Energy Update: Week of July 5

Friends,

I hope everybody enjoyed an extra day for the 4th, celebrating our freedom with fireworks, family and friends.  Here in DC, the rain seemed to hold enough just enough to get our celebrations in.

Now that basketball and hockey are complete, and baseball slides toward its Summer All-Star classic, it was a very exciting weekend of sports.  Wimbledon is now heading into its second week of the fortnight and the Tour de France has launched.  On the grass courts of the All England Club, we have already seen a major upset on the men’s side with Novak Djokovic losing to American Sam Querrey.  Federer and Murray both look strong.  On the Women’s side, both Serena and Venus Williams won quarterfinal matches this morning with the bracket lining up for a sisters final if they both continue to win out.

As far as France, it looks like the 103rd Tour de France’s 21 stages this year will cover a total distance of 3,519 km.  The route will consist of 9 mountain stages including 4 summit finishes (Andorre Arcalis, Mont Ventoux, Finhaut-Emosson et Saint-Gervais Mont Blanc).  As usual, the crew will get only two rest days, and this year, the race will visit three neighboring countries: Spain, the Principality of Andorra and Switzerland.  The race started on Saturday in Mont-Saint-Michel and raced past Normandy to Utah Beach.  You can see the analysis of each stage here and the livestream daily here.

This week, Congress returns to action for GMO votes in the Senate and spending legislation in the House before lawmakers race to the July 15th summer break deadline.  While we have heard rumors that both houses may vote to start an energy conference, so far there has been little movement that would indicate that Democrats – especially in the Senate – are that interested.   Finally, FAA authorization must be renewed by July 15th so we are also watching that to see if it will collect additional items.

On the committee side this week, there will be a House Resources Committee hearing tomorrow on offshore leasing innovations featuring our friends Randi Luthi of NOIA and Walter Cruickshank of BOEM.  Also tomorrow, House Energy will review of EPA’s regulatory activity during the Obama Administration for the energy and industrial sectors.  EPA’s Janet McCabe will be under fire again and other panelists include NARUC President and Montana PSC Chair Travis Kavulla, former Obama DOE official Chuck McConnell and Texas Railroad Commission Chair David Porter.  On Thursday, House Energy tackles agreement targeting spent nuclear fuel disposal and House Resources is back on BLM’s planning rule redraft getting state perspectives.  Finally, a House Judiciary panel and House Budget will both look into regulations and their impact on the economy tomorrow and Thursday respectively.

While this week is slow, remember to mark your calendars for the annual EIA Energy Conference set for next Monday and Tuesday. Keynoters are Tesoro’s Greg Goff, Kinder Morgan’s Steve Kean and Dan Gardiner, Advisor to the Canadian PM.  OSTP Director John Holdren, Sen. Jeff Flake and Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson will also be on the agenda.

Finally, just two weeks to the launch of the Republican Convention in Cleveland.  We are beginning to think we may have to just expect the unexpected.  It should be an interesting convention.  And just one week later, we head to Philadelphia for the Democratic Convention, which should be a little more normal.  One interesting item to watch though will be the platform fight over “Keep it in the Ground.”

 

Best,

Frank Maisano

(202) 828-5864

(202) 997-5932

 

FRANKLY SPOKEN

“Carlos, Tom and Elise are independent leaders that works across the aisle to protect the environment and enable the development of clean energy, which creates jobs and makes America more secure. Their continued leadership is critical to ensuring that Congress moves ahead with sensible, forward-looking legislation that promotes a diverse, affordable and reliable set of existing power sources, as well as make the necessary investments to foster innovation that will create the next generation of clean energy power.”

ClearPath Action Fund Founder and CEO Jay Faison endorsing his first House Candidates, Reps. Carlos Curbelo (FL) , Tom Reed (NY) and Elise Stefanik (NY) last week.

 

IN THE NEWS

Southern Company, AGL Resources complete merger – Southern Company and AGL Resources completed their merger late last week creating one of America’s leading energy providers.  The company now consists of 11 regulated electric and natural gas distribution companies providing service to approximately 9 million customers; operations of nearly 200,000 miles of electric transmission and distribution lines and more than 80,000 miles of natural gas pipelines; and generating capacity of approximately 44,000 megawatts.   The combined company serves utility customers in 9 states – Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Maryland, Mississippi, New Jersey, Tennessee and Virginia – and has wholesale electricity generation and natural gas services, retail energy services and natural gas storage operations across the U.S.  For customers, this combination is expected to help the Southern Company system better meet their energy needs over time by improving current and future energy infrastructure development. For communities, it provides for the expansion of the company’s customer-focused business model.

