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.

Energy Update: Week of October 24

Friends,

It is World Series time and isn’t this exciting: the Cubs are in the World Series for the first time in 71 years and are trying to break a 108-year WS drought.  The Indians haven’t won the World Series since 1948, and haven’t been to the dance since 1997.  And with Cleveland’s NBA Championship and more importantly, it Calder Cup Championship for the Lake Erie (now the Cleveland) Monsters, it may be starting to challenge as the latest Championship City.   And certainly between the Bulls and Blackhawks championships, Chicago can also make its claim to Championship City.

And I know this may sound like it’s getting old, but Hannah scored ANOTHER OT Gamer winner on Saturday as her Wellesley field Hockey team closed out their conference play with a 3-2 victory over Clark University of Mass.  It is her third OT GWG this fall!!!  Must be something in the Lake Waban water up there…

While Washington remains a little slower because of the political focus, there is no doubt that talk of transitions has become significant, especially among a few Clinton campaign insiders.  There is also a steady build for the post-election legislative session that is expected to address tax and budget issues.  While there must be some action, it is still uncertain how much action will be taken as much still depends on the election results.   As you know, we are watching all the details and will have a full report running up to and after Election Day.

One important event this week that should definitely be on your radar screen is the SAFE event on Capitol Hill looking at autonomous vehicles policy and Washington’s regulatory impacts/possibilities.  The event on Wednesday in 2167 Rayburn and features auto trade assn head Mitch Bainwol, American Trucking CEO Chris Spear and auto author and journalist Steve Levine.  It will be moderated by SAFE’s Robbie Diamond.  Tomorrow is also the Environmental Law Institute Dinner and the preceding policy panels at the Omni.  Bracewell is a sponsor and my colleagues Jason Hutt, Ed Krenik and others will attend.

Out of town, AWEA hosts its annual Offshore WINDPOWER event in Rhode Island tomorrow and Wednesday.  It is significant because it is the first conference as the first U.S. wind farm connects to the grid.  Speakers will include Sen Sheldon Whitehouse, RI Gov. Gina Raimondo, BOEM Director Abby Hopper and DOE’s Jose Zayas, among many others.

 

We are on it…Call with questions.

 

Best,

Frank Maisano

(202) 828-5864

(202) 997-5932

 

FRANKLY SPOKEN

“Saying that the U.S. should become more like Europe when it comes to energy policies has become a common refrain in some circles, so our report takes these politicians and interest groups at their word and presents the facts about what that would actually mean for our economy.  The types of policies being advocated by leading candidates, such as restricting energy production and imposing new mandates, would drive up energy prices and reduce America’s global competitiveness.”

Karen Harbert, president and CEO of the U.S. Chamber’s Institute for 21st Century Energy.

 

IN THE NEWS

Chamber Energy Institute Looks at EU-Type Energy Price Impacts – With some politicians and interest groups heralding Europe’s energy policies as a model to follow, the U.S. Chamber’s Institute for 21st Century Energy examined what would happen if the U.S. was forced to pay EU energy prices.  In this report, the Institute examined the policies and regulations which have led to much higher prices for energy in the Europe Union. The report found that European energy policies and prices would impose a $676 billion drag on the U.S. residential sector, with the average American household seeing price increases of $4,800 per year for their energy. This increase in prices would lead to the elimination of 7.7 million jobs in the United States.  The Energy Institute’s report identifies four key factors that make energy more costly in the European Union: 1) restrictions that inhibit access to low-cost, existing electricity supply and oil and natural gas supplies; 2) more generous subsidies provided by EU members for uneconomic technologies; 3) EU policies that place a tax on carbon emissions and 4) much higher taxes on energy consumption. These factors have driven EU prices over the past several years to rates that are 1.6 to 2.4 times greater than U.S. prices per unit of energy consumed.

Report also Looks at State Impacts – The Energy Institute’s report also provides state-level analyses of seven key states. Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Florida, Ohio, and Wisconsin would all see state GDP loses and less employment with EU energy prices. Florida would see the highest number of job losses (377,400) and annual GDP reduction ($28.5 billion), while Indiana households would see the biggest annual increases in energy prices ($5,450 per household.)  The report utilizes publically available data on jobs and production levels and the IMPLAN macro-economic model. A Technical Appendix to the report explains the methodology and sources of data.

HFC Agreement Will Likely Head to Senate for Approval – Last week we highlighted the historic Kigali UN agreement on limited HFCs, and today, our friends at POLITICO are reporting that a State Department official said they are reviewing whether the amendment requires approval as a treaty.  State is saying the deal is an amendment to the Montreal Protocol, and not an “adjustment.” Under the terms of the treaty, adjustments are small technical changes that automatically go into effect, while amendments require ratification by each country. The previous four amendments that were set at international meetings in the 1990s in London, Copenhagen, Montreal and Beijing were all approved by the Senate, the latter two by voice vote.  It seems unlikely that the deal won’t get bipartisan support to win the approval of at least 67 senators since the announcement of the deal in Kigali drew little criticism from Republican senators, unlike the Paris climate agreement.   As we mentioned, both industry (AHRI) and environmental groups (NRDC) all supported the effort.  AHRI CEO Stephen Yurek said the goals are ambitious, but says his industry “is confident we can meet them and continue to provide quality, innovative, energy efficient products and equipment for the benefit of the world’s citizens.”

AGA Releases 2017 Winter Outlook The direct use of natural gas continues to be the most affordable energy option for home heating and offers lower greenhouse gas emissions than other home energy sources. The American Gas Association (AGA) held its annual winter outlook event today where the Association explored expectations for the 2016-17 winter heating season. After an extraordinarily warm winter last year, normal conditions would mean that residential customers this year would use more gas on average and therefore, see slightly higher bills. AGA consumers could experience a nine to eleven percent increase in overall heating bills this winter compared to the 2015-16 winter heating season.  Increased use of natural gas can achieve significant efficiency improvements and carbon emissions reductions. The production of natural gas through its delivery into buildings is more efficient than grid-delivered electricity, propane, or oil. Even as more renewable sources are added to our nation’s electric generation mix, the direct use of natural gas will remain an efficient, affordable and low-carbon option for consumers. Encouraging direct use is therefore a valuable way to meet efficiency and emissions goals.  According to AGA’s Chris McGill, the price of natural gas this winter is largely due to stable production and a strong underground storage position. Utilities work all year to prepare for the possibility of extreme temperatures and employ a portfolio approach to help ensure they can meet the needs of their customers at affordable prices on the coldest days of the year. Natural gas storage levels in the U.S. are nearing four trillion cubic feet and storage can provide as much as 20 percent of all gas consumed during a five-month winter heating season. You can view the entire presentation here.

Furnace Rule Challenged – The U. S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) held a hearing on its Supplemental Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on Energy Conservation Standards for Residential Furnaces.   The American Gas Association (AGA) has said the rule will place an undue burden on far too many low income consumers. AGA said a threshold of 70 kbtu rather than the proposed 55 kbtu – that would provide a superior balance between the goals of achieving energy efficiency nationally and the need to protect vulnerable consumers from unnecessary economic harm.

 

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

Engineers Conference Set for OK –The 34th USAEE/IAEE Conference will be held in Tulsa, OK today through Wednesday. So the U.S. Presidential election will be only two weeks away and the election will be followed by many months of transition, with uncertainty as who will be in charge of what; how policies, spending, and contracting might change; and what expectations for those already working in government agencies will be.  Seasoned policy experts from both sides of the political aisle will offer their perspective on what lies ahead after Election Day.  The full program can be found online here.

Moniz to Headline CSIS Nuclear Conference – CSIS will host Nuclear Energy at a Crossroads conference this afternoon to examine different aspects of the economics of nuclear power generation. Speakers will discuss the characteristics of domestic and global markets where nuclear power is flourishing as well as the relative advantages and disadvantages of nuclear as an electricity generation technology. Where nuclear reactors are being shut down, what are the implications of decommissioning on a national economy. The discussion will also focus on how the rise of new suppliers and emerging global partnerships affect the viability of nuclear power generation and whether there are potential energy security implications. Finally, speakers will explore what low carbon pathways look like with and without nuclear energy.  Energy Secretary Moniz keynotes the lunch session while former NRC commissioner Allison Macfarlane will be among the other speakers.

Book Discussion to Look at Germany Renewables – The Goethe-Institut Washington will hold a book discussion today at 6:30 p.m. on energy democracy and Germany’s Energiewende to Renewables.  Arne Jungjohann, author and political scientist, will discuss the origins of the Energiewende movement in Germany from the Power Rebels of Schönau to German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s shutdown of eight nuclear power plants following the 2011 Fukushima nuclear accident. He will provide insights into how Germans convinced their politicians to pass laws allowing citizens to make their own energy, even though it hurt utility companies to do so. Jungjohann will offer evidence that the transition to renewables is a one-time opportunity to strengthen communities and democratize the energy sector – in Germany and around the world.

IEA to Release Investment Report at CSIS – The CSIS Energy and National Security Program will host the release of the International Energy Agency’s (IEA) inaugural World Energy Investment 2016 report tomorrow.  The report looks at the level of investment in the global energy system in 2015 and will feature Laszlo Varro, Chief Economist at the IEA.  Varro leads the newly-created Economics and Investments Office, which aims to provide sound and consistent energy economics and methodological support for the Agency’s work. Varro also served as IEA Head of Gas, Coal and Power Markets.

Deepwater Project Connection Headline AWEA Offshore Conference – AWEA hosts its annual Offshore WINDPOWER Conference Crown Plaza Hotel Providence-Warwick in Warwick, Rhode Island tomorrow and Wednesday.  It is a historic time as the first U.S. wind farm connects finally to the grid.  Speakers will include Sen Sheldon Whitehouse, RI Gov. Gina Raimondo, BOEM Director Abby Hopper and DOE’s Jose Zayas.  Industry leaders will also speak including Deepwater Wind CEO Jeff Grybowski and Dr. Carolyn Heeps of RES.

ELI Annual Dinner Honors Paulson – The Environmental Law Institute will hold its annual dinner tomorrow where they will honor former Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson at the Omni Shoreham.  As usual, the event will launch in the afternoon at 1:30 p.m. with the Business of Water forum.  ELI and an expert panel of business leaders, legal minds, academics, and nongovernmental advocates for an in-depth discussion about the law, policies, and private initiatives that will play important roles in the future of water resource governance.  Then at 3:30, ELI will host a multidisciplinary panel to discuss some of the complementary mechanisms that will facilitate the transition to a climate sensitive future. With special emphasis on implications and opportunities for law and policy, this discussion promises to add value to the emerging dialogue about what implementing and satisfying the Paris Agreement will mean for private actors and civil society. Experts will participate in a moderated discussion and field questions from the audience.

Atlantic Council to Host Climate Envoy Pershing – The Atlantic Council will host a discussion tomorrow at 11:30 a.m. featuring US Special Envoy for Climate Change Jonathan Pershing.  Pershing will attend this historic conference to help set the agenda for implementation of the goals set by the signatories. Prior to his departure to Marrakech, he will join AC for a discussion on US climate policy priorities at COP22.  Our friend Coral Davenport will moderate the discussion.

Heritage to Host Energy Policy Forum – The Heritage Foundation will host a forum tomorrow at Noon that will look at what an aggressively pro-energy policy would look like.  Recent developments in smart-drilling technologies have led to a dramatic reappraisal of our energy resources. Instead of declining domestic production and ever-increasing dependency on unfriendly petroleum suppliers, the U.S. has the potential to be an energy powerhouse. Speakers will include Dan Simmons of the Institute for Energy Research, Energy In Depth spokesperson Katie Brown and heritage data specialist Kevin Dayaratna.

Forum to Look at Arctic Energy Issus – The Atlantic Council will convene a leading group of officials and experts tomorrow at 3:30 p.m. to address these challenges and take forward the debate on how the opening Arctic region impacts US national security.  Speakers will include White House Arctic Executive Steering Committee member and National Security Council Staff advisor Amy Pope, State’s Special Representative for the Arctic Admiral Robert J. Papp, Jr., former Deputy Under Secretary of Defense Sherri Goodman and several others.

McGinn to Address Energy Forum – The Alliance to Save Energy will host a Policy Perspectives Breakfast Wednesday at 8:30 a.m. at AGA featuring Dennis V. McGinn, Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Energy, Installations and Environment, who has been a leader in the energy and efficiency industry throughout his career. Prior to his appointment by President Obama, Mr. McGinn served as the president of the American Council on Renewable Energy (ACORE), where he led efforts to communicate the significant economic, security and environmental benefits of renewable energy.

Solar Insight Conference Set – GTM will host the U.S. Solar Market Insight Conference tomorrow and Wednesday at the Loews Coronado Bay Resort in San Diego, CA.  The event will provide industry thought leaders and insights into the U.S. solar industry.  NARUC’s Travis Kavulla will speak along with a number of others.

SAFE Panel to Look at AV Policy – Securing America’s Future Energy (SAFE) is convening leading thinkers for a panel discussion on Capitol Hill Wednesday at 11:45 a.m. to review the sweeping impacts of driverless mobility, explore the emerging policy challenges, and discuss the advantages of a hands-off regulatory approach that prioritizes innovation and prosperity.  Robbie Diamond, President and CEO of SAFE, will moderate a conversation that delves into the unique policy challenges that this technology creates. He will be joined by panelists AAM’s Mitch Bainwol, Disability advocate Henry Claypool, American Trucking CEO Chris Spear and Steve LeVine, Author of The Powerhouse and Washington Correspondent for Quartz.

ELI to Host DOI Asst Secretary – Wednesday at Noon, ELI will host a discussion with DOI’s Assistant Secretary for Land & Minerals Management Janice Schneider. In recent months as the Obama Administration reaches its close, the Department of the Interior has launched several regulatory initiatives relating to the public lands and the Outer Continental Shelf. What has the DOI achieved and what remains to be done to cross the finish line?

GW to Host Electricity System Forum – On Wednesday, George Washington University Law School will convene top policy-makers and industry leaders for a one-day conference on the interface of state and federal initiatives addressing the way in which electricity in the U.S. will be produced, delivered and used in the future. The learning sessions will examine the work occurring in Minnesota, California and the Southeast and at FERC, NERC and U.S. DOE. Additional learning sessions will include remarks from a leading consumer advocate and a newer market entrant, plus a lunchtime presentation on grid architecture for the future grid. The facilitated discussion session, in which all are encouraged to participate, will address how federal, state, and local efforts complement or conflict, and seek ideas from the discussion panel and the audience for additional means for coordination across jurisdictions and regions.

Forum to Look at Arctic Policy – The Carnegie Endowment for International Peace will hold a discussion Wednesday at 2:30 p.m. on Arctic policy challenges and opportunities. A distinguished group of Arctic policy leaders and the inaugural cohort of scholars from the Fulbright Arctic Initiative to discuss pressing Arctic policy challenges.

AAAS Enviro Lecture to Feature Lubchenco – The American Association for the Advancement of Science holds the 16th annual Barnard Lecture on Wednesday at 6:00 p.m. looking at current environmental issues. The 2016 lecture is presented by the Honorable Dr. Jane Lubchenco, University Distinguished Professor and Advisor in Marine Studies, Oregon State University, and U.S. Science Envoy for the Ocean, Department of State.

Forum to Look at Paris Commitments – The Information Technology and Innovation Foundation will host a forum on Thursday at 9:00 a.m. to look at the present and future clean energy plans that will help meet the Paris commitments.  ITIF to discuss what the United States has been doing to keep this promise and what may be on the horizon for federal clean energy research, development, and demonstration (RD&D) in the next four years. ITIF will also release a new report on the need for an aggressive, smart energy innovation policy at the event.

CSIS to Host Forum on Energy Security issues – On Thursday at 1:30 p.m., the CSIS Energy and National Security Program holds a discussion on global refining with Fereidun Fesharaki.  The global refining sector is in a period of adjustment that has far reaching implications for investment, regional and global trade, market developments, prices, and security considerations. Today refining assets provide businesses and countries with particular opportunities and advantages but also face challenges. U.S. refineries, among the most complex in the world, export to Latin America and Europe and will soon be exporting large volumes to Asia, which accounts for some two-thirds of the global oil demand growth.

