Energy Update

Friends,

Wow… What a weekend!  Started it on Thursday night with a great Alice in Chains show at the Anthem.  Then, drove back/forth twice between UVa (Adam’s track meet Fri/Sat) and UDelaware (Olivia’s field hockey Sat/Sun), yet still managed to catch the Caps crazy win over the Pens, Saturday’s Kentucky Derby and last night’s historic victory by the Vegas Golden Knights.

The 144th Run for the Roses was muddy, but brilliant.  For those of you paying attention to my preview last week, you probably won some money as Justify rolled to victory to win the $2 million race.  Justify, was 5-2 favorite at the bell and is the 6th straight Derby favorite to win.  Justify is trained by Bob Baffert and ridden by Hall-of-Fame jockey Mike Smith.  As I mentioned, Promises Fulfilled took the early fast pace, but Justify stalked until the far turn, pulling away in deep stretch. His winning time was a slow 2 minutes, 4 1/5 seconds.  He also breaks the longest losing streak in sports history: the Apollo CurseApollo was the 1882 Kentucky Derby champion, who was the last winner before Justify not to race as a 2-year-old.  Another one of my picks Good Magic finished strong to take 2nd while Audible took 3rd.  Unfortunately, uber-longshot Instilled Regard held off the charging My Boy Jack (my mud horse) to finish out the Super, which paid out $19,618.20 if you hit it.  Justify will be a heavy favorite in the Preakness…preview next week!

ICYMI, late last week, a new economic study – The Economic Impacts of U.S. Ratification of the Kigali Amendment – from the Alliance for Responsible Atmospheric Policy and AHRI was sent to the White House, the State Department and EPA.  The study is an outgrowth of the forum earlier this year at the Hudson Institute where former White House advisor David Banks said it was imperative to have an economic analysis of any HFC phasedown before it could move forward. The report says U.S. industry strongly supports ratification, followed by domestic implementation.

Speaking of Banks, this morning, our friends at ClearPath announced that it has added the former White House advisor along with SoCo’s Ed Holland, former NJ Utility Board Chair Richard Mroz and campaign strategist Terry Sullivan to its advisory board.  Also today, the U.S. Chamber’s Global Energy Institute (GEI) is launching a new initiative to highlight the advances that are improving our modern way of life. EnergyInnovates is a multi-platform initiative that will showcase American innovators, projects, and technologies that have shaped today’s energy landscape and will lay the groundwork for the future.

WINDPOWER starts today in Chicago.  One of the biggest, most important trade shows of the year, the event underscores the strong demand for wind energy, as evidenced by the busy 1st quarter for new U.S. wind farm announcements. Wind power’s low cost and stable energy prices motivated utility and non-utility customers to sign contracts for 3,500 megawatts (MW) of U.S. wind capacity in the first quarter of 2018, a high water mark in recent years.

This week in DC, we expected another RFS meeting at the White House likely tomorrow while Friday, the President will hold a Roundtable with automaker CEOs on fuel economy standards.  It is also a busy week on Capitol Hill with House Approps rolling into the Energy & Water funding bill starting today and the full House is expected to take up legislation that would restart the long-stalled process to store commercial nuclear waste at Nevada’s Yucca Mountain site.  Tomorrow, House Energy looks at EVs and Senate Energy is focused on Puerto Rico. On Wednesday, DOE Secretary Perry testifies before House Science tomorrow, while Senate Environment is focused on water Infrastructure.   Thursday, Interior Secretary Zinke heads to Senate Approps while Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross will likely get trade/tariff questions at his budget hearing.

Tomorrow, my colleague Scott Segal speaks at the CHP industry’s policy forum.  C2ES will host a Wednesday conversation with utilities, federal and state policy experts, and industry analysts to discuss solutions to address early nuclear retirements and zero-carbon generation, while WCEE hosts a policy lunch with Congressional energy/environment staff.  On Thursday, WASHINGTON POST LIVE and its Energy 202 newsletter (our friends Steve Mufson and Dino Grandoni) will host a forum at 9:00 a.m. at the Post Live Center on cybersecurity and the grid featuring Sens. Martin Heinrich and John Hoeven, as well as FERC Chair Kevin McIntyre.

While we normally don’t pay much attention to primaries, tomorrow is primary day in West Virginia and Indiana.  In WV, energy advocate AG Patrick Morrisey and Rep. Evan Jenkins are battling with controversial former coal exec and convicted felon Don Blankenship for the right to challenge Sen. Joe Manchin.  In Indiana, Wabash College alums Reps. Luke Messer and Todd Rokita, as well as former Dem State Rep. Mike Braun all have been hugging the President but running away from college transgressions as Little Giants. Both long-time energy industry supporters, Manchin and Donnelly are seen as the most vulnerable Democrats in the Senate.

This week is Hurricane Preparedness Week.  With the 2018 Hurricane Season approaching (June 1), remember the experts at MIT have a significant amount of really interesting research pushing the frontier of building materials use, with implications for policymakers, building designers, communities, and the vulnerable residents of hazard-prone areas.  They also have the MIT-developed Break-Even Mitigation Percent (BEMP) tool which helps building designers and owners make better risk-informed decisions before the disaster hits. You can use the tool to calculate the BEMP for eastern U.S. coastal communities prone to damage from hazards related to hurricanes.  Call with questions.  Best,

Frank Maisano

(202) 828-5864

c. (202) 997-5932

 

FRANKLY SPOKEN

“While consumers may not think about it when they flip the light switch, turn on the air conditioning, or even gas up their cars, the American energy industry is at the forefront of groundbreaking innovation and technology development. Our goal is to put a spotlight on the ingenuity behind America’s ongoing energy revolution, especially the investments being made to find new and better ways to produce, transmit, and use energy, the foundation of our lives and our economy.”

Karen Harbert, president and CEO of the Global Energy Institute during today’s launch of EnergyInnovates, a multi-platform initiative that will showcase American innovators, projects, and technologies that have shaped today’s energy landscape and will lay the groundwork for the future.

“Word is out that wind power is an excellent source of affordable, reliable and clean energy. The industry is consistently growing the wind project pipeline as leading companies, including utilities and brands like AT&T and Nestle, keep placing orders. Strong demand for wind power is fueling an economic engine supporting a record 105,500 U.S. wind jobs in farm and factory towns across the nation.”

Tom Kiernan, CEO of AWEA in announcing the U.S. Wind Industry First Quarter 2018 Market Report in advance of today’s WINDPOWER event in Chicago.

ON THE POD

Energy Gang Discussed New Tech Investments with Statoil –On a recent Energy Gang podcast, our friends at GTM talked with the executive in charge of Statoil’s new energy investments, Stephen Bull.  Statoil is the largest operator of oil and gas rigs around the world. Consequently, the company’s biggest low-carbon investments are offshore: floating wind farms and distributed carbon capture and storage. Bull chats with The Energy Gang about the performance of floating wind, the economics of CCS, and whether oil companies are investing enough in their new energy divisions.

FUN OPINIONS

Consumer Group: Time to Reform RFS – Recently, David Holt of the Consumer Energy Alliance wrote an opinion piece calling on Congress to fully reform the RFS program.  Holt said there are several big problems with the RFS, including what’s called the “ethanol blend wall.” Most American cars and light trucks have been built to run on a fuel blend of 90 percent gasoline and 10 percent ethanol. Using more ethanol would void most vehicle warranties provided by all major automotive manufacturers. Similarly, most underground storage tanks and gasoline pumps used by gasoline stations across the country cannot accommodate more ethanol.  Holt: “Congress should act now to make meaningful changes to the RFS. Without congressional action, farmers, transporters, refiners, and everyone who buys gasoline will continue to pay the price.”

IN THE NEWS

ClearPath Adds Leading Experts To Advisory Board – Clear Path has added thought leaders in the fields of energy policy and technology, as well as conservative politics and messaging, to its advisory board.

  • George David Banks was President Trump’s Special Assistant for International Energy and Environment. He was previously senior advisor on International Affairs and Climate Change at the White House Council on Environmental Quality under President George W. Bush, deputy GOP staff director of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, a State Department foreign service officer and a CIA economic analyst. He is currently executive vice president of the American Council on Capital Formation and an adjunct research scholar at Columbia University’s Center on Global Energy Policy.
  • Ed Holland is the former president and CEO of Southern Company Holdings and executive vice president of Southern Company Services. He was also previously president, CEO and chairman of Mississippi Power.
  • Richard Mroz is the former president of the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities and chaired the Critical Infrastructure Committee for the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners, among many other senior-level national, regional and state roles. That includes being named to the Commission on White House Fellowships by President George W. Bush.
  • Terry Sullivan is founding partner of Firehouse Strategies and has two decades under his belt as a well-seasoned political and public affairs strategist. He has played a senior strategic role in more than 100 campaigns, including U.S. Senate, gubernatorial and presidential candidacies. Notably, that included successful reelection wins for Sens. Marco Rubio and Ron Johnson in 2016 and Sullivan was Rubio’s 2016 presidential campaign manager.

Groups Urge White House, EPA to Support HFC Phasedown – The Alliance for Responsible Atmospheric Policy and AHRI released their comprehensive study: Economic Impact of Kigali Ratification & Implementation, supporting the ratification of the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol which calls for a phase down in the production and consumption of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) worldwide.  The Kigali Amendment gives American companies an advantage in technology, manufacturing, and investment which will lead to job creation. The economic analysis indicates that U.S. implementation of the Kigali Amendment is good for American jobs. It will both strengthen America’s exports and weaken the market for imported products, while enabling U.S. technology to continue its world leadership role.   According to the study:

  • The Kigali amendment is projected to increase U.S. manufacturing jobs by 33,000 by 2027, increase exports by $5 billion, reduce imports by nearly $7 billion, and improve the HVACR balance of trade.
  • With Kigali, U.S. exports will outperform, increasing U.S. share of global market from 7.2% to 9.0%.
  • Fluorocarbon-based manufacturing industries in the U.S. directly employ 589,000 Americans, with an industry-wide payroll of more than $39 billion per year. The fluorocarbon industry in the U.S. indirectly supports 494,000 American jobs with a $36 billion annual payroll.

According to the analysis, the U.S. fluorocarbon using and producing industries contribute more than $205 billion annually in direct goods and services and provide employment to more than 2.5 million individuals and overall economic activity of $620 billion to the U.S. economy.

AWEA Report Says 1Q Demand Rolling – With WINDPOWER launching today, there a new report by the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) says strong demand for wind energy drove a busy first quarter for new U.S. wind farm announcements. Wind power’s low cost and stable energy prices motivated utility and non-utility customers to sign contracts for 3,500 megawatts (MW) of U.S. wind capacity in the first quarter of 2018, a high water mark in recent years. The U.S. Wind Industry First Quarter 2018 Market Report also reveals 5,523 MW in first quarter wind project announcements, adding to a total of 33,449 MW of wind power capacity in the combined construction and advanced development pipeline.  Utilities and Fortune 500 brands both continue to scale up investments in wind energy because it makes good business sense. The cost of wind power has fallen by two-thirds since 2009, making wind cost-competitive with other energy sources. In fact, in strong wind resource regions like the Great Plains and Texas, wind is the most cost-effective source of new electricity. And because wind power has no fuel costs, buyers can lock in low rates for decades to protect against future fuel price spikes. Wind energy customers signed over 3,500 MW in long-term contracts called power purchase agreements (PPAs) in the first quarter. That’s the highest volume of PPA announcements in any quarter since AWEA began tracking them in 2013. Six companies including Adobe, AT&T and Nestle signed wind PPAs for the first time, while Bloomberg, Facebook, Nike and T-Mobile became repeat customers. In addition, utility buyers including PacifiCorp and DTE Energy made large-scale announcements to develop and own wind power. Across the country, 36 wind projects representing a combined 5,523 MW announced that they either began construction or entered advanced development in the first quarter. Construction started on 1,366 MW of wind capacity and 4,158 MW entered advanced stages of development, which includes projects that have found a buyer for their energy, announced a firm turbine order, or have been announced to proceed under utility ownership. The full pipeline of wind farms under construction or in advanced development now totals 33,449 MW, a 40 percent increase over this time last year and the highest level since this statistic was first measured at the beginning of 2016.

DTE Pushes Green Bonds – DTE Energy in rolled out its green bonds program. The $525 million in bonds will finance green investments, including low-carbon projects such as renewable energy and energy efficiency. DTE is the fifth [energy] company in the nation to sell green bonds. “Green bonds will help finance our low-carbon investments, which will enable us to continue moving Michigan toward a cleaner, more sustainable energy future,” says Gerry Anderson, chairman and CEO of DTE Energy. “This is a tangible way for investors to demonstrate their commitment to the environment and is one of many steps in our aggressive plan to reduce carbon emissions by more than 80 percent by 2050. We’re proud to be among the first energy companies to offer this green investment option.”  The bonds have a maturity of 30 years at an annual fixed coupon of 4.05 percent. They are expected to help fund the development and construction of solar arrays and wind farms, including the transmission infrastructure to support renewable energy facilities, as well as strengthen energy efficiency programs.

