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.

Energy Update: Week of May 1

Friends,

Can you believe it is May 1st already!  Less than four weeks to the unofficial beginning of summer.  Although it kind of felt like summer this weekend, which worked out great for climate marchers on Saturday and my weekend sports activities.

There was a lot of sports and policy action this weekend in addition to the march.  We have a longer-term budget deal to get us to the end of the Fiscal year (October 1).  The Caps are struggling against the defending Cup champs Pittsburgh and, despite last night’s home loss, Edmonton with their young stars, looks great.   And in the Nats game yesterday, Anthony Rendon had a box score line for the ages, going 6-for-6 with 3 homers and 10 RBIs as the Nationals hammered the Mets 23-5.

All morning/afternoon we were in Delaware watching Olivia play field hockey, sprinkled in between watching Hannah’s NEWMAC lax playoff victory online.  But the big event was Saturday evening when I returned to attend the WH Correspondents Dinner thanks to my friends at the Dallas Morning News who were kind to invite me.  It was a fun evening despite the President not being there.  Hasan Minhaj was a little biting at times, but very funny overall.  It was good to see many of you there, including a bunch of my GWU SMPA students who were able to attend because of former CNN personality and current SMPA head Frank Sesno.  As usual, it was very crowded, so I’m sorry for those of who were there that I missed.

This week, the Senate tackles the budget deal.  There is still a lot of discussion in the White House regarding the Paris Climate Agreement and today a new analysis from former State legal advisor Susan Biniaz says the provisions of the Paris framework preserve national discretion over both a Party’s international target and its domestic policymaking. (I can send PDF if interested)  In the House, hearings Wednesday is the busy day with House Energy dealing with legislation including some good hydro legislation by Rep. Hudson making long-sought reforms to permitting of small conduit hydro projects.  House Transpo Tackles marine reforms and House Science looks at oil & gas technology innovation.  There has also be rumor floating around that we may see RFS RVOs this week, but that remains to be seen.

Finally, Friday is Cinco de Mayo, always a fun celebration commemorating the Mexican Army’s unlikely victory over French forces at the Battle of Puebla in 1862.  Then, on Saturday late afternoon, we return for the “most exciting two minutes in sports’ in the 143rd running of the Kentucky Derby.  As many of you know, I may have some interest in the track and I am providing the Kentucky Derby Preview below.  Call me if you need to place any bets.  I might know a guy…

Remember, don’t mix the cerveza and Mint Juleps.  After Friday and Saturday, we’ll need Sunday to recover. Call with questions…

 

Best,

Frank Maisano

(202) 828-5864

(202) 997-5932

 

KENTUCKY DERBY PREVIEW

This year, the 143rd Kentucky Derby should be wide open.  A number of big players have suffered injuries that have taken them off the track, including highly-touted Syndergaard, Klimt and Not This Time.  So expect big odds and the potential for a big payout.  Also this year, Bob Baffert will have no horses in the race for only second time since 2005, and it is likely that the winner will not be a California horse – which took the last four run for the roses.

So here we go:

I like McCraken.  He has been the steadiest of the favorites and seems healthy and strong.  He was second in Derby qualifying points and is well-rested with only two races in this year.  His home track is Churchill and he has won three races there.

Classic Empire is the clear favorite at 4-1, but he has been erratic and tends to struggle in a big pack that may do something crazy. He has an impressive resume as last year’s Breeders’ Cup Juvenile winner and champion 2-year-old.  He has missed a few weeks of training and has had minor injuries, but his willingness to train has been a red flag.

Hold off on points leader Girvin.  The Louisiana Derby winner has been struggling lately and may be not be fully-recovered from an earlier injury. Hence was an impressive winner of the important Grade III Sunland Derby on March 26th and is trained by Steve Asmussen.

Irap won the stacked Bluegrass Stakes on April 8th at 33-1 and is a stalker with good finishing speed.  Wood Memorial winner Irish War Cry is a New Jersey-bred horse won his first three races, including the Holy Bull Stakes Feb 4 at Gulfstream Park, leading from gate to wire in defeating Gunnevera and Classic Empire.

Tapwrit is good sleeper.  He’s a son of Tapit and he’s trained by legendary Todd Pletcher.  Another Pletcher sleeper with solid top 3 potential is Always Dreaming, who won the Florida Derby and likes to run from the front.   He should be perfect for your box bets.

Finally, Gunnevera should be on your radar.  He was second in the Florida Derby (from an outside post spot), won the Saratoga special in August last year, has a great jockey and is the son of Dialled In, who was a leading sire last year.  If you are looking at foreign horses, UAE Derby winner Thunder Snow is coming to Churchill and is in pretty good form. Sonneteer is the only maiden in the race which hasn’t seen a maiden win since Brokers Tip in 1933.

The Derby field will likely change some until Wednesday, when the post draw occurs. Here is the Full Field.  Post time: 6:34 Saturday.  This year, Harry Connick Jr sings the National Anthem and leads “My Old Kentucky Home.

 

FRANKLY SPOKEN

“The Paris Agreement has no bearing on whether domestic law allows the President to scrap the Clean Power Plan. Under the Charming Betsy doctrine, courts are supposed to interpret domestic law, wherever possible, to be consistent with international law. But since neither downward revision of the U.S. NDC nor withdrawal of the Clean Power Plan would violate international law, the Charming Betsy doctrine would be inapplicable.

Center for Climate and Energy Solutions Issue Brief written by former U.S. State Department Deputy Legal Adviser Susan Biniaz and Arizona State University Law Professor Daniel Bodansky.

 

IN THE NEWS

Bracewell Podcast Addresses Tax Issues, NAFTA – With the new Trump tax proposals being rolled out last week and discussions regarding NAFTA continuing to swirl, my colleagues Curt Beaulieu and Josh Zive have recorded a short podcast discussing key questions/issues surrounding the tax proposal and the NAFTA rumors.   Beaulieu is a former Senate Finance tax counsel for Chairman Hatch and Zive is one of Washington DC’s foremost trade law experts.  The podcast is new Bracewell feature and will occur weekly as well as on special issues.  They are on the record…Please feel free to call if you have additional questions.

CPP Case Delayed – The Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit has halted the Clean Power Plan case for 60 days while EPA works through the process of repealing the CPP.  My Bracewell colleague Jeff Holmstead, a former EPA Air Administrator said: “This is obviously important but not terribly surprising. I don’t think the DC Circuit has ever gone ahead and decided on the legality of a rule when a new administration says it plans to rescind or revise it. The only question now is whether the case will be held in abeyance or remanded back to EPA.  If the Court had upheld the rule, it wouldn’t have prevented the new Administration from revoking it, but it might have made this effort harder.  At the very least, today’s ruling means that it will not take as long for the Administration to undo the Clean Power Plan.

Memo from Legal Scholars Detail Paris Issues – Both my colleague Scott Segal and former NRC commissioner Jeff Merrifield have detailed issues surrounding the Paris commitment and its relationship to domestic policies like the Clean Power Plan.  Then, late yesterday, the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions released an analysis from former State Department legal advisor Susan Biniaz and Arizona State law prof Dan Bodansky that explains in detail why the US can stay in Paris without restriction to the domestic agenda.  First the memo argues that while downward adjustments to a country’s NDC are likely to “draw criticism, it is a legally available option.”  It also argues that the Paris Agreement would likely be held non-self-executing, which means it has no domestic force of law, and therefore imposes no domestic legal obligations.  Even if the Paris Agreement were found by a court to be self-executing, the agreement does not require that a party achieve its NDC, or put in place any particular implementing measures.  I have a PDF and can send if you need it.

Trump Changes Offshore Drilling Plans – On Friday, President Trump signed an order asking the Interior Department to open the Arctic waters for offshore oil and gas drilling and review the five-year offshore leasing plan the Obama administration passed in its final days.  The order also tells Interior to review areas along the Pacific and Atlantic outer continental shelves that the previous administration put off limits for oil and gas development.  The Chamber Energy Institute’s Karen Harbert said the Trump administration’s actions today “will lead to greater development of our energy resources, which is good for our economy and for our security.”  The Chamber release can be found here on EI’s website.  My colleague Jason Hutt (202-828-5850) is also a good resource on this topic should you have additional questions on the legal issues.

Bernhardt Nominated to Interior Deputy – Speaking of Interior, President Trump nominated lobbyist and former George W. Bush administration official David Bernhardt to be deputy secretary of the Interior. Bernhardt worked as solicitor, Interior’s third-highest position, for the full eight years under Bush.

Hergott Added to CEQ as Infrastructure Lead – Alex Herrgott, another long-time aide to Sen. Jim Inhofe will move over to the White House Council on Environmental Quality to be the associate director for infrastructure.   Herrgott served as deputy staff director for the Senate Environment Committee.

DOE Approves LNG Terminal – The Department of Energy has signed an order authorizing Golden Pass Products LLC (Golden Pass) to export domestically produced liquefied natural gas (LNG) to countries that do not have a free trade agreement (FTA) with the United States.  Golden Pass is authorized to export LNG up to the equivalent of 2.21 billion cubic feet per day (Bcf/d) of natural gas to any non-FTA country not prohibited by U.S. law or policy from the Golden Pass Terminal near Sabine Pass, in Jefferson County, Texas.  With the dramatic increase in domestic natural gas production, the United States is transitioning to become a net exporter of natural gas.  The Department of Energy has authorized a total of 19.2 Bcf/d of natural gas exports to non-FTA countries from planned facilities in Texas, Louisiana, Florida, Georgia, and Maryland. Golden Pass estimates the construction of its facility will provide 45,000 direct and indirect jobs over five years, and the project will provide 3,800 direct and indirect permanent jobs over the next 25 years of operational activity. Golden Pass also estimates the cumulative impact of construction and 25 years of operation will provide up to $2.4 billion in federal tax revenues and $1.2 billion in state tax revenues.

Goldston Heads to MIT DC office – The NRDC’s director of government David Goldston will head the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Washington office.  Goldston also was the Bipartisan Policy Center’s Science and Policy Project head, as well as working for the House Science Committee under Sherwood Boehlert (R-NY).

 

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

Water Power Conference Set for May – Waterpower week in Washington will be today through Wednesday, providing three great conferences into one when IMREC, METS and NHA’s Annual Conference are held at the Capital Hilton.  The event will discuss policy changes in the hydro and marine industry in an all-in-one event. The event highlights perspectives on the role of hydro, explores issues affecting hydro and marine resources, and helps participants develop a future game plan to meet challenges and ensure the future sustainability of the hydro and marine industry.

FERC to Host Power Conference – FERC will host a two-day conference today and tomorrow look at eastern power markets and challenges those are posing.  Our friend Christi Tezak, of ClearView Energy Partners told POLITICO she expects “two days of weeping, moaning and the gnashing of teeth from all sides.” The play by play is on the webcast here.

JHU Hosts Canadian Energy Forum –The Johns Hopkins SAIS will host the first annual Johns Hopkins SAIS Canadian Energy Conference today sponsored by the Canadian Gas Association.

Forum to Look at Energy in Ghana – The U.S. Energy Association will hold a forum tomorrow at 9:30 a.m. in the USEA Executive Conference Room on the current status and future plans for the energy sector in Ghana. The speakers will be Benjamin Kwame Ahunu, Principal Engineer of GridCo and ICF’s Bernard Modey.

Resources to Look at Antiquities Act, Land Issues – The House Natural Resources Subcommittee on Federal Lands will hold an oversight hearing tomorrow on the Antiquities Act that will feature Maine Gov. Paul LePage.  Just last week, President Trump ordered the Interior Department to review the status of dozens of national monuments created by his White House predecessors, including controversial designations at Bears Ears in Utah and Katahdin Woods and Waters in Maine.  In addition to LePage, Utah Public Lands Policy Coordinating Office Director Kathleen Clarke, Elliotsville Plantation President Lucas St. Clair and Murphy Timber Investments Vice President of Resources Knox Marshall.

Nuclear Report Released Tomorrow – Tomorrow at Noon, the Nuclear Energy Institute and Partnership for Global Security will host a forum on nuclear for the next generation at the National Press Club.  The groups will release the release GNI’s final report, Nuclear for the Next Generation and will feature NEI CEO Maria Korsnick, as well as GNI Working Group members Kenneth Luongo and Richard Rosenzweig.

WRI to Look at Environmental Policy Challenges – The World Resources Institute hosts a tomorrow at 1:00 p.m. to discuss Earth Day and American environmental policy, and how we can replicate transformational change to curb global warming and environmental degradation.  It will also look at Paris and other EPA policy actions.  Speakers include Senior Fellow at the International Institute for Sustainable Development Robert Repetto, who will examine past tipping points in environmental policy. He will outline the political, institutional and legal factors that contribute to unprecedented policy breakthroughs.  Neelam Singh, a Senior Associate from WRI’s Climate Program, will join Repetto on the panel to share her work on transformational change in the context of climate change mitigation and sustainable development policies. Together, they will discuss the application of this approach to understanding tipping points and identifying opportunities for protecting the global commons.

Senate Energy to Look at PILTs, EMPs – The Senate Energy Committee will hold two hearings this week. The first hearing tomorrow will focus on the Secure Rural Schools program and the Payment in Lieu of Taxes (PILT) program. The second on Thursday will examine the threat to energy infrastructure from electromagnetic pulse (EMP) and policy options to improve system restoration. More information on the hearings can be found at the links below or by visiting the committee’s website.

Murkowski, Cantwell Headline New CSIS Energy Speaker Series – The CSIS Energy & National Security Program will host a new speaker series, Energy in America on Wednesday at 8:30 a.m.  The launch of this series feature Senate Energy Committee Chair Lisa Murkowski and Committee ranking member Maria Cantwell. As Chairman and Ranking Member, respectively, of the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, Senators Murkowski and Cantwell are uniquely positioned to provide a view from their states and of U.S. energy policy.  This series will feature congressional and state-level perspectives on the energy issues that matter most in various regions across the country. Additionally, Energy in America will highlight the social and economic impacts of energy and the challenges facing policymakers as they attempt to harness U.S. energy resources to create and foster economic opportunities.

House Energy to Tackle Energy Legislative Effort – The House Energy and Commerce Energy panel will hold a legislative hearing on Wednesday at 10:00 a.m. in 2123 Rayburn. The hearing will focus on four bills and six legislative drafts, including one that takes the State Department out of oversight decisions regarding pipelines or electric transmission lines seeking to cross into Canada or Mexico.

House Transpo to Look at Marine Reg Programs – The House Transportation and Infrastructure Subcommittee on Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation will hold a hearing on Wednesday at 10:00 a.m. to question witnesses on dozens of topics, including shipping, offshore liability, dockside safety exams and towing vessel inspections. Witnesses will include Coast Guard Rear Adm. Paul Thomas, acting chairman of the Federal Maritime Commission Michael Khouri, Todd Schauer of the American Salvage Association, former president of the National Response Corp Steven Candito, the Rapid Ocean Response Corp CEO Nicholas Nedeau, Norman “Buddy” Custard of the Alaska Maritime Prevention and Response Network, Thomas Allegretti, American Waterways Operators, Peter Ford of Ports America and World Shipping Council president John Butler.

House Science to Look at Oil, Gas Tech – The House Science Committee will examine the Department of Energy’s role in fostering innovation in the oil and gas sector in a Wednesday hearing at 10:00 a.m.   The hearing will focus on technology development led by private industry and consider the “appropriate” role for DOE in partnering with oil and gas companies on applied research.  Witnesses will include Edward Johnston of the Gas Technology Institute, Astro Tech founder David Brower, Walker Dimmig of 8 Rivers Capital and Ramanan Krishnamoorti, interim vice president and interim vice chancellor for research and technology transfer at the University of Houston.

House Resources Looks at Hydro – The House Natural Resources Subcommittee on Water, Power and Oceans will hold a hearing on Wednesday at 2:30 p.m. to discuss the challenges facing the hydropower industry. Witnesses will include Voith Hydro CEO Bob Gallo, Randy Howard of the Northern California Power Agency, National Hydropower Association president Herbie Johnson and David Montagne of the Sabine River Authority of Texas.

CMU Hosts Energy, Transportation Briefing – On Wednesday at 11:00 a.m., Carnegie Mellon University will host a policy briefing on several studies that provide guidance to policymakers for decisions they make related to energy and transportation in the Cannon House Office Building.

Forum to Look at Energy Partnerships – The United States Energy Association (USEA) will hold a forum on Wednesday at 2:00 p.m. to discuss energy partnerships to improve global security.  USEA implements the United States Agency for International Development’s (USAID) Energy Partnership Program (EPP), which brings U.S. and non-U.S. utilities and energy companies together to promote energy security, improve access to renewable energy and increase financial viability of utilities and energy related institutions.  USAID takes a holistic approach to supporting the development of energy sectors in emerging markets, by creating a more secure regulatory and financial investment environment to attract private capital for long-term economic development.  Investors seek stable legal and regulatory environments, competitive markets, credit-worthy utilities, fair and transparent procurement processes and reliable financial institutions that can invest and lend in these emerging markets.

Nebraska Keystone Hearings Launch – On Wednesday, the State of Nebraska will hold a 10-hour, short speech open mic public meeting focused on the Keystone Pipeline.

