Energy Update: Week of December 12

Friends,

Starting today with news about the Golden GlobesNominations are out and after seeing Manchester-by-the-Sea, I have to say it has got to be a frontrunner.  It is not a feel-good movie but it was so well acted.  And last night, 60 Minutes ran a an outstanding piece on the story behind Lion.  The 74th annual Golden Globes Awards is hosted by Jimmy Fallon on January 8th.

While this year we did not go, it is always exciting to see one of our country’s most tremendous events: the Army-Navy Football game, this year in Baltimore. Army broke a 15-year losing streak to claim the game with a late touchdown and an overpowering rushing offense that Navy just couldn’t slow down.  I don’t doubt there was a little bit of fatigue from Navy playing Temple in the AAC East Final the week prior, but it is Army-Navy and that should be enough.  Whatever the outcome, there is nothing in sports like watching the post-game festivities where both alma maters get sung by the entire stadium.   Not to be overshadowed (but it was), the MLS Soccer Champ was crowned Saturday when Seattle beat Toronto in penalty kicks. (Ouch, just broke the Champ Kind rule about “No Soccer”!!)

Last week in Transition was a blur, with sources seemingly confirming OK AG Scott Pruitt for EPA, Washington Rep. McMorris-Rodgers for Interior and Exxon CEO Rex Tillerson for State.  And today, we are starting to hear sources talking about former Texas Gov. Rick Perry for Energy.  My colleague Salo Zelermyer, a former DOE Senior Counsel can address many of your questions about Perry.  I have included a few statements below.  I fully expect the official announcement on all of these appointments sometime this week.

Oil has risen to an 18-month high after OPEC and non-OPEC countries have reached separate, but related agreements to jointly reduce output to try to tackle global oversupply and boost prices.  Our friend Robbie Diamond at SAFE and his experts can discuss the details.  In fact, they already spoke with Capitol Crude on the topic.  CC’s Brian Scheid and Meghan Gordon talked to Diamond on President-elect Trump’s plans to take on OPEC, the fate of fuel efficiency standards and what energy independence means in today’s global oil market.  And tomorrow, CSIS hosts OPEC Secretary General Mohammad Sanusi Barkindo to discuss its 2016 World Oil Outlook.

Finally, special congrats to Melisa Klem, who will be the Society of Environmental Journalists’ new executive director.  Klem has spent more than 13 years working in development for conservation and human health nonprofits, and is the group’s second leader, replacing founding executive director Beth Parke who is stepping aside after nearly 24 years of leadership.

We are monitoring all transition activities and especially the cabinet du jour issues, so don’t hesitate to call on this and any other issues.

 

Best,

Frank Maisano

(202) 828-5864

(202) 997-5932

 

FRANKLY SPOKEN

“As Governor of the State of Texas for 15 years, Rick Perry led a state that has, for decades, been critical to our domestic energy policy.  During his time in office, Perry embodied the type of “all of the above” approach to U.S. energy production that many have advocated on both sides of the aisle.  Rick Perry’s Texas was not only a world leader in oil and gas production; it was also a global leader in wind power and renewable energy investment.  This approach is a big reason why Texas experienced such enormous job growth during Perry’s tenure.  This track record will serve Perry well not only in leading DOE but also in becoming a significant part of the new Administration’s approach to issues like regulatory reform and infrastructure investment.  As Texas has shown, it is indeed possible to successfully balance appropriate environmental regulations with domestic energy production and use.”

Salo Zelermyer, former DOE Senior Counsel and partner at Bracewell’s PRG on Texas Gov. Rick Perry, who is being considered to head the Department of Energy

 

IN THE NEWS

Pruitt Named for EPA – Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt is said to named head of EPA.  Pruitt has a long record of opposing EPA actions that he deems a legal over reach.  He Is not alone in some of the major challenges of the Clean Power Plan and Clean Water Plan which both have more than 30 states joining him and were both stayed by Courts.  My colleague Scott Segal, said he has watched Scott Pruitt develop over his six years as Oklahoma attorney general and called him “a measured and articulate student of environmental law and policy.”  The office he headed was present and accounted for in the battle to keep EPA faithful to its statutory authority and respectful of the role of the states in our system of cooperative federalism.  Segal says these skills will serve him well not only in leading EPA but also in participating meaningfully in the legislative and regulatory reform efforts promised by the next Administration.  Segal added some have suggested that Pruitt’s hands might be tied because he participated in litigation against the Agency, but “when you add up all the states that have participated in litigation on the Clean Power Plan alone it amounts to almost the entire United States.” Segal added Gina McCarthy herself sued the EPA as a state official only to eventually lead the Agency.  There is no conflict in faithfully representing your state on litigation dealing with rules of general applicability and then serving your nation as a federal administrative official.

McMorris-Rodgers for Interior – Washington Rep. Cathy  McMorris-Rodgers is reportedly being named to head the Department of the Interior Mc.  My colleague Eric Washburn (202-412-5211), a former Senate staffer and westerner who works on many lands, species and other Interior, said President-elect Trump is following the tradition of naming an elected or former elected official from the West.  This tradition exists because most federal lands are located in the West its elected officials are continually faced with balancing the need for natural resources conservation with economic development, which essentially describes the job of Interior Secretary.  Washburn: “McMorris-Rodgers has had to grapple with these challenges regularly and so knows the laws, regulations, and issues that will now cross her desk every day on the job.  While it is a tough and often controversial job, if you come from the West and love the wide open spaces, and the outdoor recreational opportunities afforded by the federal lands estate like hunting, fishing, hiking, off-roading and are not afraid to mix it up from time to time, then it can be one of the best jobs in Washington DC.  Her plate will be full from the minute she takes office.  OPEC just got agreement on a supply cut that will raise oil and gas prices and likely lead to more demand to drill on federal lands.  Renewable energy projects, transmission lines, and pipelines will continue to be sited and built there.  And all this will need to be balanced with the need to conserve mule deer, elk, pronghorn, greater sage grouse, trout and hundreds of other species that rely on those lands, and which sportsmen spend billions of dollars each year chasing after.  She certainly knows all these interests and hopefully will be able to chart a course for the agency that allows for conservation and development to proceed hand in hand.”

Something about CMR – McMorris-Rodgers is known as a competent and respected legislator.  She also has been a long-standing member of the House Republican Leadership.  She was one of Trump’s 13 co-chairs.  Given her district in eastern Washington, she has stressed collaboration on forest management issues.  This is what she said on the occasion of passage of Interior approps back in July:  “Eastern Washington is home to some of the greatest natural resources in the world,” said McMorris Rodgers. “Our local communities and their leaders know how to manage their own land and the resources around them better than federal bureaucrats. This legislation includes key provisions that will help keep our communities safe from wildfires, protect farmers from overzealous EPA regulations, and maintain our beautiful, abundant public land as a recreational outlet for all walks of life.”

Tillerson for Secretary of State – Our friend Steve Mufson is among those reporting President-elect Donald Trump is expected to name as his secretary of state Rex Tillerson, the chief executive of ExxonMobil.  Tillerson has worked extensively around the globe and built relationships with such leaders as Russian President Vladimir Putin and for years has worked in Russia and the Middle East on behalf of the multinational petroleum company.  Tillerson is a very sophisticated international player and has been a leader in global discussion and negotiations.  Our friend former NSC advisor Robert McNally of the Rapidan Group said, “The closest thing we have to a secretary of state outside government is the CEO of Exxon.”  Tillerson started at EOM in 1975 and has spent his entire career there, going from Oklahoma and Texas to Yemen and Russia.  As CEO, Mufson reports he has cultivated relationships, meeting regularly with world leaders such as Putin, the Saudi oil minister, and the emir of Qatar.

Non-OPEC Countries Agree to Cuts Too – Recently, OPEC countries agreed to “limit” their production (by 1.2 MM bbl/d starting in January 1, 2017) and which also referenced that non-OPEC countries would contribute an additional 0.6 MM bbl/d of supply reductions.  On Saturday during OPEC’s joint ministerial level meeting with non-OPEC countries in Vienna, Austria, agreed to reduce output by 558,000 bpd, short of the target of 600,000 bpd but still the largest contribution by non-OPEC ever..  The joint meetings were the first since 2002.  Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Brunei, Equatorial Guinea, Kazakhstan, Malaysia, Mexico, Oman, Russia, Sudan and South Sudan all also agreed to reduce their combined production by 0.558 MM bbl/d. Similar to OPEC’s November 30th agreement, these reductions will commence January 1, 2017 and have a duration of six months, extendable for another six months.  My friends at SAFE can address your questions about the deal and how it relates to OPEC’s original Nov 30 deal.   Please feel to call me or email Leslie Hayward should you have any questions or want to speak with SAFE President Robbie Diamond.

Report: Global Coal Use to See Slight Drop, Remain Significant – IEA new coal report today that coal demand growth will stall in the years to 2021 as other fuels become more popular.  At the same time, it added that coal will remain a significant International player.  Lower demand in the U.S. and China, fast renewables growth and greater energy savings will reduce the share of coal in the global power generation mix to 36% by 2021, down just 5% from 2014.  Emerging economies mainly in Asia are expected to drive future use.  Asia has become coal’s key market as Europe and the U.S. cut its use, a geographic shift that will accelerate, the IEA said. By 2015, Asia accounted for almost three-quarters of coal demand. China will “continue to be the largest coal consumer by far” by 2021, even if consumption has likely peaked.

Chamber Blog Posts Hit Energy Issues – The Chamber Energy Institute released blog posts from energy experts Steve Eule and Dan Byers last week.   Eule unloads on an NRDC report that says the groups sees tankers expanding in the Mississippi River to move Canadian oil sands.  Eule asked has it occurred to NRDC that maybe, just maybe, its opposition to the Keystone XL pipeline was a bit, ah, shortsighted? It’s not like these new transportation arrangements weren’t anticipated. The Department of State gets it. Its Final Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (FSEIS) for the pipeline concludes that approval or denial of any one crude oil transport project would be unlikely to significantly impact the rate of extraction in the oil sands or the continued demand for heavy crude oil at refineries in the U.S.  Meanwhile, Byers tackles the narrative in the media about coal’s demise no matter the results of the election.  Byers: “There is no question that President-elect Trump’s commitment to scrap the CPP and end the War on Coal will save millions of tons of coal production, and in doing so, save the jobs of many miners (while helping to keep electricity  affordable).  He adds a multitude of other job-killing rules are likely to be repealed or reformed as well, thereby providing an additional boost to coal’s prospects. And while more of a wild-card, Trump’s commitment to prioritizing economic growth, if successful, could also provide significant relief. If infrastructure, tax, regulatory, and other initiatives can help the U.S. economy escape this seemingly endless period of sub-two percent growth, demand for electricity—and coal—will also see a boost.

SEJ Brings on New Executive Director – The Society of Environmental Journalists, one of the nation’s leading associations of professional reporters, has hired Melisa Klem as its new executive director, effective January 3, 2017.  Klem has spent more than 13 years working in development for conservation and human health nonprofits, and raising millions of dollars. The SEJ Board of Directors selected Klem to serve as the group’s second leader, replacing founding executive director Beth Parke who last summer announced her plans to step aside after nearly 24 years of leadership.  “I hope to encourage others to pursue this critical professional calling through shining a light on the best journalists who are covering the environment and all it encompasses,” Klem said. She also said the work of SEJ’s 1,200 members – reporters, writers, academics, filmmakers, authors, photographers, and students in every state and dozens of countries — will take on even greater importance as America heads into a Trump presidency.  Klem previously served as the development director at the Seafood Nutrition Partnership, the national director of development at the Izaak Walton League of America, and senior director of development at the Potomac Conservancy.

 

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

AGU Meeting to Focus on Climate – The Fall Meeting of the American Geophysical Union will be held today through Thursday at the Moscone Center in San Francisco.  It is the largest worldwide conference in the geophysical sciences, attracting more than 24,000 Earth and space scientists, educators, students, and other leaders. Fall Meeting brings together the entire Earth and space science community from across the globe for discussions of emerging trends and the latest research. The technical program includes presentations on new and cutting-edge science, much of which has not yet been published.

State Official to Address Climate Agenda – The Environmental and Energy Study Institute (EESI) will host a briefing today at 2:00 p.m. discussing the outcomes of the recently concluded international climate change summit (COP22) in Marrakech, Morocco. The summit drew representatives from more than 190 countries to discuss the implementation of the historic Paris Climate Agreement, making it a vital discussion that will impact everything from global commerce and foreign relations to electricity generation and agriculture.  The speaker for this forum is Christo Artusio, the State Department Director of the office of Global Change.

Forum to Look at Latin American Energy – The Institute of the Americas and the Inter-American Dialogue will host a panel discussion tomorrow at the National Press Club looking at the energy relationship and evolving energy collaboration in the hemisphere, timed to coincide with the political transition in the United States.  Natural gas exports from the United States to Mexico have tripled over the last five years, while the first ever liquefied natural gas exports from the US Gulf Coast shipped to Brazil. Many countries, including Venezuela, have increased imports of US refined oil products. Meanwhile, the United States has engaged in multiple technical cooperation agreements in renewable energy development. There is ample evidence that Latin American countries and the United States can benefit greatly from boosting commercial energy ties and expanding bilateral energy cooperation.

Forum Looks at Climate Technologies – Tomorrow at 9:00 a.m., Information Technology & Innovation Foundation is hosting a forum to release a new report that assesses the Obama administration’s efforts and considers how this record might be extended and improved upon in the next administration.  Achieving the ambitious goals set in the Paris climate negotiations will require large-scale private investment in technologies that to date have only been shown to be feasible technologically, not economically. That will require overcoming the second “valley of death”: the lack of confidence among potential investors in the affordability, reliability, and practicality of these innovations. Public-private technology demonstration projects are one important means by which the second valley of death might be crossed. But such projects have frequently been plagued by cost overruns, schedule delays, and outright failure. The Obama administration, like its predecessors, has pursued such projects with mixed results.

OPEC Minister to Address CSIS – Tomorrow at 9:30 a.m., CSIS’s Energy and National Security Program is hosting a forum featuring His Excellency Mohammad Sanusi Barkindo, Secretary General of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) to discuss OPEC’s World Oil Outlook 2016.   The event will begin with opening remarks by H.E. Barkindo, followed by a presentation of the World Oil Outlook 2016 by Dr. Jorge Leon Arellano, Energy Demand Specialist of the OPEC Research Division. The report addresses  OPEC’s outlook for medium and long-term oil supply, demand, and downstream out to 2040, including their view on the challenges and opportunities for the oil industry. This World Oil Outlook sees opportunities presented by a growing global population, and economic growth in developing countries leading to an increase in energy demand, but also comes at a time of continued uncertainty in the oil market.

WCEE Forum to Look at Energy Communications – The Women’s Council on Energy and the Environment (WCEE) will host a forum tomorrow featuring Loretta Prencipe, to discuss insights from the report, “How Americans Make Energy Decisions” – and what that means for energy communications in the changing energy and policy landscape.  An attorney and former journalist, Prencipe serves as Group Vice President in Makovsky Communication’s DC office and has more than 15 years’ experience in media relations, marketing, communications and public affairs in energy, manufacturing and sustainability issues. She manages project deployment, workforce and employee engagement programs, crisis communications, public affairs and corporate risk and reputation issues for publicly traded companies.

Forum Looks at EV Infrastructure Challenges – Tomorrow at 12:30 p.m., the Environmental Law Institute will host a forum at the D.C. Bar Conference Center looking at infrastructure challenges for Electric Vehicles.  The rise in popularity of electric vehicles is creating a need for increased charging infrastructure. The development of this infrastructure brings significant challenges. Come hear our panel discuss the ways in which these challenges are being solved.  The panel will discuss the legal issues facing the development of infrastructure for electric vehicles and the potential impacts these vehicles may have on our environment and energy security. Speakers will include DOE’s Kavita Patel, GM’s Alex Keros and Sierra Club’s Joe Halso.

Moniz to Speak at Third Way Event – Third Way will host a town hall featuring U.S. Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz tomorrow at 3:30 p.m. at the Glover Park Group.

Report to Look at Energy Security – On Wednesday at 3:30 p.m. in B-369 Rayburn, the National Bureau of Asian Research will release its 12th annual Energy Security Report, “Asia’s Energy Security amid Global Market Change,” as well as recap findings from NBR’s seventh annual Pacific Energy Summit that NBR held in Singapore earlier this year.  This high-level event will examine how a range of factors – including market volatility, efforts to accelerate lower carbon transitions, regional geopolitics, and Paris Climate Accord commitments – will shape energy security outlooks in the Asia-Pacific. It will also feature timely discussion of the implications of the U.S. leadership transition for U.S.-Asia energy ties.

Forum to Look at Climate Opinion in US, Canada – The Woodrow Wilson Center’s Canada Institute will host a panel on Thursday at 10:00 a.m. to discuss the results from national-level surveys on public attitudes toward climate change in the United States and Canada. Expert panelists will highlight key findings from the 2016 comparative study, draw analyses from the differences and similarities between Canada and U.S. public views, and provide insight into how this could affect existing climate change policy and potential future policy approaches on both sides of the border.

Expert to Look at Electricity Industry Change – The US Association for Energy Economists in the National Capital Area, will host its monthly luncheon on Friday at Noon looking at change in the electric industry.  Through its 51st State Initiative, the Smart Electric Power Alliance (SEPA) has been tackling these questions with utilities, trade associations, industry analysts, tech-start-up entrepreneurs and visionaries over the past two years.  Smart Electric Power Alliance CEO Julia Hamm will speak. Hamm has more than 15 years of experience advising and collaborating with utilities, manufacturers and government agencies on renewable energy and energy efficiency strategies and programs.

Energy Policy Lunch Set – Friday at Noon, the Ecologic Institute and ELEEP will host an Energy Policy Luncheon focused on the energy future ahead.  Questions will look at how the incoming new administration will impact the transformation of the US energy system; What – if any – impacts will we expect to see on electricity generation and grid, on transportation fuels, and on heating; and what future may lie ahead for coal, natural gas, nuclear and renewables.  Panelists include Julia De La Cruz of Bulletin Intelligence, R Street’s Catrina Rorke and ACORE’s Scott Clausen.

 

IN THE FUTURE

Electoral College Vote – December 19th

Brookings Panel Looks Climate, Energy Security with Japan – Next Tuesday at 2:00 p.m., the Center for East Asia Policy Studies and the Cross-Brookings Initiative on Energy and Climate will host a distinguished panel of climate policy experts from the United States and Japan to address critical issues for the future of the climate agenda and U.S.-Japan relations. What does the nature of the Paris commitments mean for the task of implementation? What kind of domestic transformation is required in each country, e.g., what are the choices to be made in energy policy? And how can Japan and the United States collaborate on innovation efforts to move away from carbon dependent-economies?  Panelists will include our friend David Victor and other Japanese and US climate and energy security experts, as well as Atsuyuki Oike, Deputy Chief of Mission of the Embassy of Japan in the United States of America.

State of Oil, Gas Event Slated – API will host its annual State of the Oil & Gas industry event in early January.  More on this as it becomes available.

Energy Update: Week of October 31

Friends,

Happy Halloween everyone.  A recent study sponsored the National Dietary Council showed that a full 68% of all candy is actually eaten by adults before Halloween even arrives, and then 20% after more is eaten by adults after.  That means we eat 88% of our kids Halloween candy.  You know you take your kids out for that very reason.  Save your Heath Bars and Milk Duds for me.  I will be home mixing up a batch of my traditional pumpkins seeds.

The Cubs held on last night giving us at least one more World Series game leaking into November.  The series picks up tomorrow in Cleveland.  Good luck to all the football, field hockey and soccer teams/kids going into playoff runs for conference, state or NCAA titles.  We’ll hear about those event over the next few weeks.  Please let me know your news.

With this crazy election just 8 days away, I think we may be at a loss for the everyday banter when it’s over…or maybe not.  But to get the full story on the impacts, our Policy Resolution Group team will be offering its award-winning political and policy analysis of the 2016 elections through a mix of webinars, written, and video materials.  On Wednesday, November 9th at 10:30 a.m., we are hosting a webinar that will feature analysis by my colleagues.  Our team of insiders, attorneys, and industry-leading experts will give you the “morning after” take on how the election results will affect the business community—with a focus on energy and the environment, what’s in store for the lame duck session, leadership changes and more.

Remember, next week the next round of COP meetings launches in Morocco.  There will be a lot of pomp, but the war over details of the non-binding, voluntary agreement will not get much attention. In fact, much of that celebrating is warranted not because of Paris, but because of the recent airline emissions and HFC agreements that were negotiated. Finally, congrats to our friend Bloomberg reporter Brian Wingfield who has relocated to London, where he’s editing oil coverage for Bloomberg’s First Word (breaking news) desk.

 

We are on it…Call with questions.

 

Best,

Frank Maisano

(202) 828-5864

(202) 997-5932

 

FRANKLY SPOKEN

“The fuel cell carbon capture solution we are advancing with ExxonMobil could be a game-changer in affordably reducing carbon dioxide emissions from coal and gas-fired power plants globally. The carbonate fuel cell solution uses a proven global platform to generate power while capturing carbon dioxide.”

Chip Bottone, president and chief executive officer of FuelCell Energy, Inc.

 

IN THE NEWS

Southern, Exxon, FuelCell Partner On CCS Project at AL Power Plant – Exxon Mobil and FuelCell Energy said last week they are building a carbon capture pilot project at Southern’s Barry power plant with the potential to finally make affordable “clean” coal and gas a reality.  Exxon and Connecticut-based FuelCell have picked the 2.7GW Plant Barry near Mobile, Alabama for its first pilot project.  The idea is to capture up to 90% of the carbon dioxide emissions from fossil fuel power plants, so coal and natural gas could remain viable in both the developing and developed world while still meeting climate change goals. The tests will demonstrate carbon capture from natural gas-fired power generation under an agreement between FuelCell Energy and ExxonMobil announced in May, and from coal-fired power generation under a previously announced agreement between FuelCell Energy and the U.S. Dept. of Energy.

Southern, Bloom to Move Fuel Cell Projects – Speaking of Southern, they also announced a strategic alliance with Bloom Energy and its subsidiary PowerSecure, which will include project investment and joint-technology development to provide behind-the-meter energy solutions. PowerSecure will acquire an estimated 50 megawatts of Bloom Energy Servers under long-term power purchase agreements with high-quality commercial and industrial customers.   By bringing together the scale and utility sector leadership of Southern Company, its industry-leading suite of PowerSecure distributed infrastructure assets, and the Silicon Valley-style innovation and distributed generation leadership of Bloom Energy, the alliance will provide an integrated, comprehensive energy solution.  The solution is designed to fully integrate Bloom’s firm 24x7x365 Energy Server platform with PowerSecure’s smart storage solutions. The result will deliver a reliable on-site generation solution tuned to the customer’s precise power requirements that will also flexibly adapt to changing conditions, bringing customers intelligent optimization of their energy usage while driving meaningful cost savings and long-term cost certainty.

Small Biz Group Rolls Out Congressional Scorecard –
The Small Business & Entrepreneur Council recently released its “Congressional Scorecard for the 114th Congress: How Members of Congress Voted on Key Small Business Issues.”  Karen Kerrigan, President and CEO of SBE Council, said small businesses serve as the engines of innovation, economic growth and job creation. She added, the US entrepreneurial sector is significantly affected by a wide array of issues voted on by Congress. SBEC’s ‘Congressional Scorecard for the 114th Congress’ lets people know which Members of Congress support small businesses on the issues that enable their growth and success.”  For the 114th Congress, SBE Council has scored Members of the U.S. Senate on 12 votes, and Members of the U.S. House of Representatives on 22 votes. The report shows how Members of Congress voted on KEY VOTES, which Members voted 100 percent for small business, and how each state’s congressional delegation matches up among the 50 states. Members scoring 80 percent or higher distinguish themselves as a Friend of Small Business & Entrepreneurs, and 90 percent or higher as a Champion of Small Business & Entrepreneurs.

