens on Thursday and Friday, a House Energy panel looks at LNG exports.

The Detroit Auto Show started yesterday (Washington’s policy show starts next week) while BPC hosts FERC’s Neil Chatterjee and Cheryl LaFleur, Heritage hosts a NAFTA forum and CSIS hosts launch of the International Energy Agency’s World Energy Outlook 2017 today.  Thursday, the US Energy Assn will hold its 14th annual State of the Energy Industry Forum at the National Press Club, the Chamber holds an infrastructure summit featuring INGAA’s Don Santa and RFF hosts author/expert Daniel Raimi for a book event on his new natgas drilling book.  On Friday, the US Assn of Energy Economists hosts its January luncheon looking at the natgas and battery revolutions.

Finally, after last week’s reacts to the new 5-year drilling plan and the Florida removal, public hearings start today with a meetings in Annapolis and Jackson Mississippi.  Richmond hosts tomorrow and Thursday, things move to Dover, DE.  More hearings next week and through the end of February.

One last time: we rolled out 10 Top Issues for 2018 in the Update.  Issues include Ethanol, trade, taxes, regs, climate, legal challenges, HFCs, Infrastructure, autonomous vehicles and electricity markets.

Finally, you know what today is…  I’ve already had a singing gorilla wish me happy 50th in our morning meeting that to my wife Stacey.  Here is a copy of last year’s POLITICO Playbook Birthday of the Day Q&A.  And I noticed that I have dropped to #2 on Playbook’s Jan 16th birthday list…  Labor Sect Acosta shares the day although I have him by one year.  Damn you, Carl’s Jr.!!!!

Call with questions.  Best,

Frank Maisano

(202) 828-5864

  1. (202) 997-5932

10 Top Issues for 2018

  1. Ethanol and a “deal” – One of the biggest issue last year was the battle over the RFS, RINs and ethanol.  The issues reached the highest levels of the White House where they expressed an interest in finding a win-win resolution that solves compliance problems while preserving the biofuels program.  This may be one of the early issues to see action this year because it continues to impact volume obligations, confirmations and other items, as well as potential legislative action, which is always a heavy lift.
  2. Solar, Steel, other Tariff/Trade issues – The President has demanded tariffs and January will be a key moment for this discussion.   He faces deadline on steel and solar and continues to hear internal pulls from Economic Advisor Gary Cohn and others who see tariffs as a major concern.  On the Solar case, the solar industry and a broad group of opponents that includes retailers, contractors, utilities and conservatives have urged the President to reject tariffs that could harm the entire industry. As well, look for action on the administration’s efforts to rework NAFTA, whose negotiations have dragged into at least the first quarter of this year.  Congress also started to look at the NAFTA impacts on energy which is likely to remain a central topic.
  3. Taxes and more taxes – With the Tax bill passed and in motion, there will be many tax implications in place over 2018.  Some will be very political and some will be below the radar, but we are certain that you will hear about it.  What you will also hear about as we approach the next budget deadline on January 19th is the potential to have a long-promised tax extenders package that includes incentives for biodiesel blenders, fuel cells, small wind, Geothermal Heat Pumps, distributed wind, CHPs and many other small, but innovative technologies.  Senate Finance Chairman Orrin Hatch unveiled a bill containing a smorgasbord of renewable energy credits just before the holidays, and House Chair Kevin Brady has vowed to move this year.
  4. Slowing regulations in all corners – The White House was most aggressive in 2017 pulling the current regulatory regime back from the previous Administration’s overreach.  This effort will remain a key priority in 2018 because it is one place where the Administration remain largely in control of the process.  Among the regulations in the crosshairs include the Clean Power Plan, WOTUS, offshore drilling issues, other climate action, ozone restrictions, well construction for natgas wells and a new approach to enforcing bird death restrictions.  We have experts on all topics so feel free to reach out.
  5. Climate ups and downs – While 2017 focused largely on the withdrawal from the voluntary Paris Accord, the Clean Power Plan repeal/replace, what climate websites were changed and other carping about the new Administration not caring enough about climate, 2018 promises to be focused on much of that and more state issues that form new ideas to reduce emissions.  While a lot of it will be couched in political clouds, these types of initiatives – along with expanded use of natural gas, and renewables in the regular power mix – will actually reduce our emissions.  Already we are beating many of our targets, while Germany and many other Paris signers are struggling to reduce emissions.  And don’t think that progress will stop political attacks or legal actions against the Trump Administration or companies.
  6. Lawsuit Central – Understanding #4 & #5, it seems like more legal battles is a hardy perennial, but in 2018 legal challenges on the climate, regulations will again play a prominent role.  Unlike previous years when Republican AGs like now EPA head Scott Pruitt and WV’s Pat Morrisey led the charge, this year Democrat AGs in Blue states – buoyed by environmental activists – will lead efforts to file suits against the Trump Administration. Lawyers will be busy, including those inside EPA who are already prepping for each fight by being very careful in how they write new rules.
  7. HFC issues and the Kigali Amendment – The Kigali amendment was signed in late 2016 as part of the Montreal Protocol. Its aim is to reduce the hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) used in air conditioners and refrigerators.  Early in 2018, the big news will be whether the administration follows through on statements from late last year where they vowed to fund efforts to implement it and send the amendment to the Senate for a ratification vote.  The Treaty is binding and goes into effect in 2019 since many countries already have ratified it.  The agreement was supported by both industry, environmental and other sustainability groups, and holds China, India and others to binding limits as global AC and refrigerant use grows globally.
  8. Infrastructure – The most important word for 2018 is infrastructure.  Why? Because it is an election year and infrastructure sells in both parties.  The President is expected to unveil a long-awaited statement of infrastructure “principles” soon and some see the push as an opportunity to advance energy and water infrastructure investments. This means pipelines, transmission and other generation assets.  While the larger infrastructure debate will take on many shapes, energy will play a significant role in the form of new pipeline approvals to move new natural gas, export terminals to get it our resources to foreign markets and important generation assets like new nuclear projects, renewables and gas plants.
  9. Emerging Autonomous Vehicle Rules – Last year, autonomous vehicles began to emerge as a new, important issue.  As the technology and regulatory discussion continues and becomes more defined, there will be more details, innovations and exciting changes for 2018.  Our friends at SAFE have been among the leaders on this issue and have an Autonomous Vehicle Task Force with leading experts to help develop an action plan to facilitate the widespread deployment of this transformative technology.
  10. Electricity markets and the Perry plan – FERC faces an early January deadline (delayed from last month) to respond to the Energy Department’s request to propose a rule that would compensate nuclear and coal plants for resiliency. As our friends at Axios point out, it is a wonky, complex issue, but it remains a battle over nuclear and coal versus gas and renewables.  As natgas prices remain low (as expected for 2018), the market challenges for coal and nukes remain a potential problem.  With many political and energy sectors interests on both sides, it will be a key decision for going forward in 2018.

FRANKLY SPOKEN

“We’ve decided that the best thing for our family and for me and I think, frankly, for North Dakota is for me to seek reelection to the House of Representatives.”

Rep. Kevin Cramer in deciding against running for North Dakota’s US Senate seat and incumbent Heidi Heitkamp.

“Mayor de Blasio turned his back on millions of first responders, police officers, firefighters and other public employees who depend on their pensions to provide for themselves and their families in retirement. Government pension managers have a responsibility by law to seek the greatest return for their investors and pensions that invest in oil and natural gas companies have historically delivered a higher return than other investments. Deliberately hurting pension holders, like the fine men and women who keep our city safe, is a disgraceful way to score cheap political points.”

API New York Executive Director Karen Moreau, commenting on New York Mayor Bill de Blasio’s announcement to divest the city’s pensions from oil and natural gas.

IN THE NEWS

White House Names Fannon to State Energy Gig – So much a for a move to the consulting…Our friend Frank Fannon has been nominated to be an assistant secretary of State on energy resources. Fannon worked at Senate Environment under Jim Inhofe and had an instrumental role in the drafting and passage of the Energy Policy Act of 2005.  Previously, Fannon was head of BHP Billiton’s DC office and also worked at Murphy Oil Corporation.

ALEC Chair Hit Solar Tariffs – The national chair of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), North Carolina State Rep. Jason Saine urged the President reject solar tariffs in a letter late last week.  Saine wrote Increasing tariffs on solar panels risks shuttering one of the fastest growing segments of our economy. According to recent estimates, the solar industry is creating jobs at a rate 17 times faster than the broader economy and employs over a quarter of a million people across the country.  He also added for utilities like Duke Energy, which must select cost-competitive resources (whether they be fuel-based or renewable) when selecting new generation resources to meet customer demand requirements, such cost increases may eliminate solar generation from its evaluation processes entirely.

ETAC Pushes Back On Protectionist Coalition Claims – In additional to the ALEC letter from Saine, the Energy Trade Action Coalition (ETAC) responded to a letter from the protectionist Coalition for a Prosperous America urging the president to impose a “global tariff” on imports.  ETAC released a letter that strongly encourages Trump to reject the attempt of two foreign-owned bankrupt solar companies, Suniva and SolarWorld, to use the Section 201 trade law process to bail out their creditors and shareholders. “Tens of thousands of U.S. solar industry jobs in the United States now hang in the balance. A decision to impose tariffs and/or quotas on imported solar components may offer Suniva and SolarWorld the short-term lifeline they seek, but it will do so at the cost of undermining virtually the entire rest of the industry, including hundreds of U.S. solar companies that are healthy, productive and providing good-paying jobs in communities across the country.”

China Imports Actually Increasing – A New piece in RealClearMarkets, Allan Golombek argues unilateral reduction of tariffs last month by China on almost 200 consumer products provides further testimony to the fact that the goal of its trade is not just to increase exports, but also imports. Golombek says after years as the world’s biggest exporter, China is on track to becoming the world’s biggest importer over the next few years, according to a paper prepared by two leading economists for the China International Capital Corporation.

EIA Net Exporter of NatGas – The U.S. Energy Information Administration says the U.S. is now a net exporter of natural gas on an annual basis for the first time since at least 1957.  Net exports averaged about 0.4 billion cubic feet per day last year, flipping from net inflows of 1.8 billion in 2016.  EIA also said in its Short-Term Energy Outlook for January, which the share of U.S. total utility-scale electricity generation from natural gas to rise from 32% in 2017 to 33% in 2018 and to 34% in 2019, as a result of low natural gas prices. Coal’s forecast generation share falls from 30% in 2017 to slightly lower than 30% in 2018 and 28% in 2019. The nuclear share of generation was 20% in 2017 and is forecast to average 20% in 2018 and 19% in 2019. Renewables provided almost 10% of electricity generation in 2017, and its 2018 share is expected be similar before increasing to almost 11% in 2019. The generation share of hydropower was more than 7% in 2017 and is forecast to be slightly lower than 7% in both 2018 and 2019.  Finally, EIA added that after declining by 1.0% in 2017, energy-related carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions are forecast to increase by 1.7% in 2018 and by 0.2% in 2019. Energy-related CO2 emissions are sensitive to changes in weather, economic growth and energy prices.

EPA Delays Climate Rule Comment Deadline – EPA will soon announce dates for additional public hearings on its proposal to repeal the Clean Power Plan and extend the deadline to submit comments. As previously reported, additional hearings will be held in Kansas City, MO on Feb 21, San Francisco on Feb 28 and Gillette, WY on March 27.   EPA will keep the record open for an additional 30 days after the last one.

Wind Group Says More Transmission Necessary – POLITICO outlines a new report from the Wind Energy Foundation finds more U.S. transmission lines are needed to meet the growing demand for renewables. Specifically, the report found transmission planners are not accounting for up to 51 gigawatts of potential near-term procurement.  Can send you copy of report if you need it.

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

Detroit Auto Show Launches – The North American International Auto Show is underway and runs until to January 28th.  The event serves as the global stage for companies to debut brand-defining vehicles and industry-shaping announcements.  Press Days start on Sunday where the world’s automotive and mobility leaders gather for three days of worldwide product and technology debuts.  Last January, the 2017 NAIAS featured 71 vehicle introductions, including 46 worldwide debuts. News coming out of NAIAS is heard across the globe as more than 5,100 journalists from 61 different countries annually attend to cover the latest and greatest happenings our industry has to offer.

POLITICO to Host Future of Mobility Event – POLITICO holds an event on “Driverless Cars and the Future of Mobility” today at 10:45 at the 2018 North American International Auto Show. The United States’ roads and highways will soon be driven by autonomous vehicles, which will fundamentally transform the transportation landscape in this country. This technology has the potential to reshape the communities that we live in and create stronger transportation networks for people of all ages and abilities. POLITICO addressing such questions as: When it comes to mobility, what are the sticking points? Will self-driving cars be a mobility revolution for older Americans and for people with disabilities?

BPC to Host LaFleur, Chatterjee – This morning at 10:00 a.m., the Bipartisan Policy Center hosts FERC Commissioners Neil Chatterjee and Cheryl LaFleur to discuss the proposed Grid Resiliency Pricing Rule which was announced last week.  FERC scrapped DOE’s plan and has now undertaken its own process.

Senate Energy to Look at Energy Outlook – The Senate Energy Committee will hold a hearing today at 10:00 a.m. to look at the domestic and global energy outlook from the International Energy Agency’s Fatih Birol.

Heritage to Look at NAFTA, Trade Issues –Today at 12:00 p.m., the Heritage Foundation hosts a forum on how enhancing energy trade with Canada and Mexico will result in more jobs and affordable power for American households and help achieve the Trump Administration’s goal of energy dominance.  Following efforts to modernize NAFTA, opportunities abound for one commonsense policy area that should be preserved and improved: energy. Canada and Mexico are two of America’s most important trade partners in energy markets. Experts on the panel include Bryan Riley, who heads NTU’s Free Trade Initiative; API International Policy advisor Aaron Padilla, Senior Advisor and Daniel Fine of the New Mexico Center for Energy Policy.  Heritage’s Nick Loris moderates.

World Energy Outlook Set For Launch – Today at 1:30 p.m., the CSIS Energy & National Security Program will host a forum and the U.S. launch of the International Energy Agency’s World Energy Outlook 2017. Fatih Birol, Executive Director of the IEA, will present the findings from the report.

Interior to Start Public Hearings on 5-Yr Plan – The Interior Department will start a series of public hearings today to discuss the interior Department’s expanded five-year drilling plan.  Interior will hold meetings today in Annapolis, MD (Double Tree by Hilton) and Jackson, MS (Jackson Marriott), Richmond, VA (Airport Four Points) on tomorrow and Dover, DE (Holiday Inn Downtown) on Thursday.  Other meetings next week will include hearings in Augusta, ME (Jan 22), Baton Rouge, LA (Jan 22), Anchorage, AK (Jan 23), Concord, NH (Jan 23), Boston, MA (Jan 24), Montgomery, AL (Jan 24) and Providence, RI (Jan 25).  Future meetings include Tacoma, WA (Feb 5), Austin, TX (Feb 6), Salem, OR (Feb 6), Tallahassee, FL (Feb 8), Sacramento, CA (Feb 8), Hartford, CT (Feb 13), Columbia, SC (Feb 13), Hamilton, NJ (Feb 14), Albany, NY (Feb 15), Washington, DC (Feb 22), Raleigh, NC (Feb 26) and Atlanta, GA (Feb 28).

Senate Enviro to Look at Water Infrastructure – The Senate Environment Committee holds a hearing tomorrow at 10:00 a.m. to look at water infrastructure.  The hearing will feature a panel of witnesses to focus on Federal issues and impacts including Interior’s deputy assistant secretary for water and science Austin Ewell, Idaho Water Users Association executive director Paul Arrington, Contra Costa Water District GM Jerry Brown, Mike DeVries of the Provo River Water Users Association and Friant Water Authority CEO Jason Phillips.

Smart Cities Summit Set in Chicago – The 2nd annual Smart Cities International Symposium and Exhibition will be held on tomorrow and Thursday in Chicago.  The event brings together municipal professionals and thought leaders to explore technology advances and key lessons to date in achieving the Smart City vision.

USEA to Hosts State of Energy Forum – The US Energy Assn will hold its 14th annual State of the Energy Industry Forum on Thursday at the National Press Club.  The event usually coincides with the U.S. State of the Union Address and is widely regarded as one of USEA’s premier events.  This annual forum brings together leading executives from the most influential and active energy trade associations to present their views, exchange ideas and engage in dialogue on major cross cutting issues facing the energy industry for the year.

Chamber to Host Infrastructure Forum – U.S. Chamber President Tom Donohue will headline a summit on Thursday at 9:30 a.m. focused on modernizing America’s Infrastructure. This dynamic, high energy day-long event will serve to jumpstart important conversations on revitalizing America’s infrastructure, ensure that infrastructure is a top policy priority for 2018, and bring together the business community to voice broad industry support.

Senate Energy to Review DOE Nominees – The Senate Energy Committee will hold a nomination hearing Thursday at 10:00 a.m. to review the nominations of Melissa Burnison to be an Assistant Secretary (Congressional and Intergovernmental Affairs), and Anne Marie White to be an Assistant Secretary (Environmental Management), both of the Department of Energy.

Small Biz Committee to Look at DOE Energy Assistance – The House Small Business Committee’s panel on Agriculture, Energy, and Trade will hold a hearing on Thursday at 10:00 a.m. on small business resources at the Department of Energy. The hearing will examine the resources available to small businesses in the energy sector through the Department of Energy.  This hearing will analyze the degree to which these programs are effective at minimizing confusion regarding participation in the federal contracting process and department-specific small business programs.  DOE’s Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization Director Charles Smith will testify.

House Energy Panel to Look at Superfund – A House Energy panel will hold a hearing on Thursday at 10:15 a.m. to focus on efforts to reform U.S. EPA’s Superfund program.   Witnesses will Include EPA’s Office of Land and Emergency Management Barry Breen, Steve Cobb of the land division at Alabama’s Department of Environmental Management, former EPA Superfund director and expert Win Porter, Portland Harbor policy analyst  for Oregon Gov. Kate Brown James McKenna, Debbie Mans of the NY/NJ Baykeeper and expert Katherine Probst.

Forum to Look at Report on Japan Energy – On Thursday at 2:00 p.m., the CSIS Energy & National Security Program will host a forum with Masakazu Toyoda, Chairman and CEO of the Institute of Energy Economics, Japan (IEEJ) for a presentation of the IEEJ’s Energy Outlook 2018, a report on the future of global energy. The 2018 edition of the outlook broadens its analysis out to 2050.  The outlook finds, despite large improvements in energy efficiency and intensity, global energy demand continues to increase up to 2050; most of this growth comes from non-OECD Asia. Energy-related CO2 emissions in the Advanced Technology Scenario decline after the 2020s but are still very far from reaching half of current levels by 2050. Two-thirds of total reductions are from electricity-related technologies, including non-fossil power, thermal power with CCS, and energy efficiency in power supply/demand.

House Resources Looks at Onshore Energy Burdens – The House Committee on Natural Resources will convene an oversight hearing on Thursday at 2:00 p.m. examining the Department of the Interior’s actions to eliminate onshore energy burdens.  Witnesses will focus on seismic testing, with drilling proponents vowing to improve the ability to conduct the tests that can find oil under the ocean floor.

Hopper to Headline WI Clean Energy Event – SEIA’s CEO Abigail Hopper, clean energy communications expert Jane Bloch, utility executives and industry experts will all be featured at RENEW Wisconsin’s 7th Annual Renewable Energy Summit on Thursday in Madison.

RFF Book Event Highlights Raimi’s Fracking Debate – Resources for the Future will hold a book event on the evening of Thursday to discuss Daniel Raimi’s book on hydraulic fracturing.  Despite the heated debate over “fracking,” neither side has a monopoly on the facts. Raimi’s The Fracking Debate gives a balanced and accessible view of oil and gas development, clearly and thoroughly explaining the key issues surrounding the shale revolution.  The book answers many questions and highlights stories of the people and communities affected by the shale revolution, for better and for worse.  The book provides evidence and context that have so frequently been missing from the national discussion of the future of oil and gas production, offering readers the tools to make sense of this critical issue.

House Energy Panel to Look at LNG – The House Energy & Commerce Committee’s Subcommittee on Energy will hold a hearing on Friday at 9:15 a.m. looking at legislation addressing LNG exports and PURPA modernization.

Energy Economists Talk Gas, Batteries – On Friday, the US Assn of Energy Economists hosts its January luncheon looking at the Natural gas and battery revolutions.  The event will feature former AGA exec Dr. Benjamin Schlesinger. The shale revolution has made U.S. natural gas plentiful and cheap.  As battery prices fall, affordable storage could bridge the gap between renewables and around the clock reliability in power generation.  In this presentation, Dr. Schlesinger will explore the emerging competitive flash-points, and discuss from his work, gas markets that are at risk from a battery revolution, and vice versa.  He will discuss the key price cross-overs, how the timing might unfold, and think long-term about how low-cost batteries could ultimately affect the future of gas markets.

IN THE FUTURE

BPC to Focus on Infrastructure –On Monday January 22nd at 10:00 a.m., the Bipartisan Policy Center will launch the BPC Infrastructure Lab and “3I” Series—Infrastructure Ideas and Innovations. This new effort is aimed at providing policymakers with fact-based evidence that can shape strategies for restoring America’s infrastructure.  State and local governments across the country are struggling just to repair and maintain their infrastructure systems, let alone expand or upgrade these systems with the latest and greatest technologies. As such, the lab’s first event presents leading public-sector efforts to embed asset management concepts into municipal government practices. In the spotlight: the District of Columbia’s comprehensive asset inventory, which includes 96 percent of all assets owned, a tally of accrued deferred maintenance, and an action plan to improve the District’s infrastructure.

WCEE to Look at 2018 Agenda – The Women’s Council on Energy and the Environment (WCEE) holds its  6th Annual WCEE Lunch & Learn Brainstorming Event on Tuesday January 23rd at Noon kicking off its Lunch & Learn planning, as well as deciding what topics to cover in 2018.

CSIS to Host Canada Energy Discussion – The CSIS Energy and National Security Program will host a presentation on January 23rd at 9:30 a.m. featuring the National Energy Board’s (NEB) Canada’s Energy Future 2017: Energy Supply and Demand Projections to 2040. This report, part of NEB’s annual Energy Future series, features long-term projections of Canadian energy supply and demand.  The 2017 edition examines how recent energy developments, especially in climate policy, have affected Canada’s energy outlook. The study also includes additional scenarios focusing on long-term climate policy and technology trends. Similar in structure to the U.S. Energy Information Administration’s Annual Energy Outlook, the report is the only public, long-term Canadian energy outlook that includes all energy commodities in all provinces and territories.

Heritage to Look at Solar Trade Case – Heritage will hold a forum on solar tariff issues on Tuesday January 23rd at Noon.  The event will feature conservative experts, solar companies and many outside groups impacted by higher tariffs.

RFF, Stanford to Hosts Cal Climate Discussion – On January 23rd at 12:00 p.m. at the National Press Club, the Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment and Resources for the Future will host a forum on insights into California’s commitment to tackling climate change and protecting its natural environment. Panelists will discuss the process for crafting and building support for the climate law and its impacts on industry as well as lessons to be drawn for similar efforts. The panel will feature Pacific Gas and Electric’s Kit Batten, RFF’s Dallas Burtraw and Stanford’s Michael Wara.

Pruitt, Snyder, Others Headline Washington Auto Show – The Washington Auto Show launches on January 23rd and runs through February 4th.  The Washington Auto Show is the Public Policy Show, where the auto industry intersects with the government officials who write and enforce the laws and rules that affect the field. This coming year, one of the focuses of the show will be on connected and autonomous vehicle technology, and the ways pending legislation could impact its development.  Major speakers include EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt, Sen. Gary Peters, Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder, and many others, including representatives from the U.K., South Korea, Japan, China, and the U.A.E. Press Day is January 25th and will feature a sneak peek of the more than 600 cars on the floor of the consumer show. SAFE’s Joe Ryan will be on a SAE panel and autonomous vehicle expert Amitai Bin-nun on will present on policy day panel.

Thune to Hold Auto Innovation Policy Hearing – Speaking of the auto Policy, on policy day next Wednesday at the Walter Washington Convention Center, Sen. John Thune, chair of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, will convene a field hearing on automotive innovation and Federal policies.  The hearing will examine self-driving and other auto technologies as well as issues on the horizon for lawmakers and regulators. Days after the hearing, the convention center will open its doors for an industry-wide auto showcase event.  Witnesses include Florida Tech President Randy Avent, Zoox CEO Tim Kentley-Klay, Intel CEO Brian Krzanich, Mike Mansuetti of Bosch North America and Audi Mobility U.S. President Luke Schneider.

Trump to Head to World Economic Forum – The 48th annual World Economic Forum will be held on January 23-26th in Davos, Switzerland.  The Forum engages the foremost political, business and other leaders of society to shape global, regional and industry agendas.  Trump is likely to discuss his recent efforts to impact trade.

SEJ to Host Annual Journalists Enviro Guide Forum – On Friday, January 26th at 3:00 p.m., the Society of Environmental Journalists, George Mason University and the Wilson Center host their annual forum and report: “The Journalists’ Guide to Energy and Environment,” which previews the top stories of 2018, with comments from a roundtable of leading journalists.  For the last five years, SEJ and the Wilson Center have hosted the only annual event in the nation’s capital featuring top journalists offering their predictions for the year ahead on environment and energy. Always streamed live and always standing room only, this event is essential for anyone working to meet the critical energy and environment challenges facing our nation and the world.  Panelists include AP’s Matt Daly, Nirmal Ghosh of the Straits Times, Bloomberg Environment’s Pat Rizzuto, Wellesley alum Val Volcovici of Reuters, E&E News’ Ariel Wittenberg and several others. Marketplace’s Scott Tong moderates.

State of the Union – President Trump addresses Congress at 9:00 p.m. on Tuesday January 30th.

Pruitt to Head to Senate Environment – The Senate Environment and Public Works Committee said EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt will appear before the Committee on Jan. 31st making his first return to the panel nearly a year after his confirmation.

FERC Commissioner Headlines Power Conference – The 31st annual Power and Gas M&A Symposium will be held in New York at the Grand Hyatt Midtown on January 31st and February 1st. The event is an executive conference from S&P Global Market Intelligence that brings utilities, power generators, renewables, and Wall Street together to set the tone for strategic decisions for the year.  FERC Commissioner Neil Chatterjee, my Bracewell colleague Scott Segal and EEI Head Tom Kuhn will all speak, among others.

Hudson Forum to Look at HFC Issues – The Hudson Institute will hold a forum on February 5th to discuss the current status of HFC issues and the Kigali Treaty.

BCSE to Release Annual Sustainability Report – In early February, the Business Council for Sustainable Energy and Bloomberg New Energy Finance will release their annual Sustainable Energy in America Factbook.  More on this soon…

National Ethanol Conference Set – The Renewable Fuels Association holds its 23rd annual National Ethanol Conference on February 12-14 in San Antonio.  Former Presidential Advisor Mary Matalin and veteran Democratic Political Strategist Donna Brazile are scheduled to speak together at the event on Washington Politics.

EMA To Hold Roundtable – The Emissions Marketing Association will hold roundtable Thursday, February 22nd in Juno Beach, Florida at the offices of NextEra Energy.  The event will include presentations, Q&A, and networking opportunities to allow for dialogue among the attendees.

Energy Update: Week of 1/8

Friends,

SO…it looked to me like Seth Meyers wanted to say a lot more last night at the Golden Globes… but the event was calmly empowering.  Besides great wins for James Franco (Disaster Artist) and Frances McDormand (Three Billboards) – which were both fabulous movies; it seems Oprah Winfrey is all the talk of politics, presidents and Hollywood. Let’s watch CBS This Morning with Oprah whisperer Gayle King for more insight on her next move.

Before we get into It, let me first say I was sad but also excited to hear that my long-time friend and fellow Detroit native, Bob Semple, is retiring after 54 years – that right – 54 years at the New York Times.  Many of you will know Bob from his biting and tough editorial wit, as well as deep substance.  While Bob was usually tough on us with his rapid fire questions, he always had time to hear our views – in fact many times to probably pre-counter our argument – and ALWAYS gave us a fair shake.  Bob is a legend and still as sharp as tack.  He says “the page” invited him to still “write when the spirit moves me” so we will may hear from him occasionally, but we will all miss Bob Semple’s daily input.  Congrats to our friend John Broder who steps up to take over Bob’s role.

Last week, the Interior Department rolled out its new five-year drilling plan, which was overly expansive and drew criticism both Republicans and Democrats from most coastal states. The plan Thursday suggests opening vast new stretches of federal waters to oil and gas drilling.  The public hearings start next week on Tuesday in Annapolis and will cover every coastal state over the next two months.  More on the action “In the News.”

