Energy Update: Week of May 4

Friends,

 

This weekend was a super sports weekend with the hockey and basketball playoffs, the Kentucky Derby (American Pharoah held off Firing Line and BTW see the 811 info below on AP jockey Victor Espinoza) and the big Mayweather-Pacquiao fight (Mayweather won) in Vegas.  Even after the busy sports weekend (plus all the kids’ sports events), my daughter Hannah and I did manage to slip out to Merriweather Post yesterday evening to catch the last few acts of the DC101 KerfufflePanic at the Disco (who I hadn’t heard of) offered a brilliant cover of Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody, while The Offspring was totally entertaining and super fun. (You don’t realize how many of Offspring songs you know and are big hits) But the night was capped with an unbelievable performance from one of my favorite groups Incubus, who were absolutely brilliant playing most of their classic hits.  It was a great treat.  Off to Caps-Rangers Game 3 tonight.

 

Down to Business:  After moving its first funding bill through the House early Friday morning, the lower chamber moves into a district work period this week.  The Senate remains in action though and will have a key hearing tomorrow in Senate Environment on legal implications of the new GHG rule.  Oklahoma AG Scott Pruitt and West Virginia AG Patrick Morrissey lead a panel of folks to discuss.

 

Other hearings in the Senate this week include a hugely-important mark up and budget hearing in the full Senate Environment Committee on Sage Grouse and other ESA items where FWS Head Dan Ashe testifies.  My colleague Eric Washburn is in the middle of these issues and can be a huge help.  As well, the Senate Small Business looks at seafood safety standards on Wednesday (my colleague Paul Nathanson can help with sources there).

 

Even though the House is out, rural coops will be fanning out on Capitol Hill during the early part of the week to talk about the EPA’s GHG plan and its impact on rural communities and electric reliability.  They will also highlight demand side management issues (including last week’s legislative victory over DOE on thermal water heaters) and focus aggressively on their expanding efforts to offer renewable energy options to the rural customers.  Also on the Hill tomorrow, our friends at Air Liquide will be among the folks spotlighted at the Fuel Cell & Hydrogen Energy Policy Forum in Rayburn.  Look for some cool vehicles…

 

Off the Hill, there are several good events including Thursday events at the Hudson Institute featuring my colleague Scott Segal as lunch keynote and American Action Forum  featuring Jeff Holmstead, both looking more closely at the EPA’s GHG plan for power plants.  Encana CEO Doug Suttles speaks at the Chamber of Commerce’s CEO series on Wednesday and CSIS hosts DOE’s Chris Smith to address the future of the SPR, with our friend Kevin Book and others on a panel following.

 

Finally this morning, the Supreme Court agreed to hear FERC’s appeal of a lower court decision that supported a challenge to its 2011 “demand response” rule, known as Order No. 745.  Last year, the court said FERC had waded into state-regulated retail electricity markets too much.  Our FERC electricity experts can be helpful if you need them.

 

Have a great “Cinco de Mayo” tomorrow.   Call with questions.

 

Frank Maisano

(202) 828-5864

(202) 997-5932

 

IN THE NEWS

 

Court Hits EPA on Backup Generator Rule – The D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals said EPA must reconsider parts of a 2013 emissions rules for backup generators used in emergency demand response programs. The EPA had revised rules concerning reciprocating internal combustion engines that usually run on diesel and are used by major power users, including oil and gas facilities and industrial sites.   My colleague Scott Segal told reporters the decision is interesting and has some profound implications for the EPA Clean Power Plan.  Segal “EPA has increasingly admitted that it must address reliability concerns.  It claims to do so through some program flexibility and through multi-state plans (which it mentions over a 100 times in the proposal’s preamble).  The Agency appears also to be considering some form of safety valve.  But as almost every ISO and NERC have indicated, the Agency needs to do far more.  It needs to address the actual suggested emission rates and time frames.  Segal also adds that EPA was chastised in this case by the court for failing to coordinate with real reliability experts.  Recently, NERC released a series of scenarios that demonstrated significant reliability issues with the proposal.  Rather than thanking NERC and seeking to adopt strategies to avoid these outcomes, EPA bristled at NERC claiming that it should have kept its thoughts to itself until EPA finalizes the rule.  But of course by then all the key decisions will be made, and it will be too late.  That is just the kind of “having it both ways” that this court strongly rejected.

 

Co-Benefits Study Says EPA Rules will Improve Health – A new study in Nature Climate Change says carbon dioxide EPA’s emissions standards for power plants will influence the fuels and technologies used to generate electricity, alter emissions of pollutants such as sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxide, and therefore improve ambient air quality and public health.  The report calculates about 3,500 premature deaths prevented from smog and soot reductions from the president’s clean power plan.  My colleague Scott Segal responded though saying “over the course of the last several years, the Administration has used the exact same health benefits to justify the adoption of several overlapping rules that increase the cost of energy substantially.”  Supporters of EPA rules that have little if any direct health benefit argue that the rules reduce small particle emissions and therefore produce secondary health benefits.  However, the Administration has already claimed these exact same indirect health benefits to support lots of other rules – rules dealing with air toxics, visibility, interstate emissions, and others.  That’s called double counting – and corporations get in trouble if they do that on their balance sheets,” according to Segal.  He added that EPA knows these health benefits aren’t really linear as there is a point at which the level of particles is fully protective of human health and the environment with an adequate margin of safety.

 

And Don’t Forget This Point – Segal raises on other interesting point about the study.  EPA and supporters of its rules are more than happy to double count inflated secondary benefits from their proposed rules.  However, they steadfastly refuse to consider real world human health effects associated with compliance costs and reliability impacts associated with their rules.  For example, Dr. Harvey Brenner, an internationally known epidemiologist, has estimated the relationship between unemployment, loss of income and premature mortality.  Applying that model to environmental policy that increases the cost of electricity by backing out coal, Brenner found that “the adverse impact on household income and unemployment could result in 195,000 premature deaths annually.”   But these indirect health consequences of the EPA carbon rules are not included for even studied by EPA and its supporters.

 

DOT Puts Forth New Train Regs – The Obama administration imposed tougher safety regulations Friday for trains carrying crude oil, responding to growing alarm about the spread of oil-by-rail traffic and a series of fiery derailments across the U.S. and Canada.  The rules include tougher construction standards for rail tank cars made after October 1st, requirements for phasing out older cars as soon as January 2018, mandates for using advanced brakes and permanent versions of the speed limits that DOT had previously announced.  My colleague and rail transport expert Lowell Rothschild said the proposed rule strikes a balance – it imposes significant enhancement to rail car reliability – both in terms of car sturdiness and electronic braking – that are on the high end of that proposed (and even a bit beyond that probably envisioned by industry).  But, on the other side, the rule recognizes the logistical difficulties (and cost) associated with the improvements, giving industry a longer period to make the changes than originally proposed.  In particular, it allows the 1232 cars currently in service to operate for a considerable period of time before upgrading, apparently recognizing the investment industry has made in these cars and (presumably), their general reliability.

 

Co-ops, Public Power Welcome EPA Small Biz Review for GHG Rules – The National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA) and the American Public Power Association (APPA) have urged EPA to initiate a full Small Business Advocacy Review (SBAR) process for the federal implementation plan for the 111(d) proposed regulation and now the agency has agreed to conduct it.  NRECA head Jo Ann Emerson said the co-ops welcome news that the EPA will hold a small business review panel for the GHG reg for power plans.  Emerson: “We strongly urge that it be a comprehensive process to fully understand the impact that the federal implementation plan will have on small businesses. 62% of electric generation and transmission cooperatives qualify as small business entities and stand to experience enormous challenges, if not closure, from this regulation. It is imperative EPA fully and completely hear from all small entity parties as to the impact of this regulation before finalizing the rule.”  APPA represents many small government entities that own or operate boilers, integrated gasification combined cycle systems, or combustion turbines that may be subject to this rule.   APPA President Sue Kelly said it is only fair that EPA give public power utilities that qualify as small businesses an opportunity to be heard.  Kelly: “Imposing undue burdens on these not-for-profit entities will adversely impact their ability to provide reliable electricity at affordable rates.”  APPA and NRECA submitted letters to the EPA requesting a SBAR on April 3 and 29, respectively.

 

Southern Adds More Solar With North Star Project – The Southern Company has surpassed 1,000MW of renewable energy development with the acquisition of a controlling interest in the 60-MW North Star Solar Facility in California from First Solar. First Solar will build, operate and maintain the North Star Solar Facility. Construction began in July 2014, and the plant is expected to enter commercial operation this June. The facility is expected to be capable of generating enough electricity to help meet the energy needs of more than 21,000 average homes.  Southern Power’s fifth solar acquisition in California, the North Star Solar Facility will be located on 626 acres in Fresno County and is expected to consist of approximately 750,000 of First Solar’s thin-film photovoltaic solar modules mounted on single-axis tracking tables. This is the first facility in Fresno County for Southern Power and First Solar.

 

811 Derby Jockey Brings Home Roses for Second Straight Year – For the second year in a row, jockey Victor Espinoza won the Kentucky Derby – terrific feat for him and his sponsor, Call 811.  811 is a national number for people to call to locate utility lines before beginning any digging project, no matter how small. Espinoza has been very supportive of this cause, wearing 811 gear, on and off the track and recording this video.  Last year, he rode California Chrome to a victory in the Preakness as well while sporting the 811 logo.  A utility line is damaged once every eight minutes in the United States due to excavation. Striking a single line can cause injury and outages, and incur repair costs and fines. In fact, excavation damage remains the leading cause of pipeline incidents in the United States.  AGA, INGAA and others are sponsors of the 811 program

 

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

 

BPC to Feature Governor Senators – The Bipartisan Policy Center will hold the next installment of its Agenda Setters Series tomorrow morning featuring former governors and current senators, Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Senator Mike Rounds (R-SD).  In a candid conversation with BPC’s Jason Grumet, the sitting senators will reflect on lessons learned from their tenures as governors, as well as offer their unique perspectives and current goals for the 114th Congress.  Launched in tandem with the start of the new Congress, the Agenda Setters series explores timely, compelling and impactful issues in policymaking and politics for 2015. Each series segment highlights leaders and decision-makers putting forth innovative thinking about how to solve present day challenges.

 

Senate to Hear Legal Issues on GHG Rule – A Senate Environment Committee panel will hold a hearing on the legal issues surrounding the Administration’s GHG plan for power plants.  West Virginia AG Patrick Morrissey, Oklahoma AG Scott Pruitt , former EPA officials Roger Martella and Lisa Heinzerling and Maryland PSC Chair Kelly Speakes-Backman will testify.

 

Forum to Look at Oil, Venezuela, China – On Wednesday at 10:30 a.m., the Carnegie Institute will hold a forum looking at ties between China and Venezuela.  Venezuela has the world’s largest oil reserves, and the United States and China are the world’s largest oil importers, yet Venezuela’s relations with Beijing and Washington couldn’t be more different. China has built a massive state-to-state, loans-for-oil relationship with Venezuela, while U.S. oil imports from the country continue to decline as diplomatic ties further fray.  Matt Ferchen will present his findings from his recent Carnegie article, Crude Complications: Venezuela, China, and the United States, and Francisco Gonzalez will offer comments. He is a resident scholar at the Carnegie–Tsinghua Center for Global Policy, where he runs the China and the Developing World Program.

 

Air Liquide Vehicle Expert to Speak at Fuel Cell, Hydrogen Forum – The 2015 Fuel Cell & Hydrogen Energy Policy Forum will be held tomorrow  at 11:30 a.m. in B-340 Rayburn.  The Fuel Cell and Hydrogen Energy Association is co-hosting  lunch briefing with the House Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Caucus.  Industry representatives will provide updates on the latest fuel cell advancements, Discussion will cover fuel cell electric vehicles, hydrogen infrastructure, stationary fuel cell power, materials handling, and backup power.  Speakers our friend Andrew Temple of Air Liquide, as well as Bloom Energy’s Jon Powers, Gerry Conway of Plug Power and Toyota’s Charlie Ing.

 

Encana CEO Headline Chamber Event – The Institute for 21st Century Energy and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation will continue its CEO Leadership Series Wednesday at Noon with a luncheon featuring Doug Suttles, President and CEO of Encana. The energy renaissance, brought on by innovation in the American oil and gas industry, has positioned the United States once again as a global energy superpower. Suttles will discuss the value that domestic production of oil and natural gas brings to the country and local communities. He will highlight the importance of infrastructure and lifting the 40-year old crude oil export ban to realizing the full benefits of the oil and gas renaissance.

 

Senate Enviro Holds Fish/Wildlife Budget Hearing, Markup – The Senate Environment will hold a budget hearing on the US Fish and Wildlife’s budget where USFWS head Dan Ashe will testify.  At the hearing, the Committee will also mark up several pieces of legislation aimed at increasing transparency regarding the ESA process.   One is legislation by Sen. Cory Gardner to delay any FWS listing of the sage grouse for at least six years in Western states that have proposed their own sage grouse conservation plans.  My colleague Eric Washburn is in the middle of these discussions and can be a huge help.

 

RFF to Host Forum on Environment, Jobs – Resources for the Future will hold a First Wednesday Seminar at 12:45 p.m. on how environmental policies impact employment.  RFF researchers recently developed a new model to more accurately study how environmental regulation affects employment and unemployment. At this event, they will join a panel of experts to discuss the new RFF model, the challenges of measuring the impacts of regulation on unemployment, and the implications of the research results for future environmental regulations and jobs.  Presenters will include RFF’s Richard Morgenstern and Roberton Williams with additional panelists including Anne Smith of NERA and CBO’s Terry Dinan.

 

DOE Fossil Head to Talk SPR – The CSIS Energy and National Security Program will host Christopher Smith, Assistant Secretary for Fossil Energy at DOE, on Wednesday at 1:30 p.m. to deliver a keynote address on the future of the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR), and current Department of Energy work on the functionality and strategic purpose of the SPR.   Following the keynote, an expert panel will further discuss how the SPR is designed to work as well as domestic policy challenges and prospects for reform of the SPR. Additionally, the panel will examine global strategic stocks systems, and current positions in the changing global crude and product supply system. Sarah O. Ladislaw, Director and Senior Fellow with the CSIS Energy and National Security Program, will moderate the groups which includes DOE’s Bob Corbin, Martin Tallett of EnSys Energy, IEA’s Martin Young and our friend Kevin Book of ClearView Energy Partners.

 

Senate Small Biz to Look at Seafood Safety – The Senate Small Business and Entrepreneurship Committee will hold a Wednesday hearing at 2:30 p.m. on the Food and Drug Administration’s role in ensuring that imported seafood meets U.S. safety standards.  Witnesses will include FDA’s Steven Solomon and Assistant Labor Secretary Portia Wu of the Employment and Training Administration.

 

Indian Spiritual Leader to Address Climate, Himalayas – The Organization for Asian Studies will be hosting a conversation at GWU’s Elliot School at 3:30 p.m. on Wednesday with His Holiness the Gyalwang Drukpa, head of the Drukpa Lineage, one of the main schools of Buddhism. This discussion will focus on the effects of climate change on the ecology of the Himalayas and the challenges the region faces.  Drukpa is a humanitarian and the spiritual head of the Drukpa Lineage, one of the main schools of Buddhism. He is the founder of Live to Love International, a global network of non-profit organizations focusing on developing sustainable solutions in the areas of environmental preservation, disaster relief and aid, education, medical services, and heritage preservation. In 2010, he received a United Nations Millennium Development Goals Award in recognition of his work throughout the Himalayas as well as the Green Hero Award, given by the President of India. He is currently working with the Observer Research Foundation, a think-tank in India, on an initiative called The Future of the Himalayas, to raise discussion on the strategic, ecological, and cultural importance of the Himalayas.

 

DOE Official to Address Efficiency – The ACCO Climate & Energy Roundtable Series continues on Wednesday at 4:00 p.m. hen DOE’s Kathleen Hogan speaks to the group.  The Series is a bi-monthly roundtable featuring discussions on critical climate change and energy initiatives in a town hall format.

 

Segal Headlines Hudson Fuels, Energy Forum – The Hudson Institute will hold a forum on Thursday starting at 9:00 a.m.  The day-long conference will address the critical economic, political, and technological issues surrounding future fuels and their impact on America’s energy security. My Bracewell colleague Scott Segal will be the Luncheon speaker and John Hofmeister, the former president of Shell Oil Company, will deliver the keynote address.  Panelists will discuss the lessons the U.S. can learn from other countries—and from its own automotive industry—in transitioning to alcohol fuels for vehicles and evaluate the risks and opportunities on the road ahead for a future fuel-driven transportation system. Panelists will also shed new light on the steps policymakers can take to create a common competitive market for future fuels that preserves the advantages of the free market while embracing technological breakthroughs.  Other speakers along with Segal and Hofmeister include DOE’s Deputy Assistant Secretary for Transportation Reuben Sarkar, GM biofuels manager Coleman Jones, Oak Ridge National Labs Fuels, Engines and Emissions Research Center Deputy Director Brian West, John Eichberger  of the National Association of Convenience Store Owners, Methanol Institute CEO Greg Dolan and many more.

 

Sen Alexander, Holmstead lead Forum on EPA, Financial Reg Reform Issues – The American Action Forum is holding an event on Thursday looking at regulatory reform that will offer a broad analysis of options in the areas of health care, EPA, and financial services.   The event will start with keynote remarks from Senator Lamar Alexander and move to a panel of experts that can shed light on the regulatory processes in each area and offer a critique of how that process might be improved. We’re envisioning opening remarks from each panelist followed by a discussion moderated by Doug Holtz-Eakin and a member of the press.    My Colleague Jeff Holmstead will join the panel on the Clean Power Plan, while BRT’s Mike Ryan will discuss financial services.  Finally, my old friend Mark Merritt, President and CEO, Pharmaceutical Care Management Association, will discuss health care regs.

 

DOE’s Kenderdine to Talk QER – On Thursday at 2:30 p.m., the Wilson Center will hold a forum on the DOE’s Quadrennial Energy Review (QER). At this special event, QER lead framer and coordinator Melanie Kenderdine, Counselor to the US Secretary of Energy and Director, Office of Energy Policy and Systems Analysis at DOE, will discuss the main findings and recommendations of the first annual QER installment.

 

Honorable, NERC Head to Speak at BPC Event – On Friday morning, the Bipartisan Policy Committee will hold forum at the National Press Club on the reliability mechanisms for the Clean Power Plan. Over the past few months, FERC held a series of technical conferences across the country to explore the potential impacts of EPA’s proposed Clean Power Plan. While FERC’s technical conferences covered a broad array of issues, reliability emerged as a key topic. Two reliability-related proposals in particular were discussed by a number of speakers: the reliability assurance mechanism (RAM) and the reliability safety valve (RSV). These mechanisms have been proposed by several stakeholders in their comments to the EPA, including the ISO/RTO Council, PJM, Ameren, and others. Stakeholders have proposed that FERC play a significant role in implementing either or both of these mechanisms.  Following on from the questions and issues raised during FERC’s technical conferences, the Bipartisan Policy Center (BPC) will host a half-day technical workshop in Washington, D.C. to delve into the details of designing and implementing an RSV and/or RAM, and FERC’s potential role in implementing these mechanisms.  Speakers will include FERC Commissioner Colette Honorable, NERC head Gerry Cauley, Kentucky Public Service Commission James Gardner (NARUC Vice Chair), NRDC’s John Moore and former DOE official Sue Tierney.

 

Draft Report on Health, Climate to Be Discussed – On Friday, the National Research Council will review a draft interagency report on the impacts of climate change on human health.  HEI’s Dan Greenbaum will lead the discussion.

 

Forum to Discuss Driverless Cars – On Friday at 10:00 a.m., the Center for Technology Innovation at Brookings and the U.S. Department of State will convene industry experts and research scientists to discuss how the United States and Germany, two of the world’s leading markets for advanced automobiles, are leveraging research and development to promote innovation and inform regulation of driverless cars. Panelists will also explore the balance between competition and cooperation when transforming the global technological landscape for next generation automobiles.  Speakers will include State’s Jonathan Margolis and several others.  Last week, SAFE board members Michael Granoff and Olaf Sakkers addressed this topic in an op-ed in the Detroit News.

 

FUTURE EVENTS

 

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

 

Forum Looks at NatGas, Low Prices – The Atlantic Council will hold a discussion next Monday 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 – Next week at the Walter Washington Convention Center in DC, EE Global’s 2015 Energy Efficiency Global Forum will be held 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.

 

Forum to Look at Costs of Divesture – The US Energy Association will hold a forum on Tuesday 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.

 

ANGA to Look at Energy Infrastructure – On Thursday morning, May 14th, 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.

 

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.

 

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.

 

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

 

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.

 

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.

Primer for DOE Furnace Rule Hearing

Friends,

 

DOE will hold a public meeting on the notice of proposed rulemaking regarding energy conservation standards for certain residential furnaces, tomorrow, Friday, March 27th from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. at the U.S. Department of Energy, Forrestal Building, Room 8E-089, 1000 Independence Avenue, SW.  There is a link to the Federal Register notice for the rule here.

 

To attend, please notify Ms. Brenda Edwards at (202) 586–2945.  The meeting will also be broadcast as a webinar. Please register for the webinar here.

 

The public comment period closes June 10, 2015.

 

Please feel free to call with questions.  I expect to be at DOE in the morning.  As well if you are doing anything On the water heater rules and legislation recently introduced, we can provide additional information for that as well.

 

Frank Maisano

(202) 997-5932.

 

AHRI Has Concerns

 

In advance of the DOE hearing on the proposed furnace rule, scheduled for Friday, March 27, AHRI is issuing the following statement, which can be attributed to AHRI President & CEO Stephen Yurek:

 

“AHRI and its members have a proud history of working on a consensus basis on efficiency standards that make sense for consumers, manufacturers and the environment.  DOE’s proposed rule makes no sense for anyone, and America’s furnace manufacturers intend to fight – and fight hard – to protect our customers from this economically and environmentally devastating rule.  We will work diligently with our members and with like-minded industry associations to advocate for standards that are not only technically feasible but economically justified for consumers and manufacturers.”

 

On March 12, DOE issued a proposed rule that would set new standards, but at a sharply higher level than the department had agreed to less than four years prior: 92 percent AFUE for the entire nation, from Michigan to Miami, from Seattle to San Antonio.

 

If allowed to go into effect unchanged, this rule would have devastating effects on manufacturers and consumers alike.