USEA Look at CCS LegislationThe US Energy Assn will host a forum on Thursday at 2:00 p.m. to discuss the Carbon Capture, Utilization and Storage Act (S. 3179), introduced by Sens. Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) and Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV). This act would remove the cap currently on the Section 45Q federal tax credit. In addition, it would increase the value for each ton of CO2 captured and stored from power plants and industrial facilities. Lawmakers from both parties have endorsed this major legislation as it promotes domestic energy security and reduces carbon emissions. The panelists will explain why they support this bill and its significance in accelerating commercial deployment of carbon capture, utilization and storage (CCUS) technologies. Panelists include J with Sen. Capito, Sen. Whitehouse energy advisor Aaron Goldner, Shannon Angielski of the Coal Utilization Research Council, DOE’s David Mohler and Judi Greenwald.  , Deputy Director for Climate, Environment, and Energy Efficiency at DOE.

 

FUTURE EVENTS

Brookings to Look at Post Paris Clean Energy Issues –Next Monday, 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 next Monday 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 next Tuesday 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.

Conference to Focus on Consumers, Cities – On November 1st and 2nd, 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.

CSIS to Look at GHG Issues – The CSIS Energy and National Security Program is hosting an expert discussion on November 2nd 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.

USEA Forum to Look at CCS Future – The US Energy Assn will hold a forum on Thursday, November 3rd 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.

COP 22 Marrakesh – November 7-21

ELECTION DAY – November 8th

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.

Energy Update: Week of September 19

Friends,

With yesterday’s successes at the Emmys, it looks like the OJ Simpson case has returned to the spotlight.  Veep and Game of Thrones also scored big victories.  Jimmy Kimmel’s joke about OJ having a jailhouse watch party was the best of the night with the Matt Damon “apples” line a close second (one of my favorite lines from Good Will Hunting – especially now since Hannah seems to be hanging out in Cambridge on Saturday evenings nowadays).  On the sports front, it was pretty exciting to see hockey back with the opening weekend for the World Cup of Hockey.  I just love the look of the Under 23 North American Team.

The busy times continue this week on Capitol Hill with Congress racing through budgets and energy bill conference discussions, trying to get to an elections sprint (less than 50 days to Election Day).  Also, groups representing rural co-ops, distributed wind developers, air conditioning contractors, Geothermal Heat Pump manufacturers, home builders and others will be on Capitol Hill later in the week to push for extending expiring tax credits for renewables like geothermal heat pumps because they deserve tax parity with the solar/wind tax incentives extended in late-2015.

We expect to see new regulations this week on Autonomous Vehicles from NHTSA.  We are getting to an interesting point where the regulations will impact the way AVs are developed.  Last week, SAFE announced its new commission on the subject with a number of great experts including former NTSB Chair Mark Rosenker, NIH’s Director of Emergency Medicine Dr. Jeremy Brown, former GM exec Bob Lange and Admiral Dennis Blair, among others. The Commission will study and recommend best practices for industry and other parties for testing and early deployment of autonomous vehicles in real-world conditions.  As the rules roll out, let me know if you need resources on the topic.

We also expect the Chamber will release another piece of its new Energy Accountability series this week.  Chamber President Tom Donohue penned a recent op-ed on the “keep it in the ground” movement, pointing to the Energy Institute’s recent Federal lands report. Another report is expected later this week so stay tuned.

The policy issues clash with the campaign trail in Pittsburgh Thursday when Donald Trump speaks at Shale Insight. Trump is scheduled to speak before almost 2,000 attendees, where insiders say he’s likely to delve deeper into a strategy that he first outlined in North Dakota earlier this year.

Finally, the annual SEJ Conference starts Wednesday in Sacramento.  Of course, Bracewell’s PRG will be hosting our annual big reception on Thursday Night to welcome everyone.

CPP Arguments are next Tuesday at the DC Circuit.  Jeff Holmstead and Scott Segal are available to preview the key arguments for you this week.  We can probably also help you find others representing the Chamber and NRECA, so feel free to call with questions.

 

Best,

Frank Maisano

(202) 828-5864

(202) 997-5932

 

FRANKLY SPOKEN

“The technology being deployed at the Kemper County energy facility is tremendously important and highlights the benefits of 21st century coal as part of the full portfolio of energy resources.”

Southern Company Chairman, President and CEO Thomas A. Fanning.

 

IN THE NEWS

POLITICO Story Highlights Rural Co-op Renewable Efforts – A story in POLITICO this morning details ways that some rural electric cooperatives are looking to expand their renewable energy portfolios. Esther Whieldon reports that environmental regulations and the falling cost of renewable power are increasing pressure for cooperatives to add more wind, solar, electricity storage and hydropower to their systems. The cooperatives are trying to keep up with a changing customer base as the rural areas they brought electricity to become more urbanized. But many find their hands tied by supply contracts that typically last 40 years or more, as well as an institutional resistance to policies that can be seen as anti-coal.   NRECA CEO & former Utah Rep. Jim Matheson said “We have a number of our members who are in a number of different circumstances. It’s not our job to prefer one technology over another… It’s our job to make sure our members have the ability to make the best possible decisions, provide the best possible information to their consumers.”

Kemper Project Closes in on Commercial Operation – Southern Company said it has started producing syngas using the second gasifier at the Kemper County energy facility – continuing progress toward the project’s commercial operation.  Syngas is created when the locally-mined lignite is heated at high temperatures in the plant’s gasifiers, converting the coal to gas. The syngas, which is used similarly to natural gas, will produce electricity through the plant’s combustion turbines.  The company announced on July 15 that the project had produced its first syngas, demonstrating the viability of the Transport Integrated Gasification (TRIG™) technology which is being used for the first time at commercial scale at the facility. TRIG™ was developed by Southern Company, KBR and the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) in Wilsonville, Ala. over the past two decades at the Power Systems Development Facility, a research facility operated in partnership between the DOE and Southern Company.  During the coming weeks, the Kemper team will be focused on proceeding toward operation at sustained capacity levels necessary for completion of the activities for the initial operations and testing of the syngas clean-up systems and the production of electricity using syngas. Ahead of using the syngas as fuel, it will be burned off using the plant’s flare stacks.

DTF to Look at Near-Zero Emissions at SEJ – The Diesel Technology Forum will be hosting an exhibition of advanced clean diesel technology and renewable diesel fuel at the Society of Environmental Journalist’s 26th Annual Conference in Sacramento, CA, on Thursday and Friday to showcase the most advanced near-zero emissions technology available in the transportation and off-road industries.  The Forum’s “Meeting the Climate and Clean Air Challenge for the Future” Learning Center brings together the largest and most diverse display of fuel-efficient commercial trucks, top-selling diesel pickup trucks, construction and agricultural machinery, and even a locomotive engine in California – the national leader in advancing clean air and climate protection policies.

CSU Study to Look at Well Emissions – A groundbreaking new study on air pollution from oil and gas wells along Colorado’s Front Range indicates that pollution levels are higher during relatively short periods of time before wells go into production than they are in the years that follow.  Jeffrey Collett, professor and head of Colorado State University’s Department of Atmospheric Science, on Thursday presented the results of the study to the Air Quality Control Commission, part of the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE).

GM to Hopes to Power Facilities With Renewables – General Motors said it is committing to power all of its global operations completely by renewable energy by 2050.  GM said its goal is to generate or source electrical power for 350 facilities in 59 countries with renewable wind, sun and landfill gas energy during the next three-plus decades. This year, GM expects to have 3.8 % of electricity use come from renewable resources.

AHRI Releases July 2016 U.S. Heating and Cooling Equipment Shipment Data – AHRI released data from July 2016 regarding shipments of Residential Storage Water Heaters, Commercial Storage Water Heaters, Warm Air Furnaces and Central Air Conditioners and Air-Source Heat Pumps.   U.S. shipments of residential gas storage water heaters for July 2016 increased 3% to 339,690 units, up from 329,896 units shipped in July 2015. Residential electric storage water heater shipments increased 17.4% in July 2016 to 313,191 units, up from 266,777 units shipped in July 2015.   For the year-to-date, U.S. shipments of residential gas storage water heaters decreased 10.5 percent to 2,492,545, compared to 2,783,727 units shipped during the same period in 2015. Residential electric storage water heater shipments decreased 9.9 percent year-to-date to 2,325,314 units, compared to 2,579,986 units shipped during the same period in 2015.  Commercial gas storage water heater shipments increased 10.2% in July 2016 to 7,874 units, up from 7,143 units shipped in July 2015. Commercial electric storage water heater shipments increased 47.6 percent in July 2016 to 10,328 units, up from 6,999 units shipped in July 2015.  Year-to-date U.S. shipments of commercial gas storage water heaters decreased 1.5% to 59,176 units, compared with 60,071 units shipped during the same period in 2015. Year-to-date commercial electric storage water heater shipments increased 47.0 percent to 73,103 units, up from 49,732 units shipped during the same period in 2015.  U.S. shipments of gas warm air furnaces for July 2016 increased 4% to 230,486 units, up from 221,563 units shipped in July 2015. Oil warm air furnace shipments increased 11.2% to 2,111 units in July 2016, up from 1,899 units shipped in July 2015.   Year-to-date U.S. shipments of gas warm air furnaces increased 5.3% to 1,519,632 units, compared with 1,442,979 units shipped during the same period in 2015. Year-to-date U.S. shipments of oil warm air furnaces decreased 4.5% to 15,282, compared with 16,007 units shipped during the same period in 2015.   U.S. shipments of central air conditioners and air-source heat pumps totaled 785,255 units in July 2016, up 8.1% from 726,607 units shipped in July 2015. U.S. shipments of air conditioners increased 8.7 percent to 551,121 units, up from 506,914 units shipped in July 2015. U.S. shipments of air-source heat pumps increased 6.6 percent to 234,134 units, up from 219,693 units shipped in July 2015. Year-to-date combined shipments of central air conditioners and air-source heat pumps increased 2.7% to 4,774,720 units, up from 4,647,370 units shipped in July 2015. Year-to-date shipments of central air conditioners increased 4.4% to 3,232,815 units, up from 3,095,315 units shipped during the same period in 2015. The year-to-date total for heat pump shipments decreased 0.7% to 1,541,905 units, down from 1,552,055 units shipped during the same period in 2015.

US Solar Installments Grow – Growing 43% year-over-year, the U.S. saw 2,051 MW of solar photovoltaics installed in Q2 2016. According to GTM Research and the Solar Energy Industries Association’s latest U.S. Solar Market Insight report, this marks the eleventh consecutive quarter in which more than 1 GW of PV was installed.  Click here to download the rest of the key findings from the Q3 2016 report.

 

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

AGA Food Truck Highlights NatGas Use – The American Gas Association (AGA) said its natural gas-fueled food truck will be cooking with natural gas and serving free grilled cheese sandwiches around Capitol Hill today through next Friday, September 30th. The modernized food truck will help to demonstrate the relationship between natural gas and daily American life by bringing the benefits of cooking with natural gas to the public during their lunch hour. In order to receive a free grilled cheese, all you have to do is tweet to eat. Follow AGA on Twitter at @aga_naturalgas to get the latest details on the location of the food truck. Show up during lunch, smart phone in hand, and tweet using the hashtag #NatGasFuelsUs. Step up to the window and show your tweet as part of the online dialogue about natural gas to the food truck team and you will receive a grilled cheese of your choice.

Georgetown Nuke Summit Set – The Georgetown University School of Medicine and Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service ‘s Science, Technology & International Affairs (STIA) will host its 2016 Nuclear Security Summit today. The summit focuses on four topics: (1) Nuclear policy & international collaborations; (2) Nuclear security (weapons control); (3) Nuclear security (nuclear power plant safeties); (4) Tools to assess ionizing radiation and its impacts.  Ambassador Robert Gallucci, who served as the Dean of the School of Foreign Service for 13 years until 2009, kindly agreed to present a keynote address for this year’s summit.

SAFE, ATA to Host NatGas Fleet Webinar – Today at Noon, the American Trucking Association and SAFE will host a special Transport Topics LiveOnWeb program on the topic of natural gas technology and the use of natural gas as an alternative transportation fuel for America’s fleets.  The conversation will be headlined by Frederick W. Smith, President and CEO of FedEx Corporation and co-Chair of SAFE’s Energy Security Leadership Council, and T. Boone Pickens, business magnate and financier, as well as Matt Godlewski, President of Natural Gas Vehicles for America.

Groups to Launch Nuclear Report –Today at Noon, the Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung, the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) and the Union of Concerned Scientists will host the U.S. Launch of the 2016 World Nuclear Industry Status Report.  The World Nuclear Industry Status Report 2016 offers valuable insights of the global state of the nuclear industry by providing a comprehensive overview of nuclear plant data, including information on operation, production and construction, as well as an assessment of the financial status of many of the biggest industrial players in the sector.

Conference, Panel to Look at Lower Oil Prices, Impacts – Tonight at 5:00 p.m., the Arab Gulf States Institute in Washington will host a conference on the impact of the protracted period of dramatically lower oil prices on the Gulf Arab states and oil producing countries around the world. This panel concludes the conference, “Petro Diplomacy: Challenges in the New Energy World,” which will focus on key drivers of the oil price outlook, upstream oil investment strategies, economic and energy policy reforms in the GCC, and the impact of lower prices on foreign policy agendas at the regional and global levels. Speakers will present highlights and recommendations from the day’s discussion.

Forum to Look at Energy Storage – YPE, Energy Storage Association, PJM Interconnection and others will host a discussion tonight at 6:00 p.m. focused on the rapidly developing world of energy storage. We will cover the major factors in technology and policy that have influenced the development of the energy storage market to date, and then explore potential drivers of future growth.

Drillers to Host Offshore 101 Forum – The International Association of Drilling Contractors will hold a discussion tomorrow at Noon in 406 Dirksen on Offshore Drilling Rigs 101.

BPC to Host Infrastructure Model Forum in CO – Tomorrow at Noon in Denver, the Bipartisan Policy Center holds a discussion to both explore how Colorado can continue to push the envelope and assess ways to systematically incentivize and implement new infrastructure investment models around the country.  Executive Council on Infrastructure recently released the report Bridging the Gap Together: A New Model to Modernize U.S. Infrastructure, which proposes a framework to unite projects that need funding with private capital that is ready to invest. Colorado has been a national leader in innovative infrastructure delivery, with a number of projects – both in development and completed – that demonstrate the value of partnering with the private sector.  Speakers will include former House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, former HUD Secretary Henry Cisneros and several others.

Hudson to Look at Nuclear Treaty – Tomorrow at 1:30 p.m., Hudson Institute will host a panel to discuss the administration’s circumvention of the Senate on the Nuclear Test Ban Treaty, including the rationale and implications of such action. Former Arizona Sen. Jon Kyl and former Asst Secretary of State Stephen Rademaker will also review some of the reasons the Senate rejected the treaty in 1999 and why those concerns remain valid in the contemporary global environment. Hudson Fellow Rebeccah Heinrichs will moderate the discussion.

Event to Look at Paris Progress – Tomorrow at 5:00 p.m., Climate Advisers CEO Nigel Purvis and E3G CEO Nick Mabey will host a discussion at the National Press Club with government leaders from the United States, Germany and Canada on the transatlantic vision for post-Paris climate ambition. These countries are playing a leadership role in defining the low carbon future, through mid-century strategies they plan to release this year.  The event will highlight the opportunity these groundbreaking strategies provide for setting a global standard for ambition over the long term, and in maintaining momentum on climate action post-COP21 and the Paris Agreement.

Wolf Blitzer Honored at 4th Estate Dinner – Tomorrow night, the National Press Club’s Journalism Institute will host the 44th annual Fourth Estate Award Dinner.  The event will honor longtime CNN anchor Wolf Blitzer.  CNN President Jeff Zucker and many others will toast/roast Blitzer’s career.

House Resource to Look at CEQ GHG Guidance – The House Committee on Natural Resources will hold an oversight hearing Wednesday at 10:00 a.m. on the impacts of the Obama CEQ’s Final Guidance for GHG emissions and the effects of climate change.  Witnesses will include CEQ’s Mike Boots.