House Approps Panel Hears from Public on Budget – The House Appropriations Committee’s Subcommittee on Energy and Water Development, and Related Agencies will convene a public witness hearing on Wednesday to look at issues related to the energy budget.

SEJ Member Palmer to Launch Book at Wilson Event – Wednesday at the Wilson Center, our SEJ friend Lisa Palmer will launch of her new book, Hot, Hungry Planet, where she 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.

USEA Annual Meeting Set – US Energy Assn hosts its annual meeting on Thursday from 11:00 am to 5:30 p.m. in the National Press Club Ballroom. This meeting will bring together USEA members and distinguished guests to discuss energy policy developments, share industry updates and celebrate the achievements of the 2017 U.S. Energy Award and Volunteer Award recipients.

Panel to Look at Brazil Oil/Gas Issues – On Friday at 9:00 a.m., the Inter-American Dialogue hosts a panel on Brazil and its oil and gas reserves.  Despite resources, the energy sector has been plagued in recent years by low oil prices, stagnant production and mounting debts at state company Petrobras. The Temer government has sought to boost oil production by eliminating barriers to private investment and introducing reforms at Petrobras, but with presidential elections on the horizon, the political scenario is uncertain. The forum will look at what the outlook is for Brazil’s oil and gas sector and how recent reforms affect upstream bid rounds planned for this year.  Speakers include Jorge Camargo, President of Brazilian Petroleum, Gas and Biofuels Institute (IBP) and Jed Bailey of the Energy Narrative.

 

IN THE FUTURE

DC Green Biz Council to Honor Women Leaders – Next Monday, US Green Business Council National Capital Region will host a breakfast for the 2nd annual Women in Green. Panelists will discuss what it means to be a woman working to advance green building in the DC metro area and celebrate women in local sustainability. The panel discussion and facilitated sessions will focus on the complexities of women’s leadership and proven leadership principles practiced by female executives who are changing the way we think and build in the national capital region.

CSIS to Host EU Climate/Energy Head – The CSIS Energy and National Security Program will host Miguel Arias Cañete, European Commissioner for Climate Action and Energy, on Thursday May 11th 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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Energy Update: Week of April 17

Friends,

Hope everyone enjoyed some family time at Easter/Passover.  And congrats to Energy Daily’s Chris Holly who correctly identified my secret locale last week: Cancun, Mexico.  Yes they did hold a UN COP meeting there at the Moon Bay Palace Resort.

Welcome to Marathon Monday, better known as Patriot’s Day.  It is the day the Boston Marathon runs and you can see the Boston Globe’s coverage full coverage here.  Good luck to all who are running for themselves or others.  Marathon Monday has special meaning this year for us as Hannah is reporting live from the “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 week for a Boston Marathon Segment today on the Scream Tunnel.

It is also a day remembered for a 2013 terrorist attack and 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.  Also, it was 50 years ago today that the first official (registered) woman ran the Marathon: Katherine Switzer, who is running again this year.  The first woman to unofficially run it was Roberta Gibbs one year earlier.

Today’s focus in DC is on the White House Easter Egg Roll, the 139th version.  It started in 1878 when President Rutherford Hayes allowed kids to play Easter games on the South Lawn.  It is the first major event of the new President’s ceremonial agenda after Inaugural events and always is a great time.  In fact, our friend Sean Spicer at one point donned the Easter Bunny outfit during the Bush Administration.

Not much action this week given the second week of the Easter/Passover recess, but the major focus will be on a White House meeting of minds tomorrow on the future of the US involvement in Paris.  As you know, there has been a lot of action on this issue over the last week including a memo from my colleague Scott Segal outlining several key issues, reports that EPA Administrator Pruitt has taken a stronger stance for exiting the agreement and recent backtracking in the hardline stance from conservative, former EPA transition official Myron Ebell.  Seems like Myron and I may have been following this issue longer than just about anyone.

For you FERC nerds, the Federalist Society holds a panel discussion tomorrow on the state of competitive wholesale electricity markets, WCEE holds a lunch forum on Thursday and Friday, former NRC Chair Richard Meserve and Obama Science Advisor John Holdren address a science and security forum.  Also starting Wednesday, the offshore wind community comes together in Annapolis for a major series of meetings to discuss OSW, the supply chain and the future.

Our friend Amy Harder rolled out her first column at her new Generate gig, The Harder Line.  Nice word play!!!  Column #1 is focused on corporate unity on climate change, Paris engagement and is worth the read.

Congrats to our friend, Washington Post reporter David Fahrenthold on his 2017 Pulitzer Prize for National Reporting.  Congrats to all the other winners as well, including our friends at ProPublica and Eric Eyre of the Charleston Gazette.

Finally, more on this below, but this morning, our friends at the Association of Air Pollution Control Agencies (AAPCA) released a new report that tracks the tremendous progress in virtually every measure of air pollution control because of the Clean Air Act’s framework of cooperative federalism.  See it below.

Call with questions…

 

Best,

Frank Maisano

(202) 828-5864

(202) 997-5932

 

FRANKLY SPOKEN

“Air quality has improved dramatically, and ambient air monitoring data continues to reveal the downward trend of air pollutants. It is, perhaps, the greatest story seldom told, and one that is certainly worth telling. This report demonstrates that this progress has been driven by the hard-working state and local agency members of our Association, and we look forward to working with our federal partners to continue this pattern.”

AAPCA President Sean Alteri, Director of the Kentucky Division for Air Quality.

 

COOL QUOTIENT

Here is some of Hannah’s posted video from the Wellesley Scream Tunnel at Mile 13 on the route of the 2017 Boston Marathon.  Here is more video from last year: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gss2i7xFaHg

 

IN THE NEWS

Air Regulator Release Report – The Association of Clear Air Today, the Association of Air Pollution Control Agencies (AAPCA) released a new report, The Greatest Story Seldom Told: Profiles and Success Stories in Air Pollution Control. Through the Clean Air Act’s framework of cooperative federalism, state and local air quality agencies have made tremendous progress in virtually every measure of air pollution control.  The publication catalogues these trends through publicly available data from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and other agencies. It includes key metrics from concentrations of criteria pollutants like ground-level ozone and air releases of toxic chemicals to compliance/enforcement activity and operating permit renewals.

A few of the key statistics from The Greatest Story Seldom Told:

  • As of 2015, combined emissions of the six criteria air pollutants for which there are national ambient air quality standards were down 71% since 1970.
  • Between 2005 and 2015, reported toxic air releases were down 56%, or more than 851 million pounds, and AAPCA Member States accounted for nearly two-thirds of the total reduction.
  • In 2016, states performed full compliance evaluations for more than 14,500 facilities, 80 times the number conducted by U.S. EPA, and from 2010 to 2014, AAPCA Member States performed full compliance evaluations at nearly 47% of facilities annually, well ahead of the national average.
  • According to U.S. EPA, AAPCA Member States in 2016 were more efficient in permitting, with only a 15% backlog for renewing Title V permits among states with more than 100 Title V sources.
  • Between 2000 and 2015, AAPCA Member States saw nitrogen oxide emissions fall more rapidly than the national average.
  • As of 2014, AAPCA Member States had reduced sulfur dioxide emissions in the power sector by more than 8 million tons compared to 1990.
  • From 2000 to 2014, per capita energy-related carbon dioxide emissions were down 18.1% on average nationally, with AAPCA Member States averaging a 19.3% reduction.
  • The U.S. has far exceeded international trends in air quality, with some of the lowest levels of average annual fine particulate matter and the largest reduction in carbon dioxide emissions in the world over the last decade.

Indiana Releases State View Report – In addition to the AAPCA Report, the Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM) recently released the 2017 edition of The States’ View of the Air report. The report highlights the air quality in counties and cities in the United States. Like a report card, IDEM has graded areas on the state of their air quality under the federal standards for ozone and fine particles. You can find the full report here, and individual state reports here.

Gas Expert Returns to Bracewell – Former Bracewell staffer Christine Wyman has returned the firm as a senior Counsel.  Wyman will provide federal legislative and regulatory advice to the firm’s industry and non-profit clients on a broad range of issues and matters.  Prior to joining Bracewell, Wyman was Senior Counsel at the American Gas Association where she advocated for natural gas utilities on federal environmental, energy, and pipeline safety matters.

Ringel Named to EPA Congressional Affairs – Speaking of Bracewell alums, Aaron Ringel, another Segal protégé Aaron Ringel heads to EPA Monday to begin work as deputy associate administrator for congressional affairs.  After working as an assistant to Segal, Ringel moved to the Hill where He worked as legislative director for then-Rep. Mike Pompeo and then deputy chief of staff for Rep. Richard Hudson.

DOE to Review Grid Policy – The Department of Energy will conduct a review of how policies supporting wind and solar energy are pushing the early retirement of coal and nuclear generators our friends at Bloomberg report. Perry on Friday ordered a study of the U.S. electrical grid, aiming to ascertain whether policies to boost renewable energy are hastening the retirement of coal and nuclear plants and threatening power reliability. The review comes as a number of states move to subsidize baseload generation, particularly nuclear plants, which cannot compete with cheap natural gas and renewable energy in wholesale power markets. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission will hold a technical conference on the state power subsidies at the beginning of next month.

 

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

Energy Storage Conference Set for Denver – The 27th Energy Storage Association annual conference and expo will be held tomorrow through Thursday in Denver, Colorado.  Keynote speakers and expert panelists on the program include Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper, RES CEO Ivor Catto, former CO Gov Bill Ritter and NextEra Energy exec Michael O’Sullivan.

White House Paris Meeting Set – Several key environmental and energy cabinet official and staffers will meet tomorrow to discuss the future of US involvement with the Paris Treaty, according our sources and several media reports.  Those attending include Dave Banks, National Economic Council Director Gary Cohn, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster, EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt, Energy Secretary Rick Perry, senior adviser Jared Kushner and chief strategist Steve Bannon.

Panel to Look at FERC Wholesale Markets – Tomorrow at Noon, the Federalist Society for Law and Public Policy Studies holds a panel discussion at noon at the National Press Club on the state ‘Around Market’ action and FERC.  The panel will look at whether it is the end of competitive wholesale electricity markets.  Panelists will include Acting FERC Chairman Cheryl A. LaFleur, PSEG’s Larry Gasteiger, former Colorado Commissioner Ray Gifford, Calpine’s Steven Schleimer and others.  The event will be moderated by former FERC Commissioner Tony Clark.

Forum to Look at Global Energy Reform – The Atlantic Council holds a discussion on a new report Reform of the Global Energy Architecture tomorrow at Noon.  The report will be presented by task force co-chairs Phillip Cornell, nonresident senior fellow at the Atlantic Council Global Energy Center, and David Goldwyn, chairman of the Atlantic Council Energy Advisory Group. They will be joined by task force member Neil Brown, director of policy and research at KKR Global Institute, and Richard Morningstar, founding director and chairman of the Atlantic Council Global Energy Center. The discussion will look at current energy governance challenges, the importance of international and multilateral collaboration, future policy priorities, and the path forward on energy governance for the new US administration.

Forum to Look at Sustainable Energy, Water Issues – Tomorrow at 1:30 p.m., Sustainable Capital Advisors holds a discussion on securing energy and water access for vulnerable communities.  This forum focuses on how policymakers, researchers, activists, developers, investors and others can use the levers of public policy, finance and technology to increase true access, ensuring greater energy and water security for all.  Among the panelists will be NAACP’s Derrick Johnson, Groundswell CEO Michelle Moore, Yasemin Erboy Ruff of the Energy and Climate at the United Nations Foundation and ELI’s Brett Korte.

Industry Leaders, Experts Flock to Offshore Wind Business Forum – The 2017 International Offshore Wind Partnering Forum  will be held on Wednesday to Friday in Annapolis, Maryland at the Westin Hotel. The event brings together leaders in a small, personal setting, and creates dialogues and relationships that move the U.S. offshore wind industry forward.  Among the speakers will be all major players in the wind industry from experts like UDelaware’s Jeremy Firestone to CEO like Deepwater’s Jeff Grybowski.  MD Sen. Ben Cardin will also be a keynote speaker.

CSIS Forum to Look at Global Development – The Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) will host its 3rd annual Global Development Forum (GDF) on Wednesday. The GDF will feature over 40 speakers, including key stakeholders from U.S. government agencies, leading multilateral and non-governmental organizations, foreign governments, and the private sector. The forum examines the role and purpose of official development assistance against a backdrop of rising incomes, economic growth, youth unemployment, and other continued complex challenges in many parts of the world. To address these challenges, the next U.S. administration will need to apply new approaches and remain highly flexible in a rapidly changing development landscape. In particular, this conference will explore ways in which the next few years will shape the role of the United States in international development, and how the United States can work with official donors and key partners, including the private sector, civil society, and multilateral institutions. The two keynote speakers will be Admiral William J. Fallon (ret.), former Commander of U.S. Central Command and Asian Development Bank President Takehiko Nakao.

Forum to Look at Energy Innovation in Middle East – On Wednesday at 9:00 a.m., the Atlantic Council holds a discussion about how energy innovation and entrepreneurship in the government and private sector are reshaping the Middle East and creating economic opportunities in the region. Joining us are Julia Nesheiwat, presidential deputy envoy for hostage affairs at the US Department of State; HE Majid Al-Suwaid, consul general of the United Arab Emirates in New York; and Salah Tabbara, general manager of ALBina Industrial Construction Company.

Forum to Look at Grid Modernization – The Global America Business Institute holds a discussion Wednesday at Noon on the importance of grid infrastructure modernization and resilience.  The event will look at new opportunities under the Trump Administration.  Speakers will include Job Henning, CEO of Grid Energy and Athena Power CEO Raj Lakhiani.

Webinar to Look at Offshore Wind – The American Council on Renewable Energy (ACORE) and Bloomberg New Energy Finance hold a webinar, beginning at 12:00 p.m., on the U.S. offshore wind boom.  You can call ACORE for details www.acore.org

AEE Webinar to Look at State Policy Questions – The Advanced Energy Economy (AEE) will host a webinar on Wednesday at 1:00 p.m. looking at creating markets for advanced energy at the state Level.  Whatever might be happening at the federal level, states are taking the lead in creating markets for advanced energy. AEE’s State Policy Program seeks to maintain this momentum by working with our coalition of State and Regional Partners and our business members to promote advanced energy legislation in statehouses around the nation. During this webinar you will hear from policy experts who have intimate knowledge of the latest legislative developments in the following states: California: Cap & Trade, Storage, Transportation; Nevada: Retail Choice Issue, Legislative Update; Texas: Legislative Tax Issue, PUCT Regulatory Proceeding on Data Access; Virginia: Access to Advanced Energy, Legislative, and Regulatory Update.

JHU Forum to Look at Food, Ag, Climate – The Johns Hopkins University Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) holds a discussion at 12:30 p.m. on food, farmers and climate looking at a new report from the Agricultural Model Intercomparison and Improvement Project.  The main speaker is Dr. Cynthia Rosenzweig, a climatologist and Senior Research Scientist at the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies, where she heads the Climate Impacts Group.

Brookings Panel to Discuss Carbon Pricing – On Wednesday at 3:30 p.m., the newly-launched Cross-Brookings Initiative on Energy and Climate will host a panel discussion on the role of carbon pricing in the implementation of the Paris goals, with opening remarks from Lord Nicholas Stern of the London School of Economics and Professor Joseph Stiglitz of Columbia University, the co-chairs the High-Level Commission on Carbon Prices. They will share their thoughts on carbon pricing and other policies to achieve the goals of the Paris Agreement, including the objective to hold “the increase in the global average temperature to well below 2 °C above pre-industrial levels and to pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5 °C above pre-industrial levels.” After the discussion, Brookings Vice President Kemal Derviş will moderate a panel discussion and take questions from the audience.

JHU Forum to Look at Climate Diplomacy – The Johns Hopkins University Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) holds a discussion at 4:30 p.m. on climate change diplomacy in the Post-Paris Agreement era. Ambassador Selwin Hart, current Barbados’ Ambassador to the US and Permanent Representative to the OAS, will be giving a talk on climate change and diplomacy in the post-Paris Agreement Era.

GU Mortara Center Forum Looks at Deepwater Oil Production – On Wednesday at 5:30 p.m. at Georgetown, GU’s Institute for Global History and the Mortara Center for International Studies hold a discussion on the Deepwater golden triangle of the oil economy and its role in energy production.  The Deepwater triangle includes the Gulf of Mexico, Brazil, and West Africa and will be led by Tyler Priest, an Associate Professor of History and Geography at the University of Iowa who studies the history of oil and energy.

Forum to Look at Media Focus on Energy, Renewables – CARMA International Inc. holds a discussion on Thursday at 8:00 a.m. at the National Press Club, looking at energy supply, climate and renewables.   The event will focus on media coverage and implications for business.

Aspen Forum to Look at Rural innovators – The Aspen Institute holds a discussion on Thursday at Noon on reframing natural resource economies.  The event will focus on rural innovators who steward the nations’ natural resources to create jobs and businesses.  The 3rd America’s Rural Opportunity panel will focus on rural innovators who steward the nations’ natural resources and use those resources to create jobs and businesses. The presenters are among those who are restructuring the natural resource business sector, one that in many parts of the country has been disrupted by globalization, the declines of extractive industries, and changes in environmental policy.