 

  • The cost of purchasing and installing a new furnace would skyrocket for every consumer across the nation.  Heating is not a luxury but a necessity for health and safety. So when consumers cannot afford to replace their current furnace with the ultra-efficient products mandated by DOE, they will make other choices, that maybe less safe (using electric space heaters) or endanger their health (repair their current furnace or go without).  The end result would be an increase rather than decrease in the energy consumed to heat a home.
  • Condensing furnaces, which are all that would be allowed under the new rule, have significant installation challenges in some homes, and installation for every homeowner would be more difficult and costly than it is now simply because of different venting requirements than exist for non-condensing furnaces.
  • This over-reach by DOE will result in reduced furnace shipments for manufacturers, inevitably causing job losses.

 

Background for Reporters


In 2011, DOE issued a Direct Final Rule adopting the language in a consensus agreement reached by AHRI and several efficiency groups that recommended the following regional efficiency standards for residential non-weatherized gas furnaces:  90 percent average fuel utilization efficiency (AFUE) for the northern region (defined as > 5,000 heating degree days) and 80 percent AFUE in the south and southwest regions (defined as < 5,000 HDDs).

 

  • Several organizations filed suit against DOE seeking to derail the rule (AHRI and several advocacy groups intervened on behalf of DOE in support of the rule) and in 2014, a settlement was reached through which DOE withdrew the rule and agreed to issue a new rule at a later date.

 

AHRI Members Testifying/Attending Tomorrow

 

These are the companies that will have reps at the hearing tomorrow.  Also present will be contractor members of ACCA- air conditioning contractors of America, and reps from HARDI –heating, airconditioning, and refrigeration distributors International.

 

  • Carrier Corporation
  • Goodman Manufacturing Company
  • Ingersoll Rand
  • Johnson Controls, Inc.
  • Lennox International Inc.
  • Nortek Global HVAC
  • Rheem Manufacturing

 

Link to American Gas Association Blog

 

Another group with significant concern is the American Gas Association who recently wrote in a blog post that while on the surface, the rule appears to be a positive step toward achieving greater energy efficiency, a closer examination reveals counterproductive and unintended consequences that conflict with DOE’s stated goal of improved efficiency and reduced emissions.

 

According to AGA, These counterproductive and unintended consequences include:

 

  • An economic burden on consumers required to bear the prohibitive costs of the expensive equipment and installation.
  • The undermining of efficiency programs and the financial incentives that enable consumers to purchase high-efficiency furnaces.
  • Wasted energy and higher emissions because customers are induced to switch to cheaper equipment, such as electric furnaces, which has a much higher full-fuel-cycle energy and emissions footprint.

 

Additional Expert Resource

 

My colleague Salo Zelermyer (salo.zelermyer@bgllp.com, c. 202-294-2720), former DOE Senior Counsel and attorney at Bracewell & Giuliani who represents energy efficiency and technology clients will be out of town, but is available to provide insights via phone or e-mail.  When the rule was released, Salo said “DOE’s proposed rule clearly admits that increasing the standards on residential furnaces leads to increased switching from natural gas to electric furnaces. Such an approach would actually increase lifecycle GHG emissions and stands in stark contrast to the goals of the President’s climate action plan.”  We are working on a number of these DOE rules with many different members of the EE and HVAC industries and these are items that Salo watched closely when he was at DOE.  He is a great resource.

 

Energy Update: Week of March 23

Friends,

 

Here we go again…A great round of NCAA tournament games this past weekend, taking us down to the Sweet 16.  Some of the surprise winners are familiar names like UCLA, Xavier and Michigan State.  And of course, among the “Shockers” were Kansas, UVa and Villanova’s early exits.  Maybe a little surprising, but not totally.  Big names like UK, Duke, Wisconsin, Gonzaga, Louisville, etc continue on.  On the women’s side, top seeds are rolling with So Carolina and Notre Dame through to the Round of 16.  Today, Maryland should have their hands full with undefeated Princeton and UConn takes on Rutgers as they advance the second 8.

 

On March Madness, our friends at Iberdrola are having some fun with the idea.  Last week they rolled out Megawatt Madness tourney – matching up our 64 renewable locations around the country (mostly Iberdrola wind and solar fleet).   They have moved to the Sweet 16 so click and vote…

 

Finally, the 2015 NCAA Frozen Four hockey pairings were announced yesterday.  WCHA Champ Minnesota State-Mankato is top seed with North Dakota, Boston and Miami, getting No. 1 seeds. Regional play begins Friday and Saturday in Fargo, North Dakota (West Regional), Manchester, New Hampshire (Northeast), Providence, Rhode Island (East), and South Bend, Indiana (Midwest). The Frozen Four will be played in Boston at TD Garden on April 9th and April 11th.  Sleeper this year could be Harvard who won the ECAC and the UP’s Michigan Tech who are solid and return to the tourney for the first time since 1981.

 

Speaking of hockey, there is a big game in town (actually Kettler Arena in Arlington, VA) on Wednesday at 7:00 p.m.   The Congressional Hockey Challenge will feature members of Congress and staff (including a couple of ringers from the Canadian Parliament) playing a team of lobbyists to raise funds for the Thurgood Marshall College Fund (the legendary SCOTUS justice was a huge hockey fan), USA Warriors Hockey and DC inner city youth hockey program Ft. Dupont.  POLITICO Playbook’s Dan Lippman profiles the event and I will be on the ice as part of the officiating crew.  Tickets are $10 so please turn out for this fun event and great cause.

 

Besides lacing up their skates, members will be active this week with several important hearings.  It all started this morning in West Virginia where Sen. Shelly Moore Capito, member of the both Sen. Energy and Enviro Committees held a field hearing in Beckley on EPA’s Clean Power Plan.   There is also a Small Business Committee field hearing in Louisiana with Chair Dave Vitter today on how small businesses are supporting America’s energy renaissance.  Following last week’s hearing on coal ash legislation, EPA’s OSW head Mathy Stanislaus discusses the EPA Rule/legislation in the much anticipated Round 2 tomorrow.   Also tomorrow, Senate Ag hits at the EPA’s Waters of the US rule where my colleague Lowell Rothschild (202-828-1711) is an outstanding resource.  Finally, House Ag will hold two hearings this week on the reauthorization of the CFTC.  My colleagues Bob Pease (202-828-5824) and Dave Perlman (202-828-5804) are great experts on the topic.

 

With the DOE Quadrennial Energy Review being released any day now, Secretary Moniz is supposed to visit Senate Energy on Thursday.   The hearing is not yet for sure as the QER may be delayed.  What is not delayed at Senate Energy is the RETURN of our friend Rosemarie Calabro Tully, who has been energy press secretary for the Bipartisan Policy Center since leaving the Committee when Chairman Bingaman retired, to ENR where she will communications for ranking member Maria Cantwell.

 

The big legal event in DC this week is the Supreme Court of the US hearing the long-awaited mercury rule challenge on Wednesday.  Michigan AG Bill Schuette leads 19 other states in arguing the rule is not attainable and too costly.  My colleagues Jeff Holmstead, Rich Alonso and Scott Segal can respond to any and all of your questions.

 

There are budget hearings this week on Forest Service, DOE with Secretary Moniz on Wednesday, PHSMA, House Energy Approps with all four NRC Commissioners and FBI Director James Comey.

 

Our friends at the Wall Street Journal are hosting ECO:nomics in Cali this week while Heating and AC company leaders flood DC for AHRI annual Washington DC Symposium (#AHRISymposium on Twitter).  If fact, some of those HVAC guys will likely weigh in at Friday’s DOE public hearing on the hotly-contested new Furnace efficiency rule.  My colleague Salo Zelermyer, former DOE Senior Counsel and attorney at Bracewell & Giuliani who represents energy efficiency and technology clients highlighted that DOE’s proposed rule clearly admits that increasing the standards on residential furnaces leads to increased switching from natural gas to electric furnaces which actually increases GHG emissions.  Expect this argument to continue to come up on Friday.  American Gas Assn and furnace-makers at AHRI both have expressed serious concerns about the effectiveness of DOE’s rule as well.

 

Call with questions.

 

Frank Maisano

(202) 828-5864

  1. (202) 997-5932

 

IN THE NEWS

 

Iberdrola Promoting Renewables with “Megawatt Madness”  – Iberdrola Renewables launched a bracket-style tournament last week called Megawatt Madness, which features 64 of our renewable power sites across the United States. The tournament allows employees, landowners, community members and the general public to vote for and share their favorite sites from the Iberdrola Renewables fleet.  This campaign features a website-based bracket, where participants can vote based on images, descriptions, and facts about each site. Participants are encouraged to share on social media to spread the word about what makes their site so special using the hashtag #IR64.  The winners of each round of the tournament will be determined by the amount of votes and social media shares they receive. Bracket match-ups will occur for one month, with the champion being selected after April 10.  Starting today, the sweet 16 are out there so go vote.

 

Atlantic Sunrise Will Create Jobs, Economic Growth –A new study from Penn State University says that the design and construction of Williams’ Atlantic Sunrise natural gas pipeline project will generate approximately $1.6 billion in additional wages, revenues and investments to the regional and state economies of Pennsylvania and Virginia.  The report clearly shows how vital this project and others like it are for Pennsylvania’s economy.  “Economic Impacts of the Atlantic Sunrise Pipeline Project,” lead author Seth Blumsack, Associate Professor of Energy Policy at Penn State, finds that the proposed project would have a major, positive economic impact on the Pennsylvania and Virginia economies where new pipeline facilities would be built and operated.   According to the researchers, the design and construction of the Williams Atlantic Sunrise pipeline project could support approximately 8,000 jobs and an associated $870 million in economic value added during the construction period. Additionally, the ongoing operation of the pipeline would generate approximately $1.9 million in annual economic impact, supporting 29 jobs.   In a related report titled “Estimating the Impact of the Atlantic Sunrise Project on Natural Gas Consumers,” lead author Andrew Kleit, Professor of Energy and Environmental Economics at Penn State, found that consumers served by the Transco pipeline in the southeast and Mid-Atlantic regions could have saved $2.6 billion from 2012-2014 due to increased access to lower-priced Pennsylvania gas supply because of Atlantic Sunrise.

 

Interior Issues BLM NatGas Fracturing Rule – In another Friday afternoon release special, the Interior Department released its long-awaited rule governing hydraulic fracturing for oil and gas on federal and American Indian lands.  The rule, issued by the Bureau of Land Management, will require companies using the process to strengthen wells with concrete barriers to prevent water zones; disclose the chemicals used to the online FracFocus database; and secure recovered waste fluid with stronger interim storage tanks.  The rule will also require companies to submit more information on preexisting wells to prevent cross-well contamination.

 

IER Hammers Rule, Administration – The Institute for Energy Research President said the Administration’s hydraulic fracturing regulation saying the Obama administration is being “dishonest” about its intentions. IER President Tom Pyle: “This new hydraulic fracturing rule isn’t about protecting the environment, but rather about curtailing domestic energy production, which has been this administration’s goal all along.” IER said production on federal lands has actually declined under this administration in the midst of record energy production on state and private lands.  Pyle: “Imposing federal controls on hydraulic fracturing is this administration’s latest regulatory scheme for disrupting America’s domestic energy boom. From proposing to block off ANWR and parts of Alaska’s energy-rich offshore areas to slow-walking drilling permits and fast-tracking green energy leases, President Obama remains determined to strangle domestic energy production by any means necessary.  Pyle Finished by saying the administration’s hydraulic fracturing rule is a solution in search of a problem and states are already regulating hydraulic fracturing on public lands and have done so successfully for years without federal interference.

 

Drillers Sue Over Rule – Not wasting any time, IPAA and the Western Energy Alliance filed a federal lawsuit against the Interior regulations, challenging BLM’s issuance of regulations related to hydraulic fracturing on federal and Indian lands. The Complaint, filed in federal district court in Wyoming, characterizes BLM’s rulemaking as “a reaction to unsubstantiated concerns” and requests the regulations be set aside because the administrative record lacks the factual, scientific, or engineering evidence necessary to sustain the agency’s action. States have an outstanding record of protecting the environment and safeguarding the public. This new rule is simply another regulatory overreach by the Obama Administration that will hurt America’s oil and natural gas producers. WEA President Tim Wigley: Interior “struggles to meet its current workload of leasing, environmental analysis, permitting, monitoring, inspecting, and otherwise administering the federal onshore oil and natural gas program.  Yet it is undertaking an entirely new regulatory regime that it has neither the resources nor the expertise to implement.”

 

Bracewell Experts are Available – Despite another Friday policy announcement from this Administration; this one while NCAA basketball games will be filling most offices on Capitol Hill, in DC and around the nation., we have experts at B&G.  Should you need to discuss this long-awaited announcement on regulations for hydraulic fracturing on Federal land natgas drilling, feel free to call my colleagues Jason Hutt (202-828-5850, Jason.hutt@bgllp.com) and Lowell Rothschild (202-828-5817, lowell.rothschild@bgllp.com).  They will be happy to provide background information, on-the-record quote and policy/legal analysis.

 

More Drama on the Post Fact Check – You may recall last week, we detailed the March 13th Post Fact Checker article by Michelle Ye Hee Lee on recent remarks made by Senator Jim Inhofe (R-OK) on the EPA’s Clean Power Plan.   ACCCE fired back a strongly-worded response highlighting several factual errors and omitted other important facts on state opposition to EPA’s proposal.  Now, ACCCE submitted a Letter to the Editor to The Washington Post, however, the paper rejected the letter as the original article did not appear in print.  Now ACCCE is releasing their L to E from ACCCE head Mike Duncan.

 

The Letter –The letter from Duncan reads: Your Fact Checker’s article “Inhofe’s misleading statements on carbon emissions rule” on March 13 was remarkable for two reasons.   First and foremost, the Fact Checker failed to check any facts with ACCCE or NERA. A single call or email was never even attempted, despite a lengthy piece which criticizes analyses by both organizations.  Secondly, there are a large number of facts the Fact Checker got wrong. For example, the Fact Checker incorrectly claims NERA assumed only a “worst-case scenario” when analyzing the economic impacts of EPA’s Clean Power Plan. NERA’s report, however, makes it crystal clear that several scenarios were modeled, including a best case scenario (referred to in NERA’s report as the “state unconstrained” scenario). The Fact Checker also claims NERA did not analyze regional compliance approaches. Had the Fact Checker read the report or checked with us, she would know for a fact that NERA devoted an entire 10-page appendix to explain its analysis of a regional compliance scenario and the impacts (for example, 41 states would experience double-digit electricity price increases).  In light of the numerous errors in this reporting, we can only assume the Fact Checker’s nose is growing by the moment.

 

Moniz, Pritzker Lead Trade Mission to China – U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker and U.S. Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz will lead a delegation of 25 American companies on a Business Development Trade Mission to Beijing, Shanghai, and Guangzhou, China next month.  The trade mission will help U.S. companies launch or increase their business operations in China for Smart Cities – Smart Growth products and services, such as smart buildings, green data centers, carbon capture utilization and storage, energy efficiency technologies, clean air and water technologies, waste treatment technologies, smart grid and green transportation.  Southern Company and Brightsource Energy are among the companies already working innovative energy technologies with China and others internationally.

 

Platts Cap Crude Looks at Exports – Our friends at Platts Capitol Crude podcast takes a deep dive into the ongoing debate over crude exports following last week’s Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee hearing. The debate has dipped into the future of US oil production, current refining capacity and the influence exports may have on foreign policy. It also comes as the US fossil fuel industry finds itself in the midst of a “body swap” movie where policy has not kept pace with a radical change.

 

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

 

IHS Execs to Discuss Current Oil Issues at CSIS – As part of its ongoing assessment of the impact of low oil prices and policy on the sustainability of domestic energy production, the CSIS Energy and National Security Program is hosting Dan Yergin, Kurt Barrow and Rick Bott of IHS today at 1:00 p.m. to present their most recent analysis looking at the oil export question in light of the fall in oil prices and the impact on investment and in terms of the supply chains in the non-oil producing states. The analysis considers 60 separate supply chain industries and provides granular impact analysis to fully understand the economic and job growth impact across the nation. Frank Verrastro, Senior Vice President and James R. Schlesinger Chair for Energy and Geopolitics at CSIS, will moderate.

 

House Ag to Look at CFTC – The House Agriculture Committee will hold two hearings tomorrow and Wednesday on the reauthorization of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission.  The CFTC — whose oversight of futures markets expanded significantly under the 2010 Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act — has been awaiting reauthorization since September 2013.  My Colleagues Bob Pease (202-828-5824) and Dave Perlman (202-828-5804) are great experts on the topic.

 

NRC Commissioners Head to House Approps for Budget, Yucca – The House Energy and Water Appropriations panel will hear from NRC Chairman Stephen Burns and his fellow commissioners Kristine Svinicki, William Ostendorff and Jeff Baran about the agency’s fiscal 2016 budget request.  Topics concerns include Yucca Mountain, Nevada repository and many other topics.

 

Senate Ag Tackles WOTUS – The highly-controversial Water of the US Rule will be the subject of a hearing at Senate Ag tomorrow at 10:00 a.m.   Vocal critic and ag advocate Pat Roberts will chair the Hearing.  Witnesses will include Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge, North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources secretary Donald van der Vaart, Kansas Department of Agriculture assistant secretary Susan Metzger, Josh Baldi of the Washington State Department of Ecology,  Ouray County, CO commissioner Lynn Padgett and several other farmers representing different sectors.

 

BPC to Host Moniz on Nuclear Future – The Bipartisan Policy Commission will hold a discussion tomorrow morning with Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz looking at the progress to date and examining pathways forward on the future of nuclear waste disposal.   In January 2012, the Blue Ribbon Commission on America’s Nuclear Future recommended a phased, adaptive, consent-based approach for finding a safe, permanent solution for managing nuclear materials.  BPC head Jason Grumet will host the discussion with Moniz.

 

ELI to Look at Coal Ash Rule – The Enviro Law Institute will host a forum tomorrow at Noon for an in-depth examination of the final coal ash rule. ELI’s expert panel will explain the rule’s workings and answer questions on safety, environmental guidelines and other topics.  On December 19, 2014, EPA’s Administrator signed the first ever federal rule regulating the disposal of coal ash, a combustion byproduct from coal-fired power plants.  EPA’s final rule determines that coal ash should be regulated as a solid waste under Subtitle D of the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA), not a hazardous waste, and provides new national minimum criteria for the coal ash disposal.

 

AHRI to Host Annual DC Meeting – The Heating and Air Conditioning trade association AHRI will hold its annual Washington Conference Wednesday and Thursday.  Speakers will include Bracewell’s Scott Segal and folks from Congress and the Administration.

 

Forum to Look at Indigenous People, Industry – The CSIS Project on Prosperity and Development will host a forum on Wednesday at 10:00 a.m.  that will look at maximizing partnerships between indigenous communities and the extractive sector.  The discussion will focus on ways companies in the extractive industry engage indigenous communities in their areas of operation. Many extractive companies find themselves operating in close proximity to indigenous people and their territories. Working constructively with these communities is now a major business priority. The panelists will offer their perspectives on how both companies and indigenous communities can benefit from greater cooperation, whether through creating new education opportunities, offering extractive industry-related job training to potential indigenous employees, and by encouraging local economic growth.  The panel features Simon Boyce of the Navajo Nation, BHP Billiton’s Maria “Malala” Recart and former Canadian House of Commons Member Gary Merasty.

 

WSJ ECO:nomics Conference to Feature Leaders –  Wednesday to Friday, the editors of The Wall Street Journal will hold its ECO:nomics conference in Santa Barbara, CA.  The event brings together global CEOs, top entrepreneurs, environmental experts, policy makers and leading thinkers at ECO:nomics 2015 to identify and assess the most compelling opportunities — and pressing risks— emerging around the world in businesses impacted by the environment.  Through on-stage interviews with leading figures and interactive sessions with peers in diverse industries, participants at ECO:nomics 2015 will debate, discuss and get the inside story on essential issues: investing in innovation, disrupting current business models, the new meaning of sustainability and the future of the environmental movement, where energy policy is heading.  Speakers will include  Former EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson, WV Sen. Jo e Manchin, FERC Commissioner Phil Moeller, coal magnate Bob Murray, former Brightsource CEO and current Google exec John Woolard, Dan Yergin, T. Boone Pickens and Ted Nordhaus of the Breakthrough Institute.

 

SCOTUS to Hear Mercury Case – The Supreme Court of the US (SCOTUS) will hear the long-awaited mercury rule challenge on Wednesday morning.  Michigan AG Bill Schuette leads 19 other states in arguing the rule is not attainable and too costly.  My colleagues Jeff Holmstead, Rich Alonso and Scott Segal can respond to any and all of your questions.

 

Moniz to Head to Senate Approps Panel – Secretary Moniz returns the Senate Approps panel on Energy and Water with Science advisor Frank Orr on Wednesday at 9:30 a.m. to discuss the DOE Budget.

 

Marcellus Shale Meeting Set for NE PA – The Marcellus Shale Coalition will hold a meeting on Wednesday and Thursday in Wilkes-Barre, PA.  Tax proposals from new PA Gov. Tom Wolf will be a significant topic of discussion.

 

Senate Energy to Hear From Moniz on QER – The Senate Energy Committee will review the upcoming release of DOE’s Quadrennial Energy Review in a hearing on Thursday featuring Secretary Ernie Moniz.  The hearing was scheduled but may be delayed if the report is delayed.  Stayed tuned on whether it makes.

 

O’Connor to Address Law Symposium – ELI, ECOS, GWU’s Journal of Energy and Environmental Law and Environmental Law Association, RSM Eramus University Rotterdam  and the International Network for Environmental Compliance and Enforcement will host the Shapiro Enviro Law Symposium at GW Law School on Thursday and Friday.  Former SCOTUS Justice Sandra Day O’Connor will be among the many speakers.

 

NCAA “Sweet 16” Games Start – 12:10 p.m. Thursday.

 

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

 

FUTURE EVENTS

 

FERC GHG Technical Conference to Focus on EPA Rule – FERC holds its final GHG technical Conference in St. Louis on March 31st.  Ameren CEO Warner Baxter is expected to present to the panel.  You may recall his recent white paper in which Ameren, a coal-heavy utility in Missouri, feels like some tweaks in the EPA rule can not only make the plan achievable, but also save consumers billions. The full announcement, including a quote by FERC Chairman Cheryl LaFleur, is available here.  The full text of the notice in the Federal Register, including instructions on how to register for the conferences, is available here.  Commissioner Tony Clark released his own statement, available here.

 

Nat Gas Roundtable to Host DOI Offshore Expert – The Natural Gas Roundtable is pleased to announce that Janice Schneider, Assistant Secretary for Land and Minerals Management at Interior (DOI), will be the featured guest speaker at the Natural Gas Roundtable luncheon on Tuesday, March 31st, where she will discuss the current offshore energy production landscape.  Schneider oversees four DOI bureaus including the Bureau of Land Management, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement and the Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement. In this capacity, she guides the Department’s management and use of federal lands and waters and their associated mineral and non-mineral resources, spanning approximately 245 million acres of federal surface lands, 700 million acres of federal mineral interests and the 1.7 billion-acre Outer Continental Shelf.

