Energy Update: Week of August 20

Friends,

Hope your August is going great. I know we haven’t slowed down with all the fall sports starting.   Hannah is back at Wellesley on the field hockey pitch, Olivia is in the middle of practice double sessions, Adam just finished 12th in the Annapolis 10-miler yesterday in under an hour and I have started my NCAA field hockey season.  That is a lot, but not enough for us to top each weekend off with Incubus last Sunday at The Fillmore in Silver Spring and Godsmack/Shinedown last night at Jiffy Lube Live.

And it hasn’t really slowed down in DC either.  Last week, we had 2019 RFS RVO comments due and the Chamber’s Global Energy Institute released a new analysis that quantifies billions of dollars of savings in lower electric bills Americans are starting to realize stemming from enactment of the Tax Cut & Jobs Act.  Then this week, we expect to see the roll out of the Clean Power Plan replacement which is yet to be named.  President Trump is expected to announce the new plan in West Virginia tomorrow.  The New York Times, Washington Post and Wall Street Journal all had stories.

My colleague Scott Segal said “the previous administration’s effort to address greenhouse gases was a complex and unnecessarily burdensome overreach that took much of the responsibility for power systems away from the state regulators who know them best.  He adds “the replacement rule is premised on the fact that states are in a better position to judge the inventory of measures available to reduce carbon emissions within their power sectors.  That’s consistent with decades of integrated resource planning that takes places at the state level, the shared responsibilities under the Clean Air Act, and the traditional federalism that governs utility regulation in most states.”  Both Segal and Holmstead will be available this week.  I also expect our friends at the Chamber’s Global Energy Institute will also have comments, background and analysis as well.

Not much shaking this week other than the meetings with SCOTUS nominee Brett Kavanaugh and we hear rumors that the Senate may shut it down after finishing a few more funding bills.  Action includes Senator Peter’s hosting a field hearing today in Traverse City on pipeline safety while Senate Environment (and Public Works) holds a field hearing in Ellicott City on the Federal role in preventing future flooding.  Tomorrow, Senate Energy looks at energy efficiency and blockchain while Sen. Judiciary hosts witnesses like SoCo CEO Tom Fanning on protecting critical infrastructure at 2:30 p.m.  On Wednesday, Senate Energy discusses several bills related to land, forest and mineral extraction including Helium Extraction.

Also this week, EPRI is hosting its Electrification conference in Long Beach.  They also have recently introduced a new #sharegrid concept (including a great white board video) that outlines the shared, integrated grid concept and how it will improve customers’ energy assets all while enhancing grid reliability, resiliency and value for all.

Finally, there is new interesting research from MIT on pavement’s impact on urban heat island and its impact on climate change. “Albedo” is the measure of how much solar energy is reflected by the Earth’s surface. Low albedo, or darker color, surfaces absorb more heat and reflect less shortwave radiation than high albedo, or lighter color, surfaces. Increasing pavement albedo has been considered as a strategy to mitigate impacts of climate change, but evaluating the effectiveness of such strategies requires context-specific data on climate conditions. MIT’s CSHub has developed an analytical approach to quantify global warming potential savings resulting from increases in pavement albedo.  More detail on this soon.

The comment period closes today for CEQ’s NEPA reform plan.  We are following closely.  Enjoy the last two weeks of August.  Call with questions – especially on CPP-related issues…Best,

 

Frank Maisano

(202) 828-5864

c. (202) 997-5932

 

FRANKLY SPOKEN

“Our new analysis shows that the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 is reducing energy costs for both residential customers and industrial users.  Utilities that have seen relief from their tax bills are passing those savings onto their customers, which ultimately saves consumers money. This savings is resulting in increased economic productivity and more jobs around the country.”

Karen Harbert, president and CEO of the U.S. Chamber’s Global Energy Institute, rolling out a New report that looks at the benefits utility customers are reaching due to the Administration tax relief plan.

“The previous administration’s effort to address greenhouse gases was a complex and unnecessarily burdensome overreach that took much of the responsibility for power systems away from the state regulators who know them best.  It is why 29 states pushed back against the rules and the Supreme Court blocked their implementation with which an unprecedented stay. It is clear this Administration and its EPA seem likely to address this issue within the framework of the Clean Air Act and give states a significant role in managing the reliability and environmental performance of their power sectors.

Finally, the replacement rule is premised on the fact that states are in a better position to judge the inventory of measures available to reduce carbon emissions within their power sectors.  That’s consistent with decades of integrated resource planning that takes places at the state level, the shared responsibilities under the Clean Air Act, and the traditional federalism that governs utility regulation in most states.”

Scott Segal commenting on the expected new release of the Trump Administration’s redo of the Clean Power Plan, expected to be released on Tuesday in West Virginia. 

 

ON THE POD

Cap Crude Looks at Russian Sanctions – The Platts Capitol Crude podcast focuses on Russia with Congress considering a raft of new sanctions against Russia that could hit energy trade.  Agnia Grigas, a senior fellow at the Atlantic Council and author of The New Geopolitics of Natural Gas, discusses the potential risks to oil and gas investment, including the Nord Stream 2 pipeline.

 

FUN OPINIONS

Former Energy Secretary Says Ethanol Bad Policy – As a former senator from an agricultural state and a former U.S. Energy secretary, Spence Abraham recently wrote in The Hill that both American agriculture and our independent refineries can succeed. Unfortunately, the current structure of the federal biofuel mandate fails to achieve these goals.  Abraham wrote: “As the U.S. Energy secretary during the passage of the first RFS, I can categorically state that the RIN system was not meant to create a multibillion-dollar commodity market that serves to subsidize large-scale blenders and vertically integrated oil companies at the expense of smaller and independent refiners. The administration and Congress must act to reform the RFS in a way that keeps RIN costs under control, while also ensuring robust domestic biofuel use. Recent experience proves such a ‘win-win’ can be achieved to save manufacturing jobs in the Rust Belt, without adversely impacting the Corn Belt.  The president previously considered taking more permanent action to achieve this goal. Now would be a great time for him to finish the job.”

IN THE NEWS

Chamber Report Says Tax Cuts Will Reduce Power Bills – The Chamber’s Global Energy Institute (GEI) will release new analysis that quantifies billions of dollars of savings in lower electric bills Americans are starting to realize stemming from enactment of the Tax Cut & Jobs Act.  Investor owned utilities (IOU) saw significant tax rate reductions from comprehensive tax reform and are now passing on that savings to their customers.  GEI quantified that total savings in 12 representative states and further calculated the average residential customers’ savings.  With businesses and families keeping more of their money, we also modeled the additional economic growth and job creation expected to occur. The 12 representative states GEI analyzed were Alabama, Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nevada, Texas and Virginia.  Across those states, customer savings over the next five years (2018-2022) will range from $100 million in Maine to over $3 billion in California. Each state also sees meaningful GDP and job gains as a result of these customer savings.

RVO Comments Pour In – On Friday, the comment period for the 2019 Renewable Volume obligations (RVO) for the Renewable Fuels Standard closed.  There were many comments from both sides, But the opponents are a broad-based group of refiners, labor unions, conservative and environmental groups.  Here are some highlights:

1) United SteelworkersRoxanne Brown, Legislative Director, United Steelworkers:

Our union believes that reducing the U.S.’s reliance on foreign oil and focusing on energy independence is a meaningful policy goal not just for strategic and employment reasons, but for our environment as well.  However, current RFS policy has led to increased foreign imports of biofuels, including biomass-based diesel fuel, undermining Congressional intent of the RFS.

The reduced availability of additional biofuels to blend into the system creates logistical and technological challenges commonly known as the “blend-wall”. This has led to significant cost impacts for refineries as compliance costs related to Renewable Identification Number (RIN’s) pricing, which has wildly fluctuated based off of no logical demand structure, creates uncertainty for refineries and undermines long term investment strategies for domestic refining.  USW encourages the EPA to develop realistic biofuel assumptions that recognize the significant changes in fuels policy and the continued inability of commercially viable cellulosic biofuel to enter the market.

2) The Toledo Chamber of CommerceBrian Dicken, Vice President, Advocacy & Public Policy, Toledo Regional Chamber of Commerce

We are encouraged that EPA is taking comment on RIN market reforms, but believe such reforms should be dealt with in the final RVO and not via a separate rulemaking. Even biofuel interests have questioned the volatility of the RIN market. The history of the program shows wild swings in RIN costs, but the percentage of ethanol blended into gasoline has stayed at around 10 cents regardless of whether RINs are three cents or $1.40.

Public comments EPA received for last year’s RVO detailed several observations of possible market manipulation that are illegal in other contexts, but not controlled or regulated in relation to the RIN market. EPA must act to prevent anti‐consumer manipulative practices and should advance RIN market reforms in the final 2019 RVO, rather than wait to pursue measures addressing RIN market integrity in the future.

3) IBEW Local 8 in NW OhioStephen Brown, Business Representative, International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local Union No. 8.  Local 8 represents over 1,600 electrical workers in Northwest Ohio and Southeast Michigan; its jurisdiction includes the Toledo Refinery Company (TRC):

EPA’s proposed increase in the RFS requirement over 2018 levels fails to recognize the blendwall and the uneven playing field among RFS obligated parties. It could result in upward pressure on RIN costs, which as we saw earlier this year with Philadelphia Energy Solutions (PES), would once again threaten highly skilled domestic refining industry jobs.

A look back at the last six months proves EPA can help prevent RIN price spikes without adversely impacting biofuel consumption. A combination of RFS reform discussions and small refiner waivers has resulted in RIN prices decreasing from 90 cents last November to approximately 20 cents recently.  Despite these factors, U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) monthly data shows there has been NO backtracking on biofuel blending. In fact, the blend rate in the first quarter of this year was slightly higher than it was in the first quarter of last year.  This has all occurred in conjunction with small refiner waivers and falling RIN prices. The facts to date show that domestic biofuel use will remain robust, even when the standard is waived for parts of the industry.

4) NJ Senate Majority Leader Sweeney, Dep. Assembly Speaker Burzichelli – Stephen Sweeney, Senate President, New Jersey Senate & General Assembly:

The proposed increase in the RFS requirement over 2018 levels fails to recognize the blendwall and the uneven playing field among RFS obligated parties. It could result in upward pressure on RIN costs, which as we saw earlier this year with Philadelphia Energy Solutions (PES), would once again threaten highly skilled domestic refining industry jobs.

In the high RIN price environment of the last two years, RINs became the [Paulsboro, NJ] refinery’s most significant operating expense; rising above pay, benefits and energy costs. The refinery spent nearly $150 million from 2015 to 2017 on RINs. Returning to such a financial environment would be unsustainable and certainly threaten jobs in the region.

The EPA must act now to prevent anti-consumer manipulative practices and advance RIN market reforms in the final 2019 RVO, rather than wait to pursues measures addressing RIN market integrity in the future.

5) Paulsboro Independent Oil Workers UnionRudolph Rafferty, President, Independent Oil Workers, representing 300 employees at New Jersey’s Paulsboro Refining Company and an additional 200 from neighboring facilities.

The facts to date show that domestic biofuel use will remain robust, even when the standard is waived for parts of the industry.  These facts prove EPA can set a reasonable volumetric requirement that is below the blendwall without adversely impacting domestic ethanol or other biofuel consumption, much of which is economic without government support.

For every refinery employee, 15-20 indirect jobs are maintained to support our activities.  This support comes in the form of goods and services.  For example, one of our products serves as a base stock for a neighboring facility, which employs 105 additional union jobs.  All told, the Paulsboro Refinery helps to support thousands of people and hundreds of families in Gloucester County, New Jersey.  The Paulsboro Refinery has produced fuels for more than 100 years.  It has provided stable employment for generations of families who have relied on compensation from refinery employment to provide a good quality of life.

6) Holly-Frontier – in its comments, HollyFrontier requests that EPA take three specific actions: (1) further reduce the renewable volume obligation (“RVO”) using the general waiver authority given the inadequate volume of domestically produced renewable fuel available to obligated parties; (2) implement Renewable Identification Number (“RIN”) market reforms to increase RIN liquidity and decrease RIN prices; and (3) continue granting small refinery disproportionate economic hardship exemptions as required by the Clean Air Act (“CAA”) when circumstances demonstrate a disproportionate economic harm.

7) Valero – Valero’s comments stress concerns that EPA has yet again proposed RVOs that are not reasonably attainable & declined to make use of available authorities to reduce harms caused by RFS and volatile RIN market.

8) PBF Energy – PBF Energy says the 2019 proposed conventional biofuel volumes should be lowered to avoid severe economic harm. Recent experience indicates setting unreasonable volume targets does result in such harm, but does NOT appreciably do anything to overcome the challenges of the blendwall and advance the RFS program’s objectives.  It also says EPA should lower advanced biofuels limits that are overly aggressive to better reflect accurate domestic production.  Finally, they say EP should EPA should include RIN trading reforms in the RVO as well as advance other changes to ensure RIN market liquidity and limit compliance costs.

NDAA Signed By President – President Trump signed the 2019 National Defense Authorization Act, including bipartisan language led by Rep. Joe Wilson (R-S.C.) to require the secretary of energy to report on the feasibility of siting, constructing and operating “micro reactors” at critical Defense Department or Energy Department national security facilities. ClearPath Action advisor and former Nuclear Regulatory Commission Commissioner Jeff Merrifield praised the proposal at a May 22 House Energy and Commerce subcommittee hearing.  The NDAA also allows approvals of exports of non-sensitive nuclear technologies to be delegated to officials more junior than the secretary of energy. This would allow for much quicker approvals, which at times have taken more than a year. All exports to China and Russia would still have to be approved by the secretary of energy.  There was also language the bill on addressing climate change.
ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

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

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

Senate Commerce Hosts Pipeline Safety Field Hearing – The Senate Commerce Committee will convene a field hearing today at 10:00 a.m. in Traverse City, MI looking at pipeline safety in the Great Lakes.  Sen Gary Peters is hosting.  The hearing will focus on federal oil spill prevention efforts, preparedness and response capability in the event of an oil pipeline break in the Straits of Mackinac. Line 5, the 65-year-old pipeline crossing the Straits of Mackinac, has been the subject of multiple safety concerns, including damage from anchor strikes.  Witnesses include PHMSA Administrator Skip Elliott, USGC local Commander Joanna Nunan and NOAA’s Scott Lundgren, as well as Enbridge’s David Bryson, NWF’s Michael Shriberg, API’s David Murk, Chris Hennessy of the Michigan Laborers-Employers Cooperation and Education Trust (LECET) and local Brewer Larry Bell.

Senate EPW Looks at Flooding in Ellicott City Field Hearing – The Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works Subcommittee on Transportation and Infrastructure will hold a field hearing hosted by Sen. Cardin to provide oversight repeated flooding events in Ellicott City, MD. The hearing will be reviewing the Federal role in preventing future events.

NEI Hosts Reg Affairs Forum – NEI hosts its 2018 Regulatory Affairs Forum in Bethesda tomorrow through Thursday. Topics will focus on a broader issues including Operations, Engineering, and other leadership in the nuclear industry.  Along with Regulatory Affairs personnel, this diverse population will participate in a fast paced exploration of regulatory fundamentals, current and evolving regulatory issues and trends, and how their role; either on the front line, or in station leadership, impacts regulatory performance.

DOE Better Buildings Summit Set – The Advanced Manufacturing Office’s Better Plants Program will co-host the Department of Energy’s (DOE) 2018 Better Buildings Summit in Cleveland, Ohio from tomorrow through Thursday. The Summit is one of the premier events for energy professionals to engage with one another, explore and share innovative strategies, emerging technologies, financing trends, and much more. This year, the Summit will be held in conjunction with DOE’s annual Energy Exchange and will focus on federal facility energy management. Combining the Summit with the Energy Exchange will provide greater access to technical discussions, trainings, panel sessions, and networking opportunities.

Sen Energy Looks at Blockchain. Energy Efficiency, Holds Leg Hearing Wednesday – The Senate Energy Committee holds a hearing tomorrow at 10:00 a.m. to consider the energy efficiency of blockchain and similar technologies and the cybersecurity possibilities of such technologies for energy industry applications. In particular, should we expect electricity prices to increase from rising electricity demand in blockchain applications? In addition, how can we evaluate whether blockchain and similar approaches will soon improve the cybersecurity of computing systems used to supply our energy? Witnesses include Pacific NW Labs Paul Skare, EPRI’s Tom Golden, Claire Henly of the Energy Web Foundation and Princeton’s Arvind Narayanan. Then on Wednesday, the Public Lands, Forests, and Mining panel will also hold a legislative hearing on Wednesday looking at 14 bills including helium extraction, wild and scenic rivers, geologic mapping and fire protection.  Witnesses will include Sens Bennet and Udall, as well as BLM’s Chris McAlear and Forest Service’s Glenn Casamassa.

Fanning Headlines Senate Judiciary Look at Cybersecurity Threat – Southern Co. CEO Tom Fanning will testify at the Senate Judiciary Committee tomorrow at 2:30 p.m. to examine cyberthreats to the nation’s electrical grid.  Fanning is a member of the Electricity Subsector Coordinating Council, the chief coordinating liaison between the power sector and the federal government in preparing for attacks and “national-level incidents” against infrastructure like transmission lines. Other witnesses include Michael Moss, deputy director, Cyber Threat Intelligence Integration Center, Office of the Director of National Intelligence; Bob Kolasky, director, National Risk Management Center, National Protection and Programs Directorate, Department of Homeland Security; and James Lewis, senior vice president, Center for Strategic and International Studies.

Canadian Energy Expert to Look at Quebec Circular Economy – The Circular Economy Working Group holds its August monthly meeting on Wednesday at 6:00 p.m. at the Canadian Embassy Quebec Office.  The Group materialized from past Leaders in Energy workshops and activities on the circular economy.   At the August meeting, Charles Girard, Lead Energy, Cleantech, and Economic Attache at Quebec Government Office in Washington, will present on circular economy business activities in Quebec.

Forum to Look at Advanced Nuclear – The Global America Business Institute holds an event on advanced nuclear innovation at 12:00 p.m. on Thursday.  Speaker Ron Faibish – Senior Director of Business Development, Nuclear Technologies and Materials at General Atomics (GA) – will look at the topic.

ABA Teleconference to Discuss Fuel Economy – The American Bar Assn will host a teleconference on fuel economy and greenhouse gas standard reform on Thursday at 12:30 p.m.

EPA to Host IRIS Public Meeting – The EPA is hosting a public meeting on Thursday at 1:00 p.m. to receive feedback on the IRIS Assessment Plan (IAP) for Naphthalene. EPA has extended the public comment period until September 5, 2018.

IN THE FUTURE

Forum to Look at Regional Transportation – The Georgetown Climate Center will host an event next Monday at 1:00 p.m. in Largo to facilitated discussions designed to hear input on the topics of an innovative, low-carbon transportation future, residential and business transportation choices, improving environmental quality and public health benefits while also increasing mobility and modernizing the transportation system and policies/programs that could help achieve this vision.

USEA to Discuss Energy Employment – On Wednesday, August 29th at 10:00 a.m., the US Energy Assn hosts a presentation to summarize the high level results of the 2018 US Energy and Employment Report (USEER) in four key sectors of the American economy–Electric Power Generation and Fuels Production; Transmission, Distribution, and Storage; Energy Efficiency; and the Motor Vehicles Industry.  In addition to providing job numbers in emerging technologies, such as renewables, energy storage, and smart grid, the USEER analysis reveals the large number of direct employment that has gone uncounted in traditional energy sectors such as nuclear generation and fossil fuel production.  Two special features of the presentation include an analysis of jobs focused on energy efficiency and a breakdown of motor vehicles employment associated with alternative fuels and fuel efficiency.  Finally, the presentation will take a forward look at predicted employment growth in 2018 in each energy sector, the hiring difficulty experienced by energy employers, and a demographic overview of energy employment in America. David A. Foster of the Energy Futures Initiative, Speaks.

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

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

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

Energy Update: Week of April 1

Friends,

Hope everyone had a great Passover and Easter. It is not that rare that the religious dates occur in the same weekend and in fact 2015, this year, next year and 2020 all feature the Passover/Easter dates in the same weekend.

There is a new hero for NCAA Final Four lore: Notre Dame’s Arike Ogunbowale.  The Notre Dame junior sunk UConn on Friday night in OT with a last second shot, then yesterday hit a fade away 3-pointer at the buzzer to sink Mississippi State, giving Notre Dame the national title.  Meanwhile, Villanova dominated Kansas with outstanding shooting and Michigan ended Loyola’s miracle run by erasing a 10-point second half deficit to set up tonight’s title match in San Antonio.  Tip-off is at 9:20 p.m. Finally, it is Master’s Week. Practice rounds today and tomorrow, Par 3 Contest on Wednesday, tee off on Thursday. See the full schedule here.  Finally, on Thursday, the puck drops on the NCAA’s Frozen Four in St. Paul, MN with Michigan taking on Notre Dame and Ohio State facing off with Minnesota-Dulute (I know it is Duluth, but that’s how you say it!).

White House Easter Egg Roll today but still some action despite Congress being on the District Work Period for another week.  EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt is expected to formally announce a change in the Obama-era fuel economy standards.  Pruitt will likely make the announcement at an event at Pohanka Chevrolet in Chantilly, Va.—a dealership that’s part of the Pohanka Automotive Group led by Geoffrey Pohanka, a member of the National Automobile Dealers Association‘s board of directors.   My colleague Ed Krenik is working with NADA and he is a former EPA Congressional affairs liaison.  Also, if you are covering the fuel economy issue, my friends at SAFE are also a great resource on the topic.  Call Bridget Bartol at SAFE at 202-461-2361 or c: 954-594-0689.

Also, starting tomorrow, offshore wind energy executives will dive into how the industry is growing both in the U.S. and globally at the International Offshore Wind Partnering Forum in Princeton, N.J. Among the speakers are Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke and NJ Gov. Phil Murphy.

Finally, more than 20 energy groups including our friends at Clearpath, the Chamber’s Global Energy Institute and the Bipartisan Policy Center sent letters today to Senate and House Appropriations leaders to urge them to establish strategic goals for DOE’s energy innovation programs in the FY 2019 budget, specifically calling attention to research and development.

Call with questions.  Best,

Frank Maisano

(202) 828-586
c. (202) 997-5932

FRANKLY SPOKEN

 

“The robust global economy pushed up energy demand last year, which was mostly met by fossil fuels, while renewables made impressive strides.”

Dr. Fatih Birol, IEA’s Executive Director announcing its Global Energy and CO2 Status Report, 2017

 

ON THE POD

Bracewell Podcast Focuses on Trade – The latest Bracewell podcast is live on Stitcher, iTunes, SoundCloud, and Google Play Music. Former top college debater and PRG Researcher Ezra Louvis joins The Lobby Shop for the first time to discuss last week’s National Debate Tournament and the world of policy debate, a competitive activity that is a feature on the resumes of many Congress Members and top lobbyists. Josh Zive – one of the NDT judges, also peppers in quick updates on the newly imposed steel and aluminum tariffs, which we’ll cover in-depth in the coming weeks.