WCEE Looks at Carbon Capture, Storage – The Women’s Council on Energy and the Environment (WCEE)  will continue it Lunch & Learn Series, together with the U.S. Energy Association on Thursday at Noon with a forum on carbon capture and storage meeting CO2 reduction goals.  The event will focus on the Illinois Basin’s Decatur Project and feature Dr. Sallie Greenberg.  Greenberg will discuss how carbon capture utilization and storage (CCUS) can provide the scale necessary to limit increase in global temperature by 2°C and help the US meet its Paris target of reducing GHG by 26-28% below 2005 levels by 2025. The Illinois Basin – Decatur Project (IBDP) – a million ton deep saline CO2 geologic storage demonstration project led by the Midwest Geologic Sequestration Consortium, and funded by DOE’s National Energy Technology Laboratory. The project is unique because it is one of the only full-scale bioenergy CCS (BECCS) demonstration projects to-date.  Dr. Greenberg will highlight the results and challenges of upscaling carbon capture and storage projects, touching on issues, such as permitting, public engagement, policy implications for CCUS, and the vital role this technology holds in meeting emission reduction targets.

Forum to Look at Africa Climate Risk – The US Agency for International Development’s ATLAS Project holds a discussion on Thursday at 4:00 p.m. focused on preparing Africa for climate events and looking at its risk capacity.

Meserve, Holdren, Others Address Science, Security Summit – On Friday at Noon, the Federation of American Scientists hosts its Science & Security Summit, focused on the topic of scientists’ and engineers’ roles in security and in the current political landscape. The forum will address where scientists and engineers belong in the current political landscape and what roles they play in global security and safety.  In addition to three distinguished graduate-level scientists and engineers from the University of Tennessee, University of Florida, and Texas A&M University, the summit’s speakers will include former Obama science advisor John Holdren, former NRC Chair Richard Meserve and Sandia Labs Director Rodney Wilson.

JHU Forum to Look at Women Climate Leaders – The Johns Hopkins University Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) holds its 2017 Global Women in Leadership Conference on Friday at 8:00 a.m. looking at women as leaders in a changing climate.

 

IN THE FUTURE

Bloomberg New Energy Summit Set – The annual Bloomberg New Energy Finance Future of Energy Summit will be held on April 24th and 25th in New York. The Future of Energy Summit is the premier invitation-only forum at the nexus of energy markets, industry, finance, and policy. It is a year-round, global experience powered by Bloomberg New Energy Finance’s cutting edge research team, as it explores the shifting forces in the energy system and defines the implications for the energy community.

Renewable Midwest Conference Set – The Advancing Renewables in the Midwest Conference will be held April 24-25th in Columbia, Missouri. The purpose of “Advancing Renewables in the Midwest” conference is to identify, display, and promote programs, policies, and projects that enhance the use of renewable energy resources in the Midwest for the economic benefit of the region. The focus of speaker topics and agendas are large scale projects, either through direct installation or through amalgamation of small scale projects.  The two-day conference is held in the spring at the University of Missouri. It is co-sponsored by the University of Missouri, the Missouri Department of Economic Development, and Columbia Water and Light. It has been an ongoing annual event since 2006.

Forum Focus on Trump Nuclear Budget – The Global America Business Institute holds a discussion Friday, April 28 on what the Trump Administration budget may me for the future of nuclear power.  The event will look at new opportunities under the Trump Administration.  Speakers will include Victor Der, former Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Fossil Energy at the Department of Energy.

People Climate March – April 29th

Water Power Conference Set for May – Waterpower week in Washington will be May 1st through 3rd, providing three great conferences into one when IMREC, METS and NHA’s Annual Conference are held at the Capital Hilton.  The event will discuss policy changes in the hydro and marine industry in an all-in-one event. The event highlights perspectives on the role of hydro, explores issues affecting hydro and marine resources, and helps participants develop a future game plan to meet challenges and ensure the future sustainability of the hydro and marine industry.

Energy Update: Week of March 27

Friends,

Now that was a great weekend of basketball and hockey. Closed by the unbelievable (and clutch) ending to the North Carolina-Kentucky game, we are left with the hoops Final Four set for Phoenix next weekend with South Carolina, North Carolina, Oregon, and Gonzaga. Not to be outdone, we had an unbelievable NCAA hockey weekend to get us the Frozen Four with Harvard, Notre Dame, Minnesota-Duluth, and Denver heading to Chicago. Half of the women’s hoop bracket is complete with two big upsets: Mississippi St upended Baylor, and Stanford toppled Notre Dame. Undefeated top seed UConn takes on Oregon (who upset University of Maryland) and #1 seed South Carolina takes on Florida State tonight.

Well is this really the week?  It seems that we may finally get the White House’s climate executive order. Now, we have heard this before, but it seems more likely since EPA head Scott Pruitt said it would be released tomorrow on This Week with George Stephanopoulos yesterday. So, please call if you have questions as Jeff and Scott will be happy to discuss. I already have a statement which I will be sharing with you individually.  The Chamber, rural coops and others will also be available.  We are also hearing that FERC nominees may be moving up in line at the White House, with the expected nominees (Powelson, Chatterjee, and McIntyre) perhaps being rolled out in the very near future. And our friends at Bloomberg hear Scott Angelle, the Louisiana Public Service Commission member and the state’s former interim lieutenant governor, is being vetted to lead the Interior Department’s agency in charge of offshore oil and gas development — the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management.

On the Hill, tomorrow, a House Energy panel takes up self-driving car technology while Senate Energy takes up foreign minerals and the energy supply chain. Wednesday will feature the closest thing you find in the Science community to an MMA fight: House Science will hear from scientists Michael Mann, Judy Curry, Roger Pielke Jr and John Christy about climate change. Also, Wednesday, House Energy looks at energy tax issues.

Off the Hill, there are two great events today when WCEE hosts its annual look at the BCSE-Bloomberg NEF Sustainable Energy Factbook at Noon; and at 1:30 p.m., the Hamilton Project at the Brookings Institution and the Energy Policy Institute at University of Chicago (EPIC) will co-host a forum to explore the best approaches to address energy issues in the new Congress featuring our friend Jim Connaughton, Cass Sunstein, Brad Plumer and others. Tomorrow, the NatGas Roundtable hosts their monthly lunch featuring DOE Fossil Office official Robert Smith.  Also early in the week, the Association of Air Pollution Control Agencies’ holds its 2017 Spring Meeting in Tucson, Arizona featuring Jeff Holmstead.  Finally Friday, EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt delivers remarks to the Federalist Society for Law and Public Policy Studies.

One side note/issue to keep on your radar: Today, security expert and former USS Cole Commander Kirk Lippold urged Secretary of State Rex Tillerson to urge the Japanese government to keep Toshiba from declaring bankruptcy or risk the intellectual property of nuclear power giant Westinghouse going to China.  Something to watch…I can send the letter if you are interested in checking it out.

Congrats to our great friend Rosemarie Calabro-Tully, the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee’s longtime Democratic spokeswoman, who is leaving to be the National Biodiesel Board’s director of public affairs and federal communications.  They’ll need her help as they try to impose tariffs on Argentina and Indonesia.

Call with questions…

 

Best,

Frank Maisano

(202) 828-5864

(202) 997-5932

 

FRANKLY SPOKEN

“There are 18-months to focus on keeping a national program that promotes medium- and longer term stringency while updating the system to integrate new technology and business models that offer the promise of a stronger economy, more jobs, and an improved environment. The parties will realize that a deal can get done when they sit down and work together to balance the short and long term needs of the companies, the states, and the country.”

Robbie Diamond, CEO of SAFE discussing questions about California fuel economy waivers

 

COOL QUOTIENT

The Chamber’s Energy Institute can tell you have much you electricity prices are and how they rank.  Here is the chart that details how your rates compare to consumers in neighboring states

 

IN THE NEWS

Keystone Approved – Trump administration approved the Keystone XL pipeline on Friday, recommending the pipeline is in U.S. interests, clearing the way for the White House to grant a presidential permit to TransCanada to build the $8 billion pipeline.  The pipeline is permitted in Montana and South Dakota and now needs to be permitted in Nebraska.

Chamber Weighs in – U.S. Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Thomas J. Donohue said after many years of unfortunate delays and partisan posturing, Keystone XL pipeline finally got the green light it has long deserved.  “We applaud President Trump’s decision to approve the project and prove to the world that America is capable of tackling the major infrastructure improvements necessary for a modern economy. This pipeline, and countless other projects around the nation, will improve America’s energy security, create jobs, and help get the economy back on track.  The Obama administration’s action to delay and deny Keystone had a negative impact far beyond just this pipeline. It sent a message outside our borders that the United States was no longer open to investment, and that the long-established process for reviewing these kinds of projects could be thrown out the window when it is politically convenient. Today’s action should send a clear message to investors, and important strategic partners like Canada, that things have changed in Washington. This decision is another step toward regaining that confidence, re-establishing the rule of law, and rebuilding trust that America will act in the best interests of consumers and our allies.”

Chamber Electricity Map Shows Shale Impacts – Speaking of the Chamber, they also released their updated electricity price map. The overall good news is that the national average electricity price is trending down. This is in large part due to the shale revolution that has made the U.S. an energy super power. The national average of 10.28 cents per KW.  Higher rates can place states and their businesses at a competitive disadvantage, especially against the states that enjoy lower electricity prices.  If this Administration enhances access to shale and the many other abundant sources of energy found in the U.S., the next few years have the potential to continue 2016’s trend toward lower retail electricity prices for consumers.

Fuel Econ Issues Bouncing Around – Late last week, 10 states and D.C. sent a letter to Scott Pruitt asking EPA to maintain GHG vehicle standards pushed by the Obama EPA in January.  The letter also urges Pruitt to respect California’s Clean Air Act waiver because he has often spoken of the importance of states’ rights.  But while California does have a case on some pollutants from autos, they really don’t have special circumstances related to GHGs. I have the pdf if you need it.

Auto Alliance Sets a Marker as Well – At the same time, the Auto Alliance sent the White House a letter Thursday asking the administration to begin the process of reconsidering its midterm review of fuel emissions standards “as soon as possible.” It said a coordinated national program, including California, is “critical to smart, coherent regulation.” Mitch Bainwol, the automaker group’s president, added “there will be an appropriate opportunity to inform the final determination with updated relevant data that more closely approximates a ‘mid-term’ in the truest sense of the word” after Trump’s action last week.   I can send a pdf of the letter if you need it.

SAFE Weighs In – Securing America’s Future Energy head Robbie Diamond called for affected parties to meet soon to discuss next steps for the midterm review. “Now that the midterm review has been put back on the original timeline, the clock is ticking for a positive outcome so it is time for the stakeholders meet without delay. There are 18-months to focus on keeping a national program that promotes medium- and longer term stringency while updating the system to integrate new technology and business models that offer the promise of a stronger economy, more jobs, and an improved environment. The parties will realize that a deal can get done when they sit down and work together to balance the short and long term needs of the companies, the states, and the country.”  SAFE’s proposal that reconciles all interests is here: http://secureenergy.org/reforming-and-strengthening-fuel-economy-standards-2/

CA Nuke Plants Closure Hurts Environmental Justice Cause – A new report by Environmental Hope and Justice Founder Norris McDonald and Environmental Progress closure of the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station and the planned closure of the Diablo Canyon Nuclear Power Plant represent an environmental injustice because these actions will increase air pollution in vulnerable communities and nonattainment areas. McDonalds says Environmental justice groups and other environmental groups throughout California and the nation should support the continued operation of the San Onofre and Diablo Canyon because they represent the largest clean air assets in terms of environmental justice in California. The plants are largely emission free and do not contribute smog forming gases or greenhouse gases in California.

Bailey Letter Raises Reliability, Valuation Concerns – In a letter to PJM CEP Andrew Ott, Paul Bailey of ACCCE wrote an important letter that highlighted three issues 1) avoiding the retirement of a large number of coal-fired electric generating units (EGUs); 2) consider likely changes in Federal environmental policies; and 3) market rules that do not properly value baseload coal-fired generation.  Overall, the letter urges PJM re-evaluate its policies in order to ensure that the reliability attributes of coal-fired generation — during all seasons of the year — are properly valued relative to other less reliable sources of generating capacity.

Evidence of the Need for it: Dominion’s Yorktown – With a month to go before it has to pull the plug on the two coal-burning units at its Yorktown plant, reports in the Newport News Daily Press say Dominion Virginia Power was under orders this week to run them to make sure that its Peninsula high voltage lines weren’t at risk of the kind of failure that could spark widespread blackouts. Those aging units can’t meet tough new federal standards limiting emissions of mercury and toxic acidic gases, and special permission from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to run them if necessary to avoid the risk of blackouts expires April 15.  But this week’s unseasonably cold weather prompted the manager of the electric grid serving 13 mid-Atlantic and Midwestern states, PJM Interconnection, to worry about overloading the high voltage transmission lines feeding power into the Peninsula. PJM ordered Dominion to fire up the units on Sunday and run them through the week, spokeswoman Le-Ha Anderson said. They’ll remain ready to operate, or in operation, until EPA’s April 15 deadline, she added.  “PJM makes the decision based on reliability needs as to when we run the units,” Anderson said. “Our role is to ensure that through April 15, the units are maintained so they can operate and that we have sufficient fuel.”

Moniz Named New CEO of NTI – The Nuclear Threat Initiative, a non-profit group that works to prevent attacks and accidents from weapons of mass destruction, has named former Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz to be CEO.  The announcement was made current CEO and Co-Chairman Sam Nunn and Co-Chairman Ted Turner, both of whom will remain as co-chairmen of the Board alongside Moniz.  Founded in 2001 by Nunn and Turner, NTI works to protect our lives, livelihoods, environment, and quality of life now and for future generations from the growing risk of catastrophic attacks with weapons of mass destruction and disruption (WMDD)—nuclear, biological, radiological, chemical, and cyber.

BSCE Celebrates 25 Years of Advocacy, Market Growth – The Business Council for Sustainable Energy (BCSE) kicked off a year-long celebration of its 25th anniversary at its annual Clean Energy Forum late last week. The event concluded with a reception on Capitol Hill that featured special remarks by Senate Energy Chair Lisa Murkowski.  The BCSE was founded in 1992 by executives of the energy efficiency, natural gas and renewable energy sectors who had a vision of a diverse, sustainable energy portfolio for America.  Guided by that vision, the Council has spent the past two and a half decades advocating for policies at the state and regional, national and international levels that advance the deployment of commercially-available clean energy technologies, products and services.

 

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

WCEE Event to Discuss Energy Factbook – The WCEE event featuring the Business Council for Sustainable Energy and BNEF Factbook has been rescheduled for today at Noon.  The Speaker panel includes BCSE’s Lisa Jacobson, Calpine’s Yvonne McIntyre, Johnson Control’s Elizabeth Tate and Katherine Gensler of SEIA.

Murkowski to Headline Arctic Forum – Today at 1:00 p.m. the Wilson Center will hold a forum on the North American Arctic and the energy issues surrounding it.  Mike Sfraga of the Wilson Center’s Polar Initiative and John Higginbotham of the Centre for International Governance Innovation’s Arctic Program will discuss the economic development opportunities, infrastructure needs and investment strategies.  Senate Energy Chair Lisa Murkowski will keynote the speech.

Chicago-Hamilton to Look at Energy, New Congress – Today at 1:30 p.m., the Hamilton Project at the Brookings Institution and the Energy Policy Institute at University of Chicago (EPIC) will co-host a forum to explore the best approaches to address energy challenges in the new Congress. The forum will begin with opening remarks by former U.S. Treasury Secretary Robert E. Rubin. A fireside chat and three roundtable discussions will follow featuring panelists including: Ted Halstead (Climate Leadership Council), Mindy Lubber (CERES), James L. Connaughton (Nautilus Data Technologies), David Schwietert (Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers), Cass Sunstein (Harvard University), John Deutch (Massachusetts Institute of Technology), Trevor Houser (Rhodium Group), Ellen D. Williams (University of Maryland), Steven H. Strongin (Goldman Sachs), Alice Hill (Hoover Institution), and Brad Plumer (Vox).

Pollution Control Agencies Set Spring Meeting – The Association of Air Pollution Control Agencies’ 2017 Spring Meeting will be held in Tucson, Arizona today through Wednesday at the Hilton Tucson East Hotel.  Our friend Jeff Holmstead will be there.

JHU to Host East Africa Energy Forum – Johns Hopkins will host an all-day event tomorrow that will focus on recent political and economic changes in East Africa and its implications on oil and gas development. By bringing together representatives from government, private sector, civil society, media and the international donor community, it seeks to review what progress has been achieved in the last few years and what governance challenges lay ahead.

House Energy Looks at Self–Driving Cars – The House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Digital Commerce and Consumer Protection will hold the hearing tomorrow on self-driving cars looking at the levels of automation and new technological developments.  Witnesses will include SAE’s Bill Grouse, Continental’s Jeff Klei, Bosch’s Kay Stepper and IIHS Chief Research Officer David Zuby.

Senate Energy Look sat Minerals Supply Chain – The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee holds a hearing tomorrow to examine the US’s increasing dependence on foreign sources of minerals and opportunities to rebuild and improve the supply chain. With the administration focused on infrastructure, the hearing will examine how to make sure the iron, copper and other minerals needed to build those roads, bridges and rails come from the United States — not overseas.  Witnesses include USGS’s Murray Hitzman, Rio Tinto Aluminum CEO, Ucore Rare Metals VP Randy MacGillivray, National Electrical Manufacturers Association CEO Kevin Cosgriff and Roderick Eggert of the Colorado School of Mines.

