Energy Update: Week of June 6

Friends,

We start today by thanking and honoring Muhammad Ali, who was the original transcender of policy, politics, sports, character and humor.  He was a giant and is well-deserving of any and all praise (especially this type of Barbershop praise) he receives for changing the way we look at athletes.

We had a very exciting weekend at the Maisano House as Hannah finally crossed the stage to graduate from Severn School with Honors.  It is a very exciting first step as she prepares for Wellesley.  In the meantime, she was appointed to umpire USA Field Hockey’s two national championships – The National Futures (best individual players) and the National Club Championships (Best Teams).  And the Cherry on the dessert:  She will be umpiring USA Field Hockey/AAU Junior Olympics in Houston in August (Houston in August doesn’t sound very fun), but she is one of only 8 umpires across the nation to be selected for the event.  It is a great honor and we are very proud of her accomplishments both in school, sports and officiating.

Of course, Saturday brings us the final Triple Crown Jewell, the 148th Belmont Stakes.  Right now (and with Nyquist out), I like the looks of a well-rested Suddenbreakingnews (with HoF Jockey Mike Smith) to chase 6-5 favorite, Exaggerator.  Another horse that is rested and should be good if the pace is slow is Governor Malibu, who recently “placed” at the Peter Pan Stakes at Belmont.  He is strong and runs close to pace.  He also fits the Belmont’s penchant for running an upset winner that hasn’t won any graded stakes.  Late closers Cherry Wine and Creator, as well as the speedy Stradivari will all challenge at the longer mile-and-a-half distance.  While all the closers benefited from the fast early pace in Baltimore, I suspect we won’t see that fast first quarter in New York.  Destin and Brody’s Cause both ran the Derby but passed on the Preakness and could be fresher than those that ran in Baltimore. Depending on weather, I’d box Exaggerator, Suddenbreakingnews and Governor Malibu for at least one trifecta.  I also might try one with Cherry Wine.  As for Superfecta, I might consider playing two, mixing the previous five or maybe swapping Stradivari in.  Straight up: A “win” flyer bet on Governor Malibu is probably worth it at 25-1, although I don’t suspect the line will stay there.   Of course, some of this may change as the positions are drawn (Wednesday), the weather forecast changes and the field firms up.  Post time is around 6:50 p.m. Saturday.

It will be a busy week in DC as Congress returns to run its final multi-week session before really breaking for the fall elections.  The main event is a Senate Environment hearing on Thursday on the SCOTUS stay of EPA’s GHG rule featuring Hunton expert Allison Wood and Tri-State Generation CEO Mike McInnes, among others.   Also Thursday, a House Foreign Affairs panel will hear from EIA Head Adam Sieminski and others on energy security in the Americas.  Tomorrow, a Senate Environment panel looks at EPA’s unfunded mandates.  Finally, Friday morning at 9:30 a.m., House Energy will host AHRI President Steve Yurek and others for a hearing on appliance energy standards.

The biggest event off the Hill this week is the US Energy Stream’s Washington Oil & Gas Conference on Thursday at the Cosmos Club featuring Republican House Whip Steve Scalise, former House Energy Chair Joe Barton and Resources Chair Rob Bishop. The Forum focuses on the international aspects of the American oil and gas industry and will address the international impact of the shale gas revolution.  Other events in town include Heritage hosting TX AG Ken Paxton on Friday while Bracewell hosts a WCEE forum on Wednesday looking at the future of Utilities.  There are also Clean Energy, Paris and oil-price events sponsored by The Atlantic, Brookings, Carnegie, USEA and Johns Hopkins throughout the week.  Everything is listed below.

Out of town on Wednesday, Kansas will host an EPA public meeting on the RFS’s RVO rule and the Geothermal industry gathers.

Finally, the US Chamber’s Energy Institute is expected to launch its International Index of Energy Security Risk sometime this week so stayed tuned for that.

In case you haven’t noticed, it’s an election year.  Between the Trump energy event last week and a Mark Drajem  Interview with Bloomberg Analyst Rob Barnett on Sander’s Presidential Fracking position, got us thinking to start paying closer attention to energy-related action on the campaign trail (which many times is a little light on substance, historical perspective and reality) so keep us as a background resource.  We’ll have people at both conventions – yes we are a bipartisan group.  Anyway, the countdown is on: 42 days to Cleveland, 49 days to Philly and 155 days to Election Day.

 

Best,

Frank Maisano

(202) 828-5864

(202) 997-5932

 

FRANKLY SPOKEN

“If we are serious about combating climate change, we need to put an end to fracking all over this country.”

Presidential Candidate and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders last week after a speech in California.

 

IN THE NEWS

AHRI, ASHRAE, DOE Partner to Fund Flammable Refrigerant Research – The Air-Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration Institute (AHRI), ASHRAE, and the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) are collaborating to fund vital research that will establish a more robust fact base about the properties and the use of flammable refrigerants. This $5.2 million research program is part of an ongoing global effort to phase down the use of high-global warming potential (GWP) refrigerants and identify appropriate climate-friendly alternatives. Of the total, DOE is contributing $3 million, ASHRAE $1.2 million, and AHRI $1 million.  In anticipation of a global plan to phase down high-GWP refrigerants, the industry has spent the past five years researching potential alternatives. Through that effort, several promising refrigerants were identified, many of which are low toxicity, but are classified as mildly flammable or flammable. This new research program will provide the technical knowledge needed to facilitate and accelerate the safe use of these refrigerants.

