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.

Energy Update: Week of April 9

Friends,

I launch today on the 18th anniversary of one of SNL’s best sketches EVER: Christopher Walken and “More Cowbell.” I’ve got fever… and the prescription is

What an end to the Masters as Patrick Reed held off the charging Rickie Fowler and Jordan Spieth to win his first Major. Reed, often seen as one of golf’s villains, fought hard down the stretch, holing a four-footer on 18 for the Green Jacket.  Minnesota-Duluth also held off Notre Dame on Saturday 2-1 to win the NCAA Ice hockey championship in St. Paul. And with the Frozen Four results in, focus now turns to our favorite team of the Year: NHL hockey playoffs!!  Caps start with Columbus on Thursday, while the Pittsburgh-Philly series, which starts Wednesday, may be the best of the first round.  Nashville took the President Cup and is well-positioned for another Cup run, but also watch out for Vegas who finished with a strong 109 Points.

And don’t miss this:  the 33rd Annual Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony, will take place on Saturday in Cleveland with Bon Jovi, Dire Straits, the Cars, The Moody Blues, Sister Rosetta Tharpe and Nina Simone heading in. HBO televises the event later this month.

Congress returns to action after a two-week district work period with its biggest focus on Facebook as Mark Zuckerberg arrives to testify.  But with the flurry of EPA/Pruitt news, the expected vote this week for EPA Deputy Andy Wheeler will be interesting to watch. Already, Democratic Sens. Heitkamp and Manchin have said they would support Wheeler with other keys to watch including Sens. Collins, Connelly, McCaskill and Tester. On the Budget, Energy Secretary Rick Perry testifies twice this week on Wednesday and Thursday, while Interior’s Ryan Zinke talks budget Wednesday and NOAA hit the Congress.

Other hearings next week including tomorrow’s Senate Enviro’s look at state views of cooperative Federalism.  On Wednesday, the Whitehouse-Barrasso Carbon Capture bill gets a legislative hearing, while the House Energy Committee restarts its postponed Puerto Rico grid recovery hearing.  On Thursday House Resources looks at the Navajo Generating coal plant impacts and Senate Commerce looks at hurricane prep for 2018.  Finally on Friday, House Energy looks at fuels and high octane as a means of addressing CAFE standards.

Other events this week include the BNEF Energy Summit today, tomorrow and Wednesday in NYC with DOE’s Perry, SEIA’s Abby Hopper and SoCo’s Tom Fanning headlining.  SAFE holds a fuel economy event tomorrow at the Willard quantifying the fuel efficiency benefits of emerging AV technologies.  On Thursday USEA holds its annual policy forum at the Reagan Center and US Energy Economists holds its annual Washington energy policy conference at the Press Club.

Finally, we have all seen reports that the White House will hold another meeting on the RFS program.  We are monitoring and will report when we hear what results.

Call with questions.  Best,

Frank Maisano

(202) 828-5864

c. (202) 997-5932

 

FRANKLY SPOKEN

“The reasons the media and their Resistance followers hate Pruitt are the same reasons conservatives love him and why conservatives are willing to support Trump. No, the reason is not that he got approval from a career ethics official to rent a room for a few months last year. Let’s stop pretending so. If Trump were to fulfill the Resistance’s desire to oust Pruitt, it would be against his own political interest. His instincts about that tend to be pretty sharp, so don’t be surprised if Pruitt continues to serve and continues to anger the media and other Democrats and establishment figures.”

Mollie Z. Hemingway, Senior Editor at The Federalist on EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt

“Obviously, he is an ideal administrator.”
Tom Pyle, who heads the American Energy Alliance, an influential free-market advocacy group, discussing Pruitt’s supporters’ efforts to keep him at EPA’s helm

 

ON THE POD

Bracewell Podcast Focuses on Trade – The latest Bracewell podcast is live on Stitcher, iTunes, SoundCloud, and Google Play Music. Josh and Liam discuss the latest news on steel and aluminum tariffs and trade war threats as well as what these tariffs mean politically, specifically for the upcoming Midterms in November. We wrap up on the lighter topic of baseball season and breaking out binders of trading cards.

GTM Podcast Looks at Carbon, 202 Emergencies, CAFE – The Energy Gang, a Greentech Media podcast, explores 3 big topics: recent data showing global CO2 emissions are rising again; FirstEnergy Solutions bankruptcy and plea for DOE market intervention; and EPA’s move to weaken auto mileage rules for model years 2022–2025.

FUN OPINIONS

WSJ Weighs in on Pruitt Controversy – With the flood of Pruitt coverage over the last few days, the Wall Street Journal editorial page weighed in on the controversy saying Pruitt’s real sin is that he is one of Mr. Trump’s most aggressive reformers, taking on green idols that others would bow before. In a year he has rescinded the waters of the U.S. rule that sought to regulate every pond in America; proposed to repeal the Clean Power Plan rule that sought to put coal out of business; urged the President to withdraw from the Paris climate pact; made a priority of cleaning up genuine pollution problems like Superfund sites; and this week began revising the destructive Obama-era fuel-economy standards.  If there has been a more consequential cabinet official, we haven’t seen him.

IN THE NEWS

Vistra-Dynergy Merger Completed – Vistra Energy Corp, the parent company for TXU Energy and Luminant, today completed its previously announced merger with Dynegy.  The closing of the transaction follows the overwhelming approval from stockholders of both Vistra and Dynegy in March, and the receipt of all required regulatory approvals. Vistra Energy will be the name of the combined company moving forward, and the combined company’s stock will continue to trade on the New York Stock Exchange under the current ticker symbol for Vistra Energy.  The combination of Dynegy’s generation capacity and existing retail footprint with Vistra Energy’s integrated ERCOT model creates the lowest-cost integrated power company in the industry and positions the combined company as the leading integrated retail and generation platform throughout key competitive power markets in the United States.  With the transaction complete, Vistra Energy now:

  • Employs about 6,000 people across 12 states.
  • Serves approximately 2.7 million residential customers in five top retail states.
  • Serves approximately 240,000 commercial and industrial retail customers.
  • Owns approximately 40,000 megawatts of installed generation capacity.
  • Has power generation capacity that is more than 60 percent natural gas-fueled, with 84 percent located within the ERCOT, PJM, and ISO-NE competitive power markets.
  • Projects that it will produce approximately 50 percent of gross margin from more stable capacity payments and retail operations, as well as approximately 50 percent of adjusted EBITDA from the ERCOT market.

Administration MOU Streamlines Infrastructure – Trump Administration officials a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) committing to follow the President’s One Federal Decision framework for processing environmental reviews and permits for major infrastructure projects. Under the direction of President Donald J. Trump, One Federal Decision will drive infrastructure projects to meet environmental standards, but complete the review and permitting process in a reasonable amount of time.

Chamber Supports MOU – Neil Bradley, executive vice president and chief policy officer for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce: “The U.S. Chamber has taken a leading role for years in the effort to streamline the permitting process. Bringing infrastructure projects to completion quickly and efficiently is critical for generating economic growth, which is why we made permit streamlining a cornerstone of our infrastructure plan. Simply put, it shouldn’t take longer to approve a project than to build it. Environmental reviews are crucial to ensuring clean air and water, but it’s possible and necessary for the reviews to be completed in a more timely manner. We welcome the administration’s commitment to One Federal Decision and applaud it as a much-needed step in the process to modernize America’s infrastructure. We’re eager to see more of this kind of reform-minded progress from the administration and Congress in the weeks and months to come.”  For more information about the U.S. Chamber’s infrastructure plan, please click here.