House Resources Looks at ESA Consultations – The House Natural Resources Committee’s oversight and investigations subcommittee will hold a hearing tomorrow on ESA consultation impediments to economic and infrastructure development. American Public Works Association president Ron Calkins, Hecla Mining’s Doug Stiles, Jonathan Wood of the Pacific Legal Foundation and Defenders of Wildlife expert Ya-Wei Li.

House Transpo Panel Looks at Brownfields – The House Transportation and Infrastructure Subcommittee on Water Resources and Environment will look at brownfield issues in a hearing tomorrow.  Local officials will testify on the Needs of the program.  Witnesses include   Christian Bollwage, mayor of Elizabeth, N.J.; Matt Zone, councilman, city of Cleveland; John Dailey, commissioner, Leon County, Fla.; Amanda LeFevre, Kentucky Brownfield Redevelopment Program; Jonathan Philips, managing director, Anka Funds LLC; and Deborah Robertson, mayor of Rialto, Calif.

DOE Oil, Gas Office Expert to Address NatGas Roundtable – The Natural Gas Roundtable is pleased to announce that Robert J. Smith, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Oil and Natural Gas at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Fossil Energy, will be the featured guest speaker at the Natural Gas Roundtable luncheon tomorrow at the University Club.  Smith administers oil and gas programs, including research and development, analysis and natural gas regulation. Most recently, Smith was the Chief of Staff for the Office of Fossil Energy. In this capacity, Smith helped the Assistant Secretary with policy and management issues across the office’s research and development, energy security and regulatory missions.

Senate Energy to Look at Grid Security – The Senate Energy & Natural Resources Committee’s Subcommittee on Energy will hold a hearing tomorrow that will examine the cybersecurity threats to the U.S. electric grid and technology advancements to minimize such threats, and to receive testimony on S. 79, the Securing Energy Infrastructure Act.  Witnesses FERC Office of Electric Reliability Director Michael Bardee, John DiStasio of the Large Public Power Council, Oak Ridge National Laboratory Thomas Zacharia and Xcel Energy CEO Ben Fowke.

Senate Environment Looks at Water Infrastructure – The Senate Environment Committee panel on water will hold a legislative hearing tomorrow at 2:30 p.m. on legislation to help cities update their water infrastructure. Nebraska Sen. Deb Fischer’s “Water Infrastructure Flexibility Act” codifies EPA policies on integrated planning and financial capability in an effort to make compliance easier for cash-strapped jurisdictions.  The U.S. Conference of Mayors, National Association of Counties and National League of Cities endorsed the legislation in a letter to its backers.

Forum to Look at Canada, US Infrastructure – The Hill and the Competitive Enterprise Institute will hold a forum at the Newseum on Wednesday morning looking at infrastructure modernization. As American leaders turn their attention to infrastructure issues, the forum will discuss what lessons can be drawn from the experiences of Canada.  Key officials from the United States and Canada, infrastructure experts, and industry leaders for a policy briefing on infrastructure reform and finding solutions that will work for all communities.  Speakers include Rep. John Delaney (D-MD), House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee Chairman Bill Shuster (R-PA), Building America’s Future President Marcia Hale and Marc Scribner of the Competitive Enterprise Institute.

Scientists Head to House Committee for Climate Battle – The House Science Committee will hold a hearing Wednesday at 10:00 a.m. to challenge consensus climate science. The hearing is set to feature some of the field’s most vocal critics and one of climate science’s most controversial defenders: Michael Mann, a professor of atmospheric science at Pennsylvania State University known for his iconic “hockey stick” analysis of global warming trends, retired Georgia Tech expert Judith Curry, John Christy of Alabama-Huntsville and Roger Pielke, Jr. of Colorado-Boulder.

House Energy Panel to Look at Tax Issues – The House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Energy will hold a hearing Wednesday at 10:15 a.m. on Federal energy related tax policy and its effects on markets, prices and consumers.  The hearing will focus on how the federal government uses the tax code to provide support for energy development, production, and use of fuels and energy technologies.

Forum to Focus on Oil Market Movers – The CSIS Energy & National Security Program will host a forum on Thursday at 10:30 a.m. for an in-depth discussion on how investor and corporate flows are impacting oil production, inventory disposition, and investment decisions going forward.  Significant challenges remain – from both a fundamentals and policy perspective. Just as the industry emerged buoyant from its week-long gathering in Houston, concerns over the extension of the OPEC/non-OPEC reductions and large stock builds in the U.S. caused investors to rebalance their positions, driving oil prices to their lowest levels in 3 months. To frame this timely discussion, we are pleased to have Ed Morse, Global Head of Commodities Research at Citigroup, Albert Helmig, CEO of Grey House LLC and former Vice Chairman of the New York Mercantile Exchange, and Kevin Book, founding partner of ClearView Energy and a Senior Associate at CSIS.

Forum to Look at Defense Energy Needs – Booz Allen Hamilton holds its 2017 Directed Energy Summit which focuses on the potential impact of direct energy issues on the Department of Defense and emerging defense Needs.  The two-day event will be held at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center.

FERC to Hydropower Conference – The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission holds a workshop Thursday at Noon on the Hydropower Regulatory Efficiency Act of 2013.

Forum to Look at Report on Developing County Power Sectors – The Atlantic Council will hold a discussion Thursday at Noon on a new report, “Transforming the Power Sector in Developing Countries.” The discussion will discuss policy directions for advancing China’s power transformation, regional and global aspects of Chinese energy policies, and the implications for the Trump Administration’s approach to China. The event features for a conversation about Robert Ichord’s new report on the critical role of China in post-Paris implementation, the latest in the Transforming the Power Sector in Developing Countries series. Ichord will be joined by experts Jon Elkind, former DOE assistant secretary for international affairs and Clara Gillispie, senior director of trade, economic and energy affairs for the National Bureau of Asian Research.

Friedman to Discuss Climate at GW Planet Forward Event – On Thursday at 1:00 p.m., NY Times Columnist Tom Friedman will join GWU School of Media and Public Affairs Director Frank Sesno for a conversation on the current state of politics, the news media and climate change under the Trump Administration. The event will include a screening of Friedman’s new National Geographic documentary on climate change and the migrant crisis. His latest book, Thank You for Being Late, will be available for purchase and signing following the event.

GW to Host Risk Forum Report – On Thursday at 2:00 p.m. at the Marvin Center, the GW Environmental Resource Policy Program and the GW Sustainability Collaborative will host Karl Hausker, Ph.D., Senior Fellow, Climate Program, World Resources Institute, and leader of the analytic and writing team for the latest study by the Risky Business Project: From Risk to Return: Investing in a Clean Energy Economy.  The project is Co-chaired Michael Bloomberg, Henry Paulson and Thomas Steyer.  They tasked WRI with conducting an assessment of technically and economically feasible pathways that the U.S. could follow to achieve an 80% reduction in CO2 emissions by 2050.  Hausker will present the results of the study and draw some comparisons to the US Mid Century Strategy report submitted to the UNFCCC.

Senate Energy to Look at Alaska Energy Issues – On Thursday at 2:30 p.m., the full Senate Energy Committee will hold a hearing to examine the potential for infrastructure improvements to create jobs and reduce the cost of living through all-of-the-above energy and mineral production in Alaska. Witnesses include Alaska State Geologist Steve Masterman, Sitka Alaska Deputy Mayor Bob Potrzuski, Port of Nome Executive Director Joy Baker, Alaska Oil and Gas Association head Kara Moriarty, Chris Rose of the Renewable Energy for Alaska Project and Della Trumble of the King Cove Native Corporation.

ELI Conference will Focus on Climate – The Environmental Law Institute (ELI) and Vanderbilt University Law School are convening a special conference on Friday looking at innovative ideas from the academic literature on climate change law and policy.  The articles and comments discussed at the conference will be published this summer in the Environmental Law & Policy Annual Review (ELPAR), a joint publication of ELI and Vanderbilt University Law School. ELPAR presents and discusses the best ideas on environmental law and policy from the academic literature each year.

Pruitt to Address Federalist Law Group – On Friday at noon, the Federalist Society for Law and Public Policy Studies hosts EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt for remarks at Tony Cheng’s restaurant in Chinatown.

 

IN THE FUTURE

Grid Forum Set for Chicago – The 2nd  Grid Modernization Forum will be held on April 3rd– 5th in Chicago, examines key lessons from top utilities including Eversource, Alliant Energy, Con Edison, National Grid, Ameren and many others. Key technology innovators and executives will come together to share perspectives on how best to leverage AMI investment, engage the customer, and take the smart grid to the next level. Case studies of improved network performance, resiliency, outage restoration, and distributed energy resource (DER) integration will be examined with an eye toward determining best practices and technology advances for today’s energy ecosystem.

Forum to Look at Nuclear Energy – The Global America Business Institute (GABI) will hold the next event of its nuclear energy roundtable series on Tuesday April 4th at Noon. Although the predominant use of nuclear energy worldwide is electricity generation, nuclear can be utilized for a broad range of applications, including but not limited to: district heating, water desalination, hydrogen production, and industrial heat. Given present trends and future uncertainties in global electricity markets, there has been growing interest in exploring non-electricity uses for nuclear. Development of advanced nuclear designs, many pushing the envelope on passive safety and temperature output, may further expand the horizon of possibilities.  The speaker will be Jeff Harper of X-energy.  Harper is Vice President for Strategy and Business Development at X-energy, where he directs long-term business plans specifically focused on customers, partners, and markets.

Press Club to Host AFL-CIO Head – Richard Trumka, Head of the AFL-CIO will speak at a National Press Club Luncheon on Tuesday April 4th at 12:30 p.m. Trumka will assess opportunities around trade and infrastructure that could create jobs, as well as possible threats to workers’ rights. He will also talk about the labor movement’s strategy to create a unifying agenda for workers and their families, as well as collective bargaining right for all workers to achieve better wages and working conditions.  Since 2009, Trumka has served as president of the 12.5 million-member American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO), the largest organization of labor unions in the country.

BPC Forum to Focus on Innovation – On Wednesday, April 5th at 10:00 a.m., the Bipartisan Policy Center will hold a forum on the power of innovation.  With smart federal support for research, advanced energy technologies represent another potentially transformative moment for the American economy.  BPC’s American Energy Innovation Council will host leading experts to discuss how to make the most of this opportunity.  The forum will feature a conversation with Norm Augustine, the retired chairman and CEO of Lockheed Martin, who also served as the Undersecretary of the Army.  Our friend Mark Drajem of Bloomberg will also moderate a panel with NRECA CEO Jim Matheson, former MIT Washington Office Director William Bonvillian, Ames Laboratory Critical Materials Institute Director Alex King and GE Energy Financial Services investment expert Alta Yen.

WCEE to Host Energy Journalists Panel – The Women’s Council on Energy and the Environment (WCEE) will host a panel of energy journalists from E&E News, S&P Global Platts and Politico on Wednesday April 5th to discuss the trends in the energy sector today and for the next four years. Some of the trends that will be discussed are NAFTA and oil and gas pipelines in North America, FERC enforcement and the changing political outlook for CFTC, the fate of the Clean Power Plan, rollback of regulatory efforts by the Trump Administration in the energy sector, future of renewables, and energy industry and Department of Interior’s public land use management debate.  Speakers will include E&E News Jenny Mandel, Platts’ Jasmin Melvin and Maya Weber and POLITICO’s Esther Whieldon.

GW to Host Timor-Leste Diplomat – Wednesday, April 5th at 12:30 p.m., the George Washington University Elliott School of International Affairs will host Natercia Coelho, Deputy Chief of Mission at the Embassy of Timor-Leste, the smallest country in East or Southeast Asia.  Timor-Leste is already subject to numerous extreme weather events every year, including cyclones and typhoons that result in intense flooding. Climate change is exacerbating these issues, with rising sea levels speeding up soil erosion, damaging crops, and leading to food shortages in a country which still ranks 120 out of 169 in the U.N.’s Human Development Index. This talk will cover the Timor-Leste’s Government Plan for Development and its legal framework for addressing climate change.

Calpine CEO to Headline Energy Conference – On Thursday April 6th, the NCAC and George Mason University will host its 21st Annual Washington Energy Policy Conference at GMU’s Founders Hall.  The conference will focus on conflicting forces in the energy space.  Former EIA Administrator Adam Sieminski will moderate the event and keynote speaker will be Calpine CEO Thad Hill.  Other speakers will include our friends Tom Pyle of IER, ClearView’s Christine Tezak, former Bush NSC official Bob McNally, FERC Energy Project s Director Terry Turpin and BNEF expert Steve Munro, among others.

SEIA Forum to Look at Women in Solar – On Thursday, April 6th SEIA’s Women’s Empowerment committee will hold a summit that focuses on educating, connecting, and providing thought leadership in the solar industry. Key industry leaders will cover topics including Women Leading Solar- Executives Spearheading the Industry (led by our friend Abby Hopper), Women Running for Office & Careers in Public Service; Diversity – The Bottom Line ; Making Solar a Story – Energy Journalists Shaping the Industry; Interactive Speed Networking and Regional Policy Update – What’s Happening in Capitol Hill.

GW to Host Planet Forward Summit – The George Washington University will holds its Planet Forward Summit at GW on April 6-7th that will focus on how we can communicate to inform, inspire, and act.  The summit will look at how we tell the story of our planet and how we communicate to inspire action.  Speakers will include SMPA Director Frank Sesno, my friend Andy Revkin and many more.

ECOS to Hold Spring Meeting – The Environmental Council of the States (ECOS) will hold their spring meeting at The Mayflower Hotel on April 6th through 8th. ECOS meeting will focus on budget questions and its impact on state environmental agencies and their leaders. ECOS is the national non-profit, non-partisan association of state and territorial environmental agency leaders.

Electric Power Conference Set for Chicago – The 19th annual Electric Power Conference will be held In Chicago on April 10-13th at McCormick Place.  Sponsored by POWER magazine, the event provides a platform for power generation professionals to meet, network, and address the critical issues facing the power industry.

Energy Storage Conference Set for Denver – The 27th Energy Storage Association annual conference and expo will be held on April 18-20 in Denver, Colorado.  Keynote speakers and expert panelists on the program include Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper, RES CEO Ivor Catto, former CO Gov Bill Ritter and NextEra Energy exec Michael O’Sullivan.

Bloomberg New Energy Summit Set – The annual Bloomberg New Energy Finance Future of Energy Summit will be held on April 24th and 25th in New York. The Future of Energy Summit is the premier invitation-only forum at the nexus of energy markets, industry, finance, and policy. It is a year-round, global experience powered by Bloomberg New Energy Finance’s cutting edge research team, as it explores the shifting forces in the energy system and defines the implications for the energy community.

Water Power Conference Set for May – Waterpower week in Washington will be May 1st through 3rd, providing three great conferences into one when IMREC, METS and NHA’s Annual Conference are held at the Capital Hilton.  The event will discuss policy changes in the hydro and marine industry in an all-in-one event. The event highlights perspectives on the role of hydro, explores issues affecting hydro and marine resources, and helps participants develop a future game plan to meet challenges and ensure the future sustainability of the hydro and marine industry.

Energy Update: Week of March 13

Friends,

I hope you showed up for work on time today.  Yes, yesterday was the “Spring Forward” Daylight Saving Time day.  The idea of daylight saving was first conceived by Benjamin Franklin during his sojourn as an American delegate in Paris in 1784. If you are saying “boy, it seems earlier than usual”, remember, it was bumped up as part of the 2007 Energy law to conserve more energy.  DOE has Top 8 things you didn’t know about DST here.  The fun doesn’t stop there: We are potentially getting a big snow storm tonight (hold on to your hats), Wednesday is the Ides of March and Friday is St. Patrick’s Day (a Friday SPD w/ March Madness is always pretty fun).

Okay, speaking of March Madness, it is also time to get those NCAA basketball brackets in shape as March Madness kicks off tomorrow (but in full swing Thursday).  The top seeds are Villanova, Kansas, North Carolina and Gonzaga.  If you are looking for sleepers, you might try SMU (30 wins), Vermont (21 straight wins) and Michigan (Big 10 Tourney Champs) after a strong conference tournament runs.  For veteran teams in a down year that still could be dangerous: Michigan State and Wichita State.  For real sleepers with good records: St. Mary’s, UT-Arlington and Middle Tennessee St.  Whatever you do, get those Pools in by Thursday at Noon.

Well, everything we expected last week slipped to this week. That seems to be the pattern so far.  Who knows if it will slip again given the impending snow storm.  Currently, Wednesday the President is expected to travel to Detroit for fuel economy standard changes alongside auto execs.  We also expect to see Presidential action on the Clean Power Plan, Coal leasing and other pieces of the Obama climate agenda.  The President also is expected to meet with Angela Merkel tomorrow and while climate change won’t be a major issue, it may very well come up given the EU’s nervousness about the issue of continued U.S. participation.

Slow week in Congress while they turn to more high-priority items like the budget and health care.  But weather pending, tomorrow, the Senate Energy Committee starts a look into energy infrastructure with NRECA member CEO Clay Kopin, folks from NHA, LIUNA  Prez Terry O’Sullivan, Dominion’s Dian Leopold and BNEF (and Sustainable Energy Factbook co-author) Ethan Zindler.

