Energy Update: Week of February 22

Friends,

Well it’s official – spring training has begun.  If you’ve never been to Florida or Arizona for Grapefruit or Cactus League baseball, you need to make the trek at some point in your life.  While players have reported, games start officially on March 1st with Baltimore/Atlanta and Detroit/Pittsburgh in Florida and Cincy/Cleveland in AZ.  There is a great website that can help you plan the trip or stay  up to date here.  As always spring brings hope eternal for October World Series possibilities. Secondly, NCAA March Madness is just around the corner so make sure you are doing your bracketology research.

This week in Washington the nation’s governors are in town and meeting with President Obama today.  Certainly environmental/energy issues will be on the agenda.  Congress also returns from the President’s Day Week for action on renewable fuels, the Interior budget with Sally Jewell, the DOE science mission and a number of other key issues.

As well , tomorrow is the deadline for briefs for the Administration’s GHG plan at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.  On the opponents side, 27 states and a slew of electric utilities, coal companies and business groups, have already or will file by tomorrow.  EPA files its reply on March 28, with the back and forth continuing through April 22. My colleague Jeff Holmstead can provide insights for you on the action, but POLITICO has an nice, handy schedule here while our friends at E&E News have a new feature tracking state action after the stay.

Outside Washington, the energy world heads to Houston for the annual CERA week.  Speakers include Mexico’s President Enrique Pena Nieto, Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz, EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy, Senate Energy Chair Lisa Murkowski, Southern COO Kim Greene and US Chamber Energy Institute head Karen Harbert among many others.

Don’t forget to mark your calendar for next Monday at the Gaylord when the annual ARPA-E Innovation Summit launches with Air Liquide CEO Mike Graff, BASF CEO Wayne Smith, Sen Energy Chair Lisa Murkowski, Energy Secretary Moniz, EPA’s Gina McCarthy and former VP Al Gore.

Finally, for those interested in the Iran elections on Friday, our on-the-ground Iranian experts will offer a rundown of how the mechanics of the Iranian electoral process work, and provide an assessment of what’s really at stake on Wednesday at 10:30 a.m. at the US office of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (1747 Pennsylvania Avenue).   It is a crucial time in Iran and the Wednesday briefing can offer you great insight on the process and politics.  Let me know if you’re interested and I’ll forward the information.

Call with questions.

 

Best,

Frank Maisano

(202) 828-5864

(202) 997-5932

 

 

IN THE NEWS

 

Conservative Legal Group To File Brief Challenging GHG  Rule on Backroom Deals – The Energy & Environment Legal Institute (E&E Legal) released a report today laying out for the first time a pattern of ex parte communications by EPA officials  gathered from Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests, piecing together emails obtained by E&E Legal, the Competitive Enterprise Institute and a law student in his litigation with EPA, including many released for the first time.   The Energy & Environment Legal Institute entered the GHG case for this very reason.  On Friday, E&E Legal asked the D.C. Circuit for permission to file a brief, supplemental argument that the Clean Power Plan needs to be sent back to EPA for an honest restart, presenting FOIA’d emails reflecting what the WSJ called EPA’s Secret Staff, crediting E&E Legal’s dogged pursuit with uncovering these abuses.  In particular, Michael Goo, then EPA’s Associate Administrator for the Office of Policy, led the working group writing the initial memo on EPA’s options regarding regulating coal power plants. Using his private email, rather than his official EPA email, Mr. Goo secretly shared these draft options with lobbyists and high-level staffers at the Sierra Club and the Clean Air Task Force (CATF) who in turn, like Natural Resource Defense Council staff, told him how to alter the policy that was ultimately implemented in the Rule. Through the report’s highlighted communications, and by heavily incorporating their edits and input into EPA’s own deliberative drafts, Goo made CATF and these other groups effectively part of EPA’s work group developing the Clean Power Plan  In turn other emails obtained by CEI show EPA made a priority of including Goo, despite that while his outside lobbyist colleagues may have possessed relevant expertise, those same parties made clear to him that he did not.

 

NREL analysis finds tax credit extensions can impact renewable energy deployment – The Energy Department’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) today released new analysis exploring the potential impact of recently extended federal tax credits on the deployment of renewable generation technologies and related U.S. electric sector carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions.

The report details the use of state-of-the-art scenario modeling to see how renewable energy deployment in the contiguous United States is impacted by recent federal tax credit extensions, as well as how emissions would be reduced.  The report examines the impacts of the tax credit extensions under two distinct natural gas price futures, as the price of natural gas has been a key factor influencing the economic competitiveness of new renewable energy development. The analysis finds that, in both natural gas price cases, tax credit extensions can spur renewable capacity investments at least through the early 2020s, and can help lower CO2 emissions from the U.S. electricity system.  The tax credit extensions are estimated to drive a net peak increase of 48-53 gigawatts in installed renewable generation capacity in the early 2020s. Longer-term impacts are less certain and can depend on natural gas prices. After the tax credits ramp down, greater renewable energy capacity is driven by a combination of assumed cost reductions in renewable generation, assumed rising fossil fuel prices, and existing clean energy policies. The tax credit extension-driven acceleration in renewable energy capacity development can reduce fossil fuel-based generation and lower electric sector CO2 emissions. Cumulative emissions reductions over a 15-year period (spanning 2016-2030) as a result of the tax credit extensions are estimated to range from 540 to 1,400 million metric tons CO2.

 

New Book Highlights Abuse of Equal Access Law – In a new book, Lowell Baier, one of America’s preeminent experts on environmental litigation, chronicles the century-long story of America’s natural resources management, focusing on litigation, citizen suit provisions, and attorneys’ fees.  Inside the Equal Access to Justice Act will be a valuable resource for the environmental legal community, environmentalists, practitioners at all levels of government, and all readers interested in environmental policy and the rise of the administrative state. Lowell is a very successful multimillionaire developer in Bethesda and a former chairman of the conservative Boone and Crockett Club. In the book, Baier argues that environmental litigation is gridlocking America’s public land management agencies. This litigation is incentivized by citizen suit provisions embedded in major environmental laws that reimburse plaintiffs’ legal fees when they sue the federal government, and provide a clear line where fee reimbursement subsidies should stop.

 

Former CO Utility Commissioner Details Plan Woes – The Independence Institute teamed up with the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI) to put on a lunch event at I.I.’s Freedom Embassy recently. Myron Ebell, Director of CEI’s Center for Energy and Environment and former Colorado Utility Commissioner Ray Gifford – a leading an expert in public utilities law – provided in-depth analysis of what the Clean Power Plan means for Colorado and the efforts being made across the country to stop these onerous regulations.

 

E&E Details Where All 50 States Stand After Stay – E&E News has rolled out a feature – a chart/map of where all the states stand on planning/not planning since the Supreme Court stay.  Eighteen states challenging the legality of U.S. EPA’s Clean Power Plan have halted planning discussions following the Supreme Court decision to stay the regulation, according to a review by E&E staff.  Of the 47 states affected by the rule, nine are weighing whether to stop preparing or perhaps slow down now that they may have an extra year and a half to work out plans. The other 20 states — mostly supporters of the climate action — will press on with discussions about how to meet the carbon emissions limits for power plants, even though EPA can no longer legally require them to do so.

 

Faison Launches Super PAC – The Wall St Journal reported North Carolina businessman Jay Faison has launched a super PAC pledging to spend at least $5 million to help congressional Republicans who have touted clean energy policies. The effort, dubbed ClearPath Action, is in addition to Faison’s $165 million campaign run through the 501(c)(3) non-profit ClearPath Foundation, a public education effort he announced in June to get Republicans more engaged in the climate and clean energy debates.

 

AGA Expands Safety Commitment – In an American Gas Association has updated its “Commitment to Enhancing Safety,” which outlines the industry’s continued commitment to improving pipeline safety through voluntary actions above and beyond federal regulations, to include promotion of the use of API Recommended Practices (RPs) 1170 and 1171. These RPs provide guidance to operators on how to design, operate, and ensure the integrity of underground storage for natural gas.  “Safety is a core value for AGA and its members, and the industry works continuously to ensure the safety and reliability of this domestic fuel,” said AGA president and CEO, Dave McCurdy.

 

 

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

 

Annual CERAWeek Launches – The 35th annual IHS CERAWeek will launch in Houston today and run through Friday.  Each year, the energy world heads to Houston for the annual event.  Speakers include Mexico’s President Enrique Pena Nieto, Saudi Arabia’s petroleum minister Ali al-Naimi, Canadian natural resources minister Jim Carr, and U.S. officials Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz, EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy, Fed Vice Chairman Stanley Fischer and FERC Chairman Norman Bay. EIA’s Adam Sieminski,  DOE’s Chris Smith and FERC Commissioner Collette Honorable will also speak.  Senate Energy Chair Lisa Murkowski and Sen John Cornyn will make major addresses and CEOs Jeff Immeldt of GE, Exelon’s Chris Crane, ConocoPhillips’ Ryan Lance, AEP’s Nick Adkins and Royal Dutch Shell’s Ben van Beurden will be among industry member panelists.  Our friends Kim Greene (SoCo COO), Karen Harbert of the US Chamber’s Energy Institute, Elizabeth Rosenberg of the Center for a New American Security, Columbia’s Jason Bordoff and CFR’s Michael Levi will also be a featured panelist.

 

WCEE Tackles Solar – Today at Noon, WCEE will host a forum on the many opportunities and challenges for the solar industry in the coming year. This event is first in a series about solar power.  Speakers will include SEIA’s Katherine Gensler, SEPA CEO Julia Hamm and EEI’s Lola Infante, who directs EEI’s Generation Fuels and Market Analysis.

 

Forum Looks at Enviros, Nuclear – The New America Foundation and Future Tense will host a lunch and conversation today at Noon in Washington, D.C., to consider whether you can truly be an environmentalist without embracing nuclear energy.  Speakers will including for WSJ reporter and author Steve Levine, Aaron VanDevender of the Founders Fund, ASU’s Jennifer Richter and Argonne’s Nuclear R&D Technical Director Robert Hill.

 

Brookings to Look at GHG Rules, State Implementation – Today at 2:00 p.m., the Economic Studies group at Brookings will host an event to key issues related to state implementation of EPA’s GHG rules.  EPA has given states some flexibility in how they achieve their targets, and some states can continue work on implementation plans that balance the objectives of compliance, reliability, affordability, cross-state coordination, safety, and efficient long term low-carbon capital investment in the sector. States’ nearer term strategies could influence the evolution of the electricity sector for decades to come, well past the targeted 32 percent reduction in 2030 emissions from the sector relative to levels in 2005. Former Colorado Gov Bill Ritter will keynote, followed by a panel that includes former NJ Gov. and EPA head Christine Todd Whitman, NARUC Executive Director Greg White, Jonas Monast of Duke University’s Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions and RFF’s Josh Linn.

 

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

 

Forum to Look at BioEnergy – The Council for Agricultural Science and Technology and ELI is hosting a forum today at 3:30 p.m. on Bioenergy.  Bioenergy is being pursued globally to decrease greenhouse gas emissions and provide a reliable energy source. This seminar will present the findings of a new commentary showing that the risk of invasion can most effectively be prevented through a life-cycle approach that adopts appropriate scientific and policy tools at each step in the production process, from crop selection to field production, feedstock transport and storage, and decommissioning—thus avoiding the ‘kudzu effect.’ This paper provides a clear, comprehensive framework to guide regulatory agencies in the selection and permitting of biofuel feedstocks. Expert commenters will provide an independent review following a presentation by the authors of the commentary.

 

Clean Power Plan Americus Briefs Are Due – Tuesday, February 23.

 

Senate Energy to Hear Jewel on Interior Budget – The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee will hold a hearing tomorrow at 10:00 a.m. to examine the Department of the Interior’s budget request for Fiscal Year 2017.  Secretary Jewell will testify.

 

ELI Looks at Circular Economy Issues – Environmental Law Institute holds an afternoon forum regulatory and commercial law implications of a “circular economy” tomorrow.  In response to the resource constraints, environmental pressures and economic barriers that characterize our “take and dispose” economy, many have put forward a vision for a “circular economy” that would not only conserve and recycle materials, but also contribute to new technological, financial and environmental innovations.  This session looks at the approach to supplant the way global production and energy systems operate. The purpose of this program is to explain the meaning of the “circular economy” and how it is being applied at the intersection of energy, environment and materials management and present some of the specific regulatory, procurement, financial structuring, and other legal initiatives that are emerging to help actualize its objectives globally.

 

Women in Solar Event Set – Women in Solar Energy (WISE) will hold its second annual NationWISE event tomorrow  at 6:00 p.m. The goal of NationWISE is to discuss stories of women in different areas of the solar industry to show their diverse career paths and experiences and to prompt open discussion about female-friendly work environments. WISE is hoping to use this discussion to baseline its “best practices” that solar companies can adopt for human resources guidelines, female recruitment, and opportunities for women to excel in the solar energy industry.  Speakers include SEPA CEO Julia Hamm, Solar Foundation Executive Director Andrea Luecke and DOE SunShot Initiative head Lidija Sekaric.

 

Forum  to Look at CPP – New America and the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions (C2ES) will hold a forum on Wednesday at 9:30 p.m. for a close look at the current gap between climate goals and climate action, and ways that gap can be filled.  John Larsen of the Rhodium Group will present a new analysis of progress toward meeting the U.S. climate target. Then an expert group, convened by C2ES President Bob Perciasepe and New America Senior Advisor Sharon Burke, will explore how technology innovation and stronger action by cities, states and the federal government can help reach the goal.  Speakers include Scott Fulton, President of the Environmental Law Institute, Vicki Arroyo, Executive Director of the Georgetown Climate Center, and Dr. Ellen Williams, Director of the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E).

Senate Environment to Tackle RFS – The Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works will convene an oversight hearing on Wednesday to examine the renewable fuel standard. The panels will include EPA Air Chief Janet McCabe, EIA Deputy Administrator Howard Gruenspecht, Lucian Pugliaresi of the Energy Policy Research Foundation, former Special Assistant to the President for Energy and Environment Ron Minsk and Brooke Coleman of the Advanced Biofuels Business Association.

 

House Energy to Look at DOE Science, Enviro, Nat’l Security Mission – The House Energy & Commerce Committee’s Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations will convene a hearing Wednesday at 10:30 a.m. looking at DOE science, environment and national security missions.  The subcommittee will hear testimony from the co-chairmen of two advisory panels, the Congressional Advisory Panel on the Governance of the Nuclear Security Enterprise, and the Commission to Review the Effectiveness of the National Energy Laboratories.  The panel reports, requested by Congress, examine the effectiveness of the Department of Energy’s National Labs and its Nuclear Security Enterprise. Members will examine the panels’ findings and recommendations concerning the governance, management, and accountability necessary for DOE to perform its critical missions for the nation.

 

Consumer Reports Unveils 2016 Top Picks and Annual Auto Issue – Tomorrow at noon at the National Press Club, Consumers and auto industry insiders will look to Consumer Reports’ Annual Auto Issue–and Autos Spotlight online–for the organization’s Top Picks in cars and trucks. From best and worst in reliability, safety, fuel economy, and owner satisfaction, the report provides ratings, recommendations, and advice that will influence consumer purchases.  The Consumer Reports Annual Auto Spotlight also features the organization’s report card that ranks brands by taking an in-depth look at which carmakers consistently offer the most for consumers across their entire product line.  CR and the Washington Automotive Press Association will host CR Director of Auto Testing, Jake Fisher and Auto Editor Mark Rechtin where will announce Consumer Reports “Top Picks for 2016” and offer their insights into today’s most pressing automotive consumer and industry questions.

 

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

 

NEI to Discuss Fukushima – The Nuclear Energy Institute (NEI) holds a briefing on Fukushima Daiichi Recovery Efforts On Wednesday at the National Press Club focusing on “progress being made in Japan since the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant accident.

 

Senate Approps to Hear from NRC Commissioners – The Senate Appropriations Committee’s Subcommittee on Energy and Water Development (Lamar Alexander, Chairman) will hold a hearing on Wednesday at 2;30 p.m. to review the Fiscal Year 2017 budget request and funding justification for the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.  The hearing will feature all four NRC Commissioners.

House Resources to Look at Enviro Mitigation – The House Natural Resources Committee’s Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations Oversight will hold a hearing on Wednesday on new environmental mitigation regulations.  Witnesses include Christy Goldfuss, managing director, White House Council on Environmental Quality; Michael Bean, Department of the Interior principal deputy assistant secretary for fish and wildlife and parks; and Brian Ferebee, U.S. Forest Service associate deputy chief for the National Forest System.

 

Distributed Wind Assn Hits Capitol – The Distributed Wind Energy Association (DWEA) holds its annual Capitol Hill Reception in S-115, The Capitol on Wednesday at 6:00 p.m.

 

Georgetown Hosts Forum on Enviro Challenges – The Georgetown University Law Center holds its spring 2016 symposium on legal innovation on solving new environmental challenges.

 

Forum to Look at Japan Enviro, Energy – The Japan Society for the Promotion of Science will host a panel on Thursday to examine environmental and energy policies and their associated problems in Japan, China, and Southeast Asia, with a particular emphasis on policy frameworks appropriate to addressing energy and environmental concerns. The first focus will be the changing nature of Japanese environmental policies in recent decades, particularly how those policies have evolved in the aftermath of the 2011 Tohoku earthquake. The second focus will be China’s energy policies and the issues of pollution control and environmental protection. The third focus will be the current energy and environmental issues in Southeast Asia, especially Indonesia. As part of these discussions, the panel will explore the future development of both energy and environmental policies and their potential effect on Japan, China, and East Asia as a whole.

Cleaning Institute Webinars Launch – The first of an American Cleaning Institute-sponsored webinar series on “Advancing the Science on Chemical-Induced Asthma” kicks off Wednesday to help provide researchers with greater insights on an often mischaracterized topic.  ACI (www.cleaninginstitute.org), which represents the cleaning product supply chain, is hosting the five-part webinar series in collaboration with the Toxicology Excellence for Risk Assessment (TERA) Center at the University of Cincinnati.   You can register for the first webinar at www.aciscience.org/asthma.  The initial webinar takes place Wednesday at 2:00 p.m. and will feature Dr. Jon Bernstein, Professor of Clinical Medicine at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center and Director of Clinical Research for the Division of Immunology. His presentation – Current Clinical Perspectives in Evaluating Chemical Induced Asthma, or “What Caused My Asthma?” – will provide a review of the clinical tests used to evaluate asthma. Other topics to be explored in the bi-monthly series include 1) the role of toxicology in asthma hazard assessment (April 2016); 2) Environmental contributions to asthma prevalence: assessing the link between exposure and disease (June 2016); 3) Asthma risk assessment: A regulatory perspective (August 2016) and 4) Asthma-specific hazard characterization approaches: A novel approach to a complex problem (October 2016).

 

Wharton DC Forum to Feature Siemens Speaker – The Wharton DC Green Business Forum hosts Siemens on Thursday at 11:45 a.m. Siemens has long been a provider of large-scale renewable energy solutions and has committed to achieving net zero emissions as a company. But its experience of the shifting policy and commercial environment over recent years has led to a decision to focus on building technologies, smart city infrastructure technology and the electrification chain.  Alison Taylor, Siemens’ VP of Sustainability & City Strategy, will discuss Siemens’ own sustainability choices, its decision to expand their oil and gas business, and a smart city case study that saved the city money.

 

NatGas Roundtable Feature Berkeley Research Expert – The Natural Gas Roundtable will host its February lunch on Thursday featuring James Koehler, Associate Director of Berkeley Research Group. Koehler is an energy finance, markets, and policy expert in Berkeley Research Group’s international Energy and Natural Resources practice, based in Washington, D.C.

 

Norway O&G Minister to Address Atlantic Forum – On Thursday at 12:30 p.m., the Atlantic Council will hold a conversation with  Norway’s Minister of Petroleum Tord Lien.  Norway could potentially supply Europe with gas for decades to come, which would help diversify the energy market, and strengthen European’s energy security. Additionally, gas has the benefit of offering cost efficient CO2-emission reductions. Lien will elaborate on this and more, such as the benefits of gas in a lower carbon future, how well-functioning energy markets in Europe are crucial for the transition to a cleaner energy system with robust security of supply, and prospects for Norwegian gas.

 

Paper Details NatGas, Propane In PA – The US Energy Assn will hold a forum on Thursday at 2:00 p.m. to look at natural gas and propane and their increasing foothold as alternative fuel sources for Pennsylvania’s transportation sector. Across the state, transit agencies and other large fleets are converting from gasoline to natural gas or propane because of cost and environmental benefits. However, use of natural gas or propane is not limited to large fleets. Opportunities exist for small fleets or individual vehicles such as mid-size delivery vans and trucks, taxis, and high-mileage commercial vehicles. Opportunities also exist to become a station owner.  This paper was written as an educational tool for Pennsylvanians on the options for fuel conversions, refueling options, and a summary of what is available in the market. This paper covers a broad range of topics concerning natural gas and propane opportunities within the Commonwealth.

USEA to Look at Australia, US Competition Issues – On Friday at 10:30 a.m., the US Energy Association will hold a briefing to discuss similarities and differences between the US and Australian energy industries and other competition issues.

ASE to Host Congressional Briefing – The Alliance to Save Energy will hold a Congressional Briefing next Friday on the Role of Benchmarking, Transparency and Codes in Driving a More Efficient Built Environment. The purpose of the briefing is to educate and engage congressional staff and energy efficiency professionals on the work and progress being done in this area, while also discussing solutions and best practices that can help further advance energy efficiency in the built environment.

 

 

FUTURE EVENTS

 

Brookings to Host Australian Energy Leader – Next Monday at 1:30 p.m., the Global Economy and Development program at Brookings will host The Hon Josh Frydenberg MP, Australia’s Minister for Resources, Energy and Northern Australia. Minister Frydenberg will address what Australia is doing to ensure it remains a world leader on energy and resources, the continued importance of the U.S. and growing importance of Asian markets for energy and resources markets, and what the Paris climate change agreement means for Australia’s energy sector. Following the remarks, Brookings Senior Fellow Joshua Meltzer will engage the Minister in a one-on-one discussion. After the program, the participants will take audience questions.

 

Air Liquide CEO, Others Headline ARPA-E Event – On February 29th, Air Liquide CEO Mike Graff will launch the annual ARPA-E Innovation Summit with the featured “Fireside Chat.”  Graff will be interviewed by FORTUNE innovation writer Katie Fehrenbacher along with BASF CEO Wayne Smith.  Other speakers at the three-day event will include Sen Energy Chair Lisa Murkowski, Energy Secretary Moniz and former VP Al Gore on Tuesday, March 1st.  EPA’s Gina McCarthy and Sen. Chris Coons will speak on Wednesday, March 2nd.