Industry Group May Challenge Methane Rule – The Western Energy Alliance is “exploring litigation” over the new EPA rules aimed that reducing methane for new oil and gas.  WEA official Kathleen Sgemma, said the alliance has been involved in litigation on a number of regulations that western oil and gas producers say would hobble the industry. Sgemma said the alliance was successful in suing against the first round of fracking regulations that the Bureau of Land Management tried to impose, winning a federal court injunction to stay the rules until a decision on the merits is made.

Interior to Open Up Waters Off NY for Offshore Wind – The federal government is expanding its offshore wind energy program to New York, the Department of Interior announced Thursday.  Interior said more than 81,000 acres of the Atlantic Ocean off the New York coast will be available for wind energy leases.  The section of ocean is in the New York Wind Energy Area, a portion of the outer continental shelf 11 miles south of Long Island. The department will publish a sales notice in the Federal Register on Monday, opening a 60-day public comment period.  As with other WEAs, the question is not whether Interior can open it up, but if somebody will build any projects.  So far, not much luck.

Paris Is Now Banning All Pre-1997 Cars – While France gets most of its electricity from nuclear power, it still has some of the most polluted air in Paris because of traffic issues.    Paris has tried just about everything to combat its terrible smog problem. The city has launched attempts to take half the cars off its road, introduce regular car-free days, and close famous streets to vehicular traffic—but nothing has worked. Now a much bigger idea is going into effect: Kicking the oldest cars out of the city. Starting July 1, all cars registered before 1997 and motorcycles registered before 2000 will be banned from the city center during weekdays.

Platts Crude Discusses OPEC – This week’s Capitol Crude podcast is live from Vienna where Brian and Herman go inside last week’s OPEC meeting, the first for the new Saudi energy minister. What did the meeting mean for OPEC, as well as US producers and policy? The podcast also addresses the view from OPEC on the ongoing US presidential race and its impact on the world oil market. With appearances from Khalid al-Falih, Amos Hochstein and Joe McMonigle.

Exelon to Close IL Nuke Plants – Exelon says it will close two of its nuclear plants in the state starting next year because if the sustained low wholesale power prices, capacity auction results, regulatory uncertainty and questions regarding the future of the EPA’s Clean Power Plan for its decision to close the two plants.  They also tried to convince the Illinois General Assembly to pass zero-carbon energy standard legislation that could have helped keep them competitive.  Exelon will close the Clinton nuclear plant on June 1, 2017, and the Quad Cities plant in 2018. The closures will come several years before the plants’ NRC licenses run out.

TVA Nuke Plant Finally Producing Energy – Speaking of Nukes, the long-awaited second reactor at the Tennessee Valley Authority’s Watts Bar nuclear plant has been synced to the grid and will next undergo systems and controls testing.  The next step is full-plant testing of systems and controls at increasing reactor power levels up to 100 percent power by this summer.  Combined with Watts Bar Unit 1, the plant will supply power to roughly 1.3 million homes in the TVA service area.

 

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

Fuel Cell Techs Under Review by DOE – This week, DOE will host a series on reviews on fuel cell vehicle technologies.  Each year, projects funded by the Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) Fuel Cell Technologies Office and Vehicle Technologies Office are reviewed for their merit at the Annual Merit Review and Peer Evaluation Meeting (AMR). DOE uses the results of this merit review and peer evaluation, along with additional review processes, to make funding decisions for upcoming years.

Heritage to Look at Obama War On Fossil Fuels – Today at 12:00 p.m., the Heritage Foundation hosts a forum on the Obama Administration’s efforts against fossil fuels. In only a few short years, the U.S. has become the world’s largest producer of oil and natural gas; it has long been the Saudi Arabia of coal. America has more fossil fuels resources than any nation and can produce and utilize those resources with more environmental sensitivity and energy efficiency. Yet, highly politicized climate policies are pushing a grand-scale shift to unreliable, expensive renewable energy sources inherently incapable of replacing the vast energy services fossil fuels provide. Today, ‘fossil fuel’ has become such a dirty word that even fossil fuel companies feel compelled to apologize for their products. In Fueling Freedom, Kathleen Hartnett White and Stephen Moore make an unapologetic case for fossil fuels, turning around progressives’ protestations to prove that if fossil fuel energy is supplanted by ‘green’ alternatives for political reasons, humanity will take a giant step backwards and the planet will be less safe, less clean, and less free.

Energy, Education Forum Set – The National Council on Science and the Environment’s (NCSE) Council of Energy Research and Education Leaders (CEREL) will host the 2nd annual National Energy Education Summit tomorrow at the American University. Energy literate leaders in politics, labor, business, and religion must help citizens and the workforce cope with the challenges and embrace the opportunities of change. Despite the needs for energy literacy, very few college and university students in the United States or elsewhere systematically learn about energy as part of their education. New forms of energy education must become a fundamental part of undergraduate education, in the United States and everywhere else in the world.

Forum to Look at Climate, Air Quality Connections – The Carnegie Endowment for International Peace hosts a half-day event tomorrow on the connection between air quality and climate change and how it might be expected to shape the global energy innovation agenda in the years to come. Speakers will include Deborah Gordon, Judi Greenwald, Daniel Horton, David Livingston, Varun Rai, Seth Shonkoff.