House Science Look at DOE Intimidation of Scientists – The House Science Committee’s Subcommittees on Oversight and Energy will hold a joint hearing Wednesday examining misconduct and Intimidation of scientists by DOE officials.  Witnesses will include two DOE scientist who are raising concerns, Dr. Sharlene Weatherwax and Dr. Noelle Metting. The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee will also hold a hearing Thursday on “misconduct and mismanagement” at the National Park Service.  The hearing is part of the panel’s recent scrutiny of the agency and how it handles sexual harassment.

Atlantic Council to Host Inhofe, Whitehouse on Nuclear – The Atlantic Council’s Global Energy Center will host a discussion on Wednesday at Noon on bipartisan legislative efforts to preserve and strengthen US leadership at the cutting edge of nuclear energy technology. Senators Jim Inhofe and Sheldon Whitehouse will address efforts to promote public-private partnerships on advanced nuclear energy technology, to modernize the Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s functions, and to accelerate the development of advanced nuclear reactors in the United States.  Richard Morningstar, Founding Director and Chairman of the Global Energy Center, will deliver welcoming remarks and Ben Geman of the National Journal will moderate the discussion.

Air Regulators Hold Meeting – The Association of Air Pollution Control Agencies’ will hold its 2016 Fall Business Meeting on Wednesday to Friday in Raleigh, North Carolina at the Doubletree by Hilton Hotel – Brownstone – University.  Experts from AAPCA Member agencies and U.S. EPA, including the Office of General Counsel, Air Quality Assessment Division, Air Quality Policy Division, and Health and Environmental Impact Division, will provide updates on topics like best practices, air quality modeling, Clean Air Act legal issues, NAAQS and many other issues.

Forum to Look at Southern Gas Corridor – On Wednesday at 4:00 p.m., the Atlantic Council’s Global Energy Center will convene a panel of experts to discuss the current state of the Southern Corridor and the challenges it faces in the future.  The Southern Gas Corridor has been years in the planning and its proposed completion date (2018-2020 timeframe) is rapidly approaching. Real progress has been made in recent years: confirmation of the route in 2013 and groundbreaking for construction in Turkey and Greece 2016.  But challenges remain, including regional security issues, local opposition along parts of the route, stagnant gas demand in Western Europe, and the decreasing cost of imported liquefied natural gas.

Conservatives to Hold Clean Energy Summit – On Wednesday evening and Thursday, the Christian Coalition and the Young Conservatives for Energy Reform is co-sponsoring an event at the Capitol Hill Hyatt that will bring together grassroots leaders and activists from across the country to hear key leaders from the legislative, military and business communities speak on energy reform and the effects it has on our economy, our national security and our environment.

SEJ Conference Set For Sacramento – The annual Society of Environmental Journalists (SEJ) Conference will be Wednesday to Sunday in Sacramento.  Of course, Bracewell’s PRG will be hosting our annual big reception on Thursday Night to welcome everyone.  There are a number of great panels with BrightSource’s Energy Joe Desmond, former CEQ chief Jim Connaughton, Cal EPA official Mary Nichols and former EPA #2 Bob Perciasepe among those on panels.

NY Ratification Event to Include World Leaders – Well if you thought the Paris Accord was not a treaty, you might not want to attend the event on Wednesday in New York where UN head Ban ki-Moon is asking countries to celebrate the ratification of the Accord.  In a recent letter, Ban asked countries to accelerate your country’s domestic process for ratification of the Agreement this year.  At least 20 countries have indicated they will formally join the Paris Agreement on Wednesday at a United Nations event in New York.

Energy Engineering Congress Set – The 39th World Energy Engineering Congress (WEEC) will be held on Wednesday to Friday at the Walter Washington Convention Center.  The WEEC looks at economic and market forces, new technologies, regulatory developments and industry trends.  Speakers include former Meet The Press host David Gregory, former Shell CEO John Hofmeister, Toyota Reg VP Tom Stricker and Tesla  Technology officer J.B. Straubel.  WCEE and Leaders in Energy will also host a reception on Thursday night of the event.

ASE to Host Efficiency Day on Hill – On Thursday on Capitol Hill, the ASE’s Great Energy Efficiency Day (GEED) will return to discuss the role of energy efficiency in an integrated grid.  For more than a decade, GEED has brought together hundreds of leaders from business, industry, academia and government for robust dialogues on energy efficiency’s most pressing issues.

North American Energy Summit Set – The Wilson Center’s Mexico and Canada Institutes are hosting their Third Annual North American Energy Forum on Thursday at the Wilson Center.  Keynote speaker is Cesar Hernández Ochoa, Mexican Undersecretary of Energy for Electricity in the Ministry of Energy.

House Energy to Look at CAFE Rules – The House Energy and Commerce Committee will hold a hearing Thursday on US fuel efficiency rules to discuss whether the 2022 through 2025 model year requirements are reasonable or require changes.   The committee will review if next generation standards are impacting vehicle choices, raising prices, and most importantly whether they are pushing low-income consumers out of the car-buying market altogether.  Witnesses include EPA Air Chief Janet McCabe, NHTSA Counsel Paul Hemmersbaugh, Global Automakers CEO John Bozzella, Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers CEO Mitch Bainwol, NADA CEO Peter Welch, former OIRA Head and current IU School of Public and Environmental Affairs dean John Graham, John German of the International Council on Clean Transportation and Consumer Federation of America’s Mark Cooper.

CSIS Forum Look at Energy Transition in Germany – On Thursday, CSIS will host a discussion on energy transitions with perspectives on Germany and the United States with Rainer Baake, German State Secretary at the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs & Energy.  White House energy expert Dan Utech and NREL Director Martin Keller will also speak.

Forum to Launch NatGas Book – On Thursday at 12:00 p.m., the Atlantic Council will hold a forum to launch the book, “The Future of Natural Gas Markets & Geopolitics.”  The role of natural gas in the global energy mix has witnessed a remarkable evolution in the past few decades. In this context of rapid changes in the energy market and shifts in geopolitical relationships, The Future of Natural Gas: Markets and Geopolitics provides a comprehensive and rigorous analysis on the role of natural gas in the future global energy mix.

WCEE Forum to Look at Residential Energy Efficiency – The Women’s Council on Energy and the Environment (WCEE) will host a lunch forum on Thursday at the District of Columbia Sustainable Energy Utility to look at residential sector energy use. Introducing innovative energy efficiency technologies in new and existing homes as well as multifamily buildings will contribute to reduce consumers’ energy bills, help address climate change, benefit the environment, and enhance the nation’s energy security.  Implementing energy efficiency practices, performing home energy audits, improving insulation, replacing water heaters and appliances are the most common solutions.   Speakers will include DOE’s Joan Glickman and Megan Houston of the Institute for Marketing Transformation.

JHU Election Forum to Look at Energy Platforms – On Thursday at 4:00 p.m., Johns Hopkins University will host a forum at the Rome Auditorium that will feature a panel will discuss the energy policies of both political parties before the upcoming election.

SHALE INSIGHT Set for Pittsburgh – The Marcellus Shale Coalition will hold its 6th annual SHALE INSIGHT Conference at the Lawrence Convention Center in Pittsburgh, PA.  The focus of this year’s conference is the next phase of the shale revolution and will emphasize end use and connecting the market place through infrastructure. The conference will feature keynote presentations, an interactive and robust exhibit floor, tailored panel discussions, the Technology Showcase and a Natural Gas Use Marketplace, which all present networking opportunities for attendees.

BGov Forum to Look at Nuclear Power – On Friday at 8:00 a.m. Bloomberg BNA and Nuclear Matters will host a breakfast event exploring the clean energy benefits and value of nuclear power. Our distinguished speakers will discuss nuclear energy’s role in cutting emissions as federal and state policies to reduce existing power plant emissions go into effect, and as the Supreme Court considers the Clean Power Plan.

Coal Council CEO to Address Energy Group – The U.S. Association for Energy Economics (USAEE) National Capital Area will host its monthly lunch on Friday featuring Janet Gellici of the National Coal Council.  Gellici will take a hard look at the current state of the coal industry and focus her remarks on market and policy hurdles confronting the coal industry.  She will also provide an overview of initiatives to overcome these challenges, including efforts to advance policy parity for low-carbon technology deployment and markets for CO2 utilization.

 

FUTURE EVENTS

Transmission Forum to Look at Key Western Issues – Infocast’s 8th Transmission Summit West, will be Held on September 26-28 in San Diego, CA at the Marriott La Jolla.  The Summit brings together senior transmission industry owners, operators, generators, regulators, financiers and other key players to address the strategic, regulatory, investment and technology issues facing the industry, and explore strategies for maximizing the true value of their business.

Wilson to Host Climate Conflict Forum – Next Monday at 3:00 p.m., the Woodrow Wilson Center will host a forum as part of an ongoing effort by ECSP to investigate the conflict and peace-building potential of climate change, including two reports: “Backdraft: The Conflict Potential of Climate Change Adaptation and Migration” and A New Climate for Peace: Taking Action on Climate and Fragility Risks.  The event will feature a roundtable discussion on current efforts to understand the potential “backdraft” effect of responses to climate change.

USEA to Look at CCS, Paris – Next Tuesday, USEA will host a forum featuring John Gale of IEA.  Gale will make presentations that will review the outcomes of the Paris Agreement with regard to mitigation needs and the role of CCS in any future mitigation strategies both short term and post 2030. The presentation will assess the research and policy needs to position CCS in future mitigation strategies that countries will provide to the UNFCCC as their Intended National Contributions.  It will examine the role that the IEA Greenhouse Gas R&D Program can play in  meeting those future research/policy needs to ensure that CCS technologies can be deployed effectively to meet both short term and long term climate strategies.

WCEE Forum to Look at Energy Security – The Women’s Council on Energy and the Environment (WCEE) will host a Brown Bag lunch next Tuesday looking at security of the energy industry.  The advance of new technologies and the introduction of new players and new potential interactions on the grid have made the industry very aware of threats and potential game changers. Cyber security and physical security are just two of the constant concerns of those who manage the industry’s assets.  Speakers will be former DOE Officials Jeff Lane and Peter Tseronis, the former Chief Tech Officer.

Clean Power Plan Hits DC Circuit – The D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals is scheduled to hear oral arguments next Tuesday at 1:00 p.m. in a case challenging the Clean Power Plan, the Environmental Protection Agency’s regulation limiting carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from existing power plants. The hearing by the full court is the first time judges will hear arguments on the merits of the rule. Many expect the circuit court decision will be appealed to, and may ultimately be heard by, the U.S. Supreme Court. The Clean Power Plan is on hold while it makes its way through the legal system.

Foxx, Moniz to Host Infrastructure Forum – The Center for American Progress and NextGen Climate America will host a half-day conference on Wednesday September 28th featuring three-panel discussions centered on energy, water, and transportation infrastructure. Our distinguished speakers and experts will discuss how federal policymakers can update America’s infrastructure to create jobs, protect public health, and respond to the intensifying challenges of climate change.  Keynote speakers will include Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx and DOE Secretary Ernest Moniz.

Forum to Review CPP Oral Arguments – The DC Bar and the Environmental Law Institute will host a forum on Wednesday at 1:00 p.m. at Beveridge & Diamond to discuss the oral arguments from the Clean Power plan.  Speakers will include NRDC’s Dave Doniger, Peabody’s Tristan Duncan, WV Solicitor Elbert Lin, and EPA’s Ethan Shenkman.

CSIS to Host Maritime Security Discussion – The Maritime Security Dialogue will be held on October 3rd at 10:00 a.m. and will bring together CSIS and USNI, two of the nation’s most respected non-partisan institutions. The series is intended to highlight the particular challenges facing the Navy, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard, from national level maritime policy to naval concept development and program design. Given budgetary challenges, technological opportunities, and ongoing strategic adjustments, the nature and employment of U.S. maritime forces are likely to undergo significant change over the next ten to fifteen years. The Maritime Security Dialogue provides an unmatched forum for discussion of these issues with the nation’s maritime leaders.  Admiral John M. Richardson, USN Chief of Naval Operations will be the speaker.

Holmstead to Lead BPC Panel on EPA Rule – The Bipartisan Policy Center will hold a forum on Tuesday October 4th for a panel discussion with leading legal experts to unpack the arguments presented to the circuit court on September 27 in a case challenging EPA’s Clean Power Plan.  They will also be asked to read the tea leaves on the judges’ questions and reactions.  Speakers will include my Colleague Jeff Holmstead, Hunton’s Allison Wood, NRDC’s David Doniger and Chris Courchesne of the Massachusetts AG’s Office.

Rogers Headlines New Energy Summit – The 2016 New Energy Summit will be held in Washington at the House of Sweden on October 17-18, 2016 in Washington, DC. The 4th annual event will cover such topics as tax equity, community solar, net metering, and more. This year’s event will also feature a roster of pioneers, innovators and industry champions including Jigar Shah – Co-Founder of Generate Capital, Jim Rogers – Former CEO of Duke Energy, and Reed Hundt – Co-Founder of Coalition for Green Capital.

CIBO Meeting Set – The Council of Industrial Boiler Owners (CIBO) will hold its annual meeting on October 18-19th In Woodstock, Vermont.  The meeting will consider the energy and environmental questions corporate and institutional CEO’s and Government legislative and regulatory leaders will be asking in the upcoming year as well as discuss the broader energy and environmental issues that could be impacting overall corporate operations and planning in the near term.

Conference to Focus on Consumers, Cities – On November 1st and 2nd, 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.

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.

Energy Update: Week of July 18

Friends,

Given all that is going on around the globe, I hope you were able to watch the final round of the British Open yesterday.  It was a riveting conclusion to a great golf championship where both Phil Mickelson and Henrik Stenson – both in their 40s – performed at their best.  And when it was over, the class and sportsmanship by each player was a testament to respect and honor.  One could only hope that kind of spirit could invade our political debate.

Speaking of the political debate, it’s showtime in Cleveland for the RNC.  I am heading up there later today.  Not a whole lot of energy action at the convention in Cleveland, but our friend Jay Faison will be on several panels that will look at energy issues.  Tomorrow at 10:00 a.m., he and others will visit with Steve Mufson at the Washington Post’s Cleveland HQ.  On Wednesday, POLITICO hosts an energy talk with Faison and ND Rep. and early Trump supporter Kevin Cramer.   Finally, on Wednesday at 5:00 p.m., BPC will host s a forum on priorities and policies at Heinen’s in Cleveland.  Though Trump has said little comprehensively on energy policy, experts seem to think that his administration energy policy would differ markedly from a renewables/climate-focused taken by a Clinton administration. One speaker on the schedule in Continental O&G CEO Harold Hamm, who hosted Trump in North Dakota earlier this year.

Another group there in full force is the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA), who along with grabbing Jim Matheson as its new CEO, also recently launched a major initiative to enhance voter engagement with its “Co-ops Vote” campaign.  The effort is aimed at boosting voter turnout in areas served by cooperatives by encouraging electric co-op employees and their consumer members to exercise voting rights and support rural communities.  Meanwhile, our friend Debbie Wing is stepping up to a great new gig with the Farm Credit Council as their Executive Vice President for National Communications and Reputation Management.  Congrats Deb!!!

As a lead in to the Convention, Republican Candidate Donald Trump named Indiana Gov. (and former conservative Rep.) Mike Pence to be his running mate.  Pence is an Interesting guy and is well-liked in many political circles.  If you want the download on Pence, tune in to the best Pence expert in DC, CNN’s Tom Lobianco (@tomlobianco on Twitter).  Lobi covered Pence when he was in Indianapolis writing and covering politics for AP and the Indy Star.  You’ll be hard-pressed to find anyone who knows him better.

There is a really good event in DC tomorrow at CSIS when Pioneer Oil & Gas CEO Scott Sheffield discusses developments in the U.S. onshore oil and gas industry. On Thursday, USEA will host a forum on advanced fossil fuels featuring Neil Kern of Duke Energy, AWEA’s Peter Kelley addresses the National Economists Club and C2ES hosts a webinar looking at financing climate resilience.

