Energy Update

Friends,

Wow… What a weekend!  Started it on Thursday night with a great Alice in Chains show at the Anthem.  Then, drove back/forth twice between UVa (Adam’s track meet Fri/Sat) and UDelaware (Olivia’s field hockey Sat/Sun), yet still managed to catch the Caps crazy win over the Pens, Saturday’s Kentucky Derby and last night’s historic victory by the Vegas Golden Knights.

The 144th Run for the Roses was muddy, but brilliant.  For those of you paying attention to my preview last week, you probably won some money as Justify rolled to victory to win the $2 million race.  Justify, was 5-2 favorite at the bell and is the 6th straight Derby favorite to win.  Justify is trained by Bob Baffert and ridden by Hall-of-Fame jockey Mike Smith.  As I mentioned, Promises Fulfilled took the early fast pace, but Justify stalked until the far turn, pulling away in deep stretch. His winning time was a slow 2 minutes, 4 1/5 seconds.  He also breaks the longest losing streak in sports history: the Apollo CurseApollo was the 1882 Kentucky Derby champion, who was the last winner before Justify not to race as a 2-year-old.  Another one of my picks Good Magic finished strong to take 2nd while Audible took 3rd.  Unfortunately, uber-longshot Instilled Regard held off the charging My Boy Jack (my mud horse) to finish out the Super, which paid out $19,618.20 if you hit it.  Justify will be a heavy favorite in the Preakness…preview next week!

ICYMI, late last week, a new economic study – The Economic Impacts of U.S. Ratification of the Kigali Amendment – from the Alliance for Responsible Atmospheric Policy and AHRI was sent to the White House, the State Department and EPA.  The study is an outgrowth of the forum earlier this year at the Hudson Institute where former White House advisor David Banks said it was imperative to have an economic analysis of any HFC phasedown before it could move forward. The report says U.S. industry strongly supports ratification, followed by domestic implementation.

Speaking of Banks, this morning, our friends at ClearPath announced that it has added the former White House advisor along with SoCo’s Ed Holland, former NJ Utility Board Chair Richard Mroz and campaign strategist Terry Sullivan to its advisory board.  Also today, the U.S. Chamber’s Global Energy Institute (GEI) is launching a new initiative to highlight the advances that are improving our modern way of life. EnergyInnovates is a multi-platform initiative that will showcase American innovators, projects, and technologies that have shaped today’s energy landscape and will lay the groundwork for the future.

WINDPOWER starts today in Chicago.  One of the biggest, most important trade shows of the year, the event underscores the strong demand for wind energy, as evidenced by the busy 1st quarter for new U.S. wind farm announcements. Wind power’s low cost and stable energy prices motivated utility and non-utility customers to sign contracts for 3,500 megawatts (MW) of U.S. wind capacity in the first quarter of 2018, a high water mark in recent years.

This week in DC, we expected another RFS meeting at the White House likely tomorrow while Friday, the President will hold a Roundtable with automaker CEOs on fuel economy standards.  It is also a busy week on Capitol Hill with House Approps rolling into the Energy & Water funding bill starting today and the full House is expected to take up legislation that would restart the long-stalled process to store commercial nuclear waste at Nevada’s Yucca Mountain site.  Tomorrow, House Energy looks at EVs and Senate Energy is focused on Puerto Rico. On Wednesday, DOE Secretary Perry testifies before House Science tomorrow, while Senate Environment is focused on water Infrastructure.   Thursday, Interior Secretary Zinke heads to Senate Approps while Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross will likely get trade/tariff questions at his budget hearing.

Tomorrow, my colleague Scott Segal speaks at the CHP industry’s policy forum.  C2ES will host a Wednesday conversation with utilities, federal and state policy experts, and industry analysts to discuss solutions to address early nuclear retirements and zero-carbon generation, while WCEE hosts a policy lunch with Congressional energy/environment staff.  On Thursday, WASHINGTON POST LIVE and its Energy 202 newsletter (our friends Steve Mufson and Dino Grandoni) will host a forum at 9:00 a.m. at the Post Live Center on cybersecurity and the grid featuring Sens. Martin Heinrich and John Hoeven, as well as FERC Chair Kevin McIntyre.

While we normally don’t pay much attention to primaries, tomorrow is primary day in West Virginia and Indiana.  In WV, energy advocate AG Patrick Morrisey and Rep. Evan Jenkins are battling with controversial former coal exec and convicted felon Don Blankenship for the right to challenge Sen. Joe Manchin.  In Indiana, Wabash College alums Reps. Luke Messer and Todd Rokita, as well as former Dem State Rep. Mike Braun all have been hugging the President but running away from college transgressions as Little Giants. Both long-time energy industry supporters, Manchin and Donnelly are seen as the most vulnerable Democrats in the Senate.

This week is Hurricane Preparedness Week.  With the 2018 Hurricane Season approaching (June 1), remember the experts at MIT have a significant amount of really interesting research pushing the frontier of building materials use, with implications for policymakers, building designers, communities, and the vulnerable residents of hazard-prone areas.  They also have the MIT-developed Break-Even Mitigation Percent (BEMP) tool which helps building designers and owners make better risk-informed decisions before the disaster hits. You can use the tool to calculate the BEMP for eastern U.S. coastal communities prone to damage from hazards related to hurricanes.  Call with questions.  Best,

Frank Maisano

(202) 828-5864

c. (202) 997-5932

 

FRANKLY SPOKEN

“While consumers may not think about it when they flip the light switch, turn on the air conditioning, or even gas up their cars, the American energy industry is at the forefront of groundbreaking innovation and technology development. Our goal is to put a spotlight on the ingenuity behind America’s ongoing energy revolution, especially the investments being made to find new and better ways to produce, transmit, and use energy, the foundation of our lives and our economy.”

Karen Harbert, president and CEO of the Global Energy Institute during today’s launch of EnergyInnovates, a multi-platform initiative that will showcase American innovators, projects, and technologies that have shaped today’s energy landscape and will lay the groundwork for the future.

“Word is out that wind power is an excellent source of affordable, reliable and clean energy. The industry is consistently growing the wind project pipeline as leading companies, including utilities and brands like AT&T and Nestle, keep placing orders. Strong demand for wind power is fueling an economic engine supporting a record 105,500 U.S. wind jobs in farm and factory towns across the nation.”

Tom Kiernan, CEO of AWEA in announcing the U.S. Wind Industry First Quarter 2018 Market Report in advance of today’s WINDPOWER event in Chicago.

ON THE POD

Energy Gang Discussed New Tech Investments with Statoil –On a recent Energy Gang podcast, our friends at GTM talked with the executive in charge of Statoil’s new energy investments, Stephen Bull.  Statoil is the largest operator of oil and gas rigs around the world. Consequently, the company’s biggest low-carbon investments are offshore: floating wind farms and distributed carbon capture and storage. Bull chats with The Energy Gang about the performance of floating wind, the economics of CCS, and whether oil companies are investing enough in their new energy divisions.

FUN OPINIONS

Consumer Group: Time to Reform RFS – Recently, David Holt of the Consumer Energy Alliance wrote an opinion piece calling on Congress to fully reform the RFS program.  Holt said there are several big problems with the RFS, including what’s called the “ethanol blend wall.” Most American cars and light trucks have been built to run on a fuel blend of 90 percent gasoline and 10 percent ethanol. Using more ethanol would void most vehicle warranties provided by all major automotive manufacturers. Similarly, most underground storage tanks and gasoline pumps used by gasoline stations across the country cannot accommodate more ethanol.  Holt: “Congress should act now to make meaningful changes to the RFS. Without congressional action, farmers, transporters, refiners, and everyone who buys gasoline will continue to pay the price.”

IN THE NEWS

ClearPath Adds Leading Experts To Advisory Board – Clear Path has added thought leaders in the fields of energy policy and technology, as well as conservative politics and messaging, to its advisory board.

  • George David Banks was President Trump’s Special Assistant for International Energy and Environment. He was previously senior advisor on International Affairs and Climate Change at the White House Council on Environmental Quality under President George W. Bush, deputy GOP staff director of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, a State Department foreign service officer and a CIA economic analyst. He is currently executive vice president of the American Council on Capital Formation and an adjunct research scholar at Columbia University’s Center on Global Energy Policy.
  • Ed Holland is the former president and CEO of Southern Company Holdings and executive vice president of Southern Company Services. He was also previously president, CEO and chairman of Mississippi Power.
  • Richard Mroz is the former president of the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities and chaired the Critical Infrastructure Committee for the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners, among many other senior-level national, regional and state roles. That includes being named to the Commission on White House Fellowships by President George W. Bush.
  • Terry Sullivan is founding partner of Firehouse Strategies and has two decades under his belt as a well-seasoned political and public affairs strategist. He has played a senior strategic role in more than 100 campaigns, including U.S. Senate, gubernatorial and presidential candidacies. Notably, that included successful reelection wins for Sens. Marco Rubio and Ron Johnson in 2016 and Sullivan was Rubio’s 2016 presidential campaign manager.

Groups Urge White House, EPA to Support HFC Phasedown – The Alliance for Responsible Atmospheric Policy and AHRI released their comprehensive study: Economic Impact of Kigali Ratification & Implementation, supporting the ratification of the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol which calls for a phase down in the production and consumption of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) worldwide.  The Kigali Amendment gives American companies an advantage in technology, manufacturing, and investment which will lead to job creation. The economic analysis indicates that U.S. implementation of the Kigali Amendment is good for American jobs. It will both strengthen America’s exports and weaken the market for imported products, while enabling U.S. technology to continue its world leadership role.   According to the study:

  • The Kigali amendment is projected to increase U.S. manufacturing jobs by 33,000 by 2027, increase exports by $5 billion, reduce imports by nearly $7 billion, and improve the HVACR balance of trade.
  • With Kigali, U.S. exports will outperform, increasing U.S. share of global market from 7.2% to 9.0%.
  • Fluorocarbon-based manufacturing industries in the U.S. directly employ 589,000 Americans, with an industry-wide payroll of more than $39 billion per year. The fluorocarbon industry in the U.S. indirectly supports 494,000 American jobs with a $36 billion annual payroll.

According to the analysis, the U.S. fluorocarbon using and producing industries contribute more than $205 billion annually in direct goods and services and provide employment to more than 2.5 million individuals and overall economic activity of $620 billion to the U.S. economy.

AWEA Report Says 1Q Demand Rolling – With WINDPOWER launching today, there a new report by the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) says strong demand for wind energy drove a busy first quarter for new U.S. wind farm announcements. Wind power’s low cost and stable energy prices motivated utility and non-utility customers to sign contracts for 3,500 megawatts (MW) of U.S. wind capacity in the first quarter of 2018, a high water mark in recent years. The U.S. Wind Industry First Quarter 2018 Market Report also reveals 5,523 MW in first quarter wind project announcements, adding to a total of 33,449 MW of wind power capacity in the combined construction and advanced development pipeline.  Utilities and Fortune 500 brands both continue to scale up investments in wind energy because it makes good business sense. The cost of wind power has fallen by two-thirds since 2009, making wind cost-competitive with other energy sources. In fact, in strong wind resource regions like the Great Plains and Texas, wind is the most cost-effective source of new electricity. And because wind power has no fuel costs, buyers can lock in low rates for decades to protect against future fuel price spikes. Wind energy customers signed over 3,500 MW in long-term contracts called power purchase agreements (PPAs) in the first quarter. That’s the highest volume of PPA announcements in any quarter since AWEA began tracking them in 2013. Six companies including Adobe, AT&T and Nestle signed wind PPAs for the first time, while Bloomberg, Facebook, Nike and T-Mobile became repeat customers. In addition, utility buyers including PacifiCorp and DTE Energy made large-scale announcements to develop and own wind power. Across the country, 36 wind projects representing a combined 5,523 MW announced that they either began construction or entered advanced development in the first quarter. Construction started on 1,366 MW of wind capacity and 4,158 MW entered advanced stages of development, which includes projects that have found a buyer for their energy, announced a firm turbine order, or have been announced to proceed under utility ownership. The full pipeline of wind farms under construction or in advanced development now totals 33,449 MW, a 40 percent increase over this time last year and the highest level since this statistic was first measured at the beginning of 2016.

DTE Pushes Green Bonds – DTE Energy in rolled out its green bonds program. The $525 million in bonds will finance green investments, including low-carbon projects such as renewable energy and energy efficiency. DTE is the fifth [energy] company in the nation to sell green bonds. “Green bonds will help finance our low-carbon investments, which will enable us to continue moving Michigan toward a cleaner, more sustainable energy future,” says Gerry Anderson, chairman and CEO of DTE Energy. “This is a tangible way for investors to demonstrate their commitment to the environment and is one of many steps in our aggressive plan to reduce carbon emissions by more than 80 percent by 2050. We’re proud to be among the first energy companies to offer this green investment option.”  The bonds have a maturity of 30 years at an annual fixed coupon of 4.05 percent. They are expected to help fund the development and construction of solar arrays and wind farms, including the transmission infrastructure to support renewable energy facilities, as well as strengthen energy efficiency programs.

DTE Gas Plant Approved by Michigan – In related DTE news, the Michigan Public Service Commission approved DTE Energy’s gas plant proposal for East China Township. The utility is scheduled to break ground on the new facility in 2019. The plant is one of the steps the company is taking to reduce carbon emissions by 30% by the early 2020s, and more than 80% by 2050.

FERC Shows Strong Renewable Growth in 1Q – A new FERC update says wind, solar, and other renewable sources (i.e., biomass, geothermal, hydropower) accounted for almost 95% (i.e., 94.9%) of all new U.S. electrical generation placed into service in the first quarter of this year.  FERC’s latest “Energy Infrastructure Update” shows that 16 new “units” of wind, totaling 1,793 megawatts (MW), came into service in the first three months of 2018 along with 92 units of solar (1,356-MW) for a total of 3,149-MW.  In addition, there was one unit of geothermal steam (19-MW), five units of water (18-MW), and three units of biomass (3-MW). Among non-renewable sources, six units of natural gas provided another 79-MW of new capacity along with five units of oil (10-MW), and one unit of nuclear (4-MW). There were also six units (80-MW) defined as “other” by FERC (e.g., fuel cells, batteries & storage). No capacity additions were reported for coal during the quarter.  FERC data also reveal that the total installed capacity of renewable energy sources now provides over one-fifth (20.69%) of total available U.S. generating capacity. Combined, wind and solar alone exceed one-tenth (10.44%) of installed capacity – a share greater than that of nuclear power (9.14%) or hydropower (8.52%) or oil (3.56%).  FERC’s report further suggests that the rapid expansion and growing dominance of renewable energy sources will continue at least through April 2021. Proposed new net generating capacity (i.e., additions minus retirements) by renewables over the next three years totals 148,281-MW or 70.1% of the total (i.e., 211,621-MW). Proposed new net generating capacity by wind (85,625-MW) and solar (49,088-MW) alone are 63.7% of the total – supplemented by hydropower (11,824-MW), geothermal (1,130-MW), and biomass (614-MW).

 

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

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

Approps Subpanel to Mark Energy Budget – The House Appropriations Committee’s Subcommittee on Energy and Water Development, and Related Agencies will meet today at 5:30 p.m. to mark-up the FY 2019 Energy and Water Appropriations Bill.

BP Tech Head to Discuss Global Energy – The Atlantic Council’s Global Energy Center will hold a wide-ranging discussion tomorrow at 9:00 a.m. about the role of technology in shaping the future of global energy. The energy industry is changing faster than at any time in our lifetime. It faces two huge challenges: firstly, providing more energy than ever before to meet the world’s increasing demand; and secondly, transitioning to a lower carbon future. Drawing upon analysis conducted by BP and its partners, BP’s Technology Head David Eyton will discuss some of the major longer-term signals out to 2050, as well as key findings in transport, power and heat. Eyton’s conversation will also cover the key game-changing technologies for the energy industry and the challenges we face.

Combined Heat Power Industry Holds Forum – The CHP Association and the combined heat and power community hold their annual CHP Policy Forum tomorrow and Wednesday at The City Club of Washington. This year, conference presentations will focus on how to better implement CHP programs. The theme of this year’s forum is “engaging with decision makers” and will feature key figures in various areas of legislation, regulation, and government. The forum will explore the barriers and drivers for CHP at every jurisdiction—including city, state, regional, and federal—with the understanding that policy considerations for energy planning vary across different jurisdictions.  My colleague Scott Segal will speak tomorrow afternoon on policy effects on the future of energy markets.

BPC to Host Panel on Federal Science – The Bipartisan Policy Center will host a forum tomorrow at 9:00 a.m., looking at federal funding for Fiscal Year 2018 for research and development. Continually developing new scientific knowledge and technologies drives long-term economic growth and creates higher-skilled jobs. BPC will focus its conversation on federal investment in scientific research and innovation and how to maintain America’s economic and competitive edge.

Senate Energy Committee to Look at Puerto Rico – The Senate Energy Committee will convene an oversight hearing tomorrow at 10:00 a.m. to examine the current status of Puerto Rico’s electric grid and proposals for the future operation of the grid.  Witnesses include DOE’s Bruce Walker, Charles Alexander of the Army Corps of Engineers, ; Christian Sobrino Vega, of the Puerto Rico Government Development Bank President, Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority CEO Walter Higgins, José Román Morales of the Puerto Rico Energy Commission and Rodrigo Masses of the Puerto Rico Manufacturers Association.

IAE to Hold Biofuel Presentation – The International Energy Agency (IEA) Bioenergy Technology Collaboration Program will hold an international webinar, “Biofuels for the Marine Sector: New Opportunities and New Challenges,” tomorrow at 10:00 a.m. The webinar will give an overview of the maritime transportation sector, including its fuel and engine types, the fuel supply infrastructure, and the regulations on fuel specifications and CO2 emissions. The feasibility of current biofuels including their properties and supply will be discussed and opportunities for new types of biofuel will be presented.

House Energy Panel to Look at Electric Vehicles – The House Energy and Commerce Environment Subcommittee holds a hearing tomorrow at 10:15 a.m. on policy implications of electric and conventional vehicles in the years ahead.

Forum to Discuss LNG Study – U.S. Energy Association will hold a forum tomorrow at 10:00 a.m. featuring energy economists at ICF who recently conducted a study for LNG Allies.  The study “Calculating the Benefits of US LNG Exports” looked at direct, indirect, and induced value added ($GDP) and employment from LNG terminals and the natural gas feedstock.  The principal author of the ICF report, Harry Vidas, joins Fred H. Hutchison, President/CEO, of LNG Allies to discuss the findings.

Perry, Haley, Ross to Attend Conference – The Council of the Americas will hold its 48th annual conference tomorrow at the U.S. Department of State.  The annual conferences have traditionally featured presentations by the president, the secretary of state, foreign heads of state, cabinet officials from the hemisphere, and leaders of the business community. The 2018 Washington Conference on the Americas will bring together administration senior officials and distinguished leaders from across the Americas to focus on the major policy issues affecting the hemisphere.  UN Abassador Nikki Haley, Energy Secretary Perry, Commerce Secretary Ross and Sens. Ben Sasse, Robert Menendez and Marco Rubio, among many others, will speak.

EnviroRun Features Amy Harder – Tomorrow evening, Envirorun DC hosts Amy Harder, energy and climate change reporter at Axios. Amy is an energy and climate change reporter at Axios, both in her regular column called Harder Line, and her other reporting for Axios she covers congressional legislation, regulations, lobbying, and international policy actions affecting energy and climate change issues in the United States. She previously covered the same issues for The Wall Street Journal and before that at National Journal.  The run begins at 6:00 p.m. and we will return to the venue for networking and hear from the speaker at 7:00 p.m.

OPIS Looks at West Coast Fuel Supply – OPIS holds a forum in Napa Valley at the Silverado Resort on Wednesday and Thursday looking at West Coast fuel supplies and transportation opportunities.  Industry experts will examine the impact of new players in the Western markets, opportunities that California assets can offer, carbon emissions regulations, renewable fuels, plus get an exclusive technical analysis of West Coast spot market prices.

Perry Heads to House Science – The House Science Committee holds a hearing on Wednesday at 9:00 a.m. for an overview of the DOE budget proposal for FY 2019.   Energy Secretary Rick Perry testifies.

Forum to Look at Nuclear Challenges – The Center for Climate and Energy Solutions holds a conversation on Wednesday at GWU’s Lerner Hall at 9:30 a.m. featuring utilities, federal and state policy experts, and industry analysts to discuss solutions to address this question and others.  The event will feature a keynote from Ralph Izzo, CEO of PSEG, as well as perspectives on state policy options, environmental and economic impacts, and the federal landscape.

Senate Environment to Look at Water Infrastructure – The Senate Environment and Public Works Committee holds a hearing at 10:00 a.m. on water infrastructure legislation.

Senate Energy Panel Tackles BLM, Forest Service Law Enforcement – The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Public Lands, Forests and Mining Subcommittee holds a hearing on Wednesday at 10:00 a.m. looking at law enforcement programs at BLM and the Forest Service.

WCEE Forum Looks Congressional Energy Agenda – The Women’s Council on Energy and the Environment (WCEE) will host a forum on Thursday at 8:00 a.m. at the American Gas Association to look at the Congressional agenda in the first year of the Trump Administration.  WCEE hosts for a wide-ranging conversation over breakfast about Congressional priorities and areas for bipartisan agreement on energy and environment issues. Key Congressional staffers who will offer their insights and opinions on the busy year that lies ahead include Senate Energy’s Chester Carson and Brie Van Cleve, Emily Domenech of the House Science Committee’s Energy panel, House Energy and Commerce Committee’s Energy and Environment Majority Chief Counsel Mary Martin and several others.

ELI Holds Wetlands Awards – The Environmental Law Institute holds its annual National Wetlands Awards on Wednesday evening at U.S. Botanical Gardens. The National Wetlands Awards are presented annually to individuals who have excelled in wetlands protection, restoration, and education. Through coordinated media outreach and an awards ceremony on Capitol Hill, awardees receive national recognition and attention for their outstanding efforts.

FERC Chair, Senators Discuss Cyber at Post Forum –WASHINGTON POST LIVE and its Energy 202 newsletter will host a forum on Thursday at 9:00 a.m.at the Washington Post Live Center on cybersecurity and the grid. Lawmakers Sens. Martin Heinrich and John Hoeven will debate the administration’s energy priorities and discuss the security of America’s energy grid, including how to combat cyber threats. Our friend Dino Grandoni, Energy and Environmental Policy Reporter and Author of “The Energy 202” newsletter will host. Then, Steven Mufson hosts a “One-on-One” with the FERC Chairman Kevin McIntyre.  The head of the FERC will discuss new regulations and proposals to shore up the security of power grid operations and the balance between the agency and the U.S. Department of Energy.  There will also be several other speakers including Dennis McGinn.

CEQ Infrastructure Lead Headline ELI Conference – Arnold & Porter and the Environmental Law Institute are co-hosting a conference Thursday at 9:00 a.m. on infrastructure review and permitting. Conference attendees will hear a variety of critical perspectives across the spectrum. High level government officials, experienced practitioners representing industry and environmental NGOs, and congressional representatives will address the wide range of environmental permitting and review challenges across sectors including transportation, energy, transmission, renewables, environmental restoration, and more. Panelists will delve into the role of policy and litigation in shaping these developments over the next three years and beyond. Conference participants representing diverse backgrounds will explore areas of common ground at the intersection of good government, economic growth, and environmental protection.  Keynote speaker is CEQ’s Alex Herrgott.

Zinke Discusses Budget – The Senate Interior, Environment and Related Agencies Appropriations Subcommittee will host Interior Secretary Ryan ZInke at 10:00 a.m. to discuss on the 2019 budget and proposed cuts to agencies including BLM, Fish and Wildlife Service and National Park Service.

House Energy Panel to Look at Transmission Infrastructure – The House Energy & Commerce’s Energy Subcommittee will hold a hearing on Thursday at 10:00 a.m. in 2123 Rayburn examining the state of electric transmission infrastructure investment, planning, construction and alternatives.

USEA Forum to Discuss Coal Utilization – The US Energy Assn will hold a forum on Thursday at 1:00 p.m. on chemical looping in coal utilization.  The event will feature work by Ohio State researcher Andrew Tong.

Forum to Look at City Partnerships on Renewables, EE – On Thursday at 2:00 p.m., the Alliance for a Sustainable future, a joint initiative of The U.S. Conference of Mayors and the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions (C2ES) will host a webinar on expanding energy efficiency and demand side management, adding more renewable energy and shifting the fuel mix of the local electric grid have emerged as critical strategies for cities striving to achieve ambitious climate goals. In this webinar, the ASF highlights how city-utility partnerships are engaging their communities and charting a course to a cleaner and smarter energy future, featuring collaborations in the Salt Lake City, and the Asheville, North Carolina, regions. These city-utility partnerships, which have local and regional impacts, offer valuable lessons for other cities around the country.

IN THE FUTURE

Infrastructure Week – May 14th -18th

Ross to Speak at Press Club – On Monday May 14th at 12:30 p.m.  Commerce Secretary will speak at a National Press Club Headliners Luncheon.  He’ll discuss how the DOC is creating conditions for economic growth and opportunity for the people of the US.  Secretary Ross, a former bankruptcy specialist and American investor, has been an increasingly common fixture on CNBC amidst the United States’ looming trade war with China (a result of President Trump’s deluge of new tariffs and changes to US trade policies) and his recent decision to overrule officials in the Census Bureau, an agency housed within the Department of Commerce, on the inclusion of a controversial citizenship question in the 2020 census.