API Report Says Gas Can Help States Comply – The American Petroleum Institute (API) commissioned a report concluding that if states implement market-based policies like emissions trading, natural gas would see a large increase in the electricity market share, and the costs to the economy would be the lowest.  The report, written by consulting firm ICF International and rolled out Thursday, pushes back against environmentalists and others who want states to focus on increasing the use of renewable energy sources and energy efficiency measures to comply with EPA’s Clean Power Plan.

Companies Join EPA Gas Program – Speaking of gas, National Grid, Kinder Morgan, Southwestern Energy, and Southern Company Gas are joining EPA’s ONE Future program.  The program aims to reduce methane emissions from natural gas production and transportation to less than 1 percent by 2025. The oil and gas industry’s trade groups are fighting the Obama administration over mandatory methane rules, making the question of which companies would join the voluntary reduction program into a potentially contentious one.

AWEA 3Q Report Shows Strong Growth – American wind power gained tremendous momentum in the third quarter of 2016 as states, utilities and ratepayers from coast to coast increased their investment in the energy source America agrees on. Over 20 gigawatts (GW) of wind power capacity are now under construction or in advanced development, according to the American Wind Energy Association’s (AWEA) U.S. Wind Industry Third Quarter 2016 Market Report, released today at the Iowa State Capitol with Gov. Terry Branstad, Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds and industry leaders.  That success story is clear in Iowa. Wind power supplied over 35 percent of the state’s electricity generation on a 12-month rolling average from the end of August 2015 through the end of August 2016, according to new data from the Energy Information Administration.

NAM Podcast with CSM’s Colman on Sustainability – I mentioned the new Christian Science Monitor web site Inhabit last week.  This week, our friend Zack Colman sat down with Greg Bertelsen of the National Association of Manufacturers to discuss sustainability and whether more businesses including electric utilities and manufacturers focusing around issues like climate change and resource conservation. Listen to the short podcast here.

Study Looks at Catholics Response to Pope Climate Initiative – A new report from communications experts from Texas Tech, Penn and UW-Madison, says the Pope’s June 2015 encyclical calling for action on climate change drew a flat response among Catholics. The study retains that among conservative Catholics, the credibility of the Pope decreased due to cross-pressures felt between their religious and political affiliations. One noteworthy factor is that conservative Catholics aware of the encyclical were more against climate policy than those who had not heard of it. The study’s researchers theorized that when confronted by an assertion that goes against their established religious views, people tend to retreat towards an ideological comfort zone; in this case, conservative Catholics hewed closer to their conservative political views.   Our friend Kathleen Hall Jamison is one of the authors.

 

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

Brookings to Look at Post Paris Clean Energy Issues – Today, the Cross-Brookings Initiative on Energy and Climate will host the U.S. launch of the International Energy Agency’s “Medium-Term Renewable Energy Market Report 2016.” This annual study examines how renewable energy in the power, heat, and transportation sectors will evolve over the next five years and explores recent renewable deployment and policy trends across different regions and countries.  IEA’s Heymi Bahar will present the findings of the report, after which Energy Security and Climate Initiative Senior Fellow Charles Ebinger will moderate a panel discussion and audience Q&A.

Former SEC Chief to Look at Climate Disclosure Issues – The Atlantic Council will host a forum today at Noon to discuss two complimentary efforts to encourage the disclosure of climate-related risk information to stakeholders and increase transparency across sectors. These disclosures will allow the public and private sectors to be better equipped to measure and respond to climate-related risk and play an important role in a smoother transition to a lower-carbon economy.   The event will feature a conversation with former SEC Chair Mary Schapiro and White House OMB advisor for natural resources, energy and science Ali Zaidi.

Forum to Look at Party Energy Platforms – The Environmental Law Institute will host a forum tomorrow at 3:00 p.m. that features a panel discussion on the environmental and energy priorities of the major political parties, their potential implications post-election, as well as areas for potential coalition-building. As the 2016 Presidential and Congressional elections near, the two major parties have outlined positions on key energy and environmental issues in their respective platforms. Unsurprisingly, there is stark contrast between the Republican and Democratic positions. Despite substantial differences, there are some aspects of the platforms that suggest opportunities for consensus-building. The Republicans cite conservation as being inherent to conservatism. Both parties mention the need to modernize the electrical grid, support increasing access to public lands, and recognize the important role of farmers to the country’s conservation efforts.  Speakers will include Cato’s Pat Michaels and LCV’s Tiernan Sittenfeld.

CFR to Look at Energy Security – The Council on Foreign Relations holds a discussion on the changing definition of energy security tomorrow at 6:00 p.m. Deputy Energy Secretary Elizabeth Sherwood-Randall provides her perspective on the changing definition of energy security and the role of innovation in ensuring America’s energy future.

NAS to Look at Nuclear Radiation Studies – The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine is planning for the 2016 Gilbert W. Beebe Symposium. Its focus will be on commemorating the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear reactor accident and discussing the achievements of 30 years of studies on the radiation health effects following the accident and future research directions.

Wilson Forum to Look at China Supply Chain – The Woodrow Wilson Center’s China Forum will hold an event Wednesday at 2:30 p.m. to look at China’s Green Supply Chain.  Speakers at this meeting will discuss the challenges of greening the supply chain between Chinese companies and western consumers. Two frontline journalists and the Deputy Director of the NRDC’s Health and Environment Program will talk about industrial pollution trends in China and new opportunities for greening three different supply chains—rare earths, Teflon, and textiles.  Liu Hongqiao visited mines and factories around China to investigate pollution and environmental degradation caused by rare earth metals extraction. She will discuss how the poor regulation of these highly toxic metals—which are central for building wind and solar energy technologies—have led to serious soil and water contamination. Sharon Lerner will talk about how the rise of China’s production of perfluorooctanoic acid (used in Teflon and other products) reflects the global migration of toxic chemicals. Susan Egan Kean will highlight NRDC’s Clean by Design program, a supply chain initiative that leverages the purchasing power of multinational corporations to reduce their environmental impacts abroad.

Conference to Focus on Consumers, Cities – Tomorrow and Wednesday, The Energy Times 2nd annual Empowering Customers and Cities conference will be held in Chicago.  The conference we will feature Jeremy Rifkin, bestselling author of 20 books on science, technology and the economy, society and the environment. Rifkin will kick off our conference and lay out his entire vision for the coming global transformation and how it will transform electric power production and consumption.  Anne Pramaggiore, President and CEO of ComEd, will discuss ComEd’s vision of what its customers will want and need in coming years, and the steps they are taking to provide those services. Thomas Birr, Chief Strategy Officer of RWE, Germany’s second largest utility, will discuss what RWE is doing to become the utility of the future and the steps they are taking to secure the most innovative and potent technologies to help build a 21st century energy enterprise.

UN State of Food, Ag Report Released – The UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization will release its 2016 edition of “The State of Food and Agriculture” at the National Press Club at 8:30 a.m.  The report provides answers to these and other questions. The report includes an analysis of current and future impacts of climate change, indicating viable paths that a range of stakeholders should pursue in order to respond to them. It also shows how to overcome barriers that could prevent the adoption of appropriate response measures.

CSIS to Look at GHG Issues – The CSIS Energy and National Security Program is hosting an expert discussion on Wednesday at 9:00 a.m. looking at some of the regulatory, legislative, international and subnational efforts that may be pursued to reduce future emissions. Kyle Danish from Van Ness Feldman will discuss the regulatory options; Adele Morris from the Brookings Institution will discuss the notion of a carbon tax or other market based mechanisms; and Bob Perciasepe from C2ES will focus on the feasibility of these approaches as well as how important local, state, and international actions are to achieving these emissions reduction goals. Each speaker will address the feasibility and merits of these approaches as well as the challenges they are likely to face.

Pritzker to Address Semiconductor Issues – CSIS will host a major policy speech by Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker on Wednesday at 1:00 p.m. followed by a panel on the critical importance of the semiconductor sector in U.S. competitiveness and innovation.  Semiconductors are the backbone of the world’s digital economy and will become even more instrumental as cutting-edge technologies like driverless cars, artificial intelligence, and precision nanosurgery emerge.  However, challenges are on the horizon.  Pritzker will be joined on the panel by ITA Deputy Asst Secretary Ted Dean and Semiconductor Industry Association CEO John Neuffer.

Browner Headlines AU Sustainability Forum – American University is hosting a forum on Wednesday at 6:30 p.m. featuring Maryland Rep. John Delaney and Carol Browner, former director of the White House Office of Energy and Climate Change Policy for President Obama and previously the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, to discuss how smart, green investments can help fix our country’s infrastructure and boost the D.C. regional economy. The Scher Sustainability Forum will feature a dialogue on mechanisms for financing investments and opportunities for linking environmental and economic goals through smart investments in infrastructure.

Forum to Look at Climate Resilience – The International Transformational Resilience Coalition will host a forum at 8:30 a.m. at the Capitol View Conference Center looking at building human resilience for climate change.  Research and experience shows, however, that preventative personal and psychosocial resilience building initiatives can minimize adverse human reactions to shocks and toxic stresses such as those generated by climate change, and help resolve them when they do occur. Equally important is that people can learn how use climate adversities as transformational catalysts to engage in activities that enhance the wellbeing of others, the natural environment, and themselves.

Forum to Look at Water Issues in Asia – The East-West Center in Washington holds a discussion on Thursday at noon looking at water wars at the top of the world.  The event will look at hydro and geopolitics among China, India and Bangladesh.  A CNA study team will share insights from their 18-month study of the Brahmaputra River basin entitled Water Resource Competition in the Brahmaputra River Basin: China, India and Bangladesh. By drawing on field research in China, India, and Bangladesh, Nilanthi Samaranayake, Joel Wuthnow and Satu Limaye will consider the context of recent developments and suggest possibilities for greater cooperation across the basin.

USEA Forum to Look at CCS Future – The US Energy Assn will hold a forum on Thursday at 2:00 p.m. to address the high fidelity modeling of carbon capture systems on fossil fueled power plants, and what can be gained via an accurate simulation of an existing or proposed plant.  TRAX has provided high fidelity, dynamic simulation models of both pre-combustion and post-combustion CO2 capture systems for plants in Korea and Canada.  These models provide unique tools for process design, control system design and optimization, examination of fault scenarios, and development of operating procedures.  Speakers will include TRAX, LLC expert John Coleman, John Kenney and Greg Kosowski.

 

FUTURE EVENTS
COP 22 Marrakesh – The 22nd Session of the Conference of Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP22) will be held in Marrakesh, Morocco November 7-21. It will focus on action items in order to achieve the priorities of The Paris Agreement, especially related to adaptation, transparency, technology transfer, mitigation, capacity building and loss and damages.  It will also start to look at many of the difficult details/conflicts that were disregarded during last year’s negotiations.

WCEE to Host LNG Event – The Women’s Council on Energy and the Environment (WCEE) will host a Lunch and Learn Forum next Monday at Noon on small LNG markets.  The small scale LNG (liquefied natural gas) market promotes LNG as a fuel displacing diesel and heavy fuel oil in transportation and high horse power applications. Joanna Martin Ziegenfuss of the Berkeley Research Group will discuss the current drivers, status and opportunities of this nascent fuel market.

ELECTION DAY – November 8th

PRG Offers Election Round Up – Bracewell’s Policy Resolution Group will be offering its award-winning political and policy analysis of the 2016 elections through a mix of webinars, written, and video materials.  Bracewell’s Policy Resolution Group will hold a complimentary webinar on Wednesday, November 9th at 10:30 a.m. featuring analysis by my colleagues.  Our team of insiders, attorneys, and industry-leading experts will give you the “morning after” take on how the election results will affect the business community—with a focus on energy and the environment, what’s in store for the lame duck session, leadership changes and more.

FERC to Look at Energy Storage – The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has scheduled a November 9 meeting to examine technical issues related to energy storage in RTOs/ISOs. The subject of the conference will be the utilization of electric storage resources as transmission assets compensated through transmission rates, for grid support services that are compensated in other ways, and for multiple services.

Covanta Facility Tour Set – The Young Professionals in Energy (DC) will host an afternoon tour of Covanta’s Energy-from-Waste facility in Alexandria, Virginia on Friday November 11th staring at 12:30 pm at the facility.  Covanta is one of the world’s largest providers of Energy-from-Waste solutions. The tour will start with a discussion and time for Q&A before we put on our hard hats and walk through the facility to see how their technology works.

API Holds Cybersecurity Conference – The 11th annual API Cybersecurity Conference & Expo will be held in Houston at the Westin Houston Memorial City on November 15-16.  The forum will focus on methods for thwarting the bad guys, what the scene looks like over the horizon and how the latest technologies can help you counter cyber espionage, address cyber warfare, and make your cyber efforts secure.  Cybersecurity is critical to the infrastructure of the oil and natural gas industry. The energy industry, including oil and natural gas, is ranked 2nd highest of all industries most likely to suffer a cyberattack. This conference is organized by API to provide an opportunity to network with cybersecurity professionals, and to candidly discuss challenges and share solutions. These sessions, essential to cybersecurity, are chosen and presented by recognized experts in the field.

TransForum East Set for Nov – GenerationHub’s TransForum East is scheduled for November 15-16 at the Capital Hilton in DC. TransForum East brings together electric transmission executives who operate, plan, build, regulate and invest in electric power transmission systems in Eastern North America.

This regional forum provides two days of interaction and collaboration on the business of power transmission. You’ll gain insight from case studies of successful business models, regional planning strategies, financing trends and practical lessons learned from new construction and upgraded transmission projects occurring in the United States and Canada.

AWEA Fall Symposium Set – AWEA will host its Fall Symposium November 15th to 17th at the Hyatt Regency Hill Country Resort & Spa in San Antonio, TX.  The wind energy industry has a powerful vision to take us to 10% U.S. wind energy by 2020 and 20% by 2030.  Reaching these ambitious goals brings different challenges for different segments of the industry.  But how does that take shape in each step from development to distribution?  Participants in this year’s Fall Symposium will work together to identify those concrete steps that can be taken to keep our industry on target. Sessions will focus on the collaborative approach needed to reach industry goals bringing together strategic thinkers of developers, OEMs, suppliers, corporate purchasers of wind energy, and utilities.

Webinar to Look at Solar Issues, Regulation – Our friends at Power Markets Today will be hosting a webinar on Thursday, November 17th at 2:00 p.m. on what solar means for retail power regulation.  The webinar will offer a high-level, comprehensive view of how the growth of solar is changing the industry’s regulatory landscape.  The event will feature Inger Goodman of Just Energy Group, SolarCity’s Sanjay Ranchod, CC Song of Marin Clean Energy and SoCal Ed’s director of energy policy Gary Stern.  Our fiend James Downing will moderate.  Call 301-769-6812 (1-888-637-7776 toll-free in the US and Canada) to register.

Columbia Law School to Look at Post-Election Policy – The Columbia Law School Executive Education will hold a seminar on November 18th in New York that will look at what to expect after the election.  The forum will gathers professors who are experts in environmental law, immigration issues, regulatory matters, national security concerns, health care, and tax rules to discuss how they predict the next presidency and a new Congress will affect the business and legal landscape.  After a long and brutal battle, no matter who wins in November, there will certainly be fallout. Benefit from the wisdom of this Columbia Law School brain trust to anticipate what will change, and how, so that you can be well-prepared to advise your clients and implement effective strategy.

RFF to Look at Natural Disaster Issues – Resources for the Future (RFF) will hold a forum on Monday November 28th looking at disaster losses and climate change.  At this event, Robert Muir-Wood, chief research officer of Risk Management Solutions and author of The Cure for Catastrophe: How We Can Stop Manufacturing Natural Disasters, will explore the human causes of disaster and the new technologies and policy tools available to minimize their impact. In the book, he examines how decisions made today—about how homes are built, where people choose to live, how society prepares, and how leadership communicates warnings—determine whether a disaster can be withstood tomorrow.

Senators Headline Rachel Carson 75th Celebration – EESI will host a celebration of the 75th anniversary of Rachel Carson’s historic arrival on the American environmental and literary scene on November 30th.   Leading authors, environmental leaders, and members of Congress will all speak at the Rachel Carson Council’s all-day, one-of-a-kind event. Participants include Sens. Sheldon Whitehouse, Tom Udall, Martin Heinrich and Reps. Chris Van Hollen, John Tierney and several newly-elected environmental champions. They will be joined by environmental leaders including Gene Karpinski, President of the League of Conservation Voters (LCV); Carol Werner, Executive Director of the Environmental and Energy Study Institute (EESI); Linda Pentz Gunter, Beyond Nuclear; Mae Wu, Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC); Amanda Hitt, Food Integrity Campaign; Zoe Ackerman, Rachel Carson Council; and others.  Confirmed award-winning authors include Sandra Steingraber, Living Downstream; Jennifer Ackerman, The Genius of Birds; Deborah Cramer, The Narrow Edge: A Tiny Bird, An Ancient Crab, and an Epic Journey; Kristen Iversen, Full Body Burden: Growing Up in the Shadow of Rocky Flats; Melanie Choukas-Bradley, A Year in Rock Creek Park; Susan Cohen, Shorewords, and Bob Musil, Rachel Carson and Her Sisters and Washington in Spring. Their books will be available for purchase and personal signing.

AGU Meeting to Focus on Climate – The Fall Meeting of the American Geophysical Union will be held on December 12-25 at the Moscone Center in San Francisco.  It is the largest worldwide conference in the geophysical sciences, attracting more than 24,000 Earth and space scientists, educators, students, and other leaders. Fall Meeting brings together the entire Earth and space science community from across the globe for discussions of emerging trends and the latest research. The technical program includes presentations on new and cutting-edge science, much of which has not yet been published.

Energy Update: Week of July 5

Friends,

I hope everybody enjoyed an extra day for the 4th, celebrating our freedom with fireworks, family and friends.  Here in DC, the rain seemed to hold enough just enough to get our celebrations in.

Now that basketball and hockey are complete, and baseball slides toward its Summer All-Star classic, it was a very exciting weekend of sports.  Wimbledon is now heading into its second week of the fortnight and the Tour de France has launched.  On the grass courts of the All England Club, we have already seen a major upset on the men’s side with Novak Djokovic losing to American Sam Querrey.  Federer and Murray both look strong.  On the Women’s side, both Serena and Venus Williams won quarterfinal matches this morning with the bracket lining up for a sisters final if they both continue to win out.

As far as France, it looks like the 103rd Tour de France’s 21 stages this year will cover a total distance of 3,519 km.  The route will consist of 9 mountain stages including 4 summit finishes (Andorre Arcalis, Mont Ventoux, Finhaut-Emosson et Saint-Gervais Mont Blanc).  As usual, the crew will get only two rest days, and this year, the race will visit three neighboring countries: Spain, the Principality of Andorra and Switzerland.  The race started on Saturday in Mont-Saint-Michel and raced past Normandy to Utah Beach.  You can see the analysis of each stage here and the livestream daily here.

This week, Congress returns to action for GMO votes in the Senate and spending legislation in the House before lawmakers race to the July 15th summer break deadline.  While we have heard rumors that both houses may vote to start an energy conference, so far there has been little movement that would indicate that Democrats – especially in the Senate – are that interested.   Finally, FAA authorization must be renewed by July 15th so we are also watching that to see if it will collect additional items.

On the committee side this week, there will be a House Resources Committee hearing tomorrow on offshore leasing innovations featuring our friends Randi Luthi of NOIA and Walter Cruickshank of BOEM.  Also tomorrow, House Energy will review of EPA’s regulatory activity during the Obama Administration for the energy and industrial sectors.  EPA’s Janet McCabe will be under fire again and other panelists include NARUC President and Montana PSC Chair Travis Kavulla, former Obama DOE official Chuck McConnell and Texas Railroad Commission Chair David Porter.  On Thursday, House Energy tackles agreement targeting spent nuclear fuel disposal and House Resources is back on BLM’s planning rule redraft getting state perspectives.  Finally, a House Judiciary panel and House Budget will both look into regulations and their impact on the economy tomorrow and Thursday respectively.

While this week is slow, remember to mark your calendars for the annual EIA Energy Conference set for next Monday and Tuesday. Keynoters are Tesoro’s Greg Goff, Kinder Morgan’s Steve Kean and Dan Gardiner, Advisor to the Canadian PM.  OSTP Director John Holdren, Sen. Jeff Flake and Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson will also be on the agenda.

Finally, just two weeks to the launch of the Republican Convention in Cleveland.  We are beginning to think we may have to just expect the unexpected.  It should be an interesting convention.  And just one week later, we head to Philadelphia for the Democratic Convention, which should be a little more normal.  One interesting item to watch though will be the platform fight over “Keep it in the Ground.”

 

Best,

Frank Maisano

(202) 828-5864

(202) 997-5932

 

FRANKLY SPOKEN

“Carlos, Tom and Elise are independent leaders that works across the aisle to protect the environment and enable the development of clean energy, which creates jobs and makes America more secure. Their continued leadership is critical to ensuring that Congress moves ahead with sensible, forward-looking legislation that promotes a diverse, affordable and reliable set of existing power sources, as well as make the necessary investments to foster innovation that will create the next generation of clean energy power.”

ClearPath Action Fund Founder and CEO Jay Faison endorsing his first House Candidates, Reps. Carlos Curbelo (FL) , Tom Reed (NY) and Elise Stefanik (NY) last week.

 

IN THE NEWS

Southern Company, AGL Resources complete merger – Southern Company and AGL Resources completed their merger late last week creating one of America’s leading energy providers.  The company now consists of 11 regulated electric and natural gas distribution companies providing service to approximately 9 million customers; operations of nearly 200,000 miles of electric transmission and distribution lines and more than 80,000 miles of natural gas pipelines; and generating capacity of approximately 44,000 megawatts.   The combined company serves utility customers in 9 states – Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Maryland, Mississippi, New Jersey, Tennessee and Virginia – and has wholesale electricity generation and natural gas services, retail energy services and natural gas storage operations across the U.S.  For customers, this combination is expected to help the Southern Company system better meet their energy needs over time by improving current and future energy infrastructure development. For communities, it provides for the expansion of the company’s customer-focused business model.

ClearPath Endorses House Clean Energy Champions – ClearPath Action Fund is endorsing several conservative clean energy champions and starting digital campaign for Senators they endorse earlier this Spring.   ClearPath endorsed House members Carlos Curbelo of Florida and New York’s Tom Reed and Elise Stefanik.  ClearPath is touting their achievements starting soon with cutting-edge, six-figure digital media campaign. The campaigns, which will be run by Anthro, will include buys on many digital networks, including Facebook, Google, Twitter, YouTube and 4info. It will leverage a sophisticated microtargeting and test design strategy to segment persuadable clean energy voters by state and district.

ClearPath Starts Senate Digital Campaigns – Larger six-figure digital campaigns also began touting the clean energy records of ClearPath Action Fund’s initial congressional endorsements, Sens. Rob Portman and Kelly Ayotte. In addition to the 15-second and 30-second ads spotlighting Portman and Ayotte, voters will be driven to RobForCleanEnergy.com and KellyForCleanEnergy.com to further learn about their clean energy accomplishments.

