Energy Update: Week of February 5

Friends,

I have to say that was a great Super Bowl.  So much offense and so much back and forth.  Wow…and Punxsutawney Phil still says six more weeks of winter.  It is the first Super Bowl and as well as first NFL Championship for the Eagles since 1960.  While so many Eagles fans are relieved to finally have a Super Bowl, it now leaves just Browns (1964) and Lions (1957) fans still out in the cold with the longest drought and no Super Bowl appearances.  While teams like Arizona (Cardinals franchise hasn’t won since 1947 through Chicago & St. Louis), Minnesota (1961), Tennessee (Houston Oilers 1961, Chargers (1963) and Atlanta (1965) all have had at least Super Bowl sniffs.  Special props to avid update readers, die-hard Philly sports Phanatics and longtime friends: Brian Sansoni, Comms VP at American Cleaning Institute and Paul Copleman of Avangrid.

Speaking of the Super Bowl and energy, props also to FERC Commissioner Robert Powelson who won a bet over fellow Commissioner and Patriots fan Cheryl LaFleur.  Powelson, who offered up some Kobi Chessesteaks (with Cheez Whiz, I hope) while LeFleur, of course, offered Lobsters.  Looks like they upped the ante with Sam Adams and Victory IPA

It seems like we have seen this movie before, but this week will likely be consumed by budget funding discussions and a new CR.  There are a number of energy-related committee hearings this week starting to move legislation.  Other key events include a House Energy hearing tomorrow on nuclear Infrastructure; Wednesday’s Senate EPW will finally look to move EPA Deputy Administrator (now that Kathleen Harnett-White has withdrawn her CEQ nomination) then look at ag impacts of WOTUS; and Senate Energy hearing Thursday looking at energy infrastructure.

Off the Hill, the National Association of State Energy Officials holds its Energy Policy Outlook Conference tomorrow.  WCEE hosts Kelly Speakes-Backman, CEO of Energy Storage Association on Wednesday to discuss battery storage and the impact it will have on the evolving energy markets.  On Friday, the energy economists hosts Wood MacKenzie Research Director for Natural Gas Liquids Anne Keller for its February lunch.

Opening ceremonies for the Winter Olympics is on Friday, with three weeks of skiing, hockey, bobsledding, ski jumping, et al to follow!  Here is the link to NBC’s coverage schedule portal.

 

Call with questions.  Best,

Frank Maisano

(202) 828-5864

  1. (202) 997-5932

FRANKLY SPOKEN

“The Kigali Amendment is a rare agreement that has the support of everyone from industry to environmentalists.  It supports human health, it supports the environment, and it supports industry.”

Steve Forbes at a Hudson Institute Event on the HFC issues and the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol.

 

IN THE NEWS

 Hudson Forum to Look at HFC Issues – The Hudson Institute this morning to discuss the current status of HFC issues and the Kigali Treaty.  Keynote speaker Steve Forbes said the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol is one of those rare environmental policies that offers almost everyone something they can like – liberal, conservative, businessperson, environmentalist, politician. For the United States, it is an opportunity to grow our economy and create jobs while doing something good for the planet.  AHRI’s Steve Yurek added Kigali is a perfect example of industry, environmental groups, and governments finding common ground in a way that is good for business and good for the environment.  He added the U.S. HVACR Industry supports Kigali because it is committed to reducing its environmental impact, while creating a predicable business environment and advancing US technological leadership.  With all the talk of Paris, the global efforts to reduce the heat-trapping gases from refrigerants used in air conditioning and cooling is an interesting story.  Other speakers included White House official David Banks, Bracewell’s Jeff Holmstead, NRDC’s Dave Doniger and Ingersoll Rand’s Paul Camuti.

House Ag Members Call for 45Q – House Agriculture Committee Chairman Mike Conaway and 42 signatories sent a letter to Speaker Ryan and the leadership of House Ways and Means urging enactment of legislation to amend Section 45Q of the tax code. Conaway is sponsor of the Carbon Capture Act, legislation which would extend and revise Section 45Q to enable new investments in carbon capture technologies.   This letter, signed by the majority of House cosponsors of the Carbon Capture Act follows an earlier letter of support from the the four main Senate sponsors of 45Q legislation to Senate and Finance Committee leadership. This ongoing momentum signals the strong and growing support for action now on carbon capture legislation.

CEQ Nominee Out – Kathleen Hartnett White has withdrawn her name to Be the head of White House’s Council on Environmental Quality. A controversial and conservative nominee, Hartnett White had faced considerable backlash for her previous comments on carbon dioxide, climate science and anti-pollution regulations.  CEQ has been effectively operating already though without a head because of its great staff team headed by former House Energy staffer Mary Neumayr.  The withdrawal of White frees up the Senate controversy over other EPA nominees including Andy Wheeler to be EPA’s #2.

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

Federalist Society to Look at Regulations – The Federalist Society’s Regulatory Transparency Project will hold a day-long symposium at the Antonin Scalia Law School at George Mason University today looking at regulations and regulatory reform. Boyden Gray will be among the speakers.

NASEO 2018 Energy Policy Outlook Conference Set – Tomorrow through Friday at The Fairmont in Washington, DC, the National Association of State Energy Officials (NASEO) will hold its 2018 Energy Policy Outlook conference.  This conference presents the work of NASEO’s members, the 56 governor designated State and Territory Energy Offices. The conference will feature a wide array of federal and private sector partners that state-level energy offices work with on a day-to-day basis, such as Federal and congressional offices; state and local planners, developers, and regulators working in energy, housing, transportation, climate, and resilience; grid operators and transmission organizations; and businesses and investors interested in clean energy economic development.  Our friends Lisa Jacobson of the Business Council for Sustainable Energy and Schneider Electric’s Anna Pavlova will be among the presenters.

EV Workshop Set in NoVa –Tomorrow morning, Virginia Clean Cities, the Northern Virginia Regional Commission, Greater Washington Region Clean Cities and Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments host an informative workshop on electric vehicles and EV charging stations.  This workshop will provide an overview of the benefits of EVs for fleets, and infrastructure considerations for selecting and installing EV charging equipment. Northern Virginia fleet managers, business leaders and government officials will be able to test drive the newly redesigned, longer-range 2018 Nissan LEAF, the 2018 Chevy Bolt, SmartForTwo, Vantage and other EVs. Participants will also get information on charging options for their fleet, workplace and much more.

House Energy to Look at Nuclear – The House Energy Subcommittee will hold a hearing tomorrow at 10:00 a.m. looking at DOE modernization, advancing the economic and national security benefits of America’s nuclear infrastructure.  Witnesses include NNSA’s Art Akins, NRC’s Victor McCree, DOE’s Ed McGinnis and James Owendoff, NEI’s Maria Korsnick, former NRC Commissioner Bill Ostendorff, Idaho National Lab director Mark Peters and GAO’s David Trimble.

