Energy Update: Week of September 10

Friends,

L’Shana Tovah to all…  Last night at Sundown began the Jewish New Year – Rosh Hashanah, literally meaning the “beginning the year.” It is the first of the Jewish High Holy Days which culminates next Wednesday with Yom Kippur.  I’m thinking about tomorrow too as it has been 17 years since the terror attacks on 9/11 in NYC and DC.

Maybe a New Year or Day of Atonement is an appropriate transition to the Saturday Women’s US Open final. I am a big fan of Serena and think she and Venus have done fabulous things for tennis.  While I agree with her that the umpire was wrong and will likely never get another important match (I have some experience in officiating as you all know), I still have problems with her meltdown which has completely overshadowed the first ever grand slam win by Japan’s Naomi Osaka, who by the way has a great story.  My take: She is definitely a role model and should have swallowed the umpire’s terrible call on the coaching warning and tried to overcome it.  After Serena let down her mental game – impacted by a bad umpiring decision – Osaka, who had the upper hand in the match, taking the first set 6-2, finished her off.  Lots of columns and opinions on this in the media from great sports reporters like Christine Brennan and Sally Jenkins, but bottom line for me is, the umpire was terrible, you have to deal with it.  BTW, Novak Djokovic blasted past Juan Martin del Potro for a straight set win 6-3, 7-6, 6-3 on Sunday for the Men’s title that was much less controversial.

Before we look at this week, just a word about Sunday’s Washington Post article about EPA staff leaving in droves.  First, my friends Brady Dennis and Juliet Eilperin wrote a very good story, but I am shocked it made it to the front page/above-the-fold Sunday.  As one who has watched EPA for many years, it seems likely that this EPA staff would be expected to leave as they are.  In other words, it should not surprise anyone.  The staff at EPA has be experienced and aging for some time and we expected this type of exodus.  Many thought it would happen sooner, but perhaps the Obama EPA’s second-term aggressiveness on environmental policy may have kept some there a little longer.  I’m sure it is also partly ideological: certainly is not surprising to think that some of the EPA retirements are driven by the Trump approach.  Finally, the Trump team all along has said they were going to reduce staff at EPA.  In fact some have wanted to reduce it much more that 8%.  The fact that it is only down by about 1,000 employees is not really that much given the on-going planning/reorganizing.  We have great experts on this, so happy to discuss.

Light schedule this week as Congress looks for the exits for the Midterm elections on tap and the Jewish holidays. On Wednesday, the votes begin on the budget.  Majority Leader McCarthy told the media the House will vote on the final first minibus which contains Energy and Water budgets. Both chambers will only be in town for a few days, with the House and Senate out until Wednesday for Rosh Hashanah. POLITICO adds the schedule leaves just seven working days when both chambers are in session before the Sept. 30 funding deadline.  More budget mini-buses in the coming days…

Also today, in a special edition episode of our great Bracewell Podcast, The Lobby Shop, Scott Segal tackles the EPA’s proposed Affordable Clean Energy (ACE) Rule with Chamber Global Energy Institute head Karen Harbert and former EPA Air office head Jeff Holmstead.  Check out the details here.

The biggest story this week is out in the Golden State where Gov. Jerry Brown is hosting big climate summit. Beyond the summit, there are a ton of political and policy events running sidebar including one from our friends at C2ES and many more. Speakers include Al Gore, Michael Bloomberg and many more.  I have discussed this with some of you already and I am happy to do more should you need comment, historical perspective and climate policy background.

Finally, sad news to lose our friend Sam Bodman who served as Energy Secretary during the Bush Administration, who passed away over the weekend at 79.  Hurricane Florence is growing and is expected to potentially hit the North/South Carolina coast on Thursday or Friday.  We’ll will keep an eye on it and stay safe. Call with questions.  Best,

 

Frank Maisano

(202) 828-5864

c. (202) 997-5932

 

FRANKLY SPOKEN

“Sam had a brilliant mind, and we are fortunate that he put his intellect to work for our country as Secretary of Energy. I am proud that he was a member of my Cabinet, and I am proud that he was my friend.”

Former President George Bush and former first lady Laura Bush mourned the loss of former Energy Secretary Sam Bodman in a statement marking his passing on Saturday.

ON THE POD

Bracewell, Chamber Energy Experts Discuss ACE Rule – In a special edition episode of The Lobby Shop, Bracewell PRG Co-Head Scott Segal takes the reigns with an interview of President and CEO of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Global Energy Institute, Karen Harbert, and former Assistant Administrator of the EPA for Air and Radiation, Jeff Holmstead. Karen, Scott, and Jeff discuss the EPA’s proposed Affordable Clean Energy (ACE) Rule, how it compares to the Clean Power Plan, and more.

 

FUN OPINIONS

Wash Times Has Special Section on RFS Reform The Washington Times had a special section last week which detail need for renewable fuel standard (RFS) reform.  Among the writing on the issue were key comments from Senators who raised concerns about the current RFS and why it needs to be fixed.  Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) said the federal mandate for corn ethanol is “both unwise and unworkable” adding roughly 40% of corn in the United States is currently used for fuel, which increases the price of food and animal feed while also damaging the environment. Additionally, oil companies are unable to blend more corn ethanol into gasoline without causing problems for some gas stations and older automobiles.  Feinstein: “Once we remove the corn ethanol mandate, the RFS program can finally serve its intended purpose: to support the development of advanced, environmentally friendly biofuels like biodiesel, cellulosic ethanol and other revolutionary fuels.”  Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-LA) added that the RFS is outdated, created when energy consumption relied heavily on foreign imports.  Cassidy: “It was thought that the Renewable Fuel Standard would be good for our environment by decreasing the carbon footprint. But in the last 10 years, our energy landscape has changed dramatically. We now have more domestic oil than almost ever before, and the drawbacks of the RFS greatly outweigh its benefits.”  Finally, Sen. Tom Udall (D-NM) said while a well-intentioned idea, the “promised environmental benefits of the RFS have yet to be realized” and in fact, “may well be hurting” the environment. Udall says we need a forward-looking plan that offers “visionary reforms to put us on a cleaner and more sustainable path. The changes represent a giant step forward to combat the urgent threat of climate change, cut pollution, and protect our planet for future generations.”  There is much more from Congress on the need for reform HERE.

IN THE NEWS

MIT Tool Helps Building Planning Reduce Climate Emissions – A new software tool from researchers at MIT was rolled out last week to help architects or engineers design a new building to better reduce climate emissions.  Often, it’s done only at the end of the process — if ever — that a lifecycle analysis of the building’s environmental impact is carried out. And by then, it may be too late to make significant changes. Now, a faster and easier system for doing such analyses could change all that, making the analysis an integral part of the design process from the beginning. The new process, described in the journal Building and Environment in a paper by MIT researchers Jeremy Gregory, Franz-Josef Ulm and Randolph Kirchain, and recent graduate Joshua Hester PhD ’18, is simple enough that it could be integrated into the software already used by building designers so that it becomes a seamless addition to their design process.  Lifecycle analysis, known as LCA, is a process of examining all the materials; design elements; location and orientation; heating, cooling, and other energy systems; and expected ultimate disposal of a building, in terms of costs, environmental impacts, or both. Ulm, a professor of civil and environmental engineering and director of MIT’s Concrete Sustainability Hub (CSH), says that typically LCA is applied “only when a building is fully designed, so it is rather a post-mortem tool but not an actual design tool.” That’s what the team set out to correct with this new tool.  To the researchers’ surprise, they found use of their LCA system had very little impact on reducing the range of design choices. “That’s the most remarkable result,” Ulm says. When introducing the LCA into the early stages of the design process, “you barely touch the design flexibility,” he says.

Senator Unveil Advance Nuke Blueprint – A bipartisan group of senators led by Energy and Natural Resources Chairman Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) and Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) have introduced the Nuclear Energy Leadership Act (NELA), a comprehensive blueprint for the U.S. to once again lead the world in next-generation nuclear power.  The bill (S. 3422) would direct the Department of Energy to establish specific goals to align the federal government, national labs and private sector in efforts to accelerate advanced nuclear technologies. The language echoes the Advanced Nuclear Energy Technologies Act (S. 1457) from Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) and Booker, which the Senate energy panel approved in March.  It would also require DOE’s Office of Nuclear Energy to develop a 10-year strategic plan that supports advanced nuclear R&D goals. NELA addresses the lack of domestic supply of high-assay low-enriched uranium (HA-LEU), which will be needed to fuel most advanced reactors being designed. NELA establishes a program to provide a minimum amount of HA-LEU to U.S. advanced reactor developers from DOE stockpiles until a new long-term supply is developed. NELA also initiates a long-term power purchase agreement pilot between the DOE and utilities to procure nuclear power and reauthorizes nuclear engineering scholarships to maintain a robust pipeline of nuclear engineering talent.

EIA Report Says CO2 Emissions Continue to Drop – Newly released Energy Information Administration data shows that U.S. CO2 emissions from energy dropped by roughly 1% last year. U.S. energy-related CO2 emissions have declined in 7 of the past 10 years, and they are now 14% lower than in 2005.  Last year, emissions from electricity production fell by 4.6%. The shift toward natural gas from coal lowers CO2 emissions because natural gas produces fewer emissions per unit of energy consumed than coal and because natural gas generators typically use less energy than coal plants to generate each kilowatthour of electricity. Electricity generation from renewable energy technologies has increased; these technologies do not directly emit CO2 as part of their electricity generation. In EIA’s emissions data series, emissions from biomass combustion are excluded from reported energy-related emissions according to international convention.

DOE Announces Advanced Vehicle Research – The Department of Energy said the selection of 42 projects totaling $80 million to support advanced vehicle technologies that can enable more affordable mobility, strengthen domestic energy security, reduce our dependence on foreign sources of critical materials, and enhance U.S. economic growth. This work supports DOE’s goal to invest in early-stage research of transportation technologies that can give families and businesses greater choice in how they meet their mobility needs.

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

WAPA, DTF Forum to Highlight Diesel Issues –Today at 11:30 a.m. at Engine Co 12 in NW DC, the Washington Automotive Press Association and the Diesel Technology Forum held a lunch to look at the true ‘state of diesel’ in the U.S. automotive market.  Speakers include GM’s Global Diesel Executive Director, Pierpaolo Antonioli and GM’s Regional Chief, Engineer, Mike Siegrist.  You will also hear the very latest IHS Markit diesel vehicles-in-use data for the United States; and get details about new research on the benefits of new-technology diesel pickup trucks.

Interior Official Addresses ESA at Heritage Forum – Deputy Interior Secretary David Bernhardt will address a forum at The Heritage Foundation today at Noon to discuss the department’s proposed changes to the Endangered Species Act.

JHU to Feature Rockefeller Foundation President – The Johns Hopkins University SAIS and the Initiative for Sustainable Energy Policy (ISEP) host a forum next Monday at 12:30 pm in its Kenney Herter Auditorium featuring Dean Vali Nasr and a conversation on affordable and clean energy with the President of the Rockefeller Foundation, Rajiv Shah.

Field Hearing to Look at Salmon Runs, River Policy – The House Natural Resources Oversight Subcommittee holds a field hearing today at 1:00 p.m. in Pasco, Wash focused on the federal Columbia River power system.  The hearing will review a dispute that played out in Congress in the minibus that impacts salmon runs in the Columbia and Snake Rivers in Washington State. Officials from the Bonneville Power Administration, Washington Association of Wheat Growers and Nez Perce Tribe will testify.

SF CLIMATE EVENTS Tomorrow:

Forum to Look at Southern Gas Corridor – The Atlantic Council’s Global Energy Center hosts a conversation about the Southern Gas Corridor and European energy security tomorrow at 11:00 a.m. In the wake of new developments in constructing and completing the Southern Gas Corridor, a key priority project for European energy security, our expert panel will discuss the progress already made, challenges still ahead, and opportunities for the future.

Forum to Look at Smart Cities in Latin America – The Inter-American Dialogue holds a discussion tomorrow on smart cities in Latin America.

Methanol Forum Set – Argus hosts its Methanol Forum Wednesday and Thursday in Houston at the Westin, Memorial City.  Issues include trends in the methanol industry, the potential impact from crude and natural gas markets, regional perspectives, including in-depth analysis of China and the emerging Indian market and the outlook for methanol derivatives including biodiesel and olefins.  Our friend Greg Dolan, CEO of the Methanol Institute is among the speakers.

BioEnergy Conference Set – The Mid-Atlantic Bioenergy Council (MABEC) holds a conference and expo at CityView in Philadelphia Wednesday through Friday.

Coal Council Meets in Norfolk – On Wednesday and Thursday, the National Coal Council meets in Norfolk for its Fall meeting to discuss coal-related issues.  Lou Hrkman of DOE will speak.

Climate Summit Set for SF – The Global Climate Action Summit will be held in San Francisco on Wednesday through Friday.  The forum will bring leaders and people together from around the world to support action on climate change.  It will also feature action by states, regions, cities, companies, investors and citizens with respect to climate action.  It will also be a launchpad for deeper worldwide commitments and accelerated action from countries—supported by all sectors of society—that can put the globe on track to prevent dangerous climate change and realize the historic Paris Agreement. States and regions, cities, businesses and investors are leading the charge on pushing down global emissions by 2020, setting the stage to reach net zero emissions by midcentury.​​  Speakers include Gov. Jerry Brown, UNFCCC head Patricia Espinosa, Michael Bloomberg, Marshall Islands President Hilda Heine, Canadian Minister of Environment Catherine McKenna, musician Dave Matthews, LA Mayor Eric Garcetti, Alec Baldwin, Jane Goodall, Andrea Mitchell, Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner, former U.S. Vice President Al Gore and former U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry.

SF Wednesday/Thursday/Friday Events:

WCEE to Host Forum to Highlight Women in Energy Stories – Wednesday at 6:00 p.m., the Women’s Council on Energy and the Environment’s (WCEE) Career Building Section hosts a reception and discussion at USEA about challenges and opportunities for women working in energy. Our friends Vicky Bailey and Sheila Slocum Hollis will share their expertise on overcoming obstacles, discuss skills required for convening stakeholders, and bring examples of leading towards practical solutions for the real world.

Forum to Look at AVsAxios hosts a conversation on Thursday at 8:00 a.m. at the Long View Gallery looking at how autonomous vehicles and transportation technology will impact the future.  Speakers will include Ohio Rep. Bob Latta, Global Automakers CEO John Bozzella and SAE International CEO David Schutt.

Senate Enviro Looks at Advanced Nuclear – Following last week’s introduction of bipartisan energy legislation, the Senate Environment Committee holds a hearing Thursday at 10:00 a.m. on advanced nuclear technology.  The hearing will look closely at safety and associated benefits of licensing accident tolerant fuels for commercial nuclear reactors.

House Science Panel Look at EPA Glider Truck Rule – The House Science Committee’s Environment and Oversight Subcommittees hold a joint hearing on Thursday examining the underlying science and impacts of glider truck regulations.  Witnesses include regulation, risk, economics expert Richard Belzer and Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association President Todd Spencer.

Senate Energy to Look at European LNG – The Senate Energy Committee holds a hearing on Thursday at 10:00 a.m. to examine the role of U.S. LNG in meeting European energy demand.

House Oversight to Look at Disaster Response –The House Oversight Committee holds a hearing on Thursday at 1:00 p.m. evaluating Federal disaster response and recovery efforts.  FEMA Administrator Brock Long Army Corps of Engineers Scott Spellman and Lynn Goldman of the Milken Institute will testify.

Post to Host Space Forum – On Friday at 9:00 a.m., The Washington Post along with American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) and the Association of Space Explorers (ASE) will bring together key government officials, renowned scientists and leaders in the field of space exploration for a program examining the many factors shaping American leadership in space, the new “space race,” the future of space tourism and exploration that could lead to a future beyond Earth.  Speakers include VP Mike Pence, NASA head Jim Bridenstine, Bill Nye and many more including current and former astronauts.

ABA to Host SCOTUS Enviro Event – Friday at Noon, the ABA’s Section of Environment, Energy, and Resources, and the Section’s Constitutional Law Committee will hold an in-depth review of recent U.S. Supreme Court decisions effecting environmental issues.  Panelists will also review Judge Kavanaugh’s environmental jurisprudence and his potential impact on the Supreme Court.

Electric Cars on Display on National MallNational Drive Electric Week launches in Washington on Sunday with events from 10:00 am – 3:00 pm on the National Mall near National Gallery of Art (7th Street, NW).  At the event, you will learn about electric vehicles and see the latest models on the National Mall.

IN THE FUTURE

Forum to Look at Carbon Tax – Next Monday, September 17th at 1:30 p.m. in the U.S. Capitol Visitors Center, Plant Oil Powered Diesel, Inc. is hosting a panel discussion on the carbon tax, featuring industry, environmentalist and citizen views.  More on the panelists as we get closer next week.

CSIS Hosts Trade Reps – On Monday September 17th, the CSIS Scholl Chair in International Business is hosting a conversation with six former United States Trade Representatives, who will share wisdom from their own experience and discuss the current global trading system, its institutions, and the prospects for trade in these challenging times. Speakers include Bill Brock, Carla Hills, Micky Kantor, Charlene Barshefsky​, Susan Schwab and Ron Kirk.

Webinar to Look at Smart Grid Changes – The National Journal hosts a webinar on the changes in the U.S. energy grid on September 20th at 11:00 a.m.  From changing energy sources and technological advances to government regulations, this webinar will look at what implications could smart grid technology have for government, regulation, and public policy.  National Journal Presentation Center analysts Julianna Bradley, Sean Lambert, and Taryn MacKinney, as well as National Journal Energy Correspondent Brian Dabbs, will speak at this in-depth look at the issues surrounding the state of the U.S. energy grid.

Offshore Wind Forum Set for Norfolk – The 2018 Virginia Offshore Wind Executive Summit will be held on Friday September 21st in Norfolk at the Hilton Main.  The event brings together the supply-chain business community with federal and state government officials to accelerate Virginia’s inclusion of large-scale offshore wind within the state’s energy mix. VA Governor Ralph Northam and Orsted North American President Thomas Brostrom, Dominion Energy, Siemens –Gamesa, US Bureau of Ocean Energy and Management and many others will discuss port infrastructure, supply chain procurement and market opportunities.

CAFE Public Hearing Set for CA, MI, PA – NHTSA and EPA will hold three public hearings on the revisions to the fuels economy standard.  The hearing will occur on Sept 25th in Fresno, Sept 26th in Dearborn MI, and Sept 27th in Pittsburgh.

Border Energy Forum Set for San Antonio – The North American Development Bank (NADB) will host the XXIII Border Energy Forum in San Antonio on September 26th and 27th at the Hilton San Antonio. This forum brings together local and state officials, private sector developers, academics, large commercial users, and energy experts from the U.S. and Mexico. NADB’s unique position as the only U.S.-Mexico binational development bank, has provided the Bank the opportunity to be involved in some of the most relevant clean energy projects developed in the last five years in the region. NADB has financed close to $1.5 billion for 35 projects with total costs of $5.2 billion. Roughly, 2,548 MW of new generation capacity is being installed along the border. The forum will center the dialogue on energy prosperity, innovation, financing, the future of energy markets, and crossborder opportunities along the U.S.-Mexico border, and how to continue building partnerships to advance both countries energy goals that ultimately improve economic development and protect the environment.

EPA to Host ACE Hearing in Chicago – The EPA will host a single public hearing on its proposed replacement for the Clean Power Plan in Chicago on Monday October 1st at the Ralph H. Metcalfe Federal Building.  The building is the home of EPA’s Region 5 headquarters.

SEJ in Flint – The Society of Environmental Journalism holds its annual conference on October 3-6th in Flint.  Of course, Bracewell hosts its annual event on Thursday October 4th.

Shale Insight Set For PittsburghShale Insight 2018 is set for Pittsburgh on October 23-25.  The Marcellus Shale Coalition (MSC) hosts the event along with the Ohio and West Virginia Oil & Natgas Assns.  SHALE INSIGHT™ offers insightful pre-conference workshops, technical and public affairs sessions, national keynote addresses, and high-powered networking sessions will provide attendees, sponsors, and exhibitors unprecedented access to the industry’s most influential leaders and innovators.  You can see the agenda HERE.

Energy Update: Week of September 4

Friends,

Hope you enjoyed your Labor Day Weekend.  It was a last bit of quiet before the final Congressional push and mid-term campaign season jumps into full swing.  While we return to action this week, a majority of the focus is on the SCOTUS nomination of Brett Kavanaugh.  While we are usually out of these issues, Kavanaugh has been active on the DC Circuit on environmental cases and expect some members (and enviro groups) to question him on environment and energy issues including standing, federal regulation and other issues.

On the budget/funding side, real negotiations on conference bills are expected to pick up now that the House is back. The “minibus” Energy-Water package should be ready fairly quickly with another four-bill spending package that includes the $35.8 billion Interior and Environment title underway as well.  And House and Senate Farm bill negotiators begin a push to bridge difference there starting tomorrow.  We have our eyes on things related to ethanol policy there.

I also know many of you (going through Pruitt withdrawals) will focus on today’s security IG report.  While that is fun, Chik-fil-a catnip, it is important to remember that Andrew Wheeler is running a very different operation at EPA.  We can continue to discuss the upcoming fuel economy hearings, the ACE rule, last week’s mercury decision and any other action at EPA.  Jeff and Scott are available.  Who knows, maybe there’ll be another Trump book today that will take away all the attention!!!

Not many events this week but on Thursday morning at AJAX DC, The Hill in collaboration with the Bipartisan Policy Center will convene policymakers, business leaders and advocacy groups to examine the issues that are motivating greater climate collaboration and consider the substance and politics behind these initiatives.

Finally, I hope you will take in the action at the US Open this upcoming weekend.  There is some great tennis being played.  NFL launches on Thursday.  Call with questions.  Best,

 

Frank Maisano

(202) 828-5864

c. (202) 997-5932

 

FRANKLY SPOKEN

“Kigali gets us everything we want and everything we’ve been advocating for a long time—a unified, negotiated decision on phasedowns [of HFCs] instead of prohibitions.  U.S. ratification of the global deal offers the greatest level of certainty for the market writ large.”

Caroline Davidson-Hood, general counsel for the Air-Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration Institute following EPA’s decision to not request that SCOTUS take an HFC case and its relation to the need for the Kigali Amendment to eliminate HFCs. 

 

“Some people wake-up each morning wondering if what they do makes a difference for their country.  No one at DOE does. We protect, innovate and continue to explore the boundaries of knowledge. It impresses me to no end what the people in this Department accomplish, and it’s a pleasure to salute you today for the outstanding work that you do.”

DOE Secretary Perry at the Honor Awards and Presidential Rank Awards ceremony at DOE Headquarters.

 

ON THE POD

Bracewell Trade Export Talks NAFTA on Cap Crude Looks – The Platts Capitol Crude podcast focuses on trade and NAFTA today featuring my Bracewell colleague Josh Zive. The US/Mexico trade deal appears to include a provision the US oil and gas industry sees as critical to protecting investments in the newly opened Mexican upstream. Zive discusses the still-unfolding agreement, what it means in the context of the Mexican energy reforms, the striking absence of Canada, and the deal’s chances in the US Congress.

FUN OPINIONS

SAFE Head Addresses AV Opportunities in WSJ Response – Securing America’s Future Energy CEO Robbie Diamond said in a letter to the Wall Street Journal that passing the AV policy legislation and enabling a bipartisan federal self-driving framework would benefit the nearly 20 million disabled Americans, in addition to retirees, who experience daily barriers to transportation and the opportunities it provides. Diamond wrote: “Delaying the passage of critical self-driving legislation not only will derail these much-needed benefits, but prolong the status quo of rising death tolls on U.S. roads. In 2017, 40,100 people died from vehicle accidents, a 6% increase from 2015. As data show, 94% of crashes are due either wholly or in part to driver error; the lifesaving potential of self-driving cars is both obvious and significant.”

IN THE NEWS

EPA Reconsiders Mercury Rule – Late last week, EPA told media outlets it will reconsider a rule that restricts mercury and toxic air emissions from power plants.  In 2015, the Supreme Court rejected the previous EPA’s cost-benefit analysis of its version the Mercury rule, contending EPA didn’t properly account for industry’s compliance costs. My colleague Jeff Holmstead served as EPA air office head from 2000-2005 said he is not surprised that EPA is reopening the Obama EPA’s finding that it was “appropriate and necessary” to regulate power plants under section 112 of the Act.  Holmstead says the Supreme Court already rejected the original Obama finding because EPA refused to consider the cost of those regulations, and several justices also expressed skepticism about the argument that the Obama EPA made to support its second finding, which the current EPA is now reviewing.  Holmstead: “Even if EPA does ultimately reverse the Obama “appropriate and necessary” finding, this doesn’t mean that the MATS rule will go away. EPA would have to go through another, separate rulemaking process to eliminate the MATS rule, and I don’t think that anyone is talking about doing that. It would serve no purpose because the power sector has already spent billions of dollars to bring all their plants into compliance.”

