Energy Update: Week of January 29

Friends,

Well, that was an exciting beginning to the 60th Grammys. It was a nice surprise appearance by U2, although I didn’t really know what that opening number was by Kendrick Lamar. I guess I’m just too old as he managed to nab 5 Grammy wins. And how does Metallica not win Best Rock Album for Hardwired To Self Destruct?  And really, how is it nearly every rock category was announced in the pre-TV portion?

One person that did win: the brother of our former Bracewell colleague and now Valero Government Relations head Salo Zelermyer. What????  Yes, Salo’s brother, Gideon Zelermyer won the Grammy for Best Rock Performance.  Gideon is the cantor at the largest synagogue in Montreal who – beyond his congregation – may be best known for his riveting renditions of the both the Canadian and US national anthems at pro sporting events.  Gideon joined with the late Leonard Cohen and the Shaar Hashomayim Synagogue choir to win the Grammy for their collaboration on You Want It Darker. The Zelermyer crew beat out far more traditional rockers for the Grammy:  the late Chris Cornell (The Promise), Dave Grohl’s Foo Fighters (Run), Kaleo (No Good) and Nothing More (Go to War).

On the sports side, how about that NHL All-Star Game? I just love that 3-on-3 format w/the $1M prize to the winners. Tennis’ first major is over in Australia with Caroline Wozniacki taking the Women’s title for her first Grand Slam title, while the incredible, ageless Roger Federer won the Men’s side for his 20th Grand Slam victory.  Just unreal…

Before we get going, you may have already received info regarding tonight’s 5:30 p.m. welcoming at Charlie Palmer Steak (101 Constitution Avenue N.W.) celebrating the newest members of the PRG team: Anna Burhop, Stoney Burke, Liam Donovan, and Christine Wyman.  And if you haven’t heard, please let me know if you can join us.  We hope to see you tonight.

Exciting times in DC this week with the State of the Union set for tomorrow night. There is a lot of speculation about the tone the president will take. I suspect we will hear discussions of energy dominance, infrastructure, regulatory relief and a lot of boasting about the new tax law.   We are on it, so call with questions.

Of course, the week also starts out strong in Senate EPW, where EPA administrator Scott Pruitt returns to the Senate for the first time since his confirmation hearing.  Maybe a little less interesting tomorrow, Senate Energy votes on DOE/Interior nominees and discusses natural hazards like fire, while House Science tackles DOE management.  Maybe a little more fireworks at a House Resources mark up on Bears Ears legislation tomorrow at 10:30.

On Wednesday, Pruitt speaks to State Ag Directors and Thursday in NYC, my colleague Scott Segal hosts Neil Chatterjee and others at the S&P Power and Gas M&A Symposium.

For next week, in additional to the infrastructure roll out expected Monday, mark your calendars for a Hudson Institute forum where Steve Forbes, the HVAC industry, Bracewell’s Jeff Holmstead and NRDC’s Dave Doniger all address the important issues surrounding HFCs and the Kigali Amendment.

Congrats (maybe) to our friend and long-time Bloomberg reporter/editor Mark Drajem who today joined the federal communications team at the Natural Resources Defense Council.

Super Bowl Sunday is all set…Eagles or Patriots? Regardless of who wins, it better end up on my quarter numbers so I can win something.  We will be live tweeting the Pruitt EPW hearing and the SOTU.  Follow us at @PolicyRez  Call with questions.  Best,

 

Frank Maisano

(202) 828-5864

(202) 997-5932

 

FRANKLY SPOKEN

“We thought President Trump was going to protect manufacturing jobs, and that’s what a refinery does. The renewable fuel standards are like a lead weight around the company.  We want the President to live up to his word.”

Ryan O’Callaghan, president of United Steelworkers Local 10-1, which represents hundreds of Philadelphia Energy Solutions workers.

 

IN THE NEWS

NY Releases Plan for Offshore Wind – New York State on this morning released an exhaustive master plan for offshore wind energy that projects 5,000 people employed in and around a $6 billion industry by 2028. Gov. Cuomo’s plan also makes clear that while offshore wind representing 2,400 megawatts and hundreds of turbines will be in the waters south of Long Island and not visible from shore. The state expects more than 1.2 million homes could be powered by offshore wind. The 60-page report is accompanied by 20 supplemental studies representing more than two years of work and thousands of pages of analysis. The studies examine everything from viable ports to turbine manufacturing and wind-farm construction and staging to the need for cables, pipelines and other infrastructure, as well as the impact on birds, bats and fish.  Our friend Mark Harrington of Newsday has the story. Statoil is among the leading developers of offshore wind in the growing industry along the Atlantic Coast after being granting New York’s first leases last year.

Letter: Energy Trades Says Pass Extenders – More that 60 trade association, most that deal with energy issues wrote to Congress last week urging the passage of a “a seamless multi-year extension of the ‘tax extenders’ as soon as possible.”  Among the groups were Advanced Biofuels Business Council, Advanced Energy Economy, American Gas Assn, AHRI, the Business Council for Sustainable Energy, CHP, the Energy Recovery Council, GEO, Nat’l Electrical Contractors Assn, NRECA, Nat’l Propane Gas, and many others. Read the letter here.

DC Court Rejects Appeal of HFC Rule – Speaking of HVAC, the DC Circuit Friday denied a request by manufacturers to rehear a case on overturning the agency’s regulation to limit use of hydrofluorocarbons. The court in August rejected EPA’s initial rule phasing down the use of the global-warming inducing coolant. The world is pushing forward on the Kigali amendment though – a binding part of the Montreal Protocol that aims to phase out HFCs globally. Over Thanksgiving, a State Department official announced it would support the treaty at the 30th anniversary of the Protocol.  The Air-Conditioning, Heating and Refrigeration Institute (AHRI) said it was not surprised by this decision because the bar for en banc appeals is high.  AHRI’s Francis Dietz said the ruling does not in any way diminish our industry’s commitment to the phase down of HFC refrigerants under the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol.

EPA Ends “Once-in, Always-in” Clean Air Policy – EPA issued notice Thursday it is withdrawing the “once-in, always-in” policy under the Clean Air Act.  The policy dictated how major sources of hazardous air pollutants are regulated. Under the EPA’s new interpretation, such “major sources” can be reclassified as “area sources” when their emissions fall below mandated limits, subjecting them to differing standards.  My colleague Jeff Holmstead is a significant expert on the topic and said “the withdrawal of the “once-in-always-in” was long overdue.  There was no legal basis for it, and it was at odds with other EPA programs.  This policy change does not apply to power plants and it won’t affect large industrial facilities like refineries and chemical plants, but it will give smaller facilities more operational flexibility and reduce unnecessary red tape.” He would be happy to discuss specific details further should you have questions.  You can reach him at 202-294-8700 or jeff.holmstead@bracewell.com

Chamber Weighs in on Energy Policy Successes Through Energy Tracker – Chamber Global Energy Institute expert Dan Byers weighed into the energy policy discussion yesterday in an op-ed in The Hill that says energy policy under Trump will be a boon for Americans and business.  Byers says the Chamber GEI’s Energy Tracker highlights high-profile actions and the collective impact from scores of other measures that illustrate the President’s consistent emphasis on advancing U.S. energy for economic growth.  The tracker provides a unique and detailed look at these individual actions that are an easily-forgotten part of the bigger picture.

Unions Weigh in Heavily on Refinery Bankruptcy – A number of key unions say the recent bankruptcy of the Philadelphia Energy Solutions will hurt unions members in PA that were key to President’s election victory in PA.  The United Steelworkers, the United Association Pipefitters and Boilermakers have issued statement raising concerns about the bankruptcy on their members.  Steelworkers: “Continued indifference by the administration and EPA will only drive more East Coast refineries into bankruptcy while thousands of good jobs that allow highly skilled workers to support their families and sustain their communities are at stake.”  The Pipefitters wrote to Trump: “you made a promise to protect every American manufacturing job. In light of the previously mentioned circumstances, we are urged you to keep that promise and take immediate action to control skyrocketing ring cost. Union jobs in Pennsylvania and across the country depend on it.”

WSJ Addresses PES As Well – Finally, the Wall Street Journal editorial board highlighted the PES bankruptcy putting the blame with the federal government’s biofuels policies.  The Journal quoted Ryan O’Callaghan, president of United Steelworkers Local 10-1, which represents hundreds of Philadelphia Energy Solutions workers. “We thought President Trump was going to protect manufacturing jobs, and that’s what a refinery does,” he said. The renewable fuel standards are “like a lead weight around the company,” he added, and “we want the President to live up to his word.”

Study Says Wind Neighbors Like Wind – A 3-year national lab study published today found that of the 1.3 million homes in America that are within five miles of a wind turbine, a majority of the neighbors have a positive attitude towards the turbines. The survey, led by the Department of Energy’s Berkeley Lab, found that inside that range, only 8 percent of respondents had a “negative” or “very negative” opinion of the turbine. For those within half a mile of a large turbine, that percentage grew to 25 percent. The study also asked respondents whether they heard noises from nearby turbines, if they were “annoyed” by any sounds they did hear, and if they perceived the turbine planning process to be fair. A summary and results of the study can be found here.

DOE Starts Solar Manufacturing Effort – Following Last week’s tariff decision, the Department of Energy announced a $3 million prize competition to reenergize innovation in U.S. solar manufacturing. The American Made Solar Prize will incentivize the nation’s entrepreneurs to develop new processes and products that will reassert American leadership in the solar marketplace. This prize is in addition to total DOE funding of up to $400 million for solar projects and technologies in 2017. It will lower barriers American innovators face in reaching manufacturing scale by accelerating the cycles of learning, while helping to create partnerships that connect entrepreneurs to the private sector and the network of DOE’s national laboratories.

US Wind to Surpass Hydro – EIA reports that Wind power is forecast to surpass hydroelectricity for the first time as the nation’s top source of renewable electricity sometime in the next year.  Wind is expected to produce 6.4% of utility-scale electricity in 2018, and 6.9% in 2019, propelled by a construction boom of new turbines across the country.  Few new hydropower plants are in the works, so new electricity generation depends on how much rainfall and water runoff pools in existing dams and reservoirs. Hydropower provided 7.4% of utility-scale generation in 2017 ― a particularly wet year ― but that figure is projected to fall to about 6.5% in 2018 and 6.6% in 2019.

 

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

Ag Directors Head to DC – The National Association of State Departments of Agriculture will hold its annual winter policy conference today through Wednesday at the Grand Hyatt.  The event will feature remarks from FDA Director Scott Gottlieb and EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt, who addresses the Group Wednesday.

NAS Panel to Look at Natural Disasters – The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine’s Roundtable on Science and Technology for Sustainability (STS) will host a workshop tomorrow on deploying sustainable energy after human caused and natural disasters.  Workshop participants will discuss specialized social, economic and engineering challenges and opportunities to deploying sustainable energy in areas that are rebuilding, after major disasters, including California, Puerto Rico, and other areas. The workshop will also explore how regions are building renewable energy into their longer-term planning in the context of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

Pruitt to Head to Senate Environment – The Senate Environment Committee will host EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt tomorrow at 10:00 a.m., making his first return to the panel nearly a year after his confirmation.

House Science to Look at Energy Department – The House Science Committee holds a hearing tomorrow at 10:00 a.m. looking at the Department of Energy and its management and priorities.  Witnesses include DOE science undersecretary Paul Dabbar and DOE undersecretary Mark Menezes.

Senate Energy to Hold Nominee, Vote Hearing – The Senate Energy Committee will hold a business meeting tomorrow to consider the nominations of Melissa Burnison to be an Assistant Secretary of Energy (Congressional and Intergovernmental Affairs), Susan Combs to be an Assistant Secretary of the Interior, Ryan Douglas Nelson to be Solicitor of the Department of the Interior, Anne Marie White to be an Assistant Secretary of Energy (Environmental Management). Following the vote, it will hold an oversight hearing to examine the role of the Geological Survey and the Forest Service in preparing for and responding to natural hazard events, as well as the current status of mapping and monitoring systems.

House Resources to Look at Bears Ears – The House Natural Resources Committee Subcommittee on Federal Lands holds a hearing tomorrow at 10:30 a.m. to focus on legislation to codify Trump’s presidential proclamation last month shrinking the Bears Ears monument’s footprint by 85%.  Witnesses will include Utah AG Sean Reyes, former Rep. Jason Chaffetz, Interior principal deputy assistant secretary for Indian affairs John Tahsuda, Interior’s deputy assistant secretary, land and minerals management Casey Hammond, former Ute Mountain Tribe councilwoman Regina Lopez-Whiteskunk, Ute Indian Tribe Business Committee official Tony Small, Zuni, NM councilman Carleton Bowekaty, Hopi Tribal Council’s Clark Tenakhongva, Navajo Nation president Russell Begaye and San Juan County Commission vice chair Rebecca Benally.

WRI to Discuss Energy Access, Policy Innovation – Tomorrow at 12:30 p.m., the World Resources Institute will host leading experts from around the world for a discussion on the political economy of energy access and innovative policy solutions.  Together, they will profile innovative reforms that policymakers around the world can adopt to accelerate progress on achieving Sustainable Development Goal 7.

House Energy Panel to Mark Up Ceiling Fan Legislation – The House Energy and Commerce Energy panel will mark up bipartisan legislation tomorrow at 1:00 p.m. that align compliance dates for new ceiling fan standards with those for ceiling fan light kits. Two current standards have compliance dates that are about a year apart, which has created unnecessary challenges for companies. The bill would harmonize compliance dates for both appliances to Jan. 21, 2020.

State of the Union – President Trump addresses Congress at 9:00 p.m. on tomorrow, January 30th.

FERC Commissioner Headlines Power Conference – The 31st annual Power and Gas M&A Symposium will be held in New York at the Grand Hyatt Midtown on Wednesday and Thursday. The event is an executive conference from S&P Global Market Intelligence that brings utilities, power generators, renewables, and Wall Street together to set the tone for strategic decisions for the year.  FERC Commissioner Neil Chatterjee, my Bracewell colleague Scott Segal and EEI Head Tom Kuhn will all speak, among others.

Yergin to Discuss 2018 Outlook – On Wednesday at 9:00 a.m., IHS Markit hosts a webinar conversation with Dr. Daniel Yergin, IHS Markit Vice Chairman, to discuss the critical issues facing the energy industry in 2018.  While the mood in the industry is upbeat, the energy industry is in the midst of a major transformation driven by geopolitical, economic and environmental forces.  In this webinar, Yergin will preview some of the major themes that will be discussed at our CERAWeek 2018.

CSIS to Look at India Energy Policy – On Wednesday at 3:00 p.m., CSIS’s Wadhwani Chair in U.S.-India Policy Studies and Energy & National Security Program host Dr. Arunabha Ghosh and Abhishek Jain, who will present evidence using on-ground primary data and policy analysis undertaken at the Council on Energy, Environment, and Water, South Asia’s leading policy research institution, to answer address these questions. Dr. Kartikeya Singh will moderate a discussion following the presentation. India is undergoing several energy transitions, each of which will matter for its human development and global sustainability. It must undertake programs at scales and within timelines not witnessed anywhere else, create appropriate market conditions to give direction and confidence to technology innovators and investors, and ensure energy security within a rapidly shrinking carbon constraint.

Forum to Look at Climate Path Forward – The Goethe-Institut of Washington and the Sustainability Collaborative of The George Washington University will host an evening of reflections on Wednesday focused on the climate meetings in Paris and Bonn, the next steps forward, and the role of college students in taking those steps.

WEN Set to Launch 2018 Agenda – The Women’s Energy Network holds a reception to kick off our 2018 event series at 6:00 p.m. at Vinson & Elkins. WEN DC is an organization that prides itself on supporting the professional development and advancement of women in the energy industry through relationships and networking.

Climate Activists Groups Meet at GWU – On Wednesday at 8:00 p.m. at GW’s Lisner Auditorium, the activist group Climate Hawks Vote will host Fossil Free Fast: The Climate Resistance.  FFF will feature organizers who’ve led successful campaigns for 100% renewables in their cities, activists who are fighting fossil fuel projects like pipelines, and elected leaders who are pushing for climate action. Sen. Bernie Sanders, Bill McKibben of 350.org, Varshini Prakash of the Sunrise Movement, Rev. Yearwood of the Hip Hop Caucus, Jacqueline Patterson of the NAACP and many more will deliver the state of the climate movement.

French Embassy to Address Climate Policy – The French Embassy is hosting another French Series panel discussion event Thursday at 6:00 p.m. looking at climate change policy issues.  The event will be moderated by our friend Dean Scott, Senior climate change and Capitol Hill environment reporter for Bloomberg Environment.  Panelists include Brookings climate experts David Levaï and Adèle Morris, as well as WRI’s Jennifer Layke.

JHU to Feature Indian Expert to Discuss Coal – On Friday at 12:30 p.m., Johns Hopkins University hosts a discussion of energy policy in India and the role of coal, featuring Harvard Kennedy School doctoral student Rohit Chandra, who is studying energy policy and economic history. Like many other countries, India’s industrial base and electricity system has been built largely on the back of coal-based power generation. Both financially, and politically, the Indian state is deeply invested in coal and coal-based power generation. This is likely to make the transition to renewable energy gradual, not precipitous, as many have been predicting. In this talk, Rohit will give a brief historical sketch of the Indian coal industry, and then discuss some of the reasons why coal and its downstream use in power and other industries is likely to persist in India for the foreseeable future.

 

IN THE FUTURE

Hudson Forum to Look at HFC Issues – The Hudson Institute will hold a forum on February 5th to discuss the current status of HFC issues and the Kigali Treaty.  The keynote speaker will be Steve Forbes.  With all the talk of Paris, this just seems like a good NPR story: global efforts to reduce the heat-trapping gases from refrigerants used in air conditioning and cooling.  Other speakers will include White House official David Banks, Bracewell’s Jeff Holmstead, NRDC’s Dave Doniger, AHRI head Steve Yurek and Ingersoll Rand’s Paul Camuti.

NASEO 2018 Energy Policy Outlook Conference Set – On February 6-9th at The Fairmont in Washington, DC, the National Association of State Energy Officials (NASEO) will hold its 2018 Energy Policy Outlook conference.  This conference presents the work of NASEO’s members, the 56 governor designated State and Territory Energy Offices. The conference will feature a wide array of federal and private sector partners that state-level energy offices work with on a day-to-day basis, such as Federal and congressional offices; state and local planners, developers, and regulators working in energy, housing, transportation, climate, and resilience; grid operators and transmission organizations; and businesses and investors interested in clean energy economic development.  Our friends Lisa Jacobson of the Business Council for Sustainable Energy and Schneider Electric’s Anna Pavlova will be among the presenters.

EV Workshop Set in NoVa – Next Tuesday morning February 6th, Virginia Clean Cities, the Northern Virginia Regional Commission, Greater Washington Region Clean Cities and Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments host an informative workshop on electric vehicles and EV charging stations.  This workshop will provide an overview of the benefits of EVs for fleets, and infrastructure considerations for selecting and installing EV charging equipment. Northern Virginia fleet managers, business leaders and government officials will be able to test drive the newly redesigned, longer-range 2018 Nissan LEAF, the 2018 Chevy Bolt, SmartForTwo, Vantage and other EVs. Participants will also get information on charging options for their fleet, workplace and much more.

EIA to Present Energy Outlook – Next Tuesday February 6th at 10:00 a.m., Johns Hopkins University will host EIA Director Linda Capuano at its Kenney Herter Auditorium to present EIA’s Annual Energy Outlook 2018 (AEO2018). AEO2018 includes projections of U.S. energy supply, demand, and prices. The discussion will consider results across AEO2018 cases that vary assumptions regarding U.S. economic growth rates, domestic resources and technology, and world oil prices.

WCEE to Host Battery Discussion – The Women’s Council on Energy and the Environment (WCEE) will hold a Lunch and Learn on Wednesday February 7th at Noon to hear from Kelly Speakes-Backman, CEO of Energy Storage Association.  Speakes-Backman will share her knowledge of battery storage and the impact it will have on the evolving energy markets.

WoodMac Researcher to Discuss Shale for Energy Economists – The National Capital Chapter of the US Energy Economists hosts its February lunch on Friday February 9th at Noon at Carmines.  Wood MacKenzie Research Director for Natural Gas Liquids Anne Keller will address the often overlooked and usually unheralded bounty of the shale revolution which has led to a huge increase in natural gas liquids production. These chameleons of the hydrocarbon chain, which begin their trip to market as gas and end up transformed into liquids along the way, are providing emerging economies with clean burning fuel and US chemical producers with a potential cost advantage that they are betting billions of dollars will continue.

SEIA, ESA to Host Discussion on Distributed Energy – The Solar Energy Industries Association and the Energy Storage Association will host a breakfast panel discussion Monday February 12th in Washington on Distributed Energy Resource (DER) valuation, interconnection, and benefits to the local grid. The forum will look at the ways in which the location of a DER can provide various grid benefits and may lead to changes in DER compensation.  Speakers include ESA CEO Kelly Speakes-Backman, SEIA’s David Gahl, Douglas Staker of Demand Energy and Sara Baldwin Auck of Regulatory Program.

BCSE to Release Annual Sustainability ReportBloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) and the Business Council for Sustainable Energy (BCSE) will release of the 2018 Sustainable Energy in America Factbook in Washington, DC, on February 15th.  In its 6th year, the Factbook provides new industry information and trends for the U.S. energy economy, with an in-depth look at the energy efficiency, natural gas and renewable energy sectors as well as emerging areas such as battery storage and sustainable transportation.  A panel of executives from BCSE members and BNEF analysts look at the cost of energy for consumers and businesses, and how has this changed over time; U.S. ranking for energy prices and clean energy investment; Clean energy contributions to American jobs and other items.

National Ethanol Conference Set – The Renewable Fuels Association holds its 23rd annual National Ethanol Conference on February 12-14 in San Antonio.  Former Presidential Advisor Mary Matalin and veteran Democratic Political Strategist Donna Brazile are scheduled to speak together at the event on Washington Politics.

Forum to Look at Transmission – WIRES and the Environmental and Energy Study Institute will host a briefing on Tuesday February 13th at 11:00 a.m. on the widespread, substantial, and long-lasting benefits of investment in electric transmission. The briefing will showcase two London Economics International studies – one study quantifies the future benefits of transmission investment based on two hypothetical projects, the second dispels many of the myths that deter and delay transmission investment.  This panel will discuss why transmission should be a major component of the infrastructure conversation and how the economic and societal benefits from a robust high-voltage grid are so important. Speakers study author Julia Frayer of London Economics International, ITC’s Nina Plaushin and former FERC Chair James Hoecker.

EMA To Hold Roundtable – The Emissions Marketing Association will hold roundtable Thursday, February 22nd in Juno Beach, Florida at the offices of NextEra Energy.  The event will include presentations, Q&A, and networking opportunities to allow for dialogue among the attendees.

CERAWEEK Set for Houston CERAWEEK’s 2018 conference will be held in Houston from March 5-9th at the Hilton Americas.  Speakers this year include OPEC SG Mohammad Barkindo, GM’s Mary Berra, BP’s Bob Dudley, IAE’s Fatih Birol, FERC Commissioner Robert Powelson, Alaska Sen. Dan Sullivan, Exelon’s Chris Crane, Energy Transfer’s Kelsey Warren, Paul Spencer of the Clean Energy Collective, Sunnova’s John Berger, and many, many more.

ACORE Renewable Policy Forum Set for Cap Hill – The annual 2018 ACORE Renewable Energy Policy Forum will be held on Capitol Hill on March 14th.  The ACORE National Renewable Energy Policy Forum is the only pan-technology renewable energy policy summit to address federal and state policy. This signature conference brings together industry leaders and policymakers to discuss energy and tax policy, debate pressing issues in the changing electricity marketplace, and identify priorities for Congress, the states, and relevant agencies.

Energy Update: Week of 1/22

Friends,

Thanks for all the great birthday wishes last week. I’m truly thankful to have so many of you take time from your busy days to wish me well. It is very much appreciated. Special thanks to Stacey, Olivia, Adam and Hannah — as well as my Bracewell colleagues — for making the day extra special. Looking forward to moving through year 50 with gusto!!!

Today, we are overrun by the government shutdown, but it looks like things may be heading towards resolution at least until February 8th with the Senate vote that just occurred.  Still unclear how this will finally play out, but we will continue to follow closely.  Already impacted are DOE and EPA travel, potential focus on the impending solar tariff decisions and the President’s visit to Davos.  AP has a good primer on the overall impacts of the agencies affected.

Despite losing some DOE folks to the shutdown this morning, AHRI’s Expo starts rolls out today in Chicago, while the Washington Auto Show – the industry’s public policy show – starts in earnest Wednesday with events, including two separate Senate Field hearings, through the remainder of the week.  Our friends at SAFE are again on point and you can reach them through Bridget Bartol.  Speakers include EPA’s Scott Pruitt, MI Gov. Rick Snyder, Rep Debbie Dingell and many others.

Speaking of solar and that impending decision which may happen soon, the Heritage Foundation wrote a new blog on the solar tariff issues today and will hold a forum tomorrow at Noon at Heritage.  The blog post says Trump should pull the plug on solar tariffs for three reasons: Innovation, Competitiveness and a Health Job Market.  The event will feature conservative experts like Heritage’s Tori Whiting and R Street’s Clark Parkard, LG’s John Taylor and ETAC’s Paul Nathanson. ETAC is a group of contractors, retailers and utilities that will be impacted by higher tariffs.  And BTW, ETAC sent a letter to President Trump Friday to remind him and his trade team that this issue is an important issue to people who are end users of the solar industry while underscoring that many solar manufacturers who are facing challenges are not facing them because of imports.

Good news here at Bracewell: In addition to the great folks we’ve hired over the last year (former AGA attorney Christine Wyman, former Senate EPW staffer Anna Burhop & tax expert Liam Donovan), our friend Stoney Burke is joining the Policy Resolution Group team.  Burke is a former CoS to TX Rep. Will Hurd and prior to that worked for Southern Company and Rep Chet Edwards.  More on this later…

Patriots – Eagles in two weeks for Super Bowl LII.  Winter Olympics in 3.  And remember, NHL all-stars hit the ice in Tampa this weekend, as well as the NFL’s Pro Bowl playing in Orlando next Sunday (with activities all week).

Call with questions.  Best,

 

Frank Maisano

(202) 828-5864

  1. (202) 997-5932

 

FRANKLY SPOKEN

 

“Trump has spoken unapologetically about unleashing the competitiveness of the entire energy sector. The best way to get there is to remove barriers, rather than create them. ”

Heritage Foundation Trade expert Katie Tubb writing about the impending solar tariff decision expected from the White House. 

 

“Absent RINs, we’re competitive with anyone in the world.”

PES CEO Gregory Gatta said in telephone interview Monday.

