Energy Update: Week of April 17

Friends,

Hope everyone enjoyed some family time at Easter/Passover.  And congrats to Energy Daily’s Chris Holly who correctly identified my secret locale last week: Cancun, Mexico.  Yes they did hold a UN COP meeting there at the Moon Bay Palace Resort.

Welcome to Marathon Monday, better known as Patriot’s Day.  It is the day the Boston Marathon runs and you can see the Boston Globe’s coverage full coverage here.  Good luck to all who are running for themselves or others.  Marathon Monday has special meaning this year for us as Hannah is reporting live from the “Wellesley Scream tunnel” at Mile 13.  A few folks from NBC Sports Network joined college organizers for the sign-making event at Wellesley’s Davis Museum last week for a Boston Marathon Segment today on the Scream Tunnel.

It is also a day remembered for a 2013 terrorist attack and the amazing strength and healing the city showed as a community.  The days surrounding that fateful attack were depicted very well in the recent movie Patriot’s Day.  Also, it was 50 years ago today that the first official (registered) woman ran the Marathon: Katherine Switzer, who is running again this year.  The first woman to unofficially run it was Roberta Gibbs one year earlier.

Today’s focus in DC is on the White House Easter Egg Roll, the 139th version.  It started in 1878 when President Rutherford Hayes allowed kids to play Easter games on the South Lawn.  It is the first major event of the new President’s ceremonial agenda after Inaugural events and always is a great time.  In fact, our friend Sean Spicer at one point donned the Easter Bunny outfit during the Bush Administration.

Not much action this week given the second week of the Easter/Passover recess, but the major focus will be on a White House meeting of minds tomorrow on the future of the US involvement in Paris.  As you know, there has been a lot of action on this issue over the last week including a memo from my colleague Scott Segal outlining several key issues, reports that EPA Administrator Pruitt has taken a stronger stance for exiting the agreement and recent backtracking in the hardline stance from conservative, former EPA transition official Myron Ebell.  Seems like Myron and I may have been following this issue longer than just about anyone.

For you FERC nerds, the Federalist Society holds a panel discussion tomorrow on the state of competitive wholesale electricity markets, WCEE holds a lunch forum on Thursday and Friday, former NRC Chair Richard Meserve and Obama Science Advisor John Holdren address a science and security forum.  Also starting Wednesday, the offshore wind community comes together in Annapolis for a major series of meetings to discuss OSW, the supply chain and the future.

Our friend Amy Harder rolled out her first column at her new Generate gig, The Harder Line.  Nice word play!!!  Column #1 is focused on corporate unity on climate change, Paris engagement and is worth the read.

Congrats to our friend, Washington Post reporter David Fahrenthold on his 2017 Pulitzer Prize for National Reporting.  Congrats to all the other winners as well, including our friends at ProPublica and Eric Eyre of the Charleston Gazette.

Finally, more on this below, but this morning, our friends at the Association of Air Pollution Control Agencies (AAPCA) released a new report that tracks the tremendous progress in virtually every measure of air pollution control because of the Clean Air Act’s framework of cooperative federalism.  See it below.

Call with questions…

 

Best,

Frank Maisano

(202) 828-5864

(202) 997-5932

 

FRANKLY SPOKEN

“Air quality has improved dramatically, and ambient air monitoring data continues to reveal the downward trend of air pollutants. It is, perhaps, the greatest story seldom told, and one that is certainly worth telling. This report demonstrates that this progress has been driven by the hard-working state and local agency members of our Association, and we look forward to working with our federal partners to continue this pattern.”

AAPCA President Sean Alteri, Director of the Kentucky Division for Air Quality.

 

COOL QUOTIENT

Here is some of Hannah’s posted video from the Wellesley Scream Tunnel at Mile 13 on the route of the 2017 Boston Marathon.  Here is more video from last year: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gss2i7xFaHg

 

IN THE NEWS

Air Regulator Release Report – The Association of Clear Air Today, the Association of Air Pollution Control Agencies (AAPCA) released a new report, The Greatest Story Seldom Told: Profiles and Success Stories in Air Pollution Control. Through the Clean Air Act’s framework of cooperative federalism, state and local air quality agencies have made tremendous progress in virtually every measure of air pollution control.  The publication catalogues these trends through publicly available data from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and other agencies. It includes key metrics from concentrations of criteria pollutants like ground-level ozone and air releases of toxic chemicals to compliance/enforcement activity and operating permit renewals.

A few of the key statistics from The Greatest Story Seldom Told:

  • As of 2015, combined emissions of the six criteria air pollutants for which there are national ambient air quality standards were down 71% since 1970.
  • Between 2005 and 2015, reported toxic air releases were down 56%, or more than 851 million pounds, and AAPCA Member States accounted for nearly two-thirds of the total reduction.
  • In 2016, states performed full compliance evaluations for more than 14,500 facilities, 80 times the number conducted by U.S. EPA, and from 2010 to 2014, AAPCA Member States performed full compliance evaluations at nearly 47% of facilities annually, well ahead of the national average.
  • According to U.S. EPA, AAPCA Member States in 2016 were more efficient in permitting, with only a 15% backlog for renewing Title V permits among states with more than 100 Title V sources.
  • Between 2000 and 2015, AAPCA Member States saw nitrogen oxide emissions fall more rapidly than the national average.
  • As of 2014, AAPCA Member States had reduced sulfur dioxide emissions in the power sector by more than 8 million tons compared to 1990.
  • From 2000 to 2014, per capita energy-related carbon dioxide emissions were down 18.1% on average nationally, with AAPCA Member States averaging a 19.3% reduction.
  • The U.S. has far exceeded international trends in air quality, with some of the lowest levels of average annual fine particulate matter and the largest reduction in carbon dioxide emissions in the world over the last decade.

Indiana Releases State View Report – In addition to the AAPCA Report, the Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM) recently released the 2017 edition of The States’ View of the Air report. The report highlights the air quality in counties and cities in the United States. Like a report card, IDEM has graded areas on the state of their air quality under the federal standards for ozone and fine particles. You can find the full report here, and individual state reports here.

Gas Expert Returns to Bracewell – Former Bracewell staffer Christine Wyman has returned the firm as a senior Counsel.  Wyman will provide federal legislative and regulatory advice to the firm’s industry and non-profit clients on a broad range of issues and matters.  Prior to joining Bracewell, Wyman was Senior Counsel at the American Gas Association where she advocated for natural gas utilities on federal environmental, energy, and pipeline safety matters.

Ringel Named to EPA Congressional Affairs – Speaking of Bracewell alums, Aaron Ringel, another Segal protégé Aaron Ringel heads to EPA Monday to begin work as deputy associate administrator for congressional affairs.  After working as an assistant to Segal, Ringel moved to the Hill where He worked as legislative director for then-Rep. Mike Pompeo and then deputy chief of staff for Rep. Richard Hudson.

DOE to Review Grid Policy – The Department of Energy will conduct a review of how policies supporting wind and solar energy are pushing the early retirement of coal and nuclear generators our friends at Bloomberg report. Perry on Friday ordered a study of the U.S. electrical grid, aiming to ascertain whether policies to boost renewable energy are hastening the retirement of coal and nuclear plants and threatening power reliability. The review comes as a number of states move to subsidize baseload generation, particularly nuclear plants, which cannot compete with cheap natural gas and renewable energy in wholesale power markets. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission will hold a technical conference on the state power subsidies at the beginning of next month.

 

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

Energy Storage Conference Set for Denver – The 27th Energy Storage Association annual conference and expo will be held tomorrow through Thursday in Denver, Colorado.  Keynote speakers and expert panelists on the program include Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper, RES CEO Ivor Catto, former CO Gov Bill Ritter and NextEra Energy exec Michael O’Sullivan.

White House Paris Meeting Set – Several key environmental and energy cabinet official and staffers will meet tomorrow to discuss the future of US involvement with the Paris Treaty, according our sources and several media reports.  Those attending include Dave Banks, National Economic Council Director Gary Cohn, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster, EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt, Energy Secretary Rick Perry, senior adviser Jared Kushner and chief strategist Steve Bannon.

Panel to Look at FERC Wholesale Markets – Tomorrow at Noon, the Federalist Society for Law and Public Policy Studies holds a panel discussion at noon at the National Press Club on the state ‘Around Market’ action and FERC.  The panel will look at whether it is the end of competitive wholesale electricity markets.  Panelists will include Acting FERC Chairman Cheryl A. LaFleur, PSEG’s Larry Gasteiger, former Colorado Commissioner Ray Gifford, Calpine’s Steven Schleimer and others.  The event will be moderated by former FERC Commissioner Tony Clark.

Forum to Look at Global Energy Reform – The Atlantic Council holds a discussion on a new report Reform of the Global Energy Architecture tomorrow at Noon.  The report will be presented by task force co-chairs Phillip Cornell, nonresident senior fellow at the Atlantic Council Global Energy Center, and David Goldwyn, chairman of the Atlantic Council Energy Advisory Group. They will be joined by task force member Neil Brown, director of policy and research at KKR Global Institute, and Richard Morningstar, founding director and chairman of the Atlantic Council Global Energy Center. The discussion will look at current energy governance challenges, the importance of international and multilateral collaboration, future policy priorities, and the path forward on energy governance for the new US administration.

Forum to Look at Sustainable Energy, Water Issues – Tomorrow at 1:30 p.m., Sustainable Capital Advisors holds a discussion on securing energy and water access for vulnerable communities.  This forum focuses on how policymakers, researchers, activists, developers, investors and others can use the levers of public policy, finance and technology to increase true access, ensuring greater energy and water security for all.  Among the panelists will be NAACP’s Derrick Johnson, Groundswell CEO Michelle Moore, Yasemin Erboy Ruff of the Energy and Climate at the United Nations Foundation and ELI’s Brett Korte.

Industry Leaders, Experts Flock to Offshore Wind Business Forum – The 2017 International Offshore Wind Partnering Forum  will be held on Wednesday to Friday in Annapolis, Maryland at the Westin Hotel. The event brings together leaders in a small, personal setting, and creates dialogues and relationships that move the U.S. offshore wind industry forward.  Among the speakers will be all major players in the wind industry from experts like UDelaware’s Jeremy Firestone to CEO like Deepwater’s Jeff Grybowski.  MD Sen. Ben Cardin will also be a keynote speaker.

CSIS Forum to Look at Global Development – The Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) will host its 3rd annual Global Development Forum (GDF) on Wednesday. The GDF will feature over 40 speakers, including key stakeholders from U.S. government agencies, leading multilateral and non-governmental organizations, foreign governments, and the private sector. The forum examines the role and purpose of official development assistance against a backdrop of rising incomes, economic growth, youth unemployment, and other continued complex challenges in many parts of the world. To address these challenges, the next U.S. administration will need to apply new approaches and remain highly flexible in a rapidly changing development landscape. In particular, this conference will explore ways in which the next few years will shape the role of the United States in international development, and how the United States can work with official donors and key partners, including the private sector, civil society, and multilateral institutions. The two keynote speakers will be Admiral William J. Fallon (ret.), former Commander of U.S. Central Command and Asian Development Bank President Takehiko Nakao.

Forum to Look at Energy Innovation in Middle East – On Wednesday at 9:00 a.m., the Atlantic Council holds a discussion about how energy innovation and entrepreneurship in the government and private sector are reshaping the Middle East and creating economic opportunities in the region. Joining us are Julia Nesheiwat, presidential deputy envoy for hostage affairs at the US Department of State; HE Majid Al-Suwaid, consul general of the United Arab Emirates in New York; and Salah Tabbara, general manager of ALBina Industrial Construction Company.

Forum to Look at Grid Modernization – The Global America Business Institute holds a discussion Wednesday at Noon on the importance of grid infrastructure modernization and resilience.  The event will look at new opportunities under the Trump Administration.  Speakers will include Job Henning, CEO of Grid Energy and Athena Power CEO Raj Lakhiani.

Webinar to Look at Offshore Wind – The American Council on Renewable Energy (ACORE) and Bloomberg New Energy Finance hold a webinar, beginning at 12:00 p.m., on the U.S. offshore wind boom.  You can call ACORE for details www.acore.org

AEE Webinar to Look at State Policy Questions – The Advanced Energy Economy (AEE) will host a webinar on Wednesday at 1:00 p.m. looking at creating markets for advanced energy at the state Level.  Whatever might be happening at the federal level, states are taking the lead in creating markets for advanced energy. AEE’s State Policy Program seeks to maintain this momentum by working with our coalition of State and Regional Partners and our business members to promote advanced energy legislation in statehouses around the nation. During this webinar you will hear from policy experts who have intimate knowledge of the latest legislative developments in the following states: California: Cap & Trade, Storage, Transportation; Nevada: Retail Choice Issue, Legislative Update; Texas: Legislative Tax Issue, PUCT Regulatory Proceeding on Data Access; Virginia: Access to Advanced Energy, Legislative, and Regulatory Update.

JHU Forum to Look at Food, Ag, Climate – The Johns Hopkins University Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) holds a discussion at 12:30 p.m. on food, farmers and climate looking at a new report from the Agricultural Model Intercomparison and Improvement Project.  The main speaker is Dr. Cynthia Rosenzweig, a climatologist and Senior Research Scientist at the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies, where she heads the Climate Impacts Group.

Brookings Panel to Discuss Carbon Pricing – On Wednesday at 3:30 p.m., the newly-launched Cross-Brookings Initiative on Energy and Climate will host a panel discussion on the role of carbon pricing in the implementation of the Paris goals, with opening remarks from Lord Nicholas Stern of the London School of Economics and Professor Joseph Stiglitz of Columbia University, the co-chairs the High-Level Commission on Carbon Prices. They will share their thoughts on carbon pricing and other policies to achieve the goals of the Paris Agreement, including the objective to hold “the increase in the global average temperature to well below 2 °C above pre-industrial levels and to pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5 °C above pre-industrial levels.” After the discussion, Brookings Vice President Kemal Derviş will moderate a panel discussion and take questions from the audience.

JHU Forum to Look at Climate Diplomacy – The Johns Hopkins University Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) holds a discussion at 4:30 p.m. on climate change diplomacy in the Post-Paris Agreement era. Ambassador Selwin Hart, current Barbados’ Ambassador to the US and Permanent Representative to the OAS, will be giving a talk on climate change and diplomacy in the post-Paris Agreement Era.

GU Mortara Center Forum Looks at Deepwater Oil Production – On Wednesday at 5:30 p.m. at Georgetown, GU’s Institute for Global History and the Mortara Center for International Studies hold a discussion on the Deepwater golden triangle of the oil economy and its role in energy production.  The Deepwater triangle includes the Gulf of Mexico, Brazil, and West Africa and will be led by Tyler Priest, an Associate Professor of History and Geography at the University of Iowa who studies the history of oil and energy.

Forum to Look at Media Focus on Energy, Renewables – CARMA International Inc. holds a discussion on Thursday at 8:00 a.m. at the National Press Club, looking at energy supply, climate and renewables.   The event will focus on media coverage and implications for business.

Aspen Forum to Look at Rural innovators – The Aspen Institute holds a discussion on Thursday at Noon on reframing natural resource economies.  The event will focus on rural innovators who steward the nations’ natural resources to create jobs and businesses.  The 3rd America’s Rural Opportunity panel will focus on rural innovators who steward the nations’ natural resources and use those resources to create jobs and businesses. The presenters are among those who are restructuring the natural resource business sector, one that in many parts of the country has been disrupted by globalization, the declines of extractive industries, and changes in environmental policy.

WCEE Looks at Carbon Capture, Storage – The Women’s Council on Energy and the Environment (WCEE)  will continue it Lunch & Learn Series, together with the U.S. Energy Association on Thursday at Noon with a forum on carbon capture and storage meeting CO2 reduction goals.  The event will focus on the Illinois Basin’s Decatur Project and feature Dr. Sallie Greenberg.  Greenberg will discuss how carbon capture utilization and storage (CCUS) can provide the scale necessary to limit increase in global temperature by 2°C and help the US meet its Paris target of reducing GHG by 26-28% below 2005 levels by 2025. The Illinois Basin – Decatur Project (IBDP) – a million ton deep saline CO2 geologic storage demonstration project led by the Midwest Geologic Sequestration Consortium, and funded by DOE’s National Energy Technology Laboratory. The project is unique because it is one of the only full-scale bioenergy CCS (BECCS) demonstration projects to-date.  Dr. Greenberg will highlight the results and challenges of upscaling carbon capture and storage projects, touching on issues, such as permitting, public engagement, policy implications for CCUS, and the vital role this technology holds in meeting emission reduction targets.

Forum to Look at Africa Climate Risk – The US Agency for International Development’s ATLAS Project holds a discussion on Thursday at 4:00 p.m. focused on preparing Africa for climate events and looking at its risk capacity.

Meserve, Holdren, Others Address Science, Security Summit – On Friday at Noon, the Federation of American Scientists hosts its Science & Security Summit, focused on the topic of scientists’ and engineers’ roles in security and in the current political landscape. The forum will address where scientists and engineers belong in the current political landscape and what roles they play in global security and safety.  In addition to three distinguished graduate-level scientists and engineers from the University of Tennessee, University of Florida, and Texas A&M University, the summit’s speakers will include former Obama science advisor John Holdren, former NRC Chair Richard Meserve and Sandia Labs Director Rodney Wilson.

JHU Forum to Look at Women Climate Leaders – The Johns Hopkins University Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) holds its 2017 Global Women in Leadership Conference on Friday at 8:00 a.m. looking at women as leaders in a changing climate.

 

IN THE FUTURE

Bloomberg New Energy Summit Set – The annual Bloomberg New Energy Finance Future of Energy Summit will be held on April 24th and 25th in New York. The Future of Energy Summit is the premier invitation-only forum at the nexus of energy markets, industry, finance, and policy. It is a year-round, global experience powered by Bloomberg New Energy Finance’s cutting edge research team, as it explores the shifting forces in the energy system and defines the implications for the energy community.

Renewable Midwest Conference Set – The Advancing Renewables in the Midwest Conference will be held April 24-25th in Columbia, Missouri. The purpose of “Advancing Renewables in the Midwest” conference is to identify, display, and promote programs, policies, and projects that enhance the use of renewable energy resources in the Midwest for the economic benefit of the region. The focus of speaker topics and agendas are large scale projects, either through direct installation or through amalgamation of small scale projects.  The two-day conference is held in the spring at the University of Missouri. It is co-sponsored by the University of Missouri, the Missouri Department of Economic Development, and Columbia Water and Light. It has been an ongoing annual event since 2006.

Forum Focus on Trump Nuclear Budget – The Global America Business Institute holds a discussion Friday, April 28 on what the Trump Administration budget may me for the future of nuclear power.  The event will look at new opportunities under the Trump Administration.  Speakers will include Victor Der, former Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Fossil Energy at the Department of Energy.

People Climate March – April 29th

Water Power Conference Set for May – Waterpower week in Washington will be May 1st through 3rd, providing three great conferences into one when IMREC, METS and NHA’s Annual Conference are held at the Capital Hilton.  The event will discuss policy changes in the hydro and marine industry in an all-in-one event. The event highlights perspectives on the role of hydro, explores issues affecting hydro and marine resources, and helps participants develop a future game plan to meet challenges and ensure the future sustainability of the hydro and marine industry.

Energy Update: Week of March 27

Friends,

Now that was a great weekend of basketball and hockey. Closed by the unbelievable (and clutch) ending to the North Carolina-Kentucky game, we are left with the hoops Final Four set for Phoenix next weekend with South Carolina, North Carolina, Oregon, and Gonzaga. Not to be outdone, we had an unbelievable NCAA hockey weekend to get us the Frozen Four with Harvard, Notre Dame, Minnesota-Duluth, and Denver heading to Chicago. Half of the women’s hoop bracket is complete with two big upsets: Mississippi St upended Baylor, and Stanford toppled Notre Dame. Undefeated top seed UConn takes on Oregon (who upset University of Maryland) and #1 seed South Carolina takes on Florida State tonight.

Well is this really the week?  It seems that we may finally get the White House’s climate executive order. Now, we have heard this before, but it seems more likely since EPA head Scott Pruitt said it would be released tomorrow on This Week with George Stephanopoulos yesterday. So, please call if you have questions as Jeff and Scott will be happy to discuss. I already have a statement which I will be sharing with you individually.  The Chamber, rural coops and others will also be available.  We are also hearing that FERC nominees may be moving up in line at the White House, with the expected nominees (Powelson, Chatterjee, and McIntyre) perhaps being rolled out in the very near future. And our friends at Bloomberg hear Scott Angelle, the Louisiana Public Service Commission member and the state’s former interim lieutenant governor, is being vetted to lead the Interior Department’s agency in charge of offshore oil and gas development — the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management.

On the Hill, tomorrow, a House Energy panel takes up self-driving car technology while Senate Energy takes up foreign minerals and the energy supply chain. Wednesday will feature the closest thing you find in the Science community to an MMA fight: House Science will hear from scientists Michael Mann, Judy Curry, Roger Pielke Jr and John Christy about climate change. Also, Wednesday, House Energy looks at energy tax issues.

Off the Hill, there are two great events today when WCEE hosts its annual look at the BCSE-Bloomberg NEF Sustainable Energy Factbook at Noon; and at 1:30 p.m., the Hamilton Project at the Brookings Institution and the Energy Policy Institute at University of Chicago (EPIC) will co-host a forum to explore the best approaches to address energy issues in the new Congress featuring our friend Jim Connaughton, Cass Sunstein, Brad Plumer and others. Tomorrow, the NatGas Roundtable hosts their monthly lunch featuring DOE Fossil Office official Robert Smith.  Also early in the week, the Association of Air Pollution Control Agencies’ holds its 2017 Spring Meeting in Tucson, Arizona featuring Jeff Holmstead.  Finally Friday, EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt delivers remarks to the Federalist Society for Law and Public Policy Studies.

One side note/issue to keep on your radar: Today, security expert and former USS Cole Commander Kirk Lippold urged Secretary of State Rex Tillerson to urge the Japanese government to keep Toshiba from declaring bankruptcy or risk the intellectual property of nuclear power giant Westinghouse going to China.  Something to watch…I can send the letter if you are interested in checking it out.

Congrats to our great friend Rosemarie Calabro-Tully, the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee’s longtime Democratic spokeswoman, who is leaving to be the National Biodiesel Board’s director of public affairs and federal communications.  They’ll need her help as they try to impose tariffs on Argentina and Indonesia.

Call with questions…

 

Best,

Frank Maisano

(202) 828-5864

(202) 997-5932

 

FRANKLY SPOKEN

“There are 18-months to focus on keeping a national program that promotes medium- and longer term stringency while updating the system to integrate new technology and business models that offer the promise of a stronger economy, more jobs, and an improved environment. The parties will realize that a deal can get done when they sit down and work together to balance the short and long term needs of the companies, the states, and the country.”

Robbie Diamond, CEO of SAFE discussing questions about California fuel economy waivers

 

COOL QUOTIENT

The Chamber’s Energy Institute can tell you have much you electricity prices are and how they rank.  Here is the chart that details how your rates compare to consumers in neighboring states

 

IN THE NEWS

Keystone Approved – Trump administration approved the Keystone XL pipeline on Friday, recommending the pipeline is in U.S. interests, clearing the way for the White House to grant a presidential permit to TransCanada to build the $8 billion pipeline.  The pipeline is permitted in Montana and South Dakota and now needs to be permitted in Nebraska.

Chamber Weighs in – U.S. Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Thomas J. Donohue said after many years of unfortunate delays and partisan posturing, Keystone XL pipeline finally got the green light it has long deserved.  “We applaud President Trump’s decision to approve the project and prove to the world that America is capable of tackling the major infrastructure improvements necessary for a modern economy. This pipeline, and countless other projects around the nation, will improve America’s energy security, create jobs, and help get the economy back on track.  The Obama administration’s action to delay and deny Keystone had a negative impact far beyond just this pipeline. It sent a message outside our borders that the United States was no longer open to investment, and that the long-established process for reviewing these kinds of projects could be thrown out the window when it is politically convenient. Today’s action should send a clear message to investors, and important strategic partners like Canada, that things have changed in Washington. This decision is another step toward regaining that confidence, re-establishing the rule of law, and rebuilding trust that America will act in the best interests of consumers and our allies.”

Chamber Electricity Map Shows Shale Impacts – Speaking of the Chamber, they also released their updated electricity price map. The overall good news is that the national average electricity price is trending down. This is in large part due to the shale revolution that has made the U.S. an energy super power. The national average of 10.28 cents per KW.  Higher rates can place states and their businesses at a competitive disadvantage, especially against the states that enjoy lower electricity prices.  If this Administration enhances access to shale and the many other abundant sources of energy found in the U.S., the next few years have the potential to continue 2016’s trend toward lower retail electricity prices for consumers.

Fuel Econ Issues Bouncing Around – Late last week, 10 states and D.C. sent a letter to Scott Pruitt asking EPA to maintain GHG vehicle standards pushed by the Obama EPA in January.  The letter also urges Pruitt to respect California’s Clean Air Act waiver because he has often spoken of the importance of states’ rights.  But while California does have a case on some pollutants from autos, they really don’t have special circumstances related to GHGs. I have the pdf if you need it.

Auto Alliance Sets a Marker as Well – At the same time, the Auto Alliance sent the White House a letter Thursday asking the administration to begin the process of reconsidering its midterm review of fuel emissions standards “as soon as possible.” It said a coordinated national program, including California, is “critical to smart, coherent regulation.” Mitch Bainwol, the automaker group’s president, added “there will be an appropriate opportunity to inform the final determination with updated relevant data that more closely approximates a ‘mid-term’ in the truest sense of the word” after Trump’s action last week.   I can send a pdf of the letter if you need it.

SAFE Weighs In – Securing America’s Future Energy head Robbie Diamond called for affected parties to meet soon to discuss next steps for the midterm review. “Now that the midterm review has been put back on the original timeline, the clock is ticking for a positive outcome so it is time for the stakeholders meet without delay. There are 18-months to focus on keeping a national program that promotes medium- and longer term stringency while updating the system to integrate new technology and business models that offer the promise of a stronger economy, more jobs, and an improved environment. The parties will realize that a deal can get done when they sit down and work together to balance the short and long term needs of the companies, the states, and the country.”  SAFE’s proposal that reconciles all interests is here: http://secureenergy.org/reforming-and-strengthening-fuel-economy-standards-2/

CA Nuke Plants Closure Hurts Environmental Justice Cause – A new report by Environmental Hope and Justice Founder Norris McDonald and Environmental Progress closure of the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station and the planned closure of the Diablo Canyon Nuclear Power Plant represent an environmental injustice because these actions will increase air pollution in vulnerable communities and nonattainment areas. McDonalds says Environmental justice groups and other environmental groups throughout California and the nation should support the continued operation of the San Onofre and Diablo Canyon because they represent the largest clean air assets in terms of environmental justice in California. The plants are largely emission free and do not contribute smog forming gases or greenhouse gases in California.

Bailey Letter Raises Reliability, Valuation Concerns – In a letter to PJM CEP Andrew Ott, Paul Bailey of ACCCE wrote an important letter that highlighted three issues 1) avoiding the retirement of a large number of coal-fired electric generating units (EGUs); 2) consider likely changes in Federal environmental policies; and 3) market rules that do not properly value baseload coal-fired generation.  Overall, the letter urges PJM re-evaluate its policies in order to ensure that the reliability attributes of coal-fired generation — during all seasons of the year — are properly valued relative to other less reliable sources of generating capacity.

Evidence of the Need for it: Dominion’s Yorktown – With a month to go before it has to pull the plug on the two coal-burning units at its Yorktown plant, reports in the Newport News Daily Press say Dominion Virginia Power was under orders this week to run them to make sure that its Peninsula high voltage lines weren’t at risk of the kind of failure that could spark widespread blackouts. Those aging units can’t meet tough new federal standards limiting emissions of mercury and toxic acidic gases, and special permission from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to run them if necessary to avoid the risk of blackouts expires April 15.  But this week’s unseasonably cold weather prompted the manager of the electric grid serving 13 mid-Atlantic and Midwestern states, PJM Interconnection, to worry about overloading the high voltage transmission lines feeding power into the Peninsula. PJM ordered Dominion to fire up the units on Sunday and run them through the week, spokeswoman Le-Ha Anderson said. They’ll remain ready to operate, or in operation, until EPA’s April 15 deadline, she added.  “PJM makes the decision based on reliability needs as to when we run the units,” Anderson said. “Our role is to ensure that through April 15, the units are maintained so they can operate and that we have sufficient fuel.”