EPA Changes Mind on SCOTUS Cert for HFC Case – You may have seen that EPA reversed course on asking the Supreme Court to hear an appeal of a lower court decision that overturned a rule that regulated a global warming-inducing coolant.  EPA revisited the issue and asked SCOTUS to not grant cert on Honeywell v. Mexichem Fluor, saying yesterday that the D.C. Circuit was correct in June when it limited the government’s authority to use Section 612(c) of the Clean Air Act to regulate HFCs, which do not harm the ozone layer but do contribute to climate change.  Former EPA air office head Jeff Holmstead and longtime HVAC rep Scott Segal (and my Bracewell colleagues) recently filed a brief urging the SCOTUS to take the case.  On behalf of five major HVACR companies (Lennox, Carrier, Nortek, Rheem & Ingersoll Rand), Holmstead and Segal asked the Supreme Court to review the lower court decision that blocked EPA implementation of HFC reductions using its SNAP program, saying the decision creates a regulatory mess that EPA has been unable to fix almost a year after the decision was handed down. Unless the Supreme Court steps in, the result will be an extended period of regulatory uncertainty, almost certainly including years of litigation challenging the new rule that EPA ultimately develops to implement a confusing D.C. Circuit decision that was wrongly decided.  The companies filing the brief are the leading U.S. manufacturers of HVACR equipment.  Together with another manufacturer filing its own amicus brief, they account for well over 75% of the residential and commercial air conditioning and commercial refrigeration equipment that is manufactured and sold in North America.

How Does that Relate to Montreal/Kigali – As It relates to the Montreal Protocol, it is important to note while a few conservative groups urged the President to block the effort, there is a wide swath of business and conservative groups that think the Kigali amendment to the Montreal Protocol should sent to the Senate for ratification.  Here are a few things:

A legal fight over the EPA guidance raises concerns about avenues for regulations to change, even as the industry continues to advocate for U.S. participation in a 2016 global deal to phase down HFCs called the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol.  If you questions, please feel to reach out.  I’m sure Holmstead, former White House advisor David Banks at ACCF and/or Steve Yurek at AHRI would be happy to discuss.

ECOS Chief to Head EPA Chemical Office – President Donald Trump has nominated Alexandra Dapolito Dunn, a longtime environmental attorney and current head of EPA’s New England office, to head the agency’s chemicals and pesticides office.  Of course, his previous pick – Michael Dourson – was withdraw after significant controversies.

Harder, Campbell, Kenderdine EPIC Fellows – The Energy Policy Institute at the University of Chicago (EPIC) announced that veteran energy reporter Amy Harder will be its inaugural Visiting Fellow in Journalism for the 2018-2019 academic year. Harder, an energy reporter for Axios, will moderate a series of events and share her expertise with students and the broader campus community through workshops and public discussions. EPIC will also have McKie Campbell, former staff director of the U.S. Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, and Melanie Kenderdine, former director of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Energy Policy and Systems Analysis and Energy Counselor to the Secretary, as 2018-2019 Visiting Fellows in Policy Practice. Campbell and Kenderdine will share their perspectives and expertise in a series of events, workshops and public discussions, as well as serve as resources for students and the Institute.

Perry Honors DOE Employees – DOE held its annual Secretary’s Honor Awards and Presidential Rank Awards ceremony at DOE Headquarters. Secretary of Energy Rick Perry spoke at the event, recognizing the outstanding achievements of individuals and teams who have gone above and beyond in fulfilling DOE’s mission and serving the Nation.  In total, 775 employees across DOE and the federal government were recognized both individually and in teams for their hard work and dedication to public service. Some of the achievements include 2017 Hurricane season emergency response; standing up of NNSA’s Center for Excellence in Cyber Threat Intelligence to heighten cybersecurity efforts; strengthened nonproliferation efforts and revitalization of the domestic nuclear industry.  In addition, ten DOE Senior Executive Service members were recognized for receiving Presidential Rank Awards in 2017. Two executives received the highest honor, the Distinguished Rank Award, and eight executives received the Meritorious Rank Award.

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

DOE Hosts Grid Workshop – DOE’s Grid Modernization Initiative (GMI) is holding a peer review today through Friday at the Sheraton Pentagon City Hotel. During this event, a portfolio of grid modernization activities across 13 programs will be reviewed, including seven recently awarded Resilient Distribution Systems projects. The comprehensive review will look at the projects at a program level, provide lessons learned, and share best practices. A poster session will provide an opportunity for attendees to talk with the researchers and learn more about the over 80 projects in the portfolio. In addition, a dedicated session will discuss the 11 Pioneer Partnership Projects that ended earlier this year.

Farm Bill Conference Meeting Set – Tomorrow at 9:30 a.m. in the Kennedy Caucus Room – Room 325, the Senate Committee on Agriculture has announced a conference meeting on the Farm Bill.

Forum to Discuss Nuclear – The U.S. Nuclear Industry Council, with support from DOE’s Office of Nuclear Energy, is hosting a bipartisan, education presentation tomorrow at 11:30 a.m. featuring Members of Congress, Hill staff and industry regarding the US nuclear fleet, its jobs, exports, and clean energy leadership.  Speakers include Reps. Roger Marshall and Joe Wilson; Southern’s Mike Riith and many more. Lunch will be served, including “Atomic Wings.”

Report on Great Lakes Green Infrastructure Released – The Great Lakes Commission and Northeast Midwest Institute hold a briefing and report launch on tomorrow at 2:30 p.m. for “Great Lakes Regional Green Infrastructure Policy Analysis: Addressing Barriers to Implementation.”  Speakers will include GLC Program Director Victoria Pebbles, Gary Belan of American Rivers and Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Cities Initiative President John Dickert.

Conservative Clean Energy Conference Set – The Young Conservatives for Energy Reform & Christian Coalition is hosting its annual Conservative Clean Energy Summit at the Hyatt Regency Washington on Capitol Hill tomorrow through Friday.

Hill, BPC Forum to Look at ResiliencyThe Hill in collaboration with the Bipartisan Policy Center will convene policymakers, business leaders and advocacy groups on Thursday morning at AJAX DC to examine the issues that are motivating greater climate collaboration and consider the substance and politics behind these initiatives.  The risks to resiliency posed by extreme weather are prompting U.S. cities, states, and businesses to take action, even as the issue continues to polarize many leaders in the nation’s capital.  Speakers include Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick, Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, IBEW’s Donnie Colston, API’s Kyle Isakower, Pepco’s Melissa Lavinson, Brian Pallasch of the American Society of Civil Engineers and Glenn Prickett of The Nature Conservancy.

AEI look s Paris Climate Agreement – On Thursday at 9:30 a.m. AEI, hosts a forum on the 2015 Paris agreement on climate change. Experts and representatives from international organizations and academia will provide their perspectives on whether carbon pricing can work, what sorts of carbon prices countries might need, trade-offs with other mitigation policies, and the current state of carbon pricing. Panelists will also discuss evidence on the health benefits from reducing fossil fuel use and how the overall architecture of the Paris agreement might be improved.  Speakers include Harvard’s Joe Aldy, RFF’s Maureen Cropper and Ian Parry of the International Monetary Fund.

Duke’s Nicholas Institute to Host State Carbon Trading Forum – On Thursday at 10:00 a.m. Duke in DC’s Nicholas Institute will host a forum on states and carbon trading.  The forum will look at the nuts and bolts of linking State Programs.  The Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) is a cooperative effort of nine Northeast and MidAtlantic states to cap and reduce carbon dioxide emissions from power plants through a market-based, emissions trading program.

Danish to Discuss ACE Rule – On Thursday at 2:00 p.m., the United States Energy Association holds a forum on the proposed Affordable Clean Energy (ACE) rule.  ACE would replace the 2015 Clean Power Plan (CPP), which EPA is proposing to repeal (in a separate rulemaking) on the grounds that the CPP exceeded the agency’s authority under the CAA. Guest speaker Kyle Danish will discuss the implications of the rule.

IN THE FUTURE

WAPA, DTF Forum to Highlight Diesel Issues – Next Monday at 11:30 a.m. at Engine Co 12 in NW DC, the Washington Automotive Press Association and the Diesel Technology Forum host a lunch to look at the true ‘state of diesel’ in the U.S. automotive market.  Speakers include GM’s Global Diesel Executive Director, Pierpaolo Antonioli and GM’s Regional Chief, Engineer, Mike Siegrist.  You will also hear the very latest IHS Markit diesel vehicles-in-use data for the United States; and get details about new research on the benefits of new-technology diesel pickup trucks.

JHU to Feature Rockefeller Foundation President – The Johns Hopkins University SAIS and the Initiative for Sustainable Energy Policy (ISEP) host a forum next Monday at 12:30 pm in its Kenney Herter Auditorium featuring Dean Vali Nasr and a conversation on affordable and clean energy with the President of the Rockefeller Foundation, Rajiv Shah.

Forum to Look at Southern Gas Corridor – The Atlantic Council’s Global Energy Center hosts a conversation about the Southern Gas Corridor and European energy security next Tuesday at 11:00 a.m. In the wake of new developments in constructing and completing the Southern Gas Corridor, a key priority project for European energy security, our expert panel will discuss the progress already made, challenges still ahead, and opportunities for the future.

WCEE to Host Forum to Highlight Women in Energy Stories – Next Tuesday starting at 6:00 p.m., the Women’s Council on Energy and the Environment’s (WCEE) Career Building Section hosts a reception and discussion at USEA about challenges and opportunities for women working in energy. Our friends Vicky Bailey and Sheila Slocum Hollis will share their expertise on overcoming obstacles, discuss skills required for convening stakeholders, and bring examples of leading towards practical solutions for the real world.

Climate Summit Set for SF – The Global Climate Action Summit will be held in San Francisco on Wednesday September 12th through Friday September 14th.  The forum will bring leaders and people together from around the world to support action on climate change.  It will also feature action by states, regions, cities, companies, investors and citizens with respect to climate action.  It will also be a launchpad for deeper worldwide commitments and accelerated action from countries—supported by all sectors of society—that can put the globe on track to prevent dangerous climate change and realize the historic Paris Agreement. States and regions, cities, businesses and investors are leading the charge on pushing down global emissions by 2020, setting the stage to reach net zero emissions by midcentury.​​  Speakers include Gov. Jerry Brown, UNFCCC head Patricia Espinosa, Michael Bloomberg and many more.

Electric Cars on Display on National MallNational Drive Electric Week launches in Washington on Sunday, September 16th with events from 10:00 am – 3:00 pm on the National Mall near National Gallery of Art (7th Street, NW).  At the event, you will learn about electric vehicles and see the latest models on the National Mall.

Forum to Look at Carbon Tax – On Monday, September 17th at 1:30 p.m. in the U.S. Capitol Visitors Center, Plant Oil Powered Diesel, Inc. is hosting a panel discussion on the carbon tax, featuring industry, environmentalist and citizen views.  More on the panelists as we get closer next week.
CSIS Hosts Trade Reps – On Monday September 17th, the CSIS Scholl Chair in International Business is hosting a conversation with six former United States Trade Representatives, who will share wisdom from their own experience and discuss the current global trading system, its institutions, and the prospects for trade in these challenging times. Speakers include Bill Brock, Carla Hills, Micky Kantor, Charlene Barshefsky​, Susan Schwab and Ron Kirk.

CAFE Public Hearing Set for CA, MI, PA – NHTSA and EPA will hold three public hearings on the revisions to the fuels economy standard.  The hearing will occur on Sept 25th in Fresno, Sept 26th in Dearborn MI, and Sept 27th in Pittsburgh.

Border Energy Forum Set for San Antonio – The North American Development Bank (NADB) will host the XXIII Border Energy Forum in San Antonio on September 26th and 27th at the Hilton San Antonio. This forum brings together local and state officials, private sector developers, academics, large commercial users, and energy experts from the U.S. and Mexico. NADB’s unique position as the only U.S.-Mexico binational development bank, has provided the Bank the opportunity to be involved in some of the most relevant clean energy projects developed in the last five years in the region. NADB has financed close to $1.5 billion for 35 projects with total costs of $5.2 billion. Roughly, 2,548 MW of new generation capacity is being installed along the border. The forum will center the dialogue on energy prosperity, innovation, financing, the future of energy markets, and crossborder opportunities along the U.S.-Mexico border, and how to continue building partnerships to advance both countries energy goals that ultimately improve economic development and protect the environment.

SEJ in Flint – The Society of Environmental Journalism holds its annual conference on October 3-6th in Flint.  Of course, Bracewell hosts its annual event on Thursday October 4th.

Special Energy Update: August 2

Friends,

The Trump administration said this morning it wants to freeze fuel efficiency standards for vehicles made from 2022 to 2025 at current levels and revoke a Clean Air Act waiver that allows California to set its own GHG specifications.

Here is the release and a link to the draft rule.

This morning EPA’s Bill Wehrum and NHTSA’s Heidi King hosted a pen and pad conference call to discuss proposed national fuel economy standards for MY 2021-2026 vehicles.

SOME HISTORICAL PERSPECTIVE

Remember, many experts knew and suggested as far back as 2012 that the Phase II rules were always going to be a stretch.  And the 11th hour 2017 Obama EPA review really didn’t credibly change the fact that technology challenges still remain a problem.

As well, on the waiver, again many experts have suggested that since California itself has focused its attention on GHGs for its waiver now rather than the smog-forming pollution that make its circumstances unique to California, that there is no longer grounds to grant a specific, special waiver.

WHAT TO DO ON WAIVER QUESTIONS

Many of you have already spoken with my colleague Jeff Holmstead, a former EPA air office head, on the waiver issue.  He reminds that in 2007, EPA made a similar argument that was subject to litigation – just as this one will be – but it never played out to its end because the Obama Administration came into office in 2008 and re-granted the waiver.  Jeff can be reached at jeff.holmstead@bracewell.com or 202-294-8700 should you have questions.  You can also forward questions to me.

OTHER EXPERTS

Our friends at Securing America’s Future Energy (SAFE) also weighed in on several topics.  SAFE President and CEO Robbie Diamond:

“The release of this proposal now enables the federal government and California to engage in the serious conversation that is needed between both parties. President Trump called for a deal when he convened the auto industry in May to discuss fuel economy standards—we look forward to sharing solutions and continuing a dialogue with all parties as this process moves forward.”

“Oil prices are at the highest point since 2014 thanks to the continued market manipulation of OPEC and rising geopolitical risk. Fuel economy standards, coupled with domestic production, are one of the best policies available to maintain momentum on reducing our oil dependence—these rules improve our national security, unleash innovation, save consumers money and help insulate our economy from oil price volatility.”

“The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) have a unique opportunity to modernize the fuel economy standards by incorporating new technologies that create a win-win situation for all stakeholders. A long, litigious road is the worst possible outcome for the auto industry and its consumers, the administration and our national security.”

Diamond also offered specific additional on-the-record comment about the NPRM language on several topics”

On safety argument:

“The federal government’s own data shows that when managed properly for vehicle footprints, lightweighting and fuel economy rules don’t undermine highway safety. Saving lives while saving fuel can be accomplished simultaneously—especially while integrating new technologies such as advanced driver assist and other semi-autonomous features, which can result in 18-25 percent reductions in fuel demand system-wide, and save approximately 10,000 lives per year.”

On vehicle prices:

“Thanks to the incredible innovation of the automotive industry, the impressive gains in fuel efficiency that have been achieved since 2012 have come at a price that consumers can afford—vehicle purchase prices have fallen by 3% since 2013 even as the total Consumer Price Index has risen by 8%. By contrast, housing prices have increased by 15% and food prices have increased by 7%. We need a regulatory framework that supports continued technological innovation that will strengthen the industry, boost our economy, and help consumers deal with the rising price of oil.”

On assumption oil prices will stay low through 2050:

“Trying to predict oil prices is a fool’s game. Just 6 months ago, we were told oil prices wouldn’t rise above $75 per barrel in the near future. The only safe assumption about oil prices is that they are unpredictable, and subject to manipulation by foreign actors. Let’s remember that every modern recession has been preceded or occurred concurrently to an oil price spike.”

AFPM Also Weighs In:  The American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers (AFPM) President/CEO Chet Thompson:

“The return to national, unified emissions targets set at reasonable levels would be a positive step toward ensuring that the vehicle fleet contains affordable options with features that meet the needs of American drivers. Today, vehicles with internal combustion engines are cleaner and more efficient than ever, and fuel, petrochemical and automobile manufacturers are innovating continuously to help Americans get more out of their cars.  We applaud the administration, EPA and NHTSA for offering this practical proposal and look forward to a final rule that reflects market realities, industry progress and consumer preferences.”

 

ANOTHER INTERESTING SIDEBAR

Given today’s fuel economy announcement, one issue that can improve fuel economy that states ACTUALLY have control over is how rough roads are and how they are maintained.  MIT’s Concrete Sustainability Hub has done significant research on Pavement-Vehicle Interactions – studies about how we can lower fuel consumption and vehicle emissions by taking a new approach to building and maintaining our roadways.  This is significant for how states determine their transportation budgets and the kind road maintenance projects they might undertake.

This is a good add-in to any stories you or your colleagues may be considering on the States AGs response, the actual CAFE policy impacts and how you can deal with fuel economy/GHGs outside of the rule.

MIT experts posted a new White Board Video that explains how texture, roughness, and structural properties of the road all play a role in vehicle fuel efficiency and greenhouse gas emissions (it can be as high as 4%, which is pretty big when you think about how many drivers are out there).

In addition to Holmstead, my colleagues Scott Segal and Anna Burhop are also digging into the draft rule so please call/email with questions.

Frank Maisano

202-997-5932

 

Energy Update: Week of July 30

Friends,

Starting today with sports since August is close and over the weekend, Geraint Thomas survived the Pyrenees to win his first Tour de France title, concluding his transformation from a support rider into a champion of cycling’s biggest race.  The Welsh rider with Team Sky won over Tom Dumoulin and teammate/defending champ Chris Froome.  Also, former Tiger greats Alan Trammell and Jack Morris were both inducted into Baseball’s Hall of Fame in Cooperstown alongside Chipper Jones, Jim Thome, Vlad Guerrero and Trevor Hoffman.

But August really means that Fall Sports are right around the corner.  NFL training camps are underway with the Hall of Fame game Thursday and HoF induction (Saturday’s induction class includes Bobby Beathard, linebacker Robert Brazile, safety Brian Dawkins, guard Jerry Kramer, linebacker Ray Lewis, wide receiver Randy Moss, wide receiver Terrell Owens, and linebacker Brian Urlacher); NCAA College Football kickoffs Saturday August 25th; Hannah reports for Junior year at Wellesley (WOW, already) for field hockey on August 16th and my first college FH game is at Syracuse that weekend.  Here in DC, the Citi Open – DC’s long-standing professional tennis tour stop at the Rock Creek Park Tennis Center – is underway and runs to Sunday.  Players include Andy Murray, world #3 Alexander Zverev, #5 Kevin Anderson (who just made a great Wimbledon run), #9 John Isner and many more.

Well, we have kind of made it to August recess.  With the House out until Labor Day, the big show is Wednesday in the Senate at the Environment Committee where Andy Wheeler heads to testify for the first time since being named Acting Administrator.  Before the Wheeler show, the Committee will vote on CEQ nominee Mary Neumayr (and others).  And most think – after some speculation last week – that the fuel economy Phase II standards will be announced sometime this week.  Our friends at the NYT detailed a draft of the plan on Friday.  As well, my friend Bridget Bartol (bbartol@secureenergy.org) at SAFE can also help you with the inside details.  And with the fuel economy debate seeing heightened importance, MIT experts have a new White Board Video that explains how texture, roughness, and structural properties of the road all play a role in vehicle fuel efficiency and greenhouse gas emissions (it can be as high as 4%, which is pretty big when you think about how many drivers are out there).  17 State AGs also made a similar request.

The other interesting thing that happened Friday was the bipartisan group of 21 Senators that told EPA Administrator Andy Wheeler that they are strongly opposed any proposal to reallocate RFS compliance obligations from exempted small refineries to other refiners and importers.  The senators wrote that “regardless of one’s views on the merits of SRE decisions, there is little doubt that reallocating obligations would only compound the problems with the RFS and are illegal.”  Pretty clear.

Also Friday, Five major HVACR companies (Lennox, Carrier, Nortek, Rheem & Ingersoll Rand) are asking the Supreme Court to review the lower court decision that blocked EPA implementation of HFC reductions using its SNAP program, saying the decision creates a regulatory mess that EPA has been unable to fix almost a year after the decision was handed down. (More below or in link)

Finally, our Bracewell PRG podcastThe Lobby Shop – is now on social media.  It is a regular mix of politics, policy and fun.  Please follow it on Twitter at @TheLobbyShopPod and like it on Facebook at @lobbyshop to get all the details and regular updates.  It will be well worth the follow.

No updates over the next few weeks unless necessary. (Maybe updates on the Incubus or Godsmack shows we are attending). Call with questions…Best,

Frank Maisano

(202) 828-5864

c. (202) 997-5932

 

FRANKLY SPOKEN

“I have worked in the HVAC&R industry for 15 years and have seen many changes to our industry. I support the Kigali Amendment and I stand with President Trump on holding China accountable and creating good paying jobs right here in the United States of America. Our country is currently in desperate need of skilled labor and the Kigali Amendment will help to grow those skilled labor needs right here in the United States.”

Jason Lacey, Executive Vice President, Local 4501, Communications Workers of America (CWA), Columbus, Ohio

 

ON THE POD

Bracewell Podcasts Looks at Trade, New EPA Head – The latest episode of the Bracewell Podcast, The Lobby Shop is now live on Stitcher, iTunes, SoundCloud, and Google Play Music.  This week, we’re joined by Scott Lincicome, trade attorney and adjunct professor at The Cato Institute and Duke Law. We cover Scott’s viral t-shirt design, the latest in retaliatory tariff news, and many other updates in the global Trade War.

GTM Energy Gang Podcast: A Conversation With Vox’s Roberts – On this week’s Energy Gang, our friend Stephen Lacey holds a wide-ranging conversation with Vox’s David Roberts.  Roberts is known for his deep explainers and strong opinions and they discuss some of the most pressing energy/environment topics, including carbon taxes, nuclear bail outs, renewables and politics.

 

FUN OPINIONS

MIT Whiteboard Report: Pavement Can Impact Emissions – With the fuel economy debate seeing heightened importance, we highlight that road quality impacts vehicle fuel efficiency and greenhouse gas emissions. In a new White Board Video, MIT CSHub researcher Dr. Mehdi Akbarian explains how texture, roughness, and structural properties of the road all play a role.  See it here.

EIA: Energy Expenditures Lowest Since 1970 – EIA says U.S. energy expenditures declined for the 5th consecutive year, reaching $1.0 trillion in 2016, a 9% decrease in real terms from 2015. Adjusted for inflation, total energy expenditures in 2016 were the lowest since 2003. Expressed as a percent of gross domestic product (GDP), total energy expenditures were 5.6% in 2016, the lowest since at least 1970.  See more info and graphs here.

IN THE NEWS

Major HVACR Companies Ask SCOTUS to Take HFC Case – Five major HVACR companies are asking the Supreme Court to review the lower court decision that blocked EPA implementation of HFC reductions using its SNAP program, saying the decision creates a regulatory mess that EPA has been unable to fix almost a year after the decision was handed down. Unless the Supreme Court steps in, the result will be an extended period of regulatory uncertainty, almost certainly including years of litigation challenging the new rule that EPA ultimately develops to implement a confusing D.C. Circuit decision that was wrongly decided.  The companies (Rheem, Lennox, Ingersoll Rand, Carrier and Nortek) are the leading U.S. manufacturers of HVACR equipment.  Together with another manufacturer filing its own amicus brief, they account for well over 75% of the residential and commercial air conditioning and commercial refrigeration equipment that is manufactured and sold in North America.

21 Senators Weigh in Against Illegal Reallocation of Small Refiner Waiver – A bipartisan group of Senators told EPA Administrator Andy Wheeler that they are strongly opposed any proposal to reallocate the Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS) compliance obligations from exempted small refineries to other non-exempted transportation fuel refiners and importers.  The senator s wrote that “regardless of one’s views on the merits of SRE decisions, there is little doubt that reallocating obligations would only compound the problems with the RFS. Simply put, a retroactive reallocation of small refinery obligations onto non-exempt obligated parties is illegal and inconsistent with the objectives of sound energy policy.”  The 20 signers include Sens. Inhofe, Barrasso, Boozman, Capito, Cassidy, Cotton, Cruz, Daines, Enzi, Flake, Hatch, Hyde-Smith, Isakson, Kennedy, Lankford, Lee, Manchin, Perdue, Risch, Toomey and Wicker.  The Fueling American Jobs Coalition says “reallocating exemptions simply amounts to a penalty on U.S. refineries that may not qualify for a small refiner exemption, but otherwise comply with the RFS.  Reallocations would inject even greater uncertainty into the already volatile and opaque market for tradeable ethanol credits, threatening a return to surging prices for these credits that are would negatively impacting refineries across the U.S. and jeopardizing good-paying industrial jobs that sustain hard-working American communities.”

ClearPath Study: Aggressive Carbon Capture RD&D Can Spur Massive Economic Benefits – ClearPath Foundation and Carbon Utilization Research Council released a new study that says accelerating research, development and deployment of advanced power cycles and carbon capture technologies for use in fossil power generation would dramatically drive domestic oil production, jobs and provide a significant boost to GDP while trapping significant amounts of heat-trapping carbon emissions.  The International Brotherhood of Boilermakers, Iron Ship, Builders, Blacksmiths, Forgers & Helpers; the International Brotherhood of Electrical, Workers and the United Mine Workers of America also contributed to the effort.  Under the scenarios evaluated, the study’s modeling provided by NERA Economic Consulting and Advanced Resources International forecasts market-driven deployment of up to 87 gigawatts with carbon capture technologies over the next two decades. Some of these include a 40% increase in domestic coal production for power from 2020 to 2040; 100 million to 923 million barrels of additional domestic oil produced annually by 2040; 270,000 to 780,000 new jobs and an increase of $70 billion to $190 billion in annual gross domestic product (GDP) associated with enhanced oil recovery field operations by 2040; Aggressive RD&D reduced the national retail cost of electricity 1.1% to 2.0% by 2040, which on its own is forecasted to increase annual GDP by an additional $30 billion to 55 billion and create 210,000 to 380,000 more jobs over a baseline RD&D case.

Chamber, NAM, Industry Groups Push for HFC Reduction – The Let America Lead coalition formed last week to work with conservative leaders at the local, state and national level, manufacturers and businesses, and working Americans across the country to demonstrate to President Trump why support for the Kigali Amendment is a win for American workers and urge him to send it to the U.S. Senate for ratification.  The announcement follows a recent series of public statements of support for Kigali amendment ratification. In May, the Air-Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration Institute and the Alliance for Responsible Atmospheric Policy released a new economic study conducted by Inforum and JBS Consulting. The study demonstrates the job creation and economic growth benefits of ratification, including the creation of 33,000 manufacturing jobs and 117,000 indirect jobs by 2027. It will also increase manufacturing exports by $5 billion while reducing imports by nearly $7 billion to improve the balance of trade. In June, 13 Republican Senators sent a joint letter of support to President Trump urging him to send the Amendment to the Senate for its advice and consent. They wrote: “The Kigali Amendment will protect American workers, grow our economy, and improve our trade balance all while encouraging further innovation to strengthen America’s leadership role.” Also in June, three leading conservative groups, Americans for Tax Reform, FreedomWorks and the American Council for Capital Foundation stated their support for the amendment, writing to the president that, “This agreement has our support because it will ensure that U.S. manufacturers are able to thrive in the global economy and create more wealth and jobs in America.” Let America Lead is proud to announce that the National Association of Manufacturers, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the American Chemistry Council and the American Council for Capital Formation are founding members of the coalition, and looks forward to announcing additional members.

Cooper Nominated to Energy GC – Former House Resources staff director and energy specialist Bill Cooper has been nominated to be General Counsel of the Department of Energy.

Solar Report: 42 States, DC Took Action on Solar Policy During Q2 – The N.C. Clean Energy Technology Center (NCCETC) released its Q2 2018 edition of The 50 States of Solar. The quarterly series provides insights on state regulatory and legislative discussions and actions on distributed solar policy, with a focus on net metering, distributed solar valuation, community solar, residential fixed charges, residential demand and solar charges, third-party ownership, and utility-led rooftop solar programs.  The report finds that 42 states and the District of Columbia took some type of distributed solar policy action during Q2 2018 (see figure below), with the greatest number of actions relating to residential fixed charge or minimum bill increases, net metering policies and community solar policies.  A total of 148 distributed solar policy actions were taken during Q2 2018, with the greatest number of actions taken in California, Arizona, New York, Virginia and Massachusetts.

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

August Congressional Recess – While the Senate will remain in session, the House will not return until after Labor Day.

Women in Nuclear Conference Starts — The U.S. Women in Nuclear National Conference is underway through Wednesday in Huntsville, Alabama.  The 2018 national conference is sponsored by the Tennessee Valley Authority and gathers individuals working in any aspect of nuclear energy, science and technology in the United States. The conference provides perspectives from national authorities on key issues and professional development opportunities to grow your career.

Conference to Look at Sustainability – The National Association for Environmental Management holds a sustainability management conference today through Wednesday at the Omni in Providence, Rhode Island.  The conference offers insights to improve company performance while more effectively managing sustainability data at both ends of the supply chain.

Conference Looks a Renewable, Storage – EUCI hosts a conference today and tomorrow in Philadelphia on the interconnection process for renewables and storage. The conference will discuss the process for interconnection utilized by different entities across the country, identify technical requirements from start to finish, evaluate potential regulatory and policy directions, and evaluate how best to update the interconnection process to accommodate the evolving electricity grid.

Perry, Pompeo to Address Chambr Indo-Pacific Business Forum – The U.S. Chamber of Commerce hosts an Indo-Pacific Business Forum today.  The event will , feature Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Energy Secretary Rick Perry, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross and many more.

FERC to Hold Grid Reliability Conference – The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission will hold a day-long meeting tomorrow to discuss grid reliability policies and issues. Topics include regulatory priorities for the North American Electric Reliability Corporation; challenges arising in the Western Interconnection; an update on the cooperation agreement between NERC and Mexico; how grid resiliency can be tracked with data; and how industry and regulators need to respond to higher supplies of distributed generation and energy storage.

EESI Forum to Look at Energy Efficient Housing – The Energy Efficiency for All and the Environmental and Energy Study Institute host a breakfast briefing tomorrow at 9:00 a.m. on Federal programs for energy and housing, focusing on low-income families.  Speakers include Ellen Lurie Hoffman of the National Housing Trust, ACEEE’s Ariel Drehobl, Carmen Bingham of Virginia Poverty Law Center, Action Housing’s Sarah Ralich and former DOE Weatherization Assistance Program Director Dave Rinebolt.

Forum to Look at Natural Disasters, Climate – Results for Development (R4D) holds a forum tomorrow at 11:00 a.m. on climate change and natural disasters.  In this discussion, Vinod Thomas, former Director General of Independent Evaluation at the World Bank and at Asian Development Bank, will present findings from his recently published book on this subject. Masood Ahmed, President of the Center for Global Development and Annette Dixon, Vice President for Human Development at the World Bank Group, will respond with comments.

Forum to Look at Russian Energy Sanction Impacts – Tomorrow at noon, the Atlantic Council holds for a conversation about proposed Russia sanctions legislation. The ongoing discussions within the US Congress provide an opportunity to take stock of existing sanctions policy and the proposed legislation and assess the implications for oil markets, energy projects, and companies. The expert panel will discuss proposed legislation such as the DETER (Defending Elections from Threats by Establishing Redlines) and ESCAPE (Energy Security Cooperation with Allied Partners in Europe) Acts.  Speakers include former State official David Goldwyn and Other Council experts.

ELI to Host ESA Webinar – Tomorrow at 2:00 p.m., the Environmental Law Institute hosts a webinar on proposed USFWS Endangered Species Act regulations.  This panel will provide an advanced look into potential benefits and repercussions of utilizing the ESA under this regulatory proposal.  Each panelist will highlight his or her top areas of interest in the proposals and describe improvements that could be made in the process to finalize the regulations.

Senate Environment to Host Wheeler – The Senate Environment Committee will host new acting EPA head Andy Wheeler on Wednesday August 1st at 10:30 a.m. It will also hold a Business Meeting to vote on CEQ head Mary Neumayr and other nominations immediately prior at 9:45 a.m.

WCEE Monthly Happy Hour – The Women’s Council on Energy and Environment hosts its August Happy Hour on Wednesday, August 1st at 5:30 p.m. at MASA 14 (1825 14th Street, NW).

TX Enviro Superconference Set – The 30th Texas Environmental Superconference is being held on Thursday and Friday in Austin at the Four Seasons Hotel.  This year’s conference will have speakers from across the spectrum including Andy Wheeler fresh off his Senate testimony, Air office head Bill Wehrum and a number of others from EPA leadership. Also on the agenda are TCEQ’s Brian Shaw, my Bracewell colleague Tim Wilkins and our friends Allison Wood of Hunton and Jon Cruden of Beveridge. The Superconference will cover an array of cutting-edge topics with timely presentations from federal, state and local governmental officials and leading private practitioners. A copy of the current draft program can be found here.

Tesla Book Discussion SetPolitics and Prose Bookstore hosts Author Richard Munson on Wednesday at 7:00 p.m. to discuss and sign copies of “Tesla: Inventor of the Modern”.  Drawing on his new book, Richard Munson shines a light on the man behind the legend and how his unique way of doing things meant some of his most advanced ideas would go unrecognized for decades. Tesla felt inventing required the linking of science and the humanities. Unlike his better- known rival, Thomas Edison, he was not motivated by profit and preferred working in isolation.

Science-Policy Discussion Set – On Thursday, August 2nd, the Women’s Council on Energy and the Environment hosts a conversation at Honeywell at Noon featuring two scientists working to shape policy at the federal level. They will discuss the role of science in shaping public policy and offer solutions for a more collaborative relationship between the scientific and policy realms.

 

IN THE FUTURE

New Rule for New Power Plants Likely in August – EPA plans to send revised carbon dioxide emissions standards for new fossil fuel-fired electric generators to OMB in August. The budget/reg agency is already reviewing the new version of the Clean Power Plan.  The new source performance standards, established under the Obama administration in 2015, currently require the installation of prohibitively expensive carbon capture systems on new coal plants to meet the emissions limits, effectively banning the generators. The Trump administration has sought to roll back a number of environmental and energy rules in a bid to revive the nation’s ailing coal industry.

Forum to Look at Innovative CO2 Tech – Next Tuesday, August 7th at 1:00 p.m., the U.S. Energy Association hosts a discussion of Global Thermostat’s patented breakthrough technology removes CO2 from ambient air or other sources utilizing readily available, low-cost process heat. That CO2 is then used profitably in multiple industrial processes, meeting the needs of a > $1 Trillion annual market. With its great flexibility and scalable implementations, GT plants can be of any size, and can standalone, or be integrated with: legacy power plants; renewable energy plants; and manufacturing facilities. This briefing will highlight this revolutionary technology, with a discussion on viable CO2 markets as well as the status of the two existing plants in Silicon Valley, and a third commercial plant on the way at Huntsville, Alabama.

Forum to Look at Climate Adaption Policy – On Thursday, August 9th at 8:30 a.m. at the ASU Barrett & O’Connor Washington Center, the Consortium for Science, Policy, and Outcomes holds a forum to Look at how to best adapt to a warmer future. Bruce Guile, president and cofounder of the New Advisory Group, and Raj Pandya, the founding director of the Thriving Earth Exchange at the American Geophysical Union, will address exactly that question to mark the publication of the Summer 2018 Issues in Science and Technology. They will discuss “Adapting to Global Warming: Four National Priorities,” their clear-eyed assessment of the policy steps needed to use human ingenuity to confront climate change.

EPRI Hosts Electrification Conference – The Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) hosts the inaugural Electrification 2018 International Conference and Exposition on August 20th to 23rd in Long Beach CA. Hosted by the and sponsored by more than 20 major utilities and organizations, this annual conference will bring together utility leaders, regulators, researchers, academia, vendors, economic development groups, and energy users from diverse manufacturing, transportation, industrial, and agriculture sectors around the globe.  SoCo CEO Tom Fanning is among the many speakers.

Oil/Gas Conference Set for Denver – EnerCom’s Oil & Gas Conference will be held on August 20-23 at The Westin Denver Downtown.  The conference offers investment professionals the opportunity to listen to the world’s key senior management teams present their growth plans.  Our friends at Wolfe Research will host a full day of management meetings with execs on Tuesday August 21st at the Palm Restaurant.

 

Energy Update: Week of July 23

Friends,

The British Open was exciting with Tiger Woods reemerging as a challenger.  His Saturday round put him on top of a major tournament for the first time since 2010.  In the end, it was Italian Francisco Molinari, who played alongside Tiger on Sunday and remains red hot, who pulled away to win the famed Claret Jug.  And with this being the final week of the Tour de France, we should see some fireworks as riders head to the decisive stages in the Pyrenees starting tomorrow. Overall leader Geraint Thomas maintained his advantage of 1:39 over four-time champion and teammate Chris Froome. Tom Dumoulin, the world time trial champion, remained third at 1:50 back. What to do Team Sky?  Thomas or Froome?  We shall see…

This week is the last for the House before August Recess.  There is a lot going on with budget and farm bill issues, with Interior-EPA Approps headed for votes.  Senate Energy is also expected tomorrow to vote out DOE nominees including Dan Simmons and IG Teri Donaldson.  This is also a big week for tariff issues with steel importers Friday asking the U.S. Court of International Trade for a summary judgment to immediately halt the steel duty. Bracewell’s trade policy experts Josh Zive (202-828-5838) and Paul Nathanson (202-828-1715) are all over the issue and can help.

The RFS is again in the news with Friday’s court decision hitting EPA for denying waivers to small refiners.  As you know this has been a contentious issue with the ethanol activists hammering the waivers despite the fact that there has been no demand loss.  Friday’s decision is the second in favor of small refiners. The news will be follow by a presser tomorrow hosted by former Hose Energy Chair Henry Waxman and his environmental group Mighty Earth, who will attack the RFS as bad policy.  Finally, on Wednesday at 9:15 a.m., the House Energy Enviro Subpanel looks at RINs and the problems they are causing with the RFS.   Also, the Senate Energy Committee will look at global oil price issues tomorrow in a hearing.

In another major event Wednesday at Noon, the Carbon Utilization Research Council, ClearPath Foundation and the Electric Power Research Institute will be on Capitol Hill to officially unveil two studies that underscore the promise and benefits of aggressively developing and commercializing U.S.-based carbon capture, storage and utilization technologies.  CURC and EPRI will release the 5th Advanced Fossil Energy Technology Roadmap that identifies technologies that can be available by the 2025-2035 timeframe that generate electricity from fossil fuels with significantly reduced carbon dioxide emissions that could be cost competitive with other sources of electricity generation.  A companion analysis conducted by CURC and ClearPath will also include modeling provided by NERA Economic Consulting and Advanced Resources International to show that there are significant economic benefits to the U.S. if the technology development outlined in the Roadmap is undertaken under a wide range of scenarios.

Today at 2:00 pm, MIT’s Jeremy Gregory will speak at the Business Council for Sustainable Energy (BCSE) for its Energy Thought Leader Speaker Series – a strategic effort to stimulate the development of resilient buildings and infrastructure that will continue through December of this year. Gregory will focus on MIT’s resilience-related research, with a special focus on our quantitative analyses, as well as address ways these ideas can be extended to energy networks. The meeting is closed to BCSE members but check in with me at @fvmaisano or MIT’s CSHub if you are interested in updates. (You should follow MIT’s CS Hub anyway).

Finally this morning – despite House passing a non-binding resolution stating that a nationwide carbon emissions tax would be “detrimental” to the economy – Rep. Carlos Curbelo (R-Fla.) will discuss his legislation  to tax on carbon emissions at a forum this morning sponsored by the Columbia Center on Global Energy Policy. The bill calls for the elimination of the federal gas tax and the reinstatement of federal climate regulations if the carbon tax, which would start out at $23 per ton, fails to curb a certain amount of greenhouse gases.  Americans for Tax Reform will hold its own discussion today on what it calls “a giant job-crushing carbon tax,” with Grover Norquist and CEI’s Marlo Lewis.

Bottomline: In reality, with Congress firmly on record against a carbon tax, the questions remains if a carbon tax is a no go, then what might be a solution that shows meaningful action on advancing innovation and reducing emissions?  Perhaps, we can help find that answer soon…

Call with questions…Best,

Frank Maisano

(202) 828-5864

c. (202) 997-5932

 

FRANKLY SPOKEN

“Importantly, the court rejected EPA’s “industry-wide” conclusion that refiners can pass through their RIN costs, recognizing that the ability of a refinery to pass through its RIN costs is a refinery-specific and fact specific determination.”

LeAnn Johnson, counsel to Ergon-WV on Friday’s court Decision on Small Refiner Waivers. 

 

“Section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act allows the President nearly unfettered discretion to impose tariffs and create other trade barriers if he simply decides that imports threaten to impair U.S. national security. At the same time, the law allows tremendous latitude to the President in determining what constitutes a threat. The United States Constitution provides important checks on the President’s power, and the Section 232 trade provision stands in clear violation of that balance.”

AIIS President Richard Chriss, announcing they are asking the International Trade court to stop Section 232 tariffs imposed by President Trump

 

ON THE POD

Bracewell Podcasts Looks at Trade, New EPA Head – The latest episode of the Bracewell Podcast, The Lobby Shop is now live on Stitcher, iTunes, SoundCloud, and Google Play Music.  This week we are joined by Kyle Kondik, Managing Editor of Larry Sabato’s Crystal Ball out of the UVA Center for Politics.  Kyle talks mid-terms, key swing states, the current political climate’s impact on voting in 2018 and more.

 

FUN OPINIONS

Banks Calls for State Parity on GHG Impacts – In an op-ed In The Hill, former White House climate/energy advisor David Banks says the disparity between poorer and richer states on GHG emissions. Banks wrote “any national compromise must recognize the wealth gap between the states.  It should also reflect the fact that richer states generally industrialized earlier and account for the majority of U.S. historical emissions.”

Kerrigan: Small Businesses Innovated on Keeping America Working – Karen Kerrigan, head of the Small Business & Entrepreneur Council, recently wrote the White House Workforce Development Initiative is vital to small businesses.  She highlighted the July 19th event where President Trump announced his “Pledge to American Workers” and signed an Executive Order (EO) on workforce development. The EO establishes the National Council for the American Worker, which will “convene voices from the private, education, labor, and not-for-profit sectors to enhance employment opportunities for Americans of all ages.”  Kerrigan added that small businesses are at the cutting edge of training. Entrepreneurs and their teams are implementing innovative and creative approaches that aim to keep their employees fully trained, engaged, and ready for career opportunities that may come their way.

IN THE NEWS

Court Rules in Favor of Small Refiners on RFS Waiver – Late Friday, the US Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit handed down an important decision in Ergon-WV v EPA arguing that the EPA’s denial of a small-refiner exemption (SRE) under the federal renewable fuel standard (RFS) was arbitrary and capricious.

The Case is Significant Given Battle over SREs – The Fueling American Jobs Coalition says the Court agreed with Ergon that the application of the Department of Energy’s (DOE) matrix constituted an “error-riddled analysis” of Ergon’s petition.  The Court noted that DOE’s failure to score certain factors were arbitrary and capricious.  Most importantly, the Court held that EPA’s failure to consider the adverse impacts of high renewable identification number (RINs) prices by simply reiterating the view of one of its staffers that RINs prices were passed through to consumers was insufficient and flawed.  The Court said that each refinery faces specific circumstances with respect to their markets that can constrain pass-through of RINs costs and any EPA generic assertion to the contrary was an insufficient basis upon which to deny an SRE.  The Court took note that “the dramatic rise in RIN prices has amplified RFS compliance and competitive disparities, especially where unique regional factors exist, including high diesel demand, no export access, and limited biodiesel infrastructure and production.”

Full decision – http://www.ca4.uscourts.gov/opinions/171839.P.pdf

Company Counsel Decision Reminder of Hardship Faced from RFS – LeAnn Johnson Koch, Perkins Coie, counsel to Ergon-West Virginia said the 4th Circuit’s decision is a reminder to opponents of small refinery hardship that the harm to small refineries is real and that the Clean Air Act requires EPA to relieve it.  “The “error-riddled” DOE scoring grossly underestimated the disproportionate economic hardship experienced by Ergon and consequently, impacts on the company’s viability. We’re grateful to the Court for recognizing it.”  Johnson also said the decision is also an important reminder to opponents of small refinery hardship that the goal of the RFS is not to expand ethanol consumption, but to increase energy independence and security. “The biofuels industry has doubled down on structural flaws in the rule that discourage blending and harm merchant and small refineries. It wouldn’t be so troubling if they weren’t at the same time pounding the table about “demand destruction” and urging EPA to violate the Clean Air Act and deny hardship relief to small refineries. Demand destruction and small refinery hardship are the consequences of not fixing the rule to restore a level playing field in the transportation fuels market.”

Company: Significant, Disproportionate Hardship from RFS – Ergon-WV said they were pleased to see the 4th Circuit Court ruling which recognizes the significant and disproportionate hardship that RFS places on small refineries.  Company President Kris Patrick said a 2011 DOE study predicted that this disproportionate economic hardship would occur, and this is precisely what they witnessed at EWV. Patrick: “Like other small refineries, we operate in rural geographic areas, supplying critical fuel supplies and supporting the local economies with jobs and tax revenue. It is vital that Congress, the EPA, and the DOE continue to protect the important role of small refineries in the U.S. economy.”

Case Turns Misleading Ethanol on Head – Ethanol Interests and there Congressional supporters have been so misleading, it’s important to remind you of the facts surrounding the program.  Congress created the RFS as part of the 2005 Energy Policy Act in an effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and expand the nation’s renewable fuels sector. Their understanding of the detrimental impact the program could have on small refineries prompted Congress to direct the EPA to grant waivers from the mandate to small refineries that would suffer a “disproportionate economic hardship” in complying with the program. Small refineries are defined as those processing less than 75,000 barrels per day of crude oil. Unlike large integrated refiners which primarily produce gasoline, many small refineries produce diesel fuel in higher proportions. All refiners are required to purchase renewable identification numbers (RINS), which the EPA describes as “credits used for compliance and the ‘currency’ of the RFS program.” This mandate has resulted in an artificial, government-created market for blend requirements beyond what the market will accept, primarily due to diesel-to-gasoline production ratio or “diesel disparity.” Fundamentally, this program unfairly disadvantages small refineries, particularly those with higher than average production of diesel.

Obama EPA Abandoned Help to Small Refiners – During the Obama administration, the EPA abandoned the original intent of Congress when establishing small refinery hardship waiver requests by interpreting that the hardship exemption must pose a threat to a refinery’s survival as an ongoing operation. In EWV’s case, costs directly attributable to the RFS were the refinery’s third highest operating expense in 2016, following raw materials and labor.

More on Ergon – Ergon-WV operates a small refinery (23,500 barrels per day) in Newell, West Virginia that primarily produces highly refined paraffinic specialty products and fuels from local Appalachian grade crude.  In addition to two small refineries, Ergon also operates an ethanol production facility which Patrick says provides them with a unique vantage point regarding RFS. “The argument touted by ethanol advocates of demand destruction as a result of hardship waivers is simply not based in logic or facts, Patrick said.  “EWV blends 10% ethanol with 99% of the gasoline it produces and will continue to do so, even without a mandate.  However, EWV cannot pass through its RIN costs and the detrimental impact imposed by the RFS on EWV’s high diesel production is unacceptable and counter to the intent of the RFS program.”  EWV has made significant investments in environmentally friendly processes and technologies over the past three decades.“

Steel Importers Ask For End to Tariffs – The American Institute for International Steel (AIIS) and two of its member companies, SIM-TEX, LP and KURT ORBAN PARTNERS, LLC, filed a motion for summary judgment with the US Court of International Trade in an effort to halt enforcement of the law under which tariffs are currently being collected on steel imported to the U.S.  The motion follows on a lawsuit filed by the parties in late June in the same court challenging the constitutionality of the statute under which President Trump imposed a 25% tariff on imported steel.  Since tariffs were imposed on steel imports earlier this year, the U.S. steel supply chain has experienced significant disruption, with American ports experiencing a sharp drop in throughput and steel-using manufacturers hit with price increases of 50% or more on steel product, coupled with newfound difficulty in obtaining specific types of steel, whether imported or sourced domestically.  To date, U.S. Customs and Border Protection has collected in excess of $582 million in tariffs—amounting to a tax imposed on the U.S. economy. AIIS is America’s leading voice for the steel supply chain, and the only voice in Washington, D.C. for free and responsible trade in steel. AIIS members, which include railroads and other transportation companies, port authorities, union locals, traders and logistics companies depend on imported steel for their economic well-being. As the tariff reduces the amount of imported steel, it also reduces the revenue of AIIS members, harming their businesses and putting their employees’ jobs at risk.

Report: Oil Demand to Peak? – The Consulting firm Wood Mackenzie forecasts global oil demand will peak around 2036 in a new report out this week.  According to WM, the peak is due to fuel efficiency gains and the anticipated rise of both autonomous and non-autonomous electric vehicles.  Others have suggested a slower glide path which may undercut the WM date.

DOE: US Crude Booming, US Moves to #2 producer – The Energy Department said U.S. crude production reached 11 million barrels per day for the first time, which would place the United States as the second-biggest producer of crude, after Russia, which sources say was producing 11.2 million bpd in early July.

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

Heritage Hosts Johnson on Trade Discussion – The Heritage Foundation hosts a discussion tomorrow at 8:00 a.m. on the real impacts of the tariffs, and what the retaliation means for Americans.  Sen Johnson will join a panel of experts including the railroad assn’s John Gray Maria Zieba of the pork producers and API’s Aaron Padilla.  The discussion will be moderated by our friend Tori Whiting.

NREL to Look at Caron Economy – Tomorrow and Wednesday, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory holds a summit in Denver on realizing a Circular Carbon Economy.  NREL, in collaboration with the USDA and DOE will consider the challenges, opportunities, and needs involved in realizing the CCE. The summit will focus on defining and valuing ecosystem services in the context of a carbon-based economy; renewable fuels and energy; agricultural technology and innovation; land management; carbon cycles and sequestration (both engineered and natural); and lifecycle, sustainability and technoeconomic analyses. Positioning the United States as a major architect of a sustainable and resilient CCE is critical for maintaining economic competitiveness in the future.

Senate Energy Looks at Global Oil Price – The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee holds a hearing tomorrow at 10:00 a.m. on factors that impact global oil prices.  Witnesses include Columbia University Center on Global Energy Policy’s Jason Bordoff, oil market expert Rusty Braziel, former White House Advisor Bob McNally and IEA’s Keisuke Sadamori.  Prior to the hearing, the Committee will vote out DOE nominees.

House Energy Subpanel to Discuss SPR – The House Energy Committee’s Energy panel will hold a hearing tomorrow at 10:15 a.m. on the Strategic Petroleum Reserve.  Witnesses will include DOE’s Steven Winberg, GAO’s Frank Russo and our friend Kevin Book, among others.

House Resources Looks at Coal Use – The House Natural Resources Energy and Mineral Resources Subcommittee holds a hearing tomorrow at 10:00 a.m. on assessing innovative and alternative uses of coal.  Witnesses include Michael Klein of Utah’s Lighthouse Resources, Arg CEO Julian McIntyre, Wyoming’s Ramaco Carbon CEO Randall Atkins and Vernon Haltom of Coal River Mountain Watch.

CSIS To Host EIA Outlook – The CSIS Energy & National Security Program is hosting EIA Administrator Linda Capuano tomorrow for a presentation and discussion of the EIA’s International Energy Outlook 2018 (IEO2018). The IEO2018 builds on the IEO2017 reference case, which presented long-term projections of world energy demand by region and primary energy source; electricity generation by energy source; and energy-related carbon dioxide emissions. In particular, this year’s outlook offers a macroeconomic perspective regarding the uncertainty in economic growth in India, China, and Africa.

USEA To Discuss Africa Energy – The US Energy Assn will host a forum tomorrow at 10:00 a.m. discuss specific generation and transmission projects currently underway and in the pipeline for development within the region. Please join us in a discussion regarding investment opportunities in various hydropower and wind power projects, as well as a transmission line and interconnection project. N Representatives of West African Power Pool (WAPP) and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Regional Electricity Regulatory Authority (ERERA) will speak.

Waxman, Enviro Groups Attack RFS – Tomorrow at 11:00 a.m., former House Energy Chair Henry Waxman and his group Mighty Earth hold a forum on the RFS. It’s been more than 10 years since the Renewable Fuel Standard became law. Once touted as a ‘green’ policy, many in the environmental, conservation, and scientific communities believe the opposite: that the RFS may have been a net-negative – even a disaster — for the environment.  Speaker will include Waxman, NWF’s David DeGennaro, and others.

ACORE State of Industry Webinar Set – ACORE Hosts State of the Industry Webinar Focus on International Investments – ACORE and Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF), hold their quarterly State of the Industry webinar on Wednesday at 12:00 p.m.   The forum offers the latest intelligence and analysis on renewable energy markets, finance and policy.  This quarter’s webinar will focus on the increasing trend of financial institutions around the globe who are expanding their renewable energy strategies and providing new capital for North American markets. Speakers will discuss foreign investor strategies for expansion in North American markets, fueled by sustainability targets, ESG scoring and attractive business opportunities; the characteristics of these new market entrants; and U.S. attractiveness in an uncertain policy environment: challenges posed by trade wars, the new tax law and CFIUS.  Speakers include ACORE’s Rob Gramlich, BNEF’s Amy Grace, among others.

Forum to Look at Taiwan Energy – The Global Taiwan Institute and co-sponsor, The Sigur Center for Asian Studies at George Washington University, will hold a forum tomorrow at 12:30 p.m. to explore the future of Taiwan’s energy. This event is the third installment of the Civil Society and Democracy Series, which is partially funded by the Taiwan Foundation for Democracy. The panelists will discuss Taiwan’s policy and opportunities in sustainable energy, how it will impact the Asia-Pacific region, and what it means for U.S. interests.

House Energy to Look at RINs – With Friday’s Court decision, the House Energy and Commerce Environment Subcommittee holds a hearing on Wednesday at 9:15 a.m. on background on Renewable Identification Numbers under the RFS.  Witnesses include CRS Energy and Minerals Manager Brent Yacobucci, Gabriel Lade of Iowa State, Paul Niznik of Argus and energy compliance expert Sandra Dunphy.

Technology Roadmap to be Released – On Wednesday at Noon in the Capitol Visitors Center, the Carbon Utilization Research Council, ClearPath Foundation and the Electric Power Research Institute will host an event Wednesday on Capitol Hill to officially unveil two studies that underscore the promise and benefits of aggressively developing and commercializing U.S.-based carbon capture, storage and utilization technologies.  CURC and EPRI will release the 5th Advanced Fossil Energy Technology Roadmap that identifies technologies that can be available by the 2025-2035 timeframe that generate electricity from fossil fuels with significantly reduced carbon dioxide emissions that could be cost competitive with other sources of electricity generation.  A companion analysis conducted by CURC and ClearPath will also include modeling provided by NERA Economic Consulting and Advanced Resources International to show that there are significant economic benefits to the U.S. if the technology development outlined in the Roadmap is undertaken under a wide range of scenarios.  The event is sponsored by Southern Company, GE, Battelle and others.

House Resources Looks at Puerto Rico Recovery – The House Natural Resources Committee holds a hearing on Wednesday at 2:00 p.m. on the management crisis at the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority and implications for recovery.

Forum to Look at NET CCS Plant – The US Energy Assn Hosts a discussion on Thursday at 10:00 a.m. to look at NET Power’s 50-MW demonstration emissions-free natural gas power plant.  NET Power is commercializing a novel power system that produces emissions-free electricity from natural gas for the same cost as conventional power plants. The system, which uses the supercritical CO2 Allam Cycle, is currently being demonstrated at a 50MWth power plant in La Porte, Texas, that is now in operation. A review of the technology will be provided, and an update will be given on the status of demonstration plant testing and operations, as well as commercial facility development.

Wilson Forum to Look at China Green Innovation – On Thursday at 2:00 p.m., the Wilson Center’s China Environment Forum is hosting four experts to discuss ways to facilitate financing that will stimulate the market of green and energy-efficient buildings and technologies that China needs to reach its low carbon goals.  Xiao Sun, chairman of the Ma’anshan Rural Commercial Bank (MRCB), will discuss how MRCB is promoting green building development as part of their effort to become the world’s first completely green bank. Carolyn Szum, program manager at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL), will discuss their partnership with Citibank and MRCB to create new financing tools for energy-efficient buildings in China. Joe Indvik, the leader of the Department of Energy’s Better Buildings Initiative, will discuss how he collaborates with finance executives on expanding access for building owners to attract capital for energy projects in the US. Lastly, Yunhan Mao, from International Finance Corporation (IFC), will briefly introduce IFC’s China Climate Finance Advisory program, and the role it plays in greening urban development.

Grid Forum Set for Iowa – The TransGrid-X 2030 Symposium will be held on Thursday in Ames, Iowa. The event will showcase the long-awaited NREL Seam Study—a concept featuring bi-directional high-voltage transmission; 600 GW of wind, solar and gas-fired generation; and a trillion-dollar economic event, if fully built.  Our friends Rob Gramlich and former FERC Chair Jim Hoecker will be among the speakers.

IN THE FUTURE

 

August Congressional Recess – While the Senate will remain in Session, the House will be in recess starting next week.

Senate Environment to Host Wheeler – The Senate Environment Committee will host new acting EPA head Andy Wheeler on Wednesday August 1st.

WCEE Monthly Happy Hour – The Women’s Council on Energy and Environment hosts its August Happy Hour on Wednesday, August 1st at 5:30 p.m. at MASA 14 (1825 14th Street, NW)

Tesla Book Discussion SetPolitics and Prose Bookstore hosts Author Richard Munson on Wednesday at 7:00 p.m. to discuss and sign copies of “Tesla: Inventor of the Modern”.  Drawing on his new book, Richard Munson shines a light on the man behind the legend and how his unique way of doing things meant some of his most advanced ideas would go unrecognized for decades. Tesla felt inventing required the linking of science and the humanities. Unlike his better- known rival, Thomas Edison, he was not motivated by profit and preferred working in isolation.

Science-Policy Discussion Set – On Thursday, August 2nd, the Women’s Council on Energy and the Environment hosts a conversation at Honeywell at Noon featuring two scientists working to shape policy at the federal level. They will discuss the role of science in shaping public policy and offer solutions for a more collaborative relationship between the scientific and policy realms.

EPRI Hosts Electrification Conference – The Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) hosts the inaugural Electrification 2018 International Conference and Exposition on August 20th to 23rd in Long Beach CA. Hosted by the and sponsored by more than 20 major utilities and organizations, this annual conference will bring together utility leaders, regulators, researchers, academia, vendors, economic development groups, and energy users from diverse manufacturing, transportation, industrial, and agriculture sectors around the globe.  SoCo CEO Tom Fanning is among the many speakers.

Energy Update: Week of July 9

Friends,

While we were all celebrating the lighter traffic during July 4th week, EPA head Scott Pruitt resigned and Andy Wheeler has taken his place as acting head.  So much to say… Tryin’ to make some sense of it all, I feel like I’m Stuck In the Middle With You …but my friends in the press have already said most of it.  I will only add Jeff Holmstead in Utility Dive, Scott Segal on All Things Considered and me on NPR Saturday all added a few things about the new Administrator and the direction we expect him to take the agency.  Happy discuss more…  And our friend Dino Grandoni in this morning’s WaPo Energy 202 highlights who emboldened enviro activists may have in their sights next.

What Wheeler’s appointment is most likely to do is reduce the focus on environmental issues.  I can’t remember the last time the environment got 30 inches each in the Post, the Times, the Journal, etc…and this move will likely return it to its sleepy place in the public opinion’s eye because we are no longer talking about Chik-fil-a, hand lotion or sirens. I know a few of my reporter friends – who have all done pretty good work even though I might disagree with some story judgments – are quietly breathing a sigh of relief that they might get some of their free time back. Finally, I mentioned this on Thursday, but don’t count on this sidelining Pruitt’s political career.

Congress returns this week to some significant action.  It starts tomorrow morning with the Congressional Clean Energy Expo and Policy Forum on Capitol Hill in the Rayburn Foyer.  On Wednesday, Senate Environment looks at the long-term value of low-cost federal infrastructure loans, House Resources marks up water facilities and other legislation and Senate Energy looks at  legislation seeking to address the nearly $12 billion backlog of repairs and maintenance at the Park Service.  Then Thursday, the Senate Energy Committee discusses issues facing interstate delivery networks for natural gas and electricity.

Off the Hill, EPA holds public hearing on air quality standard for sulfur dioxide tomorrow, Ipsun Power holds a Wednesday lunch on the solar industry; the  Bipartisan Policy Center holds Thursday forum on oil and gas sector social enviro governance movement; and Friday energy economists host a luncheon on global oil and natural gas issues featuring former EIA head Guy Caruso.  And don’t forget to mark your calendar for next Wednesday’s EPA RFS RVO public hearing in Ann Arbor.  Also on Thursday, the International Energy Agency will release its closely watched monthly oil market report, the first since OPEC and Russia agreed to boost output.

The World Cup rolls on with very exciting games.  With four teams remaining, we know the winner will come from Europe as the France-Belgium semi-final is tomorrow while Croatia takes on England on Wednesday.  Wimbledon heads to the finals this weekend with the stars still playing.  Finally, the baseball world is continues to prep for the MLB All-Star game next Tuesday at Nationals Park.

On Wednesday, our friend Monica Trauzzi is launching a new NEI video series called Off the Menu with Monica.  It serves as the intersection of energy policy and DC’s thriving food scene.  Off the Menu is an innovative video series that will give viewers a seat at the table of DC’s power lunches and beyond.  The conversations – which start with ClearView analyst Kevin Book – are thoughtful and dynamic and dive in to the key energy policy issues of the day.

Finally, I close on a very sad note today hearing that my long-time friend and former McGraw-Hill oil/climate reporter Gerald Karey passed away last weekend in an accidental drowning in Pennsylvania.  While he retired a couple of years ago, Gerry stayed active In DC and our energy reporter circles.  He was an old-school reporter, funny author of books like Unhinged and great person.  It is a sad day that we have lost him too early.

Call with questions…Best,

 

Frank Maisano

(202) 828-5864

c. (202) 997-5932

 

FRANKLY SPOKEN 

“I hate to take a credit for a man losing his job, but I guess I’d have to say that I take the credit.”

A very classy move by Kevin Chmielewski, former EPA deputy chief of staff for operations, who told The Hill on Friday that he was critical to the eventual departure of the former administrator.  (MY NOTE: I guess he just doesn’t get it.  Who in Washington really does that?)

ON THE POD

Columbia Podcasts Sits Down with OK Sect of Energy/Environment Teague – On a new episode of Columbia Energy Exchange, host Jason Bordoff sits down with Mike Teague, Oklahoma’s Secretary of Energy and Environment. Mike, who was appointed to this role in 2013, is responsible for coordinating over 30 state agencies, boards, compacts, and commissions in advancing policies that encourage energy production and environmental stewardship throughout Oklahoma. Prior to his appointment, Mike served in the US Army for 30 years.

 

FUN OPINIONS

Oil, Gas Industry Ready for Hurricane Season – Todd Staples, president of the Texas Oil & Gas Association and former Texas agriculture commissioner, said the men and women in the Texas oil and natural gas industry and its public and private sector partners are ready for the 2018 hurricane season in the San Antonio Express-News on Sunday. Staples said after Hurricane Rita in 2005, Texas created the Task Force on Evacuation, Transportation and Logistics, which developed a comprehensive slate of recommendations to fortify hurricane preparedness, response and recovery plans. Since then, Texas has become nationally renowned for our “lessons learned” approach of revisiting and strengthening hurricane plans and procedures as technology and best practices evolve. As part of ongoing work to innovate and improve, the energy sector is part of a collaborative effort among private and public sector entities such as the Department of Public Safety, Texas CEQ, the Railroad Commission, TDOT, Texas ports, FEMA, health care facilities and local emergency management officials. The oil and natural gas industry is part of the Fuel Team, which works with the Emergency Management Council to ensure Texans have sufficient access to the gasoline and diesel they need before, during and after a natural disaster.

IN THE NEWS

What other news is there besides Pruitt…

Houston Chronicle: Where Rubber Meets Road Could Kill Gas Mileage – The Houston Chronicle reports that scientists at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology think they have found ways of stretching more miles out of a gallon by addressing what type of pavement a vehicle drives on. Researchers are studying what they describe as “Pavement-Vehicle Interactions,” namely how road quality or the lack thereof effects vehicle efficiency.

DOE Invests in Techs to Innovate Power Systems – The DOE has selected 15 projects to receive nearly $8.8 million in federal funding for cost-shared research and development (R&D) projects to develop innovative technologies that enhance fossil energy power systems.  The newly selected projects fall under DOE’s Office of Fossil Energy’s Crosscutting Technology Research Program, which advances technologies that have a broad range of fossil energy applications. Specifically, the program fosters innovative R&D in sensors and controls, modeling and simulation, high-performance materials, and water management.  DOE’s National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) will manage the selected projects.

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

Brown to Speak at Solar ConferenceIntersolar North America will be held in San Francisco today through Wednesday.  The event’s exhibition and conference both focus on the areas of photovoltaics, PV production technologies, smart renewable energy and solar thermal technologies.

Forum to Look at States on Climate Action – Tomorrow morning, Route Fifty will hold a forum to explore state and local governments’ climate goals–and making changes locally, regionally, and internationally to achieve them. From the future of vehicle emissions to regional partnerships, we’ll delve into the policy issues at play–and the stakes. The event will cover States rights in setting emission standards, State and local governments’ work to set their own climate goals–and work internationally, regional cap & trade agreements between states and health equity – emissions impact on the least able citizens.

Clean Energy Forum on Schedule – The 2018 Congressional Clean Energy Expo and Policy Forum will be held tomorrow and brings together up to 45-55 businesses, trade associations, and government agencies to showcase renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies. Speakers include Sen. Dean Heller (NV), Sen. Chris Van Hollen (MD), Sen. Jack F. Reed (RI), Rep. Paul D. Tonko (NY), Rep. Matt Cartwright (PA), and Rep. Peter Welch (VT).

Senate Environment to Look at Infrastructure Loans – The Senate Environment Committee will hold a hearing on Wednesday at 10:00 a.m. on the long-term value to U.S. Taxpayers of low-cost Federal infrastructure loans.

Forum to Look at State of Solar – On Wednesday at 12:30 p.m. Ipsun Solar holds a summer forum on passive design, solar design and the current state of the Solar Industry.

WCEE Forum Talks To Women Entrepreneurs – The WCEE Career Building Section holds a discussion to gain ideas and inspiration from some of the daring women who stepped outside their comfort zones and challenged themselves to pursue their dreams. Hear what inspired them to get started, what challenges and obstacles they overcame, and their thoughts on helping you launch your own enterprise. Panelists include Véronique Bugnion, co-founder and CEO of ClearlyEnergy, which provider of innovative search solutions to simplify energy decisions; Amy Konigsburg, the founder of She Wolf, is steeped in the energy industry with over a decade experience providing communications services to private sector and government clients and Molly Seltzer is the founder & chief storyteller of Electric America, a photojournalistic series and affiliated media outlet dedicated to highlighting stories of the American energy sector.

Forum to Look at Mexico Election Impacts – The Atlantic Council hosts a discussion on Thursday at 9:00 a.m. on the Mexican election results and its impacts on energy and trade.  President-Elect Andrés Manuel López Obrador won with almost 54 percent of the vote on July 1. This historic election comes at a critical moment for Mexico’s future. López Obrador campaigned on a transformative vision and will face several immediate tasks upon taking the office on December 1, including:  establishing new mechanisms to combat corruption; reducing crime in the short term while tackling its root causes in the long term; creating new economic opportunities while finalizing NAFTA talks; and navigating the shifting nature of US-Mexico relations.  As the transition of power begins, we will discuss the priorities he laid out on the campaign trail and the resulting road ahead.

Senate Energy Tackles Energy Delivery – The Senate Energy Committee will convene a hearing Thursday at 10:00 a.m. to consider the policy issues facing interstate delivery networks for natural gas and electricity.  The hearing will address primary challenges and opportunities for energy delivery networks and their customers today, as well as investment in building or upgrading pipelines, electric transmission lines, and other infrastructure keep pace with energy needs and how federal regulators are responding.

BPC Forum to Examine Oil, Gas Issues – On Thursday at 10:30 a.m., the Bipartisan Policy Center (BPC) convenes a panel of experts to examine the current state of the Environmental Social Governance (ESG) movement in the oil and gas sector and explore what’s coming next. This movement continues to gain traction in a time when the regulatory agenda has changed significantly under the Trump Administration. ESG is particularly significant for the energy sector, specifically as shareholder resolutions surrounding climate change continue to take center stage in the media and in the boardroom.

Wilson Forum to Look at China Environment – The Wilson Center’s China Environment Forum (CEF) holds a discussion on Thursday at 2:00 p.m.  to look at sweeping reforms to streamline environmental governance in order to more rapidly mitigate China’s crushing air, water, and soil pollution.  CEF has invited three speakers to unpack the drivers and impacts of this major reform in China. Liu Zhuoshi (Environmental Law Institute) will detail how legal and regulatory authorities around pollution and climate issues are changing. He will also reflect on hurdles Chinese government faces to expand these reforms at the subnational level. Hu Tao (WWF – U.S.) will explore how the new MEE could act more holistically to manage complex pollution issues, like a better coordination on the joint management of air pollution and carbon emission regulations. Liu Shuang (Energy Foundation China) will reflect on the implication of China’s recent governance reforms on efforts to create a national carbon emissions trading systems and what other policies and institutional changes are needed to make it succeed.

Schools as Resilience Infrastructure – On Thursday at 3:00 p.m., the Congressional Green Schools Caucus will hold a briefing on Schools as Resilience Infrastructure, looking for new opportunities to strengthen disaster preparedness.  The event will look at the role that public school buildings play in strengthening community resilience through strategic investment.  Rep. Alan Lowenthal speaks.

GWU to Look at Protecting Energy Infrastructure – On Friday morning at 9:00 a.m., George Washington University’s Elliott School of International Affairs holds a discussion with senior security representatives from the utility industry and government on securing critical energy infrastructure. The panel will discuss physical and cybersecurity for the North American power grid, infrastructure resilience, and how industry and government partner to mitigate threats. Center for Cyber & Homeland Security Director Frank Cilluffo will moderate the session. Speakers include DOE Pat Hoffman, DHS’s Jeanette Manfra, EEI’s Scott Aaronson, PG &E’s Bernie Cowens, Duke Energy’s Brian Harrell and Entergy’s Chris Peters.

Energy Economists Look at Oil, Gas View – The US Energy Economists in the National Capital Area holds its monthly luncheon on Friday at Chinatown Gardens to offer a view Of US Oil and gas issues with former EIA head Guy Caruso, now at CSIS and CRS policy expert Michael Ratner.

IN THE FUTURE

 

NAS to Hold Truck Fuel Economy Meeting – The National Academies of Science’s Division on Engineering and Physical Sciences is hosting an event next Monday in the afternoon assessing technologies for improving fuel economy of light-duty vehicles.  Speakers include NHTSA, EPA DOE, Motor and Equipment Manufacturers Association and many others.

Forum to Look at Nuke Decommissioning – The Environmental and Energy Study Institute (EESI) holds a briefing next Monday at 2:00 p.m. on the urgent need to safely decommission nuclear power plants, which are increasingly shutting down. Leading scientists, policy experts, NGO advocates, and local elected officials with experience of decommissioning will speak at the briefing. It will cover the impacts of decommissioning, current decommissioning options, waste storage vs. transport, thorny unsolved problems and best practices, financing and liability, a just transition for communities and workers, how communities and states can and can’t weigh in on these issues, and how they should inform the fast-changing legislative and regulatory landscape.  Speakers for this forum are Zion Illinois Mayor Al Hill (home of the decommissioned Zion Nuclear Power Station), former Department of Energy Senior Policy Advisor Robert Alvarez, NRDC’s Geoffrey Fettus and Kevin Kamps, of Beyond Nuclear.

Forum to Look at Nuke Energy Trends – Next Monday at 4:00 p.m., the Institute of World Politics hosts a lecture on the topic of “Energy Trends: Nuclear and Non-Nuclear” with Professor Henry D. Sokolski.  With the Trump administration’s proposed financial relief of the coal and nuclear industries in the name of national security, energy economics has re-emerged as a topic for national debate. So far, much of this discussion has been cast as a contest between market economics and national security.

Duke CEO, CARB Chair, Others Headline POLITICO Summit – POLITICO is hosting its second Pro Summit on July 17th at the Renaissance Hotel. The Pro Summit brings together Pro subscribers, expert reporters, key decision-makers, and others who are shaping the policy landscape for a full day of incisive conversations. Summit speakers include Rep. Joe Crowley, Duke CEO Lynn Good, FERC Chair Kevin McIntyre, Amy Myers Jaffe of the Council on Foreign Relations, Coal CEO Bob Murray, California Air Resources Board Chair Mary Nichols and many others.  Duke Energy is the main event sponsor.

EPA to Hold RVO Hearing – EPA is announcing a public hearing in Ypsilanti, MI on July 18th at the Ann Arbor Marriott Ypsilanti to look at the proposed rule “Renewable Fuel Standard Program Standards for 2019 and Biomass-Based Diesel Volume for 2020.

Forum to Look at Digitalization in Energy – The CSIS Energy & National Security Program and the Technology Policy Program host a discussion on Wednesday July 18th at 10:30 a.m. featuring Timothy Lieuwen (Georgia Institute of Technology) and Barbara Humpton (Siemens USA) about the new services and opportunities created for companies and regions as the energy industry continues its trend toward digitalization.  The session will begin with a presentation by Dr. Lieuwen, who will explain the findings of Georgia Tech’s recent study, Industrial Data in Power Generation.  The study is the first phase of an ongoing study of industrial data and regional economic development.  Following the presentation, Barbara Humpton will join Dr. Lieuwen to provide perspective on the ecosystem emerging around the digitalization of the energy industry, examining digitalization’s potential to simultaneously help increase reliability, decrease cost, and reduce environmental impacts. Speakers will also explain the behavioral standards for those firms handling data from the industrial sector, the role policy plays in the regulation of data transparency/ownership, and which actors have the most influence to establish and define values in this emerging sector.