 

Revkin to Discuss Science, Climate Writing – Next Monday evening, my friend and former NY Times science reporter Andy Revkin will be at the Marian Koshland Science Museum at 6:30 p.m. for a wide-ranging conversation about the challenges of writing about climate change and making an impact on readers through personal narrative. He will be joined by Lee Gutkind, founding editor of Creative Nonfiction, and Daniel Sarewitz, co-editor of Issues in Science and Technology; Andrew’s essay appears in the current issues of both magazines.

 

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

 

RFF Seminar to Look at Climate Trade Offs – Resources For the Future holds it March First Wednesday Seminar on Wednesday March 2nd at 12:45 p.m. to look at trade-offs in climate policy options.  On the heels of the Paris climate negotiations, carbon pricing policies – either carbon taxes or cap-and-trade programs – are receiving renewed attention across the globe. In the meantime, US federal climate policy is being driven by regulatory authority, but with a strong focus on program flexibility via credit trading. Against this evolving background, the time is right to revisit the trade-offs among various carbon pricing and other climate policy options. At this RFF First Wednesday Seminar, Tom Lawler of the International Emissions Trading Association will highlight the benefits of emissions trading programs, and Jerry Taylor of the Niskanen Center will present the case for a carbon tax. Both will then participate in a broader panel discussion on the interplay between carbon pricing and regulatory measures.

 

Senate Energy to Host Moniz – The Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources will convene a hearing next Thursday to examine the President’s proposed budget request for fiscal year 2017 for the Department of Energy.  Secretary Moniz will testify.

 

Forum to Look at Local Clean Energy Issues – Leaders in Energy and the United Nations Association will host an interactive  panel discussion on Thursday March 3rd at 6;30 p.m. looking at acting on clean energy.  UNA-NCA, in partnership with Leaders in Energy, will host a discussion on the newly enacted 2015 Paris Climate Agreement  and the United Nations’ Global Goal 7, which is aimed at ensuring access to affordable clean energy.   The panel discussion will foster a dialogue with attendees and compile practical actions and next steps that local residents can take in the District of Columbia, Maryland, and Northern Virginia.

 

Forum to Focus on Geothermal – EESI and the Geothermal Energy Association is hosting a briefing on Wednesday March 16th at 2:00 p.m. in 212-10 in the Capitol Visitors Center highlighting the state of the geothermal energy industry and its near-term prospects in the United States and in more than 80 other countries working to expand its use. With demand for clean energy accelerating around the globe, geothermal energy has major potential as a renewable resource that can provide power around-the-clock, complementing intermittent renewable power technologies. Speakers will include International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) Deputy Director-General Sakari Oksanen, U.S. Geothermal President  Doug Glaspey and several others.

 

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

 

Defense Renewables Summit Set – Infocast hosts the 6th  Defense Renewables Summit on March 15-16th at the Sheraton Pentagon City in Arlington, VA, to bring DoD, Air Force, Army and Navy decision-makers together with renewable energy developers, utilities, system integrators, financiers, EPCs, cybersecurity, energy storage, smartgrid and telecom experts to meet the renewable energy goals and security needs of the DoD. The summit will explore how viable, financeable projects can be developed to the benefit of all. The summit will provide the latest on emerging guidelines and processes that merges the complexity of federal acquisitions with the risk allocation methods of project finance.

 

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

 

Conference to Look at PA Drilling – Shale Directories will host Upstream 2016 on April 19th at The Penn Stater in State College, PA to look at action in PA.  Despite cutbacks in budgets, there are still opportunities for this and next year and Cabot, Seneca and others will be there to discuss when Drilling may ramp up again, what you can do to help the industry and how to prepare for the growth. As well, Faouizi Aloulou, Senior Economist with the Energy Information Agency, will give a presentation on the Uncertainties of Shale Resource Development Under Low Price Environment.

 

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

 

Energy Update: Week of February 8

Friends,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Best,

Frank Maisano

(202) 828-5864

(202) 997-5932

 

IN THE NEWS

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

FUTURE EVENTS

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Paris Climate Update: December 1

Friends,

What a way to come back from the Thanksgiving Holiday.  This week is going be crazy and may be the busiest energy/environment week of the year.  The major actions include the Paris Climate meetings already under way in France (6 hours ahead), the rollout of the RFS yesterday, energy legislation and GHG regulation action on the House floor, a slate of interesting Congressional hearings and finally the oral arguments on Friday focused on EPA’s mercury rules that were remanded by the US Supreme Court.

Let’s start with Paris…Speeches launched yesterday as world leaders converged on Paris.  The action got going with speeches, sidebar meetings between leaders, some protests gone bad and clean energy innovations initiatives.  India continues to be a thorn in the side of the talks, leaking a US “confidential note” that was shared with select countries which said the developed/developing countries distinction should be eliminated and developing countries should contribute to the Green Climate Fund.  That should make the negotiations later next week fun.  A lot more below…

The House of Representatives has a heavy energy hand this week, readying votes to undermine the GHG Regulations that were approved by the Senate prior to Thanksgiving. They will also consider other attempts to undercut the ability of U.S. negotiators to reach an international accord to address climate change in Paris related to the Green Climate Funding and Congressional Review of any agreement.   Industry groups issued a letter to all House of Representatives’ offices in support of Congressional Review Act (CRA) Resolutions to strike the EPA’s greenhouse gas (GHG) rules for new and existing power plants. It is a similar Letter that was sent to Senators when they voted on similar legislation prior to Thanksgiving.  The House is expected to vote later this afternoon or this evening.

Then tomorrow, the House will move to energy legislation which will dive into bolstering energy infrastructure and promoting liquefied natural gas exports.  The legislation Is expected to get more than 70 amendments that will be handled by the Rules Committee today.  While that will get Paired down, there may be legislative action on Crude Exports, the RFS, Gene Green’s Cross-Border infrastructure Permits streamlining (in other words fixing woes that dragged down Keystone), rooftop solar and other items.

Congress isn’t only busy on the House Floor.  There are a number of important hearings this week, including this morning hearing in the House Science Committee.   held a thoughtful hearing on the pitfalls of unilateral negotiations at the Paris Climate Conference.   The other important hearing today included FERC Commissioners coming to a House Energy panel to discuss the implications of the Clean Power Plan, electric reliability and many other issues under FERC’s jurisdiction.

Finally, on Thursday The Hill will host a forum on the on the future of energy delivery and Friday oral  arguments in the DC Circuit will determine the future of EPA’s mercury rule.  With the action in Paris getting more wonky now with world leaders departing, we will likely provide you the next update on Friday.  In the meantime, should you have any questions, please call…Best,

 

Frank Maisano

(202) 828-5864

(202) 997-5932
PARIS ROLLING

DAY TWO MORNING

President Obama Offers Departing Remarks – President Obama held a presser as he prepared to depart climate talks in Paris.  Here is a link to the briefing: http://keranews.org/post/president-obama-paris-says-hes-confident-climate-deal-will-be-reached-video

This is a brief summary of the Dec. 1st news conference at the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development in Paris. Please note that what follows is paraphrased and not an exact transcript:

Opening Remarks:  President Obama began by speaking on the subject of terrorism, along with the ongoing Syrian refugee issue. He proceeded to argue that climate change is a profound problem that is a threat multiplier. He further that if action now isn’t taken now, the problem will get worse. According to Obama, “this is an economic and security imperative.” The President argued that businesses and investors need certainty to create a low carbon future. He is “convinced that we are going to get big things done.” Bill Gates is an example of someone who understands that climate change is a moral imperative, but also an opportunity. His optimism and the sense that we can do what is necessary is infectious.

Question and Answer:

The following summary reflects only questions pertaining to climate change:

Q: Unrelated question regarding Syria.

A: We still need a Paris agreement, so my main focus is ensuring that the U.S. is a leader in bringing a successful agreement home. There are a number of components of it.  First, the agreement must be ambitious and must seek a low carbon global economy over the course of this century. This means that countries have put forward specific targets and that there is a mechanism with which countries are working on the targets and meeting them. There should be legally binding transparency measures, as well as periodic reviews. Countries should be allowed to update the pledges that they make. We also need a climate fund that allows developing countries to adapt and mitigate. If we hit those targets, then we will have been successful, not because the pledges alone will meet the necessary targets, but because it gets the ball rolling. Changes in say, solar technology, may make it easier to meet even higher targets. Systematically carbon emissions and the pace of climate change can be put downwards. Some of the reporting says that all of the pledges aren’t enough (estimated 2.7 C) increase in temperature. That is too high, but if we have these periodic reviews built in I believe that by sending that signal to researchers and scientists and entrepreneurs we will start hitting these targets faster and we can be even more ambitious. This may result in us meeting the 2 C target. This is not foolish optimism. I sought to double clean energy production when I came into office and our investment allowed us to meet those goals a lot quicker than expected. My expectations were exceeded in regards to solar power. The key here is to set up the structure so that we are sending signals all around the world that this is happening and that we are not turning back. The thing about human ingenuity is that it responds when it gets a strong signal about what needs to be done. The old expression that necessity is the mother of invention is particularly apt. The signal will help us to ultimately meet our goals.

Q: Are you confident that you can hold the U.S. to its commitments under existing treaties with no new vote needed?

A: We already engage in assistance to countries for adaptation, assistance and mitigation. So, this is not just one slug of funding that happens in one year. This is a multi-year commitment that is already embedded in a whole range of programs around the world. My expectation is that we will absolutely be able to meet our commitments. This is part of American leadership and part of the debate that we have to have in the U.S. more frequently. Too often leadership is defined by sending troops somewhere and that is the sole definition of leadership. Our leadership needs to be understood in a broader sense than that. When I made the announcement in Beijing, I was able to do so in part because we led domestically. Whether it is organizing a coalition that is fighting ISIL or dealing with climate change, our role is central, but on large international issues it is not sufficient, at least not if we want it to take and sustain itself.

Q: What happens if another President comes into office, say from the Republican party?

A: After a brief response to the issue, the President referred to the immense global gathering. Whoever is the next president, they will have to think that this is very important because of the emerging global consensus. That is why it is important to not project what is being said on a campaign trail, but to do what is right. The good news is that the politics is changing inside the United States as well. People should be confident that we will meet our commitments.

Q: In terms of sending that market signal you talked about today, do you see a political path back home to putting a price on carbon?

A: I have long believed that the most elegant way to drive innovation and reduce carbon emissions is to put a price on carbon. This is a classic market failure. If you open up an Econ 101 textbook, it will say that markets are very good at determining prices except that there are certain externalities that the market does not price, at least not on its own. Clean air is an example. Clear water or in this case the carbons that are being sent up. If you put a price on it, then the entire market will respond and the best investments and the smartest technologies will begin scrubbing our entire economy.  As the science around climate change is more accepted and people start realizing that even today you can put a price on the damage that climate change is doing. When you go down to Miami and see that it is flooding on high tide, there is a cost to that. Insurance companies are starting to see that in terms of how they price risk. It may be that the politics surrounding a cap-and-trade system. I am not under any illusion that this Congress will do that, but eventually it may happen. It is worth remembering that conservatives and center-right think tanks that figured out that this was a smarter way to deal with pollution than command and control. George H. W. Bush did this in regards to acid rain. More than anything, this is the main message that we want to send. Climate change is a massive problem, a generational problem and a problem by definition is just about the hardest thing for any political system to absorb. The effects are gradual and diffuse, so there isn’t a lot of constituency pressure to deal with it right away. There is the problem of the commons, you need everyone to do it.  There is a huge coordination problem and the danger of free-riders. On all these dimensions it is harder to come up with a tougher and a more consequential problem. I actually think we are going to solve this thing, in spite of that. If two years ago you mentioned that 180 countries would show up with ambitious targets, people would have said that that is a pipe dream. More R&D dollars are important, which is why the mission innovation announcement was so significant.  I am optimistic and I think we are going to solve it. The issue is the pace and how much damage is done before we are able to fully apply the brakes.  In some ways, it is akin to the problem of terrorism and the problem of terrorism and ISIL. In the immediate aftermath of a terrible attack like happened in Paris, sometimes it is natural for people to despair, but look at Paris, we can’t tear down Paris because of the demented actions of a handful of individuals. We have to be steady and continue applying pressure to the problem. Most of all, we have to push away fear and have confidence that human innovation and our values, judgements and solidarity will win out. I have been at this long enough that I have some cause for confidence. We went for a month or a month and a half where Ebola was going to kill us all. No one asks me about it anymore. We set up an entire global health security agenda that was part of American leadership to deal with Ebola, but also future pandemics. It is solvable.

Legally Binding? – One of the key remarks from the briefing was the President’s comment about legally binding portions of the agreement.  Obama stressed today that portions of the pending climate change agreement that diplomats hope to finalize here this month should be legally binding, a remark intended to tamp down tensions over the structure of the deal.  He reiterated his position that the mechanism under which countries review their domestic climate change targets should be legally binding.  But Obama’s decision to stress that position comes amid confusion and frustration from some countries toward the United States over the legal nature of any deal that emerges. While it supports making some aspects of the deal legally binding, the administration strongly opposes making the climate change targets themselves binding because that would trigger a requirement to submit the final agreement to the Senate, where its fate would be likely be rejected.

The Hard Work Launches – With the world leaders departing, the real negotiators are getting down to work with spin-off groups, focused on specific issues in the draft agreement, met to talk about issues including technology development and transfer, capacity-building and legal provisions between now and 2020, as well as the deal’s preamble. The groups met to talk about helping countries adapt to climate change and compensating them for loss and damage and reducing emissions. This afternoon and evening, there will be meetings on financial aid, transparency, how to take stock of progress, what to do before 2020, capacity-building, technology, and other general issues.

 

DAY ONE

Leaders to Arrive Early – The UN Climate Change Conference in Paris began Monday with an unprecedented Leaders Event, immediately after the official opening of the COP, where an estimated 150 Presidents, Prime Ministers and Heads of States delivered speeches. These speeches are posted on the “white pages” of the UNFCCC website as they are made available to the secretariat.  President Barack Obama made brief remarks aimed at rallying the world to reach a deal to cut greenhouse gases and sealing his environmental legacy with or without Congress’ help. In his speech, Obama quoted Martin Luther King Jr., saying, “There is such a thing as being too late.”  “When it comes to climate change, that hour is almost upon us. But if we act here, now, if we place our short term interests behind the air that our children will breathe and the water our children will drink,” Obama said. “Then we will not be too late for them.”   Chinese President Xi Jinping followed Obama saying “tackling climate change is a shared mission for mankind. All eyes are now on Paris.”  Jinping  also called for countries to determine their own best solutions and for an agreement that includes “global sustainable development at a high level and bring about new international cooperation featuring win-wins.”

Actions, Actions, Actions – Heads of State, Governments and others made major climate action announcements Monday and Tuesday at a series of press conferences and at a number of high-level side events.  All of the speeches and press conferences took place at the Le Bourget venue and still can be viewed on demand via webcast. Summaries of climate action announcements, with links to the official announcements posted online by governments and key stakeholders, will be made available in the UNFCCC Newsroom.  A tentative overview of press conferences, including those of Heads of State and Government, is available on the UNFCCC press page.

Still No Negotiation Observations – In the last pre-COP21 negotiating session in Bonn in October, observers from civil society, business and elsewhere were shut out of the negotiating rooms.  It was the result of the Japanese delegation, but was unopposed by the EU and U.S.  It did draw criticism from the G-77 and China group of developing countries, who argued that opening the doors would send a sign of transparency.

Obama, India’s Modi Hold Meeting – One of the biggest meetings was between Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Obama.  Modi said India will fulfil its responsibilities regarding climate change when he met US President Barack Obama on the sidelines Monday.  Obama said India had to be able to grow and fight poverty, while Modi pledged to ensure development would be coupled with environmental protection.  Modi’s speech held quite a different message though saying India did not create the climate change menace but was suffering its consequences while he delivered a stern message to affluent nations, saying “those with luxury of choices should sharply reduce emissions”.  Modi: “Climate change is a major global challenge. But it is not of our making. It is the result of global warming that came from prosperity and progress of an industrial age powered by fossil fuel,” he said while inaugurating the India pavilion at the summit, toughening his country’s stand in the face of US criticism of India.  Read the Hindu Times coverage Here.

US Negotiators Note Undermines Developing Countries – Speaking of Indian Press, the Business Standard of India reported that the U.S. wants to eliminate the distinction between developing and developed countries in climate talks.  They are circulating a “confidential note” that was shared with select countries, US officials say they wants the successive round of pledges under the proposed Paris agreement to be determined independently by each country and not through a process of international negotiation.  The “non-paper” also adds the wall of differentiation between developed and developing countries should be done away and says developing countries should also contribute to the climate funds in future.  That should really set a positive tone…

India Leads Solar Alliance Effort – Indian Prime Minister Modi and French President Hollande, along with world leaders, launched the International Solar Alliance on the inaugural day of the U.N. Climate Summit in Paris. The solar alliance brings together key countries and invites over 100 solar-rich countries to propel clean energy and protect the climate. The cooperation demonstrated by both developed and developing countries in launching the solar alliance gives a head start to the collective, flexible cooperation needed to hammer out an international agreement in Paris to sustainably and effectively fight climate pollution.  Modi: “We must turn to solar to power our future.” President Hollande praised India’s leadership and called for France and others to mobilize finance and technology to achieve climate justice during the summit. The International Solar Alliance invites countries located between the Tropics of Cancer and Capricorn to join, including many African and Asian nations, Australia, New Zealand, Brazil, France, China and the United States. Prime Minister Modi estimates $100 billion will be needed annually by 2020 to finance the clean power initiative. India’s National Institute of Solar Energy will lead the coordination of the solar alliance initiative for the first five years. The International Solar Alliance is part of India’s effort to advance a low-carbon economy, including domestic targets to install 100 gigawatts of solar energy by 2022. Prime Minister Modi also marked India’s progress, noting that India’s current installed solar energy capacity of 4 gigawatts will jump to 12 gigawatts by the end of 2016.

Key features of the International Solar Alliance

  • Collaborate on research and development of new and affordable solar energy technologies
  • Share regulatory and policy frameworks
  • Exchange best practices for solar energy development and installation
  • Promote joint efforts and programs to train a skilled workforce
  • Cooperate on common industry standards
  • Partner on attracting financial investments and creating innovative financing mechanisms

The launch of the International Solar Alliance shows the flexibility and cooperation needed at the negotiations to achieve a strong agreement to reduce global warming pollution.

Countries Commit to Clean Energy – A group of 20 countries say they will double current spending on clean energy research and development over the next five years.  President Obama, French President Hollande and other world leaders announced the new Mission Innovation initiative this morning in Paris. The 20 countries are Australia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, China, Denmark, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Republic of Korea, Mexico, Norway, Saudi Arabia, Sweden, the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

Private Investors to Fund Tech Innovation – While it rolled out late last week, a separate coalition of 28 private large-scale investors also  launched a complementary effort to funnel capital into “early stage companies that have the potential of an energy future that produces near zero carbon emissions and provides everyone with affordable, reliable energy.”  The group, named the Breakthrough Energy Coalition, is spearheaded by Bill Gates and Includes Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, Virgin Founder Richard Branson, Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg Indian Business mogul Mukesh Ambani, Chinese businessman Jack Ma, Vinod Khosla Indian auto magnate Ratan Tata, HP CEO Meg Whitman, activist George Soros and billionaire environmentalist Tom Steyer, among others.

UN Head Supports 5-Yr Climate Reviews – U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon says governments’ pledges to cut global warming emissions aren’t enough and should be reviewed before 2020.  Ban said he endorsed plans for reviewing targets every five years.  While more than more than 180 countries have submitted climate action plans, however, scientific analyses show that even if those plans are implemented man-made warming is likely to reach almost 3 degrees C (5.4 F), which is beyond the 2-degree C (3.6 degree F) goal of the international talks.  “It’s not enough. We have to do much more and faster to be able to contain the global temperature rise below 2 Celsius,” Ban said.  Still, he said he was encouraged by the recent progress in the climate talks, which for years have been bogged down by disputes between rich and poor countries over who should do what.  “It seems to me that all the stars are aligning,” Ban said. “I’m pretty optimistic that we will be able to have a very robust universal climate change agreement.”

McConnell to Leaders: Key GHG Initiative on Shaky Legal Ground – Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell writes in the Washington Post that global leaders shouldn’t work with President Obama in Paris based on a domestic energy plan “that is likely illegal … and that his successor could do away with in a few months’ time.”

House Leader McCarthy Challenge Obama on Energy View – House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy also published an article in Reuters. He argues that President Obama’s rhetoric “is blind to the true story of American energy.” Please see a copy of McCarthy’s op-ed here.

Downplaying Results – Several reports have said shown the White House and other world leaders downplaying outcomes for the Paris conference talks saying the success of a global treaty being negotiated by world leaders over the next few weeks won’t be determined instantly, but will take years to change course.  Only in about 2030 will it be possible to look back and determine whether Paris 2015 was the turning point that world leaders are so avidly seeking here. Will all the world’s nations live up to the pledges they brought? Will they do even more? And will emissions, at long last, be heading down? Statements like these are meant to put a gloss on the widely acknowledged reality that the formal emission pledges received so far are inadequate. Those pledges — by  more than 180 countries accounting for at least 95 percent of global emissions – don’t come close to putting the world on a path toward holding global warming below 2 degrees Celsius, or 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit.

Security Risks? Terrorism v. Climate – The White House wants no part of the “terrorism” versus “climate change” threat ranking game despite repeatedly making the argument.  Republicans have long pounded top Democrats—including Hillary Clinton, John Kerry and Bernie Sanders—for deeming climate change a danger on par with (or ahead of) terrorist attacks, saying their statements underscore a failure to take groups such as ISIS seriously.  But when deputy national security adviser Ben Rhodes was repeatedly asked on Monday how the two stack up, he refused the premise. “They are both critically important, and we have to do both at the same time,” Rhodes said. “They pose different threats. Obviously there is an immediate threat from terrorism that has to be dealt with to protect the American people, to protect our allies and partners, and to root out the cancer of terrorist networks that we see not just in Iraq and Syria but in different parts of the world. I think over the long-term, clearly we see the potential for climate change to pose severe risks to the entire world.”

Countries Urge a Carbon Price – Leaders from China, Germany, Mexico, Canada and Ethiopia joined French officials yesterday evening and promised to  impose a price on carbon. France’s energy transition law, passed over the summer, sets an example by putting the price of carbon on a trajectory to hit €56 ($59.50) per ton in 2020 and €100 ($106) in 2030, the energy minister noted. Carbon pricing will be a divisive issue in the talks.

 

BACKGROUND

Who’s Going – The U.N. expects the COP-21 to draw some 10,000 government representatives to the Le Bourget conference center in a northeastern Parisian suburb, plus 7,000 observers per week and 3,000 journalists.  Just Last week, more than 1,000 other reporters were cut from the list of accredited media.  We will be in contact with several industry people on the ground in Paris and will be happy to provide you their thoughts and posit your questions to them.    President Obama arrived Sunday and Just departed this afternoon.  Other cabinet members attending: Sect of State Kerry, Interior’s Sally Jewell, DOE’s Moniz, Ag Sect Vilsack, EPA’s Gina McCarthy and NOAA Admin Sullivan.  California Governor Jerry brown and Washington state Governor Jay Inslee are attending.

