Energy Update: Week of January 25

Friends,

Happy Snow!!!!  Now that was a good snow storm.  But the difference between here and the North (Detroit for me) is that you usually have weeks/months of freezing cold temps and more snow still ahead of you.  Here, we had two straight days of sunny and 45 degrees following the storm, and today we are getting rain.  That should help clear some of the snow off the roads, even if the plowing isn’t quite as good as the colder climates.  Speaking of plowing, while I think Maryland did a good job, my drive (in the Volt, mind you) into the Capital today showed that DC still has a lot of catching up to do, as the downtown area remains basically gridlocked with minimal open lanes.  Thinking I might be on the MARC train/Metro for a few days.

Speaking of the storm, as the Mid-Atlantic region digs out, AHRI reminded local residents to protect their furnace vents and heat pumps by clearing piled up snow away from them:

“With a massive winter storm blasting the Nation’s Capital, it is important clear away snow and other debris that block airflow through the outdoor part of your heat pump.” said AHRI President Stephen Yurek. “We have so many things on our minds during a massive storm like this, but it is very important for those who use heat pumps to keep warm, to keep the outdoor part of their unit clear of snow.  Yurek also reminded those who have highly-efficient furnaces (those that require through-the-wall venting) to keep the vents clear of snow and ice for their safety and that of their loved ones. Failure to do so can result in a buildup of deadly carbon monoxide gas.”

With school off another day, I just had to get back to work.  And the Senate does too, launching its energy reform package tomorrow.  The legislation, a bipartisan measure that cleared committee on an 18-4 vote last year, and includes provisions pushed by both Republicans and Democrats. They include measures to expedite liquefied natural gas exports, reform federal energy programs and improve the reliability of the electric grid.  While Senate Energy Chair Lisa Murkowski said she hopes the legislation will move forward in a bipartisan manner, that may be wishful thinking in this election year.  Lots of rumors about amendments and they may take all forms from simple fixes in a manager’s amendment to off-the-wall political bombshells.  We’ll see how it plays out over the next couple weeks.

Many events are cancelled especially today and tomorrow, including the two House hearings and the Senate EPW markup/hearing.  I have provided a list of other events below but check them events before you venture out because Uber and Cabs are still up-charging I think.

Finally, if you want to think WARM, remember next week launches the Waste Management Phoenix Open.  Weather report from TPC Scottsdale says SUNNY and 70s all week.  WM launches with its 6th annual Executive Sustainability Forum on Tuesday, Celeb Pro-Am on Wednesday and real PGA golf starting Thursday.

Call if you have energy bill questions, need driving tips or are wondering how to prevent snow plows from covering your driveway after you’ve already shoveled it… and be safe out there.

Best,

Frank Maisano

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

 

IN THE NEWS

SCOTUS Lets FERC DR Rule Stand – The Supreme Court rejected a challenge to a FERC rule  that promotes electricity conservation, handing a big victory to environmentalists and federal power regulators.  The 6-2 decision overturned a federal appeals panel ruling and affirmed the commission’s authority to offer incentives to reduce power consumption during peak demand periods by paying large users to curb their electricity use, policies that green groups say help open the power grid up to more renewable sources like wind and solar.

Bracewell FERC Experts Weigh In – My colleagues who are FERC experts weighed in with an Energy Blog Post yesterday. They say the Court was persuaded that FERC had taken care not trample on state regulatory authority by the fact that FERC’s DR regime permitted retail purchaser’s to participate in wholesale markets only if state regulators did not forbid them from doing so. They added that although it is early to tell, this decision appears to affirm a broader view of FERC’s jurisdiction over wholesale power markets than previously understood.

NRECA Protests Ruling – NRECA expressed disappointment over the Court’s ruling.  NRECA had challenged FERC Order 745 on the grounds that the Commission overstepped its jurisdictional authority.  “For decades, co-ops have been able to save co-op member-owners millions of dollars by creating robust demand response programs. We are concerned that by giving this pricing authority squarely to FERC, the Court has diminished the ability of state public utility commissions and the cooperative and municipal boards, to protect the interest of consumers. NRECA will continue to advocate for compensation levels that benefit co-op owner-members,” said Jay Morrison, vice president of regulatory affairs.  Electric cooperatives have aggressively pursued cost savings for consumer-members by offering a wide range of demand response programs; in fact in 2012, co-ops’ share of total retail electric sales was 11%, yet they were responsible for 19% of actual peak reduction,” he added.

Segal Looks at Impact on CPP Consideration – My Bracewell colleague Scott Segal, also the director of the ERCC read the opinion and found it interesting looking for implications towards future consideration of arguments on the CPP.  Segal said the Court says there is still a substantial statutory separation between FERC’s wholesale authority and state retail rate-making and recognized demand response as an exception noting that FERC was responding to a market-developed concept that had been approved by Congress and had a consumer protection and reliability rationale.  Segal adds that is a pretty limited view.  Segal: “The Court’s reasoning should give no comfort to supporters of the Clean Power Plan.  First, CPP in no sense was developed by the market.  Far from approved by Congress, it has been roundly opposed by Congress as inconsistent with 40 years of Clean Air Act precedent.  And rather than protecting consumers and reliability, a broad consensus of impartial third parties has found that CPP will have the opposite effect.”

BLM Rolls Methane Rules Just Before Big Storm – Talk about clearing the decks… Interior’s Bureau of Land Management (BLM) proposed updates on Friday to 30-year-old natural gas emissions regulations for oil and gas operations on public and Native American lands, including a requirement that producers adopt modern techniques and equipment to limit flaring.   My expert colleague Sandra Snyder said if adopted, BLM’s regulations may have the unintended effect of deterring development on federal lands, thereby decreasing federal royalties.  The BLM rule BLM announced today rule proposes to add additional requirements to the already onerous process of obtaining an Application for Permit to Drill (APD).  Since 2010, it has taken industry on average well over 200 days to obtain an APD from BLM.  Adding additional requirements will inevitably lead to additional delays.  Moreover, she adds BLM needs to make good on its pledge to avoid redundant requirements, while also recognizing the voluntary efforts of industry to reduce emissions through the implementation of innovative technologies.  The financial benefit of capturing more of its product is not news to oil and gas production companies — they’ve been ahead of the government on this issue for quite some time.

Cabot Already Ahead of BLM Rules – As Sandra mentioned, the fact is, industry has been ahead of the curve on this for years, working diligently on its own to reduce methane emissions.  It’s both good environmental stewardship and makes sense from a business standpoint; since companies strive for efficiency, it makes sense to capture as much product as you can.  To cite one 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.  A big part of the trick involves optimizing “green completions,” which means minimizing natural gas flaring during the cleanup phase after a well is completed by diverting gas into a pipeline.

IPAA Says Rule’s Timing is Bad – The IPAA said the reduction of emissions through limited venting and flaring is in the government and the industry’s best interest. Financially, no oil or natural gas producer would choose to lose valuable resources that could otherwise be sold. And when the product is sold, the U.S. treasury receives a royalty. Further, increased natural gas production and use have resulted in cleaner air for the United States. We are concerned that these new rules could create a regulatory regime that prevents the extension of the financial and important environmental benefits generated by American oil and natural gas production.  “This is the latest in the string of bad policies released by this administration showing a lack of knowledge of how the oil and gas industry truly works. Imposing these new regulations will make it more expensive and harder for independent producers to operate, reducing America’s total energy production and preventing additional receipts from going back to the US Treasury. Making matters worse, lifting the royalty rate ceiling simply leaves the door open for the federal government to increase rates on producers down the road. This will change the predictability and certainty for operators on federal lands, making it harder to plan and commit to long-term projects. With oil and natural gas prices currently at their lowest in decades, now is the worst time to raise fees on America’s independent producers.”

Court Denies Stay Request for CPP – Last Thursday, a three-judge panel of the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals granted a petition for expedited briefing in the case regarding the carbon rules for the power sector, while denying the imposition of an immediate stay.  My colleague Scott Segal said the expedited briefing schedule is indicative of the seriousness with which the court is taking the case and the very substantial legal issues that need to be resolved in order to safeguard electric reliability and consumer interests.  He added a record 27 states are challenging the GHG plan, along with some 25 national and state trade associations, 39 rural cooperatives, 12 major corporations, and three labor unions with combined membership nearing one million.”

WV AG Considers SCOTUS Review on Stay Request – West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey said his office will consider urging the U.S. Supreme Court to halt ongoing, irreversible harm caused by EPA’s Power Plan.  Morrisey says if left intact, the plan will lead to skyrocketing electricity bills and devastate West Virginia’s coal industry and the countless jobs depending upon its success.  “We are disappointed in today’s decision, but believe we will ultimately prevail in court,” Attorney General Morrisey said. “The court did not issue a ruling on the merits and we remain confident that our arguments will prevail as the case continues. We are pleased, however, that the court has agreed to expedite hearing the case.”

Rural Co-ops Say Stay Important to Protect Rural Consumers – NRECA also expressed deep disappointment with a court’s refusal to halt implementation of EPA’s rule. NRECA was among those that petitioned the court to stay the rule while a separate battle over its legality plays out: “Charging ahead with implementation of the Clean Power Plan will cause immediate and irreparable harm to America’s electric co-ops,” said Debbie Wing, NRECA director of media relations. “While the rule’s emission reduction requirements don’t kick in for several years, co-ops must start taking immediate costly and irreversible steps to achieve the goals set forth in the EPA’s overreaching regulations. The result will be lost jobs, economic harm to rural communities and significant electric rate increases for some of our nation’s most vulnerable citizens—families living on fixed incomes or in poverty.”

Chamber Says Expedited Review of CPP Essential – The U.S. Chamber’s Institute for 21st Century Energy, said the D.C. Circuit Court decision to expedite legal review of carbon regulations indicates that the court agrees that it is important to review the rules quickly. As the Chamber and its partners have argued all along, the rule is already hurting American businesses. The Court’s decision to deny the stay motion is about procedure. The Chamber says it looks forward to presenting our arguments to the Court as part of an expedited review process, and we will continue our efforts to halt the EPA’s unprecedented effort to restructure the American economy.

AEA: Don’t File a Plan – AEA President Thomas Pyle penned an op-ed in Morning Consult cautioning state leaders against submitting a state plan for EPA’s carbon regulation–what EPA calls the “Clean Power Plan.” EPA, environmental groups, and utilities are pressuring state leaders to submit state plans by implying that a federal plan will be much worse for their citizens. But as Pyle points out, state and federal plans are essentially the same. The only major difference is that a state plan locks citizens in to this costly regulation—even if the rule is thrown out in court—while a federal plan does not.  Click here to continue reading the op-ed.

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

Washington Auto Show Sets Policy Bar – After the Snow out over the weekend, the Washington Auto Show continues really launched this week.  The opening on Friday was delayed due to the weather.  The show runs through Sunday.

AHRI Forum To Highlight New Technologies – Our friends at AHRI were lucky to miss the storm by decamping to Orlando for their annual AHR Expo, an annual trade show co-sponsored by AHRI and ASHRAE. It is one of the largest industry expos, drawing over 1400 exhibitors and over 60,000 HVAC professionals.  The event focuses on highlighting advancements that address the dynamic requirements of today’s HVACR industry.  Over 80% of the Show Exhibitors are introducing new or upgraded products, systems and technologies that are being unveiled and showcased on the 2016 AHR Expo floor.  Spanning categories from indoor air quality to software, and addressing the interests of contractors, engineers, wholesalers/distributors, facility managers and owners/operators, these innovations are expected to touch every corner of interest from across the HVACR industry.

CANCELLED — House Ag to Host EPA’s McCarthy – The House Agriculture Committee hearing today on the impact of EPA regulations on the rural economy featuring EPA Chief Gina McCarthy will be rescheduled

CANCELLED – 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 tomorrow has been postponed to 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.

NAS Social Cost of Carbon Presser – CANCELLED

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

CANCELLED – House Oversight to Look at RFS – The House Oversight Hearing On the RFS will also be rescheduled to a Later date.

NAM State of Manufacturing Tour to Start in NH, FL – The National Association of Manufacturers, the unified voice of more than 14,000 manufacturers in the United States, will tour the country for the 2016 State of Manufacturing Tour starting tomorrow in Manchester, New Hampshire and Tampa, Florida.  See full schedule here.  NAM is showcasing modern manufacturing, highlighting the importance of manufacturing to America and laying out solutions that will create more jobs, seize global leadership and expand the circle of opportunity so wide that the American Dream is available to everyone.

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

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

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

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

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

Forum to Look at Low Oil Prices, Middle East Impacts – The Atlantic Council’s Global Energy Center will host a panel discussion on Thursday at 9:00 a.m. looking at the impact of low oil prices in the Middle East. The collapse in crude oil prices since mid-2014 has shaken the foundation of global energy markets, with sweeping economic and political implications for the Middle East. Amidst falling oil revenues, governments from the Gulf to Iraq and beyond face fiscal crises, market upheaval, disruption of traditional ways of doing business, challenges to longstanding fuel subsidy programs, and slumping economic growth. In the midst of this volatile landscape, energy producers in the region face an uncertain future that will have ramifications in the years to come.  Our friend Jamie Webster of IHS will be among the speakers.

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

Battery Storage 101 Features ESA, Tesla – On Friday at 1:00 p.m., the Battery Energy Storage Caucus and the Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Caucus will hold a “Battery Energy Storage 101 and Introduction to the Battery Storage Industry” briefing.  The future of renewables comes in a battery. Companies across the country are developing batteries for home storage connected to solar panels, grid scale storage and automobiles. From Tesla’s lithium ion battery Gigafactory in Nevada to Michigan-based Sakti3 which is commercializing a high-energy density battery, the storage revolution is upon us.  The event will discuss how exactly battery energy storage works with the Energy Storage Association and learn what leaders in the industry are doing in the grid side application of storage to make our grid more secure and cost effective.

FUTURE EVENTS

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

Panel to Look at Geoengineering – Next Monday, February 1st 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.

Wilson Forum to Look at Middle East Oil Price Equation – The Wilson Center’s Middle East Program will host a forum next Tuesday 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 next Tuesday 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 next Tuesday 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, February 3rd 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, February 3rd 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.

NAS Hosts Meeting on Domestic Transportation of Petroleum, NatGas, Ethanol – On February 4th  and 5th, 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.

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, February 4th 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, February 4th 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, February 5th 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 February 5th.

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

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

Energy Update: Week of June 15

Friends,

 

Finally we are to the point in the basketball and hockey seasons where the Naismith trophy and Lord Stanley’s Cup will be “in the house” at a pair of Game 6s tonight/tomorrow, and at latest, be awarded this week, if not sooner.  Both series have been great with the hockey being among the best I’ve seen in a while.  And the battle between Steph Curry and LeBron James has been pretty strong as well with each putting their team on his back at key times.   What will be do after it is over?  Look to late July/early August for the launch of Football and the Baseball playoff stretch.   By the way, already getting college and HS Football officiating assignments so it is not that far off…

 

While it was supposed to come out Thursday, apparently an Italian Magazine leaked the Pope’s encyclical on climate change today.  Former Financial Times DC bureau friend Steph Kirchgaessner, now in Rome with The Guardian,  has the scoop featuring the document in Italian which says the Pope hoped his encyclical would inspire action not just by Roman Catholics but by people of all creeds and religions around the world.  It also calls for changes in lifestyles and energy consumption to avert the “unprecedented destruction of the ecosystem” before the end of this century.  Following the leak, the conservative E&E Legal Foundation posted a video that says flawed policies to tackle climate change will actually cause more harm for the world’s poor.

 

In town today and tomorrow is the big EIA 2015 Energy Conference at the Renaissance Washington, DC Downtown Hotel.  Keynote Speakers will be DOE Secretary Ernie Moniz, Mexican Energy secretary Pedro Joaquín Coldwell, ND Sen. John Hoeven, Tesla’s JB Straubel, BNSF CEO Matt Rose and Continental Resources CEO Harold Hamm.  It is always a high-profile event that is a news generator.  See you there…

 

Lots going on in Congress this week with tomorrow focused on Interior/EPA funding as both the full House Approps Committee and Lisa Murkowski’s Approps panel handling their versions of the funding.   There will also be a joint hearing in House E&C on the potential impacts of EPA’s proposed ozone standard on manufacturers and House Resources on the latest Interior Arctic drilling plan.  On Wednesday, Senate Environment discusses Coal Ash with NRECA member South Texas Electric Cooperative GM Mike Kezar leading the testimony.  After a bumpy performance last week on Ozone, EPA’s Janet McCabe visits Senate Homeland Security to discuss another controversial subject, the EPA’s management of the RFS (hint:  NOT GOOD).  Look for more bumps as they discuss the latest ethanol proposal.  Also Thursday, the House E&C Health Subcommittee will take up the Rep. Pompeo-led GMO labeling bill—critics have dubbed it the DARK Act—that would preempt state efforts to mandate GMO labeling.  We can provide experts and info on this issue should you need it.   Speaking of GMOs, looks like France just banned glyphosate (Round Up to you and me) today.  I’m sure that will come up a time or two on Thursday.

 

Today is Global Wind Day.  Every year on June 15th Global Wind Day celebrates a chance to reflect and be inspired by all that great opportunities and advances wind power in making in the world. Wind farms now operate in more than 75 countries, while here in the US, they power the equivalent of 15.5 million homes.  You can tweet about it on #GlobalWindDay and find 8 Fun Wind Day Facts here.

 

Finally, if you are Looking for some networking opportunities, on Wednesday evening at Hawk ‘n Dove on Capitol Hill, OurEnergyPolicy.org (OEP) and the Women’s Council on Energy and the Environment are hosting a happy hour for DC area energy professionals.  RSVP Here.

 

Frank Maisano

(202) 828-5864

(202) 997-5932

 

 

IN THE NEWS

 

DOE Furnace Rule Analysis Flawed – In a meeting last week with key environmental and industry stakeholders to discuss in Energy’s Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on Energy Conservation Standards for Residential Furnaces, AGA unveiled a significant flaw in the economic model used to test the rule, which has led to faulty outcomes and an inaccuracy in what the Department indicates will occur if this rule is put in place.  The DOE model began with 10,000 sample homes and used a “Monte Carlo” method to determine which households are “affected” by the rule and which ones are not, by assigning furnaces to homes in a random fashion irrespective of economics. The determination whether or not the family would have an 80% energy efficient natural gas furnace or a 92% efficient natural gas furnace was completely random, removing the rational, economic decision making process that takes place both with homeowners and builders. AGA’s analysis points to a few specific homes included in the DOE model, including one California household that would pay $3,287 to replace its furnace, but would only see annual savings of $27 with a payback period of 90 years, and a New York household that would not install an efficient furnace despite associated savings of $1,656 in installation costs and $76 annually. AGA, AHRI and other industry groups contend the rule would have unintended consequences, including raising costs for low-income customers and causing customers to switch from gas to electric heat, in some cases increasing greenhouse gas emissions.

 

Summit Discusses Key Issues Facing Rural Communities – On Thursday, NRECA hosted the Summit on Rural America where policymakers and leaders discussed the future of our rural communities. Numerous speakers, including several from the administration, Congress and other key stakeholders in rural America offered insights on the rural agenda.  As well, Arkansas statewide CEO Duane Highley represented electric co-ops at a U.S. Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources hearing. Duane testified on the importance of sharing information with utilities in the event of cybersecurity threats. He also shared concerns over coordination between agencies and stakeholders when new rules are implemented that could threaten grid reliability.

 

France Bans Weedkiller Used On GMOs – French Ecology Minister Segolene Royal yesterday asked French garden centers to stop selling the popular weedkiller Roundup as part of a wider fight against pesticides that have been deemed potentially harmful to humans.  The active ingredient in Roundup, glyphosate, was in March classified as “probably carcinogenic to humans” by the UN’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC).

 

Clean Air Group releases Ozone Survey that Raises Concerns – The Association of Air Pollution Control Agencies (AAPCA) released a new survey, State Environmental Agency Perspectives on Background Ozone & Regulatory Relief. This report includes a review of all state environmental agency comments on U.S. EPA’s proposed revision to National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) for ground-level ozone, as well as a detailed follow up survey of state members of AAPCA’s Board of Directors.  The results indicate that a majority of state environmental agencies, including geographically-diverse states with differing perspectives on the proposed ozone NAAQS revisions, view background ozone as a potential implementation and achievability challenge. While U.S. EPA has stated that there are “tools for air agencies to address exceedances of an ozone standard potentially caused by background ozone,” this survey found significant limitations and several common concerns with Clean Air Act tools designed to address exceptional events, international transport, and rural transport areas.

 

E&E Hub Interview: Honorable sees a ‘proactive’ FERC on Clean Power Plan – FERC should play a “proactive” role in helping states and regions respond to challenges posed by compliance with the forthcoming final version of U.S. EPA’s Clean Power Plan, Colette Honorable, FERC’s newest member, said in a Friday interview with our friend s at E&E News’ Power Plan Hub.  While Honorable and her colleagues are on record in support of EPA, including a so-called reliability safety valve in the final rule, she also wants FERC to use its “tools” to “provide certainty and support for this [EPA] planning effort.”  “It might be a technical conference or FERC could direct assessments or studies to be conducted. FERC is going to be needed now more than ever to support the vast work that will have to be undertaken in states, in [organized market] regions and in multistate groups that are not part of regions.”

 

US Adds Solar in 1Q – On the renewable front, the first quarter numbers are in and the U.S. added more than 1.3 gigawatts of new solar from January to March. GTM Research and the Solar Energy Industries Association project a total of 7.9 gigawatts of new solar by the end of the year. Check out our solar map that demonstrates the depth and breadth of co-op solar projects.

 

Vogtle Adds Concrete Dome to Protect Back up Power Sources – Georgia Power has erected a 39-foot-tall, 50-foot-wide dome at Plant Vogtle that will guard backup power equipment for emergencies. The dome boasts 2-foot-thick concrete walls that can withstand an earthquake or a direct hit from a tornado.  Nuclear facilities across the U.S. built concrete domes with backup equipment as part of the nation’s response to the 2011 nuclear meltdown at Fukushima Daiichi in Japan. Vogtle will unveil its dome today during an emergency preparedness event.

 

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

 

EIA Annual Energy Conference Set – EIA will hold its 2015 Energy Conference today and tomorrow in Washington, DC at the Renaissance Washington, DC Downtown Hotel.  Keynote Speakers will DOE Secretary Ernie Moniz, Mexican Energy secretary Pedro Joaquín Coldwell, ND Sen. John Hoeven, Tesla’s JB Straubel, BNSF CEO Matt Rose and Continental Resources CEO Harold Hamm, among others.  Breakout session topics will include the effects of changing world oil prices: production, economy, and geopolitics, North American energy markets, the role of emerging energy storage technologies in electricity markets, domestic and global natgas markets, greenhouse gas emissions on power and methane, developments in hydrocarbon gas liquids markets, electric distribution markets in the 21st century, energy by rail and water, energy infrastructure needs and options and residential and commercial energy consumption.  You can see the full agenda here.

 

Lt Dan to Speak to National Press Club – Academy Award nominee and Emmy-winning actor and director Gary Sinise will address an NPC Speakers Breakfast tomorrow at 8:30 a.m.  Sinise will discuss his tireless advocacy for America’s servicemen and women through the Gary Sinise Foundation.  Sinise will be in Washington to receive the 2015 Service to America Leadership Award from the NAB Education Foundation (NABEF).

 

Senate Energy to Look at DOE Nominees – The Senate Energy Committee will hold a hearing to consider the nominations of Jonathan Elkind to be an Assistant Secretary of Energy (International Affairs), and Monica Regalbuto to be an Assistant Secretary of Energy (Environmental Management).

 

House Approps , Senate Panel Mark Up Interior, EPA Funding – The House Appropriations Committee will hold a full markup of the FY 2016 Interior and Environment Appropriations Bill tomorrow morning at 10:00 a.m.  Following that, Senate Approps Subcommittee on the bill will mark up their version of same funding bill at 2:30 p.m.

 

House E&C Panels Look at Ozone Impact on Manufacturers – Two panels of the House Energy & Commerce Committee will hold a joint hearing tomorrow focusing on how the EPA Ozone proposal could affect the nation’s manufacturing sector. The hearing comes after the above mentioned rough ride EPA air office head Janet McCabe received last week on the agency’s plans for the standard and the potential costs of the proposal.   Witnesses include NAM’s Ross Eisenberg, Erin Monroe Wesley of the Baton Rouge Area Chamber, Michael Freeman of WD-40 Co. and several others.

 

House Resources to Look at Arctic Drilling Plan – The House Natural Resources panel on Energy and Mineral Resources will hold a hearing tomorrow that will scrutinize the new Interior draft rule governing oil and gas exploration in the Arctic Ocean.  The hearing before the Subcommittee will feature diverging views on the Interior Department rule, released in February, which garnered praise from conservationists and criticism from industry.  Witnesses will include BSE head Brian Salerno, Richard Glenn of the Arctic Slope Regional Corp., Christine Resler of Schlumberger and Michael LeVine of Oceana.

 

WCEE Forum to Look at Water-Energy Nexus – The Women’s Council on Energy and the Environment (WCEE) will host a lunchtime forum on the challenges and opportunities in the water-energy nexus.  Energy and water are undeniably linked, and droughts, such as the one that California is currently experiencing, can constrain the operation of power plants and other energy production activities.  Moreover, vital water infrastructure serving millions of people can lose power during major storm events, as we witnessed during Hurricane Sandy.  Becoming more resilient to these types of events will require a mix of policy and technology.  Panelists will break down the issues and suggest ways for meeting the challenges to ensure that our energy and water needs continue to be met.  They include EEI’s Richard Bozek, Chris Kearney of the Senate Energy Committee and Eileen O’Neill of the Water Environment Federation.

 

ELI Forum Looks At Oil Pollution Act – The Environmental Law Institute will hold a forum tomorrow at Noon on oil pollution issues.  In 1990, following the Exxon Valdez oil spill, Congress enacted the Oil Pollution Act (OPA) to strengthen the federal government’s ability to prevent and respond to oil spills, establish financial resources to aid response, and raise standards for contingency planning.  The 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill cleanup and allocation of responsibility have severely tested that program, as have a variety of transportation related spills, both from pipelines and railroads. As U.S. domestic oil production rapidly increases and strains the transportation system’s capacity to move large new volumes of crude oil and refined product without mishap, the time is ripe to address how the legal system is adapting to these new and unexpected challenges.  ELI’s expert panelists , including former DOT Secretary Rodney Slater, will brief participants about developments in oil pollution law and related issues such as the pending Deepwater Horizon civil penalty action and resolution of related issues stemming from the disaster, challenges posed by rapidly increasing pipeline and railroad transportation of crude oil and products,  developments regarding natural resource damage assessments and liability and how current law can be used to address future challenges in the supply and demand of crude oil.   ELI will also be making copies of Oil Pollution Deskbook authored by Russ Randle available.

 

Forum Looks at RFS – The Center on Global Energy Policy will hold a presentation and discussion tomorrow at 2:30 p.m. on the future of the Renewable Fuel Standard. Dr. James Stock, a non-resident Fellow at the Center, former member of the President’s Council of Economic Advisers and the Harold Hitchings Burbank Professor of Political Economy at the Harvard Kennedy School, will present the findings of his new report, “The Renewable Fuel Standard: A Path Forward.”  After the presentation, there will be two panel discussions moderated by Center Founding Director Jason Bordoff. The first will feature analysis and commentary from Iowa State Bruce Babcock, Scott Irwin of the University of Illinois, former Bush White House Energy National Economic Council staffer Bob McNally, former Obama White House National Economic Council staffer Ron Minsk, and James Stock.  The second panel will feature Growth Energy’s Tom Buis, Michael McAdams of the Advanced Biofuels Association and Shell’s John Reese, among others.

 

NAS to Host Truck Rule Assessment – The National Academy of Sciences will host a forum on the assessment of technologies and approaches for reducing the fuel consumption of medium- and heavy-duty vehicles.  The rule is expected to be released this week.

 

DOE Loan Official to Speak at Offshore Conference – Peter Davidson, the Executive Director of the Department of Energy’s Loan Programs Office to give Special Luncheon Address at Infocast’s 6th North American Offshore Wind Development & Finance Summit, Wednesday and Thursday in New York. Leading offshore wind players will discuss the unique value of offshore wind, the latest financial innovations, public/private partnerships, and technological advances being developed to reduce development time and cost and maximize ROI of offshore wind power projects in North America.

