More sad news this week with two items: the loss of Richard Dawson and retirement of 20-year Red Wing hockey great Nick Lidstrom.
One hundred people surveyed, top four answers are on the board, here’s the question: Name an influential person in Game show history? Frank: (Whack!) BLEEPPEPEPEPPE: Richard Dawson. Survey Says: (Ding). We’ll play. You know its not the #1 answer because that is Merv Griffin or Mark Goodson, but Dawson, who starred on Match Game, Hollywood Squares and others took the Family Feud in the late 70s to new heights. It was also a key turning point for the former Hogan’s Heroes actor creating an opportunity for guys just like him to host later in their TV careers (Ray Combs, Louie Anderson, Richard Karns of Home Improvement, John O’Hurley of Seinfeld fame, and now Steve Harvey). But no one could really replace him and he was always a special treat while playing “the Feud.” He kissed more women than anyone I know and I most remember the one time he was rebuffed by one woman in a 1983 episode. Any way, he now is hanging out with (Blank) . Cue the cheesy, 30-second ‘70s Disco riff while we all write our answers.
And on to Lidstrom…He is still alive and will likely be around for many years, but as a Red Wings guy for his entire career, it is hard to imagine him any other way than the Red Winged Wheel #5, just winning and getting the job done quietly and with humility. He won plenty of awards, 4 Stanley Cups, 7 Norris Trophies (for the best the NHL’s defenseman) six in seven years between 2002 and 2009. He also was the first European Captain to ever hoist a Stanley Cup. But my friend and fellow Detroit-native Bill Day of Valero may have put it best saying he stepped up after the 1998 loss of Vlad Konstintinov: “Lidstrom stepped up and became the No. 1 defenseman – not by crushing opponents, but by always being in the right place at the right time with a stick, a poke check, a takeaway. If he ever put a hit on someone, or if someone ever put a hit on him, it escaped notice. He didn’t have to play a physical game because he was so smart, and he was able to stay on the ice longer than anyone else. I wish he had won more…but those things weren’t ever important to him. I’m just glad I got to see him play.” Amen brother…
It will be a busy week with both houses of Congress back in session for a few weeks until July 4th week. Last week, Majority Leader Cantor laid out his plans for the summer and it includes a number of energy bills, but with gas prices plummeting in the face of retreating world crude prices (shocking how that happens), it may push some energy issues to the backburner.
The hearing of the week is Wednesday, when former EPA Region 6 Administrator Al Armendariz will visit the House Energy and Commerce Committee. That can’t be good for him or the Administration. I expect he will try to defend himself, but I don’t think he really gets it. Expect a full court press on the Administration’s regulatory plan, lots of talk about Armendariz’s record in Texas blocking power plants, and conflicts of interest, as well as new legislation to make EPA regional administrators Senate-confirmed positions.
That morning, National Journal will hold a forum on clean air, but unfortunately for our friend and panel moderator Coral Davenport (who we love dearly here at B&G), the panel‘s Admin organizers (let’s just say not really policy experts) have a panel that is less than balanced. Our friend John Walke will be joined by a health expert from the liberal American Public Health Assn, former Obama EPA official Adam Kushner, a couple of liberal academics and Duke Energy. And to top it off, they plan to have an interview with Henry Waxman. So much for getting a good look at the overall debate.
WINDPOWER launches today in Atlanta with the wind industry very concerned about its future because of the uncertainty of its tax policy. Expect lots of questions about its status and lots of folks talking about the important contributions of the wind industry and its supply chain to creating new jobs in the face of last week’s disappointing jobs/economic news. For a good summary of the issues, our friend Mark Del Franco of North American Windpower (he is still shaking off the Rangers loss) has an excellent curtain raiser for Atlanta.
I’m cutting this short because I’m on my way to New York today… I will also be there on Wednesday so if you’re in NYC and interested in grabbing a coffee, let me know. Call with questions.