Congress – Several members of Congress will be attending, mostly near the end of the conference.  Much is still up in the air because the impending budget deadline on December 10th that will require Congressional action/votes.  On the Senate Side there are rumors that Sen. Inhofe will make an appearance at the near the end of week 2.  On the D Side, Whitehouse, Cardin, Markey and Schatz are planning to attend.  Right now, Pelosi and Whitfield are leading the respective delegations.  On the Republican side Jim Sensenbrenner, Pete Olsen and several other E&C members are expected to go to Paris.   Key Senate EPW Staffer  Mandy Gunasekara and House E&C staffers Tom Hassenboehler and Mary Neumayr will also expected to be attending the conference.

Others Attending – Among those attending the main conference are 20 Sierra Club staff members or volunteers, including executive director Michael Brune and 12 from the World Resources Institute, led by Jennifer Morgan. Main Keystone opponent Bill McKibben is going, along with Britain’s Lord Nicholas Stern and Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, the former finance minister of Nigeria.

Washington business groups seem to have a smaller presence. There is a large group going with the Business Council for Sustainable Energy, including:

– Lisa Jacobson, Business Council for Sustainable Energy

– Kelly Speakes-Backman Alliance to Save Energy

– Kathryn Clay American Gas Association

– Thad Hill CEO of Calpine

– Dan Chartier Corn Refiners Association

– Dan Delurey Demand Response & Smart Grid Coalition

– Nanette Lockwood Ingersoll Rand

– Grady Crosby Johnson Controls

– Tony Earley CEO PG&E

– Rhone Resch CEO Solar Energy Industry Association

 

We have heard of only a handful of other D.C.-based business folks who say they will be there. They include:

– Howard Feldman, American Petroleum Institute

– Art Lee,  Chevron

– Eric Holdsworth, Edison Electric Institute

– Susan Mathiascheck, Nuclear Energy Institute

– Gene Trisko, United Mineworkers

– Stephen Eule, Institute for 21st Century Energy at U.S. Chamber of Commerce

 

Think Tanks – There will be a bunch of think tanks going but I will report on the number of conservative groups.  CEI will have several people in the second week including climate meeting veterans Myron Ebell, Chris Horner and Harlan Watson.  Climate gadfly Marc Morano and Craig Rucker of CFACT will be holding science Conference on December 7th at the Hotel California (where they will be livin’ it up) and the following day, the will premier Morano’s documentary,Climate Hustle.   Heritage Foundation treaty expert Steve Groves will also be in Paris.  Finally, RFF has a great blog from Brian Flannery and Ray Kopp that raises key questions.

Eule Interview with Bloomberg – Steve Eule, who first attended the Milan COP meeting in 2003 as an official in the Bush administration, talked to Bloomberg about what to expect. Eule said there are very few opportunities to lobby or influence what is going on. Every morning at 9 a.m. there’s a business briefing for groups from all over the world. That’s a great way to find out what is happening, he says, because “a lot of businesses are a lot tighter with their governments (than the U.S.) and they get the skinny.”

“There are a lot of really boring hours, but when it starts to be crunch time, the meetings go behind closed doors,” he said. “Then the rumor mill takes over.”

And don’t expect to take a long tour of the Louvre. “Nobody wants to leave because they are afraid they are going to miss something,” Eule said. “I see the hotel room, the Metro and the venue and that’s about it.”

Security Is High – France is deploying  11,000 additional police during the climate meetings to ensure security for two weeks. The location of the COP-21 conference center Le Bourget is just a few miles from the Stade de France in St. Denis, where a terrorist exploded a bomb on November 13th.   France said it will deploy 2,800 police and gendarmes on the conference site itself. Some 8,000 police will be deployed on France’s borders to temporarily re-implement border controls that ended in 1995 with the EU Schengen Area’s creation.

Pre-Conference Protests Go Bad – French riot police fired tear gas at activists protesting as part of global climate demonstrations yesterday.  About 200 protesters, some wearing masks, fought with police on a street leading to the Place de la Republique. Paris police chief Michel Cadot told reporters that some demonstrators hurled glass bottles and memorial candles at police. Demonstrators in France were warned not to gather amid the state of emergency enacted after the Paris attacks. But more than 4,500 people formed a human chain around midday.  Almost 200 people were arrested using the state of emergency rules.  French President Hollande said “everything will be done” to keep violent protesters away from the conference. Some protesters were undeterred by the criticism, chanting, “a state of emergency is a police state.”

Side Events Will Go On – Despite French officials canceling an outdoor climate march due to security concerns in the aftermath of the terror attacks, French and UN officials announced that indoor events organized by civil society during international global warming negotiations in Paris can proceed. One of those events will be NEXT Thursday, December 10th 3:00 p.m.  Business Side Event in Room 5 which will offer business perspectives on INDCs.  Business groups in Europe, the U.S. and developing nations will discuss implications for domestic and global outcomes from policy, as well as market changes in trade & investment.  They will also present experiences with business engagement in developing INDCs and recommend ways to involve business in assessment and /improvement.  Another event will be held TOMORROW at 2:00 p.m. at the UNESCO building (125 avenue de Suffren, 75007 Paris) featuring NRECA’s Martin Lowery.  Lowery will join cooperative representatives from Germany and France in Paris to discuss the cooperatives’ contribution to developing renewables and increasing energy efficiency at an event sponsored by the International Cooperative Alliance.

 

KEY ISSUES TO FOCUS ON

Some Key Points – There are several key points to keep on your agenda as you listen to the discussions, reporting and other items related to the Paris Climate meeting.  There will be a lot of symbolism and hype and focusing on these key points will allow you to get to the heart of the key issues:

1) Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs) – The Paris agreement is anticipated to be a bottom-up treaty, with each country setting goals based on their unique national circumstances. These Intended Nationally Determined Contributions, or INDCs, will form the basis of the country-specific commitments under the new UN climate treaty. It is also expected that periodic review of these commitments will be instituted along with measuring, reporting, and verification to ensure the integrity and ambition of the commitments.  While may seem to be making INDCs, there are many questions as to whether countries will live up to these commitments.  Even the US commitment is being questions by experts as not adding up to the 26-28% reduction.

2) Green Climate Fund – Financing issues are among the most controversial in Paris, and they could easily derail any agreement. Many developing country INDCs are conditioned on financial support and technology transfer.  The Green Climate Fund (GCF) was proposed at COP-15 in Copenhagen in 2009, refined in subsequent meetings, and became operational in 2014. GCF aims to provide support to developing country efforts to reduce their GHG emissions and to adapt climate change.  However, this breaks down, it is clear that a significant portion of the expected funds—certainly tens if not hundreds of billions of dollars over many years—would be coming from public sources and would have to be appropriated by Congress.

3) Intellectual property – Developing countries have used this provision deftly to justify their attempts to weaken intellectual property rights (IPR) protections, ostensibly to remove the supposed “barriers” to technology transfer raised by IPR. Compulsory licensing and a fund supported by developed countries to buy down IP are two of many proposals being bruited. IPR serve as a fundamental catalyst of innovation, and study after study has shown that it is not a barrier to technology transfer. A weakened IPR regime such as that being proposed above would provide precious little incentive for companies to invest in advanced technologies if after years of research and development and millions or even billions of dollars invested, their inventions could be expropriated outright by companies in developing countries and manufactured and sold around the world at reduced cost. Under such a circumstance, some of the most innovative companies in the developed world would simply abandon the development of advanced energy technologies.

4) Technology Transfer – Tied to INDCs and the Green Fund, Technology Transfer is one fundamental issue that could bridge the gap.  It frankly is a better way to move toward a positive goal transforming our energy economy:  engage developing countries with advanced technology transfer to help them grow their economies more efficiently and cleanly.  Rather than going to Paris and trying to shame everyone into doing, this approach could be an important way to move forward.  In fact, we are already doing in many ways.  Look at the Clean Coal, Solar and offshore wind technologies that have struggled to catch on here in the US.  While we have struggled, developing nations, specifically China, have looked for these opportunities even without the promise of billions in funds (that will likely not ever come).

5) Verification – An issue that does not receive the attention it deserves is measuring, reporting, and verification of climate policies. As things stand now, the system of MRV that is likely to come out of Paris will focus not on whether a country meets its emissions goal, but on whether it implements the policies and measures designed to meet its goal. In other words, MRV is more about process than results. MRV will be especially challenging in developing countries. Transparency is a key to open markets and planning, and businesses will be reticent to invest in developing economies without assurances that its investments in emission reduction and offset projects are real and that government activities in support of INDCs have integrity.

6) Binding Legal Commitments Or Non-binding Political Agreement – In a recently interview, Secretary of State John Kerry said recently the Paris agreement is “definitively not going to be a treaty.” While it has not been finalized, we can already say that the Paris Agreement will be a multilateral international agreement that will include almost every country in the world. In testimony last week, Hofstra Constitutional Law Professor Julian Ku said If the outcome of the Paris Conference is to make these promises to reduce emissions legally binding, it is my view that the Paris Agreement must be submitted to the Senate for approval as a treaty under Article II.  This will continue to be a contentious point of negotiating among parties and one that US Senators will be watching Closely.  Last week, Senator Barrasso and Inhofe said the any funding for climate initiatives would be tied to Senate review.

 

OTHER IMPORTANT ISSUES

House Members Weigh In On Green Climate Fund – I mentioned the recent letter from Barrasso and Inhofe on the Green Climate Fund.  Last week, more than 100 House members released a letter expressing opposition to Obama’s pledge of $3 billion to the U.N. Green Climate Fund, calling the president’s move “unilateral” and arguing Congress should have oversight. The debate over the fund is one of several expected to arise as Obama tries to implement a potential deal from Paris.

Two Names to Remember – It is likely Poland’s new conservative government will be a skunk at the Paris Climate Garden Party next week.  Reports are they is threatening to veto a deal at the Paris climate summit, making clear its determination to protect the country’s large coal industry. Poland’s previous center-right government also fought to dilute EU emissions reductions goals, defending the coal that supplies the bulk of the country’s electricity and accounts for thousands of politically sensitive jobs. The Law and Justice Party (PiS), which this year took control of both the presidency and the parliament, is an even more ferocious defender of Polish coal than its predecessor. Two names to keep an eye on are new Polish President Andrzej Duda and Prime Minister Beata Szydlo, a coal miner’s daughter from the country’s industrial heartland.

China Tops for Clean Energy – China, the world’s biggest emitter of carbon pollution, continues to hold the top position as the best developing country in which to invest in clean energy in a study by Climatescope, a research project whose partners include Bloomberg New Energy Finance and the U.K. Department for International Development. The nation scored highest for a second consecutive year in an analysis of 55 emerging market nations including South Africa, Uruguay and Kenya that mapped important progress in the area.

ClearView on the Paris Negotiations – Our friend Kevin Book of ClearView Energy release a report on the talks saying it appears that a main goal of the talks is forging a durable agreement with five-year review periods. In the absence of specific funding commitments from developed nations and transparency measures for all parties, Book says the talks could produce a weak deal. Topics that could slow negotiations down include the questions of how to apply “common but differentiated responsibilities” to the many provisions of an agreement and whether to include “loss and damage” in the deal at all. Even with a durable agreement, economic reversals, international security incidents and other surprises can still overcome best intentions, making the attainment of voluntary greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reduction goals somewhat tenuous. Future fossil fuel consumption is likely to depend on the implementation of those goals, and our analysis of third-party global energy outlooks found a wide divergence among reports. Coal consumption projections, for example, ranged from a 28% decline by 2030 to an increase of 43%. All of the estimates that we compiled show a growth in natural gas consumption by 2030.

Dueling Polls – There are two new polls out today that underscore why polling on this subject (as well as other environmental subject is always suspect).  A new Washington Post-ABC News poll says the number of people who believe climate change is a serious problem facing the United States is declining.  The poll shows 63% of those surveyed say climate change is a serious problem facing the country, down from 69% in June. 52% say climate change is a “very serious” problem, down from 57%. About 47% believe the government should do more to deal with global warming, down from 61% in 2008. The poll found 51% of people say there is “a lot of disagreement among scientists” over the existence of global warming, down 11% from 2008. About 43% say scientists agree with one another.  Meanwhile, a New York Times/CBS News poll says Americans support the United States joining an international treaty to limit the impact of global warming, but on this and other climate-related questions, opinion divides sharply along partisan lines.  The poll says 66% of Americans support the United States joining a binding international agreement to curb growth of greenhouse gas emissions, but a slim majority of Republicans remain opposed.  63% of Americans — including a bare majority of Republicans — said they would support domestic policy limiting carbon emissions from power plants.  Again, this seems suspect when you look further into the polling: When considering policies to reduce carbon emissions, Americans generally favor regulating business activity more than taxing consumers. The poll found broad support for capping power plant emissions. Half of all Americans said they thought the government should take steps to restrict drilling, logging and mining on public lands, compared with 45% who opposed such restrictions. Support for limiting mineral extraction on public lands rose to 58% among Democrats.  But just one in five Americans favored increasing taxes on electricity as a way to fight global warming; six in 10 were strongly opposed, including 49% of Democrats. And support was not much higher for increasing gasoline taxes, at 36% overall.

Mayor Call for Strong Climate Plan – Last week more than 60 mayors and California Governor Jerry Brown (D) called on the U.S. to take strong action during the Paris conference. Houston Mayor Annise Parker, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter and dozens of others representing smaller localities made their case to President Obama.

RFA Says Biofuels Reduce GHGs – Biofuels consumed under the expanded Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS2) have reduced U.S. greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 354 million metric tons of CO2-equivalent since 2008, according to a new analysis conducted by California-based Life Cycle Associates. The Renewable Fuels Association (RFA), which sponsored the study, said the findings have important implications for both the pending final rule for 2014–2016 RFS volumes and upcoming global climate talks in Paris.

EWG says RFA Fudges Numbers – A study released by the Renewable Fuels Association makes the bogus claim that the use of corn ethanol as a vehicle fuel reduced emissions by 240 million tons of carbon dioxide since 2008.  EWG’s Emily Cassidy says study after study has shown that widespread use of corn ethanol has proved to be a disaster for the climate. The federal mandate to blend corn ethanol into gasoline has led to the destruction of millions of acres of grasslands and wetlands to suit higher demands for corn for ethanol productions.

Obama Rolls Out Reg Agenda – Prior to the Thanksgiving week and the Paris Climate negotiations, the White House rolled out its fall 2015 regulatory agenda.  It is not the first time the President’s regulatory releases, required by law, came out under the cover of holidays:

  • Fall 2012  –  December 21 (Friday before Christmas)
  • Spring 2013  –  July 3 (day before Independence Day)
  • Fall 2013  –  November 27 (day before Thanksgiving)
  • Spring 2014  –  May 23 (Friday before Memorial Day weekend)
  • Fall 2014  –  December 22 (three days before Christmas)
  • Spring 2015  –  May 21 (Thursday before Memorial Day weekend)

 

The agenda includes over 2,000 regulations are now being written. Of these, 144 are deemed “economically significant”—that is, expected to cost Americans $100 million or more each.

 

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

PARIS UN COP 21 Meeting –  November 30th  to December 11th

House Floor Debate Launches on Resolution of Disapproval – House Republicans are hoping to send President Obama measures blocking the centerpiece of his climate change agenda as administration officials gather in Paris for the start of international climate talks.   The House will vote on two resolutions tomorrow through the Congressional Review Act that would kill U.S. EPA’s carbon rules for power plants. H.J. Res. 71 would block the agency’s rule to lower carbon dioxide emissions from new power plants, while H.J. Res. 72 would eliminate the Clean Power Plan for existing power plants.  Before the Thanksgiving break, the Senate approved both resolutions on 52-46 votes.  The White House will veto both resolutions because they would “undermine the public health protections of the Clean Air Act (CAA) and stop critical U.S. efforts to reduce dangerous carbon pollution from power plants.”  But congressional opponents of Obama’s climate change agenda plan to use the effort to undermine the President’s plan in Paris by undermining his signature compliance measure.

House Science to Look at Climate Meeting – The full House Committee on Science will hold a hearing tomorrow on the pitfalls of unilateral negotiations at the Paris Climate Change Conference.  The hearing is a second hearing that is raising doubts about the international climate talks and its outcomes.  “The so-called Clean Power Plan will cost billions of dollars, cause financial hardship for American families and diminish the competitiveness of American industry around the world,” Science, Space and Technology Chairman Lamar Smith (R-Texas) said at that hearing.  Witnesses will be Oren Cass of the Manhattan Institute for Policy Research, Andrew Grossman of Baker & Hostetler and climate gadfly Dr. Bjørn Lomborg.

FERC Commissioners To Visit House Energy Panel – The House Energy & Commerce Committee’s Subcommittee on Energy and Power will hold a hearing focused on FERC.  Witnesses will include FERC Commissioners Bay, LaFleur, Clark and Honorable.  The clean power plan and electric reliability will be a major part of the discussion.

Senate Foreign Relations to Hold Hearing on Energy Nominee – The Senate Committee on Foreign Relations will meet tomorrow to consider several nominations including Amos Hochstein appointment to be an Assistant Secretary of State for Energy Resources.

Panel to Look at Offshore Wind in the U.S.  – The Clean Energy Leadership Institute (CELI) will hold a panel discussion tomorrow at 6:30 p.m. looking at offshore wind in the U.S.  CELI and panelists from the U.S. Department of the Interior, EDF Renewable Energy, and the American Wind Energy Association, will hold a discussion on the potential benefits of and challenges facing offshore wind.  The panel will feature Interior’s Joshua Kaplowitz, EDF Renewable’s Doug Copeland and AWEA’s  Hannah Hunt.

Atlantic Council CEO Series Continues with GDF Suez’s Smati – The Atlantic Council will continue its CEO Series with a discussion on Wednesday at 1:30 p.m. on the future of power markets and energy technology with Zin Smati, the President and CEO of GDF SUEZ Energy North America. As Chief Executive of GDF SUEZ Energy North America, Zin Smati is tasked with navigating his company through an era of profound change in the world of energy. He brings his perspective to the Atlantic Council to discuss the sweeping energy transition now underway and to assess the future of power markets and energy technology.

NASA’s Chief Scientist Helping Countries Build Climate Resilience – Wednesday at 2:00 p.m. Georgetown University will host NASA scientist Ellen Stofan, who will discuss NASA’s International Programs and how they are using data to help countries develop climate resilience. Stofan was appointed NASA chief scientist on August 25, 2013, serving as principal advisor to NASA Administrator Charles Bolden on the agency’s science programs and science-related strategic planning and investments.

RFF to Look at Vehicle Fleet, Regs – Resources for the Future will hold a First Wednesday Seminar on where panelists will analyze some of the emerging information, including consumer demand for fuel economy and how lower gasoline prices can affect future fuel savings from the regulations. Manufacturer responses will also be discussed, including how the production of different vehicle sizes and types can affect regulatory compliance strategies, and how the new markets for emissions and fuel economy credits are developing.  Speakers will include RFF fellows Virginia McConnell and Joshua Linn, as well as Chris Knittel of the Center for Energy and Environmental Policy Research at MIT and Gopal Duleep of H-D Systems.

Forum to Look at Barriers to Renewables – On Thursday at 2:00 p.m. in 334 Cannon, the Environmental and Energy Study Institute (EESI) and the Center for Climate Strategies (CCS) will host a briefing discussing how all levels of governments in the European Union and United States can expand collaboration on renewable electricity market penetration to meet energy, economic, and environmental needs. The briefing will feature an upcoming report by CCS, funded by the European Union Delegation to the United States, which examines high-priority common challenges and opportunities in the renewable energy sector that are prime candidates for new or enhanced forms of transatlantic collaboration at the regional and Member State/U.S. state levels. Attendees will be invited to provide comments and input for the report; join us to discuss how enhanced transatlantic cooperation can help set the stage for new investments and technologies through greater thought leadership, information sharing, technical assistance, and collaboration.

Mercury Case Arguments Set – The DC Circuit Court of Appeals will hear oral arguments to determine the future of EPA’s mercury rule on Friday at the E. Barrett Prettyman Courthouse.  Judges Garland, Judith Rogers and Kavanaugh will hear the case, the same panel of judges who initially upheld the mercury rule 2-1.  EPA has suggested remanding the rule without vacating it so it can fix the problem identified by the Supreme Court that it should have considered the cost of regulating when issuing an initial “appropriate and necessary” finding.  Late last week, EPA proposed a fix using data collected during the implementation of the rule, and says it can finalize the new finding by next spring.  Opponents say the court should make EPA start from scratch, arguing that if the initial “appropriate and necessary” finding was improper then the entire rule must be trashed.

Energy Update: Week of November 9

Friends,

 

Well that was a bizarre week last week…  Finally, the Keystone Pipeline.  While it was somewhat expected, the decision regarding Keystone sends a bad signal to the energy sector.  The Administration’s major plans for new energy sources – from bringing natural gas to market to developing alternative renewable energy to enhancing the benefit of shale development – all require commitments to overcoming obstacles to new infrastructure.  But the lesson of Keystone is that support for infrastructure in certain circles extends only as far as the politics of the moment.

 

One more final item on Keystone timing:  certainly its timing prior to Paris is relevant, but perhaps more important is the pass that it gives newly-elected Canadian PM Justin Trudeau, who likely opposes Keystone but could never really say that.  How will Canada respond in Paris to this favor?  Maybe a good questions to ask.  All right, let’s really say no more about this after reading my friend Dave Roberts’ final column on it.   The only thing that may remain is the litigation that will likely follow.

 

In case you missed it with shiny objections of Exxon and Keystone, you may have missed an actual important issue:  countries took a historic step to work together on a 2016 Amendment to the Montreal Protocol to reduce the production and consumption of harmful hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), greenhouse gases that can be up to 10,000 times more potent than carbon dioxide in contributing to climate change.  AHRI President Steve Yurek was in Dubai ahead of negotiators and industry support helped paved the way for success.

 

No action in Congress this week as Members return home to Congressional districts to celebrate our veterans on Wednesday.  Always a great opportunity to thank veterans for our freedoms, but in reality every day ought to be Veterans Day.

 

NARUC is going full bore already in Austin starting yesterday.  They have Gina McCarthy in the house today.  IPAA is holding its 86th annual meeting in New Orleans today and tomorrow.  Finally, EPA launches its FIP rule public hearings starting in Pittsburgh on Thursday and Friday.  They roll on next week in Denver (M, Tu), DC (W, Th) and Atlanta (Th, F).  Speaking of GHGs, our friends at E&E News are featuring a new map on their Power Plan Hub focusing on which states are suing and including a chart explaining whether they are writing compliance plans.  As well, the Council on Foreign Relations had a great piece from Jeff Colgan on why last week’s China Coal miscalculation really matters.