Senate Enviro to Tackle Unfunded Mandates — The Senate Environment Committee’s Subcommittee on Superfund, Waste Management, and Regulatory Oversight will hold a hearing tomorrow providing oversight of EPA Unfunded Mandates on State, Local, and Tribal Governments.  Witnesses include Tennessee state Senate majority Mark Norris representing the Council of State Governments, Berks County, PA Commission Chair Christian Leinbach on behalf of the National Association of Counties; Quapaw Tribe of Oklahoma chair John Berrey, DC Water/Sewer Authority CEO George Hawkins and George Washington University environmental law professor Robert Glicksman.

Brookings Forum to Look at Paris Climate Deal – Tomorrow at 4:00 p.m., Brookings will host a panel to assess the challenges as well as the opportunities in implementing the Paris Climate Agreement.  The Paris agreement, recently signed onto by 196 countries, is a milestone in recognizing the threat posed by climate change and securing collective commitment to hold global temperature rise to “well below 2 degrees Celsius.” The task now is to translate this ambitious commitment into a concrete implementation agenda.  This high level panel, which will include eminent climate expert Lord Nicholas Stern, World Bank Managing Director Sri Mulyani Indrawati, and University of Maryland Dean Public Policy and longtime climate advisor Robert Orr, as well as Vice President Kemal Dervis and Senior Fellow Amar Bhattacharya of Global Economy and Development program at Brookings.

Geothermal Conference Set – The Baseload Renewable Energy Summit will be held tomorrow and Wednesday at the Grand Sierra Resort and Casino in Reno, NV will examine key issues facing the geothermal, biomass and hydropower industries at the federal, state and local levels.  The event is Geothermal Energy Association (GEA) 5th annual National Geothermal Summit, but with a twist. This year, the leading forum for western state policy discussions will team up with the National Hydropower Association (NHA) and the Biomass Power Association (BPA) to create a new spin on the annual event. Wednesday will feature a full day program opening remarks by Rahm Orenstein, Vice President of Business Development, Ormat Technologies Inc. Following through the day panels of experts from power producers, utilities, government officials and others will examine key questions facing the future of the geothermal, biomass and hydropower industries.

EPA RFS Hearing In Kansas City – EPA announced it will hold a public hearing Thursday in Kansas City, Missouri, on its proposed rule for the 2017 renewable fuels standard (RFS).  The EPA released its proposed rule to set 2017 renewable volume obligations (RVOs) under the RFS, along with the 2018 RVO for biomass-based diesel, on May 18. The agency has proposed to set the 2017 RVO for cellulosic biofuel at 312 million gallons, with the advanced biofuel RVO at 4 billion gallons and the RVO for total renewable fuel at 18.8 billion gallons. The 2018 RVO for biomass-based diesel has been proposed at 2.1 billion gallons…

WCEE Forum on Future Utility of Future – On Wednesday at 12:00 noon in the swanky new office at Bracewell, the Women’s Council on Energy and the Environment (WCEE) will host a forum on the utility of the future.  Based on data published by EIA, US demand for electricity hit a plateau in 2006 for a variety reasons – the transition of our economy from manufacturing towards services, improvements in energy efficiency, and changing building codes.  There are also growing regional trends to shift towards clean energy, in some cases driven by legislative mandates or the Clean Power Plan, and an increase in the popularity of customer generated electricity.  But, at its simplest, the utility business model, forged at the turn of the 20th century, is based on a perpetual increasing demand for electricity.  The event features DC Public Service Commissioner Joanne Doddy Fort, former Maryland PSC Chair and current Alliance to Save Energy official Kelly Speakes-Backman, Katharine Bond of Dominion Virginia Power and Cheryl Roberto of  Twenty First Century Utilities.

JHU to Look at Living with Lower Oil Prices – Johns Hopkins SAIS, the International Monetary Fund, and the Middle East Institute will host a high level discussion on Wednesday at 12:30 p.m. looking at living with cheaper oil and the policy adjustments necessary in Middle Eastern and Central Asian oil exporting countries.  The event features a presentation by Min Zhu, Deputy Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund and Martin Sommer, IMF’s Deputy Chief, Middle East and Central Asia Regional Studies Division.

Forum to Look at Energy Storage – Wednesday at 2:00 p.m., the Joint Center for Energy Storage Research (JCESR) will hold a briefing to discuss energy storage.  JCESR is a public/private partnership that brings together world-leading scientists, engineers, and manufacturers with an important mission: develop clean energy storage technologies for transportation and the electricity grid. The Center was established by the Department of Energy as an Energy Innovation Hub in 2012 and is led by Argonne National Laboratory. Their partners include five national laboratories, ten universities, and five industrial firms.  JCESR was launched with a bold vision: to create game-changing, next-generation battery technologies that will transform transportation and the electricity grid the way lithium-ion batteries transformed personal electronics.

Atlantic Forum to Look at Clean EnergyThe Atlantic will host a forum on Thursday morning called Access to Power: A Forum on Energy Equity at the Newseum. The Atlantic‘s Ron Brownstein and Rebecca Rosen will be joined on stage by Michelle Moore (Groundswell), Richard Kauffman (New York Governor’s Office), Jim Kapsis (Opower) and others to discuss making the future of clean energy accessible to all.