C. (202) 997-5932
IN THE NEWS
EPRI Assesses EPA’s Environmental Rules – A new assessment from the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) says flexibility for electric utilities in installing new pollution control technology to comply with current and pending EPA rules could save approximately $100 billion in future expenditures. The results are based on two potential pathways for compliance, one based on the “current course” and the other on an “alternative flexible path.” The analysis found that installing a suite of new emissions controls would cost the U.S. economy up to $275 billion, between 2010 and 2035 in present value terms, if the current course is followed. By providing for a flexible path overall cost could be reduced by $100 billion while achieving the same level of compliance. Key findings of the assessment include 1) On the “current course” approximately 202 GW of existing coal-fired capacity would remain financially viable with costs for required environmental investment being recouped in less than 5 years; 2) Another 61 GW of coal capacity – primarily older, smaller, and less efficient units – could not be profitably retrofitted and would be retired; 3) The remaining 54 GW would either be retired or retrofitted depending on market-specific factors, such as: whether regulatory frameworks provide for cost recovery, cost and performance of competing generation, changes in power prices, trends in demand, and natural gas prices; and 4) In the alternative “flexible path” case, approximately 288 GW would remain financially viable, only 25 GW would be retired, and only 4 GW would either be retired or retrofitted depending on market-specific factors.
Court Forces Soot EPA Decision – The U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia last week ordered EPA to propose its emissions standards for fine particulate matter from power plants and other sources by June 7th. In its injunction, the court ordered that the EPA hold public hearings within two weeks after the agency’s proposal for primary and secondary fine particulate matter standards is published in the Federal Register. The court called for an additional seven weeks of public comment after the hearings, providing for nine weeks in total for the industry and public to weigh in on the proposal. Most predict EPA will re-propose rules with final action coming after the November election
Appeals Court Moves on Yucca Fees – The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit was also busy late last week asked the Department of Energy to explain why it should be able to continue to collect fees for its nuclear waste fund despite the fact that there is no operating national repository. Under the Nuclear Waste Policy Act, utilities pay a fee that was designed to cover the cost the government would face in disposing of the waste. The court said the government’s argument appeared to be that Energy Secretary Steven Chu could effectively, “like an ostrich, put his head in the sand” when it came to taking into account various factors that could determine the cost associated with disposing of nuclear waste which they called “farfetched, almost absurd.” Our friends at NARUC said decision by the court is an important victory for nuclear-power consumers. NARUC President David Wright of South Carolina said the court made clear that the Energy Department has not justified continued payments into the Nuclear Waste Fund, saying the Energy Department is on notice that they must do a thorough and complete assessment within six months as to whether the fees—charged to nuclear utilities and passed through to their consumers—are necessary. Wright: “Nuclear-power utilities and their consumers have paid more than $30 billion into the Nuclear Waste Fund for nearly 30 years. To date they have nothing to show for their investment except political delays, bureaucratic red tape, and a hole in the Nevada desert. Today’s decision will force the Energy Department to do its job and prove why it should continue fees for a nuclear-waste program that it says no longer exists. We believe the evidence demonstrates that until and unless a new nuclear-waste policy is developed, consumers should be given a break.”
CHK Wells Produce New Oil, Gas Find In TX, OK – Chesapeake Energy announced Friday a significant new discovery in the Hogshooter play in the Anadarko Basin of the Texas Panhandle and western Oklahoma. Chesapeake owns approximately 30,000 net acres in the play, which are more than 90% held by production (HBP) from its legacy deeper Granite Wash production. Chesapeake has completed two horizontal wells in the Hogshooter formation to date. The Thurman Horn 406H well was drilled to a vertical depth of approximately 10,000 feet with a lateral section of approximately 4,900 feet. This successful exploratory well was drilled more than five miles from established Hogshooter production, but in a section of land where three wells had already been drilled to other formations. During its first eight days of stabilized production, the well averaged daily production of 5,400 barrels (bbls) of oil, 1,200 bbls of natural gas liquids (NGL) and 4.6 million cubic feet of natural gas (mmcf), or approximately 7,350 bbls of oil equivalent (boe) per day. The Meek 41 9H well, located approximately five miles from the Thurman Horn, was drilled to a vertical depth of approximately 10,500 feet with a lateral section of approximately 4,800 feet. During its first 27 days of stabilized production, the well averaged daily production of 1,300 bbls of oil, 365 bbls of NGL and 1.4 mmcf, or approximately 1,900 boe per day. In addition to the wells mentioned above, Chesapeake has drilled two Hogshooter wells that are waiting on completion, the Zybach 6010H and the Hamilton 39 10H. Chesapeake says its acreage position contains at least 65 more Chesapeake-operated Hogshooter locations to drill during the next few years. The drilling and completion of these 65 wells will be a part of the company’s already budgeted Anadarko Basin drilling program and should result in no increase to the company’s budgeted capital expenditures. None of the 65 potential future Hogshooter wells were included as proven reserves in Chesapeake’s March 31, 2012 reserve report.