ClearPath Endorses House Clean Energy Champions – ClearPath Action Fund is endorsing several conservative clean energy champions and starting digital campaign for Senators they endorse earlier this Spring.   ClearPath endorsed House members Carlos Curbelo of Florida and New York’s Tom Reed and Elise Stefanik.  ClearPath is touting their achievements starting soon with cutting-edge, six-figure digital media campaign. The campaigns, which will be run by Anthro, will include buys on many digital networks, including Facebook, Google, Twitter, YouTube and 4info. It will leverage a sophisticated microtargeting and test design strategy to segment persuadable clean energy voters by state and district.

ClearPath Starts Senate Digital Campaigns – Larger six-figure digital campaigns also began touting the clean energy records of ClearPath Action Fund’s initial congressional endorsements, Sens. Rob Portman and Kelly Ayotte. In addition to the 15-second and 30-second ads spotlighting Portman and Ayotte, voters will be driven to RobForCleanEnergy.com and KellyForCleanEnergy.com to further learn about their clean energy accomplishments.

NHTSA Releases Traffic Fatality Data Preliminary data released by the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration show a 7.7% increase in motor vehicle traffic deaths in 2015. An estimated 35,200 people died in 2015, up from the 32,675 reported fatalities in 2014. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx said they are analyzing the data to determine what factors contributed to the increase in fatalities and at the same time, we are aggressively testing new safety technologies, new ways to improve driver behavior, and new ways to analyze the data we have, as we work with the entire road safety community to take this challenge head-on.  Although the data are preliminary and requires additional analysis, the early NHTSA estimate shows 9 out of 10 regions within the United States had increased traffic deaths in 2015. The most significant increases came for pedestrians and bicyclists. View the report

SAFE Says Report Underscores Need for Leadership on Autonomous Vehicles – The NTSHA announcement, combined with the recent news of a fatal crash that occurred while Tesla’s autopilot function was activated, illustrate both the importance of autonomous driving features, and the imperative need for caution when deploying these features.  “These two events are deeply interrelated. The roads are becoming much more dangerous, as distracted driving is on the rise,” said Robbie Diamond, President and CEO of Securing America’s Future Energy. “Policymakers and the private sector must work together to expedite the adoption of autonomous vehicles, which will improve roadway safety by orders of magnitude—but this technology must be deployed with caution. The fatal crash of a Tesla vehicle on autopilot is a perfect example of the fact that human beings must be carefully stewarded when introduced to a technology as game-changing as autonomous or semi-autonomous vehicles.”

Driverless Cars Would Save Lives – One study conducted in Ann Arbor Michigan found that 200,000 personal vehicles could be replaced by just 18,000 shared, connected, autonomous vehicles. Opportunities like these abound across the United States, and with them, the chance to accelerate a widespread transition to alternative fuels like electricity, delinking America from the volatile global oil market and enhancing our economic and national security. In addition to the benefits for American energy security, connected, driverless cars could save 3,000 lives worldwide every day.

 

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

House Resources to Look at Offshore Leasing Innovations – The House Natural Resources Committee’s Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources will hold a hearing tomorrow to look at Rep Garrett Graves “Innovation in Offshore Leasing Act.”  The legislation amends the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act to authorize the Secretary of the Interior to conduct offshore oil and gas lease sales through Internet-based live lease sales.  Witnesses include BOEM’s Walter Cruickshank, NOIA’s Randy Luthi, EnergyNet CEO William Britain and Jayni Hein of the NYU’s Institute for Policy Integrity.

House Energy Tackles EPA Regs – The House Energy & Commerce Committee’s Subcommittee on Energy and Power will hold a hearing tomorrow reviewing EPA’s regulatory activity during the Obama Administration energy and industrial sectors.  Testifying will be Air Office head Janet McCabe as well ND Industrial Commission Director Lynn Helms, Montana PSC Chair and NARUC head Travis Kavulla, former DOE Obama official Chuck McConnell, Texas Railroad Commission Chair David Porter and Robert Weissman of Public Citizen.

House Judiciary Panel to Host OIRA Head, Experts on Regs – The House Judiciary Subcommittee on Regulatory Reform will hold a hearing tomorrow at 3:00 p.m. featuring OMB Office of Regulatory Affairs Administrator Howard Shelanski and four nongovernmental witnesses.   The hearing will look at the Obama regulatory impacts on jobs, wages and economic recovery.  Witnesses will include OIRA’s Howard Shelanski, former OMB/CBO official Douglas Holtz-Eakin, CEI’s Clyde Wayne Crews, GMU’s Mercatus Center VP William Beach, vice president and David Driesen, of the Syracuse University College of Law.