 

IN THE NEWS

ETAC Letter Offers Evidence of Impacts of Imports – The Energy Trade Action Coalition (ETAC) sent a letter to President Trump Friday.  The effort was another attempt to remind the Administration and President Trump that this issue is an important issue to people who are end users of the solar industry.  It also underscores that many solar manufacturers who are facing challenges are not facing them because of imports.  The letter says only 3 companies have failed due to imports, while more than 40 have failed because of manufacturing or management failures and include a series of charts that provide the evidence.

Heritage Says Trade Case Need Plug Pulled – In a blog post from yesterday, the Heritage Foundation’s trade expert says President Trump should pull the plug on solar tariffs for three reasons: Innovation, Competitiveness and a Healthy Job Market.  Heritage’s Katie Tubb said there is almost no better way to fossilize an industry than by guaranteeing prices and knocking out the competitors of a select few companies. The only innovation that this spurs is creative ways to lobby the government for new ways to interfere in energy markets. Such intervention would also punish competitive American solar companies in order to keep two failing ones afloat. Refusing new tariffs on solar imports allows the best parts of the solar industry to rise to the top.  Tubb adds Trump should protect competition, not specific competitors. The solar industry in America can provide customers the best, most affordable service to Americans when it is able to access components from the most competitive companies around the globe.  Finally, Tubb adds that there will be negative implications for the rest of the industry and the indirect jobs it creates if the administration bends over backward to shore up two failing companies.

Refiner Reported to File For Bankruptcy – Philadelphia Energy Solutions LLC, the owner of the largest U.S. East Coast oil refining complex, announced to its employees on Sunday that it plans to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, as reported by Reuters.  Part of the refiner’s financial troubles stem from a costly biofuels law called the Renewable Fuels Standard, which is administered by the Environmental Protection Agency and requires refiners to blend biofuels into the nation’s fuel supply every year, or buy credits from those who do.  Since 2012, Philadelphia Energy Solutions has spent more than $800 million on credits to comply with the law, making it the refiner’s biggest expense after the purchase of crude.

Coalition Says “This is What We’ve Been Warning About’ – The Fueling American Jobs Coalition, a group that includes Steelworkers, small retailers and refiners, including Holly Frontier, PBF, Delta, Valero and others said “what we’re seeing happen at PES is exactly what we’ve been warning about for many months.” The group says the RFS program forces many independent refiners to pay sky-high prices for compliance credits that they simply cannot earn themselves. “Refiners are captive buyers in the lucrative market for these RINs. Those who profit in this situation—Wall Street speculators, large integrated oil companies and large fuel retailers—consistently oppose reasonable changes to the RFS that would diminish their profit stream, even if those profits come at the price of economic pain for refiners and their workers.”  The Coalition said President Trump understands the “havoc” that poorly-designed Washington regulations can wreak on the real economy. “PES is experiencing that pain right before our eyes, and others will follow. Hard-working manufacturing workers in Pennsylvania refineries and elsewhere voted for President Trump with the understanding that he would stand up to special interests and fight for their jobs.”  The group continues to call for the President to “broker a deal among all stakeholders that will help put an end to the crisis that high RINs prices have created for the U.S. refining sector.”

Sen Toomey Calls RFS Job-Killer –U.S. Senator Pat Toomey (Pa.) responded to the news that Philadelphia Energy Solutions is filing for bankruptcy protection by saying the filing is a result of the “counterproductive, job-killing, EPA-imposed Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) that requires an excessive amount of biofuel be blended into the nation’s fuel supply.”  He added while he is pleased PES is able to remain operational during this process and retain its workforce for now, “the mechanism for enforcing the RFS is the primary cause for this bankruptcy filing and it must be fixed. I’ve had extensive conversations with PES management, senior EPA officials, my Senate colleagues, and directly with President Trump in an effort to resolve this situation. I will remain engaged until we find an acceptable solution.”

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

BPC to Focus on Infrastructure – The Bipartisan Policy Center launched the BPC Infrastructure Lab and “3I” Series—Infrastructure Ideas and Innovations this morning. This new effort is aimed at providing policymakers with fact-based evidence that can shape strategies for restoring America’s infrastructure.  State and local governments across the country are struggling just to repair and maintain their infrastructure systems, let alone expand or upgrade these systems with the latest and greatest technologies. As such, the lab’s first event presents leading public-sector efforts to embed asset management concepts into municipal government practices. In the spotlight: the District of Columbia’s comprehensive asset inventory, which includes 96 percent of all assets owned, a tally of accrued deferred maintenance, and an action plan to improve the District’s infrastructure.

HVAC Expo Set – The International Air-Conditioning, Heating, Refrigerating Exposition (AHR Expo) opens today in Chicago.  The event started 86 years ago as a heating and ventilation show and is the largest HVAC event of the year for the industry.  The 2018 Show hosts more than 2,000 exhibitors and attracting crowds of 65,000 industry professionals from every state in America and 165 countries worldwide.  The Show provides a unique forum for the entire HVACR industry to come together and share new products, technologies, and ideas.  The AHR Expo is co-sponsored by ASHRAE and AHRI, and is held concurrently with ASHRAE’s Winter Conference.

WCEE to Look at 2018 Agenda – The Women’s Council on Energy and the Environment (WCEE) holds its  6th Annual WCEE Lunch & Learn Brainstorming Event tomorrow at Noon kicking off its Lunch & Learn planning, as well as deciding what topics to cover in 2018.

CSIS to Host Canada Energy Discussion – The CSIS Energy and National Security Program will host a presentation tomorrow at 9:30 a.m. featuring the National Energy Board’s (NEB) Canada’s Energy Future 2017: Energy Supply and Demand Projections to 2040. This report, part of NEB’s annual Energy Future series, features long-term projections of Canadian energy supply and demand.  The 2017 edition examines how recent energy developments, especially in climate policy, have affected Canada’s energy outlook. The study also includes additional scenarios focusing on long-term climate policy and technology trends. Similar in structure to the U.S. Energy Information Administration’s Annual Energy Outlook, the report is the only public, long-term Canadian energy outlook that includes all energy commodities in all provinces and territories.

Senate to Look at NE Storm Impacts – The Senate Energy Committee will convene an oversight hearing tomorrow to examine the performance of the electric power system in the Northeast and mid-Atlantic during recent winter weather events, including the bomb cyclone. Witnesses include FERC Chair Kevin McIntyre, Chairman, DOE Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability head Bruce Walker, , North American Electric Reliability Corporation Interim CEO Charles Berardesco, Allison Clement of Goodgrid, PJM CEO Andrew Ott and New England ISO head Gordon van Welie.

Heritage to Look at Solar Trade Case – Heritage will hold a forum on solar tariff issues on tomorrow at Noon.  The event will feature conservative experts like Heritage’s Tori Whiting and R Street’s Clark Parkard, LG’s John Taylor and ETAC’s Paul Nathanson. ETAC is a group of contractors, retailers and utilities that will be impacted by higher tariffs.

RFF, Stanford to Hosts Cal Climate Discussion – The Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment and Resources for the Future will host a forum tomorrow at 12:00 p.m. at the National Press Club, ton insights into California’s commitment to tackling climate change and protecting its natural environment.  Panelists will discuss the process for crafting and building support for the climate law and its impacts on industry as well as lessons to be drawn for similar efforts. The panel will feature Pacific Gas and Electric’s Kit Batten, RFF’s Dallas Burtraw and Stanford’s Michael Wara.

WCEE to Hold Planning Session – The Women’s Council on Energy and the Environment is holding its “Come Dream with Us!” Lunch & Learn planning session tomorrow at Noon.  WCEE uses the event to decide what topics to cover in 2018.

Pruitt, Snyder, Others Headline Washington Auto Show – The Washington Auto Show launches tomorrow and runs through February 4th.  The Washington Auto Show is the Public Policy Show, where the auto industry intersects with the government officials who write and enforce the laws and rules that affect the field. This coming year, one of the focuses of the show will be on connected and autonomous vehicle technology, and the ways pending legislation could impact its development.  Major speakers include EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt, Sen. Gary Peters, Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder, and many others, including representatives from the U.K., South Korea, Japan, China, and the U.A.E. Press Day is Thursday and will feature a sneak peek of the more than 600 cars on the floor of the consumer show. SAFE’s Joe Ryan will be on a SAE panel and autonomous vehicle expert Amitai Bin-nun on will present on policy day panel.

Thune to Hold Auto Innovation Policy Hearing – Speaking of the auto policy, on policy day Wednesday at the Walter Washington Convention Center, Sen. John Thune, chair of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, will convene a field hearing on automotive innovation and Federal policies.  The hearing will examine self-driving and other auto technologies as well as issues on the horizon for lawmakers and regulators. Days after the hearing, the convention center will open its doors for an industry-wide auto showcase event.  Witnesses include Florida Tech President Randy Avent, Zoox CEO Tim Kentley-Klay, Intel CEO Brian Krzanich, Mike Mansuetti of Bosch North America and Audi Mobility U.S. President Luke Schneider.

Trump to Head to World Economic Forum – The 48th annual World Economic Forum will be held Wednesday through Friday in Davos, Switzerland.  The Forum engages the foremost political, business and other leaders of society to shape global, regional and industry agendas.  Trump is likely to discuss his recent efforts to impact trade.

Senate Energy Heads to Washington Auto Show for Hearing – The Senate Energy Committee also holds a field hearing at the Washington Auto Show on Thursday at 10:00 a.m. in the West Salon Room of the Washington Convention Center.  The hearing will look at energy innovation in automotive technologies and examine the opportunities and challenges facing vehicle technologies, especially energy-relevant technologies.

Forum to Look at Future Mobility – At the 2018 Washington Auto Show, the Global Energy and Innovation Institute (Ei2) will host a lively discussion about electric transportation and the future, addressing such questions as: When will we reach the mass adoption “tipping point” for electric vehicles? How will electric + shared mobility impact community design (roads, charging, commuting)? What new business models will emerge for ownership and fueling?  Panelists include Lyft’s Corey Ershow, David Owens of Xcel Energy, Audi’s Brad Stertz, EVgo’s Marcy Bauer, Dominion’s William Murray and Kevin Miller of ChargePoint.

SEJ to Host Annual Journalists Enviro Guide Forum – On Friday at 3:00 p.m., the Society of Environmental Journalists, George Mason University and the Wilson Center host their annual forum and report: “The Journalists’ Guide to Energy and Environment,” which previews the top stories of 2018, with comments from a roundtable of leading journalists.  For the last five years, SEJ and the Wilson Center have hosted the only annual event in the nation’s capital featuring top journalists offering their predictions for the year ahead on environment and energy. Always streamed live and always standing room only, this event is essential for anyone working to meet the critical energy and environment challenges facing our nation and the world.  Panelists include AP’s Matt Daly, Nirmal Ghosh of the Straits Times, Bloomberg Environment’s Pat Rizzuto, Wellesley alum Val Volcovici of Reuters, E&E News’ Ariel Wittenberg and several others. Marketplace’s Scott Tong moderates.

IN THE FUTURE

Senate Energy to Hold Nominee, Vote Hearing – The Senate Energy Committee will hold a business meeting next Tuesday to consider the nominations of Melissa Burnison to be an Assistant Secretary of Energy (Congressional and Intergovernmental Affairs), Susan Combs to be an Assistant Secretary of the Interior, Ryan Douglas Nelson to be Solicitor of the Department of the Interior, Anne Marie White to be an Assistant Secretary of Energy (Environmental Management). Following the vote, it will hold an oversight hearing to examine the role of the Geological Survey and the Forest Service in preparing for and responding to natural hazard events, as well as the current status of mapping and monitoring systems.

WRI to Discuss Energy Access, Policy Innovation – Next Tuesday at 12:30 p.m., the World Resources Institute will host leading experts from around the world for a discussion on the political economy of energy access and innovative policy solutions.  Together, they will profile innovative reforms that policymakers around the world can adopt to accelerate progress on achieving Sustainable Development Goal 7.

State of the Union – President Trump addresses Congress at 9:00 p.m. on Tuesday January 30th.

Pruitt to Head to Senate Environment – The Senate Environment and Public Works Committee said EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt will appear before the Committee on Jan. 31st making his first return to the panel nearly a year after his confirmation.

FERC Commissioner Headlines Power Conference – The 31st annual Power and Gas M&A Symposium will be held in New York at the Grand Hyatt Midtown on January 31st and February 1st. The event is an executive conference from S&P Global Market Intelligence that brings utilities, power generators, renewables, and Wall Street together to set the tone for strategic decisions for the year.  FERC Commissioner Neil Chatterjee, my Bracewell colleague Scott Segal and EEI Head Tom Kuhn will all speak, among others.

Yergin to Discuss 2018 Outlook – On Wednesday, January 31st at 9:00 a.m., IHS Markit hosts a webinar conversation with Dr. Daniel Yergin, IHS Markit Vice Chairman, to discuss the critical issues facing the energy industry in 2018.  While the mood in the industry is upbeat, the energy industry is in the midst of a major transformation driven by geopolitical, economic and environmental forces.  In this webinar, Yergin will preview some of the major themes that will be discussed at our CERAWeek 2018.

Forum to Look at Climate Path Forward – The Goethe-Institut of Washington and the Sustainability Collaborative of The George Washington University will host an evening of reflections on Wednesday January 31st focused on the climate meetings in Paris and Bonn, the next steps forward, and the role of college students in taking those steps.

Hudson Forum to Look at HFC Issues – The Hudson Institute will hold a forum on February 5th to discuss the current status of HFC issues and the Kigali Treaty.

NASEO 2018 Energy Policy Outlook Conference Set – On February 6-9th at The Fairmont in Washington, DC, the National Association of State Energy Officials (NASEO) will hold its 2018 Energy Policy Outlook conference.  This conference presents the work of NASEO’s members, the 56 governor designated State and Territory Energy Offices. The conference will feature a wide array of federal and private sector partners that state-level energy offices work with on a day-to-day basis, such as Federal and congressional offices; state and local planners, developers, and regulators working in energy, housing, transportation, climate, and resilience; grid operators and transmission organizations; and businesses and investors interested in clean energy economic development.  Our friends Lisa Jacobson of the Business Council for Sustainable Energy and Schneider Electric’s Anna Pavlova will be among the presenters.

BCSE to Release Annual Sustainability Report – In early February, the Business Council for Sustainable Energy and Bloomberg New Energy Finance will release their annual Sustainable Energy in America Factbook.  More on this soon…

National Ethanol Conference Set – The Renewable Fuels Association holds its 23rd annual National Ethanol Conference on February 12-14 in San Antonio.  Former Presidential Advisor Mary Matalin and veteran Democratic Political Strategist Donna Brazile are scheduled to speak together at the event on Washington Politics.

EMA To Hold Roundtable – The Emissions Marketing Association will hold roundtable Thursday, February 22nd in Juno Beach, Florida at the offices of NextEra Energy.  The event will include presentations, Q&A, and networking opportunities to allow for dialogue among the attendees.

CERAWEEK Set for Houston CERAWEEK’s 2018 conference will be held in Houston from March 5-9th at the Hilton Americas.  Speakers this year include OPEC SG Mohammad Barkindo, GM’s Mary Berra, BP’s Bob Dudley, IAE’s Fatih Birol, FERC Commissioner Robert Powelson, Alaska Sen. Dan Sullivan, Exelon’s Chris Crane, Energy Transfer’s Kelsey Warren, Paul Spencer of the Clean Energy Collective, Sunnova’s John Berger, and many, many more.

ACORE Renewable Policy Forum Set for Cap Hill – The annual 2018 ACORE Renewable Energy Policy Forum will be held on Capitol Hill on March 14th.  The ACORE National Renewable Energy Policy Forum is the only pan-technology renewable energy policy summit to address federal and state policy. This signature conference brings together industry leaders and policymakers to discuss energy and tax policy, debate pressing issues in the changing electricity marketplace, and identify priorities for Congress, the states, and relevant agencies.

Energy Update: Week of 12/18

Friends,

HAPPY HOLIDAYS…. Not quite there yet, but getting close!!!  We won’t have a regular update next week but will keep you updated of actions if necessary.  Will likely return for Tuesday January 2nd with our first update of 2018…  Can you believe 2018 already?

With taxes right at the finish line, we are happy to discuss energy aspects.  Looks like the renewable tax provisions (PTC, BEAT, AMT) all survived pretty well, as did oil-related ANWR and SPR provisions.  Less fortunate were the “orphan” tax credits for things like small wind, fuel cells and geothermal, who were in the House bill but not included in the final package.  Our super savvy, yet tax nerdy colleague Liam Donovan is right in the action and is happy to discuss details either on or off record.  Final votes expected either tomorrow or Wednesday.  We also continue to focus on additional government funding with another deadline looming Friday.

With OMB completing its work on the ANPR for the Clean Power Plan Replacement rule late last week, we expect it may be released as soon as tomorrow.  We are monitoring the action and both Scott Segal and Jeff Holmstead are familiar with what to expect and are ready to assist. Also, we are still following the on-going RFS discussions going on between Corn-state and refiner-state Senators and Administration.

Even though the schedule is light this week, there are a couple of interesting events, including an EESI forum tomorrow on COP23 outcomes featuring BCSE head Lisa Jacobson.  And later today at 3:30 p.m., CSIS hosts the International Energy Agency for the US launch of the IEA’s Coal 2017: Analysis and Forecasts to 2022.  Senate Environment looks at freight movement in a hearing on Wednesday and Thursday, the Georgia PSC votes on whether to complete two new nuclear reactors at Plant Vogtle.

The update wishes well to our friend Devin Henry, who has finally had enough of me emailing him all the time and is leaving The Hill to return to his home state of Minnesota.  Dev, I know Golden Gophers’ hockey is in-season, but the temp in Shakopee, MN will be 2⁰/-10⁰ this weekend???

Finally, Congrats to our great Bracewell colleague Kevin Ewing – who many of you know as one of the smartest oil/gas/environment lawyers in DC – for being named an Environmental Law 360 MVP. Law360’s MVPs are attorneys who have distinguished themselves from their peers over the past year through high-stakes litigation, record-breaking deals and complex global matters.

Boy, it has been an interesting year hasn’t it!!!  Call with questions.  Best,

Frank Maisano

(202) 828-5864

  1. (202) 997-5932

THE LOBBY SHOP

A new episode of The Lobby Shop features new Bracewell DC partner Angela Styles and a discussion of the world of government contracts.  You can get it live on iTunes, SoundCloud, and Google Play Music.  Styles, who recently joined Bracewell from Crowell Moring, is a prominent DC government contracts attorney and will discuss the world of federal contracts and the complex legal work behind it.

FRANKLY SPOKEN

“One of the things that I want people to understand is that North Carolina is good for solar, but that solar is also very good for North Carolina.”

John Morrison of NC-based Strata Solar in the Duke University GVC Center report on NC solar impacts. 

 

IN THE NEWS

MEMO: White House Prepping for Tariffs – Supporters of tariffs on solar clearly leaked an White House memo on Friday as reported by our friend Emily Holden in POLITICO saying the administration appears to be preparing its messaging ahead of setting punitive tariffs on imported solar equipment. The tariffs would increase the cost of solar power in the US and could slow expansion of solar and eliminate installation/construction jobs.  We continue to follow, but most utilities, contractors, retailers and conservative groups have urged President Trump to oppose tariffs.

Duke Study Highlight NC Solar Impact – Speaking of solar tariff impacts and what is at risk in the industry, the Duke Global Value Chains Center has released a report detailing the solar “value chain” in North Carolina and the Potential impacts to investors, solar developers, construction contractors and solar panel and component manufacturers comprising more than 450 companies. Together, these companies support some 4,300 jobs and represent a $2 billion investment. In addition to jobs, solar industry-related businesses provide income for landowners and tax revenue for N.C. towns.  The report conducts an assessment of three major issues related to North Carolina’s utility-scale photovoltaic (PV) solar investments: 1) The state of the solar market: the industry, marketplace and technology trends affecting the cost and feasibility of additional investments in utility-scale solar in the world generally and in the United States and North Carolina in particular; 2) The amount of utility-scale solar resources in North Carolina relative to other places in the United States and the world; and 3) The economic footprint of utility-scale solar in North Carolina.

Mayors Support Solar – More than 70 mayors from 25 states signed a letter in support of solar energy. The full text of the letter is available here, and we have included an article about the letter in Solar Industry. An excerpt from the letter: “Expanding solar power helps residents and businesses benefit from lower energy costs while providing more local control of energy and improving our communities’ resilience.”

GTM Report Shows Solar Slippage – Speaking of more solar, GTM Research’s latest U.S. Solar Market Insight Report says 2,031 megawatts of PV were installed in the U.S. in Q3 2017. That’s the nation’s lowest quarterly total since Q3 2015.  Two of the three market segments tracked by GTM Research were down on the quarter and on the year; however, the non-residential segment was the lone standout. The U.S. installed 481 megawatts of non-residential PV in the third quarter, representing growth of 22% year-over-year. However, looming over the outlook for U.S. solar are two macro-level risks: Corporate tax reform could reduce tax equity demand and the final outcome of a Section 201 trade dispute could impact cost and demand.

DOE to Help Fund Offshore Wind – The DOE announced $18.5 million in competitive funding for a research and development consortium meant to bring down the cost of offshore wind power. The private-public partnership will explore wind plant technology advancement, resource and physical site characterization, installation, operations and maintenance, and supply chain technology solutions. Offshore wind companies will contribute funds to the project, and DOE labs will also get $2 million to support the consortium.

Platts Podcast Looks at Methane – On this week’s Platts’ podcast, Brian Schied talks with IPAA’s Dan Naatz about the impact of methane rules on US drillers; API’s Erik Milito about a new voluntary industry effort to combat methane emissions, and EDF’s Matt Watson about why API’s effort will not be enough to address the issue.

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

Forum to Look at Resource Management – The World Resources Institute hosts a panel today at Noon to look at conflicts and natural resource management.  WRI, Conservation International and other environmental organizations have adopted distinct approaches to environmental peacebuilding in response to local-level dynamics. Through a discussion of these efforts, the links between peace, conflict and the environment are directly manifest, offering support for organizational efforts to integrate conflict-sensitive and peacebuilding perspectives across conservation activities in all contexts.

CSIS to Host World Coal Report – Today at 3:30 p.m., CSIS will host the launch of the IEA’s new report analyzing coal’s recent trends and forecasting its demand, supply, and trade through 2022.  Coal remains world’s dominant fuel. Under pressure from decarbonization, cheaper alternatives, and geopolitical shifts in demand, coal continues to be one of the most pressing questions in energy. Peter Fraser, Head of Division for Gas, Coal, and Power Markets at the International Energy Agency, will present the IEA’s report.

Forum to Look at Bonn Climate Meeting Results – The Environmental and Energy Study Institute (EESI) holds a briefing tomorrow at 1:00 p.m. in 562 Dirksen looking at the takeaways from the latest global climate talks, which concluded in Bonn, Germany, on November 18th. The COP23 focused on the implementation of the Paris Climate Agreement, which is slated to start in 2020. Speakers for this forum are Fiji Ambassador H.E. Solo Mara, German First Secretary for Climate Anton Hufnagl, Sam Ricketts of Governor Jay Inslee’s DC Office and BCSE President Lisa Jacobson.

Senate Environment to Look at Freight Movement – The Senate Environment Committee panel on Transportation & Infrastructure will hold a hearing Wednesday at 10:30 a.m. on freight movement.  The hearing will assess where we are now and where we need to go.

DOE STEM Fair Is Set – The Department of Energy’s 4th annual Interagency STEM Volunteer Fair will be held on Wednesday at 11:00 a.m.  The event will feature STEM organizations, government agencies, and schools in the D.C., Maryland, and Virginia area that need help as well as upcoming needs for volunteers, events, and areas of focus.  The volunteer fair is geared towards federal employees, but others are welcome to attend this public event. The event is located in the rear of the Department of Energy’s cafeteria, which is open to the general public and accepts cash and credit. You will need to check in at the Department of Energy Main Lobby and show valid ID before advancing through security.

IN THE FUTURE

API’s Annual State of Energy Address – On January 9th, API holds its annual State of Energy Address.

Hopper, Honorable to Headline WCEE Event – The Women’s Council on Energy and the Environment (WCEE) will hold a reception at Dentons on Tuesday January 9th at 6:00 p.m. to discuss lessons learned from political appointees.  The event features a lively discussion about the political appointment process in the energy and environmental fields and will feature a panel of former state and federal political appointees about how they started down the path towards political appointment and navigated the process.  Panelists will share their experiences and candid views about the challenges and rewards of a political appointment, as well as lessons they have learned while in these highly visible roles.  Speakers include SEIA’s Abby Hopper, former director of Interior’s Bureau of Ocean Energy Management; former FERC Commissioner Collette Honorable and Connecticut Consumer Counsel Elin Katz, who is President of the National Association of State Utility Advocates.

75th Annual Global Globes – Can’t wait for Seth Myers to host this one from January 7th from Hollywood.

Detroit Auto Show Launches – The North American International Auto Show runs from January 13th to 28th and serves as the global stage for companies to debut brand-defining vehicles and industry-shaping announcements.  Press Days start on January 14th where the world’s automotive and mobility leaders gather for three days of worldwide product and technology debuts.  Last January, the 2017 NAIAS featured 71 vehicle introductions, including 46 worldwide debuts. News coming out of NAIAS is heard across the globe as more than 5,100 journalists from 61 different countries annually attend to cover the latest and greatest happenings our industry has to offer.

World Energy Outlook Set For Launch – On January 16th at 1:30 p.m., the CSIS Energy & National Security Program will host a forum and the U.S. launch of the International Energy Agency’s World Energy Outlook 2017. Fatih Birol, Executive Director of the IEA, will present the findings from the report.

WCEE to Look at 2018 Agenda – The Women’s Council on Energy and the Environment (WCEE) holds its  6th Annual WCEE Lunch & Learn Brainstorming Event on Tuesday January 23rd at Noon kicking off its Lunch & Learn planning, as well as deciding what topics to cover in 2018.

Pruitt, Snyder, Others Headline Washington Auto Show – The Washington Auto Show launches on January 23rd and runs through February 4th.  The Washington Auto Show is the Public Policy Show, where the auto industry intersects with the government officials who write and enforce the laws and rules that affect the field. This coming year, one of the focuses of the show will be on connected and autonomous vehicle technology, and the ways pending legislation could impact its development.  Major speakers include EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt, Sen. Gary Peters, Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder, and many others, including representatives from the U.K., South Korea, Japan, China, and the U.A.E. Press Day is January 25th and will feature a sneak peek of the more than 600 cars on the floor of the consumer show.

Pruitt to Head to Senate Environment – The Senate Environment and Public Works Committee said EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt will appear before the Committee on Jan. 31st making his first return to the panel nearly a year after his confirmation.