NHTSA Releases Traffic Fatality Data Preliminary data released by the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration show a 7.7% increase in motor vehicle traffic deaths in 2015. An estimated 35,200 people died in 2015, up from the 32,675 reported fatalities in 2014. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx said they are analyzing the data to determine what factors contributed to the increase in fatalities and at the same time, we are aggressively testing new safety technologies, new ways to improve driver behavior, and new ways to analyze the data we have, as we work with the entire road safety community to take this challenge head-on.  Although the data are preliminary and requires additional analysis, the early NHTSA estimate shows 9 out of 10 regions within the United States had increased traffic deaths in 2015. The most significant increases came for pedestrians and bicyclists. View the report

SAFE Says Report Underscores Need for Leadership on Autonomous Vehicles – The NTSHA announcement, combined with the recent news of a fatal crash that occurred while Tesla’s autopilot function was activated, illustrate both the importance of autonomous driving features, and the imperative need for caution when deploying these features.  “These two events are deeply interrelated. The roads are becoming much more dangerous, as distracted driving is on the rise,” said Robbie Diamond, President and CEO of Securing America’s Future Energy. “Policymakers and the private sector must work together to expedite the adoption of autonomous vehicles, which will improve roadway safety by orders of magnitude—but this technology must be deployed with caution. The fatal crash of a Tesla vehicle on autopilot is a perfect example of the fact that human beings must be carefully stewarded when introduced to a technology as game-changing as autonomous or semi-autonomous vehicles.”

Driverless Cars Would Save Lives – One study conducted in Ann Arbor Michigan found that 200,000 personal vehicles could be replaced by just 18,000 shared, connected, autonomous vehicles. Opportunities like these abound across the United States, and with them, the chance to accelerate a widespread transition to alternative fuels like electricity, delinking America from the volatile global oil market and enhancing our economic and national security. In addition to the benefits for American energy security, connected, driverless cars could save 3,000 lives worldwide every day.

 

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

House Resources to Look at Offshore Leasing Innovations – The House Natural Resources Committee’s Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources will hold a hearing tomorrow to look at Rep Garrett Graves “Innovation in Offshore Leasing Act.”  The legislation amends the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act to authorize the Secretary of the Interior to conduct offshore oil and gas lease sales through Internet-based live lease sales.  Witnesses include BOEM’s Walter Cruickshank, NOIA’s Randy Luthi, EnergyNet CEO William Britain and Jayni Hein of the NYU’s Institute for Policy Integrity.

House Energy Tackles EPA Regs – The House Energy & Commerce Committee’s Subcommittee on Energy and Power will hold a hearing tomorrow reviewing EPA’s regulatory activity during the Obama Administration energy and industrial sectors.  Testifying will be Air Office head Janet McCabe as well ND Industrial Commission Director Lynn Helms, Montana PSC Chair and NARUC head Travis Kavulla, former DOE Obama official Chuck McConnell, Texas Railroad Commission Chair David Porter and Robert Weissman of Public Citizen.

House Judiciary Panel to Host OIRA Head, Experts on Regs – The House Judiciary Subcommittee on Regulatory Reform will hold a hearing tomorrow at 3:00 p.m. featuring OMB Office of Regulatory Affairs Administrator Howard Shelanski and four nongovernmental witnesses.   The hearing will look at the Obama regulatory impacts on jobs, wages and economic recovery.  Witnesses will include OIRA’s Howard Shelanski, former OMB/CBO official Douglas Holtz-Eakin, CEI’s Clyde Wayne Crews, GMU’s Mercatus Center VP William Beach, vice president and David Driesen, of the Syracuse University College of Law.

House Budget Panel to Also Look at Regs – Speaking of regulations, the Budget Committee will also hold a hearing at 9:30 a.m. on Thursday on the topic and how it fits into the budget process.  Regulation experts Crews and Beach will return to the Budget Committee and will be joined by Beach’s Mercatus colleague Patrick McLaughlin and George Washington U law expert Richard Pierce.

House Energy to Address Spent Fuel – The House Energy & Commerce Committee’s Subcommittee on Environment and the Economy will tackle Federal, state and local agreements and associated benefits for spent nuclear fuel disposal on Thursday at 10:00 a.m. The hearing is expected to examine the costs and benefits of building the Yucca Mountain repository northwest of Las Vegas. Representatives of Nye County are expected to be in attendance, as are public and private stakeholders from the Silver State.

House Resources to Look at BLM Rule Upgrade – The House Natural Resources Committee’s Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations will hold an oversight hearing on Thursday at 10:00  a.m., looking at state perspectives on BLM’s draft planning 2.0 rule. Deputy assistant secretary of land and minerals management at Interior Department Jim Lyons returns to the Hill after a battle last week in the Senate.  He will be joined by former House approps staffer Jim Ogsbury, now the executive director of the Western Governors’ Association, Utah’s Public Lands Policy Coordinating Office director Kathleen Clarke and Jeff Fontaine, the executive director of the Nevada Association of Counties.

Forum Looks at Waste Issues – Ambassador Henne Schuwer of the Royal Netherlands Embassy and Congressman Paul Tonko (D-NY) will co-host a forum at 11:45 a.m. in B-369 Rayburn on waste to jumpstart the discussion on how companies and legislators can transition to a circular economy.  Representatives from both the American and Dutch private sector will address the opportunities and barriers that businesses will face when making this transition in a panel discussion, followed by a Q&A. The session will be moderated by Kevin Moss, Global Director of Business Center at the World Resources Institute.  The Trash to Treasure forum is organized under the Holland on the Hill initiative, a joint project of the Royal Netherlands Embassy, the Dutch Congressional Caucus, the Netherlands business community, and the Netherland-America Foundation.

House Science to Markup Energy Legislation – The House Committee on Science will meet to markup legislation on Thursday at 2:00 p.m.  The Committee will address the “Solar Fuels Innovation Act”, the “Electricity Storage Innovation Act”, and the “National Institute of Standards and Technology Campus Security Act.” Chairman Smith’s “Electricity Storage Innovation Act” would establish a Department of Energy research program on storing and converting electrical power into chemical energy while Rep. Steve Knight’s (R-Calif.) legislation to establish a solar fuels basic research initiative at DOE.

RFA to Hold Webinar – Our friends at the Renewable Fuels Assn will be hosting a webinar on Thursday at 11:00 a.m. on gasoline refining and blending.  The RFF has teamed up with the fuel refining experts at MathPro, Inc. to sponsor a 5-part webinar series that examines ethanol’s unique octane properties and its potential role as the octane source of choice in future fuels. The series will look at the opportunities and challenges that lie ahead for ethanol-based high-octane fuels.  The next/third part will be July 28th.

Forum to Look at Asia Oil, Gas Issues – On Friday, the National Bureau of Asian Research and the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars will co-host NBR’s 12th annual Energy Security Workshop, “’Oil and Gas for Asia’ Revisited: Asia’s Energy Security amid Global Market Change.” The 2016 Energy Security Workshop will examine how lower prices have impacted the global oil supply and demand outlook and how this is impacting the supply security of the region’s major oil importers.  It will also look at Asia’s key supply and geopolitical uncertainties, including prospects for sustaining the region’s longer-term goal of diversifying its oil import sources geographically.  Finally, it will look at what lower oil prices might mean for LNG prices and efforts to spur natural gas consumption in Asia, reduce coal use, and advance post-Paris climate ambitions.

 

FUTURE EVENTS

Tesoro, Kinder CEOs Headline EIA Conference – The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) will hold its 2016 Energy Conference on July 11th and 12th in Washington, DC. This two-day event provides the opportunity to meet and network with energy analysts, decision makers, and EIA staff.  Conference session topics that may be relevant to EIA stakeholders interested in information about greenhouse gasses include: 1) Clean Power Plan: EIA, EPA, and state and regional perspectives and 2) Climate—next steps: Perspectives from the United States, Europe, and China.  Keynoters are Tesoro’s Greg Goff, Kinder Morgan’s Steve Kean and Dan Gardiner, Advisor to the Canadian PM.  OSTP Director John Holdren, Se. Jeff Flake and Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson will also be on the agenda.  View the full list of speakers and sessions and register today.  Among the Panel speakers include our friends Andrew Gohn of AWEA, NREL’s Bryan Hannegan and EPA’s Joe Goffman.

Energy to Host Transportation Summit – The U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), will hold its first ever Sustainable Transportation Summit next Monday and Tuesday. The Summit will bring together transportation and mobility leaders to discuss the technology, policy and market innovations that hold the potential to shape the transportation system of the future. This year’s Summit will highlight progress and achievements in sustainable transportation R&D and efforts to bring new technologies to market, including the President’s EV Everywhere Grand Challenge. It will also serve as a forum to share ideas and perspectives on opportunities to accelerate the commercialization and deployment of advanced transportation technologies and smart mobility systems over the next decade.

WCEE, Bracewell to Host NY PSC Chair – The Women’s Council on Energy and Environment and Bracewell are hosting a reception for NY State Public Service Commission Chairwoman Audrey Zibelman on Monday, July 11th at 5:30 p.m.  Zibelman leads the regulatory process redesigning the state’s electricity market, called Reforming the Energy Vision (REV). Facing a $30B cost to maintain NY’s electricity grid over the next 10 years, and keenly aware of the vulnerability of the grid after Superstorm Sandy crippled Long Island and southern portions of the state, NY sought alternatives to reduce the need for new infrastructure, maximize the utilization of existing assets and encourage clean energy, and created NY REV.

EESI Holds Congressional Renewables Forum – The Environmental and Energy Study Institute (EESI) holds its 19th annual Congressional Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Expo and Policy Forum on July 12th in the Cannon building.  The forum will bring together up to 50 businesses, trade associations, and government agencies to showcase renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies. In every state across the country, these technologies are having a significant impact in business development and job creation in the manufacturing, transmission, power, transportation, and building sectors. The bipartisan House Renewable Energy & Energy Efficiency Caucus and the Senate Renewable Energy & Energy Efficiency Caucus are honorary co-hosts of the Expo.

Bioenergy Forum Set – The U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) Bioenergy Technologies Office (BETO) will host its ninth annual conference—Bioenergy 2016: Mobilizing the Bioeconomy through Innovation. Partnering with the Clean Energy Research and Education Foundation (CEREF), this year’s conference will focus on opportunities to grow future feedstock supplies and breakthrough technology barriers to achieve a stronger bioeconomy.  Each year, approximately 600 participants attend the conference, including key stakeholders from the bioenergy industry, Congress, national laboratories, academia, and the financial community.  For more information about the program and schedule for Bioenergy 2016, please contact the Department of Energy Bioenergy Technologies Office (BETO) at Bioenergy2016@ee.doe.gov.

CSIS Papers to Look at China, Global Energy Security – The CSIS Energy and National Security Program is hosting Boston University’s Kevin Gallagher and Oklahoma’s Bo Kong on Wednesday July 13th to discuss the role of Chinese state financing in global energy development and to present findings from two of their recently published studies from the Global Economic Governance Initiative at BU. The first study authored by Dr. Gallagher, ‘Fueling Growth and Financing Risk’, examines the benefits and risks of China’s development finance in the global energy sector.  The other study led by Dr. Bo Kong, entitled ‘The Globalization of Chinese Energy Companies’, tracks the role that the Chinese state has played in helping domestic energy firms to become global household names in the industry. Edward Chow, Senior Fellow with the CSIS Energy and National Security Program, will moderate the discussion.

Shelk Headline Capacity Markets – The CSIS Energy and National Security Program will hold a forum on Thursday, July 14th at 10:00 a.m. looking at the future of capacity markets.  The event will feature EPSA CEO John Shelk, the Regulatory Assistance Project’s Michael Hogan and our friend Christi Tezak of ClearView Energy Partners.  Ensuring that there is adequate electric power generation to meet established reliability standards is an imperative task for regulators. In organized wholesale markets, however, how exactly to ensure medium- to long-term resource adequacy continues to be the subject of debate and experimentation. Different jurisdictions have adopted different responses, with several markets mandating the procurement of capacity through organized capacity markets. Although the existence and operation of the capacity markets varies across jurisdictions, persistent concerns remain about the functioning and adequacy of capacity markets to ensure long-term reliability—especially in light of a rapidly changing grid with higher penetration of variable renewables and distributed energy resources. This session is part of the Electricity in Transition series from the Energy and National Security Program and will cover the basic theory behind capacity markets, discuss the pathways different jurisdictions have pursued, as well as the challenges perceived by states and market participants.

USEA to Host Alberta Energy Official – On Thursday, July 14th at 11:00 a.m., US Energy Association will host a forum featuring a discussion about the Alberta Energy Regulator.  The AER operates within the province of Alberta, Canada, and is the single provincial regulator for oil, natural gas, oil sands, and coal development within Alberta.  The AER ensures the safe, efficient, orderly, and environmentally responsible development of hydrocarbon resources over their entire life cycle. This includes allocating and conserving water resources, managing public lands, and protecting the environment while providing economic benefits for all Albertans.  Kirk Bailey, executive vice president of the Operations Division at AER, will speak to the AER’s transformation, highlighting critical initiatives under its purview.

ASE Forum to Look at Grid Modernization – The Alliance to Save Energy is hosting a Congressional Briefing on Thursday July 14th at Noon in the Capitol Visitors Center on the role of energy efficiency in a modernizing energy system.  The term ‘grid edge’ refers to the hardware, software and business innovations that are increasingly enabling smart, connected infrastructure to be installed at the ‘edge’ of the power grid. Depending on who you talk to, grid edge could either be the future of a modern and efficient energy system or fizzle out like so many other ambitious concepts.

USEA to Look at CCS Projects – Also on Thursday, July 14th at 2:00 p.m., the U.S. Energy Association will hold a forum on financing Carbon Capture & Storage (CCS) demonstration projects.  Over two decades, more than a dozen other CCS demonstration projects came on-line.  However, there were many more projects that were announced that never came to fruition. By studying both the successful and unsuccessful projects, one can discern patterns and learn valuable lessons that can be applied to future efforts.  This presentation summarizes a study that analyzes the financing of large-scale CCS demonstration projects and reports the lessons learned.  Speaker will be MIT’s Howard Herzog.

Forum to Discuss Panama Canal Shipping Issues – The National Capital Area Chapter of the United States Association for Energy Economics will hold its next installment of its monthly lunch series on Friday July 15th at Noon in Carmines.  The forum will feature Basil Karatzas, CEO of Karatzas Maritime Advisors who will focus on the implications on energy shipping economics, including the significant effect on US LNG and petroleum shipments to Asia following the historic completion of the Panama Canal expansion and official unveiling last weekend.  Basil attended the official ceremony and recently spoke on the impact of the expansion on shipping economics at a conference in Panama.

Republican Convention – Cleveland will host the Republican Convention at the Quicken Loans Arena July 18-21st.  The Republican National Committee (RNC), the convention will host approximately 2,470 delegates and 2,302 alternate delegates from all 50 states, the District of Columbia and five territories.

WaPo to Host Faison Energy Conversation – The Washington Post will host an Energy Conversation with ClearPath Founder Jay Faison on Tuesday July 19th at the their GOP convention HQ in Cleveland.

Pioneer CEO to Discuss Industry at CSIS – The CSIS Energy and National Security Program is hosting Scott Sheffield, Chairman and CEO of Pioneer Natural Resources, on Tuesday July 19th at 1:30 p.m. to discuss developments in the U.S. onshore oil and gas industry. Mr. Sheffield has held the position of CEO for Pioneer Natural Resources since August 1997 and assumed the position of chairman of the board in August 1999. In this position Sheffield heads one of the leading producers of unconventional oil and gas in the United States. Sheffield will share his views on recent market developments and regulatory changes in the oil and gas landscape, as well as Pioneer’s strategy for addressing the challenges and opportunities facing the industry today and in the future.

Faison, Cramer Headline POLITICO RNC Energy Forum – POLITICO will host an energy caucus live on Wednesday July 20 at 12:45 in its Hub in Cleveland.  The forum will be a deep dive discussion, featuring a variety of perspectives, about the energy policy issues facing the next president and how the candidates are resonating in battleground states.  Featured speakers will; include Rep. Kevin Cramer (R-ND), ClearPath’s Jay Faison and Jai Chabria of Mercury, along with a few others.

Democratic Convention – A week later, the Democrats will head to Philadelphia for the 2016 Democratic National Convention at the Wells Fargo Center on July 25th – 28th.

DEM Convention Forum Set – The New Policy Institute and NDN will host a major event at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia, on Tuesday, July 26th looking ahead at the future of America and American Politics.  This event will feature a dozen inspiring thought leaders who will offer their different perspectives on what is coming down the road for the US and our politics.  The event will take place at the Pennsylvania Convention Center, Room 204C, 200 Level Concourse, and run from 10:30 am to 2:30 pm If you would like to attend, please RSVP on our Eventbrite page today.  The event is free and open to the public.

 

Independence Day Energy Update

Friends,

This week begins the run up to the July 4th holiday, which is next Monday, giving us all a fun, extended weekend.  While most people will be celebrating with fireworks and parades, I always use the day to listen to one of my favorite Soundgarden songs 4th Of July, written when singer-songwriter Chris Cornell was on an acid trip.  It is the best song on their megahit record Superunknown and a staple at most Soundgarden concerts.  In fact, while he didn’t play it at the Hippodrome in Baltimore last Thursday, Cornell played an awesome acoustic show with covers of Prince, U2 and Bob Dylan along with the Soundgarden, Audioslave and Temple of the Dog classics.

Not to be outdone by Cornell, Stacey and I went to DC101’s Kerfuffle yesterday, mostly to see the 80s cult band, the Violent Femmes.  But I was also impressed with 90s West Coast Punk trailblazer Blink-182, who was really good, with drummer Travis Barker (of MTV reality show fame) absolutely killing it for two hours.  I was there because, despite the Alice In Chains (of course without Layne Staley) lead in, I still couldn‘t stomach going to Guns ‘N Roses.  #notafan

Good news…or maybe not, depending on your view.  There has been some reporting on Saturday’s draft of the Democratic Policy Platform that will not include a carbon tax or a ban on hydraulic fracturing.  It does however include some hearty perennials like a $15-an-hour minimum wage, efforts to curb “Wall Street greed” and tax hikes on multi-millionaires. The document calls for at least 50% of electrical generation to come from renewable energy sources within a decade and 100% by 2050, keeping fossil fuels “in the ground” on federal land, an end to eminent domain for fossil fuel companies on federal land, allowing the Justice Department to investigate whether fossil fuel companies deceived the public and investors on the risks associated with climate change and a “climate test” for federal government actions like Keystone.  The full Platform Committee meets next month in Orlando, Florida.

While the House has recessed until after July 4th, the Senate remains in this week to working on funding bills and the FAA extension.  There is also word out that they may vote to go to conference on the  energy bill before they leave.  We’ll see.  The committees will still be going too with Senate Energy grilling Interior’s Jim Lyons over Sage Grouse Protections (my colleague Eric Washburn Is a great resource 202-412-5211), Senate Environment doing the same to EPA Enforcement chief Cynthia Giles on Wednesday and Homeland Security tackling regulations Thursday with our friends, former OMB official Paul Noe and CEI reg guru Clyde Wayne Crews.

Off the Hill, EIA’s Adam Sieminski rolls out their 2016 Annual Energy Outlook tomorrow at Johns Hopkins in advance of the upcoming annual EIA Energy Conference on July 12th.  On Wednesday,  IPAA and the Arctic Energy Center will host an offshore Arctic Policy Briefing in the morning at the Liaison featuring Senator Lisa Murkowski, while the U.S.-Africa Chamber of Commerce hosts Marc Breslaw, Executive Director of the NRECA International Foundation in the evening.  Finally, on Thursday, the Natural Gas Roundtable is hosting Travis Kavulla, President and Chairman of the Board of Directors of NARUC.

While I mentioned the upcoming EIA Energy Conference on July 12, next week also features the Aspen Ideas Forum in Colorado and my colleagues Jason Hutt and Eric Washburn will be attending.  Yes, they drew the short straws…tough luck to be in Aspen!

Finally, Congrats to our friends Nicole Daigle and Michael Tadeo.  As some of you may know, Nicole heads over from API to fill the opening left by our friend Robert Dillon, who is now headed to Alaska to help with Lisa Murkowski’s campaign.  And Tadeo, Dillon’s understudy at Energy heads over to API as a media relations associate.  I love the musical chairs when I know everybody!!  Call with questions…

 

Best,

Frank Maisano

(202) 828-5864

(202) 997-5932

 

FRANKLY SPOKEN

“We need a tax on carbon. We need to end fracking.”

Sen Bernie Sanders on CNN Friday when asked about the weekend’s platform Committee work session.

“It’s possible I just did a poor job of explaining them, so happily I’m pretty sure at least some will be reintroduced by more skillful orators at the Orlando meeting, and maybe if that doesn’t work then in Philadelphia.”

Sanders Platform appointee and 350.org activist Bill McKibbon to E&E News on why each of his proposals were rejected, albeit narrowly.

 

IN THE NEWS

Rural U.S. Economy Remains Sluggish – The June edition of Creighton University’s Rural Mainstreet Index says the economy in rural America remains sluggish amid weak farmland prices and pessimism from bankers.  “This is the 10th straight month the overall index has remained below growth neutral. Even though agriculture and energy commodity prices have increased recently, they remain well below last year’s prices and from their peak levels in 2011,” said Ernie Goss, an economics professor at Creighton’s Heider College of Business and author of the survey.  The index, based on a survey of bank CEOs in a 10-state region, registered a 43.9 reading on a 100-point scale in June. That was a slight improvement from the May reading of 40.9, as hiring rose above the neutral mark of 50.  Still, bankers say they are concerned about the state of the rural economy and continue to tighten credit in response to weakness in the farm economy.  Nearly 75% of the respondents said they have increased collateral requirements because of reductions in farm income and agriculture commodity prices during the last three years.

LA Plants Likely to Increase Emissions to Avoid Blackouts – With temperatures rolling to 100-plus degrees in the LA Basin, regional air quality regulators are allowing  the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power to violate pollution rules this summer by burning diesel fuel at three of its power plants if it is the only way to prevent blackouts.  In a 3-1 vote late Wednesday, the South Coast Air Quality Management District’s hearing board granted the public utility a 90-day exemption from emissions limits and other permit requirements at its power plants in Long Beach, Wilmington and Sun Valley. In April, a report from state energy agencies and LADWP warned that Southern California could face rolling blackouts during as many as 14 days this summer if gas supply is curtailed following the leak at the Southern California Gas Co.’s Aliso Canyon facility.  While Local officials, environmental groups and efficiency advocates are bickering and deflecting blame over the situation, it Is clear that part of the problem is California’s longer-term approach which has boxed coal generation out of its mix.  Sounds like a great plan to implement nationwide!

Bloomberg Analyst: Royalty Rates Bigger Drag on Coal that CPP – Our friends at First Word Energy report that Bloomberg Intelligence analyst Rob Barnett releases a new report set for release today that says President Obama’s efforts to cut carbon emissions will have more success with the moratorium on federal coal leases rather than EPA’s carbon rules,. About 40% of U.S. coal is mined on federal lands, and the Interior Department is reviewing raising the royalty rates on that coal. The current rate is 12.5%; in its report last week the Council of Economic Advisers examined the impact of hiking that to anywhere from 17% to 304%. Barnet writes higher royalty rates for new coal leases on U.S. government land may end up shuttering a significant portion of the nation’s coal production.

