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.

Energy Update: Week of November 14

Friends,

In case you haven’t noticed, the last few nights, the Moon has been crazy bright.  Now that I have to walk our new puppy every night, the Supermoon has been really awesome to see.  A “supermoon” occurs when the moon becomes full on the same day as its perigee, the point in the moon’s orbit when it is closest to Earth.  Supermoons generally appear to be 14% bigger and 30% brighter than other full moons. The Supermoon tonight will be the closest a Full Moon has been to Earth since January 26, 1948 and is the last night to really catch it until 2034 when it will even be closer and brighter.  Live Science offers a viewing guide here.

What a crazy finish to this crazy election.  Boy, do the results change things around DC especially in the environment and energy arena.  We are offering our insights and policy analysis.  We had a HUGE turnout for our election impacts webinar last week and we will continue to keep you updated on activities related to the transition.  We have already been chatting with many of you and are happy to continue answering your questions regarding transition, First 100 Days agenda, Congress and other information.   Also, if you are looking for more analysis, E&E TV hosts our friend and energy analyst Kevin Book to discuss the energy and environment landscape on the heels of Trump’s election.

With the election in the past and the transition beginning, we are quickly turning to the post-election legislative session, which has certainly lost a lot of its momentum.  That being said, there are several items that need to be completed.  Tomorrow Congress hits “go” with just a few weeks left in the 114th Congress and some unfinished business has been dramatically shortened.  Rumors around suggest that Republicans would rather deal with incoming Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer rather that the retiring Harry Reid.  So it seems like dramatic tax, budget and energy changes might just get wrapped up into a small CR, pushing everything to early next year.

Also this week ministers arrive in Marrakesh for week two of COP 22 to a much different political tone. Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz is participating today and tomorrow in sessions on carbon capture, innovation and clean energy, while Climate negotiator Jonathan Pershing arrived over the weekend.  There are also rumblings about a new Trump Administration trying to get out of Paris which actually is kind of silly since the agreement doesn’t really require us to do anything more than we are already doing in terms of mandatory GHG reporting.   More on this as we go forward.

Other events start tomorrow with a GenerationHub forum that will feature Holmstead and me, a enviros anti-pipeline rally at the White House, RFF-Stanford’s NatGas forum and USEA hosting Coal Council CEO Janet Gellicci.  On Wednesday, Senate Approps looks at the future of Nuclear.  And Friday, CSIS hosts IEA to release its World Energy Outlook and RealClearPoltics hosts an energy summit featuring AGA’s Kathryn Clay, SEIA’s Chris Mansour, AWEA’s Rob Gramlich and NEI’s Revis James, among others.

Finally, next Monday at the National Press Club, Gina McCarthy will give her final address.  Bracewell is sponsoring table so we will be there to hear her take as she departs after 8 years at the EPA.

We are on it… Call with questions.

 

Best,

Frank Maisano

(202) 828-5864

(202) 997-5932

 

FRANKLY SPOKEN

“The last thing in the world any newly-elected president wants to do is go into complicated issues with blinders on.  As a result, they look to people as advisors and implementers that have a full understanding of the subject matter they are supposed to address.”

Scott Segal, head of Bracewell’s Policy Resolution Group

 

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.

 

POST-ELECTION LEGISLATIVE SESSION PRIMER

Post-Election Legislative Session – Tomorrow, lawmakers will return to the Capitol for necessary post-election legislative session.  With just a few weeks left in the 114th Congress, the long list of unfinished business has been dramatically shortened.  Rumors around suggest that Republicans would rather deal with incoming Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer rather that the retiring Harry Reid.  SO it seems like dramatic tax, budget and energy changes might just get wrapped up into a small CR.

The Deadline – Lawmakers face a Dec. 9 deadline for the keeping the government running, but senior leaders plan to move a continuing resolution in the lame duck that will fund the government into early next year.

A Clean CR? – The election has made significant changes to the tone of the post-election legislative session.  More sources and media outlets are reporting that House and Senate GOP leaders plan to move legislation that funds the government at current levels into early next year.  This effort will split up showdowns over a government shutdown and a debt ceiling hike.  Pushing the issues to when Trump and a Republican Congress handle government funding is easier politically and gives the GOP more control over final budget outcomes.  Expect a CR to go to the March/April time frame.

The Tax Issues – One of the biggest issues to hit the agenda is whether Congress considers energy tax extenders as part of must-pass budget legislation.  Last year’s omnibus deal included a 5-year phased down extension of tax credits under Sec 45(commercial), Sec 48(commercial), and Sec 25D(residential) for wind and solar.  Already both House and Senate leaders have said they plan to have tax extenders that were inadvertently left out of the deal, at the top of the agenda when the post-election legislative session gets underway.  CEQ chair and energy advisor to President Obama Brian Deese also said these energy tax extenders must be renewed in a post-election session of Congress.  These seem to be part of any Democratic ask, but there are also a lot of other Republican-led extenders that may balance that out.

CCS Tax Credit – Speaking of the post-election legislative session, our friends at the National Enhanced Oil Recovery Initiative (NEORI) have just posted their presidential transition memos on carbon capture, utilization and storage. With the lame duck session now just days away, action on 45Q and related policy priorities is building. NEORI expects new cosponsors on the Senate and House 45Q bills once Congress returns and are confident that this bipartisan, common-sense energy and climate legislation will pass this year.

Energy Legislation – While Sens. Murkowski and Cantwell continue discussions with House energy Conferees, most experts think it may be unlikely that enough progress will be made to have significant energy legislation face a vote.  Senate conferees last month sent the House a compromise proposal, and discussions are expected to step up once members return next week.  Now most think, the current discussions will be the primer to start discussions early next year.

LNG Permits Expedited In NADA – Our friends at Bloomberg First Energy are reporting that the Center for Liquefied Natural Gas, is saying that Congress may pass legislation to expedite DOE approval for liquefied natural gas exports.  One reason they are optimistic is its inclusion of language speeding of the process in the House’s 2017 National Defense Authorization Act, currently undergoing conference with the Senate.

WRDA Still Possible – One thing that seems to have some momentum is the Water Resource Development Act reform legislation that was overwhelmingly approved by both Houses earlier this year.   The legislation includes resources for Flint’s water crisis.

What’s Out For Sure – There are a number of things that are definitely out, like any thought that Merrick Garland’s nomination will be considered.

 

IN THE NEWS

NRECA Aim to Hire Vets – Faced with the challenge of filling 15,000 jobs over the next five to seven years, America’s electric cooperatives want to do more than simply thank veterans for their service this Veterans Day—they want to offer them a job.  To achieve this goal, NRECA launched Serve Our Co-ops; Serve Our Country, a nationwide program to provide veterans, service members and military spouses with the opportunity to continue their mission of service by joining the ranks of America’s electric co-ops. The program provides participating co-ops with resources and training to help them implement nationally-recognized best practices in attracting, hiring, onboarding and retaining veterans.  50 co-ops have signed on to the initiative since its launch earlier this year. In July, Jonesboro, Ark.-based Craighead Electric Cooperative hired the first veteran under the program when it welcomed aboard Air Force Capt. Jeremiah Sloan as an electrical engineer. “He is a totally professional young man,” Craighead CEO Brian Duncan said. “Not only did we get a quality candidate to serve our members, we got a local guy who wanted to get back home and a veteran who has served our country well.”  Click here to view a brief video about the program, including interviews with Sloan and Duncan on why vets are a good fit for electric co-ops.  For more information on Serve Our Co-ops; Serve Our Country, contact Dan Riedinger, NRECA Media Relations, at (202) 403-7517 or dan.riedinger@nreca.coop.

AGA Leads Effort Aimed at Scammers – The American Gas Association, in coordination with a number of natural gas utilities and industry trade associations, will launch this week an inaugural campaign, titled “Utilities United Against Scams.” This collaborative effort is geared toward promoting awareness and prevention of the increasing number of scamming incidents targeting utility customers across North America. As a result of this effort, the third Wednesday in November every year will be designated as Utilities United Against Scams Day.  This national campaign aims to address the wide-range of utility scams including telephone, mail, email, door-to-door and other scams that involve criminals posing as utility company representatives and demanding immediate payment or personal information from customers. AGA member companies across the nation will continue to work alongside law enforcement, industry stakeholders and political leaders at the local and national level to denounce these disruptive scams.

Georgetown Report Says Clean Energy Booming – A new report from the Georgetown Climate Center shows that a dramatic shift to clean energy is taking place across the U.S.  Between 2011 and 2014, installed wind energy capacity grew by more than 40 percent nationally, for example, while solar capacity grew by 577 percent nationally. The Georgetown Climate Center works with states and cities to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions that cause climate change, and to help communities adapt to the impacts of climate change. Its new report focuses on actions in 19 states that are leading a shift to cleaner energy. These actions have contributed to a 6 percent drop in overall United States greenhouse gas emissions from the power sector between 2012 and 2015.

REPORT: Global Emission Flat Despite Economic Growth – The Global Carbon Project says in a new report the global CO2 emissions stayed flat for the third year in a row despite  modest economic growth around the globe.  The report said the expanded natural gas use and lower coal use in China is driving the trend.  While the global economy grew by over 3%, emissions growth remained relatively flat.  Emissions are projected to rise by only 0.2% this year, marking a “clear break” from growing 2.3% in the decade to 2013. Emissions grew 0.7% in 2014.

 

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

COP 22 Marrakesh – The 22nd Session of the Conference of Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP22) continues this week as ministers arrive in Marrakesh, Morocco to focus on action items in order to achieve the priorities of The Paris Agreement, especially related to adaptation, transparency, technology transfer, mitigation, capacity building and loss and damages.  It will also look at many of the difficult conflicts that were disregarded during last year’s negotiations.

JHU Forum Looks at Energy, Climate Policies – Today at 5:00 p.m., Johns Hopkins SAIS will host a forum on energy and climate policy proposals for the next Administration.  The discussion features former State Department Special Envoy for International Energy Affairs David Goldwyn, former NSC energy advisor Bob McNally, RFF’s Roberton Williams and NRDC’s Ben Longstreth.

Hoover to Discuss Conservative Environmentalism – The Hoover Institution hosts a discussion on “Conservative Environmentalism” tomorrow at 8:45 a.m.  Philosopher and renowned author Sir Roger Scruton agrees that the environment is one of the most important political problems of our age, but argues in How to Think Seriously About the Planet that conservatism is far better suited to tackle environmental problems than either liberalism or socialism. Sir Roger will lay out his framework for thinking about the environment in a keynote address to be followed by an audience Q&A. This will be followed by a roundtable discussion on both the philosophical and practical dimensions of a conservative environmental policy, touching on issues ranging from the ethical precepts behind conservative environmentalism to the policy ideas that could be put forward in a conservative environmental agenda.  Steve Hayward moderates a panel with Stanford’s Jeremy Carl and GMU’s Mark Sagoff.

House Resources to Look at Energy Independence Legislation – The House Natural Resources Committee’s Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources will hold a legislative hearing tomorrow  at 11:30 a.m. on legislation to move toward domestic energy independence.  The legislation empowers States to control the development and production of all forms of energy on all available Federal land.

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

RFF, Stanford Looking at NatGas Siting – Resources for the Future (RFF), Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment and Stanford Natural Gas Initiative Webinar are hosting another webinar in the series on New Research on the Science and Economics of Natural Gas tomorrow at 2:00 p.m. looking at optimal siting of shale gas and oil development.  This is the third event in a joint RFF/Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment/Stanford Natural Gas Initiative.  The siting of shale gas and oil development—everything from well pads to pipelines—is based on a complex network of factors, including resource availability, lease ownership, environmental concerns, local zoning, and community preference. Experts at Stanford University and Resources for the Future are considering ways in which these various factors come into play in siting decisions, including what “optimal siting” might look like in a variety of contexts. Stanford’s Anthony Kovscek will open the webinar by looking at optimal siting of shale development from a technical perspective, considering the geologic characteristics of formations that drive companies’ drilling decisions. RFF’s Juha Siikamäki will then present a new model considering optimal siting of shale gas and oil infrastructure from the perspective of minimizing habitat fragmentation and other landscape-level impacts. Finally, Tisha Schuller from the Stanford Natural Gas Initiative will discuss optimal siting of shale gas and oil infrastructure from the perspective of community and industry interactions.