FUN OPINIONS

WSJ Weighs in on CPSCThe Wall Street Journal says in an editorial that Senate should restore some balance by confirming Consumer Product Safety Commissioners Ann Buerkle and Dana Baiocco to give the Republicans its majority on the Commission.  The WSJ Ed board says they should do it before the agency does more harm.

USA Today: Experts Say AVs Will Improve Safety – In an opinion piece in the USA Today, former National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) Mark Rosenker  and Securing America’s Future Energy (SAFE) Autonomous Vehicles and Mobility Innovation expert Amitai Bin-Nun argue the tragic accident in Arizona, when an Uber self-driving car killed a pedestrian, highlights complex ethical questions that companies face as they develop self-driving cars in an environment that lacks a detailed federal framework.

IN THE NEWS

China Hits Back on Tariffs –  China is moving forward today with a plan to counter President Trump’s new tariffs on steel and aluminum, levying duties on more than $3 billion in U.S. exports to the country, including agricultural Products and ethanol.  The Chinese government said it would impose the retaliatory tariffs on 128 products including a 15% tariff increase on goods including American fruit and nuts and a 25% tariff on pork, recycled aluminum and other goods.

DTE to Expand Renewable DTE Energy has submitted its 2018 Renewable Energy Plan to the Michigan Public Service Commission (MPSC) proposing approximately 1,000 additional megawatts of carbon-free electricity from new wind and solar projects in Michigan scheduled to be completed by 2022. If approved, these new renewable energy projects would drive investment of more than $1.7 billion in Michigan and double DTE’s renewable energy capacity from 1,000 megawatts to 2,000 megawatts – enough clean energy to power over 800,000 homes. The company in June 2016 also outlined plans to close eight coal-fired units at three of its Michigan sites over the next seven years. In 2016, the company supplied 60% of its power from coal.  DTE’s new renewable plan includes about 1,000 additional megawatts of zero-carbon electricity, including several new wind parks slated to come online in the next few years. The utility also intends to add 15 megawatts of solar power in Michigan over the next three years.

Gerard Heads to Salt Lake City, Mormon Church – A number of us predicted this, but API President Jack Gerard said he will be moving to Salt Lake City to take a senior position with the Mormon Church when he steps down from the oil industry trade association in August. Gerard will serve as General Authority Seventy of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the church announced this weekend. Gerard said the position will require him to relocate his family to the church’s headquarters in Utah.

IEA Carbon Report Shows Progress – The International Energy Agency (IEA) issued its assessment, Global Energy and CO2 Status Report, 2017 Report.  The IEA reviews aspects of global energy use and greenhouse gas emission rates annually.  The Report finds that, for 2017 world-wide demand for energy increased 2.1% over that for 2016.  CO2 emission rates derived from that demand increased by 1.4%.  Interestingly, it is once again showing that energy intensity is improving.  Finally, the Report also shows  Oil demand grew by 1.6%, more than twice the average annual rate seen over the past decade, driven by the transport sector (in particular a growing share of SUVs and trucks in major economies) as well as rising petrochemical demand. Natural gas consumption grew 3%, the most of all fossil fuels, with China alone accounting for nearly a third of this growth, and the buildings and industry sectors contributing to 80% of the increase in global demand.  Coal demand rose about 1%, reversing declines over the previous two years, driven by an increase in coal-fired electricity generation mostly in Asia. Renewables had the highest growth rate of any fuel, meeting a quarter of world energy demand growth, as renewables-based electricity generation rose 6.3%, driven by expansion of wind, solar and hydropower. Electricity generation increased by 3.1%, significantly faster than overall energy demand, and India and China together accounting for 70% of the global increase. Energy efficiency improvements slowed significantly, with global energy intensity improving by only 1.7% in 2017 compared with 2.3% on average over the last three years, caused by an apparent slowdown in efficiency policy coverage and stringency and lower energy prices. Fossil fuels accounted for 81% of total energy demand in 2017, a level that has remained stable for more than three decades.

Gallup Poll Interesting Climate Views – A new Gallup climate change survey shows that Americans’ concerns about global warming are not much different from the record-high levels they were at a year ago. However, the views of some partisans have shifted, creating larger gaps than what Gallup saw last year across all questions about global warming.  Gallup’s annual survey about the environment, conducted March 1-8, found that Americans’ opinions about global warming, like many other issues, have increasingly become politically polarized.

New Report Look at Nuclear Power Challenge with Russia, China – The Atlantic Council’s Global Energy Center on March 29th will release its newest report US Nuclear-Power Leadership and the Chinese and Russian Challenge. The report examines the challenges facing the US nuclear industry and the geopolitical implications for the United States presented by domestic and international nuclear developments in China and Russia, while identifying key policy issues ripe for further work.  The report author is Dr. Robert F. Ichord, Jr., Nonresident Senior Fellow at the Global Energy Center and former deputy assistant secretary for energy transformation.

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

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

Oklahoma Pipeline Expo Set – The Pipeline and Energy Expo is being held at the Cox Business Center in Tulsa tomorrow through Thursday.  The conference sessions and panel discussions are presented by leading industry experts who share insights and real world applications of recent developments in pipeline technology, maintenance and operations integrity.

EPRI to Offer Assessment – The Electric Power Research Institute holds a news conference tomorrow at Noon at the National Press Club looking at its U.S. National Electrification Assessment. EPRI leadership will review key findings and discuss implications in the context of EPRI’s Efficient Electrification Initiative. A preview of the study is available here.

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

Energy Week Events Set at Carnegie Mellon – Carnegie Mellon University’s Wilton E. Scott Institute for Energy Innovation hosts Energy Week tomorrow through Friday. The three-day symposium, which is free and open to the public, will include nationally-recognized thought leaders as speakers and panelists, a new “CMU Energy + Cleantech Investors Forum,” a celebration for the Sherman and Joyce Bowie Scott Hall’s LEED Gold Recognition, and a regional collegiate competition supported by the Department of Energy which will award more than $60,000 to student teams during the final session.

GWU Looks at FEMA Strategic Plan – The George Washington University’s Center for Cyber and Homeland Security holds a discussion on Wednesday at 10:00 a.m. looking at FEMA’s recently released “2018-2022 Strategic Plan. FEMA Deputy Administrator Dr. Daniel Kaniewski will speak.

Wilson Center Looks at Arctic Science — The Woodrow Wilson Center Science and Technology Innovation Program hosts a discussion on Wednesday at 10:30 a.m. on engaging the public in Arctic Science. WWC’s Scholars’ Science and Technology Innovation Program, Serious Games Initiative, and Polar Initiative will host a panel on the public communication of environmental sciences in Alaska.

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

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

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

Columbia Energy Center  Holds Forum on Digital Tech, Energy – Thursday evening in NYC, Columbia’s Center on Global Energy Policy hold a presentation and discussion with Dave Turk, IEA’s Acting Director for the Sustainability, Technology and Outlooks Directorate and Head of the Energy Division, who co-led this new IEA analysis and will present the report’s key findings. Following Mr. Turk’s presentation, Patricia Culligan, Robert A.W. and Christine S. Carleton Professor of Civil Engineering and member of the Data Science Institute’s Smart Cities Committee at Columbia University, will join him on a panel to engage in a discussion on the fascinating confluence of digital technologies and energy. CGEP Fellow, John MacWilliams will moderate the conversation.

Water Forum Set at UDC – The American Water Resources Assn holds its 2018 National Capital Region Water Resources Symposium Friday morning  an at UDC and will look at resilient solutions for Water Management in Urban Environment, including advances in research, technology, financing and policy. The agenda will include a keynote address and invited panelists who will discuss the symposium theme, and breakout sessions featuring submitted oral and poster presentations in response to call for abstracts.

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

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

IN THE FUTURE

Energy Economists Hold Conference – The National capital area chapter of the US Association for Energy Economics holds its annual NCAC-USAEE conference on April 12th at GW University.  The keynoters are Gil Quiniones, CEO of NYPA, and Mark Mills of the Manhattan Institute.

Atlantic Report to Look at Oil Theft – Next Tuesday, April 10th 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.

SAFE Hold Forum on Auto Efficiencies – Next Tuesday, April 10th 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.

GU Forum to Feature World Bank Expert – Next Tuesday at 12:30 pm – 2:00 pm 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 April 11th 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.

Eni Head to Address Forum – Next 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.

USEA Hosts Annual Policy Forum – The U.S. Energy Association is hosting its annual membership meeting and policy forum on Thursday April 12th 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.

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 April 12th. 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 –U.S. AF.

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 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.

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

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.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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 February 8

Friends,

While Super Bowl 50 had its usual hype, the overall event just didn’t live up to it.  The game was a defensive struggle filled with turnovers, poor throws, penalties and sacks.  There was only one offensive TD, a missed field and lots of punts.  All of this made it kind of boring until one of the quarters landed on my numbers.  Even with that excitement, the commercials were average and the halftime show didn’t impress despite a new song from pop powerhouse Beyoncé.

Tomorrow voters head to the polls in New Hampshire despite another snowstorm to tell us the current state of both political races.  I’m actually glad that both Iowa and New Hampshire are finally going to be out of the way.  I always feel like their importance is overhyped in the presidential race.

With Presidents’ Day approaching next week the Congress has a short week this week.  The Senate continues action on its energy bill despite some roadblocks from the plant water crisis.  Senate Environment also looks at renewing WRDA.   The House tackles regulations in House Science on Wednesday and House Ag host EPA’s Gina McCarthy to look at the rural economy on Thursday.

A big event is Wednesday at 1:30 p.m. when NRECA, NRDC, the Peak Load Management Association, Great River Energy and The Brattle Group host a call to discuss new research on the economic and environmental benefits of a novel approach to demand response and energy storage, dubbed “community storage.”  The press call will feature a new report about community storage programs and technologies.   Let me know if you need the call-in info.

There are several important RESCHEDULED events this week including a Friday SAFE event that was rescheduled from the previous snowstorm focused on conflicts between Iran and Saudi Arabia with former officials John Hannah and Bob McNally, among several other experts.  Finally, SEJ is rescheduling its 4th annual “Year Ahead in Environment and Energy” event for Thursday at 3:00 p.m., where leading reporters and editors will discuss the critical issues that will shape 2016.

Other events include a three-day National Assn of State Energy Officials Conference starting tomorrow that will focus on the GHG rules at the Fairmont Hotel.  Also, on Wednesday, the American Constitution Society for Law and Policy hosts a discussion on combating climate change in the courts at the National Press Club.  Speakers will include RI Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, NRDC co-founder Richard Ayres, former EPA GC Roger Martella, Bordas & Bordas partner Sharon Eubanks (lead counsel for the U.S. in United States v. Phillip Morris), L former EPA counsel Lisa Heinzerling and more.  And Thursday, RFF and EPRI hosts hold a Seminar Breakfast at 8:30 a.m. looking at Clean Power Plan Strategic Modeling.

Finally, the annual budget parade starts this week when the president submits his budget to Congress tomorrow.  Last week he previewed one giant sore spot when he announced a $10 barrel tax on oil.  The proposal which will lead to a 25-cent gasoline increase is likely to be dead letter office.  Not even Democrats were very excited about that proposal in the election year.  Either way, the budget battles begin this week with the parade of a government officials heading to Capitol Hill, starting with Wednesday’s NRC hearing featuring all Four Commissioners.   USDA’s Tom Vilsack is in Ag Approps on Thursday morning.  Energy Secretary Moniz holds his budget briefing tomorrow at 2:30 p.m.

We have experts available on all the issue areas including my colleague and former House Appropriations staffer Ed Krenik and former Finance Committee tax/budget expert Curt Beaulieu.  Please call if you have questions.

Best,

Frank Maisano

(202) 828-5864

(202) 997-5932

 

IN THE NEWS

President Signals Gas Tax for Budget – Floating a major Lead balloon, President Obama said late last week that he will propose a $10-per-barrel crude oil tax as part of his budget tomorrow in order to fund about $300 billion worth of “sustainable transportation” programs over the next decade.  Republicans blasted the plan with glee, while most Democrats sat it out, hoping any talk of gas talks won’t infiltrate the 2016 campaign.

IPAA Fires Back –  The Independent Petroleum Association of America Spokesman Neal Kirby blasted the proposal saying “make no mistake, this is an energy consumer tax disguised as an oil company fee. At a time when oil companies are going through the largest financial crisis in over 25 years, it makes little sense to raise costs on the industry. This isn’t simply a tax on oil companies, it’s a tax on American consumers who are currently benefiting from low home heating and transportation costs.  This could also put American oil companies at a competitive disadvantage with foreign oil companies, as imported oil may not face the same treatment. For the first time in years, the U.S. Congress recently passed a highway funding bill. The Administration had the opportunity to raise funding for our nation’s highways during that time. Why now instead of then?”

Well Control Rule Heads to OMB – The Interior Department’s Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) sent its new standards for blowout preventers to the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) late last week for its review, a required step before finalization.  The BSEE rule would require third-party verification of design standards, enhanced onshore monitoring of performance and new engineering standards for operation.

WoodMac Study Underscores Problems – Last week, we mentioned the initial findings from a study conducted by international research consultancy Wood Mackenzie confirm that the high cost of a proposed new rule.  The findings showed that it could significantly reduce domestic energy production and curtail U.S. economic activity, energy supplies, and state and federal offshore revenues.  The new requirements included in the proposed rule call for far reaching changes to the rules by which the oil and gas operators are governed and would increase costs in a manner that will severely impact Gulf Coast economies.  According to initial findings released today, the study found that under an $80 oil assumption, comparable to the price assumptions used by BSEE in developing the rule, the Interior Department’s draft rule would:

  • Decrease exploration drilling by up to 55% or 10 wells annually
  • Reduce Gulf of Mexico production by as much as 35% by year 2030
  • Result in 105,000 – 190,000 jobs at risk by 2030; this may include jobs beyond the energy sector;
  • Most notably, 80% of these jobs could be in Louisiana and Texas.

AHRI, NRDC Align on Phasing Out Certain HFC Refrigerants – The Air-Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration Institute (AHRI) and the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) issued a joint letter to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in support of changing the status of certain refrigerants used in liquid chillers under the Significant New Alternatives Policy (SNAP) program effective January 1, 2025. The two groups took this action following lengthy discussions on the importance of moving beyond high-global warming potential (GWP) refrigerants used in chillers and consideration of factors such as the safety of alternatives, the continued improvement of system efficiency, reasonable product development timelines, and the avoidance of market migration. The effective date was negotiated with those factors in mind. “This is another example of industry and efficiency advocates working together toward environmental progress, while allowing sufficient time and predictability for manufacturers,” said AHRI President & CEO Stephen Yurek. “We are grateful to the members of AHRI’s Liquid Chillers Product Section, who worked diligently to reach this agreement,” Yurek added.  The EPA is expected to decide in the coming months whether or not to accede to this consensus recommendation.

Nuclear Society Releases ToolKit – The American Nuclear Society introduced the Nuclear in the States Toolkit, Version 1.0 today at a media event in Washington, D.C.  The toolkit catalogs policies related to new and existing nuclear reactors for state policymakers to consider as they draft their Clean Power Plan compliance strategies. It was developed by the ANS Special Committee on Nuclear in the States to catalog the myriad policy options available at the state-level to support new and existing nuclear energy facilities. “This report is intended to prompt discussion about nuclear as a reliable clean-energy source. ANS does not endorse or support any specific policy pathway. The intent of this report is to serve as a menu of policy options for state policymakers to consider as they move ahead on their clean energy compliance plans,” said ANS President Eugene S. Grecheck.  Among the subjects covered in the toolkit are electricity capacity markets, governmental support, public hearings, and tax policies. There are also policy- and market-based tools included with comments and examples provided for each tool. By developing this guide ANS hopes to prevent further nuclear plant closures and promote new plant builds.

 

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

NAS to Look at Rural Electricity Issues – Today and Tomorrow, the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine and the Quadrennial Energy Review Task Force will hold a technical workshop on electricity use in rural and islanded communities. Workshop topics will include attributes of electricity use and distribution systems associated with rural electricity users, islanded residents, and isolated demand centers;  challenges and opportunities for increasing efficiency, reducing emissions and costs, and resiliency in such locations; and innovative clean energy strategies being undertaken in such locations.

Forum, Report to Highlight LNG Exports – The Atlantic Council will hold a panel today and launch its Eurasian Energy Futures Initiative with the report “Surging Liquefied Natural Gas Trade, How US Exports Will Benefit European and Global Gas Supply Diversity, Competition, and Security” authored by Global Energy Center Senior Fellow and former leading CIA analyst Bud Coote.  The report analyzes global LNG market developments and the potential role of US LNG in Europe and Asia. The EU’s move toward a freer energy market and a global shift toward gas by climate conscious consumers are likely to help fuel growing demand for US LNG in the coming years. The strong match between Europe’s energy objectives and US LNG exporters’ goals will not only bolster a secure and competitive energy market in Europe, but help lead the fight against climate change.  Coote and Fabrice Vareille, Head of Transport, Energy, and Environment Section of the EU Delegation to the United States, will discuss.

Wind Summit to Look at Finance, Investment – Infocast is holding its annual Wind Power Finance & Investment Summit today through Wednesday at the Rancho Bernardo Inn in San Diego.   Now that the PTC question has been settled, the Summit will focus on the critical issues and opportunities for the wind industry, including the impacts of EPA’s Clean Power Plan on Wind, long-term outlook for natural gas prices, the outlook for tax equity and debt and many other topics.

NASEO Energy Policy Outlook Conference to Focus on GHG Plans, Other Issues – The National Assn of State Energy Officials hosts a three-day Conference starting tomorrow that will focus on the GHG rules at the Fairmont Hotel.   Ernest Moniz is Keynote Speaker Wednesday and former Trade Rep Ron Kirk will speak Thursday.  Our friend Bryan Hannegan of the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, will also speak among the many panels.

ICF to Present 2016 Fuels Outlook – ICF International will hold a webinar tomorrow to look at the 2016 Fuels Outlook.  ICF’s Joel Bluestein will present and provide insights on how the fuel sector may trend in the new year as well as the risks and opportunities the sector presents. Topics will include the effects of continued low oil prices on North American energy production; the outlook for LNG exports and, with the lifting of the ban, crude oil exports; key drivers of natural gas demand in the near term; Investment outlook for natgas infrastructure and the implications of the Clean Power Plan.

WCEE Feature Paris Climate Discussion – The Women’s Council on Energy and the Environment will host a forum tomorrow at 12:00 noon to hear from four organizations about their participation in COP21, their thoughts on the agreement, and how they’re getting to work on implementation.   Speakers will include Astrid Caldas of the Union of Concerned Scientists, Jennifer Huang of Center for Climate & Energy Solutions (C2ES), Anne Kelly of Ceres and Tanya Primiani of the World Bank.

Forum to Look at Iran Oil Contracts – Tomorrow at 3:00 p.m., the Atlantic Council will host a discussion of Iran petroleum issues and contracts.  Yeganeh Torbati of Reuters will moderate a discussion on how the new IPC differ from the current investment structure in Iran and its impacts on regions like Iraq.  The panel will feature the following renowned experts on Iran and energy: Dr. Sara Vakhshouri, Nonresident Senior Fellow at the Atlantic Council Global Energy Center and President of SVB Energy International, Dr. Suzanne Maloney, Deputy Director of the Foreign Policy program at the Brookings Institution, and Guly Sabahi, a Partner with the energy sector team at Dentons.

Forum to Focus on Climate Action – The Johns Hopkins University, the Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) and the Embassy of Peru will hold a forum tomorrow at 6:00 p.m. for the inauguration of the Seminar Series “Embassy Talks.”  Professor Francisco E. González and Gabriel Quijandría will present a dissertation about “From Lima to Paris: Assessing International Efforts to Strengthen Climate Action”.  This seminar will assess how the COP20 set the stage for the successful negotiation of the COP21 Paris Agreement. The seminar will place particular emphasis on the role that Latin American countries played in the COP20 and COP21 conferences in order to gauge the achievements and limitations of regional cooperation with regard to one of the most important and high-stakes medium- and long-term multilateral issues of the 21st century.

Energy Ministers Meet in Canada – The North American Energy Ministers  are meeting Wednesday and Thursday in Winnipeg, Canada.  If you think we may get some snow On Wednesday, it will be colder up there.  The meeting will discuss current energy strategies on GHGs, Oil prices and many other Items.  The meetings will Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz, Canadian Minister of Natural Resources Jim Carr and Mexican Secretary of Energy Pedro Joaquín Coldwell.

Nuclear Innovation Conference Set – The Energy Innovation Reform Project and Oak Ridge will hold a nuclear innovation conference on Wednesday and Thursday in Oak Ridge, TN. Continuing on the important work of the 2015 Advanced Reactors Technical Summit II at UMass Lowell and the inaugural 2014 Special Technical Symposium at Argonne National Laboratory, the Technical Summit III will continue the discussion on approaches for improving the cost and deployment time frame of advanced reactors. Specifically the Summit III will engage in a discussion of common ground practical ideas and concepts that have the potential of significantly accelerating advanced reactor design, deployment, and operations. The Technical Summit III features the leading advanced reactor concepts as well as key thought and policy leaders.  Speakers will include NRC Commissioner William Ostroff and DOE’s John Kotek, among many others.

House Science to Look at Regulations – The full House Science Committee will hold a hearing on Wednesday at 10:00 a.m. looking at last-year regulations examining executive branch overreach.  Witnesses will include Karen Kerrigan of the Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council, Bosworth Air Conditioning President Jerry Bosworth, ASE’s Kateri Callahan and Sam Batkins of the American Action Forum.

House Approps Starts Budget Process with NRC Commissioners – The House Appropriations Committee’s Subcommittee on Energy and Water Development, and Related Agencies will hold a budget hearing on the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.  Witnesses include all the commissioners and Chairman Burns.

Senate Environment to Look at WRDA Reform – The Senate Environment Committee holds a hearing on Wednesday looking at enacting a new Water Resources Development Act. Witnesses for the hearing will include Bob Portiss, port director for the Tulsa, Okla., Port of Catoosa and several others.

Coalition Start Effort to Boost Community Storage – NRECA, NRDC, the Peak Load Management Association, Great River Energy and The Brattle Group host a call Wednesday at 1:30 p.m. to discuss new research on the economic and environmental benefits of a novel approach to demand response and energy storage, dubbed “community storage.”  The press call will feature a new report about community storage programs and technologies.  The group will also announce the launch of “Community Storage Initiative” and release of new research from The Brattle Group on how residential water heaters can serve as energy storage devices to benefit electric customers and the grid.

Climate Legal Battle Roundtable on Tap – On Wednesday, the American Constitution Society for Law and Policy holds a discussion on combating climate change in the courts at the National Press Club.  Speakers will include RI Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, NRDC co-founder Richard Ayres, former EPA GC Roger Martella, Bordas & Bordas partner Sharon Eubanks (lead counsel for the U.S. in United States v. Phillip Morris), L former EPA counsel Lisa Heinzerling and more.

