Friends,

Happy Columbus Day from Washington.  No traffic during a rain storm and free parking on the streets makes me wish every day was a Federal holiday…  While I understand that there is some controversy regarding honoring Columbus, this is the special day for Italian-Americans like yours truly.  To appreciate, I spent the weekend in the North End of Boston for a great meal at Giacomo’s and some cannolis from Modern Pastry.

Wow… Was that a week or what? And no slow down on Friday as it seemed even busier with the CPP documents making their way out into the public.  Then, Hurricane Nate roared ashore over the weekend with Mississippi Power and Alabama Power working hard to restore power, which as of Sunday seemed to be all back on other than a small area around hardest-hit Mobile which is supposed to be back on by noon today.  Nate also forced offshore oil companies to curtail 92.61%, or 1.62 million barrels per day, of Gulf of Mexico oil production as of Sunday.

Back to CPP, we expect to have an announcement tomorrow after this morning’s event in Kentucky.  Administrator Pruitt said in a speech in Hazard, KY (by the way, yours truly is a Duke of Hazard thanks to former Mayor Bill Gorman) with Majority Leader Mitch McConnell that he will formally sign the proposal to withdraw the CPP tomorrow in Washington.  My Colleague Jeff Holmstead can answer your questions.  Email us at here or jeff.holmstead@bracewell.com.

SEJ in Pittsburgh was a great event, especially with all this important environmental activity making news… and Jeff just happened to be on a CPP/climate legal panel as the documents were coming out.  Way to go Carolyn Whetzel.  I knew that was your plan all along.  And our reception was awesome…including the great, fun band that we hosted.  Looking forward to Flint, but it seems like there will so many things between now and then.

In addition to the CPP activity this week, the big event on Capitol Hill with be Energy Secretary Rick Perry’s visit to the House Energy Committee when he will get intense questions about his recent grid proposal to FERC.  That’s Thursday at 10:00 a.m.  Other events include a cybersecurity event tomorrow with rural Co-ops (featuring Arkansas Co-op leader, our friend and expert Duane Highley); a House Resources panel hearing on Wednesday to look at legislation to amend the OCS Lands Act featuring Mary Landrieu, Michael Bromwich and API’s Erik Milito; Thursday CSIS hosts IEA’s Renewable Energy Division head Heymi Bahar for a presentation of the IEA’s Renewable Energy Market Report 2017; and Friday, House Resources returns to legislation focused on onshore energy.

Finally, stay tuned tomorrow for some more great hiring news at Bracewell’s PRG.  We are excited to make a big announcement on a new tax expert who is super smart on policy, very media savvy and well-connected in the nerdy tax world.  He will be a huge help to those of you covering tax policy

Call with questions.  Best

 

Frank Maisano

(202) 828-5864

  1. (202) 997-5932

 

FRANKLY SPOKEN

“I’m sympathetic with the ‘hurry up and fix something'” attitude, said “But this is such a draconian way of fixing it that I’m assuming it’s put out there to be a lightning rod to get people off their ass and get to focusing on proper solutions to this.” He added: “Everything in our society has a shelf-life and then it goes into retirement.”

Former FERC Chairman Pat Wood, a Republican who is a strong advocate for markets in Darius Dixon’s  POLITICO.

IN THE NEWS

PA Delegation Urges Trump to Protect Refinery Jobs – Following an event at a refinery in Philadelphia this morning, members of Congress and union officials released a letter from Pennsylvania’s Congressional delegation urging President Trump support refining jobs in the Northeast.  Signers including Sens. Casey and Toomey, as well as Reps. Doyle, Barletta, Evans, Kelly, Brady, Meehan, Boyle, Thompson, Perry, Shuster, Rothfus and Costello.

EIA: CO2 Emissions Headed Down – The Energy Information Administration has new data on energy-related CO2 emissions and they show a 1.7% decline in 2016.  The data lowers energy-related emissions to 14% below 2005 levels and just 2.6% above 1990 levels, even though the economy is much larger than it was a quarter century ago. The trend of declining coal‐fired electricity generation and increasing non‐fossil fuel and natural gas‐fired generation continued in 2016. Coal’s share of total electricity generation fell from 53% in 1990 to 30% in 2016.  The natural gas share of electricity generation grew from approximately 12% in 1990 to 30% in 2012 and to 34% in 2016.  The non-fossil fuel electricity generation share (35%), including both nuclear and renewables, exceeded that of both coal and natural gas in 2016.  See a bunch a great charts here.

EPA GHG Report Also Shows Decrease – Another new annual report from EPA says greenhouse gas emissions from America’s largest industrial facilities fell 2% in 2016 to 2.99 billion tons, led by a large cut from the power sector. The decline in emissions in 2016 was led by a 4.6% reduction from U.S. power plants, an 18% decline from five years ago.

TX Utility to Retire Coal Plant – Speaking of emissions heading down, Texas utility Vistra announced on Friday plans to retire its Monticello Power Plant in Titus County, Texas. In total, approximately 1,800 MW of power will be taken offline in January of 2018.  Vistra said the market’s unprecedented low power price environment has profoundly impacted the plant’s operating revenues and no longer supports continued investment.  Vistra estimates that approximately 200 employees will be impacted by Monticello’s retirement.  More here.

Wheeler EPA Nom Finally in Motion – After months of expectation and speculation, President Trump late last Thursday appointed Faegre Baker Daniels Consulting energy and natural resources expert Andrew Wheeler to the #2 position at EPA. Wheeler previously worked for Sen. Jim Inhofe and the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee.

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

Forum to Look at Clean Energy – Today at 3:15 p.m., as part of the State Innovation Exchange’s annual SiX Legislator Conference, local and state leaders will gather in Washington, D.C., for a panel discussion on clean energy efforts in the States. More than 500 progressive state legislators and legislative staff from across the nation will gather for the 4th annual legislator conference. These state lawmakers, who are on the front lines of the resistance and policy making efforts across the country will gather to discuss and find solutions to some of the most pressing issues impacting the country as well as plan new strategies to further resist the efforts of the Trump administration.  The conference goes through tomorrow.

Rural Co-Ops to Discuss CyberSecurity – The National Rural Electric Cooperative Association hosts a cybersecurity forum, “Insights on Cybersecurity for Electric Utilities,” tomorrow at 10:00 a.m.  The event will be in collaboration with the National Cyber Security Alliance and the Department of Homeland Security.

WRI to Host Forum – Experts from the Open Government Partnership and World Resources Institute will hold a forum tomorrow at 12:30 p.m. on climate action.  The forum will profile a range of innovative approaches that open government advocates have taken to strengthen countries’ climate commitments under the Paris Agreement. Together, they will unpack how improving transparency, accountability and public participation in climate decision-making processes can help governments and civil society leaders around the world achieve ambitious climate targets.

Forum to Look at US-China Relations – The Atlantic Council’s Global Energy Center and the Brent Scowcroft Center’s Asia Security Initiative will hold a timely conversation tomorrow on the role energy plays in the US-China relationship. The US administration’s emerging diplomatic strategy and the upcoming nineteenth national congress of the Communist Party of China provide an opportunity to take stock of the role energy plays in the US-China relationship, as well as in how China views its future. Key issues in the US-China relationship include the role of liquefied natural gas (LNG) in the US-China Comprehensive Economic Dialogue, China’s view of US energy exports, and how energy fits into the administration’s trade agenda.  Speakers include our friend Robert Fee of Cheniere Energy, ITC Assistant Secretary Alan Turley and DOE China advisor Maria DiGuilian with our friend Keith Johnson of FP moderating.

Report top Look at Highly-Enriched Uranium Facilities – On Wednesday at 10:00 a.m., the Fissile Materials Working Group and International Panel on Fissile Materials will launch of a major new IPFM research report, edited by Pavel Podvig, with contributions by six leading Russian experts on highly enriched uranium (HEU) facilities. The report describes in unprecedented detail Russian programs that use HEU as fuel in military and civilian applications. Further, it asses Russia’s contribution to the effort to convert research reactors from HEU to non-weapon-usable low-enriched uranium fuel, and Russia’s efforts to repatriate HEU fuel it had supplied to facilities abroad. Finally, it evaluates the organizational structure and regulations governing the security of HEU in civilian facilities in Russia. It makes recommendations for securing Russia’s commitment to the goal of a comprehensive global HEU minimization strategy.

House Resources Look at Revenue Legislation – The House Natural Resources Committee’s Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources will hold a legislative hearing on Wednesday at 2:00 p.m. to look at a discussion draft of legislation to amend the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act to distribute revenues from oil and gas leasing on the outer Continental Shelf to certain coastal States, and for other purposes.  Witnesses will include former Louisiana Sen. Mary Landrieu, South Caroline State Senator Stephen Goldfinch, API’s Erik Milito and former BOEM director Michael Bromwich.

Walden, DOE Official Headline Canadian Energy Efficiency Forum – On Thursday, the Canadian Embassy hosts the 28th annual Energy Efficiency Forum, featuring Dan Brouillette, deputy secretary at the Department of Energy, and Rep. Greg Walden (R-Ore.), chairman of the House Energy & Commerce Committee.

House Energy to Discuss Grid Proposal – Energy Secretary Rick Perry testifies before the House Energy Subcommittee on Thursday at 10:00 a.m. to offer his vision for managing and executing the department’s missions and opportunities to update and align DOE’s missions and operations with the emerging energy, national security, environmental, and technological challenges confronting the nation.  Expect some interesting questions as a many energy industries have raised concerns about the DOE approach

ACORE Finance Forum Set – The American Council on Renewable Energy will hold forum on the state of the renewable energy public policy, financial markets and corporate renewables strategy when they hold ACORE Finance West on Thursday at the Bently Reserve in San Francisco.  This annual conference convenes senior investors, industry executives, and other top transactional professionals to address market trends in the context of renewable investment opportunities in the Western U.S.

Bloomberg Hosts Sustainability Forum – Bloomberg holds its 3rd annual Sustainable Business Summit on Thursday and Friday in its New York offices to discuss how companies are yielding positive returns for investors, creating sustainably valuable products and processes, and developing innovative sustainable business models.  Uniquely positioned at the intersection of sustainable business and sustainable investing, the summit will explore the challenges and even greater opportunities emerging across industries.

WAPA to Host Road Rally – The Washington Automotive Press Association holds its 2017 WAPA Rally on Thursday.  This year’s event will be a drive event on the roads just beyond the Chesapeake Bay Bridge on the scenic Eastern Shore of Maryland. The event provides the opportunity to drive or ride in the latest and greatest cars, trucks and SUVs provided by WAPA’s automotive partners.

CSIS to Host IEA Renewable Energy Report Launch – The CSIS Energy and National Security Program is hosting Heymi Bahar, Project Manager of the Renewable Energy Division at the International Energy Agency (IEA), on Thursday at 9:30 a.m. for a presentation of the IEA’s Renewable Energy Market Report 2017 (formerly titled Medium-Term Renewables Market Report). The report provides a detailed market analysis and overview of renewable electricity capacity and generation, biofuels production, and heat consumption, as well as a forecast for the period between 2017 and 2022. This year’s report also assesses the off-grid solar market in Africa and developing Asia and the contribution of electric vehicles to renewable road transport.  Our friend Kevin Book will moderate.

Groups to Look at Nuclear Report – The Natural Resources Defense Council, the Union of Concerned Scientists, and the Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung will host a forum on Thursday at noon for the U.S. launch of the World Nuclear Industry Status Report 2017.