USEA to Host Coal Council Head –The US Energy Assn will host National Coal Council CEO Janet Gellici tomorrow at 2:00 p.m.  Gellici will present the findings and recommendations from the Council’s recently released report in response to the Secretary Moniz’s request – “CO2 Building Blocks:  Assessing CO2 Utilization Options.”  Moniz had tasked the National Coal Council with preparing a white paper assessing market opportunities for CO2 utilization.

TransForum East Set for Nov – GenerationHub’s TransForum East is scheduled for tomorrow And Wednesday 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.  Both Jeff Holmstead and I will be presenting; Jeff on CPP while I will focus on election impacts.  This regional forum provides two days of interaction and collaboration on the business of power transmission. You’ll gain insight from case studies of successful business models, regional planning strategies, financing trends and practical lessons learned from new construction and upgraded transmission projects occurring in the United States and Canada.

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

CCS Forum Set – The Global CCS Institute will hold a forum tomorrow at 9:30 a.m. to look at the future of carbon capture.  The Institute will be launching The Global Status of CCS: 2016 at a dedicated event at the 22nd conference of the parties (COP 22) in Marrakech on Tuesday, 15 November.   The report is an essential reference for industry, government, research bodies, and the broader community, providing a comprehensive overview of global and regional CCS developments. Following the report launch, we will run a number of webinars commencing in November 2016, through to early 2017.  A Summary of the Global Status of CCS: 2016 will be accessible on our website from 15 November, and includes updates on key CCS facilities.  Speakers will include Jeff Erikson of the Global CCS Institute, Armond Cohen of the Clean Air Task Force, Brookings’ expert Adele Morris and former Rep Bob Inglis.

AU to Host Energy Lecture – Tomorrow at 3:00 p.m., American University will host a lecture by Professor Imre Szeman (University of Alberta) on the way interdisciplinary perspectives can inform our understanding of energy uses and forms. Drawing from his work in the field of Energy Humanities, Professor Szeman will explore the social, cultural, and political changes needed to make possible a full-scale transition from fossil fuels to new forms of energy.

Hearing to Focus on Nuclear Pollution – The Helsinki Commission will hold a hearing tomorrow at 3:30 p.m. in 2325 Rayburn on nuclear pollution in the Arctic.  This briefing will examine the policy of the United States, the Russian Federation, and other Arctic Council nations toward the Arctic. Experts will present a general overview of U.S. and international policy in the Arctic, the broader geopolitics of the region, and the imminent threat posed by nuclear pollution.

Enviros to Rally at White House – Environmental groups will hold anti-pipeline rallies tomorrow at 4:30 p.m. including one at the White House.  It should be fun times.

Forum to DOE, National Intelligence – Tomorrow at 5:00 p.m., the Institute of World Politics will hold a special presentation on the role DOE’s plays in national intelligence with Mr. Jesse Reisman, DOE’s Technical Principal in the Office of Intelligence and Counterintelligence.  Reisman has been working in the federal government since 2002, primarily in the cyber-related areas of counterterrorism, intelligence and inside threat.  Reisman’s presentation will focus on the role DOE plays in national intelligence, and will also provide a high-level discussion about the IC (mission, components, etc.) and the security clearance process.

Wilson to Host Petrobras President – The Wilson Center will host Petrobras President Pedro Parente on Wednesday at 10:00 a.m.  Parente will address the challenges and opportunities facing Brazil’s largest enterprise in today’s tough energy market. After his presentation, he will engage in dialogue with members of the audience interested in learning about the outlook for Petrobras and energy in Brazil. Petrobras has a key role to play in the national effort to overcome Brazil’s current economic downturn, regain trust and confidence from domestic and foreign investors, and put Brazil back on the path of sustainable and equitable economic growth.

Forum to Look at China Environment Reforms – The Environmental and Energy Study Institute (EESI) and the International Fund for China’s Environment (IFCE) will host a briefing on Wednesday at discussing China’s ongoing efforts to implement environmental reforms and take action against climate change. Three environmental professionals from China will discuss the challenges and progress associated with setting emission reduction policies, implementing national climate targets at the local level, incentivizing supply chain sustainability, and more.

Heritage to Host Coal Film – On Wednesday at 2:00 p.m. , the Heritage Foundation will host the public premiere of “Collateral Damage: Forgotten Casualties of the Left’s War on Coal” in its Lehrman Auditorium.  “Collateral Damage” is an MRC TV investigative journalism project that documents and exposes the trials of West Virginia families and communities who have been hurt by Environmental Protection Agency regulations targeting the coal industry.

Sen Approps Panel to Look at Nuclear – On Wednesday at 2:30 p.m. in 138 Dirksen, the Senate Appropriations Committee’s Subcommittee on Energy and Water Development will convene a hearing looking at the future of nuclear power.  The witnesses will include former CIA director and current MIT Professor John Deutch, Oak Ridge Lab Nuclear and Engineering Lab Associate director Alan Icenhour and NRDC nuclear expert Matthew McKinzie.

Solar Focus Conference SetSolar Focus 2016 will be held Wednesday and Thursday at the Renaissance Washington, DC Downtown Hotel looking at East Coast solar policy. This year’s theme is “Cracking the Code on East Coast Solar” and will feature sessions from energy storage to fixing oversupplied SREC markets.

Ag Biomass R&D Group to Meet – The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Biomass Research and Development Technical Advisory Committee will be meeting Thursday and Friday at the Hamilton Crown Plaza in DC to develop advice and guidance that promotes research and development leading to the production of bio-based fuels and bio-based products.

Economists Look At Carbon Tax Questions – The National Economists Club will host a discussion on Thursday at Noon to discuss low–income households and carbon tax.  Chad Stone, Chief Economist at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities will speak.

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

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

CSIS to Host IEA’s World Energy Outlook – On Friday at 10:00 a.m., the CSIS Energy & National Security Program is hosting Dr. Fatih Birol, Executive Director at the International Energy Agency (IEA), to present the IEA’s “World Energy Outlook 2016.” This year’s projections for different scenarios to 2040, based on the latest data and market developments, cover all fuels, regions, and technologies. WEO 2016 gives particular attention to the impact of Paris, renewables, the road ahead for fossil fuels, Mexico’s energy outlook and energy and water issues.

RCP Energy Summit Set – RealClearPolitics will host a unique energy summit on Friday at Noon at the Newseum following the pivotal 2016 election. Prominent energy policy experts will discuss this transition phase and where we go from here. Each speaker will present a brief overview of their industry, along with the challenges they face, the opportunities ahead, and their outlook for the future.  RealClearPolitics Washington Bureau Chief Carl Cannon will moderate the event that will feature LIUNA President Terry O’Sullivan, Kevin Avery of ConocoPhillips, AGA’s Kathryn Clay, SEIA’s Chris Mansour, AWEA’s Rob Gramlich and NEI’s Revis James.

Grid Expert to Address Cybersecurity – The National Capital Area Chapter of the US Assn of Energy Economists (USAEE) will host its monthly luncheon on Friday at Carmines Restaurant at Noon.  Paul Feldman, former Chairman of the Midwest ISO, will focus on the clear and present danger associated with cyber-attacks, what we are doing about it, and what needs to be done better. He will differentiate between IT and OT systems, and how to relate the two into an integrated whole – and protect against attacks like the successful Ukraine attack.

CSIS to Launch India Urban Initiative – CSIS will launch of the U.S.-India State and Urban Initiative on Friday at 2:00 p.m.  The Initiative is a unique effort, backed by the U.S. government, to engage directly with Indian states on energy-related issues, and to form partnerships that can help India extend the benefits of electrification to all its citizens while achieving its goal of quadrupling renewable energy use by 2022. The Wadhwani Chair in U.S.-India Policy Studies, with support from the Energy and National Security Program at CSIS, will act as Initiative secretariat. Nisha Biswal, Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asia, and Amos J. Hochstein, Special Envoy, Bureau of Energy Resources from the U.S. Department of State will discuss the potential at the subnational level in the U.S.-India relationship, India’s energy picture, and the future of the Initiative.

 

IN THE FUTURE

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

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

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

EPA RVO Deadline for Ethanol – November 30

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 November 8

Friends,

Well, it looks like we made it to election day tomorrow – barely.  I hope you will share your predictions with me as I will report on the best ones (not necessary right!) next week.

While we are not make any predictions in advance, we are ready to give you the full story on the impacts.  On Wednesday at 10:30 a.m., our Policy Resolution Group team will be offering its award-winning political and policy analysis of the 2016 elections in a webinar that will feature analysis by my colleagues, and a special guest: former Clinton/Obama advisor Doug Sosnick.  Doug and our team of insiders, attorneys, and industry-leading experts will give you the “morning after” take on how the election results will affect the business community—with a focus on energy and the environment, what’s in store for the lame duck session, leadership changes and more.

Today, starts the next round of COP meetings launches in Morocco.  There will be a lot of pomp, but the war over details of the non-binding, voluntary agreement will not get much attention.  We’ve heard a lot of horror stories about how Paris is not meeting the required reductions.  This is exactly what we predicted last year when everyone was celebrating this “monumental achievement.”  And now, US negotiators are saying we will need “deep decarbonization” by 2050.  Look for further details over the next two weeks, but it is not likely to be good for energy users or consumers.

In fact, much of that celebrating is warranted not because of Paris, but because of the recent airline emissions and HFC agreements that were negotiated.  Happy to give you more Info on that progress and the role it is playing in reducing the impacts of climate change.

Speaking of HFCs and the HVAC industry, AHRI has hired NAM’s Joe Trauger as the association’s Sr. Vice President of Policy and Government Relations. Also special congrats for our friend Joe Davis, former Spence Abraham Press staffer at DOE and Tennessee Volunteer punter back in the day.   Davis has been named ORAU director of government relations where he will lead governmental and public affairs outreach with Congress, government agencies and other stakeholders.

Friday is Veteran’s Day, so please say thanks whenever you can.  In addition to those thanks, the NRECA is launching Serve Our Co-ops; Serve Our Country, a nationwide program to provide veterans, service members and military spouses with the opportunity to continue their mission of service by joining the ranks of America’s electric co-ops. The program provides participating co-ops with resources and training to help them implement nationally-recognized best practices in attracting, hiring, onboarding and retaining veterans.

Finally, today, our friend, former AP reporter and sports author Fred Frommer has a fun, new newsletter called Super Combustible Sports & Politics.  This week’s edition looks at the Cubs and presidents as well as athletes’ reaction to “locker-room talk.”  You can get it subscribe with Fred: fred.frommer@deweysquare.com.

We are on it…Remember to tune into the PRG Election Webinar on Wednesday.  Call with questions.

 

Best,

Frank Maisano

(202) 828-5864

(202) 997-5932

 

FRANKLY SPOKEN

“Climate change has become a pillar of the U.S.-China bilateral relationship.  China’s solar thermal pilot program will serve as an enduring legacy of the partnership between two countries to advance technologies that help to achieve global clean energy and climate goals.”

U.S. Ambassador to China Max Baucus

 

“China recognizes the integral role concentrated solar power with storage can play in reducing emissions while helping to ensure long-term grid reliability. This pilot program is of unprecedented scale and will drive cost reductions throughout the CSP supply chain, increasing solar thermal’s competitiveness around the world.”