EIA to Present Energy Outlook – Tomorrow at 10:00 a.m., Johns Hopkins University will host EIA Director Linda Capuano at its Kenney Herter Auditorium to present EIA’s Annual Energy Outlook 2018 (AEO2018). AEO2018 includes projections of U.S. energy supply, demand, and prices. The discussion will consider results across AEO2018 cases that vary assumptions regarding U.S. economic growth rates, domestic resources and technology, and world oil prices.

RFF to Look at Drilling, Earthquakes – Resources for the Future (RFF) will hold a webinar tomorrow at 2:00 p.m. where RFF Senior Research Associate Daniel Raimi will interview study co-author Willy Aspinall and discuss what its findings mean for reducing induced earthquake risk in Oklahoma. Oklahoma has experienced a roughly 900-fold increase in seismic activity since 2009, and is now the most earthquake-prone region in the contiguous United States. Increased oil and gas activity, particularly wastewater from drilling for oil and gas, has been identified as a major cause of this rise. A new paper in Science by RFF’s Roger Cooke and coauthors Thea Hincks, Willy Aspinall, and Thomas Gernon provides a clearer picture of the causal relationship between wastewater disposal and the state’s increased seismic activity.

Senate Enviro to Vote on Wheeler, Discuss WOTUS – The Sneate Environment Committee will hold a business meeting to consider the nomination of Andrew Wheeler to be deputy administrator and Holly Greaves to be chief financial officer.   Following the vote, the committee will turn to WOTUS and its impacts on agriculture.  American Farm Bureau Federation president Zippy Duvall, National Cattleman’s Beef Association Public Lands Council Niels Hansen, National Pork Producers Council president Howard Hill, Delaware agriculture secretary Michael Scuse, and Donn Teske, vice president of the National Farmers Union.

WCEE to Host Battery Discussion – The Women’s Council on Energy and the Environment (WCEE) will hold a Lunch and Learn on Wednesday at Noon to hear from Kelly Speakes-Backman, CEO of Energy Storage Association.  Speakes-Backman will share her knowledge of battery storage and the impact it will have on the evolving energy markets.

Senate Energy to Tackle Energy Infrastructure – The Senate Energy Committee will hold hearing on Thursday at 10:00 a.m. to look at  the history and future opportunities for energy infrastructure.

WoodMac Researcher to Discuss Shale for Energy Economists – The National Capital Chapter of the US Energy Economists hosts its February lunch on Friday at Noon at Carmines.  Wood MacKenzie Research Director for Natural Gas Liquids Anne Keller will address the often overlooked and usually unheralded bounty of the shale revolution which has led to a huge increase in natural gas liquids production. These chameleons of the hydrocarbon chain, which begin their trip to market as gas and end up transformed into liquids along the way, are providing emerging economies with clean burning fuel and US chemical producers with a potential cost advantage that they are betting billions of dollars will continue.

JHU to Feature Indian Expert to Discuss Climate – On Friday, Johns Hopkins University hosts its fifth annual research workshop for DC area faculty members focusing on energy and climate change issues. The workshop aims to promote collaboration among local scholars and provide an opportunity for feedback on current research projects and work-in progress.  Papers will be circulated to registered participants in advance in order to facilitate an active and informed discussion.

IN THE FUTURE

SEIA, ESA to Host Discussion on Distributed Energy – The Solar Energy Industries Association and the Energy Storage Association will host a breakfast panel discussion Monday February 12th in Washington on Distributed Energy Resource (DER) valuation, interconnection, and benefits to the local grid. The forum will look at the ways in which the location of a DER can provide various grid benefits and may lead to changes in DER compensation.  Speakers include ESA CEO Kelly Speakes-Backman, SEIA’s David Gahl, Douglas Staker of Demand Energy and Sara Baldwin Auck of Regulatory Program.

WRI Climate Head to Address Group – Paula Caballero, Global Director of the World Resources Institute’s Climate Program, will be featured at keynote speaker next Monday at 3:00 p.m. at the National Press Club. She will be joined by a distinguished panel for lively debate featuring panelists GWU’s Kathleen Merrigan, Leonard Jordan of  USDA Natural Resource Conservation Service and RFF’s Ann Bartuska.

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.

Forum to Look at Transmission – WIRES and the Environmental and Energy Study Institute will host a briefing on Tuesday February 13th at 11:00 a.m. on the widespread, substantial, and long-lasting benefits of investment in electric transmission. The briefing will showcase two London Economics International studies – one study quantifies the future benefits of transmission investment based on two hypothetical projects, the second dispels many of the myths that deter and delay transmission investment.  This panel will discuss why transmission should be a major component of the infrastructure conversation and how the economic and societal benefits from a robust high-voltage grid are so important. Speakers study author Julia Frayer of London Economics International, ITC’s Nina Plaushin and former FERC Chair James Hoecker.

Forum to Look at Iraq, Energy – On Tuesday, February 13th at Noon, the Atlantic Council will hold a conversation with a panel of experts to discuss Iraq’s energy potential, export opportunities, and the influence of political dynamics on reforming the energy sector.  Speakers will include Luay Al-Khatteeb of the Iraq Energy Institute, Harith Hasan Al-Qarawee of the Atlantic Council’s Rafik Hariri Center for the Middle East and Atlantic Council Global Energy Center director Ellen Scholl.

House Resources to Look at Water, Power Infrastructure – The House Natural Resources Committee’s Subcommittee on Water, Power and Oceans will hold an oversight hearing on the state of the nation’s water and power infrastructure.”

BCSE to Release Annual Sustainability ReportBloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) and the Business Council for Sustainable Energy (BCSE) will release of the 2018 Sustainable Energy in America Factbook in Washington, DC, on February 15th.  In its 6th year, the Factbook provides new industry information and trends for the U.S. energy economy, with an in-depth look at the energy efficiency, natural gas and renewable energy sectors as well as emerging areas such as battery storage and sustainable transportation.  A panel of executives from BCSE members and BNEF analysts look at the cost of energy for consumers and businesses, and how has this changed over time; U.S. ranking for energy prices and clean energy investment; Clean energy contributions to American jobs and other items.

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.

BP Energy Outlook Set for Release – The CSIS Energy & National Security Program will host the U.S. launch of BP Energy Outlook 2018 on Monday February 26th at 9:30 a.m. Spencer Dale, chief economist of BP, will present the findings of the outlook followed by a moderated conversation with Sarah Ladislaw, director and senior fellow of the CSIS Energy & National Security Program.