Salazar Heads Press Club Dinner – The National Press Club Communicators Team hold its Legends Dinner on Wednesday, May 16th at 6:00 p.m. in the Winners’ Room.  The honored guest will be former Interior Secretary and Colorado Sen. Ken Salazar. The dinner conversation will focus on the important communications-based strategies that moved his agenda and built a strong communications team, touching on: due diligence, crisis management, gaining congressional and White House support, building consensus with business leaders and constituents and working with media and reporters.  Salazar will share practical lessons and challenges with that can bring value to contemporary communicators.

Senate Approps to Host Pruitt – EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt is scheduled to testify on May 16th before the Senate appropriations subcommittee that oversees his budget according to Sen. Lisa Murkowski, who chairs the panel.

BPC to look at Private-Public Partnerships – The BPC’s Executive Council on Infrastructure is holding an event on Wednesday May 16th at 10:00 a.m. highlighting the role of public-private partnerships, or P3s, in addressing America’s $2 trillion in unmet infrastructure needs. P3s can bring private sector innovation, expertise, and capital to projects, helping communities across the U.S. modernize their transportation, water, and other infrastructure systems. Keynote remarks by Australian Ambassador to US Joe Hockey and a panel featuring Bechtel’s Keith Hennessy and Lilliana Ortega of Parsons.

AEE to Hold Cybersecurity, Grid Webinar – The Advanced Energy Economy will hold a webinar on Thursday May 17th at 2:00 p.m. on cybersecurity in a distributed energy future.  The webinar will address protecting an evolving grid from digital attack. The  panel of experts — all contributors to the AEE Institute white paper on cybersecurity — will discuss ways to make an increasingly complex, interactive, and distributed electricity system more resilient against cyber threats. Panelists include John Berdner of Enphase Energy, NYPA’s Ken Carnes, Navigant’s Ken Lotterhos and Todd Wiedman, Director, Security and Network, Landis+Gyr. Moderated by Lisa Frantzis, Senior Vice President, 21st Century Energy System, Advanced Energy Economy.

Fox to Address Trade, Immigration, Trump – The National Press Club will host a Headliners Luncheon on Tuesday, May 22nd featuring former Mexican President Vicente Fox.  Fox will deliver an address entitled “Democracy at the Crossroads: Globalization versus Nationalism”.  Fox, a right-wing populist representing the National Action Party (PAN), was elected as the 55th President of Mexico on December 1, 2000. Winning with 42% of the vote, Fox made history as the first presidential candidate in 71 years to defeat the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI). Fox’s administration focused chiefly on improving trade relations with the United States and maintaining Mexico’s growing economy. Fox left office in 2006, and in a break with his country’s cultural norms and traditions has remained in the public eye post-presidency and has not been shy about expressing his views and opinions.

CSIS, EPIC to Hold Nuclear Forum – CSIS and the Energy Policy Institute at the University of Chicago (EPIC) will hold a half-day public conference on Thursday afternoon May 24th to address pressing questions in an effort to better understand the potential future of U.S. nuclear power. Nuclear energy faces an uncertain future in the United States as the fuel is beset by fierce competition from natural gas and renewable energy in many markets. Coupled with failure to deliver new projects on time and at cost, along with a public sensitive to operational safety, existing and future nuclear power generation is at risk in the United States.

FERC Chair Headlines EIA Annual Energy Conference – EIA holds Its annual 2018 Energy Conference on June 4th and 5th at the Washington Hilton.  FERC Chair Kevin McIntyre will keynote the event.

Hydrogen, Fuel Cell Forum Set for DC – The Fuel Cell and Hydrogen Energy Association will be hosting a full-day forum and exposition on Tuesday, June 12 in Washington, D.C. at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center with leading executives, experts, and policymakers on fuel cell and hydrogen technology. The forum will bring together key federal and state policymakers, including the Department of Energy and White House, as well as the broader environmental, transportation, and energy communities to raise awareness of the benefits of fuel cell and hydrogen technology. This event will precede the Department of Energy’s 2018 Annual Merit Review.

GTM to Host Grid Forum – Greentech Media host Grid Edge Innovation Summit on June 20th and 21st in San Francisco.  The event is an energy conference that will examine the energy customer of tomorrow and how new innovative business models are quickly emerging.  GTM brings together forward thinking and prominent members of the energy ecosystem and as our research team explores the future of the market. Former FERC Chair Jon Wellinghoff will speak along with many others, including our friends Shayle Kann, Julia Pyper and Stephen Lacey.

Young Professional Program for World Gas Forum Set – The Young Professionals Program (YPP) will hold a special forum during the World Gas Conference June 25-29 in Washington, DC.  YPP will provide a great opportunity for promising young professionals in the energy sector to learn from top leaders in the natural gas industry and network with their peers throughout the world.  More on this as we get closer.

Clean Energy Forum on Schedule – The 2018 Congressional Clean Energy Expo and Policy Forum will be held on July 10th and brings together up to 45-55 businesses, trade associations, and government agencies to showcase renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies.

Energy Update: Week of April 30

Friends,

Well, it seemed Scott Pruitt was getting a rough ride last Thursday on Capitol Hill but the White House Correspondents Dinner speaker Michelle Wolf may have underperformed him Saturday. Apparently, many didn’t particularly like a number of her jokes and her coverage was worse that NRDC’s coverage of Pruitt.  I am sad I missed it this year, but we were celebrating my colleague Scott Segal’s birthday.  Also, Hannah was home from Wellesley for the weekend to umpire a US national team field hockey match on Sunday.

Okay folks, the first week of May means it’s Kentucky Derby week.  The action starts Wednesday when post positions are drawn.  Kentucky Oaks on Friday and post time for the big race is 6:46 pm on Saturday.  We have the field and betting breakdown in a special section below.  I am telling you that Justify, Mendelssohn and Good Magic are who I’m watching, but see below for the full details and predictions.  

ICYMI, the FAA reauthorization passed Friday in the House and included provisions to update the Stafford Act (how we pay for disaster relief) that speeds up inspections and ensures a percentage of assistance is dedicated to predisaster hazard mitigation.  Given the approaching NOAA hurricane season forecast, as well as the current Congressional discussions of improving disaster relief, perhaps this is the right time to dig into this hurricane preparedness issue and focus on some of the solutions the most thoughtful planners are looking at today.  Researchers at MIT are already tackling part of the extreme weather calculus by looking at how to better fortify our structures to withstand the destructive effects of extreme weather events.  Jeremy Gregory, executive director of MIT’s Concrete Sustainability Hub (CSHub), is pushing the frontier of academic research into building materials, with implications for policymakers, building designers, communities and the vulnerable residents of hazard-prone areas.  We can help you here if you are digging in. Business Council for Sustainable Energy (BCSE) President Lisa Jacobson said the legislation “will ensure that the United States better prepares for disasters and extreme weather events and rebuilds more resiliently for when disaster does strike.”

Secondly, a number of folks reported on Friday that the Administration plans to freeze fuel economy standards at model year 2020 levels through at least model year 2026 vehicles.  While some are looking at it as a rollback, I would remind you that the Phase II targets were always seen as an overreach by most unbiased experts.  In fact, the agreement with a mid-term review was specifically designed to right-size the regs if it was likely that they would be unattainable (oh and they seem to be).  Either way, our friends at SAFE, Robbie Diamond, Greg Rogers, et al are In the middle of the action and can comment.  In fact, Diamond told the LA Times “a long, litigious road is the worst outcome for all stakeholders, especially the auto industry and American consumers.”

We taking a deep breathe this week with Congress in recess and more Pruitt hearings set for next week.

Off the Hill, this week is Waterpower Week in DC with the Hydro Association holding several events.  In Houston, the Offshore Technology Conference rolls into action.  Abby Hopper headlines Solar Summit 2018 tomorrow and Wednesday in San Diego and finally, the Columbia Center for Global Energy hosts an event today on conservative prescriptions on climate change that includes former Bush CEA chair Glenn Hubbard and our friend Rich Powell of ClearPath.

Finally, today is a big day in the trade world as temporary country exemptions on steel/aluminum tariffs expire.  My colleagues Josh Zive, Stoney Burke and Paul Nathanson are all over it and happy to discuss on the record.  As well, you can find more trade/tariff issues at the Coalition of American Metals Manufacturers and Users, which you can follow on Twitter at @tariffsaretaxes or on the website is www.tariffsaretaxes.org.

Call with questions.  Best,

Frank Maisano

(202) 828-5864

c. (202) 997-5932

 

FRANKLY SPOKEN

As the largest refiner by capacity in the U.S., with a best-in-class operating capability and a strong capital structure, the combined company will be exceptionally well-positioned to deliver on its synergy and earnings targets.”

Andeavor chairman and CEO, Gregg Goff discussing today’s deal with Marathon and how it provides value to shareholders now and in the future as part of the combined company.

 

ON THE POD

Bracewell Podcast Talking Trade – The latest Bracewell podcast will be posted soon and will focus on trade.  It will soon be live on Stitcher, iTunes, SoundCloud, and Google Play Music where Paul and Josh discuss today’s tariff deadline.

Amy Harder Talking Pruitt On TrumpWatch – With the Pruitt hearings last week, Amy Harder of Axios, New York’s WBA podcast “TrumpWatch”  to discuss whether Pruitt stays in his role at the EPA and discusses his  agenda.   , Amy discusses the testimony with host Jesse Lent about some of the more consequential actions he has taken while overseeing the EPA.

FUN OPINIONS

Harder Line on Climate – Our Friend Amy Harder has an Interesting column in her regular Harder Line column on Axios.com  that discusses why climate change can’t escape Washington’s back burner.  Amy smartly says climate change is one of the biggest issues facing political and corporate leaders, yet it is almost always put behind more imminent priorities. The amorphous, long-term nature of the problem doesn’t fit well into political agendas, and companies respond in kind.”  Even some of my friends in the environmental community with quietly admit this.  And it is also why Tom Steyer is now spending his millions on impeachment ads rather than the environment and climate.

THE DERBY PREVIEW

The annual Run for the Roses is back again for another edition of one of horse racing’s biggest events.

The first Triple Crown race of the year, the Kentucky Derby features a field of 20 horses vying for a purse of $2 million. Here’s a quick look at the basic information you need to know ahead of time so you don’t miss out on any of the festivities:

The 144th Kentucky Derby is the most exciting two minutes in sports.  It looks like we are in for a great and competitive race on Saturday. There are a few exciting prospects, and a few budding stars that will be going to post, but we also have some pretenders to sort through. The crop this year looks potentially strong, but important to note, while he qualified, Gronk is out because of a sickness.

Post time — 6:46 p.m.

Purse — $2 million, with $1.4 to the winner.

Attendance — More than 170,000

Weather — Mostly sunny and nice, 12% chance of precipitation, high of 81°.  The forecast is probably the single most important factor behind a good Kentucky Derby. It affects everything from track conditions, where wet weather can lead to a sloppy afternoon, to the infield, where wet weather can lead to a completely different kind of sloppy afternoon.  Bookmark willitrainonderbyday.com now and be sure to check back as we get closer to Derby Day.

TV — NBC’s coverage features hosts Bob Costas, a 27-time Emmy Award-winner, and Mike Tirico; analysts Randy Moss and Jerry Bailey, the Hall of Fame jockey and two-time Kentucky Derby winner; NBCSN host Krista Voda; analysts/handicappers Bob Neumeier and Eddie Olczyk; reporters Donna Brothers, Carolyn Manno, Laffit Pincay, III, and Kenny Rice; and race caller Larry Collmus.

The Distance — The Derby is 1 ¼ miles, or 10 furlongs.  Secretariat’s 1973 time of 1:59.40 remains the fastest ever.

The Draw — Post positions will be drawn Wednesday morning at 11:00 a.m.

Draw Facts — Since racing began using a starting gate in 1930, the #5 post has the highest win percent at 11.4%. Interestingly, the #10 spot that has the highest in-the-money percentage of runners at 29.6%. Conventional wisdom has it that the inside post positions are not as good for horses these days due to the size of the field and the risk of being squeezed out as the race progresses. Post positions 1, 2 and 3 have been in a drought without a winner since 1986, 1978 and 1998 respectively.  The official Kentucky Derby website has a convenient list of complete post position records for every Kentucky Derby over the years.

Churchill Downs — Known as the home of the Kentucky Derby and the Kentucky Oaks, Churchill Downs Racetrack is in Louisville, Kentucky and occupies 147 acres, featuring a one-mile dirt, oval racetrack and a seven furlong turf race course. Thoroughbred racing, the Kentucky Derby, and the Kentucky Oaks have run continuously at Churchill Downs since 1875. It features the Twin Spires — built in 1895 — that sit atop the grandstands, which remain among the most recognizable architectural features in the world.

What to Wear — The Kentucky Derby has been synonymous with style and glamour from the beginning. Today, it’s one of the only places in the world where people still dress to the hilt for a sporting event and where men’s fashion is just as important as women’s. From fantastic hats and colorful spring dresses to dashing bow ties and seersucker suits, Derby’s display of American style and tradition simply doesn’t exist anywhere else.

Men — The modern Derby man possesses an unparalleled color palette. Sun-drenched, tropical colors in bold stripes or busy plaid and bright pastels steal the limelight. Although, if you want a more polished look, a classic navy or pinstripe blazer is always in style. But remember, gentlemen: The secret to looking great is confidence.

Women — The Derby is a chance for every woman to express her inner Southern Belle. The race’s founder, Colonel M. Lewis Clark, Jr., had a vision for an experience that felt both comfortable and luxurious. Today, a myriad of fashions can be found at Derby – from cool sundresses to simple cocktail dresses and even more formal attire. But all these styles have one thing in common: the big Derby hat.  The extravagant hats that have become associated with the Derby did not really come around until the 1960s, when social fashion norms loosened up and the presence of television gave women a reason to stand out. The hats became larger, brighter, and more extravagant. Hats at the Kentucky Derby have become even more popular after the royal wedding in 2011, an event that showcased many elaborate hats and fascinators.  See a tutorial on Derby hats here.

The Apollo Curse — Not since the 8th running of the Derby has a horse won it without the benefit of a start as two-year old. That horse was Apollo who came with a late rush to beat Runnymeade back in 1882.  This year, we have not one but two horses looking to knock off the Apollo curse. Justify and Magnum Moon both come in looking strong and could end this streak.  Neither raced last year.
Breeder’s Juvenile — While it is a great race to win, the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile has not exactly been a harbinger for Derby winners. Nyquist is one of only two are the only two who won the Juvenile that also won the Roses.  Last year’s winner Good Magic may be good enough to go the distance.

THE FIELD of 20

Here are some horses in the field that I would look out for:

Magnum Moon (Trainer Todd Pletcher, Rider Luis Saez) – He is 4 for 4 without a start at two, taking the Rebel and Arkansas Derby. He will run in the Kentucky Derby off three weeks’ rest. He ran in the Arkansas Derby off a short rest and was bearing out significantly in that race. Three hard races in a relatively short window is cause for concern, especially when you watch the replay of him bearing out in the Arkansas Derby. The added distance doesn’t figure to help him, and at times, has shown a lack of maturity which could hurt in a big field. He should prompt the pace if not lead it.  It’s hard not to like an undefeated horse from the Pletcher barn, with a tough aggressive rider, but he has some negatives that could hurt him, especially if the pace is fast.

Mendelssohn (Trainer Aidan O’Brien, Rider Ryan Moore) – It should have come as no surprise this horse can motor on dirt. His race in Dubai amounted to a public workout. Yes the track was kind to speed and the rail was good but he ran fast, went easily, and by no means needs the front. He’s won on turf, synthetic, and on dirt. He’s been a mile and 3 sixteenths, that’s further than anyone he will face in Louisville. His last win is faster than any in here have run and if he repeats that (or anything close to it) he will be very tough to beat.

Justify (Trainer Bob Baffert, Rider Mike Smith) – It is probably not possible for a colt to be in better hands coming up to the Derby than Justify is with trainer (Baffert) and rider (Smith). He’s three for three with no starts at two, but only raced at Santa Anita, which is a question mark despite him being the likely favorite at Post time.  He has plenty of speed but he doesn’t have to be right on the lead. He can stalk and pounce and I suspect that is what Smith will attempt to do.  He will likely be the favorite and has had a strong showing during Churchill Downs workouts over the past couple of days, clocking in at 1:13 over six furlongs.

Good Magic (Trainer Chad Brown, Rider Jose Ortiz) – Good Magic just won in the Blue Grass and was last year’s  Breeders’ Cup Juvenile champ as a maiden.   He has lofty expectations and trained great lately.  He will probably sit off a projected fast or even contested pace, but go when called upon.  Ortiz is a winning machine and chooses wisely in big races so look out for this one.

Audible (Trainer Todd Pletcher, Rider Javier Castellano) – Audible is popular but his pedigree doesn’t scream a mile and a quarter.  As well, his Florida Derby win had a lot of good Luck in it as he sat off a suicide hot pace and moved into it at the right time to finish the field.  Experts worry about his finish.  Interestingly, world-class rider John Velazquez won the Florida Derby aboard this colt but jumped off to ride Vino Rosso.  That should tell you something.

Vino Rosso (Trainer Todd Pletcher, Rider John Velazquez) – Speaking of Vino, he looks like a true distance horse (given his breeding) and after a good race in the Wood Memorial, he pulled veteran rider Velazquez off Audible. He can sit back and make one run into a contested and probably fast pace. He looks like he put it all together at the right time and should be right there. The worry with Vino is he may be already peaking and if he has, it will be difficult for him to win.

Bolt D’ Oro (Trainer Mick Ruis, Rider Victor Espinoza) – While fast and talented, he doesn’t seem to be as fast and talented as Justify. He will need some help from his trip and his experience to turn those tables. It also hurt his chances when Javier Castellano, in search of that elusive first Kentucky Derby win, jumped off this colt to ride Audible. Victor Espinoza is a great replacement for the big show, but the he hasn’t really run faster than he did as a two-years old. That is a little strange and rare. A good pedigree with Medaglia d’ Oro and A.P. Indy makes him one to still keep an eye on.

Noble Indy (Trainer Todd Pletcher, Rider TBA) – The Louisiana Derby winner was somewhat lucky to beat both Lone Sailor and My Boy Jack in that race. He will face both again along with a host of others. He has speed to be part of the pace or close to it. He doesn’t look like the distance will do him any favors. He may be in the mix longer than some think, but likely not at the finish. He will probably struggle with an expected fast pace and the longer distance.

My Boy Jack (Trainer Keith Desormeaux, Rider Kent Desormeaux) – MBJ is coming off 3 less than ideal trips starting with a win up the rail in the mud. He ran on the rail (and was not intimidated by it) and likes the mud.  He also is a strong finisher as evidenced by his Louisiana Derby finish where he can from far back and was very wide. He is agile, brave and doesn’t quit.  He has a three race super steady pattern and may be peaking at the right time.  He has lots of speed and will likely finish strong.  And if there is any bit of rain, he won’t mind it wet.

Hofburg (Trainer Bill Mott, Rider Irad Ortiz) – If you are looking for a sleeper, another intriguing colt who lacks seasoning is Hofburg.  He ran in the Florida Derby where he was wide but never surrendered and kept coming against a much more seasoned and accomplished foe who also got the jump on him. He can easily turn those tables with the race behind him and with the added distance he should relish.  It will take a lot of talent to overcome his inexperience but he could be a really good one flying under the radar.

Combatant (Trainer Steve Asmussen, Rider Ricardo Santana) – With an unlucky wide draw in Arkansas, Combatant is improving and can rally from off the pace but also not too far off if Santana chooses. He will be long odds but could surprise.

Others: Enticed, Flameaway, Noble Indy, Firenze Fire, Free Drop Billy, Lone Sailor, Bravezo – These are all long shots but if I had to consider them, I might think Free Drop Billy, who had a great two-year old year but just hasn’t shown anything this year, might be a sleeper. As well, Brazevo is trained by D Wayne Lukas and ridden by Gary Stevens and while not as talented, that team has won big surprises before including Oxbow in the Preakness in 2013.

THE PACE

Pace makes the race, and the Kentucky Derby is no exception. It looks like there is enough early speed in this race to insure either a lively pace or possibly a contested one. It is impossible to get a read on this until we see the draw Wednesday morning. Post positions affect jockey strategies and will definitely change outlooks. It is likely Promises Fulfilled will likely be the initial pacesetter provided he breaks well. The only other scenario I see at this point is a Mike Smith decision to go if Justify breaks well and gets the jump. He probably doesn’t want to lead, but will if it there, knowing Justify can handle it.  Justify is inexperienced so a clean ride without a lot of dirt and not having to bounce in the stretch may help him. The pace is the Derby is usually a fast one as the track is likely to be playing fast, especially with the forecast, but once things are out there are a number of pace pressers (Magnum Moon, Enticed, Flameaway, Noble Indy, Firenze Fire) all have enough speed to hang.  A fast pace does not mean speed can’t win if someone is loose and gets brave but it will be hard for the speed to hold at a mile and a quarter if things get contested.  Mendelssohn’s strength may give him an edge on some or most of the stalkers.  We’ll know more with the draw on Wednesday and with track conditions on Saturday, but it looks like a closers race on paper unless Justify is just too good.

ODDS

Odds to win 2018 Kentucky Derby (5/5/18) – per Sportsbook.ag as of today (4/30/18):

  • Justify 3-1
  • Bolt D’oro 18-5
  • Mendelssohn 9-2
  • My Boy Jack 9-2
  • Magnum Moon 19-4
  • Audible 13-2
  • Good Magic 15-2
  • Hofburg 10-1
  • Vino Rosso 16-1
  • Enticed 20-1
  • Solomini 25-1
  • Noble Indy 28-1
  • Flameaway 30-1
  • Instilled Regard 35-1
  • Free Drop Billy 40-1
  • Bravazo 50-1
  • Combatant 50-1
  • Lone Sailor 50-1
  • Promises Fulfilled 50-1
  • Firenze Fire 75-1

2018 Kentucky Derby Prediction

I don’t like to pick favorites, especially those that are under the Apollo Curse, but my gut says Justify is the best and strongest horse in the field.  If he is a favorite at 7-2 or higher, I am definitely laying cash there, but I don’t expect him to stay there.   Anything lower and I’ll probably box him up with Mendelssohn and Good Magic in the Trifecta box and add either My Boy Jack or Magnum Moon for the Super.

Win: Justify

Trifecta Box: Justify, Mendelssohn, Good Magic

Superfecta Box: Justify, Mendelssohn, Good Magic with My Boy Jack or Magnum Moon

Sleepers: Hofburg (10-1) and/or My Boy Jack (9-2)

Long Shots: Free Drop Willy (40-1) or Bravazo (50-1), each worth the $2 bet

IN THE NEWS

Marathon, Andeavor Connecting – Marathon Petroleum said today it will buy out San Antonio’s Andeavor, in a $23.3 billion cash-and-stock deal, bringing together the second-largest U.S. refiner and a highly integrated marketing, logistics and refining company.  The deal will see Marathon swap each Andeavor share for either 1.87 shares of Marathon common stock or $152.27 in cash; the deal is structured so that about 15% of Andeavor’s shares will receive the cash consideration.
Marathon investors will hold about 66% of the company, while Andeavor investors will own the other 34%.  The combined company will continue to use Marathon’s Findlay, Ohio, headquarters but will maintain an office in San Antonio, Texas, where Andeavor is currently based.  Gregg Goff, Andeavor chairman and CEO, said the deal provides value to shareholders now and in the future as part of the combined company.  The deal, which is subject to shareholder approval by both company’s investors as well as regulatory approval, is expected to close during the second half of 2017.

FAA Legislation Approved – The House approved FAA reauthorization legislation Friday.  The must-pass bill includes the Disaster Recovery Reform Act (DRRA), which reforms the Stafford Act. The DRRA clarifies existing assistance programs to speed up inspections and ensure that a percentage of assistance is dedicated to predisaster hazard mitigation.  The most important changes to the Stafford Act – which is how we pay disaster assistance – reduces restrictions for mitigation assistance and aims to ensure assistance is provided efficiently. The DRRA also mandates a FEMA guidance enabling cooperation with state and local governments in acquiring “open space” as a mitigation measure. This is significant most everyone agrees that hurricanes in the US are intensifying, both in frequency and in strength.  Every year, we seem to be incurring more damage and spending more on repairs.  The FAA changes underscore the immediate and demonstrable results of fortifying our structures to withstand the destructive effects of extreme weather events.  To that end, researchers at MIT are already tackling this part of the extreme weather calculus.  Jeremy Gregory, executive director of MIT’s Concrete Sustainability Hub (CSHub), is pushing the frontier of academic research into building materials, with implications for policymakers, building designers, communities, and the vulnerable residents of hazard-prone areas.

CPP Comments Filed – The Electric Reliability Coordinating Council submitted comments on the Clean Power Plan repeal last Thursday as the deadline closed.  ERCC argued 1) the CPP went well beyond EPA’s Authority under Section 111(d) of the Clean Air Act; 2) CPP Is fundamentally inconsistent with the Cooperative Federalism Principles that Congress established in the CAA and other Federal Statutes; 3) the Clean Power Plan is just bad policy because it jeopardizes electric supply and harms consumers while essentially doing nothing to reduce climate change.  Finally, ERCC said it supports efforts for EPA to replace the CPP with regulations based on sound legal and economic principles. “Such an effort would provide regulatory certainty, diminish frivolous litigation, and aide the planning efforts of power companies and state utility commissions.”

Energy Storage Legislation Introduced – Reps. Steve Knight (R-CA) and Bill Foster (D-IL) have introduces legislation (H.R. 5610) that would establish a set of concrete innovation goals in the coming years for energy storage technologies. The Better Energy Storage Technology (BEST) Act is modeled after similar “moonshot” initiatives, including John F. Kennedy’s original goal of landing a man on the moon that propelled the U.S. past Russia in the space race. The same type of moonshot goals can be applied to technologies such as energy and battery storage as the U.S. looks to keep up with and surpass China in the global clean energy race.  The House bill is similar to one in the Senate introduced by Sens. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) and Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.)