David Ramm, CEO and Chairman for BrightSource Energy

 

POST-ELECTION LEGISLATIVE SESSION/TAX DEAL PRIMER

Post-Election Legislative Session – After election day, lawmakers will return to the Capitol next week for necessary post-election legislative session.  With just a few weeks left in the 114th Congress, there is a long list of unfinished business that may be considered.  While the items include routine budget and tax measures that frequently need to be mopped up at the end of the year, it also features big-ticket, high-risk issues like the stalled nomination of Judge Merrick Garland to the Supreme Court, the landmark Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal and potential energy legislation.

The Tax Issues – One of the biggest issues to hit the agenda is whether Congress considers energy tax extenders as part of must-pass budget legislation.  Last year’s omnibus deal included a 5-year phased down extension of tax credits under Sec 45(commercial), Sec 48(commercial), and Sec 25D(residential) for wind and solar.  Already both House and Senate leaders have said they plan to have tax extenders that were inadvertently left out of the deal, at the top of the agenda when the post-election legislative session gets underway.  CEQ chair and energy advisor to President Obama Brian Deese also said these energy tax extenders must be renewed in a post-election session of Congress.

Who Is Pushing for Energy Tax Extenders – Rural co-ops, distributed wind developers, air conditioning contractors, Geothermal Heat Pump manufacturers, home builders and others are push for extending expiring tax credits for renewables like geothermal heat pumps saying they deserve tax parity with the solar/wind tax incentives extended in late-2015.

The Problem – In late-2015, Congress extended and phased down the Wind Production Tax Credit and the Solar Investment Tax Credit.  However, no extension or phase down was provided for other smaller tax credits despite their much smaller cost.  In order to avoid serious market disruption and provide businesses, investors, end-users, and consumers with the ability to plan in the short- to mid-term, renewing the tax credit is “must pass” on the first available and appropriate legislative vehicle. Both the business and residential credits are essential to help ensure fair competition and access in the marketplace for clean energy solutions.

The Need for Extension in an Example – Geothermal heat pumps can cut home heating and cooling bills by up to 70%.  Electric cooperatives across the country help their consumer-owners install geothermal heat pump systems and approximately 45% of electric cooperatives across the nation utilize geothermal technology in their energy efficiency programs.  The current tax credits for geothermal heat pumps help offset the high initial capital cost of the systems to the consumers.  As a result, co-ops will most likely find fewer consumers interested in installing geothermal in the absence of the tax credit.

It is Bipartisan Legislation – The tax extenders advocates are using bipartisan legislation sponsored by Tom Reed (R-NY) and Mike Thompson (D-CA) to extend the residential and commercial ITC credits as a the hook.  In the Senate, Hawaii Dem. Senator Schatz is leading the charge to provide a five-year extension of the residential ITC credit, with the goal of communicating to all Senate offices that extending both the residential and commercial ITC is important to domestic jobs.

Why It’s Important – Both the Business and Residential ITC credits are essential for an array of clean but nascent technologies, including geothermal, fuel cells, Combined heat and power, small scale wind power, and micro-turbines. It makes no policy sense to incent one technology and not the others, and puts jobs, domestic manufacturing and American energy production at severe risk. The National Association of Homebuilders and many others (like the American Farm Bureau Federation, Environmental organizations, etc) strongly support these credits on a bi-partisan basis because consumers/homeowners deserve “energy choice” AND for all of the attendant public benefits.

These credits cost the Federal Treasury very little (the big expense was passage of the large wind and solar credits last December) and are a great “bang for the buck.” It’s widely recognized this was a mistake, and bad policy, and thus it is imperative that Congress fix the issue at the earliest possible opportunity before more damage is done.

More a CCS Tax Credit – Speaking of the post-election legislative session, our friends at the National Enhanced Oil Recovery Initiative (NEORI) have just posted their presidential transition memos on carbon capture, utilization and storage. With the lame duck session now just days away, action on 45Q and related policy priorities is building. NEORI expects new cosponsors on the Senate and House 45Q bills once Congress returns and are confident that this bipartisan, common-sense energy and climate legislation will pass this year.

Energy Legislation – While Sens Murkowski and Cantwell continue discussions with House energy Conferees, most experts think it may be unlikely that enough progress will be made to have significant energy legislation face a vote.  Senate conferees last month sent the House a compromise proposal, and discussions are expected to step up once members return next week.

 

IN THE NEWS

New Report Finds U.S. Could Lose 15 Million Jobs If Hydraulic Fracturing is Banned – The fourth installment in the Energy Institute’s Energy Accountability Series details the devastating economic impacts that America could face if the “Keep in in the Ground” movement succeeded in banning hydraulic fracturing for oil and natural gas.  The Energy Accountability Series takes a substantive look at what could happen if energy proposals from candidates and interest groups were actually adopted. The latest report asks the question, “What If Hydraulic Fracturing Was Banned?” The answer? By 2022, 14.8 million jobs could be lost, gasoline prices and electricity prices could almost double, and each American family could see their cost of living increase by almost $4,000. Additionally, the Energy Institute’s report looks specifically at the economic impacts of a fracking ban on Colorado, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Texas. In all these states, the impact could be severe. 1.6 million Texans could lose their jobs, while Pennsylvania could lose $50 billion a year in state GDP. Colorado could lose 215,000 jobs, and the average Ohio household could see costs rise by $4,000 a year.

Energy Institute’s Harbert Points to Economic Impacts Over HF Ban – Karen Harbert, president and CEO of the U.S. Chamber’s Institute for 21st Century Energy said it is easy for politicians and activists to call for an end to hydraulic fracturing—but now we know what the consequences could be.  “Without fracking, the U.S. would surrender our status as a global energy superpower. Every American family could face higher prices for the energy they consume and the products and services they buy, and almost 15 million Americans could be out of work. These extreme and irresponsible proposals should not be considered. Ignorance can no longer be an excuse.”

NRECA Aim to Hire Vets – Faced with the challenge of filling 15,000 jobs over the next five to seven years, America’s electric cooperatives want to do more than simply thank veterans for their service this Veterans Day—they want to offer them a job.  To achieve this goal, NRECA launched Serve Our Co-ops; Serve Our Country, a nationwide program to provide veterans, service members and military spouses with the opportunity to continue their mission of service by joining the ranks of America’s electric co-ops. The program provides participating co-ops with resources and training to help them implement nationally-recognized best practices in attracting, hiring, onboarding and retaining veterans.  50 co-ops have signed on to the initiative since its launch earlier this year. In July, Jonesboro, Ark.-based Craighead Electric Cooperative hired the first veteran under the program when it welcomed aboard Air Force Capt. Jeremiah Sloan as an electrical engineer. “He is a totally professional young man,” Craighead CEO Brian Duncan said. “Not only did we get a quality candidate to serve our members, we got a local guy who wanted to get back home and a veteran who has served our country well.”  Click here to view a brief video about the program, including interviews with Sloan and Duncan on why vets are a good fit for electric co-ops.  For more information on Serve Our Co-ops; Serve Our Country, contact Dan Riedinger, NRECA Media Relations, at (202) 403-7517 or dan.riedinger@nreca.coop.

BrightSource Technology to Be Employed in China – BrightSource Energy Concentrated Solar Power (CSP) technology will be deployed under China’s 1.35GW 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 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 project was chosen by China’s National Energy Administration from 109 applications. The announcement followed China’s National Development and Reform Committee’s publication of the CSP pilot program 20-year feed-in-tariff of 1.15 Yuan/kWh ($0.17/kWh) on September 1st.  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. Get all the details here.

Harder, Mooney Hit Diane Rehm Enviro Show – During the presidential debates, energy and environment issues got very little attention. These issues highlight some of the starkest differences between the candidates. Donald Trump has tweeted that climate change is a hoax. He says he will “cancel” the Paris agreement on global warming and bring back the coal industry. Hillary Clinton has called climate change an urgent threat. She proposes spending billions on renewable energy. For this month’s Environmental Outlook: Diane and a panel of guests discuss where the presidential candidates stand on climate, energy and other environmental policies.  Our friends Amy Harder of the WSJ and Chris Mooney of the Washington Post will be guests along with Pew Research Center associate director of research on science and society Cary Funk.

DOT Expanding EV Charging Corridors – The Transportation Department is establishing 48 national electric vehicle charging corridors on highways, covering 25,000 miles in 35 states as part of a White House effort to increase plug-in electric vehicle deployment announced today.  Already, in the past eight years the number of plug-in electric vehicle models has increased from one to more than 20, battery costs have decreased 70%, and we have increased the number of electric vehicle charging stations from less than 500 in 2008 to more than 16,000 today – a 40 fold increase.

AHRI Hires New GR Head – AHRI has hired Joe Trauger as the association’s Sr. Vice President of Policy and Government Relations. Trauger will join the AHRI team December 1. Trauger is currently vice president of government relations at the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM), where he is that organization’s senior lobbyist before Congress and the Administration. He will direct AHRI’s federal, state, and global lobbying efforts, and will also be a key part of AHRI’s efforts in the regulatory arena. Trauger has more than 10 years of experience on Capitol Hill, both as a staff member for a U.S. senator and several representatives and also in the House leadership as the senior policy adviser in the offices of the majority leader and majority whip. He also worked with the House Energy and Commerce, Ways and Means, and Education and the Workforce Committees; and with the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee and the Senate Finance Committee.

Oak Ridge Group Brings On Davis to Head GR – Joe Davis, former senior vice president with Artemis Strategies, has been named ORAU director of government relations.  In his new role, Davis will lead ORAU’s governmental and public affairs outreach with the U.S. Congress, various government agencies and other stakeholders.  Davis also served as chief of strategic communications for NASA and principal deputy director of public affairs for DOE, serving as spokesperson and senior advisor to the U.S. DOE Secretary of Energy. He served on the senior staff for two U.S. Senators, holding Senate leadership staff positions. ORAU provides innovative scientific and technical solutions to advance national priorities in science, education, security and health. Through specialized teams of experts, unique laboratory capabilities and access to a consortium of more than 100 major Ph.D.-granting institutions, ORAU works with federal, state, local and commercial customers to advance national priorities and serve the public interest. A 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation and federal contractor, ORAU manages the Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education (ORISE) for the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE).

 

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

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

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

ELECTION DAY – November 8th

Smart Grid Forum Set – The Smart Grid Interoperability Panel holds its 2016 Grid Modernization Summit tomorrow through Thursday at the Capital Hilton in Washington.  The executive summit will be filled with the latest in grid modernization and networking opportunities featuring a speaker program composed of utility, vendor, and industry senior executives, FERC, government, regulators, national labs and consultants.  The 2016 Grid Modernization Summit’s theme is “Accelerating Transformation.”  DOE’s Pat Hoffman, former FERC Commissioner Suedeen Kelly, PSE&G President Ralph LaRossa, Pepco CEO Dave Velazques and EEI’s David Owens will be among the speakers.

EPA CASAC Meeting Set – EPA Clean Air Scientific Advisory Committee hold a regular meeting on Wednesday morning at 9:00 a.m. at the Embassy Suites in Alexandria Old Town.

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

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

Wilson to Host Wildlife Conservation Group – The Wilson Center’s Brazil Institute will host a forum on Wednesday at 3:00 p.m. featuring a conversation with Frank Hawkins, director of the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s (IUCN) Washington, DC office.  In September, more than 10,000 scientists, activists, and government and non-government leaders from around the world met in Honolulu, Hawai’i, for IUCN’s annual World Conservation Congress. Hawkins will report on the congress’s outcomes. He will be joined by an expert panel that will offer their perspectives on the key issues of gender, illegal wildlife trafficking, and conservation finance.

ELI, DC Bar to Host Happy Hour – On Wednesday at 5:30 p.m., the Environmental Law Institute and the D.C. Bar’s Environment, Energy and Natural Resources Section will host a happy hour at Mission, a restaurant and bar in Dupont Circle.

VETERAN’S DAY – Friday, November 11th.  Please thank a veteran.