DTE Gas Plant Approved by Michigan – In related DTE news, the Michigan Public Service Commission approved DTE Energy’s gas plant proposal for East China Township. The utility is scheduled to break ground on the new facility in 2019. The plant is one of the steps the company is taking to reduce carbon emissions by 30% by the early 2020s, and more than 80% by 2050.

FERC Shows Strong Renewable Growth in 1Q – A new FERC update says wind, solar, and other renewable sources (i.e., biomass, geothermal, hydropower) accounted for almost 95% (i.e., 94.9%) of all new U.S. electrical generation placed into service in the first quarter of this year.  FERC’s latest “Energy Infrastructure Update” shows that 16 new “units” of wind, totaling 1,793 megawatts (MW), came into service in the first three months of 2018 along with 92 units of solar (1,356-MW) for a total of 3,149-MW.  In addition, there was one unit of geothermal steam (19-MW), five units of water (18-MW), and three units of biomass (3-MW). Among non-renewable sources, six units of natural gas provided another 79-MW of new capacity along with five units of oil (10-MW), and one unit of nuclear (4-MW). There were also six units (80-MW) defined as “other” by FERC (e.g., fuel cells, batteries & storage). No capacity additions were reported for coal during the quarter.  FERC data also reveal that the total installed capacity of renewable energy sources now provides over one-fifth (20.69%) of total available U.S. generating capacity. Combined, wind and solar alone exceed one-tenth (10.44%) of installed capacity – a share greater than that of nuclear power (9.14%) or hydropower (8.52%) or oil (3.56%).  FERC’s report further suggests that the rapid expansion and growing dominance of renewable energy sources will continue at least through April 2021. Proposed new net generating capacity (i.e., additions minus retirements) by renewables over the next three years totals 148,281-MW or 70.1% of the total (i.e., 211,621-MW). Proposed new net generating capacity by wind (85,625-MW) and solar (49,088-MW) alone are 63.7% of the total – supplemented by hydropower (11,824-MW), geothermal (1,130-MW), and biomass (614-MW).

 

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

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

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

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

Combined Heat Power Industry Holds Forum – The CHP Association and the combined heat and power community hold their annual CHP Policy Forum tomorrow and Wednesday at The City Club of Washington. This year, conference presentations will focus on how to better implement CHP programs. The theme of this year’s forum is “engaging with decision makers” and will feature key figures in various areas of legislation, regulation, and government. The forum will explore the barriers and drivers for CHP at every jurisdiction—including city, state, regional, and federal—with the understanding that policy considerations for energy planning vary across different jurisdictions.  My colleague Scott Segal will speak tomorrow afternoon on policy effects on the future of energy markets.

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

Senate Energy Committee to Look at Puerto Rico – The Senate Energy Committee will convene an oversight hearing tomorrow at 10:00 a.m. to examine the current status of Puerto Rico’s electric grid and proposals for the future operation of the grid.  Witnesses include DOE’s Bruce Walker, Charles Alexander of the Army Corps of Engineers, ; Christian Sobrino Vega, of the Puerto Rico Government Development Bank President, Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority CEO Walter Higgins, José Román Morales of the Puerto Rico Energy Commission and Rodrigo Masses of the Puerto Rico Manufacturers Association.

IAE to Hold Biofuel Presentation – The International Energy Agency (IEA) Bioenergy Technology Collaboration Program will hold an international webinar, “Biofuels for the Marine Sector: New Opportunities and New Challenges,” tomorrow at 10:00 a.m. The webinar will give an overview of the maritime transportation sector, including its fuel and engine types, the fuel supply infrastructure, and the regulations on fuel specifications and CO2 emissions. The feasibility of current biofuels including their properties and supply will be discussed and opportunities for new types of biofuel will be presented.

House Energy Panel to Look at Electric Vehicles – The House Energy and Commerce Environment Subcommittee holds a hearing tomorrow at 10:15 a.m. on policy implications of electric and conventional vehicles in the years ahead.

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

Perry, Haley, Ross to Attend Conference – The Council of the Americas will hold its 48th annual conference tomorrow at the U.S. Department of State.  The annual conferences have traditionally featured presentations by the president, the secretary of state, foreign heads of state, cabinet officials from the hemisphere, and leaders of the business community. The 2018 Washington Conference on the Americas will bring together administration senior officials and distinguished leaders from across the Americas to focus on the major policy issues affecting the hemisphere.  UN Abassador Nikki Haley, Energy Secretary Perry, Commerce Secretary Ross and Sens. Ben Sasse, Robert Menendez and Marco Rubio, among many others, will speak.

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

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

Perry Heads to House Science – The House Science Committee holds a hearing on Wednesday at 9:00 a.m. for an overview of the DOE budget proposal for FY 2019.   Energy Secretary Rick Perry testifies.

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

Senate Environment to Look at Water Infrastructure – The Senate Environment and Public Works Committee holds a hearing at 10:00 a.m. on water infrastructure legislation.

Senate Energy Panel Tackles BLM, Forest Service Law Enforcement – The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Public Lands, Forests and Mining Subcommittee holds a hearing on Wednesday at 10:00 a.m. looking at law enforcement programs at BLM and the Forest Service.

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

ELI Holds Wetlands Awards – The Environmental Law Institute holds its annual National Wetlands Awards on Wednesday evening at U.S. Botanical Gardens. The National Wetlands Awards are presented annually to individuals who have excelled in wetlands protection, restoration, and education. Through coordinated media outreach and an awards ceremony on Capitol Hill, awardees receive national recognition and attention for their outstanding efforts.

FERC Chair, Senators Discuss Cyber at Post Forum –WASHINGTON POST LIVE and its Energy 202 newsletter will host a forum on Thursday at 9:00 a.m.at the Washington Post Live Center on cybersecurity and the grid. Lawmakers Sens. Martin Heinrich and John Hoeven will debate the administration’s energy priorities and discuss the security of America’s energy grid, including how to combat cyber threats. Our friend Dino Grandoni, Energy and Environmental Policy Reporter and Author of “The Energy 202” newsletter will host. Then, Steven Mufson hosts a “One-on-One” with the FERC Chairman Kevin McIntyre.  The head of the FERC will discuss new regulations and proposals to shore up the security of power grid operations and the balance between the agency and the U.S. Department of Energy.  There will also be several other speakers including Dennis McGinn.

CEQ Infrastructure Lead Headline ELI Conference – Arnold & Porter and the Environmental Law Institute are co-hosting a conference Thursday at 9:00 a.m. on infrastructure review and permitting. Conference attendees will hear a variety of critical perspectives across the spectrum. High level government officials, experienced practitioners representing industry and environmental NGOs, and congressional representatives will address the wide range of environmental permitting and review challenges across sectors including transportation, energy, transmission, renewables, environmental restoration, and more. Panelists will delve into the role of policy and litigation in shaping these developments over the next three years and beyond. Conference participants representing diverse backgrounds will explore areas of common ground at the intersection of good government, economic growth, and environmental protection.  Keynote speaker is CEQ’s Alex Herrgott.

Zinke Discusses Budget – The Senate Interior, Environment and Related Agencies Appropriations Subcommittee will host Interior Secretary Ryan ZInke at 10:00 a.m. to discuss on the 2019 budget and proposed cuts to agencies including BLM, Fish and Wildlife Service and National Park Service.

House Energy Panel to Look at Transmission Infrastructure – The House Energy & Commerce’s Energy Subcommittee will hold a hearing on Thursday at 10:00 a.m. in 2123 Rayburn examining the state of electric transmission infrastructure investment, planning, construction and alternatives.

USEA Forum to Discuss Coal Utilization – The US Energy Assn will hold a forum on Thursday at 1:00 p.m. on chemical looping in coal utilization.  The event will feature work by Ohio State researcher Andrew Tong.

Forum to Look at City Partnerships on Renewables, EE – On Thursday at 2:00 p.m., the Alliance for a Sustainable future, a joint initiative of The U.S. Conference of Mayors and the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions (C2ES) will host a webinar on expanding energy efficiency and demand side management, adding more renewable energy and shifting the fuel mix of the local electric grid have emerged as critical strategies for cities striving to achieve ambitious climate goals. In this webinar, the ASF highlights how city-utility partnerships are engaging their communities and charting a course to a cleaner and smarter energy future, featuring collaborations in the Salt Lake City, and the Asheville, North Carolina, regions. These city-utility partnerships, which have local and regional impacts, offer valuable lessons for other cities around the country.

IN THE FUTURE

Infrastructure Week – May 14th -18th

Ross to Speak at Press Club – On Monday May 14th at 12:30 p.m.  Commerce Secretary will speak at a National Press Club Headliners Luncheon.  He’ll discuss how the DOC is creating conditions for economic growth and opportunity for the people of the US.  Secretary Ross, a former bankruptcy specialist and American investor, has been an increasingly common fixture on CNBC amidst the United States’ looming trade war with China (a result of President Trump’s deluge of new tariffs and changes to US trade policies) and his recent decision to overrule officials in the Census Bureau, an agency housed within the Department of Commerce, on the inclusion of a controversial citizenship question in the 2020 census.

Salazar Heads Press Club Dinner – The National Press Club Communicators Team hold its Legends Dinner on Wednesday, May 16th at 6:00 p.m. in the Winners’ Room.  The honored guest will be former Interior Secretary and Colorado Sen. Ken Salazar. The dinner conversation will focus on the important communications-based strategies that moved his agenda and built a strong communications team, touching on: due diligence, crisis management, gaining congressional and White House support, building consensus with business leaders and constituents and working with media and reporters.  Salazar will share practical lessons and challenges with that can bring value to contemporary communicators.

Senate Approps to Host Pruitt – EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt is scheduled to testify on May 16th before the Senate appropriations subcommittee that oversees his budget according to Sen. Lisa Murkowski, who chairs the panel.

BPC to look at Private-Public Partnerships – The BPC’s Executive Council on Infrastructure is holding an event on Wednesday May 16th at 10:00 a.m. highlighting the role of public-private partnerships, or P3s, in addressing America’s $2 trillion in unmet infrastructure needs. P3s can bring private sector innovation, expertise, and capital to projects, helping communities across the U.S. modernize their transportation, water, and other infrastructure systems. Keynote remarks by Australian Ambassador to US Joe Hockey and a panel featuring Bechtel’s Keith Hennessy and Lilliana Ortega of Parsons.

AEE to Hold Cybersecurity, Grid Webinar – The Advanced Energy Economy will hold a webinar on Thursday May 17th at 2:00 p.m. on cybersecurity in a distributed energy future.  The webinar will address protecting an evolving grid from digital attack. The  panel of experts — all contributors to the AEE Institute white paper on cybersecurity — will discuss ways to make an increasingly complex, interactive, and distributed electricity system more resilient against cyber threats. Panelists include John Berdner of Enphase Energy, NYPA’s Ken Carnes, Navigant’s Ken Lotterhos and Todd Wiedman, Director, Security and Network, Landis+Gyr. Moderated by Lisa Frantzis, Senior Vice President, 21st Century Energy System, Advanced Energy Economy.

Fox to Address Trade, Immigration, Trump – The National Press Club will host a Headliners Luncheon on Tuesday, May 22nd featuring former Mexican President Vicente Fox.  Fox will deliver an address entitled “Democracy at the Crossroads: Globalization versus Nationalism”.  Fox, a right-wing populist representing the National Action Party (PAN), was elected as the 55th President of Mexico on December 1, 2000. Winning with 42% of the vote, Fox made history as the first presidential candidate in 71 years to defeat the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI). Fox’s administration focused chiefly on improving trade relations with the United States and maintaining Mexico’s growing economy. Fox left office in 2006, and in a break with his country’s cultural norms and traditions has remained in the public eye post-presidency and has not been shy about expressing his views and opinions.

CSIS, EPIC to Hold Nuclear Forum – CSIS and the Energy Policy Institute at the University of Chicago (EPIC) will hold a half-day public conference on Thursday afternoon May 24th to address pressing questions in an effort to better understand the potential future of U.S. nuclear power. Nuclear energy faces an uncertain future in the United States as the fuel is beset by fierce competition from natural gas and renewable energy in many markets. Coupled with failure to deliver new projects on time and at cost, along with a public sensitive to operational safety, existing and future nuclear power generation is at risk in the United States.