Moniz Named New CEO of NTI – The Nuclear Threat Initiative, a non-profit group that works to prevent attacks and accidents from weapons of mass destruction, has named former Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz to be CEO.  The announcement was made current CEO and Co-Chairman Sam Nunn and Co-Chairman Ted Turner, both of whom will remain as co-chairmen of the Board alongside Moniz.  Founded in 2001 by Nunn and Turner, NTI works to protect our lives, livelihoods, environment, and quality of life now and for future generations from the growing risk of catastrophic attacks with weapons of mass destruction and disruption (WMDD)—nuclear, biological, radiological, chemical, and cyber.

BSCE Celebrates 25 Years of Advocacy, Market Growth – The Business Council for Sustainable Energy (BCSE) kicked off a year-long celebration of its 25th anniversary at its annual Clean Energy Forum late last week. The event concluded with a reception on Capitol Hill that featured special remarks by Senate Energy Chair Lisa Murkowski.  The BCSE was founded in 1992 by executives of the energy efficiency, natural gas and renewable energy sectors who had a vision of a diverse, sustainable energy portfolio for America.  Guided by that vision, the Council has spent the past two and a half decades advocating for policies at the state and regional, national and international levels that advance the deployment of commercially-available clean energy technologies, products and services.

 

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

WCEE Event to Discuss Energy Factbook – The WCEE event featuring the Business Council for Sustainable Energy and BNEF Factbook has been rescheduled for today at Noon.  The Speaker panel includes BCSE’s Lisa Jacobson, Calpine’s Yvonne McIntyre, Johnson Control’s Elizabeth Tate and Katherine Gensler of SEIA.

Murkowski to Headline Arctic Forum – Today at 1:00 p.m. the Wilson Center will hold a forum on the North American Arctic and the energy issues surrounding it.  Mike Sfraga of the Wilson Center’s Polar Initiative and John Higginbotham of the Centre for International Governance Innovation’s Arctic Program will discuss the economic development opportunities, infrastructure needs and investment strategies.  Senate Energy Chair Lisa Murkowski will keynote the speech.

Chicago-Hamilton to Look at Energy, New Congress – Today at 1:30 p.m., the Hamilton Project at the Brookings Institution and the Energy Policy Institute at University of Chicago (EPIC) will co-host a forum to explore the best approaches to address energy challenges in the new Congress. The forum will begin with opening remarks by former U.S. Treasury Secretary Robert E. Rubin. A fireside chat and three roundtable discussions will follow featuring panelists including: Ted Halstead (Climate Leadership Council), Mindy Lubber (CERES), James L. Connaughton (Nautilus Data Technologies), David Schwietert (Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers), Cass Sunstein (Harvard University), John Deutch (Massachusetts Institute of Technology), Trevor Houser (Rhodium Group), Ellen D. Williams (University of Maryland), Steven H. Strongin (Goldman Sachs), Alice Hill (Hoover Institution), and Brad Plumer (Vox).

Pollution Control Agencies Set Spring Meeting – The Association of Air Pollution Control Agencies’ 2017 Spring Meeting will be held in Tucson, Arizona today through Wednesday at the Hilton Tucson East Hotel.  Our friend Jeff Holmstead will be there.

JHU to Host East Africa Energy Forum – Johns Hopkins will host an all-day event tomorrow that will focus on recent political and economic changes in East Africa and its implications on oil and gas development. By bringing together representatives from government, private sector, civil society, media and the international donor community, it seeks to review what progress has been achieved in the last few years and what governance challenges lay ahead.

House Energy Looks at Self–Driving Cars – The House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Digital Commerce and Consumer Protection will hold the hearing tomorrow on self-driving cars looking at the levels of automation and new technological developments.  Witnesses will include SAE’s Bill Grouse, Continental’s Jeff Klei, Bosch’s Kay Stepper and IIHS Chief Research Officer David Zuby.

Senate Energy Look sat Minerals Supply Chain – The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee holds a hearing tomorrow to examine the US’s increasing dependence on foreign sources of minerals and opportunities to rebuild and improve the supply chain. With the administration focused on infrastructure, the hearing will examine how to make sure the iron, copper and other minerals needed to build those roads, bridges and rails come from the United States — not overseas.  Witnesses include USGS’s Murray Hitzman, Rio Tinto Aluminum CEO, Ucore Rare Metals VP Randy MacGillivray, National Electrical Manufacturers Association CEO Kevin Cosgriff and Roderick Eggert of the Colorado School of Mines.

House Resources Looks at ESA Consultations – The House Natural Resources Committee’s oversight and investigations subcommittee will hold a hearing tomorrow on ESA consultation impediments to economic and infrastructure development. American Public Works Association president Ron Calkins, Hecla Mining’s Doug Stiles, Jonathan Wood of the Pacific Legal Foundation and Defenders of Wildlife expert Ya-Wei Li.

House Transpo Panel Looks at Brownfields – The House Transportation and Infrastructure Subcommittee on Water Resources and Environment will look at brownfield issues in a hearing tomorrow.  Local officials will testify on the Needs of the program.  Witnesses include   Christian Bollwage, mayor of Elizabeth, N.J.; Matt Zone, councilman, city of Cleveland; John Dailey, commissioner, Leon County, Fla.; Amanda LeFevre, Kentucky Brownfield Redevelopment Program; Jonathan Philips, managing director, Anka Funds LLC; and Deborah Robertson, mayor of Rialto, Calif.

DOE Oil, Gas Office Expert to Address NatGas Roundtable – The Natural Gas Roundtable is pleased to announce that Robert J. Smith, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Oil and Natural Gas at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Fossil Energy, will be the featured guest speaker at the Natural Gas Roundtable luncheon tomorrow at the University Club.  Smith administers oil and gas programs, including research and development, analysis and natural gas regulation. Most recently, Smith was the Chief of Staff for the Office of Fossil Energy. In this capacity, Smith helped the Assistant Secretary with policy and management issues across the office’s research and development, energy security and regulatory missions.

Senate Energy to Look at Grid Security – The Senate Energy & Natural Resources Committee’s Subcommittee on Energy will hold a hearing tomorrow that will examine the cybersecurity threats to the U.S. electric grid and technology advancements to minimize such threats, and to receive testimony on S. 79, the Securing Energy Infrastructure Act.  Witnesses FERC Office of Electric Reliability Director Michael Bardee, John DiStasio of the Large Public Power Council, Oak Ridge National Laboratory Thomas Zacharia and Xcel Energy CEO Ben Fowke.

Senate Environment Looks at Water Infrastructure – The Senate Environment Committee panel on water will hold a legislative hearing tomorrow at 2:30 p.m. on legislation to help cities update their water infrastructure. Nebraska Sen. Deb Fischer’s “Water Infrastructure Flexibility Act” codifies EPA policies on integrated planning and financial capability in an effort to make compliance easier for cash-strapped jurisdictions.  The U.S. Conference of Mayors, National Association of Counties and National League of Cities endorsed the legislation in a letter to its backers.

Forum to Look at Canada, US Infrastructure – The Hill and the Competitive Enterprise Institute will hold a forum at the Newseum on Wednesday morning looking at infrastructure modernization. As American leaders turn their attention to infrastructure issues, the forum will discuss what lessons can be drawn from the experiences of Canada.  Key officials from the United States and Canada, infrastructure experts, and industry leaders for a policy briefing on infrastructure reform and finding solutions that will work for all communities.  Speakers include Rep. John Delaney (D-MD), House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee Chairman Bill Shuster (R-PA), Building America’s Future President Marcia Hale and Marc Scribner of the Competitive Enterprise Institute.

Scientists Head to House Committee for Climate Battle – The House Science Committee will hold a hearing Wednesday at 10:00 a.m. to challenge consensus climate science. The hearing is set to feature some of the field’s most vocal critics and one of climate science’s most controversial defenders: Michael Mann, a professor of atmospheric science at Pennsylvania State University known for his iconic “hockey stick” analysis of global warming trends, retired Georgia Tech expert Judith Curry, John Christy of Alabama-Huntsville and Roger Pielke, Jr. of Colorado-Boulder.

House Energy Panel to Look at Tax Issues – The House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Energy will hold a hearing Wednesday at 10:15 a.m. on Federal energy related tax policy and its effects on markets, prices and consumers.  The hearing will focus on how the federal government uses the tax code to provide support for energy development, production, and use of fuels and energy technologies.

Forum to Focus on Oil Market Movers – The CSIS Energy & National Security Program will host a forum on Thursday at 10:30 a.m. for an in-depth discussion on how investor and corporate flows are impacting oil production, inventory disposition, and investment decisions going forward.  Significant challenges remain – from both a fundamentals and policy perspective. Just as the industry emerged buoyant from its week-long gathering in Houston, concerns over the extension of the OPEC/non-OPEC reductions and large stock builds in the U.S. caused investors to rebalance their positions, driving oil prices to their lowest levels in 3 months. To frame this timely discussion, we are pleased to have Ed Morse, Global Head of Commodities Research at Citigroup, Albert Helmig, CEO of Grey House LLC and former Vice Chairman of the New York Mercantile Exchange, and Kevin Book, founding partner of ClearView Energy and a Senior Associate at CSIS.

Forum to Look at Defense Energy Needs – Booz Allen Hamilton holds its 2017 Directed Energy Summit which focuses on the potential impact of direct energy issues on the Department of Defense and emerging defense Needs.  The two-day event will be held at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center.

FERC to Hydropower Conference – The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission holds a workshop Thursday at Noon on the Hydropower Regulatory Efficiency Act of 2013.

Forum to Look at Report on Developing County Power Sectors – The Atlantic Council will hold a discussion Thursday at Noon on a new report, “Transforming the Power Sector in Developing Countries.” The discussion will discuss policy directions for advancing China’s power transformation, regional and global aspects of Chinese energy policies, and the implications for the Trump Administration’s approach to China. The event features for a conversation about Robert Ichord’s new report on the critical role of China in post-Paris implementation, the latest in the Transforming the Power Sector in Developing Countries series. Ichord will be joined by experts Jon Elkind, former DOE assistant secretary for international affairs and Clara Gillispie, senior director of trade, economic and energy affairs for the National Bureau of Asian Research.

Friedman to Discuss Climate at GW Planet Forward Event – On Thursday at 1:00 p.m., NY Times Columnist Tom Friedman will join GWU School of Media and Public Affairs Director Frank Sesno for a conversation on the current state of politics, the news media and climate change under the Trump Administration. The event will include a screening of Friedman’s new National Geographic documentary on climate change and the migrant crisis. His latest book, Thank You for Being Late, will be available for purchase and signing following the event.

GW to Host Risk Forum Report – On Thursday at 2:00 p.m. at the Marvin Center, the GW Environmental Resource Policy Program and the GW Sustainability Collaborative will host Karl Hausker, Ph.D., Senior Fellow, Climate Program, World Resources Institute, and leader of the analytic and writing team for the latest study by the Risky Business Project: From Risk to Return: Investing in a Clean Energy Economy.  The project is Co-chaired Michael Bloomberg, Henry Paulson and Thomas Steyer.  They tasked WRI with conducting an assessment of technically and economically feasible pathways that the U.S. could follow to achieve an 80% reduction in CO2 emissions by 2050.  Hausker will present the results of the study and draw some comparisons to the US Mid Century Strategy report submitted to the UNFCCC.

Senate Energy to Look at Alaska Energy Issues – On Thursday at 2:30 p.m., the full Senate Energy Committee will hold a hearing to examine the potential for infrastructure improvements to create jobs and reduce the cost of living through all-of-the-above energy and mineral production in Alaska. Witnesses include Alaska State Geologist Steve Masterman, Sitka Alaska Deputy Mayor Bob Potrzuski, Port of Nome Executive Director Joy Baker, Alaska Oil and Gas Association head Kara Moriarty, Chris Rose of the Renewable Energy for Alaska Project and Della Trumble of the King Cove Native Corporation.

ELI Conference will Focus on Climate – The Environmental Law Institute (ELI) and Vanderbilt University Law School are convening a special conference on Friday looking at innovative ideas from the academic literature on climate change law and policy.  The articles and comments discussed at the conference will be published this summer in the Environmental Law & Policy Annual Review (ELPAR), a joint publication of ELI and Vanderbilt University Law School. ELPAR presents and discusses the best ideas on environmental law and policy from the academic literature each year.

Pruitt to Address Federalist Law Group – On Friday at noon, the Federalist Society for Law and Public Policy Studies hosts EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt for remarks at Tony Cheng’s restaurant in Chinatown.

 

IN THE FUTURE

Grid Forum Set for Chicago – The 2nd  Grid Modernization Forum will be held on April 3rd– 5th in Chicago, examines key lessons from top utilities including Eversource, Alliant Energy, Con Edison, National Grid, Ameren and many others. Key technology innovators and executives will come together to share perspectives on how best to leverage AMI investment, engage the customer, and take the smart grid to the next level. Case studies of improved network performance, resiliency, outage restoration, and distributed energy resource (DER) integration will be examined with an eye toward determining best practices and technology advances for today’s energy ecosystem.

Forum to Look at Nuclear Energy – The Global America Business Institute (GABI) will hold the next event of its nuclear energy roundtable series on Tuesday April 4th at Noon. Although the predominant use of nuclear energy worldwide is electricity generation, nuclear can be utilized for a broad range of applications, including but not limited to: district heating, water desalination, hydrogen production, and industrial heat. Given present trends and future uncertainties in global electricity markets, there has been growing interest in exploring non-electricity uses for nuclear. Development of advanced nuclear designs, many pushing the envelope on passive safety and temperature output, may further expand the horizon of possibilities.  The speaker will be Jeff Harper of X-energy.  Harper is Vice President for Strategy and Business Development at X-energy, where he directs long-term business plans specifically focused on customers, partners, and markets.

Press Club to Host AFL-CIO Head – Richard Trumka, Head of the AFL-CIO will speak at a National Press Club Luncheon on Tuesday April 4th at 12:30 p.m. Trumka will assess opportunities around trade and infrastructure that could create jobs, as well as possible threats to workers’ rights. He will also talk about the labor movement’s strategy to create a unifying agenda for workers and their families, as well as collective bargaining right for all workers to achieve better wages and working conditions.  Since 2009, Trumka has served as president of the 12.5 million-member American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO), the largest organization of labor unions in the country.

BPC Forum to Focus on Innovation – On Wednesday, April 5th at 10:00 a.m., the Bipartisan Policy Center will hold a forum on the power of innovation.  With smart federal support for research, advanced energy technologies represent another potentially transformative moment for the American economy.  BPC’s American Energy Innovation Council will host leading experts to discuss how to make the most of this opportunity.  The forum will feature a conversation with Norm Augustine, the retired chairman and CEO of Lockheed Martin, who also served as the Undersecretary of the Army.  Our friend Mark Drajem of Bloomberg will also moderate a panel with NRECA CEO Jim Matheson, former MIT Washington Office Director William Bonvillian, Ames Laboratory Critical Materials Institute Director Alex King and GE Energy Financial Services investment expert Alta Yen.

WCEE to Host Energy Journalists Panel – The Women’s Council on Energy and the Environment (WCEE) will host a panel of energy journalists from E&E News, S&P Global Platts and Politico on Wednesday April 5th to discuss the trends in the energy sector today and for the next four years. Some of the trends that will be discussed are NAFTA and oil and gas pipelines in North America, FERC enforcement and the changing political outlook for CFTC, the fate of the Clean Power Plan, rollback of regulatory efforts by the Trump Administration in the energy sector, future of renewables, and energy industry and Department of Interior’s public land use management debate.  Speakers will include E&E News Jenny Mandel, Platts’ Jasmin Melvin and Maya Weber and POLITICO’s Esther Whieldon.

GW to Host Timor-Leste Diplomat – Wednesday, April 5th at 12:30 p.m., the George Washington University Elliott School of International Affairs will host Natercia Coelho, Deputy Chief of Mission at the Embassy of Timor-Leste, the smallest country in East or Southeast Asia.  Timor-Leste is already subject to numerous extreme weather events every year, including cyclones and typhoons that result in intense flooding. Climate change is exacerbating these issues, with rising sea levels speeding up soil erosion, damaging crops, and leading to food shortages in a country which still ranks 120 out of 169 in the U.N.’s Human Development Index. This talk will cover the Timor-Leste’s Government Plan for Development and its legal framework for addressing climate change.

Calpine CEO to Headline Energy Conference – On Thursday April 6th, the NCAC and George Mason University will host its 21st Annual Washington Energy Policy Conference at GMU’s Founders Hall.  The conference will focus on conflicting forces in the energy space.  Former EIA Administrator Adam Sieminski will moderate the event and keynote speaker will be Calpine CEO Thad Hill.  Other speakers will include our friends Tom Pyle of IER, ClearView’s Christine Tezak, former Bush NSC official Bob McNally, FERC Energy Project s Director Terry Turpin and BNEF expert Steve Munro, among others.

SEIA Forum to Look at Women in Solar – On Thursday, April 6th SEIA’s Women’s Empowerment committee will hold a summit that focuses on educating, connecting, and providing thought leadership in the solar industry. Key industry leaders will cover topics including Women Leading Solar- Executives Spearheading the Industry (led by our friend Abby Hopper), Women Running for Office & Careers in Public Service; Diversity – The Bottom Line ; Making Solar a Story – Energy Journalists Shaping the Industry; Interactive Speed Networking and Regional Policy Update – What’s Happening in Capitol Hill.

GW to Host Planet Forward Summit – The George Washington University will holds its Planet Forward Summit at GW on April 6-7th that will focus on how we can communicate to inform, inspire, and act.  The summit will look at how we tell the story of our planet and how we communicate to inspire action.  Speakers will include SMPA Director Frank Sesno, my friend Andy Revkin and many more.

ECOS to Hold Spring Meeting – The Environmental Council of the States (ECOS) will hold their spring meeting at The Mayflower Hotel on April 6th through 8th. ECOS meeting will focus on budget questions and its impact on state environmental agencies and their leaders. ECOS is the national non-profit, non-partisan association of state and territorial environmental agency leaders.

Electric Power Conference Set for Chicago – The 19th annual Electric Power Conference will be held In Chicago on April 10-13th at McCormick Place.  Sponsored by POWER magazine, the event provides a platform for power generation professionals to meet, network, and address the critical issues facing the power industry.

Energy Storage Conference Set for Denver – The 27th Energy Storage Association annual conference and expo will be held on April 18-20 in Denver, Colorado.  Keynote speakers and expert panelists on the program include Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper, RES CEO Ivor Catto, former CO Gov Bill Ritter and NextEra Energy exec Michael O’Sullivan.

Bloomberg New Energy Summit Set – The annual Bloomberg New Energy Finance Future of Energy Summit will be held on April 24th and 25th in New York. The Future of Energy Summit is the premier invitation-only forum at the nexus of energy markets, industry, finance, and policy. It is a year-round, global experience powered by Bloomberg New Energy Finance’s cutting edge research team, as it explores the shifting forces in the energy system and defines the implications for the energy community.

Water Power Conference Set for May – Waterpower week in Washington will be May 1st through 3rd, providing three great conferences into one when IMREC, METS and NHA’s Annual Conference are held at the Capital Hilton.  The event will discuss policy changes in the hydro and marine industry in an all-in-one event. The event highlights perspectives on the role of hydro, explores issues affecting hydro and marine resources, and helps participants develop a future game plan to meet challenges and ensure the future sustainability of the hydro and marine industry.

Energy Update: Week of February 27

Friends,

I wasn’t watching, because I‘m deep into Homeland and Billions, but apparently there was a “Steve Harvey-moment” at last night’s Oscars when presenters read the wrong card and said La La Land won best picture at the Academy Awards rather than Moonlight, the real winner.  Warren Beatty says he paused so long before the name was read because the envelope read Emma Stone, La La Land. Actress Faye Dunaway read the name La La Land after chiding Beatty for taking so long to read the winner.  PricewaterhouseCoopers – not the Russians – issued a statement early Monday taking the blame and apologizing for card mix-up.  I was very glad to see Casey Affleck get the best actor award for his role in Manchester by the Sea, which I thought was gripping.  Vanity Fair has the full list of correct winners.

We start Mardi Gras week (Fat Tuesday is tomorrow) with the nation’s Governors in town, visiting with the President, EPA’s Scott Pruitt and others.  This morning, we see the roll out of the new top-line budget and the President speaks to a Joint Session of Congress tomorrow.  On the budget, just a reminder it is expected that agencies across the board will see proposed cuts.  But just like any budget, the President’s budget is often a visionary statement that outlines the direction of the Administration.   As always, Congress will thank the President for his approach and get to work on it themselves.  All this is to say while it is nice to see what the President will propose in his budget, it will change – probably dramatically.  On specifics EPA and DOE spending will likely include large cuts initially, including climate change programs.   More as this as it develops.

As for the President’s speech tomorrow, I would expect much focus energy and environmental issues other than to accent his focus on creating jobs.  Trump is expected to tout his efforts to broadly curtail government rules and the work his administration has already done to roll back some of the Obama administration’s energy policies.

Following the speech, we return to the confirmation game with Rep. Ryan Zinke’s long-delayed nomination to run the Interior Department.  The Senate is expected to take another key procedural vote late today in which tees up a final vote on his nomination in the early morning hours of Wednesday (if Democrats elect to run through the entire 30 hours of debate). Ben Carson’s confirmation to HUD is next then Rick Perry’s nomination to run DOE.  The House will be busy on more reg legislative action, while we also expect to see the long-awaited, much-reported enviro executive orders focused on EPA’s Clean Power Plan, the Waters of the U.S. regulation and Interior’s federal moratorium on new coal leases.  E&E’s Emily Holden has a good explainer on CPP here.

Last week, conservatives roamed the Gaylord convention center (wonder how many headed over to the new casino) hearing President Trump, Pruitt, Bannon, Preibus, KAC and others. Today though launches DOE’s ARPA-E summit which focuses on energy innovation and will feature presentations from companies big and small.  Other events include tomorrow’s WAPA and Consumer Reports luncheon at the Press Club that announcing its 2017 Top Picks and Brand Reports Cards; an ACCF event tomorrow on FERC and Women’s Energy Network hosts a “Lunch and Learn” on Friday with Bloomberg energy reporter Jennifer and congressional reporter Elana Schor of Politico.  Also on Friday, BNEF and the Business Council on Sustainable Energy (BCSE) will roll out Its Factbook again for a regional audience in St. Thomas College in Minnesota.  Also all this week, NRECA celebrates 75 years of advocacy and service to America’s electric cooperatives with its annual meeting in San Diego.

So I know I mentioned this last week with our friend Ben Geman heading over to Axios to lead its energy coverage, its 5th vertical. But now the VandeHei-helmed startup will launch coverage of the energy sector in March with our friend Amy Harder from the Wall Street Journal as well.  Harder’s departure was announced via an internal memo at the Journal this morning.

Finally, on Thursday evening, the most important event of the week will take place at the Kettler Ice Arena in Arlington when Congressional Hockey Challenge – the annual battle between lobbyists and lawmakers – will face off for charity.  The game will feature former Caps players, USA Warriors players, Congressional Reps. Paulson, Emmer, Meehan, Bucshon and Katko and members of the Canadian Parliament.  For the 4th year in a row, I will be among the officiating crew.  In addition, some of you may remember my rendition of Oh Canada, last year when the singer was ill and did not make it.  I will reprise that role as well so I’ve been practicing when commuting in the car each day.  Please come as it is for a great cause.

Call with questions…

 

Best,

Frank Maisano

(202) 828-5864

(202) 997-5932

 

FRANKLY SPOKEN

“The future ain’t what it used to be at the EPA, because maybe for the first time ever – or at least in a long time – that agency…is going to do business as it should.  People across the country look at the EPA much like they look at the IRS. And I hope to be able to change that.  The previous administration was so focused on climate change and so focused on CO2, some of those other priorities were left behind.”

EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt addressing CPAC on Saturday.

 

IN THE NEWS

More Members Weigh In on FERC Quorum – If we haven’t talked about FERC and its lack of a quorum enough, there continues to be more momentum to address it.  Already regulators at FERC, Stakeholders with business before FERC and Senate Energy Chair Lisa Murkowski have all urged the President to get Moving on appointed new FERC Commissioners.  Now, 92 House members led by MI Rep. Tim Walberg (not related to Marky Mark) urged Trump in a letter to “prioritize the nomination and confirmation” of new FERC commissioners.  The lawmakers write the ongoing lack of a quorum at FERC leaves it “unable to serve its essential functions and effectively [halts] critical infrastructure investments in our nation’s energy infrastructure.”  Other bipartisan signers include Steve Scalise, Fred Upton, John Shimkus, Joe Barton, Gene Green, Cedric Richmond, Peter Welch and many more.

Ryan Jackson To Be EPA Chief – You may have seen the photo of Administrator Pruitt meeting with Governors yesterday morning.  Morning Energy and several others like us who know recognized a key face in the background.  Ryan Jackson, Sen. Jim Inhofe’s former chief-of-staff, has formally joined EPA as chief-of-staff.  We have also heard through reports that long-time Pruitt Advisor Samantha Dravis may be also taking an important policy position at EPA.

New Moves for Lefebvre – Our friend Ben Lefebvre has moved from the Wall Street Journal in Houston to POLITICO to cover pipelines, oil and gas issues.  And speaking of Ben, he has a good story today discussing concerns about the Border tax proposal from refiners like Tesoro.

Study Reveals Tradeoffs in Cost. Performance for HFC Replacements – A new study in Nature Communications discovered challenges for 27 “pure liquid” candidates to replace hydrofluorocarbons (HFC), chemicals currently used in refrigerators and air conditioners. Researchers spent years looking at millions of liquid candidates to replace the current HFCs, while accounting for various aspects, such as their “global warming potential (GWP), toxicity, energy efficiency, and flammability.” According to Mark McLinden, the study’s primary author at the National Institute of Standards and Technology, “There are no perfect options for low GWP refrigerants. There are tradeoffs and the biggest tradeoff is [between] GWP and flammability.” Chemical blends represent an additional option, but are more complicated and expensive than the pure liquid HFCs they are designed to replace, causing concern for less developed countries that may not be able to afford the transition. Under the recently approved Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol, HFCs will be largely phased out by 2050, helping to avoid half a degree of global warming by 2100.  Of course, our experts at AHRI who are Involved in these issues we are happy to discuss.

Clearpath Takes on LCV Scorecard – The League of Conservation Voters’ National Environmental Scorecard for 2016, was released last week.  Clearpath’s Jay Faison blasted it for undervaluing or undermining realistic and meaningful clean energy policies.  “LCV is not an objective methodology premised on key votes,” Faison said. “The cherry picking is clearly designed to produce starkly partisan results, reflecting a bias against many of the most effective clean energy strategies available to pragmatic policymakers.”  Faison pointed to the absence of votes on widely-backed Republican-led proposals bolstering advanced nuclear power, clean coal technologies and hydropower.  Many votes scored were largely extraneous party-line exercises, including an amendment to the Senate energy bill from Sen. Al Franken to enact a national energy efficiency resource standard on top of the strong bipartisan efficiency language led by Sens. Portman and Shaheen that was already included in the measure.   And while Portman’s LCV score was negatively impacted for voting against Franken’s amendment, he received zero credit for leading the long and hard-fought effort with Shaheen to include the bill’s robust efficiency language. The scorecard also omits final passage of that Senate bill, which also bolstered advanced nuclear and hydropower and was an example of exactly the type of pragmatic compromise that is needed more on Capitol Hill.

NYT Looks at Clean Coal Project in Policy Agenda – Our friend Cliff Krauss has a good story in the New York Times looking at coal companies voicing greater concern about greenhouse gas emissions and frame clean Coal as a contributor, not an obstacle, to a clean-energy future — an image intended to foster their legislative agenda.

Cato Policy Handbook Ready – The Cato Instituted releases its 8th edition of the Cato Handbook for Policymakers — with 80 chapters of in-depth analysis and concrete recommendations – sets the standard in Washington for reducing the power of the federal government and expanding freedom.  From chapters on reviving growth, health care reform and the war on drugs, to education, foreign policy and the military budget, Cato’s Handbook is an invaluable resource for policymakers and for anyone interested in securing liberty and limiting government.

E&E Legal Sues State for Records – The Energy & Environment Legal Institute and the Free Market Environmental Law Clinic (FME Law) filed suit against the Trump Administration Department of State (State). This Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) suit seeks specific records to, from or discussing green-group lobbyist Jennifer Morgan of the World Resources Institute. The requests at issue followed up information obtained by E&E Legal about a coordinated effort, with State’s assistance, between green pressure groups and China to keep the climate gravy train chugging in the post-Obama world.  E&E Legal also sought copies of all electronic correspondence sent to or from six State officials sent to or from or referencing four parties involved in arranging a collaborative effort on the climate issue at China’s request.

 

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

ARPA-E Forum Set – The annual ARPA-E Innovation Forum will be held today through  Wednesday at the Gaylord at National Harbor. Summit is an annual conference and technology showcase that brings together experts from different technical disciplines and professional communities to think about America’s energy challenges in new and innovative ways. Now in its eighth year, the Summit offers a unique, three-day program aimed at moving transformational energy technologies out of the lab and into the market.  Among the speakers will be Duke’s Lynn Good (who will be interviewed by our friend Bill Loveless), Sen. Cory Gardner and Columbia University’s Jeffrey Sachs, as well as somebody from the new Trump Administration.