 

Get ready for next week as Congress returns for another busy week session before the Thanksgiving break.   Expect hearings on GHG regs, climate change, Paris, the oil & gas well control rule and RFS among other items.  And remember:  the RFS rule is due by the end of November, but you may recall, the decision was dropped last year the Wednesday before Thanksgiving (…I’m just sayin’… )  Last week a bipartisan group of 184 House members sent a letter that calls on the EPA to set the final level for ethanol in 2016 at a level that would account for the 10% blendwall.

 

Finally today, there is a new NERA analysis shows EPA’s power plan comes with a hefty price tag that could approach $300 billion and raise electricity prices in each of the 47 states subject to the new regulation. The state-by-state breakdown shows consumers in 40 states could see double-digit electricity price increases, and 28 states could face electricity price spikes greater than 20%.

 

Call with questions…Best,

 

Frank Maisano

(202) 828-5864

(202) 997-5932

 

 

IN THE NEWS

 

World Leaders to Expand Montreal Protocol to Include HFCs – You may have missed it last week, but countries took a historic step to work together on a 2016 Amendment to the Montreal Protocol to reduce the production and consumption of harmful hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), greenhouse gases that can be up to 10,000 times more potent than carbon dioxide in contributing to climate change. Reaching agreement on this decision by the Parties will pave the way to help all countries transition to alternatives and away from HFCs.  The decision charts a course for additional high-level dialogue to reach consensus on setting a timeframe for freezing and ultimately phasing down the production and consumption of HFCs.  The U.S., with the HVAC industry in support, has been pushing for this for a number of years now, only to meet with determined opposition from many developing nations. The fact we now have agreement on parameters for what would be acceptable in an amendment next year is the fruit of long and serious negotiation and persuasion by the government and NGOs.

 

Refrigerants Industry Paved the Way for the Deal – Stephen Yurek, President & CEO of the Air-Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration Institute, was in Dubai using industry support to pave the way for the negotiations.   Yurek said  “AHRI has supported including HFCs in the Montreal Protocol for many years. Even as other MP signatories have debated the original North American Proposal to do so, AHRI’s member companies — including refrigerant producers and original equipment manufacturers —  have proactively been researching potential alternative refrigerants to ensure that the world’s air conditioning and refrigeration equipment manufacturers will have access to appropriate  refrigerants.  AHRI, U.S. government agencies, and energy efficiency advocacy groups have all worked diligently for many years to ensure a phase-down of these chemicals.   This collaboration is an excellent example of what can be accomplished when all parties work together in good faith to achieve a common goal.”

 

NERA Report Shows Tough ImpactsNew analysis from NERA Economic Consulting shows EPA’s power plan comes with a hefty price tag that could approach $300 billion and raise electricity prices in each of the 47 states subject to the new regulation.  Despite these enormous costs, the rule does nothing to prevent global climate change.  Despite the fact that the president’s plan will have virtually no effect on climate change, NERA’s analysis shows that all of the Lower 48 states will see electricity price increases because of the rule.  Consumers in 40 states could see double-digit electricity price increases, and 28 states could face electricity price spikes greater than 20 percent. The annual cost of at least $30 billion per year for the plan is three times greater than the cost of EPA’s Mercury and Air Toxics rule, which the U.S. Supreme Court criticized by saying, “It is not rational … to impose billions of dollars in economic costs in return for a few dollars in … benefits.”

 

EWG Report Says 2nd Gen Biofuels Crowded out by Ethanol – EWG and University of California experts have released a new report that says compared to corn ethanol, biofuels from next-generation feedstocks could greatly reduce carbon emissions that contribute to climate change.  EWG measured the carbon emitted over the life cycle of ethanol made from switchgrass and from corn stover, the stalks and leaves left on fields after harvest. EWG’s analysis found that the life-cycle carbon intensity of corn stover ethanol is 96% lower than gasoline and that of switchgrass ethanol is 47% lower than gasoline.

By contrast, EPA studies show that the life-cycle carbon intensity of conventional corn ethanol is greater than gasoline. Yet current federal policy – the Renewable Fuel Standard, or RFS, established in 2005 – strongly favors the production of corn ethanol at the expense of cleaner alternatives.

 

States File Suit Against New Power Plant Rule – West Virginia today led 22 other states in suing over EPA’s carbon rule for new power plants, expanding its litigation into the second of the two power plant carbon rules published last month.  The suit says only that the rule – which requires new coal-fired power plants to use partial carbon capture technology to limit their emissions – oversteps EPA’s authority and is “not in accordance with law.”  The Clean Air Act requires EPA to regulate new sources of pollution before existing sources, meaning that if the new plant rule is tossed out by a court, the larger Clean Power Plan goes down as well.  The states involved in the suit are West Virginia, Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Wisconsin and Wyoming. Also party to the suit are the Arizona Corporation Commission, and environmental agencies for Louisiana and North Carolina. New Jersey, which joined a multi-state lawsuit challenging EPA’s carbon rules for existing plants, did not participate in today’s filing. The new lawsuit likely will be joined with one brought against the new plant rule last month by North Dakota. Murray Energy and the Energy & Environment Legal Institute have also sued over the new plant rule.

 

FOIA Gadflies Connect Enviro, EPA Collaboration – New Litigation under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) has revealed more damning and highly relevant facts regarding the Clean Power Plan’s impact and connection between environmental activists and EPA staff.   E&E Legal’s Chris Horner: “Collusion with green groups is the hallmark of this EPA; here it affirms these rules were plainly created clearly outside of the law, and warrant an immediate stay.”  EPA’s GHG rules have already caused numerous plants to close, according to an email and XLS spreadsheet attachment sent by Sierra Club lobbyist John Coequyt to a senior EPA official and former Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) lawyer, Michael Goo.  Goo was featured in a New York Times article as part of the “NRDC mafia” which made its way into government and was tasked with drafting EPA’s Options Memo.  E&E Legal added internal Sierra spreadsheet’s “comments: for review and deletion” section, the group privately acknowledges that the prospect of these rules had already led to the shelving of 16 advanced coal-fired plants in 13 states, although “there is not a small chance that they [sic] company could decide to revive the proposal” if the rules were not sufficiently tight.  In turn, and again recalling the Pebble Mine scandal, Goo turned to his private Yahoo email account to send draft “new source” Options language to Coequyt.  All during the time that this was supposedly a purely internal EPA process.  Goo emails only came to light because of a FOIA suit.  Among the correspondence is an email from Coequyt stating, “Attached is a memo that I didn’t want to send in public” (hence Yahoo).  That memo created a roadmap regarding existing sources, explaining the mechanics and concluding, “EPA can therefore establish a performance standard for existing plants that is not achievable.”  EPA has done just that.  Also at key moments in the rules’ timeline, NRDC officials David Hawkins and Dan Lashof (the latter now working for Tom Steyer’s climate advocacy empire) used Goo’s Yahoo account to provide internal NRDC analyses regarding what standards EPA might impose.

WSJ Hammers EPA Rule – In an editorial last week the Wall Street Journal hammer the EPA and President Obama over his carbon rule pointing to as 26 states and dozens of business groups that filed suits against “his takeover of the carbon economy.”  The Journal says EPA has earned a stay and deserves no administrative deference because it rewrote the “definition to direct states to regulate ‘outside the fence line’ of power plants well beyond the best tech. They must not only decommission sources of carbon energy, but they must also run the green gamut from mandating a new fleet of wind and solar, building new transmission lines, creating more efficiency subsidy programs for consumers and much else.”

 

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

 

IPAA Hosts 86th Annual Meeting in New Orleans – The Independent Petroleum Association of America will host its 86th annual meeting at The Ritz-Carlton in New Orleans, La today and tomorrow. Speakers will include The Honorable Edward Djerejian, Alex Epstein, David Wasserman with The Cook Political Report, and John England, among others.

 

McCarthy to Address NARUC Meeting – The National Assn of Regulatory Utility Commissioner (NARUC) hold its 127th annual meeting  today through Wednesday at the JW Marriot in Austin, Texas.  Speakers will include FERC Commissioners Tony Clark, Cheryl LaFleur and Collette Honorable, EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy and climate official Joe Goffman, North American Electric Reliability Corp’s Thomas Coleman and our friend Larry Monroe of Southern Company.

 

ANS Winter Meeting to Feature NRC Chair – The American Nuclear Society is holding its winter meetings today through Thursday at the Marriott Wardman Park.  NRC Chair Stephen Burns and former NH Sen Judd Gregg will speak

 

France Hosts Pre-COP UN Meeting – France hosts a pre-COP meeting in Paris today and tomorrow where UN Ministers will focus on issues ranging from how to mitigate climate change to providing financial aid to help poorer countries adapt to its effects after 2020.  Miguel Arias Cañete, the EU’s climate and energy commissioner, will attend the pre-COP and hold meetings on the sidelines with Fabius, Todd Stern, the U.S. special envoy for climate change, and ministers from the Alliance of Small Island States and African Group.

 

AEI to Host UK Foreign Secretary on Climate Innovation – The American Enterprise Institute (AEI) will host as the UK’s Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond tomorrow at 9:00 a.m. to discuss conservative beliefs in innovation and free markets — and how they shape his approach to the risks and opportunities of a changing climate.

USEA to Host Forum On Crude Exports – Tomorrow at Noon, the U.S. Energy Association will host Brookings expert Charles Ebinger to speak on the potential for U.S. crude oil exports.  Ebinger will discuss the economic advantages of lifting the crude oil export ban as well as Keystone XL, falling oil prices, and drilling in Alaska.

 

Georgetown Forum Looks at Arctic, Climate – The Mortara Center for International Studies host the next meeting of the Energy and Climate Policy Research Seminar tomorrow at 12:30 p.m. at Georgetown looking at the impacts and effects of climate change in the Arctic.  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. Speakers will include members of the Georgetown community as well as invited faculty and practitioners from the Washington area and beyond.

 

Groups to Discuss Paris Climate Meeting – The U.S. Climate Action Network will host a forum tomorrow at 3:00 p.m. to discuss key issues for the UN Climate negotiations, including national commitments to cut emissions and expand clean energy, fairness and equity considerations, and initiatives to build resilience in highly vulnerable countries.   Speakers will include Jose Aguto of the Friends Committee on National Legislation, Oxfam America’s Heather Coleman, the NAACP’s Kathy Egland and Jake Schmidt of the Natural Resources Defense Council.

 

AU Symposium to Look at UN Paris Meeting – The American University Sustainable Development Law & Policy publication will hold its annual symposium on Wednesday looking at the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Conference of the Parties in Paris taking place in December of this year. This conference will be of ultimate importance in determining how to move the world forward in addressing climate change. The 195 countries that are parties to the UNFCCC committed to create a new international climate agreement by the end of COP-21. The symposium will include panels featuring leading experts on climate change, domestic environmental law, and international environmental law who will discuss various issues surrounding the negotiations. The topics will include particular focus on President Obama’s Clean Power Plan, economic implications of the negotiations, the 2- degree goal and whether it is feasible, and the means for reaching the goals and purposes of the UNFCCC.

 

JHU to Look at Climate in Caucuses – Wednesday at 5:00 p.m. in the Rome Building, the Johns Hopkins University will host a forum that will discuss climate change in the Caucasus.

 

Forum Looking at Energy Project Finance Set – The Women’s Council on Energy & the Environment (WCEE), AE2C and Johns Hopkins’ SAIS program will host a lunchtime seminar on Thursday featuring Jenny Hou, a General Partner at SunEnergi Capital.  Hou will provide an overview of the energy project finance decision-making process and offers insight as to why some energy projects are successful while others are not.

 

BPC Forum to Discuss Nuclear Waste – On Thursday at 9:00 a.m. the Bipartisan Policy Center will host a forum on novel approaches, solutions and considerations to nuclear waste.  The event will focus on innovations in Korea.

 

Goodell to Address AU Forum – The Forum for Climate Engineering Assessment, the Global Environmental Politics Program at American University’s School of International Service, American University, and Eco-Sense, American University’s student run environmental organization, is hosting a forum with Jeff Goodell on Thursday.  Goodell will join Professor Paul Wapner to talk about his conversation with the President, the prospects for a climate agreement in Paris and what comes next, and his thoughts on the world’s options for avoiding catastrophic climate change.

 

NAS Social Carbon Cost Board to Meet – On Friday at noon, the National Academies of Science’s Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education – Board on Environmental Change and Society is convening the third meeting of its Committee on Assessing Approaches to Updating the Social Cost of Carbon.  More on this next week.

 

On Friday at Noon, the Heritage Foundation will hold a forum on the movement on many college campuses urging schools to divest their endowment funds of any companies that produce fossil fuels. The protesters argue we must dramatically reduce the amount of fossil fuels used each year in order to prevent climate change. In their view, schools have a moral imperative to purge their portfolios of companies that produce such fuels.  When politicians, protestors and activists attack fossil fuel companies and their profitability, it’s important to remember who owns these companies and where that money goes: to the American people, toward retirement funds and toward school endowments to build stronger institutions. Join us for a panel discussion to learn more about the problems with the push for fossil divestment and who it hurts the most.  Speakers Rachelle Peterson of the National Association of Scholars, Stan Kurtz of the Ethics and Public Policy Center, AFPM’s Brendan Williams and Heritage expert David Kreutzer.

 

 

FUTURE EVENTS

CSIS Global Forum Set – CSIS’s International Security Program will hold its flagship annual Global Security Forum 2015 on Monday, November 16th.

 

Hudson Forum to Look at China, US Emission, Energy – Next, Monday, the Hudson Institute will host a day-long conference featuring energy policy experts from both China and the U.S.  As the world’s second largest economy, China’s energy demands are growing fast. In the next fifteen years, China is projected to overtake the U.S. as the world’s largest oil consumer, and Russia as the world’s second largest natural gas consumer. By 2035, China is expected to become the world’s largest energy importer, as its energy production rises 47%, while consumption rises by 60%. China’s oil import dependence is projected to rise from 60% in 2013 to 75% in 2035.

 

Solar Groups Look at Green Building – The SunShot Initiative, SEIA, and PVMC are hosting a Green Building Solar Summit next Monday at 1:00 p.m. that will coincide with Greenbuild Conference and Expo, which will bring thousands of architects, builders, and real estate professionals to Washington DC.  The Summit will feature a mix of panels and facilitated discussion to explore critical structural, contractual and financial barriers and identify opportunities to work collaboratively to find innovative solutions and expand the commercial solar market.  Elaine Ulrich, Program Manager, Soft Costs with the U.S. Department of Energy SunShot Initiative, and Rhone Resch, President & CEO of Solar Energy Industries Association, will open the day with introductory remarks followed by a series of lighting talks to provide context on the trends and issues across the solar and green building communities. PVMC will also provide a preview of its 2016 Commercial Solar Initiative.  The second part of the afternoon will be dedicated to engaging the commercial real estate and green building communities in discussion on innovative financing instruments. SEIA will also present its new Finance Initiative, spearheaded by the organization’s Senior Director, Project Finance, and Mike Mendelsohn.

 

VLS Forum to Look at CPP – Next Tuesday, the Vermont Law School’s second annual Alumni in Energy Symposium will look at EPA’s Clean Power Plan and the lawsuits challenging it. This panel will discuss the ongoing litigation related to the Clean Power Plan and likely outcomes.  Speakers will include NRDC’s David Doniger, RFF’s Dallas Burtraw, former EPA General Counsel and industry Coalition legal lead Roger Martella and NYU’s Richard Revesz.

 

Wilson Center to Focus on Climate, Security Issues – Next Tuesday, November 17th at 3:00 p.m., the Wilson Center will release a report exploring the intersection of climate change, drivers of insecurity, and U.S. national security priorities in the Asia-Pacific region.  As the United States reorients its foreign policy approach to the Asia-Pacific region, it must seriously consider the impacts of climate change, argues a new report from the Center for Climate and Security. How can the United States help improve the region’s climate resilience, and at the same time, strategically adapt to a rapidly changing security environment?

 

 

EPA CAAAC to Meet on Ozone Implementation, CPP – EPA will host a CAAAC and Air Toxics Work Group meetings on November 17th and 18th.

 

House Science to Dig Back Into Climate, GHG Plan – The House Science Committee will host a hearing on Wednesday November 18th on the President’s Clean Power Plan and its role in Paris negotiations.

 

McCarthy to Talk Energy with Bloomberg – On Wednesday, November 18th, Bloomberg will host a breakfast conversation with Mark Halperin and John Heilemann, managing editors of Bloomberg Politics and hosts of “With All Due Respect” on Bloomberg Television, to discuss the future of energy and where the 2016 candidates stand.   EPA’s Gina McCarthy will sit down with Mark and John for an interview about the state of energy and climate policy in America, followed by a wide-ranging panel discussion about how policy and politics intersect to shape the energy marketplace, featuring former South Carolina Republican Congressman and Executive Director of republicEn.org Bob Inglis, GE Ventures’ Senior Executive Director of Energy Ventures Colleen Calhoun, and more.

 

Former EPA Official to Address Climate Issues – ICF will host an Energy Breakfast on Thursday November 19th at the National Press Club to look at the Paris Climate Meeting.  Starting in late November, the 21st  meeting of the Council of Parties (COP 21) to the United Nations’ Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) will gather in Paris to deliberate on how countries can individually and collectively mitigate global climate change.  Former EPA #2 Bob Perciasepe, a regular participant in these negotiations, as he handicaps the negotiations and informs us about what will be the “make or break” issues in Paris this time.

 

Senate Energy to Look at Well Control Rule – On Thursday, the Senate Energy Committee will hold an oversight hearing to receive testimony on the Well Control Rule and other regulations related to offshore oil and gas production.  We will have more on this next week.

 

Forum to Look at Climate Solutions – DC Net Impact will hold a discussion on Thursday November 19th looking at how donor agencies and implementers are adapting to, and mitigating the effects of, climate change in the energy and agriculture sectors. In addition to discussing climate change, the panelists will describe their career paths and answer your questions.

 

Rep. Beyer to Host Climate Forum I Arlington – On Thursday, November 19th at 7:00 p.m.,  U.S. Rep. Don Beyer will host a forum on climate change in the auditorium of George Mason University’s Arlington campus.  Panelists will include experts from government, academia and nonprofit organizations, including Megan Ceronsky of the White House Office of Energy and Climate Change, EPA’s Shawn Garvin, GMU’s Mona Sarfaty and NRDC’s Aliya Haq.

 

THANKSGIVING – November 26

 

PARIS UN COP 21 Meeting –  November 30th to December 11th

 

Transmission Forum Set – The 5th  annual TransForum East, will be held December 1st and 2nd in Washington, D.C. at the Westin Georgetown.  As in previous Forum events, our presenters and panelists have been hand selected by the TransmissionHub editorial team to address the most important issues facing stakeholders in the Eastern Interconnection. You can view the agenda and speaker lineup here.

 

Energy Update: Week of October 26

Friends,

 

Last week ended with a bang with the publication of the EPA GHG rule regulating power plants.  And I didn’t really event get to celebrate “Back to the Future” Day Thursday (10/21/2015) because we were so busy with GHGs, ozone and other things. Below you’ll see a full recap of the late-week action including statements from States suing over the GHG rule and a bunch of industry comments.

 

Speaking of industry, if you just missed the industry legal experts discussions of the petitions challenging the new EPA GHG rule, let us know and we can get you connected to get you questions/concerns addressed.

 

On the Hill, we get a vote for the new House Speaker, but also the start of Congressional Action on challenging the GHG rule.  While success on that review is unlikely, it will continue the On-going discussion of the challenges facing states, communities and industries.  If you are looking for a good read on some of the challenges being created by the new GHG rules, take a look at this weekend’s Washington Post piece on the dilemma facing rural cooperatives.

 

Finally, with Halloween set for Saturday, I am preparing to launch my annual flavored pumpkin seed effort.  Besides the old standby flavors, I’m trying to think of something clever this year for the palate.   Send me your ideas!!!

 

Call with questions…Best,

 

Frank Maisano

(202) 828-5864

(202) 997-5932

 

 

THE BIG NEWS

 

GHG Rule Finally Published – EPA’s power plant carbon rules were published in the Federal Register last Friday. The publication opens up a 60-day window for states and companies opposed to the rule to file lawsuits in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit.  The Clean Power Plan, covering existing power plants, is available here. The rule for new, modified and reconstructed power plants is here . And the proposed federal implementation plan, set for finalization next year, is available here.

 

Delays Delays – It was speculated that the Administration might try to delay the rule from its August 3rd date to prevent challenges from emerging before the UN Climate conference in Paris.   Below is a chart that details the last six major EPA rules proposed in 2015 (and the 2011 MATS Rule for good measure).  You can see that the average for most rules is 27 days.  This rule took 81 days.  The MATS rule, another controversial rule that eventually was overturned by the Supreme Court was 57 days, double the regular average.

 

 

AGs File Suit Immediately – WV Attorney General Patrick Morrisey is leading a coalition of 23 other States in a lawsuit asking a federal court to strike down the EPA’s GHG rule for Power plants.  MORRISEY: “The Clean Power Plan is one of the most far-reaching energy regulations in this nation’s history,” Attorney General Morrisey said. “West Virginia is proud to be leading the charge against this Administration’s blatant and unprecedented attack.  EPA claims to have sweeping power to enact such regulations based on a rarely-used provision of the Clean Air Act but such legal authority simply does not exist,” Morrisey said.

What Did the AGs Do? – They filed a Petition for Review Friday morning and the Stay Motions Friday afternoon in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.  In the filing, the States argue the Rule is illegal and will have devastating impacts upon the States and their citizens.   The Section 111(d) rule exceeds EPA’s authority by unlawfully forcing States to fundamentally alter state resource-planning and energy policy by shifting from coal-fired generation to other sources of power generation, with a significant emphasis on renewable sources. The Rule is also illegal because it seeks to require States to regulate coal-fired power plants under Section 111(d) of the Clean Air Act, even though EPA already regulates those same plants under Section 112 of the Act.

Who are the States? – The States challenging the Rule include Alabama, Arkansas, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Jersey, Ohio, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Wisconsin, West Virginia, Wyoming, the Arizona Corporations Commission and the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality. The states of Oklahoma and North Dakota filed their own challenges.

The Petition – You can see a copy of the Petition for Review can be viewed here: http://bit.ly/1jYApFR

 

The Usual Suspects – EPA has states siding with them too.  15 states are supporting the rule and you won’t be surprised by most.  The states include New York, California, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Mexico, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, Washington, the District of Columbia, and the City of New York.