DOE Announces $60M for Advanced Nuclear Technology Development – Energy Secretary Rick Perry announced 13 projects that will receive about $60 million to support cost-shared research and development in advanced nuclear technologies. The selections — broken down into categories pertaining to nuclear demonstration readiness, advanced reactor development, and regulatory assistance grants — are the first under the Office of Nuclear Energy’s “U.S. Industry Opportunities for Advanced Nuclear Technology Development” effort.  The announcement includes $40 million in DOE funding for NuScale’s small modular reactor design effort and nearly $5 million for a project to design and license application development for a facility capable of handling high-assay, low-enriched uranium and production of uranium fuels required for advanced nuclear fleets.

Report: Market, Regulatory Challenges to Pumped Storage Growth – With WATERPOWER Week upon us, the National Hydropower Association released a new report that says developing market changes that recognize the energy reliability and security role pumped storage plays and evaluating energy storage technologies based on their abilities to provide key supporting services to the overall electric grid. The report also recommends streamlining licenses for low-impact pumped storage hydropower and developing standard evaluation criteria for all forms of energy storage to better compare and evaluate different types of storage.

Report Looks at Nuclear, Renewables Integration – MIT Energy Initiative and Argonne National Lab teamed up for a report underscoring how nuclear and renewable power can work in tandem under a more diverse and reliable grid. “We find that operating nuclear plants in a more flexible manner, including varying power output to integrate renewable energy and supplying valuable operating reserves and frequency regulation, presents a potential ‘win-win-win’,” MIT’s Jesse Jenkins said. Jenkins and his modeled the benefits of pairing renewable resources with more flexible operation of nuclear power plants in a recent paper in Applied Energy. During summer 2015, the team worked on two power systems projects: one on the role of energy storage in a low-carbon electricity grid, and the other on the role of nuclear plants. Linking the two projects, the report uses new sources of operating flexibility to integrate more renewable resources into the grid.

 

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

Offshore Tech Conference Set – The Offshore Technology Conference (OTC) starts today and runs through Thursday at NRG Park (formerly Reliant Park) in Houston.  The conference is focused on scientific and technical knowledge for offshore resources and environmental matters. OTC showcases leading-edge technology for offshore drilling, exploration, production, and environmental protection. OTC is the world’s foremost event for the development of offshore resources.

MI Innovation Council to Hold Meeting – Michigan Energy Innovation Business Council holds its 6th Annual conference today at the Radisson Hotel Lansing at the Capitol. The full-day conference focuses on innovations in advanced energy, as well as get an overview on the latest policy developments. There will be several break-out panels throughout the day featuring dozens of expert panelists. The event brings together leaders in Michigan’s advanced energy industry, utility executives, policymakers, regulators, and others.

Forum to Look at Climate, Conservative Views – The Columbia Center for Global Energy hosts an event today on conservative prescriptions on climate change.  As part of its continuing series “Where Next on Climate?” the Center on Global Energy Policy will host a program focusing on conservative prescriptions to deal with climate change. Dr. Glenn Hubbard, Dean of the Columbia Business School and former chair of the Council of Economic Advisors under President George W. Bush, will offer opening remarks, then lead a panel discussion with our friend Rich Powell of ClearPath, John Diamond of Rice University’s Baker Institute for Public Policy and Lynne Kiesling of Purdue University and R Street Institute.

NHA holds Washington Waterpower Week – The National Hydropower Assn holds Waterpower Week in Washington today through Wednesday.  Waterpower Week is comprised of three co-located conferences rolled into one: NHA’s Annual Conference, International Marine Renewable Energy Conference (IMREC), and Marine Energy Technology Symposium (METS). This 3-day jam packed event provides you the opportunity to network, learn about legislative and regulatory initiatives, and discuss the issues impacting hydropower and marine energy industry.

Solar Summit Set for SD – GTM’s Solar Summit 2018 will be held in San Diego tomorrow and Wednesday at the Hyatt La Jolla.  This conference will present deep dives by the top industry executives and thought leaders that will help you navigate the challenges in the market.  SEIA’s Abby Hopper and former Governator Cal EPA head Terry Tamminen are among the list of speakers.

CSIS to Look at Carbon PricingThe CSIS Energy & National Security Program will host John Larsen (Rhodium Group; CSIS), Jerry Taylor (Niskanen Center), and Thomas Kerr (IFC) tomorrow to discuss the state of play of carbon markets and pricing around the world. Carbon pricing and emissions trading systems (ETS) have been gaining momentum as tools to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and meet Paris Agreement targets. The majority of OECD countries have a carbon pricing mechanism in place.  Despite progress, carbon pricing and ETS only cover approximately 15% of global emissions. The United States is still without a nation-wide carbon price, a politically fraught issue. Ultimately, prices must be significantly higher, and these mechanisms more widely adopted, in order to meet the goals of the Paris Agreement. Whether pricing carbon and ETS will come to meet expectations remains an open question.

Forum to Look at PJM Region Energy Issues – On Wednesday, the Great Plains Institute and Duke University’s Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions hold an expert workshop for state officials and stakeholders exploring recent energy and environmental policy developments in the PJM region.  Federal Energy Regulatory Commissioner Robert F. Powelson will deliver a keynote address.  After Commissioner Powelson’s keynote, Adam Keech, Executive Director of PJM Market Operations will present on recent developments at the RTO. A panel of state leaders will then react to recent PJM proposals and decisions and present on state-level developments. An industry panel will explore trends in the electricity industry, including recent commitments by utilities to decarbonize their portfolios. A third panel will explore timely environmental issues, from the new tax credit for carbon capture and storage projects to EV charging infrastructure and Virginia’s move to link to RGGI.

Forum to Focus on Russian Energy – On Wednesday at 10:00 a.m., the Atlantic Council holds a timely discussion on Russia’s energy strategy, the final event in a four-part series on Russia Today and Tomorrow: Internal Strengths and Weaknesses.  Russia remains one of the largest oil and natural gas producers in the world. Its economy largely depends on energy exports, with revenues accounting for about a half of the country’s federal budget. Dr. Tatiana Mitrova, director of the Energy Center at the Moscow School of Management SKOLKOVO, will be presenting a paper of Russia’s energy strategy. This will be followed by a panel discussion which will explore the current state of the energy industry in Russia, as well as its immediate and long-term strategy and the influence of the Russian government that includes our friend Elizabeth Rosenberg of the Center for a New American Security.

JHU Forum to Look at China, Enviro Policies – On Wednesday at 12:00 p.m., Johns Hopkins University’s School of Advanced International Studies hosts a forum on Chinese environmental policies.  Professor Rui Wang specializes in the public policy analysis for sustainable development, especially on issues related to cities or China. Professor Wang’s research appears in the areas of public policy, economics, and natural science and has been covered in the Atlantic, Harvard Business Review, Los Angeles Times and New York Times. He also gave talks at the China Finance 40 Forum, Hong Kong Monetary Authority, Los Angeles World Affairs Council, RAND, World Bank, and numerous academic conferences and institutions. His works on California’s local climate actions, China’s urban household carbon emissions, and parking in China’s cities were cited by the IPCC’s Fifth Assessment Report. Professor Wang is the inaugural Johns Hopkins SAIS China Yeung Family Endowed Scholar and a steering committee member of the Johns Hopkins 21st Century Cities Initiative.

NAS to Hold Forum on WIPP – The National Academies of Sciences hosts a public meeting on Wednesday at 2:30 p.m. focused on the disposal of surplus plutonium in the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant in New Mexico.

Forum Looks at Climate – The Wilderness Society hosts “Climate Change and U.S. Public Lands” on Thursday morning at 8:30 a.m. at the National Press Club.  The forum is the second of a series of panel discussions aim to give the information, resources and connections journalists need to continue telling in-depth, powerful stories that explore the implications of current and future energy, environment and climate policies.  This upcoming panel discussion will dig deeper into the role that U.S. public lands play in the climate change discussions and solution, and the issues that surround it, with topics including: energy production and emissions tracking on public lands; the impact of an energy dominance agenda on the administration’s view of climate change and participation on an international stage; aspects of impacts and adaptation; and carbon storage.  Speakers include former Governor of Colorado Bill Ritter, former Deputy Secretary, U.S. Department of Interior David Hayes, Mother Jones writer Rebeccca LKeber and WaPo’s Dino Grandoni.

Forum  Looks at Oil in Iraq – The Middle East Institute (MEI) hosts a panel discussion on Thursday at 2:00 p.m. examining options and priorities for improving governance in Iraq, featuring Erin Banco, investigative reporter for the Star-Ledger and NJ.com; Alan Eyre (State Department), Omar Al-Nidawi (Gryphon Partners), and MEI Scholar Jean Francois Seznec. The panel will be moderated by MEI’s director for conflict resolution and Track II dialogues, Randa Slim.

IN THE FUTURE

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

Approps Subpanel to Mark Energy Budget – The House Appropriations Committee’s Subcommittee on Energy and Water Development, and Related Agencies will meet next Monday AT 5:30 p.m. to mark-up  the FY 2019 Energy and Water Appropriations Bill.

BP Tech Head to Discuss Global Energy – The Atlantic Council’s Global Energy Center will hold a wide-ranging discussion next Tuesday at 9:00 a.m. about the role of technology in shaping the future of global energy. The energy industry is changing faster than at any time in our lifetime. It faces two huge challenges: firstly, providing more energy than ever before to meet the world’s increasing demand; and secondly, transitioning to a lower carbon future. Drawing upon analysis conducted by BP and its partners, BP’s Technology Head David Eyton will discuss some of the major longer-term signals out to 2050, as well as key findings in transport, power and heat. Eyton’s conversation with Amb. Morningstar will also cover the key game-changing technologies for the energy industry and the challenges we face.

Senate Approps to Host Pruitt – EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt is scheduled to testify the week of May 7th before the Senate appropriations subcommittee that oversees his budget according to Sen. Lisa Murkowski, who chairs the panel.

BPC to Host Panel on Federal Science – The Bipartisan Policy Center will Host a Forum on Tuesday May 8th at 9:00 a.m., looking at federal funding for Fiscal Year 2018 for research and development. Continually developing new scientific knowledge and technologies drives long-term economic growth and creates higher-skilled jobs. BPC will focus its conversation on federal investment in scientific research and innovation and how to maintain America’s economic and competitive edge.

Senate Energy Committee to Look at Puerto Rico – The Senate Energy Committee will convene an oversight hearing next Tuesday at 10:00 a.m. to examine the current status of Puerto Rico’s electric grid and proposals for the future operation of the grid.

Forum to Discuss LNG Study – U.S. Energy Association will hold a forum on Tuesday, May 8th at 10:00 a.m. featuring energy economists at ICF who recently conducted a study for LNG Allies.  The study “Calculating the Benefits of US LNG Exports” looked at direct, indirect, and induced value added ($GDP) and employment from LNG terminals and the natural gas feedstock.  The principal author of the ICF report, Harry Vidas, joins Fred H. Hutchison, President/CEO, of LNG Allies to discuss the findings.

EnviroRun Features Amy Harder – Next Tuesday, Envirorun DC hosts Amy Harder, energy and climate change reporter at Axios. Amy is an energy and climate change reporter at Axios, both in her regular column called Harder Line, and her other reporting for Axios she covers congressional legislation, regulations, lobbying, and international policy actions affecting energy and climate change issues in the United States. She previously covered the same issues for The Wall Street Journal and before that at National Journal.  The run begins at 6 PM and we will return to the venue for networking and hear from the speaker at 7:00 pm.

OPIS Looks at West Coast Fuel Supply – OPIS holds a forum in Napa Valley at the Silverado Resort on May 9th and 10th looking at West Coast fuel supplies and transportation opportunities.  Industry experts will examine the impact of new players in the Western markets, opportunities that California assets can offer, carbon emissions regulations, renewable fuels, plus get an exclusive technical analysis of West Coast spot market prices.

Forum to Look at Nuclear Challenges – The Center for Climate and Energy Solutions holds a conversation on Wednesday May 9th at GWU’s Lerner Hall at 9:30 a.m. featuring utilities, federal and state policy experts, and industry analysts to discuss solutions to address this question and others.  The event will feature a keynote from Ralph Izzo, CEO of PSEG, as well as perspectives on state policy options, environmental and economic impacts, and the federal landscape.

WCEE Forum Looks Congressional Energy Agenda – The Women’s Council on Energy and the Environment (WCEE) will host a forum on Thursday, May 10th at 8:00 a.m. at the American Gas Association to look at the Congressional agenda in the first year of the Trump Administration.  WCEE hosts for a wide-ranging conversation over breakfast about Congressional priorities and areas for bipartisan agreement on energy and environment issues. Key Congressional staffers who will offer their insights and opinions on the busy year that lies ahead include Senate Energy’s Chester Carson and Brie Van Cleve, Emily Domenech of the House Science Committee’s Energy panel, House Energy and Commerce Committee’s Energy and Environment Majority Chief Counsel Mary Martin and several others.

CSIS, EPIC to Hold Nuclear Forum – CSIS and the Energy Policy Institute at the University of Chicago (EPIC) will hold a half-day public conference on Thursday afternoon May 24th to address pressing questions in an effort to better understand the potential future of U.S. nuclear power. Nuclear energy faces an uncertain future in the United States as the fuel is beset by fierce competition from natural gas and renewable energy in many markets. Coupled with failure to deliver new projects on time and at cost, along with a public sensitive to operational safety, existing and future nuclear power generation is at risk in the United States.

FERC Chair Headlines EIA Annual Energy Conference – EIA holds Its annual 2018 Energy Conference on June 4th and 5th at the Washington Hilton.  FERC Chair Kevin McIntyre will keynote the event.

Hydrogen, Fuel Cell Forum Set for DC – The Fuel Cell and Hydrogen Energy Association will be hosting a full-day forum and exposition on Tuesday, June 12 in Washington, D.C. at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center with leading executives, experts, and policymakers on fuel cell and hydrogen technology. The forum will bring together key federal and state policymakers, including the Department of Energy and White House, as well as the broader environmental, transportation, and energy communities to raise awareness of the benefits of fuel cell and hydrogen technology. This event will precede the Department of Energy’s 2018 Annual Merit Review.

GTM to Host Grid Forum – Greentech Media host Grid Edge Innovation Summit on June 20th and 21st in San Francisco.  The event is an energy conference that will examine the energy customer of tomorrow and how new innovative business models are quickly emerging.  GTM brings together forward thinking and prominent members of the energy ecosystem and as our research team explores the future of the market. Former FERC Chair Jon Wellinghoff will speak along with many others, including our friends Shayle Kann, Julia Pyper and Stephen Lacey.

Young Professional Program for World Gas Forum Set – The Young Professionals Program (YPP) will hold a special forum during the World Gas Conference June 25-29 in Washington, DC.  YPP will provide a great opportunity for promising young professionals in the energy sector to learn from top leaders in the natural gas industry and network with their peers throughout the world.  More on this as we get closer.

Clean Energy Forum on Schedule – The 2018 Congressional Clean Energy Expo and Policy Forum will be held on July 10th and brings together up to 45-55 businesses, trade associations, and government agencies to showcase renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies.

Energy Update: Week of April 16

Friends,

Welcome to Marathon Monday, better known as Patriot’s Day.  Today is the 122nd Boston Marathon and this year the weather looks pretty windy, cold and soggy.  You can see the Boston Globe’s coverage full coverage here.  The elite runners have already finished and for the first time in 33 years, an American woman has claimed victory.  Metro Detroit native Desiree Linden took the lead around the 35-kilometer mark and did not look back, capturing her first major marathon win by a wide margin as she crossed the finish line in 2:39:54. Meanwhile, Japan’s Yuki Kawauchi completed a wild come-from-behind win, closing a 90-second gap in the last mile to overtake defending champion Geoffrey Kirui in 2:10:46.

For the second year, Marathon Monday has special meaning for us as Hannah is reporting live from the rainy “Wellesley Scream tunnel” at Mile 13.  A few folks from NBC Sports Network joined college organizers for the sign-making event at Wellesley’s Davis Museum last year for a Boston Marathon Segment on the Scream Tunnel.  The course, which rolls right past campus, is a celebratory tradition. It also has been 5 years since the 2013 terrorist attack, which highlighted the amazing strength and healing the city showed as a community.  The days surrounding that fateful attack were depicted very well in the recent movie Patriot’s Day.  Finally, starting Thursday, our friends at Valero host the PGA’s Texas Open this week in San Antonio at the TPC.  Last year’s Masters Champ Sergio Garcia, defending champ Kevin Chappell, Martin Kaymer and Jim Furyk are among those players in the field.

It is a busy week in DC after Paul Ryan announced his intention to retire as Speaker.  There are a bunch of budget hearings in the enviro/energy space headlined by FERC Commissioners at House Energy tomorrow and Ag Sect Perdue at Approps on Wednesday.  Meanwhile, House Ways & Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady hosts a closed-door “roundtable” Wednesday to discuss more issues on tax extenders.  Other hearings include Senate Energy hearings on energy-related challenges and opportunities in remote and rural areas featuring NRECA members Thursday and an NPS officials discussing Park maintenance tomorrow, as well as a Senate Enviro hearing on States and groundwater Wednesday.

Other great events this week include a Tax Day event at the Chamber tomorrow as well as a forum at UChicago’s Energy Policy Institute that features my colleague Jeff Holmstead and our friend Amy Harder of Axios. On Wednesday, WCEE hosts a brown bag lunch with our friends Maya Weber, Pam King and Jasmin Melvin to discuss energy and Trump.  Then Thursday, the Columbia Global Energy Project hosts half-day forum will include keynote remarks, interviews and plenary conversations with folks like CP CEO Ryan Lance, Dave Banks, DOE’s Dan Brouillette and IEA’s Fatih Birol.

Finally, for those of you on the trade/tariff beat as well, opponents of steel and aluminum tariffs will release new report at the National Press Club on Wednesday at 2:00 p.m. that will reveal the downward effect of tariffs on steel capacity utilization as well as will detail the decline in U.S. manufacturing jobs that result from the Section 232 tariffs. The event will also mark the launch of the Coalition of American Metal Manufacturers and Users, comprised of small and medium U.S. manufacturing companies united in an effort to oppose the 25% tariff on steel imports.

Remember to send in your taxes!!!  Call with questions.  Best,

 

Frank Maisano

(202) 828-5864

c. (202) 997-5932

 

FRANKLY SPOKEN

“Andrew (Wheeler)’s work for over a decade in a variety of leadership roles in Congress and his previous work at EPA itself make him uniquely qualified for his new role, and we look forward to working with him.” 

Karen Harbert, president and CEO of U.S. Chamber’s Global Energy Institute on the Senate approval of Andrew Wheeler’s nomination to be Deputy Administrator at EPA

 

ON THE POD

CapCrude Looks at New Mexico Prominence as Oil Producer – New Mexico has become the third top US oil-producing state. EIA oil market analysts Jeff Barron and Mason Hamilton return to Capitol Crude this week to talk about New Mexican oil production, which has jumped ahead of Alaska and California thanks to the Permian Basin.  Our friend Meghan Gordon interviews.

FUN OPINIONS

Axios Column: Why Trump Should Redo Fuel Standards – Our friend Amy Harder of Axios has a great column out today on President Trump’s moves on the Obama fuel standards.  She argues of the environmental regulations President Trump is rolling back, the one that makes the most sense to rewrite-but not repeal-are the fuel-efficiency standards former President Obama issued in 2012.  Amy argues the average stated fuel economy of new vehicles purchased has flatlined at around 25 miles per gallon since October 2014, right when oil prices were dropping partly in response to America’s oil boom. This is because consumers have shifted their preferences from cars to bigger vehicles.

IN THE NEWS

ClearPath Expert Weighs In on Nuclear Breakthrough – It’s understandable to lose track of every nook and cranny in the massive budget deal Congress recently approved, including an important revision and extension of a key carbon capture incentive (more on that HERE).  But embedded in that deal was another update to the tax code too important to overlook. In fact, it is the most impactful congressional action to propel the future of nuclear energy in more than a decade.  ClearPath’s in-house nuclear guru Spencer Nelson breaks down the significance of this bipartisan fix to the 45J nuclear production tax credit, which will not only help complete the AP1000 reactor expansion at Georgia Power’s Plant Vogtle but is also essential to helping next-generation small modular reactors and other more advanced technologies. Spencer also explains why this 45J fix alone is likely insufficient to spur those advanced technologies. Among other needed steps: Securing a steady domestic uranium source, Nuclear Regulatory Commission reform, a fast-spectrum test reactor user facility, moonshot technology demonstration goals, indirect financing and a solution to nuclear waste storage.

White House Moves on Reforming NAAQS Rules, Timelines – The White House issued an executive order late last week ordering EPA to ease some of its procedures around the regulating of six key air pollutants under the Clean Air Act. Highlights from the order include 1) EPA must complete reviews of state plans to reduce pollution within 18 months, 2) It must complete reviews of project pre-construction permits within a year, 3) Review the federal plans imposed on some states under the regional haze program to see if they can be replaced with state plans, 4) When considering emissions levels, EPA must take into account pollution from other countries, even in states that are not on U.S. borders. It also must consider whether states have reduced pollution to “background levels” and 5) allow states to engage in trading of pollution offsets.  The Chamber’s Dan Byers Dan Byers said the directive contains “commonsense reforms that will improve the air quality regulatory process so domestic manufacturing and job creation face fewer regulatory barriers. The EPA, states, and businesses have a long track record of working cooperatively to improve air quality across the nation. Unfortunately, during the previous administration, that cooperation was abandoned in favor of an overly aggressive approach that unfairly burdened state and local economies. Byers adds this directive will restore the cooperation necessary for continued environmental progress while enhancing the competitiveness of U.S. industry.”

EPA Deputy Approved – The Senate confirmed former longtime Capitol Hill aide Andrew Wheeler as deputy administrator of EPA 53-45, despite some Complaints and delays from Democrats.  Dem Sens. Manchin, Heitkamp, Donnelly and Republican Susan Collins all supported Wheeler, who also worked at EPA under Presidents George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton.  Chamber’s Global Energy Institute CEO Karen Harbert, said they are pleased that the Senate has confirmed Wheeler.  Harbert says his extensive experience and deep knowledge will be an asset to EPA as it seeks to implement its agenda.

Perry to Head to India – Energy Secretary Rick Perry said he will tout the potential of exporting U.S. carbon capture technologies in a trip beginning Friday in India. The conversation will center on India’s continued growth in buying U.S. technologies to innovate their energy sector and carbon capture “will be part of that,” Perry responded to Sen. John Hoeven (R-N.D.) at a Senate Energy and Water Appropriations FY19 budget hearing. “We want it to be U.S.-based resources as often as possible but we also want it to be as clean burning as it can be,” Perry said.  Hoeven touted efforts in his state, including Project Tundra, which would retrofit an existing coal facility with carbon capture technologies.

GTM Report Looks at Global Storage Market – The annual global energy storage market will be 8.6 GW and 21.6 GWh by 2022, according to a new GTM Research report. The U.S. is expected to stay at the forefront of the global market through 2022 but China will grow to be the second-largest market in 2019.  The new report on worldwide storage deployments from GTM Research says U.S. and Australia led the pack in 2017, thanks to several mega-projects coming online, and market drivers that reward storage investment. Germany and Australia thrive in the residential storage segment, which hasn’t achieved significant scale in the U.S.  China is just getting started, but could surpass almost everyone in deployments over the next five years.  Most of these markets have barely emerged from their pilot stages and offer very few use cases for storage that can earn a profit. Expect that to change rapidly in the coming years. In the meantime, here’s what you need to know about the global energy storage market.

Ameren Startup Accelerator Seeks to Develop Smart Grid Tech – Midwest Energy News has a great Q&A with Brian Dixon, CEO of Capital Innovators in St. Louis, Missouri about his company’s partnership with Ameren on an energy tech accelerator.  The Ameren Accelerator, an energy start-up incubator based in St. Louis, develops innovative technology through a partnership with power company Ameren, the University of Missouri, UMSL Accelerate and Capital Innovators. Last year, Ameren selected seven companies to participate on smart grid technology. For example, Hyperion Sensors is developing a smart transformer; Omega Grid, a software platform that facilitates peer-to-peer energy exchange and WIFIPLUG, an open-source smart plug.

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

Cal Gov heads to Press Club – California Gov. Jerry Brown will speak at the National Press Club tomorrow morning at 8:30 a.m. in the Zenger Room.  Gov. Brown will join NPC President Andrea Edney to discuss how California has changed under his leadership and the challenges facing his successor.

Chamber Holds Tax Event – On Tax Day tomorrow, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce will host a forum featuring Sen. Pat Toomey to address discuss the benefits of the recently enacted tax reform legislation.  There will also be panels featuring energy issues.

FERC Commissioner Head to House Energy – The House Energy and Commerce Committee panel on energy will host all FERC commissioners to testify tomorrow on budget issues.

Senate Energy Looks at Park Maintenance – The Senate Energy Committee holds a hearing at 10:00 a.m. on deferred maintenance and operational needs of the National Park Service.  Witnesses NPS’s  Lena McDowall, National Park Foundation CEO Will Shafroth, REI’s Marc Berejka, Sarah Leonard of the Alaska Travel Industry Association; Shawn Regan of the Property and Environmental Research Center and Richard Ring of the Coalition to Protect America’s National Parks.

CSIS Hosts Pershing – The CSIS Energy & National Security Program will host a forum tomorrow at 10:00 a.m. with former State Dept climate expert Jonathan Pershing for a discussion on strategies in the philanthropic community to address climate change, including ongoing work at the Hewlett Foundation.  Pershing is the Program Director of Environment at the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation and previously, Jonathan served as Special Envoy for Climate Change at the U.S. Department of State and lead U.S. negotiator to the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change.