Finally, overseas in Vienna this week, the big negotiating begins on efforts to limit the super-warming chemicals called hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) under the Montreal Protocol.  The first phase of the nine-day negotiating session ended favorably in the early hours of Sunday morning with agreement on key “challenges and solutions.” This week, countries to focus on several key central issues:  ambitious schedules for freezing and phasing down HFC production and use in both developed and developing countries, and financial assistance to help developing countries achieve their phase-down commitments.  The HVAC industry has been a strong player in these negotiations and AHRI President Steve Yurek is there and happy to provide insights from Vienna.  Please let us know if you have questions.

Hope everyone travels and stays safe this week and next, as well as has some fun at the conventions.  Remember, our PRG team will be covering elections closely and offering our analysis running up to and following the November vote.  So stay in touch on the topic.

Best,

 

Frank Maisano

(202) 828-5864

(202) 997-5932

 

FRANKLY SPOKEN

“Producing syngas from Mississippi’s own abundant natural resource – lignite – should be encouraging to our customers, communities and energy companies around the world. This proves that Kemper’s technology can provide a way forward for coal and puts us a step closer to full plant operation.”

Mississippi Power President/CEO Anthony Wilson.

 

IN THE NEWS

HFC Talks Proceeding in Vienna – Nearly 40 ministers are in Vienna participating in the negotiations on cutting down hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), which are the fastest growing greenhouse gases in many countries.  Used as replacements for ozone-depleting substances, HFCs are used in refrigeration, air conditioning, insulation, aerosols, solvents and fire protection products. Successful talks in Vienna could lead to an agreement when the Parties meet in Kigali, Rwanda, in October 2016. Such an agreement will help establish an early, clear and ambitious schedule to phase down HFCs, improve appliance energy efficiency and slow global warming.   NRDC’s Dave Doniger has a great synopsis of the first few days in HuffPost.   AHRI President Steve Yurek is also in Vienna on behalf of the HVAC industry which has played a strong role in the negotiations and supports the phase down.

Kemper Starts Producing Syngas – The Kemper County Energy Facility has begun producing syngas from lignite coal, developer Mississippi Power said Friday.  An integral aspect of the plant’s operations, syngas is created when locally mined lignite is heated at high temperatures in the plant’s gasifiers, converting the coal to gas. To produce electricity, the plant is designed to use syngas similarly to natural gas to power a turbine. The facility is designed to capture at least 65% of carbon dioxide, with resulting emissions better than a similarly sized natural gas plant.  The TRIG™ coal gasification technology deployed at the plant was jointly developed by Southern Company, KBR and the U.S. Department of Energy over the past two decades at the Power Systems Development Facility, an Alabama-based research facility operated by Southern Company. The successful production of syngas is an important step in the systematic process of achieving the facility’s full commercial operation. During the coming weeks, the Kemper project team also will be focused on starting up and integrating various systems needed to achieve the next major milestone – using syngas to produce electricity at the plant.  The plant, designed to be a new-build, integrated gasification combined cycle (IGCC) coal-fired power plant, has been producing electricity with natural gas since August 2014.

NRECA, Energy to Improve Cyber Security – The Energy Department said last week it will spend $15 million to help the private sector improve its cybersecurity culture.  The funds, which Congress must approve, will help the American Public Power Association and the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association train employees, produce documentation, and strengthen policies to reduce cyber risks, as well as site assessments and drills. NRECA said Cooperatives understand that no utility is immune from attack and that protecting the electric grid is a challenge the utility sector must solve. By collaborating with these partners, and giving the nation’s more than 900 co-ops access to advanced cybersecurity technology and training, all boats can be lifted.  Over the next three years, NRECA will use the $7.5 million award to develop security tools, educational resources, updated guidelines and training materials.  Continued investments in the people, processes and technology needed to secure critical infrastructure will strengthen the ability of NRECA’s members to meet rapidly changing cybersecurity threats.

SAFE Letter on Autonomous Vehicles Lands in NYT – SAFE had a letter in the NY Times on Sunday addressing a recent op-ed article regarding autonomous vehicle issues.  Robbie Diamond, CEO and founder of Securing America’s Future Energy (SAFE) and SAFE Autonomous Vehicle Initiative director Amitai Bin-Nun said in the wake of the Tesla Autopilot fatality and continuing National Highway Traffic Safety Administration investigation, Times Reporters Michael Sivak and Brandon Schoettle make the important, if perhaps self-evident, point that self-driving cars must be certified safe before public use. The real question for policy makers, however, is what constitutes an appropriately “safe” autonomous vehicle. Our current transportation system exacts a terrible toll: More than 35,000 people died on American roads in 2015, an almost 8% increase over 2014, and the system is almost completely dependent on petroleum, constraining American foreign policy and exposing our servicemen and women to conflict.  They say autonomous vehicles have the potential to reduce traffic fatalities, expand mobility access to millions, and enhance national and economic security by building a fuel-diverse transportation system. These benefits compel the deployment of autonomous vehicles once their safety matches today’s cars with all their flaws. Imposing excessive regulation and barriers to deployment runs contrary to the national interest.

Platts Capitol Crude Looks at Fracking – This week’s Capitol Crude podcast looks at natgas drilling and the impact of the recent efforts On “Keep it in the Ground” surrounding the Democratic Platform. Recent, the President’s top science advisor has called the movement unrealistic. Has the movement to stop the historic growth of US shale oil and gas lost its momentum? And how does a federal judge’s recent decision to overturn the administration’s regulations of fracking impact the movement’s path forward? Platts Brian Scheid gets perspective on the issue from Earthjustice’s Michael Freeman and Western Energy Alliance’s Kathleen Sgamma.  And its only Scheid this week because his partner in crime at Platts, Herman Wang has launched to London to cover OPEC for Platts.  Congrats to Herman and get some fish & chips, a Shepard’s pie or Chicken Tikka Masala for me…

 

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

Republican Convention – Cleveland will host the Republican Convention at the Quicken Loans Arena starts today running through Thursday.  The Republican National Committee (RNC) says the convention will host approximately 2,470 delegates and 2,302 alternate delegates from all 50 states, the District of Columbia and five territories. Jeff Larson, CEO of the 2016 Republican National Convention released an updated program for the “Make America Great Again” convention that will include veterans, political outsiders, faith leaders and presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump’s family members will lead an unconventional lineup of speakers who have real-world experience.  You can see the full line up for each night here.

BGov Holds Climate Forum at RNC –  Bloomberg Government and Defend Our Future holds a discussion today at Noon on the future of climate change in the Republican Party at the RNC in Cleveland.

Education, Energy Conference Set – The 2016 Energy Conference for Educators will continue today through Thursday at the Hyatt Regency Crystal City.  The event brings together educators that are passionate about bringing energy education to their classrooms. In five interactive days in Washington, D.C., the conference provides teachers with the most up-to-date information on all aspects of energy including the science of energy, sources of energy, transportation, electricity, efficiency and environmental and economic impacts.  Participants receive the training and materials to implement innovative hands-on energy units in their classrooms, multi-disciplinary teams, and after-school programs. They also receive the materials, training and support to conduct in-services in their areas to introduce the NEED program to others. NEED leaders at the conference help participants develop specialized units that meet state standards and can be utilized with students of all learning styles.

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

Forum to Look at Bioenergy – The Environmental and Energy Study Institute (EESI) will host a forum tomorrow at 1:30 p.m. in 1300 Longworth assessing the ability of the United States to sustainably produce 1 billion tons of renewable non-food biomass every year. This could potentially displace more than 30 percent of the country’s petroleum consumption. The briefing will focus on key findings from volume 1 of the 2016 Billion-Ton Update, which examines the technical feasibility of a billion-ton annual biomass supply chain by 2040. The 2016 report, to be released at the Bioenergy 2016 conference in mid-July, builds and expands on previous Billion-Ton studies, released in 2005 and 2011 by the Department of Energy’s Bioenergy Technologies Office (BETO).  Speakers for this forum DOE’s Alison Goss Eng, USDA Bioenergy Chief Scientist Valerie Reed and USDA Energy Policy Director Harry Baumes.

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

Wilson Forum to Look at Paris Climate Goals in Latin America – Tomorrow at 3:00 p.m., the Woodrow Wilson Center hosts a forum looking at the Paris climate agreement and the role of Latin American countries. How are Latin American countries confronting climate change? What are the prospects for the implementation of the Paris Agreement in Latin America? What are the main factors which might speed up or undermine the transition to low-emission and resilient economies in the region? All questions to be addressed by experts in the region.

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

BPC Hosts Energy Discussion in Cleveland – The Bipartisan Policy Center (BPC) and Milken Institute are hosting a series of policy forums with business and political leaders at the Republican National Convention. On Wednesday at 5:00 p.m. at Heinen’s in Downtown Cleveland, they will host cocktails and hors d’oeuvres as they discuss entrepreneurship and economic growth, infrastructure and energy policy, global competitiveness and tax policy, and medical and health innovation.  Jay Faison will be speaking on the energy topics.

Webinar to explore financing climate resilience – The Center for Climate and Energy Solutions (C2ES) hosts a webinar, Thursday at Noon looking at financing climate resilience. Extreme weather events and disasters are already impacting our infrastructure. The need to update infrastructure provides an opportunity to build in climate resilience. This webinar will explore options for financing resilience and will feature an interactive discussion with experts in the field about opportunities and potential challenges. Speakers will include HUD’s Bruce Ciallella, expert Shalini Vajjhala, C2ES expert Katy Maher and Fatima Maria Ahmad.  You can register here.

AWEA’s Kelley to Address Economists – The National Economists Club hosts AWEA’s Peter Kelley on Thursday at Noon at the Chinatown Garden Restaurant to discuss clean energy economics and the rapid change ahead.  Wind power is one of the biggest, fastest, cheapest ways to reduce carbon pollution and solve our climate challenge. Electricity generated from wind now costs two-thirds less than in 2009, so it’s already saving U.S. consumers billions of dollars a year on their energy bills. Wind is making enough electric power for 20 million homes today, and can be the largest source of electricity in America by mid-century.

Forum to Look at Climate and Private Sector Implications –On Thursday at Noon, the Global America Business Institute (GABI), in collaboration with the Korea Institute of Energy Research, will discuss and present information on “Inclusive Development & Climate Change: Implications for the Private Sector,” with Dr. Arun Kashyap as the guest speaker. As development and economic growth continue throughout the world, implications for the private sector become even greater, particularly with respect to climate change and clean energy innovation. Dr. Kashyap will present on how to integrate analysis and implement evidence based initiatives, create partnerships, and innovate to foster equity, strengthen welfare, and build resilience for marginalized households and communities in developing and middle-income countries within the confines of the Paris Agreement on Climate Change, as the international community works to develop and deploy alternative, clean energy.

USEA to Host Duke Energy Exec on Advanced Fossil Fuels – On Thursday at 2:00 p.m., USEA will host a forum on advanced fossil fuels.  Neil Kern of Duke Energy will review some of the factors impacting today’s utility business models and the resulting new demands being placed on central generation plants. As renewable energy deployment increases and movement towards lower carbon footprints continues, central station operating profiles are fundamentally changing. New technologies must be developed to maintain grid reliability and enable this transition. The presentation will discuss some of the advanced generation technologies, including supercritical CO2 and CCUS, being developed to address these new challenges while identifying their benefits, research gaps, and what  needs to be done to encourage adoption by industry.

 

FUTURE EVENTS

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

AAAS Forum to Look at Human Rights, Climate – Next Monday, July 25th starting at 8:30 a.m., the American Association for the Advancement of Science will hold a day-long forum on the human rights implications of climate change and the contributions scientists, engineers, and health professionals can make towards addressing these concerns.  The sessions will highlight examples of scientific research that is contributing to human rights-based policies for climate change prevention, mitigation, adaptation, and community relocation. In addition, panelists will share models for collaborative climate research in partnership with vulnerable communities. Coalition meetings convene scientists, engineers, and health professionals with human rights leaders and policy makers to discuss emerging issues at the nexus of science and human rights. The Coalition serves as a catalyst for the increased involvement of scientific, engineering, and health associations and their members in human rights-related activities.   The main speaker will be Robert Bullard, Dean of the Barbara Jordan-Mickey Leland School of Public Affairs at Texas Southern University.

Heritage, CEI Look at Biofuel Programs – The Heritage Foundation hosts a panel discussion next Tuesday on repealing the Renewable Fuel Standard and other Biofuel Programs. U.S. biofuels policy is a case study in the unintended consequences of government intervention. In contrast to what politicians and special interest groups promised, biofuel policies have increased costs to taxpayers and drivers, had little-to-no impact on oil prices, hurt rural economies, and had unforeseen environmental costs. This panel will provide background on the RFS and other biofuels programs, analyzing the many harmful effects of these federal policies. Does the RFS reduce dependence on foreign oil? What impact does it have on food prices? What environmental harms are caused as a result of the RFS? Does the RFS actually hurt agricultural producers? The presenters will answer these questions and identify several critical solutions.  Speakers will include Heritage’s Nick Loris, CEI’s Marlo Lewis and Dan Simmons of the Institute for Energy Research.

Forum to Look at Emissions at Chinese Ports – The Wilson Center’s China Energy Foundation (CEF) will host a panel discussion next Tuesday at 9:30 a.m. with Green Port experts as they assess how China’s new policies and on-the-ground efforts—such as port/vessel emissions inventories and emission control zones—are reducing pollution and climate emissions at major Chinese ports. Dr. Peng Chuansheng (China Waterborne Transport Research Institute) will lead the discussion in exploring how and why China is taking action on green ports. Ms. Freda Fung (Natural Resources Defense Council) will highlight Hong Kong’s successes in controlling port pollution and discuss needed incentives for green port/vessel technology development and emission compliance in China. Dr. Dan Rutherford (ICCT) will draw on a port study in Shenzhen produced for the China Environment Forum to discuss how shore power and fuel-switching offer critical solutions in reducing port emissions in China.   This meeting – part of CEF’s Choke Point: Port Cities initiative – is co-sponsored with the International Council on Clean Transportation (ICCT) and the Wilson Center’s Kissinger Institute on China and the United States.

NatGas Roundtable Hosts BGE Exec – The Natural Gas Roundtable is hosting Calvin Butler Jr., Chief Executive Officer of the Baltimore Gas and Electric Company (BGE), as its speaker at the next NatGas Roundtable luncheon at the University Club on Tuesday July 26th. Butler became chief executive officer of the Baltimore Gas and Electric Company on March 1, 2014 after serving as BGE’s senior vice president, regulatory and external affairs.

USEA to Host Global Nuke Discussion – The US Energy Assn will host a forum on Tuesday, July 26th at 2:00 p.m. looking at the global nuclear landscape to 2040 and the US role will be.  Affordable baseload electricity is crucial for countries to sustain the high level of economic growth they have experienced during the last decade. Government support, via regulations and financing, has been pivotal to the accelerated growth of nuclear energy. In China and India, as well as most of Asia and Europe, government enterprises are responsible for the construction and operation of nuclear power plants. The US cannot idly let its leadership position wither away in the global nuclear energy landscape. In the nuclear arena, leadership cannot be simply “restored” based on the old “push” model of Supply-side dominance from the 20th Century. Urban demand-side factors outside Europe and North America now are pulling nuclear power construction forward in the 21st Century to satisfy burgeoning electric demand, primarily in Asian cities, and for growing populations and water needs in the Middle East and Africa. USA and allies must redefine leadership in nuclear energy via international partnerships and alliances that are unfolding now. Speaker Andrew Paterson of the Environmental Business International will address the topic.

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

ELI Forum Look at Distributed Solar Battles – On Wednesday, July 27th, ELI will host a forum on the recent changes in net metering policies and the future of distributed solar at the D.C. Bar Conference Center.  Thousands of Nevada consumers purchased solar arrays expecting to sell their electricity back to the grid at the same rates they pay for power – called “net-metering.” Solar companies expected to continue booming sales – and leasing – based on this high rate of return. That all changed last December when the Nevada Public Utility Commission significantly reduced net-metering rates. Existing customers were furious and sales of new systems basically ground to a halt. A few months later, after a similar fight, the California Public Utilities Commission reached a different result, maintaining full net-metering rates until 2019. And just this April, a coalition including Con Edison, Solar City, and Sunpower, Inc., submitted a net-metering proposal to the New York Public Service Commission billed as a breakthrough in utility-solar collaboration. The coalition claims their proposal will continue to incentivize residential solar while also providing utilities with protections necessary to insure that distributed solar will not cause the ever-dreaded Death Spiral for the utility industry.  These recent developments are only a sample of the debates raging before Public Utility Commissions across the country, where numerous proposals to change net-metering policies are pending, with important implications for the future of residential solar. Please join us for a panel discussion of these ongoing developments.