 

Brookings to Host Forum on Advanced Nuclear – On Wednesday at 12:30 p.m., Brookings will gather four energy experts at the Senate Visitor’s Center to talk about the opportunities for advanced nuclear energy and the challenges posed both in the U.S. and abroad. The conversation will be moderated by Quartz Washington Correspondent Steve LeVine and will feature Josh Freed of Third Way and others.

 

WRI Forum to Look at Security, Climate – The World Resources Institute will hold a forum on Wednesday at 8:30 a.m. accelerating on-grid technology solutions to improve electricity access. Energy planners and other stakeholders can tap into these opportunities to improve grid performance and integration of renewable resources, as well as being able to deliver more reliable electricity.  WRI will host a salon-style approach where distinguished panelists are featured, but the audience size is limited to encourage open and active audience discussion.  Sarah Martin and Joshua Ryor from the World Resource Institute will kick the conversation off as our lead speakers.

 

Senate Environment to Look at Coal Ash – On Wednesday, at 9:30 a.m., the Senate Environment Committee is holding an oversight hearing on EPA’s final rule to regulate disposal of coal ash from electric utilities.  Witnesses will include Alexandra Dunn of ECOS, Frank Holleman of the Southern Environmental Law Center, South Texas Electric Cooperative GM Mike Kezar on behalf of NRECA,  Danny Gray for the American Coal Ash Association and Nancy Cave of the Coastal Conservation League.

 

CSIS Forum to Look at Community Relations in Extractive Industries – CSIS will hold a discussion on Wednesday looking at ways companies in the extractive industry engage indigenous communities in their areas of operation. Many extractive companies find themselves operating in close proximity to indigenous people and their territories. Working constructively with these communities is now a major business priority. The panelists will offer their perspectives on how both companies and indigenous communities can benefit from greater cooperation, whether through creating new education opportunities, offering extractive industry-related job training to potential indigenous employees, and by encouraging local economic growth.

 

Atlantic Council Forum Aims at Global Security, Climate – On Wednesday at 10:00 a.m., the Atlantic Council hosts a forum on COP21 and global security issues surrounding climate.  In honor of the European Union’s (EU) Climate Diplomacy Day, the Atlantic Council will be joined by EU members for a discussion exploring the critical dynamic between climate change and global security. An introduction will be delivered by H.E. David O’Sullivan, the Ambassador of the EU to the United States and keynote remarks will be provided by H.E. Gerard Araud, the Ambassador of France to the United States. Panelists include The Hon. Sharon Burke, Senior Adviser to the New America Foundation’s International Security Program, Tom Burke, Founding Director and Chairman of E3G, Third Generation Environmentalism, Major General Munir Muniruzzaman (Ret.), Chairman of the Global Military Advisory Council on Climate Change (GMACCC) and President and CEO of the Bangladesh Institute of Peace and Security Studies (BIPSS), and Dennis Tänzler, Director of International Climate Policy at Adelphi.  The discussion will be moderated by Dan Chiu, Deputy Director of the Brent Scowcroft Center on International Security at the Atlantic Council.

 

House Science to Look at Energy Innovation Hubs – The House  Science Committee’s Subcommittee on Energy will convene an oversight hearing on Wednesday at 10:30 a.m. to look at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Energy Innovation Hubs.  Witnesses will include Harry Atwater of the Joint Center for Artificial Photosynthesis (JCAP), Jess Gehin of the Consortium for Advanced Simulation of Light Water Reactors (CASL), George Crabtree of the Joint Center for Energy Storage Research (JCESR) and Alex King of the Critical Materials Institute (CMI).

 

House Small Biz to Look at Crude Export Ban – On Wednesday at 11:00 a.m., the House Committee on Small Business will hold a held a hearing on the crude export ban and its impacts on America’s small businesses.  Witnesses will include several small business owners, Ken Medlock of the Center for Energy Studies and Public Citizen’s Tyson Slocum.

 

Brookings to Host Forum on Advanced Nukes – On Wednesday at 12:30 p.m., Brookings will gather four energy experts at the Senate Visitor’s Center to talk about the opportunities for advanced nuclear energy and the challenges posed both in the U.S. and abroad. The conversation will be moderated by Quartz Washington Correspondent Steve LeVine and feature Leslie Dewan of Transatomic Power, Josh Freed of Third Way and Brookings’ Charles Ebinger. Nuclear energy was once regarded by many as the answer to our energy needs. That enthusiasm waned in the U.S. after the Three Mile Island accident in 1979. Today, there’s a growing interest in advanced nuclear energy and new reactor designs that are safer and more efficient. As Third Way’s Josh Freed details in his Brookings Essay, “Back to the Future,” a flood of young engineers and private firms are focusing on advanced nuclear energy as the best option for battling climate change. Freed also argues that if the U.S. doesn’t invest in these new technologies, other countries will lead the way in this game-changing field.

 

WRI to Host Food Security Forum – The World Resources Institute will hold a discussion on Wednesday at 2:00 p.m. featuring the keynote presentation “Agricultural Research on Adaptation to Climate Change” by Dr. François Houllier, the President of INRA (the French National Institute for Agricultural Research).  A discussion on “Food Security in the Face of Climate Change” will follow the presentation and will include a panel that features US AID’s Rob Bertram, Keith Wiebe of the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) and Princeton’s Tim Searchinger also with WRI.

 

Senate Homeland Security Committee Tackles RFS, Program Management – The Senate Homeland Security Committee’s Subcommittee on Regulatory Affairs and Federal Management will hold a hearing on Thursday on re-examining EPA’s management of the RFS program.  The hearing will feature Janet McCabe, Acting Assistant Administrator at EPA’s Office of Air and Radiation.

 

House E&C Panel Looks at GMO Labeling – The House E&C panel on Health will hold a hearing on Thursday at 10:00 a.m. in 2123 Rayburn labeling of Biotechnology in Food.  The hearing will discuss the role biotechnology plays on our nation’s farms, food supply, and economy. They will hear from experts about the safety of foods derived from genetically engineered crops and the need for national review and labeling standards for such products. Committee members Rep. Mike Pompeo (R-KS) and Rep. G. K. Butterfield (D-NC) have introduced H.R. 1599, the Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act, and together are circulating updated legislative language, building on their continued efforts in this space.  The subcommittee last year heard from the Food and Drug Administration, outside experts, and interested stakeholders about the agency’s current review process for food ingredients and discussed the role that foods with genetically modified ingredients play in our nation’s food supply and economy.

 

Members to Speak at Hill NatGas Roundtable – The Natural Gas Roundtable will host a forum on Capitol Hill Thursday.  Members of Congress Tom Reed (R-NY), Jim Costa (D-CA), Gene Green (D-TX) and Glenn Thompson (R-PA) will speak at a special Natural Gas Roundtable Luncheon on Capitol Hill in B339-340 Rayburn.

 

Forum to Look at Grid – The Global America Business Institute (GABI) and the Korea Institute of Energy Research (KIER) will host a roundtable discussion on Thursday at Noon focused on rethinking the Electric Grid.  Guest Speaker will be Edward Yim, the Associate Director of Energy Policy & Compliance in the DC Department of the Environment.

 

USEA Look at DOE’s Loan Program – On Thursday at 2:00 p.m., the US Energy Assn will host a forum on the DOE’s Loan Guarantee office.  DOE’s Loan Programs Office (LPO) invests in the power of American innovation.  LPO investments accelerate the deployment of innovative clean energy projects and advanced vehicle manufacturing facilities across the United States. The office’s team of financial, technical, environmental, and legal professionals is dedicated to advancing an all-of-the-above energy strategy that avoids, reduces, or sequesters greenhouse gases.  To date, LPO has supported a large, diverse portfolio of more than $30 billion in loans, loan guarantees, and commitments covering more than 30 projects in the United States. Together, these projects have generated more than $50 billion in total project investment, supported tens of thousands of jobs, cut pollution, and enhanced American competitiveness in the global economy.  This presentation will focus on the more than $40 billion in remaining loan and loan guarantee authority LPO currently has available through open solicitations to finance innovative clean energy projects and advanced technology vehicle manufacturing.

 

FUTURE EVENTS

 

DOE Hosts Sustainable Transpo Day – Next Monday, June 22nd  is Sustainable Transportation Day, an afternoon on the grounds of the Forrestal Building in D.C., with the Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy’s (EERE’s) Bioenergy Technologies Office, Fuel Cell Technologies Office, and Vehicle Technologies Office.  You can meet with federal staff, EERE leadership, and stakeholders from the public sector and private industry. Enjoy exhibits such as the Green Racing Simulator—a one-of-a-kind racing game that brings together sustainable transportation and arcade thrills;  the first Washington, D.C. visit of the 12.2 mpg Freightliner SuperTruck; and a unique opportunity to see some of the world’s first commercial fuel cell electric vehicles.  EERE will also discuss its strategic investments in sustainable transportation research, development, and demonstration projects are improving vehicle efficiency, advancing the use of alternative fuel vehicles, and lowering production costs of advanced biofuels and hydrogen.

 

Wilson Report Focus On Climate, Security Issues – Next Monday at 3:00 p.m., the Wilson Center for Scholars will convene leaders from the development, diplomatic, and security communities and the report’s coauthors for the U.S. launch of a “New Climate for Peace.” The high-level interagency panel will explore how these climate-fragility challenges are changing the way the United States and its partners work, and will also identify opportunities for joint action to address them.  The ultimate “threat multiplier,” climate change is increasing the challenges facing the U.S. development, diplomatic, and security communities.  “A New Climate for Peace: Taking Action on Climate and Fragility Risks,” an independent report commissioned by the members of the G7, identifies seven compound climate-fragility risks that pose serious threats to stability in the decades ahead. Based on a thorough assessment of existing policies, the report recommends that the G7 take concrete actions to tackle climate-fragility risks and increase the resilience of states and societies.

 

Bay, Clark, Moeller Headline Utility Commissioners Education Forum – The 20th Annual Education Conference of the Mid-Atlantic Conference of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (MACRUC) will be held on June 21 – 24 at the Williamsburg Lodge in Virginia.  Speakers will include former Senator/Governor Evan Bayh, FERC Commissioners Norman Bay, Tony Clark and Philip Moeller, NARUC President and Florida PSC Chair Lisa Edgar, Dominion CEO Tom Farrell, PSE&G President  Ralph LaRossa, and American Water Works CEO Susan Story.

 

Energy CyberSecurity Forum Set for Houston – The 3rd Annual Cyber Security for Oil and Gas Summit will be held in Houston on June 22-24th.  The event brings together the oil and gas industry to address critical concerns and trends with regard to the development of cyber security practices.  The complex nature of cyberattacks and those specifically levied against the oil and gas industry have been increasing over the years and while the industry is well prepared, continuous improvement is always necessary to maintain an edge on the nefarious actors working against the industry.

 

Bio Energy Event, DOE Conference Set – On Monday evening next week, Leaders in Energy will host bioenergy and clean energy professionals to discuss the evolving bioeconomy and renewable fuels.  Topics will include the renewable fuels standard, how bioenergy resources can be produced in sustainable ways, utilizing algae as a way to produce products and capture carbon, and employment and career opportunities in the bioenergy sector.  This event will take place on the evening before the U.S. Department of Energy, Bioenergy 2015 Conference on Tuesday and Wednesday, June 23-24th at the DC Convention Center.  The DOE Bioenergy 2015 conference is the 8th annual conference and will look at opportunities in the changing energy landscape.  The Clean Energy Research and Education Foundation co-hosts this year’s conference, which will focus on opportunities and challenges in our current highly dynamic energy ecosystem.  Each year, approximately 600 participants attend the conference, including key stakeholders from the bioenergy industry, Congress, national laboratories, academia, and the financial community.

 

WP host Answers Forum with Moniz, Fanning, Others – On June 23, The Washington Post will host business leaders, elected officials, government innovators, tech pioneers and scientists from around the country at a forum to discuss and debate what’s working in their cities, states and businesses when it comes to producing, delivering, securing and conserving energy. The event, the third live event in The Washington Post’s America Answers series, will look at technologies, policies and programs related to clean energy, batteries and energy storage, the grid, energy efficiency, innovations in oil and gas and more.  Speakers with include Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz, Southern Company CEO Tom Fanning, Hawai’i Gov. David Ige, Phoenix, AZ Mayor Greg Stanton, former Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour, former EPA head Carol Browner, and several others.

 

API to Release New Policy Study – The American Petroleum Institute’s (API) President/CEO Jack Gerard will host a briefing next Tuesday morning at the St. Regis Hotel’s Astor Ballroom to release a new policy study conducted by industry experts Wood Mackenzie. A panel of leading energy stakeholders will discuss the importance of an all of the above approach to U.S. energy policies and a pro-growth strategy for our energy future leading up to the 2016 elections. Panelists will include Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council President Karen Kerrigan, American Association of Blacks in Energy (AABE) President Paula Jackson, Vets4Energy National Liaison Rear Admiral Don Loren, USN (RET.) and LIUNA General President Terry O’Sullivan.

 

House Science Tackles EIA Report on GHG Plan – The House Science Committee will hold a hearing next Tuesday on the recent EIA report that focused on the Administration’s Clean Power Plan.   EIA’s Howard Gruenspecht is expected to testify with several others.

 

Inhofe Headline Social Cost of Carbon Event – The Heritage Foundation host a forum Next Tuesday at 2:00 p.m. in its Allison Auditorium for a discussion on the social cost of carbon, and the science, policy, and politics of carbon regulation.  The Administration is forcefully pushing its carbon regulations with the quantitative basis for these rules being the social cost of carbon (SCC).  Heritage research shows the models used to calculate the SCC can support encouraging CO2 emissions rather than actually restricting them. Other quantitative measures of CO2 policy, such as the likely impact on world temperatures, provide little support for any of the policies offered to date. Ignoring this evidence, the Obama Administration appears resolute in its stance to promote its policy goals – even at the detriment of those adversely impacted by these misguided policies.  Keynote speaker will be Senate Environment Committee Chair Jim Inhofe. There will also be a panel discussion hosted by our friend David Kreutzer of Heritage.

 

Coal Council Exec to Discuss CCS Report – USEA will host Janet Gellici, Executive Vice President & COO of the National Coal Council on next Tuesday at 2:00 p.m. to discuss a recently completed a report for the U.S. Secretary of Energy that provides recommendations on how to accelerate the deployment of CCS technologies.  The U.S. Department of Energy is a world leader in the development of CCS technology.  The DOE CCS/CCUS program, however, has not yet achieved critical mass.  There is a need for a substantial increase in the number of large scale demonstration projects for both capture and storage technologies before either system even approaches commercialization.

 

SoCo Fanning Headlines REFF Wall Street – ACORE hosts it 12th annual REFF-Wall Street 2015 on June 24 and 25th at The Grand Hyatt in New York City.  REFF-Wall Street is the premier renewable energy financing event in the U.S.  Attendees of this event include CEOs and other senior company officials, lenders, investors, investment bankers, private equity investors, venture capitalists and other top transactional professionals in renewable energy finance.  The event draws an especially senior audience, comprising of over 600 senior decision makers, financiers and professionals in the renewable energy finance field.  Southern Company CEO Tom Fanning will headline a list of speakers that also includes DOE EERE’s David Danielson and former EERE head Cathy Zoi.

 

Summer Solstice Begins – June 24th, the Longest Day of the Year.

 

Sen. Gardner to Headline ASE Event – The Alliance to Save Energy will have an intimate Policy Perspectives discussion with Senator Cory Gardner on Wednesday, June 24th at 8:45 a.m. at Bobby Van’s Steakhouse.  Gardner has served in both the House and the Senate and is a national leader on energy efficiency initiatives.

 

House Natural gas Caucus to Host Forum – The House Natural Gas Caucus will host a forum on infrastructure on the importance of infrastructure to the demand coming from new natural gas power plants.   Speakers will include Cabot’s George Stark, a member company representative from INGAA and  LIUNA’s Dave Mallino. They also may have a panelist from the Congressional Research Service to go over the natural gas infrastructure reform bills introduced this Congress.

 

Solar Foundation to Hold Solstice Event – Speaking of Summer Solstice, every June, the Solar Foundation (TSF) hosts its Summer Solstice, a celebration of solar energy and the beneficial role it plays across many aspects of our society. We will be returning to the most incredible rooftop in downtown Washington, D.C. to roll out the “yellow carpet” in recognition of all things solar.  With their admission, this year’s Solstice guests will be treated to great food and drinks, barefoot bocce ball, electrifying beats, amazing twilight views of the Capital’s skyline, and the company of many of the most eclectic personalities in solar! The evening will also play host to the presentation of the 2015 Solar Foundation Awards, honoring the year’s preeminent solar heroes.

 

Energy Breakfast Focused on Utility of Future – ICF International will hold its Energy and Environment Breakfast on Thursday at the National Press Club, featuring one of the top U.S. utilities and one of its leading regulatory thinkers for a discussion on the utility of the future.  Much discussion has surrounded distributed energy resources such as rooftop solar, storage, and demand side management (DSM). Some regions are considering the best ways to reform the distribution system, perhaps by turning its operation over to a nonprofit entity—for example, a regional transmission organization (RTO) at the distribution level—and allowing third parties to use the system to offer an innovative set of energy services to customers.  Speakers will include Garry Brown, Former Chair and Commissioner of the NY PSC and Mark Webb, General Counsel, and Chief Risk Officer of Dominion

 

BPC Event to Feature Udall, Shimkus on TSCA – On Thursday June 25th, the Bipartisan Policy Center hosts a bicameral, bipartisan dialogue where Sen. Tom Udall (D-NM) and Rep. John Shimkus (R-IL) provide their views on why the Toxic Substance Control Act (TSCA) needs updating, and what the next steps are toward modernizing this important law.    Udall and Shimkus will join a Bridge-Builder discussion about the nation’s chemical safety law.  At nearly 40 years old, TSCA has been rendered ineffective by court decisions and is in need of serious reform. This year, it just might get one. Both the House Energy and Commerce Committee as well as the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee have reported bipartisan bills.  BPC’s Bridge-Builder Series highlights the institutions and individuals who are crossing party lines and developing solutions to the critical challenges facing our country.

 

IEA to Present Medium-term Gas Report – On Thursday, June 25th at 10:00 a.m., the CSIS Energy and National Security Program will host Laszlo Varro, Head of Gas, Coal & Power Markets Division at the International Energy Agency (IEA), to present the IEA’s Medium-Term Gas Market Report 2015. The annual report, which gives a detailed analysis and five-year projections of natural gas demand, supply and trade developments, examines the interaction of increased gas demand in light of substantial price drops while the upstream sector is suffering amid large capital expenditure cuts. The impact on global gas markets of Russia’s strategic shift in its gas export policy and the rising tide of liquefied natural gas supplies are also given special consideration. The Medium-Term Gas Market Report is part of a series of annual reports the IEA devotes to each of the main primary energy sources: oil, gas, coal, renewable energy and energy efficiency.

 

Forum to Look at Green Finance Tools – The Center for Climate and Energy Solutions (C2ES) is hosting a forum at GWU’s Lerner Hall on Thursday morning, June 25th looking at states and companies deploying new tools like green bonds, clean energy banks, energy service companies and more to pay for improved energy technology and infrastructure.  Speakers will looking into progress, scalability, past efforts and what financial tools can spur clean energy and efficiency upgrades.  They include Robert Martineau of the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation, Pennsylvania Deputy Treasurer Keith Welks,  Treasury, JPMorgan Chase’s  Granville Martin, Anna Pavlova of Schneider Electric, Citi’s Bruce Schlein and Bob Perciasepe, President, Center for Climate and Energy Solutions (C2ES).

 

Cato Offers Skeptical Look at Ozone Science – On Thursday, June 25th at 4:00 p.m. the Cato Institute will hold a forum on the new EPA Ozone regulation.  The EPA’s most costly air-pollution and global-warming regulations are justified by the belief that small particles in outdoor air, like soot and dust, kill people. Based upon internal EPA documents and original research, Steven Milloy, publisher of the widely read blog JunkScience.com, will demonstrate that the agency’s belief does not pass scientific muster. As has been the case with climate change research, the dangerous liaison between regulatory agencies and academia has again resulted in a substantial distortion of reality. Please join us for a probing critique of science in service to regulatory overreach.  The event will feature Steven Milloy, Founder, JunkScience.com and be moderated by Pat. Michaels.

 

National Security Conference Set – The 2015 Center for New American Security Annual Conference will be held on June 26th at the JW Marriott Hotel in Washington, D.C.  CNAS’ annual national security conference will feature keynote addresses and discussion topics designed to chart a course for the next administration and beyond.

 

July 4th

 

Congressional Renewable Energy Forum, Expo Set – The 18th Annual Congressional Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Technology EXPO and Policy Forum will be held on Thursday, July 9th in the Cannon House Office Building.  The exhibits will be in Cannon Caucus Room (Cannon 345) while the Policy Forum will be in 334 Cannon. The event brings together close to 50 businesses, trade associations, and government agencies to showcase renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies and is Co-Hosted by the House and Senate’s Renewable Energy & Energy Efficiency Caucuses, as well as the Sustainable Energy Coalition.

 

August Recess

 

GenForum Set For Columbus – ICF International Natural Gas VP Leonard Crook will kick-off the one-day GenForum/POWER-GEN event August 18th on natural gas generation in Columbus, Ohio.  Crook will offer an overview of the recent rise of natural gas-fueled power generation over the years at the expense of coal-fired power plants.  GenForum is organized by PennWell’s GenerationHub. The event is scheduled at the Greater Columbus Convention Center. GenForum leads into PennWell’s POWER-GEN/Natural Gas conference, scheduled for Aug. 18-to-20 at the same convention center.

 

Energy Update: Week of May 18

Friends,

 

Did you notice that every day last week was actually a palindrome if you used the numerical date (i.e. 5/15/15)? As the dad of a palindrome daughter (Hannah), I pay attention to those kinds of things.

 

Mid-May means that college graduation season launches in full force this weekend and with next weekend’s Memorial Day, it is also US Naval Academy Commissioning Week down in Annapolis.  It is a great week where we honor the young leaders who have worked so hard to make it through the Naval Academy.  It also sports a great Blue Angels show on Wednesday.

 

Not to be outdone, mid-May in Baltimore also means Preakness and Saturday, American Pharoah splashed through a muddy track to win the wreath of Black-eyed Susans going away.  This is the 14th time since 1978 that we’ve had a horse win the first two jewels of the Triple Crown.  More details and history on this as we get ready for the Belmont in just under 3 weeks.

 

Of course, I mentioned Memorial Day and that brings the unofficial beginning of summer, often moving the Nation’s Capital to the shores of Delaware – at least on weekends.  We are kicking off the weekend in California where Adam is trying out for the Boys U15 US National Field Hockey team.  Can’t wait to grab an In ‘N Out Burger every day!!!   But it unfortunately means we will miss the NCAA lax championships this weekend.  On the men’s side at Lincoln Financial Field in Philly, Notre Dame will battle Denver while Maryland and Johns Hopkins both scored upsets to lock an all-Maryland, All-Big 10 matchup in the other semi.  On the women’s side, the top four seeds rolled into the final four with #1 Maryland getting #4 Syracuse and #2 North Carolina taking on #3 Duke at PPL Park in Philly.

 

Last night’s Billboard Awards ceremony was a smash for Taylor Swift as she surpassed Garth Brooks as the most decorated Billboard artist of all time.  Although the show ended on a ridiculous note with Kanye West’s performance.  It felt like I was watching on a bad Internet connection that kept freezing up as the screeners dubbed out so much of the (apparently vulgar) performance.   The Billboard awards also reminded me that 5 years ago Saturday, metal legend Ronnie James Dio passed away.   Dio’s career spanned over 50 and his legacy lives in his Stand Up & Shout Cancer Fund is dedicated to support research and education that furthers early detection, prevention and treatment of prostate, colon and stomach cancers.

 

With the run up to Memorial Day, the Congress has packed the week with action – especially Tuesday when House Energy will host a reliability hearing with Southern Co CEO Tom Fanning and NERC head Gerry Cauley, among others.  Other hearings tomorrow include House Resources looking at the Sage Grouse listing issues, Senate Energy tackling energy supply legislation, Senate Enviro and Senate Small Biz looking at WOTUS and Senate Approps marking up Energy/Water Funding.  On Wednesday, Senate Environment should see fireworks when it looks at EPA science advisory panels and House Resources will energy security corridors and electric reliability in separate hearings.  Finally, Thursday, Secretary Moniz returns to the House Energy Committee to discuss the DOE’s QER.

 

Off the hill, CSIS hosts a roundtable discussion on recent oil market developments on Wednesday and the US Energy Assn hold a discussion on Thursday with EIA on its Energy Outlook.

 

Out of DC this week, AWEA holds its annual massive confab WINDPOWER – this year in Orlando – starting today.  Speakers include Energy Secretary Moniz tomorrow as well as IKEA President Doug Greenholz.   The event is the U.S. wind industry’s biggest event all year with thousands of industry workers, company leaders, decision-makers, and over 400 exhibiting companies gathering for four days of high-level discussion and cutting-edge technology demonstrations.

 

Finally, it was my little girl Olivia’s 12th birthday on Saturday.  In addition to her winning her county lacrosse championship and celebrating with a sleepover, it also was a reminder for me that I’ve spent 12 years here at Bracewell as Olivia was born on my first day on the job in 2003.  It was been a fast but fun 12 years and I look forward to keeping it going…

 

Enjoy your Memorial Day Weekend and feel free to call with questions.

 

Frank Maisano

(202) 828-5864

(202) 997-5932

 

 

IN THE NEWS

 

FERC Commissioners Offers Suggestions to EPA On GHG Rules – FERC’s five commissioners sent several suggestions to EPA on Friday to address reliability concerns related to the Administration’s GHG rules.  The letter captures the recommendations and analysis from the series of technical conferences FERC held earlier around the country.  Among the suggestions, FERC recommends EPA include a “reliability safety valve” to resolve potential conflicts between complying with EPA’s rule and FERC standards as well as giving FERC more oversight to monitor reliability issues as states submit compliance plans.   Finally, the commissioners said that with any threats to reliability, EPA should have a process by which FERC or the North American Electric Reliability Corp. would review state plans to look any concerns.

 

SAFE Releases Energy Security Facts – Securing America’s Future Energy (SAFE) released its Energy Security Fact Pack for Q1 2015. This edition explores the effects of lower oil prices on American consumers, whose spending on gasoline this year could fall by approximately 30% versus 2014. The good news though should be welcomed with caution, as global oil market price volatility has returned to levels not seen since 2009 in the wake of the financial crisis. The first quarter of 2015 marked the first significant consumer response to lower gasoline prices, as increases in the average fuel economy rating of new light-duty vehicles weakened and light-duty trucks increased market share in first-quarter sales figures. U.S. demand for petroleum fuels has in fact been growing steadily since 2013, though it still remains 8 percent below its pre-recession peak. In addition, Americans are driving more, with total vehicle miles traveled growing by 280 million miles year-over-year in Q1, the largest increase since 2000. On the international stage, while global oil supply outages increased only incrementally quarter-over-quarter, geopolitical tensions in and around oil-producing countries continue to threaten oil supplies and transit chokepoints. This includes the proxy war in Yemen between Saudi Arabia and Iran, plus conflict in Iraq, both of which continue to dominate headlines. The Fact Pack also contains new data on electric vehicle market penetration and sales, refueling infrastructure, and broader trends in light-duty vehicle fuel economy. Sales of plug-in electric vehicles in Q1 were essentially the same year-over-year. Nevertheless, automotive manufacturers continue to announce plans to deliver more plug-in electric vehicle models to consumers.  Visit SAFE’s website to download the Q1 2015 Energy Security Fact Pact in its entirety.

 

Report Says Crude Exports Would Help Flexibility, Resiliency – The Center for a New American Security (CNAS) Energy, Economics, and Security (EES) Program has released a new report, Crude Oil Export & U.S. National Security. The report’s authors, Elizabeth Rosenberg, Senior Fellow and Director of the CNAS EES Program; David Gordon, a CNAS Adjunct Senior Fellow; and Ellie Maruyama, an EES Research Associate, make the case that lifting the U.S. ban on exporting crude oil would “help make U.S. energy producers more nimble and the economy more resilient, while at the same time strengthening Washington’s influence and leverage around the world.”