AEI to Host Discussion on Climate Lawsuits – AEI will hold a forum tomorrow at 1:30 p.m. for a discussion on the legal and scientific issues raised by the lawsuits against major fossil-fuel producers and the underlying implications for the municipal bond market. Speakers will include Niskanen’s David Bookbinder, Andrew Grossman of BakerHostetler, Michael MacCracken of the Climate Institute, Cato’s Patrick J. Michaels, Stephen Winterstein of Wilmington Trust Investment Advisors and AEI’s Ben Zycher.

Forum to Look at Future of Renewables – POLITICO hosts a happy hour deep-dive tomorrow at 5:00 p.m. looking at how private businesses are stepping up to address the future of clean energy and how they can work with the government to build a more sustainable future. FERC’s Neil Chatterjee, Sen. Michael Bennet and ACORE’s Greg Wetstone will speak.

JHU to Host Solar Book Author – Tomorrow at 5:00 p.m., Johns Hopkins University hosts a book forum with Dr. Varun Sivaram on solar energy.  Solar energy has become the cheapest and fastest-growing power source on earth. However, in order for it to achieve its full potential, Dr. Sivaram argues in his new book that several kinds of innovation are required including financial innovation and new business models to facilitate the spread of off-grid applications; technology innovation to replace today’s solar panels with coatings as cheap as paint; and systemic innovation to allow more flexible power grids to handle intermittent solar power.

Holmstead Headlines EPIC Forum on NatGas – The Energy Policy Institute of Chicago (EPIC) University holds a forum tomorrow at 5:30 p.m. Fracking has upended the American energy system, bringing lower energy prices, greater energy security, reduced air pollution, and fewer carbon emissions. But at a local level, communities must weigh economic benefits against potential health and other costs. Join EPIC Director Michael Greenstone and EPIC’s inaugural policy fellows Jeff Holmstead and Sue Tierney as they explore these competing variables and the policy pathways to addressing them at the federal, state and local levels. The conversation will be moderated by Axios reporter Amy Harder.

Energy Storage Forum Set in Boston – The Energy Storage Association holds its 28th annual conference and expo in Boston at the Hynes Convention Center Wednesday through Friday.  Energy storage technology continues to advance towards integrating electricity from any source into a more resilient and reliable grid, creating jobs, lowering energy bills, and helping to secure our energy future.  Speakers Include MA Gov Charlie Baker, DOE’s Bruce Walker and former FERC Chair Norman Bay.

Senate Enviro to Look at States, Groundwater – The Senate Environment Committee holds a hearing at 10:00 a.m. on the role of States and the Federal government in protecting groundwater. Witnesses include Amanda Waters of the National Association of Clean Water Agencies, Indiana DEM assistant commissioner Martha Clark Mettler, Joe Guild if the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, Southern Environmental Law Center’s Frank Holleman and Anthony Brown, CEO and principal hydrologist at Aquilogic.

Fanning, Others Headlines Geo Tech Energy Forum – Georgia Tech’s Strategic Energy Institute holds INTERSECT 2018 in Atlanta Wednesday and Thursday.  INTERSECT 2018 will address the challenge of Energy in an Information Age, specifically how the intersection of the digital and physical worlds are changing the energy landscape.  Speakers include Southern’s Tom Fanning New York Power Authority CEO Gil Quiniones and EPRI’s Mike Howard.

WCEE to Host Reporters – The Women’s Council on Energy & the Environment will host a brown bag lunch on Wednesday at Noon featuring a panel of energy journalists from E&E News, S&P Global Platts and Inside FERC to discuss the energy industry during the first year of the Trump Administration.  Our friends Pam King, Jasmin Melvin and Maya Weber will speak.

JHU to Host Russian Energy, Energy Efficiency Discussions – On Wednesday at 12:30 p.m., Johns Hopkins University’s European and Eurasian Studies Program hosts a Russia-Eurasia Forum on Russian Energy and European Politics with David Koranyi, Director of the Energy Diplomacy Initiative at the Atlantic Council. Moderated by Professor Charles Gati. Right after at 2:30, the JHU SAIS program will host alumnus Eric Gibbs, Chief Program Officer at CLASP, to discuss the role of efficient appliances in improving energy access and meeting climate mitigation goals. He will also introduce the Kigali Cooling Efficiency Program, which aims to significantly improve the efficiency and sustainability of air-conditioning and other cooling technologies. He will tell about CLASP’s work in this area and opportunities for SAIS students to engage. The discussion will be moderated by Johannes Urpelainen, the Prince Sultan bin Abdulaziz Professor of Energy, Resources and Environment and the Founding Direct of ISEP.

Tariff Opponents to Discuss Trump Action Impacts – Opponents of the steel and aluminum tariffs imposed by President Trump are holding a press event on Wednesday at 2:00 p.m. at the National Press Club’s Zenger Room.

Senate Energy to Look at Rural Power Issues – The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee will examine energy-related challenges and opportunities in remote and rural areas during a hearing on Thursday at 10:00 a.m. NRECA member Matt Greek from Basin Electric and Doug Hardy of the Central Montana Electric Power will testify. Drawing from a newly released report, economist John Martin will reveal the downward effect of tariffs on steel capacity utilization on the sector. Economist Laura Baughman will detail the decline in U.S. manufacturing jobs that result from the Section 232 tariffs. Troy Roberts, CEO of Qualtek Manufacturing in Colorado Springs, Colorado, will describe the threat that cost increases for steel pose to the future of his business. The event will also mark the launch of the Coalition of American Metal Manufacturers and Users, comprised of small and medium U.S. manufacturing companies united in an effort to oppose the 25% tariff on steel imports.

Presentation to Look at NatGas Drilling Case Study – Johns Hopkins University SAIS Energy, Resources and Environment Program hosts another forum on Thursday at Noon on a case study of natgas drilling. “Oil and Gas Retrieval: Environmental Risks and Impacts on Water – An overview of conventional vs. unconventional retrieval, waste pits, TENORM, and case study on Colorado.”  Oil and gas retrieval of all kinds remains prevalent across the United States and the associated water risks are little understood.  This presentation highlights the little known impacts of oil and gas wastewater and radioactive materials, examines the validity of the conventional/unconventional dichotomy, and examines these issues in context in Colorado.

Lance, Banks, Brouillette Headline Columbia Energy Forum – On Thursday, the Columbia Global Energy Project will celebrate its 5th anniversary and host the annual Columbia Global Energy Summit.  The half-day forum will include keynote remarks, interviews and plenary conversations with senior energy sector leaders focused on key issues and questions at the intersection of energy policy, financial markets, the environment and geopolitics. CP CEO Ryan Lance does a keynote conversation with IHS-Markit’s Dan Yergin.  Other speakers include Dave Banks, Sun Power CEO Tom Werner, DOE’s Dan Brouillette, Pioneer Board Chair Scott Sheffield and IEA’s Fatih Birol.

US AID Focuses on Adaption – On Thursday at 4:30 p.m., the US AID ATLAS Project holds a forum on an idea known as “ecosystem-based adaptation” (EbA) which helps people adapt to weather and climate impacts.  USAID is completing a suite of resources on ecosystem-based adaptation that feature evidence summaries and case studies for applying these approaches to achieve development goals across sectors like agriculture, water, and disaster risk reduction. This session will highlight key messages from these resources as well as examples of EbA projects and approaches in the USAID context, while encouraging dialogue among participants about the use of EbA in their own work.

Brookings Hosts Discussion on Sustainable Financial Tools – On Friday morning, the Global Economy and Development program at Brookings will co-host a panel of development finance experts to discuss the implications of the European Investment Bank’s new bond product in support of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals in addressing climate change and other environmental challenges.  Following the conversation, panelists will take audience questions.

ELI hosts Climate Conference – On Friday, the Environmental Law Institute holds the 2nd National Conference of Lawyers Committed to Addressing the Climate Emergency at the George Washington University Law School  Topics to be discussed include filling the federal climate action gap, the economic risk and rewards of climate action, companies and NGOs taking action on climate change, state and local climate action strategies, climate litigation and taking action on the climate crisis?

Forum to Look at Korea NatGas – On Friday at 12:00 p.m., the Global America Business Institute hosts Korea Energy Economics Institute (KEEI researcher Ho-Mu Lee to discuss Korea’s current long-term natgas plan.   KEEI is a government-affiliated energy policy think tank. Dr. Lee has been worked at KEEI since 2008 and is currently a visiting scholar at George Washington University (2017-2018). Lee was head of KEEI’s Gas Policy Research Division from 2014 to 2017.

JHU to Discuss Renewable in PR – JHU’s SAIS program will host a forum on Friday at 12:30 p.m. the renewable energy future in Puerto Rico.  This presentation will explore new regulatory structures and policies that can incentivize the deployment of this clean and resilient energy infrastructure across the island of Puerto Rico.

Earth Day – Sunday April 22nd.

IN THE FUTURE

Fanning to Receive Leadership Award from Coaches – Southern CEO Tom Fanning will receive the CEO Coach of the Year award from the American Football Coaches Assn at a dinner at the Georgia Aquarium.  The award is the highest honor bestowed by the organization, whose inaugural recipient in 2006 was Jeffrey R. Immelt, former CEO of General Electric. Other former winners include former Domino’s Pizza CEO David Brandon (2007), former MidAmerican Energy Holdings CEO David Sokol (2008), former HP CEO Mark Hurd (2009), FedEx CEO Fred Smith (2010); BP Capital CEO T. Boone Pickens (2011); NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell (2012); former ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson (2013), AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson (2014),  Berkshire Hathaway Energy head Greg Abel (2015) and former Honeywell Chairman and CEO David Cote (2016).

Refiners Security Conference Set – The annual AFPM Security Conference will be held on April 23-25 in New Orleans and presents current topics of vital importance to critical infrastructure, keeping security professionals up to date on security issues, policies, and future regulations. The event will relay the latest information on security regulations from DHS and the Coast Guard. This year’s conference will also go beyond just the regulations with sessions on hurricane response efforts, environmental NGO activism, cybersecurity and other emerging security and terror threats.

Wilson to Hosts Climate Book Launch – Next Tuesday at 3:00 p.m., the Woodrow Wilson Center hosts a book launch discussion with author Barry Rabe on pricing carbon. Climate change, economists generally agree, is best addressed by putting a price on the carbon content of fossil fuels—by taxing carbon, by cap-and-trade systems, or other methods. But what about the politics of carbon pricing? Do political realities render carbon pricing impracticable?  In this book, Barry Rabe offers the first major political science analysis of the feasibility and sustainability of carbon pricing, drawing upon a series of real-world attempts to price carbon over the last two decades in North America, Europe, and Asia.

JHU Hosts Forum on Resilient Infrastructure – Johns Hopkins University’s Energy, Resources and Environment (ERE) Global Leaders Forum hosts a presentation next Tuesday at 5:00 p.m. by the AECOM Practicum team looking at Cities as Innovation Centers.  The event will focus on investing in resilient Infrastructure,” followed by a panel discussion.  ERE’s Practicum students in partnership with the global engineering company AECOM are exploring the topic of climate risk and resilient infrastructure. This presentation and panel discussion will identify traditional barriers to investing in resilience and investigate best practices for implementing resilience.

Energy Happy Hour – The US Energy Economists in the National Capitol Area are co-hosting a Joint Happy Hour Event Next Tuesday at Dirty Martini with OurEnergyPolicy.org (OEP), which is a nonpartisan, nonprofit that has hosted more than 400 policy discussions over the past five years.

WRI Hosts Enviro Prize Winners – The World Resources Institute hosts a forum on Wednesday, April 25th at 11:30 a.m. which features an intimate conversation with 2018 Goldman Environmental Prize winners  The Goldman Environmental Prize, one of the most prestigious environmental awards, honors grassroots champions from six continents. The names of this year’s recipients will be announced on April 23rd.  After sharing their incredible stories, the Prize winners will join a Q&A discussion with the audience on environmental activism in the energy space, and regional approaches on the transition to clean energy.

Pruitt Heads to House Energy – The House Energy and Commerce Committee will host EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt on the agency’s budget request April 25th.

Forum to Look at Sustainable Investing – Bloomberg Government and the Norwegian-American Chamber of Commerce will host a series of in-depth conversations starting Wednesday April 25th at 3:30 p.m. on Investing in a Sustainable Energy Future driven by transformative technology innovations in renewable energy and a functioning trade system necessary to respond to the challenge of energy security and climate change.  Panelists will examine how government leaders and energy investors are putting policy and capital to work to transform the world’s energy sources and protect the environment.
Clean Power Plan Comment Deadline – April 26th

NAM to Host Event Focused Pushing on Kigali HFC Agreement – Stay tuned…

GMU Forum Looks at Energy-Water Nexus – The Center for Energy Science and Policy (CESP), a joint-initiative of the Schar School of Science and Policy and the College of Science at George Mason University, hosts the Mason Energy Symposium — “Energy-Water Nexus” on Thursday April 26th.  The event is the 2nd annual Mason Energy Symposium and is focused on the important nexus between energy and water. The event will advance understanding of the international and domestic aspects of the most basic and critical needs in the 21st century – abundant and reliable supply of water and energy. It will also explore the particular role of off-shore renewable (wind) energy and associated technologies.  The full-day event will feature three panels: Panel I on Offshore Renewable Energy; Panel II on the domestic and international aspects of the water and energy nexus; and Panel III on Mason Energy-Water research opportunities. The afternoon will provide Mason students and faculty opportunities to showcase their work relating to energy and water through presentations and posters.  The luncheon speaker will be Ambassador (ret) Mary Warlick, former Assistant Secretary in the Department of State’s Bureau of Energy Resources.

CSIS to Discuss Ukrainian Energy – The CSIS Energy & National Security Program will host a discussion on April 26th featuring Ukrainian Parliament members Hanna Hopko and Nataliya Katser-Buchkovska on Ukrainian energy market reform, how external forces impact reforms, and Ukraine’s role in European energy security.  A properly-functioning energy sector would not only contribute to domestic prosperity and stability but convert Ukraine from a perceived liability into an asset for Europe’s energy security.  The speakers will help us understand this challenging situation and offer suggestions on how to move energy reform forward.

USEA Focus on Plain Project – The U.S. Energy Association hosts a forum on Thursday April 26th at 10:00 a.m. on the Plains CO2 Reduction (PCOR) Partnership, as part of the Regional Carbon Sequestration Partnerships (RCSP) Initiative run by DOE.  The project aims to foster the deployment of carbon capture, utilization and storage (CCUS) across a large area in the central interior of the United States and Canada. Using an adaptive management approach (AMA) to the assessment of carbon dioxide (CO2) geologic storage, the PCOR Partnership has demonstrated that secure storage can be achieved in association with CO2 enhanced oil recovery (EOR) operations.

ITIF, MIT Report to Release Report on Energy Storage – On Thursday, April 26th at 1:30 p.m., the Information Technology & Innovation Foundation hosts the release of a new report produced in collaboration with the MIT Energy Initiative on Grid-scale Energy Storage. The report’s authors, ITIF Senior Fellow David M. Hart and MIT Professor Bill Bonvillian, will present their findings and discuss policy options to spur grid-scale storage innovation with an expert panel.

Water Symposium to Feature Perdue, Vilsack – Colorado State University hosts a “Water in the West” Symposium on April 26 & 27th featuring experts, policymakers, researchers, and investors.  The event features the latest around water challenges, collaborate with experts, and create a roadmap for water research, innovation, education, and policy.  The Symposium will take place at the Water Resources Center, the first building to be constructed at the future National Western Center, a 250-acre redevelopment in north Denver. More than 20 confirmed expert speakers to-date including Secretary of the U.S. Department of Agriculture Sonny Perdue, and Tom Vilsack, Former Secretary of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

WCEE Hosts FERC Discussion – The Women’s Council on Energy and the Environment (WCEE) hosts a lunch discussion on Friday April 27th at FERC on the fundamental economics and basic mathematics behind wholesale electricity market pricing, known as Locational Marginal Prices. FERC staff Robin Broder Hytowitz will provide an overview of electricity pricing focusing on broad concepts that apply to all ISOs/RTOs. The overview will explain the concepts behind Locational Marginal Prices, uplift, and an extension used in some wholesale markets today.

WH Correspondents Dinner Set for April 28th – The White House Correspondents’ Association hosts its annual dinner on Saturday, April 28 featuring comedian Michelle Wolf as the entertainer.  Wolf is the host of a newly announced show on Netflix, which comes on the heels of her highly reviewed HBO special. She is also known for her acclaimed work as a contributor on Comedy Central’s Daily Show With Trevor Noah.  President Trump has said he will not attend.

MI Innovation Council to Hold Meeting – Michigan Energy Innovation Business Council holds its 6th Annual conference on Monday, April 30 at the Radisson Hotel Lansing at the Capitol. The full-day conference focuses on innovations in advanced energy, as well as get an overview on the latest policy developments. There will be several break-out panels throughout the day featuring dozens of expert panelists. The event brings together leaders in Michigan’s advanced energy industry, utility executives, policymakers, regulators, and others.

Forum to Look at Climate, Conservative Views – On Monday April 30th, the Columbia Center for Global Energy hosts an event on conservative prescriptions on climate change.  As part of its continuing series “Where Next on Climate?” the Center on Global Energy Policy will host a program focusing on conservative prescriptions to deal with climate change. Dr. Glenn Hubbard, Dean of the Columbia Business School and former chair of the Council of Economic Advisors under President George W. Bush, will offer opening remarks, then lead a panel discussion with our friend Rich Powell of ClearPath, John Diamond of Rice University’s Baker Institute for Public Policy and Lynne Kiesling of Purdue University and R Street Institute.

NHA holds Washington Waterpower Week – The National Hydropower Assn holds Waterpower Week in Washington on April 30 to May 2nd.  Waterpower Week is comprised of three co-located conferences rolled into one: NHA’s Annual Conference, International Marine Renewable Energy Conference (IMREC), and Marine Energy Technology Symposium (METS). This 3-day jam packed event provides you the opportunity to network, learn about legislative and regulatory initiatives, and discuss the issues impacting hydropower and marine energy industry.

Solar Summit Set for SD – GTM’s Solar Summit 2018 will be held in San Diego on May 1st and 2nd at the Hyatt La Jolla.  This conference will present deep dives by the top industry executives and thought leaders that will help you navigate the challenges in the market.  SEIA’s Abby Hopper and former Governator Cal EPA head Terry Tamminen are among the list of speakers.

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

OPIS Looks at West Coast Fuel Supply – OPIS holds a forum in Napa Valley at the Silverado Resort on May 9th and 10th looking at West Coast fuel supplies and transportation opportunities.  Industry experts will examine the impact of new players in the Western markets, opportunities that California assets can offer, carbon emissions regulations, renewable fuels, plus get an exclusive technical analysis of West Coast spot market prices.

Hydrogen, Fuel Cell Forum Set for DC – The Fuel Cell and Hydrogen Energy Association will be hosting a full-day forum and exposition on Tuesday, June 12 in Washington, D.C. at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center with leading executives, experts, and policymakers on fuel cell and hydrogen technology. The forum will bring together key federal and state policymakers, including the Department of Energy and White House, as well as the broader environmental, transportation, and energy communities to raise awareness of the benefits of fuel cell and hydrogen technology. This event will precede the Department of Energy’s 2018 Annual Merit Review.

Young Professional Program for World Gas Forum Set – The Young Professionals Program (YPP) will hold a special forum during the World Gas Conference June 25-29 in Washington, DC.  YPP will provide a great opportunity for promising young professionals in the energy sector to learn from top leaders in the natural gas industry and network with their peers throughout the world.  More on this as we get closer.

Clean Energy Forum on Schedule – The 2018 Congressional Clean Energy Expo and Policy Forum will be held on July 10th and brings together up to 45-55 businesses, trade associations, and government agencies to showcase renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies.

Energy Update: Week of February 5

Friends,

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

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

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

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

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

 

Call with questions.  Best,

Frank Maisano

(202) 828-5864

  1. (202) 997-5932

FRANKLY SPOKEN

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

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

 

IN THE NEWS

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

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

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

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

IN THE FUTURE

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Energy Update: Week of 1/8

Friends,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Frank Maisano

(202) 828-5864

  1. (202) 997-5932

 

10 Top Issues for 2018

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

 

FRANKLY SPOKEN

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

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

 

IN THE NEWS

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

IN THE FUTURE

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Energy Update: 1/2/18

Friends,

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

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

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

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

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

 

Frank Maisano

(202) 828-5864

(202) 997-5932

 

The Top Issues for 2018

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

 

FRANKLY SPOKEN

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

Rep. Kevin Cramer talking Infrastructure to POLITICO.

 

IN THE NEWS

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

 

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

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

IN THE FUTURE

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Energy Update: Week of September 25

Friends,

L’Shana tova…  I hope all will have a good fast this Friday for Yom Kippur.  Starting today with the long ball… Yes, my friends Mike Allen and Fred Frommer tell me that Kansas City’s Alex Gordon last week broke Major League Baseball’s season home run record with 12 days to spare, hitting the 5,694th long ball of 2017.  No word on why the ball is flying out of the park more, but I wonder if can potentially be linked to climate change.

Welcome to National Clean Energy Week… And what a way to launch into the week with the Friday US International Trade Commission decision on the solar 201 tariff case. The ITC ruled that an injury did occur while considering a petition filed by two bankrupt companies.  Now the case moves on to the remedy phase where ITC, and eventually the Administration, will consider what to do.  In this phase, the Energy Trade Action Coalition – which represents other sectors impacted like utilities, contractors, cooperatives, retailers and conservative groups – will play a more aggressive role in highlighting economic impacts of higher tariffs on the broader economy, which is a factor the President must take into consideration in his final decision.   See a full round up below…

If we can stop talking about the NFL, this week Congress should dig into the health care and tax reform issues as we approach the end of the actual fiscal year on Saturday.  While budgets have been extended, reconciliation consideration of health care (meaning 50 votes to pass) ends. On energy, it is still busy with Clean Energy week including an event tomorrow featuring Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, Energy Secretary Perry, Sen. Lindsey Graham and Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers; a Senate Energy DOE nomination hearing and a House Oversight hearing on nuclear waste.  Wednesday events include Shale Insight in PA and Wilson’s North American Energy Forum.  On Thursday, there is a Clean Energy Forum at conservative group R Street and Friday at 11:30 a.m., Heritage hosting a major policy address by Zinke.

Speaking of the tax debate, check out this week’s edition of the Bracewell PRG podcast “The Lobby Shop” which host Josh Zive interviews Associated Builders and Contractors tax expert Liam Donovan on the upcoming tax debate in Congress.  (You can subscribe to it on iTunes and SoundCloud).  And don’t forget Platt’s Capitol Crude as well which this week features Windfall author Meghan O’Sullivan, the deputy national security adviser on Iraq and Afghanistan.

And don’t forget that next week – Wednesday to Saturday – the Society of Environmental Journalists will hold its annual meeting in Pittsburgh.  Great day trips, policy/political Panels and the 15th annual Bracewell PRG Reception on Thursday evening.

 

Call with questions.  Best,

 

Frank Maisano

(202) 828-5864

  1. (202) 997-5932

 

FRANKLY SPOKEN

“As the remedy phase moves forward, I am determined to reach a conclusion that will protect the solar industry, our workers and the American public from what amounts to a shakedown by these two companies. An improper remedy will devastate the burgeoning American solar economy and ultimately harm America’s manufacturers and 36,000 people currently engaged in solar manufacturing that don’t make cells and panels.”

Abigail Ross Hopper, president and CEO of the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA).

“Utilities, power co-ops, retailers, manufacturers and other large commercial users, along with conservative groups who have criticized federal solar subsidies, all agree that unwarranted tariffs would cause severe damage to the solar industry while setting a terrible precedent for future trade cases. Artificially raising the price of solar products would increase costs for solar power consumers and jeopardize tens of thousands of U.S. manufacturing jobs.”

Paul Nathanson, spokesman for the Energy Trade Action Coalition (ETAC), a group of companies, associations and organizations who joined together to oppose the trade petition.

“Policymakers and candidate who embrace clean energy showcase independent governing and smart thinking on actions that can be equally good for the economy, national security and environment.”

ClearPath Action Founder Jay Faison, in announcing new GOP polling results on clean energy.

THE BIG NEWS

Solar Case to Move Forward – On Friday, the US International Trade Commission found that imported solar panels have harmed domestic solar manufacturers, setting up a high-stakes decision on tariffs for the Trump administration. The ITC will submit formal recommendations to the White House by November, after which President Trump has two months to decide on a final policy.

Some Video – Renewable Energy World has a great explanation on the case with some video.  They will also host a webinar on the next phase on Thursday at 2:00 p.m. featuring SEIA’s Hopper and others.  See more details here.

SEIA Calls Case Deeply-Flawed, Harmful to Industry – SEIA’s Abby Hopper said the ITC’s decision was disappointing for nearly 9,000 U.S. solar companies and the 260,000 Americans they employ. Foreign-owned companies that brought business failures on themselves are attempting to exploit American trade laws to gain a bailout for their bad investments.   Hopper: “Analysts say Suniva’s remedy proposal will double the price of solar, destroy two-thirds of demand, erode billions of dollars in investment and unnecessarily force 88,000 Americans to lose their jobs in 2018.  While we continue to believe that this is the wrong decision, based on Suniva and SolarWorld’s mismanagement, we respect the commission’s vote and we will continue to lead the effort to protect the solar industry from damaging trade relief. We expect to be front and center in the ITC remedy process, and in the administration’s consideration of this deeply-flawed case.”