Forum to Look at Paris Outcome – The Environmental and Energy Study Institute (EESI) holds a briefing on Wednesday in G50 Dirksen discussing the climate deal that came out of the 2015 Paris climate change conference, as well as what lies ahead for the 185 countries that pledged to reduce their emissions.  The discussion will focus on what commitments countries have made in the international deal on climate, and what the deal will mean for emission levels and the climate.  Speakers for this forum are State’s Deputy Assistant Secretary for Environment Dan Reifsnyder, Bruno Fulda of the Embassy of France and Georg Maue of the Embassy of Germany.

GWU Forum to Feature Scarlett, Boots – On Wednesday at 5:30 p.m. in GWU’s Jack Morton Auditorium, the Trachtenberg School of Public Policy & Public Administration and School of Media & Public Affairs will hold a discussion of climate change moderated by Frank Sesno, director of the School of Media and Public Affairs and the creator and host of Planet Forward, a user-driven web and television project that highlights innovations in sustainability.  The centrist discussion, “Finding Common Ground: Climate Solutions for the Next Administration,” will feature former Bush Interior official Lynn Scarlett (now at The Nature Conservancy) and CEQ head Mike Boots.

ACCO to Talk with Better Buildings Director – The Association of Climate Change Officers will hold a roundtable on Wednesday at 4:30 p.m.  with Maria Vargas. Vargas is the Director of the Better Buildings Challenge at the Department of Energy. The goal of the Better Buildings Challenge is to make American buildings 20 percent more efficient by 2020. This leadership initiative involves chief executive officers, University presidents and state and local leaders that have committed to upgrading buildings across their portfolio and providing their energy savings data and strategies as models for others to follow.

RFF/EPRI to Look at GHG Modeling – Resources for the Future (RFF) and the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) will hold a Seminar Breakfast on Thursday at 8:30 a.m. looking at Clean Power Plan Strategic Modeling.  Industry leaders, policymakers, and the public still have questions about how the Clean Power Plan will impact the mix of power generation, the interconnected grid, cross-state electricity markets, and how consumers use electricity. New modeling results from researchers at Resources for the Future and the Electric Power Research Institute provide strategic insight into these questions and more. This event is the second in RFF and EPRI’s 2016 Clean Power Plan series. Watch the video from the first event, where experts discussed formal comments to EPA on the federal plan and trading rules.

House Ag to Host McCarthy on Rural Economy – The House Agriculture Committee will hold a public hearing on Thursday to consider the impacts of EPA’s actions on the rural economy featuring Gina McCarthy.  McCarthy will be called on to explain her agency’s decisions and discuss with members of Congress how we might work together to ensure that future actions by the EPA do not harm American agriculture.

JHU to Host Energy Expert on Low Oil Prices – On Thursday at 12:30 p.m., Johns Hopkins University will host a conversation with energy expert J. Robinson West.  West is a senior adviser with CSIS’ Energy and National Security Program. The former chairman of PFC Energy, he has advised chief executives of leading national and international oil and gas companies on corporate strategy, portfolio management, acquisitions, divestitures and investor relations.  West founded PFC Energy in 1984 and built it into a global consulting firm staffed with 130 professionals specializing in the oil and gas industries.

CAP Forum to Discuss Global Food Security – The Center for American Progress will host a panel discussion on Thursday at 3:00 p.m. at the National Press Club with leading voices at the forefront of the global conversation on food security.  They will also release the findings and recommendations of a new report “Food Chain Reaction: A Global Food Security Game.”  The event will feature keynote remarks from CAP Chairman Senator Tom Daschle and an expert panel moderated by Bloomberg News food security reporter Alan Bjerga.  Panelists include an international set of Food Chain Reaction participants, including Cargill Economist Tim Bodin, World Wildlife Fund Senior Vice President for Agriculture David McLaughlin, Vice President of Public Affairs for Mars Incorporated Matthias Berninger, EMBRAPA Labex-USA Coordinator Geraldo Martha, and The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) Senior Fellow Nutan Kaushik.  Panelists will discuss the role public- and private-sector stakeholders need to play as population grows, standards of living rise, and the need to produce more food presents new demands on global leaders and our planet.

RESCHEDULED – SEJ, Wilson to Look at 2016 Enviro Issues – On Thursday at 3:00 p.m., the Society of Environmental Journalists and the Environmental Change and Security Program at Wilson will hold its 4th annual “Year Ahead in Environment and Energy” event, where leading reporters and editors will discuss the critical issues that will shape 2016. Jessica Coomes, deputy news director at Bloomberg BNA, will present Bloomberg BNA’s Environment Outlook 2016, followed by a panel discussion featuring leading journalists.  A reception sponsored by The Nature Conservancy, Resource Media, Environmental Law Institute, Bloomberg BNA, and the Wilson Center’s Science and Technology Innovation Program will follow.  Speakers will include HuffPost’s Laura Barron-Lopez, SEJ President Jeff Burnside, former LA Times reporter Marla Cone (now at National Geographic), Bloomberg BNA’s Jessica Coomes, Chris Mooney of the Washington Post, E&E News Manuel Quinones, BNA’s Dean Scott and  former BaltSun reporter (now at Chesapeake Bay Journal) Tim Wheeler.

RESCHEDULED: SAFE Forum to Look at Iran, Saudi Arabia Conflict – Securing America’s Future Energy and the Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD) Capitol Hill lunch event has been rescheduled for Friday at 10:00 a.m.  The event will discuss the rising tensions between Iran and Saudi Arabia and U.S. energy and national security interests in the region and feature  SAFE Energy Security Leadership Council member General Charles F. Wald (U.S. Air Force, Ret.), former NSC head John Hannah, former National Economic Council official Bob McNally and FP Correspondent Indira Lakshmanan.

 

FUTURE EVENTS

NE ISO Chief to Address Dinner – Next Tuesday evening, February 16th, the National Capitol Area of the US Assn Of Energy Economists will host its annual dinner featuring a presentation by Gordon van Welie of ISO-New England on balancing clean energy integration with reliable and competitive power markets.  van Welie is president and chief executive officer of ISO New England Inc., having previously served at Siemens Power Transmission & Distribution LLC, where he served as vice president and general manager of the Power Systems Control Division and was responsible for managing information technology solutions for electric companies.

CSIS to Look at Oil Markets for 2016 – The CSIS Energy and National Security Program will host a public session on Wednesday February 17th at 10:00 a.m. to preview what 2016 may look like and the state of the oil market. The panel will discuss updated forecasts of supply and demand, the outlook for U.S. unconventionals production, and the implications for the midstream and refining sector. A month into the new year, oil and gas markets, companies, and lenders are off to a turbulent start, in many ways continuing trends from over the past 18 months. Despite the risk of supply disruptions around the globe and the most recent uptick in oil prices, resilient production, especially from the United States, Saudi Arabia, Russia, and Iraq, combined with the reentry of Iranian volumes, a strong dollar, abundant inventories, and the uncertainty surrounding new demand growth are likely to sustain low prices well into this year.  Speakers will include EIA’s Howard Gruenspecht and several others.

Forum to Look at Climate Innovation, Partnerships – On Thursday, February 18th at 9:00 a.m., the Wilson Center will hold a forum on Innovation in solving climate goals.  Debra Knopman and Zhimin Mao from RAND will discuss how RAND has worked with the Guangdong Provincial Department of Housing and Rural Development since 2011 to develop a system of quality of life indicators and identify policy options to advance sustainability in the Pearl River Delta region. Mark Ginsberg, Senior Fellow at U.S. Green Building Council and Principal of Ginsberg Green Strategies, will discuss how various LEED certification and scoring mechanisms are helping Chinese cities and professionals better measure and manage buildings and other urban systems. Abby Watrous, Senior ORISE Fellow at the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), will discuss how DOE is working with the China Energy Group at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory to deploy low-carbon development policy and planning tools for cities across China.

CSIS Hears BP Energy Outlook – The CSIS Energy and National Security Program will host a presentation on Thursday February 18th at 10:30 a.m. of the BP Energy Outlook – 2016 Edition with Spencer Dale , Group Chief Economist with BP p.l.c. The BP Energy Outlook attempts to describe the “most likely” trajectory of the global energy system – based upon assumptions around economic and population growth as well as developments in policy and technology – as well as examining key uncertainties. Questions to be addressed in the 2016 edition include: what factors will shape energy markets over the next 20 years? What impact would a slowdown in global economic growth have on energy demand? How could agreements reached at COP21 affect energy consumption?

Forum to Look at Low Oil Price Impacts – The Atlantic Council’s Global Energy Center and the Adrienne Arsht Latin America Center will hold a discussion on Friday February 19th at 12:30 p.m. the impact of low oil prices on economic and political stability in Latin America. The collapse in crude oil prices since mid-2014 has shaken the foundation of global energy markets, with far-reaching economic implications in Latin America. Today, governments across the region face fiscal constraints, market upheaval, challenges to longstanding fuel subsidy programs, and lagging economic growth. Some are adapting creatively, while others are not. With this volatile landscape as a backdrop, panelists will address the following questions about impacts of the low-price environment.

Forum to Look at Enviro Justice Issues in GHG Plan – On February 22, at 3:00 p.m., the Environmental and Energy Study Institute (EESI) is rescheduling its GHG briefing cancelled by the January snow storm.  The forum will be a webinar and discuss how environmental justice (EJ) is addressed through EPA’s Clean Power Plan.  The panel will explore how incorporating environmental justice concerns into the Clean Power Plan’s implementation can impact vulnerable communities.  Speakers for this forum include EPA Senior Advisor to the Administrator for Environmental Justice Mustafa Ali.

IEA Medium-Term Oil Report Released – On Wednesday, February 24th at 1:00 p.m., the CSIS Energy and National Security Program will host Keisuke Sadamori, Director of the Office for Energy Markets and Security with the International Energy Agency (IEA) to present the IEA’s 2016 Medium-Term Oil Market Report (MTOMR). Our friend Kevin Book, Managing Director with ClearView Energy Partners LLC, and Senior Associate with the CSIS Energy and National Security Program will moderate the discussion.

Canada Energy Future Highlighted – The CSIS Energy Program will feature a discussion on March 2nd of Canada’s 2016 energy future.  The event will feature members of the Canadian National Energy Board, including Abha Bhargava, Director of Energy Integration, as well as Energy Futures Project Managers Bryce Van Sluys and Matthew Hansen.

GEA Sets Geo Energy Showcase – The Geothermal Energy Assn will be holding its 3rd U.S. and International Geothermal Energy Showcase in Washington, DC on Thursday, March 17th at the Ronald Reagan International Trade Center. This year’s Showcase will focus on the building blocks for successful geothermal projects and highlight key geothermal projects, trends, and governmental policies in the U.S. and the international markets. The program will showcase geothermal projects, trends, and governmental policies in the U.S. and around the world. Topics covered will include: the geothermal market today, projects under development in the U.S. and internationally, outlook for the future of the geothermal market, policies driving geothermal development, new technologies, and federal agency support at home and abroad.

Chamber to Host Aviation Summit – The U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation are hosting the 15th annual Aviation Summit on Tuesday, March 22nd at the Renaissance Hotel to bring together top experts and leaders from all sectors of aviation to discuss critical issues facing the industry. The 2016 Summit will focus on innovation and emerging technologies.

Water Power Conferences Set for DC – The all-new Waterpower Week in Washington will present three events in one, showcasing the entire world of waterpower.  The National Hydropower Association Annual Conference, International Marine Renewable Energy Conference and Marine Energy Technology Symposium will all take place at the Capital Hilton in Washington, D.C., April 25-27.

Energy Update: Week of January 19

Friends,

As we prep for the “massive” snow headed toward the East Coast (hurry up and rush out to get your bread and milk) we should remember that it is winter.  Regardless, stay tuned and we’ll be ready to report to you next week regardless of the weather.

Keeping it short this week because I’m still on a birthday downer.  As I get older, I just see it as another day, but I feel really humbled and blessed by all the folks who took a minute out of their day to wish me well over the weekend.  Thanks for that.  Presents:  A great new USA Field Hockey pullover for umpiring and a new visor for my Hockey helmet.  Can’t ask for more than that…other than a few more grants to help pay for Hannah’s Wellesley tuition this summer.

We are two weeks away from Iowa votes and it is getting really busy including tomorrow’s annual Iowa Renewable Fuels Summit.  The Nation’s mayors are in DC this week for the 84th Winter Meeting so you can expect to hear about climate actions and other energy issues.

Meantime, the Senate returns this week while the House returns next .  A couple of good hearings in Senate Energy  this week with EIA’s Adam Sieminski and our friend Jim Lucier on Energy markets today and Thursday experts on auto innovations.  Tomorrow, the Senate Foreign Affairs Committee digs into Iran issues following the weekend’s moves on sanctions and swapping prisoners.  We can cover a lot of issues from human rights to Iran oil issues, so please let us know.

Off the Hill, FTC holds a panel this morning on emerging trends in the auto industry, such as car-sharing, connected cars, and autonomous vehicles, which will feature SAFE CEO Robbie Diamond following the DOT announcements last week for $4B self-driving car pilot projects over a 10-year span.

Kudos to Rep./Dr. Phil Sharp, RFF President and former U.S. Congressman from Indiana, who will receive the second Schlesinger Medal for Energy Security from Energy Secretary Moniz tomorrow at 10:30 a.m.  Cato holds a forum at 11:00 a.m. on GMOs and the future of the global food supply and medical innovations.  And the Washington Auto Show also launches it policy day on Capitol Hill that will explore how technology is making our nation’s roads and vehicles safer and infrastructure smarter and transforming the way we live, work and travel featuring Michigan Sen. Gary Peters and our friend Joe White of ThomsonReuters.   Media day will be Thursday.

Also on Thursday, US Energy Assn hosts its 12th annual State of the Energy Industry Forum in the National Press Club.  Senior leaders from the energy industry’s major trade associations will provide their outlook and overview of their priorities for 2016.

Finally, on Friday at 3:00 p.m., the Society of Environmental Journalists and the Environmental Change and Security Program at the Wilson Center will hold its 4th annual “Year Ahead in Environment and Energy” event, where leading reporters and editors will discuss the critical issues that will shape 2016.

Call if you have questions and are not snowed in…

Best,

Frank Maisano
(202) 828-5864
(202) 997-5932

 

IN THE NEWS

Industry, Advocates Reach Agreement on AC Efficiency Standard – Industry and efficiency advocates reached an agreement last week on a new energy efficiency rule for residential central air-conditioners and heat pumps. The deal will save around 2.8 quadrillion Btu over the 30-year life of the new standard (for reference, the U.S. consumed about 97 quads in 2011). The previous version was finalized in 2011 and the Energy Department is required to complete a new standard for the equipment by June 2017 or state that one isn’t economically justified given current technology. But in an effort to keep the rule on schedule, DOE organized a negotiated rulemaking process last year between industry and advocates. While the agreement is a big deal, other approvals are needed and DOE still has to turn the details into a proposed rule.

White House Proposes $4B for Self-Driving Cars – In an announcement at the Detroit Auto Show, Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx says the 2017 budget proposal will include $4B for self-driving car pilot projects over a 10-year span. Among other things, the funds would cover a program to test self-driving cars on technologically advanced roads.  To encourage tests, the DOT also plans to make up to 2,500 self-driving cars exempt from some proposed safety rules for up to two years, and to work with state governments to create state regulations for autonomous vehicles.  Remember, last year in October, there was a NPC Newsmaker on the topic that including Google advisor and former GM exec Larry Burns, Domino’s Pizza EVP Lynn Liddle and Robbie Diamond, President of SAFE, who respectively spoke to the implications of driverless cars for the business community and the opportunity to reduce America’s dependence on oil.  SAFE also formed an Autonomous Vehicle Task Force, a group of leading experts that are guiding action plans to facilitate the widespread deployment of this transformative technology.

SAFE CEO Says DOT Regs Good Start – In response to DOT Secretary Foxx’s announcement of pending regulations on driverless and connected cars, SAFE President and CEO Robbie Diamond said the United States is crossing the threshold into the largest transformation in transportation since the invention of the automobile. Diamond: “Driverless, connected cars will save lives, reducing road fatalities by 90 percent. They will also encourage the mass deployment of electric vehicles and lessen America’s dependence on oil through improved fuel efficiency, diversity and drastically different ownership models.   With the government setting aside $4 billion over 10 years for pilot programs to put the rubber to the road, it demonstrates the need to test and prove this technology immediately on public streets. This does not, however, need to be a large, expensive government program. Any future rules at the national or state level should be minimal until proven necessary to give businesses the space to continue their investment in transportation innovation. Accelerating driverless vehicle technology will reduce fatalities and injuries, drastically lower healthcare costs, offer more fuel choice, cut congestion, and give mobility to millions of people who currently have none due to age or disability.”  We can find you great resources on this topic, so please let me know if you are covering it.

Solar Jobs Expanding – The Solar Foundation released its highly anticipated jobs report, which found that the U.S. solar industry employed about 209,000 people last year.  SF’s National Solar Jobs Census 2015 is the 6th annual update of current employment, trends and projected growth in the U.S. solar industry. Census 2015 found that the industry continues to exceed growth expectations, adding workers at a rate nearly 12 times faster than the overall economy and accounting for 1.2% of all jobs created in the U.S. over the past year. Our long-term research shows that solar industry employment has grown by 123% in the past six years, resulting in nearly 115,000 domestic living-wage jobs.  The solar workforce is larger than the oil and gas extraction industry, which shed 13,800 jobs in 2015 and now employs 187,200 people. The oil and gas pipeline construction industry, which employs 129,500 workers, lost 9,500 jobs (U.S. BLS) during the same period. The solar industry is already three times larger than the coal-mining industry, which employs 67,929 people (JobsEQ 2015Q3). Solar employers surveyed expect to add more than 30,000 jobs over the next 12 months. The expected increase of 14.7% would bring the count of U.S. solar workers to 239,625 by the end of 2016.

Foundation Awards Scholarships to HVACR Students, Veterans – The Clifford H. “Ted” Rees, Jr., Scholarship Foundation, a 501(c)(3) charitable foundation of the Air-Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration Institute (AHRI), today announced $60,500 in scholarship funds to 35 students, including five veterans, studying to become technicians in the HVACR and water heating industry.  The awards are for qualified and dedicated students that are pursuing careers in the HVACR and water heating industry that can help close the employment and skills gaps, according to AHRI CEO Steve Yurek.   Since the Rees Scholarship Foundation was founded in 2003, it has awarded almost $440,000 in scholarships to more than 250 deserving students and instructors. For a list of past scholarship recipients, click here.   The Rees Scholarship Foundation was established to assist with the recruitment and competency of future HVACR and water heating technicians by awarding scholarships to qualified students enrolled in an institutionally accredited school. Eligible students must be preparing for a career in either residential or light commercial air conditioning, heating, or water heating, or commercial refrigeration.

Murkowski, Faison Set Marker for Republican Climate Energy – U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski and a conservative clean-energy advocate say there is vast untapped potential for hydropower across the country in a New York Times op-ed that ran last week. Murkowski and Jay Faison call on the president to back the energy bill for its hydropower provisions. Murkowski and Faison say they “believe climate change is a threat, and appreciate [Obama’s] offer to collaborate.” They argue that the president should back the energy bill because it clears away bureaucratic red tape that slows the growth of hydropower, a zero-emission power source that faces opposition from environmentalists and a costly relicensing process.

DOE Awards Southern to Grant to Lead Advanced Nuclear Tech Development – Southern Company was awarded up to $40 million from DOE to explore, develop and demonstrate advanced nuclear reactor technologies through subsidiary Southern Company Services.  The effort will be managed through a new public-private partnership with TerraPower, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, the Electric Power Research Institute and Vanderbilt University. Housed at the DOE’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory, in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, the research will bolster the development of molten chloride fast reactors (MCFR), an advanced concept for nuclear generation.  Researchers believe MCFRs could provide enhanced operational performance, safety, security and economic value, relative to other advanced reactor concepts. The MCFR project is one of two DOE cost-shared advanced reactor concept development projects awarded $6 million in 2016, with an opportunity for $40 million each in total funding over multiple years.  A long-standing proponent of nuclear power, Southern Company – through its subsidiaries – is the only electric utility in America today developing the full portfolio of energy resources, including being one of the first to build new nuclear units in more than 30 years. The company is building the two new nuclear units at subsidiary Georgia Power’s Plant Vogtle, which are expected to provide enough emission-free generation to power 500,000 homes and businesses.

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

Detroit Auto Show Rolls On – The North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) continues this week in the Motor City.  The official press conference schedule for the 2016 NAIAS begins with Press Preview today and tomorrow. Last week was press week and to see a the full 2016 NAIAS Press Conference Schedule look under the main Press tab.  In its 28th year as an international event, the NAIAS is among the most prestigious auto shows in the world, providing unparalleled access to the automotive products, people and ideas that matter most – up close and in one place.

Food, Energy, Water Conference Set –The Food-Energy-Water Nexus conference will be held today and tomorrow at the Hyatt at Reagan National Airport.  The conference will feature 1,200 other leaders in science, technology, government, business, civil society, and education to create strategies and initiatives that transform ideas into action.

EIA Head to Discuss Energy Markets at Senate Energy – The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee will hold a hearing this morning to examine the near-term outlook for energy and commodity markets.  EIA’s Adam Sieminski will testify along with several others including our friends Jim Lucier of Capital Alpha Partners and Ethan Zindler of Bloomberg New Energy Finance.

SAFE CEO, Others to Join FTC Forum –The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) will host a one-day workshop today to explore competition and related issues in the U.S. auto distribution system, including how consumers and businesses may be affected by state regulations and emerging trends in the industry. The event will take place in Washington, D.C. at the FTC’s Constitution Center Auditorium.  The January workshop will focus primarily on exploring the competition issues arising from state level regulation of auto distribution.  It also will explore emerging trends in the auto industry, such as car-sharing, connected cars, and autonomous vehicles, with a focus on how those trends will affect the current regulatory system that governs the auto industry.

Senate Energy to Look at Energy Markets – The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee will hold a hearing today to examine the near-term outlook for energy and commodity markets.

Heritage to Look at Western Lands – The Heritage Foundation holds a discussion today at Noon on rethinking Federal Management of Western Lands. Utah House Speaker Gregory H. Hughes will be the main speaker.

Forum to Look at GMOs – Cato will hold a forum tomorrow at 11:00 a.m. on GMOs and the future of the global food supply and medical innovations.  The event will feature Monsanto’s  Robert Fraley, North Carolina State’s  Jennifer Kuzma and Marian Tupy, Editor of  www.humanprogress.org.   For thousands of years, farmers used selective breeding to produce more plentiful harvests and increase the usefulness of domesticated animals. Today, genetic engineering allows businesses to do the same—but more cheaply, precisely and speedily. Unbeknownst to most people, the use of genetically modified organisms is not limited to agriculture. GMO technology is all around us, helping to produce life-enhancing products, such as synthetic insulin, and life-saving medicines, such as cancer-fighting Avastin. Still, controversy surrounding GMOs persists. Join us to hear our two distinguished speakers discuss the risks and benefits associated with GMO science.