Energy Update: Week of 12/11

Friends,

It is Hanukkah week which begins on tomorrow night at sunset and ends next Wednesday.  Hanukkah is a Jewish Festival of Lights is celebrated for eight days and nights.  It commemorates the rededication of the Holy Temple in Jerusalem at the time of the Maccabean Revolt against the Seleucid Empire.

An info-packed “In the News” section this week after last week’s busy-ness.  It includes some reaction to the solar trade hearing, more on the Cruz-White House RFS meeting, a new view from EPA on the New Source review program, and finally an extension for 30 days (requested by new FERC Chair Kevin McIntyre) for FERC to consider the DOE resiliency proposal aimed at supporting coal-fired and nuclear power plants.

The big political news this week is the Alabama Senate race and the tax reform conference committee, which will meet publicly for the first time on Wednesday.  While tax negotiations continue behind the scenes, Congress is also going full bore on a spending deal to avoid a government shutdown before Christmas.

We still have a big week in the Energy space (hopefully our last before gliding into the holidays).  Tomorrow, the White House rolls out what we hear will be “the most aggressive” 5-year offshore drilling plan ever.  While we all look for the HUGE tweet, we remind that will can answer many of your questions about the impacts and possibilities.

Also tomorrow, House Energy panels hosts automakers and auto dealers to discuss fuel standard and CAFE’s relook.  Senate Energy looks at FERC/Interior permitting and we will see committee votes on EIA’s Linda Capuano, Interior assistant secretary Tim Petty and NOAA’s Barry Myers (Wed in Senate Commerce).

Also Wednesday, the House Energy Subcommittee looks at NAFTA with our friends’ Karen Harbert of the Chamber Global Energy Institute and APFM’s Chet Thompson among those testifying, and Senate Environment hosts NRC Commissions to discuss nuclear.

Speaking of NAFTA and energy, National Journal hosts a webinar on it Thursday and Friday at 10:00 a.m., the Bipartisan Policy Center will host FERC Chairman Neil Chatterjee for a sit down with BPC President Jason Grumet.

And then TAKE THE REST OF FRIDAY OFF AND GO SEE THE NEW STAR WARS MOVIE!!!!!

Finally, this morning, there are two interesting New York Times pieces worth reading: one is an internal look at Trump’s mindset and interactions from Maggie Haberman and Peter Baker which I found fascinating and informative; and the second looks at EPA’s enforcement and unfortunately picks up a usual theme backed by misleading stats.  In the second case, there is clearly a different (and just as reasonable) approach in this EPA which shouldn’t be a surprise to advocates or reporters. We are happy to discuss.

And in case you weren’t able to get there this morning at the Newseum, our friend and Axios Energy Reporter Amy Harder led a conversation on energy policies and priorities under President Trump with FERC’s Neil Chatterjee, Rep Paul Tonko and Heritage’s Nick Loris.  Check out the details…

Call with questions.  Best,

Frank Maisano

(202) 828-5864

  1. (202) 997-5932

THE LOBBY SHOP

The new episode of The Lobby Shop is live on iTunes, SoundCloud, and Google Play Music.  This week’s episode features Special Agent Tom O’Connor, President of the FBI Agents Association.  Tom discusses developments within the Bureau and FBIAA after Director Chris Wray’s nomination, how FBIAA is able to support active, retired, and deceased Special Agents and their families, and what issues are foremost in the minds of FBI personnel lately.  Since it is tax legislation season, we also have a bonus episode featuring PRG’s resident tax expert Liam Donovan on the latest in tax reform and what’s up next for the Conference Committee, final vote, and beyond. Tune in for a look behind the scenes and lots of seasonal analogies.

FRANKLY SPOKEN

“It makes no sense to effectively tax tens of thousands of good-paying U.S. jobs out of existence, solely to benefit the commercially unskilled Chinese and German owners of Suniva and SolarWorld, who will cut and run.”

Michael O’Sullivan, senior vice president of development at NextEra Energy.

IN THE NEWS

EPA Rolls Out Redefined NSR Focus in Memo – The EPA issued a memo on Friday saying the agency won’t “second guess” the analyses that companies have to conduct before construction projects on their plants to determine whether they might emit more pollutants such as nitrogen oxides and particulate matter. The well-constructed memo is the first step in a major initiative revise the New Source Review program, which governs permits for new or reconstructed plants’ emissions under the Clean Air Act.  The Supreme Court this morning declined to hear the major case involving EPA’s enforcement of the NSR program.  My Colleague Jeff Holmstead, a former EPA Air Office head is happy to discuss the details.

WSJ Blasts Ethanol – The Wall Street Journal Ed Board blasted the “hostage taking” over ethanol policy in an editorial last Thursday.  The piece discusses the back-and-forth over ethanol policy that first involved Corn State Senators blocking Trump EPA nominees, then oil state Senators pushing back by blocking Iowa-favored Ag nominees, including one that would clear a path for Sen. Grassley’s grandson to become Iowa’s Secretary of Agriculture.  The Journal says the “Senate hostage-taking is unfortunate, not least because it undermines the ability of the executive branch to govern. But this is what happens when politicians decide to favor certain industries like ethanol at the expense of others. The political and economic damage will grow as long as this policy continues.” It also adds that America’s independent refiners and manufacturers deserve at least as much consideration as the Trump Administration has given ethanol interests. WSJ: “The RINs regime has imperiled the jobs of many blue-collar union voters who swung for Mr. Trump in 2016.”

AEI Report Hits RFS – The American Enterprise Institute has a new report looking at policymaking lessons from the RFS, saying the RFS would be better as a rate standard than a volume standard.  AEI also adds that EPA should issue multi-year rules rather than annual rules in order to improve certainty and that uncertainty should be explicitly incorporated into future rulemakings.

EPA to Hold Additional CPP Hearings – EPA said it would hold additional public hearings on the repeal the Clean Power Plan.  The hearing will be in San Francisco, Gillette, WY and Kansas City. The hearing were added due to the “overwhelming response” to the recent hearing in Charleston.  Dates and locations of the meetings will be announced in the coming weeks.

Companies Roll Out Landmark Methane Effort – API rolled out a landmark partnership to accelerate improvements to environmental performance in operations across the country. Focused initially on reducing methane and volatile organic compound (VOC) emissions, the Environmental Partnership includes 26 natural gas and oil producers, who produce a significant portion of American energy resources. Participating companies will begin implementing the voluntary program starting January 1, 2018.  Collectively, at the time of launch, the participating companies represent operations in every major U.S. natural gas and oil basin. The Environmental Partnership is a historic agreement bringing together American natural gas and oil companies of all sizes to take action, learn and collaborate in an effort to further improve our environmental performance.

What Methane Program Will Address – The three Environmental Performance Programs include:

  1. Leak Program for Natural Gas and Oil Production Sources: Participants will implement monitoring and timely repair of fugitive emissions at selected sites utilizing detection methods and technologies such as Method 21 or Optical Gas Imaging cameras.
  2. Program to Replace, Remove or Retrofit High-Bleed Pneumatic Controllers: Participants will replace, remove or retrofit high-bleed pneumatic controllers with low-or zero-emitting devices.
  3. Program for Manual Liquids Unloading for Natural Gas Production Sources: Participants will minimize emissions associated with the removal of liquids that, as a well ages, can build up and restrict natural gas flow.

Who is in? – Participants at launch include: Anadarko, Apache, BHP, BP, Chesapeake Energy, Cabot Oil & Gas, Chevron, Cimarex Energy, ConocoPhillips, CrownQuest, Devon Energy, Encana, EOG Resources, Exxon Mobil subsidiary XTO Energy, Hess, Marathon Oil, Murphy Oil, Newfield, Noble Energy, Occidental Petroleum, Pioneer Natural Resources, Shell, Southwestern Energy, Statoil, TOTAL and Western Gas Partners.  To view more information about the program and companies’ commitments, visit www.TheEnvironmentalPartnership.org.

SAFE Looks at Expand EV Markets – Securing America’s Future Energy released its quarterly update to the Energy Security Fact Pack, a data-driven overview of the latest trends in energy security. The Fact Pack includes charts on domestic and global oil production and consumption patterns, oil market dynamics and prices, and up-to-date information on fuel efficiency and advanced fuel vehicles.  The latest Fact Pack highlights developments in the U.S. electric vehicle (EV) market, which is poised to see significant growth in the coming years as a result of new models, lower battery costs, increased range, and growing consumer awareness. Demand for EVs has continued to rise in 2017, setting new records for purchases and vehicle model availability. Although six models currently account for nearly two-thirds of sales, consumers have a fuller range of choices with 37 models available, thanks to marked declines in battery technology costs and enhanced range.  See the Charts.

SAFE, Mayors Support of Federal EV Tax Credit – Speaking of SAFE, it has worked in collaboration with the City of Atlanta to recruit 22 mayors from cities across the country to sign a joint letter in support of the federal electric vehicle (EV) tax credit. The mayors’ letter was sent to the appointed members of the conference committee following recent passage of the House and Senate tax reform legislation. It called for the preservation of the Section 30D Federal Plug-In Electric Drive Vehicle Tax Credit, which offers a $7,500 discount on purchase of a new electric vehicle.  SAFE’s Energy Security Leadership Council (ESLC), a coalition of CEOs and retired military leaders concerned with threats to America’s economic and national security through our continued oil dependence, have also express strong support of the EV tax credit citing it as a cornerstone to energy security policy.

Solar Growth Continues…. – The EIA said its latest monthly report shows that U.S. PV output in the first nine months of 2017 grew 47% over the same period in 2016, with market growth across the nation. PV represented 1.9% of total generation during this period. Every state in the U.S. increased its output from solar, from South Dakota, the only remaining state that did not generate more than 1,000 megawatt-hours (MWh) or one gigawatt-hour (GWh) in the nine month period, to perennial PV giant California.  California, with its 24.8 M mw, more than laps the field over next place Arizona, with 4.6M. However, as PV output growth across the U.S. accelerates, the Golden State’s share of PV generation, shrank from 48% in 2016 to 43% in 2017. Rounding out the top 10 generators are North Carolina, Nevada, New Jersey, Texas, Massachusetts, Georgia, Utah and Colorado. Of those top 10 states, Georgia had the highest year to year percentage growth, increasing 186% from 2016 to 2017, followed by Texas with 165% and Utah with 123%. Other states that made impressive percentage and quantity growth gains in the same time period are Minnesota, Idaho, Virginia, Alabama, South Carolina and Mississippi.

…But Trade Case Creates Worry – Folks are worried though about solar in the face of new potential tariffs.  More than 60 witnesses testified in a cramped conference room at USTR during a final eight-hour public hearing on the Section 201 trade case.  A new GTM Research report finds that the average fixed-tilt utility-scale solar price has since edged back above of DOE’s price target, amid market uncertainty surrounding the Section 201 solar trade case. The recent price increase stems from a rush to procure “tariff-free” solar panels over the summer with the potential for new tariffs looming. The National Electrical Contractors told the Hill that thousands of high-tech, high-skilled, and good-paying electrical contractors’ jobs are at risk.

Third Way Releases CCS Map – Third Way has a new map and database that is the most comprehensive tracking site for projects working to capture carbon emissions. Third Way says there are 100 carbon capture projects globally, with 51 in the United States. These projects can capture, store, and utilize emissions from power and bioenergy plants, industrial facilities, and even directly from the air. Some are innovative new concepts being developed by startups, and others have been operating at commercial scale for decades. One thing they have in common: we’ll likely need this full suite of technologies to meet international and domestic climate goals.

ACCF Paper Focuses on Regs – The American Council for Capital Formation released a paper by former OIRA head John Graham outlining 10 ideas for improving the regulatory process. It’s the product of a November 2016 roundtable with Sens. Mike Rounds, Angus King, James Lankford and others. Graham, who now heads Indiana University’s School of Public and Environmental Affairs, said the themes of this paper are increasing transparency at regulatory agencies, enhancing public, congressional and judicial oversight of agencies, stimulating retrospective review of old regulations, and ensuring evidential support for new regulations.

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

Paris Forum to Focus on Anniversary – French President Macron will host the One Planet Summit tomorrow in Paris, on the two-year anniversary of the Paris Agreement. The Summit will focus specifically on climate finance. Heads of State will be invited to attend this meeting.

Nuclear Weapons Triad Forum Set – The Advanced Nuclear Weapons Alliance Deterrence Center (ANWA DC) will host the Inaugural morning forum on Capitol Hill tomorrow.  The event will feature key Members of Congress representing nuclear triad communities at Air Force and Naval bases, and NNSA sites, The group will also outline a series of 11 more 2018 forums and roundtables with key government officials, industry leaders and suppliers, and academic experts on the triad issues of the day, Each of these events will tackle the nuclear triad’s emerging issues and challenges, while sharing the successes, in the ongoing nuclear weapons enterprise modernization.

House Panels to Look at Fuel Standards, GHGs – The House Energy & Commerce panels on Environment and on Digital Commerce and Consumer Protection will hold a joint hearing tomorrow at 10:00 a.m. to discuss updates on the Corporate Average Fuel Economy Program (CAFE) and GHG emissions standards for motor vehicles.  Witnesses include our friend and Montgomery, AL Honda/Acura dealer Forrest McConnell representing the National Automotive Dealers Assn.  Others include AAM’s Mitch Bainwol, Global Automakers John Bozzella and Dave Cooke of the Union of Concerned Scientists.

Senate Energy to Look FERC, Interior Permitting; Vote on Nominees – The Senate Energy Committee will hold a hearing tomorrow at 10:00 a.m. to examine the infrastructure permitting processes at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and Department of the Interior.  Testifying will be Interior’s Jim Cason, FERC’s Terry Turpin and Janet Pfleegar of the Federal Permitting Improvement Steering Council, along with several others.  The Committee will also vote on nominations Linda Capuano to head the DOE’s Energy Information Administration and Tim Petty to be assistant secretary of the Interior Department before the hearing.

Senate Foreign Relations to Focus on European Security – The Senate Foreign Relations Committee’s Subcommittee on Europe and Regional Security Cooperation will hold a hearing tomorrow at 10:00 a.m. on European energy security focused on U.S. Interests and coercive Russian diplomacy.  Witnesses include the State Department’s Assistant Secretary of Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs Wess Mitchell and State’s Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Bureau of Energy Resource John McCarrick.

WH Infrastructure Aide Headlines Forum – The Hudson Institute will host an event tomorrow at Noon on the future of U.S. public transit systems keynoted by D.J. Gribbin, Special Assistant to the President for Infrastructure Policy. Following Gribbin’s remarks, David Horner will moderate a panel discussion featuring Maryland Secretary of Transportation Pete K. Rahn, Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority General Manager and CEO Paul J. Wiedefeld, and Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transit Authority CEO Phillip A. Washington.

Resources Looks at Dependence on Foreign Metals, Minerals – The House Resources panel on Energy and Mineral Resources will hold an oversight hearing tomorrow at 2:00 p.m. on the consequences of relying on other countries for a growing number of metals and minerals.  Witnesses include DoD’s Ronnie Favors, USGS’s Murray Hitzman, RAND’s Richard Silberglitt, NMA’s Katie Sweeney and Havasupai Tribe Council member Carletta Tilousi.

Webinar to Look at Digital Grid – Utility Dive will hold a webinar tomorrow at 2:00 p.m. on discussion on how digital agility can help utilities improve operational excellence and deliver superior customer engagement and experience.  Speakers will include experts from MIT, PG&E and Siemens Digital Grid.  Key topics covered in the webinar will include adopting new grid modernization strategies, building new revenue streams, extreme weather and grid resilience among other issues.

Energy Storage Forum Set –The 3rd annual U.S. Energy Storage Summit will be held in San Francisco tomorrow and Wednesday at the Hilton Union Square.  The forum will bring together utilities, financiers, regulators, technology innovators, and storage practitioners for two full days of data-intensive presentations, analyst-led panel sessions with industry leaders, and extensive, high-level networking.  Speakers will Include APRA-E’s Susan Babinec, Peter Klauer of Cal ISO, Cal PUC Commissioner Carla Peterman, ESA CEO (and former MD PSC Chair) Kelly Speakes-Backman and our friends Shayle Kann of GTM Research, Stephen Lacey and Justin Gerdes of Greentech Media.

Forum Set to Look at NatGas – Tomorrow and Wednesday, the Energy Institute at Colorado State University (CSU) and Gas Technology Institute (GTI) will be co-hosting the CH4 Connections conference at CSU’s campus in Fort Collins. This conference, now in its fourth year, will focus on methane emissions quantification, mitigation, and capture for the natural gas industry, and will include a tour of the Methane Emissions Test and Evaluation Center (METEC) that will showcase the solutions under development and in field testing at the center.

House Energy Panel Looks at NAFTA, Energy – The House Energy & Commerce Subcommittee on Energy will hold a hearing on Wednesday at 10:15 a.m. in 2322 Rayburn on the impacts and future of North American energy trade and NAFTA.  Our friends Chamber Global Energy Institute head Karen Harbert and refiners Assn Head Chet Thompson will be among those testifying.  RFF’s Alan Krupnick and ABB’s Allen Burchett (repping NAM) will also join the panel.

Senate Environment Hosts NRC Commissioners – The Senate Environment Committee will hold a hearing on Wednesday at 10:00 a.m. to discuss oversight of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.  NRC Chairwoman Kristine Svinicki, Commissioner Jeff Baran and Commissioner Stephen Burns will testify.

Senate Commerce to Vote on NOAA Head – The Senate Commerce Committee is scheduled to vote Wednesday at 10:00 a.m. to approve President Trump’s choice of AccuWeather CEO Barry Myers to head the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

RFF Seminar to Look at CPP – Resources for the Future (RFF) will hold a seminar on Wednesday at 12:30 p.m. to explore the implications of social cost of carbon revisions for the Clean Power Plan itself and for potential future energy and climate policies.  RFF’s Alan Krupnick will reflect on the decision’s treatment of health benefits, and Harvard University’s Kathy Fallon Lambert will present new research on how repealing the Clean Power Plan would impact public health. RFF’s Dallas Burtraw will conclude the seminar with a discussion of how a revised “inside the fence line” approach to Clean Power Plan compliance might work.

House Science to Look at Solar Programs Focus – The House Science Committee is holding a hearing on Wednesday at 2:00 p.m. on advancing solar energy technology.  The hearing will look at research and deployment, while examining DOE’s efforts to shift solar energy funding toward early-stage research.  Witnesses include DOE’s EERE head Dan Simmons, NREL’s Martin Keller, Stanford University’s Steve Eglash and Kenny Stein of the Institute for Energy Research.

Energy Stakeholder Breakfast Set – The Advanced Energy Stakeholder Series continues on Thursday morning with an event supported by stakeholder member organizations across New York, Chicago, Denver, Washington D.C. and Boston.  The breakfast will focus on energy, mobility & transportation and will include Rachel Healy of the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority, Jigar Shah, PEPCO’s Robert Stewart, Marissa Gillett of the Maryland Public Service Commission and David Schatz of ChargePoint.

NJ to Host NAFTA WebinarNational Journal will host a webinar on Thursday at 11:00 a.m. to look at renegotiating the North American Free Trade Agreement.  In this webinar, speakers will examine NAFTA’s history, development, and future, and address the major players involved, each side’s key demands, the timeline, potential outcomes and the impact of President Trump’s rhetoric on the process.

Forum to Look at US-Mexico NatGas – The Latin American Dialogue hosts a panel discussion on Friday at 9:00 a.m. aimed at understanding the role of LNG for US energy exports and commercial ties in Latin America, as well as the US-Mexico energy relationship. As global energy trade grows and the United States looks to expand oil and gas exports, Latin American countries provide significant commercial opportunities for exporters and investors alike. It remains imperative that Latin American countries and the United States strive to find mutually beneficial opportunities in order to boost energy ties and expand energy cooperation.  Speakers include State’s Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Bureau of Energy Resources John McCarrick, Sempra’s Mark Nelson, Leslie Palti-Guzman of the Rapidan Group and several others.

BPC to Host FERC Chair – On Friday at 10:00 a.m., the Bipartisan Policy Center will host FERC Chairman Neil Chatterjee for a sit down with BPC President Jason Grumet to discuss the proposed Grid Resiliency Pricing Rule. This proposal, drafted by the Department of Energy, calls for an expedited rulemaking to support generators that provide specific reliability and resiliency services. The proposal calls on FERC to take action on the rulemaking by today.

NatGas Roundtable Panel to Discuss Energy Security – On Friday at 3:30 p.m. at the Mexican Cultural Institute, the Embassy of Mexico and the Natural Gas Roundtable of Washington will hold a panel session on natural gas and North American energy security. A Holiday Reception will follow at 4:30 p.m.

The Last Jedi Hits Theaters – MIDNIGHT, FRIDAY, DECEMBER 15th

IN THE FUTURE

CSIS to Host World Coal Report – On December 18th at 3:30 p.m., CSIS will host the launch of the IEA’s new report analyzing coal’s recent trends and forecasting its demand, supply, and trade through 2022.  Coal remains world’s dominant fuel. Under pressure from decarbonization, cheaper alternatives, and geopolitical shifts in demand, coal continues to be one of the most pressing questions in energy. Peter Fraser, Head of Division for Gas, Coal, and Power Markets at the International Energy Agency, will present the IEA’s report.

API’s Annual State of Energy Address – On January 9th, API holds its annual State of Energy Address.

Hopper, Honorable to Headline WCEE Event – The Women’s Council on Energy and the Environment (WCEE) will hold a reception at Dentons on Tuesday January 9th at 6:00 p.m. to discuss lessons learned from political appointees.  The event features a lively discussion about the political appointment process in the energy and environmental fields and will feature a panel of former state and federal political appointees about how they started down the path towards political appointment and navigated the process.  Panelists will share their experiences and candid views about the challenges and rewards of a political appointment, as well as lessons they have learned while in these highly visible roles.  Speakers include SEIA’s Abby Hopper, former director of Interior’s Bureau of Ocean Energy Management; former FERC Commissioner Collette Honorable and Connecticut Consumer Counsel Elin Katz, who is President of the National Association of State Utility Advocates.

75th Annual Global Globes – Can’t wait for Seth Myers to host this one from January 7th from Hollywood.

World Energy Outlook Set For Launch – On January 16th at 1:30 p.m., the CSIS Energy & National Security Program will host a forum and the U.S. launch of the International Energy Agency’s World Energy Outlook 2017. Fatih Birol, Executive Director of the IEA, will present the findings from the report.

WCEE to Look at 2018 Agenda – The Women’s Council on Energy and the Environment (WCEE) holds its  6th Annual WCEE Lunch & Learn Brainstorming Event on Tuesday January 23rd at Noon kicking off its Lunch & Learn planning, as well as deciding what topics to cover in 2018.

Pruitt to Head to Senate Environment – The Senate Environment and Public Works Committee said EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt will appear before the Committee on Jan. 31, 2018, making his first return to the panel nearly a year after his confirmation.

Energy Update: Week of 11/27

Friends,

Welcome back from a great Thanksgiving Break and get ready to rumble. Before we get to the action though, you may have missed the big news from the HFC world while you were in a turkey haze on Thursday and Friday.  On Thursday in Montreal, the administration urged support for the new Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol and said they would fund programs to administer it. This is an effort stakeholders, including the HVAC industry, has been supporting for a long time and can be great resources on the topic. Feel free to call Francis Dietz (703-969-6444) at AHRI for an additional background, interviews and additional resources.

This week is all about ethanol, the solar trade case and the clean power plan. Starting tomorrow in West Virginia, EPA will host two days of public hearings in Charleston to discuss repealing the paint the clean power plan and potential replacements Scott Segal and I will be in attendance as Scott testifies tomorrow. In his statement, Segal says an overly broad, unilateral federal program is not necessary – and worse yet uses federal fiat to remove the flexibility and pragmatism that the marketplace can provide in addressing greenhouse gases. The market achieves a careful balance of continued forward momentum in reducing emissions with the critical need to address consumer demand where it is most acute, and electric reliability and resilience.  Please feel free to ask your questions about the meeting and we will be happy to respond.

Secondly, after final sign offs just before the President launched to WPB Tuesday, energy lawyer Kevin McIntyre and Senate staffer Richard Glick cleared that last hurdle to take their seats at FERC.  A swearing-in ceremony could happen as soon as this week, filling the final vacancies at the commission.

On Capitol Hill we expect votes Wednesday on Kathleen Harnett white for CEQ and Andy Wheeler for Deputy at EPA.  Other hearings include a House Science Hearing on WOTUS tomorrow, a Wednesday before the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Energy will be grid operators from California and the Mid-Atlantic and Midwest, as well as the former general counsel of FERC and NEPA reform hearing on Wednesday.

A ton of other good events around town starting tomorrow when SAFE holds a great event featuring at former EIA administrator Adam Sieminski at 4:30 p.m. with a reception to follow!!!!  Also, CSIS tomorrow morning hosts the “Status of Carbon Capture 2017” event which launches that annual report of the Global CCS Institute and features the first public speech by new DOE Assistant Secretary for Fossil Energy Steve Winberg. On Wednesday afternoon, the National Academies will review the 4th draft of the National Climate Assessment in an open meeting at the NAS building and the NYT hosts a Climate Summit in SanFran.  On Thursday at Noon, the Natural Gas Roundtable will host FERC Chairman Neil Chatterjee and R Street hosts a forum on Thursday in 122 Cannon featuring a discussion on clean energy with panelists from Microsoft, Advanced Energy Economy (AEE) and others.

Finally two big deadlines this week: 1) The US Trade Rep closes its comment period for the solar trade case prior to its public hearing next Tuesday (here is the ITC’s final staff report); and 2) Thursday’s annual RVO roll out from EPA which who knows what it will say this year given the public back and forth over the issue and the nomination hostage taking that has been occurring.  And keep an eye out for a potential White House meeting with refining-state Senators that was requested recently.

Call with questions.  Best,

 

Frank Maisano

(202) 828-5864

  1. (202) 997-5932

 

FRANKLY SPOKEN

“The United States believes the Kigali Amendment represents a pragmatic and balanced approach to phasing down the production and consumption of HFCs, and therefore we support the goals and approach of the Amendment. There are a number of steps in our domestic process that we would need to complete before reaching a final decision on transmittal of the Kigali Amendment to the U.S. Senate for its advice and consent. We have initiated the process to consider U.S. ratification of the Amendment.  ”

Remarks of Judith Garber, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Bureau of Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs at the State Department at the 29th Meeting of the Parties to the Montreal Protocol in Montreal, Canada.

“The Montreal Protocol is a model of cooperation. It is a product of the recognition and international consensus that ozone depletion is a global problem, both in terms of its causes and its effects. The Protocol is the result of an extraordinary process of scientific study, negotiations among representatives of the business and environmental communities, and international diplomacy. It is a monumental achievement.”

President Ronald Reagan upon signing the Montreal Protocol in 1987 as relayed by Garber in Montreal on Thursday.

