Energy Update: Week of March 26


Easter Week has arrived and that means Spring Break for many schools (Hannah’s Wellesley and Olivia’s Indian Creek)…and Congress is gone for two weeks. It also means MLB Opening Day on Thursday.  That of course reminds me of one of my favorite movie scenes from Bull Durham.

After last week’s budget deal was completed, Congress headed for the spring exits so I expect this week will be much slower, finally!  Lots going on in the sports world though, as the NCAA hoops Final Four, the Frozen Four and half of the women’s final four is set. Final two participants in the women’s final four will be decided tonight with favorite UConn and #1 seed Notre Dame still both in action.

Some surprises and some expected. Two #1 seeds Villanova; then Kansas, who made it after last night’s thrilling overtime victory over Duke. There’s the Cinderella story Loyola; and how about Michigan grabbing a spot in both the Final Four and the Frozen Four.  And the Big Ten looks especially good in hockey with both Ohio State and Notre Dame joining Michigan in the Frozen Four.  Minnesota-Duluth also joins the party in St. Paul, MN.  And Congrats to Clarkson, who repeated as the NCAA Women’s Frozen Four champs this past week with a 2-1 OT victory over Colgate.

While Congress is gone, there are still a couple of events early in the week. Tomorrow is the final EPA CPP listening session in Gillette, Wyoming. We are following.  For those that are out West to cover the session, you may want to check out the Wyoming Integrated Test Center at Dry Fork Station near Gillette. The ITC will study the capture, sequestration and management of carbon emissions, with an emphasis on carbon reuse and recycling. Our friends Sarah Young at the Wyoming infrastructure Authority, Lee Boughey at Tri-State G&T or Curt Pearson at Basin Electric Power Cooperative can help with answers to questions or arrange a visit. The ITC is the location of the final competition stage for the coal portion of the $20 million NRG COSIA Carbon XPRIZE, which will introduce competition finalists in NYC on April 9th. The ITC will open with an event on May 16th.

Today is the deadline for public comments to the Energy Department on how it should change its 30-year-old appliance and equipment energy conservation standards program.  USEA hosts a forum on Wednesday looking at reliability challenges and solutions with experts like PJM.  Also Wednesday, EESI and the National Association of State Energy Officials hold their rescheduled briefing at Noon looking at the public/private drive toward resilient buildings.  Our friends at MIT have great research already underway on this topic which you can see here.

Well, the late March snowy weather has ruined Spring/Easter Break for most of us, but also the Cherry Blossom Festival. The National Park Service has pushed back the cherry blossoms’ predicted peak bloom dates to April 8-12.

Call with questions.  Best,

Frank Maisano

(202) 828-5864

(202) 997-5932


“After passing bipartisan legislation to encourage investing in carbon capture and utilization, we have a chance to advance these technologies even further. This bipartisan bill will help innovators around the country, including a growing number of businesses in Rhode Island, to come up with new ways to take carbon pollution out of the air and either stow it permanently underground or turn it into usable products. That’s a win for our climate, a win for innovative bioalgae and other utilization companies in Rhode Island, and a win for the economy overall.”

Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse on new CCS legislation.

“The bipartisan USE IT Act will promote the long term use of these critical natural resources and keep America on the path to energy dominance. My legislation will make Washington a helpful partner to efforts taking place in Wyoming to develop carbon capture technologies, convert carbon into a useful product and reduce emissions.”

Sen. John Barrasso on the new CCS Legislation


Bracewell Podcast Focuses on Trade – The latest Bracewell podcast is live on Stitcher, iTunes, SoundCloud, and Google Play Music.  My Colleagues Josh, Liam, and Paul discuss the Pennsylvania special election and Democrat Conor Lamb’s apparent victory, staff shake-ups in the Administration and the likelihood of more, and the latest information on the impending steel and aluminum tariffs.

BPC Talks Energy With Chamber’s Guith – Brad Townsend staff of BPC’s American Energy Innovation Council talks U.S. competitiveness and technology innovation with Christopher Guith from the U.S Chamber’s Global Energy Institute.  Guith discusses the challenges to energy innovation, “At the end of the day [energy companies] have to compete against other governments, so we’re already starting a little bit behind the eight ball.”  Listen to the podcast here.


EPA Says CAFE Standards Should Be Revised – According to our friends at Bloomberg, EPA said Friday the agency’s current effort to cut vehicle greenhouse-gas emissions is too aggressive and agrees with automakers that the standards should be revised.  Reports said the agency has completed a draft decision outlining the rationale for easing fuel efficiency regulations for model-year 2022-2025 cars and light trucks, two people said. Bill Wehrum, chief of the agency’s Office of Air and Radiation, plans to meet with environmental regulators in California next week to discuss the draft decision ahead of an April 1 deadline to make it public.

SAFE Responds to Fuel Economy Announcement – After reports that the EPA sent a draft decision on the mid-term review to OMB, Securing America’s Future Energy (SAFE) CEO Robbie Diamond said “creating diverging standards between California and the federal government is a lose-lose for the auto industry, consumers, and our national security. Longer-term rules that incorporate new technologies is a win-win that benefits every stakeholder, and our country at large, so it is important that the federal government and California continue to work together. This will be a long journey, but the destination is worth the trouble.”

New Trump Energy Advisor Named – The President may name Wells Griffith, the principal deputy assistant secretary at the Energy Department’s office of international affairs, to replace David Banks at the National Economic Council.  Griffith will oversee the Trump administration’s work on international energy and climate issues, on a three-month assignment. Griffith also helped secure an agreement to export coal from Pennsylvania to Ukraine.  Several Bracewell folks know Wells and have worked with him on issues so we are happy to help if needed.

Bipartisan Sens Introduce CCS Legislation – Sens. John Barrasso (R-WY), chairman of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works (EPW), joined with Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) to introduce the Utilizing Significant Emissions with Innovative Technologies (USE IT) Act. The legislation is cosponsored by Sens. Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV) and Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND).  The USE IT Act would support carbon utilization and direct air capture research. The bill would also support federal, state, and non-governmental collaboration in the construction and development of carbon capture, utilization, and sequestration (CCUS) facilities and carbon dioxide (CO2) pipelines.  The USE IT Act would:

  • Narrowly amend the Clean Air Act to direct the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to use its existing authority to support carbon utilization and direct air capture research;
  • Clarify that CCUS projects and CO2 pipelines are eligible for the permitting review process established by the FAST Act;
  • Direct the Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) to establish guidance to assist project developers and operators of CCUS facilities and CO2 pipelines;
  • Establish task forces to hear input from affected stakeholders for updating and improving guidance over time; and
  • Build on the FUTURE Act, bipartisan legislation – now signed into law – introduced by Heitkamp, Capito, Whitehouse, and Barrasso to extend and expand the 45Q tax credit to provide certainty to utilities and other industrial sources and incentivize the build-out of CCUS projects.

Duke to Retire Coal Units – Duke Energy outlined for shareholders in a new report how it will achieve a goal updated last year to reduce its 2030 carbon dioxide emissions 40% compared to 2005.  The company’s 2017 Climate Report to Shareholders unveils a strategy to transition to a lower-carbon future, while also setting a goal to reduce its carbon intensity—the amount of carbon dioxide emitted per kWh produced—by 45% compared to 2005 levels.  In 2017 compared to 2005, more than 38% of Duke Energy’s delivered power came from carbon-free sources, the company said. Core elements of the new strategy include a 10-year $25 billion plan to modernize the grid and make it more reliable, resilient, and efficient. The strategy also calls for investment of $11 billion in renewables and natural gas generation, increasing the share of gas power from 28% in 2016 to 36% in 2030.  Meanwhile, the company will retire nine coal units with a total capacity of about 2 GW as part of plans to reduce its share of coal generation from 34% in 2016 to 27% in 2030. The reductions follow an already substantial transformation of Duke Energy’s fleet between 2011 and 2017, when it retired 47 coal units with a combined capacity of 5.4 GW and added 3 GW of renewables.

GTM Release Solar Report for 2017 – In 2017, the U.S. solar market expanded, adding double-digit gigawatt solar photovoltaic (PV) additions for the second year in a row. According to the newly released U.S. Solar Market Insight Report 2017 Year-in-Review from GTM Research and the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA), the solar industry installed 10.6 gigawatts of new PV capacity in 2017, led by strong growth in the corporate and community solar segments.  While overall growth was down from the 15 gigawatts installed in the record-shattering 2016, last year’s capacity addition still represents 40 percent growth over 2015’s installation total.  Download the free executive summary for more insight. U.S. Solar Market Insight is a collaboration between the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) and GTM Research that brings high-quality, solar-specific analysis and forecasts to industry professionals in the form of quarterly and annual reports. The executive summary is free, and the full report complete with state-level data and analysis is available for purchase.


International PetroChem Conference Ready – AFPM holds its 2018 International Petrochemical Conference in San Antonio today and tomorrow.  The International Petrochemical Conference is the world’s largest and most prestigious conference representing the petrochemical industry. The meeting consists of a variety of sessions covering key political, economic, and environmental issues affecting the petrochemical industry. The sessions emphasize global competitiveness in the petrochemical business and are presented by recognized experts in the areas of petrochemical markets, economics, and politics.

Fanning, Others, Headline Energy, Thought Summit – The Energy Thought Summit starts today and runs through Thursday in Austin, Texas.  The event features discussion of electricity grid digitalization and other future technology and energy developments.  Top speakers include Our friends Tom Fanning of Southern Company and PSEG CEO Ralph Izzo, EEI’s Tom Kuhn, AEI’s Nick Adkins, FT’s Ed Crooks and Utility Dive’s Gavin Bade among many others.

AWWA Water Forum Set – The American Water Works Assn hold a Sustainable Water Management Conference in Seattle today through Wednesday.  The event focuses on solutions for balancing the benefits of conservation with the costs, managing water resources, sustainable utilities and infrastructure, urban planning and design, energy efficiency, water conservation, stormwater and reuse.

Forum to Look at Blockchain Energy Tech – The Clean Energy Leadership Institute holds discussion today at 6:30 p.m. on blockchain technology and implications for clean energy.  Blockchain when applied to the energy sector enables people to trade energy among themselves in a peer to peer platform. Blockchain can also lead to better investment and funding for clean energy companies and projects. Expert panelists will take you through the history of Blockchain, applications in other sectors, how it can be used to better fund clean energy startups, and the challenges to implementing this emerging technology.

EPA Clean Power Plan Repeal Hearing Heads for WY – EPA’s final listening sessions for its proposed repeal of the Clean Power Plan start in Gillette, Wyoming tomorrow.  The EPA had already held one two-day meeting in West Virginia in late 2017.

NatGas Expert to Discuss Drilling Book – Tomorrow at 5:30 p.m., RFF’s Daniel Raimi will discuss his booking at natgas drilling at a Johns Hopkins SAIS forum.   Coupling a deep understanding of the scholarly research with lessons from his travels to every major US oil- and gas-producing region, Raimi highlights stories of the people and communities affected by the shale revolution.

Cal Solar Event In San Diego – The California Solar Power Expo launches tomorrow and Wednesday in San Diego. The event will feature exhibitor-led interactive training for installers, contractors, developers and the entire solar and storage supply chain, as well as networking opportunities.

Forum to Look at Oil/Gas in Argentina – The Inter-American Dialogue is hosting a panel discussion tomorrow to analyze Argentina’s oil production. Remarks from the panelists will be followed by an open discussion with participants. Opening Remarks will be made by Fernando Oris de Roa, Argentine Ambassador to the US.  Additional speakers will include Omar Gutierrez, Governor of Neuquén Province in Argentina.

Menezes Headline Mediterranean Oil Conference – The 9th Mediterranean Oil and Gas Forum 2018 will be held tomorrow and Wednesday at the Hilton Park in Nicosia, Cyprus. Mark Menezes, Under Secretary of Energy, will be the Keynote Speaker along with Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades and US ambassador to Cyprus Katheen Doherty. The Forum brings together government and energy leaders to promote American and European energy investments in Cyprus and Eastern Mediterranean.  This year’s topic is focused on commercial agreements from American and European oil majors and independents in the Cypriot, Israeli, Egyptian, and Greek gas markets.

Geologists Forum Hits Houston – The American Association of Petroleum Geologists holds its Global Super Basins Leadership Conference in Houston on Wednesday through Friday at the Hilton Americas.   Co-hosted by IHS Markit, the event will feature regional experts who will share their unique first-hand knowledge of each of the globe’s super basins.

USEA Look at Reliability –The U.S. Energy Association will host a brown bag discussion on Wednesday looking at reliability challenges and solutions.  The event will address what the U.S. can learn from Europe about integrating intermittent renewables.  Leading experts on grid reliability speak about the challenges encountered in Europe and how the U.S. plans to deal with those challenges in its quest to integrate increasing amounts of clean–but intermittent–renewable generation into the grid. Speakers include PJM’s Tim Burdis, the Atlantic Council’s Robert Ichord, NERC’s John Moura and Will Polen of the US Energy Association.

Forum to Look at Resilient Buildings – The Environmental and Energy Study Institute (EESI) and the National Association of State Energy Officials (NASEO) hold a briefing on Wednesday at Noon looking at the public/private drive toward resilient buildings.  These are structures that are located, designed and built (or renovated) to withstand extreme weather, cyberterrorism, and other hazards now and for years to come. This briefing will explore what makes buildings resilient; why resilience is important for multiple policy challenges, including infrastructure modernization, emergency preparedness, disaster response, and research funding; and how public-private sector collaboration in research, worker training and investment partnerships benefit society now and well into the future.  Speakers will include National Roofing Contractors Association head and former Rep. Reid Ribble, Debra Ballen of the Insurance Institute for Business and Home Safety (IBHS) and Paul Totten of WSP USA.

WCEE Happy Hour – On Wednesday at 5:30 p.m. at the Fainting Goat (1330 U St, NW), the Women’s Council on Energy and the Environment is hosting its monthly Happy Hour.

Program to Look at Improving Energy Security in Ukraine, Estonia – The Institute of World Politics’ Women Executives in National Security (WENS) program hosts a forum on Thursday at 4:30 p.m. to discuss energy-related preferences and climate change beliefs in Southern Ukraine and Western Estonia. Special attention will be given to the issues of social acceptance of large wind energy projects, since the surveyed regions have a high potential for wind power development.

Forum to Look at Africa Oil Issues – The George Washington University Elliott School’s Institute for African Studies hosts a forum with Dr. Rani Parker, President of Business-Community Synergies (BCS), an award-winning organization that brings development expertise to the private sector, to enhance local benefits from business operations.  Throughout this lecture, Dr. Parker will discuss how many international organizations urge companies in the extractives sector to engage with local stakeholders, and issue “best practices” guidelines for doing so.


Offshore Wind Partnership Forum Set – The Business Network for Offshore Wind hold its 2018 International Offshore Wind Partnering Forum on April 3rd to 6th in Princeton New Jersey.  The IPF is the leading technical conference for offshore wind in the United States and is dedicated to moving the industry forward.  Among the speakers will be BOEM’s Walter Cruickshank and James Bennett, Statoil’s Sebastian Bringsværd, U of Delaware’s Jeremy Firestone, NYSERDA’s Greg Lampman, Recharge’s Darius Snieckus Deepwater’s Jeff Grybowski and NWF’s Collin O’Mara.

JHU Forum to Look at State Actions – On Tuesday April 3rd the Johns Hopkins University hosts the Power of Process forum to look at state capacity and climate policy actions featuring JHU’s Jonas Nahm.  State capacity is central to the provision of public goods, including environmental protection. In an article titled the same, drawing on climate policymaking, Nahm (and Meckling) argue that the division of labor between the bureaucracy and legislature in policy formulation is a critical source of state capacity. In cases of bureaucratic policy design, the legislature sets policy goals and delegates policy design to bureaucracies. This division of labor shifts distributional conflict to autonomous bureaucracies, allowing for effective policy design.

Former NRC Commissioner Heads Discussion of Commercial Nukes – The Global America Business Institute hosts a forum with Bill Ostendorff, former Commissioner of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission on Wednesday, April 4th at 12:00 p.m. Ostendorff will look at the national security implications of the U.S. commercial nuclear industry.

Forum to Look at Farm Bill Energy Titles – The Environmental and Energy Study Institute (EESI) and the Agriculture Energy Coalition hold a briefing on Wednesday April 4th examining the outsized positive impact on rural America of the investments made through the Energy Title and how to make its suite of innovative programs even stronger. Speakers for this forum are our friend John Shaw of Itaconix, DuPont’s John Sagrati, ReEnergy’s Sarah Boggess Jim Duffy for the Distributed Wind Energy Association and several others.