Senate Enviro to Look at GHG Rule – Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works will hold a hearing Thursday on the implications of the Supreme Court Stay of EPA’s Clean Power Plan.  Testifying will be Tri-State Generation CEO Mike McInnis, Hunton’s Allison Wood Missouri State House Rep. Jack Bondon, NYU’s Richard Revesz and Connecticut DEEP deputy commissioner Katie Dykes.

EIA, DOE, State to Talk Energy – The House Foreign Affairs Committee’s Subcommittee on the Western Hemisphere will convene a hearing Thursday at 10:00 a.m. on the impact of low oil prices on energy security in the Americas.  Witnesses include EIA’s Adam Sieminski, DOE’s Melanie Kenderdine and State’s Amos Hochstein.

USEA Forum to Look at Paris, Future of Energy – On Thursday, USEA will host a forum looking at all sectors of the energy industry and the pressure from a combination of ultra-low prices, dislike of big business, accusations of crony capitalism and, last but not least, what for many are existential threats from environmental concerns.  The speakers, respectively the former Chief Climate Counsel for Sierra Club and Head of Climate Policy at ExxonMobil, talk frankly about what the future holds: what the Paris agreement means (and does not mean) for the energy industry; why the 2016 election may make less difference than many think – or hope – and what the reality of a carbon-constrained policy world means for the fossil and renewable energy industries. Former Sierra Club Counsel David Bookbinder has litigated cases under all of the major environmental statutes as Sierra Club’s Chief Climate Counsel. He then represented environmental groups in both stationary- and mobile-source carbon matters, including California’s greenhouse gas vehicle standards. Bookbinder has helped lead efforts on both global warming legislation and Clean Air Act greenhouse gas regulation, and has testified in front of House and Senate committees on these issues.  David Bailey has 35 years-experience in managing energy related issues around the world and has worked at literally every level of the coal and oil and gas industries, from the UK National Coal Board during the economic and labor upheavals under the Thatcher government to responsibility for ExxonMobil’s climate policy.

Scalise, Barton, Others Headline Oil, Gas Forum – US Energy Stream will hold a Washington Oil & Gas Forum on Wednesday and Thursday at the Cosmos Club in DC.  Speakers will include Reps. Steve Scalise, Rob Bishop, Joe Barton, as well as State’s Amos Hochstein and DOE’s Paula Gant.  The Washington Oil & Gas Forum focuses on the international aspects of the American oil and gas industry and is the only commercial forum in Washington that addresses the international impact of the shale gas revolution.  This year’s primary focus is the impact of the U.S. LNG exports on global energy markets.  More specifically, the topics include U.S. LNG and crude oil exports; oil prices; the impact of shale gas on the global energy markets; U.S. energy independence; upstream developments in the major U.S. shale plays; U.S. oil and gas investments in the international energy markets.

House Energy Panel to Look at Energy Efficiency Standards – On Friday morning, the House Energy Panel will hold a hearing on stakeholder perspectives on Appliance EE standards.  Among those testifying will be Steve Yurek, President of AHRI.

TX AG Headlines Heritage Forum on Climate Speech Challenges– The Heritage Foundation will host a forum on Friday at Noon featuring TX AG Ken Paxton discuss the recent efforts to attack scientific dissent.  A group of state attorneys general are targeting companies and others whom they claim “mislead the public about the dangers of climate change.” With the help of some private plaintiffs’ law firms, state AGs are opening up potential civil/criminal investigations. Other state AGs are objecting to these prosecutions as both ill-advised and violations of the First Amendment. The forum will look at whether this is a misuse of the law and are First Amendment rights being violated.

REFF Wall Street Meeting Set for NYC – REFF-Wall Street 2016 will be held on Saturday and Sunday at The Grand Hyatt, New York.  REFF-Wall Street is the premier renewable energy financing event in the U.S. The event draws an especially senior audience, comprising of over 600 decision makers, lenders, investors, investment bankers, private equity investors, venture capitalists, and other top transactional professionals in renewable energy finance. Delek CEO Yaniv Friedman, Grover Norquist, AGA’s David Sweet and Columbia’s Jason Bordoff will also speak among the many others.

 

FUTURE EVENTS

Forum to Look at Climate Mitigation Issues – The Wilson Center and US AID will host a forum next Tuesday at 9:30 a.m. on climate change mitigation.  As governments move to implement the commitments made at COP 21, this event will feature discussion by key decision-makers on what the Paris Agreement means for mitigation efforts globally. The panel of experts will reflect on actions being taken by developing countries and by the development community to implement countries’ international climate pledges, known as Nationally Determined Contributions. They will explore how to integrate climate change mitigation into government policies and programs and strengthen collaboration across the range of actors working on these issues.

Forum to Look at Transportation Sector Impacts, Changes for Climate – The Carnegie Endowment for International Peace will hold a conversation next Tuesday at Noon with key thinkers on the future of driverless cars and how they could aid efforts to decarbonize the transport sector.  Former NHTSA Administrator David Strickland and Levi Tillemann, author of The Great Race: The Global Quest for the Car of the Future, which is an analysis of the rise of electric vehicles and the intersection between policy and innovation in the global auto industry, will lead the discussion.