 

RFF to Host Offshore Energy Discussion – Resources for the Future (RFF) and the Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment will hold an RFF First Wednesday Seminar on Wednesday April 1st at 12:45 p.m., where leading experts will examine offshore oil and gas leasing reform in the US Arctic. Panelists will explore how these new regulations and strategies meet the need for integrated Arctic management and what work remains to be done to design a regulatory approach that appropriately balances resource development, environmental protection, and community livelihoods. The conversation will cover recommendations put forth in the National Petroleum Council’s Arctic study (to be released at the end of March) and lessons for the Arctic from the National Commission on the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and Offshore Drilling.

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

 

Energy Update: Week of March 3

Friends,

 

March and Spring look like they have finally sprung…and we mean it this time.  No more snow days around here.   NCAA basketball is heating up as we approach next week’s NCAA March Madness Selection Show on Sunday.  While there are a lot of great stories that we can get into more next week, this week Maryland and Geo Washington U’s women’s teams seem to stand out above the crowd.  The Lady Terps rolled through the Big 10 in their first season undefeated, while my students at GW won the Atlantic 10 yesterday and are currently 29-3 with one of their losses coming to Maryland.  March Madness is on…

 

The House is out this week but the Senate will hold a big, important hearing on Wednesday where states will weigh in on how to implement EPA’s Clean Power Plan.  Witnesses include officials from California, NY, Wisconsin, Wyoming and Indiana.  When implementing, consider the item suggested a few weeks ago Ameren CEO Warner Baxter.  Ameren, a coal-heavy utility in Missouri, feels like some tweaks in the EPA rule can not only make the plan achievable, but also save consumers billions.

 

Off the Hill, Southern Company CEO Tom Fanning will kick off a new Atlantic Council CEO series tomorrow highlighting a discussion on how innovation and advances in energy technologies will impact the future of power industry.   A dynamic speaker, Fanning has addressed this subject a number of times including last summer as keynoter at a Bipartisan Policy Center Energy Forum in Washington, DC.  The event starts at 1:30 p.m. and will be live webcast at this link.

 

As well, the National League of Cities, American Public Power and American Association of State Highway are holding Washington forum focused on environment and other issues, while Transportation Officials and the American Public Transportation Association are in town highlighting their “2015 Bottom Line Report” on transportation investment needs.

 

Finally, my colleague Curt Beaulieu, former Senate Finance Committee tax counsel for Sen. Hatch recently wrote an article for Tax Notes on the upcoming debate over reforms in the tax code.   I also have a PDF if you cannot link to it…   Call with questions.

 

Frank Maisano

(202) 828-5864

  1. (202) 997-5932

 

IN THE NEWS

 

Leno Hammers Ethanol In AutoWeek – Now I read this last week because I get AutoWeek at home, and was waiting to put in today’s update.  Former Tonight Show Host, comedian and well-known car collector Jay Leno pummeled ethanol in an essay entitled, “Jay Leno Hates Ethanol.”   Leno say the ethanol in modern gasoline—about 10% in many states—is so corrosive, it eats through either the fuel-pump diaphragm, old rubber fuel lines or a pot metal part, then leaks out on a hot engine causing car fires.   Leno: “Blame the Renewable Fuel Standard. This government-mandated rule requires certain amounts of ethanol and other biofuels be blended with gasoline and diesel fuel. But when Congress first passed RFS as part of the Energy Policy Act in 2005, our demand for energy was increasing. Today, it’s the opposite. Total demand for fuel has decreased thanks to more-efficient vehicles, more hybrids and increased environmental awareness. The EPA is set to release the 2015 standard in June. Meanwhile, some legislators are pushing to reform or eliminate the Renewable Fuel Standard entirely.”

 

EPA RFS Source on Capitol Crude – This week’s version of Capitol Crude hits the RFS and Ethanol.  Our friends Brian Schied and Herman Wang channel their inner 80s new music Sirus XM “1st Wave”:  EPA’s Chris Grundler may not be a member of Depeche Mode, but to Platts senior editors Brian Scheid and Herman Wang his appearance at the recent National Ethanol Conference unfolded like the seminal British electronic goth band’s discography.  Grundler, whose office is in charge of the Renewable Fuel Standard, apologized to conference attendees for failing to Shake the Disease of missing statutory deadlines to set the 2014 and 2015 mandates. But he asked the audience to Walk In My Shoes, saying the annual rule is difficult to manage. Renewable Fuels Association President Bob Dinneen, meanwhile, said he hopes the EPA will Never Let Me Down Again by setting the biofuels mandates below statutory levels.   Also on the podcast, RFA Senior Vice President Geoff Cooper gives us the World In My Eyes, talking about how exports are a top priority for the US ethanol industry, in the face of RFS uncertainty.

 

Power Plan Hub and More form E&E – I know I already mentioned the new Power Plan Hub from our friends at E&E News, but I noticed they are also writing a weekly Monday column for it too. It’s a preview of the week’s events, wrap-up of their recent stories and synopsis of new data/documents on the hub. It’s on the main page, under the map, so check it out.

 

CMU Study Highlights Benefits of LNG Export – A new Carnegie Mellon University study – the first peer-reviewed paper of its kind – says exporting clean-burning U.S. liquefied natural gas (LNG) “would help reduce global GHG emissions” and such policy will be “good for the climate.” This research follows a recently released White House Council of Economic Advisers report, which underscores the “key role” that natural gas continues to play in strengthening America’s geopolitical leverage, heightening our energy security and enhancing our environment. Taken together, these studies – and countless others – reflect the fact that America’s energy outlook has shifted from scarcity and weakness to abundance and strength.  Carnegie Mellon University’s College of Engineering researchers determined that exporting natural gas to Asia or Europe will not cause increased greenhouse gas emissions. Their findings were recently published in a paper in “Environmental Science and Technology.”  Prior to 2008, U.S. domestic natural gas production did not meet projected demand growth, and the national natural gas debate centered on LNG imports. … As unconventional natural gas production (shale gas) became economically viable, U.S. technically recoverable natural gas reserves increased by 665 Tcf, which represents an increase in total U.S. natural gas resources of 38%.  As regulation progresses and the domestic fugitive emissions rate decreases, it will become more likely that LNG exports will result in global emissions savings. … From a global emissions perspective, this study has shown that exporting LNG can help to reduce life cycle GHG emissions from electricity generation and industrial heating.

 

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

 

McCarthy, Foxx, Moniz to Address City Officials – The National League of Cities hold its annual Congressional City conference today through Wednesday at the Marriott.  President Obama addressed delegates this morning, but EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy, Transportation Secretary Anthony Fox and Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz will speak on a panel about infrastructure and climate change later today.

 

Public Power Capitol Conference Set – The American Public Power Assn is also holding its annual Washington meeting focused on the EPA’s Clean Power Plan.   Panels today and tomorrow with visits to Capitol Hill on Wednesday.   Bob Woodward addresses the crowd at the Grand Hyatt tomorrow at lunch.

 

Cyprus Energy Minster to Speak – The German Marshall Fund of the United States will welcome Yiorgos Lakkotrypis, minister of energy, commerce, industry and tourism, Republic of Cyprus, who will share his views on natural gas developments in Cyprus and the Eastern Mediterranean tonight.  Minister Lakkotrypis’ remarks will be followed by a roundtable discussion with Edward C. Chow (Center for Strategic and International Studies), Simon Henderson (Washington Institute for Near East Policy), and Brenda Shaffer (Georgetown University). The panel will discuss developments in world gas markets and prospects for the Eastern Mediterranean.

 

And at the Atlantic Council as Well – The Atlantic Council’s Dinu Patriciu Eurasia Center will also host Lakkotrypris.  Minister Lakkotrypis is responsible for boosting the island’s economy through encouraging tourism and foreign investment, and improving the international standing of Cyprus.   In his remarks, Minister Lakkotrypis will focus on the challenges Cyprus faces in developing an oil and gas industry, as well as energy-related developments in the Eastern Mediterranean in a regional context.  Minister Lakkotrypis will be introduced by Atlantic Council’s Eurasian Energy Future Initiative Director David Koranyi. The keynote speech will be followed by a discussion moderated.

 

Transmission Summit Set – Tomorrow through Thursday, Infocast holds its 18th annual Transmission Summit at the Almas Temple Club in Washington, DC.  Policy makers, executives and industry leaders will meet to discuss the transmission industry.  FERC Commissioner Phil Moeller, NJ BPU Commissioner Dianne Solomon, former NY PSC chair Garry Brown, D.C. PSC Chair Betty Ann Kane and Bracewell’s Cathy McCarthy will be among the speakers.

 

NRC to Host Reg Conference – The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s (NRC) will hold its 27th annual Regulatory Information Conference (RIC) tomorrow through Thursday at the at the Bethesda North Hotel and Conference Center.  The RIC is an annual forum hosted by the NRC that brings together diverse groups of stakeholders to learn, share, and discuss information on significant and timely nuclear regulatory activities and emergent issues.  NRC Commissioners Burns, Svinicki, Ostroff and Baran will all speak.

 

House Transpo Committee to Hold TX Roundtable – The House May be out of session but the House T&I Committee will be In the field holding a roundtable in Houston at Rice University at 9:00 Central.  Participants will include Texas Congressmen  Blake Farenthold, Brian Babin, Gene Green and Kevin Brady, as well as Kirby Corp CEO David Grzebinski, Ronald McClain of Kinder Morgan,  Wal-Mart Stores private fleet  VP Bryan Most,  Steve Bobb of BNSF Railway and Roger Guenther of the Port of Houston.

 

Wilson Forum to Look at Africa Energy – The Wilson Center will Host an event tomorrow at 10:30 a.m. on energy security in Africa.  Energy production in African nations has ballooned in recent decades, with proven oil and natural gas reserves more than doubling in the past 30 years. While Nigeria, Angola, and a host of smaller producers have accounted for most of the oil and gas production on the continent for years, significant hydrocarbons discoveries throughout Africa – including natural gas off the East African coast, deep-water oil in upper West Africa, and new oil reserves in Kenya and Uganda – are bringing about wide-ranging changes to the continent’s energy markets.   Sub-Saharan Africa is the fifth topic of the Wilson Center’s bimonthly Regional and Global Energy Series, which has already covered Russia and Ukraine, China and Asia Pacific, and North America, as well as a 2015 energy policy outlook keynoted by US Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz.  The framework for this Center Series is provided by Energy & Security: Strategies for a World in Transition, now in its second edition, which focuses on regional and global energy issues and is published by the Wilson Center Press and Johns Hopkins University Press.  Speakers will include former editor of South Africa’s Mail & Guardian newspaper Phillip van Niekerk, former State Dept special envoy David Goldwyn and former  IMF and World Bank advisor Charles McPherson.

 

Gruenspecht to Address Luncheon – The Asian Americans in Energy, the Environment and Commerce (AE2C) is hosting its 2015 Lunar New Year event tomorrow at lunch featuring EIA Deputy Administrator Howard Gruenspecht.  Gruenspecht will be speaking about the outlook for the global and U.S. oil and gas industry and its potential impacts. Over the past 35 years, Dr. Gruenspecht has worked extensively on electricity policy issues, including restructuring and reliability, regulations affecting motor fuels and vehicles, energy-related environmental issues, and economy-wide energy modeling. Before joining EIA, he was a Resident Scholar at Resources for the Future. From 1993 to 2000, he served as Director of Economic, Electricity and Natural Gas Analysis in the Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Policy, having originally come to DOE in 1991 as Deputy Assistant Secretary for Economic and Environmental Policy. His accomplishments as a career senior executive at DOE have been recognized with three Presidential Rank Awards.

 

Fanning to Address First Atlantic Council CEO Forum – The Atlantic Council’s Global Energy Center will hold the first event in its CEO Series tomorrow at 1:30 p.m. with Southern’s Tom Fanning, featuring a discussion on how innovation and advances in energy technologies will impact the future of power industry.  Mr. Fanning’s remarks will be followed by a moderated discussion with Ambassador Richard Morningstar, Founding Director of the Atlantic Council’s Global Energy Center.

Forum to Look at Transportation System – The Environmental and Energy Study Institute (EESI) and the American Public Transportation Association (APTA), in conjunction with the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) will hold a briefing tomorrow at 4:00 p.m. in 334 Cannon on the investment requirements for America’s multi-modal transportation infrastructure.  The recent AASHTO-APTA Bottom Line report estimates that $163 billion is needed annually over six years to fix the nation’s aging surface transportation system ($120 billion for roads and bridges, and $43 billion for transit). At present, public investment in transportation infrastructure is only $100 billion a year ($83 billion for roads and bridges, and $17 billion for transit). With the looming May expiration of the transportation bill, Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century (MAP-21), and with 70 million new U.S. citizens expected by 2050, now is the time to address these investment needs. Speakers for this forum are Bud Wright of AASHTO and APTA’s Michael Melaniphy.

 

EPA, DOE to Address Biofuels Leaders – The Advanced Biofuels Leadership Conference will be held on Wednesday to Friday at the Capital Hilton in DC.  ABLC is the gathering point for the top leaders in the Advanced Bioeconomy — bringing together the entire spectrum of advanced Fuels, Chemicals & Materials CEOs and senior executives, business development, R&D leaders, strategic partners, financiers, equity analysts, policymakers and industry suppliers. EPA’s Paul Argyropoulos, DOE’s David Danielson and our friend Michael McAdams will be among the speakers.  ABLC looks at key technologies heading for scale, or deploying in force, plus advanced policies and financing strategies — and features definitive statements on direction, priorities, value chain build-out and supply chain selection from more than 100 C-Level execs.

 

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

 

Senate to Hear from States on GHG Plan – The Senate Environment Committee will hold a hearing on Wednesday to hear states weigh in on how to implement EPA’s Clean Power Plan.  Witnesses will include WI PSC chairwoman Ellen Nowak, Wyoming DEQ director Todd Parfitt, Indiana DEM commissioner Thomas Easterly, former EPA official and CARB Chair Mary Nichols and Michael Myers, chief of environmental litigation in NY Attorney General Eric Schneiderman’s office.

 

FERC GHG Technical Conference to Focus on EPA Rule – The FERC holds its third GHG technical Conference on Wednesday in Washington. The fourth conference will be a staff-led conference in St. Louis on March 31st.  The full announcement, including a quote by FERC Chairman Cheryl LaFleur, is available here.  The full text of the notice in the Federal Register, including instructions on how to register for the conferences, is available here.  Commissioner Tony Clark released his own statement, available here.

 

Senate Panel Holds Military Enviro Budget Hearing – A Senate Armed Service panel will host military budget hearing on Wednesday at 2:30 p.m. in Hart 216.  Witnesses will include John Conger, acting assistant Defense secretary for energy, installations and environment; Katherine Hammack, assistant secretary of the Army for installations, energy and environment; Dennis McGinn, assistant secretary of the Navy for energy, installations and environment; and Miranda Ballentine, assistant secretary of the Air Force for installations, environment and energy.

 

Oil-Climate Index to be Released – The Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, Stanford University, and the University of Calgary have developed the first-of-its-kind Oil-Climate Index, modeling these complex interactions. This data will shape how consumers, investors, industries, NGOs, and policymakers approach current and future oil production, refining, and consumption.  They will release the index on Wednesday morning.

 

Diesel Forum to Focus on Engine Technologies – On Wednesday at 11:30 a.m. in 268 Capitol Visitors Center, the Diesel Technology Forum will hold a luncheon briefing to learn more about advanced engine technologies that are helping automobile manufacturers improve fuel economy.  With increasingly stringent fuel economy requirements that will be mandated in the near future, manufacturers from all over the globe are introducing more fuel efficient technology options, including clean diesel choices, into their line-ups. Advanced diesel vehicles are growing in popularity with consumers and manufacturers are planning to meet this demand. 47 diesel cars, pickup trucks, SUVs and passenger vans are currently available and 15 more having been officially announced to be introduced in the next two years. Many analysts predict that diesels will increase to 7 to 10 percent of the total U.S. vehicle market by 2020. While diesels prove popular with drivers they also promote energy independence, fuel efficiency and result in significant emissions reductions.

 

Trade Admin to Look at Renewables – The International Trade Administration holds a meeting of the Renewable Energy And Energy Efficiency Advisory Committee Thursday morning at 8:30 a.m. to discuss priority issues identified in advance by the committee chair and hear from interagency partners on issues impacting the competitiveness of the U.S. renewable energy and energy efficiency industries.

 

Green Forum to Discuss Innovation – The World Green Energy Symposium will be held on Thursday at the University of the District of Columbia.  WGES will focus on the latest technologies and focus on discussions with top decision makers through a carefully planned  strategic process.

 

Kerry to Address Importance Climate Negotiations – On Thursday, the Atlantic Council will host a public address by Secretary of State John Kerry on the importance of the 2015 Conference of the Parties climate change negotiations.

 

CSIS to Discuss Nuclear Project – On Thursday at 9:00 a.m. CSIS will hold a briefing to discuss its New Approaches to the Fuel Cycle (NAFC) project, its findings, its recommended “best practices,” and their role in ensuring a secure and sustainable nuclear future.  In early 2011, the Nuclear Threat Initiative and the CSIS Proliferation Prevention Program launched the NAFC project to develop an integrated approach to nuclear supply and demand that would improve the robustness of the nonproliferation regime without dampening the sustainability of nuclear energy. Drawing from industry, government, and NGO community expertise in the United States and abroad, the NAFC project is the first comprehensive approach to managing nuclear energy that would address “future Irans,” seeking to close gaps in the system that allow the spread of sensitive fuel cycle technologies and enable states to produce weapons-usable nuclear material.  Speakers include Dr. John Hamre, President, CEO, and Pritzker Chair, Center for Strategic and International Studies, Ms. Joan Rohlfing, President and COO, Nuclear Threat Initiative, Ms. Sharon Squassoni, Director and Senior Fellow, Proliferation Prevention Program, Center for Strategic and International Studies, Dr. Andrew Newman, Senior Program Officer, Material Security and Minimization, Nuclear Threat Initiative, and Dr. Everett Redmond, Senior Director, Policy Development, Nuclear Energy Institute.

 

Brookings Forum to Focus on Arctic – On Thursday at 10:30 a.m., the Energy Security and Climate Initiative (ESCI) at Brookings will host a forum featuring  Admiral Robert J. Papp, Jr., the U.S. special representative for the Arctic, for a keynote address on the future of U.S. policy for the region. Deputy Director for Foreign Policy at Brookings Bruce Jones will provide introductory remarks, and ESCI Senior Fellow Charles Ebinger will moderate the discussion and audience Q&A.

 

Building Tech Budget Addressed in Forum – On Thursday at 2:00 p.m. in 210 Cannon, EESI will hold a briefing on the programs and priorities of the Department of Energy’s Building Technologies Office (BTO), as reflected in its FY 2016 budget request. Buildings represent 40 percent of the total energy used in the United States and a whopping 70 percent of the electricity used (for lighting, air-conditioning, appliances, electronics). Making buildings and the products that go into them more energy efficient will make a serious dent in U.S. energy use, save billions of dollars each year, improve comfort, and reduce pollution and greenhouse gas emissions. BTO is seeking to reduce U.S. building energy consumption by 50% from a 2010 baseline.  In addition to providing an overview of the Building Technologies Office, the briefing will highlight successful industry-government partnerships that are bringing technologies like solid-state lighting to the marketplace and helping builders construct “zero-energy” homes. The panel will also address the role of Congress and building/energy issues on the horizon in the current session.  Panelists include DOE’s Roland Risser and House Science Dem Staff Director Adam Rosenberg.

 

CSIS to Release Paper on Mining – On Friday at 9:30 a.m., CSIS will host an expert panel to launch FSG’s new report Extracting with Purpose: Creating Shared Value in the Oil and Gas and Mining Sectors’ Companies and Communities. The extractives sectors can be invaluable in facilitating economic and social development around the world, yet close to 80 percent of countries whose economies depend on extractives industries have per-capita income levels that fall below the global average.  This new paper focuses on how private-sector stakeholders can best promote shared value and seize opportunities in the developed and developing world. Shared value, or policies and activities that measurably improve socio-economic outcomes and improve related core business performance, helps businesses frame potential opportunities to address societal issues and to deliver real business value as well as community development.

 

FUTURE EVENTS

 

Symposium to Look at Climate Resilience – USAID’s Global Climate Change Office will host the opening session of the Advancing Climate-Resilient Development Symposium in Washington, D.C., March 16-19th.  A host of speakers will discuss key issues during the four-day long symposium.

 

Senate Energy to Focus on Electric Grid – The Senate Committee on Energy & Natural Resources will hold a hearing to evaluate the state of technological innovation related to the electrical grid on Tuesday, March 17th.

 

House Approps to Look at DOE Sub Budgets – After visiting with DOE Secretary Moniz, the House Appropriations Committee’s Subcommittee on Energy and Water Development will hold a budget hearing on DOE’s Applied Energy Programs with its sub cabinet officials.  Witnesses will include Franklin Orr (Science and Energy), David Danielson (Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy), Peter Lyons (Nuclear Energy), Christopher Smith (Fossil Energy) and Patricia Hoffman (Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability).   Orr and Deputy Director Pat Dehmer will also return at 1:00 p.m. to specifically discuss the DOE Science budget in further detail.

 

House Energy Panel to Look at Power Plan Legal, Cost Issues – Next Tuesday, March 17th at 10:00 a.m., the House Energy & Commerce Committee’s Subcommittee on Energy and Power will hold a hearing on legal and cost issues with EPA Clean Power Plan.  .

 

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

 

EPA Officials to Head to House Transpo – Next Wednesday, March 18th at 10:30 a.m., the House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee’s Subcommittee on Water Resources and Environment will convene a hearing on the FY 2016 Budget for EPA.

 

WCEE Forum to Look at Grid Storage – The Women’s Council on Energy and the Environment will hold a forum on Wednesday, March 18th at the National Grange looking at energy storage.  The event will feature Katherine Hamilton, who will describe the industry players and technologies and update us on the exciting developments from the technological and policy perspective for energy storage.   Hamilton is the Policy Director of the Energy Storage Association. Katherine served as President of the GridWise Alliance, advocating for nearly $5 billion in funding for smart grid projects in the Recovery Act. Prior to that role, Katherine was a policy advisor for Good Energies, Inc., a private investment company with a portfolio in clean energy technologies of nearly $6 billion.  She co-directed the American Bioenergy Association, working with the states of Maryland and New Jersey to develop renewable portfolio standards. At the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), Katherine led buildings research and then managed government relations in Washington, DC. Katherine spent a decade at Virginia Power, designing overhead and underground electrical systems for commercial and residential developments. Katherine studied electrical engineering at Northern Virginia Community College and holds degrees from Cornell University and the Sorbonne. Katherine is part of The Energy Gang podcast through Greentech Media.