Coalition Also Hits Back at Ruling – The Energy Trade Action Coalition (ETAC) expressed disappointment at the vote to continue the case.  ETAC also pledged to remain fully engaged in the trade case to strongly advocate that the ITC and President Trump avoid imposing any remedies that would threaten the U.S. solar industry and the many related industry sectors that use solar. “The ITC decision to find injury is disappointing because the facts presented made it clear that the two companies who brought this trade case were injured by their own history of poor business decisions rather than global competition, and that the petition is an attempt to recover lost funds for their own financial gain at the expense of the rest of the solar industry,” said ETAC Spokesperson Paul Nathanson. “ETAC will continue to fight vigorously during the remedy phase, encouraging Administration officials and Members of Congress to help ensure that no remedies are imposed that would threaten the solar industry’s ability to compete with other energy sources.”

Some Other Key Views

Scott Segal, Executive Director of the Electric Reliability Coordinating Council,

“The imposition of trade remedies on solar technology sought by the two petitioners in this case, Suniva and SolarWorld, could fundamentally change those carefully calibrated assessments of grid stability — and do so without any consequent societal benefits. Ill-conceived energy protectionism in the guise of a trade remedy, on the other hand, will only do more harm than good. We would all do well to take heed of recent events and remember to prioritize the importance of maintaining a diverse and resilient electric grid. The government should say no to the Section 201 trade petition for solar.”

(ERCC is a group of utilities that includes Ameren, Southern, DTE and several others.) 

Diane V. Denton, Managing Director of Federal Policy for Duke Energy

“In the event that imported modules are subject to an artificial floor price or significant import tariff as requested by the petitioners in this case, the module market, and Duke Energy’s plans to procure modules, will likely be significantly disrupted. If such a remedial floor price or tariff is imposed, we expect that the installed cost of solar projects will increase 30% or more and that demand for modules would contract precipitously. As solar energy is just approaching parity with the traditional grid resources in a number of states, a significant reduction in demand for new solar projects could deliver a serious blow to continuing development and evolution of this market.”

John M. Grau, CEO of the National Electrical Contractors Association

“Solar energy is one of the most promising sectors in the American economy, providing good construction and manufacturing jobs and valuable products at a low cost to consumers. It’s been creating jobs for electricians who install utility scale and roof top solar systems around the country.  These are good, middle-class jobs that promote apprenticeship, community based hiring, and veterans. All this progress would be placed at risk if the government decided to cut off the cells and modules that form the basic ingredients of the U.S. solar supply chain.”

Paul Spencer, CEO/Founder of Clean Energy Collective

The trade barriers proposed would needlessly make solar more expensive at a time when we are seeing record low prices that make solar cheaper for consumers and provide ever-increasing benefits for the global environment.

(CEC works with rural cooperatives and others to develop Community Solar projects)

David French, Senior Vice President, Government Relations at the National Retail Federation

The trade restrictions that would result from this petition would raise the price of solar cells and modules, the basic ingredients of solar panels, brought into the U.S. from anywhere in the world. This trade case threatens the competitiveness of solar power and could negatively impact retailers across the country who have proactively moved to diversify their energy sources.

Karla Jones, Director of International Relations & Federalism, American Legislative Exchange Council

“Long a champion of free markets, ALEC opposes the ITC’s decision as protectionism that will ultimately harm the U.S. economy and cost American jobs. We urge the President, who will make the final determination on whether to accept or reject the ITC’s recommendation, to choose free market principles over protectionism.”

Katie Tubb, trade policy specialist at the Heritage Foundation

“The tariffs requested by Suniva and SolarWorld will make solar products and services in America more expensive and less competitive by removing inexpensive, often imported choices from other solar companies and their customers.”

 

Some Great Links

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

IN THE NEWS

ClearPath Polling Shows Strong GOP Support for Clean Energy – A survey of GOP and independent voters in states key to the 2018 congressional midterm election show strong support for Republican candidates who take action on clean energy.  In the eight states surveyed, Republicans gained a 25% swing on average over the generic ballot after focused messaging on clean energy, according to the early June poll commissioned by ClearPath Action. Among those who voted for President Trump, 77 percent said they support accelerating clean energy, with 39 percent citing strong support. Nearly 90 percent of independents said they support accelerating clean energy, with more than 60 percent citing strong support.  ClearPath Action Founder Jay Faison said the polling results are far stronger than what he expected and stronger than what he saw last cycle.  Faison: “Policymakers and candidate who embrace clean energy showcase independent governing and smart thinking on actions that can be equally good for the economy, national security and environment.”  The survey shows significant ballot movement and momentum favoring Republicans who back clean energy across all eight states. That includes more than a 25-point ballot movement statewide in Nevada, Michigan and Arizona using a sample of all likely voters.  Full details and More specifics here.

Senate Energy Approves Final Two FERC Noms – The Senate Energy Committee unanimously approved Kevin McIntyre and Richard Glick to serve on FERC. The panel also approved Ryan Nelson to be solicitor of the Interior Department, David Jonas to serve as general counsel of the Energy Department and Joseph Balash to be assistant secretary for land and minerals management at Interior, thus advancing all five nominees to the full Senate.

SMU Expert: Oil/Gas Resilient Through Hurricane – US oil and natural gas markets will shrug off the impacts of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma soon and move further along the path to stability and possibly modest growth this year and next, according to analysts.  Our friend Bud Weinstein of the SMU Maguire Energy Institute recently wrote the oil and gas infrastructure along the Gulf Coast also sustained very little damage, certainly compared with Hurricane Katrina.  Weinstein said overall, the refining and petrochemical industries along the Gulf Coast, as well as pipelines and offshore production platforms, proved to be extraordinarily resilient as more than 50 inches of rain inundated Houston and Beaumont-Port Arthur over four days. “The untold story is that after Hurricanes Rita, Katrina and Ike the energy industry spent billions upgrading their facilities along the Gulf Coast so they could withstand future catastrophic storms,” Weinstein wrote.

Partners Conducting Wildlife Study at RI Offshore ProjectDeepwater Wind is partnering with researchers from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS), the University of Rhode Island (URI) and the University of Massachusetts-Amherst on studies of bird and bat activity off the Atlantic Coast. The studies, funded by BOEM, provide data on offshore movements of high-priority species to inform conservation efforts, says Deepwater.  In August, Deepwater Wind installed a wildlife tracking station on the easternmost foundation platform at the Block Island Wind Farm, located three miles off the coast of Block Island, R.I. The tracking station contains four antennas, plus a receiver that collects data on migrating patterns of birds and bats that scientists have previously tagged with tiny, very high-frequency (VHF) transmitters, weighing less than 1.5 grams each. These transmitters provide data on any tagged species that fly within a 20-mile radius of the wind farm.

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

NATIONAL CLEAN ENERGY WEEKSeptember 25-29th.  Hosted by Citizens for Responsible Energy Solutions, the American Council on Renewable Energy, Advanced Energy Economy, the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA), the Business Council for Sustainable Energy, the Biomass Power Association, Clean Energy Business Network, the Nuclear Energy Institute, the National Hydropower Association, and the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA). Sects. Perry and Zinke will launch the event tomorrow at the Reserve Officers Association on Capitol Hill in a discussion moderated by former New Hampshire Sen. Kelly Ayotte. Also expected to speak throughout the day are Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, Sen. Tom Carper and Sen. Lindsey Graham.

Wharton DC Hosts Innovation Summit – The Wharton DC Innovation Summit will be held today at the Marriott Bethesda North Conference Center.  The Wharton DC Summit has a rich history of getting at key questions for venture capitalists, a seasoned entrepreneurs, an aspiring entrepreneurs or the intellectually-intrigued by innovation.  Interesting panels on transportation, (AVs), drones and many other topics.

AEE Holds Michigan Energy Future Conference – The Advance Energy Economy will hold its 4th Annual Michigan Energy Future Conference today at the College for Creative Studies in downtown Detroit.  The global market for mobility solutions is growing rapidly, building on innovation, information technology, and new transportation business models. Focusing on this convergence, the event, sponsored by our friends at DTE Energy, will dive deep into the intersection of energy, telecommunications, and transportation. While other conferences have explored these issues independently, the Michigan Energy Future Conference will be the first comprehensive look at the synergies between sectors, exploring opportunities for the U.S. to benefit as the pace of convergence between these sectors accelerates.

Forum to Look at Petro Diplomacy – The Arab Gulf States Institute in Washington will hold a conference this afternoon looking at critical issues facing the oil industry against the background of the shifting economic and political landscape in the region.  The Lunch Keynote will feature Majid Al-Moneef, former Secretary General of the Supreme Economic Council of Saudi Arabia and Member of the Board of Directors of Saudi Aramco.  Then a panel featuring Columbia University energy policy expert Jason Bordoff and others will follow.

Senate Energy to Hear from DOE Noms – The Senate Energy Committee will convene a hearing tomorrow at 10:00 a.m. to consider the DOE nominations for the office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability and Fossil Energy.  Nominees Bruce Walker and Steve Winberg will testify.

WCEE Event to Look at MD Offshore Wind – The Women’s Council on Energy and the Environment (WCEE) will hold a lunch forum tomorrow at Dentons looking at the latest insights into the Maryland PSC’s work on offshore wind and energy efficiency, the political challenges faced and the businesses opportunities created. Marissa Gillett, Senior Advisor to the Public Service Commission’s Chairman, will be the speaker.

ELI to Look at Ocean Energy – Tomorrow at Noon, the Environmental Law Institute will hold a forum on ocean energy technologies (wave, tidal, and current hydrokinetic energy) under development.  Wave and tidal energy developers claim that federal subsidies and tax cuts are insufficient to promote research and development, and some of the most successful ocean energy companies have moved overseas.  A panel of experts will look at key questions to improve development of the hydrokinetic technology sector in the U.S.  Among the panelists, Annie Jones, FERC Energy Projects advisor.

Gas Tech CEO to Address Roundtable – The Natural Gas Roundtable will host that David Carroll, president of the International Gas Union at its next luncheon tomorrow.  Carroll is the President and CEO of the Gas Technology Institute. He oversees the company’s operations and directs its programs for developing technologies, products, and services for customers in the natural gas and related industries.  Carroll assumed the additional role of President of IGU for a three-year term in 2015.

Forum to Look at Future of Nuclear – The Global America Business Institute (GABI) is hosting a special workshop tomorrow looking at the future of nuclear power globally, focusing on technological, security, and geopolitical considerations.  Achieving progress towards decarbonizing and reducing the environmental impact of energy generation is arguably impossible without a significant expansion of nuclear power internationally. However, improving and strengthening the global nuclear governance system and maintaining high international standards in nuclear safety, security, and nonproliferation are essential for nuclear power to become a more integral part of the world’s energy portfolio. Speakers will include Partnership for Global Security President Kenneth Luongo and NEI’s Everett Redmond.

Coal Event to Hear from Alpha CEO – The 40th annual Coal Marketing Days forum will be held tomorrow and Wednesday at the Omni William Penn Hotel in Pittsburgh.  The event hosts a variety of coal suppliers and buyers, coal transport companies, and industry-wide analysts who exchange in-depth knowledge on the current state of the global and domestic coal-producing markets and focuses on the current trends and challenges shaping the business. Alpha Natural Resources CEO David Stetson is the keynote.

Ideas Conference Set – The Atlantic and the Aspen Institute holds its 9th annual Washington Ideas conference tomorrow through Thursday.  “Washington Ideas” convenes the nation’s leaders in politics, business, health, science, technology, arts, culture and journalism for three days of can’t miss conversation and connections. In the heart of the nation’s capital, we will tackle the most consequential issues facing the country and the world.

House Oversight to Look at Nuclear Waste – The House Oversight Committee’s Subcommittee on the Interior, Energy, and Environment will convene a hearing tomorrow at 2:00 p.m. examining America’s nuclear waste management and storage to examine the management of the nation’s increasing amount of nuclear waste and to highlight the challenges communities across the country face when dealing with nuclear waste.  Witnesses will include Maryland PSC Commissioner Anthony O’Donnell, Aiken County, SC Councilmember Chuck Smith, David Victor of UC-San Diego School of Global Policy & Strategy (who also chairs San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station’s Community Engagement Panel and our friend Katie Tubb of the Heritage Foundation.

Wilson to Hold Energy Forum – The Mexico and Canada Institutes will host the Wilson Center’s 2017 North America Energy Forum on Wednesday. The Forum is now in its fourth year and will focus on the major challenges and opportunities facing energy producers and consumers in the region, with a strong focus on innovation in the energy sector.  Chamber Energy President Karen Harbert and NOIA head Randy Luthi will be among the speakers.

EMA Sets Annual Forum – The Environmental Markets Association holds its 21st Annual Meeting on Wednesday to Friday at the Renaissance Nashville Hotel.  The event focuses on trading, legislation and regulation of environmental markets. The agenda includes panel sessions covering Carbon / RGGI, what’s next after the Clean Power Plan, update on current developments and trends in other existing environmental markets such as the SO2 and Nox programs and a general REC Market Overview that provides an update on supply and demand as well as estimates on potential growth as the market faces pricing pressure.

PA Shale Conference Set SHALE INSIGHT 2017 will be held on Wednesday and Thursday at the Pittsburgh Convention Center.  The event holds the most important discussions on shale development, featuring some of the most prominent industry and government leaders. Influential industry executives and innovative thought leaders will work through two days of technical and public affairs insight sessions, major keynote addresses, and a dynamic exhibit hall featuring all the major shale players.

Forum to Look at Storage During Hurricanes – The Congressional Advanced Energy Storage Caucus will hold a forum on Wednesday at 2:00 p.m. on potential issues with storage and hurricanes.  Caucus co-chairs Rep. Chris Collins (R-NY) and Rep. Mark Takano (D-CA) will provide an update on the U.S. energy storage market, and a briefing on the role of energy storage in electric infrastructure resilience.

Smart Mobility Forum Set – The C3 Group hosts the 3rd annual Smart Mobility Forum on Capitol Hill on Wednesday at 2:30 p.m. in the Capitol Visitors Center.  The Forum will include presentations by experts on the deployment of autonomous vehicle technology and its impact on automotive, transportation, society and policy followed by an interactive Q&A.  Featured Speakers include C3 Group President and smart mobility expert Doug Newcomb, Autotrader Senior Analyst Michelle Krebs and Dushyant Wadivkar of Bosch Automated Vehicles.

Senate Ag Looks at Energy Programs in Farm Bill – The Senate Committee on Agriculture will convene a hearing Thursday at 9:30 a.m. on rural development and energy programs.  They will focus on perspectives for the 2018 Farm Bill.

R Street Hosts Clean Energy Event R Street will host a forum on Thursday at 10:00 a.m. with panelists from Microsoft, the American Coalition of Competitive Energy Suppliers (ACCES), Advanced Energy Economy (AEE), and Citizens for Responsible Energy Solutions (CRES) to discuss clean energy opportunities. Affordable clean energy future rests with the advancement of competitive energy markets and consumer choice. Such policies provide better opportunities to facilitate distributed generation and rest at the intersection of conservative and green agendas.  Speakers will include Microsoft’s Michelle Patton, AEE’s Dylan Reed, Devin Hartman of R Street and Frank Caliva of ACCES.

Trade Expert to Discuss Solar Case Next StepsRenewable Energy World holds a webinar on Thursday at 2:00 p.m. looking at what happens next following the Sept. 22 ITC ruling.  The webcast will include SEIA President and CEO Abigail Ross Hopper; NEXTracker CEO Dan Shugar and Matthew Nicely, the trade lawyer arguing against the petition.
CSIS, Fortune Smart Women Conference to Feature Ernst – On Friday at 9:00 a.m., the Smart Women, Smart Power Initiative holds a conversation with Senator Joni Ernst (R-IA).  The topics will include North Korea, Syria, Afghanistan, and other global hotspots with Senator Ernst, a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee. She is the first female combat veteran elected to the U.S. Senate.  The event is – as always – moderated by Nina Easton of Fortune.

JHU to Host Italian CEO on NatGas Europe – On Friday at 9:45 a.m., the Johns Hopkins University Center for Trans-Atlantic Relations will hold a discussion with Marco Alverà, CEO at Snam to discuss natgas in Europe.  He will join JHU SAIS Dean Vali Nasr.  Introductory remarks will be given by Daniel Hamilton, Executive Director of Johns Hopkins SAIS Center for Transatlantic Relations.  Alverà has been the Chief Executive Officer of Snam, a European leader in the construction and integrated management of natural gas infrastructure, since April 2016. He also serves as Managing Director of Snam Rete Gas and as ad interim Chief Industrial Assets Officer of Snam.

Wilson to Host Arctic Enviro Forum – The Wilson Center’s Polar Initiative will host a forum on Friday at 10:00 a.m. on the future of the Arctic Environment.  Leading Arctic scientists, policymakers, and emergency response officials will present and discuss the most recent research on Arctic change, extreme weather, indigenous communities, and emergency response operations.  Among the Speakers will be former State Department Official Sherri Goodman among others.

Heritage to Host Zinke – On Friday at 11:30 a.m., the Heritage Foundation will host a major policy address by the U.S. Secretary of the Interior, Ryan Zinke in its Allison Auditorium.  Secretary Zinke will discuss President Donald Trump’s American energy dominance agenda, focusing specifically on the importance of American energy production and how the federal government can be a better business partner.

IN THE FUTURE

Geothermal Conference Set for Utah – The Geothermal Energy Association (GEA) is holding GEOEXPO+ on October 1-4th at the Salt Palace in Salt Lake City, UT.  The meeting will be held in conjunction with the GRC Annual Meeting.

WCEE Hosts Federal Lands Discussion – Next Monday at Noon, the Women’s Council on Energy and the Environment (WCEE) holds a forum to discuss current opportunities and challenges for the development of energy and mineral resources under the new Administration. Among other hotly debated topics, the event will cover the role of climate change considerations in decision-making, potential changes in mitigation requirements, issues regarding royalty valuation and payment, and still unresolved issues regarding the scope of Presidential withdrawal authority onshore and offshore under decades-old statutes.

CCS Forum to Look at Norway Success Story – The Global CCS Institute will hold a forum on Tuesday, October 3rd at 9:00 p.m. in National Press Club’s Zenger Room on the Innovation and low-carbon policies that are driving the development of clean energy technologies around the world.  The discussion will explore how Norway has fostered the development of its carbon capture infrastructure, as well as the emerging business case for carbon capture in the U.S. and globally.  Featured speakers Gassnova CEO Trude Sundset, Rich Powell of ClearPath Foundation, Thina Saltvedt of Nordea Bank Norge and Statoil VP of New Energy Solutions Steinar Eikaas, who operates the world’s most successful carbon capture project in the North Sea.

Forum to Look at Iran Deal – On Tuesday, October 3rd from 1:30 p.m., the Center for a New American Security will hold two panel discussions on the implications of the potential collapse of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). The discussion will focus on what happens if President Trump begins unraveling the nuclear agreement in mid-October by not certifying Iranian compliance to Congress and will also examine other potential collapse scenarios. Our friend Elizabeth Rosenberg is among the panelists.

SEJ Set for Pittsburgh – Speaking of Pittsburgh, SEJ’s 27th annual conference is set for October 4-8 in Steel City.

Vets in Energy Forum Set – Veterans In Energy will hold a forum on October 5th through 7th at NRECA in Arlington. VIE provide transition, retention and professional development support to the growing population of military veterans who have chosen energy careers.  Speakers will include Chris Hale of GI Jobs and Gen. John Allen, former Dep Commander of US Central Command.

CSIS to Look at Electricfication – The CSIS Energy & National Security Program will host a discussion on Thursday October 5th at 9:30 a.m. looking at the future of electrification with Arshad Mansoor, Senior Vice President of Research and Development at the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI).  Mansoor will provide an overview of the recent EPRI report, The Integrated Energy Network: Connecting Customers with Reliable, Affordable and Cleaner Energy, which calls for a more interconnected and integrated energy system through greater electrification. Frank O’Sullivan, Director of Research and Analysis at the MIT Energy Initiative, and Ken Colburn, Principal and U.S. Program Director at the Regulatory Assistance Project, will follow with views on the opportunities and benefits, as well as obstacles and potential drawbacks of a path to a more electrified economy.  This event is part of CSIS’s ongoing work on Electricity in Transition, which surveys the current landscape of the U.S. and global electricity sector.

Forum to Look at LNG in Latin America – The Atlantic Council hosts a forum on Thursday, October 5th at Noon looking at the Growing Role of LNG in Latin America.  Natural gas is emerging as a critical source of energy in the Americas and around the world, and Latin America is rapidly becoming a key destination for US LNG exports. Latin America is currently the number one destination for US LNG exports, accounting for over 40%. Many governments in the region see natural gas as a low-carbon energy option that can support their increasing turn towards renewables. Additionally, lower global LNG prices, the impacts of drought conditions on the region’s hydropower sector, and a departure from industries such as coal and diesel have driven the demand for LNG and calls into question whether this is an opportunity for Latin America to become more integrated.  The forum will feature a conversation with Argentinian Ministry of Energy and Mining Transport Director Gonzalo Aguirre, Jose Luis Castro of Sociedad Portuaria El Cayao (SPEC), Giovani Machado of Empresa de Pesquisa Energética and the State Department’s acting Deputy Assistant Secretary of Energy Resources Sue Saarnio.

ELI, DC Bar to Look at Policy Reversals – The Environmental Law Institute and the DC Bar are hosting a forum on Thursday October 5th on how agencies often reverse policy.  Since the presidential transition, EPA and other agencies have used a variety of tools to change policies and regulations. Three common tools they have used are stays, remands, and reconsideration. Agencies administratively stay the effective date of rules preventing them from going into effect, seek voluntary remand of rules in litigation to revisit rules administratively while avoiding a judicial decision, and administratively reconsider rules. Some of these actions have been the subject of the heated litigation, and the courts have acted to constrain agency discretion, including in an important D.C. Circuit decision rejecting EPA’s stay of the oil and gas methane rule. Expert panelists will discuss the use of these legal tools in changing agency policy, and offer cutting-edge perspectives from the government, the private sector, and the environmental advocacy community.

ACORE Finance Forum Set – The American Council on Renewable Energy will hold forum on the state of the renewable energy public policy, financial markets and corporate renewables strategy when they hold ACORE Finance West on October 12th at the Bently Reserve in San Francisco.  This annual conference convenes senior investors, industry executives, and other top transactional professionals to address market trends in the context of renewable investment opportunities in the Western U.S.

Bloomberg Hosts Sustainability Forum – Bloomberg holds its 3rd annual Sustainable Business Summit on October 12-13th in its New York offices to discuss how companies are yielding positive returns for investors, creating sustainably valuable products and processes, and developing innovative sustainable business models.  Uniquely positioned at the intersection of sustainable business and sustainable investing, the summit will explore the challenges and even greater opportunities emerging across industries.

WAPA to Host Road Rally – The Washington Automotive Press Association holds its 2017 WAPA Rally on October 12th.  This year’s event will be a drive event on the roads just beyond the Chesapeake Bay Bridge on the scenic Eastern Shore of Maryland. The event provides the opportunity to drive or ride in the latest and greatest cars, trucks and SUVs provided by WAPA’s automotive partners.

Renewable Tour Set for October Shenandoah Fall – JMU’s Center for Wind Energy joins the nonprofit American Solar Energy Society (ASES) and hundreds of solar-savvy installers and grassroots organizations throughout America to showcase thousands of solar-powered homes, schools and businesses in Virginia and across North America — for the 22nd Annual National Solar Tour, the world’s largest grassroots solar event. The ASES National Solar Tour shows families and businesses real-life examples of how their neighbors are harnessing free energy from the sun to generate electricity, warm and cool their homes, heat water and slash monthly utility bills.

Green Bonds Conference Set for NYC – Environmental Finance will host Green Bonds 2017 at 10 on the Park in New York City on October 23rd.  According to the Green Bonds Database, the American green bonds market has continued its rapid growth with over 17$ billion issued in the last twelve months.

At the conference this year we will look at the drivers behind this boom and how to ensure sustainable growth as the market matures.

 

Energy Update: Week of May 22

Friends,

I obviously cannot start today without some heartfelt words of tribute for Soundgarden front man Chris Cornell, who passed late last week at the young age of 52.  Normally, I’m not one to get choked up over early rock star deaths, but for some reason, this one hurt more than the rest.  As you know, I am Soundgarden, Temple of the Dog, Cornell regular, having seen at least 8 shows since the mid-90s.  His soulful voice, four octave range and overall contributions to the music industry and society separate him from his peers.  I also appreciate his commitment to bringing early grunge out of the doldrums after Mother Love Bone singer Andrew Wood’s heroin death in 1990 which makes his passing even tougher.

This issue has generated many tributes (I particularly like Live’s version of I am a Highway at Rock on the Range Friday) and press, and there are a few articles I have pulled for you to read if you haven’t followed the story closely: The Detroit Free Press music critic’s hindsight analysis on the Cornell’s final performance at the Fox Theater and a Washington Post piece by culture reporter Travis Andrews on grunge front men and untimely early deaths.  There is also a great piece about depression and what Cornell’s Death may signal about the mental health issues related to it.  There were so many great lines I could grab, but as I listened to the entire Cornell portfolio over the past few days, this passage from Before We Disappear is what struck a chord most:

I know that it feels like, We will live forever

But I fear, That time can hide the years

Like we were never here, So hold on tightly my dear…Before we disappear

On a more cheery note, the Preakness ran Saturday in Baltimore and boy was it a great race.  I saw my prediction and my bets fizzle as Cloud Computing – who I warned you to watch out for – snuck by Classic Empire with Always Dreaming fading in the stretch.  That means no Triple Crown winner this year as we roll the Belmont on June 10th.  I had a tri-box with Empire, Cloud and Dreaming (which looked GREAT until just into the stretch) but the favorite’s late fade and Cloud’s late push to the wire left me sniffing green but getting nothing!