WCEE to Look at Energy Security Innovations – Next Tuesday at Noon, the Women’s Council on Energy and the Environment (WCEE) will hold another Lunch event on energy security issues and how technology and innovation are changing the picture.  The advance of new technologies and the introduction of new players and new potential interactions on the grid have made the industry very aware of threats and potential game changers. Cyber security and physical security are just two of the constant concerns of those who manage the industry’s assets.  Speakers at the event will be former Chief Technology Officer at DOE Pete Tseronis and Jeff Lane, former DOE Assistant Secretary for Congressional and Intergovernmental Affairs.

Offshore Energy Seminar Set – The American Geosciences Institute will hold a Congressional webinar on Tuesday, June 14th at 1:00 p.m. to explain the scientific and engineering tools that enable production in challenging environments far from land or in miles-deep water.  Speakers will also address the environmental challenges of offshore energy production.  BOEM’s James Bennett is among the speakers.

Statoil Official to Discuss Energy Market Outlook – The CSIS Energy and National Security Program is hosting a forum on Tuesday, June 14th at 1:00 p.m.; featuring Eirik Wærness, Chief Economist of Statoil, to present the company’s newly released Energy Perspectives 2016 publication. The report describes the macroeconomic and market outlook to 2040 including supply, demand, energy trade and CO2 impacts, as well as illustrates some of the key uncertainties that will influence these factors in the future through modeling various scenarios. This year’s report describes the possible development in global energy markets towards 2040 through three alternative scenarios, called Reform, Rivalry, and Renewal, respectively.

Forum to Look at Climate Policy, Ethics – The Wilson Center and the Institute for Philosophy and Public Policy at George Mason University will hold a debate on Wednesday June 15th at 9:30 a.m. between two of the most trenchant scholars on the human dimensions of climate change and the relevance of ethics in creating global climate policy. Stephen Gardiner argues that climate change is fundamentally an ethical issue. A robust response must attend to difficult issues, including justice, rights, political legitimacy, and humanity’s relationship to nature. Consequently, climate policy that ignores ethics is at risk of “solving” the wrong problem, perhaps even to the extreme of endorsing forms of climate extortion.  In contrast, David Weisbach argues that existing ethical theories are not well suited to addressing climate change because they suffer from internal logic problems and suggest impractical strategies. He argues that the central motivation for climate policy is straightforward: it is in the common interest of people and nations to dramatically reduce emissions in order to prevent terrible harms.  Gardiner and Weisbach are co-authors of Debating Climate Ethics. This is their first public appearance together since its publication this month. Following their debate, a panel of climate policy practitioners and academics will discuss the practical implications of this exchange.

WCEE Leadership Forum Tackles Women’s Role in International Development – On Wednesday June 15th at 11:30 a.m. at Clyde’s of Gallery Place, WCEE’s Women in Leadership (WIL) luncheon panel discussion will showcase some of the exciting work that federal agencies are doing globally in clean energy and climate change, and in particular how women around the world are impacted by and are tackling these complex issues. The panel will discuss how the U.S. public sector advances clean energy entrepreneurship, helps developing countries meet their COP 21 commitments, encourages women in leadership within the energy sector, and supports access to energy around the world.  Panelists will include State’s Rachel Kastenberg, DOE’s Caroline McGregor and USAID’s Kathryn Stratos.

Summer Solstice Solar Event Set – The Solar Foundation will be having its Summer Solstice event on Thursday, June 16th from 6:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m. at the Capitol View at 400.  Every June, in honor of the longest day of the year, 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 taking over an incredible rooftop in downtown Washington, D.C. to roll out the “yellow carpet” in recognition of all things solar. This year’s Solstice guests will be treated to great food and drinks, electrifying beats, amazing twilight views of the Capital’s skyline, and the company of many of the most eclectic personalities in solar.

Forum to Feature PJM Official on CPP Implementation – On Friday June 17th, the USAEE-NCAC will hold its next installment of our monthly lunch series featuring Paul Sotkiewicz, Ph.D., Senior Economic Policy Advisor for the PJM Wholesale Power Market.  He will discuss recent updates and results from PJM’s Capacity Market Auction, Clean Power Plan implementation, and investment decisions in PJM.

USEA Forum to Look at More Capture Technologies – On Friday, June 17th at 2:00 p.m., the U.S. Energy Association will host a forum on the technical basis for direct air capture of CO2.  The event will hear from Geoff Holmes, who will address the operation of Carbon Engineering’s air capture demonstration plant in Squamish, B.C.  Holmes will discuss opportunities for commercialization and deployment of the technology.  Carbon Engineering has been developing direct air capture technology since 2009, and has innovated a process based on wet scrubbing and chemical recovery that shows great promise for deployment at industrial scale. CE is now piloting this process with a fully end-to-end 1-ton-CO2/day demonstration plant.

Wisconsin Energy Fair Set – The 27th annual Energy Fair will be held in Custer, Wisconsin on June 17th to 19th.  The event hosted by the Midwest Renewable Energy Association in Central Wisconsin, features over 250 workshops and over 200 exhibitors, with live music, inspiring keynotes, and activities.

Mann to Address Climate Lobby Conference – The Citizens Climate Lobby is holding its annual conference on Sunday-Tuesday, June 19-21 at the Omni Shoreham.  The CCL Conference trains activists to climate issues.  Their Keynote Speaker will be Penn State Climate activist Professor Michael Mann.