Energy to Hold Appliance Efficiency Meeting –  DOE and its Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy will hold a meeting of the Appliance Standards and Rulemaking Federal Advisory Committee Wednesday at 9:30 a.m.

Moniz to Present Schlesinger Energy Medal – On Wednesday at 10:30 a.m., Energy Secretary Moniz will present the “Schlesinger Medal for Energy Security,”  at Forrestal.  The James R. Schlesinger Medal for Energy Security honors an individual’s distinguished contributions to advancing our understanding of the threats, opportunities and energy policy choices impacting the domestic and international energy security interests of the United States through analysis, policy or practice.   The first Medal was given to Daniel Yergin on October 1, 2014, the 37th anniversary of the Energy Department’s formal opening in 1977.  Wednesday, Dr. Phil Sharp, President of Resources for the Future and former U.S. Congressman from Indiana, will receive the second Schlesinger Medal for Energy Security .

Washington Auto Show Sets Policy Bar – The Washington Auto Show also launches it policy day on Capitol Hill that will explore how technology is making our nation’s roads and vehicles safer and infrastructure smarter and transforming the way we live, work and travel featuring Michigan Sen. Gary Peters and our friend Joe White of ThomsonReuters.   Media Day will be Thursday.

Forum to Look at Climate, Food Security – The American Meteorological Society the American Society of Agronomy, the Crop Science Society of America, and the Soil Science Society of America will hold a briefing on climate change and food security in Russell 485 at 3:00 p.m.

Senate Energy to Look at Auto Tech innovations – The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee will hold a hearing on Thursday to examine the status of innovative technologies within the automotive industry. Witnesses for Thursday include DOE’s David Friedman, AAMA’s Mitch Bainwol, Electric Drive Transportation Association President Genevieve Cullen, NREL’s Transportation and Hydrogen Systems Center Director Chris Gearhart and Xavier Mosquet of the Boston Consulting Group.

USEA Hosts State of Energy Forum – The US Energy Assn will host its 12th annual State of the Energy Industry Forum on Thursday at Noon in the National Press Club.  Senior leaders from the energy industry’s major trade associations will provide their outlook and overview of their priorities for 2016.  Speakers will include NEI’s Marvin Fertel, API’s Jack Gerard, APPA’s Susan Kelly, EEI’s Tom Kuhn, AGA’s Dave McCurdy, NMA’s Hal Quinn, SEIA’s Rhone Resch, AFPM’s Chet Thompson and INGAA’s Don Santa among others.

Brookings Expert to Look at Climate Economics – Brookings Institution Climate and Energy Economics Project Director Adele Morris delivers remarks at a National Economists Club luncheon on Thursday at Noon in Chinatown Garden Restaurant.  Morris will focus on climate change economics and policy.

Forum to Look at African Energy Finance – On Thursday afternoon, the US Africa Chamber of Commerce will hold a forum on the future of energy investment in Africa. The event will explore a variety of deep-dive topics related to energy investment and development in Africa, and will host attendance from both major players in various energy markets on the continent, as well as small and medium-sized enterprises (SME) currently operating within the energy sector in Africa and the U.S. See below for the panel schedule.

Green Car Journal to Announce Winner at Auto ShowGreen Car Journal has announced finalists for the 2016 Luxury Green Car of the Year™ and 2016 Connected Green Car of the Year™ awards that will be presented at the 2016 Washington Auto Show on Thursday . Focused on aspirational vehicles with exceptional green credentials, nominees for 2016 Luxury Green Car of the Year™ include the BMW X5 xDrive40e, Lexus RX 450h, Mercedes-Benz C350e, Porsche Cayenne S E-Hybrid, and Volvo XC90 T8 PHEV. Vying for the all-new 2016 Connected Green Car of the Year™ award are the Audi A3 e-tron, BMW 330e, Chevrolet Malibu Hybrid, Toyota Prius, and Volvo XC90 T8 PHEV.  Finalists previously announced for the 2016 Green SUV of the Year™ award that will also be presented at The Washington Auto Show® are the BMW X1 xDrive 28i, Honda HR-V, Hyundai Tucson, Mazda CX-3 and Toyota RAV4 Hybrid.  The 2016 Green Car Awards recognize vehicles that exhibit laudable environmental achievement. Along with improved environmental performance, traditional buyer touchstones like functionality, safety, quality, value, and performance are also considered. Affordability and availability are important to ensure honored models are accessible to a wide range of buyers. Honoring continual environmental improvement places emphasis on new vehicles and those in the very early stages of their model lifecycle. The Connected Green Car of the Year™ award considers these elements plus the integration of connected technologies that enhance efficiency, safety, and the driving experience.

Forum to Look at Energy, Russia Relations – The Wilson Center will hold a forum on Friday at 10:00 a.m. on how energy/environment issues impact prospects for U.S.-Russia Relations.

EPRI’s Tyrant to Address Grid Issues – On Friday at Noon at Carmines, the US Assn of Energy Economists will host Barbara Tyran of EPRI at its monthly lunch to discuss grid interconnect issues.  Tyran is the principal liaison between EPRI executive management, and Congress, the Administration, the national trade associations, the national leadership of the state public utility commissions, state legislators/regulators, and the Washington energy community.

SEJ, Wilson to Look at 2016 Enviro Issues – On Friday at 3:00 p.m., the Society of Environmental Journalists and the Environmental Change and Security Program at Wilson will hold its fourth annual “Year Ahead in Environment and Energy” event, where leading reporters and editors will discuss the critical issues that will shape 2016. Jessica Coomes, deputy news director at Bloomberg BNA, will present Bloomberg BNA’s Environment Outlook 2016, followed by a panel discussion featuring leading journalists from National Geographic, Huffington Post, Bloomberg BNA, Environment & Energy Daily, and more to be confirmed.  Speakers will Include our friends Meaghan Parker, Jeff  Burnside and Doug Fischer.

 

FUTURE EVENTS

Forum to Look at Enviro Justice Issues in GHG Plan – Next Monday at 11:00 a.m., the Environmental and Energy Study Institute (EESI) will hold a briefing discussing how environmental justice (EJ) is addressed through EPA’s Clean Power Plan.  The panel will explore how incorporating environmental justice concerns into the Clean Power Plan’s implementation can impact vulnerable communities.  Speakers for this forum include EPA Senior Advisor to the Administrator for Environmental Justice Mustafa Ali.

GU Group to Look at Paris Results – Georgetown’s Mortara Center for International Studies will hold a forum on next Tuesday to assess COP 21’s results.  The panel will feature GU Prof Featuring Joanna Lewis, Vicki Arroyo, Executive Director of the Georgetown Climate Center and students Norah Berk, SFS ’15 and Alexandra Donovan, SFS ’17.

Forum to Look at Paris Event – The United Nations Environment Program and the George Washington University Sustainability Collaborative will host an event on Wednesday January 27th that will highlight key achievements of 2015: the United Nations 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda and the outcomes of the recent Paris climate conference.  The event will provide an overview of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and what they mean for the public and private sectors with a particular focus on implementation of the environmental dimension. It will also highlight the SDGs regarding sustainable cities, sustainable consumption and production, and climate change and their relevance for North America.

Nuclear Summit Set for Newseum – Third Way and the Idaho National Laboratory are partnering with Argonne National Laboratory and Oak Ridge National Laboratory to host a first-of-its-kind Advanced Nuclear Summit and Showcase in Washington, Dc on Wednesday January 27th at the Newseum.  In North America, 48 companies, backed by more than $1.6 billion in private capital, are developing plans for advanced nuclear reactors. The influx of ideas and investment into the advanced nuclear industry has made it a burgeoning part of the clean energy sector. The Advanced Nuclear Summit and Showcase builds upon the conversations sparked by the White House Summit on Nuclear Energy and the Nuclear Innovation Workshops sponsored by the Idaho National Laboratory.   Along with national policymakers and influencers, the Summit will establish that there is a robust advanced nuclear sector being developed by private companies and research institutions, and that government has a vital role to play in bringing the promise of the sector to reality.

CSIS to Look at GHG plan – On Wednesday at 10:00 a.m., the CSIS Energy and National Security Program is hosting a discussion on the future of the Clean Power Plan (CPP) in 2016. The expert panel will provide an overview of the state, federal and court level activity and planning that is likely to take place throughout the upcoming year.  John Larsen, Director with the Rhodium Group and Senior Associate with the Energy and National Security Program at CSIS, will highlight recent analysis from the CSIS-Rhodium Group study regarding emissions impacts and preview forthcoming work on energy sector impacts of the rule. Kathryn Zyla, Deputy Director with the Georgetown Climate Center, will give an overview of the approaches being considered by various states and the issues that matter most to their decision making. Kyle Danish, Partner with VanNess Feldman LLP, will discuss legal challenges to the CPP and the likely timeframe and pathways for resolving those challenges. Emily Holden, ClimateWire Reporter with E&E Publishing, will provide additional perspective on the various state, regional, and congressional issues that are important to watch this year.

ELI Book Forum to Tackle Coal Grandfather Issue – On Wednesday, January 27th at Noon, the Environmental Law Institute will host a book forum to anti-coal lawyer Richard Revesz.  In their forthcoming book, “Struggling for Air: Power Plants and the ‘War on Coal’”, Revesz and Jack Lienke detail the history of the Clean Air Act (CAA) and the political compromises that led to exempting existing power plants, many of which are coal-fired, from significant portions of the CAA’s regulatory authority. ELI will feature an expert panel with Revesz, Lienke,, Bill Bumpers, NRDC’s Dave Doniger, and former EPA Air Administrator Bill Rosenberg as they discuss the environmental implications of the Clean Power Plan and the ramifications of grandfathering. Hear Professor Revesz and other experts in the field discuss to what degree the Clean Power Plan really reduces pollution, and the interaction between grandfathering and pollution reduction

RFF to Look at FIP, Trading on GHG Plan – Resources for the Future will hold a forum on Wednesday, January 27th at 12:30 p.m. on the federal implementation plan and model trading rules. The comments, due January 21, 2016, give stakeholders the opportunity to provide feedback on the challenges and opportunities for state implementation of the carbon dioxide emissions guidelines for power plants.  RFF will be joined by EPRI for a special seminar focusing on a diverse set of stakeholder comments on how the federal implementation plan and model trading rules might impact the electric power sector.  This is the first event in the RFF/EPRI 2016 Clean Power Plan Seminar Series. The next event, on February 11, will highlight modeling results of how the Clean Power Plan impacts various states and regions. Speakers will include NRDC’s Ben Longstreth, EPRI’s Vic Niemeyer, RFF’s Karen Palmer and AEP’s Resource Planning Managing Director Scott Weaver.

CSIS to Host Infrastructure Discussion – On Wednesday, January 27th, CSIS will hold an expert panel discussion on meeting infrastructure demands around the world. According to the World Bank’s Global Infrastructure Facility, the unmet demand for infrastructure around the world is estimated to be above $1 trillion per year. Meeting the financing need for bankable and sustainable projects must be a priority, for both governments and the private sector, in the coming decades. In addition to financing needs, donors and the private sector must work together to build capacity and provide technical assistance that will ensure continued success long after the individual projects have been completed. Panelists will discuss ways in which infrastructure can become a driver of development and stability, and how targeted investments in smart projects and capacity building can produce measurable results to pave the way for sustainable economic growth in low and middle-income countries.

Senate Energy to Explore Innovative Nuclear Technologies – The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee will hold a hearing on Thursday January 28th to examine the status of innovative technologies within the nuclear industry.

Greenest Show on Grass: Waste Management Phoenix Open – February 1st through 7th, Waste Management will host its annual PGA tour event at the Phoenix Open in Arizona.  Waste Management has been a partner of the Phoenix Open for 15 years, and is dedicated to making the Open the greenest tournament on the PGA TOUR. The tournament has also become a major platform for Waste Management Think Green solutions, including the Four Rs – reduce, reuse, recycle and recover.  As a regular part of the event, WM is hosting its 6th annual Executive Sustainability Forum which provides a platform to discuss how and why the circular economy is fractured.  The event will identify collective challenges, and approaches to overcoming these challenges through collaboration along the value chain.  Speakers will include WM CEO David Steiner, our friend Dana Perino, NYT’s John Tierney  and Bloomberg View’s Adam Minter, among many others.

Sustainability Forum Set at GMU – Leaders in Energy, Association of Energy Engineers – National Capital Chapter, and George Mason University will hold an Energy and Sustainability Extravaganza on its GMU Arlington campus on February 5th.

Wind Summit to Look at Finance, Investment – Infocast is holding its annual Wind Power Finance & Investment Summit February 9-11 at the Rancho Bernardo Inn in San Diego.   Now that the PTC question has been settled, the Summit will focus on the critical issues and opportunities for the wind industry, including the impacts of EPA’s Clean Power Plan on Wind, long-term outlook for natural gas prices, the outlook for tax equity and debt and many other topics.

Nuclear Innovation Conference Set – The Energy Innovation Reform Project and Oak Ridge will hold a nuclear innovation conference on February 10 and 11th in Oak ridge, TN.

Energy Update: Week of September 14

Friends,

 

Happy new year everyone.  Today is Rosh Hashanah, which occurs on the first and second days of the  Tishri, the first month of the Jewish Calendar year.  In Hebrew, Rosh Hashanah means, literally, “head of the year” or “first of the year.” On Rosh Hashanah it is customary to greet one another with blessings and good wishes for a good year or “L’Shanah Tovah” – then we eat!

 

Last week’s short week was nice, but I think the return to the regular traffic pattern in DC made it seem like we went a full 5 days last week.  It was brutal.  Anyway, this week we see the return to DC of my friend and colleague Scott Segal from his European vacation and there was no national lampooning on this trip.  We all look forward to hearing the stories and seeing the pictures from what sounds like it was a life-altering experience.

 

I hope you waited out the 3-hour rain delay to stay with the US Open Men’s Final where Novak Djokovic beat Roger Federer in four sets.  It was a true battle of champions and some tremendous tennis.  It was Djokovic’s third major of the year (Australia/Wimbledon).

 

In Congress this week, most focus in on the Animas River spill.  The House Resources and Oversight Committees will hold a joint hearing Thursday on the Gold King Mine featuring Interior Secretary Sally Jewell and EPA’s Gina McCarthy, while Wednesday Senate Indian Affairs and Senate Environment also host McCarthy.  And after last week’s subcommittee work, the House Energy & Commerce Committee takes up oil exports legislation on Thursday along with a markup of a broader energy package.

 

Off the Hill, the most interesting event may be Wednesday when our friend our friend Karen Harbert of the Chamber’s Energy Institute will host a luncheon with BHP CEO Andrew MacKenzie, who may be able to offer interesting insights with a new PM in Australia. Other great event include our friend Monica Trauzzi speaking the CHP conference at the National Press Club today.  Growth Energy is talking about ethanol tomorrow with Gina McCarthy and Tom Vilsack, while my friends Jean Chemnick and Hannah Northey join me for a media panel at the CIBO DC meeting.  Also Wednesday morning National Journal hosts a conference on crude exports with Sens. Hoeven, Heidkamp and Markey and OurEnergyPolicy will be hosting an ozone forum with NAM’s Ross Eisenberg and NRDC’s John Walke that is moderated by Bloomberg’s Mark Drajem.

 

As the for the out of town scoreboard this week,  today through Wednesday, Anaheim hosts the Solar Power International conference which will feature VP Joe Biden and mid-week, we’re all in Philly with the Marcellus Shale Coalition’s big annual event featuring a speech by our friend and partner Rudy Giuliani and the second Republican President debate heads to the Reagan Library in Simi Valley.

 

There is a lot going on so please don’t hesitate to call.

 

Best,

 

Frank Maisano

(202) 828-5864

(202) 997-5932

 

 

IN THE NEWS

 

SoCo Acquires 2nd Wind Project – Southern Company announced another agreement to acquire its second wind project: the 151-MW Grant Wind facility in Oklahoma from Apex Clean Energy.  In March, Southern Power announced an agreement to acquire the 299-MW Kay Wind facility in Oklahoma, also from Apex Clean Energy – which is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2015. Southern Power also recently announced the acquisition of a controlling interest in two California facilities: the 300-MW Desert Stateline facility from First Solar Inc. and the 200-MW Tranquility facility from Recurrent Energy, a subsidiary of Canadian Solar Inc.  With the addition of the three facilities, Southern Power’s renewable ownership is expected to reach more than 1,600 MW with 21 solar, wind and biomass facilities either announced, acquired or under construction.  Across its system, Southern Company has added or announced more than 3,400 MW of renewable generation since 2012.

 

Another New DOE Air Conditioning Rule Rolls Out – The Energy Department today unveiled more new energy efficiency standards for air conditioners and heat pump systems for motels, hotels, condominium buildings and hospitals.  The final rule adopts the industry standards for larger “single package vertical” (SPV) units but tightens those for smaller systems.  DOE will require SPV air conditioners and heat pumps with less than 65,000 British thermal units per hour of cooling capacity to meet the new standards in four years, according to the rule.  Larger systems will need to comply with the new standards in October or a year from October, as many already follow the industry standards. The American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) adopted new standards for SPVs in October 2013.  AHRI is very concerned about the rule, saying member companies are reviewing the rule and will decide what, if any, action to take within the 60-day time period following publication in the Federal Register.

 

Chamber Fuzzy Math Blog Continues – The Chamber’s Energy Institute has released its second installment of analysis on EPA’s final rule.  In the first of the series, they examined the changes EPA made to its Base Case, or business as usual, power sector forecast in support of its Regulatory Impact Analysis (RIA) for the Clean Power Plan Final Rule compared the Base Case it issued a few short months ago in support of its RIA for the Proposed Rule.  In the most recent post, they take that analysis a bit further and take a closer look at how EPA treats electricity generation from coal and renewables.  In its Proposed Rule, EPA used Integrated Planning Models showed a 12% output for coal plants in 2030.

The vast majority of this lost coal output—90% in fact—is offset in EPA’s model by increased output from renewable sources, most notable non-hydro renewables. Essentially, EPA is forecasting an almost one-for-one replacement of renewable generation for coal-fired generation, or a new estimate of renewables generation in 2030 of 30%.  All told, according to EPA, in 2030 we will have made it halfway to the administration’s goal without lifting a finger.  See the details here.

 

INGAA to Launch Education Campaign – While protesters are busy fasting at FERC hoping it won’t issue anymore fossil fuel infrastructure permits (good luck with that), our friends at INGAA, an industry association of pipeline builders, will launch a campaign on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn to help educate Americans about the benefits of natural gas and the pipelines that move gas to customers. INGAA’s Don Santa: “America’s Energy Link will provide valuable information about pipelines and natural gas, including materials about safety and the environment. We hope to educate Americans about the tangible benefits natural gas brings to their quality of life every day.  America’s Energy Link, also will serve as a springboard for those who want to learn more about natural gas pipelines and be part of the conversation going forward.“

 

 

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

 

Trauzzi to Address CHP Conference – The Combined Heat and Power Assn (CHP) will hold its 2015 Annual Meeting today and tomorrow at the National Press Club in Washington DC.  The theme of this year’s conference is CHP: Providing Resilience and Security in an Uncertain Energy World. With the changing landscape of energy generation in the U.S. and the strain on an aging electric grid, energy solutions that are not only cost effective and efficient–but most importantly resilient–are needed to secure our energy future. This conference will highlight the ways in which combined heat and power is the best answer for our resilient energy needs while also providing numerous other benefits. The  conference will feature a number of new elements including CHP Association’s inaugural Solution Summit aimed at fostering meaningful discussion among attendees on ways to increase CHP deployment.  In addition, there will be a trade show to highlight companies and organizations working in the industry, and a full day conference that will explore the conference theme of resilience.  E&E TV’s Monica Trauzzi will be the keynote speaker.

 

Biden to Address Large Solar Conference – Solar Power International will be held today through Wednesday in Anaheim, CA at the convention center.   Among the speakers will be Vice President Joe Biden who will address the general assembly on Wednesday.

 

WCEE Forum to Look at Enviros View of NatGas Fracturing – Today at Noon, the Women’s Council on Energy & the Environment (WCEE) launches its Lunch & Learn Series, which will aim to bring you perspectives from all sides of this issue.  The first will be an environmental viewpoint from NRDC and EPA on hydraulic fracturing.  Speakers will include NRDC’s Sharon Buccino and EPA’s Caroline Ridley.   I suspect a few of our good natural gas WCEE members may have some tough questions.

 

House Resources Oil/Gas Field hearing Set for NOLA –Tomorrow morning in New Orleans, The House Resources Committee will host a field hearing at the Louisiana Supreme Court. This hearing will focus on the current state of offshore oil and gas activity in the Gulf of Mexico, what measures, if any, the federal government is taking to manage outer Continental Shelf resources to maintain our nation’s competitive advantage, and how federal policy decisions impact current and future oil and natural gas development.  Witnesses will include Sens. Cassidy and Vitter, along with other local oil and gas experts and academics.

 

CIBO to Hold Annual DC Meeting – The Council of Industrial Boiler Owners will be meeting in Washington tomorrow ahead of their October annual meeting. The agenda includes GHG discussions, along with rule on methane, coal ash, and WOTUS.

 

McCarthy, Vilsack Hit Ethanol Forum – Growth Energy is hosting Its annual ethanol advocacy conference tomorrow at the Hyatt Regency, Capitol Hill.  Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack will address the Conference in Washington, D.C. in the morning followed by an industry press conference with Growth Energy CEO Tom Buis and Growth Energy Board of Directors Co-Chair, Jeff Broin.  Later that afternoon, Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Gina McCarthy will also address the Growth Energy conference.

 

NJ to Host Lawmakers on Crude Exports – Tomorrow at 8:00 a.m., National Journal will hold a forum with Democratic and Republican lawmakers to explore the building momentum around crude oil exports. NJ will pose questions like will lifting the ban make America more competitive or will it increase greenhouse gases by promoting oil exploration? Will it raise energy prices, even though recent studies predict a drop in fuel prices as a result of more American oil in the market?  Speakers will include Sens. Heidi Heitkamp, John Hoeven and Ed Markey.

 

Atlantic Council to Look at Iran, NatGas – Tomorrow at Noon, the Atlantic Council will host a panel discussion on the future of Iranian energy, particularly natural gas, in a post-sanctions world. The panel of Atlantic Council fellows includes Dr. Sara Vakhshouri, President of SVB Energy International, Barbara Slavin, Washington Correspondent for Al-Monitor, and Dr. Brenda Shaffer, Visiting Researcher and Adjunct Professor at Georgetown University. Yeganeh Torbati of Reuters will moderate the interactive discussion on the latest insight on the Iran agreement in light of the pending US Congressional vote, Iran’s energy policy priorities in the near and medium term, particularly as it relates to natural gas, the outlook for foreign investment in Iran’s energy sector and the geopolitical implications of Iranian natural gas development.