IN THE NEWS

US to Push Forward on HFC Deal – The United States said they will contribute $37 million to support a shift to cleaner coolants, under a deal agreed in Montreal on Saturday as part of developed countries’ $540 million over three years.  In its 30th year, the Montreal Protocol has begun to pivot from its initial focus on the ozone layer to addressing the climate impact of chemicals used in fridges and air conditioners.  State department official Judith Garber said the US was starting the process to ratify the Kigali Amendment to the protocol, which sets a phasedown path for HFCs, a group of potent warming gases produced by these appliances, calling it a “pragmatic and balanced approach” to reducing HFCs’ “environmental impact”.  HVAC industry stakeholders strongly support the deal, seeing an opportunity to sell climate-friendly alternatives.  The Kigali Amendment will enter into force in January 2019, after Sweden became the twentieth country to ratify it on 17 November.

Coal Ash Recycling Reaches Record Level Amid Shifting Production, Use Patterns – The annual 2016 American Coal Ash Association survey on Production and Use says 56% of the coal ash produced during 2016 was recycled – establishing a new record and marking the second consecutive year that more than half of the coal ash produced in the United States was beneficially used rather than disposed.  According to ACAA’s survey, 60.2 million tons of coal combustion products were beneficially used in 2016 out of 107.4 million tons that were produced. Although the rate of ash utilization increased from 52 percent to 56 percent, the total volume of material utilized stayed about the same as production declined. Coal ash production volume declined 7% from 2015 levels as coal’s share of the electricity generation mix shrank in response to environmental regulations and competition from other energy sources. Coal ash utilization volume remained approximately level with the prior year.

What’s the Buzz? – Highlights of CCP production and use in 2016 include:

  • Use of coal fly ash in concrete declined 8% to 14.4 million tons. While down from 2015’s record utilization of 15.7 million tons, utilization remained well above the 13.1 million tons performance in 2014. The dip in 2016 utilization is attributed to some regional seasonal shortages of supply that resulted from power plant shutdowns and changing generating profiles.
  • Utilization of a key “non-ash” coal combustion product also declined. Synthetic gypsum is a byproduct of flue gas desulphurization units, also known as “scrubbers,” located at coal-fueled power plants. Use of synthetic gypsum in panel products (i.e. wallboard) decreased 19% to 9.9 million tons in 2016. The decrease is largely attributed to normal fluctuations in gypsum markets.
  • Synthetic gypsum use in agricultural applications – in which the gypsum improves soil conditions and prevents harmful runoff of fertilizers – also declined from 1.6 million tons to 772,000 tons.
  • Production of boiler slag remained level at 2.2 million tons. Approximately 1.3 million tons of boiler slag was utilized in the production of blasting grit and roofing granules.
  • For the first time, no utilities reported production of cenospheres – a very valuable form of ash mainly harvested from wet disposal impoundments. Production of this material dropped precipitously the year prior as impoundments began to close in response to EPA’s Final Rule for coal ash disposal.

DOE Looking at CAFE-like Rule for Appliances – The DOE is looking at an overhaul of its efficiency programs to allow more flexibility.  In a request for information late last week, the agency floated the idea of making efficiency standards more like corporate average fuel economy (CAFE) standards for vehicles. That could, in theory, allow efficiency trading, so that manufacturers, companies or industries could buy and sell and products below and above a given efficiency level to meet an overall average. AHRI said they are evaluating the plan and while please with DOE is looking at market-based flexibilities in appliance standards program, they remain cautious about a CAFE standards-type approach, given the experience of the auto industry.  AHRI is pleased DOE is taking a collaborative approach to potential changes to the appliance standards program, look forward to working with DOE on ways to establish flexibilities that make it easier for manufacturers to comply, while continuing to save energy for the nation.

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

EPA to Hold CPP Public Hearing in WV – EPA will hold a public hearing regarding the withdrawal of the Clean Power Plan in West Virginia tomorrow and Wednesday.  EPA said it will convene two daylong sessions at the state capitol in Charleston. The agency said it “may also hold an additional hearing to be announced at a later date.”  EPA also extended the comment period on the proposal to Jan. 16, 2018.

CCS Report to be Released – The Global CCS Institute will release its annual Global Status of CCS: 2017 report launch tomorrow at 9:30 a.m. This year, the Institute is partnering with one of the top think tanks in the city, the Center for Strategic and International Studies, to promote and discuss the release of the Institute’s signature report, the globally recognized annual guide to the current progress and prospects for carbon capture and storage.  Speakers will include Global CCS’s Jeff Erikson and IEA’s Samantha McCulloch.

Senate Environment to Hear From TVA Board Nominees – The Senate Environment Committee will hold a hearing tomorrow at 10:00 a.m. on the nominations of Kenneth Allen, A.D. Frazier, Jeffrey Smith and James Thompson III to be members of the Board of Directors of the Tennessee Valley Authority.

House Science Look at States’ Role in WOTUS Rule – The House Science Energy Subcommittee holds a hearing tomorrow at 10:00 a.m. on the future of the Waters of the United States regulation, examining the role of states.

Forum to Look at Asia-Pacific Security – The Center for Climate and Security (CCS) hosts a high-level discussion on the security risks of climate change in the Asia-Pacific tomorrow at 10:00 a.m. This discussion will explore these risks, how US military installations, operations, and strategies in the region may be shaped by them, and their influence on US bilateral and multilateral relationships.

Tillerson to Speak at Wilson Center – The Wilson Center will host US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson tomorrow at 11:00 a.m. for an address on the future of U.S. relations with Europe by Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, followed by a conversation with Wilson Center President and CEO Jane Harman.

Heritage Hosts Climate Discussion – The Heritage Foundation hosts a discussion tomorrow at Noon on the long history and politics of climate activism. Speaker Rupert Darwell will address the topic.

CSIS to Release New Energy Report – The CSIS Energy & National Security Program will hold a presentation of its latest report, Energy and Development: Providing Access and Growth tomorrow at 1:30 p.m.  Based on findings from several workshops conducted by CSIS over the last two years, Energy and Development explores several of the most important shifts underpinning the energy access issue. By exploring the role of emerging economies as the primary drivers of future energy demand, the influence of sustainability and climate change concerns in crafting development strategies, and changes to how energy access and growth are measured, the report provides a unique survey of energy and economic growth in the developing world.  Sarah Ladislaw (CSIS) will present the report, followed by a panel discussion with Morgan Bazilian (World Bank; CSIS), Morgan Landy (International Finance Corporation), and Philippe Benoit (GIAS2050; CSIS). CSIS’s Erol Yayboke, co-author of the report, will moderate.

Forum on Tax Reform to Discuss Carbon Tax – The Brookings Institute will tomorrow at 2:00 p.m. regarding tax reform that will discuss a possible carbon tax. The Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center, the Cross Brookings Initiative on Energy and Climate, congressional leaders, and top experts for a discussion on the prospects for tax reform and the potential to include a carbon tax in a broader bipartisan bill.   The event will feature a keynote address by Rep. John Larson and panelists include Niskanen’s Jerry Taylor and our friend Amy Harder of Axios.

SAFE Event to Feature Oil Discussion with Former EIA Head – Securing America’s Future Energy (SAFE) will host a panel discussion tomorrow at 4:30 p.m. at the National Union Building exploring how market uncertainty, underinvestment, geopolitical risk, OPEC intervention, rising global demand, and other market forces undermine oil market stability. The panel will discuss the likelihood of a return to high and volatile oil prices, implications for American economic and national security, and domestic policy solutions.  Moderated by our friend Ben Geman of Axios, the panel will feature former EIA Administrator Adam Sieminski – now at CSIS – and Jonathan Chanis, SAFE’s Senior Vice President of Policy.

USTR Reply Comments Deadline – Tomorrow, Tuesday, November 29th

California AG Hits Press Club – The National Press Club Newsmakers Committee will host California AC Xavier Becerra at a Headliners Newsmaker news conference Wednesday December 6th at 10:00 a.m. in the club’s First Amendment Lounge. The news conference will look at Cali’s two dozen lawsuits challenging the Trump Administration’s efforts to make changes that affect immigrant rights, civil rights, environmental standards and consumer protections. Becerra will discuss these legal actions and other issues and will be moderated by Los Angeles Times reporter Chris Megerian.

House Energy Panel to Look at Electricity Markets – The House Energy and Commerce Energy Subcommittee holds a hearing Wednesday at 10:00 a.m. on examining the role of financial trading in the electricity markets. Witnesses include NRG’s Chris Moser, PJM General Counsel Vince Duane, Wesley Allen of Red Wolf Energy Trading, Cal ISO’s Eric Hildebrandt, Max Minzner of Jenner & Block and FERC former general counsel Noha Sidhom, who now heads TPC Energy.

House Resources to Look at NEPA – The House Resources Committee holds a hearing On Wednesday at 10:00 on modernizing NEPA regulations for future issues.  Witnesses include Building Trades and Construction Council rep Mike Bridges, Converse County, Wyo. commissioner Jim Willox, Common Good chairman Philip Howard and former CEQ general counsel Dinah Bear.

API to Release STEM Study – The American Petroleum Institute will hold a lunch event Wednesday at 10:00 a.m. at George Washington University to showcase a new study on “STEM education and the energy workforce of the future.”

National Academies Review Climate Assessment – On Wednesday afternoon, the National Academies will review the 4th draft of the National Climate Assessment in an open meeting at the NAS building.

NYT to host Climate Summit – On Wednesday and Thursday in San Francisco at the Metreon, The New York Times will hold ClimateTECH, a groundbreaking summit that brings together influential leaders from key industries to assess bold, cutting-edge technologies that could help keep global warming below the two-degree threshold.  Hosted by top Times journalists, ClimateTECH’s focus on innovation will also encompass the dramatic changes downstream (in finance, policy, consumer behavior, infrastructure) that are vital for these new technologies to gain adoption and succeed.  The program will feature on-stage interviews with celebrated entrepreneurs and inventors along with policy makers, economists and subject-matter experts. Designed for an audience of decision-makers, ClimateTECH will also include an early-stage technology showcase of the newest innovations, along with other experiential activities.  The Speaker list is long, but it includes California Gov. Jerry Brown, Statoil’s Irene Rummelhoff, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, Tom Steyer and many others.

Solar Festival Set for Austin – The 2nd annual Solar Business Festival will be held on Wednesday and Thursday in Austin, Texas at the Thompson Conference Center. The two-day conference segment features a wide variety of sessions on, components of doing a solar and storage business in Texas, microgrids and energy storage, distributed grid, project financing, sustainable buildings, smart grids, solar initiatives and innovations, utility integration, community solar projects, policies, incentives and goals, market growth opportunities, regulatory framework, international solar market opportunities/challenges, sustainable farming and more.

CSIS Look at Zero-Emissions Fuels – The CSIS Energy and National Security Program is hosting a forum on Thursday at 8:00 a.m. onhydrogen, green shipping and zero-emission fuel in the maritime sector. The discussion will center on the development and implementation of hydrogen fuel technology, the important role it could play for shipping in the transition to a low-carbon future, and ongoing U.S.-Norwegian cooperation in the area.  Shipping accounts for more than 2% of worldwide greenhouse gas emissions today and is set to increase up to 17% by 2050. This session will explore the concrete cooperation and projects being pursued in Norway and the United States.  Norwegian Ambassador Kåre R. Aas will give introductory remarks, followed by a discussion with Elisabet Bøe (Sogn og Fjordane), Joseph Pratt (Sandia National Lab), Lars Endre Gimmestad (Brodrene Aa), and Martin Grimnes (Arcadia Alliance) on the present and future of hydrogen technology and what a low-carbon future for maritime transport may look like.

Forum to Look at Energy Crossroads – The Texas Public Policy Foundation and The Heritage Foundation host the “At the Crossroads IV: Energy and Climate Policy Summit” on Thursday.  The conversation will feature the world’s leading scientists, policymakers, entrepreneurs, and energy experts, who will gather to explore this turning point in energy history and the long-lasting potential it holds for America and beyond. Speakers include Sens. Jim Inhofe, Mike Lee, House Science Chair Lamar Smith and many others.

RFS RVO Deadline – Thursday, November 30th

Bernhardt to House Approps Committee – On Thursday at 9:30 a.m. in 2007 Rayburn, the House Appropriations Committee’s Subcommittee on Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies will convene a supplemental oversight hearing on the U.S. Department of the Interior featuring David Bernhardt, Deputy Secretary of the Interior of Interior.

Forum to Look at Climate, Military Readiness – The American Security Project holds a forum on Thursday at 10:30 a.m. where they will discuss the range of security threats posed by climate change, whether these regulations may ease those threats, and how we can build further resiliency and security into the future.

Chatterjee to Address NatGas Roundtable – On Thursday at Noon, the Natural Gas Roundtable will host FERC Chairman Neil Chatterjee as the guest speaker at the next luncheon.

R Street Hosts Clean Energy Event on Capitol Hill – R Street hosts a forum on Thursday in 122 Cannon featuring a discussion on clean energy with panelists from Microsoft, Advanced Energy Economy (AEE), the American Coalition of Competitive Energy Suppliers (ACCES) and Citizens for Responsible Energy Solutions  Across the country, clean energy is growing rapidly in states that allow customers to choose their electricity supplier. This system of ‘retail choice’ grants customers more options and allows them to generate their own energy on-site. Importantly, large corporations have been leading the charge for distributed energy generation, marking a refreshing intersection of conservative and green agendas.

RFF to Look at Energy Security – Resources for the Future (RFF) will host a forum on Thursday focused on the new realities on energy security given our shale resources.  This RFF seminar will open with a presentation from former Department of Energy official Howard Gruenspecht on the economic and political factors that have led to a very different oil security picture than the country faced decades ago. RFF President Richard Newell will present new research on how the shale oil boom has altered the flexibility of the US supply, as well as how price and inventory dynamics can inform Strategic Petroleum Reserve policy. RFF University Fellow Stephen Brown will then discuss an RFF project that produced new estimates for the value of the oil security premium—a key metric used in benefit–cost analyses of related regulations. RFF Senior Fellow Alan Krupnick will wrap up with a discussion of the new energy security paradigm, which broadens the definition of US energy security beyond oil to include natural gas, electricity, and other energy systems.

House Resources Tackles Geothermal Legislation – On Thursday at 2:30 p.m., the House Natural Resources Committee’s Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources will hold a legislative hearing on geothermal exploration and three other bills focused on landslide hazards, geological mapping and volcanos early warning systems.  Witnesses include USGS Deputy Director David Applegate, Allyson Anderson Book of the American Geosciences Institute, Scott Nichols of U.S. Geothermal Inc. and Alaska State Geologist Steve Masterman.

Energy Awards to Be Presented to Community Leaders – Leaders in Energy will host its 4th annual “Four Generations of Leaders in Clean Energy & Sustainable Solutions Awards and Holiday Event.” The theme is “The Urgency of Now.” This year, Leader in Energy are recognizing people who are raising awareness and developing clean energy and sustainable solutions, with a visible sense of urgency.

IN THE FUTURE

Clean Edge, GridWise Alliance Host gridCONNEXT – GridWise Alliance and Clean Edge will host gridCONNEXT on December 4th through 6th in Washington, D.C. with hundreds of regulators, utility executives, corporations, and other industry stakeholders to explore the many grid modernization.

Forum to Look at Climate Diplomacy – The German Marshall Fund is holding a forum on next Tuesday at 5:30 p.m. for a discussion on the future of climate action in the United States, the role of cities and regions in implementing international climate policy, and the importance of strong transatlantic leadership in this area of global concern.  The speaker will be Tim Robinson, Chief Counsel of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce.

Solar Tariff Opponents to Weigh-in at Press Club – Opponents of tariffs on solar imports will hold a briefing on Tuesday December 5th at 9:30 a.m. at the National Press Club.  The event will feature solar industry advocates, as well as members of the Energy Trade Action Coalition like the National Electrical Contractors Association, utilities, retailers and Conservative free-trade groups. More next week.

USTR Hearing on Solar Trade Tariff – December 6th

WCEE to Host NatGas Leaders – The Women’s Council on Energy and the Environment (WCEE) will hold a forum on December 6th the role of natural gas in the economy.  Dena Wiggins, President and CEO of the Natural Gas Supply Association (NGSA), and Lori Traweek, Chief Operating Officer of the American Gas Association, will discuss how natural gas fits into our country’s energy future and how they rose to leadership in the energy world.

AEI to Host Ag Discussion – American Enterprise Institute will hold a forum on Wednesday, December 6th at 12:30 p.m. for a discussion on substantive reforms to US agricultural subsidy programs. AEI’s Vincent Smith will facilitate a discussion among these experts as they break apart the 2018 Farm Bill.  The event looks at the current state of the American farm sector.   In the newest papers of AEI’s “Agricultural Policy in Disarray” series, leading agricultural economists evaluate federal programs and regulations that affect conservation and the environment. Erik Lichtenberg will present his findings on conservation programs. Aaron Smith will discuss the future of the Renewable Fuel Standard. Nathan Hendricks will present his findings on the contentious debates between agricultural and environmental interests about the Clean Water Rule.

Wilson Forum Looks at Moving Villages – The Wilson Center will hold a forum on Wednesday December 6th at 1:00 p.m. looking at moving villages due to climate change.  The event will feature the Village of Newtok, a Yupik Eskimo community of 450, faces certain destruction from a slow-moving climate disaster.  The discussion with Newtok’s leadership will focus on their experiences and struggles to preserve their Yupik way of life on their historic subsistence lands.

Forum Looks at Future of Ag – The National Museum of Natural History and Resources for the Future will host a forum on Wednesday evening with Jesse Ausubel, Director and Senior Research Associate of the Program for the Human Environment at Rockefeller University, for a look into the future as he explores how precision agriculture and better sources of food and fuel can benefit the natural world.  Ausubel’s work covers forests and farms, marine and human life, energy and materials. He marries climate and Earth sciences to elaborate the vision of a large, prosperous society that spares large amounts of land and sea for nature and emits little or nothing harmful into the atmosphere. This event is presented by Resources for the Future with the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of Natural History as part of an ongoing series, Anthropocene: Life in the Age of Humans.

Pruitt to Head to House Energy Panel – The House Energy and Commerce Environment Subcommittee will hold a hearing on December 7th with EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt testifying.  The appearance will be Pruitt’s first before the Energy and Commerce Committee.

ASE Forum to Look at Biz Case for Energy Efficiency – The Alliance to Save Energy hosts a forum on Thursday, December 7th at 12:00 p.m. to discuss the business case for tax incentives promoting energy efficiency.  From residential retrofits to commercial-scale systems improvements, energy efficiency upgrades deliver massive benefits to consumers, businesses and taxpayers – creating jobs and economic activity, saving money, and reducing harmful emissions while strengthening U.S. energy security. Yet the U.S. tax code no longer contains meaningful tax incentives for energy efficiency. Hear directly from leading businesses and advocates about tax policies new and old that could advance this important cause – and the business case for getting them done as Congress looks at rewriting the tax code.

CSIS to Release World Oil Outlook – The CSIS Energy & National Security Program is hosting the U.S. launch of OPEC’s World Oil Outlook 2017 (WOO) on Thursday December 7th at 2:00 p.m.  The WOO is OPEC’s outlook for medium- and long-term oil supply, demand, and downstream to 2040, factoring in the latest developments in global oil markets and OPEC production adjustments. The analysis includes the impacts of worldwide shifts in demographics, emissions reductions, and technological development in the oil sector.  The presentation of WOO 2017 will be given by OPEC’s Al-Qahtani.

IPAA Exec to Address Energy Economists – The National Capital Area members of the US Assn of Energy Economist will host Fred Lawrence for their December 8th lunch.  Lawrence, VP at the Independent Petroleum Association of America, will discuss the outlook for U.S. oil and natural gas, including shale export trends over the past two years, focus on the Independents in a Sector and demand and geopolitical reality vs. ideology.

Paris Forum to Focus on Anniversary – Forum to French President Macron will host the One Planet Summit on December 12 in Paris, on the two-year anniversary of the Paris Agreement. The Summit will focus specifically on climate finance. Heads of State will be invited to attend this meeting.

Nuclear Weapons Triad Forum Set – The Advanced Nuclear Weapons Alliance Deterrence Center (ANWA DC) will host the Inaugural morning forum on Capitol Hill on December 12th.  The event will feature key Members of Congress representing nuclear triad communities at Air Force and Naval bases, and NNSA sites, The group will also outline a series of 11 more 2018 forums and roundtables with key government officials, industry leaders and suppliers, and academic experts on the triad issues of the day, Each of these events will tackle the nuclear triad’s emerging issues and challenges, while sharing the successes, in the ongoing nuclear weapons enterprise modernization.

The Last Jedi Hits Theaters – DECEMBER 15th

CSIS to Host World Coal Report – On December 18th at 1:30 p.m., CSIS will host the launch of the IEA’s new report analyzing coal’s recent trends and forecasting its demand, supply, and trade through 2022.  Coal remains world’s dominant fuel. Under pressure from decarbonization, cheaper alternatives, and geopolitical shifts in demand, coal continues to be one of the most pressing questions in energy.

API’s Annual State of Energy Address – January 4th (expected).

World Energy Outlook Set For Launch – On January 16th at 1:30 p.m., the CSIS Energy & National Security Program will host a forum and the U.S. launch of the International Energy Agency’s World Energy Outlook 2017. Fatih Birol, Executive Director of the IEA, will present the findings from the report.

Pruitt to Head to Senate Environment – The Senate Environment and Public Works Committee said EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt will appear before the Committee on Jan. 31, 2018, making his first return to the panel nearly a year after his confirmation.

Energy Update: Week of 11/13

Friends,

The Holiday season is now just around the corner and that means playoffs for Fall sports. High school seasons are closing, and this past weekend, I umpired a MD HS field hockey state final.  We also saw the NCAA Final Fours for field hockey lock with Maryland, UNC, UConn and Michigan in DI.  In DIII, its Middlebury, TCNJ, Franklin & Marshall and defending champ Messiah.  In DII, matchups include LIU-Post/Millersville and Shippensburg/East Stroudsburg.  All the action is in Louisville starting Friday.  And good luck to our friend Jeff Holmstead’s son Eli who will play with his BYU Soccer team for the NIRSA National Soccer Championship this weekend in Arizona.  BYU doesn’t have an NCAA team for various reasons, but their Club team is better than most Varsity programs.

Bonn rolls on this week with key US players arriving today, including White House advisor David Banks.  For those of you following the action, I have been getting great insights from three sources:

  • Chamber Global Energy Institute expert Steve Eule, who has been blogging updates here;
  • Meg Darby (e-mail Meg at md@climatehome.org to subscribe) of ClimateHome who is producing an information-packed daily newsletter, Bonn Bulletin.
  • Info from the Business Council for Sustainable Energy’s Laura Tierney, who is also producing regular updates which you can get by contacting her at ltierney@bcse.org or cell: 202-489-3436.

Speaking of BCSE, they holding a presser tomorrow at 12:30 Central European Time or 6:30 a.m. EST that will focus on a position paper on Powering Ambition at COP 23, which articulates how the falling costs of clean energy technologies makes it more affordable for countries to power ambition toward strong climate action.  Here is a Bonn CET clock translator in case you are trying to call over there.  It is great that Gov. Brown is over in Bonn making noise, but, FYI, he still only speaks for California and cannot conduct foreign policy whether or not he agrees with the White House.  Finally, another interesting Bonn twist is the backlash that Germany is feeling as they expand their coal power plants yet push for emissions reductions and closing nuclear plants.

On Capitol Hill, it seems like things are mostly about either the Alabama Special Election or tax reform.  That being said, after approvals on EPA and DOE nominees (like Bill Wehrum) last week, there may be action on other nominees including CEQ’s Kathleen Harnett-White and EPA #2 Andy Wheeler.  Tomorrow, the House and Senate Energy Committees, as well as House Resources, will tackle the hurricane season and response.  On Wednesday, Senate Environment looks at energy innovation technologies and Senate Energy is back on ANWR with a budget recon markup.

Today, we expect ITC recommendations on the solar trade case to be sent to the President with a detailed staff report that will be available on Wednesday.  Next Monday, the first US Trade Rep public comment deadline hits with a public hearing set for Dec 6.  Meantime, there is a great WashPost Perspective piece from retired USAF Lt Gen. Norman Seip that says cracking down on foreign-made solar panels would make US less secure.  Other events Include a Wednesday Morning Roll Call forum on energy called Energy Decoded at the Newseum featuring Clearpath’s Rich Powell and former ND Sen. Byron Dorgan, an Thursday infrastructure forum with CEQ’s Alex Hergott and Resources Chair Rob Bishop at the ROA and the USAEE November luncheon Friday with former FERC Commissioner Tony Clark.

Outside DC, NARUC has launched in Baltimore today with its annual winter meetings.  The conference always tackles key on energy policy, telecommunications, and other utility topics. Key speakers include Montana PUC Commissioner Travis Kavulla, FERC Commissioner Robert Powelson, former Commissioners Marc Spitzer and Tony Clark, DOE’s Travis Fisher and many others.

Next week is Thanksgiving Week!!!!  So, as usual, you can expect some announcements – perhaps like the RVOs which are due at the end of the month, but always seem to find their way into pre-Thanksgiving roll out…  Stay tuned…Call with questions.  Best,

 

Frank Maisano

(202) 828-5864

  1. (202) 997-5932

 

THIS WEEK’S LOBBY SHOP

The new episode of The Lobby Shop is live on iTunes, SoundCloud, and Google Play Music.  This week’s episode features our great tax expert Liam Donovan (liam.donovan@bracewell.com) explores what’s coming up for tax reform in light of this week’s Senate tax plan and its differences and similarities compared to last week’s House bill.  Remember our address for listeners to reach out with topic suggestions, feedback, etc. – thelobbyshop@policyres.com.

 

FRANKLY SPOKEN

““It has been estimated that 95 percent of all gasoline supply outlets in the United States cannot legally store or dispense ethanol blends higher than 10 percent. EPA, OSHA and state fire regulations have essentially drawn a line in the sand by requiring all facilities storing and dispensing gasoline blends greater than E10 to prove underground storage tank (UST) system compatibility with higher ethanol content fuels. The often-impossible task of demonstrating compatibility with E15 for UST equipment currently in the ground has put the clear majority of PMAA members, the consuming public and the nation’s gasoline supply and distribution chain in a precarious situation.”

PMAA Head Rob Underwood in a letter to Senate EPW Chair John Barrasso regarding issues surrounding the Renewable Fuels Standard. 

Germany’s ambitious vision for “energiewende,” or energy transformation, has proved far more difficult to execute than it was to plan: “It’s not just a technical shift. It’s a societal shift.  There are so many vested interests in keeping the old structures, and people will cling to them as long as they can.”

Rebecca Bertram, an energy expert with the Greens party-aligned Heinrich Böll Foundation in a Washington Post Story on concerns about Germany’s use of coal. 

 

IN THE NEWS

Military Expert Says Solar Trade Case Makes U.S. Less Secure – Retired USAF Lt. Gen. Norman Seip penned on “Perspective” in the Washington Post today that says cracking down on foreign-made solar panels would make U.S. less secure.  Seip says the U.S. military depends on a diverse set of energy resources, and increasingly that includes solar energy. Over the past seven years, the price of solar has dropped by 70%, giving our military a cost-effective, reliable, flexible source of electricity for its operations.  Seip: “The tariffs proposed would significantly raise the cost of solar energy, jeopardizing the financial viability of solar projects at U.S. military bases across the globe and threatening our long-term security interests.” Seip finally said that if the President wants to put America first, he should reject tariffs that would endanger our troops and harm national security, and instead support our military and veterans by giving them the diversity of energy resources and jobs they need.

Platts Podcast Talks to Former EIA Head on Shale – On this week’s Platts’ podcast, Richard Newell, the former head of the US Energy Information Administration and current president of Resources for the Future, talks about his new study on the responsiveness of US shale operators. Brian Schied and Newell address market changes turning the US into a global swing producer and need of the US Strategic Petroleum Reserve.  See it here.

Wehrum Approved by Full Senate – The Senate approved Bill Wehrum to be assistant administrator for air and radiation at EPA, filling a top vacancy in Administrator Scott Pruitt staff.  Wehrum was approved on a vote of 49-47.   Former EPA Air Office Head and my Bracewell colleague Jeff Holmstead said: “As someone who has been the head of the Air Office, I am particularly happy that Bill Wehrum is one step closer to taking over that job.  Bill will be a huge help at the Agency and is the ideal person to shepherd Administrator Pruitt’s reforms through the regulatory process.  He has the trust and respect of both the political leadership and the career staff and will make sure that that all the reforms are done thoughtfully and in accordance with the law.”

PMAA Send Letter on RFS Storage Tank Concerns – The Petroleum Marketers Assn of American (PMAA) sent a letter to Senate Environment Chair John Barrasso underscoring challenges that retailers and marketers face if they are forced to use ethanol blends higher that 10% either through higher RVOs or new legislation.  The problems are both corrosion and volatility. PMAA Rob Underwood writes the inability of marketers to legally certify their equipment to be compatible with E15 would cause severe economic harm through significant disruption of the gasoline supply and distribution network below the terminal rack. It has been estimated that 95% of all gasoline supply outlets in the United States cannot legally store or dispense ethanol blends higher than 10%. EPA, OSHA and state fire regulations have essentially drawn a line in the sand by requiring all facilities storing and dispensing gasoline blends greater than E10 to prove underground storage tank (UST) system compatibility with higher ethanol content fuels. The often-impossible task of demonstrating compatibility with E15 for UST equipment currently in the ground has put the clear majority of PMAA members, the consuming public and the nation’s gasoline supply and distribution chain in a precarious situation. The number of UST systems that are unable to meet legal compatibility certification requirements is significant. For those sites, the only option is to upgrade components or potentially the entire system to those that are of known compatibility.”  Can forward the letter if you need it.

4th Grid Modernization Index Finds CA, IL, TX, MD, OR as Leaders – The GridWise Alliance, in collaboration with Clean Edge, Inc., today announced the release of its fourth Grid Modernization Index (GMI-4). The Index ranks and assesses all 50 states and the District of Columbia based upon the degree to which they are moving toward a modernized electric grid. The Grid Modernization Index report is available for download at www.gridwise.org and www.cleanedge.com.  For the second consecutive edition, California ranks highest overall, and places first in each of the three GMI categories (state support, customer engagement, and grid operations). California has a nine-point lead over second-place Illinois, while Texas ranks third. Maryland and Oregon rank fourth and fifth respectively. Rounding out the top ten are Arizona, Washington, DC, New York, Nevada, and Delaware. The Index offers Seven Key Takeaways, providing lessons and best practices for a rapidly modernizing grid, including the pace of grid modernization efforts has accelerated, focus on recent hurricanes and other extreme weather events – as well as human-caused cybersecurity and physical security threats, continuing progress toward comprehensive grid modernization, effort are just getting under way, utilities are prioritizing efforts to address customer demands for greater choice and the capability to manage their own energy usage and clean energy targets by states, cities, and corporations are driving utility efforts to accommodate growth.

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

Climate Change Meeting Set for Bonn – The UN climate change conference rolls on this week in Bonn, Germany with key US players arriving today, including White House advisor David Banks.  The Business Council for Sustainable Energy holds a presser tomorrow at 12:30 Central European Time or 6:30 a.m. EST that will focus on a position paper on Powering Ambition at COP 23, which articulates how the falling costs of clean energy technologies makes it more affordable for countries to power ambition toward strong climate action.  Here is a Bonn CET clock translator in case you are trying to call over there.  It is great that Gov. Brown is over in Bonn making noise, but he still only speaks for California and cannot conduct foreign policy whether or not he agrees with the White House.  Finally, another interesting Bonn twist is the backlash that Germany is feeling as they expand their coal power plants yet push for emissions reductions and closing nuclear plants.

NARUC Annual Meeting to Dig Into Issues – The National Assn of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC) holds its 129th annual meeting at the Hilton Baltimore today through Wednesday and will feature panels on energy policy, telecommunications, and other utility topics are issues at the forefront of trade and mainstream news. The event will feature stakeholders, informed experts, representatives from industry, federal policymakers, and dedicated state regulators for robust, timely discussions.  Key speakers include Montana PUC Commissioner Travis Kavulla, FERC Commissioner Robert Powelson, former Commissioners Marc Spitzer and Tony Clark, DOE’s Travis Fisher and many others.

Solar Trade Breakfast at NARUC – The Solar Energy Industries Association and Cypress Creek Renewables held a breakfast panel discussion next Monday morning on the Solar Section 201 trade petition on imported solar components.  The event discussed the effect of the ITC ruling on the $23 billion U.S. solar industry, which employs 260,000 American workers in good-paying jobs including manufacturers, is unmistakable. It would decimate one of the least expensive energy sources in America by doubling the price of solar panels in the U.S., thereby crippling demand, diminishing local investment and costing up to 88,000 jobs across the country.   The panel includes SEIA’s Abby Hopper,  GA PSC Chair Lauren “Bubba” McDonald and AEE’s Malcolm Wolff, who is working with large companies that use solar.

Forum to Look at CAFE, High Octane Fuels – The Environmental and Energy Study Institute (EESI) held a briefing in 106 Dirksen today at Noon examining how high-octane, low-carbon fuel can enable CAFE compliance. Research suggests that high-octane, low-carbon fuel is the lowest-cost compliance option for both consumers and the automotive industry.  Speakers for this forum are NREL’s Robert McCormick, Oak Ridge National Lab’s Brian West, Dean Drake of the Defour Group and Andrew Varcoe of Boyden Gray & Associates.  Higher-octane, low-carbon fuels enable greater engine efficiencies, thereby lowering GHG and toxic emissions and improving fuel economy. Automotive engineers have expressed interest in raising the octane level of gasoline, which would enable the design and sale of these more efficient engines, but the administration must act to enable a viable pathway for these fuels to enter the marketplace.

USEA Forum to Discuss CURC Study – Today at 2:00 p.m., the US Energy Association and the Carbon Utilization Research Council (CURC) hold a forum on CURC’s recent CCS study analyzing options to overcome barriers to large-pilot projects for power plants equipped with CCS.  The purpose of the report was to study innovative options for governments and industry to fund projects that test coal-based power generation and carbon capture, utilization and storage technologies at the large-pilot scale. The panel discussion will provide an overview of the key findings of the report and an illustration of current case study examples of international collaboration by industry stakeholders and governments.  Panelists include CURC’s Shannon Angielski, DOE’s John Litynski, Frank Morton of the National Carbon Capture Center, Chris Romans of Mitsubishi Heavy Industries America and Don Stevenson of the Gas Technology Institute.

Forum to Look at Venezuela Oil – Tomorrow at 9:00 a.m., the Atlantic Council’s Adrienne Arsht Latin America Center and Global Energy Center holds a timely conversation on Venezuela’s declining oil industry, the increasing presence of Russia and China in the country, and what lies ahead. Keynote remarks will be offered by House Energy & Commerce member Jeff Duncan.

Minority Groups to Release Oil, Gas Report— The NAACP, Clean Air Task Force and National Medical Association hold briefing tomorrow at 9:30 a.m. at the National Press Club to unveil a report on impacts of oil and gas development on African-American communities.

Senate, House Energy, House Resources to Look at Hurricanes – The Senate Energy Committee holds a hearing tomorrow at 9:30 a.m. on hurricane recovery efforts in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.  The hearing will hear from Virgin Islands Gov. Kenneth Mapp, Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rosselló, DOE’s Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability Asst Sect., Bruce Walker, Army Corps deputy commanding general for civil and emergency operations Donald Jackson and PREPA head Ricardo Ramos, among others. They will hold a second panel that will feature mostly representatives from authorities in Puerto Rico.  As well, at 10:00 a.m., the House Energy and Commerce Environment Subcommittee holds a hearing on response and recovery to environmental concerns from the 2017 hurricane season.  Finally, House Resources will hold a third hearing at 2:00 p.m. tomorrow that will examine accountability in disaster recovery financial matters.

JHU to Discuss Nuclear – The Johns Hopkins University holds a forum tomorrow at 5:00 p.m. looking at the status and prospects for U.S. Nuclear Power. Westinghouse, a leader in the industry, entered bankruptcy and two reactors that were under construction in South Carolina have been abandoned because of cost overruns. The US still has not solved the problem of long term storage of high level nuclear waste. An interesting possibility for the future is the development of advanced nuclear reactors that would be smaller, safer and cheaper to build. These and other issues will be discussed by speaker, NEI’s Matthew Crozat.

Forum to Look at Energy – On Wednesday Morning, Roll Call will host a forum on energy called Energy Decoded at the Newseum. Roll Call Live, in partnership with CQ News hosts a packed morning of expert analysis and bipartisan discussion to examine the many questions that energy stakeholders and policymakers will face in the new administration.   Topics will include the future of climate policy, energy tax reform, coal and domestic oil production and renewable energy initiatives.  Speakers will include FERC Chair Neal Chatterjee, Sen. Joe Manchin and our friend Jeanette Pablo, Clearpath’s Rich Powell, former ND Sen. Byron Dorgan and several others.

Senate Energy Looks at ANWR Again –The Senate Energy Committee returns ANWR on Wednesday at 9:00 a.m. when it will hold a business meeting to consider, pursuant to H.Con.Res.71, the Concurrent Resolution on the Budget for Fiscal Year 2018, reconciliation legislation to authorize the Secretary of the Interior to establish and administer a competitive oil and gas program in the non-wilderness portion of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, known as the “1002 Area” or Coastal Plain.

Senate to Look at Emissions Reductions Through Innovation – The Senate Environment Committee holds a hearing on Wednesday at 10:00 a.m. promoting American leadership in reducing air emissions through innovation. Witnesses include NAM’s Ross Eisenberg, the University of Wyoming’s School of Energy Resources Carbon Management Institute director Kipp Coddington and Zoe Lipman, director of the Vehicles and Advanced Transportation Program at the BlueGreen Alliance.

ITIF to Look at ARPA-E – The Information Technology and Innovation Foundation (ITIF) holds a discussion on Wednesday at 10:00 a.m. looking at ARPA-E’s versatile role in clean energy innovation featuring a new study on the topic.  Authors David Hart and Michael Kearney, along with an expert panel of energy innovators and thought leaders discuss.

WRI to Discuss Powering Cities – On Wednesday at Noon, the World Resources Institute hosts Michael Westphal to present his paper on energy access – another chapter of the World Resources Report: Towards a More Equal City. Millions of residents in some of the fastest growing cities in the world don’t have access to clean, reliable energy, and the challenge of reaching them is not getting easier. In 2012, only 58 percent of the urban population had access to electricity in low-income countries, and nearly 500 million urban residents worldwide used dirty and harmful cooking fuels like charcoal and wood.

Forum on European Gas Projects Set – On Wednesday afternoon, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace hosts the Jamestown conference on “Nord Stream and European Energy Security.” It will provide a detailed and comprehensive analysis of the Russian objectives, European responses, and American policies related to this large project.

Forum to Discuss Rebuilding America – The Progressive Policy Institute and Common Good host a Capitol Hill forum on Thursday at 8:30 a.m. at the Reserve Officers Association looking at rebuilding America.  The discussion is intended to rekindle a sense of political urgency around modernizing America’s run-down infrastructure, and figuring out how to pay for it.  Speakers include CEQ’s Alex Herrgott, House Resources Chairman Rob Bishop, Rep. John Delaney, Association of American Railroads CEO Edward Hamberger and ACC’s Anne Kolton, as well as many others.

Forum to Discuss Brazil Oil, Gas – The Wilson Center’s Brazil Institute hosts a forum on Thursday at 10:00 a.m. looking at pre-salt auctions in Brazil’s oil and gas industry.  The Director-General of ANP, Decio Fabrício Oddone da Costa, will discuss the objectives of Brazil’s new regulatory framework for the oil & gas policy.

Forum to Look at Grid-Interactive Buildings – The Alliance to Save Energy will host a forum on Thursday at Noon in 2045 Rayburn to Look grid interactive efficient buildings. The influx in smart technologies and internet-connected devices creates a unique opportunity for energy efficiency: these devices can enable American business owners and families to save energy and money, while also providing valuable new services to utilities and increasing building responsiveness to the grid. The discussion will feature the building technology sector’s top energy efficiency experts in conversation on the latest efforts by the U.S. Department of Energy and others to help grow connectedness across the entire building sector, from commercial to residential, by creating more grid-interactive, efficient buildings.  Rep. Paul Tonko makes opening remarks.

Webinar to Look at EVs – National Journal holds webinar on Thursday at 11:00 a.m. on the rise of electric vehicles.  The webinar will examine the industry’s history, development and future, and address the major players and policymakers and what policies have fostered the industry’s growth so far, and which state and federal actions could help—or hinder—its development.  It will also look at how the Trump administration’s deregulatory drive impact the development of EVs in the US, as well as the feasibility of the ambitious goals laid out by countries like France and India.

Hill Honors Top LobbyistsThe Hill holds a reception at 13U on Thursday night to honor Washington’s elite policy influencers at The Hill’s Top Lobbyists Reception.  Following the release of our annual list, we are recognizing Capitol Hill’s most distinguished lobbyists for their leadership in shaping policy across all fields.  My colleagues Dee Martin and Scott Segal were among the Top Lobbyists and many of our friends in industry, firms and NGOs are in there as well.

Pruitt to Address Federalist Group – The Federalist Society’s National Lawyer Convention hosts EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt for an address on his agenda.

Clark to Headline USAEE Lunch – On Friday, the NCAC of the US Assn of Energy Economists host its November lunch with former FERC Commissioner Tony Clark at Chinatown Gardens.  Clark will discuss the forces that are shaping electricity markets today, with an emphasis on the implications of the regulatory crossroads of federal jurisdiction and state public policy choices.

IN THE FUTURE

USTR Comment Deadline on Solar Trade Case – November 20th

USEA Forum to Look at Carbon IRA – The US Energy Assn will hold a forum next Monday at 10:00 a.m. focused on a new idea that rewards reductions in Carbon footprint with funds deposited into a retirement account.   Guest Speaker, Jason Makansi, President of consulting firm Pearl Street, will introduce the concept, describe the four broad steps required and provide simple examples of how to implement the concept.

WRI to Host Forum on Energy Access – The World Resources Institute will hold a forum next Monday at Noon on how energy access for all benefits the economy and the environment.  Michael Westphal will present his paper on energy access – another chapter of the “World Resources Report: Towards a More Equal City.” Millions of residents in some of the fastest growing cities in the world don’t have access to clean, reliable energy, and the challenge of reaching them is not getting easier. In 2012, only 58 percent of the urban population had access to electricity in low-income countries, and nearly 500 million urban residents worldwide used dirty and harmful cooking fuels like charcoal and wood.

Coal Ash Annual Production and Use Survey Results – Tomorrow at 9:30 a.m. at the National Press Club, the American Coal Ash Association will release its annual Coal Ash Production & Use Survey results. 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.  Tom Adams and John Ward of ACCA roll out the report.

THANKSGIVING – November 26th

EPA to Hold CPP Public Hearing in WV – EPA will hold a public hearing regarding the withdrawal of the Clean Power Plan in West Virginia on Nov. 28th and 29th.  EPA said it will convene two daylong sessions at the state capitol in Charleston. The agency said it “may also hold an additional hearing to be announced at a later date.”  EPA also extended the comment period on the proposal to Jan. 16, 2018.

CCS Report to be Released – The Global CCS Institute will release its annual Global Status of CCS: 2017 report launch on November 28th, 2017. This year, the Institute is partnering with one of the top think tanks in the city, the Center for Strategic and International Studies, to promote and discuss the release of the Institute’s signature report, the globally recognized annual guide to the current progress and prospects for carbon capture and storage.

NYT to host Climate Summit – On November 29th and 30th in San Francisco at the Metreon, The New York Times will hold ClimateTECH, a groundbreaking summit that brings together influential leaders from key industries to assess bold, cutting-edge technologies that could help keep global warming below the two-degree threshold.  Hosted by top Times journalists, ClimateTECH’s focus on innovation will also encompass the dramatic changes downstream (in finance, policy, consumer behavior, infrastructure) that are vital for these new technologies to gain adoption and succeed.  The program will feature on-stage interviews with celebrated entrepreneurs and inventors along with policy makers, economists and subject-matter experts. Designed for an audience of decision-makers, ClimateTECH will also include an early-stage technology showcase of the newest innovations, along with other experiential activities.  The Speaker list is long, but it includes California Gov. Jerry Brown, Statoil’s Irene Rummelhoff, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, Tom Steyer and many others.

RFS RVO Deadline – November 30th

Clean Edge, GridWise Alliance Host gridCONNEXT – GridWise Alliance and Clean Edge will host gridCONNEXT on December 4th through 6th in Washington, D.C. with hundreds of regulators, utility executives, corporations, and other industry stakeholders to explore the many grid modernization.

USTR Hearing on Solar Trade Tariff – December 6th

The Last Jedi Hits Theaters – DECEMBER 15th

Energy Update: Week of 10/23

Friends,

Hard to believe already, but our colleague Scott Segal is back from his extended European Vacation so we’re spending most of the day hearing stories while talking CPP and ethanol, since they were both in the news so much recently.  Thought you might want to catch some of the follow ups on ethanol in the Wall Street Journal, Reuters, Axios, Council Bluffs Daily Nonpareil, the Washington Times and the Washington Examiner.

It is a busy week.  Comments are due today for the FERC grid study initiated by DOE. You will remember two recent hits from a large number of trade association including renewables and natgas as well as a letter last week from a number of former FERC Commissioners.  Others key filers include the Ohio Coal Association, union groups, our friends at Clearpath, grid operator PJM, the Nuclear Energy Institute and the National Assn of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC).

Also today, as the Trump administration moves forward with an ambitious energy and environmental reform agenda, the US Chamber’s Global Energy Institute launched a comprehensive Energy Tracker to help follow key regulatory, judicial, and legislative developments.  The user-friendly Energy Tracker contains a sortable database of federal energy and environmental actions tracked by date, agency, topic, and issue area.   The Energy Tracker will continuously monitor and quantify the progress of energy-related regulatory and policy reforms, including administrative, legislative and legal activity.  If you are covering, following or working on these issues, you will want to view the Energy Tracker here and sign up for updates via email.

Tomorrow and Wednesday, AWEA holds its popular Offshore WINDPOWER Conference in New York.  I will be heading up for tomorrow’s launch so I look forward to seeing you.  Lot’s going on in the space including the Deepwater Rhode Island effort, progress on the lease/projects being undertaken by Statoil, supply chain manufacturing updates and the current Administration’s approach to OSW.  AWEA turns the stage over on Wednesday afternoon and Thursday to its Finance Conference as well.

In DC, finally votes on EPA nominees in Senate EPW on Wednesday after last week’s ethanol “disagreement” delayed action.  Tax issues also remain on the agenda here, especially after last week’s Budget vote in the Senate.  Our new colleague Liam Donovan is right smack in the middle of all of it…and luckily, he is happy to help reporters interested in getting the tax low down.  You can reach him at liam.donovan@bracewell.com and/or 202-828-5847.

Finally, World Series kicks off tonight with the Dodgers and Bracewell’s home Houston Astros in what will be – if the weather forecast is right –  the warmest world series game ever.  Has to be global warming…Call with questions.

Best,

 

Frank Maisano

(202) 828-5864

  1. (202) 997-5932

 

FRANKLY SPOKEN

“I voted Donald Trump, I urged my members to vote for Donald Trump, and I urged them to ask their families and friends to vote for Donald Trump. As a union president, to support a Republican candidate for president, there was some backlash. And now we’re left out in the cold. It’s very disappointing. It feels like the government has the chips stacked against us. We’re crushed in between Big Oil and Big Ethanol. I thought President Trump would be able to see through that. Hopefully he changes his mind and goes with workers.”

United Steelworkers Local 10-1 President Ryan O’Callaghan in a Wall Street Editorial on the recent ethanol fight.

“Given the rapid pace that the administration has been working over the past ten months, we believe there is a need for an objective clearinghouse of regulatory actions.  This tool will be valuable for businesses, policymakers, stakeholders, journalists, and anyone else who would like to keep track of regulatory, legal, and policy actions on energy and environment.”

Karen Harbert, president and CEO of the U.S. Chamber’s Global Energy Institute on the release of its new Energy Tracker website

 

IN THE NEWS

Chamber Releases Energy Tracker Database – The Chamber’s Global Energy Institute has released a new user-friendly Energy Tracker that can help follow key regulatory, judicial, and legislative developments as the Trump administration moves forward with an ambitious energy and environmental reform agenda.  The user-friendly Energy Tracker contains a sortable database of federal energy and environmental actions tracked by date, agency, topic, and issue area.

What’s Included – The Energy Tracker will continuously monitor and quantify the progress of energy-related regulatory and policy reforms. At the time of launch, the Tracker includes eight executive orders, four presidential memoranda, and three public laws.  In addition, the Tracker identifies 16 energy-related regulatory and policy reforms that have been initiated or are under review, five reforms formally proposed, and 12 actions that have been finalized or completed (not including project-specific actions such as leases or permit approvals).  Also included in the Tracker is litigation pertaining to at least 15 ongoing energy actions, including seven regulatory-related court cases being held in abeyance, and three court actions that have overturned executive branch postponement of regulatory implementation.

Valuable to Check Out – This tool will be valuable for businesses, policymakers, stakeholders, journalists, and anyone else who would like to keep track of regulatory, legal, and policy actions on energy and environment.  To view the Energy Tracker, click here.  You can also sign up to receive periodic updates via email.

California Biotech Firm Gets Grants For Pest-Control Innovations – California-based biotech company ISCA Technologies will advance eight environmentally-friendly innovations to control damaging insect pests and improve crop yields thanks to grants it received this year from USDA.  ISCA Tech received six “Phase 1” grants from the department’s Small Business Innovation Research Program to develop and test five new pest control products and one that improves fruit blossom pollination rates. ISCA also received two “Phase 2” grants to prepare for the commercial market products already shown to have worked in field trials.  The Phase 1 grants are highly competitive with only 14% of the grant applicants receiving funding. Phase 2 grants are awarded competitively only after the successful completion of a Phase 1 project.  The grants will support technologies that are economical, effective and ground-breaking.

Statoil’s Hywind Project Underway – Statoil has opened the first floating wind farm in the world, has started to deliver electricity to the Scottish grid. Today the First Minister of Scotland, Nicola Sturgeon, officially opens the wind farm.  The 30MW wind farm, is located 25 kilometers offshore Peterhead in Aberdeenshire, Scotland and will power approximately 20,000 households.  In an opening event in Aberdeen today the Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon officially opens the world’s first floating wind farm saying “Hywind will provide clean energy to over twenty thousand homes and will help us meet our ambitious climate change targets. This marks an exciting development for renewable energy in Scotland.  Our support for floating offshore wind is testament to this government’s commitment to the development of this technology and, coupled with Statoil’s Battery Storage Project, Batwind, puts us at the forefront of this global race and positions Scotland as a world center for energy innovation.” The onshore operations and maintenance base for Hywind Scotland is located in Peterhead, while the operations center is located in Great Yarmouth. Linked to the Hywind Scotland project Statoil and partner Masdar will also install Batwind, a 1MWh Lithium battery storage solution for offshore wind energy.  Battery storage has the potential to mitigate intermittency and optimize output.

ACCF Report Says Tax Plan Will Help Clean Energy – A new report from the American Council for Capital Formation says tax changes could improve the investment climate in three ways, including through enactment of lower tax rates and elimination of interest deductions.  As you may know, ACCF is the former home of Trump energy advisor George David Banks, as well as joining a chorus of other conservative voices that are looking for ways to connect on clean energy issues.  Finally, ACCF also launched a new program on energy innovation of which this report is first public release on the topic.

Report: Grid Policy Might Not Help Coal – A new report by The Brattle Group says the Trump administration’s plan to boost coal plants will ultimately disadvantage the sector because it wouldn’t curtail competition from natural gas.

FERC Commissioners Weigh In on DOE Grid Plan – A bipartisan group of former FERC Commissioners opposed DOE recent grid move to provide resilience credits for some plants.  The former commissioners’ letter to FERC said the proposal “would be a significant step backward from the Commission’s long and bipartisan evolution to transparent, open, competitive wholesale markets” and that it “would instead disrupt decades of substantial investment made in the modern electric power system, raise costs for customers, and do so in a  manner directly counter to the Commission’s long experience.”Signing the letter were former FERC chairs Betsy Moler, Jim Hoecker, Pat Wood, Joe Kelliher and Jon Wellinghoff, as well as former commissioners Don Santa, Linda Key Breathitt and Nora Mead Brownell.

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

Green Bonds Conference Set for NYC – Environmental Finance will host Green Bonds 2017 today at 10 on the Park in New York City.  According to the Green Bonds Database, the American green bonds market has continued its rapid growth with over 17$ billion issued in the last twelve months.

At the conference this year we will look at the drivers behind this boom and how to ensure sustainable growth as the market matures.

Forum to Look at US-Korea Nuclear Relations – The Global America Business Institute (GABI) is hosting a special Capitol Hill briefing today on Noon on opportunities for U.S.-Korea Cooperation in advanced nuclear, looking at industrial, R&D and other collaboration.  Exploring opportunities for industrial and R&D cooperation between the two countries may be an important pathway towards accelerating the development and ultimate commercialization of these innovative technologies. Former Rep Ed Whitfield offers opening remarks and comments will be made by former NRC Commissioner William Ostendorff.

WCEE to Look at Clean Energy Jobs – The Women’s Council on Energy and the Environment (WCEE) holds a brown bag lunch tomorrow in Arlington at Accenture focused on clean energy jobs, locally and globally.  Recently, there has been a boom in clean energy and, with costs decreasing and adoption accelerating, the impact on jobs has been significant. U.S. solar and wind jobs are growing 12x faster than their peer average; with the fastest growing single profession being wind turbine technician, and an increase to over 260,000 solar workers in the U.S. alone last year. Join a great WCEE panel to hear more about where growth is happening and what skills are needed; how it’s empowering women and communities, and how innovative business models are helping it scale. Speakers will provide a range of private sector to non-profit perspectives on the following topics and encourage the audience to dive in and discuss.

Forum to Look at Venezuela Oil Issues – Tomorrow at 4:00 p.m., the Cato Institute will hold a forum on how oil riches ruined Venezuela.  In the past decade and a half, the government of Venezuela received over $1 trillion in oil revenues, and yet the country is now suffering from a deep humanitarian crisis with its population struggling to feed itself. As a correspondent for Dow Jones and the Wall Street Journal, Raúl Gallegos witnessed first-hand how the mismanagement of oil riches during the rule of Hugo Chávez led to Venezuela’s current misery. Gallegos will explain how mismanaged oil has created perverse incentives in the political system, the business community, and among ordinary Venezuelans. Gustavo Coronel will offer his insights on what should be the future of the oil sector in a democratic Venezuela.

Offshore Wind Conference to Feature Statoil, DOE, Others – AWEA’s annual Offshore WINDPOWER conference will also be held in NYC tomorrow and Wednesday with Statoil’s Knut Aanstad as a program co-chair.  The event will feature Denmark’s Minister of Energy, Utilities and Climate Lars Christian Lilleholt and DOE’s Tim Unruh, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Renewable Power.  Statoil is expected to make a significant announcement about its NY project at the event.

AWEA Finance Set for NYC – AWEA hosts its Wind Energy Finance & Investment Conference in NYC tomorrow through Thursday at the Roosevelt Hotel.  Wind energy continues to grow and is providing jobs, community value and, solid investment opportunities.

Grid Security Forum Set at George Mason – The Schar School of Policy and Government and the College of Science at George Mason University are hosting a symposium on Wednesday on grid security.  The event will be hosted by the Center for Energy Science and Policy (CESP) to advance understanding of the opportunities and challenges connected with multiple technologies that are transforming the electrical grid. There will be two panels that address how to frame grid security for scholarship and research; and the intersection of cyber and grid security. The panelists are from the National Defense University, government laboratories and agencies, Mason faculty engaged in cyber and grid security, and the private sector. The lunch speaker will be Brigham McCown, Chairman, and Founder of the Alliance for Innovation and Infrastructure.

Banks, Rep. Duncan Headline Latin America Energy Conference – On Wednesday, the Inter-American Dialogue will host a Latin America Energy Conference that will convene government officials from Latin America and the United States, corporate executives, and international and non-governmental organizations to discuss the most critical energy policy issues in the region.  Rep Jeff Duncan and White House Energy Advisor Dave Banks will be among the speakers.

Resources to Look at Sage Grouse – The full House Natural Resources Committee holds a hearing Wednesday at 10:00 a.m. on empowering state based management solutions for greater sage grouse recovery.  My Colleague Eric Washburn is in the middle of many of these discussions so please call if you need help (Eric: 202-412-5211)

Senate Environment to Vote on Nominees – After last week’s ethanol delay, the Senate Environment Committee is expected to vote Wednesday at 10:00 a.m. on EPA nominees, as well as Jan Baran for NRC and Paul Trombino to head the Federal Highway Administration.

Cato Forum to Look at Future of Public Transit – On Wednesday at 11:00 a.m., the Cato Institute hosts a forum on the future of public transit.  The nation’s public transit industry faces some of its greatest challenges: ridership has been declining; infrastructure is deteriorating; rivals such as Uber and Lyft are taking transit customers. Debaters Art Guzzetti, Vice President–Policy, American Public Transportation Association and Randal O’Toole, Senior Fellow, Cato Institute will discuss whether transit has a future.

WCEE to Host Battery Tech Leader – The Women’s Council on Energy and the Environment (WCEE) holds a Women in Leadership Forum at Winston & Strawn on Wednesday that hosts Christina Lampe-Önnerud, founder and chief executive officer of Cadenza Innovation.   Lampe-Önnerud will discuss the unprecedented development of advanced battery technology and the opportunities this presents for future innovative solutions in energy production and storage and the opportunities and challenges she faced in the competitive energy and environmental fields, and share “lessons learned” along her path to leadership.

Forum to Explore Canada’s Nuclear Fuel Management – The Global America Business Institute (GABI) will host a special event on Wednesday at Noon looking at Canada’s approach to long-term management of used nuclear fuel.  Speakers for the event will include Laurie Swami and Elena Mantagaris, both of the Nuclear Waste Management Organization of Canada.

Senate Energy to Look at Cyber Security Issues – The Senate Energy Committee holds a hearing Thursday at 10:00 a.m. to examine cyber technology and energy infrastructure.

NatGas Roundtable to Feature Trade Expert – The Natural Gas Roundtable will host USTDA’s Energy Sector Worldwide Team Lead Carl Kress on Thursday as the guest speaker at its next luncheon. Kress is the Energy Sector Worldwide Team Leader at the U.S. Trade and Development Agency, coordinating all energy-related agency programs and strategy with U.S. industry. He is also the Regional Director for East Asia, the Middle East, North Africa, Europe and Eurasia, responsible for developing and implementing the USTDA economic development program throughout these regions.

ASE Forum to Look at New EE Workforce – On Thursday at Noon in SVC 209 of the Capitol Visitors Center, the Alliance to Save Energy (ASE) will hold a forum on developing the 21st century energy efficiency workforce. The energy efficiency sector’s aging workforce coupled with a growing market for energy efficient buildings, services and products, evidences the need for skilled workers more than ever before. This discussion will bring together leaders in the energy sector to discuss how workforce development programs can help to address not only a gap in the number of workers available to meet the needs of the industry, but also combat the ever present problem of insufficient qualifications, certifications and education among energy efficiency job applicants.

AEE Experts to Discuss California Energy Policy –The Advanced Energy Economy’s (AEE) state policy team and in-state lobbyists will recap the legislative breakthroughs of 2017, and what remains to be done in 2018 in a webinar Thursday at 1:00 p.m. Topics include Cap and Trade, transportation electrification, RPS, energy efficiency, energy storage and CAISO regionalization.  Panelists include AEE’s California Policy senior director Amisha Rai, Sacramento lobbyist Andrew Antwih and state policy associate Ray Fakhoury.

IN THE FUTURE

Hansen to Speak at Climate Engineering Event – The Forum for Climate Engineering Assessment and Environment & Energy Management Institute at GWU will convene a workshop for non-governmental organizations on Monday October 30th that will focus on carbon dioxide removal and negative emissions technologies.  The event will be at GW’s Science and Engineering Hall and will be keynoted by Dr. James Hansen.

IPCC Chair to Join RFF to Talk Climate – Next Monday at 12:45 p.m. Resources for the Future hosts a conversation with Dr. Hoesung Lee, Chair of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and Endowed Chair Professor at Korea University Graduate School of Energy and Environment in Seoul. Dr. Lee has chaired the IPCC since he was elected to the position in October 2015. His research encompasses the economics of climate change, energy, and sustainable development.

BPC to Discuss Grid Options – The Bipartisan Policy Center will hold a forum on Tuesday October 31st at 10:00 a.m. Sofitel Lafayette Square’s Paris Ballroom.  The featuring former FERC commissioners and stakeholders that unpacks the proposed grid reliability and resiliency pricing rule under consideration at FERC. This proposal, drafted by the Department of Energy, calls for an expedited rulemaking to support generators that provide specific reliability and resiliency services – particularly some coal and nuclear plants.  Panelists will discuss what the Trump administration has proposed and how FERC might respond.  Speakers include our friend Rich Powell of Clearpath, API’s Marty Durbin, NRDC’s John Moore, and William Murray of Dominion, as well as former FERC Chairs James Hoecker, Pat Wood and Betsy Moler.

Forum to Look at SE Renewables – Infocast’s Southeast Renewable Energy 2017 is being held in Atlanta at the Downtown Hilton on November 1st through the 3rd.  The entire southeast renewable energy community gathers to get the latest insights into the market and to learn about the key trends impacting renewable energy project development, finance and investment in the Southeast, as well as meet with utility procurement and interconnection managers.  Key speakers will include Georgia PSC Commissioner Lauren “Bubba” McDonald, Atlanta City Resilience Officer Stephanie Stuckey, Walmart’s John Federovitch, SC PSC Commissioner Elizabeth Fleming, Georgia Power’s Robin Lanier, Duke’s Gary Freeman and several others.

Expert to Discuss Financing EE Programs in New Markets – On Wednesday, November 1st at 12:30 p.m., Johns Hopkins University hosts a forum featuring a practitioner’s approach to financing energy efficiency in emerging markets.  Lack of national project-based financing represents one of the primary global barriers to energy efficiency. Drawing on her experience at the Asian Development Bank and the World Bank, Ms. Madeleine Varkay, Principal Private Sector Development Specialist, will discuss how upgrading regulatory frameworks can enable long-term investments in infrastructure and industries such as clean energy. She will examine the case study of ADB’s recent partnership with Indonesia Ex-Im Bank, which pioneered an attractive energy efficiency financing program for export-oriented industrial enterprises.

Forum to Look at Electric Vehicles – The Electric Drive Transportation Association continues its Beyond the Beltway series on Wednesday, November 1st at 1:00 p.m. at the National Press Club.  Beyond the Beltway brings together state and municipal leaders, regional coalitions and private industry experts from across the country to talk about regional strategies to accelerate the growth of electric vehicles. The discussion will feature innovative public private collaborations, consumer education initiatives, plans to expand the national fast charging network, and the latest growth projections for electric vehicles in the U.S.

Forum to Look at Carbon Programs in Latin America – The Woodrow Wilson Center hosts a forum on Wednesday, November 1st at 3:00 p.m. looking at efforts to move toward a fossil fuel-free future in Latin America.  Wilson will hold a conversation with Walter Vergara, the author of the 2016 report and an expert on climate change mitigation efforts in Latin America. Vergara will present actions that could be taken to achieve net decarbonization – including in energy, transportation, land use, and industry – assess projects already being implemented across the region, and discuss the combinations of policy, technology innovation, and economic conditions that will impact this process.

WCEE to Discuss Markets with FERC Staff – The Women’s Council on Energy and the Environment (WCEE) holds a Lunch & Learn forum at FERC on Friday November 3rd at Noon.  FERC staff Robin Broder Hytowitz will provide an overview of electricity pricing focusing on broad concepts that apply to all ISOs/RTOs. The overview will explain the concepts behind Locational Marginal Prices, uplift, and an extension used in some wholesale markets today.  Broder Hytowitz works in the Office of Energy Policy and Innovation at FERC in the area of Operation Research Analysis. Her present focus is on current and proposed pricing models for wholesale electricity.

JHU Expert to Look at Eastern Nile Energy Issues – On Friday, November 3rd at 12:30 p.m., Johns Hopkins University SAIS Global Agriculture Seminar Series and the Initiative for Sustainable Energy Policy (ISEP) will present Dr. Ben Zaitchik on water, food and energy in the Eastern Nile Basin.  Zaitchik is an Associate Professor in the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences at Johns Hopkins University. His research includes work on regional climate variability, water resource monitoring, disease early warning, and climate change adaptation. To address research questions in these areas, Dr. Zaitchik employs a combination of satellite data interpretation, atmospheric and hydrological modeling, and meteorological analysis.

Women Renewable Energy Forum Set – The Women of Sustainable Energy and Renewable Industries (WRISE) Leadership Forum 2017 on November 6-7 in its inaugural year under the new brand (previously WoWE). Co-located with the AWEA Fall Symposium, this event will feature keynote speakers, professional development, networking, and expert panels on key issues in the industry.

AWEA Fall Symposium Returns to New Mexico – On November 7th through the 9th, AWEA hosts its annual Fall Wind Energy Fall Symposium at the Hyatt Regency Tamaya Resort, where key strategic decisions are made to build the future of wind energy. The event will feature new executive insights, and actionable strategic plans to power your business in the upcoming year.

CCS report to be Released – The Global CCS Institute will release its annual Global Status of CCS: 2017 report launch on November 28th, 2017. This year, the Institute is partnering with one of the top think tanks in the city, the Center for Strategic and International Studies, to promote and discuss the release of the Institute’s signature report, the globally recognized annual guide to the current progress and prospects for carbon capture and storage.

Energy Update: Week of 10/16/17

Friends,

I am still stunned over the interesting and exciting games in the MLB playoffs over the past week.  There has been some really great games.  And now, college basketball is underway with Midnight Madness across the country occurring over the weekend.

Last week, among the big stories was the withdrawal of the Obama Administration’s Clean Power Plan.  Our colleague Jeff Holmstead did a couple of great explainers on the CPP withdrawal.  First, he sat down with NPR’s Steve Inskeep for Morning Edition.  He also did a longer, more detailed discussion on the Bracewell podcast, The Lobby Shop, with Josh Zive.  You can listen to Jeff’s dulcet tones on NPR here and on The Lobby Shop here on iTunes and SoundCloud.  (You can sign up to receive it every week in your podcast app.)

This week, there are two events that everyone is keeping an eye on: 1) Tomorrow’s Grassley/Pruitt meeting on biofuels issues and 2) an EPA briefing today on changes to sue/settle.  On Grassley, we’ve seen a flurry of activity, including a letter from PA Senators on risk to NE refineries, another letter from more Senators on biofuels on lowering the RVO, a new RFA paper (which surprising thinks ethanol is not the problem) and pushback from the small “mom-and-pop” retailers who argue the program is unfairly slanted toward large retailers.  As for “sue/settle”, it is an issue our friends at the US Chamber have raised major concerns about with a recent report in September.  Our experts are also ready to help.

Starting tomorrow in Congress, the Senate Approps panel is moving the Interior/EPA budget with full Committee on Thursday.  We expect committee votes on in Senate Environment on EPA nominees, as well as NRC’s Jan Baran Wednesday morning.

Other events include AGA hosting a media briefing tomorrow at 9:00 a.m. to present expectations for peak month natural gas supply and demand as we move into the 2017-18 winter heating season. The ELI annual awards dinner and policy forums Wednesday as well as former DOE Sect Moniz visiting with the Bipartisan Policy Center on nuclear. Finally on Thursday, CSIS hosts forum on the history of vehicle efficiency standards and electricity regulation featuring our friends Jim Connaughton, former Rep. Phil Sharp and former FERC Commissioners Tony Clark and Joe Kelliher.

Here is a great homecoming photo from Olivia’s weekend… And she scored twice during the Friday Night Lights 4-2 field hockey victory, including the game winner.

Call with questions.  Best,

Frank Maisano

(202) 828-5864

  1. (202) 997-5932

 

FRANKLY SPOKEN

“As the first stewards of the environment, U.S. farmers have invested in solar energy to diversify their sources of power and reduce their impacts. They are joining a wide range of other U.S. industries who are opposed to the U.S. government intervening in the energy market to artificially raise the cost of using solar power.  It’s clear that any tariffs or price floors to protect two solar companies will cause widespread damage to many sectors of the U.S. economy.”

ETAC spokesperson Paul Nathanson on Ag Groups Opposed Solar Tariff.

“Agriculture is most prevalent in rural areas that have high energy cost or limited grid access; solar adoption has been vital to keeping many family farms competitive in this world market along with the jobs that these small communities depend upon. Tariffs would create a massive setback in this progress and potentially take away the opportunity for farmers to invest in solar.”

Roger Isom, President and CEO of California Cotton Ginners and Growers Associations, emphasized the acute strain this proposed tariffs would put on rural areas.

“The proposed tariffs and minimum prices would double the cost of imported solar cells and modules used in farming operations thus jeopardizing the financial viability of planned and future solar investments by citrus growers and packers.”

Joel Nelson, President of California Citrus Mutual.

 

IN THE NEWS

Ag Groups Oppose Solar Trade Tariffs – The Energy Trade Action Coalition (ETAC) today highlighted a broad array of agricultural groups that are opposing the Section 201 solar tariff petition.  Six agricultural groups recently submitted letters to the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) opposing remedies that would raise solar energy costs.  Agricultural groups that have submitted letters to the ITC include the Almond Alliance of California, California Citrus Mutual, California Cotton Ginners and Growers Associations, California Fresh Fruit Association, California Poultry Federation, and Western Agricultural Processors Association.  Kelly Covello, President of the Almond Alliance of California wrote they are deeply concerned the petition’s proposed trade remedy “would be harmful by raising energy costs while eliminating economically viable means to comply with California’s strict carbon dioxide limits, water restrictions and renewable energy mandates.”  These groups join other manufacturers, energy utilities and local, state and federal government officials who are warning about the serious consequences of solar tariffs to the American economy and to the thousands of jobs that depend on solar investments.  A sample of the letters submitted to the ITC is attached and to learn more about ETAC and its mission, visit www.energytradeaction.org.

Harnett-White Named CEQ Nominee – The White House has appointed Kathleen Hartnett White, a former Texas regulator to lead the Council on Environmental Quality. My colleague Scott Segal said White’s distinguished career as both a state regulator and as an expert on national policy development combines analytical skills with the practical thinking required of a state regulator.  As a TCEQ commissioner, she was well known to the regulated and public interest communities.  Given the importance of Texas manufacturing and energy production to the economy of the entire nation, environmental regulation in Texas must address cutting-edge concerns thoroughly, competently and pragmatically.  Dr. White was at the forefront of that process.  Segal said some have focused on particular statements attributed to Dr. White regarding climate science.  The truth is that she has written on a broader spectrum of environmental issues and has typically supported policies that advance energy, environmental and economic priorities.  I am sure her confirmation hearing will offer opportunities to further clarify her views.

Segal: CEQ Already Working Hard – Segal added on last item on the CEQ to date. “Since the beginning of the Administration, CEQ staff has done a tremendous job advancing an agenda to bring more rationality to the regulatory and permitting process,” he said.  “CEQ staff has familiarized itself with some of the real, practical challenges presented by the National Environmental Policy Act.   Dr. White joins a team already undertaking a serious-minded and capable review of the federal government’s role in energy and environmental projects.”

TX Utility to Close Two More Coal Plants – Following last week’s announcement about its Monticello Plant, Vistra Energy said today that it will close two additional coal-fueled power plants in Central Texas: its two-unit Sandow Power Plant in Milam County and its two-unit Big Brown Power Plant in Freestone County. In total, approximately 2,300 MW of nameplate power will be taken offline in early 2018.  The two plants are economically challenged in the competitive ERCOT market. Sustained low wholesale power prices, an oversupplied renewable generation market, and low natural gas prices, along with other factors, have contributed to this decision.

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

Wilson Center to Host Events on Resilience Week – The Wilson Center’s Global Sustainability and Resilience Program is hosting the 2017 Resilience Academy Capstone Conference this week in cooperation with the Munich Re Foundation, UN University-Institute for Environment and Human Security, and International Centre for Climate Change and Development. Among the event will be three public sessions of the Academy, covering the many ways in which resilience is vital for communities around the world.

JHU to Host Sustainable Energy Institute –Today at Noon, Johns Hopkins University’s SAIS launched its Initiative for Sustainable Energy Policy (ISEP) to conduct policy analysis that will help governments universalize energy access at minimal environmental impact. Directed by Johannes Urpelainen, the Prince Sultan bin Abdulaziz Professor of Energy, Resources and Environment, ISEP offers bold ideas, rigorous policy analysis, and sustained engagement with policymakers and other change agents.

AGA to Discuss Winter Heating Season Report – The American Gas Association (AGA) will host a media briefing tomorrow at 9:00 a.m. to present expectations for peak month natural gas supply and demand as we move into the 2017-18 winter heating season. The annual AGA Winter Outlook takes factors such as supply, demand, temperature, weather events and pipeline capacity and calculates how these factors may impact customer bills. An open question and answer session will follow the presentation. Chris McGill, vice president, Energy Analysis & Standards and Bruce McDowell, managing director, Energy Analysis & Standards, will make the presentations.

Wilson Forum to Look at Cities, Cars, Air – The Woodrow Wilson Center’s China Environment Forum will host a forum tomorrow at 9:30 a.m. on how cities are confronting the challenges of adapting a transportation system to new sustainability concerns. Simon Ng, an independent researcher formerly with Civic Exchange, will reflect on Los Angeles’ and Hong Kong’s quests for sustainable mobility and urban livability while also shedding light on the similar challenges faced by ever-growing Chinese megacities. Drawing on years of International Council on Clean Transportation (ICCT) engagement in the PRD lowering vehicular emissions, Zifei Yang will introduce the increasingly effective vehicle emission control programs that Shenzhen and other PRD cities have instituted.

Senate Approps Panel to Mark up Interior Budget – The Senate Appropriations Committee’s Subcommittee on Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies will meet to markup the Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2018.  Full Committee mark up on Thursday.

Norway Oil, Gas Minister at CSIS – Tomorrow at 10:00 a.m. the CSIS Energy and National Security Program is hosting Lars Erik Aamot, Director General for Oil and Gas in the Norwegian Ministry of Petroleum and Energy. Aamot will discuss Norway’s experiences, current activities, and future opportunities in developing the oil and gas resources of the Norwegian Arctic. Former EIA head Adam Sieminski will moderate.  Aamot has more than 20 years of experience in the oil and gas industry, primarily from various roles in the Norwegian Ministry of Petroleum and Energy. Since 2009, he has been the Director General for Oil and Gas in the Ministry.

National Bioenergy Day 2017 – The Department of Energy (DOE) will celebrate its 5th annual National Bioenergy Day on Wednesday to celebrate bioenergy, a form of renewable energy derived from biomass—organic material—that can be used to produce transportation fuels, products, heat, and electricity. This is an opportunity to showcase bioenergy facilities and the bioenergy supply chain around the United States.

BPC to Host Moniz on Nuclear – The Bipartisan Policy Center will host former Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz a conversation on Wednesday at 9:00 a.m. with BPC President Jason Grumet to discuss the vital role U.S. nuclear energy plays in achieving national security objectives. The conversation will highlight the key takeaways from The U.S. Nuclear Energy Enterprise: A Key National Security Enabler, a report issued by Sec. Moniz’s new Energy Futures Initiative.

USEA Hosts Energy Transition Outlook – The US Energy Assn will roll out the DNV GL Energy Transition Outlook on Wednesday at 9:00 a.m. in the Fourth Estate Room at the National Press Club.  The Outlook provides a balanced forecast of our energy future through to 2050 and draws on DNV GL’s independence and its broad involvement across the entire supply chain, spanning complex offshore infrastructure, onshore oil & gas installations, large-scale wind, solar and energy efficiency projects and the world’s most advanced electricity transmission and distribution grids. The report forecasts energy demand and supply globally, and in 10 world regions.

Press Club to Host Comms Summit – On Wednesday, the National Press Club will host its annual Communicators’ Summit at the Club’s First Amendment Lounge.  This year’s theme is “Content is King.” Leading experts will share insights on producing content suited to the unique strengths of different digital, online and social media channels, as well as emerging technologies. We’ll discuss the challenges of developing credible and compelling content at a time when trust in corporations, government, NGO’s and the media is being tested more than any time in a generation.  Speakers will include AARP’s Bill Walsh, AXIOS Editor Nicholas Johnston, Twitter‘s head of Global Public Policy Communications Emily Horne, Richard Levick, Scripps News Washington Bureau investigative correspondent Mark Greenblatt and several more.  The Luncheon Keynote speaker will be Richard Edelman, President and CEO of Edelman.  Special kudos to our friend Tim Brown of GE Renewable who is helping put the program together.

ELI Hosts Annual Dinner, Forums – The Environmental Law Institute holds its annual awards dinner honoring  Achim Steiner, Administrator for the United Nations Development Program on Wednesday at the Omni Shoreham in DC.  At 2:00 p.m., they will host a discussion about “cooperative federalism” and the need to ensure that environmental program administration reflects the significant expertise and experience state environmental agencies now have after decades of administrating environmental protection laws.  Panelists will include ECOS’s Alexandra Dapolito Dunn, Chevron’s Richard DeSanti, BNSF’s John Lovenburg, Todd Parfitt of the Wyoming DEQ, C2ES’s Janet Peace and Martha Rudolph, Director of Environmental Programs at the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment.  They will also hold the Miriam Hamilton Keare Policy Forum on cooperative Federalism, featuring GE’s Neil Kemkar, Bob Martineau of the Tennessee DEC and several others.

JHU to Look at EVs – On Wednesday at 5:00 p.m., Johns Hopkins University hosts a forum on electric cars.  Speakers will address range, infrastructure, environmental impacts and other Issues.

CSIS to Look at Vehicle Issues – The CSIS Energy & National Security Program and Van Ness Feldman are hosting a conference Thursday on the history of vehicle efficiency standards and electricity regulation in honor of the late Robert Nordhaus. This program looks at the evolution of two policy areas in which Bob made an important mark, and which raise issues of great significance today.  Panels will include former Energy Committee Chair and RFF Head Phil Sharp, former Bush 43 CEQ chief Jim Connaughton and Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers CEO Mitch Bainwol, as well as former FERC Commissioners Tony Clark and Joe Kelliher.

Hydro, Climate Discussion Set – On Thursday at 4:00 p.m., Chemonics International hosts a forum on hydropower and climate risks.  The benefits of hydropower are especially salient for smaller-scale hydro, given its smaller environmental and social footprint. New financial instruments, such as green bonds and payments for water services, along with engagement from multilateral agencies also make smaller-scale hydropower investment more attractive and feasible. But what does a changing climate mean for hydropower? Molly Hellmuth, the focal point on water and Africa for ICF’s Climate Adaptation and Resilience team, will present.

DOE, NEI Host Nuclear Forum – The Department of Energy and the Nuclear Energy Institute will host the Millennial Nuclear Caucus on Thursday at 5:00 p.m. in Washington, DC.

Forum to Look at Storage, Micro Grids – On Thursday at 5:30 p.m. at EEI, Leaders in Energy, along with Resilient Virginia, will be sponsoring a forum on improving resilience through microgrids and battery storage.  The utilization of microgrids plus battery storage is seen increasingly by public and private organizations as the wave of the future to help ensure energy reliability and security in the age of intense hurricanes and cybersecurity threats.  Topics include: technology that supports the utility/microgrid interface, tools for developers to assess microgrid viability based on existing infrastructure and regulations, how local governments in the DMV are working with private companies to make microgrid development financially feasible, and how our regional Department of Defense installations are utilizing microgrids as part of their energy security systems. Speakers include EEI’s John Caldwell, USGBC’s Brendan Owens, Dan Ton of DOE’s Smart Grid R&D and Michael Yambrach, the Energy and Sustainability director in Montgomery County, MD.

Economists to Host Weather Hedge Specialist – The National Capitol Chapter of the US Assn of Energy Economists will host their October forum with Munich Re’s Edward Byrne on Friday at Carmines.  Ed Byrns has specialized in weather hedging for many years. His talk focuses on how the new world of big data is creating innovative weather risk products to manage business exposure.

This presentation is a journey from the past to the present and on to the future. Throughout this journey, we will learn what weather risk management is, where market capabilities are today and how future solutions could target micro-level risks.

Renewable Tour Set for October Shenandoah Fall – On Saturday, JMU’s Center for Wind Energy joins the nonprofit American Solar Energy Society (ASES) and hundreds of solar-savvy installers and grassroots organizations throughout America to showcase thousands of solar-powered homes, schools and businesses in Virginia and across North America — for the 22nd Annual National Solar Tour, the world’s largest grassroots solar event. The ASES National Solar Tour shows families and businesses real-life examples of how their neighbors are harnessing free energy from the sun to generate electricity, warm and cool their homes, heat water and slash monthly utility bills.

IN THE FUTURE

Green Bonds Conference Set for NYC – Environmental Finance will host Green Bonds 2017 at 10 on the Park in New York City on October 23rd.  According to the Green Bonds Database, the American green bonds market has continued its rapid growth with over 17$ billion issued in the last twelve months.

At the conference this year we will look at the drivers behind this boom and how to ensure sustainable growth as the market matures.

WCEE to Look at Clean Energy Jobs – Next Tuesday, WCEE holds a brown bag lunch in Arlington at Accenture focused on clean energy jobs, locally and globally.  Recently, there has been a boom in clean energy and, with costs decreasing and adoption accelerating, the impact on jobs has been significant. U.S. solar and wind jobs are growing 12x faster than their peer average; with the fastest growing single profession being wind turbine technician, and an increase to over 260,000 solar workers in the U.S. alone last year. Join a great WCEE panel to hear more about where growth is happening and what skills are needed; how it’s empowering women and communities, and how innovative business models are helping it scale. Speakers will provide a range of private sector to non-profit perspectives on the following topics and encourage the audience to dive in and discuss.

Forum to Look at Venezuela Oil Issues – Next Tuesday at 4:00 p.m., the Cato Institute will hold a forum on how oil riches ruined Venezuela.  In the past decade and a half, the government of Venezuela received over $1 trillion in oil revenues, and yet the country is now suffering from a deep humanitarian crisis with its population struggling to feed itself. As a correspondent for Dow Jones and the Wall Street Journal, Raúl Gallegos witnessed first-hand how the mismanagement of oil riches during the rule of Hugo Chávez led to Venezuela’s current misery. Gallegos will explain how mismanaged oil has created perverse incentives in the political system, the business community, and among ordinary Venezuelans. Gustavo Coronel will offer his insights on what should be the future of the oil sector in a democratic Venezuela.

AWEA Finance, Offshore Conferences Set for NYC – AWEA hosts its Wind Energy Finance & Investment Conference in NYC on October 24-26th at the Roosevelt Hotel.  Wind energy continues to grow and is providing jobs, community value and, solid investment opportunities. The event will also be co-located with AWEA’s annual Offshore WINDPOWER conference, which will feature Denmark’s Minister of Energy, Utilities and Climate Lars Christian Lilleholt and DOE’s Tim Unruh, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Renewable Power.  Statoil, who is looking to build in NY is among the focuses of the conference.

WCEE to Host Battery Tech Leader – The Women’s Council on Energy and the Environment (WCEE) holds a Women in Leadership Forum at Winston & Strawn on Wednesday, October 25th that hosts Christina Lampe-Önnerud, founder and chief executive officer of Cadenza Innovation.   Lampe-Önnerud will discuss the unprecedented development of advanced battery technology and the opportunities this presents for future innovative solutions in energy production and storage and the opportunities and challenges she faced in the competitive energy and environmental fields, and share “lessons learned” along her path to leadership.

NatGas Roundtable to Feature Trade Expert – The Natural Gas Roundtable will host USTDA’s Energy Sector Worldwide Team Lead Carl Kress on Thursday October 26th as the guest speaker at its next luncheon. Kress is the Energy Sector Worldwide Team Leader at the U.S. Trade and Development Agency, coordinating all energy-related agency programs and strategy with U.S. industry. He is also the Regional Director for East Asia, the Middle East, North Africa, Europe and Eurasia, responsible for developing and implementing the USTDA economic development program throughout these regions.

Hansen to Speak at Climate Engineering Event – The Forum for Climate Engineering Assessment and Environment & Energy Management Institute at GWU will convene a workshop for non-governmental organizations on Monday October 30th that will focus on carbon dioxide removal and negative emissions technologies.  The event will be at GW’s Science and Engineering Hall and will be keynoted by Dr. James Hansen.

Women Renewable Energy Forum Set – The Women of Sustainable Energy and Renewable Industries (WRISE) Leadership Forum 2017 on November 6-7 in its inaugural year under the new brand (previously WoWE). Co-located with the AWEA Fall Symposium, this event will feature keynote speakers, professional development, networking, and expert panels on key issues in the industry.

AWEA Fall Symposium Returns to New Mexico – On November 7th through the 9th, AWEA hosts its annual Fall Wind Energy Fall Symposium at the Hyatt Regency Tamaya Resort, where key strategic decisions are made to build the future of wind energy. The event will feature new executive insights, and actionable strategic plans to power your business in the upcoming year.

 

Friends,

Happy Columbus Day from Washington.  No traffic during a rain storm and free parking on the streets makes me wish every day was a Federal holiday…  While I understand that there is some controversy regarding honoring Columbus, this is the special day for Italian-Americans like yours truly.  To appreciate, I spent the weekend in the North End of Boston for a great meal at Giacomo’s and some cannolis from Modern Pastry.

Wow… Was that a week or what? And no slow down on Friday as it seemed even busier with the CPP documents making their way out into the public.  Then, Hurricane Nate roared ashore over the weekend with Mississippi Power and Alabama Power working hard to restore power, which as of Sunday seemed to be all back on other than a small area around hardest-hit Mobile which is supposed to be back on by noon today.  Nate also forced offshore oil companies to curtail 92.61%, or 1.62 million barrels per day, of Gulf of Mexico oil production as of Sunday.

Back to CPP, we expect to have an announcement tomorrow after this morning’s event in Kentucky.  Administrator Pruitt said in a speech in Hazard, KY (by the way, yours truly is a Duke of Hazard thanks to former Mayor Bill Gorman) with Majority Leader Mitch McConnell that he will formally sign the proposal to withdraw the CPP tomorrow in Washington.  My Colleague Jeff Holmstead can answer your questions.  Email us at here or jeff.holmstead@bracewell.com.

SEJ in Pittsburgh was a great event, especially with all this important environmental activity making news… and Jeff just happened to be on a CPP/climate legal panel as the documents were coming out.  Way to go Carolyn Whetzel.  I knew that was your plan all along.  And our reception was awesome…including the great, fun band that we hosted.  Looking forward to Flint, but it seems like there will so many things between now and then.

In addition to the CPP activity this week, the big event on Capitol Hill with be Energy Secretary Rick Perry’s visit to the House Energy Committee when he will get intense questions about his recent grid proposal to FERC.  That’s Thursday at 10:00 a.m.  Other events include a cybersecurity event tomorrow with rural Co-ops (featuring Arkansas Co-op leader, our friend and expert Duane Highley); a House Resources panel hearing on Wednesday to look at legislation to amend the OCS Lands Act featuring Mary Landrieu, Michael Bromwich and API’s Erik Milito; Thursday CSIS hosts IEA’s Renewable Energy Division head Heymi Bahar for a presentation of the IEA’s Renewable Energy Market Report 2017; and Friday, House Resources returns to legislation focused on onshore energy.

Finally, stay tuned tomorrow for some more great hiring news at Bracewell’s PRG.  We are excited to make a big announcement on a new tax expert who is super smart on policy, very media savvy and well-connected in the nerdy tax world.  He will be a huge help to those of you covering tax policy

Call with questions.  Best

 

Frank Maisano

(202) 828-5864

  1. (202) 997-5932

 

FRANKLY SPOKEN

“I’m sympathetic with the ‘hurry up and fix something'” attitude, said “But this is such a draconian way of fixing it that I’m assuming it’s put out there to be a lightning rod to get people off their ass and get to focusing on proper solutions to this.” He added: “Everything in our society has a shelf-life and then it goes into retirement.”

Former FERC Chairman Pat Wood, a Republican who is a strong advocate for markets in Darius Dixon’s  POLITICO.

IN THE NEWS

PA Delegation Urges Trump to Protect Refinery Jobs – Following an event at a refinery in Philadelphia this morning, members of Congress and union officials released a letter from Pennsylvania’s Congressional delegation urging President Trump support refining jobs in the Northeast.  Signers including Sens. Casey and Toomey, as well as Reps. Doyle, Barletta, Evans, Kelly, Brady, Meehan, Boyle, Thompson, Perry, Shuster, Rothfus and Costello.

EIA: CO2 Emissions Headed Down – The Energy Information Administration has new data on energy-related CO2 emissions and they show a 1.7% decline in 2016.  The data lowers energy-related emissions to 14% below 2005 levels and just 2.6% above 1990 levels, even though the economy is much larger than it was a quarter century ago. The trend of declining coal‐fired electricity generation and increasing non‐fossil fuel and natural gas‐fired generation continued in 2016. Coal’s share of total electricity generation fell from 53% in 1990 to 30% in 2016.  The natural gas share of electricity generation grew from approximately 12% in 1990 to 30% in 2012 and to 34% in 2016.  The non-fossil fuel electricity generation share (35%), including both nuclear and renewables, exceeded that of both coal and natural gas in 2016.  See a bunch a great charts here.

EPA GHG Report Also Shows Decrease – Another new annual report from EPA says greenhouse gas emissions from America’s largest industrial facilities fell 2% in 2016 to 2.99 billion tons, led by a large cut from the power sector. The decline in emissions in 2016 was led by a 4.6% reduction from U.S. power plants, an 18% decline from five years ago.

TX Utility to Retire Coal Plant – Speaking of emissions heading down, Texas utility Vistra announced on Friday plans to retire its Monticello Power Plant in Titus County, Texas. In total, approximately 1,800 MW of power will be taken offline in January of 2018.  Vistra said the market’s unprecedented low power price environment has profoundly impacted the plant’s operating revenues and no longer supports continued investment.  Vistra estimates that approximately 200 employees will be impacted by Monticello’s retirement.  More here.

Wheeler EPA Nom Finally in Motion – After months of expectation and speculation, President Trump late last Thursday appointed Faegre Baker Daniels Consulting energy and natural resources expert Andrew Wheeler to the #2 position at EPA. Wheeler previously worked for Sen. Jim Inhofe and the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee.

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

Forum to Look at Clean Energy – Today at 3:15 p.m., as part of the State Innovation Exchange’s annual SiX Legislator Conference, local and state leaders will gather in Washington, D.C., for a panel discussion on clean energy efforts in the States. More than 500 progressive state legislators and legislative staff from across the nation will gather for the 4th annual legislator conference. These state lawmakers, who are on the front lines of the resistance and policy making efforts across the country will gather to discuss and find solutions to some of the most pressing issues impacting the country as well as plan new strategies to further resist the efforts of the Trump administration.  The conference goes through tomorrow.

Rural Co-Ops to Discuss CyberSecurity – The National Rural Electric Cooperative Association hosts a cybersecurity forum, “Insights on Cybersecurity for Electric Utilities,” tomorrow at 10:00 a.m.  The event will be in collaboration with the National Cyber Security Alliance and the Department of Homeland Security.

WRI to Host Forum – Experts from the Open Government Partnership and World Resources Institute will hold a forum tomorrow at 12:30 p.m. on climate action.  The forum will profile a range of innovative approaches that open government advocates have taken to strengthen countries’ climate commitments under the Paris Agreement. Together, they will unpack how improving transparency, accountability and public participation in climate decision-making processes can help governments and civil society leaders around the world achieve ambitious climate targets.

Forum to Look at US-China Relations – The Atlantic Council’s Global Energy Center and the Brent Scowcroft Center’s Asia Security Initiative will hold a timely conversation tomorrow on the role energy plays in the US-China relationship. The US administration’s emerging diplomatic strategy and the upcoming nineteenth national congress of the Communist Party of China provide an opportunity to take stock of the role energy plays in the US-China relationship, as well as in how China views its future. Key issues in the US-China relationship include the role of liquefied natural gas (LNG) in the US-China Comprehensive Economic Dialogue, China’s view of US energy exports, and how energy fits into the administration’s trade agenda.  Speakers include our friend Robert Fee of Cheniere Energy, ITC Assistant Secretary Alan Turley and DOE China advisor Maria DiGuilian with our friend Keith Johnson of FP moderating.

Report top Look at Highly-Enriched Uranium Facilities – On Wednesday at 10:00 a.m., the Fissile Materials Working Group and International Panel on Fissile Materials will launch of a major new IPFM research report, edited by Pavel Podvig, with contributions by six leading Russian experts on highly enriched uranium (HEU) facilities. The report describes in unprecedented detail Russian programs that use HEU as fuel in military and civilian applications. Further, it asses Russia’s contribution to the effort to convert research reactors from HEU to non-weapon-usable low-enriched uranium fuel, and Russia’s efforts to repatriate HEU fuel it had supplied to facilities abroad. Finally, it evaluates the organizational structure and regulations governing the security of HEU in civilian facilities in Russia. It makes recommendations for securing Russia’s commitment to the goal of a comprehensive global HEU minimization strategy.

House Resources Look at Revenue Legislation – The House Natural Resources Committee’s Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources will hold a legislative hearing on Wednesday at 2:00 p.m. to look at a discussion draft of legislation to amend the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act to distribute revenues from oil and gas leasing on the outer Continental Shelf to certain coastal States, and for other purposes.  Witnesses will include former Louisiana Sen. Mary Landrieu, South Caroline State Senator Stephen Goldfinch, API’s Erik Milito and former BOEM director Michael Bromwich.

Walden, DOE Official Headline Canadian Energy Efficiency Forum – On Thursday, the Canadian Embassy hosts the 28th annual Energy Efficiency Forum, featuring Dan Brouillette, deputy secretary at the Department of Energy, and Rep. Greg Walden (R-Ore.), chairman of the House Energy & Commerce Committee.

House Energy to Discuss Grid Proposal – Energy Secretary Rick Perry testifies before the House Energy Subcommittee on Thursday at 10:00 a.m. to offer his vision for managing and executing the department’s missions and opportunities to update and align DOE’s missions and operations with the emerging energy, national security, environmental, and technological challenges confronting the nation.  Expect some interesting questions as a many energy industries have raised concerns about the DOE approach

ACORE Finance Forum Set – The American Council on Renewable Energy will hold forum on the state of the renewable energy public policy, financial markets and corporate renewables strategy when they hold ACORE Finance West on Thursday at the Bently Reserve in San Francisco.  This annual conference convenes senior investors, industry executives, and other top transactional professionals to address market trends in the context of renewable investment opportunities in the Western U.S.

Bloomberg Hosts Sustainability Forum – Bloomberg holds its 3rd annual Sustainable Business Summit on Thursday and Friday in its New York offices to discuss how companies are yielding positive returns for investors, creating sustainably valuable products and processes, and developing innovative sustainable business models.  Uniquely positioned at the intersection of sustainable business and sustainable investing, the summit will explore the challenges and even greater opportunities emerging across industries.

WAPA to Host Road Rally – The Washington Automotive Press Association holds its 2017 WAPA Rally on Thursday.  This year’s event will be a drive event on the roads just beyond the Chesapeake Bay Bridge on the scenic Eastern Shore of Maryland. The event provides the opportunity to drive or ride in the latest and greatest cars, trucks and SUVs provided by WAPA’s automotive partners.

CSIS to Host IEA Renewable Energy Report Launch – The CSIS Energy and National Security Program is hosting Heymi Bahar, Project Manager of the Renewable Energy Division at the International Energy Agency (IEA), on Thursday at 9:30 a.m. for a presentation of the IEA’s Renewable Energy Market Report 2017 (formerly titled Medium-Term Renewables Market Report). The report provides a detailed market analysis and overview of renewable electricity capacity and generation, biofuels production, and heat consumption, as well as a forecast for the period between 2017 and 2022. This year’s report also assesses the off-grid solar market in Africa and developing Asia and the contribution of electric vehicles to renewable road transport.  Our friend Kevin Book will moderate.

Groups to Look at Nuclear Report – The Natural Resources Defense Council, the Union of Concerned Scientists, and the Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung will host a forum on Thursday at noon for the U.S. launch of the World Nuclear Industry Status Report 2017.

Women’s Energy Groups Hold Reception – The Women’s Energy Network hosts its October Happy Hour reception at Asia Nine on Thursday evening starting at 5:30 p.m.  WEN DC is an organization that supports the professional development and advancement of women in the energy industry through relationships and networking. The events feature great food, drinks, networking, and socializing with your WEN members and other professionals from across the energy industry.

KB Hutchison to Address WaPo Forum – On Thursday at 6:30 p.m., U.S. Permanent Representative to NATO Kay Bailey Hutchison – former TX Senator and Bracewell colleague will speak one-on-one with columnist David Ignatius at The Washington Post. Hutchison will explore the future of NATO, mounting threats from Russia against Western allies and the ambassador’s top priorities for military cooperation, intelligence-gathering and combating terrorism.This live, on-stage interview is a part of the ongoing “Securing Tomorrow” series.

House Resources Looks at Onshore Energy – On Friday at 9:00 a.m., the House Resources Committee’s Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources will hold a legislative hearing on a discussion draft of legislation looking at opportunities for to harness onshore resources to achieve domestic energy independence by empowering States to manage the development and production of oil and gas on available Federal land, and for other purposes.

Wilson Forum to Look at Mexico Energy Outlook – On Friday at 4:00 p.m., the Woodrow Wilson Center will hold a forum looking at Mexico’s energy outlook.  Mexico’s landmark 2013 energy reform has caused a transformation for PEMEX from a monopolistic national oil company to a company with a competitive entity, with a more efficient business model. José Antonio González Anaya has been leading this effort since February 2016, and has emphasized the importance of partnerships along the breath and length of PEMEX activities. PEMEX is now fully engaged, since 2016, in exploration and production activities in partnership with private and foreign companies.   The event will feature a conversation with José Antonio González Anaya, where he will speak about the progress that has been made and the challenges the company will face in the next 12 months.

IN THE FUTURE

Wilson Center to Host Events on Resilience Week – The Wilson Center’s Global Sustainability and Resilience Program is hosting the 2017 Resilience Academy Capstone Conference next week in cooperation with the Munich Re Foundation, UN University-Institute for Environment and Human Security, and International Centre for Climate Change and Development. Among the event will be three public sessions of the Academy, covering the many ways in which resilience is vital for communities around the world.

JHU to Host Sustainable Energy Institute – Next Monday, October 16th at Noon, Johns Hopkins University’s SAIS will launch its Initiative for Sustainable Energy Policy (ISEP) to conduct policy analysis that will help governments universalize energy access at minimal environmental impact. Directed by Johannes Urpelainen, the Prince Sultan bin Abdulaziz Professor of Energy, Resources and Environment, ISEP offers bold ideas, rigorous policy analysis, and sustained engagement with policymakers and other change agents.

Wilson Forum to Look at Cities, Cars, Air – The Woodrow Wilson Center’s China Environment Forum will host a forum next Tuesday at 9:30 a.m. on how cities are confronting the challenges of adapting a transportation system to new sustainability concerns. Simon Ng, an independent researcher formerly with Civic Exchange, will reflect on Los Angeles’ and Hong Kong’s quests for sustainable mobility and urban livability while also shedding light on the similar challenges faced by ever-growing Chinese megacities. Drawing on years of International Council on Clean Transportation (ICCT) engagement in the PRD lowering vehicular emissions, Zifei Yang will introduce the increasingly effective vehicle emission control programs that Shenzhen and other PRD cities have instituted.

National Bioenergy Day 2017 – The Department of Energy (DOE) will celebrate its 5th annual National Bioenergy Day on Wednesday October 18th to celebrate bioenergy, a form of renewable energy derived from biomass—organic material—that can be used to produce transportation fuels, products, heat, and electricity. This is an opportunity to showcase bioenergy facilities and the bioenergy supply chain around the United States.

BPC to Host Moniz on Nuclear – The Bipartisan Policy Center will host former Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz a conversation on October 18th at 9:00 a.m. with BPC President Jason Grumet to discuss the vital role U.S. nuclear energy plays in achieving national security objectives. The conversation will highlight the key takeaways from The U.S. Nuclear Energy Enterprise: A Key National Security Enabler, a report issued by Sec. Moniz’s new Energy Futures Initiative.

USEA Hosts Energy Transition Outlook – The US Energy Assn will roll out the DNV GL Energy Transition Outlook on Wednesday, October 18th at 9:00 a.m. in the Fourth Estate Room at the National Press Club.  The Outlook provides a balanced forecast of our energy future through to 2050 and draws on DNV GL’s independence and its broad involvement across the entire supply chain, spanning complex offshore infrastructure, onshore oil & gas installations, large-scale wind, solar and energy efficiency projects and the world’s most advanced electricity transmission and distribution grids. The report forecasts energy demand and supply globally, and in 10 world regions.

Press Club to Host Comms Summit – On Wednesday, October 18, the National Press Club will host its annual Communicators’ Summit at the Club’s First Amendment Lounge.  This year’s theme is “Content is King.” Leading experts will share insights on producing content suited to the unique strengths of different digital, online and social media channels, as well as emerging technologies. We’ll discuss the challenges of developing credible and compelling content at a time when trust in corporations, government, NGO’s and the media is being tested more than any time in a generation.  Speakers will include AARP’s Bill Walsh, AXIOS Editor Nicholas Johnston, Twitter‘s head of Global Public Policy Communications Emily Horne, Richard Levick, Scripps News Washington Bureau investigative correspondent Mark Greenblatt and several more.  The Luncheon Keynote speaker will be Richard Edelman, President and CEO of Edelman.  Special kudos to our friend Tim Brown of GE Renewable who is helping put the program together.

ELI Hosts Annual Dinner, Forums – The Environmental Law Institute holds its annual awards dinner honoring  Achim Steiner, Administrator for the United Nations Development Program on Wednesday October 18th at the Omni Shoreham in DC.  At 2:00 p.m., they will host a discussion about “cooperative federalism” and the need to ensure that environmental program administration reflects the significant expertise and experience state environmental agencies now have after decades of administrating environmental protection laws.  Panelists will include ECOS’s Alexandra Dapolito Dunn, Chevron’s Richard DeSanti, BNSF’s John Lovenburg, Todd Parfitt of the Wyoming DEQ, C2ES’s Janet Peace and Martha Rudolph, Director of Environmental Programs at the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment.  They will also hold the Miriam Hamilton Keare Policy Forum on cooperative Federalism, featuring GE’s Neil Kemkar, Bob Martineau of the Tennessee DEC and several others.

JHU to Look at EVs – On Wednesday, October 18th at 5:00 p.m., Johns Hopkins University hosts a forum on electric cars.  Speakers will address range, infrastructure, environmental impacts and other Issues.

CSIS to Look at Vehicle Issues – The CSIS Energy & National Security Program and Van Ness Feldman are pleased to announce a conference on the history of vehicle efficiency standards and electricity regulation in honor of the late Robert Nordhaus. This program looks at the evolution of two policy areas in which Bob made an important mark, and which raise issues of great significance today.  Panels will include former Energy Committee Chair and RFF Head Phil Sharp, former Bush 43 CEQ chief Jim Connaughton and Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers CEO Mitch Bainwol, as well as former FERC Commissioners Tony Clark and Joe Kelliher.

DOE, NEI Host Nuclear Forum – The Department of Energy and the Nuclear Energy Institute will host the Millennial Nuclear Caucus on Thursday, October 19th at 5:00 p.m. in Washington, DC.  Stay tuned for details.

Forum to Look at Storage, Micro Grids – On Thursday, October 19th at 5:30 p.m. at EEI, Leaders in Energy, along with Resilient Virginia, will be sponsoring a forum on improving resilience through microgrids and battery storage.  The utilization of microgrids plus battery storage is seen increasingly by public and private organizations as the wave of the future to help ensure energy reliability and security in the age of intense hurricanes and cybersecurity threats.  Topics include: technology that supports the utility/microgrid interface, tools for developers to assess microgrid viability based on existing infrastructure and regulations, how local governments in the DMV are working with private companies to make microgrid development financially feasible, and how our regional Department of Defense installations are utilizing microgrids as part of their energy security systems. Speakers include EEI’s John Caldwell, USGBC’s Brendan Owens, Dan Ton of DOE’s Smart Grid R&D and Michael Yambrach, the Energy and Sustainability director in Montgomery County, MD.

Economists to Host Weather Hedge Specialist – The National Capitol Chapter of the US Assn Of Energy Economists will host their October forum with Munich Re’s Edward Byrne on Friday October 20th at Carmines.  Ed Byrns has specialized in weather hedging for many years. His talk focuses on how the new world of big data is creating innovative weather risk products to manage business exposure.

This presentation is a journey from the past to the present and on to the future. Throughout this journey, we will learn what weather risk management is, where market capabilities are today and how future solutions could target micro-level risks.

Renewable Tour Set for October Shenandoah Fall – JMU’s Center for Wind Energy joins the nonprofit American Solar Energy Society (ASES) and hundreds of solar-savvy installers and grassroots organizations throughout America to showcase thousands of solar-powered homes, schools and businesses in Virginia and across North America — for the 22nd Annual National Solar Tour, the world’s largest grassroots solar event. The ASES National Solar Tour shows families and businesses real-life examples of how their neighbors are harnessing free energy from the sun to generate electricity, warm and cool their homes, heat water and slash monthly utility bills.

Green Bonds Conference Set for NYC – Environmental Finance will host Green Bonds 2017 at 10 on the Park in New York City on October 23rd.  According to the Green Bonds Database, the American green bonds market has continued its rapid growth with over 17$ billion issued in the last twelve months.

At the conference this year we will look at the drivers behind this boom and how to ensure sustainable growth as the market matures.

AWEA Finance, Offshore Conferences Set for NYC – AWEA hosts its Wind Energy Finance & Investment Conference in NYC on October 24-26th at the Roosevelt Hotel.  Wind energy continues to grow and is providing jobs, community value and, solid investment opportunities. The event will also be co-located with AWEA’s annual Offshore WINDPOWER conference, which will feature Denmark’s Minister of Energy, Utilities and Climate Lars Christian Lilleholt and DOE’s Tim Unruh, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Renewable Power.