NRECA Annual Meeting Rolls in San Diego – More than 5,500 representatives from electric co-ops across the nation are attending NRECA’s Annual Meeting celebrating its 75th  Anniversary this week in San Diego at the Convention Center. The meeting’s keynote speakers include historian Michael Beschloss and tech entrepreneur Josh Linkner. The broad array of breakout sessions includes the potential impact of the Trump Administration, rate design, rural broadband and cybersecurity.

TechAdvantage Expo Brings Energy Innovation – Alongside NRECA, TechAdvantage 2017 Conference and Expo kicked off today in San Diego. TechAdvantage is the leading technology conference designed exclusively for electric cooperative professionals engaged in C-level, engineering, operations, IT, purchasing and supply, and marketing decision-making.  This year’s conference will highlight technologies that are changing the electric grid. From distributed energy, cybersecurity and unmanned aerial systems to energy storage, big data, system optimization and government regulation, there’s something for everyone.

AWEA to Roll Out Jobs Info in Webinar – Today at 1:00 p.m., American Wind Energy Association holds webinar to release new analysis on job creation from Navigant forecasting wind power’s economic benefits.  Sign up here.

BGov Panel to Look at Climate, Environmental Policy – Bloomberg Government holds a discussion tomorrow at 9:00 a.m. on the next generation of climate conversations focusing on “the future of climate and environmental policy” with young leaders from across the political spectrum.

House Science Panel Look at Social Cost of Carbon – The House Science Committee’s Environment and Oversight panels will hold a joint hearing tomorrow at 10:00 a.m. examining the Social Cost of Carbon.,  Witnesses will include Brookings Ted Gayer, Heritage’s Kevin Dayaratna, Michael Greenstone of the University of Chicago’s Interdisciplinary Energy Policy Institute and Cato’s Patrick Michaels.

Forum to look at DERs – Tomorrow at 10:0 a.m., the US Energy Assn will hold a forum on how Distributed Energy Resources (DERs) are impacting the U.S. electric sector. DERs which include solar, storage, energy efficiency, demand response, and CHP technologies, are disrupting the way electricity has traditionally been generated, transmitted and distributed for the last 100 plus years.  Continuing technological innovation and cost declines, together with customer demand, regulatory initiatives, and increasingly sophisticated third party participants, are causing utilities and their regulators to fundamentally rethink traditional business models and regulatory and rate structures.  ICF’s Steve Fine and Phil Mihlmester have been at the forefront of helping utilities in CA, NY and elsewhere, navigated many of these ongoing changes, and will be sharing their views on these industry-changing topics.

WAPA, CR to Announce Top 2017 Picks – WAPA and Consumer Reports will holds its February luncheon at the National Press Club tomorrow at Noon to announce the organization’s 2017 Top Picks and Brand Reports Cards. The event is one of the highlights of the year for WAPA. Each spring, consumers and auto-industry insiders alike look to Consumer Reports’ Annual Auto Issue and website for its Top Picks in cars and trucks. From best and worst in fuel economy, reliability and safety to tips on how to get the best deal, CR provides consumers unbiased ratings, recommendations, and advice that help consumers make informed decisions with their next car purchase.

Drilling Contractors Hold Onshore Drilling Forum – Tomorrow at Noon in 406 Dirksen, the International Association of Drilling Contractors hosts a lunch and learn on onshore drilling rigs and well construction.

Discussion Looks at Middle East Energy – The Middle East Institute holds a discussion tomorrow at Noon on geopolitical dynamics and Middle East energy.  MEI will host Justin Dargin (Univ. of Oxford), Rauf Mammadov (MEI), Jean-Francois Seznec (MEI), and Brenda Shaffer (Georgetown Univ.) for a discussion of how Middle Eastern states are navigating change in the global energy market and in relations between the players.

ACCF Panel Hosts former Commissioners to Look at FERC Challenges – The American Council for Capital Formation Center for Policy Research will moderate a discussion tomorrow at 12:30 p.m. in 485 Russell.  The event will feature former FERC Commissioners Philip Moeller and James Hoecker on a wide range of policy issues facing FERC.   The discussion comes at a particularly interesting time for the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, which entered the new year with a full plate of issues, including the challenge of ensuring electric reliability in the face of increasing environmental pressures from outside advocacy groups. And the Commission does so without its full complement of commissioners, having now just two of its five seats filled after the sudden resignation of Norman Bay.  Our friend Glen Boshart will moderate.

UNFCCC Leader to Address Georgetown Forum – The Georgetown Institute for Women, Peace & Security, the School of Foreign Service, and the Georgetown Environment Initiative will host a lecture and discussion tomorrow at 1:00 p.m. featuring Patricia Espinosa, Executive Secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and a distinguished panel including Lorena Aguilar of the International Union for Conservation of Nature, Georgetown’s Joanna Lewis and Georgetown Climate Center Executive Director Vicki Arroyo.

Trump Speech to Congress – Tomorrow at 9:00 p.m., President Trump will make his first address to Congress.

Resources to Look at Water/Power Infrastructure – The House Resources Committee’s Water, Power and Oceans Subcommittee will hold a hearing on Wednesday at 10:00 a.m. looking modernizing western water and power infrastructure in the 21st Century.

BNEF, BCSE to Do Minnesota Rollout – On Friday, the Business Council for Sustainable Energy (BCSE) and Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) will be in Minnesota at St. Thomas College to do a local release their 5th annual edition of the Sustainable Energy in America Factbook featuring local Minnesota businesses. The Factbook provides insight into key U.S. energy statistics related to energy efficiency, natural gas and renewable energy and outlines key factors influencing America’s energy infrastructure, economy and environment.

Forum to Look at Carbon Capture Future – On Friday at Noon, the American Energy Society hosts the next event in its series, Carbon Capture, Tomorrow Just Happened by holding a Congressional Briefing that provides scientific and technical overviews; offer first-mover insights suitable for any region in the country; emphasize potential business development and job creation opportunities, as well as environmental impacts.  Panelists include Stanford’s Sally Benson, Howard Herzog of the MIT Energy Initiative, UT-Austin’s Gary Rochelle and Nicholas Flanders, Co-Founder and CEO at Opus 12 and a member of Forbes’ 30 Under 30.

WEN Lunch to Feature Dlouhy, Schor – The Women’s Energy Network hosts a “Lunch and Learn” on Friday with Bloomberg energy reporter Jennifer and congressional reporter Elana Schor of Politico. 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. Enjoy lunch provided at Forbes Tate as you hear from Jennifer and Elana about current topics in the energy industry and government and a Q&A with attendees.

 

IN THE FUTURE

CERAWeek Set for Houston – The 36th CERAWeek by IHS Markit will be held on March 6th through 10th in Houston at the Hilton Americas.  CERAWeek is the premier annual international gathering of energy industry leaders, experts, government officials and policymakers, leaders from the technology, financial, and industrial communities – and energy technology innovators. Midst the turbulence and uncertainty in energy markets this year, CERAWeek 2017 will provide new insights and critically-important dialogue – and a very cost efficient way to engage on the most urgent questions with decision-makers from around the world.  A laundry list of other key energy speakers/CEOs will speak.  See the list here.

Cato to Host Transportation Infrastructure – Next Monday at Noon, the Cato Institute hold a forum on setting transportation infrastructure priorities.  The event will focus on how we should decide what projects are funded, how much should we spend on new infrastructure and how much on reconstruction, as well as funding and finance priorities.  Finally, it will look at goals to create short-term jobs, long-term economic growth, or simply new transportation alternatives? Join four leading transportation experts in a discussion of highways, transit, intercity rail, airports and air traffic control, transportation finance, and regulation.

Forum to Look at Urban Planning, Climate – The Wilson Center will hold a forum next Monday at 2:00 p.m. for a discussion about the latest research from the field on innovative urban approaches to climate change, accommodating refugees in urban areas, and inclusive city planning. Winning authors of the 2016 Graduate Student Reducing Urban Poverty Paper Competition will present their solutions-oriented research, with commentary offered by experienced professionals working in the urban sector.

Southern NextEra Execs Address Transmission Summit – The 20th Transmission Summit will be held March 6-8th at the Mayflower Hotel in Washington, DC.  The event brings together policy makers with transmission industry leaders to develop strategies that will take advantage of opportunities created by emerging policy, regulatory and technological changes.  Topics will include post-election policy shifts and potential new opportunities for transmission infrastructure investment, dealing with the impacts of revisions to FERC’s Order 1000 processes on regional planning and competitive projects, integrating and interconnecting ever more renewable energy assets and using non-transmission alternatives and storage to defer new builds and replace aging infrastructure.  Key speakers include former FERC Chair Joe Kelliher of NextEra, Southern’s Bruce Edelston, and Georgia PSC Commissioner Tim Echols, among others.

GEA to Host DC Meeting – On next Tuesday, March 7th, the Geothermal Energy Association (GEA) will hold its International Geothermal Forum in Washington, DC. GEA has annually provided leadership within the geothermal energy community and a platform for constructive dialogue and in-depth discussion on issues ranging from finance, market development, and policy to GHG emissions, new technology driving change and key markets to look out for. In light of the latest developments, the Association’s International Geothermal Forum is a recent spinoff from the traditional US & International Showcase.  For one day, the Forum will gather roughly sixty (60) top energy, finance, policy, government, ministry, and engineering experts to provide in-depth discussion and insight into the future of the geothermal market in the US and abroad.

Forum to Look at Advanced Energy – Microsoft and the Advanced Energy Economy Institute will host a conversation on Tuesday March 7th at 11:30 a.m. looking at advanced energy as an economic driver.  The discussion will bring together stakeholders from industry, utilities, energy consumers, and state business organizations to discuss how advanced energy is driving economic development and job growth in states across the U.S.  The U.S. energy system is going through a transformational change—consumer preferences, dynamic new technologies, and new threats are causing the energy system, as we have known it for the past century, to evolve.  Speakers will include our friend AEE’s Malcolm Wolff, EEI’s Emily Fisher, Microsoft’s Michelle Patron, and many others.

JHU Forum Looks at Deep Decarbonization Strategies – Johns Hopkins University hosts a forum next Tuesday, March 7th at 5:00 p.m. to review the US’ mid-century strategy to deeply decarbonize the US economy by 2050, released in November by the Obama Administration. A second recent study developed by the Risky Business Project, “From Risk to Return: Investing in a Clean Energy Economy,” will also be presented and discussed.

CSIS to Host IEA Oil Market Report – The CSIS Energy & National Security Program will host Keisuke Sadamori, Director of Energy Markets and Security at the International Energy Agency, on March 8th to present the IEA’s Oil Market Report 2017.  In late 2016, leading oil producers put together the most comprehensive agreement to limit oil output seen since 2009 to ensure the stabilization of oil prices and avoid economic dislocation in producing countries. Underscored by well-supplied oil markets, and this new period of production management, the Oil Market Report projects the following trends through 2022 that oil demand is expected to grow strongly at least to 2022, with main developing economies leading the way; the need for more production capacity becomes apparent by the end of the decade, even if supply appears plentiful today; it is not clear that upstream projects will be completed in time due to the unprecedented two-year fall in investment in 2015 and 2016, although major reductions in costs will help and there is a  risk of prices rising more sharply by 2022 as the spare production cushion is eroded.  A discussion moderated by Kevin Book will follow.

Microgrid Forum Set – The Center for Climate and Energy Solutions (C2ES), George Washington University and state, business and city leaders will join together on Wednesday, March 8th at 9:00 a.m. to examine the opportunities and challenges of successful microgrid deployment. Microgrids are an innovative solution to reduce emissions, improve electricity system reliability and resilience, and tighten grid security. But financial, legal and technological barriers can slow their deployment.

ELI to Host Forum on Climate Justice – On Friday, March 10th at 12:00 p.m., the Environmental Law Institute hosts a forum on Climate Justice.  Climate justice can be defined generally as addressing the disproportionate burden of climate change impacts on poor and marginalized communities. It seeks to promote more equitable allocation of the burdens of these impacts at the local, national, and global levels through proactive regulatory initiatives and reactive judicial remedies that draw on international human rights and domestic environmental justice theories. Yet, efforts to define climate justice as a field of inquiry can be elusive and underinclusive because the concept is so vast in scope.  This seminar will begin with discussions of recent atmospheric trust litigation in the U.S., and the Urgenda case in the Netherlands, as examples of the advantages and limitations of using domestic courts to promote climate justice objectives. It will then address topics outside the litigation context by exploring the climate justice implications of the new differentiation model between developed and developing nations as reflected in the Paris Agreement and the human rights dimensions of global deployment of bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS). Join the editor and three contributing authors of Climate Justice: Case Studies in Global and Regional Governance Challenges to learn about important and timely topics addressed in this recent publication.

ACORE Policy Forum Set – ACORE holds its annual national renewable policy forum on March 16th at the W Hotel in Washington D.C.  Industry leaders and senior officials offer a pragmatic perspective on challenges and opportunities for the renewable energy industry in the new political alignment. Key topics include renewable energy’s importance to the American economy, the timing and outlook of the upcoming push for comprehensive federal tax reform, the prospects for a large-scale infrastructure initiative and the benefits of increased investment in renewables, grid expansion, resiliency, and modernization and the important role of state policy in the energy sector, and the potential for new and innovative state initiatives that promote renewable energy investment and deployment.  Speakers include Brightsource Energy’s Joe Desmond BNEF’s Ethan Zindler, AWEA’s Jim Reilly, SEIA’s Tom Kimbis and several others.

Heartland Climate Conference Set – The 12th International Conference on Climate Change, taking place on Thursday and Friday, March 23–24 at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in Washington, DC.  ICCC-12 is hosted by The Heartland Institute.  See the speakers, including Myron Ebell, here.

Pollution Control Agencies Set Spring Meeting – The Association of Air Pollution Control Agencies’ 2017 Spring Meeting will be held in Tucson, Arizona from March 27 – 29 at the Hilton Tucson East Hotel.  More on this in the future.

 

Energy Update: Week of February 20

Friends,

Well, I have my Metallica tickets for the summer WorldWired Tour 2017 and I was thrilled to hear that Incubus will be touring this summer as well.  Add the Iron Maiden Book of Souls Tour and you have one great (and expensive) summer concert series.

On the sports side, how about baseball… Yeah, Spring training launches in full this week and for the first time in over 100 years, the Cubs enter Spring Training as World Champions.  First “real” exhibition games in the Grapefruit launch on Friday at JetBlue Park in Fort Myers, FL when the Red Sox host the Mets.  Cactus action starts Friday as well with the Reds/Giants in Scottsdale.  I hope you didn’t watch the NBA All-Star game last night, I spent about four minutes watching it before I realized that it was terrible.  They ought take a page out of the NHL and MLB books and make it mean something.  Finally, college lax gets going in full force.  Hannah and her Wellesley teammates start at Bates on March 1st.

Oklahoma AG Scott Pruitt was approved on Friday with a vote of 52-46 to become the 14th EPA Administrator.  Maine R Susan Collins voted against, while Dems Joe Manchin (WV) and Heidi Heitkamp (ND) were for.  McCain (who went to Germany) and IN Democrat Joe Donnelly didn’t vote.  Wow…that Donnelly vote is interesting, especially after he said he wouldn’t vote for Pruitt. Below we have a full array of comments from both sides.  We expect the swearing in and signing of executive orders tomorrow at Noon.  Our friend Kim Strassel of the Wall Street Journal conducted Pruitt’s first interview which clearly outlines his commitment to refocusing the agency on its statutorily-defined mission: working cooperatively with the states to improve water and air.  He also has made a point of focusing on following the rule of law and Congressional intent saying the previous Administration “displaced Congress, disregarded the law, and in general said they would act in their own way. That now ends.”  Enviro reaction was of course WAY over the top.  Just check out the response on the social media in response to Pruitt’s new twitter account: @EPAScottPruitt. The comments are definitely NC-17 in some cases.

Two other big events this week: tomorrow morning at the Newseum, Third Way will host an Advanced Nuclear Summit that will feature ClearPath’s Jay Faison and examines the opportunities advanced nuclear offers, as well as the need for quick action.  Then, Wednesday at 12:30 p.m. in 2167 Rayburn, the Consumer Technology Association (CTA) and SAFE will hold a briefing on the benefits self-driving vehicles will have on improving everyday lives.

Today is President’s Day and that means Congress is in the District Work period.  It also mean no votes on DOE nominee Rick Perry, Interior nominee Ryan Zinke and others still hanging out there until maybe early March at best.   That is a little unfortunate since today President Trump hits the first month mark on his presidency.  Speaking of that, our friend Mike Allen has a great first month analysis (good and bad) in his new outlet Axios (which you should check out).   Another one of my awesome GWU SMPA graduates, Sara Fischer, is writing for Axios covering media trends and our friend Ben Geman moves over there this week to cover energy.  Congrats Ben…

Finally, while President Trump may call it the failing New York Times, I am happy to share my friends’ interesting new interactive series called Changing Climate, Changing Cities that tackles how climate change is challenging the world’s urban centers.  The first installment ran Friday and explores Mexico City, climate change didn’t cause a lot of their fragile infrastructure and social problems, but may now act as a threat multiplier.  Expect more interesting coverage going forward.

We are around this week and it may be a good time to catch up.  Call with questions…

 

Best,

Frank Maisano

(202) 828-5864

(202) 997-5932

 

FRANKLY SPOKEN

“America’s abundance of clean natural gas is driving low prices for homes and businesses which is leading states to find new ways to extend natural gas to more communities.  Efficient use of this domestic resource can help us achieve our national goals.”

AGA President and CEO Dave McCurdy, discussing the group’s 2017 Playbook.

 

THE EPA VIEW

The Pruitt Vote – The Senate confirmed Scott Pruitt to be administrator of EPA Friday by a 52-46 roll call vote.  Voting yes were 2 Democrats and 50 Republicans.  Voting no were 43 Democrats, 1 Republican and 2 independents. Democrats Yes: Heitkamp, N.D.; Manchin, WV.  Republicans No: Collins, Maine.  Not Voting: McCain (R-AZ) (who went to Germany) and Joe Donnelly (D-IN).  The Donnelly vote is interesting, especially after he said he wouldn’t vote for Pruitt.  Wonder what was going on there…

Pruitt Sworn In Friday Afternoon – SCOTUS justice Sam Alito swore in EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt on Friday after the vote.  See the video here.

WSJ Interview First for Pruitt – Kim Strassel of the Wall Street Journal conducted Pruitt’s first interview which clearly outlines his commitment to refocusing the agency on its statutorily-defined mission: working cooperatively with the states to improve water and air.  He also has made a point of focusing on following the rule of law and Congressional intent saying the previous Administration “displaced Congress, disregarded the law, and in general said they would act in their own way. That now ends.”

Platts Pruitt Factbox – Our friends Jasmin Melvin and Meg Gordon of Platts published a nice factbox on some of the energy impacts of Pruitt taking over at EPA.  It looks at issues like biofuels, CAFE, environmental protections, cooperation with states, etc.

Media Coverage – Here are links to a few of the articles on the vote: Los Angeles TimesNew York TimesUSA TodayWall Street JournalWashington Post – NPRAssociated PressReutersBloomberg

Electric Reliability Coordinating Council – ERCC director Scott Segal:  ERCC was happy to endorse Mr. Pruitt before his hearing before the Senate Environment and Public Works.  Our members are glad to welcome a new leader to EPA.  The Agency has a mission of tremendous importance to human health and the environment and Scott Pruitt’s dedication to the rule of law will be of material assistance to achieving these regulatory objectives.  Environmental advocacy can be rough and tumble, but now is the time to set aside preconceived notions and allow Mr. Pruitt and his team the space needed to get underway.  Responsible regulatory reform can make our shared environmental objectives all easier to achieve.”

Air Conditioning Heating and Refrigeration Institute – AHRI President Steve Yurek: “We congratulate Administrator Pruitt and we very much look forward to working with him and his team on important issues such as refrigerant policy.” AHRI

National Rural Electric Cooperative Association – NRECA CEO Jim Matheson: “We congratulate Scott Pruitt on his confirmation and look forward to working with him on proposals that protect our environment and promote a healthy economy. EPA regulations have an enormous impact on electric co-ops and small businesses throughout rural America. We hope the agency will work with us to review these impacts and ensure that future regulations allow cooperatives the freedom and flexibility to continue providing safe, affordable, and reliable power to families and businesses across the nation. NRECA

Securing America’s Future Energy — SAFE CEO Robby Diamond: “We applaud Administrator Pruitt for his successful confirmation, and we look forward to working with him and EPA on various policy options to improve our energy security, such as improved efficiencies and advanced transportation fuels. These measures are critical to enhancing economic and national security.” As the U.S. currently relies on oil to power 92% of its transportation system, the country remains vulnerable to global oil price shocks, undermining U.S. economic sovereignty and security. De-linking American transportation from oil, through improved efficiency and fuel choice diversity, will help insulate the U.S. economy from oil price volatility and OPEC’s efforts to manipulate the oil market.  SAFE

American Chemistry Council – ACC CEO Cal Dooley: “We look forward to working with Administrator Pruitt, his team and the dedicated EPA staff to ensure that credible science and transparency are at the heart of regulatory decisions and that our nation’s key environmental statutes are implemented in a sensible manner. “The top priority for ACC is ensuring successful implementation of the Lautenberg Chemical Safety Act, the landmark revision of the Toxic Substances Control Act passed by an overwhelming bipartisan majority of Congress and supported by a wide range of stakeholders. Efficient and effective implementation of the Act will restore public confidence in EPA’s regulation of chemical safety, and will promote American innovation and competitiveness. With new and expanded access to natural gas feedstock supplies, the U.S. chemical industry is creating jobs and generating economic growth for the nation; it is critical that TSCA regulation of the products of chemistry continue to support that growth.” ACC

American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity – ACCCE CEO Paul Bailey:  Mr. Pruitt will make an exceptional head of EPA.  Under his leadership, we expect EPA to return to sensible policies that both protect the environment and recognize the need for reliable and affordable coal-based electricity.” ACCCE

The American Energy Alliance – AEA President Thomas Pyle: “Scott Pruitt will be a true champion for the American people and our environment. Throughout his career, Pruitt has fought to uphold the rule of law and to protect the rights of Oklahoma families and communities. He will do the same for all Americans as EPA Administrator.  In recent years the EPA has far exceeded its mandate and has used regulations as a cudgel to force states to adopt a political agenda. This agenda has upended whole communities—destroying jobs and subjecting Americans to higher energy costs. That will no longer be the case under Administrator Pruitt, who respects the rights of states and individuals and understands that clean air and water and a robust economy go hand in hand.” AEA

American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers – AFPM CEO Chet Thompson: “We congratulate Administrator Pruitt on his confirmation as the next Administrator of EPA. His experience and leadership skills will be an asset to EPA and the country. We are confident that Administrator Pruitt understands that environmental protection, economic growth, and energy security are not mutually exclusive, but rather require reasonable balancing. Under his leadership, we can realize the President’s America First Energy Plan, which embraces our country’s potential to be an energy superpower while simultaneously protecting the environment.”  AFPM

West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey – Morrisey: “Scott’s principled approach will respect the law and reinforce the EPA’s core mission to protect our air and water without unconstitutional and job killing overreach, which has brought tremendous harm to West Virginia during the past eight years.  As Oklahoma’s attorney general, Pruitt remained a steadfast partner with West Virginia in challenges to defeat the Obama EPA’s so-called Clean Power Plan, New Source Performance Standards, the Waters of the United States rule and regulations targeting oil and gas jobs. The Attorney General looks forward to working with Administrator Pruitt and the Trump administration in efforts to roll back the Power Plan and other regulations.”  Attorney General Morrisey

Clean Air Watch – Clean Air Watch President Frank O’Donnell: “It is unconscionable that the Senate would ram this nomination through without knowing all the relevant facts — facts that may be known within a few days.  It is a bipartisan triumph of special interests over the broader public interest.”  Clean Air Watch

The Independent Petroleum Association of America – IPAA CEO Barry:  “IPAA congratulates Scott Pruitt on his confirmation to lead the Environmental Protection Agency under the Trump administration. Coming from the energy-producing state of Oklahoma, Mr. Pruitt understands the critical importance of implementing policies that both support our economy and protect the environment.  Having a clear and fair regulatory framework is critical for independent producers, companies that work every day to safely produce the energy we all rely upon to power our everyday lives while ensuring the environment is protected, conserved, and restored in a balanced, commonsense manner. We look forward to working with Mr. Pruitt in his new role as EPA Administrator.” IPAA

Natural Resources Defense Council – Rhea Suh, president of the NRDC: “Scott Pruitt is the worst pick ever confirmed to lead the EPA. He’s being sent there to hobble the agency we depend on to protect our health and environment. All the worse, Senate Republicans forced the confirmation vote before the public can know the truth about Pruitt’s ties to industrial polluters. We’ll use every tool in the kit to stop him from harming our air and water, endangering our communities and surrendering our kids to climate catastrophe.” NRDC

 

IN THE NEWS

Duke Hires Renjel to Head DC Office – Duke Energy has appointed our friend Louis Renjel as its new vice president of federal government affairs and strategic policy, overseeing federal affairs; Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and gas policy; environmental and energy policy; and sustainability initiatives.  Renjel joins Duke Energy from CSX Corp., where he has served as vice president of strategic infrastructure and delivered critical infrastructure, growth and productivity initiatives through public sector engagement, since 2009.  Renjel’s public sector experience includes positions as deputy staff director for the U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, legislative assistant to U.S. Senator James Inhofe of Oklahoma, and staff member on the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Energy and Commerce.  Renjel replaces another good friend, Cari Boyce, who led Duke’s federal affairs team on an interim basis since August 2016 and will move into a new role at Duke.

Reed Bill Will Reinstate, Extend Federal Clean Energy Tax Credits – The geothermal heat pump industry and several other clean energy technology industries are a step closer to saving thousands of jobs with the reintroduction of tax credit legislation by Reps. Tom Reed (R-NY), Mike Thompson (D-CA), and 18 additional cosponsors (12 Republicans and 6 Democrats).  HR 1090 will reinstitute and extend through 2021 commercial and residential installation tax credits geothermal heat pumps, fuel cells, microturbines, small wind and combined heat and power. Included are a 10% commercial Investment Tax Credit under Sec. 48 of the tax code, and a 30% residential Income Tax Credit under Sec. 25D.  The legislation is meant to remedy the inequity created in December 2015 when Congress extended similar tax credits for commercial solar energy and residential solar energy installations, but neglected to include geothermal heat pumps and other qualifying clean energy technologies. Tax credits for the “orphaned” clean energy technologies ended at midnight on Dec. 31, 2016.

Natural Gas Utilities Lead a Fact-Based Energy Conversation Calling for an honest debate about how American homes and businesses use energy, the American Gas Association (AGA) today released its 2017 Playbook. Filled with new data and detailed graphics, it is the essential handbook about the role natural gas plays in American’s daily lives.  Page 6 highlights a new AGA report which found that clean, affordable natural gas has led to $76 billion in savings for American businesses since 2009.  Page 11 shows that households that use natural gas for heating, cooking and clothes drying save an average of $874 per year compared to homes using electricity for those applications and page 46 notes that those same homes produce 37 percent lower greenhouse gas emissions.  Page 25 highlights the growing concern in New England over critically constrained natural gas pipeline infrastructure. The average price for natural gas for all users in that area was 27 percent higher than the national average in 2015.

Greenhouse Gases Decline – U.S. greenhouse gas emissions were down 2.2% between 2014 and 2015, according to a new draft inventory released by EPA. Total emissions were almost 6.6 billion metric tons in 2015, or about 20.5 tons per person. The report says emissions were down for three primary reasons: switching from coal to natural gas; warmer winter conditions that drove down demand for heating fuel; and a small decrease in demand for electricity. The two years preceding 2015 saw increases in emissions of 2.2 percent and 0.9 percent; the greatest decrease since 1991 was 2009, the height of the economic recession, when emissions dropped a whopping 6.2% But on average over that time, emissions have increased annually 0.2 percent. Public comments are due by March 17.

Coalition Opposes Carbon Tax; Requests Meeting with White House – The American Energy Alliance (AEA) and a coalition of free-market and conservative organizations sent a letter to White House chief economic advisor Gary Cohn to request a meeting with the Administration on the issue of a carbon tax. The signers of the letter include Thomas Pyle of AEA, Grover Norquist of Americans for Tax Reform, Michael Needham of Heritage Action for America, Myron Ebell of the Competitive Enterprise Institute, and Adam Brandon of FreedomWorks.  The letter says, “Our organizations have significant concerns regarding any prospective carbon tax proposal. Such a policy would place undue economic burdens on American families and businesses by intentionally increasing the cost of the energy they rely on every day. A carbon tax would also be regressive – doing the most harm to our nation’s economically disadvantaged – and would destroy American jobs, particularly in the manufacturing sector.”