 

Forum, Simulation to address Cybersecurity Risks – The 3rd Annual Information and Cyber Governance, Data Analytics and Privacy Briefing will be Held at the National Press Club on March 18th.  The program will focus on identifying, protecting and responding to  today’s growing internal and external cybersecurity risks.  SEC Deputy Director Scott Bauguess and FTC General Counsel David Shonka will headline a number of speakers.  During the conference in addition to the moderated Q and A format, the audience will participate in an exercise using a hacking simulator. It has the strategic rigor of chess and the feel of a turn-based card game.  The “Game of Threats™” allows executives to better understand the complexity and fast-paced nature of deciphering threats and crafting the proper response, highlighting the importance of making the right move at the right time to thwart the hackers. My Bracewell colleague and expert on cybersecurity Shamoil Shipchandler is a great resource on the issue.

 

Foxx, Shuster Head NJ Forum on Transportation – On Thursday, March 19th at the Newseum, National Journal will host a forum of key stakeholders and experts for a robust discussion about the prospect of finding consensus to strengthen the nation’s infrastructure.  Speakers will include Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx and House T&I Chair Bill Shuster, as well as Casey Dinges of the American Society of Civil Engineers, Standard & Poor’s Steve Dryer, BPC Financial Regulatory Reform Initiative Director Aaron Klein, ARTBA’s Pete Ruane and Frederick “Bud” Wright of the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials.

 

Sen Energy to Tackle Crude Exports – The U.S. Senate Committee on Energy & Natural Resources will hold a hearing to receive testimony on U.S. crude oil export policy on Thursday, March 19th at 10:00 a.m.   Last year at this time, Murkowski offered her thoughts on crude exports at CERA Week.

 

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

 

WSJ ECO:nomics Conference to Feature Leaders –  On March 25th to 27th, the editors of The Wall Street Journal will hold its ECO:nomics conference in Santa Barbara, CA.  The event brings together global CEOs, top entrepreneurs, environmental experts, policy makers and leading thinkers at ECO:nomics 2015 to identify and assess the most compelling opportunities — and pressing risks— emerging around the world in businesses impacted by the environment.  Through on-stage interviews with leading figures and interactive sessions with peers in diverse industries, participants at ECO:nomics 2015 will debate, discuss and get the inside story on essential issues: investing in innovation, disrupting current business models, the new meaning of sustainability and the future of the environmental movement, where energy policy is heading.  Speakers will include  Former EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson, WV Sen. Jo e Manchin, FERC Commissioner Phil Moeller, coal magnate Bob Murray, former Brightsource CEO and current Google exec John Woolard, Dan Yergin, T. Boone Pickens and Ted Nordhaus of the Breakthrough Institute.

 

Marcellus Shale Meeting Set for NE PA – The Marcellus Shale Coalition will hold a meeting on March 26 and 27th in Wilkes-Barre, PA.  Tax proposals from new PA Gov. Tom Wolf will be a significant topic of discussion.

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Energy Update: Week of February 17

Friends,

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

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

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

Frank Maisano

(202) 828-5864

(202) 997-5932

 

IN THE NEWS

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

FUTURE EVENTS

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

Energy Update: Week of February 9

Friends,

So the big story last night from the Grammys is how big of an idiot Kanye West continues to be.   He once again has deflected much-deserved attention from the winners and of course got coverage.  In case you missed it, Sam Smith was the big winner, taking home three of the top four awards, including song and record of the year for “Stay With Me,” and best new artist, while Beck was surprise winner of album of the year, causing West’s outburst.   Solid performances by Madonna and Annie Lennox.

While it is snowing so much in the Northeast that any talk of spring sounds crazy, pitchers and catchers report this week to Florida and Arizona to kickoff baseball’s annual spring training ritual.  I’m interested to know how Derek Jeter will feel when he doesn’t report for the first time in 20-plus years.   And for those of you in lax states like Maryland, colleges open their SEASONS soon and high school tryouts are right around the corner.

After last week’s White House budget announcement and an initial hearing featuring OMB, Congress hits the budget trail full tilt this week.  Expect to see DOE Secretary Moniz on both sides of the Capitol on Wednesday and Thursday.

Senate Environment will take its first look at the EPA GHG rule in this Congress on Wednesday.  There is a lot going on this week on GHG issues from both environmental groups and industries so stay tuned.  This is already on top of reports from our friends in the media who are writing that the House will package and roll out new energy legislation early this week.

On Thursday, SAFE holds a webinar featuring Sam Ori discussing the SAFE Energy Security Fact Pack, a comprehensive, quarterly review of current trends affecting American energy security and the global oil market, and our friend Steve LeVine will discuss his new book The Powerhouse: Inside the Invention of a Battery to Save the World at a New America Foundation.

For those of you following the DOE residential furnace rule (it is one of a plethora of DOE you can expect over the next two years) has cleared OMB after a significant delay.  My colleague Salo Zelermyer, a former DOE Senior Counsel on these topic can be of great assistance on background or on the record.  You can reach Salo at 202-828-1718.

Finally, the Environmental Law Institute and the D.C. Bar’s Environment, Energy and Natural Resources Section is holding a networking event at the Laughing Man Tavern to build community and connections among environmental professionals and to relax and have fun!

We are all in Houston today so I’m keeping it short.  Call with questions and keep your eyes peeled for developments on the GHG front.

Frank Maisano

(202) 828-5864

(202) 997-5932

 

IN THE NEWS

Report Shows Energy Trends – A new report from Bloomberg New Energy Finance says the US saw continued growth in renewable energy, natural gas and energy efficiency in 2014, The 3rd annual Sustainable Energy in America Factbook shows that U.S. deployment of sustainable energy increased as prices continued to fall and that investment in U.S. clean energy grew at a higher rate.  The report found that “over the 2007–2014 period, U.S. carbon emissions from the energy sector dropped 9%, U.S. natural gas production rose 25% and total U.S. investment in clean energy (renewables and advanced grid, storage and electrified transport technologies) reached $386 billion.”   The full 2015 edition of the Sustainable Energy in America Factbook is available here.

Platts Oil Podcast Tackles Iran – This week on Capitol Crude, Platts senior editors Herman Wang andBrian Scheid compare the ongoing negotiations over Iran’s nuclear program with trashy reality television. They also get a little help from our good friend Kevin Book at ClearView Energy Partners, who helps them explain what high stakes global diplomacy and looming congressional action over western sanctions on Iran’s oil sector have to do with a TLC show about getting married in 90 days.

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

Moniz, Napolitano to Headline ARPA-E Forum – Today through Wednesday, DOE will host its annual ARPA-E Energy Innovation Summit at the Gaylord National Hotel and Convention Center.  The event is an annual conference and technology showcase that brings together experts from different technical disciplines and professional communities to think about America’s energy challenges in new and innovative ways. Now in its sixth year, the Summit offers a unique, three-day program aimed at moving disruptive energy technologies out of the lab and into the market. The ARPA-E Energy Innovation Summit brings together the very best minds in business, academia, and government to advance cutting-edge technologies that could fundamentally change the way we generate, use and store energy.

Electric Car Forum Set – The Electric Drive Transportation Association’s Electric Drive Congress 2015 will be held tomorrow and Wednesday.  The forum is a multifaceted program to convene electric drive industry executives, policymakers, leaders in regional deployment and other stakeholders. Participants will discuss the road ahead for electric drive: what to expect in the market and what role federal and regional leaders will play in speeding access to next generation transportation options.

EESI, EDTA to Host Merkley, Carper – To that end, the Environmental and Energy Study Institute (EESI) and the Electric Drive Transportation Association (EDTA) will hold a briefing at 10:00 a.m. in the US Capitol Visitors Center Auditorium to discuss the road ahead for electric drive vehicles as industry executives, policymakers, and other stakeholders gather to address the outlook for the market and what role policymakers can play in accelerating the electric fleet. Policymakers and industry leaders will provide their expert insights, and a moderated Q&A will follow.  Featured speakers for the Capitol Hill briefing include Sens.  Jeff Merkley and Tom Carper, as well as Tracy Woodard of Nissan.

EDTA Will Also Hold Symposium – In addition to the above Congressional briefing, EDTA is also holding an Electric Drive Symposium at the Washington Court Hotel. Highlights include a keynote luncheon sponsored by Volkswagen Group of America, federal and state policy forums, and a networking reception.  Featured speakers for the symposium include Arun Banskota of NRG Energy Electric Vehicle Service, PG&E’s Melissa Lavinson, Toyota’s Robert R. Wimmer – Toyota Motor North America, Greg Dierkers of the National Governors Association, Ashley Horvat  from the State of Oregon, Karen Glitman of the Vermont Energy Investment Corporation (VEIC) and DOE’s Linda Bluestein.

CHP Association to Host DOE Officials for Webinar – Tomorrow at 2:00 p.m., the Joint Energy Solutions Center and the Combined Heat & Power Association will host a webinar to discuss DOE’s CHP Technical Assistance Partnerships, and what they will do for customers.  Speakers will include our friend Dale Louda, who heads the the CHP Association and DOE program officials Claudia Tighe and Ted Bronson.

 

Senate Enviro Takes First Look at EPA GHG Rules – On Wednesday at 9:30 a.m., the Senate Environment Committee will hold its first oversight hearing to examine EPA’s proposed carbon dioxide emissions rules from new, modified, and existing power plants. The purpose of the hearing is to examine the proposed rules, their impacts and obtain general status update.  The star of the show will be EPA Air Chief Janet McCabe.

 

Moniz to Discuss Budget at House Energy Panel – Also Wednesday at 2:00 p.m., the House Energy & Commerce Committee’s energy panel will host DOE Secretary Ernie Moniz for a hearing on the 2016 DOE budget.

Georgetown Forum Look at Shale Impacts – On Wednesday through Friday, Georgetown University’s SFS Center for Contemporary Arab Studies will hold its annual symposia to assess the political, economic, human, and environmental impacts of shale oil and its technologies of extraction globally, and particularly on the societies and economies of the MENA region.

 

Moniz Heads to Senate Energy for Budget – On Thursday at 9:30 a.m., the Senate Energy Committee will hold a hearing on the Department of Energy’s budget request for fiscal year 2016.  Secretary Moniz will testify.

 

House Foreign Affairs to Look at Azerbaijan, U.S. Energy – The House Foreign Affairs Committee’s Subcommittee on Europe, Eurasia, and Emerging Threats will convene a hearing on Thursday to discuss Azerbaijan & U.S. Energy, Security, and Human Rights.  Witnesses will include Wilson Center expert Audrey Altstadt, former American Ambassador to Azerbaijan Richard Kauzlarich of George Mason University and JHU’s Svante Cornell, the Director of its Central Asia-Caucasus Institute.

 

Former Gov Ritter Leads CO Law School Forum – University of Colorado Law School will hold its 2015 Martz Winter Symposium in its Wittemyer Courtroom on Thursday and Friday.  Many believe that global institutions and frameworks are failing to generate necessary progress on issues such as climate change, water scarcity, biodiversity, food security and nutrition, and poverty eradication; and that state, tribal, and local governments and communities, innovative companies, social and technology entrepreneurs, NGOs, impact investors, consumers and philanthropists increasingly are taking the lead in creating bottom-up solutions to these challenges.  The conference will explore this dynamic in detail, with an emphasis on the drivers behind these ground level innovations, and on how they can better “filter up” to inform the global conversations occurring on how best to address various dimensions of “global change”.  Former Colorado Governor Bill Ritter leads a list of distinguished speakers.

 

SAFE Webinar to Look at Oil Dynamics, Markets, Policy – On Thursday,  Securing America’s Future Energy Executive Vice President Sam Ori will host a webinar discussing the SAFE Energy Security Fact Pack.  The report is a comprehensive, quarterly review of current trends affecting American energy security and the global oil market. The fourth-quarter 2014 release examines current oil market dynamics and the effect lower oil prices are having on industry valuation and capital expenditures, in addition to U.S. rig counts and oil production.   Webinar participants will have the opportunity to engage with SAFE’s policy experts on these topics, as well as broader U.S. energy security and advanced technology vehicles and fuels.

 

Conference to Focus on DOE Communities – On Thursday and Friday at the Liaison Hotel, Energy Communities Alliance will hold a conference featuring the community officials and local governments around DOE sites as we discuss key issues.  DOE Officials, administration officials and Washington insiders will discuss important issues.  Speakers will include Idaho Rep. Mike Simpson, DOE’s Peter Lyons and our friend Jeff Crater of Babcock &Wilcox.

 

LeVine to Discuss New Book on Battery Tech – The New America Foundation will host a forum featuring our friend Steve LeVine on Thursday at Noon to look as his New book, The Powerhouse: Inside the Invention of a Battery to Save the World.  For all the global obsession with oil that has marked the past decades, the real future of energy may be something quite different. An advanced lithium-ion battery could power our electric cars and help relieve climate change. But the race is on in laboratories all over the world to be the first to solve this scientific enigma—and the United States may not necessarily be the winner. Levine will be joined by Donna Harris, co-founder of Washington DC start-up hub, 1776. They will explore how geopolitics, competition, and the scientists themselves could shape technology’s next great watershed.

 

Hudson to Look at Falling Oil Impacts – The Hudson Institute will hold a forum on Friday at 10:30 a.m. on assessing the economic, political and geopolitical impacts of falling oil prices.  The price of world crude oil has plunged more than 50 percent since July 2014. The price drop has spawned predictions of job losses and financial collapse for America’s booming oil and shale industry, as well as a renaissance for U.S. manufacturing and a new burst of prosperity for consumers. Warnings of the doom of OPEC and international “Big Oil” have been balanced by forecasts that cheap oil’s boost to economic growth around the world will trigger a renewed price rise in the future.  Hudson will host a panel of experts led by Anne Korin, co-director of the Institute for Analysis of Global Security and senior advisor to the U.S. Energy Security Council; Dov Zigler, Financial Markets Economist at Scotiabank; and Matt Leggett, Energy Policy Counsel at the U.S. Senate Republican Policy Committee. Hudson Senior Fellow Arthur Herman will moderate this event.

 

 

FUTURE EVENTS

 

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

 

Ameren CEO, EPA’s McCabe , DOE to Address Utility Conference – EUEC 2015 is the 18th annual energy, utility and environment conference will be held at the San Diego Convention Center on February 16-18th.  EPA’s Janet McCabe, will be the keynote speaker at EUEC 2015, which offers a ten track technical program with over 400 expert speakers from utility, government and academia, presenting current issues and updates on air policy and regulations, mercury and multi-pollutant control, air pollution monitoring, energy policy, control technologies. EPA climate change regulations, renewable energy, operations and management, carbon capture and storage, water and EPA 316(b) rules, and alternate fuel technologies. EUEC is the longest running and largest event of its kind in the U.S.  Other speakers will include DOE’s Julio Freedman and Ameren CEO Warner Baxter.  EUEC will be jointly held with the Clean Car Expo, which will bring together the world’s leading alternative fuel vehicle (AFV) manufacturers, infrastructure developers, fuel providers, and consultants to discuss the latest developments in electric vehicles (EVs), compressed natural gas vehicles (CNG), hydrogen vehicles (H2), natural gas vehicles (NGV), biofuel, ethanol, propane, hybrid and fleet vehicles. Over 3,000 delegates including 400 fleet operators are expected to the joint conference and expo.

 

George P. Bush to Address TX, Mexico Forums – The Border Energy Forum is hosting two forums where new Texas Land Commissioner George P. Bush will present a keynote address addresses.  The first is the Mexico Shale Summit in San Antonio on February 17-18th and is highly focused Mexico Energy industry event bringing the relevant players together to discuss the opportunities associated with entering the Mexican energy market.  Then the following week in Austin, Bush will keynote the Texas Mexico Business Forum, which provides insight into business opportunities in four sectors important to the wealth of Texas and Mexico: Technology, Energy, Automobile, Higher education and Healthcare.

 

FERC GHG Technical Conference to Focus on EPA Rule – The FERC holds its GHG technical Conference on February 19 in Washington.  More on this next week.

 

SNL to Host Forum – SNL Energy is hosting the 28th Annual Power and Gas M&A Symposium on February 18-19th at the Ritz-Carlton Battery Park in New York.  The Power and Gas M&A Symposium attracts senior executives and advisers from across the industry in an interactive conference that connects people, provides insights and fosters new opportunities like no other forum.  Former NYC Mayor Rudy Giuliani and Ameren CEO Baxter Warner will address the forum.

 

Forum to Focus on DOE Labs – Next Wednesday, February 18th at Noon, the Technology Transfer Society will host a forum on reforming the DOE National Labs at the Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities.  DOE’s 17 national labs stand as potentially pivotal institutions in many of the nation’s metropolitan economies and for overall national growth, innovation, and competitiveness. As centers of basic and applied technology research and development (R&D), the labs are well-positioned to serve as unique focal points for technology exchange among regional firms, universities, and economic development intermediaries. However, the labs have not made technology transfer, commercialization, or metropolitan cluster development a top priority. As a result, they have struggled to properly connect to the broader U.S. innovation ecosystem and deliver on their responsibility to contribute to regional and national economic growth.  There is a growing recognition among policymakers that it’s past time for lab reform, opening a window of opportunity to reshape the role of the labs as engines of national and regional economic growth. Congress has taken up bipartisan legislation to enhance lab flexibility when engaging with the private sector. Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz has made lab reform a priority. And a Congressionally-mandated commission is assessing potential areas of reform, including technology transfer, lab management, private sector engagement, and budget consolidation. This presentation, featuring information technology expert Matt Stepp, will discuss some (but not all) potential issues at the national labs and give an overview of ongoing policy discussions.  Stepp is Executive Director of The Information Technology & Innovation Foundation’s Center for Clean Energy Innovation (CCEI), where he researches, analyzes and comments on a number of issues related to climate and energy policy.

 

ICF Breakfast to Look at Climate – On Thursday, February 19th at the National Press Club, ICF International will hold its energy breakfast featuring featuring energy experts from the World Bank. Discussion topics will include hot-button greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions issues and key questions.  Speakers will include World Bank’s Charles Feinstein and former State Department negotiator Jonathan Pershing.

 

Forum to Explore Perspectives on Energy, Water & Agriculture – On Thursday, February 19th at 12:15 p.m., the International Food Policy Research Institute will hold a forum on how clean energy technology can be used to intensify agricultural production.  Former Governor Bill Ritter, Jr. will speak from his experience working both domestically and internationally with legislators, regulators, planners, and policymakers to make clean energy a reality and focus on the major issues and opportunities both in the U.S. and in developing countries. A panel of experts will join Governor Ritter to explore the nexus between clean energy, water and agriculture, and share their thoughts on ways to ramp up partnerships–working across sectors–and apply cutting edge technologies to tackle some of our greatest development challenges.

 

ASE to Offer Primer on Energy Efficiency – The Alliance to Save Energy will host a Capitol Hill Briefing on Thursday, February 19th at 3:00 p.m. focusing on the building blocks of energy efficiency policy.  A full load of speakers will be announced on topics like EnergySTAR, building codes, Weatherization, Appliance Standards and much more.

 

Energy & Sustainability Extravaganza Set for New GWU Science Hall – On Friday afternoon, February 20th, the National Capital Chapter of the Association of Energy Engineer’s will co-host the Energy & Sustainability Extravaganza at George Washington University/s new Science and Engineering Hall.  Other co-hosts include the GW School of Engineering and Applied Science’s Office of Graduate Admissions, the Alexandria Emerging Technology Center, and DC Green Drinks.

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

Energy Update: Week of February 2

Friends,

 

So the big story last night from the Grammys is how big of an idiot Kanye West continues to be.   He once again has deflected much-deserved attention from the winners and of course got coverage.  In case you missed it, Sam Smith was the big winner, taking home three of the top four awards, including song and record of the year for “Stay With Me,” and best new artist, while Beck was surprise winner of album of the year, causing West’s outburst.   Solid performances by Madonna and Annie Lennox.

 

While it is snowing so much in the Northeast that any talk of spring sounds crazy, pitchers and catchers report this week to Florida and Arizona to kickoff baseball’s annual spring training ritual.  I’m interested to know how Derek Jeter will feel when he doesn’t report for the first time in 20-plus years.   And for those of you in lax states like Maryland, colleges open their SEASONS soon and high school tryouts are right around the corner.

 

After last week’s White House budget announcement and an initial hearing featuring OMB, Congress hits the budget trail full tilt this week.  Expect to see DOE Secretary Moniz on both sides of the Capitol on Wednesday and Thursday.

 

Senate Environment will take its first look at the EPA GHG rule in this Congress on Wednesday.  There is a lot going on this week on GHG issues from both environmental groups and industries so stay tuned.  This is already on top of reports from our friends in the media who are writing that the House will package and roll out new energy legislation early this week.

 

On Thursday, SAFE holds a webinar featuring Sam Ori discussing the SAFE Energy Security Fact Pack, a comprehensive, quarterly review of current trends affecting American energy security and the global oil market, and our friend Steve LeVine will discuss his new book The Powerhouse: Inside the Invention of a Battery to Save the World at a New America Foundation.

 

For those of you following the DOE residential furnace rule (it is one of a plethora of DOE you can expect over the next two years) has cleared OMB after a significant delay.  My colleague Salo Zelermyer, a former DOE Senior Counsel on these topic can be of great assistance on background or on the record.  You can reach Salo at 202-828-1718.

 

Finally, the Environmental Law Institute and the D.C. Bar’s Environment, Energy and Natural Resources Section is holding a networking event at the Laughing Man Tavern to build community and connections among environmental professionals and to relax and have fun!

 

We are all in Houston today so I’m keeping it short.  Call with questions and keep your eyes peeled for developments on the GHG front.

 

Frank Maisano

(202) 828-5864

  1. (202) 997-5932

 

IN THE NEWS

 

Report Shows Energy Trends – A new report from Bloomberg New Energy Finance says the US saw continued growth in renewable energy, natural gas and energy efficiency in 2014, The 3rd annual Sustainable Energy in America Factbook shows that U.S. deployment of sustainable energy increased as prices continued to fall and that investment in U.S. clean energy grew at a higher rate.  The report found that “over the 2007–2014 period, U.S. carbon emissions from the energy sector dropped 9%, U.S. natural gas production rose 25% and total U.S. investment in clean energy (renewables and advanced grid, storage and electrified transport technologies) reached $386 billion.”   The full 2015 edition of the Sustainable Energy in America Factbook is available here.