WCEE to Focus on Women Energy Boards – The Women’s Council on Energy and the Environment (WCEE) hosts a forum on women on boards in the energy and environment sectors on Thursday, April 5th at noon.  The panel will discuss pathways for women to secure positions on both corporate and non-profit boards in the energy and environment sectors, and the importance of board diversity. Come meet mentors and experts who will be open and frank about their own journeys to these positions. Use these panelists’ personal and professional life experiences to guide you as you make your own way.

Forum to Look at Nuclear Waste – On Friday April 6th, the Stimson Center and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences’ Global Nuclear Future Initiative are hosting a public seminar on “Solving the Unsolvable: Nuclear Waste Solutions for the New Millennium.” Led by experts from academia, government, NGOs, and the nuclear industry, the panels and discussions will examine the existing interim storage facility proposals as well as opportunities and challenges that lie ahead.

Waste-to-Energy Tour Set – Young Professionals in Energy DC host an afternoon tour of Covanta’s Energy-from-Waste facility in Alexandria, Virginia on Friday April 6th at 9:30 a.m.  Covanta is one of the world’s largest providers of Energy-from-Waste solutions. The tour will start with a discussion and time for Q&A before we put on our hard hats and walk through the facility to see how their technology works.

Perry, FERC to Head to House Energy Panel – The House Energy and Commerce Committee today announced Energy Secretary Rick Perry will testify before the Energy subcommittee on April 12th on Budget and oversight hearings.  They will also host all FERC commissioners to testify before the same subpanel on April 17th.

Refiners Security Conference Set – The annual AFPM Security Conference will be held on April 23-25 in New Orleans and presents current topics of vital importance to critical infrastructure, keeping security professionals up to date on security issues, policies, and future regulations. The event will relay the latest information on security regulations from DHS and the Coast Guard. This year’s conference will also go beyond just the regulations with sessions on hurricane response efforts, environmental NGO activism, cybersecurity and other emerging security and terror threats.

Pruitt Heads to House Energy – The House Energy and Commerce Committee will host EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt on the agency’s budget request April 25th.

Water Symposium to Feature Perdue, Vilsack – Colorado State University hosts a “Water in the West” Symposium on April 26 & 27th featuring experts, policymakers, researchers, and investors.  The event features the latest around water challenges, collaborate with experts, and create a roadmap for water research, innovation, education, and policy.  The Symposium will take place at the Water Resources Center, the first building to be constructed at the future National Western Center, a 250-acre redevelopment in north Denver. More than 20 confirmed expert speakers to-date including Secretary of the U.S. Department of Agriculture Sonny Perdue, and Tom Vilsack, Former Secretary of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

NHA holds Washington Waterpower Week – The National Hydropower Assn holds Waterpower Week in Washington on April 30 to May 2nd.  Waterpower Week is comprised of three co-located conferences rolled into one: NHA’s Annual Conference, International Marine Renewable Energy Conference (IMREC), and Marine Energy Technology Symposium (METS). This 3-day jam packed event provides you the opportunity to network, learn about legislative and regulatory initiatives, and discuss the issues impacting hydropower and marine energy industry.

WINDPOWER Set for Chicago – The American Wind Energy Assn (AWEA) will hold WINDPOWER 2018 in Chicago from May 7th to 10th.  The industry closed 2017 strong, delivering 7,017 megawatts (MW) of new wind power capacity. That new capacity represents $11 billion in new private investment. There are now 89,077 MW of wind power installed across 41 states, enough to power 26 million American homes.  The wind industry is expected to continue its growth into 2018. WINDPOWER is where the industry comes together to plan for the future and keep this success story growing.

Hydrogen, Fuel Cell Forum Set for DC – The Fuel Cell and Hydrogen Energy Association will be hosting a full-day forum and exposition on Tuesday, June 12 in Washington, D.C. at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center with leading executives, experts, and policymakers on fuel cell and hydrogen technology. The forum will bring together key federal and state policymakers, including the Department of Energy and White House, as well as the broader environmental, transportation, and energy communities to raise awareness of the benefits of fuel cell and hydrogen technology. This event will precede the Department of Energy’s 2018 Annual Merit Review.

Clean Energy Forum on Schedule – The 2018 Congressional Clean Energy Expo and Policy Forum will be held on July 10th and brings together up to 45-55 businesses, trade associations, and government agencies to showcase renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies.

Energy Update: Week of April 10


Now THAT was a riveting finish to the Masters.  It was incredible how each played down the stretch until the very last regulation putts on 18 when each missed shorties.  That pressure is just crazy…  As a long-time golf watcher, it is great to see Sergio Garcia finally pull one out on the first extra hole  Another great set of days at Augusta National.

And with the close of the regular NHL season yesterday, the real season begins: the Chase for the Stanley Cup.  But before we think about that, there is one matter of business with the Detroit Red Wings missing the playoffs for the first time in 25 years.  It means that the last game was played in the Joe Louis Arena, one of hockey’s new/old sacred barns.  Proud to have been there for many games from 1980 until I could take my kids in 2015.  As for playoffs, I like the caps, but the Rangers and defending Champs, Pittsburgh remain factors…and who knows what Columbus is capable of in the East.  As for the West, Chicago is strong and St. Louis is probably the hottest team in the NHL since Mike Yeo took over as coach. In the end, the Chicago Cubs have won the World Series, the Cleveland Cavaliers have won an NBA title and Sergio Garcia has won a major in golf. It seems like this lays the ground work for the Washington Capitals or St. Louis Blues to win the Stanley Cup.

Happy two-week long recess. Passover begins today at sundown and Easter is coming up on Sunday.  It has been a crazy trip since late last year.   And this is our first real break (maybe, who knows).  My whereabouts are unknown this week, but I’m still monitoring the action from my secret locale.  Hints: I will not be close to Rick Perry, who is at the G-7 energy ministers meeting in Rome, but they have held a UN climate meeting here…  Winners can get a souvenir.

In DC this week, not much, but today, Neil Gorsuch formally becomes the newest member of the U.S. Supreme Court.  Chief Justice John Roberts swears in Gorsuch at 9 a.m. at the court, followed by Justice Anthony Kennedy doing the honors at an 11 a.m. event in the Rose Garden.  Keeping our eyes on FERC as the delay in getting new Commissioners is starting to have some Impacts according  to a number of media sources.

There has also been a lot of banter this past week about the Paris Climate agreement (small “a”) and its relationship to the Executive Order dealing with the Clean Power Plan and any potential change to the Endangerment Finding.  In response to several questions, my colleague Scott Segal produce a great analysis that I am happy to share with you in memo/pdf form.  Let me know if you want to see it and I will forward.

Finally, our friends at EIA today said U.S. energy-related CO2 emissions fell 1.7% in 2016. U.S. energy-related carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions in 2016 totaled 5,170 mmt.  In 2015, the same emissions dropped 2.7%.  EIA says the recent decreases are consistent with a decade-long trend, with energy-related CO2 emissions 14% below the 2005 level in 2016.  See more charts/data here.

Enjoy your family time on this holiday week.  Call with questions…



Frank Maisano

(202) 828-5864

(202) 997-5932



“Widespread public sector investment in basic energy technology is critical to complement private investment and drive long-term economic growth in America and globally. With new energy markets only set to grow, technological breakthroughs can generate enormous economic dividends while providing the lower cost, cleaner energy the world needs.”

BPC American Energy Innovation Council member Michael Graff, chairman and CEO American Air Liquide upon the release of AEIC new Innovation report last week.



Innovation Report Highlights Role As Driver of Growth – The Bipartisan Policy Center’s American Energy Innovation Council released a new report saying America must embrace its unique abilities to innovate as a way to revitalize our economy and enhance its security.  All-the-while it will also help American industry play a stronger role in providing clean, affordable, and reliable energy. The report says access to reliable, affordable energy has such a profoundly positive impact on people’s lives. Yet unlike many other technology sectors, the energy sector in particular has suffered from underinvestment in research and development (R&D). As a generally low-cost commodity, it is often difficult for an energy supplier to differentiate itself and charge a premium, the way products in other markets can. Energy infrastructure and technologies are also generally high cost and long lived, leading to large amounts of inertia and, in some cases, risk avoidance. Further complicating these challenges is the fact that energy markets are highly fragmented and often face a significant amount of regulatory fracturing and uncertainty. The AEIC was formed in 2010 and consists of ten corporate leaders who share a common concern over America’s insufficient commitment to energy innovation.  Among these CEOs include Air Liquide’s Mike Graff, Southern’s Tom Fanning and Dominion’s Tom Farrell.

Matheson Names to FCC Advisory Board – Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai today appointed National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA) CEO Jim Matheson and 28 others to serve on a newly created Broadband Deployment Advisory Committee (BDAC).  “Access to high speed Internet is a key ingredient for a healthy 21st century economy, particularly in rural America,” Matheson said.  “I’m honored and excited to sit on this committee, and I look forward to representing the interests of rural America as we work to close the digital divide.” The committee will meet for the first time on April 21, 2017.  Its mission is to advise and make recommendations to the FCC on how to accelerate the deployment of broadband by reducing and removing regulatory barriers to infrastructure investment. A full list of BDAC members can be found here.

ACI praises Legislation to Remove Animal Fat Tax – The American Cleaning Institute (ACI) praised legislation introduced by U.S. Rep. Randy Weber (R-TX) that would permanently put a stop to federal tax credits for biofuels produced with animal fats, according. ACI, the trade association for the cleaning product supply chain, says the bill (H.R. 1866, the “Animal Fat Tax Act”) would prevent the renewal of tax credits for biodiesel and renewable diesel that is produced from animal fats, which until the end of 2016 were eligible for a $1 per gallon tax credit. ACI’s member companies include the producers of oleochemicals, such as fatty acids and alcohols made from seed oils and animal fats, historically used in soaps and detergents. The biofuel subsidy in question distorts the domestic market for animal fats by diverting this important raw material away from use in the manufacturing of cleaning products and towards the production of biodiesel. As a result, animal fats have seen a 116% increase in cost since 2006, the year the tax credit first became law.

CCS Group Praised Legislation Sponsors – The National Enhanced Oil Recovery Initiative (NEORI) praised Sens. Rob Portman (R-OH) and Michael Bennet (D-CO) for introducing bipartisan legislation to accelerate the deployment of carbon capture technologies at power plants and industrial facilities. Similar legislation was introduced in the U.S. House by Representatives Carlos Curbelo (R-FL) and Marc Veasey (D-TX).  The Carbon Capture Improvement Act will authorize states to use private activity bonds to help finance the purchase and installation of carbon capture equipment. Private activity bonds are widely used to help develop U.S. infrastructure, such as airports and water and sewer projects, including through public-private partnerships. The bonds will reduce financing costs for carbon capture projects because interest payments to bondholders are exempt from federal tax and the bonds typically have longer repayment terms than bank debt.  Access to private activity bonds, together with extension and reform of the Section 45Q tax credit, will give carbon capture project developers another important incentive in what NEORI members hope will be a toolkit of financing mechanisms enacted as part of comprehensive tax reform legislation expected to be considered by Congress later this year.

Advance Energy Report Underscores Gains – The 5th annual Advanced Energy Now 2017 Market Report focused on the size, growth, and trends in the advanced energy market, globally and in the United States. The report features 17 stories on the trends that are driving advanced energy growth – and making the energy we use secure, clean, and affordable. This year’s edition shows global growth of 7% from 2015 to 2016, nearly twice the rate of the world economy overall.  In 2016, advanced energy represented a $1.4 trillion global market and a U.S. market of $200 billion. The advanced energy industry is also a major employer, supporting more than 3 million U.S. jobs. That’s equal to the employment provided by retail stores, and twice the jobs in building construction.

Global Renewable Growth Strong – New research by the United Nations and Bloomberg New Energy Finance says countries added record levels of renewable energy capacity in 2016 even as investment fell.  Most of the success has been due to reduced costs.  While the investment of $241.6 billion in renewable energy capacity (excluding large hydropower) was the lowest level since 2013, it was roughly double the investment in fossil fuel generation.  New renewable capacity accounted for 55% of all new power.  According to the new report that is the highest percentage ever.  Renewables including wind, solar, biomass and waste-to-energy added 138.5 gigawatts to the global power capacity in 2016, up by 8% over last year.  Solar investment was down by 34% from 2015, while capacity additions rose to an all-time high. Wind investments were down by 9%, and capacity additions fell to 54 GW from a high of 63 GW in 2015. A bright spot was Europe’s investment in offshore wind.  The share of renewables grew to 11.3% of electricity worldwide, from 10.3% the previous year, excluding large hydro. Winning bids for solar and wind “at inconceivably low” tariffs in auctions gave another boost to renewables, said the report.



Electric Power Conference Set for Chicago – The 19th annual Electric Power Conference will be held In Chicago today through Thursday at McCormick Place.  Sponsored by POWER magazine, the event provides a platform for power generation professionals to meet, network, and address the critical issues facing the power industry.

Atlantic Council Report to Look at Oil Theft – The Atlantic Council’s Global Energy Center will hold a forum today at 12:30 p.m. for a discussion about how hydrocarbons crime impacts global security, the market, the environment, and communities around the world, and how stakeholders can work together to address this under-recognized issue.  The will also release a report, Downstream Oil Theft: Global Modalities, Trends, and Remedies, by Dr. Ian M. Ralby, is the first major study of refined oil theft around the globe. Launched at the Atlantic Council Global Energy Forum in Abu Dhabi in January, this report explores the many ways that hydrocarbons crime presents a threat not only to local and regional prosperity, but also to global stability and security. Following up on this study, Dr. Ralby has written an additional report outlining the steps that need to be taken to effectively address this issue.

EESI Forum to Look at Foreign Aid, Climate Help – The Environmental and Energy Study Institute (EESI) holds a briefing tomorrow at 3:00 p.m. in 485 Russell discussing benefits to the United States from deploying foreign aid to vulnerable regions to help them become more resilient to climate change impacts. The briefing will also explore the inner workings of the Green Climate Fund (GCF), a multi-lateral effort to mobilize $100 billion in public and private financing for adaptation and mitigation projects in developing nations.

Wilson Event to Look China Energy Finance – The Wilson Center will host a forum on Thursday at 9:30 a.m. to look at China Energy Finance investments.  Since 2000, the China Development Bank and the Export-Import Bank of China have emerged as major global funders of energy infrastructure providing upwards of $160 billion in energy finance to governments across the world. To better understand the size and types of this energy investment, Kevin Gallagher and his research team at Boston University have launched a new interactive China’s Global Energy Finance database that tracks international energy investments by Chinese banks.  The database has revealed that nearly 80% of Chinese bank investment goes into power plant construction -two-thirds of which were coal plants. Besides presenting insights from the database, Dr. Gallagher will discuss how Chinese energy finance compares to other global energy financiers. Dr. Wang Yan (Peking University) will put this energy financing in a larger context by explaining the non-concessional finance approach China’s global banks are taking to promote industrial and infrastructure development around the world. Paulina Garzon will provide examples of positive and negative impacts that Chinese energy investments are having on communities in Latin America.

Forum to Look at New Fuel Economy Approaches – The R Street Institute will host a panel discussion of these recent developments in fuel economy regulations, the existing triune approach to it and what alternatives the future might hold on Friday at 12:30 p.m.  Speakers will include CEI’s Marlo Lewis, AAM’s Chris Nevers, Rod Richardson of the Grace Richardson Fund, Wayne Winegarden of the Pacific Research Institute and R Street’s Ian Adams.



Energy Storage Conference Set for Denver – The 27th Energy Storage Association annual conference and expo will be held on April 18-20 in Denver, Colorado.  Keynote speakers and expert panelists on the program include Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper, RES CEO Ivor Catto, former CO Gov Bill Ritter and NextEra Energy exec Michael O’Sullivan.

CSIS Forum to Look at Global Development – The Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) will host its 3rd annual Global Development Forum (GDF) on Wednesday April 19th. The GDF will feature over 40 speakers, including key stakeholders from U.S. government agencies, leading multilateral and non-governmental organizations, foreign governments, and the private sector. The forum examines the role and purpose of official development assistance against a backdrop of rising incomes, economic growth, youth unemployment, and other continued complex challenges in many parts of the world. To address these challenges, the next U.S. administration will need to apply new approaches and remain highly flexible in a rapidly changing development landscape. In particular, this conference will explore ways in which the next few years will shape the role of the United States in international development, and how the United States can work with official donors and key partners, including the private sector, civil society, and multilateral institutions. The two keynote speakers will be Admiral William J. Fallon (ret.), former Commander of U.S. Central Command and Asian Development Bank President Takehiko Nakao.