 

Germany Rolling Back Climate Regs Amid Concerns over Economy – Germany, often cited by our friends in the environmental community as a bastion of clean energy, is apparently is not going to be as tough on their coal-fired power plants.   According to an economy ministry document cited by Reuters, Germany is weakening regulations for power plant greenhouse gas emissions that were expected to close numerous coal-fired plants.  Following massive protest and concerns raised by German utilities, the economy ministry is now planning to require coal plant operators to reduce their emissions by 16 million metric tons by 2020, compared with the previous coal of 22 million metric tons.

 

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

 

US, China Renewable Energy Industry Forum Set for Early June – While it was mentioned as happening last week in this update, ACORE will actually host the U.S.-China Renewable Energy Industry Forum in early June.  The forum will convene private and public sector leaders from the U.S. and Chinese renewable energy industries on project financing and cross-border investment.

 

Moniz, KEA President Launch WINDPOWER – Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz will speak at WINDPOWER – the U.S. wind industry’s largest event all year. This will be the first time ever that the head of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) attends the annual conference and exhibition, which will be held this year in Orlando, FL today through Friday.  Moniz will speak during the Welcome & Opening General Session tomorrow at 8:30 a.m. He is expected to discuss Wind Vision, the DOE’s definitive new report that shows how wind energy can create ample economic, environmental and health benefits and continue to provide key contributions to the nation’s energy portfolio. He will also explore advancements in wind turbine technology that could open up economic wind opportunities in many parts of the country.  Doug Greenholz, President of IKEA also will be speaking. Greenholz manages IKEA’s 40 existing stores and support units in the U.S. He is expected to talk about IKEA’s investment in U.S. wind farms and wind energy across the globe. IKEA announced late last year the purchase of a 165-megawatt Texas wind farm, the single largest renewable energy investment made by the company ever.

 

Forum to Look at Nuclear – The Global America Business Institute (GABI) will hold a Capitol Hill briefing today at Noon in B-339 Rayburn on the role of nuclear power in Energy Reliability.  Speakers will include Exelon’s David Brown and Andrew Paterson of the Environmental Business International.

 

WCEE Forum to Look at Latin, Caribbean Energy Issues – Today at Noon, the Women’s Council on Energy and the Environment (WCEE) will hold a Brown Bag luncheon at Louis Berger focused on energy issues in Latin America and the Caribbean.  The Inter-American Development Bank experts Natacha Marzolf and Gerard Alleng will speak.  Marzoff will provide an overview of the current energy situation, policy challenges and country risks in Latin America and the Caribbean, while Alleng discusses the potential hazards threatening Trinidad & Tobago due to climate change and the economic costs and benefits of mitigation.

 

STEM4US! Honors 2015 Energy Innovation – STEM4US! will join with energy, tech, and education sectors tonight to salute to Congressmen Bobby Rush, Ed Whitfield, Bill Johnson — the sponsors of the 21st Century Energy Workforce Development Jobs Initiative Act of 2014.  This event follows the STEM & Innovation Congressional Welcoming Reception, which STEM4US! co-hosted at the start of this Congress with some of the top education and innovation leaders in the nation and region including the United Negro College Fund, Edison Electric Institute, Pepco, and Duke Energy.  Sponsored by Speaker Boehner in the US Capitol, the event drew around 150 government and industry leaders to salute Members of the House and Senate Education, Science, and Energy Committees in the 114th Congress.  DOE Sect Moniz and FERC Commissioner Colette Honorable will speak as well as well as Sen. Maria Cantwell and House Energy & Commerce Chair Fred Upton.  Industry Speakers include our friend Don Santa of INGAA, PEPCO Holdings Tom Graham, Paula Jackson of the American Association of Blacks in Energy and Telsa’s James Chen.

 

Senate Energy Continues Energy Hearings – Tomorrow at 10:00 a.m., the Senate Energy Committee will hold another hearing to receive testimony on energy supply legislation. The hearing agenda will focus on legislation from providing coastal states a share of offshore drilling revenue to creating a nationwide renewable energy standard. Hydropower, geothermal, biomass and coal are among the sources targeted by particular bills.

 

Fanning, NERC CEO to Lead House Energy Committee Hearing on Energy Reliability, Security –Tomorrow at 10:00 a.m., the House Energy & Commerce Committee’s Energy and Power Subcommittee will hold a hearing on its discussion draft on Energy Reliability and Security to be included in the committee’s Architecture of Abundance energy legislation. The subcommittee will review the draft legislation at this hearing.  Witnesses NERC Chair Gerry Cauley, SoCo CEO Tom Fanning, FERC electric reliability director Mike Bardee, Veolia Energy’s Elinor Haider, Exelon’s Joseph Dominguez, Mike Bergey for the Distributed Wind Energy Association, NRDC’s John Moore, John Di Stasio of the Large Public Power Council, ABB’s Emily Heitman for the National Electric Manufacturers Association and EDF’s Elgie Holstein.

 

Senate Approps to Mark Energy, Water – The Senate Appropriations Committee’s Subcommittee on Energy & Water Development will meet tomorrow at 2:30 p.m. to markup the Energy and Water Development Appropriations Act for Fiscal Year 2016.  Earlier in May, the House passed a $34.5 billion energy and water appropriations bill.

 

Senate Hearings Look at WOTUS Rule – The Senate will hold two hearing tomorrow on the Obama’s Administration’s Waters of the US (WOTUS) Rule.  The Senate Environment Committee will hold a hearing at 10:00 a.m. in 406 Dirksen featuring witnesses Andrew Lemle of New Belgium Brewing Co., Vermont Law School’s Patrick Parenteau, Kansas Department of Agriculture assistant secretary Susan Metzger, Mark Pifher of Colorado Springs Utilities and Robert Pierce with Wetland Training Institute Inc.  At 2:00 p.m., the Senate Small Business Committee will also tackle WOTUS with witnesses Charles Maresca of the Small Business Administration’s Office of Advocacy, Benjamin Bulis of the American Fly Fishing Trade Association, 5th-generation Iowa farmer Darcy Dougherty Maulsby, NFIB’s Elizabeth Milito and Karl Randall Noel of Reve Inc.

 

House Resources Looks at Sage Grouse – The House Natural Resources Committee tomorrow holds a hearing on how Western states are managing greater sage grouse.  The decision will look at actions by several governors aimed at limited the actions the federal government may take in its upcoming decision on whether to list the birds under the Endangered Species Act.  Already Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper has issued measures to address the Sage Grouse issues while others are contemplating similar actions.  My colleague Eric Washburn (202-412-5211) is in the middle of the discussions and can helpful should you need background.

 

Wilson Forum to Look at Caribbean, Latin Energy –Tomorrow at 11:30 a.m., the Wilson Center for Scholars will hold a forum on the importance of the energy sector in Latin America and the Caribbean.   The region contains some of the largest proven oil reserves in the world along with significant reserves of natural gas. Moreover, approximately half of U.S. energy imports flow from the Western Hemisphere. As the United States increases its own energy production simultaneously with engagement in the region, many countries continue to face infrastructure and governance deficits that hamper production.  Energy experts will explore the US role and impacts in the 7th event in the Wilson Center’s Regional and Global Energy Series.  Keynotes will be from former White House Chief of Staff for President Bill Clinton Thomas “Mack” McLarty and Chevron President for Africa and Latin America Ali Moshiri.  Other speakers will include former State Department official David Goldwyn and UT-Austin Latin America and Caribbean Energy Program Director Jorge R. Piñon.

 

EMA to Host Roundtable – Tomorrow at Noon in NYC, the Environmental Markets Association and over 60 environmental professionals will participate in the fourth installment of EMA’s Regional Thought Leader Round Table focused on Northeast RECs. This half day meeting is formatted to produce open discussions between speakers and attendees.

 

Report to Detail Enviro Democracy Index – The Access Initiative and the World Resources Institute will launch the first ever Environmental Democracy Index (EDI) on Wednesday at 9:00 a.m. in the National Press Club. The index will offer new insights into the state of environmental democracy around the world and opportunities to use the tool to support reform. EDI is the first index to measure how well countries’ national laws protect environmental democracy rights, namely the right of the public to freely access relevant and timely information, to provide public input and scrutiny in decision-making and to seek justice before an independent and fair legal authority in cases of environmental harm or violation of rights.  Developed by The Access Initiative (TAI) and the World Resources Institute (WRI), the EDI is the first comprehensive index designed specifically to measure procedural rights in an environmental context. The United Nations Environment Program’s (UNEP) Bali Guidelines for the Development of National Legislation on Access to Information, Public Participation and Access to Justice in Environmental Matters provide EDI with an international standard against which national laws can be assessed. EPA General Counsel Avi Garbow will be among the speakers.

 

Senate Enviro to look at Oversight of Scientific Advisory Panels, EPA Processes – On Wednesday at 9:30 a.m., The Senate Committee on Environment Subcommittee on Superfund, Waste Management, and Regulatory Oversight will hold a hearing on oversight of scientific advisory panels and processes at EPA.  Witnesses will include Roger McClellan, Pacific Legal Foundation Ted Hadzi-Antich, GAO’s Alfredo Gomez, World Environment Center CEO Terry Yosie and our friend Scott Faber of the Environmental Working Group.

 

House Natural Resources Committee Hearing Tackles National Energy Security Corridors – On Wednesday at 10:00 a.m., the House Natural Resources Committee’s Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources will hold a legislative hearing on the “National Energy Security Corridors Act”.

 

Forum to Look at Oil Price Balance – The CSIS Energy and National Security Program will host a roundtable discussion on Wednesday at 1:00 p.m. to Look at recent oil market developments and what to expect going forward.  10 months into the oil price collapse and despite the recent price rebound, companies of all sizes continue to adjust to the new economic, financial, and geopolitical realities. In the United States, the largest source of incremental oil supply growth globally over the past several years, output has remained remarkably resilient. That said, evidence of a slowdown continues, though the impact is likely to be uneven.  Featured discussions will examine and interpret these developments, and discuss the implications for oil markets going forward.  Speakers will include Michelle Foss of the University of Texas’ Bureau of Economic Geology’s Center for Energy Economics, Robert Kleinberg of the Schlumberger-Doll Research Center and former Vice Chairman of the New York Mercantile Exchange Albert Helmig, now CEO of Grey House.

 

House Resources Looks at Hearing Draft on Electricity Reliability, Forest Protection – On Wednesday at 1:30 p.m., the House Natural Resource Committee’s Subcommittee on Water, Power and Oceans will hold a hearing on Electricity Reliability and Forest Protection Act” discussion draft?

 

House Energy Panel, Moniz to Discuss QER – The House Energy panel of Energy & Commerce will hold a hearing on Thursday at 10:00 a.m. on featuring Ernie Moniz discussing the administration’s Quadrennial Energy Review (QER).  Moniz was asked to discuss the QER recommendations aimed at addressing aging natural gas pipeline networks, electric grid modernization, rail traffic and other elements of the nation’s infrastructure.

 

USEA to Look at EIA Outlook – The US Energy Association will hold a forum on Thursday at 10:00 a.m. to look at the “Annual Energy Outlook 2015,” prepared by the U.S. Energy Information Administration, presents long-term annual projections of energy supply, demand, and prices through 2040. The projections, focused on U.S. energy markets, are based on results from EIA’s National Energy Modeling System. NEMS enables EIA to make projections under alternative, internally-consistent sets of assumptions, the results of which are presented as cases. The analysis in AEO2015 focuses on six cases: Reference case, Low and High Economic Growth cases, Low and High Oil Price cases, and High Oil and Gas Resource case.  EIA’s Paul Holtberg, Team Leader of EIA’s Analysis Integration Team, will speak.

 

FUTURE EVENTS

 

Demand Response Forum Set – The National Town Meeting on Demand Response and Smart Grid will be held on May 26 through 28th in Washington, DC.  The event in the US focused on the business and policy aspects of demand response and its enabling technologies and applications. It is unique in that it devotes an entire day to roundtable discussions featuring experts in demand response and smart grid, who discuss with each other and with the audience the latest trends, issues, and business developments. The National Town Meeting also features panel discussions, case studies, and presentations of best practices. Another hallmark is attendee engagement, whether through Q&A sessions with top business leaders and policymakers, through formal electronic voting, or through the National Town Meeting’s reception and other networking sessions.

 

Natural Gas Roundtable Hosts CFTC Chair Massad – Next Tuesday, May 26th at Noon, at the University Club, the Natural Gas Roundtable will host Timothy Massad, Chairman of the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission as the guest speaker at the next luncheon.  Massad was sworn-in as Chairman of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission on June 5, 2014, after being confirmed by the United States Senate as Chairman and as a Commissioner of the CFTC. Previously, Mr. Massad was nominated by President Obama and confirmed by the U.S. Senate as the Assistant Secretary for Financial Stability at the U.S. Department of the Treasury.

 

RFF to Host Seminar on Creative Conservation – Resources for the Future will Hold a seminar on May 27th at 12:45 p.m. for an expert discussion of creativity, innovation, technology, and natural resources. Ruth DeFries, the Denning Family Chair in Sustainable Development in the Department of Ecology, Evolution, and Environmental Biology at Columbia University and a 2007 recipient of a MacArthur Fellowship “genius grant” award, will discuss key themes in her new book, The Big Ratchet: How Humanity Thrives in the Face of Natural Crisis. A panel of experts in geography, conservation science, and economics will consider the advantages and limits of innovation in using and conserving natural resources.

 

WRI to Release Low Carbon Future Report – The World Resources Institute will hold a forum at the National Press Club on Wednesday, May 27th at 9:00 a.m. to look at ways to reach a low carbon future.  A diverse panel of experts will discuss important questions as the WRI releases Delivering on the U.S. Climate Commitment: A 10-Point Plan Toward a Low-Carbon Future. This landmark publication will examine several pathways for the United States to use existing policies and authority to accelerate technology trends underway to make deep emissions cuts while taking advantage of economic opportunities from improved efficiencies and affordable, low-carbon solutions.  Speakers will include Rick Duke of the White House Office of Energy and Climate Change, Richard Kaufmann of NY Governor Andrew Cuomo’s office, Sierra Club’s John Coequyt, Mark Wagner of Johnson Controls and Guardian enviro correspondent Suzanne Goldenberg, who will moderate.

 

DOE to Host Better Buildings Summit – On Wednesday and Thursday, May 27-28th, the Department of Energy will hold the Better Buildings Summit at the Marriott Wardman Park Hotel.  The Better Buildings Summit is a national meeting where leading organizations across key sectors showcase solutions to cut energy intensity in their buildings portfolio-wide by 20% over the next ten years. This Summit is designed for partners and stakeholders to exchange best practices and highlight demonstrated market solutions with an equal emphasis on discussing future opportunities for greater energy efficiency in America’s homes and buildings.  At the 2014 Summit, more than 500 participants engaged in dialogue focused on sharing proven approaches. Speakers from the commercial, industrial, public, and multifamily sectors shared how they draw on energy efficiency technologies, business practices, and partnerships to save money on utility bills, create new jobs, and improve their organization’s competitiveness.

 

Forum to Look at Improved Nuclear Projects – Next Thursday morning, the Global America Business Institute will hold a forum on sustainable nuclear energy for the future while improving safety, economics and waste management.  Speakers will include Argonne  National Laboratory’s Dr. Yoon I. Chang who will discuss prospects for the integral fast reactor and EPRI’s Andrew Sowder who will look at R&D Programs in the US and future commercialization.

 

USEA to Host Summit Power Group on CCS, EOR – Next Thursday, May 28th at 10:00 a.m., the US Energy Association will host Summit Power Group to discuss CCS technologies.  Summit  is an energy development company with a focus on carbon capture for enhanced oil recovery. Sasha Mackler, Vice President of Summit Carbon Capture, will provide a high-level overview of the status of CCUS in the power industry and discuss how different policy mechanisms under consideration can enable projects and support the growth of this emerging industry.

 

Forum to Look at BLM Fracking Rule – On Thursday, May 28th at noon, the Environmental Law Institute will hold a discussion about the BLM natural gas drilling rule and its ramifications when it goes into effect on June 24, 2015. What will the effect be on fracking operations, oil and gas development, and energy production overall?  The panel of experts on these issues includes Texx Lone Bear, Acting Director of the Natural Resources Division at the  Mandan, Hidatsa, and Arikara Nation, NRDC’s Amy Mall, Interior’s Richard McNeer and Western Energy Alliance’s Kathleen Sgamma.

 

EESI Head to Lead EnviroRun – Next Thursday’s May 28th Envirorun will feature Environmental and Energy Study Institute Executive Director Carol Werner. EESI is a non-profit education and policy organization that is dedicated to sustainable development, believing that a sound environment and a sound economy go hand in hand.  Launch for the four-miler is 6:00 p.m. with the comments after at Bar Louie.

 

Geothermal Forum Set – The Geothermal Energy Association (GEA) will be holding its 5th annual National Geothermal Summit on June 3-4th at the Grand Sierra Resort and Casino in Reno, NV. The National Geothermal Summit is the leading forum for western state policy discussions, bringing together the geothermal industry for a dialogue with state and federal policy makers.

 

BPC Forum to Focus On Midwest GHG Issues – The Great Plains Institute and Bipartisan Policy Center will hold a workshop Friday June 5th in Detroit at the Westin Metro Airport to discuss implementation options for EPA’s Proposed Clean Power Plan in the Midcontinent region.   States will soon have to develop and submit plans to achieve EPA’s goals. States and stakeholders in the region have been working to evaluate the policy options available to states for inclusion in state plans. In the Midcontinent region, state officials have been active in the Midcontinent States Environmental and Energy Regulators (MSEER) group. Also, the Midwestern Power Sector Collaborative, convened by the Great Plains Institute, brings state officials and stakeholders together to explore and engage on these policy issues. Please join us and contribute your ideas and input to these regional efforts.   This workshop will gather states, stakeholders, and experts, including those participating in MSEER and the Power Sector Collaborative.   The agenda includes a keynote address by Valerie Brader, Executive Director of the Michigan Agency for Energy and several panels exploring policy pathways for states to achieve state emissions goals and opportunities/challenges for multistate collaboration, among other items.

 

EIA Annual Energy Conference Set – EIA will hold its 2015 Energy Conference on June 15 – 16th in Washington, DC.  Keynote Speakers will DOE Secretary Ernie Moniz, Mexican Energy secretary Pedro Joaquín Coldwell and Continental Resources CEO Harold Hamm, among others.

 

DOE Loan Official to Speak at Offshore Conference – Peter Davidson, the Executive Director of the Department of Energy’s Loan Programs Office to give Special Luncheon Address at Infocast’s 6th North American Offshore Wind Development & Finance Summit, June 17-18th in New York. Leading offshore wind players will discuss the unique value of offshore wind, the latest financial innovations, public/private partnerships, and technological advances being developed to reduce development time and cost and maximize ROI of offshore wind power projects in North America.

 

Bay, Clark, Moeller Headline Utility Commissioners Education Forum – The 20th Annual Education Conference of the Mid-Atlantic Conference of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (MACRUC) will be held on June 21 – 24 at the Williamsburg Lodge in Virginia.  Speakers will include former Senator/Governor Evan Bayh, FERC Commissioners Norman Bay, Tony Clark and Philip Moeller, NARUC President and Florida PSC Chair Lisa Edgar, Dominion CEO Tom Farrell, PSE&G President  Ralph LaRossa, and American Water Works CEO Susan Story.

 

Energy CyberSecurity Forum Set for Houston – The 3rd Annual Cyber Security for Oil and Gas Summit will be held in Houston on June 22-24th.  The event brings together the oil and gas industry to address critical concerns and trends with regard to the development of cyber security practices.  The complex nature of cyberattacks and those specifically levied against the oil and gas industry have been increasing over the years and while the industry is well prepared, continuous improvement is always necessary to maintain an edge on the nefarious actors working against the industry.

 

National Security Conference Set – The 2015 Center for New American Security Annual Conference will be held on June 26th at the JW Marriott Hotel in Washington, D.C.  CNAS’ annual national security conference will feature keynote addresses and discussion topics designed to chart a course for the next administration and beyond.

Energy Update: Week of May 11

Friends,

 

I know it is not Memorial Day yet, but in line with the switch to summer fuels, I am breaking out the linen pants and summer shirts anyway given the turn of the weather to “humid”.  I’ll leave it up to the debate as to whether it is because of climate change, but it does really expand the available wardrobe for me which is exciting.

 

I definitely didn’t need anything other than “RED” at the Caps game last night.  Despite the loss, the game was awesome.  I know my Ranger-fan readers are excited to get to a Game 7 and feel they have the momentum.  Tampa and Montreal are also headed for an extended series after the Bolts early 3-0 lead, while the Western Conference is already set with Anaheim and Chicago.  At the same time the Washington Wizards are still playing in NBA playoffs, along with Chicago, Cleveland, Atlanta, Memphis, Houston, the Golden State Warriors and the LAClippers.  In fact, Washington and Chicago remain the only team still changing arenas from Hockey to Hoops on alternating days at Washington’s Verizon Center and Chicago’s United Center.  (Ice last night, court tonight)  Here’s a very cool video of the Verizon transition.

 

Speaking of exciting, the first rounds of the NCAA men’s and women’s Lacrosse Championships gave us some great games over the weekend as well.  The most exciting play occurred in the UAlbany-Cornell game when junior goalkeeper Blaze Riorden scooped up the ball in his crease and rumbled his 215-pound frame all the way to the Cornell goal, splitting defenders and burying a shot with just a few seconds left in the 3rd period.  I’m sure my son Adam, a good, young goalie in his own right, will be trying this next weekend.

 

The House returns this week after a short, district work period, while the Senate continues to roll on. Senate Energy begins its focus on energy infrastructure with a hearing on Thursday to go through nearly two dozen bills to improve the electric grid as well as bills to speed up or slow the approval of natural gas infrastructure. They will revisit other topics on May 19 and June 4, while energy efficiency was addressed recently.   In the House,  Energy & Commerce continues its energy abundance effort Wednesday focused on hydropower and the siting and natural gas pipelines siting.  Also Wednesday, BLM’s Neil Kornze heads to the Senate Approps panel on Interior and Environment and House Resources looks at CEQ’s recently-revised draft guidance for GHG emissions.  Finally on Friday, a House E&C panel will revisit nuclear waste policy issues featuring SoCo Nuclear CEO Stephen Kucynski.

 

Among the events off the Hill include an energy infrastructure forum hosted by ANGA Thursday, and NEI’s Nuclear Energy  Assembly running tomorrow through Thursday.   The industry-wide forum will discuss the technology’s future, hear from members of Congress and administration officials, and engage in policy discussions on environment, trade, market and other issues.

 

Call with questions.

 

Frank Maisano

(202) 828-5864

(202) 997-5932

 

 

IN THE NEWS

NOAA Study Hammers Ethanol Plants on Emissions – A new research study led by Joost de Gouw of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has concluded that ethanol refineries emit up to 30 times more air pollutants than originally thought. The pollutants – referred to as volatile organic compounds or VOC – are the principle culprits when ozone forms at ground level.  VOCs are not the only issue. Strikingly, the NOAA researchers found that when a refinery produced one kilogram of ethanol, 170 times more ethanol escapes into the air than burning the same amount in a car. When ethanol escapes into the air, it leads to the formation of acetaldehyde, a probable carcinogen and strong contributor to ground level ozone. The study is slated for publication soon in the Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres.

 

PA Study Says Sev Tax Will be Expensive – A new study released today by University Of Wyoming Professor Tim Considine for the Associated Petroleum Industries of Pennsylvania says Gov.Wolf’s proposed natural gas severance tax would cause a cumulative production loss of $11.2 billion over the next 10 years.  Wolf is Pushing a 5% severance tax to replace the current impact fee imposed in 2012. The new governor’s plan also includes a fixed fee of 4.7 cents for every thousand feet of gas produced, and uses a price floor that API-PA projected “will increase the burden of the severance tax when natural gas prices are low, which are times when the industry is least capable of absorbing a cost increase.”

 

Southern’s Georgia Power Adds EVs – Georgia Power added 32 new electric vehicles (EVs) to the company’s fleet last week.  The new, Georgia Power-branded Chevy Volts will be highly visible in local communities from Savannah to Columbus to Rome and will be driven daily by Georgia Power employees as they serve customers.  The EVs will be used primarily by the company’s energy efficiency experts as they travel to conduct energy audits at homes and businesses, a service provided to help Georgia Power customers save money and energy.   In 2014, Georgia Power launched a new electric transportation initiative to advance Georgia as an exceptionally EV-friendly state through its Get Current. Drive Electric.™ program. The program currently includes an ongoing public education campaign, EV charger rebates for business and residential customers and special rates and charging options for EV customers.

Cove Point Gets Final DOE Approval – DOE gave final approval for Dominion’s Cove Point facility to export liquefied natural gas to nations that don’t have free trade pacts with the U.S., bringing the $3.8 billion terminal closer to fruition.  Of course, the enviros sued…again. U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, applauded DOE’s decision saying it is another positive step forward.   Murkowski: “Our rising production of natural gas allows us to satisfy our own energy needs here at home, while helping our friends and allies around the world. This is also a chance to play a constructive role in the global energy market as a leader, not just an importer and consumer.”

 

Chamber Energy Institute Launches New Website – The Institute for 21st Century Energy has launched new website. The new site has several new features that you can use as a resource for energy facts, infographics, blog posts, studies and all things social media.  Sections include “The Latest” where you’ll find current articles, the Chamber energy blog, infographics, tweets, Facebook posts.  An “In the States” section that includes an energy profile and rankings of all 50 states and several different energy metrics, all in in a pdf format which can be printed and used as handouts.   An “Action Center” that houses all the Institute’s requests for comments and grassroots advocacy on key issues facing the energy industry.  A “Policy Center” is where you can find the 9 planks of Energy Works for US, the Chamber’s energy policy platform.  And finally the “Resource Center” where you can view analysis and activities on current energy issues like the Keystone XL pipeline and EPA regulations.

 

 

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

 

US, China Renewable Energy Industry Forum Set – ACORE will host the U.S.-China Renewable Energy Industry Forum this week, convening private and public sector leaders from the U.S. and Chinese renewable energy industries on project financing and cross-border investment.

 

Forum to Look at LNG, GHG, Climate – The Center for Liquefied Natural Gas hosts a panel discussion today at 2:00 p.m. in the Capitol Visitors Center  focused on the regulatory implications of the Council on Environmental Quality’s revised guidance for federal agencies on greenhouse gas emissions and the effects of climate change. Room 200.

 

Forum Looks at NatGas, Low Prices – The Atlantic Council will hold a discussion today  at 3:00 p.m. on how low oil prices have impacted fracking and the shale boom in the United States and the potential for fracking to spread across the globe and succeed in Europe and countries like Mexico, Argentina, and China.  Panelists include Subash Chandra, Managing Director and Senior Equity Analyst at Guggenheim Partners, Dr. Terry Engelder, Professor of Geosciences at Penn State University, known as the “Father of Fracking”, and Russell Gold, Senior Energy Reporter at the Wall Street Journal and author of The Boom: How Fracking Ignited the American Energy Revolution and Changed the World. Cynthia Quarterman, Nonresident Senior Fellow at the Atlantic Council’s Global Energy Center, will moderate the discussion.

 

Energy Efficiency Forum Set – The Walter Washington Convention Center in DC will host EE Global’s 2015 Energy Efficiency Global Forum this week to convene hundreds of energy efficiency influencers for two-days of unparalleled discussion and networking aimed at driving actionable plans for the next generation of energy efficiency.  EE Global hand selects high caliber industry professionals, academics and policy makers looking to exchange the latest technology and information forge partnerships and develop “best practices” policies and strategies for global implementation of energy efficiency.

 

Nuclear Energy Industry Leaders Connect in DC – Last week it was Rural co-ops, this week nuclear energy industry leaders will convene tomorrow through Thursday in the nation’s capital to discuss the technology’s future, hear from members of Congress and administration officials, and engage in policy discussions on environment, trade, market and other issues at the Nuclear Energy Institute’s annual conference, the Nuclear Energy Assembly.  The conference convenes as significant progress is being made in the construction of five reactors in the Southeast and nearly 70 reactors worldwide. Twenty-seven of the reactors are being built in China and South Korea, and the U.S. government is reauthorizing nuclear energy trade agreements with each.  The conference also occurs as the federal government grapples anew with nuclear waste management policies. The Obama administration recently unveiled plans to pursue disposal of high-level radioactive waste from U.S. defense programs separately from commercial used nuclear fuel, and Congress is showing interest in enacting new nuclear waste management legislation that could include provisions advancing consolidated interim storage of used uranium fuel in a willing host state.