 

Congressional Action Up First – House Energy and Commerce Committee Energy Panel chair Ed Whitfield said Friday he would advance Congressional Review Act resolutions to formally disapprove of the rules.  Also Friday, Majority Leader McConnell (R-KY), along with Sens. Capito (R-WV), Manchin (D-WV), and Heitkamp (D-ND), introduced the Senate counterpart.  The Capito/Heitkamp press statement is here:  http://www.wvva.com/story/30335275/2015/10/23/senator-capito-to-introduce-resolution-to-overturn-epas-clean-power-plan

 

ICYMI:  A Round Up of Statements – In case you missed it, here is a round of some industry Statements on the action:

 

PBEF Statement – The Partnership for A Better Energy Future offer the following remarks regarding the publication of EPA’s Clean Power Plan in the Federal Register.  The rule has taken 81 days to be published, 54 days longer than the average of the previous six major EPA rules released in 2015.  (their average was 27 days): “This regulation will be exceptionally difficult for our States and businesses to meet.  It is why half of the States and their legal officers are already raising concerns about this rule that will  increase energy prices and threaten electric reliability. PBEF members are committed to being responsible stewards of our environment, leading the way in that effort, and we know we have all options on the table, including legal action, to prevent EPA’s regulatory power grab from taking effect.  As dozens of states and numerous other stakeholders know firsthand, the EPA’s effort to shut down existing power plants will drive up energy prices for businesses and consumers alike.  It will inflict significant damage to our entire economy and reduce our nation’s global competitiveness without any significant reduction in global greenhouse gas emissions.

 

US Chamber – “The EPA’s rule is unlawful and a bad deal for America. It will drive up electricity costs for businesses, consumers and families, impose tens of billions in annual compliance costs, and reduce our nation’s global competitiveness—without any significant reduction in global greenhouse gas emissions,” said Thomas J. Donohue, president and CEO of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. “According to EPA’s own predictions, if this rule is allowed to go into effect on EPA’s schedule, numerous electricity plants will be forced to shut down within the next year, causing job losses in communities throughout the country. Not only are these regulations bad for our economy, they also represent a massive executive power grab. EPA completely bypassed the legislative branch, basing its 2,000-page rule on roughly 300 words in the Clean Air Act and including a host of policies that have already been considered and rejected by Congress.”

 

National Assn of Manufacturers – NAM Senior Vice President and General Counsel Linda Kelly issued the following statement announcing the Manufacturers’ Center for Legal Action’s (MCLA) challenge to the Administration’s Clean Power Plan:  “This regulation unlawfully exceeds the EPA’s authority, proposing a seismic change to the power industry and our national economy. The NAM filed hundreds of pages of comments with the EPA seeking to improve the proposed rule; these comments were largely ignored, leaving manufacturers no choice but to seek judicial intervention.  Manufacturers need abundant and reliable supplies of energy and reasonable and predictable policies that allow for continued investment and growth. This plan restricts resources and reduces reliability, while setting a dangerous precedent for future regulation of other sectors. Manufacturers can’t sit by while this Administration makes it increasingly difficult to make things and create jobs in the United States, especially at a time when the regulatory weight borne by manufacturers is heavier than ever. Manufacturers have been and remain committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions. In fact, manufacturers have made great strides, lowering emissions by more than 10 percent since 2005. Unfortunately, this regulation disregards basic economic realities and clear limits established by Congress to the EPA’s authority.  Manufacturers will continue to be responsible stewards of our environment and will continue to lead in reducing emissions. With reasonable policies that allow for growth and innovation, we will continue developing solutions to tackle our biggest environmental challenges, but this approach is not the answer.”

 

National Federation of Independent Businesses (NFIB) – The National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) said the EPA is doing “an end-run around Congress by imposing in the form of regulation a law that the legislative branch of government has already expressly rejected,” said Karen Harned, Executive Director of the NFIB Small Business Legal Center.  “This is a crystal clear violation of the constitutional separation of powers.”   NFIB research shows that the cost of electricity is already a top concern among small business owners across the country.  “Small businesses will be squeezed between higher direct expenses and lower consumer demand resulting from higher home electric bills,” said Harned.  “Everyone remembers the effect that high gasoline prices had on the economy.  This will have a similar effect except that it will be permanent.  The EPA has dramatically overstepped its authority here and the consequences for the economy will be just as dramatic, especially for small businesses.”

 

American Iron & Steel Institute – The American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI) Thomas J. Gibson, president and CEO of AISI: “This rule puts the affordability of electricity for steel producers at serious risk.  The leading states for iron and steel production in the U.S. are heavily dependent on coal for electricity production.  This rule will have a disproportionate impact on steel states and hinder economic growth for steel producers.” Gibson said that the new regulations could cause nationwide electricity prices to increase between six and seven percent. He said this electricity economic impact will be exacerbated for the steel industry due to the regional differences in current fuel mix and the cost to switch to other fuels for the generation of electricity.  He also noted that utilities that serve the steel industry have raised concerns that the rule could also have negative impacts on reliability.  He added, “These new regulations put steel producers in the U.S. at a disadvantage against competitors in other nations that generally have higher rates of greenhouse gas emissions, and many of which benefit from subsidized energy costs. This would have a devastating impact on the steel industry and our workers.” Gibson said the litigation focuses on the fact that the new rule exceeds the established bounds of EPA’s authority under the Clean Air Act (CAA) and sweeps virtually all aspects of electricity production within EPA’s control.  The court challenge also points out that new bureaucracies would be created as states and industries would have to overhaul the power sector, including passing new laws to ensure the permitting, construction, and funding of EPA’s preferred power sources and shutting down existing disfavored plants.   AISI and other associations last year submitted joint comments to the EPA indicating the new regulations could severely harm the international competitiveness of energy-intensive, trade-exposed U.S. industries.

 

Wood, Paper Products Manufacturers – American Wood Council (AWC) President and CEO Robert Glowinski and American Forest & Paper Association (AF&PA) President and CEO Donna Harman have issued the following statements after signing onto a joint petition for review of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) final Clean Power Plan in the D.C. Circuit Court.   Glowinski, President and CEO, AWC: “EPA has overreached with its Clean Power Plan in how it seeks to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from power plants. Despite claims of flexibility, EPA has actually limited the types of renewable energy states can use, which includes our industry’s production and use of biomass energy. AWC joins this litigation in order to ensure continued use of renewable energy and to support states’ ability, as some have already done, to fully recognize biomass energy as a critical component of clean power.”  Donna Harman, President and CEO, AF&PA: “Energy is an essential element for paper and wood products manufacturing. We are concerned that this final rule will threaten availability of affordable electricity and reliability of the electricity grid system. AF&PA joins this litigation to protect the global competitiveness of our industry, which is among the top 10 manufacturing employers in 47 states. We hope the court will grant our requested stay while these serious legal challenges are heard.”

 

American Petrochemical & Fuel Manufacturers (AFPM) – The American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers (AFPM) President Chet Thompson commented on the rule and the precedent that it sets: “EPA’s Clean Power Plan stands unparalleled in its legal overreach and effect on the U.S. economy. The agency has veered from its statutory authority in an attempt to control electricity production by forcing the use of more expensive energy sources in the United States. Allowing this rule to stand, will cause irreparable injury and substantial harm to U.S. manufacturing and energy infrastructure, and ultimately the public by way of higher electricity costs and a less reliable grid.”

 

National Rural Electric Cooperative Assn (NRECA) — The National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA) today petitioned the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals to review the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Clean Power Plan.  “This rule goes far beyond what the Clean Air Act authorizes the EPA to do and will challenge our nation’s electric system,” said Debbie Wing, NRECA director of media relations. “These complicated regulations will force cooperatives to close power plants, which are producing affordable electricity for consumers who were counting on them for decades to come. Co-op consumer-members will be saddled with higher energy bills as a result of this regulatory over-reach. Therefore, we have asked the court to intervene and recognize the lack of legal authority behind the EPA’s regulation.” Thirty-seven generation and transmission cooperatives from across the country joined NRECA in the legal filings.

 

Electric Reliability Coordinating Council (ERCC) – ERCC Director Scott Segal, said the final version of the Clean Power Plan appeared in the Federal Register after a delay of some 81 days since it was signed and announced with much fanfare by the EPA Administrator. Segal call it an unprecedented delay that is either indicative of major flaws that needed to be corrected in the final rule or an attempt to avoid the imposition of a judicial stay while U.S. diplomats are in Paris for the next major climate conference. In any event, the publication delay is about three times longer than other major EPA rules finalized in 2015. Segal: “It is now indisputable that one of the farthest reaching, most legally tenuous, and least cost-effective rules ever dreamed up by a federal agency can finally be challenged in court and under the Congressional Review Act.  The rule is based on a legally untenable theory that, contrary to forty years of precedent, EPA may regulate a sector by forcing investment in other, unrelated businesses or competing technologies completely outside of its facilities. In effect, EPA is simply mandating the shutdown of many coal-fired power plants throughout the country and ordering that wind and solar plants be built to take their place. If the rule stands, it will expand EPA authority over the states and the regulated community in ways that Congress never intended. In total, there are probably a dozen legal arguments likely to be raised by states, the regulated community, and even some environmental groups in subsequent litigation.”  Segal said the rule is a prime target to be set aside by the courts or the Congress.  Aside from weak legal support, the rule is costly and undermines electric reliability.   Segal also said the purported health benefits of the rule have been exposed as double counting of benefits the Agency has previously attributed to other rules.  And recent Supreme Court decisions show a marked willingness to revisit legal theories that EPA has previously claimed as a basis for deference.

 

National Mining Assn – In order to prevent significant and imminent harm to scores of states’ economies and millions of consumers nationwide, the National Mining Association (NMA) today asked a federal court to stay the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) controversial Clean Power Plan until legal challenges to the rule are resolved.   NMA’s filing in D.C. Circuit Court, together with similar filings from states all over the nation and business interests, confirms the growing concern with the immediate economic consequences of EPA’s plan to transform the nation’s electric grid. The rule’s publication in the Federal Register today formally sets in motion a protracted process for legal challenges to the rule.  “We are today asking the court to weigh carefully the far-reaching harm this rule will inflict immediately, well in advance of its effective date,” said NMA President and CEO Hal Quinn. “The immediacy of substantial harm from this power plant rule is plain from EPA’s own data that show it will cause more than 200 coal-fired power plants to close before courts have time to decide the legality of the rule.”  EPA’s 2012 mercury rule was a bad omen of pain to come, said Quinn. “What happened with EPA’s mercury rule cannot be repeated. That costly regulation resulted in far greater closure of power plants than EPA anticipated, and was promulgated, as was this rule, with cavalier disregard for its probable costs to the economy.”  While that rule was ultimately found unlawful due to EPA’s failure to consider costs, the damage it imposed to the grid and the economy cannot be undone.

 

American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity (ACCCE) – Mike Duncan, president and CEO of ACCCE said: “With this action, EPA is finally opening the floodgates for litigation against its deeply flawed, illegal carbon rule. Officials preparing for the upcoming climate change talks in Paris should take note of the widespread opposition from policymakers and elected officials across the Unites States who are working overtime to protect their constituents, state economies and the nation as a whole from the President’s reckless pursuit of his climate legacy. We are hopeful they will be successful and that the courts act quickly and decisively to quash this illegal rule.”

 

 

IN THE NEWS

 

ACI Report Features First-Ever “Critical Issue” Assessment for Cleaning Products Industry – The American Cleaning Institute released its new Sustainability Report, which contains our first-ever “materiality assessment” that maps the critical risks and opportunities facing the U.S. cleaning product value chain, including key energy and environmental metrics. The materiality assessment, conducted by sustainability analytics firm Framework LLC, identifies and characterizes those issues that are most material across ACI’s membership and to the industry at large. Companies committed to sustainability have increasingly informed their strategies and reporting by conducting such analyses, but the ACI assessment is among the first across the value chain of an entire industry sector. In 2014, 33 ACI member companies, including cleaning product makers and upstream ingredient suppliers, contributed environmental metrics data for ACI’s Sustainability Metrics Program. The program captured sustainability performance for 17.3 million metric tons of cleaning product-related production, and its results are detailed in the 2015 Report.

 

EPA Ozone Rules Set for Today – EPA’s controversial Ozone rule will be published in Monday’s Federal Register, according to a pre-publication notice out today.  The new standard of 70 parts per billion is stricter than 75 ppb standard the George W. Bush administration set in 2008, but it’s far laxer than the 60 ppb standard environmental and public health groups advocated for.  The subject was the major topic at the House Science Committee last Thursday where my colleague Jeff Holmstead testified.  Holmstead said the rule could end industrial development in many parts of the country  argued the areas of the country that would be out of compliance when the standards come into effect between 2020 and 2037 would not be able to allow any new businesses, such as factories, that may cause ozone emissions.  He said the costs of the regulation will be passed down to consumers because many of the cheap options for reducing ozone already have been done

 

Chamber: EPA Ozone Regs Could Threaten DFW Area Transportation Projects –speaking of ozone, the U.S. Chamber’s Institute for 21st Century Energy continued its analysis of the impact of the Obama administration’s proposed ozone regulations with a snapshot look at the Dallas-Fort Worth region.  The Energy Institute’s Grinding to a Halt series explains how Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) decision to tighten ozone standards could impact critical transportation projects nationwide. In the Dallas-Fort Worth region, state and local governments are working to address stifling traffic congestion through plans that include $40 billion for construction and expansion of freeways to accommodate additional vehicle capacity and population growth. But many projects that are part of those plans—such as the I-820 Loop Southeast Reconstruction project between Fort Worth and Arlington—could be threatened by EPA’s recently tightened standard.  Under the Clean Air Act, the federal government is authorized to withhold transportation funding and halt permitting for highway and transit projects in regions unable to demonstrate compliance with emissions rules. The Dallas-Fort Worth region is among many areas in Texas and across the country expected to have great difficulty complying. Previous Energy Institute reports identified challenges in the Washington, DC, Las Vegas and Denver regions.

 

Report: US Top 5 Country for New Solar Module Manufacturing – GTM Research released a new report, the Global PV Manufacturing Attractiveness Index 2015, or PVMAX, which ranks the world’s most attractive countries in which to manufacture solar PV modules. Perhaps most surprisingly, the PVMAX finds that the United States is the world’s fifth-most attractive module manufacturing country.  The global PV module market is facing a looming supply crunch, and manufacturers have taken notice. According to GTM Research, 6.6 gigawatts of new module manufacturing capacity have been contracted through the first nine months of this year, all of it in countries outside of China. Despite these planned plants, the global market may face a supply shortage over the next two years as demand grows.

 

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

 

Catholic U to Hold Discussion on Pope, Environment – The Catholic University of America, in conjunction with the Committee on Doctrine of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, will host a daylong conference today examining Laudato Si’, Pope Francis’s recent encyclical on the environment.   The conference, “Laudato Si’and the Protection of ‘Our Common Home’: Faith and Science in Conversation,” will take place in Heritage Hall of Father O’Connell Hall. The conference will include lectures by Catholic University faculty members from the fields of theology, business and economics, architecture, and philosophy, as well as invited experts on environmental science and domestic social policy. Topics discussed will include Catholic social teaching, the current scientific understanding of climate change, human responsibility for the natural world, and solidarity within the human community.

 

Solar Workshops Set – The Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments will host the first of 2 upcoming workshops on solar energy for the DMV local and regional businesses today at 10:00 a.m. The goal of these sessions is to convene stakeholders to discuss resources, opportunities, and barriers for commercial projects in the solar market. Invited participants include local government clean energy program representatives, experts from the DOE SunShot Initiative, building owners and commercial business leaders.

 

Forum to Feature World Bank Economist – The Johns Hopkins University will host a forum today at 12:30 p.m. featuring Anne Fay, Chief Economist at the World Bank.  As the threat of global climate change continues to develop, environmental and sustainability concerns will increasingly play key roles in the direction of infrastructure development and of economic growth in general. Fay will speak on the topic of de-carbonizing development. Her presentation will be followed by a Q&A session.

 

USAEE/IAEE North American Energy Conference – Today through Wednesday in Pittsburgh, the US Association for Energy Economics will hold a conference  featuring high-level business, government and academic opinion shapers exploring today’s dynamic energy landscape. Speakers include Don Santa, President and CEO, Interstate Natural Gas Association of America, US Energy Information Administrator Adam Sieminski, Guy Caruso, Senior Advisor, Energy and National Security Program, CSIS and Edward Morse Managing Director, Citigroup. John Kingston, President of the McGraw-Hill Financial Global Institute and former director of news for Platts  to receive IAEE Journalism Award.  For full conference details check @usenergyecon or #USAEE2015

 

Wilson Forum to Look at Renewables in Developing World – Tomorrow at 9:30 a.m., the Wilson Center is hosting a forum on scaling up renewables in the developing world.  The forum will be a day-long exploration of the innovative tools being harnessed by the public and private sectors to scale up renewable energy in the developing world.  Speakers will also explore how renewable energy will help countries meet the Global Goals for Sustainable Development and support their climate change commitments.  They include Sen. Ed Markey, US AID’s Eric Postel, EEI’s David Owens and Bloomberg New Energy Finance’s Ethan Zindler.

 

BPC Looks at Nuclear Waste – The Bipartisan Policy Center’s (BPC) Nuclear Waste Council will hold a discussion tomorrow at 10:00 a.m. on the challenges and solutions to America’s nuclear waste management, as well as the next steps to be taken by the Nuclear Waste Council to bring this conversation to implementation.  The panel was designed to reinvigorate and expand the discussion on nuclear waste, identify barriers prohibiting progress on storage and disposal of the waste, and explore options to create a viable national strategy for its long-term and safe disposition.  Over the past 18 months, the council has traveled across the country to discuss nuclear waste issues with industry and community leaders, and recently published a series of issue briefs outlining findings from those meetings and updating the state of play on storage, transportation and other topics.

 

NYU Energy Conference Set –The NYU Law School’s Institute for Policy Integrity will hold its 7th annual fall conference on energy policy in NYC.  The event will feature noted experts from government, the private sector, and academia will discuss what to expect as the energy landscape evolves.

 

Members to Launch Congressional Battery Caucus – Reps. Chris Collins (R-N.Y.) and Mark Takano (D-Calif.) will officially kick off the Congressional Battery Energy Storage Caucus tomorrow afternoon, during an event featuring the Energy Storage Association and representatives of storage companies.  The caucus will be “dedicated to advancing understanding of how energy storage systems are enabling American businesses and homeowners to better access reliable, affordable, and sustainable electric power

 

Spectra Exec to Address NatGas Roundtable – The Natural Gas Roundtable will host William Yardley, president of Spectra Energy’s U.S. transmission business, as guest speaker at tomorrow’s luncheon.  Yardley will speak about the benefits of natural gas, and the important role of pipelines and related infrastructure in addressing energy security, economic and environmental policy challenges facing our nation.  He leads the business development, project execution, operations and environment, health and safety efforts associated with Spectra Energy’s U.S. portfolio of natural gas transmission and storage businesses.

 

Gibson to Headline Climate Focus – The Friends Committee on National Legislation, The Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, RepublicEN and the American Security Project hosts a briefing tomorrow at 12:00 noon in B340 Rayburn that highlights solutions to mitigate climate change and adapt to its consequences that are already being implemented by members of the business, national security, and faith communities.  The briefing will create awareness of the risks and opportunities that climate change offers to business, national security, and faith communities, and hopes to inspire bipartisan cooperation in Congress to catalyze solutions.  Among the speakers will be Congressman Chris Gibson (R-NY).

 

Library of Congress Forum to Feature China Energy Policy Discussion – Tomorrow at Noon, The Library of Congress will host Noon – 1:00 p.m. Joanna Lewis in the Thomas Jefferson Building’s Asian Reading Room. Lewis, a professor in the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University, will give a lecture on “Chinese Energy Policy.”

 

Brookings to Look at Renewables in Germany – Tomorrow at 2:00 p.m., the Energy Security and Climate Initiative (ESCI) at Brookings will host a discussion on renewable energy transitions in Germany and Japan as a follow-up to a policy brief released on this issue last September. Agora Energiewende Director Patrick Graichen and Yu Nagatomi, a researcher with the Power Market Study Group at the Institute of Energy Economics in Japan, will provide initial remarks. ESCI Nonresident Senior Fellow John P. Banks will join in the discussion.

 

Georgetown Expert to Discuss at European Energy – JHU will host a forum tomorrow evening looking at European Energy issues. JHU’s European and Eurasian Studies Program’s Distinguished Lecture Series host a lecture by Dr. Brenda Shaffer of Georgetown University on “Europe’s Energy Security.”

 

McConnell to Headline FOIA Group Gala – The Energy & Environment Legal Institute will hold a gala with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell tomorrow evening.  McConnell will receive the group’s 2015 Champion of Free Market Environmentalism Award Recipient.  The Energy and Environment Legal Institute (E&E Legal) is a 501(c)(3) organization engaged in strategic litigation, policy research, and public education on important energy and environmental issues.  Primarily through its strategic litigation efforts, E&E Legal seeks to address and correct onerous federal and state governmental actions that negatively impact energy and the environment.

 

Stimson to Host Nuclear Summit – The Stimson Center will host a panel on Wednesday at 9:30 a.m. on opportunities for incentives such as insurance, finance and limited liability to reduce nuclear risk while providing a return on investment to operators.  As the Nuclear Security Summit series draws to a close, the prospects dim for development of binding nuclear security standards to assure future safe, secure industry expansion. With DOE/NNSA’s Anne Harrington as the keynote and some key stakeholders participating, this event will explore the role that voluntary consensus standards could play in the nuclear industry, with a focus on cyber security and other areas of overlap between safety and security. To what extent could reputational risk, liability protections, insurance and nuclear project financing be used to marshal scarce resources and motivate voluntary implementation of additional security measures based on standards?

 

House Panel takes up Low-level Nuke Waste – The House Energy & Commerce Committee’s Subcommittee on Environment and the Economy will hold a hearing on Wednesday looking at low-level radioactive waste disposal issues.  DOE’s Mark Whitney and NRC’s Michael Weber will testify, along with Organization of Agreement States Director Jennifer Opila, Leigh Ing, of the Texas Low Level Radioactive Waste Disposal Compact Commission and Aiken, SC Councilmember Chuck Smith.

 

Marshall Islands Minister to Discuss Climate – The American Security Project (ASP) will host a forum Wednesday at noon with Tony de Brum, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of the Marshall Islands. He will discuss the importance of the upcoming COP in Paris and how effective climate diplomacy can still prevent the worst impacts of climate change.  At the event, ASP will formally launch a new Perspective Paper – “Climate Diplomacy and American Leadership.”

 

Pew Forum to Look at Industrial EE – The Pew Charitable Trusts, Alliance for Industrial Efficiency, Heat is Power Association, and the CHP Association will host a forum Wednesday at 1:00 p.m. on the impact of the Power Efficiency and Resiliency (POWER) Act on the deployment of combined heat and power (CHP) and waste heat to power (WHP) systems. CHP and WHP, which capture waste heat to produce electricity and/or heat or cool buildings, are distributed generation technologies that help achieve national economic, environmental, and energy goals.   A new report from the Pew Charitable Trusts’ Clean Energy Initiative, Distributed Generation: Cleaner, Cheaper, Stronger – Industrial Efficiency in the Changing Utility Landscape details how an array of technological, competitive, and market forces are changing how the U.S. generates power and the ways that Americans interact with the electric grid. As part of their research, Pew commissioned ICF International Inc. to analyze the POWER Act’s impact on future market deployment of CHP and WHP, key distributed technologies used in industrial, institutional or manufacturing facilities. The results of this study will be presented at this event.  Speakers for this event include NY Rep. Tom Reed, among others.

