Energy Update: Week of May 1

Friends,

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Best,

Frank Maisano

(202) 828-5864

(202) 997-5932

 

KENTUCKY DERBY PREVIEW

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

So here we go:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

FRANKLY SPOKEN

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

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

 

IN THE NEWS

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

SEJ Member Palmer to Launch Book at Wilson Event – Wednesday at the Wilson Center, our SEJ friend Lisa Palmer will launch of her new book, Hot, Hungry Planet, where she shares what she has learned from her research and reporting. She focuses on three key concepts that support food security and resilience in a changing world: social, educational, and agricultural advances; land use and technical actions by farmers; and policy nudges that have the greatest potential for reducing adverse environmental impacts of agriculture while providing more food.  Palmer will be joined by experts on global food security for a panel discussion and will take questions from the audience.

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

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

 

IN THE FUTURE

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Energy Update: Week of April 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.

Energy Update: Week of March 13

Friends,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Best,

Frank Maisano

(202) 828-5864

(202) 997-5932

 

FRANKLY SPOKEN

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

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

 

IN THE NEWS

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

IN THE FUTURE

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

New Year’s Energy Update

Friends,

Welcome to 2017!!!!  I hope you were able to enjoy a few days over the holidays to relax.  We sure saw some great football (topped by the Rose Bowl) and hockey (the Outdoor Centennial Classic in Toronto) games.

While 2016 was a bizarre political year, 2017 looks to be a brave new world, so let me lip-synch my way through a few bars to remind you that we will be on top of it all for you.  To that end, as usual, I am forwarding a few of the top issues we expect to see in the energy and environment arena for 2017.

The 115th Congress launched today with quite a stir. While new members were being sworn in and Speaker Ryan was being elected, the House was backtracking on the outside ethics committee change after pressure from the Presidential Twittersphere.  Anyway, while a dumb way to start, it did create some fun just 17 days before the Inauguration.   Sounds Like they will be busy right away though passing Midnight Rules Relief Act, which allows the use of the Congressional Review Act to overturn regulations finalized in the waning days of an administration and the Regulations from the Executive in Need of Scrutiny Act that requires explicit congressional approval for major executive branch regulations. (H/T POLITICO ME) Good luck getting passed the Senate though.

While a short week, there are a few great events set for the week.  Tomorrow, our friends at API hold its annual State of the Energy Industry event featuring CEO Jack Gerard at the Reagan Trade Center at 12:30 p.m.   Also this week, the Consumer Electronics Show starts in Las Vegas.  On Thursday, SAFE will release its autonomous vehicle report recommendations.  Due to the unique challenges of regulating the rapidly evolving AV industry, the report outlines clear and actionable best-practices for industry designed to increase collaboration between developers and regulators and ultimately improve public trust in AV technology.  You may also expect to hear more about this topic at next week’s launch of the world-renowned Detroit Auto Show.  Also Thursday morning at JHU, EIA’s Adam Sieminski will present the findings of EIA’s “Annual Energy Outlook 2017” with projections of U.S. energy supply, demand, and prices.

Finally, congrats to our friend Sean Spicer, taking over the WH flak Jacket.  Also, check out the recent opinion piece on EPA nominee Scott Pruitt from former White House Counsel C Boyden Gray, who helped author the 1990 Clean Air Act Amendments, the last time it was updated.  As usual, call with questions…and on to the Top 10!!!

 

Best,

Frank Maisano

(202) 828-5864

(202) 997-5932

 

TEN ISSUES FOR 2017

  1. Roll Back Vs Reform – We have already heard the enviro community talking rollbacks, but there is a serious question about what a roll back is and what is a much-needed, long-overdue reform.  This battle will be one of the key fights for the year, especially with the big tickets items headlining the list.  While the Clean Power Plan, WOTUS rule and other oil & gas rules will attract most of the attention, smaller rules like last week’s DOE EE rules and other low-profile, but costly rules will likely be on the hit list.  In the end, the fight will be less about the real policy substance and much more about messaging.
  2. Infrastructure = Projects = Pipelines = Jobs – We all know the role jobs played in the political campaign, which moves this to the very top of the new Administration’s agenda.  And don’t think the infrastructure bug will just hit projects that weren’t favored by the Obama team.  In fact, a rising tide lifts all boats so I expect clean energy projects will also see numerous opportunities.  But the most obvious translation to the energy issue is through infrastructure.  The last-minute, parting gifts handed to the environmental community over pipelines projects will likely fall away, but going forward, transmission lines, pipeline infrastructure, project development and road/mobility development will all be front and center priorities.
  3. Not So Much Confirmation, But Lots of Agency Reform – While Democrats are girding for battle on Trump Cabinet appointees, they are unlikely to stop any – especially the energy and environment picks – without an epic fail by a nominee at their confirmation hearing.  What is more significant is what they will do when they land at the agencies.  DOE’s Rick Perry, Interior’s Ryan Zinke and EPA’s Scott Pruitt will have significant structural reform on their plate and the question remains as to how that will go.  Pruitt will likely face the most significant plate of big issues from the RFS to the Clean Power Plan to the waters rule.   Perry and Zinke will face more lower-level structural reforms to their agencies.  Between the confirmation battles and the new approach for the agencies, look for this fights to take up a large part of year one.
  4. We’ll Always Have Paris, REPRISED – Last year, this was our first issue, and it re-emerges as major issue again, but this time for a different reason.  It is one of the most interesting questions of 2017 because of the new Administration’s unclear position.  While enviros say that we must continue pushing the Paris agreement to maintain environmental progress and our credibility in the international community, opponents of the Paris agreement are largely split on it going forward.  That disagreement centers on the fact that Paris doesn’t actually REQUIRE the U.S. to do anything.  Some want to send a message by pulling out, but that may be more trouble than it’s worth.  As with all issues now, it is becoming more of a message fight than an issue of substance and should reach a head in late 2017 at COP 23 in Bonn.
  5. Big or Small Ball on the RFS – The Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS) is always a policy fight magnet.  Don’t expect 2017 to be any different starting tomorrow when API does its “State of American Energy” event.  While the major fight over larger overall reform of the program has never been more live, there are smaller battles that played a major role last year that will likely resurface, especially with Carl Icahn leading the Administration’s Reg Reform effort.  Either way, the fight over this program continues both in the policy and political arena.
  6. Looking at the Power of Rural America – Rural America played a major role in electing Donald Trump, and while always powerful on Capitol Hill, look for the rural economic agenda to play a more prominent role in many policy fights.  Clean energy will also be an important piece of this effort as many rural communities see energy projects, efficiency programs and fuels policy as a form of rural economic development.  From Rural electricity to broadband to credit union policy changes, rural economic development will likely be closer to the front burner, especially since rural voters stepped up, know they are powerful and will want to be heard.
  7. Offshore Winds Finally Blowing? – As the nation’s first offshore wind farm finally opened off the coast of Rhode Island, it seems that the long freeze for offshore wind in the US is finally thawing.  The Deepwater Wind success was quickly following up by a major announcement by the Interior Department naming Statoil as the provisional winner of the U.S. government’s wind lease sale of 79,350 acres offshore New York. Statoil will now have the opportunity to explore the potential development of an offshore wind farm to provide New York City and Long Island with a significant, long-term source of renewable electricity.  Statoil submitted a winning bid of just under $42.5 billion.  While the anxious wait seems to be over, watch for key policy questions and potential roadblocks from a new Administration that hasn’t exactly been a supporter of offshore wind.
  8. Clean Energy Staying Strong But Smarter – Speaking of clean energy, as I mentioned a rising tide lifts all boats so we expect clean energy projects to also see numerous opportunities, especially if the expected infrastructure build-out takes hold.  But, expect the projects efforts to be less random.  Projects that improve reliability, create jobs, are economically feasible and promote environmental goals will likely be able to garner bipartisan support and move forward.  Projects that are a stretch and are reliant only on favorable tax policy or a constrained GHG mandate may struggle to get off the ground.  As well for 2017, new CCS projects will finally make it to commercial operation, another positive step forward.
  9. Innovation Agenda Essential for Technology, Climate Future – For the past century, the US has lead on virtually every energy technology, from solar panels to clean coal.  Common sense reforms that enable and inspire American ingenuity are essential to creating an energy future that will reduce emissions and advance the next generation of technologies that will continue to change the way we use energy.  Private-public partnership can also add new value. Exciting efforts like Southern Company’s Energy Innovation Center, which looks for better, more reliable and more efficient ways to increase value, can play an important role in the overall effort.  Southern is also a prime example of innovation leadership promoting several bold technologies like carbon capture, large-scale biomass, improved gas infrastructure, new wind and solar and new generation nuclear. We also saw technology innovation’s emergence on the global scene in the Breakthrough Coalition led by Bill Gates and the govt-to-govt “Mission Innovation” initiative, which were borne out of international discussions in Paris last December.  Only a bold private-public innovation/technology partnership process like this by world and business leaders can achieve success.
  10. New Nuclear is Hear and Now – Nuclear energy is an essential and reliable part of any modern electricity grid. It keeps the lights on regardless of the weather – and does so with zero air pollution. The current construction of new reactors at Plant Vogtle which will run through its final stages before operation starts in 2018, hopes to create a new age of nuclear energy. Vogtle is part of the next generation of reactors that are significantly upgraded from those built in the 1970s. And many companies are innovating further on advanced reactors that will be far more versatile than today’s technology.  In addition, new leadership at NEI will likely also make nuclear issue and more interesting read in 2017.   Georgia Power has an ongoing photo timeline of progress/activity at Plant Vogtle that you can see here.

 

FRANKLY SPOKEN

“When Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt is confirmed as the next administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, he will inherit an agency that should be declaring victory in its 46-year battle for a cleaner, healthier environment. The next administrator must focus on reining in an agency that has far exceeded its original mission. Fortunately, Pruitt understands the EPA’s proper role and is the right man for the job.”

 2007. Boyden Gray served as White House Counsel during the George H.W. Bush administration and as U.S. Ambassador to the European Union from 2006-2007. He was one of the architects of the 1990 Clean Air Act.

 

IN THE NEWS

DOE Finalizes Energy Efficiency Rules – DOE issued five new rules on December 29th that cover an eclectic mix of products, including the first national standards for uninterruptible power supplies, portable air conditioners and swimming pool pumps, which are based on a consensus agreement. For pool pumps, California has led the way with pool pump motor standards and Arizona, Connecticut, and Washington have followed. California and Oregon have previously set standards for uninterruptible power supplies as part of their battery charger standards.  For walk-in coolers and commercial boilers, DOE’s latest actions would update existing national standards, originally signed into law by George W. Bush and his father, respectively. Manufacturers and installers of walk-in coolers negotiated the walk-in cooler levels with DOE and other stakeholders after a lawsuit invalidated some earlier standards.

Interesting Twist to Rules – Under the terms of an agreement developed as part of the settlement AHRI reached with DOE in its 2014 lawsuit concerning the original rule for walk-in coolers and freezers, there is a 45-day waiting period before the rules can be published in the Federal Register.  This means that they will not be issued in final form during the Obama Administration and are, therefore, subject to review by the incoming Trump Administration.  AHRI President Steve Yurek said the walk-in coolers and freezers rule was negotiated with AHRI member input and AHRI approved the negotiated provisions of the rule. Yurek added the commercial boiler rule was not developed through negotiations, but through the notice-and-comment process under which AHRI provided comments.  AHRI continues to have significant issues with this rule, including our opposition to the proposed minimum efficiency levels for both oil and gas boilers which we feel overestimate the energy use of commercial packaged boilers, underestimates their installation costs, and overestimates the future shipments of commercial packaged boilers while underestimating the level of higher efficiency commercial packaged boilers that are currently in the marketplace. Yurek: “We continue to have concerns that the efficiency levels for these products has been set at a level that the margin of safety to properly vent the products of combustion has been significantly reduced.  We look forward to working with the Trump Administration as it reviews recent DOE rulemakings prior to their being finalized.”

Analysts Report: Shale Drillers Expected to Recover – Shale drillers are set to ramp up spending on exploration and production next year as recovering oil prices prompt banks to extend credit lines for the first time in two years.  The credit increase is small, but with major oil producers worldwide aiming to hold down production in 2017, U.S.-based shale drillers are looking to boost market share to take advantage of higher prices, and greater availability of capital will make that easier.  Analysts at Raymond James North America-focused oil and gas producers are expected to increase capital investments by 30% next year.

Southern Moving on Larger Wind Strategy – As part of the company’s renewable development strategy, Southern Company recently rolled out a joint development agreement with Renewable Energy Systems Americas Inc. (RES) to develop and construct approximately 3,000 megawatts (MW) across 10 projects with commercial operation dates between 2018 and 2020. Additionally, Southern Power has signed agreements to purchase wind turbine equipment from both Siemens and Vestas for use at the facilities.   Already, Southern owns more than 2,700 MW of renewable generation across 33 solar, wind and biomass facilities either announced, acquired or under construction. In total, the Southern Company system has added or announced more than 4,000 MW of renewable generation since 2012.

Statoil Wins NY Offshore Wind Auction – Statoil has been declared the provisional winner of the U.S. government’s wind lease sale of 79,350 acres offshore New York. Statoil will now have the opportunity to explore the potential development of an offshore wind farm to provide New York City and Long Island with a significant, long-term source of renewable electricity.  Statoil submitted a winning bid of $42,469,725 during the online offshore wind auction concluded today by the U.S. Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM).  The lease comprises an area that could potentially accommodate more than 1 GW of offshore wind, with a phased development expected to start with 400-600 MW. The New York Wind Energy Area is located 14-30 miles (30-60 km) offshore, spans 79,350 acres (321 km2), and covers water depths between 65 and 131 feet (20-40 meters).  Statoil will next conduct studies to better understand the seabed conditions, the grid connection options and wind resources involved in the lease site.

MI Wind Farm Begins Operations – DTE Energy has started commercial operations at its 50MW Pinnebog wind farm in Michigan. The 30-turbine facility, which is in Huron County, started construction in early 2016. The wind farm is an expansion of the existing Echo wind park and employed more than 150 people during construction.  DTE now has 30 full-time employees working at its Huron county renewable energy center in Bad Axe. In 2015, more than 10 percent of the energy provided by DTE was generated from a renewable source in Michigan.

 

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

API’s Gerard to Hold Annual State of American Energy – API President and CEO Jack Gerard will deliver a major address tomorrow at the Reagan Trade building Atrium tomorrow at Noon to outline priorities for America’s oil and natural gas industry with New Congress and Administration.  The United States is leading the world in the production of oil and natural gas while also leading the world in reducing carbon emissions. This game-changing milestone coincides with the start of a new administration and Congress. Voters from all parties want our nation’s leaders to address economic growth and accelerate job creation while developing an energy future that benefits all Americans.   Gerard will deliver his annual address followed by a news conference for credentialed members of the media.

EIA Presents Updated Long-Term Energy Projections – The Johns Hopkins University SAIS Energy and Environment program will host EIA’s Adam Sieminski on Thursday at 10:00 a.m.  Sieminski will present the findings of EIA’s “Annual Energy Outlook 2017” with projections of U.S. energy supply, demand, and prices including cases that address alternative assumptions regarding U.S. economic growth rates, domestic energy resources and technology, world oil prices, and the Clean Power Plan.

SAFE to Roll Out AV Policies at CES Las Vegas – Securing America’s Future Energy (SAFE) will roll out its autonomous vehicle report recommendations on Thursday in Las Vegas at the Consumer Electronic Show.  Due to the unique challenges of regulating the rapidly evolving autonomous vehicle (AV) industry, the report outlines clear and actionable best-practices for industry designed to increase collaboration between developers and regulators and ultimately improve public trust in AV technology.  The event will be at the Las Vegas Convention Center in Room S227A and will explore the details of these recommendations and strategies for implementation. Members of the Commission and SAFE staff will be available to answer questions about the Commission’s work and its implications for American energy security, including former Chairman of the National Transportation Safety Board Mark Rosenker, former Director of National Intelligence Admiral Dennis C. Blair, Paul Brubaker of the Alliance for Transportation Innovation, former GM exec Robert Lange and Cuneyt Oge, President of SAE International.

 

IN THE FUTURE

Detroit Auto Show Rolls Out – The North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) will roll out from January 8th to 22nd at Detroit’s Cobo Hall.  Official press conferences begin with Disney Pixar on Sunday  January 8th as the 2017 NAIAS Press Preview will host a series of events until Tuesday January 10.  With over 300 exhibitors all under one roof, ranging from global automakers to suppliers to tech startups, NAIAS will truly be the mobility epicenter and will showcase the full automotive ecosystem. NAIAS expects to have over 5,000 credentialed journalists from 60+ different countries attend Press Preview, keeping NAIAS strongly in the lead among domestic shows in terms of global media coverage.

Transportation Research Board Hosts 96th Annual Meeting – Next Sunday, January 8th through Thursday, January 12th, the Transportation Research Board hosts its 96th annual meeting at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in DC.  The information-packed program is expected to attract more than 12,000 transportation professionals from around the world.  The TRB Annual Meeting program covers all transportation modes, with more than 5,000 presentations in nearly 750 sessions and workshops addressing topics of interest to all attendees—policy makers, administrators, practitioners, researchers, and representatives of government, industry, and academic institutions.

Report Looks at Energy Storage Opportunities for Emerging Markets – Next Monday morning at the IFC Headquarters, IFC and ESMAP will present a new report on Energy Storage.  Energy storage is a crucial tool for enabling the effective integration of renewable energy and unlocking the benefits of solar and wind power for emerging markets.  The report outlines the principal uses, drivers, and challenges regarding the commercialization of energy storage technologies in low- and middle-income countries, providing a forecast of expected deployments by region and impacts on energy access, grid stability, and other key areas. Technical review was provided by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Clean Energy Investment Center.  The presentation will feature the report’s findings, followed by insights on trends in energy storage technology and the financing landscape for this sector.