10 Teams Advance to Finals of $20M NRG Carbon XPRIZE –  XPRIZE, the world’s leader in designing and managing incentive competitions to solve humanity’s grand challenges, today announced the 10 teams advancing to the final round in the $20M NRG COSIA Carbon XPRIZE. This four-and-a-half-year global competition challenges teams to transform the way the world addresses carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions through breakthrough circular carbon technologies that convert carbon dioxide emissions from power plants into valuable products. The 10 finalists, each taking home an equal share of a $5 million milestone prize, were revealed today at Bloomberg New Energy Finance’s Future of Energy Summit in New York City. Ranging from carbon capture entrepreneurs and start-ups to academic institutions and companies that have been tackling the challenge for more than a decade, the finalists hail from five countries and have already demonstrated conversion of CO2 into a wide variety of products, such as enhanced concrete, liquid fuels, plastics and carbon fiber. The universe of potential CO2-based products crosses a variety of energy sectors, industrial processes and consumer products. Each finalist team passed a first round evaluation based on the amount of CO2 converted into products, as well as the economic value, market size and CO2 uptake potential of those products.

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

Report: Global Wind Capacity to Double – A new report from MAKE Consulting says global wind capacity is expected to double by 2027, despite a significant a slowdown in U.S. installations after 2022 due to the Production Tax Credit phase out.  New projections from MAKE Consulting show wind power additions averaging 65 gigawatts a year from 2018 to 2027, equal to a compound annual growth rate of 4%.  Beyond 2023, increasing offshore deployment and “sustained momentum” from emerging markets will contribute to a second period of growth of upward of 30% a year.  Annual installed capacity in the U.S., one of the world’s top three wind markets in 2017, is expected to see an average threefold decrease from 2022 to 2027 compared to the four years prior, after the Production Tax Credit is phased out.  Capacity additions in India will help boost the short-term outlook for wind energy growth, while Chinese installation levels are set to pick up once present transmission and curtailment issues have been sorted out.

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

Perdue, Senators Headline NRECA Conference – The National Rural Electric Cooperative Association holds its 2018 Legislative Conference today and tomorrow in DC.  More than 2,000 electric co-op representatives will attend. Ag Secretary Sonny Perdue, Senate Energy Chairman Lisa Murkowski, Senate Ag Chair Pat Roberts and Sen. Jimi Inhofe are among those speaking.

Perry, Fanning to Headline BNEF Energy Summit – Bloomberg New Energy Finance will hold its annual Energy Summit In New York today and tomorrow.  The Future of Energy Summit has featured a unique convergence of the old and the new – traditional players and advanced-energy leaders. It continues to create an environment for making new connections, and serves as a forum to discuss the critical energy issues of today and the next decade.  DOE’s Rick Perry will headline the forum.  Other speakers include Southern’s Tom Fanning, SEIA’s Abby Hopper, DOE’s Edward McGinnis,  former EPA head Lisa Jackson and many others.

IPAA Hold NY Oil, Gas Summit – The Independent Petroleum Association of America (IPAA) will hold the 24th annual Oil & Gas Investment Symposium (OGIS) in New York today and tomorrow at the Sheraton New York Times Square Hotel.

Platts Power Market Conference Set – Platts holds its 33rd Annual Global Power Markets Conference today, tomorrow and Wednesday in Las Vegas at the Wynn.

FERC Holds Distributed Energy Conference – Tomorrow and Wednesday, FERC holds a technical Conference to discuss the participation of aggregated distribution-level power supplies in wholesale markets and consider how the generation will be integrated by the regional system operators. The conference comes as system managers from New York ISO to California ISO have begun to eliminate regulatory barriers faced by swelling supplies of customer-sited renewables.

Atlantic Report to Look at Oil Theft – Tomorrow at 9:00 a.m., the Atlantic Council holds a forum and releases new report on oil and fuel theft. “Oil on the Water: Illicit Hydrocarbons Activity in the Maritime Domain” report authors Dr. Ralby and Dr. Soud will provide an overview of the report, after which panelists will discuss the various modalities of oil theft in the maritime domain and what steps companies, policymakers, and other stakeholders can take to combat it.

EIA to Release Summer Fuels Outlook – Tomorrow morning, The U.S. Energy Information Administration will issue its Summer Fuels Outlook, with price projections for gasoline, diesel, and electricity, and the Short-Term Energy Outlook report, providing a forecast of energy supply, demand, and prices.

SAFE Hold Forum on Auto Efficiencies – Tomorrow at 10:00 a.m. at The Willard Hotel, Securing America’s Future Energy will hold a forum on Vehicle fuel issues. SAFE has identified a path forward that meets the interests of all stakeholders by reforming the off-cycle credit program to create an opportunity for automakers to accelerate initial mass deployment while quantifying the fuel efficiency benefits of emerging autonomous vehicle technologies and other advanced driver assist systems. Integrating these technologies into the fuel economy regime, along with extending the timeline of the standards, enables the federal government to save lives, save fuel, and create the regulatory certainty that automakers need to achieve fuel efficiency goals. Join us for this exciting conversation.  The expert panel will former Director of National Intelligence Admiral Dennis Blair, Tom Darlington of the Air Improvement Resource and Mobileye’s Gene Gurevich. SAFE’s Amitai Bin-Nun will make opening remarks.

Senate Enviro to Look at Cooperative Federalism – The Senate Environment Committee holds a hearing tomorrow at 10:00 a.m. on cooperative Federalism under the Clean Air Act, looking at state perspectives. Witnesses include Kentucky DEP director Sean Alteri, Texas Commission on Environmental Quality commissioner Toby Baker, Delaware DNREC secretary Shaun Garvin, Cal EPA Secretary Matthew Rodriguez and Wyoming DEQ administrator Nancy Vehr.

GU Forum to Feature World Bank Expert –Tomorrow at 12:30 p.m. at Georgetown’s Walsh School of Foreign Service, the Mortara Center will hold an energy and climate policy research seminar featuring the World Bank’s Stephane Hallegatte.  He will discuss measuring resilience to natural disasters.

McCarthy Headlines Forum – The World Resources Institute and the National Geographic Society are hosting an event on Wednesday at 9:00 a.m. looking at how current trends in data, technology, media and human networks can inform decision-making around natural resources.  The event features keynote speeches by Former Astronaut Dr. Mae Jemison and former EPA head Gina McCarthy, as well as speakers representing government, technology, science and media.

Carbon Capture Bill to Get Senate Enviro Hearing – The Senate Environment Committee is holding a hearing Wednesday at 10:15 a.m. to discuss the Barrasso-Whitehouse bipartisan bill, S. 2602, the “Utilizing Significant Emissions With Innovative Technologies (USE IT) Act.” to make several changes to federal law, including amending the Clean Air Act to direct U.S. EPA in supporting carbon utilization and air capture research.  Sens. Capito and Heitkamp are also co-sponsors.  Witnesses include U Wyoming School of Energy Resources director Mark Northam, former Obama DOE official Julio Friedmann, Noah Deich, of the Center for Carbon Removal and UDelaware prof Feng Jiao.

Zinke Heads to House Approps Subpanel – The House Appropriations Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies Subcommittee holds a hearing on hearing on Wednesday at 10:00 a.m. addressing the FY2019 Interior budget.” Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke testifies.

NOAA Budget Under Microscope – The House Approps Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies Subcommittee holds a hearing on the FY2019 NOAA Budget Wednesday at 2:00 p.m.