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

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

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

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

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

Energy Update: Week of March 5

Friends,

Oscar Sunday went off without a big hitch. Big Winners included Guillermo del Toro, Frances McDormand, Sam Rockwell and Gary Oldmam.  More importantly, the Oscars ceremony signals that March Madness is upon us. Murray State was the first team to punch their ticket to the NCAA tourney with the Ohio Valley Conference Championship on Saturday. All this week teams will vie for their conference championships and a spot in the big dance. Start digging in the metrics now…pool advice comes next week after the NCAA selection show Sunday at 6 p.m.

It’s also March Madness in the energy industry this week with CERAWeek. Many of the energy industries biggest political and business titans convene on Houston to discuss the state of policy and the impact of politics on the energy biz.  Alaska Senator Dan Sullivan kicked off the action today, tomorrow morning PBF CEO Tom Nimbly joins OPIS expert Tom Kloza and Sheetz CEO Mike Lorenz to discuss refining and Wednesday Energy Secretary Rick Perry hosts his Mexican and Canadian counterparts in an energy discussion which is certain to touch tariffs and NAFTA.  You can check the full line up here.

Speaking of NAFTA and the Steel tariffs, I have included a new report on potential job losses.  As well, our Bracewell policy experts are covering this issues very closely and are available to speak on background and on the record. For a great primer on the topic, tune into Bracewell’s Podcast where Paul Nathanson and Josh Zive break down the context and history of the proposed tariffs and the President’s tweeted claims that trade wars are “easy to win.”  You can listen on Stitcher, iTunes, SoundCloud, and Google Play Music.

Back in Washington the action doesn’t stop. After last week’s White House meetings on the RFS, union refinery workers from 11 states will pour into the Capitol to urge Congress to help protect their jobs. They will discuss the urgent need for Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) reform with legislators.

In other congressional action, energy bills to improve energy efficiency and block brick kiln regulations are expected on the House Floor.  Tomorrow, Senate Energy looks at USGS nominee James Reilly, House Oversight looks at the Army Corps and House Science takes on the future of fusion energy. On Wednesday, House Energy looks at the future of transportation fuels and vehicles and House Small Business looks at Reg Reform.

Off the Hill, Third Way hosts an advanced Nuclear forum tomorrow, Citizens for Responsible Energy Solutions Forum hosts a grid resiliency policy roundtable Wednesday, the Atlantic Council’s Global Energy Center hosts a conversation with Norwegian Minister of Petroleum and Energy Terje Søviknes Thursday morning and on Friday, the Business Council for Sustainable Energy and EESI hosts a lunch briefing focused on the 2018 Sustainable Energy in America Factbook.

Finally, the 10th Annual Congressional Hockey Challenge is set for the Kettler Capitals Iceplex on Thursday May 15th.  I will be on the ice again this year officiating and I hope you all try to attend for this great cause.  Get Tickets here.  Call with questions.  Best,

Frank Maisano

(202) 828-5864

  1. (202) 997-5932

 

FRANKLY SPOKEN

“I think it’s going to surprise people how quickly a lot of companies move. What we’ve announced is substantially higher than what the Clean Power Plan would have required, and I think you’re going to see numerous other companies end up in that same place.”

Gerry Anderson, DTE Energy’s chairman and CEO, discussing the swiftness with which power companies will cut carbon emissions.

ON THE POD

Bracewell Pod Focuses on Trade – The latest Bracewell podcast is live on Stitcher, iTunes, SoundCloud, and Google Play Music.  The podcast addresses the tumultuous past 24 hours of on-again-off-again steel and aluminum tariff announcements from the Administration. We break down the context and history of the proposed tariffs and the President’s tweeted claims that trade wars are “easy to win.

IN THE NEWS

Steel, Aluminum Tariffs Announced – During a meeting with Steel and Aluminum executive, President Donald Trump announced on Thursday that he will impose tariffs of 25% on steel imports and 10% on aluminum imports into the US for an unlimited time frame.

User Groups Raise ConcernsRoy Hardy, President of the Precision Metalforming Association, and Dave Tilstone, President of the National Tooling and Machining Association said the steep tariffs on steel and aluminum imperils the U.S. manufacturing sector, and particularly downstream U.S. steel and aluminum consuming companies, who alone employ 6.5 million Americans compared to the 80,000 employed by the domestic steel industry.  “The tariffs will lead to the U.S. once again becoming an island of high steel prices resulting in our customers simply importing the finished part.  The lost business to overseas competitors will threaten thousands of jobs across the United States in the steel consuming manufacturing sector, similar to our experience in 2002 when the U.S. last imposed tariffs on steel imports.  Those “201” steel tariffs resulted in the loss of 200,000 American manufacturing jobs (more than employed by the entire domestic steel industry) because of high steel prices due in large part to the tariffs.  President Trump campaigned on the promise to protect manufacturing jobs but by ignoring warnings from a wide range of manufacturers, his plan to impose tariffs will cost manufacturing jobs across the country.  Our associations plan to work to end these tariffs as soon as possible so that he fulfills that commitment.”

HVAC Manufacturers Worry as Well – The Air-Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration Institute (AHRI), which represents manufacturers of heating, air conditioning, commercial refrigeration, and water heating products and equipment, said it was disappointed in the decision.  As it made clear in letters to the President and to Commerce Secretary Ross and U.S. Trade Representative Lighthizer, AHRI does not support additional tariffs on steel and aluminum due to their impact on manufacturers and consumers.  “As major users of steel and aluminum, we have been proactive in explaining to the administration that the HVACR and water heating industry would be negatively impacted by an increase in tariffs, as would the consumers that rely on the products we manufacture,” said AHRI President & CEO Stephen Yurek.  “While we have been pleased with the Trump Administration’s enthusiastic support for manufacturing, we believe this step to be injurious, rather than helpful, to our efforts to increase American manufacturing and create jobs.”

Study:  Steel and Aluminum Tariffs Will cost 179,000 Jobs – A New Report by economists Laura Baughman and Joe Francois at The Trade Partnership.  We are working closely with them and our cooperation goes back to the 201 steel tariffs – they were authors of the 2003 study on 201 steel tariff jobs losses still cited to this day.  In brief, the new report  “Does Import Protection Save Jobs?” finds:

  • Short term, the tariffs would increase U.S. iron and steel and non-ferrous metals (primarily aluminum) employment by 33,464 jobs, but cost 179,334 jobs throughout the rest of the economy, for a net loss of nearly 146,000 jobs;
  • More than five jobs would be lost for every one gained;
  • Job losses in other manufacturing sectors  (-36,076) would cancel out the job gains in the steel- and aluminum producing sectors, with particularly large “hits” to workers in the fabricated metals sector (-12,800), motor vehicles and parts (-5,052), and other transportation equipment (-2,180);
  • Two thirds of the lost jobs affect workers in production and low-skill jobs.

The results are detailed in the report by sector.  The full report can be found here.

NOLA, NYT Join for Report on Gulf Coast – Last year, NOLA.com, The Times-Picayune and The New York Times agreed to collaborate to bring attention to the impact of climate change on land loss in one of the country’s most vulnerable and vital regions.  The result was a collaboration released last week called “Our Drowning Coast,” a special report about the ecological crisis facing our vanishing coast and the people who live there, is the product of an unusual partnership between two news organizations, one local and one national. The approach made sense because the future of the state’s coast, which is critical to the energyseafood and shipping sectors, should be of great concern to those who live here as well as to those who merely benefit from its bounty. The result is this special project of articles, photos, videos and graphic illustrations, 10 months in the making, timed to coincide with this year’s tricentennial of New Orleans. The lead article tells the story of the intrepid mayor of Jean Lafitte, who is fighting to save his town from encroaching seas. Another examines the expenditure of billions of dollars to repair and improve the New Orleans levee system after Hurricane Katrina, and questions whether it is enough to protect the city through its next 100 years. A third looks at the latest threat to Louisiana’s coast, an aphid-like insect that, along with nutria and feral hogs, is destroying the vegetation essential to keeping the wetlands from dissolving.  Our friend Mark Schleifstein coordinated the reporting.

Report: Future Battery Costs Reduced by Components – A new report from GTM Research, “U.S. Front-of-the-Meter Energy Storage System Prices, 2018-2022” shows that while declines in battery prices between 2012 and 2016 helped to drive a 63% percent reduction in system costs, battery price declines will taper off and future changes in system prices will be driven by other component cost declines.  Standardization of system design and engineering, and competitive markets will all continue to bring down storage BOS hardware costs as well as engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) expenses. New system architectures and inverter selections will also impact the final cost of energy storage systems in the future. This new GTM Research report touches on all these components and uses a bottom-up methodology to track, model and report on energy storage system prices. The full report, available to purchase here, includes both an in-depth analysis of the data and a cost model.

BPC Report Examines Power Sector Resilience in Wake of FERC Decision – Following the decision by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) in January to end consideration of the proposed grid resiliency pricing rule, a new Bipartisan Policy Center primer seeks to provide a high-level introduction to the concept of power sector resilience.  The paper highlights what research has been done on the topic as well as key areas where more work is needed. This includes a discussion of how resilience is defined and measured; what threats the power system should be resilient to; how this term is related to, but distinct from, reliability; and what organizations are working to better define and measure resilience.  These issues and questions will be key ahead of FERC’s March 9 deadline for regional transmission organizations and independent system operators to answer questions about resilience in their geographic footprints.

Report on Russian Sanctions Impact on Energy – The Atlantic Council released its latest report: “Impact of Sanctions on Russia’s Energy Sector” late last week.  In this new report, Global Energy Center Non-Resident Senior Fellow Bud Coote addresses: the impact of US and European Union sanctions on Russia’s energy sector, Moscow’s strategy and actions to deal with energy-related sanctions, the geopolitical and other implications of Russia’s ability to cope with these sanctions.  Coote’s analysis highlights how Moscow has managed to successfully pursue its energy goals, despite the broader negative impact of sanctions on other areas of the Russian economy.

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

CERAWEEK Set for Houston CERAWEEK’s 2018 conference will be held in Houston from March 5-9th at the Hilton Americas.  Speakers this year include Interior Secratery Zinke, Energy Secretary Perry (who will also host a discussion with his Mexican and Canadian counterparts), OPEC SG Mohammad Barkindo, GM’s Mary Berra, BP’s Bob Dudley, IAE’s Fatih Birol, FERC Commissioner Robert Powelson, Alaska Sen. Dan Sullivan, Exelon’s Chris Crane, Energy Transfer’s Kelsey Warren, Paul Spencer of the Clean Energy Collective, Sunnova’s John Berger, and many, many more.

NAS to Look at Carbon Waste Streams – The National Academy of Sciences’ Division on Earth and Life Studies and Division on Engineering and Physical Sciences will host a three-day meeting today, tomorrow and Wednesday on developing a research agenda for utilization of gaseous carbon waste streams.

Third Way Forum to Look at Future Nukes – Third Way and NEI hold the third annual Advanced Nuclear Summit tomorrow in Washington, DC.  As the advanced nuclear sector gets closer to licensing and constructing new power plants, we will explore how nuclear leaders can engage with communities on the ground, how these technologies can help meet their needs, and how to address the challenges that concern them.  The forum is also co-hosted by GAIN and the Idaho, Oak Ridge, and Argonne National Labs.

Wind Forum Set – The Business Network for Offshore Wind hold a forum tomorrow at the Hilton Baltimore BWI Airport Hotel.  The forum will look at the regional offshore wind market, discuss opportunities for US developers and Tier 1 and 2 supplier, and listen to available State resources.  Speakers include MEA’s Mary Beth Tung, BOEM’s Daryl Francois and our friends Clint Plummer of Deepwater Wind and Raul Rich of US Wind.

Steelworkers Headed to DC to Talk RFS – The United Steelworkers (USW) will bring 30 workers from over a dozen independent merchant oil refineries in 11 states to Washington, D.C., to save their jobs tomorrow and Wednesday. They will discuss the urgent need for Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) reform with legislators.  Union members will meet with senators and representatives on Tuesday, March 6, and Wednesday, March 7, to raise awareness about how the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) use of Renewable Identification Numbers (RINs) to track RFS compliance threatens thousands of family-supporting, community-sustaining jobs across the country. USW National Oil Bargaining Chairman Kim Nibarger, who will be in Washington for the meetings, said that refiners currently are forced to purchase RINs at artificially inflated prices because they lack the size and infrastructure to blend ethanol into their gasoline. The fly-in will feature workers from the Philadelphia Energy Solutions and Monroe Energy refineries near Philadelphia, as well as PBF Energy refineries in Torrance, Calif.; Delaware City, Del.; Paulsboro, N.J.; Chalmette, La.; and Toledo, Ohio; HollyFrontier refineries in El Dorado, Kan.; Cheyenne, Wyo.; and Salt Lake City and Valero refineries in Meraux, La.; Memphis, Tenn.; and Dumas and Port Arthur, Texas.

Senate To Hear USGS Nominee – The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee holds a hearing tomorrow at 10:00 a.m. on the nomination of James Reilly to be director of the U.S. Geological Survey.