AEE Webinar to Look at State Policy Questions – The Advanced Energy Economy (AEE) will host a webinar on April 19th at 1:00 p.m. looking at creating markets for advanced energy at the state Level.  Whatever might be happening at the federal level, states are taking the lead in creating markets for advanced energy. AEE’s State Policy Program seeks to maintain this momentum by working with our coalition of State and Regional Partners and our business members to promote advanced energy legislation in statehouses around the nation. During this webinar you will hear from policy experts who have intimate knowledge of the latest legislative developments in the following states: California: Cap & Trade, Storage, Transportation; Nevada: Retail Choice Issue, Legislative Update; Texas: Legislative Tax Issue, PUCT Regulatory Proceeding on Data Access; Virginia: Access to Advanced Energy, Legislative, and Regulatory Update.

Bloomberg New Energy Summit Set – The annual Bloomberg New Energy Finance Future of Energy Summit will be held on April 24th and 25th in New York. The Future of Energy Summit is the premier invitation-only forum at the nexus of energy markets, industry, finance, and policy. It is a year-round, global experience powered by Bloomberg New Energy Finance’s cutting edge research team, as it explores the shifting forces in the energy system and defines the implications for the energy community.

Water Power Conference Set for May – Waterpower week in Washington will be May 1st through 3rd, providing three great conferences into one when IMREC, METS and NHA’s Annual Conference are held at the Capital Hilton.  The event will discuss policy changes in the hydro and marine industry in an all-in-one event. The event highlights perspectives on the role of hydro, explores issues affecting hydro and marine resources, and helps participants develop a future game plan to meet challenges and ensure the future sustainability of the hydro and marine industry.


Energy Update: Week of March 27


Now that was a great weekend of basketball and hockey. Closed by the unbelievable (and clutch) ending to the North Carolina-Kentucky game, we are left with the hoops Final Four set for Phoenix next weekend with South Carolina, North Carolina, Oregon, and Gonzaga. Not to be outdone, we had an unbelievable NCAA hockey weekend to get us the Frozen Four with Harvard, Notre Dame, Minnesota-Duluth, and Denver heading to Chicago. Half of the women’s hoop bracket is complete with two big upsets: Mississippi St upended Baylor, and Stanford toppled Notre Dame. Undefeated top seed UConn takes on Oregon (who upset University of Maryland) and #1 seed South Carolina takes on Florida State tonight.

Well is this really the week?  It seems that we may finally get the White House’s climate executive order. Now, we have heard this before, but it seems more likely since EPA head Scott Pruitt said it would be released tomorrow on This Week with George Stephanopoulos yesterday. So, please call if you have questions as Jeff and Scott will be happy to discuss. I already have a statement which I will be sharing with you individually.  The Chamber, rural coops and others will also be available.  We are also hearing that FERC nominees may be moving up in line at the White House, with the expected nominees (Powelson, Chatterjee, and McIntyre) perhaps being rolled out in the very near future. And our friends at Bloomberg hear Scott Angelle, the Louisiana Public Service Commission member and the state’s former interim lieutenant governor, is being vetted to lead the Interior Department’s agency in charge of offshore oil and gas development — the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management.

On the Hill, tomorrow, a House Energy panel takes up self-driving car technology while Senate Energy takes up foreign minerals and the energy supply chain. Wednesday will feature the closest thing you find in the Science community to an MMA fight: House Science will hear from scientists Michael Mann, Judy Curry, Roger Pielke Jr and John Christy about climate change. Also, Wednesday, House Energy looks at energy tax issues.

Off the Hill, there are two great events today when WCEE hosts its annual look at the BCSE-Bloomberg NEF Sustainable Energy Factbook at Noon; and at 1:30 p.m., the Hamilton Project at the Brookings Institution and the Energy Policy Institute at University of Chicago (EPIC) will co-host a forum to explore the best approaches to address energy issues in the new Congress featuring our friend Jim Connaughton, Cass Sunstein, Brad Plumer and others. Tomorrow, the NatGas Roundtable hosts their monthly lunch featuring DOE Fossil Office official Robert Smith.  Also early in the week, the Association of Air Pollution Control Agencies’ holds its 2017 Spring Meeting in Tucson, Arizona featuring Jeff Holmstead.  Finally Friday, EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt delivers remarks to the Federalist Society for Law and Public Policy Studies.

One side note/issue to keep on your radar: Today, security expert and former USS Cole Commander Kirk Lippold urged Secretary of State Rex Tillerson to urge the Japanese government to keep Toshiba from declaring bankruptcy or risk the intellectual property of nuclear power giant Westinghouse going to China.  Something to watch…I can send the letter if you are interested in checking it out.

Congrats to our great friend Rosemarie Calabro-Tully, the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee’s longtime Democratic spokeswoman, who is leaving to be the National Biodiesel Board’s director of public affairs and federal communications.  They’ll need her help as they try to impose tariffs on Argentina and Indonesia.

Call with questions…



Frank Maisano

(202) 828-5864

(202) 997-5932



“There are 18-months to focus on keeping a national program that promotes medium- and longer term stringency while updating the system to integrate new technology and business models that offer the promise of a stronger economy, more jobs, and an improved environment. The parties will realize that a deal can get done when they sit down and work together to balance the short and long term needs of the companies, the states, and the country.”

Robbie Diamond, CEO of SAFE discussing questions about California fuel economy waivers



The Chamber’s Energy Institute can tell you have much you electricity prices are and how they rank.  Here is the chart that details how your rates compare to consumers in neighboring states



Keystone Approved – Trump administration approved the Keystone XL pipeline on Friday, recommending the pipeline is in U.S. interests, clearing the way for the White House to grant a presidential permit to TransCanada to build the $8 billion pipeline.  The pipeline is permitted in Montana and South Dakota and now needs to be permitted in Nebraska.

Chamber Weighs in – U.S. Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Thomas J. Donohue said after many years of unfortunate delays and partisan posturing, Keystone XL pipeline finally got the green light it has long deserved.  “We applaud President Trump’s decision to approve the project and prove to the world that America is capable of tackling the major infrastructure improvements necessary for a modern economy. This pipeline, and countless other projects around the nation, will improve America’s energy security, create jobs, and help get the economy back on track.  The Obama administration’s action to delay and deny Keystone had a negative impact far beyond just this pipeline. It sent a message outside our borders that the United States was no longer open to investment, and that the long-established process for reviewing these kinds of projects could be thrown out the window when it is politically convenient. Today’s action should send a clear message to investors, and important strategic partners like Canada, that things have changed in Washington. This decision is another step toward regaining that confidence, re-establishing the rule of law, and rebuilding trust that America will act in the best interests of consumers and our allies.”

Chamber Electricity Map Shows Shale Impacts – Speaking of the Chamber, they also released their updated electricity price map. The overall good news is that the national average electricity price is trending down. This is in large part due to the shale revolution that has made the U.S. an energy super power. The national average of 10.28 cents per KW.  Higher rates can place states and their businesses at a competitive disadvantage, especially against the states that enjoy lower electricity prices.  If this Administration enhances access to shale and the many other abundant sources of energy found in the U.S., the next few years have the potential to continue 2016’s trend toward lower retail electricity prices for consumers.

Fuel Econ Issues Bouncing Around – Late last week, 10 states and D.C. sent a letter to Scott Pruitt asking EPA to maintain GHG vehicle standards pushed by the Obama EPA in January.  The letter also urges Pruitt to respect California’s Clean Air Act waiver because he has often spoken of the importance of states’ rights.  But while California does have a case on some pollutants from autos, they really don’t have special circumstances related to GHGs. I have the pdf if you need it.

Auto Alliance Sets a Marker as Well – At the same time, the Auto Alliance sent the White House a letter Thursday asking the administration to begin the process of reconsidering its midterm review of fuel emissions standards “as soon as possible.” It said a coordinated national program, including California, is “critical to smart, coherent regulation.” Mitch Bainwol, the automaker group’s president, added “there will be an appropriate opportunity to inform the final determination with updated relevant data that more closely approximates a ‘mid-term’ in the truest sense of the word” after Trump’s action last week.   I can send a pdf of the letter if you need it.

SAFE Weighs In – Securing America’s Future Energy head Robbie Diamond called for affected parties to meet soon to discuss next steps for the midterm review. “Now that the midterm review has been put back on the original timeline, the clock is ticking for a positive outcome so it is time for the stakeholders meet without delay. There are 18-months to focus on keeping a national program that promotes medium- and longer term stringency while updating the system to integrate new technology and business models that offer the promise of a stronger economy, more jobs, and an improved environment. The parties will realize that a deal can get done when they sit down and work together to balance the short and long term needs of the companies, the states, and the country.”  SAFE’s proposal that reconciles all interests is here:

CA Nuke Plants Closure Hurts Environmental Justice Cause – A new report by Environmental Hope and Justice Founder Norris McDonald and Environmental Progress closure of the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station and the planned closure of the Diablo Canyon Nuclear Power Plant represent an environmental injustice because these actions will increase air pollution in vulnerable communities and nonattainment areas. McDonalds says Environmental justice groups and other environmental groups throughout California and the nation should support the continued operation of the San Onofre and Diablo Canyon because they represent the largest clean air assets in terms of environmental justice in California. The plants are largely emission free and do not contribute smog forming gases or greenhouse gases in California.

Bailey Letter Raises Reliability, Valuation Concerns – In a letter to PJM CEP Andrew Ott, Paul Bailey of ACCCE wrote an important letter that highlighted three issues 1) avoiding the retirement of a large number of coal-fired electric generating units (EGUs); 2) consider likely changes in Federal environmental policies; and 3) market rules that do not properly value baseload coal-fired generation.  Overall, the letter urges PJM re-evaluate its policies in order to ensure that the reliability attributes of coal-fired generation — during all seasons of the year — are properly valued relative to other less reliable sources of generating capacity.

Evidence of the Need for it: Dominion’s Yorktown – With a month to go before it has to pull the plug on the two coal-burning units at its Yorktown plant, reports in the Newport News Daily Press say Dominion Virginia Power was under orders this week to run them to make sure that its Peninsula high voltage lines weren’t at risk of the kind of failure that could spark widespread blackouts. Those aging units can’t meet tough new federal standards limiting emissions of mercury and toxic acidic gases, and special permission from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to run them if necessary to avoid the risk of blackouts expires April 15.  But this week’s unseasonably cold weather prompted the manager of the electric grid serving 13 mid-Atlantic and Midwestern states, PJM Interconnection, to worry about overloading the high voltage transmission lines feeding power into the Peninsula. PJM ordered Dominion to fire up the units on Sunday and run them through the week, spokeswoman Le-Ha Anderson said. They’ll remain ready to operate, or in operation, until EPA’s April 15 deadline, she added.  “PJM makes the decision based on reliability needs as to when we run the units,” Anderson said. “Our role is to ensure that through April 15, the units are maintained so they can operate and that we have sufficient fuel.”

Moniz Named New CEO of NTI – The Nuclear Threat Initiative, a non-profit group that works to prevent attacks and accidents from weapons of mass destruction, has named former Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz to be CEO.  The announcement was made current CEO and Co-Chairman Sam Nunn and Co-Chairman Ted Turner, both of whom will remain as co-chairmen of the Board alongside Moniz.  Founded in 2001 by Nunn and Turner, NTI works to protect our lives, livelihoods, environment, and quality of life now and for future generations from the growing risk of catastrophic attacks with weapons of mass destruction and disruption (WMDD)—nuclear, biological, radiological, chemical, and cyber.

BSCE Celebrates 25 Years of Advocacy, Market Growth – The Business Council for Sustainable Energy (BCSE) kicked off a year-long celebration of its 25th anniversary at its annual Clean Energy Forum late last week. The event concluded with a reception on Capitol Hill that featured special remarks by Senate Energy Chair Lisa Murkowski.  The BCSE was founded in 1992 by executives of the energy efficiency, natural gas and renewable energy sectors who had a vision of a diverse, sustainable energy portfolio for America.  Guided by that vision, the Council has spent the past two and a half decades advocating for policies at the state and regional, national and international levels that advance the deployment of commercially-available clean energy technologies, products and services.



WCEE Event to Discuss Energy Factbook – The WCEE event featuring the Business Council for Sustainable Energy and BNEF Factbook has been rescheduled for today at Noon.  The Speaker panel includes BCSE’s Lisa Jacobson, Calpine’s Yvonne McIntyre, Johnson Control’s Elizabeth Tate and Katherine Gensler of SEIA.

Murkowski to Headline Arctic Forum – Today at 1:00 p.m. the Wilson Center will hold a forum on the North American Arctic and the energy issues surrounding it.  Mike Sfraga of the Wilson Center’s Polar Initiative and John Higginbotham of the Centre for International Governance Innovation’s Arctic Program will discuss the economic development opportunities, infrastructure needs and investment strategies.  Senate Energy Chair Lisa Murkowski will keynote the speech.

Chicago-Hamilton to Look at Energy, New Congress – Today at 1:30 p.m., the Hamilton Project at the Brookings Institution and the Energy Policy Institute at University of Chicago (EPIC) will co-host a forum to explore the best approaches to address energy challenges in the new Congress. The forum will begin with opening remarks by former U.S. Treasury Secretary Robert E. Rubin. A fireside chat and three roundtable discussions will follow featuring panelists including: Ted Halstead (Climate Leadership Council), Mindy Lubber (CERES), James L. Connaughton (Nautilus Data Technologies), David Schwietert (Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers), Cass Sunstein (Harvard University), John Deutch (Massachusetts Institute of Technology), Trevor Houser (Rhodium Group), Ellen D. Williams (University of Maryland), Steven H. Strongin (Goldman Sachs), Alice Hill (Hoover Institution), and Brad Plumer (Vox).

Pollution Control Agencies Set Spring Meeting – The Association of Air Pollution Control Agencies’ 2017 Spring Meeting will be held in Tucson, Arizona today through Wednesday at the Hilton Tucson East Hotel.  Our friend Jeff Holmstead will be there.

JHU to Host East Africa Energy Forum – Johns Hopkins will host an all-day event tomorrow that will focus on recent political and economic changes in East Africa and its implications on oil and gas development. By bringing together representatives from government, private sector, civil society, media and the international donor community, it seeks to review what progress has been achieved in the last few years and what governance challenges lay ahead.

House Energy Looks at Self–Driving Cars – The House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Digital Commerce and Consumer Protection will hold the hearing tomorrow on self-driving cars looking at the levels of automation and new technological developments.  Witnesses will include SAE’s Bill Grouse, Continental’s Jeff Klei, Bosch’s Kay Stepper and IIHS Chief Research Officer David Zuby.

Senate Energy Look sat Minerals Supply Chain – The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee holds a hearing tomorrow to examine the US’s increasing dependence on foreign sources of minerals and opportunities to rebuild and improve the supply chain. With the administration focused on infrastructure, the hearing will examine how to make sure the iron, copper and other minerals needed to build those roads, bridges and rails come from the United States — not overseas.  Witnesses include USGS’s Murray Hitzman, Rio Tinto Aluminum CEO, Ucore Rare Metals VP Randy MacGillivray, National Electrical Manufacturers Association CEO Kevin Cosgriff and Roderick Eggert of the Colorado School of Mines.

House Resources Looks at ESA Consultations – The House Natural Resources Committee’s oversight and investigations subcommittee will hold a hearing tomorrow on ESA consultation impediments to economic and infrastructure development. American Public Works Association president Ron Calkins, Hecla Mining’s Doug Stiles, Jonathan Wood of the Pacific Legal Foundation and Defenders of Wildlife expert Ya-Wei Li.

House Transpo Panel Looks at Brownfields – The House Transportation and Infrastructure Subcommittee on Water Resources and Environment will look at brownfield issues in a hearing tomorrow.  Local officials will testify on the Needs of the program.  Witnesses include   Christian Bollwage, mayor of Elizabeth, N.J.; Matt Zone, councilman, city of Cleveland; John Dailey, commissioner, Leon County, Fla.; Amanda LeFevre, Kentucky Brownfield Redevelopment Program; Jonathan Philips, managing director, Anka Funds LLC; and Deborah Robertson, mayor of Rialto, Calif.