House Energy Looks at Puerto Rico Grid Recovery – Also at 2:00 p.m. on Wednesday, the House Energy and Commerce Oversight Subcommittee returns to a hearing that was postponed previously on restoration of Puerto Rico’s Electric Infrastructure. Witnesses include DOE’s Bruce Walker, Charles Alexander of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, FEMA’s Jeffrey Byard, Navigant’s Gene Shlatz and EEI’s Carlos Torres.

Eni Head to Address Forum – Wednesday at 5:00 p.m., the Atlantic Council hosts a conversation with Mr. Claudio Descalzi, Chief Executive Officer of Eni, as part of the Global Energy Center’s CEO Series. Eni is a leader in oil and gas development all over the world and has adopted a bold, comprehensive strategy to respond to an increasingly complex energy system. Mr. Descalzi will discuss how Eni is navigating the profound structural changes in the energy system, including the future of the oil industry, the role of OPEC and US shale in shaping the market, and the significance of potential gas development in the Eastern Mediterranean.

Columbia to host JHU Book Author – The Columbia Center on Global Energy Policy will hold a book talk on Wednesday at 6:00 p.m. in NYC with JHU’s Dr. Johannes Urpelainen on his new book, Renewables: The Politics of a Global Energy Transition where he and co-author Michaël Aklin offer a comprehensive political analysis of the rapid growth in renewable wind and solar power. Following Dr. Urpelainen’s presentation, he will be joined by Shayle Kann, CGEP Non-Resident Fellow and Senior Vice President of Research and Strategy at Energy Impact Partners and Bloomberg New Energy Finance’s Colleen Regan at for a discussion on renewable energy deployment more broadly including cost declines, power sector economics, carbon markets, and climate-finance. CGEP Inaugural Fellow, David Sandalow will moderate.

USEA Hosts Annual Policy Forum – The U.S. Energy Association is hosting its annual membership meeting and policy forum on Thursday at the Reagan Trade Center. Over 150 USEA members and other energy stakeholders, including Administration officials, thought leaders, lawmakers, diplomats, and journalists come together to discuss the latest energy policy developments and share industry updates.

Energy Economists Hold Conference – The National capital area chapter of the US Association for Energy Economics holds its annual NCAC-USAEE conference on Thursday at GW University.  The keynoters are Gil Quiniones, CEO of NYPA, Dynegy’s Pat Wood, ClearView’s Kevin Book and Mark Mills of the Manhattan Institute.

House Approps Hosts MilCon Heads – The House Appropriations Committee’s Subcommittee on Military Construction, Veterans Affairs and Related Agencies will convene a FY 19 Budget Oversight Hearing on Energy, Installations, and Environment on Thursday. Witnesses Lucian Niemeyer, Assistant Secretary of Defense for Energy, Installations, and Environment – OSD; Lieutenant General Gwen Bingham, Assistant Chief of Staff for Installation Management – U.S. Army; Vice Admiral Dixon R. Smith, Deputy Chief of Naval Operations, Fleet Readiness and Logistics –Navy; Major General Vincent A. Coglianese, Commander, Marine Corps Installations Command and Assistant Deputy Commandant, Installations and Logistics (Facilities) – U.S. Marine Corps ; and Major General Timothy S. Green, Air Force Director of Civil Engineers, Deputy Chief of Staff for Logistics, Engineering and Force Protection –USAF.

Perry to Head to House Energy Panel – The House Energy and Commerce Committee today announced Energy Secretary Rick Perry will testify before the Energy subcommittee on Thursday on Budget and oversight hearings.

Senate Commerce Panel Examines 2018 Hurricane Preparations – A Senate Commerce panel will hold a hearing on Thursday at 9:45 to look at whether the federal government is prepared for the 2018 hurricane season.  Senators plan to examine both how local and federal agencies are dealing with the recovery from the 2017 Atlantic hurricanes and what’s being done to prepare for this year. Witnesses include Commerce’s assistant secretary for oceans and atmosphere Timothy Gallaudet, Marathon, FL city manager Chuck Lindsey, Mississippi Development Authority official Jamie Miller, Jennifer Pipa of the American Red Cross of Central Florida, USCG Rear Adm. Linda Fagan and Bella Dinh-Zarr of the National Transportation Safety Board.

House Resources to Look at NavGen Plant – The House Natural Resources Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources will hold a hearing on Thursday at 10:00 a.m. on the “benefits” of the Navajo Generation Station for local communities on the Navajo reservation.  NGS will begin decommissioning at the end of 2019, barring a new buyer or government intervention. Witnesses are expected to include Hopi Tribe Chair Tim Nuvangyaoma, Navajo Council Speaker Lorenzo Bates, AZ State Rep. Mark Finchem and several others.

DOE Officials Headline Energy Communities Meeting – The 2018 Energy Communities Alliance annual conference will be held on Thursday at the Liaison Hotel.  The meeting will focus on the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Offices of Environmental Management, Nuclear Energy, and the National Nuclear Security Administration.  Meeting attendees will have the unique opportunity to hear from DOE officials, key Members of Congress and Congressional staff, and other DC insiders.  Speakers include DOE’s Science head Paul Dabbar, DOE Nuclear head Ed McGinnis, House Nuclear Cleanup Caucus Chair Chuck Fleischmann (R-TN) NNSA’s Nora Khalil and several others.

JHU Features Canadian NatGas Energy Forum – Ahead of the World Gas Conference being hosted in Washington this June, the Canadian Gas Association is sponsoring a half-day conference on Friday looking at the challenges and opportunities for Canada’s natural gas sector and their implications for the United States. The event is being hosted by Johns Hopkins University’s Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies. Energy sector experts representing the academic, public and private sectors assess the challenges and opportunities in the Canadian market, including technology, export market changes, infrastructure, carbon pricing and social license and  aboriginal consent in the context of the changes occurring in the United States, Canada’s largest energy export destination.  Topics addressed by speakers will include U.S. and Canadian energy policy priorities, whether Canada and the United States will become Partners or Rivals in Global Markets, and natural gas opportunities and how Canadian firms are responding.

Chicago Booth to Hold Energy Forward Conference – The University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business holds its flagship Energy Forward conference on Friday to examine the trends and opportunities that are defining both the conventional and alternative energy markets this year.  Speakers will include Invenergy’s Michael Polsky, Jeffrey Currie of Goldman Sachs and Nextera Energy’s Michael O’Sullivan. Topics and questions addressed will include: the outlook for US oil markets with the surge in shale, strategies to deploy capital in the risky environment facing the oil & gas sector right now, the impact of electric vehicles on the energy sector, restructuring merchant power generation, and examining what an energy utopia would look like.

House Energy Panel look at Fuels – The House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Environment will hold a hearing at 9:00 a.m. on Friday to look into high-octane fuel, hybrid engines and autonomous cars.  Lawmakers will study how a transition to high-octane fuels would impact a variety of interests, including refiners, biofuel producers, automakers, fuel retailers and consumers.  Among the witnesses, we her will include corn growers, AFPM, auto manufacturer technical folks and retailers like NACS.

FEMA Budget Discussed – The House Appropriations panel on Homeland Security holds a Budget hearing on Friday at 11:00 a.m. looking at FEMA’s FY2019 Budget.

IN THE FUTURE

Chamber Holds Tax Event – On Tax Day Tuesday April 17th, 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 on April 17th on budget issues.

AEI to Host Discussion on Climate Lawsuits – AEI will hold a forum on Tuesday, April 17th 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 conversation on April 17th 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.

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 April 18th at 2:00 p.m. at the National Press Club’s Zenger Room.  More on this next week.

Earth Day – Sunday April 22nd.

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

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

Clean Power Plan Comment Deadline – April 26th

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.

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.

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.

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.