Forum to Look at Iran Oil Issues – The Atlantic Council hosts a panel discussion on Wednesday July 18th at 1:00 p.m. focused on a goal of drastically reduce Iran’s oil exports is realistic and the impact the US campaign is having on global production and prices as well as on Iran. This event is jointly sponsored by the South Asia Center’s Future of Iran Initiative, the Global Energy Center and the Global Business & Economics Center.

Health in Buildings Forum Set – The Department of Environment at the National Institutes of Health will gather government leaders and experts on Friday, July 20th across the health and buildings sectors to discuss new developments in research about health in buildings in our HiBR 2018, Health in Building for Today and Tomorrow conference.  Speakers and attendees will examine the many developments in this sector through lively conversations about buildings including innovation, energy, policies, building practices, community solutions and emerging technologies.

Grid Forum Set for Iowa – The TransGrid-X 2030 Symposium will be held on July 26th in Ames, Iowa. The event will showcase the long-awaited NREL Seam Study—a concept featuring bi-directional high-voltage transmission; 600 GW of wind, solar and gas-fired generation; and a trillion-dollar economic event, if fully built.  Our friends Rob Gramlich and former FERC Chair Jim Hoecker will be among the speakers.

EPRI Hosts Electrification Conference – The Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) hosts the inaugural Electrification 2018 International Conference and Exposition on August 20th to 23rd in Long Beach CA. Hosted by the and sponsored by more than 20 major utilities and organizations, this annual conference will bring together utility leaders, regulators, researchers, academia, vendors, economic development groups, and energy users from diverse manufacturing, transportation, industrial, and agriculture sectors around the globe.  SoCo CEO Tom Fanning is among the many speakers.

Energy Update: Week of July 2

Friends,

Wasn’t going to do an update today but decided to do a short one because of the crazy World Cup Games, the news about LeBron and – even more interesting – some policy news around the July 4th travel season, the Kigali amendment to the Montreal Protocol on HFC reductions and Trump tweets over OPEC.

How could you not like those FIFA World Cup games yesterday. Two games to Penalty Kicks where host Russia’s Cinderella continued with a win over Spain after some brilliant saves by goalie Igor Akinfeev, who clinched the victory by stopping a shot with his foot.  The brilliant goalie play continued in the second game when Croatia outlasted Denmark in shootout, Croatia now faces Russia in the quarterfinals.  Brazil-Mexico now and Belgium-Japan this afternoon.

And apparently, LeBron James is headed to the Lakers for over $150M.  Now, the question is who may join him?  And don’t forget the MLB All-Star game is here at Nationals Park on Tuesday, July 17th. Our friend, former AP reporter and baseball author/historian Fred Frommer will be all over the run up to the game.  Frommer, author of You Gotta Have Heart, a history of DC baseball history, starts this Sunday at noon at The Farm, a rooftop building outside Nats Park, where former Washington Senators PA announcer Phil Hochberg chats about the four All-Star Games DC hosted in the 20th Century.  Then next Tuesday July 11th at 6:45 p.m., Fred will be at the Smithsonian’s S. Dillon Ripley Center with Hochberg and Gregory McCarthy of the Nats, for a night of baseball history. Finally, the night before the All-Star Game July 16th, Fred will join fellow author David Rapp and documentary filmmaker Aviva Kempner at East City Book Shop on Capitol Hill for an All-Star panel at 6:00 p.m. just before the Home Run Contest.

As we continue the July 4th travel season this week, I wanted to remind you of a note I sent on Friday highlighting the great work and important research of our friends at the MIT Concrete Sustainability Hub on Pavement-Vehicle Interactions – research that can lower fuel consumption and vehicle emissions.  It is a perfect add-in to any stories you or your colleagues may be considering on the heavy travel week.  While this will be the busiest July 4th travel week ever, much of the traffic is likely to be spread out with the heaviest day to launch being tomorrow afternoon.

There is a new letter today from CEI and several other groups opposing the Kigali amendment to the Montreal Protocol. The letter says the amendment would do “far more economic harm than environmental good,” adding that the environmental benefits are minimal.  But that is just not right.  A recent economic analysis for the White House showed significant jobs gains, 13 Republican Senators (mostly conservatives) urged the President to submit it to the Senate, 34 HVACR Manufacturing CEOs urged support and 3 conservative taxpayers groups (ACCF, Americans for Tax Reform and FreedomWorks) suggested Trump support Kigali because of global competitiveness advantages.  And all of this occurs after last week’s lawsuit by 11 states against EPA over implementing over HFC reductions.

If you are following recent tweets and comments from President Donald Trump about OPEC oil market manipulation, SAFE President/CEO Robbie Diamond weighed in saying Trump is right to point to OPEC as manipulating the market, but urged him to also turn his sights to “solutions that end oil dependence and the cartel that manipulates the market rather than having the U.S. come hat in hand to these foreign powers. Asking the cartel to increase output is like trying to put a Band-Aid on a broken system that shouldn’t even exist in the first place.”

Finally, the most grueling test of strength and endurance – the Tour de France – cycling’s crown jewel, starts on Saturday.  With one more Tour victory, Chris Froome can match the record of five shared by Jacques Anquetil, Eddy Merckx, Bernard Hinault and Miguel Indurain. The start of the 105th edition will be at Noirmoutier-en-l’île.  The 2018 Tour route will include a total of 26 mountain climbs or hills, including  12 in the Alps, 4 in the Massif central and 10 in the Pyrenees.  Ouch!!! Riders arrive in Paris on July 29th.

Enjoy the holiday week…Stacey and kids headed to Imagine Dragons tonight.  I bet that’s a fun show.  Call with questions …Best,

Frank Maisano

(202) 828-5864

c. (202) 997-5932

 

FRANKLY SPOKEN

“Kigali gets us everything we want and everything we’ve been advocating for for a long time—a unified, negotiated decision on phasedowns [of HFCs] instead of prohibitions.  U.S. ratification of the global deal offers the greatest level of certainty for the market writ large. That process, rather than litigation, is where our industry will be focusing its efforts in the coming months.””

Caroline Davidson-Hood, general counsel for the Air-Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration Institute regarding the lawsuit filed by 11 states challenging implementation of EPA HFC reductions

 

“Because of the technological prowess of American manufacturers, U.S. businesses stand to gain from this deal – ratification will open new markets at a time when demand for refrigeration, heating, and air-condition equipment is projected to grow.”

A letter from conservative tax group leaders of Americans for Tax Reform, FreedomWorks and the American Council for Capital Formation on moving the Kigali amendment forward in the Senate. 

 

FUN OPINIONS

CEOs Say Kigali Essential for Global Competitiveness – ICYMI, following the letter from 13 Senators urging the White House to send them the Kigali amendment to the Montreal Protocol, 34 HVACR Industry CEOs wrote a letter to President Trump urging his support for Kigali.  These are major manufacturers that include Honeywell, Lennox, Fujitsu, Johnson Controls, Rheem, Dow Chemical and many more.  The CEOs, who speak for more than 589,000 Americans currently employed in the industries, urged the President to send the Kigali Amendment to the Senate to secure a position of strength for American companies in a highly competitive global market for next generation air conditioning, refrigeration, thermal insulation, aerosols, medical uses, fire suppression, semiconductors and other technologies that utilize fluorocarbons.

IN THE NEWS

AGs Suit Spurs New Twist in Kigali Discussion – CEI will release a letter today opposing the Kigali amendment to the Montreal Protocol but a legal challenge to EPA’s current regulations on HFC reductions by 11 states.  In its guidance, the EPA said revoking the rules would “dispel confusion and provide regulatory certainty” after a federal appellate court in July 2017 struck down large portions of the Obama-era regulation.  NRDC filed a similar suit earlier this week.  Another legal fight over the EPA guidance raises concerns about avenues for regulations to change, even as the industry continues to advocate for U.S. participation in a 2016 global deal to phase down HFCs called the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol.

Better Pavement Mean Better Fuel Econ, Less Emissions – As we begin the July 4th travel season, you or your colleagues should check out the important research by MIT’s Concrete Sustainability Hub on Pavement-Vehicle Interactions – studies about how we can lower fuel consumption and vehicle emissions by taking a new approach to building and maintaining our roadways.  It is a perfect add-in to any stories you or your colleagues may be considering on the heavy travel week this July 4th.

Wasted Energy in Travel – All vehicles, whether gasoline, diesel, or electric, use energy to move—but some of that energy is wasted. The quality of the roads we drive on every day impacts the amount of fuel we use, as well as the associated greenhouse gas emissions. On roads with poor surface conditions or inadequate structural properties (like many in our favorite District) vehicles consume additional fuel beyond what’s needed to move.  This wasted fuel is known as excess fuel consumption, and it has a significant impact on fuel economy and vehicle emissions.

Pavement Improvements Help Reduce Fuel Consumption – MIT’s Concrete Sustainability Hub (CSHub) researchers study pavement-vehicle interaction (PVI) in an effort to understand and quantify the impacts of excess fuel consumption. MIT’s research focuses on three key factors:

  1. ROUGHNESS: whether the road is bumpy or smooth. Roughness, commonly seen and felt as the presence of cracks and potholes, has a significant impact on passenger vehicles.
  2. TEXTURE: the abrasiveness of the road surface, which can be seen and heard when driving.
  3. DEFLECTION: the bending of a pavement under the weight of a vehicle. Deflection is present from the initial construction, and depends on pavement design. Think of the difference between walking or riding on sand versus a paved surface.

Road Solutions Can Improve Fuel Efficiency, Reduce Emissions – CSHub studies suggest that excess fuel consumption can be significantly reduced by building stiffer roads and maintaining smoother pavements—benefiting states and municipalities alike through reductions in emissions and fuel costs to drivers.  And it reduces road ware costs on vehicles and tires, while improving driving comfort.  There are two case studies that quantify fuel waste on US roadways.  The impacts of excess fuel consumption depend on a variety of factors, including location, traffic levels, pavement designs, and maintenance schedules. MIT has done case studies examining real roadway networks, including in California and Virginia:

  • California: Using data collected by the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) through the use of GPS and ground-penetrating radar, MIT conducted an analysis of the state’s entire 50,000 lane-mile system and found excess fuel consumption of 1 billion gallons over a 5-year period. The collaboration showed that PVI, including roughness and deflection, accounts for 1 percent of overall fuel consumption on California highways.
  • Virginia: A study of the Commonwealth’s interstate highway system—some 5,000 lane miles in total—identified 1 million tons of CO2 associated with EFC emissions over a 7-year period. Researchers also determined that only 1.3 percent of the interstate network is responsible for 10 percent of its total greenhouse gas emissions, meaning rehabilitation of those few lane miles could result in significant environmental improvements.

Who Can Help – If you’re looking for a resource to discuss the impact of pavement interaction on fuel economy and emissions, MIT’s Jeremy Gregory (jgregory@mit.edu) is available to address the key issues, impacts and examples surrounding improved pavements and infrastructure … and how this affects American communities and drivers.  MIT’s Concrete Sustainability Hub [cshub.mit.edu] is pushing the frontier of academic research into building materials, with implications for policymakers, communities, the transportation industry, fleets and the millions of American drivers hitting the roads over July 4th and all summer.  For more info, drop me a note, reach out to Jeremey or connect with MIT communications person Anne Wilson Yu.  You can reach her at awwilson@mit.edu

ACCF: Proxy Advisory Have Minimal Oversight – The American Council for Capital Formation released a new report that says proxy advisory firms are operating with minimal oversight.  The firms, which advise shareholders on how to assess and vote on company plans, are moving toward an increasingly activist stance on issues relating to the environment, as well as social and political issues. The report, titled “The Conflicted Role of Proxy Advisors,” examines the impact such proxy firms have on major policies at most publicly traded companies.  Our friend Dave Banks is leading an effort at ACCF on this issue.

 

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

JULY 4th HOLIDAY

Stanford to Look at Behavior, Enviro Change – Stanford holds an event on Thursday evening featuring PhD Candidate Jen Wang, who will discuss an even more fundamental condition and challenge to positive environmental change – getting humans to change their behaviors. From the everyday choices we make to our combined organizational behaviors, human behavior is at the core of the environmental issues we care about.

Event to Honor Tesla Birthday – On Friday evening, the International Club of DC and the Embassy of Croatia host a dinner reception of Croatian culture, music, wine, and cuisine on the occasion of the 162nd anniversary of the birth of Croatian-born scientist Nikola Tesla. During the event, Tesla will have a Model S and Model X on display. Tesla product experts will be on hand to answer questions and show you how electric vehicles can fit seamlessly into your lifestyle. Test rides will be offered on a first come, first serve basis.

IN THE FUTURE

 

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

BPC Forum to Examine Oil, Gas Issues – On Thursday at 10:30 a.m., the Bipartisan Policy Center (BPC) convenes a panel of experts to examine the current state of the Environmental Social Governance (ESG) movement in the oil and gas sector and explore what’s coming next. This movement continues to gain traction in a time when the regulatory agenda has changed significantly under the Trump Administration. ESG is particularly significant for the energy sector, specifically as shareholder resolutions surrounding climate change continue to take center stage in the media and in the boardroom.

Duke CEO, CARB Chair, Others Headline POLITICO Summit – POLITICO is hosting its second Pro Summit on July 17th at the Renaissance Hotel. The Pro Summit brings together Pro subscribers, expert reporters, key decision-makers, and others who are shaping the policy landscape for a full day of incisive conversations. Summit speakers include Rep. Joe Crowley, Duke CEO Lynn Good, FERC Chair Kevin McIntyre, Amy Myers Jaffe of the Council on Foreign Relations, Coal CEO Bob Murray, California Air Resources Board Chair Mary Nichols and many others.  Duke Energy is the main event sponsor.

Grid Forum Set for Iowa – The TransGrid-X 2030 Symposium will be held on July 26th in Ames, Iowa. The event will showcase the long-awaited NREL Seam Study—a concept featuring bi-directional high-voltage transmission; 600 GW of wind, solar and gas-fired generation; and a trillion-dollar economic event, if fully built.  Our friends Rob Gramlich and former FERC Chair Jim Hoecker will be among the speakers.

EPRI Hosts Electrification Conference – The Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) hosts the inaugural Electrification 2018 International Conference and Exposition on August 20th to 23rd in Long Beach CA. Hosted by the and sponsored by more than 20 major utilities and organizations, this annual conference will bring together utility leaders, regulators, researchers, academia, vendors, economic development groups, and energy users from diverse manufacturing, transportation, industrial, and agriculture sectors around the globe.  SoCo CEO Tom Fanning is among the many speakers.

Energy Update: Week of June 25

Friends,

It has been a great FIFA World Cup so far. Last week, there was some really great games and some big surprises, including Poland out, Argentina on the brink of elimination and Germany barely surviving with a super late goal to sneak past Sweden.  More action this week, including Uruguay-Russia today, a huge games in Groups D (Nigeria/Argentina & Croatia/Iceland) tomorrow, an important Brazil-Serbia game on Wednesday and a heavyweight bout on Thursday featuring both undefeated  Belgium and England.

This week should be pretty busy as we run up to the July 4th holiday.  We may see the RFS RVOs today and there are several key nominees hitting Capitol Hill tomorrow including Daniel Simmons to head DOE’s EERE office.  The Senate also expects to vote later today on the FY19 energy-water development legislation and there will be an interesting oil/gas hearing at House Energy tomorrow featuring Dan Yergin, Harold Hamm and Sempra’s Dennis Arriola.

Energy Secretary Rick Perry is slated to meet tomorrow with Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak, just days after Russia joined with OPEC to raise oil exports and he also meets with the Israeli Energy Minister today at an event sponsored by the Chamber’s U.S.-Israel Business Initiative.  He also headlines at the World Gas conference today and Thursday which Is at the Washington Convention Center all week.  Other keynoters include Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, Sens. Bill Cassidy, Lisa Murkowski and Joe Manchin, AGA’s Dave McCurdy, Exxon CEO Darren Woods, Dan Yergin, Canada Energy Minister Jim Carr, Cheniere CEO Jack Fusco and our friend Frank Fannon at State.  There are a bunch of WGC events, including the Chamber hosting Algeria’s Energy Minister tomorrow at 11:00 a.m. See the full schedule here.

My biggest event his week is the Wednesday National Press Club event that features Delta CEO Ed Bastian on Thursday when he discusses the future of airline travel, and many other issues.  You should definitely try to attend.

Forgot to mention this last week in the out of town activities, But the Aspen Ideas Forum launched last Thursday.  Most of the energy action is this week though when panels look at AVs and hurricane response with FEMA’s Brock Long (hosted by our friend Andy Revkin) today; a natural disaster rebuilding panel focused with SoCo’s Chris Womack, our friend Jeff Goodell and PR Gov. Rossello and a cybersecurity discussion with Ash carter and SoCo’s Tom Fanning; a Wednesday panel on cities and technology with Audi President Scott Keough and the signature conversation event featuring former Sect Of State John Kerry; a Trade conversation with Trade Rep Bob Lighthizer on Thursday and a Friday afternoon panel with former EPA head Lisa Jackson on the Clean Energy revolution.   See the full agenda here.

Finally, drawing your attention to two multi-association letters that will be released today urging support for DOE’s Daniel Simmons to head EERE and Jeff Clark to be assistant AG in DOJ’s Environmental Division.  I will forward later today when they are finalized.

I suspect that we won’t have an update next week with July 4th, but will urge you to attend the Wednesday July 4th concert on the National Mall.  It is one of the special events that you have to attend in your lifetime.  We will report though as necessary.

Call with questions and see you at the Press Club on Wednesday for Delta CEO Ed Bastian…Best,

 

Frank Maisano

(202) 828-5864

c. (202) 997-5932

FRANKLY SPOKEN

 

“Because of the technological prowess of American manufacturers, U.S. businesses stand to gain from this deal – ratification will open new markets at a time when demand for refrigeration, heating, and air-condition equipment is projected to grow.”

A letter from conservative tax group leaders of Americans for Tax Reform, FreedomWorks and the American Council for Capital Formation on moving the Kigali amendment forward in the Senate. 

 

ON THE POD

Bracewell Reloads Lobby Shop Podcast  – The latest episode of the Bracewell Lobby Shop is now live on Stitcher, iTunes, SoundCloud, and Google Play Music.  We’re debuting a new format this week.  We’ll cover the latest DC news from three angles: diving into legislation and policy, understanding their context and politics, and the success/failure of the involved parties’ communications tactics. Our featured guest interview this week is with PRG’s departing intern, Taryn Taylor Brown.

FUN OPINIONS

Regs Take a Hit in SCOTUS – Adam White, research fellow at the Hoover Institution and director of the C. Boyden Gray Center for the Study of the Administrative State at George Mason University’s Antonin Scalia Law School, recently wrote in the Wall Street Journal’s opinion section that regulatory state had a bad Day in court last week.  White argued that while Conservatives long have questioned the administrative state, this past week Justices Elena Kagan and Anthony Kennedy each produced an opinion questioning longstanding features of the modern administrative state. Both opinions should encourage further reform and modernization of administrative law. Justice Kagan’s majority opinion in Lucia v. SEC raised concerns about administrative law judges, while Justice Kennedy joined an 8-1 ruling in Pereira v. Sessions but in a lone concurrence, he voiced doubts about “ Chevron deference,” the 1984 doctrine of judicial deference to agencies’ statutory interpretations.

IN THE NEWS

Conservative Tax Groups Urge President to Support HFC Reduction Effort – Last week, 13 Republican Senators urged the White House to send them the Kigali amendment to the Montreal Protocol while 34 HVACR Industry CEOs made the same request. Now, leaders of three conservative tax groups – Americans for Tax Reform, FreedomWorks and the American Council for Capital Formation – are urging the President to submit the Amendment to the Senate for ratification on economic and global competitive grounds.  According to a study conducted by JMS Consulting and Inforum, ratifying the Kigali amendment will grow the U.S. share for these products by 25%. Failing to ratify the Kigali amendment will see American market share decline by 14%.  The letter adds that “ratifying the Kigali amendment will increase economic output by $12.5 billion, leading to 33,000 more manufacturing jobs over the next decade and 117,000 indirect jobs in manufacturing dependent industries. The amendment also has broad support in the U.S. business and manufacturing community.  Finally, the groups detail the risk for US manufacturers if we don’t ratify the policy saying the agreement currently has enough support amongst other nations to go into effect on January 1, 2019. However, if the U.S. fails to ratify the agreement, American manufacturers will be restricted in their ability to sell into foreign markets at the cost of jobs and wealth.

ClearPath: Clean Energy Meetings Highlight US, Canada, Japan Alliance – The recent 9th annual Clean Energy Ministerial, a multilateral meeting in Copenhagen of high-level energy officials spanning the globe, launched two significant efforts to better recognize carbon capture and advanced nuclear as clean energy tools. ClearPath’s policy triumvirate – Jeremy Harrell, Spencer Nelson and Justin Ong – were there and in a new blog map out why the efforts led by the U.S., Canada, Japan and others shouldn’t be overlooked. But despite a good conversation, less than 10 of the 120 events at last month’s Nordic Clean Energy Week (of which the ministerial was showcased) were focused on either nuclear or carbon capture. As these technologies will be a significant part of the future of the low-carbon energy mix, the ClearPath policy trio note there is still much work to do to elevate those issues on the global stage, including at next year’s ministerial hosted by Canada.

IRS Sets Beginning of Construction for Tax Credit – In a huge victory for solar developers, the Internal Revue Service (IRS) has established two new tests to guide taxpayers on solar energy property construction requirements for claiming a renewable energy tax incentive. Taxpayers may establish the beginning of construction either by through a “physical work test”—starting physical work of “a significant nature”—or by meeting a safe harbor based on having paid 5% or more of the total cost of the energy property.  Solar Energy Industries Association CEO Abigail Ross Hopper said “the IRS has taken an important step forward with this guidance and provided certainty that will help solar project sponsors finance and build more solar. Our members have been working hard to secure financing for projects and keep them on track to meet critical development and construction milestones.”

Senate Approves Advanced Nuclear Fuel Spending – The Senate approved an amendment to a FY19 spending bill from Sen. Mike Crapo (R-Idaho) granting $15 million for a demonstration project to ensure domestic supply of high assay low enriched uranium (HA-LEU), which will fuel many advanced nuclear reactors. There is a looming shortage in the domestic supply of HA-LEU, which is commercially produced in countries such as France, Russia and China, but not in the U.S. Former NRC Commissioner Jeffrey Merrifield and Pillsbury Law Firm Senior Associate Anne Leidich laid out 10 recommendations for lawmakers, policymakers and NRC to step up to this supply challenge in a recent white paper sponsored by ClearPath and the U.S. Nuclear Infrastructure Council. A final Senate vote on their broader FY19 energy spending bill is scheduled for today.

DOE Grants $64M for Advanced Nuclear – The Department of Energy will award nearly $64 million in advanced nuclear awards to national labs, industry and 39 U.S. universities in 29 states. The 89 awards are allocated under the Nuclear Energy University Program ($47 million), Nuclear Energy Enabling Technologies program ($5 million) and the Nuclear Science User Facilities program ($6.6 million).

Oil Companies Help to Drive Offshore Wind –As states seek to rapidly escalate offshore wind, our Friend Elizabeth McGowan reports that there has been a ripple effect for logistics companies that are more accustomed to serving the oil and gas industry.  Our former Atlantic Wind Connection colleague, now at the University of Delaware, Stephanie McClellan has spent the last four years at guiding offshore wind from pie-in-the-sky blueprints to steel-in-the-water infrastructure that can deliver 8,000 megawatts of power to the Northeast by 2030.  McClellan says a linchpin to success has been developing buy-in from businesses 1,500 miles away in the Gulf Coast, where entrepreneurs are reshaping their expertise to meet the siting, construction, installation, and maintenance needs of a nascent, but promising, offshore wind industry.  One example of that union is the collaboration of Houston-based Zentech with Renewable Resources International in Virginia. Engineers have designed a marine vessel versatile enough to be used to install wind turbines and also decommission oil and gas rigs. Delivery of the modified ship is scheduled next year.

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

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 this week.  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.

Wehrum, McCabe Speak to Air/Waster Conference – The Air & Waste Management Association holds its annual conference in Hartford, Conn today through Thursday.  The event will feature a keynote address by EPA air chief Bill Wehrum and Janet McCabe, who served at the agency during the Obama administration.