DOE Oil, Gas Office Expert to Address NatGas Roundtable – The Natural Gas Roundtable is pleased to announce that Robert J. Smith, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Oil and Natural Gas at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Fossil Energy, will be the featured guest speaker at the Natural Gas Roundtable luncheon tomorrow at the University Club.  Smith administers oil and gas programs, including research and development, analysis and natural gas regulation. Most recently, Smith was the Chief of Staff for the Office of Fossil Energy. In this capacity, Smith helped the Assistant Secretary with policy and management issues across the office’s research and development, energy security and regulatory missions.

Senate Energy to Look at Grid Security – The Senate Energy & Natural Resources Committee’s Subcommittee on Energy will hold a hearing tomorrow that will examine the cybersecurity threats to the U.S. electric grid and technology advancements to minimize such threats, and to receive testimony on S. 79, the Securing Energy Infrastructure Act.  Witnesses FERC Office of Electric Reliability Director Michael Bardee, John DiStasio of the Large Public Power Council, Oak Ridge National Laboratory Thomas Zacharia and Xcel Energy CEO Ben Fowke.

Senate Environment Looks at Water Infrastructure – The Senate Environment Committee panel on water will hold a legislative hearing tomorrow at 2:30 p.m. on legislation to help cities update their water infrastructure. Nebraska Sen. Deb Fischer’s “Water Infrastructure Flexibility Act” codifies EPA policies on integrated planning and financial capability in an effort to make compliance easier for cash-strapped jurisdictions.  The U.S. Conference of Mayors, National Association of Counties and National League of Cities endorsed the legislation in a letter to its backers.

Forum to Look at Canada, US Infrastructure – The Hill and the Competitive Enterprise Institute will hold a forum at the Newseum on Wednesday morning looking at infrastructure modernization. As American leaders turn their attention to infrastructure issues, the forum will discuss what lessons can be drawn from the experiences of Canada.  Key officials from the United States and Canada, infrastructure experts, and industry leaders for a policy briefing on infrastructure reform and finding solutions that will work for all communities.  Speakers include Rep. John Delaney (D-MD), House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee Chairman Bill Shuster (R-PA), Building America’s Future President Marcia Hale and Marc Scribner of the Competitive Enterprise Institute.

Scientists Head to House Committee for Climate Battle – The House Science Committee will hold a hearing Wednesday at 10:00 a.m. to challenge consensus climate science. The hearing is set to feature some of the field’s most vocal critics and one of climate science’s most controversial defenders: Michael Mann, a professor of atmospheric science at Pennsylvania State University known for his iconic “hockey stick” analysis of global warming trends, retired Georgia Tech expert Judith Curry, John Christy of Alabama-Huntsville and Roger Pielke, Jr. of Colorado-Boulder.

House Energy Panel to Look at Tax Issues – The House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Energy will hold a hearing Wednesday at 10:15 a.m. on Federal energy related tax policy and its effects on markets, prices and consumers.  The hearing will focus on how the federal government uses the tax code to provide support for energy development, production, and use of fuels and energy technologies.

Forum to Focus on Oil Market Movers – The CSIS Energy & National Security Program will host a forum on Thursday at 10:30 a.m. for an in-depth discussion on how investor and corporate flows are impacting oil production, inventory disposition, and investment decisions going forward.  Significant challenges remain – from both a fundamentals and policy perspective. Just as the industry emerged buoyant from its week-long gathering in Houston, concerns over the extension of the OPEC/non-OPEC reductions and large stock builds in the U.S. caused investors to rebalance their positions, driving oil prices to their lowest levels in 3 months. To frame this timely discussion, we are pleased to have Ed Morse, Global Head of Commodities Research at Citigroup, Albert Helmig, CEO of Grey House LLC and former Vice Chairman of the New York Mercantile Exchange, and Kevin Book, founding partner of ClearView Energy and a Senior Associate at CSIS.

Forum to Look at Defense Energy Needs – Booz Allen Hamilton holds its 2017 Directed Energy Summit which focuses on the potential impact of direct energy issues on the Department of Defense and emerging defense Needs.  The two-day event will be held at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center.

FERC to Hydropower Conference – The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission holds a workshop Thursday at Noon on the Hydropower Regulatory Efficiency Act of 2013.

Forum to Look at Report on Developing County Power Sectors – The Atlantic Council will hold a discussion Thursday at Noon on a new report, “Transforming the Power Sector in Developing Countries.” The discussion will discuss policy directions for advancing China’s power transformation, regional and global aspects of Chinese energy policies, and the implications for the Trump Administration’s approach to China. The event features for a conversation about Robert Ichord’s new report on the critical role of China in post-Paris implementation, the latest in the Transforming the Power Sector in Developing Countries series. Ichord will be joined by experts Jon Elkind, former DOE assistant secretary for international affairs and Clara Gillispie, senior director of trade, economic and energy affairs for the National Bureau of Asian Research.

Friedman to Discuss Climate at GW Planet Forward Event – On Thursday at 1:00 p.m., NY Times Columnist Tom Friedman will join GWU School of Media and Public Affairs Director Frank Sesno for a conversation on the current state of politics, the news media and climate change under the Trump Administration. The event will include a screening of Friedman’s new National Geographic documentary on climate change and the migrant crisis. His latest book, Thank You for Being Late, will be available for purchase and signing following the event.

GW to Host Risk Forum Report – On Thursday at 2:00 p.m. at the Marvin Center, the GW Environmental Resource Policy Program and the GW Sustainability Collaborative will host Karl Hausker, Ph.D., Senior Fellow, Climate Program, World Resources Institute, and leader of the analytic and writing team for the latest study by the Risky Business Project: From Risk to Return: Investing in a Clean Energy Economy.  The project is Co-chaired Michael Bloomberg, Henry Paulson and Thomas Steyer.  They tasked WRI with conducting an assessment of technically and economically feasible pathways that the U.S. could follow to achieve an 80% reduction in CO2 emissions by 2050.  Hausker will present the results of the study and draw some comparisons to the US Mid Century Strategy report submitted to the UNFCCC.

Senate Energy to Look at Alaska Energy Issues – On Thursday at 2:30 p.m., the full Senate Energy Committee will hold a hearing to examine the potential for infrastructure improvements to create jobs and reduce the cost of living through all-of-the-above energy and mineral production in Alaska. Witnesses include Alaska State Geologist Steve Masterman, Sitka Alaska Deputy Mayor Bob Potrzuski, Port of Nome Executive Director Joy Baker, Alaska Oil and Gas Association head Kara Moriarty, Chris Rose of the Renewable Energy for Alaska Project and Della Trumble of the King Cove Native Corporation.

ELI Conference will Focus on Climate – The Environmental Law Institute (ELI) and Vanderbilt University Law School are convening a special conference on Friday looking at innovative ideas from the academic literature on climate change law and policy.  The articles and comments discussed at the conference will be published this summer in the Environmental Law & Policy Annual Review (ELPAR), a joint publication of ELI and Vanderbilt University Law School. ELPAR presents and discusses the best ideas on environmental law and policy from the academic literature each year.

Pruitt to Address Federalist Law Group – On Friday at noon, the Federalist Society for Law and Public Policy Studies hosts EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt for remarks at Tony Cheng’s restaurant in Chinatown.



Grid Forum Set for Chicago – The 2nd  Grid Modernization Forum will be held on April 3rd– 5th in Chicago, examines key lessons from top utilities including Eversource, Alliant Energy, Con Edison, National Grid, Ameren and many others. Key technology innovators and executives will come together to share perspectives on how best to leverage AMI investment, engage the customer, and take the smart grid to the next level. Case studies of improved network performance, resiliency, outage restoration, and distributed energy resource (DER) integration will be examined with an eye toward determining best practices and technology advances for today’s energy ecosystem.

Forum to Look at Nuclear Energy – The Global America Business Institute (GABI) will hold the next event of its nuclear energy roundtable series on Tuesday April 4th at Noon. Although the predominant use of nuclear energy worldwide is electricity generation, nuclear can be utilized for a broad range of applications, including but not limited to: district heating, water desalination, hydrogen production, and industrial heat. Given present trends and future uncertainties in global electricity markets, there has been growing interest in exploring non-electricity uses for nuclear. Development of advanced nuclear designs, many pushing the envelope on passive safety and temperature output, may further expand the horizon of possibilities.  The speaker will be Jeff Harper of X-energy.  Harper is Vice President for Strategy and Business Development at X-energy, where he directs long-term business plans specifically focused on customers, partners, and markets.

Press Club to Host AFL-CIO Head – Richard Trumka, Head of the AFL-CIO will speak at a National Press Club Luncheon on Tuesday April 4th at 12:30 p.m. Trumka will assess opportunities around trade and infrastructure that could create jobs, as well as possible threats to workers’ rights. He will also talk about the labor movement’s strategy to create a unifying agenda for workers and their families, as well as collective bargaining right for all workers to achieve better wages and working conditions.  Since 2009, Trumka has served as president of the 12.5 million-member American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO), the largest organization of labor unions in the country.

BPC Forum to Focus on Innovation – On Wednesday, April 5th at 10:00 a.m., the Bipartisan Policy Center will hold a forum on the power of innovation.  With smart federal support for research, advanced energy technologies represent another potentially transformative moment for the American economy.  BPC’s American Energy Innovation Council will host leading experts to discuss how to make the most of this opportunity.  The forum will feature a conversation with Norm Augustine, the retired chairman and CEO of Lockheed Martin, who also served as the Undersecretary of the Army.  Our friend Mark Drajem of Bloomberg will also moderate a panel with NRECA CEO Jim Matheson, former MIT Washington Office Director William Bonvillian, Ames Laboratory Critical Materials Institute Director Alex King and GE Energy Financial Services investment expert Alta Yen.

WCEE to Host Energy Journalists Panel – The Women’s Council on Energy and the Environment (WCEE) will host a panel of energy journalists from E&E News, S&P Global Platts and Politico on Wednesday April 5th to discuss the trends in the energy sector today and for the next four years. Some of the trends that will be discussed are NAFTA and oil and gas pipelines in North America, FERC enforcement and the changing political outlook for CFTC, the fate of the Clean Power Plan, rollback of regulatory efforts by the Trump Administration in the energy sector, future of renewables, and energy industry and Department of Interior’s public land use management debate.  Speakers will include E&E News Jenny Mandel, Platts’ Jasmin Melvin and Maya Weber and POLITICO’s Esther Whieldon.

GW to Host Timor-Leste Diplomat – Wednesday, April 5th at 12:30 p.m., the George Washington University Elliott School of International Affairs will host Natercia Coelho, Deputy Chief of Mission at the Embassy of Timor-Leste, the smallest country in East or Southeast Asia.  Timor-Leste is already subject to numerous extreme weather events every year, including cyclones and typhoons that result in intense flooding. Climate change is exacerbating these issues, with rising sea levels speeding up soil erosion, damaging crops, and leading to food shortages in a country which still ranks 120 out of 169 in the U.N.’s Human Development Index. This talk will cover the Timor-Leste’s Government Plan for Development and its legal framework for addressing climate change.

Calpine CEO to Headline Energy Conference – On Thursday April 6th, the NCAC and George Mason University will host its 21st Annual Washington Energy Policy Conference at GMU’s Founders Hall.  The conference will focus on conflicting forces in the energy space.  Former EIA Administrator Adam Sieminski will moderate the event and keynote speaker will be Calpine CEO Thad Hill.  Other speakers will include our friends Tom Pyle of IER, ClearView’s Christine Tezak, former Bush NSC official Bob McNally, FERC Energy Project s Director Terry Turpin and BNEF expert Steve Munro, among others.

SEIA Forum to Look at Women in Solar – On Thursday, April 6th SEIA’s Women’s Empowerment committee will hold a summit that focuses on educating, connecting, and providing thought leadership in the solar industry. Key industry leaders will cover topics including Women Leading Solar- Executives Spearheading the Industry (led by our friend Abby Hopper), Women Running for Office & Careers in Public Service; Diversity – The Bottom Line ; Making Solar a Story – Energy Journalists Shaping the Industry; Interactive Speed Networking and Regional Policy Update – What’s Happening in Capitol Hill.

GW to Host Planet Forward Summit – The George Washington University will holds its Planet Forward Summit at GW on April 6-7th that will focus on how we can communicate to inform, inspire, and act.  The summit will look at how we tell the story of our planet and how we communicate to inspire action.  Speakers will include SMPA Director Frank Sesno, my friend Andy Revkin and many more.

ECOS to Hold Spring Meeting – The Environmental Council of the States (ECOS) will hold their spring meeting at The Mayflower Hotel on April 6th through 8th. ECOS meeting will focus on budget questions and its impact on state environmental agencies and their leaders. ECOS is the national non-profit, non-partisan association of state and territorial environmental agency leaders.

Electric Power Conference Set for Chicago – The 19th annual Electric Power Conference will be held In Chicago on April 10-13th at McCormick Place.  Sponsored by POWER magazine, the event provides a platform for power generation professionals to meet, network, and address the critical issues facing the power industry.

Energy Storage Conference Set for Denver – The 27th Energy Storage Association annual conference and expo will be held on April 18-20 in Denver, Colorado.  Keynote speakers and expert panelists on the program include Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper, RES CEO Ivor Catto, former CO Gov Bill Ritter and NextEra Energy exec Michael O’Sullivan.

Bloomberg New Energy Summit Set – The annual Bloomberg New Energy Finance Future of Energy Summit will be held on April 24th and 25th in New York. The Future of Energy Summit is the premier invitation-only forum at the nexus of energy markets, industry, finance, and policy. It is a year-round, global experience powered by Bloomberg New Energy Finance’s cutting edge research team, as it explores the shifting forces in the energy system and defines the implications for the energy community.

Water Power Conference Set for May – Waterpower week in Washington will be May 1st through 3rd, providing three great conferences into one when IMREC, METS and NHA’s Annual Conference are held at the Capital Hilton.  The event will discuss policy changes in the hydro and marine industry in an all-in-one event. The event highlights perspectives on the role of hydro, explores issues affecting hydro and marine resources, and helps participants develop a future game plan to meet challenges and ensure the future sustainability of the hydro and marine industry.

Energy Update


And I Feel Fine.  With yesterday’s final, the World Cup is complete with Germany breaking Europe’s streak of bad luck on American (Latin/South/North) soil with a spectacular goal in the 113th minute of extra time from substitute player Mario Gӧtze.  The game ends a great tournament with lots of excitement and lots of emotion.  Next up for Brazil, the 2016 summer games.  The World Cup heads to Russia in 2018.

Today, our friends at NARUC launch their summer meetings in Dallas with a full slate of discussions about all topics related to utility regulators, including many on the new GHG rules from EPA.  There are many different opinions at NARUC on the topic.  To that end, this morning, the pro-EPA rule “Analysis” Group, headed by Sue Tierney released a study saying electricity customers would benefit from the new GHG rule for existing power plants.  Funny how they often come to that conclusion when it would benefit their favorite position.  Most real analysis shows even with a lot of flexibility for states, there will still be significant economic costs on consumers, businesses and states, especially regionally.  My colleagues Scott Segal and Jeff Holmstead can offer thoughts on the “analysis” from the Analysis Group.  FERC Chair Cheryl LaFleur, Duke’s Lynn Good, American Waterworks Susan Story and many others will also speak.

Back in DC today, the EIA also kicks off its annual energy conference with a full slate of very good speakers tackling the financial and energy implications of the current state of energy play.  In addition to Sect. Moniz and Adam Sieminski, IHS’s Dan Yergin and analyst Paul Sankey will speak along with many others. Also, Wednesday the Heritage Foundation will host Canadian auto magnate Frank Stronach for a conversation about politics and business.

The Congressional schedule heats up tomorrow starting with full Senate votes on FERC nominees Cheryl LaFleur to a second term (starting as chair) and Norman Bay.  Still lots of questions and bad blood on that issue, but the compromise seems to be sticking.  House Resources hones in on implementation of the Helium Act passed last fall (my colleague Salo Zelermyer [202-828-1718] is expert) and House Transportation looks at waters issues including permits, streams and waters of the US (my colleague Lowell Rothschild [202-828-5817] knows best).  Tomorrow, House Approps launches on EPA spending (riders on GHGs etc in tow) and Wednesday, the House Science Committee investigates an NRC report about EPA’s IRIS and the longstanding concerns of enviro groups and industry.

And remember, next week, EPA launches its series of public hearings in Atlanta, Denver, DC and Pittsburgh on the GHG rule for existing power plants.