The Hill returns back to full action this week with budget discussions taking center stage (maybe if Washington can stop talking about Michael Wolff) with a January 19th funding deadline.  We also have important pending trade decisions on solar and steel, as well as action at FERC on the DOE resiliency proposal all expected to see some action this week.  Speaking of DOE, House Energy has a hearing tomorrow on the DOE Mission where I expect there will be plenty of discussion on the FERC/DOE rule.  Among DOE witnesses will be experts like Clearpath’s Rich Powell.   Then, Wednesday, Senate Environment starts up the infrastructure discussion with focus on water resources issues.

This week, API holds its annual State of Energy Address tomorrow while NY City holds its Clean Power Plan “hearing”.  U.S. Chamber head Tom Donohue delivers his annual “State of American Business” address on Wednesday and CSIS hosts former DOE Secretary Moniz on Thursday.

Next week, the Detroit Auto Show starts on Sunday while BPC hosts FERC’s Neil Chatterjee and Cheryl LaFleur and CSIS hosts launch of the International Energy Agency’s World Energy Outlook 2017 on Jan 16th.  Speaking of the 16th, make sure you note that it is my 50th birthday.  Blatantly telling you again so you don’t forget…

In case you missed it last week, we rolled out 10 Top Issues for 2018 in the Update.  Issues include Ethanol, trade, taxes, regs, climate, legal challenges, HFCs, Infrastructure, autonomous vehicles, and electricity markets.

Finally, our good friend and retired energy reporter Gerry Karey has a great new book out called Meanderings: Inventions, Fripperies, Bits, & Bobs.  The book is a collection of blogs and essays that is hilarious and thoughtful.  Check out a review here.

The Consumer Electronics show is underway in Vegas. While you might be looking for the latest phones, AI, VR or games, there is a lot of autonomous/electric vehicle technology that is part of show.  Our friends at SAFE are on the ground there and are happy to keep you up to speed.  Stay up late because ‘Bama-Georgia should be pretty good tonight.  Call with questions.  Best,

Frank Maisano

(202) 828-5864

  1. (202) 997-5932

 

10 Top Issues for 2018

  1. Ethanol and a “deal” – One of the biggest issue last year was the battle over the RFS, RINs and ethanol.  The issues reached the highest levels of the White House where they expressed an interest in finding a win-win resolution that solves compliance problems while preserving the biofuels program.  This may be one of the early issues to see action this year because it continues to impact volume obligations, confirmations and other items, as well as potential legislative action, which is always a heavy lift.
  2. Solar, Steel, other Tariff/Trade issues – The President has demanded tariffs and January will be a key moment for this discussion.   He faces deadline on steel and solar and continues to hear internal pulls from Economic Advisor Gary Cohn and others who see tariffs as a major concern.  On the Solar case, the solar industry and a broad group of opponents that includes retailers, contractors, utilities and conservatives have urged the President to reject tariffs that could harm the entire industry. As well, look for action on the administration’s efforts to rework NAFTA, whose negotiations have dragged into at least the first quarter of this year.  Congress also started to look at the NAFTA impacts on energy which is likely to remain a central topic.
  3. Taxes and more taxes – With the Tax bill passed and in motion, there will be many tax implications in place over 2018.  Some will be very political and some will be below the radar, but we are certain that you will hear about it.  What you will also hear about as we approach the next budget deadline on January 19th is the potential to have a long-promised tax extenders package that includes incentives for biodiesel blenders, fuel cells, small wind, Geothermal Heat Pumps, distributed wind, CHPs and many other small, but innovative technologies.  Senate Finance Chairman Orrin Hatch unveiled a bill containing a smorgasbord of renewable energy credits just before the holidays, and House Chair Kevin Brady has vowed to move this year.
  4. Slowing regulations in all corners – The White House was most aggressive in 2017 pulling the current regulatory regime back from the previous Administration’s overreach.  This effort will remain a key priority in 2018 because it is one place where the Administration remain largely in control of the process.  Among the regulations in the crosshairs include the Clean Power Plan, WOTUS, offshore drilling issues, other climate action, ozone restrictions, well construction for natgas wells and a new approach to enforcing bird death restrictions.  We have experts on all topics so feel free to reach out.
  5. Climate ups and downs – While 2017 focused largely on the withdrawal from the voluntary Paris Accord, the Clean Power Plan repeal/replace, what climate websites were changed and other carping about the new Administration not caring enough about climate, 2018 promises to be focused on much of that and more state issues that form new ideas to reduce emissions.  While a lot of it will be couched in political clouds, these types of initiatives – along with expanded use of natural gas, and renewables in the regular power mix – will actually reduce our emissions.  Already we are beating many of our targets, while Germany and many other Paris signers are struggling to reduce emissions.  And don’t think that progress will stop political attacks or legal actions against the Trump Administration or companies.
  6. Lawsuit Central – Understanding #4 & #5, it seems like more legal battles is a hardy perennial, but in 2018 legal challenges on the climate, regulations will again play a prominent role.  Unlike previous years when Republican AGs like now EPA head Scott Pruitt and WV’s Pat Morrisey led the charge, this year Democrat AGs in Blue states – buoyed by environmental activists – will lead efforts to file suits against the Trump Administration. Lawyers will be busy, including those inside EPA who are already prepping for each fight by being very careful in how they write new rules.
  7. HFC issues and the Kigali Amendment – The Kigali amendment was signed in late 2016 as part of the Montreal Protocol. Its aim is to reduce the hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) used in air conditioners and refrigerators.  Early in 2018, the big news will be whether the administration follows through on statements from late last year where they vowed to fund efforts to implement it and send the amendment to the Senate for a ratification vote.  The Treaty is binding and goes into effect in 2019 since many countries already have ratified it.  The agreement was supported by both industry, environmental and other sustainability groups, and holds China, India and others to binding limits as global AC and refrigerant use grows globally.
  8. Infrastructure – The most important word for 2018 is infrastructure.  Why? Because it is an election year and infrastructure sells in both parties.  The President is expected to unveil a long-awaited statement of infrastructure “principles” soon and some see the push as an opportunity to advance energy and water infrastructure investments. This means pipelines, transmission and other generation assets.  While the larger infrastructure debate will take on many shapes, energy will play a significant role in the form of new pipeline approvals to move new natural gas, export terminals to get it our resources to foreign markets and important generation assets like new nuclear projects, renewables and gas plants.
  9. Emerging Autonomous Vehicle Rules – Last year, autonomous vehicles began to emerge as a new, important issue.  As the technology and regulatory discussion continues and becomes more defined, there will be more details, innovations and exciting changes for 2018.  Our friends at SAFE have been among the leaders on this issue and have an Autonomous Vehicle Task Force with leading experts to help develop an action plan to facilitate the widespread deployment of this transformative technology.
  10. Electricity markets and the Perry plan – FERC faces an early January deadline (delayed from last month) to respond to the Energy Department’s request to propose a rule that would compensate nuclear and coal plants for resiliency. As our friends at Axios point out, it is a wonky, complex issue, but it remains a battle over nuclear and coal versus gas and renewables.  As natgas prices remain low (as expected for 2018), the market challenges for coal and nukes remain a potential problem.  With many political and energy sectors interests on both sides, it will be a key decision for going forward in 2018.

 

FRANKLY SPOKEN

“By proposing to open up nearly the entire OCS for potential oil and gas exploration, the United States can advance the goal of moving from aspiring for energy independence to attaining energy dominance,” said. “This decision could bring unprecedented access to America’s extensive offshore oil and gas resources and allows us to better compete with other oil-rich nations.”

Vincent DeVito, Counselor for Energy Policy at Interior on the Department’s new 5-year plan.  

 

IN THE NEWS

Admin Suggests New Areas in 5-Yr Drilling Plan – The Department of Interior announced the next step for developing the National Outer Continental Shelf Oil and Gas Leasing Program (National OCS Program) for 2019-2024, which proposes to make over 90% of the total OCS acreage and more than 98% of undiscovered, technically recoverable oil and gas resources in federal offshore areas available to consider for future exploration and development. By comparison, the current program puts 94% of the OCS off limits. In addition, the program proposes the largest number of lease sales in U.S. history.

Public Meetings Set – Interior will hold public meetings will take place at locations across the country. Using an open-house format allows participants to arrive any time during the scheduled meeting time and to talk with our team members one-on-one. At the meetings you can ask questions, share information and learn more about the National Program.  The public hearings start next Tuesday and will be in Annapolis, MD (Double Tree by Hilton) and Jackson, MS (Jackson Marriott) on Tuesday January 16th, Richmond, VA (Airport Four Points) on Wednesday January 17th, and Dover, DE (Holiday Inn Downtown) on Thursday January 18th.  Other hearings next week will include hearings in Augusta, ME (Jan 22), Baton Rouge, LA (Jan 22), Anchorage, AK (Jan 23), Concord, NH (Jan 23), Boston, MA (Jan 24), Montgomery, AL (Jan 24) Providence, RI (Jan 25).  Future hearings include Tacoma, WA (Feb 5), Austin, TX (Feb 6), Salem, OR (Feb 6), Tallahassee, FL (Feb 8), Sacramento, CA (Feb 8), Hartford, CT (Feb 13), Columbia, SC (Feb 13), Hamilton, NJ (Feb 14), Albany, NY (Feb 15), Washington, DC (Feb 22), Raleigh, NC (Feb 26) and Atlanta, GA (Feb 28).

Chamber Energy Institutes Commends Expansion – The Chamber’s Global Energy Institute Karen Harbert said the Administration’s Draft Proposed Program unlocks the vast potential of American energy and expands our ability to export oil and gas to our allies around the world. Harbert added the plan is a long-term commitment to securing future US energy and would help cement America’s role as an energy superpower, creating jobs and contributing to the economy.  Harbert: “For decades, our nation has needlessly limited our own ability to harness oil and gas resources. This new plan sets a much different course, allowing far greater access to offshore areas that haven’t been previously accessible using advanced technology to determine where to safely drill.”

Gulf Group Expresses Optimism – Lori LeBlanc, Executive Director of the Gulf Economic Survival Team,

Recognized the new plan as a major sign of optimism for our country’s potential in being the world-leader in energy production. LeBlanc says with increasing OCS access, our country has the opportunity to maximize those natural resources in order to continue producing dependable energy, creating thousands of good-paying jobs and providing immense economic stability for our nation.  “The new plan allows us to maximize America’s abundant OCS oil and gas resources and benefit from the revenues generated by offshore production.”  She added that the Gulf accounts for nearly 20% of our nation’s oil production and contributes over $5 to $8 billion dollars directly to the U.S. Treasury each year — making it the second largest revenue stream for the federal government.”

Ocean Industry Group Praises New PlanNational Ocean Industries Association President Randall Luthi said the new plan is a long anticipated first step towards what could mean more jobs, energy and revenue to the people of the United States.  Luthi said the current Five-Year Program that expires in 2017 included no new access, and put the U.S. far behind many other nations that are actively pursuing offshore oil and natural gas energy development – – particularly in the Atlantic basin and the Arctic.  “The energy resources on the OCS are vital to the nation’s economic prosperity.  Allowing oil and natural gas development in federal waters in the Atlantic alone could result in as many as 280,000 new jobs, $24 billion annually to the economy, $51 billion in government revenue, and the safe production of 1.3 million barrels per day of oil and natural gas.  But frankly, these numbers likely underestimate the potential.

API Welcomes New PlanAPI President and CEO Jack Gerard welcomed the first step in developing a new five-year offshore oil and natural gas leasing program.  Gerard said smart, effective policies, such as prioritizing U.S. potential for expanding natural gas exports will help create jobs here at home and provide energy security to U.S. allies, all while allowing our nation’s energy renaissance to continue benefitting American consumers, workers and the environment. “Developing our abundant offshore energy resources is also a critical part of a forward-looking energy policy, which is why we look forward to working with the administration and Congress on an offshore leasing plan that will fully embrace our nation’s energy potential. Eighty percent of American voters support increased domestic oil and natural gas production, which will help keep energy affordable for consumers, create jobs, and strengthen our national security.  Gerard closed saying it’s important that the next five-year plan includes the ability to explore the resources in the Arctic, Atlantic, and the Eastern Gulf of Mexico, which would spur investment and economic activity, could create thousands of jobs, and provide billions in government revenue.

NatGas Setting Records – Over the past few weeks with the cold temps, the US has been setting natural gas use records.  AGA has been doing some analysis of it on their blog and in the news. Here is a post from last week about how January 1 set the all-time record for single-day gas consumption and we expect it to be beat in the days since.   There will be much more analysis on the next weeks, looking at the factors behind this trend.  More on the projections about Winter here.

Wind Cranking It Out In Cold, Too – The wind industry is doing well in the cold as well. Wind output is up and was strongest during the coldest part last Thursday and Friday, as is typical with extreme weather events.  Consider PJM, where wind output from January 1st to 4th averaged over 3,500MW, 40% above average wind production in January 2016. Further, wind energy generation exceeded forecasts in MISO and PJM on Thursday, January 4. In late 2017, wind power even broke output records in several regions.

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

House Energy Panel to Look at DOE Mission – The House Energy & Commerce Panel on Energy will hold a hearing tomorrow at 10:00 a.m. in 2123 Rayburn looking at DOE Modernization and advancing its mission for national, economic and energy security.  Witnesses will include DOE’s Dan Brouillette, Science office head Paul Dabbar, Energy Undersecretary Mark Menezes and NNSA head Frank Klotz, as well as CSIS’s Sarah Ladislaw, ClearPath’s Rich Powell, Don Levy of UChicago, former EERE head and Stanford Steyer-Taylor Director Dan Reicher, Oak Ridge’s Tom Zacharia and Lilly Research’s Steve Wasserman.

Wilson to Look at Taiwan Energy – The Wilson Center holds a discussion tomorrow at 10:00 a.m. on the political and social, as well as economic ramifications of the options Taipei has to meet its expansive energy needs, and how its decisions may impact Taiwan’s foreign policy.

API’s Annual State of Energy Address – API holds its annual State of Energy Address in the Atrium Ballroom of the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center.  The luncheon starts tomorrow at 12:00 Noon with a CEO Jack Gerard’s speech at 12:30 p.m. and a reporter briefing at 1:15 p.m.

NY to Host CPP Meeting for EPA Comments – The New York AG Eric Schneiderman holds a meeting tomorrow afternoon to provide public comments to EPA on repealing the Clean Power Plan at The New School in NYC.  Schneiderman is calling it a “people’s hearing” 1) as if the residents and miners of WV are not people and 2) certainly most New Yorkers are just regular folks Like everyone else.  My guess it will be very entertaining but not all that valuable to EPA.

Wilson Forum to Look at Taiwan Energy Issues – The Woodrow Wilson Center holds a discussion tomorrow at 10:00 a.m. looking at the political and social, as well as economic ramifications of the options Taipei has to meet its expansive energy needs, and how its decisions may impact Taiwan’s foreign policy.

Hopper, Honorable to Headline WCEE Event – The Women’s Council on Energy and the Environment (WCEE) will hold a reception at Dentons tomorrow at 6:00 p.m. to discuss lessons learned from political appointees.  The event features a lively discussion about the political appointment process in the energy and environmental fields and will feature a panel of former state and federal political appointees about how they started down the path towards political appointment and navigated the process.  Panelists will share their experiences and candid views about the challenges and rewards of a political appointment, as well as lessons they have learned while in these highly visible roles.  Speakers include SEIA’s Abby Hopper, former director of Interior’s Bureau of Ocean Energy Management; former FERC Commissioner Collette Honorable and Connecticut Consumer Counsel Elin Katz, who is President of the National Association of State Utility Advocates.

WRI Outlines Stories to Watch – On Wednesday at 9:00 a.m., the World Resources Institute hosts in 15th annual Stories to Watch event.  The event is for policymakers, business leaders and media in Washington, DC, and around the world.  Dr. Andrew Steer, WRI President & CEO, will share his insights on the big stories in the environment and international development in the coming year. In this turbulent time, he will explore global trends and emerging issues related to economics, climate change, energy markets, forests, water, security issues and more.

Chamber to Discuss State of American Business – On Wednesday at 9:30 a.m., U.S. Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Thomas J. Donohue will deliver his annual “State of American Business” address, highlighting the emerging opportunities and top challenges facing the business community in the coming year – and beyond. Donohue will also introduce the Chamber’s 2018 policy agenda. Following his remarks, Donohue and Neil Bradley, U.S. Chamber senior vice president and chief policy officer, will participate in a press conference.

Senate Enviro to Look at Water Infrastructure – The Senate Environment Committee hold a hearing Wednesday at 10:00 a.m. on America’s water infrastructure needs and challenges.  Witnesses

CSIS to Host Moniz – On Thursday at 4:00 p.m., CSIS holds a discussion with Ernest J. Moniz, the co-chair and CEO of NTI and former U.S. Secretary of Energy. He will provide remarks on the role of nuclear weapons in today’s increasingly dangerous global security environment, which will be followed by a discussion with John Hamre, president and CEO of CSIS.

IN THE FUTURE

Detroit Auto Show Launches – The North American International Auto Show runs from Saturday to January 28th and serves as the global stage for companies to debut brand-defining vehicles and industry-shaping announcements.  Press Days start on Sunday where the world’s automotive and mobility leaders gather for three days of worldwide product and technology debuts.  Last January, the 2017 NAIAS featured 71 vehicle introductions, including 46 worldwide debuts. News coming out of NAIAS is heard across the globe as more than 5,100 journalists from 61 different countries annually attend to cover the latest and greatest happenings our industry has to offer.

BPC to Host LaFleur, Chatterjee – Next Tuesday, January 16th at 10:00 a.m., the Bipartisan Policy Center hosts FERC Commissioners Neil Chatterjee and Cheryl LaFleur to discuss the proposed Grid Resiliency Pricing Rule. This proposal, drafted by the Department of Energy, calls for an expedited rulemaking to support generators that provide specific reliability and resiliency attributes. FERC is expected to take action on the proposal by January 10.

Heritage to Look at NAFTA, Trade Issues – Next Tuesday, January 16th at 12:00 p.m., the Heritage Foundation hosts a forum on how enhancing energy trade with Canada and Mexico will result in more jobs and affordable power for American households and help achieve the Trump Administration’s goal of energy dominance.  Following efforts to modernize NAFTA, opportunities abound for one commonsense policy area that should be preserved and improved: energy. Canada and Mexico are two of America’s most important trade partners in energy markets. Experts on the panel include Bryan Riley, who heads NTU’s Free Trade Initiative; API International Policy advisor Aaron Padilla, Senior Advisor and Daniel Fine of the New Mexico Center for Energy Policy.  Heritage’s Nick Loris moderates.

World Energy Outlook Set For Launch – Next Tuesday January 16th at 1:30 p.m., the CSIS Energy & National Security Program will host a forum and the U.S. launch of the International Energy Agency’s World Energy Outlook 2017. Fatih Birol, Executive Director of the IEA, will present the findings from the report.

Interior to Start Public Hearings on 5-Yr Plan – The Interior Department will start a series of public hearings starting next Tuesday to discuss the interior Department’s expanded five-year drilling plan.  Interior will hold meetings in Annapolis, MD (Double Tree by Hilton) and Jackson, MS (Jackson Marriott) on Tuesday January 16th, Richmond, VA (Airport Four Points) on Wednesday January 17th, and Dover, DE (Holiday Inn Downtown) on Thursday January 18th.  Other meetings will include hearings in Augusta, ME (Jan 22), Baton Rouge, LA (Jan 22), Anchorage, AK (Jan 23), Concord, NH (Jan 23), Boston, MA (Jan 24), Montgomery, AL (Jan 24) Providence, RI (Jan 25), Tacoma, WA (Feb 5), Austin, TX (Feb 6), Salem, OR (Feb 6), Tallahassee, FL (Feb 8), Sacramento, CA (Feb 8), Hartford, CT (Feb 13), Columbia, SC (Feb 13), Hamilton, NJ (Feb 14), Albany, NY (Feb 15), Washington, DC (Feb 22), Raleigh, NC (Feb 26) and Atlanta, GA (Feb 28).

Smart Cities Summit Set in Chicago – The 2nd annual Smart Cities International Symposium and Exhibition will be held on January 17th and 18th in Chicago.  The event brings together municipal professionals and thought leaders to explore technology advances and key lessons to date in achieving the Smart City vision.

USEA to Hosts State of Energy Forum – The US Energy Assn will hold its 14th annual State of the Energy Industry Forum on Thursday January 18th at the National Press Club.  The event usually coincides with the U.S. State of the Union Address and is widely regarded as one of USEA’s premier events.  This annual forum brings together leading executives from the most influential and active energy trade associations to present their views, exchange ideas and engage in dialogue on major cross cutting issues facing the energy industry for the year.

Forum to Look at Report on Japan Energy – On Thursday January 18th at 2:00 p.m., the CSIS Energy & National Security Program will host a forum with Masakazu Toyoda, Chairman and CEO of the Institute of Energy Economics, Japan (IEEJ) for a presentation of the IEEJ’s Energy Outlook 2018, a report on the future of global energy. The 2018 edition of the outlook broadens its analysis out to 2050.  The outlook finds, despite large improvements in energy efficiency and intensity, global energy demand continues to increase up to 2050; most of this growth comes from non-OECD Asia. Energy-related CO2 emissions in the Advanced Technology Scenario decline after the 2020s but are still very far from reaching half of current levels by 2050. Two-thirds of total reductions are from electricity-related technologies, including non-fossil power, thermal power with CCS, and energy efficiency in power supply/demand.

Hopper to Headline WI Clean Energy Event – SEIA’s CEO Abigail Hopper, clean energy communications expert Jane Bloch, utility executives and industry experts will all be featured at RENEW Wisconsin’s 7th Annual Renewable Energy Summit on Thursday January 18th in Madison.

RFF Book Event Highlights Raimi’s Fracking Debate – Resources for the Future will hold a book event on the evening of Thursday January 18th to discuss Daniel Raimi’s book on hydraulic fracturing.  Despite the heated debate over “fracking,” neither side has a monopoly on the facts. Raimi’s The Fracking Debate gives a balanced and accessible view of oil and gas development, clearly and thoroughly explaining the key issues surrounding the shale revolution.  The book answers many questions and highlights stories of the people and communities affected by the shale revolution, for better and for worse.  The book provides evidence and context that have so frequently been missing from the national discussion of the future of oil and gas production, offering readers the tools to make sense of this critical issue.

Energy Economists Talk Gas, Batteries – On Friday January 19th, the US Assn of Energy Economists hosts its January luncheon looking at the Natural gas and battery revolutions.  The event will feature former AGA exec Dr. Benjamin Schlesinger. The shale revolution has made U.S. natural gas plentiful and cheap.  As battery prices fall, affordable storage could bridge the gap between renewables and around the clock reliability in power generation.  In this presentation, Dr. Schlesinger will explore the emerging competitive flash-points, and discuss from his work, gas markets that are at risk from a battery revolution, and vice versa.  He will discuss the key price cross-overs, how the timing might unfold, and think long-term about how low-cost batteries could ultimately affect the future of gas markets.

BPC to Focus on Infrastructure –On Monday January 22nd at 10:00 a.m., the Bipartisan Policy Center will launch the BPC Infrastructure Lab and “3I” Series—Infrastructure Ideas and Innovations. This new effort is aimed at providing policymakers with fact-based evidence that can shape strategies for restoring America’s infrastructure.  State and local governments across the country are struggling just to repair and maintain their infrastructure systems, let alone expand or upgrade these systems with the latest and greatest technologies. As such, the lab’s first event presents leading public-sector efforts to embed asset management concepts into municipal government practices. In the spotlight: the District of Columbia’s comprehensive asset inventory, which includes 96 percent of all assets owned, a tally of accrued deferred maintenance, and an action plan to improve the District’s infrastructure.

WCEE to Look at 2018 Agenda – The Women’s Council on Energy and the Environment (WCEE) holds its  6th Annual WCEE Lunch & Learn Brainstorming Event on Tuesday January 23rd at Noon kicking off its Lunch & Learn planning, as well as deciding what topics to cover in 2018.

CSIS to Host Canada Energy Discussion – The CSIS Energy and National Security Program will host a presentation on January 23rd at 9:30 a.m. featuring the National Energy Board’s (NEB) Canada’s Energy Future 2017: Energy Supply and Demand Projections to 2040. This report, part of NEB’s annual Energy Future series, features long-term projections of Canadian energy supply and demand.  The 2017 edition examines how recent energy developments, especially in climate policy, have affected Canada’s energy outlook. The study also includes additional scenarios focusing on long-term climate policy and technology trends. Similar in structure to the U.S. Energy Information Administration’s Annual Energy Outlook, the report is the only public, long-term Canadian energy outlook that includes all energy commodities in all provinces and territories.

Heritage to Look at Solar Trade Case – Heritage will hold a forum on solar tariff issues on Tuesday January 23rd at Noon.  The event will feature conservative experts, solar companies and many outside groups impacted by higher tariffs.

Pruitt, Snyder, Others Headline Washington Auto Show – The Washington Auto Show launches on January 23rd and runs through February 4th.  The Washington Auto Show is the Public Policy Show, where the auto industry intersects with the government officials who write and enforce the laws and rules that affect the field. This coming year, one of the focuses of the show will be on connected and autonomous vehicle technology, and the ways pending legislation could impact its development.  Major speakers include EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt, Sen. Gary Peters, Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder, and many others, including representatives from the U.K., South Korea, Japan, China, and the U.A.E. Press Day is January 25th and will feature a sneak peek of the more than 600 cars on the floor of the consumer show.

Pruitt to Head to Senate Environment – The Senate Environment and Public Works Committee said EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt will appear before the Committee on Jan. 31st making his first return to the panel nearly a year after his confirmation.

BCSE to Release Annual Sustainability Report – In early February, the Business Council for Sustainable Energy and Bloomberg New Energy Finance will release their annual Sustainable Energy in America Factbook.  More on this soon…

National Ethanol Conference Set – The Renewable Fuels Association holds its 23rd annual National Ethanol Conference on February 12-14 in San Antonio.  Former Presidential Advisor Mary Matalin and veteran Democratic Political Strategist Donna Brazile are scheduled to speak together at the event on Washington Politics.

EMA To Hold Roundtable – The Emissions Marketing Association will hold roundtable Thursday, February 22nd in Juno Beach, Florida at the offices of NextEra Energy.  The event will include presentations, Q&A, and networking opportunities to allow for dialogue among the attendees.

Energy Update: 1/2/18

Friends,

Welcome to 2018 and back to the action… ALMOST.  Don’t expect we’ll see much going on in this short week, but the Senate does return tomorrow to swear in new members Tina Smith and Doug Jones.

With it being the first week of the New Year, we are rolling out our top 10 Issues for 2018.   Issues include Ethanol, trade, taxes, regs, climate, legal challenges, HFCs, Infrastructure, autonomous vehicles, and electricity markets.

One issue that is important but I didn’t mention is rising crude prices. My friends at Platts did touch on that issue with former EIA head Adam Sieminski and others though in their weekly Podcast. These experts see prices ending 2018 as low as $52/b and as high as $70/b, but a number of factors could significantly alter their path, from OPEC compliance to oil demand in Asia to US trade policy.  My friends at SAFE are always focused on this issue (you can talk to Leslie Hayward) or Kevin Book at ClearView, has also weighed in on this topic.