Energy Update: Week of 1/22

Friends,

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

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

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

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

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

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

Call with questions.  Best,

 

Frank Maisano

(202) 828-5864

  1. (202) 997-5932

 

FRANKLY SPOKEN

 

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

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

 

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

PES CEO Gregory Gatta said in telephone interview Monday.

 

IN THE NEWS

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

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

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

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

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

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

IN THE FUTURE

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Energy Update: Week of 11/20

Friends,

Happy Thanksgiving Week!!!!  So, as usual, you can expect some announcements – perhaps like the RVOs which are due at the end of the month, but always seem to find their way into pre-Thanksgiving roll out.

First off, special congrats to Jeff Holmstead’s son Eli, whose BYU Soccer team won the National Club Championship over the weekend by beating Cal-Poly 4-1 in Phoenix. Eli had 3 goals as the Cougars rolled through Michigan State, Penn, UNC, NC State and Wisconsin before blasting Cal-Poly.

Breaking this late this morning, the Nebraska Public Service Commission voted 3-2 to approve the Keystone pipeline route through the state to transport up to 830,000 barrels per day of crude from Canada’s oil sands and North Dakota’s shale fields to oil refineries on the Gulf Coast.  It is the last key approval. Head of the Chamber’s Global Energy Institute Karen Harbert said: “the Keystone XL pipeline project has unfortunately become the poster child for the need to reform our permitting process so that we may fully realize North America’s energy potential. After years of government delays, the decision as to whether to move forward with the pipeline now rests with the company that will be making the investment.”  Connect with Matt Letourneau for more at 202-463-5945.

The Bonn climate conference has ended and one of the few items that garnered attention was the Friday announcement by 19 countries and six states and provinces that they were forming an international alliance to phase out coal-fired power generation by 2030. Key nations in the alliance, such as Canada, Denmark, France, Finland, Italy, Austria, Mexico and the Netherlands, aren’t using very much coal anyway. In fact, members account for less than 3% of global coal use as my friends Brad Plumer and Lisa Friedman point out in the New York Times.  Notably missing in the groups are some of the world’s biggest coal-consuming countries, including Germany (who got significant heat on the topic during Bonn), China, India and the United States.

Perhaps more significant on Friday in Bonn was that Sweden became the 20th country to ratify the Kigali amendment, an agreement to phase down emissions of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) that will allow the plan to go into effect in 2019.  Given this move, we expect to see potential US action on the agreement that was forged in partnership and requires developing/developed country reductions, unlike Paris.    With the world using more and more refrigerants, and heating and cooling equipment, the move is expected to hold down climate change by 0.5° C [0.9° F] by 2100.  Francis Dietz (703-600-0355) at AHRI can connect you with its President Steve Yurek, who was one of the key stakeholder negotiators.

Finally from Bonn, scientists actually remain skeptical that political leaders can reduce emission increase to 1.5-degree, according to our friend Eric Roston of Bloomberg (who by the way is heading back to the policy team…Welcome Back Eric!)

Despite it being Thanksgiving week, there are a few events on the table including a NAFTA field hearing in Texas today at 10:30e/9:30c featuring Texas trade and industry leaders and the annual release of the American Coal Ash Assn’s Coal Ash Production & Use Survey at the National Press Club at 9:30 tomorrow.  Finally, tonight at Midnight, the first comment period for the US Trade Representatives public comment period will close.  Reply comments are due November 29th and the public hearing will be on December 6th.  The Energy Trade Action Coalition, a group of utilities, contractors, retailers and Conservative groups, filed comments to add their voices to the opposition. You can see the ETAC comments here.

Enjoy the week to relax, watch some football and eat some turkey and the fixins’ because next week we go right back to the grind with Clean Power Plan hearings in Charleston,WV, a SAFE Oil discussion with former EIA Head Adam Sieminski and much more…. Stay tuned…Call with questions.  Best,

Frank Maisano

(202) 828-5864

  1. (202) 997-5932

THIS WEEK’S LOBBY SHOP

The new episode of The Lobby Shop is live on iTunes, SoundCloud, and Google Play Music.  This week’s episode features my colleagues Scott Segal and Dee Martin, The Hill’s 2017 Top Lobbyists and explores the world of Washington lobbying, what it takes to be an effective lobbyist, and how they got into the field.  Remember our address for listeners to reach out with topic suggestions, feedback, etc. – thelobbyshop@policyres.com.

FRANKLY SPOKEN

“There are many examples of a country switching from being a net energy exporter to a net importer: it is very rare to see the opposite, especially when the country in question is one of the world’s largest importers of oil.  Yet this is precisely what is happening as a result of the U.S. shale revolution — both for oil and for natural gas.  A remarkable ability to unlock new resources cost-effectively pushes combined United States oil and gas output to a level 50% higher than any other country has ever managed. ”

The International Energy Agency (IEA) in its World Energy Outlook.

We would need an incredibly dramatic reduction in emissions in the very near future. The 1.5-degree target is a little ridiculous and implausible.”

Zeke Hausfather, a climate scientist with Berkeley Earth in a Bloomberg story on climate change and science

IN THE NEWS

House Passes Tax Legislation – The House passed a bill to significantly change taxation, including $1.5 trillion in cuts for individuals and companies. The overhaul, backed by President Trump, heads to the Senate, which is developing a bill that has major differences from the House measure.  My colleague Liam Donovan has been in the nitty-gritty details – as well as the politics of it all – and can answer all your questions.  Liam.donovan@bracewell.com or (202-828-5847)

Wind Urges Senate to Stand Firm on PTC Deal – Tom Kiernan, CEO of the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) said the House missed an opportunity to stand up for 60,000 American workers and preserve $50 billion in private infrastructure investment. The tax reform bill passed by the House retroactively changes how businesses can qualify for wind energy’s primary investment tools, the wind energy Production Tax Credit (PTC) and Investment Tax Credit (ITC), which are already on a path to phase out by 2019.  The House bill undermines wind development by implementing a retroactive change to qualification rules for wind energy tax credits. Because businesses can’t go back in time to requalify for the credits after ordering wind turbines and inking construction contracts, tens of thousands of jobs and billions of dollars of investment could be lost, and new business has stalled. The House bill would also terminate an inflation adjustment, significantly cutting the value of the PTC.  The Senate tax proposal that passed the Finance committee last night does not retroactively alter the wind energy PTC or ITC, leaving in place the phase out terms set in the bi-partisan PATH Act of 2015, keeping American workers on the job.

AHRI Weighs In – The Air-Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration Institute (AHRI), the trade association representing HVACR and water heating manufacturers, applauded House tax package passage. “Our member manufacturers strongly support Congress’s efforts to simplify the tax code and reduce rates,” said AHRI President & CEO Stephen Yurek. “AHRI applauds the inclusion in H.R. 1 of full and immediate expensing, a permanent reduction in the corporate rate to 20 percent rate, a reduced rate for pass-through entities, repeal of the estate tax, and extension of the tax credit for geothermal HVAC equipment – all of which will serve to make the U.S. a more competitive place to do business,” he added. AHRI believes these provisions are all crucial to the continued growth of manufacturing in the United States, and we urge the Senate to follow the lead of the House to enact substantive reforms that will allow our industry and others to continue to innovate and create jobs.