Obama Signs TSCA Legislation – President Barack Obama signed chemical safety reform legislation this morning, reforming the longtime legislation that regulates chemicals, the broadly bipartisan Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act, H.R. 2576.  The President signed the legislation with Lautenberg’s widow, Bonnie, also attending.  Under the compromise reform bill, EPA will receive expanded abilities to regulate and a revived mandate to go after a specific dangerous substances, including asbestos and arsenic. In return, states’ authority to more deeply regulate chemicals was limited. The legislation is Congress’ most significant environmental achievement under Obama.

API Polling Shows Strong Support for Energy – Just weeks away from the Democratic and Republican national conventions, new polling confirms that energy is important to American voters. Whether Republican, Democrat or Independent, majorities of voters support increased production of oil and natural gas and, crucially for this year’s candidates, they are more likely to support a candidate who wants to produce more oil and natural gas. As the party platform committees develop their election priorities, key poll findings should be considered:

  • 77% support increased production of oil and natural gas (Republican 94%; Independent 73%; Democrat 64%)
  • 69% support candidates who want to produce more oil and natural gas (Republican 86%; Independent 69%; Democrat 57%)
  • 77% of voters consider it important that the U.S. is doing better than other major economies in Europe and elsewhere in reducing greenhouse gases (Republican 65%; Independent 72%; Democrat 94%)
  • 70% support natural gas’ role in reducing U.S. greenhouse gases (Republican 80%; Independent 66%; Democrat 63%)
  • 88% consider it important that gasoline & diesel fuels are helping reduce air pollution (Republican 83%; Independent 92%; Democrat 93%)
  • 64% oppose higher taxes that could decrease energy production (Republican 79%; Independent 64%; Democrat 50%)
  • 77% are concerned about government requirements increasing ethanol in gasoline (Republican 82%; Independent 82%; Democrat 70%)
  • 82% support increased energy infrastructure (Republican 88%; Independent 88%; Democrat 74%)
  • 73% support a national energy policy that ensures a secure supply of abundant, affordable and available energy for the American people in an environmentally responsible manner (Republican 67%; Independent 76%; Democrat 79%)

Bloomberg Poll Says Most Insiders Expect RFS Reform –  According to you, RFS reform is a sure thing.  The results of yesterday’s survey are in and it seems that our dear readers overwhelmingly believe that Congress will revamp the Renewable Fuel Standard in 2017. A meager 16% said that RFS reform proposals are dead in the water.

Senators Urge Support For Strong RFS – Not to be out done, on Friday, 39 senators sent a letter to EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy, urging EPA to ensure the final 2017 Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) rule “promote[s] growth in the U.S. biofuel sector and capture economic opportunity rather than drive investment overseas.” The 2017 proposal calls on refiners to blend 14.8 billion gallons of conventional biofuels in 2017, slightly below the 15-billion-gallon level envisioned by Congress when it expanded the RFS in 2007.  RFA pushed the letter.

SoCo Company to Increase Renewables –Georgia Power will add 1,200 megawatts of renewable energy to its electrical generation portfolio during the next five years, enough to power nearly 200,000 homes, under an agreement with the state Public Service Commission (PSC). Georgia Power agreed to add 1,050 megawatts of utility-scale renewable power through two requests for proposals the Atlanta-based utility intends to issue next year and in 2019. The first 525 megawatts would go into service in 2018 and 2019, while the other 525 would go on line in 2020 and 2021. Georgia Power is also building the Plant Vogtle Nuclear expansion.

 

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

Xcel Exec to Keynote TransForum West in Denver – PennWell’s TransmissionHub will host its 5th annual TransForum West event tomorrow and Wednesday in Denver. Kicking off the event will be Alice Jackson, vice president – Regulatory Rates, Xcel Energy, who will deliver the keynote address on Tuesday.  There will also be several panels, including one on regional planning dynamics in the West that will include such speakers as PacifiCorp’s Carolyn Barbash, Don Fuller of the California ISO and Johannes Pfeifenberger of the Brattle Group.

Forum to Look at European Energy Infrastructure – Tomorrow at 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) will hold a seminar for American investors, consultants and suppliers of goods and services on energy and infrastructure opportunities in Europe through the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD).  The EBRD is an international, AAA-rated financial institution, which promotes transition to market economies. It operates in 36 countries, from central Europe to central Asia, the Western Balkans, and the southern and eastern Mediterranean. In the energy sector, EBRD has financed $3.7 billion of investments across 60 projects since the beginning of 2014, leveraging a further $10 billion from private investors and co-financiers. EBRD considers financing for a wide range of energy sector investments including:  renewables (wind, solar PV, biomass and geothermal plants}; thermal power generation; electricity transmission, distribution and demand side management; oil and gas production, refining and distribution; and mining activities.

EIA to Release 2016 Energy Outlook – EIA will release its Annual Energy Outlook 2016 tomorrow at 10:00 a.m. in the Kenney-Herter Auditorium at Johns Hopkins University in DC.  EIA’s Adam Sieminski will present “Annual Energy Outlook 2016” (AEO2016) with projections of U.S. energy supply, demand, and prices to 2040.  The discussion will consider AEO2016 cases that address the Clean Power Plan; proposed fuel economy standards for trucks; alternative resource and technology assumptions; and other key energy topics.

Forum to Look at Role of Nuclear – The Global America Business Institute (GABI) is hosting a roundtable tomorrow at 12:00 p.m. on market failures with respect to nuclear power in the United States. Although nuclear power generates about 20% of U.S. electricity and almost two-thirds of the country’s carbon-free electricity, much of the domestic fleet is under threat of premature closure because current policies and market structures do not adequately value the myriad benefits of nuclear in producing clean, reliable, and affordable energy. Deregulated electricity markets have failed to reward nuclear power for its significant advantages, and injudicious state and federal policies have further distorted the market against nuclear. As a result, nuclear power plants have struggled to remain economically viable and competitive with other energy sources, leading plant owners to prematurely and permanently shut down operable reactors. Ed Kee of Nuclear Economic Consulting will speak.

Forum to Look at Grid Storage – The American Chemical Society (ACS) holds a discussion tomorrow at Noon in 2168 Rayburn to look at the prospects and policy of energy storage and the grid.  Speakers include Kyle Bradbury of Duke University’s Energy Data Analytics Lab, Argonne Labs Vladimir Koritarov and GE’s Pratima Rangarajan.

CSIS to Host IEA Gas Outlook – Tomorrow at 1:30 p.m., the CSIS Energy and National Security Program will host Costanza Jacazio, Senior Gas Expert in the Gas, Coal & Power Markets Division at the International Energy Agency (IEA), to present the IEA’s Medium-Term Gas Market Report 2016. The annual report, which gives a detailed analysis and five-year projections of natural gas demand, supply and trade developments, examines the interaction of oversupply, low prices and upstream capital expenditure cuts. The impact on global gas markets of changing trade patterns and price mechanisms are also given special consideration. The Medium-Term Gas Market Report is part of a series of annual reports the IEA devotes to each of the main primary energy sources: oil, gas, coal, renewable energy and energy efficiency.

Carnegie Forum to Look at Energy Future – Also tomorrow afternoon at 1:30 p.m., the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace will hold a half-day event to discuss the changing energy landscape and its implications, with a keynote address by U.S. State Department Special Envoy and Coordinator for International Energy Affairs Amos Hochstein, and the presentation of the “Oil Market Futures” report by Cambridge Econometrics and partners.  Other speakers will include former deputy secretary of state William Burns and a number of other experts.

Senate Energy to Grill Interior Official On Sage Grouse – The Senate Energy Committee will hold a hearing tomorrow at 2:30 p.m. to grill Interior deputy assistant secretary Jim Lyons and Forest Service wildlife director Robert Harper  on the implementation of federal greater sage grouse conservation plans and their impact on Western states.  The hearing will focus on the status of BLM and Forest Service efforts to implement the federal grouse plans, finalized last September.  Other witnesses include director of Utah’s Public Lands Policy Coordinating Office Kathleen Clarke, Catherine Macdonald, of Oregon’s branch of the Nature Conservancy; Brenda Richard of the Public Lands Council and NMA’s Katie Sweeney.

Groups to Screen Anti-Coal Film – Tuesday evening, the Heinrich Boell Foundation North America, the Environmental and Energy Study Institute (EESI), and the Goethe-Institut Washington will host a free film screening at the Landmark E St Cinemas of “After Coal,” followed by a panel discussion on revitalizing coal communities.  The United States’ use of coal continues to fall and reached its lowest point on record in 2015. All across the country, traditional coal communities find themselves struggling to adapt to this rapid energy transition–a phenomenon not confined to the United States. This panel will discuss ways in which coal communities can participate in, shape and benefit from the transition away from fossil fuels.

Murkowski, Merkley, Others to Discuss Arctic Offshore Issues at IPAA Event – IPAA and the Arctic Energy Center will host an offshore Arctic Policy Briefing on Wednesday at 8:30 a.m. at the Liaison featuring Senator Lisa Murkowski.  Later this summer, the Administration will announce its proposed Final Five-Year Outer Continental Shelf Oil and Gas Leasing, which will formally specify which areas of the OCS will be open to offshore development. The event will discuss the effects of Arctic offshore energy development and will include perspectives from Senator Lisa Murkowski and General Joseph Ralston (former Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs and Supreme Allied Commander NATO and an Alaskan resident), as well as a number of other Alaskans. Senator Jeff Merkley and members of the environmental community will also participate.

NYU Law Forum to Look at Coal, Market Value – On Wednesday at 9:00 a.m., the New York University School of Law Institute for Policy Integrity holds a Federal coal workshop looking at fair market value and an alternatives analysis.  With Interior’s review and the upcoming Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (PEIS), this public workshop will gather legal, policy, and economic experts to analyze key issues for this review.  Former Interior Dep Secretary David Hayes will speak but don’t expect the overall evaluation of many others to find many benefits of coal.

Senate Enviro to Look at Enforcement – The Senate Environment Subcommittee on Superfund, Waste Management, and Regulatory Oversight, will hold a hearing Wednesday to conduct oversight of EPA’s enforcement and compliance programs.  EPA’s Cynthia Giles will testify.

Patent Head to Talk Innovation, Climate – On Wednesday at 1:00 p.m., the Carnegie Institute of Science will host a forum on innovation and climate change.  Innovation is an essential component to meet the challenges of climate change. Better ways to produce, store, conserve, and transmit energy will help the U.S. and other nations meet the ambitious goals set at the United Nations climate change conference held in Paris in December 2015.  Director of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, Michelle K. Lee, and a panel of technology, energy, and climate experts for a discussion on how present and future innovation can change the course of our planet’s future.

NERCA International Head to Discuss Power, Energy in Africa – The U.S.-Africa Chamber of Commerce will hold its monthly networking series on Wednesday featuring Marc Breslaw, Executive Director of the NRECA International Foundation since 2014.   Breslaw leads NRECA’s effort to expand and strengthen existing programs that design and implement successful rural electrification programs in the international arena. The NRECA International Foundation is the philanthropic arm of NRECA International, and helps bring electricity to the people in rural areas of Africa, Asia and Latin America. U.S.-based electric co-ops participate in the Foundation’s mission by sending employees who volunteer their skills, donating used vehicles and equipment and providing funds.

Forum to Look at 2025 Fuel Economy Standards – Bloomberg Government, in partnership with The Aluminum Association’s Aluminum Transportation Group, will host a breakfast conversation on Thursday examining the forces behind the 2025 fuel economy targets.

Senate Homeland Security Committee Looks at Regs – The Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Subcommittee on Regulatory Affairs and Federal Management, will hold a hearing on Thursday at 10:00 a.m. examining the use of agency regulatory guidance. Topics for the hearing will include discussion of agency use of regulatory guidance across government, current and former administration efforts to ensure that this guidance is issued appropriately, and the success of those efforts. The hearing will also explore potential legislative solutions and safeguards. Witnesses include former OMB official Paul Noe, CEI’s Clyde Wayne Crews and Amit Narang, of Public Citizen.

NARUC Commissioner Head to Address NatGas Roundtable – The Natural Gas Roundtable is hosting Travis Kavulla, President and Chairman of the Board of Directors of the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC), as its guest speaker at the Jun luncheon at the University Club on Thursday.  Kavulla represents the Montana Public Service Commission’s geographically largest district.

Platts Webinar Set to Discuss State, Federal Issues – On Thursday at 2:00 p.m., Power Markets Today will host a webinar on the line between federal and state jurisdiction on electricity.  Speakers will include Connecticut Department of Energy & Environmental Protection Deputy Commissioner for Energy Katie Scharf Dykes, Sustainable FERC Project Senior Attorney John Moore, Office of the Ohio Consumers’ Counsel Director of Analytical Services Dan Shields and Electric Power Supply Association President and CEO John Shelk. State and federal jurisdictions often lead to some friction and the case of the economic regulation of electricity is no different, especially in the restructured markets. States that turned to the markets to run their generation now split significant authority with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). The states can approve or deny where generation gets built and its environmental requirements but when they have tried to back it economically, they have run into FERC action and sometimes federal lawsuits.

 

FUTURE EVENTS

July 4th Holiday

House Resources to Look at Offshore Leasing Innovations – The House Natural Resources Committee’s Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources will hold a hearing on Wednesday July 6th to look at Rep Garrett Graves “Innovation in Offshore Leasing Act.”  The legislation amends the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act to authorize the Secretary of the Interior to conduct offshore oil and gas lease sales through Internet-based live lease sales.

Tesoro, Kinder CEOs Headline EIA Conference – The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) will hold its 2016 Energy Conference on July 11th and 12th in Washington, DC. This two-day event provides the opportunity to meet and network with energy analysts, decision makers, and EIA staff.  Conference session topics that may be relevant to EIA stakeholders interested in information about greenhouse gasses include: 1) Clean Power Plan: EIA, EPA, and state and regional perspectives and 2) Climate—next steps: Perspectives from the United States, Europe, and China.  Keynoters are Tesoro’s Greg Goff, Kinder Morgan’s Steve Kean and Dan Gardiner, Advisor to the Canadian PM.  View the full list of speakers and sessions and register today.  Among the Panel speakers include our friends Andrew Gohn of AWEA, NREL’s Bryan Hannegan and EPA’s Joe Goffman.

WCEE, Bracewell to Host NY PSC Chair – The Women’s Council on Energy and Environment and Bracewell are hosting a reception for NY State Public Service Commission Chairwoman Audrey Zibelman on Monday, July 11th at 5:30 p.m.  Zibelman leads the regulatory process redesigning the state’s electricity market, called Reforming the Energy Vision (REV). Facing a $30B cost to maintain NY’s electricity grid over the next 10 years, and keenly aware of the vulnerability of the grid after Superstorm Sandy crippled Long Island and southern portions of the state, NY sought alternatives to reduce the need for new infrastructure, maximize the utilization of existing assets and encourage clean energy, and created NY REV.

EESI Holds Congressional Renewables Forum – The Environmental and Energy Study Institute (EESI) holds its 19th annual Congressional Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Expo and Policy Forum on July 12th in the Cannon building.  The forum will bring together up to 50 businesses, trade associations, and government agencies to showcase renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies. In every state across the country, these technologies are having a significant impact in business development and job creation in the manufacturing, transmission, power, transportation, and building sectors. The bipartisan House Renewable Energy & Energy Efficiency Caucus and the Senate Renewable Energy & Energy Efficiency Caucus are honorary co-hosts of the Expo.

Shelk Headline Capacity Markets – The CSIS Energy and National Security Program will hold a forum on Thursday, July 14th at 10:00 a.m. looking at the future of capacity markets.  The event will feature EPSA CEO John Shelk, the Regulatory Assistance Project’s  Michael Hogan and our friend Christi Tezak of ClearView Energy Partners.  Ensuring that there is adequate electric power generation to meet established reliability standards is an imperative task for regulators. In organized wholesale markets, however, how exactly to ensure medium- to long-term resource adequacy continues to be the subject of debate and experimentation. Different jurisdictions have adopted different responses, with several markets mandating the procurement of capacity through organized capacity markets. Although the existence and operation of the capacity markets varies across jurisdictions, persistent concerns remain about the functioning and adequacy of capacity markets to ensure long-term reliability—especially in light of a rapidly changing grid with higher penetration of variable renewables and distributed energy resources. This session is part of the Electricity in Transition series from the Energy and National Security Program and will cover the basic theory behind capacity markets, discuss the pathways different jurisdictions have pursued, as well as the challenges perceived by states and market participants.

Republican Convention – Cleveland will host the Republican Convention at the Quicken Loans Arena July 18-21st.  The Republican National Committee (RNC), the convention will host approximately 2,470 delegates and 2,302 alternate delegates from all 50 states, the District of Columbia and five territories.

WaPo to Host Faison Energy Conversation – The Washington Post will host an Energy Conversation with Clearpath Founder Jay Faison on Tuesday July 19th at the their GOP convention HQ in Cleveland.   Fiason will also be on a POLITICO panel the next day.

Pioneer CEO to Discuss Industry at CSIS – The CSIS Energy and National Security Program is hosting Scott Sheffield, Chairman and CEO of Pioneer Natural Resources, on Tuesday July 19th at 1:30 p.m. to discuss developments in the U.S. onshore oil and gas industry. Mr. Sheffield has held the position of CEO for Pioneer Natural Resources since August 1997 and assumed the position of chairman of the board in August 1999. In this position Sheffield heads one of the leading producers of unconventional oil and gas in the United States. Sheffield will share his views on recent market developments and regulatory changes in the oil and gas landscape, as well as Pioneer’s strategy for addressing the challenges and opportunities facing the industry today and in the future.

Democratic Convention – A week later, the Democrats will head to Philadelphia for the 2016 Democratic National Convention at the Wells Fargo Center on July 25th – 28th.

DEM Convention Forum Set – The New Policy Institute and NDN will host a major event at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia, on Tuesday, July 26th looking ahead at the future of America and American Politics.  This event will feature a dozen inspiring thought leaders who will offer their different perspectives on what is coming down the road for the US and our politics.  The event will take place at the Pennsylvania Convention Center, Room 204C, 200 Level Concourse, and run from 10:30 am to 2:30 pm If you would like to attend, please RSVP on our Eventbrite page today.  The event is free and open to the public.

Energy Update: Week of December 14

Friends,

That was a very busy weekend — way more busy than it should be around the middle of December…  At least the weather was beautiful for Mid-December.

Anyway, the Paris Climate deal is done although we really don’t know what it will really “should” or “shall”  do.  It certainly isn’t clear that the agreement is as historic as the initial coverage has portrayed.   Full details and links below.

The second major issue comes to a head today when the budget discussions surrounding crude oil exports, refiner credits and tax incentives for renewables hit a deadline.  The Senate and House are both in session this week primarily working to complete a $1.1 trillion spending measure to fund the government. Members have until midnight Wednesday to agree to and pass the omnibus spending bill.   We are happy to offer the latest thoughts, perspective and timing.

This is really the last week for events around town as before the holidays roll in.  Tomorrow, CSIS will host a panel discussion looking at electric vehicle charging infrastructure, including the role that utilities could play in financing, owning, and operating this infrastructure.   On Wednesday the Energy Times will interview Perdernales Electric Cooperative CEO John Hewa and discuss his co-op’s innovations in a webcast on Wednesday at 2:00 p.m.   Perdernales is one of the nation’s largest rural electric co-ops and emerging as the vanguard of innovators when it comes to engaging and partnering with its member-consumers  in supporting their energy goals.  also Wednesday, the Wilson Center gets into the just-approved UN Climate plan.  Finally, on Friday, former EIA head and current CSIS energy expert Guy Caruso will discuss the current energy state of the play.

So while, the UN climate deal and the Congressional budget deal might seem like big news to us today, we might expect it to be off the radar by Thursday when the new Stars Wars movie rolls out.  While there are three world premieres tonight, it will be in already sold-out theaters on Thursday.  Speaking of Star Wars, perhaps my favorite Bill Murray song as Saturday Night Live’s Nick Winters: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QqedbxGxfgE

Call with questions…And May the Force Be With You

 

Best,

Frank Maisano

(202) 828-5864

(202) 997-5932
PARIS CLIMATE AGREEMENT

The Deal – 196 nations agreed to combat climate change and unleash actions and investment towards a low carbon, resilient and sustainable future in Paris over the weekend.  For the first time, the accord brings all nations into a common cause based on their historic, current and future responsibilities.  The universal agreement’s main aim is to keep a global temperature rise this century well below 2 degrees Celsius and to drive efforts to limit the temperature increase even further to 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels.

Here is the text: http://unfccc.int/documentation/documents/advanced_search/items/6911.php?priref=600008831

The Word “Shall” – As you may have seen, there has been wide-spread reporting of the one-word change that was essential to getting an agreement.  US negotiators discovered in the final draft text in Article 4 a line declaring that wealthier countries “shall” set economy-wide targets for cutting their greenhouse gas pollution.  But the word shall Implied a legal obligation and the as you know, that would force the hand of the President to submit the agreement to Congress.

French Negotiator Rams in Through as Technical Correction –French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius worked the words into the technical changes where the wording was read aloud by a delegate in the plenary hall and lost in a package of other technical revisions.   Prior to that Fabius had worked the room on several key negotiating teams and already received approval (or at least no objection to) the change and the deal was inked.  Minutes later, French banged his gavel and the most significant international climate change deal in history won the resounding approval of 196 governments, representing nearly every country on the planet.

President Obama Speaks form Oval Office – While this speech was as bold and important as his speech to the nation on terrorism issues last week, President Barack Obama made a statement Saturday Night from the Oval Office.  “We came together around the strong agreement the world needed,” Obama said from the White House. “We met the moment.  He added “the American people can be proud — because this historic agreement is a tribute to American leadership.”

Chamber Expert in Paris Offers Comment – Stephen Eule, vice president for climate and technology at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Institute for 21st Century Energy:   “The Paris climate conference delivered more of the same—lots of promises and lots of issues still left unresolved.  While we are reviewing the final agreement, it’s clear that implementation still faces the same obstacles that we’ve been warning about for years.  None of the commitments made, including those by the U.S., are binding, and many aren’t even complete. Moreover, Congress must appropriate any funds that the Obama administration has pledged.  The White House’s overall domestic strategy of making energy more expensive and less abundant to satisfy international constituencies, many of whom compete against the United States, should worry the business community, American workers, and consumers. We will continue our efforts to understand how this deal affects the U.S. jobs and growth.”

Not Every Enviro is On Board – While most enviro groups swallowed hard, put on a happy face and supported the agreement, some wouldn’t go so quietly.  In response to the final agreement reached, Kassie Siegel of the Center for Biological Diversity’s Climate Law Institute unloaded: “The plain truth is that Paris didn’t produce the strong, just and binding treaty we need to protect the planet’s most climate-vulnerable people and our very web of life from climate chaos. But the summit did highlight the growing power of a global movement for true climate justice.”  You can see the full extent of their complaints here.

 

With the climate agreement, here is some initial analysis.  

Historic? No So Much – It is impressive to get 195 nations to agree on anything and clearly a positive to have them all at a table talking about the issue of climate change.  I remain skeptical that this is a historic agreement but yet another incremental step that is much less bold and demanding than many advocates would ever have found remotely acceptable.  It is clear that nobody is really bound to anything other than to keep trying and reviewing their progress every five years, with no prescribed penalties for missing them.

Signal to Business – Secretary of State Kerry said the deal didn’t need to be mandatory because it still sends a strong signal to business that clean energy is only future.  “The result will be a very clear signal to the marketplace of the world, that people are moving into low-carbon, no-carbon, alternative, renewable energy, and I think it’s going to create millions of jobs, enormous investments into R&D, and that R&D is going to create the solutions, not government,” Kerry said.  Given the broad and always-changing nature of our energy picture, there may be some truth to his statement, but it is clear not as clear as Kerry says given the volatility of energy pricing, the key questions of infrastructure and reliability and the nature of regional differences in our energy mix.