House Oversight Look at Corps – The House Oversight Interior-Environment Subcommittee holds a hearing tomorrow on examining the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

House Science Look at Fusion Energy – The House Science Energy Subcommittee holds a hearing tomorrow looking at the future of U.S. fusion energy research. Among those testifying includes Bernard Bigot, director-general, International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor; James Van Dam, DOE’s acting associate director of the Office of Fusion Energy Sciences; Mickey Wade, director of advanced fusion systems at General Atomics; and Mark Herrmann, director of the National Ignition Facility at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.

Forum to Look at Great Lakes Water Issues – The U.S. Water Alliance and Northeast-Midwest Institute hold briefing tomorrow at 2:30 p.m. on water-related challenges in the Great Lakes region.  The event will showcase top utility, community, and philanthropic leaders discussing the latest innovations from the Great Lakes region that are forging progress in providing access to affordable and safe water and wastewater services, and how cross-sector partnerships are driving revitalization, job growth, and economic development.  Speakers will include SeMia Bray of Emerald Cities Cleveland, Elizabeth Cisar of the Joyce Foundation, Josina Morita of the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago and Kevin Shafer of the Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District.

Forum to Look at Water Infrastructure – The World Water Council holds webinar at 3:00 p.m. tomorrow on water infrastructure and other water-related issues.

Forum to Look at Climate Risks – EESI and Citizens Climate Lobby (CCL) hold a briefing tomorrow at 3:30 p.m. to explore the climate risks facing the U.S. real estate sector, as well as policy solutions and innovations to help protect this crucial piece of the American economy. Given the economic activity and investment tied to the buildings sector, its long-term health will depend on the capacity of public officials, insurance agencies, and property managers to adapt to climate change risks.  The discussion on ways the public and private sectors can collaborate to develop the policy tools necessary to safeguard America’s buildings and homes from future natural disasters.  Congressional Speakers include Reps. Charlie Crist and Lee Zeldin, with panel speakers St. Petersburg FL City Council Member And Realtor Brandi Gabbard, Ryan Colker of the National Institute of Building Sciences and John Miller of the New Jersey Association of Floodplain Management.

Transmission Forum Set – Infocast’s 21st annual Transmission Summit East will be held on Wednesday  through Friday to discuss the latest transmission business strategies and the changing policy landscape.  More than 20 interactive panels and presentations will address topics including the new FERC Commission’s impacts on Transmission, new FERC ROE frameworks affecting project economics and financing, resiliency, renewables growth and grid modernization needs and co-opting generation and transmission.  Speakers include Clean Line’s Michael Skelly, Southern Transmission’s John Lucas, PJM’s Paul McGlynn and many others.

Forum to Look at Grid Resiliency – The Citizens for Responsible Energy Solutions Forum hosts a grid resiliency policy roundtable on Wednesday at 8:00 a.m.

Forum to Look at Climate Conflict Issues – On Wednesday at 9:30 a.m., the Woodrow Wilson Center hosts a forum on the long-term trends toward a warming climate, economic and social discontent.  In-depth research projects conducted by the Peace Research Institute Oslo identify how the effects of climate change interact with fragility to shape conflict trends.  The panel will discuss ways in which these climate-conflict insights could improve policies and programs in defense, diplomacy, and development.  Panelists include USAID’s Cynthia Brady, Joshua Busby of UT-Austin and former U.S. Deputy Under Secretary of Defense (Environmental Security) Sherri Goodman.

House Energy Looks at Transportation Fuels, Vehicles – The House Energy & Commerce Environment Subcommittee holds a hearing on Wednesday looking at the future of transportation fuels and vehicles. Witnesses will include EIA’s John Maples, NREL’s John Farrell, RFF’s Joshua Linn, Jeremy Martin of the Union of Concerned Scientists and John Eichberger of the Fuels Institute.

House Small Biz Look at Reg Reform – The House Small Business Committee hold a hearing on Wednesday at 11:00 a.m. to examine how regulatory reform efforts by President Trump and Congress affect small firms. Witnesses include NFIB’s Karen Harned, NAM’s Patrick Hedren, NAHB’s Randy Noel and former EPA official and Georgetown professor Lisa Heinzerling.

Energy Efficiency Day Set – On Wednesday afternoon, the Alliance to Save holds Great Energy Efficiency Day (GEED) on Capitol Hill at the American Trucking Assn. Each year the event draws stakeholders from business, industry, government and academia to offer their unique industry perspectives.  This year GEED will explore the revolution underway in the energy and transportation sectors and the foundational roles  of energy efficiency and public policy as change agents driving this new future.  Industry executives will kick GEED off with a look at the key technologies, policies, and stakeholders driving disruption in the automotive and utility sectors, with a focus on opportunities to advance energy efficiency. Two responsive roundtables will follow, diving deeper into the role of federal policy in adopting a systems approach to energy efficiency and addressing the evolving transportation sector.

Youth Nuclear Issues Discussion – The Department of Energy (Office of Nuclear Energy) and the Nuclear Energy Institute will hold another Millennial Nuclear Caucus on Wednesday evening.  The forum encourages all young people interested in nuclear energy, advanced science and technology solutions, or the future of clean energy to attend and join in the conversation. We all have a stake in the future of nuclear.

Norway Ambassador to Talk Energy – On Thursday  morning at 9:00 a.m., the Atlantic Council’s Global Energy Center and the Norwegian Embassy will hold a wide-ranging conversation with Norwegian Minister of Petroleum and Energy Terje Søviknes about current trends in the Norwegian oil and gas sector. Norway is a major offshore oil and gas producer, producing about 2 million barrels of oil per day and exporting a record 122 billion cubic meters of natural gas during 2017.

Conservative Groups Look at Clean Energy – On Thursday at Noon, the R Street Institute, Texas Clean Energy Coalition (TCEC) and The American Conservative will host a forum in 2045 Rayburn at Noon for a discussion of how these trends are playing out in the Texas electric market, how conservative leaders are embracing the economic benefits of clean energy, and what the “Texas story” can teach us about current energy debates in Washington and around the country. Panelists include Georgetown, Texas Mayor Dale Ross, ERCOT COO Cheryl Mele, Texas Clean Energy Coalition head Elizabeth Lippincott and former Public Utility Commission of Texas commissioner (PUCT) Ken Anderson.

Heritage hosts Forum on European Initiative – The Heritage Foundation hosts a forum on Thursday to discuss The Three Seas Initiative, an effort by 12 European nations situated between the Adriatic, Baltic, and Black Seas to develop energy and infrastructure ties between their countries.  Krzysztof Szczerski, a chief architect of the Three Seas Initiative, presents a Polish perspective on what the Initiative means for Europe and the United States, and how it will strengthen the transatlantic alliance.

EESI, BSCE to Host Staff Brief on Factbook – The Business Council for Sustainable Energy and the Environmental and Energy Study Institute hosts a lunch briefing on Friday  In 2168 Rayburn focused on the 2018 Sustainable Energy in America Factbook. A panel of executives from BCSE member companies and analysts from Bloomberg New Energy Finance will discuss.

Press Club to Host Climate Insurance Event – On Friday at 10:00 a.m. in the Press Club’s Murrow Room,  the CO 2 Coalition will host Dr. Bruce Everett to discuss climate insurance and other climate issues.  Everett will discuss several assertions he says are false, sucsh as, carbon dioxide controls the climate, renewable energy sources are free, fossil fuels seem cheaper because of subsidies and many more Conservative views on the issue.

Australian Sen to Address Energy Markets – On Friday at 10:00 a.m., the Center for Strategic & International Studies-Pertamina Banyan Tree Leadership Forum will host Senator Matthew Canavan of the Australian Federal Minister for Resources and Northern Australia. Minister Canavan will discuss the state of Australia’s resources and energy market, opportunities for engagement between Australia and the U.S., and Australia’s role as a net energy exporter in the Indo-Pacific.

Tulane Enviro Forum Set – The Environmental and Energy Society of Tulane University Law School proudly hosts the 23rd annual Summit on Friday and Saturday to bring together professionals and the public on current and pressing environmental and legal policy issues. This year, the conference will include 21 panels on a wide range of environmental issues with 75 speakers and moderators participating in the event. Our local, national, and international speakers represent strong voices from business, legal, and scientific backgrounds.  Jean-Michel Cousteau is Friday Keynote.

IN THE FUTURE

AFPM Annual Meeting Set for New Orleans – The American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers will hold its 2018 annual meeting in New Orleans on March 11 -13th at the Hilton Riverside.  The meeting is the world’s premier refining meeting, assembling key executives, decision-makers, and technical experts from refining businesses, technology providers, contracting and consulting firms, and equipment manufacturers around the world. It will address current issues of importance to the industry, including industry and community impacts of the 2017 hurricane season. The breakout sessions will feature presentations and panels on process safety, key regulatory issues, innovation, workforce development, economic/commercial issues, the use of big data and emerging technologies.  Speakers include former Tonight Show host Jay Leno, NFL CMO Dawn Hudson, political analyst Charlie Cook Koch CEO Brad Razook and GM’s Dan Nicholson.

Forum to Look at CCS – The Global CCS Institute holds its 7th Annual DC Forum on CCS on Tuesday, March 13th in the Ronald Reagan Building’s Polaris Room at 8:30 a.m.  The event is a lively discussion of the key questions that clean energy and CCS advocates are focused on, including 45Q impact, private sector investment, future government support and key audiences for advocacy efforts. Speakers include ClearPath’s Rich Powell, Global CCS Institute CEO Brad Page,, WRI’s Andrew Steer, former Assistant Secretary of Energy for Fossil Energy David Mohler, ADM’s Scott McDonald, Kurt Walzer of the Clean Air Task Force, House Energy Committee former Chief Counsel Tom Hassenboehler and former DOE official Daniel Richter.

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

JHU Forum to Look at Global Solar, Wind – Next Monday at 5:00 p.m., Johns Hopkins University’s SAIS will look at the role of wind and solar in the global power sector. A new book — presented by Professor Johannes Urpelainen — will offer a comprehensive political analysis of the rapid growth in renewable wind and solar power, mapping an energy transition through theory, case studies, and policy analysis.

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

BPC Infrastructure Hub Sets Innovation Forum – The BPC Infrastructure Lab hold its second event in a series on Infrastructure Ideas and Innovations on Tuesday March 13th at 10:00 a.m. The American economy is increasingly driven by a powerful network of billions of “smart” and connected devices, ranging from miniscule sensors to massive industrial machines. From autonomous vehicles to smart water meters, today’s innovations are transforming how we live and how our core industries do business.  These technological advancements also raise important policy questions: What infrastructure investments must be made to ensure that the Industrial Internet of Things (IIOT), the infrastructure that underlies the innovation, has the powerful and reliable communications network needed to sustain it? How can we incorporate IIoT innovations, such as custom private networks that combine satellite-terrestrial technologies, to improve the quality and competitiveness of our infrastructure?

Algae, CCS Forum Set – Next Tuesday, March 13th at 1:30 p.m., U.S. Energy Association hosts a presentation on algae’s role in successful CO2 mitigation campaign.   Heralded by proponents, dismissed by naysayers, algae may not cure our carbon conundrum but could be a key enabler for carbon capture and use (CCU). Algae Biomass Organization Executive Director Matt Carr addresses the topic.

Solar Operations Conference Set – On March 13-14th, Solar Asset Management North America will hold its 5th edition in San Francisco. The event is the leading conference focused on the operational phase of solar plants and portfolios. The recommendations on the Section 201 solar trade case as well as the new tax provisions will also affect the existing assets, budgets and O&M. The conference aims to fully assess and quantify the impact on the future of the solar industry.

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

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

CSIS to Talk Electricity Markets, Conflicts – On Wednesday , March 14th at 3:30 p.m., the CSIS Energy & National Security Program will host Dr. Brian Ó Gallachóir (University College Cork) and Dr. Morgan Bazilian (Colorado School of Mines) for a presentation on electricity market and infrastructure developments in conflict zones with particular focus on power sector development in the wake of The Troubles in Northern Ireland. Sarah Ladislaw (CSIS) will moderate the discussion.

Forum on New Solar Book – On Friday, March 16th at 10:00 a.m., the CSIS Energy and National Security Program hosts a discussion on ‘Taming the Sun,’ the new book by Dr. Varun Sivaram, Philip D. Reed fellow for Science and Technology at the Council on Foreign Relations. Dr. Sivaram will discuss the financial, technological and systematic innovation required to maximize solar power utilization and highlight the need for a creative public policy framework, and comprehensive energy market restructuring, to create a more effective clean energy portfolio and establish solar energy as the cornerstone of the global energy revolution.