Mark your calendar for events starting next week, including API holding its annual State of Energy Address and the NY City Clean Power Plan “hearing” next Tuesday, CSIS hosting former DOE Secretary Moniz on Thursday January 11th, the Detroit Auto Show starting January 14th and BPC hosts FERC’s Neil Chatterjee and Cheryl LaFleur, while CSIS hosts launch of the International Energy Agency’s World Energy Outlook 2017 on Jan 16th.  Speaking of the 16th, make sure you note that it is my 50th birthday.  Blatantly telling you now because I am accepting presents all month…

Finally, I hope you noticed the super cool super moon last night/this morning.  I knew it was out there but I really didn’t get the full impact until I was driving up Massachusetts Avenue this morning and saw it perched over Washington DC.  Pretty awesome.  Call with questions.  Best,

 

Frank Maisano

(202) 828-5864

(202) 997-5932

 

The Top Issues for 2018

  1. Ethanol and a “deal” – One of the biggest issue last year was the battle over the RFS, RINs and ethanol.  The issues reached the highest levels of the White House where they expressed an interest in finding a win-win resolution that solves compliance problems while preserving the biofuels program.  This may be one of the early issues to see action this year because it continues to impact volume obligations, confirmations and other items, as well as potential legislative action, which is always a heavy lift.
  2. Solar, Steel, other Tariff/Trade issues – The President has demanded tariffs and January will be a key moment for this discussion.   He faces deadline on steel and solar and continues to hear internal pulls from Economic Advisor Gary Cohn and others who see tariffs as a major concern.  On the Solar case, the solar industry and a broad group of opponents that includes retailers, contractors, utilities and conservatives have urged the President to reject tariffs that could harm the entire industry. As well, look for action on the administration’s efforts to rework NAFTA, whose negotiations have dragged into at least the first quarter of this year.  Congress also started to look at the NAFTA impacts on energy which is likely to remain a central topic.
  3. Taxes and more taxes – With the Tax bill passed and in motion, there will be many tax implications in place over 2018.  Some will be very political and some will be below the radar, but we are certain that you will hear about it.  What you will also hear about as we approach the next budget deadline on January 19th is the potential to have a long-promised tax extenders package that includes incentives for biodiesel blenders, fuel cells, small wind, Geothermal Heat Pumps, distributed wind, CHPs and many other small, but innovative technologies.  Senate Finance Chairman Orrin Hatch unveiled a bill containing a smorgasbord of renewable energy credits just before the holidays, and House Chair Kevin Brady has vowed to move this year.
  4. Slowing regulations in all corners – The White House was most aggressive in 2017 pulling the current regulatory regime back from the previous Administration’s overreach.  This effort will remain a key priority in 2018 because it is one place where the Administration remain largely in control of the process.  Among the regulations in the crosshairs include the Clean Power Plan, WOTUS, offshore drilling issues, other climate action, ozone restrictions, well construction for natgas wells and a new approach to enforcing bird death restrictions.  We have experts on all topics so feel free to reach out.
  5. Climate ups and downs – While 2017 focused largely on the withdrawal from the voluntary Paris Accord, the Clean Power Plan repeal/replace, what climate websites were changed and other carping about the new Administration not caring enough about climate, 2018 promises to be focused on much of that and more state issues that form new ideas to reduce emissions.  While a lot of it will be couched in political clouds, these types of initiatives – along with expanded use of natural gas, and renewables in the regular power mix – will actually reduce our emissions.  Already we are beating many of our targets, while Germany and many other Paris signers are struggling to reduce emissions.  And don’t think that progress will stop political attacks or legal actions against the Trump Administration or companies.
  6. Lawsuit Central – Understanding #4 & #5, it seems like more legal battles is a hardy perennial, but in 2018 legal challenges on the climate, regulations will again play a prominent role.  Unlike previous years when Republican AGs like now EPA head Scott Pruitt and WV’s Pat Morrisey led the charge, this year Democrat AGs in Blue states – buoyed by environmental activists – will lead efforts to file suits against the Trump Administration. Lawyers will be busy, including those inside EPA who are already prepping for each fight by being very careful in how they write new rules.
  7. HFC issues and the Kigali Amendment – The Kigali amendment was signed in late 2016 as part of the Montreal Protocol. Its aim is to reduce the hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) used in air conditioners and refrigerators.  Early in 2018, the big news will be whether the administration follows through on statements from late last year where they vowed to fund efforts to implement it and send the amendment to the Senate for a ratification vote.  The Treaty is binding and goes into effect in 2019 since many countries already have ratified it.  The agreement was supported by both industry, environmental and other sustainability groups, and holds China, India and others to binding limits as global AC and refrigerant use grows globally.
  8. Infrastructure – The most important word for 2018 is infrastructure.  Why? Because it is an election year and infrastructure sells in both parties.  The President is expected to unveil a long-awaited statement of infrastructure “principles” soon and some see the push as an opportunity to advance energy and water infrastructure investments. This means pipelines, transmission and other generation assets.  While the larger infrastructure debate will take on many shapes, energy will play a significant role in the form of new pipeline approvals to move new natural gas, export terminals to get it our resources to foreign markets and important generation assets like new nuclear projects, renewables and gas plants.
  9. Emerging Autonomous Vehicle Rules – Last year, autonomous vehicles began to emerge as a new, important issue.  As the technology and regulatory discussion continues and becomes more defined, there will be more details, innovations and exciting changes for 2018.  Our friends at SAFE have been among the leaders on this issue and have an Autonomous Vehicle Task Force with leading experts to help develop an action plan to facilitate the widespread deployment of this transformative technology.
  10. Electricity markets and the Perry plan – FERC faces an early January deadline (delayed from last month) to respond to the Energy Department’s request to propose a rule that would compensate nuclear and coal plants for resiliency. As our friends at Axios point out, it is a wonky, complex issue, but it remains a battle over nuclear and coal versus gas and renewables.  As natgas prices remain low (as expected for 2018), the market challenges for coal and nukes remain a potential problem.  With many political and energy sectors interests on both sides, it will be a key decision for going forward in 2018.

 

FRANKLY SPOKEN

“It’s a good context to revisit things like siting, permitting, certainly some of the export terminal issues.”

Rep. Kevin Cramer talking Infrastructure to POLITICO.

 

IN THE NEWS

EIA talking Year-end Oil – Last week,  the U.S. Energy Information Administration said that after decreasing nearly 20% in the first half of 2017, the spot energy index in the Standard and Poor’s (S&P) Goldman Sachs Commodity Index (GSCI) ended 2017 16% higher than the beginning of the year. Higher crude oil and petroleum product prices in the second half of 2017 were responsible for the increase in the S&P GSCI energy index.  EIA also reported that total U.S. production was slightly over 9.75 million barrels per day in the week ending December 22nd.  Our friends at Axios point out that this is actually 35,000 barrels per day less than the prior-week average, signaling the first weekly dip since Hurricane Nate took a bunch of Gulf of Mexico production temporarily offline in mid-October.

 

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

Senate Returns, Jones, Smith Sworn in – The Senate returns for the second session of the 115th Congress on Wednesday when they will swear in new Alabama Sen. Doug Jones and Minnesota LG Tina Smith. Smith is replacing Sen. Franken who resigns today and Jones defeated Roy Moore to give Democrats a win to replace AG Jeff Sessions.  The House returns next Monday.

IN THE FUTURE

75th Annual Global Globes – Can’t wait for Seth Myers to host this one from January 7th from Hollywood.

API’s Annual State of Energy Address – On January 9th, API holds its annual State of Energy Address in the Atrium Ballroom of the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center.  The luncheon starts at 12:00 Noon with a CEO Jack Gerard’s speech at 12:30 p.m. and a reporter briefing at 1:15 p.m.

NY to Host CPP Meeting for EPA Comments – On January 9th, New York AG Eric Schneiderman holds a meeting to provide public comments to EPA on repealing the Clean Power Plan at The New School in NYC.  Schneiderman is calling it a “people’s hearing” 1) as if the residents and miners of WV are not people and 2) certainly most New Yorkers are just regular folks Like everyone else.  My guess it will be very entertaining but not all that valuable to EPA.

Wilson Forum to Look at Taiwan Energy Issues – The Woodrow Wilson Center holds a discussion on next Tuesday at 10:00 a.m. looking at the political and social, as well as economic ramifications of the options Taipei has to meet its expansive energy needs, and how its decisions may impact Taiwan’s foreign policy.

Hopper, Honorable to Headline WCEE Event – The Women’s Council on Energy and the Environment (WCEE) will hold a reception at Dentons on Tuesday January 9th at 6:00 p.m. to discuss lessons learned from political appointees.  The event features a lively discussion about the political appointment process in the energy and environmental fields and will feature a panel of former state and federal political appointees about how they started down the path towards political appointment and navigated the process.  Panelists will share their experiences and candid views about the challenges and rewards of a political appointment, as well as lessons they have learned while in these highly visible roles.  Speakers include SEIA’s Abby Hopper, former director of Interior’s Bureau of Ocean Energy Management; former FERC Commissioner Collette Honorable and Connecticut Consumer Counsel Elin Katz, who is President of the National Association of State Utility Advocates.

WRI Outlines Stories to Watch – On Wednesday, January 10th at 9:00 a.m., the World Resources Institute hosts in 15th annual Stories to Watch event.  The event is for policymakers, business leaders and media in Washington, DC, and around the world.  Dr. Andrew Steer, WRI President & CEO, will share his insights on the big stories in the environment and international development in the coming year. In this turbulent time, he will explore global trends and emerging issues related to economics, climate change, energy markets, forests, water, security issues and more.

CSIS to Host Moniz – On Thursday, January 11th at 4:00 p.m., CSIS holds a discussion with Ernest J. Moniz, the co-chair and CEO of NTI and former U.S. Secretary of Energy. He will provide remarks on the role of nuclear weapons in today’s increasingly dangerous global security environment, which will be followed by a discussion with John Hamre, president and CEO of CSIS.

Detroit Auto Show Launches – The North American International Auto Show runs from January 13th to 28th and serves as the global stage for companies to debut brand-defining vehicles and industry-shaping announcements.  Press Days start on January 14th where the world’s automotive and mobility leaders gather for three days of worldwide product and technology debuts.  Last January, the 2017 NAIAS featured 71 vehicle introductions, including 46 worldwide debuts. News coming out of NAIAS is heard across the globe as more than 5,100 journalists from 61 different countries annually attend to cover the latest and greatest happenings our industry has to offer.

BPC to Host LaFleur, Chatterjee – On Tuesday, January 16th at 10:00 a.m., the Bipartisan Policy Center hosts FERC Commissioners Neil Chatterjee and Cheryl LaFleur to discuss the proposed Grid Resiliency Pricing Rule. This proposal, drafted by the Department of Energy, calls for an expedited rulemaking to support generators that provide specific reliability and resiliency attributes. FERC is expected to take action on the proposal by January 10.

World Energy Outlook Set For Launch – On January 16th at 1:30 p.m., the CSIS Energy & National Security Program will host a forum and the U.S. launch of the International Energy Agency’s World Energy Outlook 2017. Fatih Birol, Executive Director of the IEA, will present the findings from the report.

WCEE to Look at 2018 Agenda – The Women’s Council on Energy and the Environment (WCEE) holds its  6th Annual WCEE Lunch & Learn Brainstorming Event on Tuesday January 23rd at Noon kicking off its Lunch & Learn planning, as well as deciding what topics to cover in 2018.

CSIS to Host Canada Energy Discussion – The CSIS Energy and National Security Program will host a presentation on January 23rd at 9:30 a.m. featuring the National Energy Board’s (NEB) Canada’s Energy Future 2017: Energy Supply and Demand Projections to 2040. This report, part of NEB’s annual Energy Future series, features long-term projections of Canadian energy supply and demand.  The 2017 edition examines how recent energy developments, especially in climate policy, have affected Canada’s energy outlook. The study also includes additional scenarios focusing on long-term climate policy and technology trends. Similar in structure to the U.S. Energy Information Administration’s Annual Energy Outlook, the report is the only public, long-term Canadian energy outlook that includes all energy commodities in all provinces and territories.

Pruitt, Snyder, Others Headline Washington Auto Show – The Washington Auto Show launches on January 23rd and runs through February 4th.  The Washington Auto Show is the Public Policy Show, where the auto industry intersects with the government officials who write and enforce the laws and rules that affect the field. This coming year, one of the focuses of the show will be on connected and autonomous vehicle technology, and the ways pending legislation could impact its development.  Major speakers include EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt, Sen. Gary Peters, Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder, and many others, including representatives from the U.K., South Korea, Japan, China, and the U.A.E. Press Day is January 25th and will feature a sneak peek of the more than 600 cars on the floor of the consumer show.

Pruitt to Head to Senate Environment – The Senate Environment and Public Works Committee said EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt will appear before the Committee on Jan. 31st making his first return to the panel nearly a year after his confirmation.

National Ethanol Conference Set – The Renewable Fuels Association holds its 23rd annual National Ethanol Conference on February 12-14 in San Antonio.  Former Presidential Advisor Mary Matalin and veteran Democratic Political Strategist Donna Brazile are scheduled to speak together at the event on Washington Politics.

Energy Update: Week of 12/18

Friends,

HAPPY HOLIDAYS…. Not quite there yet, but getting close!!!  We won’t have a regular update next week but will keep you updated of actions if necessary.  Will likely return for Tuesday January 2nd with our first update of 2018…  Can you believe 2018 already?

With taxes right at the finish line, we are happy to discuss energy aspects.  Looks like the renewable tax provisions (PTC, BEAT, AMT) all survived pretty well, as did oil-related ANWR and SPR provisions.  Less fortunate were the “orphan” tax credits for things like small wind, fuel cells and geothermal, who were in the House bill but not included in the final package.  Our super savvy, yet tax nerdy colleague Liam Donovan is right in the action and is happy to discuss details either on or off record.  Final votes expected either tomorrow or Wednesday.  We also continue to focus on additional government funding with another deadline looming Friday.

With OMB completing its work on the ANPR for the Clean Power Plan Replacement rule late last week, we expect it may be released as soon as tomorrow.  We are monitoring the action and both Scott Segal and Jeff Holmstead are familiar with what to expect and are ready to assist. Also, we are still following the on-going RFS discussions going on between Corn-state and refiner-state Senators and Administration.

Even though the schedule is light this week, there are a couple of interesting events, including an EESI forum tomorrow on COP23 outcomes featuring BCSE head Lisa Jacobson.  And later today at 3:30 p.m., CSIS hosts the International Energy Agency for the US launch of the IEA’s Coal 2017: Analysis and Forecasts to 2022.  Senate Environment looks at freight movement in a hearing on Wednesday and Thursday, the Georgia PSC votes on whether to complete two new nuclear reactors at Plant Vogtle.

The update wishes well to our friend Devin Henry, who has finally had enough of me emailing him all the time and is leaving The Hill to return to his home state of Minnesota.  Dev, I know Golden Gophers’ hockey is in-season, but the temp in Shakopee, MN will be 2⁰/-10⁰ this weekend???

Finally, Congrats to our great Bracewell colleague Kevin Ewing – who many of you know as one of the smartest oil/gas/environment lawyers in DC – for being named an Environmental Law 360 MVP. Law360’s MVPs are attorneys who have distinguished themselves from their peers over the past year through high-stakes litigation, record-breaking deals and complex global matters.

Boy, it has been an interesting year hasn’t it!!!  Call with questions.  Best,

Frank Maisano

(202) 828-5864

  1. (202) 997-5932

THE LOBBY SHOP

A new episode of The Lobby Shop features new Bracewell DC partner Angela Styles and a discussion of the world of government contracts.  You can get it live on iTunes, SoundCloud, and Google Play Music.  Styles, who recently joined Bracewell from Crowell Moring, is a prominent DC government contracts attorney and will discuss the world of federal contracts and the complex legal work behind it.

FRANKLY SPOKEN

“One of the things that I want people to understand is that North Carolina is good for solar, but that solar is also very good for North Carolina.”

John Morrison of NC-based Strata Solar in the Duke University GVC Center report on NC solar impacts. 

 

IN THE NEWS

MEMO: White House Prepping for Tariffs – Supporters of tariffs on solar clearly leaked an White House memo on Friday as reported by our friend Emily Holden in POLITICO saying the administration appears to be preparing its messaging ahead of setting punitive tariffs on imported solar equipment. The tariffs would increase the cost of solar power in the US and could slow expansion of solar and eliminate installation/construction jobs.  We continue to follow, but most utilities, contractors, retailers and conservative groups have urged President Trump to oppose tariffs.

Duke Study Highlight NC Solar Impact – Speaking of solar tariff impacts and what is at risk in the industry, the Duke Global Value Chains Center has released a report detailing the solar “value chain” in North Carolina and the Potential impacts to investors, solar developers, construction contractors and solar panel and component manufacturers comprising more than 450 companies. Together, these companies support some 4,300 jobs and represent a $2 billion investment. In addition to jobs, solar industry-related businesses provide income for landowners and tax revenue for N.C. towns.  The report conducts an assessment of three major issues related to North Carolina’s utility-scale photovoltaic (PV) solar investments: 1) The state of the solar market: the industry, marketplace and technology trends affecting the cost and feasibility of additional investments in utility-scale solar in the world generally and in the United States and North Carolina in particular; 2) The amount of utility-scale solar resources in North Carolina relative to other places in the United States and the world; and 3) The economic footprint of utility-scale solar in North Carolina.

Mayors Support Solar – More than 70 mayors from 25 states signed a letter in support of solar energy. The full text of the letter is available here, and we have included an article about the letter in Solar Industry. An excerpt from the letter: “Expanding solar power helps residents and businesses benefit from lower energy costs while providing more local control of energy and improving our communities’ resilience.”

GTM Report Shows Solar Slippage – Speaking of more solar, GTM Research’s latest U.S. Solar Market Insight Report says 2,031 megawatts of PV were installed in the U.S. in Q3 2017. That’s the nation’s lowest quarterly total since Q3 2015.  Two of the three market segments tracked by GTM Research were down on the quarter and on the year; however, the non-residential segment was the lone standout. The U.S. installed 481 megawatts of non-residential PV in the third quarter, representing growth of 22% year-over-year. However, looming over the outlook for U.S. solar are two macro-level risks: Corporate tax reform could reduce tax equity demand and the final outcome of a Section 201 trade dispute could impact cost and demand.

DOE to Help Fund Offshore Wind – The DOE announced $18.5 million in competitive funding for a research and development consortium meant to bring down the cost of offshore wind power. The private-public partnership will explore wind plant technology advancement, resource and physical site characterization, installation, operations and maintenance, and supply chain technology solutions. Offshore wind companies will contribute funds to the project, and DOE labs will also get $2 million to support the consortium.

Platts Podcast Looks at Methane – On this week’s Platts’ podcast, Brian Schied talks with IPAA’s Dan Naatz about the impact of methane rules on US drillers; API’s Erik Milito about a new voluntary industry effort to combat methane emissions, and EDF’s Matt Watson about why API’s effort will not be enough to address the issue.

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

Forum to Look at Resource Management – The World Resources Institute hosts a panel today at Noon to look at conflicts and natural resource management.  WRI, Conservation International and other environmental organizations have adopted distinct approaches to environmental peacebuilding in response to local-level dynamics. Through a discussion of these efforts, the links between peace, conflict and the environment are directly manifest, offering support for organizational efforts to integrate conflict-sensitive and peacebuilding perspectives across conservation activities in all contexts.

CSIS to Host World Coal Report – Today at 3:30 p.m., CSIS will host the launch of the IEA’s new report analyzing coal’s recent trends and forecasting its demand, supply, and trade through 2022.  Coal remains world’s dominant fuel. Under pressure from decarbonization, cheaper alternatives, and geopolitical shifts in demand, coal continues to be one of the most pressing questions in energy. Peter Fraser, Head of Division for Gas, Coal, and Power Markets at the International Energy Agency, will present the IEA’s report.

Forum to Look at Bonn Climate Meeting Results – The Environmental and Energy Study Institute (EESI) holds a briefing tomorrow at 1:00 p.m. in 562 Dirksen looking at the takeaways from the latest global climate talks, which concluded in Bonn, Germany, on November 18th. The COP23 focused on the implementation of the Paris Climate Agreement, which is slated to start in 2020. Speakers for this forum are Fiji Ambassador H.E. Solo Mara, German First Secretary for Climate Anton Hufnagl, Sam Ricketts of Governor Jay Inslee’s DC Office and BCSE President Lisa Jacobson.

Senate Environment to Look at Freight Movement – The Senate Environment Committee panel on Transportation & Infrastructure will hold a hearing Wednesday at 10:30 a.m. on freight movement.  The hearing will assess where we are now and where we need to go.

DOE STEM Fair Is Set – The Department of Energy’s 4th annual Interagency STEM Volunteer Fair will be held on Wednesday at 11:00 a.m.  The event will feature STEM organizations, government agencies, and schools in the D.C., Maryland, and Virginia area that need help as well as upcoming needs for volunteers, events, and areas of focus.  The volunteer fair is geared towards federal employees, but others are welcome to attend this public event. The event is located in the rear of the Department of Energy’s cafeteria, which is open to the general public and accepts cash and credit. You will need to check in at the Department of Energy Main Lobby and show valid ID before advancing through security.

IN THE FUTURE

API’s Annual State of Energy Address – On January 9th, API holds its annual State of Energy Address.

Hopper, Honorable to Headline WCEE Event – The Women’s Council on Energy and the Environment (WCEE) will hold a reception at Dentons on Tuesday January 9th at 6:00 p.m. to discuss lessons learned from political appointees.  The event features a lively discussion about the political appointment process in the energy and environmental fields and will feature a panel of former state and federal political appointees about how they started down the path towards political appointment and navigated the process.  Panelists will share their experiences and candid views about the challenges and rewards of a political appointment, as well as lessons they have learned while in these highly visible roles.  Speakers include SEIA’s Abby Hopper, former director of Interior’s Bureau of Ocean Energy Management; former FERC Commissioner Collette Honorable and Connecticut Consumer Counsel Elin Katz, who is President of the National Association of State Utility Advocates.

75th Annual Global Globes – Can’t wait for Seth Myers to host this one from January 7th from Hollywood.

Detroit Auto Show Launches – The North American International Auto Show runs from January 13th to 28th and serves as the global stage for companies to debut brand-defining vehicles and industry-shaping announcements.  Press Days start on January 14th where the world’s automotive and mobility leaders gather for three days of worldwide product and technology debuts.  Last January, the 2017 NAIAS featured 71 vehicle introductions, including 46 worldwide debuts. News coming out of NAIAS is heard across the globe as more than 5,100 journalists from 61 different countries annually attend to cover the latest and greatest happenings our industry has to offer.

World Energy Outlook Set For Launch – On January 16th at 1:30 p.m., the CSIS Energy & National Security Program will host a forum and the U.S. launch of the International Energy Agency’s World Energy Outlook 2017. Fatih Birol, Executive Director of the IEA, will present the findings from the report.

WCEE to Look at 2018 Agenda – The Women’s Council on Energy and the Environment (WCEE) holds its  6th Annual WCEE Lunch & Learn Brainstorming Event on Tuesday January 23rd at Noon kicking off its Lunch & Learn planning, as well as deciding what topics to cover in 2018.

Pruitt, Snyder, Others Headline Washington Auto Show – The Washington Auto Show launches on January 23rd and runs through February 4th.  The Washington Auto Show is the Public Policy Show, where the auto industry intersects with the government officials who write and enforce the laws and rules that affect the field. This coming year, one of the focuses of the show will be on connected and autonomous vehicle technology, and the ways pending legislation could impact its development.  Major speakers include EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt, Sen. Gary Peters, Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder, and many others, including representatives from the U.K., South Korea, Japan, China, and the U.A.E. Press Day is January 25th and will feature a sneak peek of the more than 600 cars on the floor of the consumer show.

Pruitt to Head to Senate Environment – The Senate Environment and Public Works Committee said EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt will appear before the Committee on Jan. 31st making his first return to the panel nearly a year after his confirmation.

Energy Update: Week of 12/11

Friends,

It is Hanukkah week which begins on tomorrow night at sunset and ends next Wednesday.  Hanukkah is a Jewish Festival of Lights is celebrated for eight days and nights.  It commemorates the rededication of the Holy Temple in Jerusalem at the time of the Maccabean Revolt against the Seleucid Empire.

An info-packed “In the News” section this week after last week’s busy-ness.  It includes some reaction to the solar trade hearing, more on the Cruz-White House RFS meeting, a new view from EPA on the New Source review program, and finally an extension for 30 days (requested by new FERC Chair Kevin McIntyre) for FERC to consider the DOE resiliency proposal aimed at supporting coal-fired and nuclear power plants.

The big political news this week is the Alabama Senate race and the tax reform conference committee, which will meet publicly for the first time on Wednesday.  While tax negotiations continue behind the scenes, Congress is also going full bore on a spending deal to avoid a government shutdown before Christmas.

We still have a big week in the Energy space (hopefully our last before gliding into the holidays).  Tomorrow, the White House rolls out what we hear will be “the most aggressive” 5-year offshore drilling plan ever.  While we all look for the HUGE tweet, we remind that will can answer many of your questions about the impacts and possibilities.

Also tomorrow, House Energy panels hosts automakers and auto dealers to discuss fuel standard and CAFE’s relook.  Senate Energy looks at FERC/Interior permitting and we will see committee votes on EIA’s Linda Capuano, Interior assistant secretary Tim Petty and NOAA’s Barry Myers (Wed in Senate Commerce).

Also Wednesday, the House Energy Subcommittee looks at NAFTA with our friends’ Karen Harbert of the Chamber Global Energy Institute and APFM’s Chet Thompson among those testifying, and Senate Environment hosts NRC Commissions to discuss nuclear.

Speaking of NAFTA and energy, National Journal hosts a webinar on it Thursday and Friday at 10:00 a.m., the Bipartisan Policy Center will host FERC Chairman Neil Chatterjee for a sit down with BPC President Jason Grumet.

And then TAKE THE REST OF FRIDAY OFF AND GO SEE THE NEW STAR WARS MOVIE!!!!!

Finally, this morning, there are two interesting New York Times pieces worth reading: one is an internal look at Trump’s mindset and interactions from Maggie Haberman and Peter Baker which I found fascinating and informative; and the second looks at EPA’s enforcement and unfortunately picks up a usual theme backed by misleading stats.  In the second case, there is clearly a different (and just as reasonable) approach in this EPA which shouldn’t be a surprise to advocates or reporters. We are happy to discuss.

And in case you weren’t able to get there this morning at the Newseum, our friend and Axios Energy Reporter Amy Harder led a conversation on energy policies and priorities under President Trump with FERC’s Neil Chatterjee, Rep Paul Tonko and Heritage’s Nick Loris.  Check out the details…

Call with questions.  Best,

Frank Maisano

(202) 828-5864

  1. (202) 997-5932

THE LOBBY SHOP

The new episode of The Lobby Shop is live on iTunes, SoundCloud, and Google Play Music.  This week’s episode features Special Agent Tom O’Connor, President of the FBI Agents Association.  Tom discusses developments within the Bureau and FBIAA after Director Chris Wray’s nomination, how FBIAA is able to support active, retired, and deceased Special Agents and their families, and what issues are foremost in the minds of FBI personnel lately.  Since it is tax legislation season, we also have a bonus episode featuring PRG’s resident tax expert Liam Donovan on the latest in tax reform and what’s up next for the Conference Committee, final vote, and beyond. Tune in for a look behind the scenes and lots of seasonal analogies.

FRANKLY SPOKEN

“It makes no sense to effectively tax tens of thousands of good-paying U.S. jobs out of existence, solely to benefit the commercially unskilled Chinese and German owners of Suniva and SolarWorld, who will cut and run.”

Michael O’Sullivan, senior vice president of development at NextEra Energy.

IN THE NEWS

EPA Rolls Out Redefined NSR Focus in Memo – The EPA issued a memo on Friday saying the agency won’t “second guess” the analyses that companies have to conduct before construction projects on their plants to determine whether they might emit more pollutants such as nitrogen oxides and particulate matter. The well-constructed memo is the first step in a major initiative revise the New Source Review program, which governs permits for new or reconstructed plants’ emissions under the Clean Air Act.  The Supreme Court this morning declined to hear the major case involving EPA’s enforcement of the NSR program.  My Colleague Jeff Holmstead, a former EPA Air Office head is happy to discuss the details.

WSJ Blasts Ethanol – The Wall Street Journal Ed Board blasted the “hostage taking” over ethanol policy in an editorial last Thursday.  The piece discusses the back-and-forth over ethanol policy that first involved Corn State Senators blocking Trump EPA nominees, then oil state Senators pushing back by blocking Iowa-favored Ag nominees, including one that would clear a path for Sen. Grassley’s grandson to become Iowa’s Secretary of Agriculture.  The Journal says the “Senate hostage-taking is unfortunate, not least because it undermines the ability of the executive branch to govern. But this is what happens when politicians decide to favor certain industries like ethanol at the expense of others. The political and economic damage will grow as long as this policy continues.” It also adds that America’s independent refiners and manufacturers deserve at least as much consideration as the Trump Administration has given ethanol interests. WSJ: “The RINs regime has imperiled the jobs of many blue-collar union voters who swung for Mr. Trump in 2016.”

AEI Report Hits RFS – The American Enterprise Institute has a new report looking at policymaking lessons from the RFS, saying the RFS would be better as a rate standard than a volume standard.  AEI also adds that EPA should issue multi-year rules rather than annual rules in order to improve certainty and that uncertainty should be explicitly incorporated into future rulemakings.

EPA to Hold Additional CPP Hearings – EPA said it would hold additional public hearings on the repeal the Clean Power Plan.  The hearing will be in San Francisco, Gillette, WY and Kansas City. The hearing were added due to the “overwhelming response” to the recent hearing in Charleston.  Dates and locations of the meetings will be announced in the coming weeks.