 

Giuliani to Address Shale Insight – The 2015 Shale Insight Conference will be held in Philadelphia Wednesday and Thursday.  Over the past five years, the conference has built a reputation for strong programmatic content, including an impressive speaker roster of nearly 100 industry experts, political figures and concurrent technical and public affairs session panelists who share their expertise.   Attendees at the 2015 conference will hear from featured presenters, including: Hon. Rudolph W. Giuliani, Partner at Bracewell & Giuliani LLP and former mayor of New York City, as well as Robert Bryce, journalist, author and Senior Fellow at the Manhattan Institute.

 

Energy Breakfast to Discuss Energy Techs – On Wednesday morning, ICF will host the heads of the two premier U.S. electricity and energy technology groups to discuss how new energy technologies and innovations are quickly reshaping the way we produce, transport, and utilize energy.  We have seen dramatic price reductions and increases in efficiency in solar, wind, and energy storage. But there are equally stunning changes taking place in areas such as information technology, environmental controls, appliances, system monitoring, and resiliency that are changing the energy landscape.  To be prepared for this technology tsunami, every facet of the energy industry—generators, fuel companies, transmission firms, regulators, and customers—needs to understand their impact and the new options they allow and changes they will create.  Speakers will include ARPA-E Director Ellen Williams and EPRI CEO Michael Howard.

 

Forum to Look at Ozone Rule – On Wednesday at 8:30 a.m., Our Energy Policy is holding an expert panel discussion at the National Press Club on the impacts of EPA’s proposed new standards for ground level ozone on the dynamic energy sector.  EPA is expected to announce a new standard for ground level ozone, a smog-forming pollutant. Referred to by some in industry as “the most expensive regulation ever,” the controversial rule will likely reduce the existing standard from 75 parts per billion (ppb) to 65 or 70 ppb. There is significant disagreement over the likely benefits, costs and impact on public health and the economy of such a change. The Panel includes our friends Ross Eisenberg of NAM, RFF’s Alan Krupnick, AFPM’s Sarah Magruder Lyle and NRDC’s John Walke.  Bloomberg’s Mark Drajem will moderate.

 

House Resources, Oversight Look Into EPA Mine Spill – The House Resources and Oversight Committees will hold a joint hearing Wednesday on the Gold King Mine spill.  Witnesses will include Interior Secretary Sally Jewell, EPA Administrator McCarthy, along with representatives of the Navajo Nation and the Southern Ute Indian Tribe.

 

UNFCCC Head to Address Enviro Group Webinar – On Wednesday at 10:30 a.m. , the Union of Concerned Scientists will host a webinar featuring UNFCCC executive secretary Christiana Figueres.  The next international meeting on global warming is in December, but momentum is already building. President Obama recently made a bold call for action from the Arctic, Climate Week in New York begins September 21, and Pope Francis will be in Washington, DC, and New York the same week speaking about his call for global climate action.  The UCS webinar will discuss more about what we should expect from this meeting, what emissions reduction commitments countries have already made, if we expect international agreement to dramatically reduce carbon emissions, and what role the United States will play.

 

Chamber to Host BHP CEO – The Chamber of Commerce’s Institute for 21st Century Energy and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation will hold a conversation with BHP Billiton CEO Andrew Mackenzie on Wednesday at Noon.  Mackenzie will discuss the free trade outlook for global energy and resources.

 

Moniz to Address Accelerate Energy Summit – The Accelerate Energy Productivity 2030 Summit will be held at Arena Stage on Wednesday at Noon.  The event is the culmination of a series of regional dialogues and will officially unveil a roadmap for achieving the goal of doubling U.S. energy productivity. This half-day dialogue will feature a keynote address from Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz along with panel discussions regarding driving energy productivity through federal and state policy, industrial competitiveness, smart power systems, and the built environment.  Rep. Tom Reed and Jigar Shah, President & CEO of the Institute for Industrial Productivity, are the latest additions to a speaker roster of 25 industry leaders, including Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz, who will unveil a roadmap for doubling U.S. energy productivity by 2030.

 

EPRI, NRDC to Release Electric Transportation Report – On Thursday at 8:00 a.m. , EPRI and NRDC will release a new report that finds widespread adoption of electric transportation will curbs GHG emissions and improve air quality.  The report is a comprehensive environmental assessment of electric vehicles by the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) and the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) that concludes that electric transportation, including non-road electrification, would lead to reductions in greenhouse gases (GHG) and improve air quality especially in densely populated urban areas.  The report adds that by 2050, the electricity sector could reduce annual GHG emissions by 1700 million metric tons relative to 2015 levels by leveraging a cleaner grid, widespread electrification of light-duty vehicles, medium-duty vehicles and non-road equipment could reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 540 million metric tons annually in 2050—equivalent to removing 100 million passenger cars from the road.  Speakers will include EPRI’s Mark Duvall, SoCal Ed CEO Ted Craver, NRDC’s David Hawkins and EPRI CEO Mike Howard.

 

Mexican Energy Officials Headline North American Energy Forum – The Mexico and Canada Institutes of the Woodrow Wilson Center are hosting the Second Annual North American Energy Forum on Thursday.  Over the past year, two new developments have left their mark on North America’s energy markets. The first concerns the impact of low oil prices on the region’s producers, with revenue affecting existing and future projects. Alongside the issue of price, we have seen major developments in all three North American countries. In Mexico, the first round of oil contracts is underway, with contracts awarded for exploration in shallow water in July of 2015. At the same time, we have seen major new investment plans unveiled in the electricity sector. In Canada, major infrastructure challenges and political change in the province of Alberta have altered the investment environment. In the US, the Interior Department proposal to open a stretch of the Atlantic Ocean to offshore drilling has generated a highly charged debate, and new EPA rules on emissions have been the subject of analysis and legal challenge. The objective of the forum is to provide insight and draw attention to the challenges and opportunities that these new developments have created.  Featured Keynote Speakers include Mexican Under- Secretary of Energy for Hydrocarbons, Lourdes Melgar and Mexican Under-Secretary of Energy for Electricity, César Hernández Ochoa.

 

Brookings Hosts Electricity Book Review – On Thursday at 1:30 p.m., the Energy Security and Climate Initiative (ESCI) at Brookings will host Institute for Electricity Innovation (IEI) Executive Director and ESCI Nonresident Senior Fellow Lisa Wood for a discussion of the evolving electric power industry and future trends. Brookings Institution Trustee and former CEO of Duke Energy Jim Rogers will moderate the discussion.  Wood is editor of “Thought Leaders Speak Out: The Evolving Electric Power Industry,” IEI’s  collection of more than 20 essays by electric utility and technology company leaders, policymakers, and other stakeholders focused on three distinct and interrelated areas driving this transformation: the evolving grid, the evolving customer, and evolving regulation. Attendees will receive a free copy of the book.

 

ACCF Forum to Look at Energy Challenges – The American Council for Capital Formation will hold forum Friday at the Washington Convention Center to discuss to discuss both the challenges and the opportunities in the nation’s energy landscape along with how our nation’s energy abundance has put us in a position to export. What are the barriers preventing a stronger position of U.S. domestic energy?  Do these regulatory challenges impede economic growth?  What communities across the country are most impacted by higher-prices, lower wages, and anti-growth policies? And finally, how does a strong domestic energy industry help communities of color?

 

Forum to Look at LNG Resources – The National Capital Area Chapter of the US Association for Energy Economics is hosting a lunch Friday at Noon at Carmine’s with speaker Fred Hutchison, Executive Director of LNG Allies.  Hutchinson, Executive Director of LNG Allies, will discuss the outlook for US LNG production vis-a-vis the European outlook for increased demand capacity, restructuring, and contract negotiations.  Hutchison is the executive director (day-to-day manager) and founder of LNG Allies. He coordinates the team of consultants and is principal liaison with the membership on US and European LNG structure, markets, and policy.

 

 

FUTURE EVENTS

 

National Drive Electric Week – This Sunday starts National Drive Electric Week on the National Mall.  There will be EV owners available to answer questions while several models of plug-in cars will all be in one place, for easy comparison.  Nissan Leaf, Chevy Volt, Tesla Model S and more.  Hear how people charge their cars daily, mostly at home.

 

Forum to Look at Energy Changes, Security – Next Monday , the Wilson Center will hold a global energy Forum looking at technology change and security.  The international energy system is going through revolutionary changes.  Oil and natural gas production is growing in the United States and elsewhere in response to new technologies. Geopolitics face several inflection points, from a turbulent Middle East to increased Russian pressure in Europe, and Chinese pressure in East Asia. Furthermore, new pathways must be developed to advance global energy security at a time of revolutionary change. The system must be more resilient, as energy trade is vulnerable to interruption, and as strategic petroleum reserves need to be modernized. Up to and beyond the next climate change conference (COP-21) in Paris, national security, energy and climate goals need to be better integrated in future policies.

 

Moral March on DC – Climate Advocates will descend to Washington on September 21 to talk about Climate.  From September 21 to 25, there will be a series of events held across the country to call for the United States to honor its moral duty to act for climate justice.   On Wednesday, September 23, the Franciscan Action Network will lead an all-night, multi-faith vigil at the Lincoln Memorial.   On Thursday, September 24, the Pope will address a joint session of Congress, and there will be Jumbotrons set up at the Capitol and the National Mall for public viewing.  After the address, there will be a rally on the National Mall, between 4th St. NW and 7th St. NW, with performances and speakers.

 

USEA to Host LNG Discussion – Next Tuesday at 10:30 a.m., the U.S. Energy Association will host a forum on the role of US LNG exports in global gas markets.  Christopher J. Goncalves, Managing Director and Co-Chair of BRG’s Energy and Natural Resources Practice will look at the implications for global LNG trade and pricing.

Book to Address NatGas Roundtable – The Natural Gas Roundtable will hold its September Roundtable on next Tuesday featuring Kevin Book, Managing Director of ClearView Energy Partners.   Book heads the research team at ClearView, an independent research firm that serves institutional investors and corporate strategists. Mr. Book’s primary coverage areas include oil, natural gas, coal and refined products.

 

RFF Forum to Look at Carbon Impact on Low Income – Resources for the Future will Host a seminar on next Tuesday at 12:45 p.m. looking at carbon pricing on low-income Households.  RFF’s Roberton Williams will present an analysis of the impact of carbon pricing policies across income groups. Chad Stone of the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities will share new research on how to design and implement policy options that protect the most vulnerable households. Aparna Mathur of the American Enterprise Institute and Adele Morris of The Brookings Institution will provide comments on the two presentations, and all speakers will participate in a panel discussion on how climate policies may impact low-income households more broadly.

 

Papal Visit Schedule Set – The official schedule is out for the Papal visit in the United States.  Pope Francis will arrive at Andrews AFB on Tuesday September 22, meet with the White House and address a Joint Session of Congress before heading to the UN on Friday.  He then travels to Philadelphia before heading back to the Vatican on Sunday September 27th.

 

UN Climate Talks Set – Climate sidebars will be held at the UN on September 24 and 25.  President Obama is expected to attend.

 

Holmstead, Others Experts to Discuss GHG Rule at DC Bar Event – On Thursday, September 24th at 12:30 p.m., the D.C. Bar will hold a forum in its Conference Center looking the EPA’s GHG Rule.  At this brown bag, sponsored by the Air Quality Committee of the D.C. Bar Environment, a panel of experts will offer perspectives on the final rule, including state compliance options and the nature and timing of legal challenges.  The panelists will be: David Doniger, Director, Climate & Clean Air Program, Natural Resources Defense Council, Lisa Heinzerling, Professor of Law at Georgetown University, and Jeff Holmstead, Partner, Bracewell & Giuliani. All three of our speakers have previously served in high-level posts at EPA and have spent most of their careers shaping carbon pollution policy.

 

CSIS to Look at Global NatGas Markets – The CSIS Energy and National Security Program will host Dr. Fereidun Fesharaki, Chairman and Founder of FGE, on Friday September 25th at 10:00 a.m. for a discussion of the global natural gas markets. As the low price environment persists, the debate over the impacts on gas production in the United States and globally continues. Spot prices have entered a long term lull disconnected from contract prices; European prices may remain weak for some time; and in the United States, many sellers are still planning to proceed with export projects. The LNG market turmoil will likely hit new heights in 2016 with so much additional volume in the market. How can the markets rebalance? What is needed to bring sanity to the market? David Pumphrey, Senior Associate with the CSIS Energy and National Security Program, will moderate the discussion.

 

Global Citizen Event Set for NYC – On September 26th in NYC’s Central Park, the Global Citizen movement will hold an event focused on taking action to address poverty, environmental and education issues.  The event will feature a concert with Pearl Jam, Beyoncé, Ed Sheeran and Coldplay.

 

UN General Assembly – September 28th

 

DOE’s Solar Decathlon Set – The U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon—America’s premier collegiate competition that challenges students from around the world to design, build and operate highly energy-efficient, solar-powered houses—will open October 8 in Irvine, California.  Sixteen collegiate teams involving more than 2,000 students from 27 schools are deep into construction, assembling their innovative houses on or near their campuses. In less than three months, the students will transport and open those houses to the public in the Solar Decathlon village, where they’ll demonstrate just how affordable, attractive and comfortable these zero-energy homes—homes that are so efficient that a solar energy system can offset all or most of their energy consumption—have become.

 

Hydrogen Fuel Day Set for Oct 8 – In recognition of the benefits of fuel cell and hydrogen energy technology, industry advocates are celebrating National Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Day on October 8th to help raise awareness of a clean energy technology that is here now. October 8th was chosen as a reference to the of the atomic weight of Hydrogen, 1.008.

 

Smart Grid Conference Set – The 2nd Annual National Summit on Smart Grid & Climate Change will bring together policymakers, utilities, technology companies, and a wide variety of environmental and energy stakeholders to address the role of smart grid technologies and practices in mitigating and adapting to climate change.  The Summit will establish an understanding as to how smart grid can be an essential part of any climate action planning, whether in response to government emission restrictions like EPA’s Clean Power Plan or efforts to increase resiliency to prepare for various climate change events and scenarios.  Speakers will include Energy Secretary Moniz, OMB’s Ali Zaidi, Arizona Public Service SVP Jeff Guldner and NREL’s Bryan Hannegan.

 

GP Bush , Fox to Headline Border Energy Forum – The Border Energy Forum will be held on October 14 – 16th in San Diego, California and will feature Texas Land Commissioner George P. Bush as its Keynote Speaker.  For more than 20 years, the Border Energy Forum has worked to increase regional development of clean energy projects, promote cross-border energy trade, and advance technologies and innovative solutions for sustainable resource management. Other speakers will include former Mexican President Vicente Fox.

 

Cato to Hold UN Climate Conference Forum – The Cato Institute will hold a day-long forum on October 30th in its Hayek Auditorium to hear distinguished climate scientists and legal experts assess the issues sure to drive the debate before, during, and after the Paris UN Climate meeting.  Speakers will include

John Christy of the University of Alabama in Huntsville, Georgia Tech’s Judy Curry and Texas State Climatologist John Nielsen-Gammon on a panel about science.  MIT professor and prominent climate skeptic Richard Lindzen will be the luncheon speaker.  In the afternoon, there will be a legal panel featuring Peter Glaser and Andrew Grossman and a policy panel that will include Harlan Watson, Former Chief Climate Negotiator in the George W. Bush administration and Paul “Chip” Knappenberger, who is Assistant Director, Center for the Study of Science at Cato.

 

Energy Update: Week of December 15

Friends

 

As we slide toward the holiday season, longing for the Summer Wind, I was struck listening to holiday songs from the legendary Frank Sinatra, who would have celebrated his 99th birthday on Friday.   It is Nice Work If You Can Get It.   So with Congress over the initial Stormy Weather of funding for the remainder of the Fiscal Year, the leadership has said Let Me Try Again this week for tax extenders and terrorism insurance.   Hopefully it is not My Way or the highway for progressives and/or conservatives, who seemingly have been doing Something Stupid in order to keep this Congress from adjourning.

 

Despite The Way You Look Tonight, there is still a lot going on in the energy and environmental space.  It starts with the UN meetings in Lima which concluded on Sunday.  Following earlier meetings in New York, New York in September and the US/China agreements, there were High Hopes for UN meetings in Lima as a precursor for April in Paris…(or December).  But reports on Saturday had the discussions on the verge of collapse before – Luck Be a Lady – they were saved to some modest agreement which will begin the long slide to Paris next year.  So Call Me Irresponsible, but for those of you who have been around the UN process for as long as I have, you will notice the similarities in the negotiating process that seem eerily familiar from every other year.  Appropriately, today is also the 75th anniversary of the movie classic, Gone With the Wind, whose famous closing line, “Frankly My Dear…I don’t give a damn” seems most appropriate when thinking about the about the UN negotiations.   More on Lima and what it means (which is not much really) below.

 

As this is the Second Time Around for this reminder, The Best is Yet to Come for Coal Ash and the DOE Furnace rule.   It is expected these Strangers in the Night – both Coal Ash and the DOE Furnace Rule – will emerge Night and Day sometime this week.

 

Coal Ash is expected Friday at the latest.  Will it be The Good Life for utilities and recycling/re-use companies or will enviros Get Happy over the new rule?  Remember to Come Fly with Me…or better yet, our experts on the Coal Ash rule: Scott Segal/Jeff Holmstead for the utility side, as well as former EPA General Counsel Lisa Jaeger and Waste Management coal ash recycling head Harry Lamberton.  Each can offer a Pocketful of Miracles for you.

 

DOE’s new Furnace rule is also expected shortly and has sparked some controversy among those that suggest the rule will create disincentives to make energy efficiency upgrades.  My colleague Salo Zelermyer (202-828-1718), a former DOE Senior Counsel and energy efficiency technology expert can Speak Low and Close to You in order to provide valuable insights.  Stay tuned for Nothing But The Best and call when the rule breaks.

 

This looks like the last week of potential events for My Kind of Town before things slow down for the Holidays.  Today at Noon, Come Rain or Shine, AGA and WCEE will look All The Way at 2015 Congressional Energy Agenda.  As well, CSIS holds a couple of great forums tomorrow and Wednesday on ClimateScope 2014 and the future of coal/CCS technology.  As well, the BPC holds an event Thursday to look at the Witchcraft behind the In-Depth Review (IDR) of U.S. Energy Policy 2013. IDR is a report that focuses on one of the IEA’s 29 member countries to examine key developments in energy policy.  They Can’t Take That Away from Me.

 

Remember, I Get a Kick out of You guys so please call with questions. I would give you Five Minutes More, for Southern Company’s new joint agreement with China’s Huaneng Power to develop Kemper-Like CCS technology, but That’s Life.

 

Frank Maisano

(202) 828-5864

(202) 997-5932

 

IN THE NEWS

 

Climate Meeting Strikes Familiar dis-Chord – The UN climate meetings is Lima concluded on Sunday with negotiators reaching a watered-down deal that sets the stage for a global climate pact in Paris next year.  The Lima agreement was reached early Sunday after late-night wrangling between rich and poor countries.  The Lima deal lays out a wide range of options for a global deal to be reached in Paris, and also lays out how each nation will submit its own plans for curbing warming in the first half of 2015. The agreement would commit all countries to outlining domestic plans by early next year to slash their greenhouse gas emissions.  This type of deal sounds shockingly similar to every other UN negotiating session, which eventually amounted to nearly nothing, so I remain skeptical.

 

SoCo Joins With Chinese Power Company to Develop CCS Technology in China – Southern Company has signed a memorandum of understanding with China’s largest power generation company, making it the third such agreement signed this year.  The MOU with the China Huaneng Group highlights continued international interest in 21st century coal technologies being deployed at the Kemper County energy facility.  In fact, over the last year, a growing number of international energy leaders and government officials have toured the Kemper facility.  As the largest power generation company in China, the China Huaneng Group has more than 140,000 megawatts of installed capacity. Energy demands in China, India and other parts of Asia continue to grow. Companies in these regions can benefit from the use of low-rank coal, such as the lignite that will be used at Kemper. Low-rank coal constitutes half of the world’s coal reserves.  Earlier this year, the company signed similar agreements with the Shenhua Group and The Clean Energy Research Center, an affiliate of Huaneng.

 

FERC to Host Reliability Conference on EPA Rule – FERC will convene a series of “technical conferences” on potential reliability impacts stemming from EPA’s proposed existing source performance standards (ESPS) to cut greenhouse gases (GHGs) from power plants sometime early next year.

 

SCOTUS to Review FERC Order On Demand Response – The Obama administration announced late Friday its intent to ask the Supreme Court to overturn a lower court ruling tossing a key FERC order on demand response.  The SG asked the court for an extension until January 15 to file a petition for a writ of certiorari on the matter.   Earlier this year, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit which earlier this year struck down FERC’s Order No. 745 that required that demand response be sold at locational marginal prices in wholesale electric markets.  FERC has also filed to request a corresponding extension of the stay of the D.C. Circuit’s mandate.  Order No. 745 remaining in effect operates to depress clearance prices in wholesale markets from what they would be otherwise, which means that generators receive less revenue.

 

Study: Methane Emissions Lower – The rate of methane emissions from natural gas production fell last year by about 10%, according to the latest results of field research jointly backed by the oil and gas industry and the Environmental Defense Fund.  A team of researchers from the UT-Austin’s Cockrell School of Engineering and environmental testing firm URS reported a small subset of natural gas wells are responsible for the majority of methane emissions from two major sources — liquid unloadings and pneumatic controller equipment — at natural gas production sites.  With natural gas production in the United States expected to continue to increase during the next few decades, there is a need for a better understanding of methane emissions during natural gas production.  The UT Austin-led field study closely examined two major sources of methane emissions — liquid unloadings and pneumatic controller equipment — at well pad sites across the United States. Researchers found that 19% of the pneumatic devices accounted for 95% of the emissions from pneumatic devices, and 20% of the wells with unloading emissions that vent to the atmosphere accounted for 65% to 83% of those emissions.

 

Large-Scale Solar Continues Strong Growth – The United States installed 1,354 megawatts (MW)  of solar photovoltaics (PV) in Q3 2014, up 41% over the same period last year. The numbers come from the latest edition of GTM Research and the Solar Energy Industries Association’s (SEIA) U.S. Solar Market Insight Report.  According to the report, Q3 was the nation’s second largest quarter ever for PV installations and brings the country’s cumulative solar PV capacity to 16.1 gigawatts (GW), with another 1.4 GW of concentrating solar power (CSP) capacity.  Solar is proving to be an important and growing source of new generating capacity for the United States. Through the first three quarters of the year, solar represents 36 percent of new capacity to come on-line, up from 29 percent in 2013 and 9.6 percent in 2012.  The report tracks installations across three market segments: utility-scale, residential and non-residential which includes commercial, government and non-profit installations. The U.S. residential market exceeded 300 MW in a quarter for the first time in history. Impressively, more than half of this total came online without any state incentive. Residential continues to be the most reliable market segment, now growing 18 out of the past 19 quarters. GTM Research forecasts it to exceed the non-residential segment in annual installations for the first time in more than a decade.