Forum Looks At Budget Impacts on Climate, Enviro Research – The Novim Group, in partnership with the Environmental and Energy Study Institute, holds a briefing on Friday March 16th at 2:00 p.m. discussing a new report on the environmental and societal impacts of the Administration’s proposed climate and environmental research program cuts for Fiscal Year (FY) 2018. The briefing’s speakers, who helped author the Novim report, will give an overview of its findings and conclusions. Speakers for this forum are Michael Ditmore and Ari Patrinos of Novim as well as Kei Koizumi American Association for the Advancement of Science.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Energy Update: Week of January 29

Friends,

Well, that was an exciting beginning to the 60th Grammys. It was a nice surprise appearance by U2, although I didn’t really know what that opening number was by Kendrick Lamar. I guess I’m just too old as he managed to nab 5 Grammy wins. And how does Metallica not win Best Rock Album for Hardwired To Self Destruct?  And really, how is it nearly every rock category was announced in the pre-TV portion?

One person that did win: the brother of our former Bracewell colleague and now Valero Government Relations head Salo Zelermyer. What????  Yes, Salo’s brother, Gideon Zelermyer won the Grammy for Best Rock Performance.  Gideon is the cantor at the largest synagogue in Montreal who – beyond his congregation – may be best known for his riveting renditions of the both the Canadian and US national anthems at pro sporting events.  Gideon joined with the late Leonard Cohen and the Shaar Hashomayim Synagogue choir to win the Grammy for their collaboration on You Want It Darker. The Zelermyer crew beat out far more traditional rockers for the Grammy:  the late Chris Cornell (The Promise), Dave Grohl’s Foo Fighters (Run), Kaleo (No Good) and Nothing More (Go to War).

On the sports side, how about that NHL All-Star Game? I just love that 3-on-3 format w/the $1M prize to the winners. Tennis’ first major is over in Australia with Caroline Wozniacki taking the Women’s title for her first Grand Slam title, while the incredible, ageless Roger Federer won the Men’s side for his 20th Grand Slam victory.  Just unreal…

Before we get going, you may have already received info regarding tonight’s 5:30 p.m. welcoming at Charlie Palmer Steak (101 Constitution Avenue N.W.) celebrating the newest members of the PRG team: Anna Burhop, Stoney Burke, Liam Donovan, and Christine Wyman.  And if you haven’t heard, please let me know if you can join us.  We hope to see you tonight.

Exciting times in DC this week with the State of the Union set for tomorrow night. There is a lot of speculation about the tone the president will take. I suspect we will hear discussions of energy dominance, infrastructure, regulatory relief and a lot of boasting about the new tax law.   We are on it, so call with questions.

Of course, the week also starts out strong in Senate EPW, where EPA administrator Scott Pruitt returns to the Senate for the first time since his confirmation hearing.  Maybe a little less interesting tomorrow, Senate Energy votes on DOE/Interior nominees and discusses natural hazards like fire, while House Science tackles DOE management.  Maybe a little more fireworks at a House Resources mark up on Bears Ears legislation tomorrow at 10:30.

On Wednesday, Pruitt speaks to State Ag Directors and Thursday in NYC, my colleague Scott Segal hosts Neil Chatterjee and others at the S&P Power and Gas M&A Symposium.

For next week, in additional to the infrastructure roll out expected Monday, mark your calendars for a Hudson Institute forum where Steve Forbes, the HVAC industry, Bracewell’s Jeff Holmstead and NRDC’s Dave Doniger all address the important issues surrounding HFCs and the Kigali Amendment.

Congrats (maybe) to our friend and long-time Bloomberg reporter/editor Mark Drajem who today joined the federal communications team at the Natural Resources Defense Council.

Super Bowl Sunday is all set…Eagles or Patriots? Regardless of who wins, it better end up on my quarter numbers so I can win something.  We will be live tweeting the Pruitt EPW hearing and the SOTU.  Follow us at @PolicyRez  Call with questions.  Best,

 

Frank Maisano

(202) 828-5864

(202) 997-5932

 

FRANKLY SPOKEN

“We thought President Trump was going to protect manufacturing jobs, and that’s what a refinery does. The renewable fuel standards are like a lead weight around the company.  We want the President to live up to his word.”

Ryan O’Callaghan, president of United Steelworkers Local 10-1, which represents hundreds of Philadelphia Energy Solutions workers.

 

IN THE NEWS

NY Releases Plan for Offshore Wind – New York State on this morning released an exhaustive master plan for offshore wind energy that projects 5,000 people employed in and around a $6 billion industry by 2028. Gov. Cuomo’s plan also makes clear that while offshore wind representing 2,400 megawatts and hundreds of turbines will be in the waters south of Long Island and not visible from shore. The state expects more than 1.2 million homes could be powered by offshore wind. The 60-page report is accompanied by 20 supplemental studies representing more than two years of work and thousands of pages of analysis. The studies examine everything from viable ports to turbine manufacturing and wind-farm construction and staging to the need for cables, pipelines and other infrastructure, as well as the impact on birds, bats and fish.  Our friend Mark Harrington of Newsday has the story. Statoil is among the leading developers of offshore wind in the growing industry along the Atlantic Coast after being granting New York’s first leases last year.

Letter: Energy Trades Says Pass Extenders – More that 60 trade association, most that deal with energy issues wrote to Congress last week urging the passage of a “a seamless multi-year extension of the ‘tax extenders’ as soon as possible.”  Among the groups were Advanced Biofuels Business Council, Advanced Energy Economy, American Gas Assn, AHRI, the Business Council for Sustainable Energy, CHP, the Energy Recovery Council, GEO, Nat’l Electrical Contractors Assn, NRECA, Nat’l Propane Gas, and many others. Read the letter here.

DC Court Rejects Appeal of HFC Rule – Speaking of HVAC, the DC Circuit Friday denied a request by manufacturers to rehear a case on overturning the agency’s regulation to limit use of hydrofluorocarbons. The court in August rejected EPA’s initial rule phasing down the use of the global-warming inducing coolant. The world is pushing forward on the Kigali amendment though – a binding part of the Montreal Protocol that aims to phase out HFCs globally. Over Thanksgiving, a State Department official announced it would support the treaty at the 30th anniversary of the Protocol.  The Air-Conditioning, Heating and Refrigeration Institute (AHRI) said it was not surprised by this decision because the bar for en banc appeals is high.  AHRI’s Francis Dietz said the ruling does not in any way diminish our industry’s commitment to the phase down of HFC refrigerants under the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol.

EPA Ends “Once-in, Always-in” Clean Air Policy – EPA issued notice Thursday it is withdrawing the “once-in, always-in” policy under the Clean Air Act.  The policy dictated how major sources of hazardous air pollutants are regulated. Under the EPA’s new interpretation, such “major sources” can be reclassified as “area sources” when their emissions fall below mandated limits, subjecting them to differing standards.  My colleague Jeff Holmstead is a significant expert on the topic and said “the withdrawal of the “once-in-always-in” was long overdue.  There was no legal basis for it, and it was at odds with other EPA programs.  This policy change does not apply to power plants and it won’t affect large industrial facilities like refineries and chemical plants, but it will give smaller facilities more operational flexibility and reduce unnecessary red tape.” He would be happy to discuss specific details further should you have questions.  You can reach him at 202-294-8700 or jeff.holmstead@bracewell.com

Chamber Weighs in on Energy Policy Successes Through Energy Tracker – Chamber Global Energy Institute expert Dan Byers weighed into the energy policy discussion yesterday in an op-ed in The Hill that says energy policy under Trump will be a boon for Americans and business.  Byers says the Chamber GEI’s Energy Tracker highlights high-profile actions and the collective impact from scores of other measures that illustrate the President’s consistent emphasis on advancing U.S. energy for economic growth.  The tracker provides a unique and detailed look at these individual actions that are an easily-forgotten part of the bigger picture.

Unions Weigh in Heavily on Refinery Bankruptcy – A number of key unions say the recent bankruptcy of the Philadelphia Energy Solutions will hurt unions members in PA that were key to President’s election victory in PA.  The United Steelworkers, the United Association Pipefitters and Boilermakers have issued statement raising concerns about the bankruptcy on their members.  Steelworkers: “Continued indifference by the administration and EPA will only drive more East Coast refineries into bankruptcy while thousands of good jobs that allow highly skilled workers to support their families and sustain their communities are at stake.”  The Pipefitters wrote to Trump: “you made a promise to protect every American manufacturing job. In light of the previously mentioned circumstances, we are urged you to keep that promise and take immediate action to control skyrocketing ring cost. Union jobs in Pennsylvania and across the country depend on it.”

WSJ Addresses PES As Well – Finally, the Wall Street Journal editorial board highlighted the PES bankruptcy putting the blame with the federal government’s biofuels policies.  The Journal quoted Ryan O’Callaghan, president of United Steelworkers Local 10-1, which represents hundreds of Philadelphia Energy Solutions workers. “We thought President Trump was going to protect manufacturing jobs, and that’s what a refinery does,” he said. The renewable fuel standards are “like a lead weight around the company,” he added, and “we want the President to live up to his word.”

Study Says Wind Neighbors Like Wind – A 3-year national lab study published today found that of the 1.3 million homes in America that are within five miles of a wind turbine, a majority of the neighbors have a positive attitude towards the turbines. The survey, led by the Department of Energy’s Berkeley Lab, found that inside that range, only 8 percent of respondents had a “negative” or “very negative” opinion of the turbine. For those within half a mile of a large turbine, that percentage grew to 25 percent. The study also asked respondents whether they heard noises from nearby turbines, if they were “annoyed” by any sounds they did hear, and if they perceived the turbine planning process to be fair. A summary and results of the study can be found here.

DOE Starts Solar Manufacturing Effort – Following Last week’s tariff decision, the Department of Energy announced a $3 million prize competition to reenergize innovation in U.S. solar manufacturing. The American Made Solar Prize will incentivize the nation’s entrepreneurs to develop new processes and products that will reassert American leadership in the solar marketplace. This prize is in addition to total DOE funding of up to $400 million for solar projects and technologies in 2017. It will lower barriers American innovators face in reaching manufacturing scale by accelerating the cycles of learning, while helping to create partnerships that connect entrepreneurs to the private sector and the network of DOE’s national laboratories.

US Wind to Surpass Hydro – EIA reports that Wind power is forecast to surpass hydroelectricity for the first time as the nation’s top source of renewable electricity sometime in the next year.  Wind is expected to produce 6.4% of utility-scale electricity in 2018, and 6.9% in 2019, propelled by a construction boom of new turbines across the country.  Few new hydropower plants are in the works, so new electricity generation depends on how much rainfall and water runoff pools in existing dams and reservoirs. Hydropower provided 7.4% of utility-scale generation in 2017 ― a particularly wet year ― but that figure is projected to fall to about 6.5% in 2018 and 6.6% in 2019.

 

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

Ag Directors Head to DC – The National Association of State Departments of Agriculture will hold its annual winter policy conference today through Wednesday at the Grand Hyatt.  The event will feature remarks from FDA Director Scott Gottlieb and EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt, who addresses the Group Wednesday.

NAS Panel to Look at Natural Disasters – The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine’s Roundtable on Science and Technology for Sustainability (STS) will host a workshop tomorrow on deploying sustainable energy after human caused and natural disasters.  Workshop participants will discuss specialized social, economic and engineering challenges and opportunities to deploying sustainable energy in areas that are rebuilding, after major disasters, including California, Puerto Rico, and other areas. The workshop will also explore how regions are building renewable energy into their longer-term planning in the context of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

Pruitt to Head to Senate Environment – The Senate Environment Committee will host EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt tomorrow at 10:00 a.m., making his first return to the panel nearly a year after his confirmation.

House Science to Look at Energy Department – The House Science Committee holds a hearing tomorrow at 10:00 a.m. looking at the Department of Energy and its management and priorities.  Witnesses include DOE science undersecretary Paul Dabbar and DOE undersecretary Mark Menezes.

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

House Resources to Look at Bears Ears – The House Natural Resources Committee Subcommittee on Federal Lands holds a hearing tomorrow at 10:30 a.m. to focus on legislation to codify Trump’s presidential proclamation last month shrinking the Bears Ears monument’s footprint by 85%.  Witnesses will include Utah AG Sean Reyes, former Rep. Jason Chaffetz, Interior principal deputy assistant secretary for Indian affairs John Tahsuda, Interior’s deputy assistant secretary, land and minerals management Casey Hammond, former Ute Mountain Tribe councilwoman Regina Lopez-Whiteskunk, Ute Indian Tribe Business Committee official Tony Small, Zuni, NM councilman Carleton Bowekaty, Hopi Tribal Council’s Clark Tenakhongva, Navajo Nation president Russell Begaye and San Juan County Commission vice chair Rebecca Benally.