Fanning, Moniz, Daschle Headline DNC BPC Energy Event – The Bipartisan Policy Center will host a forum at the Democratic National Convention in Phily. The discussion will feature some of our nation’s most influential leaders on energy innovation as we discuss the respective roles of the public and private sectors in realizing the full potential of this opportunity as well as growing congressional support for energy innovation.  The event will feature Southern’s Tom Fanning, former Senate leader Tom Daschle, and Energy Secretary Ernie Moniz.

Annual Enviro Superconference Set for Austin – The 28th annual Texas Environmental Superconference is set for August 4th and 5th at the Four Seasons in Austin, TX.  This year’s theme is Yogi Berra quotes and the conference is fittingly entitled “It’s like déjà vu all over again”; each topic has an appropriate quote assigned to it.   The event is co-sponsored by the State Bar of Texas Environmental and Natural Resources Law Section, the Air & Waste Management Association – Southwest Section, the Water Environment Association of Texas, the Texas Association of Environmental Professionals, The Auditing Roundtable, and the American Bar Association Section of Environment, Energy, and Resources. Bracewell will be hosting an event on Thursday, August 4th during the superconference with cocktails, small bites and a live performance by Quiet Company.  Speakers will include Gary Jonesi of EPA’s Enforcement office and Bryan Shaw of TCEQ, as well as Bracewell enviro experts Tim Wilkins and Kevin Collins.  See more on the event here.

Power-Gen Forum Set for Columbus – Regardless of the Democratic Platform challenge of natgas, Pennwell will host Mark McCullough, Executive Vice President, American Electric Power to discuss the growing role in natural gas in power generation at the upcoming GenForum scheduled August 22nd in Columbus, Ohio. The half-day event is connected with PennWell’s POWER-GEN/Natural Gas.

 

Energy Update: Week of July 11

Friends,

It has been a bizarre week and there are few words that I can connect to make sense of it.  I can’t say it any better than Dallas Police Chief David Brown did yesterday in a lengthy interview (here is link for Part II) with CNN’s Jake tapper.  I highly recommend you review it.  Not only were we impacted by the tragedy in Dallas, we in the DC policy community suffered our own tragic loss when RFF’s Molly Macauley was tragically lost to senseless violence late Friday.  We offer our sympathies to her family, our friends at RFF and all those who knew her as a colleague.  These times are difficult times.

Serena Williams and Andy Murray both rolled to straight set victories at Wimbledon and tomorrow, Major League Baseball hosts its 87th mid-summer All-Star Classic in San Diego.  Home Run Contest is tonight.

The Democratic Platform crossed another milestone over the weekend in Orlando.  Those following the energy-related aspects of the process featuring activist Bill McKibbon, Josh Fox and others over “keep it in the ground” and other climate-related issues should feel free to call. We have folks that can address the topic.  Democrats seemed have given in to the progressive wing on nearly all issues despite falling short of calling for a national moratorium on natgas drilling.

This week Congress continues to roll to its summer election-year recess.  It looks like we may see a vote to send energy legislation to a conference and finalize a few more environmental budget bills.   The Congressional Renewable Energy Expo will also start tomorrow and House Resources digs into Colorado shale tomorrow, renewable energy on public lands legislation on Wednesday and past renewable projects like Ivanpah on Thursday.

The main event this week is today and tomorrow’s EIA Annual Energy Conference, which will feature Tesoro CEO Greg Goff and several others.

One week until the GOP Convention in Cleveland…Two weeks to Democratic Convention Philadelphia. We will have teams at both events and are covering the action.  And only four weeks now until the launch of the Summer Olympics In Rio.   Finally, remember our PRG team will be covering elections closely and offering our analysis running up to and following the November vote.  So stay in touch on the topic.

 

Best,

Frank Maisano

(202) 828-5864

(202) 997-5932

 

FRANKLY SPOKEN

“We have produced by far the most progressive platform that this party has seen in multiple generations.”

Connecticut Gov. Dan Malloy (D), co-chairman of the Democratic platform committee.

 

IN THE NEWS

Cabot to Supply NatGas for New PA Power Plant – Cabot Oil & Gas will provide natural gas to a new gas-fired power plant in Pennsylvania under a 10-year agreement.   Cabot will supply Invenergy’s 1,500MW Lackawanna Energy Center power plant in Lackawanna county.  Billed as one of the most efficient power plants in the country, the Lackawanna Energy Center power plant will start full-scale operations by the end of 2018.  Dan Dinges, the company’s top executive, said the agreement is unique in that it will power a state-of-the-art facility from natural gas “directly in our backyard.”

Dems Finalization Uber Progressive Platform – The Washington Post reports from swelter Orlando that the Democratic Party shifted further to the left in one election than perhaps since 1972, embracing once-unthinkable stances on carbon pricing, police reform, abortion rights, the minimum wage and the war on drugs. It did so with very little ideological resistance and a lot of comity between the supporters of Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton.  Dems approved language that while not outright banning natural gas drilling, it prioritized the building of solar and wind plants before natural-gas facilities. That change contradicted eight years of consensus that natural gas was a “bridge” to energy independence.

New Documents Show AGs Block Access – New responses from state Attorneys General offices (OAGs) obtained by the Energy & Environment Legal Institute (E&E Legal) and the Free Market Environmental Law Clinic (FME Law) confirm that the coalition of Democratic Attorneys General using racketeering laws to investigate universities, climate scientists, free market think tanks and energy companies are hiding behind a contract with each other — also apparently with outside activists helping the campaign — to avoid releasing public records relating to their pursuit of political opponents.  This confirms suggestions in prior emails, obtained under state open records laws, that the AGs had entered what they are calling a Common Interest Agreement (CIA), with green activists and other AGs, and are using this contract of nondisclosure among themselves to keep public records regarding their RICO push from the public.  CIAs are common instruments, but what the AGs and green groups have attempted is not; nor is keeping the pact itself from the public normal.  To be legitimate, parties to a common interest agreement must have imminent litigation, a clear scope and clearly shared interests.  Instead, documents obtained to date show that these AGs and their green-group colleagues with inherently disparate interests have entered not a legitimate CIA, but a pact of secrecy, covering broad topics, not specific matters, simply to avoid scrutiny of otherwise public records relating to their extraordinarily controversial abuse of political opponents’ First Amendment rights.

API: Oil Completions Drop in 2Q – The American Petroleum Institute (API) estimates in its 2016 Quarterly Well Completion Report that US oil well completions fell 69% in the second quarter compared with year-ago levels.  Estimated exploratory gas well completions in the second quarter decreased 84% year-over-year. So far this year, development well footage has declined 53% while exploratory well footage has declined 64%, the report indicates.

 

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

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

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

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

WFI Hosts Climate Film Screening – The Washington Film Institute invites you to a Special Screening Event hosted by Participant Media and Congressman Ted Lieu: “Merchants of Doubt.”  The movie takes audiences on a satirically comedic, yet illuminating ride into the heart of conjuring American spin on climate change and other public threats.   A panel discussion follows the movie with U.S. Rep. Ted Lieu (CA-33), Dr. Naomi Oreskes, Bob Inglis – Executive Director of Republicen.org, Greg Dotson – VP of Energy Policy at the Center for American Progress, and remarks by Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (RI).

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

House Resources to Look at CO Shale – The House Natural Resources Committee’s Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources will hold an oversight hearing tomorrow on the opportunities and challenges of developing Colorado’s Mancos Shale Resource.  Witnesses will include Gunnison Energy CEO Robert Downey, Carbondale, CO Rancher Bill Fales, USGS Energy Resource Director Walter Guidroz, Program Coordinator and Mesa County Commissioner Rose Pugliese.

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

Senate Energy to Look at Infrastructure Legislation – The Senate Energy Committee’s Subcommittee on Energy will hold a hearing tomorrow to receive testimony on S. 3018, the Securing Energy Infrastructure Act, and to examine protections designed to guard against energy disruptions. Witnessed include DOE’s Patricia Hoffman,  NRECA Board Member and Arkansas Electric Cooperative Corporation Duane Highley, EPRI’s Rob Manning and Brent Stacey of the Idaho National Laboratory.

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

House Resources to Look Renewables on Public Lands – The House Natural Resources Committee’s Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources will hold a Legislative Hearing Wednesday at 2:00 p.m. on H.R. 2663 (Rep. Paul Gosar), to promote the development of renewable energy on public land, and for other purposes.”

Former Petrobras Exec Discusses Brazil Energy – On Thursday at 9:00 a.m., the Atlantic Council will host a forum with former Petrobras CEO Decio Oddone.  As Brazil continues down the path of political uncertainty, the promise of its energy sector has been thrown into question. With state-owned Petrobras still reeling from political scandal, is the country’s energy sector — once heralded as the key to its economic expansion — down for the count? Or, amid the downturn, does the oil and gas sector hold unprecedented opportunity? What does the interim Brazilian government need to achieve to ensure a light at the end of tunnel?

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

House Resources will Look at Ivanpah, Other BLM Projects – The House Natural Resources Committee’s Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations will convene an oversight hearing on Thursday at 10:00 a.m. on the status of Ivanpah and other Federal Loan-Guaranteed Solar Energy Projects on BLM management lands.

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

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

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

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

Education, Energy Conference Set – The 2016 Energy Conference for Educators will be held Sunday, July 17 to Thursday, July 21st at the Hyatt Regency Crystal City.  The event brings together educators that are passionate about bringing energy education to their classrooms. In five interactive days in Washington, D.C., the conference provides teachers with the most up-to-date information on all aspects of energy including the science of energy, sources of energy, transportation, electricity, efficiency and environmental and economic impacts.  Participants receive the training and materials to implement innovative hands-on energy units in their classrooms, multi-disciplinary teams, and after-school programs. They also receive the materials, training and support to conduct in-services in their areas to introduce the NEED program to others. NEED leaders at the conference help participants develop specialized units that meet state standards and can be utilized with students of all learning styles.

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

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

Forum to Look at Bioenergy – The Environmental and Energy Study Institute (EESI) will host a forum on Tuesday July 19th at 1:30 p.m. in 1300 Longworth assessing the ability of the United States to sustainably produce 1 billion tons of renewable non-food biomass every year. This could potentially displace more than 30 percent of the country’s petroleum consumption. The briefing will focus on key findings from volume 1 of the 2016 Billion-Ton Update, which examines the technical feasibility of a billion-ton annual biomass supply chain by 2040. The 2016 report, to be released at the Bioenergy 2016 conference in mid-July, builds and expands on previous Billion-Ton studies, released in 2005 and 2011 by the Department of Energy’s Bioenergy Technologies Office (BETO).  Speakers for this forum DOE’s Alison Goss Eng, USDA Bioenergy Chief Scientist Valerie Reed and USDA Energy Policy Director Harry Baumes.

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

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

Webinar to explore financing climate resilience – The Center for Climate and Energy Solutions (C2ES) hosts a webinar, Thursday, July 21st at Noon looking at financing climate resilience. Extreme weather events and disasters are already impacting our infrastructure. The need to update infrastructure provides an opportunity to build in climate resilience. This webinar will explore options for financing resilience and will feature an interactive discussion with experts in the field about opportunities and potential challenges. Speakers will include HUD’s Bruce Ciallella, expert Shalini Vajjhala, C2ES expert Katy Maher and Fatima Maria Ahmad.  You can register here.

USEA to Host Duke Energy Exec on Advanced Fossil Fuels – On Thursday July 21st at 2:00 p.m., USEA will host a forum on advanced fossil fuels.  Neil Kern of Duke Energy will review some of the factors impacting today’s utility business models and the resulting new demands being placed on central generation plants. As renewable energy deployment increases and movement towards lower carbon footprints continues, central station operating profiles are fundamentally changing. New technologies must be developed to maintain grid reliability and enable this transition. The presentation will discuss some of the advanced generation technologies, including supercritical CO2 and CCUS, being developed to address these new challenges while identifying their benefits, research gaps, and what  needs to be done to encourage adoption by industry.

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

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

Annual Enviro Superconference Set for Austin – The 28th annual Texas Environmental Superconference is set for August 4th and 5th at the Four Seasons in Austin, TX.  This year’s theme is Yogi Berra quotes and the conference is fittingly entitled “It’s like déjà vu all over again”; each topic has an appropriate quote assigned to it.   The event is co-sponsored by the State Bar of Texas Environmental and Natural Resources Law Section, the Air & Waste Management Association – Southwest Section, the Water Environment Association of Texas, the Texas Association of Environmental Professionals, The Auditing Roundtable, and the American Bar Association Section of Environment, Energy, and Resources. Bracewell will be hosting an event on Thursday, August 4th during the superconference with cocktails, small bites and a live performance by Quiet Company.  Speakers will include Gary Jonesi of EPA’s Enforcement office and Bryan Shaw of TCEQ.  See more on the event here.

Power-Gen Forum Set for Columbus – Regardless of the Democratic Platform challenge of natgas, Pennwell will host Mark McCullough, Executive Vice President, American Electric Power to discuss the growing role in natural gas in power generation at the upcoming GenForum scheduled August 22nd in Columbus, Ohio. The half-day event is connected with PennWell’s POWER-GEN/Natural Gas.

 

Energy Update: Week of July 5

Friends,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Best,

Frank Maisano

(202) 828-5864

(202) 997-5932

 

FRANKLY SPOKEN

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

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

 

IN THE NEWS

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

FUTURE EVENTS

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Energy Update: Week of June 13

Friends,

We start this week by thinking of the victims of the terrorist attack in Orlando.

Well, the long hockey season has come to an end with Pittsburgh’s victory in San Jose last night.  It is the Pens 4th Stanley Cup and Steel City can now celebrate.  Next up, Golden State looks to finish LeBron James and Cleveland tonight to complete back to back NBA titles.  And the Penguins weren’t the only winners last night as Hamilton collected 11 wins at the Tony awards.

The Belmont also provided some excitement on Saturday, but not the kind of excitement I was hoping for as favorite Exaggerator fell way back and blew up my superfecta.  I did manage to win a flyer on Creator, paying out at 34.80, so I was about even.  The mile-and-a-half at Belmont is always the toughest test and it showed its teeth on Saturday.

The Big News TODAY:  Former Utah Rep. Jim Matheson has been named NRECA’s new CEO.  Matheson, a Democrat who served in the House from 2001 to 2015, was a member of the House Energy & Commerce Committee.  The respect Matheson has on both sides of the aisle, and his ability to bridge political and policy divides to find common ground, will serve NRECA and all member cooperatives very well.

Three weeks to go in the official Congressional calendar and lots to do.  The Interior funding bill takes up most of the time this week, while Senate Energy will look at pipeline issues with our Friend Andy Black and others. Also tomorrow, Senate Finance will discuss Tax extenders with the Chamber Energy Institute’s Karen Harbert testifying.

This week, EPA’s Scientific Advisory Board (SAB) meets tomorrow and Wednesday to finalize its report on EPA’s SDWA natgas water report.  Opponents had complained that EPA’s initial finding was too vague when they said there has been “no widespread, systemic impacts on drinking water resources” from fracturing.  WCEE hold events on energy security innovations (tomorrow) and international development leadership (Wed) and Carnegie host forums on driverless cars (tomorrow) and Oil prices and climate (Th).

Two other reports this week should shed some light on where energy markets are going amid low oil prices and aggressive climate policies. BP’s group chief economist Spencer Dale discusses this year’s BP Statistical Review of World Energy tomorrow morning and in the afternoon, Statoil’s chief economist Eirik Waerness will discuss energy perspectives for 2016 at CSIS.

Finally, as some of you may know, my colleague Scott Segal is finally getting hitched this weekend.  It is a great and important day.  In true fashion, I thought you might like reading this fun piece from today’s Washington Post’s Reliable Source that details the big event.

