Energy Update: 1/2/18


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.



“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.



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.



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.


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


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


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.


“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. 



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.


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.


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 November 10



The midterm elections are now behind us (except for Louisiana and a few undecided House races in Arizona, California and New York).  But before we head to Sesame Street, I am forwarding in one last blast (like a November Minnesota snow storm), our election recap and video analysis in a special section below, as well as an interviews with energy analyst Kevin Book, several trade association heads and a renewable energy summary from our friend Craig Cox.  The Hill hosts a policy forum on the Energy on Thursday morning.


So yes, on this day in 1969, Sesame Street introduced us and now our kids, to Big Bird, Bert, Ernie, Cookie Monster and the rest of the gang, teaching us how to spell, count, do arithmetic, have manners, respect others and express feelings.  Psychologist Lloyd Morrisett and NYC public TV producer Joan Ganz created the Children’s Television Workshop and developed a format that had “frequent repetition, clever visual presentation, brevity, and clarity” could potentially be used to teach preschool-aged children, especially with infectious songs that kids could easily recall and match to the educational content.  Hard to argue it hasn’t been a huge success.


Veterans’ Day is tomorrow and while that improves traffic, it is truly an important day to honor those who fight for us.  In honor of our Veterans, HBO and Starbucks will hold the Concert for Valor live on the Mall in Washington, D.C. rolling out a bunch of great stars like Bruce Springsteen, Metallica, Carrie Underwood, Dave Grohl, Eminem and Rihanna are among the artists who will play.  The gates open at 10:00 a.m. and the show starts at 7:00 p.m.  While it is snowing like mad in Minnesota/North Dakota, the weather in DC is expected to be fabulous.


With the President in Beijing, China for the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Summit (APEC), it is interesting to mention that BrightSource Energy’s Joe Desmond is also in China signing a joint venture agreement with Shanghai Electric Group (SEC) to construct two 135 megawatt (MW) CSP plants as part of the first phase of the Qinghai Delingha Solar Thermal Power Generation Project.   Deputy Secretary of Commerce Bruce Andrews was there with Desmond for the signing.


Congress returns this week for the “lame duck” session on starting Wednesday. They will spend the first week deciding what to do on a range of issues, including tax extenders, the PTC and a continuing resolution which is necessary by December 11 to keep the government running.  Most hearings this week focus on ISIL and Ebola issues.   Next week, the Senate will be in for a full five-day work week while the House will be in for four days through Thursday, November 20th.  My colleague Curt Beaulieu (202-828-5806) is fresh off the Hill’s Senate Finance Committee and can give you great insights on where things stand.   We also expect to see on the House Floor “secret science” legislation to prevent EPA from using science, data, and other information that is not publicly-available, peer-reviewed, and/or independently evaluated to justify the promulgation of new, costly rulemakings.


Outside Congress in DC, we expect to see EPA release the 2014 RFS final rule, continue to watch DOE rules on furnaces and other energy efficiency issues and have the roll out the final coal ash rule (which must happen by December 19).  We can be helpful on all of these items with my expert colleagues and other industry sources.


Finally, on Friday, the Supreme Court will consider whether to take up challenges to the D.C. Circuit’s April ruling upholding the controversial MATS rule.  My colleague Jeff Holmstead is available to comment.  And speaking of interesting papers, there is a new one from the Federalists Society that offers a heady discussion of the EPA effort to compel states to become the enablers of the Administration’s GHG plan.  Call with questions.


Frank Maisano

(202) 828-5864

  1. (202) 997-5932




Republicans Win Big On Election Night – Republicans won big victories in the 2014 Midterm Elections, winning key gubernatorial and congressional races in what many are viewing as a “wave election.”


Senate – In the Senate, Republicans took the majority, picking up 7 seats that were previously held by Democrats, giving the GOP 52 Senate seats in the 114th Congress.  Republicans won in Montana, South Dakota, West Virginia, Iowa, North Carolina, Arkansas and Colorado. They also managed to hold Republican seats in the hotly-contested states of Georgia, where Republican David Perdue will succeed retiring GOP Senator Saxby Chambliss; Kansas, where Senator Pat Roberts (R-KS) managed to hold on despite a strong challenge from independent Greg Orman; and in Kentucky, a top target for Democrats seeking to unseat Senator Mitch McConnell (R-KY), who is expected to be elected the next Senate Majority Leader.  Democrats were able to hold off strong challenges in the states of Virginia, where it took 3 days to finalized the 16,000-vote victory by incumbent Mark Warner who was almost surprised by former White House/RNC official Ed Gillespie; New Hampshire, where former Senator Scott Brown challenged incumbent Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH); Michigan, where Congressman Gary Peters (D-MI-14) defeated GOP candidate Terri Lynn Land to hold on to the seat of retiring Senator Carl Levin (D-MI); and in Oregon, where incumbent Senator Jeff Merkley (D-OR) easily overcame a challenge from Republican Monica Wehby.


House of Representatives – In the House of Representatives, Republicans added at least ten seats to their existing majority, moving it to nearly 243 seats depending on the undecided races.  One key note:  former GM lobbyist Debbie Dingell won the seat of husband John Dingell, keeping the Dingell name in that seat for every Congress since 1933…that’s the 72nd  Congress or 81 years.


Governors – There were big wins in State Capitals for many Republicans closely –fought incumbent wins in Florida (Scott), Michigan (Snyder), Maine (LePage), Wisconsin (Walker), Kansas (Brownback) and Georgia (Deal).  They also won big in the key states of Ohio (Kasich), Texas (Abbott), Nevada (Sandoval), New Mexico (Martinez) and Iowa (Branstad).   Finally, they won big surprising victories in blue states of Illinois (Rauner), Massachusetts (Baker) and Maryland (Hogan) and came up just short in Connecticut and Vermont.  Democrats defended incumbents in generally close races in New York (Cuomo), New Hampshire (Hassan), California (Brown), Hawaii (Ige, who knocked out incumbent Abercrombie in primary), Minnesota (Dayton), Oregon (Kitzhaber) and, after a few days, Colorado (Hickenlooper).  The big pick up for Democrats was in Pennsylvania, where Tom Wolf swamped incumbent Tom Corbett despite the State Legislature going overwhelmingly Republican.   Two races remain open: Vermont where incumbent Peter Shumlin leads in a race that will go to the State Legislature to be decided and Alaska, where Republican incumbent Sean Parnell trails challenger Bill Walker by a narrow margin.  In the end, Republicans picked up 3 state Houses giving them 31, while Democrats sit at 17, with Ds leading in the two races undecided.


What to Expect in the 114th Congress – Scott Segal says in a video that several changes are anticipated in the new Congress, with both chambers set for Republican control.  He adds key factors include more oversight of key Administration initiatives, notably in energy, the environment, and immigration; a return to a more traditional appropriations process; and the prospects for negotiations between the White House and Congress on key policy initiatives.


Insights on McConnell from former Rep. Anne Northup – Fresh off the campaign trail with Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY), former U.S. Representative Anne Northup provides insights on what can be expected from a Republican-controlled Senate. In this discussion with fellow PRG partner Scott Segal, she discusses some of the new Senate Majority leader’s policy priorities and how the Senate and House will work together.


Energy, Environment in the Next Congress – The President, Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-OH), and soon-to-be Senator Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) have all expressed interest in tackling energy issues in the 114th Congress, according to Segal. With Sen. Murkowski as Senate Energy chair and Sen. Inhofe as Senate Environment chair, both Committees will undoubtedly step up their oversight of EPA, with a particular focus on the President’s “Clean Power Plan.” Murkowski is a strong advocate of oil and natural gas development on federal lands, will work aggressively on reliability issues.  If Sen. Mary Landrieu prevails in her December runoff, she and Murkowski will continue their strong working relationship. If Landrieu loses, however, the position of Ranking Member will fall to Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA), whose state has no oil and gas production and plans to soon close its only coal-fired power plant.  While Cantwell is also a more staunch supporter of environmental regulation than Landrieu, she and Murkowski also have a history of working together to facilitate the Committee’s work.


Keystone, GHG Rules in Focus – In the new session in 2015, a bill to finalize the approval of the Keystone XL pipeline is a virtual certainty, whether as a separate legislative item or an attachment to must-pass legislation. It remains to be seen what legislative amendments and/or riders will be advanced to curtail the scope and speed of the Clean Power Plan, but it is likely one or more of these provisions will reach the floor of both chambers. Points of focus for States and Republican legislators include: the interim targets for emissions reductions states must meet by 2020, the impact the Clean Power Plan is likely to have on electrical reliability, and the enforceability of the Clean Power Plan in light of widespread opposition from numerous governors.  Because the success or failure of the Clean Power Plan is highly dependent on the States, the outcomes in a number of gubernatorial races will also be felt in the coming years. Governors’ mansions fell to Republicans in Democratic strongholds like Illinois, Maryland, and Massachusetts. Gas-rich Pennsylvania flipped the other way. But the net effect probably amplifies the chorus of opposition to implementation of the Clean Power Plan and other EPA rules.  Finally, we anticipate the volume obligations and the credits program under the Federal Renewable Fuel Standard, the ethanol mandate, to be subject to greater scrutiny and perhaps legislative reform in the new Congress. Further oversight is likely on ozone, regional haze, coal ash, and the waters of the United States as well.


Full Analysis on Key issues on PRG Site – There are several other detailed background papers and video analyses from key Bracewell PRG experts on issues like crude oil exports, shale oil/gas production, LNG exports, renewable energy, offshore oil/gas energy, tax issues and endangered species issues.  Click On the Link to review the details


PRG webinar review – Nearly 200 people tuned in to hear our 2014 midterms post-election analysis webinar Wednesday morning. Slides are available here: PRG_2014_Midterm_Elections_Webinar_PPT An audio file of the presentation is available for download here.


List of experts – PRG Speakers are listed here.  I have also added a number of additional experts that Bracewell’s PRG has In-house and available to provide you background expertise.  Our experts include:


1) Scott Segal (202-828-5845) on election results /implications, energy/environmental regulations;

2)former EPA Air chief Jeff Holmstead (202-828-5852) on energy issues and environmental regulations; 3) former Daschle/Reid energy staffer Eric Washburn (202-412-5211) wildlife issues, Democratic Politics;

4) former DOE Counsel Salo Zelermyer, (202-828-1718) on LNG exports, energy efficiency, biofuels;

5) trade expert Josh Zive (202-828-5838) on crude exports

6) former Senate Finance Committee Republican Tax staffer Curtis Beaulieu (202-828-5806) on Tax Issues

7) former KY Rep. Anne Northup on election results, implications, Mitch McConnell

8) Jason Hutt (202-828-5850), Lowell Rothschild (202-828-5817) on natgas, fracking issues

9) Kevin Ewing (202-828-7638) Offshore drilling

10) Ed Krenik (202-828-5877) Appropriation, Congressional politics, energy efficiency technologies

11) Cathy McCarthy (202-828-5839) Transmission, FERC

12) Mark Lewis (202-828-5834) FERC Oil/Gas Pipeline issues

13) David Perlman (202-828-5804) CFTC issues


Book Comments on Election FalloutE&E TV’s OnPoint featured Kevin Book, managing director at ClearView Energy Partners, the day after the election where he discusses committee shake-ups, the future of U.S. EPA air and water regulations, exports policy, and Keystone XL. He also gives his take on Tom Steyer’s effectiveness in the midterms and talks about how the environmental community should refocus its spending strategy heading into 2016. The power shift in Washington is expected to have direct impacts on some of the most debated energy and environment policies.


Energy Leaders Address Election Issues/Results – Story Partners released election impact insights from top energy industry leaders. If you haven’t had a chance, you can view the video interviews  here.  Videos include Cal Dooley, President & CEO, American Chemistry Council; Frank Macchiarola, EVP, Government Affairs, ANGA; Brian Wolff, EVP Public Policy & External Affairs, EEI; and Karen Alderman Harbert, President & CEO, U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Institute for 21st Century Energy to explore the political implications of the 2014 elections on the U.S. energy industry. We also spoke with leading journalists and pollsters.  The interviews look at what a shift in the Senate means for the energy economy; how candidates framed energy issues through the election cycle; what energy policy will look like in the next congressional session; and many other critical issues.


Renewable Election Update, Summary – Our friend Craig Cox, former head of the Interwest Energy Alliance, has forwarded his 2014 Clean Energy Election Summaries for the West, Midwest, South, and the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic.  The clean energy or climate policy positions of each winning gubernatorial candidate are also included in each regional summary as are the policy positions of utility regulators who won in states where the regulatory commissions are elected.




BSE Enters JV on Solar with China – BrightSource Energy and Shanghai Electric Group (SEC) announced today in Beijing that they have signed an agreement forming a joint venture for building utility-scale CSP plants in China. Under the agreement, the joint venture will leverage both partners’ contributions to provide engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) services for projects featuring BrightSource’s solar power tower technology in China. The joint venture’s first proposal is for the construction of two 135 megawatt (MW) CSP plants as part of the first phase of the Qinghai Delingha Solar Thermal Power Generation Project, of which the majority owner is Huanghe Hydropower Development Co. (Huanghe), a subsidiary of the China Power Investment Corporation (CPI). The announcement and signing ceremony was witnessed by Deputy Secretary of Commerce Bruce H. Andrews during the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Summit (APEC) in Beijing, China.  The Qinghai Delingha project will be located in China’s Qinghai province and is planned for six 135 MW CSP tower plants. The first phase will include two 135 MW solar thermal plants with thermal energy storage. Construction of the first two plants is expected to begin in 2015 and be completed in 2017.


BSE’s Desmond to Join Commerce Panel –  Speaking of BrightSource and Joe, Commerce Department Secretary Penny Pritzker appointed Desmond to the agency’s Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Advisory Committee. He will serve as a representative of U.S. solar energy companies in renewable energy and efficiency sector through June 12, 2016.   The committee was formed on June 19, 2012 to provide consensus recommendations from the private sector to the Secretary of Commerce that will enhance export competitiveness of the U.S. renewable energy and energy efficiency products.  Participation from private sector companies strengthens the Department of Commerce’s efforts on the Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Initiative, as well as the National Export Initiative.  Nominations  are based on the ability of the member to carry out the committee’s goal of increasing U.S. renewable energy and energy efficiency products in the global market.  Desmond, along with the BrightSource Energy team, combines nearly three decades of experience designing, building, and operating the world largest solar energy plants to minimize the impact on the environment and help customers reduce their dependence on fossil fuels.


NERC Report Underscores Grid Reliability Concerns Over EPA Rule – The North American Electric Reliability Corp (NERC) said in a new study that EPA’s estimates that more than 100 gigawatts in power capacity may be shut down may be too conservative.  NERC also said EPA’s assumptions about achievable power plant efficiencies underestimates the amount of work already done, and that the rule could lead to a greater need for new electric transmission.  “Based on our preliminary assessment of the proposed rule, we believe there must be further detailed engineering analysis to demonstrate whether the assumptions and targets are feasible in the timeframe proposed,” NERC chief Gerry Cauley said in a statement.


S&P Study Says Fuel Switching Likely to Increase Price – A new study from the Brattle Group says the loss of the cheaper coal units will boost power prices by as much as 25% on grids that serve about a third of the nation’s population.  Our friends at Bloomberg report the biggest impact may be in the Midwest and Northeast, where demand for gas for heating jumps during the cold-weather months. Midcontinent Independent System Operator (MISO), which manages the electricity network that runs from Manitoba to Louisiana, expects its power reserves to fall short of targets by about 2,000 megawatts by 2016, with deficits mounting after that. Even with the shale boom that’s cut gas prices, power generated with the fuel costs $30 to $35 a megawatt-hour, compared with about $25 for coal, according to Brattle.  The MISO concerns are similar to those expressed above by NERC and in recent reports by grid operators PJM and the Southwest Power Pool (SPP).


McGinty to Become PA Gov CoS – Our friend Katie McGinty will become Chief of Staff in Gov.-elect Tom Wolf’s administration.  McGinty has more than 25 years of experience in public service. She has served in many capacities, including at the White House during the Clinton Administration and as Pennsylvania’s Department of Environmental Protection Secretary. McGinty has also spent time in the private sector.  McGinty will become Chief of Staff following Wolf’s inauguration on January 20, 2015. Until then, she will assist Gov.-elect Wolf as he builds his administration.


Oil, Gas Jobs Keep Growing – The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported on Friday that oil and gas sector had increased it employment again, reporting with 215,600 jobs on a seasonally adjusted basis, up from 213,100 a month earlier and 200,600 a year ago.  To that end, a new API study says more women have opportunities to make careers in the oil and natural gas industry.  API’s Rayola Dougher, senior economic adviser at the American Petroleum Institute, said at a Women’s Leadership conference last week in Houston that while women constitute approximately 19% of the industry’s current workforce today, about 185,000 jobs are expected to be available for them over the next 15 years.




Concert for Valor Set – On Veterans’ Day, HBO and Starbucks will hold the Concert for Valor live on the Mall in Washington, D.C.  Bruce Springsteen, Metallica, Carrie Underwood, Dave Grohl, Eminem and Rihanna are among the artists who will play.


Military Enviro Leaders to Address Conference – The Defense Energy Summit will be held today through Wednesday in Austin, TX.  Speakers will include, Acting Assistant Secretary of Defense for Operational Energy Plans and Programs Edward Thomas Morehouse, Jr., Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Army (Energy & Sustainability) Richard Kidd and Assistant Secretary of the Navy, Energy, Installations & Environment Dennis McGinn (VADM, Ret).


MD Offshore Wind Group to Highlight Opportunities – The Maryland Offshore Wind Business groups is holding an International Offshore Wind Partnering Forum tomorrow through Thursday at the Pier 5 Hotel in Baltimore.  The event will offer thoughtful keynotes and workshops that cover everything from new technologies to managing risk in the OSW industry.  Speakers will include MD Gov Martin O’Malley, MD Sen. Ben Cardin, and our friend and O’Malley Energy advisor Abby Hopper, among many others.


CSIS to Host Global Security Forum – The Center for Strategic and International Studies will hold its 5th annual Global Security Forum 2014 on Wednesday starting at 8:00 a.m. which will address top challenges facing US and global security issues.   The forum will feature a role-playing simulation on Russian oil crisis.  The keynote speaker will be Deputy Secretary of Defense Robert Work.  Speakers will include former CIA head John McLaughlin, former approps staffer Jim Dyer, David Sanger from the New York Times and CBS’s Bob Schieffer.


Georgetown Forum to Discuss Paris Climate Meetings – The Georgetown University Mortara Center for International Studies and the McCourt School of Public Policy are hosting a seminar on Wednesday focused on the Paris COP Meetings and climate agreement  The event will feature Elliot Diringer, Executive Vice President of the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions (C2ES).  The energy and climate policy research seminar aims to enhance intellectual exchange among faculty and students by providing a forum to discuss research and policy topics related to the international and domestic dimensions of energy and climate change policy.  The Energy and Climate Policy Research Seminar is co-chaired by Joanna Lewis (SFS) and David Konisky (McCourt).


RFF to Host Nobel Laureate Mario Molina on Understanding Climate Risk – On Wednesday at 4:00 p.m., Resources for the Future (RFF) and the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) will host a special lecture on understanding climate risk. RFF President Phil Sharp and AAAS CEO Alan Leshner will host a conversation with 1995 Nobel Laureate in Chemistry Mario Molina about how the nation should prepare for the risks posed by a changing climate.  Molina is Director of the Mario Molina Center for Energy and Environment in Mexico City; Distinguished Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry at the University of California, San Diego; and Professor at the Center for Atmospheric Sciences at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography


PJM’s Boston to Address Polar Vortex – On Thursday,  ICF International will host its energy and environment breakfast featuring energy expert Terry Boston of PJM.  Boston will discuss the next polar vortex—and what we need to do to ensure reliable supplies of power at prices we can afford during extreme weather events.  At this time last year, we thought we were well prepared for winter weather—even very cold weather—in the Mid-Atlantic region. But then the polar vortex hit in two waves in January 2014, and the concept of “well prepared” seemed to change. While the system held together—no significant blackouts were recorded—the extreme cold snaps revealed vulnerabilities in the system, including more than 20% of the PJM’s generation shuttered due to the cold, planned closures were higher than they should have been, and gas supplies were so constrained that many consumers paid the highest recorded gas and wholesale power prices in history.  With more generation capacity due to retire soon, and an aging grid, Boston will address where we now stand in our ability to withstand winter’s frigid temperatures and storms.