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

House Energy Panel to Mark Up Ceiling Fan Legislation – The House Energy and Commerce Energy panel will mark up bipartisan legislation tomorrow at 1:00 p.m. that align compliance dates for new ceiling fan standards with those for ceiling fan light kits. Two current standards have compliance dates that are about a year apart, which has created unnecessary challenges for companies. The bill would harmonize compliance dates for both appliances to Jan. 21, 2020.

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

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

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

CSIS to Look at India Energy Policy – On Wednesday at 3:00 p.m., CSIS’s Wadhwani Chair in U.S.-India Policy Studies and Energy & National Security Program host Dr. Arunabha Ghosh and Abhishek Jain, who will present evidence using on-ground primary data and policy analysis undertaken at the Council on Energy, Environment, and Water, South Asia’s leading policy research institution, to answer address these questions. Dr. Kartikeya Singh will moderate a discussion following the presentation. India is undergoing several energy transitions, each of which will matter for its human development and global sustainability. It must undertake programs at scales and within timelines not witnessed anywhere else, create appropriate market conditions to give direction and confidence to technology innovators and investors, and ensure energy security within a rapidly shrinking carbon constraint.

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

WEN Set to Launch 2018 Agenda – The Women’s Energy Network holds a reception to kick off our 2018 event series at 6:00 p.m. at Vinson & Elkins. WEN DC is an organization that prides itself on supporting the professional development and advancement of women in the energy industry through relationships and networking.

Climate Activists Groups Meet at GWU – On Wednesday at 8:00 p.m. at GW’s Lisner Auditorium, the activist group Climate Hawks Vote will host Fossil Free Fast: The Climate Resistance.  FFF will feature organizers who’ve led successful campaigns for 100% renewables in their cities, activists who are fighting fossil fuel projects like pipelines, and elected leaders who are pushing for climate action. Sen. Bernie Sanders, Bill McKibben of 350.org, Varshini Prakash of the Sunrise Movement, Rev. Yearwood of the Hip Hop Caucus, Jacqueline Patterson of the NAACP and many more will deliver the state of the climate movement.

French Embassy to Address Climate Policy – The French Embassy is hosting another French Series panel discussion event Thursday at 6:00 p.m. looking at climate change policy issues.  The event will be moderated by our friend Dean Scott, Senior climate change and Capitol Hill environment reporter for Bloomberg Environment.  Panelists include Brookings climate experts David Levaï and Adèle Morris, as well as WRI’s Jennifer Layke.

JHU to Feature Indian Expert to Discuss Coal – On Friday at 12:30 p.m., Johns Hopkins University hosts a discussion of energy policy in India and the role of coal, featuring Harvard Kennedy School doctoral student Rohit Chandra, who is studying energy policy and economic history. Like many other countries, India’s industrial base and electricity system has been built largely on the back of coal-based power generation. Both financially, and politically, the Indian state is deeply invested in coal and coal-based power generation. This is likely to make the transition to renewable energy gradual, not precipitous, as many have been predicting. In this talk, Rohit will give a brief historical sketch of the Indian coal industry, and then discuss some of the reasons why coal and its downstream use in power and other industries is likely to persist in India for the foreseeable future.

 

IN THE FUTURE

Hudson Forum to Look at HFC Issues – The Hudson Institute will hold a forum on February 5th to discuss the current status of HFC issues and the Kigali Treaty.  The keynote speaker will be Steve Forbes.  With all the talk of Paris, this just seems like a good NPR story: global efforts to reduce the heat-trapping gases from refrigerants used in air conditioning and cooling.  Other speakers will include White House official David Banks, Bracewell’s Jeff Holmstead, NRDC’s Dave Doniger, AHRI head Steve Yurek and Ingersoll Rand’s Paul Camuti.

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

EV Workshop Set in NoVa – Next Tuesday morning February 6th, Virginia Clean Cities, the Northern Virginia Regional Commission, Greater Washington Region Clean Cities and Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments host an informative workshop on electric vehicles and EV charging stations.  This workshop will provide an overview of the benefits of EVs for fleets, and infrastructure considerations for selecting and installing EV charging equipment. Northern Virginia fleet managers, business leaders and government officials will be able to test drive the newly redesigned, longer-range 2018 Nissan LEAF, the 2018 Chevy Bolt, SmartForTwo, Vantage and other EVs. Participants will also get information on charging options for their fleet, workplace and much more.

EIA to Present Energy Outlook – Next Tuesday February 6th at 10:00 a.m., Johns Hopkins University will host EIA Director Linda Capuano at its Kenney Herter Auditorium to present EIA’s Annual Energy Outlook 2018 (AEO2018). AEO2018 includes projections of U.S. energy supply, demand, and prices. The discussion will consider results across AEO2018 cases that vary assumptions regarding U.S. economic growth rates, domestic resources and technology, and world oil prices.

WCEE to Host Battery Discussion – The Women’s Council on Energy and the Environment (WCEE) will hold a Lunch and Learn on Wednesday February 7th at Noon to hear from Kelly Speakes-Backman, CEO of Energy Storage Association.  Speakes-Backman will share her knowledge of battery storage and the impact it will have on the evolving energy markets.

WoodMac Researcher to Discuss Shale for Energy Economists – The National Capital Chapter of the US Energy Economists hosts its February lunch on Friday February 9th at Noon at Carmines.  Wood MacKenzie Research Director for Natural Gas Liquids Anne Keller will address the often overlooked and usually unheralded bounty of the shale revolution which has led to a huge increase in natural gas liquids production. These chameleons of the hydrocarbon chain, which begin their trip to market as gas and end up transformed into liquids along the way, are providing emerging economies with clean burning fuel and US chemical producers with a potential cost advantage that they are betting billions of dollars will continue.

SEIA, ESA to Host Discussion on Distributed Energy – The Solar Energy Industries Association and the Energy Storage Association will host a breakfast panel discussion Monday February 12th in Washington on Distributed Energy Resource (DER) valuation, interconnection, and benefits to the local grid. The forum will look at the ways in which the location of a DER can provide various grid benefits and may lead to changes in DER compensation.  Speakers include ESA CEO Kelly Speakes-Backman, SEIA’s David Gahl, Douglas Staker of Demand Energy and Sara Baldwin Auck of Regulatory Program.

BCSE to Release Annual Sustainability ReportBloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) and the Business Council for Sustainable Energy (BCSE) will release of the 2018 Sustainable Energy in America Factbook in Washington, DC, on February 15th.  In its 6th year, the Factbook provides new industry information and trends for the U.S. energy economy, with an in-depth look at the energy efficiency, natural gas and renewable energy sectors as well as emerging areas such as battery storage and sustainable transportation.  A panel of executives from BCSE members and BNEF analysts look at the cost of energy for consumers and businesses, and how has this changed over time; U.S. ranking for energy prices and clean energy investment; Clean energy contributions to American jobs and other items.

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

Forum to Look at Transmission – WIRES and the Environmental and Energy Study Institute will host a briefing on Tuesday February 13th at 11:00 a.m. on the widespread, substantial, and long-lasting benefits of investment in electric transmission. The briefing will showcase two London Economics International studies – one study quantifies the future benefits of transmission investment based on two hypothetical projects, the second dispels many of the myths that deter and delay transmission investment.  This panel will discuss why transmission should be a major component of the infrastructure conversation and how the economic and societal benefits from a robust high-voltage grid are so important. Speakers study author Julia Frayer of London Economics International, ITC’s Nina Plaushin and former FERC Chair James Hoecker.

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

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

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

Capitol Hill Veteran Stoney Burke Joins Bracewell’s Policy Resolution Group in Washington, DC

Bracewell LLP announced today that Stoney Burke will join the firm’s Policy Resolution Group (PRG) as a principal focusing on energy, infrastructure, technology, trade and national security policy, among other issues. He will be based in the firm’s Washington, DC office.

Burke joins Bracewell from the office of Rep. Will Hurd (R-TX), where he served as chief of staff for the past three years and helped pass nine bills sponsored by Rep. Hurd that were signed into law during his first term, more than any other House or Senate Member in the 114th Congress. Previously Burke worked as a legislative assistant for former Rep. Chet Edwards (D-TX) from 2006 to 2008. During that time, he was responsible for energy, agriculture, natural resources and trade issues for the then-Appropriations Subcommittee chairman.

“I want to thank Stoney for being a trusted adviser and building a team to best represent the constituents of the 23rd District of Texas,” said Rep. Hurd. “I am grateful for his longtime friendship, political expertise and commitment to public service over the past three years as Chief of Staff. Stoney will continue to play a key role for our election campaign and wish him the best on this new opportunity.”

“As Congress and the Trump Administration take up infrastructure, energy and other issues, clients are looking for guidance on how new policies will impact their businesses,” said Bracewell’s Managing Partner Gregory M. Bopp. “Stoney is a strong addition to Bracewell’s growing PRG team. We are pleased to welcome him.”

“Stoney has earned respect from both sides of the aisle on Capitol Hill for his hard work and ability to get things done,” said Bracewell’s PRG Co-Head Scott Segal. “He brings a unique, bipartisan background to government affairs work, combined with significant experience in the private sector. Bracewell’s clients will benefit from Stoney’s knowledge of the issues, his political acumen and his strategic communications sense.”

Burke also has significant private sector experience. He spent seven years as director of external affairs at the Southern Company, one of the largest and most sophisticated power companies. At Southern, Burke developed legislative strategies for energy and security issues at the federal and state level. He was also responsible for comprehensive, cross-platform outreach to a diverse array of third-party stakeholders.

Burke is the fourth addition to the growing Bracewell PRG team in the past eight months. Liam Donovan, a lobbyist on tax, infrastructure and energy issues; Christine Wyman, who focuses on energy and environmental policy; and Anna Burhop, who focuses on environmental and regulatory issues, all joined the PRG team in Washington, DC since mid-2017.

Bracewell’s DC office also deepened its bench with the addition of five strategic partner hires in 2017, including Angela Styles and Robert Wagman in government contracts, Hans Dyke and Paul Wight in energy projects, and David Super in civil litigation.

“Bracewell is widely respected as a leading government relations and strategic communications firm on today’s top-line issues,” said Burke. “I look forward to working with other members of Bracewell’s PRG team to ensure that our clients have a meaningful role in the policy discussions already underway and those slated to begin soon.”

Burke graduated with a B.A. from Texas A&M University in 2003. He also holds a graduate certificate in advanced international affairs from A&M’s Bush School of Government & Public Service.

PRG Awarded Brain Tumor Champion Award by National Brain Tumor Society

Last week, PRG was presented with the National Brain Tumor Society’s Brain Tumor Champion Award for government relations and strategic communications work on behalf of American families impacted by brain tumor diagnoses.

“NBTS is sincerely grateful for the partnership and collaboration of Bracewell and PRG over the past several years,” said David Arons, chief executive officer at the National Brain Tumor Society. “Bracewell and PRG have devoted many hours of service to helping advance the voices of the brain tumor community in Washington and have extended their support to helping to raise resources and awareness through our special events. Their talented and dedicated staff has assisted NBTS in advancing important legislation, achieved a series of key policy successes that have greatly benefitted the brain tumor community, and helped drive new research funding. NBTS thanks and recognizes their efforts and is looking forward to continuing to work together to make a difference in the lives of brain tumor patients, survivors, their families and care partners.”

Specifically, PRG team members Ed Krenik (partner), John Lee (director), and Caitlin Andrews (director) were named for their dedication to NBTS’s work and goals.

“We are honored to work with NBTS, and honored by this award,” said PRG Partner Ed Krenik. “We highly value our ongoing relationship and the important work NBTS is undertaking to ensure that brain tumor researchers, who are now more poised than ever to advance a cure, are supported by Congress with the needed resources. Our work with NBTS on Capitol Hill has helped lawmakers understand the importance of supporting this life-saving research.”

To read more about NBTS’s Brain Tumor Champion Award and the work done by PRG for the Society, click here.

Energy Update: Week of 12/4

Friends,

I hope you got a great view of two things yesterday: 1) last night’s Super Moon and 2) the epic sign of Detroit Lions futility (and I’m not referring to the horrible performance in Baltimore).  The Super Moon was pretty spectacular, while in Michigan, demolition crews tried to implode the former home of the Lions, the Pontiac Silverdome to an epic fail. The highlighted links have the videos.  These launch a Super Busy Week starting today when President Trump heads to Utah where he is expected to announce that he will shrink the size of at least two national monuments.