This week is the lead up to Memorial Day, but don’t get away too fast because Senate Energy is holding FERC Nominations hearings on Thursday…  Yes, you heard in right.  The paperwork on FERC Nominees Powelson and Chatterjee is finalized and, as she said on Wednesday at an ACCF Energy forum with ClearPath’s Jay Faison, Senate Energy Chair Lisa Murkowski noticed the hearing as soon as she had it all.  Senate Environment has ozone issues and Senate Finance hears from Treasury Secretary Mnuchin.  On the House side, hearings look at border tax issues in House Ways & Means, “sue & settle” in House Oversight, state rulemaking coordination and EPA Science Advisory reforms in House Science and Federal lands’ issues in House Resources.

As early as late today, we will see the President’s FY2018 budget. In fact, there have already been a few leaks but we remind that what the White House proposes, just like previous White Houses, is not much more than a press statement that often times has little chance of being enacted. That said, this release will start the real effort of Congress to fashion a budget.  We’re on it, so call if you have questions.

OPEC is meeting this week and our friends at SAFE are live from Vienna.  Leslie Hayward is there for the meeting and can offer insight and commentary on what the expected deal extension means for the U.S., and policy responses available to Congress and the Trump administration. Former Domestic Policy Advisor to the Trump Transition Team and SAFE Advisor Ken Blackwell also has an Op-Ed in the Daily Caller on this topic as well.  For other questions for SAFE, reach out to me or Bridget Bartol (she is SAFE’s new Manager of Media Relations).

In California starting today AWEA holds its 2017 WINDPOWER event.  I will be headed to Anaheim for the event soon and hope to see a Ducks game while there.  Then, my daughters fly out to join me to umpire the California Cup field hockey tourney in Simi Valley area over the holiday weekend.

Finally, I wanted to mention last Wednesday, one of the great Congressional staffers of all-time was honored with a Memorial Service in the Russell Caucus Room.  It was a standing room only service for former Durbin Chief of Staff Ed Greelegs.  While he retired almost 10 years ago, Greelegs passed last month of complications from Parkinson’s at the too young age of 66.  I got to know Ed as a young staffer in Hal Rogers’ office as we were neighbors in the Rayburn building.  Greelegs was a great human being, tremendously quick-witted and always there to lend advice if needed.  I was proud to be in the room on Wednesday and glad to have known him.

Call with questions…

Best,

Frank Maisano

(202) 828-5864

(202) 997-5932

 

FRANKLY SPOKEN

“During the Obama Administration, we experienced first-hand the devastating effects of unlawful executive overreach on jobs and our States’ local energy economies We welcome the opportunity to participate in the process of scaling back these unlawful regulations, restoring the rule of law, and ultimately, returning key decisions about energy production and priorities to the States and their citizens.”

West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey, writing in a letter to EPA outlining rules he and seven other states are raising concerns about.

 

BONUS QUOTE

“Over the past two years we have studied the engineering and economics of Michigan’s energy future very, very carefully. We have concluded that not only is the 80 percent reduction goal achievable – it is achievable in a way that keeps Michigan’s power affordable and reliable. There doesn’t have to be a choice between the health of our environment or the health of our economy; we can achieve both.”

Gerry Anderson, DTE Chairman and CEO.

 

IN THE NEWS

DTE Energy Announces Plan To Reduce Carbon Emissions by 80% – DTE Energy today announced a broad sustainability initiative that will reduce the company’s carbon emissions by more than 80% by 2050. This reduction and 2050 timeframe align with the target scientists broadly have identified as necessary to help address climate change.  DTE’s efforts to cut its carbon emissions will garner a 30 percent reduction by the early 2020s, 45% by 2030, 75% by 2040 and more than 80% by 2050. The company will achieve these reductions by incorporating substantially more renewable energy, transitioning its 24/7 power sources from coal to natural gas, continuing to operate its zero-emission Fermi 2 power plant, and strengthening options for customers to save energy and reduce bills.  These plans define a long-term shift by DTE to produce over three-quarters of its power from renewable energy and highly efficient natural gas-fired power plants.

What DTE Will Do – DTE’s plans include construction of an additional 6,000MW of renewable energy capacity – enough to supply the energy for nearly 2 million homes – supplementing the 1,000 megawatts of renewable energy DTE has built since 2009.  The addition of 3,500MW of natural gas-fired energy capacity to supply 24/7 power and ensure reliability.  The steady retirement of the company’s aging coal-fired plants, which continued in 2016 with announced shutdown of 11 coal units by the early 2020s.  The investment of $5 billion over the next five years to modernize the electric grid and gas infrastructure, ensuring reliability while creating and supporting more than 10,000 Michigan jobs. Continued heavy investment in energy efficiency and energy waste reduction, helping customers to both save money and take great control over their energy use. An aggressive plan to reduce energy and water within DTE’s own facilities by a minimum of 25 percent.

Clean Edge Index Highlights Renewable Jobs, State Gains – Clean Edge released its 8th annual U.S. Clean Tech Leadership Index, which tracks and ranks the clean-energy activities of all 50 states and the 50 largest metro areas in the U.S. As the Trump administration works relentlessly to dismantle climate and environmental protections and forwards a pro-fossil-fuel, climate-change-denial narrative, this year’s Index shows that states and cities are playing an outsized role in the expansion of clean energy, transportation, and energy efficiency. A free downloadable summary report of this year’s Index is available at www.cleanedge.com.  In 2016, wind and solar power represented 61% of all new electricity generating capacity installed in the U.S. for the second year in a row. This dramatic transition away from fossil fuels (particularly coal) for new power sources is having a significant impact on state-level generation mix. Three states (Iowa, South Dakota, and Kansas) now generate 30% or more of their electrons from utility-scale wind and another three states exceed 20% renewables (Oklahoma and North Dakota from wind and California from wind, solar, and geothermal). These leaders are politically diverse, with the top 10 states for renewable electricity generation including five red states and five blue states. The clean energy jobs metric (measured as a percentage of a state’s total workforce) is a new indicator in this year’s Index. A total of 2.4 million jobs nationwide (including those in solar, wind, and hydro generation; ethanol and biomass fuels; storage and smart grid; and energy efficiency) reflect the economic vitality of the sector. Solar and wind power generation jobs (473,881 combined nationwide), for example, now outpace jobs in natural gas electric power generation (362,118) and coal power generation (160,119). Top states for clean energy jobs include Vermont, Rhode Island, Utah, Michigan, Oregon, and Massachusetts.

States Outline Rules for EPA – An 8-state coalition in establishing a list of federal regulations that should be repealed, replaced or modified.  The letter follows a request for public comment from EPA as to what regulations should be considered appropriate for change.  The letter highlights the EPA’s need to review a number of Obama-era regulations, streamline the process for allowing states to administer their own water permitting programs and revise regulations to improve the way individual states implement federal rules. Some specific regulations recommended for repeal, replacement or modification include:

  • The so-called “Clean Power Plan”
  • The Waters of the United States rule
  • Mercury and Air Toxics Standards
  • Oil and Gas Methane New Source Performance Standards
  • The Greenhouse Gas Reporting rule

West Virginia signed the letter with attorneys general from Alabama, Arkansas, Indiana, Louisiana, Michigan, Oklahoma and South Carolina.  Read a full copy of the letter and list of recommended regulations at http://bit.ly/2rmhpGb.

AHRI Comments to EPA on SNAP, Refrigerants –The Air Conditioning, Heating and Refrigeration Institute (AHRI) also submitted regulations to the EPA in response to its request for information on regulations that industry would like repealed, replaced, or modified.  AHRI focused on refrigerants and the SNAP program saying the U.S. air conditioning and refrigeration industry has been a global leader researching alternative refrigerants and developing low global warming potential technologies. AHRI and its members supported a global phase down of HFCs and are strongly committed to the Montreal Protocol agreement reached in Kigali, Rwanda. However, expedient approval of additional products is needed to meet these goals and we believe that the very narrow and limited minor change to the stand-alone commercial refrigeration and chiller sectors will not impact the ability to meet the commitment.

ERCC Weighs in On Rules – The Electric Reliability Coordinating Council (ERCC) also weighed in on regulations like New Source Review, the Clean Power Plan, NSPS for New units, CCS technology, NAAQS, Mercury, Coal Ash, 316(b) discharge issues, WOTUS, Regional haze and several others.  See the letter here.

Hannegan To Lead CO Co-Op – Former White House, EPRI and NREL expert Bryan Hannegan has been tapped to lead Colorado Cooperative Holy Cross Energy after the retirement of CEO Del Worley.  Holy Cross has 42,000 members and is primarily centered in Eagle, Garfield and Pitkin Counties.

Dillon Heads Back to House – Former Senate Energy Committee Spokesman Robert Dillon is joining Texas Rep. Kay Granger’s office following a short stint at the American Council on Capital Formation.

 

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

WINDPOWER Set for Anaheim – The American Wind Energy Association (AWEA), the national trade association that represents the interests of America’s wind energy industry, will hold its annual WINDPOWER 2017 Forum in Anaheim today through Thursday.   Cali Senate President Kevin de León, the California Senate’s most powerful member and legislative champion of the state’s hallmark 50% renewable energy standard law passed in 2015, will provide a keynote address tomorrow at 10:00 a.m., directly preceding AWEA’s Industry Leaders Panel – the marquee General Session panel at WINDPOWER. The discussion will feature Tristan Grimbert, President and CEO of EDF Renewable Energy and incoming Board Chair of AWEA; Pete McCabe, Vice President, Onshore Wind, GE Renewable Energy; Karen Lane, CFO, Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy, Onshore Americas; and Greg Wolf, CEO of Leeward Renewable Energy. This year’s panel will cover implementation of wind energy into the 2020s, opportunities in tax reform, emerging political issues, and more.

Axios, NBC to Host Infrastructure Forum with Inhofe – Axios and NBC News will host a forum tomorrow morning at 8:00 a.m. featuring “Meet the Press” Moderator Chuck Todd and Axios CEO Jim VandeHei. The event will be held at Ajax and will be an exclusive discussion on Infrastructure in 2017 with Sen. Jim Inhofe and Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed.

CSIS to Host Oil, LNG Balance Discussion – The CSIS Energy and National Security Program is hosting  Fereidun Fesharaki, Founder and Chairman of FGE tomorrow at 10:00 a.m. for a presentation and discussion on the current state of global oil and gas markets, one balancing as the other appears to tip toward imbalance.  Oil markets are struggling to reach a balance, and with robust demand growth and continued OPEC cutbacks, a balance might be reached in the 2017/2018 period. LNG markets are facing a prolonged period of imbalance, perhaps through about 2023, before a balance can be reached. While many advocate new U.S. LNG projects, around 50% of the projects currently under construction have still not been sold to end users.  Fesharaki’s work is recognized worldwide for pioneering oil and gas market analysis since the early 1980s. Born in Iran, he received his Ph.D. in economics from the University of Surrey in England. He then completed a visiting fellowship at Harvard University’s Center for Middle Eastern Studies. He joined the East West Center in 1979, where he led the Energy program for two decades. FGE offices are spread around the world in 8 locations with heavy emphasis on Asia and the Middle East.

Forum to Look at Biogas – The American Biogas Council (ABC), the Coalition for Renewable Natural Gas (CRNG) and the Environmental and Energy Study Institute (EESI) will host a briefing tomorrow looking at the untapped energy in domestic wastes. Waste streams-including manure, agricultural waste, waste water, food scraps and landfill gases-can be converted to biogas and upgraded to renewable natural gas (RNG) for electricity, pipeline injection, or vehicle use, while also providing valuable products such as fertilizer and compost. Currently, most waste streams represent a missed opportunity. State waste resources are diverse and numerous. The event will address the potential resources in their states, as well as economic and job opportunities, and policy drivers. The speakers for this forum are American Biogas Council exec Patrick Serfass, Lauren Toretta of CH4 Biogas, Grant Zimmerman of ampCNG, Avant Energy’s Brian Meek and others.

NatGas Summit Set – The 2017 RNG Summit Industry, Policy & Regulatory Forum will be held tomorrow at the American Gas Assn.  Organized by the Coalition for Renewable Natural Gas (RNG Coalition) and the American Biogas Council (ABC), in collaboration with Natural Gas Vehicles for America (NGVAmerica), the summit will be attended by companies throughout the renewable natural gas, biogas, and natural gas vehicles industries, as well as participants from various energy, environmental, and renewable energy organizations. Bioenergy Technologies Office Technology Manager David Babson will be speaking at the summit on the U.S. Department of Energy’s work related to renewable natural gas and biogas.  The 2017 RNG Summit will focus on how 2017 is shaping up to impact the present and future of the renewable natural gas (RNG) industry. The event will feature an afternoon of gaining insight into the current state of the U.S. RNG and biogas industries. Attendees will gain access to timely updates on central regulatory and policy discussions on issues impacting RNG.  Speakers include executives of companies in the waste, fuels, and transportation industries who will highlight the importance of developing and using RNG from North America’s vast supply of organic feedstocks.

Senate Environment to Look at Ozone Changes – The Senate Environment’s Clean Air and Nuclear Safety Subcommittee will hold a hearing tomorrow on legislation to delay implementation of EPA’s ozone standards.  The hearing will focus on legislation offered by Chair Shelly Moore Capito and Jeff Flake that both revise the ozone standard from the 2015-proposed 70 ppb threshold and stretch the review period from 5 to 10 years.  Witnesses will include Arizona DEQ director Misael Cabrera, Baton Rouge Area Chamber exec Kyle Zeringue, Ahron Hakimi, of the Kern County Council of Governments, University of Arizona Doctor Monica Kraft and Delaware DNREC secretary Shawn Garvin.

House Science to Look at Better Coordination with States – The House Science Subcommittee on Environment meets tomorrow at 10:00 a.m. to hold a hearing on science advisors and expanding the role of states in EPA rulemaking.  The hearing will review the relationship between U.S. EPA and state environmental quality departments on how they implement federal environmental regulations.  They will also address science advisory board issues as Democrats have invited Deborah Swackhamer, chairwoman of EPA’s Board of Scientific Counselors.  Other witnesses will include Arizona DEQ director Misael Cabrera and Arkansas DEQ director Becky Keogh.

Ways/Means Tackles Border Tax – As part of it on-going Hearing set on tax reform, the House Ways & Means Committee jumps to the Border Adjustment Tax (BAT) issues in a hearing tomorrow at 10:00 a.m.  The BAT envisioned in the House GOP blueprint would tax imports at 20%, while exempting exports.  Proponents argue such a system would bring U.S. taxation in line with the “territorial” system employed by much of the rest of the world.  Opponents including businesses from across the spectrum in retail and energy are strongly opposed.  Our tax expert Curt Beaulieu can provide a full low down on the issues.

USEA Host Coal Discussion – The US Energy Association hosts a conversation tomorrow at 10:00 a.m. with H Quest Vanguard CEO George Skoptsov to discuss future coal technologies and their path to market.  The path to realization of coal’s true value lies in the development of new technologies. Clean and efficient coal conversion to value-added fuels, chemicals, and advanced materials will open vast new markets to the coal industry.   H Quest’s Wave Liquefaction technology is one such transformational process invented in 2009-2010 at the Department of Energy’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (DOE PNNL) in response to the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) program. Wave Liquefaction™ can convert a wide range of domestic coals, producing 3 barrels of liquid products per ton of coal. Break-even costs for coal-derived synthetic crude lie in the $30-$45/barrel range depending on the coal and site specifics. Conversion reactors are small, modular and are electrically driven: unlike conversion processes of the past, Wave Liquefaction™ has no CO2 emissions or fresh water consumption, enabling deployment of small-scale processing plants directly at the existing mines.

RFF to Host Webinar on Space Observations – Resources for the Future (RFF) will host a webinar tomorrow at 1:30 p.m. to look at the benefits of observing Earth from space. RFF Fellow Yusuke Kuwayama will introduce RFF’s Consortium for the Valuation of Applications Benefits Linked with Earth Science (VALUABLES), a cooperative agreement between RFF and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). This multi-year effort will advance the valuation of the applied benefits linked to information from space-based observations of Earth, catalyze a community of research and practices of Earth scientists and social scientists, and disseminate findings to key stakeholders from academia, government, NGOs, and elsewhere. Register Here.

Mexico Gas Summit Set – The 3rd Mexico Gas Summit will be held in San Antonio, Texas at the St. Anthony hotel on Wednesday and Thursday.  Organized by Industry Exchange, this oil and gas event brings together internationally recognized industry speakers, investors, government officials, and C level executives from the energy, infrastructure, and transportation industries. The geographic scope for the event will cover Mexico as a region with a strong focus on the opportunities associated with Gulf Coast onshore oil and gas exploration and production, midstream infrastructure, gas commercialization and the recent opening of the refined fuels market.

House Oversight Panels Look at Sue, Settle – The House Oversight and Government Reform panels on Energy and Intergovernmental Affairs will hold a joint hearing on Wednesday at 10:00 a.m. examining ‘sue and settle’ agreements.  The issue has long been a thorn to Republicans who over the last 8 years felt the Obama EPA would enter agreements with like-minded groups to force their aggressive action.  Witnesses will include U.S. Chamber of Commerce environmental policy expert Bill Kovacs, as well as other business and legal experts.

House Resources to Look at Federal Land Policies – The House Natural Resources panel on Oversight will hold a hearing Wednesday at 10:00 a.m. to review whether Congress should amend long-standing laws affecting the management of federal and tribal lands, as well as designated wilderness areas.  Witnesses will include rancher and Arizona State Rep. David Cook (R), Napa County, Calif., supervisor Diane Dillon, Washington County, Utah deputy attorney Celeste Maloy and Kendra Pinto, Native American community organizer and activist living in the Navajo Eastern Agency of New Mexico.

Shaheen, Forum to Launch Russian Gas Paper – The Atlantic Council and the Free Russia Foundation will launch of a new Atlantic Council policy paper, The Kremlin’s Gas Games in Europe: Implications for Policy Makers on Wednesday at 2:00 p.m. in 216 Hart.  In The Kremlin’s Gas Games in Europe, Ilya Zaslavskiy presents policy recommendations for US and European policy makers as the European Union negotiates Gazprom’s latest pipeline project, Nord Stream 2. Examining previous Gazprom pipeline projects, the author argues that while Gazprom presents itself as an independent competitive firm, it has a consistent track record of acting as an arm of the Kremlin’s foreign and economic policy. Nord Stream 2, Mr. Zaslavskiy concludes, will present a major challenge to European law and EU principles and jeopardize the security interests of the United States and its European allies.  Sen. Jeanne Shaheen delivers the keynote Address, followed by a panel with CSIS expert Edward Chow and AC’s Bud Coote.  Our friend Emily Meredith, Deputy Bureau Chief of Energy Intelligence, will moderate.

Grid Infrastructure Event Set – WIRES in conjunction with the House Grid Innovation Caucus, the National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA), the GridWise Alliance, and EESI will host a WIRES University seminar on Thursday that explores an oft-neglected the high voltage electric transmission grid. This whole-day session explains the grid’s importance as an enabler of markets and new technology as the economy becomes more thoroughly electrified. Our grid must also adapt to a distributed energy future which calls for a smarter and more flexible network.  This session delves into the details of why modernizing our high-voltage grid infrastructure is more critical than ever, given the age of the nation’s transmission facilities, the fundamental changes occurring in electric generation, and the demands on the system. Expansion and upgrade of the grid will make it more resilient and deliver increased economic, environmental, and consumer benefits in the range of $50 billion annually.  Speakers, including leaders from Congress, regulatory agencies, industry, and think tanks, will examine what challenges need to be overcome to upgrade our transmission system. Policymakers and regulators play a critical role in our nation’s energy infrastructure, and there is much room for improved coordination and planning.  A full agenda is forthcoming. Panels will address grid modernization, transmission’s role as a strategic asset and an enabler, regulatory and financial challenges, and the role that the wired network plays in the distributed energy environment, clean energy, and in tech innovation environments.

FERC Nominee Hearing Set – The Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources will hold a nomination hearing on Thursday at 10:00 a.m. in 366 Dirksen.  The purpose of this hearing is to consider the nominations of Dan Brouillette to be the Deputy Secretary of the Department of Energy, Neil Chatterjee to be a member of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and Robert Powelson to be a member of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.

Senate Finance to Host Treasury Sect on Budget, Tax – US Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin will testify at Senate Finance on Thursday at 10:00 a.m. to review the full fiscal 2018 budget request and tax reform proposals.

Forum to Look at Vietnam Climate Issues – The PISA-ASEAN Roundtable Series on Climate-Smart Development and Chino Cienega Foundation hosts a forum Thursday at GWU’s Elliott School.  As one of the country’s most vulnerable to climate change, the Vietnamese government has been forthright in addressing the issue through public media. Having worked with youth and local communities on environmental advocacy, Ms. Nguyen Ngoc Ly will share her views on public understanding of climate change and its implications.

USEA-led CCS Ministerial Set – The Carbon Sequestration Leadership Forum (CSLF) will be held Thursday afternoon at the Washington Hilton.  The event, organized by the US Energy Assn, is a Ministerial-level international climate change initiative that is focused on the development of improved cost-effective technologies for CCS. It also promotes awareness and champions legal, regulatory, financial, and institutional environments conducive to such technologies. The dialogue and feedback received from this discussion, and the other regional meetings to be held this year, will provide the basis for a message to the CSLF ministers at the annual meeting this December.

Solar Discussion Held at NRECA – Sierra Club Virginia Chapter, Mount Vernon Group, Great Falls Group, Clean Energy for Fairfax Now, Arlingtonians for a Clean Environment and the Ready for 100 Campaign will hold a forum on Solar at the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association on Thursday evening.  Sierra Club and business leaders have partnered to create this program explaining how commercial customers can save money and meet sustainability goals with on-site or offsite solar arrays. Speakers will discuss current options for purchasing solar, including onsite (rooftop, parking lots) and offsite (solar farms), using financial models such as low-cost loans, utility-sponsored programs, and power purchase agreements (PPAs).

 

IN THE FUTURE

Memorial Day – May 29th Break out the Linen…

WRI to Host Forests Discussion – Next Tuesday, May 30th at 12:30 p.m., the World Resources Institute will look at political and policy issues surrounding forests.  Efforts to achieve the Paris Agreement will not succeed if tropical deforestation continues business as usual. Protecting forests is among one of the most affordable, efficient strategies to curb greenhouse gas emissions and advance sustainable development. Frances Seymour, author of Why Forests? Why Now? and land rights expert Peter Veit will discuss the benefits and limitations of REDD+, the international community’s role in financing forest protection, and the challenges that Indigenous Peoples still face when registering their land.

WCEE May Happy Hour Set – The Women’s Council on Energy and the Environment is hosting its May Happy Hour on Wednesday, May 31st at 5:30 p.m. at Penn Commons.  WCEE is a non-partisan, policy-neutral organization that focuses on women, energy and the environment.

Author to Discuss Cybersecurity Grid IssuesLeaders in Energy will host a forum Thursday June 1st in Arlington to discuss cybersecurity and power grid issues with Berlin-based author, Marc Elsberg, who is visiting the DC area to showcase his techno-thriller, “Blackout” and hear from other cyber and other energy specialists in these exciting and fast-moving fields. Reviewed as “fast, tense, thrilling – and timely”, “Blackout” has been “highly recommended” by Lee Child, author of the bestselling Jack Reacher series.  Other speakers include Arlington County Energy Manager John Morrill and former MISO chairman Paul J. Feldman.

Forum to Look at Security Implications of Climate – The Environmental and Energy Study Institute (EESI) and the Center for Climate and Security (CCS) will hold a forum on Monday June 5th discussing the role of climate change as a “threat multiplier” in the geopolitical landscape and the implications that has for U.S. national security. The briefing will explore the risk management and planning considerations facing the Department of Defense (DOD) as it seeks to maintain force readiness and bolster infrastructure resilience. The panel will also discuss the need for investments in preventive measures today to prepare for future needs concerning disaster assistance, the Arctic, and the displacement of vulnerable populations due to climate change.  The speakers for this forum are US Army Brigadier General Gerald Galloway (former Dean of the Academic Board at West Point), former Deputy Undersecretary of Defense for Environmental Security Sherri Goodman, USAF General Ron Keys, US Navy Rear Admiral Ann Phillips, United States Navy and former Principal Deputy Undersecretary of Defense John Conger.

Forum to Look at Infrastructure – The Hudson Institute will host a timely conversation on June 8 at Noon about the importance of modernizing America’s infrastructure to spur sustained economic growth and job creation and improve the quality of life for all Americans. U.S. Senator John Boozman will offer his perspective in opening remarks drawing on his experiences serving on the Committee on the Environment and Public Works and the Committee on Appropriations Subcommittee on Transportation, Housing and Urban Development.  A panel discussion will follow the senator’s remarks featuring the Aubrey Layne, Virginia’s Secretary of Transportation;, former Federal Transit Administration chief counsel David Horner; former senior deputy mayor and COO of Indianapolis under Mayor Steve Goldsmith Skip Stitt, author of Hudson’s recent report Infrastructure Spending and Public-Private Partnerships and Jennifer Aument, a commissioner for the Virginia Port Authority and Group General Manager, North America at Transubran.

Security Experts to Address Methanol Policy Forum – The Institute for the Analysis of Global Security (IAGS), the U.S. Energy Security Council (USESC) and the Methanol Institute will hold a Methanol Policy Forum on June 13th at the National Press Club.  The Forum will include a special luncheon discussion:  Energy Security through Fuel Choice, which features a conversation with the U.S. Energy Security Council experts like former National Security Advisor Robert C. McFarlane, former CIA Director James Woolsey, former President of Shell Oil Company John Hofmeister, former White House Counsel and Ambassador to the EU C. Boyden Gray and former Louisiana Senator and Senate Energy Bennett Johnston.  Our friend Joe Cannon and other will speak on panels as well.

