Energy Update: Week of April 10

Friends,

Now THAT was a riveting finish to the Masters.  It was incredible how each played down the stretch until the very last regulation putts on 18 when each missed shorties.  That pressure is just crazy…  As a long-time golf watcher, it is great to see Sergio Garcia finally pull one out on the first extra hole  Another great set of days at Augusta National.

And with the close of the regular NHL season yesterday, the real season begins: the Chase for the Stanley Cup.  But before we think about that, there is one matter of business with the Detroit Red Wings missing the playoffs for the first time in 25 years.  It means that the last game was played in the Joe Louis Arena, one of hockey’s new/old sacred barns.  Proud to have been there for many games from 1980 until I could take my kids in 2015.  As for playoffs, I like the caps, but the Rangers and defending Champs, Pittsburgh remain factors…and who knows what Columbus is capable of in the East.  As for the West, Chicago is strong and St. Louis is probably the hottest team in the NHL since Mike Yeo took over as coach. In the end, the Chicago Cubs have won the World Series, the Cleveland Cavaliers have won an NBA title and Sergio Garcia has won a major in golf. It seems like this lays the ground work for the Washington Capitals or St. Louis Blues to win the Stanley Cup.

Happy two-week long recess. Passover begins today at sundown and Easter is coming up on Sunday.  It has been a crazy trip since late last year.   And this is our first real break (maybe, who knows).  My whereabouts are unknown this week, but I’m still monitoring the action from my secret locale.  Hints: I will not be close to Rick Perry, who is at the G-7 energy ministers meeting in Rome, but they have held a UN climate meeting here…  Winners can get a souvenir.

In DC this week, not much, but today, Neil Gorsuch formally becomes the newest member of the U.S. Supreme Court.  Chief Justice John Roberts swears in Gorsuch at 9 a.m. at the court, followed by Justice Anthony Kennedy doing the honors at an 11 a.m. event in the Rose Garden.  Keeping our eyes on FERC as the delay in getting new Commissioners is starting to have some Impacts according  to a number of media sources.

There has also been a lot of banter this past week about the Paris Climate agreement (small “a”) and its relationship to the Executive Order dealing with the Clean Power Plan and any potential change to the Endangerment Finding.  In response to several questions, my colleague Scott Segal produce a great analysis that I am happy to share with you in memo/pdf form.  Let me know if you want to see it and I will forward.

Finally, our friends at EIA today said U.S. energy-related CO2 emissions fell 1.7% in 2016. U.S. energy-related carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions in 2016 totaled 5,170 mmt.  In 2015, the same emissions dropped 2.7%.  EIA says the recent decreases are consistent with a decade-long trend, with energy-related CO2 emissions 14% below the 2005 level in 2016.  See more charts/data here.

Enjoy your family time on this holiday week.  Call with questions…

 

Best,

Frank Maisano

(202) 828-5864

(202) 997-5932

 

FRANKLY SPOKEN

“Widespread public sector investment in basic energy technology is critical to complement private investment and drive long-term economic growth in America and globally. With new energy markets only set to grow, technological breakthroughs can generate enormous economic dividends while providing the lower cost, cleaner energy the world needs.”

BPC American Energy Innovation Council member Michael Graff, chairman and CEO American Air Liquide upon the release of AEIC new Innovation report last week.

 

IN THE NEWS

Innovation Report Highlights Role As Driver of Growth – The Bipartisan Policy Center’s American Energy Innovation Council released a new report saying America must embrace its unique abilities to innovate as a way to revitalize our economy and enhance its security.  All-the-while it will also help American industry play a stronger role in providing clean, affordable, and reliable energy. The report says access to reliable, affordable energy has such a profoundly positive impact on people’s lives. Yet unlike many other technology sectors, the energy sector in particular has suffered from underinvestment in research and development (R&D). As a generally low-cost commodity, it is often difficult for an energy supplier to differentiate itself and charge a premium, the way products in other markets can. Energy infrastructure and technologies are also generally high cost and long lived, leading to large amounts of inertia and, in some cases, risk avoidance. Further complicating these challenges is the fact that energy markets are highly fragmented and often face a significant amount of regulatory fracturing and uncertainty. The AEIC was formed in 2010 and consists of ten corporate leaders who share a common concern over America’s insufficient commitment to energy innovation.  Among these CEOs include Air Liquide’s Mike Graff, Southern’s Tom Fanning and Dominion’s Tom Farrell.

Matheson Names to FCC Advisory Board – Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai today appointed National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA) CEO Jim Matheson and 28 others to serve on a newly created Broadband Deployment Advisory Committee (BDAC).  “Access to high speed Internet is a key ingredient for a healthy 21st century economy, particularly in rural America,” Matheson said.  “I’m honored and excited to sit on this committee, and I look forward to representing the interests of rural America as we work to close the digital divide.” The committee will meet for the first time on April 21, 2017.  Its mission is to advise and make recommendations to the FCC on how to accelerate the deployment of broadband by reducing and removing regulatory barriers to infrastructure investment. A full list of BDAC members can be found here.

ACI praises Legislation to Remove Animal Fat Tax – The American Cleaning Institute (ACI) praised legislation introduced by U.S. Rep. Randy Weber (R-TX) that would permanently put a stop to federal tax credits for biofuels produced with animal fats, according. ACI, the trade association for the cleaning product supply chain, says the bill (H.R. 1866, the “Animal Fat Tax Act”) would prevent the renewal of tax credits for biodiesel and renewable diesel that is produced from animal fats, which until the end of 2016 were eligible for a $1 per gallon tax credit. ACI’s member companies include the producers of oleochemicals, such as fatty acids and alcohols made from seed oils and animal fats, historically used in soaps and detergents. The biofuel subsidy in question distorts the domestic market for animal fats by diverting this important raw material away from use in the manufacturing of cleaning products and towards the production of biodiesel. As a result, animal fats have seen a 116% increase in cost since 2006, the year the tax credit first became law.