Over the weekend, the Senate passed its tax reform bill which moves the process forward to this week.  Now, they will scramble to put together a House-Senate Conference as soon as this evening to hash out the differences.  While there are many out there, Axios has a good summary of a few energy issues at play in the tax plan including ANWR, corporate issues, EVs/Renewables, BEAT, AMT and oil/gas.  My tax expert colleague Liam Donovan is all over it and can answer your questions.  Follow him on twitter at @LPDonovan or at http://lpdonovan.com/

Tomorrow, solar advocates including Abby Hopper will hold a presser at the National Press Club at 9:15 a.m. to roll out an approach for protecting the booming solar industry with an American First plan instead of harmful tariffs proposals.  Then on Wednesday, the US Trade Rep holds a public hearing to take comments on the solar tariffs.  Expect a whole lot of rallying from solar advocates who will be out in force across from the White House.  Already, a diverse group including the Campbell Soup Company, Schneider Electric, utility NextEra Energy and the National Electrical Contractors Assn have weighed in against tariffs.

Other events Wednesday include the Feminist Majority’s 30th Women, Money, Power Summit and the widely attended, popular Southern Company Holiday party at Union Station. Out of town on Wednesday, ALEC hosts its annual States & Nation Policy Summit, a three-day conference in Nashville consisting of intensive, in-depth sessions addressing issues that will be at the top of state legislative agendas the following year.

Then Thursday, President Trump will meet with Sen. Ted Cruz and several Cabinet members to discuss U.S. biofuel policy and fuel efficiency standards, holding the meeting Cruz and 8 other senators requested in October.  It will be a busy day for EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt who will have to rush over to the White House from the House Energy Committee where he will start testifying earlier that morning.

Finally, two special honors: First, congrats to our colleague David Mann who attends his final MBA class tonight at Georgetown University. David, who handles many of PRG’s Admin and FEC/Lobbying filings (as well as serving as Segal’s gatekeeper) has been plugging away on his MBA for more than 3 years.  Secondly, this evening at City Tap House in Dupont, many of us will honor veteran energy reporter Chris Holly as he retires. Chris has long been one of the most savvy, intelligent and fair reporters, covering so many issues, it is hard for me to remember all of them.  He was one of the first reporters I worked with when I started on this beat 20-plus years ago when he was at McGraw-Hill’s Electric Utility Week.  He has since graced the pages of Energy Daily for the last 15 or so.  We have enjoyed working with him all these years, and certainly will miss his wit, tough reporting and intellect.

Call with questions.  Best,

Frank Maisano

(202) 828-5864

  1. (202) 997-5932

 

FRANKLY SPOKEN

“The time is ripe for EPA to grant substantive relief from the unique, adverse impacts the RFS program is having on the state of Texas. The extreme, detrimental impacts on large portions of the refining sector have now placed unacceptable burdens on the Texas economy and the economy and security of the nation as a whole.”

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott requesting a waiver from the Renewable Fuels Standard Friday.

IN THE NEWS

Groundbreaking Fluorocarbon Conversion Technology Advances under Montreal Protocol – The groundbreaking HFC chemical conversion technology offered by Midwest Refrigerants advanced to next stage of commercialization with a decision by the Montreal Protocol Multi-Lateral Fund (MLF) recently. The timetable for development could lead to construction of first-ever commercial scale unit in China in 2018.  According to the decision of the MLF Executive Committee, UNDP will prepare a project business proposal to be submitted by March 26, 2018, for review, consideration, and approval for funding at its next meeting in June 2018. The decision also set a budget of $2.8 million to support the project. The project also received strong statements of support and encouragement from MLF representatives from the United States government.  UNDP will develop a project proposal between Midwest Refrigerants and LUXI Chemical, in Liaocheng City, China, for the conversion of HFC-23, a byproduct of the R-22 manufacturing process that is also a potent greenhouse gas. R-22 is used as a refrigerant that is being phased out under the Montreal Protocol and is also used as a feedstock for polymer manufacturing. The Midwest conversion technology, which operated in a pilot facility for more than 24 months, has been shown to convert fluorocarbon compounds to their original components suitable for reuse in the manufacturing process, while leaving no waste stream. At commercial scale, this technology is expected to be considerably less expensive and more sustainable than current destruction technology.  Happy to connect you Midwest’s Lew Steinberg if you are interested.

New Report: US is Most Attractive Place for Oil & Gas Investment in the World – The Fraser Institute recently released its annual Global Petroleum Survey ranking the appeal for investment in 97 oil and gas jurisdictions around the world. This year’s survey results found six of the top 10 most attractive regions in the world for oil and gas development are located in the United States: Texas (1st), Oklahoma (2nd), North Dakota (3rd), West Virginia (5th), Kansas (6th} and Wyoming (9th). In fact, according to the report, in the last six surveys, Texas, Oklahoma and North Dakota, as well as Saskatchewan in Canada, are the only four jurisdictions in the world to consistently rank in the top 10. Three hundred thirty-three oil and gas executives and managers responded to this year’s survey, which evaluates jurisdictions based on investment factors such as fiscal terms, taxation, environmental regulations, regulatory costs, consistency and enforcement, political stability, quality of infrastructure and geology, and availability of a skilled workforce.

EIA Says Taller, More efficient Turbines Producing More – The U.S. Energy Information Administration reported that installed wind turbines are taller and more efficient than in the past.  EIA found that the average height and power generating capacity for wind turbines installed in the country are taller and more efficient that in years past.  According to data on utility-scale electricity generators collected by EIA, wind turbine capacity is based largely on the length of the blades and taller turbines are able to not only have longer blades, but also take advantage of better wind resources that are available at greater heights.  The largest onshore turbines in the United States are in Texas, with capacities of 4 MW each. One of the world’s largest wind farms is also in Texas: the Horse Hollow Wind Energy Center has 420 wind turbines spread over about 47,000 acres. The project has a combined electricity generating capacity of about 735 MW.  Turbines are taller now than they were in previous decades. Since 2012, the average height of wind turbines installed in the United States has been about 280 feet, or 80 meters. Before 2006, few wind turbines were as tall as 280 feet. Wind speed typically increases with altitude and increases over open areas without windbreaks such as trees or buildings. Favorable sites for wind turbines include the tops of smooth, rounded hills; open plains and water; and mountain gaps that funnel and intensify wind.

TX Gov Abbott Requests RFS Waiver – Texas Gov. Greg Abbott requested a waiver from the RFS late Abbott, in particular, cited high RIN prices as causing hardship to refiners across the state. He said as a result of the increasingly unpredictable cost of RINS, refiners are exploring all options to reduce these escalating costs, including exporting product, which reduces fuel inventories in the United States, increasing the cost of fuel available to U.S. consumers and decreasing the U.S.’s energy independence and self-reliance strategy mentioned in the goals of the legislation when passed.  Abbott also said small retailers are impacted dramatically.  According to Professor Bernard Weinstein, a distinguished economist at the Maguire Energy Institute at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, “On a global scale, if profit margins for small, independent retailers continue to narrow in order to ‘meet the competition,’ even more of these businesses can be expected to fail in coming years. Fewer small retailers, in turn, will result in higher fuel prices for consumers along with a reduction in the services these businesses provide, such as auto repair and maintenance.”

Diverse Groups Urge Opposition to Solar Tariff – There were four interesting separate sectors weighing in in the USTR Comments opposed to Solar Tariffs: 1) Campbell Soup Company, 2) Schneider Electric 3) utility NextEra Energy and 4) the National Electrical Contractors Assn CEO John Grau.  These comments show the broad impacts that this policy could have on many companies, sectors, workers or consumers.   And remember Duke Energy also offered strong comments at the ITC docket.  I can send pdfs of all of these if you cannot find them.

Cape Wind Project Gives Up Lease – Cape Wind Associates will not go through with their proposed wind farm in Nantucket Sound, halting a controversial project that has been in the works for more than a decade.  Cape Wind will give up its 46-square-mile federal lease.  The decision was disappointing but not unexpected.  The project was dealt a major setback in January 2015, when Eversource and National Grid ended contracts to buy power from the turbines.  Then in 2016 when the state Energy Facilities Siting Board declined to extend permits for the project that had originally been issued in 2009. Interestingly, this project is not really representative of the current state of offshore wind, given that larger turbines are now being installed in truly offshore locations.  Deepwater Wind has successfully launched a project in Rhode Island and Current Statoil is moving forward with a project in leaded areas off New York.

US Rig Count Sees 4th Straight Week of Gains Baker Hughes said the number of US oil and natural gas rigs climbed by six to 929 last week — the fourth consecutive week of increases. Four new rigs were deployed in the Permian Basin and three were added to the Haynesville Shale, while North Dakota’s Williston Basin gained one rig.

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

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

USGCRP to Take Comment – Today and tomorrow, the US Global Change Research Program is taking comments from the public at the National Academy of Sciences Building on topics like its Climate Communications Initiative, its Rising Seas Initiative and Building Resilience in the US-Mexico Drylands

EPA Holds Truck Emissions Kit Hearing – The EPA holds public hearings today on proposed repeal of emission requirements for glider vehicles, glider engines, and glider kits at EPA HQ.  The EPA earlier this month announced its plan to reclassify glider kits as non-new vehicles, thereby restricting the EPA’s ability to regulate their exhaust emissions, and to repeal the glider kit-specific provisions of the Phase 2 emissions regulations.

Climate Film to Be Screened – Tonight at 6:00 p.m., New America and Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs hold a special screening of ‘The Age of Consequences,’ a documentary investigating the links between climate change, U.S. national security, and global stability.

Solar Tariff Opponents to Weigh-in at Press Club – Opponents of tariffs on solar imports will hold a briefing tomorrow at 9:15 a.m. at the National Press Club.  As the Trump Administration nears a determination on remedies for the Section 201 solar trade case, solar industry leaders will discuss the details of a true “America First” Plan for solar energy that supports domestic cell and panel manufacturing without destroying demand for American solar energy.  Experts will preview the U.S. Trade Representative hearing and discuss why the Administration should not impose quotas and tariffs on imports of these products and instead adopt an approach that will not inflate the cost of electricity for all Americans and harm workers, consumers and the U.S. economy.

ITC to Vote on Biodiesel Tariffs – Tomorrow at 9:30 a.m., the U.S. International Trade Commission holds meeting and vote on biodiesel from Argentina and Indonesia.  In May, USITC determined that there is a reasonable indication that a U.S. industry was materially injured by reason of imports of biodiesel from Argentina and Indonesia that are allegedly subsidized and sold in the United States at less than fair value.

EIA, Interior Noms Hearing Set – The Senate Energy Committee holds a hearing tomorrow at 10:00 a.m. on the nominations of Timothy Petty to be an assistant Interior secretary and Linda Capuano to be administrator of the Energy Department’s Energy Information Administration.

Forum to Look at Media, Journalism, Trump – Talkers Magazine will host a forum at Hillsdale College’s Kirby Center In Washington DC looking at the Trump Administration and its coverage by the media.  A panel of talk show hosts including former talk show host and Hillsdale College radio station GM Scot Bertram, Dom Giordano of WPHT/Philadelphia, Hugh Hewitt of Salem Radio Network, Joe Madison SiriusXM Satellite Radio, Janet Parshall of the Moody Radio Network and Bill Press of the TYT Network.

Forum to Look at China Impact – The National Bureau of Asian Research will host a public panel discussion tomorrow at 3:45 p.m. in CVC 268 on China’s Growing Energy and Geopolitical Impact in Xi Jinping’s New Era. The event will also mark the launch of NBR’s 2017 Energy Security Program report on “Asia’s Energy Security and China’s Belt and Road Initiative.”  Rep. Ann Wagner leads the discussion.

Forum to Look at Climate Diplomacy – The German Marshall Fund is holding a forum tomorrow at 5:30 p.m. for a discussion on the future of climate action in the United States, the role of cities and regions in implementing international climate policy, and the importance of strong transatlantic leadership in this area of global concern.  The speaker will be Tim Robinson, Chief Counsel of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce.

Roll Call Forum to Look at Infrastructure – Roll Call Live and CQ holds an infrastructure forum on Wednesday morning featuring expert analysis and bipartisan discussion to examine the many questions that infrastructure stakeholders and policymakers will face in the new administration.  Rep. Peter DeFazio and White House aide DJ Gribben.

USTR Hearing on Solar Trade Tariff – The US Trade Representative will hold a public hearing on Wednesday to discuss the solar tariff issue.

California AG Hits Press Club – The National Press Club Newsmakers Committee will host California AC Xavier Becerra at a Headliners Newsmaker news conference Wednesday at 10:00 a.m. in the club’s First Amendment Lounge. The news conference will look at Cali’s two dozen lawsuits challenging the Trump Administration’s efforts to make changes that affect immigrant rights, civil rights, environmental standards and consumer protections. Becerra will discuss these legal actions and other issues and will be moderated by Los Angeles Times reporter Chris Megerian.

Women, Power, Money Summit Set at Press Club – The Feminist Majority hosts its 30th annual Women Money Power Summit Wednesday at the National Press Club.  The summit brings together a combination of feminist thinkers, speakers, and activists as well as top political leaders. New strategies and campaigns to increase women’s economic and political clout and to stop the war on women and reproductive rights are always at the top of the agenda.  Main Speakers will include Sens. Dianne Feinstein and Mazie Hirono and Reps. Niki Tsongas and Maxine Waters.  Our colleague Dee Martin is a board member of FM.