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

 

FUTURE EVENTS

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

RFF, Stanford Looking at NatGas Siting – Resources for the Future (RFF), Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment and Stanford Natural Gas Initiative Webinar are hosting another webinar in the series on New Research on the Science and Economics of Natural Gas on Tuesday November 15th at 2:00 p.m. looking at optimal siting of shale gas and oil development.  This is the third event in a joint RFF/Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment/Stanford Natural Gas Initiative.  The siting of shale gas and oil development—everything from well pads to pipelines—is based on a complex network of factors, including resource availability, lease ownership, environmental concerns, local zoning, and community preference. Experts at Stanford University and Resources for the Future are considering ways in which these various factors come into play in siting decisions, including what “optimal siting” might look like in a variety of contexts. Stanford’s Anthony Kovscek will open the webinar by looking at optimal siting of shale development from a technical perspective, considering the geologic characteristics of formations that drive companies’ drilling decisions. RFF’s Juha Siikamäki will then present a new model considering optimal siting of shale gas and oil infrastructure from the perspective of minimizing habitat fragmentation and other landscape-level impacts. Finally, Tisha Schuller from the Stanford Natural Gas Initiative will discuss optimal siting of shale gas and oil infrastructure from the perspective of community and industry interactions.

USEA to Host Coal Council Head –The US Energy Assn will host National Coal Council CEO Janet Gellici next Tuesday at 2:00 p.m.  Gellici will present the findings and recommendations from the Council’s recently released report in response to the Secretary Moniz’s request – “CO2 Building Blocks:  Assessing CO2 Utilization Options.”  Moniz had tasked the National Coal Council with preparing a white paper assessing market opportunities for CO2 utilization.

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

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

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

Wilson to Host Petrobras President – The Wilson Center will host Petrobras President Pedro Parente on Wednesday, November 16th at 10:00 a.m.  Parente will address the challenges and opportunities facing Brazil’s largest enterprise in today’s tough energy market. After his presentation, he will engage in dialogue with members of the audience interested in learning about the outlook for Petrobras and energy in Brazil. Petrobras has a key role to play in the national effort to overcome Brazil’s current economic downturn, regain trust and confidence from domestic and foreign investors, and put Brazil back on the path of sustainable and equitable economic growth.

Forum to Look at China Environment Reforms – The Environmental and Energy Study Institute (EESI) and the International Fund for China’s Environment (IFCE) will host a briefing on Wednesday, November 16th at discussing China’s ongoing efforts to implement environmental reforms and take action against climate change. Three environmental professionals from China will discuss the challenges and progress associated with setting emission reduction policies, implementing national climate targets at the local level, incentivizing supply chain sustainability, and more.

Solar Focus Conference SetSolar Focus 2016 will be held next Wednesday and Thursday at the Renaissance Washington, DC Downtown Hotel looking at East Coast solar policy. This year’s theme is “Cracking the Code on East Coast Solar” and will feature sessions from energy storage to fixing oversupplied SREC markets.

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

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

CSIS to Host IEA’s World Energy Outlook – On Friday, November 18th at 10:00 a.m., the CSIS Energy & National Security Program is hosting Dr. Fatih Birol, Executive Director at the International Energy Agency (IEA), to present the IEA’s “World Energy Outlook 2016.” This year’s projections for different scenarios to 2040, based on the latest data and market developments, cover all fuels, regions, and technologies. WEO 2016 gives particular attention to the impact of Paris, renewables, the road ahead for fossil fuels, Mexico’s energy outlook and energy and water issues.

RCP Energy Summit Set – RealClearPolitics will host a unique energy summit on Friday November 18th at Noon at the Newseum following the pivotal 2016 election. Prominent energy policy experts will discuss this transition phase and where we go from here. Each speaker will present a brief overview of their industry, along with the challenges they face, the opportunities ahead, and their outlook for the future.  RealClearPolitics Washington Bureau Chief Carl Cannon will moderate the event that will feature LIUNA President Terry O’Sullivan, Kevin Avery of ConocoPhillips, AGA’s Kathryn Clay, SEIA’s Chris Mansour, AWEA’s Rob Gramlich and NEI’s Revis James.

Grid Expert to Address Cybersecurity – The National Capital Area Chapter of the US Assn of Energy Economists (USAEE) will host its monthly luncheon on Friday November 18th at Carmines Restaurant at Noon.  Paul Feldman, former Chairman of the Midwest ISO, will focus on the clear and present danger associated with cyber-attacks, what we are doing about it, and what needs to be done better. He will differentiate between IT and OT systems, and how to relate the two into an integrated whole – and protect against attacks like the successful Ukraine attack.

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

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

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

Energy Update: Week of October 24

Friends,

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

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

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

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

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

 

We are on it…Call with questions.

 

Best,

Frank Maisano

(202) 828-5864

(202) 997-5932

 

FRANKLY SPOKEN

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

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

 

IN THE NEWS

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

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

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

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

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

 

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

FUTURE EVENTS

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

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

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

Conference to Focus on Consumers, Cities – On November 1st and 2nd, The Energy Times 2nd annual Empowering Customers and Cities conference will be held in Chicago.  The conference we will feature Jeremy Rifkin, bestselling author of 20 books on science, technology and the economy, society and the environment. Rifkin will kick off our conference and lay out his entire vision for the coming global transformation and how it will transform electric power production and consumption.  Anne Pramaggiore, President and CEO of ComEd, will discuss ComEd’s vision of what its customers will want and need in coming years, and the steps they are taking to provide those services. Thomas Birr, Chief Strategy Officer of RWE, Germany’s second largest utility, will discuss what RWE is doing to become the utility of the future and the steps they are taking to secure the most innovative and potent technologies to help build a 21st century energy enterprise.

CSIS to Look at GHG Issues – The CSIS Energy and National Security Program is hosting an expert discussion on November 2nd at 9:00 a.m. looking at some of the regulatory, legislative, international and subnational efforts that may be pursued to reduce future emissions. Kyle Danish from Van Ness Feldman will discuss the regulatory options; Adele Morris from the Brookings Institution will discuss the notion of a carbon tax or other market based mechanisms; and Bob Perciasepe from C2ES will focus on the feasibility of these approaches as well as how important local, state, and international actions are to achieving these emissions reduction goals. Each speaker will address the feasibility and merits of these approaches as well as the challenges they are likely to face.

USEA Forum to Look at CCS Future – The US Energy Assn will hold a forum on Thursday, November 3rd at 2:00 p.m. to address the high fidelity modeling of carbon capture systems on fossil fueled power plants, and what can be gained via an accurate simulation of an existing or proposed plant.  TRAX has provided high fidelity, dynamic simulation models of both pre-combustion and post-combustion CO2 capture systems for plants in Korea and Canada.  These models provide unique tools for process design, control system design and optimization, examination of fault scenarios, and development of operating procedures.  Speakers will include TRAX, LLC expert John Coleman, John Kenney and Greg Kosowski.

COP 22 Marrakesh – November 7-21

ELECTION DAY – November 8th

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

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

Energy Update: Week of October 10

Friends,

After new year celebrations last week, we now turn to Yom Kippur, the Jewish day of atonement on Wednesday.  Hopeful that everyone has an easy fast.  It is also Columbus Day today, the lonely Federal Holiday that celebrates Italian-Americans.  Add to it Family Weekend at Wellesley starting Friday for Hannah and we have a very busy week.

The debate last night was very interesting, especially in light of Friday’s Access Hollywood tapes.  BTW, as one who has been around politics for 25 years, it seems slightly crazy that Access Hollywood and Howard Stern tapes are the most important “October surprises.”  Is it just me?  Perhaps more leaks to the National Inquirer or even The Onion are next.   At least energy was mentioned in the second to last question, following up on 82 seconds from the first debate.  Trump talked about clean coal (although who knows if really knows anything about it) and certainly Clinton’s comments on NatGas are likely to worry activists.

Last week, the big news was the Aviation emissions agreement and the Paris Treaty becoming a reality.  The Paris agreement is not binding – and while politically important – remains largely symbolic.  More importantly this week, 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 nations 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.  This is especially important because the world-wide demand for air conditioning and refrigeration is skyrocketing, making HFCs one of the fastest growing climate-impacting gases.  See our issues primer below.

AHRI President Steve Yurek will be in Rwanda as part of the industry effort to support the HFC reductions and will be holding a media call Wednesday at 10:00 a.m. (4pm Kigali time) to update reporters on the action.  If there is enough interest, we will hold additional calls.  Please let us know if you are interested.  Here is the call-in number: (703) 600-0385  And here is the access code: 893-0742

Light schedule this week in DC, but the American Coal Ash Association will release its annual Coal Ash Production and Use Survey on Wednesday at the National Press Club.  Also, the R Street Institute is hosting at Capitol Hill forum tomorrow on Autonomous Vehicles and the new government requirements. Finally, Veterans in Energy will hold a National Leadership Summit on Thursday and Friday featuring leaders from the energy industry and federal government.

Finally, if you haven’t heard his yet, this past weekend, there was a concert for all-time in Palm Springs.  Desert Trip featured Paul McCartney, The Rolling Stones, Neil Young, The Who, Bob Dylan and Roger Waters over three days at the Empire Polo Club in Indio, CA – the same place they hold the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival each spring (and USA Field Hockey’s “Festival”).  It guess maybe it was  “Old-Chella.”  If you missed it, you still have time to get out there: They will repeat the shows/lineup this upcoming Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

Call for questions…

 

Best,

Frank Maisano

(202) 828-5864

(202) 997-5932

 

FRANKLY SPOKEN

“What steps will your energy policy take to meet our energy needs, while at the same time remaining environmentally friendly and minimizing job loss for fossil power plant workers?”

Question from Missouri voter Ken Bone, the second to last question in the debate

 

“Energy is under siege by the Obama administration. Under absolutely siege. The EPA, Environmental Protection Agency, is killing these energy companies.

Republican Candidate Donald Trump answering first

 

“We are producing a lot of natural gas that serves as a bridge to more renewable fuels and that’s an important transition. We have got to remain energy independent.”

Hillary Clinton in yesterday’s Presidential Debate.

 

THE BIG NEWS

UN HFC Meeting Launches – The UN MOP 28 on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer started today and will run all week in Kigali, Rwanda where negotiators aim to approved an amendment to the Montreal Protocol to eliminate hydrofluorocarbons (HFC).

How to Stay Informed on the Action – Starting Wednesday, AHRI President Stephen Yurek will be holding a media call at 10:00 a.m. (4 p.m. Kigali time) to update reporters on the action.  Yurek has attended all the meetings and been a very active participant in the international negotiations.   If there is enough interest, we will hold additional calls.  Please let us Know if you are interested.  Here is the call-in number (703) 600-0385  And here is the access code: 893-0742

Who’s Going – EPA Administrator McCarthy leads the delegation and last week previewed EPA’s vision for the Meeting.  McCarthy highlighted financial support from 16 countries and 19 philanthropists aimed at helping poor countries make a swift transition away from HFCs.  She added technology-sharing mechanisms and money for developing nations are built-in assurances for skittish countries.   Secretary of State John Kerry will also be on the trip, but we are hoping he just doesn’t say that Much… (We’re not holding our breath, though!)

Industry, Enviros Agree? – Unlikely as it may seem, a global HFC phase-down is backed both by leading environmental groups and the industry that makes and uses these chemicals. Coming after last December’s Paris climate agreement, an HFC pact is the biggest step that will be taken today to significantly reduce climate impacts. Pound for pound, HFCs trap thousands of times more heat than carbon dioxide. This is especially important because the world-wide demand for air conditioning and refrigeration is skyrocketing, making HFCs one of the fastest growing greenhouse gases.  AHRI President Stephen Yurek has attended all the meetings and been a very active participant in the international negotiations.  NRDC’s David Doniger Is also a major player and will be offer regular update on the NRDC blog.