IEA to Release Energy Efficiency Market Report 2014 – On Thursday at 10:00 a.m., the CSIS Energy and National Security Program will host Philippe Benoit, Head of the Energy Efficiency and Environment Division at the IEA, to discuss the IEA’s recently released inaugural Energy Efficiency Market Report 2014. The report finds that the global energy efficiency market is worth at least $310 billion a year and is expected to grow. The annual report from the International Energy Agency, now in its second year, confirms the position of energy efficiency as the “first fuel” in the IEA’s largest economies.   Benoit will also present a related IEA study, Capturing the Multiple Benefits of Energy Efficiency, which shows that the benefits of energy efficiency go well beyond the simple scaling back of energy demand. The study reframes the discussion about energy efficiency and shows how it has the potential to support economic growth, enhance social development, advance environmental sustainability, ensure energy-system security and help build wealth. Guy Caruso, Senior Adviser with the CSIS Energy and National Security Program, will moderate.


Hill Forum to Look at Election Results, Impacts on Energy – On Thursday at 8:00 a.m., The Hill will host a discussion of what’s next in the energy sector. Business analysts and innovators will offer perspectives on the energy industry’s next 5 years. Policymakers and government leaders will explore the energy agenda for the 114th Congress and will look ahead to anticipate energy priorities and initiatives in 2016. Keynote Speaker will Include Reps. John Shimkus (R-IL-15), Marc Veasey (D-TX-33) and Ed Whitfield (R-KY-01).  Other speakers will include ClearView Energy analyst Kevin Book, Jennifer Dlouhy of The Houston Chronicle, API’s Jack Gerard, Tom Hassenboehler of the House Energy & Commerce Committee, Mark Mills of the Manhattan Institute for Policy Research and former Deputy Assistant to the President for Energy & Climate Change Heather Zichal.


ELI to Look at EPA Methane Rule – The Environmental Law Institute will hold a webinar on Thursday at 12:00 p.m. on controlling methane from the oil and gas sector.  This past March, the White House put forth a new strategy to reduce methane emissions as part of its comprehensive Climate Action Plan, and EPA is following up by developing both regulatory and voluntary approaches to controlling methane emissions from oil and gas operations.  This seminar brings together a diverse panel of experts to weigh the pros and cons of different approaches to methane control. The panel will explain how the oil and gas sector can be an active partner in new initiatives and how the reduction of methane fits into the larger strategy for addressing climate change.  The event will feature EPA Air Office Head Janet McCabe, API’s Howard Feldman and EDF’s Tomás Carbonell.


Markey to Headline Energy Forum – The International Institute for Energy Conservation will hold a 30th anniversary and symposium on Thursday afternoon at The Liaison Capitol Hill.  The Symposium will feature presentations and panel discussions on how energy efficiency and other clean energy policies and technologies can provide climate change solutions.  Senator Ed Markey of Massachusetts headlines a long list of speakers. The event is co-hosted by the United Nations Environment Program, Alliance to Save Energy, American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy, the Natural Resources Defense Council, the Collaborative Labeling and Appliance Standards Program, the Climate Registry, the United Nations Foundation, SmartPower, The Business Council for Sustainable Energy, and Home Performance Coalition


Forum to Look at Climate Resilience – On Thursday at 5:30 p.m., Chino Cienega Foundation, I. M. Systems Group, Inc., Global Gender Program of the Elliott School, The George Washington University Alumni Association, World Wildlife Fund will host a forum on building a climate resilience from the beginning.  This event is part of the Myanmar Advanced Leadership Institute on Climate Change (MALICC), which brings a delegation of 14 government officials and civil society leaders to Washington. MALICC builds on a two-year partnership between PISA and ALARM, Myanmar’s leading environmental organization, in order to help mainstream climate change into the nation’s policy-making.  Roger-Mark De Souza, director of population, environmental security and resilience at the Wilson Center will speak.


CHP Policy Forum Set – On Thursday and Friday at the Park Hyatt Washington, the annual Combined Heat & Policy Association Policy Forum will kick off with a reception and trade show Thursday.  The next day attendees will hear a series of presentations about how local, state, and federal policies have enabled CHP. Each panel will feature a case study of a cooperative effort that worked to successfully get more CHP in the marketplace. With CHP being a solution that could solve a variety of energy needs, attendees will hear about small scale, medium scale, and large scale projects ranging from public buildings to industrial installations to hospitals.  Agenda highlights include Keynote Speech by Rep. Paul Tonko and DOE’s Jay Wrobel.


Forum to Look at Mexico Energy Plans – The Woodrow Wilson Center and the Atlantic Council will host a forum on Friday on Mexico’s Energy Reform.  The Mexican energy industry is set for transformation after President Enrique Peña Nieto signed into law the reform’s secondary legislation in August. The event will feature the first major policy address in the United States by one of the top Mexican officials leading this reform.  The event also follows two publications in step with the reform process and written by the Adrienne Arsht Latin America Center’s nonresident senior energy fellow, David Goldwyn, Mexico’s Energy Reform: Ready to Launch (August 2014) and Mexico Rising: Comprehensive Energy Reform at Last? (December 2013).  Keynote speakers will include Secretariat of Energy of Mexico María de Lourdes Melgar Palacios, Federal Commission of Electricity of Mexico (CFE) Director General Enrique Ochoa Reza, and Goldwyn, as well as our friend Bill Loveless, Platts Energy Week Host.


CSIS to Highlight Seimens CEO – The CSIS Energy and National Security Program will host a forum on Friday at 10:00 a.m. with Joe Kaeser, President and CEO of Siemens AG.  Kaeser will discuss recent developments in the global energy landscape. In the context of dynamic economic, political, environmental and technology-based trends all serving to shape current and future energy markets, we very much welcome the opportunity to hear Mr. Kaeser’s perspective on these timely issues. Frank Verrastro, Senior Vice President and James R. Schlesinger Chair for Energy and Geopolitics at CSIS, will moderate.


House Foreign Affairs to Look at Africa, Energy – The House Foreign Affairs Committee will hold a hearing on Friday at noon looking at the future of energy in Africa.  Witnesses include Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Robert Ichord, US AID’s Eric Postel, Acting Assistant Energy Secretary Jonathan Elkind, Leadership Africa USA CEO Walker Williams and Dianne Sutherland, owner of Petroleum Africa Magazine.




MacFarlane to Make Final Address at Press Club – Nuclear Regulatory Commission Chairman Allison Macfarlane, who recently announced she will leave the commission at the end of December, will deliver her final public address at a National Press Club luncheon next Monday, November 17th.  She will reflect on the agency’s accomplishments and challenges during her tenure and talk about the issues facing the agency going forward.


Bingaman, Moeller Headline NARUC Meeting – The 126th Annual NARUC Meeting will be held November 16th – 19th at the Marriott Marquis in San Francisco.  In addition to the usual topics, the event will look at topics like distributed generation,  emergency phone calls, alternative-fuel vehicles and ride-sharing services.   The meeting agenda is nearly final, though new speakers and panels will be announced over the several weeks. Panel discussions will be held on the proposed Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean Power Plan, the rise of ride-sharing services like Uber and Lyft, Next Generation 911 services, workforce development, methane emissions, and much more.  A complete agenda is available online.   In addition, NARUC members will elect a new slate of officers for 2014-2015. Current NARUC President Colette D. Honorable of Arkansas’s term will conclude, with new officers being voted in during the meeting.   Confirmed speakers will include former Senate Energy Chair Jeff Bingaman, FERC Commissioner Philip Moeller, EPA Air counsel Joe Goffman, National Cable & Telecommunications Association CEO Michael Powell and Uber General Counsel Salle Yoo.


Webinar Set to Cover Offshore – WINDExchange, the DOE Wind Program’s platform for disseminating credible information about wind energy, is hosting a webinar on November 19th at 3:00 p.m.  Guest speakers will focus on recent developments in the economics of offshore wind. They will discuss the 2014 Offshore Wind Market Report, U.S. wind energy manufacturing, and potential impacts of wind project development on job growth. The webinar is the first in a series designed to inform participants about offshore wind’s technological and industry developments, recent Energy Department-funded research results, and opportunities to move the industry forward in the United States.


NJ to Host Power Forum – The National Journal will host a policy summit on Powering the 21st Century: what the next decade will mean for industry, consumers, tech-driven innovations, and action in Washington on Thursday November 20th at 8:00 a.m.  There’s an ‘energy renaissance’ underway in the U.S., thanks in part to a variety of innovative technologies that have improved access to new energy sources. These advances mean the U.S. will be able to meet all its own energy needs by 2035, if not sooner.   These innovations are taking place while the Obama administration attempts to regulate emissions and lower greenhouse gasses by 17% by 2020. The event will focus on the new energy boom’s meaning for sustainability and energy efficiency initiatives, as well as power distribution and reliability.  Our friend Ben Geman will moderate a panel that will include CEQ’s Mike Boots, PG&E’s Helen Burt, NRDC’s David Goldston, SEIA’s Rhone Resch and WRI’s

Andrew Steer.  I suppose it will be an interesting panel of all the panelists agreeing with each other…


IEA Chief to Headline CSIS Forum – The CSIS Energy and National Security Program will host a forum on Monday November 24th at 9:30 a.m., hosting Fatih Birol, Chief Economist at the International Energy Agency (IEA).  Birol will present the IEA’s 2014 World Energy Outlook. The global energy landscape is evolving at a rapid pace, reshaping long-held expectations for our energy future. Dr. Birol will help shed light on the rapidly evolving global energy landscape, presenting the WEO’s comprehensive analysis of medium- and longer-term energy trends. This year’s edition of the WEO also has a special focus on the outlook for nuclear power and its implications, and an in-depth study of sub-Saharan Africa, highlighting the prospects for improving access to modern energy services and for developing the region’s huge resource potential in a way that contributes not only to regional and global energy balances, but also to local and social well-being. Sarah Ladislaw, Director and Senior Fellow with the CSIS Energy and National Security Program, will moderate.


GenForum Set to Discuss GHG, Reliability, NatGas – PennWell’s GenForum will be held on December 8th in Orlando, Florida.  At the event, there will be a panel  discussion on the future of coal power during a dash to gas, as well as EPA’s Clean Power Plan. The EPA rule proposal is meant to have states implement plans to cut power sector emissions 30% by 2030. GenForum is organized by PennWell’s GenerationHub. GenForum brings together power generation executives who operate, plan, build, regulate and invest in power generation systems in North America. Other speakers will include PJM Interconnection Chief Economist Paul Sotkiewicz, Ph.D., will kick off GenForum with a keynote presentation on electric power demand. Julie Turner, Duke Energy general manager for combined-cycle gas generation in North and South Carolina will be part of a panel discussion on natural gas generation. Electric Power Supply Association (EPSA) President and CEO John Shelk will discuss issues surrounding competitive power in today’s marketplace. Florida PSC Commissioner Eduardo Balbis will discuss the Florida electric power landscape. ScottMadden Consulting Partner Stuart Pearman will discuss issues posed by distributed generation.


Energy Update Week of May 27


How about that for an acronym-heavy Subject Line…Hope you enjoyed the Memorial Day Holiday.  I have launched my summer wear in full force, sporting the pink, seersucker-striped pants today (and there is more where that came from).  What a glorious weekend:  Fabulous weather, great sports, an extra day off and lots of “honey-do” (planting, weeding, changing broken doors, etc).  Congrats to the Maryland women and Duke men laxers who brought home championships in Baltimore.  Now the NCAA turns to the men’s and women’s College World Series.

First the most important news from last week:  Following the announcement that Hess Corporation is selling its retail business to Marathon, Hess confirmed that it will STILL produce a 2014 Hess Toy Truck that it sells during the holiday season.  This year is the 50th anniversary edition.

The other big news of the weekend was in the rock ‘n roll world.  You all know I like my music pretty heavier (currently I’m enjoying the 20-year, re-release of Soundgarden’s Superunknown), but I am a product of the 80s and always listened to the bands like Foreigner, REO and Journey.  (okay, yes, even Loverboy)  Anyway, you may know that Journey’s Steve Perry has been absent from the stage for more than 20 years.  But on Sunday, Perry re-emerged in St. Paul, Minnesota at the Fitzgerald Theater.  He joined the alternative rock band, The Eels, during an encore of their show. After a brief introduction, Perry sang one of the band’s songs, but then went on to sing the Journey classics, Open Arms and Lovin’, Touchin’, Squeezin’. The YouTube video of the full performance is here.

As for the GHG rule for Existing Power plants, Don’t Stop Believin’ that my colleagues Scott Segal and Jeff Holmstead are Faithfully your Wheel In The Sky regarding the Lights of the EPA rule, so if you’re Feeling that Way, feel free to reach out with Open Arms.  They will offer their insights Anyway Way You Want It.

The GHG curtain raisers are turning into curtain calls for media stories.  POLITICO started it all last Monday, with the Washington Post and Bloomberg reporting last week and the Wall Street Journal today.  Our friend Coral Davenport had another angle in the NYT yesterday looking at foreign governments’ interest in next week’s announcement.   Not a lot new in the early reports, with talks of state flexibility, use of cap and trade efficiency and renewable energy plans.  Later this week, the US Chamber is expected to unveil a new study that will start to associate costs with the wide-ranging rule.  Countdown six days to the release with the expected involvement of the President.

Today in New Orleans, the DOE continues its Quadrennial Energy Review with a focus on oil and gas issues.  The event will include Secretary Moniz, who also attended previous meetings in Rhode Island/Connecticut.  Our friend Lori LeBlanc, who directs offshore programs for Louisiana’s oil/gas trade assn will be testifying at the event saying as implementation of strict new safety and environmental standards continues, Gulf of Mexico energy production is getting stronger and stronger.   For a full copy of LeBlanc’s testimony, visit LMOGA’s website at

While the Senate stays out during the short week, the House returns with several important hearings.  On Thursday, House Science will discuss the IPCC review process, hearing from scientists involved in the process, while House Foreign Affairs look at LNG exports and Asia and Small Business tackles EPA’s “Waters of the US” Rule.  My colleague Lowell Rothschild (202-828-5817) is an expert on the topic should you need a good resource.  Finally, on Friday, E&C’s oversight panel returns to DOE’s loan programs.

Remember to keep your eyes peeled later this week for an analysis of the economic impacts of the GHG rule.   Call with Q’s…

Frank Maisano
(202) 828-5864
c. (202) 997-5932


LA Oil, Gas Offshore Head LeBlanc Discusses Gulf Energy Future at DOE QER Meeting –  Louisiana oil trade executive Lori LeBlanc said as implementation of strict new safety and environmental standards continues, Gulf of Mexico energy production is getting stronger and stronger at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Quadrennial Energy Review (QER) meeting in New Orleans.  LeBlanc served as one of four panelists discussing “Gulf Coast Energy Transmission, Storage and Distribution Infrastructure.”  DOE Secretary Ernie Moniz lead off the forum, the third in a series of meetings examining different aspects of today’s U.S. energy picture, focused on offshore energy development and regional conservation efforts.  LeBlanc said “between 2014 and 2019, output from the Gulf is expected to rise another 26%, from around 1.5 million bpd to 1.9 million bpd.  There have been nine new discoveries of oil formations in the Central Gulf since June 2012, spurring significant bids in the most recent lease sale that garnered over $850 million for the Department of the Interior and signaled strong continued business interest in the offshore. Federal revenue from offshore energy production from 2003 to 2012 totaled more than $47 Billion in lease sales and royalties – a major source of revenue for the U.S. Treasury.”

And What About Oil’s Economic Impacts – LeBlanc also focused on the Economic impacts of the drilling and production.  “The total economic impact of Gulf energy is immense.  It creates jobs in every state in the U.S., with some 430,000 jobs nationwide estimated to link to Gulf energy activity, along with tens of thousands here in Louisiana alone.  The offshore oil and gas industry has a $44 billion annual impact to Louisiana per year and a $70 billion annual impact when you factor in the related pipeline and refining industries.”

PJM Auction Double Electricity Prices for Future, NJ Still Highest – The PJM Interconnection said  the results of the 2017-18 auction will result in higher prices over the 2016 auction, with prices doubling.  The result of the annual auction were posted Friday and will have PJM garner 167,004 megawatts of capacity resources to serve the region from June 1, 2017, to May 31, 2018, a reserve margin of 19.7%. Interestingly, much like last year’s auction, there was price separation in northern New Jersey, actually throughout PSEG’s zone.  The price separation in PSEG is caused by transmission constraints and therefore must run higher priced generators to meet capacity. This year – prices levelized across all regions of PJM, except for PSEG. PSEG cleared at $215 MW-day, while all other PJM regions cleared at $120 MW-day.  There are two main ways to fix this problem – build new local gas-fired generation or build new transmission.   New Jersey  already tried to fix the price problem by incentivizing the creation of new, in-state gas-fired generation with their LCAPP program, but that was met with stiff opposition by incumbent generators (and PJM) and the courts ultimately blocked the State’s program.   The PJM region covers 61 million people over 13 states and D.C. that features a transmission grid of more than 62,500 miles.

Marcellus Drillers Innovate Ways To Benefit From Field-Gas-Powered Operations – A good article by Alex Benedetto at SNL Energy said that although many producers in the Marcellus Shale can source natural gas to fuel their operations, infrastructure limitations have made it hard for them to use field gas on a large scale and transport it to the rig from the source. Driven by low cost, producers have thought of alternative ways to shift to field gas in powering their rigs. “We’ve been drilling for five years, which has allowed us to stretch the pipeline system in such a way that we are able to find locations to drill in our acreage where field gas is available, or the drilling rig is out there drilling on tube trailer gas and at the same time a pipeline is being constructed to it,” said George Stark, spokesman for Cabot Oil and Gas.

Fracking Hits Websters – The annual addition of new words to Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary and the company’s free online database was hit energy this year.  Fracking and cap and trade were among 150 new words announced Monday by the Springfield, Massachusetts, company.  Many of the other new words and terms stem from digital life and social media — spoiler alert, hashtag, selfie and tweep — while others are food driven, including pho and turducken, a boneless chicken stuffed into a boneless duck stuffed into a boneless turkey.  Of course, as a Michigan native, my favorite new word is Yooper, the moniker for native or longtime residents of the Lake Superior region known for a distinctive manner of speaking.

Dems Oppose GHG Rule, Questions CCS Viability – Seven red-state Democrats sent EPA a letter last week saying its proposed rule for new power plants is “not based on technology that has been adequately demonstrated on a commercial scale.  Senators, led by ND’s Heidi  Hietkamp and IN’s Joe Donnelly  said they “strongly recommend that you evaluate more appropriate ways to regulate emissions in order to truly support the development of CCS and other clean coal technologies. Long-term thinking is essential to ensure that every U.S. citizen will have access to affordable and reliable energy while encouraging energy solutions that lower our carbon footprint.”  Others signing the Letter include Mary Landrieu of Louisiana, who chairs the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee; Joe Manchin of West Virginia, Claire McCaskill of Missouri, Mark Pryor of Arkansas and Mark Warner of Virginia.

45 Sens Ask for Comment Period Delay – Meanwhile, 45 Senators including a number of key Democrats are asking EPA to extend the comment period for the GHG rule for new power plants.  The letter says EPA should grant the request because of the “significant impact this rule could have on our nation’s electricity providers and consumers, on jobs in communities that have existing coal-based power plants, and on the economy as a whole.”

GA Power to Bring Wind to State – The Georgia Public Service Commission (PSC) has granted unanimous approval for utility Georgia Power to purchase power from two wind farms in Oklahoma.  Starting in 2016, the utility will buy a total 250 MW of wind energy from EDP Renewables North America’s Blue Canyon Phase II and VI wind farms. The contracts were initially announced in April 2013 but required PSC approval.  According to Georgia Power, these wind purchases are cheaper than other forms of electric generation already on the grid and will put downward pressure on rates. Utility spokesperson John Kraft says, “It is significant anytime we can diversify our generation resources by adding cost effective renewables. This is an exciting time to add wind generation to our portfolio.”  The Sierra Club, an environmental organization, has also welcomed the PSC approval.