 

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

RFA Ethanol Conference Set of San Diego – The Renewable Fuels Association hold its 2017 National Ethanol Conference on today through Wednesday at the Hilton San Diego Bayfront. The forum will address policy and market issues and what industry can do to develop both domestic and foreign markets, including expanding infrastructure, blends above E10, high octane fuels and exports.  At a key Panel on the first day, AFPM President Chet Thompson will join RFA CEO Bob Dinneen for a future of fuels policy discussion.  Our friend Rachel Gantz will also host a panel of journalists including WSJ’s Amy Harder to discuss media coverage of the policy issues.

Faison, Crane, Browner Headline Nuclear Summit – Third Way will host an Advanced Nuclear Summit tomorrow starting at 8:00 a.m. at the Newseum in Washington, DC.  The event will examine the massive opportunities that advanced nuclear offers the U.S., and the need for quick action in Washington to capture those opportunities. We’ll explore benefits like economic growth and competitiveness, job creation, and global leadership on issues like climate change, security, and poverty with a wide variety of leaders in this space.  Speakers will include ClearPath Foundation Jay Faison,  CEO Exelon CEO Chris Crane, NuScale CEO John Hopkins, Nobel-Prize winning physicist Burton Richter, the AFL-CIO’s Liz Shuler and former EPA Administrator and Obama climate advisor Carol Browner.

SAFE, CTA to Discuss AV Benefits – The Consumer Technology Association (CTA), in partnership with Securing America’s Future Energy (SAFE), will hold a lunchtime briefing on Wednesday at 12:30 p.m. in 2167 Rayburn on the benefits self-driving vehicles will have on improving everyday life.  The panel discussion features CTA CEO Gary Shapiro, SAFE AV Safety Commission member and former GM exec Bob Lange and Toyota’s Hilary Cain.  SAFE CEO Robbie Diamond will moderate.

Heritage looks at CRA Actions – The Heritage Foundation holds a discussion on Wednesday at Noon on the Congressional Review Act of 1996 (CRA). The program features one of the key architects involved with the drafting and passage of this bill, former congressman Dave MacIntosh who sponsored the legislation, and a Heritage legal expert as they discuss what has been termed a possible “regulatory game changer.”

USEA Looks At Distributed Energy Valuation – On Wednesday at 2:00 p.m., the US Energy Association hosts a briefing the various dimensions of Distributed Energy Resources (DER) valuation (with a particular focus on locational value), current efforts to employ these valuation methodologies, and the implications for utilities and regulators. The speaker will be Vazken Kassakhian, Research Analyst at the Smart Electric Power Alliance.

Webinar Looks at Capacity Market Reforms – On Wednesday at 2:00 p.m., Power Markets Today hosts a timely and insightful webinar looking at new capacity reforms.  Speakers will include PJM Independent Market Monitor and Monitoring Analytics President Dr. Joseph Bowring, New England Power Generators Association President Dan Dolan, NEPOOL Representative and Energy Market Advisors Principal Brian Forshaw and Advanced Energy Management Alliance Representative and Achieving Equilibrium Founder Tom Rutigliano.  Our friend James Downing hosts.

Panel Looks at Trump Energy Policy – The Cato Institute will host a lively look at energy policy in the new administration on Wednesday at 4:00 p.m.  The event will feature IER Founder Robert L. Bradley, Institute for Energy Research; Adele Morris of Brookings and Catrina Rorke, of the R Street Institute.

WCEE to Look at Wholesale Capacity Markets – On Friday, the Women’s Council on Energy and the Environment (WCEE) hosts a lunch discussion with Emma Nicholson, Ph.D., an economist at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s Office of Energy Policy and Innovation, and a WCEE member. Nicholson will provide an overview of capacity markets in the FERC-jurisdictional RTOs/ISOs that have them (Regional Transmission Organizations (RTO)/Independent System Operators (ISO)). This overview will also explain the general concept of capacity as a product and explain recent changes to the design of FERC-jurisdictional capacity markets.  The event will be held at FERC.

 

IN THE FUTURE

WAPA, CR to Announce Top 2017 Picks – WAPA and Consumer Reports will holds its February luncheon at the National Press Club on February 28th at Noon to announce the organization’s 2017 Top Picks and Brand Reports Cards. The event is one of the highlights of the year for WAPA. Each spring, consumers and auto-industry insiders alike look to Consumer Reports’ Annual Auto Issue and website for its Top Picks in cars and trucks. From best and worst in fuel economy, reliability and safety to tips on how to get the best deal, CR provides consumers unbiased ratings, recommendations, and advice that help consumers make informed decisions with their next car purchase.

ARPA-E Forum Set – The annual ARPA-E Innovation Forum will be held on February 27th through March 1st at the Gaylord at National Harbor. Summit is an annual conference and technology showcase that brings together experts from different technical disciplines and professional communities to think about America’s energy challenges in new and innovative ways. Now in its eighth year, the Summit offers a unique, three-day program aimed at moving transformational energy technologies out of the lab and into the market.  Among the speakers will be Duke’s Lynn Good (who will be interviewed by our friend Bill Loveless), Sen. Cory Gardner and Columbia University’s Jeffrey Sachs, as well as somebody from the new Trump Administration.

ACCF Panel Hosts former Commissioners to Look at FERC Challenges – The American Council for Capital Formation Center for Policy Research will moderate a discussion on Tuesday, February 28th at 12:30 p.m. in 485 Russell.  The event will feature former FERC Commissioners Philip Moeller and James Hoecker on a wide range of policy issues facing FERC.   The discussion comes at a particularly interesting time for the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, which entered the new year with a full plate of issues, including the challenge of ensuring electric reliability in the face of increasing environmental pressures from outside advocacy groups. And the Commission does so without its full complement of commissioners, having now just two of its five seats filled after the sudden resignation of Norman Bay.  Our friend Glen Boshart will moderate.

CERAWeek Set for Houston – The 36th CERAWeek by IHS Markit will be held on March 6th through 10th in Houston at the Hilton Americas.  CERAWeek is the premier annual international gathering of energy industry leaders, experts, government officials and policymakers, leaders from the technology, financial, and industrial communities – and energy technology innovators. Midst the turbulence and uncertainty in energy markets this year, CERAWeek 2017 will provide new insights and critically-important dialogue – and a very cost efficient way to engage on the most urgent questions with decision-makers from around the world.  A laundry list of other key energy speakers/CEOs will speak.  See the list here.

Southern NextEra Execs Address Transmission Summit – The 20th Transmission Summit will be held March 6-8th at the Mayflower Hotel in Washington, DC.  The event brings together policy makers with transmission industry leaders to develop strategies that will take advantage of opportunities created by emerging policy, regulatory and technological changes.  Topics will include post-election policy shifts and potential new opportunities for transmission infrastructure investment, dealing with the impacts of revisions to FERC’s Order 1000 processes on regional planning and competitive projects, integrating and interconnecting ever more renewable energy assets and using non-transmission alternatives and storage to defer new builds and replace aging infrastructure.  Key speakers include former FERC Chair Joe Kelliher of NextEra, Southern’s Bruce Edelston, and Georgia PSC Commissioner Tim Echols, among others.

GEA to Host DC Meeting – On March 7th, the Geothermal Energy Association (GEA) will hold its International Geothermal Forum in Washington, DC.

ACORE Policy Forum Set – ACORE holds its annual national renewable policy forum on March 16th at the W Hotel in Washington D.C.  Industry leaders and senior officials offer a pragmatic perspective on challenges and opportunities for the renewable energy industry in the new political alignment. Key topics include renewable energy’s importance to the American economy, the timing and outlook of the upcoming push for comprehensive federal tax reform, the prospects for a large-scale infrastructure initiative and the benefits of increased investment in renewables, grid expansion, resiliency, and modernization and the important role of state policy in the energy sector, and the potential for new and innovative state initiatives that promote renewable energy investment and deployment.  Speakers include Brightsource Energy’s Joe Desmond BNEF’s Ethan Zindler, AWEA’s Jim Reilly, SEIA’s Tom Kimbis and several others.

Heartland Climate Conference Set – The 12th International Conference on Climate Change, taking place on Thursday and Friday, March 23–24 at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in Washington, DC.  ICCC-12 is hosted by The Heartland Institute.  See the speakers, including Myron Ebell, here.

Pollution Control Agencies Set Spring Meeting – The Association of Air Pollution Control Agencies’ 2017 Spring Meeting will be held in Tucson, Arizona from March 27 – 29 at the Hilton Tucson East Hotel.  More on this in the future.

Energy Update: Week of February 13

Friends,

Hope you are ready for Valentine’s Day.   You should hurry up if you haven’t made plans yet…time is a-tickin’.

Last night’s Grammys went off without much of a hitch and Adele was the big winner.   James Corden was good, but he exposed perhaps my biggest takeaway:  How is it that these music stars (at least we know Neil Diamond knew) don’t know the words to Sweet Caroline.  I mean every person in Boston, my kids and millions of others know every word to this classic.  I, of course, thought the best part of the show was the Metallica-Lady GaGA’ duet on Moth Into Flame, even with the mic failure.  Speaking of Metallica, the US tour for Hardwired was announced today with Avenged Sevenfold and Volbeat warming up.  It is a similar line up from the 2012 Orion Festival in Atlantic City — which we attended and was AWESOME!   I am looking at May 10 in Baltimore, May 19 in Boston and possibly July 12 in Detroit.

It is a busy week in the run up to President’s Day recess on Capitol Hill with Senate nomination votes expected on up to 8 candidates.  While it is not totally clear because the Majority Leader is holding it close, expected on the plate are Treasury Secretary Mnuchin tonight and Linda McMahon’s nomination to lead the Small Business Administration tomorrow.  Timing remains unclear after that but we are hearing that EPA nominee Scott Pruitt may be next, with the expected floor battle to be drawn out.  While not in jeopardy, the only real question that remains is how many Democrats facing tough re-elections in Red States will support Pruitt.  In addition, timing of the nominations of Rick Perry for Energy and Ryan Zinke at Interior remain in flux despite being relatively non-controversial.  Also look out for the reintroduction of Shaheen-Portman this week, expected Wednesday.  Also we expect some discussion of the Methane CRA this week in the Senate and more interior-related CRAs in the House.  Chamber Energy Institute experts are monitoring closely and can discuss should you need details.

On the hearing calendar this week the schedule cranks up with several interesting hearings.  Tomorrow, House Energy looks at self-driving car technology (our friends at SAFE can help).  On Wednesday, House Science looks at the DOE Loan Guarantee program, House Energy tackles energy infrastructure and Senate Environment looks at modernizing the Endangered Species Act and Thursday the House Energy Committee will focus on the Clean Air Act and potential reforms.

Off the Hill, NARUC meets in Washington at its Winter Meetings, ACCF hosts Kevin Brady to talk taxes, my colleague Jeff Holmstead headlines a panel at the Duke’s Nicholas School Wednesday, Heritage looks at Climate models on Thursday and Friday the USEA hosts the World Coal Assn.

Finally, tonight, college hockey’s most important bragging rights will be decided when Harvard takes on BU in the finals in Boston’s Beanpot tournament at TD Gah-Den.  Game on – despite a wicked 18 inches of snow yesterday (as reported live by Hannah from Wellesley).  Call with questions…

 

Best,

Frank Maisano

(202) 828-5864

(202) 997-5932

 

FRANKLY SPOKEN

“The trend lines in the 2017 Factbook are clear: energy efficiency, natural gas and renewable energy are benefitting American consumers, American businesses and American manufacturers. And that adds up to one conclusion: clean energy wins for America.” 

Lisa Jacobson, head of the Business Council for Sustainable Energy at the release of the BNEF/BCSE 2017 Sustainable Energy FactBook.

 

IN THE NEWS

Energy Factbook Rolls Out – The Business Council for Sustainable Energy (BCSE) and Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) released their 5th annual edition of the Sustainable Energy in America Factbook last week providing valued insight into key U.S. energy statistics related to energy efficiency, natural gas and renewable energy and outlines key factors influencing America’s energy infrastructure, economy and environment. American consumers spent less than 4% of their total annual household spending on energy in 2016, the smallest share ever recorded by the U.S. government, a new study finds. Falling costs for electricity, gasoline and natural gas along with energy efficiency measures have contributed to a dramatic drop in consumer spending on energy. This finding, from the 2017 Sustainable Energy in America Factbook, is supported by U.S. energy statistics highlighting improvements in energy efficiency, natural gas production and use and renewable energy deployment. The 2017 Factbook, compiled by research firm Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) for the Business Council for Sustainable Energy (BCSE), is the fifth edition of this annual resource. The Factbook outlines key trends influencing America’s investment and economics, energy supply and energy demand.

SAFE 4Q Fact Pack Hit OPEC, Looks at Oil Impacts – Securing America’s Future Energy (SAFE) released its Energy Security Fact Pack for the 4th quarter of 2016.  The Fact Pack gives readers a data-driven overview of the latest trends in energy security, including domestic and global oil production and consumption, oil market dynamics and prices, and up-to-date information on fuel efficiency and alternative fuel vehicles.  The Energy Security Fact Pack for 4Q 2016 examines the slow pace of the oil market’s rebalancing, continued price volatility, record electric vehicle sales, and more.

Chamber, Biz Groups Raise Reg Concerns – The U.S. Chamber of Commerce sent a letter along with 616 groups to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer demanding action on the Regulatory Accountability Act (RAA) of 2017.  The letter says now is the time for Congress to reclaim its constitutional legislative authority by ensuring agencies implement congressional intent, not the intent of the agency. “With both the new presidential administration and the U.S. House of Representatives agreeing on the urgent need for regulatory reform, the Senate is presented with a once-in-a-generation opportunity to pass much-needed modernization of the Administrative Procedure Act (APA), whose rulemaking provisions have remained virtually unchanged since it was enacted in 1946.  The Senate has a unique chance to bring real structural reform to the way agencies adopt the most costly rules that fundamentally change our nation.”  RAA would ensure that our regulatory environment is stabilized with a long term solution instead of a short term fix. By designing a process that achieves the maximum public benefit through the implementation of the most cost-effective rules, the executive branch would have a framework of accountability to pursue rules that actually make sense and avoid rules that one president’s administration may think is right and another may think is wrong. The legislative and executive branches have a unique opportunity to accomplish regulatory reform once and for all.  Here’s the full list of organizations who have signed on to the letter.

Former EPA Enforcement Official Looks at Trump EPA – The former head of EPA’s criminal investigation division Doug Parker, now President of Earth & Water Strategies, has a piece in this week’s BNA Daily Environment Report that offers perspective on the future of federal civil and criminal environmental enforcement in a Trump Administration.  Parker says the EPA administrator has minimal day-to-day impact on civil enforcement and no practical influence when it comes to what criminal cases to investigate and how to investigate them. He adds that innovation and market-based opportunities to advance environmental compliance will most likely find a receptive audience with both groups. You can read it here.

High-Profile Carbon Tax Plan Gets Focus – A group of prominent Republicans – including two former secretaries of state, James A. Baker III and George P. Shultz; two former chairmen of the Council of Economic Advisers, Martin S. Feldstein and N. Gregory Mankiw; and former treasury secretary Henry M. Paulson Jr. – were talking carbon taxes last week and created quite a splash.

Report: Community Solar Driving Market – GTM Research has released it latest solar report saying the community solar segment is on the cusp of becoming a mainstream driver of U.S. solar market growth. Starting in 2017, community solar is expected to consistently drive 20% – 25% of the annual non-residential PV market and become a half-gigawatt annual market by 2019. The report explores the primary drivers, risks and markets shaping how community solar will achieve scale, both in the complex policy landscape for third party-led community solar and with the emergence of megawatt-scale utility-led programs. Developers, financiers, installers and suppliers should read this report to learn more about the nearly 3 GW of community solar in development across 29 states.

Lincoln Group Lands Former Valero DC Office Head Felner – Lincoln Policy Group Founder, Former U.S. Senator Blanche L. Lincoln announced today that veteran Republican lobbyist and former Valero DC office head Craig Felner will join the Lincoln Policy Group effective February 13th.   Felner will add significant value to the team according to Lincoln.  “Craig is well known and highly respected within House and Senate Republican circles and offers a unique understanding of corporate dynamics that will add tremendous value to our current and future clients,” said former U.S. Senator Blanche L. Lincoln.  Prior to joining LPG, Craig ran the Washington, DC office of Valero Energy Corporation, a Fortune-50 energy company based in San Antonio, TX. In that capacity, Craig oversaw all in-house staff and ran a robust team of outside consultants.  Felner arrived in Washington in 1995 as an intern for former Energy and Commerce Chair Joe Barton before moving across Capitol Hill to work for former U.S. Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison of Texas as a Legislative Assistant for 6 years. Craig was later appointed by President George W. Bush to a high-ranking position in the White House Office of Cabinet Affairs.

 

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

NARUC Conference Set – The National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners hosts its yearly Winter Committee Meetings in Washington, D.C. today through Wednesday at the Renaissance Washington Hotel.  As usual, the groups has assembled an array of speakers and sessions that continue to advance the priorities and issues facing state utility regulators. Next Monday, PA PUC Commissioner Robert Powelson hosts a discussion on infrastructure with Exelon CEO Chris Crane, API’s Jack Gerard and others.  Other speakers include FERC Chair Cheryl LaFleur, Chamber Energy CEO Karen Harbert, Paul Cicio of the Industrial Consumers of America, NRDC’s Dave Doniger, former EPA GC Roger Martella and many others.

ACCF to Host Brady for Tax Discussion – The American Council for Capital Formation Center for Policy Research will host a discussion tomorrow with House Ways and Means Committee Chair Kevin Brady.  This follows a recent panel on Border Tax issues slated for this Wednesday.

House Energy Looks at Committee Self-Driving Cars – The House Energy and Commerce’s Subcommittees on Digital Commerce and Consumer Protection will convene a hearing tomorrow at 10:15 looking at self-driving cars and the road to deployment.  Witnesses will include GM’s Mike Abelson, Dr. Nidhi Kalra of the RAND Center for Decision Making Under Uncertainty, Volvo’s Anders Karrberg, Joseph Okpaku of Lyft and Gill Pratt, Executive Technical Advisor and CEO of the Toyota Research Institute.

Former FERC Chair Bay to Address Energy Storage Forum – On Wednesday, the 3rd Annual Energy Storage Policy Forum will be held at the National Press Club.   The new Administration and Congress bring with it a new focus and new opportunities. Impending transitions at FERC, DOE, and other agencies have significant ramifications for the continued growth of energy storage.  Speakers will include retired FERC Commissioner Norman Bay, Mass Department of Energy Resources Commissioner Judith Judson and Cal PUC Commissioner Carla Peterman.

House Energy Looks at Energy, Electricity Infrastructure – The House Energy & Commerce Committee’s Subcommittee on Energy will hold a hearing on Wednesday at 10:00 a.m. on modernizing energy and electricity delivery systems.  The hearing will focus on the challenges and opportunities to promote infrastructure improvement and expansion.  Witnesses will include IBEW’s Lonnie Stephenson, GE’s Ganesh Bell, EPRI’s Michael Howard, GridWise Alliance CEO Steve Hauser, LIUNA President Terry O’Sullivan, Rex Ferry on behalf of the National Electrical Contractors Association, Standing Rock Sioux Tribe councilman at large Chad Harrison and Joey Mahmoud of the Dakota Access Pipeline.

House Science to Look at Loan Guarantee Program – The House Science Committee will hold a hearing on Wednesday looking the DOE’s Loan Guarantee Program.  Witnesses will include Heritage’s Diane Katz, Cato’s Chris Edwards, Dan Reicher of the Stanford University Steyer-Taylor Center for Energy Policy and Finance and Ryan Yonk of the Utah State University.

Senate Environment Launches ESA Discussion – The Senate Environment Committee will take a fresh look at reforming the Endangered Species Act in a hearing on Wednesday at 10:00 a.m.  While it is unclear how this will play out, the witnesses are a serious list of folks with great expertise.  Witnesses include former Wyoming Gov. David Freudenthal (D), former Clinton/Obama Interior official Jamie Rappaport Clark, now CEO of Defenders of Wildlife; Former Obama Fish & Wildlife Head Dan Ashe, now CEO of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums; Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation president James Holte and Gordon Myers, executive director of the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission and president of the Southeastern Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies.

Brookings to Look at Global Risks – On Wednesday at 10:00 a.m., the Governance Studies at Brookings will host an event to discuss the management of global catastrophic risk. For decades, international organizations such as the United Nations, the International Monetary Fund, and the World Bank have helped national, regional, and global leaders tackle these challenges. However, many believe that new approaches and fresh thinking are needed in the global governance arena. What are these different perspectives? Are the UN, IMF, World Bank, and other supranational organizations equipped to meet the new challenges of the modern era? Are there different organizations or institutions that are better suited for the problem-solving needed today?

Forum Look at Strategies for Power Sector Transition in US, Germany – The Atlantic Council hosts a conversation on Wednesday at 10:00 a.m. with power sector experts from the United States and Germany to discuss the drivers of this transformation, to compare the challenges these innovative countries are facing, what approaches are being taken, and explore the emerging future of this critical part of our societies.

Holmstead, Others Address Southeast Power Challenges – Duke University’s Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions, will hold an event on Wednesday at Noon focused on the energy and environmental policy challenges facing the Southeast power sector as the next administration takes office. The event will gather stakeholders from across the region in Washington, D.C., to discuss the state of the electricity sector and key issues facing state and federal policymakers, including how market factors and federal policy will affect electricity sector planning in 2017 and beyond. Invitees include representatives from electric utilities, environmental NGOs, energy companies, and state agencies.  Speakers include my colleague Jeff Holmstead, Clearpath’s Zack Baig, Georgia PSC Commissions Lauren McDonald, Entergy’s Rick Johnson, former Senate Staffer and Nicholas Institute expert Tim Profeta, among others.

Senate Commerce Panel Looks at Freight Rail Efficiency, Safety – The Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation panel on Surface Transportation will hold a hearing on Wednesday at 2:30 p.m. in Russell 253 looking at  how to increase the efficiency and safety of our nation’s multimodal transportation system.  Witnesses will include BNSF Railway Chair Matt Rose, Schneider National CEO Chris Lofgren, Dow Chemical’s Tom Gurd and Amtrak CEO Wick Moorman.

House Energy Panel Looks Clean Air Act – The House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Environment will start hearings Thursday at 10:00 a.m. on reforms to the Clean Air Act.  The panel is taking advantage of new authority to look at updating major environmental statutes, with an eye toward pruning any perceived barriers to economic growth. Among the witnesses will be NAM’s Ross Eisenberg, the Chamber’s Thomas Sullivan, Kevin Sunday of the Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry and New Bedford, Mass Mayor Jon Mitchell.

CSIS Forum to Look at Oil Markets – The CSIS Energy & National Security Program holds a discussion on Thursday at 10:00 a.m. with President of RBN Energy Rusty Braziel, ESAI Energy’s Managing Principal of Petroleum & Alternative Fuels Sarah Emerson, and IHS Energy’s VP of Oil Markets (Midstream and Downstream) Kurt Barrow on where U.S. domestic and global oil and gas markets are heading in 2017. We enter the new year with higher oil prices, but also the continued questions around the implementation of and compliance with announced OPEC and non-OPEC supply cutbacks, resurgent U.S. production, enormous stocks, potential increases from Nigeria, Libya, and elsewhere, still-enormous stocks, and various forecasts of new demand growth.

Panel Looks at African Americans in Energy – On Thursday at 11:00 a.m. in 121 Cannon, Rep. Marc Veasey hosts a panel discussion in observation of Black History Month looking at African Americans leaders in energy.  The panel will discuss the challenges and opportunities for African Americans in the energy sector. Moreover, the discussion seeks to educate Members, staffers, stakeholders and students pursuing STEM degrees or jobs in the energy industry, examine current energy policy issues and offer an outlook for the 115th Congress.  Panelists Include FERC Commissioner Colette Honorable, Volt Energy CEO Gilbert Campbell, Ray Dempsey of BP America, American Association of Blacks in Energy President Paula Glover and Chevron’s Telisa Toliver.

Heritage Forum to Look at Science, Modeling – The Heritage Foundation will host a forum on Thursday at Noon on climate modeling, science, and economics behind climate change.  The event will feature Heritage’s Nick Loris and their in-house statistician Kevin Dayaratna, University of Guelph scientist Ross McKitrick and Paul “Chip” Knappenberger of Cato’s Center for the Study of Science.

RTOs Speak at Grid Forum – WIRES, the House Grid Innovation Caucus, the National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA), and the Environmental and Energy Study Institute (EESI) will hold a briefing on Thursday at 2:00 p.m. looking at the modernization of the nation’s critical network of high-voltage transmission. Designed and built well before the digital age to serve more localized customer loads, the “grid” is struggling to support active and increasingly competitive wholesale power markets that now operate regionally. It is often congested or inadequate to deliver domestic energy resources that are not close to customers. Its aging facilities have acknowledged weather and cyber vulnerabilities. Speakers include Rep. Jerry McNerney (D-CA) and Rep. Bob Latta (R-OH), as well as Midcontinent ISO’s Clair Moeller, Southwest Power Pool’s Mike Ross and Craig Glazer of PJM Interconnection.

Forum to Look at Climate Threats – In the February USAID Adaptation meeting on Thursday at 4:00 p.m., Cardno principal Michael Bilney, MBA will discuss Cardno’s collaboration with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) on a risk-based method to screen hundreds of NOAA facilities and evaluate the most at-risk facilities’ vulnerability to potential climate change threats.  The approach combined qualitative risk assessment, and asset management facility condition and engineering assessments to identify site-specific vulnerabilities and related adaptation and resilience improvement actions. Bilney will summarize the phases of the analysis and provide key lessons learned, adaptation and resilience improvement measures and strategies developed during the recently completed project.  He will also summarize critical activities in the recommended process developed to guide future NOAA facility climate change vulnerability assessments.

RBN CEO to Address Energy Economists – The National Capital Area Chapter of the US Assn of Energy Economists will hold its February luncheon on Friday at Noon at Carmines featuring RBN CEO Rusty Braziel. Braziel is President and CEO of RBN Energy, a leading energy market analysis and advisory firm and is the author of The Domino Effect, bestseller book about understanding energy markets. Braziel will address the economics of new drilling and the recovery.

USEA to Host World Coal CEO – On Friday at 2:00 p.m., USEA hosts Benjamin Sporton, Chief Executive of the World Coal Association.  Sporton will look at how the global coal market is changing and what happens to the Paris Agreement under the new Trump administration.

 

IN THE FUTURE

RFA Ethanol Conference Set of San Diego – The Renewable Fuels Association hold its 2017 National Ethanol Conference on February 20-22 at the Hilton San Diego Bayfront. The forum will address policy and market issues and what industry can do to develop both domestic and foreign markets, including expanding infrastructure, blends above E10, high octane fuels and exports.  At a key Panel on the first day, AFPM President Chet Thompson will join RFA CEO Bob Dinneen for a future of fuels policy discussion.  Our friend Rachel Gantz will also host a panel of journalists including WSJ’s Amy Harder to discuss media coverage of the policy issues.

Faison, Crane, Browner Headline Nuclear Summit – Third Way will host an Advanced Nuclear Summit on Tuesday, February 21st starting at 8:00 a.m. at the Newseum in Washington, DC.  The event will examine the massive opportunities that advanced nuclear offers the U.S., and the need for quick action in Washington to capture those opportunities. We’ll explore benefits like economic growth and competitiveness, job creation, and global leadership on issues like climate change, security, and poverty with a wide variety of leaders in this space.  Speakers will include ClearPath Foundation Jay Faison,  CEO Exelon CEO Chris Crane, NuScale CEO John Hopkins, Nobel-Prize winning physicist Burton Richter, the AFL-CIO’s Liz Shuler and former EPA Administrator and Obama climate advisor Carol Browner.

SAFE, CTA to Discuss AV Benefits – The Consumer Technology Association (CTA), in partnership with Securing America’s Future Energy (SAFE), will hold a lunchtime briefing on Wednesday February 22nd at 12:30 p.m. in 2167 Rayburn on the benefits self-driving vehicles will have on improving everyday life.  The panel discussion features CTA CEO Gary Shapiro, SAFE AV Safety Commission member and former GM exec Bob Lange and Toyota’s Hilary Cain.  SAFE CEO Robbie Diamond will moderate.