 

CSIS to Talk Nigeria Oil, Release Report – On Thursday at 9:30 a.m., the Center for Strategic and International Studies looks at Nigeria’s Oil issues and a discussion on what the priorities for improving governance and addressing corruption in the sector should be, perspectives on early moves by the Buhari government, and an assessment of the prospects for changes in the country’s national oil company.  Aaron Sayne and Alexandra Gillies, co-authors (with Christina Katsouris) of the recently released report, Inside NNPC Oil Sales: A Case for Reform in Nigeria, will examine the major technical and political obstacles in the way of meaningful sector reform in Africa’s leading oil producer.

 

BPC to Host CEO Forum on Sustainable Food, Climate – The Bipartisan Policy Center (BPC) will launches a new CEO Council on Sustainability and Innovation on Thursday and will hold a panel at 2:00 p.m. to hear leading food and agriculture CEOs discuss the rationale behind their innovative approaches to a achieving a sustainable future.  Companies all along the food supply chain are on the front lines of addressing the challenges associated with a changing climate, a growing population and other threats to a stable food supply. Many companies are already dealing with the impacts of weather variability and supply chain disruptions, while also tackling higher and more volatile costs and an increasingly global customer base.  Speakers will include Land O’ Lakes CEO Chris Policinski, Kellogg CEO John Bryant and Elanco President Jeff Simmons.

 

Forum Looks at Climate, Reinsurance – Johns Hopkins University will host a forum on Thursday at 5:30 p.m. that will look at confronting climate change.  This presentation will show how the techniques developed in the re/insurance sector can illuminate pathways for climate resilience in the context of the new Sustainable Development Goals.

 

GW Forum to Look at Climate Mitigation, Displacement – Thursday at 6:00 p.m., the George Washington University Elliott School of International Affairs featuring Dr. Andrea Simonelli. Ahead of the upcoming Climate Negotiations in Paris (CoP21) this December, Simonelli will discuss the global implications of climate change for displacement and refugees, as well as the role of international organizations and the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change’s (UNFCC).  Simonelli will also discuss her newly released book Governing Climate Change Induced Migration: IGO Expansion and Global Policy Implications, which evaluates climate displacement from a political science perspective. This presentation will delve into the potential expansion and the structural constraints faced by intergovernmental organizations to tackle climate induced migration and displacement. Join us for an in-depth evaluation of how this urgent global issue relates to the current climate governance gap, including human and traditional security concerns.

 

FERC’s Honorable to Headline WCEE Event – The Women’s Council on Energy and the Environment’s Women in Leadership (WIL) will host an event Thursday at 6:00 p.m. at the Capitol Hill Club featuring FERC Commissioner Collette Honorable, who will share her insights and some of the “lessons learned” for women in the energy sector.

 

 

Cato to Hold UN Climate Conference Forum – The Cato Institute will hold a day-long forum on Friday in its Hayek Auditorium to hear distinguished climate scientists and legal experts assess the issues sure to drive the debate before, during, and after the Paris UN Climate meeting.  Speakers will include John Christy of the University of Alabama in Huntsville, Georgia Tech’s Judy Curry and Texas State Climatologist John Nielsen-Gammon on a panel about science.  MIT professor and prominent climate skeptic Richard Lindzen will be the luncheon speaker.  In the afternoon, there will be a legal panel featuring Peter Glaser and Andrew Grossman and a policy panel that will include Harlan Watson, Former Chief Climate Negotiator in the George W. Bush administration and Paul “Chip” Knappenberger, who is Assistant Director, Center for the Study of Science at Cato.

 

Nye to Headline NG Climate Forum – On Friday at 7:30 p.m., National Geographic will host Bill Nye for a lively discussion on the global effects of climate change.   The event will feature clips from the National Geographic Channel’s new Explorer episode on climate change, as well as a lively discussion with Bill Nye, the host of the episode, and Brooke Runnette, president of National Geographic Studios. Dennis Dimick, executive editor at National Geographic magazine, will introduce the evening.

 

 

 

FUTURE EVENTS

 

Forum to Feature Cardinal Discussing Pope Encyclical – Next Monday at 4:00 p.m., Georgetown University Law Center will host the Initiative on Catholic Social Thought and Public Life for a Public Dialogue on Pope Francis’ Environmental Encyclical: Protecting the Planet and the Poor, a conversation with Cardinal Oscar Rodriguez.  Cardinal Rodriguez is Chair of Pope Francis’ Council of Cardinals, the first Cardinal from Honduras, and leads the Church’s efforts to protect the planet and the poor. The conversation will be moderated by John Carr, Director of the Initiative. Faculty from Georgetown Law Center will respond including Edith Brown Weiss, Francis Cabell Brown Professor of International Law; and John Podesta, Distinguished Visitor from Practice and former Counselor to President Barack Obama on climate change and energy policy.

 

Energy Summit Set for Houston – The Energy Summit Series which will take place next Sunday to Tuesday at the JW Marriott Houston. The event will be co-located Transmission & Distribution and Distribution Technology & Innovation Summits.

 

Forum Looks Nat’l Labs, Argonne – Next Monday, the GWU Center for International Science and Technology Policy will hold a discussion led by Dr. Keith S. Bradley. Dr. Bradley is the Director of National & Global Security Programs at Argonne National Laboratory (ANL). He is also currently serving as the Director of the Global Security Sciences Division. Dr. Bradley has over 30 years of experience in national security and advanced nuclear energy research and development. Bradley works with scientists, engineers, and managers across the laboratory to formulate and execute a strategic future in national and global security programs. Most of Bradley’s career has focused on national nuclear security, with particular emphasis on nuclear capabilities and threats.  Previously he worked at Lawrence Livermore and Los Alamos National Laboratories, studying inertial confinement fusion, nuclear weapons physics and design, technology development for nuclear nonproliferation, nuclear counterterrorism and research to advance and protect civilian nuclear fuel cycles. Prior to his current responsibilities, Dr. Bradley served as the National Technical Director of the Nuclear Energy Advanced Modeling & Simulation Program for the DOE office of Nuclear Energy.

Company to Demonstrate Green Thermal Tech – Next Monday at 2:00 p.m. in Rayburn’s Gold Room Brillouin Energy Corp will hold a demonstration for policymakers of breakthrough thermal energy technology from.  Brillouin is a clean-technology company located in Berkeley, CA, which is developing, in collaboration with the Stanford Research Institute (SRI) in Menlo Park, CA, an ultra-clean, low-cost, renewable energy technology that is capable of producing commercially useful amounts of thermal energy.  The Brillouin technology is based on low energy nuclear reactions (LENR). The result is ultra-clean, low-cost, and sustainable renewable energy that doesn’t rely on any type of fossil fuel, chemical, or nuclear fuel. This process produces zero emissions and solid wastes which pollute the environment.

 

Forum to Look at Global Energy Trends – The CSIS Energy and National Security Program is hosting a discussion next Monday at 9:30 a.m. looking at emerging market economic and energy trends and their implications for the near and longer term global energy outlook with Joyce Chang, Managing Director and Global Head of Research at J.P. Morgan Chase & Co., and Catherine Wolfram, Faculty Director at the Energy Institute at Berkeley’s Haas School of Business.

 

UN Official to Speak at CSM Event – On Tuesday morning, November 3rd, the Christian Science Monitor for a conversation with Christiana Figueres, executive secretary of the UNFCCC , the official charged with bringing 195 nations together to agree on a global climate plan at the St. Regis Hotel in Washington, D.C.  The theme of the talk will be the state of global energy and climate heading into the Paris climate talks. Where do we stand with less than a month until diplomats meet in Paris to finalize an international climate agreement? Executive Secretary Figueres will provide an update on the negotiations and share her perspectives on what needs to happen during and after the summit in early December.

 

Forum to Look at Customers, Cities – The Energy Times is hosting an Empowering Customers & Cities Forum on November 4–6th in Chicago.  Energy customers are demanding more reliable service and sustainable solutions to deliver on their ever-increasing demand for power. At the same time, deregulation and legislative policy is forcing utilities and energy providers to rethink their business models. Now, more than ever, collaboration is required around the future of energy delivery and consumption.

 

Sen. Lee Headline Climate Preview Forum – On Wednesday, November 4th at 2:30 p.m., the Heritage Foundation will hold a forum  on the upcoming Paris climate negotiations. Senator Mike Lee provides his views on the President’s plan followed by a panel of leading experts who will address what will happen in Paris later this year and what Congress can do about it. Other speakers include the US Chamber’s Steve Eule and conservative FOIA gadfly Chris Horner,

 

Fall Wind Symposium Set – AWEA is hosting its annual Fall Symposium in Albuquerque, NM on November 5th at the Tamaya Resort.  The event will feature a community engagement seminar among the many other panels.

 

Women, Money, Power Summit Set for Press Club – On November 5th, the Feminist Majority is hosting its annual Women, Money, Power Summit in DC at the National Press Club at noon.  Speakers will include Congresswomen Barbara Lee, Louise Slaughter and Donna Edwards, among others.

 

Forum to Look at Climate Issues – The Atlantic Council will hold a discussion on Thursday, November 5th, looking at the immediate impacts of climate change on US economic and national security. As the COP21 talks in Paris approach, the attention of the international community is fixated more than ever on climate. Still, much of today’s climate discourse focuses on the long-term impacts rather than the immediate ramifications of climate change. This panel of climate experts seeks to highlight the urgency of these issues from the perspective of both the public and the private sector. Joining us for this session are Judge Alice Hill, Senior Director for Resilience Policy at the National Security Council, The Hon. Sherri Goodman, President and CEO of the Consortium for Ocean Leadership, and Alex Kaplan, Vice President of Global Partnerships at Swiss Re.

 

REFF West to Focus on Key Renewable Financing Issues – The 8th annual Renewable Energy Finance Forum-West (REFF-West) 2015 will be held at the Four Seasons in San Francisco, CA on November 5th and 6th.  With a focus on renewable energy development in the Western U.S., REFF-West will highlight financing trends in renewable power, energy storage, system integration, and transportation; review important developments in Western power market expansion and in the role of the emerging corporate customer market segment; and discuss renewable energy’s role in smarter resource use and response to the Western water crisis.

 

IPAA Hosts 86th Annual Meeting in New Orleans – On November 8-10th, the Independent Petroleum Association of America will host its 86th annual meeting at The Ritz-Carlton in New Orleans, La. Speakers will include The Honorable Edward Djerejian, Alex Epstein, David Wasserman with The Cook Political Report, and John England, among others.

 

CSIS Global Forum Set – CSIS’s International Security Program will hold its flagship annual Global Security Forum 2015 on Monday, November 16th.

 

PARIS UN COP 21 Meeting –  November 30th to December 11th

Energy Update: Week of September 14

Friends,

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Best,

 

Frank Maisano

(202) 828-5864

(202) 997-5932

 

 

IN THE NEWS

 

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

 

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

 

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

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

 

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

 

 

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

FUTURE EVENTS

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

UN General Assembly – September 28th

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

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

 

Energy Update: Week of June 29

Friends,

 

Happy 4th of July week….   While it has been a crazy few weeks, the July 4th Congressional break can’t really get started until today’s SCOTUS decision on Mercury.  Full response below, but feel free to connect with either Scott Segal (202-828-5845) or Jeff Holmstead (202-828-5852) as many of you already have.

 

It appears the EPA will also publish the Waters of the US rule (or now known as the Clean Water Rule) in the Federal Register today and EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy will hold an event today at the National  Zoo to talk about the rule.  My colleague Lowell Rothschild (512-739-2352) is a great contact on the subject and is always happy to discuss.    He has also done a series of blogs on the topic at http://www.energylegalblog.com

 

And with John Kerry negotiating with the P5+1 in Vienna trying to get a nuclear deal for Iran, the illusory June 30th is tomorrow.   That is not a hard deadline, but regardless we have some good information and resources on the topics that we can forward should you need it.  Please let me know what you need.

 

Finally, on Saturday, despite his recent stage mishap and some cancelled tour dates, Dave Grohl and Foo Fighters will be headlining his Sonic Highways July 4th extravaganza is set to roll.  The Foo Fighters are slated for a North American tour for most of July, beginning with Saturday’s RFK event.  But Foo Fighters management has been silent about whether Grohl will be ready to rock. His doctors had put him on rest after the surgery, which included Grohl getting six metal pins in his repaired right leg.  Bets are the show goes On with Grohl moving a little slower than normal.  The July 4th event is a daylong, multi-act concert, motorcycle rally and barbecue, with fireworks to top it off. Acts slated to perform include Heart, Joan Jett & The Blackhearts, LL Cool J featuring DJ Z-Trip, Buddy Guy, Gary Clark Jr., D.C.’s own Trouble Funk and Trombone Shorty, all acts that played a role in his documentary Sonic Highways.

 

Jeff and Scott are ready to discuss the SCOTUS ruling.  Please don’t hesitate to call.

 

Frank Maisano

(202) 828-5864

(202) 997-5932

 

 

THE BIG NEWS 

SCOTUS On MATS – The Supreme Court has dealt a significant blow to a major Obama administration rule that limits the amount of mercury and other hazardous pollutants from power plants, ruling 5-4 today that EPA erred while writing the rule. The rule has already pushed dozens of coal-fired power plants into retirement, and has been criticized by fossil fuel advocates as a key part of the administration’s “war on coal.” The administration had argued that it would bring billions of dollars in benefits for public health and the environment.

 

Segal on Ruling – Scott Segal, director of the Electric Reliability Coordinating Council, a group of power plants working on reasonable Clean Air Act implementation, said the ruling is significant when assessing expected upcoming legal challenges on the Administration’s GHG rules.

 

“As you may have heard, the Supreme Court has now ruled on the MATS case, Michigan v. EPA/UARG v. EPA.  The decision favored state and industry petitioners on a 5-4 decision.  Here are some important take-aways:

 

  1. The Court found that EPA elected not to consider cost when deciding whether to regulate mercury and air toxic emissions from power plants.  EPA had said such cost considerations were irrelevant.  Failing to consider costs meant that EPA could not possibly determine if the rule was appropriate, or even rational.  This failure far exceeded the flexibility EPA so frequently relies upon under the Chevron doctrine.

 

  1. As children, we learn that every day can’t be Christmas.  EPA just learned that today.  The Agency cannot continue to write rules without regard to their cost, simply because the Agency believes its cause is just.  The fact is that Congress envisioned a more balanced approach under which economic and environmental endpoints both play a vital role.  Blithe statements that EPA will take costs into consideration at some ill-defined future moment are insufficient, particularly when billions of dollars can be spent even as rules make their way through judicial review.

 

  1. Just a week ago, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill that would stay implementation of the proposed Clean Power Plan – the EPA’s carbon rule for power plants – until such time as final judicial review is complete.  Today’s decision which reverses a rule after great amounts of resources have already been spent is morality tale that demonstrates that the approach taken by the House is sensible and pragmatic.  When the Agency fails to consider the real world implications of its rules and stretches the limit of its legal authority, implementation should await final judicial review.

 

  1. Some have asked about the effect of the rule on the pending Clean Power Plan, the EPA power-plant carbon rule.  Today the Supreme Court clearly had cautionary words for an agency that would proceed without due consideration of cost.  The Court reminded the Agency of the unique position the power sector plays due to its current level of regulation and its importance to the economy as a whole.  These considerations should serve as important warnings to consider cost and reliability in a thorough manner before it finalizes its carbon rules.  Failure to do so will place legacy before legality.”

 

Dartmouth Study Shows Mercury Changes — Speaking of mercury, a Dartmouth-led study using a 600-year-old ice core shows that global mercury pollution increased dramatically during the 20thcentury, but that mercury concentrations in the atmosphere decreased faster than previously thought beginning in the late 1970s when emissions started to decline. The findings suggest that present-day efforts to cut mercury emissions will reduce pollution more quickly than current models predict.  The study appears in the journalEnvironmental Science & Technology.

 

 

IN THE NEWS

Efficiency Study –  Conventional wisdom suggests that energy efficiency (EE) policies are beneficial because they induce investments that pay for themselves and lead to emissions reductions. However, a new paper from researchers at the Becker Friedman Institute says the upfront investment costs are about twice the actual energy savings. Further, the model-projected savings are roughly 2.5 times the actual savings. While this might be attributed to the “rebound” effect – when demand for energy end uses increases as a result of greater efficiency – the paper fails to find evidence of significantly higher indoor temperatures at weatherized homes. Even when accounting for the broader societal benefits of energy efficiency investments, the costs still substantially outweigh the benefits; the average rate of return is approximately -9.5% annually. The results of an part of an experimental evaluation of the nation’s largest residential EE program conducted on a sample of more than 30,000 households by UC-Berkley researchers Meredith Fowlie and Catherine Wolfram and U of Chicago’s Michael Greenstone.

 

Groups Release Multistate GHG Resources – The Eastern Interconnection States Planning Council (EISPC) and the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC) have released the final installment of the Multistate Coordination Resources for Clean Power Plan Compliance.   Funded by the Department of Energy, this final package includes information not found in the May 2015 publication, such as a brief that examines the legislative role(s) that need to be considered in any potential interstate compliance collaborations in response to the Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean Power Plan. The brief also includes sample legislative authorities and a checklist developed by the National Conference of State Legislatures. As states develop their compliance plans, they are proactively exploring a variety of options: single-state, multi-state, unit-based—in anticipation of the Clean Power Plan being finalized. Although NARUC’s member states have diverse opinions of the plan, there is ongoing, intense activity underway by states to better understand what these coordination efforts will entail if pursued as an option to successfully navigate the rules of compliance if the final plan goes forward.  NARUC plans to convene a meeting this fall among State Commissions, consumer advocates, air agencies, and energy offices to see whether the multistate tools developed by EISPC, NARUC, the National Association of Clean Air Agencies, and others fit together, and how.   A copy of the multistate package is available on NARUC’s website at http://bit.ly/1LAprBE.

 

BrightSource, NRG Respond to WSJ on Ivanpah Story – Both NRG and Brightsource responded to a recent Wall Street Journal story that questioned Ivanpah’s productions recently.  BrightSource cited recent reports that production output has improved 170% over last year at this time.  The NRG letter in the Journal said they have always assumed a four-year ramp rate to 100% plant capacity. They also added that the plant has “experienced operating days when the plant is meeting, and in some instances exceeding, projections for this stage of operations.”

 

 

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

 

Stanford Forum to Look at Enviro Capital Issues – Next Tuesday, the Nature Conservancy and the Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment, in cooperation with their Natural Capital Project partners, the World Wildlife Fund and the University of Minnesota, are holding a forum at RFF at 9:00 a.m. on Integrating natural capital into decisions. The event will feature leading academics and practitioners in the field of ecosystem services as well as experts from the public and non-profit sectors, addressing core sustainability challenges of the 21st century.  Speakers and panelists will highlight the latest advances in the science and practice of using ecosystem services to inform decisions. The discussion will provide insights into how this information can best be used by government agencies, multilateral institutions, and the broader sustainable development community to structure and implement policies that are simultaneously sound from environmental and economic perspectives. A panel of leading experts, including authors from a recently published Special Feature of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences on “Nature as Capital,” will discuss key components of bringing natural capital considerations into mainstream decision making on issues such as agriculture, energy, infrastructure, urban planning, finance and national security.  Speakers will include former Bush Interior official Lynn Scarlett, USDA Research under secretary Ann Bartuska, WWF’s Tom Dillon, IADB’s Michele Lemay and Mary Ruckleshaus of the Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment

 

MCOG to Hold EV Workshop – The Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments will hold a Electric Vehicle Readiness Workshop tomorrow to present EV deployment strategies taking place in the region, as well as strategies for advancing public and private charging development. Panelists include – the Transportation and Climate Initiative, US Department of Energy, World Wildlife Fund, Pepco, BG&E, Dominion Power, and the local Clean Cities Coalitions.  Participating governments include the District of Columbia, Prince George’s Co., Hyattsville, MD, Fairfax County, VA, and the Cities of Bowie and Baltimore. The lunch time presentation will address the Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV) Eight State MOU and how the region could assist in advancing the ZEV Action Plan.

 

Cato Forum to Look at Free Markets, Energy – The Cato Institute will hold a forum on the case for free markets in energy next Tuesday in its Hayek Auditorium.  Since the 1970s, however, more libertarian voices have been heard on these issues. IER founder and CEO Rob Bradley, who has been involved with free-market energy policy since its inception, will discuss the history of libertarian thinking on past energy policy and its relevance for current policy debates.

 

Forum to Look at Nat Gas Issues in Europe – The Institute of World Politics will hold a forum on Tuesday, June 30th at 1:00 p.m. featuring a  a lecture on rival gas pipelines for Europe.  The event will feature Vilen Khlgatyan, Vice Chairman, Political Developments Research Center.  In recent years, the competition for supplying Europe with natural gas has heated up once again and has taken a more urgent course due to the conflict in Ukraine. Two pipeline routes are vying for dominance and are backed by different states with their own geopolitical considerations. In December 2014, it was announced that Russia’s Gazprom would re-route its proposed South Stream Pipeline to the Turkish-Greek border via the Black Sea and Turkey. Likewise, the U.S.-backed Nabucco pipeline was sidelined by the less ambitious and costly Trans-Anatolian Pipeline and Trans-Adriatic Pipeline, which will see Azerbaijani gas and potentially Iranian and Turkmen gas cross Turkey to reach markets in Greece, the Balkans and Italy. Both pipelines have their advantages and disadvantages. This lecture will consider the economics and geopolitics of the rival pipelines and what’s at stake for the concerned parties.  Khlgatyan is Vice-Chairman of Political Developments Research Center (PDRC), a think tank based in Yerevan, Armenia. He specializes in the geopolitics of energy, non-kinetic warfare, and the post-Soviet region with an emphasis on the Caucasus.

 

USEA Forum to Look at Modeling – The US Energy Association will hold a forum Tuesday, June 30th at 2:00 p.m. on MIT’s global models that are project energy and climate issues. Using a projection modeling system developed by MIT’s Joint Program on the Science and Policy of Global Change, the Integrated Global System Model (IGSM), we provide an integrated assessment of how human activities, given our current development path, are interacting with complex Earth systems and ultimately affecting the natural resources on which we depend. In the first part of the presentation (lead by Dr, Erwan Monier), we introduce the IGSM, and describe the capabilities of the modeling system to simulate the uncertainty in the future climate response to anthropogenic emissions of greenhouse gases and aerosols. In the second part of the presentation (lead by Dr, Sergey Paltsev), we provide an integrated economic and climate projection of the 21st century–not a prediction, as the future will ultimately be determined by actions taken over the next decades that are intended to stabilize our relationship with the planet. We incorporate the emissions targets currently proposed by the international community to address the challenges of climate change.