 

CSIS to Look at Central Asia Issues – The CSIS Russia and Eurasia Program is holding a discussion tomorrow at 9:00 a.m. on U.S. Policy interests and recommendations in Central Asia. The project includes a series of reports on Central Asia in a Reconnecting Eurasia. The decision to initiate these activities with Central Asia stemmed from a concern that the drawdown of U.S. and allied troops from Afghanistan would augur declining U.S. interest. For U.S. policymakers, turning away from Central Asia now would be a serious miscalculation. The five states of Central Asia (Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan) are located at the heart of the Eurasian landmass, in close proximity to four of Washington’s biggest foreign policy challenges: Afghanistan/Pakistan, Iran, Russia, and China. For that reason alone, the United States has a strong interest in developing economic and security ties with the states of Central Asia, and doing so in a way that is no longer driven by the exigencies of the war in Afghanistan, but is responsive to the needs and interests of the region itself, as well as enduring U.S. interests.

 

Forum to Look at Costs of Divesture – The US Energy Association will hold a forum tomorrow at 10:00 a.m. to focus on a new study on fossil divesture issues.  As opponents of oil and gas development continue to urge colleges and universities to divest their endowments of fossil-fuel related stocks, a new study suggests the costs associated with adopting such policies are real and enormous. Authored by Professor Daniel R. Fischel, president of Compass Lexecon and a professor emeritus of law and business at the University of Chicago Law School, this first-of-its-kind report compares two investment portfolios over a 50-year period: one that included energy-related stocks, and another that did not.  Based on those models, Prof. Fischel and his team found the costs of divestment will result in the displacement of billions annually from school endowments that could be otherwise used to improve services, enhance academic programs, and provide support to students from disadvantaged backgrounds, all while having no discernible effect on the companies actually being targeted by these divestment policies.

 

House Energy to Look at Hydro, Gas Pipelines – On Wednesday, the House Energy and Power Subcommittee will hold a hearing to continue the committee’s work on its Architecture of Abundance energy legislation with a review of Discussion Drafts Addressing Hydropower Regulatory Modernization and FERC Process Coordination under the Natural Gas Act.  As a clean, renewable source of electricity, hydropower is an essential component of an all-of the-above energy strategy and an important source of jobs. The draft legislation to be considered at next Wednesday’s hearing seeks to modernize and improve the hydropower licensing and relicensing process to make it more efficient and transparent, while also preserving environmental protections. The draft text also facilitates new hydropower development at non-powered dams, which would create thousands of new jobs and thousands of megawatts of clean, affordable power. The draft builds upon the discussion draft previously released by Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) – the Hydropower Regulatory Modernization Act of 2015.  The subcommittee will also discuss draft legislation designed to expedite consideration of much-needed natural gas pipelines by reforming and modernizing the siting and review process. The draft text reinforces the role of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) as the lead agency for siting interstate natural gas pipelines and instructs FERC to coordinate with all other agencies involved and set reasonable timelines for review. The legislation also increases transparency and accountability in the review process. This draft builds upon legislation that was previously introduced by Rep. Mike Pompeo (R-KS) and passed the House earlier this year. Maine Gov. Paul LePage and our friend Don Santa of INGAA lead the testimony.  Others include FERC’s Ann Miles, PG&E’s Randy Livingston, NYPA’s John Suloway, and John Collins, managing director of business development at Cube Hydro Partners.

 

House Resources to Look at CEQ Draft GHG Guidance – The House Resources Committee will hold an oversight hearing on Wednesday looking at the CEQ’s recently-revised draft guidance for GHG emissions and the effects of Climate Change.  Witnesses will include CEQ’s director Christy Goldfuss, former EPA official Roger Martella, John Christy at National Space Science and Technology Center at the University of Alabama-Huntsville and Ray Clark of Rivercrossing Strategies.

 

House Science to Look at Nuclear Energy Innovation, National Labs – A House Science Committee panel will convene a hearing Wednesday on energy innovation and the National Labs.  Witnesses will include Argonne’s Mark Peters, Frank Batten of the Landmark Foundation, General Fusion CEO Nathan Gilliland and General Atomics executive John Parmentola.

 

Forum to Look at Transportation Infrastructure – The Environmental and Energy Study Institute (EESI) and the American Public Transportation Association (APTA) will host an Infrastructure Week briefing Wednesday in B318 Rayburn about how transit investments affect the nation’s competitiveness. The world’s economies are increasingly based on knowledge and information. High-tech, knowledge-based innovation districts are increasingly shaping the U.S. economy.   Speakers for this forum are Linda Watson of the Capital Metropolitan Transportation Authority in Austin, Texas and Joanna Turner, Executive Director of the National Association of Regional Councils.

 

SEIA to Address Treasury Grant Litigation – On Wednesday at 1:00 p.m., SEIA will hold a webinar that will provide an update on Section 1603 Treasury grants litigation.  Section 1603 Treasury Grants were made available to solar and other renewable energy projects in lieu of tax credits by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Tax Act of 2009.  Hunton’s Tim Jacobs and David Lowman, chair of SEIA’s Tax Committee will speak.

 

ANGA to Look at Energy Infrastructure – On Thursday morning, ANGA will hold a forum on the energy infrastructure.  Our nation’s pipeline infrastructure must be expanded and modernized—to power growth and economic opportunity in industrial/manufacturing corridors and bring the many benefits of clean, affordable, domestic energy to communities across our country.

 

Senate Energy To Start Energy Legislation Process – The Senate Energy Committee will convene a hearing to receive testimony on energy infrastructure legislation Thursday. The agenda includes 22 bills introduced by members on both sides of the aisle.

 

House Foreign Affairs to Look at Energy Revolution – On Thursday at 2:00 p.m., the House Foreign Affairs Committee’s Subcommittee on the Western Hemisphere will hold a hearing on the energy revolution in the Western Hemisphere.  The hearing will look at opportunities and challenges for the U.S.   Witnesses will include our friend Kevin Book of Clearview Energy Partners and James Knapp, of the University of South Carolina.

 

Czech Trade/Industry Minister to Address Atlantic Council – On Thursday at 4:00 p.m., the Atlantic Council will host Jan Mládek, the Czech Republic’s Minister of Industry and Trade. Mládek will deliver remarks on the state of Czech energy and economic affairs, with a particular focus on the newly announced European Energy Union and the future of nuclear energy in the Czech Republic.  He will also discuss how the Czech Republic’s economy and energy security have been impacted by the conflict in Ukraine.  Minister Mládek’s address will also be followed by a moderated discussion with David Koranyi, Director of the Eurasian Energy Futures Initiative at the Atlantic Council. The Hon. Richard L. Morningstar, Founding Director of the Atlantic Council’s Global Energy Center will provide welcome remarks

 

FERC’s LaFleur to Address Energy Breakfast – On Friday, May 15th at 8:00 a.m. at the National Press Club, ICF International holds another Energy and Environment Breakfast that hosts former FERC Chair and current commissioner Cheryl LaFleur.  She will discuss FERC’s agenda—one of the key fulcrums of the energy universe today.

 

House Energy to Look at Nuclear Waste Policy – The House Energy & Commerce Committee’s Subcommittee on Environment and the Economy will hold a hearing Friday at 9:00 a.m. to update on the current Status of nuclear waste management policy.  Our friend Stephen Kucynski, chairman and CEO of Southern Nuclear will be testifying.  Other include Andrew Fitz, senior counsel for the Office of the Attorney General in the state of Washington; Josephine Piccone, director of the Yucca Mountain Directorate at the Nuclear Regulatory Commission; and Greg White, chairman of the Michigan Public Service Commission and chairman of the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners’ Subcommittee on Nuclear Issues-Waste Disposal.

 

Chamber Hosts Innovation Day – The US Chamber of Commerce, 1776 and Free Enterprise will hold Innovation Economy Day on Friday at 10:00 a.m.   Innovation Economy Day brings together entrepreneurs, policymakers, corporate leaders, and industry experts from domestically and abroad to discuss major themes about innovation in highly entrenched industries and approaches and solutions that can be applied across sectors.  The Foundation, Free Enterprise and 1776 will also release a first-of-its-kind study on the state of civic innovation in eight leading American cities. The results provide a roadmap for how cities can catalyze entrepreneurial innovation in the civic sector. Over the last six months, representatives from 1776 and the U.S. Chamber traveled the country to hear firsthand what is working and what is not as cities build healthy and vibrant start-up communities in key civic sectors, such as education, energy & sustainability, health and cities. The report also evaluates how cities can empower startups to work with established corporations and government agencies to foster growth.

 

Forum to Look at Energy Production Issues – On Friday, May 15th at Noon, the Cato Institute will hold a forum on energy production and natgas. Since 2008, oil production has more than doubled and natural gas production is up about 24 percent, according to the Energy Information Agency. Advances in technology have driven this remarkable achievement. Three major techniques that have revolutionized both onshore and offshore oil and gas production are directional drilling, horizontal drilling, and hydraulic fracturing, also known as “fracking.” In addition, offshore drilling in a record 10,500 feet of water — and then through thousands of feet of sediment below the seafloor — has been made possible by radical new advances in offshore platform technology tied in with global positioning software. These advances in technology have required considerable capital investment that would have been less likely in a nation constrained by a cap-and-trade or carbon-tax system.  The forum will look at recent successes in energy production and their implications for public policy and features Ned Mamula, Petroleum Geologist, formerly with the U.S. Geological Survey, Minerals Management Service, and the Central Intelligence Agency.

 

FUTURE EVENTS

 

Driving Energy Efficiency With IT – The Center for Climate and Energy Solutions (C2ES) will hold a morning forum on Monday, May 18th that will brings together state, city and business leaders to explore implementing EPA’s proposed Clean Power Plan through energy efficiency, and how information technologies can help, in the second of a three-part clean power series. Speakers include PSEG CEO Ralph Izzo; Jessica Burdette, Minnesota Department of Commerce Conservation Improvement Program Supervisor; Alyssa Caddle, Principle Program Manager of EMC’s Office of Sustainability; Rick Counihan, Nest Head of Energy Regulatory and Government Affairs; Katherine Gajewski, City of Philadelphia’s Director of Sustainability; Steve Harper, Intel Corporation Global Director of Environment and Energy Policy; and Nate Hurst, HP Global Director of Sustainability and Social Innovation.

 

Brookings to Highlight IMF Energy Subsidies Study – Next Monday morning, Brookings will host Vitor Gaspar, director of the IMF’s Fiscal Affairs Department, to present the key findings of a new IMF study that provides a comprehensive, updated picture of energy subsidies at the global and regional levels. First, energy subsidies are dramatically higher than previously estimated, and projected to remain high despite the sharp decline in international energy prices. Second, the vast majority of energy subsidies reflect domestic externalities, so countries should move ahead with energy subsidy reform unilaterally in their own interests. Third, the potential fiscal, environmental and welfare impacts of energy subsidy reform are substantial. A panel discussion will follow and include a question and answer session with the audience.

 

Forum to Look at Nuclear – The Global America Business Institute (GABI) will hold a Capitol Hill briefing next Monday at Noon in B-339 Rayburn on the role of nuclear power in  Energy  Reliability.  Speakers will include Exelon’s David Brown  and Andrew Paterson of the Environmental Business International.

 

WCEE Forum to Look at Latin, Caribbean Energy Issues – Next Monday, the Women’s Council on Energy and the Environment (WCEE) will hold a Brown Bag luncheon at Louis Berger focused on energy issues in Latin America and the Caribbean.  The Inter-American Development Bank experts Natacha Marzolf and Gerard Alleng will speak.  Marzoff will provide an overview of the current energy situation, policy challenges and country risks in Latin America and the Caribbean, while Alleng discusses the potential hazards threatening Trinidad & Tobago due to climate change and the economic costs and benefits of mitigation.

 

Senate Energy Continues Energy Hearings – On Tuesday, May 19th at 10:00 a.m., the Senate Energy Committee will hold another  hearing to receive testimony on energy supply legislation.

 

Wilson Forum to Look at Caribbean, Latin Energy – Next Tuesday, May 19th at 11:30 a.m., the Wilson Center for Scholars will hold a forum on the importance of the energy sector in Latin America and the Caribbean.   The region contains some of the largest proven oil reserves in the world along with significant reserves of natural gas. Moreover, approximately half of U.S. energy imports flow from the Western Hemisphere. As the United States increases its own energy production simultaneously with engagement in the region, many countries continue to face infrastructure and governance deficits that hamper production.  Energy experts will explore the US role and impacts in the 7th event in the Wilson Center’s Regional and Global Energy Series.  Keynotes will be from former White House Chief of Staff for President Bill Clinton Thomas “Mack” McLarty and Chevron President for Africa and Latin America Ali Moshiri.  Other speakers will include former State Department official David Goldwyn and UT-Austin Latin America and Caribbean Energy Program Director Jorge R. Piñon.

 

Forum to Look at Oil Price Balance – The CSIS Energy and National Security Program will host a roundtable discussion on Wednesday May 20th to Look at recent oil market developments and what to expect going forward.  10 months into the oil price collapse and despite the recent price rebound, companies of all sizes continue to adjust to the new economic, financial, and geopolitical realities. In the United States, the largest source of incremental oil supply growth globally over the past several years, output has remained remarkably resilient. That said, evidence of a slowdown continues, though the impact is likely to be uneven.  Featured discussions will examine and interpret these developments, and discuss the implications for oil markets going forward.  Speakers will include Michelle Foss of the University of Texas’ Bureau of  Economic Geology’s Center for Energy Economics, Robert Kleinberg of the Schlumberger-Doll Research Center and former Vice Chairman of the New York Mercantile Exchange Albert Helmig, now CEO of Grey House.

 

USEA to Look at EIA Outlook – The US Energy Association will hold a forum on Thursday, May 21st at 10:00 a.m. to look at the “Annual Energy Outlook 2015,” prepared by the U.S. Energy Information Administration, presents long-term annual projections of energy supply, demand, and prices through 2040. The projections, focused on U.S. energy markets, are based on results from EIA’s National Energy Modeling System. NEMS enables EIA to make projections under alternative, internally-consistent sets of assumptions, the results of which are presented as cases. The analysis in AEO2015 focuses on six cases: Reference case, Low and High Economic Growth cases, Low and High Oil Price cases, and High Oil and Gas Resource case.  EIA’s Paul Holtberg, Team Leader of EIA’s Analysis Integration Team, will speak.

 

Demand Response Forum Set – The National Town Meeting on Demand Response and Smart Grid will be held on May 26 through 28th in Washington, DC.  The event in the US focused on the business and policy aspects of demand response and its enabling technologies and applications. It is unique in that it devotes an entire day to roundtable discussions featuring experts in demand response and smart grid, who discuss with each other and with the audience the latest trends, issues, and business developments. The National Town Meeting also features panel discussions, case studies, and presentations of best practices. Another hallmark is attendee engagement, whether through Q&A sessions with top business leaders and policymakers, through formal electronic voting, or through the National Town Meeting’s reception and other networking sessions.

 

RFF to Host Seminar on Creative Conservation – Resources for the Future will Hold a seminar on May 27th at 12:45 p.m. for an expert discussion of creativity, innovation, technology, and natural resources. Ruth DeFries, the Denning Family Chair in Sustainable Development in the Department of Ecology, Evolution, and Environmental Biology at Columbia University and a 2007 recipient of a MacArthur Fellowship “genius grant” award, will discuss key themes in her new book, The Big Ratchet: How Humanity Thrives in the Face of Natural Crisis. A panel of experts in geography, conservation science, and economics will consider the advantages and limits of innovation in using and conserving natural resources.

 

EIA Annual Energy Conference Set – EIA will hold its 2015 Energy Conference on June 15 – 16th in Washington, DC.  Keynote Speakers will DOE Secretary Ernie Moniz, Mexican Energy secretary Pedro Joaquín Coldwell and Continental Resources CEO Harold Hamm, among others.

 

Peter W. Davidson, the Executive Director of the Department of Energy’s Loan Programs Office to give Special Luncheon Address at Infocast’s 6th North American Offshore Wind Development & Finance Summit, June 17-18th in New York. Leading offshore wind players will discuss the unique value of offshore wind, the latest financial innovations, public/private partnerships, and technological advances being developed to reduce development time and cost and maximize ROI of offshore wind power projects in North America.

 

Bay, Clark, Moeller Headline Utility Commissioners Education Forum – The 20th Annual Education Conference of the Mid-Atlantic Conference of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (MACRUC) will be held on June 21 – 24 at the Williamsburg Lodge in Virginia.  Speakers will include former Senator/Governor Evan Bayh, FERC Commissioners Norman Bay, Tony Clark and Philip Moeller, NARUC President and Florida PSC Chair Lisa Edgar, Dominion CEO Tom Farrell, PSE&G President  Ralph LaRossa, and American Water Works CEO Susan Story.

 

Energy CyberSecurity Forum Set for Houston – The 3rd Annual Cyber Security for Oil and Gas Summit will be held in Houston on June 22-24th.  The event brings together the oil and gas industry to address critical concerns and trends with regard to the development of cyber security practices.  The complex nature of cyberattacks and those specifically levied against the oil and gas industry have been increasing over the years and while the industry is well prepared, continuous improvement is always necessary to maintain an edge on the nefarious actors working against the industry.

 

Energy Update: Week of March 30

Friends,

 

How about those games over the weekend.  Undefeated Kentucky had their hands full with Notre Dame but managed to pull it out, while Wisconsin showed they are the “Real Cheese” making their second-consecutive trip to the Final Four besting a tough Arizona team.  Meanwhile yesterday, surprising, but tourney perennial Michigan State took out Louisville in OT and Duke overpowered Gonzaga, sending a third #1 seeds to Indianapolis.  All the action kicks off on Saturday with the winners meeting next Monday Night.  On the women’s side, the top teams have so far played out with #1-seed Notre Dame ousting #2 Baylor yesterday and #1 seed South Carolina moving on to Tampa.  Strongly favored #1 Maryland plays Tennessee tonight after the Lady Vols roared back from 20-points to beat Gonzaga Saturday and overall #1 seed UConn, who routed Texas by 51 points, plays 7th seed Dayton to lock in the Final Four.   UConn’s victory margins have been 66, 36 and 51.  That is domination.

 

And don’t forget the ice…There was some great action in the NCAA Men’s ice hockey tourney over the weekend including late game heroics by Boston U in games aGAINst Yale and Minnesota-Dulute (I know on the spelling, but that’s how they say it) to move on to the Frozen Four.  As well, a late controversial goal by Rochester Institute of Tech knocked out overall #1 seed Minnesota St.-Mankato.  The semis are set for TD Garden in Boston starting April 9th with BU taking on North Dakota and Providence playing UNebraska-Omaha, who bounced RIT after its big upset.  Finally, mark your calendar, two weeks until the quest begins for Lord Stanley’s Cup.

 

With Congress on recess ahead of the Passover and Easter holidays, there won’t be much action in DC this week, but we will keep you covered regarding any potential long-awaited but politically sensitive policy developments, like Iran and the DOE’s Quadrennial Energy Review, which was supposed to arrive last week.

 

In a fun recess twist as the 150th anniversary of the assassination of Abraham Lincoln approaches on April 14th, my friend Rick Klein of ABC Politics conducted an extraordinary interview with Abraham Lincoln.  See it here.  I thought Rick should have told him to skip the theater that night, but I suppose he didn’t want to be like Marty McFly and alter history.

 

One good item today at 11:30 at The Newseum, POLITICO’s Chief White House Correspondent Mike Allen takes Playbook live for an afternoon conversation with Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx and EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy about policy, politics and the news of the day.

 

And tomorrow, FERC holds its final GHG technical Conference in St. Louis.  Ameren CEO Warner Baxter is expected to present to the panel.  You may recall his recent white paper where they say some tweaks in the EPA rule can not only make the plan achievable, but also save consumers billions.  I will send you his testimony for tomorrow should you be interested.

 

Finally, congrats to our friend Dina Cappiello who leaves the AP enviro beat to join Edelman’s DC office today.   Who will Borenstein argue with now, Dina?  He is going to have to call Marc Morano!!!

 

Call with questions.

 

Frank Maisano

(202) 828-5864

  1. (202) 997-5932

 

IN THE NEWS

 

SCOTUS WRAP – A divided Supreme Court weighed new regulations aimed at reducing power plant emissions of mercury last week.  The justices heard arguments Wednesday in a challenge brought by a bipartisan group of Attorneys General like by Michigan AG Bill Schuette.  My colleagues Jeff Holmstead and Scott Segal have been commenting since with Holmstead saying the Supreme Court was clearly divided in the MATS case.  Holmstead: “On the statutory issue – what does the word “appropriate” mean in context – it really seems as though industry and the states had the stronger side of the argument.  If the government prevails, necessary and appropriate would essentially have the same meaning.  And most experts on statutory construction believe that any interpretation of which renders a word meaningless is not to be preferred.”  Segal added once the Agency is forced to consider cost, it is clear that the regulatory outcome would be different.  The benefits of mercury control under the MATS rule is between $4 to $6 million on a cost of $9.6 billion – making the rule one of the most expensive in EPA history.  Segal: “All the while claiming they needn’t do a comprehensive cost analysis, EPA manages to claim the regulation will save billions.  But their process is to once again count particulate-matter benefits EPA has already claimed advancing other rules, a dubious accounting sleight-of-hand called double counting.  As the Chief Justice said, this approach raises “a red flag.”  24 states challenged this rule before the D.C. Circuit, including six Democratic attorneys general, making the opposition bipartisan and multi-regional.  Looking forward, Segal added if the Supreme Court rejects an EPA rule high in cost with very speculative benefits, that “can’t be good for the EPA’s plans on controlling carbon for existing power plants.”  Some of the best legal experts in the country, including Harvard Constitutional law expert Laurence Tribe have argued that the carbon rule is on even shakier legal footing.

 

BLM Releases Nat Gas Drilling Rules – We all know that Interior, three years after its initial proposal, finalized new regulations applicable to hydraulic fracturing activities on federal and Indian lands.  BLM previously released a draft proposed rule in May 2012 and revised draft in May 2013.   My colleagues Jason Hutt and Mike Weller do a DEEP DIVE on the rule.  Key aspects of the final rule include requirements to:  (1) request approval of hydraulic fracturing before commencement of operations; (2) disclose chemicals after completing hydraulic fracturing activities (preferably via FracFocus); (3) perform well integrity and cement evaluation tests and obtain approval if cement remediation is required; (4) use steel tanks for the storage of recovered waste fluids from hydraulic fracturing; and (5) supply information  on estimated fractures and existing wellbores to reduce the risk of impacts to existing wells, i.e., “frack-hits.”  The Independent Petroleum Association of America (IPAA) and the Western Energy Alliance filed lawsuits the same day challenging the rule.  The state of Wyoming filed suit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Wyoming on March 26, 2015.  The final rule is effective on June 24, 2015.

 

Mexico Says It Will Peak Emissions – A lot of climate advocates are perking up regarding late last week’s announcement by Mexico that they plan to “peak” emissions by 2026, then reduce by 22% by 2030.  The approach captures the new view that developing countries continue to do what they want for 10-15 years and then try to reduce.  It also follows the path of many climate pledges of past years that have been left wanting after the UN meetings conclude.   While folks like WWF’s Jen Morgan praised the action as a major turning point, they rightfully point out that the “devil is in the details.”  I, for one, have been at the rodeo before, and I’m skeptical the pledges will ever come to pass. I will be skeptical until people actually start to do what they say they’re going to do, which to date at UN Meetings has  been never.

 

DOE Meeting Coverage – Following the two-day member symposium, several AHRI furnace manufacturers like Rheem, Johnson Controls , Carrier, Lennox, Goodman and Ingersoll Rand remained in Washington to attend a hearing at DOE Headquarters on the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking for residential furnaces on Friday.  DOE got an earful from critics on the plan which AHRI, AGA and individual companies say will raise costs and unnecessarily burden consumers. Those challenging the rule say it will increase costs for consumers by $6-12 billion, with most of that burden falling “unevenly” on low and fixed-income residents.  The American Gas Association, who recently wrote in a blog post that while on the surface, the rule appears to be a positive step toward achieving greater energy efficiency, a closer examination reveals counterproductive and unintended consequences that conflict with DOE’s stated goal of improved efficiency and reduced emissions.

 

AHRI Member Companies Storm Capitol – Speaking of the two-day symposium, manufacturers of heating, ventilation, air conditioning, commercial refrigeration (HVACR) and water heating equipment descended on Washington last week to meet with their representatives and learn more about the legislative process.  The manufacturers engaged in a Public Policy Symposium organized by the Air-Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration Institute (AHRI).  Attendees heard from CBS News White House Correspondent Major Garrett at lunch on Wednesday, followed by panel sessions in the afternoon.  The visit to the nation’s capital came at a pivotal time for the industry.  The Department of Energy (DOE) has taken an extremely aggressive approach to rulemaking in the past two years, and is poised to issue some 18 new regulations on the industry over the next two years.   In Congressional and Senate meetings on Thursday, the AHRI members detailed that while the industry is not opposed to regulation, they have a right to expect that DOE conduct its rulemakings through a fair and transparent process – one that works to the benefit of manufacturers, consumers, and the environment.  Accordingly, the manufacturers will be advocating for legislation to amend the Energy Policy Act to accomplish that goal.

 

Reps Wants DOE, EPA Coordinating Better – A number of Congressmen are raising concerns about EPA and DOE coordination and conflicting mandates on several issues facing small and large manufacturers.  Rep Bill Heuzinga leads a group that includes Reps Pat Meehan, Bill Johnson, Chris Collins, Mike Fitzpatrick, Ryan Costello, Joe Wilson and David Rouzer.  They specific question is the timeline that is forcing manufacturers to fully integrate their compliance with all applicable energy efficiency requirements, for the of the Significant New Alternatives Policy (SNAP) program which in this case is focused on substitutes used in the commercial and residential refrigeration and foam-blowing sectors.

 

Gallup Says American Care Less About Environment – Americans’ concern about several major environmental threats has eased after increasing last year. As in the past, Americans express the greatest worry about pollution of drinking water, and the least about global warming or climate change. The results are based on Gallup’s annual Environment survey, conducted March 5-8. Gallup trends on many of these items stretch back more than two decades. Last year’s increased worry has proved temporary, with the current level of worry on each of the problems back to about where it was in 2013.

Despite ups and downs from year to year in the percentage worried about the various issues, the rank order of the environmental problems has remained fairly consistent over the decades. Americans express greater concern over more proximate threats – including pollution of drinking water, as well as pollution of rivers, lakes and reservoirs, and air pollution – than they do about longer-term threats such as global warming and plant and animal extinction. The amount Americans worry about the various threats tends to rise and recede in unison, with concern higher in the late 1980s and early 1990s during the revival of environmentalism, and in the late 1990s and early 2000s amid the economic boom. Since then, Americans’ worry has fallen, with concern dipping to record lows on most issues in 2010 or 2011. The current level of worry on each issue remains at or near those record lows.

 

NARUC Has New Comms Person – We knew that our friend Rob Thormeyer is headed to FERC, but now we know who will replace him at NARUC.  The utility commissioner group has hired Regina Davis as its new Director of Communications, effective April 13th.  Davis will be the Association’s main point-of-contact with the press and will help write, edit, and distribute press releases, speeches, testimony, and other official NARUC correspondence. She will also assist in promoting the Association’s three annual meetings.  Davis joins NARUC after several years as Communications Director for the Maryland PSC, where she served as the commission’s primary spokesperson in the media and at civic, non-profit, charitable, and educational organizations and community associations. Prior to joining the Maryland PSC in 2011, Davis worked in similar capacities at the Council of State Governments Justice Center, the University of Maryland Dental School, and the University of Maryland Baltimore’s Office of External Affairs.

 

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

 

Foxx, McCarthy to Headline POLITICO PB Forum – POLITICO’s Chief White House Correspondent Mike Allen takes Playbook live for an afternoon conversation with Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx and EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy about policy, politics and the news of the day.  The action begins at The Newseum at 11:30 a.m.