Speaking of the Factbook, WCEE host a forum to detail it on Wednesday at Noon.  On Thursday, ACORE hosts its annual policy forum at the W.  It is a great line up and lots of good info.

During today’s E&E TV OnPoint, former Rep. Jim Matheson, now CEO of the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association, explains what an executive order that unravels the Clean Power Plan could mean for his member groups and how electric co-ops plan to lobby the Trump administration on climate policy.

Finally, 10 days  of South-By-Southwest (SXSW) launched this weekend and run through next weekend.  SXSW is best known for its conference and festivals that celebrate the convergence of the interactive, film, and music industries – with a healthy dose of politics . The event, an essential destination for global professionals, features sessions, showcases, screenings, exhibitions, We are all over it this week, whether it is Scott Pruitt and the magical science questions, CPP, Budget issues, RFS, tax issues or anything else. Call with questions…

 

Best,

Frank Maisano

(202) 828-5864

(202) 997-5932

 

FRANKLY SPOKEN

“It would be hard to overstate how impressive 2016 was for the solar industry. Prices dropped to all-time lows, installations expanded in states across the country and job numbers soared. The bottom line is that more people are benefitting from solar now than at any point in the past, and while the market is changing, the broader trend over the next five years is going in one direction – and that’s up.”

Abigail Ross Hopper, Solar Energy Industries Assn president and CEO in announcing the US Solar market’s 2016 year-in-review.

 

IN THE NEWS

SAFE Calling to Attention to State Level Questions on AVs – Securing America’s Future Energy (SAFE) today is calling attention to dangerous state-level legislation that would restrict the development of autonomous vehicle (AV) technology.  The Safe Autonomous Vehicle Act, which has been introduced in Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Tennessee, and other states, would restrict the ability to test AVs only to those companies that manufacture automobiles. It also privileges specific AV ownership and use models, needlessly constraining experimentation with different commercialization strategies. SAFE CEO Robbie Diamond said, “If enacted, the SAVE Act would impose unfair competitive advantages that prevent both well-known technology leaders and emerging innovators from conducting the important testing that is necessary to develop breakthrough technologies. The consequence of the SAVE Act would be to crush competition in this nascent industry at the very moment when it is desperately needed.”  AV technology holds the promise of introducing fuel competition in the transportation sector and dramatically reducing America’s oil dependence. Ninety-two percent of U.S. transportation is powered by oil, a volatile commodity supplied and controlled by countries that do not share U.S. strategic priorities. This singular dependence on oil jeopardizes American economic sovereignty and reorders U.S. foreign policy priorities. The OPEC cartel and National Oil Companies, which hold 90 percent of global reserves, exert undue influence over the global oil market. In contrast to free-market American producers, these companies serve as government entities which take non-market considerations into account in operating decisions, such as social and defense spending. In addition to the energy security benefits, AVs could significantly reduce the more than 35,000 deaths and two million injuries per year from roadway collisions, while expanding mobility and independence for 57 million Americans with disabilities and a growing senior population.

Groups Urge Support for Fossil Fuel Research – A group of labor unions, coal companies and other organizations are urging the Administration to support funding for fossil fuel energy research. “Federal support plays a major role in commercializing technology and making it cost-viable for the private sector,” they said in a letter. “We look forward to working with incoming Secretary of Energy Perry on these efforts, and hope your administration will support these important federal investments to secure America’s energy future.” Among the group signing the letter include ClearPath Action” Jay Faison, the United Mine Workers of America and the Coal Utilization Research Council, as well as several companies like Cloud Peak and Peabody.

Mead, Faison Address Advanced CCS Techs –Speaking of ClearPath, CEO Jay Faison and Wyoming Governor Matt Mead had an op-ed in the Washington Times over the Weekend focused on advancing clean coal and sequestration opportunities.

Study: Wind Could Add 35 GW by 2020 – A new study from Navigant Consulting and the American Wind Energy Association says the US has the potential to add 35 gigawatts of new installed wind capacity by the end of 2020.  The report said that the wind industry is expected to support 248,000 jobs, including induced jobs, and drive $85 billion in economic investments during the same period.

Solar Booming – The U.S. solar market had its biggest year ever in 2016, nearly doubling its previous record and adding more electric generating capacity than any other source of energy for the first time ever.  Over the next five years, the cumulative U.S. solar market is expected to nearly triple in size, even as a slight dip is expected in 2017. GTM Research and the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) announced these historic figures today in the U.S. Solar Market Insight 2016 Year-in-Review report.

On average, U.S. solar photovoltaic (PV) system pricing fell by nearly 20 percent in 2016. This is the greatest average year-over-year price decline since GTM Research began modelling pricing in this report series.  The report forecasts that an impressive 13.2 gigawatts (GW) of solar PV will be installed in the U.S. in 2017, a 10 percent drop from 2016, though still 75 percent more than was installed in 2015. The dip will occur solely in the utility-scale market, following the unprecedented number of utility-scale projects that came online in the latter half of 2016, most originally scheduled for completion before the original expiration of the federal Investment Tax Credit, which has since been extended. By 2019, the utility-scale segment is expected to rebound, with year-over-year growth across the board.

Rural Coops Adding Solar – Speaking of solar, it is booming in rural America as well.  By the end of 2017, the total solar energy capacity of America’s electric cooperatives will be five times what it was two years ago, according to data released today by the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association.  This year, co-ops are on pace to add 480 megawatts of solar, which would bring their total capacity to 873 MW. This more than quadruples the 180 MW reached in 2015 and represents a twenty-fold increase over the 37 MW capacity in 2010.  In addition, over the last two years, cooperatives have expanded their solar footprint from 34 states to 44 states.  Among states where co-ops have been actively developing solar, Georgia ranks first with a total of 122 MW, followed by New Mexico, Hawaii, Colorado, Arizona, Maryland and North Carolina.

Matheson Discusses CPP Impacts on Coops – Speaking of Rural coops, as mentioned earlier, former Rep. Jim Matheson, now CEO of the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association, is featured in today’s E&E TV OnPoint to explain what an executive order that unravels the Clean Power Plan could mean for his member groups and how electric co-ops plan to lobby the Trump administration on climate policy.

 

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

Wilson Event to Look at China, Coal Impacts – The Wilson Center’s China Environment Forum will hold a forum this afternoon at 2:00 p.m. on coal and China’s climate and water issues. Speakers will dig behind these coal trends to discuss if they signify a near peak or if this is just a pause in coal consumption before another curve upwards. Barbara Finamore (NRDC) will discuss the decarbonization trends in the Chinese power sector and some of the obstacles the government faces as it pushes a clean energy future.  Zhou Xizhou (IHS Markit) will talk about how China’s fossil fuel companies are adding more renewables while simultaneously investing in carbon- and water-intensive coal-to-gas and other coal conversion industries. Jennifer Turner will highlight some of the water risks that coal development poses for drought-sensitive western China.

Senate Energy Looks at Infrastructure – The Senate Energy Committee will hold a hearing tomorrow at 10:00 a.m. on opportunities to improve American energy infrastructure. Witnesses include Pacific Power CEO Stefan Bird, Carl Imhoff of the Pacific Northwest National Lab, Cordova Electric Cooperative CEO Clay Koplin, National Hydropower Association Deputy Executive Director Jeffrey Leahy, Dominion CEO Diane Leopold, LIUNA President Terry O’Sullivan and BNEF analyst Ethan Zindler.

Forum to Look at Transportation Project Benefits – The American Public Transportation Association (APTA), the National League of Cities (NLC), and the Environmental and Energy Study Institute (EESI) will host a forum tomorrow at 3:30 p.m. to look at examples from communities across America of transportation investments that benefit the national economy, by creating direct and supply-side jobs while boosting regional economies.  Speakers will include Rep. Rodney Davis (R-IL) and Paul Balmer, Legislative Assistant, speaking on behalf of Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR).  Other speakers include Sound Transit (Seattle, WA) head Peter Rogoff and Cleveland, OH City Councilmember Matt Zone, President of the National League of Cities.

House Transpo to Look at Highway Legislation – The House Transportation Subcommittee on Highways and Transit will hold a hearing on Wednesday at a10:00 a.m. on the FAST Act Implementation looking at state and local perspectives.  Witnesses will include John Schroer, Commissioner of the Tennessee Department of Transportation (on behalf of the American Association of State Highway Transportation Officials (AASHTO)); Gary Thomas, President and Executive Director, Dallas Area Rapid Transit on behalf of the American Public Transportation Association (APTA); and Gary Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson, on behalf of the National League of Cities (NLC).

Post Forum to Look at 100 Days – On Wednesday morning, The Washington Post will host lawmakers and political analysts to assess President Trump’s first 50 days in office. They’ll discuss policy priorities in a Republican-led Washington, where Democrats can front opposition or find common ground, and how Trump’s approach to the presidency is resonating in the Beltway and beyond.  Speakers include, former interim DNC chair Donna Brazile, former Senate majority leader Tom Daschle, leader, former White House press secretary Ari Fleischer, Rep. Steny Hoyer, Sen. Joe Manchin, Wall Street Journal Columnist Peggy Noonan and Sen. David Perdue.

House Energy Looks at Hydro Generation – The House Energy and Commerce Committee’s Subcommittee on Energy will hold a hearing on Wednesday at 10:00 a.m. looking at modernizing energy infrastructure.  The hearing will focus on the challenges and opportunities to expanding hydropower generation.  Witnesses include Chuck Hookham of the American Society of Civil Engineers; Kieran Connolly of the Bonneville Power Administration; Rye Development CEO Rayma Swaminathan, on behalf of the National Hydropower Association; and Dave Steindorf, California stewardship director for American Whitewater, on behalf of the Hydropower Reform Coalition.

Wilson to Premier Earth, Sky –The Wilson Center will host an environmental film premier of Between Earth and Sky on Wednesday at Noon.  Mixing interviews with some of the world’s leading scientists in climate change and arctic soils, with the day to day struggle of native Alaskans living on the front lines of global warming, Between Earth and Sky attempts to highlight the challenge of climate change in places in Alaska.

WCEE Event to Focus on BCSE Factbook – The Women’s Council on Energy and the Environment will host an event on Wednesday discussing the Business Council on Sustainable Energy’s Sustainable Energy in America Factbook, which provides the latest industry information and trends from the energy efficiency, natural gas and renewable energy sectors in the United States. The Factbook is created to provide policymakers, journalists and industry professionals with up-to-date market information.  The Factbook is free and available to download at www.bcse.org/sustainableenergyfactbook.

CSIS to Launch New Energy, Climate Series – CSIS Energy and National Security Program has launched a new high-level speaker series, Climate Change and National and Corporate Interest. This series will showcase a variety of country and corporate perspectives on their chosen pathways for pursuing a climate change strategy and why those actions are in their national or commercial interest.  On Wednesday, CSIS will kick off the series with Catherine McKenna, Canada’s Minister of Environment and Climate Change. Canada has been notable in its commitment to thinking about climate change in a proactive way.  As both a major energy consumer and producer, Canada’s perspective on how to pursue a climate change policy that ensures continued economic growth and stability is an important part of the ongoing dialogue about how best to tackle this global challenge. In 2016 the Pan-Canadian Framework for Climate Change was established, a plan that includes pricing pollution and measures to achieve greenhouse gas emission reductions across all sectors, and to drive innovation and growth.

Pew to Look at Safeguarding Infrastructure From Severe Weather – The Pew Charitable Trusts holds a discussion on Wednesday at 3:30 p.m. communities investing in resilient infrastructure.  The event will focus on safeguarding the country’s infrastructure from the effects of severe weather.  Hopefully it will not be cancelled by the severe weather.

ACORE Policy Forum Set – ACORE holds its annual national renewable policy forum on Thursday at the W Hotel in Washington D.C.  Industry leaders and senior officials offer a pragmatic perspective on challenges and opportunities for the renewable energy industry in the new political alignment. Key topics include renewable energy’s importance to the American economy, the timing and outlook of the upcoming push for comprehensive federal tax reform, the prospects for a large-scale infrastructure initiative and the benefits of increased investment in renewables, grid expansion, resiliency, and modernization and the important role of state policy in the energy sector, and the potential for new and innovative state initiatives that promote renewable energy investment and deployment.  Speakers include Brightsource Energy’s Joe Desmond BNEF’s Ethan Zindler, AWEA’s Jim Reilly, SEIA’s Tom Kimbis and several others.

Big Data Forum on Renewables Set – Alongside the ACORE forum st 9:00 a.m. at the W,  Kaiserwetter of Germany will present the latest Big Data methods it is usung to optimize clean electricity generation including financial, technical and environmental oriented asset management for power plants and projects under the assumption that these analytical tools should be of great help to multilateral agencies, regardless of who finally provides the specific services.

USEA to Discuss Fuel Cells, Carbon Capture – On Thursday at 10:00 a.m., the U.S. Energy Association hosts a forum on CO2 Capture Utilizing Fuel Cells.  Efficiently and affordably capturing CO2 from utility scale power generation is a global challenge and a large potential market opportunity.  Conventional carbon capture technologies use power and represent an expense.  FuelCell Energy and ExxonMobil are advancing a novel application for installing carbonate fuel cells at combustion-based power plants to efficiently capture CO2 while simultaneously producing power from the fuel cells.  Affordable and scalable, fuel cell carbon capture is a potential game-changer. This presentation will explain fuel cell carbon capture supported with discussion of a demonstration project to be placed at Plant Barry, a mixed coal/gas-fired plant owned by Alabama Power, a subsidiary of Southern Company.  Speakers include Exxon’s Michael Kerby and FuelCell Energy’s Tony Leo and Frank Wolak.

Forum to Look at Mexico, US Energy Trade – The Atlantic Council holds a discussion on Thursday at 12:30 p.m. looking at the future of the U.S.-Mexico energy relationship.  The event will feature a conversation with Lourdes Melgar of the MIT Center for International Studies.  Melgar is the former Deputy Secretary of Energy for Hydrocarbons in Mexico.

Forum to Look at Efficiency in Infrastructure – The Alliance to Save Energy will hold an event on Thursday at 12:15 p.m. looking at the role of energy efficiency in infrastructure investments. The session will outline the role of energy efficiency policy as an indispensable element of what has been a major policy theme for the new administration and members of the 115th Congress: infrastructure. Briefing attendees will hear from business leaders about the importance of energy efficiency policy in a diverse range of energy sectors: transportation, utility, buildings, water and finance. Following panelist presentations, the moderator will open the briefing for questions from attendees.

Forum to Look at Climate Stories from Field – WWF and Columbia University will host a forum on the ADVANCE program Thursday at 4:00 p.m.  ADVANCE was launched in 2015 as a new partnership between WWF and Columbia’s Center for Climate Systems Research (CCSR) with the main goal of providing new ways of generating and integrating climate risk information into conservation and development planning. Through a process known as “co-generating” climate information, ADVANCE team members consult directly with stakeholders through personal, in-country stakeholder consultation and use the latest modeling tools to analyze climate trends and create localized climate projections for WWF project landscapes. This presentation will highlight experiences in Bhutan, Myanmar, Colombia and Kyrgyzstan, focusing on early lessons learned and best practices for improving climate risk information for stakeholders to create maximum usability and uptake at multiple scales.  The speaker will be Ryan Bartlett, Senior Specialist for Climate Resilience at WWF.

Group to Toast Former EIA Head – The NCAC, USAEE, and IAEE will hold a special event on Thursday evening on Thursday night that will feature a roast ‘n Toast of former EIA Head Adam Sieminski.  The event will feature live music provided by former White House economist Bob McNally and his band “Sound Policy” featuring fellow NCAC members and energy wonks Dan Poneman and Kevin Book.

WAPA Gala Set – The Washington Automotive Press Assn will hold its annual “non” gala on Thursday at Pinstripes in Georgetown for an evening of drinks, dinner, networking, and some sporting fun courtesy of Nissan, with automotive journalism’s industry leaders from around the area and the nation.

API to Discuss 100 Days of Action – The American Petroleum Institute (API) holds a media briefing on the first 100 days of the new Congress and Trump Administration Friday at 9:00 a.m. in 2168 Rayburn.  The event will focus on the importance of oil and gas in American consumers’ day-to-day lives.

 

IN THE FUTURE

Carnegie Nuclear Forum Set – Next Monday and Tuesday, the 2017 Carnegie International Nuclear Policy Conference will bring together over 800 experts and officials from more than forty-five countries and international organizations.  The conference takes place on the eve of the 50th anniversary of Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty’s conclusion. Most observers credit the treaty with playing a pivotal role in stemming the proliferation of nuclear weapons. Today, however, its continued efficacy is in doubt as disagreements grow over the implementation of each of its three main “pillars”—nonproliferation, disarmament, and the peaceful uses of nuclear energy. A number of panels at the conference will focus on debates surrounding treaty’s core articles, as well as on questions of how to manage its nonmembers and sole former member. Other panels will consider the future of global nuclear order, as well as emerging trends in deterrence, disarmament, nonproliferation, nuclear security, and nuclear energy.