CCS Group Praised Legislation Sponsors – The National Enhanced Oil Recovery Initiative (NEORI) praised Sens. Rob Portman (R-OH) and Michael Bennet (D-CO) for introducing bipartisan legislation to accelerate the deployment of carbon capture technologies at power plants and industrial facilities. Similar legislation was introduced in the U.S. House by Representatives Carlos Curbelo (R-FL) and Marc Veasey (D-TX).  The Carbon Capture Improvement Act will authorize states to use private activity bonds to help finance the purchase and installation of carbon capture equipment. Private activity bonds are widely used to help develop U.S. infrastructure, such as airports and water and sewer projects, including through public-private partnerships. The bonds will reduce financing costs for carbon capture projects because interest payments to bondholders are exempt from federal tax and the bonds typically have longer repayment terms than bank debt.  Access to private activity bonds, together with extension and reform of the Section 45Q tax credit, will give carbon capture project developers another important incentive in what NEORI members hope will be a toolkit of financing mechanisms enacted as part of comprehensive tax reform legislation expected to be considered by Congress later this year.

Advance Energy Report Underscores Gains – The 5th annual Advanced Energy Now 2017 Market Report focused on the size, growth, and trends in the advanced energy market, globally and in the United States. The report features 17 stories on the trends that are driving advanced energy growth – and making the energy we use secure, clean, and affordable. This year’s edition shows global growth of 7% from 2015 to 2016, nearly twice the rate of the world economy overall.  In 2016, advanced energy represented a $1.4 trillion global market and a U.S. market of $200 billion. The advanced energy industry is also a major employer, supporting more than 3 million U.S. jobs. That’s equal to the employment provided by retail stores, and twice the jobs in building construction.

Global Renewable Growth Strong – New research by the United Nations and Bloomberg New Energy Finance says countries added record levels of renewable energy capacity in 2016 even as investment fell.  Most of the success has been due to reduced costs.  While the investment of $241.6 billion in renewable energy capacity (excluding large hydropower) was the lowest level since 2013, it was roughly double the investment in fossil fuel generation.  New renewable capacity accounted for 55% of all new power.  According to the new report that is the highest percentage ever.  Renewables including wind, solar, biomass and waste-to-energy added 138.5 gigawatts to the global power capacity in 2016, up by 8% over last year.  Solar investment was down by 34% from 2015, while capacity additions rose to an all-time high. Wind investments were down by 9%, and capacity additions fell to 54 GW from a high of 63 GW in 2015. A bright spot was Europe’s investment in offshore wind.  The share of renewables grew to 11.3% of electricity worldwide, from 10.3% the previous year, excluding large hydro. Winning bids for solar and wind “at inconceivably low” tariffs in auctions gave another boost to renewables, said the report.

 

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

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

Atlantic Council Report to Look at Oil Theft – The Atlantic Council’s Global Energy Center will hold a forum today at 12:30 p.m. for a discussion about how hydrocarbons crime impacts global security, the market, the environment, and communities around the world, and how stakeholders can work together to address this under-recognized issue.  The will also release a report, Downstream Oil Theft: Global Modalities, Trends, and Remedies, by Dr. Ian M. Ralby, is the first major study of refined oil theft around the globe. Launched at the Atlantic Council Global Energy Forum in Abu Dhabi in January, this report explores the many ways that hydrocarbons crime presents a threat not only to local and regional prosperity, but also to global stability and security. Following up on this study, Dr. Ralby has written an additional report outlining the steps that need to be taken to effectively address this issue.

EESI Forum to Look at Foreign Aid, Climate Help – The Environmental and Energy Study Institute (EESI) holds a briefing tomorrow at 3:00 p.m. in 485 Russell discussing benefits to the United States from deploying foreign aid to vulnerable regions to help them become more resilient to climate change impacts. The briefing will also explore the inner workings of the Green Climate Fund (GCF), a multi-lateral effort to mobilize $100 billion in public and private financing for adaptation and mitigation projects in developing nations.

Wilson Event to Look China Energy Finance – The Wilson Center will host a forum on Thursday at 9:30 a.m. to look at China Energy Finance investments.  Since 2000, the China Development Bank and the Export-Import Bank of China have emerged as major global funders of energy infrastructure providing upwards of $160 billion in energy finance to governments across the world. To better understand the size and types of this energy investment, Kevin Gallagher and his research team at Boston University have launched a new interactive China’s Global Energy Finance database that tracks international energy investments by Chinese banks.  The database has revealed that nearly 80% of Chinese bank investment goes into power plant construction -two-thirds of which were coal plants. Besides presenting insights from the database, Dr. Gallagher will discuss how Chinese energy finance compares to other global energy financiers. Dr. Wang Yan (Peking University) will put this energy financing in a larger context by explaining the non-concessional finance approach China’s global banks are taking to promote industrial and infrastructure development around the world. Paulina Garzon will provide examples of positive and negative impacts that Chinese energy investments are having on communities in Latin America.

Forum to Look at New Fuel Economy Approaches – The R Street Institute will host a panel discussion of these recent developments in fuel economy regulations, the existing triune approach to it and what alternatives the future might hold on Friday at 12:30 p.m.  Speakers will include CEI’s Marlo Lewis, AAM’s Chris Nevers, Rod Richardson of the Grace Richardson Fund, Wayne Winegarden of the Pacific Research Institute and R Street’s Ian Adams.

 

IN THE FUTURE

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

CSIS Forum to Look at Global Development – The Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) will host its 3rd annual Global Development Forum (GDF) on Wednesday April 19th. The GDF will feature over 40 speakers, including key stakeholders from U.S. government agencies, leading multilateral and non-governmental organizations, foreign governments, and the private sector. The forum examines the role and purpose of official development assistance against a backdrop of rising incomes, economic growth, youth unemployment, and other continued complex challenges in many parts of the world. To address these challenges, the next U.S. administration will need to apply new approaches and remain highly flexible in a rapidly changing development landscape. In particular, this conference will explore ways in which the next few years will shape the role of the United States in international development, and how the United States can work with official donors and key partners, including the private sector, civil society, and multilateral institutions. The two keynote speakers will be Admiral William J. Fallon (ret.), former Commander of U.S. Central Command and Asian Development Bank President Takehiko Nakao.

AEE Webinar to Look at State Policy Questions – The Advanced Energy Economy (AEE) will host a webinar on April 19th at 1:00 p.m. looking at creating markets for advanced energy at the state Level.  Whatever might be happening at the federal level, states are taking the lead in creating markets for advanced energy. AEE’s State Policy Program seeks to maintain this momentum by working with our coalition of State and Regional Partners and our business members to promote advanced energy legislation in statehouses around the nation. During this webinar you will hear from policy experts who have intimate knowledge of the latest legislative developments in the following states: California: Cap & Trade, Storage, Transportation; Nevada: Retail Choice Issue, Legislative Update; Texas: Legislative Tax Issue, PUCT Regulatory Proceeding on Data Access; Virginia: Access to Advanced Energy, Legislative, and Regulatory Update.