 

Platts Oil Podcast Tackles Iran – This week on Capitol Crude, Platts senior editors Herman Wang andBrian Scheid compare the ongoing negotiations over Iran’s nuclear program with trashy reality television. They also get a little help from our good friend Kevin Book at ClearView Energy Partners, who helps them explain what high stakes global diplomacy and looming congressional action over western sanctions on Iran’s oil sector have to do with a TLC show about getting married in 90 days.

 

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

 

Moniz, Napolitano to Headline ARPA-E Forum – Today through Wednesday, DOE will host its annual ARPA-E Energy Innovation Summit at the Gaylord National Hotel and Convention Center.  The event is an annual conference and technology showcase that brings together experts from different technical disciplines and professional communities to think about America’s energy challenges in new and innovative ways. Now in its sixth year, the Summit offers a unique, three-day program aimed at moving disruptive energy technologies out of the lab and into the market. The ARPA-E Energy Innovation Summit brings together the very best minds in business, academia, and government to advance cutting-edge technologies that could fundamentally change the way we generate, use and store energy.

 

Electric Car Forum Set – The Electric Drive Transportation Association’s Electric Drive Congress 2015 will be held tomorrow and Wednesday.  The forum is a multifaceted program to convene electric drive industry executives, policymakers, leaders in regional deployment and other stakeholders. Participants will discuss the road ahead for electric drive: what to expect in the market and what role federal and regional leaders will play in speeding access to next generation transportation options.

 

EESI, EDTA to Host Merkley, Carper – To that end, the Environmental and Energy Study Institute (EESI) and the Electric Drive Transportation Association (EDTA) will hold a briefing at 10:00 a.m. in the US Capitol Visitors Center Auditorium to discuss the road ahead for electric drive vehicles as industry executives, policymakers, and other stakeholders gather to address the outlook for the market and what role policymakers can play in accelerating the electric fleet. Policymakers and industry leaders will provide their expert insights, and a moderated Q&A will follow.  Featured speakers for the Capitol Hill briefing include Sens.  Jeff Merkley and Tom Carper, as well as Tracy Woodard of Nissan.

 

EDTA Will Also Hold Symposium – In addition to the above Congressional briefing, EDTA is also holding an Electric Drive Symposium at the Washington Court Hotel. Highlights include a keynote luncheon sponsored by Volkswagen Group of America, federal and state policy forums, and a networking reception.  Featured speakers for the symposium include Arun Banskota of NRG Energy Electric Vehicle Service, PG&E’s Melissa Lavinson, Toyota’s Robert R. Wimmer – Toyota Motor North America, Greg Dierkers of the National Governors Association, Ashley Horvat  from the State of Oregon, Karen Glitman of the Vermont Energy Investment Corporation (VEIC) and DOE’s Linda Bluestein.

 

CHP Association to Host DOE Officials for Webinar – Tomorrow at 2:00 p.m., the Joint Energy Solutions Center and the Combined Heat & Power Association will host a webinar to discuss DOE’s CHP Technical Assistance Partnerships, and what they will do for customers.  Speakers will include our friend Dale Louda, who heads the the CHP Association and DOE program officials Claudia Tighe and Ted Bronson.

 

Senate Enviro Takes First Look at EPA GHG Rules – On Wednesday at 9:30 a.m., the Senate Environment Committee will hold its first oversight hearing to examine EPA’s proposed carbon dioxide emissions rules from new, modified, and existing power plants. The purpose of the hearing is to examine the proposed rules, their impacts and obtain general status update.  The star of the show will be EPA Air Chief Janet McCabe.

 

Moniz to Discuss Budget at House Energy Panel – Also Wednesday at 2:00 p.m., the House Energy & Commerce Committee’s energy panel will host DOE Secretary Ernie Moniz for a hearing on the 2016 DOE budget.

Georgetown Forum Look at Shale Impacts – On Wednesday through Friday, Georgetown University’s SFS Center for Contemporary Arab Studies will hold its annual symposia to assess the political, economic, human, and environmental impacts of shale oil and its technologies of extraction globally, and particularly on the societies and economies of the MENA region.

 

Moniz Heads to Senate Energy for Budget – On Thursday at 9:30 a.m., the Senate Energy Committee will hold a hearing on the Department of Energy’s budget request for fiscal year 2016.  Secretary Moniz will testify.

 

House Foreign Affairs to Look at Azerbaijan, U.S. Energy – The House Foreign Affairs Committee’s Subcommittee on Europe, Eurasia, and Emerging Threats will convene a hearing on Thursday to discuss Azerbaijan & U.S. Energy, Security, and Human Rights.  Witnesses will include Wilson Center expert Audrey Altstadt, former American Ambassador to Azerbaijan Richard Kauzlarich of George Mason University and JHU’s Svante Cornell, the Director of its Central Asia-Caucasus Institute.

 

Former Gov Ritter Leads CO Law School Forum – University of Colorado Law School will hold its 2015 Martz Winter Symposium in its Wittemyer Courtroom on Thursday and Friday.  Many believe that global institutions and frameworks are failing to generate necessary progress on issues such as climate change, water scarcity, biodiversity, food security and nutrition, and poverty eradication; and that state, tribal, and local governments and communities, innovative companies, social and technology entrepreneurs, NGOs, impact investors, consumers and philanthropists increasingly are taking the lead in creating bottom-up solutions to these challenges.  The conference will explore this dynamic in detail, with an emphasis on the drivers behind these ground level innovations, and on how they can better “filter up” to inform the global conversations occurring on how best to address various dimensions of “global change”.  Former Colorado Governor Bill Ritter leads a list of distinguished speakers.

 

SAFE Webinar to Look at Oil Dynamics, Markets, Policy – On Thursday,  Securing America’s Future Energy Executive Vice President Sam Ori will host a webinar discussing the SAFE Energy Security Fact Pack.  The report is a comprehensive, quarterly review of current trends affecting American energy security and the global oil market. The fourth-quarter 2014 release examines current oil market dynamics and the effect lower oil prices are having on industry valuation and capital expenditures, in addition to U.S. rig counts and oil production.   Webinar participants will have the opportunity to engage with SAFE’s policy experts on these topics, as well as broader U.S. energy security and advanced technology vehicles and fuels.

 

Conference to Focus on DOE Communities – On Thursday and Friday at the Liaison Hotel, Energy Communities Alliance will hold a conference featuring the community officials and local governments around DOE sites as we discuss key issues.  DOE Officials, administration officials and Washington insiders will discuss important issues.  Speakers will include Idaho Rep. Mike Simpson, DOE’s Peter Lyons and our friend Jeff Crater of Babcock &Wilcox.

 

LeVine to Discuss New Book on Battery Tech – The New America Foundation will host a forum featuring our friend Steve LeVine on Thursday at Noon to look as his New book, The Powerhouse: Inside the Invention of a Battery to Save the World.  For all the global obsession with oil that has marked the past decades, the real future of energy may be something quite different. An advanced lithium-ion battery could power our electric cars and help relieve climate change. But the race is on in laboratories all over the world to be the first to solve this scientific enigma—and the United States may not necessarily be the winner. Levine will be joined by Donna Harris, co-founder of Washington DC start-up hub, 1776. They will explore how geopolitics, competition, and the scientists themselves could shape technology’s next great watershed.

 

Hudson to Look at Falling Oil Impacts – The Hudson Institute will hold a forum on Friday at 10:30 a.m. on assessing the economic, political and geopolitical impacts of falling oil prices.  The price of world crude oil has plunged more than 50 percent since July 2014. The price drop has spawned predictions of job losses and financial collapse for America’s booming oil and shale industry, as well as a renaissance for U.S. manufacturing and a new burst of prosperity for consumers. Warnings of the doom of OPEC and international “Big Oil” have been balanced by forecasts that cheap oil’s boost to economic growth around the world will trigger a renewed price rise in the future.  Hudson will host a panel of experts led by Anne Korin, co-director of the Institute for Analysis of Global Security and senior advisor to the U.S. Energy Security Council; Dov Zigler, Financial Markets Economist at Scotiabank; and Matt Leggett, Energy Policy Counsel at the U.S. Senate Republican Policy Committee. Hudson Senior Fellow Arthur Herman will moderate this event.

 

 

FUTURE EVENTS

 

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

 

Ameren CEO, EPA’s McCabe , DOE to Address Utility Conference – EUEC 2015 is the 18th annual energy, utility and environment conference will be held at the San Diego Convention Center on February 16-18th.  EPA’s Janet McCabe, will be the keynote speaker at EUEC 2015, which offers a ten track technical program with over 400 expert speakers from utility, government and academia, presenting current issues and updates on air policy and regulations, mercury and multi-pollutant control, air pollution monitoring, energy policy, control technologies. EPA climate change regulations, renewable energy, operations and management, carbon capture and storage, water and EPA 316(b) rules, and alternate fuel technologies. EUEC is the longest running and largest event of its kind in the U.S.  Other speakers will include DOE’s Julio Freedman and Ameren CEO Warner Baxter.  EUEC will be jointly held with the Clean Car Expo, which will bring together the world’s leading alternative fuel vehicle (AFV) manufacturers, infrastructure developers, fuel providers, and consultants to discuss the latest developments in electric vehicles (EVs), compressed natural gas vehicles (CNG), hydrogen vehicles (H2), natural gas vehicles (NGV), biofuel, ethanol, propane, hybrid and fleet vehicles. Over 3,000 delegates including 400 fleet operators are expected to the joint conference and expo.

 

George P. Bush to Address TX, Mexico Forums – The Border Energy Forum is hosting two forums where new Texas Land Commissioner George P. Bush will present a keynote address addresses.  The first is the Mexico Shale Summit in San Antonio on February 17-18th and is highly focused Mexico Energy industry event bringing the relevant players together to discuss the opportunities associated with entering the Mexican energy market.  Then the following week in Austin, Bush will keynote the Texas Mexico Business Forum, which provides insight into business opportunities in four sectors important to the wealth of Texas and Mexico: Technology, Energy, Automobile, Higher education and Healthcare.

 

FERC GHG Technical Conference to Focus on EPA Rule – The FERC holds its GHG technical Conference on February 19 in Washington.  More on this next week.

 

SNL to Host Forum – SNL Energy is hosting the 28th Annual Power and Gas M&A Symposium on February 18-19th at the Ritz-Carlton Battery Park in New York.  The Power and Gas M&A Symposium attracts senior executives and advisers from across the industry in an interactive conference that connects people, provides insights and fosters new opportunities like no other forum.  Former NYC Mayor Rudy Giuliani and Ameren CEO Baxter Warner will address the forum.

 

Forum to Focus on DOE Labs – Next Wednesday, February 18th at Noon, the Technology Transfer Society will host a forum on reforming the DOE National Labs at the Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities.  DOE’s 17 national labs stand as potentially pivotal institutions in many of the nation’s metropolitan economies and for overall national growth, innovation, and competitiveness. As centers of basic and applied technology research and development (R&D), the labs are well-positioned to serve as unique focal points for technology exchange among regional firms, universities, and economic development intermediaries. However, the labs have not made technology transfer, commercialization, or metropolitan cluster development a top priority. As a result, they have struggled to properly connect to the broader U.S. innovation ecosystem and deliver on their responsibility to contribute to regional and national economic growth.  There is a growing recognition among policymakers that it’s past time for lab reform, opening a window of opportunity to reshape the role of the labs as engines of national and regional economic growth. Congress has taken up bipartisan legislation to enhance lab flexibility when engaging with the private sector. Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz has made lab reform a priority. And a Congressionally-mandated commission is assessing potential areas of reform, including technology transfer, lab management, private sector engagement, and budget consolidation. This presentation, featuring information technology expert Matt Stepp, will discuss some (but not all) potential issues at the national labs and give an overview of ongoing policy discussions.  Stepp is Executive Director of The Information Technology & Innovation Foundation’s Center for Clean Energy Innovation (CCEI), where he researches, analyzes and comments on a number of issues related to climate and energy policy.

 

ICF Breakfast to Look at Climate – On Thursday, February 19th at the National Press Club, ICF International will hold its energy breakfast featuring featuring energy experts from the World Bank. Discussion topics will include hot-button greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions issues and key questions.  Speakers will include World Bank’s Charles Feinstein and former State Department negotiator Jonathan Pershing.

 

Forum to Explore Perspectives on Energy, Water & Agriculture – On Thursday, February 19th at 12:15 p.m., the International Food Policy Research Institute will hold a forum on how clean energy technology can be used to intensify agricultural production.  Former Governor Bill Ritter, Jr. will speak from his experience working both domestically and internationally with legislators, regulators, planners, and policymakers to make clean energy a reality and focus on the major issues and opportunities both in the U.S. and in developing countries. A panel of experts will join Governor Ritter to explore the nexus between clean energy, water and agriculture, and share their thoughts on ways to ramp up partnerships–working across sectors–and apply cutting edge technologies to tackle some of our greatest development challenges.

 

ASE to Offer Primer on Energy Efficiency – The Alliance to Save Energy will host a Capitol Hill Briefing on Thursday, February 19th at 3:00 p.m. focusing on the building blocks of energy efficiency policy.  A full load of speakers will be announced on topics like EnergySTAR, building codes, Weatherization, Appliance Standards and much more.

 

Energy & Sustainability Extravaganza Set for New GWU Science Hall – On Friday afternoon, February 20th, the National Capital Chapter of the Association of Energy Engineer’s will co-host the Energy & Sustainability Extravaganza at George Washington University/s new Science and Engineering Hall.  Other co-hosts include the GW School of Engineering and Applied Science’s Office of Graduate Admissions, the Alexandria Emerging Technology Center, and DC Green Drinks.

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

Energy Update: Week of November 2

Friends

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Frank Maisano

(202) 828-5864

  1. (202) 997-5932

 

IN THE NEWS

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

 

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

 

November 4th – ELECTION DAY

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

FUTURE EVENTS

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Energy Update: Columbus Day Edition

Friends,

 

Thanks goodness it is Columbus Day, the holiday to celebrate Italian-Americans, because those of us that end in a vowel really do need more celebrating. Italian-Americans are among the most loyal — most law-abiding — patriotic, hard-working American citizens in this land.  Because from the time of the great Christopher Columbus up through the time of Enrico Fermi right up to the present day — Italian-Americans have been pioneers in building and defending our great nation. They are the soil o’ the earth and one of the backbones of this country. Thank you, Senator Geary…

 

I don’t even know why I’m working today, because a man who doesn’t spend time with his family can never be a real man.  But I decided that I would take advantage of the light traffic…and besides, I already watched both Godfather movies last night, so I’m smart, not dumb like everybody thinks.  When I went to bed around 1:00 a.m. (it is a 6+ hour marathon), my wife told me, “sure ‘cause like you haven’t seen that before.”  Not the point though… You must always watch the Godfather or Godfather II, especially if it is the Columbus Day Holiday, because you never takes sides against the family and this is the business we have chosen.  I didn’t ask who gave the order.

 

Since business is business, let’s get back to it because we’re all part of the same hypocrisy.   Plus I have to get this out because the kids have no school today so they’re all at home (which could be a disaster).  I have as sentimental weakness for my children and I spoil them, as you can see. They talk when they should be listening.

 

There has been a lot of banter about the EPA’s GHG rule and states being ready for it.  Apparently, EPA is making them an offer they can’t refuse.   But their ability to comply with the rule will continue to cause debate and controversy, including at an event this week at Resources for the Future tomorrow at 12:45. Along these lines, check out the Southwest Power Pool’s (the SW Grid Operator) call to delay the rule for five years for reliability concerns.  And there are others like IER, who also have a new impact study  out below, that want the rule to sleep with the fishes.

 

The Senate races continue to heat up.  We are trying to get a final feel for those running, many of whom are no different than any other powerful man (or Woman)— who’s responsible for other people, like a senator or president.  Interesting races are shaping up in South Dakota and Kansas, while Michigan seems to be separating.  You know though, I never tell anybody outside the (friends’ list) family what I’m thinkingBut I’m a superstitious man, so next 22 days will show how this plays out.

 

Finally, It makes no difference to me what a man does for a living, understand, but on Saturday, the Consumer’s Energy Alliance is hosting Energy Day in Houston.  The event is the largest annual festival showcasing science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) and will feature folks from across the Country.  Our friends at Cabot are sending a bunch of educators from Northeastern PA.

 

That’s it…Call with questions.  I guess I’m getting too old for my job. Too grouchy. Can’t stand the aggravation.

 

Frank Maisano

(202) 828-5864

  1. (202) 997-5932

 

IN THE NEWS

 

SAFE Oil Index Out –Securing America’s Future Energy (SAFE) released the latest quarterly installment of its Oil Security Index, a tool measuring the oil security of more than a dozen countries around the world based on key indicators, including their structural dependence on oil, their economic exposure to the global oil market, and their capacity to respond to oil supply disruptions.  This most recent update features a special focus on Japan, the Index’s most oil-secure country. Japan ranks highly in spite of its minimal domestic oil resources and high import levels, which are offset by several other indicators. Most notably, Japan’s high oil efficiency and its role as an international storage hub work in favor of the county’s long-term oil security.  The United States remains fifth in Index rankings, unchanged from last quarter.  The latest Index update also shines a light on India, where burgeoning demand has driven oil consumption up 75 percent since 2000. Amidst rising demand for gasoline and increasing incomes, India struggles with a heavy reliance on Middle East imports and low overall efficiency, leaving it suspended at 11 out of 13 in the Index rankings.

 

SW Grid Operator Urges 5 Year Delay for EPA GHG Rule – The Southwest Power Pool, the grid operator for all or part of nine states in the Great Plains said that will be more difficult maintain reliability with EPA’s new GHG rules for existing power plants.  SPP said the rule could lead to transmission overloads and even rolling power outages.  The SPP’s analysis said the proposed rule would lead to reliability issues in its footprint.  SPP wants more time so that the grid can manage the retirements the proposed rule will cause on its system. The RTO’s own report admitted that it did not have time to study any of the proposed building blocks to clean up the power system in EPA’s rule due to time constraints.   SPP Officials said the assessment’s findings make it very clear new generation and transmission expansion will be necessary from a reliability perspective.  They added their focus is first and foremost on reliability. SPP officials urged EPA to extend the proposed carbon plan compliance deadline by five years and called for more detailed study of the plan’s effect on reliability.

 

EIA to Releases Studies on Crude Oil Exports – The Energy Information Administration is expected to release a comprehensive summary of the studies it is conducting about crude oil exports by the end of 2014 or early 2015. The agency will release a study on the exports’ financial impact on trade markets and crude prices this month and an analysis of crude processing costs and technology in December.

 

TX School Fund Larger than Harvard Endowment – The Texas educational fund that the State uses to buy instructional materials and cover some local school districts’ costs is now worth nearly $38 billion.  Started in 1854 with an initial investment of just $2 million, the fund  gets proceeds from the sale of state land and rental of mineral rights for oil and natural gas exploration, making it the nation’s largest educational endowment.  In a statement, Patterson and Education Commissioner Michael Williams said the fund had outpaced Harvard University’s endowment, which they said was worth $36.4 billion through June 30.  While other state education funding is embroiled in legal battles, Permanent School Fund has faced no such shortfalls with natural gas drilling and other state energy development helped generate a record $1.2 billion for the fund this year.

 

IER: EPA Rules Increase Power Plant Closures – The Institute for Energy Research updated its report listing the generating units at power plants that have already closed or will be shutting down because of EPA’s Mercury and Air Toxics Rule, the proposed Cross State Air Pollution Rule (CSAPR), and the recently announced restrictions on carbon dioxide emissions from existing power plants. Highlights from the report include: 72.7 gigawatts (GW) of electrical generating capacity have already, or are scheduled to retire. That’s enough to reliably power 44.7 million homes, or every home in every state west of the Mississippi River, excluding Texas; since IER’s original report in October 2011, an additional 44.4 GW of reliable coal-fired power have either closed or are now scheduled to close; there are now 37 states with projected power plant closures – up from 30 in 2011; the top 5 hardest hit states by generating capacity are: Ohio, Pennsylvania, Indiana, Kentucky, and Georgia.

 

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

 

Shale Water Expo Set – Tomorrow and Wednesday, Shale Water Expo 2014 will be held in Houston at the Stafford Convention Centre.  The event is focused on shale play water management is the only national fluids-specific event for the oil and gas industry.  It will present timely, in-depth insight from industry leaders sharing their expertise on water management, logistics, sourcing, recycling, market forecasting and industry trends.

 

Maryland Clean Energy Summit Set – Tomorrow and Wednesday, the State of Maryland will hold its Clean Energy Summit at the Marriott Inn & Conference Center near the University of Maryland.  The event will focus on ideas to transform customers from passive to engaged decision makers and participants in their energy future.  EPA’s Sarah Dunham will speak about the new EPA GHG rules while BGE CEO Calvin Butler will offer a keynote address.  Speakers and panel presenters will join in sessions that will cover energy literacy, efficiency, reliability, resiliency and affordability within the related technological, financial, policy, and regulatory framework.  Relevant data, best practice models and real life case studies will be examined to address the challenges and opportunities residential, small business & retail, commercial & industrial, and government & institutional customers are facing in their transformation as energy users.

 

JHU Forum to Feature Russian Oil Expert – Johns Hopkins University’s Reischauer Center for East Asia Studies will hold a forum tomorrow at 10:00 a.m. in its Rome Building featuring Tatiana Mitrova, head of the Oil and Gas Department at the Energy Research Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences.  She will discuss “Russia and the New Energy Age.”

 

WCEE Book Club to Focus on Wind Book – Tomorrow at noon, the Women’s Council on Energy and the Environment (WCEE) will hold a book club event that will discuss “The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind” by William Kamkwamba. Kamkwamba is a Malawian inventor and author who gained fame in 2002 when he built a windmill to power a few electrical appliances in his family’s house in Masitala using blue gum trees, bicycle parts, and materials collected in a local scrapyard. Since then, he has built a solar-powered water pump that supplies the first drinking water in his village and two other windmills.

 

Cato Forum to Look at Self-Driving Cars – Tomorrow at 12:00 p.m., the Cato Institute will hold a forum looking at policy implications of self-driving cars. The event will feature Randal O’Toole, Senior Fellow, Cato Institute; Marc Scribner, Research Fellow, Competitive Enterprise Institute; and Adam Thierer, Senior Research Fellow, Mercatus Center. Experimental self-driving cars will be on the market by 2020 and will radically transform the 21st century.  This Forum will look at what Washington policymakers should know about the future of American mobility and how self-driving cars will affect the viability of urban transit and regional planning.  They will also hold a similar forum in 2226 Rayburn on Wednesday at Noon.