Forum to Look at Future of China Solar Power – Next Tuesday at 10:00 a.m., the John L. Thornton China Center at Brookings will host an event featuring the launch of “The New Solar System,” a major new study from Stanford University’s Steyer-Taylor Center for Energy Policy and Finance, a joint initiative of Stanford’s law and business schools. The result of two years of research, “The New Solar System” illuminates key and little-understood changes that are remaking the solar enterprise in China—and, as a result, solar power around the world. Based on the authors’ analysis, “The New Solar System” recommends changes to U.S. solar policy that would put solar power on a more economically sensible course and would help meet global carbon-reduction goals. Report authors Jeffrey Ball and Dan Reicher will present key findings before engaging in a broader conversation with Brookings Senior Fellow Emeritus Kenneth G. Lieberthal. After the discussion, the participants will take questions from the audience.

Ethanol Group Hosts Fly-In – The American Coalition for Ethanol holds Its 9th annual DC Fly-In on Wednesday and Thursday, March 22-23.  The meetings will take place at the Liaison Capitol Hill hotel and on Capitol Hill.

DC Bar Hosts Climate Forum – The Environmental Law Institute and the DC Bar hosts a forum looking at the climate policy outlook for 2017. Speakers will include Vicki Arroyo of the Georgetown Climate Center, NRDC’s David Doniger and Karen Florini, Former Deputy Special Envoy for Climate Change at the Department of State.

Heartland Climate Conference Set – The 12th International Conference on Climate Change, taking place on Thursday and Friday, March 23–24 at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in Washington, DC.  ICCC-12 is hosted by The Heartland Institute.  See the speakers, including Myron Ebell, here.

BPC to Look at Energy Trade – On Thursday, March 23rd at 2:00 p.m, the Bipartisan Policy Center will hold a forum on expanding the benefits North American energy trade.  The United States, Mexico, and Canada have long been strong partners in energy cooperation and trade. Over the past several years, those ties have deepened as energy trade has increased substantially, and Mexico’s energy reforms have created new opportunities. As the administration pushes forward with potential changes to NAFTA, what might be the impact on energy trade across North America? The panelists will include Mexico’s Former Deputy Secretary of Energy for Hydrocarbons Lourdes Melgar, Wilson Center’s Canada Institute Director Laura Dawson and Gary Hufbauer, Peterson Institute for International Economics.

Pollution Control Agencies Set Spring Meeting – The Association of Air Pollution Control Agencies’ 2017 Spring Meeting will be held in Tucson, Arizona from March 27 – 29 at the Hilton Tucson East Hotel.  More on this in the future.

Chicago-Hamilton to Look at Energy, New Congress – The University of Chicago Energy Center will be hosting a forum with the Hamilton Project at Brookings on March 27.  The event is a half-day forum focused on opportunities for progress on energy policy in the new congress and administration. There will be sessions focused on R&D, infrastructure, CAFE reform, and carbon pricing.

DOE Oil, Gas Office Expert to Address NatGas Roundtable – The Natural Gas Roundtable is pleased to announce that Robert J. Smith, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Oil and Natural Gas at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Fossil Energy, will be the featured guest speaker at the Natural Gas Roundtable luncheon on Tuesday, March 28th at the University Club.  Smith administers oil and gas programs, including research and development, analysis and natural gas regulation. Most recently, Smith was the Chief of Staff for the Office of Fossil Energy. In this capacity, Smith helped the Assistant Secretary with policy and management issues across the office’s research and development, energy security and regulatory missions.

Grid Forum Set for Chicago – The 2nd  Grid Modernization Forum will be held on April 3rd-5th  in Chicago, examines key lessons from top utilities including Eversource, Alliant Energy, Con Edison, National Grid, Ameren and many others. Key technology innovators and executives will come together to share perspectives on how best to leverage AMI investment, engage the customer, and take the smart grid to the next level. Case studies of improved network performance, resiliency, outage restoration, and distributed energy resource (DER) integration will be examined with an eye toward determining best practices and technology advances for today’s energy ecosystem.

Electric Power Conference Set for Chicago – The 19th annual Electric Power Conference will be held In Chicago on April 10-13th at McCormick Place.  Sponsored by POWER magazine, the event provides a platform for power generation professionals to meet, network, and address the critical issues facing the power industry.

Energy Storage Conference Set for Denver – The 27th Energy Storage Association annual conference and expo will be held on April 18-20 in Denver, Colorado.  Keynote speakers and expert panelists on the program include Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper, RES CEO Ivor Catto, former CO Gov Bill Ritter and NextEra Energy exec Michael O’Sullivan.

Water Power Conference Set for May – Waterpower week in Washington will be May 1st through 3rd, providing three great conferences into one when IMREC, METS and NHA’s Annual Conference are held at the Capital Hilton.  The event will discuss policy changes in the hydro and marine industry in an all-in-one event. The event highlights perspectives on the role of hydro, explores issues affecting hydro and marine resources, and helps participants develop a future game plan to meet challenges and ensure the future sustainability of the hydro and marine industry.

Energy Update: Week of February 13

Friends,

Hope you are ready for Valentine’s Day.   You should hurry up if you haven’t made plans yet…time is a-tickin’.

Last night’s Grammys went off without much of a hitch and Adele was the big winner.   James Corden was good, but he exposed perhaps my biggest takeaway:  How is it that these music stars (at least we know Neil Diamond knew) don’t know the words to Sweet Caroline.  I mean every person in Boston, my kids and millions of others know every word to this classic.  I, of course, thought the best part of the show was the Metallica-Lady GaGA’ duet on Moth Into Flame, even with the mic failure.  Speaking of Metallica, the US tour for Hardwired was announced today with Avenged Sevenfold and Volbeat warming up.  It is a similar line up from the 2012 Orion Festival in Atlantic City — which we attended and was AWESOME!   I am looking at May 10 in Baltimore, May 19 in Boston and possibly July 12 in Detroit.

It is a busy week in the run up to President’s Day recess on Capitol Hill with Senate nomination votes expected on up to 8 candidates.  While it is not totally clear because the Majority Leader is holding it close, expected on the plate are Treasury Secretary Mnuchin tonight and Linda McMahon’s nomination to lead the Small Business Administration tomorrow.  Timing remains unclear after that but we are hearing that EPA nominee Scott Pruitt may be next, with the expected floor battle to be drawn out.  While not in jeopardy, the only real question that remains is how many Democrats facing tough re-elections in Red States will support Pruitt.  In addition, timing of the nominations of Rick Perry for Energy and Ryan Zinke at Interior remain in flux despite being relatively non-controversial.  Also look out for the reintroduction of Shaheen-Portman this week, expected Wednesday.  Also we expect some discussion of the Methane CRA this week in the Senate and more interior-related CRAs in the House.  Chamber Energy Institute experts are monitoring closely and can discuss should you need details.

On the hearing calendar this week the schedule cranks up with several interesting hearings.  Tomorrow, House Energy looks at self-driving car technology (our friends at SAFE can help).  On Wednesday, House Science looks at the DOE Loan Guarantee program, House Energy tackles energy infrastructure and Senate Environment looks at modernizing the Endangered Species Act and Thursday the House Energy Committee will focus on the Clean Air Act and potential reforms.

Off the Hill, NARUC meets in Washington at its Winter Meetings, ACCF hosts Kevin Brady to talk taxes, my colleague Jeff Holmstead headlines a panel at the Duke’s Nicholas School Wednesday, Heritage looks at Climate models on Thursday and Friday the USEA hosts the World Coal Assn.

Finally, tonight, college hockey’s most important bragging rights will be decided when Harvard takes on BU in the finals in Boston’s Beanpot tournament at TD Gah-Den.  Game on – despite a wicked 18 inches of snow yesterday (as reported live by Hannah from Wellesley).  Call with questions…

 

Best,

Frank Maisano

(202) 828-5864

(202) 997-5932

 

FRANKLY SPOKEN

“The trend lines in the 2017 Factbook are clear: energy efficiency, natural gas and renewable energy are benefitting American consumers, American businesses and American manufacturers. And that adds up to one conclusion: clean energy wins for America.” 

Lisa Jacobson, head of the Business Council for Sustainable Energy at the release of the BNEF/BCSE 2017 Sustainable Energy FactBook.

 

IN THE NEWS

Energy Factbook Rolls Out – The Business Council for Sustainable Energy (BCSE) and Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) released their 5th annual edition of the Sustainable Energy in America Factbook last week providing valued insight into key U.S. energy statistics related to energy efficiency, natural gas and renewable energy and outlines key factors influencing America’s energy infrastructure, economy and environment. American consumers spent less than 4% of their total annual household spending on energy in 2016, the smallest share ever recorded by the U.S. government, a new study finds. Falling costs for electricity, gasoline and natural gas along with energy efficiency measures have contributed to a dramatic drop in consumer spending on energy. This finding, from the 2017 Sustainable Energy in America Factbook, is supported by U.S. energy statistics highlighting improvements in energy efficiency, natural gas production and use and renewable energy deployment. The 2017 Factbook, compiled by research firm Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) for the Business Council for Sustainable Energy (BCSE), is the fifth edition of this annual resource. The Factbook outlines key trends influencing America’s investment and economics, energy supply and energy demand.

SAFE 4Q Fact Pack Hit OPEC, Looks at Oil Impacts – Securing America’s Future Energy (SAFE) released its Energy Security Fact Pack for the 4th quarter of 2016.  The Fact Pack gives readers a data-driven overview of the latest trends in energy security, including domestic and global oil production and consumption, oil market dynamics and prices, and up-to-date information on fuel efficiency and alternative fuel vehicles.  The Energy Security Fact Pack for 4Q 2016 examines the slow pace of the oil market’s rebalancing, continued price volatility, record electric vehicle sales, and more.

Chamber, Biz Groups Raise Reg Concerns – The U.S. Chamber of Commerce sent a letter along with 616 groups to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer demanding action on the Regulatory Accountability Act (RAA) of 2017.  The letter says now is the time for Congress to reclaim its constitutional legislative authority by ensuring agencies implement congressional intent, not the intent of the agency. “With both the new presidential administration and the U.S. House of Representatives agreeing on the urgent need for regulatory reform, the Senate is presented with a once-in-a-generation opportunity to pass much-needed modernization of the Administrative Procedure Act (APA), whose rulemaking provisions have remained virtually unchanged since it was enacted in 1946.  The Senate has a unique chance to bring real structural reform to the way agencies adopt the most costly rules that fundamentally change our nation.”  RAA would ensure that our regulatory environment is stabilized with a long term solution instead of a short term fix. By designing a process that achieves the maximum public benefit through the implementation of the most cost-effective rules, the executive branch would have a framework of accountability to pursue rules that actually make sense and avoid rules that one president’s administration may think is right and another may think is wrong. The legislative and executive branches have a unique opportunity to accomplish regulatory reform once and for all.  Here’s the full list of organizations who have signed on to the letter.

Former EPA Enforcement Official Looks at Trump EPA – The former head of EPA’s criminal investigation division Doug Parker, now President of Earth & Water Strategies, has a piece in this week’s BNA Daily Environment Report that offers perspective on the future of federal civil and criminal environmental enforcement in a Trump Administration.  Parker says the EPA administrator has minimal day-to-day impact on civil enforcement and no practical influence when it comes to what criminal cases to investigate and how to investigate them. He adds that innovation and market-based opportunities to advance environmental compliance will most likely find a receptive audience with both groups. You can read it here.

High-Profile Carbon Tax Plan Gets Focus – A group of prominent Republicans – including two former secretaries of state, James A. Baker III and George P. Shultz; two former chairmen of the Council of Economic Advisers, Martin S. Feldstein and N. Gregory Mankiw; and former treasury secretary Henry M. Paulson Jr. – were talking carbon taxes last week and created quite a splash.

Report: Community Solar Driving Market – GTM Research has released it latest solar report saying the community solar segment is on the cusp of becoming a mainstream driver of U.S. solar market growth. Starting in 2017, community solar is expected to consistently drive 20% – 25% of the annual non-residential PV market and become a half-gigawatt annual market by 2019. The report explores the primary drivers, risks and markets shaping how community solar will achieve scale, both in the complex policy landscape for third party-led community solar and with the emergence of megawatt-scale utility-led programs. Developers, financiers, installers and suppliers should read this report to learn more about the nearly 3 GW of community solar in development across 29 states.

Lincoln Group Lands Former Valero DC Office Head Felner – Lincoln Policy Group Founder, Former U.S. Senator Blanche L. Lincoln announced today that veteran Republican lobbyist and former Valero DC office head Craig Felner will join the Lincoln Policy Group effective February 13th.   Felner will add significant value to the team according to Lincoln.  “Craig is well known and highly respected within House and Senate Republican circles and offers a unique understanding of corporate dynamics that will add tremendous value to our current and future clients,” said former U.S. Senator Blanche L. Lincoln.  Prior to joining LPG, Craig ran the Washington, DC office of Valero Energy Corporation, a Fortune-50 energy company based in San Antonio, TX. In that capacity, Craig oversaw all in-house staff and ran a robust team of outside consultants.  Felner arrived in Washington in 1995 as an intern for former Energy and Commerce Chair Joe Barton before moving across Capitol Hill to work for former U.S. Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison of Texas as a Legislative Assistant for 6 years. Craig was later appointed by President George W. Bush to a high-ranking position in the White House Office of Cabinet Affairs.

 

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

NARUC Conference Set – The National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners hosts its yearly Winter Committee Meetings in Washington, D.C. today through Wednesday at the Renaissance Washington Hotel.  As usual, the groups has assembled an array of speakers and sessions that continue to advance the priorities and issues facing state utility regulators. Next Monday, PA PUC Commissioner Robert Powelson hosts a discussion on infrastructure with Exelon CEO Chris Crane, API’s Jack Gerard and others.  Other speakers include FERC Chair Cheryl LaFleur, Chamber Energy CEO Karen Harbert, Paul Cicio of the Industrial Consumers of America, NRDC’s Dave Doniger, former EPA GC Roger Martella and many others.

ACCF to Host Brady for Tax Discussion – The American Council for Capital Formation Center for Policy Research will host a discussion tomorrow with House Ways and Means Committee Chair Kevin Brady.  This follows a recent panel on Border Tax issues slated for this Wednesday.

House Energy Looks at Committee Self-Driving Cars – The House Energy and Commerce’s Subcommittees on Digital Commerce and Consumer Protection will convene a hearing tomorrow at 10:15 looking at self-driving cars and the road to deployment.  Witnesses will include GM’s Mike Abelson, Dr. Nidhi Kalra of the RAND Center for Decision Making Under Uncertainty, Volvo’s Anders Karrberg, Joseph Okpaku of Lyft and Gill Pratt, Executive Technical Advisor and CEO of the Toyota Research Institute.

Former FERC Chair Bay to Address Energy Storage Forum – On Wednesday, the 3rd Annual Energy Storage Policy Forum will be held at the National Press Club.   The new Administration and Congress bring with it a new focus and new opportunities. Impending transitions at FERC, DOE, and other agencies have significant ramifications for the continued growth of energy storage.  Speakers will include retired FERC Commissioner Norman Bay, Mass Department of Energy Resources Commissioner Judith Judson and Cal PUC Commissioner Carla Peterman.

House Energy Looks at Energy, Electricity Infrastructure – The House Energy & Commerce Committee’s Subcommittee on Energy will hold a hearing on Wednesday at 10:00 a.m. on modernizing energy and electricity delivery systems.  The hearing will focus on the challenges and opportunities to promote infrastructure improvement and expansion.  Witnesses will include IBEW’s Lonnie Stephenson, GE’s Ganesh Bell, EPRI’s Michael Howard, GridWise Alliance CEO Steve Hauser, LIUNA President Terry O’Sullivan, Rex Ferry on behalf of the National Electrical Contractors Association, Standing Rock Sioux Tribe councilman at large Chad Harrison and Joey Mahmoud of the Dakota Access Pipeline.

House Science to Look at Loan Guarantee Program – The House Science Committee will hold a hearing on Wednesday looking the DOE’s Loan Guarantee Program.  Witnesses will include Heritage’s Diane Katz, Cato’s Chris Edwards, Dan Reicher of the Stanford University Steyer-Taylor Center for Energy Policy and Finance and Ryan Yonk of the Utah State University.

Senate Environment Launches ESA Discussion – The Senate Environment Committee will take a fresh look at reforming the Endangered Species Act in a hearing on Wednesday at 10:00 a.m.  While it is unclear how this will play out, the witnesses are a serious list of folks with great expertise.  Witnesses include former Wyoming Gov. David Freudenthal (D), former Clinton/Obama Interior official Jamie Rappaport Clark, now CEO of Defenders of Wildlife; Former Obama Fish & Wildlife Head Dan Ashe, now CEO of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums; Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation president James Holte and Gordon Myers, executive director of the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission and president of the Southeastern Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies.

Brookings to Look at Global Risks – On Wednesday at 10:00 a.m., the Governance Studies at Brookings will host an event to discuss the management of global catastrophic risk. For decades, international organizations such as the United Nations, the International Monetary Fund, and the World Bank have helped national, regional, and global leaders tackle these challenges. However, many believe that new approaches and fresh thinking are needed in the global governance arena. What are these different perspectives? Are the UN, IMF, World Bank, and other supranational organizations equipped to meet the new challenges of the modern era? Are there different organizations or institutions that are better suited for the problem-solving needed today?