CSIS to Look at Short-Term Oil Outlook – The CSIS Energy & National Security Program will host a conference Tuesday February 27th on the short-term outlook for U.S. tight oil production and its implications for global oil markets.  As we enter the new year with renewed commitment from the OPEC/non-OPEC partnership, Brent has continued to climb from $45 per barrel low in 2017 to $70 in January 2018. Global economic growth continues to look robust, oil stocks are clearly in decline, geopolitical challenges remain ever-present, and market sentiment looks bullish (for now). However, persistently higher prices have the potential to bring on additional supply from both OPEC and non-OPEC sources.  In this context, much attention is being directed to prospective U.S. supply growth. Based on assessments of resource strength, well productivity, hedging activity, cash flow, break even costs, and a sizeable backlog in drilled-but-uncompleted wells (DUCs), estimates of U.S. near-term output vary widely and challenges remain. Against this backdrop, the CSIS Energy & National Security Program will host a distinguished group of experts to discuss the outlook moving forward.  Our friend Paul Sankey will speak at the event.

ERCOT Market Forum Set – The ERCOT Market Summit will be held on February 27th though March 1st The forum will look at perspectives on ERCOT Market Reform, end-use customers, Plant Retirements, Resource Adequacy and Reliability and dealing with the Impacts of Wholesale Price Volatility in ERCOT.

CERAWEEK Set for Houston CERAWEEK’s 2018 conference will be held in Houston from March 5-9th at the Hilton Americas.  Speakers this year include OPEC SG Mohammad Barkindo, GM’s Mary Berra, BP’s Bob Dudley, IAE’s Fatih Birol, FERC Commissioner Robert Powelson, Alaska Sen. Dan Sullivan, Exelon’s Chris Crane, Energy Transfer’s Kelsey Warren, Paul Spencer of the Clean Energy Collective, Sunnova’s John Berger, and many, many more.

WINDPOWER Set for Chicago – The American Wind Energy Assn (AWEA) will hold WINDPOWER 2018 in Chicago from May 7th to 10th.  The industry closed 2017 strong, delivering 7,017 megawatts (MW) of new wind power capacity. That new capacity represents $11 billion in new private investment. There are now 89,077 MW of wind power installed across 41 states, enough to power 26 million American homes.  The wind industry is expected to continue its growth into 2018. WINDPOWER is where the industry comes together to plan for the future and keep this success story growing.

ACORE Renewable Policy Forum Set for Cap Hill – The annual 2018 ACORE Renewable Energy Policy Forum will be held on Capitol Hill on March 14th.  The ACORE National Renewable Energy Policy Forum is the only pan-technology renewable energy policy summit to address federal and state policy. This signature conference brings together industry leaders and policymakers to discuss energy and tax policy, debate pressing issues in the changing electricity marketplace, and identify priorities for Congress, the states, and relevant agencies.

Solar Operations Conference Set – On March 13-14th, Solar Asset Management North America will hold its 5th edition in San Francisco. The event is the leading conference focused on the operational phase of solar plants and portfolios. The recommendations on the Section 201 solar trade case as well as the new tax provisions will also affect the existing assets, budgets and O&M. The conference aims to fully assess and quantify the impact on the future of the solar industry.

Energy Update: Week of January 29

Friends,

Well, that was an exciting beginning to the 60th Grammys. It was a nice surprise appearance by U2, although I didn’t really know what that opening number was by Kendrick Lamar. I guess I’m just too old as he managed to nab 5 Grammy wins. And how does Metallica not win Best Rock Album for Hardwired To Self Destruct?  And really, how is it nearly every rock category was announced in the pre-TV portion?

One person that did win: the brother of our former Bracewell colleague and now Valero Government Relations head Salo Zelermyer. What????  Yes, Salo’s brother, Gideon Zelermyer won the Grammy for Best Rock Performance.  Gideon is the cantor at the largest synagogue in Montreal who – beyond his congregation – may be best known for his riveting renditions of the both the Canadian and US national anthems at pro sporting events.  Gideon joined with the late Leonard Cohen and the Shaar Hashomayim Synagogue choir to win the Grammy for their collaboration on You Want It Darker. The Zelermyer crew beat out far more traditional rockers for the Grammy:  the late Chris Cornell (The Promise), Dave Grohl’s Foo Fighters (Run), Kaleo (No Good) and Nothing More (Go to War).

On the sports side, how about that NHL All-Star Game? I just love that 3-on-3 format w/the $1M prize to the winners. Tennis’ first major is over in Australia with Caroline Wozniacki taking the Women’s title for her first Grand Slam title, while the incredible, ageless Roger Federer won the Men’s side for his 20th Grand Slam victory.  Just unreal…

Before we get going, you may have already received info regarding tonight’s 5:30 p.m. welcoming at Charlie Palmer Steak (101 Constitution Avenue N.W.) celebrating the newest members of the PRG team: Anna Burhop, Stoney Burke, Liam Donovan, and Christine Wyman.  And if you haven’t heard, please let me know if you can join us.  We hope to see you tonight.

Exciting times in DC this week with the State of the Union set for tomorrow night. There is a lot of speculation about the tone the president will take. I suspect we will hear discussions of energy dominance, infrastructure, regulatory relief and a lot of boasting about the new tax law.   We are on it, so call with questions.

Of course, the week also starts out strong in Senate EPW, where EPA administrator Scott Pruitt returns to the Senate for the first time since his confirmation hearing.  Maybe a little less interesting tomorrow, Senate Energy votes on DOE/Interior nominees and discusses natural hazards like fire, while House Science tackles DOE management.  Maybe a little more fireworks at a House Resources mark up on Bears Ears legislation tomorrow at 10:30.

On Wednesday, Pruitt speaks to State Ag Directors and Thursday in NYC, my colleague Scott Segal hosts Neil Chatterjee and others at the S&P Power and Gas M&A Symposium.

For next week, in additional to the infrastructure roll out expected Monday, mark your calendars for a Hudson Institute forum where Steve Forbes, the HVAC industry, Bracewell’s Jeff Holmstead and NRDC’s Dave Doniger all address the important issues surrounding HFCs and the Kigali Amendment.

Congrats (maybe) to our friend and long-time Bloomberg reporter/editor Mark Drajem who today joined the federal communications team at the Natural Resources Defense Council.

Super Bowl Sunday is all set…Eagles or Patriots? Regardless of who wins, it better end up on my quarter numbers so I can win something.  We will be live tweeting the Pruitt EPW hearing and the SOTU.  Follow us at @PolicyRez  Call with questions.  Best,

 

Frank Maisano

(202) 828-5864

(202) 997-5932

 

FRANKLY SPOKEN

“We thought President Trump was going to protect manufacturing jobs, and that’s what a refinery does. The renewable fuel standards are like a lead weight around the company.  We want the President to live up to his word.”