Companies Roll Out Landmark Methane Effort – API rolled out a landmark partnership to accelerate improvements to environmental performance in operations across the country. Focused initially on reducing methane and volatile organic compound (VOC) emissions, the Environmental Partnership includes 26 natural gas and oil producers, who produce a significant portion of American energy resources. Participating companies will begin implementing the voluntary program starting January 1, 2018.  Collectively, at the time of launch, the participating companies represent operations in every major U.S. natural gas and oil basin. The Environmental Partnership is a historic agreement bringing together American natural gas and oil companies of all sizes to take action, learn and collaborate in an effort to further improve our environmental performance.

What Methane Program Will Address – The three Environmental Performance Programs include:

  1. Leak Program for Natural Gas and Oil Production Sources: Participants will implement monitoring and timely repair of fugitive emissions at selected sites utilizing detection methods and technologies such as Method 21 or Optical Gas Imaging cameras.
  2. Program to Replace, Remove or Retrofit High-Bleed Pneumatic Controllers: Participants will replace, remove or retrofit high-bleed pneumatic controllers with low-or zero-emitting devices.
  3. Program for Manual Liquids Unloading for Natural Gas Production Sources: Participants will minimize emissions associated with the removal of liquids that, as a well ages, can build up and restrict natural gas flow.

Who is in? – Participants at launch include: Anadarko, Apache, BHP, BP, Chesapeake Energy, Cabot Oil & Gas, Chevron, Cimarex Energy, ConocoPhillips, CrownQuest, Devon Energy, Encana, EOG Resources, Exxon Mobil subsidiary XTO Energy, Hess, Marathon Oil, Murphy Oil, Newfield, Noble Energy, Occidental Petroleum, Pioneer Natural Resources, Shell, Southwestern Energy, Statoil, TOTAL and Western Gas Partners.  To view more information about the program and companies’ commitments, visit www.TheEnvironmentalPartnership.org.

SAFE Looks at Expand EV Markets – Securing America’s Future Energy released its quarterly update to the Energy Security Fact Pack, a data-driven overview of the latest trends in energy security. The Fact Pack includes charts on domestic and global oil production and consumption patterns, oil market dynamics and prices, and up-to-date information on fuel efficiency and advanced fuel vehicles.  The latest Fact Pack highlights developments in the U.S. electric vehicle (EV) market, which is poised to see significant growth in the coming years as a result of new models, lower battery costs, increased range, and growing consumer awareness. Demand for EVs has continued to rise in 2017, setting new records for purchases and vehicle model availability. Although six models currently account for nearly two-thirds of sales, consumers have a fuller range of choices with 37 models available, thanks to marked declines in battery technology costs and enhanced range.  See the Charts.

SAFE, Mayors Support of Federal EV Tax Credit – Speaking of SAFE, it has worked in collaboration with the City of Atlanta to recruit 22 mayors from cities across the country to sign a joint letter in support of the federal electric vehicle (EV) tax credit. The mayors’ letter was sent to the appointed members of the conference committee following recent passage of the House and Senate tax reform legislation. It called for the preservation of the Section 30D Federal Plug-In Electric Drive Vehicle Tax Credit, which offers a $7,500 discount on purchase of a new electric vehicle.  SAFE’s Energy Security Leadership Council (ESLC), a coalition of CEOs and retired military leaders concerned with threats to America’s economic and national security through our continued oil dependence, have also express strong support of the EV tax credit citing it as a cornerstone to energy security policy.

Solar Growth Continues…. – The EIA said its latest monthly report shows that U.S. PV output in the first nine months of 2017 grew 47% over the same period in 2016, with market growth across the nation. PV represented 1.9% of total generation during this period. Every state in the U.S. increased its output from solar, from South Dakota, the only remaining state that did not generate more than 1,000 megawatt-hours (MWh) or one gigawatt-hour (GWh) in the nine month period, to perennial PV giant California.  California, with its 24.8 M mw, more than laps the field over next place Arizona, with 4.6M. However, as PV output growth across the U.S. accelerates, the Golden State’s share of PV generation, shrank from 48% in 2016 to 43% in 2017. Rounding out the top 10 generators are North Carolina, Nevada, New Jersey, Texas, Massachusetts, Georgia, Utah and Colorado. Of those top 10 states, Georgia had the highest year to year percentage growth, increasing 186% from 2016 to 2017, followed by Texas with 165% and Utah with 123%. Other states that made impressive percentage and quantity growth gains in the same time period are Minnesota, Idaho, Virginia, Alabama, South Carolina and Mississippi.

…But Trade Case Creates Worry – Folks are worried though about solar in the face of new potential tariffs.  More than 60 witnesses testified in a cramped conference room at USTR during a final eight-hour public hearing on the Section 201 trade case.  A new GTM Research report finds that the average fixed-tilt utility-scale solar price has since edged back above of DOE’s price target, amid market uncertainty surrounding the Section 201 solar trade case. The recent price increase stems from a rush to procure “tariff-free” solar panels over the summer with the potential for new tariffs looming. The National Electrical Contractors told the Hill that thousands of high-tech, high-skilled, and good-paying electrical contractors’ jobs are at risk.

Third Way Releases CCS Map – Third Way has a new map and database that is the most comprehensive tracking site for projects working to capture carbon emissions. Third Way says there are 100 carbon capture projects globally, with 51 in the United States. These projects can capture, store, and utilize emissions from power and bioenergy plants, industrial facilities, and even directly from the air. Some are innovative new concepts being developed by startups, and others have been operating at commercial scale for decades. One thing they have in common: we’ll likely need this full suite of technologies to meet international and domestic climate goals.

ACCF Paper Focuses on Regs – The American Council for Capital Formation released a paper by former OIRA head John Graham outlining 10 ideas for improving the regulatory process. It’s the product of a November 2016 roundtable with Sens. Mike Rounds, Angus King, James Lankford and others. Graham, who now heads Indiana University’s School of Public and Environmental Affairs, said the themes of this paper are increasing transparency at regulatory agencies, enhancing public, congressional and judicial oversight of agencies, stimulating retrospective review of old regulations, and ensuring evidential support for new regulations.

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

Paris Forum to Focus on Anniversary – French President Macron will host the One Planet Summit tomorrow in Paris, on the two-year anniversary of the Paris Agreement. The Summit will focus specifically on climate finance. Heads of State will be invited to attend this meeting.

Nuclear Weapons Triad Forum Set – The Advanced Nuclear Weapons Alliance Deterrence Center (ANWA DC) will host the Inaugural morning forum on Capitol Hill tomorrow.  The event will feature key Members of Congress representing nuclear triad communities at Air Force and Naval bases, and NNSA sites, The group will also outline a series of 11 more 2018 forums and roundtables with key government officials, industry leaders and suppliers, and academic experts on the triad issues of the day, Each of these events will tackle the nuclear triad’s emerging issues and challenges, while sharing the successes, in the ongoing nuclear weapons enterprise modernization.

House Panels to Look at Fuel Standards, GHGs – The House Energy & Commerce panels on Environment and on Digital Commerce and Consumer Protection will hold a joint hearing tomorrow at 10:00 a.m. to discuss updates on the Corporate Average Fuel Economy Program (CAFE) and GHG emissions standards for motor vehicles.  Witnesses include our friend and Montgomery, AL Honda/Acura dealer Forrest McConnell representing the National Automotive Dealers Assn.  Others include AAM’s Mitch Bainwol, Global Automakers John Bozzella and Dave Cooke of the Union of Concerned Scientists.

Senate Energy to Look FERC, Interior Permitting; Vote on Nominees – The Senate Energy Committee will hold a hearing tomorrow at 10:00 a.m. to examine the infrastructure permitting processes at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and Department of the Interior.  Testifying will be Interior’s Jim Cason, FERC’s Terry Turpin and Janet Pfleegar of the Federal Permitting Improvement Steering Council, along with several others.  The Committee will also vote on nominations Linda Capuano to head the DOE’s Energy Information Administration and Tim Petty to be assistant secretary of the Interior Department before the hearing.

Senate Foreign Relations to Focus on European Security – The Senate Foreign Relations Committee’s Subcommittee on Europe and Regional Security Cooperation will hold a hearing tomorrow at 10:00 a.m. on European energy security focused on U.S. Interests and coercive Russian diplomacy.  Witnesses include the State Department’s Assistant Secretary of Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs Wess Mitchell and State’s Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Bureau of Energy Resource John McCarrick.

WH Infrastructure Aide Headlines Forum – The Hudson Institute will host an event tomorrow at Noon on the future of U.S. public transit systems keynoted by D.J. Gribbin, Special Assistant to the President for Infrastructure Policy. Following Gribbin’s remarks, David Horner will moderate a panel discussion featuring Maryland Secretary of Transportation Pete K. Rahn, Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority General Manager and CEO Paul J. Wiedefeld, and Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transit Authority CEO Phillip A. Washington.

Resources Looks at Dependence on Foreign Metals, Minerals – The House Resources panel on Energy and Mineral Resources will hold an oversight hearing tomorrow at 2:00 p.m. on the consequences of relying on other countries for a growing number of metals and minerals.  Witnesses include DoD’s Ronnie Favors, USGS’s Murray Hitzman, RAND’s Richard Silberglitt, NMA’s Katie Sweeney and Havasupai Tribe Council member Carletta Tilousi.

Webinar to Look at Digital Grid – Utility Dive will hold a webinar tomorrow at 2:00 p.m. on discussion on how digital agility can help utilities improve operational excellence and deliver superior customer engagement and experience.  Speakers will include experts from MIT, PG&E and Siemens Digital Grid.  Key topics covered in the webinar will include adopting new grid modernization strategies, building new revenue streams, extreme weather and grid resilience among other issues.

Energy Storage Forum Set –The 3rd annual U.S. Energy Storage Summit will be held in San Francisco tomorrow and Wednesday at the Hilton Union Square.  The forum will bring together utilities, financiers, regulators, technology innovators, and storage practitioners for two full days of data-intensive presentations, analyst-led panel sessions with industry leaders, and extensive, high-level networking.  Speakers will Include APRA-E’s Susan Babinec, Peter Klauer of Cal ISO, Cal PUC Commissioner Carla Peterman, ESA CEO (and former MD PSC Chair) Kelly Speakes-Backman and our friends Shayle Kann of GTM Research, Stephen Lacey and Justin Gerdes of Greentech Media.

Forum Set to Look at NatGas – Tomorrow and Wednesday, the Energy Institute at Colorado State University (CSU) and Gas Technology Institute (GTI) will be co-hosting the CH4 Connections conference at CSU’s campus in Fort Collins. This conference, now in its fourth year, will focus on methane emissions quantification, mitigation, and capture for the natural gas industry, and will include a tour of the Methane Emissions Test and Evaluation Center (METEC) that will showcase the solutions under development and in field testing at the center.

House Energy Panel Looks at NAFTA, Energy – The House Energy & Commerce Subcommittee on Energy will hold a hearing on Wednesday at 10:15 a.m. in 2322 Rayburn on the impacts and future of North American energy trade and NAFTA.  Our friends Chamber Global Energy Institute head Karen Harbert and refiners Assn Head Chet Thompson will be among those testifying.  RFF’s Alan Krupnick and ABB’s Allen Burchett (repping NAM) will also join the panel.

Senate Environment Hosts NRC Commissioners – The Senate Environment Committee will hold a hearing on Wednesday at 10:00 a.m. to discuss oversight of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.  NRC Chairwoman Kristine Svinicki, Commissioner Jeff Baran and Commissioner Stephen Burns will testify.

Senate Commerce to Vote on NOAA Head – The Senate Commerce Committee is scheduled to vote Wednesday at 10:00 a.m. to approve President Trump’s choice of AccuWeather CEO Barry Myers to head the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

RFF Seminar to Look at CPP – Resources for the Future (RFF) will hold a seminar on Wednesday at 12:30 p.m. to explore the implications of social cost of carbon revisions for the Clean Power Plan itself and for potential future energy and climate policies.  RFF’s Alan Krupnick will reflect on the decision’s treatment of health benefits, and Harvard University’s Kathy Fallon Lambert will present new research on how repealing the Clean Power Plan would impact public health. RFF’s Dallas Burtraw will conclude the seminar with a discussion of how a revised “inside the fence line” approach to Clean Power Plan compliance might work.

House Science to Look at Solar Programs Focus – The House Science Committee is holding a hearing on Wednesday at 2:00 p.m. on advancing solar energy technology.  The hearing will look at research and deployment, while examining DOE’s efforts to shift solar energy funding toward early-stage research.  Witnesses include DOE’s EERE head Dan Simmons, NREL’s Martin Keller, Stanford University’s Steve Eglash and Kenny Stein of the Institute for Energy Research.

Energy Stakeholder Breakfast Set – The Advanced Energy Stakeholder Series continues on Thursday morning with an event supported by stakeholder member organizations across New York, Chicago, Denver, Washington D.C. and Boston.  The breakfast will focus on energy, mobility & transportation and will include Rachel Healy of the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority, Jigar Shah, PEPCO’s Robert Stewart, Marissa Gillett of the Maryland Public Service Commission and David Schatz of ChargePoint.

NJ to Host NAFTA WebinarNational Journal will host a webinar on Thursday at 11:00 a.m. to look at renegotiating the North American Free Trade Agreement.  In this webinar, speakers will examine NAFTA’s history, development, and future, and address the major players involved, each side’s key demands, the timeline, potential outcomes and the impact of President Trump’s rhetoric on the process.

Forum to Look at US-Mexico NatGas – The Latin American Dialogue hosts a panel discussion on Friday at 9:00 a.m. aimed at understanding the role of LNG for US energy exports and commercial ties in Latin America, as well as the US-Mexico energy relationship. As global energy trade grows and the United States looks to expand oil and gas exports, Latin American countries provide significant commercial opportunities for exporters and investors alike. It remains imperative that Latin American countries and the United States strive to find mutually beneficial opportunities in order to boost energy ties and expand energy cooperation.  Speakers include State’s Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Bureau of Energy Resources John McCarrick, Sempra’s Mark Nelson, Leslie Palti-Guzman of the Rapidan Group and several others.

BPC to Host FERC Chair – On Friday at 10:00 a.m., the Bipartisan Policy Center will host FERC Chairman Neil Chatterjee for a sit down with BPC President Jason Grumet to discuss the proposed Grid Resiliency Pricing Rule. This proposal, drafted by the Department of Energy, calls for an expedited rulemaking to support generators that provide specific reliability and resiliency services. The proposal calls on FERC to take action on the rulemaking by today.

NatGas Roundtable Panel to Discuss Energy Security – On Friday at 3:30 p.m. at the Mexican Cultural Institute, the Embassy of Mexico and the Natural Gas Roundtable of Washington will hold a panel session on natural gas and North American energy security. A Holiday Reception will follow at 4:30 p.m.

The Last Jedi Hits Theaters – MIDNIGHT, FRIDAY, DECEMBER 15th

IN THE FUTURE

CSIS to Host World Coal Report – On December 18th at 3:30 p.m., CSIS will host the launch of the IEA’s new report analyzing coal’s recent trends and forecasting its demand, supply, and trade through 2022.  Coal remains world’s dominant fuel. Under pressure from decarbonization, cheaper alternatives, and geopolitical shifts in demand, coal continues to be one of the most pressing questions in energy. Peter Fraser, Head of Division for Gas, Coal, and Power Markets at the International Energy Agency, will present the IEA’s report.

API’s Annual State of Energy Address – On January 9th, API holds its annual State of Energy Address.

Hopper, Honorable to Headline WCEE Event – The Women’s Council on Energy and the Environment (WCEE) will hold a reception at Dentons on Tuesday January 9th at 6:00 p.m. to discuss lessons learned from political appointees.  The event features a lively discussion about the political appointment process in the energy and environmental fields and will feature a panel of former state and federal political appointees about how they started down the path towards political appointment and navigated the process.  Panelists will share their experiences and candid views about the challenges and rewards of a political appointment, as well as lessons they have learned while in these highly visible roles.  Speakers include SEIA’s Abby Hopper, former director of Interior’s Bureau of Ocean Energy Management; former FERC Commissioner Collette Honorable and Connecticut Consumer Counsel Elin Katz, who is President of the National Association of State Utility Advocates.

75th Annual Global Globes – Can’t wait for Seth Myers to host this one from January 7th from Hollywood.

World Energy Outlook Set For Launch – On January 16th at 1:30 p.m., the CSIS Energy & National Security Program will host a forum and the U.S. launch of the International Energy Agency’s World Energy Outlook 2017. Fatih Birol, Executive Director of the IEA, will present the findings from the report.

WCEE to Look at 2018 Agenda – The Women’s Council on Energy and the Environment (WCEE) holds its  6th Annual WCEE Lunch & Learn Brainstorming Event on Tuesday January 23rd at Noon kicking off its Lunch & Learn planning, as well as deciding what topics to cover in 2018.

Pruitt to Head to Senate Environment – The Senate Environment and Public Works Committee said EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt will appear before the Committee on Jan. 31, 2018, making his first return to the panel nearly a year after his confirmation.

Energy Update: Week of 12/4

Friends,

I hope you got a great view of two things yesterday: 1) last night’s Super Moon and 2) the epic sign of Detroit Lions futility (and I’m not referring to the horrible performance in Baltimore).  The Super Moon was pretty spectacular, while in Michigan, demolition crews tried to implode the former home of the Lions, the Pontiac Silverdome to an epic fail. The highlighted links have the videos.  These launch a Super Busy Week starting today when President Trump heads to Utah where he is expected to announce that he will shrink the size of at least two national monuments.

Over the weekend, the Senate passed its tax reform bill which moves the process forward to this week.  Now, they will scramble to put together a House-Senate Conference as soon as this evening to hash out the differences.  While there are many out there, Axios has a good summary of a few energy issues at play in the tax plan including ANWR, corporate issues, EVs/Renewables, BEAT, AMT and oil/gas.  My tax expert colleague Liam Donovan is all over it and can answer your questions.  Follow him on twitter at @LPDonovan or at http://lpdonovan.com/

Tomorrow, solar advocates including Abby Hopper will hold a presser at the National Press Club at 9:15 a.m. to roll out an approach for protecting the booming solar industry with an American First plan instead of harmful tariffs proposals.  Then on Wednesday, the US Trade Rep holds a public hearing to take comments on the solar tariffs.  Expect a whole lot of rallying from solar advocates who will be out in force across from the White House.  Already, a diverse group including the Campbell Soup Company, Schneider Electric, utility NextEra Energy and the National Electrical Contractors Assn have weighed in against tariffs.

Other events Wednesday include the Feminist Majority’s 30th Women, Money, Power Summit and the widely attended, popular Southern Company Holiday party at Union Station. Out of town on Wednesday, ALEC hosts its annual States & Nation Policy Summit, a three-day conference in Nashville consisting of intensive, in-depth sessions addressing issues that will be at the top of state legislative agendas the following year.

Then Thursday, President Trump will meet with Sen. Ted Cruz and several Cabinet members to discuss U.S. biofuel policy and fuel efficiency standards, holding the meeting Cruz and 8 other senators requested in October.  It will be a busy day for EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt who will have to rush over to the White House from the House Energy Committee where he will start testifying earlier that morning.

Finally, two special honors: First, congrats to our colleague David Mann who attends his final MBA class tonight at Georgetown University. David, who handles many of PRG’s Admin and FEC/Lobbying filings (as well as serving as Segal’s gatekeeper) has been plugging away on his MBA for more than 3 years.  Secondly, this evening at City Tap House in Dupont, many of us will honor veteran energy reporter Chris Holly as he retires. Chris has long been one of the most savvy, intelligent and fair reporters, covering so many issues, it is hard for me to remember all of them.  He was one of the first reporters I worked with when I started on this beat 20-plus years ago when he was at McGraw-Hill’s Electric Utility Week.  He has since graced the pages of Energy Daily for the last 15 or so.  We have enjoyed working with him all these years, and certainly will miss his wit, tough reporting and intellect.

Call with questions.  Best,

Frank Maisano

(202) 828-5864

  1. (202) 997-5932

 

FRANKLY SPOKEN

“The time is ripe for EPA to grant substantive relief from the unique, adverse impacts the RFS program is having on the state of Texas. The extreme, detrimental impacts on large portions of the refining sector have now placed unacceptable burdens on the Texas economy and the economy and security of the nation as a whole.”

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott requesting a waiver from the Renewable Fuels Standard Friday.

IN THE NEWS

Groundbreaking Fluorocarbon Conversion Technology Advances under Montreal Protocol – The groundbreaking HFC chemical conversion technology offered by Midwest Refrigerants advanced to next stage of commercialization with a decision by the Montreal Protocol Multi-Lateral Fund (MLF) recently. The timetable for development could lead to construction of first-ever commercial scale unit in China in 2018.  According to the decision of the MLF Executive Committee, UNDP will prepare a project business proposal to be submitted by March 26, 2018, for review, consideration, and approval for funding at its next meeting in June 2018. The decision also set a budget of $2.8 million to support the project. The project also received strong statements of support and encouragement from MLF representatives from the United States government.  UNDP will develop a project proposal between Midwest Refrigerants and LUXI Chemical, in Liaocheng City, China, for the conversion of HFC-23, a byproduct of the R-22 manufacturing process that is also a potent greenhouse gas. R-22 is used as a refrigerant that is being phased out under the Montreal Protocol and is also used as a feedstock for polymer manufacturing. The Midwest conversion technology, which operated in a pilot facility for more than 24 months, has been shown to convert fluorocarbon compounds to their original components suitable for reuse in the manufacturing process, while leaving no waste stream. At commercial scale, this technology is expected to be considerably less expensive and more sustainable than current destruction technology.  Happy to connect you Midwest’s Lew Steinberg if you are interested.

New Report: US is Most Attractive Place for Oil & Gas Investment in the World – The Fraser Institute recently released its annual Global Petroleum Survey ranking the appeal for investment in 97 oil and gas jurisdictions around the world. This year’s survey results found six of the top 10 most attractive regions in the world for oil and gas development are located in the United States: Texas (1st), Oklahoma (2nd), North Dakota (3rd), West Virginia (5th), Kansas (6th} and Wyoming (9th). In fact, according to the report, in the last six surveys, Texas, Oklahoma and North Dakota, as well as Saskatchewan in Canada, are the only four jurisdictions in the world to consistently rank in the top 10. Three hundred thirty-three oil and gas executives and managers responded to this year’s survey, which evaluates jurisdictions based on investment factors such as fiscal terms, taxation, environmental regulations, regulatory costs, consistency and enforcement, political stability, quality of infrastructure and geology, and availability of a skilled workforce.

EIA Says Taller, More efficient Turbines Producing More – The U.S. Energy Information Administration reported that installed wind turbines are taller and more efficient than in the past.  EIA found that the average height and power generating capacity for wind turbines installed in the country are taller and more efficient that in years past.  According to data on utility-scale electricity generators collected by EIA, wind turbine capacity is based largely on the length of the blades and taller turbines are able to not only have longer blades, but also take advantage of better wind resources that are available at greater heights.  The largest onshore turbines in the United States are in Texas, with capacities of 4 MW each. One of the world’s largest wind farms is also in Texas: the Horse Hollow Wind Energy Center has 420 wind turbines spread over about 47,000 acres. The project has a combined electricity generating capacity of about 735 MW.  Turbines are taller now than they were in previous decades. Since 2012, the average height of wind turbines installed in the United States has been about 280 feet, or 80 meters. Before 2006, few wind turbines were as tall as 280 feet. Wind speed typically increases with altitude and increases over open areas without windbreaks such as trees or buildings. Favorable sites for wind turbines include the tops of smooth, rounded hills; open plains and water; and mountain gaps that funnel and intensify wind.

TX Gov Abbott Requests RFS Waiver – Texas Gov. Greg Abbott requested a waiver from the RFS late Abbott, in particular, cited high RIN prices as causing hardship to refiners across the state. He said as a result of the increasingly unpredictable cost of RINS, refiners are exploring all options to reduce these escalating costs, including exporting product, which reduces fuel inventories in the United States, increasing the cost of fuel available to U.S. consumers and decreasing the U.S.’s energy independence and self-reliance strategy mentioned in the goals of the legislation when passed.  Abbott also said small retailers are impacted dramatically.  According to Professor Bernard Weinstein, a distinguished economist at the Maguire Energy Institute at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, “On a global scale, if profit margins for small, independent retailers continue to narrow in order to ‘meet the competition,’ even more of these businesses can be expected to fail in coming years. Fewer small retailers, in turn, will result in higher fuel prices for consumers along with a reduction in the services these businesses provide, such as auto repair and maintenance.”

Diverse Groups Urge Opposition to Solar Tariff – There were four interesting separate sectors weighing in in the USTR Comments opposed to Solar Tariffs: 1) Campbell Soup Company, 2) Schneider Electric 3) utility NextEra Energy and 4) the National Electrical Contractors Assn CEO John Grau.  These comments show the broad impacts that this policy could have on many companies, sectors, workers or consumers.   And remember Duke Energy also offered strong comments at the ITC docket.  I can send pdfs of all of these if you cannot find them.

Cape Wind Project Gives Up Lease – Cape Wind Associates will not go through with their proposed wind farm in Nantucket Sound, halting a controversial project that has been in the works for more than a decade.  Cape Wind will give up its 46-square-mile federal lease.  The decision was disappointing but not unexpected.  The project was dealt a major setback in January 2015, when Eversource and National Grid ended contracts to buy power from the turbines.  Then in 2016 when the state Energy Facilities Siting Board declined to extend permits for the project that had originally been issued in 2009. Interestingly, this project is not really representative of the current state of offshore wind, given that larger turbines are now being installed in truly offshore locations.  Deepwater Wind has successfully launched a project in Rhode Island and Current Statoil is moving forward with a project in leaded areas off New York.

US Rig Count Sees 4th Straight Week of Gains Baker Hughes said the number of US oil and natural gas rigs climbed by six to 929 last week — the fourth consecutive week of increases. Four new rigs were deployed in the Permian Basin and three were added to the Haynesville Shale, while North Dakota’s Williston Basin gained one rig.

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

Clean Edge, GridWise Alliance Host gridCONNEXT – GridWise Alliance and Clean Edge will host gridCONNEXT today through Wednesday in Washington, D.C. with hundreds of regulators, utility executives, corporations, and other industry stakeholders to explore the many grid modernization.

USGCRP to Take Comment – Today and tomorrow, the US Global Change Research Program is taking comments from the public at the National Academy of Sciences Building on topics like its Climate Communications Initiative, its Rising Seas Initiative and Building Resilience in the US-Mexico Drylands

EPA Holds Truck Emissions Kit Hearing – The EPA holds public hearings today on proposed repeal of emission requirements for glider vehicles, glider engines, and glider kits at EPA HQ.  The EPA earlier this month announced its plan to reclassify glider kits as non-new vehicles, thereby restricting the EPA’s ability to regulate their exhaust emissions, and to repeal the glider kit-specific provisions of the Phase 2 emissions regulations.

Climate Film to Be Screened – Tonight at 6:00 p.m., New America and Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs hold a special screening of ‘The Age of Consequences,’ a documentary investigating the links between climate change, U.S. national security, and global stability.

Solar Tariff Opponents to Weigh-in at Press Club – Opponents of tariffs on solar imports will hold a briefing tomorrow at 9:15 a.m. at the National Press Club.  As the Trump Administration nears a determination on remedies for the Section 201 solar trade case, solar industry leaders will discuss the details of a true “America First” Plan for solar energy that supports domestic cell and panel manufacturing without destroying demand for American solar energy.  Experts will preview the U.S. Trade Representative hearing and discuss why the Administration should not impose quotas and tariffs on imports of these products and instead adopt an approach that will not inflate the cost of electricity for all Americans and harm workers, consumers and the U.S. economy.

ITC to Vote on Biodiesel Tariffs – Tomorrow at 9:30 a.m., the U.S. International Trade Commission holds meeting and vote on biodiesel from Argentina and Indonesia.  In May, USITC determined that there is a reasonable indication that a U.S. industry was materially injured by reason of imports of biodiesel from Argentina and Indonesia that are allegedly subsidized and sold in the United States at less than fair value.

EIA, Interior Noms Hearing Set – The Senate Energy Committee holds a hearing tomorrow at 10:00 a.m. on the nominations of Timothy Petty to be an assistant Interior secretary and Linda Capuano to be administrator of the Energy Department’s Energy Information Administration.