Forum Look at Strategies for Power Sector Transition in US, Germany – The Atlantic Council hosts a conversation on Wednesday at 10:00 a.m. with power sector experts from the United States and Germany to discuss the drivers of this transformation, to compare the challenges these innovative countries are facing, what approaches are being taken, and explore the emerging future of this critical part of our societies.

Holmstead, Others Address Southeast Power Challenges – Duke University’s Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions, will hold an event on Wednesday at Noon focused on the energy and environmental policy challenges facing the Southeast power sector as the next administration takes office. The event will gather stakeholders from across the region in Washington, D.C., to discuss the state of the electricity sector and key issues facing state and federal policymakers, including how market factors and federal policy will affect electricity sector planning in 2017 and beyond. Invitees include representatives from electric utilities, environmental NGOs, energy companies, and state agencies.  Speakers include my colleague Jeff Holmstead, Clearpath’s Zack Baig, Georgia PSC Commissions Lauren McDonald, Entergy’s Rick Johnson, former Senate Staffer and Nicholas Institute expert Tim Profeta, among others.

Senate Commerce Panel Looks at Freight Rail Efficiency, Safety – The Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation panel on Surface Transportation will hold a hearing on Wednesday at 2:30 p.m. in Russell 253 looking at  how to increase the efficiency and safety of our nation’s multimodal transportation system.  Witnesses will include BNSF Railway Chair Matt Rose, Schneider National CEO Chris Lofgren, Dow Chemical’s Tom Gurd and Amtrak CEO Wick Moorman.

House Energy Panel Looks Clean Air Act – The House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Environment will start hearings Thursday at 10:00 a.m. on reforms to the Clean Air Act.  The panel is taking advantage of new authority to look at updating major environmental statutes, with an eye toward pruning any perceived barriers to economic growth. Among the witnesses will be NAM’s Ross Eisenberg, the Chamber’s Thomas Sullivan, Kevin Sunday of the Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry and New Bedford, Mass Mayor Jon Mitchell.

CSIS Forum to Look at Oil Markets – The CSIS Energy & National Security Program holds a discussion on Thursday at 10:00 a.m. with President of RBN Energy Rusty Braziel, ESAI Energy’s Managing Principal of Petroleum & Alternative Fuels Sarah Emerson, and IHS Energy’s VP of Oil Markets (Midstream and Downstream) Kurt Barrow on where U.S. domestic and global oil and gas markets are heading in 2017. We enter the new year with higher oil prices, but also the continued questions around the implementation of and compliance with announced OPEC and non-OPEC supply cutbacks, resurgent U.S. production, enormous stocks, potential increases from Nigeria, Libya, and elsewhere, still-enormous stocks, and various forecasts of new demand growth.

Panel Looks at African Americans in Energy – On Thursday at 11:00 a.m. in 121 Cannon, Rep. Marc Veasey hosts a panel discussion in observation of Black History Month looking at African Americans leaders in energy.  The panel will discuss the challenges and opportunities for African Americans in the energy sector. Moreover, the discussion seeks to educate Members, staffers, stakeholders and students pursuing STEM degrees or jobs in the energy industry, examine current energy policy issues and offer an outlook for the 115th Congress.  Panelists Include FERC Commissioner Colette Honorable, Volt Energy CEO Gilbert Campbell, Ray Dempsey of BP America, American Association of Blacks in Energy President Paula Glover and Chevron’s Telisa Toliver.

Heritage Forum to Look at Science, Modeling – The Heritage Foundation will host a forum on Thursday at Noon on climate modeling, science, and economics behind climate change.  The event will feature Heritage’s Nick Loris and their in-house statistician Kevin Dayaratna, University of Guelph scientist Ross McKitrick and Paul “Chip” Knappenberger of Cato’s Center for the Study of Science.

RTOs Speak at Grid Forum – WIRES, the House Grid Innovation Caucus, the National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA), and the Environmental and Energy Study Institute (EESI) will hold a briefing on Thursday at 2:00 p.m. looking at the modernization of the nation’s critical network of high-voltage transmission. Designed and built well before the digital age to serve more localized customer loads, the “grid” is struggling to support active and increasingly competitive wholesale power markets that now operate regionally. It is often congested or inadequate to deliver domestic energy resources that are not close to customers. Its aging facilities have acknowledged weather and cyber vulnerabilities. Speakers include Rep. Jerry McNerney (D-CA) and Rep. Bob Latta (R-OH), as well as Midcontinent ISO’s Clair Moeller, Southwest Power Pool’s Mike Ross and Craig Glazer of PJM Interconnection.

Forum to Look at Climate Threats – In the February USAID Adaptation meeting on Thursday at 4:00 p.m., Cardno principal Michael Bilney, MBA will discuss Cardno’s collaboration with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) on a risk-based method to screen hundreds of NOAA facilities and evaluate the most at-risk facilities’ vulnerability to potential climate change threats.  The approach combined qualitative risk assessment, and asset management facility condition and engineering assessments to identify site-specific vulnerabilities and related adaptation and resilience improvement actions. Bilney will summarize the phases of the analysis and provide key lessons learned, adaptation and resilience improvement measures and strategies developed during the recently completed project.  He will also summarize critical activities in the recommended process developed to guide future NOAA facility climate change vulnerability assessments.

RBN CEO to Address Energy Economists – The National Capital Area Chapter of the US Assn of Energy Economists will hold its February luncheon on Friday at Noon at Carmines featuring RBN CEO Rusty Braziel. Braziel is President and CEO of RBN Energy, a leading energy market analysis and advisory firm and is the author of The Domino Effect, bestseller book about understanding energy markets. Braziel will address the economics of new drilling and the recovery.

USEA to Host World Coal CEO – On Friday at 2:00 p.m., USEA hosts Benjamin Sporton, Chief Executive of the World Coal Association.  Sporton will look at how the global coal market is changing and what happens to the Paris Agreement under the new Trump administration.

 

IN THE FUTURE

RFA Ethanol Conference Set of San Diego – The Renewable Fuels Association hold its 2017 National Ethanol Conference on February 20-22 at the Hilton San Diego Bayfront. The forum will address policy and market issues and what industry can do to develop both domestic and foreign markets, including expanding infrastructure, blends above E10, high octane fuels and exports.  At a key Panel on the first day, AFPM President Chet Thompson will join RFA CEO Bob Dinneen for a future of fuels policy discussion.  Our friend Rachel Gantz will also host a panel of journalists including WSJ’s Amy Harder to discuss media coverage of the policy issues.

Faison, Crane, Browner Headline Nuclear Summit – Third Way will host an Advanced Nuclear Summit on Tuesday, February 21st starting at 8:00 a.m. at the Newseum in Washington, DC.  The event will examine the massive opportunities that advanced nuclear offers the U.S., and the need for quick action in Washington to capture those opportunities. We’ll explore benefits like economic growth and competitiveness, job creation, and global leadership on issues like climate change, security, and poverty with a wide variety of leaders in this space.  Speakers will include ClearPath Foundation Jay Faison,  CEO Exelon CEO Chris Crane, NuScale CEO John Hopkins, Nobel-Prize winning physicist Burton Richter, the AFL-CIO’s Liz Shuler and former EPA Administrator and Obama climate advisor Carol Browner.

SAFE, CTA to Discuss AV Benefits – The Consumer Technology Association (CTA), in partnership with Securing America’s Future Energy (SAFE), will hold a lunchtime briefing on Wednesday February 22nd at 12:30 p.m. in 2167 Rayburn on the benefits self-driving vehicles will have on improving everyday life.  The panel discussion features CTA CEO Gary Shapiro, SAFE AV Safety Commission member and former GM exec Bob Lange and Toyota’s Hilary Cain.  SAFE CEO Robbie Diamond will moderate.

USEA Looks At Distributed Energy Valuation – On Wednesday February 22nd at 2:00 p.m., the US Energy Association hosts a briefing the various dimensions of Distributed Energy Resources (DER) valuation (with a particular focus on locational value), current efforts to employ these valuation methodologies, and the implications for utilities and regulators. The speaker will be Vazken Kassakhian, Research Analyst at the Smart Electric Power Alliance.

Webinar Looks at Capacity Market Reforms – On Wednesday, February 22nd at 2:00 p.m., Power Markets Today hosts a timely and insightful webinar looking at new capacity reforms.  Speakers will include PJM Independent Market Monitor and Monitoring Analytics President Dr. Joseph Bowring, New England Power Generators Association President Dan Dolan, NEPOOL Representative and Energy Market Advisors Principal Brian Forshaw and Advanced Energy Management Alliance Representative and Achieving Equilibrium Founder Tom Rutigliano.  Our friend James Downing hosts.

Panel Looks at Trump Energy Policy – The Cato Institute will host a lively look at energy policy in the new administration on Wednesday, February 22nd at 4:00 p.m.  The event will feature IER Founder Robert L. Bradley, Institute for Energy Research; Adele Morris of Brookings and Catrina Rorke, of the R Street Institute.

WCEE to Look at Wholesale Capacity Markets – On Friday, February 24th, the Women’s Council on Energy and the Environment (WCEE) hosts a lunch discussion with Emma Nicholson, Ph.D., an economist at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s Office of Energy Policy and Innovation, and a WCEE member. Nicholson will provide an overview of capacity markets in the FERC-jurisdictional RTOs/ISOs that have them (Regional Transmission Organizations (RTO)/Independent System Operators (ISO)). This overview will also explain the general concept of capacity as a product and explain recent changes to the design of FERC-jurisdictional capacity markets.  The event will be held at FERC.

WAPA, CR to Announce Top 2017 Picks – WAPA and Consumer Reports will holds its February luncheon at the National Press Club on February 28th at Noon to announce the organization’s 2017 Top Picks and Brand Reports Cards. The event is one of the highlights of the year for WAPA. Each spring, consumers and auto-industry insiders alike look to Consumer Reports’ Annual Auto Issue and website for its Top Picks in cars and trucks. From best and worst in fuel economy, reliability and safety to tips on how to get the best deal, CR provides consumers unbiased ratings, recommendations, and advice that help consumers make informed decisions with their next car purchase.

ARPA-E Forum Set – The annual ARPA-E Innovation Forum will be held on February 27th through March 1st at the Gaylord at National Harbor. Summit is an annual conference and technology showcase that brings together experts from different technical disciplines and professional communities to think about America’s energy challenges in new and innovative ways. Now in its eighth year, the Summit offers a unique, three-day program aimed at moving transformational energy technologies out of the lab and into the market.  Among the speakers will be Duke’s Lynn Good (who will be interviewed by our friend Bill Loveless), Sen. Cory Gardner and Columbia University’s Jeffrey Sachs, as well as somebody from the new Trump Administration.

ACCF Panel Hosts former Commissioners to Look at FERC Challenges – The American Council for Capital Formation Center for Policy Research will moderate a discussion on Tuesday, February 28th at 12:30 p.m. in 485 Russell.  The event will feature former FERC Commissioners Philip Moeller and James Hoecker on a wide range of policy issues facing FERC.   The discussion comes at a particularly interesting time for the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, which entered the new year with a full plate of issues, including the challenge of ensuring electric reliability in the face of increasing environmental pressures from outside advocacy groups. And the Commission does so without its full complement of commissioners, having now just two of its five seats filled after the sudden resignation of Norman Bay.  Our friend Glen Boshart will moderate.

CERAWeek Set for Houston – The 36th CERAWeek by IHS Markit will be held on March 6th through 10th in Houston at the Hilton Americas.  CERAWeek is the premier annual international gathering of energy industry leaders, experts, government officials and policymakers, leaders from the technology, financial, and industrial communities – and energy technology innovators. Midst the turbulence and uncertainty in energy markets this year, CERAWeek 2017 will provide new insights and critically-important dialogue – and a very cost efficient way to engage on the most urgent questions with decision-makers from around the world.  A laundry list of other key energy speakers/CEOs will speak.  See the list here.

Southern NextEra Execs Address Transmission Summit – The 20th Transmission Summit will be held March 6-8th at the Mayflower Hotel in Washington, DC.  The event brings together policy makers with transmission industry leaders to develop strategies that will take advantage of opportunities created by emerging policy, regulatory and technological changes.  Topics will include post-election policy shifts and potential new opportunities for transmission infrastructure investment, dealing with the impacts of revisions to FERC’s Order 1000 processes on regional planning and competitive projects, integrating and interconnecting ever more renewable energy assets and using non-transmission alternatives and storage to defer new builds and replace aging infrastructure.  Key speakers include former FERC Chair Joe Kelliher of NextEra, Southern’s Bruce Edelston, and Georgia PSC Commissioner Tim Echols, among others.

GEA to Host DC Meeting – On March 7th, the Geothermal Energy Association (GEA) will hold its International Geothermal Forum in Washington, DC.

Pollution Control Agencies Set Spring Meeting – The Association of Air Pollution Control Agencies’ 2017 Spring Meeting will be held in Tucson, Arizona from March 27 – 29 at the Hilton Tucson East Hotel.  More on this in the future.

Energy Update: Week of February 6

Friends,

What looked to be a slow, blowout Super Bowl, turned into an outrageous game which featured a hard-to-believe comeback by the Patriots.  Despite me not winning any quarters this year in the pool, that last quarter (and first-ever OT) was one for the ages even, if you don’t like the Patriots.  I did win my bet on the “over” for Gisele Bündchen TV appearances with four.  Thank goodness the Pats came back because those three 4Q/OT appearances took me over the top of the 1.5 prop bet line.  What I didn’t bet on was the social media traffic on API’s Super Bowl ad…wow!!!  What a surprise success, generating positive and negative comments so much so that API held a presser this morning on the topic.  My ad winner was the KIA enviro ad spoof “Hero” on saving whales, trees, ice caps, etc featuring Melissa McCarthy.  Speaking of McCarthy, how about the SNL skit spoofing my friends Sean Spicer and Glenn Thrush. (I hope they laugh it off because it was hi-larious and I didn’t raise my hand Glenn!!!)

And if a Pats win wasn’t enough for Boston, the “social event of winter season” actually launches today when the Beanpot, an annual hockey tournament that features Boston College, Boston University, Harvard and Northeastern, begins. It is the official battle for Boston’s hockey bragging rights.   BTW, for all you baseball fans, pitchers and catchers report starting Sunday to Florida and Arizona.

Congress this week will continue to move forward on approving cabinet nominees and disapproving federal regulations issued in the final months of the Obama Presidency using the Congressional Review Act.  It is a short week in Congress due to the Democratic conference retreat, which begins Wednesday evening in Baltimore. House floor activity this week will continue to focus on passage of resolutions of disapproval under the CRA to overturn regulations, with Interior’s Land-Use 2.0 rule on the agenda.  Meanwhile the Senate takes up the Methane Flaring rule passed by the House on Friday and votes on several cabinet appointees, with the big vote on Education Secretary Betsy DeVos tomorrow.  We might see action later in the week on Perry, Zinke or Pruitt, but it seems unlikely.  Coral Davenport has a good story in the NY Times this morning on Scott Pruitt and his likely approach to EPA.  With FERC quorum story making news, we also have heard from our friend Rod Kuckro at E&E News (and several others) that former TX utility commissioner Barry Smitherman may be chosen to head the Commission in the near future.

The main event this week is Wednesday when the Business Council for Sustainable Energy (BCSE) and Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) will release their 5th annual edition of the Sustainable Energy in America Factbook at a Washington, D.C. press event.  The Factbook provides insight into key U.S. energy statistics related to energy efficiency, natural gas and renewable energy and outlines key factors influencing America’s energy infrastructure, economy and environment.  Speakers include BNEF’s Ethan Zindler, AGA’s Kathryn Clay, BCSE’s Lisa Jacobsen and SEIA’s Abby Hopper among others.   ACCF also hosts a great forum on Wednesday to discuss border tax policy questions.  My colleague Curt Beaulieu (202-828-5806) is a great resource on the topic if you have questions.

Finally, with the announcement of Neil Gorsuch last week as the nominee to the Supreme Court, I saw my friends in the enviro community sent lawmakers a letter today urging them to oppose Gorsuch.  For a better primer on the nominee – specifically on his call for the reassessment and potential revocation of Chevron deference to agency interpretation of its own statutes – my colleagues at Bracewell have provided info that may be more helpful to you over the next few months as Gorsuch goes through the confirmation process.

 

Best,

Frank Maisano

(202) 828-5864

(202) 997-5932

 

FRANKLY SPOKEN

“Nothing is over until we decide it is.  Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor?”

Bluto Blutarsky, Faber College, 1963.

 

IN THE NEWS

CRAs Move Forward – The Congress Passed Congressional Review Act legislation last week on the Interior Department Stream Rule.  Then, Friday, the Senate followed the House in killing rules mandated by the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform that require resource extractors to disclose payments made to the U.S. or foreign governments for the commercial development of oil, natural gas or minerals. The House also voted to kill a Methane Waste and Prevention Rule, which would prevent methane flaring and waste from oil drilling operations. The Methane Rule goes before the Senate early this week.