Dominion Official to Address AWEA Virginia Forum – On June 22nd at James Madison University in Harrisonburg, the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) is hosting the AWEA State Wind Energy Forum – Virginia in collaboration with partners and colleagues in the state. You’ll learn about the benefits and challenges of Virginia’s potential for land-based and offshore wind industry from state policy, industry, government, and other thought leaders, as well as experts on national, regional, and state wind markets; grid integration; wildlife impacts and mitigation; economics; local economic development benefits; and water and air impacts.  Bill Murray of Dominion and our friend Jonathan Miles will speak among several others.

RFF to Look at Coal Leasing – Resources for the Future (RFF) holds a seminar on Wednesday June 22nd at 8:45 a.m. to look at the economics of coal leasing on Federal Lands, ensuring a fair return for taxpayers.  In 2015, BLM’s federal coal leasing program accounted for nearly 40% of coal production in the United States and supplied some of the lowest-cost coal available. The program has been widely critiqued in recent years for providing a poor return to taxpayers and failing to adequately address the environmental costs of coal extraction and processing. At this RFF seminar, Jason Furman, chairman of the White House Council of Economic Advisers (CEA), will unveil a new CEA report that examines the economic principles underlying the program, discusses the case for reform, and provides quantitative estimates of the effects of such changes. Furman’s remarks will be followed by an expert panel discussion on reforming the federal coal leasing program.  Among the panelists will be Michael Greenstone, Director of the Energy Policy Institute at the University of Chicago, and James Stock of the Harvard Kennedy School.

CSIS to Host IEA Gas Outlook – On Tuesday, June 28th at 1:30 p.m., the CSIS Energy and National Security Program will host Costanza Jacazio, Senior Gas Expert in the Gas, Coal & Power Markets Division at the International Energy Agency (IEA), to present the IEA’s Medium-Term Gas Market Report 2016. The annual report, which gives a detailed analysis and five-year projections of natural gas demand, supply and trade developments, examines the interaction of oversupply, low prices and upstream capital expenditure cuts. The impact on global gas markets of changing trade patterns and price mechanisms 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.

July 4th Holiday

Republican Convention – Cleveland will host the Republican Convention at the Quicken Loans Arena July 18-21st.  The Republican National Committee (RNC), the convention will host approximately 2,470 delegates and 2,302 alternate delegates from all 50 states, the District of Columbia and five territories.

Democratic Convention – A week later, the Democrats will head to Philadelphia for the 2016 Democratic National Convention at the Wells Fargo Center on July 25th – 28th.

Memorial Day Energy Update

Friends,

Unofficial Summer is off and running….  I hope everyone had a few moments to enjoy the Memorial Day Weekend.  Hannah and I were in Cali taking in some field hockey and a significant number of In ‘N Out Burgers (good thing I don’t live out there).

With the Stanley Cup Finals underway (Pittsburgh took Game 1 last night 3-2) and the NBA Finals set after last night’s impressive Game 7 win by Golden State (they now take on LeBron and Cleveland in a rematch of last year’s final), it is a pretty great sports time.  And how about the way North Carolina took it to Maryland in both the Women’s and Men’s lax finals over the weekend, with the Tar Heel men coming back from a three goal deficit to win in OT.  Both of those wins had to be considered upsets.

And I know this goes against my Champ Kind “No Soccer” pledge, but starting Friday, the United States will host one of international soccer’s most famous tournaments, Copa America. To celebrate its 100th anniversary, the crown jewel of South American futbol is venturing outside its continental borders for the first time. The first match will pit the U.S. and Colombia at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, Calif., and culminates June 26 with the championship game at MetLife Stadium in New Jersey.  The Wash Post has a great primer here.

First, awesome news breaking late last week that our friend and long-time DC Trade reporter Darren Goode will be leaving the confines of the press to work with conservative clean energy advocate Jay Faison.   We are all familiar with Darren’s body of work for POLITICO, National Journal, The Hill and Inside EPA over the years and know we will stay up with him.  Also in the new job department, our friend Ellen Carey of Securing America’s Future Energy (SAFE) is leaving for an exciting new opportunity in Audi’s Communications shop.  Ellen will help Audi with policy communications, working on autonomous vehicles and other key regulatory issues.  So congrats Darren and Ellen…

Slow week this week because of the holiday, but still a few events, including CSIS hosting Chevron’s Ali Moshiri and the State Dept’s Amos Hochstein to discuss Latin American energy issues on Thursday.  Also Thursday, CEI hosts its annual dinner featuring Steve Forbes.  Out of town, Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz and two dozen of his international counterparts will swap policy ideas in San Francisco this week (starting today) at the 7th Clean Energy Ministerial.

We’ll be around should you have questions, mostly doing our research for next Saturday’s final Triple Crown Jewell, the 148th Belmont Stakes.  Right now, I like the looks of a well-rested Suddenbreakingnews (with HoF Jockey Will Smith) to chase Exaggerator.  Late closers Cherry Wine and Creator, as well as the speedy Stradivari will all challenge at the longer mile-and-a-half distance.  More race updates here next week.  Call with questions.

 

Best,

Frank Maisano

(202) 828-5864

(202) 997-5932

 

FRANKLY SPOKEN

“I couldn’t help but realize today that I have personally carried and birthed a child in the same amount of time in which Rand Paul could have raised objections to the few lines in this bill that he is now calling ‘rushed.’”

Senate EPW Spokesperson Donelle Harder

“Beth Parke has provided SEJ with an incredible level of dedication, service, vision and hard work. Her leadership has led SEJ to become widely admired and its members to become better journalists. I am thankful for all that Beth has done for the SEJ family. And I’m grateful she accepted our job offer almost a quarter century ago.”