EPA Rolls Out New Emissions Rule for Refiners – EPA issued new standards for new flares and process heaters at petroleum refineries last Friday. This final rule, which responds to petitions requesting the agency to reconsider standards issued in 2008, provides industry with greater compliance flexibility than those earlier standards did and ensures that companies can make routine operational changes without triggering new requirements, according to EPA. AFPA’s David Friedman said EPA’s final rule is certainly more balanced than the previous proposals, but the EPA still falls short in issuing common-sense standards. Friedman: “This final rule will not dramatically save, but rather cost the industry significant amounts each year, adding to the billions already paid by industry in complying with the myriad fuel and stationary source regulations, some of which are conflicting and contradictory.”
Commerce Hits China with Wind Tower Duties – The U.S. Department of Commerce (DOC) issued a preliminary determination that the Chinese government provided massive subsidies to Chinese producers of utility-scale wind turbine towers. The case alleges that unfairly subsidized wind turbine towers from China are harming the U.S. wind energy industry. The Wind Tower Trade Coalition (WTTC), a group of U.S. producers of utility-scale wind towers that includes Trinity Structural Towers, DMI Industries, Katana Summit and Broadwind Energy, brought the case. The investigation applies to utility-scale wind towers with a minimum height of 50 meters that are designed for use in wind turbines with generating capacities in excess of 100 kW. In its preliminary ruling, Commerce said that Titan Wind Energy (Suzhou) Co. Ltd. and CS Wind China Co. Ltd. received countervailing subsidies from the Chinese government at rates of 26.0% and 13.74%, respectively. For all other Chinese producers of utility-scale wind towers, the countervailing rate is 19.87%.
Clean Edge Ranks Top Clean Energy States – Our friends at Clean Edge released their annual Clean Energy State Index, which ranks U.S. states based on more than 70 indicators across the clean energy spectrum, including technology, policy and capital. According to Clean Edge, the top U.S. states for clean energy include California, Oregon, Massachusetts, Washington and Colorado. Key market indicators tracked by Clean Edge included total electricity produced by clean energy sources, hybrid and electric vehicles on the road, clean energy venture and patent activity, and policy regulations and incentives. In addition, clean energy patents granted to U.S. entities in 2011 exceeded the 1,000 mark for the first time, with more than half of them distributed across just three states.
Wyden, Markey Urge Prez to Impose Export Limits – Last week, Sen. Ron Wyden and Rep. Edward Markey, sent a letter to President Obama urging him to set new limits on exports of natural gas and other domestic energy resources. Both have strong advocated for the approach saying natural gas and gasoline exports could raise prices for consumers. Markey also has been outspoken in predicting that crude imported from Canada through the proposed Keystone XL pipeline will be exported after being refined into diesel fuel. In a letter Thursday, they urged Obama to set new federal policies governing energy exports in response to rapidly expanding shale oil and gas development, made possible through hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling. They also added that the policy should cover the growth in coal, gasoline and diesel exports, which have been rising in response to global demand. Most industry folks say the approach is absurd and likely to undercut jobs in the US. Currently, exports and not only keeping many refinery workers employed, they are helping our balance of trade dramatically. My colleagues Salo Zelermyer (202-828-1718) and Josh Zive (202-828-5838) are experts on the subject matter.
THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK:
WINDPOWER Heads to Atlanta – AWEA’s annual WINDPOWER conference will be held in Atlanta today through Wednesday. WINDPOWER is being held in the Southeast for the first time this year in recognition of the fact that it has emerged as a hot spot for wind energy manufacturing. The theme of the overall conference is “Manufacturing the Future Today.” Factories in the wind supply chain now employ 30,000 Americans, out of 75,000 currently working in wind energy. But those jobs are now in jeopardy because of uncertainty over the Production Tax Credit, due to expire at the end of this year unless Congress extends it. In a year of partisan politics, two leading partisans will seek common ground at the biggest annual gathering of the wind industry – which is counting on bipartisan support to continue its rapid growth in the United States. Karl Rove and Robert Gibbs will address thousands of attendees together June 5 in Atlanta at WINDPOWER 2012. Rove, former deputy chief of staff and senior advisor to President George W. Bush, and Robert Gibbs, former White House press secretary and longtime senior advisor to President Barack Obama, will jointly keynote in tomorrow morning’s General Session of the annual conference and exposition. Their conversation will touch on many sides of the energy policy debate, and point out where party perspectives overlap — highlighting the opportunity for bipartisan agreement in support of wind power, one of the fastest-growing sources of manufacturing jobs in America, which draws over $15 billion a year of private investment in the U.S. economy.