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

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

 

Energy Update: Week of April 3

Friends,

So much going on…let’s start with the sports. This is among the most exciting weeks in the sports with the NCAA Championship game tipping off tonight at 9:20 pm. Gonzaga takes on UNC after two barnburner semifinals on Saturday. But the most unbelievable event of the weekend was Mississippi State snapping UConn’s 111-game winning streak in the NCAA women’s semifinal. Then yesterday, South Carolina defeated the giant killer to win its first NCAA Women’s Basketball National Championship.

But it doesn’t end there. Today is opening day for Major League Baseball teams with 12 games set, including the Washington Nationals at 1:05 pm and the Orioles at 3:05 pm. Yesterday, the New York Yankees and the Tampa Bay Rays launched the 2017 season with a 7-3 Rays victory. The World Champ Cubs vs. the Cardinals and the SF Giants/Arizona also opened up yesterday.  And this is also Masters Week with practice rounds today and tomorrow, the Par 3 Tourney on Wednesday and the Full Action on Thursday.  Thursday the Frozen Four starts in Chicago and we are only a couple weeks from the Boston Marathon, where we will have a report next week on preparations for the Wellesley scream tunnel at Mile 13 from an actual Wellesley student.

Wow, after all that action, how are we going to get back to work, especially after the climate executive order was launched last week and we seem to be off the radar screen again?

One note from Friday in case you missed it: the natural gas/water case in Dimock, PA that you may recall was touted with such fanfare by drilling opponents like Josh Fox, Mark Ruffalo, and others when they won a year ago, was officially had the verdict thrown out because a judge determined that the jury decision and $4.24 million award was unjust and unfair.

This week, Congress runs towards its Spring/Easter/Passover break with the major focus on SCOTUS nominee Neil Gorsuch.  While on its edges, it has environmental/energy implications, the key points focus on other items. Tomorrow, though, Senate Energy takes up grid infrastructure and security questions in a hearing featuring NRECA member executive Duane Highley of the Arkansas Co-op and AGA’s Dave McCurdy, among others.  Also tomorrow, Richard Trumka, head of the AFL-CIO will speak at a National Press Club Luncheon to assess opportunities around trade and infrastructure.

On Wednesday, the Bipartisan Policy Center will hold a forum on the power of innovation featuring NRECA CEO Jim Matheson. WCEE also holds a panel of energy journalists from E&E News, S&P Global Platts and Politico to discuss the trends in the energy sector.

GWU will holds its Planet Forward Summit on Thursday and Friday hosted by SMPA Head and former CNN personality Frank Sesno and featuring our friend Andy Revkin.  Also, the World Energy Council’s Secretary General, Christoph Frei, reveals the results of the 2017 World Energy Issues Monitor at USEA.  The Nat’l Cap Area Chapter of Energy Economists will host its 21st Annual Washington Energy Policy Conference at GMU’s Founders Hall and ECOS holds their spring meeting Thursday to Saturday.

Finally, our friend Amy Harder joins the Axios energy team this week…Back on the beat after a couple of weeks of world traveling…Next week is Easter week, so a lot of folks may be headed for the last effort at Spring Break.

Call with questions… Play Ball!

 

Best,

Frank Maisano

(202) 828-5864

(202) 997-5932

 

FRANKLY SPOKEN

“Cabot felt confident that once a thorough review of the overwhelming scientific evidence and a full legal analysis of the conduct of the plaintiff’s counsel was conducted, the flaws in the verdict would be understood.”

Cabot spokesman George Stark

 

IN THE NEWS

Dimock Jury Verdict Thrown Out As Unfair – You may not have seen this play out with as much fanfare as the initial trial, but a federal judge has thrown out a $4.24 million jury verdict against Cabot Oil & Gas in Dimock, PA.  U.S. Magistrate Judge Martin Carlson on Friday set aside the verdict reached a year ago by a jury in Scranton, saying the evidence presented by the Dimock homeowners “was spare, sometimes contradictory, frequently rebutted by other scientific expert testimony, and relied in some measure upon tenuous inferences.”  Carlson also said the plaintiffs presented no evidence that would justify a multi-million dollar award. In his decision, the judge also said the plaintiffs’ acknowledgements that there had been problems with their water before the company started drilling made it hard to argue that Cabot was the sole cause of any problems. He said their expert witnesses offered at best “inferences that had weak factual support” while failing to contest Cabot’s rebuttal evidence. Finally, Carlson said the jury’s decision went against the “great weight of the evidence that was presented” and ordered a new trial if the two sides could not resolve their differences.

Pruitt Challenged on Fox News Sunday – EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt faced tough questioning from Fox News Sunday Host Chris Wallace yesterday.  Pruitt on Sunday defended the administration’s positions on climate change and ending domestic energy policies.   Pruitt clarified his position, amid outcry from environmental activists, that humans indeed contribute to climate change.  He also argued that Congress provides the EPA with the authority to make rules and that former President Obama overstepped that authority with his 2015 Clean Power Plan, which is now subject to a Supreme Court stay.

Grid Paper Outlines Resource Risks – Mid-Atlantic Grid Operator PJM Released a new issue paper says that natgas and renewables are displacing coal and nuclear.  But changing the resource mix, it said, comes with drawbacks and risks.  Low-cost gas and renewables driving those other power-generating resources into premature “retirement” in the PJM area, which stretches from the mid-Atlantic and Midwest. The PJM paper analyzes what impact that will have on electricity reliability. With less coal and nukes, some frequency response falls, but flexibility and ramping increases, it says. A huge increase in natural gas (theoretically up to 86% of the portfolio) provided enough reliability; a significant increase in wind and solar comes with some risks, though. “Heavy reliance on one resource type, raises questions about electric system resilience, which are beyond the reliability questions this paper sought to address. Resilience is the capability of an energy system to tolerate disturbance and to continue to deliver energy services to consumers. Relying too heavily on any one fuel type may negatively impact resilience because resources do not provide generator reliability attributes equally. External drivers have impacted and could continue to impact the resource mix.”