Temperatures – As for the temperature goal, the vague wording remains as aspirational as ever with little hope of achieving the target through this agreement or any ensuing actions, especially since nobody will be bound to them.  Maybe emissions reductions, new technologies or increased political will can meet these goals, but it is unlikely and nearly every one participating in the UN process knows that.

Process is Flawed – This agreement underscores what I have argued since Kyoto in 1997.  Only small incremental steps can be achieved in this flawed UN Climate process, unless there is a new global dedication to innovation and technology advancement that is moved to the front and center.  Only a bold private-public innovation/technology partnership process like the one detailed at the beginning the Paris conference by world and business leaders can achieve success.

I find the following section intriguing, not to mention the parts in bold seem like great quotes:

1.    17. Notes with concern that the estimated aggregate greenhouse gas emission levels in 2025 and 2030 resulting from the intended nationally determined contributions do not fall within least-cost 2 ˚C scenarios but rather lead to a projected level of 55 gigatonnes in 2030, and also notes that much greater emission reduction efforts will be required than those associated with the intended nationally determined contributions in order to hold the increase in the global average temperature to below 2 ˚C above pre-industrial levels by reducing emissions to 40 gigatonnes or to 1.5 ˚C above pre-industrial levels by reducing to a level to be identified in the special report referred to in paragraph 21 below;

2. The terms “invites” and “requests,” among others point to the degree to which this agreement lacks teeth.

3. ABC reprinted a summary that provides some interesting information http://abcnews.go.com/Technology/wireStory/key-points-landmark-paris-climate-agreement-35735723>

Here are some of the key elements of the deal:

—LONG-TERM GOAL: The long-term objective of the agreement is to make sure global warming stays “well below” 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit) and to “pursue efforts” to limit the temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 degrees Fahrenheit). Temperatures have already increased by about 1 degree Celsius (1.8 degrees Fahrenheit) since pre-industrial times. To achieve that goal, governments pledged to stop the rise in heat-trapping greenhouse gas emissions “as soon as possible.” By some point after 2050, the agreement says, man-made emissions should be reduced to a level that forests and oceans can absorb.

—EMISSIONS TARGETS: In order to reach the long-term goal, countries agreed to set national targets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions every five years. More than 180 countries have already submitted targets for the first cycle beginning in 2020. Only developed countries are expected to slash their emissions in absolute terms; developing nations are “encouraged” to do so as their capabilities evolve over time. Until then, they are expected only to rein in the growth of emissions as their economies develop. The Paris deal doesn’t make national emissions reduction targets legally binding, so its success will largely depend on the effectiveness of a new system to revisit each country’s progress and raise targets every five years.

—REVIEWING TARGETS: The initial targets won’t be enough to put the world on a path to meet the long-term temperature goal. So the agreement asks governments to review their targets in the next four years and see if they can “update” them. That doesn’t require governments to deepen their cuts. But the hope is that it will be possible for them to do so if renewable energy sources become more affordable and effective. The Paris agreement attempts to lay down new rules to make sure all countries calculate and publicly report their emissions reductions in the same way after 2020, making it possible to keep track of global progress.  The US already has a sophisticated GHG tracking inventory and reports annually.  But developing countries are still new to international reporting on climate policies as evidenced by reports recently that large and sophisticated developing countries like China have been already underreporting emissions.

—TRANSPARENCY: There is no penalty for countries that miss their emissions targets. But the agreement has transparency rules to help encourage countries to actually do what they say they will do. That was one of the most difficult pieces to agree on, with China asking for softer requirements for developing countries. The agreement says all countries must report on their emissions and their efforts the reduce them. But it allows for some “flexibility” for developing countries that “need it.”

—MONEY: The agreement says wealthy countries should continue to offer financial support to help poor countries reduce their emissions and adapt to climate change. It also encourages other countries to pitch in on a voluntary basis. That paves the way for emerging economies such as China to contribute, even though it doesn’t require them to do so. Actual dollar amounts were kept out of the agreement itself, but wealthy nations had previously pledged to provide $100 billion annually in climate finance by 2020.

—LOSS AND DAMAGE: In a victory for small island nations threatened by rising seas, the agreement includes a section recognizing “loss and damage” associated with climate-related disasters. The U.S. long objected to addressing the issue in the agreement, worried that it would lead to claims of compensation for damage caused by extreme weather events. In the end, the issue was included, but a footnote specifically stated that loss and damage does not involve liability or compensation.

—INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY:  The business community won on IP issues when direct references to IPR have been banished from the text. But that pleasure is tempered by the language that found its way into the text: “Accelerating, encouraging and enabling innovation is critical for an effective, long-term global response to climate change and promoting economic growth and sustainable development. Such effort shall be, as appropriate, supported, including through financial means by the Technology Mechanism and the Financial Mechanism of the Convention, for collaborative approaches to research and development, and facilitating access to technology, in particular for early stages of the technology cycle, to developing countries.”  Translation: We would like for developed countries to give us more money to buy down IPR and, who knows, maybe even provide compulsory licensing.

 

Enhanced Action Prior to 2020 – The whole section either “urges” or “recognizes.” For example, it “Urges host and purchasing Parties to report transparently on internationally transferred mitigation outcomes, including outcomes used to meet international pledges, and emission units issued under the Kyoto Protocol with a view to promoting environmental integrity and avoiding double counting;”

Can I have a strongly urges? –  Resolves to enhance the provision of urgent and adequate finance, technology and capacity-building support by developed country Parties in order to enhance the level of ambition of pre-2020 action by Parties, and in this regard strongly urges developed country Parties to scale up their level of financial support, with a concrete roadmap to achieve the goal of jointly providing USD 100 billion annually by 2020 for mitigation and adaptation while significantly increasing adaptation finance from current levels and to further provide appropriate technology and capacity-building support;

Asks for Another High Level Meeting before 2020 – “121. Agrees to convene, pursuant to decision 1/CP.20, paragraph 21, building on the Lima-Paris Action Agenda and in conjunction with each session of the Conference of the Parties during the period 2016–2020, a high-level event that:”… “Provides an opportunity for announcing new or strengthened voluntary efforts, initiatives and coalitions.”

What Comes Next – First, there will be a signature ceremony on April 22, 2016 that lays out the basic template for “ratification, acceptance, approval or accession,” and sets up a template for future dialogue.  Negotiators will meet again in Morocco next year in early November 7, 2016 in Marrakesh.  It will be the second time they have been to Marrakesh where the COP was held in 2001.  Many delegates never attended the Morocco meeting following the terrorists attacks in U.S. in September of that year.  Next year they will focus on innovation and adaption while continuing efforts to limit emissions.

One Significant Success on HFCs, Short-Lived Climate Pollutants – One great success that will probably achieve more than the entire Paris agreement was reached midway through the two week session.   Governments and industry leaders in the Climate and Clean Air Coalition committed to further essential advances in reducing short-lived climate pollutants (SLCPs) that have a global warming potential many times that of the main greenhouse gas carbon dioxide. At the Focus Event on SCLPs Action Agenda at COP21, the Climate and Clean Air Coalition (CCAC), whose Secretariat is hosted by the United Nations Environment Program, committed to double their membership in two key initiatives to reduce these pollutants – in freight and landfills – as well as detailing advances in the critical area of refrigeration.  They pushed forward a proposal for hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) to phase down under Montreal Protocol, jointly with many ministers. The Protocol signed in 1987 aimed at suppressing gas harming the ozone layer (CFCs) which have been mainly replaced by hydrofluorocarbon gas (HFCs).  Reducing emissions of short-lived climate pollutants – HFCs, methane, black carbon, and tropospheric ozone – is essential to keep the global temperature rise below 2°C and to improve air quality. Action in this area contributes to meet the main international climate change objective, improves public health, saves massive costs on medical care and avoids severe pollution damage to the environment, all at the same time.

AHRI Knows the Value of HFCs, Montreal Protocol – The Air-Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration Institute, the trade association representing refrigerant producers and air conditioning and refrigeration equipment manufacturers, commented on the topic recently when nations reached agreement on HFCs at 27th Meeting of the Parties of the Montreal Protocol in Dubai earlier in November.

“AHRI is very pleased that the signatories to the Montreal Protocol have agreed to work toward adoption of an amendment in 2016 to include hydrofluorocarbon (HFC) refrigerants under the purview of the treaty and to work toward setting a schedule to phase down the worldwide use of these refrigerants,” Yurek said  “AHRI has supported including HFCs in the Montreal Protocol for many years. Even as other MP signatories have debated the original North American Proposal to do so, AHRI’s member companies — including refrigerant producers and original equipment manufacturers —  have proactively been researching potential alternative refrigerants to ensure that the world’s air conditioning and refrigeration equipment manufacturers will have access to appropriate refrigerants.  AHRI, U.S. government agencies, and energy efficiency advocacy groups have all worked diligently for many years to ensure a phase-down of these chemicals.   This collaboration is an excellent example of what can be accomplished when all parties work together in good faith to achieve a common goal,” Yurek added.

 The AHRI research program, known as the Low-Global Warming Potential Alternative Refrigerants Evaluation Program (Low-GWP AREP) has been underway since 2011 and is now in its second phase.

 

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

Forum to Look at Health Impacts, Octane – The Environmental and Energy Study Institute (EESI) will hold a briefing today at 1:00 p.m. examining the health impacts of current octane sources and the need for cleaner, cost-effective octane providers. Octane is necessary for vehicle performance and increasing octane volumes would enable highly efficient engines. At the same time, octane-boosters in use today have historically been highly toxic compounds. But cleaner alternatives are available–namely biofuels.  Speakers for this forum are DOE’s Reuben Sarkar, Carol Kwiatkowski of the Endocrine Disruption Exchange and former GM engineer Dean Drake.

US AID Head Addresses Climate, Asia Developing Countries – The Stimson Center will hold a forum tomorrow at 10:00 a.m. looking at climate change and developing countries in Asia.  USAID Assistant Administrator for Asia Jonathan Stivers will discuss the challenges that climate change and environmental protection pose for developing countries in Asia and the cooperative and leadership opportunities that it creates for the US Rebalance. Stimson’s Brian Eyler will provide regional context and moderate questions.

CSIS to Look at EV Charging Infrastructure – The CSIS Energy and National Security Program will host a panel discussion tomorrow looking at electric vehicle charging infrastructure, including the role that utilities could play in financing, owning, and operating this infrastructure. Sarah Ladislaw, Director and Senior Fellow with the CSIS Energy and National Security Program, will provide introductory remarks.

Forum Focused on Fusion – The American Security Project will host a panel discussion tomorrow at Noon on Fusion Energy. The event will focus on leaders in fusion energy from the private sector and research labs to discuss the significant progress made in advancing fusion and what this clean, safe, and abundant energy source means for America’s national security and energy future.  Leading experts in fusion from the public and private sector will discuss the new developments that have been featured over the last several months in major media outlets like Time Magazine, the New York Times, Science and Nature. ASP is the leading think tank detailing a plan for the future of fusion.

TX Co-Op CEO Feature in Energy times Webinar – The Energy Times will interview Perdernales Electric Cooperative CEO John Hewa and discuss his co-op’s innovations in a webcast on Wednesday at 2:00 p.m.   Perdernales is one of the nation’s largest rural electric co-ops and emerging as the vanguard of innovators when it comes to engaging and partnering with its member-consumers  in supporting their energy goals.  In a recent interview, Hewa laid out his vision for crafting effective strategies to achieve advancements in demand response, energy efficiency and increased renewable partnerships in its central Texas territory, including fast-growing regions outside of Austin and San Antonio.  You can register here.

Forum to Look at COP21 Results – The Wilson Center, George Mason University, and World Resources Institute will host a forum on Wednesday at 3:00 p.m. to look at the results of the Paris Climate Conference.  A panel of experts will discuss how COP21 unfolded and what was accomplished. Speakers will also discuss how the outcomes of negotiations will affect efforts to tackle climate change in the United States and abroad, what was left on table for future discussions, and how any agreement plays out in the continuing evolution of climate change policy. The event is part of the ongoing “Managing Our Planet” series, jointly developed by George Mason University and the Wilson Center’s Brazil Institute and its Environmental Change and Security Program.  Speakers include WRI’s Andrew Steer, GMU’s Andrew Light, White NSC advisor Paul Bodnar and Wilson’s Roger-Mark De Souza.

STEM Reception to Honor Efforts – STEM4US! will host a Talk & Congressional Reception om Thursday evening in B-369 Rayburn on investing in STEM.   The event will feature executives from some of the most well-known brands in energy, technology/telecom, and health sciences along with Members of Congress and other leaders for a conversation about the impact of their investments in STEM and growing the pipeline of diverse workers in the energy, tech, and telecom fields.  Particular focus will be given to initiatives in exciting and inspiring youth about good-paying, sustainable STEM jobs as a way of stemming the spike in violence sweeping the nation.  STEM4US! is an advocacy organization formed to provide universities, schools, and parents with the tools to excite and prepare young people for careers in energy, technology, and other STEM fields.

Caruso to Address Energy Economists – The US Assn of Energy Economics will host Guy Caruso, former EIA Administrator (2002-2008) and current senior adviser in the Energy and National Security Program at CSIS, on Friday at Noon for a reflective one-on-one conversation about what he’s seen during his career in energy and what the world of tomorrow will look like.

Energy Update: Week of September 8

Friends,

 

It is a tough Monday given that I am still recovering from a fabulous SEJ conference in New Orleans and a weekend trip to central NY for college lax/FH recruiting visits for Hannah.  It was a lot of traveling, only made worse by the first-Monday-after-Labor-Day traffic!!!  ARGGH… Thank goodness the news media reported this morning that Kate and William will be having another royal baby to get me over the agony!

 

The fun doesn’t stop on the trip into the office though.  Congress rolls back into town tomorrow after the August campaign fest and the action (or “non-action” action is heating up).  Not much expected on energy, but the usual hearty election perennials are expected to be hot topics like Keystone, the long-delayed Renewable Fuel Standard and energy exports.   One that won’t be on the agenda: Gas Prices since they are down more than 25-cents in the last month or so.  While this price slide is not unusual as we move into fall, prices have been lower this year and will stay off the election campaign screen.

 

On the hearing schedule, tomorrow, the House Energy Committee launches back into action with an important hearing on state responses to the new EPA rules, and it will feature some heavy hitters in the state PUC community.  Other action includes a Wednesday hearing in House Science on energy independence and the Bakken Shale.

 

The hearings also are even outside the beltway.  Today, House Resources held a field hearing in Harrisburg on endangered bat issues and tomorrow they will focus on several bills aimed at reforming the ESA process.  My colleague Eric Washburn is an excellent resource on these issues and can be reached at (202-412-5211).  Senate Environment is looking at Chesapeake Bay restoration in Annapolis lead by Ben Cardin. And at 1:30 p.m., DOE’s Office of Energy Policy and Systems Analysis will host a public meeting in Newark, New Jersey, on the Quadrennial Energy Review (QER).  SoCo’s Tom Fanning will be attending the event with Secretary Moniz, which will examine electricity transmission, storage and distribution in the eastern electricity interconnection of the U.S.  Finally, The Atlantic will launch its new American Energy Series in New Orleans on Wednesday (See Below).

 

In addition to the SEJ conference last week, my colleagues, including Mayor Giuliani, spoke at the Institute for Energy Law Shale Plays Conference in Pittsburgh, detailing the important role that shale is playing with energy exports and independence.

 

Finally, last week, we reported that India wasn’t attending the September 23rd UN Meetings on climate change in NYC.  We also have now found that China will not attend either.  The UN and climate advocates are blithering about how it doesn’t matter that they are not going to attend the NYC climate talks, don’t kid yourself… IT DOES and they know it.  Call with questions.

 

Frank Maisano

(202) 828-5864

  1. (202) 997-5932

 

IN THE NEWS

 

Giuliani, Segal Headline Shale Law Conference – Former NYC mayor Rudy Giuliani headlined the Institute for Energy Law and the Energy and Mineral Law Foundation’s 5th Law of Shale Plays Conference last week in Pittsburgh.  Giuliani detailed the important role that shale is playing with energy exports and independence in a Keynote Discussion with my Bracewell colleague Scott Segal.   Giuliani urged President Obama to fast-track applications to export natural gas as a means to promote energy production domestically and influence foreign policy.  If exports of liquefied natural gas had been approved five years ago, he said it would give the U.S. another tool to deal with Russia today.  Other speakers included my colleagues Jason Hutt and Lowell Rothschild.  The event will also feature a keynote conversation with former NYC mayor Rudy Giuliani, hosted by PRG’s Scott Segal.

 

From the BP Decision – In case you missed it, there was a decision in the BP Macondo case last week.  I know you all covered it and many of you got into the details with my colleague Jason Hutt last week.   I did see one great line on page 122 that I thought you might find interesting given the work we do:  “The Macondo well was drilled in deepwater, which adds certain complexities not found in shallower waters or onshore. “

 

Diesel Power Evolving to Increase Power, Reduce Emissions – At the Environmental Protection Agency’s 10th annual West Coast Collaborative meeting the Diesel Technology Forum highlighted the evolution of diesel power as workhorse and economic engine through the transformation to near zero emissions with a future focus to help California and the nation meet energy and climate goals.  DTF Executive Director Allen Schaeffer: “Clean diesel is a national success story and for the last 10 years the West Coast Collaborative has played a key role in bringing stakeholders together.  This will form a solid foundation for the future as attention shifts to increasing the penetration of new technology diesel engines and reducing carbon dioxide (C02) along with smog-precursor NOx.  The inherent efficiencies of diesel technology coupled with the use of more renewable fuels and technology advances ensure it a continued key role in the future for California and beyond.”  Schaeffer appeared on a Clean Technologies Panel with Erik White, Chief of the mobile source control division of the California Air Resources Board, and representatives of CALSTART and the California Natural Gas Vehicle Coalition. The Panel was moderated by Dr. Matt Miyasato, deputy executive officer of the South Coast Air Quality Management District.  More than 100 stakeholders attended the Collaborative’ s annual Partner’s Meeting, which was hosted by Environmental Protection Agency Regions 9 and 10. The Collaborative is a public-private partnership between leaders of federal, state and local government, the private sector, academia and environmental groups dedicated to the reduction of diesel emissions and advancing clean air technologies and practices. The Collaborative is part of the National Clean Diesel Campaign.

 

NYT story Focuses on Energy Boom Driving Change in HeartlandThe New York Times continues its focus on energy today with an article by Nelson Schwartz highlighting the new energy production and how it has become “a real game-changer in terms of the U.S. economy.”   The article focuses on Youngstown, Ohio and a rebirth of its once-booming manufacturing sector.  NYT: “The turnaround is part of a transformation spreading across the heartland of the nation, driven by a surge in domestic oil and gas production that is changing the economic calculus for old industries and downtrodden cities alike.”

 

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

 

SoCo CEO Fanning, Moniz to Headline DOE Energy Review Meeting – DOE’s Office of Energy Policy and Systems Analysis will host a public meeting today in Newark, New Jersey to receive stakeholder input to the Quadrennial Energy Review (QER), an administration-wide effort to make recommendations regarding key infrastructure needed for the transmission, storage and distribution of energy.  The Newark meeting will examine electricity transmission, storage and distribution in the eastern electricity interconnection of the U.S. The meeting will include panel discussions on building and operating the appropriate amount of transmission infrastructure for future needs, coping with new challenges and opportunities related to distribution, and business models and regulations of regulated utilities. Following panel discussions, the public will have an opportunity to make statements.   Southern Company CEO Tom fanning will speak, as will PSE&G’s Ralph Izzo and DOE Secretary Ernest Moniz.

 

RTO Auction Set for This Week – PJM is holding its first incremental capacity auction for the 2016/2017 delivery period this week. Results will be released on September 19th.

 

SEIA to Release Solar Market Report –Today at 1:00 p.m., SEIA and GTM Research will hold a webinar covering the highlights of the U.S. Solar Market Insight: Q2 2014 Report.  The U.S. solar industry continued to grow rapidly in Q2 2014, with impressive year over year growth led by a strong performance by both the residential and non-residential PV sectors. The webinar highlights trends in Q2, both 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 Cory Honeyman Solar Analyst, GTM Research and Shawn Rumery of SEIA.

 

House Energy to Host State Officials on GHG Rule – The House Energy panel will hold a hearing tomorrow at 10:00 a.m. to discuss the EPA GHG rules and their impact on states.  The hearing will feature officials from state environmental, utility and legal offices.  Witnesses will include Texas PUC Commissioner Ken Anderson, Montana PSC Commissioner Travis Kavulla, AZ DEQ Director Henry Darwin, Indiana DEM Commissioner, Tom Easterly, RI PUC Commissioner, Paul Roberti, Maryland PSC Commissioner Kelly Speakes-Backman, and Washington state Utilities and Transportation Commission Chair David Danner.

 

Senate Enviro to Hold NRC Nomination Hearing – The Senate Environment Committee will hold a Nomination hearing for Jeff Baran and Stephen Burns to be Commissioners at the Nuclear Regulatory Commission tomorrow at 10:00 a.m. in Dirksen 406.

 

House Transpo Panel to Look at Enviro Reviews – The House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee’s Highways and Transit Subcommittee will hold a hearing tomorrow on surface transportation infrastructure projects focusing on case studies of the Federal Environmental Review and Permitting Process.   Witnesses will Include Carlos Braceras, executive director of the Utah Transportation Department; Lynn Peterson, secretary of the Washington State Transportation Department; Carlos Swonke, director of the Environmental Affairs Division of the Texas Transportation Department; and Michael Kraman, acting CEO of the Transportation Corridor Agencies, testify

 

House Science to Address Bakken Crude Oil Concerns – The House Science Committee will hold a hearing tomorrow at 2:00 p.m. focused on the characteristics of Bakken crude,  The hearing will focus on whether Bakken crude is more volatile than other crudes.  Witnesses will include DOT Pipeline Administrator Tim Butters, and DOE Fossil Dep Assistant Secretary Chris Smith.  A second panel will include Kari Cutting of the North Dakota Petroleum Council, John Auers of Turner, Mason, & Company and Syracuse Fire Department Deputy Chief of Special Operations Mark Zoanetti.

 

Women Energy Leaders to Discussion Issues, Challenges – The WCEE Women in Leadership Committee will hold a forum tomorrow at Clyde’s Gallery Place at Noon to discuss women in Washington Leadership on energy issues.  Panelists will include Tasha Parker, Senior Vice President and Digital Energy Lead at Edelman; Liz Sidoti, Head of U.S. Communications at BP; Elizabeth Thompson, Vice President of US Climate & Political Affairs, and President at Environmental Defense Action Fund; and Heidi VanGenderen, Director of Public Engagement at the U.S. Department of Energy.

 

Forum to Look at Nuclear Proliferation – The Stimson Center will hold a forum on Wednesday at 11:30 a.m. to separate fact from fiction on the proliferation risks posed by nuclear power. The event marks the release of the Nonproliferation Policy Education Center’s latest research publication, “Moving Beyond Pretense:  Nuclear Power and Nuclear Proliferation.”  The panel will include Stimson’s Brian Finlay, Nonproliferation Policy Education Center Executive Director Henry Sokolski,  Georgetown’s Matt Kroenig and Virginia Tech expert Patrick Roberts.