Poll Shows Americas Energy Knowledge Low – Americans have taken a wide range of energy saving behaviors in the past six months, and overall energy knowledge is relatively low, according to a recent national poll by Morning Consult Energy.  The poll was conducted from April 24-27, 2014, among a national sample of 2,045 registered voters. The interviews were conducted online and the data was weighted to approximate a target sample of registered voters based on age, race/ethnicity, gender, educational attainment, region, annual household income, home ownership status, and marital status. Results from the full survey have a margin of error of plus or minus two percentage points.  Overall, 11% of Americans say they feel they know ‘a lot’ about energy issues and problems, 48% say they know ‘a fair amount, 36% say they know ‘only a little, and 5% say they know ‘practically nothing’ about energy issues. Two in 10 tea party supporters, and nearly two in 10 self-described environmentalists say they feel they know ‘a lot’ about energy issues.

Podcast Look at Energy Issues – In case you missed it last week, our friends at the Energy Gang are doing a fresh pod cast each week on Greentech Media that features three current stories on clean energy. Stephen Lacey, Jigar Shah and Katherine Hamilton engage in lively discussion of technologies, policies and market forces driving energy and environmental issues. The Gang often brings on guests who contribute to the conversation.  See:  You can also find The Energy Gang on Greentech Media (

API: US Crude Output, Refining Growth Strong in April – API said U.S. crude oil production in April rose 12.6% year-on-year, reaching nearly 8.3 million barrels per day, the highest seen in that month since 1988. Refined oil product gross inputs and exports also reached 16.1 million barrels per day, a 5.1% increase from April of last year.  API said April brought strong year-over-year growth in both the production and refining sectors, adding that the oil and natural gas industry continues to provide a solid base for growth in the larger economy.


Brooking Forum to Discuss Russian Gas Matrix – The Brookings Energy Security Initiative (ESI) and the Center on the United States and Europe (CUSE) at Brookings will host a discussion this morning to launch the Oxford Institute for Energy Studies’ (OIES) new book on The Russian Gas Matrix: How Markets are Driving Change. This study looks at the shifting relationship between supply and demand for Russian gas and Russia’s influence in the European and Asian energy sectors. James Henderson, co-editor of the study, will present OIES’s findings along with Jonathan Stern, one of the book’s contributors and chairman of the Natural Gas Research Program at OIES. After their remarks, Edward C. Chow, senior fellow at the Center for Strategic & International Studies, will serve as a discussant and Charles K. Ebinger, senior fellow and director of ESI, will moderate the discussion.

Forum to Look at Second Gen Biofuel Risks – The George Washington University Environmental Law Studies Program, the Society for Risk Analysis National Capital Area Chapter, the Women’s Council on Energy and the Environment (WCEE); Risk, Policy and Law Specialty Group, Society for Risk Analysis (SRA RPLSG); and USDA Office of Risk Assessment and Cost Benefit Analysis (ORACBA) will host an event tonight at 6:00 p.m. at Burns Hall Room 505 on the risk regarding increasing demand for sustainable bioenergy feedstocks (other than corn) to meet U.S. renewable fuel mandates.   Practitioners will discuss the challenges of navigating the need for ecological protection while also fostering the development of renewable bio-based sources of energy and chemicals, and what role risk analysis can play in the process.

FERC NRC to Discuss Reliability of Grid – Commissioners and staff from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission will hold a joint meeting tomorrow at 9:00 a.m. in Rockville. The meeting is the seventh time the two commissions have met to discuss issues of mutual concern to their respective agencies and underscores the commitment of these two agencies to the safe and reliable operation of the bulk power system. The public meeting will focus on grid reliability, nuclear power plant license renewals and dam safety. It will include presentations by FERC and NRC staff, as well as participation by staff of the North American Electric Reliability Corporation.

RFF Seminar to Look at Ecology – Resources for the Future will hold a First Wednesday Seminar tomorrow at 12:45 p.m. focused on natural resources, ecology and public policy. Demographers emphasize that the population growth rate has steadily declined over the last four decades and is expected to continue declining at a rapid rate. What does this demographic phenomenon signify for demands on natural resources and ecological systems? What other factors may concurrently come into play? This moderated panel discussion will draw on the emerging insight that humankind may be in the era of the “Anthropocene,” prompting us to reconsider interrelationships among people, resources, ecology, and the way public policies shape these linkages. Jack Bobo will discuss some of the key demographic trends. Erle Ellis, who has developed the still more recent concept of the “anthrome,” will discuss implications for ecological systems, including whether the potential to conserve biodiversity may, paradoxically, be increased by rapid urbanization and more intensive use of agricultural land. Roger Sedjo and Joel Darmstadter will emphasize the joint influence of markets and policy intervention, particularly in the cases of forests, agriculture, and energy.

Forum to Look at Financing the Green Economy – The Johns Hopkins University will host a forum tomorrow at 4:00 p.m. with Nick Robins, director of the Climate Change Centre of Excellence at HSBC, and Simon Zadek, visiting scholar at Tsinghua School of Economics and Management and a senior fellow at the Global Green Growth Institute.  Both will discuss financing the green economy and changing the rules of the game.

Green to Headline Hudson Energy Infrastructure Forum – The Hudson Institute will host Rep Gene Green of Texas on Thursday morning at 8:00 a.m. to discuss energy infrastructure.  In the last few years, North America has experienced an energy renaissance as advances in technology and techniques have spurred major increases in oil and natural gas production. However, these abundant energy resources will only substantially benefit the North American economy and consumers in the long run if necessary infrastructure is planned, permitted, and built to integrate supply and demand in an efficient and expeditious manner. The recent rail accidents involving petroleum tank cars have focused more concern on the issue of energy infrastructure, particularly in the United States. Moreover, without expanding energy logistics capacity North American competitiveness may suffer as energy markets in Asia and Europe advance.  Green is principal co-sponsor of bipartisan legislation, the North American Energy Infrastructure Act (H.R. 3301), which aims to modernize the current permitting process for the construction of natural gas and petroleum pipelines and electrical power lines that would cross the boundaries of the United States. Rep. Green will join Senior Fellow Christopher Sands to discuss the status of North American energy infrastructure and prospects for congressional action this year related to U.S. energy policy.

House Approps to Move AG Funding – On Thursday at 9:00 a.m., the full House Appropriations Committee will meet to mark up the FY 2015 Agriculture Appropriations Bill.

House Science Looks at UN IPCC Report, Process – On Thursday at 11:00 a.m., the House Science Committee will hold a hearing to examine the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Process.  Witnesses will include Richard Tol of the University of Sussex, Princeton’s Michael Oppenheimer, UCSB’s Dan Botkin and Roger Pielke Sr. of Colorado State University.

NOIA’s Luthi, Others Featured on Oil Pollution Act Update Panel – On Thursday at 12:00 p.m., a panel of experts will the Oil Pollution Act and attempts to update it given recent spill activity.  In 1990, following the Exxon Valdez oil spill, President George H.W. Bush signed the Oil Pollution Act (OPA) into law to strengthen the federal government’s ability to prevent and respond to oil spills, establish financial resources to aid response, and raise standards for contingency planning.  In 2010, in response to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, President Barack Obama signed an Executive Order to establish the National Commission on the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and Offshore Drilling. This bipartisan presidential commission “tasked with providing recommendations on how the United States can prevent and mitigate the impact of any future spills that result from offshore drilling.” Three years after the Commission’s 2011 report, much has happened in the area of oil pollution law, though only one aspect of OPA has been amended.  An expert panel will discuss developments in oil pollution law, including discussions on developments in the Houston Ship Channel oil spill, the Deepwater Horizon disaster and the pending civil penalty action, the oil transport disaster in Lac-Mégantic, Quebec, the Deepwater Horizon Natural Resource Damage Assessment, and the status of claims made under the BP compensation Fund.  Panelists will include DOJ’s Assistant Chief of Environmental Enforcement William Brighton, NOIA’s Randy Luthi and Cynthia Sarthou of the Gulf Restoration Network.

House Small Biz Look at EPA’s “Waters of US” Rule – The Small Business Committee holds a hearing on Thursday looking at the small business impact of EPA’s new Waters of the United States rule on Clean Water Act jurisdiction.  My colleague Lowell Rothschild (202-828-5817) is an expert on the topic should you need a good resource.

House FA Panel to Look at Asia, LNG – The House Foreign Affairs Committee’s Subcommittee on Asia and the Pacific will hold a hearing on Thursday at 2:00 p.m. on LNG and energy needs in Asia.  Witnesses will include Mikkal Herberg of the National Bureau of Asian Research, CSIS’s Jane Nakano and Diane Leopold of Dominion Energy.

House Energy Panel Takes on DOE Loan Program – The House Energy and Commerce Committee’s Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations will hold a hearing on Friday morning looking at the Department of Energy’s loan programs.

Green Festival Set of DC Convention Center – The Washington, DC Green Festival will celebrate its 10th year on Saturday and Sunday at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center.  The event features the widest selection of products and services to work green, play green and live green – from food, fashion and health, to energy, construction and design. Enjoy vegan and vegetarian cooking demos, educational activities for kids and families, panels featuring inspirational speakers, and live music and entertainment. Shop in our unique marketplace of more than 300 eco-friendly businesses – everything from all-natural body care products and organic clothing to Fair Trade gifts, beautiful home renovations made from renewable resources, plus vegan and vegetarian offerings based on organic, non-GMO or local, artisanal foods.

FERC to Hold Cove Point LNG Public Meeting – FERC will hold a public meeting on the Dominion LNG project on Saturday at Patuxent High School in Lusby, Md.  Last week FERC approved the project saying it would have virtually no impact on the environment.  A contingent of environmental activists oppose the project and will likely organize in full force for the public meeting.


GHG Existing Power Plants Rule Roll Out – June 2.  Last week, POLITICO reported that EPA Head Gina McCarthy has been told by the President that he will make next week’s announcement.

WCEE Panel to Look at Energy Priorities – The Women’s Council on Energy and the Environment will host a panel of thought-leaders in policy, non-profit, and industry next Monday at Noon, who will share ideas and priorities for U.S. energy policy.  They will provide insight into their respective organization’s energy policy perspectives, and opportunities and expectations for the future.  The event is not structured as a debate but rather as the opportunity to hear the speakers’ varying perspectives and to ask questions of the three energy policy experts.  Speakers will include PG&E’s Melissa Lavinson, Janet Peace of Center for Climate and Energy Solutions (C2ES) and Veronika Rabl of IEEE-USA

Brookings Study Looks at Economic Impacts of Delays in Climate Policy – Next Tuesday, June 3rd at 1:30 p.m., Economic Studies at Brookings will host an event to present the results of a new study on the economic effects of delaying implementation of US climate policy. Non-Resident Senior Fellows Warwick McKibbin and Peter Wilcoxen and Fellow and Policy Director Adele Morris will present the new research, which will be followed by a panel discussion.  A delay in the implementation of U.S. climate policy, whether the policy is an EPA regulation or a carbon tax, could mean more stringent policies are necessary later. Brookings scholars have conducted this new economic modeling to compare the economic outcomes of modest climate policy action now with the potential consequences of more stringent policies later, including effects on consumption, investment, and labor markets.

Conference to Focus on Energy Storage – The Energy Storage Association will hold its 24th Annual Conference on June 4-6th at the Marriott Wardman Park Hotel.  They will launch the conference with a reception on Tuesday, June 3rd in Union Station’s Columbus Club the industry, allies, and supporters will discuss energy storage advances in policy and commercialization.

RFF to Look at Insurance – Resources for the Future will hold a seminar on Wednesday, June 4th  at 12:45 p.m. looking at the future of insurance.  Insurance is a fundamental tool for managing risks, improving resiliency after disaster events, and opening up economic opportunities that otherwise may not be possible.  Yet, not all risks are insurable. Society has struggled in the past with risks that are highly correlated among insureds, as is the case with natural disaster events, or where losses could be so severe as to be unmanageable by the private insurance market because they could threaten the solvency of companies, as would be the case with a nuclear accident.  Recently, the twin forces of climate change, altering weather patterns around the globe, and globalization, in terms of increased migration, interconnected supply chains, and rapidly changing technologies, have raised the question as to whether disaster events are becoming increasingly uninsurable.  Exposure is concentrating as development in risky areas continues, and systems previously thought independent are becoming linked, whether due to relationships in the climate system, deployment of the same vulnerable technology, or reliance on a single supplier.  These trends are leading to ever-increasing disaster losses worldwide.

Forum to Look at Geothermal in Developing World – The Society for International Development’s Energy & Infrastructure Workgroup will hold a workshop on Wednesday, June 5th  at 12:00 p.m., looking at geothermal energy opportunities and challenges in the developing world.  Geothermal energy production is heating up around the world, with great potential to meet growing energy needs both here and abroad. A panel of industry leaders will discuss this potential, the trends in geothermal production and the benefits it has over other energy sources. Because much of this energy is being produced in the developing world, we will discuss the challenges and opportunities of working in areas where we must adapt to often complex social, political, and economic contexts.

AAAS to Focus Summit on Governance – American Association for the Advancement of Science will hold a summit on climate change resilience in its Auditorium, Thursday-Friday, June 5-6th.  This two-day summit is for government officials and staff, civil society, community, corporate, and thought leaders, journalists, and others interested in the governance issues raised by climate change resilience. Come if you work on climate issues and want to engage more on governance. Come if you work on and want to better understand the tensions climate change may increase.  Issues of governance—how collective decisions are made, interpreted, implemented, and challenged—will enable or impede activities to increase resilience.

SEIA to Hold Webinar on Q1 2014 Solar Market Insight Report Overview – The Solar Energy Industries Association and GTM Research will hold a webinar on Thursday, June 5th at 1:00 p.m. covering the highlights of the “U.S. Solar Market Insight: Q1 2014 Report. The U.S. solar market has burst out of the gate in 2014 by recording the second-largest quarter in history.  This growth was led by the strong performance of the utility segment- both in the PV and CSP markets.  The webinar will highlight emerging trends in Q1, at the national level and in some of the top state markets. The discussion will also include detailed PV and CSP market forecasts for the rest of 2014 and beyond.  Speakers will include SEIA’s Shawn Rumery and Cory Honeyman of GTM Research.

Forbes Exec to Keynote Energy Capital Conference – The 7th annual Energy Capital Conference will be held June 9-10th at the Omni Houston Hotel.  The event addresses effective strategies for oil and gas executives interested in expanding their knowledge of how to successfully access and deploy capital.  The keynote speaker will be entrepreneur-turned-publisher, columnist, television commentator, private investor and board director, Rich Karlgaard.  Karlgaard has a unique vantage point on the trends driving the business and investment climates. His insights help audiences see the global marketplace with new eyes.

WAPA to Hold Chrysler Ride, Drive – The Washington Automotive Press Assn (WAPA)and Chrysler will host a ride and drive on June 12th to drive the all-new 2015 Chrysler 200 at River Farm. Simple elegance, an exhilarating driving experience, state-of-the-art technology and beautifully crafted, the all-new 2015 Chrysler 200 charts a new course for mid-size sedan customers who have earned a little luxury in their life, but demand value for their money.  The Chrysler 200 team will share key information on the Chrysler 200 and answer questions.

EIA Head to Keynote International Energy Conference in NYC – Adam Sieminski, administrator of the Energy Information Administration will address the international implications of the U.S. energy renaissance at the 37th annual International Association for Energy Economics conference at the New Yorker Hotel in the big apple on June 16th.  The conference goes through June 18 and also features thought leaders across business, government and academia including representatives from Statoil, National Renewable Energy Labs, IMF, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, UC Davis, Baker Hughes, Citi Research, SunEdison and many more. See the Detailed conference schedule here.

FERC Commissioners to Address Regional Regulators Conference – The Mid-Atlantic Conference of Regulatory Utilities Commissioners (MACRUC) will hold its 19th  Annual Education Conference on June 22nd through 25th at the Hotel Hershey.  Speakers will include FERC Commissioners John Norris and Phil Moeller, as well as NARUC head Colette Honorable, New Jersey Natural Gas CEO Laurence Downes, Bill Colton of ExxonMobil, Walter Lynch of American Water and Exelon Utilities CEO Denis O’Brien.

Summit to Target Crude By Rail Issues – American Business Conferences will hold a Crude By Rail summit on June 24-25 in Houston to focus specifically on how each stakeholder can cost effectively optimize safety in their operations to restore confidence and promote reliability.  As the only crude by rail event specifically focused on optimizing safety, the Crude By Rail Safety Initiative 2014 host speakers from every key stakeholder group, including regulators, shippers, railroad operators, transloaders and refiners to quantify the cost-impacts of improving the safety of crude by rail operations.  Expert speakers will breakdown railroad strategies for improving safety and shipper strategies for crude testing, classification and transloading, provide a cost-analysis of railcar upgrades, clarify how the emerging regulatory landscape will impact each stakeholder and examine best practice emergency response and hazmat training.

Energy Update Week of January 7


I hope everyone had a great holiday.  While we all survived the Fiscal Cliff Hurricanes, it seems as if there will be more political trouble down the road from Debt Black Hawks in Congress.  Remembers the Devils are always in the details.  While I took Flyers on the whole fiscal mess, it couldn’t nearly Bruin the controversy over the NHL lockout, which is finally resolved.   The 48-game season is set to start in a few weeks, so let’s get it on…  Too bad Nick Lidstrom didn’t keep his Red Wings for this shortened season.  I bet he would be a Predator in a shortened 48-game season.  It would have been much better for his older Jets than the long-regular season and playoffs.  Anyway, Canadians, Canucks and Maple Leafs of all stripes are finally breathing a sigh of relief that the OHL is not playing on Hockey Night in Canada anymore (they couldn’t even watch the Canadian Jrs lose to the USA at the World Junior Championships in Russia).

Speaking of Capitals, the beginning of January also signals the beginning for the Stars of the state legislatures across the nation.  Look for an Avalanche of local legislation that sometimes Ducks logic.  In Maryland, Islanders looking for new offshore wind legislation are expected to push local Senators, Kings and other officials with a new effort to reignite the issue that went up in Flames last year in the State Senator, which truly gave supporters the Blues.  Perhaps Lightning will strike this year.   Like Panthers on the prowl, we will be trying to monitor key issues, but if you Coyotes out there hear of local state legislative issues that you need us to report on or want to mention, please let me know and we’ll report with our Sabres of truth.  

We are keeping our eyes peeled for movement from the White House on a new EPA Administrator.  We were are a bit surprised as Penguins without ice to see Christine Gregoire’s name mentioned by Washington State types last week who obviously are hearing about her being vetted.  We’re only a little surprised because we were thinking she would be better for Energy with her strong past experience on Hanford/nuclear waste issues, but if she was being vetted, that wouldn’t necessary mean for which job either…Oh yes, but that’s right…the Energy Secretary job is not open…yet…  See any Sharks circling? 

Tomorrow, two good events:  API’s Jack Gerard will be presenting the Oilers’ State of industry at the Mellon Auditorium at Noon.   Secondly, a bunch of Conservative Energy Rangers will be starting a Wild new group aimed at reigniting conservative leadership on conservation and the environment at the Reserve Officers Assn at 10:00 a.m.  I’ll be breaking owwwwt my Blue Jacket for these events, so see you there. 

Finally, this week is the first Energy Update of 2013 so we are unveiling our Lucky 13 issues for ’13 to watch.  In the meantime, honk – honk – honk… (if you’ve ever been waiting in a DC parking garage after a hockey game, you’ll know what I mean…)

Frank Maisano
(202) 8282-5864
c. (202) 997-5932 

The Lucky 13 for ‘13

1. Offshore Wind is Make or Break – This is a very important year for offshore wind.  While the industry has held unchecked promise for years, it is now time to start “putting up” projects that have long been delayed.  There is no doubt that 2012 saw significant progress for the fledgling industry. With strong government leadership at the state and federal levels working together with the innovators on the front lines of the economic and technical development, we are closer than ever to really starting an entirely new industry that promises revenue, jobs and clean energy, all in one.  This year, while government pushes forward on administrative and regulatory support, 2013 will be time to get a project in Rhode Island, Delaware or New Jersey or Massachusetts in the water and operating.

2. Wind PTC Change in Timing Will Make Big Difference Going Forward – In the final Fiscal Cliff deal, the PTC was renewed for another year.  But a more significant change was made that will change the dynamic on how we go forward with wind projects.  The negotiators changed the definition of when a wind project gets the credit from “In Service” to “Commence Construction.”  That change alone will buy projects another year, but in the long-run, it will redefine the timeline for projects as they look for new ways to phase out the credit.  Look for the phase out discussion to begin as Congress starts considering major tax legislation this summer.  The industry has laid down a six-year marker to start, while even supporters in the Senate see it as maybe a little less.  The process and timeline of the phaseout will help create industry and developer certainty that will be important to keeping a strong long-term future for the thousands of manufacturing jobs created by the wind industry and its supply chains.  