House Budget Panel to Also Look at Regs – Speaking of regulations, the Budget Committee will also hold a hearing at 9:30 a.m. on Thursday on the topic and how it fits into the budget process.  Regulation experts Crews and Beach will return to the Budget Committee and will be joined by Beach’s Mercatus colleague Patrick McLaughlin and George Washington U law expert Richard Pierce.

House Energy to Address Spent Fuel – The House Energy & Commerce Committee’s Subcommittee on Environment and the Economy will tackle Federal, state and local agreements and associated benefits for spent nuclear fuel disposal on Thursday at 10:00 a.m. The hearing is expected to examine the costs and benefits of building the Yucca Mountain repository northwest of Las Vegas. Representatives of Nye County are expected to be in attendance, as are public and private stakeholders from the Silver State.

House Resources to Look at BLM Rule Upgrade – The House Natural Resources Committee’s Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations will hold an oversight hearing on Thursday at 10:00  a.m., looking at state perspectives on BLM’s draft planning 2.0 rule. Deputy assistant secretary of land and minerals management at Interior Department Jim Lyons returns to the Hill after a battle last week in the Senate.  He will be joined by former House approps staffer Jim Ogsbury, now the executive director of the Western Governors’ Association, Utah’s Public Lands Policy Coordinating Office director Kathleen Clarke and Jeff Fontaine, the executive director of the Nevada Association of Counties.

Forum Looks at Waste Issues – Ambassador Henne Schuwer of the Royal Netherlands Embassy and Congressman Paul Tonko (D-NY) will co-host a forum at 11:45 a.m. in B-369 Rayburn on waste to jumpstart the discussion on how companies and legislators can transition to a circular economy.  Representatives from both the American and Dutch private sector will address the opportunities and barriers that businesses will face when making this transition in a panel discussion, followed by a Q&A. The session will be moderated by Kevin Moss, Global Director of Business Center at the World Resources Institute.  The Trash to Treasure forum is organized under the Holland on the Hill initiative, a joint project of the Royal Netherlands Embassy, the Dutch Congressional Caucus, the Netherlands business community, and the Netherland-America Foundation.

House Science to Markup Energy Legislation – The House Committee on Science will meet to markup legislation on Thursday at 2:00 p.m.  The Committee will address the “Solar Fuels Innovation Act”, the “Electricity Storage Innovation Act”, and the “National Institute of Standards and Technology Campus Security Act.” Chairman Smith’s “Electricity Storage Innovation Act” would establish a Department of Energy research program on storing and converting electrical power into chemical energy while Rep. Steve Knight’s (R-Calif.) legislation to establish a solar fuels basic research initiative at DOE.

RFA to Hold Webinar – Our friends at the Renewable Fuels Assn will be hosting a webinar on Thursday at 11:00 a.m. on gasoline refining and blending.  The RFF has teamed up with the fuel refining experts at MathPro, Inc. to sponsor a 5-part webinar series that examines ethanol’s unique octane properties and its potential role as the octane source of choice in future fuels. The series will look at the opportunities and challenges that lie ahead for ethanol-based high-octane fuels.  The next/third part will be July 28th.

Forum to Look at Asia Oil, Gas Issues – On Friday, the National Bureau of Asian Research and the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars will co-host NBR’s 12th annual Energy Security Workshop, “’Oil and Gas for Asia’ Revisited: Asia’s Energy Security amid Global Market Change.” The 2016 Energy Security Workshop will examine how lower prices have impacted the global oil supply and demand outlook and how this is impacting the supply security of the region’s major oil importers.  It will also look at Asia’s key supply and geopolitical uncertainties, including prospects for sustaining the region’s longer-term goal of diversifying its oil import sources geographically.  Finally, it will look at what lower oil prices might mean for LNG prices and efforts to spur natural gas consumption in Asia, reduce coal use, and advance post-Paris climate ambitions.