Women’s Energy Groups Hold Reception – The Women’s Energy Network hosts its October Happy Hour reception at Asia Nine on Thursday evening starting at 5:30 p.m.  WEN DC is an organization that supports the professional development and advancement of women in the energy industry through relationships and networking. The events feature great food, drinks, networking, and socializing with your WEN members and other professionals from across the energy industry.

KB Hutchison to Address WaPo Forum – On Thursday at 6:30 p.m., U.S. Permanent Representative to NATO Kay Bailey Hutchison – former TX Senator and Bracewell colleague will speak one-on-one with columnist David Ignatius at The Washington Post. Hutchison will explore the future of NATO, mounting threats from Russia against Western allies and the ambassador’s top priorities for military cooperation, intelligence-gathering and combating terrorism.This live, on-stage interview is a part of the ongoing “Securing Tomorrow” series.

House Resources Looks at Onshore Energy – On Friday at 9:00 a.m., the House Resources Committee’s Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources will hold a legislative hearing on a discussion draft of legislation looking at opportunities for to harness onshore resources to achieve domestic energy independence by empowering States to manage the development and production of oil and gas on available Federal land, and for other purposes.

Wilson Forum to Look at Mexico Energy Outlook – On Friday at 4:00 p.m., the Woodrow Wilson Center will hold a forum looking at Mexico’s energy outlook.  Mexico’s landmark 2013 energy reform has caused a transformation for PEMEX from a monopolistic national oil company to a company with a competitive entity, with a more efficient business model. José Antonio González Anaya has been leading this effort since February 2016, and has emphasized the importance of partnerships along the breath and length of PEMEX activities. PEMEX is now fully engaged, since 2016, in exploration and production activities in partnership with private and foreign companies.   The event will feature a conversation with José Antonio González Anaya, where he will speak about the progress that has been made and the challenges the company will face in the next 12 months.

IN THE FUTURE

Wilson Center to Host Events on Resilience Week – The Wilson Center’s Global Sustainability and Resilience Program is hosting the 2017 Resilience Academy Capstone Conference next week in cooperation with the Munich Re Foundation, UN University-Institute for Environment and Human Security, and International Centre for Climate Change and Development. Among the event will be three public sessions of the Academy, covering the many ways in which resilience is vital for communities around the world.

JHU to Host Sustainable Energy Institute – Next Monday, October 16th at Noon, Johns Hopkins University’s SAIS will launch its Initiative for Sustainable Energy Policy (ISEP) to conduct policy analysis that will help governments universalize energy access at minimal environmental impact. Directed by Johannes Urpelainen, the Prince Sultan bin Abdulaziz Professor of Energy, Resources and Environment, ISEP offers bold ideas, rigorous policy analysis, and sustained engagement with policymakers and other change agents.

Wilson Forum to Look at Cities, Cars, Air – The Woodrow Wilson Center’s China Environment Forum will host a forum next Tuesday at 9:30 a.m. on how cities are confronting the challenges of adapting a transportation system to new sustainability concerns. Simon Ng, an independent researcher formerly with Civic Exchange, will reflect on Los Angeles’ and Hong Kong’s quests for sustainable mobility and urban livability while also shedding light on the similar challenges faced by ever-growing Chinese megacities. Drawing on years of International Council on Clean Transportation (ICCT) engagement in the PRD lowering vehicular emissions, Zifei Yang will introduce the increasingly effective vehicle emission control programs that Shenzhen and other PRD cities have instituted.

National Bioenergy Day 2017 – The Department of Energy (DOE) will celebrate its 5th annual National Bioenergy Day on Wednesday October 18th to celebrate bioenergy, a form of renewable energy derived from biomass—organic material—that can be used to produce transportation fuels, products, heat, and electricity. This is an opportunity to showcase bioenergy facilities and the bioenergy supply chain around the United States.

BPC to Host Moniz on Nuclear – The Bipartisan Policy Center will host former Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz a conversation on October 18th at 9:00 a.m. with BPC President Jason Grumet to discuss the vital role U.S. nuclear energy plays in achieving national security objectives. The conversation will highlight the key takeaways from The U.S. Nuclear Energy Enterprise: A Key National Security Enabler, a report issued by Sec. Moniz’s new Energy Futures Initiative.

USEA Hosts Energy Transition Outlook – The US Energy Assn will roll out the DNV GL Energy Transition Outlook on Wednesday, October 18th at 9:00 a.m. in the Fourth Estate Room at the National Press Club.  The Outlook provides a balanced forecast of our energy future through to 2050 and draws on DNV GL’s independence and its broad involvement across the entire supply chain, spanning complex offshore infrastructure, onshore oil & gas installations, large-scale wind, solar and energy efficiency projects and the world’s most advanced electricity transmission and distribution grids. The report forecasts energy demand and supply globally, and in 10 world regions.

Press Club to Host Comms Summit – On Wednesday, October 18, the National Press Club will host its annual Communicators’ Summit at the Club’s First Amendment Lounge.  This year’s theme is “Content is King.” Leading experts will share insights on producing content suited to the unique strengths of different digital, online and social media channels, as well as emerging technologies. We’ll discuss the challenges of developing credible and compelling content at a time when trust in corporations, government, NGO’s and the media is being tested more than any time in a generation.  Speakers will include AARP’s Bill Walsh, AXIOS Editor Nicholas Johnston, Twitter‘s head of Global Public Policy Communications Emily Horne, Richard Levick, Scripps News Washington Bureau investigative correspondent Mark Greenblatt and several more.  The Luncheon Keynote speaker will be Richard Edelman, President and CEO of Edelman.  Special kudos to our friend Tim Brown of GE Renewable who is helping put the program together.

ELI Hosts Annual Dinner, Forums – The Environmental Law Institute holds its annual awards dinner honoring  Achim Steiner, Administrator for the United Nations Development Program on Wednesday October 18th at the Omni Shoreham in DC.  At 2:00 p.m., they will host a discussion about “cooperative federalism” and the need to ensure that environmental program administration reflects the significant expertise and experience state environmental agencies now have after decades of administrating environmental protection laws.  Panelists will include ECOS’s Alexandra Dapolito Dunn, Chevron’s Richard DeSanti, BNSF’s John Lovenburg, Todd Parfitt of the Wyoming DEQ, C2ES’s Janet Peace and Martha Rudolph, Director of Environmental Programs at the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment.  They will also hold the Miriam Hamilton Keare Policy Forum on cooperative Federalism, featuring GE’s Neil Kemkar, Bob Martineau of the Tennessee DEC and several others.

JHU to Look at EVs – On Wednesday, October 18th at 5:00 p.m., Johns Hopkins University hosts a forum on electric cars.  Speakers will address range, infrastructure, environmental impacts and other Issues.

CSIS to Look at Vehicle Issues – The CSIS Energy & National Security Program and Van Ness Feldman are pleased to announce a conference on the history of vehicle efficiency standards and electricity regulation in honor of the late Robert Nordhaus. This program looks at the evolution of two policy areas in which Bob made an important mark, and which raise issues of great significance today.  Panels will include former Energy Committee Chair and RFF Head Phil Sharp, former Bush 43 CEQ chief Jim Connaughton and Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers CEO Mitch Bainwol, as well as former FERC Commissioners Tony Clark and Joe Kelliher.

DOE, NEI Host Nuclear Forum – The Department of Energy and the Nuclear Energy Institute will host the Millennial Nuclear Caucus on Thursday, October 19th at 5:00 p.m. in Washington, DC.  Stay tuned for details.

Forum to Look at Storage, Micro Grids – On Thursday, October 19th at 5:30 p.m. at EEI, Leaders in Energy, along with Resilient Virginia, will be sponsoring a forum on improving resilience through microgrids and battery storage.  The utilization of microgrids plus battery storage is seen increasingly by public and private organizations as the wave of the future to help ensure energy reliability and security in the age of intense hurricanes and cybersecurity threats.  Topics include: technology that supports the utility/microgrid interface, tools for developers to assess microgrid viability based on existing infrastructure and regulations, how local governments in the DMV are working with private companies to make microgrid development financially feasible, and how our regional Department of Defense installations are utilizing microgrids as part of their energy security systems. Speakers include EEI’s John Caldwell, USGBC’s Brendan Owens, Dan Ton of DOE’s Smart Grid R&D and Michael Yambrach, the Energy and Sustainability director in Montgomery County, MD.

Economists to Host Weather Hedge Specialist – The National Capitol Chapter of the US Assn Of Energy Economists will host their October forum with Munich Re’s Edward Byrne on Friday October 20th at Carmines.  Ed Byrns has specialized in weather hedging for many years. His talk focuses on how the new world of big data is creating innovative weather risk products to manage business exposure.

This presentation is a journey from the past to the present and on to the future. Throughout this journey, we will learn what weather risk management is, where market capabilities are today and how future solutions could target micro-level risks.

Renewable Tour Set for October Shenandoah Fall – JMU’s Center for Wind Energy joins the nonprofit American Solar Energy Society (ASES) and hundreds of solar-savvy installers and grassroots organizations throughout America to showcase thousands of solar-powered homes, schools and businesses in Virginia and across North America — for the 22nd Annual National Solar Tour, the world’s largest grassroots solar event. The ASES National Solar Tour shows families and businesses real-life examples of how their neighbors are harnessing free energy from the sun to generate electricity, warm and cool their homes, heat water and slash monthly utility bills.

Green Bonds Conference Set for NYC – Environmental Finance will host Green Bonds 2017 at 10 on the Park in New York City on October 23rd.  According to the Green Bonds Database, the American green bonds market has continued its rapid growth with over 17$ billion issued in the last twelve months.

At the conference this year we will look at the drivers behind this boom and how to ensure sustainable growth as the market matures.

AWEA Finance, Offshore Conferences Set for NYC – AWEA hosts its Wind Energy Finance & Investment Conference in NYC on October 24-26th at the Roosevelt Hotel.  Wind energy continues to grow and is providing jobs, community value and, solid investment opportunities. The event will also be co-located with AWEA’s annual Offshore WINDPOWER conference, which will feature Denmark’s Minister of Energy, Utilities and Climate Lars Christian Lilleholt and DOE’s Tim Unruh, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Renewable Power.

Women Renewable Energy Forum Set – The Women of Sustainable Energy and Renewable Industries (WRISE) Leadership Forum 2017 on November 6-7 in its inaugural year under the new brand (previously WoWE). Co-located with the AWEA Fall Symposium, this event will feature keynote speakers, professional development, networking, and expert panels on key issues in the industry.

AWEA Fall Symposium Returns to New Mexico – On November 7th through the 9th , AWEA hosts its annual Fall Wind Energy Fall Symposium at the Hyatt Regency Tamaya Resort, where key strategic decisions are made to build the future of wind energy. The event will feature new executive insights, and actionable strategic plans to power your business in the upcoming year.

 

Energy Update: Week of 10/2

Friends,

The news cycle will be totally overrun this week by the terrible shooting in Las Vegas last night and our thoughts and prayers go out to those impacted, as well as our gratitude to those who helped others.

In the sports world this week, baseball playoff kick off tomorrow with the Yankee and Twins, but also some great match ups are already set: (Cubs/Nats & RedSox/Astros).  As well, the update’s favorite season also launches this week: the NHL hockey season.

Tomorrow, the US International Trade Commission returns to the solar trade case with a public hearing on the remedy phase.  We will be in full impact mode.  We can help you with a full array of resources that will be impacted from utilities to contractors to manufacturers to retailers.

The big event on Capitol Hill this week is Wednesday’s Senate Environment nomination hearing for several EPA nominees including Bill Wehrum for the air office.  Other events include grid hearings tomorrow in House Science and House Energy (industry sector experts testifying including SEIA’s Abby Hopper, AWEA’s Tom Kiernan, ACCCE’s Paul Baily and NEI’s Maria Korsnick).  Also Wednesday, Senate Commerce Committee will mark up a bill meant to boost self-driving cars.  Our friends at SAFE can provide you with excellent background and resources, as they did here in the San Jose MercNews.  Finally Thursday, House Energy returns to electricity to hear from consumer groups/advocates.

This week on Wednesday, SEJ launches its annual meeting in Pittsburgh.  There will be a number of great tours during the day Thursday and great policy panels on Friday and Saturday.  And, of course, Bracewell is hosting our annual reception on Thursday night.

Finally, Congrats to the Business Council for Sustainable Energy, who is celebrating its 25th Anniversary, with a reception Thursday evening at Stanton & Greene. Good luck on the next 25!!!!

Supreme Court Fall Term launches today.  Call with questions.  Best,

 

Frank Maisano

(202) 828-5864

  1. (202) 997-5932

FRANKLY SPOKEN

“American energy security has now improved for five years in a row, despite rapidly challenging market conditions and geopolitical tensions. Just five years ago, the story was much different. But because of the shale revolution that has taken place during this time period, our nation enjoys much greater energy self-sufficiency, which translates into fewer imports, lower costs, and reduced emissions.” 

Karen Harbert, president and CEO of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Global Energy Institute.

“From the outset, Georgia Power and the project co-owners have worked to minimize the impact of the project on our customers’ bills and these additional loan guarantees will help us continue to reduce our financing costs.”

Paul Bowers, chairman, president and CEO of Georgia Power.

IN THE NEWS

Georgia Power Received Additional Loan Guarantee Commitments for New Vogtle Units – The DOE has conditionally approved a $3.7 billion increase in the federal loan guarantees for the over-budget Vogtle nuclear project in Georgia, the agency announced this morning.  Georgia Power had previously secured loan guarantees of $3.46 billion for the construction of Vogtle units 3 and 4, the first to be built in the United States in more than 30 years. With a total of more than $5 billion in anticipated DOE loan guarantees, Georgia Power expects to be able to provide more than $500 million in present-value benefits to its customers.

More Information on Decision, Vogtle – Georgia Power owns 45.7% of the new units, with the project’s other Georgia-based co-owners including Oglethorpe Power, MEAG Power and Dalton Utilities. On August 31, Georgia Power filed a recommendation with the Georgia Public Service Commission (PSC) to continue construction of the Vogtle nuclear expansion supported by all of the project’s other co-owners. The recommendation was based on the results of a comprehensive schedule, cost-to-complete and cancellation assessment launched following the bankruptcy of Westinghouse in March. The Georgia PSC is expected to review the recommendation and make a decision regarding the future of the Vogtle 3 & 4 project as part of the 17th Vogtle Construction Monitoring (VCM) proceeding. Final approval and issuance of these additional loan guarantees by the DOE cannot be assured and are subject to the negotiation of definitive agreements, completion of due diligence by the DOE, receipt of any necessary regulatory approvals, and satisfaction of other conditions.

Rural Co-ops Support Oglethorpe, SoCo – The rural co-ops weighed in on the DOE’s loan guarantee for the Plant Vogtle nuclear power project.  Co-Op Oglethorpe Power in Georgia is one of the co-owners and will have a share of the loan (about $1.6 billion). NRECA CEO Jim Matheson today applauded the decision saying: “Today’s announcement is welcome news for Oglethorpe Power, the Vogtle project, and the future of America’s electric generation. Nuclear energy is an essential source of emissions-free, 24/7 power. This DOE loan guarantee will help promote a diverse fuel mix, which is vital as electric co-ops work to meet 21st century energy needs and ensure continued access to affordable, reliable power. I applaud DOE and Secretary Perry for recognizing the value of this project and making it more affordable for our members.”

DOE Urges FERC to Take Swift Action to Address Threats to Grid Resiliency – DOE formally proposed that FERC take swift action to address threats to U.S. electrical grid resiliency.  Pursuant to his authority under Section 403 of the Department of Energy Organization Act, the Secretary urged the Commission to issue a final rule requiring its organized markets to develop and implement reforms that would fully price generation resources necessary to maintain the reliability and resiliency of our nation’s grid.

Why DOE – After Department of Energy (DOE) Secretary Rick Perry issued his April 14 memo directing staff to study baseload power concerns, we explained that DOE had authority to direct the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to undertake rulemakings. Secretary Perry is primarily responsible for ensuring the electrical grid meets America’s needs now and into the future and FERC is charged with regulating the markets to achieve that mission. The recent Staff Report to the Secretary on Electricity Markets and Reliability showed that while today’s grid is reliable, market distortions are threatening its resilience and the future of American energy security.

Letter to FERC/NOPR – The full text of the Secretary’s Letter to the Commission as well as the Proposed Rule are both available at DOE’s website, www.energy.gov.

Insight From ClearPath – ClearPath Executive Director Rich Powell offered insights saying by urging FERC to establish a new tariff allowing highly reliable and resilient operators (who have 3 months or more of on-site fuel supply in place) to recover their full costs of generation, DOE today takes a historic step to shore up our vital national nuclear fleet.  This approach will work within the wholesale electricity markets as opposed to forcing further bottom-up state action to save the plants — out of market actions that add further complexity and uncertainty to our already un-level playing field for power. ClearPath hopes this is the beginning of a holistic review of the functioning of the wholesale power markets, which might also include changes to how generators are compensated, as well as formal valuation of clean power.  Some observers may be concerned that this measure compensates all highly reliable sources of power, including unmitigated coal. ClearPath believes that FERC, and the RTOs and ISOs, will be able to design a tariff structure that compensates all highly reliable generators to remain online and ready to run, without necessarily increasing the dispatch of emitting sources like unmitigated coal.  ClearPath has been calling for FERC to move ahead rapidly on this price formation reform agenda — see below: https://clearpath.org/jay-and-richs-take/why-rebuilding-ferc-quorum-matters-for-nuclear

Renewables Express Concern – The American Wind Energy Association also released this statement regarding DOE’s announcement on grid resiliency: Amy Farrell, Senior Vice President, Government and Public Affairs, American Wind Energy Association: “We worry today’s proposal would upend competitive markets that save consumers billions of dollars a year. The best way to guarantee a resilient and reliable electric grid is through market-based compensation for performance, not guaranteed payments for some, based on a government-prescribed definition.”  On background, in June, the CEO of NERC testified to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission that “the state of reliability in North America remains strong, and the trend line shows continuing improvement year over year.”  Christopher Mansour, vice president of federal affairs for the Solar Energy Industries Association: “While we agree that wholesale markets should fully compensate generators for all the energy, capacity and ancillary services they provide, healthy competition should always promote the best, most innovative solutions,” he said. The conservative R St. Institute called Perry’s plan “an arbitrary backdoor subsidy to coal and nuclear plants.”

Ameren to Add Wind, Solar, Reduce Emissions – Ameren Missouri has announced plans to add enough solar and wind electricity to power 214,000 homes.  The St. Louis-based subsidiary of Ameren Corp. said adding at least 700 megawatts of wind power would cost about $1 billion and take until 2020. Ameren says improving technology and renewable energy initiatives with large customers could boost the wind investment higher.   Adding 100 megawatts of solar power is expected to occur over 10 years, but no costs estimates are available. One solar facility at St. Louis Lambert International Airport is slated to be completed next year. Ameren is working to reduce its carbon emissions 80% by 2050 from 2005 levels.

Chamber Releases Energy Security Index – The 2017 edition of Global Energy Institute’s Index of U.S. Energy Security Risk finds that U.S. energy security is continuing to rapidly improve to one of the best scores in decades, after hitting bottom just five years ago. The Index employs 37 different energy security metrics in four major areas of risk: geopolitical, economic, reliability, and environmental. A lower Index score indicates a lower level of risk. The eighth annual edition of the Index covers 1970-2040 and incorporates the latest historical data and forecast models. In 2016—the most recent year available—the risk score dropped another 1.3 points to 76.0, the lowest score since 1995. Since 2011, the total risk index score has dropped by 25 points, the largest rise or fall during any five year period since 1970. Of the 37 metrics, 18 showed decreases of more than 1 percent, while another 9 remained about the same. Among the areas of improvement were fuel imports, energy expenditures, energy use intensity, and environmental categories. The biggest areas of improvement in the Index were related to oil and gas expenditures, which are a result of increased domestic shale production. The single largest category that saw improvement was security of US natural gas imports.  On the flip side, price volatility risks, related largely to the recent plunge in the price for crude oil, remained high. Metrics related to electric grid reliability risks during periods of peak demand also inched higher.  This year’s Index features special sections on electricity capacity margins and transmission lines, which contains additional data and analysis regarding demand and infrastructure.  The Index and its companion, the International Energy Security Risk Index, are available on our website at: www.globalenergyinstitute.org/energysecurity. The U.S. index is once again available in an online, interactive web tool format, which makes it easy to see how various metrics change from year to year.

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

Geothermal Conference Set for Utah – The Geothermal Energy Association (GEA) is holding GEOEXPO+ on today through Wednesday at the Salt Palace in Salt Lake City, UT.  The meeting will be held in conjunction with the GRC Annual Meeting.

FERC Commissioner, Interior Official Headlines NA Gas Forum – The North American Gas Forum is being held today and tomorrow in Washington DC.  FERC Cheryl LeFleur and Interior’s Vincent DeVito will deliver a keynotes tomorrow and there will be a members panel featuring Reps. Scott Tipton, Joe Barton, Bill Johnson and Others.  Other speakers include INGAA’s Don Santa, former FERC Commissioner Tony Clark, RFF’s Richard Newell, ClearView’s Kevin Book, PJM’s Craig Glazer, NGSA’s Dena Wiggins and DOE’s Fossil Energy Office acting chief Robert Smith.

WCEE Hosts Federal Lands Discussion – Today at Noon, the Women’s Council on Energy and the Environment (WCEE) holds a forum to discuss current opportunities and challenges for the development of energy and mineral resources under the new Administration. Among other hotly debated topics, the event will cover the role of climate change considerations in decision-making, potential changes in mitigation requirements, issues regarding royalty valuation and payment, and still unresolved issues regarding the scope of Presidential withdrawal authority onshore and offshore under decades-old statutes.

CCS Forum to Look at Norway Success Story – The Global CCS Institute will hold a forum tomorrow at 9:00 p.m. in National Press Club’s Zenger Room on the Innovation and low-carbon policies that are driving the development of clean energy technologies around the world.  The discussion will explore how Norway has fostered the development of its carbon capture infrastructure, as well as the emerging business case for carbon capture in the U.S. and globally.  Featured speakers Gassnova CEO Trude Sundset, Rich Powell of ClearPath Foundation, Thina Saltvedt of Nordea Bank Norge and Statoil VP of New Energy Solutions Steinar Eikaas, who operates the world’s most successful carbon capture project in the North Sea.

US ITC to Hold Solar Remedy Hearing – The US International Trade Commission will hold a hearing at 9:30 a.m. on the remedy portion of its solar trade case.  Last week, petitioners filed testimony in the case with the solar industry further attacking the case.

House Science to Look at Grid – The House Science Committee will hold a full committee hearing tomorrow at 10:00 a.m. looking at grid resiliency. The purpose of the hearing is to define resiliency, examine electric resiliency from both physical and cyber threats, and to study the effectiveness of private and government coordination on resiliency across the electricity delivery sectors. This hearing will specifically discuss the recommendations made by the National Academies of Sciences.  Witnesses will include the University of Illinois’ William Sanders, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory Electricity Market Manager Carl Imhoff, Gavin Dillingham of the Houston Advanced Research Center and Walt Baum of the Texas Public Power Association.

Senate Energy to Vote on Noms, Discuss Energy Storage – The Senate Energy Committee will hold a hearing tomorrow at 10:15 a.m. to vote on DOE nominees Bruce Walker for DOE’s assistant secretary for the Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability and Steven Winberg as DOE’s assistant secretary of fossil energy.  The Committee will then turn to a Hearing on energy storage technologies.  Witnesses include Pacific Northwest National Laboratory expert Vincent Sprenkle AES Energy Storage VP Praveen Kathpal, Simon Moores of Benchmark Mineral Intelligence and Voith’s John Seifarth.

CAP to Discuss Hurricane Impacts – The Center for American Progress and former Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Administrator Craig Fugate will host a forum tomorrow at 10:00 a.m. on disaster lesson learned.  Fugate will discuss his experience following Superstorm Sandy. His remarks will be followed by a panel of experts who will highlight different aspects of the recovery, including best practices for building resilient infrastructure, public health challenges in the wake of disasters, and the need for aid to flow to historically disadvantaged communities simultaneously dealing with flood damage, toxic waste, and air pollution in the aftermath of hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria.

Forum to Look at Iran Deal – Tomorrow at 1:30 p.m., the Center for a New American Security will hold two panel discussions on the implications of the potential collapse of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). The discussion will focus on what happens if President Trump begins unraveling the nuclear agreement in mid-October by not certifying Iranian compliance to Congress and will also examine other potential collapse scenarios. Our friend Elizabeth Rosenberg is among the panelists.

House Energy to Return to Reliability – The House Energy panel returns to the resiliency theme for part II of last week’s hearing on the topic.  This hearing will include comments from the industries that were supposed to be featured in the initial afternoon session.  Witnesses include SEIA’s Abigail Ross Hopper, ACCCE’s Paul Bailey, API’s Marty Durbin, AWEA’s Tom Kiernan, NEI’s Maria Korsnick, NRDC’s FERC expert John Moore, Energy Storage Association CEO Kelly Speakes-Backman and Chelan County PUD General Manager Steve Wright on behalf of National Hydropower Association.

NatGas Winter Outlook Set – The Natural Gas Supply Association holds its winter outlook media briefing for 2017-2018 Wednesday at 9:30 a.m.

EPA, NRC Noms Hearing Reset – The rescheduled Senate Environment Committee confirmation hearing will be held Wednesday for several EPA posts and Jan Baran at the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.   Testifying will be four EPA nominees: Bill Wehrum to run the air office, Matthew Leopold to be general counsel, Michael Dourson to run the Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention and David Ross to run the water office.  The committee shelved a hearing planned for last week on the picks after the Senate adjourned earlier than expected for Rosh Hashanah.

Senate Commerce to Mark up AV Legislation – The Senate Commerce Committee will mark up a bill meant to boost self-driving cars on Wednesday at 10:00 a.m. The “American Vision for Safer Transportation Through Advancement of Revolutionary Technologies (AV START) Act,” S. 1885, aims to reform existing laws to get self-driving cars on the road, clarify state and federal oversight of the technology, and direct the Transportation Department to set new safety standards.  It is sponsored by Sen. Gary Peters and Chairman John Thune with co-sponsors Roy Blunt and Debbie Stabenow.  Our friends at SAFE can provide you with excellent background and resources.

House Energy to Look at Air Quality, Wildfires – House Energy and Commerce Environment Subcommittee will hold a hearing on Wednesday at 10:00 a.m. to get the perspectives of key stakeholders on the air quality impacts of wildfires.  Witnesses include John Bailey of Oregon State University, Florida Forest Service director Jim Karels, Murphy Company Resources VP Knox Marshall and Restoring America’s Forests Director Christopher Topik.

Clean Energy Conservatives Meet – On Wednesday at 6:00 p.m. at the Hyatt Regency Washington on Capitol Hill, the Christian Coalition, Young Conservatives for Energy Reform, and Veterans for Energy Reform are hosting an evening reception at their annual Conservative Clean Energy Summit.   Last year, the event brought in over 500 attendees from around the country and focused on the issue of energy reform.  The event includes visits to Capitol Hill with conservative lawmakers.

Holmstead Featured at EPIC Forum on Energy – My colleague Jeff Holmstead is joining a panel hosted by the Energy Policy Institute at the University of Chicago (EPIC) on Wednesday at 6:30 p.m. that will address what Americans think about the direction of energy and climate policy.  Holmstead and Sue Tierney (EPIC’s inaugural policy fellows) will be moderated by our friend Jon Fahey, AP’s Global Health & Science Editor.   The event will focus on the results of an EPIC/AP-NORC poll coming out on Monday that tracks opinions on central topics shaping the energy and climate landscape. More. It will be livestreamed at epic.uchicago.edu/live.

SEJ Set for Pittsburgh – Speaking of Pittsburgh, SEJ’s 27th annual conference is set for Wednesday through Saturday in Steel City.   Bracewell hosts its annual reception on Thursday night.

Vets in Energy Forum Set – Veterans In Energy will hold a forum on Thursday and Friday at NRECA in Arlington. VIE provide transition, retention and professional development support to the growing population of military veterans who have chosen energy careers.  Speakers will include Chris Hale of GI Jobs and Gen. John Allen, former Dep Commander of US Central Command.

CSIS to Look at Electricfication – The CSIS Energy & National Security Program will host a discussion on Thursday at 9:30 a.m. looking at the future of electrification with Arshad Mansoor, Senior Vice President of Research and Development at the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI).  Mansoor will provide an overview of the recent EPRI report, The Integrated Energy Network: Connecting Customers with Reliable, Affordable and Cleaner Energy, which calls for a more interconnected and integrated energy system through greater electrification. Frank O’Sullivan, Director of Research and Analysis at the MIT Energy Initiative, and Ken Colburn, Principal and U.S. Program Director at the Regulatory Assistance Project, will follow with views on the opportunities and benefits, as well as obstacles and potential drawbacks of a path to a more electrified economy.  This event is part of CSIS’s ongoing work on Electricity in Transition, which surveys the current landscape of the U.S. and global electricity sector.

CSIS to Look at Hurricane Impacts – The Center for Strategic & International Studies will also hold a forum on Thursday at 10:00 a.m. on rebuilding better after hurricanes.  Puerto Rico recently suffered devastating damage as a result of Hurricanes Irma and Maria. Hurricane Irma, a category 5 hurricane, caused power outages for over 1 million people living in Puerto Rico.  The forum will engage in discussions geared toward reform, reconstruction, and modernization of infrastructure and preparedness.  It will feature Luis Fortuño, 10th Governor of Puerto Rico.

House E&C to Look at Consumer Views of Electric Markets – The House Energy & Commerce Committee will convene a hearing on Thursday at 10:00 a.m. on consumer-oriented perspectives on improving the American electricity markets.  Witnesses include Joseph Bowring of Monitoring Analytics, Stefanie Brand of the New Jersey Division of Rate Counsel, Electricity Consumers Resource Council head John Hughes, Public Citizen’s Tyson Slocum, Rebecca Tepper of the consumer liaison group for the ISO New England Region and Walmart’s Mark Vanderhelm.

Forum to Look at LNG in Latin America – The Atlantic Council hosts a forum on Thursday at Noon looking at the Growing Role of LNG in Latin America.  Natural gas is emerging as a critical source of energy in the Americas and around the world, and Latin America is rapidly becoming a key destination for US LNG exports. Latin America is currently the number one destination for US LNG exports, accounting for over 40%. Many governments in the region see natural gas as a low-carbon energy option that can support their increasing turn towards renewables. Additionally, lower global LNG prices, the impacts of drought conditions on the region’s hydropower sector, and a departure from industries such as coal and diesel have driven the demand for LNG and calls into question whether this is an opportunity for Latin America to become more integrated.  The forum will feature a conversation with Argentinian Ministry of Energy and Mining Transport Director Gonzalo Aguirre, Jose Luis Castro of Sociedad Portuaria El Cayao (SPEC), Giovani Machado of Empresa de Pesquisa Energética and the State Department’s acting Deputy Assistant Secretary of Energy Resources Sue Saarnio.

ELI, DC Bar to Look at Policy Reversals – The Environmental Law Institute and the DC Bar are hosting a forum on Thursday on how agencies often reverse policy.  Since the presidential transition, EPA and other agencies have used a variety of tools to change policies and regulations. Three common tools they have used are stays, remands, and reconsideration. Agencies administratively stay the effective date of rules preventing them from going into effect, seek voluntary remand of rules in litigation to revisit rules administratively while avoiding a judicial decision, and administratively reconsider rules. Some of these actions have been the subject of the heated litigation, and the courts have acted to constrain agency discretion, including in an important D.C. Circuit decision rejecting EPA’s stay of the oil and gas methane rule. Expert panelists will discuss the use of these legal tools in changing agency policy, and offer cutting-edge perspectives from the government, the private sector, and the environmental advocacy community.

IN THE FUTURE

WRI to Host Forum – Experts from the Open Government Partnership and World Resources Institute will hold a forum next Tuesday at 12:30 p.m. on climate action.  The forum will profile a range of innovative approaches that open government advocates have taken to strengthen countries’ climate commitments under the Paris Agreement. Together, they will unpack how improving transparency, accountability and public participation in climate decision-making processes can help governments and civil society leaders around the world achieve ambitious climate targets.

Forum to Look at US-China Relations – The Atlantic Council’s Global Energy Center and the Brent Scowcroft Center’s Asia Security Initiative will hold a timely conversation next Tuesday on the role energy plays in the US-China relationship. The US administration’s emerging diplomatic strategy and the upcoming nineteenth national congress of the Communist Party of China provide an opportunity to take stock of the role energy plays in the US-China relationship, as well as in how China views its future. Key issues in the US-China relationship include the role of liquefied natural gas (LNG) in the US-China Comprehensive Economic Dialogue, China’s view of US energy exports, and how energy fits into the administration’s trade agenda.  Speakers include our friend Robert Fee of Cheniere Energy, ITC Assistant Secretary Alan Turley and DOE China advisor Maria DiGuilian with our friend Keith Johnson of FP moderating.

Report top Look at Highly-Enriched Uranium Facilities – On Wednesday October 11th, the Fissile Materials Working Group and International Panel on Fissile Materials will launch of a major new IPFM research report, edited by Pavel Podvig, with contributions by six leading Russian experts on highly enriched uranium (HEU) facilities. The report describes in unprecedented detail Russian programs that use HEU as fuel in military and civilian applications. Further, it asses Russia’s contribution to the effort to convert research reactors from HEU to non-weapon-usable low-enriched uranium fuel, and Russia’s efforts to repatriate HEU fuel it had supplied to facilities abroad. Finally, it evaluates the organizational structure and regulations governing the security of HEU in civilian facilities in Russia. It makes recommendations for securing Russia’s commitment to the goal of a comprehensive global HEU minimization strategy.

ACORE Finance Forum Set – The American Council on Renewable Energy will hold forum on the state of the renewable energy public policy, financial markets and corporate renewables strategy when they hold ACORE Finance West on October 12th at the Bently Reserve in San Francisco.  This annual conference convenes senior investors, industry executives, and other top transactional professionals to address market trends in the context of renewable investment opportunities in the Western U.S.

Bloomberg Hosts Sustainability Forum – Bloomberg holds its 3rd annual Sustainable Business Summit on October 12-13th in its New York offices to discuss how companies are yielding positive returns for investors, creating sustainably valuable products and processes, and developing innovative sustainable business models.  Uniquely positioned at the intersection of sustainable business and sustainable investing, the summit will explore the challenges and even greater opportunities emerging across industries.

WAPA to Host Road Rally – The Washington Automotive Press Association holds its 2017 WAPA Rally on October 12th.  This year’s event will be a drive event on the roads just beyond the Chesapeake Bay Bridge on the scenic Eastern Shore of Maryland. The event provides the opportunity to drive or ride in the latest and greatest cars, trucks and SUVs provided by WAPA’s automotive partners.

CSIS to Host IEA Renewable Energy Report Launch – The CSIS Energy and National Security Program is hosting Heymi Bahar, Project Manager of the Renewable Energy Division at the International Energy Agency (IEA), on Thursday October 12th for a presentation of the IEA’s Renewable Energy Market Report 2017 (formerly titled Medium-Term Renewables Market Report). The report provides a detailed market analysis and overview of renewable electricity capacity and generation, biofuels production, and heat consumption, as well as a forecast for the period between 2017 and 2022. This year’s report also assesses the off-grid solar market in Africa and developing Asia and the contribution of electric vehicles to renewable road transport.  Our friend Kevin Book will moderate.

BPC to Host Moniz on Nuclear – The Bipartisan Policy Center will host former Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz a conversation on October 18th at 9:00 a.m. with BPC President Jason Grumet to discuss the vital role U.S. nuclear energy plays in achieving national security objectives. The conversation will highlight the key takeaways from The U.S. Nuclear Energy Enterprise: A Key National Security Enabler, a report issued by Sec. Moniz’s new Energy Futures Initiative.

Renewable Tour Set for October Shenandoah Fall – JMU’s Center for Wind Energy joins the nonprofit American Solar Energy Society (ASES) and hundreds of solar-savvy installers and grassroots organizations throughout America to showcase thousands of solar-powered homes, schools and businesses in Virginia and across North America — for the 22nd Annual National Solar Tour, the world’s largest grassroots solar event. The ASES National Solar Tour shows families and businesses real-life examples of how their neighbors are harnessing free energy from the sun to generate electricity, warm and cool their homes, heat water and slash monthly utility bills.

Green Bonds Conference Set for NYC – Environmental Finance will host Green Bonds 2017 at 10 on the Park in New York City on October 23rd.  According to the Green Bonds Database, the American green bonds market has continued its rapid growth with over 17$ billion issued in the last twelve months.

At the conference this year we will look at the drivers behind this boom and how to ensure sustainable growth as the market matures.

 

Energy Update: Week of June 22

Friends,

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Frank Maisano

(202) 828-5864

(202) 997-5932

 

 

IN THE NEWS

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

The Companies:

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

 

DOE Hosts Sustainable Transpo Day – Today is Sustainable Transportation Day, an afternoon on the grounds of the Forrestal Building in D.C., with the Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy’s (EERE’s) Bioenergy Technologies Office, Fuel Cell Technologies Office, and Vehicle Technologies Office.  You can meet with federal staff, EERE leadership, and stakeholders from the public sector and private industry. Enjoy exhibits such as the Green Racing Simulator—a one-of-a-kind racing game that brings together sustainable transportation and arcade thrills;  the first Washington, D.C. visit of the 12.2 mpg Freightliner SuperTruck; and a unique opportunity to see some of the world’s first commercial fuel cell electric vehicles.  EERE wil also discuss its strategic investments in sustainable transportation research, development, and demonstration projects are improving vehicle efficiency, advancing the use of alternative fuel vehicles, and lowering production costs of advanced biofuels and hydrogen.

 

Wilson Report Focus On Climate, Security Issues – Today at 3:00 p.m., the Wilson Center for Scholars will convene leaders from the development, diplomatic, and security communities and the report’s coauthors for the U.S. launch of a “New Climate for Peace.” The high-level interagency panel will explore how these climate-fragility challenges are changing the way the United States and its partners work, and will also identify opportunities for joint action to address them.  The ultimate “threat multiplier,” climate change is increasing the challenges facing the U.S. development, diplomatic, and security communities.  “A New Climate for Peace: Taking Action on Climate and Fragility Risks,” an independent report commissioned by the members of the G7, identifies seven compound climate-fragility risks that pose serious threats to stability in the decades ahead. Based on a thorough assessment of existing policies, the report recommends that the G7 take concrete actions to tackle climate-fragility risks and increase the resilience of states and societies.

 

Bay, Clark, Moeller Headline Utility Commissioners Education Forum – The 20th Annual Education Conference of the Mid-Atlantic Conference of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (MACRUC) will be held today through Wednesday at the Williamsburg Lodge in Virginia.  Speakers will include former Senator/Governor Evan Bayh, FERC Commissioners Norman Bay, Tony Clark and Philip Moeller, NARUC President and Florida PSC Chair Lisa Edgar, Dominion CEO Tom Farrell, PSE&G President  Ralph LaRossa, and American Water Works CEO Susan Story.

 

Energy CyberSecurity Forum Set for Houston – The 3rd Annual Cyber Security for Oil and Gas Summit will be held in Houston today through Wednesday.  The event brings together the oil and gas industry to address critical concerns and trends with regard to the development of cyber security practices.  The complex nature of cyberattacks and those specifically levied against the oil and gas industry have been increasing over the years and while the industry is well prepared, continuous improvement is always necessary to maintain an edge on the nefarious actors working against the industry.

 

Bio Energy Event, DOE Conference Set – Tonight, Leaders in Energy will host bioenergy and clean energy professionals to discuss the evolving bioeconomy and renewable fuels.  Topics will include the renewable fuels standard, how bioenergy resources can be produced in sustainable ways, utilizing algae as a way to produce products and capture carbon, and employment and career opportunities in the bioenergy sector.  This event will take place on the evening before the U.S. Department of Energy, Bioenergy 2015 Conference tomorrow and Wednesday at the DC Convention Center.  The DOE Bioenergy 2015 conference is the 8th annual conference and will look at opportunities in the changing energy landscape.  The Clean Energy Research and Education Foundation co-hosts this year’s conference, which will focus on opportunities and challenges in our current highly dynamic energy ecosystem.  Each year, approximately 600 participants attend the conference, including key stakeholders from the bioenergy industry, Congress, national laboratories, academia, and the financial community.

 

WP host Answers Forum with Moniz, Fanning, Others – Tomorrow morning, The Washington Post will host business leaders, elected officials, government innovators, tech pioneers and scientists from around the country at a forum to discuss and debate what’s working in their cities, states and businesses when it comes to producing, delivering, securing and conserving energy. The event, the third live event in The Washington Post’s America Answers series, will look at technologies, policies and programs related to clean energy, batteries and energy storage, the grid, energy efficiency, innovations in oil and gas and more.  Speakers with include Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz, Southern Company CEO Tom Fanning, Hawai’i Gov. David Ige, Phoenix, AZ Mayor Greg Stanton, former Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour, former EPA head Carol Browner, and several others.

 

API to Release New Policy Study – The American Petroleum Institute’s (API) President/CEO Jack Gerard will host a briefing tomorrow morning at the St. Regis Hotel’s Astor Ballroom to release a new policy study conducted by industry experts Wood Mackenzie. A panel of leading energy stakeholders will discuss the importance of an all of the above approach to U.S. energy policies and a pro-growth strategy for our energy future leading up to the 2016 elections. Panelists will include Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council President Karen Kerrigan, American Association of Blacks in Energy (AABE) President Paula Jackson, Vets4Energy National Liaison Rear Admiral Don Loren, USN (RET.) and LIUNA General President Terry O’Sullivan.

 

House Science Tackles EIA Report on GHG Plan – The House Science Committee will hold a hearing tomorrow on the recent EIA report that focused on the Administration’s Clean Power Plan.   EIA’s Howard Gruenspecht is expected to testify with several others.

 

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

 

Inhofe Headline Social Cost of Carbon Event – The Heritage Foundation host a forum tomorrow at 2:00 p.m. in its Allison Auditorium for a discussion on the social cost of carbon, and the science, policy, and politics of carbon regulation.  The Administration is forcefully pushing its carbon regulations with the quantitative basis for these rules being the social cost of carbon (SCC).  Heritage research shows the models used to calculate the SCC can support encouraging CO2 emissions rather than actually restricting them. Other quantitative measures of CO2 policy, such as the likely impact on world temperatures, provide little support for any of the policies offered to date. Ignoring this evidence, the Obama Administration appears resolute in its stance to promote its policy goals – even at the detriment of those adversely impacted by these misguided policies.  Keynote speaker will be Senate Environment Committee Chair Jim Inhofe. There will also be a panel discussion hosted by our friend David Kreutzer of Heritage.

 

Cato Forum to Look at Oil, Gas Renaissance – The Cato Institute will hold a forum tomorrow at 1:00 p.m. in 2168 Rayburn on sustaining the American energy renaissance in oil and gas.  Directional drilling, horizontal drilling, hydraulic fracturing, and radical new advances in offshore platform technology and global positioning software have revolutionized both onshore and offshore oil and gas production. These advances have required considerable capital investment that would have been less likely in a nation constrained by a cap-and-trade or carbon-tax system.  The event will feature Petroleum Geologist Ned Mamula, formerly with the U.S. Geological Survey, MMS and the CIA, and Cato’s Pat Michaels,

 

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

 

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

 

Coal Council Exec to Discuss CCS Report – USEA will host Janet Gellici, Executive Vice President & COO of the National Coal Council tomorrow at 2:00 p.m. to discuss a recently completed a report for the U.S. Secretary of Energy that provides recommendations on how to accelerate the deployment of CCS technologies.  The U.S. Department of Energy is a world leader in the development of CCS technology.  The DOE CCS/CCUS program, however, has not yet achieved critical mass.  There is a need for a substantial increase in the number of large scale demonstration projects for both capture and storage technologies before either system even approaches commercialization.

 

SoCo Fanning Headlines REFF Wall Street – ACORE hosts it 12th annual REFF-Wall Street 2015 on Wednesday and Thursday at The Grand Hyatt in New York City.  REFF-Wall Street is the premier renewable energy financing event in the U.S.  Attendees of this event include CEOs and other senior company officials, lenders, investors, investment bankers, private equity investors, venture capitalists and other top transactional professionals in renewable energy finance.  The event draws an especially senior audience, comprising of over 600 senior decision makers, financiers and professionals in the renewable energy finance field.  Southern Company CEO Tom Fanning will headline a list of speakers that also includes DOE EERE’s David Danelson and former EERE head Cathy Zoi.

 

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

 

Sen. Gardner to Headline ASE Event – The Alliance to Save Energy will have an intimate Policy Perspectives discussion with Senator Cory Gardner on Wednesday at 8:45 a.m. at Bobby Van’s Steakhouse.  Gardner has served in both the House and the Senate and is a national leader on energy efficiency initiatives.

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

House Natural Gas Caucus to Host Forum – The House Natural Gas Caucus will host a forum on Wednesday at 3:30 p.m. looking at the importance of infrastructure to the demand coming from new natural gas power plants.   Speakers will include Cabot’s George Stark, a member company representative from INGAA and  LIUNA’s Dave Mallino. They also may have a panelist from the Congressional Research Service to go over the natural gas infrastructure reform bills introduced this Congress.

 

Solar Foundation to Hold Solstice Event – Speaking of Summer Solstice, every June, the Solar Foundation (TSF) hosts its Summer Solstice, a celebration of solar energy and the beneficial role it plays across many aspects of our society. We will be returning to the most incredible rooftop in downtown Washington, D.C. to roll out the “yellow carpet” in recognition of all things solar.  With their admission, this year’s Solstice guests will be treated to great food and drinks, barefoot bocce ball, electrifying beats, amazing twilight views of the Capital’s skyline, and the company of many of the most eclectic personalities in solar! The evening will also play host to the presentation of the 2015 Solar Foundation Awards, honoring the year’s preeminent solar heroes.

 

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

 

Energy Breakfast Focused on Utility of Future – ICF International will hold its Energy and Environment Breakfast on Thursday at the National Press Club, featuring one of the top U.S. utilities and one of its leading regulatory thinkers for a discussion on the utility of the future.  Much discussion has surrounded distributed energy resources such as rooftop solar, storage, and demand side management (DSM). Some regions are considering the best ways to reform the distribution system, perhaps by turning its operation over to a nonprofit entity—for example, a regional transmission organization (RTO) at the distribution level—and allowing third parties to use the system to offer an innovative set of energy services to customers.  Speakers will include Garry Brown, Former Chair and Commissioner of the NY PSC and Mark Webb, General Counsel, and Chief Risk Officer of Dominion

 

BPC Event to Feature Udall, Shimkus on TSCA – On Thursday, the Bipartisan Policy Center hosts a bicameral, bipartisan dialogue where Sen. Tom Udall (D-NM) and Rep. John Shimkus (R-IL) provide their views on why the Toxic Substance Control Act (TSCA) needs updating, and what the next steps are toward modernizing this important law.    Udall and Shimkus will join a Bridge-Builder discussion about the nation’s chemical safety law.  At nearly 40 years old, TSCA has been rendered ineffective by court decisions and is in need of serious reform. This year, it just might get one. Both the House Energy and Commerce Committee as well as the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee have reported bipartisan bills.  BPC’s Bridge-Builder Series highlights the institutions and individuals who are crossing party lines and developing solutions to the critical challenges facing our country.

 

IEA to Present Medium-term Gas Report – On Thursday at 10:00 a.m., the CSIS Energy and National Security Program will host Laszlo Varro, Head of Gas, Coal & Power Markets Division at the International Energy Agency (IEA), to present the IEA’s Medium-Term Gas Market Report 2015. The annual report, which gives a detailed analysis and five-year projections of natural gas demand, supply and trade developments, examines the interaction of increased gas demand in light of substantial price drops while the upstream sector is suffering amid large capital expenditure cuts. The impact on global gas markets of Russia’s strategic shift in its gas export policy and the rising tide of liquefied natural gas supplies are also given special consideration. The Medium-Term Gas Market Report is part of a series of annual reports the IEA devotes to each of the main primary energy sources: oil, gas, coal, renewable energy and energy efficiency.

 

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

 

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

Forum to Look at Green Finance Tools – The Center for Climate and Energy Solutions (C2ES) is hosting a forum at GWU’s Lerner Hall on Thursday morning looking at states and companies deploying new tools like green bonds, clean energy banks, energy service companies and more to pay for improved energy technology and infrastructure.  Speakers will looking into progress, scalability, past efforts and what financial tools can spur clean energy and efficiency upgrades.  They include Robert Martineau of the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation, Pennsylvania Deputy Treasurer Keith Welks,  Treasury, JPMorgan Chase’s  Granville Martin, Anna Pavlova of Schneider Electric, Citi’s Bruce Schlein and Bob Perciasepe, President, Center for Climate and Energy Solutions (C2ES).

 

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

 

Cato Offers Skeptical Look at Ozone Science – On Thursday at 4:00 p.m. the Cato Institute will hold a forum on the new EPA Ozone regulation.  The EPA’s most costly air-pollution and global-warming regulations are justified by the belief that small particles in outdoor air, like soot and dust, kill people. Based upon internal EPA documents and original research, Steven Milloy, publisher of the widely read blog JunkScience.com, will demonstrate that the agency’s belief does not pass scientific muster. As has been the case with climate change research, the dangerous liaison between regulatory agencies and academia has again resulted in a substantial distortion of reality. Please join us for a probing critique of science in service to regulatory overreach.  The event will feature Steven Milloy, Founder, JunkScience.com and be moderated by Pat. Michaels.

 

National Security Conference Set – The 2015 Center for New American Security Annual Conference will be held on Friday at the JW Marriott Hotel in Washington, D.C.  CNAS’s annual national security conference will feature keynote addresses and discussion topics designed to chart a course for the next administration and beyond.  Lots of great speakers, including a great panel on any Iran Nuclear Deal that features Sen. Tom Cotton and former State Dept Amb. Nicholas Burns.

 

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

 

FUTURE EVENTS

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

July 4th

 

Congressional Renewable Energy Forum, Expo Set – The 18th Annual Congressional Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Technology EXPO and Policy Forum will be held on Thursday, July 9th in the Cannon House Office Building.  The exhibits will be in Cannon Caucus Room (Cannon 345) while the Policy Forum will be in 334 Cannon. The event brings together close to 50 businesses, trade associations, and government agencies to showcase renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies and is Co-Hosted by the House and Senate’s Renewable Energy & Energy Efficiency Caucuses, as well as the Sustainable Energy Coalition.

 

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

 

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

 

August Recess

 

GenForum Set For Columbus – ICF International Natural Gas VP Leonard Crook will kick-off the one-day GenForum/POWER-GEN event August 18th on natural gas generation in Columbus, Ohio.  Crook will offer an overview of the recent rise of natural gas-fueled power generation over the years at the expense of coal-fired power plants.  GenForum is organized by PennWell’s GenerationHub. The event is scheduled at the Greater Columbus Convention Center. GenForum leads into PennWell’s POWER-GEN/Natural Gas conference, scheduled for Aug. 18-to-20 at the same convention center.

 

Energy Update: Week of February 17

Friends,

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

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

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

Frank Maisano

(202) 828-5864

(202) 997-5932

 

IN THE NEWS

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

FUTURE EVENTS

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

Energy Update: Week of February 9

Friends,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Frank Maisano

(202) 828-5864

(202) 997-5932

 

IN THE NEWS

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

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

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

 

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

FUTURE EVENTS

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

Energy Update: Week of February 2

Friends,

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Frank Maisano

(202) 828-5864

  1. (202) 997-5932

 

IN THE NEWS

 

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

 

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

 

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

FUTURE EVENTS

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

Energy Update

Friends,

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

 

IN THE NEWS

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.

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

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.

FUTURE EVENTS

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 July 7

Friends,

Well it was sure nice to slow down last week.  While I spent most of the sun-drenched week here in DC at a lax All-American showcase my daughter was playing in, it was nice to take a deep breath and not have to check my phone.  Better than me, Segal was steaming up and down the New England sea coast on the Queen Mary 2, taking a short hop up from NYC to Nova Scotia.  He reports it was an awesome trip.

It was also nice to catch up on some stuff that slips through the cracks when everything is sooooo busy with day-to-day warfare.  One of those things is our annual reception at the Society of Environmental Journalists event.   We are starting our outreach for sponsors and helping find folks for panels.  This year it is earlier than usual (September 3-7) because it is in NEW ORLEANS.  There will be lots of oil and gas discussions as well as tours of natgas and offshore facilities.  There will also be many discussions about the pieces of the President’s Climate plan and its legal questions.  Check out the agenda here.

So…if you were the Duke and Duchess of Windsor, you had a great sports weekend.  (Even if you weren’t it was pretty good).  Kate and William caught the first stage of le tour de France, which this year actually started in England in Leeds.  The stage ended in Harrogate with a crash that forced the withdrawal of famed Brit sprinter and favorite son Mark Cavendish.  The world’s most grueling sporting event rides on to London today then though Belgium/France toward Paris in three weeks.   Then, in a stroke of luck, Kate/Bill just happened to land prime box seats for a brilliant Wimbledon final between Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic.  I hope you were able to watch the 5-set epic battle.  It was one for the ages, with Djokovic finally breaking Federer in the 10th game of the 5th set after Federer fought back from a match point trailing 5-2 in the 4th set.  Unbelievable tennis…  All this and the World Cup Semifinals as well: Argentina v Nederland and Germany v. Brasil (without key players Neymar (injury) and Silva (cards)).

The end of the July 4th recess and the impending mid-term elections means there are only four weeks to the August recess.  In that time, there are two really important things that Washington has on its plate.  First is a “must-do” that addresses the highway trust fund.  Lawmakers have until August 1st to come up with an agreement or risk delaying payments to states. The fund is expected to run out of money at the end of August.  Especially in an election year where millions of dollars and millions of jobs are at risk, (HTF paid for $37.4 billion in road projects last year) this is likely to be the one thing that will happen.

The other item that will garner a lot of political and policy attention is the EPA’s new GHG rule for existing power plants.  While both the Congress and Administration, as well as industry and enviro groups, are all positioning around the issue.  We will see EPA public hearings at the end of July in Atlanta, DC, Denver and Pittsburgh.  Between now and then, Congressional hearings will continue with about just about everybody digging into the issue at some point., including Friday when the House Energy subpanel continues its investigation by hearing from constitutional lawyers who will examine EPA’s authority to compel states to act on environmental matters under the constraints of the Constitution’s Commerce Clause.

This week, Senate Energy holds field hearing in Louisiana today, while others will focus on European energy security and funding bills.  Look for the beginning s of challenges to the President’s GHG plans in the funding bills.  A powerful tool used successfully in the past, it has been less successful of late.  Next week on Monday, EIA holds its annual Energy Conference and NARUC will hold its summer meetings in DC.

Finally, this July 4th was the 75th anniversary of legendary Hall of Famer Lou Gehrig heartbreakingly said goodbye to baseball with his iconic “Luckiest Man” speech at Yankee Stadium in 1939. The degenerative effects of a nerve disorder, best known as Lou Gehrig’s disease or ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis), would ultimately take his life less than two years later.  An important day in history that will long be remembered because of the Iron Horse’s grace, humility and resilience.

Call if you have questions

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

IN THE NEWS

ERCC to Ask for EPA Comment Extension – As mentioned briefly last week, ERCC will shortly be filing with EPA its request for extension of the comment period for the rule limiting carbon emissions from existing facilities under section 111(d) of the Clean Air Act.  Of interest in the request, ERCC will note that those concerned with the timeliness of carbon policy would be better served by the comment extension request.  Both the EPA and the regulated community could use the additional time to address technical and legal problems with the proposal.  If these issues go unaddressed, the Agency is more likely to have a rule that will be set aside by the federal courts or collapse under its own weight due to poorly conceptualized outcomes for states, utility regulators, system operators, sister federal agencies, and others charged with ultimate implementation of the rule.  Let us know if you would like a copy.

Energy To Promote More Loan Guarantees – DOE issued a loan guarantee solicitation late last week, making as much as $4 billion in loan guarantees available for innovative renewable energy and energy efficiency projects located in the U.S. that avoid, reduce, or sequester greenhouse gases. This solicitation represents the next step in the Department’s effort to support the deployment of innovative, clean energy technologies at commercial scale in the U.S.  The Renewable Energy and Efficient Energy Projects Loan Guarantee Solicitation is intended to support technologies that are catalytic, replicable, and market-ready. Within the solicitation, the Department has included a sample list illustrative of potential technologies for consideration. While any project that meets the appropriate requirements is eligible to apply, the Department has identified five key technology areas of interest: advanced grid integration and storage; drop-in biofuels; waste-to-energy; enhancement of existing facilities including micro-hydro or hydro updates to existing non-powered dams; and efficiency improvements.

Cape Wind Completes First Loan Guarantee Step – Speaking of Loan Guarantees, DOE also has taken the first step toward issuing a $150 million loan guarantee to support the construction of the Cape Wind offshore wind project with a conditional commitment to Cape Wind Associates, LLC.  If constructed, the project would be the first commercial-scale offshore wind facility in the U.S., with a capacity of more than 360 megawatts (MW) of clean energy off the coast of Cape Cod, Massachusetts.  DOE will continue to monitor the project’s development and work to reach final agreement before closing the loan guarantee.  Under the proposed financing structure for the Cape Wind project, DOE would be part of a group of public and private lenders. This co-lending arrangement will help build private sector experience with offshore wind projects in the U.S. while reducing taxpayer exposure.

Sharks in CA, NJ Waters Remind – Shark are all over the news this week with incidents in New Jersey and California getting most of the attention.  It reminds me though that our friend and Washington Post Environmental/White House report Juliet Eilperin has written about sharks many times including her recent book Demon Fish: Travels through the Hidden World of Sharks.  The book is a history of sharks role in society from thousands of years ago to today.  She looks at man’s current impact and the Shark fin trade as well.

NYT Gems in Recent DaysThe New York Times rolled out two excellent articles over the July 4th weekend.  On the 4th, our friend Coral Davenport and Michael Barbaro highlighted Tom Steyer and his lingering investments in Coal and the impacts they are still having despite his divestment rhetoric.  NYT cites the investment in a major coal facility in Australia funded by Farallon where they made bundles Of cash.    Then Sunday, Coral highlighted the influence of NRDC in actually pretty much writing the President’s climate proposal.   The very same environment community that hammered my friend Jeff Holmstead over President Bush’s Clean skies program and industry influence, pretty much willingly recognizes their key role in the President’s plan.

 

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

Forum Focused on Mexican Energy Issues – The CSIS Energy and National Security and Americas Programs will host a forum today at 1:30 p.m. featuring Jesus Reyes Heroles, Former General Director of Petroleos Mexicanos (PEMEX) and Executive President of Grupo de Economistas y Asociados,  Pedro Haas, Senior Adviser at McKinsey & Co and Ed Morse, Head of Commodities Research at Citigroup, to discuss the recently introduced reforms to the Mexican Oil and Gas sector, the likely path forward, the implications for PEMEX and the resultant impacts on world oil markets. Ambassador Medina Mora, Mexican Ambassador to the United States, will provide introductory remarks. Guy Caruso, Senior Adviser at CSIS, will moderate. Despite its position as the world’s 9th largest producer of oil and the third-largest in the Western Hemisphere, Mexico has been plagued by consistent declines in production. At the end of 2013, Mexico approved historic legislation that would end the ban on private sector participation in the Mexican energy sector. These reforms promise to address many of the obstacles that have led to the country’s declining oil production. Before the reforms can take effect, however, the Mexican Legislature must pass secondary laws that focus on the fiscal regime, especially important will be the exploration and production contracts.

Senate Energy to Hold Field Hearing on Offshore Drilling – The Senate Energy and Natural Resources hold a field hearing in Lafayette, Louisiana today at 2:30 p.m. on drilling on the outer continental shelf  at the Cajundome Conference Center.   Witnesses will include BOEM acting director Walter Cruickshank, EIA’s Adam Sieminski, Shell’s Kent Satterlee, LLOG Exploration’s Joe Leimkuhler, Aries Marine CEO Court Ramsay and Port Fourchon executive director Chett Chiasson.

Senate Foreign Relations to Look at European Energy Security – The Senate Foreign Relations Committee’s Subcommittee on European Affairs will convene a hearing tomorrow on European energy security.  Witnesses will include State Department officials Amos Hochstein and Hoyt Yee.

IEA Chief to Discuss Gas Market Report – The CSIS Energy and National Security Program will host a forum tomorrow at 10:00 a.m. featuring Anne-Sophie Corbeau, who will present the IEA’s Medium-Term Gas Market Report. The annual report, which gives a detailed analysis and five-year projections of natural gas demand, supply and trade developments, sees global demand rising by 2.2% per year by the end of the forecast period, compared with the 2.4% rate projected in last year’s outlook. Liquefied natural gas (LNG) will meet much of this demand, with new pipelines also playing a role. The Medium-Term Gas Market Report is part of a series of annual reports the IEA devotes to each of the main primary energy sources: oil, gas, coal, renewable energy and – as of last year – energy efficiency.

House to Mark Interior Funding Bill – The House Appropriations Committee’s Subcommittee on Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies will meet Wednesday at 10:00 a.m. in B-308 Rayburn to markup the FY 2015 Interior and Environment Appropriations Bill.  Our Man Ed Krenik is on the action if you need information.

Forum to Look at Carbon, Efficiencies – On Thursday at noon in our building at 2000 K Street  (Oppenheimer on the 8th Floor), the Wharton DC Green Business Forum will host Jeff Erikson, Director of Global Projects, Carbon War Room for a discussion of current events.  The Carbon War Room (CWR) accelerates the adoption of business solutions that reduce carbon emissions at gigaton scale and advance the low-carbon economy.  They  focus on addressing the barriers that reinforce the status quo and prevent capital from flowing to sustainable solutions with compelling returns.

House Science to Look at Fusion Energy – On Friday at 9:00 a.m., the House Science, Space & Technology Committee’s Subcommittee on Energy will hold a hearing on fusion energy.  Witnesses will include GAO’s Frank Rusco, DOE’s Pat Dehmer, ITER Council Chair Robert Iotti and Ned Sauthoff, U.S. ITER Project Director at Oak Ridge National Laboratory.

House Energy to Look at Fed, State Enviro Policy Implementation – Also Friday, the House Energy and Commerce Committee panel on Environment and the Economy continues its investigation of the new GHG rule with a hearing on Constitutional Considerations and  States vs. Federal environmental policy implementation.

Forum to Look at Transportation Future – The Center for American Progress will hold a forum on Friday at 10:00 a.m. looking at the future of transportation technology.  A technological revolution is coming to transportation that will forever change both how we travel and how we pay for our travel. Nationwide, 117,000 active highway and public transportation projects and 700,000 workers rely on funding from the Highway Trust Fund. Yet, the U.S. Department of Transportation projects that the fund will run out of money in late July 2014. Since 2008, Congress has backfilled the fund with $54 billion in general tax revenues with another $170 billion needed in order to keep the fund solvent over the next 10 years. New vehicle technology platforms will allow states and the federal government to charge drivers for every mile they drive rather than how much fuel they consume. The forum will look at what this new technology means for privacy, roadway congestion, and safety.  The Keynote speaker will be Rep. Earl Blumenauer, with other speakers including Robert D. Atkinson of the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation, Intelligent Transportation Society of America’s Leo McCloskey, Sen. Tom Carper transportation policy advisor Colin Peppard and Joshua Schank of the Eno Center for Transportation.

Enviro Groups to Host Anti-NatGas Rally – The Chesapeake Climate Action Network is hosting a national rally to stop natural gas exports at Cove Point on Sunday on the National Mall.

 

FUTURE EVENTS

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, from July 13-16. 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 on July 14th and 15th.  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.

EPA to Host Clif Bar, Steelcase to Discuss Supply Chain Sustainability – EPA’s Green Power Partnership (GPP) will host a webinar on July 15th  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 formally worked with us at Brightsource Energy worked at Clif Bar.

Forum to Look at Venezuela Oil – The Atlantic Council’s Adrienne Arsht Latin America Center will host a discussion on Wednesday July 16th 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.

WCEE To Discuss Electricity Market Status – The Women’s Council on Energy and the Environment will hold a Brown-bag Luncheon on Wednesday July 16th 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 July 17th 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, July 17th 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.

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 July 17th 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.

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 30 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 31 (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 on August 7th and 8th at the Four Seasons.  Several Bracewell attorneys will be speaking on panels on the many 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 January 13

Friends,

Last night, the Golden Globes were entertaining…And out just in time for the 11:00 news.  I thought the winners were a good mix that showed what a quality year it was for film and TV.  The funniest part of the excellent low-key hosting from Tina Fey and Amy Poehler was watching Poehler make out with Bono.  How great are the members of U2 to still be such important players on our cultural and political scene after all these years.  Pretty impressive.

Many people are focus on the chemical spill in West Virginia.  While some in the enviro community played their usual political theater, our friend David Biello at Scientific American has a terrific, matter-of-fact piece that discusses the issue and the potential hazards.

The Senate jumps back in this week with a hearing on the President’s Climate Plan on Thursday as a birthday gift to me.  While I love going to EPW to celebrate, unfortunately some of the expert witnesses are scientists like Georgia Tech’s Judy Curry, so who knows what they will be saying about the President’s Policy.  Usually, most scientists will steer clear of the policy game (in the past, Curry has tended not to be one of them).  Of course, that may be a bit of the plan for Chairwoman Boxer, if our past experience of these climate hearings bears out.

In town this week, we continue the 2014 preview events after last week’s Chamber of Commerce and API speeches.  On the docket, the US Chamber’s 21st Century Energy group will roll out Energy Works For US, its new plan to move the energy revolution forward on Wednesday.  That same day, ACCCE/Real Clear Politics holds a 2014 energy preview and Black & Veatch releases its Electricity Market Perspective in the evening.  The US Energy Assn’s State of the Energy Industry event will be at the Press Club on Thursday afternoon.   Finally, given the recent incidents, more people might be interested in the 8:30 a.m. Friday meeting hosted by DOT and the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) that will look at current and future research projects.

The North American International Auto Show in Detroit opens today with previews for press, government officials before public opening tomorrow. Earlier talk is focused on EVs and lighter weight material use, such as aluminum, in additional to the usual concept cars and product lines.  Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx attends today with Vice President Biden, Commerce’s Penny Pritzker, EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy attending later in the week.  Of course, they will also play a bigger role later this month when the products move to DC for the Washington Auto show, which has become the auto policy version of the Detroit Product show.   Speaking of Auto Policy, keep your eyes peeled for a BGov even next Tuesday on the subject.

 

Finally, in case you missed it last week, I am re-sending the top 14 issues for 2014.  Call with questions.

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

 

Top 14 Issues for ‘14

As you know, each year for the first update of the year, I highlight a number of important issues for you to put on your agenda for the year.  So here we go with the Top 14 issues for 2014:

1) Politics, Politics, Politics – In 2014, the year will be impacted greatly by the politics of the mid-term election in November.  More so than usual, there is great uncertainty about who has the advantage heading into this key year.  Expect most of the air in the room to be taken up between health care politics and continued budget battles that will play out in 2014, but there will be energy issues that invade the limelight, especially regionally and when key decisions are made like the Keystone pipeline decision and the Supreme Court’s expected Spring ruling on power plant emissions.   Conventional wisdom reminds that that Democrats are defending the majority of the vulnerable Senate seats and the mid-term of a President’s second term are usual difficult for his party, but also Congress is at all-time low approvals.

2) New Personnel Might Changes Some Minds, Approach –  1) Louisiana’s Mary Landrieu: Speaking of vulnerable Senate seats, Landrieu is among them, but the appointment on Max Baucus to be ambassador to China and Ron Wyden’s expected move to Finance might give Landrieu an early gift as chair of the Senate’s Energy Committee.   2) John Podesta: Podesta’s move to the White House to head the President’s Energy team will create some credibility that this Administration has not had to date.  While Podesta is definitely in line with the enviro community and will be their advocate, he also has significant political and process knowledge that will make him a much more powerful force than either Heather Zichal or Carol Browner.   3) FERC Chair:  With Wellinghoff out and Bins sacked, who steps up next will be another interesting question for 2014.  Look for NARUC power broker Collette Honorable of Arkansas to be at the front of the line.

3) NatGas 2014 – One of the biggest issues on the energy front this year will be the continued role of natural gas in the energy sector.  Its availability will remain the most important question, but other issues including state/federal regulations, political battles and legal fights will create additional potential problems. EIA says in a new report that Shale energy production will “continue to lift domestic supply and reshape the U.S. energy economy” and will result in near-historic levels of domestic crude oil production, higher levels of natural gas production, and dramatically reduce our reliance on imported energy.  All the more reason why we are in a better position that even just a few short years ago.

4) Key LNG Decisions – The chipping away of application approvals continues to be a steady drip despite some strong internal industry competition and opposition.  The key won’t be whether more applications are approved though.  The key for 2014 will be whether one of those already approved beats litigation and opposition to finally makes it to the finish line and starts exporting.

5) RFS: To Cut or Not to Cut – Expect this to remain an interesting talking point this year after the EPA issued a proposal to reduce the amount of ethanol.  While both sides have hammered each other for years, there are two key players to watch: environmental groups and Valero.  Valero is the largest independent refiner in the US, but also one of the largest ethanol manufacturers so they carry extra credibility.  As for enviros have never been enamored with the RFS.  For years they really looked the other way and hoped that second gen biofuels and cellulosic industries would emerge, but they haven’t.  Adding to the challenge for ethanol, the industry has lost much of its clout, both in politics and in the marketplace.  It has been some years in the making, but combined with the lack of development of the 2nd gen/cellulosic, they have lost a lot of credibility.  The politics just aren’t as favorable as they used to be for ethanol, especially since this election year doesn’t run through Iowa.

6) Keystone – Is it finally time?  That is the question.  Why this has become such a flash point for some environmental activists may be an even more important question.  Most expect the President to approve the pipeline, but look for a good cop/bad cop approach with Secretary John Kerry and a heavy dose of focus on implementing the new GHG rules, which would have a much more dramatic impact on the environment and the economy.

7) Focus on Crude Transportation – Speaking of transporting crude, given a number of incidents, expect a wider, more detailed focus on the infrastructure issues surrounding transportation of oil.  Enviro activists who have at times struggled to rally support against Keystone may be able to mainstream themselves with other enviros who have stayed in the background on the Keystone fight.  The first shot in this battle was the recent revelation from PHMSA saying that Bakken oil may be more flammable than traditional crude. (that won’t move to the top of the activists’ key talking points…oh it already has?)

8) Crude Oil Exports? – Speaking of Keystone, there is a growing debate over whether we should be exporting crude oil.  The fire was stoked by Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz when he suggested revisiting the ban on almost all oil exports.  Expect this to be a key point for the oil industry and I expect it to come up tomorrow at API’s State of the industry event.   Don’t kid yourself though: this one doesn’t break down along the typical party lines and politics 2014 (and the usual gas price increases in the summer) may ice this issue to another future time.

9) Vogtle Nuclear Success – Last year, we pegged action on some nuclear projects as a key for the future of expanding nuclear power.  While others have fallen off the radar screen, the brightest shining light continues to be Southern’s Vogtle Plant, which is currently fighting through the challenges, crossing significant milestones and will soon be at the point where we know it will happen.  Keep a close eye on Georgia, especially now that several older coal plants are also timelined to close in a few years, which makes Vogtle that much more important.

10) Loan Guarantee Successes – As I mentioned in the blurb about 60 Minutes, the DOE Loan Guarantee program will be seen in a different light after 2014.  Already, several important projects are just going on-line and will generate some real-world successes for the program.  They start with Tesla and several solar projects in California like Ivanpah.

11) PTC Deal in Larger Tax Reform – While the Production Tax Credit (PTC) expired quietly on January 1st, not much noise was made given the change in status that allows the trigger point to be “commence construction”  rather than “in-service. “  That change gave developers another year or so to finish projects already started.  But this leads to a larger question:  Will it be renewed again?  I suspect the answer is yes in the long-time tax extenders package that is expected to run along with the mandatory debt ceiling legislation which is required sometime in the first quarter of 2014 (depending on whom you ask).   Most experts think it may take the form of a longer-term phase out, maybe 4 or 5 years.  A key player to watch is Iowa Sen. Chuck Grassley.

12) Impacts of Mexican Energy Reforms – Energy is the most contentious and challenging reform for the Mexican government. With declining oil revenues and increasing dependence upon imports of refined oil and gas from the United States, the Mexican government will need to significantly reform its national oil company PEMEX, as well as modify the role played by international oil and service companies. While constitutional reforms approved in December 2013 are a necessary precondition, forthcoming enabling legislation and its implementation will determine the shape and success of Mexico’s energy reforms.  And it will have an important impact on what we do here, especially in the Gulf of Mexico. The reform will open investment opportunities for American energy and service infrastructure companies seeking new energy markets as well as access to Mexico.

13) Offshore Wind Will Blow in This Year – We have been saying to watch this for a couple years now, but this IS the year for offshore wind.   With the litigation, delays and construction challenges finally getting resolved, most experts really expect that we will see our first offshore wind projects finally completed. There is no doubt that 2013 saw significant progress for the fledgling industry. With strong government leadership at the state and federal levels working together with the innovators on the front lines of the economic and technical development, we are closer than ever to really starting an entirely new industry that promises revenue, jobs and clean energy, all in one.  This year will finally be time to get a project in Rhode Island, Delaware or New Jersey or Massachusetts in the water and operating.

14) The Biggest and Most Important: GHG regulations – This will be the epic battle of 2014.  So much to say…  This will not be resolved this year, but nearly every fight starts with this issue.  This year will feature the released draft rule, the comment period and more EPA hearings.  It is also expected to have the release of rules for existing plants (one year from the President’s Summer 2013 Georgetown Speech).  Most experts say the challenges will be much more difficult, more costly and legally questionable.   They also say the timelines may have to slip, especially in a tough political year.  Finally, as stated earlier, the SCOTUS decision on the Cross State pollution rule will also have an impact.

 

IN THE NEWS

Rockefeller, Wyden Look for Rail Investigation on Oil Incidents – In the wake of a series of explosive train derailments containing crude oil – including two in the last two weeks – Chairman Rockefeller (Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation) and Chairman Wyden (Senate Committee on Energy) wrote a letter to Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx and Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz urging prompt and decisive action on crude oil transportation.  In the letter, Rockefeller and Wyden request the Department of Transportation (DOT) and Department of Energy (DOE) begin an investigation to thoroughly understand the current and future volumes of crude oil that will be shipped on railroads; evaluate the crudes to understand whether they require special precautions and handling; evaluate and update safety requirements to ensure they adequately address the risks of carrying crude oil and finalize DOT’s rule implementing the rail risk reduction program that was signed into law in 2008.

Vogtle Plant Video on Mother Nature Network – I mentioned Vogtle above in the Top 14 in ’14 as being essential to the future of nuclear power.  That being said, Southern Company and Mother Nature Network have collaborated on a video highlighting the size and scope of the Vogtle 3 and 4 project.  When completed, the Vogtle complex will be the largest nuclear generating station in the US. Walking across it will be equivalent to walking from the Washington monument to the Lincoln Memorial.  It runs for about two minutes and has a really great narrator…

UK Looking to NatGas Drilling –The French oil giant Total is on the verge of becoming the first major oil company to explore for natural gas and oil in shale rock in Britain. Under the deal, which may be announced as soon as today, Total would commit about $50 million for a roughly 40% stake in licenses held by a group of companies.  I know this won’t surprise you, but the Bracewell London Office has some of the best natgas experts in the region who are very familiar with what is happening in Britain.  I can connect you if you are interested or look here for Jason Fox, Olivia Caddy and several others.

Solar Glass Half Full, Half Empty – The LA Times’ Julie Cart has another piece today hitting the solar industry this time over the pace of utility project development.  Citing the uncertainty of the future of federal tax credits and the cost of solar power, Cart says development of big solar projects have slowed to a standstill.  While acknowledging several major projects coming on-line this year (including the innovative CSP Ivanpah project) she still strings together a number of separate facts to fit her thesis.  But while the LA Times highlights supposed woes, the business network CNBC has a very different take saying  even as the U.S. churns out more fossil fuels, evidence abounds that alternative energy in general—and solar in particular—is staging a comeback of sorts.  CNBC: “Observers credit an increase in solar capacity, falling photovoltaic (PV) costs and the extension of tax credits for renewable energy for the sector’s revival.  Rather than mounting a competitive threat to oil and gas, solar energy is instead carving a niche in creating electricity, experts say.”   The story goes on to highlight how the solar revival is sending solar stocks on a tear.  It even uses some of the same Cart stats about utility use of solar slowing.  But just shows whether you are looking at the glass half full or half empty, it matters in how you view the larger picture.

 

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

PA NatGas Public Hearings to Look at Court Ruling, Regs – On the heels of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court’s recent decision that struck down key portions of the state’s oil and gas law, the PA Environmental Quality Board is holding public hearings throughout the state to accept public comment on proposed new regulations for oil and gas development in Pennsylvania. The new regulations will significantly shape PA DEP’s actions on oil and gas activities. The first hearing was last Thursday in West Chester, and tonight, there will be a hearing in Williamsport, with two others on Wednesday and Thursday in Crawford County and Cumberland County respectively.  A complete listing of hearing dates and locations, as well as other information, can be found here.

Detroit Auto Show Rolls Again after New Year – Just like the sun rising, a New Year means important college football games and the roll out of the North American International Auto Show in Detroit launches Monday through January 26th.  Now in its 26th year as an international event, the NAIAS is among the most prestigious auto shows in the world, providing unparalleled access to the automotive products, people and ideas that matter most – up close and in one place.

House Committee to Focus on Transpo Bill – The House Transportation Committee will hold a hearing tomorrow to look at building the foundation for surface transportation reauthorization.

Whitfield, Manchin GHG Legislation Gets to House Energy Mark Up – The Energy and Commerce Committee’s Energy and Power Subcommittee will mark up legislation from Chairman Whitfield and Sen. Joe Manchin that targets EPA’s greenhouse gas regulations.

NSF Meeting to Focus on Science, