Energy Update: Week of June 4

Friends,

After a fun trip through SoCal (yes, my kids always love that we drive right past things like the San Onofre nuclear plant, San Gorgonio Wind Park and Andeavor’s LA Refineries), we are ready to get back to the action.  Before that though, it is exciting to see the energy in DC and Vegas around the Stanley Cup Finals.  Game 4 tonight…  Don’t think it is quite as exciting in Cleveland and Oakland for the NBA finals, but we should have winners in both NHL and NBA sometime next week.   Finally, get ready for the Belmont on June 16th where Justify will go for the Triple Crown.  Full breakdown next week.

Starting on a sad note today with the news of the passing of our friend Doug Goudie, who was Director of International Government Relations for Pfizer.  Doug passed away last night after a courageous battle with cancer.  Doug was a friend and colleague of many in the trade community. Doug, who also worked at NAM and the Auto Trade Policy Council, leaves behind his wife, Ann McCulloch, and his two young children, Will and Maggie.  If you would like to help Doug’s family, a website has been set up to support the education of Doug’s kids: https://www.gofundme.com/goudie-education-fund, and please keep them in your thoughts and prayers.

The energy narrative this week will be impacted by Friday’s move by the Administration on using national security issues to preserve coal and nuclear plants.  Also, we have also heard the White House may be moving as soon as today on the biofuels agreement to resolve long-standing RFS issues.  More on each of these as necessary.  As you know, we are covering them closely. To that end, Platt’s hosts Joni Ernst tomorrow at 10:00 a.m. for its Energy Podium roundtable.

Outside DC, tomorrow is a big primary day in several states including California, New Jersey and Iowa.  And just flipping on the TV while eating In ‘n Out burgers last week in Cali, you could definitely tell the primary was right around the corner given the commercials.  Also, at the Vatican later this week, Pope Francis convenes a meeting with oil company CEOs, energy investors and former Energy Secretary Ernie Moniz.  Amy Harder had her take on it in Axios. Finally, tomorrow is the UN’s World Environment Day.

The full House will consider the Water Resources Development Act this week. Look for potential Congressional moves on last week’s action on coal/nukes. The House is also expected to take up its first “minibus” package of fiscal 2019 spending bills. A measure that funds the Energy Department and Army Corps of Engineers is being bundled with bills funding military construction, veterans affairs, and the legislative branch. On Wednesday, NM Gov. Susana Martinez appears at House Resources on oil/gas legislation.  Finally on Thursday, a House Energy panel examines ways to improve the hydropower licensing process. While in the afternoon House Science’s energy panel looks at the electric grid of the future in a hearing that features our friend Rob Gramlich.

The biggest event in town this week is today and tomorrow’s EIA Energy Forum on the many changes going on in the electric power and petroleum sectors.   The program will discuss natgas drilling, Appalachian energy industry development and exports of oil and LNG. There also will be talk about electric power system transitions and reliability issues which will lead into discussions around nuclear and coal-fired power plants.  Among the speakers ids will be FERC Chair Kevin McIntyre, NERC reliability chief Mark Lauby and ISO New England CEO Gordon van Welie.

Remember to mark your calendars for NEXT WEDNESDAY when SAFE hold a forum to release a new groundbreaking study with original research on the magnitude of impacts from driverless cars at the Jack Morton Auditorium at the George Washington University.

Finally, while the hurricane season kicked off on Friday, many of you have focused on on-going recoveries in Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico. Let me remind you that our friends at MIT, who are focused on responding to more intense hurricanes through better building resilience and recovery, have a full array of research on these topics and are happy to discuss how they affect communities and policymakers response – especially after last year’s difficult hurricane season in the Southeast and Caribbean.

Best,

Frank Maisano

(202) 828-5864

c. (202) 997-5932

FRANKLY SPOKEN

““I eagerly await the administration’s regulations protecting pagers, fax machines, and Blockbuster.”

Ex-California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, reacting via tweet to the Trump administration’s plans to order grid operators to buy electricity from struggling coal and nuclear plants.

 

ON THE POD

MIT Experts Weigh in on Hurricane, Building Resiliency – The episode of PRG’s podcast The Lobby Shop this week features my interview with MIT resiliency expert Jeremy Gregory discussing the 2018 hurricane season and what vulnerable communities and their resident/policymakers can do to withstand and rebuild in more resilient ways.  Good stuff with the start of the hurricane season slated for June 1.  Check it out ln Stitcher, Apple Podcasts, SoundCloud, and Google Play Music.

FUN OPINIONS

API: Tariffs Hinder Energy Growth –API’s Mark Green argued in an opinion piece in RealClearEnergy that Steel tariffs will create three huge problems for the energy industry that will hinder its growth.  Green said the tariffs will cause higher costs and project delays, questions whether steel manufacturers will increase production and says if steel shipments are delayed, then energy projects will be delayed.

IN THE NEWS

Administration Imposes Tariffs – Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross announced on a conference call last week Section 232 tariffs on imports of steel (25% tariff) and aluminum (10% tariff) will be applicable to imports from Canada, Mexico, and the EU. The White House followed shortly by posting new proclamations formally adjusting the tariffs for steel and aluminum.  In addition to removing the exceptions for Canada, Mexico and the EU, the proclamations also formalize the “hard” export quotas that Australia, Argentina, and Brazil have agreed to accept in lieu of 232 tariffs.  My trade expert colleague Josh Zive said this is a significant decision and the economic and diplomatic consequences of it are likely to be significant and complex.  EU and Canada have already promised retaliation against US exports—minutes after Ross’s announcement the EU released a statement outlining $3.3 billion in new tariffs on US products ranging from Harley-Davidson motorcycles to Kentucky Bourbon, and Mexico announced new tariffs on US pork, fruit, and flat steel products.  This retaliation will likely get worse before it gets better as diplomacy moves from bilateral discussions to WTO dispute resolution.  Additionally, it is likely that the prices and lead times for steel and aluminum, already climbing in the wake of the 232 tariffs, will increase at an accelerated pace.  Finally, the Department of Commerce will likely see thousands of new exclusion requests filed, adding to the thousands waiting for action from the agency.  Zive says the actions should be “viewed as a disappointment, but not a surprise.”  He adds the many details surrounding the tariffs require further elaboration, and it is essential that companies harmed by these policies redouble their efforts to educate policymakers and thought leaders about the consequences of this protectionism.

CCS Project hits Key Milestone – NET Power said last week that it has successfully achieved “first fire” of its landmark demonstration plant in La Porte, TX, that is intended to capture all of the carbon from new power plants that can use both coal and natural gas.  The milestone included the firing of a 50MW Toshiba commercial-scale combustor, which involved the integrated operation of the full NET Power process. The combustor will be integrated with the turbine and power will be generated after further testing, with the goal of global deployment of 300MW commercial-scale plants beginning as early as 2021. First fire is a critical milestone for the demonstration plant, as it validates the fundamental operability and technical foundation of NET Power’s new power system.

ClearPath’s Powell Praises NET – If successful, NET Power will greatly simplify the process and equipment needed to produce not just cleaner power, but emission-free power from coal and natural gas. It would emit no carbon and use no water. ClearPath Executive Director Rich Powell explained the Allam Cycle in a recent video, the process used by NET Power, and how it could revolutionize clean energy in the U.S. and globally.

RINs Awarded to Small Refiners after Winning Case – After winning a case to force EPA to grant it a waiver from the RFS, last week EPA said it would grant Sinclair and Holly-Frontier, two refineries that sued over the waivers.  HollyFrontier will receive credits for this year to reverse a denial for a waiver for one of its Wyoming plants dating back to 2015, while Sinclair will receive them for two of its facilities in for 2014 and 2015.  Both companies had challenged EPA’s denials in a federal appellate court in Colorado in 2016. That court in August 2017 ruled EPA had erred in denying Sinclair’s applications for exemptions by being too strict in its definition of disproportionate economic hardship and remanded the case back to EPA to come up with a remedy.

REN21 Report Says Despite New Renewables, Emissions Increased – The latest edition of the Renewables Global Status Report says even as new power installations were dominated by renewables, energy-related carbon emissions rose in 2017.  REN21, a network of governments, nonprofits and academics focused on renewable energy released its annual report and said that renewable power made up 70% of net additions to global power generating capacity in 2017, but energy demand and energy-related CO2 emissions increased substantially for the first time in four years, mainly due to economic growth in emerging economies and population growth.

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

FERC Chair Headlines EIA Annual Energy Conference – EIA holds its annual 2018 Energy Conference today and tomorrow at the Washington Hilton.  The program will discuss natgas drilling, Appalachian energy industry development and exports of oil and LNG. There also will be talk about electric power system transitions and reliability issues which will lead into discussions around nuclear and coal-fired power plants.  Among the speakers ids will be FERC Chair Kevin McIntyre, NERC reliability chief Mark Lauby and ISO New England CEO Gordon van Welie.

FERC Commissioners Headline Western PSC Forum – The Western Conference of Public Service Commissioners holds a conference in Boise, Idaho today through Wednesday.  WCPSC is a regional association within NARUC and the conference takes place at the Boise Centre, located in the heart of downtown Boise.  Speakers include Idaho Gov. Butch Otter, FERC Commissioner Cheryl LaFleur and Rich Glick, AGA Richard Myers and Montana PUC Chair Travis Kavulla, among many others.

TX Solar Conference SetSolar Power Texas 2018 will be held today and tomorrow in Cedar Creek, TX at the Hyatt Regency Lost Pines Resort & Spa.  The event looks policy drivers and leading businesses in the region.

New England Energy Conference Set – The New England Energy Conference runs today and tomorrow in N. Falmouth, Mass at the Sea Crest Beach Hotel.  The event brings together industry professionals including generation and transmission companies, project developers and operators, utility representatives, load aggregators and end-users, equipment suppliers, finance and legal experts, risk managers, environmental and engineering professionals, commodity traders and wholesalers, as well as government officials and industry regulators.

Perry Headlines DOE Cyber Conference – Today through Thursday, the Energy Department holds its annual Cyber Conference in Austin at the Renaissance.  The event features keynote speech today from Energy Secretary Rick Perry, a speech from Undersecretary Dan Brouillette tomorrow and many more Panels featuring DOE and industry security experts.

NAS to Look at Nuke Waste, Seismic Activity – Tomorrow at 8:30 a.m., the National Academies host forum on seismic hazards in storing nuclear waste.

EEI Conference Set for SD – The Edison Electric Institute holds its annual convention in San Diego tomorrow through Thursday at the Manchester Grand Hyatt.  Speakers will include Tony Byers of Starbucks, ABC Shark Tank panelist Robert Herjavec and a panel of CEOs including Duke’s Lynn Good, Exelon’s Chris Crane and Berkshire-Hathaway Energy Chair Greg Abel.

Platts to Host Conversation With Ernst – Platts Energy Podium will host a conversation with Sen. Joni Ernst and the future of the US biofuel mandate tomorrow at 10:00 a.m. The Trump administration is preparing to make changes to the RFS that could have big impacts in the oil, biofuel and agriculture sectors. Ethanol credits have plunged 60% since the start of the year. Refinery workers have protested at the US Capitol.  Ernst has been at the negotiating table for several rounds of White House talks on the issue. She is one of Congress’ strongest advocates for farmers and biofuel makers. Ernst will share the latest on the White House deal that would expand sales of ethanol while allowing traders to get renewable fuel credits for ethanol exports.

ITIF to Host Forum on European Innovation Policy – Tomorrow at 10:00 a.m., the Information Technology & Innovation Foundation hosts a panel of experts from Germany, the Netherlands, Sweden, and the United Kingdom as they discuss how their countries are approaching innovation policy and regulation.  Europe has introduced new innovation policies or strategies, many tailored to boost competitiveness in advanced and emerging industries such as clean energy, AI, autonomous driving, advanced manufacturing, and innovative life sciences. Policymakers also are grappling with how to establish enabling regulatory environments to meet social needs such as safety or privacy while encouraging innovators to experiment and allowing new technologies to flourish.

Senate Energy to Look at Fire Outlook, Programs – The Senate Energy Committee holds a hearing tomorrow at 10:00 a.m. on the 2018 Wildland Fire Outlook and Wildland Fire Management programs. Interim Forest Service Chief Vicki Christiansen and Jeff Rupert, director, Office of Wildland Fire, Department of the Interior testify.  On Thursday, Christiansen heads to House Resources on the same topic at 2:00 p.m.

Forum to Look at Nuclear Cooperation with Korea – The Global America Business Institute will host a presentation tomorrow at Noon on U.S.-Korea cooperation in new nuclear markets, looking at opportunities, challenges and imperatives.”

Forum to Look at Transatlantic Energy – The German Marshall Fund of the United States and the Polish Institute of International Affairs host a discussion on Transatlantic energy cooperation tomorrow. The one-day conference at GMF’s Washington, DC office brings together a group of political leaders, government officials, and experts and will provide a platform for debates on key policy issues.

Forum Tackles Iran Policy – The Washington Institute for Near East Policy holds a discussion tomorrow at 12:30 p.m. on the Gulf’s view on Washington’s Plan B for Iran.  The expert conversation and live webcast will look at Washington and its Arab partners’ favorable rhetoric on the new Iran policy, and what concrete actions will curb Tehran’s regional adventurism.

FERC Hosts Quarterly Users Report – The staff of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission will hold the 5th bi-annual Electric Quarterly Report Users Group meeting tomorrow afternoon starting at 1:00 p.m. This meeting provides a forum for dialogue between Commission staff and EQR users to discuss potential improvements to the EQR program and the EQR filing process. Recent meetings have focused on issues pertaining primarily to EQR filers. However, in the upcoming meeting, staff will also include sessions for those accessing and using EQR data.

Forum to Look at Plastics Crisis – National Geographic hosts a Hill briefing tomorrow at 4:30 p.m. in 485 Russell to discuss its multiyear campaign to raise awareness of the “global plastic crisis.” The event will feature remarks from Sens. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), Dan Sullivan (R-Alaska) and NG CEO Gary Knell.

KPMG Energy Conference Set – KPMG’s 16th Annual Global Energy Conference will be held Wednesday and Thursday at the Royal Sonesta Hotel in Houston, Texas. The event features senior energy executives and luminaries to share ideas and gain insights on the current issues and emerging challenges that are shaping the next generation of energy.  Speakers include broadcaster Soledad O’Brien and former Senate Leader George Mitchell, as well as our friends WSJ’s Erin Ailworth, Bloomberg’s Joe Carroll and Reuters’ Ernest Scheyder.

Wilson Forum Talk Transatlantic Energy Cooperation – The Woodrow Wilson Center’s Science and Technology Innovation Program holds a forum on Wednesday at 10:00 a.m. on Transatlantic research Cooperation to protect the Atlantic Ocean. This event will include a visit of the Ocean Plastics Lab which will be in Washington DC.

House Resources Looks at Interior Legislation – The House Natural Resources Committee marks up six bills, including four dealing with Utah focused on Department of Interior issues.  They also will tackle four other bills in the afternoon hearing will that are focused on oil and gas issues.  New Mexico Gov. Susan Martinez and Interior’s deputy assistant secretary for Land and Minerals Management Katharine MacGregor will testify.

FERC, NRC Hold Joint Meeting – The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) will hold a joint meeting on Thursday at 9:00 a.m. that will consist of discussions between the two sets of Commissioners following presentations by their respective staffs.

Forum, Report to Discuss Renewables – ACORE and the Atlantic Council’s Global Energy Center will host a special event around the U.S. launch of the 2018 REN21 Renewables Global Status Report (GSR) on Thursday at 9:00 a.m.  The event will feature a highlight presentation of the GSR, the most comprehensive annual overview of the global state of renewable energy, followed by a panel discussion on the role of renewable energy, energy storage, and electric vehicles in modernizing the U.S. electric grid. Speakers include REN21 Executive Secretary Rana Adib, EDTA President Genevieve Cullen, AWEA’s Tom Kiernan and our friend Dan Whitten of SEIA.

House Transpo Looks at Arctic Maritime Action – The House Transportation and Infrastructure’s maritime transportation panel looks at the U.S. role in maritime transportation in the Arctic in a hearing at 11:00 a.m. Thursday.

House Energy Looks at Hydro Licensing – The House Energy and Commerce’s energy panel on Thursday at 11:00 a.m. examines ways to improve the hydropower licensing process.

Speakes-Backman to address Women in Energy Leadership – Women of Renewable Industries and Sustainable Energy will host a WRISE DC lunch and learn with Kelly Speakes-Backman, CEO of the Energy Storage Association on Thursday at AWEA at 12:30 p.m.  Kelly is a former Commissioner of the Maryland Public Service Commission, who has spent more than 20 years working on energy and environmental issues in the public, NGO and private sectors.

House Science Panel Looks at Future Grid – On Thursday at 1:00 p.m., the House Science Committee’s energy panel looks at the electric grid of the future in a hearing that features our friend Rob Gramlich, a former AWEA policy chief.  DOE’s Bruce Walker, John Sarro of the Los Alamos Nat Lab and Texas Tech’s Joe Heppert also testify.

Mexico Gas Forum Set for San Antonio – The 4th Mexico Gas Summit will be held in San Antonio, Texas on Thursday and Friday.  The event that brings together internationally recognized industry speakers, investors, government officials, and executives from the energy, infrastructure, and transportation industries. The geographic scope for the event will cover Mexico as a region with a strong focus on Gulf Coast onshore exploration and production, midstream infrastructure and development, natural gas commercialization and the evolving refined fuels market.

Offshore Wind Conference Features Interior, DOE, Industry Officials – New Energy Update holds a conference on U.S. offshore wind development on Thursday and Friday in Boston.  Speakers include Interior’s Walter Cruickshank, DOE’s Dan Simmons, Equinor (formerly Statoil)’s Mike Olsen, Deepwater’s Bryan Martin, Mass Energy/Enviro Affairs Sect Matt Beaton and many more.

USEA Hosts Kenyan Energy Official – On Friday at 9:00 a.m., the U.S. Energy Association hosts Charles Keter, Cabinet Secretary for the Ministry of Energy and Mrs. Rebecca Miano, Managing Director/CEO of KenGen as they discuss the state of the Kenyan energy market and opportunities for expansion and international partnerships. They will also share some of the lessons learned earlier in the week while visiting The Geysers Geothermal Field and Coso Geothermal Field in California.

Forum to Look at Cyber Security – The Lexington Institute holds a forum on Friday at Noon looking at cybersecurity of the electric grid on Capitol Hill in CVC-201.  This forum will be a series of ten-minute back-to-back presentations delivered by subject matter experts. Here is a link to a similar event they held last year.

Forum to Discuss European Clean Energy – The Environmental and Energy Study Institute (EESI) and the Embassy of Germany host a forum on Friday at Noon in G50 Dirksen showcasing how Germany has been successfully integrating clean energy into its electrical grid. Representatives from the public and private sectors on both sides of the Atlantic will discuss parallels between the German and American economies and how the United States may benefit from energy development policies Germany has developed and implemented over the course of its nearly 20 year-long national Energiewende (“energy transition”) program.  Speakers include Thorsten Herdan, Director-General of Energy Policy with the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy, plus representatives of the energy and manufacturing sectors.

Energy Economists to Host Discussion of Bay Runoff – The NCAC of the US Energy Economists hosts its June luncheon on Friday to explore that reality of just how difficult finding a solution to a significant environmental problem might be. And this solution relates to nothing less than fouling Chesapeake Bay by run-off from chicken farms on the DELMARVA. The run-off comes from chicken waste – called “litter” in publications suitable for family reading.  CleanBay Renewables (CBR) was established in 2013 to find alternative uses for chicken litter. And there are lots of them, including jet fuel, facial creams and electricity.  There are lots of problems too. The speaker is Jason Levine, Chief Business Development Officer of CleanBay Renewables. Jason has lived through all of these problems and is ready to break ground on CBR’s first digester, located near Princess Anne, Maryland.

IN THE FUTURE

Forum to Look at Carbon Removal in Climate Efforts – Next Monday at 10:00 a.m., Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment hosts a forum on new research about the range of carbon removal options; especially ecosystem stewardship and approaches that combine bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (CCS). Stanford experts will discuss carbon removal technologies and opportunities for the United States and beyond.  Panelists will evaluate near-term opportunities for deployment across the US. Policy levers include tax credits just revised by Congress in the 2018 Budget Act. These incentives support sequestration of CO2 in geologic storage and make carbon capture from ethanol production facilities profitable. Overall, the discussion will right-size expectations for carbon removal in ambitious climate responses, spanning from constraints at large-scale through to opportunities that exist now.  Keynote Speaker for the event is Bob Perciasepe, former EPA deputy and current President of the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions.

Merrifield Headlines Nuclear Export Forum – Several groups are hosting forum in 2322 Rayburn next Monday, June 11th at 11:00 a.m. to discuss the importance of nuclear experts to the U.S.  Speakers will include former NRC Commissioner and ClearPath advisor Jeff Merrifield on industry/government collaboration, Westinghouse’s Graham Cable on understanding the export market, Nuclear Industry Council CEO David Blee on the export potential for Small Modular Reactors (SMRs) and several more.

Interior Official to Address Energy Policy – The Atlantic Council hosts a conversation on next Monday at Noon with Vincent DeVito, counselor to the secretary for energy policy at Interior. DeVito will focus on the advanced energy aspects of the Trump administration’s “energy dominance” agenda.

Wilson to Host Brazilian Biofuels Experts – Next Monday, the Woodrow Wilson Center hosts a forum at 4:00 p.m. featuring a delegation from the Brazil’s Ministry of Mines and Energy, charged with the new biofuels program implementation, and Brazil’s National Agency of Oil, Natural Gas and Biofuels (ANP).  The group comes to the Wilson Center for a public conversation on RenovaBio. The delegation will be in Washington for meetings with the U.S. government and the private sector to discuss lessons learned from the implementation of the RFS and the LCFS, in order to improve the development and implementation of the new policy in Brazil.  RFA’s Geoff Cooper and UC-Davis Institute of Transportation Studies Director Dan Sperling will also speak.

Hydrogen, Fuel Cell Forum Set for DC – The Fuel Cell and Hydrogen Energy Association will be hosting a full-day forum and showcase next Tuesday, June 12 in Washington, D.C. at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center with leading executives, experts, and policymakers on fuel cell and hydrogen technology. The forum will bring together key federal and state policymakers, including the Department of Energy and White House, as well as the broader environmental, transportation, and energy communities to raise awareness of the benefits of fuel cell and hydrogen technology. This event will precede the Department of Energy’s 2018 Annual Merit Review.

Forum to Look at Buildings of the Future – As a part of High Performance Building Week 2018, there will be a Congressional briefing on Tuesday June 12th at Noon in 2322 Rayburn seeking recommendation for future buildings.  The National Institute of Building Sciences Consultative Council serves a unique role in the building industry, bringing together representatives from leading organizations that represent all aspects of design, construction, operation and regulation to examine important issues before the industry.  The forum will look at ways to explore how the building industry can and should evolve to meet the changing needs of society and how new technologies and practices can attract a 21st century workforce.  Speakers include Reps. David McKinley and Peter Welch who are Co-Chairs of the High Performance Building Congressional Caucus, as well as our friend Ryan Colker of the National Institute of Building Sciences and several others.  On Thursday in 2226 Rayburn, this same group will also hold an expert discussion focusing on how codes and standards play a significant role in supporting strong, practicable and resilient 21st century infrastructure solutions. These solutions include not only incorporating new technologies – such as 3D printing – into codes and standards, but also recognizing the value of hazard mitigation strategies in assuring that infrastructure and buildings are built to withstand future events.

USEA Forum to Look at USE IT Act – Next Tuesday, June 12th at 1:00 p.m., the U.S. Energy Association hosts a forum on the USE IT Act. In March, Sens. Barrasso, Capito, Whitehouse, and Heitkamp introduced the “USE IT” Act, which would support R&D for innovative carbon capture and use technologies. This workshop will explore the environmental and economic opportunities for innovative carbon technologies — including direct air capture and carbon utilization in building materials and fuels. The conversation will include a discussion of the policy landscape for these solutions, as well as the emerging industry and investment trends in the space.  Speakers will include USDA’s David Babson, C2ES’s Jeffrey Bobeck and Erin Burns of Third Way.

SAFE to Discuss Impact of Self-Driving Technology on Economy, Workforce – On Wednesday June 13th at 8:30 a.m., Securing America’s Future Energy will hold a forum and release a new groundbreaking study with original research on the magnitude of impacts from driverless cars at the Jack Morton Auditorium at the George Washington University.  The study done in collaboration with leading transportation and labor economists focuses on impacts from driverless cars and offers case-study analysis on the economic productivity gains.  It will also offer context on the history of network-scale innovations and the short and long-term impacts on the workforce.  Speakers include Report author J.D. Vance, former Transportation Secretary Rodney Slater, ep. Debbie Dingell, DOT’s Loren Smith ITIF’s Rob Atkinson and CBPP’s Jared Bernstein, all who are actively crafting AV Policy.  For further information, contact Leslie Hayward lhayward@secureenergy.org.

Forum to Look at Boosting Climate Resilience – On Thursday, June 14th at 3:00 p.m., the Woodrow Wilson Center holds a discussion with representatives from USAID projects in East Africa on how to build resiliency when facing uncertain future scenarios. Panelists will share tools, technologies, good practices and approaches that are applicable and relevant to ongoing and future USAID bilateral and regional programming.

Congressional Baseball Game – Thursday June 14th 7:05 p.m.

Forum to Look at Spent Fuel in Sweden – The Global America Business Institute will host a discussion on Friday, June 15th at 12:00 p.m. on the current status of spent fuel management in Sweden.  This forum will discuss progress and lessons learned.

DOE Science Heads to CSIS for Forum – The CSIS Energy & National Security Program is hosting a discussion with Paul Dabbar, DOE’s Under Secretary for Science on Friday June 15th at 11:00 a.m. Dabbar will discuss DOE’s priorities and the role of innovation in DOE’s mission and the U.S. energy sector broadly.

University Coalition Heads to CSIS – On Monday June 18th at 2:30 p.m., the CSIS Energy & National Security Program will host Janet Napolitano (President, University of California), Kristina M. Johnson (Chancellor, The State University of New York) and Timothy Carter (President, Second Nature) for a discussion on the recent launch of the University Climate Change Coalition (UC3), the role of research universities in the development of climate action plans, and their own imperatives for a more sustainable energy system.  This spring, UC3 was launched by 13 research university systems in the United States, Canada, and Mexico to mobilize their resources and expertise to inform and facilitate climate solutions in partnership with businesses, local communities, cities, and states.  The coalition will utilize its research base and multidisciplinary approaches to craft innovative climate action plans, develop new energy technologies, and advance climate science.  UC3 will work in partnership with Second Nature’s Climate Leadership Network, a group of hundreds of colleges and universities that have committed to take action on climate change and sustainability actions.  Climate Change and the National and Corporate Interest is a high-level speaker series showcasing a variety of country and corporate perspectives on plausible pathways for pursuing a climate change strategy and why those actions are in their national or commercial interest.

CSIS to Host BNEF Energy Outlook – The CSIS Energy & National Security Program is hosting the launch of Bloomberg New Energy Finance’s (BNEF) New Energy Outlook 2018 on Wednesday, June 20th at 10:00 a.m.  NEO 2018 is BNEF’s annual economic forecast for the world’s power sector.  Built over nine months, it is the result of international collaboration between 65 market and technical experts from BNEF’s 11 offices.  For the first time, NEO projects out to 2050, offering 10 more years of data and new insights about the energy transition in the long-term.  Seb Henbest (NEO Lead Author and Head of Europe, Middle East & Africa; BNEF) will present the findings of the NEO 2018, followed by Q&A and discussion led by MIT’s Francis O’Sullivan.

GTM to Host Grid Forum – Greentech Media host Grid Edge Innovation Summit on June 20th and 21st in San Francisco.  The event is an energy conference that will examine the energy customer of tomorrow and how new innovative business models are quickly emerging.  GTM brings together forward thinking and prominent members of the energy ecosystem and as our research team explores the future of the market. Former FERC Chair Jon Wellinghoff will speak along with many others, including our friends Shayle Kann, Julia Pyper and Stephen Lacey.

Duke’s Good to Speak at Women Conference – The Center for Strategic and International Studies is hosting a Smart Women, Smart Power conversation with Duke Energy CEO Lynn Good on Thursday, June 21st at 6:00 p.m.  She will discuss trends impacting the energy industry, the challenges it faces, and the efforts being made to create a cleaner, smarter energy future.  The conversation will be moderated by Fortune’s Nina Easton.

NERO to Honor Scalise, Heitkamp – The National Energy Resources Organization will hold its 2018 Awards dinner on Thursday, June 21st at the Capitol Hill Hyatt.  Awardees will be Majority Whip Steve Scalise and Sen. Heidi Heitkamp.  NERO is a non-partisan organization whose mission is to engage in dialogue on energy issues, recognize outstanding achievements, and promote public awareness.

World Gas Conference Features Perry, Industry Leaders – The International Gas Union (IGU) hosts the 27th World Gas Conference (WGC 2018) in Washington DC from June 25-29.  The triennial event aims to raise the voice of natural gas while offering timely updates on strategic, commercial and technical issues facing the entire gas value chain and offers the most comprehensive and diverse program to date for the natural gas industry. For the first time ever this includes topics for professionals working in sectors including finance, trading, law, sustainability/renewables, policy/government.  Energy Secretary Rick Perry headlines.

Young Professional Program for World Gas Forum Set – The Young Professionals Program (YPP) will hold a special forum during the World Gas Conference June 25-29 in Washington, DC.  YPP will provide a great opportunity for promising young professionals in the energy sector to learn from top leaders in the natural gas industry and network with their peers throughout the world.  More on this as we get closer.

Clean Energy Forum on Schedule – The 2018 Congressional Clean Energy Expo and Policy Forum will be held on July 10th and brings together up to 45-55 businesses, trade associations, and government agencies to showcase renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies.

Energy Update: Week of May 21

Friends,

Well it was rainy, but the Preakness was about as exciting a race as we’ve seen that had a 2/5 favorite. The sloppy track made for a real mess on the infield, but Justify ran through it, taking early pressure from Derby runner-up Good Magic and then holding off the late-charging Bravazo.  And for the second straight race: winner-winner, chicken dinner in the bet books, although I did get hurt on my tri- and Superfecta boxes by Tenfold’s late charge and Quip’s fade.  All-in-all, a fun day…and with the Belmont 19 days away, I truly question whether we will see a Triple Crown winner this year given Justify’s race inexperience and the grueling grind of three races in 7 weeks.  We’ll see as the field shapes up, but right now I remain skeptical of his ability to go the full mile and a half at Belmont.

So, tonight is a pivotal game for the Caps as they face elimination for the first time, but how about those Vegas Golden Knights. It is so crazy that in their inaugural year they are headed to the Stanley Cup Finals.

Early in the week, we will be very busy with Congress in session pushing hard on Appropriations bills. Tomorrow is the busiest day with House Energy Committee moving several pieces of nuclear legislation at 10:00 a.m. featuring former NRC Commish and ClearPath advisor Jeff Merrifield, while Senate Energy Approps panel marks up the just-passed House Energy Budget at 2:30 p.m.  Also, tomorrow at 10:00 a.m., the Senate Environment Committee will hold a business meeting to move several bills including the USE IT Act, which targets advancing CCS technologies. Then on Thursday, the full Approps Committee will likely move the FY 2019 energy budget bill out to the Senate calendar.

The biggest event off the Hill is Thursday’s CSIS-EPIC nuclear summit that focuses on the future of nuclear.  Other key events feature an EESI-American Biogas Assn forum on biogas/waste management Wednesday and an EESI, rural coops forum on rural communities investments in energy efficiency featuring our friend Curtis Wynne of the Roanoke (NC) Electric Co-op.  Finally, if you are following NAFTA and Mexican trade issues (and you should be given what is currently going on) you will want to head over to the Press Club tomorrow where former Mexican President Vicente Fox will discuss globalism vs nationalism.

We also have heard that Thursday maybe the day that NOAA releases its 2018 hurricane forecast for the season that starts June 1st.  Of course, we are covering that issue aggressively with our friends at MIT, who are focused on responding to more intense hurricanes through better building resilience and recovery.  They have a full array of research on these topics and are happy to discuss how they affect communities and policymakers response – especially after last year’s difficult hurricane season in the Southeast and Caribbean.

Lots of great events out of town this week Including NEI’s annual conference in Atlanta, Clean Energy Ministerials in Denmark, Interior Sect. Zinke and Miss America Cara Mund headlining a North Dakota Oil conference, an Argus NatGas Markets conference in Houston, NOAA’s Global monitoring conference in Boulder and ACEEE Finance Forum in NY.

Finally, Memorial Day weekend starts on Friday, which is the unofficial beginning of Summer.  Expect those trips to the beach and traffic around Annapolis to get a little nuttier, while we finally bust out those linen pants and Tommy Bahama shirts. As well, this week’s signifies the beginning of the summer concert season kicked off by this past weekend’s Rock on the Range show in Columbus.  The performances were pretty awesome including a killer Tool set, pieces of the new Godsmack album and a wonderful tribute by Alice in Chains to Chris Cornell who passed away 1 year ago on Friday.  We are headed Godsmack and Incubus for sure while Stacey is once again headed to Firefly in Delaware in June. It should be a great summer of shows.

No update next Monday as I will be in California all week first at a field hockey tournament and then visiting colleges with Adam.  Enjoy the weekend and please be careful on the roads or wherever you’re headed.

Best,

 

Frank Maisano

(202) 828-5864

c. (202) 997-5932

 

FRANKLY SPOKEN

“Currently, we have no reason to change our fundamental outlook for 2018, a 16.1 billion gallons of ethanol production, 14.4 billion gallons to 14.5 billion gallons of domestic lending and 1.6 billion gallons to 1.8 billion gallons of exports. We saw record exports totaling 512 million gallons in the first quarter, there were a number of new players buying U.S. ethanol including Colombia, Saudi Arabia and Switzerland. Brazil first quarter totaled nearly 240 million gallons.”

Great Plains CEO Todd Becker on their Q1 2018 Earnings Call, highlighting significant production and exports resulting in more than 16 billion gallons of ethanol and having no reason to change the fundamental outlook despite different claims by USDA Secretary Perdue and ethanol lobbyists about demand

 

ON THE POD

MIT Experts Weigh in on Hurricane, Building Resiliency – The episode of PRG’s podcast The Lobby Shop this week features my interview with MIT resiliency expert Jeremy Gregory discussing the 2018 hurricane season and what vulnerable communities and their resident/policymakers can do to withstand and rebuild in more resilient ways.  Good stuff with the start of the hurricane season slated for June 1.  Check it out ln Stitcher, Apple Podcasts, SoundCloud, and Google Play Music.

America Adapts Podcast Archive with Dave Roberts – I found a new podcast last week called America Adapts with Doug Parsons and I really liked it.  It was very well done and featured segments with Climate skeptic gadfly Marc Morano, Vox’s David Roberts, Rolling Stone/climate book author Jeff Goodell and many more great people and topics.  Check out Roberts talking about politics, his career as an enviro writer and climate adaptation.

FUN OPINIONS

Murray: Watch out for International Shipping Fuel Regs – Our friend William Murray has a great op-ed on obscure marine regulations may spike U.S. fuel prices just in time for 2020 election cycle.  Murray argues rules set by the UN-affiliated International Maritime Organization (IMO) that will limit sulfur content in its heavy fuel oil by 2020 could limit supply in much the same way road diesel was limited in 2008. Yet shippers have not upgraded nearly enough ships with the sulfur scrubbers needed (only 250 out of the 60,000 global merchant fleet of ships were upgraded by the end of last year).  So, Murray writes, unless the IMO pushes back on its implementation plans to allow more ships and refiners to upgrade, prices for refined products like gasoline, diesel and home heating oil could start to spike by the winter of 2019 to 2020; just in time for the next presidential election cycle.

IN THE NEWS

President Moves Efficiency Executive Order – President Trump late Thursday issued a new efficiency Executive Order that replaced one signed by former President Obama that sought to reduce federal agencies’ energy use and greenhouse gas emissions.  The change instructs agencies to set their own goals for efficiency and “prioritize actions that reduce waste, cut costs, enhance the resilience of Federal infrastructure and operations, and enable more effective accomplishment of its mission.” The Business Council for Sustainable Energy’s President Lisa Jacobson said the new Executive Order focused on Efficient Government Operations is important to continue to achieve annual building energy and water reductions at federal facilities. She added that the Council strongly supports the Executive Order’s recognition of performance contracting, through Energy Savings Performance Contracts and Utility Energy Savings Contracts, in achieving the goals.

House Approps Move Energy Funding – The House Appropriations Committee approved a sweeping set of resources and program direction to the Department of Energy that would spur advanced nuclear, carbon capture, energy storage and other clean energy technologies. The Senate takes up the bill tomorrow.

The bill:

  • Builds upon direction in the FY18 spending deal for DOE to map out a “moonshot” goal for demonstrating advanced nuclear technologies with the private sector by the mid to late 2020s
  • Directs the energy secretary to launch a department-wide energy storage effort with aggressive performance targets, utilizing the strengths of the agency’s electricity, renewable and science offices to drive down costs and improve performance of grid-scale technologies
  • Prioritizes R&D of new advanced reactor designs by providing $100 million for advanced small modular nuclear reactor R&D, which helps innovative pending designs — such as NuScale Power’s — get up and running on schedule; and $155 million for advanced reactor technologies that could help more advanced technologies being worked on by Terrapower, X-energy and others
  • Includes $65 million for a versatile test reactor design, building off the initial resources provided in the recently-enacted FY18 omnibus for a national lab facility critical to the development of advanced nuclear by private developers
  • Provides up to $20 million for testing of high assay low-enriched uranium (HA-LEU), which will be needed to fuel many advanced nuclear concepts
  • Supports scale-up of carbon capture efforts, including new solicitations for advanced fossil fuel system engineering, and specifically projects that generate emissions suitable for utilization or storage
  • Advances and fully funds the ongoing five-year R&D effort led by DOE’s Energy Innovation Hubs

DOE Rolls out Thermal Solar Opportunity – DOE announced $72 million for new projects to advance high-temperature concentrating solar power (CSP) technologies last week. These projects will extend previous research on high-temperature components, develop them into integrated assemblies, and test these components and systems through a wide range of operational conditions. CSP technologies use mirrors to reflect and concentrate sunlight onto a focused point where it is collected and converted into heat. This thermal energy can be stored and used to produce electricity whenever it is needed. The best commercially available technologies can only reach 565 °C. The high-temperature thermal systems targeted by this program seek to achieve at least 700 °C, which would boost the efficiency and lower the cost of the electricity. If successful, these projects will lower the cost of a CSP system by approximately $0.02 per kilowatt-hour, which is 40 percent of the way to the office’s 2030 cost goals of $0.05 per kilowatt-hour (kWh) for baseload CSP plants.

New ClearPath Video Highlights Nuclear – Speaking of Nuclear, a new whiteboard video from the Clearpath Foundation’s Rich Powell explains that the virtues of the current nuclear fleet – namely its carbon-free power and 24/7 reliability – must be coupled with ever-changing demands of our global energy industry. That includes new technologies that make it smaller and highly scalable for use in cities and remote areas and allow for high-temperature use to decarbonize heavy industrial processes.

WY CCS Testing Up/Running – Wyoming’s Integrated Test Center located at Basin Electric Power Cooperative’s Dry Fork Station near Gillette was dedicated last week.  The carbon capture research facility is a testing space off the back of the operating coal power plant. Five Carbon XPrize finalists — U.S., Canada, India, China and Scotland — will head to the site to put their concepts to capture CO2 from the power plant and convert it to a marketable product to the test. The project launched in 2015 with the Wyoming State Legislature’s approval of $15 million for the design, construction, and operation of the Wyoming ITC. Private partners, including our friends at Tri-State Generation, contributed $5 million. The center is just the second in the country that allows for real-time testing of technology at an active power plant.  Senate Environment chairman John Barrasso sent a letter of congratulation to Wyoming Gov. Matt Mead upon the ITC’s dedication, calling the facility “the future of energy technology.”

National Audubon Joins Carbon Capture Coalition – And speaking of CCS, C2ES said the National Audubon Society will join the Carbon Capture Coalition.  Jeff Bobeck, co-director of the Carbon Capture Coalition and director of energy policy engagement at C2ES said Audubon is among the oldest, most recognized, and widely respected voices for conservation, and its unique perspective will be a valuable addition to the coalition. Audubon’s commitment to solving climate change is rooted in a devotion to ensuring continued biodiversity, and its support illustrates a growing awareness that carbon capture is an essential and necessary tool to meet mid-century climate targets.

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

ACEEE Finance Forum Underway – The American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy holds its 2018 Energy Efficiency Finance Forum on Tarrytown, NY today and tomorrow.  The keynote speaker today is Richard Kauffman, Chairman of Energy and Finance for New York.  Kauffman joined the governor’s office in 2013 as the state’s first Chairman of Energy and Finance for New York and was known as the “Energy Czar.”  Tomorrow, Matthew Arnold, Managing Director and Global Head of Sustainable Finance at JPMorgan Chase will keynote.  Matt leads the firm’s client engagement on sustainability across all sectors globally.

NEI holds its 65th Annual Industry Conference and Supplier Expo – the Nuclear Energy Assembly (NEA) – in Atlanta today through Wednesday.  The yearly conference of the nuclear technologies industry brings together industry leaders from all levels and this year is joined with the annual meeting of the North American Young Generation in Nuclear (NAYGN), which celebrates the future of nuclear energy.  Speaker include Mike Allen, co-founder and executive editor of Axios, on the 2018 midterm elections; Jay Wileman, president and chief executive officer of GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy, will lead a discussion on how the industry is fostering innovation and leading the advance of new nuclear technologies; and former Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz on the strategic importance of a robust nuclear industry for the country.

Argus Gas Conference Looking at NatGas Demand, Supply Chain – Argus holds its North American Natural Gas Markets Conference today though Wednesday in Houston.  Keynote Speaker is Williams CEO Alan Armstrong.  The event will look at the future of North American natural gas supply and production outlooks for the Permian, Marcellus and Utica; global LNG market trends; US exports and trading developments; mitigating political hurdles and the future of natural gas in an uncertain regulatory environment, and many other issues.

NAS Hosts Small Business Meetings – The National Academy of Sciences’ Board on Science, Technology and Economic Policy will meet today and tomorrow to review the Small Business Innovation Research and Small Business Technology Transfer Programs at the Department of Energy Review.

Clean Energy Ministerial Set for Denmark – Tomorrow through Thursday, the 9th Clean Energy Ministerial will be held in Copenhagen.  It is jointly hosted by Denmark, Finland, Norway, Sweden, the Nordic Council of Ministers and the European Commission representing the European Union.  The gathering features the world’s largest economies discussing deployment of clean energy technologies. Deputy Energy Secretary Dan Brouillette, representatives from Idaho National Lab and Nuclear Energy Agency and ClearPath Executive Director Rich Powell will be participating in an official side event at the ministerial. Deputy Secretary Brouillette and Assistant Secretary for Fossil Energy Steven Winberg will be participating in another official side event at the ministerial launching a new effort to promote and expand carbon capture technologies. Senior officials from Norway, the International Energy Agency, Saudi Arabia, Japan, United Kingdom and Occidental Petroleum are among other participants.

Holdren Addresses NOAA Global Monitoring Conference – The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Admin (NOAA) holds its 46th Global Monitoring Annual Conference tomorrow and Wednesday in Boulder Colorado.  The conference is part of NOAA’s continuing effort to stay abreast of recent observations concerning trace gases, aerosols, radiation, ozone, and climate forcing and to provide a forum in which these observations can be relayed and discussed.  Speakers will be presenting the ESRL monitoring and research results of the past year. The meeting is not limited to ESRL reports and includes observations related to these themes by both independent and cooperative investigators, and other national and international programs.

Columbia Forum to Look at IEA Oil Forecast to 2023 – The Center on Global Energy Policy holds a presentation and discussion at the Princeton Club of NY at 9:30 a.m. tomorrow looking at IEA’s report Oil 2018 – Analysis and Forecasts to 2023. The event will feature Neil Atkinson, IEA’s ‎Head of the Oil Industry & Markets Division. Oil 2018 is the IEA’s annual five-year forecast of global oil demand, supply refining, and trade.  Oil 2018’s analysis of the market examines a wide range of other important issues and uncertainties including the implications for oil demand of the 2020 IMO marine fuel regulations, growth of the global petrochemicals sector, a rising of electrification in China’s transport fleet, decline rates in key oil producing countries, crude quality issues arising from the rapid increase in US production, investment needs in North American takeaway capacity, implications for global refining of the looming capacity surplus and more trends in global oil trade.

Zinke, Miss America Headline ND Gas Conference – The Williston Basin Petroleum Conference is set for Bismarck, North Dakota tomorrow through Thursday and will feature a keynote by Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke on Wednesday.  Other speakers include ND Gov Doug Burgum, videos from ND Sens. Hoeven and Heitkamp, as well as Rep Kevin Cramer, Harold Hamm, Miss American Cara Mund and many more.

House Energy to Look at Nuclear Legislation – The House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Energy will hold a legislative hearing tomorrow on draft bills to propel “micro reactors” at military and national security facilities and expand the availability of advanced nuclear fuels. A draft bill from Rep. Bill Flores (R-Texas) would direct the Energy Department to establish a program supporting availability of HA-LEU via public-private partnerships to address regulatory and market challenges. A second draft bipartisan bill led by from Rep. Joe Wilson (R-S.C.) would require the secretary of energy to report on key components of a pilot program to site, construct and operate “micro reactors” at critical Defense Department or Energy Department national security facilities.  The hearing also looks at the NUKE Act (H.R. 1320) from Reps. Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.) and Mike Doyle (D-Pa.), which would streamline Nuclear Regulatory Commission licensing and update NRC’s fee structure by limiting how much NRC can collect for overhead costs tied to running the agency to ensure adequate funding is spent to develop a regulatory framework for advanced reactors without overcharging.  Witnesses include NNSA’s Brent Park, DOE Office of Nuclear Energy head Ed McGinnis as well as ClearPath adviser and former NRC Commissioner Jeff Merrifield, URENCO USA President Melissa Mann, President, Nick Irvin of Southern Company and UCS’s Ed Lyman.

Forum to Look at US-Ukraine Energy Security – The Wilson Center and Kennan Institute will hold a forum tomorrow at 11:30 a.m. featuring a discussion on US-Ukraine energy cooperation.  The discussion will focus on strengthening Ukraine’s energy security.

Fox to Address Trade, Immigration, Trump – The National Press Club will host a Headliners Luncheon tomorrow featuring former Mexican President Vicente Fox.  Fox will deliver an address entitled “Democracy at the Crossroads: Globalization versus Nationalism”.  Fox, a right-wing populist representing the National Action Party (PAN), was elected as the 55th President of Mexico on December 1, 2000. Winning with 42% of the vote, Fox made history as the first presidential candidate in 71 years to defeat the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI). Fox’s administration focused chiefly on improving trade relations with the United States and maintaining Mexico’s growing economy. Fox left office in 2006, and in a break with his country’s cultural norms and traditions has remained in the public eye post-presidency and has not been shy about expressing his views and opinions.

Forum Spotlights Rural Co-Ops – The Partnership for Advancing an Inclusive Rural Energy Economy, a collaboration between the National Cooperative Business Association CLUSA and the Environmental and Energy Study Institute will hold a livecast tomorrow at 1:00 p.m. to look at how rural electric cooperatives are delivering cutting-edge inclusive energy efficiency programs for their members–saving them money while supporting local economic development.  This livecast will include information about the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Rural Utilities Services (RUS) loan program that co-ops can take advantage of to help deliver these benefits.  Livecast speakers include Doug O’Brien of the National Cooperative Business Association CLUSA, Roanoke Electric Cooperative CEO Curtis Wynn and Mike Couick of the Electric Cooperatives of South Carolina.  Roanoke Electric’s “Upgrade to $ave” program and the “Help My House” program available to South Carolina’s co-ops offer on-bill financing to help members afford cost-saving home energy upgrades. With on-bill financing, members repay their co-ops over time as part of their monthly electric bills, and the programs are designed so that members of all income levels can participate.

House Foreign Affairs to Look at Oil, Gas Competitiveness – The House Foreign Affairs Committee will hold a hearing tomorrow at 2:00 p.m. to examine the global implications of increased U.S. oil and gas competitiveness and how it could be utilized to strengthen American foreign policy.  Ken Medlock of the Rice University Baker Institute, GTI’s David Carroll, CSIS’s Sarah Ladislaw and Samantha Gross of the Brookings Institute will testify.

Senate Energy Approps Subpanel – Mark up of the FY 2019 budget at 2:30 p.m. in SD-138

Forum to Look at India Clean Energy Transition – The World Resources Institute holds a forum on Wednesday at 10:00 a.m. looking at India’s transition to a low-carbon economy.  The event features a keynote by former World Bank, IMF exec Montek Singh Ahluwalia.  WRI’s Andrew Light and Christina Chan will join a discussion after.

Forum to Look at Waste Energy – The Environmental and Energy Study Institute (EESI) and the American Biogas Council (ABC) hold a briefing on Wednesday looking at the numerous challenges posed by organic wastes-to human health, water and air quality, and to businesses that must manage these wastes-and how anaerobic digestion offers solutions to these pressing issues. Anaerobic digestion is the process of converting organic materials, typically viewed as wastes, into usable products, including biogas, renewable natural gas (RNG), as well as valuable organic fertilizer and compost. These biogas systems turn a waste management issue into a revenue opportunity for America’s farms, dairies, food processing, and wastewater treatment industries.  Speakers for this forum will discuss the tremendous opportunities for rural and urban communities alike to use anaerobic digestion to foster healthy communities and businesses.

Forum to Look at European Energy Security – The Atlantic Council holds a discussion on Wednesday at 3:00 p.m. in 138 Dirksen looking at European energy security. The forum will feature conversation topics such as the energy transition, Nord Stream 2, and the role of gas in bolstering European energy security and the US-Europe energy relationship. Senate Foreign Relations Chair Ron Johnson and H.E. Prof Zdzisław Krasnodębski, Vice President of the European Parliament, will each provide keynote remarks, followed by a panel discussion featuring speakers from both sides of the Atlantic.

Senate Hosts Pompeo to Discuss State Budget – The Senate Foreign Relations Committee holds a hearing to examine the President’s proposed budget request for fiscal year 2019 for the Department of State Thursday at 10:00 a.m.  Secretary Pompeo will testify.

Senate Full Approps Committee – Mark up of the FY 2019 budget at 10:30 a.m. in SD-106

CSIS, EPIC to Hold Nuclear Forum – CSIS and the Energy Policy Institute at the University of Chicago (EPIC) will hold a half-day public conference on Thursday afternoon to address pressing questions in an effort to better understand the potential future of U.S. nuclear power. Nuclear energy faces an uncertain future in the United States as the fuel is beset by fierce competition from natural gas and renewable energy in many markets. Coupled with failure to deliver new projects on time and at cost, along with a public sensitive to operational safety, existing and future nuclear power generation is at risk in the United States.

GBC Looks at Positive Energy Buildings – The U.S. Green Building Council will hold its 2018 Building Tech Forum on Thursday at 5:30 p.m. net positive energy buildings.  Green technology firms and building product companies will discuss cutting-edge research and products to support net positive energy buildings. Presenters will discuss advances in building technologies during education tracks, including case studies, equipment, products, renewable energy innovations and more.

IN THE FUTURE

MEMORIAL DAY – May 28th

Press Club Hosts Fox News Anchor – Bret Baier, chief political anchor for Fox News Channel and the anchor and executive editor of “Special Report with Bret Baier,” will share his latest book, “Three Days in Moscow: Ronald Reagan and the Fall of the Soviet Empire,” at a National Press Club Headliners Book Event on Tuesday, May 29th, at 7:30 p.m. in the Club’s conference rooms. In “Three Days in Moscow” Baier uses the 1988 Moscow Summit, Reagan’s pivotal final meeting with Communist Party Leader Mikhail Gorbachev, to examine the life and legacy of Reagan and his arduous battle with the Soviet Union through a new lens.

Stern, Grumbles to Speak at WRI Paris Look Back – The World Resources Institute holds a forum on Wednesday May 30th at 2:30 p.m. on the one-year anniversary of the US withdrawal from Paris.  The WRI event will reflect on the state of climate action in the United States and internationally. The discussion will feature remarks by Todd Stern, former U.S. Special Envoy for Climate Change at the U.S. Department of State, and former EPA official Ben Grumbles will address the topic. This event will be a time to look at what has happened on climate action since the announcement — both where has there been progress and what more needs to be done at the local, national and international levels.

Atlantic Council Cyber Security Exercise to Look at Vulnerabilities – The increasing complexities of the globalized supply-chain system has introduced myriad new threat vectors for intentional and unintentional compromise of integral components, ‘unintended taint’, the flaws in software unintentionally built into products, is of particular concern. It is of vital importance that we recognize and understand this very significant and credible threat to the uninterrupted functionality of critical infrastructure within the energy sector.  Consequently, the Atlantic Council’s Cyber Statecraft Initiative will hold an exercise next Wednesday May 30th at 4:00 p.m. to model a downstream petroleum refinery that will be manipulated in real-time, demonstrating how vulnerabilities in the supply-chain can be affected, followed by a discussion engaging key experts and stakeholders for a progressive and solutions-oriented discussion on how to appropriately identify and mitigate these underappreciated threats to the energy sector.

WVU Research to Look at Coal Drainage for Rare Earths – On Thursday, May 31st at 10:00 a.m., the US Energy Association holds a forum on coal mine drainage as a domestic source of rare earth elements.  Rare Earth elements are essential for advanced technologies from smartphones and robots to national defense systems. The rare earth metals have remarkable chemical properties but are so evenly dispersed throughout the earth’s crust that economically attractive concentrations are extremely rare. As a result, the U.S. imports nearly all its rare earth elements from China. Fortunately, researchers at West Virginia University, led by Water Research Institute director Paul Ziemkiewicz, have found that acid mine drainage from Appalachian coal mines naturally concentrates rare earth elements and the metal residues contain readily recovered concentrations that match many of the world’s best deposits.  Current research, supported by USDOE’s National Energy Technology Laboratory and industry, is developing extraction technology to set the groundwork for a domestic rare earth industry.

WCEE Hosts Solar Jobs Forum – The Women’s Council on Energy and the Environment will hold a lunch and learn on Thursday May 31st looking at solar jobs.  The Solar Foundation’s National Solar Jobs Census 2017 found that there were over 250,000 Americans employed in the solar industry, a 3.8% decline from the previous year. Despite the decrease, long term trends have been strong.  Experts Zoe Ripecky (The Solar Foundation), Kerene Tayloe (Green For All), Emma Rodvien (Solar United Neighbors), and Madison Freeman (Young Professionals in Foreign Policy) will join together for a discussion of solar jobs and their impact on communities around the U.S. This will include an overview of the findings of the Solar Jobs Census, as well as a discussion of best practices for expanding diversity in the industry, economic impacts of solar deployment, and how current policies will impact solar jobs.

FERC Commissioners Headline Western PSC Forum – The Western Conference of Public Service Commissioners holds a conference in Boise, Idaho ion June 3rd through 6th.  WCPSC is a regional association within NARUC and the conference takes place at the Boise Centre, located in the heart of downtown Boise.  Speakers include Idaho Gov. Butch Otter, FERC Commissioner Cheryl LaFleur and Rich Glick, AGA Richard Myers and Montana PUC Chair Travis Kavulla, among many others.

FERC Chair Headlines EIA Annual Energy Conference – EIA holds Its annual 2018 Energy Conference on June 4th and 5th at the Washington Hilton.  FERC Chair Kevin McIntyre will keynote the event.

Hydrogen, Fuel Cell Forum Set for DC – The Fuel Cell and Hydrogen Energy Association will be hosting a full-day forum and exposition on Tuesday, June 12 in Washington, D.C. at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center with leading executives, experts, and policymakers on fuel cell and hydrogen technology. The forum will bring together key federal and state policymakers, including the Department of Energy and White House, as well as the broader environmental, transportation, and energy communities to raise awareness of the benefits of fuel cell and hydrogen technology. This event will precede the Department of Energy’s 2018 Annual Merit Review.

SAFE to Discuss Impact of Self-Driving Technology on Economy, Workforce – Securing America’s Future Energy will hold a forum and release a new groundbreaking study with original research on the magnitude of impacts from driverless cars at the Jack Morton Auditorium at the George Washington University.  The study done in collaboration with leading transportation and labor economists focuses on impacts from driverless cars and offers case-study analysis on the economic productivity gains.  It will also offer context on the history of network-scale innovations and the short and long-term impacts on the workforce.  Report author J.D. Vance, former Transportation Secretary Rodney Slater, current legislators and DOT officials who are actively crafting AV Policy will all speak.  For further information, contact Leslie Hayward lhayward@secureenergy.org.

GTM to Host Grid Forum – Greentech Media host Grid Edge Innovation Summit on June 20th and 21st in San Francisco.  The event is an energy conference that will examine the energy customer of tomorrow and how new innovative business models are quickly emerging.  GTM brings together forward thinking and prominent members of the energy ecosystem and as our research team explores the future of the market. Former FERC Chair Jon Wellinghoff will speak along with many others, including our friends Shayle Kann, Julia Pyper and Stephen Lacey.

Young Professional Program for World Gas Forum Set – The Young Professionals Program (YPP) will hold a special forum during the World Gas Conference June 25-29 in Washington, DC.  YPP will provide a great opportunity for promising young professionals in the energy sector to learn from top leaders in the natural gas industry and network with their peers throughout the world.  More on this as we get closer.

Clean Energy Forum on Schedule – The 2018 Congressional Clean Energy Expo and Policy Forum will be held on July 10th and brings together up to 45-55 businesses, trade associations, and government agencies to showcase renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies.

Energy Update: Week of March 26

Friends,

Easter Week has arrived and that means Spring Break for many schools (Hannah’s Wellesley and Olivia’s Indian Creek)…and Congress is gone for two weeks. It also means MLB Opening Day on Thursday.  That of course reminds me of one of my favorite movie scenes from Bull Durham.

After last week’s budget deal was completed, Congress headed for the spring exits so I expect this week will be much slower, finally!  Lots going on in the sports world though, as the NCAA hoops Final Four, the Frozen Four and half of the women’s final four is set. Final two participants in the women’s final four will be decided tonight with favorite UConn and #1 seed Notre Dame still both in action.

Some surprises and some expected. Two #1 seeds Villanova; then Kansas, who made it after last night’s thrilling overtime victory over Duke. There’s the Cinderella story Loyola; and how about Michigan grabbing a spot in both the Final Four and the Frozen Four.  And the Big Ten looks especially good in hockey with both Ohio State and Notre Dame joining Michigan in the Frozen Four.  Minnesota-Duluth also joins the party in St. Paul, MN.  And Congrats to Clarkson, who repeated as the NCAA Women’s Frozen Four champs this past week with a 2-1 OT victory over Colgate.

While Congress is gone, there are still a couple of events early in the week. Tomorrow is the final EPA CPP listening session in Gillette, Wyoming. We are following.  For those that are out West to cover the session, you may want to check out the Wyoming Integrated Test Center at Dry Fork Station near Gillette. The ITC will study the capture, sequestration and management of carbon emissions, with an emphasis on carbon reuse and recycling. Our friends Sarah Young at the Wyoming infrastructure Authority, Lee Boughey at Tri-State G&T or Curt Pearson at Basin Electric Power Cooperative can help with answers to questions or arrange a visit. The ITC is the location of the final competition stage for the coal portion of the $20 million NRG COSIA Carbon XPRIZE, which will introduce competition finalists in NYC on April 9th. The ITC will open with an event on May 16th.

Today is the deadline for public comments to the Energy Department on how it should change its 30-year-old appliance and equipment energy conservation standards program.  USEA hosts a forum on Wednesday looking at reliability challenges and solutions with experts like PJM.  Also Wednesday, EESI and the National Association of State Energy Officials hold their rescheduled briefing at Noon looking at the public/private drive toward resilient buildings.  Our friends at MIT have great research already underway on this topic which you can see here.

Well, the late March snowy weather has ruined Spring/Easter Break for most of us, but also the Cherry Blossom Festival. The National Park Service has pushed back the cherry blossoms’ predicted peak bloom dates to April 8-12.

Call with questions.  Best,

Frank Maisano

(202) 828-5864

(202) 997-5932

FRANKLY SPOKEN

“After passing bipartisan legislation to encourage investing in carbon capture and utilization, we have a chance to advance these technologies even further. This bipartisan bill will help innovators around the country, including a growing number of businesses in Rhode Island, to come up with new ways to take carbon pollution out of the air and either stow it permanently underground or turn it into usable products. That’s a win for our climate, a win for innovative bioalgae and other utilization companies in Rhode Island, and a win for the economy overall.”

Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse on new CCS legislation.

“The bipartisan USE IT Act will promote the long term use of these critical natural resources and keep America on the path to energy dominance. My legislation will make Washington a helpful partner to efforts taking place in Wyoming to develop carbon capture technologies, convert carbon into a useful product and reduce emissions.”

Sen. John Barrasso on the new CCS Legislation

ON THE POD

Bracewell Podcast Focuses on Trade – The latest Bracewell podcast is live on Stitcher, iTunes, SoundCloud, and Google Play Music.  My Colleagues Josh, Liam, and Paul discuss the Pennsylvania special election and Democrat Conor Lamb’s apparent victory, staff shake-ups in the Administration and the likelihood of more, and the latest information on the impending steel and aluminum tariffs.

BPC Talks Energy With Chamber’s Guith – Brad Townsend staff of BPC’s American Energy Innovation Council talks U.S. competitiveness and technology innovation with Christopher Guith from the U.S Chamber’s Global Energy Institute.  Guith discusses the challenges to energy innovation, “At the end of the day [energy companies] have to compete against other governments, so we’re already starting a little bit behind the eight ball.”  Listen to the podcast here.

IN THE NEWS

EPA Says CAFE Standards Should Be Revised – According to our friends at Bloomberg, EPA said Friday the agency’s current effort to cut vehicle greenhouse-gas emissions is too aggressive and agrees with automakers that the standards should be revised.  Reports said the agency has completed a draft decision outlining the rationale for easing fuel efficiency regulations for model-year 2022-2025 cars and light trucks, two people said. Bill Wehrum, chief of the agency’s Office of Air and Radiation, plans to meet with environmental regulators in California next week to discuss the draft decision ahead of an April 1 deadline to make it public.

SAFE Responds to Fuel Economy Announcement – After reports that the EPA sent a draft decision on the mid-term review to OMB, Securing America’s Future Energy (SAFE) CEO Robbie Diamond said “creating diverging standards between California and the federal government is a lose-lose for the auto industry, consumers, and our national security. Longer-term rules that incorporate new technologies is a win-win that benefits every stakeholder, and our country at large, so it is important that the federal government and California continue to work together. This will be a long journey, but the destination is worth the trouble.”

New Trump Energy Advisor Named – The President may name Wells Griffith, the principal deputy assistant secretary at the Energy Department’s office of international affairs, to replace David Banks at the National Economic Council.  Griffith will oversee the Trump administration’s work on international energy and climate issues, on a three-month assignment. Griffith also helped secure an agreement to export coal from Pennsylvania to Ukraine.  Several Bracewell folks know Wells and have worked with him on issues so we are happy to help if needed.

Bipartisan Sens Introduce CCS Legislation – Sens. John Barrasso (R-WY), chairman of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works (EPW), joined with Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) to introduce the Utilizing Significant Emissions with Innovative Technologies (USE IT) Act. The legislation is cosponsored by Sens. Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV) and Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND).  The USE IT Act would support carbon utilization and direct air capture research. The bill would also support federal, state, and non-governmental collaboration in the construction and development of carbon capture, utilization, and sequestration (CCUS) facilities and carbon dioxide (CO2) pipelines.  The USE IT Act would:

  • Narrowly amend the Clean Air Act to direct the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to use its existing authority to support carbon utilization and direct air capture research;
  • Clarify that CCUS projects and CO2 pipelines are eligible for the permitting review process established by the FAST Act;
  • Direct the Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) to establish guidance to assist project developers and operators of CCUS facilities and CO2 pipelines;
  • Establish task forces to hear input from affected stakeholders for updating and improving guidance over time; and
  • Build on the FUTURE Act, bipartisan legislation – now signed into law – introduced by Heitkamp, Capito, Whitehouse, and Barrasso to extend and expand the 45Q tax credit to provide certainty to utilities and other industrial sources and incentivize the build-out of CCUS projects.

Duke to Retire Coal Units – Duke Energy outlined for shareholders in a new report how it will achieve a goal updated last year to reduce its 2030 carbon dioxide emissions 40% compared to 2005.  The company’s 2017 Climate Report to Shareholders unveils a strategy to transition to a lower-carbon future, while also setting a goal to reduce its carbon intensity—the amount of carbon dioxide emitted per kWh produced—by 45% compared to 2005 levels.  In 2017 compared to 2005, more than 38% of Duke Energy’s delivered power came from carbon-free sources, the company said. Core elements of the new strategy include a 10-year $25 billion plan to modernize the grid and make it more reliable, resilient, and efficient. The strategy also calls for investment of $11 billion in renewables and natural gas generation, increasing the share of gas power from 28% in 2016 to 36% in 2030.  Meanwhile, the company will retire nine coal units with a total capacity of about 2 GW as part of plans to reduce its share of coal generation from 34% in 2016 to 27% in 2030. The reductions follow an already substantial transformation of Duke Energy’s fleet between 2011 and 2017, when it retired 47 coal units with a combined capacity of 5.4 GW and added 3 GW of renewables.

GTM Release Solar Report for 2017 – In 2017, the U.S. solar market expanded, adding double-digit gigawatt solar photovoltaic (PV) additions for the second year in a row. According to the newly released U.S. Solar Market Insight Report 2017 Year-in-Review from GTM Research and the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA), the solar industry installed 10.6 gigawatts of new PV capacity in 2017, led by strong growth in the corporate and community solar segments.  While overall growth was down from the 15 gigawatts installed in the record-shattering 2016, last year’s capacity addition still represents 40 percent growth over 2015’s installation total.  Download the free executive summary for more insight. U.S. Solar Market Insight is a collaboration between the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) and GTM Research that brings high-quality, solar-specific analysis and forecasts to industry professionals in the form of quarterly and annual reports. The executive summary is free, and the full report complete with state-level data and analysis is available for purchase.

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

International PetroChem Conference Ready – AFPM holds its 2018 International Petrochemical Conference in San Antonio today and tomorrow.  The International Petrochemical Conference is the world’s largest and most prestigious conference representing the petrochemical industry. The meeting consists of a variety of sessions covering key political, economic, and environmental issues affecting the petrochemical industry. The sessions emphasize global competitiveness in the petrochemical business and are presented by recognized experts in the areas of petrochemical markets, economics, and politics.

Fanning, Others, Headline Energy, Thought Summit – The Energy Thought Summit starts today and runs through Thursday in Austin, Texas.  The event features discussion of electricity grid digitalization and other future technology and energy developments.  Top speakers include Our friends Tom Fanning of Southern Company and PSEG CEO Ralph Izzo, EEI’s Tom Kuhn, AEI’s Nick Adkins, FT’s Ed Crooks and Utility Dive’s Gavin Bade among many others.

AWWA Water Forum Set – The American Water Works Assn hold a Sustainable Water Management Conference in Seattle today through Wednesday.  The event focuses on solutions for balancing the benefits of conservation with the costs, managing water resources, sustainable utilities and infrastructure, urban planning and design, energy efficiency, water conservation, stormwater and reuse.

Forum to Look at Blockchain Energy Tech – The Clean Energy Leadership Institute holds discussion today at 6:30 p.m. on blockchain technology and implications for clean energy.  Blockchain when applied to the energy sector enables people to trade energy among themselves in a peer to peer platform. Blockchain can also lead to better investment and funding for clean energy companies and projects. Expert panelists will take you through the history of Blockchain, applications in other sectors, how it can be used to better fund clean energy startups, and the challenges to implementing this emerging technology.

EPA Clean Power Plan Repeal Hearing Heads for WY – EPA’s final listening sessions for its proposed repeal of the Clean Power Plan start in Gillette, Wyoming tomorrow.  The EPA had already held one two-day meeting in West Virginia in late 2017.

NatGas Expert to Discuss Drilling Book – Tomorrow at 5:30 p.m., RFF’s Daniel Raimi will discuss his booking at natgas drilling at a Johns Hopkins SAIS forum.   Coupling a deep understanding of the scholarly research with lessons from his travels to every major US oil- and gas-producing region, Raimi highlights stories of the people and communities affected by the shale revolution.

Cal Solar Event In San Diego – The California Solar Power Expo launches tomorrow and Wednesday in San Diego. The event will feature exhibitor-led interactive training for installers, contractors, developers and the entire solar and storage supply chain, as well as networking opportunities.

Forum to Look at Oil/Gas in Argentina – The Inter-American Dialogue is hosting a panel discussion tomorrow to analyze Argentina’s oil production. Remarks from the panelists will be followed by an open discussion with participants. Opening Remarks will be made by Fernando Oris de Roa, Argentine Ambassador to the US.  Additional speakers will include Omar Gutierrez, Governor of Neuquén Province in Argentina.

Menezes Headline Mediterranean Oil Conference – The 9th Mediterranean Oil and Gas Forum 2018 will be held tomorrow and Wednesday at the Hilton Park in Nicosia, Cyprus. Mark Menezes, Under Secretary of Energy, will be the Keynote Speaker along with Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades and US ambassador to Cyprus Katheen Doherty. The Forum brings together government and energy leaders to promote American and European energy investments in Cyprus and Eastern Mediterranean.  This year’s topic is focused on commercial agreements from American and European oil majors and independents in the Cypriot, Israeli, Egyptian, and Greek gas markets.

Geologists Forum Hits Houston – The American Association of Petroleum Geologists holds its Global Super Basins Leadership Conference in Houston on Wednesday through Friday at the Hilton Americas.   Co-hosted by IHS Markit, the event will feature regional experts who will share their unique first-hand knowledge of each of the globe’s super basins.

USEA Look at Reliability –The U.S. Energy Association will host a brown bag discussion on Wednesday looking at reliability challenges and solutions.  The event will address what the U.S. can learn from Europe about integrating intermittent renewables.  Leading experts on grid reliability speak about the challenges encountered in Europe and how the U.S. plans to deal with those challenges in its quest to integrate increasing amounts of clean–but intermittent–renewable generation into the grid. Speakers include PJM’s Tim Burdis, the Atlantic Council’s Robert Ichord, NERC’s John Moura and Will Polen of the US Energy Association.

Forum to Look at Resilient Buildings – The Environmental and Energy Study Institute (EESI) and the National Association of State Energy Officials (NASEO) hold a briefing on Wednesday at Noon looking at the public/private drive toward resilient buildings.  These are structures that are located, designed and built (or renovated) to withstand extreme weather, cyberterrorism, and other hazards now and for years to come. This briefing will explore what makes buildings resilient; why resilience is important for multiple policy challenges, including infrastructure modernization, emergency preparedness, disaster response, and research funding; and how public-private sector collaboration in research, worker training and investment partnerships benefit society now and well into the future.  Speakers will include National Roofing Contractors Association head and former Rep. Reid Ribble, Debra Ballen of the Insurance Institute for Business and Home Safety (IBHS) and Paul Totten of WSP USA.

WCEE Happy Hour – On Wednesday at 5:30 p.m. at the Fainting Goat (1330 U St, NW), the Women’s Council on Energy and the Environment is hosting its monthly Happy Hour.

Program to Look at Improving Energy Security in Ukraine, Estonia – The Institute of World Politics’ Women Executives in National Security (WENS) program hosts a forum on Thursday at 4:30 p.m. to discuss energy-related preferences and climate change beliefs in Southern Ukraine and Western Estonia. Special attention will be given to the issues of social acceptance of large wind energy projects, since the surveyed regions have a high potential for wind power development.

Forum to Look at Africa Oil Issues – The George Washington University Elliott School’s Institute for African Studies hosts a forum with Dr. Rani Parker, President of Business-Community Synergies (BCS), an award-winning organization that brings development expertise to the private sector, to enhance local benefits from business operations.  Throughout this lecture, Dr. Parker will discuss how many international organizations urge companies in the extractives sector to engage with local stakeholders, and issue “best practices” guidelines for doing so.

IN THE FUTURE

Offshore Wind Partnership Forum Set – The Business Network for Offshore Wind hold its 2018 International Offshore Wind Partnering Forum on April 3rd to 6th in Princeton New Jersey.  The IPF is the leading technical conference for offshore wind in the United States and is dedicated to moving the industry forward.  Among the speakers will be BOEM’s Walter Cruickshank and James Bennett, Statoil’s Sebastian Bringsværd, U of Delaware’s Jeremy Firestone, NYSERDA’s Greg Lampman, Recharge’s Darius Snieckus Deepwater’s Jeff Grybowski and NWF’s Collin O’Mara.

JHU Forum to Look at State Actions – On Tuesday April 3rd the Johns Hopkins University hosts the Power of Process forum to look at state capacity and climate policy actions featuring JHU’s Jonas Nahm.  State capacity is central to the provision of public goods, including environmental protection. In an article titled the same, drawing on climate policymaking, Nahm (and Meckling) argue that the division of labor between the bureaucracy and legislature in policy formulation is a critical source of state capacity. In cases of bureaucratic policy design, the legislature sets policy goals and delegates policy design to bureaucracies. This division of labor shifts distributional conflict to autonomous bureaucracies, allowing for effective policy design.

Former NRC Commissioner Heads Discussion of Commercial Nukes – The Global America Business Institute hosts a forum with Bill Ostendorff, former Commissioner of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission on Wednesday, April 4th at 12:00 p.m. Ostendorff will look at the national security implications of the U.S. commercial nuclear industry.

Forum to Look at Farm Bill Energy Titles – The Environmental and Energy Study Institute (EESI) and the Agriculture Energy Coalition hold a briefing on Wednesday April 4th examining the outsized positive impact on rural America of the investments made through the Energy Title and how to make its suite of innovative programs even stronger. Speakers for this forum are our friend John Shaw of Itaconix, DuPont’s John Sagrati, ReEnergy’s Sarah Boggess Jim Duffy for the Distributed Wind Energy Association and several others.

WCEE to Focus on Women Energy Boards – The Women’s Council on Energy and the Environment (WCEE) hosts a forum on women on boards in the energy and environment sectors on Thursday, April 5th at noon.  The panel will discuss pathways for women to secure positions on both corporate and non-profit boards in the energy and environment sectors, and the importance of board diversity. Come meet mentors and experts who will be open and frank about their own journeys to these positions. Use these panelists’ personal and professional life experiences to guide you as you make your own way.

Forum to Look at Nuclear Waste – On Friday April 6th, the Stimson Center and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences’ Global Nuclear Future Initiative are hosting a public seminar on “Solving the Unsolvable: Nuclear Waste Solutions for the New Millennium.” Led by experts from academia, government, NGOs, and the nuclear industry, the panels and discussions will examine the existing interim storage facility proposals as well as opportunities and challenges that lie ahead.

Waste-to-Energy Tour Set – Young Professionals in Energy DC host an afternoon tour of Covanta’s Energy-from-Waste facility in Alexandria, Virginia on Friday April 6th at 9:30 a.m.  Covanta is one of the world’s largest providers of Energy-from-Waste solutions. The tour will start with a discussion and time for Q&A before we put on our hard hats and walk through the facility to see how their technology works.

Perry, FERC to Head to House Energy Panel – The House Energy and Commerce Committee today announced Energy Secretary Rick Perry will testify before the Energy subcommittee on April 12th on Budget and oversight hearings.  They will also host all FERC commissioners to testify before the same subpanel on April 17th.

Refiners Security Conference Set – The annual AFPM Security Conference will be held on April 23-25 in New Orleans and presents current topics of vital importance to critical infrastructure, keeping security professionals up to date on security issues, policies, and future regulations. The event will relay the latest information on security regulations from DHS and the Coast Guard. This year’s conference will also go beyond just the regulations with sessions on hurricane response efforts, environmental NGO activism, cybersecurity and other emerging security and terror threats.

Pruitt Heads to House Energy – The House Energy and Commerce Committee will host EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt on the agency’s budget request April 25th.

Water Symposium to Feature Perdue, Vilsack – Colorado State University hosts a “Water in the West” Symposium on April 26 & 27th featuring experts, policymakers, researchers, and investors.  The event features the latest around water challenges, collaborate with experts, and create a roadmap for water research, innovation, education, and policy.  The Symposium will take place at the Water Resources Center, the first building to be constructed at the future National Western Center, a 250-acre redevelopment in north Denver. More than 20 confirmed expert speakers to-date including Secretary of the U.S. Department of Agriculture Sonny Perdue, and Tom Vilsack, Former Secretary of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

NHA holds Washington Waterpower Week – The National Hydropower Assn holds Waterpower Week in Washington on April 30 to May 2nd.  Waterpower Week is comprised of three co-located conferences rolled into one: NHA’s Annual Conference, International Marine Renewable Energy Conference (IMREC), and Marine Energy Technology Symposium (METS). This 3-day jam packed event provides you the opportunity to network, learn about legislative and regulatory initiatives, and discuss the issues impacting hydropower and marine energy industry.

WINDPOWER Set for Chicago – The American Wind Energy Assn (AWEA) will hold WINDPOWER 2018 in Chicago from May 7th to 10th.  The industry closed 2017 strong, delivering 7,017 megawatts (MW) of new wind power capacity. That new capacity represents $11 billion in new private investment. There are now 89,077 MW of wind power installed across 41 states, enough to power 26 million American homes.  The wind industry is expected to continue its growth into 2018. WINDPOWER is where the industry comes together to plan for the future and keep this success story growing.

Hydrogen, Fuel Cell Forum Set for DC – The Fuel Cell and Hydrogen Energy Association will be hosting a full-day forum and exposition on Tuesday, June 12 in Washington, D.C. at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center with leading executives, experts, and policymakers on fuel cell and hydrogen technology. The forum will bring together key federal and state policymakers, including the Department of Energy and White House, as well as the broader environmental, transportation, and energy communities to raise awareness of the benefits of fuel cell and hydrogen technology. This event will precede the Department of Energy’s 2018 Annual Merit Review.

Clean Energy Forum on Schedule – The 2018 Congressional Clean Energy Expo and Policy Forum will be held on July 10th and brings together up to 45-55 businesses, trade associations, and government agencies to showcase renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies.

Energy Update: Week of March 12

Friends,

I always hate losing an hour of sleep when we spring forward.  Props our friend Andy Black who posted a lucid objection on Facebook to changing our clocks twice a year.  We need that extra hour of sleep for March Madness.

Yes, March Madness is here and with yesterday’s selection show now is the time to make your picks. Thursday at Noon is when ALL the action starts.  It is among my favorite times of the year because my office TV will be set for hoops on Thursday at noon.

The play-in games begin tomorrow with Radford taking on LIU-Brooklyn and UCLA playing St Bonaventure.  Wednesday’s play-ins feature Arizona State and Syracuse and NC Central and Texas Southern.  Top seeds are Virginia, Villanova, Kansas and Xavier.

There is real science to picking winners in the pool, but over the years I’ve realized that most of it is just good luck. If you’re looking for some sleepers, here are a few you may want to consider: Providence has been hot lately but is a 10-seed, as is Butler who has made deep runs in past years. San Diego State is solid 11-seed as is Loyola (IL) while a good 12-seed is New Mexico State. You also may want to look at Davidson another 12-seed who has plenty of tourney experience, gets a young/inconsistent Kentucky team and just beat Rhode Island for the A-10 title right here in Capital One Arena.  Also the Bobby Hurley-led Arizona State Sun Devils struggled of late but let off the season with early big wins over #1 seeds Kansas and Xavier and could be a factor.

Some mid-level seeds that you should keep an eye on include last year’s NIT champ Texas Tech, a very good West Virginia team, #7 seed Nevada, a Houston crew that battled for the American Conference title and sleepy but skilled URI crew led by Danny Hurley.

Purdue was on fire down the stretch and Is a #2 and Duke is as solid as ever.  Finally I’d say watch out for Hardy perennials like Arizona, Gonzaga, Kentucky, Michigan State and Michigan.

And don’t sleep on the women’s tourney which will have its selection show tonight. UConn, Baylor, So Carolina, Notre Dame and Mississippi State all in the running.  As well, NCAA Wrestling starts this week as well.  Penn State, Ohio State, Iowa, Missouri and Lehigh among the powerhouses.

Good luck and remember I’m always willing to share your winnings should my suggestions make good.

On to the action in DC.  It is a very busy week on Capitol Hill with a number of key hearings.  Let’s start with Infrastructure as tomorrow a Sen Commerce/Transpo panel hears from state/local highway and municipal officials Wednesday while the full Committee hosts Transpo Secretary Chao and Commerce Secretary Ross on Wednesday.  Also Wednesday, a House Ways & Means panel revisits impacts of the post-tax reform tax extenders and a House Energy panel will discuss legislation addressing cybersecurity and emergency response.  Finally, on Thursday, House Oversight’s energy panel will examine federal permitting processes.  Also several budget hearings this week with Interior Zinke at Senate Energy tomorrow and House Resources on Thursday.  Energy Secretary Perry at House E&W Approps on Thursday and at Senate Transpo Wednesday Afternoon.

The ARPA-E Innovation Summit is at National Harbor starting tomorrow and features the Chamber Global Energy Institute head Karen Harbert hosting a Wednesday Fireside Chat with Perry.  Meanwhile, the National League of Cities is in DC this week for its annual Meeting (infrastructure and environment are definitely on the schedule), as is the National Lt Governors Assn with my colleague Liam Donovan is talking infrastructure on Thursday there.  The Business Council for Sustainable Energy has its annual DC Clean Energy Forum tomorrow featuring FERC’s Rich Glick, EPA’s Bill Wehrum and DOE’s Dan Simmons.   And ACORE holds its renewable energy forum on Capitol Hill Wednesday.

Obviously, the steel tariffs remain a major issue for consuming Industries impacted by the president’s decision. Once again this week, the trade experts at Bracewell are hot on the case. Check out our podcast here on Stitcher, iTunes, SoundCloud, and Google Play Music which breaks down the details and adds good background info.

As I said last week, the 10th Annual Congressional Hockey Challenge is set for the Kettler Capitals Iceplex on Thursday May 15th.  I will be on the ice again this year officiating and I hope you all try to attend for this great cause.  Get Tickets here. If this helps get you there, you should also know that I will be singing Oh Canada.

Remember, Wednesday is Pi Day (for Our Math nerd readers) and Thursday is the Ides of March (for our history buffs).  Call with questions.  Best,

Frank Maisano

(202) 828-5864

(202) 997-5932

FRANKLY SPOKEN

“We are gravely concerned that significant cuts to, or the elimination of, key clean energy programs at DOE – and across the federal government – could undermine job creation and the goal to modernize the country’s aging energy infrastructure. Therefore, as Congress moves forward with appropriations legislation for the remainder of Fiscal Year 2018 and Fiscal Year 2019, we request that you consider the value these programs provide to the reliability and security of the nation’s energy system and to American consumers.”

Business Council for Sustainable Energy (BCSE) head Lisa Jacobson in a letter to House Appropriators urging support for federal Clean Energy Programs.

ON THE POD

Bracewell Podcast Focuses on Trade – The latest Bracewell podcast is live on Stitcher, iTunes, SoundCloud, and Google Play Music.  My Colleague Liam Donovan takes the driver’s seat to interview Bracewell trade expert Josh Zive on the proclamations released by the Administration for steel and aluminum tariffs. We explore exactly what these proclamations say, what they mean for international relations and the American economy, and how they will impact domestic businesses.

STEEL, ALUMINUM TARIFFS Q&A

My colleagues Josh Zive (202-828-5838) and Paul Nathanson (202-828-1714) drafted this Steel/Aluminum tariffs Q&A that I wanted to forward.  Both have been working these issues for years and can be helpful should you have additional questions or need additional background.  President Trump issued formal proclamations announcing new tariffs on imports of steel and aluminum late last week.  The tariffs – 25% on steel and 10% on aluminum – represent a significant change in U.S. trade policy. They will likely result in higher prices for all steel, and are expected to trigger a series of WTO complaints and retaliatory actions by U.S. trading partners.  The proclamations mark the start of the next phase of the fight over tariffs. Companies who use steel, regardless of the steel’s origin, need to prepare to engage in the debate.

BACKGROUND – On April 27, 2017, President Trump directed the Department of Commerce to undertake an investigation under Section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act of 1962 in order to determine the national security implications of steel and aluminum imports.  In January, the Department of Commerce, submitted reports to President Trump detailing its findings that steel and aluminum imports threaten our national security. The steel report can be found here and the aluminum report here. Commerce recommended a global steel tariff of at least 24% and a global aluminum tariff of 7.7%. President Trump was given 90 days after receiving the reports to decide on “any potential action.”

On March 1, 2018, the President stated that the U.S. will impose a 25% tariff on steel and a 10% tariff on aluminum. This statement, which came during a press conference, was not accompanied by any documentation or guidance. The formal proclamation of the tariffs issued yesterday, March 8, 2018, is very important as it provides the first meaningful guidance of the details of the tariffs.

TARIFF PROCLAMATIONS Q&A – The two proclamations signed by President Trump include some important details for companies that are concerned about the impact of the tariffs on their business operations.

Q: What tariff rates did the President announce?

A: 25% on all imported steel and 10% on all imported aluminum.

Q: When do the tariffs take effect?

A: The tariffs will apply to all goods entered into the U.S. on or after 12:01 am eastern time on March 23, 2018.

Q: Does this rate apply to imported steel from all countries?

A: Yes, other than Canada and Mexico.

Q: Canada and Mexico are exempted from the tariff? Why and for how long?

A: Both countries are exempted because they present “a special case” and “the necessary and appropriate means to address the threat to the national security posed by imports of steel articles from Canada and Mexico is to continue ongoing discussions with these countries.”  The exemption is indefinite.

Q: Can other countries request exemptions?

A: Yes, the proclamations provide that other countries are invited to negotiate with the U.S. to craft alternative solutions, and if such a solution is agreed to, the President can lift the tariffs. However, the proclamations establish no process for such negotiations, and it is not clear how such negotiations will proceed.

Q: To what specific products do the new tariffs apply?

A: Steel: Harmonized Tariff Schedule (HTS) codes 7206.10-7216.50, 7216.99-7301.10, 7302.10, 7302.40-7302.90, and 7304.10-7306.90. (Steel Chapter of HTS) Aluminum: (a) unwrought aluminum (HTS 7601); (b) aluminum bars, rods, and profiles (HTS 7604); (c) aluminum wire (HTS 7605); (d) aluminum plate, sheet, strip, and foil (flat rolled products) (HTS 7606 and 7607); (e) aluminum tubes and pipes and tube and pipe fitting (HTS 7608 and 7609); and (f) aluminum castings and forgings (HTS 7616.99.51.60 and 7616.99.51.70). (Aluminum Chapter of HTS).

Q: Can other products be excluded from the tariffs in the future?

A: Yes. The proclamations require the Secretary of Commerce to issue procedures for requests for product exclusions within the next 10 days. In order to be excluded, the proclamations state that the Secretaries of State, Treasury, and Defense must determine, in coordination with White House officials, that a product is not produced in the U.S. in a sufficient and reasonably available amount or of a satisfactory quality. After making such a determination, which will typically include an opportunity for other stakeholders to comment, the exclusion is published in the Federal Register and takes effect.

This is a complex process that will require that applicants for exclusions engage in a mix of legal, policy, and public advocacy in order to successfully make their case.

Q: Are the tariffs subject to review by U.S. courts or the World Trade Organization (WTO)?

A: Yes. U.S. courts will surely hear challenges to the tariffs after they have been levied against imported steel and aluminum products. However, these challenges are likely to take years to make their way through the court system, and the President is normally given wide latitude to shape national security and foreign policy. The WTO is a different matter, however. While the WTO does not have the power to overturn and nullify the tariffs, if the WTO finds that the tariffs are not consistent with U.S. obligations under the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT), and the President refuses to revise the tariffs, the WTO could allow complaining countries to levy costly retaliatory tariffs on U.S. goods. This was the outcome when the Bush Administration imposed tariffs on steel in 2002. The WTO complaint process can take years to become final, although the economic and diplomatic uncertainty surrounding the process often leads to early settlements between countries.

Q: This is bad for my company, what can I do?

A: Yes, and there is little time to waste. Concerned companies need to begin developing and executing an advocacy campaign that educates the public about the harms of these tariffs (specifically as related to employment or ongoing business operations) and making outreach to key Legislative and Executive branch officials who have a stake in the health of the companies.

Specifically, the exclusion process will provide opportunities for companies to have specific steel and aluminum products excluded from the tariffs. However, in order to effectively pursue such exclusions, companies need to begin building their cases now. This means:

    • Collecting data on the steel aluminum products the companies utilize, and the countries of origin of the products;
    • Analyzing the domestic availability and prices for replacement materials;
    • Developing arguments about the economic or national security harms that would occur if products were not available or affordable; and
    • Identifying the threat that the tariffs pose to a company’s ability to compete or survive.

IN THE NEWS

Powell Details Need for CleanTech “Moonshot” – China is way ahead in the race to commercialize and export clean energy technologies.  In his latest video, ClearPath Executive Director Rich Powell explains why “moonshot” clean energy technology goals would allow the U.S. to catch up with China by focusing Department of Energy priorities and resources on the biggest breakthroughs in advanced nuclear, carbon capture, grid-scale storage, solar and other advanced technologies. Watch Rich – in less than four minutes – sum up his recent appearance before the House Energy and Commerce Committee with the help of ClearPath graphics wizard Mitch Kersey. The optimistic takeaway message: While the U.S. may not be able to compete with China in cranes and concrete, setting moonshot energy technology goals can help ensure U.S. leadership in innovation and deployment.

CRA Report Details RFS Change – The Fueling American Jobs Coalition released a Charles River Associates (CRA) study that concludes that a price containment mechanism, like a cap or a credit waiver, would not undermine the integrity of the RINs trading system nor would it depress blending rates of ethanol.  Instead, it would improve the performance of the RFS and better achieve its goals.  Unlike other recent reports, the CRA study is firmly grounded in recent historical evidence that shows no correlation between high RINs prices and any stimulus for increased blending.  Further, cost containment mechanisms are successfully used in Renewable Portfolio Standards, various carbon policies, and in California’s Low Carbon Fuel Standard – without damage to trading integrity or reductions in desired outcome.  Only CRA evaluates RINs cost containment in comparison to other similar case studies in the same and other energy sectors.

BCSE Urges Support for Clean Energy Programs – The Business Council for Sustainable Energy released a letter to House Appropriators to support critical clean energy programs in the Department of Energy (DOE) Offices of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), Fossil Energy (FE), Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability (EDER), Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) and other essential DOE programs. These programs continue to provide value to American consumers and business. Continued investment in energy research development and deployment is needed to increase the efficiency of our energy generation and use, and to spur new innovations.

Senate Energy Approves Nuclear Legislation – The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee approved a bill that would push the US to advance nuclear power. The committee forwarded to the full Senate the Advanced Nuclear Energy Technologies Act (S. 1457) from Sens. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) and Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.), which sets a goal by 2028 for demonstrating at least four new advanced reactor designs. The committee also approved House Science and Technology Chairman Lamar Smith’s bipartisan Department of Energy Research and Innovation Act (H.R. 589), a bill House lawmakers passed early last year that provides longer term certainty for the Office of Science’s energy innovation hubs and modernizes the national laboratory system and promotes the transfer of federal research to the private sector in order to bring innovative ideas to the commercial marketplace.

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

AFPM Annual Meeting Set for New Orleans – The American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers will hold its 2018 annual meeting in New Orleans today and tomorrow at the Hilton Riverside.  The meeting is the world’s premier refining meeting, assembling key executives, decision-makers, and technical experts from refining businesses, technology providers, contracting and consulting firms, and equipment manufacturers around the world. It will address current issues of importance to the industry, including industry and community impacts of the 2017 hurricane season. The breakout sessions will feature presentations and panels on process safety, key regulatory issues, innovation, workforce development, economic/commercial issues, the use of big data and emerging technologies.  Speakers include former Tonight Show host Jay Leno, NFL CMO Dawn Hudson, political analyst Charlie Cook Koch CEO Brad Razook and GM’s Dan Nicholson.

Cities to Hear from Scott, Booker – The National League of Cities holds its annual Congressional City Conference at the Marriott Wardman Park today through Wednesday.   Numerous panels will discuss subjects from opioids to environment to infrastructure. On Wednesday Morning in CVC 217 on Capitol Hill, Pew Charitable Trusts will join NLC for a breakfast briefing to call attention to the need for Congress and the Administration to focus on flood-ready infrastructure. Local and federal elected officials will discuss how making communities more resilient to extreme weather will help protect people and property, reduce future risk, and save taxpayer dollars.  Elizabeth Esty and John Katko will be on the panel.

Forum to Look at Pipeline – The Atlantic Council’s Eurasia Center and Global Energy Center will hold a debate today at 2:00 p.m. looking at the Nord Stream 2 pipeline and its potential implications for the United States and its European allies. Panels I and II will debate the different views on the pipeline from the United States and Europe and address the impact of Nord Stream 2 on European energy security, the political and economic questions associated with the pipeline, and the effects of the pipeline on transit countries in Central and Eastern Europe.

JHU to Host Discussion on Renewables – The Johns Hopkins University SAIS program holds a discussion today at 5:00 p.m. on the politics of a global energy transition to renewables. A new book — presented by Professor Johannes Urpelainen — will offer a comprehensive political analysis of the rapid growth in renewable wind and solar power, mapping an energy transition through theory, case studies, and policy analysis.

Perry, Harbert Headline ARPA-E Summit – The ARPA-E Energy Innovation Summit will be held tomorrow through Thursday at is an annual conference and technology showcase that brings together experts from different technical disciplines and professional communities to think about America’s energy challenges in new and innovative ways. Now in its ninth year, the Summit offers a unique, three-day program aimed at moving transformational energy technologies out of the lab and into the market. Chamber’s Global Energy Institute head Karen Harbert will conduct a Fireside Chat with Energy Secretary Perry on Wednesday.  Other main speakers include DOE’s Paul Dabbar, BPC’s Jason Grumet, SAFE’s autonomous vehicle expert Amitai Bin-Nun and Siemens Global Power CEO Tim Holt.

NRC to Host Reg Info Conference – The Nuclear Regulatory Commission holds its 30th annual Regulatory Information Conference on NRC HQ in North Bethesda, Md.

BSCE Holds Clean Energy Forum – The Business Council for Sustainable Energy holds its 2018 Clean Energy Forum tomorrow in the Capitol Visitor Center, Senate Rooms 208-209.  The event is closed to press but will include remarks from FERC’s Rich Glick, EPA’s Bill Wehrum and DOE’s Dan Simmons, among others.

Forum to Look at CCS – The Global CCS Institute holds its 7th Annual DC Forum on CCS tomorrow in the Ronald Reagan Building’s Polaris Room at 8:30 a.m.  The event is a lively discussion of the key questions that clean energy and CCS advocates are focused on, including 45Q impact, private sector investment, future government support and key audiences for advocacy efforts. Speakers include ClearPath’s Rich Powell, Global CCS Institute CEO Brad Page, WRI’s Andrew Steer, former Assistant Secretary of Energy for Fossil Energy David Mohler, ADM’s Scott McDonald, Kurt Walzer of the Clean Air Task Force, House Energy Committee former Chief Counsel Tom Hassenboehler and former DOE official Daniel Richter.

Senate Energy Takes Up Interior Budget – The Senate Energy Committee holds a hearing tomorrow at 10:00 a.m. on the president’s proposed fiscal 2019 budget for the Interior Department.

Forum to Look at Venezuela Oil – Next Tuesday at 9:00 a.m., the Atlantic Council’s Adrienne Arsht Latin America Center and Global Energy Center for a timely conversation on the downfall of Venezuela’s oil sector and what may be in store in the future.  Speakers will include former State Dept official David Goldwyn, Atlantic Council Author Francisco Monaldi and Jason Marczak, Director of the Adrienne Arsht Latin America Center.

BPC Infrastructure Hub Sets Innovation Forum – The BPC Infrastructure Lab hold its second event in a series on Infrastructure Ideas and Innovations tomorrow at 10:00 a.m. The American economy is increasingly driven by a powerful network of billions of “smart” and connected devices, ranging from miniscule sensors to massive industrial machines. From autonomous vehicles to smart water meters, today’s innovations are transforming how we live and how our core industries do business.  These technological advancements also raise important policy questions: What infrastructure investments must be made to ensure that the Industrial Internet of Things (IIOT), the infrastructure that underlies the innovation, has the powerful and reliable communications network needed to sustain it? How can we incorporate IIoT innovations, such as custom private networks that combine satellite-terrestrial technologies, to improve the quality and competitiveness of our infrastructure?

Zinke to Discuss Budget – The Senate Energy and Natural Resources holds a hearing tomorrow on the administration’s FY 2019 budget request for Interior.  The hearing will feature Secretary Zinke.

Forum to Look at Self-Driving Cars – New America’s Future Tense, transportation planners from Phoenix and Pittsburgh, representatives from Waymo, Lyft, Intel, and Toyota, and leading academic researchers will hold a discussion tomorrow at 11:30 a.m. to Look at the technological revolution of self-driving cars beginning to unfold on city streets.

WRI Stories to Watch Released – Tomorrow at 12:15 at JHU, experts from World Resources Institute look at trends, political dynamics, data and innovations that will shape environment, economy and international development for the coming year. Michael Oko will share insights into the big stories and global trends shaping the world. In this turbulent political time, he will explore issues related to climate change, energy markets, water, security issues, technology, and more.

Senate Panel to Look at Infrastructure – The Senate Commerce Committee’s Surface Transportation and Merchant Marine Infrastructure, Safety and Security Subcommittee hearing is holding a hearing tomorrow at 2:30 p.m. in 253 Russell on infrastructure.  Witnesses include Kyle Schneweis of the Nebraska Department of Transportation, Dan Gilmartin of the Michigan Municipal League, Jordan Kass of C.H. Robinson and Jo Strang of the American Short Line and Regional Railroad Association.

RFF to Host NatGas Event – Resources for The Future holds a forum tomorrow at 12:45 p.m. to discuss a new study by RFF Senior Fellows Joshua Linn and Richard Morgenstern  that finds the dramatic decline in US shale gas prices increased employment in manufacturing and energy-intensive industries much less than previously thought.   RFF hosts a discussion of the study’s results, featuring comments from industry, environmental, and academic perspectives.

Algae, CCS Forum Set – Tomorrow at 1:30 p.m., U.S. Energy Association hosts a presentation on algae’s role in successful CO2 mitigation campaign.   Heralded by proponents, dismissed by naysayers, algae may not cure our carbon conundrum but could be a key enabler for carbon capture and use (CCU). Algae Biomass Organization Executive Director Matt Carr addresses the topic.

Solar Operations Conference Set – The Solar Asset Management North America forum will be held in San Francisco tomorrow and Wednesday. The event is the leading conference focused on the operational phase of solar plants and portfolios. The recommendations on the Section 201 solar trade case as well as the new tax provisions will also affect the existing assets, budgets and O&M. The conference aims to fully assess and quantify the impact on the future of the solar industry.

NOAA Comms Director Heads EnvirorunEnvirorun hosts David Herring, director of communications and education at NOAA’s Climate Program Office tomorrow at 6:00 p.m.  Starting this month, the Speaker Series will be taking place at WeWork K Street and will feature a new route and the run starting at 6 p.m. and speaker at 7 p.m.  Envirorun will meet at WeWork K Street before going out on the fun run. There will be a place to store bags while runners are on the trails. After the run, we will return to the venue for networking and hear from the speaker at 7:00 pm. Non-runners welcome to join.

LGs Meet in DC – The National Lt. Governors Assn will hold its 2018 Federal-State Relations Meeting in Washington DC at the Palomar Hotel.  Among the speakers will be Second Lady Karen Pence, USDA’s Steve Censky, White House Infrastructure official DJ Gribbin and my Bracewell tax expert colleague Liam Donovan are among the speakers.

ACORE Renewable Policy Forum Set for Cap Hill – The annual 2018 ACORE Renewable Energy Policy Forum will be held on Capitol Hill on Wednesday.  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.

Senate to hear Cabinet Officials on Infrastructure – The Senate Commerce Committee will hold a full committee hearing on infrastructure Wednesday featuring Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, Energy Secretary Rick Perry, Labor Secretary Alex Acosta and Agriculture Secretary Sonny Purdue.

House Energy to Look at Cyber, Emergency Response – The House Energy and Commerce Energy Subcommittee holds a hearing on Wednesday at 10:00 a.m. to explore DOE modernization legislation addressing cybersecurity and emergency response. Witnesses include DOE’s Mark Menezes and Patricia Hoffman, as well as EEI’s Scott Aaronson, Dominion’s Mark Engel, Tristan Vance of Indiana’s Office of Energy Development, Zachary Tudor of the Idaho National Lab and NEMA’s Kyle Pitsor.

House Tax Panel to Review Extenders – The House Ways and Means Tax Policy Subcommittee holds a hearing on Wednesday at 10:00 a.m. looking at the post-Tax Reform evaluation of recently expired tax provisions.  BCSE’s Lisa Jacobson will be among those testifying.

House Science to Look at National Labs – The House Science Committee holds a hearing on Wednesday at 10:00 a.m. looking at national laboratories innovations in science.

Zinke to Headline Forum – Faegre Baker Daniels will host its 5th annual Energy and Environmental Symposium at the National Press Club on Wednesday at 10:30 a.m. This year’s event will examine the relationship between the energy industry and infrastructure, including potential environmental issues.  Speakers will include Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, Rep. Bill Shuster and CEQ’s Alex Herrgott.

CSIS to Talk Electricity Markets, Conflicts – On Wednesday at 3:30 p.m., the CSIS Energy & National Security Program will host Dr. Brian Ó Gallachóir (University College Cork) and Dr. Morgan Brazilian (Colorado School of Mines) for a presentation on electricity market and infrastructure developments in conflict zones with particular focus on power sector development in the wake of The Troubles in Northern Ireland. Sarah Ladislaw (CSIS) will moderate the discussion.

FERC Monthly Meeting Target Tax Reform Legislation – On Thursday, FERC hold Its monthly meeting to consider the effect of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act on rates subject to its oversight. The agency will also review its policy for the recovery of income tax costs.

Shimkus to Headline Oil Forum – The Atlantic Council holds a discussion on Thursday at 8:00 a.m. on strategic oil product stockholding.  Speakers will include Rep. John Shimkus, AFPM’s Susan Grissom and former Energy Dept official Melanie Kenderdine.

House Approps Panel to Review DOE Budget – The House Appropriations Energy-Water Subcommittee holds a hearing on Thursday at 10:00 a.m. reviewing the fiscal 2019 Energy Department budget.  Sect Perry will testify.

Tillerson Heads to Senate FR – The Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on the State Department budget is Thursday in 419 Dirksen.  Secretary of State Rex Tillerson testifies.

House Resources Committee to Host Zinke – The House Natural Resources Committee holds a hearing on Thursday at 10:00 a.m. to review the fiscal 2019 Interior Department budget.  Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke will testify.

House Oversight Energy Panel Looks at Permit Process – The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee’s Subcommittee on the Interior, Energy, and Environment will convene a hearing Thursday at 2:00 p.m. to examine Federal permitting processes.

GW to Look at Public Trust Doctrine – The George Washington University Law School symposium Thursday and Friday on the role of Public Trust Doctrine including climate, water resources and state constitutions.  Our Bracewell colleague (also of the U of Houston Law School is among the presenters.

Forum on New Solar Book – On Friday at 10:00 a.m., the CSIS Energy and National Security Program hosts a discussion on ‘Taming the Sun,’ the new book by Dr. Varun Sivaram, Philip D. Reed fellow for Science and Technology at the Council on Foreign Relations. Dr. Sivaram will discuss the financial, technological and systematic innovation required to maximize solar power utilization and highlight the need for a creative public policy framework, and comprehensive energy market restructuring, to create a more effective clean energy portfolio and establish solar energy as the cornerstone of the global energy revolution.

Forum Looks at Budget Impacts on Climate, Enviro Research – The Novim Group, in partnership with the Environmental and Energy Study Institute, holds a briefing on Friday at 2:00 p.m. discussing a new report on the environmental and societal impacts of the Administration’s proposed climate and environmental research program cuts for Fiscal Year (FY) 2018. The briefing’s speakers, who helped author the Novim report, will give an overview of its findings and conclusions. Speakers for this forum are Michael Ditmore and Ari Patrinos of Novim as well as Kei Koizumi American Association for the Advancement of Science.

IN THE FUTURE

World Water Forum Set – The 8th World Water Forum will be in Brasilia, Brazil on March 18 to 23.

HVAC Industry to Hold Session at Canadian Forum – AHRI will host two educational sessions at the Canadian Mechanical & Plumbing Exposition (CMPX), taking place March 21-23 in Toronto at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre.  On Wednesday, March 21st at 2:00 p.m., Associate Certification Engineer David Noyes will host a one-hour session on heating product certification programs. Certification Engineer Caroline M. Henley will follow for a session on AHRI’s variable refrigerant flow standard and certification program.

Ethanol Group to Hold Fly-In – The American Coalition for Ethanol holds its 10th annual DC Fly-IN & Government Affairs Summit. The meetings will take place at the Liaison Capitol Hill Hotel and on Capitol Hill.  Speakers will include EPA’s Bill Wehrum and Sen. Joni Ernst.

Forum to Look at China Energy Ambitions – On Thursday, March 22nd at 9:00 a.m., the Woodrow Wilson Center’s China Environment Forum will be hosting speakers to discuss the trend lines of China’s coal and nuclear power domestically and along the Belt and Road. Thomas Rawski (University of Pittsburgh) will provide a snapshot of current efforts to reform domestic energy structures and electricity pricing, and how these changes may affect domestic and overseas investment in coal and nuclear power. Ravi Madhavan (University of Pittsburgh) will discuss the state-owned enterprise landscape that dominates nuclear power development in China and how they are making inroads into overseas markets, including Pakistan, Argentina, and the UK. Erica Downs, a senior research scientist in the China Studies division of the CNA Corporation will take us further along the Belt and Road, looking at some of the broader drivers of China’s financing and building of power plants abroad.

WCEE Forum to Look at AVs – The Women’s Council on Energy and the Environment (WCEE) will hold a brown bag lunch on Thursday March 22nd at Noon to hear from Ellen Partridge, Senior Law Fellow at the Environmental Law and Policy Center; Kelley Coyner, Senior Fellow at the Center for Regional Analysis and Schar School of Policy and Government at George Mason University; and Fred Wagner, partner at Venable, as they share with us their knowledge of AV’s and the impacts AV’s will have on the natural and human environment, energy consumption, and the transportation landscape generally.

International PetroChem Conference Ready – AFPM holds its 2018 International Petrochemical Conference in San Antonio on March 25-27th.  The International Petrochemical Conference is the world’s largest and most prestigious conference representing the petrochemical industry. The meeting consists of a variety of sessions covering key political, economic, and environmental issues affecting the petrochemical industry. The sessions emphasize global competitiveness in the petrochemical business and are presented by recognized experts in the areas of petrochemical markets, economics, and politics.

EPA Clean Power Plan Repeal Hearing Heads for WY – EPA’s final listening sessions for its proposed repeal of the Clean Power Plan start in Gillette, Wyoming on March 27th.  The EPA had already held one two-day meeting in West Virginia in late 2017.

Offshore Wind Partnership Forum Set – The Business Network for Offshore Wind hold its 2018 International Offshore Wind Partnering Forum on April 3rd to 6th in Princeton New Jersey.  The IPF is the leading technical conference for offshore wind in the United States and is dedicated to moving the industry forward.  Among the speakers will be BOEM’s Walter Cruickshank and James Bennett, Statoil’s Sebastian Bringsværd, U of Delaware’s Jeremy Firestone, NYSERDA’s Greg Lampman, Recharge’s Darius Snieckus Deepwater’s Jeff Grybowski and NWF’s Collin O’Mara.

Refiners Security Conference Set – The annual AFPM Security Conference will be held on April 23-25 in New Orleans and presents current topics of vital importance to critical infrastructure, keeping security professionals up to date on security issues, policies, and future regulations. The event will relay the latest information on security regulations from DHS and the Coast Guard. This year’s conference will also go beyond just the regulations with sessions on hurricane response efforts, environmental NGO activism, cybersecurity and other emerging security and terror threats.

WINDPOWER Set for Chicago – The American Wind Energy Assn (AWEA) will hold WINDPOWER 2018 in Chicago from May 7th to 10th.  The industry closed 2017 strong, delivering 7,017 megawatts (MW) of new wind power capacity. That new capacity represents $11 billion in new private investment. There are now 89,077 MW of wind power installed across 41 states, enough to power 26 million American homes.  The wind industry is expected to continue its growth into 2018. WINDPOWER is where the industry comes together to plan for the future and keep this success story growing.

Clean Energy Forum on Schedule – The 2018 Congressional Clean Energy Expo and Policy Forum will be held on July 10th and brings together up to 45-55 businesses, trade associations, and government agencies to showcase renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies.

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 1/16

Friends,

Holy cow…I still can’t believe Minnesota stayed alive by winning that playoff football game on Sunday.  NHL All-Star game in Tampa this weekend (with the awesome 3-on-3 format), Super Bowl Sunday is just three weeks away and the Winter Olympics starts right after in South Korea.

We are early today because of a number of events in this short week. The bulk of the oxygen this week will focus on the budget with a Friday deadline to extend government funding.  There is also a lot of activity on the trade issues with NAFTA, aluminum, steel, washing machine and solar issues all seeing discussions.  In fact, in an editorial Friday, the Washington Post hit the President’s approach to trade, saying that it be exceedingly difficult to achieve his goal of tearing down international trade actions.  The Post said not all trade deals were perfect, but “broadly speaking, increasingly free trade over the past 70-plus years has brought tremendous benefits both to the hundreds of millions lifted out of poverty in Asia, Africa and Latin America and to Americans who have enjoyed a wider choice of quality products, at lower cost, and high wages in export industries.”

As mentioned, Congress is in town despite the MLK holiday yesterday to deal with the budget. Hearings include this morning’s Senate Energy hearing on the domestic/global energy outlook with IEA’s Faith Birol and a Senate Environment hearing on water infrastructure tomorrow.  House Energy looks at Superfund and House Resources looks at onshore energy burdens on Thursday and Friday, a House Energy panel looks at LNG exports.

The Detroit Auto Show started yesterday (Washington’s policy show starts next week) while BPC hosts FERC’s Neil Chatterjee and Cheryl LaFleur, Heritage hosts a NAFTA forum and CSIS hosts launch of the International Energy Agency’s World Energy Outlook 2017 today.  Thursday, the US Energy Assn will hold its 14th annual State of the Energy Industry Forum at the National Press Club, the Chamber holds an infrastructure summit featuring INGAA’s Don Santa and RFF hosts author/expert Daniel Raimi for a book event on his new natgas drilling book.  On Friday, the US Assn of Energy Economists hosts its January luncheon looking at the natgas and battery revolutions.

Finally, after last week’s reacts to the new 5-year drilling plan and the Florida removal, public hearings start today with a meetings in Annapolis and Jackson Mississippi.  Richmond hosts tomorrow and Thursday, things move to Dover, DE.  More hearings next week and through the end of February.

One last time: we rolled out 10 Top Issues for 2018 in the Update.  Issues include Ethanol, trade, taxes, regs, climate, legal challenges, HFCs, Infrastructure, autonomous vehicles and electricity markets.

Finally, you know what today is…  I’ve already had a singing gorilla wish me happy 50th in our morning meeting that to my wife Stacey.  Here is a copy of last year’s POLITICO Playbook Birthday of the Day Q&A.  And I noticed that I have dropped to #2 on Playbook’s Jan 16th birthday list…  Labor Sect Acosta shares the day although I have him by one year.  Damn you, Carl’s Jr.!!!!

Call with questions.  Best,

Frank Maisano

(202) 828-5864

  1. (202) 997-5932

10 Top Issues for 2018

  1. Ethanol and a “deal” – One of the biggest issue last year was the battle over the RFS, RINs and ethanol.  The issues reached the highest levels of the White House where they expressed an interest in finding a win-win resolution that solves compliance problems while preserving the biofuels program.  This may be one of the early issues to see action this year because it continues to impact volume obligations, confirmations and other items, as well as potential legislative action, which is always a heavy lift.
  2. Solar, Steel, other Tariff/Trade issues – The President has demanded tariffs and January will be a key moment for this discussion.   He faces deadline on steel and solar and continues to hear internal pulls from Economic Advisor Gary Cohn and others who see tariffs as a major concern.  On the Solar case, the solar industry and a broad group of opponents that includes retailers, contractors, utilities and conservatives have urged the President to reject tariffs that could harm the entire industry. As well, look for action on the administration’s efforts to rework NAFTA, whose negotiations have dragged into at least the first quarter of this year.  Congress also started to look at the NAFTA impacts on energy which is likely to remain a central topic.
  3. Taxes and more taxes – With the Tax bill passed and in motion, there will be many tax implications in place over 2018.  Some will be very political and some will be below the radar, but we are certain that you will hear about it.  What you will also hear about as we approach the next budget deadline on January 19th is the potential to have a long-promised tax extenders package that includes incentives for biodiesel blenders, fuel cells, small wind, Geothermal Heat Pumps, distributed wind, CHPs and many other small, but innovative technologies.  Senate Finance Chairman Orrin Hatch unveiled a bill containing a smorgasbord of renewable energy credits just before the holidays, and House Chair Kevin Brady has vowed to move this year.
  4. Slowing regulations in all corners – The White House was most aggressive in 2017 pulling the current regulatory regime back from the previous Administration’s overreach.  This effort will remain a key priority in 2018 because it is one place where the Administration remain largely in control of the process.  Among the regulations in the crosshairs include the Clean Power Plan, WOTUS, offshore drilling issues, other climate action, ozone restrictions, well construction for natgas wells and a new approach to enforcing bird death restrictions.  We have experts on all topics so feel free to reach out.
  5. Climate ups and downs – While 2017 focused largely on the withdrawal from the voluntary Paris Accord, the Clean Power Plan repeal/replace, what climate websites were changed and other carping about the new Administration not caring enough about climate, 2018 promises to be focused on much of that and more state issues that form new ideas to reduce emissions.  While a lot of it will be couched in political clouds, these types of initiatives – along with expanded use of natural gas, and renewables in the regular power mix – will actually reduce our emissions.  Already we are beating many of our targets, while Germany and many other Paris signers are struggling to reduce emissions.  And don’t think that progress will stop political attacks or legal actions against the Trump Administration or companies.
  6. Lawsuit Central – Understanding #4 & #5, it seems like more legal battles is a hardy perennial, but in 2018 legal challenges on the climate, regulations will again play a prominent role.  Unlike previous years when Republican AGs like now EPA head Scott Pruitt and WV’s Pat Morrisey led the charge, this year Democrat AGs in Blue states – buoyed by environmental activists – will lead efforts to file suits against the Trump Administration. Lawyers will be busy, including those inside EPA who are already prepping for each fight by being very careful in how they write new rules.
  7. HFC issues and the Kigali Amendment – The Kigali amendment was signed in late 2016 as part of the Montreal Protocol. Its aim is to reduce the hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) used in air conditioners and refrigerators.  Early in 2018, the big news will be whether the administration follows through on statements from late last year where they vowed to fund efforts to implement it and send the amendment to the Senate for a ratification vote.  The Treaty is binding and goes into effect in 2019 since many countries already have ratified it.  The agreement was supported by both industry, environmental and other sustainability groups, and holds China, India and others to binding limits as global AC and refrigerant use grows globally.
  8. Infrastructure – The most important word for 2018 is infrastructure.  Why? Because it is an election year and infrastructure sells in both parties.  The President is expected to unveil a long-awaited statement of infrastructure “principles” soon and some see the push as an opportunity to advance energy and water infrastructure investments. This means pipelines, transmission and other generation assets.  While the larger infrastructure debate will take on many shapes, energy will play a significant role in the form of new pipeline approvals to move new natural gas, export terminals to get it our resources to foreign markets and important generation assets like new nuclear projects, renewables and gas plants.
  9. Emerging Autonomous Vehicle Rules – Last year, autonomous vehicles began to emerge as a new, important issue.  As the technology and regulatory discussion continues and becomes more defined, there will be more details, innovations and exciting changes for 2018.  Our friends at SAFE have been among the leaders on this issue and have an Autonomous Vehicle Task Force with leading experts to help develop an action plan to facilitate the widespread deployment of this transformative technology.
  10. Electricity markets and the Perry plan – FERC faces an early January deadline (delayed from last month) to respond to the Energy Department’s request to propose a rule that would compensate nuclear and coal plants for resiliency. As our friends at Axios point out, it is a wonky, complex issue, but it remains a battle over nuclear and coal versus gas and renewables.  As natgas prices remain low (as expected for 2018), the market challenges for coal and nukes remain a potential problem.  With many political and energy sectors interests on both sides, it will be a key decision for going forward in 2018.

FRANKLY SPOKEN

“We’ve decided that the best thing for our family and for me and I think, frankly, for North Dakota is for me to seek reelection to the House of Representatives.”

Rep. Kevin Cramer in deciding against running for North Dakota’s US Senate seat and incumbent Heidi Heitkamp.

“Mayor de Blasio turned his back on millions of first responders, police officers, firefighters and other public employees who depend on their pensions to provide for themselves and their families in retirement. Government pension managers have a responsibility by law to seek the greatest return for their investors and pensions that invest in oil and natural gas companies have historically delivered a higher return than other investments. Deliberately hurting pension holders, like the fine men and women who keep our city safe, is a disgraceful way to score cheap political points.”

API New York Executive Director Karen Moreau, commenting on New York Mayor Bill de Blasio’s announcement to divest the city’s pensions from oil and natural gas.

IN THE NEWS

White House Names Fannon to State Energy Gig – So much a for a move to the consulting…Our friend Frank Fannon has been nominated to be an assistant secretary of State on energy resources. Fannon worked at Senate Environment under Jim Inhofe and had an instrumental role in the drafting and passage of the Energy Policy Act of 2005.  Previously, Fannon was head of BHP Billiton’s DC office and also worked at Murphy Oil Corporation.

ALEC Chair Hit Solar Tariffs – The national chair of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), North Carolina State Rep. Jason Saine urged the President reject solar tariffs in a letter late last week.  Saine wrote Increasing tariffs on solar panels risks shuttering one of the fastest growing segments of our economy. According to recent estimates, the solar industry is creating jobs at a rate 17 times faster than the broader economy and employs over a quarter of a million people across the country.  He also added for utilities like Duke Energy, which must select cost-competitive resources (whether they be fuel-based or renewable) when selecting new generation resources to meet customer demand requirements, such cost increases may eliminate solar generation from its evaluation processes entirely.

ETAC Pushes Back On Protectionist Coalition Claims – In additional to the ALEC letter from Saine, the Energy Trade Action Coalition (ETAC) responded to a letter from the protectionist Coalition for a Prosperous America urging the president to impose a “global tariff” on imports.  ETAC released a letter that strongly encourages Trump to reject the attempt of two foreign-owned bankrupt solar companies, Suniva and SolarWorld, to use the Section 201 trade law process to bail out their creditors and shareholders. “Tens of thousands of U.S. solar industry jobs in the United States now hang in the balance. A decision to impose tariffs and/or quotas on imported solar components may offer Suniva and SolarWorld the short-term lifeline they seek, but it will do so at the cost of undermining virtually the entire rest of the industry, including hundreds of U.S. solar companies that are healthy, productive and providing good-paying jobs in communities across the country.”

China Imports Actually Increasing – A New piece in RealClearMarkets, Allan Golombek argues unilateral reduction of tariffs last month by China on almost 200 consumer products provides further testimony to the fact that the goal of its trade is not just to increase exports, but also imports. Golombek says after years as the world’s biggest exporter, China is on track to becoming the world’s biggest importer over the next few years, according to a paper prepared by two leading economists for the China International Capital Corporation.

EIA Net Exporter of NatGas – The U.S. Energy Information Administration says the U.S. is now a net exporter of natural gas on an annual basis for the first time since at least 1957.  Net exports averaged about 0.4 billion cubic feet per day last year, flipping from net inflows of 1.8 billion in 2016.  EIA also said in its Short-Term Energy Outlook for January, which the share of U.S. total utility-scale electricity generation from natural gas to rise from 32% in 2017 to 33% in 2018 and to 34% in 2019, as a result of low natural gas prices. Coal’s forecast generation share falls from 30% in 2017 to slightly lower than 30% in 2018 and 28% in 2019. The nuclear share of generation was 20% in 2017 and is forecast to average 20% in 2018 and 19% in 2019. Renewables provided almost 10% of electricity generation in 2017, and its 2018 share is expected be similar before increasing to almost 11% in 2019. The generation share of hydropower was more than 7% in 2017 and is forecast to be slightly lower than 7% in both 2018 and 2019.  Finally, EIA added that after declining by 1.0% in 2017, energy-related carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions are forecast to increase by 1.7% in 2018 and by 0.2% in 2019. Energy-related CO2 emissions are sensitive to changes in weather, economic growth and energy prices.

EPA Delays Climate Rule Comment Deadline – EPA will soon announce dates for additional public hearings on its proposal to repeal the Clean Power Plan and extend the deadline to submit comments. As previously reported, additional hearings will be held in Kansas City, MO on Feb 21, San Francisco on Feb 28 and Gillette, WY on March 27.   EPA will keep the record open for an additional 30 days after the last one.

Wind Group Says More Transmission Necessary – POLITICO outlines a new report from the Wind Energy Foundation finds more U.S. transmission lines are needed to meet the growing demand for renewables. Specifically, the report found transmission planners are not accounting for up to 51 gigawatts of potential near-term procurement.  Can send you copy of report if you need it.

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

Detroit Auto Show Launches – The North American International Auto Show is underway and runs until to January 28th.  The event serves as the global stage for companies to debut brand-defining vehicles and industry-shaping announcements.  Press Days start on Sunday 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.

POLITICO to Host Future of Mobility Event – POLITICO holds an event on “Driverless Cars and the Future of Mobility” today at 10:45 at the 2018 North American International Auto Show. The United States’ roads and highways will soon be driven by autonomous vehicles, which will fundamentally transform the transportation landscape in this country. This technology has the potential to reshape the communities that we live in and create stronger transportation networks for people of all ages and abilities. POLITICO addressing such questions as: When it comes to mobility, what are the sticking points? Will self-driving cars be a mobility revolution for older Americans and for people with disabilities?

BPC to Host LaFleur, Chatterjee – This morning at 10:00 a.m., the Bipartisan Policy Center hosts FERC Commissioners Neil Chatterjee and Cheryl LaFleur to discuss the proposed Grid Resiliency Pricing Rule which was announced last week.  FERC scrapped DOE’s plan and has now undertaken its own process.

Senate Energy to Look at Energy Outlook – The Senate Energy Committee will hold a hearing today at 10:00 a.m. to look at the domestic and global energy outlook from the International Energy Agency’s Fatih Birol.

Heritage to Look at NAFTA, Trade Issues –Today at 12:00 p.m., the Heritage Foundation hosts a forum on how enhancing energy trade with Canada and Mexico will result in more jobs and affordable power for American households and help achieve the Trump Administration’s goal of energy dominance.  Following efforts to modernize NAFTA, opportunities abound for one commonsense policy area that should be preserved and improved: energy. Canada and Mexico are two of America’s most important trade partners in energy markets. Experts on the panel include Bryan Riley, who heads NTU’s Free Trade Initiative; API International Policy advisor Aaron Padilla, Senior Advisor and Daniel Fine of the New Mexico Center for Energy Policy.  Heritage’s Nick Loris moderates.

World Energy Outlook Set For Launch – Today 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.

Interior to Start Public Hearings on 5-Yr Plan – The Interior Department will start a series of public hearings today to discuss the interior Department’s expanded five-year drilling plan.  Interior will hold meetings today in Annapolis, MD (Double Tree by Hilton) and Jackson, MS (Jackson Marriott), Richmond, VA (Airport Four Points) on tomorrow and Dover, DE (Holiday Inn Downtown) on Thursday.  Other meetings next week will include hearings in Augusta, ME (Jan 22), Baton Rouge, LA (Jan 22), Anchorage, AK (Jan 23), Concord, NH (Jan 23), Boston, MA (Jan 24), Montgomery, AL (Jan 24) and Providence, RI (Jan 25).  Future meetings include Tacoma, WA (Feb 5), Austin, TX (Feb 6), Salem, OR (Feb 6), Tallahassee, FL (Feb 8), Sacramento, CA (Feb 8), Hartford, CT (Feb 13), Columbia, SC (Feb 13), Hamilton, NJ (Feb 14), Albany, NY (Feb 15), Washington, DC (Feb 22), Raleigh, NC (Feb 26) and Atlanta, GA (Feb 28).

Senate Enviro to Look at Water Infrastructure – The Senate Environment Committee holds a hearing tomorrow at 10:00 a.m. to look at water infrastructure.  The hearing will feature a panel of witnesses to focus on Federal issues and impacts including Interior’s deputy assistant secretary for water and science Austin Ewell, Idaho Water Users Association executive director Paul Arrington, Contra Costa Water District GM Jerry Brown, Mike DeVries of the Provo River Water Users Association and Friant Water Authority CEO Jason Phillips.

Smart Cities Summit Set in Chicago – The 2nd annual Smart Cities International Symposium and Exhibition will be held on tomorrow and Thursday in Chicago.  The event brings together municipal professionals and thought leaders to explore technology advances and key lessons to date in achieving the Smart City vision.

USEA to Hosts State of Energy Forum – The US Energy Assn will hold its 14th annual State of the Energy Industry Forum on Thursday at the National Press Club.  The event usually coincides with the U.S. State of the Union Address and is widely regarded as one of USEA’s premier events.  This annual forum brings together leading executives from the most influential and active energy trade associations to present their views, exchange ideas and engage in dialogue on major cross cutting issues facing the energy industry for the year.

Chamber to Host Infrastructure Forum – U.S. Chamber President Tom Donohue will headline a summit on Thursday at 9:30 a.m. focused on modernizing America’s Infrastructure. This dynamic, high energy day-long event will serve to jumpstart important conversations on revitalizing America’s infrastructure, ensure that infrastructure is a top policy priority for 2018, and bring together the business community to voice broad industry support.

Senate Energy to Review DOE Nominees – The Senate Energy Committee will hold a nomination hearing Thursday at 10:00 a.m. to review the nominations of Melissa Burnison to be an Assistant Secretary (Congressional and Intergovernmental Affairs), and Anne Marie White to be an Assistant Secretary (Environmental Management), both of the Department of Energy.

Small Biz Committee to Look at DOE Energy Assistance – The House Small Business Committee’s panel on Agriculture, Energy, and Trade will hold a hearing on Thursday at 10:00 a.m. on small business resources at the Department of Energy. The hearing will examine the resources available to small businesses in the energy sector through the Department of Energy.  This hearing will analyze the degree to which these programs are effective at minimizing confusion regarding participation in the federal contracting process and department-specific small business programs.  DOE’s Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization Director Charles Smith will testify.

House Energy Panel to Look at Superfund – A House Energy panel will hold a hearing on Thursday at 10:15 a.m. to focus on efforts to reform U.S. EPA’s Superfund program.   Witnesses will Include EPA’s Office of Land and Emergency Management Barry Breen, Steve Cobb of the land division at Alabama’s Department of Environmental Management, former EPA Superfund director and expert Win Porter, Portland Harbor policy analyst  for Oregon Gov. Kate Brown James McKenna, Debbie Mans of the NY/NJ Baykeeper and expert Katherine Probst.

Forum to Look at Report on Japan Energy – On Thursday at 2:00 p.m., the CSIS Energy & National Security Program will host a forum with Masakazu Toyoda, Chairman and CEO of the Institute of Energy Economics, Japan (IEEJ) for a presentation of the IEEJ’s Energy Outlook 2018, a report on the future of global energy. The 2018 edition of the outlook broadens its analysis out to 2050.  The outlook finds, despite large improvements in energy efficiency and intensity, global energy demand continues to increase up to 2050; most of this growth comes from non-OECD Asia. Energy-related CO2 emissions in the Advanced Technology Scenario decline after the 2020s but are still very far from reaching half of current levels by 2050. Two-thirds of total reductions are from electricity-related technologies, including non-fossil power, thermal power with CCS, and energy efficiency in power supply/demand.

House Resources Looks at Onshore Energy Burdens – The House Committee on Natural Resources will convene an oversight hearing on Thursday at 2:00 p.m. examining the Department of the Interior’s actions to eliminate onshore energy burdens.  Witnesses will focus on seismic testing, with drilling proponents vowing to improve the ability to conduct the tests that can find oil under the ocean floor.

Hopper to Headline WI Clean Energy Event – SEIA’s CEO Abigail Hopper, clean energy communications expert Jane Bloch, utility executives and industry experts will all be featured at RENEW Wisconsin’s 7th Annual Renewable Energy Summit on Thursday in Madison.

RFF Book Event Highlights Raimi’s Fracking Debate – Resources for the Future will hold a book event on the evening of Thursday to discuss Daniel Raimi’s book on hydraulic fracturing.  Despite the heated debate over “fracking,” neither side has a monopoly on the facts. Raimi’s The Fracking Debate gives a balanced and accessible view of oil and gas development, clearly and thoroughly explaining the key issues surrounding the shale revolution.  The book answers many questions and highlights stories of the people and communities affected by the shale revolution, for better and for worse.  The book provides evidence and context that have so frequently been missing from the national discussion of the future of oil and gas production, offering readers the tools to make sense of this critical issue.

House Energy Panel to Look at LNG – The House Energy & Commerce Committee’s Subcommittee on Energy will hold a hearing on Friday at 9:15 a.m. looking at legislation addressing LNG exports and PURPA modernization.

Energy Economists Talk Gas, Batteries – On Friday, the US Assn of Energy Economists hosts its January luncheon looking at the Natural gas and battery revolutions.  The event will feature former AGA exec Dr. Benjamin Schlesinger. The shale revolution has made U.S. natural gas plentiful and cheap.  As battery prices fall, affordable storage could bridge the gap between renewables and around the clock reliability in power generation.  In this presentation, Dr. Schlesinger will explore the emerging competitive flash-points, and discuss from his work, gas markets that are at risk from a battery revolution, and vice versa.  He will discuss the key price cross-overs, how the timing might unfold, and think long-term about how low-cost batteries could ultimately affect the future of gas markets.

IN THE FUTURE

BPC to Focus on Infrastructure –On Monday January 22nd at 10:00 a.m., the Bipartisan Policy Center will launch the BPC Infrastructure Lab and “3I” Series—Infrastructure Ideas and Innovations. 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.

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.

CSIS to Host Canada Energy Discussion – The CSIS Energy and National Security Program will host a presentation on January 23rd 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.

Heritage to Look at Solar Trade Case – Heritage will hold a forum on solar tariff issues on Tuesday January 23rd at Noon.  The event will feature conservative experts, solar companies and many outside groups impacted by higher tariffs.

RFF, Stanford to Hosts Cal Climate Discussion – On January 23rd at 12:00 p.m. at the National Press Club, the Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment and Resources for the Future will host a forum on 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.

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. 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 next 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 on January 23-26th 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.

SEJ to Host Annual Journalists Enviro Guide Forum – On Friday, January 26th 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.

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.

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.

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.

Energy Update: Week of 1/8

Friends,

SO…it looked to me like Seth Meyers wanted to say a lot more last night at the Golden Globes… but the event was calmly empowering.  Besides great wins for James Franco (Disaster Artist) and Frances McDormand (Three Billboards) – which were both fabulous movies; it seems Oprah Winfrey is all the talk of politics, presidents and Hollywood. Let’s watch CBS This Morning with Oprah whisperer Gayle King for more insight on her next move.

Before we get into It, let me first say I was sad but also excited to hear that my long-time friend and fellow Detroit native, Bob Semple, is retiring after 54 years – that right – 54 years at the New York Times.  Many of you will know Bob from his biting and tough editorial wit, as well as deep substance.  While Bob was usually tough on us with his rapid fire questions, he always had time to hear our views – in fact many times to probably pre-counter our argument – and ALWAYS gave us a fair shake.  Bob is a legend and still as sharp as tack.  He says “the page” invited him to still “write when the spirit moves me” so we will may hear from him occasionally, but we will all miss Bob Semple’s daily input.  Congrats to our friend John Broder who steps up to take over Bob’s role.

Last week, the Interior Department rolled out its new five-year drilling plan, which was overly expansive and drew criticism both Republicans and Democrats from most coastal states. The plan Thursday suggests opening vast new stretches of federal waters to oil and gas drilling.  The public hearings start next week on Tuesday in Annapolis and will cover every coastal state over the next two months.  More on the action “In the News.”

The Hill returns back to full action this week with budget discussions taking center stage (maybe if Washington can stop talking about Michael Wolff) with a January 19th funding deadline.  We also have important pending trade decisions on solar and steel, as well as action at FERC on the DOE resiliency proposal all expected to see some action this week.  Speaking of DOE, House Energy has a hearing tomorrow on the DOE Mission where I expect there will be plenty of discussion on the FERC/DOE rule.  Among DOE witnesses will be experts like Clearpath’s Rich Powell.   Then, Wednesday, Senate Environment starts up the infrastructure discussion with focus on water resources issues.

This week, API holds its annual State of Energy Address tomorrow while NY City holds its Clean Power Plan “hearing”.  U.S. Chamber head Tom Donohue delivers his annual “State of American Business” address on Wednesday and CSIS hosts former DOE Secretary Moniz on Thursday.

Next week, the Detroit Auto Show starts on Sunday while BPC hosts FERC’s Neil Chatterjee and Cheryl LaFleur and CSIS hosts launch of the International Energy Agency’s World Energy Outlook 2017 on Jan 16th.  Speaking of the 16th, make sure you note that it is my 50th birthday.  Blatantly telling you again so you don’t forget…

In case you missed it last week, we rolled out 10 Top Issues for 2018 in the Update.  Issues include Ethanol, trade, taxes, regs, climate, legal challenges, HFCs, Infrastructure, autonomous vehicles, and electricity markets.

Finally, our good friend and retired energy reporter Gerry Karey has a great new book out called Meanderings: Inventions, Fripperies, Bits, & Bobs.  The book is a collection of blogs and essays that is hilarious and thoughtful.  Check out a review here.

The Consumer Electronics show is underway in Vegas. While you might be looking for the latest phones, AI, VR or games, there is a lot of autonomous/electric vehicle technology that is part of show.  Our friends at SAFE are on the ground there and are happy to keep you up to speed.  Stay up late because ‘Bama-Georgia should be pretty good tonight.  Call with questions.  Best,

Frank Maisano

(202) 828-5864

  1. (202) 997-5932

 

10 Top Issues for 2018

  1. Ethanol and a “deal” – One of the biggest issue last year was the battle over the RFS, RINs and ethanol.  The issues reached the highest levels of the White House where they expressed an interest in finding a win-win resolution that solves compliance problems while preserving the biofuels program.  This may be one of the early issues to see action this year because it continues to impact volume obligations, confirmations and other items, as well as potential legislative action, which is always a heavy lift.
  2. Solar, Steel, other Tariff/Trade issues – The President has demanded tariffs and January will be a key moment for this discussion.   He faces deadline on steel and solar and continues to hear internal pulls from Economic Advisor Gary Cohn and others who see tariffs as a major concern.  On the Solar case, the solar industry and a broad group of opponents that includes retailers, contractors, utilities and conservatives have urged the President to reject tariffs that could harm the entire industry. As well, look for action on the administration’s efforts to rework NAFTA, whose negotiations have dragged into at least the first quarter of this year.  Congress also started to look at the NAFTA impacts on energy which is likely to remain a central topic.
  3. Taxes and more taxes – With the Tax bill passed and in motion, there will be many tax implications in place over 2018.  Some will be very political and some will be below the radar, but we are certain that you will hear about it.  What you will also hear about as we approach the next budget deadline on January 19th is the potential to have a long-promised tax extenders package that includes incentives for biodiesel blenders, fuel cells, small wind, Geothermal Heat Pumps, distributed wind, CHPs and many other small, but innovative technologies.  Senate Finance Chairman Orrin Hatch unveiled a bill containing a smorgasbord of renewable energy credits just before the holidays, and House Chair Kevin Brady has vowed to move this year.
  4. Slowing regulations in all corners – The White House was most aggressive in 2017 pulling the current regulatory regime back from the previous Administration’s overreach.  This effort will remain a key priority in 2018 because it is one place where the Administration remain largely in control of the process.  Among the regulations in the crosshairs include the Clean Power Plan, WOTUS, offshore drilling issues, other climate action, ozone restrictions, well construction for natgas wells and a new approach to enforcing bird death restrictions.  We have experts on all topics so feel free to reach out.
  5. Climate ups and downs – While 2017 focused largely on the withdrawal from the voluntary Paris Accord, the Clean Power Plan repeal/replace, what climate websites were changed and other carping about the new Administration not caring enough about climate, 2018 promises to be focused on much of that and more state issues that form new ideas to reduce emissions.  While a lot of it will be couched in political clouds, these types of initiatives – along with expanded use of natural gas, and renewables in the regular power mix – will actually reduce our emissions.  Already we are beating many of our targets, while Germany and many other Paris signers are struggling to reduce emissions.  And don’t think that progress will stop political attacks or legal actions against the Trump Administration or companies.
  6. Lawsuit Central – Understanding #4 & #5, it seems like more legal battles is a hardy perennial, but in 2018 legal challenges on the climate, regulations will again play a prominent role.  Unlike previous years when Republican AGs like now EPA head Scott Pruitt and WV’s Pat Morrisey led the charge, this year Democrat AGs in Blue states – buoyed by environmental activists – will lead efforts to file suits against the Trump Administration. Lawyers will be busy, including those inside EPA who are already prepping for each fight by being very careful in how they write new rules.
  7. HFC issues and the Kigali Amendment – The Kigali amendment was signed in late 2016 as part of the Montreal Protocol. Its aim is to reduce the hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) used in air conditioners and refrigerators.  Early in 2018, the big news will be whether the administration follows through on statements from late last year where they vowed to fund efforts to implement it and send the amendment to the Senate for a ratification vote.  The Treaty is binding and goes into effect in 2019 since many countries already have ratified it.  The agreement was supported by both industry, environmental and other sustainability groups, and holds China, India and others to binding limits as global AC and refrigerant use grows globally.
  8. Infrastructure – The most important word for 2018 is infrastructure.  Why? Because it is an election year and infrastructure sells in both parties.  The President is expected to unveil a long-awaited statement of infrastructure “principles” soon and some see the push as an opportunity to advance energy and water infrastructure investments. This means pipelines, transmission and other generation assets.  While the larger infrastructure debate will take on many shapes, energy will play a significant role in the form of new pipeline approvals to move new natural gas, export terminals to get it our resources to foreign markets and important generation assets like new nuclear projects, renewables and gas plants.
  9. Emerging Autonomous Vehicle Rules – Last year, autonomous vehicles began to emerge as a new, important issue.  As the technology and regulatory discussion continues and becomes more defined, there will be more details, innovations and exciting changes for 2018.  Our friends at SAFE have been among the leaders on this issue and have an Autonomous Vehicle Task Force with leading experts to help develop an action plan to facilitate the widespread deployment of this transformative technology.
  10. Electricity markets and the Perry plan – FERC faces an early January deadline (delayed from last month) to respond to the Energy Department’s request to propose a rule that would compensate nuclear and coal plants for resiliency. As our friends at Axios point out, it is a wonky, complex issue, but it remains a battle over nuclear and coal versus gas and renewables.  As natgas prices remain low (as expected for 2018), the market challenges for coal and nukes remain a potential problem.  With many political and energy sectors interests on both sides, it will be a key decision for going forward in 2018.

 

FRANKLY SPOKEN

“By proposing to open up nearly the entire OCS for potential oil and gas exploration, the United States can advance the goal of moving from aspiring for energy independence to attaining energy dominance,” said. “This decision could bring unprecedented access to America’s extensive offshore oil and gas resources and allows us to better compete with other oil-rich nations.”

Vincent DeVito, Counselor for Energy Policy at Interior on the Department’s new 5-year plan.  

 

IN THE NEWS

Admin Suggests New Areas in 5-Yr Drilling Plan – The Department of Interior announced the next step for developing the National Outer Continental Shelf Oil and Gas Leasing Program (National OCS Program) for 2019-2024, which proposes to make over 90% of the total OCS acreage and more than 98% of undiscovered, technically recoverable oil and gas resources in federal offshore areas available to consider for future exploration and development. By comparison, the current program puts 94% of the OCS off limits. In addition, the program proposes the largest number of lease sales in U.S. history.

Public Meetings Set – Interior will hold public meetings will take place at locations across the country. Using an open-house format allows participants to arrive any time during the scheduled meeting time and to talk with our team members one-on-one. At the meetings you can ask questions, share information and learn more about the National Program.  The public hearings start next Tuesday and will be in Annapolis, MD (Double Tree by Hilton) and Jackson, MS (Jackson Marriott) on Tuesday January 16th, Richmond, VA (Airport Four Points) on Wednesday January 17th, and Dover, DE (Holiday Inn Downtown) on Thursday January 18th.  Other hearings next week will include hearings in Augusta, ME (Jan 22), Baton Rouge, LA (Jan 22), Anchorage, AK (Jan 23), Concord, NH (Jan 23), Boston, MA (Jan 24), Montgomery, AL (Jan 24) Providence, RI (Jan 25).  Future hearings include Tacoma, WA (Feb 5), Austin, TX (Feb 6), Salem, OR (Feb 6), Tallahassee, FL (Feb 8), Sacramento, CA (Feb 8), Hartford, CT (Feb 13), Columbia, SC (Feb 13), Hamilton, NJ (Feb 14), Albany, NY (Feb 15), Washington, DC (Feb 22), Raleigh, NC (Feb 26) and Atlanta, GA (Feb 28).

Chamber Energy Institutes Commends Expansion – The Chamber’s Global Energy Institute Karen Harbert said the Administration’s Draft Proposed Program unlocks the vast potential of American energy and expands our ability to export oil and gas to our allies around the world. Harbert added the plan is a long-term commitment to securing future US energy and would help cement America’s role as an energy superpower, creating jobs and contributing to the economy.  Harbert: “For decades, our nation has needlessly limited our own ability to harness oil and gas resources. This new plan sets a much different course, allowing far greater access to offshore areas that haven’t been previously accessible using advanced technology to determine where to safely drill.”

Gulf Group Expresses Optimism – Lori LeBlanc, Executive Director of the Gulf Economic Survival Team,

Recognized the new plan as a major sign of optimism for our country’s potential in being the world-leader in energy production. LeBlanc says with increasing OCS access, our country has the opportunity to maximize those natural resources in order to continue producing dependable energy, creating thousands of good-paying jobs and providing immense economic stability for our nation.  “The new plan allows us to maximize America’s abundant OCS oil and gas resources and benefit from the revenues generated by offshore production.”  She added that the Gulf accounts for nearly 20% of our nation’s oil production and contributes over $5 to $8 billion dollars directly to the U.S. Treasury each year — making it the second largest revenue stream for the federal government.”

Ocean Industry Group Praises New PlanNational Ocean Industries Association President Randall Luthi said the new plan is a long anticipated first step towards what could mean more jobs, energy and revenue to the people of the United States.  Luthi said the current Five-Year Program that expires in 2017 included no new access, and put the U.S. far behind many other nations that are actively pursuing offshore oil and natural gas energy development – – particularly in the Atlantic basin and the Arctic.  “The energy resources on the OCS are vital to the nation’s economic prosperity.  Allowing oil and natural gas development in federal waters in the Atlantic alone could result in as many as 280,000 new jobs, $24 billion annually to the economy, $51 billion in government revenue, and the safe production of 1.3 million barrels per day of oil and natural gas.  But frankly, these numbers likely underestimate the potential.

API Welcomes New PlanAPI President and CEO Jack Gerard welcomed the first step in developing a new five-year offshore oil and natural gas leasing program.  Gerard said smart, effective policies, such as prioritizing U.S. potential for expanding natural gas exports will help create jobs here at home and provide energy security to U.S. allies, all while allowing our nation’s energy renaissance to continue benefitting American consumers, workers and the environment. “Developing our abundant offshore energy resources is also a critical part of a forward-looking energy policy, which is why we look forward to working with the administration and Congress on an offshore leasing plan that will fully embrace our nation’s energy potential. Eighty percent of American voters support increased domestic oil and natural gas production, which will help keep energy affordable for consumers, create jobs, and strengthen our national security.  Gerard closed saying it’s important that the next five-year plan includes the ability to explore the resources in the Arctic, Atlantic, and the Eastern Gulf of Mexico, which would spur investment and economic activity, could create thousands of jobs, and provide billions in government revenue.

NatGas Setting Records – Over the past few weeks with the cold temps, the US has been setting natural gas use records.  AGA has been doing some analysis of it on their blog and in the news. Here is a post from last week about how January 1 set the all-time record for single-day gas consumption and we expect it to be beat in the days since.   There will be much more analysis on the next weeks, looking at the factors behind this trend.  More on the projections about Winter here.

Wind Cranking It Out In Cold, Too – The wind industry is doing well in the cold as well. Wind output is up and was strongest during the coldest part last Thursday and Friday, as is typical with extreme weather events.  Consider PJM, where wind output from January 1st to 4th averaged over 3,500MW, 40% above average wind production in January 2016. Further, wind energy generation exceeded forecasts in MISO and PJM on Thursday, January 4. In late 2017, wind power even broke output records in several regions.

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

House Energy Panel to Look at DOE Mission – The House Energy & Commerce Panel on Energy will hold a hearing tomorrow at 10:00 a.m. in 2123 Rayburn looking at DOE Modernization and advancing its mission for national, economic and energy security.  Witnesses will include DOE’s Dan Brouillette, Science office head Paul Dabbar, Energy Undersecretary Mark Menezes and NNSA head Frank Klotz, as well as CSIS’s Sarah Ladislaw, ClearPath’s Rich Powell, Don Levy of UChicago, former EERE head and Stanford Steyer-Taylor Director Dan Reicher, Oak Ridge’s Tom Zacharia and Lilly Research’s Steve Wasserman.

Wilson to Look at Taiwan Energy – The Wilson Center holds a discussion tomorrow at 10:00 a.m. on the political and social, as well as economic ramifications of the options Taipei has to meet its expansive energy needs, and how its decisions may impact Taiwan’s foreign policy.

API’s Annual State of Energy Address – API holds its annual State of Energy Address in the Atrium Ballroom of the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center.  The luncheon starts tomorrow at 12:00 Noon with a CEO Jack Gerard’s speech at 12:30 p.m. and a reporter briefing at 1:15 p.m.

NY to Host CPP Meeting for EPA Comments – The New York AG Eric Schneiderman holds a meeting tomorrow afternoon to provide public comments to EPA on repealing the Clean Power Plan at The New School in NYC.  Schneiderman is calling it a “people’s hearing” 1) as if the residents and miners of WV are not people and 2) certainly most New Yorkers are just regular folks Like everyone else.  My guess it will be very entertaining but not all that valuable to EPA.

Wilson Forum to Look at Taiwan Energy Issues – The Woodrow Wilson Center holds a discussion tomorrow at 10:00 a.m. looking at the political and social, as well as economic ramifications of the options Taipei has to meet its expansive energy needs, and how its decisions may impact Taiwan’s foreign policy.

Hopper, Honorable to Headline WCEE Event – The Women’s Council on Energy and the Environment (WCEE) will hold a reception at Dentons tomorrow 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.

WRI Outlines Stories to Watch – On Wednesday at 9:00 a.m., the World Resources Institute hosts in 15th annual Stories to Watch event.  The event is for policymakers, business leaders and media in Washington, DC, and around the world.  Dr. Andrew Steer, WRI President & CEO, will share his insights on the big stories in the environment and international development in the coming year. In this turbulent time, he will explore global trends and emerging issues related to economics, climate change, energy markets, forests, water, security issues and more.

Chamber to Discuss State of American Business – On Wednesday at 9:30 a.m., U.S. Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Thomas J. Donohue will deliver his annual “State of American Business” address, highlighting the emerging opportunities and top challenges facing the business community in the coming year – and beyond. Donohue will also introduce the Chamber’s 2018 policy agenda. Following his remarks, Donohue and Neil Bradley, U.S. Chamber senior vice president and chief policy officer, will participate in a press conference.

Senate Enviro to Look at Water Infrastructure – The Senate Environment Committee hold a hearing Wednesday at 10:00 a.m. on America’s water infrastructure needs and challenges.  Witnesses

CSIS to Host Moniz – On Thursday at 4:00 p.m., CSIS holds a discussion with Ernest J. Moniz, the co-chair and CEO of NTI and former U.S. Secretary of Energy. He will provide remarks on the role of nuclear weapons in today’s increasingly dangerous global security environment, which will be followed by a discussion with John Hamre, president and CEO of CSIS.

IN THE FUTURE

Detroit Auto Show Launches – The North American International Auto Show runs from Saturday to January 28th and serves as the global stage for companies to debut brand-defining vehicles and industry-shaping announcements.  Press Days start on Sunday 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.

BPC to Host LaFleur, Chatterjee – Next Tuesday, January 16th at 10:00 a.m., the Bipartisan Policy Center hosts FERC Commissioners Neil Chatterjee and Cheryl LaFleur 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 attributes. FERC is expected to take action on the proposal by January 10.

Heritage to Look at NAFTA, Trade Issues – Next Tuesday, January 16th at 12:00 p.m., the Heritage Foundation hosts a forum on how enhancing energy trade with Canada and Mexico will result in more jobs and affordable power for American households and help achieve the Trump Administration’s goal of energy dominance.  Following efforts to modernize NAFTA, opportunities abound for one commonsense policy area that should be preserved and improved: energy. Canada and Mexico are two of America’s most important trade partners in energy markets. Experts on the panel include Bryan Riley, who heads NTU’s Free Trade Initiative; API International Policy advisor Aaron Padilla, Senior Advisor and Daniel Fine of the New Mexico Center for Energy Policy.  Heritage’s Nick Loris moderates.

World Energy Outlook Set For Launch – Next Tuesday 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.

Interior to Start Public Hearings on 5-Yr Plan – The Interior Department will start a series of public hearings starting next Tuesday to discuss the interior Department’s expanded five-year drilling plan.  Interior will hold meetings in Annapolis, MD (Double Tree by Hilton) and Jackson, MS (Jackson Marriott) on Tuesday January 16th, Richmond, VA (Airport Four Points) on Wednesday January 17th, and Dover, DE (Holiday Inn Downtown) on Thursday January 18th.  Other meetings will include hearings in Augusta, ME (Jan 22), Baton Rouge, LA (Jan 22), Anchorage, AK (Jan 23), Concord, NH (Jan 23), Boston, MA (Jan 24), Montgomery, AL (Jan 24) Providence, RI (Jan 25), Tacoma, WA (Feb 5), Austin, TX (Feb 6), Salem, OR (Feb 6), Tallahassee, FL (Feb 8), Sacramento, CA (Feb 8), Hartford, CT (Feb 13), Columbia, SC (Feb 13), Hamilton, NJ (Feb 14), Albany, NY (Feb 15), Washington, DC (Feb 22), Raleigh, NC (Feb 26) and Atlanta, GA (Feb 28).

Smart Cities Summit Set in Chicago – The 2nd annual Smart Cities International Symposium and Exhibition will be held on January 17th and 18th in Chicago.  The event brings together municipal professionals and thought leaders to explore technology advances and key lessons to date in achieving the Smart City vision.

USEA to Hosts State of Energy Forum – The US Energy Assn will hold its 14th annual State of the Energy Industry Forum on Thursday January 18th at the National Press Club.  The event usually coincides with the U.S. State of the Union Address and is widely regarded as one of USEA’s premier events.  This annual forum brings together leading executives from the most influential and active energy trade associations to present their views, exchange ideas and engage in dialogue on major cross cutting issues facing the energy industry for the year.

Forum to Look at Report on Japan Energy – On Thursday January 18th at 2:00 p.m., the CSIS Energy & National Security Program will host a forum with Masakazu Toyoda, Chairman and CEO of the Institute of Energy Economics, Japan (IEEJ) for a presentation of the IEEJ’s Energy Outlook 2018, a report on the future of global energy. The 2018 edition of the outlook broadens its analysis out to 2050.  The outlook finds, despite large improvements in energy efficiency and intensity, global energy demand continues to increase up to 2050; most of this growth comes from non-OECD Asia. Energy-related CO2 emissions in the Advanced Technology Scenario decline after the 2020s but are still very far from reaching half of current levels by 2050. Two-thirds of total reductions are from electricity-related technologies, including non-fossil power, thermal power with CCS, and energy efficiency in power supply/demand.

Hopper to Headline WI Clean Energy Event – SEIA’s CEO Abigail Hopper, clean energy communications expert Jane Bloch, utility executives and industry experts will all be featured at RENEW Wisconsin’s 7th Annual Renewable Energy Summit on Thursday January 18th in Madison.

RFF Book Event Highlights Raimi’s Fracking Debate – Resources for the Future will hold a book event on the evening of Thursday January 18th to discuss Daniel Raimi’s book on hydraulic fracturing.  Despite the heated debate over “fracking,” neither side has a monopoly on the facts. Raimi’s The Fracking Debate gives a balanced and accessible view of oil and gas development, clearly and thoroughly explaining the key issues surrounding the shale revolution.  The book answers many questions and highlights stories of the people and communities affected by the shale revolution, for better and for worse.  The book provides evidence and context that have so frequently been missing from the national discussion of the future of oil and gas production, offering readers the tools to make sense of this critical issue.

Energy Economists Talk Gas, Batteries – On Friday January 19th, the US Assn of Energy Economists hosts its January luncheon looking at the Natural gas and battery revolutions.  The event will feature former AGA exec Dr. Benjamin Schlesinger. The shale revolution has made U.S. natural gas plentiful and cheap.  As battery prices fall, affordable storage could bridge the gap between renewables and around the clock reliability in power generation.  In this presentation, Dr. Schlesinger will explore the emerging competitive flash-points, and discuss from his work, gas markets that are at risk from a battery revolution, and vice versa.  He will discuss the key price cross-overs, how the timing might unfold, and think long-term about how low-cost batteries could ultimately affect the future of gas markets.

BPC to Focus on Infrastructure –On Monday January 22nd at 10:00 a.m., the Bipartisan Policy Center will launch the BPC Infrastructure Lab and “3I” Series—Infrastructure Ideas and Innovations. 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.

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.

CSIS to Host Canada Energy Discussion – The CSIS Energy and National Security Program will host a presentation on January 23rd 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.

Heritage to Look at Solar Trade Case – Heritage will hold a forum on solar tariff issues on Tuesday January 23rd at Noon.  The event will feature conservative experts, solar companies and many outside groups impacted by higher tariffs.

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.

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.

Energy Update: 1/2/18

Friends,

Welcome to 2018 and back to the action… ALMOST.  Don’t expect we’ll see much going on in this short week, but the Senate does return tomorrow to swear in new members Tina Smith and Doug Jones.

With it being the first week of the New Year, we are rolling out our top 10 Issues for 2018.   Issues include Ethanol, trade, taxes, regs, climate, legal challenges, HFCs, Infrastructure, autonomous vehicles, and electricity markets.

One issue that is important but I didn’t mention is rising crude prices. My friends at Platts did touch on that issue with former EIA head Adam Sieminski and others though in their weekly Podcast. These experts see prices ending 2018 as low as $52/b and as high as $70/b, but a number of factors could significantly alter their path, from OPEC compliance to oil demand in Asia to US trade policy.  My friends at SAFE are always focused on this issue (you can talk to Leslie Hayward) or Kevin Book at ClearView, has also weighed in on this topic.

Mark your calendar for events starting next week, including API holding its annual State of Energy Address and the NY City Clean Power Plan “hearing” next Tuesday, CSIS hosting former DOE Secretary Moniz on Thursday January 11th, the Detroit Auto Show starting January 14th and BPC hosts FERC’s Neil Chatterjee and Cheryl LaFleur, while CSIS hosts launch of the International Energy Agency’s World Energy Outlook 2017 on Jan 16th.  Speaking of the 16th, make sure you note that it is my 50th birthday.  Blatantly telling you now because I am accepting presents all month…

Finally, I hope you noticed the super cool super moon last night/this morning.  I knew it was out there but I really didn’t get the full impact until I was driving up Massachusetts Avenue this morning and saw it perched over Washington DC.  Pretty awesome.  Call with questions.  Best,

 

Frank Maisano

(202) 828-5864

(202) 997-5932

 

The Top Issues for 2018

  1. Ethanol and a “deal” – One of the biggest issue last year was the battle over the RFS, RINs and ethanol.  The issues reached the highest levels of the White House where they expressed an interest in finding a win-win resolution that solves compliance problems while preserving the biofuels program.  This may be one of the early issues to see action this year because it continues to impact volume obligations, confirmations and other items, as well as potential legislative action, which is always a heavy lift.
  2. Solar, Steel, other Tariff/Trade issues – The President has demanded tariffs and January will be a key moment for this discussion.   He faces deadline on steel and solar and continues to hear internal pulls from Economic Advisor Gary Cohn and others who see tariffs as a major concern.  On the Solar case, the solar industry and a broad group of opponents that includes retailers, contractors, utilities and conservatives have urged the President to reject tariffs that could harm the entire industry. As well, look for action on the administration’s efforts to rework NAFTA, whose negotiations have dragged into at least the first quarter of this year.  Congress also started to look at the NAFTA impacts on energy which is likely to remain a central topic.
  3. Taxes and more taxes – With the Tax bill passed and in motion, there will be many tax implications in place over 2018.  Some will be very political and some will be below the radar, but we are certain that you will hear about it.  What you will also hear about as we approach the next budget deadline on January 19th is the potential to have a long-promised tax extenders package that includes incentives for biodiesel blenders, fuel cells, small wind, Geothermal Heat Pumps, distributed wind, CHPs and many other small, but innovative technologies.  Senate Finance Chairman Orrin Hatch unveiled a bill containing a smorgasbord of renewable energy credits just before the holidays, and House Chair Kevin Brady has vowed to move this year.
  4. Slowing regulations in all corners – The White House was most aggressive in 2017 pulling the current regulatory regime back from the previous Administration’s overreach.  This effort will remain a key priority in 2018 because it is one place where the Administration remain largely in control of the process.  Among the regulations in the crosshairs include the Clean Power Plan, WOTUS, offshore drilling issues, other climate action, ozone restrictions, well construction for natgas wells and a new approach to enforcing bird death restrictions.  We have experts on all topics so feel free to reach out.
  5. Climate ups and downs – While 2017 focused largely on the withdrawal from the voluntary Paris Accord, the Clean Power Plan repeal/replace, what climate websites were changed and other carping about the new Administration not caring enough about climate, 2018 promises to be focused on much of that and more state issues that form new ideas to reduce emissions.  While a lot of it will be couched in political clouds, these types of initiatives – along with expanded use of natural gas, and renewables in the regular power mix – will actually reduce our emissions.  Already we are beating many of our targets, while Germany and many other Paris signers are struggling to reduce emissions.  And don’t think that progress will stop political attacks or legal actions against the Trump Administration or companies.
  6. Lawsuit Central – Understanding #4 & #5, it seems like more legal battles is a hardy perennial, but in 2018 legal challenges on the climate, regulations will again play a prominent role.  Unlike previous years when Republican AGs like now EPA head Scott Pruitt and WV’s Pat Morrisey led the charge, this year Democrat AGs in Blue states – buoyed by environmental activists – will lead efforts to file suits against the Trump Administration. Lawyers will be busy, including those inside EPA who are already prepping for each fight by being very careful in how they write new rules.
  7. HFC issues and the Kigali Amendment – The Kigali amendment was signed in late 2016 as part of the Montreal Protocol. Its aim is to reduce the hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) used in air conditioners and refrigerators.  Early in 2018, the big news will be whether the administration follows through on statements from late last year where they vowed to fund efforts to implement it and send the amendment to the Senate for a ratification vote.  The Treaty is binding and goes into effect in 2019 since many countries already have ratified it.  The agreement was supported by both industry, environmental and other sustainability groups, and holds China, India and others to binding limits as global AC and refrigerant use grows globally.
  8. Infrastructure – The most important word for 2018 is infrastructure.  Why? Because it is an election year and infrastructure sells in both parties.  The President is expected to unveil a long-awaited statement of infrastructure “principles” soon and some see the push as an opportunity to advance energy and water infrastructure investments. This means pipelines, transmission and other generation assets.  While the larger infrastructure debate will take on many shapes, energy will play a significant role in the form of new pipeline approvals to move new natural gas, export terminals to get it our resources to foreign markets and important generation assets like new nuclear projects, renewables and gas plants.
  9. Emerging Autonomous Vehicle Rules – Last year, autonomous vehicles began to emerge as a new, important issue.  As the technology and regulatory discussion continues and becomes more defined, there will be more details, innovations and exciting changes for 2018.  Our friends at SAFE have been among the leaders on this issue and have an Autonomous Vehicle Task Force with leading experts to help develop an action plan to facilitate the widespread deployment of this transformative technology.
  10. Electricity markets and the Perry plan – FERC faces an early January deadline (delayed from last month) to respond to the Energy Department’s request to propose a rule that would compensate nuclear and coal plants for resiliency. As our friends at Axios point out, it is a wonky, complex issue, but it remains a battle over nuclear and coal versus gas and renewables.  As natgas prices remain low (as expected for 2018), the market challenges for coal and nukes remain a potential problem.  With many political and energy sectors interests on both sides, it will be a key decision for going forward in 2018.

 

FRANKLY SPOKEN

“It’s a good context to revisit things like siting, permitting, certainly some of the export terminal issues.”

Rep. Kevin Cramer talking Infrastructure to POLITICO.

 

IN THE NEWS

EIA talking Year-end Oil – Last week,  the U.S. Energy Information Administration said that after decreasing nearly 20% in the first half of 2017, the spot energy index in the Standard and Poor’s (S&P) Goldman Sachs Commodity Index (GSCI) ended 2017 16% higher than the beginning of the year. Higher crude oil and petroleum product prices in the second half of 2017 were responsible for the increase in the S&P GSCI energy index.  EIA also reported that total U.S. production was slightly over 9.75 million barrels per day in the week ending December 22nd.  Our friends at Axios point out that this is actually 35,000 barrels per day less than the prior-week average, signaling the first weekly dip since Hurricane Nate took a bunch of Gulf of Mexico production temporarily offline in mid-October.

 

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

Senate Returns, Jones, Smith Sworn in – The Senate returns for the second session of the 115th Congress on Wednesday when they will swear in new Alabama Sen. Doug Jones and Minnesota LG Tina Smith. Smith is replacing Sen. Franken who resigns today and Jones defeated Roy Moore to give Democrats a win to replace AG Jeff Sessions.  The House returns next Monday.

IN THE FUTURE

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

API’s Annual State of Energy Address – On January 9th, API holds its annual State of Energy Address in the Atrium Ballroom of the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center.  The luncheon starts at 12:00 Noon with a CEO Jack Gerard’s speech at 12:30 p.m. and a reporter briefing at 1:15 p.m.

NY to Host CPP Meeting for EPA Comments – On January 9th, New York AG Eric Schneiderman holds a meeting to provide public comments to EPA on repealing the Clean Power Plan at The New School in NYC.  Schneiderman is calling it a “people’s hearing” 1) as if the residents and miners of WV are not people and 2) certainly most New Yorkers are just regular folks Like everyone else.  My guess it will be very entertaining but not all that valuable to EPA.

Wilson Forum to Look at Taiwan Energy Issues – The Woodrow Wilson Center holds a discussion on next Tuesday at 10:00 a.m. looking at the political and social, as well as economic ramifications of the options Taipei has to meet its expansive energy needs, and how its decisions may impact Taiwan’s foreign policy.

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.

WRI Outlines Stories to Watch – On Wednesday, January 10th at 9:00 a.m., the World Resources Institute hosts in 15th annual Stories to Watch event.  The event is for policymakers, business leaders and media in Washington, DC, and around the world.  Dr. Andrew Steer, WRI President & CEO, will share his insights on the big stories in the environment and international development in the coming year. In this turbulent time, he will explore global trends and emerging issues related to economics, climate change, energy markets, forests, water, security issues and more.

CSIS to Host Moniz – On Thursday, January 11th at 4:00 p.m., CSIS holds a discussion with Ernest J. Moniz, the co-chair and CEO of NTI and former U.S. Secretary of Energy. He will provide remarks on the role of nuclear weapons in today’s increasingly dangerous global security environment, which will be followed by a discussion with John Hamre, president and CEO of CSIS.

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.

BPC to Host LaFleur, Chatterjee – On Tuesday, January 16th at 10:00 a.m., the Bipartisan Policy Center hosts FERC Commissioners Neil Chatterjee and Cheryl LaFleur 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 attributes. FERC is expected to take action on the proposal by January 10.

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.

CSIS to Host Canada Energy Discussion – The CSIS Energy and National Security Program will host a presentation on January 23rd 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.

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.

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.

Energy Update: Week of 10/30

Friends,

Now that was a crazy World Series game last night…At two separate occasions, I thought the Dodgers had the game well in hand.   Welcome to Halloween week.  As many of you know, I have finished a batch my “annual treat” – home-made, uniquely-flavored pumpkin seeds.  This year so far: the usual Old Bay Special and a Cool Ranch.  I plan another round soon, maybe Buffalo-wing Flavor and Maple Bacon.  I must say with sadness that this is the first year we won’t be trick-or-treating with Adam and Hannah gone and Olivia now too “high school” cool.  The only ones who suffer are me and my colleagues who have grown used to the largesse of Snickers, M&Ms, etc…

Another big week on the Solar Tariff front.  Not only did USTR announce a public comment process with a hearing on Dec 6th, we will get a vote tomorrow at the ITC on remedy issues.  While we won’t expect to see the full details until November 13th, there will be action.  Our friends at SEIA will be all over it, as will our group of end users in the Energy Trade Action Coalition.  On Thursday, the experts at GTM will hold a webinar to help make some sense of it all.  Finally, the Wall Street Journal editorial page weighed in again on the topic saying “the solar industry doesn’t deserve punishing tariffs.”

On Capitol Hill, the ethanol battle wages on after it appeared the ethanol advocates scored.  But late last week, nine senators demanded a meeting with the President on RFS reform.  The Washington Post’s Energy 202 had a great synopsis of the action as of Friday and today Axios picks up new developments including a new ad campaign run by unions at NE Refineries.  Always happy to help you find sources on this one as it looks to be ripe for another Red-team/Blue-team discussion at EPA itself.  Or maybe it should be called a Black team/Maize Team exercise.

As for hearings, tomorrow Senate Energy discusses building efficiency with AHRI member Emerson and DOE’s Dan Simmons and Wednesday, Senate Commerce hosts nominees like Oklahoma Rep. and NASA appointee James Bridenstine (and other nominees from Transportation and the Consumer Product Safety Commission).  Our colleague Ed Krenik is all over the CPSC nominee issues if you or your colleagues need any additional Information.  Finally, on Thursday, Senate Energy meets to consider development in ANWR’s 1.5-million-acre coastal plain.

This week on the Hill is also TAX WEEK, with House Republicans unveiling details of their tax code overhaul plan on Wednesday. Again, our friends at Axios discussed some of the energy implications and we’ll soon find out how Congress intends to solve its revenue Rubik’s cube, as well as whose ox will be gored to make the math work. With the rate cut candy already on the table, it’s time to see what the veggies look like.  Our tax expert colleague Liam Donovan (202-828-5847, liam.donovan@bracewell.com) is in the middle of the discussion should you or your colleagues on the case need insights, background and quotes.

Around DC, the Bipartisan Policy Council starts thing off tomorrow with several ex FERC Commissioners, as well as experts like our friend Rich Powell of Clearpath talking about the recent developments in the DOE-FERC grid issue.  And on Wednesday, the National Science Foundation holds a meeting of its Large Scale Networking-Middleware and Grid Interagency Coordination Team.

Speaking of Powell, check out his great video released late last week that discusses the widely-popular and successful federal advanced energy agency now has its sights set on a new potential breakthrough: next-generation nuclear technologies, the Energy Department’s ARPA-E.  Powell explains how this new development is part of ARPA-E’s venture capitalist approach to addressing some of the biggest and toughest programs in the energy space.

Finally, I have added our Bracewell Podcast, the Lobby Shop, to the update, hoping you will check it out each week like you do the Update.  It is often fun, great Information on topics of the day.  This week, the podcast focuses on tax reform, NAFTA, Congressional retirements, the state of the GOP and Midterm elections.  See the various links below…

COP 23 Starts next Monday in Germany…Coincidently, the World Meteorological Organization released its latest report on GHGs which shoes that world CO2 levels are at their highest level ever.  Most interesting because the US (while not in Paris now) is actually reducing its GHGs because of renewables and natgas…Call with questions.

 

Best,

Frank Maisano

(202) 828-5864

  1. (202) 997-5932

 

THIS WEEK’S LOBBY SHOP

This week’s new episode of The Lobby Shop is live on iTunes, SoundCloud, and now Google Play Music!  This means that Android users can open their built-in “Music” app to listen and subscribe.  The episode is in the Friday Five format with Liam and Josh hosting discussions on tax reform, NAFTA, Congressional retirements, the state of the GOP and Midterm elections.  Also, we’ve created an email address for listeners to reach out with topic suggestions, feedback, etc. – thelobbyshop@policyres.com.  Check it out!

FRANKLY SPOKEN

“This combination represents a transformative opportunity to create the leading integrated power company in the United States. Combining Vistra Energy’s leading retail and commercial operations with Dynegy’s leading CCGT fleet and geographically diverse portfolio is expected to create a company with significant earnings diversification and scale.”

Vistra Energy CEO Curt Morgan, announcing the merger of Dynegy and Vistra.

“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.

Former EPA Air Office head and Bracewell attorney Jeff Holmstead on Senate Environment Committee approval of EPA nominees including his former deputy Bill Wehrum.

 

IN THE NEWS

Vistra, Dynegy Merging – Vistra Energy, the parent company for TXU Energy and Luminant, and Dynegy Inc. announced today the companies will merge with Dynegy moving into Vistra Energy.  The move is a tax-free, all-stock transaction, creating the leading integrated power company across the key competitive US power markets.  The combined company is projected to have a market cap in excess of $10 billion and an enterprise value greater than $20 billion. The combination of Dynegy’s generation capacity and existing retail footprint with Vistra Energy’s integrated ERCOT model is expected to create the lowest-cost integrated power company in the industry and to position it as the leading integrated retail and generation platform throughout key competitive US power markets. Together with Dynegy, Vistra Energy will serve approximately 240,000 commercial and industrial (C&I) customers and 2.7 million residential customers in five top retail states, with estimated retail sales of 75 terawatt (TWh) hours in 2018. The combined company will also own approximately 40 GW of installed generation capacity. Of that capacity, more than 60% is natural gas-fueled, and 84% is in the ERCOT, PJM, and ISO-NE competitive power markets.

Wehrum, Other Noms Approved – The Senate Environment Committee today narrowly approved several EPA and other nominees, including EPA air office head Bill Wehrum and chemical office head Michael Dourson.  Other nominees were given the green light with a voice vote: Matthew Leopold to be EPA’s general counsel; David Ross to run EPA’s water office; Jeff Baran’s re-nomination to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission; and Paul Trombino to head the Federal Highway Administration.

US Offshore Wind Momentum Sparks Competition Among State Leaders, Businesses – Close to 1,000 business leaders, academics, environmental specialists, and high-ranking officials from around the world gathered in New York last week for the AWEA’s Offshore WINDPOWER Conference. The conference comes at a time when the offshore wind industry is gaining traction in the U.S., fueled by the desire of many states and companies to scale up the industry and harness a new job-creating ocean energy resource.  The economic development potential of offshore wind can generate benefits nationwide. There are 17 U.S. offshore wind projects in various stages of development off the East and West Coasts as well as the Great Lakes, representing over 9,100 MW of capacity. And developing an American offshore wind manufacturing supply chain, factory jobs and shipbuilding further expands the scope of opportunity.

Statoil Names NY Project – The first major announcement from the conference was from Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul’s opening remarks when she said she was proud Statoil named its NY project “Empire Wind.” The project site is located off the southern coast of Long Island, New York.  The 79,350 acre site, secured by Statoil in a federal auction in December 2016, has the potential to generate up to 1GW of offshore wind power, making it a key part of New York State’s plan to deploy renewable energy sources to meet the state’s electricity needs. Statoil also announced the launch of the Empire Wind website www.empirewind.com where members of the public can obtain information on the project and register to receive updates. Statoil is in the early stages of developing the offshore wind farm with the potential to provide New York City and Long Island with a significant, long-term source of renewable electricity.  The Empire Wind project team is currently conducting an extensive evaluation process, gathering detailed information about the seabed conditions, grid connection options and wind resources characteristic to the area.

Several Key Manufacturing Announcements Also Made – Leading offshore wind turbine manufacturers General Electric, MHI Vestas, and Siemens Gamesa were well represented at the conference. MHI Vestas announced a $35 million investment to test their most powerful 9.5 MW offshore wind turbines at Clemson University in South Carolina, a significant step that signals confidence in the U.S. market. Steel foundations for Deepwater Wind’s Block Island Wind Farm, the first U.S. offshore wind project, were made-in-America by Gulf Island Fabrication. And another Gulf Coast-based company, Zentech Inc., recently announced plans to build the first U.S. offshore wind installation vessel.

AWEA Also Announced 3Q Capacity Growth – In its third quarter report, AWEA said US had wind farms with a combined capacity of 29,634 megawatts under various stages of development at the end of September.  It marks a 27% increase year-over-year and the biggest quarterly pipeline of projects under construction and in advanced development since the American Wind Energy Association began tracking the statistic in Q1 2016. The AWEA Market Report provides a snapshot view of U.S. wind industry activity and trends, including new wind capacity installed, wind projects under construction and in advanced development, along with new power purchase agreements signed and project acquisition activity.

BLS Says Solar, Wind Jobs will See Largest Growth – Speaking of capacity and jobs, new jobs data from the Bureau of Labor statistics shows that jobs in solar and wind are projected to grow fastest over the coming decade. Employment for solar installers and wind turbine technicians is expected to roughly double.  Solar leads the way with expected growth of 105% while wind jobs growth will grow by 96%.  See more charts and info here.

USTR to Take Comment on Solar Tariff – The United States Trade Representative (USTR) has announced they will take comments on the solar tariff recommendations expected in November from the US International Trade Commission (ITC).  ITC has determined that certain crystalline silicon photovoltaic (CSPV) cells (whether or not partially or fully assembled into other products) are causing of injury, or the threat thereof, to the domestic industry.  The Commission will make a recommendation of a safeguard measure for the President to apply. USTR’s Trade Policy Staff Committee (TPSC) starting a process so that, once the ITC makes its recommendation, domestic producers, importers, exporters, and other interested parties may submit their views and evidence on the appropriateness of the recommended safeguard measure and whether it would be in the public interest. USTR will hold a public hearing on December 6th and will take written comments until November 20th.

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

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 today 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 – Today 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.

Atlantic Council to Host Climate Forum – Tomorrow at 9:00 a.m., the Atlantic Council’s Global Energy Center and the Future Europe Initiative and the Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany host a conversation about the current state of US climate action, as well as the transatlantic relationship more broadly. The expert panel will also discuss the challenges and opportunities of climate finance and overall economic imperatives and benefits of climate action. Panelists include former EPA official and MDE head Ben Grumbles, Dennis Tänzler of Adelphi and DC Environment head Tommy Wells.

BPC to Discuss Grid Options – The Bipartisan Policy Center will hold a forum tomorrow 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.

Senate Commerce Hosts CSPC, NASA, NOAA Nominees – The Senate Commerce Committee will hold two hearings tomorrow and Wednesday to hear from nominees at NASA, NOAA, the Department of Transportation and the Consumer Product Safety Commission. The first hearing tomorrow at 10:00 a.m. features Transportation nominees former Rep. Lynn Westmoreland and Diana Furchtgott-Roth, as well as Bruce Landsberg and Raymond Martinez.  Wednesday features NASA’s Bridenstine, CSPC’s Dana Baiocco and NOAA’s Neil Jacobs.

Senate Energy to Look at Efficiency in Buildings – The Senate Energy Committee will hold a hearing tomorrow to examine new efficiency opportunities provided by advanced building management and control systems.  Witnesses will include DOE’s Dan Simmons, Pacific Northwest NL’s Jud Virden, Southern‘s Tracy West, Bruno Grunau of the Cold Climate Housing Research Center and John Wallace of Emerson’s Commercial and Residential Solutions.

Forum to Look at Global Energy Markets – The Daniel Morgan Graduate School of National Security holds a forum at 11:00 a.m. tomorrow on the geopolitics of energy and the nexus of Russia, Saudi Arabia and the global oil market. The energy geopolitics of Russia and the Mideast have changed considerably since the lavish years of the mid to late 2000s, to the more recent, leaner years of lower global oil prices. The panel of military and business experts will examine some of the recent consequences of the new reality.

Forum to Look at SE Renewables – Infocast’s Southeast Renewable Energy 2017 is being held in Atlanta at the Downtown Hilton on Wednesday through Friday.  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.

House Science Look sat Low Does Radiation Research – The House Science Committee will convene a hearing Wednesday at 10:00 a.m. on the future of low-dose radiation research.  Witnesses include GAO’s John Neumann, Northwestern University’s Dr. Gayle Woloschak and Dr. James Brink of the Harvard Medical School and radiologist-in-chief at Massachusetts General Hospital.

Wilson to Look at MENA Region Energy, Infrastructure – On Wednesday at 10:00 a.m., the Wilson Center will hold a forum looking at the Middle East North Africa (MENA) region.  Experts will discuss fulfilling political, economic, and security objectives. Infrastructure investment decisions being made today will largely determine the region’s future vulnerability and should be informed by a comprehensive understanding of the region’s risk profile. MENA faces growing risks of instability and is highly vulnerable to climate impacts, food, and oil price shocks. Development strategies need to focus more strongly on building economic, climate, and social resilience alongside broader-based economic growth.

Expert to Discuss Financing EE Programs in New Markets – On Wednesday 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 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 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.

ELI to Host Women in Energy Forum – The Environmental Law Institute and WilmerHale are co-sponsoring a conference featuring women thought leaders in energy and infrastructure on Thursday. This one-day event will provide a forum for discussions on policy and legal issues impacting the energy industry, as well as an exchange of ideas for powering the future of our nation’s infrastructure development. The keynote speaker for the conference will be Senate Energy Chair Lisa Murkowski.  Former US Trade Representative, Ambassador Charlene Barshefsky will also lead a session featuring a discussion on US Energy Dominance on the World Economic Stage.  Speakers include Interior Acting Assistant Secretary for Lands and Minerals Management Kate MacGregor, OMB’s Angie Colamaria, API’s Stacy Linden, Amanda Neely of Sen. Portman’s Deputy Chief Counsel at US Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, Virginia Secretary of Natural Resources Molly Ward, Dominion’s Ann Loomis, former Maine PUC Commissioner Carlisle McLean, and Interior’s Associate Solicitor Karen Hawbecker.

Senate Energy Tackles ANWR – After a 12-year delay, the Senate Energy Committee returns to ANWR in a hearing on Thursday at 10:00 a.m. to consider development of the 1.5-million-acre coastal plain.

GTM to Host Solar Outlook Under Tariff – With the US International Trade Commission (ITC) set to vote on recommended safeguards for U.S. domestic solar manufacturing on October 31, GTM Research’s analyst team will hold a webinar on Thursday at 2:00 p.m. as they dissect the USITC’s vote and provide their immediate reactions to what the future of US solar under recommended remedies might hold.  GTM’s Shayle Kann, MJ Shaio and Cory Honeyman will tackle the subject.

Whitehouse to Appear at AU – American University’s School of International Service hosts the 2017 Nancy Weiser Ignatius Lecture on the Environment, featuring keynote remarks from U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse on Thursday at 6:00 p.m.

GWU Energy Conference Set – The Energy Club at George Washington U, the GW Net Impact Chapter, and the F. David Fowler Career Center holds the GW Energy Conference 2017 on Friday.  The conference will begin in the morning with registration and breakfast, followed by opening remarks and a keynote speaker. After the keynote speech, there will be two panels and a networking lunch. Each panel will have a moderator and 4-5 energy professionals encompassing a wide range of industry experience.  The first panel will examine the new U.S. Administration’s energy plan and its implications for the energy sector, with a focus on non-renewables.  The second panel will discuss the viability of a 100% U.S. renewable energy economy by the year 2050, considering the current political climate, effects on the environment, grid capacity, and job and skill considerations for the future workforce, among other factors.

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 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 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.

IN THE FUTURE

Forum to Look at Energy Trends – Next Monday, the German Marshall Fund of the United States hold a conference that will examine energy trends through three different lenses. The first session will examine the recent efforts, supported by the U.S. and the EU, to reform energy sectors in Black Sea states, notably but not exclusively in Ukraine and Georgia. Second, a panel of experts will discuss the ever-shifting energy politics of the broader Eurasia region, from Central Asia to the Black Sea and beyond. Finally, the conference will feature keynote remarks by Ambassador Mary Warlick, Acting Envoy and Coordinator for International Energy Affairs, Bureau of Energy Resources.

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.