Finally, our friend Jay Newton-Small, a recovering energy reporter who now covers politics for Time, has a great piece today on the Colorado Senate/Governors’ races and the potential impacts from an anti-natgas (not fracking) ballot initiative in the state sponsored by natgas opponent and Congressman, Jared Polis.  Jay says the “friendly fire” could cost Democrats the Senate.

Call if you have questions

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



GW, AU, Duke Energy Join on Solar Project – The George Washington University, GW Hospital and American University are joining with Duke Energy Renewables to develop a groundbreaking solar energy project that will comprise a 450-acre, 52 MW farm in North Carolina. GW’s new solar power buy is the largest of its kind, an innovative 243,000-panel installation at three sites that will offset 50% of GW’s electricity for the next 20 years.


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

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

House Approps Marks EPA Spending — The House Appropriations Committee marks up its 2015 Interior-EPA spending bill tomorrow at 9:00 a.m.  A number of key provisions passed in the subcommittee mark up for the $30 billion legislation despite opposition from Democrats on the panel, limiting EPA ability to spend on climate and other activities.   Among the most controversial are efforts to block EPA’s proposed rules for carbon dioxide emissions from existing power plants and increasing the number of streams and wetlands that get automatic protection under the Clean Water Act. Additional action may come on coal ash issues and the EPA/Administration’s social cost of carbon.

Transpo to Focus on EPA, Clean Water — The House Transportation Committee’s water panel holds a hearing tomorrow at 10:00 a.m. on EPA’s permit veto authority under the Clean Water Act.  With several mine permit cases and the current waters of the US act as hot topics, the issue will be interesting.  My colleague Lowell Rothschild (202-828-5817) can answer many of your questions on the subject. Witnesses will include the US Chamber’s Bill Kovacs, NMA’s Hal Quinn, ARTBA’s Nick Ivanhoff, Leah Pilconis of the Associated General Contractors of America,  Richard Faulk of the George Mason University School of Law and Patrick Parenteau of the Vermont Law School.

House Resources to Look at Helium Act Implementation — The House Resources Committee’s mineral resources panel will hold a hearing tomorrow at 10:00 a.m. on implementing the 2013 Helium Stewardship Act. Witnesses will include Interior’s Linda Lance, who is deputy director of the Bureau of Land Management, and Anne-Marie Fennell, director of the Natural Resources and Environment Team of the U.S. Government Accountability Office.  Of course, my colleague Salo Zelermyer was instrumental in getting this passed and can give you many of the details, as well as connect you with key sources.

EPA to Host Clif Bar, Steelcase to Discuss Supply Chain Sustainability – EPA’s Green Power Partnership (GPP) will host a webinar tomorrow at 1:00 p.m. on supply chain sustainability and green power use.  The session will focus on supply chain sustainability efforts, including ways to engage suppliers to use green power. Carbon management within the supply chain is becoming essential to an organization’s overall carbon reduction strategy, and encouraging suppliers to use green power for their own operations can lead to impressive results. For companies and organizations looking to take the next step in their green power strategies, supply chain engagement can be an excellent way to achieve substantial environmental benefits.  This webinar will feature EPA Green Power Partners Clif Bar & Company and Steelcase.  Speakers include EPA’s Mollie Lemon, Clif Bar’s Elysa Hammond and Steelcase’s John DeAngelis.  You also may recall our friend Keely Wachs who formerly worked with us at Brightsource Energy works at Clif Bar.

House Science to Look at EPA’s IRIS — The House Science Committee’s Environment and Oversight panels hold a hearing on reforms to EPA’s Integrated Risk Information System at  2:00 p.m.  The IRIS has long been under attack from both enviros and industry.  The report will focus on recent findings of a National Research Council report that evaluated changes made to EPA’s IRIS.  Witnesses will include NRC panel member David Dorman, EPA’s National Center for Environmental Assessment director Kenneth Olden, Maryland professor and enviro activist Rena Steinzor and Michael Walls, vice president of regulatory and technical affairs at the American Chemistry Council.

Forum to Look at Venezuela Oil – The Atlantic Council’s Adrienne Arsht Latin America Center will host a discussion on Wednesday on Latin American energy and the future of Petrocaribe. The huge Venezuelan oil subsidy enters its 10th year, and continues to provide Caracas with political support from its closest neighbors – but at what cost to the region? Given Venezuela’s economic demise, will Petrocaribe continue delivering into the future?  Now is the moment to examine energy alternatives for the Caribbean and Central America.  This event will launch the Atlantic Council’s new report, “Uncertain Energy: The Caribbean’s Gamble with Venezuela,” authored by Arsht Center Senior Nonresident Energy Fellow David L. Goldwyn and his associate, Cory R. Gill.

SAFE Event to Address Geo political Flashpoints, Energy Security  –  On Wednesday, the Foreign Policy Initiative (FPI) and Securing America’s Future Energy (SAFE) will hold a luncheon briefing on Capitol Hill in 2203 Rayburn to discuss geopolitical flashpoints in oil producing countries and the implications for U.S. national and energy security.  Speakers will include Admiral Michael Mullen and John Hannah in a panel discussion moderated by our friend Steve Mufson of the Washington Post.  Rep. Cory Gardner will begin the panel with opening remarks.  Events across the globe offer stark reminders that energy security and national security are inextricably linked, and that the global oil market is subject to economically-damaging instability. Sustained high oil prices are fueling an increasingly assertive Russian foreign policy and emboldening dangerous actors like Iran. Meanwhile, a series of oil production outages in Iraq, Libya, Sudan, Syria, and elsewhere have tightened global supplies, elevating the risk of a serious price spike in 2014. Although the United States is producing more oil domestically than it has since the 1980s, further progress on American and allied energy security is urgently needed.

Senate Environment to Discuss Climate Bills The Senate Environment Committee’s Subcommittee on Water and Wildlife will meet on Wednesday to consider a number of bills including S.1202, the SAFE Act, to establish an integrated Federal program to respond to ongoing and expected impacts of extreme weather and climate change by protecting, restoring, and conserving the natural resources of the United States, and to maximize government efficiency and reduce costs, in cooperation with state, local, and tribal governments and other entities.

Heritage to Host Discussion with Auto Parts, Magnate – The Heritage Foundation will host a discussion on Wednesday at noon with auto parts magnate Frank Stronach.  Stronach is a legendary, dynamic and outspoken business leader who holds strong views on business, leadership, and public policy, including manufacturing and tax policy issues. Stronach immigrated to Canada from Austria as a young man and built the largest auto supply company in the world out of his garage.  He also now owns horse racing and gaming operations across the country.  Last year, he funded a political campaign in his native Austria that garnered 12 victories in national political elections. Becky Dunlop Norton is hosting the event and Mark Tapscott Executive Editor, The Washington Examiner, will be interviewing Stronach.

WCEE To Discuss Electricity Market Status – The Women’s Council on Energy and the Environment will hold a brown-bag Luncheon on Wednesday at noon focused on electricity markets.  The brown bag discussion will highlight the different perspectives on the constantly evolving wholesale electricity markets and the challenges that face market participants when the perceptions of what is “right” and “wrong” behavior change.  The discussion will cover what market operators tend to expect from market participants related to compliance with the market’s rules, interacting with market monitors, transparency in FERC’s Enforcement philosophy and processes, the role of trading companies in the wholesale power markets and the impact of unclear market rules and enforcement procedures on infrastructure investment and market participation.  Speakers will be Vince Duane, Vice President and General Counsel of PJM Interconnection and Kevin Gates of the Powhatan Energy Fund.

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

Forum to Look at SCOTUS Decisions on Air Rules – The Women’s Council on Energy and the Environment (WCEE) and Air and Waste Management Assn (AWMA) will hold a forum on Thursday to look at an industry view of recent Supreme Court Decisions on Air Rules.  The forum will look at the Supreme Court decisions on the Cross State Air Pollution Rule (CSAPR) and the GHG PSD Rule.  CSAPR applies to air emissions from electric generation facilities that EPA determined has impact across state lines; the GHG PSD rule applies to all industry and if upheld, EPA can lower the trigger threshold to cover more facilities. EPA’s exercise of authority for both rules are likely to have broader implications for industry for other air pollution issues.   Roger Martella, former General Counsel of EPA and partner at Sidley Austin LLP, and Linda Kelly, Vice President and General Counsel for the National Association of Manufacturers, will share their views on the Supreme Court decisions and the implications for industry. Clara Maria Poffenberger will serve as moderator.

Forum to Look at Midwest Climate Impacts – The Environmental and Energy Study Institute (EESI) will hold a briefing on Thursday in 406 Dirksen examining the current and projected impacts of climate change in the Midwest, as well as strategies being developed to mitigate the associated risks. The Midwest (defined in the National Climate Assessment as Minnesota, Iowa, Missouri, Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan and Ohio) has about 20 percent of the nation’s population, and produces 19 percent of the nation’s GDP.  According to the Third National Climate Assessment (NCA), climate change has wide-reaching impacts in the region, affecting the agricultural industry, the Great Lakes, northern forests, the energy system, and public health, generally in detrimental ways. In addition, the Midwest’s economy is highly energy-intensive, releasing 22 percent more greenhouse gas emissions per capita than the U.S. average. Briefing speakers will discuss how reducing emissions and taking action to improve the resilience and adaptation of Midwest communities, businesses, and farms can help mitigate climate change-exacerbated economic and social stresses.  Speakers for this forum are U of M National Climate Assessment author Rosina Bierbaum, Carmel Mayor James Brainard, Cincinnati City Environment Director Larry Falkin and Jeremy Emmi of the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition.

Group to Host Forum, Social – The Leaders in Energy and the Center for the Advancement of the Steady State Economy (CASSE) will co-hosted professional networking Happy Hour on Thursday at 6:00 p.m. at the Bier Baron Tavern with a focus on new economic and energy paradigms.  The event will focus on steady state economics questioning how consumption and economic growth impact essential ecosystems and ecological limits and feature noted author and founder of CASSE, Dr. Brian Czech.  How sustainable are current economic policies which promote economic growth and consumption? Reports indicate that we currently consume the equivalent of 1.5 planets and, at current rates, this will increase to 2 planets by 2030.  The problem is…we only have one planet.   Some visionaries are calling for a new paradigm designated as  “Steady State Economics” that will promote policies and mechanisms for an economy that thrives within ecological bounds and is more equitable for all.  In his book, “Supply Shock: Economic Growth at the Crossroads and the Steady State Solution”, Dr. Brian Czech marries economics, biology, and political science in a brilliant account of why we need to rethink growth.

CSIS to Look at Nuclear Training –  The CSIS Proliferation Prevention Program will hold a day-long workshop on Friday that will cover: the accomplishments of the three Centers of Excellence established by the 2010 Nuclear Security Summit. The COEs are aimed at training professionals in nuclear security and improving physical protection of nuclear materials.  With growing demand for nuclear energy in Asia, these COEs have an increased stake in improving national nuclear governance and potentially providing venues for regional collaboration in nuclear security. It will focus on the perspectives of officials in these countries on the progress and goals for their facilities, and discussion among government officials and experts on the future of cooperation in these areas.  This event is co-sponsored by CSIS, the U.S. Department of Energy/National Nuclear Security Administration, and the Japan Atomic Energy Agency.

Forum to Focus on Nuclear Overview  – The Foundation for Nuclear Studies will hold a luncheon briefing on Friday in 2322 Rayburn to discuss nuclear energy. In pursuit of its mission, the Foundation sponsors a highly regarded Congressional Briefing Series with forums on a broad spectrum of issues related to nuclear technology, ranging from medical isotopes to the transportation of nuclear materials. The events attract high-quality speakers and seek to provide a balanced presentation of differing perspectives.  Speakers will include Craig Piercy of the American Nuclear Society and IBEW’s Dan Gardner, International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers.


Press Club to Host Transpo Sect Foxx – The National Press Club will hold a luncheon next Monday featuring Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx.  Foxx will discuss several items including many of the important issues on rail safety and crude issues.

DOE Looking for R&D Insights – Next Tuesday morning, the Office of Fossil Energy of the U.S. Department of Energy is seeking industry’s involvement in developing a R&D agenda on subsurface technology and engineering.  They will hold a forum at USEA led by Mark Ackiewicz, Program Manager for the Division of CCS Research at the U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Fossil Energy, this briefing will aim to facilitate a dialogue with industry on what they perceive as the key challenges and opportunities regarding adaptive control of fractures and fluid flow.

ELI Forum to Focus on Energy Performance – The Environmental Law Institute will hold a forum on Tuesday, July 22 at noon to look at improving energy performance at industrial facilities.  In the last decade, the U.S. Department of Energy and the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) have raised the bar for energy performance in industrial facilities.  Speakers will include General Dynamics Stephen Cannizzaro, Robert Bruce Lung of the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy and DOE’s Paul Scheihing.

BPC Forum to Focus on Innovation – On Wednesday July 23rd, the Bipartisan Policy Center’s (BPC) American Energy Innovation Council (AEIC) will gather experts, business leaders, academics and policymakers to assess the state of American energy innovation and new approaches to drive more resources into it.  Southern Company CEO Tom Fanning will be the keynote speaker. Former Dow exec Chad Holliday, DOE Secretary Ernie Moniz, DOE’s David Danielson, MIT Energy Initiative Director and many others will be among the other speakers.

WCEE to Hold Annual Legislative Roundtable – The Women’s Council on Energy and the Environment will hold its Annual Legislative Roundtable next Thursday morning at 8:00 a.m. at the American Gas Assn.  The event will highlight key issues facing the US Congress this fall.  The event will discuss highly contested legislative issues ranging from crude oil and LNG exports to renewable policies in the electricity and transportation sectors.   Senior congressional staff will share with us their predictions regarding the role these issues are playing in the midterm elections and how the outcome will likely impact the policies that shape the energy industry.  Speakers will include Senate Energy Committee directors Liz Craddock and Karen Billups, as well as reps from the House Energy and Commerce Committee.  Out friend Christi Tezak moderates.

WRI to Release Report – On Thursday morning at NPR, the World Resources Institute (WRI) and the Resources and Rights Initiative (RRI) unveil the report “Securing Rights, Combating Climate Change: How Strengthening Community Forest Rights Mitigates Climate Change.”  The analysis will offer the most comprehensive review to date linking legal recognition and government protection of community forest rights with healthier forests and reduced carbon pollution from deforestation. More than 11 percent of global emissions are due to deforestation and other land use, and this new analysis offers an exciting and largely untapped tool to help reduce global emissions.  As discussions head toward the next round of international climate negotiations in Lima, Peru and Paris in 2015, this report and discussion will offer a fresh perspective for how strengthening rights of local and indigenous communities can be an exceptionally powerful tool for climate action and forest protection. Armed with the report’s results, practitioners and policy makers should be convinced that safeguarding forest rights is as crucial of a climate solution as others like REDD+, renewable energy and low-carbon urban design.

USEA to Focus on China, CCS – On Thursday, July 24th at 10:00 a.m., the U.S. Energy Association will hold a forum on coal issues in China. The presentation will review some of the most recent CCS developments in China, including an overview of the ongoing research, demonstration and deployment as well as an overview of recent policy actions taken.  Additionally, Jim Wood, Director for the US-China Clean Energy Research Center for Coal for West Virginia University,  will present on the US-China collaboration on CCS.

EPA Public Meetings Set – EPA will hold public meetings in Atlanta, Denver, Washington and Pittsburgh.  The Atlanta and Denver meeting will be on July 29th while DC will be July 30th and Pittsburgh on July 31st.

Annual Congressional Renewable Expo Set – The 17th annual Congressional Renewable Energy & Energy Efficiency EXPO + Forum  will be held Thursday,  July 31st (9:30 am – 4:30 pm) in the Cannon House Office building in cooperation with the House and Senate Renewable Energy & Energy Efficiency Caucuses.

Press Club to Host Nigerian President – The National Press Club will host Nigeria President Goodluck Jonathan at a NPC luncheon on July 31st to talk about the prospects of Africa’s largest oil producer.   More here and as we get closer.

TX Enviro Superconference Set for Austin – The 26th annual Texas Environmental Superconference will be held on Thursday and Friday, August 7th and 8th, at the Four Seasons.  Several Bracewell attorneys will be speaking on panels with speakers including Lowell Rothschild, Rich Alonso and Tim Wilkins.  TCEQ’s Bryan Shaw and EPA’s Ron Curry will also speak.