Women Renewable Energy Forum Set – The Women of Sustainable Energy and Renewable Industries (WRISE) Leadership Forum 2017 on November 6-7 in its inaugural year under the new brand (previously WoWE). Co-located with the AWEA Fall Symposium, this event will feature keynote speakers, professional development, networking, and expert panels on key issues in the industry.

AWEA Fall Symposium Returns to New Mexico – On November 7th through the 9th , AWEA hosts its annual Fall Wind Energy Fall Symposium at the Hyatt Regency Tamaya Resort, where key strategic decisions are made to build the future of wind energy. The event will feature new executive insights, and actionable strategic plans to power your business in the upcoming year.

 

Energy Update: Week of 10/2

Friends,

The news cycle will be totally overrun this week by the terrible shooting in Las Vegas last night and our thoughts and prayers go out to those impacted, as well as our gratitude to those who helped others.

In the sports world this week, baseball playoff kick off tomorrow with the Yankee and Twins, but also some great match ups are already set: (Cubs/Nats & RedSox/Astros).  As well, the update’s favorite season also launches this week: the NHL hockey season.

Tomorrow, the US International Trade Commission returns to the solar trade case with a public hearing on the remedy phase.  We will be in full impact mode.  We can help you with a full array of resources that will be impacted from utilities to contractors to manufacturers to retailers.

The big event on Capitol Hill this week is Wednesday’s Senate Environment nomination hearing for several EPA nominees including Bill Wehrum for the air office.  Other events include grid hearings tomorrow in House Science and House Energy (industry sector experts testifying including SEIA’s Abby Hopper, AWEA’s Tom Kiernan, ACCCE’s Paul Baily and NEI’s Maria Korsnick).  Also Wednesday, Senate Commerce Committee will mark up a bill meant to boost self-driving cars.  Our friends at SAFE can provide you with excellent background and resources, as they did here in the San Jose MercNews.  Finally Thursday, House Energy returns to electricity to hear from consumer groups/advocates.

This week on Wednesday, SEJ launches its annual meeting in Pittsburgh.  There will be a number of great tours during the day Thursday and great policy panels on Friday and Saturday.  And, of course, Bracewell is hosting our annual reception on Thursday night.

Finally, Congrats to the Business Council for Sustainable Energy, who is celebrating its 25th Anniversary, with a reception Thursday evening at Stanton & Greene. Good luck on the next 25!!!!

Supreme Court Fall Term launches today.  Call with questions.  Best,

 

Frank Maisano

(202) 828-5864

  1. (202) 997-5932

FRANKLY SPOKEN

“American energy security has now improved for five years in a row, despite rapidly challenging market conditions and geopolitical tensions. Just five years ago, the story was much different. But because of the shale revolution that has taken place during this time period, our nation enjoys much greater energy self-sufficiency, which translates into fewer imports, lower costs, and reduced emissions.” 

Karen Harbert, president and CEO of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Global Energy Institute.

“From the outset, Georgia Power and the project co-owners have worked to minimize the impact of the project on our customers’ bills and these additional loan guarantees will help us continue to reduce our financing costs.”

Paul Bowers, chairman, president and CEO of Georgia Power.

IN THE NEWS

Georgia Power Received Additional Loan Guarantee Commitments for New Vogtle Units – The DOE has conditionally approved a $3.7 billion increase in the federal loan guarantees for the over-budget Vogtle nuclear project in Georgia, the agency announced this morning.  Georgia Power had previously secured loan guarantees of $3.46 billion for the construction of Vogtle units 3 and 4, the first to be built in the United States in more than 30 years. With a total of more than $5 billion in anticipated DOE loan guarantees, Georgia Power expects to be able to provide more than $500 million in present-value benefits to its customers.

More Information on Decision, Vogtle – Georgia Power owns 45.7% of the new units, with the project’s other Georgia-based co-owners including Oglethorpe Power, MEAG Power and Dalton Utilities. On August 31, Georgia Power filed a recommendation with the Georgia Public Service Commission (PSC) to continue construction of the Vogtle nuclear expansion supported by all of the project’s other co-owners. The recommendation was based on the results of a comprehensive schedule, cost-to-complete and cancellation assessment launched following the bankruptcy of Westinghouse in March. The Georgia PSC is expected to review the recommendation and make a decision regarding the future of the Vogtle 3 & 4 project as part of the 17th Vogtle Construction Monitoring (VCM) proceeding. Final approval and issuance of these additional loan guarantees by the DOE cannot be assured and are subject to the negotiation of definitive agreements, completion of due diligence by the DOE, receipt of any necessary regulatory approvals, and satisfaction of other conditions.

Rural Co-ops Support Oglethorpe, SoCo – The rural co-ops weighed in on the DOE’s loan guarantee for the Plant Vogtle nuclear power project.  Co-Op Oglethorpe Power in Georgia is one of the co-owners and will have a share of the loan (about $1.6 billion). NRECA CEO Jim Matheson today applauded the decision saying: “Today’s announcement is welcome news for Oglethorpe Power, the Vogtle project, and the future of America’s electric generation. Nuclear energy is an essential source of emissions-free, 24/7 power. This DOE loan guarantee will help promote a diverse fuel mix, which is vital as electric co-ops work to meet 21st century energy needs and ensure continued access to affordable, reliable power. I applaud DOE and Secretary Perry for recognizing the value of this project and making it more affordable for our members.”

DOE Urges FERC to Take Swift Action to Address Threats to Grid Resiliency – DOE formally proposed that FERC take swift action to address threats to U.S. electrical grid resiliency.  Pursuant to his authority under Section 403 of the Department of Energy Organization Act, the Secretary urged the Commission to issue a final rule requiring its organized markets to develop and implement reforms that would fully price generation resources necessary to maintain the reliability and resiliency of our nation’s grid.

Why DOE – After Department of Energy (DOE) Secretary Rick Perry issued his April 14 memo directing staff to study baseload power concerns, we explained that DOE had authority to direct the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to undertake rulemakings. Secretary Perry is primarily responsible for ensuring the electrical grid meets America’s needs now and into the future and FERC is charged with regulating the markets to achieve that mission. The recent Staff Report to the Secretary on Electricity Markets and Reliability showed that while today’s grid is reliable, market distortions are threatening its resilience and the future of American energy security.

Letter to FERC/NOPR – The full text of the Secretary’s Letter to the Commission as well as the Proposed Rule are both available at DOE’s website, www.energy.gov.

Insight From ClearPath – ClearPath Executive Director Rich Powell offered insights saying by urging FERC to establish a new tariff allowing highly reliable and resilient operators (who have 3 months or more of on-site fuel supply in place) to recover their full costs of generation, DOE today takes a historic step to shore up our vital national nuclear fleet.  This approach will work within the wholesale electricity markets as opposed to forcing further bottom-up state action to save the plants — out of market actions that add further complexity and uncertainty to our already un-level playing field for power. ClearPath hopes this is the beginning of a holistic review of the functioning of the wholesale power markets, which might also include changes to how generators are compensated, as well as formal valuation of clean power.  Some observers may be concerned that this measure compensates all highly reliable sources of power, including unmitigated coal. ClearPath believes that FERC, and the RTOs and ISOs, will be able to design a tariff structure that compensates all highly reliable generators to remain online and ready to run, without necessarily increasing the dispatch of emitting sources like unmitigated coal.  ClearPath has been calling for FERC to move ahead rapidly on this price formation reform agenda — see below: https://clearpath.org/jay-and-richs-take/why-rebuilding-ferc-quorum-matters-for-nuclear

Renewables Express Concern – The American Wind Energy Association also released this statement regarding DOE’s announcement on grid resiliency: Amy Farrell, Senior Vice President, Government and Public Affairs, American Wind Energy Association: “We worry today’s proposal would upend competitive markets that save consumers billions of dollars a year. The best way to guarantee a resilient and reliable electric grid is through market-based compensation for performance, not guaranteed payments for some, based on a government-prescribed definition.”  On background, in June, the CEO of NERC testified to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission that “the state of reliability in North America remains strong, and the trend line shows continuing improvement year over year.”  Christopher Mansour, vice president of federal affairs for the Solar Energy Industries Association: “While we agree that wholesale markets should fully compensate generators for all the energy, capacity and ancillary services they provide, healthy competition should always promote the best, most innovative solutions,” he said. The conservative R St. Institute called Perry’s plan “an arbitrary backdoor subsidy to coal and nuclear plants.”

Ameren to Add Wind, Solar, Reduce Emissions – Ameren Missouri has announced plans to add enough solar and wind electricity to power 214,000 homes.  The St. Louis-based subsidiary of Ameren Corp. said adding at least 700 megawatts of wind power would cost about $1 billion and take until 2020. Ameren says improving technology and renewable energy initiatives with large customers could boost the wind investment higher.   Adding 100 megawatts of solar power is expected to occur over 10 years, but no costs estimates are available. One solar facility at St. Louis Lambert International Airport is slated to be completed next year. Ameren is working to reduce its carbon emissions 80% by 2050 from 2005 levels.

Chamber Releases Energy Security Index – The 2017 edition of Global Energy Institute’s Index of U.S. Energy Security Risk finds that U.S. energy security is continuing to rapidly improve to one of the best scores in decades, after hitting bottom just five years ago. The Index employs 37 different energy security metrics in four major areas of risk: geopolitical, economic, reliability, and environmental. A lower Index score indicates a lower level of risk. The eighth annual edition of the Index covers 1970-2040 and incorporates the latest historical data and forecast models. In 2016—the most recent year available—the risk score dropped another 1.3 points to 76.0, the lowest score since 1995. Since 2011, the total risk index score has dropped by 25 points, the largest rise or fall during any five year period since 1970. Of the 37 metrics, 18 showed decreases of more than 1 percent, while another 9 remained about the same. Among the areas of improvement were fuel imports, energy expenditures, energy use intensity, and environmental categories. The biggest areas of improvement in the Index were related to oil and gas expenditures, which are a result of increased domestic shale production. The single largest category that saw improvement was security of US natural gas imports.  On the flip side, price volatility risks, related largely to the recent plunge in the price for crude oil, remained high. Metrics related to electric grid reliability risks during periods of peak demand also inched higher.  This year’s Index features special sections on electricity capacity margins and transmission lines, which contains additional data and analysis regarding demand and infrastructure.  The Index and its companion, the International Energy Security Risk Index, are available on our website at: www.globalenergyinstitute.org/energysecurity. The U.S. index is once again available in an online, interactive web tool format, which makes it easy to see how various metrics change from year to year.

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

Geothermal Conference Set for Utah – The Geothermal Energy Association (GEA) is holding GEOEXPO+ on today through Wednesday at the Salt Palace in Salt Lake City, UT.  The meeting will be held in conjunction with the GRC Annual Meeting.

FERC Commissioner, Interior Official Headlines NA Gas Forum – The North American Gas Forum is being held today and tomorrow in Washington DC.  FERC Cheryl LeFleur and Interior’s Vincent DeVito will deliver a keynotes tomorrow and there will be a members panel featuring Reps. Scott Tipton, Joe Barton, Bill Johnson and Others.  Other speakers include INGAA’s Don Santa, former FERC Commissioner Tony Clark, RFF’s Richard Newell, ClearView’s Kevin Book, PJM’s Craig Glazer, NGSA’s Dena Wiggins and DOE’s Fossil Energy Office acting chief Robert Smith.

WCEE Hosts Federal Lands Discussion – Today at Noon, the Women’s Council on Energy and the Environment (WCEE) holds a forum to discuss current opportunities and challenges for the development of energy and mineral resources under the new Administration. Among other hotly debated topics, the event will cover the role of climate change considerations in decision-making, potential changes in mitigation requirements, issues regarding royalty valuation and payment, and still unresolved issues regarding the scope of Presidential withdrawal authority onshore and offshore under decades-old statutes.

CCS Forum to Look at Norway Success Story – The Global CCS Institute will hold a forum tomorrow at 9:00 p.m. in National Press Club’s Zenger Room on the Innovation and low-carbon policies that are driving the development of clean energy technologies around the world.  The discussion will explore how Norway has fostered the development of its carbon capture infrastructure, as well as the emerging business case for carbon capture in the U.S. and globally.  Featured speakers Gassnova CEO Trude Sundset, Rich Powell of ClearPath Foundation, Thina Saltvedt of Nordea Bank Norge and Statoil VP of New Energy Solutions Steinar Eikaas, who operates the world’s most successful carbon capture project in the North Sea.

US ITC to Hold Solar Remedy Hearing – The US International Trade Commission will hold a hearing at 9:30 a.m. on the remedy portion of its solar trade case.  Last week, petitioners filed testimony in the case with the solar industry further attacking the case.

House Science to Look at Grid – The House Science Committee will hold a full committee hearing tomorrow at 10:00 a.m. looking at grid resiliency. The purpose of the hearing is to define resiliency, examine electric resiliency from both physical and cyber threats, and to study the effectiveness of private and government coordination on resiliency across the electricity delivery sectors. This hearing will specifically discuss the recommendations made by the National Academies of Sciences.  Witnesses will include the University of Illinois’ William Sanders, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory Electricity Market Manager Carl Imhoff, Gavin Dillingham of the Houston Advanced Research Center and Walt Baum of the Texas Public Power Association.

Senate Energy to Vote on Noms, Discuss Energy Storage – The Senate Energy Committee will hold a hearing tomorrow at 10:15 a.m. to vote on DOE nominees Bruce Walker for DOE’s assistant secretary for the Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability and Steven Winberg as DOE’s assistant secretary of fossil energy.  The Committee will then turn to a Hearing on energy storage technologies.  Witnesses include Pacific Northwest National Laboratory expert Vincent Sprenkle AES Energy Storage VP Praveen Kathpal, Simon Moores of Benchmark Mineral Intelligence and Voith’s John Seifarth.

CAP to Discuss Hurricane Impacts – The Center for American Progress and former Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Administrator Craig Fugate will host a forum tomorrow at 10:00 a.m. on disaster lesson learned.  Fugate will discuss his experience following Superstorm Sandy. His remarks will be followed by a panel of experts who will highlight different aspects of the recovery, including best practices for building resilient infrastructure, public health challenges in the wake of disasters, and the need for aid to flow to historically disadvantaged communities simultaneously dealing with flood damage, toxic waste, and air pollution in the aftermath of hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria.

Forum to Look at Iran Deal – Tomorrow at 1:30 p.m., the Center for a New American Security will hold two panel discussions on the implications of the potential collapse of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). The discussion will focus on what happens if President Trump begins unraveling the nuclear agreement in mid-October by not certifying Iranian compliance to Congress and will also examine other potential collapse scenarios. Our friend Elizabeth Rosenberg is among the panelists.

House Energy to Return to Reliability – The House Energy panel returns to the resiliency theme for part II of last week’s hearing on the topic.  This hearing will include comments from the industries that were supposed to be featured in the initial afternoon session.  Witnesses include SEIA’s Abigail Ross Hopper, ACCCE’s Paul Bailey, API’s Marty Durbin, AWEA’s Tom Kiernan, NEI’s Maria Korsnick, NRDC’s FERC expert John Moore, Energy Storage Association CEO Kelly Speakes-Backman and Chelan County PUD General Manager Steve Wright on behalf of National Hydropower Association.

NatGas Winter Outlook Set – The Natural Gas Supply Association holds its winter outlook media briefing for 2017-2018 Wednesday at 9:30 a.m.

EPA, NRC Noms Hearing Reset – The rescheduled Senate Environment Committee confirmation hearing will be held Wednesday for several EPA posts and Jan Baran at the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.   Testifying will be four EPA nominees: Bill Wehrum to run the air office, Matthew Leopold to be general counsel, Michael Dourson to run the Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention and David Ross to run the water office.  The committee shelved a hearing planned for last week on the picks after the Senate adjourned earlier than expected for Rosh Hashanah.

Senate Commerce to Mark up AV Legislation – The Senate Commerce Committee will mark up a bill meant to boost self-driving cars on Wednesday at 10:00 a.m. The “American Vision for Safer Transportation Through Advancement of Revolutionary Technologies (AV START) Act,” S. 1885, aims to reform existing laws to get self-driving cars on the road, clarify state and federal oversight of the technology, and direct the Transportation Department to set new safety standards.  It is sponsored by Sen. Gary Peters and Chairman John Thune with co-sponsors Roy Blunt and Debbie Stabenow.  Our friends at SAFE can provide you with excellent background and resources.

House Energy to Look at Air Quality, Wildfires – House Energy and Commerce Environment Subcommittee will hold a hearing on Wednesday at 10:00 a.m. to get the perspectives of key stakeholders on the air quality impacts of wildfires.  Witnesses include John Bailey of Oregon State University, Florida Forest Service director Jim Karels, Murphy Company Resources VP Knox Marshall and Restoring America’s Forests Director Christopher Topik.

Clean Energy Conservatives Meet – On Wednesday at 6:00 p.m. at the Hyatt Regency Washington on Capitol Hill, the Christian Coalition, Young Conservatives for Energy Reform, and Veterans for Energy Reform are hosting an evening reception at their annual Conservative Clean Energy Summit.   Last year, the event brought in over 500 attendees from around the country and focused on the issue of energy reform.  The event includes visits to Capitol Hill with conservative lawmakers.

Holmstead Featured at EPIC Forum on Energy – My colleague Jeff Holmstead is joining a panel hosted by the Energy Policy Institute at the University of Chicago (EPIC) on Wednesday at 6:30 p.m. that will address what Americans think about the direction of energy and climate policy.  Holmstead and Sue Tierney (EPIC’s inaugural policy fellows) will be moderated by our friend Jon Fahey, AP’s Global Health & Science Editor.   The event will focus on the results of an EPIC/AP-NORC poll coming out on Monday that tracks opinions on central topics shaping the energy and climate landscape. More. It will be livestreamed at epic.uchicago.edu/live.

SEJ Set for Pittsburgh – Speaking of Pittsburgh, SEJ’s 27th annual conference is set for Wednesday through Saturday in Steel City.   Bracewell hosts its annual reception on Thursday night.

Vets in Energy Forum Set – Veterans In Energy will hold a forum on Thursday and Friday at NRECA in Arlington. VIE provide transition, retention and professional development support to the growing population of military veterans who have chosen energy careers.  Speakers will include Chris Hale of GI Jobs and Gen. John Allen, former Dep Commander of US Central Command.

CSIS to Look at Electricfication – The CSIS Energy & National Security Program will host a discussion on Thursday at 9:30 a.m. looking at the future of electrification with Arshad Mansoor, Senior Vice President of Research and Development at the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI).  Mansoor will provide an overview of the recent EPRI report, The Integrated Energy Network: Connecting Customers with Reliable, Affordable and Cleaner Energy, which calls for a more interconnected and integrated energy system through greater electrification. Frank O’Sullivan, Director of Research and Analysis at the MIT Energy Initiative, and Ken Colburn, Principal and U.S. Program Director at the Regulatory Assistance Project, will follow with views on the opportunities and benefits, as well as obstacles and potential drawbacks of a path to a more electrified economy.  This event is part of CSIS’s ongoing work on Electricity in Transition, which surveys the current landscape of the U.S. and global electricity sector.

CSIS to Look at Hurricane Impacts – The Center for Strategic & International Studies will also hold a forum on Thursday at 10:00 a.m. on rebuilding better after hurricanes.  Puerto Rico recently suffered devastating damage as a result of Hurricanes Irma and Maria. Hurricane Irma, a category 5 hurricane, caused power outages for over 1 million people living in Puerto Rico.  The forum will engage in discussions geared toward reform, reconstruction, and modernization of infrastructure and preparedness.  It will feature Luis Fortuño, 10th Governor of Puerto Rico.

House E&C to Look at Consumer Views of Electric Markets – The House Energy & Commerce Committee will convene a hearing on Thursday at 10:00 a.m. on consumer-oriented perspectives on improving the American electricity markets.  Witnesses include Joseph Bowring of Monitoring Analytics, Stefanie Brand of the New Jersey Division of Rate Counsel, Electricity Consumers Resource Council head John Hughes, Public Citizen’s Tyson Slocum, Rebecca Tepper of the consumer liaison group for the ISO New England Region and Walmart’s Mark Vanderhelm.

Forum to Look at LNG in Latin America – The Atlantic Council hosts a forum on Thursday at Noon looking at the Growing Role of LNG in Latin America.  Natural gas is emerging as a critical source of energy in the Americas and around the world, and Latin America is rapidly becoming a key destination for US LNG exports. Latin America is currently the number one destination for US LNG exports, accounting for over 40%. Many governments in the region see natural gas as a low-carbon energy option that can support their increasing turn towards renewables. Additionally, lower global LNG prices, the impacts of drought conditions on the region’s hydropower sector, and a departure from industries such as coal and diesel have driven the demand for LNG and calls into question whether this is an opportunity for Latin America to become more integrated.  The forum will feature a conversation with Argentinian Ministry of Energy and Mining Transport Director Gonzalo Aguirre, Jose Luis Castro of Sociedad Portuaria El Cayao (SPEC), Giovani Machado of Empresa de Pesquisa Energética and the State Department’s acting Deputy Assistant Secretary of Energy Resources Sue Saarnio.

ELI, DC Bar to Look at Policy Reversals – The Environmental Law Institute and the DC Bar are hosting a forum on Thursday on how agencies often reverse policy.  Since the presidential transition, EPA and other agencies have used a variety of tools to change policies and regulations. Three common tools they have used are stays, remands, and reconsideration. Agencies administratively stay the effective date of rules preventing them from going into effect, seek voluntary remand of rules in litigation to revisit rules administratively while avoiding a judicial decision, and administratively reconsider rules. Some of these actions have been the subject of the heated litigation, and the courts have acted to constrain agency discretion, including in an important D.C. Circuit decision rejecting EPA’s stay of the oil and gas methane rule. Expert panelists will discuss the use of these legal tools in changing agency policy, and offer cutting-edge perspectives from the government, the private sector, and the environmental advocacy community.

IN THE FUTURE

WRI to Host Forum – Experts from the Open Government Partnership and World Resources Institute will hold a forum next Tuesday at 12:30 p.m. on climate action.  The forum will profile a range of innovative approaches that open government advocates have taken to strengthen countries’ climate commitments under the Paris Agreement. Together, they will unpack how improving transparency, accountability and public participation in climate decision-making processes can help governments and civil society leaders around the world achieve ambitious climate targets.

Forum to Look at US-China Relations – The Atlantic Council’s Global Energy Center and the Brent Scowcroft Center’s Asia Security Initiative will hold a timely conversation next Tuesday on the role energy plays in the US-China relationship. The US administration’s emerging diplomatic strategy and the upcoming nineteenth national congress of the Communist Party of China provide an opportunity to take stock of the role energy plays in the US-China relationship, as well as in how China views its future. Key issues in the US-China relationship include the role of liquefied natural gas (LNG) in the US-China Comprehensive Economic Dialogue, China’s view of US energy exports, and how energy fits into the administration’s trade agenda.  Speakers include our friend Robert Fee of Cheniere Energy, ITC Assistant Secretary Alan Turley and DOE China advisor Maria DiGuilian with our friend Keith Johnson of FP moderating.

Report top Look at Highly-Enriched Uranium Facilities – On Wednesday October 11th, the Fissile Materials Working Group and International Panel on Fissile Materials will launch of a major new IPFM research report, edited by Pavel Podvig, with contributions by six leading Russian experts on highly enriched uranium (HEU) facilities. The report describes in unprecedented detail Russian programs that use HEU as fuel in military and civilian applications. Further, it asses Russia’s contribution to the effort to convert research reactors from HEU to non-weapon-usable low-enriched uranium fuel, and Russia’s efforts to repatriate HEU fuel it had supplied to facilities abroad. Finally, it evaluates the organizational structure and regulations governing the security of HEU in civilian facilities in Russia. It makes recommendations for securing Russia’s commitment to the goal of a comprehensive global HEU minimization strategy.

ACORE Finance Forum Set – The American Council on Renewable Energy will hold forum on the state of the renewable energy public policy, financial markets and corporate renewables strategy when they hold ACORE Finance West on October 12th at the Bently Reserve in San Francisco.  This annual conference convenes senior investors, industry executives, and other top transactional professionals to address market trends in the context of renewable investment opportunities in the Western U.S.

Bloomberg Hosts Sustainability Forum – Bloomberg holds its 3rd annual Sustainable Business Summit on October 12-13th in its New York offices to discuss how companies are yielding positive returns for investors, creating sustainably valuable products and processes, and developing innovative sustainable business models.  Uniquely positioned at the intersection of sustainable business and sustainable investing, the summit will explore the challenges and even greater opportunities emerging across industries.

WAPA to Host Road Rally – The Washington Automotive Press Association holds its 2017 WAPA Rally on October 12th.  This year’s event will be a drive event on the roads just beyond the Chesapeake Bay Bridge on the scenic Eastern Shore of Maryland. The event provides the opportunity to drive or ride in the latest and greatest cars, trucks and SUVs provided by WAPA’s automotive partners.

CSIS to Host IEA Renewable Energy Report Launch – The CSIS Energy and National Security Program is hosting Heymi Bahar, Project Manager of the Renewable Energy Division at the International Energy Agency (IEA), on Thursday October 12th for a presentation of the IEA’s Renewable Energy Market Report 2017 (formerly titled Medium-Term Renewables Market Report). The report provides a detailed market analysis and overview of renewable electricity capacity and generation, biofuels production, and heat consumption, as well as a forecast for the period between 2017 and 2022. This year’s report also assesses the off-grid solar market in Africa and developing Asia and the contribution of electric vehicles to renewable road transport.  Our friend Kevin Book will moderate.

BPC to Host Moniz on Nuclear – The Bipartisan Policy Center will host former Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz a conversation on October 18th at 9:00 a.m. with BPC President Jason Grumet to discuss the vital role U.S. nuclear energy plays in achieving national security objectives. The conversation will highlight the key takeaways from The U.S. Nuclear Energy Enterprise: A Key National Security Enabler, a report issued by Sec. Moniz’s new Energy Futures Initiative.

Renewable Tour Set for October Shenandoah Fall – JMU’s Center for Wind Energy joins the nonprofit American Solar Energy Society (ASES) and hundreds of solar-savvy installers and grassroots organizations throughout America to showcase thousands of solar-powered homes, schools and businesses in Virginia and across North America — for the 22nd Annual National Solar Tour, the world’s largest grassroots solar event. The ASES National Solar Tour shows families and businesses real-life examples of how their neighbors are harnessing free energy from the sun to generate electricity, warm and cool their homes, heat water and slash monthly utility bills.

Green Bonds Conference Set for NYC – Environmental Finance will host Green Bonds 2017 at 10 on the Park in New York City on October 23rd.  According to the Green Bonds Database, the American green bonds market has continued its rapid growth with over 17$ billion issued in the last twelve months.

At the conference this year we will look at the drivers behind this boom and how to ensure sustainable growth as the market matures.