 

Perry to Address National  Press Club Luncheon – Rick Perry, the former three-term governor of Texas and a 2016 presidential candidate, will lay out an economic plan at a National Press Club luncheon on Thursday. The former U.S. Air Force pilot, who left office in January, will discuss how to fight “the cycle of hopelessness and lost opportunity that so many Americans feel trapped in.  The son of tenant farmers in Paint Creek, Texas, Perry is one of several governors and former governors in the large Republican presidential field. His state has the 12th largest economy in the world by GDP and since 2000 has created almost one-third of all new private sector jobs in the United States. As governor, Perry dealt with the border crisis, an ebola outbreak and refugees from Hurricane Katrina.

 

EPA’s McCarthy, NBC’s Anne Thompson to Look at Pope’s Climate Approach – Georgetown University will hold a forum Wednesday at 6:00 p.m. on Pope Francis’ just-released encyclical on care for creation and climate change.  The dialogue brings together a distinguished panel from government, media, academia, and business to discuss the encyclical, its moral framework, and its potential religious, ethical, and policy impacts.  Speakers will include EPA’s Gina McCarthy and NBC’s Anne Thompson, among others.

 

July 4th

 

FUTURE EVENTS

 

CSM to Host McCarthy on Paris Talks – Recharge, the Christian Science Monitor’s energy section, will host EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy for a talk on Tuesday July 7th at 9:30 p.m. looking at US energy and climate policy on the path to Paris negotiations.  As diplomats across the globe prepare for December’s climate talks, the US is working to meet its own ambitious emissions targets. Administrator McCarthy will outline progress to-date on greenhouse gas reductions, and will discuss what challenges remain for the world’s second-largest emitter.

 

WCEE Forum to Look at Grid Design – The Women’s Council on Energy and the Environment (WCEE) will hold a forum Tuesday, July 7th at Noon at Energetics looking at designing a successful transition to clean, renewable energy.  Nicole Steele, Executive Director of GRID Alternatives’ Mid-Atlantic office will discuss the success stories of providing community-scale solar access at the local and regional scale, where there are often different rules, permitting and incentives.  She will discuss how GRID works with community partners, volunteers and job trainees to implement solar power and energy efficiency for low-income families, and describe what works in which areas and why, including low income solar rebate programs, single-family versus multi-family and community solar models, homeowners  versus renters, and innovative job training workforce development approaches involving schools or veteran communities.

 

House Committee to Look at DHS Climate Focus – The House Homeland Security Committee’s Subcommittee on Oversight and Management Efficiency will hold a hearing on Wednesday July 8th  examining DHS’s focus on climate change.

 

House Resources to Look at Helium Issues – The House Resources Committee will hold a hearing on Wednesday July 8th on recent legislation on the US Helium reserve.

 

House Energy Panel to Target Climate Issues – The House Energy panel at Energy & Commerce will hold a hearing on Wednesday July 8th looking at the GHG rule.

 

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.

 

Company to Highlight Data Destruction Method – On July 9th on Capitol Hill, Phiston Technologies will be leading a discussion and technology demonstration of their High Security Data Storage Media Destruction machines.  They will encourage people to bring old computer hard drives, solid state drives, cell phones, CDs/DVDs and ID cards and we will destroy them safely in seconds.   The event will be in 210 Cannon.

 

Senate Energy to Look at Nuclear Issues – On August 4th the Senate Energy Committee will hold a hearing to discuss the back-end of the nuclear fuel cycle and related legislation.

 

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 June 22

Friends,

 

Hope it was a Happy Fathers’ Day and Summer Solstice yesterday (officially at 12:39 p.m.).  It was the longest daylight of the year with sunrise at 5:43 a.m. with the daylight lasting 14 hrs, 53 mins and 54 secs until 8:37 p.m.    I spent all of those daylight hours with Hannah and Olivia refereeing lacrosse in Richmond and then heading to Kings Dominion on the way home to avoid traffic for some serious rollercoaster riding.  Meanwhile, my wife was at Firefly Festival in Delaware all three-plus days, making the weekend even more awesome because I ate whatever I wanted and stayed up late watching stupid (I mean awesome) movies.  All-the-while, I was getting weather and concert-going reports such as the smell during Sublime and Snoop Dog performance (if you know what I mean), among many other great insights into the minds and souls of four-day festival goers (muddy, drunk/high, smelly).

 

A Father’s Day with the remote also meant watching as much golf as I could, especially at the end of Sunday.  With the west coast US Open venue, it was great to catch the end after a tough day of rollercoasting.  It great to see Jordan Spieth take his second consecutive major while difficult to watch Dustin Johnson let a win, then a tie slip away.  I for One was hoping for a ties as that would have led to watching more golf today.  And can’t leave sports without shoutouts to Golden State, The Blackhawks and the Nats Max Scherzer, who was one-strike and an elbow away from a perfect game only to “settle” for a no-hitter.

 

This week remains busy as we start the run up to July 4th week.  First, it is the last week of the SCOTUS term which means  since we haven’t seen any Mercury decision this morning that it will likely arrive on Thursday.  Second, it Is energy week the House with a full slate of legislation headed to the floor including bipartisan TCSA Reform, Rep. McKinley’s coal ash and Chairman Whitfield’s Ratepayer Protection bill, which pauses EPA’s GHG rule until the courts ruled on its legality.  As well, the EPA/Interior spending bill is expected on the floor likely leading to lots of amendments and late nights.

 

In the hearing rooms, Senate Environment has UMW’s Gene Trisko and Black Chamber President Harry Alford tomorrow on the GHG rule impacts on businesses, while House Foreign Affairs looks into crude exports and Senate Homeland security Has former OIRA head Susan Dudley on drafting regulations.   On Wednesday House Science hits the EIA analysis of the GHG rule while House resources looks at a GAO report on BLM mismanagement of wind and solar reclamation bonds.  Finally Thursday, after last week’s work at the House Energy & Commerce panel on Health, GMO labeling returns at an House Ag panel to focus on the Pompeo legislation and states’ rights issues and the Senate Foreign Relations Committee looks into the Iran Nuclear discussions which hit a deadline at the end of June.  Remember, last week, a number of US leaders went to Paris to support regime change and limits on any Iran Nuclear deal.

 

Finally, some other interesting event s in DC this week, including a Washington Post forum tomorrow on innovation/technology featuring Southern CEO Tom Fanning and others, a Wednesday forum from the House Natural Gas Caucus featuring Cabot’s George Stark, a Thursday POLITICO Panel on the environment and youth featuring former Speaker Newt Gingrich and our friend Elana Schor and Friday, the Center for New American Security’s Annual Conference featuring a bunch of great panels/speakers on Iran, crude exports, oil security and many other topics.

 

Speaking of SoCo’s Fanning, he also headlines ACORE hosts it 12th annual REFF-Wall Street 2015 on Wednesday and Thursday at The Grand Hyatt in New York City.  REFF-Wall Street is the premier renewable energy financing event in the U.S.

 

Frank Maisano

(202) 828-5864

(202) 997-5932

 

 

IN THE NEWS

EPA Release Heavy Duty Truck Rule – EPA and DOT released fuel efficiency standards for medium- and heavy-duty trucks, which they said would cut 1 billion metric tons of carbon when they take full effect.  The Phase 2 standards cover the 2021 to 2027 model years, and build upon a previous standard for trucks with model years between 2014 and 2018, would aim to cut emissions from combination tractors – large freight vehicles –  by 24%, compared with the previous standard, by 2027.  It would also seek a 16% reduction for pick-up trucks, light vans and vocational vehicles, compared with the Phase 1 standard, on the same timeline.   Officials touted the economic benefits of the rule saying increased fuel efficiency has produced major dividends for the national economy and for energy security.  They said new tractor trailers would cost $10,000 to $12,000 more under the new standards, but owners would recoup that investment in two years.

 

SAFE Touts Energy Security Over Emissions – While most were focused on GHG emissions, SAFE Said that the rule is really an oil security issue.  They said the rule marks a critical step in the effort to reduce the United States’ dependence on oil.   Gen. James Conway, former Commandant of the U.S. Marine Corps said “Increasing the efficiency of a sector of the economy that is such a large and growing oil consumer will strengthen our national security, give our armed forces more flexibility, and make our servicemen and women less likely to go into harm’s way,” Last week, Adml. Dennis Blair penned a letter to the New York Times saying the truck rule will really curb our oil appetite and strengthen American security.

 

DTF: New Fleet is Already Cleaner – The Diesel Technology Forum says more clean diesel trucks are already on the road.  DTF released new research that shows emissions are going down and fuel savings and greenhouse gas emissions benefits are going up in the nation’s commercial trucking fleet as more truckers invest in new technology clean diesel engines.  The new fleet is a growing portion of the total diesel commercial truck population with more than 37% of all US diesel medium- and heavy-duty commercial trucks registered now equipped with newer technology clean diesel engines – those manufactured in Model Year 2007 or newer that have near zero particulate emissions.  And nearly 22% of all diesel trucks in operation are now the newest clean diesel technology (2010 and later model year) that are also near zero emissions in nitrogen oxides.

 

Big Fleets, Manufacturers Weigh In – An alliance of the country’s largest names in trucking said today that they look forward to working with Federal regulators on the Obama Administration’s Notice of Proposed Rule Making (NPRM) for the second phase of national fuel efficiency and greenhouse gas emission standards for heavy-duty vehicles. Noting the success of Phase I standards finalized in 2011, the group said it is supportive of a process to achieve substantial environmental and economic benefits by reducing GHG emissions, improving fuel efficiency and delivering fuel cost savings for fleets.  WM CEO David Steiner said: “Our hope with the Phase II rule is that we can continue our investment in a natural gas collection fleet that has proven to be good for our customers and communities, good for the environment and good for business.  We have eliminated the use of 8,000 gallons of diesel fuel per year with each of our more than 4,000 natural gas trucks. Each truck eliminates nearly all particulate emissions, significantly reduces smog-forming NOx emissions and cuts GHG emissions by over 20 percent.”

 

SAFE Announces Energy Tech Prize Finalists – Speaking of SAFE, they announced four semifinalists for its 2015 Energy Security Prize, awarding a total of $175,000 to companies whose innovations are poised to advance American energy security by helping to end the United States’ dependence on oil.  One of the companies, Peleton has a technology that will be helpful in addressing the new Heavy-duty truck rule Just released by EPA.  The winner of the 2015 Prize will receive $125,000, the first runner up $35,000 and the second runner up $15,000. The four semifinalists are FreeWire Technologies, Momentum Dynamics, Peloton Technology, and SeaChange Group. Videos of the semifinalists can be viewed at secureenergy.org/prize. These four semifinalists were selected by two rounds of judging by expert panels comprised of industry leaders, energy and transportation specialists, and academics. This year’s three finalists will be announced in the days leading up to the Energy Security Prize awards ceremony, to be held in Charleston, S.C. on July 31.  Partners CNBC and Clemson University will join SAFE in Charleston to announce the grand prize winner, runner up, and second runner up of the 2015 Prize at an event featuring leaders in the fields of business, policy, and national security, celebrating these technologies and selecting those with the greatest potential to transform the way the world moves goods and people.

 

The Companies:

FreeWire Technologies’ Mobi electric vehicle (EV) charger helps eliminate the “charge rage” facing areas with high EV adoption and insufficient charging capacity. Mobis decouple infrastructure from parking spots by using repurposed EV batteries to deliver power via a fully motorized platform. Each Mobi, with its 40 kilowatt-hour capacity, can top off up to four vehicles in the morning, recharge, and be ready to power additional EVs in the afternoon.

 

Momentum Dynamics seeks to take DC fast charging for electric vehicles to the next level, pioneering a wireless charging system designed for the workplace and public locations like shopping centers and restaurants. Their unique 25-kilowatt wireless charging pad delivers power via magnetic induction ten times faster than home-based plug-in chargers, overcoming barriers to EV adoption by allowing EVs to charge frequently, quickly and automatically.

 

Peloton Technology aims to increase safety, efficiency, and profits for America’s trucking fleets with its Truck Platooning System, which wirelessly links pairs of tractor-trailers. These two-truck “platoons” share collision avoidance radar and other sensors, braking automatically and nearly instantaneously, allowing trucks to travel at closer distances, providing aerodynamic fuel savings of up to 10 percent for both vehicles. A cloud-based network operations center improves driver awareness and dynamically manages platooning to ensure it is only done under appropriate conditions.

 

SeaChange Group is tackling an important opportunity for oil displacement: maritime vessels, locomotives and off-road equipment. Using the primary byproduct from biodiesel production, glycerol, SeaChange has created a fuel blend to markedly reduce oil use and emissions from all manner of seafaring vessels (to start) while eliminating the need for costly add-ons such as exhaust scrubbers. On top of the environmental and health benefits, SeaChange’s Eco-Hybrid™ fuel is cheaper than regular diesel. The company is currently testing the new fuel at sea and producing 1,000 gallons daily with its pilot processor.

 

Stakeholders come to Major Agreement on Commercial HV AC DOE rule – The Appliance Standards Awareness Project (ASAP), the Air-Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration Institute (AHRI), and the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy (ACEEE) today applauded the success of the Commercial Package Air Conditioners and Commercial Warm Air Furnaces Working Group, established by the Department of Energy on April 1, to negotiate conservation standards for these products. After six meetings, the working group, comprised of industry, energy efficiency and environmental advocates, contractors and agency representatives, including AHRI and ASAP, reached consensus and provided recommendations for energy conservation standards, test procedures, and metrics.  AHRI’s Steve Yurek: “Bringing stakeholders together to develop a rule that is both effective and achievable is the best way to ensure that our members’ products and equipment provide consumers and businesses with comfort, safety, and productivity while helping the nation achieve its energy reduction targets.”  The committee was tasked with addressing rules for the energy efficiency of commercial package air conditioners and heat pumps (specifically, air-cooled with rated cooling capacities greater than or equal to 65,000 Btu per hour and less than 760,000 Btu per hour split and package AC and HP) and commercial warm air furnaces, as authorized by the Energy Policy and Conservation Act (EPCA) of 1975, as amended. The scope excluded package terminal air conditioners and heat pumps (PTAC/PTHP), single package vertical units (SPVU), computer room air conditioners (CRAC), and variable refrigerant flow (VRF) systems.

 

VT Asst AG Weighs in on States Rights, GMO Labeling – In testimony at the House Energy & Commerce Committee late last week, told representatives that the federal draft legislation would prematurely derail Vermont’s GMO labeling law and end any GMO labeling efforts by states.  Daloz told the committee that the state is simply providing consumers with information.   “It’s not a warning. It’s a notification. There was tremendously strong demand in Vermont for this labeling bill.  The legislature found that giving consumers this information enables them to make a choice similar to calorie counts.  This is the state simply providing information for consumers.”  Vermont Rep. Peter Welch questioned what their problem is with allowing labeling.   “It’s a consumer right to know issue.  I agree with my colleagues that a national standard would be good. But there is no national standard in this bill.  It’s a voluntary labeling, which means there will be no labeling what-so-ever. If GMO’s are so safe, and I’m not here to challenge that assertion, but if they’re so safe why not label? Why would anyone be afraid of so labeling those products so that consumers would have a right to know?”

 

Blog Says GMO Legislation Limits States, Undermines Public Opinion – EWG’s Scott Faber wrote a blog just prior to the hearing saying the new version of H.R. 1599 – dubbed the Deny Americans the Right to Know or “DARK” Act – is a radical overreach that does not simply deny consumers the right to know what’s in their food or how it is grown, but also denies state and local governments the right to protect farmers and rural residents from the environmental impacts of GMO crops.  Faber said the legislation doubles down on efforts to blocks states from requiring GMO labeling. The new version also block states from regulating how GMO crops are produced.  Faber added it is especially shocking in light of new polls by the Mellman Group andConsumers Union that show 9-in-10 Americans want mandatory GMO labeling – regardless of age, income, education, race or even party affiliation.  Consumers simply want the right to know what’s in their food and how it was grown – a right held by consumers in 64 other nations.

 

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

 

DOE Hosts Sustainable Transpo Day – Today 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 wil 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 – Today 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 today through Wednesday 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 today through Wednesday.  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 – Tonight, 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 tomorrow and Wednesday 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 – Tomorrow morning, 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 tomorrow 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 tomorrow 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.

 

Senate Environment to Look at GHG Impacts on Energy Costs – The Senate Committee on Environment Subcommittee on Clean Air and Nuclear Safety will hold a hearing tomorrow at 2:00 p.m. on EPA GHG regulations and their impact on energy costs for American businesses, rural communities and families.

 

Inhofe Headline Social Cost of Carbon Event – The Heritage Foundation host a forum tomorrow 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.

 

Cato Forum to Look at Oil, Gas Renaissance – The Cato Institute will hold a forum tomorrow at 1:00 p.m. in 2168 Rayburn on sustaining the American energy renaissance in oil and gas.  Directional drilling, horizontal drilling, hydraulic fracturing, and radical new advances in offshore platform technology and global positioning software have revolutionized both onshore and offshore oil and gas production. These advances 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 event will feature Petroleum Geologist Ned Mamula, formerly with the U.S. Geological Survey, MMS and the CIA, and Cato’s Pat Michaels,

 

Senate Enviro to Look at GHG Costs on Businesses – The Senate Environment Committee’s Subcommittee on Clean Air and Nuclear Safety will hold a hearing tomorrow at 2:00 p.m. on the impacts of EPA’s proposed Carbon Regulations on Energy Costs for American Businesses, Rural Communities and Families.  Witnesses will include Industrial Energy Consumers of America President Paul Cicio, NY DEC Commissioner Joseph Martens, UMWA’s Gene Trisko, Harvard Med School instructor Mary Rice and National Black Chamber of Commerce President Harry Alford.

 

Senate Foreign Relations to Look at Crude Exports – The Senate Foreign Relations Committee’s Subcommittee on Multilateral International Development, Multilateral Institutions, and International Economic Energy, and Environmental Policy will hold a hearing tomorrow at 2:45 p.m. on American energy exports and opportunities for allies and national security.  Witnesses include former White House official Bob McNally, David Gordon of the Center for a New American Security and Jamie Webster of IHS Energy.

 

Coal Council Exec to Discuss CCS Report – USEA will host Janet Gellici, Executive Vice President & COO of the National Coal Council tomorrow 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 Wednesday and Thursday 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 Danelson and former EERE head Cathy Zoi.

 

ACCO Holds Climate Strategies Forum – On Wednesday to Friday, the Association of Climate Change Officers will hold its Climate Strategies Forum’s at the Washington Marriott.  The event is ACCO’s primary conference offering half-day training sessions for credit applicable to the Climate Governance Certificate under the CCO CertificationTM program. The Forum also features a suite of keynote conversations, a Women’s Climate Collaborative speed mentoring session, CCO Roundtable sessions, networking events, a tools and methodologies showcase and a tabletop exhibition.

 

Sen. Gardner to Headline ASE Event – The Alliance to Save Energy will have an intimate Policy Perspectives discussion with Senator Cory Gardner on Wednesday 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.

 

DOE Innovation Competition Set – On Wednesday at the Pew Charitable Trusts, the DOE’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy National Clean Energy Business Plan Competition (NCEBPC) will hold its national competition on the new technologies highlighted.  This year, student-led teams competed in five DOE-sponsored regional competitions by submitting business plans for innovative clean energy technologies. Each regional winner received a DOE-sponsored prize.  The NCEBPC culminates in the annual National Competition, which brings together public, private, and nonprofit sector stakeholders. On Wednesday, regional finalists and runners-up will showcase their technologies, NCEBPC alumni will discuss the paths they have taken since participating in the competition, and finalists will compete for the National Prize. Five regional finalists will pitch their business plans to an esteemed panel of judges, industry leaders, and audience members. The winning team will take home the DOE National Prize of $50,000 and various in-kind services.

 

Book Forum to Look at Energy, Economy – The Wilson Center will hold a book forum on Wednesday at 10:00 a.m. featuring UK economic Professors Stacy Closson and Evan Hillebrand.  In the book, they forecast the most significant drivers of global economic growth over the next forty years. The authors discuss eight scenarios they have modeled of possible global futures, emphasizing the interconnectedness of energy prices, economic growth, and geopolitics. They will discuss the probability of each scenario and share their conclusions.

 

House Science Panel to Look at EIA GHG Report – The House Science Committee’s Subcommittee on Environment and Subcommittee on Energy Hearing will hold a hearing on Wednesday at 10:00 a.m. looking at the EIA report on the EPA’s Clean Power Plan. Witnesses include EIA Deputy Administrator Howard Gruenspecht, Chamber climate expert Stephen Eule, pro-climate policy gadfly Susan Tierney, Senior Advisor and Heritage senior statistician and researcher Kevin Dayaratna.

 

House to Look at GAO Report on Mismanagement – The House Natural Resources Committee’s Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations will convene an oversight hearing on Wednesday on a new GAO report documenting BLM’s mismanagement of wind and solar reclamation bonds.

 

Whitman to Be Featured at Young Professional Energy Event – On Wednesday at 12:30 p.m., Young Professionals in Energy will hold a meet and greet with former New Jersey Governor and U.S. EPA Administrator Christine Todd Whitman for an informal and off-the-record lunchtime gathering.  Governor Whitman will talk about her role co-chairing the pro-nuclear group, Clean and Safe Energy Coalition (CASEnergy).

 

BPC to Look at Energy Efficiency Standards – On Wednesday at 2:00 p.m., the Bipartisan Policy Center will hold a forum on four decades of appliance energy efficiency standards.  The forum will look at what has been accomplished and the more that 20 pending rules at DOE may be headed.  DOE’s Appliance Efficiency Standards, dating back to 1979, currently cover products accounting for approximately 90% of home energy use and 60% of commercial building energy use. Although the program has had its challenges over the years, existing standards are expected to cumulatively save 70 quadrillion British thermal units (BTUs) of energy and lead to consumer savings approaching $1 trillion by 2020.  As “smart grid” technology, new utility business models, and other opportunities arise to enable appliances to communicate and interact with the grid, new opportunities and challenges for efficiency standards are likely to emerge.   The event will feature a panel discussion to explore what efficiency standards have accomplished, what the future could bring, and what Congress should have in mind as it considers new energy legislation.    Speakers include Robert McArver of the Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers and ACEEE’s Steve Nadel.

House Natural Gas Caucus to Host Forum – The House Natural Gas Caucus will host a forum on Wednesday at 3:30 p.m. looking at 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.

 

Gingrich to Lead POLITICO Forum Discussion on Youth, Environment – POLITICO will host a cutting-edge conversation on Thursday morning at the Hamilton exploring how millennials are impacting the future of environmental sustainability.   Panelists will look at whether millennial lifestyle choices and technology is making cities more sustainable as well as how young voters are impacting environmental politics.  Panelists include former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, Millennial Action Project President and Founder Steven Olikara, POLITICO Magazine Editor Garrett Graff and our friend Elana Schor, who covers energy for POLITICO.