 

FUTURE EVENTS

Tesoro, Kinder CEOs Headline EIA Conference – The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) will hold its 2016 Energy Conference on July 11th and 12th in Washington, DC. This two-day event provides the opportunity to meet and network with energy analysts, decision makers, and EIA staff.  Conference session topics that may be relevant to EIA stakeholders interested in information about greenhouse gasses include: 1) Clean Power Plan: EIA, EPA, and state and regional perspectives and 2) Climate—next steps: Perspectives from the United States, Europe, and China.  Keynoters are Tesoro’s Greg Goff, Kinder Morgan’s Steve Kean and Dan Gardiner, Advisor to the Canadian PM.  OSTP Director John Holdren, Se. Jeff Flake and Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson will also be on the agenda.  View the full list of speakers and sessions and register today.  Among the Panel speakers include our friends Andrew Gohn of AWEA, NREL’s Bryan Hannegan and EPA’s Joe Goffman.

Energy to Host Transportation Summit – The U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), will hold its first ever Sustainable Transportation Summit next Monday and Tuesday. The Summit will bring together transportation and mobility leaders to discuss the technology, policy and market innovations that hold the potential to shape the transportation system of the future. This year’s Summit will highlight progress and achievements in sustainable transportation R&D and efforts to bring new technologies to market, including the President’s EV Everywhere Grand Challenge. It will also serve as a forum to share ideas and perspectives on opportunities to accelerate the commercialization and deployment of advanced transportation technologies and smart mobility systems over the next decade.

WCEE, Bracewell to Host NY PSC Chair – The Women’s Council on Energy and Environment and Bracewell are hosting a reception for NY State Public Service Commission Chairwoman Audrey Zibelman on Monday, July 11th at 5:30 p.m.  Zibelman leads the regulatory process redesigning the state’s electricity market, called Reforming the Energy Vision (REV). Facing a $30B cost to maintain NY’s electricity grid over the next 10 years, and keenly aware of the vulnerability of the grid after Superstorm Sandy crippled Long Island and southern portions of the state, NY sought alternatives to reduce the need for new infrastructure, maximize the utilization of existing assets and encourage clean energy, and created NY REV.

EESI Holds Congressional Renewables Forum – The Environmental and Energy Study Institute (EESI) holds its 19th annual Congressional Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Expo and Policy Forum on July 12th in the Cannon building.  The forum will bring together up to 50 businesses, trade associations, and government agencies to showcase renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies. In every state across the country, these technologies are having a significant impact in business development and job creation in the manufacturing, transmission, power, transportation, and building sectors. The bipartisan House Renewable Energy & Energy Efficiency Caucus and the Senate Renewable Energy & Energy Efficiency Caucus are honorary co-hosts of the Expo.

Bioenergy Forum Set – The U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) Bioenergy Technologies Office (BETO) will host its ninth annual conference—Bioenergy 2016: Mobilizing the Bioeconomy through Innovation. Partnering with the Clean Energy Research and Education Foundation (CEREF), this year’s conference will focus on opportunities to grow future feedstock supplies and breakthrough technology barriers to achieve a stronger bioeconomy.  Each year, approximately 600 participants attend the conference, including key stakeholders from the bioenergy industry, Congress, national laboratories, academia, and the financial community.  For more information about the program and schedule for Bioenergy 2016, please contact the Department of Energy Bioenergy Technologies Office (BETO) at Bioenergy2016@ee.doe.gov.

CSIS Papers to Look at China, Global Energy Security – The CSIS Energy and National Security Program is hosting Boston University’s Kevin Gallagher and Oklahoma’s Bo Kong on Wednesday July 13th to discuss the role of Chinese state financing in global energy development and to present findings from two of their recently published studies from the Global Economic Governance Initiative at BU. The first study authored by Dr. Gallagher, ‘Fueling Growth and Financing Risk’, examines the benefits and risks of China’s development finance in the global energy sector.  The other study led by Dr. Bo Kong, entitled ‘The Globalization of Chinese Energy Companies’, tracks the role that the Chinese state has played in helping domestic energy firms to become global household names in the industry. Edward Chow, Senior Fellow with the CSIS Energy and National Security Program, will moderate the discussion.

Shelk Headline Capacity Markets – The CSIS Energy and National Security Program will hold a forum on Thursday, July 14th at 10:00 a.m. looking at the future of capacity markets.  The event will feature EPSA CEO John Shelk, the Regulatory Assistance Project’s Michael Hogan and our friend Christi Tezak of ClearView Energy Partners.  Ensuring that there is adequate electric power generation to meet established reliability standards is an imperative task for regulators. In organized wholesale markets, however, how exactly to ensure medium- to long-term resource adequacy continues to be the subject of debate and experimentation. Different jurisdictions have adopted different responses, with several markets mandating the procurement of capacity through organized capacity markets. Although the existence and operation of the capacity markets varies across jurisdictions, persistent concerns remain about the functioning and adequacy of capacity markets to ensure long-term reliability—especially in light of a rapidly changing grid with higher penetration of variable renewables and distributed energy resources. This session is part of the Electricity in Transition series from the Energy and National Security Program and will cover the basic theory behind capacity markets, discuss the pathways different jurisdictions have pursued, as well as the challenges perceived by states and market participants.