Wall Street Journal Editorial Looks at Icahn IssuesThe Wall Street Journal had an editorial in the paper on Friday focused on Carl Icahn and the ethics questions on which some Democrats are pressing him regarding the ethanol program and its RIN trading credits.   The Journal Ed board said Icahn happens to believe that the RINs market is rigged to generate “windfall profits” for “Wall Street, Big Oil and large gas-station chains” at the expense of small and medium refiners like CVR, as he wrote in the Journal. The system is “full of manipulation, speculation and fraud.”  The Journal editors say that seems like a familiar line from the very Democrats challenging Icahn.  They close by saying “Democrats can’t blame Icahn for passing along their own opinions. Meanwhile, reform is overdue at the EPA.”

Global Renewable Energy Report Released – The International Renewable Energy Agency has a new report showing that solar energy capacity installed around the world last year has surpassed wind energy.  There statistics say total renewable energy capacity grew by 8% in 2016, with a record of 71 gigawatts of solar power leading the growth. Wind capacity stood at 51GW, while hydropower and bioenergy capacities increased 30 GW and 9 GW respectively.

Platts Capitol Crude Targets Trump Policy Questions – Platts Capitol Crude today is focused on the Trump energy policy issues. After 10 weeks in the White House, the Trump administration has moved to revoke efforts to combat climate change, approved key pipelines and taken steps to bolster production of US oil, natural gas and coal. Tracking the shift in energy policy has been a challenge, so on this week’s episode Senior oil editors Brian Scheid and Meghan Gordon break down Trump’s energy policy changes, identify which ones will have “bigly” impacts on energy markets and which ones look like losers.

 

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

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

Solar Foundation to Talk Solar Census – The Solar Foundation will hold a bipartisan briefing and Q&A session today at 2:00 p.m. on their updated data for the 2016 Solar Jobs Census. The National Solar Jobs Census is the first and most authoritative national benchmark for solar jobs research.  Briefing will include insight on the Solar Jobs Map, an interactive tool that visualizes how solar jobs are growing in your state, county, metro area or legislative district. The Solar Foundation’s President and Executive Director, Andrea Luecke, and Senior Director of Programs, Ed Gilliland will speak.

Senate Energy to Look at Cyber Threats – The Senate Energy Committee will hold a hearing tomorrow at 10:00 a.m. to examine efforts to protect U.S. energy delivery systems from cybersecurity threats.  Witnesses will include DOE veteran Patricia Hoffman, Andrew Bochman of the Idaho National Laboratory, NERC CEO Gerry Cauley, NRECA expert and Arkansas Electric Cooperative Corporation CEO Duane D. Highley, AGA CEO Dave McCurdy,  and Washington National Guard Commander Colonel Gent Welsh.

House Resources to Look at Hydro, Pumped Storage Legislation – The House Natural Resources Committee’s Subcommittee on Water, Power and Oceans will hold a legislative hearing tomorrow at 10:00 on hydro and pumped storage legislation.  You can see the legislation to be discussed here.

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

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

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

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

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

GU to Host Ambassadors Panel – On Wednesday at 5:00 p.m. Georgetown University hosts a conference on the intersectionality of Climate Change and Security. As a threat to national security, climate change acts as a threat multiplier, aggravating problems such as poverty, racial and social tensions, environmental degradation, and further destabilize states.  The conference will feature an Ambassadors panel, featuring the German Ambassador Peter Wittig, Danish Ambassador Lars Gert Lose, and Barbadian Ambassador Selwin Hart. The keynote speaker will be General James L. Jones, Obama’s National Security Advisor and former Supreme Commander of NATO Allied Forces. The discussion will be moderated by Kathleen Hicks, Senior VP at CSIS.

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

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

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

GW, APHA to Host Climate/Health Discussion – The GW Milken Institute School of Public Health and the American Public Health Association (APHA) will also host a panel Thursday at 10:00 a.m. discussing the intersection of climate change and public health.

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

World Energy Council Head to Discuss Issues Monitor – The World Energy Council’s Secretary General, Dr. Christoph Frei, will reveal the results of the 2017 World Energy Issues Monitor at a briefing at the U.S. Energy Association in Washington Thursday at 10:00 a.m. The report assesses the degree of impact and uncertainty around more than 40 key issues in the energy sector in four categories including macroeconomic risks, geopolitics and regional issues, business environment and energy innovation and technologies.  Frei will also discuss the findings of the World Energy Trilemma Index, which will reveal how the U.S. ranks among 125 countries on energy security, energy equity, and environmental sustainability. Last year, the U.S. ranked among the top 10 in energy security.

Climate Assessment Authors to Discuss Next Report – On Thursday at 4:00 p.m. at Chemonics, scientists will come together to discuss the International Chapter of the 4th National Climate Assessment.  The Global Change Research Act of 1990 mandates that, every four years, the United States Global Change Research Program (USGCRP) “prepare and submit to the President and Congress” an assessment that summarizes the effects from global change on the U.S. The fourth National Climate Assessment (NCA) is due in 2018. For the first time, the NCA will include a chapter on climate impacts on U.S. international interests. This international chapter will look at climate impacts on U.S. interests abroad including trade, security, development and humanitarian assistance investments, and scientific research.  The authors will share plans and invite input on the content of the chapter.

GU, UN Association to Hold Green Finance Forum – On Saturday, United Nations Association and Georgetown Law will hold a brunch and round tables discussing the challenges regarding the integration of renewable energy and the implementation of carbon pricing.

 

IN THE FUTURE

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

Atlantic Council Report to Look at Oil Theft – The Atlantic Council’s Global Energy Center will hold a forum next Monday at 12:30 p.m. for a discussion about how hydrocarbons crime impacts global security, the market, the environment, and communities around the world, and how stakeholders can work together to address this under-recognized issue.  The will also release a report, Downstream Oil Theft: Global Modalities, Trends, and Remedies, by Dr. Ian M. Ralby, is the first major study of refined oil theft around the globe. Launched at the Atlantic Council Global Energy Forum in Abu Dhabi in January, this report explores the many ways that hydrocarbons crime presents a threat not only to local and regional prosperity, but also to global stability and security. Following up on this study, Dr. Ralby has written an additional report outlining the steps that need to be taken to effectively address this issue.