 

EIA: Cal Solar Booming – Speaking of solar, increased solar and wind electricity generation in California are changing net load shapes.  As more solar and wind electric generating capacity is added in California, the California Independent System Operator (CAISO), the electric grid operator for most of the state, is facing an increasingly different net load shape. Net load—the total electric demand in the system minus wind and solar generation—represents the demand that CAISO must meet with other, dispatchable sources such as natural gas, hydropower, and imported electricity from outside the system.

 

Warren, King Hirono Join Senate Energy – With Maria Cantwell slated to take the minority helm of the Senate Energy Committee with Mary Landrieu’s defeat, the committee shuffles slightly with Landrieu, Tim Johnson and Mark Udall all leaving the Senate.   New members will include Hawaii’s Mazie Hirono (remember Brian Schatz was on the Committee until recently), Maine’s Angus King and Elizabeth Warren.

 

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

 

Energy Ministers Meeting in DC – Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz is hosting Canadian Natural Resources Minister Greg Rickford and Mexican Secretary of Energy Pedro Joaquin Coldwell for a trilateral meeting on North American energy issues today in Washington.  The Keystone Pipeline, Mexico’s Energy legislation and global oil issues all are on the agenda.

 

Forum to Look at Additional Social Cost of Carbon Issues – This morning at 10:00 a.m., the U.S. Energy Association held a second forum issues related to the social cost of carbon (SCC).  The presentation assessed the benefits of CO2 and compares these to estimates of the social cost of carbon (SCC) that have been published by the Federal government.  CO2 is the basis of life on Earth, and the successful development of fossil fuels, which generate CO2, facilitated successive industrial revolutions, created the modern world, and enables the high quality of life currently taken for granted.  There is a strong causal relationship between world GDP and CO2 emissions over the past two centuries, and this relationship is forecast to continue for the foreseeable future.  The presenter, Roger Bezdek, will compare the CO2 costs and benefits (on a normalized per ton basis) using the SCC estimates and find that the current and future CO2 benefits clearly outweigh any hypothesized costs by, literally, orders of magnitude.

 

Commission to Review the Effectiveness of the National Energy Laboratories – A DOE Commission will hold a public meeting in Alexandria all day today to review whether the DOE national laboratories are properly aligned with the Department’s strategic priorities, have clear and balanced missions, have unique capabilities to meet current energy and national security challenges, are appropriately sized to meet the Department’s energy and national security missions, and are appropriately supporting other Federal agencies.  The Commission will also look for opportunities to more effectively and efficiently use the capabilities of the national laboratories and analyze the effectiveness of the use of laboratory directed research and development to meet the Department’s science, energy and national security goals.

 

Forum to Look at Renewables in Baltics – Today at noon, the Heinrich Boell Foundation will hold a forum on renewable energy in eastern Europe. During the past year the transatlantic community has revisited the subject of Europe’s energy security with renewed urgency. Russian aggression since the Ukraine crisis has again underscored the need for Europe to achieve energy independence by diversifying its energy supply. However, the debate about the new geopolitics of European energy security largely overlooks the potential for investing in renewable energy and energy efficiency in Eastern Europe — key components for achieving an energy independent future and a sustainable, clean energy economy.  The forum will include representatives from renewable energy associations in the Baltics to Washington to discuss efforts underway there to diversify energy supplies away from not only Russian energy sources, but from fossil fuels in general. The region is especially dependent on Russia for its energy (and particularly vulnerable to disruption of supply), yet also uniquely situated for increasing its renewable energy capacities and becoming a model in this regard for other EU Member States.

 

WCEE Forum to look at 2015 Congressional Agenda – The Women’s Council on Energy and the Environment (WCEE) will hold a Brown-bag Luncheon Series forum on next Monday , December 15th at Noon at AGA.  2014 did not see much legislation passed on the Hill, but it was nonetheless an active year for the energy sector.  FERC approved three LNG export terminals in 2014 and the first US LNG exports are expected to begin in 2015.  The debate over whether to repeal a 39-year old oil export ban ramped up as US oil production increased significantly. Amidst this abundance of natural gas and oil, the US solar industry has taken off as solar prices begin to come in line with traditional forms of energy. Speakers will address what 2015 will hold for the US energy market and how is the new Congress expected to help or hinder energy policy.  Presenters will include Bill Cooper of the Center for Liquefied Natural Gas, API’s Rayola Dougher, SEIA’s Emily Duncan and EPRI’s Barbara Tyran.

 

Forum to Focus on Integration, Deployment of Renewables – The Global America Business Institute (GABI) and the Korea Institute of Energy Research (KIER) are co-hosting an event tomorrow at 8:30 a.m. on overcoming challenges to increasing integration and deployment of energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies.  Key R&D areas focusing on grid integration, renewable energy reliability, and the role of energy efficiency will be discussed.

 

CSIS to Release Climatescope Report – Tomorrow at 9:30 a.m., the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) Energy and National Security Program hosts a presentation of the recently released Climatescope 2014. The Climatescope is a unique country-by-country assessment, interactive report and index that evaluates the investment climate for climate-related investment worldwide. It profiles 55 countries and evaluates their ability to attract capital for low-carbon energy sources while building a greener economy.  The Climatescope is a snapshot of where clean energy policy and finance stand today and a guide to where clean energy can go. Presenting the report will be Ethan Zindler, Head of Policy Analysis at Bloomberg New Energy Finance and CSIS Energy Program non-resident senior associate, followed by a panel discussion on low carbon energy-related investment in developing countries. Sarah Ladislaw, Director and Senior Fellow at the CSIS Energy and National Security Program, will moderate the discussion.

 

Future Role of Natural Gas Fired Power Generation with CCS – Tomorrow at 10:00 a.m., USEA will host a forum looking at the role of natural gas-fired power together with CCS technologies.  The growth in natural gas-fired power generation continues to be driven by relatively low gas prices, as well as existing and expected environmental regulations. Other emerging factors will both accelerate and hamper this growth, i.e. increasing needs for operational flexibility and the potential need to capture CO2 from gas-fired generation units.  Growing variability in dispatch of firm assets as a result of increasing renewables deployments, distributed generation, and load management makes natural-gas fired generation attractive. Potential long-term goals for CO2 emissions mitigation are likely to require reducing emissions from gas-fired generation, but CO2 capture will limit operational flexibility and economy of operations.  EPRI’s Revis James will speak.

 

ELI Forum to Look at Green Infrastructure – The Environmental Law Institute will host a conference tomorrow at noon to look at green infrastructure.  Municipal wastewater and stormwater utilities are increasingly incorporating green infrastructure (GI) into their wet weather management plans. GI can be a cost-effective alternative for communities in lieu of traditional gray infrastructure and also can provide significant community benefits such as redevelopment and green space creation. Regulators are supportive of its use, but green concepts are relatively new and questions remain about how GI will be monitored, assessed and credited and whether, ultimately, it will be effective.  The discussion will focus on lessons learned with regard to GI implementation, the evaluation and maintenance of green projects following completion, and the growing trend in the use of GI following enforcement actions. The panel will discuss the pros and cons of GI, whether GI is the best solution for communities, and GI alternatives. Don’t miss this timely seminar that stormwater and wastewater utilities, city managers, citizens, and environmental groups will find valuable moving forward.

 

DOE to Look at Marine Technology – Tomorrow at 9:00 and 2:00, the Energy Department’s Water Power Program will present a webinar on marine and hydrokinetic (MHK) technology development risk management framework. The Energy Department and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) have developed an MHK technology reliability and survivability risk assessment framework that is designed to reduce deployment failure risk and increase the probability of success when applied to an MHK technology development project at any stage, particularly prior to demonstration activities.  Energy Department representatives and NREL’s David Snowberg and Jochem Weber will hold a webinar to introduce the MHK industry and relevant stakeholders to the MHK Technology Development Risk Management Framework. Snowberg and Weber will provide an overview of the risk management framework during the first half of the webinar and will take questions and comments from participants during the second half.

 

EPRI, RFF Host GHG Webinar – Tomorrow at noon, Resources for the Future (RFF) and EPRI are hosting a webinar on the air quality and climate impacts of EPA’s Clean Power Plan.  The webinar will cover key issues in the air quality benefits estimates and their economic valuation, as well as the complexities of the social cost of carbon and its application to carbon dioxide reduction policies.  This is the fourth event in a joint EPRI-RFF series on EPA’s Clean Power Plan: Exploring Opportunities for Collaboration and Compliance. Learn more about the series and future events at www.rff.org/CPPseries.

 

Third Q Solar Report Released – Tomorrow at 1:00 p.m., SEIA and GTM Research will hold a webinar covering the highlights of the U.S. Solar Market Insight: Q3 2014 Report.  The U.S. solar industry continued to grow rapidly in Q3 2014, with impressive year over year growth led by strong performances from both the residential and utility PV sectors. The webinar highlights trends in Q3, both at the national level and in some of the top state markets. The discussion will also include detailed PV and CSP market forecasts for the rest of 2014 and beyond.  Cory Honeyman of GTM Research and Shawn Rumery of SEIA will speak.

 

CSIS Conference to Look at Role of Coal – The CSIS Energy and National Security Program will host an event Wednesday afternoon examining the key factors that affect coal usage in major economies as well as the current state of clean coal technology deployment. Over the course of the conference, speakers will examine coal from economic competitiveness, development, energy security and climate perspectives, thus providing insights into the future role of coal.  While the robust development of shale gas and the proposed regulation on greenhouse gas emissions from existing power plants challenge the viability coal in the United States, the forecast for coal demand remains strong for developing parts of the world for decades to come as economic development continues to drive their energy and electricity demand. Simultaneously, the worldwide momentum to address climate change and the continued growth in coal consumption—primarily outside the United States—make the development and deployment of clean technology pressing.

 

Forum to Look at Russia, Pipeline Projects – The Center for Global Interest will hold a forum on Wednesday at 11:00 a.m. at JHU’s SAIS to discuss Russia and pipeline projects.  On a recent visit to Ankara, Russian President Putin announced the scrapping of the multibillion dollar South Stream gas pipeline project and signaled that a new link could be built with Turkey. JHU will host a discussion on the cancellation of South Stream and the resulting geopolitical and economic implications for the region.  Speakers will include Edward Chow, senior fellow in the Energy and National Security Program at CSIS, and Tim Boersma, fellow and acting director of the Energy Security Initiative at Brookings, to consider what the latest development means for Europe, Russia, Turkey and the United States. CGI Program Director Konstantin Avramov will moderate the discussion.

 

Senate Environment to Look at New Ozone Rule – On Wednesday at 2:30 p.m., the Senate Environment Committee’s Subcommittee on Clean Air and Nuclear Safety will hold an oversight hearing to examine the Environmental Protection Agency’s proposed National Ambient Air Quality Standards for ozone.  The hearing will be held only if the Senate remains in session.

 

JHU to Host National Security Expert – For their next Rethinking Seminar, Johns Hopkins University and the Applied Physics Laboratory will host Edward Chow on Wednesday at 6:00 p.m. in Pentagon City.  Chow is a Senior Fellow in the Energy and National Security Program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies and will discuss the renaissance in U.S. oil and gas production, trends in world-wide energy production and use, the geopolitical consequences of new sources of energy and trade, and the potential international security consequences.

 

Forum to Look at Engineering Technologies – On Thursday at 8:30 a.m., the U.S. Energy Association will hold a forum energy technology and engineering challenges.  The U.S. Department of Energy is seeking to understand the broader technical challenges related to subsurface technology and engineering for energy applications such as oil and gas, carbon storage, geothermal, and waste disposal.  This briefing will aim to facilitate a dialogue with industry on what they perceive as the key challenges and opportunities regarding new subsurface signals.

 

BPC to Look at Energy Review – The Bipartisan Policy Center will hold a presentation on Thursday looking at the In-Depth Review (IDR) of U.S. Energy Policy 2013. IDR is a report that focuses on one of the IEA’s 29 member countries to examine key developments in energy policy. The IEA’s IDR reviews each member country approximately every five years, meeting with officials and experts both inside and outside of government.  In June 2013, the IDR peer-led team visited Washington, D.C. to review the United States on a wide range of energy-related topics, best practices and objectives. The 2013 IDR focuses on energy power supply (electricity) as a special chapter in addition to the comprehensive energy review, highlighting the evolving U.S. energy policy framework that has occurred in the United States since the last IDR was completed in 2007.  The event will feature Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz and International Energy Agency (IEA) Executive Director Maria van der Hoeven.

 

SE Wind Facts Sheets, Webinar Set – As the lead organization for the Southeast Wind Energy Resource Center funded by the U.S. Department of Energy, The Southeastern Wind Coalition (SEWC) has released a new set of fact sheets to highlight the impact of turbine technology advancements on the potential for land-based wind energy in the Southeast.   A webinar will be held on Thursday at 2:00 p.m. to explore the data behind the maps and to discuss the implications for building the land-based wind industry in the Southeast.

 

FUTURE EVENTS

 

Top 15 for ’15 – The BG Energy Update will roll out its 15 issues for 2015 on Monday January 5th as we return from the Holiday Break.  Don’t Miss it…

 

Gerard to Address  State of Energy – API will hold its 2015 State of American Energy luncheon on Tuesday, January 6 at the Ronald Reagan Building.  API head Jack Gerard will speak.

 

Detroit Auto Show to Roll Out New Vehicles – The 2015 North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) will open for Press Preview January 12-13th at Cobo Center in Detroit.  Now in its 27th year as an international event, the NAIAS is among the most prestigious auto shows in the world, providing unparalleled access to the automotive products, people and ideas that matter most – up close and in one place.  On January  16th, rock legend Steve Miller Band will perform at the largest single night fundraiser in the world: the North American International Auto Show’s Charity Preview.

 

DC Policy Auto Show Set – The 2015 Washington Auto Show Public Policy Days are set for Wednesday, January 21st in the Cannon House Office Building and Thursday, January 22nd at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center.    The annual Sneak Peek Reception, the highly anticipated social and networking event held before Washington’s largest public show opens to attendees, offers automotive industry thought leaders and decision maker’s exclusive early access to the most impressive new models and technological innovations on display at the 2015 Washington Auto Show.  Set for Thursday, January 22, from 5-8 p.m. the Sneak Peek Reception marks the finale of the 2015 Public Policy days, which brings together executives and legislators who influence the automotive sector to address the key issues affecting the industry, its employees and customers, including energy conservation, the environment, and consumer safety technologies.  The Show opens on January 23rd and runs through February 1st.

 

FCC Chair to Address NARUC Winter Meetings – The 2015 NARUC Winter Committee Meetings will be held on February 15-18th at the Renaissance Washington Hotel.  The Winter Meetings is the first substantive utility-regulatory conference of the year. Discussions will focus on the new Congress’ outlook for energy and telecommunications priorities.  Tom Wheeler, Chairman of the  Federal Communications Commission will be among the keynote speakers.

 

Geothermal Event Set for February – The Geothermal Energy Association’s State of the Geothermal Energy Industry Briefing will be held on Tuesday, February 24th at the Hyatt Regency Capitol Hill.

 

Energy Update Week of October 28

Friends,

Just a short note today as I am still tired from last night’s trek to the 1st Mariner Arena in Baltimore to catch the Pearl Jam show.  That was on top of close to 500 miles of driving, hauling kids around to the first of several fall lax tournaments and college recruit play days.

The show was terrific and included many of the classics (Corduroy, Daughter, Better Man, Elderly Woman…), a number of the new songs off Lightning Bolt and a few covers including The Who’s Love Reign O’er Me, Neil Young’s Rocking in the Free World and a few lines of English Beat’s Save it for Later during Better Man.   I always liked Pearl Jam but was more of a Soundgarden/Alice in Chains guy when listening to the Seattle sound.  But last night, I really respected Pearl Jam for their honoring of Lou Reed, who passed away yesterday.  Not only did they do a cover of the Velvet Underground classic I’m Waiting for the Man, they also sprinkled a “Walk on the Side” tag during Daughter.   Obviously a big influence on them and really classy…

On the Hill this week, the House Energy and Commerce Committee will really turn to health care and the President’s struggle over ACA implementation when Kathleen Sibelius visits for what will be somewhat uncomfortable testimony.  Before that though, the focus on coal returns when the Committee’s Energy panel holds a hearing tomorrow on EPA rules affecting the coal industry, particularly a proposal to regulate GHGs for new power plants.  Also on this theme tomorrow, the House Science Committee looks at the technological feasibility of EPA’s proposal and one planned for upcoming proposals for existing units.  Expect a significant discussion of the Kemper project.  For background on Kemper, look here.  Both hearings coincide with coal rallies in Washington aimed at highlighting the potential harm to coal country, as well as an expected ministerial meeting on CCS technologies next week.  Finally tomorrow, also in House Energy, the Committee returns to bipartisan legislation aimed at speeding reviews for pipeline and transmission infrastructure.

Today, the National Academy of Sciences released a report today saying the Ocean Energy Safety Institute, a Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement program to identify best practices for offshore drilling needs to tap a wide variety of experts and have sustained funding in order to be effective.  As we work on these issues, we have resources, including Shallow Water Energy Security Coalition expert Jim Noe.  I also have a recent letter from the 6 trade associations that represent oil and gas producers who conduct essentially all of the OCS oil and gas exploration and production activities in the Gulf of Mexico that has thoughts on similar topics.  Can forward if you want to see.

Finally, congrats to our friend Andrew Light, a great climate/foreign affairs expert at CAP, who is heading over to help the climate negotiation team headed by Todd Stern at the State Department.  I don’t know, Warsaw in late November/December sounds a little chilly… (h/t POLITCOPro).

Spooks and Ghouls roll on Thursday.  We’re looking to set a volume and time record this year for our 500 home neighborhood (Halloween is an opportunity for a cardio workout in our house).   Next week I’ll give you my annual Pumpkin Seed flavor update.  I am busy digging in, flavoring and Cooking all this week.  (For those of you that don’t know, each Halloween, my kids and I dig through about 20 pumpkins and I make different flavored seeds.  It is almost as rich a tradition in my office as the update itself). Call with questions.

 

Frank Maisano
(202) 828-5864
c. (202) 997-5932

 

IN THE NEWS

Report Says Funding, Industry Expertise Needed for New Offshore Institute – A new report from the National Academy of Engineering and National Research Council says BSEE will need to draw on expertise outside the government to help it improve efforts to identify and develop the “best available and safest technologies” for offshore oil and gas production.  The agency’s plans for forming an independent institute to enhance safe and responsible offshore operations across the oil and gas industry could be a “suitable vehicle” for evaluating and developing new technologies to meet the mandate, the report says, but the institute’s scope should be significantly expanded.  The report says  BSEE should enlist a multidisciplinary group of individuals with the necessary skills to perform critical technical assessments, economic analysis, and independent reviews when needed, the report says. The planned institute would greatly aid in tapping the additional talent BSEE needs, as long as OESI is properly organized, staffed, and supported.  However, the proposed funding level of up to $5 million over five years to launch OESI is likely to be insufficient for purposes other than planning and could limit BSEE’s ability to attract and retain key personnel. To strengthen in-house talent, BSEE should consider hiring a reputable chief engineer or chief scientist with expertise in offshore drilling and production activities to work within the bureau and serve as an interface with OESI.  The report also says BSEE could recruit industry retirees and develop a “cross-posting” system with technical staff rotating between government and industry, similar to the one used by the FAA.

EIA, EPA Data Show Drop in Carbon Emissions – EPA and EIA both reported last week that carbon emissions have dropped last year. Carbon emissions from energy use fell in 2012 to, EIA released its annual report saying emissions were down 3.8% from the previous year, to 5,290 million metric tons. It was the second consecutive year energy emissions declined and the lowest since 1994.  EIA said the decline to a 2.4% reduction in energy consumption, despite gross domestic product growth of about 2.8%.   The following day, EPA said domestic GHGs from the power sector fell for the second year in a row because of greater reliance on natural gas over coal.  The data was gathered through information submitted by 1,611 plants in the GHG Reporting Program, showing emissions declined 5.9% over the previous year.

Rural Utilities to Get Loan Guarantees – At the NRECA meeting in San Antonio, the USDA Rural Utilities Service says it will provide funding for rural electric utility system improvements that will benefit residential and business customers in 23 states. The projects include more than $14.3 million to implement smart grid technology and nearly $11 million to improve electric service for Native Americans.   The $960 million in USDA loan guarantees announced today will help build 3,587 miles of line, benefit approximately 17,000 rural residential and business customers, and make other system improvements. Including today’s announcement, the Obama Administration has invested $152 million in smart grid technologies nationwide during 2013.  View the list of recipients. USDA funding is contingent upon the recipient meeting the terms of the loan agreement.

MSC Announces New Chief – After a two-month search process, the Marcellus Shale Coalition (MSC) said David Spigelmyer will serve as its president.  Spigelmyer, with a 30-year career in the energy industry, takes the position today.  Spigelmyer served as Vice President of Chesapeake Energy Corporation’s Appalachia division, where he was responsible for government relations, regulatory policy, stakeholder engagement and communications efforts. Prior to Chesapeake, he served in similar roles at EQT Corporation and Dominion Resources and held other energy industry-related positions in New York State as well as in Washington, DC. A Clearfield County native, Mr. Spigelmyer is a Penn State University graduate and an active outdoorsman.  Spigelmyer said safe shale development has been one of the most transformative turning points in PA’s history. “Led by Pennsylvania’s natural gas industry and a robust and diverse membership of the MSC, we can and will have energy security, job growth, and environmental protection – without a false choice among any of the three.”

EIA Rolls out New Gas Shale Data – EIA began publication of a new monthly Drilling Productivity Report (DPR) to provide region-specific insights into rig efficiency, new well productivity, decline rates at previously existing wells, and overall production trends. The DPR information, which initially will cover six regions, will also inform EIA’s own short-term production outlook. In 2011-12, these six regions accounted for 90% of domestic oil production growth and virtually all domestic natural gas production growth.  The DPR synthesizes several different types of information to shed light on the current rate of growth or decline in production based on indicators including the active rig count, drilling efficiency and the productivity of new wells, and production and depletion trends for previously producing wells. The DPR metrics are intended to be more informative than traditional indicators such as simple counts of oil-directed and gas-directed drilling rigs in use.   Future TIE articles will discuss the individual metrics included in the DPR and explain their relationship to traditional measures. Additional articles will periodically report on significant changes in DPR data and estimates as warranted.