Fanning, Audi CEO Address Aspen Ideas Festival – The 2018 Aspen Ideas Festival continues this week after starting last Thursday and will turn its focus to energy.  Aspen is the nation’s premier, public gathering place for leaders from around the globe and across many disciplines to engage in deep and inquisitive discussion of the ideas and issues that shape our lives and challenge our times.   Panels include an AV panel and a hurricane response panel with FEMA’s Brock Long (hosted by our friend Andy Revkin) today; a natural disaster rebuilding panel focused with SoCo’s Chris Womack, our friend Jeff Goodell and PR Gov Rossello and a cybersecurity discussion with Ash carter and SoCo’s Tom Fanning; a Wednesday panel on cities and technology with Audi President Scott Keough and the signature conversation event featuring former Sect Of State John Kerry; a Trade conversation with Trade Rep Bob Lighthizer on Thursday and a Friday afternoon panel with former EPA head Lisa Jackson on the Clean Energy revolution.   See the full agenda here.

Forum to Talk Eastern Europe Energy – The Atlantic Council Global Energy Center and the Hungarian Presidency of the Visegrád Group holds its “Towards 21st Century Energy Systems in Central & Eastern Europe” conference today.  The event will feature discussion and debate on the strategic and policy implications of the Trump Administration’s energy agenda and its impact on the transatlantic relationship, with special attention paid to the Central and Eastern European region.  The expert panels will discuss the impact of the US’ energy agenda on Central and Eastern Europe and innovation in Central and Eastern European energy systems.

Brookings Talking Global Markets With Experts – The Cross-Brookings Initiative on Energy & Climate will host Fatih Birol in a discussion today facilitated by Initiative Co-Chair David G. Victor. Both renowned energy experts, they will discuss the latest updates in global energy, including recent evolutions in global markets and prices, and the intersections of climate change and energy policy.  Fatih Birol is executive director of the International Energy Agency (IEA), and has been named by Forbes Magazine as one of the most influential people in world energy, and “Energy personality of the year” in 2017 by the Financial Times. He is also chair of the World Economic Forum’s (Davos) Energy Advisory Board and serves on the U.N. Secretary-General’s Advisory Board on Sustainable Energy for All.  After the session, panelists will take audience questions.

ACEEE Forum Set – Tomorrow at the National Press Club, the American Council for and Energy Efficient Economy (ACEEE) will convene a one-day symposium to highlight international energy efficiency best practices, with a particular focus on opportunities for improvement in the United States. Our research has shown that energy efficiency can be a low-cost, powerful tool for countries to meet their energy and environmental goals and to sustainably increase shared prosperity. At this event, ACEEE will release its biennial International Scorecard, which examines the energy efficiency policies and performance of the world’s 25 largest energy-consuming countries. The scorecard evaluates countries based on 35 metrics and shows how all can substantially improve their energy efficiency. The symposium will feature four panels that will explore: (1) scorecard findings, (2) lessons learned from high-performing countries, (3) opportunities for the United States, and (4) notable efforts and opportunities for global companies.

CSIS Hosts Climate Investments Head – Tomorrow at 9:00 a.m., the CSIS Energy & National Security Program will host Pratima Rangarajan, CEO of Oil and Gas Climate Initiative (OGCI) Climate Investments, for a conversation on OGCI Climate Investments within the context of the OGCI, why the fund was founded last year, and how and why Climate Investments differentiates itself from other funds. OGCI Climate Investments intends to invest $1 billion over the next ten years to develop and demonstrate innovative technologies which could significantly curb global greenhouse gas emissions.

Senate Energy Hosts DOE Nominees – The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee holds a hearing tomorrow at 10:00 a.m. on pending DOE nominations, including Daniel Simmons to head the Renewable Energy office; Karen Evans to be an assistant secretary of Energy for Cybersecurity, Energy Security and Emergency Response; Teri Donaldson to be Energy General Counsel and Dr. Chris Fall to head the DOE Science office.

House Resources Panel to Look at Offshore Wind – The House Natural Resources panel on Energy will hold a legislative hearing on three bipartisan offshore wind energy proposals tomorrow at 10:00 a.m.  The hearing will cover H.R. 5291, would create a new federal grant program to educate and train offshore wind workers as they transition from other industries. It would give priority to community colleges and organizations that aid minority populations.  The second bill would require the federal government to devise a schedule and plan for offshore leases, while the third bill would amend the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act to apply to U.S. territories such as Guam.  BOEM’s James Bennett and NOIA’s Randall Luthi testify.

Opponents of Gas Compressor Hold Event – Opponents of a gas compressor station in Maryland will hold an event at George Washington’s Mount Vernon tomorrow at noon to outline a new campaign to oppose the construction.  I doubt Dominion will take the opposition sitting down given this has been underway for more than two years and there has been no opposition until now.

House Energy Panel Looks at Oil, Gas Geopolitics – The House Energy and Commerce Energy Subcommittee holds a hearing tomorrow at 1:00 p.m. on the shifting geopolitics of oil and gas.  Witnesses include Daniel Yergin, Harold Hamm and Sempra’s Dennis Arriola.

House Oversight Panel Looks at Forest Service Roads – The House Oversight and Government Reform Interior, Energy and Environment Subcommittee holds a hearing tomorrow at 2:00 p.m. on access to public lands and the effects of forest service road closures.

Indonesian Energy Minster to Address CSIS – The CSIS Southeast Asia Program and CSIS-Pertamina Banyan Tree Leadership Forum will host a forum tomorrow at 2:00 p.m. featuring Ignasius Jonan, Minister for Energy and Mineral Resources of the Republic of Indonesia. Minister Jonan’s speech will be preceded by opening remarks from Ms. Nicke Widyawati, acting Chief Executive Officer of PT Pertamina.  Jonan spoke to the US Chamber of Commerce today at WGC.

Forum to Look at Iran Enviro Challenges – The Atlantic Council Global Energy Center holds a discussion tomorrow at 3:00 p.m. on Iran’s Environmental Challenges.  Environmental degradation has become a major issue in Iran and is a source of economic hardship, ill health, social disruption and recent political protests. The Atlantic Council’s Future of Iran Initiative will launch a new paper, Environmental and Wildlife Degradation in Iran, by David Laylin, an ecologist with extensive personal ties and experience in rural Iran.

Hydro Conference SetHydroVision International will be held in Charlotte, NC tomorrow through Thursday at the Charlotte Convention Center.  HydroVision is the largest gathering of hydro professionals worldwide. The event highlights perspectives on the role of hydropower, explores issues affecting hydro resources, and helps participants develop a vision to meet challenges and ensure the future sustainability of hydro.

FERC Holds Grid Conference – The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission holds technical conference tomorrow through Thursday on boosting grid resilience through improved software.

PLAYBOOK Breakfast to Feature McConnell – POLITICO Playbook holds a Breakfast interview with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell on Wednesday morning at 8:00 a.m. at Ajax.  POLITICO Playbook Co-Authors Anna Palmer and Jake Sherman hold the in-depth conversation to provide intelligence and insight on the Republican congressional agenda, along with policy, politics and news of the day.

Hearing to Look at Re-Org Plan – The House Oversight Committee holds a hearing at 10:00 a.m. on Wednesday examining the Administration’s Government-wide Reorganization Plan.

Forum to Look at National Lab Ideas – The Information Technology and Innovation Foundation holds a forum on Wednesday at noon in 2325 Rayburn to look at new ideas for strengthening partnerships at DOE’s National Labs.  Two promising ideas for providing such connections are the proposed Impact for Energy Foundation and the pilot small business voucher program. The former would make it easier for companies and philanthropists to work collaboratively with intramural teams at DOE labs. The latter provides small businesses that need sophisticated insights with no-cost access to lab experts who can accelerate their innovations.  Speakers will include Reps. Randy Hultgren and Ben Ray Luján, as well as Rita Baranwal, Director of (GAIN) Gateway for Accelerated Innovation in Nuclear at the Idaho National Laboratory.

Forum to Look at Russian NatGas Issues – The American Foreign Policy Council discussion on Wednesday at Noon in 902 Hart on Russian Revanchism and Nord Stream II pipeline Project.  The event features a discussion with the heads of parliaments of Ukraine, Georgia, Moldova, and Lithuania. Representing countries that are in the zone of direct military threat from revanchist Russia, the speakers will discuss the complex security situation in Central and Eastern Europe as a result of the Russian Federation’s long-term aggressive policies.

Senate Hearing to Look at Infrastructure Permitting – The Senate Homeland and Governmental Affairs Committee holds a hearing Wednesday at 2:30 p.m. to look at ways of streamlining the permitting process for large infrastructure projects.  Witnesses will include CEQ’s Alex Herrgott, former Senate Energy Chair Mary Landrieu, acting executive director of the Federal Permitting Improvement Steering Council Angela Colamaria, Joseph Johnson of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce; Christy Goldfuss of the Center for American Progress, North America’s Building Trades Unions head Sean McGarvey and Jolene Thompson, executive vice president of member services and external affairs at American Municipal Power.

Forum to Look at Energy Policy In Brazil – On Thursday at 9:00 a.m., the Inter-American Dialogue will hold a forum to look at energy policy in Brazil.  The event features a panel discussion on the recent oil licensing rounds, opportunities for private investment in the oil, gas and power sectors, and the outlook for energy policy next year.

Forum to Look at Fossil Fuels in Sustain Energy Future – The U.S. Energy Association holds a forum on Thursday at 10:00 a.m. to look access to affordable, reliable, sustainable, and modern energy services while reducing greenhouse gas emissions and the carbon footprint of the energy sector.  This briefing seeks to discuss the following within the context of the 2030 Agenda including recommendations on Carbon Capture Use and Storage; financing investment in fossil energy; transformation of the Energy System, among other things.  The speaker will be Scott Foster, the Director of the Sustainable Energy Division with the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe.

Chatterjee Headlines Grid Forum – Icons of Infrastructure hold a forum at the National Press Club on June 28th afternoon looking at the transformation of the energy grid.  The forum will look at how needed research and development efforts gets funded and what are the stakes for consumers, the energy sector and policymakers.  In one packed day of headline speakers, panel debates, creative networking opportunities, open discussions, and an in-depth analysis, you’ll learn about exciting developments in domestic energy markets, and hear insider perspective on the challenges we face.  Speakers include FERC Commissioner Neil Chatterjee, NREL’s Peter Green, DOE’s Eric Lightner and many more.

Forum to Look at Climate Risk – At the June Adaptation Community Meeting, the US Agency for International Development (USAID), the World Bank, the International Finance Corporation, and the Inter-American Development Bank will come together on Thursday at 4:00 p.m. At the World Bank to discuss each organization’s current and emerging approaches to climate risk management. The discussion will highlight each organization’s approach, initiatives to track and assess the effectiveness of climate risk management, lessons learned, and ideas for the future.

Mulvaney Headlines Annual CEI Dinner – On Thursday June 28th, the Competitive Enterprise Institute holds its annual dinner and reception at the Marriott Marquis.  National Review’s Jonah Goldberg will be master of ceremonies and keynoter is OMB chief Mick Mulvaney.

Wilson Forum to Look at Arctic – The Wilson Center holds forum on Friday focused on how the National Guard is contributing to the advancement of Arctic and cold weather capabilities within U.S. defense institutions. Senior leaders representing the National Guard Arctic Interest Council will discuss how the National Guard is contributing to the advancement of Arctic and cold weather capabilities within U.S. defense institutions.

IN THE FUTURE

 

JULY 4th HOLIDAY

Event to Honor Tesla Birthday – On Friday evening July 6th, the International Club of DC and the Embassy of Croatia host a dinner reception and delightful evening of Croatian culture, music, wine, and cuisine on the occasion of the 162nd anniversary of the birth of Croatian-born scientist Nikola Tesla. During the event, Tesla will have a Model S and Model X on display. Tesla product experts will be on hand to answer questions and show you how electric vehicles can fit seamlessly into your lifestyle. Test rides will be offered on a first come, first serve basis.

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.

BPC Forum to Examine Oil, Gas Issues – On Thursday July 12th at 10:30 a.m., the Bipartisan Policy Center (BPC) convenes a panel of experts to examine the current state of the Environmental Social Governance (ESG) movement in the oil and gas sector and explore what’s coming next. This movement continues to gain traction in a time when the regulatory agenda has changed significantly under the Trump Administration. ESG is particularly significant for the energy sector, specifically as shareholder resolutions surrounding climate change continue to take center stage in the media and in the boardroom.

Duke CEO, CARB Chair, Others Headline POLITICO Summit – POLITICO is hosting its second Pro Summit on July 17th at the Renaissance Hotel. The Pro Summit brings together Pro subscribers, expert reporters, key decision-makers, and others who are shaping the policy landscape for a full day of incisive conversations. Summit speakers include Rep. Joe Crowley, Duke CEO Lynn Good, FERC Chair Kevin McIntyre, Amy Myers Jaffe of the Council on Foreign Relations, Coal CEO Bob Murray, California Air Resources Board Chair Mary Nichols and many others.  Duke Energy is the main event sponsor.

Grid Forum Set for Iowa – The TransGrid-X 2030 Symposium will be held on July 26th in Ames, Iowa. The event will showcase the long-awaited NREL Seam Study—a concept featuring bi-directional high-voltage transmission; 600 GW of wind, solar and gas-fired generation; and a trillion-dollar economic event, if fully built.  Our friends Rob Gramlich and former FERC Chair Jim Hoecker will be among the speakers.

EPRI Hosts Electrification Conference – The Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) hosts the inaugural Electrification 2018 International Conference and Exposition on August 20th to 23rd in Long Beach CA. Hosted by the and sponsored by more than 20 major utilities and organizations, this annual conference will bring together utility leaders, regulators, researchers, academia, vendors, economic development groups, and energy users from diverse manufacturing, transportation, industrial, and agriculture sectors around the globe.  SoCo CEO Tom Fanning is among the many speakers.

Energy Update: Week of April 30

Friends,

Well, it seemed Scott Pruitt was getting a rough ride last Thursday on Capitol Hill but the White House Correspondents Dinner speaker Michelle Wolf may have underperformed him Saturday. Apparently, many didn’t particularly like a number of her jokes and her coverage was worse that NRDC’s coverage of Pruitt.  I am sad I missed it this year, but we were celebrating my colleague Scott Segal’s birthday.  Also, Hannah was home from Wellesley for the weekend to umpire a US national team field hockey match on Sunday.

Okay folks, the first week of May means it’s Kentucky Derby week.  The action starts Wednesday when post positions are drawn.  Kentucky Oaks on Friday and post time for the big race is 6:46 pm on Saturday.  We have the field and betting breakdown in a special section below.  I am telling you that Justify, Mendelssohn and Good Magic are who I’m watching, but see below for the full details and predictions.  

ICYMI, the FAA reauthorization passed Friday in the House and included provisions to update the Stafford Act (how we pay for disaster relief) that speeds up inspections and ensures a percentage of assistance is dedicated to predisaster hazard mitigation.  Given the approaching NOAA hurricane season forecast, as well as the current Congressional discussions of improving disaster relief, perhaps this is the right time to dig into this hurricane preparedness issue and focus on some of the solutions the most thoughtful planners are looking at today.  Researchers at MIT are already tackling part of the extreme weather calculus by looking at how to better fortify our structures to withstand the destructive effects of extreme weather events.  Jeremy Gregory, executive director of MIT’s Concrete Sustainability Hub (CSHub), is pushing the frontier of academic research into building materials, with implications for policymakers, building designers, communities and the vulnerable residents of hazard-prone areas.  We can help you here if you are digging in. Business Council for Sustainable Energy (BCSE) President Lisa Jacobson said the legislation “will ensure that the United States better prepares for disasters and extreme weather events and rebuilds more resiliently for when disaster does strike.”

Secondly, a number of folks reported on Friday that the Administration plans to freeze fuel economy standards at model year 2020 levels through at least model year 2026 vehicles.  While some are looking at it as a rollback, I would remind you that the Phase II targets were always seen as an overreach by most unbiased experts.  In fact, the agreement with a mid-term review was specifically designed to right-size the regs if it was likely that they would be unattainable (oh and they seem to be).  Either way, our friends at SAFE, Robbie Diamond, Greg Rogers, et al are In the middle of the action and can comment.  In fact, Diamond told the LA Times “a long, litigious road is the worst outcome for all stakeholders, especially the auto industry and American consumers.”

We taking a deep breathe this week with Congress in recess and more Pruitt hearings set for next week.

Off the Hill, this week is Waterpower Week in DC with the Hydro Association holding several events.  In Houston, the Offshore Technology Conference rolls into action.  Abby Hopper headlines Solar Summit 2018 tomorrow and Wednesday in San Diego and finally, the Columbia Center for Global Energy hosts an event today on conservative prescriptions on climate change that includes former Bush CEA chair Glenn Hubbard and our friend Rich Powell of ClearPath.

Finally, today is a big day in the trade world as temporary country exemptions on steel/aluminum tariffs expire.  My colleagues Josh Zive, Stoney Burke and Paul Nathanson are all over it and happy to discuss on the record.  As well, you can find more trade/tariff issues at the Coalition of American Metals Manufacturers and Users, which you can follow on Twitter at @tariffsaretaxes or on the website is www.tariffsaretaxes.org.

Call with questions.  Best,

Frank Maisano

(202) 828-5864

c. (202) 997-5932

 

FRANKLY SPOKEN

As the largest refiner by capacity in the U.S., with a best-in-class operating capability and a strong capital structure, the combined company will be exceptionally well-positioned to deliver on its synergy and earnings targets.”

Andeavor chairman and CEO, Gregg Goff discussing today’s deal with Marathon and how it provides value to shareholders now and in the future as part of the combined company.

 

ON THE POD

Bracewell Podcast Talking Trade – The latest Bracewell podcast will be posted soon and will focus on trade.  It will soon be live on Stitcher, iTunes, SoundCloud, and Google Play Music where Paul and Josh discuss today’s tariff deadline.

Amy Harder Talking Pruitt On TrumpWatch – With the Pruitt hearings last week, Amy Harder of Axios, New York’s WBA podcast “TrumpWatch”  to discuss whether Pruitt stays in his role at the EPA and discusses his  agenda.   , Amy discusses the testimony with host Jesse Lent about some of the more consequential actions he has taken while overseeing the EPA.

FUN OPINIONS

Harder Line on Climate – Our Friend Amy Harder has an Interesting column in her regular Harder Line column on Axios.com  that discusses why climate change can’t escape Washington’s back burner.  Amy smartly says climate change is one of the biggest issues facing political and corporate leaders, yet it is almost always put behind more imminent priorities. The amorphous, long-term nature of the problem doesn’t fit well into political agendas, and companies respond in kind.”  Even some of my friends in the environmental community with quietly admit this.  And it is also why Tom Steyer is now spending his millions on impeachment ads rather than the environment and climate.

THE DERBY PREVIEW

The annual Run for the Roses is back again for another edition of one of horse racing’s biggest events.

The first Triple Crown race of the year, the Kentucky Derby features a field of 20 horses vying for a purse of $2 million. Here’s a quick look at the basic information you need to know ahead of time so you don’t miss out on any of the festivities:

The 144th Kentucky Derby is the most exciting two minutes in sports.  It looks like we are in for a great and competitive race on Saturday. There are a few exciting prospects, and a few budding stars that will be going to post, but we also have some pretenders to sort through. The crop this year looks potentially strong, but important to note, while he qualified, Gronk is out because of a sickness.

Post time — 6:46 p.m.

Purse — $2 million, with $1.4 to the winner.

Attendance — More than 170,000

Weather — Mostly sunny and nice, 12% chance of precipitation, high of 81°.  The forecast is probably the single most important factor behind a good Kentucky Derby. It affects everything from track conditions, where wet weather can lead to a sloppy afternoon, to the infield, where wet weather can lead to a completely different kind of sloppy afternoon.  Bookmark willitrainonderbyday.com now and be sure to check back as we get closer to Derby Day.

TV — NBC’s coverage features hosts Bob Costas, a 27-time Emmy Award-winner, and Mike Tirico; analysts Randy Moss and Jerry Bailey, the Hall of Fame jockey and two-time Kentucky Derby winner; NBCSN host Krista Voda; analysts/handicappers Bob Neumeier and Eddie Olczyk; reporters Donna Brothers, Carolyn Manno, Laffit Pincay, III, and Kenny Rice; and race caller Larry Collmus.

The Distance — The Derby is 1 ¼ miles, or 10 furlongs.  Secretariat’s 1973 time of 1:59.40 remains the fastest ever.

The Draw — Post positions will be drawn Wednesday morning at 11:00 a.m.

Draw Facts — Since racing began using a starting gate in 1930, the #5 post has the highest win percent at 11.4%. Interestingly, the #10 spot that has the highest in-the-money percentage of runners at 29.6%. Conventional wisdom has it that the inside post positions are not as good for horses these days due to the size of the field and the risk of being squeezed out as the race progresses. Post positions 1, 2 and 3 have been in a drought without a winner since 1986, 1978 and 1998 respectively.  The official Kentucky Derby website has a convenient list of complete post position records for every Kentucky Derby over the years.

Churchill Downs — Known as the home of the Kentucky Derby and the Kentucky Oaks, Churchill Downs Racetrack is in Louisville, Kentucky and occupies 147 acres, featuring a one-mile dirt, oval racetrack and a seven furlong turf race course. Thoroughbred racing, the Kentucky Derby, and the Kentucky Oaks have run continuously at Churchill Downs since 1875. It features the Twin Spires — built in 1895 — that sit atop the grandstands, which remain among the most recognizable architectural features in the world.

What to Wear — The Kentucky Derby has been synonymous with style and glamour from the beginning. Today, it’s one of the only places in the world where people still dress to the hilt for a sporting event and where men’s fashion is just as important as women’s. From fantastic hats and colorful spring dresses to dashing bow ties and seersucker suits, Derby’s display of American style and tradition simply doesn’t exist anywhere else.

Men — The modern Derby man possesses an unparalleled color palette. Sun-drenched, tropical colors in bold stripes or busy plaid and bright pastels steal the limelight. Although, if you want a more polished look, a classic navy or pinstripe blazer is always in style. But remember, gentlemen: The secret to looking great is confidence.

Women — The Derby is a chance for every woman to express her inner Southern Belle. The race’s founder, Colonel M. Lewis Clark, Jr., had a vision for an experience that felt both comfortable and luxurious. Today, a myriad of fashions can be found at Derby – from cool sundresses to simple cocktail dresses and even more formal attire. But all these styles have one thing in common: the big Derby hat.  The extravagant hats that have become associated with the Derby did not really come around until the 1960s, when social fashion norms loosened up and the presence of television gave women a reason to stand out. The hats became larger, brighter, and more extravagant. Hats at the Kentucky Derby have become even more popular after the royal wedding in 2011, an event that showcased many elaborate hats and fascinators.  See a tutorial on Derby hats here.

The Apollo Curse — Not since the 8th running of the Derby has a horse won it without the benefit of a start as two-year old. That horse was Apollo who came with a late rush to beat Runnymeade back in 1882.  This year, we have not one but two horses looking to knock off the Apollo curse. Justify and Magnum Moon both come in looking strong and could end this streak.  Neither raced last year.
Breeder’s Juvenile — While it is a great race to win, the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile has not exactly been a harbinger for Derby winners. Nyquist is one of only two are the only two who won the Juvenile that also won the Roses.  Last year’s winner Good Magic may be good enough to go the distance.

THE FIELD of 20

Here are some horses in the field that I would look out for:

Magnum Moon (Trainer Todd Pletcher, Rider Luis Saez) – He is 4 for 4 without a start at two, taking the Rebel and Arkansas Derby. He will run in the Kentucky Derby off three weeks’ rest. He ran in the Arkansas Derby off a short rest and was bearing out significantly in that race. Three hard races in a relatively short window is cause for concern, especially when you watch the replay of him bearing out in the Arkansas Derby. The added distance doesn’t figure to help him, and at times, has shown a lack of maturity which could hurt in a big field. He should prompt the pace if not lead it.  It’s hard not to like an undefeated horse from the Pletcher barn, with a tough aggressive rider, but he has some negatives that could hurt him, especially if the pace is fast.

Mendelssohn (Trainer Aidan O’Brien, Rider Ryan Moore) – It should have come as no surprise this horse can motor on dirt. His race in Dubai amounted to a public workout. Yes the track was kind to speed and the rail was good but he ran fast, went easily, and by no means needs the front. He’s won on turf, synthetic, and on dirt. He’s been a mile and 3 sixteenths, that’s further than anyone he will face in Louisville. His last win is faster than any in here have run and if he repeats that (or anything close to it) he will be very tough to beat.

Justify (Trainer Bob Baffert, Rider Mike Smith) – It is probably not possible for a colt to be in better hands coming up to the Derby than Justify is with trainer (Baffert) and rider (Smith). He’s three for three with no starts at two, but only raced at Santa Anita, which is a question mark despite him being the likely favorite at Post time.  He has plenty of speed but he doesn’t have to be right on the lead. He can stalk and pounce and I suspect that is what Smith will attempt to do.  He will likely be the favorite and has had a strong showing during Churchill Downs workouts over the past couple of days, clocking in at 1:13 over six furlongs.