Where Things Stand – The United States is well-positioned  to achieve a successful conclusion at this week’s international negotiations to curb refrigerants that contribute to global warming.  Significant groundwork has been laid for success on an amendment for a global phase down of HFCs.  The potential sticking points include:

    • The baselines, freeze dates, and reduction schedules to be used in the amendment, both for developed nations and for Article 5 nations.
    • The monetary incentives that might be available to help Article 5 countries to assist in the transition.
    • Intellection property issues.

Key Issues – A number of key issues underscore the need for a strong agreement:

  • Refrigerants are vital for safe, productive, comfortable life on Earth.  They are used in the air conditioning that keeps people safe and productive during hot weather; they are used in the commercial and transport refrigeration that keeps perishable food fresh over long journeys and in food stores; and they are used in hospitals and medical research facilities to keep medicines and samples safe.
  • The HVACR industry was at the forefront of support for the Montreal Protocol’s efforts to phase out HCFC refrigerants.  In fact, the industry-created and supported Alternative Refrigerants Evaluation Program (AREP) was the effort that identified HFCs as the appropriate (at the time) successors for most air conditioning and refrigeration applications.
  • Those efforts have been an unqualified success and are the basis for industry’s efforts to include HFCs in the Montreal Protocol and to bring that success to our current challenge – beginning to plan for a phase down of HFCs.
  • The North American Proposal to include HFCs in the Montreal Protocol was spearheaded by the HVACR industry, which is also proactively researching suitable alternatives.
  • The Low-GWP AREP research program has been through two phases, during which several promising alternatives to HFCs have been identified for different applications.  This program was conceived by industry and is solely supported and funded by industry, with no assistance from government.
  • Many of the potential alternatives are currently classified as mildly flammable or flammable and thus prohibited for use in all but a very few applications.  So the HVACR industry has spearheaded a collaborative research effort to field-test each one so that the data can be transmitted to building code developers for their use when they revise building codes.  AHRI, DOE, ASHRAE, and California are funding this research.
  • During the past decade, the industry has worked diligently to reduce the potential impact of refrigerants used in our equipment on the Earth’s climate.  We have invested close to $2 billion since 2009 researching energy-efficient equipment and the utilization of low global warming potential (GWP) refrigerants.
  • The HVACR industry will renew and expand those efforts by investing $5 billion over the next decade for R&D and capital expenditures to develop and commercialize low-GWP technologies.  This commitment was made at a September 2015 White House event.
  • The HVACR industry is building awareness and developing best practices training and certification for technicians in other nations through the Global Refrigerant Management Initiative and the Europe-based Refrigerant Driving License program.

 

IN THE NEWS

NIH Emergency Med research Head Highlighted in NYT Letter – After its editorial last week highlighting driverless cars, the New York Times published a letter from Dr. Jeremy Brown, an emergency physician who serves as NIH’s director of Emergency Care Research and a member of SAFE’s Commission on Autonomous Vehicle Testing and Safety.  Brown praised the NYT for drawing important attention to the lifesaving potential of autonomous vehicle technology. He said that “even though 94% of car accidents are attributable to human error, recent polling shows that only a third of Americans understand that driverless cars have the potential to improve the driving experience, and 71% of older Americans are “worried” about the technology.  So there is clearly a need to better communicate with the public.   Dr. Brown also says the Times “rightly draws attention to the threats that extremes of regulation present. Overregulation may discourage investment in driverless cars. But a lack of directives at the federal level could lead to a counterproductive patchwork of state regulations.  He closes saying policymakers must carry out a clear regulatory policy that encourages innovation while protecting public safety. A failure to do so will deny us the benefits that driverless cars have to offer.

UMich Study Raise Concerns Over Biofuels Climate Impacts – Our SEJ friend Jennifer Weeks reports that a new study from the University of Michigan’s John DeCicco on the climate impacts of biofuels.  Transportation generates one-fourth of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions, so addressing this sector’s impact is crucial for climate protection.  Many scientists view biofuels as inherently carbon-neutral: they assume the carbon dioxide (CO2) plants absorb from the air as they grow completely offsets, or “neutralizes,” the CO2 emitted when fuels made from plants burn. Many years of computer modeling based on this assumption, including work supported by the U.S. Department of Energy, concluded that using biofuels to replace gasoline significantly reduced CO2 emissions from transportation. DiCicco’s new study takes a fresh look at this question as it examines crop data to evaluate whether enough CO2 was absorbed on farmland to balance out the CO2 emitted when biofuels are burned. It turns out that once all the emissions associated with growing feedstock crops and manufacturing biofuel are factored in, biofuels actually increase CO2 emissions rather than reducing them.

NOAA Study Says Natural Causes Play Larger Role in Methane – A new study from NOAA published Thursday in the journal Nature says that even though fossil fuels development has polluted the atmosphere with up to 60 percent more methane than scientists previously thought, the main culprits behind the rise in global methane levels are wetlands, landfills, rice fields and belching cows. He study adds biological sources such as cattle, landfills and agriculture account for up to 67% of total human-caused methane emissions.

New IER Report Questions Rooftop Solar – The Institute for Energy Research released a report highlighting the severe costs that rooftop solar subsidies and state net metering policies impose on the American people. The report titled, “The High Cost of Rooftop Solar Subsidies,” prepared by Arduin, Laffer & Moore Econometrics, noted that Solar subsidies force poorer Americans to foot the bill for wealthier Americans and Solar job growth is due to subsidies, but this likely results in fewer jobs overall.  The report cites an example Arizona solar customers avoid around $1,000 annually in electric grid costs. These costs are passed on to the average power users, who are typically less affluent.

E&E Legal Sues NY AG Schneiderman – The Energy & Environment Legal Institute filed suit against New York’s Attorney General Eric Schneiderman to compel release of public records relating to the climate push against Exxon. This latest action by E&E Legal follows several successful efforts to compel Democratic Attorneys General who were part of the “Green 20” coalition to comply with public records requests — who nonetheless do continue a collective slow-walk and even stonewall, agreed in advance as E&E Legal’s open records requests have demonstrated.  Revelations have nonetheless been startling, including the Democratic AGs collaborating with outside activist groups on this campaign to use their offices to investigate political opponents, efforts by AGs to mislead the media, and the Green 20 coalition attempt to enter into a secrecy pact masquerading as a “common-interest agreement” to keep public records reflecting their scheming from the public.

 

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

Kigali Montreal Protocol Talks Start – The UN MOP 28 on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer convenes this week 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 – Tomorrow 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 tomorrow 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.

Coal Ash Report to be Released – The American Coal Ash Association will release its annual Coal Ash Production & Use Survey results on Wednesday at the National Press Club’s Lisagor Room at 9:30 a.m.  Conducted since the early 1960s, the survey provides the most complete data available on the volume of coal ash materials that are produced and beneficially used in a variety of applications. ACAA officials will also discuss impacts of environmental regulation and changing electric utility markets on coal ash production and use. ACAA’s Tom Adams and John Ward will present the report.

Vets in Energy Hold ConferenceVeterans in Energy will hold a National Leadership Summit on Thursday and Friday at the Capital Hilton, featuring leaders from the energy industry and federal government.  Speakers include Deputy Secretary of Energy Elizabeth Sherwood-Randall; Assistant Secretary of Labor for Veterans’ Employment and Training Mike Michaud; U.S. Navy Lt. Brad Snyder, a Paralympian and gold medalist swimmer; leaders from the First Lady’s Joining Forces initiative; and utility executives. They will explore efforts to support the transition from military to civilian life and discuss how veterans can have strong, successful careers in energy.  Veterans in Energy is an outgrowth of the Utility Industry Workforce Initiative, a working group that brought together six utility industry trade associations (Nuclear Energy Institute, Edison Electric Institute, American Gas Association, American Public Power Association, National Rural Electric Cooperative Association and Center for Energy Workforce Development), four federal agencies (Departments of Energy, Labor, Defense and Veterans Affairs) and two labor groups (International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers and Utility Workers Union of America) to identify new initiatives the energy industry can undertake to support veterans working in energy jobs.

BPC Forum to Look at Food Supply – The Bipartisan Policy Center and Kansas State University will hold a forum on Thursday 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 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 Thursday 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.

 

FUTURE EVENTS

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 next Monday to 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.

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

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 19

Friends,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Best,

Frank Maisano

(202) 828-5864

(202) 997-5932

 

FRANKLY SPOKEN

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

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

 

IN THE NEWS

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

FUTURE EVENTS

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Conference to Focus on Consumers, Cities – On November 1st and 2nd, The Energy Times 2nd annual Empowering Customers and Cities conference will be held in Chicago.  The conference we will feature Jeremy Rifkin, bestselling author of 20 books on science, technology and the economy, society and the environment. Rifkin will kick off our conference and lay out his entire vision for the coming global transformation and how it will transform electric power production and consumption.  Anne Pramaggiore, President and CEO of ComEd, will discuss ComEd’s vision of what its customers will want and need in coming years, and the steps they are taking to provide those services. Thomas Birr, Chief Strategy Officer of RWE, Germany’s second largest utility, will discuss what RWE is doing to become the utility of the future and the steps they are taking to secure the most innovative and potent technologies to help build a 21st century energy enterprise.

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

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

Energy Update: Week of 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 July 25

Friends,

I must say, we had a really good time in Cleveland last week at the RNC.  The people were wonderful and the convention went off without a hitch – logistically at least.  As for the substance and political results?…enough said. Either way, we’re watching closely to see if Michelle Obama cribs from our energy update for tonight’s DNC speech.

While there was definitely some party chaos in Cleveland, the Democratic National Convention in Phily starts with similar unrest as long-time DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman-Schultz resigned last night after thousands of emails leaked showing evidence that the DNC was undermining the Sanders campaign.  All this has overshadowed Hillary Clinton naming current VA Sen./former Gov (and former DNC Chair) Tim Kaine to be her VP.  While Kaine is known as a somewhat progressive and has some street cred with the party faithful from his time at DNC, the Sanders wing is sure to see this as the beginning of a move away from their more extreme approach, especially on most energy issues.  Expect to not see the “brotherly love” tonight as Sanders and Elizabeth Warren take the stage.

Another sidebar for Phily that I thought might be of interest is a new group of Republicans – not affiliated with Democratic groups – that will be at the convention discussing their reasoning for supporting Hillary Clinton.  Along with several other like-minded Republicans, former Bush 43 White House advisors John Stubbs and Ricardo Reyes launched R4C16, Republicans for Clinton after Donald Trump accepted the Republican nomination for President. Last Friday, John laid out his reasoning in an op-ed for the Washington PostWhy Republicans Should Vote for Hillary Clinton.

If you are going to Phily, make sure to stop at the POLITICO (historic Rittenhouse Square at 2001 Market Street, 2 Commerce Square) and the Washington Post (City Tap House Logan, 2 Logan Square) Hubs.  Both places were excellent for events, fellowship and serious reporting in Cleveland so I expect the same here.

As for energy events at DNC, POLITICO’s Elana Schor hosts CO Gov. John Hickenlooper, Hillary Energy advisor Trevor Houser, WA Gov. Jay Inslee, Iowa Rep. Dave Loebsack, former PA Gov./Phily Mayor Ed Rendell and Heather Zichal on Wednesday and does a Breakfast Newsmaker with Tom Steyer on Thursday.  Hickenlooper also hits the WaPo’s Politics and Pints with Chris Cillizza tomorrow at 6:00 p.m. and WaPo look at the energy platform earlier in the day at 10:00 a.m. with Steve Stromberg.  Finally, on Thursday at 4:00 p.m., the Bipartisan Policy Center and EEI will host Southern Company CEO Tom Fanning and DOE Secretary Ernie Moniz to discuss energy policies and priorities.  Besides a speech from Sanders tonight that is certain to tap the progressive “keep it in the ground” energy issues, tomorrow at 2:30 p.m., John Podesta, WA Gov. Jay Inslee, Tom Steyer and the leaders of major environmental groups will attend climate reception at the Warwick Hotel Rittenhouse Square.