EESI Forum to Look at Foreign Aid, Climate Help – The Environmental and Energy Study Institute (EESI) holds a briefing next Tuesday at 3:00 p.m. in 485 Russell discussing benefits to the United States from deploying foreign aid to vulnerable regions to help them become more resilient to climate change impacts. The briefing will also explore the inner workings of the Green Climate Fund (GCF), a multi-lateral effort to mobilize $100 billion in public and private financing for adaptation and mitigation projects in developing nations.

Wilson Event to Look China Energy Finance – The Wilson Center will host a forum on Thursday April 13th at 9:30 a.m. to look at China Energy Finance investments.  Since 2000, the China Development Bank and the Export-Import Bank of China have emerged as major global funders of energy infrastructure providing upwards of $160 billion in energy finance to governments across the world. To better understand the size and types of this energy investment, Kevin Gallagher and his research team at Boston University have launched a new interactive China’s Global Energy Finance database that tracks international energy investments by Chinese banks.  The database has revealed that nearly 80% of Chinese bank investment goes into power plant construction -two-thirds of which were coal plants. Besides presenting insights from the database, Dr. Gallagher will discuss how Chinese energy finance compares to other global energy financiers. Dr. Wang Yan (Peking University) will put this energy financing in a larger context by explaining the non-concessional finance approach China’s global banks are taking to promote industrial and infrastructure development around the world. Paulina Garzon will provide examples of positive and negative impacts that Chinese energy investments are having on communities in Latin America.

Forum to Look at New Fuel Economy Approaches – The R Street Institute will host a panel discussion of these recent developments in fuel economy regulations, the existing triune approach to it and what alternatives the future might hold on Friday April 14th at 12:30 p.m.  Speakers will include CEI’s Marlo Lewis, AAM’s Chris Nevers, Rod Richardson of the Grace Richardson Fund, Wayne Winegarden of the Pacific Research Institute and R Street’s Ian Adams.

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

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

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

Thanksgiving Energy Update

Friends,

 

It is a slow week with the Thanksgiving Holiday on Thursday.  But the opening of the Paris Climate meeting and the impending RFS roll out will take the majority of the upcoming attention.

Below I am offering a few quick points on the Paris Climate Meetings to set up the November 30th  launch.  We will have more next week as the meetings kick off.  Most importantly, please let me know if you will be in Paris at any point over the next two weeks so I can add you to my list of reporters on-site and stay in touch on activities.

As for the RFS, sources are reporting the latest rumor is that the rule will be released next week on its due date, November 30th.  There were some rumors that it may be released Wednesday or even Friday, but that was tamped down last week.  With the President arriving in Paris on the same day and speaking December 1st on his negotiating priorities, there are some thoughts that White House will want any political indigestion from the RFS under cover from the Thanksgiving Holiday.  Just in case it rolls, I have included a quick primer with contacts for you to reach over the holiday.

Finally, enjoy your family over Thanksgiving.  Enjoy some football and remember, the first American “President” to call for a national day of thanksgiving was Maryland native (eastcoast beach Route 50 namesake) John Hanson in 1782, seven years before Geo Washington’s first proclamation.

Call with questions…Best,

 

Frank Maisano

(202) 828-5864

(202) 997-5932
PRE-PARIS PRIMER

Who’s Going – The U.N. expects the COP-21 to draw some 10,000 government representatives to the Le Bourget conference center in a northeastern Parisian suburb, plus 7,000 observers per week and 3,000 journalists.  Just Last week, more than 1,000 other reporters were cut from the list of accredited media.  We will be in contact with several industry people on the ground in Paris and will be happy to provide you their thoughts and posit your questions to them.

Side Events Will Go On – Despite French officials canceling an outdoor climate march due to security concerns in the aftermath of the terror attacks, French and UN officials announced that indoor events organized by civil society during international global warming negotiations in Paris can proceed. One of those events will be NEXT Thursday, December 10th 3:00 p.m.  Business Side Event in Room 5 which will offer business perspectives on INDCs.  Business groups in Europe, the U.S. and developing nations will discuss implications for domestic and global outcomes from policy, as well as market changes in trade & investment.  They will also present experiences with business engagement in developing INDCs and recommend ways to involve business in assessment and /improvement.

Leaders to Arrive Early – This year, world leaders will arrive at the beginning of the event with leaders like French President Francois Hollande and President Obama making kick off speeches.  Most will conduct ministerial meetings, like the one held with Obama and India Prime Minister Modi.  Most of the opening will be ceremonial with key negotiations and draft text due heading into the second week.

Some Key Points – There are several key points to keep on your agenda:

 

  • Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs) – The Paris agreement is anticipated to be a bottom-up treaty, with each country setting goals based on their unique national circumstances. These Intended Nationally Determined Contributions, or INDCs, will form the basis of the country-specific commitments under the new UN climate treaty. It is also expected that periodic review of these commitments will be instituted along with measuring, reporting, and verification to ensure the integrity and ambition of the commitments.  While may seem to be making INDCs, there are many questions as to whether countries will live up to these commitments.  Even the US commitment is being questions by experts as not adding up to the 26-28% reduction.

 

  • Green Climate Fund – Financing issues are among the most controversial in Paris, and they could easily derail any agreement. Many developing country INDCs are conditioned on financial support and technology transfer.  The Green Climate Fund (GCF) was proposed at COP-15 in Copenhagen in 2009, refined in subsequent meetings, and became operational in 2014. GCF aims to provide support to developing country efforts to reduce their GHG emissions and to adapt climate change.  However, this breaks down, it is clear that a significant portion of the expected funds—certainly tens if not hundreds of billions of dollars over many years—would be coming from public sources and would have to be appropriated by Congress.

 

  • Intellectual property – Developing countries have used this provision deftly to justify their attempts to weaken intellectual property rights (IPR) protections, ostensibly to remove the supposed “barriers” to technology transfer raised by IPR. Compulsory licensing and a fund supported by developed countries to buy down IP are two of many proposals being bruited. IPR serve as a fundamental catalyst of innovation, and study after study has shown that it is not a barrier to technology transfer. A weakened IPR regime such as that being proposed above would provide precious little incentive for companies to invest in advanced technologies if after years of research and development and millions or even billions of dollars invested, their inventions could be expropriated outright by companies in developing countries and manufactured and sold around the world at reduced cost. Under such a circumstance, some of the most innovative companies in the developed world would simply abandon the development of advanced energy technologies.