Good Magic (Trainer Chad Brown, Rider Jose Ortiz) – Good Magic just won in the Blue Grass and was last year’s  Breeders’ Cup Juvenile champ as a maiden.   He has lofty expectations and trained great lately.  He will probably sit off a projected fast or even contested pace, but go when called upon.  Ortiz is a winning machine and chooses wisely in big races so look out for this one.

Audible (Trainer Todd Pletcher, Rider Javier Castellano) – Audible is popular but his pedigree doesn’t scream a mile and a quarter.  As well, his Florida Derby win had a lot of good Luck in it as he sat off a suicide hot pace and moved into it at the right time to finish the field.  Experts worry about his finish.  Interestingly, world-class rider John Velazquez won the Florida Derby aboard this colt but jumped off to ride Vino Rosso.  That should tell you something.

Vino Rosso (Trainer Todd Pletcher, Rider John Velazquez) – Speaking of Vino, he looks like a true distance horse (given his breeding) and after a good race in the Wood Memorial, he pulled veteran rider Velazquez off Audible. He can sit back and make one run into a contested and probably fast pace. He looks like he put it all together at the right time and should be right there. The worry with Vino is he may be already peaking and if he has, it will be difficult for him to win.

Bolt D’ Oro (Trainer Mick Ruis, Rider Victor Espinoza) – While fast and talented, he doesn’t seem to be as fast and talented as Justify. He will need some help from his trip and his experience to turn those tables. It also hurt his chances when Javier Castellano, in search of that elusive first Kentucky Derby win, jumped off this colt to ride Audible. Victor Espinoza is a great replacement for the big show, but the he hasn’t really run faster than he did as a two-years old. That is a little strange and rare. A good pedigree with Medaglia d’ Oro and A.P. Indy makes him one to still keep an eye on.

Noble Indy (Trainer Todd Pletcher, Rider TBA) – The Louisiana Derby winner was somewhat lucky to beat both Lone Sailor and My Boy Jack in that race. He will face both again along with a host of others. He has speed to be part of the pace or close to it. He doesn’t look like the distance will do him any favors. He may be in the mix longer than some think, but likely not at the finish. He will probably struggle with an expected fast pace and the longer distance.

My Boy Jack (Trainer Keith Desormeaux, Rider Kent Desormeaux) – MBJ is coming off 3 less than ideal trips starting with a win up the rail in the mud. He ran on the rail (and was not intimidated by it) and likes the mud.  He also is a strong finisher as evidenced by his Louisiana Derby finish where he can from far back and was very wide. He is agile, brave and doesn’t quit.  He has a three race super steady pattern and may be peaking at the right time.  He has lots of speed and will likely finish strong.  And if there is any bit of rain, he won’t mind it wet.

Hofburg (Trainer Bill Mott, Rider Irad Ortiz) – If you are looking for a sleeper, another intriguing colt who lacks seasoning is Hofburg.  He ran in the Florida Derby where he was wide but never surrendered and kept coming against a much more seasoned and accomplished foe who also got the jump on him. He can easily turn those tables with the race behind him and with the added distance he should relish.  It will take a lot of talent to overcome his inexperience but he could be a really good one flying under the radar.

Combatant (Trainer Steve Asmussen, Rider Ricardo Santana) – With an unlucky wide draw in Arkansas, Combatant is improving and can rally from off the pace but also not too far off if Santana chooses. He will be long odds but could surprise.

Others: Enticed, Flameaway, Noble Indy, Firenze Fire, Free Drop Billy, Lone Sailor, Bravezo – These are all long shots but if I had to consider them, I might think Free Drop Billy, who had a great two-year old year but just hasn’t shown anything this year, might be a sleeper. As well, Brazevo is trained by D Wayne Lukas and ridden by Gary Stevens and while not as talented, that team has won big surprises before including Oxbow in the Preakness in 2013.

THE PACE

Pace makes the race, and the Kentucky Derby is no exception. It looks like there is enough early speed in this race to insure either a lively pace or possibly a contested one. It is impossible to get a read on this until we see the draw Wednesday morning. Post positions affect jockey strategies and will definitely change outlooks. It is likely Promises Fulfilled will likely be the initial pacesetter provided he breaks well. The only other scenario I see at this point is a Mike Smith decision to go if Justify breaks well and gets the jump. He probably doesn’t want to lead, but will if it there, knowing Justify can handle it.  Justify is inexperienced so a clean ride without a lot of dirt and not having to bounce in the stretch may help him. The pace is the Derby is usually a fast one as the track is likely to be playing fast, especially with the forecast, but once things are out there are a number of pace pressers (Magnum Moon, Enticed, Flameaway, Noble Indy, Firenze Fire) all have enough speed to hang.  A fast pace does not mean speed can’t win if someone is loose and gets brave but it will be hard for the speed to hold at a mile and a quarter if things get contested.  Mendelssohn’s strength may give him an edge on some or most of the stalkers.  We’ll know more with the draw on Wednesday and with track conditions on Saturday, but it looks like a closers race on paper unless Justify is just too good.

ODDS

Odds to win 2018 Kentucky Derby (5/5/18) – per Sportsbook.ag as of today (4/30/18):

  • Justify 3-1
  • Bolt D’oro 18-5
  • Mendelssohn 9-2
  • My Boy Jack 9-2
  • Magnum Moon 19-4
  • Audible 13-2
  • Good Magic 15-2
  • Hofburg 10-1
  • Vino Rosso 16-1
  • Enticed 20-1
  • Solomini 25-1
  • Noble Indy 28-1
  • Flameaway 30-1
  • Instilled Regard 35-1
  • Free Drop Billy 40-1
  • Bravazo 50-1
  • Combatant 50-1
  • Lone Sailor 50-1
  • Promises Fulfilled 50-1
  • Firenze Fire 75-1

2018 Kentucky Derby Prediction

I don’t like to pick favorites, especially those that are under the Apollo Curse, but my gut says Justify is the best and strongest horse in the field.  If he is a favorite at 7-2 or higher, I am definitely laying cash there, but I don’t expect him to stay there.   Anything lower and I’ll probably box him up with Mendelssohn and Good Magic in the Trifecta box and add either My Boy Jack or Magnum Moon for the Super.

Win: Justify

Trifecta Box: Justify, Mendelssohn, Good Magic

Superfecta Box: Justify, Mendelssohn, Good Magic with My Boy Jack or Magnum Moon

Sleepers: Hofburg (10-1) and/or My Boy Jack (9-2)

Long Shots: Free Drop Willy (40-1) or Bravazo (50-1), each worth the $2 bet

IN THE NEWS

Marathon, Andeavor Connecting – Marathon Petroleum said today it will buy out San Antonio’s Andeavor, in a $23.3 billion cash-and-stock deal, bringing together the second-largest U.S. refiner and a highly integrated marketing, logistics and refining company.  The deal will see Marathon swap each Andeavor share for either 1.87 shares of Marathon common stock or $152.27 in cash; the deal is structured so that about 15% of Andeavor’s shares will receive the cash consideration.
Marathon investors will hold about 66% of the company, while Andeavor investors will own the other 34%.  The combined company will continue to use Marathon’s Findlay, Ohio, headquarters but will maintain an office in San Antonio, Texas, where Andeavor is currently based.  Gregg Goff, Andeavor chairman and CEO, said the deal provides value to shareholders now and in the future as part of the combined company.  The deal, which is subject to shareholder approval by both company’s investors as well as regulatory approval, is expected to close during the second half of 2017.

FAA Legislation Approved – The House approved FAA reauthorization legislation Friday.  The must-pass bill includes the Disaster Recovery Reform Act (DRRA), which reforms the Stafford Act. The DRRA clarifies existing assistance programs to speed up inspections and ensure that a percentage of assistance is dedicated to predisaster hazard mitigation.  The most important changes to the Stafford Act – which is how we pay disaster assistance – reduces restrictions for mitigation assistance and aims to ensure assistance is provided efficiently. The DRRA also mandates a FEMA guidance enabling cooperation with state and local governments in acquiring “open space” as a mitigation measure. This is significant most everyone agrees that hurricanes in the US are intensifying, both in frequency and in strength.  Every year, we seem to be incurring more damage and spending more on repairs.  The FAA changes underscore the immediate and demonstrable results of fortifying our structures to withstand the destructive effects of extreme weather events.  To that end, researchers at MIT are already tackling this part of the extreme weather calculus.  Jeremy Gregory, executive director of MIT’s Concrete Sustainability Hub (CSHub), is pushing the frontier of academic research into building materials, with implications for policymakers, building designers, communities, and the vulnerable residents of hazard-prone areas.

CPP Comments Filed – The Electric Reliability Coordinating Council submitted comments on the Clean Power Plan repeal last Thursday as the deadline closed.  ERCC argued 1) the CPP went well beyond EPA’s Authority under Section 111(d) of the Clean Air Act; 2) CPP Is fundamentally inconsistent with the Cooperative Federalism Principles that Congress established in the CAA and other Federal Statutes; 3) the Clean Power Plan is just bad policy because it jeopardizes electric supply and harms consumers while essentially doing nothing to reduce climate change.  Finally, ERCC said it supports efforts for EPA to replace the CPP with regulations based on sound legal and economic principles. “Such an effort would provide regulatory certainty, diminish frivolous litigation, and aide the planning efforts of power companies and state utility commissions.”

Energy Storage Legislation Introduced – Reps. Steve Knight (R-CA) and Bill Foster (D-IL) have introduces legislation (H.R. 5610) that would establish a set of concrete innovation goals in the coming years for energy storage technologies. The Better Energy Storage Technology (BEST) Act is modeled after similar “moonshot” initiatives, including John F. Kennedy’s original goal of landing a man on the moon that propelled the U.S. past Russia in the space race. The same type of moonshot goals can be applied to technologies such as energy and battery storage as the U.S. looks to keep up with and surpass China in the global clean energy race.  The House bill is similar to one in the Senate introduced by Sens. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) and Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.)

DOE Announces $60M for Advanced Nuclear Technology Development – Energy Secretary Rick Perry announced 13 projects that will receive about $60 million to support cost-shared research and development in advanced nuclear technologies. The selections — broken down into categories pertaining to nuclear demonstration readiness, advanced reactor development, and regulatory assistance grants — are the first under the Office of Nuclear Energy’s “U.S. Industry Opportunities for Advanced Nuclear Technology Development” effort.  The announcement includes $40 million in DOE funding for NuScale’s small modular reactor design effort and nearly $5 million for a project to design and license application development for a facility capable of handling high-assay, low-enriched uranium and production of uranium fuels required for advanced nuclear fleets.

Report: Market, Regulatory Challenges to Pumped Storage Growth – With WATERPOWER Week upon us, the National Hydropower Association released a new report that says developing market changes that recognize the energy reliability and security role pumped storage plays and evaluating energy storage technologies based on their abilities to provide key supporting services to the overall electric grid. The report also recommends streamlining licenses for low-impact pumped storage hydropower and developing standard evaluation criteria for all forms of energy storage to better compare and evaluate different types of storage.

Report Looks at Nuclear, Renewables Integration – MIT Energy Initiative and Argonne National Lab teamed up for a report underscoring how nuclear and renewable power can work in tandem under a more diverse and reliable grid. “We find that operating nuclear plants in a more flexible manner, including varying power output to integrate renewable energy and supplying valuable operating reserves and frequency regulation, presents a potential ‘win-win-win’,” MIT’s Jesse Jenkins said. Jenkins and his modeled the benefits of pairing renewable resources with more flexible operation of nuclear power plants in a recent paper in Applied Energy. During summer 2015, the team worked on two power systems projects: one on the role of energy storage in a low-carbon electricity grid, and the other on the role of nuclear plants. Linking the two projects, the report uses new sources of operating flexibility to integrate more renewable resources into the grid.

 

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

Offshore Tech Conference Set – The Offshore Technology Conference (OTC) starts today and runs through Thursday at NRG Park (formerly Reliant Park) in Houston.  The conference is focused on scientific and technical knowledge for offshore resources and environmental matters. OTC showcases leading-edge technology for offshore drilling, exploration, production, and environmental protection. OTC is the world’s foremost event for the development of offshore resources.

MI Innovation Council to Hold Meeting – Michigan Energy Innovation Business Council holds its 6th Annual conference today at the Radisson Hotel Lansing at the Capitol. The full-day conference focuses on innovations in advanced energy, as well as get an overview on the latest policy developments. There will be several break-out panels throughout the day featuring dozens of expert panelists. The event brings together leaders in Michigan’s advanced energy industry, utility executives, policymakers, regulators, and others.

Forum to Look at Climate, Conservative Views – The Columbia Center for Global Energy hosts an event today on conservative prescriptions on climate change.  As part of its continuing series “Where Next on Climate?” the Center on Global Energy Policy will host a program focusing on conservative prescriptions to deal with climate change. Dr. Glenn Hubbard, Dean of the Columbia Business School and former chair of the Council of Economic Advisors under President George W. Bush, will offer opening remarks, then lead a panel discussion with our friend Rich Powell of ClearPath, John Diamond of Rice University’s Baker Institute for Public Policy and Lynne Kiesling of Purdue University and R Street Institute.

NHA holds Washington Waterpower Week – The National Hydropower Assn holds Waterpower Week in Washington today through Wednesday.  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.

Solar Summit Set for SD – GTM’s Solar Summit 2018 will be held in San Diego tomorrow and Wednesday at the Hyatt La Jolla.  This conference will present deep dives by the top industry executives and thought leaders that will help you navigate the challenges in the market.  SEIA’s Abby Hopper and former Governator Cal EPA head Terry Tamminen are among the list of speakers.

CSIS to Look at Carbon PricingThe CSIS Energy & National Security Program will host John Larsen (Rhodium Group; CSIS), Jerry Taylor (Niskanen Center), and Thomas Kerr (IFC) tomorrow to discuss the state of play of carbon markets and pricing around the world. Carbon pricing and emissions trading systems (ETS) have been gaining momentum as tools to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and meet Paris Agreement targets. The majority of OECD countries have a carbon pricing mechanism in place.  Despite progress, carbon pricing and ETS only cover approximately 15% of global emissions. The United States is still without a nation-wide carbon price, a politically fraught issue. Ultimately, prices must be significantly higher, and these mechanisms more widely adopted, in order to meet the goals of the Paris Agreement. Whether pricing carbon and ETS will come to meet expectations remains an open question.

Forum to Look at PJM Region Energy Issues – On Wednesday, the Great Plains Institute and Duke University’s Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions hold an expert workshop for state officials and stakeholders exploring recent energy and environmental policy developments in the PJM region.  Federal Energy Regulatory Commissioner Robert F. Powelson will deliver a keynote address.  After Commissioner Powelson’s keynote, Adam Keech, Executive Director of PJM Market Operations will present on recent developments at the RTO. A panel of state leaders will then react to recent PJM proposals and decisions and present on state-level developments. An industry panel will explore trends in the electricity industry, including recent commitments by utilities to decarbonize their portfolios. A third panel will explore timely environmental issues, from the new tax credit for carbon capture and storage projects to EV charging infrastructure and Virginia’s move to link to RGGI.

Forum to Focus on Russian Energy – On Wednesday at 10:00 a.m., the Atlantic Council holds a timely discussion on Russia’s energy strategy, the final event in a four-part series on Russia Today and Tomorrow: Internal Strengths and Weaknesses.  Russia remains one of the largest oil and natural gas producers in the world. Its economy largely depends on energy exports, with revenues accounting for about a half of the country’s federal budget. Dr. Tatiana Mitrova, director of the Energy Center at the Moscow School of Management SKOLKOVO, will be presenting a paper of Russia’s energy strategy. This will be followed by a panel discussion which will explore the current state of the energy industry in Russia, as well as its immediate and long-term strategy and the influence of the Russian government that includes our friend Elizabeth Rosenberg of the Center for a New American Security.

JHU Forum to Look at China, Enviro Policies – On Wednesday at 12:00 p.m., Johns Hopkins University’s School of Advanced International Studies hosts a forum on Chinese environmental policies.  Professor Rui Wang specializes in the public policy analysis for sustainable development, especially on issues related to cities or China. Professor Wang’s research appears in the areas of public policy, economics, and natural science and has been covered in the Atlantic, Harvard Business Review, Los Angeles Times and New York Times. He also gave talks at the China Finance 40 Forum, Hong Kong Monetary Authority, Los Angeles World Affairs Council, RAND, World Bank, and numerous academic conferences and institutions. His works on California’s local climate actions, China’s urban household carbon emissions, and parking in China’s cities were cited by the IPCC’s Fifth Assessment Report. Professor Wang is the inaugural Johns Hopkins SAIS China Yeung Family Endowed Scholar and a steering committee member of the Johns Hopkins 21st Century Cities Initiative.

NAS to Hold Forum on WIPP – The National Academies of Sciences hosts a public meeting on Wednesday at 2:30 p.m. focused on the disposal of surplus plutonium in the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant in New Mexico.

Forum Looks at Climate – The Wilderness Society hosts “Climate Change and U.S. Public Lands” on Thursday morning at 8:30 a.m. at the National Press Club.  The forum is the second of a series of panel discussions aim to give the information, resources and connections journalists need to continue telling in-depth, powerful stories that explore the implications of current and future energy, environment and climate policies.  This upcoming panel discussion will dig deeper into the role that U.S. public lands play in the climate change discussions and solution, and the issues that surround it, with topics including: energy production and emissions tracking on public lands; the impact of an energy dominance agenda on the administration’s view of climate change and participation on an international stage; aspects of impacts and adaptation; and carbon storage.  Speakers include former Governor of Colorado Bill Ritter, former Deputy Secretary, U.S. Department of Interior David Hayes, Mother Jones writer Rebeccca LKeber and WaPo’s Dino Grandoni.

Forum  Looks at Oil in Iraq – The Middle East Institute (MEI) hosts a panel discussion on Thursday at 2:00 p.m. examining options and priorities for improving governance in Iraq, featuring Erin Banco, investigative reporter for the Star-Ledger and NJ.com; Alan Eyre (State Department), Omar Al-Nidawi (Gryphon Partners), and MEI Scholar Jean Francois Seznec. The panel will be moderated by MEI’s director for conflict resolution and Track II dialogues, Randa Slim.

IN THE FUTURE

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.

Approps Subpanel to Mark Energy Budget – The House Appropriations Committee’s Subcommittee on Energy and Water Development, and Related Agencies will meet next Monday AT 5:30 p.m. to mark-up  the FY 2019 Energy and Water Appropriations Bill.

BP Tech Head to Discuss Global Energy – The Atlantic Council’s Global Energy Center will hold a wide-ranging discussion next Tuesday at 9:00 a.m. about the role of technology in shaping the future of global energy. The energy industry is changing faster than at any time in our lifetime. It faces two huge challenges: firstly, providing more energy than ever before to meet the world’s increasing demand; and secondly, transitioning to a lower carbon future. Drawing upon analysis conducted by BP and its partners, BP’s Technology Head David Eyton will discuss some of the major longer-term signals out to 2050, as well as key findings in transport, power and heat. Eyton’s conversation with Amb. Morningstar will also cover the key game-changing technologies for the energy industry and the challenges we face.

Senate Approps to Host Pruitt – EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt is scheduled to testify the week of May 7th before the Senate appropriations subcommittee that oversees his budget according to Sen. Lisa Murkowski, who chairs the panel.

BPC to Host Panel on Federal Science – The Bipartisan Policy Center will Host a Forum on Tuesday May 8th at 9:00 a.m., looking at federal funding for Fiscal Year 2018 for research and development. Continually developing new scientific knowledge and technologies drives long-term economic growth and creates higher-skilled jobs. BPC will focus its conversation on federal investment in scientific research and innovation and how to maintain America’s economic and competitive edge.

Senate Energy Committee to Look at Puerto Rico – The Senate Energy Committee will convene an oversight hearing next Tuesday at 10:00 a.m. to examine the current status of Puerto Rico’s electric grid and proposals for the future operation of the grid.

Forum to Discuss LNG Study – U.S. Energy Association will hold a forum on Tuesday, May 8th at 10:00 a.m. featuring energy economists at ICF who recently conducted a study for LNG Allies.  The study “Calculating the Benefits of US LNG Exports” looked at direct, indirect, and induced value added ($GDP) and employment from LNG terminals and the natural gas feedstock.  The principal author of the ICF report, Harry Vidas, joins Fred H. Hutchison, President/CEO, of LNG Allies to discuss the findings.

EnviroRun Features Amy Harder – Next Tuesday, Envirorun DC hosts Amy Harder, energy and climate change reporter at Axios. Amy is an energy and climate change reporter at Axios, both in her regular column called Harder Line, and her other reporting for Axios she covers congressional legislation, regulations, lobbying, and international policy actions affecting energy and climate change issues in the United States. She previously covered the same issues for The Wall Street Journal and before that at National Journal.  The run begins at 6 PM and we will return to the venue for networking and hear from the speaker at 7:00 pm.

OPIS Looks at West Coast Fuel Supply – OPIS holds a forum in Napa Valley at the Silverado Resort on May 9th and 10th looking at West Coast fuel supplies and transportation opportunities.  Industry experts will examine the impact of new players in the Western markets, opportunities that California assets can offer, carbon emissions regulations, renewable fuels, plus get an exclusive technical analysis of West Coast spot market prices.

Forum to Look at Nuclear Challenges – The Center for Climate and Energy Solutions holds a conversation on Wednesday May 9th at GWU’s Lerner Hall at 9:30 a.m. featuring utilities, federal and state policy experts, and industry analysts to discuss solutions to address this question and others.  The event will feature a keynote from Ralph Izzo, CEO of PSEG, as well as perspectives on state policy options, environmental and economic impacts, and the federal landscape.

WCEE Forum Looks Congressional Energy Agenda – The Women’s Council on Energy and the Environment (WCEE) will host a forum on Thursday, May 10th at 8:00 a.m. at the American Gas Association to look at the Congressional agenda in the first year of the Trump Administration.  WCEE hosts for a wide-ranging conversation over breakfast about Congressional priorities and areas for bipartisan agreement on energy and environment issues. Key Congressional staffers who will offer their insights and opinions on the busy year that lies ahead include Senate Energy’s Chester Carson and Brie Van Cleve, Emily Domenech of the House Science Committee’s Energy panel, House Energy and Commerce Committee’s Energy and Environment Majority Chief Counsel Mary Martin and several others.

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 May 24th 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.

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.

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 April 16

Friends,

Welcome to Marathon Monday, better known as Patriot’s Day.  Today is the 122nd Boston Marathon and this year the weather looks pretty windy, cold and soggy.  You can see the Boston Globe’s coverage full coverage here.  The elite runners have already finished and for the first time in 33 years, an American woman has claimed victory.  Metro Detroit native Desiree Linden took the lead around the 35-kilometer mark and did not look back, capturing her first major marathon win by a wide margin as she crossed the finish line in 2:39:54. Meanwhile, Japan’s Yuki Kawauchi completed a wild come-from-behind win, closing a 90-second gap in the last mile to overtake defending champion Geoffrey Kirui in 2:10:46.

For the second year, Marathon Monday has special meaning for us as Hannah is reporting live from the rainy “Wellesley Scream tunnel” at Mile 13.  A few folks from NBC Sports Network joined college organizers for the sign-making event at Wellesley’s Davis Museum last year for a Boston Marathon Segment on the Scream Tunnel.  The course, which rolls right past campus, is a celebratory tradition. It also has been 5 years since the 2013 terrorist attack, which highlighted the amazing strength and healing the city showed as a community.  The days surrounding that fateful attack were depicted very well in the recent movie Patriot’s Day.  Finally, starting Thursday, our friends at Valero host the PGA’s Texas Open this week in San Antonio at the TPC.  Last year’s Masters Champ Sergio Garcia, defending champ Kevin Chappell, Martin Kaymer and Jim Furyk are among those players in the field.

It is a busy week in DC after Paul Ryan announced his intention to retire as Speaker.  There are a bunch of budget hearings in the enviro/energy space headlined by FERC Commissioners at House Energy tomorrow and Ag Sect Perdue at Approps on Wednesday.  Meanwhile, House Ways & Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady hosts a closed-door “roundtable” Wednesday to discuss more issues on tax extenders.  Other hearings include Senate Energy hearings on energy-related challenges and opportunities in remote and rural areas featuring NRECA members Thursday and an NPS officials discussing Park maintenance tomorrow, as well as a Senate Enviro hearing on States and groundwater Wednesday.

Other great events this week include a Tax Day event at the Chamber tomorrow as well as a forum at UChicago’s Energy Policy Institute that features my colleague Jeff Holmstead and our friend Amy Harder of Axios. On Wednesday, WCEE hosts a brown bag lunch with our friends Maya Weber, Pam King and Jasmin Melvin to discuss energy and Trump.  Then Thursday, the Columbia Global Energy Project hosts half-day forum will include keynote remarks, interviews and plenary conversations with folks like CP CEO Ryan Lance, Dave Banks, DOE’s Dan Brouillette and IEA’s Fatih Birol.