Other events in DC this week: today at 2:30 pm, Heritage and CEI host a panel discussion in Senate Visitors Center 215 on repealing the Renewable Fuel Standard and other Biofuel Programs, the NatGas Roundtable is hosting BG&E CEO Calvin Butler tomorrow at lunch and tomorrow afternoon USEA looks at future global nuclear growth.

Finally, overseas in Vienna this weekend, Secretary Kerry (why do we let him talk), EPA Administrator McCarthy, our friends in the environmental community and AHRI made significant progress toward locking down final efforts to limit the super-warming hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) under the Montreal Protocol.  The parties reached significant agreement on key challenges and solutions, and have made great progress on ambitious schedules for freezing and phasing down HFC production and use in both developed and developing countries, and financial assistance to help developing countries achieve their phase-down commitments.  The HVAC industry has been a strong player in these negotiations and AHRI President Steve Yurek was there all last week for the talks, which are the final prelude to October meeting in Kigali where parties will close the deal.  It is a huge success that likely will dwarf the uncertainty of cuts that the Paris Treaty may/may not produce.   There have been a number of stories on the progress, but Coral Davenport’s NYT story from Sunday captures the details.

Remember, our PRG team will be covering elections closely and offering our analysis running up to and following the November vote.  So stay in touch on the topic.  Sounds like maybe one more short update next week as we hit August to wrap DNC week, but then off until September.

 

Best,

Frank Maisano

(202) 828-5864

(202) 997-5932

 

FRANKLY SPOKEN

“That Trump’s run an awful campaign, alienated every group & still within striking distance makes you wonder who’s really a weaker candidate.”

Andrews Kaczynski of Buzzfeed yesterday on Twitter

____

“Charging infrastructure is an important priority when getting electric vehicles on the road, but it’s not the only piece of the puzzle,” said “Dollar for dollar, infrastructure is most valuable when it is accompanied by robust consumer education, public-private partnerships, experiential marketing, and support from the business community.”

Robbie Diamond, CEO of the Electrification Coalition, responding to DOE announcement of $4.5 billion in loan guarantees to expand the nation’s electric vehicle charging infrastructure

 

IN THE NEWS

World Leaders Make Progress on HFCs – With far less attention this past week, negotiators from almost 200 countries neared a deal that many say will be the most significant concrete action to reduce global warming in years. Parties, which will finalize the deal in Kigali in October, made significant progress toward locking down final efforts to limit the super-warming hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) under the Montreal Protocol.  The parties reached significant agreement on key challenges and solutions, and have made great progress on ambitious schedules for freezing and phasing down HFC production and use in both developed and developing countries, and financial assistance to help developing countries achieve their phase-down commitments.

HVAC Industry Pushing for Strong Deal – The global HVAC industry has been one of the significant players pushing for a strong deal.  They have been promoting inclusion of an HFC phase down amendment to the Montreal Protocol for nearly six years, having already successfully phased out HCFCs under that global agreement.  A global agreement creates predictability for producers and manufacturers alike and eliminates the hodge-podge of different HFC reduction schemes that they would surely face as the world’s focus on climate change continues.  As well, an orderly phase down schedule provides the time necessary for manufacturers to conduct the necessary R&D on the next generation of equipment using the latest refrigerant replacements for HFCs and for producers to begin making sufficient supplies of replacements refrigerants.

Will the Replacement Actually Be Ready – Replacements will be ready to go when the time comes because industry anticipated the eventual action of the Montreal Protocol parties to phase down HFCs and thus began a major research program in 2011 to identify potential alternatives, which has recently completed its second phase.  Many of the most promising replacements, however, are classified as either flammable or mildly flammable and thus must be researched further to determine their performance in real-world conditions.  That research is about to commence under a funding agreement by AHRI, ASHRAE, the Department of Energy, and the state of California, which will collectively contribute nearly $6 million to study these refrigerants in advance of upcoming building code updates.

NYT Reports on the Progress – There have been a number of stories on the Vienna negotiations progress, but Coral Davenport’s NYT story from Sunday captures the details very well.

DOE Promises Loans for EV Charging – On the heels of the United States Department of Energy’s (DOE) first-ever Sustainable Transportation Summit, DOE announced $4.5 billion in loan guarantees to roll out a coast-to-coast network of electric vehicle charging stations. The program will provide support for federal, state, and local governments, and it will partner with Ford, GM, Nissan and Tesla.

SAFE Says Decision Should Focus on Accelerator Communities – SAFE’s Electrification Coalition said the decision to allocate $4.5 billion is an urgent priority that will sever the nation’s dependence on oil and boost American energy security. The EC notes a number of important considerations when it comes to EV deployment and charging infrastructure:

  • The U.S. transportation sector relies on oil for more than 92% of its energy, a dependence that undermines national security and economic prosperity. Last year, the United States spent $500 billion on petroleum fuels.
  • Public investment is necessary to decouple our transport system from the global oil market, which continues to operate against free market principles under heavy influence from foreign governments and national oil companies.
  • Development of a robust charging network sends an important signal to potential buyers that EVs are a viable choice, not hindered by infrastructure availability.
  • Simultaneously, 90% of charging occurs at home and in the workplace.
  • Fast-charging is a key component of improving public electric vehicle charging infrastructure.
  • The EC advocates for use of accelerator communities as a policy tool—targeted geographical regions for EV deployment in which everything necessary to support this important technology is deployed simultaneously.
  • Experiential marketing—putting motorists behind the wheel of an electric vehicle to familiarize them with the technology—has proven to be a highly effective method of increasing exposure and boosting electric vehicle sales.
  • EVs offer consumers an opportunity to opt-out of the uncertainties of the global oil market and rely instead on electricity for transportation, which is diverse and domestic in source and stable in price.

Chamber’s Energy Institute to Start Energy Accountability Series – In a new effort to educate voters about energy policy, the U.S. Chamber’s Institute for 21st Century Energy will be launching the “Energy Accountability Series.” This series of reports will explain what would actually happen if the policies proposed by candidates and groups were to be adopted.  With energy issues a major part of the U.S. Chamber’s voter education efforts this fall, the new series will hold candidates and groups accountable for the statements they make on energy policy. The Chamber has already launched advertisements on energy policy in the key Pennsylvania Senate race.  The Obama presidency has demonstrated clearly that a candidate’s views and things they say and do to win support of interest groups has a real impact on how policy is shaped and implemented. The Energy Accountability Series will ask the tough questions and provide quantitative answers on the full impacts and implications of these policies, irrespective of which candidates, groups, or political parties happen to support or oppose them.  For more information and to sign up for updates, visit  www.energyxxi.org/energy-accountability.

New Pipelines Will Force U.S. to Miss Paris Targets – Environmental groups said in a report last week that the U.S. will miss its emission-reduction targets under the Paris climate agreement if 19 pending natural gas pipelines are built across eastern states.  The report pipelines are expected to move natural gas from the shale fields of Pennsylvania, Ohio and West Virginia to states from Louisiana to New York would unlock at least 15.2 billion cubic feet per day of new natural gas production.   Now that sounds Like a great Idea… Why wouldn’t we want to do that since increasing our natgas usage has reduce emissions by 50% already.   Unless of course, you just want to block use of natural gas.

Experts Discuss Fuel Economy Issues with Platts PodcastOn this week’s Platts Capitol Crude podcast Sam Ori, executive director at the Energy Policy Institute at the University of Chicago, Joshua Linn, a senior fellow at Resources for the Future, and Kevin Book, managing director at ClearView Energy Partners discuss the US concerns about falling short of the 54.5 miles per gallon fuel efficiency target and how low gasoline prices impacting efforts to boost fuel economy.  Finally, Scheid taps that all important questions with his dad: Does driving with your windows down increase or decrease your car’s fuel efficiency?

FirstEnergy Closing Smaller Coal Units – FirstEnergy on Friday said it will retire or sell five units at two of its coal-fired power plants by 2020, citing “challenging market conditions.”  The company that powers much of Cleveland and sponsors Browns Stadium will retire four units totaling 720 megawatts at its W.H. Sammis plant in Stratton, Ohio, by May 2020, and either sell or deactivate its 136-megawatt Bay Shore unit in Oregon, Ohio, by October 2020.  Collectively, the 856 megawatts constitute 5.6 percent of Ohio’s coal-fired electric capacity, which totals 15,394.5 megawatts, according to data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration. Three remaining units at the W.H. Sammis plant will continue to provide 1,490 megawatts in base load power.

 

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

Democratic Convention –Democrats will head to Philadelphia for the 2016 Democratic National Convention at the Wells Fargo Center on today through Thursday. The action launches at 4 p.m. with First Lady Michelle Obama, Elizabeth Warren and Sen. Bernie Sanders are set to address the crowd. Later in the week, headliners include President Barack Obama, Vice President Joe Biden, and former POTUS Bill Clinton.  Other favorites include CO Gov. John Hickenlooper (who is doing a couple of energy panels), NY Gov. Andrew Cuomo, Sen. Barbara Boxer, Cali Gov. Jerry Brown, former Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm and Flint Mayor Karen Weaver.

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

Heritage, CEI Look at Biofuel Programs – The Heritage Foundation hosts a panel discussion this afternoon at 2:30 p.m. in Senate Visitors Center 215 on repealing the Renewable Fuel Standard and other Biofuel Programs. U.S. biofuels policy is a case study in the unintended consequences of government intervention. In contrast to what politicians and special interest groups promised, biofuel policies have increased costs to taxpayers and drivers, had little-to-no impact on oil prices, hurt rural economies, and had unforeseen environmental costs. This panel will provide background on the RFS and other biofuels programs, analyzing the many harmful effects of these federal policies. Does the RFS reduce dependence on foreign oil? What impact does it have on food prices? What environmental harms are caused as a result of the RFS? Does the RFS actually hurt agricultural producers? The presenters will answer these questions and identify several critical solutions.  Speakers will include Heritage’s Nick Loris, CEI’s Marlo Lewis and Dan Simmons of the Institute for Energy Research.

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

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

Forum to Look at Energy Potential – Future Tense and the Wilson Center’s Canada Institute will host a conversation tomorrow at Noon at New America on what it will take for North America to fulfill its energy potential. People tend to obsess over the monthly gyrations of oil prices and the latest regulatory battle over shale or pipeline-building, but we want to look forward to 2050. What concerted steps should Canada, Mexico, and the United States be taking to ensure that North America will become the world’s leading energy power for generations? And how can this region lead the world not only in output and economic growth, but also in setting new standards of environmental responsibility and sustainability?  Speakers include Sharon Burke of New America, Arizona State’s Hector Moreira (Director of Energy Model for Mexico Initiative) and Laura Dawson of the Wilson Center’s Canada Institute.

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

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

Podesta to Headline Enviro Event at DNC – John Podesta, chairman of Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign, will appear with Washington Gov. Jay Inslee, Tom Steyer and the leaders of major environmental groups at a Tuesday reception at 2:30 p.m. at the Warwick Hotel Rittenhouse Square in Philadelphia.  The reception, “winning on Climate Together” will also include Sierra Club Executive Director Michael Brune, LCV President Gene Karpinski, and NRDC President Rhea Suh.

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

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

 

FUTURE EVENTS

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

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

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.

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.

Energy Update: Week of June 13

Friends,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Call with questions…

 

Best,

 

Frank Maisano

(202) 828-5864

(202) 997-5932

 

FRANKLY SPOKEN

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

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

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

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

 

IN THE NEWS

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

FUTURE EVENTS

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

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

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

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

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

July 4th Holiday

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

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

Energy Update: Week of June 6

Friends,

We start today by thanking and honoring Muhammad Ali, who was the original transcender of policy, politics, sports, character and humor.  He was a giant and is well-deserving of any and all praise (especially this type of Barbershop praise) he receives for changing the way we look at athletes.