Energy Update Week of December 10


Still full from too many latkes yesterday for the first night of Hanukkah. I love those things…As you know, I really like to celebrate all the Jewish eating Holidays while my wife and kids are most fond of any holiday in which they get presents.  Either way, it is good family time that doesn’t include some sort of travel to a sporting event.  We did manage to watch one of the most meaningful football games of the year Saturday as Navy snuck by Army to win the Commander-in-Chief trophy.  It certainly is one of my favorite events not for what happens on the field, but for what happens after.  It is all about honor, courage, commitment and country, isn’t it…

It was also nice to see Texas A&M frosh Johnny Manziel (aka Johnny Football) win the Heisman Trophy.  He is so popular in College Station that even Texas A&M drought expert and Lone Star State Climatologist John Nielson-Gammon is rumored to be calling himself “Johnny Climate” for his Friday AMS 2012 Drought panel here in DC.

Speaking of climate, the UN discussions in Doha really went nowhere despite the usual “overtime” tactics.   While technically, they came to some conclusion to extend the Kyoto Treaty, no one really cares, much to the dismay of the global warming activities community.  In my column for SNL Energy last week, I argued that it is finally time to admit the U.N. process is broken and will never be fixed. Already, we have wasted years looking for solutions that will never be achieved.  Ironically, after Doha’s disappointing outcome and the increasing ambivalence about UN negotiations, even Reuters reports many of those most concerned about climate change are close to despair, questioning  whether the U.N. system even made matters worse.   It is a tough message for climate campaigners to hear.  Their 20 years of negotiating, pressure tactics, world traveling to exotic locales and political stunts have produced nothing except bureaucratic infighting, posturing, hot air and lots of expense reports. But now, with major emitters finally coming to the G20 table together, perhaps we can end the U.N.’s bureaucratic climate posturing and move on to something that has a modest chance for producing successful, politically obtainable and meaningful results. I provide some in-depth analysis and historical perspective below.  Happy to discuss further.

On the domestic front, the Fiscal Cliff negotiations/campaign rolls on, even with the late Friday Hurricane Sandy request for $60.4 billion from the White House.  More importantly, we expect some action in the last half of December on pent-up EPA actions that were held back before the elections.  The first of these may come this week with EPA action on the PM 2.5 or “soot” rule.   EPA faces a court-ordered Friday deadline to set new national ambient air quality standards, or NAAQS, for fine particles.  My colleague Jeff Holmstead, a former EPA Air office head, will discuss at any point.

Finally, the Senate Finance Committee’s energy panel holds a hearing Wednesday on tax reform and federal energy policy.  Of course, Bracewell’s Mike Pate (202-828-5841) can provide background.  As well on Wednesday, the House Financial Services Committee holds a hearing on challenges implementing Title VII of the Dodd-Frank Act, which includes swaps.  My colleague Paul Maco (202-828-5821) can be a good resource for you on this.

Please call with questions about this or other topics.

Frank Maisano
(202) 8282-5864
c. (202) 997-5932


Doha Disaster – The two-week UN Climate discussions in Doha, Qatar ended this weekend with an extension of the Kyoto Protocol, which was to expire this year, through 2020.  The Protocol will now only cover 15% of global emissions since it never covered the largest developing countries like China and India, several developed countries including Russia, Japan and Canada have opted out and the US never ratified it.

US Actions – The U.S. said it would not further reduce its 2020 target of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 17% compared with 2005 levels.  This was part of the deal carved out in Copenhagen.   The U.S. also did not commit any new resources to the fund to help climate adaptation efforts in poor countries.  Already, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton committed to participate in the $100 billion fund, but contributions have been slow in coming from most nations.

US Already on Track to Meet Target – A recent Study from the respected independent environmental think tank Resources for the Future (RFF) in October said the United States is near its Copenhagen goal, on course to achieve reductions of 16.3% from 2005 levels in 2020. Three factors contribute to this outcome: additional regulation under the Clean Air Act, a much slower economy and changes in driving habits and auto efficiency.

Delegates Flummoxed – Our friends at Reuters report  that at the end of “another lavishly-funded U.N. conference that yielded no progress on curbing greenhouse emissions, many of those most concerned about climate change are close to despair.”  They say as thousands of delegates checked out of their air-conditioned hotel rooms in Doha to board their jets for home, some asked whether the U.N. system even made matters worse by providing cover for leaders to take no meaningful action.  They also say that unless rich and poor countries can inject urgency into their negotiations, they are heading for a diplomatic fiasco in 2015 – their next deadline for a new global deal.

What’s Next?  Probably Another Missed Deadline – Again, media reports say that next year at the  UNFCCCC’s 19th COP at a mystery country in Eastern Europe, countries will have to make significant progress on the next term agenda.  It will also require bringing both developed and developing countries into a compliance regime.  Currently, U.N. climate talks have failed on every front including reducing greenhouse gases, developing mechanisms to share technology, creating funding for developing nations and extending Kyoto.

Some UN History – From its origins to perhaps its most significant moment when negotiators decided on a protocol in Kyoto, Japan, in 1997 to today, nations have done little more than talk, posture and argue rather than achieve meaningful policies that could result in emissions reductions.  One of the reasons lies in the fact that emissions reductions were never about the environment for most countries.  While it always has been a top priority for the environmental activist community, the process for most countries, both developed and developing, has always been about competitive economic advantage in the global marketplace. This notion has always undermined efforts to develop real, meaningful emissions gains.

Developed v. Developing Countries – With 194 countries debating every aspect of economic policy, future growth, sustainability and poverty, the process always breaks down.  Most often, it is in terms of developing countries versus developed countries, but the more difficult breakdown often occurs within each group. Developing countries are radically different, with the more advanced and growing economies (and therefore, significant emissions), such as China, India, South Korea and Mexico, having much different needs, goals and objectives than poor or island economies that have no other leverage. These countries are often the ones that will also be impacted first so they have some rightly deserved sympathy, even from those that are as self-righteous as your typical U.N. bureaucrat.  As well, on the developed country front, the U.S. is always mocked by its European counterparts who see themselves as piously superior to their western competitors even as they take advantage of every negotiating loophole for competitive economic advantage.

US Policy Has Been Consistent – For nearly 20 years of negotiations led by both Democrats and Republicans, U.S. policy negotiations have surprisingly remained incredibly consistent.  This policy balance, much to the chagrin of the U.S. and global activist community, has pretty much remained intact because the U.S. demanded early on that the negotiations be a global process that included all players, a stumbling block that large-emitting developing countries never have and never will get over, even as they start to pass developed countries in emissions.  Another reason for this consistency across U.S. administrations is rooted in the active role the U.S. Senate played prior to the Kyoto Protocol. Then, senators went on record unanimously (95-0) demanding they would not approve any treaty did not include developing countries for reductions of emissions in the same compliance period, expecting such an exemption would result in serious economic harm to the U.S. It also required an assessment of detailed financial costs and other impacts on the economy. These simple requirements have been the fundamental death knell for international efforts ever since. They are understandable to a skeptical public, they are reasonable to anyone who understands costs and they are probably unattainable under the current process, technology and mechanisms in use.

A New Solution: the G20 – Despite all the wasted time, the process has spurned a reasonably interesting success. Early on, despite some infatuation with Al Gore’s freshly negotiated Kyoto treaty, the Clinton administration realized it needed to figure out a way to engage large developing countries.   In 2007, the Bush administration fundamentally changed the game by making the issue a discussion point among the major emitters at international conferences like the G-20. Not only are the right people at the table, but it places the climate issue in its proper context among other major issues like the global economy, technology partnership and international competitiveness.

President Obama Stays on Same Course – President Barack Obama took this policy one step further in 2010 in Copenhagen, where he brought major emitters into a room and carved out a going-forward deal without the typical U.N. process-wrangling. While that framework has been placed on the back burner as many nations try to recover from the economic downturn, the message was unmistakable. Never again could a deal emerge from the U.N. process unless the major emitters decided it.


NPR’s Harris to Moderate Arctic Forum – The American Chemical Society, the Georgetown University Program on Science in the Public Interest, and AAAS will host a forum tonight at 6:00 p.m. at AAAS on climate change and the Arctic.  Global Challenges, a forum on science and society featuring leading researchers, policymakers, and economists, continues its 2012 season with a discussion moderated by National Public Radio reporter Richard Harris. Speakers include Jed Hamilton, senior Arctic consultant at Exxon Mobil and Julianne Stroeve, research scientist III at the National Snow and Ice Data Center.

Panel to Look at National Security, Election Coverage – The National Security and New Media Journalism Project will present its National Security and New Media Conference panel and  Mightier Pen Award Luncheon tomorrow at the Union League Club in New York.  The Project was established to provide professional development for the next generation of national security journalists in an objective environment informed by the burgeoning opportunities of the new Media.  It will honor Monica Crowley of FOX News.  Panels prior to lunch will discuss new media, national security and the election.  Panelists will include Rich Miniter of Forbes Magazine, former Washington Times security expert Bill Gertz and NRO Columnists Andrew McCarthy, among others.

Forum to Look at Energy, Trade – The Washington International Trade Assn will hold a forum on trade and energy tomorrow morning at the Reagan Building.  For more than 60 years, the goal of U.S. trade policy has been to create a more open global market by reducing or eliminating tariffs, trade-distorting subsidies, and discriminatory regulations.  By contrast, since at least the early 1970s, the goal of US energy policy has been to achieve “independence” from global markets by boosting domestic production, restricting exports, and reducing imports of fossil energy.    There will be two panels.  The first panel will address current U.S. policy regarding energy exports, including restrictions on liquefied natural gas and crude oil exports.  They will discuss the effects of those policies on: (i) U.S. energy producers and manufacturers; (ii) the U.S. trade balance; (iii) U.S. foreign policy and security interests; (iv) the use of export restraints by U.S. trading partners on industrial raw materials, including rare earth minerals, and food.  It features CSIS’s Sarah Ladislaw, Paul Cicio of the Industrial Energy Consumers of America and former White House and Senate Energy staffer Lisa Epifani.  A second panel will discuss renewables and international efforts to reduce or eliminate trade barriers affecting environmental goods and services; (ii) the use of trade remedies against renewable energy technologies; (iii) the merits of different types of government support for renewable energy (e.g., R&D, direct subsidies, local content requirements, and government procurement restrictions); and (iv) the spate of WTO cases arising from government support programs and the effect of those cases on the development of renewable energy.  Brookings’ Josh Meltzer, Elizabeth Drake of Stewart & Stewart and GE’s David Nelson will be on the panel.

Energy to Host Fuel Cell Webinar – The U.S. Department of Energy’s EERE Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Technologies Program will present a live webinar tomorrow at 12:00 p.m. titled “DOE Updates Jobs and Economic Impacts of Fuel Cells.” The webinar will feature a tool for estimating the economic impacts of fuel cells in early market applications. The tool, titled “Jobs and Economic Impacts of Fuel Cells,” estimates the jobs created by deploying fuel cells in forklifts, backup power, and prime power applications. The webinar will include an overview of the model, recent updates, instructions for data entry and interpretation of results, and a question and answer session with participants.

Chamber Foundation to Look at Fiscal Challenges, States Efforts – The National Chamber Foundation will hold a forum on the tough decisions of our fiscal challenge tomorrow at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.  This event will highlight a report by the State Budget Crisis Task Force, co-chaired by Richard Ravitch, former lieutenant governor of New York, and Paul Volcker, former Federal Reserve Board chair. The report examines six major fiscal threats to states across the nation: Medicaid, federal deficit reduction, underfunded retirement, taxes, local government fiscal stress, and state budget laws and practices.  In addition, gubernatorial chiefs of staff from WI, CO, OK and VA will discuss how their states are balancing the need for fiscal responsibility while investing in a strong economic future.  A federal panel featuring Joseph A. Califano and Chamber President Tom Donohue will then facilitate a robust discussion on the challenges facing our country and answer the looming question of what we can do to avoid the fiscal cliff.

Forum to Look at EU Trading System – The Ministry of the Brussels-Capital Region, ABA Section of Environment, Energy, and Resources, and the Environmental Law Institute will host a forward-looking examination of Europe’s leading role in establishing and operating a greenhouse gas trading system tomorrow at 3:45 p.m.  With the international agreement to reach a new GHG protocol by 2020, where will the EU Emission Trading System go? How does it affect international transport, both by air and sea? What does this system mean for multinational businesses operating in or passing through Europe.  Panelists include GE’s Ann Condon, EU Enviro Rep in the United States Guenter Hoermandiger, Alcoa’s Sylvain Lhote and Nancy Young of Airlines for America.

Annual POWER-GEN Conference Tackles Key Issues – The annual POWER-GEN Conference will be held in Orlando, Florida tomorrow through Thursday at the Orange County Convention Center. Nearly 200 industry experts will present new solutions and innovations for the future in 36 conference sessions broken up in 12 tracks. Click here to download the Conference-at-a-Glance PDF.  The conference sessions are organized into multiple concurrent session tracks including industry trends / competitive power generation, environmental issues, emissions control, fossil technologies, gas turbine technologies, on-site power and plant performance.  There will also be separate Tracks on Nuclear, Renewable and Geothermal power.

Senate Tax Committee Panel Focused on Energy – The Senate Finance Committee’s energy panel holds a hearing Wednesday on tax reform and federal energy policy.  Witnesses include NREL’s Dan Arvizu, ACEEE’s Steve Nadel, Mark Wagner of Johnson Controls and Matt Golden of Efficiency. Org.  Of course, Bracewell’s Mike Pate (202-828-5841) can provide background.

House Financial Services to Look at Dodd-Frank – The House Financial Services Committee holds a hearing Wednesday on challenges implementing Title VII of the Dodd-Frank Act, which includes swaps.  My colleague Paul Maco (202-828-5821) can be a good resource for you on this.

DOE Grid Expert to Headline ICF Breakfast – ICF International continues its Energy and Environment Breakfast Series on Wednesday with Jay Caspary, senior policy advisor to the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and member of DOE’s Grid Tech Team, who will explore challenging issues facing the electric grid and potential solutions to these problems.

Inglis to Discuss Climate/Energy Taxes – The Johns Hopkins Washington, DC Center will host a forum on Wednesday at Noon on Climate and energy taxes.  Former U.S. Representative Bob Inglis’ presentation will focus on U.S. climate/energy politics and make the case for prudent action from a conservative perspective.  Inglis’ think tank at the George Mason University, the Energy and Enterprise Initiative, focuses on three key components to a prudent energy-and-climate policy. First, the policy should be strictly revenue-neutral to prevent the growth of government. Second, the policy should get government out of the business of ‘picking winners’ by ending all subsidies for all sources of energy. Third, the policy should, over time, fix the market distortion caused by negative externalities by attaching all costs to all sources of energy. A climate policy with these key attributes would level the playing field for energy production and poise the free-enterprise system to deliver the fuels of the future.

Forum to Look at New Nuclear Energy States – The Energy Security Initiative at Brookings will host a discussion on Wednesday at Noon looking at its latest research paper, “Human Resource Development in New Nuclear Energy States: Case Studies from the Middle East.” Based on case studies from three countries in the Middle East, the paper offers a series of recommendations on human resource related risks for emerging market nations looking to enter the civil nuclear sector. Following a presentation of the report’s findings and recommendations, Senior Fellow Charles Ebinger, director of the Energy Security Initiative, will moderate a discussion with its authors, John Banks and Kevin Massy.

ACORE to Look at Renewables in Next Congress – ACORE will hold a webinar on “Outlook for Renewable Energy – What to Expect in the New Congress” on Wednesday at 12:00 p.m.  2012 has been a record year for the U.S. renewable energy industry. Despite significant uncertainty, the industry installed about 12 GW of wind and 3 GW of solar and produced 16 million gallons of biofuels. But after the November elections, the U.S. policy agenda will be reset in 2013, and much is at stake for renewable energy.   The discussion will present predictions for 2013 while focusing on the current status of the renewable energy industry, the impact of the elections and congressional lame-duck session and what tax reform may mean for renewable energy policy and market momentum.

Faith-Based Enviro Groups to Discuss Climate – The Friends Committee on National Legislation (FCNL), on behalf a coalition of Catholic, Jewish, Quaker and Evangelical organizations will hold a House staff briefing on Wednesday at 12:30 p.m. in Rayburn on the importance of collaborative action, and how our communities can work with Congress on long term solutions.   While the fiscal cliff is rightfully Congress’ focus at this time, the climate cliff will in the long run be far more significant in scope if we do not act. It is recognized not only by many faith traditions, but also by the military and intelligence community, World Bank, and insurance companies, among others. Communities of faith play a critical role in voicing and acting upon the moral call to action, and in cultivating the compassion for and collaboration with others needed to mobilize society towards solving this great challenge.  Speakers will include Rep. Jim Moran, Lester Brown of the Earth Policy Institute and other religious environmental leaders.