3. No Nukes – Last year, we pegged action on some nuclear projects as a key for the future of expanding nuclear power.  While many lagged, some are not throwing in the towel yet.  Currently, there are five under construction by three companies and consortia, but most development remains on life support with only Southern Company advancing its effort at Georgia’s Plant Vogtle with some success.  Problems abound even for Southern as lawsuits, activist opponents and costs make these expansions more treacherous.  Keep a close eye on Georgia, especially now that several older coal plants are also timelined to close in a few years, which makes Vogtle that much more important. 

4. Nat Gas Revolution – The natural gas revolution is here and is for real.  We have heard sputtering about it from all corners of the political and policy worlds, but the numbers are in. There are abundant supplies of natural gas in the world, and many of these supplies can be developed and produced at relatively low cost. In the U.S., despite their relative maturity, natural gas resources continue to grow, and the development of low-cost and abundant unconventional natural gas resources, particularly shale gas, has a material impact on future availability and price. Unlike other fossil fuels, natural gas plays a major role in most sectors of the modern economy — power generation, industrial, commercial, and residential. It is clean and flexible. The role of natural gas in the world is likely to continue to expand under almost all circumstances, as a result of its availability, its utility, and its comparatively low cost.  There is a lot to watch, but what regulatory burdens are imposed by items like EPA’s mandated study and what opponents do through the local political and legal system could slow the juggernaut.  

5. LNG, other Energy Exports Open for Business – One of the key questions this year will be whether the US energy industry will be allowed to export energy to nations that desperately need it.  In some cases it will be China, in other cases, maybe Japan or Europe.  Whatever, this fight is shaping up to be a real battle, with the Senate Energy committee stepping into it on its very first days of the 113th Congress.  Already, they are planning hearings on LNG Exports and DOE’s recent report, as well as looking at royalties from coal exports.  Energy exports can help our trade deficit and keep jobs rolling in the US even if our demand drops, especially in light of the widely-discussed natural gas revolution.  Look for the key fight to be over price and when enough is enough.  The key group to watch is the chemical manufacturing sector.  They will be the canary in the coal mine.

6. Climate G20 – With the real expiration of the Kyoto Treaty and indifference among most nations towards replacing it with a real policy, it is likely that international discussions around climate change will take on new meaning this year.  But even with the Administration superficially focused on climate change to address its activist base, look for more aggressive focus on the new real playing field for these discussions:  the G20 economic forum process. Not only are the right people at the table, but it places the climate issue in its proper context among other major issues like the global economy, technology partnership and international competitiveness. We know activists think John Kerry’s presence at State will make a difference, but don’t count on it, unless he and the President takes the fight to the next G20 Meeting in Russia in September 2013. 

7. Low Gasoline Demand – With 2012 seeing the highest average price for gasoline ever, we are seeing changing dynamics in the gasoline market that will likely change it forever going forward.  The problem has two unknowns: the fuel economy of the vehicle fleet itself, which hinges on how many new, efficient cars replace old, inefficient cars and the vehicle miles traveled.  EPA’s “real world” vehicle efficiency estimates show that demand is shrinking to an expected 108 billion gallons per year of U.S. demand by 2022. And with new fuel economy standards likely to be implemented next year, that demand will fall exponentially more. The University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute estimates that new vehicle fuel economy rose 1 mpg in 2012, with new CAFE standards and consumer choice contributing to that outcome.  Expect greater gains in 2013, 2014 and 2015. Ultimately, a smaller domestic gasoline marketplace means changing the products available for sale or intended for export – and both will involve plenty of economic and political challenges. 

8. GHGs for Everyone? – Maybe the biggest story of 2013 will be what happens with the new proposed greenhouse gas rules for new power plants that were proposed in 2012.  In addition to that, what is next in EPA’s target list?  Many experts think it will be GHG emissions at existing power plants.  There is also potential for GHGs at refiners and other manufacturing facilities, but impacts on gasoline supply and consumer goods could be a factor here in delaying these as targets.  Whatever it is, the ultimate goal seems to be wide-ranging GHG regulations that will eventually have a broad impact on the entire economy.  2013 will see the first real steps implementing this enviro vision. 

9. Solar Successes Reaping Benefits – Solar has arrived: really…2013 will be a great year as jobs continue to be created and several important projects in the pipeline become a reality.  With the mistakes of Solyndra fading away and the successes of projects like BrightSource Energy’s Ivanpah project (which will go live in 2013) and big name Utility investors like Southern Company and Warren Buffet’s Mid-American buying in, solar is really ready to burst into the positive spotlight. 

10. New Natgas Drilling Technologies Will Make Things Move Faster, Better – For years, we have quietly watched a revolution on natural gas drilling.  With louder opponents, new political battlegrounds and silly movies like Gasland, one thing you can expect the industry technologists to do is to continue to build a better natural gas drilling mousetrap to get more out with less environmental impact.  Already, new technologies on water use, land impacts and air emissions are emerging faster than opponents claim to block drilling.  2013 will be a great year to watch these technologies emerge on the big stage to keep the natgas revolution alive and strong.

11. Keystone A Done Deal? – It’s funny how the biggest political issue stays hot.  As EPA’s Lisa Jackson resigns, enviros immediately claimed that it was because of Keystone.  How convenient for their cause.  It would be more believable if EPA had more than a sidebar role in the Keystone deal.  It is probably also more believable to think she left over getting rolled on NAAQS or the potential e-mail scandal questions.  It is most likely though, she was just done after four hard years (and who could blame her).  Anyway, back to Keystone, the biggest Administration questions remaining were resolved by Nebraska so that political fig leaf is gone.  Enviros are hanging hopes on John Kerry coming into the State Department but good luck with that: the cake is already baked.  Here’s the wiggle-room catch: Look for a final decision that leaves loose ends that can foster litigation.  The President gets his cake and the enviro lawsuit machine eats it too. 

12. Lawsuits, Lawsuits, Lawsuits – Speaking of lawsuits, it is widely expected that litigation will be the new “fiscal cliff” of 2013.  With the Administration taking more and more leeway with regulation and Congress arguing at every turn, both industry and enviro groups better pack on the funding to sue and be sued.  Already we have seen significant battles over the CASPR rule, auto CAFE standards, RFS changes/requirements and other EPA mobile source rules.  These will be small potatoes when compared to upcoming fights on GHG rules or new soot/particulate standards. 

13. Drilling Will Expand, Safety Will Be Focus – New U.S. energy growth will continue to propel significant economic expansion in the US.  This growth developing our domestic resources strengthens our energy security, creates good-paying jobs and generates needed revenue for the U.S. Treasury.  Ramping up the level of safe and responsible production in our federal waters/land is critical to that increase. Long-term investment requires confidence in the regulatory regime.  While the number of permits being issued for drilling has increased over the past year, there are still insufficient approved permits in the queue to support robust rig activity. Operators are getting permits approved “just in time” as a rig moves to its destination, and there is serious concern those approvals could slip to “not in time,” resulting in idle rigs waiting for approved permits. Given the costs, look for industry to keep fighting so permits are flowing to support an influx of new rigs.  Of course, with safety as Interior’s top priority, industry hasn’t been waiting around for a policy document to build a strong safety culture.  Despite the failures that led to Macondo, 2013 will show a drilling industry at large has long since been a leader on building and maintaining a strong culture of safety to make sure its employees are protected. 


Gore Sells Current TV to Al Jazeera – Former VP Al Gore has sold Current TV, the small cable news channel that he co-founded to Al Jazeera, the Qatar-based media company.  The acquisition gives Al Jazeera, which is funded by the Qatar government and one of the largest fossil fuel producers in the world, the opportunity to establish a footprint in the United States, where it already has an English-language version.  Al Jazeera did not disclose the purchase price, but people with direct knowledge of the deal pegged it at around $500 million, indicating a $100 million payout for Gore.  It was also reported that Gore and his partners were eager to complete the deal by December 31 to avoid being subject to higher tax rates.  Unfortunately for them, the deal was not signed until Wednesday. Aren’t both of those facts rich with irony?  I think I’ll just leave it at that. 

Promised Land Continues to Be Panned – The widely-touted Matt Damon melodrama Promised Land isn’t getting very good reviews and it’s not just natural gas companies that are complaining.  Houston Chronicle Columnist Loren Steffy said it “doesn’t live up to its promise,” while even liberal press like Grist and Huff Post hammered it as well.    Grist says it landed in theaters with a resounding “meh!”  Other pre-release showings weren’t so hot.  And Box Office Mojo said after a middling performance in limited release, Promised Land expanded to 1,676 locations this weekend but could only muster $4.3 million (good for 10th place). “While Matt Damon is obviously a star, audiences aren’t going to show up for anything he does, especially when the marketing fails to present any semblance of an interesting story. With its “B” CinemaScore, and without any Academy Award nominations (that’s an assumption based on its poor reviews and lack of any previous awards recognition), the movie should disappear quickly from theaters.”  It lost out badly to Texas Chainsaw Massacre 3-D.  That says a lot…

NY Report Finds No Harm from NatGas “Fracking” – Speaking of natural gas drilling and controversy, over the past few months frustration has mounted in New York as the state struggles to finalize its natural gas regulations. What may have originally been an attempt at a pragmatic review has quickly devolved into political theater, with each day bringing new information to light on the actions – or, all too often, inactions – of state officials who seem content to let the issue drag on indefinitely. The latest example? A secret health review from Governor Cuomo’s hand-picked Health Secretary which found that “significant adverse impacts on human health are not expected from routine HVHF operations.” 

Hagel Nominee Brings Back Byrd-Hagel Memories – While enviros groups are swooning over John Kerry’s nomination to the State Department, they have to be a bit worried over the President’s suggestion that Chuck Hagel become the Defense Secretary.  While it will really have little impact on major environmental policy issues, just the mere mention of Chuck Hagel brings up memories of the long-standing Senate resolution Byrd-Hagel’s S Res. 98 that garnered a 95-0 vote in the Senate and has guided our international climate policy since 1997 (through several administrations and much to the chagrin of enviros).  Interesting Sponsors include Jay Rockefeller, Harry Reid, Dick Durbin and Barbara Mikulski, among many others who have left the Senate and some even who have passed on.  See the list in the Link.

Kansas’ Largest Wind Farm Starts Up – The largest wind farm ever built in Kansas has started operations.  Flat Ridge 2, jointly owned by BP Wind Energy and Sempra U.S. Gas & Power, has 274 wind turbines, each with capacity to generate 1.6 megawatts of electricity or a total of 438 megawatts. That’s enough to supply electricity to 160,000 homes.   Besides being the largest wind farm in Kansas, the $800 million project is the largest ever to be built all at once, instead of in phases. 

Georgia Power to Retire Plants – Georgia Power will retire 15 coal- and oil-fired generating units at four plants totaling 2,061 megawatts (MW) over the next few years.  The request includes units 3 and 4 at Plant Branch in Putnam County; units 1-5 at Plant Yates in Coweta County; units 1 and 2 at Plant McManus in Glynn County; and units 1-4 at Plant Kraft in Chatham County.  Branch, Yates and 3 of the 4 Kraft units are coal-fired, while the other Kraft Unit is oil- or natural gas-fired and McManus is oil-fired.  Plants will be retired by the April 16, 2015 effective date of EPA’s Mercury and Air Toxics (MATS) rule. Georgia Power expects to seek a one-year extension of the MATS compliance date for Plant Kraft, and retire those units by April 16, 2016.  Several factors, including the cost to comply with existing and future environmental regulations, recent and forecasted economic conditions, and lower natural gas prices contributed to the decision to close these units.  My colleague Scott Segal said it also should be noted that Georgia Power has had a number of major investments over the last several years designed to diversify the portfolio of energy sources it uses.  Segal: “In the future, Georgia consumers and businesses will benefit from investments in state-of-the-art fossil fuel facilities, renewables, energy efficiency projects – as well as one of the only new builds in the nuclear sector.  In Washington, we theorize about an all-of-the-above energy policy; for Georgia Power and the Southern family, it looks like theory is moving into practice.” 

Chinese Restart Nuke Plant Construction – We may be struggling to build them here, but China has resumed construction on a “fourth generation” nuclear power plant, suspended after the 2011 Fukushima disaster, which will be its biggest-ever nuclear facility.  Construction on the coastal Shidao Bay nuclear plant in Rongcheng, a city in eastern China’s Shandong province, resumed last month.  The plant, which will be cooled by high temperature gas, will become the world’s first successfully commercialized fourth generation nuclear technology demonstration project.  The plant, expected to begin supplying electricity to the grid by 2017, will have a final generating capacity of 6,600 megawatts with initial investment in the project will be three billion yuan ($480 million).


FrackNation Opens in NY – Given the poor Promised Land showings, journalist Phelim McAleer releases his documentary, FrackNation, today in New York City. FrackNation is an antidote to GasLand, and Promised Land. McAleer begins with a revealing public exchange with Fox at a GasLand screening in 2011, then visits the residents of the bucolic farmlands where fracking is done, or could be done.  Fox repeatedly refuses an interview, so McAleer executes a Michael Moore–style ambush. Fox scurries away, and gets security to remove McAleer and his team from a public building. In running, Fox only indicts himself. FrackNation eviscerates one after another of Fox’s claims, including an assertion that breast-cancer rates soared around Texas’ shale-oil fields. The AP has reported the Texas Cancer Registry shows no such fact. 

New Leadership Group to Discuss Environment, Conservation – Former Interior Secretary Gale Norton, former Secretary Of Agriculture Ed Schafer and former Deputy Secretary Of The Interior Lynn Scarlett and the new CONSERVATION LEADERSHIP COUNCIL will host a forum and lunch tomorrow at 10:00 a.m. at the Reserve Officers Association’s Top of the Hill Conference Center on how conservatives are rebuilding leadership on conservation and the environment.   The CLC will showcase a new national dialogue among conservative leaders about innovative solutions to America’s environmental and conservation challenges. The CLC event will engage political and policy leaders in an interactive conversation about conservation and stewardship through policies rooted in fiscal responsibility, limited government, market entrepreneurship, community leadership, and public-private partnerships.  The CLC also will release a set of commissioned academic papers on topics ranging from energy and water security to species protection and land management – offering a set of actionable recommendations that focus on private-sector and community initiatives as federal budgets tighten.  Invited participants include dozens of leaders from federal, state and local government, the private sector, conservation groups and academia who share an interest in advancing policy solutions that reflect the CLC’s principles. Others on the CLC include former CEQ Chair Jim Connaughton, former EPA official Mary Gade, former Energy assistant Sect Kevin Kolevar, former Augusta , Georgia Mayor Bob Young and many others. 

API to Hold State of Energy – The American Petroleum Institute will hold its state of the energy industry tomorrow at Noon in the Andrew Mellon Auditorium.  API CEO Jack Gerard will outline the new realities of energy in America and the ways the oil and natural gas industry is working and investing every day to ensure the safe exploration, production and delivery of American-made energy. Energy that is vital to creating jobs, growing businesses and ensuring our quality of life. 

Calvert’s Freeman to address GreenBiz Roundtable – The Wharton Club of DC’s Green Business Roundtable will hold its monthly meeting Wednesday at 11:30 a.m. at the National Press Club’s McClendon Room to discuss the intersection of business and our environment.  The speaker will be Calvert’s Bennett Freeman, Senior Vice President of Sustainability Research and Policy.  Freeman leads Calvert’s Sustainability Research Department and oversees its company research and analysis as well as its policy and advocacy work. From 2003 until early 2006, he led Burson-Marsteller’s Global Corporate Responsibility practice advising multinationals on policy development, stakeholder engagement and communications strategies related to human rights, labor rights and sustainable development. During the Clinton Administration he served in three positions as a presidential appointee in the State Department, most recently as Deputy Assistant Secretary for Democracy, Human Rights and Labor from 1999 to early 2001. 

Utah Energy Forum to Look at All of the Above Energy – The Utah Office of Energy Development will hold the 2013 Utah Governor’s Energy Development Summit on Thursday and Friday in Salt Lake City’s Salt Palace Convention Center.  The Summit is the premier energy event for Utah and the greater Rocky Mountain area. Join Governor Gary R. Herbert and other national energy leaders as they highlight energy priorities, hot topics, and emerging energy issues. 


Reicher to Headline AWEA West Event – Focusing on California and surrounding states, the AWEA Regional Wind Energy Summit – West will be held in La Jolla on January 14th, providing a comprehensive and timely analysis of critical topics in Western wind, including the renewable portfolio standard, wind energy market opportunities, and regional transmission planning.  This event gives you a regional perspective, access to experts who are embedded in the industry and geographical area.  Speakers will include our friend Dan Reicher, executive director of the Steyer-Taylor Center for Energy Policy and Finance at Stanford University. He has more than 25 years of experience in energy technology, policy, and finance, including serving in the Clinton administration at the Department of Energy as Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy and recently as a member of President Obama’s Transition Team. Reicher came to Stanford in 2011 from Google, where he served since 2007 as Director of Climate Change and Energy Initiatives.  Following the conference, AWEA will also hold an Environmental Health and Safety seminar and a wind project maintenance and reliability seminar as well. 

WRI Looks at Big Stories for 2013 – The World Resources Institute will hold a forum on Tuesday, January 15th at 9:00 a.m. at the National Press Club’s Fourth Estate Room on what stories will impact people and the planet in 2013.  Dr. Andrew Steer, President & CEO, will present his views for where the world is headed in international development, climate change, energy, sustainable business, natural resources, and more. 

USEA Holds Annual State of Energy Forum – The US Energy Association will hold its annual state of the energy industry forum on January 16th (my birthday for any of you thinking about getting me something) at the National Press Club at Noon. Distinguished leaders from the most influential and active energy trade associations as they present the priorities, issues, trends, and challenges affecting the industry in 2013.  Speakers will include Marv Fertel (Nuclear Energy Institute), Jack Gerard, President & CEO, American Petroleum Institute), Regina Hopper (America’s Natural Gas Alliance), Skip Horvath (Natural Gas Supply Association), Tom Kuhn (Edison Electric Institute), Hal Quinn (National Mining Association), Dave McCurdy (American Gas Association), Joe Nipper (American Public Power Association), Rhone Resch (Solar Energy Industries Association), Don Santa (Interstate Natural Gas Association of America),

John Shelk (Electric Power Supply Association) and JoAnne Emerson (National Rural Electric Cooperative Association). 

Detroit Auto Show Ready to Roll –Global automakers have saved their best for the 2013 North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) which begins with the annual press preview on Monday, January 14th at Detroit’s famous Cobo Hall.  The show is a reflection of the positive changes that are occurring in our industry according to 2013 NAIAS chairman Jim Seavitt. “Automakers from around the world continue to place NAIAS at the top of their global auto show strategies, and have committed to more than 50 vehicle debuts with the majority being worldwide unveilings, ” he said.  The official NAIAS Press Conference Schedule, features nearly 40 official events to be held at Press Preview, January 14-15th.  Together, the more than 50 worldwide and North American unveilings are a major demonstration of confidence in the NAIAS, which is frequently compared with shows in Geneva, Frankfurt, Paris, Tokyo, and Beijing/Shanghai.    Most NAIAS press conferences will take place at Detroit’s Cobo Center, which is currently in the second of a three-phase expansion plan. Some events will take place in the new three-story glass atrium facing the Detroit River. The lone offsite press conference will be presented by Ford Motor Company at neighboring Joe Louis Arena on Jan. 15.  With more than 6,000 journalists from around the globe expected to attend NAIAS, the show continues to be at the forefront as a venue for manufacturers and Tier One suppliers to announce new vehicles and make industry news.  

Olmos, Nash to Host Urban Wheel Awards at NAIAS – Emmy and Golden Globe Award winning actor, producer, director and Latino activist, Edward James Olmos, will join Daytime Emmy award-winning actress Niecy Nash to host the 17th Annual Urban Wheel Awards on Sunday, January 13, 2013 at the MotorCity Casino Hotel inside the Sound Board theatre during the North American International Auto Show’s (NAIAS) press preview week. The Urban Wheel Awards is the official multicultural event of the NAIAS.  The Urban Wheel Awards (UWA) is the only Official Multicultural Event held in conjunction with the North American International Auto Show.  The UWA brings together celebrities, automotive executives, international media, government representatives, and the multicultural community.  This year the UWA will honor women in the automotive industry.  The evening begins with a vehicle display at 4:00 p.m. followed by the Celebrity Red Carpet at 5:00 p.m.; VIP and General receptions start at 5:30 p.m., immediately followed by the awards from 7:00 – 9:00 p.m.  An afterglow networking reception will conclude the evening.  Proceeds from the event support the Emerging Diversity Education Fund, which provides internships, scholarships, and mentoring to students pursuing careers in communications and the auto industry.  

API’s Felmy to Headline ICF Energy Breakfast – ICF International continues its Energy Breakfast Series with an event on Thursday, January 17th featuring Dr. John Felmy, chief economist of the American Petroleum Institute (API).  Felmy will draw on his unique perspective to discuss petroleum market issues and how they may affect the petroleum industry, the economy, and consumers.  We are in an unprecedented period of transition. The International Energy Agency has projected that the U.S. could be self-sufficient in petroleum supplies by 2030. Current market trends and supply developments have substantial implications for world petroleum markets, energy security, trade deficits, and our personal pocketbooks. 

NJ to Hold Offshore Wind, Jobs Forum – The New Jersey Alliance for Action will hold a forum on January 17th at the PNC Bank Arts Center’s Meyner Reception Center looking at offshore wind energy and transmission.  It will be a supply chain forum for the burgeoning wind industry.  Speakers will include AWC CEO Bob Mitchell, Offshore Wind Development Coalition head Jim Lanard and Fishermen’s Energy Chris Wissemann, among others.  

World Bank to Hold Transportation Conference – EMBARQ and the World Bank will co-host the tenth annual Transforming Transportation conference at the World Bank in Washington, D.C. on Thursday and Friday, January 17th and 18th.  There is more work to be done within the transport community to achieve scale and widespread adoption of sustainable solutions.  The conference will address topics including improving health & safety in cities, capitalizing on the multilateral development banks’ $175b commitment for sustainable transport at Rio+20, integrating urban transport and development and the benefits of high quality urban design, among others.

Green Inaugural Ball Set for Newseum – The Green Inaugural Ball will be held at The Newseum on Sunday, January 20th, bringing together the broad environmental, conservation and clean tech community to celebrate the past four years and look forward to the future.  The dress code is black or Green tie.  The event is sponsored by a bunch of environmental and clean energy groups. 

January 21st – Presidential Inauguration Day

Salazar to Attend Clean Energy Ball – On Monday evening, the 7th Environmental and Clean Energy Inaugural Ball will be held from 8:00 p.m. to Midnight at Sequoia Restaurant in Georgetown’s Washington Harbor waterfront.  This black tie, bi-partisan celebration has become a Washington tradition over the past 24 years as the environmental and clean energy communities gather to welcome a new Administration and make headway towards a more sustainable future.  In 2009, guests included Energy Secretary Chu and Lisa Jackson from EPA. In 2013, U.S. Department of Interior Secretary Ken Salazar will be a Special Honored Guest. 

VA Clean Energy Day Set – Thursday January 24th will be the third annual Clean Energy Lobby Day in the state legislature in Richmond, Virginia. 

Oregon Clean Energy Conference Set – The 12th annual Harvesting Clean Energy Summit will be held at Oregon State University in Corvallis, OR at the Hilton Garden Inn on January 27-29th.  Participants from a diverse range of fields – from motivated farmers, ranchers and other rural landowners to professionals from agriculture and forestry associations, rural utilities, tribes, economic development agencies, and research institutions, to lenders, energy developers and consultants, and representatives of federal, state and local government will attend to discuss Clean Energy strategies.  Drawing on several dozen top-notch speakers, Harvesting Clean Energy focuses on the practical steps to successful project development, from economic and feasibility assessments, to accessing technical support and securing financing amidst tough finance markets.  Learn about wind power, a range of bio-energy technologies, solar and geothermal resources, microhydro, energy innovation in the food processing sector, and efficiency technologies to reduce energy costs and enhance profitability.  Hear about strategies to maximize local job creation and economic benefits from developing our clean energy resources.

Washington Auto Show, Policy Forums Set – The Washington Auto Show, the policy auto show, will be held starting February 1st for 10 days.  The largest public show in Washington is scheduled from Feb. 1 -10, with January 30th and 31st serving as special preview days for media, government and industry.  On January 30th, the show will hold its annual Public Policy Day on Capitol Hill.  The Policy Summit will be presented by National Journal and The Washington Auto Show in Caucus Room of the Cannon House Office Building.  “Only The Washington Auto Show can bring together the latest in safety and technology as well as consumer promotions and lots of fun; indeed, “It is the hottest ticket” in town,” said Robert Fogarty, show chairman and CEO of Sport Automotive.  In 2013, the show will have a new floor plan and many new features, including a Luxury Showcase with 11 luxury brands together on the first level and the Exotic Car area. The Advanced Technology SuperHighway Café will house the latest innovations in safety, sustainability and technology.  At the same time, the show draws a massive, diverse and affluent audience with its showcase of stars and cars, cutting-edge technologies, contests and car giveaways.  Look for the display of more than 700 new vehicles by over 42 domestic and import manufacturers offering a showcase of cars, trucks, mini-vans, sport utility vehicles. The show fills the 750,000 square-foot space with two-levels of advanced exhibits. 

ACORE Renewable Policy Forum Set – ACORE will hold its National Renewable Energy Policy Forum on February 5th and 6th on Capitol Hill.  The form strategically occurring after the election at the start of the 113th Congress, which will chart the path forward for pro-growth, constructive and bipartisan renewable energy policy.  Renewable energy leaders from Capitol Hill and across the country will assess the volatile state of renewable energy policy and provide a call to action for policymakers for 2013 and beyond.  Some of the Policy Co-Chairs include our friends, Katie McGinty (unless she has a new job), BrightSource Energy’s Joe Desmond and Stanford’s Dan Reicher. 

February 3rd  – Super Bowl Sunday 

AWEA To Go To Capitol Hill – On February 5th and 6th, AWEA will return to Capitol Hill for its annual lobby days.  The November 2012 elections will bring new faces to Congress and change the dynamics of Congressional committees that are key to the wind industry.  AWEA members will conduct meetings on Capitol Hill, sharing company perspectives on pressing legislative issues with legislators in whose states they live, and/or has offices, projects, or manufacturing facilities.

Co-ops to Hold Technology Conference in NOLA – The National Rural Electric Co-op Assn (NRECA) will hold its annual TechAdvantage Conference & Expo in New Orleans on February 18th and 19th to highlight the latest technologies available to electric cooperative engineers, information technology staff, and supply chain and member service professionals.

Special Energy Update – December 21


Just a short note today to mention that the preliminary results of EPA‘s HF/natural gas drilling study was released today as well as EPA’s long-awaited final Boiler MACT rule.

Here are resources for each:

1)      EPA Natural Gas Study: Jason Hutt (202) 255-2042,, and Mike Weller (202) 828-5812,

2)      The long awaited Boiler MACT rule reconsideration was released: Bob Bessette (703) 231-5496,, Lisa Jaeger (202) 828-5844,  (STATEMENT BELOW)

3)      Sen. Kerry is likely to be named Secretary of State.  Given that I expect enviros will be hailing it for climate change issues, we also would be happy to offer perspective, should you need.  Feel free to call me, or Scott Segal (202-828-5845),

I hope everyone has a great holiday.  We’ll see you next week on the edge of the fiscal cliff.

Frank Maisano
(202) 8282-5864
c. (202) 997-5932


CIBO Statement on EPA Final Reconsidered Boiler MACT Rules – Bob Bessette, the President of the Council of Industrial Boiler Owners (CIBO) released the following statement on today’s EPA announcement issuing final reconsidered Clean Air Act standards for boilers and certain incinerators, known as the Boiler MACT rules:

“EPA made some significant modifications to its previous rules.  These changes will greatly improve the ability of facilities to comply.  CIBO worked with EPA to provide data and technical expertise on a number of difficult issues, to address problems in the original final and then the reconsidered rules.  Boilers that power manufacturing plants and provide steam energy to all types of facilities are complex operations.  We appreciate EPA’s effort and time in analyzing additional data and working through the many operational challenges our members face.

“Hopefully, the changes EPA has made will decrease the economic and jobs impact on the still-struggling manufacturing, commercial, and institutional sectors and national economy. Originally the 2010 proposed Boiler MACT rule would have imposed a $20 billion capital cost on affected sources, putting over 337,000 jobs at risk. EPA’s reconsidered proposed rule was still a costly $14 billion.  CIBO is reviewing the final rule to determine what its cost will be.

“These rules are complicated and we will look at them closely to see whether the standards can be met by the diverse boiler types our members operate and fuels they use.  The Clean Air Act requires that EPA set emission limits that can be achieved in practice by real facilities, so that is the standard we will use to assess whether the rules satisfy the mandate of the Act.”


API to Hold State of Energy – The American Petroleum Institute will hold its state of the energy industry on January 8th at Noon in the Andrew Mellon Auditorium.  API CEO Jack Gerard will outline the new realities of energy in America and the ways the oil and natural gas industry is working and investing every day to ensure the safe exploration, production and delivery of American-made energy. Energy that is vital to creating jobs, growing businesses and ensuring our quality of life.

USEA Holds Annual State of Energy Forum – The US Energy Association will hold its annual state of the energy industry forum on January 16th (my birthday for any of you thinking about getting me something) at the National Press Club at Noon. Distinguished leaders from the most influential and active energy trade associations as they present the priorities, issues, trends, and challenges affecting the industry in 2013.  Speakers will include Marv Fertel (Nuclear Energy Institute), Jack Gerard, President & CEO, American Petroleum Institute), Regina Hopper (America’s Natural Gas Alliance), Skip Horvath (Natural Gas Supply Association), Tom Kuhn (Edison Electric Institute), Hal Quinn (National Mining Association), Dave McCurdy (American Gas Association), Joe Nipper (American Public Power Association), Rhone Resch (Solar Energy Industries Association), Don Santa (Interstate Natural Gas Association of America),

John Shelk (Electric Power Supply Association) and JoAnne Emerson (National Rural Electric Cooperative Association).

Energy Update Week of December 17


It was a tough weekend with the Connecticut school shooting and the ensuing media coverage.  I know all our thoughts and prayers are with the families who are/will endure heartache over their losses.  Clearly overshadowed as events in Connecticut were unfolding was EPA’s Friday announcement rolling out its new soot/PM 2.5 rule.  We cover that below.

With the Fiscal Cliff Discussions still on going, it seems like there are things going on, but really, the activities are winding down rapidly.  Only one other major energy discussion appeared last week and that was centered around the wind PTC.  There are lots of discussions about how it will move forward and what it will entail.  It seems likely that a short-term extension gets you to next year when a longer-term phase out becomes part of the discussion of larger upcoming tax reform next year.  It seems the price of admission for extension is some sort of phase out.

In that same breathe, AWEA’s leader Denise Bode announced her resignation from the wind industry lobby after four tumultuous years.  Denise really helped elevate AWEA to a much-needed higher level in the DC lobby game, but also rankled some at times, which any good industry trade association leader does.  Needless to say, AWEA is in a stronger position today in part because of Denise Bode’s approach and good staff work by folks like Rob Gramlich and the many others that supported and implemented her vision for the group during her tenure.

Two interesting developments as well that you ought to keep track of:

1) Today, South Carolina Nikki Haley appointed African-American/Conservative GOP congressman Tim Scott to the Senate seat occupied by conservative agitator Jim DeMint who left to go to the Heritage Foundation.  While it won’t be much of a change from a political ideology standpoint, Scott will be the first African-American Senator in more than 30 years and only the 7th in history.  He also becomes Republicans 4th (Massachusetts Edward Brooke, 1967-1979 and Mississippi’s Blanche Bruce, 1875-1881 and Hiram Revels, 1870-71).  You are surprised that there are only three Democrats?  And they were all from Illinois and in the same seat: Carol Mosely-Braun (1992-98), President Obama (2004-2008) and Roland Burris (2008-10), now currently occupied by Republican Mark Kirk.

2) The New York Times had an editorial yesterday on the recent DOE natural gas export issue that said it would be good for the economy, highlighting a potential $47 billion boost to the economy by 2020.  It challenged opponents of exports, especially those opposed to natural gas drilling, to address their concerns through tighter regulations on drilling rather than limiting exports.  Finally it called on the President to speed up the terminal approval process and “greenlight” to the four pending terminal permits.

Now with the eight days of Hanukkah complete, there is still lots of shopping to do with Part II of the holiday extravaganza upon us.  For some reason, my wife and kids insist in celebrating both holidays.  I personally think it has to do with presents, but I dare not make that accusation (Oh, did I just do it in a public e-mail to thousands…Oooops)

Regardless of the shopping/holiday agendas, we are still available to discuss both known and unknown issues over the next three weeks.  I, of course, will be busy with holiday wrestling, field hockey, lacrosse and ice hockey tournaments. (My 15th straight year at DC’s Gonzaga HS Purple Puck Tournament, but we also have the Crabtown holiday shootout as well)  Lots to do.

Finally, congrats to our long-time friend Josh Sheinkman who was recently named Senate Energy Committee staff director by incoming Chairman Ron Wyden. Sheinkman served as Wyden’s legislative director since 2006, and he joined Wyden’s staff as an energy and environment adviser in 1993, when Wyden was a congressman.  As well, congrats to our friend and ace Bloomberg transpo reporter Angela Greiling Keane who was elected the 106th president of the National Press Club.

Frank Maisano
(202) 8282-5864
c. (202) 997-5932



EPA Tightens PM 2.5 Rule – EPA tightened airborne fine soot pollution standards for the first time since 1997.  EPA said its new annual fine particulate matter standard of 12 micrograms per cubic meter would bring health benefits of between $4 billion and $9 billion annually by 2020. Costs are estimated to range between $53 million and $350 million annually.  It had proposed setting the standard from 12-to-13 micrograms, compared to 15 micrograms currently. The standards will primarily affect Clean Air Act regulation of power plants, industrial sources and diesel trucks and buses.  The agency did not change the current 24-hour standard of 35 micrograms set in 2006 and, as previously stated, did not change the standard for larger coarse particles.

Holmstead Says Rule Will Be Harmful – My colleague Jeff Holmstead, former Air Administrator at EPA, currently representing power companies at Bracewell Giuliani’s Environmental Strategies Group said the standard will be harmful going forward.  Holmstead said the standard is really quite different from other air quality standards.  “You can’t just look at the change in the number – from 15 to 12 – and understand what the impact will be.  It all depends on how EPA decides to implement the new standard.  Normally, a new standard means a rash of new regulations, but EPA claims that virtually every area of the country will meet the new standard without the need for new regulatory requirements.  If so, then maybe the new standard won’t cause the type of economic disruption that we’ve seen in the past. In recent years, a new air quality standard like this one has caused big delays for companies trying to build new plants or expand existing operations.  I think a lot of people are holding their breath and hoping that we won’t see the same thing this time around.”

Power Groups Says Rule has no Scientific Basis – Power companies in the Electric Reliability Coordinating Council (ERCC) said the scientific and legal issues that have come to light during public comment threaten the legal standing of the rule and asked to delay its release.  ERCC head Scott Segal said “there are a diverse range of uncertainties about PM claims and these uncertainties need to be more fully addressed and resolved before the PM NAAQS rule is finalized.  Segal added increasing the cost of doing business and jeopardizing quality manufacturing jobs in new nonattainment areas will come at a heavy price. As a recent report from the Maguire Energy Institute at the Southern Methodist University states, “Numerous studies find that regulatory burdens of this sort imposed on energy prices and energy supply cause plant closures and maximize the potential that manufacturing jobs will move overseas. For each manufacturing job lost, many other dependent jobs will also exit the economy. One in eight private sector jobs rely upon our manufacturing base.”

API: Rule is First of Many – API’s Howard Feldman pulled no punches as well: “We fear this new rule may be just the beginning of a ‘regulatory cliff’ that includes forthcoming ozone rules, the refinery sector rules, pending greenhouse gas regulations for refineries and the delayed boiler MACT rules.  There is no compelling scientific evidence for the policy decision to develop more stringent standards,” he said, also questioning the agency’s regulatory impact analysis. API also called on the administration to release the scientific data used in the EPA review, charging it would expose the “lack of certainty EPA is applying when changing these standards.”

Enviros, Health Groups Praise Rules – Of course, health and environmental groups praised the new rule.  Environmental Defense Fund, League of Conservation Voters and Natural Resources Defense Council quickly backed EPA’s decision on soot saying almost half of all Americans are considered to be especially vulnerable to the harmful impacts of soot,” said EDF health scientist Elena Craft. “We’re proud that the EPA has finalized this new clean air standard in the face of intense opposition from corporate polluters and their allies,” said LCV President Gene Karpinski. “Because of the Obama administration’s updated standard, our air will be cleaner and thousands of Americans won’t have to face the dangerous health impacts of soot pollution from dirty sources like power plants and diesel trucks.”  Meanwhile the American Lung Association and the American Public Health Association praised the EPA decision saying “The public health community applauds these long overdue stronger standards.”

DOE Announces Offshore Wind Projects – The DOE Wind Program today announced $168 million in advanced technology demonstration awards for offshore wind projects in Maine, New Jersey, Ohio, Oregon, Texas and Virginia. As part of DOE’s broader efforts to launch an offshore wind industry in the United States These projects will evaluate innovative technologies, establish key siting and permitting pathways, validate construction and operation costs, and reduce uncertainties associated with these factors, with the ultimate impact of reducing the overall costs of offshore wind project development in the United States.  In the initial phase, each project will receive up to $4 million to complete the engineering, design, and permitting phase of this award. DOE will select up to three of these projects for follow-on phases that focus on siting, construction, and installation and aim to achieve commercial operation by 2017. Each of these three projects will receive an additional $47 million over four years, subject to congressional appropriations.  The seven projects selected for the first phase of this six-year initiative are 1) Baryonyx Corporation’s Gulf Offshore Wind (GOWind) Project, 2) Dominion Virginia Power’s Demonstration Project, 3) our friends at Fishermen’s Atlantic City Windfarm, 4) Lake Erie Development Corporation’s (LEEDCO’s) Icebreaker Project, 5) Principle Power’s WindFloat Pacific Offshore Wind Demonstration Project, 6) our friends at Statoil North America’s Hywind Maine Project and 7) the University of Maine’s New England Aqua Ventus Project.

Two Studies Also Support Offshore Wind – At the same time that DOE announced it grants, they also rolled out two new reports that chart offshore wind’s path forward.  The Navigant Consortium released two DOE-funded reports that show great promise for the U.S. offshore wind market—including the potential for thousands of jobs in four major coastal regions and the use of larger, more efficient turbines in offshore farms, increasing the amount of electricity delivered to consumers.  The first is an Offshore Wind Market Analysis that provides a comprehensive annual assessment of the U.S. offshore wind market. They will update and publish this report annually for a three-year period.  The second is a Supply Chain report that examines the existing U.S. offshore wind supply chain, identifies current and anticipated gaps, considers the barriers to filling these gaps, and identifies market-entry pathways for new manufacturers.  The Market Analysis report has sections on the role of transmission and transmission policy, which includes several mentions of AWC, praises the project as an innovative way to potentially lower future costs.

Offshore Groups to Consider Whales in Development – Groups developing offshore wind farms from New Jersey to Virginia have agreed to try to protect North Atlantic right whales.  The voluntary measures are the first of their kind.  The developers are pledging to reduce or avoid loud noises that could affect the whales by avoiding building towers and doing other activities at the peak of whales’ migratory season.  The companies also agree to watch for whales and to use tools and technologies to keep the work as quiet as possible.  While environmentalists like the idea of wind energy, many are concerned about the turbines’ effects on migrating birds and sea life.

PTC Debate Picks Up – There was some good back and forth this week on the wind production tax credit (PTC).  AWEA sent a letter to the members of the Senate Finance Committee outlining an analysis of a six-year phase-out of the wind-energy Production Tax Credit with continued priority for a one-year extension for projects that start construction next year, as passed by the Senate Finance Committee. The gradual phase-down “will allow the industry to invest in the cost-saving technologies required to finish the job,” while addressing concerns that the PTC might become a permanent part of the tax code, AWEA said. Under the analysis, the PTC would keep 100% of its value in 2013, declining to 90% in 2014 and 60% in both 2017 and 2018. The credit would end in 2019.  Of course, that phase out isn’t enough for conservatives and others that oppose the credit, including Exelon.