Forum to Look at Economics of Germany’s Energy Transition, Transatlantic Relations – Next Monday at noon in Fairfax, the Greater Washington Warburg Chapter of the American Council on Germany and the Northern Virginia Regional Commission will host a discussion and luncheon with Dr. Claudia Kemfert, Professor of Energy Economics and Sustainability at Berlin’s Hertie School of Governance.  The event will focus on the economics of the German Energy/Electricity transition.
Stanford to Host Clean Energy Forum – On Tuesday January 10th at noon at the National Press Club, Stanford University’s leading energy and environmental research institutes, the Stanford Precourt Institute for Energy and the Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment, will convene a panel session  that will highlight clean energy innovation as a crucial component of efforts to combat climate change and ask how the United States can lead global efforts to develop and deploy advanced energy technologies.  The panel will include Stanford’s Sally Benson, John Dabiri and Michael McGehee.
WRI to Detail Stories to Watch for 2017 – Next Wednesday, January 11th at 9:00 a.m., the World Resources Institute hosts its Stories to Watch for 2017 forum.  Stories to Watch is an annual go-to event for DC’s top policymakers, business executives, thought leaders, and media who want to get ahead on the coming year.  As we enter what looks like a dynamic, unpredictable year, WRI President & CEO Andrew Steer, will share insights on global trends and emerging issues related to climate, energy, economic development and sustainability. He will help to unpack the connections between rising populism and nationalism, and what this means for people and the planet.

Donohue to Discuss State of Business – U.S. Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Thomas J. Donohue will host his annual “State of American Business” address as well as the Chamber’s 2017 Open House on January 11th.  Donohue outline the top challenges and new opportunities facing the American business community and introduce the Chamber’s 2017 policy agenda.

Forum to Look at Better R&D Methods – The Information Technology & Innovation Foundation (ITIF) and Brookings will hold a forum on Wednesday January 11th at 10:00 a.m. to discuss how the incoming administration and Congress can bolster technology transfer and commercialization policies to ensure that federal R&D investments yield stronger commercial results. ITIF and the Brookings Institution have recently proposed 50 innovative policy ideas to more quickly and effectively get technologies out of the laboratory and into the private sector.

Forum to Look at Korea/Japan/US Nuclear Cooperation – On Wednesday, January 11th at 10:45 a.m. in 902 Hart SOB, the Global America Business Institute (GABI) will hold a forum on the prospects for nuclear energy following the recent U.S. presidential elections and the opportunities for trilateral civil nuclear cooperation among the Republic of Korea, Japan, and the United States.  Speakers will include Idaho Sen. Mike Crapo, DOE’s Acting Assistant Secretary for the Office of Nuclear Energy John Kotek and a panel of experts.

World Bank Forum to Look at Mobility – The World Bank and the EMBARQ mobility initiative of WRI Ross Center for Sustainable Cities will host Transforming Transportation 2017 on Thursday, January 12th and Friday, January 13th.  Physical and virtual connectivity is a critical factor of today’s competitiveness and economic growth. By facilitating the movement of people, goods and information, the World Bank’s Transport and ICT Global Practice enable economic and social development, and increase access to jobs, health, and education services. Transport is also at the heart of the climate change solution, as one of the largest energy users and emitters of greenhouse gases.

GCs to Discuss Key Issues – On Thursday, January 12th at 11:30 a.m., the Energy Committee of the D.C. Bar Environment, Energy and Natural Resources Section and the Environmental Law Institute will host a forum moderated by Assistant Attorney General John Cruden.  Cruden will lead a discussion with the General Counsel of various federal agencies to discuss the future issues likely to arise for the new Administration.  Other speakers will include EPA’s Avi Garbow, USDA’s Jeffrey Prieto and several others.

Forum to Look at Climate Adaptation – The US AID’s Atlas Project will host a forum on Thursday, January 12th at 4:00 p.m. discussing the role of decentralized governance for climate adaptation. Dr. Tim Finan and Dr. Mamadou Baro of the University of Arizona share the results of a research case study from rural Mali, where a system of decentralized governance was introduced almost three decades ago. The study draws upon evidence from villages, communes, and regions of south-central Mali to examine the effectiveness of local governance institutions in building community-level resilience to climate change stresses. This research was conducted for USAID’s ATLAS project.

Smart Cities Conference Set – The Smart Cities International Symposium, will be held on January 24-25 in Chicago.  The conference examines the latest technology advances and business models for the 21st Century connected city.

INAUGURATION DAY – January 20

POLITICO Sets Inauguration Hub – On January 20, POLITICO will transform the top floor of The W Hotel into its 2017 Inauguration Hub. With prime views of the Inauguration Parade route from our all-day networking lounge, the Inauguration Hub will be the premier destination for DC influencers to experience this historic moment. Live programming will include a full day of newsmaker interviews and discussions offering first-hand insights from new players in politics and policy, and an in-depth look at the changes ahead in the new Washington.   Full schedule of programming and speakers to be announced. Check out www.politico.com/inaugurationHub for updates.

AEI to Host Carbon Tax Discussion – AEI will host a panel discussion on carbon taxes on January 26th looking at whether the standard “efficiency” arguments offered by some conservatives in favor of a carbon tax make any sense at all given the various incentives of Congress and the bureaucracy.  More on this as we get closer.

Washington Auto Show Set – The Washington Auto Show will be held on January 27th to February 7th at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center.  As the “Public Policy Show” on the auto show circuit, the 10-day public show is preceded by two Public Policy Preview Days of special events and announcements for officials in government, industry and the media on January 24th and 25th.  The events of the 25th will be on Capitol Hill in the Kennedy Caucus Room. Speakers will include Michigan Senator Gary Peters and Rep Debbie Dingell, Our friend Joe White of Reuters and GMU’s Adam Thierer and the Chamber’s Matt Duggan. The Washington Auto Show is also the largest public show in Washington, D.C. Over the course of its many years this beloved and historic D.C. tradition has attracted Washingtonians of all stripes – and political affiliations. Along with the engineering prowess on display among the more than 600 new models from over 35 manufacturers, the 2017 show will feature VIP tours led by award-winning automotive writers and a special exhibit area for live painting of “art” cars.

Thanksgiving Energy Update

Friends,

This week is Thanksgiving week, so after last week’s madhouse of transition and congressional issues, I am ready for a break.  While many people think Thanksgiving was first started by Ben Franklin and George Washington in 1789, a formal “Day of Thanksgiving” in November was first declared by John Hanson, Maryland Statesman and first President of the United States in Congress Assembled” under the Articles of Confederation, in 1781, eight years prior to Washington’s proclamation.  While there were several days of thank giving and fasting issued by earlier leaders like John Hancock, Henry Laurens, John Jay and Samuel Huntington, none of them resembled the last Thursday in November proclamation made by Hanson as the Treaty of Paris negotiations were being finalized.

A few other reasons for giving thanks: My son Adam is currently learning huge life lessons during a service trip in Haiti with a few classmates from his school.  The reports we are getting from the ground are amazing and humbling.  He has his camera (and as some of you may know, he has a great eye) so I hope he is using it to take some great pictures.

Sports thanks: Delaware won 19 straight games to win its first NCAA Field Hockey Championship.  And Messiah College (PA), defeated both Babson and Tufts over the weekend to win the D III title.  Both Babson and Tufts snuck by Hannah’s team earlier this year in close hard-fought battles.  And Jimmy Johnson is celebrating again and giving thanks after winning his 7th NASCAR championship last night.

Finally, one more “Big League” giving of thanks to Metallica, who on Friday released it 10th studio album Hardwired to Self-Destruct.  And having heard it all, it is ridiculous.  I cannot wait for the tour!

Activities are limited this week, but today Gina McCarthy speaks at the National Press Club and look for ethanol RVOs for 2017 perhaps tomorrow.

Last week, my colleague Bracewell LLP’s Jeff Holmstead and NAM’s Ross Eisenberg sat down for an in-depth discussion with E&E TV’s Monica Trauzzi on the impact President-elect Trump could have on U.S. EPA, climate regulations, the Obama administration’s new methane rule and the future of the electric power grid.  With all the transition talk, I also included our Bracewell PRG election analysis one more time in case you missed it last week.

And special kudos to my colleagues Dee Martin and Salo Zelermyer, who last week were 2016 Hero Award Honorees at the annual Recognizing Heroes Awards Dinner & Gala. Martin and Zelermyer were honored for helping young women who had been abducted by terrorists abroad and escaped from their captors make it to the United States safely and legally.

See you shortly at the National Press Club where Gina McCarthy will give her final address as EPA Administrator.  We still have a couple extra tickets at our Bracewell tables with Holmstead and Segal if you are interested in attending… Let me know quickly.  And if you need a preview, E&E News veteran Rod Kuckro has an in-depth interview with Gina that is detailed and Interesting.

Have a great Thanksgiving and travel safely… Call with questions.

 

Best,

Frank Maisano

(202) 828-5864

(202) 997-5932

 

FRANKLY SPOKEN

Master of Puppets, to me, is the greatest modern heavy metal album ever made.  Pound for pound, song-wise, musically, sonically, production – it’s just fantastic…that is the template for every great heavy metal album.”

Corey Taylor of Slipknot interviewing Metallica

 

PRG ELECTION ANALYSIS

Bracewell PRG Election Update – The 2016 election results have significant implications for companies across a wide range of industry sectors. From environmental policy to financial services to tax reform, President-elect Trump has committed to sweeping action on a variety of fronts, and will have a Republican-controlled House and Senate to work with on priority issues. Nevertheless, the GOP-led Senate is not filibuster-proof, and many of the finer points of Trump’s agenda remain unclear. Accordingly, it is important for interested stakeholders to begin thinking through how their own priorities will track with the next President and Congress. The Policy Resolution Group at Bracewell LLP (PRG) has prepared this post-election report to identify some of the key issues slated for action in Washington next term. Our team of lobbyists, lawyers and strategic communications professionals combines decades of experience working on these issues in the private sector, on Capitol Hill and at federal agencies—and stands ready to help our clients make sure their voices are heard by policymakers and the public. For further details on the election results, click here.

Bracewell Webinar Sees Massive Attendance – Bracewell’s Policy Resolution Group experts held an election wrap up on Wednesday with more than 500 participants.  Here is the audio file from Wednesday’s Bracewell PRG Election Analysis webinar:  https://bgllp.sharefile.com/d-sdf9ccd676b94f6f9  Here is a list of the speakers:

    • Host/Intro: Dee Martin
    • Scott Segal
    • Jeff Holmstead
    • Salo Zelermyer
    • Josh Zive
    • Curt Beaulieu
    • Paul Nathanson
    • Ed Krenik
    • Former TX Sen Kay Baily Hutchinson

The slides from the presentation are available here.

VIDEO: Election Day Takeaways and What to Expect in the Trump Presidency – Dee Martin and Scott Segal, co-heads of Bracewell’s Policy Resolution Group, discuss their reactions to the surprising results of the 2016 elections and what to expect during the first 100 days of a Trump administration. view video…

VIDEO: Outlook for the Clean Power Plan and Other Environmental Issues – Scott Segal, co-head of Bracewell’s Policy Resolution Group, and Jeff Holmstead, head of the Environmental Strategies Group at Bracewell and former EPA Air Office head, discuss how the next President and Congress will confront issues such as climate change, the Clean Power Plan, and other environmental regulations. view video…

VIDEO: Outlook for Energy Policy – Dee Martin, co-head of Bracewell’s Policy Resolution Group, and former DOE Counsel Salo Zelermyer discuss what the results of the election may mean for oil and gas, renewable energy, and fuels. view video…

Detailed Policy Papers for PRG Here – There are also written policy analysis papers on the PRG site that details impacts of the election on a number of key issues, including Environment, Energy, Trade, Tax Issues, and Appropriations/Budget.

 

IN THE NEWS

Interior Rolls out Tougher 5-year Plan – The Obama Administration’s finalized five-year offshore oil and natural gas leasing program, which sets the lease sale schedule for 2017-2022.  Release of the Proposed Final Program, along with the accompanying Final Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement, is one of the final steps in a multi-year process that was initiated in June 2014 to develop a final offshore leasing program for 2017-2022.  The plan for offshore oil and gas drilling schedules 10 region-wide leases in the Gulf of Mexico from 2017 through 2022 and another in Alaska’s Cook Inlet in 2021. But the agency dropped its March draft proposal to offer leases in the Arctic’s Beaufort and Chukchi seas in 2020 and 2022.  The OCS Lands Act requires the Secretary of the Interior to prepare a Five-Year Program that includes a schedule of potential oil and gas lease sales and indicates the size, timing and location of proposed leasing determined to best meet national energy needs, while addressing a range of economic, environmental and social considerations.  For more information on the 2017-2022 Five Year Outer Continental Shelf Oil and Gas Leasing Program, including maps, please visit: http://www.boem.gov/Five-Year-Program/.

You Need Experts? – If you have additional questions, my colleagues Kevin Ewing (202-828-7638, kevin.ewing@bracewelllaw.com) and Jason Hutt (202-828-5850, jason.hutt@bracewelllaw.com) are great experts and can help you navigate the ins and outs of the decision, as well as how this decision might be impacted by the new Trump Administration.

Chamber Blasts Interior Plan – Chamber Energy Institute Karen Harbert said today’s announcement limiting offshore energy production is “one of the final nails in the coffin of the Obama administration’s anti-growth energy agenda. With this plan, the administration keeps as much as 90% of the U.S. Outer Continental Shelf off limits for exploration, including all areas of the Beaufort and Chukchi seas. In doing so, the administration is ignoring the will of the American people  who understand that offshore energy production is good for American jobs, economic growth, and energy security. In particular, this plan is an affront to the people of Alaska and the Gulf States, whose concerns have been ignored by this administration.  We call on the incoming Trump administration and the new Congress to immediately rescind and replace this plan and put America back on a path to fully utilizing its offshore energy resources, while continuing with already planned lease sales.”

SAFE Raises Questions about Viability – Securing America’s Future Energy President Robbie Diamond is also concerned about the Impacts it will have on future production.  Leslie Heyward can:

IPAA Says Plan Writes off 80% of Federal Lands – Independent Petroleum Association of America (IPAA) President and CEO Barry Russell said the offshore plan “places more than 80 percent of offshore federal lands, including the already-planned Atlantic waters, the Eastern Gulf of Mexico, and even Alaska’s energy-rich waters, off limits for future development. The United States needs more energy, specifically oil and natural gas, to meet its future demands, according to the Obama Administration’s own energy data agency. Instead, this administration is abandoning America’s energy potential and is threatening our role as a global energy superpower. This final offshore program raises serious questions as to why this administration, at the 11th hour, chose to ignore recommendations by its own energy data agency.

“Make no mistake, taking American offshore energy resources off the table for the next five years will eliminate well-paying jobs and reduce the billions of dollars in much-needed revenues that go to fund schools and road repair projects in local communities. Most importantly, locking up our offshore energy supplies will cause U.S. energy prices to rise, limiting the amount of hard-earned wages American families get to keep each month.

“The administration should allow more access to our vast energy resources, not less. It’s disappointing that this administration, with just two months left in office, has chosen to take the low, politically-motivated path and dictate the nation’s offshore program for the entirety of President-elect Trump’s four-year term.”

Methane Rule Released – The Interior Department’s Bureau of Land Management said it has finalized its Methane Waste Prevention Rule. Read a fact sheet from BLM here.

Challenge BLM’s Venting and Flaring Rule – Western Energy Alliance and the Independent Petroleum Association of America (IPAA) immediately challenged BLM’s final rule regulating venting and flaring from oil and natural gas operations on federal and tribal lands. In its claim filed before the U.S. District Court in Wyoming, the trade associations call BLM’s rule a broad new air quality regime that goes beyond authority granted by Congress. The trades are represented by Eric Waeckerlin and Kathleen Schroder of Davis Graham & Stubbs.   When operating on public lands, businesses already comply with air quality regulations mandated by EPA. BLM’s venting and flaring rule creates duplicative regulation that conflicts with EPA requirements. Authority to regulate air quality was designated to the EPA under the Clean Air Act, yet, BLM has tried to assume this role under the guise of reducing waste from oil and natural gas production.

Global CCS Institute: Global CO₂ Storage Resource Exceeds Need – The Global CCS Institute said global carbon capture and storage resources exceeds what is required to meet future climate change temperature targets at a presentation last week.  Presenting at the 13th International Conference on Greenhouse Gas Control Technologies, Global CCS Institute Senior Storage Adviser, Dr. Chris Consoli, said almost every high emitting nation of the world had substantial storage resources.  “A great deal of the world’s CO₂ storage resource has now been assessed. For example, the US Department of Energy (DOE)11 published an atlas last year that estimated between 2,000 and 20,000 billion tons of storage resource in North America alone.”  “The International Energy Agency (IEA) has predicted that approximately 90 billion tons of storage capacity is needed if carbon capture and storage (CCS) is to contribute its targeted 12 per cent of emissions reductions. In 2050, this equates to about 6 billion tons per year.  In addition to China, other countries which have been assessed and boast large storage resources are Canada, the United States, Norway, Australia, and the United Kingdom.

API Tags Voters on Energy – API released an election night survey of actual voters across the country, and the findings reveal that more than 80% of voters agree that U.S. oil and natural gas production can help achieve each of their most important priorities: job creation (86%), economic growth (87%), lower energy costs (82%), and energy security (85%).  With drivers saving more than $550 in fuel costs and household budgets growing by $1337 due to utility and other energy-related savings in 2015, it should come as no surprise that voters appreciate the positive economic impact of U.S. energy. Americans not only recognize the benefits of the U.S. energy renaissance but they also support actions that would build on our position as the world’s leading oil and natural gas producer.