We had a very exciting weekend at the Maisano House as Hannah finally crossed the stage to graduate from Severn School with Honors.  It is a very exciting first step as she prepares for Wellesley.  In the meantime, she was appointed to umpire USA Field Hockey’s two national championships – The National Futures (best individual players) and the National Club Championships (Best Teams).  And the Cherry on the dessert:  She will be umpiring USA Field Hockey/AAU Junior Olympics in Houston in August (Houston in August doesn’t sound very fun), but she is one of only 8 umpires across the nation to be selected for the event.  It is a great honor and we are very proud of her accomplishments both in school, sports and officiating.

Of course, Saturday brings us the final Triple Crown Jewell, the 148th Belmont Stakes.  Right now (and with Nyquist out), I like the looks of a well-rested Suddenbreakingnews (with HoF Jockey Mike Smith) to chase 6-5 favorite, Exaggerator.  Another horse that is rested and should be good if the pace is slow is Governor Malibu, who recently “placed” at the Peter Pan Stakes at Belmont.  He is strong and runs close to pace.  He also fits the Belmont’s penchant for running an upset winner that hasn’t won any graded stakes.  Late closers Cherry Wine and Creator, as well as the speedy Stradivari will all challenge at the longer mile-and-a-half distance.  While all the closers benefited from the fast early pace in Baltimore, I suspect we won’t see that fast first quarter in New York.  Destin and Brody’s Cause both ran the Derby but passed on the Preakness and could be fresher than those that ran in Baltimore. Depending on weather, I’d box Exaggerator, Suddenbreakingnews and Governor Malibu for at least one trifecta.  I also might try one with Cherry Wine.  As for Superfecta, I might consider playing two, mixing the previous five or maybe swapping Stradivari in.  Straight up: A “win” flyer bet on Governor Malibu is probably worth it at 25-1, although I don’t suspect the line will stay there.   Of course, some of this may change as the positions are drawn (Wednesday), the weather forecast changes and the field firms up.  Post time is around 6:50 p.m. Saturday.

It will be a busy week in DC as Congress returns to run its final multi-week session before really breaking for the fall elections.  The main event is a Senate Environment hearing on Thursday on the SCOTUS stay of EPA’s GHG rule featuring Hunton expert Allison Wood and Tri-State Generation CEO Mike McInnes, among others.   Also Thursday, a House Foreign Affairs panel will hear from EIA Head Adam Sieminski and others on energy security in the Americas.  Tomorrow, a Senate Environment panel looks at EPA’s unfunded mandates.  Finally, Friday morning at 9:30 a.m., House Energy will host AHRI President Steve Yurek and others for a hearing on appliance energy standards.

The biggest event off the Hill this week is the US Energy Stream’s Washington Oil & Gas Conference on Thursday at the Cosmos Club featuring Republican House Whip Steve Scalise, former House Energy Chair Joe Barton and Resources Chair Rob Bishop. The Forum focuses on the international aspects of the American oil and gas industry and will address the international impact of the shale gas revolution.  Other events in town include Heritage hosting TX AG Ken Paxton on Friday while Bracewell hosts a WCEE forum on Wednesday looking at the future of Utilities.  There are also Clean Energy, Paris and oil-price events sponsored by The Atlantic, Brookings, Carnegie, USEA and Johns Hopkins throughout the week.  Everything is listed below.

Out of town on Wednesday, Kansas will host an EPA public meeting on the RFS’s RVO rule and the Geothermal industry gathers.

Finally, the US Chamber’s Energy Institute is expected to launch its International Index of Energy Security Risk sometime this week so stayed tuned for that.

In case you haven’t noticed, it’s an election year.  Between the Trump energy event last week and a Mark Drajem  Interview with Bloomberg Analyst Rob Barnett on Sander’s Presidential Fracking position, got us thinking to start paying closer attention to energy-related action on the campaign trail (which many times is a little light on substance, historical perspective and reality) so keep us as a background resource.  We’ll have people at both conventions – yes we are a bipartisan group.  Anyway, the countdown is on: 42 days to Cleveland, 49 days to Philly and 155 days to Election Day.

 

Best,

Frank Maisano

(202) 828-5864

(202) 997-5932

 

FRANKLY SPOKEN

“If we are serious about combating climate change, we need to put an end to fracking all over this country.”

Presidential Candidate and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders last week after a speech in California.

 

IN THE NEWS

AHRI, ASHRAE, DOE Partner to Fund Flammable Refrigerant Research – The Air-Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration Institute (AHRI), ASHRAE, and the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) are collaborating to fund vital research that will establish a more robust fact base about the properties and the use of flammable refrigerants. This $5.2 million research program is part of an ongoing global effort to phase down the use of high-global warming potential (GWP) refrigerants and identify appropriate climate-friendly alternatives. Of the total, DOE is contributing $3 million, ASHRAE $1.2 million, and AHRI $1 million.  In anticipation of a global plan to phase down high-GWP refrigerants, the industry has spent the past five years researching potential alternatives. Through that effort, several promising refrigerants were identified, many of which are low toxicity, but are classified as mildly flammable or flammable. This new research program will provide the technical knowledge needed to facilitate and accelerate the safe use of these refrigerants.

Industry Group May Challenge Methane Rule – The Western Energy Alliance is “exploring litigation” over the new EPA rules aimed that reducing methane for new oil and gas.  WEA official Kathleen Sgemma, said the alliance has been involved in litigation on a number of regulations that western oil and gas producers say would hobble the industry. Sgemma said the alliance was successful in suing against the first round of fracking regulations that the Bureau of Land Management tried to impose, winning a federal court injunction to stay the rules until a decision on the merits is made.

Interior to Open Up Waters Off NY for Offshore Wind – The federal government is expanding its offshore wind energy program to New York, the Department of Interior announced Thursday.  Interior said more than 81,000 acres of the Atlantic Ocean off the New York coast will be available for wind energy leases.  The section of ocean is in the New York Wind Energy Area, a portion of the outer continental shelf 11 miles south of Long Island. The department will publish a sales notice in the Federal Register on Monday, opening a 60-day public comment period.  As with other WEAs, the question is not whether Interior can open it up, but if somebody will build any projects.  So far, not much luck.

Paris Is Now Banning All Pre-1997 Cars – While France gets most of its electricity from nuclear power, it still has some of the most polluted air in Paris because of traffic issues.    Paris has tried just about everything to combat its terrible smog problem. The city has launched attempts to take half the cars off its road, introduce regular car-free days, and close famous streets to vehicular traffic—but nothing has worked. Now a much bigger idea is going into effect: Kicking the oldest cars out of the city. Starting July 1, all cars registered before 1997 and motorcycles registered before 2000 will be banned from the city center during weekdays.

Platts Crude Discusses OPEC – This week’s Capitol Crude podcast is live from Vienna where Brian and Herman go inside last week’s OPEC meeting, the first for the new Saudi energy minister. What did the meeting mean for OPEC, as well as US producers and policy? The podcast also addresses the view from OPEC on the ongoing US presidential race and its impact on the world oil market. With appearances from Khalid al-Falih, Amos Hochstein and Joe McMonigle.

Exelon to Close IL Nuke Plants – Exelon says it will close two of its nuclear plants in the state starting next year because if the sustained low wholesale power prices, capacity auction results, regulatory uncertainty and questions regarding the future of the EPA’s Clean Power Plan for its decision to close the two plants.  They also tried to convince the Illinois General Assembly to pass zero-carbon energy standard legislation that could have helped keep them competitive.  Exelon will close the Clinton nuclear plant on June 1, 2017, and the Quad Cities plant in 2018. The closures will come several years before the plants’ NRC licenses run out.

TVA Nuke Plant Finally Producing Energy – Speaking of Nukes, the long-awaited second reactor at the Tennessee Valley Authority’s Watts Bar nuclear plant has been synced to the grid and will next undergo systems and controls testing.  The next step is full-plant testing of systems and controls at increasing reactor power levels up to 100 percent power by this summer.  Combined with Watts Bar Unit 1, the plant will supply power to roughly 1.3 million homes in the TVA service area.

 

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

Fuel Cell Techs Under Review by DOE – This week, DOE will host a series on reviews on fuel cell vehicle technologies.  Each year, projects funded by the Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) Fuel Cell Technologies Office and Vehicle Technologies Office are reviewed for their merit at the Annual Merit Review and Peer Evaluation Meeting (AMR). DOE uses the results of this merit review and peer evaluation, along with additional review processes, to make funding decisions for upcoming years.

Heritage to Look at Obama War On Fossil Fuels – Today at 12:00 p.m., the Heritage Foundation hosts a forum on the Obama Administration’s efforts against fossil fuels. In only a few short years, the U.S. has become the world’s largest producer of oil and natural gas; it has long been the Saudi Arabia of coal. America has more fossil fuels resources than any nation and can produce and utilize those resources with more environmental sensitivity and energy efficiency. Yet, highly politicized climate policies are pushing a grand-scale shift to unreliable, expensive renewable energy sources inherently incapable of replacing the vast energy services fossil fuels provide. Today, ‘fossil fuel’ has become such a dirty word that even fossil fuel companies feel compelled to apologize for their products. In Fueling Freedom, Kathleen Hartnett White and Stephen Moore make an unapologetic case for fossil fuels, turning around progressives’ protestations to prove that if fossil fuel energy is supplanted by ‘green’ alternatives for political reasons, humanity will take a giant step backwards and the planet will be less safe, less clean, and less free.

Energy, Education Forum Set – The National Council on Science and the Environment’s (NCSE) Council of Energy Research and Education Leaders (CEREL) will host the 2nd annual National Energy Education Summit tomorrow at the American University. Energy literate leaders in politics, labor, business, and religion must help citizens and the workforce cope with the challenges and embrace the opportunities of change. Despite the needs for energy literacy, very few college and university students in the United States or elsewhere systematically learn about energy as part of their education. New forms of energy education must become a fundamental part of undergraduate education, in the United States and everywhere else in the world.

Forum to Look at Climate, Air Quality Connections – The Carnegie Endowment for International Peace hosts a half-day event tomorrow on the connection between air quality and climate change and how it might be expected to shape the global energy innovation agenda in the years to come. Speakers will include Deborah Gordon, Judi Greenwald, Daniel Horton, David Livingston, Varun Rai, Seth Shonkoff.

Senate Enviro to Tackle Unfunded Mandates — The Senate Environment Committee’s Subcommittee on Superfund, Waste Management, and Regulatory Oversight will hold a hearing tomorrow providing oversight of EPA Unfunded Mandates on State, Local, and Tribal Governments.  Witnesses include Tennessee state Senate majority Mark Norris representing the Council of State Governments, Berks County, PA Commission Chair Christian Leinbach on behalf of the National Association of Counties; Quapaw Tribe of Oklahoma chair John Berrey, DC Water/Sewer Authority CEO George Hawkins and George Washington University environmental law professor Robert Glicksman.

Brookings Forum to Look at Paris Climate Deal – Tomorrow at 4:00 p.m., Brookings will host a panel to assess the challenges as well as the opportunities in implementing the Paris Climate Agreement.  The Paris agreement, recently signed onto by 196 countries, is a milestone in recognizing the threat posed by climate change and securing collective commitment to hold global temperature rise to “well below 2 degrees Celsius.” The task now is to translate this ambitious commitment into a concrete implementation agenda.  This high level panel, which will include eminent climate expert Lord Nicholas Stern, World Bank Managing Director Sri Mulyani Indrawati, and University of Maryland Dean Public Policy and longtime climate advisor Robert Orr, as well as Vice President Kemal Dervis and Senior Fellow Amar Bhattacharya of Global Economy and Development program at Brookings.