Aspen Forum to look at Clean Energy Issues – Montreaux Energy’s 13th Aspen Clean Energy Roundtable will be held today through Wednesday at the historic Hotel Jerome in Aspen. The Aspen Clean Energy Roundtable will convene 100 key industry partners and investors, along with leading government policy-makers and regulators. Our theme will be Clean Energy, Mobility, and Power Generation: Leadership in Energy Investment. Confirmed Speakers include Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper, Shell natgas VP Dave Todd, Waste Management Organic Growth SVP Carl Rush; GE Energy Renewable Energy Strategy & Analysis head Brandon Owens, EPA Region 8 Energy & Climate advisor Kate Fay, Toyota Environmental Vehicles Product Planning Manager Craig Scott and NASCAR Green Innovation Director Michael Lynch, as well as many more.
Wilson Center to Launch Report – The Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars will launch a new report today at 3:00 p.m. on people and the planet. Rapid and widespread changes in global population, coupled with unprecedented levels of consumption, present profound challenges to human health and well-being and the natural environment. Although much is known about these linkages, they do not feature prominently in international debates about sustainable development. In the run up to the Rio+20 UN Conference on Sustainable Development this June, the Royal Society offers the results of a wide-ranging, international study on this interaction, in the form of its People and the Planet report. Parfait Eloundou-Enyegue and Eliya Zulu, members of the Royal Society’s international working group, will present the report’s findings and discuss the prospects for genuinely sustainable development.
CEI to Host Mercury Policy Forum – The Competitive Enterprise Institute will hold a forum on Capitol Hill today at 12:00 p.m. to discuss the Administration’s mercury rule. Speakers will include Marlo Lewis, William Yeatman, and David Bier.
Forum to Look at Enviros, Conservatives – AEI will host a book forum tomorrow at Noon to look at the case for an environmental conservatism. The environment has long been the undisputed territory of the political left, which has seen the principal threats to the planet issuing from globalization, consumerism and the overexploitation of natural resources. Philosopher Roger Scruton agrees that the environment is the most urgent political problem of our age but argues in his new book “How to Think Seriously About the Planet” that conservatism is far better suited to tackle environmental problems than either liberalism or socialism. Scruton suggests that rather than entrusting the environment to unwieldy nongovernmental and international organizations, we should assume personal responsibility and foster local sovereignty. Scruton and a panel of experts will debate the problem of the environment at this AEI event. Other speakers will include Mark Sagoff of George Mason University, AEI’s Steven Hayward and Ken Green, NYU’s Keith Kloor and Arizona State’s Daniel Sarewitz.
Hendricks to Speak at Wharton Club – The Wharton Club of DC’s Green Business Roundtable will hold its monthly meeting with speaker Bracken Hendricks tomorrow at Noon in the National Press Club’s McClendon Room. Hendricks is a Senior Fellow at American Progress and works at the interface of global warming solutions and economic development. He is a longtime leader in promoting policies that create green jobs, sustainable infrastructure, and investment in cities. Hendricks will talk in depth about two case studies, the DC PACE Commercial Financing program for energy efficiency retrofits in commercial buildings, and his work on the “Clean Energy Web” and how utilities of the future will engage in encouraging distributed generation, smart grid networks and intelligent buildings.
Report Focused on Climate Latin America, Caribbean – The Center for American Progress and the Inter-American Development Bank will host a forum tomorrow at 11:30 a.m. in IABD’s Enrique Iglesias Auditorium for the release of a new report on, “The Climate and Development Challenge for Latin America and the Caribbean: Options for climate resilient low carbon development.” The report addresses three questions related to the climate challenge for Latin America and the Caribbean including the key physical impacts of climate change that will most affect the region and the likely cost to the regional economies derived from these impacts, key adaptation measures to climate change in the region and their associated costs and how and at what cost would the region be able to reduce its emissions consistent with global climate stabilization goals. The report is the result of joint work by the Inter-American Development Bank, the Economic Commission for Latin American and the Caribbean, and the World Wildlife Federation. Speakers will include IADB President Luis Moreno, IADB’s Walter Vergara, Andrew Steer of The World Bank and Michael MacCracken of the Climate Institute.