 

ELI, DC Bar to Host  Social Cost of Carbon Forum – ELI and the DC Bar will host a forum today at Noon on the social cost of carbon.  The SCC tool assesses the economic costs of greenhouse gas emissions.  The panel of experts will offer a primer on the tool and debate the advantages and shortcomings of relying on it as a factor in agency decision-making.  Richard Ayres is among the nation’s most knowledgeable and well-respected environmental attorneys and policy makers. He has significantly shaped the country’s environmental policies, including the Clean Air Act, and their implementation.  Dr. Kevin D. Dayaratna specializes in tax, energy and health policy issues as Senior Statistician and Research Programmer in The Heritage Foundation’s Center for Data Analysis (CDA). An applied statistician, he has researched and published on the use of high-powered statistical models in public policy.  Dr. Laurie Johnson is the chief economist at NRDC’s climate and clean air program in Washington, DC. She focuses on modeling the costs and benefits of reducing greenhouse gas emissions, the impacts of environmental regulation on employment, economic analyses of regulation by industry, and macroeconomic modeling of climate change legislation and its distributional impacts.  Patrick Traylor practices in the area of environmental law, with a particular focus on the Clean Air Act, environmental litigation, and energy infrastructure development and climate change.

 

Roundtable to Look at Energy in Japan, Korea, China – The Energy Security Worldviews in Asia will hold a Roundtable tomorrow at Noon at GWU that examines how key actors with an influence on energy decision making in Japan, South Korea, and China view their country’s energy vulnerability and security.  Speakers will include GW experts Mike Mochizuki and Robert Sutter, as well as Korean Studies expert Scott Snyder of the Council on Foreign Relations.

 

WCEE to Discuss Cheap Oil, Gas prices with AAA – The Women’s Council on Energy and the Environmental (WCEE) will hold a brown bag lunch tomorrow at Noon on low price oil and its impact on gasoline prices   Avery Ash, Director, Federal Relations at the American Automobile Association (AAA) will discuss the recent fluctuations in gas prices, expectations for the short term and long term and give some insight into the work AAA does to forecast prices for their members and the public.  Ash serves as Director of Federal Relations for AAA. In this capacity Avery is responsible for the Association’s work on energy issues, in particular crude oil and gasoline. This includes the publishing of AAA’s weekly Fuel Gauge Report, which provides analysis of prices and trends, and the AAA Daily Fuel Gauge Report, the most current and accurate source of gasoline prices surveying more than 100,000 stations every day. Avery has also led in development of the Association’s engagement strategy for electric vehicles. This includes the roll-out of AAA’s first-in-nation level 2 and level 3 charging services as well as an engagement and education strategy to serve AAA’s more than 53 million members. Prior to joining AAA, Avery served as Legislative and Special Assistant for Congresswoman Chellie Pingree, where he focused on economic development issues.

 

NAS to Release reporters on Climate Intervention at USEA – The National Academy of Sciences will release two reports on Climate Intervention at the US Energy Association tomorrow at 2:00 p.m.  Climate intervention is no substitute for reductions in carbon dioxide emissions and adaptation efforts aimed at reducing the negative consequences of climate change. However, as our planet enters a period of changing climate never before experienced in recorded human history, interest is growing in the potential for deliberate intervention in the climate system to counter climate change. This study assesses the potential impacts, benefits, and costs of two different proposed classes of climate intervention: (1) carbon dioxide removal and (2) albedo modification (reflecting sunlight). Carbon dioxide removal strategies address a key driver of climate change, but research is needed to fully assess if any of these technologies could be appropriate for large-scale deployment. Albedo modification strategies could rapidly cool the planet’s surface but pose environmental and other risks that are not well understood and therefore should not be deployed at climate-altering scales; more research is needed to determine if albedo modification approaches could be viable in the future.    AAAS head Marcia McNutt will speak.

 

FERC GHG Technical Conference to Focus on EPA Rule – FERC holds its final GHG technical Conference in St. Louis tomorrow.  Ameren CEO Warner Baxter is expected to present to the panel.  You may recall his recent white paper in which Ameren, a coal-heavy utility in Missouri, feels like some tweaks in the EPA rule can not only make the plan achievable, but also save consumers billions. The full announcement, including a quote by FERC Chairman Cheryl LaFleur, is available here.  The full text of the notice in the Federal Register, including instructions on how to register for the conferences, is available here.  Commissioner Tony Clark released his own statement, available here.

 

Nat Gas Roundtable to Host DOI Offshore Expert – The Natural Gas Roundtable will host Janice Schneider, Assistant Secretary for Land and Minerals Management at Interior (DOI), at its luncheon tomorrow, where she will discuss the current offshore energy production landscape.  Schneider oversees four DOI bureaus including BLM, BOEM, BSEE and the Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement. In this capacity, she guides the Department’s management and use of federal lands and waters and their associated mineral and non-mineral resources, spanning approximately 245 million acres of federal surface lands, 700 million acres of federal mineral interests and the 1.7 billion-acre Outer Continental Shelf.

 

Forum to Look at Climate Prep – The Environmental and Energy Study Institute (EESI) will hold a briefing Wednesday in 485 Russell examining the recommendations of the White House State, Local and Tribal Leaders Task Force on Climate Preparedness and Resilience. The bipartisan Task Force of 26 governors, mayors, tribal leaders, and other officials spent a year compiling recommendations on how the federal government could help local communities be more resilient to climate change impacts. From an initial 500 ideas, the Task Force produced a report of 35 concrete recommendations for tools, training, funding and services the Federal Government can provide to help the nation’s communities increase their resilience. Even without taking into account the effects of climate change, making communities more resilient saves lives-and saves money in the long run.  Speakers for this forum are Jennifer Jurado, Director, Environmental Planning & Community Resilience in Broward County; Governor Jay Inslee Washington DC Office Director Sam Ricketts and Carolyn Berndt, Program Director for Sustainability at the National League of Cities.

 

RFF to Host Offshore Energy Discussion – Resources for the Future (RFF) and the Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment will hold an RFF First Wednesday Seminar on Wednesday at 12:45 p.m., where leading experts will examine offshore oil and gas leasing reform in the US Arctic. Panelists will explore how these new regulations and strategies meet the need for integrated Arctic management and what work remains to be done to design a regulatory approach that appropriately balances resource development, environmental protection, and community livelihoods. The conversation will cover recommendations put forth in the National Petroleum Council’s Arctic study (to be released at the end of March) and lessons for the Arctic from the National Commission on the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and Offshore Drilling.

 

Post to Host Energy, Innovation Future Event The Washington Post will gather leaders from the energy, defense and technology sectors Thursday at 8:30 a.m. at Charlie Palmer Steak  to discuss and debate innovative solutions for securing the country’s energy resources. This live event will explore threats to national security, including cyberattacks, as well as efforts to mitigate the effects of natural disasters on the energy ecosystem.  Speakers will include FERC commissioner Tony Clark and Robert “RJ” Johnston, Chief Executive of the Eurasia Group.

 

CSIS Forum to Look at Crude, Refining Export Issues – The CSIS Energy and National Security Program is hosting a conference on Thursday morning focused on the latest developments in the crude oil export debate as well as the role of refining (both domestic and globally) in finding an economically viable home for US light oil production. As debates heat up over domestic policy choices affecting both the upstream and downstream sectors, the need for informed (and perhaps more detailed) discussion has become increasingly important. This conference seeks to both inform and supplement the debate on two issues that will have a large impact on the future domestic U.S. energy landscape as well as global investment going forward.  The Refining panel, featuring Joanne Shore, Chief Industry Analyst at AFPM, EnSys Energy’s Martin Tallett and Lynn Westfall, Petroleum Markets Analyst with EIA’s Office of Energy Markets and Financial Analysis, will provide a primer on the U.S. refining sector, addressing refinery configurations, operations and economics; the ability of the domestic and global refining system to accommodate additional light oil production and some of the implications of investment choices and oil flows in the near and medium terms. The Exports panel, featuring ClearView Energy’s Kevin Book and Sharon Burke of the New America Foundation, will address the current regulatory framework, the politics of exports and the potential geopolitical implications of allowing or impeding such activity. Frank Verrastro and Sarah Ladislaw of CSIS will moderate.

 

DOE’s Kenderline to Discuss QER – On Thursday at 10:00 a.m., the Atlantic Council will host a discussion on the Quadrennial Energy Review (QER) with Melanie Kenderdine, Energy Counselor to US Secretary of Energy, Ernest Moniz, and Director of the Department of Energy’s Office of Energy Policy and Systems Analysis.   On January 9, 2014, President Obama issued a Presidential Memorandum directing the administration to conduct the first-ever QER to help the Federal Government better meet the nation’s energy goals. With a focus on energy infrastructure and US energy and climate security, the QER assists the government in translating energy policy goals into a set of integrated actions through improved interagency dialogue and increased engagement of external stakeholders.  Welcome remarks will be delivered by The Hon. Richard Morningstar, Founding Director of Atlantic Council’s Global Energy Center and the discussion will be moderated by David Koranyi, Director of the Eurasian Energy Futures Initiative at the Atlantic Council.

 

FUTURE EVENTS

 

Columbia to Host Panel on Sustainability – Columbia University’s Earth Institute will hold a forum on the state of sustainability policy on Tuesday April 7th at 6:00 p.m. in NYC at the Low Memorial Library.   The event will feature the Earth Institute’s Steve Cohen, Columbia researcher Dong Guo,; NYC Mayor’s Office of Sustainability Director Nilda Mesa and our friend Andy Revkin.   This panel will explore the role that public policy plays in influencing behavior within organizations and among individuals, in order to facilitate and speed up that transition.

 

AGA to Release Gas Supply Report – The American Gas Association (AGA) and the Potential Gas Committee (PGC) will hold a press conference on Wednesday, April 8th at 9:00 a.m. to release the major findings of the PGC’s year-end 2014 biennial report: Potential Supply of Natural Gas in the United States, and discuss how customers and the nation can benefit from domestic natural gas resources. The report is expected to reveal that domestic estimates of undiscovered natural gas resources continue to grow, due largely to the existence of technologies that continue to unlock energy resources from shale and other producing formations. Dr. John B. Curtis, Director of the Potential Gas Agency and Colorado School of Mines and AGA Supply expert Chris McGill will discuss the report.

 

Solar Forum to Cover Solar Now, Future – Greentech Media will host a Solar Summit in Phoenix, AZ on April 14th – 16th at the Wigwam Resort.  Speakers will include SRP’s Lisa Singleton, Sun Power CEO Tom Werner and our friends Stephen Lacey of Greentech Media,  Shayle Kann of GTM Research, and Brad Heavner of the Cal Solar Energy Industry Assn, among many others.   The Summit focuses on what the solar industry needs to know and includes the research and economic analysis of GTM Research’s team.   This year’s agenda includes panels, engaging debates among the industry’s top thought leaders, and an interactive polling session.   Topics will include dynamics in the global solar market, system performance, asset management, technology integration given new energy customer and the  U.S. solar market in 2016 and beyond.

 

BNEF to Host Energy Summit – Bloomberg New Energy Finance will host a summit on April 13-15th focused on the future of energy at the Grand Hyatt in New York City.  The Future of Energy Summit 2015 is a unique forum providing an unrivaled meeting place at the intersection of the energy markets, regulation, industry, finance and policy.  A decade into the modern age of clean energy, and nearly a decade into the new age of shale gas abundance, the global energy system is not just growing, but shifting shape. At Summit 2015, the agenda will look at how phase change is likely to accelerate for the future.  Al Gore, former Duke CEO Jim Rogers, former Sen. Judd Gregg, former UN Climate head Connie Hedegaard, PSEG CEO Ralph Izzo CSIS expert Sarah Ladislaw and our friend Ethan Zindler of BNEF will speak among the many others.

 

Forum to Focus on Food, Water Nexus – The Bipartisan Policy Center, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation, National Geographic and Lockheed Martin are hosting the third in a series of roundtables, The Energy-Water-Food Nexus: Risks and Opportunities for the Private Sector on April 17th at 1:00 p.m. at National Geographic HQ. The roundtables identify the nexus risks to businesses, and examine why and how leadership from the private sector, in collaboration with key stakeholders, is critical to successfully managing the synergies and tradeoffs among water, food and energy infrastructure for the benefit of society, business and the environment.  This roundtable will focus on best practices and opportunities for harnessing innovation to address nexus challenges in the U.S., and globally.

 

FERC’s Honorable, Former Sen Bingaman Address Utility Issues Conference – On April 19th to 22nd in Santa Fe, NM, the Center for Public Utilities’ Advisory Council will hold a Current Issues conference dealing with important topics affecting the industry today. Through a series of panels, industry leaders and Commissioners discuss the current issues facing the Electric, Natural Gas, Telecommunications and Water industries. The panels are designed to create meaningful dialog between the panelists and audience in an informal setting conducive to audience participation.  Former NM Senator Jeff Bingaman, former Chairman, Energy & Natural Resources Committee and FERC Commissioner Colette Honorable speak Monday morning April 20. Lisa Edgar, NARUC President, will also be on the program, along with many NARUC Committee Chairman.

 

Fiorina To Address Lugar Speaker Series – On Monday, April 20th, the Richard G. Lugar Excellence in Public Service Series will hold its the 25th Annual Lugar Series Luncheon featuring Carly Fiorina, former CEO of Hewlett-Packard and Prospective Candidate as its keynote speaker.  The event will be held at the Indianapolis Marriott Downtown.

 

Tillerson, Hess Kinder, Others Headline CERA WeekCERAWeek 2015 will be held on April 20th through 24th in Houston, TX.  CERA Week usually offers comprehensive insight on what’s ahead for global energy. The oil price collapse has created new risks and realities – with profound impacts on key regions, industries, and economies. The event features industry and thought leaders proving fresh understanding of geopolitics, technology, markets, investment, strategy and regulatory policy.  Speakers will include Peabody Energy’s Greg Boyce, Exxon’s Rex Tillerson, Sen. Lisa Murkowski, BP’s Bob Dudley, Energy Secretary Moniz, former BrightSource exec now at Google John Woolard and many more.

 

MD OSW Meeting to Honor BOEM Director Hopper – The Business Network for Maryland Offshore Wind’s (BizMDOSW) will hold its annual meeting in Baltimore, Maryland on April 22-23, at Camden Yards.  The meeting is a 2-day gathering of European and American business executives, government officials, technical experts and academics brought together to build expertise among local companies. The event will have more than 150 participants from the U.S., Germany and Denmark including Dong Energy, Siemens, Bladt Industries, Blue Water Shipping and A2Sea.   The April 22nd dinner will be a celebration honoring U.S. Bureau of Ocean and Energy Management Director Abigail Hopper for outstanding achievement within the offshore wind industry.  The all-day April 23rd meeting will focus on creating jobs locally and regionally, including subcontracting opportunities for Maryland businesses and will also include reports on the East Coast regional offshore wind industry in Rhode Island, Virginia, New Jersey, Massachusetts and Maryland. The Maryland offshore wind development is projected to have steel in the water by 2019, and the development team expects to submit its OREC application to the state and to seek further permitting from U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management.  Among the speakers will be our friends Bill Wall of the Atlantic Wind Connection and Clint Plummer of Deepwater.

 

CSIS to Hold Global Development Forum – CSIS will hold its inaugural Global Development Forum (GDF) on Thursday April 23rd. With a significant reduction in extreme poverty and an increase in private financial flows to the developing world over the past two decades, the face of development is rapidly changing. Meeting today’s challenges calls for innovation and effective partnerships across sectors, with an emphasis on improving governance and leveraging the role of the private sector.  GDF will feature keynote addresses by Representative Ander Crenshaw (R-FL) and Dr. Sri Mulyani Indrawati, Managing Director of the World Bank Group. Breakout panel discussions will foster dialogue on topics including private sector partnerships, capacity building and workforce development, innovative finance, the post-2015 global development agenda, Ebola recovery in West Africa, and the strategic role of development in overall U.S. foreign policy. 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.

 

Perino to Hold Book Event at Press Club – Our friend Dana Perino, former White House Press Secretary for President George W. Bush and current co-host of The Five, will discuss and sign copies of her new book “And the Good News Is…:Lessons and Advice from the Bright Side” at an April 24th book rap scheduled for 6:30 p.m. in the ballroom at the National Press Club.

 

ACORE Policy Forum Set – ACORE will hold Its Renewable Energy Policy Forum on April 22-23 at the Westin City Center in Washington, DC.  ACORE’s Policy Forum champions the progress of the industry in reducing costs and deploying at scale, and will feature policymakers, industry leaders and other perspectives to outline challenges and highlight opportunities facing the sector. The Forum will drive bipartisan renewable energy policy priorities and strategy for the next two years, setting up a successful long-term outlook for the industry. The outcome of the Forum – the policy agenda for renewable energy policy – will be shared with the President and Congress, as well as governors, legislators, and regulators in the states.  Speakers will include Energy Secretary Moniz, EPA’s Gina McCarthy, former FERC Chair John Wellinghoff, Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, Georgia PSC Commissioner Bubba McDonald, and our friends, Joe Desmond of Brightsource Energy, Dan Reicher of Stanford, Michael McAdams of the Advanced Biofuels Coalition and AWEA’s Tom Kiernan.

 

NHA to Set Hydro Conference – The National Hydropower Association holds its annual conference at the Capitol Hilton on April 27-29th.  The Conference is a well-rounded conference program designed to discuss, prepare and foresee the future of hydropower throughout the nation. Speakers will include NY Rep. Paul Tonko and White House OSTP staff Cristin Dorgelo.

 

Marine Tech Conferences Alongside NHA Meeting – The 3rd Annual Marine Energy Technology Symposium (METS) will be held as part of the inaugural International Marine Renewable Energy Conference on April 27-29th at the Capital Hilton Hotel in Washington, D.C., and will be co-located with the National Hydropower Association’s annual conference.  METS provides a venue where technical experts can publish and present wave and water current energy research that helps accelerate the pace of technology development. Holding METS in conjunction with the International Marine Renewable Energy Conference will provide researchers with the invaluable opportunity to interact with public and private industry stakeholders.

 

 

 

FRANK MAISANO
Founding Partner
Ext. 5864
Policy Resolution Group

 

Energy Update: Week of February 17

Friends,

With President’s Day holiday, snowy blizzards lacing New England and the Mid-Atlantic and Fat Tuesday all upon us, this week will be a short week  Therefore also a short Intro, but mostly because I traveled to Connecticut College, Colby College and Skidmore College (Yes all sound very expensive and offer no scholarships) this weekend, driving through a massive blizzard, that would even test the most hearty New Englanders.  I’ll tell you it was pretty amazing on Sunday morning driving Boston’s 495 Outer Loop in blizzard conditions and virtually no cars on the road.  We had the road to ourselves…

As well, my colleague Scott Segal again graced the streets of the Crescent City in the run up to Mardi Gras as his usual Krewe worked the Bacchus Parade on Sunday.  I will get a full report tonight in when we meet up in the Big Apple.  That’s right…Fat Tuesday is today so have a king cake for me.

The snow in DC should slow folks down this week, (not us here at the Update as I was able to get into office in record time with the roads empty) but also not our friends at NARUC, who are holding their (REALLY) Winter meetings at the Renaissance Hotel.  Today’s line-up includes EPA’s Gina McCarthy, Energy Secretary Moniz, FCC Chair Tom Wheeler and FERC Chair Cheryl LaFleur.  Platts also starts its nuclear conference today in DC with NRC’s Stephen Burns keynoting.

While Congress is in a brief recess this week for President Day, the action swings to FERC though as on Thursday, they will hold the first of four planned technical conferences on the market and reliability impacts of EPA’s proposed carbon GHG rules. The technical conferences will provide more insight on the Commission’s thoughts on the plan and on the state of power markets in general.  We will be there…

 

At the NARUC event and at FERC on Thursday, you may come across a detailed ERCC White Paper on Reliability issues and the new GHG rule, a key point shared by several members of FERC and a number of NARUC Commissioners.   More of this and interviews with Holmstead and Segal as the week rolls on.  And speaking of white papers, did you catch the Ameren CEO’s thoughts on fixing the EPA’s GHG rule last week.   Ameren, a coal-heavy utility in Missouri, feels like some tweaks in the EPA rule can not only make the plan achievable, but also save consumers billions.  A number of trade press folks detailed the idea here and here.  And speaking of trade press, our friends at EE News have activated an on-line Clean Power Plan tool they built that includes a number of state related documents and articles.  It’s free for all to check out.

 

Finally, for those of you focused on rail safety issues in light of the crude accident in West Virginia and the ethanol derailment in Iowa, my colleague Lowell Rothschild is the best expert to discuss the overall status of the DOT rule and its policy impacts.  Look for members of both parties to increase the heat on getting a new rule moving.  Feel free to connect with him if have questions at 202-828-5817 or lowell.rothschild@bgllp.com

 

Frank Maisano

(202) 828-5864

(202) 997-5932

 

IN THE NEWS

Ameren Says With Minor Changes EPA Rule Can Work – Ameren Corp CEO Warner Baxter says in a new white paper says constructive and common-sense alterations to the EPA’s GHG plan could avoid imposing staggering costs on utility customers and significant risks to electric grid reliability. Ameren’s approach would achieve the same final CO2 emission reduction goals as EPA’s own plan while saving $4 billion in costs.  You can get see the white paper on-line here, but I am also attaching it and a press release (below) from the Ameren PR team with contact info for reaching out to Mr. Baxter, although he may be difficult to reach today. Feel free to quote freely from the paper, as it is on the record. You will also be able to discuss the issue with Ameren Washington office head Joe Power, who you can reach at 703-624-3234 or jpower@ameren.com.  Finally, my colleague Scott Segal, who heads the industry coalition ERCC, has seen the paper and would be happy to discuss it, as well, should you want an outside voice. You can reach Scott at 202-262-5845 or scott.segal@bgllp.com.

DOE Rolls Out Furnace Rule – In case you missed it late yesterday, DOE rolled out its new efficiency proposal for certain residential natural gas-fired furnaces.  Here is the link for the rule.   My colleague Salo Zelermyer, former DOE Senior Counsel and attorney at Bracewell & Giuliani who represents energy efficiency and technology clients said “DOE’s proposed rule clearly admits that increasing the standards on residential furnaces leads to increased switching from natural gas to electric furnaces. Such an approach would actually increase lifecycle GHG emissions and stands in stark contrast to the goals of the President’s climate action plan.”  We are working on a number of these EE rules with many different members of the EE and HVAC industries and these are items that Salo watched closely when he was at DOE.  He is a great resource.

 

AGA Releases NatGas Use Guide – Americans continue to save money and improve their environmental footprint by using natural gas, according to the 2015 American Gas Association (AGA) Playbook. The freshly updated guide for natural gas information shows that natural gas customers saved an average of $693 per year from 2012-2013 while reducing their carbon dioxide emissions by half a million metric tons. In addition, emissions from distribution pipelines dropped an additional six percent in 2014 as utilities continued to upgrade and modernize infrastructure to enhance safety.

 

New PA Gov Proposes NatGas Tax – Gov. Tom Wolf proposed a five-percent severance tax on natural gas drilling activity in Pennsylvania. The natural gas industry already pays significant taxes in Pennsylvania and natural gas operators pay the same taxes that every other business in Pennsylvania pays, which has helped generate more than $2.1 billion through 2013.  Pennsylvania is the only state that imposes a special impact tax that will have generated nearly $830 million by April of this year, directly benefitting all 67 counties throughout the Commonwealth.  Pennsylvanians have realized more than $700 million in royalties from energy-development on public lands. By any measure, these are significant revenues that are boosting local communities, as well as important environmental programs.  More importantly, revenue estimates fail to account for the more than 200,000 hard-working Pennsylvanians who are employed by or support this industry and generate substantial revenue for the Commonwealth by paying their taxes.  Marcellus Shale Coalition president David Spigelmyer said while they will evaluate the policy details outlined by Wolf, “it’s clear that new energy taxes will discourage capital investment into the commonwealth and make Pennsylvania less competitive. Make no mistake, adding a five percent tax to any business sector – including the energy industry – is going to reduce capital spending and hit the supply chain, especially Pennsylvania-based small and mid-sized businesses, as well as our region’s labor and building trades.”

 

Global Divestment Day Passes…And No One Noticed – It’s kind of a steady stream of bad news for the global divestment movement, an effort by activists aiming to get Universities & Colleges to divest their endowments from fossil fuels.  The problem is, four plus years into the effort and none are doing it.  Even some of the most vaunted liberal institution like Harvard, Yale, Middlebury College and Brown have rejected pleas to divest.  A recent article by Val Richardson highlighted the woes out at the University of Colorado this weekend, where a Global Divestment Day rally was held and only a handful of people showed.

 

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

 

FCC Chair, Moniz, McCarthy to Address NARUC Winter Meetings – The 2015 NARUC Winter Committee Meetings launched yesterday and will run through Wednesday at the Renaissance Washington Hotel.  The Winter Meetings is the first substantive utility-regulatory conference of the year. Discussions will focus on the new Congress’ outlook for energy and telecommunications priorities.  DOE Secretary Ernie Moniz, EPA’s Gina McCarthy and FCC Chair Tom Wheeler will be among the keynote speakers.

 

NRC Commissioner to Address Nuclear Forum – Platts holds its 11th annual Nuclear Energy Conference at the Mandarin Oriental today and tomorrow.  NRC’s Stephen Burns will speak, as well as our friends Craig Piercy and Senate Energy Committee staffer Pat McCormick among many others.

 

Ameren CEO, EPA’s McCabe , DOE to Address Utility Conference – EUEC 2015 is the 18th annual energy, utility and environment conference will be held at the San Diego Convention Center on today and tomorrow.  EPA’s Janet McCabe, will be the keynote speaker at EUEC 2015, which offers a ten track technical program with over 400 expert speakers from utility, government and academia, presenting current issues and updates on air policy and regulations, mercury and multi-pollutant control, air pollution monitoring, energy policy, control technologies. EPA climate change regulations, renewable energy, operations and management, carbon capture and storage, water and EPA 316(b) rules, and alternate fuel technologies. EUEC is the longest running and largest event of its kind in the U.S.  Other speakers will include DOE’s Julio Freedman and Ameren CEO Warner Baxter.  EUEC will be jointly held with the Clean Car Expo, which will bring together the world’s leading alternative fuel vehicle (AFV) manufacturers, infrastructure developers, fuel providers, and consultants to discuss the latest developments in electric vehicles (EVs), compressed natural gas vehicles (CNG), hydrogen vehicles (H2), natural gas vehicles (NGV), biofuel, ethanol, propane, hybrid and fleet vehicles. Over 3,000 delegates including 400 fleet operators are expected to the joint conference and expo.

 

Smart Grid Forum Set – The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Power & Energy Society holds the 6th Conference on Innovative Smart Grid Technologies today and tomorrow at the Washington Grand Hyatt in Washington, DC. The Conference will be a forum for participants to discuss state-of-the-art innovations in smart grid technologies and will feature plenary and panel sessions as well as technical paper presentations and poster sessions. Tutorials by international experts on smart grid applications will also be available. The overall theme for 2015 is “Smart Grid – Present and Future”, focusing on the future migration path for the smart grid as new and emerging technologies converge with power system developments to create smart energy systems.  DOE’s Pat Hoffman is the keynote speaker.

 

George P. Bush to Address TX, Mexico Forums – The Border Energy Forum is hosting two forums where new Texas Land Commissioner George P. Bush will present a keynote address addresses.  The first is the Mexico Shale Summit in San Antonio today and tomorrow.  The event is highly focused Mexico Energy industry event bringing the relevant players together to discuss the opportunities associated with entering the Mexican energy market.  Then the following week in Austin, Bush will keynote the Texas Mexico Business Forum, which provides insight into business opportunities in four sectors important to the wealth of Texas and Mexico: Technology, Energy, Automobile, Higher education and Healthcare.

 

SNL to Host Forum – SNL Energy is hosting the 28th Annual Power and Gas M&A Symposium on Wednesday and Thursday at the Ritz-Carlton Battery Park in New York.  The Power and Gas M&A Symposium attracts senior executives and advisers from across the industry in an interactive conference that connects people, provides insights and fosters new opportunities like no other forum.  Former NYC Mayor Rudy Giuliani and Ameren CEO Baxter Warner will address the forum.