Racing Legend/Philanthropist Hendrick to Be Honor at DC Auto Show in 2014 – Philanthropist, creator of an automotive empire and the most successful NASCAR owner of the modern era, Rick Hendrick has been named the 2014 recipient of the Keith Crain/Automotive News Lifetime Achievement Award, presented at The Washington Auto Show early next year.  Hendrick is the founder and chairman of Hendrick Automotive Group, the nation’s second-largest privately held automotive dealership group and the sixth-largest automotive dealership group overall and Hendrick Motorsports, winners of 13 NASCAR owner’s championships and more than 200 victories in the elite Sprint cup Series.  Hendrick Automotive Group operates 87 dealerships representing 28 nameplates, 121 franchises and 24 collision centers and three accessories distributor installers in 13 states. The company employs more than 9,000 people. Hendrick Motorsports currently fields four teams that are in embroiled in NASCAR’s playoffs, The Chase for the Sprint Cup, with drivers Jimmie Johnson, Jeff Gordon, Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Kasey Kahne.  Hendrick also established the Hendrick Marrow Program in 1997 after he was diagnosed with leukemia. Even though he did not need a marrow transplant himself, he wanted to help other patients waiting to find a marrow match and a second chance at life.  The Hendrick Marrow Program works with Be The Match Foundation to support the work of the National Marrow Donor Program®. Specifically it raises money to add more potential marrow donors to the Be The Match Registry, increasing the chances that more patients can find their match. It also helps patients with uninsured transplant costs, which are often a barrier to treatment.  Since inception, the Hendrick Marrow Program has raised more than $12 million, added more than 100,000 marrow donors to the Be The Match Registry, and eased the financial burden of over 8,000 patients with grants from the Hendrick Family Fund for Patient Assistance.

 

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

AAAS Panel on Sustainability Continues – Following this week’s Sustainability Challenge event sponsored by Georgetown University’s Science in the Public Interest,  the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the American Chemical Society, NPR’s David Kestenbaum will host next today at 5:00 p.m.  The event will feature Bill Hooke of the American Meteorological Society,  Texas State Climatologist John NielsenGammon and Donald Preston of Swiss Re.

Shelanski to Headline Cost-Benefit Forum – The NYU School of Law’s Institute for Policy Integrity will hold a forum today in NYU’s Vanderbilt Hall to discuss cost-benefit analysis.  The event will feature leading practitioners, government officials, and academics for NYU’s 5th annual practitioners’ workshop on the federal regulatory process.  The workshop will be an introduction to economic analysis and its role in the regulatory process, as well as a nuanced look at how the technique is used by federal administrative agencies. This year’s workshop will also mark the 20th anniversary of Executive Order 12,866. Howard Shelanski, Administrator of OMB’s Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs will keynote.

Argus Carbon Summit Set for Cali – Argus will hold its California Carbon Summit today through Wednesday at the Hyatt Fisherman’s Wharf in San Francisco, California. The event will feature informative sessions that will address the business and transactional aspects of the Cap-and-Trade program including the dynamics of procuring carbon allowances at auction and in the secondary market, offset procurement and strategies, managing regulatory and market changes, among many other relevant topics.  Speakers will include our Argus friends Caroline Gentry, Kim Moore and Bill Peters, as well as Cal EPA’s Mark Wenzel, BP’s Ralph Moran, Tanya Peacock of the Southern California Gas Company and Belinda Morris of the American Carbon Registry, among others.

OPIS Event to Look at Oil Market Dynamics – The 15th annual OPIS National Supply Summit will be held in Las Vegas today through Wednesday at the beautiful Mandarin Oriental.  Speakers will include PBF Energy Executive Chairman Thomas O’Malley, Tesoro Corporation Operations VP Dan Romasko, and expert Phil Verleger, among many others.  Topics will include “re-wiring” of the North American distribution system, the architectural shifts in North American and world crude oil prices, and the inter-market and intra-market refined products price volatility.

Forum to Look at Innovation in Grid – The Information Technology and Innovation Foundation will hold a forum tomorrow at 9:30 a.m. on building the next-gen electric grid through innovation.  To gauge how innovation is shaping the electric grid of the future, The Information Technology and Innovation Foundation, the Digital Energy and Sustainability Solutions Campaign, and the Energy Future Coalition have convened a diverse group of experts to discuss what innovative technologies are advancing the smart grid and how can policy accelerate the transition.  Presenters will include Schneider Electric’s Phil Davis, John Jimison of the Energy Future Coalition, NARUC’s Miles Keogh and David Malkin of GE Digital Energy.

House Energy to Discuss Coal Issues, Pipelines – The House Energy & Commerce panel on Energy will hold  two hearing tomorrow.  In the morning at 10:00 a.m., they will take up bipartisan legislation to expedite federal reviews of border-crossing pipelines and electric transmission lines.  Witnesses include FERC’s Jeff Wright, Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation commissioner David Mears, Mark Mills of the Manhattan Institute, Canadian Electricity Association President Jim Burpee, Plains All American Pipeline exec John Kyles for AOPL, former EIA official Mary Hutzler and Blackcreek Environmental regulatory expert Paul Blackburn.  In the afternoon, the panel will focus on EPA rules affecting the coal industry, particularly a proposal to regulate GHGs for new power plants. Witnesses include Bell County KY Judge Executive Albey Brock, Raymond Ventrone of Boilermakers Local 154 in Pittsburgh, Roger Horton of Citizens for Coal, Pennsylvania Coal Alliance CEO John Pippy, former Delta County, CO commissioner Olen Lund and Braddock, PA Mayor John Fetterman.

House Science to Tackle CCS, GHG Tech Issues –  Also tomorrow morning at 10:00 a.m., two subpanels of the House Science Committee will hold a hearing tomorrow focused on the technological feasibility of EPA’s proposal and one planned for upcoming proposals for existing units.  Obviously, expect a significant discussion of Mississippi Power’s Kemper project.  Witnesses include Rice University’s Charles McConnell, National Research Center for Coal and Energy Director Richard Bajura of West Virginia University, Kurt Waltzer of the Clean Air Task Force and former EPA General Counsel Roger Martella.   On Wednesday, the Committee’s panel on Energy will convene a hearing at 9:30 a.m. on funding basic energy research.  Witnesses will include DOE Deputy Director for Science Programs Pat Dehmer, Lawrence Berkeley National Lab Deputy Director Horst Simon and Dr. John Hemminger, Chairman of the DOE’s Basic Energy Sciences Advisory Committee.

House Resources to Look at Hydro, Storage – The House Natural Resources Committee’s Subcommittee on Water and Power will hold an oversight hearing tomorrow at 10:00 a.m. on increasing water and hydropower supplies and the : the need for new or expanded multi-purpose surface storage facilities.

Forum to Look at Nuclear Energy Policy – Nuclear Policy Talks and the Institute for Nuclear Materials Management will hold a forum tomorrow at the George Washington University to look at US nuclear energy policy.  The US nuclear industry faces challenges domestically, with low natural gas prices, a post-Fukushima regulatory environment and tight capital. Internationally, the US is no longer the only supplier of nuclear technology and faces competition from State-backed suppliers. Joyce Connery, Director, Nuclear Energy Policy, Office of International Economics, National Security Council will discuss the role of the US Government in supporting the US nuclear industry and how maintaining a strong nuclear industry enhances US national interests to include nonproliferation, security, safety, commerce and prosperity.

Chamber to Look at Trade Supply Chain – The U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation is proud to host the Chief Executive Officer of Brambles, Tom Gorman, as a part of the CEO Leadership Series. At the luncheon event, Mr. Gorman will speak to the importance of global supply chains and trade facilitation and the critical link to the competitiveness of business.  He will also cover the opportunities Brambles sees with the Transpacific Partnership (TPP) and the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) to producing a robust global economy.

JHU to Host Keystone Debate – Johns Hopkins University will host a debate in its Kenney Auditorium of its Nitze Building tomorrow at 5:00 p.m.  Charles Doran, director of the SAIS Canadian Studies Program, will take the pro side, Daniel Weiss, senior fellow and director of Climate Strategy at the Center for American Progress, will take the con side, and Debbie Bleviss, acting director of the SAIS Energy, Resources and Environment Program, will moderate.

MD LCV to Host Annual Dinner – Tomorrow night at the US Navy Stadium, the Maryland League of Conservation Voters holds its annual Kabler Dinner, starting at 6:00 p.m.  This year, the group honors Dru Schmidt Perkins, Del. Maggie McIntosh and Gov. O’Malley.

EPA GHG Listening Sessions – EPA continues its 11 public listening sessions across the country in Denver Wednesday to solicit ideas and input from the public and stakeholders about the best Clean Air Act approaches to reducing carbon pollution from existing power plants.  Other meetings include, Monday November 4th in Lexana, KS and Boston, Tuesday November 5th in San Francisco, Thursday November 7th in DC, Dallas and Seattle and finally, Chicago and Philadelphia on Friday November 8th.  For more information on these sessions and to register online, go to EPA’s Site.

NRDC Expert to Promote Social Cost of Carbon Change – The Association for Environmental Studies and Sciences will host an inaugural webinar on Wednesday at 2:00 p.m. looking at the social costs of carbon and President Obama’s Climate Action Plan.  The event will be an enviro groups focus a new study of metrics for quantifying the social costs of carbon and the implications for policymaking.  NRDC’s Laurie Johnson will discuss her new article in the Journal of Environmental Studies and Sciences, “The social cost of carbon: implications for modernizing our electricity system,” covering the results in the paper and how they relate to the President’s Climate Action Plan.

EPRI to Discuss Vampire Loads On Halloween – Our friends at the Electric Power Research Institute will host a special Halloween-inspired discussion about energy efficiency focused on Vampire Loads on Thursday at 12:00 p.m.  Vampire loads refer to the electric power consumed by electronic appliances while they are switched off.  Join us for a special Halloween-inspired brown bag event to find out what you can do to face up to this “scary” power situation.  We will discuss the occurrence and prevalence of vampire loads as well as learn about insights for dealing with them.   Speakers will include EPA’s Kristinn Leonhart – ENERGY STAR Brand Manager, ecoCoach’s Cindy Olson and EPRI’s Barbara Bauman Tyran.

Forum to Look at Cross Border Energy Issues – The University of Colorado Law School’s Silicon Flatirons Center will hold a forum Thursday at 2:00 p.m. on trends, challenges, and opportunities in North America cross-border energy transactions.  The conference will explore key aspects of the growing business of cross-border energy transactions across North America and the prospects for continued integration of North American energy markets.  Academics, industry leaders, and practicing attorneys will come together to discuss the current state of energy transactions and share their thoughts on the future during a time of dramatic changes in the global energy industry. Panelists and speakers will address the recent growth in unconventional oil and gas development and its implications for cross-border transactions, changing regulatory contexts for cross-border energy investments and project development, and the policy and regulatory changes necessary to spur additional integration of North American energy markets.

Ex-Officials, Hofmeister to Address Energy Conference – The NATO Energy Security Center of Excellence and the Institute for the Analysis of Global Security (IAGS) will host the Target Energy 2013 Conference on Thursday and Friday at the Omni Shoreham Hotel in Washington, D.C. The conference will address the latest issues facing energy operations and security across NATO Member and Partner nations.   Target Energy 2013 will address energy issues ranging from how best to protect on-and-offshore infrastructure to preventing the increasingly frequent millisecond cyber-attacks against network systems and infrastructure.   The objectives are to actively stimulate civil-military co-operation and exchange on shared energy concerns, further public outreach between NATO bodies and private industry technology and solutions’ providers.  Speakers will include former EU Ambassador Boyden Gray, former CIA Director James Woolsey, former NSA head Robert McFarlane and former Shell CEO John Hofmeister, among many others.

NATO Conference Focuses on Supply Chain Threats – The NATO Energy Security Center of Excellence and the Institute for the Analysis of Global Security are holding the Target Energy 2013 Conference on Thursday and Friday at the Omni Shorham Hotel. The event features international government officials, policymakers, defense planners, logisticians, energy industry executives, security solution providers and IT experts from NATO member and partner countries. The conference mission is to secure a 21st century energy supply chain against emerging threats.

NASEO Reschedule Winter Fuels Outlook – The U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability, U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), and the National Association of State Energy Officials will host the rescheduled 2013–2014 Winter Fuels Outlook Conference on Friday at the National Press Club.   The conference will address global oil supply uncertainty, and the effects of projected winter weather on the demand for heating and key transportation fuels.  A range of market factors that may impact the supply, distribution and prices of petroleum, natural gas and electricity this winter will be discussed in great detail by some the nation’s leading energy data and forecasting experts.

Atomic Energy Chief To Speak at Wilson Forum – On Friday at Noon, International Atomic Energy Agency chief Yukiya Amano speaks at the Wilson Center about the essential role of the IAEA in promoting the peaceful use of atomic energy worldwide, helping to promote nuclear safety and monitoring national nuclear programs. It is expected that the discussion will also touch on safeguard activities of the Agency, including developments with regard to Iran.  In addition to Amano, speakers include former Rep. Jane Harman and former Correspondent in Vienna for Agence France-Presse News Agency Michael Adler.

 

FUTURE EVENTS

World Energy Ministers to Meet on Carbon Capture, Storage – Energy ministers from 22 nations and the European Commission are expected to attend the Carbon Sequestration Leadership Forum’s (CSLF) Fifth Ministerial Meeting in Washington, D.C., November 4-7th.  This 5th Ministerial Conference, coinciding with the 10th anniversary of the founding of the CSLF,  will reaffirm that carbon capture and storage (CCS) is a critically important low-carbon technology with application beyond coal power generation, and will call upon CSLF Ministers to support more coordinated near-term global actions to further develop and deploy CCS.  The Ministerial Meeting provides an opportunity for decision-makers from industry and governments to discuss the key challenges facing CCS and to agree on a strategy and action plan for closer collaboration on the commercialization of CCS technology.  The Ministerial meeting on November 7 will include keynote addresses from the International Energy Agency on future energy use and greenhouse gas emissions, and the state of the CCS industry by the Global CCS Institute.  The highlight will be a CEO roundtable, where industrial participants in major CCS projects around the world will discuss their experiences. U.S. Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz will attend and be conferring with energy ministers from the other CSLF member countries.

JHU to host NRDC Expert on Social Cost of Carbon Change – JHU will also host NRDC’s Laurie Johnson for a forum next Tuesday at Noon looking at the social costs of carbon and President Obama’s Climate Action Plan.  The event will be an enviro groups focus a new study of metrics for quantifying the social costs of carbon and the implications for policymaking.  Johnson will discuss her new article in the Journal of Environmental Studies and Sciences, “The social cost of carbon: implications for modernizing our electricity system,” covering the results in the paper and how they relate to the President’s Climate Action Plan.

CSIS to Hold Global Security Forum – The Center for Strategic and International Studies will host a Global Security Forum 2013 on Tuesday, November 5th at 1:15 p.m. looking at energy and geopolitics.  Speakers will Include Ivan Sandrea of Ernst and Young London, ARC Financial Corp Chief Energy Economist & Managing Director Peter Tertzakian and J. Robinson West of IHS-Energy Insight.

WCEE to Host Canadian Minister – The Women’s Council on Energy and the Environment (WCEE) will continue it Brown-Bag Luncheon Series will a forum on Tuesday, Nov 5th at Noon featuring Sheila Riordan, Minister Political from the Canadian Embassy in Washington DC. Ms. Riordan will provide an overview of Canada’s current energy agenda and also discuss opportunities and challenges for US-Canada energy coordination.   Prior to her assignment at the Canadian Embassy, she served as Director General of Canada’s Energy, Climate and Circumpolar Affairs Bureau and was also Canada’s Senior Arctic Official in the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade. She has also held positions with Canada’s Departments of Finance, Natural Resources, Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada.  The event will be at Exelon at 101 Constitution Ave.

Webinar to Look at Solar Integration – DOE will host a Webinar on Thursday, November 7th at 1:00 p.m. on a new initiative on grid integration for solar power.  Grid integration is fast becoming one of the most critical areas of focus for the continued development of the U.S. solar market.  The industry, including SEIA, has been active in overcoming barriers to grid integration for years, but the issues are becoming increasingly complex as additional capacity is added to the grid at the utility scale, wholesale distributed generation, rooftop, commercial, and utility scales. This webinar will focus on the policy and technical issues that present both challenges and opportunities for solar as it plays an increasingly important role for utilities and distributed solar users alike. Kevin Lynn, who heads the new crosscutting DOE energy systems integration effort of the U.S. Department of Energy to identify and address these issues, how the government plans to work with industry and the public on resolving them, and what the path forward looks like.  SEIA’s Tom Kimbis also participates as well.

RFF Paper to Discuss Shale Revolution –Resources for The Future (RFF) will hold its November First Wednesday Seminar on November 13th at 3:45 p.m. to discuss shale gas.  The Shale revolution in the United States has dropped the price of natural gas significantly. Combined with new fuel and vehicle technologies, an opportunity exists to expand the use of natural gas throughout the economy, including in the light-duty fleet of cars and trucks. This expansion could involve the direct combustion of the gas in the form of compressed natural gas or liquid petroleum gas or, alternatively, the use of natural gas–based liquid fuels such as ethanol or methanol. In a new paper, “Cheaper Fuels for the Light Duty Fleet: Opportunities and Barriers,” RFF researchers Arthur Fraas, Winston Harrington, and Richard Morgenstern examine the potential economic, environmental, and national security gains from replacing a portion of the gasoline used in the domestic light-duty fleet with these various natural gas–based fuels. They also look at the regulatory barriers to the expanded use of the fuels.  At the event, the research team shares key findings, including how using these fuels could yield fuel cost savings relative to conventional gasoline—along with gains to national security and, possibly, some environmental benefits. Panelists will also comment on the costs and benefits of these fuels, as well as regulatory and political challenges to their broader adoption.

NARUC Set for Orlando – The 125th annual NARUC meeting will be held in Orlando, Florida at the Hilton Bonnet Creek, November 17th through 20th.  Speakers include NIST Director Patrick Gallagher, FCC Chair Mignon Clyburn and AWEA Tom Kiernan, among many others.

BPC, NARUC to Hold 2nd Clean Air Act Workshop – On December 6th, BPC’s Energy Project – along with the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC) – will host the second workshop on section 111(d), which will focus on the use of economic modeling to understand the potential impacts of GHG power plant regulation.  Stay tuned for more details in the coming days on our the BPC/NARUC websites.

Court to Hear Mercury Cases in December – The U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit has scheduled oral arguments on December 10th on two consolidated cases concerning EPA’s Mercury and Air Toxics Standards for power plants.  Both rules were finalized in 2012.  The Oral arguments for both White Stallion Energy Center LLC v. EPA and Utility Air Regulatory Group v. EPA will be held at 9:30 a.m. in DC before Chief Judge Merrick Garland and Circuit Judges Judith Rogers and Brett Kavanaugh.

Energy Update Week of October 21

Friends,

 

Now that the government shutdown has been resolved (at least until after Christmas), we can return our focus to the business at hand: the new health care law, climate change and most importantly, the World Series.   The Red Sox and Cardinals clash starting Wednesday at Fenway Park in Boston after timely hitting launched them past the solid starting pitching of the Detroit Tigers.  The Cardinals return to the World Series for the 4th time in 10 years after dispatching the Los Angeles Dodgers 9-0 in Game 6 of the NLCS.  Should be a very good series.

In case you missed it, on the policy issues there are lot of good items shaking out.  While we don’t pay that much attention to the health care law, we do follow the climate issue pretty closely last time I checked.  And last week, the Supreme Court granted a petition to hear an important case regarding the use of Clean Air Act permitting authority to advance the EPA’s carbon agenda during the court’s 2013-2014 term.

My colleague Scott Segal said by granting cert, “the Court indicates that there is real substance behind the notion that EPA may have stretched its legal authority to the breaking point in order to address carbon issues beyond what was intended under the Clean Air Act.  Given that significant and well-crafted legal challenges are doubtless on the way for the power plant rules, the EPA would be well advised to take the opportunity to develop regulations that stick to the clear intent of the Act rather than pushing the envelope in favor of a political carbon agenda.”   You can always Call Scott (202-828-5845) or Jeff Holmstead (202-828-5852) for more background and quotes.

This week is slow in Washington on Capitol Hill as the government starts to ramp back up, but there are a few good events around town, including the ELI annual dinner and forum tomorrow.  Our friend and former NY Times reporter Kate Galbraith discusses her and Austin A-S colleague Asher Price’s book, The Great Texas Windrush on Wednesday at the New America Foundation.  Also Wednesday, Hispanics In Energy will hold their Final National Energy Policy Summit in Washington DC with our friend Joe Desmond of BrightSource Energy among the speakers.  Finally, Following last week’s 40th anniversary of the oil embargo, the CSIS Energy and National Security Program will host U.S. Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz on Thursday at 10:45 a.m. to reflect on energy technology and policy changes.

On the Out-of-town scoreboard, this is AWEA’s Offshore Wind Week in Providence, Rhode Island with social events getting rolling tonight, and tomorrow/Wednesday featuring a number of great policy, technology and industry issue panels.  Interior Secretary Sally Jewell is slated to speak, following in the Ken Salazar tradition. News-wise, the Atlantic Wind Connection said today it is unveiling a new contracting portal for its New Jersey Energy Link project, the multi-year offshore transmission backbone, to help local contracting and service businesses to connect with one of New Jersey’s most exciting opportunities for new jobs.  (see below)

And with the government back on, EPA reloads its 11 public listening sessions across the country to solicit ideas and input from the public and stakeholders about the best Clean Air Act approaches to reducing carbon pollution from existing power plants with Wednesday forums in New York and Atlanta.  Last week, it cancelled its two sessions in Boston and Philadelphia, which have been rescheduled for November 4th and November 8th respectively.

Finally, the Women in Manufacturing SUMMIT 2013 will host nearly 300 leading women manufacturing executives, managers and supervisors from across the country in Dearborn, MI, tomorrow and Wednesday hosted by the Precision Metalforming Association (PMA).  Designed exclusively for women who have chosen a career in the manufacturing industry, the annual event provides a unique opportunity for participants to share perspectives and network with female executives in the manufacturing sector.

 

Call with questions.

Frank Maisano
(202) 828-5864
c. (202) 997-5932

 

IN THE NEWS

New “The Fray” Video Features Ivanpah Images – As many of you know, we  were potentially going to Host a Newsmaker with the band, The Fray, today to discuss their new record and their interest in renewable energy.  But schedules got the better of us for the short time line.  In fact, I think the Today Show (slated for Wednesday) probably won out over a nerdy, wonkish energy policy discussion at the National Press Club.  But they will be back and with a little more time, the event will be scheduled for a future date.   BTW, their show Saturday at the Smith Center was very good.  Here’s a link to their new single video “Love Don’t Die”, which was released today and has some cool images of Ivanpah.