USEA Looks At Distributed Energy Valuation – On Wednesday February 22nd at 2:00 p.m., the US Energy Association hosts a briefing the various dimensions of Distributed Energy Resources (DER) valuation (with a particular focus on locational value), current efforts to employ these valuation methodologies, and the implications for utilities and regulators. The speaker will be Vazken Kassakhian, Research Analyst at the Smart Electric Power Alliance.

Webinar Looks at Capacity Market Reforms – On Wednesday, February 22nd at 2:00 p.m., Power Markets Today hosts a timely and insightful webinar looking at new capacity reforms.  Speakers will include PJM Independent Market Monitor and Monitoring Analytics President Dr. Joseph Bowring, New England Power Generators Association President Dan Dolan, NEPOOL Representative and Energy Market Advisors Principal Brian Forshaw and Advanced Energy Management Alliance Representative and Achieving Equilibrium Founder Tom Rutigliano.  Our friend James Downing hosts.

Panel Looks at Trump Energy Policy – The Cato Institute will host a lively look at energy policy in the new administration on Wednesday, February 22nd at 4:00 p.m.  The event will feature IER Founder Robert L. Bradley, Institute for Energy Research; Adele Morris of Brookings and Catrina Rorke, of the R Street Institute.

WCEE to Look at Wholesale Capacity Markets – On Friday, February 24th, the Women’s Council on Energy and the Environment (WCEE) hosts a lunch discussion with Emma Nicholson, Ph.D., an economist at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s Office of Energy Policy and Innovation, and a WCEE member. Nicholson will provide an overview of capacity markets in the FERC-jurisdictional RTOs/ISOs that have them (Regional Transmission Organizations (RTO)/Independent System Operators (ISO)). This overview will also explain the general concept of capacity as a product and explain recent changes to the design of FERC-jurisdictional capacity markets.  The event will be held at FERC.

WAPA, CR to Announce Top 2017 Picks – WAPA and Consumer Reports will holds its February luncheon at the National Press Club on February 28th at Noon to announce the organization’s 2017 Top Picks and Brand Reports Cards. The event is one of the highlights of the year for WAPA. Each spring, consumers and auto-industry insiders alike look to Consumer Reports’ Annual Auto Issue and website for its Top Picks in cars and trucks. From best and worst in fuel economy, reliability and safety to tips on how to get the best deal, CR provides consumers unbiased ratings, recommendations, and advice that help consumers make informed decisions with their next car purchase.

ARPA-E Forum Set – The annual ARPA-E Innovation Forum will be held on February 27th through March 1st at the Gaylord at National Harbor. Summit is an annual conference and technology showcase that brings together experts from different technical disciplines and professional communities to think about America’s energy challenges in new and innovative ways. Now in its eighth year, the Summit offers a unique, three-day program aimed at moving transformational energy technologies out of the lab and into the market.  Among the speakers will be Duke’s Lynn Good (who will be interviewed by our friend Bill Loveless), Sen. Cory Gardner and Columbia University’s Jeffrey Sachs, as well as somebody from the new Trump Administration.

ACCF Panel Hosts former Commissioners to Look at FERC Challenges – The American Council for Capital Formation Center for Policy Research will moderate a discussion on Tuesday, February 28th at 12:30 p.m. in 485 Russell.  The event will feature former FERC Commissioners Philip Moeller and James Hoecker on a wide range of policy issues facing FERC.   The discussion comes at a particularly interesting time for the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, which entered the new year with a full plate of issues, including the challenge of ensuring electric reliability in the face of increasing environmental pressures from outside advocacy groups. And the Commission does so without its full complement of commissioners, having now just two of its five seats filled after the sudden resignation of Norman Bay.  Our friend Glen Boshart will moderate.

CERAWeek Set for Houston – The 36th CERAWeek by IHS Markit will be held on March 6th through 10th in Houston at the Hilton Americas.  CERAWeek is the premier annual international gathering of energy industry leaders, experts, government officials and policymakers, leaders from the technology, financial, and industrial communities – and energy technology innovators. Midst the turbulence and uncertainty in energy markets this year, CERAWeek 2017 will provide new insights and critically-important dialogue – and a very cost efficient way to engage on the most urgent questions with decision-makers from around the world.  A laundry list of other key energy speakers/CEOs will speak.  See the list here.

Southern NextEra Execs Address Transmission Summit – The 20th Transmission Summit will be held March 6-8th at the Mayflower Hotel in Washington, DC.  The event brings together policy makers with transmission industry leaders to develop strategies that will take advantage of opportunities created by emerging policy, regulatory and technological changes.  Topics will include post-election policy shifts and potential new opportunities for transmission infrastructure investment, dealing with the impacts of revisions to FERC’s Order 1000 processes on regional planning and competitive projects, integrating and interconnecting ever more renewable energy assets and using non-transmission alternatives and storage to defer new builds and replace aging infrastructure.  Key speakers include former FERC Chair Joe Kelliher of NextEra, Southern’s Bruce Edelston, and Georgia PSC Commissioner Tim Echols, among others.

GEA to Host DC Meeting – On March 7th, the Geothermal Energy Association (GEA) will hold its International Geothermal Forum in Washington, DC.

Pollution Control Agencies Set Spring Meeting – The Association of Air Pollution Control Agencies’ 2017 Spring Meeting will be held in Tucson, Arizona from March 27 – 29 at the Hilton Tucson East Hotel.  More on this in the future.

Energy Update: Week of February 6

Friends,

What looked to be a slow, blowout Super Bowl, turned into an outrageous game which featured a hard-to-believe comeback by the Patriots.  Despite me not winning any quarters this year in the pool, that last quarter (and first-ever OT) was one for the ages even, if you don’t like the Patriots.  I did win my bet on the “over” for Gisele Bündchen TV appearances with four.  Thank goodness the Pats came back because those three 4Q/OT appearances took me over the top of the 1.5 prop bet line.  What I didn’t bet on was the social media traffic on API’s Super Bowl ad…wow!!!  What a surprise success, generating positive and negative comments so much so that API held a presser this morning on the topic.  My ad winner was the KIA enviro ad spoof “Hero” on saving whales, trees, ice caps, etc featuring Melissa McCarthy.  Speaking of McCarthy, how about the SNL skit spoofing my friends Sean Spicer and Glenn Thrush. (I hope they laugh it off because it was hi-larious and I didn’t raise my hand Glenn!!!)

And if a Pats win wasn’t enough for Boston, the “social event of winter season” actually launches today when the Beanpot, an annual hockey tournament that features Boston College, Boston University, Harvard and Northeastern, begins. It is the official battle for Boston’s hockey bragging rights.   BTW, for all you baseball fans, pitchers and catchers report starting Sunday to Florida and Arizona.

Congress this week will continue to move forward on approving cabinet nominees and disapproving federal regulations issued in the final months of the Obama Presidency using the Congressional Review Act.  It is a short week in Congress due to the Democratic conference retreat, which begins Wednesday evening in Baltimore. House floor activity this week will continue to focus on passage of resolutions of disapproval under the CRA to overturn regulations, with Interior’s Land-Use 2.0 rule on the agenda.  Meanwhile the Senate takes up the Methane Flaring rule passed by the House on Friday and votes on several cabinet appointees, with the big vote on Education Secretary Betsy DeVos tomorrow.  We might see action later in the week on Perry, Zinke or Pruitt, but it seems unlikely.  Coral Davenport has a good story in the NY Times this morning on Scott Pruitt and his likely approach to EPA.  With FERC quorum story making news, we also have heard from our friend Rod Kuckro at E&E News (and several others) that former TX utility commissioner Barry Smitherman may be chosen to head the Commission in the near future.

The main event this week is Wednesday when the Business Council for Sustainable Energy (BCSE) and Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) will release their 5th annual edition of the Sustainable Energy in America Factbook at a Washington, D.C. press event.  The Factbook provides insight into key U.S. energy statistics related to energy efficiency, natural gas and renewable energy and outlines key factors influencing America’s energy infrastructure, economy and environment.  Speakers include BNEF’s Ethan Zindler, AGA’s Kathryn Clay, BCSE’s Lisa Jacobsen and SEIA’s Abby Hopper among others.   ACCF also hosts a great forum on Wednesday to discuss border tax policy questions.  My colleague Curt Beaulieu (202-828-5806) is a great resource on the topic if you have questions.

Finally, with the announcement of Neil Gorsuch last week as the nominee to the Supreme Court, I saw my friends in the enviro community sent lawmakers a letter today urging them to oppose Gorsuch.  For a better primer on the nominee – specifically on his call for the reassessment and potential revocation of Chevron deference to agency interpretation of its own statutes – my colleagues at Bracewell have provided info that may be more helpful to you over the next few months as Gorsuch goes through the confirmation process.

 

Best,

Frank Maisano

(202) 828-5864

(202) 997-5932

 

FRANKLY SPOKEN

“Nothing is over until we decide it is.  Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor?”

Bluto Blutarsky, Faber College, 1963.

 

IN THE NEWS

CRAs Move Forward – The Congress Passed Congressional Review Act legislation last week on the Interior Department Stream Rule.  Then, Friday, the Senate followed the House in killing rules mandated by the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform that require resource extractors to disclose payments made to the U.S. or foreign governments for the commercial development of oil, natural gas or minerals. The House also voted to kill a Methane Waste and Prevention Rule, which would prevent methane flaring and waste from oil drilling operations. The Methane Rule goes before the Senate early this week.

Chamber Comments on CRAs – The Chamber’s Energy Institute praised the actions with CEO Karen Harbert saying on the Stream Rule:  “Today’s vote to block the Obama Administration’s unnecessary and costly stream rule is a victory for common sense and American energy production. This rule interfered with state authorities and would have placed massive amounts of coal resources off limits for production, costing us jobs and higher energy prices.  We look forward to President Trump signing the resolution, and to continued scrutiny of the Obama Administration’s last minute regulations.  On the SEC extractive industries CRA effort, Christopher Guith, Senior Vice President for Policy, US Chamber of Commerce Institute for 21st Century Energy said “We’re pleased that, like the court before it, Congress blocked a rule that would have unfairly and needlessly harmed American companies and their shareholders. The SEC’s Extractive Industries rule would have cost hundreds of millions of dollars to comply with, have vast unintended consequences and ultimately harm those it is intended to protect.  There are existing laws and treaties ensuring transparency and disclosure, including the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative.  This one wasn’t necessary, and far too costly.  We look forward to President Trump’s signature.”  Expect comments on the Methane rule later today.

Bay Final Days Sees Pipeline Approvals – In FERC Chair Norman Bay’s final day, the Commission approved several key pipeline projects along with a slate of other items while the agency still had a quorum.  FERC approved Williams’ Atlantic Sunrise and Northern Access natural gas pipeline projects.

Atlantic, from Energy Transfer, is a $2.6 billion project, with work stretching across several states between Pennsylvania and South Carolina.  Northern Access, developed by National Fuel Gas Co is a $455 million project that would bring more gas into markets in New York, New England, the Midwest and Canada. One day earlier, FERC ruled in favor of Energy Transfer Partners LP’s Rover natural gas pipeline from Pennsylvania to Ontario, a project estimated to cost $4.2 billion.  AP’s Matt Daly details the overall issues and challenges.

Groups Calls for CCS Tax Improvements – The National Enhanced Oil Recovery Initiative (NEORI) and its coalition partners have released a letter they sent to the House Ways and Means Committee calling on inclusion of 45Q legislation in any tax reform bills that move this Congress.  The letter Calls on Congress to “extend and strengthen” the 45Q tax credit because it “offers one of the most effective tools to protect and drive growth in the energy sector while also reducing CO2 emissions.  The opportunity represents a genuine win-win for our nation’s economy and environment, one that will bring high-paying and investment to energy producing and industrial states and regions of our country.  Among the signers is Jay Faison’s Clearpath Foundation, NRDC and a bunch of companies like Southern, Peabody and others.

Platts Capitol Crude Looks Southeast Asia, Energy – The Platts Capitol Crude Podcast this week looks at long-simmering tensions in the South China Sea and what new Secretary of State Rex Tillerson may bring to the discussion.  Platts Brian Scheid interviews Zack Cooper, a fellow with the Center for Strategic and International Studies, where they discuss changing US policy ahead of the summer drilling season offshore China and Vietnam, Twitter diplomacy and the risks for oil.

 

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

JHU to Host McNally Book Event – The Johns Hopkins University’s SAIS program will host Bob McNally this evening at 5:00 P.m. to discuss his new book, “Crude Volatility – The History and Future of Boom-Bust Oil Prices.” World oil prices have fallen drastically over the last two years, spurred partly by the rise of tight oil production in the US, and by OPEC’s failure to cut production.  Recently, in an effort to raise oil prices, OPEC is attempting to regroup and has agreed to lower its production. Will it succeed? This is one of the questions to be discussed at this energy forum which will also review the history of oil prices.  Our friend Kevin Book, Managing Director at Clearview Energy Partners will serve as the commentator.

House Science to Look at EPA Science Mission  – The House Science Committee will hold a hearing on Wednesday on the science mission of the EPA.  My colleague Jeff Holmstead will be among those testifying on potential reforms to the Scientific Advisory Board and other items. Others include former NJ Rep Rush Holt, a physicist who is now CEO of AAAS, ACC’s Kim White and Richard Belzer.

Forum to Look at RGGI Issues – The Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions at Duke University, the Georgetown Climate Center, and Resources for the Future (RFF) will host a webinar tomorrow at 10:00 a.m. looking at the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative.  States participating in RGGI are engaged in their 2016 program review to evaluate the emissions trading system and consider potential changes. In the course of this review, the idea of an emissions containment reserve (ECR) mechanism has been proposed to address a common issue confronting cap-and-trade programs worldwide: the prices for emissions allowances tend to be significantly lower than program designers anticipate in advance, making mid-course corrections necessary for it to perform as intended. This webinar will bring together experts and representatives from states, electric generators, academia, and nongovernmental organizations to consider this new approach for ensuring that the RGGI emissions trading program functions as designed and examine the finer points of how such a reserve might work and be implemented.  Speakers include RFF’s Dallas Burtraw and UVa’s William Shobe.

German Enviro to Discuss Policy – The BMW Center for German and European Studies and the Science, Technology, and International Affairs Program of the Walsh School of Foreign Service at Georgetown will host a presentation tomorrow at Noon by Sascha Müller-Kraenner, Executive Director / CEO, Environmental Action Germany.  Müller-Kraenner will discuss how the G20 Presidency might provide an opportunity to include the new U.S. administration in an international conversation around energy security, sustainable investments, and climate change. He will also discuss how international coalitions might get rearranged or shift — depending on whether the U.S. administration chooses a course of cautious engagement or disruptive confrontation. Lastly, he will shed light on how German energy policy might develop after the upcoming national elections.

Annual Sustainable Energy Factbook Set for Release – The Business Council for Sustainable Energy and Bloomberg New Energy Finance will release their annual Sustainable Energy Fact book Wednesday at Bloomberg’s offices at 9:30 a.m.  The Business Council for Sustainable Energy and Bloomberg New Energy Finance team up for the fifth time to identify key U.S. energy statistics and trends.  There will also be a forum for stakeholders at Bloomberg at Noon.

Reporters Look at Enviro Priorities – The Environmental Law Institute will hold a panel discussion on Wednesday at Noon at the DC Bar to look at the environmental priorities of Congress and the new Administration. Although these issues played a minor role in the election, they pose numerous challenges for federal policymakers. What will be the environmental priorities of the new administration? What environmental legislation might be enacted by the 115th Congress? Our friends John Siciliano of the Wash Examiner, Inside Washington’s Jeremy Bernstein and Josh Kurtz of E&E News will address these and other issues.

Energy Efficiency Day Set for Hill – The Alliance to Save Energy will host Great Energy Efficiency Day (GEED) on Wednesday at 2:00 p.m. in 106 Dirksen.  The event returns to Capitol Hill for a dialogue on the keys to driving energy productivity and prosperity in the 115th Congress.  This year promises to be pivotal for both protecting the important policy and regulatory gains we have enjoyed in the past decade, but also and importantly, for securing innovative policies, funding and programs that advance energy efficiency in this new political environment. As we have seen over the last eight years, energy efficiency policies and initiatives have a proven track-record of increasing energy productivity and delivering a strong return on investment.  GEED will highlight policies and initiatives that are proven to increase energy productivity and have a strong ROI, while also identifying new legislative opportunities that fit within the 115th Congress’ and the incoming Administration’s focus areas of economic growth, tax reform and aging infrastructure.

ACCF Hosts Border Tax Panel – The American Council for Capital Formation Center for Policy Research will host a forum on Wednesday at 3:00 p.m. in Dirksen G-50 looking at the potential impacts of Border Tax adjustments.  The panel will explore the theoretical aspects and potential economic impact of increased taxes on imports, as well as a look at how the potential real world implications could work for different industries.

Transmission Infrastructure Summit Set – The National Electric Transmission Infrastructure Summit will be held on Thursday and Friday at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel.  The Summit is a one-and-a-half day gathering focused on the challenges and merits of extending, modernizing, and integrating the high-voltage electric transmission system – necessary to enable access to the rich but currently remote resources of renewable energy required for a clean-energy future, while mitigating the cost and variability of those resources.  Speakers will include our friend Jimmy Glotfelty of Clean Line Energy Partners, as well as Southwest Power Pool CEO Nick Brown, National Electric Manufacturers Association CEO Kevin Cosgriff and several others.

Energy Factbook Touted At Capitol – On Friday, EESI and the House and Senate Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy Caucuses will host an event on Capitol Hill in Rayburn’s Gold Room to discuss the release of the BNEF-BCSE Sustainable Energy Factbook.

 

IN THE FUTURE

NARUC Conference Set – The National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners hosts its yearly Winter Committee Meetings in Washington, D.C. Sunday through next Wednesday at the Renaissance Washington Hotel.  As usual, the groups has assembled an array of speakers and sessions that continue to advance the priorities and issues facing state utility regulators. Next Monday, PA PUC Commissioner Robert Powelson hosts a discussion on infrastructure with Exelon CEO Chris Crane, API’s Jack Gerard and others.  Other speakers include FERC Chair Cheryl LaFleur, Chamber Energy CEO Karen Harbert, Paul Cicio of the Industrial Consumers of America, NRDC’s Dave Doniger, former EPA GC Roger Martella and many others.

ACCF to Host Brady for Tax Discussion – The American Council for Capital Formation Center for Policy Research will host a discussion on Tuesday, February 14th with House Ways and Means Committee Chair Kevin Brady.  This follows a recent panel on Border Tax issues slated for this Wednesday.

Former FERC Chair Bay to Address Energy Storage Forum – On February 15th, the 3rd Annual Energy Storage Policy Forum will be held at the National Press Club.   The new Administration and Congress bring with it a new focus and new opportunities. Impending transitions at FERC, DOE, and other agencies have significant ramifications for the continued growth of energy storage.  Speakers will include retired FERC Commissioner Norman Bay, Mass Dept of Energy Resources Commissioner Judith Judson and Cal PUC Commissioner Carla Peterman.

Holmstead, Others Address Southeast Power Challenges – Duke University’s Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions, will hold an event on Wednesday, February 15th at Noon focused on the energy and environmental policy challenges facing the Southeast power sector as the next administration takes office. The event will gather stakeholders from across the region in Washington, D.C., to discuss the state of the electricity sector and key issues facing state and federal policymakers, including how market factors and federal policy will affect electricity sector planning in 2017 and beyond. Invitees include representatives from electric utilities, environmental NGOs, energy companies, and state agencies.  Speakers include my colleague Jeff Holmstead, Clearpath’s Zack Baig, Georgia PSC Commissions Lauren McDonald, Entergy’s Rick Johnson, former Senate Staffer and Nicholas Institute expert Tim Profeta, among others.

House Science to Look at Loan Guarantee Program – The House Science Committee will hold a hearing on Wednesday, February 15th looking the DOE’s Loan Guarantee Program.

CSIS Forum to Look at Oil Markets – The CSIS Energy & National Security Program holds a discussion on Thursday February 16th at 10:00 a.m. with President of RBN Energy Rusty Braziel, ESAI Energy’s Managing Principal of Petroleum & Alternative Fuels Sarah Emerson, and IHS Energy’s VP of Oil Markets (Midstream and Downstream) Kurt Barrow on where U.S. domestic and global oil and gas markets are heading in 2017. We enter the new year with higher oil prices, but also the continued questions around the implementation of and compliance with announced OPEC and non-OPEC supply cutbacks, resurgent U.S. production, enormous stocks, potential increases from Nigeria, Libya, and elsewhere, still-enormous stocks, and various forecasts of new demand growth.

Heritage Forum to Look at Science, Modeling – The Heritage Foundation will host a forum on Thursday February 16th at Noon on climate modeling, science, and economics behind climate change.  The event will feature Heritage’s Nick Loris and their in-house statistician Kevin Dayaratna, University of Guelph scientist Ross McKitrick and Paul “Chip” Knappenberger of Cato’s Center for the Study of Science.

RTOs Speak at Grid Forum – WIRES, the House Grid Innovation Caucus, the National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA), and the Environmental and Energy Study Institute (EESI) will hold a briefing on Thursday, February 16th at 2:00 p.m. looking at the modernization of the nation’s critical network of high-voltage transmission. Designed and built well before the digital age to serve more localized customer loads, the “grid” is struggling to support active and increasingly competitive wholesale power markets that now operate regionally. It is often congested or inadequate to deliver domestic energy resources that are not close to customers. Its aging facilities have acknowledged weather and cyber vulnerabilities. Speakers include Rep. Jerry McNerney (D-CA) and Rep. Bob Latta (R-OH), as well as Midcontinent ISO’s Clair Moeller, Southwest Power Pool’s Mike Ross and Craig Glazer of PJM Interconnection.

Forum to Look at Climate Threats – In the February USAID Adaptation meeting on Thursday February 16th at 4:00 p.m., Cardno principal Michael Bilney, MBA will discuss Cardno’s collaboration with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) on a risk-based method to screen hundreds of NOAA facilities and evaluate the most at-risk facilities’ vulnerability to potential climate change threats.  The approach combined qualitative risk assessment, and asset management facility condition and engineering assessments to identify site-specific vulnerabilities and related adaptation and resilience improvement actions. Bilney will summarize the phases of the analysis and provide key lessons learned, adaptation and resilience improvement measures and strategies developed during the recently completed project.  He will also summarize critical activities in the recommended process developed to guide future NOAA facility climate change vulnerability assessments.

RBN CEO to Address Energy Economists – The National Capital Area Chapter of the US Assn of Energy Economists will hold its February luncheon on Friday, February 17th at Noon at Carmines featuring RBN CEO Rusty Braziel. Braziel is President and CEO of RBN Energy, a leading energy market analysis and advisory firm and is the author of The Domino Effect, bestseller book about understanding energy markets. Braziel will address the economics of new drilling and the recovery.

USEA to Host World Coal CEO – On Friday, February 17th at 2:00 p.m., USEA hosts Benjamin Sporton, Chief Executive of the World Coal Association.  Sporton will look at how the global coal market is changing and what happens to the Paris Agreement under the new Trump administration.

RFA Ethanol Conference Set of San Diego – The Renewable Fuels Association hold its 2017 National Ethanol Conference on February 20-22 at the Hilton San Diego Bayfront. The forum will address policy and market issues and what industry can do to develop both domestic and foreign markets, including expanding infrastructure, blends above E10, high octane fuels and exports.  At a key Panel on the first day, AFPM President Chet Thompson will join RFA CEO Bob Dinneen for a future of fuels policy discussion.  Our friend Rachel Gantz will also host a panel of journalists including WSJ’s Amy Harder to discuss media coverage of the policy issues.

ARPA-E Forum Set – The annual ARPA-E Innovation Forum will be held on February 27th through March 1st at the Gaylord at National Harbor. Summit is an annual conference and technology showcase that brings together experts from different technical disciplines and professional communities to think about America’s energy challenges in new and innovative ways. Now in its eighth year, the Summit offers a unique, three-day program aimed at moving transformational energy technologies out of the lab and into the market.  Among the speakers will be Duke’s Lynn Good (who will be interviewed by our friend Bill Loveless), Sen. Cory Gardner and Columbia University’s Jeffrey Sachs, as well as somebody from the new Trump Administration.

ACCF Panel Hosts former Commissioners to Look at FERC Challenges – The American Council for Capital Formation Center for Policy Research will moderate a discussion on Tuesday, February 28th at 12:30 p.m. in 485 Russell.  The event will feature former FERC Commissioners Philip Moeller and James Hoecker on a wide range of policy issues facing FERC.   The discussion comes at a particularly interesting time for the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, which entered the new year with a full plate of issues, including the challenge of ensuring electric reliability in the face of increasing environmental pressures from outside advocacy groups. And the Commission does so without its full complement of commissioners, having now just two of its five seats filled after the sudden resignation of Norman Bay.  Our friend Glen Boshart will moderate.

CERAWeek Set for Houston – The 36th CERAWeek by IHS Markit will be held on March 6th through 10th in Houston at the Hilton Americas.  CERAWeek is the premier annual international gathering of energy industry leaders, experts, government officials and policymakers, leaders from the technology, financial, and industrial communities – and energy technology innovators. Midst the turbulence and uncertainty in energy markets this year, CERAWeek 2017 will provide new insights and critically-important dialogue – and a very cost efficient way to engage on the most urgent questions with decision-makers from around the world.  A laundry list of other key energy speakers/CEOs will speak.  See the list here.

Southern NextEra Execs Address Transmission Summit – The 20th Transmission Summit will be held March 6-8th at the Mayflower Hotel in Washington, DC.  The event brings together policy makers with transmission industry leaders to develop strategies that will take advantage of opportunities created by emerging policy, regulatory and technological changes.  Topics will include post-election policy shifts and potential new opportunities for transmission infrastructure investment, dealing with the impacts of revisions to FERC’s Order 1000 processes on regional planning and competitive projects, integrating and interconnecting ever more renewable energy assets and using non-transmission alternatives and storage to defer new builds and replace aging infrastructure.  Key speakers include former FERC Chair Joe Kelliher of NextEra, Southern’s Bruce Edelston, and Georgia PSC Commissioner Tim Echols, among others.

GEA to Host DC Meeting – On March 7th, the Geothermal Energy Association (GEA) will hold its International Geothermal Forum in Washington, DC.

Pollution Control Agencies Set Spring Meeting – The Association of Air Pollution Control Agencies’ 2017 Spring Meeting will be held in Tucson, Arizona from March 27 – 29 at the Hilton Tucson East Hotel.  More on this in the future.

Energy Update: Week of January 30

Friends,

We are returning from a bizarre weekend that capped the first week of the new Trump administration.  Whew!!!!   Let’s just leave it at that…Hope you had a good chance to enjoy all-star Sunday with the NHL All-Star Classic and the NFL’s Pro-Bowl.  Seriously, whoever thought of the 3-on-3 tournament deserves an award.  The play was phenomenal and the ceremonies announcing the top 100 players of all-time were just as good.  Of course, next week gear it up for Super Bowl LI live from Houston on Sunday.

We were all pretty busy last week with discussions of social media blackouts, web page changes and executive orders.  I know I spoke with more of you that I have in a long time…  BTW, if are writing on the regulations EO today or are thinking about Paris based on what you might have read about the Trump Administration pulling out, feel free to call.  We can discuss.

This week, the pace continues as we’ll see votes for Zinke for Interior and Perry for Energy tomorrow in Senate Energy and a vote on Scott Pruitt for EPA at Senate Environment on Wednesday.  Meanwhile, the House rolls into Congressional Review Act items today and tomorrow at the House Rules Committee covering the Stream rule, BLM waste prevention rule and Interior’s Methane flaring rule (as well as a couple of other not related to environment).  Other hearings on Wednesday include Senate Commerce hearing looking at unnecessary regulatory burdens featuring API’s Jack Gerard and NAM’s Rosario Palmieri, House Transportation on infrastructure featuring FedEx CEO Fred Smith and House Energy panel hearing on cybersecurity of the grid.

On Thursday, Waste Management hosts its annual Sustainability Forum with Dana Perino on Thursday at the WM Phoenix Open, a great PGA event for this week.  This year, my friend Toni Beck hosts a panel with Fox News star and former White House Press Secretary Dana Perino and Fox News Democrat Contributor Julie Roginsky will address the current political environment and the Trump Administration.   WM CEO Jim Fish will also speak.

Finally, with the all the moves on energy and the environment, it is timely and relevant to attend to the two important Society of Environmental Journalists (SEJ) events on Friday and Saturday.  On Friday at 3:00 p.m., SEJ and the Wilson Center hold their annual what to expect in the year in environment session. SEJ will launch its new report, “Journalists’ Guide to Energy and Environment 2017.”  On Saturday, SEJ holds a mini-conference at NYU’s DC Campus looking at covering the Trump Administration on environment and energy. Speakers include EPA Transition Chief Myron Ebell, former EPA water Chief Tracy Mehan, my Bracewell colleague Scott Segal and many more.