Chamber, Partners Launch Gas Export Infrastructure Initiative – The Chamber’s Global Energy Institute hosted the U.S. Trade Development Authority (USTDA), LNG Allies and others at U.S. Chamber Headquarters for the launch of the U.S. Gas Infrastructure Exports Initiative Friday.  The goal of the initiative is to connect American companies to new export opportunities, with a particular focus on emerging economies.  USTDA acting director Thomas Hardy focused on the goal of using American technology and innovation to advance gas infrastructure in partner countries, while providing new opportunities for U.S. companies. As part of the Initiative, USTDA announced a call for gas-related project proposals for U.S. companies that have identified project sponsors in high growth emerging markets.  The Agency will be conducting gas sector reverse trade missions to bring prospective LNG buyers to the U.S. for site visits and meetings.  Delegates from Senegal, China and others are already slated to participate.  GEI is a natural partner for the Exports Initiative.  We are strong advocates for policies and activities that strengthen America’s global energy leadership, which is good for both our economy and for global security.  The continued export of American natural gas creates opportunities at home and contributes to stability abroad.  For more information on the Initiative, visit www.ustda.gov/program/us-gas-infrastructure-exports-initative

IEA Says Shale Gas Boom Will Last – The International Energy Agency says the shale gas boom has positioned the US to become the world’s largest exporter of liquefied natural gas by the middle of the next decade in its 2017 World Energy Outlook. By the late 2020s, the U.S. — which only lifted its ban on oil exports in 2015 — will ship more oil to foreign markets than it imports. IEA predicts that US shale oil producers will boost their output by 8 million barrels a day between 2010 and 2025, an increase that “would match the highest sustained period of oil output growth by a single country in the history of oil markets” — rivaling even the massive increase posted by Saudi Arabia between 1966 and 1981. The expected U.S. surge will account for 80% of the increase in global supply over the time period.

Powell in WSJ Debate: Nuclear is Essential – ClearPath Executive Director Rich Powell argued this week in the Wall Street Journal that the future of U.S. nuclear power is not only bright— it’s non-negotiable.  A robust civilian nuclear sector is mandatory for the U.S. to remain a major geopolitical, economic, military and environmental leader, Rich wrote. After decades of policy neglect, Washington is finally addressing what is both a national and global necessity and a tremendous opportunity.  That includes growing bipartisan support to reform new reactor licensing and improve tax incentives for new nuclear facilities, led in Congress by clean-energy advocates as well as national-security and energy-reliability hawks.

Henkel, Novozymes, P&G, Sasol Execs Named to ACI Board of Directors – Four executives from leading companies across the cleaning product supply chain were elected to the American Cleaning Institute (ACI) Board of Directors:  Mike Clark, Vice President, Organics – Sasol Performance Chemicals; Charles Crawford, Ph.D., Head of R&D, Laundry and Home Care, North America – Henkel Consumer Goods Inc.;  Rene Garza, Vice President, Household Care, Americas – Novozymes and Sundar Raman, Vice President, North America Fabric Care – Procter & Gamble.  At its meeting in Washington, D.C., the ACI Board elected the new Directors to fill existing vacancies.

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

USTR Comment Deadline on Solar Trade Case – November 20th

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

Forum to Look at Puerto Power Situation – Power 4 Puerto Rico will held a briefing today at 10:00 a.m. at the National Press Club’s Zenger Room to discuss the ongoing effort to restore power on the hurricane-ravaged island.

Senate Finance to Hold NAFTA Field Hearing – The Senate Finance Committee holds a field hearing today at 9:30 a.m. Central Time in San Antonio at the Marriott Plaza Hotel’s Cavalier Room looking at modernization of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).  Witnesses will include USTR’s Stephen Vaugh, Auto Alliance head Mitch Bainwol, Paola Avila of The Border Trade Alliance, San Antonio Chamber of Commerce CEO Richard Perez, Texas Association of Business head Jeff Moseley, Texas Farm Bureau President Russell Boening and Todd Staples of the Texas Oil and Gas Association.

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

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

THANKSGIVING – November 26th

 

IN THE FUTURE

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

CCS Report to be Released – The Global CCS Institute will release its annual Global Status of CCS: 2017 report launch on November 28th at 9:30 a.m. This year, the Institute is partnering with one of the top think tanks in the city, the Center for Strategic and International Studies, to promote and discuss the release of the Institute’s signature report, the globally recognized annual guide to the current progress and prospects for carbon capture and storage.  Speakers will include Global CCS’s Jeff Erikson and IEA’s Samantha McCulloch.

Forum to Look at Asia-Pacific Security – The Center for Climate and Security (CCS) hosts a high-level discussion on the security risks of climate change in the Asia-Pacific on Tuesday November 28th at 10:00 a.m. This discussion will explore these risks, how US military installations, operations, and strategies in the region may be shaped by them, and their influence on US bilateral and multilateral relationships.

Tillerson to Speak at Wilson Center – The Wilson Center will host US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson next Tuesday, November 28th at 11:00 a.m. for an address on the future of U.S. relations with Europe by Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, followed by a conversation with Wilson Center President and CEO Jane Harman.

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

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

Forum on Tax Reform to Discuss Carbon Tax – The Brookings Institute will hold a forum on Tuesday November 28th at 2:00 p.m. regarding tax reform that will discuss a possible carbon tax. The Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center, the Cross Brookings Initiative on Energy and Climate, congressional leaders, and top experts for a discussion on the prospects for tax reform and the potential to include a carbon tax in a broader bipartisan bill.   The event will feature a keynote address by Rep. John Larson and panelists include Niskanen’s Jerry Taylor and our friend Amy Harder of Axios.

SAFE Event to Feature Oil Discussion with Former EIA Head – Securing America’s Future Energy (SAFE) will host a panel discussion on next Tuesday, November 28th at 4:30 p.m. at the National Union Building exploring how market uncertainty, underinvestment, geopolitical risk, OPEC intervention, rising global demand, and other market forces undermine oil market stability. The panel will discuss the likelihood of a return to high and volatile oil prices, implications for American economic and national security, and domestic policy solutions.  Moderated by our friend Ben Geman of Axios, the panel will feature former EIA Administrator Adam Sieminski – now at CSIS – and Jonathan Chanis, SAFE’s Senior Vice President of Policy.

USTR Reply Comments Deadline – November 29th

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

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

Solar Festival Set for Austin – The 2nd annual Solar Business Festival will be held on November 29th and 30th in Austin, Texas at the Thompson Conference Center. The two-day conference segment features a wide variety of sessions on, components of doing a solar and storage business in Texas, microgrids and energy storage, distributed grid, project financing, sustainable buildings, smart grids, solar initiatives and innovations, utility integration, community solar projects, policies, incentives and goals, market growth opportunities, regulatory framework, international solar market opportunities/challenges, sustainable farming and more.

CSIS Look at Zero-Emissions Fuels – The CSIS Energy and National Security Program is hosting a forum on Thursday November 30th at 8:00 a.m. onhydrogen, green shipping and zero-emission fuel in the maritime sector. The discussion will center on the development and implementation of hydrogen fuel technology, the important role it could play for shipping in the transition to a low-carbon future, and ongoing U.S.-Norwegian cooperation in the area.  Shipping accounts for more than 2% of worldwide greenhouse gas emissions today and is set to increase up to 17% by 2050. This session will explore the concrete cooperation and projects being pursued in Norway and the United States.  Norwegian Ambassador Kåre R. Aas will give introductory remarks, followed by a discussion with Elisabet Bøe (Sogn og Fjordane), Joseph Pratt (Sandia National Lab), Lars Endre Gimmestad (Brodrene Aa), and Martin Grimnes (Arcadia Alliance) on the present and future of hydrogen technology and what a low-carbon future for maritime transport may look like.