 

Hensarling to Address Govt Overreach – On Wednesday at Noon, Hillsdale College’s Kirby Center in DC will host a conversation with Texas Rep. Jeb Hensarling on government management risks and American prosperity and freedom.  Through an ever-growing, increasingly complex scheme of regulations, unelected and unaccountable agencies in Washington are increasingly turning the free market into a perfectly safe, “risk-free” system that de-incentivizes innovation, dampens the entrepreneurial spirit, and threatens prosperity. Worse, this new system erodes constitutional checks, flouts the constitutional balance of power, and risks our freedom. We need a new direction—a way forward that reignites economic growth by fostering risk-taking and innovation so all Americans have more opportunities to improve their lives.

 

Atlantic to Launch Energy Series in NOLA – On Wednesday, the Atlantic will launch a national event series “Elections,” with the first stop in New Orleans.  The event/series will examine the political, economic, scientific, and social imperatives for crafting future energy policy.  The NOLA event will feature Louisiana Lieutenant Governor Jay Dardenne, NOLA Mayor Mitch Landrieu, Rep. Walt Leger, former Rep Chris John who know is CEO of Louisiana Mid-Continent Oil and Gas Association, Eric Smith of the Tulane Energy Institute and Robert Thomas, Director of the Center for Environmental Communications Loyola University in New Orleans.

 

Webinar to Look at Crude By Rail Issues – Our friends at Stillwater Associates in Cali will hold a webinar on Wednesday at 4:00 p.m. EST to discuss crude by rail issues.  Advances in drilling have brought about an energy boom in the U.S. This boom has led to a dramatic shift in crude oil logistics. To make up for the lack of pipeline capacity, producers have turned to moving crude-by-rail (CBR). In this free webinar, we will discuss the rapid growth of CBR from production in the Mid Continent to refineries on the East, West and Gulf Coasts. Participants will learn about the system of moving crude on train cars, the impact on stakeholders and public safety, and how regulations are evolving to solve the safety issues.  Michael Soares and Megan Boutwell  will speak.

 

Forum to Look at Arctic Climate Through Art – On Wednesday evening, the Atlantic Council will hold an even focused on the hard science of Arctic climate change and different Mediums to express it.   The Atlantic Council’s Young Atlanticist Program will hold a roundtable discussion with prominent artists and scientists to discuss the role of visual arts in communicating Arctic climate change science to the public, and the next generation of scientists.   The discussion will feature an artistic presentation and critique, followed by a moderated discussion. The Arctic Climate Change Emerging Leaders Fellowship (ACCEL) is an initiative of the Atlantic Council and Ecologic Institute. This event is the first in a series of events corresponding with Arctic 101, a transatlantic collaboration between ACCEL Fellows in Washington, DC and Berlin, which informs the next generation about Arctic climate change through innovative media, and encourages young people to develop a broader understanding of Arctic issues. The ACCEL Program is supported by the Allianz Foundation for North America.

 

Green Living Expo Set – The 2014 Green Living DC Expo will be held on Thursday at 3:30 p.m. at the University of the District of Columbia’s Dennard Plaza – Van Ness campus.  New this year, events will be designed to be “Zero Waste,” meaning water bottles will be discouraged, refuse will be recycled, compostable and recycled paper and plastic goods will be used and food waste will be composted, among other environmentally-friendly initiatives.   Nearly 50 exhibitors will be on hand to help attendees discover why DC is steadily becoming the model of a sustainable city. Green businesses, energy-saving devices, green roofs, locally grown food, urban forests, urban biking, and green infrastructure are just a few of the featured topics and services that will be available. Visitors can consult with environmental experts while enjoying demonstrations, live music and local food. The event also includes panel discussions, speaker presentations, and an eco-bike tour around the Van Ness campus and the surrounding communities to highlight leading examples of urban sustainability. Kids aged K-12 will be entertained and educated with interactive displays, games and more provided by exhibitors and UDC’s College of Agriculture, Urban Sustainability and Environmental Sciences.

 

WRI to release Global Shale, Water Report – On Thursday at 4:00 p.m., the World Resources Institute  will hold a special briefing on the report “Global Shale Gas Development: Water Availability and Business Risks.” This analysis, authored by experts from the World Resources Institute, will the first to show how freshwater availability could limit shale oil and gas development in many parts of the world.  Lead author Paul Reig will detail the report’s findings, conduct a tutorial for the interactive web map accompanying the report, and answer questions.

 

FUTURE EVENTS

 

Marshall to Host Curry on Climate Issues – On September 16th, the George Marshall Institute will hold a discussion by noted climatologist Dr. Judith Curry, who will make the case that the climate change problem and its solution have been vastly oversimplified. The key issues to be discussed are evidence reported by the IPCC AR5 weakens the case for human factors dominating climate change in the 20th and early 21st centuries, weaker linkages between anthropogenic climate change and extreme weather, and the importance of natural climate variability and challenges to decision making under deep climate uncertainty.  Arguments are presented that greater openness about scientific uncertainties and ignorance, and more transparency about dissent and disagreement, would provide policymakers with a more complete picture of climate science and its limitations, and ensure that the science community, policymakers, and the public are better equipped to understand, respond and adapt to climate change.

 

Pace Webinar Looks at GHG Rule – On Next Tuesday, September 16th at 1:00 p.m., Pace Global will hold a roundtable discussion on the EPA’s Clean Power Plan as they provide their perspectives on the program and summaries of select analyses performed to date. Many questions have been voiced about this proposed rule. Given the near-term deadline of October 16 for submitting comments to the EPA on the Clean Power Plan on the proposed rule, impacted organizations need to formulate informed positions for federal comment submissions and for discussions with the state stakeholders on implementation planning.

 

Stanford Climate Experts to Address Issues – On September 17th at the Hoover Institute, scientists from the Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment will travel to Washington, D.C., to lead a panel discussion on the findings of their latest work related to climate change impacts and risks.  Topics will include regional “hot spots” where the effects of climate on atmospheric conditions will be most profound and potentially disruptive, water management in the face of increased water scarcity, resiliency challenges and efforts in U.S. cities and urban regions and impacts on global agriculture production and responses.  A question and answer session will follow panelists Noah Diffenbaugh, David Lobell and Buzz Thompson’s remarks.

 

American Energy & Manufacturing Competitiveness Summit  Set –As part of the American Energy and Manufacturing Competitiveness (AEMC) Partnership, the Council of Competitiveness and the Department of Energy Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy will co-host the 2014 AEMC Summit next Wednesday at the Reagan Building in DC.  The event is an annual gathering of preeminent leaders from industry, government, academia, labor, and the national laboratories to address critical national imperatives in manufacturing and energy.  The 2014 AEMC Summit is one of several activities launched through the Department of Energy’s Clean Energy Manufacturing Initiative to achieve the dual goals of  increasing U.S. competitiveness in the production of clean energy products by strategically investing in technologies that leverage American competitive advantages and overcome competitive disadvantages, as well as increasing U.S. manufacturing competitiveness across the board by increasing energy productivity through strategic investment in technologies and practices to enable U.S. manufacturers to increase their competitiveness through energy efficiency, combined heat and power, and taking advantage of low-cost domestic energy sources.

 

Wilson Center to Look at Energy , Security in China, Asia – The Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars will hold a forum on Wednesday, September 17th at 10:30 a.m. on energy and security in China and Asia Pacific. China’s search for expanded, more reliable, and more sustainable sources of energy to fuel its development has become a major driver of China’s foreign relations. Beijing’s recent agreement to purchase Russian natural gas via a new Siberian pipeline and its use of drilling platforms to assert sovereignty claims in the South China Sea demonstrate that energy contracts, exploration and production have become primary goals and tools of Chinese foreign policy. The challenges and opportunities of China’s rise cannot be understood without expert appraisal of its energy needs and strategies – and consideration of alternative policy responses.  Speakers will include expert Amy Myers Jaffe, Mikkal Herberg of UC San Diego, Wilson’s Jan Kalicki, former State Department official David Goldwyn and several others from government and energy industries.

 

Forum to Tackle Energy Exports – Rice University’s Center for Energy Studies will hold a breakfast forum  on Wednesday September 17th looking at regulation, politics and the economics of US energy exports.  Although the U.S. currently ranks as the world’s top producer of crude, policies put in place more than 40 years ago largely prevent that oil from accessing international markets. The national de facto ban on crude oil exports has started to generate interest and attention from Washington – along with a fair share of controversy. WY Sen. John Barrasso will address the issue as will a panel featuring our friend Mike Catanzaro and Rice’s Ken Medlock.

 

Forum to Look at National Labs, National Security Role – The Technology, Policy, and National Security Series, co-sponsored by Sandia National Laboratories and the George Washington University, will hold a forum on Wednesday, September 17th at 5:30 p.m. on the  contribution of the National Laboratory System to U.S. National Security.  Speakers will include Paul Hommert, Director, Sandia National Laboratories, Charles McMillan, Director – Los Alamos National Laboratory, and Adam Schwartz, director of the Ames Lab.

 

Minot Forum to Discuss Nuclear Road Map – The Minot (ND) Area Chamber of Commerce will hold a forum on Thursday September 18th at the Army-Navy Club on strategic nuclear enterprises and the road ahead.  There will be some 14 speakers on the agenda.

 

NYU Forum to Look at Climate Engineering – On Thursday, September 18th  at 1:00 p.m., New York University’s DC campus will host a seminar on Climate engineering (CE).  Also known as geoengineering, CE encompasses a set of proposed ideas that aim to remove greenhouse gases from the atmosphere or to reflect sunlight away from the Earth to counter some of the effects of climate change. In the past decade, CE has garnered prominent attention in scientific and policy circles and environmental discourse in Europe, North America and other regions and countries. In the United States, the National Academy of Sciences is set to present its report on geoengineering by the end of the year. At the international level, the IPCC recently included climate engineering in the summary for policy makers of its working group I and working group III reports in its Fifth Assessment, as well as including extensive sections on the topic in all three of its full working group reports.  Speakers include Wil Burns, of the Washington Climate Geoengineering Consortium and AEI Geoengineering expert Lee Lane, among others.

 

Solar Report to Address Trends – On Thursday, September 18th at 2:00 p.m., the Interstate Renewable Energy Council’s will release its 2014 U.S. Solar Market Trends report answers these questions by providing public data on U.S. solar installations in 2013 by technology, state and solar market sectors. It offers insight on the major factors affecting the solar market, such as photovoltaic prices, strong consumer demand, available financing, renewable portfolio standards in some states, and financial incentives from the federal government, states and utilities. The report includes ranking of Top 10 States in several categories.  Solar Market Trends Report author and IREC Vice President Larry Sherwood will take an in-depth look at PV installations in 2013, including growth trends by sector and state rankings for installations. If you’re involved in the solar industry, or wish to become involved, this webinar will provide valuable information about the rapidly changing solar market in the U.S.

 

Forum to Look at Carbon Accounting, Vehicle Fuels Research – The Environmental and Energy Study Institute (EESI) will hold a briefing on Thursday September 18th at 2:30 p.m. examining recent research regarding the carbon dioxide (CO2) intensity of transportation fuels, such as crude oil and ethanol. The panel will also consider the economic costs and benefits of renewable fuels as a CO2 reduction strategy.

 

Forum to Look at Energy Company Start Ups – Potential Energy DC will host a discussion on Thursday September 18th in McLean to Look at funding opportunities for energy companies. Speakers will provide insight into grants for concepts, demo and post-demo options, and share their perspectives as angels and VCs. Also hear from PEDC’s CFO-in-residence about how to position your company for success.

 

UN Climate Summit Set – The UN will host a climate summit on September 23 in NYC.  The summit will be hosted by the UN secretary general Ban Ki-moon for generating  “political momentum on climate action” ahead of the December climate deal negotiations in Lima, Peru.   President Obama is expected to address the forum.

 

Richardson, Perino, Ridge to Headline Shale Insight Conference – The Marcellus Shale Coalition will hold SHALE INSIGHT 2014 on September 23 – 25 in Pittsburgh focusing on shale development, featuring some of the most prominent industry and government leaders. The event will feature three days of pre-conference workshops, technical and public affairs insight sessions, major keynote addresses, and a dynamic exhibit hall featuring all the major shale players.  Speakers will include former Energy Secretary and NM Governor Bill Richardson, former PA Gov and first Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge, former White House Press Secretary and Fox News Personality Dana Perino, XTO President Randy Cleveland and many more.

 

NY PSC  Chair to Address 100th Energy Breakfast – ICF International holds its 100th Energy Breakfast at the National Press Club on September 24th.  Energy expert Audrey Zibelman will speak.  As Chair of the New York Public Service Commission and former COO of PJM, Zibelman will share the issues involved in trying to gain consensus within the power industry in a time of great flux.   She will address challenges and questions including reliability, rates environmental issues and regulators’ roles.

 

Inglis to Headline  Midwest Energy Conference – The Midwest Energy Policy Conference will be held in St. Louis on September 30th and October 1st.  The event will address the 2014 environmental and energy rulings of the SCOTUS, the path forward following the EPA greenhouse gas 111(d) ruling and what makes successful state energy plan programs relevant and successful in several key focus areas (economic development, education, research, regulations, portfolio mix, biofuels, and more)  The Keynote speaker will be former SC Rep. Bob Inglis.

 

Shale, Coal Exports Conference Set – Law Seminars International will host a forum on October 1st and 2nd in Baltimore.  The event is co-hosted by Bracewell’s Chuck Shoneman and will focus on export policies for coal, oil and natural gas.  B&G’s Scott Segal will also join a panel to discuss the politics of export policies.

 

USEA Forum Set – The US Energy Assn will host its 7th annual Energy Supply Forum at the National Press Club on October 2nd.

 

RESA to Convene 3rd Annual Retail Energy Markets Symposium — The Retail Energy Supply Association’s 2014 Energy Competition Symposium will hold its annual conference in Columbus, Ohio, on Oct. 2, a half-day event exploring the leading issues affecting retail energy competition nationally.  They will also address the future of competitive retail and wholesale energy markets, product innovations for retail customers and improving the shopping experience for consumers.  Distinguished speakers include Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO) Chairman Thomas Johnson, Cheryl Roberto of the Environmental Defense Fund, Kristin Munsch of the Citizens Utility Board, Bruce Weston with the Office of Ohio Consumers’ Counsel, Sam Randazzo of the Industrial Energy Users, Ohio Gas Association President Jimmy Stewart, PUCO Commissioner Asim Haque, EnerNOC’s Katie Guerry, former Illinois Commerce Commission Chairman Philip O’Connor, former PUCO Chairman Todd Snitchler, Clean Power Finance’s Sierra Peterson, and Karen Moury with Buchanan Ingersoll and Rooney.  The symposium will feature a keynote address by Ohio State Senator Bill Seitz, Chairman of the Public Utilities Committee.

 

Shale Water Expo Set – On October 14 and 15, Shale Water Expo 2014 will be held in Houston at the  Stafford Convention Centre.  The event is focused on shale play water management is the only national fluids-specific event for the oil and gas industry.  It will present timely, in-depth insight from industry leaders sharing their expertise on water management, logistics, sourcing, recycling, market forecasting and industry trends.

 

ANGA, Penn State to Host Gas Utilization Conference – Penn State University and ANGA will hold a forum on October  14-15 in Canonsburg, PA at the Hilton Garden Inn.  The conference aims to develop a better understanding of natural gas development issues across the nation and the impact shale plays have on the world energy market.  Top industry experts, government officials and academic researchers will address the major issues driving the natural gas revolution as America moves to expanding its use of natural gas for transportation, manufacturing and power generation.

 

Holmstead to Address EPA Rules at FL Conference – The Florida Chapter of the Air and Waste Management Association will hold a forum at its annual conference in Jacksonville on October 29-30th on the proposed Section 111(d) guidelines for CO2 emissions from existing utility units.  My colleague Jeff Holmstead will address the panel as will out friend Mike Kennedy of Duke Energy.

 

Atlantic, Aspen to Host Washington Ideas Forum – The Atlantic and the Aspen Institute are holding their 6th annual Washington Ideas Forum on October 29-30th in Washington, D.C. to discuss vital issues of our time from politics and the economy to technology and the fabric of our culture. Speakers will include former New York Times Executive Editor Jill Abramson, edX CEO Anant Agarwal, Revolution Founder Steve Case, MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell, House Intelligence Committee Chairman Rep. Mike Rogers (R-MI), The Carlyle Group’s David Rubenstein, Yelp CEO Jeremy Stoppelman, genomic research scientist Craig Venter, and House of Cards Screenwriter Beau Willimon.  Among those moderating the Forum will be Aspen Institute President and CEO Walter Isaacson, The Atlantic’s Editor-in-Chief James Bennet, Washington Editor-at-Large Steve Clemons, Editor Scott Stossel, and National Correspondents Ta-Nehisi Coates and James Fallows.

 

Energy Update Week of May 27

Friends,

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 www.LMOGA.com.

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

IN THE NEWS

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: http://feeds.feedburner.com/TheEnergyGang..  You can also find The Energy Gang on Greentech Media (http://www.greentechmedia.com).

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.

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

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.

FUTURE EVENTS

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 November 4

Friends,

Congrats to the Red Sox for the huge World Series victory last week and fun parade on Saturday.  And also a shout out to the 48,000 runners in yesterday’s ING NYC marathon, which was cancelled last year because of Hurricane Sandy.  Now that the fall sports season (field hockey, soccer and most football, outside playoffs) is now over, this week we launch in the Fall lacrosse season here which will keep us hopping… Each of my kids has two lax tournaments this weekend.  Still wondering how I’m going to get to all those places.

And the same goes for EPA, who has an action-packed week this week with public listening meetings to solicit ideas and input about the best Clean Air Act approaches to reducing carbon pollution from existing power plants.  EPA has a full week starting today in in Lexana, KS and Boston.  Tomorrow, EPA will be in San Francisco, Thursday at EPA HQ in DC, as well as Dallas and Seattle and finally, Chicago and Philadelphia on Friday.  Of course, Boston and Philly were added to this week after their original dates were delayed by the government shutdown.   We have resources that can (and will) be commenting at many of these sites.  Headlining will be my colleague Scott Segal, who takes his 3 minutes at the DC session.

Second major agenda item this week is the energy ministerial meeting in Washington on Carbon Capture and Storage technologies hosted by Energy Secretary Ernie Moniz.  See more specifics below, but expect a significant discussion of the Kemper project in Mississippi and I wouldn’t be surprised if they somehow ended up down there.  For background on Kemper, look here.

In Congress, the House is out until after Veteran’s Day next week, while the Senate is in session and has a hearing tomorrow on methane emissions in Senate Environment featuring EPA and industry experts.

Also tomorrow, voters hit the polls in New Jersey, NYC and Virginia.  Gov. Christie seems to be headed to a solid victory, while the Virginia Governor’s race…  well after being flooded with ads in the DC TV markets for months, let’s just say I can’t wait for tomorrow.  But my enviro friends are excited because former UVa climate scientist Michael Mann is a mainstay of McAuliffe ads.

For you C-SPAN junkies, keep your eyes peeled on Thursday morning at 9:30 when Joe Desmond of BrightSource will be on Washington Journal to discuss solar energy policies as well as some of the exciting projects reaching the finish line, including BSE’s Ivanpah project.

Finally, keep on the lookout for decisions on Keystone and the RFS, both of which should see action before the end of the year and as soon as next week.  As well, in advance of upcoming UN Climate meetings which start next week in Poland, continue to look for the type of news/advocacy banter on climate issues like yesterday’s IPCC “leak”, which seems to seems to show “widespread and consequential” impacts.  Of course there is much more to the story that often gets left in the footnotes according to my friend and respected science writer Andy Revkin.  Moral of Story:  Just don’t believe most of the stuff you hear about climate change as we get close to a UN meeting.  BTW, Poland gets 88% of Its electricity from coal, nearly 2/3 of it from Russia.  Call with questions.

 

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

 

IN THE NEWS

Coal Ash Decision Tells EPA to Set Date for Decision – A Federal district court ruled late last week that EPA has 60 days to propose a deadline for finishing its long-suffering coal ash rules.  EPA has to submit a proposed schedule to review and revise Resource Conservation and Recovery Act Subtitle D regulations on coal ash, along with a legal justification.  Environmentalists and public health groups that sued the agency over its delay in finishing a rule proposed in 2010.  The rule has been stuck in limbo because of the sticky wicket that regulating coal ash would cause among the many consumer and industrial re-uses and the legal morass that changing its status could cause.  My colleague Lisa Jaeger, a former EPA GC, says this is a split decision though and that it will be likely be a focus of attention in the future

GSA Offers Path for SFI-Certified Wood in Federal Construction – Late last week, the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) issued a recommendation to the U.S. Department of Energy that federal agencies have the option to use either the U.S. Green Building Council’s (USGBC) Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) rating tools or Green Building Initiative’s Green Globes when choosing a third-party green building certification system.  The recommendation is a very positive outcome, putting Green Globes on par with LEED in federal use of green building rating systems. GSA policy for many years had been to use only LEED, which awards its certified wood credit only for products certified to the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC). Green Globes, on the other hand, recognizes Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI), American Tree Farm System (ATFS), Canadian Sustainable Forest Management Standard (CSA), Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC), and FSC standards in awarding points for certified wood. This opens the door to greater use of SFI-certified wood in federal building construction and renovation.  SFI supports policies that expand adoption of green building and consider use of other globally accepted, credible certification standards like SFI. This GSA announcement was triggered by a requirement in the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 that GSA issue a recommendation to DOE every five years on how the federal government can best use certification systems to measure the design and performance of the federal government’s construction and major renovation projects.

EIA: Drilling Efficiency Key Driver of Oil, NatGas – I have seen this chart before, but EIA just released a new one that I thought would be valuable.  The Drilling Productivity Report (DPR) analyzes drilling efficiency using the average number of wells a rig can drill over a period of time as well as a measure of how productive each new well is expected to be. (See Charts)  Increases in drilling efficiency have contributed to the breakdown of traditional methods that seek to estimate oil and natural gas production based principally on rig counts.   The DPR focuses on the expected values for all rigs and wells in a play allows for a useful and relevant analysis of how the rig count seen today contributes to the overall change in oil and natural gas production.  EIA estimates drilling efficiency (the number of wells drilled per rig each month) by tracking the number of rigs in a play as well as the number of new wells started each month. Using an appropriate lag for each region based on changes in the rig count relative to changes in new-well counts, this measure of drilling efficiency can be used to estimate how many new wells were started and should start producing in the coming months.

Deepwater Focuses on Completing RI Project – In what will likely be the first offshore wind project to complete construction, Deepwater Wind CEO Jeff Grybowski says the offshore wind developer has moved well beyond the early stages of development and is now squarely focusing on completing the 30 MW Block Island Wind Farm, located off the coast of Block Island, R.I.  He says construction activities will begin in late 2014, beginning with the “transmission piece of the project,” which includes a 21-mile, medium-voltage submarine cable connecting the offshore wind farm to the mainland. Although details have yet to be finalized, Deepwater says the subcable will make landfall in Narragansett, R.I.  The jacket foundations will begin arriving in spring 2015, with Siemens delivering five 6 MW direct-drive turbines that summer, with grid completion expected in the fall. That time frame would make Deepwater’s Block Island Wind Farm among the first, if not the first, offshore wind farm in the U.S.   National Grid has agreed to buy the project’s output, making Deepwater one of two U.S. offshore wind developers to secure a power purchase agreement.

