Washington becomes a much busier place this week but not before we were treated to a great week of sports. The week started with Duke and UConn rolling to NCAA National Hoops Championships, saw a great kick off to the 2015 MLB season, an even better close to the NHL regular season, an unbelievable NCAA Frozen Four outcome, then ended with Jordan Spieth’s amazing wire-to-wire Masters victory. The 21 year-old Dallas native become the youngest Champ since 1997 when Tiger won and the first to lead wire-to-wire since (my father-in-law’s Florida golf/sporting clays partner) Ray Floyd did it in 1976. He also managed a safe cushion all day Sunday over venerable 3-time Masters champ Phil Mickelson, who finished 2nd in a major for the 10th time to go along with his 5 wins.
The second NHL season begins Wednesday after 1,230 regular season games to pursue the most coveted prize in hockey, Lord Stanley’s Cup, who I recently visited with at the Press Club. It didn’t offer any insights to me about where it expected to land in July, but for good measure, I didn’t touch it just in case. Of course, I’ll be paying close attention to the Red Wings-Lightning series and headed to Caps-Isles Game 2 at Verizon on Friday. I know my friends who are Ranger fans love that they are getting Pittsburgh. Similarly, I don’t know if Montreal is too excited to get Ottawa who was the hottest team in the NHL down the stretch. And finally, without LA and San Jose, look for a rough and tumble series between Anaheim and Winnipeg, as well as a battle in Western Canada with Vancouver and Calgary. This is the first time since 2004 that Canada has 5 teams make the post season.
Finally, if you missed the incredible NCAA Frozen Four Final, the 4-3 Providence victory over Boston U goes to show you that just about anything can happen in hockey. Check out 1:40 into this summary of the game for the most unlikely of bounces that turned the game. Providence was the 15th of 16 teams in the tourney and won its first national championship.
The big news in the political world is Hillary Clinton’s long-expected entry into the 2016 Presidential race. Then, she was joined by Florida Sen. Marco Rubio. Both have set off a whirl in environmental/energy circles. Enviros are already attacking Rubio as a science denier, while they are also trying to pin down Clinton on a number of initiatives including Keystone. Our friends at SEJ have a great round up on the Clinton nerves/hopes which I noticed when posted by Andy Revkin.
While Washington is lighting up this week, I want to start in NYC where our friends at Bloomberg’s New Energy Finance are holding their Future of Energy Summit. Former VP Al Gore kicks off a laundry list of top speakers on the energy issues today and tomorrow.
Congress returns after a two-week recess, facing a busy slate. But, the big event will be the roll out of EIA’s 2015 Energy Outlook at CSIS tomorrow. It will spur a hearing on Capitol Hill Thursday in the Senate Energy Committee. As well, tomorrow, the House Energy & Commerce panel takes up thermal water heater legislation that has widespread support from industry, efficiency groups and environmental activists, as well as coal ash legislation, while other E&C panels will tackle GHG issues in states and ratepayers and new TSCA legislation that follows on the recent Senate action. Other important hearings including tomorrow’s Senate EPW’s Oversight Panel hosting IGs on EPA and the Chem Safety Board and House Transpo hosting Federal officials on railcar rules; Wednesday looks in House Resources on Interior’s 5-year drilling plan, several appropriations markups including energy/water and a House Science Hearing on the Obama administration’s United Nations climate pledge; and finally Senate Environment on Wednesday hearing from NRC Chairman Stephen Burns and three commissioners — Kristine Svinicki, William Ostendorff and Jeff Baran on budget and Yucca.
On Thursday, the D.C. Circuit will hear oral arguments on the challenge to EPA’s GHG authority under 111 (d) of the Clean Air Act or the Murray Energy Case. The case certainly underscores the many legal, political, and practical hurdles EPA faces on the way to implementation of its rules. Holmstead and Segal are monitoring it and the mercury rule compliance which also kicks in on Thursday, so call if you have questions.
Finally, lots of late action last week with refiners settling the long-awaited RFS situation and a spat of editorial work from the Wall Street Journal on EPA GHG rules and Sen. McConnell, states and Reliability; the White House Blackout last week and the Bloomberg anti-coal gift to Sierra Club; and finally an opinion piece from Ameren CEO Warner Baxter on a better way to fix EPA’s effort on GHGs.
Congrats to our friend David Roberts, who has left Grist to join Vox. Maybe we’ll be able to get him to use a phone now… On Twitter you can catch him @drvox. That’s Doctor Vox to you…
Get those taxes in by Wednesday… Call with questions.
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IN THE NEWS
House to Move on Water Heater Bill – With Congress back in town, a group of businesses, trade associations and electric grid operators are urging the House to move quickly on effort to avoid an impending Energy Department deadline for large-volume electric resistance water heaters as reported by our friend Kevin Rogers of EnergyGuardian. The effort is part of legislation introduced and passed by Sens. Shaheen and Portman which includes a number of other measures aimed to boost energy efficiency. The standards would prevent the manufacture of such heaters, used by electric cooperatives to cope with spikes in demand. The 57 organizations, in a Thursday letter to House leaders, called for swift action on the legislation to beat out the deadline. Bipartisan legislation to exempt the heaters is to be marked up this week. That bill would exempt heaters larger than 75 gallons or larger used for demand response programs. The bill has the support of industry groups, manufacturers and some environmental groups, who say the benefits of the heaters outweigh their inefficiency. The Air-Conditioning, Heating and Refrigeration Institute, one of the signers, said the heaters that would get exemption under both the Shaheen-Portman and the House bills serve an important purpose for cooperatives. The effort to exempt the water heaters has the support of efficiency and environmental groups, who say the benefits of the grid-enabled heaters outweigh their inefficiency across cooperative systems.
RFS Timeline Agreement Set…Maybe – The EPA reached agreement with the American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers (AFPM) and the American Petroleum Institute (API) to issue long overdue rules implementing the federal Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). The annual RFS rules set the volumes of ethanol and biodiesel that must be blended into the U.S. transportation fuel supply. The consent decree obligates the Environmental Protection Agency to issue final RFS rules for 2014 and 2015 by November 30 of this year. EPA’s delay in issuing the rules, which in the case of 2014 is more than a year late, has forced refiners to guess at their legal obligations to blend renewable fuels, and resulted in unnecessary market uncertainty that ultimately harms the U.S. refining industry, biofuel producers, and consumers.
Refiners Still Have Concerns – And why not…it’s not like this is the first time EPA missed deadlines on issue. Either way, AFPM General Counsel Rich Moskowitz raised concerns. “While we are pleased that we were able to negotiate a deadline that requires EPA to issue the overdue RFS rules, we remain concerned with the government’s implementation of this broken program. EPA’s failure to comply with the statutory deadlines injures refiners and exacerbates the problems associated with this unreasonable government mandate. We hope that this outcome will enable EPA to issue future RFS implementation rules in accordance with the Congressionally-mandated deadlines that were designed to provide refiners with some regulatory certainty and the ability to adjust their compliance strategies throughout the compliance period.”
Wall Street Journal Editorial Page Focuses on Climate Issues – The Wall Street Journal Editorial page has taking up the climate change issue recently featuring three separate pieces focused on the topic:
GHGs, States, Sen McConnell – On Thursday, the page editorialized on EPA’s GHG rule and its resistance in the states. WSJ: For the first time the EPA is also telling states to roam “outside the fence line” of power plants to force coal and eventually natural gas to shut down, mandate quotas for renewables like wind and solar, and impose energy conservation. The problem is that the federal government has no legal power outside the fence line. Last year the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals slapped down the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s bid to claim authority over “demand response” on the electric grid. The EPA’s imperiousness is creating the case for noncooperation. States can only protect their energy futures by declining to do the EPA’s dirty work.
Blackouts and Beyond Coal? – Then Friday, they weighed in on the recent blackout that affected Potomac River areas of Washington DC Including the White House and State Department and former NYC mayor Bloomberg $30 million gift to anti-coal activists saying blackout was relatively minor, but it likely could have been prevented if D.C. was still served by a coal-fired power plant called Potomac River Generating Station in Alexandria, Virginia. That “must run” 482-megawatt unit used to help manage electric demand in downtown Washington at peak times and would have been tripped as a substitute in emergencies like the one in Maryland. While the 60-year-old Potomac station was rarely run, it was a particular target of the anti-fossil fuel movement given its proximity to Washington. In 2011 Michael Bloomberg even announced a $50 million donation to the Sierra Club on a boat docked in front of the station, with its smoke stacks as the political backdrop.
Ameren CEO Op-Ed Shows a Better Way to Get GHG Reductions – Finally, this morning, the WSJ published an op-ed by Ameren CEO Warner Baxter that says EPA could fix the rule and still get significant reductions in GHGs. Baxter: A few solutions would significantly reduce the reliability and cost risks of the EPA’s proposed plan. A critical first step is that the EPA must replace its aggressive interim targets with a process that allows states to set their own paths toward the final goals. Each state should be allowed to tailor its compliance plan to local circumstances, balancing unique factors such as cost, fuel diversity and environmental benefits. In exchange for this flexibility, enhanced interim reporting requirements would help the EPA monitor the progress while providing a more accurate idea of the work under way—and challenges involved—in achieving the targets. He added additional mechanisms to deal with reliability issues and a reliability safety valve will offer assurances that utilities won’t be penalized for keeping the lights on.
President Called to Mat on Asthma by USA Today – The President boldly tied health issues to climate change last week by linking his daughter’s asthma to global warming. But was a little too much for USA Today Columnist James Robbins who wrote that our air quality has substantially improved; aggregate emissions of common pollutants have decreased 62% between 1980 and 2013. It is unlikely that cleaner air is causing the increase in asthma. Robbins then adds the President might look in the mirror for the asthma cause. Robbins: “The president, who quit smoking years ago, has long kept his tobacco use out of doors. That’s a common-sense tactic…but sometimes, science can show that common sense has less sense than you think. Research funded by the National Institutes of Health has shown that smoking outside doesn’t totally protect children from secondhand smoke. Even when smoking is done outside, nicotine in infants’ hair is five times higher for babies with outside smoking parents than non-smoking parents. Smoking-related chemicals in infants’ urine is seven times higher. Other studies have found similar results.
BOEM Opens Comment Period on Shell Arctic Drilling Plan – The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) has deemed submitted Shell Gulf of Mexico’s revised multi-year Exploration Plan (EP), and opened up public review and comment. The revised EP describes Shell’s proposal to conduct exploration drilling in the shallow waters of the Chukchi Sea Outer Continental Shelf, off the northwest coast of Alaska. An EP describes all exploration activities planned by the operator for a specific lease or leases, including the timing of these activities, information concerning drilling vessels, the location of each planned well, and actions to be taken to meet important safety and environmental standards and to protect access to subsistence resources. Shell’s revised EP proposes to continue the multi-year Chukchi Sea exploration drilling program the company began in July 2012. This program includes drilling up to six wells within the Burger Prospect, located in approximately 140 feet of water about 70 miles northwest of the village of Wainwright. Shell would conduct its operations using the drillship M/V Noble Discoverer and the semi-submersible drilling unit Transocean Polar Pioneer, with each vessel providing relief-well capability for the other. The two drilling units and their supporting vessels would depart the Chukchi Sea at the conclusion of each exploration drilling season.
ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK
BNEF to Host Energy Summit – Bloomberg New Energy Finance will host a summit today and tomorrow focused on the future of energy at the Grand Hyatt in New York City. The Future of Energy Summit 2015 is a unique forum providing an unrivaled meeting place at the intersection of the energy markets, regulation, industry, finance and policy. A decade into the modern age of clean energy, and nearly a decade into the new age of shale gas abundance, the global energy system is not just growing, but shifting shape. At Summit 2015, the agenda will look at how phase change is likely to accelerate for the future. Al Gore, former Duke CEO Jim Rogers, former Sen. Judd Gregg, former UN Climate head Connie Hedegaard, PSEG CEO Ralph Izzo CSIS expert Sarah Ladislaw and our friend Ethan Zindler of BNEF will speak among the many others.
McCarthy to Address Water Policy Forum – EPA Chief Gina McCarthy will address the National Assn of Clean Water Agencies’ 2015 National Water Policy Forum today at the Westin in DC. Tomorrow they head to Capitol Hill to here rom Members on transportation and water issues.
Worldwatch to Release Report on Threats to Sustainability –Today at 1:00 p.m., the Worldwatch Institute will release of the latest edition of its annual publication, State of the World 2015: Confronting Hidden Threats to Sustainability. Speakers include Worldwatch Project directors Michael Renner and Tom Prugh, as well as Catherine Machalaba of EcoHealth Alliance, Nathan John Hagens of the University of Minnesota and York University’s Peter Victor.
Green Jobs Conference Set – The Good Jobs, Green Jobs Conference will be held today and tomorrow at the Washington Hilton The conference focuses on renewables and other climate issues, as well as creating New Jobs. The forum is presented by the BlueGreen Alliance Foundation. Elizabeth warren and our friend Clint Plummer of Deepwater Wind will speak.
JHU Forum to Look at Biofuels, Sustainability – Johns Hopkins SAIS Global Issues in Agriculture Speaker Series will host Simo Honkanen, Senior Vice President of Neste Corporation, Sustainability and Public Affairs tomorrow at Noon. Honkanen will speak on the sustainability of biofuels – a global operator’s perspective.
Solar Forum to Cover Solar Now, Future – Greentech Media will host a Solar Summit in Phoenix, AZ tomorrow through Thursday at the Wigwam Resort. Speakers will include SRP’s Lisa Singleton, Sun Power CEO Tom Werner and our friends Stephen Lacey of Greentech Media, Shayle Kann of GTM Research, and Brad Heavner of the Cal Solar Energy Industry Assn, among many others. The Summit focuses on what the solar industry needs to know and includes the research and economic analysis of GTM Research’s team. This year’s agenda includes panels, engaging debates among the industry’s top thought leaders, and an interactive polling session. Topics will include dynamics in the global solar market, system performance, asset management, technology integration given new energy customer and the U.S. solar market in 2016 and beyond.
Forum to Look at China Climate, Energy Issues – The CSIS Energy and National Security Program will host a forum tomorrow at 9:30 a.m. on China’s energy and climate goals The event will feature Frederick Weston, Principal and China Program Director with the Regulatory Assistance Project, Trevor Houser, Partner with the Rhodium Group, and Chris Johnson, Senior Adviser and Freeman Chair in China Studies with CSIS to discuss the challenges and opportunities arising out of the interplay between China’s energy sector and climate goals. Jane Nakano, Senior Fellow with the CSIS Energy and National Security Program, will moderate.
Senate Environment to Host IGs on EPA, CSB, Interior – The Senate Environment Oversight Panel will dive into oversight of inspector General report of EPA, the Chemical safety Board and Interior tomorrow at 9:30 a.m. EPA Inspector General Arthur Elkins and Interior Department Deputy Inspector General Mary Kendall testify.
House Panel to Talk GHGs, Judicial Review, Ratepayer Protections – The Energy Panel of the House Energy & Commerce Committee will hold a hearing tomorrow at 10:00 a.m. on legislation allowing Judicial review of the EPA’s GHG rule before forcing compliance. The legislation will also allow states to consider adverse impacts of the rules on reliability and ratepayers. Witnesses will include EPA Air Office head Janet McCabe, Union Coal attorney Gene Trisko, Seminole Electric CEO Lisa Johnson, Kevin Sunday of the Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry, Industrial Energy Consumers of America President Paul Cicio, former DOE official Sue Tierney and Mass AG Energy bureau chief Melissa Hoffer.
House Transpo Looks at Rail, Pipeline Oversight – The House Transportation Committee’s panel on Railroads, Pipelines, and Hazardous Materials will hold a hearing on oversight of the ongoing rail, pipeline and hazmat rulemakings. Witnesses will include Federal Railroad Administration Acting Administrator Sarah Feinberg, PHMSA Administrator Tim Butters and Chris Hart, Chairman of the National Transportation Safety Board.
House Enviro Panel Takes Up TSCA Legislation – The House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Environment and the Economy, chaired by Rep. John Shimkus (R-IL), will hold a legislative hearing on a discussion draft of the TSCA Modernization Act tomorrow at 10:15 a.m. in 2322 Rayburn. Shimkus put forward the new discussion draft last week, which builds off the subcommittee’s work to reform chemical management last Congress and further bipartisan negotiations this year. The draft legislation seeks to reform the decades-old Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) in an effort to improve the safety of chemicals while encouraging continued innovation and economic growth. The draft bill will provide a new system by which EPA will evaluate risks associated with chemicals already on the market. EPA Assistant Administrator Jim Jones and a panel of stakeholders are expected to testify.
House Foreign Affairs to Look at Oil Exports – The House Foreign Affairs Committee’s Subcommittee on Terrorism, Nonproliferation, and Trade will hold a hearing tomorrow at 10:15 a.m. looking at the crude oil export ban. Witnesses will include Michèle Flournoy, Co-Founder and CEO of Center for a New American Security, BPC head Jason Grumet and Columbia’s Jason Bordoff.
WCEE Event to Focus on Dairy Issues – Tomorrow at Noon, the Women’s Council on Energy and the Environment (WCEE) will hold an event at the World Wildlife Fund on international dairy sustainability. Today, 7.2 billion people consume one-and-a-half times what the Earth’s natural resources can supply. By 2050, the world’s population will exceed 9 billion and the demand for food will double. According to the United Nations, the global demand for dairy alone will increase 58 percent by that time. It’s up to the world’s farmers to meet this demand while reducing waste and conserving land, water, and energy. How will dairy producers accomplish this. WWF’s Sandra Vijn, lead of the dairy program of the Sustainable Food Team of the World Wildlife Fund, to discuss challenges, opportunities and innovative solutions around the world to reduce the impact of dairy production on our environment and to learn how the humble dairy cow herself can be productive and sustainable.
EIA to Release Outlook – The CSIS Energy and National Security Program will host Adam Sieminski, Administrator of the U.S. Energy Information Administration, tomorrow at 1:00 p.m. to present the EIA’s Annual Energy Outlook 2015 (AEO). The EIA report presents long-term projections of U.S. energy supply, demand, and prices through 2040. The projections focus on the factors that shape the U.S. energy system over the long term. Under the assumption that current laws and regulations remain unchanged throughout the projections, the Outlook’s Reference case projections provide the basis for examination and discussion of energy production, consumption, technology, and market trends and the direction they may take in the future. It also serves as a starting point for analysis of potential changes in energy policies. CSIS’s Frank Verrastro will moderate.
House Resources Looks at Water Issues – A House Resources panel will hold an oversight hearing on water issues tomorrow at 1:30 p.m. Witnesses will include Bureau of Reclamation Commissioner Estevan Lopez, Forest Service Deputy Chief Leslie Weldon, Jennings, Louisiana Electric Co-op GM Mike Heinen, Clear Creek County, Colorado Commissioner Tim Mauck, Washington State Water Resources Association President Tom Myrum and Jim Ogsbury of the Western Governors’ Association will testify.
Wilson Forum to Look at Southern Energy Corridor – Tomorrow at 2:30 p.m., the Wilson Center will hold a function on the Southern European energy corridor at the Reagan Center. New pipelines are carrying natural gas and oil from the Caspian and Russia to Turkey and beyond to Europe. In this southern European landscape, pipeline proposals like Nabucco and South Stream have given way to more focused initiatives, including the Southern Corridor Pipeline and a newly proposed “Turkish Stream” to parallel the Blue Stream pipeline from Russia across the Black Sea to Turkey. At stake is the energy security of Central and Eastern Europe, which historically have depended almost entirely on Russia for their energy supplies. The European Union is stepping up its efforts to diversify its energy supplies with the vision of an energy union at the end of the process, but EU members vary in their approach. Senior experts from industry, government and think tanks will assess the status, prospects and geopolitics of the Southern European Energy Corridor. Opening Speakers will be the State Department’s Amos Hochstein and BP’s Joe Murphy. Other speakers include former US Ambassadors to Azerbaijan Richard Kauzlarich and Richard Morningstar, among others.
Forum to Look at Climate, Central Asia – The Central Asia-Caucasus Institute will host a forum tomorrow at 5:00 p.m. at JHU’s Rome Building on climate change and central Asia. Speakers will include Central Asia-Caucasus Institute chair Fred Starr, Chairman, World Bank expert Kulsum Ahmed and Bucknell professor Amanda Wooden.
Cheniere CEO to Address Forum – On Wednesday at 9:00 a.m., the Atlantic Council continues its Global Energy Center’s CEO Series hosting a discussion with Charif Souki, President, CEO, and Chairman of Cheniere Energy. Souki will focus on the changing role of the United States in global energy markets and the need for adaptation by industry to a new phase of cyclical volatility. Fred Kempe, President and CEO of the Atlantic Council, will provide welcome remarks and moderate the discussion.
House Resources Panel Looking at Offshore Drilling Plans – The House Resources panel on Energy will hold an oversight hearing on Wednesday at 10:00 a.m. on examining the future impacts of President Obama’s offshore energy plan. NC Gov Pat McCrory, offshore industry advocates and BOEM’s Abby Hopper, Shell’s Mark Shuster, Greater Lafourche Port Commission head Chett Chiasson and other will testify.
House Science Looks at Obama Climate Pledge – The House Science Committee will hold a hearing Wednesday on the Obama administration’s United Nations climate pledge, which Chairman Lamar Smith says is not based on scientific justification. Witnesses include Georgia Tech climate expert Judith Curry, Chamber Energy expert Karen Harbert, NRDC’s Jake Schmidt and Margo Thorning of the American Council for Capital Formation.
Conference to Look at European Energy Security – The American Security Project will host a half-day conference on Wednesday to examine the energy security challenges faced in the Eastern Mediterranean. Over the course of three panel discussions, the event will first examine the geopolitical importance of the region, focusing on the recent discovery of major natural gas fields in Israel. The next panel will look at the challenges of promoting energy cooperation throughout the Eastern Mediterranean, and will attempt to offer prescriptions for increasing energy security. The final panel will discuss the potential role that the US can play in the region in terms of investment opportunities and regional cooperation.
Forum to Look at GHG Rule Implementation – The Center for Climate and Energy Solutions (C2ES) will hold a forum on Wednesday that brings together state leaders and industry experts to explore market-based approaches to implementing EPA’s proposed Clean Power Plan. Speakers include Rhode Island DEM Director Janet Coit, Virginia DEQ Director David Paylor, Colorado DPHE Director of Environmental Programs Martha Rudolph, DTE’s Skiles Boyd, Holcim’s Erika Guerra, Duke Energy’s Kevin Leahy, Exelon’s Kathleen Robertson, Adele Morris of the Brookings Institution, Michael Wara of the Stanford Law School and former EPA #2 and current C2ES head Bob Perciasepe.
ACORE to Discuss Offshore Wind in Webinar – ACORE will hold a webinar on Wednesday at Noon on opportunities for offshore wind farm projects. Off-shore projects are confronting a number of hurdles that undermine their ability to attract construction financing. In some cases, local opposition has resulted in protracted permitting delays. In others, design and engineering challenges threaten the ability of turnkey contractors to make “fixed price/date certain” commitments. Advances in scientific knowledge, engineering know-how and equipment/software technology are advancing wind farm developments for both large and small projects. ACORE’s Todd Foley will provide a legislative update, and EDF Renewables Jared Kassebaum and Brian O’Hara, President of the Southeastern Wind Coalition will speak.
JHU forum Set to Tackle International Financing – On Wednesday at 4:30 p.m., Johns Hopkins University will host a forum on International financing framework. From the viewpoint of an electric power business active in these regions, Dr. Onoi, a senior J-POWER officer, will discuss the future for investment in power assets including gas thermal, coal thermal, renewable energy and nuclear power generation. He will also discuss related questions concerning an international financing framework.
Senate Energy Looks at 2015 EIA Outlook – On Thursday, the Senate Energy Committee will hold a committee hearing to receive testimony on the Energy Information Administration’s Annual Energy Outlook for 2015. EIA Administrator Adam Sieminski will testify.
DC Oral arguments for Murray Energy Case – Thursday at 10:00 a.m. Following the event on Thursday afternoon, the DC bar will host a round up on the arguments. Speakers will include Mark DeLaquil of Baker & Hostetler, NRDC’s Ben Longstreth and EPA Deputy General Counsel Ethan Shenkman.
Forum to Look at Arctic Council – On Thursday at Noon, the Ecologic Institute will host Caitlyn Antrim — Executive Director, Rule of Law Committee for the Oceans — and Arne Riedel — Coordinator Arctic Issues, Ecologic Institute Berlin — for presentations and a discussion on how to protect the Arctic region while providing opportunities to the indigenous populations. The United States will assume the Chair of the Arctic Council, an intergovernmental forum to address issues specific to the Arctic region and its peoples. However, discussions around climate change have heightened the need for cooperative action and evidence-based solutions. Additionally, more international actors, such as the EU and China, have begun asserting their agendas in the region.
Science Museum to Host Discussion on Electricity Generation Balance – On Thursday at 6:30 p.m., the Marian Koshland Science Museum will host an interactive program exploring the tradeoffs we face as our nation endeavors to meet electricity demands of the 21st century. Speakers include DOE’s Douglas Hollett and Kathryn Clay of AGA. After brief introductions from the speakers about the present and future of energy technologies, work in teams to explore the benefits and tradeoffs of various technologies, share ideas and propose potential solutions. The program will wrap up with a question and answer session with all participants.
Press Club to Host Dinner with UN Chief – The United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon will speak at a National Press Club dinner Thursday. Ban, who succeeded Kofi Annan in 2007 and won a re-election in 2011, will become the sixth UN secretary-general to speak at the NPC. The event will follow the typical NPC luncheon format, except that it will be a dinner. The event will begin with a VIP reception at 6 p.m.
Forum to Focus on Food, Water Nexus – The Bipartisan Policy Center, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation, National Geographic and Lockheed Martin are hosting the third in a series of roundtables, The Energy-Water-Food Nexus: Risks and Opportunities for the Private Sector on Friday at 1:00 p.m. at National Geographic HQ. The roundtables identify the nexus risks to businesses, and examine why and how leadership from the private sector, in collaboration with key stakeholders, is critical to successfully managing the synergies and tradeoffs among water, food and energy infrastructure for the benefit of society, business and the environment. This roundtable will focus on best practices and opportunities for harnessing innovation to address nexus challenges in the U.S., and globally.
Murkowski to address Arctic Chairmanship Goals, Objectives – On Friday morning, CSIS will host a forum on the upcoming Arctic Council Chairmanship the US assumes next week. The forum will feature keynote remarks by Senator Lisa Murkowski followed by a discussion on the future of offshore energy development in the American Arctic based on the recent release of the National Petroleum Council’s Arctic Study as well as a discussion on developments in Arctic health and well-being upon the occasion of the release of a new CSIS policy report on Arctic Health and the U.S. Arctic Council Chairmanship.
Forest Report, Discussion Set – On Friday morning, the World Resources Institute releases its first “State Of Global Forest” report. Global Forest Watch will release the analysis of global tree cover loss for 2013, produced by Global Forest Watch partners at the University of Maryland and Google. The event will provide the exclusive opportunity to hear about this new data from leading scientist Matt Hansen, preview emerging trends in global forest change and forest monitoring with Nigel Sizer, and participate in discussion between top land use experts.
Tillerson, Hess Kinder, Others Headline CERA Week – CERAWeek 2015 will be held on April 20th through 24th in Houston, TX. CERA Week usually offers comprehensive insight on what’s ahead for global energy. The oil price collapse has created new risks and realities – with profound impacts on key regions, industries, and economies. The event features industry and thought leaders proving fresh understanding of geopolitics, technology, markets, investment, strategy and regulatory policy. Speakers will include Peabody Energy’s Greg Boyce, Exxon’s Rex Tillerson, Sen. Lisa Murkowski, BP’s Bob Dudley, Energy Secretary Moniz, former BrightSource exec now at Google John Woolard and many more.
FERC’s Honorable, Former Sen Bingaman Address Utility Issues Conference – Next Monday to Wednesday, in Santa Fe, NM, the Center for Public Utilities’ Advisory Council will hold a Current Issues conference dealing with important topics affecting the industry today. Through a series of panels, industry leaders and Commissioners discuss the current issues facing the Electric, Natural Gas, Telecommunications and Water industries. The panels are designed to create meaningful dialog between the panelists and audience in an informal setting conducive to audience participation. Former NM Senator Jeff Bingaman, former Chairman, Energy & Natural Resources Committee and FERC Commissioner Colette Honorable speak Monday morning April 20. Lisa Edgar, NARUC President, will also be on the program, along with many NARUC Committee Chairman.
Fiorina To Address Lugar Speaker Series – On Monday, April 20th, the Richard G. Lugar Excellence in Public Service Series will hold its the 25th Annual Lugar Series Luncheon featuring Carly Fiorina, former CEO of Hewlett-Packard and Prospective Candidate as its keynote speaker. The event will be held at the Indianapolis Marriott Downtown.
CSIS to Look at Ukraine Energy – On Monday April 20th at 2:00 p.m., the CSIS Energy and National Security Program will host Alan Riley, Professor of Law at the City Law School with City University in London, to discuss the status of reforms to the Ukrainian energy sector and to provide an update on the European Union’s antitrust case against Gazprom. Following the ousting of Viktor Yanukovych in early 2014, a pro-reform and pro-Western government emerged. Despite the Russian annexation of Crimea and ensuing conflict in eastern Ukraine, much hope is placed in the new Ukrainian government’s ability to institute wide-ranging domestic reforms, particularly in the energy sector. Nonetheless, concrete, effectual changes have yet to materialize. Simultaneously, the EU is looking to move ahead with its antitrust case against Russian gas giant Gazprom anti-competitive business practices. A well-known authority on both subjects, Professor Riley will provide an overview of the progress being made and the hurdles undermining energy reform in Ukraine as well as the status of the antitrust proceedings against Gazprom. Following Mr. Riley’s presentation, Ambassador Richard Morningstar, Founding Director of the Atlantic Council’s Global Energy Center, former Ambassador to the European Union and former Special Envoy for Eurasian Energy, will provide comments on the issues addressed. Edward Chow, Senior Fellow with the CSIS Energy and National Security Program, will moderate.
RFF Forum to Look at China Renewable Scenario – Resources for the Future (RFF) will release the China 2050 High Renewable Energy Penetration Scenario and Roadmap Study on Monday April 20th at 10:30 a.m. Wang Zhongying, director of CNREC, will present an overview of the methods, data, and key findings of the study. A panel of experts from China and the United States will offer additional perspectives. The study was supported by Energy Foundation China with guidance from China’s National Energy Administration. This event is hosted by RFF and sponsored by Energy Foundation China. Samuel Baldwin, Chief Science Officer in the DOE’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy will join Zhongying on the panel.
Forum to Look at Native American Climate Plans – Next Monday at 3:00 p.m., EESI hold a briefing on the impacts of sea level rise and oil and gas extraction on Native American communities. The briefing will examine some of the recommendations from tribal communities, such as encouraging the incorporation of climate resilience into land use development and management practices. Speakers for this forum are Albert Naquin, Chief of the Biloxi-Chitimacha-Choctaw in Isle de Jean Charles, Louisiana; Bob Gough of the Intertribal Council on Utility Policy and anthropologist and climate justice expert Julie Maldonado.
Commerce Secretary to Address AMS Washington Forum – Next week, Tuesday to Thursday, the 2015 American Meteorological Society Washington Forum will focus on end users of weather, water and climate data, returning to the theme of past years’ User Forum events conducted by the AMS. As the enterprise evolves and adapts to changes in budgets and cost-sharing paradigms, heightened attention to the needs of its end users is key to success for all stakeholders. Particular attention must be given to key areas of industry, such as health and the various modes of transportation. The 2015 forum will promote dialogue between the enterprise and its end users toward that end. Keynote Speakers will be Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker and NOAA Assistant Administrator for Satellite Information Services Stephen Volz.
Forum to Look at EU Energy – The Atlantic Council will hold a forum on Tuesday morning, April 21st looking at global issues of European Energy Union. The Russian invasion of Ukraine and the subsequent establishment of the European Energy Union raise serious political, legal, and economic questions as Europe attempts to advance its objectives of increasing competition and ensuring a secure energy supply. Understanding the implications of the new European Energy Union and the energy regulatory framework is a precondition for understanding the future role of all energy supplies in Europe as well as Europe’s internal and external strategic relationships. Two panels of European energy experts, including one of the chief architects of EU energy and competition law, will address the intricacies of EU law and assess the legal, political, and geopolitical implications of the European Energy Union.
RFF, Sweden to Host Climate Forum – The Swedish Embassy and Resources For the Future (RFF) will hold a forum at the embassy on Tuesday, April 21st at 1:30 p.m. to look at international perspectives on national commitments from the European Union, the United States, and China. Later this year, the world will focus its attention on Paris for the 2015 UN Climate Change Conference. In the meantime, countries are determining how they can mitigate the effects of climate change in their own jurisdictions, and how these actions can be used to demonstrate their commitment to a new climate agreement in Paris. This policy dialogue will examine these issues and feature comments from experts who play key roles in crafting an international agreement that can be signed in Paris.
EARTH DAY – April 22
AEI Looks at Carbon Taxes – AEI will hold a forum on Wednesday, April 22nd at 12:00 p.m. on the practicality and prospects for carbon taxes. Carbon taxes are potentially the most efficient instrument for mitigating climate change and represent a practical extension of fuel excise taxes. At the same time, carbon taxes can be part of a broader fiscal reform enabling decreases in other taxes and reducing the need for future fiscal consolidation. Falling energy prices, rising debt-to-GDP ratios, and the need for countries to pledge emissions mitigation actions in the run-up to the December 2015 United Nations climate conference in Paris have all heightened interest in carbon taxes and similar instruments. A new International Monetary Fund–Brookings Institution–Resources for the Future book, “Implementing a US Carbon Tax: Challenges and Debates,” containing papers written by leading experts in the field, will be presented. Complimentary copies will be available at the event.
Webinar to Look at Coal Ash Rule – The Catawba Riverkeeper Foundation, Kutak Rock LLP, Nova Engineering and Environmental, Schiff Hardin LLP, TetraTech, and B2BWebinars.com will hold a webinar on Wednesday, April 22nd at 1:00 p.m. looking at the new coal ash regulations. The long-delayed EPA final coal ash CCR has been issued, and coal generators throughout the nation will soon move to comply with its provisions.
MD OSW Meeting to Honor BOEM Director Hopper – The Business Network for Maryland Offshore Wind’s (BizMDOSW) will hold its annual meeting in Baltimore, Maryland on April 22-23, at Camden Yards. The meeting is a 2-day gathering of European and American business executives, government officials, technical experts and academics brought together to build expertise among local companies. The event will have more than 150 participants from the U.S., Germany and Denmark including Dong Energy, Siemens, Bladt Industries, Blue Water Shipping and A2Sea. The April 22nd dinner will be a celebration honoring U.S. Bureau of Ocean and Energy Management Director Abigail Hopper for outstanding achievement within the offshore wind industry. The all-day April 23rd meeting will focus on creating jobs locally and regionally, including subcontracting opportunities for Maryland businesses and will also include reports on the East Coast regional offshore wind industry in Rhode Island, Virginia, New Jersey, Massachusetts and Maryland. The Maryland offshore wind development is projected to have steel in the water by 2019, and the development team expects to submit its OREC application to the state and to seek further permitting from U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management. Among the speakers will be our friends Bill Wall of the Atlantic Wind Connection and Clint Plummer of Deepwater.
CSIS to Hold Global Development Forum – CSIS will hold its inaugural Global Development Forum (GDF) on Thursday April 23rd. With a significant reduction in extreme poverty and an increase in private financial flows to the developing world over the past two decades, the face of development is rapidly changing. Meeting today’s challenges calls for innovation and effective partnerships across sectors, with an emphasis on improving governance and leveraging the role of the private sector. GDF will feature keynote addresses by Representative Ander Crenshaw (R-FL) and Dr. Sri Mulyani Indrawati, Managing Director of the World Bank Group. Breakout panel discussions will foster dialogue on topics including private sector partnerships, capacity building and workforce development, innovative finance, the post-2015 global development agenda, Ebola recovery in West Africa, and the strategic role of development in overall U.S. foreign policy. GDF will feature over 40 speakers, including key stakeholders from U.S. government agencies, leading multilateral and non-governmental organizations, foreign governments, and the private sector.
Wilson Center to Host Discussion on Enviro Behavior – The Wilson Center will hold a discussion at 12:30 p.m. on April 23rd about how psychology and behavioral economics can help us begin to address our most pressing energy and environmental challenges – and how this can potentially improve policy choices in government and beyond. The panel, moderated by Ruth Greenspan Bell, a Public Policy Scholar at the Wilson Center, will examine which sorts of strategies encourage energy efficiency, how they can best be implemented and how one branch of the military is looking at incorporating these strategies to improve operational reach. Event panelists include Per Espen Stoknes, a psychologist and economist at the BI Norwegian Business School, will discuss how strategies rooted in human psychology might help address climate change; Elke Weber of the Columbia University School of Business will discuss how these strategies can be applied across institutions and within policymaking and Capt. James Goudreau, director of policy and partnerships in the Office of the Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Energy, will discuss how these insights can help the Navy forge a culture of energy and water efficiency
Perino to Hold Book Event at Press Club – Our friend Dana Perino, former White House Press Secretary for President George W. Bush and current co-host of The Five, will discuss and sign copies of her new book “And the Good News Is…:Lessons and Advice from the Bright Side” at an April 24th book rap scheduled for 6:30 p.m. in the ballroom at the National Press Club.
ACORE Policy Forum Set – ACORE will hold Its Renewable Energy Policy Forum on April 22-23rd at the Westin City Center in Washington, DC. ACORE’s Policy Forum champions the progress of the industry in reducing costs and deploying at scale, and will feature policymakers, industry leaders and other perspectives to outline challenges and highlight opportunities facing the sector. The Forum will drive bipartisan renewable energy policy priorities and strategy for the next two years, setting up a successful long-term outlook for the industry. The outcome of the Forum – the policy agenda for renewable energy policy – will be shared with the President and Congress, as well as governors, legislators, and regulators in the states. Speakers will include Energy Secretary Moniz, EPA’s Gina McCarthy, former FERC Chair John Wellinghoff, Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, Georgia PSC Commissioner Bubba McDonald, and our friends, Joe Desmond of Brightsource Energy, Dan Reicher of Stanford, Michael McAdams of the Advanced Biofuels Coalition and AWEA’s Tom Kiernan.
Arctic Council Ministerial Set for Iqaluit – On April 24-25th, Secretary of State John Kerry, his fellow Arctic Council Foreign Ministers and indigenous representatives will gather in Iqaluit, Canada for a ministerial meeting focused on the Arctic. Following the meeting, the United States will assume its two-year chairmanship of the Arctic Council.
NHA to Set Hydro Conference – The National Hydropower Association holds its annual conference at the Capitol Hilton on April 27-29th. The Conference is a well-rounded conference program designed to discuss, prepare and foresee the future of hydropower throughout the nation. Speakers will include NY Rep. Paul Tonko and White House OSTP staff Cristin Dorgelo.
Navy Sect to Address Press Club – The Press Club will host an NPC Luncheon with Navy Secretary Ray Mabus on April 30th at Noon. Mabus will discuss the state of America’s sea services and the maritime, budgetary and resource challenges facing the force in the 21st century.
Marine Tech Conferences Alongside NHA Meeting – The 3rd Annual Marine Energy Technology Symposium (METS) will be held as part of the inaugural International Marine Renewable Energy Conference on April 27-29th at the Capital Hilton Hotel in Washington, D.C., and will be co-located with the National Hydropower Association’s annual conference. METS provides a venue where technical experts can publish and present wave and water current energy research that helps accelerate the pace of technology development. Holding METS in conjunction with the International Marine Renewable Energy Conference will provide researchers with the invaluable opportunity to interact with public and private industry stakeholders.
EIA Annual Energy Conference Set – EIA will hold its 2015 Energy Conference on June 15 – 16th in Washington, DC. Keynote Speakers will DOE Secretary Ernie Moniz, Mexican Energy secretary Pedro Joaquín Coldwell and Continental Resources CEO Harold Hamm, among others.
Bay, Clark, Moeller Headline Utility Commissioners Education Forum – The 20th Annual Education Conference of the Mid-Atlantic Conference of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (MACRUC) will be held on June 21 – 24 at the Williamsburg Lodge in Virginia. Speakers will include former Senator/Governor Evan Bayh, FERC Commissioners Norman Bay, Tony Clark and Philip Moeller, NARUC President and Florida PSC Chair Lisa Edgar, Dominion CEO Tom Farrell, PSE&G President Ralph LaRossa, and American Water Works CEO Susan Story.
Energy CyberSecurity Forum Set for Houston – The 3rd Annual Cyber Security for Oil and Gas Summit will be held in Houston on June 22-24th. The event brings together the oil and gas industry to address critical concerns and trends with regard to the development of cyber security practices. The complex nature of cyberattacks and those specifically levied against the oil and gas industry have been increasing over the years and while the industry is well prepared, continuous improvement is always necessary to maintain an edge on the nefarious actors working against the industry.