Call with questions…

 

Best,

 

Frank Maisano

(202) 828-5864

(202) 997-5932

 

FRANKLY SPOKEN

“”There’s bipartisanship on this issue, and the bipartisanship is in opposition to a carbon tax”

House Majority Whip Steve Scalise, following Friday’s 237-163 House vote opposing a carbon tax.

“Jim Matheson will bring to the position a broad knowledge of the issues facing rural America and will be an inspirational leader for America’s Electric Cooperatives.”

NRECA member President Mel Coleman announcing former Utah Rep. Jim Matheson will head the rural Co-Op trade group.

 

IN THE NEWS

Matheson to Head Rural Co-op Trade Group – The National Rural Electric Co-Op Assn (NRECA) said today that former Utah Rep. Jim Matheson will be its next CEO.   Matheson is replacing former Missouri Rep. JoAnn Emerson who led NRECA for three years.   He will join the association and assume his duties as CEO in July.  Matheson, currently at Squire Patton Boggs, served in the House from 2001 to 2015 where he was a member of the House Energy & Commerce Committee.  The respect Matheson has on both sides of the aisle, and his ability to bridge political and policy divides to find common ground, will serve NRECA and all member cooperatives very well.  In addition to his extensive background in Congress and public policy, Matheson worked in the energy industry for several years.  He was a project development manager in the independent power industry. He worked at two consulting companies, including his own firm, providing services to large energy consumers.

AHRI Leads Reform Effort at House Panel – A Friday hearing in the House Energy subpanel questioned the continued effectiveness of DOE energy efficiency programs.  While DOE’s efficiency program is one of the most successful energy savers in history, industry representatives who have lead the success are calling for major reforms to the 40-year-old law governing efficiency rules that they say are leading to standards that are not “economically justified.”  Air-Conditioning, Heating and Refrigeration Institute President Stephen Yurek said Congress should require DOE to convene stakeholders to “discuss and recommend a new regulatory framework.”

Consumers Paying Price –  Yurek also said that “consumers are paying a heavy price, both in real monetary costs and in comfort and safety” because of the continuous cycle of Department of Energy (DOE) rulemakings that result in higher and higher energy efficiency levels. “When new equipment costs more than consumers can afford,” he said, “they find alternatives, some of which compromise their comfort and safety, while saving less energy or no energy at all.” Yurek told subcommittee members that while the Clinton Administration issued six major efficiency rules over eight years, the current administration issued eight such rules in 2014 alone.   Citing several examples of rulemakings in which job losses were forecast, Yurek charged that “American jobs are being lost – many of them exported – in part because of ever more stringent efficiency regulations.”

Ohio Statesman Voinovich Passes – The nation lost a great leader when George V. Voinovich, a former two-term United States senator, two-term governor of Ohio and Cleveland mayor, died on Sunday in Cleveland at 79.  Voinovich was known for his ability to bring people together and preached frugality in his personal and public life, as well as occasionally bucked the Republican establishment.

House Opposes Carbon, Oil Tax – The House passed resolutions Friday opposing a carbon Tax and a tax on oil proposed by President Obama.  One of the resolutions would express a sense of Congress that a carbon tax would be “detrimental” to the American economy, and the other opposes President Obama’s budget proposal for a $10.25-per-barrel oil fee. Six Democratic members joined their Republican colleagues in opposing a carbon tax, including Reps. Brad Ashford of Nebraska, Sanford Bishop of Georgia, Henry Cuellar of Texas, Ann Kirkpatrick of Arizona, Collin Peterson of Minnesota and Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona. Democratic Rep. Michelle Lujan Grisham of New Mexico voted “present.”

SCOTUS Leaves Mercury Rule – The Supreme Court will not restart EPA’s overhaul of the mercury pollution rule for power plants.  The SCOTUS remanded the rule saying it should have considered costs when it first decided it was “appropriate and necessary” to regulate.  The court rejected a request from Michigan and other states to take up a new challenge without explanation.

BH: Higher Prices Bringing Rigs Back Online – New rig data from Baker Hughes shows that oil producers brought rigs online for a second straight week last week as prices hover around the $50-a-barrel mark.  Rigs targeting crude in the U.S. rose by 3 to 328, after 9 were added last week.  The move is a watch point for reaction to the rising oil price and when companies when companies would start bringing rigs back on line.

Connecting Grids Will Increase Emissions – A new study by the California Independent System Operator says carbon emissions would likely rise across the West if a proposal to merge California’s energy market with PacifiCorp goes forward.  But operators say coordinating energy grids is key to keeping costs down, enhancing reliability and helping states meet clean energy requirements. An initial feasibility study found merging western grids could save customers almost $9 billion over the next 20 years.  Politicians like Wyoming Gov. Matt Mead worry the plan could allow California to import its policies of getting at least 50 percent of its electricity from clean sources by 2030.

 

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

Forum to Look at Climate Mitigation Issues – The Wilson Center and US AID will host a forum tomorrow at 9:30 a.m. on climate change mitigation.  As governments move to implement the commitments made at COP 21, this event will feature discussion by key decision-makers on what the Paris Agreement means for mitigation efforts globally. The panel of experts will reflect on actions being taken by developing countries and by the development community to implement countries’ international climate pledges, known as Nationally Determined Contributions. They will explore how to integrate climate change mitigation into government policies and programs and strengthen collaboration across the range of actors working on these issues.

Senate Finance to Look at Extra Tax Extenders – The Senate Finance Committee will hold an oversight hearing tomorrow at 9:30 a.m. on tax extenders and existing tax credits.  Witnesses will include our friend Karen Harbert of the Chamber’s Energy Institute, as well as AEI’s Benjamin Zycher, Bulk Handling Systems CEO Steve Miller and Susan Kennedy, CEO of Advanced Microgrid Solutions.

Panels to Mark Up Interior Budget Bill – The Senate Appropriations Committee’s Subcommittee on Department of the Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies will hold a business meeting tomorrow to 9:30 a.m. to markup an original bill entitled, “Department of the Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, Fiscal Year 2017.  On Wednesday, the full House Committee on Appropriations will meet to markup the FY 2017 Interior and Environment Bill.

Senate Energy to Look at Pipeline Challenges – The Senate Energy Committee will hold a hearing tomorrow at 10:00 a.m. to examine oil and gas pipeline infrastructure and the economic, safety, environmental, permitting, construction, and maintenance considerations associated with that infrastructure.  Witnesses will Include Andy Black of the Association of Oil Pipe Lines, NAM’s Ross Eisenberg, Sean McGarvey of the North America’s Building Trades Unions, CRS’s Energy and Infrastructure specialist Paul Parfomak and EDF’s Jonathan Peress.

EPA SAB to Meet on Findings For NatGas Drilling – The EPA’s Scientific Advisory Board (SAB) meets tomorrow and Wednesday in Alexandria, VA to finalize for submission comments which found that EPA’s SDWA fracking report was too vague in its assertion of no “widespread, systemic impacts on drinking water resources” from fracking.  This has been a controversial process but we’ll see where they land.

Forum to Look at Hydropower in Myanmar – The Stimson Center will host a case study forum on hydropower in Myanmar tomorrow at 10:30 a.m. The Nature Conservancy, in partnership with WWF and the University of Manchester, demonstrated a system-scale planning framework that was applied in Myanmar and could be replicated worldwide, called Hydropower by Design, which seeks to compare alternative development scenarios upfront and identify those scenarios that can most effectively balance energy development with the protection of other social and environmental resources for better hydropower planning. The Stimson Center invites you to join us for a discussion. TNC’s Jeff Opperman, Director and Lead Scientist of the Great Rivers Program will discuss the Hydropower by Design approach as it was applied in Myanmar as well as the results and lessons learned from that effort. In addition, Jorge Gastelumendi, Policy Innovation Lead at TNC, will discuss the opportunity for innovative financial mechanisms that have the potential to enable and encourage this better, system-scale planning approach for hydropower. The Stimson Center’s Southeast Asia Program Director Richard Cronin will moderate and provide discussion on the opportunities and challenges in applying the Hydropower by Design approach to a transnational river like the Mekong.

Forum to Look at Transportation Sector Impacts, Changes for Climate – The Carnegie Endowment for International Peace will hold a conversation tomorrow at Noon with key thinkers on the future of driverless cars and how they could aid efforts to decarbonize the transport sector.  Former NHTSA Administrator David Strickland and Levi Tillemann, author of The Great Race: The Global Quest for the Car of the Future, which is an analysis of the rise of electric vehicles and the intersection between policy and innovation in the global auto industry, will lead the discussion.

WCEE to Look at Energy Security Innovations – Tomorrow at Noon, the Women’s Council on Energy and the Environment (WCEE) will hold another Lunch event on energy security issues and how technology and innovation are changing the picture.  The advance of new technologies and the introduction of new players and new potential interactions on the grid have made the industry very aware of threats and potential game changers. Cyber security and physical security are just two of the constant concerns of those who manage the industry’s assets.  Speakers at the event will be former Chief Technology Officer at DOE Pete Tseronis and Jeff Lane, former DOE Assistant Secretary for Congressional and Intergovernmental Affairs.

Offshore Energy Seminar Set – The American Geosciences Institute will hold a Congressional webinar tomorrow at 1:00 p.m. to explain the scientific and engineering tools that enable production in challenging environments far from land or in miles-deep water.  Speakers will also address the environmental challenges of offshore energy production.  BOEM’s James Bennett is among the speakers.

Statoil Official to Discuss Energy Market Outlook – The CSIS Energy and National Security Program is hosting a forum tomorrow at 1:00 p.m.; featuring Eirik Wærness, Chief Economist of Statoil, to present the company’s newly released Energy Perspectives 2016 publication. The report describes the macroeconomic and market outlook to 2040 including supply, demand, energy trade and CO2 impacts, as well as illustrates some of the key uncertainties that will influence these factors in the future through modeling various scenarios. This year’s report describes the possible development in global energy markets towards 2040 through three alternative scenarios, called Reform, Rivalry, and Renewal, respectively.

Forum to Look at Climate Policy, Ethics – The Wilson Center and the Institute for Philosophy and Public Policy at George Mason University will hold a debate on Wednesday at 9:30 a.m. between two of the most trenchant scholars on the human dimensions of climate change and the relevance of ethics in creating global climate policy. Stephen Gardiner argues that climate change is fundamentally an ethical issue. A robust response must attend to difficult issues, including justice, rights, political legitimacy, and humanity’s relationship to nature. Consequently, climate policy that ignores ethics is at risk of “solving” the wrong problem, perhaps even to the extreme of endorsing forms of climate extortion.  In contrast, David Weisbach argues that existing ethical theories are not well suited to addressing climate change because they suffer from internal logic problems and suggest impractical strategies. He argues that the central motivation for climate policy is straightforward: it is in the common interest of people and nations to dramatically reduce emissions in order to prevent terrible harms.  Gardiner and Weisbach are co-authors of Debating Climate Ethics. This is their first public appearance together since its publication this month. Following their debate, a panel of climate policy practitioners and academics will discuss the practical implications of this exchange.

BP Stat Review Set – On Wednesday at 9:30 a.m., the Atlantic Council will host the US launch of the BP Statistical Review of World Energy 2016 with Spencer Dale, Group Chief Economist for BP.  Global energy markets have entered a period of accelerating volatility. The US shale revolution has upended global oil and gas markets. Alternative energy sources are bourgeoning, and climate policies are reshaping energy systems. Dale will present key trends and findings from the 2016 Statistical Review. Following his presentation, Richard Morningstar, Founding Director and Chairman of the Global Energy Center, will lead a moderated discussion.

House Science Looks at Solar Fuels, Storage – The House Science Committee’s Subcommittee on Energy will convene a hearing on Wednesday looking at innovation in solar fuels, electricity storage and advanced materials.  Witnesses will include Nate Lewis of Cal Tech, Daniel Scherson of Case Western Reserve University, Collin Broholm of Johns Hopkins University and Daniel Hallinan of Florida A&M University.

Carnegie to Release Report on Oil, Climate Issues – On Wednesday, the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace will release its new report, Smart-Tax: Pricing Oil for a Safe Climate. For the first time, it is possible to estimate the value and profile of GHG emissions from oils throughout their supply chain using an Oil-Climate Index. This allows for the replacement of blunt tax designs with a smart tax that captures oil’s total emissions with minimal economic cost and maximum efficiency.  The release of the report will be followed by a panel discussion about a smart-tax design, why U.S.—and North American—involvement will be critical, and why national policymaking must catch up to the new realities of today’s oil landscape.  Speakers will include Rhode Island Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, former Idaho Rep. Walter Minnick of the Partnership for Responsible Growth and Deborah Gordon, director of Carnegie’s Energy and Climate Program.

WCEE Leadership Forum Tackles Women’s Role in International Development – On Wednesday at 11:30 a.m. at Clyde’s of Gallery Place, WCEE’s Women in Leadership (WIL) luncheon panel discussion will showcase some of the exciting work that federal agencies are doing globally in clean energy and climate change, and in particular how women around the world are impacted by and are tackling these complex issues. The panel will discuss how the U.S. public sector advances clean energy entrepreneurship, helps developing countries meet their COP 21 commitments, encourages women in leadership within the energy sector, and supports access to energy around the world.  Panelists will include State’s Rachel Kastenberg, DOE’s Caroline McGregor and USAID’s Kathryn Stratos.

McKinley, Welch Headline Briefing For High Performance Buildings – On Wednesday at noon, as part of High Performance Building Week, there will be a Congressional briefing on Capitol Hill featuring Reps. David McKinley and Peter Welch.  Around the country States and cities are calling for high performance green residential and commercial buildings. But what exactly are high performance buildings, why is there a demand, what tools are available to meet this demand, what challenges exist, and how can Congress help? Join us for a fast-paced series of presentations from experts on cutting-edge trends in the building industry.  Other presentations include NASEO’s Todd Sims, Kara Saul Rinaldi of the Home Performance Coalition and Efficiency First, NAHB’s John Barrows and Lawrence Schoen, Vice Chair of ASHRAEO’s Standing Standard Project Committee.

Summer Solstice Solar Event Set – The Solar Foundation will be having its Summer Solstice event on Thursday from 6:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m. at the Capitol View at 400.  Every June, in honor of the longest day of the year, TSF hosts its Summer Solstice, a celebration of solar energy and the beneficial role it plays across many aspects of our society. We will be taking over an incredible rooftop in downtown Washington, D.C. to roll out the “yellow carpet” in recognition of all things solar. This year’s Solstice guests will be treated to great food and drinks, electrifying beats, amazing twilight views of the Capital’s skyline, and the company of many of the most eclectic personalities in solar.

Forum to Feature PJM Official on CPP Implementation – On Friday, the USAEE-NCAC will hold its next installment of our monthly lunch series featuring Paul Sotkiewicz, Ph.D., Senior Economic Policy Advisor for the PJM Wholesale Power Market.  He will discuss recent updates and results from PJM’s Capacity Market Auction, Clean Power Plan implementation, and investment decisions in PJM.

USEA Forum to Look at More Capture Technologies – On Friday at 2:00 p.m., the U.S. Energy Association will host a forum on the technical basis for direct air capture of CO2.  The event will hear from Geoff Holmes, who will address the operation of Carbon Engineering’s air capture demonstration plant in Squamish, B.C.  Holmes will discuss opportunities for commercialization and deployment of the technology.  Carbon Engineering has been developing direct air capture technology since 2009, and has innovated a process based on wet scrubbing and chemical recovery that shows great promise for deployment at industrial scale. CE is now piloting this process with a fully end-to-end 1-ton-CO2/day demonstration plant.

 

FUTURE EVENTS

Wisconsin Energy Fair Set – The 27th annual Energy Fair will be held in Custer, Wisconsin on June 17th to 19th.  The event hosted by the Midwest Renewable Energy Association in Central Wisconsin, features over 250 workshops and over 200 exhibitors, with live music, inspiring keynotes, and activities

Mann to Address Climate Lobby Conference – The Citizens Climate Lobby is holding its annual conference on Sunday-Tuesday, June 19-21 at the Omni Shoreham.  The CCL Conference trains activists to climate issues.  Their Keynote Speaker will be Penn State Climate activist Professor Michael Mann.