 

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

EPA GHG Listening Sessions– EPA continues its 11 public listening sessions across the country this week with meetings everyday, starting today in in Lexana, KS and Boston.  Tomorrow, EPA will be in San Francisco, Thursday in DC, Dallas and Seattle and finally, Chicago and Philadelphia on Friday.  For more information on these sessions and to register online, go to EPA’s Site.

World Energy Ministers to Meet on Carbon Capture, Storage – Energy ministers from 22 nations and the European Commission are expected to attend the Carbon Sequestration Leadership Forum’s (CSLF) Fifth Ministerial Meeting in Washington, D.C., today through Thursday at the Four Seasons Hotel.  This 5th Ministerial Conference, coinciding with the 10th anniversary of the founding of the CSLF,  will reaffirm that carbon capture and storage (CCS) is a critically important low-carbon technology with application beyond coal power generation, and will call upon CSLF Ministers to support more coordinated near-term global actions to further develop and deploy CCS.  The Ministerial Meeting provides an opportunity for decision-makers from industry and governments to discuss the key challenges facing CCS and to agree on a strategy and action plan for closer collaboration on the commercialization of CCS technology.  The Ministerial meeting on Thursday will include keynote addresses from the International Energy Agency on future energy use and greenhouse gas emissions, and the state of the CCS industry by the Global CCS Institute.  The highlight will be a CEO roundtable, where industrial participants in major CCS projects around the world will discuss their experiences. U.S. Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz will attend and be conferring with energy ministers from the other CSLF member countries.

Panel to Discussion Geoengineering – From 1:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. today, the Civil Society Meeting on Geoengineering will convene a half-day of moderated discussion on the fast evolving topic of geoengineering. This invite-only meeting will be open to a range of civil society actors in Washington, DC. The goal is to prompt an open conversation that fosters a broad and ongoing dialogue about this important emerging issue. AU and JHU are sponsors and will host at JHU’s SAIS Nitze building.  Joe Romm and our friend Kate Sheppard will sit on a panel with Wil Burns of JHU and Simon Nicholson Of AU.

Eni CEO to Address Impacts of Energy Revolution – Johns Hopkins University will hold a forum today at 5:30 p.m. featuring Paolo Scaroni, CEO of the Italian multinational oil and gas company Eni.  Scaroni will focus on geopolitical impacts of the new energy issues in countries around the world.

Senate Energy Panel to Look at Methane for Oil, Gas Operations – The Senate Environment Committee panel on Oversight will hold a hearing tomorrow at 2:30 p.m. on fugitive methane emissions from oil and gas operations.  Witnesses will include EPA’s Sarah Durham, UT-Austin’s David Allen, Texas A&M’s Daniel Hill, Southwestern Energy‘s Mark Boling, Devon’s Darren Smith and NRDC’s  Vignesh Gowrishankar.

JHU to host NRDC Expert on Social Cost of Carbon Change – JHU will also host NRDC’s Laurie Johnson for a forum next Tuesday at Noon looking at the social costs of carbon and President Obama’s Climate Action Plan.  The event will be an enviro group’s focus a new study of metrics for quantifying the social costs of carbon and the implications for policymaking.  Johnson will discuss her new article in the Journal of Environmental Studies and Sciences, “The social cost of carbon: implications for modernizing our electricity system,” covering the results in the paper and how they relate to the President’s Climate Action Plan.

CSIS to Hold Global Security Forum – The Center for Strategic and International Studies will host a Global Security Forum 2013 tomorrow at 1:15 p.m. looking at energy and geopolitics.  Speakers will Include Ivan Sandrea of Ernst and Young London, ARC Financial Corp Chief Energy Economist & Managing Director Peter Tertzakian and J. Robinson West of IHS-Energy Insight.

WCEE to Host Canadian Minister – The Women’s Council on Energy and the Environment (WCEE) will continue it Brown-Bag Luncheon Series will a forum tomorrow at Noon featuring Sheila Riordan, Minister Political from the Canadian Embassy in Washington DC. Ms. Riordan will provide an overview of Canada’s current energy agenda and also discuss opportunities and challenges for US-Canada energy coordination.   Prior to her assignment at the Canadian Embassy, she served as Director General of Canada’s Energy, Climate and Circumpolar Affairs Bureau and was also Canada’s Senior Arctic Official in the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade. She has also held positions with Canada’s Departments of Finance, Natural Resources, Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada.  The event will be at Exelon at 101 Constitution Ave.

AU Forum to Look at Energy, Enviro Health – The American University Washington College of Law will hold a symposium on Wednesday that will explore the balance between effectively meeting the demands of a growing population and the importance of promoting sustainable and environmentally compatible measures to protect the health of future generations.  The first panel (9:30 – 10:30 am) is entitled “Big Energy: Costs and Benefits of Hydraulic Fracking.” It will be moderated by our friend Amanda Leiter.

Groups to Open E85 Flex Fuel Station – The Greater Washington Region Clean Cities Coalition, Maryland Clean Cities Coalition, and Mid-Atlantic Petroleum Properties, LLC will hold the Grand Opening of W Express’s Potomac Sunoco’s 11th Flex Fuel (E85) Station Wednesday at 10:00 a.m.  Festivities will begin with a press event, speakers, and ribbon-cutting, followed by a retailer educational question and answer session. This exciting and well-publicized event will feature E85 fuel-fuel sold to drivers of FlexFuel vehicles at a reduced price on November 6. Invited speakers include several senior level Federal and State officials. Moderated by the Maryland Energy Administration’s Abby Hopper, invited speakers include representatives from the Maryland Department of Agriculture, the state Assembly, the Montgomery County Council, and other Government and Industry Officials.  MAPP, as the distributor of E85, has partnered with the Maryland Clean Cities Program; GWRCCC; Maryland Grain Producers Utilization Board; FlexFuel Awareness Campaign; Growth Energy; Sustainable Energy Strategies, Inc.; the Clean Fuels Development Coalition; Protec Fuels; and local auto dealers to celebrate the opening of this station.

RESCHEDULED: Senate Energy to Look Columbia River Treaty – On Thursday, the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee will hold a hearing on recommendations for the Columbia River Treaty.  The hearing, originally rescheduled because of the government shutdown, will be held at 9:30 a.m. and webcast live on the committee’s website.

CSIS to Host IEA Energy Efficiency Expert – The CSIS Energy and National Security Program will host a forum on Thursday featuring Phillipe Benoit, Head of the Energy Efficiency and Environment Division at the IEA.  Benoit will discuss the IEA’s recently released inaugural Energy Efficiency Market Report 2013. The report provides a practical basis for understanding energy efficiency market activities, a review of the methodological and practical challenges associated with measuring the market and its components, and statistical analysis of energy efficiency and its impact on energy demand. It also highlights a specific technology sector in which there is significant energy efficiency market activity, in this instance appliances and ICT.  The energy efficiency market is diffuse, varied and involves all energy-consuming sectors of the economy. A comprehensive overview of market activity is complicated by the challenges associated with quantifying the components of the market and the paucity of comparable reported data. This report underscores how vital high-quality and timely energy efficiency data is to understanding this market. Guy Caruso, Senior Adviser with the CSIS Energy and National Security Program, will moderate.

GU Forum to Look at Hydropower Impacts – Georgetown University will host a seminar on Thursday on campus in the Reiss Science Building, Room 112, looking at fish, hydropower, the Columbia, and The Mekong’ with guest speaker Mark Giordano, PhD from STIA, School of Foreign Service, Georgetown University.   GU Professor Anne Rosenwald hosts the event.

Webinar to Look at Solar Integration – DOE will host a Webinar on Thursday at 1:00 p.m. on a new initiative on grid integration for solar power.  Grid integration is fast becoming one of the most critical areas of focus for the continued development of the U.S. solar market.  The industry, including SEIA, has been active in overcoming barriers to grid integration for years, but the issues are becoming increasingly complex as additional capacity is added to the grid at the utility scale, wholesale distributed generation, rooftop, commercial, and utility scales. This webinar will focus on the policy and technical issues that present both challenges and opportunities for solar as it plays an increasingly important role for utilities and distributed solar users alike. Kevin Lynn, who heads the new crosscutting DOE energy systems integration effort of the U.S. Department of Energy to identify and address these issues, how the government plans to work with industry and the public on resolving them, and what the path forward looks like.  SEIA’s Tom Kimbis also participates as well.

Forum to Discuss Russia, NatGas – On Thursday at 4:30 p.m., Johns Hopkins University’s Bernard L. Schwartz Globalization Initiative will host Rawi Abdelal, the Herbert F. Johnson Professor of International Management at Harvard Business School.  Abdelal will discuss Russia, Europe and the gas revolution, looking at firms and geopolitics in the age of shale.

FUTURE EVENTS 

UN Climate Meetings Set for Next Week – The 19th session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 19) for the UN Climate negotiations will be held from November 11 – 22 2013 in Warsaw, Poland.

Local Solar Conference Set – MDV-SEIA will hold its 7th annual Solar Focus Conference on Monday-Tuesday, November 11-12th at the Marriott at Metro Center.  To mark the milestone, they will have an exciting lineup of speakers and panels.  This year’s theme is “The Sun Rises in the East: The Growth of East Coast Distributed Solar.” It will highlight the unprecedented, exponential growth of distributed solar in markets such as Connecticut, D.C., Georgia, Maryland, Massachusetts, New York, North Carolina, and Rhode Island. The event begins with a Kickoff Reception, Opening Dinner, and Keynote Address and then leads into a full day of educational panels on the 12th.  Panels will cover the federal policy outlook and federal opportunities, state by state market opportunities, solutions for managing SREC volatility, energy storage & its potential to transform the solar sector, tax equity, overcoming development barriers in Maryland and D.C., and many others.

USEA to Host Afghan Power Execs – On Tuesday, November 12th at 2:00 p.m., the United States Energy Association will host representatives from Afghanistan’s national power utility and respective government ministries to present on the status of the Afghanistan power sector. The delegation includes senior executives from  Da Afghanistan Breshna Sherkat (DABS) and the Ministries of Economy, Finance, Energy and Water, and Mines and Petroleum.

Manchin to Headline NJ Innovation ForumNational Journal LIVE will host a forum on innovation, technology and our energy future on Wednesday, November 13th at 8:00 a.m.  in the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center’s Pavilion Room.  Recent energy debates in Washington have focused mostly on government policies, including climate and clean energy standards, that could help increase the use of American resources, shift to cleaner sources of energy and help reduce air emissions.  Buried in these debates is the importance of research and development of new energy technologies for both fossil fuels and renewables.  National Journal will explore the importance of R&D in America’s new energy landscape and what the right role for the federal government will be to trigger new energy technologies.  Our friend Amy Harder moderates a panel featuring Sen. Joe Manchin, BPC expert Margot Anderson and Janet Peace of the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions.

Cadillac, WAPA to Hold Ride/Drive – The Washington Auto  Press Assn (WAPA) will hold the November luncheon for a luncheon Cadillac and its luxury brand’s sedans at the  Mandarin Oriental in Washington D.C. Wednesday, November 13th at 11:00 a.m.  Drives available starting at 11:00am, followed by lunch at 12:00pm and more driving.  Vurpillat, Cadillac’s Global Director of Marketing will discuss the CTS (including Vsport), XTS (including Vsport) and the award-winning ATS.   Under Vurpillat, Cadillac has successfully launched a number of new vehicles in the past eight years starting with the CTS and SRX, and now the new XTS luxury sedan and ATS luxury sports sedan. In addition to his work in the U.S., Jim is focused on Cadillac’s growth emerging markets like China, Russia and the Middle East. Prior to his current role, Jim held a number of positions at General Motors ranging from managing major brand partnerships and sponsorships; to advertising campaigns; to market research.

RFF Paper to Discuss Shale Revolution –Resources for The Future (RFF) will hold its November First Wednesday Seminar on November 13th at 3:45 p.m. to discuss shale gas.  The Shale revolution in the United States has dropped the price of natural gas significantly. Combined with new fuel and vehicle technologies, an opportunity exists to expand the use of natural gas throughout the economy, including in the light-duty fleet of cars and trucks. This expansion could involve the direct combustion of the gas in the form of compressed natural gas or liquid petroleum gas or, alternatively, the use of natural gas–based liquid fuels such as ethanol or methanol. In a new paper, “Cheaper Fuels for the Light Duty Fleet: Opportunities and Barriers,” RFF researchers Arthur Fraas, Winston Harrington, and Richard Morgenstern examine the potential economic, environmental, and national security gains from replacing a portion of the gasoline used in the domestic light-duty fleet with these various natural gas–based fuels. They also look at the regulatory barriers to the expanded use of the fuels.  At the event, the research team shares key findings, including how using these fuels could yield fuel cost savings relative to conventional gasoline—along with gains to national security and, possibly, some environmental benefits. Panelists will also comment on the costs and benefits of these fuels, as well as regulatory and political challenges to their broader adoption.

Lindzen to Discuss Science at Forum – The Cato Institute will hold a forum on science progress on Wednesday November 13 at 4:00 p.m. featuring Richard S. Lindzen, Emeritus Sloan Professor of Meteorology at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.  The discussion will be moderated by Patrick Michaels, Director, Center for the Study of Science at Cato.  For many fields of science, there is little doubt that the period 1830-1965 was a golden age. There is also little doubt that changes in the support structure for science since the late 60’s have powerful elements that serve to inhibit major developments. Dr. Lindzen will discuss these changes from the personal perspective of a climate scientist, and place them in the historical perspective of other areas of study.

Forum to Look at Shale, Asia – Asian Americans in Energy, the Environment and Commerce (AE2C) will host a roundtable discussion on Wednesday November 13th to look at growing abundance of domestic shale gas and Its impacts on Asia. This opportunity presents new questions for policymakers, business leaders, and citizens such as the cost and business factors that make U.S. LNG competitive in global markets and the potential geostrategic consequences of this resource for the economies and countries across Asia.  Bill Loveless, Editorial Director for U.S. Energy Policy at Platts and host of Platts Energy Week TV will moderate the panel including Dominion’s Bill Allen, Jane Nakano of CSIS, API’s Robin Rorick and Kate Williams of Senator Lisa Murkowski’s office.

CSIS to Look at Energy Picture – The Center for Strategic and International Studies Energy and National Security Program will host a discussion on Thursday, November 14th at 1:30 p.m. looking at the changing North American energy markets and implications for policies and regulations. North American oil and gas production is growing at rates unforeseen a decade ago. With this new production comes the realization the traditional framework of energy scarcity no longer applies. Are the current policies flexible enough to manage these new energy dynamics? How do policymakers, regulators, and industry manage the new circumstances to safely and prudently allow for the continued development of these resources? Frank Verrastro and David Manning of the Government of Alberta will present.

NRC to Take Comment on Waste – On Thursday, November 14th at 2:00 p.m., NRC will provide an opportunity for interested parties to provide comments on the Waste Confidence Draft Generic Environmental Impact Statement and proposed rule.

NARUC Set for Orlando – The 125th annual NARUC meeting will be held in Orlando, Florida at the Hilton Bonnet Creek, November 17th through 20th.  Speakers include NIST Director Patrick Gallagher, FCC Chair Mignon Clyburn and AWEA Tom Kiernan, among many others. On Tuesday, there will be a discussion of the bad actors who wish to cause harm to our regulated utility system from Kyle Wilhoit, Threat Researcher with Trend Micro. And on Wednesday morning a number of State commissioners and consumer advocates will discuss the about the future of utility regulation.  Throughout the week, there will be numerous concurrent sessions on issues like rebuilding the water infrastructure after emergencies, methane emissions from gas production, energy market oversight, and much more. On the day prior to the conference, the FERC-NARUC Forum Reliability and the Environment will feature EPA Acting Assistant Administrator Janet McCabe and North American Electric Reliability Corporation President and CEO Gerry Cauley.

BPC, NARUC to Hold 2nd Clean Air Act Workshop – On December 6th, BPC’s Energy Project – along with the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC) – will host the second workshop on section 111(d), which will focus on the use of economic modeling to understand the potential impacts of GHG power plant regulation.  Stay tuned for more details in the coming days on the BPC/NARUC websites.

Court to Hear Mercury Cases in December – The U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit has scheduled oral arguments on December 10th on two consolidated cases concerning EPA’s Mercury and Air Toxics Standards for power plants.  Both rules were finalized in 2012.  The Oral arguments for both White Stallion Energy Center LLC v. EPA and Utility Air Regulatory Group v. EPA will be held at 9:30 a.m. in DC before Chief Judge Merrick Garland and Circuit Judges Judith Rogers and Brett Kavanaugh.

 

Energy Update Week of September 17

Friends,

L’Shana Tova…Yesterday at sundown, Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year 5773, began. It is the first of the High Holy Days.  Since my wife is Jewish and my kids are half, I took off half the day and atoned for half of my sins (of course, half of zero, is zero).  I’ll get the rest at confession, if there are any.  

I can’t believe I forgot mention this last week, but I hope somebody managed to get to the Bruce Springsteen show at Nationals Park on Friday night.  Through the grapevine, I heard the show was most excellent.  Of course, I was teetering between my DeMatha/Loyola football game that I was officiating (a 47-0 blowout for the Stags) and my son’s Crofton 12U game, of which I caught the 4th quarter thanks to the running clock in my game.  Either way, I wasn’t able to see The Boss so I’m relying on your updates. 

With the passage of the CR to get past election day in the House, it now looks as if the Senate will act on the legislation to close out the pre-election session with a whimper.   As I mentioned to many of you last week, it is increasingly unlikely that the Senate will take up tax extenders package, which includes the wind production tax credit. House Republicans made it clear they’re not considering any tax extenders package until after the election.  It is funny how the “divided” Congress can come together in order to get home to run for re-election.  The House did manage to squeeze in the No More Solyndras Act Friday thank Goodness… and it looks as if the legislation is working already, before Harry Reid has even rejected it.  Several current loan guarantee projects like some I know (hmmmm can you guess?) are actually successful: employing workers, getting ready to generate clean energy and soon then returning money to the taxpayer.  Can’t wait for Wednesday while they ping-pong final action on the CR:  that’s when the House will likely vote on the Stop the War on Coal Act.  Pretty sure you can guess where that one is going and also pretty sure Reid will rush that one through as well. 

There are lots of events this week so look below for a full listing.  As for the future, GRID WEEK hits and CSIS looks at offshore drilling in the first week of October, AWEA hosts its Offshore Wind Conference in VA Beach the following week and then the Society of Enviro Journalists meet in Lubbock at Texas Tech in the 3rd week of October.  All those events, plus Halloween, football weekends, field hockey, fall lacrosse…and all of a sudden, its Election Day. 

Finally, after a couple of setbacks, the National Zoo looks like has a winner with a new panda cub, setting off panda-monium (I know I’m not the first on to use that term) in DC, threatening to derail the Romney campaign (oh, Stuart Stevens already did that) and the President’s Jobs recovery (which still seems to be missing despite all the rosy advertisements and talking-point spouting surrogates).

We’ll be tracking it all…  50 days to the election.  Call with questions.

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

IN THE NEWS

Holmstead Hits Platts Energy Week on Campaign Energy Segment – Continuing his torrid pace on energy TV, Bracewell expert and former EPA Air Administrator Jeff Holmstead was featured on Sunday’s Platts Energy Week, an independent all energy news and talk program aired weekly in Washington D.C., and Houston that reaches industry executives, lawmakers, policymakers, traders and investors, regulators and other stakeholders in energy.  Holmstead and EDF’s Elgie Holstein, energy adviser for the Obama campaign, discussed each candidates energy policy.

House Approves No More Solyndras – The House approved the ‘No More Solyndras Act’ in a 245-161 largely party-line vote. The legislation is the culmination of a yearlong investigation launched by House Republicans on the House Energy and Commerce Committee.  While they have finished, the House Oversight Committee keeps moving forward with its investigation.  Of course, as stated above, there is no chance anything will happen on this in the Senate.  

OMB Looks at Sequestration Impacts – The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) released its report on the effects of sequestration on Friday and it isn’t going to be pretty.  Overall, the cuts will have dramatic impacts on many programs.  For energy and environment, the cuts will be difficult, but not as bad compared to some others.  The report was both a political and accounting document,  so it should be viewed through both lenses.  However, it provides specific details of how the Administration would cuts every budget category to satisfy the Sequestration Transparency Act of 2012 (STA).  Specifically on energy and environment, EPA sees 8.2% cuts (total amount of cuts).  Some details include State and Tribal assistance grants ($293 million), science and technology spending ($65 million), environmental programs and management ($200 million, $44 million is exempt), buildings and facilities ($3 million), the Office of Inspector General ($3 million, $11 million is exempt), pesticide registration fund ($1 million), spending by the hazardous substance superfund ($119 million, $10 million is exempt), leaking underground storage tank trust fund ($9 million), inland oil spill programs ($1 million, $41 million is exempt).  One thing that is entirely exempt: payment to hazardous substance superfund payments, working capital fund.  The DOE also sees 8.2% cuts (total amount of cuts).  They are in the Title 17 innovative technology loan guarantee program ($3 million), FERC ($24 million), fossil energy research and development ($44 million, $8 million is exempt), EIA ($9 million), SPR ($16 million), electricity delivery and energy reliability ($11 million from nondefense, $2 million from defense), nuclear energy ($63 million), energy efficiency and renewable energy ($148 million, $276 million is exempt). 

GAO: DOE Nuke Report Costs Increase – A new GAO report Friday afternoon says DOE has increased its estimate for how much the federal government will owe for future nuclear waste liabilities by 24%.  Taxpayers have already paid $1.6 billion to utilities because the federal government failed to begin collecting commercial nuclear waste in 1998, but new estimate says that another $19.1 billion — up from $15.4 billion — will be paid by 2020. GAO also expects that the amount of stranded nuclear waste will double to 140,000 metric tons without a solution to store the waste.    Last week, nuclear industry officials told Congress that new legislation requires a more comprehensive framework to successfully fix the federal government’s moribund program for managing used nuclear fuel.  As well, our friends at NARUC have been bitter about this issue and can happily address it.

Marshall Institute Report Looks at Climate, National Security – The George C. Marshall Institute releases a new report today discussing the linkage between anthropogenic climate change and U.S. national security.  Driven by dire predictions derived from the reports of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, concerns about the impacts of anticipated climatic changes have burst onto the national security agenda. Climate and National Security: Exploring the Connection considers the evidence for the assertion that changing environmental conditions brought on by human emissions of greenhouse gases will negatively impact U.S. national security.   In summary, efforts to link climate change to the deterioration of U.S. national security rely on improbable scenarios, imprecise and speculative methods, and scant empirical support. Accepting the connection can lead to the dangerous expansion of U.S. security concerns, inappropriately applied resources, and diversion of attention from more effective responses to known environmental challenges. The danger of this approach is that it offers a sense of urgency which may not be warranted, given the gaps in the current state of knowledge about climate, the known flaws in the methods used to construct the scenarios on which these security scenarios are based, and confusion over the underlying causes of those security concerns.

THIS WEEK’S GOINGS ON

LeVine to Speak at GWU Group – Our Friend Steve LeVine of the New America Foundation, Contributing Editor at Foreign Affairs and Author of “The Oil and the Glory” will speak at George Washington University tonight at 6:00 p.m. in Lindner Family Commons, Room 602 on the geopolitics of energy.  Looking at geopolitics through the lens of energy, author Steve LeVine will offer insight on the shifts in geopolitical power in the 21st century as it relates to previously untapped sources of existing fossil fuels, advancements in new energy technology, and the countries and corporations competing to dominate these markets.