 

  • Technology Transfer – Tied to INDCs and the Green Fund, Technology Transfer is one fundamental issue that could bridge the gap.  It frankly is a better way to move toward a positive goal transforming our energy economy:  engage developing countries with advanced technology transfer to help them grow their economies more efficiently and cleanly.  Rather than going to Paris and trying to shame everyone into doing, this approach could be an important way to move forward.  In fact, we are already doing in many ways.  Look at the Clean Coal, Solar and offshore wind technologies that have struggled to catch on here in the US.  While we have struggled, developing nations, specifically China, have looked for these opportunities even without the promise of billions in funds (that will likely not ever come).

 

  • Verification – An issue that does not receive the attention it deserves is measuring, reporting, and verification of climate policies. As things stand now, the system of MRV that is likely to come out of Paris will focus not on whether a country meets its emissions goal, but on whether it implements the policies and measures designed to meet its goal. In other words, MRV is more about process than results. MRV will be especially challenging in developing countries. Transparency is a key to open markets and planning, and businesses will be reticent to invest in developing economies without assurances that its investments in emission reduction and offset projects are real and that government activities in support of INDCs have integrity.

 

  • Binding Legal Commitments Or Non-binding Political Agreement – In a recently interview, Secretary of State John Kerry said recently the Paris agreement is “definitively not going to be a treaty.” While it has not been finalized, we can already say that the Paris Agreement will be a multilateral international agreement that will include almost every country in the world. In testimony last week, Hofstra Constitutional Law Professor Julian Ku said If the outcome of the Paris Conference is to make these promises to reduce emissions legally binding, it is my view that the Paris Agreement must be submitted to the Senate for approval as a treaty under Article II.  This will continue to be a contentious point of negotiating among parties and one that US Senators will be watching Closely.  Last week, Senator Barrasso and Inhofe said the any funding for climate initiatives would be tied to Senate review.

Staying in Touch – I will be monitoring activities and providing resources for those in Paris as well as those covering from Afar.  Again, IF YOU WILL BE IN PARIS , please let me know so I can add you to my list of resources in Paris.  Please feel free to stay in touch.

 

 

RFS PRIMER

 

EPA’s RFS rules must be finalized by November 30th, per a court-approved consent decree. The rules will set final mandates for the entire program for 2014 and 2015 (retroactively) through 2016, and set final biodiesel mandates through 2017. We expect the release on Monday the 30th but it is possible EPA rolls out the rule around the Thanksgiving holiday this week.   It is important to remember that Paris climate negotiations begin on the November 30 RFS deadline. In case EPA moves this week, keep this primer handy for contacts and background on EPA’s RFS move.

 

1) Talk to Scott Segal, one of the best and most savvy RFS experts in town: 202-262-5845; scott.segal@bgllp.com

 

2) Have a conversation with Environmental Working Group expert Scott Faber or one of the experts on his team.  You can reach Faber at (202) 939-9127 (direct); (202) 384-4280 (cell) or sfaber@ewg.org

 

3) Talk to Stephen Brown of Tesoro, also one of the best and most savvy industry RFS experts in town: 202-744-5578; stephen.h.brown@tsocorp.com

 

4) Another great resource for comments are energy analysts like Jim Lucier: 202-548-0072; james.lucier@capalphadc.com, and Kevin Book: 202-506-5744; book@CVEnergy.com, who have previewed the decision and I am certain will have pieces out after EPA’s final move.

IN THE NEWS

 

Air Liquide will buy US-based Airgas – Air Liquide announced an agreement under which it will acquire Airgas. Combining Air Liquide and Airgas will bring together two highly complementary businesses to deliver greater value, service and innovation to customers in North America and around the world. In the U.S., Airgas’ leadership in the packaged gases business and associated products and services and Air Liquide’s strong footprint in complementary activities will increase the scope and competitiveness of the combined companies’ product offering.  This acquisition gives Air Liquide a greater presence in the U.S. market, the largest for industrial gases  worldwide, and will ideally position Air Liquide for future growth. In addition, there is potential for further growth using Airgas’ footprint to accelerate the deployment of Air Liquide’s technologies.  The combination builds on Air Liquide’s longstanding track record of successfully operating in the U.S. and will benefit from Airgas’ unmatched national presence and its more than 1 million customers in the U.S., as well as from its leading customer-facing platform including e-commerce and telesales capabilities. The combined entity will be able to better serve customers with the most advanced multi-distribution networks in the U.S. and more competitive product offerings thanks to an integrated upstream-downstream model.

 

EIA: China , India Drive Recent Changes in World Coal Trade – DOE’s Energy Information Administration (EIA) reports that Global trade of coal grew dramatically from 2008 to 2013, but in 2014, it declined for the first time in 21 years. Interestingly though, EIA said China and India accounted for 98% of the increase in world coal trade from 2008 to 2013, but declines in China’s import demand have led to declines in total world coal trade in 2014 and, based on preliminary data, in 2015 as well.  Some experts suggest that the slowdownis in part credited to slower growth in China and protections for its domestic coal industry.  One thing is clear:  there is no slowdown regarding the fact they will continue using coal.

 

Second Study This Month Projects Significant Costs, Few Benefits of GHG Rule – Another new analysis of the Obama administration’s GHG rule for power plants shows the policy for reducing carbon dioxide emissions from the nation’s power sector will raise electricity costs significantly for families and businesses throughout the nation.   The study, by Energy Ventures Analysis (EVA), finds consumers will pay an additional $214 billion by 2030, with 45 states facing double digit increases in wholesale electricity costs and 16 states saddled with a 25 percent increase or more. Added to this total will be a projected $64 billion bill to replace an estimated 41,000 MW of power plant capacity that will be forced to close, enough to power 24 million homes.  The analysis, commissioned by the National Mining Association (NMA), identifies the flaws in the CPP that ignore actual costs likely to result from replacing existing power plants using affordable fuel with plants using costlier fuel sources.  The findings demonstrate EPA has substantially understated the plan’s costs to consumers in at least three ways: 1) by failing to acknowledge the higher cost of natural gas required to replace the coal generation displaced in base load power; 2) by failing to recognize the cost impact on industrial and other natural gas customers who are outside the power sector and 3) by failing to fully account for the costs that consumers will pay for new power generation and transmission infrastructure necessary to replace coal generation that will be prematurely retired by the rule.