A Plan For Dealing with PTC – Interestingly, Ways and Means ranking member Sander Levin said any long-term PTC renewal in the Congressional Lame Duck would be too much to swallow in the fiscal cliff discussions, urging a one-year extension instead.  This plays right into what we have been predicting for a while now.  A short-term extension gets you to the next year (with a potential change from in-service to commerce construction) with a longer-term phase out  becoming part of the larger upcoming tax reform discussion next year. While AWEA asked for 6 years and opponents said zero, a key to watch is Sen. Grassley who mentioned 4 years in a recent interview with our friends at Energy Daily.

Bipartisan Support for MLPs for Renewables – Not to be outdone, Several politicos sent a letter to President Barack Obama pushing for tax structures known as master limited partnerships and real estate investment trusts to be opened up to renewable energy projects. The partnerships allow access to lower-cost capital and other benefits and are only available under law for investors in oil, natural gas, coal extraction and pipeline projects and explicitly prevented from applying to renewable energy investors.  The lawmakers include Sens. Chris Coons (D-Del.) and Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) and Reps. Ted Poe (R-Texas), Mike Thompson (D-Calif.) and Peter Welch (D-Vt.)  This mirrors a study from SMU’s Maguire Energy Institute earlier this year that held that MLPs could hold incredible potential for renewables.

Gov, AGs Target Interior NatGas Rule – We know recently that a number of more liberal attorneys general threatened to file suit to force EPA to regulate methane emissions from natural gas drilling operations.  Again not to be outdone, the Republican Governors Association and the Republican Attorneys General Association want the proposed Interior rule at the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) rule to regulate natural gas drilling operations withdrawn because they say it ignores states’ track records for regulating the practice and would discourage future development. The groups wrote a letter to President Barack Obama saying the rule institutes “sweeping new regulations” without an expressed need.


Defense Asst Sect to Address Cybersecurity – The Homeland Security Policy Institute will host an event tomorrow at 9:00 a.m. in GWU’s Elliott School of International Affairs as part of the Capstone Series on Cyber Strategy.  The event will feature Paul Stockton, Assistant Secretary for Defense for Homeland Defense and Americas’ Security Affairs. Assistant Secretary Stockton will discuss how to best address vulnerabilities of the electric power grid from physical and cyber threats.

Forum to Look at Senate Foreign Relations Report – The Atlantic Council will hold a discussion tomorrow at 10:00 a.m. with the authors of the recently released Senate Foreign Relations Committee report, “Energy and Security from the Caspian to Europe.” Marik String, deputy chief counsel of the Committee, and Neil Brown, senior professional staff member of the Committee, were commissioned by Senator Richard Lugar (R-IN) to assess the next installment of the Southern Corridor pipeline intended to bring natural gas from the Caspian Sea to Europe. David Koranyi, deputy director, Patriciu Eurasia Center and Adnan Vatansever, independent analyst, will be discussants. Atlantic Council Senior Fellow Ian Brzezinski will moderate.  The report examines the impact of the Obama Administration’s decision to effectively eliminate the position of US Envoy for Eurasian Energy Security; assesses competing pipeline proposals under consideration; and examines the prospect of including gas from Turkmenistan, Iraq, Kazakhstan, and the Eastern Mediterranean in the Southern Corridor. The report will be released in conjunction with legislation offered by Senator Lugar that is intended to increase US exports of liquefied natural gas to NATO allies.  The event will be live-streamed at:

Chamber to Host Farm Innovation Forum – The U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the National Chamber Foundation will co-host a program on Wednesday, December 19th highlighting the innovations and emerging opportunities that today’s agriculture industry are presenting. This program will identify many of the latest innovations and advances in agriculture and show how America’s agriculture community continues to feed an ever growing global population while at the same time supporting American job creation and competitiveness.  Speakers include USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack, Secretary, Chamber President Tom Donohue, former Education Secretary Margaret Spellings (current President of the National Chamber Foundation), Peter Klein of the University of Missouri, AEI’s Nick Schulz, John Deere FarmSight Director Jerry Roell and Blake Hurst of the Missouri Farm Bureau.

Korean Forum to Look at Green Economy in Developing Countries – The Embassy of the Republic of Korea and the Korea Economic Institute will hold a seminar tomorrow at Noon to discuss green business opportunities in developing countries.  Developing countries present an ideal platform for green business opportunities given their natural resources, economic development, and policy agendas. Korea also has a unique set of green policies that enable green businesses.  The event will feature representatives from the World Bank, Korea Energy Economics Institute, and Inter-American Development Bank share their expertise in green growth and energy policies, sustainable development, and green technology.  Speakers include IADB’s energy chief Leandro Feliciano Alves, KEI’s Energy Woongtae Chung, Korea’s Director of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade Sang-Pyo Suh, Korean Embassy Economic Minister Gheewhan Kim and KEI President Abraham Kim.

Wind Program to Discuss Next-Year Agenda – DOE’s Wind Powering America Director Jonathan Bartlett and National Technical Director Ian Baring-Gould will provide an overview of programmatic plans for the upcoming year Wednesday, December 19th at 3”00 p.m.   The discussion will include the soon-to-be-released request for proposal for the inaugural National Collegiate Wind Competition and new Regional Resource Centers. This free webinar is part of Wind Powering America’s 2012 webinar series and follows a tradition of fall webinars that provide an overview of program activities for the upcoming year. Ample Q&A time will be available.

Senate Banking to Review Infrastructure Question – The Senate Banking Committee’s Subcommittee on Housing, Transportation, and Community Development will conduct a hearing on Thursday at 11:00 a.m. in 538 Dirksen focused on recovering from Superstorm Sandy and looking at rebuilding infrastructure.  Witnesses will include MTA CEO Joseph Lhota, NJ Transit Executive Director James Weinstein and several other additional witnesses.

Dorgan, NREL Head to Highlight Energy R&D in Webinar – Energy Central will host a webinar on Thursday at Noon looking at the research and development in the energy sector.  The era of massive subsidies may be waning, but the federal government is putting its mighty resources behind a new vision for America’s energy future. Yet tight federal budgets will restrict how money is deployed.  The seminar will focus on what kind of energy R&D will be supported and what are the implications will be to the utility industry.  Speakers will include NREL’s Dan Arvizu and former North Dakota Democratic Sen. Byron Dorgan, now at the Bipartisan Policy Center Energy Project.


API to Hold State Of Energy – The American Petroleum Institute will hold its state of the energy industry on January 8th at Noon in the Andrew Mellon Auditorium.  API CEO Jack Gerard will outline the new realities of energy in America and the ways the oil and natural gas industry is working and investing every day to ensure the safe exploration, production and delivery of American-made energy. Energy that is vital to creating jobs, growing businesses and ensuring our quality of life.

USEA Holds Annual State of Energy Forum – The US Energy Association will hold its annual state of the energy industry forum on January 16th (my birthday for any of you thinking about getting me something) at the National Press Club at Noon. Distinguished leaders from the most influential and active energy trade associations as they present the priorities, issues, trends, and challenges affecting the industry in 2013.  Speakers will include Marv Fertel (Nuclear Energy Institute), Jack Gerard, President & CEO, American Petroleum Institute), Regina Hopper (America’s Natural Gas Alliance), Skip Horvath (Natural Gas Supply Association), Tom Kuhn (Edison Electric Institute), Hal Quinn (National Mining Association), Dave McCurdy (American Gas Association), Joe Nipper (American Public Power Association), Rhone Resch (Solar Energy Industries Association), Don Santa (Interstate Natural Gas Association of America),

John Shelk (Electric Power Supply Association) and JoAnne Emerson (National Rural Electric Cooperative Association).

Special Update – September 4


Hope everyone enjoyed the Labor Day weekend and an extra day off.  No big intro today as we sit in between conventions with lots of great energy events getting under way in Charlotte. My colleagues Dee Martin, Paul Nathanson and Caitlin Andrews are on the ground in the Queen City if you need anything.  As for RNC, I discuss below more, but whether you really think climate change is a top tier issues or not, you have to appreciate the multiple meanings in Mitt Romney climate zinger in his RNC speech targeting the President’s grander view, but more out-of-touch view.  The evidence of its effectiveness: the hysterical, hair on-fire reaction of many of my enviro friends.   

I wanted to mention one other event tomorrow in DC when WCEE hosts Heather Zichal to talk energy issues at the Capitol Hilton. 

Finally, one little update on getting older…My daughter player her first High School field hockey game on Friday.  If that wasn’t bad enough, while that game was ongoing (actually, I wasn’t there, I was refereeing a high school football game), my son took a shot to the head during his 12U football game and made a (questionable in my mind) trip to the emergency room via ambulance.  He was fine, of course, but you can never be too sure, especially when they couldn’t get ahold of us.  I knew he was really okay when he told me that it was cool to ride in the ambulance and that he asked the driver to turn on the siren and run some red lights.  I guess he won’t be getting a license until he turns 20.

Happy to talk about the role of energy/environment in this race.  Call with questions.

Frank Maisano
(202) 828-5864
c. (202) 997-5932


Most Drilling Operation Back in Action Anyway – Most drilling operation, shut in by Isaac for a few days have started back up throughout the weekend.   Inspections were done Thursday and Friday and most are ready to get back to work.   My friend Jim Noe (713-301-6797) at Hercules Offshore can walk you through some of the particulars of the getting back up and running if you are interested. 

Energy Plays Role in Romney Speech – Mitt Romney in his convention speech dove into energy issues calling for greater production of fossil fuels one of the key elements of his plan to create jobs and restore the economy.  He made it all as part of a call to attain energy independence by 2020.  He also infuriated most enviros with his signature line of the speech saying: “President Obama promised to slow the rise of the oceans and to heal the planet. My promise is to help you and your family.”  In one line, he both hinted at the President being out-of-touch on real issues while also giving him a shot for soaring rhetoric and tendency toward self-aggrandizement.   Of course, the enviro blogosphere erupted with outrage, completely proving the point of how effective the line was and how self-flatulating they are.

Energy Events Make Splash at RNC – There were a several good energy events at the Republican National Convention in Tampa that outlined several interesting issues.  They included:

POLITICO Event with T. Boone, API’s Durbin, ASE’s Callahan – POLITICO held an energy policy luncheon Wednesday that feature Boone Pickens, API’s Marty Durbin and Alliance to Save Energy President Kateri Callahan.  Pickens said that natural gas vehicles will prosper even without his so-called Pickens Plan.  Durbin highlighted a number of challenges in the offshore oil/gas market while praising the effort to create jobs with shale production.  Callahan praised Mitt Romney for his energy efficient policies as governor of Massachusetts. She said he had a “record that is really good on energy efficiency” as governor, including support of a 50 miles per gallon fuel efficiency standard and investing in building efficiency. 

Bloomberg Forums Feature Gerard, Pickens – Pickens also held a one-on-one at Bloomberg’s Link (which had some of the best food by the way).  Pickens hit many of the same themes he discussed at the POLITICO forum highlighting natural gas vehicles, natgas prices and current efforts on wind.    The day prior, API’s Jack Gerard also visited the same forum and led a spirited discussion of offshore drilling, natgas/ shale issues and the job growth in the oil/gas industry.

National Journal Events with Southern, Capito, Others – Perhaps one of the best events was a panel discussion Tuesday lead by National Journal’s Coral Davenport featuring Cap Alpha’s Jim Lucier, CAP’s Richard Caperton, Jerry Taylor of Cato and EPRI’s Mike Howard.  The panel was an outstanding mix of policy and politics, with lots of energy, both in discussion and in temperament.   It followed a one-on-one with WV Rep. Shelly Moor Capito.  Southern Tom fanning led the discussion with comments about the current state of energy policy.  Any earlier event focused on green buildings and energy use and featured Lucier, AGA’s Larry Borgard, former Gainesville Mayor Pegeen Hanrahan and Green Building Council exec Roger Platt. 

Dems Will Host Energy Events – Many of the above events will also have a sister event in Charlotte this week at the Democratic National Convention.  In fact this morning, The Washington Post hosted a great panel discussion on energy issues with Reps. Ed Markey and Ben Lujan, Montana Gov. Brian Schweitzer, Paul Bledsoe of the Bipartisan Policy Center, Michael Levi of the Council on Foreign Relations, Joshua Freed of Third Way and Margo Thorning of the American Council for Capital Formation at the Ritz-Carlton.  Mary Landrieu was supposed to be there but stayed home to tend to Hurricane Isaac issues.   Also this morning, National Journal and The Atlantic host a forum on America’s energy outlook.  Our friend Amy Harder interviewed Senate Energy Committee new top Democrat Ron Wyden, and then lead a panel discussion with NEI chief Marv Fertel, Michael Levi of the Council on Foreign Relations, EPRI CEO Mike Howard (who also participated last week with Southern) and former EIA head Richard Newell, now a professor at the Nicholas School of the Environment.   Also today, Delaware Gov. Jack Markell will be on a panel of folks hosted by POLITICO discussing Jobs and the economy and it is certain that Markell will discuss offshore wind as a major opportunity for his state and the Mid-Atlantic region.  Finally, speaking of POLITICO, they and AWEA will reprise their energy event on Wednesday. 

Speakers Line Up – Finally to some of the speeches, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar Speaks tonight, while Duke Energy CEO – and convention co-chair – Jim Rogers will discuss energy issues on Thursday prior to President Obama’s speech at Bank of America Stadium. 

Dems Release Energy Platform – Democrats released a platform focused On an “all-of the-above” strategy.   While it mentions fossil fuels slightly, it leans heavily on clean energy for job creation, as well as natural gas resources.  I’m sure that won’t go over well with the Josh Fox crowd.  It also spends a significant amount of time attacking Republicans.  See it here.   

Shell Gets Start in Alaska on Drilling – Shockingly, just before Romney’s speech that was to talk about energy independence and oil/gas jobs, the Interior Department announced that Shell received permission to perform “limited preparatory activities” in the Chukchi Sea. The permit allows Shell to begin work to create a mud-line cellar and install two segments of pipe — actions to help install and protect the blowout preventer during production — in non-oil-containing formations.  Salazar speaks tonight and my bet is he mentions this and other drilling items many times. 


WCEE to Host Zichal – The Women’s Council on Energy and the Environment (WCEE) will host a luncheon tomorrow at Noon featuring Heather Zichal, Deputy Assistant to the President for Energy and Climate Change. The WCEE Women in Leadership series, sponsored by our friends at ClearView Energy and Southern Company, showcases successful women who are leaders in their fields, and Ms. Zichal is certainly outstanding.   The event is  at the Capitol Hilton (16th/K St., NW). 

RFF Forum to Look at International Climate Issues – Resources for the Future will host a panel tomorrow at 12:45 p.m. in its First Floor Conference Center to look at the role of border measures in the design of unilateral climate policy.  Issues of competitiveness and emissions leakage have been at the fore of the climate policy debate in all the major economies implementing or proposing to implement significant emissions cap-and-trade programs. While unilateral policy cannot directly impose emissions prices on foreign sources, it can complement domestic emissions pricing with border carbon adjustments to reduce leakage and increase global cost-effectiveness. Theory suggests that border adjustment measures constitute a second-best instrument to complement unilateral emissions pricing. Although border measures have a theoretical efficiency rationale, their practical implementation is subject to serious caveats.  Against this background, panelists at this RFF First Wednesday Seminar will highlight recent research on the efficiency and distributional impacts of border measures, offer design guidelines to ensure their environmental effectiveness while limiting the scope for protectionism, and discuss the implications of such measures for international climate policymaking and negotiations.  RFF’s Carolyn Fischer hosts panelists Thomas Rutherford of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Aaron Cosbey of the International Institute for Sustainable Development and Nigel Purvis of Climate Advisers. 

House Resource to Get Chu on Power Marketing Memo – The full House Committee on Natural Resources will convene an oversight hearing on entitled Tuesday, September 11th at 11:30 a.m. to discuss DOE Secretary Steven Chu’s Power Marketing Administration Memorandum directives and their potential impact on increasing electricity costs for over 40 million families and small businesses.  Chairman Doc Hastings sent a letter to Department of Energy Secretary Steven Chu inviting him to testify at the Full Committee hearing on his Memorandum, which mandates new missions for the Power Marketing Administrations and could raise energy costs for over 40 million Americans. Secretary Chu was originally invited to testify at a hearing on April 26, 2012, but declined due to foreign travel. In June, over 160 House members and Senators sent a bipartisan letter to Secretary Chu expressing concerns with the missions outlined in his Memorandum. The House also passed bipartisan appropriations language prohibiting funding for any new activities in the document. 

O’Malley, Wellinghoff to Headline Retail Energy Event – Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley and Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Chairman Jon Wellinghoff are featured speakers at the Retail Energy Supply Association’s 2012 Energy Competition Symposium in Baltimore on Sept. 12. The half-day event will explore the state of play for retail energy competition nationally. Other featured speakers include Douglas Scott, chairman of the Illinois Commerce Commission, Douglas Nazarian, chairman of the Maryland Public Service Commission, Todd Snitchler, chairman of the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio, Rob Powelson, chairman of the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission, William Massey, former FERC commissioner and counsel to the COMPETE Coalition, and Itron’s Daniel Pfeiffer.  The symposium will feature panel discussions on the value of customer choice in retail energy markets, the future outlook for customer choice in energy, and an overview of the innovative product and service offerings being developed in competitive retail energy markets. The afternoon event will close with a cocktail reception. 

Senate Energy Committee Hearing on Nuclear Waste Bill – The Senate Committee on Energy & Natural Resources will hold a hearing Wednesday, September 12 at 9:30 a.m. to receive testimony on S. 3469, the Nuclear Waste Administration Act of 2012. 

Ohio Shale Gas Conference to Look at Successes, Challenges – Infocast will host Black Gold Ohio, a conference focused on shale gas development in the Utica Shale region at the Westin Columbus on September 12-13th.  The conference will look at the revival of Ohio manufacturing with the Utica and Marcellus booms.  As a result, Ohio has seen a significant rise in demand for steel mills, surveyors, pipe makers, tankers for hauling water, trailers for transporting frac sand and other supporting manufacturing and development.  It’s predicated that by 2015, the Utica and Marcellus shale booms will have created 200,000 jobs, generated a $12 billion growth in overall wages in the State and increased $22 billion in economic output of the Ohio State.  Speakers will include the Ohio Oil & Gas Assn head Tom Stewart and Chesapeake Energy’s Scott Rotruck, among many others. 

Spill Containment Conference Set for Caribbean Drilling – OPEN FORUM and the Energy Chamber of Trinidad will hold the first-ever regional conference on emergency response issues for offshore drilling in Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago, Thursday, September 13th.   The event will focus on the critical issues related to emergency spill response procedures and protocols following the BP/Deepwater Horizon incident two years ago. Speakers will include former BOEMRE chief Michael Bromwich and John Slaughter of the U.S. Coast Guard.  Among other experts, our friends at Helix, former IADC head Lee Hunt and Bracewell’s very own Kevin Ewing.  Hunt, who joined with Helix to organize the conference said “While the international focus has been largely an effort by the United States to protect its shores, this conference will give Caribbean nations the opportunity to focus on how they can learn from each other and work together to build deepwater response capabilities.” 

WAPA to Feature KIA at September Lunch – The Washington Automotive Press Assn‘s September luncheon will be held on Friday at the National Press Club’s Zenger Room at 12:00pm.  Michael Sprague, executive vice president of marketing & communications, and Tom Loveless, executive vice president of sales of Kia Motors will tell the story of Kia’s brand transformation and share insights about the company’s commitment to world-class design and standout from the crowd marketing initiatives that have delivered unprecedented growth and momentum and turned Kia into the seventh largest auto brand in the U.S.  During the meeting members and guests also will have a first look at the new Soul Ad Campaign, new vehicles and future technologies from Kia Motors. 

Corbett, Koppel Headline NatGas Conference – Following last year’s inaugural success, the Marcellus Shale Coalition will return to Philadelphia’s Pennsylvania Convention Center to host the SHALE GAS INSIGHT™ 2012 Conference on September 20-21 to offer insights on natural gas development in in the region.  Industry and policy experts from top producing, midstream, and supply chain firms; academia; government; and the NGO community will provide the latest insights and analysis on state and federal policies, technological advancements in the industry, and much more.  Speakers will include veteran newsman Ted Koppel, PA Gov. Tom Corbett, our WSJ friend Russell Gold and many more.