Maryland to Hold Clean Energy Summit – Maryland will hold its 2012 Clean Energy Summit tomorrow and Wednesday at The BWI Airport Marriott.   The program over the two day conference covers our theme topic from the perspective of big corporate giants to small star- up ventures. Speakers from within and outside of the state bring best practice models and present case studies to more broadly inform Maryland energy industry stakeholders.  The list of speakers includes MD Comptroller Peter Franchot, O’Malley Energy Advisor Abby Hopper and White House Energy advisor Dan Utech, among many others.

Carper, Svinicki Headline CSIS/BPC Nuke Forum – The Bipartisan Policy Center and the Center for Strategic and International Studies will hold an expert discussion of the key challenges facing nuclear power in the United States tomorrow morning starting at 8:30 am at CSIS.  The forum will also discuss policy options to maintain U.S. global leadership in nuclear energy. During the past year, CSIS, the Bipartisan Policy Center, and Third Way have each undertaken bipartisan studies of nuclear energy policy. This event will highlight the recommendations of the Third Way and Idaho National Lab New Millennium Nuclear Energy Partnership, discuss the findings of the BPC Nuclear Initiative, and explore the ongoing work of the CSIS Commission on Nuclear Energy Policy.  Speakers for the event include NRC Commissioner Kristine Svinicki and Sen. Tom Carper.  Others include Blue Ribbon Commission Co-Chair Brent Scowcroft, NEI President Marvin Fertel, Idaho Nation Lab Director John Grossenbacher, former DOE nuclear official Pete Miller and former Constellation Nuclear CEO Mike Wallace.

NASA Head to Talk Future of Space – NASA Director Charles Bolden will address the World Affairs Council tomorrow at Noon at the National Press Cub’s Holman Lounge to discuss the future of US space exploration and international cooperation surrounding it.  Brian Kelly, editor of U.S. News and World Reports, will moderate the discussion and questions following Bolden’s presentation.

Forum to Look at Cybersecurity Issues – NDN is hosting a panel discussion with the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners tomorrow to look at how to develop a cybersecurity expertise that both protects our national security and provides reliable electric service.  In today’s world, the electric power industry is increasingly incorporating information technology (IT) systems and networks into its existing infrastructure. These IT systems need to be  implemented securely or our electric grid  could be extremely vulnerable to attacks which could jeopardize our national security. Miles Keogh, Director of Grants and Research for NARUC and  author of the recently released report, ‘Cybersecurity for State Regulators’ will lead the discussion.  This panel on the national grid and cybersecurity is the 13th in our “Clean Energy Solution Series” to showcase the leaders, companies, ideas and policies who are hastening our transition to a cleaner, safer and more distributed energy paradigm of the 21st Century.

Gerard, Dorgan, Davenport to Look at Energy Independence – The Week Magazine will present a forum on Wednesday at 12:30 p.m. at Acadiana Restaurant on  what energy independence would mean and what it would take.  The event will feature API head Jack Gerard, former ND Sen. Byron Dorgan (now co-chair of BPC’s Energy Project), John Lyman of the Atlantic Council and our friend Coral Davenport of National Journal.  West Wing Report founder and columnist for TheWeek.com Paul Brandus will moderate.

UCS to Look at Access to Government Science Data – The Union of Concerned Scientists’ Center for Science and Democracy will hold a forum series tomorrow at 2:00 p.m. focused on barriers to citizen access to governmental scientific information—such as data about air quality around Ground Zero, the location of coal ash dumps, or the prevalence of toxic chemicals in the FEMA trailers provided to Hurricane Katrina victims. To kick off the series, UCS will host a webinar to highlight the consequences of inadequate information and recent attempts to restrict access.

Bracewell to Hold Texas Air Discussion – Bracewell & Giuliani’s environmental team will hold a morning briefing in the Houston office’s conference center Wednesday at 8:30 a.m. to address a number of issues that face industrial project developers.  B&G experts Jeff Holmstead, Rich Alonso, John Riley Tim Wilkins and Chris Thiele will all provide expertise on topics from TCEQ permits to national GHG issues. 

EPA to look at CA Clean Vehicle Program – EPA is holding a hearing Wednesday at 9:00 a.m. in Washington, DC on the state of California’s request to proceed with the latest iteration of its landmark advanced clean-car program.  According to my alter-ego, CleanAirFrank (which I often to refer to myself as nowadays) O’Donnell, the hearing should be pretty much a formality.  Health and environmental groups will turn out to support California’s request, while auto dealers will protest.

RFF Seminar Look at Forest Health – At its October First Wednesday Seminar on October 3, Resources for the Future will look at the Forest Health Initiative (FHI)—a broad endeavor sponsored by the US Endowment for Forestry and Communities, the US Forest Service, and Duke Energy to explore new tools to address forest health challenges in the 21st century.  Does modern biotechnology have a role to play in forest health? Are there situations for which genetic modification should be considered to protect US forests? These and related questions will be highlighted at this seminar, where panelists will consider forests and the FHI, as it seeks to determine whether biotechnology could be used to address forest health issues related to climate change, insects, and diseases. The goal of the three-year initiative, which culminates at the end of this year, is to develop a plantable tree, resistant to blight, that is socially acceptable, economically feasible, and meets regulatory muster. A diverse group of scientists, environmentalists, policymakers, professional organizations, social groups, and industry have participated in the process.  RFF expert Roger Sedjo will moderate a panel of experts that includes Institute of Forest Biotechnology President Adam Costanza, Carlton Owen of the US Endowment for Forestry and Communities and US Forest Service R&D Deputy Chief Jim Reaves.

Forum to Look at Renewables in Indonesia – The US-ASEAN Business Council will host a briefing and roundtable discussion on Wednesday at 10:00 a.m. at Citi’s DC offices on renewable energy opportunities in Indonesia.  Officials from the U.S. Embassy Jakarta, USAID, MCC, USTDA, and DOE will brief companies, take questions, and engage in discussion on the market opportunities, policy developments, and challenges in Indonesia’s renewable energy sector today, as well U.S. government investments in the sector which may create commercial opportunities for your company.

EPA to Host Webinar on Renewable Energy Procurement – EPA’s Green Power Partnership (GPP) will host a webinar on Wednesday addressing barriers to renewable energy procurement. The use of clean energy is a key component of many organizations’ sustainability goals. However, the process of procuring clean energy at a meaningful scale has proven to be difficult for corporations.  This webinar will examine some of the common challenges including market access, deal terms, and risk management requirements that companies have encountered when trying to source clean energy for facilities or power portfolios, and present solutions that Fortune 100® companies have followed to overcome these barriers in a meaningful and cost effective way.  Speakers include EPA’s Green Power Partnership Program Director Blaine Collison and Charles Esdaile and Chris Hayes, Co-Founders and Managing Partners at Altenex.

DOE’s Hoffman to Headline Energy Breakfast – ICF International continues its Energy and Environment Breakfast Series on Thursday at 8:00 a.m. with Pat Hoffman, one of the most senior officials at the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE),   Hoffman will discuss the energy world to come—and what it will take to get there, as well as the prominent role DOE is playing in fostering a cleaner energy future and in meeting long-term energy challenges and near-term energy needs.

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 Thursday and Friday 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.

Groups Launch New Climate Report – On the occasion of the 42nd Annual Legislative Conference of the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation, the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies, the Commission to Engage African Americans on Climate Change, and Ecotrust will host a panel discussion on Thursday at 3:00 p.m. The event will also launch a new report: Cooling the Planet, Clearing the Air: Should Climate Policies Give Extra Credit for Maximizing Short-term Health Benefits? It will be presented by its authors, James Boyce, Ph.D. of the University of Massachusetts Amherst and Manuel Pastor, Ph.D. of the University of Southern California. Opening remarks will be given by special guest South Carolina Rep. James Clyburn.

RFF to Host Academic on Air Quality Costs – Resources for the Future will hold an academic seminar on Thursday at Noon on Uncertainty and Variability in Social Costs for Air Quality featuring Presenter Elisabeth Gilmore, Assistant Professor at the School of Public Policy at the University of Maryland-College Park.  Gilmore will argue that choosing between alternative products, processes and policies requires credible information on both their private and social costs. For air quality, an impact pathway approach, which traces the emissions through to the monetization of the associated effects, is frequently employed to estimate this social cost. An important step in this process is transforming the emissions to their equivalent ambient concentrations. The assumptions in the air quality models, however, are rarely evaluated and may introduce error into the reduced form literature values. Here, we develop new estimates of the social cost for air emissions in $/ton for generic area and point sources in US urban and rural locations. We use a ‘state of science’ 3-D chemical transport model, the Particulate Matter Comprehensive Air Quality Model with extensions (PMCAMx). By using this model, we attempt to better account for variability and inherent uncertainties in the effects of emissions as it relates to precursor species, season, location and source type in the model to better constrain the value of particulate matter control in terms of social cost. We calculate social costs that differ from other literature values by a factor of two to more than ten for both reactive and non-reactive compounds. This suggests that model variability in transport and chemistry can have an important influence on the estimates. Our results recommend caution in the use of literature values for the social cost of air quality emissions for benefit-cost analysis and externality pricing.

Cato Book Forum Looks New Book Critical of Rachel Carsen — The Cato Institute will host a Book Forum at Noon on Thursday on the upcoming CATO Book Silent Spring at 50: The False Crises of Rachel Carson.  The event will feature co-editor Andrew Morriss of the University of Alabama.  Cato’s Jerry Taylor will host and moderate questions.  Widely credited with launching the modern environmental movement when published 50 years ago, Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring had a profound impact on our society. While Carson was not the first to write about the dangers of pesticides or to sound environmental alarms, her book captured and retained the attention of the public. As an iconic work, the book has received little critical inquiry, but this landmark anniversary provides an opportunity to reassess its legacy and influence. In Silent Spring at 50: The False Crises of Rachel Carson, experts explore the book’s historical context, the science it was built on, and the policy consequences of its core ideas. The conclusions reached by the authors make it clear that the legacy of Silent Spring is highly problematic. Carson made little effort to provide a balanced perspective and consistently ignored key evidence that would have contradicted her work. Thus, while the book provided a range of notable ideas, a number of Carson’s major arguments rested on what can only be described as deliberate ignorance. Silent Spring at 50 reveals the dangers of substituting sensationalism for fact, and apocalyptic pronouncements for genuine knowledge. 

Briefing to Discuss Nuclear Opposition – The Coalition Against Nukes is hosting a Congressional Briefing Thursday at 2:00 p.m. in 121 on the medical effects of nuclear power. This briefing will include medical testimony on the effects of radiation from Dr. Catherine Thomasson of Physicians for Social Responsibility, testimony from Alice Slater of the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation on the relationship of nuclear weapons to nuclear power, testimony on the state of our decrepit nuclear fleet in the United States from Michael Mariotte of NIRS and testimony from Beyond Nuclear‘ s Paul Gunter on the Freeze Our Fukushima’s campaign and why it is imperative that we immediately close all of our dangerous GE Mark 1 and Mark 2 boiling water reactors in the United States.  Arne Gundersen will give testimony on the Fukushima catastrophe and reactor #4.

Forum, Report to Look at Geopolitical Implications of Asia’s Rising Oil, Gas Demand – The National Bureau of Asian Research and the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars will launch NBR’s 2012 Energy Security Report, “Oil and Gas for Asia: Geopolitical Implications of Asia’s Rising Demand,” on Thursday at the Reserve Officers Association in Washington, D.C.  The event will convene senior policy and industry leaders, and Asia energy specialists, for a discussion of how Asia’s rising energy demand, coupled with angst over prices and the reliability of future oil and LNG supplies, is shaping the strategic and economic agendas of Asia’s major powers.  The 2012 Energy Security Report launch will feature remarks from Congressman Charles W. Boustany Jr. (co-chair of the U.S.-China Working Group and member of the House Ways and Means Committee) and U.S. Under Secretary Robert D. Hormats (Under Secretary of State for Economic Growth, Energy, and the Environment). The event will also include a panel discussion of the NBR report by Edward Chow (Center for Strategic and International Studies), Erica Downs(Brookings Institution), S. Chander (Asian Development Bank), and Mikkal Herberg (The National Bureau of Asian Research).

Conference to Look at Opportunities in Green Economy – The Institute for Policy Analysis will hold a for on Thursday and Friday at Hillyer in the Dupont Circle area looking at entrepreneurs in the green economy.  The event will raise awareness about market opportunities for profit-driven solutions to climate change.  Speakers will include NRDC’s Ed Chen, Cold Cool Cash Climate author Jon Koomey of Stanford’s Steyer Center, Joe Sibilia of CSRWire, Information Technology and Innovation President Robert Atkinson and Jim Conlon of Elysian Energy.  

Gingrich, Noble, Conway on Energy from Federal Lands – In a forum at the National Press Club’s Zenger Room on Friday at 9:30 a.m., former House Speaker Newt Gingrich will address how North American energy independence is possible thanks to new innovations in oil and gas development — meaning millions of new jobs, lower energy prices and greater national security for every American — and the danger the agenda of President Obama poses to that vision.  He will be joined by Scott Noble, owner of one of the largest royalties management companies in the country and Chairman of the New American Energy Opportunity Foundation, who will discuss their study of what poor management of federal lands is costing US taxpayers. In addition, pollster Kellyanne Conway, President of the Polling Company, Inc., will discuss new polling data that sheds light on what the American people want from US energy policy.

FUTURE EVENTS

Burcat, Miles Speak at WV Wind Forum – Marshall University and the WV Wind Working Group will host a West Virginia Wind Forum on September 25th in Davis, WV at Canaan Valley.  There will be a pre-conference site tour on the afternoon of Sept 24th of the AES Laurel Mountain wind and energy storage facility. This annual wind forum is held to examine the barriers to wind energy development and potential solutions for reducing these barriers. Updates on wind energy-related issues around the state are on the agenda.   Our friends Bruce Burcat of the Mid-Atlantic Renewable Energy Coalition and Jonathan Miles of JMU will speak among others.  Updates from PJM on integration and Invenergy on Beech Ridge will also be on the agenda.

KS Energy Conference Set – The Kansas Department of Commerce will hold an energy conference on September 25-26th in Manhattan, KS Conference Center.  Items on the agenda include transmission, biofuels, wind development and supply chains, solar power and transportation.   NASEO’s Dave terry and BP Wind CEO John Graham will be among the speakers.   

Great Lakes Wind Issues Highlighted at Forum – The Great Lakes Wind Collaborative’ s (GLWC’s) 5th Annual Meeting will be held on September 25th in Erie, PA and will bring together representatives of U.S. and Canadian federal agencies, state/provincial and local governments, the wind industry, electric utilities, nonprofit organizations, academia, and other interested stakeholders to discuss and address issues regarding the sustainable development of wind energy in the binational Great Lakes region.

Google’s Needham, Others to Address REFF-West Conference – Renewable Energy Finance Forum West (REFF-West) returns to San Francisco on September 27-28th for its fifth edition.  The event will discuss the latest trends in renewable energy financing as well as practical takeaway advice on how to move projects forward. Covering a range of renewable and clean energy technologies, with a particular focus on developments in the Western US, topics covered at REFF-West include project financing, venture capital, renewable power generation, emerging commercial technologies, financing smaller projects, equity financing and established technologies. The conference also offers an unparalleled networking opportunity, allowing you to meet senior representatives from both the energy and financial sectors who are focusing on renewables and clean technologies.  Speakers will include former ARPA-E head Arun Majumdar, ACORE President Dennis McGinn, CEQ’s Jonathan Powers and our friends Rick Needham of Google and Dan Reicher of Stanford University’s Steyer-Taylor Energy Center, among others.  

Geothermal Energy Forum Set for Reno – The GEA Geothermal Energy Expo will be held on September 30th through October 3 at the Peppermill Resort in Reno, NV.  The event is the world’s largest gathering of vendors providing support for geothermal resource exploration, characterization, development, production and management. 

Jackson Hole Forum to Look at CO2 Solutions – The University of Wyoming’s Center for Energy Economics and Public Policy (CEEPP) and the School of Energy Resources (SER) will host a forum on October 1st and 2nd focused on power generation and the environment in Jackson Hole’s Teton Village.  This symposium will focus on solutions to CO2 emissions from coal-generated electricity, the economic implications of alternative control options, and the costs of alternatives to coal-fired generation.  The event will convene scholars and experts in economics, engineering, policy, and science to evaluate the technological and economic viability of various solutions to CO2 emissions. The keynote speaker for the symposium is Samuel Fankhauser, Co-Director of the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment, member of the UK Committee on Climate Change, and Deputy Director of the Centre for Climate Change Economics and Policy. A handful of other academics will also speak including Joe Aldy of Harvard and RFF’s Josh Linn. 

Forum to Look Emission Trading Issues – The International Emissions Trading Assn will hold its Carbon Forum on October 1st and 2nd in Washington, DC at the Marriott at Metro Center.  Speakers will include UN climate chief Christine Figueres, Eileen Claussen, Dirk Forrister, Alstom’s Bob Hilton, NREA’s Anne Smith, Shell’s David Hone former DOE official Victor Der, former EPA air official Bill Wehrum, ELI President John Cruden, CARB Chair Mary Nichols and our friend at Argus Media Bill Peters and E&E TV’s Monica Trauzzi. 

Bromwich, Watson, Statoil Headline Drilling Forum at CSIS – The Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS )will hold an energy and security forum on Tuesday, October 2nd at 10:00 a.m. to discuss advancing offshore safety by sharing research, information and best practices on safety and environmental protection.  Speakers will include Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement Director James Watson, Charlie Williams of the Center for Offshore Safety, Statoil’s Svein Erik Eide, EDF’s Elgie Holstein and former BOEMRE  head Michael Bromwich.

GridWeek Set for DCGridWeek 2012 is set for the Washington DC Convention Center on October 2nd through the 4th and will tackle the challenge of deriving value from this complexity — gathering utility, policy, regulatory and consumer experts to approach the topic head-on. As grid-modernization and smart grid efforts provide the energy industry with more information, a broader system view, and more efficiency and control, we are faced with increasing complexity. The challenge lies in deriving value from that complexity — for all stakeholders.  Providing a mix of in-depth panel discussions, value-focused case studies, and a forward look at how the ever-changing energy landscape will impact the electrical grid, GridWeek will explore three key themes:  1) Stakeholder value, 2) Managing complexity and 3) Smart energy policy.  Speakers will include DOE’s David Sandalow, NIST’s Patrick Gallagher, EEI’s Ton Kuhn and many others. 

Encana’s Hock to Headline Energy Communications Conference – The 3rd annual Energy Crisis Communications Forum will be held on October 3rd and 4th at the Royal Sonesta Houston and will focus on navigating current media trends and regulatory policies to achieve effective communications plans.  Our friends Doug Hock of Encana, Buddy Eller of STP Nuclear and many others.  This conference will focus on adapting and implementing an effective crisis communications plan in order to enhance, maintain, or rebuild organizations’ bottom line, reputation, and brand.

NY Shale Gas Conference Set – West Legal EdCenter will hold a Shale Gas Drilling operations conference on October 3rd in New York City.  The Conference is chaired by litigation lawyer who has attacked companies over the years, Marc Bern of Napoli, Bern, Ripka, Sholnick.  Despite this fact, many of the panels look to be balanced including one on Parker County and Dimock.  Of course, in each of those cases, the facts have proven that drilling operations were wrongly targeted by opponents and money-hungry trial lawyers. 

USEA to Host Energy Supply Forum – The US Energy Assn will hold its 5th annual Energy Supply Forum on Thursday October 4th at the National Press Club.   Representatives from both the public and private sector will gather to discuss topics ranging from unconventional energy supply resources to onshore exploration and production to technologic advances in the supply sector.   Issues will include domestic production, energy policy-post election, energy efficiency-demand response, energy exports and new policy initiatives.

RFF to Host Lecture on Environment Policy – Resources for The Future will hold an event celebrating its 60th anniversary with the Resources 2020 lecture series on Friday, October 5th at 2:00 p.m. at the National Association of Home Builders featuring Joseph Stiglitz, 2001 Nobel Laureate in Economic Sciences, discussing inequality and environmental policy.  Stiglitz is University Professor at Columbia University, the winner of the Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel 2001, and a lead author of the 1995 IPCC report, which shared the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize. He was chairman of the US Council of Economic Advisers under President Clinton, and chief economist and senior vice president of the World Bank during 1997-2000. Stiglitz received the John Bates Clark Medal, awarded biennially to the American economist under 40 who has made the most significant contribution to the subject. He was a Fulbright Scholar at Cambridge University, held the Drummond Professorship at All Souls College at the University of Oxford, and has also taught at MIT, Yale, Stanford, and Princeton. Stiglitz helped create a new branch of economics, “the economics of information,” exploring the consequences of information asymmetries and pioneering such pivotal concepts as adverse selection and moral hazard, which have now become standard tools not only of theorists, but also of policy analysts. His work has helped explain the circumstances in which markets do not work well and how selective government intervention can improve their performance.

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.

Utility, Fuel, Renewables to Address RETECH Forum – RETECH 2012 is set for Washington DC on October 16th-19th at the Omni Shoreham.  RETECH is the premier business, policy and technology conference and exhibition for the entire renewable energy industry and will host renewable energy leaders from government, utility, finance and technology.   RETECH 2012 is the only event dedicated to delivering coverage on EVERY discipline of renewable energy technology.  RETECH’s conference sessions will focus on current trends, the newest technologies and important up-to-date information on the changing legislative and regulatory landscapes.  Among the speakers will be EIA’s Adam Siemanski, as well as our friends Yvonne McIntyre of Calpine Corporation, SEIA’s Rhone Resch, former DOE energy advisor Larisa Dobriansky, Drive NatGas Executive Director Kathryn Clay, DTF’s Allen Schaeffer and EPRI’s Bryan Hannegan. 

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. 

Book, Maisano Headline OPIS Fuels Conference in Vegas (Yeah!!!) – The Oil Price Information Service (OPIS) will hold its 14th annual National Supply Summit on October 22nd  to 24th at the Mandarin Oriental in Las Vegas’ City Center.  Just a few weeks before the election, Kevin Book and I will host a panel on elections, the next Congress and fuels which will definitely be the highlight of the event.  Other speaker s will include Delta’s Jon Ruggles, ConocoPhillips’ Greg Garland and Chad Martin of Eco-Energy. 

Giuliani to Headline Chamber Legal Forum – The U.S. Chamber of Commerce will hold its 13th Annual Legal Reform Summit on Wednesday, October 24th in Washington, DC featuring Keynote speaker NYC Mayor and B&G partner Rudy Giuliani.  The summit, which is recognized as the nation’s paramount comprehensive legal reform symposium, will feature a keynote address by former Giuliani and remarks by Thomas J. Donohue, President and CEO of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.  Additionally, the Summit agenda will feature a variety of timely panel discussions on developments and trends in litigation impacting securities and mergers & acquisitions, the political landscape and the 2012 elections and many other topics. 

MD to Hold Water Technologies Conference – The Maryland Department of the Environment will hold its Second Annual Clean Water Innovations Trade Show on Wednesday, October 24th in Annapolis.  Professionals and stakeholders from around the State will display innovative stormwater management and water quality management techniques, exchange information and promote the protection of Maryland’s resources. The event is free and refreshments will be provided.  Government agencies, consultants, developers, environmental advocates and the building industry can learn more about the latest best management practices in stormwater management, wetland creation and restoration and other green technologies.  Additionally, during the event, MDE will recognize the winners of the 2012 Smart, Green & Growing Award for Infrastructure and Innovations in Stormwater Management.  The trade show promises to be informative for both those with ideas and products to offer and those faced with the challenge of improving water quality in the Chesapeake Bay watershed.