Remember, next Wednesday February 8th, The Business Council for Sustainable Energy (BCSE) and Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) will release their 5th annual edition of the Sustainable Energy in America Factbook at a Washington, D.C. press event.  The Factbook provides insight into key U.S. energy statistics related to energy efficiency, natural gas and renewable energy and outlines key factors influencing America’s energy infrastructure, economy and environment.  They have also added our friend and new Head of SEIA Abby Hopper to the list of speakers.  Mark it down…

Finally, Congrats to our Bracewell colleague Salo Zelermyer who will take over Valero Energy’s Washington DC office.  A former DOE Counsel, Salo is a great resource for you and I suspect, he will continue to be one.  We wish him well and of course, we will continue to work with him.

 

Best,

Frank Maisano

(202) 828-5864

(202) 997-5932

 

FRANKLY SPOKEN

“This new administration has promised to aid manufacturers that have had to endure an unprecedented number of regulations which increased the cost of doing business in America, harmed consumers, stifled job creation, and hurt our global competitiveness. Removing SCC calculations as a justification for regulations is an excellent place to start.”

HVACR Trade Assn President Stephen Yurek Urging the White House to Reject the Increase in the Social Cost of Carbon in Rulemakings.

 

IN THE NEWS

Zelermyer to Head Valero DC Office – Former DOE Counsel and Bracewell expert Salo Zelermyer will head Valero Energy’s Washington DC office the company announced today.  Valero said Zelermyer will join the company as Vice President Federal Affairs and Counsel.  Zelermyer is currently a Senior Principal at Bracewell LLP, serving in the firm’s Policy Resolution Group for eight years. Prior to that time, Zelermyer was appointed by President George W. Bush to serve as Senior Counsel in the Office of the General Counsel at the U.S. Department of Energy. “We are very excited to have Salo join us and lead our team in Washington during this very dynamic time” said Jason Fraser, VP Public Policy and Strategic Planning.  Zelermyer will assume his new position with Valero on March 1.  Craig Felner, the current VP Federal Affairs, has decided to leave the company to join a government relations consulting firm in Washington, D.C.  His last day will be February 10, 2017.  “Craig has been a strong voice for Valero while heading up our Federal Affairs team in the Washington D.C. office” said Fraser, “We thank him for all his contributions to the company and wish him well with his future endeavors.”

Bay Resigns From FERC – FERC Chair Norman Bay resigned late last week after President Donald Trump’s replaced him as the agency’s chairman Commissioner Cheryl LaFleur.  The action leaves the Commission with on two members – a non-voting quorum – that risks federal decisions on multibillion-dollar natural gas pipelines and other infrastructure actions.  Among the pipelines waiting for approval are Energy Transfer Partners LP’s Rover project and the Atlantic Sunrise system by Williams Partners LP. Spectra Energy’s Nexus system and National Fuel Gas Co.’s Northern Access expansion.   Commissioner Bay’s resignation only underscores the need to get a new slate of FERC Commissioners in place as quickly as possible.  There are numerous actions before FERC that are timely and require action.  It must be a priority to get the FERC team in place so these important projects and issues can be addressed.

Who is on the list – With three Republican commissioner openings and quick action needed, who might be tapped?  Media reports and FERC experts say McConnell Energy staffer Neil Chatterjee is clearly a top, likely choice.  Some have suggested that our Bracewell DC Managing Partner Mark Lewis, who does a ton of FERC Pipeline work, is a good candidate. Other top names include Montana PUC Commissioner Travis Kavulla, NARUC President Robert Powelson, NAERC’s Janet Sena, Greenberg’s Kenneth Minesinger, Crowell & Moring Richard Lehfeldt, (former counsel for the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Energy and Power) and Bill Marsan, general counsel at American Transmission Co.

AHRI to White House: Reject Social Cost of Carbon Increase – The Air-Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration Institute (AHRI) today called on President Trump to withdraw the Technical Update of the Social Cost of Carbon for Regulatory Impact Analysis. This analysis, commonly referred to as the Social Cost of Carbon, was reached through a closed-door, non-transparent process by an exclusive interagency working group created under the previous administration. “By using the SCC as a basis for cost-benefit analyses to validate unreasonable efficiency regulations — without stakeholder input on the estimates – we believe the previous administration violated its responsibility under the Administrative Procedures Act,” stated AHRI President and CEO Stephen Yurek.  Several of the rules affecting the HVAC industry have been issued using these analyses have not adequately considered higher equipment costs for consumers or energy, production costs, and job losses for manufacturers.  “To correct these errors and prevent similar issues in future rulemakings, AHRI respectfully requests that the President direct federal agencies to cease using the SCC analysis and prevent its further use in the rulemaking process,” said Yurek.

Consumer Cleaning Product Ingredient Safety Website Completed – Safety data on hundreds of chemicals in the U.S. consumer cleaning product supply chain have been collected and are now available through the website for the American Cleaning Institute’s (ACI) Cleaning Product Ingredient Safety Initiative (CPISI). ACI announced that more than five years of work on the Initiative has been finalized, providing reams of publicly available data on ingredients in cleaning products.   ACI conducted an exposure assessment for each of the nearly 600 ingredients on the Ingredient Inventory that are used in consumer cleaning products.  In addition to developing a quantitative estimate of consumer exposure, ACI published on its website a description of each ingredient, including the types of products in which it is used; the form of those products; the ingredient’s function within each of those products; the typical concentration range among the products and the most relevant routes of exposure associated with the use of those products.

 

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

Former Sect of State to Address Smart Women Forum – Today at 5:30 p.m., CSIS will host a Smart Women, Smart Power Initiative conversation with former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright (WELLESLEY Alum) to discuss America’s place in the world.  The event will be moderated by Nina Easton, chair of Fortune’s Most Powerful Women International.

CSIS Forum to Look at Deep Decarbonization – The CSIS Energy & National Security Program will host a forum tomorrow looking at deep decarbonization scenarios.  Speakers Jeremy Bentham, Global Head of Strategy at Royal Dutch Shell; Philippe Benoit, former head of the Energy Environment Division at the International Energy Agency and current Senior Associate (Non-resident) with the Energy & National Security Program; and Noah Kaufman, Climate Economist at the World Resources Institute, will hold a discussion on the topic. Bentham will present Shell’s new Pathways to Net-Zero Emissions. The report explores possible ways in which the world’s energy system could evolve to meet future demand while simultaneously mitigating climate change. Benoit, formerly of IEA, will discuss the IEA’s 450 Scenario, a 2°C scenario in which concentration of greenhouse gas emissions are limited to 450 parts per million CO2. Kaufman will round out the discussion with a comparison of the Mid Century Strategies, prepared for the Marrakech climate talks by the Council on Environmental Quality.

USEA Holds State of Industry Forum – The US Energy Assn will holds its 13th annual State of the Energy Industry forum tomorrow at the National Press Club Ballroom.  Distinguished leaders from the most influential and active energy trade associations will come together to engage in dialogue and deliver presentations on the issues, trends and challenges affecting the industry for 2017.

AGA Experts Examine Energy Use, Benefits in NatGas Commercial Sector – The American Gas Association (AGA) will host a press call tomorrow at 10:00 a.m. to explore the natural gas commercial sector and its many benefits to the U.S. economy.  The commercial natural gas market is comprised of more than 5.4 million customers, 99 percent of which is served by natural gas utilities. It represents every day businesses and public activities such as schools, hospitals, police and fire stations, offices, restaurants, grocery stores, retail outlets and public halls.  AGA experts will provide an analysis of the EIA Commercial Energy Building Consumption Survey as well as the potential stimulus to the bottom lines of many American businesses through greater use of natural gas.  Check in with Jackie Bavaro (jbavaro@aga.org, 202-824-7204) if you have questions or wan the call-in numbers.

Senate Commerce Looks at Reg Burdens – The Senate Commerce Committee is hold a hearing on Wednesday on reducing unnecessary regulatory burdens.  API’s Jack Gerard, Consumer Technology Association CEO Gary Shapiro, NAM’s Rosario Palmieri, Hoover Institution Fellow Adam White and former EPA counsel Lisa Heinzerling, all testify.

FedEx’s Smith, Others  Headline House Transpo Infrastructure Hearing – The House Transportation Committee will hold a hearing Wednesday at 10:00 a.m. on infrastructure.  FedEx CEO Fred Smith, Cargill CEO David MacLennan, BMW CEO Ludwig Willisch, Vemeer’s Mary Andringa and AFL-CIO head Richard Trumpka will all testify.

House Energy Opens Hearing Slate with Focus on Electric Cybersecurity – On Wednesday at 10:15 a.m., the House Energy & Commerce Committee’s Subcommittee on Energy will hold a hearing on the electricity sector’s efforts to respond to cybersecurity threats.

Forum to Look at Climate Risks in Latin America – The Inter-American Bank will hold a dialogue seminar on Wednesday to look at climate risks in Latin America.  The discussion on these questions will include climate and energy experts.  There will also be a presentation of the Inter-American Development Bank’s new report, “Stranded Assets: a Climate Risk Challenge.”

CSIS to Host BP Energy Outlook – CSIS Energy & National Security Program will host a discussion on Wednesday at 9:30 a.m. looking at the annual BP Energy Outlook with BP Chief Economist Spencer Dale. The BP Energy Outlook considers a base case, which outlines the “most likely” path for energy demand based on assumptions about future changes in policy, technology, and the economy. Beyond the base case, the Energy Outlook examines some of the key issues that will shape energy supply and demand through 2035 and explores possible alternative outcomes.

WM Host Annual Sustainability Forum – Waste Management will host leaders from global companies, representatives from municipalities across the country, experts, innovators and influencers, on Thursday, at their 7th annual Executive Sustainability Forum at the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess in Scottsdale, Ariz. The day-long event will feature renowned speakers and panel discussions on the e-commerce revolution and the conundrum of complex packaging and it launches a great week of golf with the WM Phoenix Open.  In addition, just one week after the presidential inauguration, keynote speakers Dana Perino, former Republican White House Press Secretary and now co-host of The Five on Fox News Channel, and Julie Roginsky, Democratic Party strategist and regular Fox News Channel contributor, will delve into anticipated changes in U.S. environmental policies and the possible implications for businesses and local governments.  An afternoon workshop tackling the emerging dialogue around Sustainable Materials Management and Lifecycle Thinking will facilitate a dynamic results-oriented session around changing goals to reflect broader environmental benefits.

Former NRC Commissioner Heads Discussion on Nuclear Waste Documentary – The George Washington University’s Elliot School will hold a forum and screening on the documentary film “Containment” Thursday at 5:00 p.m. “Containment” by Peter Gallison and Robb Moss is about the effects of nuclear waste cleanup left over from the Cold War.   Among the speakers will be former NRC Commissioner Allison Macfarlane, who now heads the Center for International Science and Technology Policy in GW’s Elliott School of International Affairs.

Forum to Tackle 2017 Environ Agenda – On Friday at 3:00 p.m., SEJ and the Wilson Center hold their annual what to expect in the year in environment session. SEJ will launch its new report, “Journalists’ Guide to Energy and Environment 2017,” presented by SEJ Board President and Climate Central Senior Science Writer Bobby Magill. The presentation will be followed by a panel discussion with AP’s Seth Borenstein, Politico’s Elana Schor, John Siciliano of the Washington Examiner, BNA’s Amena Sayid and several others.

Segal, Others Address Trump, Environment at SEJ Forum – The Society of Environmental Journalists holds a mini-conference Saturday in Washington DC on covering the Trump Administration on environment and energy. Speakers include EPA Transition Chief Myron Ebell, former EPA water chief Tracy Mehan, Bracewell energy expert Scott Segal, former EPA deputy administrator and climate change activist Bob Perciasepe. There will also be an all-star panel of reporters who have covered Donald Trump, Scott Pruitt, Rick Perry and Rex Tillerson.

 

IN THE FUTURE

JHU to Host McNally Book Event – The Johns Hopkins University’s SAIS program will host Bob McNally next Monday at 5:00 P.m. to discuss his new book, “Crude Volatility – The History and Future of Boom-Bust Oil Prices.” World oil prices have fallen drastically over the last two years, spurred partly by the rise of tight oil production in the US, and by OPEC’s failure to cut production.  Recently, in an effort to raise oil prices, OPEC is attempting to regroup and has agreed to lower its production. Will it succeed? This is one of the questions to be discussed at this energy forum which will also review the history of oil prices.  Our friend Kevin Book, Managing Director at Clearview Energy Partners will serve as the commentator.

Forum to Look at RGGI Issues – The Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions at Duke University, the Georgetown Climate Center, and Resources for the Future (RFF) will host a webinar next Tuesday at 10:00 a.m. looking at the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative.  States participating in RGGI are engaged in their 2016 program review to evaluate the emissions trading system and consider potential changes. In the course of this review, the idea of an emissions containment reserve (ECR) mechanism has been proposed to address a common issue confronting cap-and-trade programs worldwide: the prices for emissions allowances tend to be significantly lower than program designers anticipate in advance, making mid-course corrections necessary for it to perform as intended. This webinar will bring together experts and representatives from states, electric generators, academia, and nongovernmental organizations to consider this new approach for ensuring that the RGGI emissions trading program functions as designed and examine the finer points of how such a reserve might work and be implemented.  Speakers include RFF’s Dallas Burtraw and UVa’s William Shobe.

Annual Sustainable Energy Factbook Set for Release – The Business Council for Sustainable Energy and Bloomberg New Energy Finance will release their annual Sustainable Energy Fact book Wednesday, February 8th.  The Business Council for Sustainable Energy and Bloomberg New Energy Finance team up for the fifth time to identify key U.S. energy statistics and trends.

Reporters Look at Enviro Priorities – The Environmental Law Institute will hold a panel discussion on Wednesday February 8th at Noon at the DC Bar to look at the environmental priorities of Congress and the new Administration. Although these issues played a minor role in the election, they pose numerous challenges for federal policymakers. What will be the environmental priorities of the new administration? What environmental legislation might be enacted by the 115th Congress? Our friends John Siciliano of the Wash Examiner, Inside Washington’s Jeremy Bernstein and Josh Kurtz of E&E News will address these and other issues.

Energy Efficiency Day Set for Hill – The Alliance to Save Energy will host Great Energy Efficiency Day (GEED) on Wednesday, February 8th at 2:00 p.m. in 106 Dirksen.  The event returns to Capitol Hill for a dialogue on the keys to driving energy productivity and prosperity in the 115th Congress.  This year promises to be pivotal for both protecting the important policy and regulatory gains we have enjoyed in the past decade, but also and importantly, for securing innovative policies, funding and programs that advance energy efficiency in this new political environment. As we have seen over the last eight years, energy efficiency policies and initiatives have a proven track-record of increasing energy productivity and delivering a strong return on investment.  GEED will highlight policies and initiatives that are proven to increase energy productivity and have a strong ROI, while also identifying new legislative opportunities that fit within the 115th Congress’ and the incoming Administration’s focus areas of economic growth, tax reform and aging infrastructure.

Transmission Infrastructure Summit Set – The National Electric Transmission Infrastructure Summit will be held on February 9-10th at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel.  The Summit is a one-and-a-half day gathering focused on the challenges and merits of extending, modernizing, and integrating the high-voltage electric transmission system – necessary to enable access to the rich but currently remote resources of renewable energy required for a clean-energy future, while mitigating the cost and variability of those resources.  Speakers will include our friend Jimmy Glotfelty of Clean Line Energy Partners, as well as Southwest Power Pool CEO Nick Brown, National Electric Manufacturers Association CEO Kevin Cosgriff and several others.

CSIS Forum to Look at Oil Markets – The CSIS Energy & National Security Program holds a discussion on Thursday February 16th at 10:00 a.m. with President of RBN Energy Rusty Braziel, ESAI Energy’s Managing Principal of Petroleum & Alternative Fuels Sarah Emerson, and IHS Energy’s VP of Oil Markets (Midstream and Downstream) Kurt Barrow on where U.S. domestic and global oil and gas markets are heading in 2017. We enter the new year with higher oil prices, but also the continued questions around the implementation of and compliance with announced OPEC and non-OPEC supply cutbacks, resurgent U.S. production, enormous stocks, potential increases from Nigeria, Libya, and elsewhere, still-enormous stocks, and various forecasts of new demand growth.

RTOs Speak at Grid Forum – WIRES, the House Grid Innovation Caucus, the National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA), and the Environmental and Energy Study Institute (EESI) will hold a briefing on Thursday, February 16th at 2:00 p.m. looking at the modernization of the nation’s critical network of high-voltage transmission. Designed and built well before the digital age to serve more localized customer loads, the “grid” is struggling to support active and increasingly competitive wholesale power markets that now operate regionally. It is often congested or inadequate to deliver domestic energy resources that are not close to customers. Its aging facilities have acknowledged weather and cyber vulnerabilities. Speakers include Rep. Jerry McNerney (D-CA) and Rep. Bob Latta (R-OH), as well as Midcontinent ISO’s Clair Moeller, Southwest Power Pool’s Mike Ross and Craig Glazer of PJM Interconnection.

RFA Ethanol Conference Set of San Diego – The Renewable Fuels Association hold its 2017 National Ethanol Conference on February 20-22 at the Hilton San Diego Bayfront. The forum will address policy and market issues and what industry can do to develop both domestic and foreign markets, including expanding infrastructure, blends above E10, high octane fuels and exports.  At a key Panel on the first day, AFPM President Chet Thompson will join RFA CEO Bob Dinneen for a future of fuels policy discussion.  Our friend Rachel Gantz will also host a panel of journalists including WSJ’s Amy Harder to discuss media coverage of the policy issues.

ARPA-E Forum Set – The annual ARPA-E Innovation Forum will be held on February 27th through March 1st at the Gaylord at National Harbor. Summit is an annual conference and technology showcase that brings together experts from different technical disciplines and professional communities to think about America’s energy challenges in new and innovative ways. Now in its eighth year, the Summit offers a unique, three-day program aimed at moving transformational energy technologies out of the lab and into the market.  Among the speakers will be Duke’s Lynn Good (who will be interviewed by our friend Bill Loveless), Sen. Cory Gardner and Columbia University’s Jeffrey Sachs, as well as somebody from the new Trump Administration.

CERAWeek Set for Houston – The 36th CERAWeek by IHS Markit will be held on March 6th through 10th in Houston at the Hilton Americas.  CERAWeek is the premier annual international gathering of energy industry leaders, experts, government officials and policymakers, leaders from the technology, financial, and industrial communities – and energy technology innovators. Midst the turbulence and uncertainty in energy markets this year, CERAWeek 2017 will provide new insights and critically-important dialogue – and a very cost efficient way to engage on the most urgent questions with decision-makers from around the world.  A laundry list of other key energy speakers/CEOs will speak.  See the list here.

Southern NextEra Execs Address Transmission Summit – The 20th Transmission Summit will be held March 6-8th at the Mayflower Hotel in Washington, DC.  The event brings together policy makers with transmission industry leaders to develop strategies that will take advantage of opportunities created by emerging policy, regulatory and technological changes.  Topics will include post-election policy shifts and potential new opportunities for transmission infrastructure investment, dealing with the impacts of revisions to FERC’s Order 1000 processes on regional planning and competitive projects, integrating and interconnecting ever more renewable energy assets and using non-transmission alternatives and storage to defer new builds and replace aging infrastructure.  Key speakers include former FERC Chair Joe Kelliher of NextEra, Southern’s Bruce Edelston, and Georgia PSC Commissioner Tim Echols, among others.

GEA to Host DC Meeting – On March 7th, the Geothermal Energy Association (GEA) will hold its International Geothermal Forum in Washington, DC.

Pollution Control Agencies Set Spring Meeting – The Association of Air Pollution Control Agencies’ 2017 Spring Meeting will be held in Tucson, Arizona from March 27 – 29 at the Hilton Tucson East Hotel.  More on this in the future.

Energy Update: Week of May 23

Friends,

Two races down following Saturday’s muddy Preakness run and unfortunately, I knew the 22¼ first quarter would be a problem for Nyquist.  He fought a good fight but the tactically-brilliant race from Exaggerator and the hard-charge from Cherry Wine won out.  Actually, our crew that attended the race really won the day as we took the track for some nice payouts in the big race with several hitting Trifectas and a couple of our guys hitting the Super by adding Stradivari.  It all made the traffic-laden trek home from much more relaxing.  Belmont in 3 weeks….

While I know it is before Memorial Day, I still broke out the flashy summer styles for Pimlico despite the soggy day, all in preparation for the upcoming Memorial Day weekend, when the Delaware beaches become the summer, de facto home of Washington DC.  But be careful heading out through Annapolis as this week is “Commissioning Week” at the US Naval Academy.  Wednesday features the annual Blue Angels flight show (practice runs tomorrow).  Finally, Memorial Day also means it is time to return to the Brickhouse for 500 miles at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.  Winner drinks the jug of Milk…and a little champagne.

If you are not “going to down to the shore,” (there’s a link to the 80s classic Bitchin’ Camaro) you could head to New Orleans for WINDPOWER, AWEA’s super-huge wind policy/product conference today through Thursday.  Or you could head to Miami where NEI is hosting its annual conference at the Trump National Doral today through Wednesday.  After meeting in the Donald J. Trump Grand Ballroom do they have to have to give Hillary Clinton an equal name billing somewhere – especially since support for zero emissions baseload nuclear is bipartisan?  It is not all fun and games but the headliner is Peyton Manning, now that he has much more time on his hands along with another Super Bowl ring. Speaking of Trump, he is the other big out-of-town story as he heads to North Dakota to talk energy on Thursday.  I suspect we’ll see more of North Dakota Rep. Kevin Cramer, who really is one of the House’s real energy experts having served with fellow North Dakotan and current FERC Commissioner Tony Clark on the state’s Public Service Commission on the early 2000s.

Slower going on the Hill this week with most of the focus on the TSCA (not the Opera) conference agreement that ill reform the law for the first time in more than 25 years, as well as energy funding bills.  The House Rules Committee is slated to meet tomorrow to report out a rule on the Senate’s energy legislation, the first formal step toward a conference of the two chambers’ energy bills. Tomorrow afternoon, Senate EPW takes on WOTUS and a House Judiciary panel will hear from former Bush OIRA head John Graham.  On Thursday, the House Science Committee will hold a hearing on the impact of the CPP on states, with Oklahoma AG Scott Pruitt testifying, among others.  Also on Thursday, Chamber Energy Institute President Karen Harbert addressed the NatGas Roundtable as well.

Finally, the BIG EVENT TODAY: at 3:00 p.m. West Virginia AG Patrick Morrisey, who has coordinated a coalition of 30 states opposing the rule will speak on the latest twists and turns with the legal case to at a National Press Club Newsmaker on the case with former EPA Air office head Jeff Holmstead and utility analyst Christi Tezak.  E&E News utility reporter Rod Kuckro will moderate.  One the topics on the agenda will be Morrisey’s call to stop spending federal tax dollars to comply with the halted Power Plan.  He and Texas AG Ken Paxton sent a letter to EPA earlier today.  Bloomberg BGov also profiles AG Morrisey today (link will be active sometime today) in its weekly feature, which – ICYMI last week – featured yours truly.

See you at the Press Club and call with questions.

 

Best,

Frank Maisano

(202) 828-5864

(202) 997-5932

 

FRANKLY SPOKEN

“We always believed we were right on the law, that what the administration is doing is grossly illegal and unprecedented. That’s why we think the Supreme Court sided with us, even though what they did was unprecedented in terms of reaching down to a lower court and freezing the regulation.”

West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey (Bloomberg News)

“The entire point of the Supreme Court’s extraordinary action in putting a stop to the Power Plan was to preserve the status quo pending the outcome of the litigation.  EPA should respect that action by leaving things the way they are until the courts have had their say.”

West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey to EPA this morning.

 

IN THE NEWS

West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey today said and Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton recently sent a letter urging the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to stop spending federal tax dollars to comply with the halted Power Plan.  The letter responds to a request by 14 state environmental agency officials seeking additional information and technical assistance from the EPA related to the Power Plan.  Attorneys General Morrisey and Paxton ask that EPA decline the invitation to spend federal taxpayer dollars to aid compliance, specifically by discontinuing work on the “Clean Energy Incentive Program” (“CEIP”) and the non-final carbon trading rules.

NERC Report Says Coal to Increase With Trading – A new study from the North American Electric Reliability Corp. says a national allowance trading program under EPA’s Clean Power Plan could lead to more coal consumption and less natural gas use than other implementation strategies.  The report says a trading program would allow states with a heavy reliance on coal to continue running those plants by purchasing allowances from states with renewables and gas that have surpassed their goals. NERC’s study notes that its modeling assumes fully optimized trading, a scenario that isn’t likely to reality. The conclusion echoes the recent findings from West Virginia regulators that trading with states less reliant on coal is the most economically feasible option.  The study, the second of NERC’s three-phase reliability analysis of the CPP, also found that wind and solar will make major gains with or without the rule, that the rule will flatten growth in energy demand, and nuclear retirements will further accelerate gas and renewables growth.

EIA Data Shows Differing CPP Impacts – The Energy Information Administration released initial data related to its 2016 Annual Energy Outlook. The early release focused on two model runs, a reference case assuming implementation of CPP, and a “no CPP” case. The initial reporting on AEO analysis has highlighted that EIA projects that the CPP will have a comparatively modest impact on electricity rates (though this estimate is based on the assumption that states will comply by auctioning credits and then rebating auction revenues to customers). However, EIA is projecting the CPP to have significantly greater economic impacts than projected by EPA and others. For example, EIA is projecting that electricity bills (not just rates) will increase under the CPP, whereas EPA has claimed that bills would go down significantly. EIA also projects that CPP will have a major impact on coal production, reduce GDP by an average of about $60 billion, and result in about 375,000 fewer jobs in 2030 than if the rule weren’t in place.

Chamber Expert Tackles EIA Data – The Chamber Energy Institute’s Steve Eule has a Great blog post on the topic here: The Coal Hard Facts about EPA Regulation Shocking! Electricity Bills Will Rise Under EPA’s Clean Power Plan.

 

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

WV AG to Headline Press Club Newsmaker – With the looming Legal arguments In the Clean Power Plan case, the National Press Club’s Newsmakers Committee will host an afternoon forum with West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey to discuss his role in this hugely-important case.

WCEE to Host Discuss on Electricity Markets – The Women’s Council on Energy and the Environment (WCEE) will hold a discussion today at Noon at FERC with Emma Nicholson, Ph.D., an economist at FERC’s Office of Energy Policy and Innovation. Emma has played a lead role in the Commission’s price formation effort, and is the lead author of the recent FERC technical paper: Operator‐Initiated Commitments in RTO and ISO Markets.

Manning Addresses NEI Assembly – NEI holds its 63rd annual Industry Conference and Supplier Expo today through Thursday at the Trump National Doral.  The Nuclear Energy Assembly is the annual conference of the nuclear technologies industry that brings together industry leaders from all levels. The conference draws hundreds of senior executives and policymakers from around the world.  Just retired Bronco quarterback and Super Bowl Champ Peyton Manning will be the headliner.

Forum to Look at Asia Water Issues – The Stimson Center will hold a forum today at 3:30 p.m. looking at one of the most pressing challenges facing mainland Southeast Asia: water resource management in the context of drought, the impacts of climate change, and continued development of hydropower and rising tensions over water. Stimson’s Southeast Asia Program’s Deputy Director Brian Eyler will share his insights after recently returning from a regional conference on trans-boundary water management in Can Tho, Vietnam and meetings with policy-makers in Hanoi about the rising challenge of resource management in an increasingly unstable climate. Eyler will also share first-hand analysis of the severe drought currently affecting the Mekong Delta. Panelists will discuss how climate change and water management are becoming issues of national security in Vietnam and how the U.S. Rebalance to Asia provides new opportunities for the United States to engage on climate resilience and adaptation.

WINDPOWER Set for New Orleans – AWEA Is hosting its annual WINDPOWER conference in New Orleans this year today through Thursday at the Convention Center.  This year over 400 exhibitors, many of them new firms, will be filling a show floor including GE Renewable Energy, Siemens, Vestas, Goldwind, Gamesa, Nordex and many more. But there will be over 100 smaller firms exhibiting as well. Among the speakers will be our friend Russ Gold of the Wall Street Journal.  Others include keynoter Steve Farber, former LA Senator Mary Landrieu,  Vestas CEO Chris Brown and many more.

Aspen to Look at Carbon Price for North America – The Aspen Institute holds a North American Carbon Price Roundtable Forum tomorrow at 9:00 a.m.  with experts from Canada, Mexico and the United States.