 

RFF to Focus on State Officials Concerns – Resources for the Future will hold a forum tomorrow at 12:45 p.m. focused on state goals and challenges under the new EPA clean GHG rule.  Since the release of EPA’s Clean Power Plan in early June, state policymakers have been assessing how the proposed rule will impact their unique state and regional circumstances. At this seminar, research experts and state regulators will explore several challenges to implementing the rule, including whether rate-based emissions targets should be converted to mass-based targets and, if so, how; whether credit can be or should be given for states that have already taken early action on low-carbon energy programs and how these challenges might differ by region, among others. Join Resources for the Future (RFF) and the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) for a discussion of this issue.  Speakers include EPRI’s Vic Niemeyer, Michigan DEQ Air Quality Chief Vinson Hellwig, Mass DEP Commissioner David Cash.

 

SEIA to Discuss Low Carbon Grid Study – The Solar Energy Industry Assn will hold a webinar tomorrow at 1:00 p.m. on a new California low carbon grid study.  The Low Carbon Grid Study, which examines the feasibility of halving California’s electric sector emissions by 2030, is currently underway. Results from the first of the study’s two phases show that this magnitude of emissions reductions is possible with approximately no impact to utility revenue requirement, using a combination of strategies: a diverse renewables fleet, energy efficiency, flexible load, robust regional cooperation, and efficient use of natural gas resources. This webinar will feature the lead project manager of the study, Jim Caldwell, who will review initial results, answer questions, and discuss plans for the second phase.  This study is supported by a diverse group of renewables companies, energy foundations, and trade associations, including SEIA and CalWEA. Modeling work is being done by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) and the second phase of the work will incorporate analysis from other groups and input from an independent technical review committee. For more information, see lowcarbongrid2030.org.

 

Brookings Forum to Focus on Ukraine – The Brookings Energy Security Initiative (ESI) and Center on United States and Europe (CUSE) at Brookings will hold a discussion tomorrow at 2:00 p.m. on the state of the European gas market. This event serves as the release of a new ESI policy brief on the European gas market in times of turmoil and increasing import dependence. Two of the report’s co-authors – ESI Fellow Tim Boersma and Tatiana Mitrova, head of the Oil and Gas Department at the Energy Research Institute in the Russian Academy of Sciences – will present their findings. Following their presentation, Robin Dunnigan, acting deputy assistant secretary for energy diplomacy at the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Energy Resources, will provide additional comment. CUSE Senior Fellow Clifford Gaddy will moderate the discussion.

 

ANGA, Penn State to Host Gas Utilization Conference – Penn State University and ANGA will hold a forum tomorrow and Wednesday in Canonsburg, PA at the Hilton Garden Inn.  The conference aims to develop a better understanding of natural gas development issues across the nation and the impact shale plays have on the world energy market.  Top industry experts, government officials and academic researchers will address the major issues driving the natural gas revolution as America moves to expanding its use of natural gas for transportation, manufacturing and power generation.

 

Border Energy Forum Set – The 21st Border Energy Forum will be held on Wednesday through Friday in Monterrey, Nuevo León, Mexico.  More than ever, the potential of clean energy like natural gas and renewables, combined with traditional oil production, in the ten border states is boundless.  The Border Energy Forum is a collaborative effort among the 10 border states along the US / Mexico border. The original idea for the Forum was to gather 50 people each from the United States and Mexico once a year to exchange information about the best ways to produce and consume energy in our fast-growing region, forge new partnerships and help each other work together on our twin goals of economic development and environmental protection.  The event will feature representatives from the federal governments of both Mexico and the United States, as well as state and local officials from both sides of the border. The Forum has met at least once in each of the 10 U.S. and Mexican border states.

 

Happer to Tackle Carbon – On Wednesday, the George Marshall Institute will hold a forum in 2325 Rayburn featuring Princeton climate expert Will Happer, on the myth of carbon pollution.   Happer says “Carbon pollution” is a propaganda slogan for the campaign against carbon dioxide (CO2), but not science.   Dr. Happer is Cyrus Fogg Brackett Professor of Physics (emeritus) at Princeton University, a long-term member of the JASON advisory group, and former director of the Department of Energy’s Office of Science. In addition to being a fellow of the American Physical Society and the American Association for the Advancement of Science, he is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and the recipient of numerous awards, including the Alfred P. Sloan fellowship, the Alexander von Humboldt award, the Herbert P. Broida Prize and the Thomas Alva Edison patent award.

 

CIBO Meeting to Address New GHG Rules, EPA Challenges – The Council of Industrial Boiler Owners (CIBO) will hold its 36th annual meeting at the Hotel Santa Fe in New Mexico on Wednesday through Friday.  The theme for this year’s annual meeting is Energy 2014 and beyond focusing on the nexus of energy, air, water, fuel and energy.  It is impossible to make or do anything without energy.  And the cost of energy impacts everything we make or do.  For years, Climate Change (Manmade Global Warming) has been and continues to be the driver for the environmental community and their supporters in the Obama Administration including the President.  With the 2014 Clean Power Plan proposal, this administration could reshape the energy landscape for the foreseeable future raising the cost of energy to drive the need of energy efficiency, renewable energy sources and adversely impact the poor, less fortunate, retired people on fixed incomes and all those people and companies who cannot afford the capital cost to improve efficiency to keep their energy costs stable.

 

SoCo Exec to Address Coal Council Meeting – The National Coal Council’s will hold a Fall conference at the Gaylord National Resort on Thursday.  Speakers include Southern Company COO Kimberly Greene, UBS Securities analyst Julien Dumoulin-Smith and Rice’s Baker Institute for Public Policy Energy Resource & Economics fellow Ken Medlock.

 

Brookings Lecture Series to Feature Stern, French Climate Official – On Thursday event, the Center on the United States and Europe at Brookings will host Laurence Tubiana, special representative of France for the Paris 2015 Climate Conference, for the 11th annual Raymond Aron Lecture. In her remarks, Tubiana will offer a multilevel governance perspective for building a more dynamic climate regime. She will reflect on economically and politically-feasible strategies for combating global climate disruption that enhance economic growth, employment opportunities and overall quality of life. Following Tubiana’s address, Todd Stern, the U.S. State Department’s special envoy for climate change, will offer remarks in response.  Tubiana is a world-renowned expert on climate issues and the founder of the Institute for Sustainable Development and International Relations in Paris. She is a professor at Sciences Po Paris and Columbia University, serves as co-chair of the Sustainable Development Solutions Network’s Leadership Council and is the board president of the French Development Agency.   Brookings Visiting Fellow Philippe Le Corre will provide introductory remarks, and Brookings Managing Director William Antholis will moderate the discussion. After the program, panelists will take audience questions. Brookings’ Raymond Aron lecture series, named after the renowned scholar of post-war France, annually features leading French and American scholars and statesmen speaking on current issues affecting the transatlantic relationship.

 

National Alt Fuels Vehicles Day Odyssey Set – Friday is 2014 National Alternative Fuel Vehicle day and events will be held on the National Mall.  AFV Day Odyssey is a biennial event dedicated to promoting cleaner choices in transportation, brought to you by the National Alternative Fuels Training Consortium (NAFTC) at West Virginia University.  Odyssey brings together many organizations, vehicle manufacturers and businesses to showcase alternative transportation technologies and their benefits.  The National Alternative Fuel Vehicle (AFV) Day Odyssey national kickoff event will be held on the National Mall in Washington DC. Hosted by the Greater Washington Region Clean Cities Coalition, the occasion will serve as the official kickoff for the more than 100 Odyssey events taking place across the country on that day.

 

Energy Day Set For Houston – The Consumer’s Energy Alliance is hosting Energy Day on Saturday at Sam Houston Park in Houston.  The event is the largest annual festival showcasing science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM), Energy Day has nearly 70 interactive demonstrations and exhibits teaching students and their families about the various forms of energy, science, technology, efficiency, conservation, and careers in the energy industry. The exciting exhibits and interactions with energy experts help spark students’ interest in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).  Attendees include students, educators, families and business leaders who see a range of exhibits highlighting energy sources and opportunities in the industry. Additionally, more than 75 students are awarded each year for their achievements in STEM-related competitions. Guests are also treated to music and numerous interactive games and displays.   Energy Day and its partners and sponsors are leading the way in reinforcing the importance of STEM education and the development of new energy technology. The stimulating exhibits and generous academic award opportunities help motivate thousands of future energy experts each year.

 

FUTURE EVENTS

 

GW Oil Event to Focus On Central Asia – Next Monday, the George Washington University will host a business forum on  hydrocarbons, governance and social accountability in Russia and Central Asia.  Speakers include Marc-Antoine Perouse de Montclos of the French Institute of Geopolitics, Sergei Gretsky of the Foreign Service Institute, Wesleyan University’s Peter Rutland, UConn’s Oksan Bayulgen, Kate Watters of Crude Accountability and Sebastien Peyrouse of the GW East West Center.

 

Forum to Discuss Russian Energy – The Atlantic Council’s Dinu Patriciu Eurasia Center, the Energy Charter Secretariat, and the Brussels Energy Club, will hold an event next Tuesday at 4:30 p.m. featuring Ambassador Urban Rusnák, secretary-general of the Energy Charter Secretariat.  Russia, currently in an economic crisis, was ordered by international arbitration tribunals in July 2014 to pay fifty billion dollars to former shareholders of Yukos. Ambassador Rusnák will discuss how the ruling affects the current state of energy relations between Russia and the West, as well as the repercussions of the ongoing crisis in Ukraine on European energy security. The discussion will be introduced by Marat Terterov, executive director of the Brussels Energy Club and moderated by David Koranyi, deputy director of the Dinu Patriciu Eurasia Center.

 

Oil Event to Look at China, Sudan Civil War – Next Monday evening, the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies will host Luke Patey, senior researcher at the Danish Institute for International Studies to discuss oil issues with China and Sudan/ South Sudan.  For over a decade, Sudan fuelled the international rise of China’s national oil companies. But the political turmoil surrounding the historic division of Africa’s largest country, with the birth of South Sudan, challenged China to chart a new course. The outbreak of conflict in South Sudan last December only deepened the instability and insecurity and sent Chinese diplomats scrambling to protect their interests and bring an end to the conflict.  The lecture will discuss the overseas investments of Chinese national oil companies, their close ties with their respective governments in Beijing, and experiences with political and security risks in Sudan and South Sudan. It draws from Luke Patey’s recent book The New Kings of Crude: China, India, and the Global Struggle for Oil in Sudan and South Sudan. Beyond examining the economic and political impact of Chinese and Indian engagement in Sudan and South Sudan, the book argues that the two Sudans are examples of how Africa is shaping the rise of China and India as world powers.

 

Christie to Address Chamber Legal Forum – The U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform is hosting its 15th Annual Legal Reform Summit on Tuesday October 21st.  The Legal Reform Summit gathers business and industry leaders, government officials, as well as the media, to explore hot legal issues and discuss the current state of legal reform and its importance to the greater business community and national economy.   This year’s Summit will feature a keynote address from New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, as well as remarks by Tom J. Donohue, President and CEO of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Panels will explore the increase in government overreach and serial enforcement, the outsourcing of public powers to private parties, and follow-on litigation.

 

ELI Annual Forum Set – The Environmental Law Institute will hold its annual forum on Tuesday, October 21st when they will honor Mary Nichols and the state of California with award presentation by retiring Rep. Henry Waxman at The Omni Shoreham Hotel.  Alongside the dinner, ELI will hold its annual Miriam Hamilton Keare Policy Forum just before.  The event will focus on state leadership in environmental protection, examining the inherent tension underlying state-federal partnerships and inconsistencies in state approaches to cooperative federalism.  During this year’s timely Keare Forum, participants will hear from expert panelists representing a range of corporate, non-profit, and government perspectives on state challenges for the new EPA GHG rule. All of our panelists have held key leadership roles in the environmental field, and they bring a wealth of insight to this discussion. The panel will discuss the new EPA rule through the lens of state leadership, and it will opine on how the state-federal partnership will likely evolve in the future.  Panelists will feature former NJ DEP head Brad Campbell, former EPA chief Linda Fisher of DuPont, former NY enviro official and NRDC executive director Peter Lehner, Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation Commissioner Bob Martineau, EPA Region 1 head Curt Spalding and Montana Department of Environmental Quality Director Tracy Stone-Manning,

 

Mid-Atlantic Energy Summit to Look at PJM Issues – The National Energy Marketers Association (NEM) hosts its Inaugural Mid-Atlantic Energy Policy Summit with Federal, State and PJM Officials on October 22-23 in Baltimore’s Center Club.  A diverse cross-section of industry stakeholders that participate and oversee the PJM wholesale and retail markets are confirmed and have been invited to attend, including Federal and State regulators, PJM officials, Attorneys General, Consumer Counsels, Municipalities, and Utilities as well as NEM’s Executive Committee and Policy Leadership.

 

Forum to Look at Mexico Energy – On Wednesday October 22nd, the Atlantic Council will hold a conference focused on reform in the Mexican energy industry.  It is set for transformation after President Enrique Peña Nieto signed into law the reform’s secondary legislation in August. Join us for the first major policy address in the United States by one of the top Mexican officials leading this reform.   This event follows two publications in step with the reform process and written by the Adrienne Arsht Latin America Center’s nonresident senior energy fellow, David Goldwyn, Mexico’s Energy Reform: Ready to Launch (August 2014) and Mexico Rising: Comprehensive Energy Reform at Last? (December 2013).  Keynote Speakers will include María de Lourdes Melgar Palacios, Undersecretary of Hydrocarbons at the Secretariat of Energy of Mexico and former State Department official David Goldwyn.

 

Clean Energy Forum Set – The 3rd annual Southeast Innovation Summit will be held on Wednesday and Thursday,  October 22-23 at the Crown Plaza Hotel in Old Town Alexandria.  The Southeast Innovation Summit showcases the region’s cleantech innovation and convenes key stakeholders from investors, entrepreneurs, Fortune 500 managers, policy makers, and academia.  Innovation is catalyzed when market participants from different geographies and focus areas have regular dialogue and establish working relationships.  The Summit provides an annual platform for these connections to be fostered.

 

Nichols to Address EMA Forum – The Emissions Marketing Assn’s 18th Annual Meeting will be held on October 22-24th at the Double Tree Suites in Santa Monica.  Discussions will include AB 32, the EPA GHG rules and renewable energy credits.  Speakers will include CARB’s Mary Nichols, our friend Bill Peters of Argus and Joel Bluestein of ICF, among many others.

 

Marcacci to Speak at EnviroRun Social Event – Our friend Silvio Marcacci will speak following the EnviroRun on Wednesday evening October 22 at Bar Louie.  The EnviroRun is a group that goes on a four-mile run then holds a social event after.

 

ICF Breakfast to Look at Energy Efficiency – On Thursday morning, October 23rd, ICF International Energy and Environment Breakfast at National Press Club featuring energy experts that will discuss the substantial increase in energy use efficiency due to a variety of utility, state, and federal programs. As a result of these programs, there is more economic output for every dollar of energy expenditure.  Speakers will include ICF’s Gene Rodrigues and Kateri Callahan of the Alliance to Save Energy.

 

World Green Forum to Discuss New Innovations – On Thursday October 23rd, the World Green Energy Symposium Council will host the DC World Green Energy Symposium Executive Forum in the Washington Post Conference Center.  This is the world stage for latest launches, policies, unveiling of procurement opportunities and showcase of sustainable technologies and innovations in new energy.  The World Green Energy Symposium (WGES) proudly returns to Washington DC and is bringing top experts featuring economic programs, sustainable products & technologies in new energy. The WGES program is known for its focus on green/renewable energy technology and innovations in existing technologies as the vantage point in the new economy creating and maintaining jobs, contract and exporting opportunities, and new policies leading to economic vitality and a healthier planet.  The WGES attracts the best minds and top decision makers through a carefully planned strategic process which has developed into the foundation leading to an outstanding premier technical educational program providing a world stage for a platform of education and information exchange on new and existing advances in sustainable energy.

 

Ocean Renewable Energy Event to Feature BOEM Officials – On Thursday evening  October 23rd, Leaders in Energy will be co-hosting its professional networking Happy Hour on the topic of ocean energy issues at the Arlington Garden Hilton Inn .  Speakers will address the science and misperceptions regarding the impacts of seismic surveys and noise on marine life associated with offshore energy resource mapping as well as ocean renewable energy systems including ocean thermal energy conversion, tidal, etc.  Featured Speakers include Jill Lewandowski, who currently serves as the Chief, Environmental Consultation Branch in the Headquarters Office of the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM), Stan Labak is a Physical Scientist (Marine Acoustician) in BOEM’s Division of Environmental Sciences and Sean O’Neill, Executive Director of the Foundation for Ocean Renewables, dedicated to promoting ocean renewable energy.

 

Bracewell to Host Webinar on Global Business Issues – Bracewell & Giuliani will host a webinar on Thursday, October 23rd at 10:30 a.m. on the challenges of global business operations.  Doing business on a global basis presents many challenges, some more obvious than others. Join us as we decipher and demystify some of the thorny issues facing both U. S. companies conducting business abroad and foreign companies doing business in the U. S., including the broad scope and penalties of Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA), enhanced privacy and data restriction and immigration options.

 

Urban Planning Forum Set to Discuss Climate – On Friday, October 24th at 2:30 p.m., the Sustainable Urban Planning Program is hosting its 5th biannual Research Symposium at GWU’s Jack Morton Auditorium. This year’s symposium focuses on the question: Do cities hold the solution to climate change?  Speakers will include UCLA Professor Matthew Kahn, Marianne Fay of the World Bank Group, David Archer of the University of Chicago, Global Inheritance executive director Eric Ritz and Virginia Tech Urban Planning professor Yang Zhang,

 

Holmstead to Address EPA Rules at FL Conference – The Florida Chapter of the Air and Waste Management Association will hold a forum at its annual conference in Jacksonville on October 29-30th on the proposed Section 111(d) guidelines for CO2 emissions from existing utility units.  My colleague Jeff Holmstead will address the panel as will out friend Mike Kennedy of Duke Energy.

 

Atlantic, Aspen to Host Washington Ideas Forum – The Atlantic and the Aspen Institute are holding their 6th annual Washington Ideas Forum on October 29-30th in Washington, D.C. to discuss vital issues of our time from politics and the economy to technology and the fabric of our culture. Speakers will include former New York Times Executive Editor Jill Abramson, edX CEO Anant Agarwal, Revolution Founder Steve Case, MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell, House Intelligence Committee Chairman Rep. Mike Rogers (R-MI), The Carlyle Group’s David Rubenstein, Yelp CEO Jeremy Stoppelman, genomic research scientist Craig Venter, and House of Cards Screenwriter Beau Willimon.  Southern CEO Tom Fanning, Boone Pickens and NRG CEO David Crane will also speak. Among those moderating the Forum will be Aspen Institute President and CEO Walter Isaacson, The Atlantic’s Editor-in-Chief James Bennet, Washington Editor-at-Large Steve Clemons, Editor Scott Stossel, and National Correspondents Ta-Nehisi Coates and James Fallows.

 

November 4th – ELECTION DAY

 

RFF to Highlight Conservation – On Wednesday, November 5th, Resources for the Future will hold a First Wednesday Seminar on global resource trends, innovation, and implications for conservation.

Evidence abounds of humanity’s creative ability to produce more goods and services using fewer resources. In many cases, our use of natural resources is declining, particularly when measured in terms of GDP consumption per capita or per dollar. In fact, consumption of some natural resources (certain croplands, fuels, metals, and water) has plummeted, even as we produce more and more from these resources. The panel at this RFF First Wednesday Seminar will discuss this evidence and highlight the ingenuity enabling reduced natural resource use. Can we credibly envision a “peak environmental footprint?”  Panelists will also discuss the Breakthrough Institute’s Nature Unbound, a new report to be released November 5.   They include Rockefeller University’s Iddo Wernick and Jesse Ausubel, and the Breakthrough Institute’s Linus Blomqvist, Ted Nordhaus and Michael Shellenberger.

 

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

 

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

 

Energy Update: Week of September 15

Friends,

 

Saturday night while sitting in Baltimore Harbor celebrating the bicentennial of the penning of the Star Spangled Banner on a good friend’s boat, I was inspired to start today’s update by the “rockets’ red glare” and “the bombs bursting in air” from the massive fireworks display. On Sept. 14, 1814, a 35-year-old Washington lawyer Francis Scott Key wrote the poem that eventually became our national anthem.   As I mentioned a couple weeks ago, Key was negotiating the release of his friend, Dr. William Beanes.  While he was able to secure the good doctor’s release, he unfortunately was aboard the British ship HMS Tonnant while the Brits were drawing up the battle plans to take Baltimore, at that time a hugely important international port.  Because of that bad timing, Beanes and Key were held on the Tonnant until the battle was completed.  For 25 hours, a fleet of British ship shelled Fort McHenry, yet the resilient Americans held on.

 

The Flag

The focus on the flag comes from US Maj. George Armistead, who commanded Fort McHenry and wanted a flag so large that the approaching Brits would be able to see it.  A year earlier, he commissioned second-generation, Baltimore flag seamstress Mary Young Pickersgill to make two flags, “one American ensign, 30 X 42 feet, first quality bunting” and another flag 17 by 25 feet.  Using a local Malt House’s floor because of its massive size, Pickersgill led a team of seamstresses to produce Armistead’s flags.  According to historian Marc Leepson’s Flag: An American Biography, the Fort McHenry flag contained over 400 yards of fabric.  Each of the 15 stripes was two feet wide while each of the 15 stars measured 24 inches across from tip to tip.  You can still see Pickersgill’s “Flag House” if you ever head to Little Italy in Baltimore.  It is right next to the “Old Bay” Garage off Pratt Street.  Of course, you can still visit Fort McHenry on Whetstone Point where Baltimore Harbor meets the Chesapeake Bay. (Been there for a couple of school field trips, as well as the Maryland Offshore wind lease announcement.  It is really worth the trip.)

 

Messages, Politics, Polls

Congress should wrap its action this week and head back for campaign season, with most of the voting, especially on energy issues, being symbolic, message voting.  The races are very tight in many areas (especially a number of key Senate seats).  Next week as Congress rolls out, we’ll give you an election preview with a number of places to watch over the next six weeks.  And thanks to our friends at POLITICO, who released a new poll of voters in battleground states that found just two percent of those surveyed identified the environment as the issue that concerns them most, one of the lowest-ranked issues.