 

Forum to Focus on DOE Labs – On Wednesday at Noon, the Technology Transfer Society will host a forum on reforming the DOE National Labs at the Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities.  DOE’s 17 national labs stand as potentially pivotal institutions in many of the nation’s metropolitan economies and for overall national growth, innovation, and competitiveness. As centers of basic and applied technology research and development (R&D), the labs are well-positioned to serve as unique focal points for technology exchange among regional firms, universities, and economic development intermediaries. However, the labs have not made technology transfer, commercialization, or metropolitan cluster development a top priority. As a result, they have struggled to properly connect to the broader U.S. innovation ecosystem and deliver on their responsibility to contribute to regional and national economic growth.  There is a growing recognition among policymakers that it’s past time for lab reform, opening a window of opportunity to reshape the role of the labs as engines of national and regional economic growth. Congress has taken up bipartisan legislation to enhance lab flexibility when engaging with the private sector. Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz has made lab reform a priority. And a Congressionally-mandated commission is assessing potential areas of reform, including technology transfer, lab management, private sector engagement, and budget consolidation. This presentation, featuring information technology expert Matt Stepp, will discuss some (but not all) potential issues at the national labs and give an overview of ongoing policy discussions.  Stepp is Executive Director of The Information Technology & Innovation Foundation’s Center for Clean Energy Innovation (CCEI), where he researches, analyzes and comments on a number of issues related to climate and energy policy.

 

FERC GHG Technical Conference to Focus on EPA Rule – The FERC holds its GHG technical Conference on Thursday in Washington. There will be four conferences: one “National Overview” conference led by the Commission at FERC headquarters on Thursday followed by three staff-led regional conferences in Washington, D.C., St. Louis, and Denver.  According to FERC’s website, participants at the National Overview technical conference will discuss whether state utility and environmental regulators, regulated entities and others have the appropriate tools to identify reliability and/or market issues that may arise.  They will also look at potential strategies for complying with the EPA regulations and coordinating with FERC-jurisdictional wholesale and interstate markets.  The full announcement, including a quote by FERC Chairman Cheryl LaFleur, is available here.  The full text of the notice in the Federal Register, including instructions on how to register for the conferences, is available here.  Commissioner Tony Clark released his own statement, available here.

 

ICF Breakfast to Look at Climate – On Thursday morning at the National Press Club, ICF International will hold its energy breakfast featuring energy experts from the World Bank. Discussion topics will include hot-button greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions issues and key questions.  Speakers will include World Bank’s Charles Feinstein and former State Department negotiator Jonathan Pershing.

 

New Website Looks at Governing Uranium – CSIS and the Danish Institute for International Studies (DIIS) will host the launch of the new, interactive Governing Uranium website at 9:00 a.m. Thursday.  Based on the results of the Governing Uranium research project, the website allows users to explore the front-end of the nuclear fuel cycle and ‘follow the uranium trail’ from mining to conversion.  It offers information, maps and analysis on the regulatory structures and industry best practices that govern uranium production and trade across fifteen uranium producing and consuming states.

 

Forum to Explore Perspectives on Energy, Water & Agriculture – On Thursday at 12:15 p.m., the International Food Policy Research Institute will hold a forum on how clean energy technology can be used to intensify agricultural production.  Former Governor Bill Ritter, Jr. will speak from his experience working both domestically and internationally with legislators, regulators, planners, and policymakers to make clean energy a reality and focus on the major issues and opportunities both in the U.S. and in developing countries. A panel of experts will join Governor Ritter to explore the nexus between clean energy, water and agriculture, and share their thoughts on ways to ramp up partnerships–working across sectors–and apply cutting edge technologies to tackle some of our greatest development challenges.

 

Forum Look at Mediterranean Energy – On Thursday at 2:00 p.m., the Brookings Institution’s Energy Security and Climate Initiative and the Center for Middle East Policy at Brookings will launch three papers dealing with the Eastern Mediterranean gas energy discoveries. The first looks at the potential development of the Palestinian Gaza Marine gas field and its importance to the Palestinian economy. The second discusses the evolution of Israel’s energy policy since large discoveries were made in Israeli waters, and the effect of this process on regional cooperation. The third publication, an edited volume published by the PRIO Cyprus Centre, explores the hydrocarbon findings offshore Cyprus and their effects Cypriot relations with its neighbors.  The panelists, who authored the papers, will discuss the natural gas findings in the Eastern Mediterranean and the potential of these discoveries to enable regional energy cooperation. After the program, the panelists will take audience questions.

 

ASE to Offer Primer on Energy Efficiency – The Alliance to Save Energy will host a Capitol Hill Briefing on Thursday at 3:00 p.m. focusing on the building blocks of energy efficiency policy.  A full load of speakers will be announced on topics like EnergySTAR, building codes, Weatherization, Appliance Standards and much more.

 

Energy & Sustainability Extravaganza Set for New GWU Science Hall – On Friday afternoon, the National Capital Chapter of the Association of Energy Engineer’s will co-host the Energy & Sustainability Extravaganza at George Washington University/s new Science and Engineering Hall.  Other co-hosts include the GW School of Engineering and Applied Science’s Office of Graduate Admissions, the Alexandria Emerging Technology Center, and DC Green Drinks.

 

FUTURE EVENTS

 

Climate Conference Set – The Climate Leadership Conference 2015 will be held next Monday through Wednesday, February 23-25th at Ritz-Carlton Pentagon City.  The Climate Leadership Conference is an annual exchange for addressing global climate change through policy, innovation, and business solutions. Forward-thinking leaders from business, government, academia, and the non-profit community convene to explore market transformation, share energy and climate related solutions, and provide support for those addressing climate change in their operations.  Speakers include Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus, former U.S. Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin, EPA Acting Deputy Administrator Stan Meiburg, and National Academy of Sciences President Ralph Cicerone.

 

Forum to Look at NatGas Global Markets – The Johns Hopkins University will hold a forum in its Rome Auditorium on Monday, February 23rd at 4:00 p.m. featuring SAIS alumnus Nikos Tsafos and a senior commentator to look at global markets for natural gas.

 

Forum to Oil, Latin America – Next Tuesday, February 24th at 8:30 a.m., Georgetown University’s McCourt School of Public Policy will host presentations from two distinguished IADB experts focused on oil markets and Latin America.  Dr. Ramon Espinasa and Dr. Osmel Manzano. Will offer an oil market overview and impact on consumers and producers in the region.

 

Heller to Headline Geothermal Event – The Geothermal Energy Association’s State of the Geothermal Energy Industry Briefing will be held on Tuesday, February 24th at the Hyatt Regency Capitol Hill. The program will provide an update on the US and international geothermal industry featuring release of the 2015 Annual Geothermal Industry Update and presentations and panel discussions by key leaders in US and international development, finance, technology, policy and regulatory issues.  Nevada Sen Dean Heller will lead a list of speakers.

 

Jewell Heads to Senate Energy – The Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources will convene a hearing on Tuesday February 24th to examine the President’s proposed budget request for fiscal year 2016 for the Department of the Interior.  Interior Secretary Sally Jewell will testify.

 

Kenderline to Address NatGas Roundtable – Next Tuesday, at Noon, the Natural Gas Roundtable will host Melanie A. Kenderdine, Director of the Office of Energy Policy and Systems Analysis of the Department of Energy will be the guest speaker at the next luncheon.

 

RFF to Look at Climate Engineering – Resources for the Future will hold a forum next Tuesday, February 24th at 12:45 p.m. to look at climate engineering.   On February 10, the US National Academy of Sciences (NAS) released two major reports on climate engineering (also known as geoengineering), to help inform the ethical, legal, and political discussions on climate “intervention.” At this seminar, a panel of experts will first review the reports’ major findings and then consider their political and economic implications.  The release of the reports comes at a critical moment. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s recent Fifth Assessment Report suggests that the window for addressing global warming is fast closing. This year, the international community is working toward a post-Kyoto agreement on greenhouse gas emissions reductions. The United States has already announced new bilateral cooperation with China and India on renewable energy development and climate action. Climate engineering has long hovered on the fringes of these conversations. Panelists will include NRDC’s David Goldston, former House Science Committee Chair Bart Gordon, EDF’s Steve Hamburg,  and NOAA’s Admiral David Titley.

 

Ambassador, Louisa Rep to Focus on Japan, US Energy  Issues – The National Bureau of Asian Research (NBR) is hosting a forum on adapting to a new energy strategy for U.S., Japanese, and Asian energy security.” This event will be held on Tuesday, February 24th at 2:00 p.m. in 2322 Rayburn.  The event will detail the findings of NBR’s two-year program on “Adapting to a New Energy Era” and will feature panel discussions with senior experts on energy security, including Minister Yasushi Akahoshi from Embassy of Japan in the United States and Rep. Charles Boustany.

 

CSIS Paper to Look at Trade Issues – On Wednesday morning, February 25th the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) will release a new paper, Opportunities in Strengthening Trade Assistance, the final report of the CSIS Bipartisan Task Force on Trade Capacity Building. The task force, co-chaired by Reps. Charles Boustany and Jared Polis, met in 2014 to determine how the U.S. government can best implement TCB programs that build physical, human, and institutional capacities across the developing world and allow countries to benefit from trade and investment opportunities.  CSIS’s new paper highlights the critical role that TCB can and should play in an evolving U.S. development agenda. The report distills lessons from past TCB efforts and builds a practical.

 

RFF to Discuss AB 32 Legislation – Resources for the Future will hold a forum on Wednesday, February 25th assessing progress under California’s AB 32 Cap-and-Trade Program.  At this RFF seminar, experts from the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) will examine the market, emissions, and economic data behind California’s successful climate agenda as detailed in their recent report: Carbon Market California: A Comprehensive Analysis of the Golden State’s Cap-and-Trade Program, Year Two. Presenters from RFF, EDF, and California’s largest utility, Pacific Gas and Electric, will discuss the current and future direction of the state’s climate policy, including the status of accomplishments such as putting a carbon price on transportation pollution and establishing a climate dividend for ratepayers.  Speakers will include EDF’s Tim O’Connor and Derek Walker, as well as PG&E’s Ray Williams and Melissa Lavinson.

 

Forum to Look at EERE Budget – On Wednesday, February 25th at 2:00 p.m. in 210 Cannon, the Environmental and Energy Study Institute — in partnership with the House Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Caucus – will host a briefing on the energy efficiency and renewable energy implications of the fiscal year (FY) 2016 budget proposal released by President Obama on February 2. The Administration’s overall $4 trillion budget proposal provides a renewed focus on addressing climate change, and would invest $7.4 billion in clean energy technology programs across all agencies, led by the Department of Energy, the Department of Defense, the National Science Foundation, and the Department of Agriculture. This briefing will focus on the DOE’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), whose budget would increase 42 percent over 2015 enacted levels, to $2.7 billion.  Speakers from the Department of Energy and the Congressional Research Service (CRS) will give an overview of the EERE budget requests, explain the Office’s budget priorities, and provide context on how these priorities and trends compare to prior years.

 

Forum to Address Mexico Energy Reform – The Atlantic Council will hold a forum on Thursday, February 26th at 9:00 a.m. on Mexico’s energy reform and its exciting promise and challenges. The event will feature a conversation with Juan Carlos Zepeda, the head of Mexico’s National Hydrocarbons Commission (CNH), Mexico’s upstream oil and gas regulatory agency charged with playing a key role establishing and overseeing the rules of the road governing Mexico’s reform process.   He will chart the progress CNH has made to date implementing the reforms, offer a real-time update on the energy reform regulatory infrastructure, and explain the efforts CNH has undertaken to ensure the regulations provide for energy sector transparency. The Atlantic Council’s David Goldwyn will also provide commentary.

 

Bracewell Experts to Lead Platts LNG Conference – Platts will hold its 14th Annual Liquefied Natural Gas Conference on February 26-27th in Houston, Texas.   The event will feature a number of key LNG players including Philip Olivier of GDF Suez, Bill Allen of Dominion Cove Point and my Bracewell colleague Kevin Ewing and Kristin Gibbs, among several others.  Issues covered will include North American exports from Canadian and US East, West, and Gulf Coast facilities, with focus on regulatory questions, timelines and contracts; Global competition and export capacity in the Middle East, Africa, Southeast Asia, Australia, and Russia focused on growth outlook and competitive forces/differentiators.  They will also look at issues like regional demand and pricing.

 

Conover, Louda to Talk CHP at Webinar – On Thursday at Noon, the Combined Heat and Power Assn and Grayling will hold a joint webinar looking at state energy efficiency programs and how many of them impact combined heat and power.  The webinar will feature speakers from CHP Association, Grayling, and experts in state energy efficiency policies.  Speakers will include Our friends Dale Louda of the CHP Association and former DOE official Dave Conover.

 

Green Tie Event Set – The 14th Annual Green Tie Affair will be held on Thursday evening, February 26th at the  Capitol Riverfront District  The USGBC National Capital Region (USGBC-NCR), the Washington Chapter of the American Institute of Architects (AIA|DC), and the Association of Energy Engineers (AEE) host one of the premier social events for the clean energy industry. In addition to the usual activities, this special edition of the event will serve as a kickoff for what promises to be a landmark year for sustainable building in our region, as DC prepares to host 30,000 guests for the Greenbuild International Conference and Expo in November.

 

Forum Focused on Geopolitics of Energy – On Friday, February 27th,  Carnegie Endowment for International Peace will host a forum on the geopolitical implications of rapid change in energy markets.  The AICGS Foreign & Domestic Policy Program  will hold a for a conference focused on a German and American perspective of global energy markets.  Experts from both countries will discuss their work on topics such as the future of fuels and cities, instability and the resource nexus, and energy and statecraft.

 

CP CEO to Address US Chamber Energy Forum – The Institute for 21st Century Energy and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation will host their CEO Leadership Series luncheon featuring on Tuesday, March 3rd art Noon featuring Ryan Lance, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of ConocoPhillips.  Lance will address the current state of the oil industry and challenges it is facing with lower oil prices.

 

Interior Official to Address Policy Issues at UColorado—The University of Colorado Law School will host Deputy Secretary of Interior Mike Connor for a policy speech on March 10th.

 

Aviation Forum to Feature Blakey – The U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation is hosting its 14th Annual Aviation Summit on Tuesday, March 17th at the Renaissance Hotel to bring together top experts and leaders from all sectors of aviation to discuss critical issues facing the industry. The 2015 Summit will focus on the future of space and aviation in the global economy.  Confirmed Speakers include Chamber CEO Tom Donohue, Spirit Airlines CEO Ben Baldanza, Former Continental Airlines CEO Gordon Bethune, former FAA/NTSB/NHTSA head and current CEO of  Aerospace Industries Association (AIA) Marion Blakey, and many others.

 

AHRI to Host Annual DC Meeting – The Heating and Air Conditioning trade association AHRI will hold its annual Washington Conference on March 24-25th.  More on this as it comes into shape.

 

 

Energy Update: Week of December 15

Friends

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Frank Maisano

(202) 828-5864

(202) 997-5932

 

IN THE NEWS

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

FUTURE EVENTS

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Energy Update: Week of December 1

Friends

 

What a crazy short week…  We connected on Wednesday after the pre-Thanksgiving roll out of the new, stricter ozone rule, the SCOTUS mercury issue and the RFS delay.  All of this while, I was in Cali doing some work, hitting the In ‘n Out Burger daily and then umpiring a USA Field Hockey national tournament on Thanksgiving, Friday and Saturday.  And while I was refereeing, I left my wife alone at the Palm Springs outlet extravaganza on Black Friday, which will certainly be a costly mistake.  She survived and now I am afraid to open the credit card bills for next month.

 

This week will be equally crazy I suspect as Congress plows towards the end of the year in its lame duck session with the tax issues and CRominbus remaining and immigration, Ferguson and ISIS clouding the field.  As well, today is the final day for comments on the EPA GHG rules.  Scott and Jeff are available to discuss.  Our comments include a major collaboration of many different utility views on reliability and cost impacts.  A summary link is here/below and I can send a pdf if cannot see it online.  NRECA (Rural Coops), NRDC and several others also hold calls to talk about the rule.

 

Action on Capitol Hill rolls all five days this week with several hearings, while the Louisiana run off between Sen. Mary Landrieu and Rep. Cassidy votes on Saturday.  The Hill action includes NRC nomination of Jan Baran, Senate Enviro panel hearings on wastewater treatment and super pollutants and a post-Fukushima hearing with all five NRC commissioners testifying.

 

Around DC, SAFE will host a Capitol Hill luncheon tomorrow on how oil prices impacted this round of discussions with Iran, featuring John Hannah, Robert McNally of the Rapidan Group and SAFE’s Sam Ori.  Then Thursday, our friends at the Conservation Leadership Council will hold a forum at 8:30 a.m. at the Reserve Officers Association looking at the policy outlook for the 114th Congress and how we can leverage America’s diverse energy resources.  Speakers include Sen. Kelly Ayotte, Rep. Chris Gibson, former CEQ Chair Jim Connaughton and former DOE official Andy Karsner.  Finally, on Friday, Lord Stanley’s Cup is in the House at the National Press Club where NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman and Cap Owner Ted Leonsis discuss the upcoming Winter Classic.  I will be on the host committee. (BTW, I have an extra ticket to tomorrow’s Caps Game if anyone is interested.)

 

UN negotiators head for Lima to start talks on climate change issues today, but we expect most of the action will occur next week… or next year in Paris, really.  We all expect lots of lofty talk, especially in light of the recent US-China discussions/”agreements”.

 

Keep your eyes wide-open over the next week or so for the new DOE Furnace rule which is expected soon and the coal ash rule which will likely arrive by mid-December.    On the furnace rule, DOE’s approach has sparked some controversy as some feel the rule may create disincentives to make energy efficiency upgrades.  My colleague Salo Zelermyer (202-828-1718), a former DOE Senior Counsel and energy efficiency technology expert can provide valuable insights.

 

With EPA scheduled to finalize its coal ash rule by mid-December, today’s E&E TV OnPoint sits down with Harry Lamberton, vice president of energy and environmental services at Waste Management, to provide an overview, discuss his expectations for the final rule and look at the subsequent business opportunities that exist for the waste management sector.

 

Finally, I mentioned this on Wednesday, but in case you missed it, we lost a great friend last week when Mike Shanahan passed away suddenly.  Shanahan covered national politics for the Associated Press, McClatchy newspapers and Newhouse News Service, worked for API as media expert and recently taught full-time at George Washington University.  He was loved by all as a devoted family man, brilliant writer, effective communicator, wonderful advisor to budding journalists and an overall great person.  GW will hold a celebration of the life of Mike Shanahan on Saturday at GW’s Elliott School at 11:00 a.m.

 

Call with questions.

 

Frank Maisano

(202) 828-5864

  1. (202) 997-5932

 

IN THE NEWS

 

ERCC: GHG Rule Risks Reliability, Imposes High Costs – ERCC comments on the proposed Environmental Protection Agency rule to limit carbon emissions from existing power plants, known as the Clean Power Plan have been submitted here.  The 11-page document focuses on legal flaws with the rule, as well as significant threats to electric reliability, public health and the economy.  ERCC also takes a hard look at EPA’s benefits analysis.

 

Letter Raises Reliability Concerns – These themes were sounded the week prior from a group of energy-focused lawmakers in a letter to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) over their concerns that EPA’s GHG rule will negatively impact electricity reliability. The letter expressed concern that EPA did not adequately consult FERC while preparing the proposed rule. The lawmakers cited a recent report from NERC that identified potential grid impacts from states’ efforts to lower their greenhouse gas emission rates. The lawmakers also requested that FERC provide a record of communication with EPA over the past 18 months regarding the Clean Power Plan and “that FERC convene a technical conference to hear formally from DOE . . . and other relevant stakeholders so that FERC may examine the significant concerns, as identified by NERC’s report, that EPA’s Clean Power Plan presents for grid reliability.” Signers included Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), incoming chairwoman of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee; Rep. Fred Upton (R-MI), chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee; and Rep. Ed Whitfield (R-KY), chairman of Energy and Commerce’s Energy and Power Subcommittee.

 

Ozone Rule Adds Potential Problems – Despite it being Thanksgiving Week, EPA announced it was rolling out new, stricter ozone standards in a “day-before-Thanksgiving” special.  My colleague Scott Segal made the five key Points wing brief “for-the-record” observations regarding the release of the proposed new national ambient air quality standard (NAAQS) for ozone:

  1. The low end of the range in the proposed rule (65ppb) is still very troubling – as low as background levels of ozone in many parts of the country and pushing as much as 94% of the nation out of attainment.  The Agency is taking comment on 60ppb, which would be devastating for manufacturing, oil and gas production, and agriculture across the country.  This is part of a typical strategy:  propose an unreasonable standard; take comment on a more unreasonable one; and claim the government is reasonable by comparison!
  2. The Administration only has so much political capital at its disposal.  It has made clear that controlling greenhouse gases is its legacy issue.  It is unclear that the Administration has the bandwidth to sustain both rules.  There is no doubt that many in Congress and the states will demand that the proposed ozone NAAQS be placed on a more realistic course.
  3. Oil and gas production has been one of the only bright spots in the jobless recovery, and the range proposed for ozone may impose real, practical limitations on that production.  The expense associated with the rule could reverse what economic gains we have seen recently.
  4. EPA admits that the proposed ozone rule is one of the costliest rules it has ever devised.  There is no economic analysis that shows what the total cost for the economy will be if the Administration gets its way on both carbon and ozone. EPA owes the public and it’s elected representatives at all levels at least that.
  5. EPA’s description of the benefits of the proposed ozone standard are sketchy at best.  EPA has to admit that there is little real benefit to actual ozone reductions at the levels proposed.  Instead they rely on so-called co-benefits from reducing particulate matter, or PM.  Of course, EPA already has programs in place directly targeted at PM which the Agency claims are effective at reducing that pollutant to a level fully protective of human health.  In other words, EPA is again double counting benefits to plus up the case for a controversial proposal.   And even at that, the rule may still spend as much as $17 million for each hypothetical life saved, a number completely out of whack with other public health expenditures.  Just by way of comparison, a life-saving pneumonia vaccine is $5 per dose.

 

EPA Hits RFS Foul Ball – In case you missed it Friday trying to get an earlier escape for Thanksgiving, EPA said it will not finalize its 2014 Renewable Fuel Standard proposal this year and will set final targets next year, potentially with 2015 requirements.   Again my colleague Scott Segal: “After 25 years working on fuels issues for the refining industry, I do not see the perpetual failure of EPA to meet deadlines in establishing the renewable volume obligation to be in any sectors best interest.  EPA claims in its notice this morning that “controversy” surrounding the establishment of the RVO is in partly responsible for the delay.  To me, that seems to mean political considerations.  But I believe that this latest failure might point the way to actual, sensible reforms in the renewable fuel standard.  The long range health of bio-fuels – particularly innovative, next-generation fuels – lies with putting the RFS on a sustainable, defendable course through reform.”  Valero spokesman Bill Day (210-345-2928) said “EPA’s announcement underscores the need for comprehensive legislative reform of the RFS.  The bottom line is that EPA has not closed the books on 2013, has no final 2014 RFS, and has no date for a final 2015 RFS.”

 

Additional Energy Resources on Hot Topics – Great resources on all of these topics – RFS, Ozone, NatGas, Exports – are energy analysts like Jim Lucier: 202-548-0072; james.lucier@capalphadc.com  and Kevin Book: 202-506-5744; book@CVEnergy.com .  Both have research pieces out on all of these topics and more.  Now you know how you can reach them.  Christine Tezak (utilities) and Paul Sankey (oil/gas) are also great.

 

Crude-by-Rail Rules Likely on Hold Until 2015 – While no announcement has been made, the Obama administration seems out of time to finalize new safety measures for crude-by-rail this year. New structural standards for rail tank cars and operational standards for railroads seem likely to go final in 1H2015. Our view has not changed that the rules themselves will remain substantially unchanged from what was unveiled in July.  The administration seems to be taking a cautious approach on crude-by-rail. The shale boom has been a major economic driver, to the point that the railroads are under pressure to expand network service. Heavy-handed regulations either on speed restrictions or on oil deliveries could have a major negative impact.  Oil & gas and ethanol companies are at the greatest risk from the new crude-by-rail rules, as they are set to bear most of the costs to new tank cars. Railroads are under pressure to improve their infrastructure, but avoid major incremental costs under the current proposal.

 

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

 

UN Climate Meeting Set for Lima, Peru – The UN will hold its annual climate meeting in Lima, Peru starting today.  The 20th session of the Conference of the Parties and the 10th session of the Conference of the Parties serving as the Meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol will run through December 12th.

 

Smart Grid Summit Set – Tomorrow and Wednesday in the Ronald Reagan Building, the National Summit on Smart Grid and Climate Change will be held.  The event  brings together policymakers, utilities, technology companies, and a wide variety of environmental and energy stakeholders to address the role of smart grid technologies and practices in mitigating and adapting to climate change.  The Summit will aim to “connect the dots” between smart grid and climate change, and establish an understanding that smart grid can be an essential part of any climate action planning, whether in response to government emission restrictions (e.g. EPA’s Regulations under 111(d) of the Clean Air Act), or in preparation for various climate change events and scenarios (e.g. severe weather events like Superstorm Sandy).  The Summit will feature Roundtable Sessions with top business and government leaders, who will discuss these issues with each other and with the audience. It will also include in-depth breakout sessions in two tracks: Smart Grid & Mitigation and Smart Grid & Adaptation.

 

Senate Enviro Panel to Look at Wastewater, Utility Issues – The Senate Environment panel on water will hold a hearing tomorrow at 9:30 a.m. focused on water utilities of the future.  Witnesses will include Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission CEO Jerry Johnson, San Francisco Public Utilities Commission general manager Harlan Kelly Jr., Green Bay Metropolitan Sewerage District executive director Tom Sigmund and Camden County Municipal Utilities Authority executive director and chief engineer Andrew Kricun.

 

Forum to Look at China Oil, Climate Agreement – The Carnegie Endowment for International Peace will hold a forum tomorrow looking at the climate deal between China and the United States and its oil usage. The new zone of bilateral cooperation comes at a time when China’s petroleum industry, North American oil resources, sanctions on Russian oil, Saudi Arabian oil production, and the global climate are experiencing a significant paradigm shift.  With China’s economy slowing after decades of double-digit growth, now is the time to think strategically about how the nation will deal with its physical resource limitations, their associated environmental concerns, and oil’s evolving geopolitical realities. The China Oil Forum will engage key thinkers, policymakers, and civil society in a discussion about these strategic questions.

 

SAFE Hosts Panel on Oil Market Dynamics, Nuclear Negotiations – Securing America’s Future Energy (SAFE) and the Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD) invite you to join a Capitol Hill luncheon to discuss current oil market dynamics and their role in the negotiations to reach a nuclear deal with Iran.  The latest round of negotiations between the P5+1 and Iran resulted in a decision to extend negotiations until July 1, 2015. Given today’s low oil prices and glut in global oil supplies, the panel discussion will focus on how current market dynamics contribute to ongoing negotiations with Iran over its nuclear program. Remarks will be delivered by House Foreign Affairs Committee chair Ed Royce.  There will also be an expert panel, including will include John Hannah, Mark Dubowitz of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, SAFE’s Sam Ori and Rapidan’s Robert McNally.  The panel will be moderated by our friend Steve LeVine, Washington Correspondent for Quartz.

 

Donohue to Tackle Broken Reg System – Tomorrow at 10:00 a.m., U.S. Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Thomas J. Donohue will deliver an address on the ways in which the nation’s current regulatory climate is impeding economic growth and the urgent need to fix the broken regulatory system. Donohue will also outline bipartisan principles to achieve reform and discuss steps that would help promote jobs, growth, transparency and accountability.

 

RFF-EPRI Webinar Look at EPA GHG Rule – Resources for the Future (RFF) and the electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) will hold a webinar tomorrow at Noon that will explore the assumptions and methods that have led to the different cost estimates about the EPA’s Clean Power Plan.  Experts from EPRI and RFF will highlight several key challenges in calculating overall regulatory costs, providing an intellectual framework for policymakers and the power sector as they consider the impacts on their states and industries.   This is the third event in a joint RFF-EPRI series on EPA’s Clean Power Plan: Exploring Opportunities for Collaboration and Compliance. Learn more about the series and future events at www.rff.org/CPPseries.  Speakers will include RFF’s Kristen Hayes and Dallas Burtraw and EPRI’s Tom Wilson and David Young.