Dominion Official to Address AWEA Virginia Forum – On June 22nd at James Madison University in Harrisonburg, the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) is hosting the AWEA State Wind Energy Forum – Virginia in collaboration with partners and colleagues in the state. You’ll learn about the benefits and challenges of Virginia’s potential for land-based and offshore wind industry from state policy, industry, government, and other thought leaders, as well as experts on national, regional, and state wind markets; grid integration; wildlife impacts and mitigation; economics; local economic development benefits; and water and air impacts.  Bill Murray of Dominion and our friend Jonathan Miles will speak among several others.

RFF to Look at Coal Leasing – Resources for the Future (RFF) holds a seminar on Wednesday June 22nd at 8:45 a.m. to look at the economics of coal leasing on Federal Lands, ensuring a fair return for taxpayers.  In 2015, BLM’s federal coal leasing program accounted for nearly 40% of coal production in the United States and supplied some of the lowest-cost coal available. The program has been widely critiqued in recent years for providing a poor return to taxpayers and failing to adequately address the environmental costs of coal extraction and processing. At this RFF seminar, Jason Furman, chairman of the White House Council of Economic Advisers (CEA), will unveil a new CEA report that examines the economic principles underlying the program, discusses the case for reform, and provides quantitative estimates of the effects of such changes. Furman’s remarks will be followed by an expert panel discussion on reforming the federal coal leasing program.  Among the panelists will be Michael Greenstone, Director of the Energy Policy Institute at the University of Chicago, and James Stock of the Harvard Kennedy School.

CSIS to Host IEA Gas Outlook – On Tuesday, June 28th at 1:30 p.m., the CSIS Energy and National Security Program will host Costanza Jacazio, Senior Gas Expert in the Gas, Coal & Power Markets Division at the International Energy Agency (IEA), to present the IEA’s Medium-Term Gas Market Report 2016. The annual report, which gives a detailed analysis and five-year projections of natural gas demand, supply and trade developments, examines the interaction of oversupply, low prices and upstream capital expenditure cuts. The impact on global gas markets of changing trade patterns and price mechanisms are also given special consideration. The Medium-Term Gas Market Report is part of a series of annual reports the IEA devotes to each of the main primary energy sources: oil, gas, coal, renewable energy and energy efficiency.

July 4th Holiday

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

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

Energy Update: Week of March 7

Friends,

As Spring Breaks are beginning, it is time to start locking in on your favorites for those NCAA March Madness hoops pools.  Keep an eye this week on all the Conference championships to see who’s playing well (Kansas/Michigan State) and who has struggled lately (Maryland, Oklahoma).  It may also help you find some sleepers (Monmouth, Providence, Stephen F Austin, Little Rock).  And how about Yale, winning the Ivys and making the tourney for the first time since 1962.  Only Dartmouth (1959) has gone longer without making an appearance.

Tomorrow votes are hitting in Michigan, as well as Idaho (R), Hawaii (R) and Mississippi.  Most of the focus for both sides is Michigan, which hosted both Republican and Democratic debates over the last few days.  In fact, should you have any questions about the latest Democratic Prez positioning on natgas drilling (Sanders is opposed, Clinton announced a bunch of hoops that no one can get through)  let us know.  My colleagues can discuss the reality vs the politics.   One week to Super Tuesday, Part II.

Budget discussions continue this week with Secretary Vilsack and Secretary Moniz heading to Senate Approps’ panels after several visits last week.  Moniz was a champion with three marathon sessions at House Energy, Senate Energy and House Energy Approps last week.   Senate Environment jumps into state regulation and how states are impacted on Wednesday following a recent letter from Chairman Inhofe to the 20 states covered by the Committee asking for their “perspective” on EPA regulations.

Off the Hill, there is a great event tomorrow at 10:00 a.m. that is a “must attend.”  The National Press Club’s Newsmaker Committee will host Republican entrepreneur turned philanthropist Jay Faison, Founder and CEO of ClearPath, a new non-profit foundation dedicated to finding and promoting conservative clean energy solutions in the Club’s Bloomberg Room.   It is his first foray into DC since announcing his intention to play a bigger energy role with Republicans and with the Newsmaker format, you’ll have a great opportunity to inquire.

Finally, this weekend, South By Southwest begins in Austin Texas on Friday and runs through the following week.  Originally just a small music festival, SXSW has also become a popular policy and political forum.  On Friday, President Obama will sit down with Evan Smith, Texas Tribune Editor-in-Chief, for a conversation about civic engagement in the 21st Century before an audience of creators, early adopters and entrepreneurs who are defining the future of our connected lives.   There are many environmental, technology, policy and political issues on the agenda…and, as expected, some awesome music.  See the full schedule of events here.

Congrats (I think) to my friend and ex-biofuel reporter Rachel Gantz who starts TODAY as RFA’s New Comms Director.  Good luck with that…

Call with questions.

Best,

Frank Maisano

(202) 828-5864

(202) 997-5932

 

 

IN THE NEWS

 

SCOTUS Rejects Mercury Stay – Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. on Thursday refused to block EPA’s regulation limiting emissions of mercury from coal-fired power plants.  The decision comes a few weeks after they approved an extraordinary stay to block the Administration’s plan for regulating GHGs.  My colleague Jeff Holmstead told the New York Times the decision was a pretty strong way of sending a signal that the fact that the court granted a stay of the Clean Power Plan was highly extraordinary, and they don’t want to be inundated with these.  Holmstead: “I think this is Justice Roberts’ effort to say that the Clean Power Plan is an extraordinary situation.” Holmstead and other experts noted that blocking the mercury rule would have had little practical impact, because most electric utilities have already put it into effect, closing almost 100 coal-fired power plants.

 

Chamber Energy Institute White Paper on Stay Impacts on Deadlines – We have all heard EPA Administrator McCarthy saying many different things about the impacts of the Supreme Court’s stay on the GHG rules, including that that “[l]ife is continuing [in] the exact same direction it was before the stay,” that the stay “didn’t mean that anything on the ground really had changed,” the stay “is not going to slow us down” and finally, that the stay won’t push back the compliance deadlines.  As my colleague Jeff Holmstead has mentioned to many of you, the SCOTUS stay WILL delay all the deadlines of the Clean Power Plan even if the courts eventually uphold the rule.  This is also the focus of a new paper from the US Chamber’s Energy Institute.  With regard to the stay, the paper says: “the proper interpretation of the Court’s order is that the Stay tolls all the Rule’s deadlines—not just those that actually fall during the Stay—for at least the period of time the Stay is in place.”  Chamber Energy expert Dan Byers has also summed up the issues in a good, public and quotable blog.   And of course, as one of the attorneys in the case, Holmstead Is happy to discuss the issues and the protocols  going forward.

 

Cities Launch Energy Security  Coalition – A group of medium and large-size cities from around the country announced the launch of the Energy Secure Cities Coalition (ESCC), a partnership of communities dedicated to transitioning their municipal fleets from petroleum-fueled vehicles to those powered by alternative fuels, like electricity and natural gas. Each ESCC city has the potential to improve quality of life for its residents as well as boost its economic competitiveness—regionally and globally—by saving millions of valuable taxpayer dollars over the next decade through the lower fuel and vehicle maintenance costs of alternative fuel vehicles.  The Energy Secure Cities Coalition includes Atlanta, Ga.; Charlotte, N.C.; Indianapolis, Ind.; Orlando, Fla.; Rochester, N.Y.; Sacramento Calif.; San Diego, Calif.; and West Palm Beach, Fla.  The ESCC plans to grow to at least 25 cities with the goal of taking 50,000 petroleum-powered vehicles off the road, saving 500,000 barrels of oil every year and protecting city budgets from volatile and unpredictable global oil prices, directly influenced by geopolitical instability and conflict. Fleets are some of the largest single fuel consumers in a given city and represent an opportunity to jump-start a community’s effort to reduce its dependence on oil, promote fuel diversity, and set an example for other cities across the country to follow. The Energy Secure Cities Coalition offers participating cities a network to learn from each other before, during and after the fleet conversion process, participating in a forum in which municipalities can share best practices on communicating their goals, engaging their communities, recognizing obstacles and solving problems. The ESCC is a project of its member cities in collaboration with Securing America’s Future Energy and the Electrification Coalition. Learn more at www.energysecurecities.org.

 

Report: Property Values Unaffected By Pipelines – A new study conducted by Integra Realty Resources on behalf of The INGAA Foundation says the presence of an underground natural gas transmission pipeline does not affect the sales prices or value of residential properties.  The independent study of residential properties in proximity to natural gas pipelines in the Southeast, Midwest, Mid-Atlantic and Northeast United States,  Pipeline Impact to Property Value and Property Insurability, identifies residential neighborhoods that were bordered or bisected by at least one pipeline and isolated home sales of similar properties both on and off the pipelines.  The study then performed a direct comparison of the properties for normal valuation purposes.   IRR analyzed property sales in communities in four states – Ohio, New Jersey, Virginia and Mississippi – and determined that “there is no measurable impact on the sales price of properties located along or in proximity to a natural gas pipeline versus properties which are not located along or in proximity to the same pipeline.” A fifth analysis, of a community in Pennsylvania, conducted by a separate appraisal company also was included in the analysis.  IRR analyzed actual residential property sales data in each area, normalized by significant factors (i.e. gross living area, size, age, date of transaction, etc.) to derive adjustments used to account for differences, in each area, both on and off pipeline easements, in like and similar conditions.  It then applied linear regression analyses to see if a correlation existed between sales price and location “on” or “off” the pipeline easement.  In every area of study, IRR found no negative impact on price, and no correlation between price and proximity to pipeline easement.  IRR also found that buyers purchasing homes along pipeline easements in each area studied were able to obtain conventional, Federal Housing Administration and Veterans Affairs loans. “This indicates that a presence of a natural gas pipeline had no effect on obtaining a mortgage,” the report said.  Moreover, insurance companies and agents interviewed said there was no indication that the presence of a natural gas pipeline would hinder a buyer’s ability to acquire property insurance. They also said there was no indication that premiums paid for insurance policies would increase because of the presence of a natural gas pipeline.

 

Morning Consult National Poll Shows Support for Coal Generation – In a new national poll conducted by Morning Consult, 54% of registered voters ‘totally approve’ the use of coal to generate electricity, compared to 32% who ‘totally disapprove.’ 14% have no opinion.  ACCCE’s Laura Sheehan said “Despite the near-constant fearmongering campaign conducted by this administration and its allies, the electorate continues to recognize the importance coal plays in the production of affordable and reliable energy.”

 

Rural Co-Ops Support LIHEAP Action Day – Yesterday was LIHEAP Action Day. LIHEAP is the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program, which provides those in need with assistance paying their home heating and cooling bills.  The National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA) strongly supports action on LIHEAP because it reinforces one of cooperatives’ core principles: concern for community. While focusing on member needs, cooperatives work for the sustainable development of their communities through policies accepted by their members.  NRECA Interim CEO Jeffrey Connor said since 1981, LIHEAP has helped millions of low-income Americans pay their energy bills, delivering critical short-term aid to our nation’s most vulnerable citizens, including senior citizens on fixed incomes and the poor.  “America’s electric co-ops, which serve 93 percent of the nation’s persistent poverty counties, are acutely aware of LIHEAP’s importance and the need to fully fund it in fiscal year 2017,” Connor added.   Helen Holton, Baltimore City Council member since 1995 and executive director for the National Organization of Black County Officials wrote in Roll Call a clear call for support of the program, which assisted 6.8 million American households last year.  The National Energy and Utility Affordability Coalition (NEUAC) sponsored LIHEAP Action Day along with member companies of NRECA, the American Gas Association (AGA) and the Edison Electric Institute. The annual day-long event is aimed at building awareness for LIHEAP, a program providing financial assistance to low and fixed-income individuals for fuel and utility bills, as well as low-cost weatherization and energy-related home repairs. On LIHEAP Action Day, nearly 300 meetings took place in offices on Capitol Hill.  LIHEAP champions and advocates converged on the nation’s capital city to discuss the importance of fully funding the program at $4.7 billion for FY2017.

 

Report: Energy Storage Improving – The U.S. energy storage market just had both its best quarter and best year of all time. According to the GTM Research/Energy Storage Association’s U.S. Energy Storage Monitor 2015 Year in Review, the U.S. deployed 112 megawatts of energy storage capacity in the fourth quarter of 2015, bringing the annual total to 221 megawatts. This represents 161 megawatt-hours for the year.  The 112 megawatts deployed in the fourth quarter 2015 represented more than the total of all storage deployments in 2013 and 2014 combined. Propelled by that historic quarter, the U.S. energy storage market grew 243 percent over 2014’s 65 megawatts (86 megawatt-hours).

RFA Hires New Comms Director
– The Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) has hired our friend and former biofuels industry reporter Rachel Gantz as its new communications director. Gantz will serve as the RFA’s spokesperson, communicating the group’s top messages to reporters, and will focus on growing RFA’s footprint in the media.  She starts today.  Gantz spent nearly 17 years as a reporter, most recently at Oil Price Information Service, where she was a senior reporter covering the biofuels industry. She also worked at Hart Energy Publishing’s Oxy Fuel News and Argus’ Air Daily, covering the biofuels and air emissions industries.

 

 

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

 

McCarthy to Headline Climate Conference – The 2016 Climate Leadership Conference will take place today through Thursday in Seattle.  The event convenes a global audience of climate, energy, and sustainability professionals to address climate change through policy, innovation, and business solutions. Now in its fifth year, the 2016 event will host the first U.S. climate conference post-Paris to further accelerate climate solutions and a low-carbon economy.  Speakers include EPA Head Gina McCarthy, former CNN and current GWU School of Media & PA head Frank Sesno, Microsoft’s Dan Reicher and former CO Governor Bill Ritter.

 

Press Club to Host Faison, Will Outline Plans to Move Republicans on Energy Agenda  – The National Press Club’s Newsmaker Committee will host Republican entrepreneur turned philanthropist Jay Faison, Founder and CEO of ClearPath, a new non-profit foundation dedicated to finding and promoting conservative clean energy solutions, tomorrow at 10:00 a.m. in the Club’s Bloomberg Room.  Faison  will outline the organization’s conservative approach to environmental and energy issues at a Tues., March 8 Newsmaker news conference. Faison also will detail the organization’s plans to influence policymakers and the role ClearPath intends to play in the 2016 elections.  Last year, Faison, made headlines when he announced that he was donating  $165 million to start ClearPath with the goal of moving the Republican Party forward on clean energy.  He believes smaller government, free markets and American innovation are the best way to solve energy challenges and reduce environmental and health risks caused by air and carbon pollution.

 

DOE to Hold Biomass Meetings – The Department of Energy has announced an open meeting of its Biomass Research and Development Technical Advisory Committee tomorrow and Wednesday.  The purpose of the meeting is to develop advice and guidance that promotes research and development leading to the production of biobased fuels and biobased products. The tentative agenda includes updates on USDA and DOE biomass research and development activities, as well as an update on the Biomass Research and Development Initiative. The meeting is also expected to include an overview of the DOE Bioenergy Technologies Office 2016 budget, focused on new areas and activities, along with an overview of the 2016 budget, along with new areas and activities for USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture and Agricultural Research Service. In addition, the meeting is scheduled to include a presentation on biomass-related ARPA-E activities.

 

USEA Look at CCS Utilization – The US Energy Association hosts a forum tomorrow at 2:00 p.m. on utilization of CO2 for enhanced oil recovery.  The “U” in CCUS, is a key component of essentially all major CO2 capture and storage projects such as Summit’s Texas Clean Energy Project, Petra Nova’s Parish project, Boundary Dam, and Kemper. This briefing will assess the market dynamics, issues and opportunities at play.  Speaker will be Michael Moore, Vice President of Energy Commodities and Advisory Services at FearnOil.

 

JHU Forum Looks at Renewables – Johns Hopkins University’s SAIS will hold a forum tomorrow at 4:30 p.m. as part of the SAIS Research Seminar Series in Politics and Political Economy, 2015-2016 on how power sectors reforms are shaping renewable energy issues across the globe.  Johannes Urpelainen, the speaker for this seminar, is Associate Professor of Political Science at Columbia University.