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

RFS RVO Deadline – November 30th

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

R Street Hosts Clean Energy Event on Capitol Hill – R Street hosts a forum on Thursday, November 30th in 122 Cannon featuring a discussion on clean energy with panelists from Microsoft, Advanced Energy Economy (AEE), the American Coalition of Competitive Energy Suppliers (ACCES) and Citizens for Responsible Energy Solutions  Across the country, clean energy is growing rapidly in states that allow customers to choose their electricity supplier. This system of ‘retail choice’ grants customers more options and allows them to generate their own energy on-site. Importantly, large corporations have been leading the charge for distributed energy generation, marking a refreshing intersection of conservative and green agendas.

RFF to Look at Energy Security – Resources for the Future (RFF) will host a forum on Thursday November 30th focused on the new realities on energy security given our shale resources.  This RFF seminar will open with a presentation from former Department of Energy official Howard Gruenspecht on the economic and political factors that have led to a very different oil security picture than the country faced decades ago. RFF President Richard Newell will present new research on how the shale oil boom has altered the flexibility of the US supply, as well as how price and inventory dynamics can inform Strategic Petroleum Reserve policy. RFF University Fellow Stephen Brown will then discuss an RFF project that produced new estimates for the value of the oil security premium—a key metric used in benefit–cost analyses of related regulations. RFF Senior Fellow Alan Krupnick will wrap up with a discussion of the new energy security paradigm, which broadens the definition of US energy security beyond oil to include natural gas, electricity, and other energy systems.

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

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

USTR Hearing on Solar Trade Tariff – December 6th

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

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

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

The Last Jedi Hits Theaters – DECEMBER 15th

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

Energy Update: Week of Nov 6

Friends,

First off, our thoughts and prayers are with our friends in Texas as they deal with this weekend’s terrible incident.  It puts a damper on the earlier celebrations for our Houston/Texas colleagues’ World Series Game 7 victory and parade last week for the Astros in what ended up being a thrilling World Series (that makes two-in-a-row.)  And even with last week’s New York terrorist’s attack, the NYC Marathon went on without a hitch with Shalane Flanagan becoming the first American women to win in 40 years.

The tax bill has rolled out and is expected to see action this week.  We have a bunch of good “Tax Fax” in the update below, but bottom-line, my colleague Liam Donovan has ALL the bases covered and will be happy to discuss “on-“ or “off-the-record” as the action continues.  You can reach him at 202-828-5847 or liam.donovan@bracewell.com.  And, finally we have a full FERC, with final Senate approval of Rich Glick and Kevin McIntyre late Thursday and “Swearing-In” ceremonies expected this week.

The next UN climate change conference starts today (and runs through next Fri) in Bonn, Germany and there have been plenty of stories about Friday’s climate report.   While interesting and comprehensive, it really doesn’t add much more than we’ve heard before, doesn’t consider significant policy or political challenges and change that the US has been reducing emissions dramatically through market and technology advances.  Something to remember.

As for the meeting, it is a working meeting so don’t expect a big splash.  The Business Council for Sustainable Energy (BCSE) industry members are sharing the progress of the rapid transformation that is occurring in the energy sector in the United States. It will also showcase how the suite of existing clean energy solutions can help take that transformation around the world, and help meet a country’s nationally-determined contribution (NDC) under the Paris Agreement. The Chamber’s Global Energy Institute and its climate expert Steve Eule participates in a side event on Wednesday sponsored by the international business community.

We starting the week off today with a ClearPath event focused on US-China Clean Energy issues at 11:30 a.m. in CVC Congressional Meeting Room North.  Given the President’s trip to China and upcoming trade issues in the news, this seems like a great time to hear some key experts, including Congressman Ryan Costello, ClearPath’s Rich Powell and Christopher Guith of Chamber’s Global Energy Institute.  Amy Harder of Axios moderates. For those unable to attend this morning’s event, there will be a livestream.  Speaking of trade, check out the WaPo editorial today urging President Trump to reject strong solar tariffs.

Tomorrow, House Energy looks at ENERGY STAR and features AHRI Chairman Chris Drew testifying.  Also, House Resources takes up broad offshore energy legislation that will attempt to define parameters for wind and oil/gas projects with a hearing tomorrow and mark up on Wednesday.

The next big nomination hearing is Wednesday for CEQ nominee Kathleen Harnett-White and EPA #2 Andy Wheeler.  I don’t even know what to say other than put your seatbelts on because of the expected turbulence.  Dems will oppose both aggressively over views on climate while ethanol Republicans Deb Fisher and Joni Ernst are smarting over Harnett’s positions on ethanol and the recent retaliatory hold on a USDA nominee they support.  House Science also discusses geoengineering.

Then on Thursday at 9:30 a.m., our friends at SAFE host a forum and release their trucking industry trend report, “Heavy-Duty Innovation: Energy, automation, and technology in the trucking sector.”  SAFE’s Jeff Gerlach, as well as a number of industry experts including the American Trucking Assn’s Bill Sullivan will discuss how the trucking industry is changing, and the regulatory measures that should be taken to enable a safer and more efficient trucking future.

Finally, our friends at AGA launched the #CookingWithGas campaign recently with Chef Fitz Tallon from Eataly Flatiron in New York. AGA is traveling around the country meeting professional chefs and talking to them about why they prefer cooking with gas.  Check out the video of Tallon talking about why he prefers #cookingwithgas.

Call with questions.  Tomorrow is Election Day in many places including Virginia and New Jersey.  Please vote…Best,

 

Frank Maisano

(202) 828-5864

  1. (202) 997-5932

THIS WEEK’S LOBBY SHOP

The new episode of The Lobby Shop is live on iTunes, SoundCloud, and Google Play Music.  This episode is very brief (14 minutes) and covers the House tax bill released Thursday morning.  It’s a great opportunity to subscribe to the podcast on whatever platform you prefer – this episode is pretty quick and not a deep dive, but we will be doing more nitty-gritty analysis in future episodes.  Remember our  address for listeners to reach out with topic suggestions, feedback, etc. – thelobbyshop@policyres.com.

FRANKLY SPOKEN

“Mr. Trump clearly believes that the government should restrict Americans’ freedom to trade. But agreeing with the complainers in this case would obviously contradict his avowed motive — to support middle-class U.S. jobs.  The risks of helping a narrow slice of the industry at the expense of the rest of it simply outweigh the benefits.”

Washington Post Editorial Board on the upcoming solar tariff decision in front of President Trump.

 

“This proposal reneges on the tax reform deal that was already agreed to, and would impose a retroactive tax hike on an entire industry.  The House proposal would pull the rug out from under 100,000 U.S. wind workers and 500 American factories, including some of the fastest growing jobs in the country. We expect members of the House and Senate to oppose any proposal that fails to honor that commitment, and we will fight hard to see that wind energy continues to work for America.”

Tom Kiernan, CEO of the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA).

 

TAX FAX

Tax Reform Rolling – House Republicans released a tax-reform bill today that would cut the corporate tax rate to 20% from 35%. The plan also includes cuts to individual tax rates and increases the standard deduction for individuals and families.  Retirement plans including 401(k)s appear to be untouched and the top tax rate for wealthy Americans would remain the same.  My colleague Liam Donovan has ALL the bases covered and will be happy to discuss “on-“ or “off-the-record.”  You can reach him at 202-828-5847 or liam.donovan@bracewell.com

Wind Has Concerns – The House tax bill raised the ire of the wind industry who said reneging on the previous deal would threaten American job growth and energy dominance. By derailing a bipartisan agreement to phase out the wind energy Production Tax Credit (PTC), the House proposal strips away the investment certainty Congress promised wind developers just two years ago. The proposal puts at risk over $50 billion in planned investment supporting manufacturing, rural jobs and homegrown energy growth.  The wind industry worked with Congress in 2015, reaching a bipartisan agreement on tax reform that phased out the PTC over five years. Investors, taking Congress at their word, banked on stable investment policy and poured billions of dollars into the U.S. economy.