CA Energy Forum Set – Advanced Energy Economy’s (AEE) annual California energy policy event, Pathway to 2050, will be held on June 21st in Sacramento.  The event brings together an influential group of advanced energy business leaders and state policy-makers to discuss opportunities to accelerate California’s economy through the growth of advanced energy.  Speakers will include our friends Caroline Choi of SoCalEd, Dan Morain of the Sacramento Bee and Greentech’s Katie Fehrenbacher. Other speakers include SoCal Ed CEO Kevin Payne, GE’s Deb Frodl, Cal Assembly Speaker Kevin de Leon, CPUC President Michael Picker, Cal Energy Commissioner Janea Scott and Tom Steyer.

EIA Energy Conference Set – The 2017 EIA Energy Conference is scheduled for June 26-27 in Washington, DC.

Global Security Forum Set – The Center for a New American Security hosts its 2017 Annual Conference in partnership with The Washington Post on Wednesday, June 28th at The Mayflower Hotel. This year’s conference will bring together U.S. national security policymakers and experts to highlight major divides and identify potential bipartisan solutions. CNAS is an independent and nonpartisan research institution that develops strong, pragmatic and principled national security and defense policies.

Congressional Renewable Expo Set – The 20th annual Congressional Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency EXPO and Policy Forum will be held on Tuesday, July 11th from at 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. In Rayburn.

Energy Update: Week of May 15

Friends,

Hope everyone had a great Mother’s Day, taking some time to celebrate the important moms in our lives.  I spent the entire afternoon at DC101’s Kerfuffle with Stacey, listening to a bunch of groups she loves.  I did get to hear Weezer, so that was awesome.   In fact, today, while you took your car to work, I took my BOARD…

And great news for science folks…Kára McCullough, the Miss District of Columbia became Miss USA 2017 on Sunday night in Las Vegas. The 25-year-old winner is a scientist and technical reviewer at the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

The Congress continues its push toward the Memorial Day break that signals the unofficial start of summer. This week, there are a lot of committee hearings including Elaine Chao before Senate EPW on infrastructure, but the biggest is the Senate Energy Confirmation hearing of David Bernhardt to be deputy at Interior.  As well, the quick turnaround by the Committee leadership also bodes well for a quick hearing on the new FERC nominees Robert Powelson and Neal Chatterjee.  Speaking of Powelson, he will NOT address the NatGas Roundtable tomorrow at Noon, but will be replaced by New York Commissioner Diane X. Burman.

The Chamber also has a busy week with an event tomorrow morning with experts like IHS’s Dan Yergin discussing financial disclosure on climate issues moderated by Chamber Energy head Karen Harbert.  On Wednesday, ACCF will hold a forum at the Newseum on energy policy in the 115th Congress featuring Senate Energy Chair Lisa Murkowski, ClearPath’s Jay Faison and Alaska coop exec Meera Kohler.

Tomorrow, Clean Edge will be releasing its 8th Annual U.S. Clean Tech Leadership Index. The Index offers current and historical data on all 50 states and the 50 largest metro regions.  Expect to see discussions of state expansion of wind power, discussion of cities renewable efforts, clean energy jobs and much more.

Finally, Saturday is Preakness at Pimlico in Baltimore, the second jewel in the Triple Crown.  Derby winner Always Dreaming is expected to remain the favorite after his strong performance at Churchill and many of his key rivals have not made the trip to Baltimore.  Full analysis below, but I really like Classic Empire in this race to edge out Always Dreaming.  Keep both in the trifecta box with Multiplier or Conquest Mo Money.

Next week, we expect the budget to be announced on May 22nd so stay tuned…Call with questions…

 

Best,

Frank Maisano

(202) 828-5864

(202) 997-5932

 

FRANKLY SPOKEN

“We’re heartened by this trade deal for its potential to increase Chinese access to American LNG.  We have had extensive negotiations with the Chinese over the last month. We have shipped LNG to 20 other countries around the globe, and are in talks to ship to more.”

Cheniere spokesman Eben Burnham-Snyder following Thursday’s trade agreement with China to increase trade access for some U.S. companies to China, which is expected to include LNG exports.

 

PREAKNESS PREVIEW

The Pimlico Racecourse is in Baltimore and hosts both colts and geldings over a distance of 9.5 furlongs or 1 3/16 miles.  It is the shortest of the Triple Crown Races. Because it is shorter, the track is more firm with slightly tighter turns and the field almost always is smaller, pacesetting horses often can just power out of the gate and run a clean race like Always Dreaming did in the Derby.  The Preakness favors the fastest horses.  While long shots do deliver a big upset from time to time, we tend to see the favorites perform the best at Pimlico.

The Preakness Stakes attracts more spectators than any other US race, other than the Kentucky Derby. The race was first run in the 1870s. Traditionally, the winner of the race wears a garland of yellow flowers, called Black-Eyed Susans. The purse is around $1.5 million.  Post time is 6:45 p.m. and the Preakness is the 8th race of 9 on Saturday.  Post Draw is Wednesday.

Derby Re-Runs – Derby winner Always Dreaming is expected to remain the favorite after his strong performance at Churchill and many of his key rivals have not made the trip to Baltimore.

There will also likely be a much smaller field. The Preakness often has the smallest field of the trio of races because the two-week turnaround can be brutal, and many teams decide to give their horses rest for the longest of the races in the Belmont.  Only three horses ran in both the 2016 Derby and the Preakness. Last year, after Nyquist bested Exaggerator in the Derby, Exaggerator returned the favor in Baltimore.  This gives Lookin at Lee hope that he may run down AD, but a fast, shorter track and good weather might make Classic Empire the real challenger.   He had a rough trip in the 20-horse field, getting bounced around by McCracken and Irish War Cry, yet he still showed pretty well on sloppy track, McCraken and Irish faded in the stretch.  He also was impacted by most bettors wagering him down just prior to post time. Very little went right for Classic Empire in the Derby, so don’t be too discouraged with his 4th place finish.

Hence and Gunnerva also run again and are potential sleepers, but both underperformed in Louisville.  One of these might be good for the superfecta or trifecta box because they both have potential.

Who’s New – There will be a number of fresh horses that all have the advantage of rest.  Of the newbies, Cloud Computing enters the Preakness with only three career starts, but has displayed talent from the outset, winning his career debut by almost 2 lengths despite a poor start.  He has also been strong in his two other stakes tries has been training very well at Belmont Park.

Multiplier is fast and was strong in the Illinois Derby giving him the pre-race lowest odds among the new horses in the field, but limited racing and nothing as a 2-year makes him an unknown.

New Mexico-bred Conquest Mo Money had a strong effort in the April 15 Arkansas Derby, in which he contested the pace from the outset and almost held off Classic Empire at the end.  Because he like to push the pace he’ll be a major player in the Preakness, giving AD more pace at the outset.

Royal Mo was another stakes winner that should have also forced a faster early pace, but he sustained an injury yesterday and is now out of the field.

Senior Investment and Term Of Art are the other longer short all with pre-race odds of 16-1 to 25-1.

Don’t Look for Sleepers Here – These longer-shot horses will be tempting, but you should keep in mind that long shots have not performed very well in past Preakness Stakes, most likely because of the shorter distance.

PICK:  Stay with favorites… I like Classic Empire to get revenge over a close Always Dreaming.  I’ll box them with Mo Money or Multiplier.  For the Super, I’d add Gunnerva to that mix…  Good Luck.

 

IN THE NEWS

Bodine to Head EPA Enforcement – President Trump plans to nominate Susan Bodine, chief counsel on the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, to be EPA’s assistant administrator for enforcement and compliance assurance. Bodine is the latest EPW staffer with ties to Sen. Inhofe to land at EPA.  Bodine also served as assistant administrator for EPA’s Office of Solid Waste and Emergency Response (now the Office of Land and Emergency Management) during the last three years of the George W. Bush administration as the Senate-confirmed.  My colleague Scott Segal said “Susan Bodine is a skilled professional and an accomplished lawyer in and out of government service.  Her time running the waste office at EPA during the George W Bush Administration was productive and competent.  Her stints as a counsel in both the House and Senate have given her the kind of perspective that comes from effective oversight of the EPA.  Susan is a great pick, particularly if the Administration is contemplating any changes in the priorities at OECA.”

Cheniere Talks LNG with China – On Friday, Cheniere Energy said it has had extensive negotiations with China about increasing U.S. liquefied natural gas exports.  It follows a new agreement with China – announced Thursday by the President – to increase trade access for some U.S. companies to China, which is expected to include LNG exports.  Cheniere is currently the only company able to export large cargoes of LNG from the continental United States, giving it a leg up now to ink long-term contracts with China, the world’s largest growth market for gas.

SEIA Opposes Steep Import Tariffs – The Solar Energy Industries Assn is opposing a petition to the ITC by Suniva to impose import tariffs on solar cells and modules.  SEIA and other petition critics say the higher prices would wreak havoc on solar electricity project economics. SEIA’s letter says granting the petition would put 260,000 jobs at risk.  See the letter and a bunch of documents on the case here.

RFS Volumes Head to OMB – On Thursday, EPA forwarded its proposed 2018 biofuels requirements to the White House’s Office of Management and Budget for review. The agency will need the rule back by early June if it is to release a final rule by the Nov. 30 deadline.  Our friend Eric Wolff at POLITICO reports that the mandate would stick with the statutory level that requires blending of 15 billion gallons of conventional biofuel, usually corn-based ethanol.

US Oil Rig Count Rises for 17th Straight Week – Baker Hughes said late last week that the U.S. rig count grew for the 17th consecutive week, increasing to a total to 712. That’s the highest level since the week of April 17, 2015. The increase extended the longest stretch of rig additions in six years, illustrating that drillers are finding efficient ways to ramp up production in a lower oil-price environment.  The Baker Hughes Rig Counts are an important business barometer for the drilling industry and its suppliers. When drilling rigs are active they consume products and services produced by the oil service industry. The active rig count acts as a leading indicator of demand for products used in drilling, completing, producing and processing hydrocarbons.

Tillerson Signs Arctic Agreement – On Thursday, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson signed a joint statement with seven other foreign ministers at the Arctic Council that calls for action to reduce greenhouse gases and cited the Paris climate change agreement.  The agreement is important given the current deliberations in the White House regarding the status of the Paris agreement.  The Fairbanks Declaration of 2017, also signed by Russia, Canada, Norway, Finland, Denmark, Sweden and Iceland, says the Arctic Council members note “the entry into force of the Paris Agreement on climate change and its implementation,” and reiterates “the need for global action to reduce both long-lived greenhouse gases and short-lived climate pollutants,” while it reaffirms “the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and the need for their realization by 2030.”

USWAG Asked for Review of Coal Ash Rule – The Utility Solid Waste Activities Group petitioned EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt Friday to reconsider “specific portions” of the agency’s regulation governing coal ash. The petition argues aspects of the rule warrant changes due to legislation passed last year that included changes to permitting and enforcement provisions, and also asks the agency to put a legal challenge on ice while it reconsiders those aspects of the rulemaking.

 

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

BPC Forum Looks at Power Sector – This morning at 10:30 a.m., the Bipartisan Policy Center held a discussion on how digitization can improve the efficiency and performance of the power sector across the entire value chain, from electricity production to transmission and distribution. Experts will discuss the benefits of digitization, as well as the policy challenged it faces.  Speakers will include GE Power’s Steve Bolze, Exelon’s Chris Crane, NYPA’s Gil Quiniones and BPC President Jason Grumet.

Cities Water Summit Set – Invest4Resilience will host the Great Water Cities Summit 2017 forum today in New York at the Marriott Marquis for leaders from Wall Street and cities officials to share their vision, experience and expertise in how they are investing in their communities and making them more resilient. They will discuss how investments in physical and financial assets, as well as human resources, are the key to sustainable growth and a resilient future.

Interior to Host NavGen Listening Sessions – The Interior Department kicks off four listening sessions this week across Arizona to gather input on what to do about the Navajo Generating Station.  Today, the Arizona Mining Association hosts a rally in Phoenix to support of the continued operation of the plant. The four utility owners announced back in February that they would end their three-quarter stake in the plant by the end of 2019.

Chamber to Discuss Financial Disclosure – The U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Institute for 21st Century Energy and Center for Capital Markets Competitiveness host a forum tomorrow at 8:30 a.m. on financial markets and the role of disclosure, sustainability and the importance of materiality. The event follows a report from the Financial Stability Board calling on companies to disclose climate-related risks and will include findings from a new report by IHS Markit entitled “Climate-related Financial Risk and the Oil and Gas Sector.”  Speakers include IHS Markit’s Daniel Yergin and Antonia Bullard, George Mason University Antonin Scalia Law School Assistant Professor J.W. Verret.  The Chamber’s Karen Harbert (Energy Institute) and Brian O’Shea (Center for Capital Markets Competitiveness) will also speak.

Forum to Look at Energy Emergency Preparedness in States –Today in 334 Cannon at 12:30 p.m., the Environmental and Energy Study Institute (EESI) and the National Association of State Energy Officials (NASEO) will hold a briefing about the key role played by the 56 governor-designated State and Territory Energy Officials, other state agencies, the private sector, and DOE.  In this briefing, NASEO and state energy directors will discuss the concept of energy assurance-as well as key mitigation actions-and how State Energy Offices partner with state and local agencies and the private sector to rebuild after a natural disaster, prepare for future emergencies, and improve resiliency with energy efficiency and renewable energy. The speakers for this forum are NASEO head David Terry, Oklahoma Secretary of Energy and Environment Kylah McNabb and Kelley Smith Burk of the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.

Clean Edge to Release Clean Tech Index – Clean Edge will be releasing its 8th annual U.S. Clean Tech Leadership Index tomorrow. The Index offers current and historical data on all 50 states and the 50 largest metro regions. Expect to see discussions of state expansion of wind power, discussion of cities renewable efforts, clean energy jobs and much more.

WAPA to Host Jeep Presentation – Tomorrow at Osteria Morini (near Nationials Park),  the Washington Automotive Press Association will host Jeep® for the introduction of its latest and highly anticipated compact-SUV:  the all-new 2017 Jeep Compass. Compass expands the Jeep brand’s global vehicle lineup as it will be built in four countries for consumers around the world. As the most capable compact-SUV ever, the all-new 2017 Jeep Compass features legendary Jeep 4×4 capability, a sophisticated design that evokes the premium side of the Jeep family, outstanding on-road dynamics, fuel-efficient powertrains, and a host of advanced safety and technology features.

CHANGE – Powelson NOT Addressing NatGas Roundtable – The Natural Gas Roundtable will not host Pennsylvania PUC Commissioner and newly nominated FERC Commissioner Robert F. Powelson tomorrow at noon as the guest speaker at its next luncheon.  Instead, he will be replaced by New York Commissioner Diane X. Burman.

Webinar to Look at Power, Voltage IssuesPower Magazine hosts a webinar tomorrow at 2:00 p.m. focused on “A New Paradigm Opens: Replacing Low-Voltage, Low-Power Drives with Medium-Voltage Solutions“. The webinar is designed to review the potential benefits and concerns of using either low-voltage or medium-voltage equipment in low-power applications. Industry expert Karl Heideck will discuss the impact medium-voltage and low-voltage equipment will have on your plant, your plant’s power grid, and motor.  If you can’t attend the live session, the recording will be available to everyone that registers. All participants will receive a certificate of completion after viewing the webinar.

Forum to Look at Gen IV Nuclear Reactors – Tomorrow at Noon, the Global America Business Institute (GABI) is hosting a roundtable on molten salt reactor (MSR) technology, a Generation-IV concept that has received renewed interest in recent years from a number of advanced nuclear firms, developers, and innovators in North America. MSR technology was extensively researched in the 1960s by Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), with the research work culminating in the Molten-Salt Reactor Experiment (MSRE) test reactor, constructed in 1964 and operated until 1969. Resurgent attention on MSRs has been driven by the design’s potential for high inherent safety, efficiency, reliability, flexibility, cost-competitiveness, and proliferation resistance. MSRs can also reduce the environmental impact of nuclear waste, and can be utilized to “burn” long-lived radioactive elements in spent nuclear fuel from conventional reactors, reducing the necessary time frame of geologic containment. The theoretical advantages of MSRs have led several start-ups in the U.S. and Canada to pursue funding and investment for research, development, and ultimate commercialization of their respective MSR designs.  The discussion on MSRs will be led by Mr. Ed Pheil (Founder and Chief Technology Officer) and Dr. Youssef Ballout (President) of Elysium Industries, a Boston-based advanced nuclear energy firm presently researching and developing its own molten salt reactor design.

Chao, Others head to Senate Environment to Look at Infrastructure – The Senate Environment and Public Works Committee’s Transportation and Infrastructure Subcommittee holds a hearing tomorrow at 3:15 p.m. on leveraging Federal funding and innovative solutions for infrastructure.  Witnesses Los Angeles mayor Eric Garcetti, Oklahoma Turnpike Authority director Tim Gatz and Aubrey Layne Jr., secretary of transportation for Virginia, among others.  They will continue the hearing on Wednesday at 10:00 a.m. looking at the road forward for infrastructure with Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao.

Forum to Look at Investment Opportunities in Changing Climate – Tomorrow at 6:30 p.m., the Harvard Business School Club of Washington, D.C. will host a panel discussion to explore the current state of investment in fields such as energy, environment, and resource efficiency. Additionally, the speakers will discuss what financial, technical, and policy innovations are needed in order to continue to grow investment in the clean and resilient economy of the future. This event will kick-off an ongoing series of programs and roundtables on sustainability-oriented business opportunities and initiatives.  The panel discussion will feature The Nature Conservancy President & CEO Mark Tercek, JPMorgan Chase Global Head of Sustainable Finance Matt Arnold and Hannon Armstrong President & CEO Jeff Eckel.

Hopper, Others Headline Solar Summit in AZ – Greentech Media hosts its 10th annual Solar Summit 2017 on Wednesday and Thursday in Scottsdale, AZ.  Our friend Abby Hopper of SEIA will be among the speakers.

House Resources Reviews Rigs to Reefs Program – The House Resources Committee’s Energy Subcommittee will hold a hearing on reviewing recent state successes with the Rigs to Reefs Program.  Witnesses will include David Bump, vice president of drilling, completions and facilities at W&T Offshore Inc.; Frank Rusco, director of natural resources and environment at the Government Accountability Office; Dale Shively, leader of the artificial reef program at the Texas Parks & Wildlife Department; and Greg Stunz, director of the Center for Sportfish Science and Conservation at the Harte Research Institute for Gulf of Mexico Studies at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi.

Faison, Murkowski Featured in ACCF Forum – The American Council on Council Formation will hold a forum on Wednesday at the Newseum on energy policy in the 115th Congress.  Senate Energy Chair Lisa Murkowski, ClearPath’s Jay Faison and Alaska coop exec Meera Kohler will discuss energy strategies aimed at innovation and production, rather than regulation.  The panel will be moderated by POLITICO Deputy Energy Editor Nick Juliano.

Hearing to Look at South American Energy – The House Foreign Affairs Committee’s Subcommittee on the Western Hemisphere will convene a hearing Wednesday at 10:00 a.m. on energy opportunities in South America.  The issue of energy in the region is a huge opportunity for advancing U.S. interests, creating jobs, and realizing economic growth. Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, and Peru all have significant oil or natural gas production. Chile also hosts the world’s second-largest lithium reserves. These abundant resources coupled with recent regulatory reforms have created an opening for greater U.S. energy collaboration with countries in South America. This hearing will focus on ways our country can increase our energy engagement to benefit U.S. and regional interests.  Witnesses include Jorge Pinon of the University of Texas at Austin, Lisa Viscidi, Director of Energy, Climate Change, and Extractive Industries Program at the Inter-American Dialogue and Jason Bordoff, Director of the Center on Global Energy Policy, School of International and Public Affairs at Columbia University.

Climate Reality Project Forum Look sat Carbon Pricing – The Climate Reality Project hosts a panel on Wednesday at 11:00 a.m. looking at carbon pricing.

Heritage to Host Forum on Climate Impact on Poor – The Heritage Foundation hosts forum Wednesday at 5:00 p.m. featuring the Cornwall Alliance for the Stewardship of Creation’s latest documentary, Convicted: How Climate Alarmism Harms the World’s Poor (working title). As the sequel to Where the Grass is Greener: Biblical Stewardship vs. Climate Alarmism, Convicted delves into the deadly impacts of climate alarmism on people in developing countries, and what Biblical Stewardship requires of us: “To seek justice, love mercy, and walk humbly with our God.”  The event will discuss why top experts risk their jobs, funding, and public reputations to oppose the politicization of science and the use of scientific theories to push social, economic, and political agendas. The science is not settled, watch Convicted: How Climate Alarmism Harms the World’s Poor to know more.

Senate Energy Holds Interior Deputy Hearing – The Senate Energy Committee will hold a hearing on the nomination of David Bernhardt to be deputy Interior secretary Thursday at 10:00 a.m.  Bernhardt served at Interior during the Bush administration in the agency’s third-highest post, and most recently chaired the natural resources practice at Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck, LLP. Bernhardt also served on President Donald Trump’s Interior Department transition team.

Resources to Discuss Western Power, Water Issues – The House Natural Resources Committee’s panel on Water, Power and Oceans will hold a hearing on Thursday focused on water rights and western power issues.  It will focus on the “Western Area Power Administration Transparency Act;” and the “Water Rights Protection Act. Witnesses include South Bend, Ind mayor Pete Buttigieg, Hattiesburg, Miss. mayor Johnny DuPree, Hamilton County, Ohio commissioner Todd Portune, Ohio EPA director Craig Butler, William Spearman of WE3 Consultants and NRDC’s Lawrence Levine.

House Approps Panel Looks at AVs – The House Transportation Approps Panel will hold a hearing Thursday at 10:00 p.m. on how to fit in new transportation technologies like self-driving cars and drones into existing government expenses.  Witnesses include Rand’s Nidhi Kalra, Mykel Kochenderfer of the Stanford University Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Self-Driving Coalition for Safer Streets CEO David Strickland and Brian Wynne, president and CEO of the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International.

CSIS to Host Book Talk by SEJer Lisa Palmer – On Thursday at 4:00 p.m., the Center for Strategic & International Studies will host a book forum for our SEJ friend Lisa Palmer as she continues the launch of her new book, Hot, Hungry Planet.  Palmer shares what she has learned from her research and reporting. She focuses on three key concepts that support food security and resilience in a changing world: social, educational, and agricultural advances; land use and technical actions by farmers; and policy nudges that have the greatest potential for reducing adverse environmental impacts of agriculture while providing more food.  Palmer will be joined by experts on global food security for a panel discussion and will take questions from the audience.

Energy Economist to Hear From Schlumberger Exec – On Friday, May 19th at 12:00 p.m., the National Capital Chapter of the US Assn of Energy Economists will host a forum on shale and tight oil with Schlumberger exec Robert Kleinberg.  The geography of the earth has changed radically over its history.  Some of those changes are responsible for the accumulations of oil and gas we find today.  Using the principles of organic geochemistry, Robert will show how the collision of continents hundreds of millions of years ago created the great Devonian and Mississippian shale plays: Marcellus, Fayetteville, Woodford, and Barnett.

CA to Hold Public Hearing on Retail Electricity Choice – The CPUC and the California Energy Commission will hold a joint en banc hearing on Friday in Sacramento with Commissioners of both agencies attending to discuss the changing state of retail electric choice in California.

 

IN THE FUTURE

WINDPOWER Set for Anaheim – The American Wind Energy Association (AWEA), the national trade association that represents the interests of America’s wind energy industry, will hold its annual WINDPOWER 2017 Forum in Anaheim on May 22nd to 25th.   Cali Senate President Kevin de León, the California Senate’s most powerful member and legislative champion of the state’s hallmark 50% renewable energy standard law passed in 2015, will provide a keynote address at 10:00 a.m. on Tuesday morning, directly preceding AWEA’s Industry Leaders Panel – the marquee General Session panel at WINDPOWER. The discussion will feature Tristan Grimbert, President and CEO of EDF Renewable Energy and incoming Board Chair of AWEA; Pete McCabe, Vice President, Onshore Wind, GE Renewable Energy; Karen Lane, CFO, Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy, Onshore Americas; and Greg Wolf, CEO of Leeward Renewable Energy. This year’s panel will cover implementation of wind energy into the 2020s, opportunities in tax reform, emerging political issues, and more.

CSIS to Host Oil, LNG Balance Discussion – The CSIS Energy and National Security Program is hosting  Fereidun Fesharaki, Founder and Chairman of FGE on Tuesday May 23rd at 10:00 a.m. for a presentation and discussion on the current state of global oil and gas markets, one balancing as the other appears to tip toward imbalance.  Oil markets are struggling to reach a balance, and with robust demand growth and continued OPEC cutbacks, a balance might be reached in the 2017/2018 period. LNG markets are facing a prolonged period of imbalance, perhaps through about 2023, before a balance can be reached. While many advocate new U.S. LNG projects, around 50% of the projects currently under construction have still not been sold to end users.  Fesharaki’s work is recognized worldwide for pioneering oil and gas market analysis since the early 1980s. Born in Iran, he received his Ph.D. in economics from the University of Surrey in England. He then completed a visiting fellowship at Harvard University’s Center for Middle Eastern Studies. He joined the East West Center in 1979, where he led the Energy program for two decades. FGE offices are spread around the world in 8 locations with heavy emphasis on Asia and the Middle East.