Forum to Look at Media, Journalism, Trump – Talkers Magazine will host a forum at Hillsdale College’s Kirby Center In Washington DC looking at the Trump Administration and its coverage by the media.  A panel of talk show hosts including former talk show host and Hillsdale College radio station GM Scot Bertram, Dom Giordano of WPHT/Philadelphia, Hugh Hewitt of Salem Radio Network, Joe Madison SiriusXM Satellite Radio, Janet Parshall of the Moody Radio Network and Bill Press of the TYT Network.

Forum to Look at China Impact – The National Bureau of Asian Research will host a public panel discussion tomorrow at 3:45 p.m. in CVC 268 on China’s Growing Energy and Geopolitical Impact in Xi Jinping’s New Era. The event will also mark the launch of NBR’s 2017 Energy Security Program report on “Asia’s Energy Security and China’s Belt and Road Initiative.”  Rep. Ann Wagner leads the discussion.

Forum to Look at Climate Diplomacy – The German Marshall Fund is holding a forum tomorrow at 5:30 p.m. for a discussion on the future of climate action in the United States, the role of cities and regions in implementing international climate policy, and the importance of strong transatlantic leadership in this area of global concern.  The speaker will be Tim Robinson, Chief Counsel of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce.

Roll Call Forum to Look at Infrastructure – Roll Call Live and CQ holds an infrastructure forum on Wednesday morning featuring expert analysis and bipartisan discussion to examine the many questions that infrastructure stakeholders and policymakers will face in the new administration.  Rep. Peter DeFazio and White House aide DJ Gribben.

USTR Hearing on Solar Trade Tariff – The US Trade Representative will hold a public hearing on Wednesday to discuss the solar tariff issue.

California AG Hits Press Club – The National Press Club Newsmakers Committee will host California AC Xavier Becerra at a Headliners Newsmaker news conference Wednesday at 10:00 a.m. in the club’s First Amendment Lounge. The news conference will look at Cali’s two dozen lawsuits challenging the Trump Administration’s efforts to make changes that affect immigrant rights, civil rights, environmental standards and consumer protections. Becerra will discuss these legal actions and other issues and will be moderated by Los Angeles Times reporter Chris Megerian.

Women, Power, Money Summit Set at Press Club – The Feminist Majority hosts its 30th annual Women Money Power Summit Wednesday at the National Press Club.  The summit brings together a combination of feminist thinkers, speakers, and activists as well as top political leaders. New strategies and campaigns to increase women’s economic and political clout and to stop the war on women and reproductive rights are always at the top of the agenda.  Main Speakers will include Sens. Dianne Feinstein and Mazie Hirono and Reps. Niki Tsongas and Maxine Waters.  Our colleague Dee Martin is a board member of FM.

Senate Enviro to Host Army Corps Nominee – The Senate Environment Committee holds a hearing Wednesday on the nomination of R.D. James to be assistant secretary of the Army for civil works.

WCEE to Host NatGas Leaders – The Women’s Council on Energy and the Environment (WCEE) will hold a forum on Wednesday looking at the role of natural gas in the economy.  Dena Wiggins, President and CEO of the Natural Gas Supply Association (NGSA), and Lori Traweek, Chief Operating Officer of the American Gas Association, will discuss how natural gas fits into our country’s energy future and how they rose to leadership in the energy world.

AEI to Host Ag Discussion – American Enterprise Institute will hold a forum on Wednesday at 12:30 p.m. for a discussion on substantive reforms to US agricultural subsidy programs. AEI’s Vincent Smith will facilitate a discussion among these experts as they break apart the 2018 Farm Bill.  The event looks at the current state of the American farm sector.   In the newest papers of AEI’s “Agricultural Policy in Disarray” series, leading agricultural economists evaluate federal programs and regulations that affect conservation and the environment. Erik Lichtenberg will present his findings on conservation programs. Aaron Smith will discuss the future of the Renewable Fuel Standard. Nathan Hendricks will present his findings on the contentious debates between agricultural and environmental interests about the Clean Water Rule.

Wilson Forum Looks at Moving Villages – The Wilson Center will hold a forum on Wednesday at 1:00 p.m. looking at moving villages due to climate change.  The event will feature the Village of Newtok, a Yupik Eskimo community of 450, faces certain destruction from a slow-moving climate disaster.  The discussion with Newtok’s leadership will focus on their experiences and struggles to preserve their Yupik way of life on their historic subsistence lands.

Senate Environment to Discuss Superfund Sites in Disasters – The Senate Environment Committee’s Superfund and Waste Management Subcommittee holds a hearing Wednesday at 2:30 p.m. on challenges facing Superfund and waste cleanup efforts following natural disasters.

Forum Looks at Future of Ag – The National Museum of Natural History and Resources for the Future will host a forum on Wednesday evening with Jesse Ausubel, Director and Senior Research Associate of the Program for the Human Environment at Rockefeller University, for a look into the future as he explores how precision agriculture and better sources of food and fuel can benefit the natural world.  Ausubel’s work covers forests and farms, marine and human life, energy and materials. He marries climate and Earth sciences to elaborate the vision of a large, prosperous society that spares large amounts of land and sea for nature and emits little or nothing harmful into the atmosphere. This event is presented by Resources for the Future with the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of Natural History as part of an ongoing series, Anthropocene: Life in the Age of Humans.

ALEC Conference Set for Nashville – Starting Wednesday in Nashville, the American Legislative Exchange Council hosts the States & Nation Policy Summit, a three-day conference consisting of intensive, in-depth educational sessions addressing issues that will be at the top of state legislative agendas the following year. Nearly 1,000 state and local lawmakers, policy experts and other stakeholders gather to explore the philosophical principles that guide a free society.

Forum to Look at NAFTA, Energy – The Washington International Trade Association holds an event Thursday at 9:00 a.m. the Ronald Reagan Building & International Trade Center at as part of its NAFTA series on energy and NAFTA. The forum will look at NAFTA renegotiation’s impact on energy trade across North American borders, as well as its investment, jobs and North American energy independence.  Former Rep. Charles Boustany hosts API’s Jack Gerard, CSIS’s Sarah Ladislaw and Sergio Marchi of the Canadian Electricity Association.  Panel 2 includes our friend Maryam S. Brown of Sempra Energy, former State Department Energy envoy David Goldwyn and ADM’s Lorraine Hawley.

Pruitt to Head to House Energy Panel – The House Energy and Commerce Environment Subcommittee will hold a hearing on Thursday with EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt testifying.  The appearance will be Pruitt’s first before the Energy and Commerce Committee.

House Resources to Look at Interior Dept Reforms – House Natural Resources panel lawmakers will review Interior Department reform proposals in a hearing on Thursday at 10:00 a.m.

House Transpo Roundtable to Look at Trucking Techs – On Thursday at 10:00 a.m., the House Transportation Committee’s Subcommittee on Highways and Transit will host a roundtable on emerging technologies in the trucking industry.

ASE Forum to Look at Biz Case for Energy Efficiency – The Alliance to Save Energy hosts a forum on Thursday at 12:00 p.m. to discuss the business case for tax incentives promoting energy efficiency.  From residential retrofits to commercial-scale systems improvements, energy efficiency upgrades deliver massive benefits to consumers, businesses and taxpayers – creating jobs and economic activity, saving money, and reducing harmful emissions while strengthening U.S. energy security. Yet the U.S. tax code no longer contains meaningful tax incentives for energy efficiency. Hear directly from leading businesses and advocates about tax policies new and old that could advance this important cause – and the business case for getting them done as Congress looks at rewriting the tax code.

CSIS to Release World Oil Outlook – The CSIS Energy & National Security Program is hosting the U.S. launch of OPEC’s World Oil Outlook 2017 (WOO) on Thursday at 2:00 p.m.  The WOO is OPEC’s outlook for medium- and long-term oil supply, demand, and downstream to 2040, factoring in the latest developments in global oil markets and OPEC production adjustments. The analysis includes the impacts of worldwide shifts in demographics, emissions reductions, and technological development in the oil sector.  The presentation of WOO 2017 will be given by OPEC’s Al-Qahtani.

POLITICO to Look at 2018 Mid-Terms – Playbookers Anna Palmer and Jake Sherman are going LIVE with POLITICO Playbook in a special extended version of the Playbook Audio Briefing on Thursday at 6:00 p.m. at the 6th & I Synagogue. The POLITICO Playbook Team and other key reporters will try to make sense of Washington as it marches toward mid-term elections in 2018.  Speakers will include POLITICO’s Rachel Bade, Annie Karni and Seung Min Kim, as well as Michael Barbaro of the New York Times, John Rogers of the National Republican Congressional Committee and Dan Sena of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.

House Energy to Look at Cybersecurity, Energy – The House Energy and Commerce Energy Subcommittee holds a hearing on Friday at 9:00 a.m. examining the role of the Department of Energy in energy sector cybersecurity.  Bruce Walker, DOE’s Assistant Secretary of the Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability will testify.

IPAA Exec to Address Energy Economists – The National Capital Area members of the US Assn of Energy Economist will host Fred Lawrence for their Friday lunch.  Lawrence, VP at the Independent Petroleum Association of America, will discuss the outlook for U.S. oil and natural gas, including shale export trends over the past two years, focus on the Independents in a Sector and demand and geopolitical reality vs. ideology.

Forum to Touch on Climate, Bonn Results – The GW Law School is hosting a roundtable discussion on Friday at Noon looking at the status of climate change policy under the Trump Administration. The discussion will draw on articles written for the recent Special Edition of the Climate and Carbon Law Review (CCLR).   The program will feature several CCLR authors including Vicki Arroyo, Executive Director of the Georgetown Climate Center at Georgetown Law, Professor Robert Glicksman from the George Washington University Law School, Fatima Ahmad and Jennifer Huang from the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions, and Charles Di Leva, visiting scholar at the Environmental Law Institute. Topics under discussion will include, the reaction of state and local authorities to the withdrawal of the US from the Paris Agreement, the fate of the Clean Power Plan and the flexibility of Nationally Determined Commitments (NDCs) under the Paris Agreement.

IN THE FUTURE

Paris Forum to Focus on Anniversary – Forum to French President Macron will host the One Planet Summit on December 12 in Paris, on the two-year anniversary of the Paris Agreement. The Summit will focus specifically on climate finance. Heads of State will be invited to attend this meeting.

Nuclear Weapons Triad Forum Set – The Advanced Nuclear Weapons Alliance Deterrence Center (ANWA DC) will host the Inaugural morning forum on Capitol Hill on December 12th.  The event will feature key Members of Congress representing nuclear triad communities at Air Force and Naval bases, and NNSA sites, The group will also outline a series of 11 more 2018 forums and roundtables with key government officials, industry leaders and suppliers, and academic experts on the triad issues of the day, Each of these events will tackle the nuclear triad’s emerging issues and challenges, while sharing the successes, in the ongoing nuclear weapons enterprise modernization.

Energy Storage Forum Set –The 3rd annual U.S. Energy Storage Summit will be held in San Francisco on December 12th and 13th at the Hilton Union Square.  The forum will bring together utilities, financiers, regulators, technology innovators, and storage practitioners for two full days of data-intensive presentations, analyst-led panel sessions with industry leaders, and extensive, high-level networking.  Speakers will Include APRA-E’s Susan Babinec, Peter Klauer of Cal ISO, Cal PUC Commissioner Carla Peterman, ESA CEO (and former MD PSC Chair) Kelly Speakes-Backman and our friends Shayle Kann of GTM Research, Stephen Lacey and Justin Gerdes of Greentech Media.

Forum Set to Look at NatGas – On December 12th and 13th, the Energy Institute at Colorado State University (CSU) and Gas Technology Institute (GTI) will be co-hosting the CH4 Connections conference at CSU’s campus in Fort Collins. This conference, now in its fourth year, will focus on methane emissions quantification, mitigation, and capture for the natural gas industry, and will include a tour of the Methane Emissions Test and Evaluation Center (METEC) that will showcase the solutions under development and in field testing at the center.

NJ to Host NAFTA WebinarNational Journal will host a webinar on Thursday December 14th at 11:00 a.m. to look at renegotiating the North American Free Trade Agreement.  In this webinar, speakers will examine NAFTA’s history, development, and future, and address the major players involved, each side’s key demands, the timeline, potential outcomes and the impact of President Trump’s rhetoric on the process.

Forum to Look at US-Mexico NatGas – The Latin American Dialogue hosts a panel discussion on Friday December 15th aimed at understanding the role of LNG for US energy exports and commercial ties in Latin America, as well as the US-Mexico energy relationship. As global energy trade grows and the United States looks to expand oil and gas exports, Latin American countries provide significant commercial opportunities for exporters and investors alike. It remains imperative that Latin American countries and the United States strive to find mutually beneficial opportunities in order to boost energy ties and expand energy cooperation.  Speakers include State’s Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Bureau of Energy Resources John McCarrick, Sempra’s Mark Nelson, Leslie Palti-Guzman of the Rapidan Group and several others.

The Last Jedi Hits Theaters – DECEMBER 15th

CSIS to Host World Coal Report – On December 18th at 3:30 p.m., CSIS will host the launch of the IEA’s new report analyzing coal’s recent trends and forecasting its demand, supply, and trade through 2022.  Coal remains world’s dominant fuel. Under pressure from decarbonization, cheaper alternatives, and geopolitical shifts in demand, coal continues to be one of the most pressing questions in energy. Peter Fraser, Head of Division for Gas, Coal, and Power Markets at the International Energy Agency, will present the IEA’s report.

API’s Annual State of Energy Address – January 4th (expected).

75th Annual Global Globes – Can’t wait for Seth Myers to host this one from January 7th from Hollywood.

World Energy Outlook Set For Launch – On January 16th at 1:30 p.m., the CSIS Energy & National Security Program will host a forum and the U.S. launch of the International Energy Agency’s World Energy Outlook 2017. Fatih Birol, Executive Director of the IEA, will present the findings from the report.

Pruitt to Head to Senate Environment – The Senate Environment and Public Works Committee said EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt will appear before the Committee on Jan. 31, 2018, making his first return to the panel nearly a year after his confirmation.

 

Energy Update: Week of 11/27

Friends,

Welcome back from a great Thanksgiving Break and get ready to rumble. Before we get to the action though, you may have missed the big news from the HFC world while you were in a turkey haze on Thursday and Friday.  On Thursday in Montreal, the administration urged support for the new Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol and said they would fund programs to administer it. This is an effort stakeholders, including the HVAC industry, has been supporting for a long time and can be great resources on the topic. Feel free to call Francis Dietz (703-969-6444) at AHRI for an additional background, interviews and additional resources.

This week is all about ethanol, the solar trade case and the clean power plan. Starting tomorrow in West Virginia, EPA will host two days of public hearings in Charleston to discuss repealing the paint the clean power plan and potential replacements Scott Segal and I will be in attendance as Scott testifies tomorrow. In his statement, Segal says an overly broad, unilateral federal program is not necessary – and worse yet uses federal fiat to remove the flexibility and pragmatism that the marketplace can provide in addressing greenhouse gases. The market achieves a careful balance of continued forward momentum in reducing emissions with the critical need to address consumer demand where it is most acute, and electric reliability and resilience.  Please feel free to ask your questions about the meeting and we will be happy to respond.

Secondly, after final sign offs just before the President launched to WPB Tuesday, energy lawyer Kevin McIntyre and Senate staffer Richard Glick cleared that last hurdle to take their seats at FERC.  A swearing-in ceremony could happen as soon as this week, filling the final vacancies at the commission.

On Capitol Hill we expect votes Wednesday on Kathleen Harnett white for CEQ and Andy Wheeler for Deputy at EPA.  Other hearings include a House Science Hearing on WOTUS tomorrow, a Wednesday before the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Energy will be grid operators from California and the Mid-Atlantic and Midwest, as well as the former general counsel of FERC and NEPA reform hearing on Wednesday.

A ton of other good events around town starting tomorrow when SAFE holds a great event featuring at former EIA administrator Adam Sieminski at 4:30 p.m. with a reception to follow!!!!  Also, CSIS tomorrow morning hosts the “Status of Carbon Capture 2017” event which launches that annual report of the Global CCS Institute and features the first public speech by new DOE Assistant Secretary for Fossil Energy Steve Winberg. On Wednesday afternoon, the National Academies will review the 4th draft of the National Climate Assessment in an open meeting at the NAS building and the NYT hosts a Climate Summit in SanFran.  On Thursday at Noon, the Natural Gas Roundtable will host FERC Chairman Neil Chatterjee and R Street hosts a forum on Thursday in 122 Cannon featuring a discussion on clean energy with panelists from Microsoft, Advanced Energy Economy (AEE) and others.

Finally two big deadlines this week: 1) The US Trade Rep closes its comment period for the solar trade case prior to its public hearing next Tuesday (here is the ITC’s final staff report); and 2) Thursday’s annual RVO roll out from EPA which who knows what it will say this year given the public back and forth over the issue and the nomination hostage taking that has been occurring.  And keep an eye out for a potential White House meeting with refining-state Senators that was requested recently.

Call with questions.  Best,

 

Frank Maisano

(202) 828-5864

  1. (202) 997-5932

 

FRANKLY SPOKEN

“The United States believes the Kigali Amendment represents a pragmatic and balanced approach to phasing down the production and consumption of HFCs, and therefore we support the goals and approach of the Amendment. There are a number of steps in our domestic process that we would need to complete before reaching a final decision on transmittal of the Kigali Amendment to the U.S. Senate for its advice and consent. We have initiated the process to consider U.S. ratification of the Amendment.  ”

Remarks of Judith Garber, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Bureau of Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs at the State Department at the 29th Meeting of the Parties to the Montreal Protocol in Montreal, Canada.

“The Montreal Protocol is a model of cooperation. It is a product of the recognition and international consensus that ozone depletion is a global problem, both in terms of its causes and its effects. The Protocol is the result of an extraordinary process of scientific study, negotiations among representatives of the business and environmental communities, and international diplomacy. It is a monumental achievement.”

President Ronald Reagan upon signing the Montreal Protocol in 1987 as relayed by Garber in Montreal on Thursday.

IN THE NEWS

US to Push Forward on HFC Deal – The United States said they will contribute $37 million to support a shift to cleaner coolants, under a deal agreed in Montreal on Saturday as part of developed countries’ $540 million over three years.  In its 30th year, the Montreal Protocol has begun to pivot from its initial focus on the ozone layer to addressing the climate impact of chemicals used in fridges and air conditioners.  State department official Judith Garber said the US was starting the process to ratify the Kigali Amendment to the protocol, which sets a phasedown path for HFCs, a group of potent warming gases produced by these appliances, calling it a “pragmatic and balanced approach” to reducing HFCs’ “environmental impact”.  HVAC industry stakeholders strongly support the deal, seeing an opportunity to sell climate-friendly alternatives.  The Kigali Amendment will enter into force in January 2019, after Sweden became the twentieth country to ratify it on 17 November.

Coal Ash Recycling Reaches Record Level Amid Shifting Production, Use Patterns – The annual 2016 American Coal Ash Association survey on Production and Use says 56% of the coal ash produced during 2016 was recycled – establishing a new record and marking the second consecutive year that more than half of the coal ash produced in the United States was beneficially used rather than disposed.  According to ACAA’s survey, 60.2 million tons of coal combustion products were beneficially used in 2016 out of 107.4 million tons that were produced. Although the rate of ash utilization increased from 52 percent to 56 percent, the total volume of material utilized stayed about the same as production declined. Coal ash production volume declined 7% from 2015 levels as coal’s share of the electricity generation mix shrank in response to environmental regulations and competition from other energy sources. Coal ash utilization volume remained approximately level with the prior year.

What’s the Buzz? – Highlights of CCP production and use in 2016 include:

  • Use of coal fly ash in concrete declined 8% to 14.4 million tons. While down from 2015’s record utilization of 15.7 million tons, utilization remained well above the 13.1 million tons performance in 2014. The dip in 2016 utilization is attributed to some regional seasonal shortages of supply that resulted from power plant shutdowns and changing generating profiles.
  • Utilization of a key “non-ash” coal combustion product also declined. Synthetic gypsum is a byproduct of flue gas desulphurization units, also known as “scrubbers,” located at coal-fueled power plants. Use of synthetic gypsum in panel products (i.e. wallboard) decreased 19% to 9.9 million tons in 2016. The decrease is largely attributed to normal fluctuations in gypsum markets.
  • Synthetic gypsum use in agricultural applications – in which the gypsum improves soil conditions and prevents harmful runoff of fertilizers – also declined from 1.6 million tons to 772,000 tons.
  • Production of boiler slag remained level at 2.2 million tons. Approximately 1.3 million tons of boiler slag was utilized in the production of blasting grit and roofing granules.
  • For the first time, no utilities reported production of cenospheres – a very valuable form of ash mainly harvested from wet disposal impoundments. Production of this material dropped precipitously the year prior as impoundments began to close in response to EPA’s Final Rule for coal ash disposal.

DOE Looking at CAFE-like Rule for Appliances – The DOE is looking at an overhaul of its efficiency programs to allow more flexibility.  In a request for information late last week, the agency floated the idea of making efficiency standards more like corporate average fuel economy (CAFE) standards for vehicles. That could, in theory, allow efficiency trading, so that manufacturers, companies or industries could buy and sell and products below and above a given efficiency level to meet an overall average. AHRI said they are evaluating the plan and while please with DOE is looking at market-based flexibilities in appliance standards program, they remain cautious about a CAFE standards-type approach, given the experience of the auto industry.  AHRI is pleased DOE is taking a collaborative approach to potential changes to the appliance standards program, look forward to working with DOE on ways to establish flexibilities that make it easier for manufacturers to comply, while continuing to save energy for the nation.

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

EPA to Hold CPP Public Hearing in WV – EPA will hold a public hearing regarding the withdrawal of the Clean Power Plan in West Virginia tomorrow and Wednesday.  EPA said it will convene two daylong sessions at the state capitol in Charleston. The agency said it “may also hold an additional hearing to be announced at a later date.”  EPA also extended the comment period on the proposal to Jan. 16, 2018.

CCS Report to be Released – The Global CCS Institute will release its annual Global Status of CCS: 2017 report launch tomorrow at 9:30 a.m. This year, the Institute is partnering with one of the top think tanks in the city, the Center for Strategic and International Studies, to promote and discuss the release of the Institute’s signature report, the globally recognized annual guide to the current progress and prospects for carbon capture and storage.  Speakers will include Global CCS’s Jeff Erikson and IEA’s Samantha McCulloch.

Senate Environment to Hear From TVA Board Nominees – The Senate Environment Committee will hold a hearing tomorrow at 10:00 a.m. on the nominations of Kenneth Allen, A.D. Frazier, Jeffrey Smith and James Thompson III to be members of the Board of Directors of the Tennessee Valley Authority.

House Science Look at States’ Role in WOTUS Rule – The House Science Energy Subcommittee holds a hearing tomorrow at 10:00 a.m. on the future of the Waters of the United States regulation, examining the role of states.

Forum to Look at Asia-Pacific Security – The Center for Climate and Security (CCS) hosts a high-level discussion on the security risks of climate change in the Asia-Pacific tomorrow at 10:00 a.m. This discussion will explore these risks, how US military installations, operations, and strategies in the region may be shaped by them, and their influence on US bilateral and multilateral relationships.

Tillerson to Speak at Wilson Center – The Wilson Center will host US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson tomorrow at 11:00 a.m. for an address on the future of U.S. relations with Europe by Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, followed by a conversation with Wilson Center President and CEO Jane Harman.

Heritage Hosts Climate Discussion – The Heritage Foundation hosts a discussion tomorrow at Noon on the long history and politics of climate activism. Speaker Rupert Darwell will address the topic.

CSIS to Release New Energy Report – The CSIS Energy & National Security Program will hold a presentation of its latest report, Energy and Development: Providing Access and Growth tomorrow at 1:30 p.m.  Based on findings from several workshops conducted by CSIS over the last two years, Energy and Development explores several of the most important shifts underpinning the energy access issue. By exploring the role of emerging economies as the primary drivers of future energy demand, the influence of sustainability and climate change concerns in crafting development strategies, and changes to how energy access and growth are measured, the report provides a unique survey of energy and economic growth in the developing world.  Sarah Ladislaw (CSIS) will present the report, followed by a panel discussion with Morgan Bazilian (World Bank; CSIS), Morgan Landy (International Finance Corporation), and Philippe Benoit (GIAS2050; CSIS). CSIS’s Erol Yayboke, co-author of the report, will moderate.

Forum on Tax Reform to Discuss Carbon Tax – The Brookings Institute will tomorrow at 2:00 p.m. regarding tax reform that will discuss a possible carbon tax. The Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center, the Cross Brookings Initiative on Energy and Climate, congressional leaders, and top experts for a discussion on the prospects for tax reform and the potential to include a carbon tax in a broader bipartisan bill.   The event will feature a keynote address by Rep. John Larson and panelists include Niskanen’s Jerry Taylor and our friend Amy Harder of Axios.

SAFE Event to Feature Oil Discussion with Former EIA Head – Securing America’s Future Energy (SAFE) will host a panel discussion tomorrow at 4:30 p.m. at the National Union Building exploring how market uncertainty, underinvestment, geopolitical risk, OPEC intervention, rising global demand, and other market forces undermine oil market stability. The panel will discuss the likelihood of a return to high and volatile oil prices, implications for American economic and national security, and domestic policy solutions.  Moderated by our friend Ben Geman of Axios, the panel will feature former EIA Administrator Adam Sieminski – now at CSIS – and Jonathan Chanis, SAFE’s Senior Vice President of Policy.

USTR Reply Comments Deadline – Tomorrow, Tuesday, November 29th

California AG Hits Press Club – The National Press Club Newsmakers Committee will host California AC Xavier Becerra at a Headliners Newsmaker news conference Wednesday December 6th at 10:00 a.m. in the club’s First Amendment Lounge. The news conference will look at Cali’s two dozen lawsuits challenging the Trump Administration’s efforts to make changes that affect immigrant rights, civil rights, environmental standards and consumer protections. Becerra will discuss these legal actions and other issues and will be moderated by Los Angeles Times reporter Chris Megerian.

House Energy Panel to Look at Electricity Markets – The House Energy and Commerce Energy Subcommittee holds a hearing Wednesday at 10:00 a.m. on examining the role of financial trading in the electricity markets. Witnesses include NRG’s Chris Moser, PJM General Counsel Vince Duane, Wesley Allen of Red Wolf Energy Trading, Cal ISO’s Eric Hildebrandt, Max Minzner of Jenner & Block and FERC former general counsel Noha Sidhom, who now heads TPC Energy.

House Resources to Look at NEPA – The House Resources Committee holds a hearing On Wednesday at 10:00 on modernizing NEPA regulations for future issues.  Witnesses include Building Trades and Construction Council rep Mike Bridges, Converse County, Wyo. commissioner Jim Willox, Common Good chairman Philip Howard and former CEQ general counsel Dinah Bear.

API to Release STEM Study – The American Petroleum Institute will hold a lunch event Wednesday at 10:00 a.m. at George Washington University to showcase a new study on “STEM education and the energy workforce of the future.”

National Academies Review Climate Assessment – On Wednesday afternoon, the National Academies will review the 4th draft of the National Climate Assessment in an open meeting at the NAS building.

NYT to host Climate Summit – On Wednesday and Thursday in San Francisco at the Metreon, The New York Times will hold ClimateTECH, a groundbreaking summit that brings together influential leaders from key industries to assess bold, cutting-edge technologies that could help keep global warming below the two-degree threshold.  Hosted by top Times journalists, ClimateTECH’s focus on innovation will also encompass the dramatic changes downstream (in finance, policy, consumer behavior, infrastructure) that are vital for these new technologies to gain adoption and succeed.  The program will feature on-stage interviews with celebrated entrepreneurs and inventors along with policy makers, economists and subject-matter experts. Designed for an audience of decision-makers, ClimateTECH will also include an early-stage technology showcase of the newest innovations, along with other experiential activities.  The Speaker list is long, but it includes California Gov. Jerry Brown, Statoil’s Irene Rummelhoff, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, Tom Steyer and many others.

Solar Festival Set for Austin – The 2nd annual Solar Business Festival will be held on Wednesday and Thursday in Austin, Texas at the Thompson Conference Center. The two-day conference segment features a wide variety of sessions on, components of doing a solar and storage business in Texas, microgrids and energy storage, distributed grid, project financing, sustainable buildings, smart grids, solar initiatives and innovations, utility integration, community solar projects, policies, incentives and goals, market growth opportunities, regulatory framework, international solar market opportunities/challenges, sustainable farming and more.