Climate Change Meeting Set for Bonn – The next UN climate change conference is scheduled to be held starting next week, November 6th and run through November 17th in Bonn, Germany, which is home to the climate change secretariat and 18 other UN agencies that will be hosting the conference.  Presided over by the government of Fiji, COP 23 is slated to be a “working COP”, as negotiators continue to develop the Paris rulebook—the rules and working processes that will underpin the Paris Agreement’s implementation. With respect to the rulebook, no major decisions are expected to be made before 2018.

House Energy Panel to Look at ENERGY STAR – The House Energy Committee will look at ENERGY STAR and other efficiency programs next week on Tuesday.  Expects experts from enviro groups, AHRI and other sustainability groups to weigh in.

NEI’s Korsnick Headlines Stimson Forum – The Stimson Center hosts a forum next Tuesday at 5:00 p.m. on re-energizing nuclear security.  Nuclear security is out of the spotlight since the end of the Nuclear Security Summit series. This forum will look at the future of nuclear development and how can industry, civil society, and international organizations facilitate the outstanding Security Summit commitments.  This event is an on-the-record discussion of trends in the nuclear industry and security and marks the official launch of a new Stimson publication: “Re-energizing Nuclear Security: Trends and Potential Collaborations Post Security Summits.”  Panelists include NEI CEO Maria Korsnick, Canadian Nuclear Association CEO John Barrett and Frank Saunders, Vice President of Nuclear Oversight and Regulatory Affairs at Bruce Power.

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.

SAFE Forum to Highlight Release of Trucking Report – On Thursday, November 9th at 9:30 a.m. at The Loft at 600 F, Securing America’s Future Energy hosts a forum and releases its trucking industry trend report, “Heavy-Duty Innovation: Energy, automation, and technology in the trucking sector.”  The trucking sector is a backbone of the American economy. 70% of the nation’s freight, representing more than $725 billion in annual revenue, are moved by the trucking industry. Freight levels are forecast to grow more than 40% by 2045, and energy and oil use are set to rise by 20% in the next 25 years.  New technologies offer an opportunity to dramatically improve the safety and efficiency of the trucking sector. Connectivity and platooning, advanced driver assistance systems, and design modifications are already creating opportunities to save lives and fuel while reducing costs, but regulatory changes are necessary to enable the industry and American economy to benefit.  SAFE’s Jeff Gerlach, as well as a number of industry experts including the American Trucking Assn’s Bill Sullivan will discuss how the trucking industry is changing, and the regulatory measures that should be taken to enable a safer and more efficient trucking future.

CSIS to Host Africa Power Panel – CSIS hosts a public panel discussion next Thursday, November 9th looking at the lessons that can be learned from Power Africa.  The Obama Administration’s Power Africa Initiative was arguably one of the more intriguing innovations in development in recent years. Described as an initiative that brings “together technical and legal experts, the private sector, and governments from around the world to work in partnership to increase the number of people with access to power”, Power Africa has been an attempt to work more effectively between various government agencies. It also operated under the assumption that Africa presented both development challenges and business opportunities for American workers and companies. Following the welcome remarks from Daniel F. Runde, and the opening remarks from Jennifer G. Cooke, our expert panelists will assess Power Africa’s progress and look for opportunities to scale and replicate the initiative to other sectors and geographies.

THANKSGIVING – November 26th

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.

RFS RVO Deadline – November 30th

USTR Hearing on Solar Trade Tariff – December 6th

The Last Jedi Hits Theaters – DECEMBER 15th

Energy Update: Week of September 25

Friends,

L’Shana tova…  I hope all will have a good fast this Friday for Yom Kippur.  Starting today with the long ball… Yes, my friends Mike Allen and Fred Frommer tell me that Kansas City’s Alex Gordon last week broke Major League Baseball’s season home run record with 12 days to spare, hitting the 5,694th long ball of 2017.  No word on why the ball is flying out of the park more, but I wonder if can potentially be linked to climate change.

Welcome to National Clean Energy Week… And what a way to launch into the week with the Friday US International Trade Commission decision on the solar 201 tariff case. The ITC ruled that an injury did occur while considering a petition filed by two bankrupt companies.  Now the case moves on to the remedy phase where ITC, and eventually the Administration, will consider what to do.  In this phase, the Energy Trade Action Coalition – which represents other sectors impacted like utilities, contractors, cooperatives, retailers and conservative groups – will play a more aggressive role in highlighting economic impacts of higher tariffs on the broader economy, which is a factor the President must take into consideration in his final decision.   See a full round up below…

If we can stop talking about the NFL, this week Congress should dig into the health care and tax reform issues as we approach the end of the actual fiscal year on Saturday.  While budgets have been extended, reconciliation consideration of health care (meaning 50 votes to pass) ends. On energy, it is still busy with Clean Energy week including an event tomorrow featuring Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, Energy Secretary Perry, Sen. Lindsey Graham and Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers; a Senate Energy DOE nomination hearing and a House Oversight hearing on nuclear waste.  Wednesday events include Shale Insight in PA and Wilson’s North American Energy Forum.  On Thursday, there is a Clean Energy Forum at conservative group R Street and Friday at 11:30 a.m., Heritage hosting a major policy address by Zinke.

Speaking of the tax debate, check out this week’s edition of the Bracewell PRG podcast “The Lobby Shop” which host Josh Zive interviews Associated Builders and Contractors tax expert Liam Donovan on the upcoming tax debate in Congress.  (You can subscribe to it on iTunes and SoundCloud).  And don’t forget Platt’s Capitol Crude as well which this week features Windfall author Meghan O’Sullivan, the deputy national security adviser on Iraq and Afghanistan.

And don’t forget that next week – Wednesday to Saturday – the Society of Environmental Journalists will hold its annual meeting in Pittsburgh.  Great day trips, policy/political Panels and the 15th annual Bracewell PRG Reception on Thursday evening.

 

Call with questions.  Best,

 

Frank Maisano

(202) 828-5864

  1. (202) 997-5932

 

FRANKLY SPOKEN

“As the remedy phase moves forward, I am determined to reach a conclusion that will protect the solar industry, our workers and the American public from what amounts to a shakedown by these two companies. An improper remedy will devastate the burgeoning American solar economy and ultimately harm America’s manufacturers and 36,000 people currently engaged in solar manufacturing that don’t make cells and panels.”

Abigail Ross Hopper, president and CEO of the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA).

“Utilities, power co-ops, retailers, manufacturers and other large commercial users, along with conservative groups who have criticized federal solar subsidies, all agree that unwarranted tariffs would cause severe damage to the solar industry while setting a terrible precedent for future trade cases. Artificially raising the price of solar products would increase costs for solar power consumers and jeopardize tens of thousands of U.S. manufacturing jobs.”

Paul Nathanson, spokesman for the Energy Trade Action Coalition (ETAC), a group of companies, associations and organizations who joined together to oppose the trade petition.

“Policymakers and candidate who embrace clean energy showcase independent governing and smart thinking on actions that can be equally good for the economy, national security and environment.”

ClearPath Action Founder Jay Faison, in announcing new GOP polling results on clean energy.

THE BIG NEWS

Solar Case to Move Forward – On Friday, the US International Trade Commission found that imported solar panels have harmed domestic solar manufacturers, setting up a high-stakes decision on tariffs for the Trump administration. The ITC will submit formal recommendations to the White House by November, after which President Trump has two months to decide on a final policy.

Some Video – Renewable Energy World has a great explanation on the case with some video.  They will also host a webinar on the next phase on Thursday at 2:00 p.m. featuring SEIA’s Hopper and others.  See more details here.

SEIA Calls Case Deeply-Flawed, Harmful to Industry – SEIA’s Abby Hopper said the ITC’s decision was disappointing for nearly 9,000 U.S. solar companies and the 260,000 Americans they employ. Foreign-owned companies that brought business failures on themselves are attempting to exploit American trade laws to gain a bailout for their bad investments.   Hopper: “Analysts say Suniva’s remedy proposal will double the price of solar, destroy two-thirds of demand, erode billions of dollars in investment and unnecessarily force 88,000 Americans to lose their jobs in 2018.  While we continue to believe that this is the wrong decision, based on Suniva and SolarWorld’s mismanagement, we respect the commission’s vote and we will continue to lead the effort to protect the solar industry from damaging trade relief. We expect to be front and center in the ITC remedy process, and in the administration’s consideration of this deeply-flawed case.”

Coalition Also Hits Back at Ruling – The Energy Trade Action Coalition (ETAC) expressed disappointment at the vote to continue the case.  ETAC also pledged to remain fully engaged in the trade case to strongly advocate that the ITC and President Trump avoid imposing any remedies that would threaten the U.S. solar industry and the many related industry sectors that use solar. “The ITC decision to find injury is disappointing because the facts presented made it clear that the two companies who brought this trade case were injured by their own history of poor business decisions rather than global competition, and that the petition is an attempt to recover lost funds for their own financial gain at the expense of the rest of the solar industry,” said ETAC Spokesperson Paul Nathanson. “ETAC will continue to fight vigorously during the remedy phase, encouraging Administration officials and Members of Congress to help ensure that no remedies are imposed that would threaten the solar industry’s ability to compete with other energy sources.”

Some Other Key Views

Scott Segal, Executive Director of the Electric Reliability Coordinating Council,

“The imposition of trade remedies on solar technology sought by the two petitioners in this case, Suniva and SolarWorld, could fundamentally change those carefully calibrated assessments of grid stability — and do so without any consequent societal benefits. Ill-conceived energy protectionism in the guise of a trade remedy, on the other hand, will only do more harm than good. We would all do well to take heed of recent events and remember to prioritize the importance of maintaining a diverse and resilient electric grid. The government should say no to the Section 201 trade petition for solar.”

(ERCC is a group of utilities that includes Ameren, Southern, DTE and several others.) 

Diane V. Denton, Managing Director of Federal Policy for Duke Energy

“In the event that imported modules are subject to an artificial floor price or significant import tariff as requested by the petitioners in this case, the module market, and Duke Energy’s plans to procure modules, will likely be significantly disrupted. If such a remedial floor price or tariff is imposed, we expect that the installed cost of solar projects will increase 30% or more and that demand for modules would contract precipitously. As solar energy is just approaching parity with the traditional grid resources in a number of states, a significant reduction in demand for new solar projects could deliver a serious blow to continuing development and evolution of this market.”

John M. Grau, CEO of the National Electrical Contractors Association

“Solar energy is one of the most promising sectors in the American economy, providing good construction and manufacturing jobs and valuable products at a low cost to consumers. It’s been creating jobs for electricians who install utility scale and roof top solar systems around the country.  These are good, middle-class jobs that promote apprenticeship, community based hiring, and veterans. All this progress would be placed at risk if the government decided to cut off the cells and modules that form the basic ingredients of the U.S. solar supply chain.”

Paul Spencer, CEO/Founder of Clean Energy Collective

The trade barriers proposed would needlessly make solar more expensive at a time when we are seeing record low prices that make solar cheaper for consumers and provide ever-increasing benefits for the global environment.

(CEC works with rural cooperatives and others to develop Community Solar projects)

David French, Senior Vice President, Government Relations at the National Retail Federation

The trade restrictions that would result from this petition would raise the price of solar cells and modules, the basic ingredients of solar panels, brought into the U.S. from anywhere in the world. This trade case threatens the competitiveness of solar power and could negatively impact retailers across the country who have proactively moved to diversify their energy sources.

Karla Jones, Director of International Relations & Federalism, American Legislative Exchange Council

“Long a champion of free markets, ALEC opposes the ITC’s decision as protectionism that will ultimately harm the U.S. economy and cost American jobs. We urge the President, who will make the final determination on whether to accept or reject the ITC’s recommendation, to choose free market principles over protectionism.”

Katie Tubb, trade policy specialist at the Heritage Foundation

“The tariffs requested by Suniva and SolarWorld will make solar products and services in America more expensive and less competitive by removing inexpensive, often imported choices from other solar companies and their customers.”

 

Some Great Links

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

IN THE NEWS

ClearPath Polling Shows Strong GOP Support for Clean Energy – A survey of GOP and independent voters in states key to the 2018 congressional midterm election show strong support for Republican candidates who take action on clean energy.  In the eight states surveyed, Republicans gained a 25% swing on average over the generic ballot after focused messaging on clean energy, according to the early June poll commissioned by ClearPath Action. Among those who voted for President Trump, 77 percent said they support accelerating clean energy, with 39 percent citing strong support. Nearly 90 percent of independents said they support accelerating clean energy, with more than 60 percent citing strong support.  ClearPath Action Founder Jay Faison said the polling results are far stronger than what he expected and stronger than what he saw last cycle.  Faison: “Policymakers and candidate who embrace clean energy showcase independent governing and smart thinking on actions that can be equally good for the economy, national security and environment.”  The survey shows significant ballot movement and momentum favoring Republicans who back clean energy across all eight states. That includes more than a 25-point ballot movement statewide in Nevada, Michigan and Arizona using a sample of all likely voters.  Full details and More specifics here.

Senate Energy Approves Final Two FERC Noms – The Senate Energy Committee unanimously approved Kevin McIntyre and Richard Glick to serve on FERC. The panel also approved Ryan Nelson to be solicitor of the Interior Department, David Jonas to serve as general counsel of the Energy Department and Joseph Balash to be assistant secretary for land and minerals management at Interior, thus advancing all five nominees to the full Senate.

SMU Expert: Oil/Gas Resilient Through Hurricane – US oil and natural gas markets will shrug off the impacts of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma soon and move further along the path to stability and possibly modest growth this year and next, according to analysts.  Our friend Bud Weinstein of the SMU Maguire Energy Institute recently wrote the oil and gas infrastructure along the Gulf Coast also sustained very little damage, certainly compared with Hurricane Katrina.  Weinstein said overall, the refining and petrochemical industries along the Gulf Coast, as well as pipelines and offshore production platforms, proved to be extraordinarily resilient as more than 50 inches of rain inundated Houston and Beaumont-Port Arthur over four days. “The untold story is that after Hurricanes Rita, Katrina and Ike the energy industry spent billions upgrading their facilities along the Gulf Coast so they could withstand future catastrophic storms,” Weinstein wrote.

Partners Conducting Wildlife Study at RI Offshore ProjectDeepwater Wind is partnering with researchers from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS), the University of Rhode Island (URI) and the University of Massachusetts-Amherst on studies of bird and bat activity off the Atlantic Coast. The studies, funded by BOEM, provide data on offshore movements of high-priority species to inform conservation efforts, says Deepwater.  In August, Deepwater Wind installed a wildlife tracking station on the easternmost foundation platform at the Block Island Wind Farm, located three miles off the coast of Block Island, R.I. The tracking station contains four antennas, plus a receiver that collects data on migrating patterns of birds and bats that scientists have previously tagged with tiny, very high-frequency (VHF) transmitters, weighing less than 1.5 grams each. These transmitters provide data on any tagged species that fly within a 20-mile radius of the wind farm.

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

NATIONAL CLEAN ENERGY WEEKSeptember 25-29th.  Hosted by Citizens for Responsible Energy Solutions, the American Council on Renewable Energy, Advanced Energy Economy, the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA), the Business Council for Sustainable Energy, the Biomass Power Association, Clean Energy Business Network, the Nuclear Energy Institute, the National Hydropower Association, and the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA). Sects. Perry and Zinke will launch the event tomorrow at the Reserve Officers Association on Capitol Hill in a discussion moderated by former New Hampshire Sen. Kelly Ayotte. Also expected to speak throughout the day are Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, Sen. Tom Carper and Sen. Lindsey Graham.

Wharton DC Hosts Innovation Summit – The Wharton DC Innovation Summit will be held today at the Marriott Bethesda North Conference Center.  The Wharton DC Summit has a rich history of getting at key questions for venture capitalists, a seasoned entrepreneurs, an aspiring entrepreneurs or the intellectually-intrigued by innovation.  Interesting panels on transportation, (AVs), drones and many other topics.

AEE Holds Michigan Energy Future Conference – The Advance Energy Economy will hold its 4th Annual Michigan Energy Future Conference today at the College for Creative Studies in downtown Detroit.  The global market for mobility solutions is growing rapidly, building on innovation, information technology, and new transportation business models. Focusing on this convergence, the event, sponsored by our friends at DTE Energy, will dive deep into the intersection of energy, telecommunications, and transportation. While other conferences have explored these issues independently, the Michigan Energy Future Conference will be the first comprehensive look at the synergies between sectors, exploring opportunities for the U.S. to benefit as the pace of convergence between these sectors accelerates.

Forum to Look at Petro Diplomacy – The Arab Gulf States Institute in Washington will hold a conference this afternoon looking at critical issues facing the oil industry against the background of the shifting economic and political landscape in the region.  The Lunch Keynote will feature Majid Al-Moneef, former Secretary General of the Supreme Economic Council of Saudi Arabia and Member of the Board of Directors of Saudi Aramco.  Then a panel featuring Columbia University energy policy expert Jason Bordoff and others will follow.

Senate Energy to Hear from DOE Noms – The Senate Energy Committee will convene a hearing tomorrow at 10:00 a.m. to consider the DOE nominations for the office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability and Fossil Energy.  Nominees Bruce Walker and Steve Winberg will testify.

WCEE Event to Look at MD Offshore Wind – The Women’s Council on Energy and the Environment (WCEE) will hold a lunch forum tomorrow at Dentons looking at the latest insights into the Maryland PSC’s work on offshore wind and energy efficiency, the political challenges faced and the businesses opportunities created. Marissa Gillett, Senior Advisor to the Public Service Commission’s Chairman, will be the speaker.

ELI to Look at Ocean Energy – Tomorrow at Noon, the Environmental Law Institute will hold a forum on ocean energy technologies (wave, tidal, and current hydrokinetic energy) under development.  Wave and tidal energy developers claim that federal subsidies and tax cuts are insufficient to promote research and development, and some of the most successful ocean energy companies have moved overseas.  A panel of experts will look at key questions to improve development of the hydrokinetic technology sector in the U.S.  Among the panelists, Annie Jones, FERC Energy Projects advisor.

Gas Tech CEO to Address Roundtable – The Natural Gas Roundtable will host that David Carroll, president of the International Gas Union at its next luncheon tomorrow.  Carroll is the President and CEO of the Gas Technology Institute. He oversees the company’s operations and directs its programs for developing technologies, products, and services for customers in the natural gas and related industries.  Carroll assumed the additional role of President of IGU for a three-year term in 2015.

Forum to Look at Future of Nuclear – The Global America Business Institute (GABI) is hosting a special workshop tomorrow looking at the future of nuclear power globally, focusing on technological, security, and geopolitical considerations.  Achieving progress towards decarbonizing and reducing the environmental impact of energy generation is arguably impossible without a significant expansion of nuclear power internationally. However, improving and strengthening the global nuclear governance system and maintaining high international standards in nuclear safety, security, and nonproliferation are essential for nuclear power to become a more integral part of the world’s energy portfolio. Speakers will include Partnership for Global Security President Kenneth Luongo and NEI’s Everett Redmond.

Coal Event to Hear from Alpha CEO – The 40th annual Coal Marketing Days forum will be held tomorrow and Wednesday at the Omni William Penn Hotel in Pittsburgh.  The event hosts a variety of coal suppliers and buyers, coal transport companies, and industry-wide analysts who exchange in-depth knowledge on the current state of the global and domestic coal-producing markets and focuses on the current trends and challenges shaping the business. Alpha Natural Resources CEO David Stetson is the keynote.

Ideas Conference Set – The Atlantic and the Aspen Institute holds its 9th annual Washington Ideas conference tomorrow through Thursday.  “Washington Ideas” convenes the nation’s leaders in politics, business, health, science, technology, arts, culture and journalism for three days of can’t miss conversation and connections. In the heart of the nation’s capital, we will tackle the most consequential issues facing the country and the world.

House Oversight to Look at Nuclear Waste – The House Oversight Committee’s Subcommittee on the Interior, Energy, and Environment will convene a hearing tomorrow at 2:00 p.m. examining America’s nuclear waste management and storage to examine the management of the nation’s increasing amount of nuclear waste and to highlight the challenges communities across the country face when dealing with nuclear waste.  Witnesses will include Maryland PSC Commissioner Anthony O’Donnell, Aiken County, SC Councilmember Chuck Smith, David Victor of UC-San Diego School of Global Policy & Strategy (who also chairs San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station’s Community Engagement Panel and our friend Katie Tubb of the Heritage Foundation.

Wilson to Hold Energy Forum – The Mexico and Canada Institutes will host the Wilson Center’s 2017 North America Energy Forum on Wednesday. The Forum is now in its fourth year and will focus on the major challenges and opportunities facing energy producers and consumers in the region, with a strong focus on innovation in the energy sector.  Chamber Energy President Karen Harbert and NOIA head Randy Luthi will be among the speakers.

EMA Sets Annual Forum – The Environmental Markets Association holds its 21st Annual Meeting on Wednesday to Friday at the Renaissance Nashville Hotel.  The event focuses on trading, legislation and regulation of environmental markets. The agenda includes panel sessions covering Carbon / RGGI, what’s next after the Clean Power Plan, update on current developments and trends in other existing environmental markets such as the SO2 and Nox programs and a general REC Market Overview that provides an update on supply and demand as well as estimates on potential growth as the market faces pricing pressure.

PA Shale Conference Set SHALE INSIGHT 2017 will be held on Wednesday and Thursday at the Pittsburgh Convention Center.  The event holds the most important discussions on shale development, featuring some of the most prominent industry and government leaders. Influential industry executives and innovative thought leaders will work through two days of technical and public affairs insight sessions, major keynote addresses, and a dynamic exhibit hall featuring all the major shale players.

Forum to Look at Storage During Hurricanes – The Congressional Advanced Energy Storage Caucus will hold a forum on Wednesday at 2:00 p.m. on potential issues with storage and hurricanes.  Caucus co-chairs Rep. Chris Collins (R-NY) and Rep. Mark Takano (D-CA) will provide an update on the U.S. energy storage market, and a briefing on the role of energy storage in electric infrastructure resilience.

Smart Mobility Forum Set – The C3 Group hosts the 3rd annual Smart Mobility Forum on Capitol Hill on Wednesday at 2:30 p.m. in the Capitol Visitors Center.  The Forum will include presentations by experts on the deployment of autonomous vehicle technology and its impact on automotive, transportation, society and policy followed by an interactive Q&A.  Featured Speakers include C3 Group President and smart mobility expert Doug Newcomb, Autotrader Senior Analyst Michelle Krebs and Dushyant Wadivkar of Bosch Automated Vehicles.

Senate Ag Looks at Energy Programs in Farm Bill – The Senate Committee on Agriculture will convene a hearing Thursday at 9:30 a.m. on rural development and energy programs.  They will focus on perspectives for the 2018 Farm Bill.

R Street Hosts Clean Energy Event R Street will host a forum on Thursday at 10:00 a.m. with panelists from Microsoft, the American Coalition of Competitive Energy Suppliers (ACCES), Advanced Energy Economy (AEE), and Citizens for Responsible Energy Solutions (CRES) to discuss clean energy opportunities. Affordable clean energy future rests with the advancement of competitive energy markets and consumer choice. Such policies provide better opportunities to facilitate distributed generation and rest at the intersection of conservative and green agendas.  Speakers will include Microsoft’s Michelle Patton, AEE’s Dylan Reed, Devin Hartman of R Street and Frank Caliva of ACCES.

Trade Expert to Discuss Solar Case Next StepsRenewable Energy World holds a webinar on Thursday at 2:00 p.m. looking at what happens next following the Sept. 22 ITC ruling.  The webcast will include SEIA President and CEO Abigail Ross Hopper; NEXTracker CEO Dan Shugar and Matthew Nicely, the trade lawyer arguing against the petition.
CSIS, Fortune Smart Women Conference to Feature Ernst – On Friday at 9:00 a.m., the Smart Women, Smart Power Initiative holds a conversation with Senator Joni Ernst (R-IA).  The topics will include North Korea, Syria, Afghanistan, and other global hotspots with Senator Ernst, a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee. She is the first female combat veteran elected to the U.S. Senate.  The event is – as always – moderated by Nina Easton of Fortune.

JHU to Host Italian CEO on NatGas Europe – On Friday at 9:45 a.m., the Johns Hopkins University Center for Trans-Atlantic Relations will hold a discussion with Marco Alverà, CEO at Snam to discuss natgas in Europe.  He will join JHU SAIS Dean Vali Nasr.  Introductory remarks will be given by Daniel Hamilton, Executive Director of Johns Hopkins SAIS Center for Transatlantic Relations.  Alverà has been the Chief Executive Officer of Snam, a European leader in the construction and integrated management of natural gas infrastructure, since April 2016. He also serves as Managing Director of Snam Rete Gas and as ad interim Chief Industrial Assets Officer of Snam.

Wilson to Host Arctic Enviro Forum – The Wilson Center’s Polar Initiative will host a forum on Friday at 10:00 a.m. on the future of the Arctic Environment.  Leading Arctic scientists, policymakers, and emergency response officials will present and discuss the most recent research on Arctic change, extreme weather, indigenous communities, and emergency response operations.  Among the Speakers will be former State Department Official Sherri Goodman among others.

Heritage to Host Zinke – On Friday at 11:30 a.m., the Heritage Foundation will host a major policy address by the U.S. Secretary of the Interior, Ryan Zinke in its Allison Auditorium.  Secretary Zinke will discuss President Donald Trump’s American energy dominance agenda, focusing specifically on the importance of American energy production and how the federal government can be a better business partner.

IN THE FUTURE

Geothermal Conference Set for Utah – The Geothermal Energy Association (GEA) is holding GEOEXPO+ on October 1-4th at the Salt Palace in Salt Lake City, UT.  The meeting will be held in conjunction with the GRC Annual Meeting.

WCEE Hosts Federal Lands Discussion – Next Monday 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 on Tuesday, October 3rd 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.

Forum to Look at Iran Deal – On Tuesday, October 3rd from 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.

SEJ Set for Pittsburgh – Speaking of Pittsburgh, SEJ’s 27th annual conference is set for October 4-8 in Steel City.

Vets in Energy Forum Set – Veterans In Energy will hold a forum on October 5th through 7th 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 October 5th 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.

Forum to Look at LNG in Latin America – The Atlantic Council hosts a forum on Thursday, October 5th 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 October 5th 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.

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.

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.