Mining Summit to Look at Future of Industry – The Mining Americas Summit 2012 will be held in Denver, Colorado tomorrow and Wednesday at the Denver Marriott City Centre. Senior executive leadership will gather to discuss the capital management strategies, cutting edge technologies and operational investments that will drive the mining industry for years to come. Issues will include adopting leading policies and techniques to improve access to capital and attract investment; assessing emerging technologies on cost and operational metrics; managing political risk in mine operations – both domestic and abroad; exploring the latest geographical hotspots and resource opportunities and incorporating sustainability and safety.
NJ to Hold Clean Air Debate – National Journal will host a debate Wednesday morning at The Newseum looking at clean air standards and their broader impact on the nation’s public health, the environment, and the economy. The event, moderated by our friend Coral Davenport, will feature Peter LaPuma of George Washington University, NRDC’s John Walke, Duke Energy Bill Tyndell former EPA enforcement official Adam Kushner and a keynote speech by Rep. Henry Waxman.
House Energy to Host Armendariz – The House Energy panel of the Energy and Commerce will host EPA Region 6 administrator Al Armendariz on Wednesday at 10:00 a.m.
UN Report Launched a Press Club – The United Nations Environment Program will launch its State of the Environment Report: Global Environmental Outlook (GEO-5) on Wednesday at 10:00 a.m. in the National Press Club’s Holeman Lounge at 10:00 a.m. The Global Environment Outlook (GEO-5) report, the UNEP’s flagship publication, keeps the state of the global environment under review. The release of the GEO-5 report, the fifth in the series, is particularly timely and relevant in the lead up to the UN Conference on Sustainable Development or Rio+20, which will take place in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil on June 20-22, 2012 — 20 years after the 1992 Earth Summit. The GEO-5 report assesses progress towards key goals in the areas of Water, Land, Biodiversity, Atmosphere, Chemicals and Wastes. It also reviews progress made in meeting internationally agreed goals, analyzes successful policy options that have the potential for speeding up their realization, and highlights actions that both countries and the global community can take to advance sustainable development. The GEO-5 report will be launched almost simultaneously in UNEP regions, namely in Rio de Janeiro, Nairobi, Addis Ababa, New Delhi, Beijing, New York, Abu Dhabi, Beirut, Geneva and Brussels on the same day. Speakers will include UNEP RONA Director Amy Fraenkel, Washington, D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray, Department of State’s John Matuszak and James Dobrowolski, GEO-5 Chapter Lead Author and National Program.
Bingaman, Murkowski to Headline BPC Forum – The Bipartisan Policy Center will host a nuclear forum on Wednesday afternoon at the Hyatt Regency. In January 2012, the Blue Ribbon Commission on America’s Nuclear Future issued a consensus report recommending a new comprehensive strategy to manage and dispose of the nation’s spent nuclear fuel and high-level radioactive waste. Breaking the current stalemate requires action by both the Administration and Congress. BPC’s Nuclear Initiative for a discussion of ongoing efforts to implement the Blue Ribbon Commission recommendations and achieve near-term progress on nuclear waste storage and disposal. Speakers will include Senator Jeff Bingaman, Senator Lisa Murkowski, former Senator Pete Domenici, BPC Nuclear Initiative Co-Chair Warren ‘Pete’ Miller, NEI’s Marshall Cohen, Joseph S. Hezir of the EOP Foundation and Marge Kilkelly of the Maine Yankee Community Advisory Panel on Spent Nuclear Fuel Storage and Removal.
House Science Tackles EPA Impact on Jobs, Energy – The House Science, Space, and Technology Committee’s Subcommittee on Energy and Environment will hold a hearing Wednesday at 2:00 p.m. on EPA’s impact on jobs and energy affordability, looking at understanding the real costs and benefits of environmental regulations. Witnesses include OM’s Director of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs Cass Sunstein, Michael Honeycutt of the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality and our friends Mine worker union/climate expert Gene Trisko and Tom Wolf of the Illinois Chamber of Commerce’s Energy Council, among several others.
Sen. Commerce to Discuss EU Trading, Aviation Issues – The Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee will hold a hearing Wednesday at 2:30 p.m. to examine the European Union Emissions Trading System. This hearing will examine issues associated with the inclusion of the airline sector in the ETS, a program that caps greenhouse gas emissions for certain industries in the EU, and its potential impact on U.S. air carrier operations. Witnesses include Captain Sean Cassiddy, First Vice President of the Air Lines Pilots Association, International; Jos Delbeke, Director General of the European Commission Directorate-General for Climate Action; Edward Bolen of the National Business Aviation Association; EDF’s Annie Petsonk and Nancy Young of Airlines for America.
Sen. Energy’s Simon to Headline Argus Conference on Renewable Trading – Argus will hold a conference on Thursday and Friday at the Westin Georgetown to look at the major issues affecting REC market trading. Senate Energy Committee Chief of Staff Bob Simon will keynote the event that will feature panels REC markets in a low-price gas/power environment, the prospects for REC market standardization and solar, biomass and wind project, infrastructure and transmission developments, among other items.
ECOS Meeting Set for DC– The Environmental Council of the States (ECOS) will host state environmental agency leaders on Thursday and Friday at the Hotel Monaco in Washington, DC for the State Environmental Protection in 2012 conference. This is a critical time for state environmental programs as officials try to balance federal budget cuts with the need to address new, more complex pollution problems. The meeting will provide a forum for state officials, business and industry, nonprofits, governmental agencies, and others to explore current challenges in meeting environmental and public health demands in an era of declining resources. Panel topics will include implementation of federal rules and regulations, state innovation, air and energy, coal combustion residuals, green partnerships, nutrients and other water issues, toxics reform and more.
Senate Environment Looks at Blue-Ribbon Commission Report, Nuke Waste – The Senate Environment & Public Works Committee’s Subcommittee on Clean Air and Nuclear Safety will hold a hearing Thursday at 10:00 a.m. on recommendations from the Blue Ribbon Commission on America’s Nuclear Future for a consent-based approach to siting nuclear waste storage facilities. Witnesses include Panel Co-chair Lieutenant General Brent Scowcroft, NRDC’s Geoffrey Fettus, NARUC President David Wright, Maine Yankee’s Eric Howes, Daniel Metla of the U.S. Nuclear Waste Technical Review Board and Andrew Orrell of the Sandia National Laboratories.
JHU Forum to Discuss International Climate Disputes – The Johns Hopkins University, Energy Policy & Climate Program’s Forum Series is hosting Howard Schiffman, Visiting Associate Professor of Environmental Conservation Education at New York University’s Steinhardt School of Culture, Education and Human Development, Thursday at Noon. He will discuss international dispute settlement and climate change.
Webinar to Look at Oil Response – The ASPO-USA Webinar Series is hosting a webinar Thursday at 3:00 p.m. to look at a national oil emergency response plan. The event will feature Roger Bezdek – President, Management Information Services Inc.; co-Author, “The Impending World Energy Mess;” ASPO-USA Advisory Board Member. This session will address acute challenges and immediate-term responses to a potential constriction in U.S. oil supply and availability. Dramatic “demand-side” responses will be unavoidable in such an oil emergency, however, preparations by both the public and private sector may help mitigate and manage social, economic, and political impacts. Key topics to be addressed include non-price options to allocate oil supplies and minimize economic disruption of price spikes, impacts on and prospective responses by the transportation sector and the examination of potential timelines with which a near-term oil supply emergency may unfold.
Marshall to Host Forum on Climate, Security – The George C. Marshall Institute will host a panel discussion on Friday morning at the National Press Club at 8:30 a.m. concerning the linkage between anthropogenic climate change and U.S. national security. Driven by dire predictions derived from the reports of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, concerns about the impacts of anticipated climatic changes have burst onto the national security agenda. The danger of this approach is that it offers a sense of urgency that may not be warranted, given the gaps in the current state of knowledge about climate, the known flaws in the methods used to construct the scenarios on which these security scenarios are based, and confusing the underlying causes of those security concerns. Accordingly, the Institute will host a panel discussion to consider: How are the claims that climate change poses security threats derived? How probable are those threats? How do those probabilities compare to other known or expected security concerns? Panelists include former VA State Climatologist Pat Michaels now at GMU, Ivan Eland of the Independent Institute, Heritage’s Steven Bucci and Peter Huessy of Geostrategic Analysis.
Tax Committee to Look at Extenders, PTC – A Ways and Means subcommittee will hold a hearing Friday at 9:30 a.m. to hear from a panel of experts to discuss the merits of dealing with a host of expiring tax provisions — including a key wind-industry incentive. With the entire wind industry at its annual conference and issue being mentioned by political campaign, the wind production tax credit has been at the center of the debate over tax extenders. The experts will look at various provisions and the best way for Congress to deal with all the temporary measures. The Subcommittee on Select Revenue Measures will “explore ideas on the framework that Congress should use to evaluate tax extenders, the principles of good tax policy that Congress should apply during this evaluation, and the specific metrics against which Congress should test the merits of particular provisions,” according to a committee release.