CSIS Look at Zero-Emissions Fuels – The CSIS Energy and National Security Program is hosting a forum on Thursday at 8:00 a.m. onhydrogen, green shipping and zero-emission fuel in the maritime sector. The discussion will center on the development and implementation of hydrogen fuel technology, the important role it could play for shipping in the transition to a low-carbon future, and ongoing U.S.-Norwegian cooperation in the area.  Shipping accounts for more than 2% of worldwide greenhouse gas emissions today and is set to increase up to 17% by 2050. This session will explore the concrete cooperation and projects being pursued in Norway and the United States.  Norwegian Ambassador Kåre R. Aas will give introductory remarks, followed by a discussion with Elisabet Bøe (Sogn og Fjordane), Joseph Pratt (Sandia National Lab), Lars Endre Gimmestad (Brodrene Aa), and Martin Grimnes (Arcadia Alliance) on the present and future of hydrogen technology and what a low-carbon future for maritime transport may look like.

Forum to Look at Energy Crossroads – The Texas Public Policy Foundation and The Heritage Foundation host the “At the Crossroads IV: Energy and Climate Policy Summit” on Thursday.  The conversation will feature the world’s leading scientists, policymakers, entrepreneurs, and energy experts, who will gather to explore this turning point in energy history and the long-lasting potential it holds for America and beyond. Speakers include Sens. Jim Inhofe, Mike Lee, House Science Chair Lamar Smith and many others.

RFS RVO Deadline – Thursday, November 30th

Bernhardt to House Approps Committee – On Thursday at 9:30 a.m. in 2007 Rayburn, the House Appropriations Committee’s Subcommittee on Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies will convene a supplemental oversight hearing on the U.S. Department of the Interior featuring David Bernhardt, Deputy Secretary of the Interior of Interior.

Forum to Look at Climate, Military Readiness – The American Security Project holds a forum on Thursday at 10:30 a.m. where they will discuss the range of security threats posed by climate change, whether these regulations may ease those threats, and how we can build further resiliency and security into the future.

Chatterjee to Address NatGas Roundtable – On Thursday at Noon, the Natural Gas Roundtable will host FERC Chairman Neil Chatterjee as the guest speaker at the next luncheon.

R Street Hosts Clean Energy Event on Capitol Hill – R Street hosts a forum on Thursday in 122 Cannon featuring a discussion on clean energy with panelists from Microsoft, Advanced Energy Economy (AEE), the American Coalition of Competitive Energy Suppliers (ACCES) and Citizens for Responsible Energy Solutions  Across the country, clean energy is growing rapidly in states that allow customers to choose their electricity supplier. This system of ‘retail choice’ grants customers more options and allows them to generate their own energy on-site. Importantly, large corporations have been leading the charge for distributed energy generation, marking a refreshing intersection of conservative and green agendas.

RFF to Look at Energy Security – Resources for the Future (RFF) will host a forum on Thursday focused on the new realities on energy security given our shale resources.  This RFF seminar will open with a presentation from former Department of Energy official Howard Gruenspecht on the economic and political factors that have led to a very different oil security picture than the country faced decades ago. RFF President Richard Newell will present new research on how the shale oil boom has altered the flexibility of the US supply, as well as how price and inventory dynamics can inform Strategic Petroleum Reserve policy. RFF University Fellow Stephen Brown will then discuss an RFF project that produced new estimates for the value of the oil security premium—a key metric used in benefit–cost analyses of related regulations. RFF Senior Fellow Alan Krupnick will wrap up with a discussion of the new energy security paradigm, which broadens the definition of US energy security beyond oil to include natural gas, electricity, and other energy systems.

House Resources Tackles Geothermal Legislation – On Thursday at 2:30 p.m., the House Natural Resources Committee’s Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources will hold a legislative hearing on geothermal exploration and three other bills focused on landslide hazards, geological mapping and volcanos early warning systems.  Witnesses include USGS Deputy Director David Applegate, Allyson Anderson Book of the American Geosciences Institute, Scott Nichols of U.S. Geothermal Inc. and Alaska State Geologist Steve Masterman.

Energy Awards to Be Presented to Community Leaders – Leaders in Energy will host its 4th annual “Four Generations of Leaders in Clean Energy & Sustainable Solutions Awards and Holiday Event.” The theme is “The Urgency of Now.” This year, Leader in Energy are recognizing people who are raising awareness and developing clean energy and sustainable solutions, with a visible sense of urgency.

IN THE FUTURE

Clean Edge, GridWise Alliance Host gridCONNEXT – GridWise Alliance and Clean Edge will host gridCONNEXT on December 4th through 6th in Washington, D.C. with hundreds of regulators, utility executives, corporations, and other industry stakeholders to explore the many grid modernization.

Forum to Look at Climate Diplomacy – The German Marshall Fund is holding a forum on next Tuesday at 5:30 p.m. for a discussion on the future of climate action in the United States, the role of cities and regions in implementing international climate policy, and the importance of strong transatlantic leadership in this area of global concern.  The speaker will be Tim Robinson, Chief Counsel of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce.

Solar Tariff Opponents to Weigh-in at Press Club – Opponents of tariffs on solar imports will hold a briefing on Tuesday December 5th at 9:30 a.m. at the National Press Club.  The event will feature solar industry advocates, as well as members of the Energy Trade Action Coalition like the National Electrical Contractors Association, utilities, retailers and Conservative free-trade groups. More next week.

USTR Hearing on Solar Trade Tariff – December 6th

WCEE to Host NatGas Leaders – The Women’s Council on Energy and the Environment (WCEE) will hold a forum on December 6th the role of natural gas in the economy.  Dena Wiggins, President and CEO of the Natural Gas Supply Association (NGSA), and Lori Traweek, Chief Operating Officer of the American Gas Association, will discuss how natural gas fits into our country’s energy future and how they rose to leadership in the energy world.

AEI to Host Ag Discussion – American Enterprise Institute will hold a forum on Wednesday, December 6th at 12:30 p.m. for a discussion on substantive reforms to US agricultural subsidy programs. AEI’s Vincent Smith will facilitate a discussion among these experts as they break apart the 2018 Farm Bill.  The event looks at the current state of the American farm sector.   In the newest papers of AEI’s “Agricultural Policy in Disarray” series, leading agricultural economists evaluate federal programs and regulations that affect conservation and the environment. Erik Lichtenberg will present his findings on conservation programs. Aaron Smith will discuss the future of the Renewable Fuel Standard. Nathan Hendricks will present his findings on the contentious debates between agricultural and environmental interests about the Clean Water Rule.

Wilson Forum Looks at Moving Villages – The Wilson Center will hold a forum on Wednesday December 6th at 1:00 p.m. looking at moving villages due to climate change.  The event will feature the Village of Newtok, a Yupik Eskimo community of 450, faces certain destruction from a slow-moving climate disaster.  The discussion with Newtok’s leadership will focus on their experiences and struggles to preserve their Yupik way of life on their historic subsistence lands.

Forum Looks at Future of Ag – The National Museum of Natural History and Resources for the Future will host a forum on Wednesday evening with Jesse Ausubel, Director and Senior Research Associate of the Program for the Human Environment at Rockefeller University, for a look into the future as he explores how precision agriculture and better sources of food and fuel can benefit the natural world.  Ausubel’s work covers forests and farms, marine and human life, energy and materials. He marries climate and Earth sciences to elaborate the vision of a large, prosperous society that spares large amounts of land and sea for nature and emits little or nothing harmful into the atmosphere. This event is presented by Resources for the Future with the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of Natural History as part of an ongoing series, Anthropocene: Life in the Age of Humans.

Pruitt to Head to House Energy Panel – The House Energy and Commerce Environment Subcommittee will hold a hearing on December 7th with EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt testifying.  The appearance will be Pruitt’s first before the Energy and Commerce Committee.

ASE Forum to Look at Biz Case for Energy Efficiency – The Alliance to Save Energy hosts a forum on Thursday, December 7th at 12:00 p.m. to discuss the business case for tax incentives promoting energy efficiency.  From residential retrofits to commercial-scale systems improvements, energy efficiency upgrades deliver massive benefits to consumers, businesses and taxpayers – creating jobs and economic activity, saving money, and reducing harmful emissions while strengthening U.S. energy security. Yet the U.S. tax code no longer contains meaningful tax incentives for energy efficiency. Hear directly from leading businesses and advocates about tax policies new and old that could advance this important cause – and the business case for getting them done as Congress looks at rewriting the tax code.

CSIS to Release World Oil Outlook – The CSIS Energy & National Security Program is hosting the U.S. launch of OPEC’s World Oil Outlook 2017 (WOO) on Thursday December 7th at 2:00 p.m.  The WOO is OPEC’s outlook for medium- and long-term oil supply, demand, and downstream to 2040, factoring in the latest developments in global oil markets and OPEC production adjustments. The analysis includes the impacts of worldwide shifts in demographics, emissions reductions, and technological development in the oil sector.  The presentation of WOO 2017 will be given by OPEC’s Al-Qahtani.

IPAA Exec to Address Energy Economists – The National Capital Area members of the US Assn of Energy Economist will host Fred Lawrence for their December 8th lunch.  Lawrence, VP at the Independent Petroleum Association of America, will discuss the outlook for U.S. oil and natural gas, including shale export trends over the past two years, focus on the Independents in a Sector and demand and geopolitical reality vs. ideology.

Paris Forum to Focus on Anniversary – Forum to French President Macron will host the One Planet Summit on December 12 in Paris, on the two-year anniversary of the Paris Agreement. The Summit will focus specifically on climate finance. Heads of State will be invited to attend this meeting.

Nuclear Weapons Triad Forum Set – The Advanced Nuclear Weapons Alliance Deterrence Center (ANWA DC) will host the Inaugural morning forum on Capitol Hill on December 12th.  The event will feature key Members of Congress representing nuclear triad communities at Air Force and Naval bases, and NNSA sites, The group will also outline a series of 11 more 2018 forums and roundtables with key government officials, industry leaders and suppliers, and academic experts on the triad issues of the day, Each of these events will tackle the nuclear triad’s emerging issues and challenges, while sharing the successes, in the ongoing nuclear weapons enterprise modernization.

The Last Jedi Hits Theaters – DECEMBER 15th

CSIS to Host World Coal Report – On December 18th at 1:30 p.m., CSIS will host the launch of the IEA’s new report analyzing coal’s recent trends and forecasting its demand, supply, and trade through 2022.  Coal remains world’s dominant fuel. Under pressure from decarbonization, cheaper alternatives, and geopolitical shifts in demand, coal continues to be one of the most pressing questions in energy.

API’s Annual State of Energy Address – January 4th (expected).

World Energy Outlook Set For Launch – On January 16th at 1:30 p.m., the CSIS Energy & National Security Program will host a forum and the U.S. launch of the International Energy Agency’s World Energy Outlook 2017. Fatih Birol, Executive Director of the IEA, will present the findings from the report.

Pruitt to Head to Senate Environment – The Senate Environment and Public Works Committee said EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt will appear before the Committee on Jan. 31, 2018, making his first return to the panel nearly a year after his confirmation.

Energy Update: Week of 11/20

Friends,

Happy Thanksgiving Week!!!!  So, as usual, you can expect some announcements – perhaps like the RVOs which are due at the end of the month, but always seem to find their way into pre-Thanksgiving roll out.

First off, special congrats to Jeff Holmstead’s son Eli, whose BYU Soccer team won the National Club Championship over the weekend by beating Cal-Poly 4-1 in Phoenix. Eli had 3 goals as the Cougars rolled through Michigan State, Penn, UNC, NC State and Wisconsin before blasting Cal-Poly.

Breaking this late this morning, the Nebraska Public Service Commission voted 3-2 to approve the Keystone pipeline route through the state to transport up to 830,000 barrels per day of crude from Canada’s oil sands and North Dakota’s shale fields to oil refineries on the Gulf Coast.  It is the last key approval. Head of the Chamber’s Global Energy Institute Karen Harbert said: “the Keystone XL pipeline project has unfortunately become the poster child for the need to reform our permitting process so that we may fully realize North America’s energy potential. After years of government delays, the decision as to whether to move forward with the pipeline now rests with the company that will be making the investment.”  Connect with Matt Letourneau for more at 202-463-5945.

The Bonn climate conference has ended and one of the few items that garnered attention was the Friday announcement by 19 countries and six states and provinces that they were forming an international alliance to phase out coal-fired power generation by 2030. Key nations in the alliance, such as Canada, Denmark, France, Finland, Italy, Austria, Mexico and the Netherlands, aren’t using very much coal anyway. In fact, members account for less than 3% of global coal use as my friends Brad Plumer and Lisa Friedman point out in the New York Times.  Notably missing in the groups are some of the world’s biggest coal-consuming countries, including Germany (who got significant heat on the topic during Bonn), China, India and the United States.

Perhaps more significant on Friday in Bonn was that Sweden became the 20th country to ratify the Kigali amendment, an agreement to phase down emissions of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) that will allow the plan to go into effect in 2019.  Given this move, we expect to see potential US action on the agreement that was forged in partnership and requires developing/developed country reductions, unlike Paris.    With the world using more and more refrigerants, and heating and cooling equipment, the move is expected to hold down climate change by 0.5° C [0.9° F] by 2100.  Francis Dietz (703-600-0355) at AHRI can connect you with its President Steve Yurek, who was one of the key stakeholder negotiators.

Finally from Bonn, scientists actually remain skeptical that political leaders can reduce emission increase to 1.5-degree, according to our friend Eric Roston of Bloomberg (who by the way is heading back to the policy team…Welcome Back Eric!)

Despite it being Thanksgiving week, there are a few events on the table including a NAFTA field hearing in Texas today at 10:30e/9:30c featuring Texas trade and industry leaders and the annual release of the American Coal Ash Assn’s Coal Ash Production & Use Survey at the National Press Club at 9:30 tomorrow.  Finally, tonight at Midnight, the first comment period for the US Trade Representatives public comment period will close.  Reply comments are due November 29th and the public hearing will be on December 6th.  The Energy Trade Action Coalition, a group of utilities, contractors, retailers and Conservative groups, filed comments to add their voices to the opposition. You can see the ETAC comments here.

Enjoy the week to relax, watch some football and eat some turkey and the fixins’ because next week we go right back to the grind with Clean Power Plan hearings in Charleston,WV, a SAFE Oil discussion with former EIA Head Adam Sieminski and much more…. Stay tuned…Call with questions.  Best,

Frank Maisano

(202) 828-5864

  1. (202) 997-5932

THIS WEEK’S LOBBY SHOP

The new episode of The Lobby Shop is live on iTunes, SoundCloud, and Google Play Music.  This week’s episode features my colleagues Scott Segal and Dee Martin, The Hill’s 2017 Top Lobbyists and explores the world of Washington lobbying, what it takes to be an effective lobbyist, and how they got into the field.  Remember our address for listeners to reach out with topic suggestions, feedback, etc. – thelobbyshop@policyres.com.

FRANKLY SPOKEN

“There are many examples of a country switching from being a net energy exporter to a net importer: it is very rare to see the opposite, especially when the country in question is one of the world’s largest importers of oil.  Yet this is precisely what is happening as a result of the U.S. shale revolution — both for oil and for natural gas.  A remarkable ability to unlock new resources cost-effectively pushes combined United States oil and gas output to a level 50% higher than any other country has ever managed. ”

The International Energy Agency (IEA) in its World Energy Outlook.

We would need an incredibly dramatic reduction in emissions in the very near future. The 1.5-degree target is a little ridiculous and implausible.”

Zeke Hausfather, a climate scientist with Berkeley Earth in a Bloomberg story on climate change and science

IN THE NEWS

House Passes Tax Legislation – The House passed a bill to significantly change taxation, including $1.5 trillion in cuts for individuals and companies. The overhaul, backed by President Trump, heads to the Senate, which is developing a bill that has major differences from the House measure.  My colleague Liam Donovan has been in the nitty-gritty details – as well as the politics of it all – and can answer all your questions.  Liam.donovan@bracewell.com or (202-828-5847)

Wind Urges Senate to Stand Firm on PTC Deal – Tom Kiernan, CEO of the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) said the House missed an opportunity to stand up for 60,000 American workers and preserve $50 billion in private infrastructure investment. The tax reform bill passed by the House retroactively changes how businesses can qualify for wind energy’s primary investment tools, the wind energy Production Tax Credit (PTC) and Investment Tax Credit (ITC), which are already on a path to phase out by 2019.  The House bill undermines wind development by implementing a retroactive change to qualification rules for wind energy tax credits. Because businesses can’t go back in time to requalify for the credits after ordering wind turbines and inking construction contracts, tens of thousands of jobs and billions of dollars of investment could be lost, and new business has stalled. The House bill would also terminate an inflation adjustment, significantly cutting the value of the PTC.  The Senate tax proposal that passed the Finance committee last night does not retroactively alter the wind energy PTC or ITC, leaving in place the phase out terms set in the bi-partisan PATH Act of 2015, keeping American workers on the job.

AHRI Weighs In – The Air-Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration Institute (AHRI), the trade association representing HVACR and water heating manufacturers, applauded House tax package passage. “Our member manufacturers strongly support Congress’s efforts to simplify the tax code and reduce rates,” said AHRI President & CEO Stephen Yurek. “AHRI applauds the inclusion in H.R. 1 of full and immediate expensing, a permanent reduction in the corporate rate to 20 percent rate, a reduced rate for pass-through entities, repeal of the estate tax, and extension of the tax credit for geothermal HVAC equipment – all of which will serve to make the U.S. a more competitive place to do business,” he added. AHRI believes these provisions are all crucial to the continued growth of manufacturing in the United States, and we urge the Senate to follow the lead of the House to enact substantive reforms that will allow our industry and others to continue to innovate and create jobs.

Chamber, Partners Launch Gas Export Infrastructure Initiative – The Chamber’s Global Energy Institute hosted the U.S. Trade Development Authority (USTDA), LNG Allies and others at U.S. Chamber Headquarters for the launch of the U.S. Gas Infrastructure Exports Initiative Friday.  The goal of the initiative is to connect American companies to new export opportunities, with a particular focus on emerging economies.  USTDA acting director Thomas Hardy focused on the goal of using American technology and innovation to advance gas infrastructure in partner countries, while providing new opportunities for U.S. companies. As part of the Initiative, USTDA announced a call for gas-related project proposals for U.S. companies that have identified project sponsors in high growth emerging markets.  The Agency will be conducting gas sector reverse trade missions to bring prospective LNG buyers to the U.S. for site visits and meetings.  Delegates from Senegal, China and others are already slated to participate.  GEI is a natural partner for the Exports Initiative.  We are strong advocates for policies and activities that strengthen America’s global energy leadership, which is good for both our economy and for global security.  The continued export of American natural gas creates opportunities at home and contributes to stability abroad.  For more information on the Initiative, visit www.ustda.gov/program/us-gas-infrastructure-exports-initative

IEA Says Shale Gas Boom Will Last – The International Energy Agency says the shale gas boom has positioned the US to become the world’s largest exporter of liquefied natural gas by the middle of the next decade in its 2017 World Energy Outlook. By the late 2020s, the U.S. — which only lifted its ban on oil exports in 2015 — will ship more oil to foreign markets than it imports. IEA predicts that US shale oil producers will boost their output by 8 million barrels a day between 2010 and 2025, an increase that “would match the highest sustained period of oil output growth by a single country in the history of oil markets” — rivaling even the massive increase posted by Saudi Arabia between 1966 and 1981. The expected U.S. surge will account for 80% of the increase in global supply over the time period.

Powell in WSJ Debate: Nuclear is Essential – ClearPath Executive Director Rich Powell argued this week in the Wall Street Journal that the future of U.S. nuclear power is not only bright— it’s non-negotiable.  A robust civilian nuclear sector is mandatory for the U.S. to remain a major geopolitical, economic, military and environmental leader, Rich wrote. After decades of policy neglect, Washington is finally addressing what is both a national and global necessity and a tremendous opportunity.  That includes growing bipartisan support to reform new reactor licensing and improve tax incentives for new nuclear facilities, led in Congress by clean-energy advocates as well as national-security and energy-reliability hawks.

Henkel, Novozymes, P&G, Sasol Execs Named to ACI Board of Directors – Four executives from leading companies across the cleaning product supply chain were elected to the American Cleaning Institute (ACI) Board of Directors:  Mike Clark, Vice President, Organics – Sasol Performance Chemicals; Charles Crawford, Ph.D., Head of R&D, Laundry and Home Care, North America – Henkel Consumer Goods Inc.;  Rene Garza, Vice President, Household Care, Americas – Novozymes and Sundar Raman, Vice President, North America Fabric Care – Procter & Gamble.  At its meeting in Washington, D.C., the ACI Board elected the new Directors to fill existing vacancies.

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

USTR Comment Deadline on Solar Trade Case – November 20th

USEA Forum to Look at Carbon IRA – The US Energy Assn will held a forum today at 10:00 a.m. focused on a new idea that rewards reductions in Carbon footprint with funds deposited into a retirement account.   Guest Speaker, Jason Makansi, President of consulting firm Pearl Street, will introduce the concept, describe the four broad steps required and provide simple examples of how to implement the concept.

Forum to Look at Puerto Power Situation – Power 4 Puerto Rico will held a briefing today at 10:00 a.m. at the National Press Club’s Zenger Room to discuss the ongoing effort to restore power on the hurricane-ravaged island.

Senate Finance to Hold NAFTA Field Hearing – The Senate Finance Committee holds a field hearing today at 9:30 a.m. Central Time in San Antonio at the Marriott Plaza Hotel’s Cavalier Room looking at modernization of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).  Witnesses will include USTR’s Stephen Vaugh, Auto Alliance head Mitch Bainwol, Paola Avila of The Border Trade Alliance, San Antonio Chamber of Commerce CEO Richard Perez, Texas Association of Business head Jeff Moseley, Texas Farm Bureau President Russell Boening and Todd Staples of the Texas Oil and Gas Association.

WRI to Host Forum on Energy Access – The World Resources Institute will hold a forum today at Noon on how energy access for all benefits the economy and the environment.  Michael Westphal will present his paper on energy access – another chapter of the “World Resources Report: Towards a More Equal City.” Millions of residents in some of the fastest growing cities in the world don’t have access to clean, reliable energy, and the challenge of reaching them is not getting easier. In 2012, only 58 percent of the urban population had access to electricity in low-income countries, and nearly 500 million urban residents worldwide used dirty and harmful cooking fuels like charcoal and wood.

Coal Ash Annual Production and Use Survey Results – Tomorrow at 9:30 a.m. at the National Press Club, the American Coal Ash Association will release its annual Coal Ash Production & Use Survey results. Conducted since the early 1960s, the survey provides the most complete data available on the volume of coal ash materials that are produced and beneficially used in a variety of applications. ACAA officials will also discuss impacts of environmental regulation and changing electric utility markets on coal ash production and use.  Tom Adams and John Ward of ACCA roll out the report.

THANKSGIVING – November 26th

 

IN THE FUTURE

EPA to Hold CPP Public Hearing in WV – EPA will hold a public hearing regarding the withdrawal of the Clean Power Plan in West Virginia on Nov. 28th and 29th.  EPA said it will convene two daylong sessions at the state capitol in Charleston. The agency said it “may also hold an additional hearing to be announced at a later date.”  EPA also extended the comment period on the proposal to Jan. 16, 2018.

CCS Report to be Released – The Global CCS Institute will release its annual Global Status of CCS: 2017 report launch on November 28th at 9:30 a.m. This year, the Institute is partnering with one of the top think tanks in the city, the Center for Strategic and International Studies, to promote and discuss the release of the Institute’s signature report, the globally recognized annual guide to the current progress and prospects for carbon capture and storage.  Speakers will include Global CCS’s Jeff Erikson and IEA’s Samantha McCulloch.

Forum to Look at Asia-Pacific Security – The Center for Climate and Security (CCS) hosts a high-level discussion on the security risks of climate change in the Asia-Pacific on Tuesday November 28th at 10:00 a.m. This discussion will explore these risks, how US military installations, operations, and strategies in the region may be shaped by them, and their influence on US bilateral and multilateral relationships.

Tillerson to Speak at Wilson Center – The Wilson Center will host US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson next Tuesday, November 28th at 11:00 a.m. for an address on the future of U.S. relations with Europe by Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, followed by a conversation with Wilson Center President and CEO Jane Harman.

Heritage Hosts Climate Discussion – The Heritage Foundation hosts a discussion next Tuesday at Noon on the long history and politics of climate activism. Speaker Rupert Darwell will address the topic.

CSIS to Release New Energy Report – The CSIS Energy & National Security Program will hold a presentation of its latest report, Energy and Development: Providing Access and Growth on Next Tuesday at 1:30 p.m.  Based on findings from several workshops conducted by CSIS over the last two years, Energy and Development explores several of the most important shifts underpinning the energy access issue. By exploring the role of emerging economies as the primary drivers of future energy demand, the influence of sustainability and climate change concerns in crafting development strategies, and changes to how energy access and growth are measured, the report provides a unique survey of energy and economic growth in the developing world.  Sarah Ladislaw (CSIS) will present the report, followed by a panel discussion with Morgan Bazilian (World Bank; CSIS), Morgan Landy (International Finance Corporation), and Philippe Benoit (GIAS2050; CSIS). CSIS’s Erol Yayboke, co-author of the report, will moderate.

Forum on Tax Reform to Discuss Carbon Tax – The Brookings Institute will hold a forum on Tuesday November 28th at 2:00 p.m. regarding tax reform that will discuss a possible carbon tax. The Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center, the Cross Brookings Initiative on Energy and Climate, congressional leaders, and top experts for a discussion on the prospects for tax reform and the potential to include a carbon tax in a broader bipartisan bill.   The event will feature a keynote address by Rep. John Larson and panelists include Niskanen’s Jerry Taylor and our friend Amy Harder of Axios.

SAFE Event to Feature Oil Discussion with Former EIA Head – Securing America’s Future Energy (SAFE) will host a panel discussion on next Tuesday, November 28th at 4:30 p.m. at the National Union Building exploring how market uncertainty, underinvestment, geopolitical risk, OPEC intervention, rising global demand, and other market forces undermine oil market stability. The panel will discuss the likelihood of a return to high and volatile oil prices, implications for American economic and national security, and domestic policy solutions.  Moderated by our friend Ben Geman of Axios, the panel will feature former EIA Administrator Adam Sieminski – now at CSIS – and Jonathan Chanis, SAFE’s Senior Vice President of Policy.

USTR Reply Comments Deadline – November 29th

National Academies Review Climate Assessment – On Wednesday afternoon, the National Academies will review the 4th draft of the National Climate Assessment in an open meeting at the NAS building.

NYT to host Climate Summit – On November 29th and 30th in San Francisco at the Metreon, The New York Times will hold ClimateTECH, a groundbreaking summit that brings together influential leaders from key industries to assess bold, cutting-edge technologies that could help keep global warming below the two-degree threshold.  Hosted by top Times journalists, ClimateTECH’s focus on innovation will also encompass the dramatic changes downstream (in finance, policy, consumer behavior, infrastructure) that are vital for these new technologies to gain adoption and succeed.  The program will feature on-stage interviews with celebrated entrepreneurs and inventors along with policy makers, economists and subject-matter experts. Designed for an audience of decision-makers, ClimateTECH will also include an early-stage technology showcase of the newest innovations, along with other experiential activities.  The Speaker list is long, but it includes California Gov. Jerry Brown, Statoil’s Irene Rummelhoff, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, Tom Steyer and many others.

Solar Festival Set for Austin – The 2nd annual Solar Business Festival will be held on November 29th and 30th in Austin, Texas at the Thompson Conference Center. The two-day conference segment features a wide variety of sessions on, components of doing a solar and storage business in Texas, microgrids and energy storage, distributed grid, project financing, sustainable buildings, smart grids, solar initiatives and innovations, utility integration, community solar projects, policies, incentives and goals, market growth opportunities, regulatory framework, international solar market opportunities/challenges, sustainable farming and more.

CSIS Look at Zero-Emissions Fuels – The CSIS Energy and National Security Program is hosting a forum on Thursday November 30th at 8:00 a.m. onhydrogen, green shipping and zero-emission fuel in the maritime sector. The discussion will center on the development and implementation of hydrogen fuel technology, the important role it could play for shipping in the transition to a low-carbon future, and ongoing U.S.-Norwegian cooperation in the area.  Shipping accounts for more than 2% of worldwide greenhouse gas emissions today and is set to increase up to 17% by 2050. This session will explore the concrete cooperation and projects being pursued in Norway and the United States.  Norwegian Ambassador Kåre R. Aas will give introductory remarks, followed by a discussion with Elisabet Bøe (Sogn og Fjordane), Joseph Pratt (Sandia National Lab), Lars Endre Gimmestad (Brodrene Aa), and Martin Grimnes (Arcadia Alliance) on the present and future of hydrogen technology and what a low-carbon future for maritime transport may look like.