Senate Enviro to Host Army Corps Nominee – The Senate Environment Committee holds a hearing Wednesday on the nomination of R.D. James to be assistant secretary of the Army for civil works.

WCEE to Host NatGas Leaders – The Women’s Council on Energy and the Environment (WCEE) will hold a forum on Wednesday looking at the role of natural gas in the economy.  Dena Wiggins, President and CEO of the Natural Gas Supply Association (NGSA), and Lori Traweek, Chief Operating Officer of the American Gas Association, will discuss how natural gas fits into our country’s energy future and how they rose to leadership in the energy world.

AEI to Host Ag Discussion – American Enterprise Institute will hold a forum on Wednesday at 12:30 p.m. for a discussion on substantive reforms to US agricultural subsidy programs. AEI’s Vincent Smith will facilitate a discussion among these experts as they break apart the 2018 Farm Bill.  The event looks at the current state of the American farm sector.   In the newest papers of AEI’s “Agricultural Policy in Disarray” series, leading agricultural economists evaluate federal programs and regulations that affect conservation and the environment. Erik Lichtenberg will present his findings on conservation programs. Aaron Smith will discuss the future of the Renewable Fuel Standard. Nathan Hendricks will present his findings on the contentious debates between agricultural and environmental interests about the Clean Water Rule.

Wilson Forum Looks at Moving Villages – The Wilson Center will hold a forum on Wednesday at 1:00 p.m. looking at moving villages due to climate change.  The event will feature the Village of Newtok, a Yupik Eskimo community of 450, faces certain destruction from a slow-moving climate disaster.  The discussion with Newtok’s leadership will focus on their experiences and struggles to preserve their Yupik way of life on their historic subsistence lands.

Senate Environment to Discuss Superfund Sites in Disasters – The Senate Environment Committee’s Superfund and Waste Management Subcommittee holds a hearing Wednesday at 2:30 p.m. on challenges facing Superfund and waste cleanup efforts following natural disasters.

Forum Looks at Future of Ag – The National Museum of Natural History and Resources for the Future will host a forum on Wednesday evening with Jesse Ausubel, Director and Senior Research Associate of the Program for the Human Environment at Rockefeller University, for a look into the future as he explores how precision agriculture and better sources of food and fuel can benefit the natural world.  Ausubel’s work covers forests and farms, marine and human life, energy and materials. He marries climate and Earth sciences to elaborate the vision of a large, prosperous society that spares large amounts of land and sea for nature and emits little or nothing harmful into the atmosphere. This event is presented by Resources for the Future with the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of Natural History as part of an ongoing series, Anthropocene: Life in the Age of Humans.

ALEC Conference Set for Nashville – Starting Wednesday in Nashville, the American Legislative Exchange Council hosts the States & Nation Policy Summit, a three-day conference consisting of intensive, in-depth educational sessions addressing issues that will be at the top of state legislative agendas the following year. Nearly 1,000 state and local lawmakers, policy experts and other stakeholders gather to explore the philosophical principles that guide a free society.

Forum to Look at NAFTA, Energy – The Washington International Trade Association holds an event Thursday at 9:00 a.m. the Ronald Reagan Building & International Trade Center at as part of its NAFTA series on energy and NAFTA. The forum will look at NAFTA renegotiation’s impact on energy trade across North American borders, as well as its investment, jobs and North American energy independence.  Former Rep. Charles Boustany hosts API’s Jack Gerard, CSIS’s Sarah Ladislaw and Sergio Marchi of the Canadian Electricity Association.  Panel 2 includes our friend Maryam S. Brown of Sempra Energy, former State Department Energy envoy David Goldwyn and ADM’s Lorraine Hawley.

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

House Resources to Look at Interior Dept Reforms – House Natural Resources panel lawmakers will review Interior Department reform proposals in a hearing on Thursday at 10:00 a.m.

House Transpo Roundtable to Look at Trucking Techs – On Thursday at 10:00 a.m., the House Transportation Committee’s Subcommittee on Highways and Transit will host a roundtable on emerging technologies in the trucking industry.

ASE Forum to Look at Biz Case for Energy Efficiency – The Alliance to Save Energy hosts a forum on Thursday at 12:00 p.m. to discuss the business case for tax incentives promoting energy efficiency.  From residential retrofits to commercial-scale systems improvements, energy efficiency upgrades deliver massive benefits to consumers, businesses and taxpayers – creating jobs and economic activity, saving money, and reducing harmful emissions while strengthening U.S. energy security. Yet the U.S. tax code no longer contains meaningful tax incentives for energy efficiency. Hear directly from leading businesses and advocates about tax policies new and old that could advance this important cause – and the business case for getting them done as Congress looks at rewriting the tax code.

CSIS to Release World Oil Outlook – The CSIS Energy & National Security Program is hosting the U.S. launch of OPEC’s World Oil Outlook 2017 (WOO) on Thursday at 2:00 p.m.  The WOO is OPEC’s outlook for medium- and long-term oil supply, demand, and downstream to 2040, factoring in the latest developments in global oil markets and OPEC production adjustments. The analysis includes the impacts of worldwide shifts in demographics, emissions reductions, and technological development in the oil sector.  The presentation of WOO 2017 will be given by OPEC’s Al-Qahtani.

POLITICO to Look at 2018 Mid-Terms – Playbookers Anna Palmer and Jake Sherman are going LIVE with POLITICO Playbook in a special extended version of the Playbook Audio Briefing on Thursday at 6:00 p.m. at the 6th & I Synagogue. The POLITICO Playbook Team and other key reporters will try to make sense of Washington as it marches toward mid-term elections in 2018.  Speakers will include POLITICO’s Rachel Bade, Annie Karni and Seung Min Kim, as well as Michael Barbaro of the New York Times, John Rogers of the National Republican Congressional Committee and Dan Sena of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.

House Energy to Look at Cybersecurity, Energy – The House Energy and Commerce Energy Subcommittee holds a hearing on Friday at 9:00 a.m. examining the role of the Department of Energy in energy sector cybersecurity.  Bruce Walker, DOE’s Assistant Secretary of the Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability will testify.

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

Forum to Touch on Climate, Bonn Results – The GW Law School is hosting a roundtable discussion on Friday at Noon looking at the status of climate change policy under the Trump Administration. The discussion will draw on articles written for the recent Special Edition of the Climate and Carbon Law Review (CCLR).   The program will feature several CCLR authors including Vicki Arroyo, Executive Director of the Georgetown Climate Center at Georgetown Law, Professor Robert Glicksman from the George Washington University Law School, Fatima Ahmad and Jennifer Huang from the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions, and Charles Di Leva, visiting scholar at the Environmental Law Institute. Topics under discussion will include, the reaction of state and local authorities to the withdrawal of the US from the Paris Agreement, the fate of the Clean Power Plan and the flexibility of Nationally Determined Commitments (NDCs) under the Paris Agreement.

IN THE FUTURE

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

Nuclear Weapons Triad Forum Set – The Advanced Nuclear Weapons Alliance Deterrence Center (ANWA DC) will host the Inaugural morning forum on Capitol Hill on December 12th.  The event will feature key Members of Congress representing nuclear triad communities at Air Force and Naval bases, and NNSA sites, The group will also outline a series of 11 more 2018 forums and roundtables with key government officials, industry leaders and suppliers, and academic experts on the triad issues of the day, Each of these events will tackle the nuclear triad’s emerging issues and challenges, while sharing the successes, in the ongoing nuclear weapons enterprise modernization.

Energy Storage Forum Set –The 3rd annual U.S. Energy Storage Summit will be held in San Francisco on December 12th and 13th at the Hilton Union Square.  The forum will bring together utilities, financiers, regulators, technology innovators, and storage practitioners for two full days of data-intensive presentations, analyst-led panel sessions with industry leaders, and extensive, high-level networking.  Speakers will Include APRA-E’s Susan Babinec, Peter Klauer of Cal ISO, Cal PUC Commissioner Carla Peterman, ESA CEO (and former MD PSC Chair) Kelly Speakes-Backman and our friends Shayle Kann of GTM Research, Stephen Lacey and Justin Gerdes of Greentech Media.

Forum Set to Look at NatGas – On December 12th and 13th, the Energy Institute at Colorado State University (CSU) and Gas Technology Institute (GTI) will be co-hosting the CH4 Connections conference at CSU’s campus in Fort Collins. This conference, now in its fourth year, will focus on methane emissions quantification, mitigation, and capture for the natural gas industry, and will include a tour of the Methane Emissions Test and Evaluation Center (METEC) that will showcase the solutions under development and in field testing at the center.

NJ to Host NAFTA WebinarNational Journal will host a webinar on Thursday December 14th at 11:00 a.m. to look at renegotiating the North American Free Trade Agreement.  In this webinar, speakers will examine NAFTA’s history, development, and future, and address the major players involved, each side’s key demands, the timeline, potential outcomes and the impact of President Trump’s rhetoric on the process.

Forum to Look at US-Mexico NatGas – The Latin American Dialogue hosts a panel discussion on Friday December 15th aimed at understanding the role of LNG for US energy exports and commercial ties in Latin America, as well as the US-Mexico energy relationship. As global energy trade grows and the United States looks to expand oil and gas exports, Latin American countries provide significant commercial opportunities for exporters and investors alike. It remains imperative that Latin American countries and the United States strive to find mutually beneficial opportunities in order to boost energy ties and expand energy cooperation.  Speakers include State’s Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Bureau of Energy Resources John McCarrick, Sempra’s Mark Nelson, Leslie Palti-Guzman of the Rapidan Group and several others.

The Last Jedi Hits Theaters – DECEMBER 15th

CSIS to Host World Coal Report – On December 18th at 3:30 p.m., CSIS will host the launch of the IEA’s new report analyzing coal’s recent trends and forecasting its demand, supply, and trade through 2022.  Coal remains world’s dominant fuel. Under pressure from decarbonization, cheaper alternatives, and geopolitical shifts in demand, coal continues to be one of the most pressing questions in energy. Peter Fraser, Head of Division for Gas, Coal, and Power Markets at the International Energy Agency, will present the IEA’s report.

API’s Annual State of Energy Address – January 4th (expected).

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

World Energy Outlook Set For Launch – On January 16th at 1:30 p.m., the CSIS Energy & National Security Program will host a forum and the U.S. launch of the International Energy Agency’s World Energy Outlook 2017. Fatih Birol, Executive Director of the IEA, will present the findings from the report.

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

 

Energy Update: Week of Nov 6

Friends,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Frank Maisano

(202) 828-5864

  1. (202) 997-5932

THIS WEEK’S LOBBY SHOP

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

FRANKLY SPOKEN

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

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

 

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

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

 

TAX FAX

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

IN THE NEWS

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

IN THE FUTURE

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

USTR Comment Deadline on Solar Trade Case – November 20th

THANKSGIVING – November 26th

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

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

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

RFS RVO Deadline – November 30th

USTR Hearing on Solar Trade Tariff – December 6th

The Last Jedi Hits Theaters – DECEMBER 15th

 

PRG Co-Heads Segal and Martin Named “Top Lobbyists” by The Hill

This week, The Hill’s annual Top Lobbyists lists were released and have recognized both of PRG’s Co-Heads, Scott Segal and Dee Martin, as powerhouse fixtures in government relations. The annual lists highlight the field’s best and brightest advocates at law and lobby firms, trade associations, grassroots advocacy groups, and in-house lobbyists at corporations.

To read the full list of honorees, visit The Hill’s 2017 Top Lobbyist lists.

Energy Update: Week of 10/30

Friends,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Best,

Frank Maisano

(202) 828-5864

  1. (202) 997-5932

 

THIS WEEK’S LOBBY SHOP

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

FRANKLY SPOKEN

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

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

“As someone who has been the head of the Air Office, I am particularly happy that Bill Wehrum is one step closer to taking over that job.  Bill will be a huge help at the Agency and is the ideal person to shepherd Administrator Pruitt’s reforms through the regulatory process.  He has the trust and respect of both the political leadership and the career staff and will make sure that that all the reforms are done thoughtfully and in accordance with the law.

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

 

IN THE NEWS

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

IN THE FUTURE

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

THANKSGIVING – November 26th

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

RFS RVO Deadline – November 30th

USTR Hearing on Solar Trade Tariff – December 6th

The Last Jedi Hits Theaters – DECEMBER 15th

Energy Update: Week of 10/23

Friends,

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

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

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

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

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

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

Best,

 

Frank Maisano

(202) 828-5864

  1. (202) 997-5932

 

FRANKLY SPOKEN

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

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

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

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

 

IN THE NEWS

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

IN THE FUTURE

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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