 

DOE Webinar to Look at Offshore Wind – Tomorrow at 3:00 p.m., DOE will hold a transmission planning forum focused on Offshore wind.  DOE’s Charlton Clark will moderate speakers who will discuss recent planning and interconnection developments related to offshore wind.  They will include a National Offshore Wind Energy Grid Interconnection Study presentation from John Daniel of ABB, a Mid-Atlantic Offshore Wind focus from our friend Willett Kempton of the University of Delaware, Great Lakes focus by Kenneth Loparo of Case Western University and Duke  Energy’s Bob Burner looking at the Carolinas.

 

Forum to Focus on World Bank Latin Programs – The Wilson Center’s Latin American Program and Environmental Change and Security Program and the World Bank’s Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) Region will hold a discussion tomorrow at 4:00 p.m. focused  on the LAC portion of the World Bank’s new report, Turn Down the Heat: Confronting the New Climate Normal.  The report—co-authored by Bank experts and the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research—analyzes the challenges that Latin America and the Caribbean face due to climate change impacts. A Spanish summary will also be available.  Speakers will include the World Bank’s Jorge Familiar and several others.

 

NRC Commissioners to Talk Nuclear at Senate Environment – On Wednesday, the Senate Environment Committee will hold an oversight hearing featuring outgoing NRC Chairwoman Allison Macfarlane and her colleagues — Commissioners William Ostendorff, Kristine Svinicki, Stephen Burns and Baran, who will be voted on the day prior.  The hearing will focus on NRC’s safety work following the 2011 earthquake and tsunami that crippled three reactors in Japan, as well as the expected discussions of San Onofre.  Those testifying will also include former member of the California Seismic Safety Commission and state Sen. Sam Blakeslee, UC-Santa Cruz expert Daniel Hirsch and NEI’s Tony Pietrangelo.

 

Energy Panel to Look at Oil, Gas Issues – On Wednesday at 11:30 a.m., OurEnergyPolicy.org will host and expert panel on re-examining US oil and gas policy in the U.S. Capitol Visitor Center – Auditorium.  Energy thought leaders will engage in a discussion on how the recent growth in domestic oil and gas production is transforming the U.S. energy sector and challenging the paradigm of energy scarcity that has underpinned federal policy for the last 40 years. The panel will provide insight into LNG exports, converting natural gas into transportation fuel, the state of US infrastructure, climate implications of increased oil and gas production and many other topics.  The panel will include former EPA official Joe Cannon of the Fuel Freedom Foundation, Karen Harbert of the Chamber’s Institute for 21st Century Energy, EDF’s Elgie Holstein and former head of the President’s Auto Task Force Steven Rattner.  WSJ’s Amy Harder will moderate.   Reps. Gene Green and Pete Olson will provide opening remarks

 

RFF Forum to Look at China Cap, Trade – Resources for the Future will hold its December First Wednesday Seminar at 12:30 p.m. Wednesday focused on cap and trade in China.  Seven pilot cap-and-trade programs for carbon currently operate in China as experiments to inform a nationwide program under design at present and slated to start in 2016. At this RFF First Wednesday Seminar, RFF’s Clayton Munnings and Richard Morgenstern will present key findings from a recent RFF discussion paper, which assesses the design of three of the pilot programs, in Guangdong, Shanghai and Shenzhen. RFF’s Zhongmin Wang will then moderate a diverse panel, where experts will provide their thoughts on the pilot cap-and-trade programs and discuss the prospects of nationalizing cap and trade in China.

 

Senate Finance to Look at NatGas Vehicle Incentives – The Senate Finance Committee’s Energy, Natural Resources and Infrastructure panel will hold a hearing on Wednesday at 2:30 p.m. looking at the benefits of natural gas vehicles to U.S. jobs and the economy.  The hearing follows of potential the collapse of a deal last week to pass tax incentives that expired in January 2014, including those for natural gas as a motor fuel and refueling infrastructure.  Witnesses will include Daimler Trucks North America’s Robert Carrick, UPS’s Mike Whitlatch, Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority CEO Joseph Calabrese, and several others.  Our friends at AGA can also be helpful with Kathryn Clay one of the best experts on the issues.

 

Republican Enviro Groups to Focus on Energy Future – Citizens for Responsible Energy Solutions, Concord 51 and the Conservation Leadership Council will hold a forum on Thursday at 8:30 a.m. at the Reserve Officers Association on America’s energy future. The event is an opportunity to discuss the policy outlook for the 114th Congress and how we can leverage America’s diverse energy resources and technological innovation to grow the economy and create jobs, while also demonstrating environmental responsibility.  Speakers will include Senator Kelly Ayotte, Rep. Chris Gibson, former CEQ Chair Jim Connaughton and former DOE official Andy Karsner.

 

Forum to Look Carbon Bubble Issues – On Thursday, the Heinrich Böll Foundation North America will host representatives from Carbon Tracker and the Sustainable Finance Lab for a small roundtable discussion about the potential financial risks of the carbon bubble.  Speakers will include Rens van Tilburg, Senior Researcher at the Sustainable Finance Lab at Utrecht University in The Netherlands, will present the findings of the report “The Price of Doing Too Little Too Late: The impact of the carbon bubble on the EU financial system,” which looks at the exposure of the 20 largest European banks, 23 large EU pension funds, and the EU insurance sector, to the potential risks of the carbon bubble. The report also analyses the potential impacts of a carbon bubble shock under three scenarios for transitioning to a low carbon economy.

 

Bettman, Leonsis to Talk Winter Classic at Press Club – National Hockey League Commissioner Gary Bettman and Washington Capitals owner Ted Leonsis will discuss the growth of the NHL and the 2015 Winter Classic at a National Press Club Newsmaker Luncheon on Friday.  Bettman has served as NHL Commissioner since 1993. Before coming to the NHL, he served as senior vice president and general counsel to the National Basketball Association. Under his leadership the NHL revenues have grown from $400 million in 1993 to over $3 billion. He also led the NHL’s expansion with the addition of six new teams.   Leonsis, whose company Monumental Sports & Entertainment operates the NHL’s Washington Capitals, NBA’s Washington Wizards, WNBA’s Washington Mystics and Washington’s Verizon Center, is the former co-CEO of AOL. He is also chairman of the board of directors of Groupon, a cofounder and partner of Revolution Growth Fund II and created and produced the award-winning film “Nanking.”  The Stanley Cup will be In the House, the trophy awarded annually to the winner of the NHL playoffs, will also be at the luncheon.

 

Heritage Forum to Look at Jones Act Impacts – On Friday at Noon, the Heritage Foundation will hold a discussion focusing on the impact of the Jones Act.  Speakers will include American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers President Charlie Drevna, Gary Clyde Hufbauer of the Peterson Institute for International Economics and Heritage’s Brian Slattery.

 

Hudson Forum to Look at Bipartisan Energy Possibilities – On Friday, at 3:00 p.m., the Hudson Institute will hold a forum on the possibility of bipartisan energy policy.  Peter Grossman, Butler University economics professor and author of U.S. Energy Policy and the Pursuit of Failure, contends that bipartisan compromise is possible and has led to policy change in the past. However, that change has almost always been bad for the country.  Bipartisanship, Professor Grossman notes, has given us ill-conceived and wasteful programs for synthetic fuels, breeder reactors, “super cars,” windmills, and ethanol. Professor Grossman believes that the problem runs much deeper than the current president or balance of parties in Congress. He argues U.S. energy policy has been premised on false concepts of markets, government, technology, and history for the past forty years.  Hudson Institute will host a debate on the feasibility of bipartisan energy policy in the 114th Congress and the likely paths forward. Hudson Institute Visiting Fellow Lee Lane will moderate a panel with Professor Grossman featuring Hudson Institute Distinguished Fellow and Chamber energy expert Christopher DeMuth and NERA Economic Consulting Senior Vice President W. David Montgomery.

 

FUTURE EVENTS

 

ACEEE to Hold Behavior, Climate Conference – On Sunday through Wednesday, December 7-10th at the Grand Hyatt – Washington, DC, ACEEE will host the 8th annual Behavior, Energy and Climate Change conference (BECC) which will focus on understanding individual and organizational behavior and decision-making related to energy usage, greenhouse gas emissions, climate change, and sustainability. BECC 2014 will build on the overwhelming success of previous BECC conferences, at which 700 participants discussed innovative policy and program strategies, shared important research findings, and engaged in building dynamic new networks and collaborations.  The BECC Conference is convened by the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy (ACEEE), Precourt Energy Efficiency Center (PEEC), Stanford University, and California Institute for Energy and Environment (CIEE), University of California.

 

CSIS Forum Locked on NatGas Methane Emissions – The CSIS Energy and National Security Program and the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) will co-sponsor an event next Monday morning, December 8th addressing fugitive methane emissions across the natural gas value chain. The U.S. unconventional oil and gas revolution that reversed decades-old trends of fossil fuel production declines in the U.S. has had ripple effects globally. Expansion of natural gas resources and production has inspired a rigorous environmental debate about the regulation of these new resources. As the primary component of natural gas and a potent greenhouse gas, the regulation of fugitive methane emissions has moved to the forefront of national regulatory debates. In order to address these issues, the event will feature two panels: one addressing the science around the significance of methane as a potent greenhouse gas and the second looking at what is being done by government and industry (upstream and downstream) to reduce emissions and leakage.  Participants Include EPA’s Janet McCabe, UT’s David Allen, Shell’s Greg Guidry, EDF’s Steven Hamburg and AGA’s Dave McCurdy among others.

 

GenForum Set to Discuss GHG, Reliability, NatGas – PennWell’s GenForum will be held on December 8th in Orlando, Florida.  At the event, there will be a panel  discussion on the future of coal power during a dash to gas, as well as EPA’s Clean Power Plan. The EPA rule proposal is meant to have states implement plans to cut power sector emissions 30% by 2030. GenForum is organized by PennWell’s GenerationHub. GenForum brings together power generation executives who operate, plan, build, regulate and invest in power generation systems in North America. Other speakers will include PJM Interconnection Chief Economist Paul Sotkiewicz, Ph.D., will kick off GenForum with a keynote presentation on electric power demand. Julie Turner, Duke Energy general manager for combined-cycle gas generation in North and South Carolina will be part of a panel discussion on natural gas generation. Electric Power Supply Association (EPSA) President and CEO John Shelk will discuss issues surrounding competitive power in today’s marketplace. Florida PSC Commissioner Eduardo Balbis will discuss the Florida electric power landscape. ScottMadden Consulting Partner Stuart Pearman will discuss issues posed by distributed generation.

 

NERC, NIST Experts to Discuss Security – ICF International will host NERC’s Fred Hintermister and NIST’s James St. Pierre at for the December 11th Energy Breakfast in Washington D.C. at the National Press Club.  The content of this breakfast event will include threats and concerns from our power system and how they plan to keep us safe.       In recent months, there’s been reports of attacks on both the physical energy infrastructure and on the other cyber elements of the grid.

 

CSIS Conference to Look at Role of Coal – The CSIS Energy and National Security Program will host an event in the afternoon of December 17th examining the key factors that affect coal usage in major economies as well as the current state of clean coal technology deployment. Over the course of the conference, speakers will examine coal from economic competitiveness, development, energy security and climate perspectives, thus providing insights into the future role of coal.While the robust development of shale gas and the proposed regulation on greenhouse gas emissions from existing power plants challenge the viability coal in the United States, the forecast for coal demand remains strong for developing parts of the world for decades to come as economic development continues to drive their energy and electricity demand. Simultaneously, the worldwide momentum to address climate change and the continued growth in coal consumption—primarily outside the United States—make the development and deployment of clean technology pressing.

 

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

 

 

Energy Update: Week of November 2

Friends

 

You always love it on a Monday morning when EPA and DOJ put out an advisory saying that they are making the largest Clean Air Act settlement ever, yet no one knows what/who it is covering. Fortunately, this settlement is focused on autos with Hyundai Motor Co. and Kia Motors Corp. agreeing to pay $100 million (Yes it is the largest penalty ever levied under the Clean Air Act) to settle claims they sold more than 1 million vehicles that emit much greater quantities of GHGs than what they had certified to EPA.   Our friend Frank O’Donnell of Clean Air Watch commented on the EPA/DOJ action saying cars should be as clean as they are advertised.   See more here.  And my friend Dave Shepardson of the Detroit News tweeted wondering about others companies as well.

 

We are also seeing and getting the final election push.   Who knows what will happen after tomorrow, but it is likely we will have a close vote late in Alaska and runs offs in Louisiana and Georgia.   For early indicators, keep your eyes on Kentucky (which has an early poll close at 6:00 p.m.), Maryland Governor’s race (which is surprising close in late polling) and the New Hampshire Senate race between Jeanne Shaheen and Scott Brown.

 

We will be on the Election Night prowl at Bracewell’s PRG.  You can follow us on Twitter at @PolicyRez or me at @FrankTalk19.  We also will host the Bracewell Election Webinar wrap up on Wednesday at 10:30 a.m. featuring our experts on environmental regulations, energy and tax policy issues.  We’ll discuss how the election results will affect the business community, what’s in store for the lame duck session; leadership changes and more.  Click here to register.  You may also want to check out our friends at POLITICO: #ElectionNight2014. POLITICO also has some great other features including interactive maps featuring county-by-county election results, auto-tweet feature and more.

 

There are still some good events this week including a forum at RFF on Wednesday, looking at global trends, innovation and implications for conservation featuring Michael Schellenberger and Ted Nordhous of the Breakthrough Institute.   On Thursday, our friends at Securing America’s Future Energy (SAFE) will release their third-quarter “Energy Security Fact Pack” via an online webinar, and ICF will host a webinar that will take a closer look at the outlook for the coming winter in the context of last year’s polar vortex and the subsequent performance of the North American natural gas market.  Finally, on Friday, The Energy Daily will host FERC’s Cheryl LaFleur at a breakfast and WCEE looks at the GHG rules with MD PSC Commissioner Kelly Speakes-Backman, EPRI’s Francisco de la Chesnaye and Canadian Embassy expert Rachel McCormick at its brown-bag lunch.

 

Finally, last week the Atlantic Council hosted its annual Washington Ideas Forum.  There were a number of good speeches, but I thought the speech from Southern Company CEO Tom Fanning on SoCo’s energy technology innovation was worthy of reviewing.   Of course, SoCo is currently developing the Kemper CCS project, the Vogtle nuclear build, new solar projects in California and Georgia and many other advanced technology projects.

 

Feel free to call if you have political or policy questions…

 

Frank Maisano

(202) 828-5864

  1. (202) 997-5932

 

IN THE NEWS

 

IPCC Report Rolls Out – After being rolled out a number of times in “draft” form, the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has released its synthesis report, a summary of its last three reports.  The massive report warns greenhouse gas levels are at their highest they have been in 800,000 years, with recent increases mostly due to the burning of fossil fuels.   It also says that GHG emissions will need to drop to zero by the end of the century if governments hope to prevent massive and irreversible changes to the Earth’s climate.  The report concludes that emissions need to fall by 40-70% by 2050 if the world is to give itself a good chance of staying within the 2C limit. European Union leaders recently pledged to cut emissions by 40% by 2030. My friend Justin Gillis reports for the New York Times from Copenhagen.

 

Where has the IPCC Been Since 1990 – If it sounds like you have Heard this before, you have.   In its first assessment in 1990, the IPCC said observed temperature increases were “broadly consistent with predictions of climate models, but it is also of the same magnitude as natural climate variability”.   The second assessment, in 1995, said: “Results indicate that the observed trend in global mean temperature over the past 100 years is unlikely to be entirely natural in origin.”  In 2001, its third assessment reported: “There is new and stronger evidence that most of the warming observed over the last 50 years is attributable to human activities.”   By 2007, the consensus had reached “very high confidence” – at least a 90% chance of being correct – in scientists’ understanding of how human activities are causing warming.  This fifth assessment puts that certainty at 95 per cent and noted “recent climate changes have had widespread impacts on human and natural systems”.

 

Why Does it Matter – It matters because the UN and developing and developed countries are starting to position themselves for the long road up to important climate negotiations in Paris late next year.  In Paris at COP 20, nations are expected to attempt to negotiate another treaty to address climate change.    Most advocates hope this report will help give politicians the impetus to commit to the deep emissions cuts needed to meet the world’s goal of limiting global warming.  Rajendra Pachauri, chair of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, said the upcoming IPCC synthesis report provides a roadmap to a climate change deal in Paris next year.  It will guide policymakers as they “find their way to a global agreement to finally reverse course on climate change,” he said.

 

Some More Historical Perspective – Some Interesting Stuff from my friend Andy Revkin, former New York Times science reporter who Has covered these issues about as long as I have.  Revkin writes that the IPCC report underemphasizes the limited global funding going into energy R&D for technologies like CCS, energy storage and grid management.  See Andy’s NYT Dot Earth Piece.

 

Figueres on Platts Energy Week – The head of the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change Christiana Figueres was on Platts’ Energy Week on Sunday where she praised the EPA’s GHG rule.  Her appearance coincided with release of the IPCC 5th assessment report.  Figueres called the EPA’s efforts a positive step.   See her interview here.

 

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

 

Greek Minister to Address Energy Issues – CSIS will host a Statesmen’s Forum today at 2:00 p.m. featuring Yannis Maniatis, Greek Minister of Environment, Energy, and Climate Change.  Maniatis will focus on evolving energy trends in the Eastern Mediterranean.  As Europe seeks to develop an Energy Union and to enhance its energy security and diversify its supply, recent energy discoveries in the Eastern Mediterranean could offer an alternative. Greece has taken considerable steps to explore its own energy resource base and develop its energy infrastructure to enhance its domestic energy security. What are the prospects for energy sector development in Greece and across the broader region? How can Greece contribute to the expansion of Europe’s Southern Gas Corridor? What impacts will the recently-announced Trans-Adriatic Pipeline (TAP) have on Greece and the rest of Europe? In light of the current geopolitical tensions with Russia and instability in the Middle East, will regional political dynamics hinder resource exploration and development? Minister Maniatis will share his insights on these topical issues.

 

November 4th – ELECTION DAY

 

RFF, EPRI Webinar to Focus on Energy Efficiency – Tomorrow at Noon, Resources for the Future and the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) will host a webinar discussing energy efficiency as part of EPA’s clean power plan. States may use energy efficiency as one of several potential strategies for achieving their targets, as long as they can demonstrate to EPA that their efforts result in real energy savings.  As states consider their response to EPA’s proposal and their options for compliance, they need to understand the basis for building block #4, the implications of using energy efficiency policies and programs for compliance, and how to evaluate the energy savings resulting from these programs. This webinar will address these aspects of the opportunities and challenges for energy efficiency under EPA’s Clean Power Plan.  Speakers will include EPRI’s Omar Siddiqui, RFF’s Karen Palmer and Stanford’s Dian Grueneich, former Cal PUC Commissioner.

 

USEA to Look at Emissions Technologies – The U.S. Energy Association will host a forum tomorrow on emissions technologies to address carbon.  Scientists are increasingly convinced that negative emission technologies – i.e. technologies that can remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere — will be necessary at large scale to prevent dangerous climate change. The solutions capable of carbon removal, however, still require significant development before they can be deployed in a cost-effective and sustainable manner. This workshop will explore the different approaches to removing carbon from the atmosphere (including bio-CCS, Direct Air Capture, biochar, and others), and will discuss the political opportunities and challenges presented by these different carbon removal approaches. The workshop will also discuss the overlap between carbon removal technologies and other energy-generation options, and how the two fields could benefit from a shared R&D agenda.  Speakers Michael Ashcroft of Carbon Trust and Noah Deich of the Virgin Earth Challenge.

 

Waste to Energy Workshop Set – The Bioenergy Technologies Office (BETO) at the Department of Energy is hosting a workshop next Wednesday and Thursday to identify and address key technical barriers to the commercial deployment of liquid transportation fuels from waste feedstocks.  Workshop participants will join facilitated breakout sessions to discuss anaerobic digestion, hydrothermal liquefaction, and other processes that make productive use of wastewater residuals, biosolids, foodstuffs, and organic municipal solid waste.  These discussions will be synthesized and used in developing a waste-to-energy technology roadmap.

 

National Journal to Host Post Election Wrap – On Wednesday, November 5th at 8:30 a.m. at the Ronald Reagan Building Atrium Ballroom, National Journal will draw from its robust editorial talent for an intensive look at the results of the 2014 elections and their likely impact on Congress, the executive branch, K Street, and the most important policy issues of the day. This conference will include a 360-degree look at election trends from Charlie Cook, Ron Fournier, and the Hotline staff.  Charlie Cook leads experts including Whit Ayres, former Utah Sen.  Bob Bennett, former Rep Martin Frost, Celinda Lake, former Ohio Rep. Steve LaTourette, former Maine Sen. Olympia Snowe and many more.

 

RFF to Look at Conservation, Breakthrough Report – Resources for the Future will hold its First Wednesday seminar on Wednesday at 12:45 p.m. looking at global trends, innovation and implications for conservation.  Evidence abounds of humanity’s creative ability to produce more goods and services using fewer resources. In many cases, our use of natural resources is declining, particularly when measured in terms of GDP consumption per capita or per dollar. In fact, consumption of some natural resources (certain croplands, fuels, metals, and water) has plummeted, even as we produce more and more from these resources. The panel at this RFF First Wednesday Seminar will discuss this evidence and highlight the ingenuity enabling reduced natural resource use. Can we credibly envision a “peak environmental footprint?”  The answer has potentially profound implications for conservation. Conservation thinking currently stresses the interdependence of nature and consumption: save nature because we need it to produce growth, goods, and services. Panelists will also discuss the Breakthrough Institute’s Nature Unbound, a new report to be released November 5th.  Panelists will include Jesse Ausubel and Iddo Wernick of the Rockefeller University Linus Blomqvist, Michael Schellenberger and Ted Nordhous of the Breakthrough Institute.

 

Forum to Look at Climate, Latin America – The Inter-American Dialogue will hold a forum on Thursday at 9:00 a.m. on climate change and Latin America’s outlook for COP 20.  In December, world leaders will travel to Lima, Peru to participate in United Nations COP 20 talks – the first major climate change summit to be held in Latin America since Mexico hosted the annual negotiations in 2010. This talk will explore the outlook for climate change in Latin America.  Our friend John Fialka of ClimateWire will lead a panel of Latin American experts.

 

SAFE to Highlight Energy Security – On Thursday at 10:00 a.m., our friends at Securing America’s Future Energy (SAFE) will release their third-quarter “Energy Security Fact Pack” via an online webinar session open to press and the general public.  The SAFE Energy Security Fact Pack is a comprehensive, quarterly review of current trends affecting American energy security and the global oil market. The Energy Security Fact Pack examines domestic and global oil production and consumption as well as market dynamics and prices. The third-quarter 2014 release features a spotlight on oil and gas production on federal lands, including offshore development, and the associated economic indicators, such as rig count and federal royalties. The Fact Pack will also provide up-to-date information on fuel efficiency and alternative fuel vehicles.  Webinar participants will have the opportunity to engage with SAFE’s policy experts on the topics of global oil market dynamics, U.S. energy security, and advanced technology vehicles and fuels.

 

ICF Experts to Discuss Winter Fuel Outlook – Following last week’s EIA briefing on the topic, ICF will hold a webinar on Thursday that will take a closer look at the outlook for the coming winter in the context of last year’s polar vortex and the subsequent performance of the North American natural gas market. After exiting last winter with relatively low working gas levels, gas supply systems seem poised to enter the winter season in relatively good form.

 

Wilson Center to Focus On Energy Security – On Thursday at 10:00 a.m., the Wilson Center will hold a forum North America’s energy security renaissance.  The recent surge in North American oil and natural gas is moving the balance of power in energy production from the Middle East to the West. U.S. energy infrastructure and policies must adapt to meet the energy revolution occurring in North America.  At the same time, energy consumption is growing exponentially in Asia, raising new challenges and opportunities for East-West cooperation in international energy.  Policy and resource experts will explore these issues in this third event in the Wilson Center’s bimonthly Regional and Global Energy Series, which began in July with a discussion on energy in Russia and Ukraine, and continued in September with China and East Asia. Programs held throughout 2014 and 2015 will present a comprehensive overview and deep regional and policy analyses of energy issues based on the framework of Energy and Security: Strategies for a World in Transition, a 2013 book published by the Wilson Center and Johns Hopkins University Press which is now in its second printing.  Speakers will include Charles Ebinger of the Brookings Institution, former State Department official David Goldwyn, former Senate Energy and current EIA official Shirley Neff and Adm. Robert Papp, Jr. (tentative), State Department Coordinator for International Arctic Affairs

 

WCEE Looks at Utility-Scale Solar – The Women’s Council on Energy and the Environment (WCEE) will hold a brown bag luncheon on Thursday at Noon looking at deployment of utility-scale solar. Solar power is often pictured on residential rooftops, but utilities are also expanding their use of solar photovoltaic (PV) systems. National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA) joined forces with the Department of Energy to create the Solar Utility Network Deployment Acceleration (SUNDA) program. The program aims to reduce barriers to implementation of utility-owned-utility scale solar PV systems. With pre-packaged business plans and attractive financing options will utilities add more solar PV to their portfolios?  Debra Roepke, Team Lead for SUNDA will discuss the future for electric utilities.

 

VLS Forum to Tackle Energy Issues – The Vermont Law School (VLS) Institute for Energy and the Environment, VLS Alumni in Energy, and the Environmental Law Institute are co-sponsoring the Vermont Law School’s first annual Alumni in Energy Symposium on Thursday.   The event will contain three interactive, facilitated programs on smart grid, the Legal implications of EPA GHG rules and the future of utilities’ ability to address renewables.   VLS’s Michael Dworkin leads a long list of speakers and of Course, our favorite VLS alum Jason Hutt will be there.

 

Forum to Feature Climate Film, Panel – On Thursday at 2:00 p.m., the Wilson Institute will hold a forum on climate change and security issues that will feature on new documentary. Over the past year, the defense and intelligence communities have issued a slew of reports making it clear that climate change is here and having real impacts on national security. In a new documentary narrated by Matt Damon, “Extreme Realities: Severe Weather, Climate Change, and Our National Security,” producers Marilyn and Hal Weiner talk with experts like former CIA Director James Woolsey about climate change, how it could impact national security, and what policymakers can do about it. Join us for a screening followed by a panel discussion featuring Marilyn and Hal Weiner alongside Ghassem Asrar of the World Climate Research Program, Sherri Goodman of CNA, and Paul O’Brien of Oxfam America.

 

Group to Look at Climate Film – The Koshland Science Museum and the National Research Council’s Polar Research Board will host for a screening and thought-provoking discussion about the documentary film, “Glacial Balance” on Thursday evening. This film provides scientific insights about the causes of climate change and an explanation of how climate change is impacting the world’s glaciers. First-hand accounts of the impacts of climate change on people and communities across South America provide insights into the potential long-term consequences of glacial ice melt. The film presents a vivid depiction of how scientists collect and preserve ice cores from mountain glaciers and describes the importance of collecting and analyzing data from ice cores.  Special guests include Ohio State experts and Byrd Polar Research researchers Lonnie Thompson (who is featured in the film) and Ellen Mosley-Thompson, as well as film director Ethan Steinman,

 

LaFleur to Address Energy Daily Breakfast – IHS The Energy Daily will sponsor the press breakfast on Friday morning featuring FERC Chairwoman Cheryl LaFleur.  LaFleur will discuss recent FERC initiatives and other developments affecting the agency, including grid reliability issues raised by federal carbon rules for power plants;, recent court rulings on FERC’s demand response program; the need for grid expansion and implementation of FERC’s Order 1000 transmission planning and cost allocation rules; and capacity market reforms in the wake of last winter’s “polar vortex” event in the Northeast.

 

NHA to Hold Webinar on Developments, Tax Policy – On Friday at Noon, the National Hydropower Association and Washington Council Ernst & Young will hold a webinar covering recent developments and trends in tax policy. Learn from tax experts on tax policy regarding Mergers and Acquisitions, State Taxes and Capital Projects.