THE WEEKS AHEAD:
Nat Gas Vehicles Conference Set – Penn State-Lehigh will hold a natural gas vehicles forum on Monday June 11th hosting clean-air/clean-transportation advocates, industry stakeholders, fleet managers and policymakers. They will discuss the fundamentals of using natural gas as a transportation fuel, network with other NGV stakeholders, and discuss opportunities and challenges to greater adoption of natural gas as a transportation fuel. The conference will provide a comprehensive discussion on utilizing natural gas as a transportation fuel in Pennsylvania and the greater mid-Atlantic region.
Brookings Forum to Look at Campaign, Energy – The Campaign 2012 project at Brookings will hold a discussion on next Monday at 10:00 a.m. looking at climate change and energy, the seventh in a series of forums that will identify and address the 12 most critical issues facing the next president. Our friend Darren Samuelsohn of POLITICO will moderate a panel discussion with Brookings experts Ted Gayer, Katherine Sierra and Charles Ebinger, who will present recommendations to the next president.
Offshore Safety Summit Set for Houston – The Offshore Safety Summit 2012 will be held in Houston on June 11-13th. Since the GOM Deepwater Horizon incident, oil and gas companies have once again come under the spotlight. Issues such as preventing hydrocarbon releases, oil spill response, risk assessment and management, process and human safety and personnel training have surfaced as key priority items that require immediate attention. To meet the heightened focus on safety, oil and gas companies are reassessing and reshaping their HSE strategies to balance profit with safety, while developing a plan that is both technically compliant to new standards and humanly ergonomic in its application. This conference will address the latest insights and case studies on effectively managing offshore HSE risk and creating a rigorous system to pre-empt major and costly accidents. Through real-life, practical case studies, Offshore Safety Summit 2012 will help oil and gas operators and contractors understand the human and technical factors involved in process safety and ensure a solid hazard prevention framework.
Chamber Holds Jobs Summit – The U.S. Chamber of Commerce will hold its third annual Jobs Summit 2012 on Wednesday, June 13th at the Chamber in DC. , The Summit will bring together governors and thought leaders from across the country to discuss the state of our nation’s job market, outline policies that are needed to generate jobs and accelerate economic growth, and highlight what policies are working in each participating governor’s state. A central part of the Summit will be the release of an updated edition of Enterprising States, which will take a comprehensive look at how states are positioning themselves for economic growth and investing in the future. The bipartisan Governors’ Roundtable will be moderated by Major Garrett, Congressional Correspondent for the National Journal, following remarks by Tom Donohue and a research presentation based on the data released in the Enterprising States study.
Forum to Look at China Waste-to-Energy – The Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars will hold a forum on Thursday, June 14th at 9:00 a.m. to look at waste-to-energy in China. China produces over one-quarter of the world’s garbage, piling up at least 250 million tons of household waste each year. In urban areas, where urbanization and growing consumption habits translate into an increasing volume of trash, this giant heap is growing at 8-10% annually. Cities are under great pressure to stem the rising tide of rubbish. Meanwhile, the central government has shown strong support for incineration, setting a target for 30% of China’s municipal solid waste to be burnt by 2030. As such, deployment of waste-to-energy technologies are on the rise in China. In only ten years’ time, China has gone from having no waste-to-energy facilities to having over 150. By the time the 12th Five-Year Plan runs its course in 2015, China is expected 300 plants in operation. Burning trash appears to be a win-win solution for China: the process reduces growing volumes of garbage while producing much-needed energy. Chinese NGO and U.S. research speakers at this meeting will discuss some of the waste-to-energy benefits as well as pollution, data, and governance challenges. Speakers include Liwen Chen of Green Beagle and Elizabeth Balkan of the Emergence Advisors.
Woolsey, Panel Address Gasoline Prices, Security – OurEnergyPolicy.org will host a panel discussion on Thursday, June 14th at Noon in B-369 Rayburn looking at gas prices and national security. Gas prices spiked earlier this year, due in large part to geopolitical concerns, and dipped recently on fears of global economic insecurity. These continuing price fluctuations at home, and their connections to political and economic events around the globe, call into question the relationship between the gas prices consumers face and America’s national security. How have national security and gasoline prices impacted each other historically? How might they in the future? Is the interaction of gas prices and security an issue that deserves Congressional attention? If so, what might Congress do? Speakers will include Rob Barnett of Bloomberg Government, former CIA Director Jim Woolsey and AEI’s Ken Green.
Forum to Look at Urban, Regional Transpo Systems – The American Institute for Contemporary German Studies at Johns Hopkins University will hold a conference on “Energy-Efficient Urban and Regional Transportation Systems: Financing and Planning” on Friday June 15th. Bringing together an interdisciplinary group of scholars and experts from Germany and the United States, this workshop examines planning and financing of regional and urban sustainable transportation. Confirmed speakers include Roy Kienitz, former U.S. Under Secretary for Policy at the U.S. Department of Transportation. The conference is part of the Institute’s project on “The Transatlantic Climate and Energy Dialogue: Urban and Regional Transportation and Energy Problems and Solutions”, which examines issues of transportation policy in both countries. AICGS is a Washington-based, independent, non-profit public policy organization affiliated with Johns Hopkins University that works in Germany and the United States to address current and emerging policy challenges in the German-American and transatlantic relationships.
Washington Fuel Cell Summit to Look at Technologies – On June 19th, the Hydrogen Education Foundation is hosting a one-day summit in the nation’s capital featuring panel discussions, an expo and a Ride and Drive with fuel cell vehicles. Government and industry will convene to discuss the latest advancements and keys to market successes for fuel cells, including open discussion around remaining challenges and obstacles. Speakers will include CARB Chair Mary Nichols, Ballard CEO John Sheridan, Ed Cohen of Honda, Justin Ward of Toyota, National Fuel Cell Research Director Scott Samuelson and many others.
Oil Conference to Look at ‘WildCards’ – The conference Oil Wildcards will be Held in New York at the Warwick Hotel on June 19th. The conference is focused on crude oil supply and demand flashpoints. The symposium will explore consensus and competing views on the prospect for supply additions and demand disruptions, focusing on the topics of greatest contention, opacity, and impact. This intense one day program will dive into key topics including: Tight Oil in US, International Shale Oil, Deepwater/Arctic, Oil & the Economy, Natural Gas Liquids, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Russia, and China/EM Demand. Speakers will include a cross section of the best technical analysts in the field and represent a range of views and perspectives.
REFF-Wall Street to Look at Renewable Challenges – The 9th annual Renewable Energy Finance Forum-Wall Street will be on June 19th and 20th in New York at the Waldorf-Astoria. With disappearing Federal support and several high-profile bankruptcies, there are challenges ahead for the sector. On the agenda include panels on Solar finance, the interplay between renewables and other fuels, Federal support for renewables and new finance trends for renewables. The keynote speakers include CT DEEP head Dan Esty, US Army Installations Asst Secretary Katherine Hammack and Dennis McGinn of ACORE. Other speakers include NRG’s Steve Corneli, MidAmerican’s Jonathan Weisgall, SEIA’s Rhone Resch and Bloomberg New Energy Finance’s Michel DiCapua, among others.
Congressional Renewable Expo Set for Hill – On June 21st, the Sustainable Energy Coalition – in cooperation with Members of the U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. Senate Renewable Energy & Energy Efficiency Caucuses – will host the 15th annual Congressional Renewable Energy & Energy Efficiency EXPO + Forum on Capitol Hill. This year’s EXPO will bring together over fifty businesses, sustainable energy industry trade associations, government agencies, and energy policy research organizations to showcase the status and near-term potential of the cross-section of renewable energy (biofuels/biomass, geothermal, solar, water, wind) and energy efficiency technologies. The late morning program will feature Members of the U.S. Congress while speakers throughout the day will discuss the role sustainable energy technologies can play in meeting America’s energy needs. As Congress, the Administration, the business community, environmental advocates, and American voters search for options to stimulate the economy and “green jobs,” as well as address issues of national security, higher energy costs, increased reliance on energy imports, and the environmental threats associated with energy consumption, the EXPO will help address the role that sustainable energy technologies might play. This will include not only the technical aspects of renewable energy and energy-efficient technologies but also related issues such as economics, jobs potential, environmental benefits, current and near-term market potential, model programs in the public and private sectors, and institutional, financial and legal barriers.
ICF Breakfast Looks at Clean Energy Funding – At its next Energy and Environment Breakfast on June 21st at 8:00 a.m., ICF welcomes senior officials from two of the foremost international and domestic organizations involved in funding, investing, and advising for energy projects worldwide—especially in clean and renewable projects in developing countries. Morgan Landy of International Finance Corporation and Lynn Tabernacki of Overseas Private Investment Corporation will discuss potential opportunities and looming challenges in renewable energy markets domestically and abroad. Find out about the international organizations that are changing the face of worldwide opportunities for clean energy and how they can affect you and your prospects.