What’s the PTC Controversy? – The wind energy PTC, which allows for a tax credit for each kilowatt hour (kWh) generated, was the tool Congress created for wind developers to access capital needed to grow wind power in the U.S. This successful policy has driven domestic infrastructure investment and manufacturing, delivering U.S. jobs and driving down the costs to produce electricity. Recognizing the policy was working and success was near, Congress passed a bipartisan five-year extension and phase out of the credit in 2015, which is proceeding on an 80%-60%-40% schedule, ending after 2019.  The bill changes the terms of PTC qualification defining start of construction. Investors who put billions of dollars into factory orders and construction contracts cannot go back in time to meet the revised requirements. The House tax proposal would also terminate an inflation adjustment, cutting the value of the credit by half or more.

Navigant Study Says Roll Back Risks 50K JobsNavigant Consulting projects that maintaining stable investment policy through the five-year PTC phase out will create $85 billion in economic activity and help grow another 50,000 American jobs, including 8,000 jobs at U.S. factories, through the end of President Trump’s first term.  Boosting production of U.S. wind energy helps increase American energy independence and security. The majority of the value of an American wind farm is made-in-the USA by 102,500 workers and 500 factories across all 50 states.  View a map of every wind farm and factory in America.

CCS Says Include 45Q – A diverse, bipartisan group of carbon capture advocates today called on the Senate Finance Committee to include legislation to extend and reform the Section 45Q of the tax code to boost carbon capture in any tax plan considered by the committee.  The letter specifically calls for inclusion of the FUTURE Act, legislation introduced in July by Senators Heidi Heitkamp, Shelley Moore Capito, Sheldon Whitehouse, John Barrasso and 21 other Senators from both parties, in the Senate Finance Committee Chairman’s Mark.  The letter was signed by companies, labor unions, NGOs and other advocates including Occidental, Peabody Energy, Utility Workers Union of America, IBEW, NRECA, Clean Air Task Force, C2ES, ClearPath and many others.

Orphans are Included – The “orphan” tax credits – credits left out of the 2015 wind/solar PTC deal – were also in the tax bill, mirroring language found in Rep. Tom Reed’s H.R. 1090, which extends the residential and commercial tax credits until January 1, 2022 for geothermal heat pumps, fuel cells, microturbines, small wind and combined heat and power. The residential income tax credit would be retroactive back to January 1, 2017 at 30% and continue at that level until 2020 when it would drop to 26% and then at 22% for 2021 and end December 31, 2021. The 10% commercial investment tax credit would be extended until January 1, 2022 and change the language for placed in service to “property the construction of which begins before January 1, 2022.” Thousands of jobs among geothermal and other “orphaned” clean energy industries are in jeopardy and GHP manufacturers alone saw a sales decline significantly this past year.

Advanced Nuclear Credit Included In Tax Reform – The tax reform plan also includes a modification to the 45J tax credit for production from advanced nuclear power facilities that is vital to the expansion of the U.S. fleet. It at least largely mirrors a bipartisan bill from Reps. Tom Rice and Earl Blumenauer lawmakers approved by voice vote in June modifying the credit to allow more time for the nation’s new reactors under construction to utilize the credit and allow transferability of the credit to other partners of the utilities.

A GOOD READ on Winners, Losers – Energy Winners, Losers in House Tax Plan: WASHINGTON EXAMINER

IN THE NEWS

BCSE to Release Priorities Paper at COP23 – The Business Council for Sustainable Energy released a policy paper today that outlines its COP 23 priorities as the meeting launches in Bonn.   The Council released the final version of the BCSE COP 23 policy position paper, Powering Ambition at COP 23. The BCSE at COP 23 website is also live: www.bcse.org/cop23.  This page will include all of BCSE events, public statements, delegation information and case studies of clean energy in action.

Vistra Head on CNBC’s Mad Money – Last Week, we mentioned the Vistra-Dynegy merger and later in the week on CNBC’s Mad Money, Curt Morgan discussed the deal with Jim Cramer, who called the deal a “game-changer.”  Morgan highlighted the national focus and diverse fuel mix that the new company will have and said it will be strong in both low and high gas price environments.

Chamber Highlights Efforts to Restore Power After Hurricanes – Speaking of videos, the Chamber’s Global Energy Institute released a series of videos last week looking at during and after Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, everyday Americans assumed the role of first responders as their family and friends faced sheets of rain, catastrophic flooding and destructive winds. In its new video series titled “Energy Strong” GEI highlights the many ways America’s energy industry stepped up and responded.

GA Lawmakers Urge Nuclear Tax Credits – Georgia lawmakers are asking for an extension on tax credits for the Vogtle nuclear plant expansion project.  All but two members of the state’s House delegation sent a letter to the head of the House Ways and Means Committee last week.

They want the tax plan to include a measure that would lift the 2020 expiration date on a tax credit for new nuclear energy production. Two reactors at Vogtle now under construction won’t be up and running until after that deadline.

Biotech Company to Protect Palm Trees, Dates – ISCA Tech and the University of California-Riverside scientists will work to develop environmentally-friendly pest controls to save California’s iconic palm trees and protect the date palm industry from the invasive South American palm weevil. With a new grant from the Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research (FFAR).  FFAR is a nonprofit established in the 2014 Farm Bill with bipartisan congressional support, today awarded $150,000 to fund research to combat this emerging pest. The FFAR grant is being matched by funds from UCR, ISCA, California Date Commission, and the Bard Valley Medjool Date Growers Association, for a total $300,000 investment in addressing this pest.  The South American palm weevil first spread from Mexico’s Tijuana area into San Diego County in 2011, where it is now killing Canary Island date palm trees. Surveys also have detected the weevil in California’s Imperial County, as well as in the Yuma, Ariz., and Alamo, Texas counties.  At risk are several palm species, including commercial date trees that contribute about $89 million a year to California’s and Arizona’s economies. Other at-risk palms include Canary Islands date, coconut, African oil, sago and California fan palms. The national market for landscape, decorative and potted palm trees is valued at more than $280 million a year.

IAEA Head Says Speed Up Nuke Projects – The global nuclear power industry needs to accelerate growth to satisfy the world’s energy demands and contribute to climate change goals, International Atomic Energy Agency Director General Yukiya Amano told the International Ministerial Conference on Nuclear Power in the 21st Century. “More use of nuclear power will be needed to provide the steady supply of baseload electricity to power modern economies if countries are to meet the goals for greenhouse gas emissions which they set for themselves in the Paris Agreement,” he said

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

Climate Change Meeting Set for Bonn – The next UN climate change conference is scheduled to be held starting today and run through November 17th in Bonn, Germany, which is home to the climate change secretariat and 18 other UN agencies that will be hosting the conference.  Presided over by the government of Fiji, COP 23 is slated to be a “working COP”, as negotiators continue to develop the Paris rulebook—the rules and working processes that will underpin the Paris Agreement’s implementation. With respect to the rulebook, no major decisions are expected to be made before 2018. The Business Council for Sustainable Energy (BCSE) will lead a delegation of its industry members to COP 23.  The Council will participate in COP 23 to share the progress of the rapid transformation that is occurring in the energy sector in the United States. It will also seek to showcase how the suite of existing clean energy solutions can help take that transformation around the world, and help meet a country’s nationally-determined contribution (NDC) under the Paris Agreement. The Chamber’s Global Energy Institute and its climate expert Steve Eule participates in a side event on Wednesday sponsored by the international business community.