Michigan State University Journalism Professor Jim Detjen, SEJ’s founding board president.

 

IN THE NEWS

SEJ Leader to Step Down After 25 Years – The Society of Environmental Journalists (SEJ) Board of Directors last week announced Beth Parke’s intent to step down from her role as executive director by early 2017, marking more than two decades of remarkable service. The organization is now launching a search for a new executive director to lead SEJ in its mission of informing and engaging the public on energy and environmental issues. Parke will continue in her role as executive director through the search and transition process.  As SEJ’s founding executive director, Parke has guided the organization through decades of programs designed to connect, support and educate colleagues and encourage newcomers to the beat.  SEJ’s work gained international recognition as thousands of journalists sharpened their skills, advanced their careers and raised public awareness of some of the world’s most challenging and fascinating environmental issues. Under Parke’s leadership, SEJ has become the world’s leading group of professional journalists, reporters, authors and academics who focus on issues of energy and the environment. On any given day, the journalism delivered by SEJ’s 1,300 members can engage tens of millions around North America and the globe.  Parke has been a creative, entrepreneurial leader and steadfast steward of SEJ’s mission, particularly during a period of significant change for both environmental issues and the media landscape. She drew together and retained a dedicated and talented staff and hundreds of volunteers supporting thousands of journalists, students and educators as environmental news coverage went from niche to essential mainstream.

TSCA Approved – The House quickly approved the reforms for TSCA that were held up in the Senate since last year.  The legislation was debated last week and the House approved the compromise 403-12 Tuesday evening.  The approval sends the Compromise back to Senate before it can go to the White House for the President’s signature.  Late Thursday Sen. Rand Paul delayed final Senate approval until after lawmakers return from a week-long Memorial Day break.

Energy Conferees Appointed – The House moved late last week to name their designees to the joint conference committee charged with marrying two relatively disparate Senate and House energy bills.  House Republicans named 24 conferees: Energy and Commerce Chairman Fred Upton (Mich.), Natural Resources Chairman Rob Bishop (Utah), Science Chairman Lamar Smith (Texas), Agriculture Chairman Mike Conaway (Texas), and Reps. Joe Barton (Texas), Ed Whitfield (Ky.), John Shimkus (Ill.), Bob Latta (Ohio), Cathy McMorris Rodgers (Wash.), Pete Olson (Texas), David McKinley (W.Va.), Mike Pompeo (Kan.), Morgan Griffith (Va.), Bill Johnson (Ohio), Bill Flores (Texas), Markwayne Mullin (Okla.), Don Young (Alaska), Cynthia Lummis (Wyo.), Jeff Denham (Calif.), Bruce Westerman (Ark.), Randy Weber (Texas), Glenn Thompson (Pa.), Cresent Hardy (Nev.) and Lee Zeldin (N.Y.).  House Democrats named 16 conferees: Energy and Commerce ranking member Frank Pallone (N.J.), Natural Resources ranking member Raúl Grijalva (Ariz.), Agriculture ranking member Collin Peterson (Minn.), Science ranking member Eddie Bernice Johnson (Texas), Transportation ranking member Peter DeFazio (Ore.), and Reps. Bobby Rush (Ill.), Lois Capps (Calif.), Doris Matsui (Calif.), Kathy Castor (Fla.), Dave Loebsack (Iowa), John Sarbanes (Md.), Peter Welch (Vt.), Ben Ray Luján (N.M.), Paul Tonko (N.Y.), Jared Huffman (Calif.) and Debbie Dingell (Mich.).

Trump Speech Strike Chord with Both Sides – The North Dakota Energy speech by Republican Presidential hopeful Donald Trump got the conversation going on energy last week.  What it really means who knows.  Both sides reacted with typical platitudes yet enviros were even more condescending than most.   It Is pretty clear though that Trump is likely to be more in line with industry on natural gas drilling and remain skeptical of the Paris climate Agreement and the US’s participation in any international climate agreement.

Cleaning Institute Head to Step Down – Leaving with a clean slate, Ernie Rosenberg, who has led the American Cleaning Institute since 1999, has announced he washing his hands of work and cycling into retirement.  After giving it his all for 16 years, Rosenberg go against tide and the will step down as the association’s President and CEO once a successor has been dialed in, no later than February 2018. The ACI Board of Directors, who is already working on plans to choose Rosenberg’s successor, gave him one final Cheer.

Platts Crude Podcast Looks at Iran Oil Exports – The delicate future of the Iran nuclear deal is the focus of this week’s Platts Capitol Crude podcast. Worries from banks and companies about investing in Iran have put the deal on unstable footing even as Iranian oil exports climb to pre-sanctions levels. While the Obama administration works damage control, The Platts’ team discuss whether the deal be imperiled by November’s US elections and next year’s Iranian presidential election?

 

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

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

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

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

Forbes to Address CEI Annual Dinner – The Competitive Enterprise Institute’s Annual Dinner and Reception will be held Thursday at the JW Marriott Washington.  The event brings together an audience of policy professionals, distinguished scholars, congressional staff, and supporters to celebrate CEI’s effective advocacy for freedom. The theme for this year’s event is “A Night in Casablanca”.  Steve Forbes will be the Keynote Speaker.