 

WCEE Forum to Look at GHG Rules – On Friday at Noon, the Women’s Council on Energy and the Environment (WCEE) will hold another forum of its Brown Bag Luncheon series on the proposed rule to regulate greenhouse gas emissions featuring three leaders on the proposed rule to regulate carbon emissions from existing power plants under Clean Air Act § 111(d). The panelists will draw on their extensive expertise in energy and government to offer up state, federal and international perspectives. Maryland PSC Commissioner Kelly Speakes-Backman will shed light on the challenges and opportunities of state-level compliance, while EPRI’s Francisco de la Chesnaye will bring a national perspective to the table.  Finally, Canadian Embassy expert Rachel McCormick will consider intersections with Canadian politics and business.

 

FUTURE EVENTS

 

Concert for Valor Set – On Veterans’ Day, HBO and Starbucks will hold the Concert for Valor live on the Mall in Washington, D.C.  Bruce Springsteen, Metallica, Carrie Underwood, Dave Grohl, Eminem and Rihanna are among the artists who will play.

 

Military Enviro Leaders to Address Conference – The Defense Energy Summit will be held on November 11-13th in Austin, TX.  Speakers will include, Acting Assistant Secretary of Defense for Operational Energy Plans and Programs Edward Thomas Morehouse, Jr., Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Army (Energy & Sustainability) Richard Kidd and Assistant Secretary of the Navy, Energy, Installations & Environment Dennis McGinn (VADM, Ret).

 

MD Offshore Wind Group to Highlight Opportunities – The Maryland Offshore Wind Business groups is holding an International Offshore Wind Partnering Forum on November 12-14th at the Pier 5 Hotel in Baltimore.  The event will offer thoughtful keynotes and workshops that cover everything from new technologies to managing risk in the OSW industry.  Speakers will include MD Gov Martin O’Malley, MD Sen. Ben Cardin, and our friend and O’Malley Energy advisor Abby Hopper, among many others.

 

Georgetown Forum to Discuss Paris Climate Meetings – The Georgetown University Mortara Center for International Studies and the McCourt School of Public Policy are hosting a seminar on Wednesday November 12th  focused on the Paris COP Meetings and climate agreement  The event will feature Elliot Diringer, Executive Vice President of the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions (C2ES).  The energy and climate policy research seminar aims to enhance intellectual exchange among faculty and students by providing a forum to discuss research and policy topics related to the international and domestic dimensions of energy and climate change policy.  The Energy and Climate Policy Research Seminar is co-chaired by Joanna Lewis (SFS) and David Konisky (McCourt).

 

RFF to Host Nobel Laureate Mario Molina on Understanding Climate Risk – On Wednesday, November 12th at 4:00 p.m., Resources for the Future (RFF) and the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) will host a special lecture on understanding climate risk. RFF President Phil Sharp and AAAS CEO Alan Leshner will host a conversation with 1995 Nobel Laureate in Chemistry Mario Molina about how the nation should prepare for the risks posed by a changing climate.  Molina is Director of the Mario Molina Center for Energy and Environment in Mexico City; Distinguished Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry at the University of California, San Diego; and Professor at the Center for Atmospheric Sciences at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography

 

PJM’s Boston to Address Polar Vortex – On Thursday, November 13th, ICF International will host its energy and environment breakfast featuring energy expert Terry Boston of PJM.  Boston will discuss the next polar vortex—and what we need to do to ensure reliable supplies of power at prices we can afford during extreme weather events.  At this time last year, we thought we were well prepared for winter weather—even very cold weather—in the Mid-Atlantic region. But then the polar vortex hit in two waves in January 2014, and the concept of “well prepared” seemed to change. While the system held together—no significant blackouts were recorded—the extreme cold snaps revealed vulnerabilities in the system, including more than 20% of the PJM’s generation shuttered due to the cold, planned closures were higher than they should have been, and gas supplies were so constrained that many consumers paid the highest recorded gas and wholesale power prices in history.  With more generation capacity due to retire soon, and an aging grid, Boston will address where we now stand in our ability to withstand winter’s frigid temperatures and storms.

 

IEA to Release Energy Efficiency Market Report 2014 – On Thursday November 13th at 10:00 a.m., the CSIS Energy and National Security Program will host Philippe Benoit, Head of the Energy Efficiency and Environment Division at the IEA, to discuss the IEA’s recently released inaugural Energy Efficiency Market Report 2014. The report finds that the global energy efficiency market is worth at least $310 billion a year and is expected to grow. The annual report from the International Energy Agency, now in its second year, confirms the position of energy efficiency as the “first fuel” in the IEA’s largest economies.   Benoit will also present a related IEA study, Capturing the Multiple Benefits of Energy Efficiency, which shows that the benefits of energy efficiency go well beyond the simple scaling back of energy demand. The study reframes the discussion about energy efficiency and shows how it has the potential to support economic growth, enhance social development, advance environmental sustainability, ensure energy-system security and help build wealth. Guy Caruso, Senior Adviser with the CSIS Energy and National Security Program, will moderate.

 

Hill Forum to Look at Election Results, Impacts on Energy – On Thursday, November 13th at 8:00 a.m., The Hill will host a discussion of what’s next in the energy sector. Business analysts and innovators will offer perspectives on the energy industry’s next 5 years. Policymakers and government leaders will explore the energy agenda for the 114th Congress and will look ahead to anticipate energy priorities and initiatives in 2016.

 

ELI to Look at EPA Methane Rule – The Environmental Law Institute will hold a webinar on Thursday, November 13th at 12:00 p.m. on controlling methane from the oil and gas sector.  This past March, the White House put forth a new strategy to reduce methane emissions as part of its comprehensive Climate Action Plan, and EPA is following up by developing both regulatory and voluntary approaches to controlling methane emissions from oil and gas operations.  This seminar brings together a diverse panel of experts to weigh the pros and cons of different approaches to methane control. The panel will explain how the oil and gas sector can be an active partner in new initiatives and how the reduction of methane fits into the larger strategy for addressing climate change.  The event will feature EPA Air Office Head Janet McCabe, API’s Howard Feldman and EDF’s Tomás Carbonell.

 

Markey to Headline Energy Forum – The International Institute for Energy Conservation will hold a 30th anniversary and symposium on Thursday afternoon, November 13th at The Liaison Capitol Hill.  The Symposium will feature presentations and panel discussions on how energy efficiency and other clean energy policies and technologies can provide climate change solutions.  Senator Ed Markey of Massachusetts headlines a long list of speakers. The event is co-hosted by the United Nations Environment Program, Alliance to Save Energy, American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy, the Natural Resources Defense Council, the Collaborative Labeling and Appliance Standards Program, the Climate Registry, the United Nations Foundation, SmartPower, The Business Council for Sustainable Energy, and Home Performance Coalition

 

Forum to Look at Climate Resilience – On Thursday, November 13th  at 5:30 p.m., Chino Cienega Foundation, I. M. Systems Group, Inc., Global Gender Program of the Elliott School, The George Washington University Alumni Association, World Wildlife Fund will host a forum on building a climate resilience from the beginning.  This event is part of the Myanmar Advanced Leadership Institute on Climate Change (MALICC), which brings a delegation of 14 government officials and civil society leaders to Washington. MALICC builds on a two-year partnership between PISA and ALARM, Myanmar’s leading environmental organization, in order to help mainstream climate change into the nation’s policy-making.  Roger-Mark De Souza, director of population, environmental security and resilience at the Wilson Center will speak.

 

CHP Policy Forum Set – On Thursday and Friday, November 13th and 14th at the Park Hyatt Washington, the annual Combined Heat & Policy Association Policy Forum will kick off with a reception and trade show the night of the 13th with a chance to network with industry and public sector leaders in CHP.  The next day on November 14th, attendees will hear a series of presentations about how local, state, and federal policies have enabled CHP. Each panel will feature a case study of a cooperative effort that worked to successfully get more CHP in the marketplace. With CHP being a solution that could solve a variety of energy needs, attendees will hear about small scale, medium scale, and large scale projects ranging from public buildings to industrial installations to hospitals.  Agenda highlights include Keynote Speech by Rep. Paul Tonko and DOE’s Jay Wrobel.

 

Forum to Look at Mexico Energy Plans – The Woodrow Wilson Center and the Atlantic Council will host a forum on Friday, November 14th on Mexico’s Energy Reform.  The Mexican energy industry is set for transformation after President Enrique Peña Nieto signed into law the reform’s secondary legislation in August. The event will feature the first major policy address in the United States by one of the top Mexican officials leading this reform.  The event also follows two publications in step with the reform process and written by the Adrienne Arsht Latin America Center’s nonresident senior energy fellow, David Goldwyn, Mexico’s Energy Reform: Ready to Launch (August 2014) and Mexico Rising: Comprehensive Energy Reform at Last? (December 2013).  Keynote speakers will include Secretariat of Energy of Mexico María de Lourdes Melgar Palacios, Federal Commission of Electricity of Mexico (CFE) Director General Enrique Ochoa Reza, and Goldwyn, as well as our friend Bill Loveless, Platts Energy Week Host.

 

Bingaman, Moeller Headline NARUC Meeting – The 126th Annual NARUC Meeting will be held November 16th – 19th at the Marriott Marquis in San Francisco.  In addition to the usual topics, the event will look at topics like distributed generation,  emergency phone calls, alternative-fuel vehicles and ride-sharing services.   The meeting agenda is nearly final, though new speakers and panels will be announced over the several weeks. Panel discussions will be held on the proposed Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean Power Plan, the rise of ride-sharing services like Uber and Lyft, Next Generation 911 services, workforce development, methane emissions, and much more.  A complete agenda is available online.   In addition, NARUC members will elect a new slate of officers for 2014-2015. Current NARUC President Colette D. Honorable of Arkansas’s term will conclude, with new officers being voted in during the meeting.   Confirmed speakers will include former Senate Energy Chair Jeff Bingaman, FERC Commissioner Philip Moeller, EPA Air counsel Joe Goffman, National Cable & Telecommunications Association CEO Michael Powell and Uber General Counsel Salle Yoo.

 

Webinar Set to Cover Offshore – WINDExchange, the DOE Wind Program’s platform for disseminating credible information about wind energy, is hosting a webinar on November 19th at 3:00 p.m.  Guest speakers will focus on recent developments in the economics of offshore wind. They will discuss the 2014 Offshore Wind Market Report, U.S. wind energy manufacturing, and potential impacts of wind project development on job growth. The webinar is the first in a series designed to inform participants about offshore wind’s technological and industry developments, recent Energy Department-funded research results, and opportunities to move the industry forward in the United States.

 

GenForum Set to Discuss GHG, Reliability, NatGas – PennWell’s GenForum will be held on December 8th in Orlando, Florida.  At the event, there will be a panel  discussion on the future of coal power during a dash to gas, as well as EPA’s Clean Power Plan. The EPA rule proposal is meant to have states implement plans to cut power sector emissions 30% by 2030. GenForum is organized by PennWell’s GenerationHub. GenForum brings together power generation executives who operate, plan, build, regulate and invest in power generation systems in North America. Other speakers will include PJM Interconnection Chief Economist Paul Sotkiewicz, Ph.D., will kick off GenForum with a keynote presentation on electric power demand. Julie Turner, Duke Energy general manager for combined-cycle gas generation in North and South Carolina will be part of a panel discussion on natural gas generation. Electric Power Supply Association (EPSA) President and CEO John Shelk will discuss issues surrounding competitive power in today’s marketplace. Florida PSC Commissioner Eduardo Balbis will discuss the Florida electric power landscape. ScottMadden Consulting Partner Stuart Pearman will discuss issues posed by distributed generation.

 

Energy Update Week of June 16

Friends,

Happy Father’s Day to all out there.  I hope it was a good day for you.  I spent my Father’s Day where else:  a lax tourney.  But yesterday, I was officiating rather than just watching Hannah.  I did make it home in time to watch Martin Kaymer cruise to his big victory at the US Open.   Wow, that Friday the 13th full moon did wonders for him as he delivered a second 65 that led him into the weekend with a nice cushion.  BTW, the last time a full moon on Friday the 13th hit together was in 2000 and it won’t occur again to 2049.

Not to be overshadowed, the LA Kings and San Antonio Spurs won the NHL and NBA championships in 5 games.   The NY Rangers battled hard but the Kings had just two much luck and skill taking 3 OT games.  Meanwhile, the Spurs, a Bracewell Giuliani client mind you, just hammered the two-champ Miami Heat, taking their last three victories by wide margins.  Congrats to my colleague Tullos Wells in San Antonio who gets his 5th NBA championship ring.   Kind of makes all the contract negotiating pains worth it.

This week starts to the run up to the summer solstice, which hits Saturday at 10:51 a.m.  The summer solstice day has the longest period of daylight of the year and is often a day to see how many rounds of golf you can get in in one day.  The week also marks 20 years ago tomorrow since the OJ Simpson slow speed chase occurred, setting off a media reality onslaught/celebrity trial like we have never seen before.

The first round of hearings on the Administration’s new GHG plan for existing power plants begins this week with the Senate Environment hosting former Republican Administration EPA leaders and State AGs, while the House Energy subpanel is hosting current EPA Air Chief Janet McCabe.  And thank goodness, the President mentioned climate change at his UC-Irvine commencement speech because that is want college graduates really want to hear.  Finally on Wednesday, Senate Energy gets to the controversial FERC nomination votes of Cheryl LaFleur and Norman Bay, as well as a vote on Landrieu’s Keystone XL  fast-track bill.

For those of you interested, the Firefly Festival is this weekend in Dover, DE.  Firefly is a 3-day/4-night music extravaganza that this year will feature Foo Fighters, Outkast, Jack Johnson, Imagine Dragons, Beck and many more.  My wife will be attending all 4 nights/3 days with her friends,  leaving me to get the three kids to their lax tourneys in Richmond, Bel Air, MD and Poolesville.  Is it possible they could be any further apart?  I will need to have a lot of the new Godsmack single 1000 Horsepower (just out this past week) to get everywhere I need to be.

Finally, there will likely be no update next week (at least on Monday/Tuesday) because I will be running around like a mad man over the weekend and then will head to Pittsburgh Monday morning early to attend the Society of Environmental Journalists’ Shale Energy Reporting Institute at Carnegie Mellon University.  It will be a great event that includes a great drilling process site tour on Tuesday.   Call with questions.

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

Poll Shows Concerns Over EPA Rule – As you know, I often say polls on climate issues really don’t mean much, especially as my friends In the environmental community have recently touted polls that show overwhelming support for the President’s plan.  Well, the National Mining Association also released a poll last week showing that most Americans (76%) are at least somewhat worried that new regulations proposed by EPA to remove coal-powered electricity from the nation’s energy mix will lead to higher prices for consumers.  The results are consistent with other findings that price increases are a significant driver of Americans’ sentiment about EPA regs and electricity.   I’m just sayin’…

CU Water Studies Look  at Needs, River Basin Impacts – The Colorado University Law School’s Getches-Wilkinson Center for Natural Resources, Energy, and the Environment (GWC) has released two new studies prepared by the GWC’s Colorado River Governance Initiative.  Restoring Sacred Waters: A Guide to Protecting Tribal Non-Consumptive Water Uses in the Colorado River Basin is a detailed review of strategies available to tribes seeking to protect non-consumptive uses of their federal reserved rights. It surveys potential legal and political hurdles that tribes may encounter when applying their rights to instream flows and offers practical strategies derived from case studies the advice of tribal officials on how to surmount these hurdles. Strategies outside of the application of Indian federal reserved rights are also explored, including how federal environmental laws and conservation easements have been used to create additional flows in reservation streams.  The second, Research Needs in the Colorado River Basin, is a synthesis of ideas gained from interviews and reports assessing the state of research post Basin Study, identifying those areas where additional progress is most needed to aid the policy discussions.  Embedded in this effort is an assessment of the role that the academic community can play going forward in addressing any shortcomings.

TX LNG Facility No Impact – FERC said in a draft review on Friday that Cheniere Energy’s proposed liquefied natural gas export terminal in Corpus Christi, Texas, will not cause widespread environmental impact. Public comments on the review will be accepted until August 4th.   The Corpus Christi project will result in a permanent loss of 25 acres of wetlands, but FERC said measures Cheniere plans to take will minimize any further disturbance on wetlands.

State Dept Official to Head to Columbia U – The Center on Global Energy Policy at Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA) said Ambassador Carlos Pascual will be joining the Center in the Fall as a Fellow and Senior Research Scholar.  As a Fellow during the upcoming Fall semester, Pascual will teach a course to students in Columbia’s School of International and Public Affairs as well as generate original research on the geopolitics of energy, including the implications of the recent increased US energy production. He will also help maximize the Center’s policy impact, which in its first year has emerged as a key resource for policymakers, industry, NGOs, and the wider public seeking to get beyond the polarization that often threatens to overwhelm energy debates. Pascual joins Columbia from his most recent position as Special Envoy and Coordinator for International Energy Affairs at the US Department of State. Prior to his appointment by US Secretary of State Clinton, Pascual served as the US Ambassador to Mexico.

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

EIA Head to Keynote International Energy Conference in NYC – Tonight in New York, Adam Sieminski, administrator of the Energy Information Administration will address the international implications of the U.S. energy renaissance at the 37th annual International Association for Energy Economics conference at the New Yorker Hotel.  The conference goes through Wednesday and also features thought leaders across business, government and academia including representatives from Statoil, National Renewable Energy Labs, IMF, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, UC Davis, Baker Hughes, Citi Research, SunEdison and many more. See the Detailed conference schedule here.

Energy to Hold Hydrogen, Fuel Cells Program Merit Review – All this week, the U.S. Department of Energy holds its 2014 Annual Merit Review and Peer Evaluation Meetings (AMR) for the Hydrogen and Fuel Cells Program and the Vehicle Technologies Office at the Marriott Wardman Park.

Public Power Conference Set – The American public Power Assn hold its annual Conference in Denver through Wednesday.  The program features leading political, economic, business and public policy thinkers and public power leaders addressing the critical issues, including the new GHG rules for existing power plants.  ABC News White House correspondent Jon Karl, former Steeler Merril Hoge and former White House CIO Theresa Payton will speak.

Forum to Look at Renewable NatGas Use – Tomorrow, the Greater Washington Region Clean Cities Coalition and Energy Vision will hold an all-day forum discussing extracting value and vehicle fuel from waste using natural gas.

Forum to Look at OAS Climate Issues – The Worldwatch Institute will hold a policy roundtable event tomorrow focused climate change: challenges and opportunities for the Americas.   WWI’s 59th OAS Policy Roundtable will encourage the exchange of experiences to address various issues related to climate change adaptation strategies and its mitigation.

Senate Ag to Highlight Bio-based Products – The Senate Ag Committee will hold a hearing tomorrow at 10:00 a.m. to showcase companies leading the way in manufacturing plastics, chemicals and other materials from plants. The hearing will be followed by an event at which more than 30 companies will showcase technologies that turn biomass into usable materials.  Witnesses will include Scott Vitters of Coca-Cola, Lear’s Ashford Galbreath , Cargill’s Kurtis Miller and Adam Monroe of Novozymes North America among others.

ELI Forum to Discuss US GHG Efforts, Paris – Tomorrow at Noon, the Environmental Law Institute will hold a discussion that will look at likely greenhouse gas reduction efforts for the United States to propose at the 2015 Paris Climate Summit. The expert panel will identify where the United States is in progress towards our current target and how that target might be adjusted in the lead up to the 2015 Paris negotiations. Our panel will also examine the process by which the EU reached its target and ask whether it might be illustrative for the White House and Congress.  Panelists will include former EPA official Bob Sussman, NAM’s Ross Eisenberg, UN Environment Program’s Hilary French, Ned Helme of the Center for Clean Air Policy and WRI’s David Waskow.

Holmstead, Tierney to Address GHG Rule at BPC Forum – On Wednesday at 10:00 a.m., the Bipartisan Policy Center will hold a forum on the new EPA rule on GHGs for existing power plants.  The panel, hosted by our friend and WSJ reporter Amy Harder, will feature my colleague Jeff Holmstead, former Assistant Administrator for Air at EPA, and Sue Tierney, former Assistant Secretary for Policy at DOE.

Forum to Tackle Grid Innovation – The Environmental and Energy Study Institute and the National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA) will hold a briefing on Wednesday at 10:00 a.m. in 428 Russell looking at innovation in electric grid technologies and the opportunity being provided by the Department of Energy’s Quadrennial Energy Review (QER). The QER was launched this January to advance a 21st century energy policy that, among other things, seeks to improve electric grid resilience. The electric grid faces unprecedented threats in the United States, including extreme weather, cyberattack, and physical vulnerabilities which urgently need to be addressed.  Speakers from the Department of Energy (DOE), G&W Electric, Siemens, and Commonwealth Edison will discuss the concept and purpose of the QER and the need to reform our energy policy to strengthen the nation’s electric transmission and distribution grid, as well as the technologies available today that are making it happen.  Speakers for the forum include Rep. Jerry McNerney and DOE’s Karen Wayland, of Energy, among others.

ACORE to Look at Middle Market Renewables – ACORE will hold a teleconference on Wednesday at Noon to discuss investor plans to take advantage of such rapid growth in the renewable energy middle market growth sector.   The renewable energy market is intensifying in 2014 with much of the project development expected in the $10-$100 million middle market range. Investors recognizing the attractive risk and return profile of renewables in this asset class are increasingly deploying infrastructure capital. The webinar will focus not only on percentage returns but will critically detail the fine print; the terms and conditions these investors tie to their capital for renewable projects. The presentation will include recent equity, tax equity and debt pricing and will further describe how all these types of capital are successfully deployed.

Senate Enviro Panel to Host Former EPA Heads, AL AG – The Senate Environment panel  on Clean Air and Nuclear Safety will hear from former EPA chiefs, two academics and Alabama’s attorney general on climate change and the new GHG rules for existing power plants.  Former EPA Administrators Bill Ruckelshaus, Bill Reilly, Lee Thomas and Christine Todd Whitman will join Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange, UCSB Professor Dan Botkin and LSU economist Joe Mason.

House Resources to Look at American Energy Jobs – On Wednesday at 2:00 p.m., the House Resources Committee’s panel on energy will convene an oversight hearing focused on opportunities for states and localities in creating energy jobs.  America’s surge in energy production is fueling an employment boom that’s creating much-needed economic growth in states and local communities. In the past decade, 30 states have experienced a 50 percent surge in jobs indirectly relating to oil and natural gas production and it’s estimated that by 2035 unconventional oil and natural gas production will bring in $2.5 trillion in combined state and federal revenue. For example, revenues from North Dakota’s oil and natural gas production gave the state a $1.6 billion budget surplus in 2012. Witnesses include DeSoto Parish, La. sheriff Rodney Arbuckle, Utah School and Institutional Trust Lands Administration director Kevin Carter,  Lea County, NM vice chairman Commission Ron Black and Phil Hopkins, director of economic and country risk consulting at IHS Global.

House Energy Panel to Look at New GHG Rule – The House Energy and Commerce subpanel on Energy will hold a hearing on President Obama’s new GHG standards for existing power plants on Thursday at 9:30 a.m.  EPA Air Chief Janet McCabe will testify.

Senate Energy Looks at NatGas – The Senate Energy Committee will hold a hearing on Thursday at 2:30 p.m. on natural gas and how to harness the resource for export, domestic consumption, and transportation fuel.    The hearing will address issues surrounding natural gas and would likely feature a mix of government and private-sector witnesses.

API Expert to Discuss Crude Exports – ICF hosts its June Energy Breakfast on Thursday morning at the National Press Club featuring API’s Kyle Isakower, who will address the future of petroleum imports and exports. The discussion will focus on the oil production boom in areas such as the Eagle Ford and Bakken plays, and the potential for increasing U.S. exports and decreasing imports.

Boston Journos to Discuss State of Investigative Journalism – On Thursday, Boston NPR station and WGBH and the New England Center for Investigative Reporting will hold a forum in Boston looking at the role of investigative journalism in today’s rapidly changing media landscape.  A distinguished panel of award-winning journalists will discuss the importance of investigative journalism for our democracy, the lessons learned from Watergate, the role journalists played in exposing the sex abuse scandal in the local Catholic Church, and more.  The panel includes Frontline’s Raney Aronson-Rath, New England Center for Investigative Reporting executive director and managing editor Joe Bergantino, Boston Globe Spotlight Team editor Thomas Farragher and WGBH investigative reporter Phillip Martin.

 

FUTURE EVENTS

SEJ to Host Shale Reporting Seminar – The Society of Environmental Journalists in partnership with Carnegie Mellon will host a shale reporting education seminar at CMU June 22-24th.  The goal of the whole event is to provide a focused group of journalists who cover shale issues with the latest/balanced info. on shale issues.  On Monday, the conference will here from academics, environmental advocates and industrial folks to discuss the many details of the current Shale boom.  The following day they will head out on a rig tour of drilling, production and compressing sites.  See more here.

FERC Commissioners to Address Regional Regulators Conference – The Mid-Atlantic Conference of Regulatory Utilities Commissioners (MACRUC) will hold its 19th  Annual Education Conference on June 22nd through 25th at the Hotel Hershey.  Speakers will include FERC Commissioners John Norris and Phil Moeller, as well as NARUC head Colette Honorable, New Jersey Natural Gas CEO Laurence Downes, Bill Colton of ExxonMobil, Walter Lynch of American Water and Exelon Utilities CEO Denis O’Brien.

Summit to Target Crude By Rail Issues – American Business Conferences will hold a Crude By Rail summit on June 24-25 in Houston to focus specifically on how each stakeholder can cost effectively optimize safety in their operations to restore confidence and promote reliability.  As the only crude by rail event specifically focused on optimizing safety, the Crude By Rail Safety Initiative 2014 host speakers from every key stakeholder group, including regulators, shippers, railroad operators, transloaders and refiners to quantify the cost-impacts of improving the safety of crude by rail operations.  Expert speakers will breakdown railroad strategies for improving safety and shipper strategies for crude testing, classification and transloading, provide a cost-analysis of railcar upgrades, clarify how the emerging regulatory landscape will impact each stakeholder and examine best practice emergency response and hazmat training.

Dingell to Address Press Club Luncheon – The National Press Club will host Rep. John Dingell, the Michigan Democrat who holds the record as the longest-serving U.S. House member ever, for his farewell address on Friday. Dingell announced he will retire at the end of his current term, having been a member of the U.S. House for 58 years, serving alongside 11 presidents. He served as chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee and helped pass legislation including Medicare, the Clean Air Act and the Endangered Species Act.

July 4th Holiday

NARUC Summer Meetings Set – The National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners’ Summer Committee Meetings, one of three conferences NARUC holds each year, will take place at the Omni Dallas Hotel in Dallas, Texas, from July 13-16. The meeting will feature discussions on the top regulatory challenges across all utility sectors—water, electricity, natural gas, and telecommunications. Panels will tackle the latest developments on the Environmental Protection Agency’s landmark greenhouse gas-emissions proposals, Liquefied Natural Gas exports, Internet neutrality and the transition from traditional telephone service to IP-based networks.  Featured speakers include Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Acting Chair Cheryl LaFleur, FERC Commissioner Tony Clark, Federal Communications Commission Member Mignon Clyburn, Environmental Protection Agency Acting Assistant Administrator for the Office of Air and Radiation Janet McCabe, Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration Administrator Cynthia Quarterman, Duke Energy President, CEO Lynn Good, Luminant CEO Mark McFarland, and many more.

EIA Energy Conference to Feature Upton – The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) will hold its 2014 EIA Energy Conference on July 14th and 15th.  The EIA Energy Conference has become a premier forum for addressing energy issues in the United States and around the world. This event will bring together thought leaders from industry, government, and academia to discuss current and future challenges facing domestic and international energy markets and policymakers. The conference will feature keynote speakers including House Energy and Commerce Committee Chair Fred Upton, IEA Director Maria van der Hoeven and IHS Vice Chairman Daniel Yergin, among many others.

McCabe to Address ICF Energy Breakfast –ICF hosts its July Energy Breakfast on Thursday July 17th at the National Press Club featuring EPA Air Administrator Janet McCabe.  McCabe will discuss EPA’s newly released Existing Source Performance Standards (ESPS) regulations for power plants.  The discussion will focus on how the regulations affect states, regions, companies and customers as well as are the benefits worth the costs.