 

Congress Is Busy Wednesday

Meantime, Wednesday seems to be the busiest day in Congress with the Senate Finance Committee starting a longer discussion on energy tax issues that should extend into the next session.  With our friends Ethan Zindler of Bloomberg New Finance and David Kreutzer of Heritage testifying, expect a spirited discussion of the PTC for sure.  Also on Wednesday, House Science has John Holdren and EPA’s Janet McCabe to discuss the White House Climate plan.  A House Energy panel looks at energy workforce issues with API’s Jack Gerard and Black Chamber President Harry Alford among the witnesses.  Finally, the Senate HELP Committee is expected to approve legislation that will speed approval of new sunscreen ingredients.  The “Sunscreen Innovation Act” has the support of dozens of bipartisan co-sponsors who have signed on to both the Senate version, S. 2141, and a companion House version, H.R. 4250.  It is something we have been working on all year and my colleague Salo Zelermyer (202-828-1718) is the sunscreen expert and can help you with sources and background.

 

Sources for New NatGas Report

Just in case you’re watching, there has been a recent flurry of activity/discussion/studies on natural gas drilling, including today’s new NAS report that finds that neither drilling nor hydraulic fracturing is to blame for water contamination.  Our BG experts, as well as several others we know, can be hugely helpful at addressing these reports and providing some context.  Please let me know what you need.

 

Next Week is Jammed Too

Several important events to put on your agenda for next week.  1) President Obama leads a UN meeting on Tuesday in New York on climate issues with no China and India, but thousands of activists protesting on Monday (check out my thoughts in Morning Consult), 2) GW’s Solar Institute holds its 6th annual Solar Forum Tuesday focused on utility solar integration, 3) Shale Insight starts in Pittsburgh on Wednesday and Thursday and will feature a discussion with my college Scott Segal and Fox News personality and former WH press sect Dana Perino and 4) Thursday, RFF host EPA Administrator  Gina McCarthy for a discussion on EPA’s Carbon rule ad many other Items.

 

Finally, next Monday at 10:00 a.m., the American Gas Association will unveil a new report examining how the natural gas delivery system was tested, how utilities prepared and responded, and what last winter has taught us about the upcoming season.  Speakers will also address where the nation stands going into the 2014-2015 winter heating season and what customers can expect.

 

Don’t look now, but we only have three weeks left in the baseball season…Hard to believe…  While last week’s climate change/bird report said the Baltimore Oriole would be leaving Baltimore, it seems to me they are actually back.  Here’s hoping for a Beltway World Series (without apologies to my Midwest/Detroit/St. Louis friends).   It may also be possible that we have an I-5 LA World series, but who would notice.  Sorry LA.  Get ready for more on this is a few weeks….

 

Frank Maisano

(202) 828-5864

  1. (202) 997-5932

 

IN THE NEWS

 

Palen Solar Project Gets Likely Approval from CEC – The California Energy Commission is expected to approve a Concentrated Solar tower at the 500-MW Palen solar project.   The energy commission issued a preliminary approval late Friday afternoon for the first of Palen’s two 250-megawatt solar towers.  The project is being developed by BrightSource Energy and Abengoa Solar.  According to The Desert Sun, the decision was written by the two commissioners overseeing Palen’s review process and is not final, but it is unlikely to be overturned by the full commission. A final decision will be issued on October 29th after a 30-day comment period and a conference at UC Riverside’s Palm Desert campus on October 6th to discuss Palen.

 

New Analysis Cites Challenges to State Implementation of GHG Rule – Last week, the House Energy Committee held a detailed hearing on state implementation challenges of EPA’s new GHG rule.  To that end, two of the best and most influential documents out there on implementation challenges of the proposed rule on carbon emissions from existing power plants have been author by two former Colorado PUC Chairs,  Ray Gifford (303.626.2350 or rgifford@wbklaw.com) and Greg Sopkin (303.626.2327 or gsopkin@wbklaw.com).  The first says the EPA’s CO2 Rule collides with flexibility asserted by States.  The second outlines institutional and practical issues with state and multi-state implementation and enforcement.

 

Govs Raise Concerns about GHG Rule, Yucca, Other Items – In a new letter to EPA, 15 Republican Governors raised major concerns about EPA and its ability to work with states to adequately implement the new GHG rules for power plants.  Governors Robert Bentley of Alabama, Sean Parnell of Alaska, Jan Brewer of Arizona, C.L. “Butch” Otter of Idaho, Mike Pence of Indiana, Susana Martinez of New Mexico, Phil Bryant of Mississippi, Pat McCrory of North Carolina, Jack Dalrymple of North Dakota, Mary Fallin of Oklahoma, Tom Corbett of Pennsylvania, Nikki Haley of South Carolina, Gary Herbert of Utah, Scott Walker of Wisconsin, and Matt Mead of Wyoming signed the letter, explaining that EPA’s proposal exceeds federal authority as afforded by the CAA, and creates significant obstacles to state compliance, which the President’s Administration has failed to address.  They also challenged EPA on a number of areas including enforcement of state plans, natural gas infrastructure, nuclear waste storage, concerns about importing/exporting electricity and the availability of renewables.

 

Sens. Also Ask for Comment Extension on GHG Rule – To that end, a bipartisan group of 53 senators sent a letter to EPA asking it to extend the public comment period another 60 days for the agency’s proposal to restrict greenhouse gas emissions from existing power plants.  The letter was led by Nebraska Sen Deb Fischer and ND Sen Heidi Heitkamp who also wrote a similar letter earlier this year asking for at least a 120-day comment period.  The letter says the complexity and magnitude of the proposed rule necessitates an extension to “ensure that state regulatory agencies and other stakeholders have adequate time to fully analyze and comment on the proposal. It is also important to note that the challenge is not only one of commenting on the complexity and sweeping scope of the rule, but also providing an opportunity to digest more than 600 supporting documents released by EPA in support of this proposal.”  Forty-three Republicans and 10 Democrats — Heitkamp, Mark Begich, Mary Landrieu, Mark Pryor, Mark Warner, Tom Harkin, Joe Manchin, Joe Donnelly, Tim Kaine and Tim Johnson — signed the letter.

 

Morning Consult Interactive Map Details – Morning Consult is Compiling the latest information on state and national developments on the EPA’s proposal to cut carbon emissions.  MC says since the draft rule was released on June 2, there has been an onslaught of news and analysis explaining the 645-page plan. To help sort through all that information, MC will be routinely updating this page with stories, reports and economic analysis that help explain the proposal and state responses.  I would advise making it a bookmark.

 

AP Report Says Energy Boom Supports 30K Companies – A new report from the American Petroleum Institute says the U.S. oil and natural gas boom is bringing business to almost 30,000 companies within the industry’s supply chain.  The industry has also maintained nearly 10 million jobs within the last three years and has accounted for almost 8% of domestic economic activity, the report said. Even in states where oil and natural gas resources are less common, the industry is still a major source of economic activity.  Here is the interactive link to impacts from every state.  Three states with big oil and gas production — Texas, Oklahoma and California — led the survey with the largest number of vendors supplying the industry.   Texas is by far the largest with 11,033 businesses engaged, $308 billion to Texas and nearly 2 million workers.  Oklahoma had 2,500 vendors with $39 billion to economy and 364,000 workers, while California had 2,000 vendors contributing $131.4B and nearly 800K jobs.  While 19th in oil production, Pennsylvania ranked third in natgas production with 1,347 vendors contributing $34.7 billion to the state’s economy and created 340,000 jobs.

 

EIA Launches New Energy Outlook Data – EIA is launching an improved interactive, online Short-Term Energy Outlook (STEO) Data Browser that provides enhanced capabilities for analysis and visualization of the historical and forecasted data in EIA’s Short-Term Energy Outlook.  The STEO Data Browser works with all types of mobile devices and tablets to provide easy access to STEO data and forecasts covering everything from U.S. energy production, consumption, inventories, imports, exports, and prices to international petroleum supply and demand.

 

AGA Launches Threat Information Sharing Center for Natural Gas Utilities – The American Gas Association recently launched a new tool to help further enhance the security of natural gas utilities. The Downstream Natural Gas Information Sharing and Analysis Center (DNG ISAC) is a platform for sharing cyber and physical threat intelligence, incident information, analytics and tools. Now fully operational, the DNG ISAC will help local natural gas utilities throughout the nation share and access timely, accurate and relevant threat information as part of their continued commitment to the safe and reliable delivery of natural gas to the more than 177 million Americans who rely on it to meet their daily needs.  Information Sharing and Analysis Centers (ISACs), as described by the National Council of ISACs, are trusted entities established by critical infrastructure sectors to provide comprehensive analysis that may be shared within the sector, with other sectors and with government. ISACs take an all-hazards approach to combating threats with services including risk mitigation, incident response, alert systems and information sharing. There are currently more than one dozen ISACs covering a wide range of industry sectors, including the electric, nuclear, financial, telecommunications, information technology and water industries. Combination gas and electric utilities, which already access the Electric Subsector (ES) ISAC for electric threat information, will eventually also be able to access the DNG ISAC, and vice-versa. This integration of the two ISACs will strengthen situational awareness of these two industries for the ultimate benefit of their shared customers.  Partnership between the private sector and the federal and state governments is the key to addressing cybersecurity threats to our nation’s critical infrastructure.

 

NRG Launches CCS Project – While Southern’s Kemper plant in Mississippi is well on its way to developing the first Commercial CCS Plant in the U.S., our friends at NRG with their partner JX Nippon broke ground last week on a coal-fired power plant in Texas is that will capture 1.4 million tons of CO2.  The Petra Nova project will apply carbon capture technology to an existing coal-fired power plant — helping to advance the technologies that enable cleaner, safer and more sustainable energy production from our abundant fossil energy resources.  It was awarded $167 million from the Energy Department to capture emissions from 60MW, but the developers quadrupled the size of the project with no additional federal funding.  When completed, the project will capture the same amount of CO2 as taking 250,000 cars off the road.  Using a process previously tested in a three-year pilot scale test in Alabama, the project will capture 90% of the plant’s carbon. The captured carbon will then be compressed, dried and transported to an oil field where it will be used in the Enhanced Oil Recovery or EOR.

 

UMich Shale Report Makes Recommendations Public Trust, Methane – The American shale gas boom has the potential to revitalize domestic manufacturing, and a new report from a University of Michigan-led panel recommends steps to make that happen in a responsible manner.  Those steps include increasing public trust of hydraulic fracturing, monitoring and reducing methane emissions, and using shale gas profits to advance renewable energy technologies, among other efforts.  The report, “Shale Gas: A Game-Changer for U.S. Manufacturing,” summarizes and expands on the U-M-sponsored daylong conference of the same name held this spring in Washington, D.C. In addition to U-M faculty members, representatives from industry, environmental organizations and government agencies participated.

 

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

 

Enviro Commissioners  Discussing GHG Rule Issues in Santa Fe – The Environmental Council of States (ECOS) will hold its Fall meeting in Santa Fe, New Mexico today through Wednesday.  Of Course, EPA’s GHG rules will be on the agenda and both EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy and Air Chief Janet McCabe are expected to speak.

 

Chamber to Host Keystone Tour – The Chamber’s 21st Century Energy Institute will hold a tour of locations along the Keystone pipeline route next week to highlight the 6th anniversary of the filing of TransCanada’s initial permit for the pipeline.   The roadshow starts Monday and goes through Friday.  You can follow the events here.

 

Marshall to Host Curry on Climate Issues – The George Marshall Institute will hold a discussion tomorrow by noted climatologist Dr. Judith Curry, who will make the case that the climate change problem and its solution have been vastly oversimplified. The key issues to be discussed are evidence reported by the IPCC AR5 weakens the case for human factors dominating climate change in the 20th and early 21st centuries, weaker linkages between anthropogenic climate change and extreme weather, and the importance of natural climate variability and challenges to decision making under deep climate uncertainty.  Arguments are presented that greater openness about scientific uncertainties and ignorance, and more transparency about dissent and disagreement, would provide policymakers with a more complete picture of climate science and its limitations, and ensure that the science community, policymakers, and the public are better equipped to understand, respond and adapt to climate change.

 

Pace Webinar Looks at GHG Rule – Tomorrow at 1:00 p.m., Pace Global will hold a roundtable discussion on the EPA’s Clean Power Plan as they provide their perspectives on the program and summaries of select analyses performed to date. Many questions have been voiced about this proposed rule. Given the near-term deadline of October 16 for submitting comments to the EPA on the Clean Power Plan on the proposed rule, impacted organizations need to formulate informed positions for federal comment submissions and for discussions with the state stakeholders on implementation planning.

 

REFF-West Forum Set for SF – The 7th annual Renewable Energy Finance Forum-West will be held tomorrow and Wednesday at the Palace Hotel  in San Francisco, CA to focus on the state of renewable energy financing In the region.  Speakers will include our friends Dan Reicher of Stanford, EEI’s David Owen, among others.

 

Fuel Cell Caucus to Hold Hydrogen Vehicle Briefing – The House Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Caucus will host a special briefing tomorrow at 2:00 p.m. on the introduction of mass-produced hydrogen fuel cell vehicles into the retail market.  The agenda will include remarks from Members of the Caucus as well as presentations by Administration officials and corporate fuel cell specialists. Following the event from 3:30 pm to 5:00 pm, the Hyundai Tucson Fuel Cell Vehicle will be made available for Ride & Drive opportunities for any interested participants at 300 1st Street SE.

 

DOE Webinar to Highlight CNG – The Energy Department will hold a webinar tomorrow at 3:00 p.m. on Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) infrastructure. The webcast will present an overview of the costs and design of CNG fueling stations. Mark Smith from the Energy Department and John Gonzales from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory will present an overview of the key components of a CNG station, how a CNG station works, and factors that affect the cost.  Jeremy Talbot from Phoenix Energy will describe the design and costs of a CNG station on the smaller end of the design range.  Graham Barker from ANGI Energy Systems will describe the design and costs of a larger CNG station.  This webinar will complement an upcoming white paper on the same subject.

 

CSIS Forum to Look at Energy Security, Ukraine – The Center for Strategic and International Studies will hold a forum Wednesday on  U.S. – Europe Transatlantic Alliance and assessing the NATO Summit.  The focus will be on energy security in light of the Ukraine crisis.  Speakers will include Reps. Michael Turner and William Keating, Lithuanian Ambassador Zygimantas Pavilionis, Azerbaijani Ambassador Elin Suleymanov and François Rivasseau, Deputy Head  of the Delegation of the EU to the United States.

 

Browner, UN Official to Discuss Climate Ambitions – Center for American Progress will hold a forum on Wednesday at 10:00 a.m. on the upcoming climate summit, looking at how to increase global ambition to address the issue.  Next week, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon will convene a Climate Leaders Summit in New York City, at which he expects world leaders to announce “bold pledges” and “concrete action” to reduce emissions and lay the groundwork for an ambitious 2015 global climate agreement.  The Center for American Progress is pleased to invite you to a discussion of what we should expect world leaders to deliver at the Climate Leaders Summit and beyond in order to lock in a strong 2015 global climate deal and drive low-carbon economic growth.  Former EPA administrator Carol Browner will speak, along with the UN’s Bob Orr, Rachel Kyte of the World Bank and Nigel Purvis.

 

House Energy Panel to Look at Energy Workforce – The House Energy & Commerce Committee’s Subcommittee on Energy and Power will hold a hearing on Wednesday at 10:00 a.m. on energy workforce development legislation.  Witnesses will include DOE’s LaDoris Harris, API’s Jack Gerard, Harry Alford of the National Black Chamber of Commerce, Paula Jackson of American Association of Blacks in Energy and ACEEE’s Jim Barrett.

 

EPA Webinars Aim to Explain Key Elements of GHG Rule – The EPA is holding a series of webinars over the next six weeks to give interested stakeholders the information they need to learn about and provide public comment on these proposed rule.  I meant to send this last week as they held their first meeting last Wednesday, but they continue this week with a webinar for environmental stakeholders  at 1:00 p.m.  to delve deeper into the key aspects of the proposed Clean Power Plan.

 

Stanford Climate Experts to Address Issues – On Wednesday at the Hoover Institute, scientists from the Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment will travel to Washington, D.C., to lead a panel discussion on the findings of their latest work related to climate change impacts and risks.  Topics will include regional “hot spots” where the effects of climate on atmospheric conditions will be most profound and potentially disruptive, water management in the face of increased water scarcity, resiliency challenges and efforts in U.S. cities and urban regions and impacts on global agriculture production and responses.  A question and answer session will follow panelists Noah Diffenbaugh, David Lobell and Buzz Thompson’s remarks.

 

American Energy & Manufacturing Competitiveness Summit  Set –As part of the American Energy and Manufacturing Competitiveness (AEMC) Partnership, the Council of Competitiveness and the Department of Energy Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy will co-host the 2014 AEMC Summit next Wednesday at the Reagan Building in DC.  The event is an annual gathering of preeminent leaders from industry, government, academia, labor, and the national laboratories to address critical national imperatives in manufacturing and energy.  The 2014 AEMC Summit is one of several activities launched through the Department of Energy’s Clean Energy Manufacturing Initiative to achieve the dual goals of  increasing U.S. competitiveness in the production of clean energy products by strategically investing in technologies that leverage American competitive advantages and overcome competitive disadvantages, as well as increasing U.S. manufacturing competitiveness across the board by increasing energy productivity through strategic investment in technologies and practices to enable U.S. manufacturers to increase their competitiveness through energy efficiency, combined heat and power, and taking advantage of low-cost domestic energy sources.

 

House Science to Hear From McCabe, Holdren – The House Science Committee will hold a hearing on Wednesday at 10:00 a.m. looking at the Administration’s overall climate plan.  The hearing will feature John Holdren, Director of the White House’s Office of Science and Technology Policy, as well as EPA Air chief Janet McCabe.

 

Senate Finance to Look at Energy Tax Reform – The Senate Finance Committee will hold a hearing on Wednesday at 10:00 a.m. focused on longer term reform of the energy tax code. Witnesses will include former Oklahoma Sen. Don Nickles, retired Lockheed Martin CEO Norman Augustine, Tufts University economics professor Gilbert Metcalf, Bloomberg New Energy Finance’s Ethan Zindler and David Kreutzer, a research fellow in energy and climate change at the Heritage Foundation.

 

House Energy Panel to Look at Energy Workforce – The House Energy & Commerce Committee’s Subcommittee on Energy and Power will hold a hearing on Wednesday at 10:00 a.m. on energy workforce development legislation.  Witnesses will include DOE’s LaDoris Harris, API’s Jack Gerard, Harry Alford of the National Black Chamber of Commerce, Paula Jackson of American Association of Blacks in Energy and ACEEE’s Jim Barrett.

 

Wilson Center to Look at Energy , Security in China, Asia – The Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars will hold a forum on Wednesday at 10:30 a.m. on energy and security in China and Asia Pacific. China’s search for expanded, more reliable, and more sustainable sources of energy to fuel its development has become a major driver of China’s foreign relations. Beijing’s recent agreement to purchase Russian natural gas via a new Siberian pipeline and its use of drilling platforms to assert sovereignty claims in the South China Sea demonstrate that energy contracts, exploration and production have become primary goals and tools of Chinese foreign policy. The challenges and opportunities of China’s rise cannot be understood without expert appraisal of its energy needs and strategies – and consideration of alternative policy responses.  Speakers will include expert Amy Myers Jaffe, Mikkal Herberg of UC San Diego, Wilson’s Jan Kalicki, former State Department official David Goldwyn and several others from government and energy industries.

 

Forum to Tackle Energy Exports – Rice University’s Center for Energy Studies will hold a breakfast forum  on Wednesday looking at regulation, politics and the economics of US energy exports.  Although the U.S. currently ranks as the world’s top producer of crude, policies put in place more than 40 years ago largely prevent that oil from accessing international markets. The national de facto ban on crude oil exports has started to generate interest and attention from Washington – along with a fair share of controversy. WY Sen. John Barrasso will address the issue as will a panel featuring our friend Mike Catanzaro and Rice’s Ken Medlock.

 

Forum to Look at Methane Hydrates – The CSIS Energy and National Security Program will hold a forum on Wednesday at 1:00 p.m. to discuss recent developments in methane hydrates. The event will feature Ray Boswell, Technology Manager for Methane Hydrates with the National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) and Takami Kawamoto, Deputy Director General of the Methane Hydrate Research and Development Group with the Japan Oil, Gas and Metals National Corporation (JOGMEC).  While global resource estimates vary greatly, methane hydrates, or ice compounds that contain natural gas, have largely been hailed as potential game changers. The energy content of the formations is immense and the United States, Canada and Japan have already carried out a number of projects investigating their potential. Nonetheless, technological and environmental challenges remain. The session, part of the program’s Frontier Energy Series, will focus on methane hydrate extraction technologies, the global resource base, public sector involvement and the potential for more mainstream adoption. Jane Nakano, Senior Fellow in the CSIS Energy and National Security Program, will moderate.

 

House Resources Hearing Aimed at Data, Coal Leases – The House Natural Resources Committee’s Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources will conduct a legislative hearing on Wednesday at 2:00 p.m. on legislation on coal lease issues and data preservation.

 

Wilson Forum to Discuss New Climate Economy – The Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars’ Managing Our Planet forum will reconvene on Wednesday at 3:00 p.m. to discuss the upcoming “Global Commission on the Economy and Climate” report.  The New Climate Economy is the flagship project of the Global Commission on the Economy and Climate, and was established by seven countries, Colombia, Ethiopia, Indonesia, Norway, South Korea, Sweden and the United Kingdom, as an independent initiative to examine how countries can achieve economic growth while dealing with the risks posed by climate change.  Chaired by former Mexican President Felipe Calderón, and co-chaired by renowned economist Lord Nicholas Stern, the Commission comprises 24 leaders from 19 countries, and is led by a core team under Program Director Jeremy Oppenheim.  The research has been carried out by a partnership of leading global economic and policy institutes, including the World Resources Institute (Managing Partner), and will launch September 16 at the United Nations. On September 17, a panel will convene to discuss the findings and recommendations set forth by the Commission and what policies and actions can be implemented.  The “Managing Our Planet” seminar series is developed jointly by George Mason University, the Brazil Institute and the Environmental Change and Security Program. It is based on the premise that the impacts of humanity on the environment (including natural resources) are at a planetary scale, requiring planetary-scale solutions.

 

Forum to Look at National Labs, National Security Role – The Technology, Policy, and National Security Series, co-sponsored by Sandia National Laboratories and the George Washington University, will hold a forum on Wednesday at 5:30 p.m. on the  contribution of the National Laboratory System to U.S. National Security.  Speakers will include Paul Hommert, Director, Sandia National Laboratories, Charles McMillan, Director – Los Alamos National Laboratory, and Adam Schwartz, director of the Ames Lab.