CSIS to Look at China Energy – Tomorrow at 10:00 a.m., the CSIS Energy and National Security Program will host Dr. Kang Wu, Vice Chairman for Asia and Managing Director of FGE China to present a draft of his forthcoming paper, “Energy in China: Market Dynamics and Policy Development,” written for the CSIS Energy Program. Dr. Wu’s report focuses on the political economy of China’s energy sector, examining the impacts of lower economic growth on China’s energy mix and energy supply and demand balance, while also considering the shifts in Chinese energy policy embodied in the country’s 13th Five-Year Plan. Jane Nakano, Senior Fellow with the CSIS Energy and National Security Program will moderate the discussion.

Group to Look at Climate, Equity – The Institute for Policy Studies holds a discussion tomorrow at 12:30 p.m. on how to tackle climate change and equity in a transformative way.  The event will focus on solutions to combat social and economic inequality, as part five of our discussion series exploring the many facets of IPS’s movement-building work.

Brookings Looks at Energy Poverty – The Energy Security and Climate Initiative (ESCI) at Brookings will host a debate tomorrow at 2:00 p.m. at JHU’s Nitze Building looking at solutions to increase energy access.  The forum will feature a discussion between Daniel Kammen, Class of 1935 distinguished professor of energy at the University of California, Berkeley, and Ted Nordhaus, co-founder and research director of the Breakthrough Institute. Our friend and ClimateWire Editor Lisa Friedman will moderate the discussion and audience Q&A.

USEA Forum to Look at Gas Exports – The US Energy Assn will hold a forum tomorrow at 2:00 p.m. to look at natgas export issues. US LNG exports are coming on to the global gas market at a time of a glut of supply, both pipeline and LNG, and low gas prices.  The outlook for demand – outside the US – is mostly pessimistic as well, suggesting the glut of supply could last for many years. Europe is seen as a key battleground for LNG against Russian pipeline gas but post 2020 China will come into that category as well.  What are the real prospects for US LNG exports with this background; could Russia engage in a price war in Europe, will there be any more FIDs on large scale LNG export projects before 2020, and what does all them imply for gas prices? Nexant Global Gas Principal Mike Fulwood will discuss.

Senate Enviro Panel Tackles WOTUS – The Senate Environment Fisheries, Water and Wildlife Subcommittee hold a hearing tomorrow at 2:30 p.m. focused on the WOTUS implementation.  Witnesses will include Farm Bureau Reg Director Don Parrish, Damien Schiff of the Pacific Legal Foundation, National Association of Homebuilders rep Valerie Wilkinson of EGS Companies, Georgetown prof William Buzbee and Scott Kovarovics of the Izaak Walton League.

Former OIRA Head Graham to Visit House Judiciary Reg Panel – Tomorrow at 3:00 p.m., a House Judiciary panel will host John Graham, the former head of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs under President George W. Bush for a hearing on federal rules.  Graham, who is now dean of the Indiana University School of Public and Environmental Affairs, will testify to the House Judiciary Committee’s task force on executive overreach.  Others testifying include Sofie Miller, senior policy analyst at the George Washington University Regulatory Studies Center; Amit Narang, regulatory policy advocate at Public Citizen; and Gail Heriot, professor at the University of San Diego School of Law.

Cal Experts to Discuss Energy Research – University of California experts will hold a briefing tomorrow in 421 Cannon at 2:30 p.m. on current research, operations and tech startup stewardship that make UC a living laboratory for clean energy solutions.  UC has helped lead California to remarkable progress in clean energy development and dramatic reductions in air pollution.  UC continues to drive clean energy progress in California and beyond by setting ambitious goals to improve our own environmental sustainability and clean energy future – and offering our solutions and lessons learned to others.  Faculty and staff from UC Davis, UC Irvine, the UC Office of the President and the UC-managed Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory will discuss how the University leverages its clean energy research, technical expertise and investments to improve UC’s operational performance and expand technology development into new business opportunities and jobs.

Forum to Discuss Energy Data, Metrics – The DC Sustainable Energy Utility and the Smarter DC Challenge will hold an informational forum on Wednesday morning at Clydes looking at how to collect building data, analyze it, and make proactive decisions that save money and streamline building operations.  Speakers include experts in the field, including GSA Green Building director Kevin Kampschroer and several others.

NAS Workshop to Look at Flowback Water Innovation – The National Academy of Sciences holds a workshop on Wednesday and Thursday looking at unconventional hydrocarbon development and the use of flowback and produced waters.  The workshop will look at the opportunities and challenges for innovation.

Atlantic Council Forum Looks at Sustainability – On Wednesday at 9:00 a.m., the Atlantic Council hosts a discussion with Dr. Michael Ben-Eli, founder of The Sustainability Laboratory and author of the widely acclaimed “Sustainability: The Five Core Principles: A New Framework.” Pressure is rapidly mounting to transition towards a cleaner global energy system. Achieving the necessary structural changes will require wide-reaching innovation and creative leadership. Dr. Ben-Eli will share with us five basic tenants of sustainability that can help speed and smooth the transition to cleaner fuels and more renewable energy.

USEA to Feature NatGas Technology Discussion – On Wednesday at 10:00 a.m., the U.S. Energy Association will host Bill Brown of NET Power to discuss an emissions-free natural gas power system that will allow the world to meet 100% of its climate targets without having to pay more for electricity.  NET Power uses the Allam Cycle, an oxy-fuel supercritical CO2 power cycle, to produce electricity from natural gas for the same cost as conventional power plants, but without producing any air emissions.  The system’s only byproducts are liquid water and pipeline-ready CO2. The technology will be the low-cost, reliable, flexible cornerstone of a clean energy future. The company is owned by Exelon, CB&I and 8 Rivers Capital.  Together with Toshiba, NET Power and its investors are building a 50MW demonstration plant in Texas that is currently under construction.

Forum to Look at Sustainability – On Wednesday at 10:00 a.m., the Atlantic Council hold a discussion with Dr. Michael Ben-Eli, founder of The Sustainability Laboratory and author of the widely acclaimed “Sustainability: The Five Core Principles: A New Framework.” Pressure is rapidly mounting to transition towards a cleaner global energy system. Achieving the necessary structural changes will require wide-reaching innovation and creative leadership. Dr. Ben-Eli will share with us five basic tenants of sustainability that can help speed and smooth the transition to cleaner fuels and more renewable energy.

Heritage to Host Author Talk on Rockefellers, Oil Empire – On Wednesday at noon, the Heritage Foundation holds a discussion with author Peter Doran, who will discuss the oil rivalries of the late 19th century.  Marcus Samuel, Jr., is an unorthodox Jewish merchant trader. Henri Deterding is a take-no-prisoners oilman. In 1889, John D. Rockefeller is at the peak of his power. Having annihilated all competition and possessing near-total domination of the market, even the U.S. government is wary of challenging the great “anaconda” of Standard Oil. The Standard never loses – that is until Samuel and Deterding team up to form Royal Dutch Shell.  At the beginning of the 20th Century vast fortunes were made and lost. Breaking Rockefeller traces Samuel’s rise from outsider to the heights of the British aristocracy, Deterding’s conquest of America, and the collapse of Rockefeller’s monopoly. From the rough and tumble of East London’s streets, the twilight turmoil of czarist Russia, the halls of the British Parliament, to down Broadway in New York City, Doran offers a detailed perspective on how the world’s richest man was beaten at his own game.

House Science Hosts Ark AG Pruitt – On Thursday the House Science Committee will hold a hearing on the impact of the CPP on states, with Oklahoma AG Scott Pruitt testifying, among others.  Former DOE Fossil Office Head Chuck McConnell, now at Rice University, will also testify.

Chamber Energy Exec to Address NatGas Roundtable – On Thursday at Noon, the Natural Gas Roundtable is hosting Karen Harbert, President and CEO of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Institute for 21st Century Energy, as its next luncheon speaker.  Harbert leads the Institute’s efforts to build support for meaningful energy action nationally and internationally through policy development, education, and advocacy. Under Harbert’s leadership, the Energy Institute has evolved into a premier national and international organization dedicated to advancing a constructive energy agenda with the business community, policymakers, and consumers. Harbert frequently testifies in front of Congress and provides analysis to the media, policymakers, and industry leaders.

BPC Event to Focus on Ag Sustainability – On Thursday at 10:00 a.m., the Bipartisan Policy Center’s CEO Council on Sustainability and Innovation will share case studies that illustrate sustainable best practices. The council will also unveil a call to action encouraging others along the supply chain to join the journey to a sustainable future.  Speakers at the forum will include Kellogg CEO John Bryant, DuPont EVP James Collins, Hormel Foods CEO Jeff Ettinger, Land O’Lakes CEO Chris Policinski.  The event will be moderated by former U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Dan Glickman.

 

FUTURE EVENTS

RFF to Look at Enviro Public Good – Resources for the Future will hold its June First Wednesday Seminar on June 1st at 12:45 p.m. to focus on neuroeconomics, which is a new direction for valuing environmental public good.  For more than 60 years, experts at RFF and elsewhere have sought to understand people’s preferences and willingness to pay for environmental public goods in order to improve environmental regulations. One of the newest methods for understanding preferences and environmental valuation is neuroeconomics—the study of how the brain makes economic-related decisions. Experts at this seminar, hosted by RFF with New York University’s Institute for the Interdisciplinary Study of Decision Making, will examine new findings from the institute that bring neuroscience to bear on what was once largely an economics question: How do people value environmental goods? Panelists will discuss how these findings compare with traditional contingent valuation (one of the longest-standing, conventional approaches to environmental valuation) and the implications for public policy. Speakers will include NYU’s Paul Glimcher, Georgetown‘s Arik Levinson, Michael Livermore of the UVa School of Law and NOAA’s Juli Trtanj.

CSIS to Host Latin Energy Discussion – The Center for Strategic International Studies hosts a conversation on Wednesday June 2nd with State Department Resources envoy Amos Hochstein and Chevron’s Ali Moshiri, who will discuss the policy and commercial implications of the current oil market environment and the outlook for energy security in Latin America and Africa.

Forum to Look at TX Green Energy – The Bi-National Energy Committee along with the City of San Antonio, CPS Energy, the North American Development Bank (NADB) and other organizations will hold the Bi-National Green Energy Forum on June 2nd in San Antonio, TX.  Focusing on green energy projects: from renewable sources of energy to new technologies for energy efficiencies, the Forum is great opportunity to learn and discuss with experts and successful companies of Mexico and the US about cross-border opportunities in this vibrant growing bi-national market.

USEA Forum to Look at Paris, Future of Energy – On Thursday June 9th, US EA will host former Sierra Club Counsel David Bookbinder to discuss Paris, the Presidential election and the future of energy.  As an environmental policy lawyer, Bookbinder has litigated cases under all of the major environmental statutes as Sierra Club’s Chief Climate Counsel. He then represented environmental groups in both stationary- and mobile-source carbon matters, including California’s greenhouse gas vehicle standards. Bookbinder has helped lead efforts on both global warming legislation and Clean Air Act greenhouse gas regulation, and has testified in front of House and Senate committees on these issues. In pursuing his goal of practical, cost-effective carbon solutions Bookbinder has frequently told environmental groups, members of Congress, and federal and state agencies things they did not want to hear.  In this briefing, Bookbinder will address the current complexities of carbon policy based upon his extensive experience in environmental law.

Oil, Gas Forum Set – US Energy Stream will hold a Washington Oil & Gas Forum on June 8th and 9th at the Cosmos Club in DC.  More on this as it gets closer, but you can go here: http://www.energystreamcmg.com/

RFF Wall Street Meeting Set for NYC – REFF-Wall Street 2016 will be held on June 11th and 12th at The Grand Hyatt, New York.  REFF-Wall Street is the premier renewable energy financing event in the U.S. The event draws an especially senior audience, comprising of over 600 decision makers, lenders, investors, investment bankers, private equity investors, venture capitalists, and other top transactional professionals in renewable energy finance.

Energy Update: Week of May 9

Friends,

Now that was a great Kentucky Derby.  If you checked your update date last week, you’d notice that if you bet the four horses I mentioned (Nyquist, Exaggerator, Gun Runner and Mohaymen) in a superfecta box, you would have won some big money (it paid out at $542 on a $1 bet). THIS IS WHY YOU READ THE UPDATE EVERY WEEK!!!!.  My money did come in on Nyquist, who I felt really ran a tactically perfect race, and Exaggerator in an Exacta winner.  I might have tossed a few dollars at the Superfecta Box as well.  I almost can’t wait to see who heads to Baltimore for the Preakness on Saturday May 21 just two weeks away.  The hype is already started and since the Stanley Cup was in the Nyquist barn on Saturday, I’m treating the superstition issues just like the hockey playoffs, so I won’t be saying anything that could be a jinx for now.

This week EPA is expected to issue its regulations mandating cuts in methane emissions from oil and gas production, rules the industry says are unnecessary because it is already voluntarily managing them effectively.  For example, Cabot Oil & Gas has been achieving substantial methane emissions reductions for years. Starting back in 2011, Cabot unleashed new technological initiatives to decrease methane emissions from its operations.  The company cut methane emissions by 85% between 2011 and 2014—particularly impressive given that its natural gas production grew 250% during the same period.  My colleague Sandra Snyder (202-828-5810) is the best methane expert in industry.  She is ready to handle your calls on the subject.

While Congress returns this week, the action is slower than normal with Energy and Water returning to the Senate Floor and House Science hosting the DOE Fossil Office.  Other good events in town include CSIS hosting EIA head Adam Sieminski Wednesday morning to present EIA’s International Energy Outlook 2016 and Thursday, SoCo CEO Tom Fanning headlines a CSM discussion on cybersecurity threats to the grid.  Out of town, after last week’s QER meeting in Iowa that featured Secretary Moniz, the public meeting roadshow and Moniz move to Austin, TX today.  There is also a QER hearing in LA tomorrow.

Remember to put on your schedule next week: John Krafcik, CEO of Google Self-Driving Cars, will join Securing America’s Future Energy, Fed Ex CEO Fred Smith and others next Thursday morning, May 19th at The Newseum for the release of its National Strategy for Energy Security: The Innovation Revolution.

And since your marking your calendars, take this one down too.  On the afternoon of Monday May 23rd in advance of the highly-anticipated Clean Power Plan oral arguments at the DC Circuit, West Virginia AG Patrick Morrissey, who has coordinated a coalition of 30 states opposing the rule will speak at a National Press Club Newsmaker on the case with former EPA Air office Head Jeff Holmstead and Pedernales Electric Co-op CEO John Hewa, who was in DC last week discussing Pedernales’ brief in the case and their innovative approach on renewables.  One of his stops was on E&E TV and it is featured in today’s edition.

Finally, I am adding a new feature this week that I have successfully used in other outreach over the years: an interesting, timely, perhaps provocative public quote relevant to energy issues, policy or politics.  First edition below, enjoy and send if you have any good ones.

Call with questions.

 

Best,

Frank Maisano

(202) 828-5864

(202) 997-5932

 

 

FRANKLY SPOKEN

 

“At ExxonMobil, we share the view that the risks of climate change are serious, and they warrant thoughtful action,” Exxon CEO Rex Tillerson said at the U.S. Energy Association annual Policy Forum at the National Press Club last Thursday in Washington.

 

“It’s going to take a very long time before we can wean ourselves from fossil fuels. So I think to keep it in the ground is naive; to think we can shift to 100% renewables is naive. We’re really going to have a transition over time,” Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell told our friend Sammy Roth at the Desert Sun on Friday.

 

 

IN THE NEWS

 

Hydraulically fractured wells provide two-thirds of U.S. natural gas production – The Energy Information Administration (EIA) said last week over the past 10 years hydraulic fracturing has become the technique by which most natural gas is produced in the United States. Based on the most recent data from states, EIA estimates that natural gas production from hydraulically fractured wells now makes up about two-thirds of total U.S. marketed gas production. This share of production is even greater than the share of crude oil produced using that method, where hydraulic fracturing accounts for about half of current U.S. crude oil production. You can see the EIA graph and read more here.

 

POLL: Most People Don’t Know Obama GHG Rules – A new national poll from the Program for Public Consultation at the University of Maryland’s School of Public Policy found 7 in 10 voters have heard “just a little or nothing at all” about EPA’s regulation to rein in carbon emissions from power plants.  The results match another recent survey of Texas voters from the Texas Clean Energy Coalition that said 85% of respondents surveyed had not “seen, read or heard of a federal policy called the Clean Power Plan.”  After digging through the spin, the bottom line remains: there isn’t much universal, broad support for a plan that most know little or nothing about.

 

FERC Approves Atlantic Sunrise Pipeline – Despite last week’s denial of permits for the Constitution Pipeline in NY, FERC has given preliminary approval for construction of the $3 billion Atlantic Sunrise pipeline after agreeing with environmental mitigation plans. The project is an expansion of the Transcontinental pipeline system and involves the construction of 197.7 miles of pipeline. FERC is taking comments on the environmental impact statement, and the project must still attain state environmental permits. Shockingly, environmental groups filed a lawsuit against the project. The Atlantic Sunrise is an expansion of the Transco system, which includes more than 10,000 miles of pipeline moving 10% of the nation’s natural gas across the country to utilities and power plants. Transco is operated by Williams, which submitted an application to FERC last year. The project includes construction of 197.7 miles of new pipeline, most of which would be in Pennsylvania, and designed to move Marcellus Shale gas from Northeast Pennsylvania as far south as Alabama. The new lines would cross through 10 Pennsylvania counties.

 

What’s Next for Atlantic? – The National Environmental Policy Act requires FERC to do the environmental impact statement. The 60-day public comment period closes on June 27, and FERC says it will issue the final EIS in October. In addition to federal regulatory approval, interstate pipelines also need state environmental permits. The Delaware Riverkeeper Network has already challenged state water quality permits, calling the PDEP water quality certificates for the project a violation of the Clean Water Act.

 

Unions Says Give NJ Pipeline a Chance – In New Jersey, union leaders are urging support for another pipeline project running across New York and New Jersey.  Greg Lalevee of the International Union of Operating Engineers, Local 825, argues in The Journal News that the Pilgrim pipeline should get a fair shake.

 

IRS Extends Renewables Construction Period – The IRS issued a notice detailing how wind projects qualify for the production tax credit (PTC) last week indicating projects now have four years or more to enter into service after their start-construction deadlines to qualify for the tax credit (up from two years or more).  This should benefit projects that are already getting ready to build and is consistent with standard IRS policy.  According to tax experts, the IRS had to update prior guidance in light of the PTC and ITC extensions late last year because some of the dates in prior guidance documents had come and gone making them no longer applicable.  AWEA says the change will provide “companies certainty about the rules, which are generally consistent with prior guidance, and can finalize business decisions and investments for this year and beyond.”  Of course, the regular opponents of the PTC were also commenting with IER President Tom Pyle calling the change “theft” from taxpayers.  Pyle: “The IRS is far more concerned about providing special interest handouts through the wind PTC than protecting the American families who actually pay taxes.” Pyle called on Congress “to clean up the taxpayer-funded mess this administration has made” but I think that may be a fight they would lose.  AWEA has chronicled the interest of Republicans in renewable energy.

 

West Virginia Coal Miners Not Wasting Time For Trump – While Many Republicans a concerned over apparent Presidential nominee Donald Trump, the West Virginia Coal Association is all in after presumptive Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton’s visit last week.  The group announced it’s all in for Trump, who promised to bring coal jobs back to Appalachia. “Trump has said he will reverse the Democratic regulatory assault that has cost the coal industry more than 40 percent of our production and jobs since 2008,” Bill Raney, the group’s president, said in a statement. (At his rally in West Virginia last night, Trump donned a hard hat and mimed shoveling coal.)

 

Exxon, FuelCell Venture to Capture CO2 – Exxon Mobil Corporation and FuelCell Energy said last week they are pursuing a novel technology in power plant carbon dioxide capture through a new application of carbonate fuel cells, which could substantially reduce costs and lead to a more economical pathway toward large-scale application globally.  Two years of comprehensive laboratory tests have demonstrated that the unique integration of two existing technologies – carbonate fuel cells and natural gas-fired power generation – captures carbon dioxide more efficiently than existing scrubber conventional capture technology. The potential breakthrough comes from an increase in electrical output using the fuel cells, which generate power, compared to a nearly equivalent decrease in electricity using conventional technology.  The resulting net benefit has the potential to substantially reduce costs associated with carbon capture for natural gas-fired power generation, compared to the expected costs associated with conventional separation technology. A key component of the research will be to validate initial projected savings of up to one-third.

 

 

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

QER Meeting Set for Iowa, Texas – The Quadrennial Energy Review Task Force will hold a public stakeholder today in Austin, Texas and tomorrow in Los Angeles.  There will be a final meeting in Atlanta on Tuesday, May 24th Atlanta.

 

Forum to Discuss North American Manufacturing Issues –The Wilson Center’s Mexico Institute, Canada Institute, and the International Monetary Fund are launching a new the book Power Play: Energy and Manufacturing in North America today at 4:00 p.m.  Despite the recent fall in energy prices, fuller development of energy resources in North America has potentially important implications for global energy markets and the competitiveness of North American manufacturing industries. The book “Power Play: Energy and Manufacturing in North America” describes the transformation of the energy landscape in North America due to the upsurge in unconventional energy production since the mid-2000s and tells the story of the energy-manufacturing nexus from the perspective of Canada, Mexico, and the United States, and the region as a whole.  Based on the research done at the International Monetary Fund, the book discusses the energy boom and its macroeconomic implications for the three countries individually and for the region overall, exploring also how the changing energy landscape can affect the potential benefits of greater integration across the three North American economies.

 

Forum to Look at Mitigating Climate Risks –Tomorrow at Noon, Climate Advisers and DC Net Impact will host a panel discussion about climate risk, how investors address these risks, and how firms present potential financial solutions which can mitigate climate risk. During the discussion, the panelists will discuss various case studies specific to palm oil and Southeast Asia. There will be breakout sessions with each of the panelists following the panel discussion. Sarah Conway, Lead Climate Finance Negotiator at the State Department will lead the discussion.

 

Event to Focus on Climate, Cities – Tomorrow afternoon, Worldwatch Institute will launch a new forum/publication: “State of the World: Can a City Be Sustainable?”  Cities are the world’s future. Today, more than half of the global population– 3.7 billion people– are urban dwellers and that number is expected to double by 2050. Will the world invest in the physical and social infrastructure necessary for livable, equitable, and sustainable cities?  The discussion aims to discover the most pressing challenges facing cities and the most promising solutions currently being developed.

 

Climate Gala Set – The 2016 Earth Day Network Climate Leadership Gala will be held tomorrow evening at the Mayflower Hotel in Washington, DC.  The event will feature women in climate leadership including CERES head Mindy Lubbers. On top of our two award winners, the night will include Melanne Verveer of Georgetown’s Institute for Women, Peace and Security, as well as Karuna Singh who leads Earth Day Network’s efforts all throughout India. We are also very excited to include Virginia Tech’s Dr. Amy Pruden who helped uncover the water crisis in Flint, Michigan.

EIA to Present International Energy Outlook – The CSIS Energy and National Security Program will host Adam Sieminski, Administrator of the Energy Information Administration (EIA) on Wednesday at 9:30 a.m. to present the EIA’s International Energy Outlook 2016 (IEO2016).  The EO2016 includes projections of world energy demand by region and primary energy source through 2040; electricity generation by energy source; and energy-related carbon dioxide emissions.  Among other topics, Sieminski will discuss EIA’s view on long-term petroleum and other liquids fuel supplies, prospects for global natural gas markets, energy demand growth among developing nations, and key uncertainties that may alter the long-term projections.

 

House Science Hosts DOE Fossil Office – The House Science Committee’s Subcommittee on Energy will convene an oversight hearing on Wednesday at 10:00 a.m. looking at the DOE’s Office of Fossil Energy.  Chris Smith, Assistant Secretary for Fossil Energy, will testify.

Solar Summit Set For AZ – On Wednesday and Thursday in Scottsdale, Arizona, the 9th annual Solar Summit will dive deep into a unique blend of research and economic market analysis from the GTM Research team and industry experts. This year’s agenda will feature themes from Latin America to BOS to the Global Solar Market.   DOE’s Lidija Sekaric and ERCOT’s Bill Magness lead a large group of speakers.

 

CSIS to host NatGas, Low Carbon Discussion – The CSIS Energy and National Security Program is hosting a discussion on Wednesday at 4:00 p.m. with Doug Arent, Executive Director, Joint Institute for Strategic Energy Analysis (JISEA), on the potential role that natural gas may play in various low carbon pathways in the United States.  Earlier this spring, JISEA released analysis on natural gas and the electricity sector and explores the question of natural gas as a bridge to a more sustainable electricity sector. Arent will provide an overview of the JISEA work has underway and as well as present the findings from this recent report. Sarah Ladislaw, Director and Senior Fellow, CSIS Energy and National Security Program, will moderate the discussion.

 

 

Fanning to Headline CyberSecurity Discussion – The Christian Science Monitor’s Passcode will hold a forum on Thursday morning to at the Capitol Hyatt to explore protecting the power grid from today’s cyber threats. Speakers will include DOE Deputy Secretary Elizabeth Sherwood-Randall, Southern Company CEO Tom Fanning, founder of Dragos Security Robert Lee and Rep. Will Hurd (R-Tex.) who will look closely at how hackers pulled off the Ukraine hack, whether we are prepared for similar attacks, and how industry and government are partnering to safeguard the US power supply.

 

Summit to Focus on Energy, Manufacturing – The Council on Competitiveness will hold its Northeast regional version of the American Energy & Manufacturing Competitiveness Summit on Thursday at City College of New York. Speakers include top executives, Dept. of Energy officials, and clean energy scientists. The Summits are packed days of moderated panels, keynote speakers and exhibits to address critical topics in energy and manufacturing, including the roles manufacturing and energy productivity in global, the effect of America’s domestic energy abundance on reshaping the global economy and strengthening US manufacturing and the importance of continued advanced research and technological innovation.

 

CAP to Host Ag Climate Forum – The Center for American Progress for a discussion on Thursday regarding agriculture, USDA actions and climate change. U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack and other distinguished guests will speak about the remarkable strides over the past seven years to address climate change, both domestically and internationally. Yet there is widespread agreement that more must be done to reduce pollution and increase resilience to an already changing climate.

 

USEA to Talk Smart Grid in Emerging Markets – The U.S. Energy Association will host a forum on Thursday at 10:00 a.m. on smart grid infrastructure in emerging markets.  Utilities across the world are in the process of modernizing their assets, including significant investment in smart grid infrastructure. This includes smart metering, or advanced metering infrastructure (AMI), distribution automation and other advancements in transmission and distribution infrastructure that leverage two-way communications and sensors. To-date, the majority of smart grid deployments have taken place in North America and Western Europe. However, over the course of the next decade, investment is shifting to emerging market countries. By 2026, smart grid investment in emerging markets will exceed that of developed countries, with $226 billion in cumulative investment over the period 2016-2026. In this briefing, Northeast Group’s Ben Gardner will present the results from its 5th annual Emerging Markets Smart Grid: Outlook 2016 study and highlight some of the leading countries deploying smart grid infrastructure over the next decade.

 

Resources Panel to Look at State Views of BLM Policy – The House Resources Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations on Thursday will hear the views of state and county officials on how BLM’s proposal will affect their ability to influence agency decisions on land uses like grazing, energy development and recreation.  Testifying will be Pete Obermueller of the Wyoming County Commissioners Association; New Mexico secretary of environment and the natural resources Ryan Flynn, Humboldt County, NV commissioner Jim French and several others.

 

Senate Energy to Host IG Nominee – The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee will hold a hearing to consider the nomination of Susan Beard to be Inspector General at the Department of Energy on Thursday. Beard has served as assistant general counsel for general law at DOE over the past 12 years and deputy assistant general counsel for standards of conduct, information law, legal counsel and general law.  Prior to DOE, she was an attorney at the Federal Election Commission.

 

NAS Looks at Fuel Transportation – The Division on Engineering and Physical Sciences’ Transportation Research Board at the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine will meet on Thursday to discuss domestic transportation of petroleum, natgas and ethanol.

 

Enviros Rally Against Drilling – On Sunday at 1:00 p.m., activists will return to the White House to rally for keeping all fossil fuels in the ground with a primary focus on all offshore drilling.  With a previous success On Keystone, the groups, which includes 350.org, Center for Biological Diversity, Chesapeake Climate Action Network, CREDO, Environment America, Friends of the Earth, Greenpeace, League of Conservation Voters, Natural Resources Defense Council, Oil Change International, Rainforest Action Network, Sierra Club, Waterkeeper Alliance, World Wildlife Fund and many others.  With the economic, revenue and energy independence benefits of established Gulf of Mexico drilling as well as many of the Shale drilling in the US readily apparent, it will be hard to imagine that will be covered by this group. Of course, we are happy to provide that perspective.

 

 

FUTURE EVENTS

 

Forum to Look at Spent Nuclear Fuel Issues – The Precourt Institute for Energy, MacArthur Foundation, George Washington University, Center for International Security and Cooperation will hold a two-day conference next Tuesday and Wednesday on resetting U.S. nuclear waste management strategy and policy. The meeting will bring together U.S. and international speakers from industry, government, universities, national laboratories and broader community interests in a combination of presentation and panel discussion formats.  Speakers will discussion issues and address key questions including what barriers are preventing integration of the spent fuel management system, what a better-integrated spent fuel management system might look like for the US, the potential benefits, timing and cost of integrating spent fuel management and many more topics.  Speakers will be from National labs Like Sandia and Idaho, industry like NEI’s Rod McCallum and Exelon’s Adam Levine, officials from NRC and environmental groups experts like David Lochbaum of UCS.

RFF, Duke Host Oil, Gas Impacts Forum – Resources for the Future (RFF) and Duke University will host a seminar on Wednesday May 18th at 12:30 p.m. to explore the key issues facing local governments in this new era of oil and gas development.  RFF’s Alan Krupnick will describe RFF’s Community Impacts Initiative. Richard Newell and Daniel Raimi from Duke University will present the results of their Shale Public Finance project, which examines the fiscal impacts of oil and gas development on local governments in every major producing region of the United States. The seminar will also feature comments by Aliza Wasserman of the National Governors Association and further discussion with the presenters and the audience on key findings and implications.

 

SEIA Looks Solar in Africa with US AID Officials – On Wednesday, May 18th at Noon, the Solar Energy Industries Association will hold a forum featuring speakers from the US Agency for International Development (USAID) to look at solar’s role in powering Africa. Power Africa 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.   USAID’s goals include enabling electricity access by adding 60 million new electricity connections and 30,000 MW of new and cleaner power generation in sub-Saharan Africa.  USAID speakers Drew Bennett, Commerce Liaison & Portfolio Manager and Denise Mortimer of the Power Africa Policy Team will address these and other key issues.

 

CSIS to Hold Development Forum – The second annual Global Development Forum (GDF) at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) on Thursday May 19. The GDF will feature over 40 speakers, including key stakeholders from U.S. government agencies, leading multilateral and non-governmental organizations, foreign governments, and the private sector.  The 2016 GDF seeks to address the complex issues highlighted by the recently adopted Sustainable Development Goals. Participants will examine the role and purpose of official development assistance against a backdrop of global trends including rising incomes, rapid urbanization, uneven economic growth, and widespread unemployment. In particular, discussions will explore ways in which official donors and key partners, including the private sector, civil society, and multilateral institutions can improve livelihoods, strengthen governance, and facilitate access to key resources including food, energy, and infrastructure.

 

SAFE to Release Autonomous Car Strategy Report – John Krafcik, CEO of Google Self-Driving Cars, will join Securing America’s Future Energy on Thursday May 19th at 9:00 a.m. at The Newseum for the release of its National Strategy for Energy Security: The Innovation Revolution.  The United States’ near-total dependence on oil to power our mobility destabilizes our economy and weakens our national security. Fortunately, America is on the cusp of an innovation revolution, one in which increased fuel diversity in transportation improves our country’s energy security and the rapid emergence of driverless cars enhances safety and redefines mobility for millions.  FedEx CEO Fred Smith, General James T. Conway and members of the Energy Security Leadership Council will the launch of the report. The event will feature the country’s foremost experts across the spectrum of energy and transportation, from the founders of the American shale revolution to the innovators redefining transportation through self-driving cars.

 

Energy Economists Forum to Look at Oil Markets, OPEC – The NCAC Chapter of the US Assn of Energy Economists will host their May luncheon on Friday May 20th at Carmines Restaurant hosting Jamie Webster, Global Energy Expert, as he discusses the outlook for oil markets ahead of the next round of OPEC meetings in early June.  Jamie will address the following: “Although global oil prices have bounced off their January lows, this seems remarkably similar to 2015.  Is the balance really occurring and how has the perception and reality for US producers changed since last year?  Will the next OPEC meeting just be more Doha or is there any chance OPEC could re-exert itself?”  Webster has more than 15-years’ experience providing analysis and strategic advice on domestic and international energy markets, with a focus on oil, natural gas and electricity issues. Current work is centered on energy policy in the Americas, OPEC policy choices and Middle Eastern energy markets.

 

WV AG to Headline Press Club Newsmaker – With the looming Legal arguments In the Clean Power Plan case, the National Press Club’s Newsmakers Committee will host an afternoon forum with West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrissey to discuss his role in this hugely-important case.   More details on this next week.

 

WINDPOWER Set for New Orleans – AWEA Is hosting its annual WINDPOWER conference in New Orleans this year on May 23rd through 26th at the Convention Center.  This year over 400 exhibitors, many of them new firms, will be filling a show floor including GE Renewable Energy, Siemens, Vestas, Goldwind, Gamesa, Nordex and many more. But there will be over 100 smaller firms exhibiting as well. Among the speakers will be our friend Russ Gold of the Wall Street Journal.  Others include keynoter Steve Farber, former LA Senator Mary Landrieu,  Vestas CEO Chris Brown and many more.

 

USEA Forum to Look at Gas Exports – The US Energy Assn will hold a forum on May 24th at 2:00 p.m. to Look at natgas export issues. US LNG exports are coming on to the global gas market at a time of a glut of supply, both pipeline and LNG, and low gas prices.  The outlook for demand – outside the US – is mostly pessimistic as well, suggesting the glut of supply could last for many years. Europe is seen as a key battleground for LNG against Russian pipeline gas but post 2020 China will come into that category as well.  What are the real prospects for US LNG exports with this background; could Russia engage in a price war in Europe, will there be any more FIDs on large scale LNG export projects before 2020, and what does all them imply for gas prices? Nexant Global Gas Principal Mike Fulwood will discuss.

 

Forum to Look at TX Green Energy – The Bi-National Energy Committee along with the City of San Antonio, CPS Energy, the North American Development Bank (NADB) and other organizations will hold the Bi-National Green Energy Forum on June 2nd in San Antonio, TX.  Focusing on green energy projects: from renewable sources of energy to new technologies for energy efficiencies, the Forum is great opportunity to learn and discuss with experts and successful companies of Mexico and the US about cross-border opportunities in this vibrant growing bi-national market.

 

USEA Forum to Look at Paris, Future of Energy – On Thursday June 9th, US EA will host former Sierra Club Counsel David Bookbinder to discuss Paris, the Presidential election and the future of energy.  As an environmental policy lawyer, Bookbinder has litigated cases under all of the major environmental statutes as Sierra Club’s Chief Climate Counsel. He then represented environmental groups in both stationary- and mobile-source carbon matters, including California’s greenhouse gas vehicle standards. Bookbinder has helped lead efforts on both global warming legislation and Clean Air Act greenhouse gas regulation, and has testified in front of House and Senate committees on these issues. In pursuing his goal of practical, cost-effective carbon solutions Bookbinder has frequently told environmental groups, members of Congress, and federal and state agencies things they did not want to hear.  In this briefing, Bookbinder will address the current complexities of carbon policy based upon his extensive experience in environmental law.

 

Oil, Gas Forum Set – US Energy Stream will hold a Washington Oil & Gas Forum on June 8th and 9th at the Cosmos Club in DC.  More on this as it gets closer, but you can go here: http://www.energystreamcmg.com/

 

RFF Wall Street Meeting Set for NYC – REFF-Wall Street 2016 will be held on June 11th and 12th at The Grand Hyatt, New York.  REFF-Wall Street is the premier renewable energy financing event in the U.S. The event draws an especially senior audience, comprising of over 600 decision makers, lenders, investors, investment bankers, private equity investors, venture capitalists, and other top transactional professionals in renewable energy finance.

Energy Update: Week of February 1

Friends,

Welcome back to a very busy week.  While it happened after we closed the update last week, I wanted to remind folks of the loss of the great character-actor Abe Vigoda, mostly known for his role of Tessio in the first two (and only real) Godfather movies.  While Tom couldn’t get him “off the hook for old-time sake,” we always knew it was about business.  Sal Tessio and Mo Green (who died just last year as well) together again at last.

I hope you had a chance to watch yesterday’s NHL All Star Game.  The new format was very interesting and exciting despite the fact that there was only one goal in the final 3-on-3 game. It was great to see some very talented players in that wide open format.  But who could not feel good about the entire John Scott story including his getting the game MVP.  Love the Michigan Tech boy made good.

This weekend launches Superbowl L (50) as well as New Orleans famed Mardi Gras. On Sunday, a number of parades including the Bacchus parade will launch the annual celebration getting up to next Tuesday’s big day.  Also, all week, Waste Management is at the PGA’s WM Phoenix Open with its sustainability forum and live action with the PGA Tour’s most fun/exciting golf hole, starting Thursday and including our friend/former White Press Sect Dana Perino.

While most are focusing on the Iowa caucuses today and tomorrow, in Congress the Senate continues its push for an energy bill.  Last week they started with the non-controversial items.  While they remain busy this week, expect tougher votes on more controversial items.  We are tracking the action so don’t hesitate to call with questions.

The House returns to action by focusing on the recent Paris climate agreement and the Flint water crisis.  House Science will have a tough look tomorrow at the results of Paris featuring Steve Eule, of the US Chamber’s Energy Institute, who last week released a blog post analyzing whether the Administration can actually meet its Paris Targets.  Wednesday House Oversight has former Flint City Manager and MI DEQ officials.

There are lots of issues swirling around the clean power plan including last week’s stay decision and many other issues.  Today my colleague Jeff Holmstead, takes up the topic with E&E TVs Monica Trauzzi.  It is an excellent update on where things stand so I hope you will take a look.

Finally today, the Gulf Economic Survival Team will launch and important new study focused on Interior’s imminent well control rule the study shows the significant impact the rule could have on an already struggling Gulf oil and gas industry.  I am including a link here to the study as well as short summary below.  We will also follow up with you on this study individually but should you have questions, please call.  We have a number of sources that can discuss the impact and the issue for you.

While I don’t particularly care who wins Sunday’s Super Bowl, I am rooting for Denver because one of my college fraternity brothers is an executive with the Broncos.  But it would also be nice to see a preseason surprise team like Carolina win as well.  Most importantly, remember to get your Super Bowl pool squares and hope for good numbers.

Best,

Frank Maisano

(202) 828-5864

(202) 997-5932

 

IN THE NEWS

Study: Extreme Cost of Well Rule Risks Gulf Energy Production, Intensifies Economic PainInitial findings from a study conducted by international research consultancy Wood Mackenzie confirm that the high cost of a proposed new rule governing oil and gas operations in the Gulf of Mexico could significantly reduce domestic energy production and curtail U.S. economic activity, energy supplies, and state and federal offshore revenues.  The Interior Department’s Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) in April 2015 proposed the sweeping Well Control Rule, a set of complex and highly technical regulations that impose expansive new requirements on offshore oil and gas drilling.  The new requirements included in the proposed rule call for far reaching changes to the rules by which the oil and gas operators are governed and would increase costs in a manner that will severely impact Gulf Coast economies.  According to initial findings released today, the study found that under an $80 oil assumption, comparable to the price assumptions used by BSEE in developing the rule, the Interior Department’s draft rule would:

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

Local Impacts, Industry Already HurtingChett Chiasson, Executive Director of the Greater Lafourche Port Commission said the rule would hurt an already struggling industry.  “Our port, our tenants and our local community will not be able to sustain the economic impacts of this new rule.  Our region is already grappling with the local impacts of low crude oil prices.  With the proposed rule in place, we would be looking at massive unemployment, more local businesses closing, and significant drops in tax revenue that would hurt our region for many years to come.”    Lori LeBlanc, Executive Director of the Gulf Economic Survival Team (GEST) urged the President to direct the Interior Department to address the rule’s far-reaching economic impact and the serious concerns of our local communities before sanctioning this new federal regulation.  As many as 190,000 American jobs and our nation’s energy security are at stake.”

AGs Letter Questions EPA on Carbon Trading Option – West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey helped lead officials from 18 states in challenging a proposal to force cap-and-trade upon states that do not comply with the Environmental Protection Agency’s Power Plan.  Participating states contend the EPA’s federal implementation plan, as set forth in relation to the Power Plan, upends state authority, increases electricity prices and violates numerous aspects of federal law.  The AGs objected to the implementation plan this month with a public comment letter to EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy. It stressed the states’ opposition to the underlying Power Plan, while questioning EPA’s authority and the plan’s ability to impact climate change.

ND Joins SCOTUS GHG Stay Battle – Speaking of AGs, North Dakota in 29 other states and industry groups urging the Supreme Court to halt implementation of new federal standards to reduce carbon emissions while the plan is being challenged.  North Dakota AG Wayne Stenehjem said if the GHG rules are not stayed, the state, will suffer “irreparable harm” because it has received more than $360 million in taxes during the last decade from its coal industry.

Groups: Support Better Energy Efficiency Program for Fed Buildings – While the Senate Energy debate rolls on, 25 companies and organizations urged Senators to support provisions in Secs. 1015, 1016, and 1017 of the energy bill. The sections would not only repeal a requirement regarding the reduction and eventual elimination of fossil fuel generated energy consumption in new and renovated federal buildings, but strengthen broader energy efficiency targets and other direction to federal agencies.  A part of Section 433 of the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 was intended to reduce fossil fuel-generated energy use in new and renovated federal buildings, with a 100 percent reduction required by the year 2030. Signers worry if could discourage comprehensive energy efficiency renovations, stifle innovations and result in increased energy costs for the federal government.  The provisions included in S. 2012 would not only repeal this requirement, but strengthen several existing federal energy management provisions to ensure large energy savings in the coming years. As the letter states, “The provisions in Secs. 1015, 1016, and 1017 would save taxpayers money by enhancing the energy efficiency of federal buildings.” Among the signers was AHRI member Trane, NRECA, the American Gas Assn and the Combined Heat and Power Assn, among others.

AWEA: Wind Power Posts Second Strongest Quarter Ever – The American Wind Energy Association ( AWEA) said that the wind industry installed 5,001 megawatts (MW) during the fourth quarter of 2015, more installations than in all of 2014, according to new data. Overall in 2015, the American wind industry installed 8,598 MW, the third largest amount ever installed in a year and a 77% increase over 2014.  AWEA highlighted the industry’s sustained growth in releasing its U.S. Wind Industry Fourth Quarter 2015 Market Report. The strong market activity is expected to continue, with a bipartisan vote by Congress late last year for a multi-year extension of the Production Tax Credit (PTC), supplying the industry with much-needed policy certainty. As 2016 began, an additional 9,400 MW were under construction.

Senate Energy Spokesman Move  to PR – Robert Dillon has joined Strategies 360’s Washington, D.C. team as senior vice president. An expert on energy policy and politics, Dillon most recently served as senior advisor to U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) and as the communications director of the U.S. Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee.   “Dillon has served the committee for more than seven years and has been a trusted advisor throughout my time leading the committee,” Sen. Murkowski said. “He has a great depth of knowledge on the issues within the committee’s jurisdiction and broad expertise on energy, environmental and resources policy. Dillon’s departure is a big loss for our team, but we thank him for everything he has done here and wish him the best moving forward. He has served Alaska well and we know he will continue to serve our state in his new role.”  At S360, Dillon will focus on strengthening and expanding the firm’s current government relations, strategic message development, crisis management, media relations, and speech and editorial writing practices. He will be working on energy issues, as well as a broad range of other policy areas.

 

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

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

SAB Continues Review on Water/NatGas Issues – Today and tomorrow, the EPA’s Science Advisory Panel holds teleconference meetings to discuss the peer review of the agency’s draft report on hydraulic fracturing’s impact on drinking water resources.

Chicago Forum to Look at Paris Climate Agreement – The Energy Policy Institute at the University of Chicago and the Chicago Council tonight are hosting an exclusive panel discussion on the Paris climate agreement, with Ed Crooks of the Financial Times, White House National Security Council advisor Paul Bodnar, Marathon Capital CEO Ted Brandt, and others.  The event will be at the Union League Club of Chicago at 6:00 p.m.

Panel to Look at Geoengineering – Today at 12:15 p.m., Future Tense New America will hold a book lunch on Geoengineering and how it could change the world.  Geoengineering is the deliberate hacking of Earth’s climate and might be one of the most promising potential responses to climate change, especially in the absence of significant carbon emission reductions. It’s also one of the most controversial.  In his new book, “The Planet Remade: How Geoengineering Could Change the World,” Oliver Morton argues that the risks of climate change merit serious action. According to Morton, geoengineering is not a simple or singular solution to the problem, but it is worth exploring, even if it’s never actually deployed.

Forum to Look at Black Sea Energy – The Atlantic Council will release a report and Hold a panel discussion today at 2:30 p.m. on developing energy in the Black Sea Region.  The report Developing a Western Energy Strategy for the Black Sea Region and Beyond, Atlantic Council’s Nonresident Senior Fellow at the Dinu Patriciu Eurasia Center and Global Energy Center, Dr. Ariel Cohen argues that the Black Sea region is key to Europe’s energy security and the West’s strategic positions. The panel of diplomats and experts will discuss the challenges the Black Sea region faces, and explore regional, European and US strategies to strengthen energy security.  Diplomats Amb. Elin Suleymanov of the Embassy of Azerbaijan and Tugay Tuncer of the Embassy of Turkey will speak.

House Science To Tackle Paris Agreement – The House Science Committee will hold a hearing tomorrow focusing on Paris Climate Agreement and whether it is a good or bad deal for America.  Witnesses will include Steve Eule, of the US Chamber’s Energy Institute , who last week released a blog post analyzing whether the Administration can actually meet its Paris Targets.  Others on the panel include University of Alabama in Huntsville professor John Christy, WRI’s Andrew Steer and Heritage’s Steven Groves.

House Energy to Address Energy Legislation – The House Energy & Commerce Committee’s Subcommittee on Energy and Power will hold a legislative hearing on a number of energy-related legislation.  Witnesses include FERC officials Ann Miles (Energy Projects Office Director) and Max Minzer (General Counsel), as well as a number of other industry and enviro representatives, including Bill Marsan of the American Transmission Company, Public Citizen’s Tyson Slocum and Jeff Leahey of the National Hydropower Association  The committee with also look at more legislation on Wednesday, including legislation aimed at stopping the Brick MACT.  Brick company execs and NRDC’s John Walke will testify.

Moniz to Discuss Iran Deal at Wilson Forum – The Wilson Center will host a forum tomorrow at 3:00 p.m. featuring Energy Secretary Ernie Moniz, focused on what steps Iran has taken, how the United States can be confident that Iran’s breakout time to a nuclear weapon has been extended to at least one year, what lies ahead for the nuclear deal and what challenges remain.

Wilson Forum to Look at Middle East Oil Price Equation – The Wilson Center’s Middle East Program will host a forum tomorrow at 3:00 p.m. on the implications of the collapse of oil prices for the Middle East.  The collapse of the oil prices has shocked both producers and consumers worldwide. As the most important producing region of the world, the Middle East has been particularly affected; state revenues are down, and cutthroat competition for market share and low global demand translates into greater challenges and uncertainty. The regional economic outlook is unclear, and questions remain about the potential long-term impact of sustained low oil prices. Three experts will analyze the geopolitical and financial aspects of the sharp decline in oil prices on both importing and exporting countries in the Middle East.

WCEE Forum with FERC ALJs – The Women’s Council on Energy & Environment will host a Litigation Roundtable tomorrow at 6:00 p.m. with the women Administrative Law Judges at FERC and EPA. The Judges will discuss why and how they became Administrative Law Judges, interesting developments in their careers, who mentored them along the way and how they have mentored others, and share the dos and don’ts regarding hearings and settlement conferences.

Jacobson to Address Anti-Nuclear Group – The anti-nuclear group NIRS will hold a tele-briefing tomorrow on “Paris and the path forward to a nuclear-free, carbon-free energy future.  As if there is one…  The discussion will feature controversial advocate/academic Mark Jacobson of Stanford and IEER’s Arjun Makhijani, both of who will explain what the climate agreement achieved and what its implications are for our energy future and nuclear power here in the U.S.

BPC Event to Look at Energy Innovation – On Wednesday at 8:30 a.m. at the Liaison Capitol Hill Hotel, the American Energy Innovation Council of the BPC will hold an event that will examine the rationale and implications of expanding federal support for energy innovation. The first panel will explore the economic impact of federal investments in energy innovation, focusing on how these investments can best leverage additional investments and ensure America’s competitive advantage in a rapidly evolving global energy marketplace. Phil Giudice, CEO at Ambri, will join to discuss how his grid storage company is working to develop transformative innovations in energy storage. A second panel will review new, collaborative institutional models that are working to create better bridges across the “valleys of death,” while aligning public and private sector priorities. ARPA-E Director Ellen Williams and our friends Kevin Kolevar of Dow Chemical and author Steve LeVine.

Forum to Discuss Transformations in Energy Technology – On Wednesday at 9:00 a.m., the Atlantic Council will host a panel discussion reflecting on BP’s Technology Outlook and its insights on how we may identify, extract, store, and ultimately consume our energy. The event will feature a presentation and panel with David Eyton, Head of Technology at BP, and Melanie Kenderdine, Director of the Office of Energy Policy and Systems Analysis at the Department of Energy and Energy Counselor to Secretary Moniz.

House Oversight to Take on Flint Water Crisis – The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee will look into the Flint water lead contamination on Wednesday at 9:00 a.m.  The witness list includes Miguel Del Toral, the Region 5 regulations manager who wrote a scathing memo last June to his supervisor about Flint’s lack of a corrosion control plan at the city’s water treatment plant.  Others on the panel include EPA Water Office acting deputy assistant administrator Joel Beavais, VaTech’s Marc Edwards (who was one of the initial whistleblowers) Michigan DEQ Director Keith Creaghan and Darnell Earley, former emergency manager for Flint.

Senate Environment to Tackle Stream Rule – The Senate Environment Committee hold a full committee hearing Wednesday at 9:30 a.m. on the potential environmental and economic impact of the proposal, which aims at increasing protections for streams near coal mines.

RFF to Look at Drought Response – Resources for the Future will hold an RFF First Wednesday Seminar this week in collaboration with the Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC) on improving the Federal drought response.  While drought management can involve all levels of government, the federal government in particular has a unique set of policy tools that can help communities prepare for and minimize the impact of droughts. At this Seminar, experts will discuss the role of the federal government in western water and drought management, with a focus on how it can strengthen its partnership with states to better manage drought today and in a warmer, possibly drier, future. The event features a presentation by Ellen Hanak, director of the PPIC Water Policy Center, who will discuss the center’s new report, Improving the Federal Response to Western Drought: Five Areas for Reform.  Speakers include USDA’s Deputy Under Secretary for Natural Resources and Environment Ann Mills, Mark Kramer of The Nature Conservancy and Interior’s Deputy Assistant Secretary for Water and Science Tom Iseman.

Turkish Energy Future Focus on Forum – On Wednesday at 3:45 p.m. in the Press Club’s Lisagor Room, the Turkish Heritage Organization will hold a forum looking at energy security in Turkey and its surrounding neighbors. The instability in the Middle East along with the East Mediterranean has created a fragile energy dependent region that heightens Turkey’s central importance as a leader in energy politics. This forum will look at what Turkey’s role be in alleviating the energy crisis in 2016 and how the geopolitics affect its ability to improve the global market of energy by lessening dependency.

Climate Film Series To Be Screened – The Island Institute, in partnership with the Ocean Conservancy, is hosting a screening event on Wednesday at 6:00 pm at the University of California Washington Center showcasing its “A Climate of Change” film series.  The films examine the effects on the fishing industry associated with climate change, including warming waters, lack of biodiversity, and ocean acidification. Across New England and the nation, fishermen and scientists are observing notable shifts in the ecosystem and dramatic changes on the water. These Island Institute film screenings will help introduce shellfish aquaculture as an example of economic diversification for fishing communities and will prove to be excellent opportunities for relationship building and dialogue exchange on climate change.

NAS Hosts Meeting on Domestic Transportation of Petroleum, NatGas, Ethanol – On Thursday and Friday, the National Academies of Science will host a meeting on domestic transportation of fuels.  Given a number of recent events, look for a candid discussion of potential policies.   See the speakers and agenda here.

Sustainable Energy Factbook Release – For the fourth year in a row, Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) & the Business Council for Sustainable Energy (BCSE) have produced the Sustainable Energy in America Factbook, which provides the latest industry information and trends from the energy efficiency, natural gas & renewable energy sectors in the United States. On Thursday at 12:00 p.m., a panel of executives from BCSE member companies and analysts from BNEF will discuss why 2015 was a watershed year for the US clean energy economy.

WCEE Feature World Bank Expert on Green Bonds – The Women’s Council on Energy and the Environment will host a forum on Thursday at 12:00 noon on Green Bonds featuring World Bank expert Akiko Nakagawa. Nakagawa shares her work on developing and supervising projects financed through green bonds as well as how these bonds are placed in the climate negotiation’s context.  Laura Tlaiye will explain the requirements of green bond eligible projects and how bonds are structured.

Woolsey to Headline Lecture – On Friday at 5:30 p.m., the Institute of World Politics will host the third Brian Kelley Memorial Lecture on the topic of “Energy Security in the 21st Century.”  The year’s lecture will feature Ambassador R. James Woolsey, Former Director of Central Intelligence.  Woolsey has been one of the most prominent analysts of national security issues, as well as energy policy. He has been a proponent of US energy independence and the protection of major infrastructure vulnerabilities, such as our electric grid upon which everything in our civilization depends.

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

 

FUTURE EVENTS

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

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

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

ICF to Present 2016 Fuels Outlook – ICF International will hold a webinar on Tuesday February 9th to look at the 2016 Fuels Outlook.  ICF’s Joel Bluestein will present and provide insights on how the fuel sector may trend in the new year as well as the risks and opportunities the sector presents. Topics will include the effects of continued low oil prices on North American energy production; the outlook for LNG exports and, with the lifting of the ban, crude oil exports; key drivers of natural gas demand in the near term; Investment outlook for natgas infrastructure and the implications of the Clean Power Plan.

WCEE Feature Paris Climate Discussion – The Women’s Council on Energy and the Environment will host a forum on Tuesday February 9th at 12:00 noon to hear from four organizations about their participation in COP21, their thoughts on the agreement, and how they’re getting to work on implementation.   Speakers will include Astrid Caldas of the Union of Concerned Scientists, Jennifer Huang of Center for Climate & Energy Solutions (C2ES), Anne Kelly of Ceres and Tanya Primiani of the World Bank.

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

Nuclear Innovation Conference Set – The Energy Innovation Reform Project and Oak Ridge will hold a nuclear innovation conference on February 10 and 11th in Oak Ridge, TN. Continuing on the important work of the 2015 Advanced Reactors Technical Summit II at UMass Lowell and the inaugural 2014 Special Technical Symposium at Argonne National Laboratory, the Technical Summit III will continue the discussion on approaches for improving the cost and deployment time frame of advanced reactors. Specifically the Summit III will engage in a discussion of common ground practical ideas and concepts that have the potential of significantly accelerating advanced reactor design, deployment, and operations. The Technical Summit III features the leading advanced reactor concepts as well as key thought and policy leaders.  Speakers will include NRC Commissioner William Ostroff and DOE’s John Kotek, among many others.

ACCO to Talk with Better Buildings Director – The Association of Climate Change Officers will hold a roundtable on Wednesday February 10th at 4:30 p.m.  with Maria Vargas. Vargas is the Director of the Better Buildings Challenge at the Department of Energy. The goal of the Better Buildings Challenge is to make American buildings 20 percent more efficient by 2020. This leadership initiative involves chief executive officers, University presidents and state and local leaders that have committed to upgrading buildings across their portfolio and providing their energy savings data and strategies as models for others to follow.

RFF/EPRI to Look at GHG Modeling – Resources for the Future (RFF) and the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) will hold a Seminar Breakfast on February 11th at 8:30 a.m. looking at Clean Power Plan Strategic Modeling.  Industry leaders, policymakers, and the public still have questions about how the Clean Power Plan will impact the mix of power generation, the interconnected grid, cross-state electricity markets, and how consumers use electricity. New modeling results from researchers at Resources for the Future and the Electric Power Research Institute provide strategic insight into these questions and more. This event is the second in RFF and EPRI’s 2016 Clean Power Plan series. Watch the video from the first event, where experts discussed formal comments to EPA on the federal plan and trading rules.

RESCHEDULED: SAFE Forum to Look at Iran, Saudi Arabia Conflict – Securing America’s Future Energy and the Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD) Capitol Hill lunch event has been rescheduled for February 12th pending speaker confirmations.  The event was to discuss the rising tensions between Iran and Saudi Arabia and U.S. energy and national security interests in the region and feature  SAFE Energy Security Leadership Council member General Charles F. Wald (U.S. Air Force, Ret.), former NSC head John Hannah, former National Economic Council official Bob McNally and FP Correspondent Indira Lakshmanan.

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

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

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