Forum to Look at Energy Crossroads – The Texas Public Policy Foundation and The Heritage Foundation host the “At the Crossroads IV: Energy and Climate Policy Summit” on Thursday.  The conversation will feature the world’s leading scientists, policymakers, entrepreneurs, and energy experts, who will gather to explore this turning point in energy history and the long-lasting potential it holds for America and beyond. Speakers include Sens. Jim Inhofe, Mike Lee, House Science Chair Lamar Smith and many others.

RFS RVO Deadline – November 30th

Chatterjee to Address NatGas Roundtable – On Thursday at Noon, the Natural Gas Roundtable will host FERC Chairman Neil Chatterjee as the guest speaker at the next luncheon.

R Street Hosts Clean Energy Event on Capitol Hill – R Street hosts a forum on Thursday, November 30th in 122 Cannon featuring a discussion on clean energy with panelists from Microsoft, Advanced Energy Economy (AEE), the American Coalition of Competitive Energy Suppliers (ACCES) and Citizens for Responsible Energy Solutions  Across the country, clean energy is growing rapidly in states that allow customers to choose their electricity supplier. This system of ‘retail choice’ grants customers more options and allows them to generate their own energy on-site. Importantly, large corporations have been leading the charge for distributed energy generation, marking a refreshing intersection of conservative and green agendas.

RFF to Look at Energy Security – Resources for the Future (RFF) will host a forum on Thursday November 30th focused on the new realities on energy security given our shale resources.  This RFF seminar will open with a presentation from former Department of Energy official Howard Gruenspecht on the economic and political factors that have led to a very different oil security picture than the country faced decades ago. RFF President Richard Newell will present new research on how the shale oil boom has altered the flexibility of the US supply, as well as how price and inventory dynamics can inform Strategic Petroleum Reserve policy. RFF University Fellow Stephen Brown will then discuss an RFF project that produced new estimates for the value of the oil security premium—a key metric used in benefit–cost analyses of related regulations. RFF Senior Fellow Alan Krupnick will wrap up with a discussion of the new energy security paradigm, which broadens the definition of US energy security beyond oil to include natural gas, electricity, and other energy systems.

Clean Edge, GridWise Alliance Host gridCONNEXT – GridWise Alliance and Clean Edge will host gridCONNEXT on December 4th through 6th in Washington, D.C. with hundreds of regulators, utility executives, corporations, and other industry stakeholders to explore the many grid modernization.

Solar Tariff Opponents to Weigh-in at Press Club – Opponents of tariffs on solar imports will hold a briefing on Tuesday December 5th at 9:30 a.m. at the National Press Club.  The event will feature solar industry advocates, as well as members of the Energy Trade Action Coalition like the National Electrical Contractors Association, utilities, retailers and Conservative free-trade groups. More next week.

USTR Hearing on Solar Trade Tariff – December 6th

Pruitt to Head to House Energy Panel – The House Energy and Commerce Environment Subcommittee will hold a hearing on December 7th with EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt testifying.  The appearance will be Pruitt’s first before the Energy and Commerce Committee.

IPAA Exec to Address Energy Economists – The National Capital Area members of the US Assn of Energy Economist will host Fred Lawrence for their December 8th lunch.  Lawrence, VP at the Independent Petroleum Association of America, will discuss the outlook for U.S. oil and natural gas, including shale export trends over the past two years, focus on the Independents in a Sector and demand and geopolitical reality vs. ideology.

Paris Forum to Focus on Anniversary – Forum to French President Macron will host the One Planet Summit on December 12 in Paris, on the two-year anniversary of the Paris Agreement. The Summit will focus specifically on climate finance. Heads of State will be invited to attend this meeting.

The Last Jedi Hits Theaters – DECEMBER 15th

Pruitt to Head to Senate Environment – The Senate Environment and Public Works Committee said EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt will appear before the Committee on Jan. 31, 2018, making his first return to the panel nearly a year after his confirmation

Energy Update: Week of 11/13

Friends,

The Holiday season is now just around the corner and that means playoffs for Fall sports. High school seasons are closing, and this past weekend, I umpired a MD HS field hockey state final.  We also saw the NCAA Final Fours for field hockey lock with Maryland, UNC, UConn and Michigan in DI.  In DIII, its Middlebury, TCNJ, Franklin & Marshall and defending champ Messiah.  In DII, matchups include LIU-Post/Millersville and Shippensburg/East Stroudsburg.  All the action is in Louisville starting Friday.  And good luck to our friend Jeff Holmstead’s son Eli who will play with his BYU Soccer team for the NIRSA National Soccer Championship this weekend in Arizona.  BYU doesn’t have an NCAA team for various reasons, but their Club team is better than most Varsity programs.

Bonn rolls on this week with key US players arriving today, including White House advisor David Banks.  For those of you following the action, I have been getting great insights from three sources:

  • Chamber Global Energy Institute expert Steve Eule, who has been blogging updates here;
  • Meg Darby (e-mail Meg at md@climatehome.org to subscribe) of ClimateHome who is producing an information-packed daily newsletter, Bonn Bulletin.
  • Info from the Business Council for Sustainable Energy’s Laura Tierney, who is also producing regular updates which you can get by contacting her at ltierney@bcse.org or cell: 202-489-3436.

Speaking of BCSE, they holding a presser tomorrow at 12:30 Central European Time or 6:30 a.m. EST that will focus on a position paper on Powering Ambition at COP 23, which articulates how the falling costs of clean energy technologies makes it more affordable for countries to power ambition toward strong climate action.  Here is a Bonn CET clock translator in case you are trying to call over there.  It is great that Gov. Brown is over in Bonn making noise, but, FYI, he still only speaks for California and cannot conduct foreign policy whether or not he agrees with the White House.  Finally, another interesting Bonn twist is the backlash that Germany is feeling as they expand their coal power plants yet push for emissions reductions and closing nuclear plants.

On Capitol Hill, it seems like things are mostly about either the Alabama Special Election or tax reform.  That being said, after approvals on EPA and DOE nominees (like Bill Wehrum) last week, there may be action on other nominees including CEQ’s Kathleen Harnett-White and EPA #2 Andy Wheeler.  Tomorrow, the House and Senate Energy Committees, as well as House Resources, will tackle the hurricane season and response.  On Wednesday, Senate Environment looks at energy innovation technologies and Senate Energy is back on ANWR with a budget recon markup.

Today, we expect ITC recommendations on the solar trade case to be sent to the President with a detailed staff report that will be available on Wednesday.  Next Monday, the first US Trade Rep public comment deadline hits with a public hearing set for Dec 6.  Meantime, there is a great WashPost Perspective piece from retired USAF Lt Gen. Norman Seip that says cracking down on foreign-made solar panels would make US less secure.  Other events Include a Wednesday Morning Roll Call forum on energy called Energy Decoded at the Newseum featuring Clearpath’s Rich Powell and former ND Sen. Byron Dorgan, an Thursday infrastructure forum with CEQ’s Alex Hergott and Resources Chair Rob Bishop at the ROA and the USAEE November luncheon Friday with former FERC Commissioner Tony Clark.

Outside DC, NARUC has launched in Baltimore today with its annual winter meetings.  The conference always tackles key on energy policy, telecommunications, and other utility topics. Key speakers include Montana PUC Commissioner Travis Kavulla, FERC Commissioner Robert Powelson, former Commissioners Marc Spitzer and Tony Clark, DOE’s Travis Fisher and many others.

Next week is Thanksgiving Week!!!!  So, as usual, you can expect some announcements – perhaps like the RVOs which are due at the end of the month, but always seem to find their way into pre-Thanksgiving roll out…  Stay tuned…Call with questions.  Best,

 

Frank Maisano

(202) 828-5864

  1. (202) 997-5932

 

THIS WEEK’S LOBBY SHOP

The new episode of The Lobby Shop is live on iTunes, SoundCloud, and Google Play Music.  This week’s episode features our great tax expert Liam Donovan (liam.donovan@bracewell.com) explores what’s coming up for tax reform in light of this week’s Senate tax plan and its differences and similarities compared to last week’s House bill.  Remember our address for listeners to reach out with topic suggestions, feedback, etc. – thelobbyshop@policyres.com.

 

FRANKLY SPOKEN

““It has been estimated that 95 percent of all gasoline supply outlets in the United States cannot legally store or dispense ethanol blends higher than 10 percent. EPA, OSHA and state fire regulations have essentially drawn a line in the sand by requiring all facilities storing and dispensing gasoline blends greater than E10 to prove underground storage tank (UST) system compatibility with higher ethanol content fuels. The often-impossible task of demonstrating compatibility with E15 for UST equipment currently in the ground has put the clear majority of PMAA members, the consuming public and the nation’s gasoline supply and distribution chain in a precarious situation.”

PMAA Head Rob Underwood in a letter to Senate EPW Chair John Barrasso regarding issues surrounding the Renewable Fuels Standard. 

Germany’s ambitious vision for “energiewende,” or energy transformation, has proved far more difficult to execute than it was to plan: “It’s not just a technical shift. It’s a societal shift.  There are so many vested interests in keeping the old structures, and people will cling to them as long as they can.”

Rebecca Bertram, an energy expert with the Greens party-aligned Heinrich Böll Foundation in a Washington Post Story on concerns about Germany’s use of coal. 

 

IN THE NEWS

Military Expert Says Solar Trade Case Makes U.S. Less Secure – Retired USAF Lt. Gen. Norman Seip penned on “Perspective” in the Washington Post today that says cracking down on foreign-made solar panels would make U.S. less secure.  Seip says the U.S. military depends on a diverse set of energy resources, and increasingly that includes solar energy. Over the past seven years, the price of solar has dropped by 70%, giving our military a cost-effective, reliable, flexible source of electricity for its operations.  Seip: “The tariffs proposed would significantly raise the cost of solar energy, jeopardizing the financial viability of solar projects at U.S. military bases across the globe and threatening our long-term security interests.” Seip finally said that if the President wants to put America first, he should reject tariffs that would endanger our troops and harm national security, and instead support our military and veterans by giving them the diversity of energy resources and jobs they need.

Platts Podcast Talks to Former EIA Head on Shale – On this week’s Platts’ podcast, Richard Newell, the former head of the US Energy Information Administration and current president of Resources for the Future, talks about his new study on the responsiveness of US shale operators. Brian Schied and Newell address market changes turning the US into a global swing producer and need of the US Strategic Petroleum Reserve.  See it here.

Wehrum Approved by Full Senate – The Senate approved Bill Wehrum to be assistant administrator for air and radiation at EPA, filling a top vacancy in Administrator Scott Pruitt staff.  Wehrum was approved on a vote of 49-47.   Former EPA Air Office Head and my Bracewell colleague Jeff Holmstead said: “As someone who has been the head of the Air Office, I am particularly happy that Bill Wehrum is one step closer to taking over that job.  Bill will be a huge help at the Agency and is the ideal person to shepherd Administrator Pruitt’s reforms through the regulatory process.  He has the trust and respect of both the political leadership and the career staff and will make sure that that all the reforms are done thoughtfully and in accordance with the law.”

PMAA Send Letter on RFS Storage Tank Concerns – The Petroleum Marketers Assn of American (PMAA) sent a letter to Senate Environment Chair John Barrasso underscoring challenges that retailers and marketers face if they are forced to use ethanol blends higher that 10% either through higher RVOs or new legislation.  The problems are both corrosion and volatility. PMAA Rob Underwood writes the inability of marketers to legally certify their equipment to be compatible with E15 would cause severe economic harm through significant disruption of the gasoline supply and distribution network below the terminal rack. It has been estimated that 95% of all gasoline supply outlets in the United States cannot legally store or dispense ethanol blends higher than 10%. EPA, OSHA and state fire regulations have essentially drawn a line in the sand by requiring all facilities storing and dispensing gasoline blends greater than E10 to prove underground storage tank (UST) system compatibility with higher ethanol content fuels. The often-impossible task of demonstrating compatibility with E15 for UST equipment currently in the ground has put the clear majority of PMAA members, the consuming public and the nation’s gasoline supply and distribution chain in a precarious situation. The number of UST systems that are unable to meet legal compatibility certification requirements is significant. For those sites, the only option is to upgrade components or potentially the entire system to those that are of known compatibility.”  Can forward the letter if you need it.

4th Grid Modernization Index Finds CA, IL, TX, MD, OR as Leaders – The GridWise Alliance, in collaboration with Clean Edge, Inc., today announced the release of its fourth Grid Modernization Index (GMI-4). The Index ranks and assesses all 50 states and the District of Columbia based upon the degree to which they are moving toward a modernized electric grid. The Grid Modernization Index report is available for download at www.gridwise.org and www.cleanedge.com.  For the second consecutive edition, California ranks highest overall, and places first in each of the three GMI categories (state support, customer engagement, and grid operations). California has a nine-point lead over second-place Illinois, while Texas ranks third. Maryland and Oregon rank fourth and fifth respectively. Rounding out the top ten are Arizona, Washington, DC, New York, Nevada, and Delaware. The Index offers Seven Key Takeaways, providing lessons and best practices for a rapidly modernizing grid, including the pace of grid modernization efforts has accelerated, focus on recent hurricanes and other extreme weather events – as well as human-caused cybersecurity and physical security threats, continuing progress toward comprehensive grid modernization, effort are just getting under way, utilities are prioritizing efforts to address customer demands for greater choice and the capability to manage their own energy usage and clean energy targets by states, cities, and corporations are driving utility efforts to accommodate growth.

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

Climate Change Meeting Set for Bonn – The UN climate change conference rolls on this week in Bonn, Germany with key US players arriving today, including White House advisor David Banks.  The Business Council for Sustainable Energy holds a presser tomorrow at 12:30 Central European Time or 6:30 a.m. EST that will focus on a position paper on Powering Ambition at COP 23, which articulates how the falling costs of clean energy technologies makes it more affordable for countries to power ambition toward strong climate action.  Here is a Bonn CET clock translator in case you are trying to call over there.  It is great that Gov. Brown is over in Bonn making noise, but he still only speaks for California and cannot conduct foreign policy whether or not he agrees with the White House.  Finally, another interesting Bonn twist is the backlash that Germany is feeling as they expand their coal power plants yet push for emissions reductions and closing nuclear plants.

NARUC Annual Meeting to Dig Into Issues – The National Assn of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC) holds its 129th annual meeting at the Hilton Baltimore today through Wednesday and will feature panels on energy policy, telecommunications, and other utility topics are issues at the forefront of trade and mainstream news. The event will feature stakeholders, informed experts, representatives from industry, federal policymakers, and dedicated state regulators for robust, timely discussions.  Key speakers include Montana PUC Commissioner Travis Kavulla, FERC Commissioner Robert Powelson, former Commissioners Marc Spitzer and Tony Clark, DOE’s Travis Fisher and many others.

Solar Trade Breakfast at NARUC – The Solar Energy Industries Association and Cypress Creek Renewables held a breakfast panel discussion next Monday morning on the Solar Section 201 trade petition on imported solar components.  The event discussed the effect of the ITC ruling on the $23 billion U.S. solar industry, which employs 260,000 American workers in good-paying jobs including manufacturers, is unmistakable. It would decimate one of the least expensive energy sources in America by doubling the price of solar panels in the U.S., thereby crippling demand, diminishing local investment and costing up to 88,000 jobs across the country.   The panel includes SEIA’s Abby Hopper,  GA PSC Chair Lauren “Bubba” McDonald and AEE’s Malcolm Wolff, who is working with large companies that use solar.

Forum to Look at CAFE, High Octane Fuels – The Environmental and Energy Study Institute (EESI) held a briefing in 106 Dirksen today at Noon examining how high-octane, low-carbon fuel can enable CAFE compliance. Research suggests that high-octane, low-carbon fuel is the lowest-cost compliance option for both consumers and the automotive industry.  Speakers for this forum are NREL’s Robert McCormick, Oak Ridge National Lab’s Brian West, Dean Drake of the Defour Group and Andrew Varcoe of Boyden Gray & Associates.  Higher-octane, low-carbon fuels enable greater engine efficiencies, thereby lowering GHG and toxic emissions and improving fuel economy. Automotive engineers have expressed interest in raising the octane level of gasoline, which would enable the design and sale of these more efficient engines, but the administration must act to enable a viable pathway for these fuels to enter the marketplace.

USEA Forum to Discuss CURC Study – Today at 2:00 p.m., the US Energy Association and the Carbon Utilization Research Council (CURC) hold a forum on CURC’s recent CCS study analyzing options to overcome barriers to large-pilot projects for power plants equipped with CCS.  The purpose of the report was to study innovative options for governments and industry to fund projects that test coal-based power generation and carbon capture, utilization and storage technologies at the large-pilot scale. The panel discussion will provide an overview of the key findings of the report and an illustration of current case study examples of international collaboration by industry stakeholders and governments.  Panelists include CURC’s Shannon Angielski, DOE’s John Litynski, Frank Morton of the National Carbon Capture Center, Chris Romans of Mitsubishi Heavy Industries America and Don Stevenson of the Gas Technology Institute.

Forum to Look at Venezuela Oil – Tomorrow at 9:00 a.m., the Atlantic Council’s Adrienne Arsht Latin America Center and Global Energy Center holds a timely conversation on Venezuela’s declining oil industry, the increasing presence of Russia and China in the country, and what lies ahead. Keynote remarks will be offered by House Energy & Commerce member Jeff Duncan.

Minority Groups to Release Oil, Gas Report— The NAACP, Clean Air Task Force and National Medical Association hold briefing tomorrow at 9:30 a.m. at the National Press Club to unveil a report on impacts of oil and gas development on African-American communities.

Senate, House Energy, House Resources to Look at Hurricanes – The Senate Energy Committee holds a hearing tomorrow at 9:30 a.m. on hurricane recovery efforts in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.  The hearing will hear from Virgin Islands Gov. Kenneth Mapp, Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rosselló, DOE’s Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability Asst Sect., Bruce Walker, Army Corps deputy commanding general for civil and emergency operations Donald Jackson and PREPA head Ricardo Ramos, among others. They will hold a second panel that will feature mostly representatives from authorities in Puerto Rico.  As well, at 10:00 a.m., the House Energy and Commerce Environment Subcommittee holds a hearing on response and recovery to environmental concerns from the 2017 hurricane season.  Finally, House Resources will hold a third hearing at 2:00 p.m. tomorrow that will examine accountability in disaster recovery financial matters.

JHU to Discuss Nuclear – The Johns Hopkins University holds a forum tomorrow at 5:00 p.m. looking at the status and prospects for U.S. Nuclear Power. Westinghouse, a leader in the industry, entered bankruptcy and two reactors that were under construction in South Carolina have been abandoned because of cost overruns. The US still has not solved the problem of long term storage of high level nuclear waste. An interesting possibility for the future is the development of advanced nuclear reactors that would be smaller, safer and cheaper to build. These and other issues will be discussed by speaker, NEI’s Matthew Crozat.

Forum to Look at Energy – On Wednesday Morning, Roll Call will host a forum on energy called Energy Decoded at the Newseum. Roll Call Live, in partnership with CQ News hosts a packed morning of expert analysis and bipartisan discussion to examine the many questions that energy stakeholders and policymakers will face in the new administration.   Topics will include the future of climate policy, energy tax reform, coal and domestic oil production and renewable energy initiatives.  Speakers will include FERC Chair Neal Chatterjee, Sen. Joe Manchin and our friend Jeanette Pablo, Clearpath’s Rich Powell, former ND Sen. Byron Dorgan and several others.

Senate Energy Looks at ANWR Again –The Senate Energy Committee returns ANWR on Wednesday at 9:00 a.m. when it will hold a business meeting to consider, pursuant to H.Con.Res.71, the Concurrent Resolution on the Budget for Fiscal Year 2018, reconciliation legislation to authorize the Secretary of the Interior to establish and administer a competitive oil and gas program in the non-wilderness portion of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, known as the “1002 Area” or Coastal Plain.

Senate to Look at Emissions Reductions Through Innovation – The Senate Environment Committee holds a hearing on Wednesday at 10:00 a.m. promoting American leadership in reducing air emissions through innovation. Witnesses include NAM’s Ross Eisenberg, the University of Wyoming’s School of Energy Resources Carbon Management Institute director Kipp Coddington and Zoe Lipman, director of the Vehicles and Advanced Transportation Program at the BlueGreen Alliance.

ITIF to Look at ARPA-E – The Information Technology and Innovation Foundation (ITIF) holds a discussion on Wednesday at 10:00 a.m. looking at ARPA-E’s versatile role in clean energy innovation featuring a new study on the topic.  Authors David Hart and Michael Kearney, along with an expert panel of energy innovators and thought leaders discuss.

WRI to Discuss Powering Cities – On Wednesday at Noon, the World Resources Institute hosts Michael Westphal to present his paper on energy access – another chapter of the World Resources Report: Towards a More Equal City. Millions of residents in some of the fastest growing cities in the world don’t have access to clean, reliable energy, and the challenge of reaching them is not getting easier. In 2012, only 58 percent of the urban population had access to electricity in low-income countries, and nearly 500 million urban residents worldwide used dirty and harmful cooking fuels like charcoal and wood.

Forum on European Gas Projects Set – On Wednesday afternoon, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace hosts the Jamestown conference on “Nord Stream and European Energy Security.” It will provide a detailed and comprehensive analysis of the Russian objectives, European responses, and American policies related to this large project.

Forum to Discuss Rebuilding America – The Progressive Policy Institute and Common Good host a Capitol Hill forum on Thursday at 8:30 a.m. at the Reserve Officers Association looking at rebuilding America.  The discussion is intended to rekindle a sense of political urgency around modernizing America’s run-down infrastructure, and figuring out how to pay for it.  Speakers include CEQ’s Alex Herrgott, House Resources Chairman Rob Bishop, Rep. John Delaney, Association of American Railroads CEO Edward Hamberger and ACC’s Anne Kolton, as well as many others.

Forum to Discuss Brazil Oil, Gas – The Wilson Center’s Brazil Institute hosts a forum on Thursday at 10:00 a.m. looking at pre-salt auctions in Brazil’s oil and gas industry.  The Director-General of ANP, Decio Fabrício Oddone da Costa, will discuss the objectives of Brazil’s new regulatory framework for the oil & gas policy.

Forum to Look at Grid-Interactive Buildings – The Alliance to Save Energy will host a forum on Thursday at Noon in 2045 Rayburn to Look grid interactive efficient buildings. The influx in smart technologies and internet-connected devices creates a unique opportunity for energy efficiency: these devices can enable American business owners and families to save energy and money, while also providing valuable new services to utilities and increasing building responsiveness to the grid. The discussion will feature the building technology sector’s top energy efficiency experts in conversation on the latest efforts by the U.S. Department of Energy and others to help grow connectedness across the entire building sector, from commercial to residential, by creating more grid-interactive, efficient buildings.  Rep. Paul Tonko makes opening remarks.

Webinar to Look at EVs – National Journal holds webinar on Thursday at 11:00 a.m. on the rise of electric vehicles.  The webinar will examine the industry’s history, development and future, and address the major players and policymakers and what policies have fostered the industry’s growth so far, and which state and federal actions could help—or hinder—its development.  It will also look at how the Trump administration’s deregulatory drive impact the development of EVs in the US, as well as the feasibility of the ambitious goals laid out by countries like France and India.

Hill Honors Top LobbyistsThe Hill holds a reception at 13U on Thursday night to honor Washington’s elite policy influencers at The Hill’s Top Lobbyists Reception.  Following the release of our annual list, we are recognizing Capitol Hill’s most distinguished lobbyists for their leadership in shaping policy across all fields.  My colleagues Dee Martin and Scott Segal were among the Top Lobbyists and many of our friends in industry, firms and NGOs are in there as well.

Pruitt to Address Federalist Group – The Federalist Society’s National Lawyer Convention hosts EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt for an address on his agenda.

Clark to Headline USAEE Lunch – On Friday, the NCAC of the US Assn of Energy Economists host its November lunch with former FERC Commissioner Tony Clark at Chinatown Gardens.  Clark will discuss the forces that are shaping electricity markets today, with an emphasis on the implications of the regulatory crossroads of federal jurisdiction and state public policy choices.

IN THE FUTURE

USTR Comment Deadline on Solar Trade Case – November 20th

USEA Forum to Look at Carbon IRA – The US Energy Assn will hold a forum next Monday at 10:00 a.m. focused on a new idea that rewards reductions in Carbon footprint with funds deposited into a retirement account.   Guest Speaker, Jason Makansi, President of consulting firm Pearl Street, will introduce the concept, describe the four broad steps required and provide simple examples of how to implement the concept.

WRI to Host Forum on Energy Access – The World Resources Institute will hold a forum next Monday at Noon on how energy access for all benefits the economy and the environment.  Michael Westphal will present his paper on energy access – another chapter of the “World Resources Report: Towards a More Equal City.” Millions of residents in some of the fastest growing cities in the world don’t have access to clean, reliable energy, and the challenge of reaching them is not getting easier. In 2012, only 58 percent of the urban population had access to electricity in low-income countries, and nearly 500 million urban residents worldwide used dirty and harmful cooking fuels like charcoal and wood.

Coal Ash Annual Production and Use Survey Results – Tomorrow at 9:30 a.m. at the National Press Club, the American Coal Ash Association will release its annual Coal Ash Production & Use Survey results. Conducted since the early 1960s, the survey provides the most complete data available on the volume of coal ash materials that are produced and beneficially used in a variety of applications. ACAA officials will also discuss impacts of environmental regulation and changing electric utility markets on coal ash production and use.  Tom Adams and John Ward of ACCA roll out the report.

THANKSGIVING – November 26th

EPA to Hold CPP Public Hearing in WV – EPA will hold a public hearing regarding the withdrawal of the Clean Power Plan in West Virginia on Nov. 28th and 29th.  EPA said it will convene two daylong sessions at the state capitol in Charleston. The agency said it “may also hold an additional hearing to be announced at a later date.”  EPA also extended the comment period on the proposal to Jan. 16, 2018.

CCS Report to be Released – The Global CCS Institute will release its annual Global Status of CCS: 2017 report launch on November 28th, 2017. This year, the Institute is partnering with one of the top think tanks in the city, the Center for Strategic and International Studies, to promote and discuss the release of the Institute’s signature report, the globally recognized annual guide to the current progress and prospects for carbon capture and storage.

NYT to host Climate Summit – On November 29th and 30th in San Francisco at the Metreon, The New York Times will hold ClimateTECH, a groundbreaking summit that brings together influential leaders from key industries to assess bold, cutting-edge technologies that could help keep global warming below the two-degree threshold.  Hosted by top Times journalists, ClimateTECH’s focus on innovation will also encompass the dramatic changes downstream (in finance, policy, consumer behavior, infrastructure) that are vital for these new technologies to gain adoption and succeed.  The program will feature on-stage interviews with celebrated entrepreneurs and inventors along with policy makers, economists and subject-matter experts. Designed for an audience of decision-makers, ClimateTECH will also include an early-stage technology showcase of the newest innovations, along with other experiential activities.  The Speaker list is long, but it includes California Gov. Jerry Brown, Statoil’s Irene Rummelhoff, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, Tom Steyer and many others.

RFS RVO Deadline – November 30th

Clean Edge, GridWise Alliance Host gridCONNEXT – GridWise Alliance and Clean Edge will host gridCONNEXT on December 4th through 6th in Washington, D.C. with hundreds of regulators, utility executives, corporations, and other industry stakeholders to explore the many grid modernization.

USTR Hearing on Solar Trade Tariff – December 6th

The Last Jedi Hits Theaters – DECEMBER 15th

Energy Update: Week of Nov 6

Friends,

First off, our thoughts and prayers are with our friends in Texas as they deal with this weekend’s terrible incident.  It puts a damper on the earlier celebrations for our Houston/Texas colleagues’ World Series Game 7 victory and parade last week for the Astros in what ended up being a thrilling World Series (that makes two-in-a-row.)  And even with last week’s New York terrorist’s attack, the NYC Marathon went on without a hitch with Shalane Flanagan becoming the first American women to win in 40 years.

The tax bill has rolled out and is expected to see action this week.  We have a bunch of good “Tax Fax” in the update below, but bottom-line, my colleague Liam Donovan has ALL the bases covered and will be happy to discuss “on-“ or “off-the-record” as the action continues.  You can reach him at 202-828-5847 or liam.donovan@bracewell.com.  And, finally we have a full FERC, with final Senate approval of Rich Glick and Kevin McIntyre late Thursday and “Swearing-In” ceremonies expected this week.