USEA to Host Alberta Energy Official – On Thursday, July 14th at 11:00 a.m., US Energy Association will host a forum featuring a discussion about the Alberta Energy Regulator.  The AER operates within the province of Alberta, Canada, and is the single provincial regulator for oil, natural gas, oil sands, and coal development within Alberta.  The AER ensures the safe, efficient, orderly, and environmentally responsible development of hydrocarbon resources over their entire life cycle. This includes allocating and conserving water resources, managing public lands, and protecting the environment while providing economic benefits for all Albertans.  Kirk Bailey, executive vice president of the Operations Division at AER, will speak to the AER’s transformation, highlighting critical initiatives under its purview.

ASE Forum to Look at Grid Modernization – The Alliance to Save Energy is hosting a Congressional Briefing on Thursday July 14th at Noon in the Capitol Visitors Center on the role of energy efficiency in a modernizing energy system.  The term ‘grid edge’ refers to the hardware, software and business innovations that are increasingly enabling smart, connected infrastructure to be installed at the ‘edge’ of the power grid. Depending on who you talk to, grid edge could either be the future of a modern and efficient energy system or fizzle out like so many other ambitious concepts.

USEA to Look at CCS Projects – Also on Thursday, July 14th at 2:00 p.m., the U.S. Energy Association will hold a forum on financing Carbon Capture & Storage (CCS) demonstration projects.  Over two decades, more than a dozen other CCS demonstration projects came on-line.  However, there were many more projects that were announced that never came to fruition. By studying both the successful and unsuccessful projects, one can discern patterns and learn valuable lessons that can be applied to future efforts.  This presentation summarizes a study that analyzes the financing of large-scale CCS demonstration projects and reports the lessons learned.  Speaker will be MIT’s Howard Herzog.

Forum to Discuss Panama Canal Shipping Issues – The National Capital Area Chapter of the United States Association for Energy Economics will hold its next installment of its monthly lunch series on Friday July 15th at Noon in Carmines.  The forum will feature Basil Karatzas, CEO of Karatzas Maritime Advisors who will focus on the implications on energy shipping economics, including the significant effect on US LNG and petroleum shipments to Asia following the historic completion of the Panama Canal expansion and official unveiling last weekend.  Basil attended the official ceremony and recently spoke on the impact of the expansion on shipping economics at a conference in Panama.

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

WaPo to Host Faison Energy Conversation – The Washington Post will host an Energy Conversation with ClearPath Founder Jay Faison on Tuesday July 19th at the their GOP convention HQ in Cleveland.

Pioneer CEO to Discuss Industry at CSIS – The CSIS Energy and National Security Program is hosting Scott Sheffield, Chairman and CEO of Pioneer Natural Resources, on Tuesday July 19th at 1:30 p.m. to discuss developments in the U.S. onshore oil and gas industry. Mr. Sheffield has held the position of CEO for Pioneer Natural Resources since August 1997 and assumed the position of chairman of the board in August 1999. In this position Sheffield heads one of the leading producers of unconventional oil and gas in the United States. Sheffield will share his views on recent market developments and regulatory changes in the oil and gas landscape, as well as Pioneer’s strategy for addressing the challenges and opportunities facing the industry today and in the future.

Faison, Cramer Headline POLITICO RNC Energy Forum – POLITICO will host an energy caucus live on Wednesday July 20 at 12:45 in its Hub in Cleveland.  The forum will be a deep dive discussion, featuring a variety of perspectives, about the energy policy issues facing the next president and how the candidates are resonating in battleground states.  Featured speakers will; include Rep. Kevin Cramer (R-ND), ClearPath’s Jay Faison and Jai Chabria of Mercury, along with a few others.

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

DEM Convention Forum Set – The New Policy Institute and NDN will host a major event at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia, on Tuesday, July 26th looking ahead at the future of America and American Politics.  This event will feature a dozen inspiring thought leaders who will offer their different perspectives on what is coming down the road for the US and our politics.  The event will take place at the Pennsylvania Convention Center, Room 204C, 200 Level Concourse, and run from 10:30 am to 2:30 pm If you would like to attend, please RSVP on our Eventbrite page today.  The event is free and open to the public.