Geothermal Conference Set – The Baseload Renewable Energy Summit will be held tomorrow and Wednesday at the Grand Sierra Resort and Casino in Reno, NV will examine key issues facing the geothermal, biomass and hydropower industries at the federal, state and local levels.  The event is Geothermal Energy Association (GEA) 5th annual National Geothermal Summit, but with a twist. This year, the leading forum for western state policy discussions will team up with the National Hydropower Association (NHA) and the Biomass Power Association (BPA) to create a new spin on the annual event. Wednesday will feature a full day program opening remarks by Rahm Orenstein, Vice President of Business Development, Ormat Technologies Inc. Following through the day panels of experts from power producers, utilities, government officials and others will examine key questions facing the future of the geothermal, biomass and hydropower industries.

EPA RFS Hearing In Kansas City – EPA announced it will hold a public hearing Thursday in Kansas City, Missouri, on its proposed rule for the 2017 renewable fuels standard (RFS).  The EPA released its proposed rule to set 2017 renewable volume obligations (RVOs) under the RFS, along with the 2018 RVO for biomass-based diesel, on May 18. The agency has proposed to set the 2017 RVO for cellulosic biofuel at 312 million gallons, with the advanced biofuel RVO at 4 billion gallons and the RVO for total renewable fuel at 18.8 billion gallons. The 2018 RVO for biomass-based diesel has been proposed at 2.1 billion gallons…

WCEE Forum on Future Utility of Future – On Wednesday at 12:00 noon in the swanky new office at Bracewell, the Women’s Council on Energy and the Environment (WCEE) will host a forum on the utility of the future.  Based on data published by EIA, US demand for electricity hit a plateau in 2006 for a variety reasons – the transition of our economy from manufacturing towards services, improvements in energy efficiency, and changing building codes.  There are also growing regional trends to shift towards clean energy, in some cases driven by legislative mandates or the Clean Power Plan, and an increase in the popularity of customer generated electricity.  But, at its simplest, the utility business model, forged at the turn of the 20th century, is based on a perpetual increasing demand for electricity.  The event features DC Public Service Commissioner Joanne Doddy Fort, former Maryland PSC Chair and current Alliance to Save Energy official Kelly Speakes-Backman, Katharine Bond of Dominion Virginia Power and Cheryl Roberto of  Twenty First Century Utilities.

JHU to Look at Living with Lower Oil Prices – Johns Hopkins SAIS, the International Monetary Fund, and the Middle East Institute will host a high level discussion on Wednesday at 12:30 p.m. looking at living with cheaper oil and the policy adjustments necessary in Middle Eastern and Central Asian oil exporting countries.  The event features a presentation by Min Zhu, Deputy Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund and Martin Sommer, IMF’s Deputy Chief, Middle East and Central Asia Regional Studies Division.

Forum to Look at Energy Storage – Wednesday at 2:00 p.m., the Joint Center for Energy Storage Research (JCESR) will hold a briefing to discuss energy storage.  JCESR is a public/private partnership that brings together world-leading scientists, engineers, and manufacturers with an important mission: develop clean energy storage technologies for transportation and the electricity grid. The Center was established by the Department of Energy as an Energy Innovation Hub in 2012 and is led by Argonne National Laboratory. Their partners include five national laboratories, ten universities, and five industrial firms.  JCESR was launched with a bold vision: to create game-changing, next-generation battery technologies that will transform transportation and the electricity grid the way lithium-ion batteries transformed personal electronics.

Atlantic Forum to Look at Clean EnergyThe Atlantic will host a forum on Thursday morning called Access to Power: A Forum on Energy Equity at the Newseum. The Atlantic‘s Ron Brownstein and Rebecca Rosen will be joined on stage by Michelle Moore (Groundswell), Richard Kauffman (New York Governor’s Office), Jim Kapsis (Opower) and others to discuss making the future of clean energy accessible to all.

Senate Enviro to Look at GHG Rule – Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works will hold a hearing Thursday on the implications of the Supreme Court Stay of EPA’s Clean Power Plan.  Testifying will be Tri-State Generation CEO Mike McInnis, Hunton’s Allison Wood Missouri State House Rep. Jack Bondon, NYU’s Richard Revesz and Connecticut DEEP deputy commissioner Katie Dykes.

EIA, DOE, State to Talk Energy – The House Foreign Affairs Committee’s Subcommittee on the Western Hemisphere will convene a hearing Thursday at 10:00 a.m. on the impact of low oil prices on energy security in the Americas.  Witnesses include EIA’s Adam Sieminski, DOE’s Melanie Kenderdine and State’s Amos Hochstein.

USEA Forum to Look at Paris, Future of Energy – On Thursday, USEA will host a forum looking at all sectors of the energy industry and the pressure from a combination of ultra-low prices, dislike of big business, accusations of crony capitalism and, last but not least, what for many are existential threats from environmental concerns.  The speakers, respectively the former Chief Climate Counsel for Sierra Club and Head of Climate Policy at ExxonMobil, talk frankly about what the future holds: what the Paris agreement means (and does not mean) for the energy industry; why the 2016 election may make less difference than many think – or hope – and what the reality of a carbon-constrained policy world means for the fossil and renewable energy industries. Former Sierra Club Counsel David Bookbinder has litigated cases under all of the major environmental statutes as Sierra Club’s Chief Climate Counsel. He then represented environmental groups in both stationary- and mobile-source carbon matters, including California’s greenhouse gas vehicle standards. Bookbinder has helped lead efforts on both global warming legislation and Clean Air Act greenhouse gas regulation, and has testified in front of House and Senate committees on these issues.  David Bailey has 35 years-experience in managing energy related issues around the world and has worked at literally every level of the coal and oil and gas industries, from the UK National Coal Board during the economic and labor upheavals under the Thatcher government to responsibility for ExxonMobil’s climate policy.

Scalise, Barton, Others Headline Oil, Gas Forum – US Energy Stream will hold a Washington Oil & Gas Forum on Wednesday and Thursday at the Cosmos Club in DC.  Speakers will include Reps. Steve Scalise, Rob Bishop, Joe Barton, as well as State’s Amos Hochstein and DOE’s Paula Gant.  The Washington Oil & Gas Forum focuses on the international aspects of the American oil and gas industry and is the only commercial forum in Washington that addresses the international impact of the shale gas revolution.  This year’s primary focus is the impact of the U.S. LNG exports on global energy markets.  More specifically, the topics include U.S. LNG and crude oil exports; oil prices; the impact of shale gas on the global energy markets; U.S. energy independence; upstream developments in the major U.S. shale plays; U.S. oil and gas investments in the international energy markets.

House Energy Panel to Look at Energy Efficiency Standards – On Friday morning, the House Energy Panel will hold a hearing on stakeholder perspectives on Appliance EE standards.  Among those testifying will be Steve Yurek, President of AHRI.

TX AG Headlines Heritage Forum on Climate Speech Challenges– The Heritage Foundation will host a forum on Friday at Noon featuring TX AG Ken Paxton discuss the recent efforts to attack scientific dissent.  A group of state attorneys general are targeting companies and others whom they claim “mislead the public about the dangers of climate change.” With the help of some private plaintiffs’ law firms, state AGs are opening up potential civil/criminal investigations. Other state AGs are objecting to these prosecutions as both ill-advised and violations of the First Amendment. The forum will look at whether this is a misuse of the law and are First Amendment rights being violated.

REFF Wall Street Meeting Set for NYC – REFF-Wall Street 2016 will be held on Saturday and Sunday at The Grand Hyatt, New York.  REFF-Wall Street is the premier renewable energy financing event in the U.S. The event draws an especially senior audience, comprising of over 600 decision makers, lenders, investors, investment bankers, private equity investors, venture capitalists, and other top transactional professionals in renewable energy finance. Delek CEO Yaniv Friedman, Grover Norquist, AGA’s David Sweet and Columbia’s Jason Bordoff will also speak among the many others.

 

FUTURE EVENTS

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

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

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

Offshore Energy Seminar Set – The American Geosciences Institute will hold a Congressional webinar on Tuesday, June 14th at 1:00 p.m. to explain the scientific and engineering tools that enable production in challenging environments far from land or in miles-deep water.  Speakers will also address the environmental challenges of offshore energy production.  BOEM’s James Bennett is among the speakers.

Statoil Official to Discuss Energy Market Outlook – The CSIS Energy and National Security Program is hosting a forum on Tuesday, June 14th at 1:00 p.m.; featuring Eirik Wærness, Chief Economist of Statoil, to present the company’s newly released Energy Perspectives 2016 publication. The report describes the macroeconomic and market outlook to 2040 including supply, demand, energy trade and CO2 impacts, as well as illustrates some of the key uncertainties that will influence these factors in the future through modeling various scenarios. This year’s report describes the possible development in global energy markets towards 2040 through three alternative scenarios, called Reform, Rivalry, and Renewal, respectively.

Forum to Look at Climate Policy, Ethics – The Wilson Center and the Institute for Philosophy and Public Policy at George Mason University will hold a debate on Wednesday June 15th at 9:30 a.m. between two of the most trenchant scholars on the human dimensions of climate change and the relevance of ethics in creating global climate policy. Stephen Gardiner argues that climate change is fundamentally an ethical issue. A robust response must attend to difficult issues, including justice, rights, political legitimacy, and humanity’s relationship to nature. Consequently, climate policy that ignores ethics is at risk of “solving” the wrong problem, perhaps even to the extreme of endorsing forms of climate extortion.  In contrast, David Weisbach argues that existing ethical theories are not well suited to addressing climate change because they suffer from internal logic problems and suggest impractical strategies. He argues that the central motivation for climate policy is straightforward: it is in the common interest of people and nations to dramatically reduce emissions in order to prevent terrible harms.  Gardiner and Weisbach are co-authors of Debating Climate Ethics. This is their first public appearance together since its publication this month. Following their debate, a panel of climate policy practitioners and academics will discuss the practical implications of this exchange.

WCEE Leadership Forum Tackles Women’s Role in International Development – On Wednesday June 15th at 11:30 a.m. at Clyde’s of Gallery Place, WCEE’s Women in Leadership (WIL) luncheon panel discussion will showcase some of the exciting work that federal agencies are doing globally in clean energy and climate change, and in particular how women around the world are impacted by and are tackling these complex issues. The panel will discuss how the U.S. public sector advances clean energy entrepreneurship, helps developing countries meet their COP 21 commitments, encourages women in leadership within the energy sector, and supports access to energy around the world.  Panelists will include State’s Rachel Kastenberg, DOE’s Caroline McGregor and USAID’s Kathryn Stratos.

Summer Solstice Solar Event Set – The Solar Foundation will be having its Summer Solstice event on Thursday, June 16th from 6:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m. at the Capitol View at 400.  Every June, in honor of the longest day of the year, TSF hosts its Summer Solstice, a celebration of solar energy and the beneficial role it plays across many aspects of our society. We will be taking over an incredible rooftop in downtown Washington, D.C. to roll out the “yellow carpet” in recognition of all things solar. This year’s Solstice guests will be treated to great food and drinks, electrifying beats, amazing twilight views of the Capital’s skyline, and the company of many of the most eclectic personalities in solar.

Forum to Feature PJM Official on CPP Implementation – On Friday June 17th, the USAEE-NCAC will hold its next installment of our monthly lunch series featuring Paul Sotkiewicz, Ph.D., Senior Economic Policy Advisor for the PJM Wholesale Power Market.  He will discuss recent updates and results from PJM’s Capacity Market Auction, Clean Power Plan implementation, and investment decisions in PJM.

USEA Forum to Look at More Capture Technologies – On Friday, June 17th at 2:00 p.m., the U.S. Energy Association will host a forum on the technical basis for direct air capture of CO2.  The event will hear from Geoff Holmes, who will address the operation of Carbon Engineering’s air capture demonstration plant in Squamish, B.C.  Holmes will discuss opportunities for commercialization and deployment of the technology.  Carbon Engineering has been developing direct air capture technology since 2009, and has innovated a process based on wet scrubbing and chemical recovery that shows great promise for deployment at industrial scale. CE is now piloting this process with a fully end-to-end 1-ton-CO2/day demonstration plant.

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

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

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

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

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

July 4th Holiday

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

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