RFF to Host Geoengineering Lecture – Resources for the Future will continue its 60th anniversary Resources 2020 Nobel Laureate lecture series on Thursday featuring Thomas Schelling, 2005 Nobel Laureate in Economic Sciences, who will discuss Geoengineering and some gentle experimentation.

Forum to Look at Disaster Preparedness – The Center for Strategic and International Studies and the Irene W. and C.B. Pennington Foundation will hold a session of the CSIS-Pennington Family Foundation Series on Community Resilience Toward More Effective Disaster Philanthropy on Thursday at 5:30 p.m. that will be an on-the-record panel discussion exploring how to move toward more effective disaster philanthropy.  Following a natural disaster, philanthropy plays a vital role in aiding affected communities and can have an equally critical role in building long term community resilience. As private entities, philanthropists can operate with flexibility across sectors and creativity that generates unique contributions across the lifecycle of disasters—from preparedness to recovery. The panel will feature Dr. David Abramson of the National Center for Disaster Preparedness, Wal-Mart’s Steve Dozier, Bob Ottenhoff of the Center for Disaster Philanthropy, USAID’s Tony Pipa and Joe Ruiz of the UPS Foundation Humanitarian Relief Program.

Energy Forum Features Jones, Connaughton, Wirth – will host a forum at the National Press Club on Friday, where leading energy and government experts will share their ideas, expectations and predictions for the future of U.S. energy policy.   The panel, moderated by Jim Angle, Chief National Correspondent with Fox News Channel, will feature former CEQ Chair Jim Connaughton of Exelon, Former National Security Advisor General James Jones, and former Colorado Senator and United Nations Foundation leader Tim Wirth.  These panelists will offer insights into how the winners of the 2012 elections will and should approach energy and national security, climate and the environment, the economy, and other emerging issues.

Forum to Look at Climate, Insurance Industry Concerns – The Environmental and Energy Study Institute (EESI) will hold a briefing on Friday at 11:00 a.m. in SVC 201 in the Capitol Visitors Center on insurance industry perspectives on recent extreme weather events and how strategic investment can help manage the threats posed by a changing and more severe climate. In New York, Washington and California, insurance companies are required to disclose their climate change response plans, and many insurers are considering modifying rates and expected payouts to address increasing extreme weather events and rising sea levels. As experts in assessing, quantifying and transferring risk, the insurance industry is a natural partner for the federal government as it looks to manage extreme weather vulnerability. The briefing will include the industry’s response to the growing number of very costly climate-related disasters and will consider how public-private collaboration can help manage risk and guide policy to promote long-term resiliency. Speakers for this event include Frank Nutter of the Reinsurance Association of America, Zurich’s Lindene Patton and Ceres Insurance Program Director Cynthia McHale.

AMS to Look at 2012 Drought – As part of its Climate Briefing Series, the American Meteorological Society is hosting the presentation “From the Root Up” looking at the 2012 Drought on Friday at 11:00 a.m. in 2325 Rayburn.   Speakers will include Texas State Climatologist John Nielsen-Gammon Texas A&M (otherwise known as Johnny Climate), John Boyer of the University of Delaware and NOAA’s Roger Pulwarty, Director of its National Integrated Drought Information System.


Chamber to Host Farm Innovation Forum – The U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the National Chamber Foundation will co-host a program on Wednesday, December 19th highlighting the innovations and emerging opportunities that today’s agriculture industry are presenting. This program will identify many of the latest innovations and advances in agriculture and show how America’s agriculture community continues to feed an ever growing global population while at the same time supporting American job creation and competitiveness.  Speakers include USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack, Secretary, Chamber President Tom Donohue, former Education Secretary Margaret Spellings (current President of the National Chamber Foundation), Peter Klein  of the University of Missouri, AEI’s Nick Schulz, John Deere FarmSight Director Jerry Roell and Blake Hurst of the Missouri Farm Bureau.

Wind Program to Discuss Next-Year Agenda – DOE’s Wind Powering America Director Jonathan Bartlett and National Technical Director Ian Baring-Gould will provide an overview of programmatic plans for the upcoming year Wednesday, December 19th at 3”00 p.m.   The discussion will include the soon-to-be-released request for proposal for the inaugural National Collegiate Wind Competition and new Regional Resource Centers. This free webinar is part of Wind Powering America’s 2012 webinar series and follows a tradition of fall webinars that provide an overview of program activities for the upcoming year. Ample Q&A time will be available.

Energy Update Week of June 4


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. 


 Frank Maisano
(202) 828-5864
C. (202) 997-5932


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.


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.


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 – 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.

Energy Update: Week of July 5, 2011


For those of you who thought we might not be back this week: SURPRISE!!!  We have ripped ourselves away from Wimbledon, le Tour, riveting fireworks shows (personal and public) and our preparation for the final Harry Potter film (just 9 days away) to get back up on the bike and ride.  Fortunately, I already know the ending of the final HP movie, but that still means that my daughter Hannah will only let me get out of the midnight showing.

We return this week because Congress (at least the Senate) boldly cancelled its recess after the President’s comments in his Press Conference last week (before running out to play a round of golf).  Of course, that ginned up many of you to think there may be some openings for energy and the environment with the extra time.  Don’t get your hopes up, and remember, the House was going to be in this week any way.

We will have some fireworks though with the expected release of EPA’s Transport Rule and the House Approps mark-up of the EPA/Interior funding bill.  As you already know, the CATR rule was slated for last week but last minute delays at OMB and the Senate testimony of EPA pushed everything to this week.  All signs point to Texas being included, which will go over like a dud in the Lone Star state, perhaps leading to 1835 all over again.  As for the House Interior/EPA Approps, the subcommittee meets Thursday morning to mark up. Look for targets to be painted on the climate regs, as well as other proposed rules including for coal ash disposal, boilers, new water quality standards for Appalachian coal mining and many other things that the Republicans don’t like.  As for Interior, while Chairman Simpson has promised a full budget for BOEMRE, that won’t limit complaints about the pace of permitting for offshore/onshore drilling and other controversial Interior actions.  Energy and Water Approps may also hit the floor of the House this week as well with a Rules Committee meeting on Wednesday.

And if fireworks are your interest, then maybe perhaps you should head over to the House Science Committee on Thursday where they will take up the E-15 Ethanol blend and the science behind the mandate.  The “over” on the saying “Ethanol is more about political science” (or some variation of that) is 8.   Expected a full-throated response from the Ethanol Boys even though they are not on the panel as of now.

Finally, lest you think that oil/gas drilling companies aren’t helpful to the renewable industry, I would suggest you check out the following Helix efforts on behalf of renewables.  As you may recall, not only is Helix a drilling company, they played a giant-sized role in both the Macondo spill containment and the post-spill containment system development that finally allowed Interior to issue new drilling permits.  Helix’s ROV division Canyon Offshore is devoting a lot of time and effort to customers in the offshore renewable energy industry.  They’ve done quite a bit of work in the North Sea, and have a four-year contract with ABB to install wind farms throughout Europe. (See more details below)

Just over a week to go until the July 12-14 SAFE National Energy Security Summit.  In additional to the other panels (a CEO panel moderated by NBC’s Meet The Press host David Gregory) and Oil Shockwave simulation that will take pace, organizers have added another panel that will focus on the future of offshore drilling featuring Thad Allen, Helix CEO Owen Kratz, BP’s Michael Finley and someone from the Shell Alaska team.  I will be moderating that panel so please make sure you sign up for this great event here.


Helix Technologies Working on Renewables – The advent of industrial-scale production of energy from wind and tidal sources is serving to shift the offshore energy paradigm from a singular focus on fossil fuels, to one that includes renewable energy sources as well.  Offshore wind farms generated more than three gigawatts of electricity worldwide in 2010, with global output projections of 75 GW within the next ten years.  Advances in renewable energy generation techniques are critical to ensure the continuation of this trend.  Helix ‘s Canyon Offshore is applying tools and technologies established through years of leadership in the offshore oil and gas industry to the needs of wind farm developers and constructors.  Remote operated vehicle-based cable installation, trenching and burial methodologies facilitate wind farm construction in greater water depths further from shore, improving return on investment while reducing environmental impact.  Additionally, these new applications for oilfield technologies are keeping crews engaged while the offshore energy industry continues its post-Macondo recovery.  In addition to systems proven in oil and gas fields worldwide, Canyon Offshore is developing new vessels and ROVs designed for the specific needs of the renewables industry.  With a new, 1,200 hp jet trenching system and DP3 support vessel capable of deploying up to four ROVs simultaneously set to join the fleet in early 2012, Canyon Offshore is committed to anticipating the future needs of wind farm development programs and providing reliable, cost-effective solutions to meet those needs.  Some of the oilfield technologies key to renewable energy growth include tools developed for the offshore oil and gas industry that are making renewable energy production more efficient, streamlining field construction and expanding development options.  The renewable projects also have given oilfield workers new opportunities during challenging times for Gulf of Mexico companies.  Because of its current efforts, Canyon Offshore has committed capital to build a new offshore service vessel and high-performance ROV system to meet the specific needs of the renewable energy industry.  Can help with lots more on this, please call. 

PA Bird, Bat Study Shows Turbine Impact – The Pennsylvania Game Commission has released a post construction study of wind turbine facilities in Pennsylvania over the last three years shows approximately 25 bats and four birds are killed every year at each of the state’s 420 active turbines.  The study is the first broad public release of information of data gathered through 2007’s Wind Energy Voluntary Cooperation Agreement between the commission and wind developers.  Approximately 30 participating developers agreed to conduct one year of pre-construction and two years of post-construction monitoring of birds and bats at each site using commission data-collection and study guidelines. The study is the first broad public release of information of data gathered through 2007’s Wind Energy Voluntary Cooperation Agreement between the commission and wind developers.  Approximately 30 participating developers agreed to conduct one year of pre-construction and two years of post-construction monitoring of birds and bats at each site using commission data-collection and study guidelines. The above link gets you to the PGC page.  To get the report, click on the link for “PGC 2nd Wind Energy Summary Report.”

AWC Holds NJ Townhall Meetings on Backbone Project – Atlantic Wind Connection officials have completed the first pair of four scheduled informational discussions in the southern New Jersey counties of Atlantic and Cape May.  AWC will host two more discussions on July 22 in Ocean County and July 30 in Monmouth County.  These informal discussions were designed to educate local officials, labor groups, industry leaders, educators and environmental representatives about AWC’s plans for constructing an offshore wind transmission line for the offshore wind industry off the coasts of New Jersey.  AWC CEO Bob Mitchell moderated both events, saying the discussions have been an invaluable way to introduce the backbone transmission line project in an informal setting.  Mitchell: “This educational process is important for us to undertake in order to learn of the local interest in offshore wind and explain how the Atlantic Wind Connection will provide the foundation, the inter-state highway for offshore wind that will enable the new industry to create thousands of jobs for New Jersey.”   Participants at the events included local community leaders, utility officials, union leaders, wind developers, environmental groups and other interested citizens.  Atlantic Wind Connection is the offshore transmission backbone for renewable energy that will have the capabilities of bringing power generated from all of these offshore wind farms directly to the power grid. Developers will benefit dramatically while seeing their costs reduced when they interconnect with the Atlantic Wind Connection (AWC). The planned AWC system can reduce wind project transmission costs by significantly decreasing connection length, expensive land-based grid upgrades and multiple, duplicative approvals.  The Mid-Atlantic region offers more than 60,000 MW of offshore wind potential in the relatively shallow waters of the outer continental shelf. With few other renewable energy options ideally suited for the Atlantic coast, this transmission project will help states meet their renewable energy goals and standards by enabling the local offshore wind industry to deploy thousands of megawatts of clean, cost-effective wind turbine capacity. When complete, the AWC backbone will be able to connect up to 7,000 MW of offshore wind, enough power to serve over 2 million households.

CA Delays Cap/Trade Law – Last week, California said it was delaying the implementation of its AB 32, the embattled cap and trade initiative that it passed in 2006.  Mary Nichols, chairwoman of the Air Resources Board, told a state Senate Committee they would give power plants, refineries and other major polluters another year to comply with the new state program.  Most companies were to begin cutting emissions under the program next year, but the current delay will move that to 2013.  Some say the delays raises concerns about the state’s commitment to the difficult plan, while other opponents and academics say it shows the difficulty of implementing a such a program.  Supporters say the delay will prevent gaming the system and allow the state to provide flexibility that will allow the state to road-test market mechanisms.  Environmental groups supported the delay.  In May, San Francisco Superior Court Judge Ernest Goldsmith said the CARB’s cap-and-trade program analysis was lacking, granting a victory to environmental justice groups, who had sued over the market-based model, which they alleged would increase air pollution in some spots by allowing companies to buy their way to compliance.

New EPA Report Highlights Climate Adaptation Issues – A new federal report on climate adaptation suggests that development in some low lying coastal areas will have to give way to rising sea levels. EPA released “Rolling Easements,” a primer for communities to preserve development rights of shoreline property owners while acknowledging that some coastal properties will be economically or environmentally infeasible to defend from rising sea levels. The report says that defending coastal development from the rising sea would prevent wetlands from migrating inland, expose large numbers of people to the hazard of living below sea level, and often cost more than what the property being protected is worth. The report detailed land-use and legal tools that would allow coastal development, but prohibit seawalls and shoreline protections from being built in some areas. Proposals include issuing regulations or transferring the rights to build shoreline protections from owners who would do so to organizations that would not. This allows property to be put to its highest use, but it can be converted to wetland or beach once it is threatened by rising seas.

Letter to Gov. Christie Urges Veto of NatGas Drilling Ban – Following up on the decision this week by state legislators in New Jersey to approve legislation seeking an outright ban on natural gas drilling’s hydraulic fracturing procedure, our friends at Energy In Depth sent a detailed letter to Gov. Chris Christie today highlighting several important facts about the technology, along with an attachment capturing comments and insights from more than a dozen state environmental regulators from both parties testifying to the safety and efficiency of fracturing.  Also copied on the letter are the primary co-sponsors of the bill from both the General Assembly and Senate. The letter also extends an invitation to the governor, legislators, and their staff to tour a wellsite and see firsthand how a fracturing operation works, and what policies and procedures are in place to ensure it is executed safely.


House Approps EPA/Interior Markup – The House Approps on Interior/EPA will mark up it 2012 funding bill on Thursday at 9:00 a.m. in B-308 Rayburn.  On the hot seat will be climate regs, as well as other proposed rules including for coal ash disposal, boilers, new water quality standards for Appalachian coal mining and many other things that the Republicans don’t like.  As for Interior, while Chairman Simpson has promise a full budget for BOEMRE that won’t limit complaints about the pace of permitting for offshore and onshore drilling and other controversial Interior actions.

House Science to Tackle E-15 Science – The House Science Energy and Environment Subcommittee will hold a hearing on Thursday at 2:00 p.m. to look at the role that higher-ethanol gasoline blends can play in domestic adoption of the fuel. The hearing is expected to get a skeptical viewpoint on the wisdom of using more corn ethanol.  Witnesses include EPA’s longtime fuels head Margo Oge, API’s Bob Greco, Environmental Working Group’s Heather White, Jason Wasil of Evinrude Outboard Motors and National Chicken Council President Mike Brown.  Each of these groups have strongly protested the use of more ethanol for various reasons.  Sure to draw a sharp rebuke from ethanol proponents is the lack of witnesses on their side to defend E-15.

Pew Forum to Look at Military, Energy – The Pew Charitable Trusts will hold a briefing on Thursday to discuss energy innovation and the military.  The Department of Defense and the military services have been national leaders in adopting cutting edge renewable and efficient energy technologies and policies. These three Assistant Secretaries are the highest ranking officials that oversee energy-related issues within the military services. They will discuss the risks posed by energy dependence to the Armed Forces as well as innovative solutions to improving energy efficiency.  The Pew Project on National Security, Energy and Climate is an initiative of the Pew Environment Group and is dedicated to highlighting the critical linkages among national security, energy independence, the economy and climate change. The Pew Project brings together military, security and scientific experts to examine new strategies for combating climate change, protecting our national security, increasing our energy independence and preserving our nation’s natural resources.  Speakers will include Assistant Secretary of the Army Katherine Hammack, Assistant Secretary of the Navy Jackalyne Pfannenstiel, Assistant Secretary of the Air Force Terry A. Yonkers, and former Virginia Senator and Navy Secretary John W. Warner.