Study: No Widespread Impacts on Drinking Water – Speaking of API, they also released a new study of hydraulic fracturing which shows finding of no “widespread, systemic” impacts on drinking water from hydraulic fracturing. Report, authored by Catalyst Environmental Solutions, shows that the EPA’s finding of no widespread effects to drinking water quality is supported by state and federal regulatory reviews, and dozens of recent peer-reviewed case studies.  EPA’s six-year, multi-million dollar, national study, was released as a draft Assessment report in 2015 and determined that fracking has not led to widespread, systemic impacts on drinking water as it lifted economic fortunes for millions of Americans. The new report by Catalyst, “Quantitative Support For EPA’s Finding of No Widespread, Systemic Effects to Drinking Water Resources from Hydraulic Fracturing,” concludes that: “If there was a significant correlation between impaired drinking water resources and hydraulic fracturing, that connection would be manifested in the areas that EPA evaluated. This finding is corroborated by a large, credible body of case studies and scientific literature.”

 

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

McCarthy to Address Press Club – EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy will address the National Press Club on next Monday November 21st at Noon.  McCarthy plans to focus on the environmental and public health legacy of the Obama Administration, with an emphasis on efforts to combat the global effects of climate change.

Thanksgiving – November 24

 

IN THE FUTURE

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.

NatGas Roundtable to Host Resources Staff DirectorThe Natural Gas Roundtable is hosting Bill Cooper, staff director for the House Committee on Natural Resources, Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources and the Senior Policy Advisor on the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), will be the featured guest speaker at the Natural Gas Roundtable luncheon tomorrow.

WCEE to Host Discussion on Energy Storage – The Women’s Council on Energy and the Environment (WCEE) will host a lunch panel next Tuesday, November 29th at the Solar Foundation on energy storage and its role for the solar and energy industries. As solar costs continue to decline, increased emphasis is placed on energy storage. Get a primer on different types of energy storage applications and which ones are economically viable now, why energy storage is critical in the long-term and lessons learned from real projects that are currently operational. Kerinia Cusick from Distributed Energy Innovation will give an overview of the storage activities around the globe and Chris Cook from Solar Grid Storage will talk about solar and storage integration.

NPC Newsmakers to Host Forum Energy Tax Credits – The National Press Club’s Newsmakers Committee will host a forum Tuesday, November 29th at 2:00 p.m. in the Zenger Room to discuss extending energy tax credits provisions.  More on this next week when panelists are finalized.

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.

Forum Looks at State RPS Implementation – The 2016 National Summit on Renewable Portfolio Standards will be held on Wednesday and Thursday at the Dupont Circle Hotel. The forum focuses on developments and trends related to state RPSs and to network with many of the people from across the country who are most engaged in implementing and analyzing state RPSs.  The annual Summit is hosted by the Clean Energy States Alliance (CESA), with funding support from the Energy Foundation and the U.S. Department of Energy.

CSIS to Look at Renewable Energy – On Wednesday, November 30th at 2:00 p.m., the CSIS Energy & National Security Program is hosting a discussion on the outlook for the electric power sector and the future role of renewables. The U.S. electric power sector is in the midst of a transition. The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) and Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) both produce annual outlooks that asses long-term trends in renewable energy, which help understand the changes to this sector. Doug Arent and Wesley Cole will outline the scenarios developed by NREL Bloomberg New Energy Finance analyst Ethan Zindler will summarize the key findings of the BNEF study published earlier this year.

USEA to hot Coal Council Head on Carbon Capture – The United States Energy Association will host a forum on Wednesday, November 30th at 2:00 p.m. featuring National Coal Council CEO Janet Gellucci.  At the event, Gellucci will present the findings and recommendations from the Council’s recently released report in response to the Secretary’s request – “CO2 Building Blocks:  Assessing CO2 Utilization Options.”

WRI Hosts Book Launch of Bangladesh Confronts Climate Change – On Thursday, December 1st at 12:30 p.m., the World Resources Institute will host a book event looking at climate change and its impacts on Bangladesh.  Like most developing nations, Bangladesh emits a fraction of the world’s greenhouse gases. Yet it is one of the most climate vulnerable countries in the world, facing increasingly severe flooding, droughts and cyclones. Climate scientists estimate that rising sea levels alone will displace 18 million people by 2050.  David Hulme will launch his co-authored book, Bangladesh Confronts Climate Change: Keeping Our Heads above Water, and discuss the findings of the book with a participants and a panel of experts.

Wilson to Launch Report Launch on Climate, Migration, Conflict – On Friday, December 2nd at 10:00 a.m., the Wilson Center the launch of a new report with USAID called “Navigating Complexity: Climate, Migration, and Conflict in a Changing World,” which goes beyond the headlines to explore these connections. A panel of experts from across the lanes of climate, migration, and conflict will discuss practical advice for policymakers and how to think about these interlinked dynamics. Climate change and migration present major challenges to societies that policymakers have a responsibility to grapple with, but their relationship is rarely direct, conflict is not a common outcome, and migration is not always evidence of failure.

AGA to Host NatGas Roundtable with New Board Chair – On December 2nd at 9:00 a.m., the American Gas Association (AGA) will host a media roundtable for Pierce H. Norton II, President and Chief Executive Officer of ONE Gas, Inc. and AGA’s Chair of its Board of Directors for 2017.  Norton will Be joined by AGA head Dave McCurdy.  Norton became the first president and CEO of ONE Gas, Inc. after it separated from ONEOK Inc., in January 2014. Prior to ONE Gas becoming a stand-alone publically traded company, he served as executive vice president, commercial, of ONEOK and ONEOK Partners.

Saudi Oil Minister to Address CSIS Forum – On Friday, December 2nd, CSIS is hosting His Excellency Ali Ibrahim Al-Naimi, Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, to reflect on a career that spanned more than six decades in the Kingdom’s energy work, including 21 years (1995-2016) as Minister of Petroleum.

Mexico Energy Forum Set – The US-Mexico Chamber of Commerce is hosting the first U.S.-Mexico Energy Forum on December 8th and 9th at The Woodlands Resort and Conference Center in Texas.  Given the importance of the energy sector for economic growth and recent developments that have positioned the North American region in a path towards energy independence, we are presenting a unique opportunity to discuss the different factors that have contributed to this major shift in the energy industry.  Main speakers will be Texas Land Commissioner George P. Bush and former PEMEX CEO and Mexican Ambassador to the US Jesús Reyes Heroles.

AGU Meeting to Focus on Climate – The Fall Meeting of the American Geophysical Union will be held on December 12-15 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 2

Friends,

La’shana tova…Happy new year to everyone celebrating Rosh Hashanah…  Welcome the year 5777.

It was a riveting Sunday at the Ryder Cup in Minnesota which ended with the US taking the 17-11 victory.   It was incredible to watch Phil Mickelson and Sergio Garcia battle birdie-for-birdie in what was really outstanding golf.  And if we’re talking sports, you can’t look at the last few days of the 2016 baseball season without thinking of both Vin Scully and Dick Enberg, who are both ending long careers behind the microphone.  Speaking of baseball, the playoffs are set with Orioles/Blue Jays playing the AL Wild Card tomorrow and Giants/Mets in the NL Wild Card Wednesday.  On Thursday, the Red Sox-Indians will play in the ALDS and the Rangers will get the Wildcard winner.  Friday, the Dodgers take on the Nationals and Cubs get the NL Wild Card winner.  We always tease/hope but maybe this is the Cubs year…  We’ll see.

Despite Congress being gone for elections, action still continues behind the scenes on tax extenders which got an interesting push from Majority Leader McConnell last week who said he was interested in potential extending tax extenders that expire for energy technologies that were out of the 2015 deal that extending wind/solar tax credits.  My colleague Curt Beaulieu, a former Senate Finance Counsel, is all over the issue and monitoring closely. He is happy to address your questions.  As far as the energy bill, talks continue with the hope that something maybe available in the post-election session but there is still a long way to go. Our experts are monitoring.

Last week, we had the Clean Power Plan oral arguments and tomorrow at 10:00 a.m., my colleague Jeff Holmstead joins a great panel at the Bipartisan Policy Center to look at arguments and what to expect going forward.  Also, the NatGas Supply Assn will release its Winter Outlook on Wednesday morning at the National Press Club.

With India signing the Paris agreement yesterday, it looks like the EU will push the agreement over the top toward overall ratification. Interestingly, while a number of EU countries are still concerned over the details of how it will impact them, the French enviro minister downplayed that concern saying “We wanted to show that the climate emergency does not allow us to wait for complicated procedures.”  Oh, right…  Wouldn’t want to let those complicated implementation procedures get in the way of the ratification celebration at the next COP in Marrakesh, which begins on November 7th.

Instead of the symbolic Paris celebrations, next week, the international negotiators will make the most significant gain against GHGs this year when they finalize an amendment to the Montreal Protocol that will eliminate HFCs in Kigali.  An HFC pact is the biggest step we can take this year to significantly reduce human impact on the environment.  Pound for pound, these chemicals trap thousands of times more heat than carbon dioxide and are especially important because the world-wide demand for air conditioning and refrigeration is skyrocketing.  AHRI President Steve Yurek will be in Rwanda as part of the industry effort to support the HFC reductions.  We’ll provide a preview later this week and offer reports from the UN meetings next week.

The Supreme Court starts its fall term today (but won’t hearing anything until Wednesday because of Rosh Hashanah) but the docket remains light because Justice Scalia’s seat remains unfilled.  Just over a month to go and we’ll finally be free of the elections. Call for questions…

 

Best,

Frank Maisano

(202) 828-5864

(202) 997-5932

 

FRANKLY SPOKEN

“America’s electric co-ops have a lot riding on how the Clean Power Plan litigation plays out, because the rule hits not-for-profit, consumer-owned electricity providers and their members especially hard. Instead of crafting sensible regulations to address power plant carbon emissions, EPA issued a rule that would significantly restructure the power sector, far exceeding its legal authority and burdening electric co-ops with a disproportionate share of the costs.

“The rule would force many co-ops to prematurely shutter coal-fired power plants on which they’re still repaying loans. Members of those co-ops would be charged twice for their electricity—once to continue paying down the loans on assets that are no longer generating revenue, and again for the cost of purchasing replacement power from somewhere else.”

NRECA CEO and former House Energy & Commerce Rep. Jim Matheson on impact of tomorrow’s Clean Power Plan arguments.

 

IN THE NEWS

BrightSource Technology Deployed in China’s Solar Pilot Program – BrightSource Energy announced its technology will be deployed as part of China’s 1.35 gigawatt (GW) CSP Commercial Demonstration Pilot Program. The Huanghe Qinghai Delingha Solar Thermal Power Generation Project (Delingha) was one of 20 projects chosen by China’s National Energy Administration (NEA) from 109 applications. The Delingha project will be the first of the BrightSource-Shanghai Electric Group Co., Ltd (SEC) Joint Venture. The announcement follows the National Development and Reform Committee’s (NDRC) publication of the CSP pilot program feed-in-tariff (FIT) of 1.15 Yuan/kWh ($0.17/kWh) on September 1. The Delingha project will be the first of the BrightSource-Shanghai Electric Group Co., Ltd (SEC) Joint Venture, and will feature BrightSource’s proven solar field technology with thermal energy storage to produce clean, reliable solar electricity on demand. The joint venture leverages both partners’ contributions to provide engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) services and technology for the project.

India to Signs Paris Treaty – Prime Minister Narendra Modi signed and ratified the Paris climate change agreement on Sunday, Ghandi’s 147th birthday.  India joining brings the agreement closer still to formally taking effect this year. India moves the country global emissions total to nearly 52%.

EU Should Put Paris Over Top – With India’s approval, the EU will likely push the Paris deal over the top towards final ratification despite internal EU disagreements over how to impose restrictions On individual EU members.  POLITICO quoted France’s environment and energy minister Ségolène Royal saying “We wanted to show that the climate emergency does not allow us to wait for complicated procedures.” Oh right…let’s not worry about those complicated procedures like trying to figure out how much it will cost, how it impacts the poor and what will its impacts be on energy reliability and security.  Yeah, let’s not worry about that…nothing to see here.  Clearly, it underscores the symbolic nature of the Paris agreement and suggests that the real details aren’t really that important.

NYT: Autonomous Vehicles Steps are Important The New York Times editorial board weighed in on autonomous vehicles today in an editorial saying that if regulators and carmakers get it right, driverless cars have the potential to save tens of thousands of lives every year.  The theme echoes one from an op-ed earlier this summer from NIH Director of Emergency Medicine Dr. Jeremy Brown.

OPEC Announces Production Cuts – OPEC said last week it will cut oil output levels to 32.5-33.0 million barrels per day, with details to be finalized at the next official meeting at the end of November. That production number is as much as one mbd below the group’s current total output levels of 33.5 mbd, and represents the closest thing to an official production cut that the group has announced in almost 8 years. SAFE President and CEO Robbie Diamond said, “Western business leaders would be put in the penitentiary if they behaved the way that OPEC has today and over the past 40 years—by both colluding on production levels, and maintaining secrecy in their agreement. Of course, the burden of this market manipulation falls on the world’s oil consumers including American families and businesses. It proves, yet again, that there’s no free market for oil, and relatively low oil prices are no reason to lose perspective on the critical need to end our dependence on this highly volatile commodity.”

State Pollution Control Agencies Assn Elects New Leaders – The Association of Air Pollution Control Agencies (AAPCA) held its 2016 Fall Business Meeting in Raleigh, North Carolina last week.  The meeting included 130 participants from more than 20 state and local environmental agencies as well as senior staff from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). During the meeting, AAPCA’s Board of Directors, which includes senior air officials from twenty state environmental agencies, elected its 2017 Officers including President: Sean Alteri, Kentucky Division for Air Quality; Vice President: Stuart Spencer, Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality; Secretary/Treasurer: Vivian Aucoin, Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality and Past President: Sheila Holman, North Carolina Division of Air Quality.

Moniz Joining the SAG? – And thanks to POLITICO for noticing that DOE’s Ernest Moniz is in LA today to film an episode of Chelsea Handler’s Netflix show looking at climate change and sustainability.  It starts streaming Wednesday.  Perhaps he’ll need to join the Screen Actors Guild.  Certainly, a Number of Ben Franklin Rolls would be a perfect fit…

 

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

Offshore Wind Forum Set for RI – The Business Network for Offshore Wind is hosting an International Offshore Wind Conference at the Hotel Viking in Newport, Rhode Island.  The event today and tomorrow will feature an array of governmental, international and national development and energy leaders.  The event will wrap up with a tour of the Block Island Wind Farm, the first offshore windfarm in the U.S. on Wednesday.

NatGas Forum Set – The North American Gas Forum will be held today and tomorrow in Washington at the Park Hyatt.  There will be a session tomorrow on this year’s election, challenges at FERC and the Clean Power Plan.  There is a great line up of speakers including DOE’s Paula Gant, NGSA’s Dena Wiggins, Senate Leader McConnell’s Energy aide Neil Chatterjee and API’s Marty Durbin.

Stanford to Host Energy Forums Looking at Key Issues for Next President – Today at Noon at the National Press Club, Stanford University’s environmental and energy research institutes, the Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment and Stanford Precourt Institute for Energy, are convening a series of panel sessions to highlight pressing environmental and energy challenges and risks that the next Administration will need to confront.  The first event will focus on food, energy and water and the implications for national security.

Wilson to Look at Mexico, Energy – The Wilson Center’s Mexico Institute will host a forum today at 2:00 p.m. featuring a conversation with Carlos de Regules, Executive Director  of ASEA, to discuss the regulatory environment in Mexico, the capacity of the ASEA to provide for efficient and effective regulation and the agency’s cooperation with other bodies in Mexico and here in the United States.

Holmstead to Lead BPC Panel on EPA Rule – The Bipartisan Policy Center will hold a forum tomorrow  with a panel discussion featuring leading legal experts to unpack the arguments presented to the circuit court last week 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.

NGSA to Release Winter Outlook – On Wednesday morning the Natural Gas Supply Assn will release its winter natural gas outlook at the National Press Club’s Bloomberg Room.  The NGSA’s 16th annual Winter Outlook summarizes the association’s view of existing natural gas market conditions and fundamentals. The analysis covers the key points that can affect supply and demand dynamics, which ultimately impact all consumers of natural gas. Bill Green, Chairman of NGSA and Vice President, Downstream Marketing for Devon Energy, will discuss the upcoming winter natural gas market, looking at current and emerging trends in production, demand, storage, the economy, weather and what those may mean for consumers this winter.

RFF Seminar to Look at Past Energy Crisis – On Wednesday at 12:45 p.m. Resources for the Future will host a seminar looking at the history and politics of energy policy in the 1970s., Meg Jacobs, Princeton historian and author of Panic at the Pump: The Energy Crisis and the Transformation of American Politics in the 1970s, will examine how the twin oil shocks of that decade—the 1973–1974 Arab oil embargo followed by the Iranian revolution five years later—caught American policymakers by surprise and discusses why they encountered so many challenges in devising effective solutions. Even as the crisis gave momentum to the creation of the US Department of Energy, the lines for gasoline undermined public confidence in Washington’s ability to resolve the crisis. President Carter made some progress with the passage of his National Energy Act of 1978, but the political divisions made enduring reforms of energy production and use challenging. The result was a stalemate rather than a new framework for national energy policy. By the time of the 1991 Gulf War, Americans had continued to be substantially reliant on oil from abroad, including from the Middle East. Meg Jacobs analyzes these issues in her history of the energy crisis, providing a cautionary tale for today. The seminar will also feature remarks from former RFF President Phil Sharp.

Senate Enviro Committee Hold MD Field Hearing – The Senate Environment Committee will hold a field hearing on Wednesday at 1:00 p.m. in Logan, MD to examining the local impacts of EPA’s climate regulations.

Forum to Look at Climate Resilience – On Wednesday at 1:30 p.m., the Wilson Center will hold a session to explore crucial aspects of island resilience in two panels: how islands can serve as resilience “incubators,” and what other states can learn from islands as they adapt to their own climate risks. It will bring together policymakers, scientists, donors, practitioners, and members of the diplomatic community with the goal of exploring island resilience initiatives and how they may be applied elsewhere.

USEA to Host Energy Supply Forum – The US Energy Assn will host its 9th Annual Energy Supply Forum on Thursday at the National Press Club.  The event is one of USEA’s premier events, bringing together over 150 key policymakers, government officials, senior corporate officers, and industry professionals to discuss the latest in innovation, technology, policy and trends facing the energy supply sector.  Topics for discussion will include:  Challenges to the next Secretary of Energy; Global Gas Markets; The Global Nuclear Picture; Integrated Energy Network; Outlook for Carbon Capture & Storage Utilization; and more.

Forum to Look at Food Waste, Recycling – On Thursday at 12:00 p.m., the Environmental Law Institute will look at food waste and recycling issues.  In 2015, the U.S. announced its first ever domestic goal to cut food loss and waste in half by 2030. In the hierarchy of food waste recovery options, a key objective is to divert waste to composting facilities or anaerobic digesters, rather than landfills and incinerators. In the second panel in ELI’s food waste series, we will discuss innovations in the food waste processing sector, potential municipal and state best practices in waste reduction, and opportunities to convert waste into renewable energy.

VLS Energy Forum Set For Bracewell – The 2016 Vermont Law School Alumni in Energy Symposium will held at Bracewell on the Thursday at Noon.  The event will explore the current critical technological and regulatory policy designs that are helping—and hindering—a decentralized grid structure, both in the U.S. and internationally. The speakers will examine models of where and how decentralization has been (and can be) optimized, proactive responses to specific barriers, the roles of the public and private sectors, and timeframes for implementation.  Bracewell Associate Steve Hug will moderate and my colleague Jason Hutt is a VLS alum and board member.

Forum to Look at Korea, Nukes – In collaboration with the Global America Business Institute, the Korea Economic Institute is hosting a forum on Thursday on Capitol Hill looking at improving the economics of nuclear power.  It will Look at the lessons learned from the Korean experience.  A growing number of nuclear power plants throughout the United States face the prospect of premature shutdown and decommissioning, leading many to dismiss nuclear power as expensive and economically uncompetitive. However, many of the recent reactor shutdowns in the U.S. have been the result of market failures in deregulated electricity markets, and the rising costs of nuclear in the U.S. have largely been attributable to an uncertain regulatory environment, a failure to maximize on fixed costs, and other factors.

Forum to Look at Climate, Public Opinions – The Environmental and Energy Study Institute (EESI) will host a briefing on Thursday discussing American perceptions of climate change as awareness and concern for its impacts continues to rise among the electorate. The speaker for this forum is Edward Maibach, Director, Center for Climate Change Communication at George Mason University.  Maibach will conduct a national survey this fall to assess public support for existing and proposed federal climate policies.  Briefing attendees will be invited to suggest policies they would like to see included in the survey.  The presentation will delve into recent work from the polling sector, including what Americans really think about climate change policy, how mainstream reporting has adapted its coverage of climate issues over the years, and how voter attitudes towards climate change and clean energy may influence the 2016 election cycle. Polling trends at both the national and state level will be discussed, as Maibach explores the gap between the data and real-world experiences in measuring public opinion.

WRI to Launch Report – On Friday at 10:00 a.m., World Resources Institute will host a high-level panel discussion, chaired by Andrew Steer, in conjunction with the launch of the report – Climate Benefits, Tenure Costs: The Economic Case for Securing Indigenous Land Rights in the Amazon. This major new research report finds that securing land rights for local forest dwellers in Brazil, Colombia and Bolivia is a low cost investment that would generate substantial returns at the global and local levels.  The report will be launched in Washington, DC, at a side event of the World Bank Group Annual Meetings. WRI’s event will feature a panel of leading economists and finance ministers. The WRI report focuses on Bolivia, Brazil, and Colombia, provides original matching analysis on deforestation rates, emphasizes climate mitigation but incorporates an array of ecosystem services into the Benefit-Cost Analysis, and includes a set of policy options and recommendations.  Lord Nicholas Stern is among the speakers.

USEA Forum to Look at Tanzania, NatGas, Energy – The U.S. Energy Assn will host a forum on Friday at 1:00 p.m. to Look at the role of natural gas in Tanzania.  Juma Mkobya, Assistant Commissioner for Energy Development in Tanzania’s Ministry of Energy and Minerals will speak.

Hydrogen Fuel Cell Day Set – The 2nd Annual National Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Day will be held on Saturday to highlight the advances on hydrogen fuel cell advances.  The event focuses in recognition of the atomic mass of hydrogen, 1.008 (October 8th).

 

FUTURE EVENTS

Kigali Montreal Protocol Talks Start – The UN MOP 28 on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer convenes in October 10-14 in Kigali, Rwanda. The meeting agenda encompasses the negotiations on a hydrofluorocarbons (HFC) amendment, nominations for critical-use and essential-use exemptions, and other decisions from the Open-ended Working Group (OEWG).

NOAA Official to Be Featured at RFF Event – Next Tuesday, October 11th at 11:30 a.m., Resources for the Future will host a conversation between RFF President Richard G. Newell and Dr. Kathryn Sullivan, as they discuss how environmental intelligence can preserve and improve human and environmental health as well as promote growth.  Dr. Kathryn Sullivan was confirmed by the Senate as the Under Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere and Administrator of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) on March 6, 2014, having served as acting NOAA administrator since February 28, 2013. She is a distinguished scientist, renowned astronaut, and intrepid explorer.

Forum to look at AVs – The R Street Institute is hosting at Capitol Hill forum next Tuesday on Autonomous Vehicles and the new government requirements posted last week.  Former NHTSA head David Strickland of the Self-Driving Coalition for Safer Streets, Consumer Technology Association President Gary Shapiro, GMU’s Adam Thierer and CEI’s Marc Scribner will all speak.

BPC Forum to Look at Food Supply – The Bipartisan Policy Center and Kansas State University will hold a forum on Thursday, October 13th for panel discussions on the threat of bio/agroterrorism, highlighting the importance of agriculture in biosecurity, as well as potential strategies, tactics, and policy solutions for the next administration.  The 2015 bipartisan report of the Blue Ribbon Panel on Biodefense reported that, despite progress on many fronts, the nation remains highly vulnerable to biological threats. A critical consideration in the national dialogue on biodefense includes the need to protect American’s food supply and agriculture economy. A biological attack on the $1 trillion agriculture sector would have devastating economic, social, and political fallout, and it is critical to promote engagement and awareness in the biosecurity debate.

CEQ’s Goldfuss Featured in Women’s Event – The Women’s Energy Network will host a lunch on Thursday October 8th with Christy Goldfuss, Managing Director at the White House Council on Environmental Quality.

Borenstein, Holt, Mann Headline Penn State Science Forum – Penn State University will hold a forum on October 13th at 7:00 p.m. to discuss Science, climate and energy policy.  The panel will feature former Rep. and Princeton Physicist Rush Holt, controversial climate scientist Michael Mann, AP Science report Seth Borenstein and Penn State energy center director Peter Hudson.

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.

CSIS to Host Fukushima Governor – The CSIS Proliferation Prevention Program will host Governor Masao Uchibori discuss the present situation of Fukushima Prefecture 2047 days after the Great East Japan Earthquake, as well as his efforts aimed at revitalization.  Governor Uchibori was elected as Governor of Fukushima in October 2014 and assumed office as Governor in November 2014. Uchibori’s mission is to ‘take back the Fukushima known for beauty and calm’. In accomplishing this mission, Governor Uchibori has visited all over the Prefecture and listened to the voices of the people of Fukushima to develop his bottom-up approach.

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.

Engineers Conference Set for OK – The 34th USAEE/IAEE Conference will be held in Tulsa, OK on October 23-26.  The conference will provide an extensive debate and discussion, based on solid research and evidence, to facilitate deeper and broader understanding of the energy transformation for North America and the rest of the world.  The Tulsa conference will bring together business, government, academic and other professionals to explore these themes through a series of plenary, concurrent, and poster sessions. Speakers will address current issues and offer ideas for improved policies taking full account of the evolution of the North American energy sector and its implications for the rest of the world. There also will be offsite tours to provide a direct and close-up perspective on Oklahoma’s dynamic energy landscape.

Solar Insight Conference Set – GTM will host the U.S. Solar Market Insight Conference on October 25th and 26th 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.

GW to Host Electricity System Forum – On October 27th, 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.

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.

COP 22 Marrakesh – November 7-21

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 26

Friends,

Today starts with sad news of the loss of golfing legend Arnold Palmer.  Palmer really brought golf to the common man and his legions of followers were the first steps of making golf the mainstream sport it is today.  He was a great person who always went out of his way to help others and promote his love for golf…he will be sorely missed.  And he also will be remembered for his classic and delicious ice tea/lemonade mix.

The presidential race is now all about today’s debate.  Our team has folks with decades of experience handling both policy debate and policymaking in Washington, DC and will be live tonight.  Scott Segal (scott.segal@bracewelllaw.com, 202-828-5864), Josh Zive (josh.zive@bracewelllaw.com, 202-828-5838, Follow: @jczive) and others are available to comment on the debates for your coverage.  While we will be discussing and “live tweeting” the general issues, we will also be targeting very specific energy, environmental and climate issues, as well as some law enforcement issues.  We are aggregating them at the @PolicyRez and @ERCC_Facts Twitter handles, so make sure you are following/tuning in.

The Really Big Event this week is tomorrow’s Clean Power Plan arguments at the DC Circuit.  While everybody has done a really nice job curtain-raising the arguments, special kudos to Emily Holden and crew at E&E News for stellar, in-depth preview coverage that you can see here and Mark Drajem and the Blomberg First Word Energy for its 3-days of previews.  More openers today including the New York Times.  Also today at 12:30, WV AG Pat Morrisey and TX AG Ken Paxton will headline a Texas Public Policy Foundation a panel discussion on the case.

The ERCC Twitter account will be very active over the next few days as we approach the oral arguments. For the CPP, the site is expected to feature a preview of the oral argument, identifying main arguments we will be watching as well as adding contact info for Scott and Jeff (jeff.holmstead@bracewelllaw.com, 202-294-8700), THE experts who are ready to help provide insight and analysis.  SO if you have a twitter account, you are going to want to follow @ERCC_Facts

Tomorrow may take on a bit of a circus atmosphere as protesters/activists are expected to descend onto the Courthouse.  After, both sides will respond in “spin areas.” Scott, Jeff and I will be available around the Courthouse and attorneys general challenging the rule and supporting members of Congress will host a presser for after oral arguments in the Senate Swamp outside of the U.S. Capitol.  NRECA CEO Jim Matheson is also talking about tomorrow’s arguments outlining what’s at stake for America’s electric co-ops.  He addresses the SCOTUS Stay, impacts on Co-ops, risks on low-income consumers and discussion of what co-ops are doing on coal and renewables.

Congress is trying to finish up on budget, WRDA and other issues.  House Rules meets today to set the table for the legislative debate.  Lots on the table including what will happen with Flint aid.

Staying focused on tomorrow’s big case.  See you at the week’s events.  Call for questions…

 

Best,

Frank Maisano

(202) 828-5864

(202) 997-5932

 

FRANKLY SPOKEN

“America’s electric co-ops have a lot riding on how the Clean Power Plan litigation plays out, because the rule hits not-for-profit, consumer-owned electricity providers and their members especially hard. Instead of crafting sensible regulations to address power plant carbon emissions, EPA issued a rule that would significantly restructure the power sector, far exceeding its legal authority and burdening electric co-ops with a disproportionate share of the costs.

“The rule would force many co-ops to prematurely shutter coal-fired power plants on which they’re still repaying loans. Members of those co-ops would be charged twice for their electricity—once to continue paying down the loans on assets that are no longer generating revenue, and again for the cost of purchasing replacement power from somewhere else.”

NRECA CEO and former House Energy & Commerce Rep. Jim Matheson on impact of tomorrow’s Clean Power Plan arguments.

 

IN THE NEWS

White House, 100 Others Commit to HFC Reductions – Secretary of State John Kerry said Friday in New York at the UN that more than 100 nations and other entities are joining together to reduce emissions of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs).   The countries will declare their plans to limit HFCs in an effort to reduce global warming by up to half-a-degree Celsius. The event could create momentum behind negotiations to amend the Montreal Protocol to limit HFCs at an October meeting in Kigali, Rwanda. AHRI’s Steve Yurek, who has been a key player in this process, said by avoiding up to 0.5°C of warming by the end of the century, a Montreal Protocol hydrofluorocarbon (HFC) phasedown amendment is one of the most significant steps the world can take now to deliver on the goals of the Paris Agreement. Yurek: “We call upon world leaders to adopt in October an ambitious amendment to the Montreal Protocol, including an early first reduction step.  We declare our intent to work to reduce the use and emissions of high-global-warming-potential HFCs and transition over time to more sustainable alternatives in a manner that maintains or increases energy efficiency‎.”

NHTSA Releases Rules for AVs – Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx rolled out new NHTSA rule for autonomous vehicles last week.  SAFE experts Gen James Conway and Dr. Henry Claypool, a disabilities advocate, joined Foxx on the stage at the announcement.  Conway, 34th Commandant of the Marine Corps and Co-Chair of SAFE’s Energy Security Leadership Council said “if deployed properly, driverless cars will significantly enhance quality of life for all Americans through improved safety and accessibility of transportation—and will also reduce our over-dependence on petroleum.”  SAFE applauded NHTSA’s effort to create a policy platform that encourages innovation. Much of NHTSA’s approach aligns with the philosophy put forward in SAFE’s National Strategy for Energy Security, released in May of this year.  SAFE will also be working with policymakers and regulators to ensure the rules are cemented in federal legislation in the coming months. Autonomous vehicles are a critical technology with the potential to spur one of the greatest changes in society since the industrial revolution. The status quo of our transportation system comes with unacceptably high costs and autonomous vehicles are an opportunity to transform that system for the better.

Chamber Rolls Out New Report – Continuing its Energy Accountability Series, the Chamber’s Energy Institute’s second report found that America’s economy would be much weaker today if certain politicians and special interest groups had gotten their way and oil and natural gas resources had not been developed. This report, titled “What if America’s Energy Renaissance Had Not Actually Happened?,” uses data from 2009 through 2015 to imagine what the American economy would look like had the energy revolution not occurred. The report found that, without the energy renaissance, America would have lost 4.3 million jobs and $548 billion in annual GDP.  Were it not for the growth and development of oil and natural gas, today’s electricity prices would be 31 percent higher, and motor fuels would cost 43 percent more. The report takes a closer look at four states that, in different ways, have realized some of the biggest benefits of expanded energy development.  It finds that Pennsylvania and Ohio would have lost $13 billion and nearly $10 billion in GDP, respectively. The report also includes an analysis of Texas, which would have lost over 675,000 jobs, and Wisconsin, which would have lost 46,000 jobs. The analysis also finds that very few jobs and very little growth would have been realized in other sectors had the renaissance not taken place.  In other words, it is thanks to a massive expansion in America’s oil and gas production that the U.S. has experienced job growth and economic expansion since 2009. The Energy Institute’s report examines the oil and gas value chain impact, as well as the economic impact that has been spurred by lower energy prices.  The report breaks down benefits for both the residential and industrial sectors, and provides an in-depth examination of the sources of jobs.

The Energy Institute’s 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.

USWF Wind Project To Continue Commitment To WV Community — US Wind Force Foundation is accepting grant applications from qualified nonprofit organizations for grants from its Community Benefit Fund.  The Community Benefit Fund was established as a way to provide locally-controlled financial resources for worthy “bricks and mortar” community projects in the communities immediately surrounding the Pinnacle Wind Farm.  The 55 megawatt, 23-turbine Pinnacle Wind Farm is located on Green Mountain near Keyser, West Virginia.  The foundation, through its Community Benefit Fund, has awarded more than $132,000 in grants to local community organizations since the wind farm was completed in January 2012.  Pinnacle voluntarily committed to donate $60,000 to the Community Benefit Fund at the start of commercial operations and $20,000 per year for the life of the project.

 

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

AGA Food Truck Highlights NatGas Use – The American Gas Association (AGA) continue to keep its natural gas-fueled food truck on Capitol Hill this week serving free grilled cheese sandwiches around Capitol Hill today through next Friday. 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.

Transmission Forum to Look at Key Western Issues – Infocast’s 8th Transmission Summit West, will be Held on September today through Wednesday 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.

AGs Preview CPP Case at Forum – The Texas Public Policy Foundation is hosting a panel discussion today at 12:30 p.m., on the eve of oral argument in the D.C. Circuit. The discussion will provide lawyers, the media, policy analysts, academics, legislators, regulators, and the general public with a window on the key legal arguments that will be addressed before the en banc panel regarding EPA’s authority to regulate the nation’s power generating industry under the so-called Clean Power Plan (CPP). Participants in the discussion include the Attorneys General of the states of Texas and West Virginia, two of the lead petitioners in the consolidated cases, as well as private counsel representing a variety of intervenors and amici supporting the petitioners. The key issues to be addressed involve constitutional challenges striking at the heart of the CPP, focusing on EPA’s usurpation of state powers to regulate the use of in-state natural resources, as well as the extent to which EPA is permitted to rewrite the Clean Air Act to suit its overarching goal of regulating carbon dioxide emissions throughout the nation.

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.

Presidential Debate – Hofstra 9:00 p.m.

Post to Host Forum with Vilsack – The morning after the first presidential debate at 9:00 a.m., the Washington Post The Daily 202 host James Hohmann will talk one-on-one with Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack. The former Iowa Governor will give his take on the debate, including how the candidates’ policies and personas are resonating with rural voters, share thoughts on how Democrats can make gains in rural Republican strongholds and discuss the pressing issues facing the next administration.  This is the first program in a new series tied to Hohmann’s Daily 202 newsletter, which has become a go-to for Beltway insights and analysis. Each month, Hohmann will interview D.C. power players and political operatives about the issues and news shaping Washington.

Forum to Look at Advanced Biofuels – The BioRenewable Deployment Consortium Symposium will be held tomorrow and Wednesday at the Embassy Suites Hotel in DC.  This special meeting will bring together BDC members, Agency Directors, House Biofuel and Paper Caucus Representatives, and Advanced Biofuels/Biochemicals Companies who are making great strides toward commercialization.

NTU Forum Looks at Puerto Rico Issues – The National Taxpayers Union will host a panel discussion tomorrow at 8:30 a.m. at the National Press Club’s Morrow Room to assess next Steps for Puerto Rico following the appointment of a federal Oversight Board and ahead of the Economic Task Force’s critical final report.  The event will offer a broad overview of PROMESA and an update on several key initiatives included in the bill. Additionally, discussion will focus on the Oversight Board appointees and specific policies that the Board as well as the Task Force should consider to restore Puerto Rico to economic growth. The panel will also address what Congress and the Administration must still do to help the Commonwealth prosper, including federal tax and regulations.

Clean Power Plan Hits DC Circuit – The D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals is scheduled to hear oral arguments tomorrow at 9:30 a.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.

USEA to Look at CCS, Paris – Tomorrow, 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 tomorrow 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.

Dicks, Perdue Headline BPC Nuclear Waste Forum – The Bipartisan Policy Center’s Nuclear Waste Council will host a discussion tomorrow at 1:00 p.m. on the challenges and solutions to America’s nuclear waste management and the promise consent-based siting can have for future projects.  BPC will release a series of recommendations on the topic of consent-based siting as the culmination of the second phase of the council’s work. These will serve as a foundation for the upcoming national nuclear waste management conversation and are based on a year of intense research, surveys of state government officials, and visits to communities undergoing nuclear waste siting consideration.  Speakers will include former Washington Rep. Norm Dicks and former Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue, who both Co-Chair BPC’s Nuclear Waste Council.

BGov Hosts Forum on Latino Impacts, Climate – Bloomberg Government will host a forum on Wednesday at 8:00 a.m. looking at issues weighing heavily on Latino voters, including the environment. According to a June 2016 Pew Research Center poll, roughly two-thirds of Hispanic voters consider the environment a very important issue—compared to only half of the overall voting population.  To mark Hispanic Heritage Month, BGov, in partnership with the Environmental Defense Fund and the Hispanic Federation, will bring together policymakers, Latino leaders and health experts for a discussion on the impact of climate change on Latino communities, and how climate issues may factor into Hispanic Americans’ voting decisions during the upcoming elections.

Foxx, Moniz to Host Infrastructure Forum – The Center for American Progress and NextGen Climate America will host a half-day conference on Wednesday 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.

Georgetown to Host Post DC Circuit Round Up – On Wednesday at 9:00 a.m., the Georgetown Climate Center and the Georgetown Environmental Law program will host a forum with litigants in the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals case challenging the Obama Administration’s signature climate change action, the day after oral argument before an en banc panel of judges at the D.C. Circuit.  The event will include West Virginia Solicitor General Elbert Lin (attorney for state petitioners), Thomas A. Lorenzen (attorney for industry petitioners), Sean Donahue (attorney for NGO intervenors supporting EPA), New York Assistant Attorney General Morgan Costello (attorney for state intervenors supporting EPA), and EPA Associate General Counsel Lorie Schmidt.

CSIS to Host Book Launch on LNG – On Wednesday at 10:00 a.m., the CSIS Energy and National Security Program is hosting the King Abdullah Petroleum Studies Research Center and the Oxford Institute for Energy Studies to launch their newly published book, LNG Markets in Transition: the Great Reconfiguration (editors: Ms. Anne-Sophie Corbeau, KAPSARC, and Mr. David Ledesma, OIES).  The book posits that dramatic changes are taking place on global liquefied natural gas (LNG) markets today and that this development is about to topple 50 years of practice in the LNG business. The speakers will explain the nature, drivers and extent of changes that are taking place in global LNG markets and illuminate how new and existing players are challenging the norms of the LNG business in relation to business structures, contracts, and price dynamics.

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.

Challenging AGs to Host Presser – Attorney General Patrick Morrisey will join partnering attorneys general and supporting members of Congress at a press conference set for after oral arguments in West Virginia v. EPA, the coalition’s challenge to President Obama’s Power Plan.  Morrisey, along with U.S. Sen. Shelley Moore Capito, will be joined by AGs Ken Paxton (TX), Leslie Rutledge (AR), Samuel Olens (GA), Jeff Landry (LA), Scott Pruitt (OK) and Peter Michael (WY).  U.S. Reps. David McKinley, Alex Mooney and Evan Jenkins of West Virginia, and U.S. Rep. Morgan Griffith of Virginia will also attend.

CSU Hosting Energy Transition Forum – The Colorado State University Energy Institute and School of Global Environmental Sustainability are hosting the 6th annual 21st Century Energy Transition Symposium (formerly known as the Natural Gas Symposium) on Wednesday and Thursday in Ft. Collins, CO to discuss complex energy issues while finding viable solutions.  Keynote Speakers will include DOE Deputy Secretary Elizabeth Sherwood-Randall, U.S. Department of Energy, Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Energy Vice Admiral Dennis McGinn and ARPA-e Director Ellen Williams.

JHU to Host Saudi Oil Policy Discussion – On Wednesday at 5:00 p.m., Johns Hopkins University ERE’s Global Leaders Forum and Middle East Studies will host Jean-François Seznec on “Oil Policy and Proposed Energy Reforms in Saudi Arabia.”  Faced with continuing low prices and oversupply in the world oil market, will Saudi Arabia and OPEC return to earlier policies of cutting oil production to stabilize or raise prices.  Meanwhile, important energy reforms have been proposed by the new leadership in Saudi Arabia to modernize the economy, reduce subsidies, privatize at least part of Saudi Aramco, and introduce a Value Added Tax.

Argus to Host Politics, Energy Webinar – On Thursday at 10:00 a.m., Argus Washington bureau chief David Ivanovich will lead a Webinar to examine the role energy may play in the upcoming US presidential race and the battle for control of the US Senate.  The webinar will discuss how energy prices could affect voter sentiment this November, what Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton’s energy policies say about them as candidates and whether energy issues could help tip the balance in some key Senate races.

Forum to Look at Climate Response in Asia, Pacific – The Carnegie Endowment for International Peace will host a forum on Thursday at 2:00 p.m. that will explore the market tools and financial instruments being deployed to respond to climate change in the Asia-Pacific. It will focus on the growing capital expenditures in sustainable development, and the emerging role of carbon pricing as a tool for reducing emissions in an efficient and cost-effective way. The event will also serve to launch the Asia Society Policy Institute report, Roadmap to a Northeast Asian Carbon Market, and discuss how growing regional cooperation is essential for achieving the goals laid out in the Paris climate change agreement.

 

FUTURE EVENTS

India to Sign Treaty on Sunday – Prime Minister Narendra Modi said yesterday India would ratify the Paris climate change agreement on Sunday October 2nd on Gandhi’s birthday.  India joining brings the   agreement closer still to formally taking effect this year. Once India signs, countries accounting for nearly 52% of global emissions will have joined the agreement.

Offshore Wind Forum Set for RI – The Business Network for Offshore Wind is hosting an International Offshore Wind Conference at the Hotel Viking in Newport, Rhode Island next Sunday through Tuesday.  The event will feature an array of governmental, international and national development and energy leaders.  The event will wrap up with a tour of the Block Island Wind Farm, the first offshore windfarm in the U.S. on Wednesday.

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.

RFF Seminar to Look at Past Energy Crisis – On October 5th at 12:45 p.m. Resources for the Future will host a seminar looking at the history and politics of energy policy in the 1970s., Meg Jacobs, Princeton historian and author of Panic at the Pump: The Energy Crisis and the Transformation of American Politics in the 1970s,* will examine how the twin oil shocks of that decade—the 1973–1974 Arab oil embargo followed by the Iranian revolution five years later—caught American policymakers by surprise and discusses why they encountered so many challenges in devising effective solutions. Even as the crisis gave momentum to the creation of the US Department of Energy, the lines for gasoline undermined public confidence in Washington’s ability to resolve the crisis. President Carter made some progress with the passage of his National Energy Act of 1978, but the political divisions made enduring reforms of energy production and use challenging. The result was a stalemate rather than a new framework for national energy policy. By the time of the 1991 Gulf War, Americans had continued to be substantially reliant on oil from abroad, including from the Middle East. Meg Jacobs analyzes these issues in her history of the energy crisis, providing a cautionary tale for today. The seminar will also feature remarks from former RFF President Phil Sharp.

USEA to Host Energy Supply Forum – The US Energy Assn will host its 9th Annual Energy Supply Forum on Thursday at the National Press Club.  The event is one of USEA’s premier events, bringing together over 150 key policymakers, government officials, senior corporate officers, and industry professionals to discuss the latest in innovation, technology, policy and trends facing the energy supply sector.  Topics for discussion will include:  Challenges to the next Secretary of Energy; Global Gas Markets; The Global Nuclear Picture; Integrated Energy Network; Outlook for Carbon Capture & Storage Utilization; and more.

Forum to Look at Food Waste, Recycling – Next Thursday, at 12:00 p.m., the Environmental Law Institute will look at food waste and recycling issues.  In 2015, the U.S. announced its first ever domestic goal to cut food loss and waste in half by 2030. In the hierarchy of food waste recovery options, a key objective is to divert waste to composting facilities or anaerobic digesters, rather than landfills and incinerators. In the second panel in ELI’s food waste series, we will discuss innovations in the food waste processing sector, potential municipal and state best practices in waste reduction, and opportunities to convert waste into renewable energy.

WRI to Launch Report – On Friday, October 7th at 10:00 a.m., World Resources Institute

Will host a high-level panel discussion, chaired by Andrew Steer, in conjunction with the launch of the report – Climate Benefits, Tenure Costs: The Economic Case for Securing Indigenous Land Rights in the Amazon. This major new research report finds that securing land rights for local forest dwellers in Brazil, Colombia and Bolivia is a low cost investment that would generate substantial returns at the global and local levels.  The report will be launched in Washington, DC, at a side event of the World Bank Group Annual Meetings. WRI’s event will feature a panel of leading economists and finance ministers. The WRI report focuses on Bolivia, Brazil, and Colombia, provides original matching analysis on deforestation rates, emphasizes climate mitigation but incorporates an array of ecosystem services into the Benefit-Cost Analysis, and includes a set of policy options and recommendations.  Lord Nicholas Stern is among the speakers.

Hydrogen Fuel Cell Day Set – The 2nd Annual National Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Day will be held on October 8th to highlight the advances on hydrogen fuel cell advances.  The event focuses in recognition of the atomic mass of hydrogen, 1.008 (October 8th).

Borenstein, Holt, Mann Headline Penn State Science Forum – Penn State University will hold a forum on October 13th at 7:00 p.m. to discuss Science, climate and energy policy.  The panel will feature former Rep. and Princeton Physicist Rush Holt, controversial climate scientist Michael Mann, AP Science report Seth Borenstein and Penn State energy center director Peter Hudson.

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 September 12

Friends,

I start off to today with exciting sports news…   Not just that the NFL season has launched, the NCAA football season (Central Michigan) has already featured some crazy games and Stan Wawrinka became the oldest US Open Champ in 46 years, but my daughter Hannah yesterday scored her first collegiate goal for the #9-ranked Wellesley College Blue…and it was a game winner over Wesleyan (CT).

Whoa, it sure feel like school is back in session with last week’s action.  Congress seems to have the hammer down, likely to get back to campaigning with the Presidential election tightening.  It is a busy week with Energy Conference negotiations ongoing and WRDA likely getting a vote today.  There are also a number of key hearings as Congress looks at budget issues.

On top of that list, Republican Clean Energy advocate Jay Faison joins Secretary Moniz and former Sen. Judd Gregg on Wednesday at the Senate Energy Approps panel to talk nuclear issues.  Also on the Hill Wednesday in Longworth, new NRECA head/former Utah Democratic Rep. Jim Matheson will host a pen and pad with reporters on NRECA’s priorities, rural economic development, new renewable initiatives and the upcoming Clean Power Plan arguments later this month.   On Thursday, SMU’s Bud Weinstein and API’s Erik Milito headline a House Science panel hearing on EPA’s methane regulations, while House Energy looks at energy security implications with Secretary Moniz.

Other events in town include a great forum today at 2:30 on nuclear red tape hosted by ClearPath and featuring former NRC Commissioner Jeff Merrifield.  Tomorrow, NRDC and NRECA will focus on Community Storage issues.  On Wednesday, Indiana’s School of Public and Environmental Affairs hosts a forum looking at manufacturing issues, and Thursday, the Keep it in the Ground folks are also back with a rally at the White House, although it seems the White House late Friday already has sided with them.

Out Of town today, SEIA launches solar’s biggest conference in Las Vegas while the Assn of Oil Pipelines (APOL) will hold its annual business conference in Chicago. Expect the latest twist on the Dakota Pipeline to be prominent in that discussion.

As for next week, keep your eye out for the AGA’s natural gas-fueled food truck which will be cooking with natural gas and serving free grilled cheese sandwiches around Capitol Hill September 19th-30th.  Also, the annual SEJ Conference is next week in Sacramento, starting Wednesday.  As usual, we will host our usual reception although this year we are stepping up our game so I hope you be able to attend.  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.

We are closing in on the Tuesday, September 27th  D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals oral arguments on West Virginia v. Environmental Protection Agency.  At issue before the court is not only the legality of EPA’s costly Power Plan, but the rights of states to determine their own energy policies. Check out ACCCE’s new video on the consequences of the EPA rules.

Finally, I am now on Instagram (fvmaisano) as well as Facebook and Twitter, so I’ve changed my Twitter handle to make it consistent (@fvmaisano).  If you’re on these social media platforms, I would encourage you to follow me and PRG (@PolicyRez) because we put a lot of cool stuff on all of these platforms.

Congress is back…Game on!  Call with questions.

 

Best,

Frank Maisano

(202) 828-5864

(202) 997-5932

 

FRANKLY SPOKEN

“With a new Administration and a new Congress in 2017, I think it is a good time for ACCCE to move forward with new leadership.  I’m proud of what we have accomplished over the past four years, and look forward to taking on new challenges.”

ACCCE CEO Mike Duncan upon announcing his retirement from the group on Friday.

 

IN THE NEWS

Report:” Multifamily Dwellings Should Lean On NatGas – The American Gas Foundation released a study published by ICF International titled, “Expanding Natural Gas Service to Multifamily Buildings,” focusing on ways in which state and local government, natural gas utilities, and other interest groups have worked to improve access to natural gas service in multi-family structures in their localities. The study assesses regulatory or policy barriers to providing natural gas service to multi-unit structures, and presents possible solutions to help bring the benefits of natural gas to the owners and occupants of these buildings.  In the past decade, multifamily construction has risen from less than 25 percent to one-third or more of newly-built residential dwelling units. Notably, if natural gas technologies were applied across all or part of the nation’s multifamily building stock, unit occupants could realize $2.2 billion in reduced annual energy bills, or about 6 percent of total energy expenditure for multifamily units in the U.S. Additionally, CO2 emissions would be reduced by more than 20 million tons nationwide.  The study also highlights utility-led initiatives that have demonstrated success, and describe lessons learned through these efforts to provide insight to other utilities with similar goals to serve these communities. You can view the report along with the case studies here.

HVAC Industry Awards More Rees Scholarships – AHRI President Steve Yurek said the scholarships are awarded to qualified and dedicated students and veterans that hope to eventually work in the HVAC industry.  Each year, the Foundation provides aid to an increasing number of recipients, helping to promote careers in the industry and fill good-paying jobs that cannot be outsourced.  ACCA President and CEO Paul Stalknecht added that developing quality workers is a critical initiative that everyone in our industry is working together to accomplish.  See the list of award winner, their home state and college here.

Duncan to Retire From ACCCE – ACCCE said Friday that CEO Mike Duncan has decided to step down at the end of the year and that Paul Bailey, Senior Vice President of Federal Affairs and Policy, will succeed Duncan as the organization’s president and CEO effective January 1, 2017.  Duncan has served as the head of ACCCE since 2012.  During his four years with ACCCE, Duncan steered the organization through a period of incredible challenges for the coal-based electricity industry.  Under Duncan’s leadership, ACCCE became a more collaborative organization enlisting allies and expanding its network of national and state-level groups.  Additionally, ACCCE built support for passing legislation to help states resist overreaching EPA regulations and worked closely with other litigants to challenge EPA’s Clean Power Plan.  Those challenges by the states and many others, including ACCCE, led to the Supreme Court’s unprecedented stay of the Clean Power Plan earlier this year.

Energy, Interior Detail Offshore Wind Effort – Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz and Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell released Friday a collaborative strategic plan to continue accelerating the development of offshore wind energy in the United States.  The National Offshore Wind Strategy: Facilitating the Development of the Offshore Wind Industry in the United States could help enable 86 gigawatts of offshore wind in the United States by 2050. The strategy details the current state of offshore wind in the United States, presents the actions and innovations needed to reduce deployment costs and timelines, and provides a roadmap to support the growth and success of the industry.

 

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

State of Solar Highlighted at Vegas Conference – Solar Power International 2016 (SPI 2016), the solar industry’s largest trade show and conference will be held in Las Vegas today through Friday.  SPI 2016 co-host Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) offers a slew of coverage opportunities. The topics and events will cover Net metering in Nevada, developing solar on federal land, elections 2016 and growth In the solar industry.  Our friend Ben Finzel has the detail at ben@renewpr.com or 202-277-6286.

Brooking to Host CPP Discussion – The Global Economy and Development program at Brookings will host the University of Maryland’s Steven Kull today at 11:00 a.m. for a presentation of a new, in-depth survey of public support for policies ranging from the CPP and carbon pricing to U.S. commitments under the Paris Agreement. Following his remarks, discussants former EPA head Bill Reilly, Adele Morris of Brookings and Nathan Hultman, director of the Environmental Policy program and the University of Maryland School of Public Policy will join in a wider conversation on the future of U.S. clean energy initiatives and implications for climate action. Cross-Brookings Initiative on Energy and Climate Co-Chair Bruce Jones will moderate the discussion and audience Q&A.

Atlantic Council to Host US, India Clean Energy Discussion – The Atlantic Council will host a forum today at Noon to discuss the implications of US-India cooperation on critical energy and climate issues and place these efforts in the context of the bilateral relationship. Speakers will address the challenges and opportunities surrounding clean energy deployment in India, evaluate the policy and financing mechanisms being used, assess the importance issue for U.S.-India bilateral relations, and highlight key priorities for ongoing collaboration between the United States and India.

Groups to Discuss CCS at Congressional Briefing – A coalition of organizations representing the broad diversity of interest in carbon capture, utilization and storage (CCUS) technologies will host a congressional briefing on Monday, September 12, to provide updates on potential legislative action and highlight the critical need for financial incentives for CCUS technologies in a wide array of applications. The briefing, which is open to registered media, congressional staff and invited guests, is being held in conjunction with a labor community “fly-in.” Union representatives from 10 states will meet with congressional leaders to advocate for greater deployment of CCUS technologies and emphasize the jobs that are created as a result of CCUS expansion. In addition to industry, labor, and environmental advocates, two members of Congress are slated to make brief remarks at the outset of the briefing.

ClearPath, Heritage to Look at Nuclear Red Tape – Today at 2:30 p.m. in 2226 Rayburn, the Heritage Foundation and ClearPath Foundation will host a forum on reforming the government approval process for nuclear.  Nuclear energy provides affordable and abundant energy to American families and businesses across the country. The NRC regulates America’s commercial nuclear industry and its approach and continued inefficiencies are driving up operating costs without increasing safety. So, as the NRC grows, so does its burden on industry. Are these fees and costs from unnecessary and overly-conservative rules and regulations pushing some plants to the brink of closure? What should nuclear regulation look like?  Speakers include Clear Path board member and former NEC Commissioner Jeff Merrifield, as well as MIT’s Dennis Whyte and AAF reg guru Sam Batkins.

Storage Forum Set – The EnergyStorage Global Innovation Forum will be held today and tomorrow in Chicago bringing together top experts from ComEd, Oncor, PowerStream, PJM, Midwest ISO, ARPA-E, Argonne National Lab and many others to examine grid-level and behind-the-meter storage business models, technology innovations and opportunities. The Forum offers the latest updates on advanced storage technologies and systems for grid-level applications, as well as next-gen EV/smart transportation. These updates will be viewed through the lens of real-world deployments, business cases, and impacts on existing systems and operations.

CSIS to Host IEA Report – CSIS will host a forum tomorrow at 8:30 a.m. featuring IEA.  For the first time, IEA is focusing on this critical topic in Energy and Air Pollution, providing a global outlook for energy and air pollution as well as profiles of key countries. Based on new data for pollutant emissions in 2015 and projections to 2040, the new report proposes a pragmatic and attainable strategy to reconcile the world’s energy requirements with its need for cleaner air. Alongside the multiple benefits to human health, this strategy shows that resolving the world’s air pollution problem can go hand-in-hand with progress towards other environmental and development goals.  Kamel Ben Naceur, Director of Sustainability, Technology and Outlooks at IEA will present the findings and strategy of this new report, followed by a discussion moderated by for EIA Administrator Guy Caruso.

NGV American President To Headline NatGas RoundtableThe Natural Gas Roundtable will host Matthew Godlewski, President of Natural Gas Vehicles for America (NGVAmerica) at the next Natural Gas Roundtable luncheon tomorrow.  Godlewski is the president of NGVAmerica, the national trade association dedicated to the development of a growing and sustainable market for vehicles powered by natural gas.

Panel to Look at Clean Transportation Options – The International Council on Clean Transportation is hosting a half-day conference tomorrow afternoon on the state of the art in fuel-efficiency technologies and designs for passenger cars, with panels featuring experts from key automotive industry suppliers Eaton, Bosch, BorgWarner, Honeywell, Johnson Matthey, Continental, Corning, AVL, Umicore, FEV and others.  Admiral Dennis Blair is the keynote.

Moniz to Discuss Nuclear Issues – The Carnegie Endowment for International Peace will host a discussion tomorrow at 1:00 p.m. with DOE Secretary Ernie Moniz, who will discuss future challenges and priorities in building a sustainable global nuclear order. Carnegie President William J. Burns will introduce, and George Perkovich will moderate.

NRECA, NRDC Lead Community Storage Discussion – The NRECA, NRDC and Great River Energy along with Senator Amy Klobuchar will host a Congressional briefing tomorrow at 3:00 p.m. in SVC 203/202 on how the energy sector can use tried and true household technologies to help meet consumer energy needs in a new energy era.  The Community Storage Initiative was launched earlier this year by the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA), Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), Edison Electric Institute (EEI), American Public Power Association (APPA) and Peak Load Management Alliance (PLMA).  It has been organized as a grassroots effort to develop a community-based energy storage marketplace that works for everyone, from electric utilities and technology providers to end-use customers and their communities.  Speakers will include the founders of the Community Storage Initiative (CSI), Gary Connett of Great River Energy, NRECA’s Keith Dennis and NRDC’s Robin Roy.

Forum to Look at Environment Policies, Investments in Electricity – The Bipartisan Policy Center, the Great Plains Institute and the Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions are hosting a workshop in Atlanta at the Hyatt Regency tomorrow.  The event will feature experts, state officials and stakeholders from across the Eastern Interconnect for a one-day workshop exploring recent modeling analyses that provide new insights into trends in the electricity sector. The event will explore what these trends mean for state energy and environmental policy choices. Experts will present their findings and stakeholders will have an opportunity to reflect on those findings. Howard Gruenspecht, Deputy Administrator for the U.S. Energy Information Administration, will be providing the morning keynote address. As previously announced, Janet McCabe, Acting Assistant Administrator for the Office of Air and Radiation at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, will be the luncheon keynote speaker.

RFF, Stanford to Set Shale Series – Resources for the Future (RFF) and Stanford University’s Woods Institute for the Environment will hold a special webinar series this fall looking at new research on the science and economics of natural gas. The first event will be tomorrow looking at managing methane emissions.  At this webinar, Stanford’s Rob Jackson and Adam Brandt will present their work on methane leakage in natural gas distribution systems nationwide, while RFF’s Alan Krupnick will share highlights from RFF’s study of policy options for cost-effectively reducing methane emissions.  On October 18th the focus will be on Wastewater and on November 15th siting.  The series will explore some of the complex challenges and questions associated with the increasing reliance on unconventional gas in the United States. Topics include: technologies for detecting and preventing methane leakage; industry and policy options for mitigating emissions; wastewater disposal options and challenges; and optimal siting for new gas development.

AOPL to Hold Business Conference in Chicago – Tomorrow through Friday, the Association of Oil Pipe Lines will hold its annual business conference at the Chicago Hyatt Regency.  The Annual Business Conference focuses on topical issues and the latest developments in the oil pipeline industry.  Speakers will include Rusty Braziel of RBN Energy, a renowned analyst and speaker on oil and gas issues including pipeline transportation and retiring FERC Commissioner Tony Clark, who has shown a deep interest in oil transportation issues at FERC and previously at the North Dakota Public Service Commission.  The event will also feature an executives roundtable featuring leaders at several AOPL-member companies.

Manchin To Headline Hill Discussion – The Hill will host a forum on Wednesday at 8:00 a.m. at The Newseum to hear from Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) to discuss the recent flooding in West Virginia, who will share his first-hand experience with the disaster recovery process and his insight on community resilience and preparedness efforts at the local, state, and national level.

IU Forum to Look at Manufacturing Jobs – Indiana University’s School of Public and Environmental Affairs (IU SPEA) will hold a day-long conference on Wednesday at the National Press Club looking at what the next President should do about U.S. manufacturing in the first 100 days.  Speakers will include former OIRA head and current SPEA Dean John Graham, Information Technology and Innovation Foundation head Rob Atkinson, Scott Paul of the Alliance for American Manufacturing and former OMB official Paul Noe of AF&PA.

CHP Conference Set for National Park – The Combined Heat and Power (CHP) Association will host its 2016 Combined Heat & Power Conference tomorrow through Friday. This year’s conference will focus on creating fruitful and interesting discussion within the conference panels and between attendees about current challenges and opportunities for CHP, especially within the utility model. The conference will be held at Nationals Park in Southeast DC, with the conference proceedings taking place in the park’s conference center and the networking event in the PNC Diamond Club.

Climate, Security Forum Set – The Center for Climate and Security, in partnership with the Center for the National Interest and the George Washington University’s Elliott School of International Affairs, will be hosting the first annual Climate and National Security Forum on all day Wednesday. The Forum will be held in Washington, DC at the Reserve Officer’s Association Minuteman Memorial Building, The Climate and National Security Forum 2016 will feature panel discussions among leading senior retired military, defense and foreign policy experts, detailing both the significant risks and policy opportunities related to the climate change and national security nexus.

House Science to Dig in on AGs –The House Science Committee will hold a Wednesday hearing on its power to subpoena state attorneys general in a growing spat between Congress and states investigating ExxonMobil Corp.’s climate science.  The attorneys general — Democrats Eric Schneiderman (N.Y.) and Maura Healey (Mass.) — say Smith does not have the power to collect documents related to their Exxon investigations. Smith disagrees, and invited several legal experts to make the case.  Witnesses include Jonathan Turley of George Washington University Law School, Ronald Rotunda of Chapman University’s Dale Fowler School of Law, Elizabeth Price Foley of Florida International University College of Law and Charles Tiefer of the University of Baltimore School of Law.

Baker Institute to Present Science, Technology Recs for Next President – Rice University’s Baker Institute for Public Policy will hold a news conference Wednesday at 10:00 a.m. in the Bloomberg Room at the National Press Club to present recommendations on how science and technology policy is dealt with in the White House for the presidential campaigns and transition teams.  Neal Lane, the senior fellow in science and technology policy at the Baker Institute, will present the recommendations, which will include five main points for the next president and five points for the president’s next science adviser and director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP).  Lane, who previously served as OSTP director and science adviser to President Bill Clinton from 1998 to 2001 and was the director of the National Science Foundation from 1993 to 1998, will be joined at the news conference by American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) CEO Rush Holt, Deborah Wince-Smith, president and CEO of the Council on Competitiveness and Norman Augustine, retired Chairman and CEO of Lockheed Martin.

Moniz, Faison at Senate Energy/Water Panel to Look at Nuclear – The Senate Energy and Water Approps panel will hold a hearing on nuclear issues on Wednesday at 2:30 p.m..   Witnesses include Energy Secretary Ernie Moniz, former Sen Judd Gregg and ClearPath Founder Jay Faison.

Matheson to Discuss Rural Agenda, Co-ops – New NRECA CEO Jim Matheson will hold a media availability on Wednesday at 4:30 p.m. to discuss the co-ops, energy issues, renewable development and the rural economy.  Immediately following the presser, Matheson will attend a NRECA Congressional reception that will include many of his former colleagues.  Both events will take place in the Longworth building on Capitol Hill.  Matheson, who took over NRECA in July, previously served seven terms as a U.S. Representative from Utah (2001-15), during which time he was Chief Deputy Whip for the House Democratic Caucus, co-chairman of the Blue Dog Coalition, and a member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee.

Energy, Tech, Education Conference Set – STEM4US is hosting the 3rd Annual Energy, Tech, and Education Festival on Wednesday at the Washington Convention Center.  The theme for #ETE16 is “Mission Critical: Training the Cybersecurity Workforce of Today, Tomorrow.”  #ETE16 provides a unique opportunity for executives and professionals in the energy, technology, and venture capital sectors to network with government, academic, and nonprofit leaders.  Guests can expect to enjoy interactive workshops, networking, and receptions.

NASDAQ To Host Energy, Tech Discussions on Election – In the final weeks before the November 2016 elections, listen to a policy debate between representatives of leading Presidential campaigns.  The events start on Wednesday evening at 6:30 p.m.  Candidates and advisors are invited representing the Democratic, Green, Independent, and Republican parties.  During the debate, enjoy refreshments at the DC offices of NASDAQ, the leading stock exchange for emerging energy, tech, and ed sector publically traded corporations.  Following a moderated discussion, members of the audience have the opportunity to pose questions to the panelists. To expand the audience, the event is expected to be live streamed and presented as a Google Hangout and Live Twitter Chat.

House Science Takes on EPA Methane Regs – The House Science Committee’s Environment panel will hold a hearing on Thursday at 9:30 a.m. to look at EPA’s methane regulations.  Witnesses will include SMU’s Maguire Energy Institute expert Bud Weinstein, API’s Erik Milito, EDF’s Elgie Holstein and Anthony Ventello of Progress Authority.

House E&C to Look at Energy Security – The House Energy & Commerce Committee’s Subcommittee on Energy and Power will hold a hearing Thursday at 10:00 a.m. looking at DOE’s role in advancing the national, economic and energy security.

Enviros “Keep It in the Ground” White House Rally – Thursday at 10:00 a.m.

Wilson Center to Look at Climate Assessments – On Thursday at 4:00 p.m., the  Woodrow Wilson Center will host a forum on preparing the National Climate Assessment. Since 2000, the U.S. Global Change Research Program (USGCRP) has produced three National Climate Assessments, a major Congressionally mandated report designed to inform the public about the current state of the climate, the nation’s preparedness, and future trends. Work on the fourth assessment has now begun. The event will feature a discussion with representatives from the USGCRP and White House about ways to engage in the production of the report and priorities, including the first chapter on international issues.

WCEE Forum to Look at Greenhouse Gas Protocols – The Women’s Council on Energy and the Environment (WCEE) will hold a luncheon forum on Thursday  at Deloitte looking at Greenhouse Gas Protocols.  GHG Protocol sets the global standard for how to measure, manage, and report greenhouse gas emissions. Since its launching in 2001, more than 1000 organizations and governments have joined this initiative to be more efficient and resilient while benefitting the environment through climate change strategies. The 2010 GHG Workforce Survey reported that GHG Protocol is the second most important climate program after Kyoto Protocol in the successful measurement and management of climate change. The forum will feature WRI experts to discuss how the GHG Protocol is used as a decision-making tool when setting corporate sustainability targets and strategies; how corporate renewable energy purchasing can help reduce emission and how it supports corporate action.

Campaign Energy Policy Discussions Set – Leaders in Energy and Potential Energy DC present an “Un-Debate” on Thursday evening at NYU’s DC office to Look at Energy and Sustainability.  The events will examine key energy and sustainability issues that are being discussed in the upcoming election.  The event will feature representatives from each of the major parties, Democratic and Republican, along with the Green and Libertarian parties.  However instead of conducting a conventional debate forum with individuals  interrupting each other and not listening as everyone strives to top the other with their own view, we will seek to identify areas of consensus and common ground.

ICF Breakfast to Look at Nanotech – On Friday at the University Club, ICF will host an Energy Breakfast that brings together the heads of the two premier U.S. electricity and energy technology groups to discuss how new energy technologies and innovations are quickly reshaping the way we produce, transport, and utilize energy: “nanotechnology.

WRI Forum to Look at Sustainable Energy Future – The World Resources Institute (WRI) will host a forum Friday on how to produce, use and dispose of everyday products in a sustainable future.  In this presentation and panel discussion, European and American leaders in government and business will share their views on this emerging topic. In the spirit of the coinciding EU Climate Diplomacy Week, this event will include discussion of how a circular economy model can support global climate goals as outlined in the Paris Agreement on climate change.

RFF Forum to Look at Carbon Tax – Resources for the Future (RFF) will hold a forum on Friday looking at the latest updates on carbon pricing developments in Canada, where provinces have led but the federal government is seeking to develop its own policy; Mexico, where a carbon tax has been in place since 2014 but an emissions trading system has recently been announced; and the United States, where carbon markets exist in a few states (like California), where more markets might emerge under the Clean Power Plan, and where a federal carbon tax continues to be debated.

Japan Forum Looks at NatGas Hydrate – On Friday at 10:00 a.m., the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science will host a forum focus on natural gas hydrates.  Around 80% of energy is supplied by fuels, such as oil, coal and natural gas.  This trend will continue at least 50 years although other energy supply, such as wind, solar, nuclear, so on due to most of .  Energy forecasts, such as IEA outlook 2015.  The natural gas is especially important because C/H ratio is low, which indicates that the impact to global warming is less.  The natural gas hydrate is one of important candidate to supply natural gas as similar to the shale gas which is developed and supplied in USA.  The natural gas hydrate spreads the pacific ocean including USA and Japan.

CSIS to Host Book Discussion on Sustainable Development – The Center for Strategic & International Studies will host a public roundtable on Friday at 1:30 p.m. to discuss Dr. Stephen Macekura’s book, “Of Limits and Growth: The Rise of Global Sustainable Development in the Twentieth Century,” as well as his career leading up to this publication. Macekura is Assistant Professor of International Studies at Indiana University’s School of Global and International Studies.  He is a historian of U.S. foreign policy, foreign aid, international development, and environmental politics and policy.  His first book Of Limits and Growth: The Rise of Global ‘Sustainable Development’ in the Twentieth Century, explores the role of environmental NGOs in attempting to reconcile the desire for economic growth with environmental protection after 1945. His second book will focus on the meaning and measurement of economic growth in the twentieth-century.

National Electric Drive Week Set – The National Electric Drive Week will begin on Sunday.  See more details here.

 

FUTURE EVENTS

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 on September 19-30. 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.

Groups to Launch Nuclear Report – Next Monday 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.

Event to Look at Paris Progress – Next Tuesday 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.

Atlantic Council to Host Inhofe, Whitehouse on Nuclear – The Atlantic Council’s Global Energy Center will host a discussion on next 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 September 21st – 23rd 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.

SEJ Conference Set For Sacramento – The annual Society of Environmental Journalists (SEJ) Conference will be September 21-25 in Sacramento.  Of course, Bracewell’s PRG will be hosting our annual big reception on Thursday Night to welcome everyone.  More on this as we get closer.

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 September 21st 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.

Energy Engineering Congress Set – The 39th World Energy Engineering Congress (WEEC) will be held on September 21-23 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, September 22nd 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, September 22nd at the Wilson Center.

CSIS Forum Look at Energy Transition in Germany – On September 22nd, 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, September 22nd 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 September 22nd 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, September 22nd 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, September 23rd 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 September 23rd 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.

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.

Clean Power Plan Hits DC Circuit – On September 27th, the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals is scheduled to hear oral arguments on September 27 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.

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.

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 6

Friends,

“I’ve been too long I’m glad to be back.”

Welcome back…The Labor Day holiday means everyone is FINALLY back in school, the Fall college, NFL and high school sports season (football/field hockey/X-Country/soccer) are rolling and the US Open is headed to its championship weekend.   For those of you interested, my daughter Hannah launched her Wellesley field hockey career over the weekend with two victories in Maine. She started/played the entirety of both games and really had a great impact,  so we are really proud of her. Now she heads to the harder part –the classroom – which also launched last Thursday and really gets rolling today.

What an interesting August break.  While things seemed to slow down some on the DC Policy side, we really didn’t notice it that much as we were pretty busy.  There is no doubt that 1) Congress over the next few weeks, 2) the campaigns (hitting high gear) and 3) the exiting Obama Administration will all have their foot to the pedal on a number of initiatives, including many energy issues.  Congress has to finish budgets and has energy legislation is on the docket with a House-Senate conference set to start Thursday.  The President rolled into Southeast Asia and signed the Paris agreement alongside Chinese President Xi Jinping and bounced a couple more efficiency regs out of DOE.  The Administration, which has been the focus of several articles about the run to the finish line, has stepped up the efforts and pressure on the regulatory front.  We can help with those issues, especially on some of the more obscure issues like DOE efficiency regs.

On the politics front, it has been wild.  Democrats seem confident, but both campaigns seem a bit disheveled by the day-to-day back and forth. I find it surprising, but today CNN has a new poll that says the race is tied.  Despite that poll, Clinton seems to have confident leads in key states like VA, NC, PA and CO.  Speaking of Colorado, the HRC campaign tapped Ken Salazar, the former Interior secretary and senator, to lead her transition team which has annoyed some enviros who don’t like Salazar’s past approach to energy issues.

This is a little off topic, but on next Monday at the National Press Club at Noon, we are working with the National Brian Tumor Assn as they launch a major effort to defeat pediatric brain tumors.  The effort is a new bold approach that will focus on a new capital campaign for a major global R&D initiative to defeat most lethal form of childhood cancer.   Obama Moonshot Initiative board member David Arons, NBTA President will lead the discussion, so please pass on to any of your colleagues that cover health care issues.

While I’m on next week, stayed tuned for a lot of hearings including one featuring ClearPath head Jay Faison, a pen/pad with new NRECA head/former Utah Democratic Rep. Jim Matheson, a number of great events at think tanks like RFF, the Wilson Center and CSIS and finally big conferences out of town with SEIA in Vegas and APOL in Chicago.

Also, the annual SEJ Conference is right around the corner in Sacramento Sept 21-25.  As usual, we will host our usual reception although this year we are stepping up our game so I hope you be able to attend.

Finally, I know many of you have seen this, but for those of you that haven’t, Robin Bravender of E&E News wrote an embarrassingly nice profile on the work we do here at Bracewell that I thought you might find interesting.

Congress is back…Game on!  Call with questions.

 

Best,

Frank Maisano

(202) 828-5864

(202) 997-5932

 

FRANKLY SPOKEN

“As we continue to grow our companies both here in the U.S. and abroad, effectively managing our public policy issues and relationships with the federal government will be critical to our success. Maryam’s strong background in both federal energy policy and the energy industry will help guide and fortify these key activities.”

Steve Davis, executive vice president of External Affairs and Corporate Strategy for Sempra Energy on former Energy Advisor for Speaker Ryan Maryam Brown.

 

IN CASE YOU MISSED AUGUST NEWS

DOE Moves Rulemaking on Cooler/Freezers – The Department of Energy issued a notice of proposed rulemaking on Tuesday for regulations on walk-in coolers and freezers, the result of a settlement with industry leaders who said a previously issued rule was unreasonable. The department’s proposed conservation standards are projected to save up to $3,294 in energy costs, depending on the refrigeration system, over the course of the unit’s lifetime, according to the draft published Tuesday. The rule also aims to reduce carbon dioxide and nitrous oxide emissions. The proposal follows a settlement between the department and industry participants, including the Air-Conditioning, Heating and Refrigeration Institute, over a rule issued in 2014. The plaintiffs said that rule had several unreasonable provisions. The two sides settled in July 2015, agreeing to several changes to the 2014 rule. Some standards were vacated, others will be put off until 2020, and the department agreed to reconsider how the rule would affect installers and smaller manufacturers.  AHRI President Stephen Yurek said in a statement that the group “hope and expects that it will follow the parameters set forth in the negotiations conducted under the [rulemaking] process. We are hopeful that the resulting negotiations are accurately represented in this draft rule.”

DOE Furnace Rule Rolls out on Labor Day Friday – Late Friday, DOE released new, controversial efficiency standards for residential gas furnaces trying to cut off industry and congressional concerns about the costs.  DOE issued its initial version of the proposal in March 2015 only to have manufacturers complain that the standard should have separated condensing and non-condensing furnaces, including a separate track for small furnaces. The proposal itself noted that the rule could drive up sulfur dioxide and mercury emissions as it reduces CO2 and NOx because some homeowners likely would switch from natural gas to electric furnaces. Both AHRI and AGA have fought back with more than 100 House lawmakers pushing DOE to reopen the rule for reconsideration and additional comments.

AHRI Responds to Furnace Rule – AHRI President Steve Yurek say they are pleased that happy that DOE made changes that “provide an alternative option for those of our customers for whom an ultra-efficient furnace does not make economic sense, but the alternative will be of little value to those customers it is intended to help.”   AHRI says the market for furnaces that have input rates of 55,000 BTU per hour or lower is quite small for the simple reason that most U.S. dwellings require greater heating capacity.  Therefore, at the levels proposed by DOE in this rule, many of our customers, particularly in southern states, will be forced to pay more for a larger, ultra-efficient furnace even though their monthly heating bill savings will not justify the higher purchase and installation costs.  And for many of our customers in the northern, Midwest, and mid-Atlantic states, the installation costs associated with an ultra-efficient, condensing furnace make them either prohibitively expensive or a practical impossibility.   Yurek also said while this revision appears to be “a substantial change from the original draft rule, which would have mandated a minimum standard of 92 percent AFUE across the board, from Minneapolis to Miami, in reality, it changes little and is in need of additional changes, which we will be seeking in the coming months.”

Ryan Aide To Head Sempra Energy DC Office – Maryam Sabbaghian Brown has been appointed Sempra Energy’s new vice president of Federal Government Affairs, based in Washington, D.C. Brown has experience as both a senior energy policy advisor in the U.S. Congress and in management within the energy industry, most recently serving as the senior energy and environment counsel for the Office of the Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives since 2012.  In her new role, Brown will report directly to Steve Davis, executive vice president of External Affairs and Corporate Strategy for Sempra Energy, and oversee representation of the Sempra family of companies with the executive and legislative branches of the U.S. government, as well as with federal agencies.  She start next Monday.

Truck Rules Finalized – EPA and NHTSA issued their final Phase 2 fuel economy rules for medium and heavy-duty vehicles, which will establish standards for trucks for model years 2021 through 2027. The rules will require certain large trucks to be up to 25% more fuel efficient, and are projected to reduce U.S. oil demand by 2 billion barrels.  While heavy-duty trucks account for only 4% of all vehicles on the road, they account for almost 22% of transportation oil demand. When the new standards were proposed last year, the administration estimated they could potentially conserve 1.8 billion barrels of oil and lower fuel costs by about $170 billion over the lifetime of the vehicles sold under the program. Additionally, the originally proposed Phase 2 standards would reduce new heavy-duty vehicles’ fuel consumption by an additional 24%, on average, in 2027 as well as bring heavy-duty fuel consumption back below 2015 levels by 2030. However, the final rule is more stringent than what was proposed last year, boosting fuel savings.

SAFE Originally Proposed Similar Approach – SAFE originally proposed expanding fuel economy standards to include medium and heavy-duty vehicles in its 2006 report, Recommendations to the Nation on Reducing U.S. Oil Dependence, and lobbied tirelessly for their inclusion in 2007’s historic Energy Independence and Security Act. Expanding the legislation to include heavy-duty trucks for the first time was complex, and required implementation through Phase 1 and Phase 2 rulemaking. SAFE CEO Robbie Diamond: “These rules are the finalization of this critical process, and SAFE is proud to have worked with industry and legislators every step of the way.”

Largest Companies are Mostly Supportive – In addition to SAFE, many of the industry’s largest players like Waste Management and FedEx, have proactively worked towards new fuel economy standards for trucks. Recent research from CALSTART surveyed over 250 heavy-duty vehicle manufacturers and suppliers around the country and found the industry has “a desire for clear, strong, and long term efficiency regulations to de-risk investment.” Calstart’s research also highlighted the U.S.’s ability to lead in the sector.

China, US Sign Paris Agreement – On Saturday, President Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping formally joined the Paris Climate agreement, pledging a “continued bilateral climate cooperation.”  The leaders of the world’s two largest emitters of greenhouse gases met Saturday at the G20 Summit in Hangzhou, China.

SoCo Adds Another OK Wind Project – Southern Company acquired the 147-megawatt (MW) Grant Plains wind facility in Oklahoma from Apex Clean Energy. The Grant Plains wind facility will be located in Grant County, Oklahoma, and is expected to utilize 64 wind turbines manufactured by Siemens. Grant Plains will be Southern Power’s third wind facility in Oklahoma, building on a portfolio that includes the adjacent 151-MW Grant Wind facility and the 299-MW Kay Wind facility, both also acquired from Apex with turbines produced by Siemens. Grant Plains fits Southern Power’s business strategy of growing its wholesale business through the acquisition and construction of generating assets substantially covered by long-term contracts.  With the addition of the Grant Plains wind facility, Southern Power owns more than 2,400 MW of renewable generation from 31 solar, wind and biomass facilities either announced, acquired or under construction. Across its system, Southern Company has added or announced more than 4,000 MW of renewable generation since 2012.

 

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

Renewable Conference Set for Mexico City – The Mexican Energy Leaders conference is set for Mexico City on Wednesday and Thursday. The event has become the major meeting for both Mexican and international renewable energy experts to discuss the new opportunities opened after major reforms on energy in Mexico.

House Energy to Look at Federal Power Act – The House Energy & Commerce Committee’s Subcommittee on Energy and Power will hold a hearing looking at historical perspectives on the “Federal Power Act. Witnesses will include former FERC Commissioner Clifford Naeve, former FERC General Counsel Doug Smith, former DOE Asst Secretary Linda Stuntz and former FERC General Counsel Susan Tomasky.

WV Members to Discuss Coal Pensions – The National Press Club hosts a Forum tomorrow at 1:00 a.m. to look at Congressional efforts to save pensions and retiree healthcare for thousands of retired coal miners.  The event will feature Sens. Joe Manchin and Shelley Moore Capito and Rep. David McKinley.

WCEE Event to Help Energy Networking – Tomorrow at Noon, the Women’s Council on Energy and the Environment (WCEE) will host a forum on networking in the energy industry.  The event will feature John Easton, a former vice president of International Programs at the Edison Electric Institute who served in three Presidential appointed positions at DOE.

Former DuPont CEO Set for Smart Women Event – CSIS’s Smart Women, Smart Power Initiative will host a conversation with retired Chair and CE of DuPont Ellen Kullman on Wednesday at 5:30 p.m.  The event will be moderated by Nina Easton, Chair of Fortune’s Most Powerful Women International.  The Smart Women, Smart Power (SWSP) initiative is designed to amplify the voices of women in foreign policy, national security, and international business.  It convenes top-level leaders to discuss critical and timely issues in their respective fields, reflect on their professional experiences, and share ideas.

Vilsack to Headline GreenGov – The GreenGov Symposium will be held on Thursday at George Washington University.  The event is led by the Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) in partnership with GWU’s Sustainability Collaborative. The purpose of the symposium is to showcase how the Federal Government can lead by example in environmental sustainability, with a particular focus on how federal agencies can meet the ambitious goals established in the landmark March 2015 Executive Order, “Planning for Federal Sustainability in the Next Decade”.  USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack will headline and speakers from the EPA and CEQ will focus on issues related to the future of energy efficiency, clean energy targets, sustainable transportation, waste mitigation, and the conservation of water.

House Energy Conference Set to Launch – The Senate and House conferees will have a meeting on Thursday at 9:30 a.m. regarding S. 2012, the Energy Policy Modernization Act of 2016. The purpose of this meeting is to hear opening statements from the conferees. No bill text or amendments will be considered at this meeting of the conferees.

Joint House Hearing Target Mediterranean Energy – On Thursday at 2:00 p.m., there will be a joint subcommittee hearing on Eastern Mediterranean Energy challenges and opportunities for U.S. priorities held by the Committee on Foreign Affairs’ Subcommittee on the Middle East and North Africa and the Committee on Science, Space and Technology’s Subcommittee on Energy.  Witnesses will include State’s Amos Hochstein and DOE’s Jonathan Elkind, who serves as Assistant Secretary for International Affairs.

House Foreign Affairs Looks at Asian Energy Demand – The House Foreign Affairs Committee’s Subcommittee on Asia and the Pacific will hold a hearing on Thursday at 3:00 p.m. on Asia’s growing hunger for energy looking at U.S. policy and supply opportunities.  Witnesses will include Mikkal Herberg of the National Bureau of Asian Research, Heritage’s David Kreutzer and NRDC’s Jake Schmidt.

 

FUTURE EVENTS

State of Solar Highlighted at Vegas Conference – Solar Power International 2016 (SPI 2016), the solar industry’s largest trade show and conference will be held in Las Vegas from September 12-15th.  SPI 2016 co-host Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) offers a slew of coverage opportunities. The topics and events will cover Net metering in Nevada, developing solar on federal land, elections 2016 and growth In the solar industry.  Our friend Ben Finzel has the detail at ben@renewpr.com or 202-277-6286.

Atlantic Council to Host US, India Clean Energy Discussion – The Atlantic Council will host a forum next Monday at Noon to discuss the implications of US-India cooperation on critical energy and climate issues and place these efforts in the context of the bilateral relationship. Speakers will address the challenges and opportunities surrounding clean energy deployment in India, evaluate the policy and financing mechanisms being used, assess the importance issue for U.S.-India bilateral relations, and highlight key priorities for ongoing collaboration between the United States and India.

Storage Forum Set – The EnergyStorage Global Innovation Forum will be held September 12-13 in Chicago bringing together top experts from ComEd, Oncor, PowerStream, PJM, Midwest ISO, ARPA-E, Argonne National Lab and many others to examine grid-level and behind-the-meter storage business models, technology innovations and opportunities. The Forum offers the latest updates on advanced storage technologies and systems for grid-level applications, as well as next-gen EV / smart transportation. These updates will be viewed through the lens of real-world deployments, business cases, and impacts on existing systems and operations.

CSIS to Host IEA Report – CSIS will host a forum on Tuesday September 13th at 8:30 a.m. featuring IEA.  For the first time, IEA is focusing on this critical topic in Energy and Air Pollution, providing a global outlook for energy and air pollution as well as profiles of key countries. Based on new data for pollutant emissions in 2015 and projections to 2040, the new report proposes a pragmatic and attainable strategy to reconcile the world’s energy requirements with its need for cleaner air. Alongside the multiple benefits to human health, this strategy shows that resolving the world’s air pollution problem can go hand-in-hand with progress towards other environmental and development goals.  Kamel Ben Naceur, Director of Sustainability, Technology and Outlooks at IEA will present the findings and strategy of this new report, followed by a discussion moderated by for EIA Administrator Guy Caruso.

NGV American President To Headline NatGas RoundtableThe Natural Gas Roundtable will host Matthew Godlewski, President of Natural Gas Vehicles for America (NGVAmerica) at the next Natural Gas Roundtable luncheon on Tuesday, September 13th.  Godlewski is the president of NGVAmerica, the national trade association dedicated to the development of a growing and sustainable market for vehicles powered by natural gas.

Forum to Look at Environment Policies, Investments in Electricity – The Bipartisan Policy Center, the Great Plains Institute and the Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions are hosting a workshop in Atlanta at the Hyatt Regency on Tuesday September 13th.  The event will feature experts, state officials and stakeholders from across the Eastern Interconnect for a one-day workshop exploring recent modeling analyses that provide new insights into trends in the electricity sector. The event will explore what these trends mean for state energy and environmental policy choices. Experts will present their findings and stakeholders will have an opportunity to reflect on those findings.

RFF, Stanford to Set Shale Series – Resources for the Future (RFF) and Stanford University’s Woods Institute for the Environment will hold a special webinar series this fall looking at new research on the science and economics of natural gas. The first event will be on Tuesday September 13th looking at managing methane emissions.  At this webinar, Stanford’s Rob Jackson and Adam Brandt will present their work on methane leakage in natural gas distribution systems nationwide, while RFF’s Alan Krupnick will share highlights from RFF’s study of policy options for cost-effectively reducing methane emissions.  On October 18th the focus will be on Wastewater and on November 15th siting.  The series will explore some of the complex challenges and questions associated with the increasing reliance on unconventional gas in the United States. Topics include: technologies for detecting and preventing methane leakage; industry and policy options for mitigating emissions; wastewater disposal options and challenges; and optimal siting for new gas development.

AOPL to Hold Business Conference in Chicago – Next Tuesday through Friday, the Association of Oil Pipe Lines will hold its annual business conference at the Chicago Hyatt Regency.  The Annual Business Conference focuses on topical issues and the latest developments in the oil pipeline industry.  Speakers will include Rusty Braziel of RBN Energy, a renowned analyst and speaker on oil and gas issues including pipeline transportation and retiring FERC Commissioner Tony Clark, who has shown a deep interest in oil transportation issues at FERC and previously at the North Dakota Public Service Commission.  The event will also feature an executives roundtable featuring leaders at several AOPL-member companies.

Manchin To Headline Hill Discussion – The Hill will host a forum on Wednesday, September 14th at 8:00 a.m. at The Newseum to hear from Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) to discuss the recent flooding in West Virginia, who will share his first-hand experience with the disaster recovery process and his insight on community resilience and preparedness efforts at the local, state, and national level.

CHP Conference Set for National Park – The Combined Heat and Power (CHP) Association will host its 2016 Combined Heat & Power Conference.  This year’s conference will focus on creating fruitful and interesting discussion within the conference panels and between attendees about current challenges and opportunities for CHP, especially within the utility model. The conference will be held at Nationals Park in Southeast DC, with the conference proceedings taking place in the park’s conference center and the networking event in the PNC Diamond Club.

Senate Energy/Water Panel to Look at Nuclear – The Senate Energy and Water Approps panel will hold a hearing on nuclear issues on Wednesday September 14th.   Witnesses are expected to include ClearPath Founder Jay Faison among others.

Matheson to Discuss Rural Agenda, Co-ops – New NRECA CEO Jim Matheson will hold a media availability on September 14th at 4:30 p.m. to discuss the co-ops, energy issues, renewable development and the rural economy.  Immediately following the presser, Matheson will attend a NRECA Congressional reception that will include many of his former colleagues.  Both events will take place in the Longworth building on Capitol Hill.  Matheson, who took over NRECA in July, previously served seven terms as a U.S. Representative from Utah (2001-15), during which time he was Chief Deputy Whip for the House Democratic Caucus, co-chairman of the Blue Dog Coalition, and a member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee.

Energy, Tech, Education Conference Set – STEM4US is hosting the 3rd Annual Energy, Tech, and Education Festival on Wednesday September 14th at the Washington Convention Center.  The theme for #ETE16 is “Mission Critical: Training the Cybersecurity Workforce of Today, Tomorrow.”  #ETE16 provides a unique opportunity for executives and professionals in the energy, technology, and venture capital sectors to network with government, academic, and nonprofit leaders.  Guests can expect to enjoy interactive workshops, networking, and receptions.

Wilson Center to Look at Climate Assessments – On Thursday, September 15th at 4:00 p.m., the  Woodrow Wilson Center will host a forum on preparing the National Climate Assessment. Since 2000, the U.S. Global Change Research Program (USGCRP) has produced three National Climate Assessments, a major Congressionally mandated report designed to inform the public about the current state of the climate, the nation’s preparedness, and future trends. Work on the fourth assessment has now begun. The event will feature a discussion with representatives from the USGCRP and White House about ways to engage in the production of the report and priorities, including the first chapter on international issues.

WCEE Forum to Look at Greenhouse Gas Protocols – The Women’s Council on Energy and the Environment (WCEE) will hold a luncheon forum on Thursday September 15th at Deloitte looking at Greenhouse Gas Protocols.  GHG Protocol sets the global standard for how to measure, manage, and report greenhouse gas emissions. Since its launching in 2001, more than 1000 organizations and governments have joined this initiative to be more efficient and resilient while benefitting the environment through climate change strategies. The 2010 GHG Workforce Survey reported that GHG Protocol is the second most important climate program after Kyoto Protocol in the successful measurement and management of climate change. The forum will feature WRI experts to discuss how the GHG Protocol is used as a decision-making tool when setting corporate sustainability targets and strategies; how corporate renewable energy purchasing can help reduce emission and how it supports corporate action.

ICF Breakfast to Look at Nanotech – On Friday, September 16th at the University Club, ICF will host an Energy Breakfast that brings together the heads of the two premier U.S. electricity and energy technology groups to discuss how new energy technologies and innovations are quickly reshaping the way we produce, transport, and utilize energy: “nanotechnology.

WRI Forum to Look at Sustainable Energy Future – The World Resources Institute (WRI) will host a forum Friday September 16th on how to produce, use and dispose of everyday products in a sustainable future.  In this presentation and panel discussion, European and American leaders in government and business will share their views on this emerging topic. In the spirit of the coinciding EU Climate Diplomacy Week, this event will include discussion of how a circular economy model can support global climate goals as outlined in the Paris Agreement on climate change.

RFF Forum to Look at Carbon Tax – Resources for the Future (RFF) will hold a forum on Friday September 16th looking at the latest updates on carbon pricing developments in Canada, where provinces have led but the federal government is seeking to develop its own policy; Mexico, where a carbon tax has been in place since 2014 but an emissions trading system has recently been announced; and the United States, where carbon markets exist in a few states (like California), where more markets might emerge under the Clean Power Plan, and where a federal carbon tax continues to be debated.

CSIS to Host Book Discussion on Sustainable Development – The Center for Strategic & International Studies will host a public roundtable on Friday Sept 16th to discuss Dr. Stephen Macekura’s book, “Of Limits and Growth: The Rise of Global Sustainable Development in the Twentieth Century,” as well as his career leading up to this publication. Macekura is Assistant Professor of International Studies at Indiana University’s School of Global and International Studies.  He is a historian of U.S. foreign policy, foreign aid, international development, and environmental politics and policy.  His first book Of Limits and Growth: The Rise of Global ‘Sustainable Development’ in the Twentieth Century, explores the role of environmental NGOs in attempting to reconcile the desire for economic growth with environmental protection after 1945. His second book will focus on the meaning and measurement of economic growth in the twentieth-century.

National Electric Drive Week Set – The National Electric Drive Week will begin on Sunday September 18th.  See more details here.

Air Regulators Hold Meeting – The Association of Air Pollution Control Agencies’ will hold its 2016 Fall Business Meeting on September 21st – 23rd 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.

SEJ Conference Set For Sacramento – The annual Society of Environmental Journalists (SEJ) Conference will be September 21-25 in Sacramento.  Of course, Bracewell’s PRG will be hosting our annual big reception on Thursday Night to welcome everyone.  More on this as we get closer.

CSIS Forum Look at Energy Transition in Germany – On September 22nd, 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.

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.

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 September 21st 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.

Clean Power Plan Hits DC Circuit – On September 27th, the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals is scheduled to hear oral arguments on September 27 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.

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.

Energy Update: Week of August 1

Friends,

With Conventions finally over, it is finally time to relax a little in August.  Both conventions were interesting though…  Rather than comment on each politically or logistically, let me just say kudos to both the people, police and leadership of both Cleveland and Philadelphia who were kind, likable, polite and very helpful to visitors of all stripes.  Both cities were very gracious and did a great job given the challenging environment.

The final golf major of the year, the PGA Championship, saw Jimmy Walker become the fourth new major winner this year by holding off world #1 and defending PGA Champ Jason Day at Baltusrol in New Jersey.  Walker’s win completed a sweep of first-time major winners: Henrik Stenson at the British Open, Dustin Johnson at the U.S. Open, and Danny Willett at the Masters. The last time newcomers won all four majors in a year, it was 2003.

While I didn’t join Malia Obama at the 25th Lollapalooza in Chicago, I’m sad I didn’t as my tickets to the Counting Crows Saturday night were spoiled by the bad weather.  Seems like Billy Joel still went on at Nationals Park after a 90-minute delay, but show in Chicago’s Grant Park got rave reviews.  It’s hard to believe that Lollapalooza is 25 years old. For fans of a certain age (like yours truly), the festival was synonymous with alternative rock, and it helped introduce the mainstream to a broad spectrum of artists like Pearl Jam, Rage Against the Machine, Tool, Soundgarden, Green Day, and Nine Inch Nails.  Here are some facts about 25 Years of Lollapalooza.

Keeping it low key this week with an eye on the usual August regulations roll out.  With less than six months to go in the Administration, the flurry of regs has been a steady conversation.  Finally, starting to look for the schedule for the September DC Circuit arguments on the Clean Power Plan.  Also, we are keeping an eye on the latest twists and turns in the RFS debate as a number of refiners report serious concerns over the program and RINs costs in last week’s earnings calls.

Finally, on Thursday and Friday of this week, Austin hosts the 28th annual Texas Environmental Superconference.  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.  Bracewell will be hosting an event on Thursday with cocktails, small bites and a live performance by Quiet Company.

The PRG Energy Update will be subject to the call of the chair until after Labor Day.  We’ll keep you updated with Special Updates when they occur and we’ll also be around off and on, so check in with your questions or let’s take the free time to grab lunch.

 

Best,

Frank Maisano

(202) 828-5864

(202) 997-5932

 

FRANKLY SPOKEN

“RINs have become a black pool allowing exempt parties, and even speculators, to drive prices to confiscatory levels. We believe the market may be cornered, the effect of which will be to bring small merchant refiners to the brink of bankruptcy while unjustly enriching speculators and exempt blenders.”

Jack Lipinski, chief executive officer of CVR Refining in 2Q Earnings call last week.

 

IN THE NEWS

Refiners Hit Hard by RINs – In Earnings Calls this week, several small refiners unable to blend their own gasoline are facing higher RIN costs which are eating into refinery operating costs, as the renewable fuels volumes breech the E10 blendwall. CVR CEO Jack Lipinski on his 2Q earnings Call last week unloaded on RINs, saying the market is being cornered, bringing small merchant refiners to the brink of bankruptcy while unjustly enriching speculators and exempt blenders. CVR has two refineries, a 115,000 b/d refinery in Coffeyville, Kansas, and a 70,000 b/d plant in Wynnewood, Oklahoma. HollyFrontier also raised concerns about lower refining margins and costs associated with blending ethanol and purchasing RINs to comply with the RFS mandate. Valero estimated that its cost of compliance with the renewable-fuel standards this year will be $750 million to $850 million, well above the $440 million it spent on RIN credits in 2015.  Finally, PBF Energy, which also does not have a retail or wholesale segment, was downgraded by Goldman Sachs on expectations the company to be “disproportionately negatively impacted” by expectations of higher RINs prices, increasing from $172 million in 2015 to $300 million in 2017.

Small Retailers Join Together on RFS – A number of small retailers have finally weighed in on the RFS as group.  A newly-formed coalition of small fuel retailers is adding to the calls for EPA to shift responsibility for RFS compliance.  The Small Retailers Coalition urges EPA to move the so-called point of obligation to the “rack,” terminals that hold bulk fuels before they move to retail outlets. The current set-up, needlessly tilts the playing field towards large retailers by giving large retailers the ability to use RINs to discount their prices says former Natl Assn of Convenience Stores (NACS) President Bill Douglass, saying moving the obligation would reflect the needs of all market participants.  DOUGLASS: “There are thousands of smaller retailers feeling the adverse impact of the large retailers advantaged by RIN revenue that will share their observation on this market failure.  The end result is that small independent retailers will be driven from the market.”

Coal Plays Pivotal Role in 2016 Battleground States – With the presidential primaries and national conventions in the rearview mirror, ACCCE released a new paper examining the importance of coal-fired electricity and coal in battleground states.  According to the paper, as of mid-July, there were as many as 17 states that are considered tossups or are leaning either Trump or Clinton.  Of the 17 states, coal-fired electricity is important to at least 13.  These states are Arizona (11 electoral votes), Colorado (9), Georgia (16), Indiana (11), Iowa (6), Michigan (16), Missouri (10), Nebraska (1), North Carolina (15), Ohio (18), Pennsylvania (20), Utah (6), and Wisconsin (10). Collectively, they represent 149 electoral votes, more than half the 270 votes necessary to be elected president.  Two hundred coal-fired electric generating units in the 13 battleground states have already shuttered operations with another 46 units expected to close their doors in the near future because of current EPA policies.  Said Duncan, “If the next President adopts the wrong policies, the 370,000 jobs and $90 billion in economic activity coal-fired electricity supports in these states will be threatened.”  Right now, coal is responsible for 48% of the electricity produced in these 13 states.  The percentage of electricity from coal ranges from 30% in Pennsylvania to 78% in Missouri.

The Hill Highlight Faison EffortsThe Hill has a nice profile on the efforts of NC Republican Jay Faison to change the Republican Party focus on Clean Energy.   The Article points out that Faison is a champion of options that he says don’t get respect they deserve, including nuclear power, hydropower, coal with carbon capture and natural gas.  It also highlights his ire is the League of Conservation Voters (LCV), which is aligned with Democrats and has spent the most of any environmental group this election cycle. The group “is very harmful to responsible energy solutions, and I would say it’s harmful for our democracy. I just can’t be more negative on them,” Faison said.

Holmstead Q&A Hits Houston Chronicle – Bracewell expert and former EPA Air chief was featured in a Q&A in the Houston Chronicle late last week.   Holmstead focuses on the upcoming Legal battles in the DC Circuit over the Clean Power Plan.

Chron Endorses Clinton – Speaking of the Houston Chronicle, the energy industry city’s paper of record which previously endorsed Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney, has now officially endorsed Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton. On Friday, the Houston Chronicle made its official endorsement known saying “these are unsettling times that require a steady hand: That’s not Donald Trump.”  The paper also added reasoning as to why they are endorsing now: “The Chronicle editorial page does not typically endorse early in an election cycle; we prefer waiting for the campaign to play out and for issues to emerge and be addressed. We make an exception in the 2016 presidential race, because the choice between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump is not merely political. It is something much more basic than party preference.”

Capitol Crude Looks at Arctic Production – On Platts Capitol Crude podcast today, Brian tackles the future of US Arctic production with Oceana’s Mike LeVine and David Holt of the Consumer Energy Alliance. In a matter of weeks, an Obama administration decision could kill oil and gas development in the Arctic for years and may hinder drilling offshore Alaska for a decade or more.

 

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

Report, Forum to Look at Middle East Oil, Gas – Today at 12:30 p.m., the Washington Institute for Near East Policy holds a discussion on a new report on U.S.-Middle East policy amid the oil and gas boom. To explore how the region and global investors see the changing oil and gas scene affecting U.S. policy, and to understand how Washington can maximize opportunities and minimize disadvantages from these developments, the Institute will host a Policy Forum discussion with Patrick Clawson and Simon Henderson WINEP, as well as RBC’s Helima Croft. Clawson and Henderson will also release their report, Energizing Policy: America and the Middle East in an Era of Plentiful Oil.

Nuclear Expert to Look at Technology – The Global America Business Institute (GABI) will hold a roundtable tomorrow at Noon on the emerging innovation landscape in nuclear energy, embodied by a growing number of pioneers from the technical, financial, and business fields that are seeking to successfully commercialize a number of advanced nuclear reactor concepts.  According to Third Way, there “are nearly 50 companies, backed by more than $1.3 billion in private capital, developing plans for new nuclear plants in the U.S. and Canada. The mix includes startups and big-name investors like Bill Gates, all placing bets on a nuclear comeback, hoping to get the technology in position to win in an increasingly carbon-constrained world.”  Third Way’s Senior Visiting Fellow, Dr. Todd Allen, leads an intimate discussion about the status, prospects, and ramifications of North America’s burgeoning advanced nuclear industry.

Forum to Look at DoD Renewables – New America and the Pew Charitable Trusts will hold a forum Thursday at 10:00 a.m. featuring a conversation with the Secretary of the Air Force Deborah Lee James, as we look at energy and the future of the Air Force. Following Secretary James, an expert panel will discuss how all of the military services work with clean energy companies at military bases in the United States.

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.

 

FUTURE EVENTS

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.

Storage Forum Set – The EnergyStorage Global Innovation Forum will be held September 12-13 in Chicago bringing together top experts from ComEd, Oncor, PowerStream, PJM, Midwest ISO, ARPA-E, Argonne National Lab and many others to examine grid-level and behind-the-meter storage business models, technology innovations and opportunities. The Forum offers the latest updates on advanced storage technologies and systems for grid-level applications, as well as next-gen EV / smart transportation. These updates will be viewed through the lens of real-world deployments, business cases, and impacts on existing systems and operations.

Forum to Look at Environment Policies, Investments in Electricity – The Bipartisan Policy Center, the Great Plains Institute and the Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions are hosting a workshop in Atlanta at the Hyatt Regency on Tuesday September 13th.  The event will feature experts, state officials and stakeholders from across the Eastern Interconnect for a one-day workshop exploring recent modeling analyses that provide new insights into trends in the electricity sector. The event will explore what these trends mean for state energy and environmental policy choices. Experts will present their findings and stakeholders will have an opportunity to reflect on those findings.

Renewable Conference Set for Mexico City – The Mexican Energy Leaders conference is set for Mexico City on September 7 and 8th. The event has become the major meeting for both Mexican and international renewable energy experts to discuss the new opportunities opened after major reforms on energy in Mexico.

SEJ Conference Set For Sacramento – The annual Society of Environmental Journalists (SEJ) Conference will be September 21-25 in Sacramento.  Of course, Bracewell’s PRG will be hosting our annual big reception on Thursday Night to welcome everyone.  More on this as we get closer.

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.

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 September 21st 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.