 

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, 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 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.

 

House Ag Panel Looks at GMO Labeling – Following last week’s hearing the House E&C Health Subcommittee, the House Ag Committee will revisit the GMO Labeling Issues.   The hearing will look at a new draft of the “Deny Americans the Right to Know” (DARK) Act which would not only preempt state laws that require labeling of food containing genetically engineered ingredients but would also strip away the right of local government to regulate GMO crops.  EWG’s Scott Faber says the effort will keep consumers in the dark by also blocking state efforts to protect farmers and rural residents from dangerous herbicides used with GMO crops.  “The American people have a right to know what’s in their food,” said Dr. John Boyd, Jr., founder and president of the National Black Farmers Association. “As a farmer, I grow both GMO and non-GMO crops, and know that labeling would not hurt my bottom line. I firmly believe that no matter where people buy their groceries, they should be given basic information about the presence of GMOs in their food.”  Earlier this month the Mellman Group released a poll, funded by Just Label It, showing that nearly 90% of Americans – regardless of party affiliation, age, race or education – want mandatory GMO labeling.

 

Senate Foreign Relations to Look at Iran Deal – The Senate Foreign Affairs Committee will take a drive into discussions surrounding Iran Nuclear deal on Thursday at 10:30 a.m.   Witnesses will include David Albright of the Institute for Science and International Security, CFR’s Ray Takeyh and MIT’s  Jim Walsh

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 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).

 

CHP Webinar to Look at Markets – The Combined Heat and Power Association will hold a Webinar on Thursday at Noon to look at U.S. Energy Markets and the CHP Market in Particular.  The webinar will look at the broader US energy market trends and their international, national, and regional trends. Speakers will specifically discuss upcoming U.S. energy legislation, the U.S. energy market and its influence to the international energy landscape, current CHP market trends from the CHP Installation Database, market drivers for continued CHP development, and the micro affects regional energy providers may experience.

 

Cato Offers Skeptical Look at Ozone Science – On Thursday 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 Friday at the JW Marriott Hotel in Washington, D.C.  CNAS’s annual national security conference will feature keynote addresses and discussion topics designed to chart a course for the next administration and beyond.  Lots of great speakers, including a great panel on any Iran Nuclear Deal that features Sen. Tom Cotton and former State Dept Amb. Nicholas Burns.

 

IEA Leader to Discuss World Energy Outlook on Climate – On Friday at 9:00 a.m., the CSIS Energy and National Security Program is hosting Dr. Fatih Birol, Chief Economist and incoming Executive Director of the International Energy Agency (IEA), to present the IEA’s World Energy Outlook 2015 Special Report on Energy and Climate Change. The special report presents a detailed first assessment of the energy sector impact of known and signaled national climate pledges for the climate change meeting in Paris in December 2015 (COP21). Additionally, it proposes a bridging strategy to deliver a near-term peak in global energy-related greenhouse-gas emissions, based on five pragmatic measures that can advance climate goals through the energy sector without blunting economic growth. Lastly, it highlights the urgent need to accelerate the development of emerging technologies that are, ultimately, essential to transforming the global energy system into one that is consistent with the world’s climate goals, and recommends four key pillars on which COP21 can build success from an energy sector perspective.

 

FUTURE EVENTS

 

Stanford Forum to Look at Enviro Capital Issues – Next Tuesday, the Nature Conservancy and the Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment, in cooperation with their Natural Capital Project partners, the World Wildlife Fund and the University of Minnesota, are holding a forum at RFF at 9:00 a.m. on Integrating natural capital into decisions. The event will feature leading academics and practitioners in the field of ecosystem services as well as experts from the public and non-profit sectors, addressing core sustainability challenges of the 21st century.  Speakers and panelists will highlight the latest advances in the science and practice of using ecosystem services to inform decisions. The discussion will provide insights into how this information can best be used by government agencies, multilateral institutions, and the broader sustainable development community to structure and implement policies that are simultaneously sound from environmental and economic perspectives. A panel of leading experts, including authors from a recently published Special Feature of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences on “Nature as Capital,” will discuss key components of bringing natural capital considerations into mainstream decision making on issues such as agriculture, energy, infrastructure, urban planning, finance and national security.  Speakers will include former Bush Interior official Lynn Scarlett, USDA Research under secretary Ann Bartuska, WWF’s Tom Dillon, IADB’s Michele Lemay and Mary Ruckleshaus of the Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment

 

Cato Forum to Look at Free Markets, Energy – The Cato Institute will hold a forum on the case for free markets in energy next Tuesday in its Hayek Auditorium.  Since the 1970s, however, more libertarian voices have been heard on these issues. IER founder and CEO Rob Bradley, who has been involved with free-market energy policy since its inception, will discuss the history of libertarian thinking on past energy policy and its relevance for current policy debates.

 

Forum to Look at Nat Gas Issues in Europe – The Institute of World Politics will hold a forum on Tuesday, June 30th at 1:00 p.m. featuring a  lecture on rival gas pipelines for Europe.  The event will feature Vilen Khlgatyan, Vice Chairman, Political Developments Research Center.  In recent years, the competition for supplying Europe with natural gas has heated up once again and has taken a more urgent course due to the conflict in Ukraine. Two pipeline routes are vying for dominance and are backed by different states with their own geopolitical considerations. In December 2014, it was announced that Russia’s Gazprom would re-route its proposed South Stream Pipeline to the Turkish-Greek border via the Black Sea and Turkey. Likewise, the U.S.-backed Nabucco pipeline was sidelined by the less ambitious and costly Trans-Anatolian Pipeline and Trans-Adriatic Pipeline, which will see Azerbaijani gas and potentially Iranian and Turkmen gas cross Turkey to reach markets in Greece, the Balkans and Italy. Both pipelines have their advantages and disadvantages. This lecture will consider the economics and geopolitics of the rival pipelines and what’s at stake for the concerned parties.  Khlgatyan is Vice-Chairman of Political Developments Research Center (PDRC), a think tank based in Yerevan, Armenia. He specializes in the geopolitics of energy, non-kinetic warfare, and the post-Soviet region with an emphasis on the Caucasus.

 

USEA Forum to Look at Modeling – The US Energy Association will hold a forum Tuesday, June 30th at 2:00 p.m. on MIT’s global models that are project energy and climate issues. Using a projection modeling system developed by MIT’s Joint Program on the Science and Policy of Global Change, the Integrated Global System Model (IGSM), we provide an integrated assessment of how human activities, given our current development path, are interacting with complex Earth systems and ultimately affecting the natural resources on which we depend. In the first part of the presentation (lead by Dr. Erwan Monier), we introduce the IGSM, and describe the capabilities of the modeling system to simulate the uncertainty in the future climate response to anthropogenic emissions of greenhouse gases and aerosols. In the second part of the presentation (lead by Dr. Sergey Paltsev), we provide an integrated economic and climate projection of the 21st century–not a prediction, as the future will ultimately be determined by actions taken over the next decades that are intended to stabilize our relationship with the planet. We incorporate the emissions targets currently proposed by the international community to address the challenges of climate change.

 

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.

 

Company to Highlight Data Destruction Method – On July 9th on Capitol Hill, Phiston Technologies will be leading a discussion and technology demonstration of their High Security Data Storage Media Destruction machines.  They will encourage people to bring old computer hard drives, solid state drives, cell phones, CDs/DVDs and ID cards and we will destroy them safely in seconds.   The event will be in 210 Cannon.

 

Senate Energy to Look at Nuclear Issues – On August 4th the Senate Energy Committee will hold a hearing to discuss the back-end of the nuclear fuel cycle and related legislation.

 

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 25

Friends,

 

Memorial Day is a special day to honor our fallen heroes.  Over the weekend, I found so many of the tributes to fallen family members on social media very moving.  It honors their lasting memories and their sacrifice for our country.

 

The Memorial Day weekend also signals the start of summer and brings its other family traditions like barbeques, trips to the beach, lake, pool, etc and major events like the Indy 500 and the NCAA Lacrosse tournaments.   Congrats to the Maryland women who have now won back-to-back NCAA championships and Denver who ousted the Maryland Men’s team preventing a Free State double win.  Also congrats to DIII SUNY-Cortland women who hammered Trinity (not an easy task) and Tufts who also made it back-to-back NCAA DIII final victories.

 

While the hockey and basketball playoffs roll on (the NY Rangers have their backs to the wall again tonight), I hope you didn’t miss the final David Letterman Show last week.  While I was not a regular viewer, I did watch the last show and found it enjoyable, modest and one that honored the family around him.  It was very well done.  His last top 10 List featured a bunch a celebrities saying what they always wanting to say to Dave.  Also our friends at Vox wrote a little history of the Letterman Top Ten list.

 

One big item over the weekend: Securing America’s Future Energy (SAFE) has locked in on its finalists for the SAFE Energy Security Prize in partnership with CNBC and Clemson University.   Tech auto expert Jim Motavalli highlighted the four finalists in his Car Talk Blog this weekend detailing each start-up’s innovative ideas to reduce American oil dependence.  The companies include Peloton (truck/fleet efficiency), Momentum (wireless charging), Freewire (portable charging) and Seachange (eco fuel for boats, commercial shipping).  The winner will get $125,000 prize so get ready to vote.  We will have details in future notes.

 

No action in DC this week with Congress on a week break, but that did prevent an exciting weekend battle over the Patriot Act and late Friday action on the EPA rules.  Thursday afternoon, the National Assn of Clean Air Companies put out an extensive 465-page encyclopedia of 25 core compliance options for EPA’s GHG rules.  Then Friday, EIA released new analysis that suggests EPA’s GHG plan would spur a quick wave of coal plant retirements and cause a significant increase in power costs.  Not to be outdone, late Friday, EPA released the final version of its rule governing emissions of pollutants from power plants, refineries, chemical facilities and other industrial sites during periods of startup, shutdown and malfunction.  My colleague Rich Alonso (202-828-5861), a great expert on the issue, says the rule will make it easier for environmental groups to sue industries (as if they needed that).

 

Special congrats to our friends Charlie Drevna and Tate Bennett.  Drevna, who just retired from the AFPM (the refiners) is joining the Institute for Energy Research as a fellow while Bennett is leaving Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s office to join the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association.

 

Finally, while this week may be slow, there are still a couple of items to keep on your radar.  Anytime now, our experts tell me we are expecting decisions for the Supreme Court on Mercury and the DC Circuit on GHG challenges.  As well, we have heard that later this week we may see as many as 15 of the Sage Grouse Federal Conservation plans that will impact oil, gas, renewable and other development in most all western states.   My colleague Eric Washburn (202-412-5211) is monitoring the issue and is a great resource  for you.

 

Frank Maisano

(202) 828-5864

(202) 997-5932

 

 

IN THE NEWS

Motavalli Details SAFE Auto Tech Prize Finalists – Time to vote…Securing America’s Future Energy (SAFE) has locked in on its finalists for the SAFE Energy Security Prize in partnership with CNBC and Clemson University.   Tech auto expert Jim Motavalli highlighted the four finalists in his Car Talk Blog this weekend detailing each start-up’s innovative ideas to reduce American Oil dependence.  The Companies include 1) Peloton which improves truck fleet efficiency through cloud and wireless technology.  The truck-to-truck wireless link technology makes trucks safer, increases fuel efficiency up to 10% and double trucking company profits by having two trucks traveling closely together to take advantage of the aerodynamics (just as in a bike race) .  2) Momentum  has developed a wireless charger that can charge an EV in about 20 minutes which I perfect for businesses and workplaces to get over one of EVs biggest obstacles.  3) Freewire has created a mobile EV charger that gets its power not from the grid but from second-life electric car batteries.  4) Seachange uses the biodiesel waste glycerol and blends it with ULS Diesel for its Eco-Hybrid fuel that can be dropped into existing fuel tanks and improve emissions dramatically without high-cost modifications or expensive down time.  The winner will get $125,000 prize.  It is a contest so get ready to vote for the most innovative. The winner will be announced at the South Carolina campus of one of the sponsors, Clemson University and highlighted on CNBC.

 

EIA Analysis Shows Power Price Increase – The Energy Information Administration says in a new analysis that the EPA’s Clean Power Plan would shut down more than double the coal-fired power plant capacity that would occur otherwise by the end of the decade, contributing to a 5% increase in the cost of power generation.  The analysis predicts that the EPA’s expected carbon regulations would prompt power producers to shut down 90 gigawatts of coal-fired power generation, far higher than the 40 GW that it currently expects to retire.  The report says require massive investments in new power lines and other infrastructure to integrate a growing amount of renewable energy into the electric grid. EIA used its Annual Energy Outlook’s reference, or most likely, case as a baseline to project the impact of the proposed regulations. EPA’s rules for new and existing power plants, aimed at reducing carbon emissions by 30 percent by 2030 compared to 2005 levels, are expected to be finalized in August.

NACAA Releases GHG Compliance Strategies – The National Association of Clean Air Agencies released a 465-page encyclopedia of 25 core compliance options for EPA’s GHG rules.   The menu goes far beyond the “building blocks” EPA used to set state emissions goals. EPA based standards on actions the agency thought states could take to make coal plants more efficient, use more natural gas, build renewable energy and cut electricity use through efficiency improvements.   My colleague Scott Segal said NACAA tries to outline a roadmap, but it underscores that it will be a bumpy ride.  Segal: “Not taking away from the work that went into it, NACAA’s Encyclopedia hardly breaks new ground.  Many policy options are advocated on environmental grounds.  The hard questions are which of these policies can be advanced without hurting consumers, undermining reliability, and under what ultimate federal authority.  Congress certainly never authorized EPA to insist on the implementation of programs of the breadth and complexity that NACAA is suggesting – all under a few hundred, rarely used words of the Clean Air Act.”

 

Report: Shale Will Remain Strong Despite Price Issues – A new Manhattan Institute paper says despite some doom and gloom predictions about the lower oil price’s effect on shale oil, the industry is poised for a strong second act. Senior Fellow Mark Mills writes that Shale 2.0 will be marked by a move toward big-data analytics that will make shale operations more productive, cost-effective and predictable for energy producers. http://www.manhattan-institute.org/html/eper_16.htm#.VVztd7HD-Uk

 

Shale Coalition Pushing back on New Taxes in PA – Last week, the PA Chamber Coalition rolled out the Stop New Energy Taxes campaign which includes a website designed to assist allies with their messaging and engagement.  As part of the roll out, the coalition sent a letter to Gov. Wolf and the General Assembly outlining our concerns related to Gov. Wolf’s severance tax proposal.  The purpose of the coalition is to urge Gov. Wolf and the General Assembly to pursue commonsense policies focused on strengthening our economy and jobs through growth not additional higher energy taxes.

 

Drevna to Join Energy Think Tank – The Institute for Energy Research announced that our friend Charlie Drevna is joining the organization as a Distinguished Senior Fellow. Drevna will advise IER on a variety of energy topics, particularly fuel and refining issues.   Drevna comes to IER with more than 40 years of experience in legislative, regulatory, and public policy issues involving energy and the environment. Most recently, he served as President of the American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers, the national trade association representing 98 percent of U.S. refining capacity, a position he had held since 2007.

 

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

 

Demand Response Forum Set – The National Town Meeting on Demand Response and Smart Grid will be held on today through Thursday 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 –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 today at Noon at the University Club.  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 tomorrow 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 tomorrow 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.

 

Goldwyn, Loveless to Headline Energy Event – The British-American Business Association’s Energy & Environment Committee, in participation with the French-American Chamber of Commerce, Netherlands America Chamber of Commerce, and Swedish-American Chamber of Commerce will hold a luncheon interview on the energy landscape today amidst rising uncertainty and global challenges.  Our friend Bill Loveless, Energy Columnist for USA Today, will interview former State Department energy official David Goldwyn.

 

DOE to Host Better Buildings Summit – Tomorrow and Thursday, 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 –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 – The US Energy Association will host Summit Power Group Thursday at 10:00 a.m. 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 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 – Thursday’s 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.

 

Forum to Look at Saudi Leadership Changes, Impacts – On Friday at 10:00 a.m., the Atlantic Council will host a discussion on leadership changes in Saudi Arabia.  Last month, Saudi Arabia’s King Salman reshuffled his cabinet and appointed a new line of succession in a major reorganization of the top echelons of power in the kingdom. Following the announcement, reports indicated that the state-owned oil giant, Saudi Aramco, would be restructured to operate independently from the Saudi oil industry.   Panelists include CSIS’s Anthony Cordesman, Director of the Atlantic Council’s Rafik Hariri Center for the Middle East Francis Ricciardone and Jean-François Seznec, Visiting Associate Professor at Georgetown University’s Center for Contemporary Arab Studies.  Former State Department official David Goldwyn will moderate the discussion and The Hon. Richard Morningstar, Founding Director of the Atlantic Council’s Global Energy Center, will deliver welcome remarks.

 

FUTURE EVENTS

 

Forum to Look at Renewables, Future – Next Monday at 4:00 p.m., the Atlantic Council will host a discussion on the emergence of renewable energy as an important component of US energy policy. The panel will explore the benefits that renewables can bring to domestic and international considerations on climate change, energy security, and economic developments. The panel will also discuss a recent roadmap released by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) called REmap 2030 which overviews renewable energy potential in the United States and countries across the globe over the next fifteen years.  Speakers will include International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) Director General Adnan Amin, US State Department Special Energy Envoy Amos Hochstein, DOE’s EERE Deputy Mike Carr and ACORE’s Dennis McGinn.

 

Hill Hosts Technology, Innovation Forum – On Tuesday, June 2nd, The Hill will host a discussion on the effects of new technologies and innovation in energy, the implications of energy policies and regulations, ongoing efforts to meet carbon emission goals, and the role nuclear energy could play in the global economy.  Featured speakers Third Way’s Matt Bennett, Sarah Chamberlain of the Main Street Partnership, Center For Climate And Energy Solutions Eileen Claussen and Westinghouse Electric Company President & CEO Danny Roderick.  There will also be a keynote interview with Illinois Congressman Adam Kinizinger.

 

Moniz to Head back to House Energy – After cancellation last Thursday, the House Energy and Commerce Committee Subcommittee on Energy and Power will hold its rescheduled hearing next Tuesday with Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz about the Quadrennial Energy Review and related legislation.

 

NJ Hosts House Oversight Chair – Ahead of a June 2nd hearing exploring the challenges faced by those seeking public information under the Freedom of Information Act, National Journal and Steve Clemons, National Journal’s Washington editor-at-large will host an in-depth conversation at the Reagan Trade Center at 11:15 a.m. with Rep. Jason Chaffetz, chairman of the U.S. House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.  The discussion will focus on the upcoming hearing and other priorities of a committee that oversees every aspect of the government’s functioning.

 

Wald to Headline WCEE Event – Next Tuesday, the Women’s Council on Energy and the Environment will host a brown bag Luncheon with the Nuclear Energy Institute’s Matt Wald.  Wald reported on energy and airline safety issues for most of his 37 years as a reporter at the New York Times. He will publish an article in the EPRI Journal this summer on the “rush to renewables” and how that may impact the reliability of the electricity grid. Wald has a long background in energy technology, especially in nuclear energy. He has covered every aspect of the energy business, including wind, solar, fuel cells, coal mining and combustion, fracking, liquid motor fuel production, and grid operations. He looks forward to analyzing the many new challenges faced by the industry.

 

 

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.

 

CSIS to Look at RGGI Issues – The Center for Strategic and International Studies Energy and National Security Program will host a discussion on Thursday, June 4th at 10:00 a.m. looking at the future of the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) under changing leadership.   The keynote address will be by Katie Dykes, Chair of the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) and Deputy Commissioner for Energy in Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection.

 

ELI Forum to Look at NatGas Regs – On Thursday, June 4th, ELI will Host a forum on EPA’s plans to regulate methane emissions from the oil and gas sector.  EPA’s announcement of its forthcoming action has fueled considerable debate as domestic oil and gas production has reached historic levels in a volatile price market.   Leaders will respond to issues.  Speakers will Include EPA’s Paul Gunning, NRDC’s Dave Doniger, ANGA’s Amy Farrell, former EPA official Bob Sussman, Theresa Pugh of INGAA, former EPA #2 Bob Perciasepe and API’s Howard Feldman, among others.

 

USEA to Host Mitsubishi on CCS Technology – The US Energy Assn will host speakers from Mitsubishi Heavy Industries to discussion carbon capture issues on Thursday, June 4th at 10:00 a.m.   Mitsubishi began R&D activities for Carbon capture in 1990 and has developed a high efficiency chemical solvent process, the KM CDR Process®, in collaboration with the Kansai Electric Power Co., Inc. The process has been applied to eleven (11) worldwide commercial CO2 capture plants which are providing captured CO2 from natural gas-fired flue gas to enhance chemical production such as urea and methanol.  One of the most urgent challenges faced today, with the apparent advent of global warming, is the capture of CO2 from coal fired power plants, which is the largest single source of global CO2 emissions. MHI and Southern Company have successfully completed a demonstration test program of a 500 tpd fully integrated CCS plant applied to a coal-fired power plant for the past 4 years. In addition, MHI has received an order for the world’s largest post-combustion CO2 capture plant of 4,776 tpd from an enhanced oil recovery (EOR) project mainly promoted by NRG Energy Inc. and JX Nippon Oil & Gas Exploration Corporation, which is now under construction.

 

Forum to Look at Zero Energy Buildings – ACEEE and the National Association of State Energy Officials will host a forum on Thursday, June 4th at 1:00 p.m. in B354 Rayburn to focus on Zero Net Energy (ZNE) buildings.  Residential and commercial buildings consume a whopping 41% of all energy in the United States. And the majority of that energy is used to heat, ventilate and cool our buildings throughout the year. We have the technology and techniques today that can significantly reduce building energy consumption to virtually zero, which drastically reduces monthly utility bills and carbon emissions.  This briefing will provide an overview of what’s behind the growth in the ZNE building market, its economic and environmental benefits, and why Zero Net Energy is important to your district. Speakers will highlight current and future ZNE projects and identify stakeholders’ roles in these efforts, including small businesses, builders, developers, State and local committees, technology producers and NGOs.  Speakers Include NASEO’s Executive Director David Terry, Bosch Thermotechnology’s Mark Stimson, ACEEE’s Jennifer Amann and Greg Guess, Director of Efficiency and Conservation of the Kentucky Department of Energy Development and Independence.

 

Beacon Exec to Discuss Energy Storage – On Thursday June 4th at 3:00 p.m.,  Aaron Bullwinkel, Vice President & General Counsel, Beacon Power, will discuss the opportunities and challenges facing the energy storage industry, as it develops from a nascent industry to a viable, economic alternative to transmission and distribution development, a means to achieve energy savings, an operations tool, and an answer to service interruptions.

 

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.