 

Dartmouth Study: Regional NatGas Impact Significant – A new National Bureau of Economic Research study led by Dartmouth College experts examines the economic and job-creating impact of shale development, enabled by fracking, within 100 miles of active drilling locations.  Commenting on the study’s findings, Dartmouth economics professor Bruce Sacerdote notes that “It’s surprising just how much of the revenue, how large the benefits are in the county and within 100 miles of the county.” Key study takeaways include 1) over a third of fracking revenue stays within the regional economy; 2)  between 2005 to 2012 within 100 miles of new production, $1 million of extracted oil and gas generates $243,000 in wages, $117,000 in royalties and 2.49 jobs; and 3) impact on jobs and income at the state level was approximately five times larger than the county impact; 4) within the county, every $1 million generates $66,000 in wage income, $61,000 in royalty payments and 0.78 jobs within the county and 5) with the creation of 725,000 jobs associated with the new oil and gas extraction between 2005 and 2012, the study findings indicate that U.S. unemployment was lowered by 0.5 percent during the significant economic downturn.

 

 

 

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

 

Moniz to Address Energy Technology – 1776 will hold a special afternoon event today at 3:00 p.m. with the Secretary of Energy, Ernest Moniz where he will announce a significant Department of Energy investment in cutting-edge energy technologies. The Secretary will also discuss the Department’s role in driving technological solutions that will allow ambitious commitments to help achieve our climate goals ahead of global climate negotiations at COP21 in Paris. The Secretary’s remarks will be followed by a distinguished panel talking about energy innovation and how startup companies and government R&D can transform the industry.

 

Cheniere Exec to Discuss LNG at NatGas Roundtable – The Natural Gas Roundtable will host Cheniere’s vice president of finance, Tarek Souki to be the guest speaker at tomorrow’s natgas luncheon.  He will discuss the outlook for natural gas exports from the US and the dynamics of the global LNG market including supply, demand and pricing linkages to Henry Hub.

 

UCS to Hold Paris Webinar – Tomorrow at 1:00 p.m., the Union of Concerned Scientists will hold a webinar on the U.S. role in international climate negotiations.

 

Georgetown Report to Look at Transpo Issues – The Georgetown Climate Center will release a new report tomorrow at Noon on reducing greenhouse gas emissions from transportation, looking opportunities in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic.

 

THANKSGIVING – November 26

 

 

FUTURE EVENTS

 

PARIS UN COP 21 Meeting –  November 30th  to December 11th

 

IEA Outlook Discussed at CSIS – The CSIS Energy and National Security Program will host Dr. Fatih Birol, Executive Director at the International Energy Agency to present the IEA’s World Energy Outlook 2015 on Monday November 30th at 1:00 p.m. The presentation will include updated projections for the evolution of the global energy system to 2040, based on the latest data and market developments, as well as detailed insights on the prospects for fossil fuels, renewables, the power sector and energy efficiency and analysis on trends in CO2 emissions and fossil-fuel and renewable energy subsidies.   In addition, the WEO 2015 includes in-depth analysis on several key issues including the implications of a lower oil price future, India’s energy sector, on the competitive position of fast-growing renewable energy technologies in different markets, new analysis of energy efficiency policies, and unconventional gas with a particular focus on China.

 

Bank Report to Look at Latin America Infrastructure – Next Monday at 2:00 p.m., the World Bank, the Inter-American Development Bank, CAF-Development Bank of Latin America, China Development Bank, and others will discuss ways to provide billions in finance for much-needed transportation, energy, water, sanitation, and other projects throughout the region in recent years.  In their newest report, Fei Yuan and Kevin Gallagher of Boston University’s Global Economic Governance Initiative’s (GEGI) compare development bank commitments to “green” finance in Latin America. Although some institutions have made great strides in promoting sustainable development in Latin America, much more will need to be done to scale up green finance and to adequately safeguard both green and conventional development projects.

 

Forum to Look at Indonesia, Energy – Next Tuesday, December 1st at 8:30 a.m. in B-338 Rayburn, the National Bureau of Asia Research will hold a forum on Indonesia and its energy issues. Indonesia’s successful democratic transition and strong economy have made the country a major political and economic power in both Southeast Asia and the broader region. Indonesia is now a key strategic and economic partner for the United States, as well as Japan and other countries in Asia, and has played an increasingly important role in shaping the future of the Asia-Pacific.

 

Senate Energy to Look at Well Control Rule – The Senate Energy Committee  will hold an oversight hearing on the Well Control Rule and other regulations related to offshore oil and gas production on Tuesday, December 1st.

DC Bar Panel to Look at Fracking Rule  Case – Next Tuesday, December 1st at 1:00 p.m., the D.C. Bar will hold a forum on the U.S. District Court for the District of Wyoming decision to prevent enforcement of the U.S. Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) recently issued hydraulic fracturing rule. BLM issued the rule in March, attempting to exert jurisdiction over hydraulic fracturing on federal and Indian lands. The district court’s decision prohibits the BLM from implementing the new rule while litigation over the rule’s legality is pending. The lawsuit, filed shortly after BLM issued the hydraulic fracturing rule, was originally brought by the Independent Petroleum Association of America and the Western Energy Alliance. The lawsuit now includes challenges from four states—Wyoming, North Dakota, Colorado, and Utah—and the Ute Indian Tribe.  This panel will discuss the impact of the court’s decision and their thoughts regarding future developments in the case.

Senate Foreign Relations to Hold Hearing on Energy Nominee – The Senate Committee on Foreign Relations will meet next Tuesday to consider several nominations including Amos Hochstein appointment to be an Assistant Secretary of State for Energy Resources.

Transmission Forum Set – The 5th  annual TransForum East, will be held December 1st and 2nd in Washington, D.C. at the Westin Georgetown.  As in previous Forum events, our presenters and panelists have been hand selected by the TransmissionHub editorial team to address the most important issues facing stakeholders in the Eastern Interconnection. You can view the agenda and speaker lineup here.

Panel to Look at Offshore Wind in the U.S.  – The Clean Energy Leadership Institute (CELI) will hold a panel discussion on Tuesday, December 1st at 6:30 p.m. looking at offshore wind in the U.S.  CELI and panelists from the U.S. Department of the Interior, EDF Renewable Energy, and the American Wind Energy Association, will hold a discussion on the potential benefits of and challenges facing offshore wind.  The panel will feature Interior’s Joshua Kaplowitz, EDF Renewable’s Doug Copeland and AWEA’s  Hannah Hunt.

 

Atlantic Council CEO Series Continues with GDF Suez’s Smati – The Atlantic Council will continue its CEO Series with a discussion on Wednesday, December 2nd at 1:30 p.m. on the future of power markets and energy technology with Zin Smati, the President and CEO of GDF SUEZ Energy North America. As Chief Executive of GDF SUEZ Energy North America, Zin Smati is tasked with navigating his company through an era of profound change in the world of energy. He brings his perspective to the Atlantic Council to discuss the sweeping energy transition now underway and to assess the future of power markets and energy technology.

 

NASA’s Chief Scientist Helping Countries Build Climate Resilience – Next Wednesday, December 2nd at 2:00 p.m. Georgetown University will host NASA scientist Ellen Stofan, who will discuss NASA’s International Programs and how they are using data to help countries develop climate resilience. Stofan was appointed NASA chief scientist on August 25, 2013, serving as principal advisor to NASA Administrator Charles Bolden on the agency’s science programs and science-related strategic planning and investments.

 

RFF to Look at Vehicle Fleet, Regs – Resources for the Future will hold a First Wednesday Seminar on December 2nd where panelists will analyze some of the emerging information, including consumer demand for fuel economy and how lower gasoline prices can affect future fuel savings from the regulations. Manufacturer responses will also be discussed, including how the production of different vehicle sizes and types can affect regulatory compliance strategies, and how the new markets for emissions and fuel economy credits are developing.  Speakers will include RFF fellows Virginia McConnell and Joshua Linn, as well as Chris Knittel of the Center for Energy and Environmental Policy Research at MIT and Gopal Duleep of H-D Systems.

 

Southern Company Holiday Party – Wednesday, December 2nd Union Station.

 

Hill Hosts Policy Discussion on Microgrid Technology – On Thursday, December 3rd 8:00 a.m. at The Newseum, The Hill hosts a discussion on the future of energy delivery. Policymakers, researchers, and technology and energy industry experts will discuss the value of microgrids in the event of a natural disaster or homeland security threat, how microgrids allow for integration of alternative energy sources, and what policy and regulatory reforms are necessary to facilitate the integration of microgrids into the larger power supply system.  Speakers will include Sens. Martin Heinrich and Lisa Murkowski, as well as Assistant Secretary of the Army for Installations, Energy & Environment Katherine Hammack and others.

 

Forum to Look at Barriers to Renewables – On Thursday, December 3rd at 2:00 p.m. in 334 Cannon, the Environmental and Energy Study Institute (EESI) and the Center for Climate Strategies (CCS) will host a briefing discussing how all levels of governments in the European Union and United States can expand collaboration on renewable electricity market penetration to meet energy, economic, and environmental needs. The briefing will feature an upcoming report by CCS, funded by the European Union Delegation to the United States, which examines high-priority common challenges and opportunities in the renewable energy sector that are prime candidates for new or enhanced forms of transatlantic collaboration at the regional and Member State/U.S. state levels. Attendees will be invited to provide comments and input for the report; join us to discuss how enhanced transatlantic cooperation can help set the stage for new investments and technologies through greater thought leadership, information sharing, technical assistance, and collaboration.

 

Mercury Case Arguments Set – The DC Circuit Court of Appeals will hear oral arguments to determine the future of EPA’s mercury rule on Friday, December 4th at the E. Barrett Prettyman Courthouse.  Judges Garland, Judith Rogers and Kavanaugh will hear the case, the same panel of judges who initially upheld the mercury rule 2-1.  EPA has suggested remanding the rule without vacating it so it can fix the problem identified by the Supreme Court that it should have considered the cost of regulating when issuing an initial “appropriate and necessary” finding.  Late last week, EPA proposed a fix using data collected during the implementation of the rule, and says it can finalize the new finding by next spring.  Opponents say the court should make EPA start from scratch, arguing that if the initial “appropriate and necessary” finding was improper then the entire rule must be trashed.

 

Clean Energy Leaders Honored – On Friday evening at Bier Baron, Leaders in Energy will honor Four Generations of leadership in clean energy and sustainability.  They will recognize leaders from World War II (1927-1945), Baby Boomer (1946-1964), Generation X (1965-1980), and Millennial (1981-2000) generations who exemplify leadership in the energy and sustainability arena. Leaders from each generation will discuss “Leading Through Adversity,” our theme. .  Shira Harrington, Founder and CEO, Purposeful HireFounder and President, Purposeful Hire, is the keynote speaker for this event. She will explore the changing world of work and the impact multigenerations are having on the workforce. Building on the understanding of what makes each generation unique, Shira will highlight how the four generations can embrace what they have in common to work together to create a more sustainable world.

 

NJ Event to Look at Grid – National Journal LIVE will hold a forum on December 8th on powering the 21st Century and making the grid work for all consumers.    The event will explore Washington’s role in encouraging energy innovation, the future of the grid and how best to ensure the benefits of new power generation methods are sustainable and extended to all communities.  The nation’s policy makers, innovators, stakeholders and thought leaders will conduct a robust conversation about grid modernization and the future of American energy.  Speakers will include North Dakota Rep. Kevin Cramer, Opower’s  Jim Kapsis, RFF’s Phil Sharp DOE’s Karen Wayland and several more.

Utility Execs Looking at Storage – The 2015 U.S. Energy Storage Summit will be Held in December 8th and 9th in San Francisco.  Utility speakers will offer presentations, case studies, and panel sessions on the status and technology of energy storage.  Our friend Stephen Lacey will be among those leading the discussion.

 

Bloomberg Reception Honors Hess Book – Bloomberg will host a reception on Wednesday, December 9th at 6:00 p.m. congratulating our friends Tina Davis and Jessica Resnick-Ault on the publication of their new book, Hess: The Last Oil Baron, published by Bloomberg Press and John Wiley & Sons.  It will Be at the Bloomberg offices in NYC on Lexington Avenue.

 

FERC’S Clark to Address ICF Breakfast – ICF will host FERC Commissioner Tony Clark at its December 10th Energy Breakfast at the National Press Club.   Clark will discuss FERC’s cutting-edge energy agenda.