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

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

Fuel Cell Expo Set – The Fuel Cell Seminar and Energy Expo will be held tomorrow through Thursday in Long Beach, CA.  Hear from top names in industry and government, including Plug Power CEO Andy Marsh; NASEO Executive Director Dave Terry; California Energy Commissioner Janea Scott; NCSL Energy Director Glen Anderson; Division Chief, CARB Annette Hebert and more.  There will be more than 180 Technical Sessions and more than 40 Posters on Wednesday and Thursday afternoons by our industry’s top researchers, scientists, and speakers.  Session tracks will cover a wide-range of topics including international, state, regional hydrogen infrastructure plans, technology advances, transportation deployment, hydrogen generation and energy storage.

House Energy Panel to Look at ENERGY STAR – The House Energy Committee will look at ENERGY STAR and other efficiency programs tomorrow.  Expects experts from enviro groups, AHRI and other sustainability groups to weigh in.  AHRI Chairman Chris Drew will say there is a strong industry preference to retain both the product program and the buildings programs at EPA and that the program needs adequate funding preserved, among other items.  Others testifying include ASE’s Kateri Callahan, Doug Johnson of the Consumer Tech Association, AHAM’s Joe McGuire and Greg Merritt of Cree.

GU Presenter to Discuss China, Wind – Georgetown’s Mortara Center for International Studies will present at this Energy and Climate Policy Research Seminar tomorrow at 12:30 p.m. with Julia Kirch Kirkegaard, a postdoctoral researcher at Stanford Business School. She has studied the role of global innovation networks in China’s wind turbine industry, the case of Chinese industrial upgrading within the green energy sector, the societal acceptability of wind power (in Denmark and China), and contestations over expertise and science communication. In her research at Stanford, she is investigating the role of expertise and experts in the emergence of R&D and innovation networks.

House Resources Looks OCS Drilling Draft – The House Natural Resources Energy and Mineral Resources Subcommittee holds a hearing tomorrow at 2:00 p.m. on Outer Continental Shelf Discussion Draft.  The draft legislation aims to distribute revenues from oil and gas leasing on the Outer Continental Shelf to certain coastal States, to require sale of approved and scheduled offshore oil and gas leases, to establish offshore wind lease sale requirements, and to empower States to manage the development and production of oil and gas on available Federal lands.  Witnesses will include Ray Brady of the Argonne National Lab, North Dakota Industrial Commission Director Lynn Helms, David Holt of the Consumer Energy Alliance and the Tulane Energy Institute’s Eric Smith.  Mark up will follow on tomorrow and Wednesday.

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

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

Wheeler, Harnett-White Set to Go to Senate Environment – Senate Environment will hold a confirmation hearing on Wednesday for Kathleen Hartnett White’s nomination to run the White House Council on Environmental Quality.  It will also address the confirmation of Andy Wheeler to serve as EPA deputy administrator at the same time.

House Science Looks at GeoEngineering – The House Science Committee’s Energy Subcommittee and Environment Subcommittee hold a joint hearing on geoengineering innovation, research and technology. discussion draft legislation to “Overhaul Federal Lands Energy Policy” to distribute revenues from oil and gas leasing on the Outer Continental Shelf to certain coastal States, to require sale of approved and scheduled offshore oil and gas leases, to establish offshore wind lease sale requirements, and to empower States to manage the development and production of oil and gas on available Federal land, and for other purposes. Witnesses include Phil Rasch of the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Joseph Majkut of the Niskanen Center, Cornell’s Douglas MacMartin, and Kelly Wanser of the University of Washington.

ITC to Look at Biodiesel Tariffs – The U.S. International Trade Commission holds a hearing Thursday at 9:30 a.m. on the final phase of countervailing duty and anti-dumping duty investigations regarding biodiesel from Argentina and Indonesia.

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

Chatterjee Hits Platts Presser – S&P Global Platts hosts its Energy Podium forum on Thursday at 11:00 a.m. with FERC Chairman Neil Chatterjee.  Chatterjee will discuss a broad range of issues facing the Commission with Platts reporters and other press.

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

GW to Hold Book Launches, Panels – George Washington University holds two book Launches on Thursday.  At Noon, authors will discuss their findings and conclusions on energy security debates in China, India, Japan, Russia and the political economy and transit security of the region. Then at 5:00 p.m., the Brazil Initiative and the Institute for International Science and Technology Policy hold a book launch and guest lecture by Dr. Sergio Salles, with Dr. Nicholas Vonortas as discussant on bioethanol evolution, risks and uncertainties.

IN THE FUTURE

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

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

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

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

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

JHU to Discuss Nuclear – The Johns Hopkins University holds a forum on Tuesday November 14th at 5:00 p.m. looking at the status and prospects for U.S. Nuclear Power. Westinghouse, a leader in the industry, entered bankruptcy and two reactors that were under construction in South Carolina have been abandoned because of cost overruns. The US still has not solved the problem of long term storage of high level nuclear waste. An interesting possibility for the future is the development of advanced nuclear reactors that would be smaller, safer and cheaper to build. These and other issues will be discussed by speaker, NEI’s Matthew Crozat.

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

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

WRI to Discuss Powering Cities – On Wednesday, November 15th at Noon, the World Resources Institute hosts Michael Westphal to present his paper on energy access – another chapter of the World Resources Report: Towards a More Equal City. Millions of residents in some of the fastest growing cities in the world don’t have access to clean, reliable energy, and the challenge of reaching them is not getting easier. In 2012, only 58 percent of the urban population had access to electricity in low-income countries, and nearly 500 million urban residents worldwide used dirty and harmful cooking fuels like charcoal and wood.

Forum on European Gas Projects Set – On Wednesday afternoon November 15th, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace hosts the Jamestown conference on “Nord Stream and European Energy Security.” It will provide a detailed and comprehensive analysis of the Russian objectives, European responses, and American policies related to this large project.

Forum to Discuss Brazil Oil, Gas – The Wilson Center’s Brazil Institute hosts a forum on Thursday November 16th at 10:00 a.m. looking T pre-salt auctions in Brazil’s oil and gas industry.  The Director-General of ANP, Decio Fabrício Oddone da Costa, will discuss the objectives of Brazil’s new regulatory framework for the oil & gas policy.

Webinar to Look at EVs – National Journal holds webinar on Thursday November 16th at 11:00 a.m. on the rise of electric vehicles.  The webinar will examine the industry’s history, development and future, and address the major players and policymakers and what policies have fostered the industry’s growth so far, and which state and federal actions could help—or hinder—its development.  It will also look at how the Trump administration’s deregulatory drive impact the development of EVs in the US, as well as the feasibility of the ambitious goals laid out by countries like France and India.

Clark to Headline USAEE Lunch – On Friday, November 17th, the NCAC of the US Assn of Energy Economists host its November lunch with former FERC Commissioner Tony Clark at Chinatown Gardens.  Clark will discuss the forces that are shaping electricity markets today, with an emphasis on the implications of the regulatory crossroads of federal jurisdiction and state public policy choices.

USTR Comment Deadline on Solar Trade Case – November 20th

THANKSGIVING – November 26th

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

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

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

RFS RVO Deadline – November 30th

USTR Hearing on Solar Trade Tariff – December 6th

The Last Jedi Hits Theaters – DECEMBER 15th

 

Energy Update: Week of 10/23

Friends,

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

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

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

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

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

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

Best,

 

Frank Maisano

(202) 828-5864

  1. (202) 997-5932

 

FRANKLY SPOKEN

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

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

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

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

 

IN THE NEWS

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

IN THE FUTURE

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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