NJ Energy Link Contractor Portal Open for Biz – A new contracting portal for the New Jersey Energy Link will help local contracting and service businesses to connect to opportunities for new jobs.  The New Jersey Energy Link is a state-of-the-art electric transmission system buried underground and under the seabed connecting southern and northern New Jersey to fix long-standing problems that are causing higher cost electricity.  Building this storm-hardened facility will require all facets of engineering and construction disciplines.   The process of building the submarine and underground cable system and related electric substations is expected to employ approximately 1,100 New Jersey workers for three to four years, plus a permanent operations and maintenance staff of about 75 workers.  Because it runs at sea through New Jersey’s wind energy area, the New Jersey Energy Link also can be used to efficiently connect and deliver power from future offshore wind farms.   The New Jersey Energy Link could become the foundation for many thousands of future jobs in a new New Jersey offshore wind industry.  According to a study by IHS Global Insight, a large, multi-year build out of offshore wind farms could create between 10 and 20 thousand jobs in the state, pump $9 billion into the State economy and bolster state and local tax revenues by $2.2 billion.  Building an offshore electrical substation platform to connect the wind turbines to the transmission system would employ an additional 500-600 New Jersey workers for two years for each platform according to estimates by Bechtel, the project’s Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) contractor.

NY Times Looks at Success of Solar Projects – The New York Times had a story late last week underscoring the successes of two loan guarantee solar projects, Ivanpah and Solana.  It discussed the successes and the role storage may play in expanding future endeavors in the desert.  Solana is a $2-billion project built with a $1.45 billion loan guarantee from the Department of Energy. Close behind is the Ivanpah project in California, which uses a field of mirrors mounted on thousands of pillars to focus the sun’s light on a tower with a tank. Engineers say that design could incorporate storage efficiently, because the tank reaches very high temperatures. That plant will enter commercial operation by the end of the year.

Report: Pipelines Safest Method of Oil Transportation – A new report from Canada’s Fraser Institute authored by our friend Ken Green and his colleague Diana Furchtgott-Roth says pipelines are the safest option when it comes to transporting oil.  The study says a greater reliance on pipelines is much safer that transportation on trains or trucks.  The study, Intermodal Safety in the Transport of Oil, determined that the rate of injury requiring hospitalization was 30 times lower among oil pipeline workers compared to rail workers involved in the transport of oil, based on extensive data collected in the United States. Road transport fared even worse, with an injury rate 37 times higher than pipelines based on reports to the U.S. Department of Transportation for the period 2005-2009.  The study also found the risk of spill incidents is lower for pipelines per billion ton-miles of oil movement compared to rail and road.  Resistance to pipeline infrastructure expansion is putting more pressure on road and rail systems as growth in North American oil production outpaces pipeline capacity. Petroleum production is now nearly 18 million barrels a day, and could climb to 27 million barrels a day by 2020. Road transport had the highest chance of a spill, almost 20 incidents per billion ton-miles. Rail had slightly over two incidents per billion ton-miles annually while pipelines had less than 0.6 per billion ton-miles annually.  The above report’s timing proved perfect as this weekend another CN train carrying liquefied petroleum gas and crude derailed just west of Edmonton.

Report Hits Supermarkets for HFCs – A new report from NGO, the Environmental Investigation Agency says supermarkets are major sources of hydrofluorocarbons, or HFCs, a potent greenhouse gas used in refrigerators and air conditioners.  It also adds that the biggest U.S. supermarkets aren’t doing enough to stop leaks or transition to alternatives.  The report is timely since Montreal Protocol implementation discussions ramp up in Bangkok (insert any Hangover II joke) this week.

Renewable Energy Provides 30% Of New U.S. Electrical Generating Capacity in 2013 – According to the latest “Energy Infrastructure Update” report from FERC’s Office of Energy Projects, renewable energy sources (i.e., biomass, geothermal, solar, water, wind) accounted for 30.03% of all new domestic electrical generating capacity installed in the first nine months of 2013 for a total of 3,218 MW.  Natural gas dominated the first three-quarters of 2013 with 5,854 MW of new capacity (54.62%).  Among renewable energy sources, solar led the way for the first nine months of 2013 with 146 new “units” totaling 1,935 MW followed by wind with 9 units totaling 961 MW. Biomass added 57 new units totaling 192 MW while water  had 11 new units with an installed capacity of 116 MW and geothermal steam had one new unit (14 MW).  The newly installed capacity being provided by the solar units is second only to that of natural gas. The new solar capacity in 2013 is 77.36% higher than that for the same period in 2012.

 

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

BIOCYCLE To look at Renewable Energy From Organics Recycling – The American Biogas Council will hold the 13th annual BIOCYCLE Conference today through Wednesday in Columbus, OH at the Hyatt Regency Columbus.  Biocycle is the official conference of ABC and will have industry experts and policy makers providing the latest technological information on how to turn municipal, industrial and agricultural organic waste streams into power, renewable natural gas, vehicle fuels and high-value digestate and compost products.  For press credentials, contact Rill Ann Miller, at 610-967-4135, ext. 22, or biocycle@jgpress.com.

JHU Forum to Discuss Rare Earth Elements – The Johns Hopkins University hosts a forum tonight at 6:00 p.m. in its Rome Building Auditorium on Rare Earth Elements (REEs).  REEs are chemical elements that are critical for your mobile phones, laptops, green technologies, and even defense systems. Despite the fact that REEs are more abundant than silver and gold with known reserves in Australia and the U.S., China continues to monopolize global REE supplies, which could negatively impact the national security interests of other countries.  Leigh Hendrix, associate at Goldwyn Global Strategies, LLC; Marc Humphries, specialist in energy and mineral policy at the Congressional Research Service; and Michael Mazza, research fellow in foreign and defense policy studies at the American Enterprise Institute, will discuss chemical elements that are critical for mobile phones, laptops, green technologies and defense systems.

EIA, World Bank Highlight AAAS Panel on Sustainability – Georgetown University’s Science in the Public Interest,  the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the American Chemical Society continue the Sustainability Challenge: Energy, Resilience, & Conservation series at the AAAS Auditorium tonight at 5:00 p.m.  Our friend Richard Harris of NPR hosts EIA’s Howard Gruenspecht, Rob Gardner of ExxonMobil and the World Bank’s Vivien Foster.

Lott, Dorgan Headline Global Energy Summit – DLA Piper will hold its annual energy summit today and tomorrow, featuring BPC co-chairs and former senators Byron Dorgan and Trent Lott.  BPC co-founder and former senator Thomas Daschle, will speak tomorrow on a looking at American’s energy resurgence.  It addresses a February BPC report that looked at sustaining success and confronting challenges in the energy sector. The event will be held at the Park Hyatt Washington. Other speakers include House Energy Panel Chair Ed Whitfield, BP’s Mark Finley, API’s Kyle Isakower and our friend Pete Sheffield of Spectra Energy, among several others.

NatGeo to Screen Blackout Film – National Geographic will hold a panel session and screening of its new film American Blackout.  The film examines the repercussions of a cyberattack that shuts down the electric power grid by weaving together fictional stories of everyday Americans with video from recent, real blackouts.   Following the screening is a panel discussion on the potential for an actual cyberattack, the steps power companies have already taken to prevent damage to the electric grid and what additional actions are needed to respond effectively in the event of a potential, successful attack.  Our friend Matt Wald of the New York Times moderates a panel which includes NSA/CIA head Gen. Michael Hayden.

Women-In-Manufacturing Summit Heads to Detroit, Feature Auto Speakers – Nearly 300 leading women manufacturing executives, managers and supervisors from across the country will meet in Dearborn, MI, tomorrow and Wednesday for the Women in Manufacturing SUMMIT 2013, hosted by the Precision Metalforming Association (PMA).  Designed exclusively for women who have chosen a career in the manufacturing industry, this third annual event provides a unique opportunity for participants to share perspectives and network with female executives in the manufacturing sector.  This year’s SUMMIT will include timely panel and roundtable discussions as well as valuable track sessions on topics including employee engagement, mentoring, networking, marketing, team building, online and digital training resources for manufacturers, and emerging issues in the manufacturing supply chain.  There also will be stimulating keynote presentations and a networking reception and dinner.  Featured speakers at the 2013 SUMMIT will include Carhartt COO Linda Hubbard, Toyota exec Latondra Newton,

Gwenne Henricks of Caterpillar and General Motors SVP Alicia Boler Davis.

EPA GHG Listening Sessions – The EPA cancelled its two session in Boston and Philadelphia last week , but it looks like this week’s meeting of the 11 public listening sessions across the country to solicit ideas and input from the public and stakeholders about the best Clean Air Act approaches to reducing carbon pollution from existing power plants will be on.  They will be Wednesday in New York and Atlanta.  The cancelled meetings have been rescheduled for November 4th Boston and November 8th in Philadelphia.  No word on whether requests from members from coal states, who called for more sessions in their regions (which they say was purposely left off the list) will be set..  Other meetings include Wednesday October 30th in Denver, Monday November 4th in Lexana, KS, Tuesday November 5th in San Francisco, Thursday November 7th in DC, Dallas and Seattle and finally, Chicago on Friday November 8th.  For more information on these sessions and to register online, go to EPA’s Site.

Nissan EVs to Be Focus of Oct WAPA Event – The Washington Automotive Press Association (WAPA) will hold a luncheon with Nissan tomorrow at the National Press Club.  Erik Gottfried, Director of Electric Vehicle Sales and Marketing for Nissan North America will speak about the growing adoption of Nissan LEAF in markets across the U.S. With LEAF now price competitive with comparable gas-powered cars, people can easily see the benefit of giving up buying gas and driving the all-electric Nissan LEAF.  While sales have continued to rise in the traditional EV strongholds on the west coast like San Francisco, L.A., Seattle and Portland, a new wave of EV markets in the eastern half of the country have started to emerge. Sales are growing quickly in markets like Atlanta, St. Louis, Chicago and Washington D.C., driven by a number of factors.  Gottfried will discuss this phenomenon, some of the reasons behind it for D.C. and other markets, and how factors such as infrastructure development are getting even more customers to consider driving electric

ELI Dinner to Honor Steyer, Shultz – The Environmental Law Institute will hold its annual dinner tomorrow at The Omni Shoreham Hotel, honoring political energy gadfly Tom Steyer and former Secretary of State George Shultz.  Of course, the annual event will lead off with the Miriam Hamilton Keare Policy Forum at 4:00 p.m., which will focus on the environmental and human effects of modern agriculture. This year’s Keare Forum will not only consider the potential environmental costs and benefits of the legislation, but also the effects on consumers and the 47 million Americans who depend on food assistance.  The event will also feature a forum on energy issues and big data which will include comments from Intel’s Stephen Harper, CEQ’s Gary Guzy and others.

FERC to Hold Hydro Workshop – Federal Energy Regulatory Commission staff will hold a workshop tomorrow to begin investigating the feasibility of a two-year process for the issuance of a license for hydropower development at non-powered dams and closed-loop pumped storage projects in compliance with section 6 of the Hydropower Regulatory Efficiency Act of 2013.

Offshore Wind Conference Moves to Providence – AWEA’s 7th annual Offshore Wind Conference will be held in Providence, RI tomorrow through Thursday.  Topics will include the Federal PTC/ITC extension, DOE demonstration project funding and new state off-take mechanisms. Each day of the conference will include powerful General Sessions featuring high-level government officials, visionaries for the offshore wind industry, a panel of leading OEM companies active in the offshore market, and another panel of U.S. offshore wind developers giving the latest insights into their projects.  Interior Sect.  Sally Jewell will speak.

Galbraith Book Forum Set – The New America Foundation will hold a forum for our former NY Times reporter Kate Galbraith on Wednesday at 12:15 p.m. discussing her book, The Great Texas Windrush.  Our friends Galbraith and Asher tell the fascinating story behind Texas’ unlikely wind-energy boom. In the late 1990s the small towns of Texas were being decimated by the oil crisis and few would have thought alternative energies might be the solution. But in a state known for bristling at environmental regulation, entrepreneurs, politicians, and environmentalists – from T. Boone Pickens to George W. Bush – saw the potential and began to embrace wind farming. By 2012, Texas was generating about 9 percent of its electricity from wind, and some of those same towns are now thriving in the shadow of 300-foot-tall turbines.

Forum to Discuss Clean Energy Deployment – The Information Technology and Innovation Foundation will hold a forum on Wednesday at 9:00 a.m. to discuss the roots of the Clean Energy deployment.  The Deployment Consensus, the reasons why a “deployment-first” strategy will fail, and why innovation-driven energy policies are the solution will be discussed.  A majority of clean energy advocates believe that the world has all the low-carbon technologies it needs to address climate change; what we lack is the political will to mandate and subsidize their deployment. To support this view advocates of this “Clean Energy Deployment Consensus” point to a number of studies assessing the technical readiness of clean energy technologies. Unfortunately, as ITIF shows in its new report Challenging the Clean Energy Deployment Consensus these reports often gloss over major challenges facing clean energy, including significantly higher costs, sub-optimal performance, and challenges in grid integration and storage. In addition many advocates miss the critical message of the need for innovation inherent in the literature. Without a comprehensive and aggressive innovation strategy clean energy will not be cheap enough and good enough to be adopted voluntarily around the planet.

Hispanic Energy Group to Hold National Summit – Hispanics In Energy will hold their Final National Energy Policy Summit in Washington DC on Wednesday and Thursday at the Heritage Center.  The groups launched the National Energy Policy Series in Sacramento, CA on June 24th.  Our friend Joe Desmond of BrightSource Energy will be among the speakers.

Moniz to Discuss Energy Security Since Embargo – Following last week’s 40th anniversary of the oil embargo, the CSIS Energy and National Security Program will host U.S. Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz on Thursday at 10:45 a.m. to reflect on energy technology and policy changes on the anniversary of the Arab Oil Embargo.  The embargo dramatically impacted energy policy developments in the U.S. and elsewhere, spurring  investments in energy efficiency and alternative fuels, the creation of the SPR, the establishment of the IEA, and the creation of the Department of Energy. It also put in place a framework for viewing U.S. oil and gas resources as one of scarcity and energy imports as being inevitable. With new unconventional resource development in the United States, however, the framework is shifting to one of abundance.

Georgetown Alumni Group to Hold Climate Change Discussion – In the context of President Obama’s climate change speech at Georgetown this past spring, the Georgetown Club of DC welcomes to its luncheon lecture series a panel of distinguished alumni and faculty to address policies aimed at carbon pollution reduction, health, and conservation of water resources. Lunch will be provided; event is free for current students at Clyde’s Gallery Place on Wednesday 12:15 p.m.  Featured presenters include Michelle Moore (MSFS’99), Senior Fellow at the Council on Competitiveness and former advisor at the White House Office of Management and Budget; Laura Anderko in the School of Nursing & Health Studies; and Andrew Deutz (F’91) of The Nature Conservancy.

Luthi to Address NatGas Roundtable – The Natural Gas Roundtable is hosting its October Forum on Thursday at Noon in the University Club, featuring Randy Luthi, President of National Ocean Industries Association (NOIA).  Luthi will discuss offshore oil and natural gas development, the Administration’s current 5-Year plan and views of Interior from outside.  Luthi became President of the National Ocean Industries Association on March 1, 2010 after serving as the Director of the Minerals Management Service at DOI.

Wilson Forum to Look at Greece Economy, Energy – The Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars will hold a forum on Thursday at 12:00 p.m. on the future economic & energy prospects in Greece & the Eastern Mediterranean.  Speakers will include Asimakis Papageorgiou, Deputy Minister for Environment, Energy and Climate Change, Hellenic Republic of Greece and Panayiotis (Peter) G. Mihalos, The Secretary General for International Economic Relations and Development Cooperation, Hellenic Republic of Greece.

World Watch to Launch Central America Renewables Report – The Worldwatch Institute will hold the launch and discussion of a new report The Way Forward for Renewable Energy in Central America.  The event will be hosted by the Embassy of Costa Rica in Washington, D.C.  The report, produced jointly by Worldwatch and INCAE Business School’s Latin American Center for Competitiveness and Sustainable Development (CLACDS), and generously supported by the Climate and Development Knowledge Network (CDKN) and the Energy and Environment Partnership in Central America (EEP), focuses on the status of renewable energy technologies in Central America and analyzes the conditions for their advancement in the future. It identifies important knowledge and information gaps and evaluates key finance and policy barriers, making suggestions for how to overcome both.  Speakers will include Alex Ochs of Worldwatch Institute, Christiaan Gischler of the Inter-American Development Bank  and Mark Lambrides of the Organization of American States.

 

FUTURE EVENTS

AAAS Panel on Sustainability Continues – Following this week’s Sustainability Challenge event sponsored by Georgetown University’s Science in the Public Interest,  the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the American Chemical Society, NPR’s David Kestenbaum will host next Monday at 5:00 p.m.  The event will feature Bill Hooke of the American Meteorological Society,  Texas State Climatologist John NielsenGammon and Donald Preston of Swiss Re.

Shelanski to Headline Cost-Benefit Forum – The NYU School of Law’s Institute for Policy Integrity will hold a forum on October 28th in NYU’s Vanderbilt Hall to discuss cost-benefit analysis.  The event will feature leading practitioners, government officials, and academics for NYU’s 5th annual practitioners’ workshop on the federal regulatory process.  The workshop will be an introduction to economic analysis and its role in the regulatory process, as well as a nuanced look at how the technique is used by federal administrative agencies. This year’s workshop will also mark the 20th anniversary of Executive Order 12,866. Howard Shelanski, Administrator of OMB’s Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs will keynote.

Argus Carbon Summit Set for Cali – Argus will hold its California Carbon Summit on October 28-30 at the Hyatt Fisherman’s Wharf in San Francisco, California. The event will feature informative sessions that will address the business and transactional aspects of the Cap-and-Trade program including the dynamics of procuring carbon allowances at auction and in the secondary market, offset procurement and strategies, managing regulatory and market changes, among many other relevant topics.  Speakers will include our Argus friends Caroline Gentry, Kim Moore and Bill Peters, as well as Cal EPA’s Mark Wenzel, BP’s Ralph Moran, Tanya Peacock of the Southern California Gas Company and Belinda Morris of the American Carbon Registry, among others.

OPIS Event to Look at Oil Market Dynamics – The 15th annual OPIS National Supply Summit will be held in Las Vegas on October 28-30 at the beautiful Mandarin Oriental.  Speakers will include PBF Energy Executive Chairman Thomas O’Malley, Tesoro Corporation Operations VP Dan Romasko, and expert Phil Verleger, among many others.  Topics will include “re-wiring” of the North American distribution system, the architectural shifts in North American and world crude oil prices, and the inter-market and intra-market refined products price volatility.

Forum to Look at Innovation in Grid – The Information Technology and Innovation Foundation will hold a forum on Tuesday, October 29th at 9:30 a.m. on building the next-gen electric grid through innovation.  To gauge how innovation is shaping the electric grid of the future, The Information Technology and Innovation Foundation, the Digital Energy and Sustainability Solutions Campaign, and the Energy Future Coalition have convened a diverse group of experts to discuss what innovative technologies are advancing the smart grid and how can policy accelerate the transition.  Presenters will include Schneider Electric’s Phil Davis, John Jimison of the Energy Future Coalition, NARUC’s Miles Keogh and David Malkin of GE Digital Energy.

Forum to Look at Nuclear Energy Policy – Nuclear Policy Talks and the Institute for Nuclear Materials Management will hold a forum at the George Washington University to look at US nuclear energy policy.  The US nuclear industry faces challenges domestically, with low natural gas prices, a post-Fukushima regulatory environment and tight capital. Internationally, the US is no longer the only supplier of nuclear technology and faces competition from State-backed suppliers. Joyce Connery, Director, Nuclear Energy Policy, Office of International Economics, National Security Council will discuss the role of the US Government in supporting the US nuclear industry and how maintaining a strong nuclear industry enhances US national interests to include nonproliferation, security, safety, commerce and prosperity.

NRDC Expert to Promote Social Cost of Carbon Change – The Association for Environmental Studies and Sciences will host an inaugural webinar on Wednesday, October 30th at 2:00 p.m. looking at the social costs of carbon and President Obama’s Climate Action Plan.  The event will be an enviro groups focus a new study of metrics for quantifying the social costs of carbon and the implications for policymaking.  NRDC’s Laurie Johnson will discuss her new article in the Journal of Environmental Studies and Sciences, “The social cost of carbon: implications for modernizing our electricity system,” covering the results in the paper and how they relate to the President’s Climate Action Plan.

EPRI to Discuss Vampire Loads On Halloween – Our friends at the Electric Power Research Institute will host a special Halloween-inspired discussion about energy efficiency focused on Vampire Loads on Thursday, October 31st at 12:00 p.m.  Vampire loads refer to the electric power consumed by electronic appliances while they are switched off.  Join us for a special Halloween-inspired brown bag event to find out what you can do to face up to this “scary” power situation.  We will discuss the occurrence and prevalence of vampire loads as well as learn about insights for dealing with them.   Speakers will include EPA’s Kristinn Leonhart – ENERGY STAR Brand Manager, ecoCoach’s Cindy Olson and EPRI’s Barbara Bauman Tyran.

Ex-Officials, Hofmeister to Address Energy Conference – The NATO Energy Security Center of Excellence and the Institute for the Analysis of Global Security (IAGS) will host the Target Energy 2013 Conference on October 31st and November 1st at the Omni Shoreham Hotel in Washington, D.C. The conference will address the latest issues facing energy operations and security across NATO Member and Partner nations.   Target Energy 2013 will address energy issues ranging from how best to protect on-and-offshore infrastructure to preventing the increasingly frequent millisecond cyber-attacks against network systems and infrastructure.   The objectives are to actively stimulate civil-military co-operation and exchange on shared energy concerns, further public outreach between NATO bodies and private industry technology and solutions’ providers.  Speakers will include former EU Ambassador Boyden Gray, former CIA Director James Woolsey, former NSA head Robert McFarlane and former Shell CEO John Hofmeister, among many others.

NATO Conference Focuses on Supply Chain Threats – The NATO Energy Security Center of Excellence and the Institute for the Analysis of Global Security are holding the Target Energy 2013 Conference on October 31 – November 1st at the Omni Shorham Hotel. The event features international government officials, policymakers, defense planners, logisticians, energy industry executives, security solution providers and IT experts from NATO member and partner countries. The conference mission is to secure a 21st century energy supply chain against emerging threats.

NASEO Reschedule Winter Fuels Outlook – The U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability, U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), and the National Association of State Energy Officials will host the rescheduled 2013–2014 Winter Fuels Outlook Conference on November 1st at the National Press Club.   The conference will address global oil supply uncertainty, and the effects of projected winter weather on the demand for heating and key transportation fuels.  A range of market factors that may impact the supply, distribution and prices of petroleum, natural gas and electricity this winter will be discussed in great detail by some the nation’s leading energy data and forecasting experts.

NARUC Set for Orlando – The 125th annual NARUC meeting will be held in Orlando, Florida at the Hilton Bonnet Creek, November 17th through 20th.  Speakers include NIST Director Patrick Gallagher, FCC Chair Mignon Clyburn and AWEA Tom Kiernan, among many others.

BPC, NARUC to Hold 2nd Clean Air Act Workshop – On December 6th, BPC’s Energy Project – along with the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC) – will host the second workshop on section 111(d), which will focus on the use of economic modeling to understand the potential impacts of GHG power plant regulation.  Stay tuned for more details in the coming days on our the BPC/NARUC websites.