Finally, for those of you on the trade/tariff beat as well, opponents of steel and aluminum tariffs will release new report at the National Press Club on Wednesday at 2:00 p.m. that will reveal the downward effect of tariffs on steel capacity utilization as well as will detail the decline in U.S. manufacturing jobs that result from the Section 232 tariffs. The event will also mark the launch of the Coalition of American Metal Manufacturers and Users, comprised of small and medium U.S. manufacturing companies united in an effort to oppose the 25% tariff on steel imports.

Remember to send in your taxes!!!  Call with questions.  Best,

 

Frank Maisano

(202) 828-5864

c. (202) 997-5932

 

FRANKLY SPOKEN

“Andrew (Wheeler)’s work for over a decade in a variety of leadership roles in Congress and his previous work at EPA itself make him uniquely qualified for his new role, and we look forward to working with him.” 

Karen Harbert, president and CEO of U.S. Chamber’s Global Energy Institute on the Senate approval of Andrew Wheeler’s nomination to be Deputy Administrator at EPA

 

ON THE POD

CapCrude Looks at New Mexico Prominence as Oil Producer – New Mexico has become the third top US oil-producing state. EIA oil market analysts Jeff Barron and Mason Hamilton return to Capitol Crude this week to talk about New Mexican oil production, which has jumped ahead of Alaska and California thanks to the Permian Basin.  Our friend Meghan Gordon interviews.

FUN OPINIONS

Axios Column: Why Trump Should Redo Fuel Standards – Our friend Amy Harder of Axios has a great column out today on President Trump’s moves on the Obama fuel standards.  She argues of the environmental regulations President Trump is rolling back, the one that makes the most sense to rewrite-but not repeal-are the fuel-efficiency standards former President Obama issued in 2012.  Amy argues the average stated fuel economy of new vehicles purchased has flatlined at around 25 miles per gallon since October 2014, right when oil prices were dropping partly in response to America’s oil boom. This is because consumers have shifted their preferences from cars to bigger vehicles.

IN THE NEWS

ClearPath Expert Weighs In on Nuclear Breakthrough – It’s understandable to lose track of every nook and cranny in the massive budget deal Congress recently approved, including an important revision and extension of a key carbon capture incentive (more on that HERE).  But embedded in that deal was another update to the tax code too important to overlook. In fact, it is the most impactful congressional action to propel the future of nuclear energy in more than a decade.  ClearPath’s in-house nuclear guru Spencer Nelson breaks down the significance of this bipartisan fix to the 45J nuclear production tax credit, which will not only help complete the AP1000 reactor expansion at Georgia Power’s Plant Vogtle but is also essential to helping next-generation small modular reactors and other more advanced technologies. Spencer also explains why this 45J fix alone is likely insufficient to spur those advanced technologies. Among other needed steps: Securing a steady domestic uranium source, Nuclear Regulatory Commission reform, a fast-spectrum test reactor user facility, moonshot technology demonstration goals, indirect financing and a solution to nuclear waste storage.

White House Moves on Reforming NAAQS Rules, Timelines – The White House issued an executive order late last week ordering EPA to ease some of its procedures around the regulating of six key air pollutants under the Clean Air Act. Highlights from the order include 1) EPA must complete reviews of state plans to reduce pollution within 18 months, 2) It must complete reviews of project pre-construction permits within a year, 3) Review the federal plans imposed on some states under the regional haze program to see if they can be replaced with state plans, 4) When considering emissions levels, EPA must take into account pollution from other countries, even in states that are not on U.S. borders. It also must consider whether states have reduced pollution to “background levels” and 5) allow states to engage in trading of pollution offsets.  The Chamber’s Dan Byers Dan Byers said the directive contains “commonsense reforms that will improve the air quality regulatory process so domestic manufacturing and job creation face fewer regulatory barriers. The EPA, states, and businesses have a long track record of working cooperatively to improve air quality across the nation. Unfortunately, during the previous administration, that cooperation was abandoned in favor of an overly aggressive approach that unfairly burdened state and local economies. Byers adds this directive will restore the cooperation necessary for continued environmental progress while enhancing the competitiveness of U.S. industry.”

EPA Deputy Approved – The Senate confirmed former longtime Capitol Hill aide Andrew Wheeler as deputy administrator of EPA 53-45, despite some Complaints and delays from Democrats.  Dem Sens. Manchin, Heitkamp, Donnelly and Republican Susan Collins all supported Wheeler, who also worked at EPA under Presidents George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton.  Chamber’s Global Energy Institute CEO Karen Harbert, said they are pleased that the Senate has confirmed Wheeler.  Harbert says his extensive experience and deep knowledge will be an asset to EPA as it seeks to implement its agenda.

Perry to Head to India – Energy Secretary Rick Perry said he will tout the potential of exporting U.S. carbon capture technologies in a trip beginning Friday in India. The conversation will center on India’s continued growth in buying U.S. technologies to innovate their energy sector and carbon capture “will be part of that,” Perry responded to Sen. John Hoeven (R-N.D.) at a Senate Energy and Water Appropriations FY19 budget hearing. “We want it to be U.S.-based resources as often as possible but we also want it to be as clean burning as it can be,” Perry said.  Hoeven touted efforts in his state, including Project Tundra, which would retrofit an existing coal facility with carbon capture technologies.

GTM Report Looks at Global Storage Market – The annual global energy storage market will be 8.6 GW and 21.6 GWh by 2022, according to a new GTM Research report. The U.S. is expected to stay at the forefront of the global market through 2022 but China will grow to be the second-largest market in 2019.  The new report on worldwide storage deployments from GTM Research says U.S. and Australia led the pack in 2017, thanks to several mega-projects coming online, and market drivers that reward storage investment. Germany and Australia thrive in the residential storage segment, which hasn’t achieved significant scale in the U.S.  China is just getting started, but could surpass almost everyone in deployments over the next five years.  Most of these markets have barely emerged from their pilot stages and offer very few use cases for storage that can earn a profit. Expect that to change rapidly in the coming years. In the meantime, here’s what you need to know about the global energy storage market.

Ameren Startup Accelerator Seeks to Develop Smart Grid Tech – Midwest Energy News has a great Q&A with Brian Dixon, CEO of Capital Innovators in St. Louis, Missouri about his company’s partnership with Ameren on an energy tech accelerator.  The Ameren Accelerator, an energy start-up incubator based in St. Louis, develops innovative technology through a partnership with power company Ameren, the University of Missouri, UMSL Accelerate and Capital Innovators. Last year, Ameren selected seven companies to participate on smart grid technology. For example, Hyperion Sensors is developing a smart transformer; Omega Grid, a software platform that facilitates peer-to-peer energy exchange and WIFIPLUG, an open-source smart plug.

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

Cal Gov heads to Press Club – California Gov. Jerry Brown will speak at the National Press Club tomorrow morning at 8:30 a.m. in the Zenger Room.  Gov. Brown will join NPC President Andrea Edney to discuss how California has changed under his leadership and the challenges facing his successor.

Chamber Holds Tax Event – On Tax Day tomorrow, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce will host a forum featuring Sen. Pat Toomey to address discuss the benefits of the recently enacted tax reform legislation.  There will also be panels featuring energy issues.

FERC Commissioner Head to House Energy – The House Energy and Commerce Committee panel on energy will host all FERC commissioners to testify tomorrow on budget issues.

Senate Energy Looks at Park Maintenance – The Senate Energy Committee holds a hearing at 10:00 a.m. on deferred maintenance and operational needs of the National Park Service.  Witnesses NPS’s  Lena McDowall, National Park Foundation CEO Will Shafroth, REI’s Marc Berejka, Sarah Leonard of the Alaska Travel Industry Association; Shawn Regan of the Property and Environmental Research Center and Richard Ring of the Coalition to Protect America’s National Parks.

CSIS Hosts Pershing – The CSIS Energy & National Security Program will host a forum tomorrow at 10:00 a.m. with former State Dept climate expert Jonathan Pershing for a discussion on strategies in the philanthropic community to address climate change, including ongoing work at the Hewlett Foundation.  Pershing is the Program Director of Environment at the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation and previously, Jonathan served as Special Envoy for Climate Change at the U.S. Department of State and lead U.S. negotiator to the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change.

AEI to Host Discussion on Climate Lawsuits – AEI will hold a forum tomorrow at 1:30 p.m. for a discussion on the legal and scientific issues raised by the lawsuits against major fossil-fuel producers and the underlying implications for the municipal bond market. Speakers will include Niskanen’s David Bookbinder, Andrew Grossman of BakerHostetler, Michael MacCracken of the Climate Institute, Cato’s Patrick J. Michaels, Stephen Winterstein of Wilmington Trust Investment Advisors and AEI’s Ben Zycher.

Forum to Look at Future of Renewables – POLITICO hosts a happy hour deep-dive tomorrow at 5:00 p.m. looking at how private businesses are stepping up to address the future of clean energy and how they can work with the government to build a more sustainable future. FERC’s Neil Chatterjee, Sen. Michael Bennet and ACORE’s Greg Wetstone will speak.

JHU to Host Solar Book Author – Tomorrow at 5:00 p.m., Johns Hopkins University hosts a book forum with Dr. Varun Sivaram on solar energy.  Solar energy has become the cheapest and fastest-growing power source on earth. However, in order for it to achieve its full potential, Dr. Sivaram argues in his new book that several kinds of innovation are required including financial innovation and new business models to facilitate the spread of off-grid applications; technology innovation to replace today’s solar panels with coatings as cheap as paint; and systemic innovation to allow more flexible power grids to handle intermittent solar power.

Holmstead Headlines EPIC Forum on NatGas – The Energy Policy Institute of Chicago (EPIC) University holds a forum tomorrow at 5:30 p.m. Fracking has upended the American energy system, bringing lower energy prices, greater energy security, reduced air pollution, and fewer carbon emissions. But at a local level, communities must weigh economic benefits against potential health and other costs. Join EPIC Director Michael Greenstone and EPIC’s inaugural policy fellows Jeff Holmstead and Sue Tierney as they explore these competing variables and the policy pathways to addressing them at the federal, state and local levels. The conversation will be moderated by Axios reporter Amy Harder.

Energy Storage Forum Set in Boston – The Energy Storage Association holds its 28th annual conference and expo in Boston at the Hynes Convention Center Wednesday through Friday.  Energy storage technology continues to advance towards integrating electricity from any source into a more resilient and reliable grid, creating jobs, lowering energy bills, and helping to secure our energy future.  Speakers Include MA Gov Charlie Baker, DOE’s Bruce Walker and former FERC Chair Norman Bay.

Senate Enviro to Look at States, Groundwater – The Senate Environment Committee holds a hearing at 10:00 a.m. on the role of States and the Federal government in protecting groundwater. Witnesses include Amanda Waters of the National Association of Clean Water Agencies, Indiana DEM assistant commissioner Martha Clark Mettler, Joe Guild if the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, Southern Environmental Law Center’s Frank Holleman and Anthony Brown, CEO and principal hydrologist at Aquilogic.

Fanning, Others Headlines Geo Tech Energy Forum – Georgia Tech’s Strategic Energy Institute holds INTERSECT 2018 in Atlanta Wednesday and Thursday.  INTERSECT 2018 will address the challenge of Energy in an Information Age, specifically how the intersection of the digital and physical worlds are changing the energy landscape.  Speakers include Southern’s Tom Fanning New York Power Authority CEO Gil Quiniones and EPRI’s Mike Howard.

WCEE to Host Reporters – The Women’s Council on Energy & the Environment will host a brown bag lunch on Wednesday at Noon featuring a panel of energy journalists from E&E News, S&P Global Platts and Inside FERC to discuss the energy industry during the first year of the Trump Administration.  Our friends Pam King, Jasmin Melvin and Maya Weber will speak.

JHU to Host Russian Energy, Energy Efficiency Discussions – On Wednesday at 12:30 p.m., Johns Hopkins University’s European and Eurasian Studies Program hosts a Russia-Eurasia Forum on Russian Energy and European Politics with David Koranyi, Director of the Energy Diplomacy Initiative at the Atlantic Council. Moderated by Professor Charles Gati. Right after at 2:30, the JHU SAIS program will host alumnus Eric Gibbs, Chief Program Officer at CLASP, to discuss the role of efficient appliances in improving energy access and meeting climate mitigation goals. He will also introduce the Kigali Cooling Efficiency Program, which aims to significantly improve the efficiency and sustainability of air-conditioning and other cooling technologies. He will tell about CLASP’s work in this area and opportunities for SAIS students to engage. The discussion will be moderated by Johannes Urpelainen, the Prince Sultan bin Abdulaziz Professor of Energy, Resources and Environment and the Founding Direct of ISEP.

Tariff Opponents to Discuss Trump Action Impacts – Opponents of the steel and aluminum tariffs imposed by President Trump are holding a press event on Wednesday at 2:00 p.m. at the National Press Club’s Zenger Room.

Senate Energy to Look at Rural Power Issues – The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee will examine energy-related challenges and opportunities in remote and rural areas during a hearing on Thursday at 10:00 a.m. NRECA member Matt Greek from Basin Electric and Doug Hardy of the Central Montana Electric Power will testify. Drawing from a newly released report, economist John Martin will reveal the downward effect of tariffs on steel capacity utilization on the sector. Economist Laura Baughman will detail the decline in U.S. manufacturing jobs that result from the Section 232 tariffs. Troy Roberts, CEO of Qualtek Manufacturing in Colorado Springs, Colorado, will describe the threat that cost increases for steel pose to the future of his business. The event will also mark the launch of the Coalition of American Metal Manufacturers and Users, comprised of small and medium U.S. manufacturing companies united in an effort to oppose the 25% tariff on steel imports.

Presentation to Look at NatGas Drilling Case Study – Johns Hopkins University SAIS Energy, Resources and Environment Program hosts another forum on Thursday at Noon on a case study of natgas drilling. “Oil and Gas Retrieval: Environmental Risks and Impacts on Water – An overview of conventional vs. unconventional retrieval, waste pits, TENORM, and case study on Colorado.”  Oil and gas retrieval of all kinds remains prevalent across the United States and the associated water risks are little understood.  This presentation highlights the little known impacts of oil and gas wastewater and radioactive materials, examines the validity of the conventional/unconventional dichotomy, and examines these issues in context in Colorado.

Lance, Banks, Brouillette Headline Columbia Energy Forum – On Thursday, the Columbia Global Energy Project will celebrate its 5th anniversary and host the annual Columbia Global Energy Summit.  The half-day forum will include keynote remarks, interviews and plenary conversations with senior energy sector leaders focused on key issues and questions at the intersection of energy policy, financial markets, the environment and geopolitics. CP CEO Ryan Lance does a keynote conversation with IHS-Markit’s Dan Yergin.  Other speakers include Dave Banks, Sun Power CEO Tom Werner, DOE’s Dan Brouillette, Pioneer Board Chair Scott Sheffield and IEA’s Fatih Birol.

US AID Focuses on Adaption – On Thursday at 4:30 p.m., the US AID ATLAS Project holds a forum on an idea known as “ecosystem-based adaptation” (EbA) which helps people adapt to weather and climate impacts.  USAID is completing a suite of resources on ecosystem-based adaptation that feature evidence summaries and case studies for applying these approaches to achieve development goals across sectors like agriculture, water, and disaster risk reduction. This session will highlight key messages from these resources as well as examples of EbA projects and approaches in the USAID context, while encouraging dialogue among participants about the use of EbA in their own work.

Brookings Hosts Discussion on Sustainable Financial Tools – On Friday morning, the Global Economy and Development program at Brookings will co-host a panel of development finance experts to discuss the implications of the European Investment Bank’s new bond product in support of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals in addressing climate change and other environmental challenges.  Following the conversation, panelists will take audience questions.

ELI hosts Climate Conference – On Friday, the Environmental Law Institute holds the 2nd National Conference of Lawyers Committed to Addressing the Climate Emergency at the George Washington University Law School  Topics to be discussed include filling the federal climate action gap, the economic risk and rewards of climate action, companies and NGOs taking action on climate change, state and local climate action strategies, climate litigation and taking action on the climate crisis?

Forum to Look at Korea NatGas – On Friday at 12:00 p.m., the Global America Business Institute hosts Korea Energy Economics Institute (KEEI researcher Ho-Mu Lee to discuss Korea’s current long-term natgas plan.   KEEI is a government-affiliated energy policy think tank. Dr. Lee has been worked at KEEI since 2008 and is currently a visiting scholar at George Washington University (2017-2018). Lee was head of KEEI’s Gas Policy Research Division from 2014 to 2017.

JHU to Discuss Renewable in PR – JHU’s SAIS program will host a forum on Friday at 12:30 p.m. the renewable energy future in Puerto Rico.  This presentation will explore new regulatory structures and policies that can incentivize the deployment of this clean and resilient energy infrastructure across the island of Puerto Rico.

Earth Day – Sunday April 22nd.

IN THE FUTURE

Fanning to Receive Leadership Award from Coaches – Southern CEO Tom Fanning will receive the CEO Coach of the Year award from the American Football Coaches Assn at a dinner at the Georgia Aquarium.  The award is the highest honor bestowed by the organization, whose inaugural recipient in 2006 was Jeffrey R. Immelt, former CEO of General Electric. Other former winners include former Domino’s Pizza CEO David Brandon (2007), former MidAmerican Energy Holdings CEO David Sokol (2008), former HP CEO Mark Hurd (2009), FedEx CEO Fred Smith (2010); BP Capital CEO T. Boone Pickens (2011); NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell (2012); former ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson (2013), AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson (2014),  Berkshire Hathaway Energy head Greg Abel (2015) and former Honeywell Chairman and CEO David Cote (2016).

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.

Wilson to Hosts Climate Book Launch – Next Tuesday at 3:00 p.m., the Woodrow Wilson Center hosts a book launch discussion with author Barry Rabe on pricing carbon. Climate change, economists generally agree, is best addressed by putting a price on the carbon content of fossil fuels—by taxing carbon, by cap-and-trade systems, or other methods. But what about the politics of carbon pricing? Do political realities render carbon pricing impracticable?  In this book, Barry Rabe offers the first major political science analysis of the feasibility and sustainability of carbon pricing, drawing upon a series of real-world attempts to price carbon over the last two decades in North America, Europe, and Asia.

JHU Hosts Forum on Resilient Infrastructure – Johns Hopkins University’s Energy, Resources and Environment (ERE) Global Leaders Forum hosts a presentation next Tuesday at 5:00 p.m. by the AECOM Practicum team looking at Cities as Innovation Centers.  The event will focus on investing in resilient Infrastructure,” followed by a panel discussion.  ERE’s Practicum students in partnership with the global engineering company AECOM are exploring the topic of climate risk and resilient infrastructure. This presentation and panel discussion will identify traditional barriers to investing in resilience and investigate best practices for implementing resilience.

Energy Happy Hour – The US Energy Economists in the National Capitol Area are co-hosting a Joint Happy Hour Event Next Tuesday at Dirty Martini with OurEnergyPolicy.org (OEP), which is a nonpartisan, nonprofit that has hosted more than 400 policy discussions over the past five years.

WRI Hosts Enviro Prize Winners – The World Resources Institute hosts a forum on Wednesday, April 25th at 11:30 a.m. which features an intimate conversation with 2018 Goldman Environmental Prize winners  The Goldman Environmental Prize, one of the most prestigious environmental awards, honors grassroots champions from six continents. The names of this year’s recipients will be announced on April 23rd.  After sharing their incredible stories, the Prize winners will join a Q&A discussion with the audience on environmental activism in the energy space, and regional approaches on the transition to clean energy.

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.

Forum to Look at Sustainable Investing – Bloomberg Government and the Norwegian-American Chamber of Commerce will host a series of in-depth conversations starting Wednesday April 25th at 3:30 p.m. on Investing in a Sustainable Energy Future driven by transformative technology innovations in renewable energy and a functioning trade system necessary to respond to the challenge of energy security and climate change.  Panelists will examine how government leaders and energy investors are putting policy and capital to work to transform the world’s energy sources and protect the environment.
Clean Power Plan Comment Deadline – April 26th

NAM to Host Event Focused Pushing on Kigali HFC Agreement – Stay tuned…

GMU Forum Looks at Energy-Water Nexus – The Center for Energy Science and Policy (CESP), a joint-initiative of the Schar School of Science and Policy and the College of Science at George Mason University, hosts the Mason Energy Symposium — “Energy-Water Nexus” on Thursday April 26th.  The event is the 2nd annual Mason Energy Symposium and is focused on the important nexus between energy and water. The event will advance understanding of the international and domestic aspects of the most basic and critical needs in the 21st century – abundant and reliable supply of water and energy. It will also explore the particular role of off-shore renewable (wind) energy and associated technologies.  The full-day event will feature three panels: Panel I on Offshore Renewable Energy; Panel II on the domestic and international aspects of the water and energy nexus; and Panel III on Mason Energy-Water research opportunities. The afternoon will provide Mason students and faculty opportunities to showcase their work relating to energy and water through presentations and posters.  The luncheon speaker will be Ambassador (ret) Mary Warlick, former Assistant Secretary in the Department of State’s Bureau of Energy Resources.

CSIS to Discuss Ukrainian Energy – The CSIS Energy & National Security Program will host a discussion on April 26th featuring Ukrainian Parliament members Hanna Hopko and Nataliya Katser-Buchkovska on Ukrainian energy market reform, how external forces impact reforms, and Ukraine’s role in European energy security.  A properly-functioning energy sector would not only contribute to domestic prosperity and stability but convert Ukraine from a perceived liability into an asset for Europe’s energy security.  The speakers will help us understand this challenging situation and offer suggestions on how to move energy reform forward.

USEA Focus on Plain Project – The U.S. Energy Association hosts a forum on Thursday April 26th at 10:00 a.m. on the Plains CO2 Reduction (PCOR) Partnership, as part of the Regional Carbon Sequestration Partnerships (RCSP) Initiative run by DOE.  The project aims to foster the deployment of carbon capture, utilization and storage (CCUS) across a large area in the central interior of the United States and Canada. Using an adaptive management approach (AMA) to the assessment of carbon dioxide (CO2) geologic storage, the PCOR Partnership has demonstrated that secure storage can be achieved in association with CO2 enhanced oil recovery (EOR) operations.

ITIF, MIT Report to Release Report on Energy Storage – On Thursday, April 26th at 1:30 p.m., the Information Technology & Innovation Foundation hosts the release of a new report produced in collaboration with the MIT Energy Initiative on Grid-scale Energy Storage. The report’s authors, ITIF Senior Fellow David M. Hart and MIT Professor Bill Bonvillian, will present their findings and discuss policy options to spur grid-scale storage innovation with an expert panel.

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.

WCEE Hosts FERC Discussion – The Women’s Council on Energy and the Environment (WCEE) hosts a lunch discussion on Friday April 27th at FERC on the fundamental economics and basic mathematics behind wholesale electricity market pricing, known as Locational Marginal Prices. 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.

WH Correspondents Dinner Set for April 28th – The White House Correspondents’ Association hosts its annual dinner on Saturday, April 28 featuring comedian Michelle Wolf as the entertainer.  Wolf is the host of a newly announced show on Netflix, which comes on the heels of her highly reviewed HBO special. She is also known for her acclaimed work as a contributor on Comedy Central’s Daily Show With Trevor Noah.  President Trump has said he will not attend.

MI Innovation Council to Hold Meeting – Michigan Energy Innovation Business Council holds its 6th Annual conference on Monday, April 30 at the Radisson Hotel Lansing at the Capitol. The full-day conference focuses on innovations in advanced energy, as well as get an overview on the latest policy developments. There will be several break-out panels throughout the day featuring dozens of expert panelists. The event brings together leaders in Michigan’s advanced energy industry, utility executives, policymakers, regulators, and others.

Forum to Look at Climate, Conservative Views – On Monday April 30th, the Columbia Center for Global Energy hosts an event on conservative prescriptions on climate change.  As part of its continuing series “Where Next on Climate?” the Center on Global Energy Policy will host a program focusing on conservative prescriptions to deal with climate change. Dr. Glenn Hubbard, Dean of the Columbia Business School and former chair of the Council of Economic Advisors under President George W. Bush, will offer opening remarks, then lead a panel discussion with our friend Rich Powell of ClearPath, John Diamond of Rice University’s Baker Institute for Public Policy and Lynne Kiesling of Purdue University and R Street Institute.

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.

Solar Summit Set for SD – GTM’s Solar Summit 2018 will be held in San Diego on May 1st and 2nd at the Hyatt La Jolla.  This conference will present deep dives by the top industry executives and thought leaders that will help you navigate the challenges in the market.  SEIA’s Abby Hopper and former Governator Cal EPA head Terry Tamminen are among the list of speakers.

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.

OPIS Looks at West Coast Fuel Supply – OPIS holds a forum in Napa Valley at the Silverado Resort on May 9th and 10th looking at West Coast fuel supplies and transportation opportunities.  Industry experts will examine the impact of new players in the Western markets, opportunities that California assets can offer, carbon emissions regulations, renewable fuels, plus get an exclusive technical analysis of West Coast spot market prices.

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.

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.