Joint Hearing Looks at NatGas Drilling on Public Lands – On Friday at 10:00 a.m., a joint hearing of House Natural Resources panel on Energy and Mineral Resources and House Agriculture’s panel on Conservation, Energy and Forestry will explore a proposed ban on horizontal drilling in the George Washington National Forest in Virginia and West Virginia and an Interior Department plan to more tightly regulate hydraulic fracturing on federal lands. The hearing will focus on the U.S. Forest Service’s use of a horizontal drilling ban through a Draft Forest Plan to effectively eliminate hydraulic fracturing in the George Washington National Forest in Virginia and West Virginia, as well as the Interior Departments’ potential regulation of hydraulic fracturing on federal lands. Horizontal drilling provides significant benefit to development by reducing the footprint of oil and gas production and allowing for directional drilling to leave undisturbed areas of environmental concern. In December 2010, then Ranking Member Hastings sent a letter to Interior Secretary Salazar expressing concerns over statements made by the Secretary that Interior would consider regulating hydraulic fracturing on public lands.

DTF Forum to Look at Diesel Sales – On Friday, the Diesel Technology Forum will hold a seminar on diesel car sales.  Growth in diesel car sales are expected to continue in the years ahead as consumers look for ways to cut down on fuel use without sacrificing performance or convenience.  As EPA & NHTSA establish new fuel economy standards for passenger cars in 2017-2025, a greater number of diesel vehicles are expected to become available to meet the challenge.  This session will look at the prospects for greater diesel penetration in the U.S. and how growing use of renewable diesel fuel can bring fuel efficiency and CO2 emissions on a par with other advanced technology vehicles.


Demand Response, Smart Grid Meeting – The National Town Meeting on demand response and smart grid issues will be held on Sunday through Tuesday, July 12-14 at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center.  The National Town Meeting is a non-profit event that pulls in top stakeholders from utilities, technology companies, RTOs, Congress, federal and state agencies, environmental groups, consumer groups, and research and consulting firms. They will all be there to assess the state of the industry and, with your help, to set the agenda for the years to come.  Topics to be covered include efficiency, demand response, Smart Grid, long-term planning, data access, electric vehicles and regional policies.  New for 2011, the National Town Meeting will feature an additional day dedicated to the effort of implementing FERC and DOE’s National Action Plan on Demand Response. The NAP Day Pre-Conference Workshop, on July 12, will be hosted by the National Action Plan Coalition.  The are numerous speakers lead by FERC Chair Jon Wellinghoff, FERC Commissioner Cheryl LeFleur, Sen. Mark Udall, DOE’s Patricia Hoffman, EDF’s Fred Krupp and many others.

Senate Energy to Tackle Solar, Geothermal – The Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources will convene a hearing Tuesday, July 12th at 10:00 am to examine S.1160, to improve the administration of the Department of Energy, S.1108, to provide local communities with tools to make solar permitting more efficient, and S.1142, to promote the mapping and development of the United States geothermal resources by establishing a direct loan program for high risk geothermal exploration wells, to amend the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 to improve geothermal energy technology and demonstrate the use of geothermal energy in large scale thermal applications.

SAFE to Hold Energy Security Summit – Securing America’s Future Energy (SAFE) will hold a National Summit on Energy Security on July 12th and 13th at the Ritz-Carlton in Washington, DC.  The event will bring together military leaders, CEOs and policymakers to address the threats posed by US dependence on oil.  Event will include a welcome dinner to kick off the event and feature a discussion on the national security and economic threats posed by our dependence on oil; an executive crisis simulation call Oil ShockWave, a fast-paced wargame simulation featuring a cutting-edge graphics package and sophisticated modeling delivered in a life-like environment, including participation from Admiral Dennis Blair, USN (Ret.), former White House Press Secretary Ari Fleischer, Cheney National Security Advisor John Hannah, former Shell CEO John Hofmeister, past US Trade Rep Susan Schwab and General Charles F. Wald, USAF (Ret.), former Deputy Commander, U.S. European Command; a CEO Forum Luncheon featuring Fred Smith of FedEx and Andrew C. Taylor of Enterprise Holdings; Moderated panel discussions on specific aspects of the energy security issue spectrum and formulate paths forward; and a Capitol Hill reception featuring members of Congress who are leaders on energy security and electrification issues.

CSIS Forum to Address Arctic Oil, Gas Development – The Center for Strategic and International Studies Energy and National Security Program is holding a forum on Arctic oil and gas development starting at 9:30 a.m. on Thursday July 12th in its B1 Conference Level.  It will be the final session in its Impacts of the Gulf Oil Spill Series, which will evaluate the development of Arctic oil and gas resources.  The oil and gas resources of the Arctic region represent one of the most promising, largely untapped hydrocarbon resources in the world.  A 2008 U.S. Geological Survey study estimated the recoverable oil resources of the Arctic region at 90 billion barrels, about 13 percent of the world’s remaining oil resources and the gas resource at 1,670 trillion cubic feet, about 30 percent of the world’s remaining gas resource.  These oil and gas resources are located throughout the Arctic region and each of the five Arctic nations has prospective areas.  However, the development of these oil and gas resources faces a number of daunting issues.  The conference will examine several key issue areas including: the state of play in development plans and activities in each of the Arctic countries, oil spill risks, and the possibilities for international cooperation to reduce the risk of major accidents and contain accidents that do occur.  Panel Discussions will cover 1) Development and Infrastructure Options in Alaska’s Arctic and Market Challenges; 2) International Arctic Resource Developments and Opportunities and 3) Environmental Challenges for Arctic Development.  Confirmed speakers include Senate Energy’s Lisa Murkowski, Interior Deputy Secretary David Hayes and U.S. Arctic Research Commission chair Fran Ulmer, who also served on the BP Oil Spill Commission.

Brookings to Release Report on Clean Energy – On Wednesday morning July 13th, the Metropolitan Policy Program at Brookings will bring together business, economic development and political leaders to review the progress of clean industries, identify policy issues and opportunities, and consider how faster and broader growth of the clean economy could be encouraged at the national, state and regional level. A report and first-of-its-kind database, produced in collaboration with Battelle’s Technology Partnership Practice, will be released at the event, providing new measures of the clean economy at the national and metropolitan levels. Also featured will be an interactive web tool that will allow users to track jobs, growth, segments, and other variables nationally, by state and by region. Brookings Managing Director William Antholis will welcome participants and Bruce Katz, vice president and director of the Metropolitan Policy Program, will present the findings of this major new report on the status of the U.S. clean economy. Panel discussions will follow, presenting the corporate and regional perspective.  Our friend, Andy Revkin of New York Times’ dotEarth will moderate a panel that will feature ARPA-E Director Arun Majumdar, among others.

NJ to Host Innovation SummitNational Journal will host an Innovation Works conference on Wednesday July 13th at the Ronald Reagan Building to look at the link between new cutting-edge innovations and the public policy environment that incubates these new technologies.   Among the speakers will be ARPA-E head Dr. Arun Majumdar, Simon Tripp of Battelle and US House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy.

ASE to Host Forum on PACE – The Alliance to Save Energy will host another noon lunch on Wednesday July 13th featuring Alan Strachan, co-founder of Ygrene Energy Fund, and Greg Caplan, Senior Program Manager for Lockheed Martin Energy Solutions, discuss an innovative financing model for Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE).  American business is poised to launch a massive Retooling America campaign, with at least $500 billion of new capital investment in energy efficiency and renewable energy retrofits of existing buildings, plants and operations, 100% privately financed, producing 5 million jobs and reducing CO2 in the process. The driver behind this is the demand represented by roughly $1 trillion sitting on the sidelines, earning extremely low returns, and needing a safe place to park. The Commercial and Industrial Property Assessed Clean Energy (C&I PACE) laws in states covering two thirds of the country’s population provide a vehicle to move that money off the sidelines and place it safely and responsibly in energy efficiency and renewable energy capital assets. Retooling America with 100% private financing will dramatically reduce the federal deficit, while simultaneously moving the country toward energy independence and reducing American business’ exposure to fossil fuel price volatility. No federal legislation or funding is required or requested.  No state or local funding is needed.

Biomass Heat Symposium Set – The Alliance for Green Heat is organizing this stakeholder symposium on Wednesday afternoon at the Yates Training room of the US Forest Service to bring together non-profits, industry, government and forestry and air quality experts to explore how America can maximize the renewable energy potential of wood and pellet heat, and minimize associated drawbacks.  At the Symposium, they will also release a new report, “Transforming Wood Heat In America: A Toolkit of Policy Options.”  While residential wood heat is the dominant player in residential renewable energy, most wood heat appliances in America are outdated and emit too many particulates. Robust deployment of modern, high efficiency appliances in Europe has succeeded in helping make substantial strides towards energy independence.  Wood heat provides 80% of residential renewable energy in America, solar PV 15% and geothermal 5%. While older wood burning appliances are common, bringing modern, low-emission appliances to scale is one of the most cost effective ways to reduce residential fossil fuel use. Wood heat enjoys a deep cultural acceptance in America but policies to harness and transform it are lacking. This symposium explores the opportunities for policy makers to maximize the potential of residential wood heat to reduce fossil fuel use in a tight fiscal climate, while minimizing its drawbacks. The speakers will cover the policy landscape, sustainability and emissions issues, state and federal case studies and results of a new study on thermal biomass incentives.

Forum to Look at Oil, Rep. Roscoe Bartlett and Rep. Peter Welch – co-chairs of the bipartisan Congressional Peak Oil Caucus – will host an expert discussion on Thursday July 14th at Noon in 2325 Rayburn to look at the economics of America’s oil dependence.  From industrial productivity to the daily commute to putting food on the table, the price of oil has a huge impact on the American people and economy. Oil prices correlate to food prices and home foreclosures; and oil price shocks tend to precede — and many suspect cause — recessions and spikes in unemployment. Factor in government incentives, geopolitical realities, environmental impacts, and the military deployments needed to keep the oil flowing, and the true cost of America’s reliance on oil starts to come into focus.  Speakers will include former Louisiana Senator J. Bennett Johnston, Co-Author of The Impending World Energy Mess Roger Bezdek, and Eyal Aronoff, Co-Founder of Quest Software.

Forum to Look at Transmission’s Economic Impacts – EESI and WIRES (Working group for Investment in Reliable and Economic electric Systems) will hold a briefing on Friday, July 15th at 10:00 a.m. in the Congressional Meeting Room North of the Capitol Visitor Center to discuss how the manufacture and construction of electric transmission infrastructure can make a major contribution to reversing the nation’s stagnation in employment and economic activity. The electric transmission system is a critical and strategic asset for our nation. As policymakers focus on infrastructure development as an engine of new jobs and economic activity, this panel is a reminder that electric transmission – developed at the levels that experts project the country will need over the next two decades – is at the center of economic revitalization. This briefing will focus on WIRES’ recent study with the Brattle Group, Employment and Economic Benefits of Transmission Infrastructure Investment in the U.S. and Canada, and the work of other organizations that demonstrate that new transmission will result in hundreds of thousands of jobs over the next 20 years and that this impetus will be supplied largely by private capital. Speakers for this event include Brattle Groups principal Hannes Pfeifenberger, IBEW’s Jim Hunter, NREL analyst Eric Lantz and Randy Fordice of Great River Energy and CapX2020.

Woodruff to Headline NACo Meeting – NACo’s 76th Annual Conference and Exposition held July 15-19 will be in Multnomah County, (Portland) Oregon. The Annual Conference’s keynote speaker will be ABC News correspondent Bob Woodruff and Aron Ralston, the inspiration for the film 127 Hours.  The meeting provides county officials with a great opportunity to vote on NACo’s policies related to federal legislation and regulation; elect officers; network with colleagues; learn about innovative county programs; find out about issues impacting counties across the country; and view products and services from participating companies and exhibitors.

Forum to Look at Defense Dept’s Energy Use – The CSIS Energy and National Security Program and Defense-Industrial Initiatives Group will hold a forum on July 15th at 2:30 p.m. featuring Sharon Burke, Assistant Secretary of Defense for Operational Energy Plans and Programs to present key details of the Defense Department’s strategy on operation energy .  Burke’s remarks will be followed by an expert panel discussion. On June 14, 2011 the Department of Defense released its first ever “Operational Energy Strategy” which outlines how the department can better use energy resources to support their strategic goals, the country’s broader energy security goal, lower risks to the warfighter, and more efficiency allocate and save taxpayer resources.

NPC to Host Trade Rep. Kirk – The Newsmakers Committee will host US Trade Rep. Ron Kirk for a newsmaker speech and Q&A on July 18th at 10:00 a.m. at the National Press Club.  More details to come on this.

Hydro Conference Set for Sacramento – HydroVision International will be held on July 19-22 in Sacramento, CA and will address the effects, solutions and the plan for advancing sustainable hydropower throughout the world.  HydroVision International will highlight perspectives on the role of hydropower, explore issues affecting hydro resources, and help participants develop a vision to meet challenges and ensure the future sustainability of hydro. This event will bring together a broad range of global hydro professionals with environmental, technical, social, and regulatory perspectives

AT&T’s Stephenson, ARPA-E’s Majumdar at July NARUC Meeting – Top federal officials, CEOs from major telecommunications firms, energy producers, and renewable developers will address the nation’s State public service commissioners during the July 17-20, 2011, National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners Summer Committee Meetings.  The meetings, held at the JW Marriott at the new LA Live! complex in Los Angeles, will feature keynote addresses and panel discussions on meeting global energy supply, building out the nation’s utility infrastructure, and the state of the U.S. telecommunications sector.  Confirmed speakers for the Summer Committee Meetings include AT&T Chairman, President, and CEO Randall Stephenson, Chesapeake Energy Chairman, CEO Aubrey McClendon, Peabody Energy Chairman, CEO Gregory Boyce, American Water Works CEO Jeff Sterba, Comcast Corp. Executive Vice President David Cohen, American Wind Energy Association CEO Denise Bode, Solar Alliance President Carrie Cullen Hitt, American Electric Power President Nick Akins, and many more.  Dr. Arum Majumdar, Director of the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy and Advisor to the U.S. Secretary of Energy, will deliver keynote remarks as well.  The Summer Meetings will feature three crucial general sessions:

1) Monday, July 18: Global Energy Supply: How Will We Meet what the World Needs in a Time of Uncertainty? 2) Tuesday, July 19: The State of Telecommunications, 2011 and 3) Wednesday, July 20: The Money Pit: How do you Finance the Future, and Who Pays for It?  In addition, NARUC’s committees will conduct business meetings, consider policy resolutions, and hold a number of additional panel discussions. For a complete list, please visit the NARUC Meetings Webpage.  Please note committee agendas are subject to change.

Forum on Cool Roofs Set – EESI will hold a briefing on Thursday, July 21st at 2:00 p.m. in SVC 212/210 Capitol Visitor Center to look at the potential for solar-reflective roofs and other “cool-roofing” techniques to lower the surface temperature of buildings and entire cities. Cool roofs improve comfort on hot summer days and reduce the amount of energy used for air-conditioning – thereby reducing energy costs and improving air quality. Whitening flat roofs is a low-cost solution which, if implemented in certain cities across the globe, has been estimated to have the potential to offset the carbon emissions of 300 million automobiles. At this briefing, renowned physicist and energy efficiency expert Arthur Rosenfeld will discuss research at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) that for the first time quantifies the reflective power (albedo) of urban surfaces that would be necessary to mitigate the urban heat-island effect and offset carbon dioxide emissions. Panelists also will discuss insulated and vegetated (“green”) roofs and how different types of cool roofs may be combined or integrated with solar-roofing systems, photovoltaics (PV) and/or solar thermal technology.  Introductory remarks will be by Sen. Chris Coons (D-DE).  Panel speakers will include Arthur Rosenfeld of Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, James Hoff of the Center for Environmental Innovation in Roofing, Buildings and Energy expert in NYC Mayor Bloomberg’s Office of Long Term Planning and Sustainability Laurie Kerr and GSA’s Kevin Kampschroer, Director of the Office of Federal High-Performance Green Buildings.

CIBO Meeting on Emissions Set for Portland – The Council of Industrial Boiler Owners will hold its Industrial Emissions Conference in Portland, Maine at the Holiday Inn hotel on August 1st – 4th.  Expected topics will include discussions the current policy status of Boiler MACT issues.