 

POLITICO Forum to Look at Canada Visit – As President Barack Obama prepares to welcome Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau for a historic state visit, POLITICO and CABC will hold a series of high-level conversations tomorrow evening at The Newseum on North American leadership in energy, the global economy, security and the refugee crisis.  Featured speakers include US Customs and Border Protection Commissioner Gil Kerlikowske; Alan Bersin, Assistant Secretary for International Affairs and Chief Diplomatic Officer at U.S. Department of Homeland Security and Richard Duke, Deputy Director for Climate Policy in the White House Office of Energy and Climate Change.  Other speakers will include State’s Simon Henshaw, NRDC’s Canada Project analyst Danielle Droitsch and Port Metro Vancouver CEO Robin Silvester.

 

Groups Look at Ag Impacts on Climate – The Organic Consumers Association and Regeneration International will hold a workshop on Wednesday to discuss the science and management of the remarkable bio-chemical process called carbon sequestration.  Scientists will explain how it works and climate policy experts will describe initiatives to drive the rapid, large-scale, worldwide adoption of regenerative agriculture techniques that can sequester carbon, improve both quantity and quality of foods produced, and concurrently decrease atmospheric CO2.  Some of the speakers include Catherine Geslain-Laneelle, Kristine Nichols, David Johnson, and Richard Teague.

 

Senate Environment to Hear From States on Regulating – The Senate Environment Committee will hold a hearing Wednesday at 9:30 a.m. looking at state views of Federal regulations.   Witnesses will include South Dakota DENR secretary Steven Pirner, Arkansas DEQ director Becky Keogh, WV DEP Secretary Randy Huffman, Vermont Agency of Natural Resources secretary Deborah Markowitz, secretary and Delaware DNREC Air Quality director Ali Mirzakhalili.

 

AGA Expert Feature In CHP/NatGas Webinar – The Alliance for Industrial Efficiency is cohosting a webinar with the Business Council for Sustainable Energy on Wednesday at Noon on the state of the market and implications for natgas & CHP.   Expert panelists will explore data from the 2016 BCSE Sustainable Energy Factbook on the state of the market for natural gas and combined heat and power (CHP), and provide their perspectives on prospects for continued growth.   They will also will explore data from the 2016 BCSE Sustainable Energy Factbook on the state of the market for natural gas and combined heat and power (CHP), and provide their perspectives on prospects for continued growth.  Among the speakers will be our friend Richard Meyer, Manager of Energy Analysis & Standards at the American Gas Association.

 

Vilsack Former Ag Secretaries to Talk Nutrition at BPC – As part of National Nutrition Month, the Bipartisan Policy Center is hosting a conversation on food and nutrition, featuring Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack on Wednesday at 10:00 a.m..  The event will be a robust discussion with a bipartisan panel on the current state of nutrition in America and innovative approaches to creating a healthier future.   Joining Vilsack on the panel will be former Ag Secretaries Ann Veneman and Dan Glickman.

 

Forum to Look at National Labs Budget – The Environmental and Energy Study Institute (EESI), in partnership with the House and Senate Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Caucuses, will hold a briefing on Wednesday at 1:00 p.m. looking at the energy efficiency and renewable energy provisions of the President’s budget request for Fiscal Year (FY) 2017.  Speakers from the Department of Energy, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, and the Congressional Research Service (CRS) will give an overview of the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy’s (EERE) budget request, explain the EERE Office budget priorities, and provide context on how these priorities and trends compare to prior years.  DOE’s David Friedman, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary, Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, will launch the conversation and CRS experts and Scott Sklar will also join the panel.

 

Senate Approps Hosts Vilsack – The Senate Appropriations Committee’s Subcommittee on Agriculture, Food, and Drug Administration will hold a hearing on Wednesday at 2:00 p.m. to review the Fiscal Year 2017 budget request and funding justification for the U.S. Department of Agriculture.  Secretary Vilsack will testify.

 

Moniz Head to Senate Energy Approps Panel – After last week’s testimony barrage, Secretary Moniz returns to the Senate Appropriations Committee’s Subcommittee on Energy and Water Development Wednesday at 2:30 p.m. a hearing to examine proposed budget estimates and justification for fiscal year 2017 for the Department of Energy.

 

ELI host Enviro Social Event – The Environmental Law Institute and the D.C. Bar’s Environment, Energy and Natural Resources Section will hold a networking event Wednesday night to build community and connections among environmental professionals.

 

Murkowski Honored by WCEE – The Women’s Council on Energy and the Environment (WCEE) will hold its Woman of the Year Gala Wednesday evening at the Capital Hilton Hotel.  The 2016 WCEE Woman of the Year is Senate Energy Chair Lisa Murkowski.  Murkowski is Alaska’s senior representative in the U.S. Senate and chairman of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee and Senate Appropriations Interior and Environment Subcommittee.

 

Forum to Focus on Clean Power Plan – The Environmental Law Institute will hold its 2016 J.B. & Maurice C. Shapiro Environmental Law Symposium on Thursday and Friday at GWU.  The event will focus on environmental, economic, and governance issues for the electricity mix in the coming two-to-three decades. The two-day Symposium will bring together a multi-disciplinary group of experts for a series of panels and discussions structured around issues surrounding the Clean Power Plan.

ARPA-E Director Talks Innovation, Grid – The CSIS Energy and National Security Program will hold a discussion on Thursday with Ellen Williams, Director of ARPA-E, the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy. Dr. Williams and  ARPA-e play a critical role in incubating new energy technologies.  One issue where real progress on both technology and market deployment continues to be needed is the electric grid.  Dr. Williams will discuss key areas of focus for ARPA-E in 2016, with a  special focus on grid management and grid storage as well as the new initiatives including Mission Innovation. Sarah Ladislaw, Director and Senior Fellow with the CSIS Energy and National Security Program, will provide a brief introduction and Frank O’Sullivan, Director of Research and Analysis with the MIT Energy Initiative and Senior Associate with the CSIS Energy and National Security Program will moderate the discussion.

 

Forum to Look at Japan Priorities in Middle East – On Thursday, the Atlantic Council’s Rafik Hariri Center for the Middle East and Global Energy Center will bring together Japanese scholars and practitioners alongside US analysts to discuss Japanese energy priorities and policies in the Middle East. These experts will discuss how the Middle Eastern landscape impacts Japan’s energy policies, and how Japanese policies in turn impact the region.

 

Poneman to Discuss Argentina, Energy – The Atlantic Council for a discussion on Friday looking at Argentina’s energy outlook in the new administration of President Mauricio Macri era. The event will launch the Atlantic Council’s latest policy brief, The New Argentina: Time to Double Down on the Energy Sector?, authored by Argentine energy expert Cristian Folgar.  Among the speakers will be Dan Poneman, former Deputy Secretary of Energy.

 

 

FUTURE EVENTS

 

AHRI Public Policy Forum Set – The Air Conditioning, Heating and Refrigeration Institute (AHRI) hold its annual Public Policy Forum on March 15th and 16th.  The 2016 Public Policy Symposium is designed to bring AHRI members together with key public officials to discuss important issues facing the HVACR and water heating industry. The two-day event provides participants with the opportunity for face-to-face meetings with lawmakers and Congressional staff on Capitol Hill, and with key officials in federal agencies. Near-miss Virginia Senate Candidate and former political operative Ed Gillespie will keynote the forum.

 

Chamber Summit to Look at Competitiveness – The U.S. Chamber’s Center for Capital Markets Competitiveness holds the 10th Annual Capital Markets Summit looking at the foundation of economic growth on March 15th.  This year, the event will examine the current state of the capital markets, including how innovation is changing the landscape, and explore what changes are necessary to ensure these markets are modernized and well-regulated to ensure economic growth.

 

Forum to Focus on Geothermal – EESI and the Geothermal Energy Association is hosting a briefing on Wednesday March 16th at 2:00 p.m. in 212-10 in the Capitol Visitors Center highlighting the state of the geothermal energy industry and its near-term prospects in the United States and in more than 80 other countries working to expand its use. With demand for clean energy accelerating around the globe, geothermal energy has major potential as a renewable resource that can provide power around-the-clock, complementing intermittent renewable power technologies. Speakers will include International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) Deputy Director-General Sakari Oksanen, U.S. Geothermal President  Doug Glaspey and several others.

 

Wilson Center Forum to Look at Developing Country Support – Next Wednesday March 16th, the Wilson Center will host a panel of experts from CIGI, ICCCAD, and United Nations University to discuss the current status and future of financing and insurance for combating climate-related loss and damage.  The 2015 Paris Climate Agreement focused on support for vulnerable countries in the face of looming climate-related “loss and damage.”

 

GEA Sets Geo Energy Showcase – The Geothermal Energy Assn will be holding its 3rd U.S. and International Geothermal Energy Showcase in Washington, DC on Thursday, March 17th at the Ronald Reagan International Trade Center. This year’s Showcase will focus on the building blocks for successful geothermal projects and highlight key geothermal projects, trends, and governmental policies in the U.S. and the international markets. The program will showcase geothermal projects, trends, and governmental policies in the U.S. and around the world. Topics covered will include: the geothermal market today, projects under development in the U.S. and internationally, outlook for the future of the geothermal market, policies driving geothermal development, new technologies, and federal agency support at home and abroad. Over 36 countries will be represented at the Showcase. Represented countries include the United States, United Kingdom, Jamaica, United Arab Emirates, Djibouti, India, Belgium, Guatemala, Hungary, Uganda, Turkey, the Philippines, Fiji, Costa Rica, Indonesia, Burundi, St. Kitts, Kenya, Mexico, Japan, Ethiopia, Qatar, Iceland, Taiwan, Albania, Nevis, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Burkina Faso, Vanuatu, Italy, Taiwan, Peru, Colombia, and more.  Speakers will include International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) Deputy Director-General Sakari Oksanen and Nevada Senator Dean Heller.

 

BCSE to Host Clean Energy Forum –The Business Council for Sustainable Energy will hold a Clean Energy Forum on March 16th for its Members to look at the 2016 clean Energy Agenda.

 

Defense Renewables Summit Set – Infocast hosts the 6th Defense Renewables Summit on March 15-16th at the Sheraton Pentagon City in Arlington, VA, to bring DoD, Air Force, Army and Navy decision-makers together with renewable energy developers, utilities, system integrators, financiers, EPCs, cybersecurity, energy storage, smartgrid and telecom experts to meet the renewable energy goals and security needs of the DoD. The summit will explore how viable, financeable projects can be developed to the benefit of all. The summit will provide the latest on emerging guidelines and processes that merges the complexity of federal acquisitions with the risk allocation methods of project finance.

 

ACORE Policy Forum Set – The 2016 ACORE National Renewable Energy Policy Forum will be on March 16th and 17th at the W Hotel in Washington, D.C.  Senator Wyden, ranking member of the Senate Finance Committee and member of the Energy and Natural Resources Committee, will provide the Mid-Morning Keynote.  The event has a great line up including moderators Joe Desmond of Bightsource Energy, Greg Wetstone of ACORE and Dan Reicher, former DOE official and Google exec at Stanford’s Steyer-Taylor Center.

 

Forum to Look at Critical Infrastructure – Next Thursday, March 17th at 9:30 a.m. at the Reserve Officers Association, the Secure the Grid Coalition and Homeland Security Today Magazine will hold a forum on critical infrastructure and a secure electric grid.  This symposium will explore the path from today’s vulnerabilities to tomorrow’s mitigations for the civilian electrical grid from major system failures and long-term power outages. How vulnerable are we to catastrophic level black outs? What does that mean for the major power consumers of the civilian electrical grid?  Homeland Security Today Magazine’s Editor and Chief Anthony Kimery will host a discussion with panelists that include President Bill Clinton’s former Director of Central Intelligence Ambassador James Woolsey, Senate Homeland Security Committee Chairman Ron Johnson, and several other experts.

 

Forum to Look at Specialty Metals – The Atlantic Council will hold a forum on Thursday March 17th at 2:30 p.m. featuring a discussion on the new resource challenges – specialty metals. Obscure resources we paid little attention to are increasingly playing critical roles as we switch to new energy sources, as high-tech proliferates globally, and as military technologies proliferate. A lack of understanding and production of these materials will limit their development and deployment of critical technologies.  Most notably, as the global community transitions from fossil fuels to clean energy, demand for rare metals will increase dramatically. Potential shortages and volatile prices will keep some technologies out of reach or limit the implementation of our most effective energy solutions.  And with Beijing allocating vast sums to produce and process these materials, geopolitical risks abound.  The panelists will explore this budding war over the periodic table by discussing what the geopolitical implications of rare metals are and hoe their production differs.  It will also look at international transparency and other production process issues.

 

Forum to Feature Specialty Metals Book Author – On Friday, March 18th at Noon, the local chapter of the US Assn of Energy Economists will host a lunch with David Abraham as he discusses how countries are lining up sides on the next geopolitical resource battle — specialty metals. Abraham is the author of “The Elements of Power: Gadgets, Guns, and the Struggle for a Sustainable Future in the Rare Metals Age.”  The Economist said”…[Abraham] persuasively explains the danger of underestimating a business that, by one estimate, generates $4 billion of revenues a year and also plays a critical role in systems worth about $4 trillion. China, which develops more rare metals than any other country, understands the calculus. The West, his book suggests, does not.”

 

Forum to Look at Sustainable Housing – The Environmental and Energy Study Institute (EESI) is holding a briefing on March 21st at 2:30 p.m. in 122 Cannon regarding energy efficient, “green” affordable housing and how it is improving health and safety in distressed communities while providing economic and environmental benefits to states. This is the second in a series of EESI briefings examining environmental justice as it relates to the EPA’s Clean Power Plan. This briefing will show how sustainable affordable housing can save money for low-income families and strengthen community resilience while serving as a CPP compliance strategy.  Speakers will showcase sustainable affordable housing developments in Pittsburgh, PA, as well as a retrofit in Washington, DC, and will discuss the national movement to “green” affordable housing. The briefing will also feature the passive building retrofit of Weinberg Commons, a multifamily housing complex for low-income families in Southeast DC. The nation’s capital uses Enterprise Community Partners’ Green Communities Criteria as the baseline green building standard for its public and publicly-financed projects.

 

Chamber to Host Aviation Summit – The U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation are hosting the 15th annual Aviation Summit on Tuesday, March 22nd at the Renaissance Hotel to bring together top experts and leaders from all sectors of aviation to discuss critical issues facing the industry. The 2016 Summit will focus on innovation and emerging technologies.

 

Transmission Summit Set to Address Challenges – The 19th Annual Transmission Summit will be held on March 29-31 at the Washington Marriott Georgetown.  The event will feature senior executives from MISO, NYISO, PJM, SPP and ISO-NE, who will discuss their system needs and market changes, and representatives from such prominent transmission owners and developers as Clean Line Energy Partners LLC, Con Edison, DATC, Exelon Corp., LS Power Development LLC, National Grid, Xcel Energy and others will provide insights into their development plans and projects.

 

Energy Conference Set – The Energy Smart Conference will be held at the Gaylord on Aril 4-6th.  The event features top enterprises, energy service providers, and technology leaders to rethink the industry and refine energy management.  Main speakers will be Colin Powell, author of Drive: The Surprising Truth of What Motivates Us Daniel Pink and Green to Gold Author Andrew Winston.

 

Conference to Look at PA Drilling – Shale Directories will host Upstream 2016 on April 19th at The Penn Stater in State College, PA to look at action in PA.  Despite cutbacks in budgets, there are still opportunities for this and next year and Cabot, Seneca and others will be there to discuss when Drilling may ramp up again, what you can do to help the industry and how to prepare for the growth. As well, Faouizi Aloulou, Senior Economist with the Energy Information Agency, will give a presentation on the Uncertainties of Shale Resource Development Under Low Price Environment.

 

Water Power Conferences Set for DC – The all-new Waterpower Week in Washington will present three events in one, showcasing the entire world of waterpower.  The National Hydropower Association Annual Conference, International Marine Renewable Energy Conference and Marine Energy Technology Symposium will all take place at the Capital Hilton in Washington, D.C., April 25-27.