The next UN climate change conference starts today (and runs through next Fri) in Bonn, Germany and there have been plenty of stories about Friday’s climate report.   While interesting and comprehensive, it really doesn’t add much more than we’ve heard before, doesn’t consider significant policy or political challenges and change that the US has been reducing emissions dramatically through market and technology advances.  Something to remember.

As for the meeting, it is a working meeting so don’t expect a big splash.  The Business Council for Sustainable Energy (BCSE) industry members are sharing the progress of the rapid transformation that is occurring in the energy sector in the United States. It will also showcase how the suite of existing clean energy solutions can help take that transformation around the world, and help meet a country’s nationally-determined contribution (NDC) under the Paris Agreement. The Chamber’s Global Energy Institute and its climate expert Steve Eule participates in a side event on Wednesday sponsored by the international business community.

We starting the week off today with a ClearPath event focused on US-China Clean Energy issues at 11:30 a.m. in CVC Congressional Meeting Room North.  Given the President’s trip to China and upcoming trade issues in the news, this seems like a great time to hear some key experts, including Congressman Ryan Costello, ClearPath’s Rich Powell and Christopher Guith of Chamber’s Global Energy Institute.  Amy Harder of Axios moderates. For those unable to attend this morning’s event, there will be a livestream.  Speaking of trade, check out the WaPo editorial today urging President Trump to reject strong solar tariffs.

Tomorrow, House Energy looks at ENERGY STAR and features AHRI Chairman Chris Drew testifying.  Also, House Resources takes up broad offshore energy legislation that will attempt to define parameters for wind and oil/gas projects with a hearing tomorrow and mark up on Wednesday.

The next big nomination hearing is Wednesday for CEQ nominee Kathleen Harnett-White and EPA #2 Andy Wheeler.  I don’t even know what to say other than put your seatbelts on because of the expected turbulence.  Dems will oppose both aggressively over views on climate while ethanol Republicans Deb Fisher and Joni Ernst are smarting over Harnett’s positions on ethanol and the recent retaliatory hold on a USDA nominee they support.  House Science also discusses geoengineering.

Then on Thursday at 9:30 a.m., our friends at SAFE host a forum and release their trucking industry trend report, “Heavy-Duty Innovation: Energy, automation, and technology in the trucking sector.”  SAFE’s Jeff Gerlach, as well as a number of industry experts including the American Trucking Assn’s Bill Sullivan will discuss how the trucking industry is changing, and the regulatory measures that should be taken to enable a safer and more efficient trucking future.

Finally, our friends at AGA launched the #CookingWithGas campaign recently with Chef Fitz Tallon from Eataly Flatiron in New York. AGA is traveling around the country meeting professional chefs and talking to them about why they prefer cooking with gas.  Check out the video of Tallon talking about why he prefers #cookingwithgas.

Call with questions.  Tomorrow is Election Day in many places including Virginia and New Jersey.  Please vote…Best,

 

Frank Maisano

(202) 828-5864

  1. (202) 997-5932

THIS WEEK’S LOBBY SHOP

The new episode of The Lobby Shop is live on iTunes, SoundCloud, and Google Play Music.  This episode is very brief (14 minutes) and covers the House tax bill released Thursday morning.  It’s a great opportunity to subscribe to the podcast on whatever platform you prefer – this episode is pretty quick and not a deep dive, but we will be doing more nitty-gritty analysis in future episodes.  Remember our  address for listeners to reach out with topic suggestions, feedback, etc. – thelobbyshop@policyres.com.

FRANKLY SPOKEN

“Mr. Trump clearly believes that the government should restrict Americans’ freedom to trade. But agreeing with the complainers in this case would obviously contradict his avowed motive — to support middle-class U.S. jobs.  The risks of helping a narrow slice of the industry at the expense of the rest of it simply outweigh the benefits.”

Washington Post Editorial Board on the upcoming solar tariff decision in front of President Trump.

 

“This proposal reneges on the tax reform deal that was already agreed to, and would impose a retroactive tax hike on an entire industry.  The House proposal would pull the rug out from under 100,000 U.S. wind workers and 500 American factories, including some of the fastest growing jobs in the country. We expect members of the House and Senate to oppose any proposal that fails to honor that commitment, and we will fight hard to see that wind energy continues to work for America.”

Tom Kiernan, CEO of the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA).

 

TAX FAX

Tax Reform Rolling – House Republicans released a tax-reform bill today that would cut the corporate tax rate to 20% from 35%. The plan also includes cuts to individual tax rates and increases the standard deduction for individuals and families.  Retirement plans including 401(k)s appear to be untouched and the top tax rate for wealthy Americans would remain the same.  My colleague Liam Donovan has ALL the bases covered and will be happy to discuss “on-“ or “off-the-record.”  You can reach him at 202-828-5847 or liam.donovan@bracewell.com

Wind Has Concerns – The House tax bill raised the ire of the wind industry who said reneging on the previous deal would threaten American job growth and energy dominance. By derailing a bipartisan agreement to phase out the wind energy Production Tax Credit (PTC), the House proposal strips away the investment certainty Congress promised wind developers just two years ago. The proposal puts at risk over $50 billion in planned investment supporting manufacturing, rural jobs and homegrown energy growth.  The wind industry worked with Congress in 2015, reaching a bipartisan agreement on tax reform that phased out the PTC over five years. Investors, taking Congress at their word, banked on stable investment policy and poured billions of dollars into the U.S. economy.

What’s the PTC Controversy? – The wind energy PTC, which allows for a tax credit for each kilowatt hour (kWh) generated, was the tool Congress created for wind developers to access capital needed to grow wind power in the U.S. This successful policy has driven domestic infrastructure investment and manufacturing, delivering U.S. jobs and driving down the costs to produce electricity. Recognizing the policy was working and success was near, Congress passed a bipartisan five-year extension and phase out of the credit in 2015, which is proceeding on an 80%-60%-40% schedule, ending after 2019.  The bill changes the terms of PTC qualification defining start of construction. Investors who put billions of dollars into factory orders and construction contracts cannot go back in time to meet the revised requirements. The House tax proposal would also terminate an inflation adjustment, cutting the value of the credit by half or more.

Navigant Study Says Roll Back Risks 50K JobsNavigant Consulting projects that maintaining stable investment policy through the five-year PTC phase out will create $85 billion in economic activity and help grow another 50,000 American jobs, including 8,000 jobs at U.S. factories, through the end of President Trump’s first term.  Boosting production of U.S. wind energy helps increase American energy independence and security. The majority of the value of an American wind farm is made-in-the USA by 102,500 workers and 500 factories across all 50 states.  View a map of every wind farm and factory in America.

CCS Says Include 45Q – A diverse, bipartisan group of carbon capture advocates today called on the Senate Finance Committee to include legislation to extend and reform the Section 45Q of the tax code to boost carbon capture in any tax plan considered by the committee.  The letter specifically calls for inclusion of the FUTURE Act, legislation introduced in July by Senators Heidi Heitkamp, Shelley Moore Capito, Sheldon Whitehouse, John Barrasso and 21 other Senators from both parties, in the Senate Finance Committee Chairman’s Mark.  The letter was signed by companies, labor unions, NGOs and other advocates including Occidental, Peabody Energy, Utility Workers Union of America, IBEW, NRECA, Clean Air Task Force, C2ES, ClearPath and many others.

Orphans are Included – The “orphan” tax credits – credits left out of the 2015 wind/solar PTC deal – were also in the tax bill, mirroring language found in Rep. Tom Reed’s H.R. 1090, which extends the residential and commercial tax credits until January 1, 2022 for geothermal heat pumps, fuel cells, microturbines, small wind and combined heat and power. The residential income tax credit would be retroactive back to January 1, 2017 at 30% and continue at that level until 2020 when it would drop to 26% and then at 22% for 2021 and end December 31, 2021. The 10% commercial investment tax credit would be extended until January 1, 2022 and change the language for placed in service to “property the construction of which begins before January 1, 2022.” Thousands of jobs among geothermal and other “orphaned” clean energy industries are in jeopardy and GHP manufacturers alone saw a sales decline significantly this past year.

Advanced Nuclear Credit Included In Tax Reform – The tax reform plan also includes a modification to the 45J tax credit for production from advanced nuclear power facilities that is vital to the expansion of the U.S. fleet. It at least largely mirrors a bipartisan bill from Reps. Tom Rice and Earl Blumenauer lawmakers approved by voice vote in June modifying the credit to allow more time for the nation’s new reactors under construction to utilize the credit and allow transferability of the credit to other partners of the utilities.

A GOOD READ on Winners, Losers – Energy Winners, Losers in House Tax Plan: WASHINGTON EXAMINER

IN THE NEWS

BCSE to Release Priorities Paper at COP23 – The Business Council for Sustainable Energy released a policy paper today that outlines its COP 23 priorities as the meeting launches in Bonn.   The Council released the final version of the BCSE COP 23 policy position paper, Powering Ambition at COP 23. The BCSE at COP 23 website is also live: www.bcse.org/cop23.  This page will include all of BCSE events, public statements, delegation information and case studies of clean energy in action.

Vistra Head on CNBC’s Mad Money – Last Week, we mentioned the Vistra-Dynegy merger and later in the week on CNBC’s Mad Money, Curt Morgan discussed the deal with Jim Cramer, who called the deal a “game-changer.”  Morgan highlighted the national focus and diverse fuel mix that the new company will have and said it will be strong in both low and high gas price environments.

Chamber Highlights Efforts to Restore Power After Hurricanes – Speaking of videos, the Chamber’s Global Energy Institute released a series of videos last week looking at during and after Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, everyday Americans assumed the role of first responders as their family and friends faced sheets of rain, catastrophic flooding and destructive winds. In its new video series titled “Energy Strong” GEI highlights the many ways America’s energy industry stepped up and responded.

GA Lawmakers Urge Nuclear Tax Credits – Georgia lawmakers are asking for an extension on tax credits for the Vogtle nuclear plant expansion project.  All but two members of the state’s House delegation sent a letter to the head of the House Ways and Means Committee last week.

They want the tax plan to include a measure that would lift the 2020 expiration date on a tax credit for new nuclear energy production. Two reactors at Vogtle now under construction won’t be up and running until after that deadline.

Biotech Company to Protect Palm Trees, Dates – ISCA Tech and the University of California-Riverside scientists will work to develop environmentally-friendly pest controls to save California’s iconic palm trees and protect the date palm industry from the invasive South American palm weevil. With a new grant from the Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research (FFAR).  FFAR is a nonprofit established in the 2014 Farm Bill with bipartisan congressional support, today awarded $150,000 to fund research to combat this emerging pest. The FFAR grant is being matched by funds from UCR, ISCA, California Date Commission, and the Bard Valley Medjool Date Growers Association, for a total $300,000 investment in addressing this pest.  The South American palm weevil first spread from Mexico’s Tijuana area into San Diego County in 2011, where it is now killing Canary Island date palm trees. Surveys also have detected the weevil in California’s Imperial County, as well as in the Yuma, Ariz., and Alamo, Texas counties.  At risk are several palm species, including commercial date trees that contribute about $89 million a year to California’s and Arizona’s economies. Other at-risk palms include Canary Islands date, coconut, African oil, sago and California fan palms. The national market for landscape, decorative and potted palm trees is valued at more than $280 million a year.

IAEA Head Says Speed Up Nuke Projects – The global nuclear power industry needs to accelerate growth to satisfy the world’s energy demands and contribute to climate change goals, International Atomic Energy Agency Director General Yukiya Amano told the International Ministerial Conference on Nuclear Power in the 21st Century. “More use of nuclear power will be needed to provide the steady supply of baseload electricity to power modern economies if countries are to meet the goals for greenhouse gas emissions which they set for themselves in the Paris Agreement,” he said

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

Climate Change Meeting Set for Bonn – The next UN climate change conference is scheduled to be held starting today and run through November 17th in Bonn, Germany, which is home to the climate change secretariat and 18 other UN agencies that will be hosting the conference.  Presided over by the government of Fiji, COP 23 is slated to be a “working COP”, as negotiators continue to develop the Paris rulebook—the rules and working processes that will underpin the Paris Agreement’s implementation. With respect to the rulebook, no major decisions are expected to be made before 2018. The Business Council for Sustainable Energy (BCSE) will lead a delegation of its industry members to COP 23.  The Council will participate in COP 23 to share the progress of the rapid transformation that is occurring in the energy sector in the United States. It will also seek to showcase how the suite of existing clean energy solutions can help take that transformation around the world, and help meet a country’s nationally-determined contribution (NDC) under the Paris Agreement. The Chamber’s Global Energy Institute and its climate expert Steve Eule participates in a side event on Wednesday sponsored by the international business community.

Forum to Look at Energy Trends –The German Marshall Fund of the United States hold a conference today that will examine energy trends through three different lenses. The first session will examine the recent efforts, supported by the U.S. and the EU, to reform energy sectors in Black Sea states, notably but not exclusively in Ukraine and Georgia. Second, a panel of experts will discuss the ever-shifting energy politics of the broader Eurasia region, from Central Asia to the Black Sea and beyond. Finally, the conference will feature keynote remarks by Ambassador Mary Warlick, Acting Envoy and Coordinator for International Energy Affairs, Bureau of Energy Resources.

Women Renewable Energy Forum Set – The Women of Sustainable Energy and Renewable Industries (WRISE) Leadership Forum 2017 tomorrow and Wednesday in its inaugural year under the new brand (previously WoWE). Co-located with the AWEA Fall Symposium, this event will feature keynote speakers, professional development, networking, and expert panels on key issues in the industry.

Fuel Cell Expo Set – The Fuel Cell Seminar and Energy Expo will be held tomorrow through Thursday in Long Beach, CA.  Hear from top names in industry and government, including Plug Power CEO Andy Marsh; NASEO Executive Director Dave Terry; California Energy Commissioner Janea Scott; NCSL Energy Director Glen Anderson; Division Chief, CARB Annette Hebert and more.  There will be more than 180 Technical Sessions and more than 40 Posters on Wednesday and Thursday afternoons by our industry’s top researchers, scientists, and speakers.  Session tracks will cover a wide-range of topics including international, state, regional hydrogen infrastructure plans, technology advances, transportation deployment, hydrogen generation and energy storage.

House Energy Panel to Look at ENERGY STAR – The House Energy Committee will look at ENERGY STAR and other efficiency programs tomorrow.  Expects experts from enviro groups, AHRI and other sustainability groups to weigh in.  AHRI Chairman Chris Drew will say there is a strong industry preference to retain both the product program and the buildings programs at EPA and that the program needs adequate funding preserved, among other items.  Others testifying include ASE’s Kateri Callahan, Doug Johnson of the Consumer Tech Association, AHAM’s Joe McGuire and Greg Merritt of Cree.

GU Presenter to Discuss China, Wind – Georgetown’s Mortara Center for International Studies will present at this Energy and Climate Policy Research Seminar tomorrow at 12:30 p.m. with Julia Kirch Kirkegaard, a postdoctoral researcher at Stanford Business School. She has studied the role of global innovation networks in China’s wind turbine industry, the case of Chinese industrial upgrading within the green energy sector, the societal acceptability of wind power (in Denmark and China), and contestations over expertise and science communication. In her research at Stanford, she is investigating the role of expertise and experts in the emergence of R&D and innovation networks.

House Resources Looks OCS Drilling Draft – The House Natural Resources Energy and Mineral Resources Subcommittee holds a hearing tomorrow at 2:00 p.m. on Outer Continental Shelf Discussion Draft.  The draft legislation aims to distribute revenues from oil and gas leasing on the Outer Continental Shelf to certain coastal States, to require sale of approved and scheduled offshore oil and gas leases, to establish offshore wind lease sale requirements, and to empower States to manage the development and production of oil and gas on available Federal lands.  Witnesses will include Ray Brady of the Argonne National Lab, North Dakota Industrial Commission Director Lynn Helms, David Holt of the Consumer Energy Alliance and the Tulane Energy Institute’s Eric Smith.  Mark up will follow on tomorrow and Wednesday.

AWEA Fall Symposium Returns to New Mexico – AWEA hosts its annual Fall Wind Energy Fall Symposium tomorrow through Thursday at the Hyatt Regency Tamaya Resort, where key strategic decisions are made to build the future of wind energy. The event will feature new executive insights, and actionable strategic plans to power your business in the upcoming year.

NEI’s Korsnick Headlines Stimson Forum – The Stimson Center hosts a forum tomorrow at 5:00 p.m. on re-energizing nuclear security.  Nuclear security is out of the spotlight since the end of the Nuclear Security Summit series. This forum will look at the future of nuclear development and how can industry, civil society, and international organizations facilitate the outstanding Security Summit commitments.  This event is an on-the-record discussion of trends in the nuclear industry and security and marks the official launch of a new Stimson publication: “Re-energizing Nuclear Security: Trends and Potential Collaborations Post Security Summits.”  Panelists include NEI CEO Maria Korsnick, Canadian Nuclear Association CEO John Barrett and Frank Saunders, Vice President of Nuclear Oversight and Regulatory Affairs at Bruce Power.

Wheeler, Harnett-White Set to Go to Senate Environment – Senate Environment will hold a confirmation hearing on Wednesday for Kathleen Hartnett White’s nomination to run the White House Council on Environmental Quality.  It will also address the confirmation of Andy Wheeler to serve as EPA deputy administrator at the same time.

House Science Looks at GeoEngineering – The House Science Committee’s Energy Subcommittee and Environment Subcommittee hold a joint hearing on geoengineering innovation, research and technology. discussion draft legislation to “Overhaul Federal Lands Energy Policy” to distribute revenues from oil and gas leasing on the Outer Continental Shelf to certain coastal States, to require sale of approved and scheduled offshore oil and gas leases, to establish offshore wind lease sale requirements, and to empower States to manage the development and production of oil and gas on available Federal land, and for other purposes. Witnesses include Phil Rasch of the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Joseph Majkut of the Niskanen Center, Cornell’s Douglas MacMartin, and Kelly Wanser of the University of Washington.

ITC to Look at Biodiesel Tariffs – The U.S. International Trade Commission holds a hearing Thursday at 9:30 a.m. on the final phase of countervailing duty and anti-dumping duty investigations regarding biodiesel from Argentina and Indonesia.

SAFE Forum to Highlight Release of Trucking Report – On Thursday at 9:30 a.m. at The Loft at 600 F, Securing America’s Future Energy hosts a forum and releases its trucking industry trend report, “Heavy-Duty Innovation: Energy, automation, and technology in the trucking sector.”  The trucking sector is a backbone of the American economy. 70% of the nation’s freight, representing more than $725 billion in annual revenue, are moved by the trucking industry. Freight levels are forecast to grow more than 40% by 2045, and energy and oil use are set to rise by 20% in the next 25 years.  New technologies offer an opportunity to dramatically improve the safety and efficiency of the trucking sector. Connectivity and platooning, advanced driver assistance systems, and design modifications are already creating opportunities to save lives and fuel while reducing costs, but regulatory changes are necessary to enable the industry and American economy to benefit.  SAFE’s Jeff Gerlach, as well as a number of industry experts including the American Trucking Assn’s Bill Sullivan will discuss how the trucking industry is changing, and the regulatory measures that should be taken to enable a safer and more efficient trucking future.

Chatterjee Hits Platts Presser – S&P Global Platts hosts its Energy Podium forum on Thursday at 11:00 a.m. with FERC Chairman Neil Chatterjee.  Chatterjee will discuss a broad range of issues facing the Commission with Platts reporters and other press.

CSIS to Host Africa Power Panel – CSIS hosts a public panel discussion Thursday looking at the lessons that can be learned from Power Africa.  The Obama Administration’s Power Africa Initiative was arguably one of the more intriguing innovations in development in recent years. Described as an initiative that brings “together technical and legal experts, the private sector, and governments from around the world to work in partnership to increase the number of people with access to power”, Power Africa has been an attempt to work more effectively between various government agencies. It also operated under the assumption that Africa presented both development challenges and business opportunities for American workers and companies. Following the welcome remarks from Daniel F. Runde, and the opening remarks from Jennifer G. Cooke, our expert panelists will assess Power Africa’s progress and look for opportunities to scale and replicate the initiative to other sectors and geographies.

GW to Hold Book Launches, Panels – George Washington University holds two book Launches on Thursday.  At Noon, authors will discuss their findings and conclusions on energy security debates in China, India, Japan, Russia and the political economy and transit security of the region. Then at 5:00 p.m., the Brazil Initiative and the Institute for International Science and Technology Policy hold a book launch and guest lecture by Dr. Sergio Salles, with Dr. Nicholas Vonortas as discussant on bioethanol evolution, risks and uncertainties.

IN THE FUTURE

NARUC Annual Meeting to Dig Into Issues – Next week, the National Assn of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC) will hold its 129th annual meeting at the Hilton Baltimore and will feature panels on energy policy, telecommunications, and other utility topics are issues at the forefront of trade and mainstream news. The event will feature stakeholders, informed experts, representatives from industry, federal policymakers, and dedicated state regulators for robust, timely discussions.  Key speakers include Montana PUC Commissioner Travis Kavulla, FERC Commissioner Robert Powelson, former Commissioners Marc Spitzer and Tony Clark, DOE’s Travis Fisher and many others.

Solar Trade Breakfast at NARUC – The Solar Energy Industries Association and Cypress Creek Renewables holds a breakfast panel discussion next Monday morning on the Solar Section 201 trade petition on imported solar components.  The event discussed the effect of the ITC ruling on the $23 billion U.S. solar industry, which employs 260,000 American workers in good-paying jobs including manufacturers, is unmistakable. It would decimate one of the least expensive energy sources in America by doubling the price of solar panels in the U.S., thereby crippling demand, diminishing local investment and costing up to 88,000 jobs across the country.   The panel includes GA PSC Chair Lauren “Bubba” McDonald, utility representatives and exec and developers working with rural cooperatives.

Forum to Look at CAFE, High Octane Fuels – Next Monday, the Environmental and Energy Study Institute (EESI) will hold a briefing in 106 Dirksen examining how high-octane, low-carbon fuel can enable CAFE compliance. Research suggests that high-octane, low-carbon fuel is the lowest-cost compliance option for both consumers and the automotive industry.  Speakers for this forum are NREL’s Robert McCormick, Oak Ridge National Lab’s Brian West, Dean Drake of the Defour Group and Andrew Varcoe of Boyden Gray & Associates.  Higher-octane, low-carbon fuels enable greater engine efficiencies, thereby lowering GHG and toxic emissions and improving fuel economy. Automotive engineers have expressed interest in raising the octane level of gasoline, which would enable the design and sale of these more efficient engines, but the administration must act to enable a viable pathway for these fuels to enter the marketplace.

USEA Forum to Discuss CURC Study – Next Monday at 2:00 p.m., the US Energy Association and the Carbon Utilization Research Council (CURC) hold a forum on CURC’s recent CCS study analyzing options to overcome barriers to large-pilot projects for power plants equipped with CCS.  The purpose of the report was to study innovative options for governments and industry to fund projects that test coal-based power generation and carbon capture, utilization and storage technologies at the large-pilot scale. The panel discussion will provide an overview of the key findings of the report and an illustration of current case study examples of international collaboration by industry stakeholders and governments.  Panelists include CURC’s Shannon Angielski, DOE’s John Litynski, Frank Morton of the National Carbon Capture Center, Chris Romans of Mitsubishi Heavy Industries America and Don Stevenson of the Gas Technology Institute.

Forum to Look at Venezuela Oil – Next Tuesday at 9:00 a.m., the Atlantic Council’s Adrienne Arsht Latin America Center and Global Energy Center holds a timely conversation on Venezuela’s declining oil industry, the increasing presence of Russia and China in the country, and what lies ahead. Keynote remarks will be offered by House Energy & Commerce member Jeff Duncan.

JHU to Discuss Nuclear – The Johns Hopkins University holds a forum on Tuesday November 14th at 5:00 p.m. looking at the status and prospects for U.S. Nuclear Power. Westinghouse, a leader in the industry, entered bankruptcy and two reactors that were under construction in South Carolina have been abandoned because of cost overruns. The US still has not solved the problem of long term storage of high level nuclear waste. An interesting possibility for the future is the development of advanced nuclear reactors that would be smaller, safer and cheaper to build. These and other issues will be discussed by speaker, NEI’s Matthew Crozat.

Forum to Look at Energy – On Wednesday Morning, Roll Call will host a forum on energy called Energy Decoded at the Newseum. Roll Call Live, in partnership with CQ News hosts a packed morning of expert analysis and bipartisan discussion to examine the many questions that energy stakeholders and policymakers will face in the new administration.   Topics will include the future of climate policy, energy tax reform, coal and domestic oil production and renewable energy initiatives.  Speakers will include FERC Chair Neal Chatterjee, Sen. Joe Manchin and our friend Jeanette Pablo, among others.

ITIF to Look at ARPA-E – The Information Technology and Innovation Foundation (ITIF) holds a discussion on Wednesday at 10:00 a.m. looking at ARPA-E’s versatile role in clean energy innovation featuring a new study on the topic.  Authors David Hart and Michael Kearney, along with an expert panel of energy innovators and thought leaders discuss.

WRI to Discuss Powering Cities – On Wednesday, November 15th at Noon, the World Resources Institute hosts Michael Westphal to present his paper on energy access – another chapter of the World Resources Report: Towards a More Equal City. Millions of residents in some of the fastest growing cities in the world don’t have access to clean, reliable energy, and the challenge of reaching them is not getting easier. In 2012, only 58 percent of the urban population had access to electricity in low-income countries, and nearly 500 million urban residents worldwide used dirty and harmful cooking fuels like charcoal and wood.

Forum on European Gas Projects Set – On Wednesday afternoon November 15th, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace hosts the Jamestown conference on “Nord Stream and European Energy Security.” It will provide a detailed and comprehensive analysis of the Russian objectives, European responses, and American policies related to this large project.

Forum to Discuss Brazil Oil, Gas – The Wilson Center’s Brazil Institute hosts a forum on Thursday November 16th at 10:00 a.m. looking T pre-salt auctions in Brazil’s oil and gas industry.  The Director-General of ANP, Decio Fabrício Oddone da Costa, will discuss the objectives of Brazil’s new regulatory framework for the oil & gas policy.

Webinar to Look at EVs – National Journal holds webinar on Thursday November 16th at 11:00 a.m. on the rise of electric vehicles.  The webinar will examine the industry’s history, development and future, and address the major players and policymakers and what policies have fostered the industry’s growth so far, and which state and federal actions could help—or hinder—its development.  It will also look at how the Trump administration’s deregulatory drive impact the development of EVs in the US, as well as the feasibility of the ambitious goals laid out by countries like France and India.

Clark to Headline USAEE Lunch – On Friday, November 17th, the NCAC of the US Assn of Energy Economists host its November lunch with former FERC Commissioner Tony Clark at Chinatown Gardens.  Clark will discuss the forces that are shaping electricity markets today, with an emphasis on the implications of the regulatory crossroads of federal jurisdiction and state public policy choices.

USTR Comment Deadline on Solar Trade Case – November 20th

THANKSGIVING – November 26th

EPA to Hold CPP Public Hearing in WV – EPA will hold a public hearing regarding the withdrawal of the Clean Power Plan in West Virginia on Nov. 28th and 29th.  EPA said it will convene two daylong sessions at the state capitol in Charleston. The agency said it “may also hold an additional hearing to be announced at a later date.”  EPA also extended the comment period on the proposal to Jan. 16, 2018.

CCS Report to be Released – The Global CCS Institute will release its annual Global Status of CCS: 2017 report launch on November 28th, 2017. This year, the Institute is partnering with one of the top think tanks in the city, the Center for Strategic and International Studies, to promote and discuss the release of the Institute’s signature report, the globally recognized annual guide to the current progress and prospects for carbon capture and storage.

NYT to host Climate Summit – On November 29th and 30th in San Francisco at the Metreon, The New York Times will hold ClimateTECH, a groundbreaking summit that brings together influential leaders from key industries to assess bold, cutting-edge technologies that could help keep global warming below the two-degree threshold.  Hosted by top Times journalists, ClimateTECH’s focus on innovation will also encompass the dramatic changes downstream (in finance, policy, consumer behavior, infrastructure) that are vital for these new technologies to gain adoption and succeed.  The program will feature on-stage interviews with celebrated entrepreneurs and inventors along with policy makers, economists and subject-matter experts. Designed for an audience of decision-makers, ClimateTECH will also include an early-stage technology showcase of the newest innovations, along with other experiential activities.  The Speaker list is long, but it includes California Gov. Jerry Brown, Statoil’s Irene Rummelhoff, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, Tom Steyer and many others.

RFS RVO Deadline – November 30th

USTR Hearing on Solar Trade Tariff – December 6th

The Last Jedi Hits Theaters – DECEMBER 15th