AWEA Offshore Conference Set for VA Beach – AWEA will host its annual offshore wind conference in Virginia Beach on October 11-13th.  Stay tuned for more details, but  BOEM’s Tommy Beaudreau will kick off the event and AWC President Bob Mitchell will speak on Thursday morning, providing a development update on the project and its implications for accelerating offshore wind in the Mid-Atlantic.

SEJ Ready for Lubbock – SEJ Kicks off at Texas Tech in Lubbock on October 17 through the 22nd.  Bracewell will of course be sponsoring its Thursday night event, so we hope to see you there.

Energy Update Week of May 14


A little shorter version of the usual Monday update because I was offsite yesterday, but certainly not enough to avoid Interior’s announcement about the Atlantic Wind Connection.  Interior declared there to be no competitive interest for the use of certain areas of the U.S. Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) to construct an offshore transmission system which will speed permitting efforts.  Please feel free to follow up with Bob Mitchell (202-258-0960) if you have lingering questions. 

I tweeted (@FrankTalk19) a couple of the most excellent shots of the Hercules offshore rig with my friends at CBS Sunday.    They are doing a feature on islands this Sunday and always feature one “man-made” island which this year is the 173.  Looking forward to seeing the story as it captures day-to-day life on the working rig.  Incidentally, today the White House is releasing another report saying leases are going unused.  Funny how that works, because having been out there yesterday, I’d say that if there is oil or natural gas liquids in the ground, companies are trying to get it as fast as possible.  See more below, but our friend Jim Noe is happy to discuss (713-301-6797) 

Big hearing in Senate Energy Thursday on the Clean Energy Standard, perhaps the first of several as we understand it.  My colleagues Scott Segal and Jeff Holmstead think it will be very different to do in an election year and still see a lot of homework to do.  They are happy to discuss the issue.  In addition, we’re keeping track of Lisa Jackson at Senate Approps, the House Oversight Committee and the Friday farm bill hearing.  Also, we may here more recommendations for tariffs in the solar dumping case against China by Thursday.  Already both sides are out in full force trying to apply last minute public pressure to shape the debate

NCAA lacrosse first rounds were awesome setting up a classic JHU-Maryland matchup on the men’s side at Navy Marine Corps Stadium Saturday at high noon.  Not to be outdone, the women’s side will feature a Maryland-Loyola matchup where former UMD great Jen Adams will coach against her alma mater (also at high noon).  Which way to go?  Oh the drama in my house…  Girls want to go to College Park, Adam is demanding heading to Annapolis.  Either way, it will be great.  The NY Rangers barely finished off the Caps (but give them credit that they did) and the LA Kings look unstoppable.  Hard to believe from a team that snuck into the playoffs on the last day of the season.  By the way, does the NBA even exist anymore?  Are they still in a lockout?  Seriously, can the NBA playoffs be any more boring compared to the NHL?  I would rather watch the action during a rain delay at Nationals Park than watch the first few rounds of the NBA playoffs.  I hope to finals can get a little better.

Call will questions.  You should also follow our Bracewell DC crew on Twitter @PolicyRez as well.


Frank Maisano
(202) 828-5864
C. (202) 997-5932


White House Report Says Leases Going Unused – The White is releasing a new report today that says nearly 72% of the Outer Continental Shelf land leased for oil and gas development is “not producing or not subject to pending or approved exploration or development plans.” As for onshore leases, about 56% of federal land leased in the continental U.S. was idle as of the end of 2011.  This one again, underscores the fundamental misunderstanding this administration continues to show about the oil/gas industry.  And they don’t really care right now, because they are trying to inoculate themselves from a political weakness with misleading statistics and political rhetoric.  Apparently, according the energy “experts” in the White House’s definition of “idle” doesn’t include exploratory work and environmental reviews that must take place before drilling can begin.   My friend Jim Noe can discuss the issue (713-301-6797).

Final EPA Dimock Testing Shows No Impacts from Drilling – A final batch of EPA drilling tests said there was no water with unsafe levels of chemicals and that none of the levels that are there can be associated with drilling.  EPA has been testing water in Dimock, Pa. from January to March, and has been unveiling them in a series of late afternoon Friday releases.  As with the previous three sampling results, EPA found that Dimock drinking water meets all regulatory standards.  The EPA again did not indicate that those contaminants that were detected bore any relationship to gas development in the Dimock area.  These contaminants are more likely indicative of naturally-occurring background levels or other unrelated activities.  Cabot said it was pleased that EPA has now reached the same conclusion of Cabot and state and local authorities resulting from the collection of more than 10,000 pages of hard data — that the water in Dimock meets all regulatory standards.

Interior Moves Offshore Wind Transmission Project Forward – Continuing its significant momentum supporting offshore wind energy and transmission, the Department of Interior today declared there to be no competitive interest for the use of certain areas of the U.S. Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) to construct an offshore transmission system being proposed by the Atlantic Wind Connection (AWC).  After a year of intensive internal and public review, the decision allows the project to move forward in its permitting process.  AWC CEO Bob Mitchell praised the Administration’s effort on renewable energy, saying the decision is an important step to advancing what could be the world’s first integrated electric transmission superhighway for offshore wind.  Mitchell: “This milestone allows the AWC to proceed to intelligently plan for the backbone transmission system that is necessary for an entirely new robust offshore wind industry to develop in America. There is no reason for the United States to have to yield all of the factories and jobs to Europe and China.”  A Determination of No Competitive Interest (DNCI) has been made by Interior’s Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM), after soliciting input from other potential competitors and the public.  The DNCI issuance allows BOEM to grant the project a right-of-way (ROW) on the OCS once the environmental impact of the project is reviewed under NEPA, and with further public input.  The lack of competitive interest means that the delays associated with an auction are avoided.

Brattle Study Cites Concerns for Midwest in Mercury Rule – A new study for the Midwest Independent Transmission System Operator (MISO) by The Brattle Group found that compliance with the MATS rule poses significant challenges for generators in the Midwest.  The feasibility assessment took into account the historical level of actual retrofits and new generation construction, typical timelines to complete various types of projects, potential bottlenecks in specialized types of labor, and the required planned outages in coal plants to install and test the environment control equipment. The study finds that the projected amount of retrofits on coal units and the amount of new generation to replace retiring coal units in the MISO region will exceed the historical maximum achieved for simultaneous deployments of retrofits and new builds by 51% to 162%, based on MISO’s current projections of retrofit requirements and announced projects. For nationwide retrofits, the requirements imposed by MATS would be below historical maximums if the EPA’s projections are correct, or up to 93% above historical maximums if industry estimates are more accurate.  With respect to the timeline needed for retrofits, the study finds that some types of upgrades can be completed before 2015 without difficulty, including activated carbon injection (ACI) and dry sorbent injection (DSI), which can be implemented within approximately a year and a half. Most projects, however, have a longer lead time of approximately three to four years, including wet and dry scrubber, baghouse, electrostatic precipitator (ESP), and selective catalytic reduction (SCR), as well as new gas combustion turbines (CTs) and combined cycles (CCs). Some of these longer lead time projects may not be completed by the MATS compliance date (April 2015, with a potential one-year extension) to the extent they have not already started. 

Brattle Also Raises Concerns about Labor to Upgrade – The Brattle study also evaluated the potential for craft labor to become a bottleneck that could introduce project delays and increase costs. Comparing the projected labor needs against the current labor supply for each craft revealed that boilermakers are the most likely bottleneck. As many as 7,590 boilermakers (or 40% of boilermakers currently employed nationally) could be needed to complete the projected retrofits and new generation construction by 2015. This potential demand is more than four times the number of boilermakers currently employed in the Utility System Construction Industry. Therefore, meeting the projected demand for boilermakers will likely require a combination of adjustments on the supply side, including training new labor, relocation, extending work hours, and attracting craft labor from other industries.  With respect to the incremental outage periods necessary to implement the projected retrofits, the study estimates that some upgrades, such as dry scrubber, DSI, selective non-catalytic reduction (SNCR), and ACI, require that the outage duration need only be extended a few days or a week, although some types of upgrades impose much longer outages. Wet FGD, baghouse, and SCR retrofits are likely to require that outages be extended by approximately three weeks. Considering the fleet-wide impacts of these outages, it appears that MISO may have to schedule approximately 45% more MW of coal outages per season for MATS compliance by fall 2015, assuming that many plants will gain a one-year compliance extension. These additional outage requirements appear to be feasible to implement under MISO’s low-retirement scenarios without causing system reliability concerns. The study notes, however, that implementing the incremental outages under scenarios with higher coal retirement scenarios (12 GW and 19 GW) would likely require a combination of extending the six-month outage season to nine months and requesting an additional one-year reliability extension to 2017 for MATS compliance.

Get the Study Here – The Brattle study, “Supply Chain and Outage Analysis of MISO Coal Retrofits for MATS,” was prepared by Brattle economists Metin Celebi, Kathleen Spees, and Quincy Liao, with assistance from Steve Eisenhart at the VATIC Associates. It is available for download at

RFA Says Ethanol Reduced Gas Price – The Renewable Fuels Association will release a report today that says ethanol reduced the price of gasoline in 2011 by an average of $1.09 per gallon – up from $0.89 per gallon in 2010.  The finding is in according to updated research conducted by economics professors at the University of Wisconsin and Iowa State University.  Surprisingly, those economic found that three primary factors are responsible for “price benefit:”  higher oil and gasoline prices, higher ethanol inclusion and ethanol being priced at a larger-than-normal discount to gasoline.  Refiners said the study is flawed and is based on false assumptions and distorted statistics to reach the predetermined conclusion.  Charlie Drevna: “ Today’s study is just an update of an equally flawed 2009 study that even the authors conceded is not a reflection of reality. In their original 2009 report, the authors of the study wrote:  ‘…it would be wrong to extrapolate the results to today’s markets.’   AFPM says increased amounts of ethanol in gasoline will likely lead to consumers paying even more at the pump. According to the AAA daily fuel gauge report, fuel that is 85% ethanol, E85, significantly decreases fuel economy and is more expensive than gasoline on a miles-per-gallon basis due to its lower energy content, even at today’s prices. The AAA report notes that if consumers were to use E85 today, they would be paying nearly 60 cents per gallon more than if they filled up with regular gasoline.


API to Look at Politics, Energy – API will host a discussion at The National Press Club on Tuesday, May 15th at 8:30 a.m. to look at the importance of sound energy decisions for our nation.  At the event, API will release a report to the Democratic and Republican Platform Committees followed by a bipartisan panel discussion with energy advisors and experts.

CFTC Chairman to Address the National Press Club Luncheon – Gary Gensler, chairman of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, will address the National Press Club at a luncheon on Tuesday May 15th at 12:30 p.m. at a luncheon speech.  Gensler and his agency are at the center of implementing the sweeping – and controversial — Dodd-Frank financial reform law, enacted in 2010. Congress passed the law in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis, which was triggered by liquidity problems in the U.S. banking system and collapse of the housing bubble.  The law contains the most comprehensive changes to financial-market regulation since the Great Depression. It has drawn withering criticism from many conservatives for its far-reaching efforts to impose enough rules to prevent another financial crisis. Opponents object in particular to its establishment of a new consumer protection agency, which supporters say is a vital reform.

MD to Hold Public Meetings on Climate Change – Maryland continues its public meetings today on its climate change law in Centreville in Queen Anne’s County.  In 2009, the Maryland General Assembly passed the Greenhouse Gas Emissions Reduction Act that requires the State to develop and implement a plan to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions 25% by 2020. Last week the meetings kicked off in Elkton, MD.  Other meetings will be in Fredrick on May 24th, Annapolis on May 31st and Baltimore on June 5th

Nebraska Hearings Set for new Pipeline Route – The Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality will hold two more hearings Wednesday in Albion tomorrow and in Central City on Thursday to discuss the new path for the Keystone Pipeline.  The meetings will be one opportunity for the agency to meet with interested persons and discuss where the pipeline review process stands.  NDEQ says they will have detailed maps available, so that people can get a clearer idea of where the corridor is proposed. NDEQ  held meetings last week in O’Neill and in Neligh

CHP Spring Forum Set – The U.S. Clean Heat & Power Association will hold its Spring CHP Forum on Wednesday at the Washington Plaza Hotel in DC. 

Great Efficiency Day Set – The first installment of the 2012 Great Energy Efficiency Day Series, will be held on Wednesday morning at Union Station’s Columbus Club, as representatives from diverse industries convene a discussion on the business case for energy efficiency. Learn how and why all sectors of business – from automakers to utility providers to product manufacturers – are adopting energy-efficient practices to increase profitability, productivity, and security. And, gain insight into how the public sector is driving efficiency through keynote addresses from Congressional, Administration, and State officials.   Launched in 2004, Great Energy Efficiency Day (GEED) has quickly become a “must attend” public discussion on the need for, and benefits of, energy efficiency. In 2012, GEED is expanding to a twice-a-year series on Capitol Hill to provide more public opportunity for energy efficiency discourse.  GEED events draw more than 400 stakeholders from business, industry, government, academia, and media to discuss the most pressing issues and advances in energy efficiency.  Confirmed speakers include Sen. Mark Warner, Kateri Callahan of the Alliance to Save Energy, ACC’s Cal Dooley, BRT President and former MI Governor John Engler, EEI head Tom Kuhn, AGA President Dave McCurdy, DOE’s Maria Vargas and many more. 

House Oversight to Look at Clean Tech, Loan Guarantees – The House Oversight panel on Regulation chaired by Ohio Rep. Jim Jordan will hold a hearing on Wednesday at 10:00 a.m.    Witnesses will include Craig Witsoe of Abound Solar, Brian Fairbank of Nevada Geothermal Power Inc., BrightSource Energy CEO John Woolard, FirstSolar’s Michael Ahearn, and James Nelson of Solar 3D and Gregory Kats of Capital-E.

AEI to Look at Cuba Issues – While it isn’t only about energy, the American Enterprise Institute will hold an event tomorrow that will look at Cuba after Castro and I fully expect there will be some discussion on Cuba’s plan to drill for oil off its Northern coast.  The event will be at 10:00 a.m. and will feature

Senate Approps Panel to Host Jackson – EPA’s Lisa Jackson will be featured at a Senate Appropriations environmental panel hearing tomorrow at 10:30 a.m. to discuss EPA budget issues.

Senate Environment to Highlight Role of Corporate Responsibility – The Senate Committee on Environment’s panel on Children’s Health and Environmental Responsibility will hold a hearing tomorrow at 10:30 a.m. looking at corporate environmental responsibility and innovation.  Witnesses will include Intel’s Todd Brady, GE Power & Water’s , Len Sauers of Procter & Gamble, Eastman Chemical’s Parker Smith and Mitch Jackson of FedEx.

Blackburn, Shaheen Headline Women’s Energy Council Forum – The Women’s Energy Resource Council  will hold its 2nd Annual Leadership Forum  on Wednesday  at Noon at the Phoenix Park Hotel.  The forum will include a variety of speakers and panelists from Capitol Hill, the Administration, and the private sector.  Registration and lunch begin at 11:30am with Representative Marsha Blackburn starting the program at 12:00.  Some of the other speakers will include Senator Jeanne Shaheen, Politics Daily’s Patricia Murphy, and Pia Carusone, Chief of Staff to former Representative Gabrielle Giffords, who will discuss crisis management during the Tucson shooting. 

WAPA to Discuss Mercedes Mobile Technology – The Washington Automotive Press Association will host its May luncheon on Wednesday at the National Press Club featuring Matthew Wiethoff, Manager of Business to Consumer Marketing for Mercedes-Benz Financial Services.  Wiethoff will discuss the strategy behind the company’s mobile technology initiatives and what’s in the pipeline.  In October 2009, Mercedes-Benz Financial Services became the first captive auto finance company to introduce an app for customers with iPhones to enable them to make monthly payments.  Since introducing its iPhone app giving customers the convenience to make payments “anytime, anywhere,” Mercedes-Benz Financial Services (MBFS) has received over $68 million in payments via mobile channels through the first quarter of this year — and the number is growing.  Given the strong demand, MBFS continues to build capabilities in the mobile space, having recently enhanced the My MBFS app to include: request a quote from a dealer; payment reminders; and GPS dealer locator capability.

ELI Panel to Look at Litigation, Environmental Exposure – The Environmental Law Institute will hold a panel discussion on tomorrow at 2:00 p.m. focused on environmental litigation and the bar for injury in environmental exposure cases.  Panelists will include Carla Burke of Baron & Budd, John Guttmann of Beveridge & Diamond and Robert Percival of the Environmental Law Program of University of Maryland Carey School of Law.

Solar Expert Featured at ICF Energy Breakfast – ICF International will host its May Energy and Environment Breakfast on Thursday morning featuring Julia Hamm, president and CEO of the Solar Electric Power Association (SEPA). The outlook for solar power and for specific projects is being buffeted by many factors, including sharp declines in the cost of photovoltaics, low prices for natural gas, state Renewable Portfolio Standards, and Federal tax credits and research programs (such as the SunShot Initiative). Hamm will discuss the role can solar electricity play in the future of the U.S. power mix and what issues need to be addressed for it to reach its full potential, as well as the best prospects and opportunities for development. 

Green Week Panels Cover Array of Issues — The Institute for Policy Analysis and Interpretation will hold DuPont Green Week activities on Thursday and Friday at Johns Hopkins University with panels on financing, carbon markets and many other topics. 

DOE to Headline Industrial Efficiency Forum – The Alliance to Save Energy’s honoring its 35th Anniversary, will hold an Industrial Energy Efficiency Forum on Thursday at 8:00 a.m. at EEI.  The event will include experts from a diverse set of industries who will discuss energy efficiency within the industrial sector – from their early efforts to current energy efficiency and management programs being implemented across U.S. industry.  Discover how manufacturers have improved energy efficiency at their plants and what types of mechanisms and technologies will be important in achieving additional gains in energy efficiency, industrial productivity, and energy security. Valuable insights into Superior Energy Performance and Better Buildings/Better Plants will be provided along with the recognition of several plants in the Southeast that have achieved Superior Energy Performance certification through ISO 50001 energy management and verified energy Speakers will include DOE’s Kathleen Hogan and many others. 

Senate Energy to hold Clean Energy Standard Hearing – The full Senate Committee on Energy & Natural Resources will hold a hearing on Thursday to focus on the Clean Energy Standard Act of 2012 and receive testimony on S. 2146. Witnesses include DOE’s David Sandalow and EIA’s Howard Gruenspecht, as well as RFF’s Karen Palmer, Judy Greenwald from the former Pew Climate Group now named the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions, DE DNREC Secretary Colin O’Mara, American Iron and Steel Institute CEO Tom Gibson, Duke Energy’s Keith Trent and Jacksonville Electric Authority CEO James Dickenson.  My colleague Scott Segal says a federal standard mandating certain energy investments is a difficult policy to get right.  He adds that supporters must take into account geographic differences and must incentivize a sensible mix of technologies, including both energy-generating and energy-saving approaches.  A CES must be based on realistic assumptions about the future of nuclear power and the real costs of certain renewables.  Segal: “In a down economy,  costs to consumers must be a paramount consideration.  Unfortunately, the whole range of final and proposed Environmental Protection Agency regulations on the power sector have already ensured that energy costs will be increasing.  There is not a single study that evaluates the cost of a federal CES against the backdrop of these regulations.  There is a lot of homework yet to be done, and not much time to do it during this election year.”

SAFE Group to Unveil Report – On Thursday, the Diplomatic Council on Energy Security (DCES) will formally launch with its report on oil’s impact on the trade deficit, followed by a discussion energy security with DCES members at the Hay Adams Hotel at 10:00 a.m.  The DCES, a project of Securing America’s Future Energy (SAFE), is a bipartisan coalition of former U.S. ambassadors who have come together to call attention to the diplomatic and foreign policy constraints posed by America’s dependence on oil.

Brookings Forum to Look at Clean tech Innovations – On Thursday at 2:00 p.m., Global Economy and Development at Brookings will host a discussion on how international organizations can help fill capacity building and financing gaps in clean technology innovation in developing and least developed countries. Panelists will include Tim Richards, managing director for International Energy Policy at General Electric Company; Alfred Watkins, executive chairman of the Global Innovation Summit; Dr. Romain Murenzi, executive director of the Academy of Sciences for the Developing World; and Brookings Nonresident Fellow Nathan Hultman, director of the Environmental Policy Program at the University of Maryland School of Public Policy. Brookings Senior Fellow Katherine Sierra will moderate the discussion.