Forum to Look at Biogas – The American Biogas Council (ABC), the Coalition for Renewable Natural Gas (CRNG) and the Environmental and Energy Study Institute (EESI) will host a briefing on Tuesday May 23rd looking at the untapped energy in domestic wastes. Waste streams-including manure, agricultural waste, waste water, food scraps and landfill gases-can be converted to biogas and upgraded to renewable natural gas (RNG) for electricity, pipeline injection, or vehicle use, while also providing valuable products such as fertilizer and compost. Currently, most waste streams represent a missed opportunity. State waste resources are diverse and numerous. The event will address the potential resources in their states, as well as economic and job opportunities, and policy drivers. The speakers for this forum are American Biogas Council exec Patrick Serfass, Lauren Toretta of CH4 Biogas, Grant Zimmerman of ampCNG, Avant Energy’s Brian Meek and others.

NatGas Summit Set – The 2017 RNG Summit Industry, Policy & Regulatory Forum will be held on Tuesday May 23rd at the American Gas Assn.  Organized by the Coalition for Renewable Natural Gas (RNG Coalition) and the American Biogas Council (ABC), in collaboration with Natural Gas Vehicles for America (NGVAmerica), the summit will be attended by companies throughout the renewable natural gas, biogas, and natural gas vehicles industries, as well as participants from various energy, environmental, and renewable energy organizations. Bioenergy Technologies Office Technology Manager David Babson will be speaking at the summit on the U.S. Department of Energy’s work related to renewable natural gas and biogas.  The 2017 RNG Summit will focus on how 2017 is shaping up to impact the present and future of the renewable natural gas (RNG) industry. The event will feature an afternoon of gaining insight into the current state of the U.S. RNG and biogas industries. Attendees will gain access to timely updates on central regulatory and policy discussions on issues impacting RNG.  Speakers include executives of companies in the waste, fuels, and transportation industries who will highlight the importance of developing and using RNG from North America’s vast supply of organic feedstocks.

Mexico Gas Summit Set – The 3rd Mexico Gas Summit will be held in San Antonio, Texas at the St. Anthony hotel on May 24th and 25th.  Organized by Industry Exchange, this oil and gas event brings together internationally recognized industry speakers, investors, government officials, and C level executives from the energy, infrastructure, and transportation industries. The geographic scope for the event will cover Mexico as a region with a strong focus on the opportunities associated with Gulf Coast onshore oil and gas exploration and production, midstream infrastructure, gas commercialization and the recent opening of the refined fuels market.

Shaheen, Forum to Launch Russian Gas Paper – The Atlantic Council and the Free Russia Foundation will launch of a new Atlantic Council policy paper, The Kremlin’s Gas Games in Europe: Implications for Policy Makers on Wednesday, May 24th at 2:00 p.m. in 216 Hart.  In The Kremlin’s Gas Games in Europe, Ilya Zaslavskiy presents policy recommendations for US and European policy makers as the European Union negotiates Gazprom’s latest pipeline project, Nord Stream 2. Examining previous Gazprom pipeline projects, the author argues that while Gazprom presents itself as an independent competitive firm, it has a consistent track record of acting as an arm of the Kremlin’s foreign and economic policy. Nord Stream 2, Mr. Zaslavskiy concludes, will present a major challenge to European law and EU principles and jeopardize the security interests of the United States and its European allies.  Sen. Jeanne Shaheen delivers the keynote Address, followed by a panel with CSIS expert Edward Chow and AC’s Bud Coote.  Our friend Emily Meredith, Deputy Bureau Chief of Energy Intelligence, will moderate.

Grid Infrastructure Event Set – WIRES in conjunction with the House Grid Innovation Caucus, the National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA), the GridWise Alliance, and EESI will host a WIRES University seminar on Thursday May 25th that explores an oft-neglected the high voltage electric transmission grid. This whole-day session explains the grid’s importance as an enabler of markets and new technology as the economy becomes more thoroughly electrified. Our grid must also adapt to a distributed energy future which calls for a smarter and more flexible network.  This session delves into the details of why modernizing our high-voltage grid infrastructure is more critical than ever, given the age of the nation’s transmission facilities, the fundamental changes occurring in electric generation, and the demands on the system. Expansion and upgrade of the grid will make it more resilient and deliver increased economic, environmental, and consumer benefits in the range of $50 billion annually.  Speakers, including leaders from Congress, regulatory agencies, industry, and think tanks, will examine what challenges need to be overcome to upgrade our transmission system. Policymakers and regulators play a critical role in our nation’s energy infrastructure, and there is much room for improved coordination and planning.  A full agenda is forthcoming. Panels will address grid modernization, transmission’s role as a strategic asset and an enabler, regulatory and financial challenges, and the role that the wired network plays in the distributed energy environment, clean energy, and in tech innovation environments.

Forum to Look at Vietnam Climate Issues – The PISA-ASEAN Roundtable Series on Climate-Smart Development and Chino Cienega Foundation hosts a forum Thursday at GWU’s Elliott School.  As one of the country’s most vulnerable to climate change, the Vietnamese government has been forthright in addressing the issue through public media. Having worked with youth and local communities on environmental advocacy, Ms. Nguyen Ngoc Ly will share her views on public understanding of climate change and its implications.

Forum to Look at Infrastructure – The Hudson Institute will host a timely conversation on June 8 at Noon about the importance of modernizing America’s infrastructure to spur sustained economic growth and job creation and improve the quality of life for all Americans. U.S. Senator John Boozman will offer his perspective in opening remarks drawing on his experiences serving on the Committee on the Environment and Public Works and the Committee on Appropriations Subcommittee on Transportation, Housing and Urban Development.  A panel discussion will follow the senator’s remarks featuring the Aubrey Layne, Virginia’s Secretary of Transportation;, former Federal Transit Administration chief counsel David Horner; former senior deputy mayor and COO of Indianapolis under Mayor Steve Goldsmith Skip Stitt, author of Hudson’s recent report Infrastructure Spending and Public-Private Partnerships and Jennifer Aument, a commissioner for the Virginia Port Authority and Group General Manager, North America at Transubran.

Security Experts to Address Methanol Policy Forum – The Methanol Institute will hold its Methanol Policy Forum on June 13th at the National Press Club.  The Forum will include a special luncheon discussion:  Energy Security through Fuel Choice, which features a conversation with the U.S. Energy Security Council experts like former National Security Advisor Robert C. McFarlane, former CIA Director James Woolsey, former President of Shell Oil Company John Hofmeister, former White House Counsel and Ambassador to the EU C. Boyden Gray and former Louisiana Senator and Senate Energy Bennett Johnston.  Our friend Joe Cannon and other will speak on panels as well.

EIA Energy Conference Set – The 2017 EIA Energy Conference is scheduled for June 26-27 in Washington, DC.

Global Security Forum Set – The Center for a New American Security hosts its 2017 Annual Conference in partnership with The Washington Post on Wednesday, June 28th at The Mayflower Hotel. This year’s conference will bring together U.S. national security policymakers and experts to highlight major divides and identify potential bipartisan solutions. CNAS is an independent and nonpartisan research institution that develops strong, pragmatic and principled national security and defense policies.

Congressional Renewable Expo Set – The 20th annual Congressional Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency EXPO and Policy Forum will be held on Tuesday, July 11th from at 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. In Rayburn.

Energy Update: Week of May 8

Friends,

Another exciting Kentucky Derby on Saturday. As I said, with Lookin At Lee and Battle of Midway sloshing through the mess to Place and Show respectively, the payouts were HUGE on the $2 exacta ($336.20), trifecta ($8,297.20) and superfecta ($76,974.50).  I was hopeful at the top of the stretch as Always Dreaming led and both McCraken and Irish War Cry were positioned to pressure, but both ran into a wall of mud-packed horses and faded – along with my chances for winning anything. It was an impressive, clean run for Always Dreaming as he went to the front from the 5 hole and barely had a speck of mud on him or John Velazquez.  Now horse vans and TV trucks head to Baltimore for the Preakness on May 20th at Pimlico.  And you know who else is headed to Baltimore this week:  Metallica to launch its WorldWired Tour on Wednesday at M&T Bank Stadium.  We are headed to Wellesley to pick up Hannah – first year complete – so we will catch them up in Detroit in July.

While everyone is focused on the health care legislation and what the Senate will do, in the energy space we are focused on the Paris Climate agreement – especially with technical talks restarting today in Bonn.  The Wall Street Journal has a Kevin Cramer op-ed today looking at whether the US should stay in the Paris agreement.  Tomorrow, there is expected to be another meeting between First-Daughter Ivanka and EPA head Scott Pruitt and maybe a decision, but maybe not.

Businesses are out in force with a number of letters urging support for staying in Paris and 19 companies including Apple, Facebook, Google, Johnson Controls and National Grid are running full-page ad in The New York Times, Wall Street Journal and others this week urging the Trump administration to stay in as well.  Meanwhile, CEI has coordinated a letter from 40 free-market and conservative groups urging President Trump to follow through on his campaign vow to withdraw from Paris.   Obviously, we are following closely and will be happy to discuss.  Finally, among the many pieces that have been written, David Roberts has a good explainer in Vox that clearly highlights the recognition that the agreement is voluntary that relies on the power of transparency and peer pressure.  Speaking of Vox, congrats to our friend Brad Plumer who is moving to the New York Times.

It is also getting close to the deadline for the Methane CRA which has been another interesting battle.  No vote scheduled yet, but we’ll see what happens.  On the Hills, Senate Energy takes hydro and other energy legislation Wednesday while Senate Environment gets into state views of the Endangered Species Act.

Finally, today and tomorrow, the EE Global energy efficiency summit – hosted by the Alliance to Save Energy – is being held at the Washington Convention Center in DC.  This afternoon, BCSE’s Lisa Jacobson headlines a panel on energy efficiency technologies and their impact on businesses and manufacturers.  Then, tomorrow at lunch, there will be a great panel on whether the changes to the Montreal Protocol to phase down HFCs will have a significant impact on energy efficiency.

Call with questions…

 

Best,

Frank Maisano

(202) 828-5864

(202) 997-5932

 

FRANKLY SPOKEN

“We switched on more megawatts in the first quarter than in the first three quarters of last year combined. Each new modern wind turbine supports 44 years of full-time employment over its lifespan, so the turbines we installed in just these three months represent nearly 40,000 job years for American workers.”

Tom Kiernan, CEO of AWEA, in releasing the U.S. Wind Industry First Quarter 2017 Market Report.

 

IN THE NEWS

American Wind Power Reports Best First Quarter Since 2009 – America’s wind power workforce installed 908 utility-scale turbines in the first quarter of 2017, totaling 2,000 megawatts (MW) of capacity. This is the wind industry’s strongest start in eight years, according to a new report released last week by the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA).  The early burst of activity reflects how 500 factories in America’s wind power supply chain and over 100,000 wind workers are putting stable, multi-year federal policy to work. The industry is now in year 3 of a 5-year phase-down of the Production Tax Credit, and Navigant Consulting recently forecast a strong 2017 for wind power, similar to 2015 and 2016.  New wind turbine installations in the first quarter spanned the U.S. from Rhode Island and North Carolina to Oregon and Hawaii. Great Plains states Texas (724 MW), and Kansas (481 MW), led the pack.

Sasse CoS Named to Refiners Govt Affairs Head – The American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers (AFPM) announced that Derrick Morgan will join the organization as senior vice president, federal and regulatory affairs. In this role, he will oversee the government relations, regulatory affairs, and petrochemical departments. Morgan comes to AFPM from the office of Senator Ben Sasse, where he served as chief of staff. He previously held several positions at the Heritage Foundation including vice president for the Institute of Economic Freedom and Opportunity, where he managed a research division, and as the chief of staff to the organization’s President and Chief Executive Officer, Ed Feulner. During the Presidency of George W. Bush, he served on Vice President Dick Cheney’s senior staff in several capacities, including assistant to the vice president, special counsel, and staff secretary. Additionally, he also served as a policy analyst and counsel to the U.S. Republican Policy Committee under Senator John Thune, providing analysis to all Republican senators on energy, environment, labor, and agriculture bills, amendments, and policy.

Platts Looks at OPEC Agreement – Platts Capitol Crude this week is joined by its London-based OPEC team to discuss the historic supply cut agreements as its expiration nears. The deal had no noticeable impact on prices, so was it a failure? Is an extension a guarantee? What impact is it having on US shale growth? Eklavya Gupte, Paul Hickin and Herman Wang answer these questions and more on today’s podcast.  Our friends at SAFE can also help by calling Leslie Hayward at 202-461-2361.

 

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

UN Climate Talks – Bonn, Germany today Through Friday.

Technologies, Policy Topics Headline EE Global Summit – The EE Global energy efficiency summit is being held today and tomorrow at the Walter Washington Convention Center in DC.  EE Global is hosted by the Alliance to Save Energy – a coalition of business, government, environmental, and consumer leaders. As my friend Mark Drajem Points out, there will be a great panel tomorrow at lunch which look s at whether the changes to the Montreal Protocol to phase down HFCs will have a significant impact on energy efficiency.  Our friend David Calabrese of Daikin is on the panel.  Also, BCSE’s Lisa Jacobson headlines a panel on energy efficiency technologies and their impact on businesses and manufacturers.  Other speakers include DOE’s EERE Deputy Kathleen Hogan, Southern’s Bruce Edelston, ASE’s Kateri Callahan, former Duke CEO Jim Rogers, former Navy Asst Sect and ACORE head Dennis McGinn, GM’s Dan Turton, and Senate Energy Staffer Franz Wuerfmannsdobler. See the full agenda HERE.

Forum to Look Saudi Aramco – The Atlantic Council’s Global Energy Center will hold a forum tomorrow at 1:00 p.m. for a discussion on the outlook for the Saudi Aramco IPO, its potential impact on financial markets, implications for oil markets, and possible responses from producers.  The event features a conversation with Phillip Cornel and Jean-Francois Seznec of the Atlantic Council, as well as Ayham Kamel of the Eurasia Group.  Our friend Amy Harder will moderate.

Senate Environment to Look at ESA – The Senate Environment Committee will hold a hearing Wednesday at 10:00 a.m. to hear state views on the need to modernize the Endangered Species Act. Witnesses include Nick Wiley, executive director of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and president of the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies; Larry Voyles, director of the Arizona Game and Fish Department; and Janet Coit, director of the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management.

Senate Energy Takes up Hydro, Other Energy Bills – The Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources’ Subcommittee on Water and Power is holding a legislative hearing Wednesday at 2:30 p.m. to hear testimony on hydropower and other energy legislation.

Webinar Set to Discuss Whole Power MarketsPower Markets Today will host a webinar on Wednesday at 2:00 p.m. looking at state policies and federal wholesale markets working together.  The event will provide a balanced view of the biggest debate in electricity markets from Exelon Senior Vice President of Competitive Market Policy Kathleen Barrón, former FERC Commissioner Tony Clark, Dynegy Vice President of Regulatory Affairs Dean Ellis and ISO New England Vice President of Market Development Mark Karl.

POSTPONED – CSIS to Host EU Climate/Energy Head – The CSIS Energy and National Security Program has postponed an event featuring Miguel Arias Cañete, European Commissioner for Climate Action and Energy, scheduled for Thursday at 11:00 a.m. for a discussion on the main opportunities and challenges for energy and climate change policy facing Europe in the coming decade.  The European Union (EU) remains one of the largest producers and consumers of energy in the world and thus a central voice in the global discourse on climate change. Climate action continues to be a fundamental piece of the EU’s policy agenda, which over the last few years has consistently championed ambitious greenhouse gas emissions targets via renewables, energy efficiency, and sustainable development.

Forum to Address Deep Decarbonization – On Thursday at 3:00 p.m., the Environmental Law Institute

will hold a forum on deep decarbonization. This seminar will present the results of two recent studies of pathways to long-term deep decarbonization for the United States, and the legal framework they operate within. The United States Mid-Century Strategy for Deep Decarbonization report was released in November 2016 by the Obama Administration, and From Risk to Return: Investing in a Clean Energy Economy, was released in December 2016 by the Risky Business Project. The Mid-Century Strategy report was submitted to UNFCCC as part of the follow-up to the Paris climate agreement. From Risk to Return is the latest report by the project co-chaired by Michael Bloomberg, Hank Paulson, and Tom Steyer. Both studies explore pathways to 80% reductions in GHG emissions by 2050. Panelists will include Michael Burger of the Sabin Center for Climate Change Law, as well as WRI’s Karl Hausker and Noah Kaufman.

Energy Forum Set for Infrastructure Discussion – The George Mason Energy Symposium will be held on Friday focused on Energy Infrastructure at its Johnson Center in Fairfax, VA.  The forum will highlight cross-disciplinary collaborations on energy science, research, policy and education across Mason Campuses and with regional government academic and private sector partners. The symposium will showcase and give awards to posters as well as feature key discussion panels.

Forum Looks at Infrastructure Report – The Environmental and Energy Study Institute (EESI) and the National Association of State Energy Officials (NASEO) will hold a briefing on Friday at noon in 2261 Rayburn looking at America’s infrastructure needs and the business case for investing in long-term reliability and sustainability. In this briefing, infrastructure experts will help answer these and other questions and discuss the value of building for resilience.  Every four years, ASCE releases an Infrastructure Report Card assessing the state of the nation’s infrastructure in 16 major categories and assigning a letter grade to each one and to America’s infrastructure as a whole. In the recently released 2017 report, the overall grade is a D+, just barely above failing. Transit infrastructure came out particularly poorly in ASCE’s report, with a grade of D-, the lowest of any category. Eleven categories-more than two thirds-got a D rating: Aviation, Dams, Drinking Water, Energy, Hazardous Waste, Inland Waterways, Levees, Roads, Schools, Transit, and Waste Water. Four categories eked out a C (Bridges, Ports, Public Parks, and Solid Waste), and just one, Rail, earned a B. No category was awarded an A.  The speakers for this forum are Tom Smith of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), John Stanton of the Institute for Sustainable Infrastructure and expert Mariana Silva.

Air Liquide to Headline Fuel Cell Forum – The Fuel Cell & Hydrogen Energy Policy Forum 2017 is set for Friday at noon in the 217 Congressional Visitors Center.  Industry representatives will provide updates on the latest fuel cell and hydrogen advancements. Discussion will cover fuel cell electric vehicles, hydrogen fueling, power generation and materials handling equipment.  The Forum will feature a range of industry representatives as they provide updates on the latest fuel cell and hydrogen energy advancements.  There will be speakers from Air Liquide, FuelCell Energy, Plug Power and Toyota.

 

IN THE FUTURE

BPC Forum Looks at Power Sector – Next Monday at 10:30 a.m., the Bipartisan Policy Center holds a discussion on how digitization can improve the efficiency and performance of the power sector across the entire value chain, from electricity production to transmission and distribution. Experts will discuss the benefits of digitization, as well as the policy challenged it faces.  Speakers will include GE Power’s Steve Bolze, Exelon’s Chris Crane, NYPA’s Gil Quiniones and BPC President Jason Grumet.

Forum to Look at Energy Emergency Preparedness in States – Next Monday in 334 Cannon at 12:30 p.m., the Environmental and Energy Study Institute (EESI) and the National Association of State Energy Officials (NASEO) will hold a briefing about the key role played by the 56 governor-designated State and Territory Energy Officials, other state agencies, the private sector, and DOE.  In this briefing, NASEO and state energy directors will discuss the concept of energy assurance-as well as key mitigation actions-and how State Energy Offices partner with state and local agencies and the private sector to rebuild after a natural disaster, prepare for future emergencies, and improve resiliency with energy efficiency and renewable energy. The speakers for this forum are NASEO head David Terry, Oklahoma Secretary of Energy and Environment Kylah McNabb and Kelley Smith Burk of the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.

WAPA to Host Jeep Presentation – On May 16th at Osteria Morini (near Nationials Park),  the Washington Automotive Press Association will host Jeep® for the introduction of its latest and highly anticipated compact-SUV:  the all-new 2017 Jeep Compass. Compass expands the Jeep brand’s global vehicle lineup as it will be built in four countries for consumers around the world. As the most capable compact-SUV ever, the all-new 2017 Jeep Compass features legendary Jeep 4×4 capability, a sophisticated design that evokes the premium side of the Jeep family, outstanding on-road dynamics, fuel-efficient powertrains, and a host of advanced safety and technology features.

Hopper, Others Headline Solar Summit in AZ – Greentech Media hosts its 10th annual Solar Summit 2017 on May 17th and 18th in Scottsdale, AZ.  Our friend Abby Hopper of SEIA will be among the speakers.

Powelson to Address NatGas Roundtable – The Natural Gas Roundtable will host Pennsylvania PUC Commissioner Robert F. Powelson next Tuesday at noon as the guest speaker at its next luncheon.  Powelson has served as the Commissioner of the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission since 2008. During his tenure as Chairman from 2010-2014, he helped transform the Commission into one of the most dynamic regulatory agencies in the nation.

Forum to Feature JP Morgan Chase, TNCThe Harvard Business School Club of Washington, D.C. will host a panel discussion next Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. to explore the current state of investment in fields such as energy, environment, and resource efficiency. Additionally, the speakers will discuss what financial, technical, and policy innovations are needed in order to continue to grow investment in the clean and resilient economy of the future. The panel will feature The Nature Conservancy President & CEO Mark Tercek, JPMorgan Chase Global Head of Sustainable Finance Matt Arnold and Hannon Armstrong President & CEO Jeff Eckel.  This event will kick-off an ongoing series of programs and roundtables on sustainability-oriented business opportunities and initiatives.

Faison, Murkowski Featured in ACCF Forum – The American Council on Council Formation will hold a forum on May 17th at the Newseum on energy policy in the 115th Congress.  Senate Energy Chair Lisa Murkowski, ClearPath’s Jay Faison and Alaska coop exec Meera Kohler will discuss energy strategies aimed at innovation and production, rather than regulation.  The panel will be moderated by POLITICO Deputy Energy Editor Nick Juliano.

CSIS to Host Book Talk by SEJer Lisa Palmer – On Thursday, May 18th at 4:00 p.m., the Center for Strategic & International Studies will host a book forum for our SEJ friend Lisa Palmer as she continues the launch of her new book, Hot, Hungry Planet.  Palmer shares what she has learned from her research and reporting. She focuses on three key concepts that support food security and resilience in a changing world: social, educational, and agricultural advances; land use and technical actions by farmers; and policy nudges that have the greatest potential for reducing adverse environmental impacts of agriculture while providing more food.  Palmer will be joined by experts on global food security for a panel discussion and will take questions from the audience.

Energy Economist to Hear From Schlumberger Exec – On Friday, May 19th at 12:00 p.m., the National Capital Chapter of the US Assn of Energy Economists will host a forum on shale and tight oil with Schlumberger exec Robert Kleinberg.  The geography of the earth has changed radically over its history.  Some of those changes are responsible for the accumulations of oil and gas we find today.  Using the principles of organic geochemistry, Robert will show how the collision of continents hundreds of millions of years ago created the great Devonian and Mississippian shale plays: Marcellus, Fayetteville, Woodford, and Barnett.

WINDPOWER Set for Anaheim – The American Wind Energy Association (AWEA), the national trade association that represents the interests of America’s wind energy industry, will hold its annual WINDPOWER 2017 Forum in Anaheim on May 22nd to 25th.   Cali Senate President Kevin de León, the California Senate’s most powerful member and legislative champion of the state’s hallmark 50% renewable energy standard law passed in 2015, will provide a keynote address at 10:00 a.m. on Tuesday morning, directly preceding AWEA’s Industry Leaders Panel – the marquee General Session panel at WINDPOWER. The discussion will feature Tristan Grimbert, President and CEO of EDF Renewable Energy and incoming Board Chair of AWEA; Pete McCabe, Vice President, Onshore Wind, GE Renewable Energy; Karen Lane, CFO, Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy, Onshore Americas; and Greg Wolf, CEO of Leeward Renewable Energy. This year’s panel will cover implementation of wind energy into the 2020s, opportunities in tax reform, emerging political issues, and more.

Grid Infrastructure Event Set – WIRES in conjunction with the House Grid Innovation Caucus, the National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA), the GridWise Alliance, and EESI will host a WIRES University seminar on Thursday May 25th that explores an oft-neglected the high voltage electric transmission grid. This whole-day session explains the grid’s importance as an enabler of markets and new technology as the economy becomes more thoroughly electrified. Our grid must also adapt to a distributed energy future which calls for a smarter and more flexible network.  This session delves into the details of why modernizing our high-voltage grid infrastructure is more critical than ever, given the age of the nation’s transmission facilities, the fundamental changes occurring in electric generation, and the demands on the system. Expansion and upgrade of the grid will make it more resilient and deliver increased economic, environmental, and consumer benefits in the range of $50 billion annually.  Speakers, including leaders from Congress, regulatory agencies, industry, and think tanks, will examine what challenges need to be overcome to upgrade our transmission system. Policymakers and regulators play a critical role in our nation’s energy infrastructure, and there is much room for improved coordination and planning.  A full agenda is forthcoming. Panels will address grid modernization, transmission’s role as a strategic asset and an enabler, regulatory and financial challenges, and the role that the wired network plays in the distributed energy environment, clean energy, and in tech innovation environments.

Security Experts to Address Methanol Policy Forum – The Methanol Institute will hold its Methanol Policy Forum on June 13th at the National Press Club.  The Forum will include a special luncheon discussion:  Energy Security through Fuel Choice, which features a conversation with the U.S. Energy Security Council experts like former National Security Advisor Robert C. McFarlane, former CIA Director James Woolsey, former President of Shell Oil Company John Hofmeister, former White House Counsel and Ambassador to the EU C. Boyden Gray and former Louisiana Senator and Senate Energy Bennett Johnston.  Our friend Joe Cannon and other will speak on panels as well.

Congressional Renewable Expo Set – The 20th annual Congressional Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency EXPO and Policy Forum will be held on Tuesday, July 11th from at 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. In Rayburn.