Chamber Comments on CRAs – The Chamber’s Energy Institute praised the actions with CEO Karen Harbert saying on the Stream Rule:  “Today’s vote to block the Obama Administration’s unnecessary and costly stream rule is a victory for common sense and American energy production. This rule interfered with state authorities and would have placed massive amounts of coal resources off limits for production, costing us jobs and higher energy prices.  We look forward to President Trump signing the resolution, and to continued scrutiny of the Obama Administration’s last minute regulations.  On the SEC extractive industries CRA effort, Christopher Guith, Senior Vice President for Policy, US Chamber of Commerce Institute for 21st Century Energy said “We’re pleased that, like the court before it, Congress blocked a rule that would have unfairly and needlessly harmed American companies and their shareholders. The SEC’s Extractive Industries rule would have cost hundreds of millions of dollars to comply with, have vast unintended consequences and ultimately harm those it is intended to protect.  There are existing laws and treaties ensuring transparency and disclosure, including the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative.  This one wasn’t necessary, and far too costly.  We look forward to President Trump’s signature.”  Expect comments on the Methane rule later today.

Bay Final Days Sees Pipeline Approvals – In FERC Chair Norman Bay’s final day, the Commission approved several key pipeline projects along with a slate of other items while the agency still had a quorum.  FERC approved Williams’ Atlantic Sunrise and Northern Access natural gas pipeline projects.

Atlantic, from Energy Transfer, is a $2.6 billion project, with work stretching across several states between Pennsylvania and South Carolina.  Northern Access, developed by National Fuel Gas Co is a $455 million project that would bring more gas into markets in New York, New England, the Midwest and Canada. One day earlier, FERC ruled in favor of Energy Transfer Partners LP’s Rover natural gas pipeline from Pennsylvania to Ontario, a project estimated to cost $4.2 billion.  AP’s Matt Daly details the overall issues and challenges.

Groups Calls for CCS Tax Improvements – The National Enhanced Oil Recovery Initiative (NEORI) and its coalition partners have released a letter they sent to the House Ways and Means Committee calling on inclusion of 45Q legislation in any tax reform bills that move this Congress.  The letter Calls on Congress to “extend and strengthen” the 45Q tax credit because it “offers one of the most effective tools to protect and drive growth in the energy sector while also reducing CO2 emissions.  The opportunity represents a genuine win-win for our nation’s economy and environment, one that will bring high-paying and investment to energy producing and industrial states and regions of our country.  Among the signers is Jay Faison’s Clearpath Foundation, NRDC and a bunch of companies like Southern, Peabody and others.

Platts Capitol Crude Looks Southeast Asia, Energy – The Platts Capitol Crude Podcast this week looks at long-simmering tensions in the South China Sea and what new Secretary of State Rex Tillerson may bring to the discussion.  Platts Brian Scheid interviews Zack Cooper, a fellow with the Center for Strategic and International Studies, where they discuss changing US policy ahead of the summer drilling season offshore China and Vietnam, Twitter diplomacy and the risks for oil.

 

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

JHU to Host McNally Book Event – The Johns Hopkins University’s SAIS program will host Bob McNally this evening at 5:00 P.m. to discuss his new book, “Crude Volatility – The History and Future of Boom-Bust Oil Prices.” World oil prices have fallen drastically over the last two years, spurred partly by the rise of tight oil production in the US, and by OPEC’s failure to cut production.  Recently, in an effort to raise oil prices, OPEC is attempting to regroup and has agreed to lower its production. Will it succeed? This is one of the questions to be discussed at this energy forum which will also review the history of oil prices.  Our friend Kevin Book, Managing Director at Clearview Energy Partners will serve as the commentator.

House Science to Look at EPA Science Mission  – The House Science Committee will hold a hearing on Wednesday on the science mission of the EPA.  My colleague Jeff Holmstead will be among those testifying on potential reforms to the Scientific Advisory Board and other items. Others include former NJ Rep Rush Holt, a physicist who is now CEO of AAAS, ACC’s Kim White and Richard Belzer.

Forum to Look at RGGI Issues – The Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions at Duke University, the Georgetown Climate Center, and Resources for the Future (RFF) will host a webinar tomorrow at 10:00 a.m. looking at the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative.  States participating in RGGI are engaged in their 2016 program review to evaluate the emissions trading system and consider potential changes. In the course of this review, the idea of an emissions containment reserve (ECR) mechanism has been proposed to address a common issue confronting cap-and-trade programs worldwide: the prices for emissions allowances tend to be significantly lower than program designers anticipate in advance, making mid-course corrections necessary for it to perform as intended. This webinar will bring together experts and representatives from states, electric generators, academia, and nongovernmental organizations to consider this new approach for ensuring that the RGGI emissions trading program functions as designed and examine the finer points of how such a reserve might work and be implemented.  Speakers include RFF’s Dallas Burtraw and UVa’s William Shobe.

German Enviro to Discuss Policy – The BMW Center for German and European Studies and the Science, Technology, and International Affairs Program of the Walsh School of Foreign Service at Georgetown will host a presentation tomorrow at Noon by Sascha Müller-Kraenner, Executive Director / CEO, Environmental Action Germany.  Müller-Kraenner will discuss how the G20 Presidency might provide an opportunity to include the new U.S. administration in an international conversation around energy security, sustainable investments, and climate change. He will also discuss how international coalitions might get rearranged or shift — depending on whether the U.S. administration chooses a course of cautious engagement or disruptive confrontation. Lastly, he will shed light on how German energy policy might develop after the upcoming national elections.

Annual Sustainable Energy Factbook Set for Release – The Business Council for Sustainable Energy and Bloomberg New Energy Finance will release their annual Sustainable Energy Fact book Wednesday at Bloomberg’s offices at 9:30 a.m.  The Business Council for Sustainable Energy and Bloomberg New Energy Finance team up for the fifth time to identify key U.S. energy statistics and trends.  There will also be a forum for stakeholders at Bloomberg at Noon.

Reporters Look at Enviro Priorities – The Environmental Law Institute will hold a panel discussion on Wednesday at Noon at the DC Bar to look at the environmental priorities of Congress and the new Administration. Although these issues played a minor role in the election, they pose numerous challenges for federal policymakers. What will be the environmental priorities of the new administration? What environmental legislation might be enacted by the 115th Congress? Our friends John Siciliano of the Wash Examiner, Inside Washington’s Jeremy Bernstein and Josh Kurtz of E&E News will address these and other issues.

Energy Efficiency Day Set for Hill – The Alliance to Save Energy will host Great Energy Efficiency Day (GEED) on Wednesday at 2:00 p.m. in 106 Dirksen.  The event returns to Capitol Hill for a dialogue on the keys to driving energy productivity and prosperity in the 115th Congress.  This year promises to be pivotal for both protecting the important policy and regulatory gains we have enjoyed in the past decade, but also and importantly, for securing innovative policies, funding and programs that advance energy efficiency in this new political environment. As we have seen over the last eight years, energy efficiency policies and initiatives have a proven track-record of increasing energy productivity and delivering a strong return on investment.  GEED will highlight policies and initiatives that are proven to increase energy productivity and have a strong ROI, while also identifying new legislative opportunities that fit within the 115th Congress’ and the incoming Administration’s focus areas of economic growth, tax reform and aging infrastructure.

ACCF Hosts Border Tax Panel – The American Council for Capital Formation Center for Policy Research will host a forum on Wednesday at 3:00 p.m. in Dirksen G-50 looking at the potential impacts of Border Tax adjustments.  The panel will explore the theoretical aspects and potential economic impact of increased taxes on imports, as well as a look at how the potential real world implications could work for different industries.

Transmission Infrastructure Summit Set – The National Electric Transmission Infrastructure Summit will be held on Thursday and Friday at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel.  The Summit is a one-and-a-half day gathering focused on the challenges and merits of extending, modernizing, and integrating the high-voltage electric transmission system – necessary to enable access to the rich but currently remote resources of renewable energy required for a clean-energy future, while mitigating the cost and variability of those resources.  Speakers will include our friend Jimmy Glotfelty of Clean Line Energy Partners, as well as Southwest Power Pool CEO Nick Brown, National Electric Manufacturers Association CEO Kevin Cosgriff and several others.

Energy Factbook Touted At Capitol – On Friday, EESI and the House and Senate Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy Caucuses will host an event on Capitol Hill in Rayburn’s Gold Room to discuss the release of the BNEF-BCSE Sustainable Energy Factbook.

 

IN THE FUTURE

NARUC Conference Set – The National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners hosts its yearly Winter Committee Meetings in Washington, D.C. Sunday through next Wednesday at the Renaissance Washington Hotel.  As usual, the groups has assembled an array of speakers and sessions that continue to advance the priorities and issues facing state utility regulators. Next Monday, PA PUC Commissioner Robert Powelson hosts a discussion on infrastructure with Exelon CEO Chris Crane, API’s Jack Gerard and others.  Other speakers include FERC Chair Cheryl LaFleur, Chamber Energy CEO Karen Harbert, Paul Cicio of the Industrial Consumers of America, NRDC’s Dave Doniger, former EPA GC Roger Martella and many others.

ACCF to Host Brady for Tax Discussion – The American Council for Capital Formation Center for Policy Research will host a discussion on Tuesday, February 14th with House Ways and Means Committee Chair Kevin Brady.  This follows a recent panel on Border Tax issues slated for this Wednesday.

Former FERC Chair Bay to Address Energy Storage Forum – On February 15th, the 3rd Annual Energy Storage Policy Forum will be held at the National Press Club.   The new Administration and Congress bring with it a new focus and new opportunities. Impending transitions at FERC, DOE, and other agencies have significant ramifications for the continued growth of energy storage.  Speakers will include retired FERC Commissioner Norman Bay, Mass Dept of Energy Resources Commissioner Judith Judson and Cal PUC Commissioner Carla Peterman.

Holmstead, Others Address Southeast Power Challenges – Duke University’s Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions, will hold an event on Wednesday, February 15th at Noon focused on the energy and environmental policy challenges facing the Southeast power sector as the next administration takes office. The event will gather stakeholders from across the region in Washington, D.C., to discuss the state of the electricity sector and key issues facing state and federal policymakers, including how market factors and federal policy will affect electricity sector planning in 2017 and beyond. Invitees include representatives from electric utilities, environmental NGOs, energy companies, and state agencies.  Speakers include my colleague Jeff Holmstead, Clearpath’s Zack Baig, Georgia PSC Commissions Lauren McDonald, Entergy’s Rick Johnson, former Senate Staffer and Nicholas Institute expert Tim Profeta, among others.

House Science to Look at Loan Guarantee Program – The House Science Committee will hold a hearing on Wednesday, February 15th looking the DOE’s Loan Guarantee Program.

CSIS Forum to Look at Oil Markets – The CSIS Energy & National Security Program holds a discussion on Thursday February 16th at 10:00 a.m. with President of RBN Energy Rusty Braziel, ESAI Energy’s Managing Principal of Petroleum & Alternative Fuels Sarah Emerson, and IHS Energy’s VP of Oil Markets (Midstream and Downstream) Kurt Barrow on where U.S. domestic and global oil and gas markets are heading in 2017. We enter the new year with higher oil prices, but also the continued questions around the implementation of and compliance with announced OPEC and non-OPEC supply cutbacks, resurgent U.S. production, enormous stocks, potential increases from Nigeria, Libya, and elsewhere, still-enormous stocks, and various forecasts of new demand growth.

Heritage Forum to Look at Science, Modeling – The Heritage Foundation will host a forum on Thursday February 16th at Noon on climate modeling, science, and economics behind climate change.  The event will feature Heritage’s Nick Loris and their in-house statistician Kevin Dayaratna, University of Guelph scientist Ross McKitrick and Paul “Chip” Knappenberger of Cato’s Center for the Study of Science.

RTOs Speak at Grid Forum – WIRES, the House Grid Innovation Caucus, the National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA), and the Environmental and Energy Study Institute (EESI) will hold a briefing on Thursday, February 16th at 2:00 p.m. looking at the modernization of the nation’s critical network of high-voltage transmission. Designed and built well before the digital age to serve more localized customer loads, the “grid” is struggling to support active and increasingly competitive wholesale power markets that now operate regionally. It is often congested or inadequate to deliver domestic energy resources that are not close to customers. Its aging facilities have acknowledged weather and cyber vulnerabilities. Speakers include Rep. Jerry McNerney (D-CA) and Rep. Bob Latta (R-OH), as well as Midcontinent ISO’s Clair Moeller, Southwest Power Pool’s Mike Ross and Craig Glazer of PJM Interconnection.

Forum to Look at Climate Threats – In the February USAID Adaptation meeting on Thursday February 16th at 4:00 p.m., Cardno principal Michael Bilney, MBA will discuss Cardno’s collaboration with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) on a risk-based method to screen hundreds of NOAA facilities and evaluate the most at-risk facilities’ vulnerability to potential climate change threats.  The approach combined qualitative risk assessment, and asset management facility condition and engineering assessments to identify site-specific vulnerabilities and related adaptation and resilience improvement actions. Bilney will summarize the phases of the analysis and provide key lessons learned, adaptation and resilience improvement measures and strategies developed during the recently completed project.  He will also summarize critical activities in the recommended process developed to guide future NOAA facility climate change vulnerability assessments.

RBN CEO to Address Energy Economists – The National Capital Area Chapter of the US Assn of Energy Economists will hold its February luncheon on Friday, February 17th at Noon at Carmines featuring RBN CEO Rusty Braziel. Braziel is President and CEO of RBN Energy, a leading energy market analysis and advisory firm and is the author of The Domino Effect, bestseller book about understanding energy markets. Braziel will address the economics of new drilling and the recovery.

USEA to Host World Coal CEO – On Friday, February 17th at 2:00 p.m., USEA hosts Benjamin Sporton, Chief Executive of the World Coal Association.  Sporton will look at how the global coal market is changing and what happens to the Paris Agreement under the new Trump administration.

RFA Ethanol Conference Set of San Diego – The Renewable Fuels Association hold its 2017 National Ethanol Conference on February 20-22 at the Hilton San Diego Bayfront. The forum will address policy and market issues and what industry can do to develop both domestic and foreign markets, including expanding infrastructure, blends above E10, high octane fuels and exports.  At a key Panel on the first day, AFPM President Chet Thompson will join RFA CEO Bob Dinneen for a future of fuels policy discussion.  Our friend Rachel Gantz will also host a panel of journalists including WSJ’s Amy Harder to discuss media coverage of the policy issues.

ARPA-E Forum Set – The annual ARPA-E Innovation Forum will be held on February 27th through March 1st at the Gaylord at National Harbor. Summit is an annual conference and technology showcase that brings together experts from different technical disciplines and professional communities to think about America’s energy challenges in new and innovative ways. Now in its eighth year, the Summit offers a unique, three-day program aimed at moving transformational energy technologies out of the lab and into the market.  Among the speakers will be Duke’s Lynn Good (who will be interviewed by our friend Bill Loveless), Sen. Cory Gardner and Columbia University’s Jeffrey Sachs, as well as somebody from the new Trump Administration.

ACCF Panel Hosts former Commissioners to Look at FERC Challenges – The American Council for Capital Formation Center for Policy Research will moderate a discussion on Tuesday, February 28th at 12:30 p.m. in 485 Russell.  The event will feature former FERC Commissioners Philip Moeller and James Hoecker on a wide range of policy issues facing FERC.   The discussion comes at a particularly interesting time for the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, which entered the new year with a full plate of issues, including the challenge of ensuring electric reliability in the face of increasing environmental pressures from outside advocacy groups. And the Commission does so without its full complement of commissioners, having now just two of its five seats filled after the sudden resignation of Norman Bay.  Our friend Glen Boshart will moderate.

CERAWeek Set for Houston – The 36th CERAWeek by IHS Markit will be held on March 6th through 10th in Houston at the Hilton Americas.  CERAWeek is the premier annual international gathering of energy industry leaders, experts, government officials and policymakers, leaders from the technology, financial, and industrial communities – and energy technology innovators. Midst the turbulence and uncertainty in energy markets this year, CERAWeek 2017 will provide new insights and critically-important dialogue – and a very cost efficient way to engage on the most urgent questions with decision-makers from around the world.  A laundry list of other key energy speakers/CEOs will speak.  See the list here.

Southern NextEra Execs Address Transmission Summit – The 20th Transmission Summit will be held March 6-8th at the Mayflower Hotel in Washington, DC.  The event brings together policy makers with transmission industry leaders to develop strategies that will take advantage of opportunities created by emerging policy, regulatory and technological changes.  Topics will include post-election policy shifts and potential new opportunities for transmission infrastructure investment, dealing with the impacts of revisions to FERC’s Order 1000 processes on regional planning and competitive projects, integrating and interconnecting ever more renewable energy assets and using non-transmission alternatives and storage to defer new builds and replace aging infrastructure.  Key speakers include former FERC Chair Joe Kelliher of NextEra, Southern’s Bruce Edelston, and Georgia PSC Commissioner Tim Echols, among others.

GEA to Host DC Meeting – On March 7th, the Geothermal Energy Association (GEA) will hold its International Geothermal Forum in Washington, DC.

Pollution Control Agencies Set Spring Meeting – The Association of Air Pollution Control Agencies’ 2017 Spring Meeting will be held in Tucson, Arizona from March 27 – 29 at the Hilton Tucson East Hotel.  More on this in the future.

Energy Update: Week of October 31

Friends,

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

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

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

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

 

We are on it…Call with questions.

 

Best,

Frank Maisano

(202) 828-5864

(202) 997-5932

 

FRANKLY SPOKEN

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

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

 

IN THE NEWS

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

ELECTION DAY – November 8th

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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