Ryan O’Callaghan, president of United Steelworkers Local 10-1, which represents hundreds of Philadelphia Energy Solutions workers.

 

IN THE NEWS

NY Releases Plan for Offshore Wind – New York State on this morning released an exhaustive master plan for offshore wind energy that projects 5,000 people employed in and around a $6 billion industry by 2028. Gov. Cuomo’s plan also makes clear that while offshore wind representing 2,400 megawatts and hundreds of turbines will be in the waters south of Long Island and not visible from shore. The state expects more than 1.2 million homes could be powered by offshore wind. The 60-page report is accompanied by 20 supplemental studies representing more than two years of work and thousands of pages of analysis. The studies examine everything from viable ports to turbine manufacturing and wind-farm construction and staging to the need for cables, pipelines and other infrastructure, as well as the impact on birds, bats and fish.  Our friend Mark Harrington of Newsday has the story. Statoil is among the leading developers of offshore wind in the growing industry along the Atlantic Coast after being granting New York’s first leases last year.

Letter: Energy Trades Says Pass Extenders – More that 60 trade association, most that deal with energy issues wrote to Congress last week urging the passage of a “a seamless multi-year extension of the ‘tax extenders’ as soon as possible.”  Among the groups were Advanced Biofuels Business Council, Advanced Energy Economy, American Gas Assn, AHRI, the Business Council for Sustainable Energy, CHP, the Energy Recovery Council, GEO, Nat’l Electrical Contractors Assn, NRECA, Nat’l Propane Gas, and many others. Read the letter here.

DC Court Rejects Appeal of HFC Rule – Speaking of HVAC, the DC Circuit Friday denied a request by manufacturers to rehear a case on overturning the agency’s regulation to limit use of hydrofluorocarbons. The court in August rejected EPA’s initial rule phasing down the use of the global-warming inducing coolant. The world is pushing forward on the Kigali amendment though – a binding part of the Montreal Protocol that aims to phase out HFCs globally. Over Thanksgiving, a State Department official announced it would support the treaty at the 30th anniversary of the Protocol.  The Air-Conditioning, Heating and Refrigeration Institute (AHRI) said it was not surprised by this decision because the bar for en banc appeals is high.  AHRI’s Francis Dietz said the ruling does not in any way diminish our industry’s commitment to the phase down of HFC refrigerants under the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol.

EPA Ends “Once-in, Always-in” Clean Air Policy – EPA issued notice Thursday it is withdrawing the “once-in, always-in” policy under the Clean Air Act.  The policy dictated how major sources of hazardous air pollutants are regulated. Under the EPA’s new interpretation, such “major sources” can be reclassified as “area sources” when their emissions fall below mandated limits, subjecting them to differing standards.  My colleague Jeff Holmstead is a significant expert on the topic and said “the withdrawal of the “once-in-always-in” was long overdue.  There was no legal basis for it, and it was at odds with other EPA programs.  This policy change does not apply to power plants and it won’t affect large industrial facilities like refineries and chemical plants, but it will give smaller facilities more operational flexibility and reduce unnecessary red tape.” He would be happy to discuss specific details further should you have questions.  You can reach him at 202-294-8700 or jeff.holmstead@bracewell.com

Chamber Weighs in on Energy Policy Successes Through Energy Tracker – Chamber Global Energy Institute expert Dan Byers weighed into the energy policy discussion yesterday in an op-ed in The Hill that says energy policy under Trump will be a boon for Americans and business.  Byers says the Chamber GEI’s Energy Tracker highlights high-profile actions and the collective impact from scores of other measures that illustrate the President’s consistent emphasis on advancing U.S. energy for economic growth.  The tracker provides a unique and detailed look at these individual actions that are an easily-forgotten part of the bigger picture.

Unions Weigh in Heavily on Refinery Bankruptcy – A number of key unions say the recent bankruptcy of the Philadelphia Energy Solutions will hurt unions members in PA that were key to President’s election victory in PA.  The United Steelworkers, the United Association Pipefitters and Boilermakers have issued statement raising concerns about the bankruptcy on their members.  Steelworkers: “Continued indifference by the administration and EPA will only drive more East Coast refineries into bankruptcy while thousands of good jobs that allow highly skilled workers to support their families and sustain their communities are at stake.”  The Pipefitters wrote to Trump: “you made a promise to protect every American manufacturing job. In light of the previously mentioned circumstances, we are urged you to keep that promise and take immediate action to control skyrocketing ring cost. Union jobs in Pennsylvania and across the country depend on it.”

WSJ Addresses PES As Well – Finally, the Wall Street Journal editorial board highlighted the PES bankruptcy putting the blame with the federal government’s biofuels policies.  The Journal quoted Ryan O’Callaghan, president of United Steelworkers Local 10-1, which represents hundreds of Philadelphia Energy Solutions workers. “We thought President Trump was going to protect manufacturing jobs, and that’s what a refinery does,” he said. The renewable fuel standards are “like a lead weight around the company,” he added, and “we want the President to live up to his word.”

Study Says Wind Neighbors Like Wind – A 3-year national lab study published today found that of the 1.3 million homes in America that are within five miles of a wind turbine, a majority of the neighbors have a positive attitude towards the turbines. The survey, led by the Department of Energy’s Berkeley Lab, found that inside that range, only 8 percent of respondents had a “negative” or “very negative” opinion of the turbine. For those within half a mile of a large turbine, that percentage grew to 25 percent. The study also asked respondents whether they heard noises from nearby turbines, if they were “annoyed” by any sounds they did hear, and if they perceived the turbine planning process to be fair. A summary and results of the study can be found here.

DOE Starts Solar Manufacturing Effort – Following Last week’s tariff decision, the Department of Energy announced a $3 million prize competition to reenergize innovation in U.S. solar manufacturing. The American Made Solar Prize will incentivize the nation’s entrepreneurs to develop new processes and products that will reassert American leadership in the solar marketplace. This prize is in addition to total DOE funding of up to $400 million for solar projects and technologies in 2017. It will lower barriers American innovators face in reaching manufacturing scale by accelerating the cycles of learning, while helping to create partnerships that connect entrepreneurs to the private sector and the network of DOE’s national laboratories.

US Wind to Surpass Hydro – EIA reports that Wind power is forecast to surpass hydroelectricity for the first time as the nation’s top source of renewable electricity sometime in the next year.  Wind is expected to produce 6.4% of utility-scale electricity in 2018, and 6.9% in 2019, propelled by a construction boom of new turbines across the country.  Few new hydropower plants are in the works, so new electricity generation depends on how much rainfall and water runoff pools in existing dams and reservoirs. Hydropower provided 7.4% of utility-scale generation in 2017 ― a particularly wet year ― but that figure is projected to fall to about 6.5% in 2018 and 6.6% in 2019.