 

FUTURE EVENTS

Heritage to Look at Obama War On Fossil Fuels – Next Monday, June 6th at 12:00 p.m., the Heritage Foundation hosts a forum on the Obama Administration’s efforts against fossil fuels. In only a few short years, the U.S. has become the world’s largest producer of oil and natural gas; it has long been the Saudi Arabia of coal. America has more fossil fuels resources than any nation and can produce and utilize those resources with more environmental sensitivity and energy efficiency. Yet, highly politicized climate policies are pushing a grand-scale shift to unreliable, expensive renewable energy sources inherently incapable of replacing the vast energy services fossil fuels provide. Today, ‘fossil fuel’ has become such a dirty word that even fossil fuel companies feel compelled to apologize for their products. In Fueling Freedom, Kathleen Hartnett White and Stephen Moore make an unapologetic case for fossil fuels, turning around progressives’ protestations to prove that if fossil fuel energy is supplanted by ‘green’ alternatives for political reasons, humanity will take a giant step backwards and the planet will be less safe, less clean, and less free.

Energy, Education Forum Set – Next Tuesday, the National Council on Science and the Environment’s (NCSE) Council of Energy Research and Education Leaders (CEREL) will host the 2nd annual National Energy Education Summit at American University. Energy literate leaders in politics, labor, business, and religion must help citizens and the workforce cope with the challenges and embrace the opportunities of change. Despite the needs for energy literacy, very few college and university students in the United States or elsewhere systematically learn about energy as part of their education. New forms of energy education must become a fundamental part of undergraduate education, in the United States and everywhere else in the world.

Forum to Look at Climate, Air Quality Connections – Next Tuesday, the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace hosts a half-day event on the connection between air quality and climate change and how it might be expected to shape the global energy innovation agenda in the years to come. Speakers will include : Deborah Gordon, Judi Greenwald, Daniel Horton, David Livingston, Varun Rai, Seth Shonkoff.

Brookings Forum to Look at Paris Climate Deal – Next Tuesday, June 7th at 4:00 p.m., Brookings will host a panel to assess the challenges as well as the opportunities in implementing the Paris Climate Agreement.  The Paris agreement, recently signed onto by 196 countries, is a milestone in recognizing the threat posed by climate change and securing collective commitment to hold global temperature rise to “well below 2 degrees Celsius.” The task now is to translate this ambitious commitment into a concrete implementation agenda.  This high level panel, which will include eminent climate expert Lord Nicholas Stern, World Bank Managing Director Sri Mulyani Indrawati, and University of Maryland Dean Public Policy and longtime climate advisor Robert Orr, as well as Vice President Kemal Dervis and Senior Fellow Amar Bhattacharya of Global Economy and Development program at Brookings.

WCEE Forum on Future Utility of Future – On Wednesday, June 8th at 12:00 noon in the swanky new office at Bracewell, the Women’s  Council on Energy and the Environment (WCEE) will host a forum on the utility of the future.  Based on data published by EIA, US demand for electricity hit a plateau in 2006 for a variety reasons – the transition of our economy from manufacturing towards services, improvements in energy efficiency, and changing building codes.  There are also growing regional trends to shift towards clean energy, in some cases driven by legislative mandates or the Clean Power Plan, and an increase in the popularity of customer generated electricity.  But, at its simplest, the utility business model, forged at the turn of the 20th century, is based on a perpetual increasing demand for electricity.  The event features DC Public Service Commissioner Joanne Doddy Fort, former Maryland PSC Chair and current Alliance to Save Energy official Kelly Speakes-Backman, Katharine Bond of Dominion Virginia Power and Cheryl Roberto of  Twenty First Century Utilities.

JHU to Look at Living with Lower Oil Prices – Johns Hopkins SAIS, the International Monetary Fund, and the Middle East Institute will host a high level discussion on Wednesday, June 8th at 12:30 p.m. looking at living with cheaper oil and the policy adjustments necessary in Middle Eastern and Central Asian oil exporting countries.  The event features a presentation by Min Zhu, Deputy Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund and Martin Sommer, IMF’s Deputy Chief, Middle East and Central Asia Regional Studies Division.

USEA Forum to Look at Paris, Future of Energy – On Thursday June 9th, US EA will host a forum looking at all sectors of the energy industry and the pressure from a combination of ultra-low prices, dislike of big business, accusations of crony capitalism and, last but not least, what for many are existential threats from environmental concerns.  The speakers, respectively the former Chief Climate Counsel for Sierra Club and Head of Climate Policy at ExxonMobil, talk frankly about what the future holds: what the Paris agreement means (and does not mean) for the energy industry; why the 2016 election may make less difference than many think – or hope – and what the reality of a carbon-constrained policy world means for the fossil and renewable energy industries. Former Sierra Club Counsel David Bookbinder has litigated cases under all of the major environmental statutes as Sierra Club’s Chief Climate Counsel. He then represented environmental groups in both stationary- and mobile-source carbon matters, including California’s greenhouse gas vehicle standards. Bookbinder has helped lead efforts on both global warming legislation and Clean Air Act greenhouse gas regulation, and has testified in front of House and Senate committees on these issues.  David Bailey has 35 years-experience in managing energy related issues around the world and has worked at literally every level of the coal and oil and gas industries, from the UK National Coal Board during the economic and labor upheavals under the Thatcher government to responsibility for ExxonMobil’s climate policy.

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

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