 

Minot Forum to Discuss Nuclear Road Map – The Minot (ND) Area Chamber of Commerce will hold a forum on Thursday at the Army-Navy Club on strategic nuclear enterprises and the road ahead.  There will be some 14 speakers on the agenda.

 

Murkowski, Scott to Address Energy Forum – On Thursday at 8:00 a.m., the Manhattan Institute Center for Energy Policy will host a forum at the National Press Club’s Holeman Lounge to discuss American energy insecurity.  Speakers will include Lisa Murkowski and Tim Scott in a conversation with Manhattan Institute Senior Fellow Mark Mills.  The American economy and quality of life are inextricably linked to an affordable and secure energy supply. But energy discussions that focus on geopolitical, environmental, and macro-economic issues can overlook the impact of policies on the well-being of America’s economically disadvantaged households. Energy policies that lead to higher energy prices, whether or not intentional, give rise to “energy insecurity”—where household budgets and quality of life are eroded, including pushing many below the poverty line.

 

Forum to Address SCOTUS Cases on Energy, Environment – The Law & Economics Center at George Mason University School of Law will host an event Thursday at 8:30 a.m. where legal and economic scholars will preview cases accepted for review by the Supreme Court in the 2014-2015 term that have significant impacts or implications for energy and environmental concerns. The speakers will also address cases that are rising for potential Supreme Court review from the nation’s lower courts and will highlight the importance of those cases and the necessity for Supreme Court review.

 

Seoul-DC Policy Forum Set – The Center for East Asia Policy Studies at Brookings and The Korea Foundation will host the 7th Seoul-Washington Forum at JHU’s Kenney Auditorium on Thursday at 9:00 a.m.   Leading experts from South Korea and the United States will examine strategic changes in the region and what this means for the U.S. rebalance to Asia, challenges related to U.S.-Korea-Japan relations, the politics of unification and North Korea’s nuclear threat, and South Korea’s leadership in green economy and climate change.

 

NYU Forum to Look at Climate Engineering – On Thursday at 1:00 p.m., New York University’s DC campus will host a seminar on Climate engineering (CE).  Also known as geoengineering, CE encompasses a set of proposed ideas that aim to remove greenhouse gases from the atmosphere or to reflect sunlight away from the Earth to counter some of the effects of climate change. In the past decade, CE has garnered prominent attention in scientific and policy circles and environmental discourse in Europe, North America and other regions and countries. In the United States, the National Academy of Sciences is set to present its report on geoengineering by the end of the year. At the international level, the IPCC recently included climate engineering in the summary for policy makers of its working group I and working group III reports in its Fifth Assessment, as well as including extensive sections on the topic in all three of its full working group reports.  Speakers include Wil Burns, of the Washington Climate Geoengineering Consortium and AEI Geoengineering expert Lee Lane, among others.

 

Revkin to Headline Wilson Program Celebration – On Thursday at 2:00 p.m., the Wilson Center will celebrate 20 years of exploring the intersection of environmental security, population dynamics, and resilience.  For the last 20 years, Wilson’s Environmental Change and Security Program has brought together a wide range of communities that do not always interact with one another to create new connections and discuss some of the most critical challenges facing the world today. ECSP reaches a unique network of experts, policymakers, and journalists working where conflict meets international development, reproductive health and women’s empowerment, and the environment.  Our friend Andy Revkin, columnist for The New York Times, will moderate a panel featuring three current and former ECSP directors alongside three renowned experts from the environment, security, and population and reproductive health sectors.  Panelists will include Sharon Burke of the New America Foundation, Ohio U professor Geoffrey Dabelko, and USAID’s Carmen Tull, among several others.

 

Solar Report to Address Trends – On Thursday at 2:00 p.m., the Interstate Renewable Energy Council’s will release its 2014 U.S. Solar Market Trends report answers these questions by providing public data on U.S. solar installations in 2013 by technology, state and solar market sectors. It offers insight on the major factors affecting the solar market, such as photovoltaic prices, strong consumer demand, available financing, renewable portfolio standards in some states, and financial incentives from the federal government, states and utilities. The report includes ranking of Top 10 States in several categories.  Solar Market Trends Report author and IREC Vice President Larry Sherwood will take an in-depth look at PV installations in 2013, including growth trends by sector and state rankings for installations. If you’re involved in the solar industry, or wish to become involved, this webinar will provide valuable information about the rapidly changing solar market in the U.S.

 

Diesel Tech Forum to Host Emergency Grid Webinar – To assist policymakers, planners and businesses prepare for a wide variety of weather-related emergencies, the Diesel Technology Forum is sponsoring a free webinar Thursday at 2:00 p.m. that will provide a basic understanding of the issues surrounding the use of emergency back-up power systems, technology and fuel choices, operating conditions and incentives to provide critical electrical power.  Emergency backup electrical generators can save lives during an emergency. Interruptions of electrical power, even of short duration, create situations that could imperil public health and safety. Blackouts also wreak havoc for businesses and create significant inconveniences for individuals. Emergency generators must be able to provide reliable, immediate and full strength electric power when there is a failure of the primary power supply system.  From hurricanes, floods, mud slides, to wild fires and tornadoes, frequent weather-related disasters call attention to the vulnerability of the nation’s electrical grid and the importance of continuous electrical power. Weather events, both large and small, cut off power to hundreds of thousands of people and businesses for days exposing the importance of emergency back-up power as part of local, state and federal emergency preparedness, response and recovery.

 

Forum to Look at Carbon Accounting, Vehicle Fuels Research – The Environmental and Energy Study Institute (EESI) will hold a briefing on Thursday at 2:30 p.m. examining recent research regarding the carbon dioxide (CO2) intensity of transportation fuels, such as crude oil and ethanol. The panel will also consider the economic costs and benefits of renewable fuels as a CO2 reduction strategy. Speakers for this forum are Argonne’s Michael Wang, Steffen Mueller of the Energy Resources Center at the University of Illinois at Chicago and Dean Drake of the Defour Group.

 

Forum to Look at Energy Company Start Ups – Potential Energy DC will host a discussion on Thursday

in McLean to Look at funding opportunities for energy companies. Speakers will provide insight into grants for concepts, demo and post-demo options, and share their perspectives as angels and VCs. Also hear from PEDC’s CFO-in-residence about how to position your company for success.

 

Forum to Target Japan, Germany Renewable Policy Discussion – On Friday at 1:00 p.m., the Energy Security Initiative (ESI) at Brookings will host a discussion on renewable energy in Germany and Japan. This event serves as the launch of ESI’s new policy brief, “Transforming the Electricity Portfolio: Lessons from Germany and Japan in Deploying Renewable Energy.” Report authors John Banks, a nonresident senior fellow with ESI, and Charles Ebinger, ESI’s director, will join ESI Nonresident Senior Fellow and Public Policy Consulting Principal Ron Binz in a panel discussion on the findings of the study. Lisa Wood, the executive director for the Institute for Electric Innovation and a nonresident senior fellow at ESI, will moderate.

 

FUTURE EVENTS

 

AGA to Release Winter Heating Season Report – On Monday, September 22 at 10:00 a.m., the American Gas Association (AGA) will unveil a new report examining how the natural gas delivery system was tested, how utilities prepared and responded, and what last winter has taught us about the upcoming season.  AGA Chairman Gregg Kantor, AGA President and CEO Dave McCurdy, AGA Vice President of Policy Analysis Chris McGill and other AGA experts will provide an in-depth discussion of the factors that go into safely and reliably delivering natural gas to millions of American homes and businesses on the days it is needed most. Speakers will also address where the nation stands going into the 2014-2015 winter heating season and what customers and investors can expect.

 

RPS Summit to Focus on EPA Carbon Rules, Impacts – The Clean Energy States Alliance will hold a 2014 National Summit on RPS next Monday and Tuesday at Gallaudet’s Kellogg Conference Hotel.  The event is the best way to learn about developments and trends related to state RPSs and to network with many of the people from across the country that are most engaged in implementing and analyzing state RPSs.  Sessions this year will cover a wide range of topics, including how EPAs carbon regulations may impact state RPSs, harmonizing different states’ methodologies for determining the costs of an RPS, the status of Commerce Clause cases with potential impacts on RPSs, and the intersection between RPS, net metering, and other solar policies. There will also be plenty of time for networking.

 

CSIS to Hold Russia, Asian Energy Discussion – Next Monday, the Center for Strategic and International Studies will hold a forum looking at Russian energy activity in Asia. European sanctions have accelerated Russia’s political and economic push into Asia. At the center of Russia’s turn to Asia is energy: Moscow sees new markets in Asia as an alternative to stagnant, politically risky Europe, while Asian investment is crucial for Russia’s ability to tap new source of oil and gas. Despite the signing of a $400 billion gas deal with China in May, Russia’s ability to make good on its Asian energy ambitions remains uncertain.  The forum will feature Edward Chow, Senior Fellow in the CSIS Energy Program; Shoichi Itoh, Institute for Energy Economics in Tokyo; and Andrew Kuchins, Director and Senior Fellow in the CSIS Russia and Eurasia Program

 

UN Climate Summit Set – The UN will host a climate summit on September 23 in NYC.  The summit will be hosted by the UN secretary general Ban Ki-moon for generating  “political momentum on climate action” ahead of the December climate deal negotiations in Lima, Peru.   President Obama is expected to address the forum.

 

Hill Hosts 2030 Energy Summit – The Energy 2030 Summit will be held on Tuesday, September 23rd at 8:00 a.m.  The event will generate a discussion on what the federal government can do to help spur activity at the state and local level to achieve the goal of doubling U.S. energy productivity by 2030.  Taking place on Capitol Hill, the Energy 2030 Summit will feature keynote addresses from congressional members and timely discussions from leading voices in energy efficiency about the work being done at the state, local, and federal level and highlight the support that has been generated across the nation for the Energy 2030 goal.

 

Solar Forum to Look at Utility Solar Opportunities – The GW Solar Institute will host its 6th Annual Solar Symposium on Tuesday September 23rd at the SMPA’s Jack Morton Auditorium.  This event convenes policymakers, industry experts, business leaders, academics, and students to discuss innovative solutions to today’s biggest solar policy questions.  This year’s theme, “Using Solar Energy to Generate Wealth in Lower Income Communities” will be the first national gathering of stakeholders dedicated to achieving solar energy affordability and accessibility for Americans with limited means. The dynamic, action-oriented agenda will focus on creative incentive and financing models, eliminating legal and regulatory barriers, and integrating solar investments into existing federal programs. The event will also feature an Innovation Showcase highlighting low-income solar pioneers and initiatives from across the country.

 

Richardson, Perino, Ridge to Headline Shale Insight Conference – The Marcellus Shale Coalition will hold SHALE INSIGHT 2014 on September 23 – 25 in Pittsburgh focusing on shale development, featuring some of the most prominent industry and government leaders. The event will feature three days of pre-conference workshops, technical and public affairs insight sessions, major keynote addresses, and a dynamic exhibit hall featuring all the major shale players.  Speakers will include former Energy Secretary and NM Governor Bill Richardson, former PA Gov and first Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge, former White House Press Secretary and Fox News Personality Dana Perino, XTO President Randy Cleveland and many more.

 

Forum to Explain NatGas Drilling – On Tuesday September 23rd at 1:00 p.m., natgas expert Barry Stevens will conduct a live conference on hydraulic fracturing, focusing on the advanced technologies used to recover oil and gas from oil formations and shale gas formations. Barry will talk about how the industry uses science and technology to improve production through unconventional recovery methods, both improved and enhanced. He will also explain on-shore oil extraction and shale gas hydrofracturing.  Stevens is the founder and president of TBD America, Inc. a Technology Business Development consulting group serving the public and private sectors in the energy, fuels and water treatment industries.

 

NY PSC  Chair to Address 100th Energy Breakfast – ICF International holds its 100th Energy Breakfast at the National Press Club on September 24th.  Energy expert Audrey Zibelman will speak.  As Chair of the New York Public Service Commission and former COO of PJM, Zibelman will share the issues involved in trying to gain consensus within the power industry in a time of great flux.   She will address challenges and questions including reliability, rates environmental issues and regulators’ roles.

 

NatGas Forum to Tackle Western Issues – The Energy Institute at Colorado State University will hold its 4th Natural Gas Symposium on September 24 and 25th at the Grand Hyatt in downtown Denver, Colorado. For the past three years, Colorado State University has built a reputation for hosting a balanced symposium discussing all sides of the natural gas issue while remaining an “honest broker” of information and education.  Prior to the 2014 symposium, CSU experts will craft a white paper that covers the State of Oil and Natural Gas Development. The draft will be revised during the two-day symposium. A public comment period will follow the symposium and will be open for feedback until Sept. 30, 2014. The white paper will be published before Oct. 31, 2014 on the symposium website. All symposium sessions will be live video streamed from www.naturalgas.colostate.edu.

 

WAPA Forum to Look at Safety in Vehicle Communications – Global Automakers and the Washington Automotive Press Assn (WAPA) will hold a panel discussion Wednesday, September 24th about vehicle-to-vehicle communications and automotive safety at the National Press Club’s First Amendment Lounge.  Speakers will include Toyota Safety Technical & Regulatory Director Kevin Ro, DENSO International’s Doug Patton, Lars Reger of NXP Semiconductors and Morgan Stanley Research Executive Director Ravi Shanker.  Global Automakers CEO John Bozzella will moderate.

 

EcoDistrict Summit Set – The 6th annual EcoDistricts Summit is being held in Washington, DC on Wednesday through Friday on September 24-26th.  EcoDistricts works to help create sustainable cities from the neighborhood up, and Washington, DC—a case study in inventive collaboration—has captured that spirit like few others.  At this year’s Summit, we’ll explore district-scale sustainable development from every angle and dig deep into the public-private-civic partnerships that are laying the groundwork for the neighborhoods of the future: resilient, vibrant, resource-efficient and just.  Participants will get an insider’s look at the projects (and players) behind the world’s most livable cities, and they’ll dig into information-rich education sessions, mobile workshops and studios designed to inform and inspire with updates on emerging best practices from cities across North America and beyond.

 

USEA Forum to Look at Renewable Integration – On Wednesday, September 24th at 10:00 a.m. the U.S. Energy Association will Hold a forum on renewable energy integration.  Renewable Energy Integration is a ground-breaking book which offers a distilled examination of the intricacies of integrating renewables into power grids and electricity markets. Through thirty-five chapters, this first of its kind volume offers informed perspectives from internationally renowned experts on the challenges to be met and solutions developed by operators around the world. The book focuses on the practical implementation of strategies and provides real-world context for theoretical underpinnings and the development of supporting policy frameworks. It lays out the key issues around the integration of renewables into power grids and markets, from the intricacies of operational and planning considerations to supporting regulatory and policy frameworks; provides global case studies that highlight the challenges of renewables integration and present field-tested solutions; illustrates enabling technologies to support the management of variability, uncertainty and flexibility in power grids.  In this briefing the speakers will discuss the background to the book, provide an overview of different parts and key themes, and how they relate to the  U.S. renewable energy industry. The speakers will also give their perspectives  on the future outlook of renewable integration  and enabling technologies.  They will include Alstom Grid’s Lawrence Jones and Charles Smith of the coalition, Utility Variable-Generation Integration

 

ACORE Webinar to Feature Bloomberg New Finance Experts – ACORE will hold a webinar on Wednesday, September 24th that will give an update and near-term outlook on the North American market, provided by Bloomberg New Energy Finance. Topics to be covered include trends in distributed solar, prospects for emerging energy smart technologies, impact of proposed EPA regulations, and opportunities in Mexico.  Speakers will include Bloomberg Energy Finance Analysts Michel Di Capua, Nick Culver and Thomas Rowlands-Rees.

 

BPC to Discuss GHG Rules – The Bipartisan Policy Center will hold a forum on Thursday, September 25th at 10:00 a.m.  on how early action is accounted for in the EPA’s new Clean Power Plan. This panel of experts from state, utility and environmental advocate perspectives will discuss the treatment of: energy efficiency savings prior to 2020, renewable energy and existing cap-and-trade programs, among other topics.  Over the last year, BPC’s Energy Project has held a series of workshops and events on the Clean Power Plan to inform both the debate and the comments submitted to EPA.  Our friends Jean Chemnick at Greenwire moderates a panel with Southern Company’s Ray Harry, Minnesota Pollution Control Agency Assistant Commissioner David Thornton and EDF’s Megan Ceronsky.

 

McCarthy to Address RFF Session – Resources for the Future presents a Policy Leadership Forum on Thursday, September 25th at 10:00 a.m. featuring a conversation with EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy.  RFF President Phil Sharp will conduct a conversation with McCarthy about the critical energy and environmental issues facing the nation.

 

Geothermal Event, Expo to Review Latest Techs – The Geothermal Energy Association is hosting its annual Meeting and Expo in Portland, OR at the Portland Convention Center.  The event is world’s largest gathering of vendors providing support for geothermal resource exploration, characterization, development, production and management. It provides a unique opportunity for exhibitors to showcase their projects, equipment, services and state of the art technology to the geothermal community.  The Expo is co-held with the Geothermal Resources Council’s annual meeting  and will look at the latest developments in geothermal energy. Last year, the GRC Annual Meeting & GEA Expo hosted representatives from more than 37 countries.  The meeting will offer technical, policy, and market conference sessions and educational seminars, as well as tours of local geothermal and renewable energy projects.

 

Inglis to Headline  Midwest Energy Conference – The Midwest Energy Policy Conference will be held in St. Louis on September 30th and October 1st.  The event will address the 2014 environmental and energy rulings of the SCOTUS, the path forward following the EPA greenhouse gas 111(d) ruling and what makes successful state energy plan programs relevant and successful in several key focus areas (economic development, education, research, regulations, portfolio mix, biofuels, and more)  The Keynote speaker will be former SC Rep. Bob Inglis.

 

Shale, Coal Exports Conference Set – Law Seminars International will host a forum on October 1st and 2nd in Baltimore.  The event is co-hosted by Bracewell’s Chuck Shoneman and will focus on export policies for coal, oil and natural gas.  B&G’s Scott Segal will also join a panel to discuss the politics of export policies.

 

USEA Forum Set – The US Energy Assn will host its 7th annual Energy Supply Forum at the National Press Club on October 2nd.

 

RESA to Convene 3rd Annual Retail Energy Markets Symposium — The Retail Energy Supply Association’s 2014 Energy Competition Symposium will hold its annual conference in Columbus, Ohio, on October 2nd, a half-day event exploring the leading issues affecting retail energy competition nationally.  They will also address the future of competitive retail and wholesale energy markets, product innovations for retail customers and improving the shopping experience for consumers.  Distinguished speakers include Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO) Chairman Thomas Johnson, Cheryl Roberto of the Environmental Defense Fund, Kristin Munsch of the Citizens Utility Board, Bruce Weston with the Office of Ohio Consumers’ Counsel, Sam Randazzo of the Industrial Energy Users, Ohio Gas Association President Jimmy Stewart, PUCO Commissioner Asim Haque, EnerNOC’s Katie Guerry, former Illinois Commerce Commission Chairman Philip O’Connor, former PUCO Chairman Todd Snitchler, Clean Power Finance’s Sierra Peterson, and Karen Moury with Buchanan Ingersoll and Rooney.  The symposium will feature a keynote address by Ohio State Senator Bill Seitz, Chairman of the Public Utilities Committee.

 

Clean Tech Forum Set – On Thursday, October 9th, former White House Climate Task Force leader Roger Ballantine and former FCC Chair Reed Hundt will speak at a forum looking at the future of energy, renewables and clean tech markets.  The event will be at 9:00 a.m. at the Wooly Mammoth Theater’s Melton Rehearsal Hall.

 

Shale Water Expo Set – On October 14 and 15, Shale Water Expo 2014 will be held in Houston at the  Stafford Convention Centre.  The event is focused on shale play water management is the only national fluids-specific event for the oil and gas industry.  It will present timely, in-depth insight from industry leaders sharing their expertise on water management, logistics, sourcing, recycling, market forecasting and industry trends.

 

ANGA, Penn State to Host Gas Utilization Conference – Penn State University and ANGA will hold a forum on October  14-15 in Canonsburg, PA at the Hilton Garden Inn.  The conference aims to develop a better understanding of natural gas development issues across the nation and the impact shale plays have on the world energy market.  Top industry experts, government officials and academic researchers will address the major issues driving the natural gas revolution as America moves to expanding its use of natural gas for transportation, manufacturing and power generation.

 

Christie to Address Chamber Legal Forum – The U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform is hosting its 15th Annual Legal Reform Summit on Tuesday October 21st.  The Legal Reform Summit gathers business and industry leaders, government officials, as well as the media, to explore hot legal issues and discuss the current state of legal reform and its importance to the greater business community and national economy.   This year’s Summit will feature a keynote address from New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, as well as remarks by Tom J. Donohue, President and CEO of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Panels will explore the increase in government overreach and serial enforcement, the outsourcing of public powers to private parties, and follow-on litigation.

 

Nichols to Address EMA Forum – The Emissions Marketing Assn’s 18th Annual Meeting will be held on October 22-24th at the Double Tree Suites in Santa Monica.  Discussions will include AB 32, the EPA GHG rules and renewable energy credits.  Speakers will include CARB’s Mary Nichols, our friend Bill Peters of Argus and Joel Bluestein of ICF, among many others.

 

Holmstead to Address EPA Rules at FL Conference – The Florida Chapter of the Air and Waste Management Association will hold a forum at its annual conference in Jacksonville on October 29-30th on the proposed Section 111(d) guidelines for CO2 emissions from existing utility units.  My colleague Jeff Holmstead will address the panel as will out friend Mike Kennedy of Duke Energy.

 

Atlantic, Aspen to Host Washington Ideas Forum – The Atlantic and the Aspen Institute are holding their 6th annual Washington Ideas Forum on October 29-30th in Washington, D.C. to discuss vital issues of our time from politics and the economy to technology and the fabric of our culture. Speakers will include former New York Times Executive Editor Jill Abramson, edX CEO Anant Agarwal, Revolution Founder Steve Case, MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell, House Intelligence Committee Chairman Rep. Mike Rogers (R-MI), The Carlyle Group’s David Rubenstein, Yelp CEO Jeremy Stoppelman, genomic research scientist Craig Venter, and House of Cards Screenwriter Beau Willimon.  Among those moderating the Forum will be Aspen Institute President and CEO Walter Isaacson, The Atlantic’s Editor-in-Chief James Bennet, Washington Editor-at-Large Steve Clemons, Editor Scott Stossel, and National Correspondents Ta-Nehisi Coates and James Fallows.