EPA Economists Discuss Electronic Reporting on Water – Resource for the Future will hold a forum on Thursday at Noon  in its 7th Floor Conference Room on electronic reporting of water discharge monitoring report data and whether it affects compliance behavior of regulated entities. Ron Shadbegian and Ann Wolverton of EPA’s National Center for Environmental Economics exam whether or not the adoption of an electronic reporting requirement increases on-time reporting of monthly discharge data and the probability that regulated entities are in compliance, and reduces their overall discharges relative to the permitted amount.

Reps. to Highlight Energy Storage Efforts – The Electricity Storage Association along with the Copper Development Association, National Electrical Manufacturers Association, National Hydropower Association, and NY-BEST will host an event on Thursday at 5:30 p.m. in 1300 Longworth to look at energy storage technologies.  Reps. Chris Gibson and Mike Thompson are expected to attend.

Biofuels Roundtable Set – USDA, along with the Department of Energy and the Department of Navy, will co-host an Advanced Biofuels Industry Roundtable, Friday.  The Roundtable will focus on efforts to accelerate the production of bio-based fuels for military and commercial purposes. Last year, USDA, and the Departments of Energy and the Navy announced that – through the Defense Production Act – they will collaborate to accelerate the development of advanced, drop-in aviation and marine biofuels and marine diesel to help power our military. Participants in this roundtable will discuss next steps for those interested in pursuing the production of aviation biofuels and marine diesel. Topics will include production, distribution and contracting, and best practices. This roundtable follows a “match making” event hosted last week at USDA headquarters to promote connections between agricultural producers of energy feedstocks, and biorefineries.   In August 2011, the agencies announced plans to invest up to $510 million during the next three years to produce drop-in aviation and marine biofuels. 

In December, the Navy announced “the single largest purchase of advanced drop-in biofuel in government history by the Defense Logistics Agency,” for 450,000 gallons of fuel.   This roundtable follows a matchmaking event hosted on March 30 at USDA headquarters to promote connections between agricultural producers of energy feedstocks and biorefineries.


Forum Set to Discuss Science, Future Enterprise – The New American Foundation will hold a forum on Science issues on Monday afternoon, May 21st.  Science and technology in America have been guided by the same set of ideas for more than half a century. The conventional wisdom is that if we feed more money and more scientists into our existing “knowledge enterprise” complex, society will derive proportionately more benefits. In the face of the global economic downturn, political disarray at the national level, and protracted challenges to the nation’s public health, environmental quality, industrial base, and energy system, this simplistic assumption is long overdue for a reckoning.   Today’s challenges demand new ways of thinking about science and technology, and the government’s role in advancing them. The problem, any honest inquiry will suggest, isn’t always money, or the number of scientists, but the very way we do science.   Speakers will include our friend Andy Revkin, GWU President Emeritus Stephen Trachtenberg and many others.

Columbia U to Host EPA Regional Enviro Conference – EPA and Columbia University Law School will host its biennial conference on May 23rd in New York that examines key and emerging environmental issues in the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Region 2 area, which includes New York, New Jersey, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Topics will include natgas extraction, as well as air and climate issues.  Speakers will include EPA’s Judith Enck, several state Environmental Commissioners and other experts. 

Geothermal Energy Conference Set – The Geothermal Energy Association (GEA) will be holding the 4th annual GEA International Geothermal Energy Showcase on May 23rd at the Reagan Trade Center in Washington, DC to highlight international geothermal projects, policies, and development in top international markets.  Industry leaders, government officials, and other power sector representatives from the U.S. and around the world are expected to participate.   This year, the event will focus on success in the leading countries and geothermal markets. Participants from the countries which are showing the most dramatic growth will be asked to address the event. Discussion will highlight what measures are succeeding in expanding geothermal energy production, with special attention paid to U.S. geothermal exports and financing for international geothermal development.   GEA is inviting representatives from both government and business involved in key geothermal markets including the Caribbean, Central America, Chile, East Africa, Europe, Indonesia, New Zealand, Peru, Philippines and Turkey. The program will encourage discussion and interaction about government policies, projects in development, market potential, and opportunities for U.S. companies. Attendees will also hear from U.S. Government agencies involved in export assistance for geothermal companies, and from U.S. companies developing projects overseas.

Brookings Forum to Look at Shipping Industry, Climate – On Thursday, May 24th, Global Economy and Development at Brookings, Oxfam America, World Wildlife Fund and ActionAid will host a discussion on how mechanisms in the shipping industry can be designed to mobilize new public resources to help developing countries confront the climate crisis while reducing global greenhouse gas emissions. Panelists will include Ambassador Charles Rudolph Paul, Embassy of the Republic of the Marshall Islands to the United States of America; Michael Keen, deputy director of the Fiscal Affairs Department at the International Monetary Fund; Nigel Purvis, president and CEO of Climate Advisers; and Heather Coleman, senior policy advisor at Oxfam America. Brookings Senior Fellow Katherine Sierra will moderate the discussion.

RFF to Host Economics Nobel Prize Winner for Lecture – In celebration of its 60th anniversary, Resources for the Future is presenting Resources 2020 on Friday, June 1st at 2:00 p.m. in National Geographic Museum’s  Grosvenor Auditorium and features  2009 Nobel Economic Sciences Laureate Elinor Ostrom.  Resources 2020 is a year-long distinguished lecture series featuring Nobel Laureates in Economics.  The inaugural event in the series will both honor the memory of Hans Landsberg, a pioneer in energy and mineral economics, and recognize Elinor Ostrom’s groundbreaking role as the first, and to date the only, woman to win the Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences. Dr. Ostrom’s presentation will highlight the environmental and natural resource challenges facing the world through the end of this decade and the role that economic inquiry can play in helping decisionmakers address these issues.

WINDPOWER heads to Atlanta – AWEA’s annual WINDPOWER conference will be held in  Atlanta on June 3rd through 6th.  WINDPOWER is being held in the Southeast for the first time this year in recognition of the fact that it has emerged as a hot spot for wind energy manufacturing. The theme of the overall conference is “Manufacturing the Future Today.” Factories in the wind supply chain now employ 30,000 Americans, out of 75,000 currently working in wind energy. But those jobs are now in jeopardy because of uncertainty over the Production Tax Credit, due to expire at the end of this year unless Congress extends it.  In a year of partisan politics, two leading partisans will seek common ground at the biggest annual gathering of the wind industry – which is counting on bipartisan support to continue its rapid growth in the United States.  Karl Rove and Robert Gibbs will address thousands of attendees together June 5 in Atlanta at WINDPOWER 2012.  Rove, former deputy chief of staff and senior advisor to President George W. Bush, and Robert Gibbs, former White House press secretary and longtime senior advisor to President Barack Obama, will jointly keynote in the Tuesday morning General Session of the annual conference and exposition.  Their conversation will touch on many sides of the energy policy debate, and point out where party perspectives overlap — highlighting the opportunity for bipartisan agreement in support of wind power, one of the fastest-growing sources of manufacturing jobs in America, which draws over $15 billion a year of private investment in the U.S. economy.

Aspen Forum to look at Clean Energy Issues – Montreaux Energy’s 13th Aspen Clean Energy Roundtable will be held June 4-6th  at the historic Hotel Jerome in Aspen.  The Aspen Clean Energy Roundtable will convene 100 key industry partners and investors, along with leading government policy-makers and regulators. Our theme will be Clean Energy, Mobility, and Power Generation: Leadership in Energy Investment.  Confirmed Speakers include Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper, Shell natgas VP Dave Todd, Waste Management Organic Growth SVP Carl Rush,  GE Energy Renewable Energy Strategy & Analysis head Brandon Owens, EPA Region 8 Energy & Climate advisor Kate Fay, Toyota Environmental Vehicles Product Planning Manager Craig Scott and NASCAR Green Innovation Director Michael Lynch, as well as many more.

Mining Summit to Look at Future of Industry – The Mining Americas Summit 2012 will be held in Denver, Colorado on June 5th and 6th at the Denver Marriott City Centre.   Senior executive leadership will gather to discuss the capital management strategies, cutting edge technologies and operational investments that will drive the mining industry for years to come.  Issues will include adopting leading policies and techniques to improve access to capital and attract investment; assessing emerging technologies on cost and operational metrics; managing political risk in mine operations – both domestic and abroad; exploring the latest geographical hotspots and resource opportunities and incorporating sustainability and safety.

NJ to Hold Clean Air DebateNational Journal will host a debate Wednesday, June 6th at The Newseum looking at clean air standards and their broader impact on the nation’s public health, the environment, and the economy.  The event, moderated by our friend Coral Davenport, will feature Peter LaPuma, of George Washington University and NRDC’s John Walke.

Segal to Speak at ECOS meeting – The Environmental Council of the States (ECOS) will host state environmental agency leaders on June 7-8th at the Hotel Monaco in Washington, DC for the State Environmental Protection in 2012 conference.  This is a critical time for state environmental programs as officials try to balance federal budget cuts with the need to address new, more complex pollution problems.  The meeting will provide a forum for state officials, business and industry, nonprofits, governmental agencies, and others to explore current challenges in meeting environmental and public health demands in an era of declining resources.  Panel topics will include implementation of federal rules and regulations, state innovation, air and energy, coal combustion residuals, green partnerships, nutrients and other water issues, toxics reform and more.  Speakers will include our colleague Scott Segal.

Nat Gas Vehicles Conference Set – Penn State-Lehigh will hold a natural gas vehicles forum on Monday June 11th hosting clean-air/clean-transportation advocates, industry stakeholders, fleet managers and policymakers.  They will discuss the fundamentals of using natural gas as a transportation fuel, network with other NGV stakeholders, and discuss opportunities and challenges to greater adoption of natural gas as a transportation fuel. The conference will provide a comprehensive discussion on utilizing natural gas as a transportation fuel in Pennsylvania and the greater mid-Atlantic region.

Offshore Safety Summit Set for Houston – The Offshore Safety Summit 2012 will be held in Houston on June 11-13th. Since the GOM Deepwater Horizon incident, oil and gas companies have once again come under the spotlight. Issues such as preventing hydrocarbon releases, oil spill response, risk assessment and management, process and human safety and personnel training have surfaced as key priority items that require immediate attention.  To meet the heightened focus on safety, oil and gas companies are reassessing and reshaping their HSE strategies to balance profit with safety, while developing a plan that is both technically compliant to new standards and humanly ergonomic in its application.  This conference will address the latest insights and case studies on effectively managing offshore HSE risk and creating a rigorous system to pre-empt major and costly accidents. Through real-life, practical case studies, Offshore Safety Summit 2012 will help oil and gas operators and contractors understand the human and technical factors involved in process safety and ensure a solid hazard prevention framework.

Chamber Holds Jobs Summit – The U.S. Chamber of Commerce will hold its third annual Jobs Summit 2012 on Wednesday, June 13th at the Chamber in DC.  , The Summit will bring together governors and thought leaders from across the country to discuss the state of our nation’s job market, outline policies that are needed to generate jobs and accelerate economic growth, and highlight what policies are working in each participating governor’s state.   A central part of the Summit will be the release of an updated edition of Enterprising States, which will take a comprehensive look at how states are positioning themselves for economic growth and investing in the future.  The bipartisan Governors’ Roundtable will be moderated by Major Garrett, Congressional Correspondent for the National Journal, following remarks by Tom Donohue and a research presentation based on the data released in the Enterprising States study.

Washington Fuel Cell Summit to Look at Technologies – On June 19th, the Hydrogen Education Foundation is hosting a one-day summit in the nation’s capital featuring panel discussions, an expo and a Ride and Drive with fuel cell vehicles.  Government and industry will convene to discuss the latest advancements and keys to market successes for fuel cells, including open discussion around remaining challenges and obstacles.  Speakers will include CARB Chair Mary Nichols, Ballard CEO John Sheridan, Ed Cohen of Honda, Justin Ward of Toyota, National Fuel Cell Research Director Scott Samuelson and many others.

REFF-Wall Street to Look at Renewable Challenges – The 9th annual Renewable Energy Finance Forum-Wall Street will be on June 19th and 20th in New York at the Waldorf-Astoria. With disappearing Federal support and several high-profile bankruptcies, there are challenges ahead for the sector.  On the agenda include panels on Solar finance, the interplay between renewables and other fuels, Federal support for renewables and new finance trends for renewables.  The keynote speakers include CT DEEP head Dan Esty , US Army Installations Asst Secretary Katherine Hammack and Dennis McGinn of ACORE.  Other speakers include NRG’s Steve Corneli, MidAmerican’s Jonathan Weisgall, SEIA’s Rhone Resch and Bloomberg New Energy Finance’s Michel DiCapua, among other.

Congressional Renewable Expo Set for Hill – On June 21st, the Sustainable Energy Coalition – in cooperation with Members of the U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. Senate Renewable Energy & Energy Efficiency Caucuses – will host the 15th annual Congressional Renewable Energy & Energy Efficiency EXPO + Forum on Capitol Hill.  This year’s EXPO will bring together over fifty businesses, sustainable energy industry trade associations, government agencies, and energy policy research organizations to showcase the status and near-term potential of the cross-section of renewable energy (biofuels/biomass, geothermal, solar, water, wind) and energy efficiency technologies.  The late morning program will feature Members of the U.S. Congress while speakers throughout the day will discuss the role sustainable energy technologies can play in meeting America’s energy needs.   As Congress, the Administration, the business community, environmental advocates, and American voters search for options to stimulate the economy and “green jobs,” as well as address issues of national security, higher energy costs, increased reliance on energy imports, and the environmental threats associated with energy consumption, the EXPO will help address the role that sustainable energy technologies might play.  This will include not only the technical aspects of renewable energy and energy-efficient technologies but also related issues such as economics, jobs potential, environmental benefits, current and near-term market potential, model programs in the public and private sectors, and institutional, financial and legal barriers.

Special Update – May 10


Again, a couple more interesting items that I wanted to push out given that I will not be sending an update on Monday because will be wearing fire-retardant clothing that day on the Hercules 173 in the Gulf.  Just so you know, I will have my name of my FRC outfit, because I’m kind of a big deal.  Now I just need you guys to give me an offshore rig nickname…or maybe not.

Speaking of drilling, one other thing…It seems the drilling activities off the coast of Cuba are getting close to completing the first well.  It may happen in the next week or so.  Regardless, our friends at Helix are talking more about the containment system that Repsol has contracted in case there is a spill.   If you are covering this issue, don’t hesitate to call as we can provide materials and in some case provide a detailed briefing on the system.

Finally, I hope all of you saw the recent spoof in The Onion on the Natural Gas drilling industry employing all the new college PR grads…  As I told One of my enviro friends: Finally, some help on the way…  Pretty funny stuff.

Frank Maisano
(202) 828-5864
c. (202) 997-5932

President Announcement Executive Order to Reduce Regs –  Today, the President will order changing or eliminating a handful of regulations that his administration says could have cost the economy $6 billion over five years, part of a regulatory overhaul that will require agencies to periodically scrub their rule books in search of unnecessary mandates. See the EO here.  My colleague Scott Segal, Director of the Electric Reliability Coordinating Council discussion the implications for energy/environment issues in the statement: “The President has again explicitly recognized that the performance of the economy is directly related to how reasonable our regulatory burdens are.  Unfortunately, in the case of recent power-sector rules, this commitment has not been evident.  The recently-finalized air toxics rule is the most expensive air rule measured in direct costs and has very little incremental health benefits associated with it.  Millions of jobs depend on the recovery of industries that require affordable and reliable electric power.”  Segal: “Today’s executive order deals with periodic retroactive review of regulations.  Even if this is achieved, the real threat for the power sector and manufacturers and workers that depend upon it lies in the rash of new rules advanced by the Administration.  These include air toxics rules for utilities and boiler owners, interstate rules, greenhouse gas rules, as well as rules on waste and water – all coming together to foreclose on some of America’s most dependable options.”   You can call Scott (202-262-5845) or me if you have questions.

Inhofe Introduces Armendariz Legislation – As a fallout of the Dr. Al Armendariz EPA blow up, Sen. Inhofe, Ranking Member of the Senate Environment Committee introduced a simple two-page bill that will require that the President appoint the EPA’s regional administrators “by and with the advice and consent of the Senate.”  Currently EPA regional directors are appointed by the President without having to undergo Senate confirmation. Senator Inhofe was joined by Senators John Boozman, David Vitter, James Risch, Jim DeMint, Roger Wicker, Mike Enzi, Thad Cochran, Ron Johnson, Rand Paul, Jerry Moran, Roy Blunt, John Cornyn,  John Hoeven, Kay Bailey Hutchison, Patrick Toomey, Mitch McConnell, Tom Coburn, John Barrasso, Saxby Chambliss and John Thune.  The legislation will provide an important opportunity to shine the light on recent EPA actions underway at the regional offices, according to Inhofe while establishing better accountability and responsibility.  My former EPA colleagues Jeff Holmstead (202-0828-5852) or Rich Alonso (202-828-5861) , as well as Scott Segal think it is a good idea that will create better accountability.  They are happy to discuss the legislation.

Here are some events for Early next week:

ACC Dooley to Speak at Nat Gas Roundtable – The Natural Gas Roundtable will host Calvin Dooley, President and CEO of the American Chemistry Council as the guest speaker at the next luncheon on Monday May 14th in B-338/339 Rayburn. He will discuss the impact of increased natural gas production on the US chemical industry.  Dooley has been the President and CEO of the American Chemistry Council (ACC), since September 2008. Prior to joining ACC, Mr. Dooley served as President and CEO of the Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA) and as a member of Congress representing the 20th District of California.

API to Look at Politics, Energy – API will host a discussion at The National Press Club on Tuesday, May 15th at 8:30 a.m. to look at the importance of sound energy decisions for our nation.  At the event, API will release a report to the Democratic and Republican Platform Committees followed by a bipartisan panel discussion with energy advisors and experts.

CFTC Chairman to Address the National Press Club Luncheon – Gary Gensler, chairman of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, will address the National Press Club at a luncheon on Tuesday May 15th at 12:30 p.m. at a luncheon speech.  Gensler and his agency are at the center of implementing the sweeping – and controversial — Dodd-Frank financial reform law, enacted in 2010. Congress passed the law in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis, which was triggered by liquidity problems in the U.S. banking system and collapse of the housing bubble.  The law contains the most comprehensive changes to financial-market regulation since the Great Depression. It has drawn withering criticism from many conservatives for its far-reaching efforts to impose enough rules to prevent another financial crisis. Opponents object in particular to its establishment of a new consumer protection agency, which supporters say is a vital reform.

CEI, Others Host Transportation Forum – On Tuesday, May 15, the Competitive Enterprise Institute, the Independent Institute, and Reason Foundation will host a Capitol Hill briefing on the reauthorization of federal surface transportation programs in B-369 Rayburn at Noon.  A panel of transportation policy scholars will discuss several possible solutions, including returning funding responsibility to the states, replacing fuel taxes with more sustainable revenue-collection mechanisms, and expanding private-sector participation in the provision of transportation facilities.  Panelists include Adrian Moore of the Reason Foundation, Cato’s Randal O’Toole and Gabriel Roth of the Independent Institute.

AAAS to Host Science Europe Leader – The American Association for the Advancement of Science will host Science Europe President Paul Boyle Tuesday, May 15 at 5:00 p.m. to discuss how the newly-formed Science Europe will engage in science policy, promote funding collaboration, and improve research conditions in Europe. His presentation will be followed by a discussion with National Science Foundation Director Subra Suresh and AAAS CEO Alan I. Leshner. The event is co-sponsored by the Washington Offices of Research Councils UK, the German Research Foundation, and the AAAS Center of Science, Policy & Society Programs.

MD to Hold Public Meetings on Climate Change – Maryland continues its public meetings Tuesday on its climate change law in Centreville in Queen Anne’s County.  In 2009, the Maryland General Assembly passed the Greenhouse Gas Emissions Reduction Act that requires the State to develop and implement a plan to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions 25% by 2020. Last week the meetings kicked off in Elkton, MD.  Other meetings will be in Fredrick on May 24th, Annapolis on May 31st and Baltimore on June 5th.