 

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

Ag Directors Head to DC – The National Association of State Departments of Agriculture will hold its annual winter policy conference today through Wednesday at the Grand Hyatt.  The event will feature remarks from FDA Director Scott Gottlieb and EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt, who addresses the Group Wednesday.

NAS Panel to Look at Natural Disasters – The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine’s Roundtable on Science and Technology for Sustainability (STS) will host a workshop tomorrow on deploying sustainable energy after human caused and natural disasters.  Workshop participants will discuss specialized social, economic and engineering challenges and opportunities to deploying sustainable energy in areas that are rebuilding, after major disasters, including California, Puerto Rico, and other areas. The workshop will also explore how regions are building renewable energy into their longer-term planning in the context of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

Pruitt to Head to Senate Environment – The Senate Environment Committee will host EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt tomorrow at 10:00 a.m., making his first return to the panel nearly a year after his confirmation.

House Science to Look at Energy Department – The House Science Committee holds a hearing tomorrow at 10:00 a.m. looking at the Department of Energy and its management and priorities.  Witnesses include DOE science undersecretary Paul Dabbar and DOE undersecretary Mark Menezes.

Senate Energy to Hold Nominee, Vote Hearing – The Senate Energy Committee will hold a business meeting tomorrow to consider the nominations of Melissa Burnison to be an Assistant Secretary of Energy (Congressional and Intergovernmental Affairs), Susan Combs to be an Assistant Secretary of the Interior, Ryan Douglas Nelson to be Solicitor of the Department of the Interior, Anne Marie White to be an Assistant Secretary of Energy (Environmental Management). Following the vote, it will hold an oversight hearing to examine the role of the Geological Survey and the Forest Service in preparing for and responding to natural hazard events, as well as the current status of mapping and monitoring systems.

House Resources to Look at Bears Ears – The House Natural Resources Committee Subcommittee on Federal Lands holds a hearing tomorrow at 10:30 a.m. to focus on legislation to codify Trump’s presidential proclamation last month shrinking the Bears Ears monument’s footprint by 85%.  Witnesses will include Utah AG Sean Reyes, former Rep. Jason Chaffetz, Interior principal deputy assistant secretary for Indian affairs John Tahsuda, Interior’s deputy assistant secretary, land and minerals management Casey Hammond, former Ute Mountain Tribe councilwoman Regina Lopez-Whiteskunk, Ute Indian Tribe Business Committee official Tony Small, Zuni, NM councilman Carleton Bowekaty, Hopi Tribal Council’s Clark Tenakhongva, Navajo Nation president Russell Begaye and San Juan County Commission vice chair Rebecca Benally.

WRI to Discuss Energy Access, Policy Innovation – Tomorrow at 12:30 p.m., the World Resources Institute will host leading experts from around the world for a discussion on the political economy of energy access and innovative policy solutions.  Together, they will profile innovative reforms that policymakers around the world can adopt to accelerate progress on achieving Sustainable Development Goal 7.

House Energy Panel to Mark Up Ceiling Fan Legislation – The House Energy and Commerce Energy panel will mark up bipartisan legislation tomorrow at 1:00 p.m. that align compliance dates for new ceiling fan standards with those for ceiling fan light kits. Two current standards have compliance dates that are about a year apart, which has created unnecessary challenges for companies. The bill would harmonize compliance dates for both appliances to Jan. 21, 2020.

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

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 Wednesday and Thursday. 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.

Yergin to Discuss 2018 Outlook – On Wednesday at 9:00 a.m., IHS Markit hosts a webinar conversation with Dr. Daniel Yergin, IHS Markit Vice Chairman, to discuss the critical issues facing the energy industry in 2018.  While the mood in the industry is upbeat, the energy industry is in the midst of a major transformation driven by geopolitical, economic and environmental forces.  In this webinar, Yergin will preview some of the major themes that will be discussed at our CERAWeek 2018.

CSIS to Look at India Energy Policy – On Wednesday at 3:00 p.m., CSIS’s Wadhwani Chair in U.S.-India Policy Studies and Energy & National Security Program host Dr. Arunabha Ghosh and Abhishek Jain, who will present evidence using on-ground primary data and policy analysis undertaken at the Council on Energy, Environment, and Water, South Asia’s leading policy research institution, to answer address these questions. Dr. Kartikeya Singh will moderate a discussion following the presentation. India is undergoing several energy transitions, each of which will matter for its human development and global sustainability. It must undertake programs at scales and within timelines not witnessed anywhere else, create appropriate market conditions to give direction and confidence to technology innovators and investors, and ensure energy security within a rapidly shrinking carbon constraint.

Forum to Look at Climate Path Forward – The Goethe-Institut of Washington and the Sustainability Collaborative of The George Washington University will host an evening of reflections on Wednesday focused on the climate meetings in Paris and Bonn, the next steps forward, and the role of college students in taking those steps.

WEN Set to Launch 2018 Agenda – The Women’s Energy Network holds a reception to kick off our 2018 event series at 6:00 p.m. at Vinson & Elkins. WEN DC is an organization that prides itself on supporting the professional development and advancement of women in the energy industry through relationships and networking.

Climate Activists Groups Meet at GWU – On Wednesday at 8:00 p.m. at GW’s Lisner Auditorium, the activist group Climate Hawks Vote will host Fossil Free Fast: The Climate Resistance.  FFF will feature organizers who’ve led successful campaigns for 100% renewables in their cities, activists who are fighting fossil fuel projects like pipelines, and elected leaders who are pushing for climate action. Sen. Bernie Sanders, Bill McKibben of 350.org, Varshini Prakash of the Sunrise Movement, Rev. Yearwood of the Hip Hop Caucus, Jacqueline Patterson of the NAACP and many more will deliver the state of the climate movement.

French Embassy to Address Climate Policy – The French Embassy is hosting another French Series panel discussion event Thursday at 6:00 p.m. looking at climate change policy issues.  The event will be moderated by our friend Dean Scott, Senior climate change and Capitol Hill environment reporter for Bloomberg Environment.  Panelists include Brookings climate experts David Levaï and Adèle Morris, as well as WRI’s Jennifer Layke.

JHU to Feature Indian Expert to Discuss Coal – On Friday at 12:30 p.m., Johns Hopkins University hosts a discussion of energy policy in India and the role of coal, featuring Harvard Kennedy School doctoral student Rohit Chandra, who is studying energy policy and economic history. Like many other countries, India’s industrial base and electricity system has been built largely on the back of coal-based power generation. Both financially, and politically, the Indian state is deeply invested in coal and coal-based power generation. This is likely to make the transition to renewable energy gradual, not precipitous, as many have been predicting. In this talk, Rohit will give a brief historical sketch of the Indian coal industry, and then discuss some of the reasons why coal and its downstream use in power and other industries is likely to persist in India for the foreseeable future.

 

IN THE FUTURE

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.  The keynote speaker will be Steve Forbes.  With all the talk of Paris, this just seems like a good NPR story: global efforts to reduce the heat-trapping gases from refrigerants used in air conditioning and cooling.  Other speakers will include White House official David Banks, Bracewell’s Jeff Holmstead, NRDC’s Dave Doniger, AHRI head Steve Yurek and Ingersoll Rand’s Paul Camuti.

NASEO 2018 Energy Policy Outlook Conference Set – On February 6-9th at The Fairmont in Washington, DC, the National Association of State Energy Officials (NASEO) will hold its 2018 Energy Policy Outlook conference.  This conference presents the work of NASEO’s members, the 56 governor designated State and Territory Energy Offices. The conference will feature a wide array of federal and private sector partners that state-level energy offices work with on a day-to-day basis, such as Federal and congressional offices; state and local planners, developers, and regulators working in energy, housing, transportation, climate, and resilience; grid operators and transmission organizations; and businesses and investors interested in clean energy economic development.  Our friends Lisa Jacobson of the Business Council for Sustainable Energy and Schneider Electric’s Anna Pavlova will be among the presenters.

EV Workshop Set in NoVa – Next Tuesday morning February 6th, Virginia Clean Cities, the Northern Virginia Regional Commission, Greater Washington Region Clean Cities and Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments host an informative workshop on electric vehicles and EV charging stations.  This workshop will provide an overview of the benefits of EVs for fleets, and infrastructure considerations for selecting and installing EV charging equipment. Northern Virginia fleet managers, business leaders and government officials will be able to test drive the newly redesigned, longer-range 2018 Nissan LEAF, the 2018 Chevy Bolt, SmartForTwo, Vantage and other EVs. Participants will also get information on charging options for their fleet, workplace and much more.

EIA to Present Energy Outlook – Next Tuesday February 6th at 10:00 a.m., Johns Hopkins University will host EIA Director Linda Capuano at its Kenney Herter Auditorium to present EIA’s Annual Energy Outlook 2018 (AEO2018). AEO2018 includes projections of U.S. energy supply, demand, and prices. The discussion will consider results across AEO2018 cases that vary assumptions regarding U.S. economic growth rates, domestic resources and technology, and world oil prices.

WCEE to Host Battery Discussion – The Women’s Council on Energy and the Environment (WCEE) will hold a Lunch and Learn on Wednesday February 7th at Noon to hear from Kelly Speakes-Backman, CEO of Energy Storage Association.  Speakes-Backman will share her knowledge of battery storage and the impact it will have on the evolving energy markets.

WoodMac Researcher to Discuss Shale for Energy Economists – The National Capital Chapter of the US Energy Economists hosts its February lunch on Friday February 9th at Noon at Carmines.  Wood MacKenzie Research Director for Natural Gas Liquids Anne Keller will address the often overlooked and usually unheralded bounty of the shale revolution which has led to a huge increase in natural gas liquids production. These chameleons of the hydrocarbon chain, which begin their trip to market as gas and end up transformed into liquids along the way, are providing emerging economies with clean burning fuel and US chemical producers with a potential cost advantage that they are betting billions of dollars will continue.

SEIA, ESA to Host Discussion on Distributed Energy – The Solar Energy Industries Association and the Energy Storage Association will host a breakfast panel discussion Monday February 12th in Washington on Distributed Energy Resource (DER) valuation, interconnection, and benefits to the local grid. The forum will look at the ways in which the location of a DER can provide various grid benefits and may lead to changes in DER compensation.  Speakers include ESA CEO Kelly Speakes-Backman, SEIA’s David Gahl, Douglas Staker of Demand Energy and Sara Baldwin Auck of Regulatory Program.

BCSE to Release Annual Sustainability ReportBloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) and the Business Council for Sustainable Energy (BCSE) will release of the 2018 Sustainable Energy in America Factbook in Washington, DC, on February 15th.  In its 6th year, the Factbook provides new industry information and trends for the U.S. energy economy, with an in-depth look at the energy efficiency, natural gas and renewable energy sectors as well as emerging areas such as battery storage and sustainable transportation.  A panel of executives from BCSE members and BNEF analysts look at the cost of energy for consumers and businesses, and how has this changed over time; U.S. ranking for energy prices and clean energy investment; Clean energy contributions to American jobs and other items.

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.

Forum to Look at Transmission – WIRES and the Environmental and Energy Study Institute will host a briefing on Tuesday February 13th at 11:00 a.m. on the widespread, substantial, and long-lasting benefits of investment in electric transmission. The briefing will showcase two London Economics International studies – one study quantifies the future benefits of transmission investment based on two hypothetical projects, the second dispels many of the myths that deter and delay transmission investment.  This panel will discuss why transmission should be a major component of the infrastructure conversation and how the economic and societal benefits from a robust high-voltage grid are so important. Speakers study author Julia Frayer of London Economics International, ITC’s Nina Plaushin and former FERC Chair James Hoecker.

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.

CERAWEEK Set for Houston CERAWEEK’s 2018 conference will be held in Houston from March 5-9th at the Hilton Americas.  Speakers this year include OPEC SG Mohammad Barkindo, GM’s Mary Berra, BP’s Bob Dudley, IAE’s Fatih Birol, FERC Commissioner Robert Powelson, Alaska Sen. Dan Sullivan, Exelon’s Chris Crane, Energy Transfer’s Kelsey Warren, Paul Spencer of the Clean Energy Collective, Sunnova’s John Berger, and many, many more.

ACORE Renewable Policy Forum Set for Cap Hill – The annual 2018 ACORE Renewable Energy Policy Forum will be held on Capitol Hill on March 14th.  The ACORE National Renewable Energy Policy Forum is the only pan-technology renewable energy policy summit to address federal and state policy. This signature conference brings together industry leaders and policymakers to discuss energy and tax policy, debate pressing issues in the changing electricity marketplace, and identify priorities for Congress, the states, and relevant agencies.

Energy Update: Week of 1/22

Friends,

Thanks for all the great birthday wishes last week. I’m truly thankful to have so many of you take time from your busy days to wish me well. It is very much appreciated. Special thanks to Stacey, Olivia, Adam and Hannah — as well as my Bracewell colleagues — for making the day extra special. Looking forward to moving through year 50 with gusto!!!

Today, we are overrun by the government shutdown, but it looks like things may be heading towards resolution at least until February 8th with the Senate vote that just occurred.  Still unclear how this will finally play out, but we will continue to follow closely.  Already impacted are DOE and EPA travel, potential focus on the impending solar tariff decisions and the President’s visit to Davos.  AP has a good primer on the overall impacts of the agencies affected.

Despite losing some DOE folks to the shutdown this morning, AHRI’s Expo starts rolls out today in Chicago, while the Washington Auto Show – the industry’s public policy show – starts in earnest Wednesday with events, including two separate Senate Field hearings, through the remainder of the week.  Our friends at SAFE are again on point and you can reach them through Bridget Bartol.  Speakers include EPA’s Scott Pruitt, MI Gov. Rick Snyder, Rep Debbie Dingell and many others.

Speaking of solar and that impending decision which may happen soon, the Heritage Foundation wrote a new blog on the solar tariff issues today and will hold a forum tomorrow at Noon at Heritage.  The blog post says Trump should pull the plug on solar tariffs for three reasons: Innovation, Competitiveness and a Health Job Market.  The event will feature conservative experts like Heritage’s Tori Whiting and R Street’s Clark Parkard, LG’s John Taylor and ETAC’s Paul Nathanson. ETAC is a group of contractors, retailers and utilities that will be impacted by higher tariffs.  And BTW, ETAC sent a letter to President Trump Friday to remind him and his trade team that this issue is an important issue to people who are end users of the solar industry while underscoring that many solar manufacturers who are facing challenges are not facing them because of imports.

Good news here at Bracewell: In addition to the great folks we’ve hired over the last year (former AGA attorney Christine Wyman, former Senate EPW staffer Anna Burhop & tax expert Liam Donovan), our friend Stoney Burke is joining the Policy Resolution Group team.  Burke is a former CoS to TX Rep. Will Hurd and prior to that worked for Southern Company and Rep Chet Edwards.  More on this later…

Patriots – Eagles in two weeks for Super Bowl LII.  Winter Olympics in 3.  And remember, NHL all-stars hit the ice in Tampa this weekend, as well as the NFL’s Pro Bowl playing in Orlando next Sunday (with activities all week).

Call with questions.  Best,

 

Frank Maisano

(202) 828-5864

  1. (202) 997-5932

 

FRANKLY SPOKEN

 

“Trump has spoken unapologetically about unleashing the competitiveness of the entire energy sector. The best way to get there is to remove barriers, rather than create them. ”

Heritage Foundation Trade expert Katie Tubb writing about the impending solar tariff decision expected from the White House. 

 

“Absent RINs, we’re competitive with anyone in the world.”

PES CEO Gregory Gatta said in telephone interview Monday.

 

IN THE NEWS

ETAC Letter Offers Evidence of Impacts of Imports – The Energy Trade Action Coalition (ETAC) sent a letter to President Trump Friday.  The effort was another attempt to remind the Administration and President Trump that this issue is an important issue to people who are end users of the solar industry.  It also underscores that many solar manufacturers who are facing challenges are not facing them because of imports.  The letter says only 3 companies have failed due to imports, while more than 40 have failed because of manufacturing or management failures and include a series of charts that provide the evidence.

Heritage Says Trade Case Need Plug Pulled – In a blog post from yesterday, the Heritage Foundation’s trade expert says President Trump should pull the plug on solar tariffs for three reasons: Innovation, Competitiveness and a Healthy Job Market.  Heritage’s Katie Tubb said there is almost no better way to fossilize an industry than by guaranteeing prices and knocking out the competitors of a select few companies. The only innovation that this spurs is creative ways to lobby the government for new ways to interfere in energy markets. Such intervention would also punish competitive American solar companies in order to keep two failing ones afloat. Refusing new tariffs on solar imports allows the best parts of the solar industry to rise to the top.  Tubb adds Trump should protect competition, not specific competitors. The solar industry in America can provide customers the best, most affordable service to Americans when it is able to access components from the most competitive companies around the globe.  Finally, Tubb adds that there will be negative implications for the rest of the industry and the indirect jobs it creates if the administration bends over backward to shore up two failing companies.

Refiner Reported to File For Bankruptcy – Philadelphia Energy Solutions LLC, the owner of the largest U.S. East Coast oil refining complex, announced to its employees on Sunday that it plans to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, as reported by Reuters.  Part of the refiner’s financial troubles stem from a costly biofuels law called the Renewable Fuels Standard, which is administered by the Environmental Protection Agency and requires refiners to blend biofuels into the nation’s fuel supply every year, or buy credits from those who do.  Since 2012, Philadelphia Energy Solutions has spent more than $800 million on credits to comply with the law, making it the refiner’s biggest expense after the purchase of crude.

Coalition Says “This is What We’ve Been Warning About’ – The Fueling American Jobs Coalition, a group that includes Steelworkers, small retailers and refiners, including Holly Frontier, PBF, Delta, Valero and others said “what we’re seeing happen at PES is exactly what we’ve been warning about for many months.” The group says the RFS program forces many independent refiners to pay sky-high prices for compliance credits that they simply cannot earn themselves. “Refiners are captive buyers in the lucrative market for these RINs. Those who profit in this situation—Wall Street speculators, large integrated oil companies and large fuel retailers—consistently oppose reasonable changes to the RFS that would diminish their profit stream, even if those profits come at the price of economic pain for refiners and their workers.”  The Coalition said President Trump understands the “havoc” that poorly-designed Washington regulations can wreak on the real economy. “PES is experiencing that pain right before our eyes, and others will follow. Hard-working manufacturing workers in Pennsylvania refineries and elsewhere voted for President Trump with the understanding that he would stand up to special interests and fight for their jobs.”  The group continues to call for the President to “broker a deal among all stakeholders that will help put an end to the crisis that high RINs prices have created for the U.S. refining sector.”

Sen Toomey Calls RFS Job-Killer –U.S. Senator Pat Toomey (Pa.) responded to the news that Philadelphia Energy Solutions is filing for bankruptcy protection by saying the filing is a result of the “counterproductive, job-killing, EPA-imposed Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) that requires an excessive amount of biofuel be blended into the nation’s fuel supply.”  He added while he is pleased PES is able to remain operational during this process and retain its workforce for now, “the mechanism for enforcing the RFS is the primary cause for this bankruptcy filing and it must be fixed. I’ve had extensive conversations with PES management, senior EPA officials, my Senate colleagues, and directly with President Trump in an effort to resolve this situation. I will remain engaged until we find an acceptable solution.”

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

BPC to Focus on Infrastructure – The Bipartisan Policy Center launched the BPC Infrastructure Lab and “3I” Series—Infrastructure Ideas and Innovations this morning. 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.

HVAC Expo Set – The International Air-Conditioning, Heating, Refrigerating Exposition (AHR Expo) opens today in Chicago.  The event started 86 years ago as a heating and ventilation show and is the largest HVAC event of the year for the industry.  The 2018 Show hosts more than 2,000 exhibitors and attracting crowds of 65,000 industry professionals from every state in America and 165 countries worldwide.  The Show provides a unique forum for the entire HVACR industry to come together and share new products, technologies, and ideas.  The AHR Expo is co-sponsored by ASHRAE and AHRI, and is held concurrently with ASHRAE’s Winter Conference.

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 tomorrow 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 tomorrow 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.

Senate to Look at NE Storm Impacts – The Senate Energy Committee will convene an oversight hearing tomorrow to examine the performance of the electric power system in the Northeast and mid-Atlantic during recent winter weather events, including the bomb cyclone. Witnesses include FERC Chair Kevin McIntyre, Chairman, DOE Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability head Bruce Walker, , North American Electric Reliability Corporation Interim CEO Charles Berardesco, Allison Clement of Goodgrid, PJM CEO Andrew Ott and New England ISO head Gordon van Welie.

Heritage to Look at Solar Trade Case – Heritage will hold a forum on solar tariff issues on tomorrow at Noon.  The event will feature conservative experts like Heritage’s Tori Whiting and R Street’s Clark Parkard, LG’s John Taylor and ETAC’s Paul Nathanson. ETAC is a group of contractors, retailers and utilities that will be impacted by higher tariffs.

RFF, Stanford to Hosts Cal Climate Discussion – The Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment and Resources for the Future will host a forum tomorrow at 12:00 p.m. at the National Press Club, ton 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.

WCEE to Hold Planning Session – The Women’s Council on Energy and the Environment is holding its “Come Dream with Us!” Lunch & Learn planning session tomorrow at Noon.  WCEE uses the event to decide what topics to cover in 2018.

Pruitt, Snyder, Others Headline Washington Auto Show – The Washington Auto Show launches tomorrow 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 Thursday 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 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 Wednesday through Friday 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.

Senate Energy Heads to Washington Auto Show for Hearing – The Senate Energy Committee also holds a field hearing at the Washington Auto Show on Thursday at 10:00 a.m. in the West Salon Room of the Washington Convention Center.  The hearing will look at energy innovation in automotive technologies and examine the opportunities and challenges facing vehicle technologies, especially energy-relevant technologies.

Forum to Look at Future Mobility – At the 2018 Washington Auto Show, the Global Energy and Innovation Institute (Ei2) will host a lively discussion about electric transportation and the future, addressing such questions as: When will we reach the mass adoption “tipping point” for electric vehicles? How will electric + shared mobility impact community design (roads, charging, commuting)? What new business models will emerge for ownership and fueling?  Panelists include Lyft’s Corey Ershow, David Owens of Xcel Energy, Audi’s Brad Stertz, EVgo’s Marcy Bauer, Dominion’s William Murray and Kevin Miller of ChargePoint.

SEJ to Host Annual Journalists Enviro Guide Forum – On Friday 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.

IN THE FUTURE

Senate Energy to Hold Nominee, Vote Hearing – The Senate Energy Committee will hold a business meeting next Tuesday to consider the nominations of Melissa Burnison to be an Assistant Secretary of Energy (Congressional and Intergovernmental Affairs), Susan Combs to be an Assistant Secretary of the Interior, Ryan Douglas Nelson to be Solicitor of the Department of the Interior, Anne Marie White to be an Assistant Secretary of Energy (Environmental Management). Following the vote, it will hold an oversight hearing to examine the role of the Geological Survey and the Forest Service in preparing for and responding to natural hazard events, as well as the current status of mapping and monitoring systems.

WRI to Discuss Energy Access, Policy Innovation – Next Tuesday at 12:30 p.m., the World Resources Institute will host leading experts from around the world for a discussion on the political economy of energy access and innovative policy solutions.  Together, they will profile innovative reforms that policymakers around the world can adopt to accelerate progress on achieving Sustainable Development Goal 7.

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.

Yergin to Discuss 2018 Outlook – On Wednesday, January 31st at 9:00 a.m., IHS Markit hosts a webinar conversation with Dr. Daniel Yergin, IHS Markit Vice Chairman, to discuss the critical issues facing the energy industry in 2018.  While the mood in the industry is upbeat, the energy industry is in the midst of a major transformation driven by geopolitical, economic and environmental forces.  In this webinar, Yergin will preview some of the major themes that will be discussed at our CERAWeek 2018.

Forum to Look at Climate Path Forward – The Goethe-Institut of Washington and the Sustainability Collaborative of The George Washington University will host an evening of reflections on Wednesday January 31st focused on the climate meetings in Paris and Bonn, the next steps forward, and the role of college students in taking those steps.

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.

NASEO 2018 Energy Policy Outlook Conference Set – On February 6-9th at The Fairmont in Washington, DC, the National Association of State Energy Officials (NASEO) will hold its 2018 Energy Policy Outlook conference.  This conference presents the work of NASEO’s members, the 56 governor designated State and Territory Energy Offices. The conference will feature a wide array of federal and private sector partners that state-level energy offices work with on a day-to-day basis, such as Federal and congressional offices; state and local planners, developers, and regulators working in energy, housing, transportation, climate, and resilience; grid operators and transmission organizations; and businesses and investors interested in clean energy economic development.  Our friends Lisa Jacobson of the Business Council for Sustainable Energy and Schneider Electric’s Anna Pavlova will be among the presenters.

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.

CERAWEEK Set for Houston CERAWEEK’s 2018 conference will be held in Houston from March 5-9th at the Hilton Americas.  Speakers this year include OPEC SG Mohammad Barkindo, GM’s Mary Berra, BP’s Bob Dudley, IAE’s Fatih Birol, FERC Commissioner Robert Powelson, Alaska Sen. Dan Sullivan, Exelon’s Chris Crane, Energy Transfer’s Kelsey Warren, Paul Spencer of the Clean Energy Collective, Sunnova’s John Berger, and many, many more.

ACORE Renewable Policy Forum Set for Cap Hill – The annual 2018 ACORE Renewable Energy Policy Forum will be held on Capitol Hill on March 14th.  The ACORE National Renewable Energy Policy Forum is the only pan-technology renewable energy policy summit to address federal and state policy. This signature conference brings together industry leaders and policymakers to discuss energy and tax policy, debate pressing issues in the changing electricity marketplace, and identify priorities for Congress, the states, and relevant agencies.

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.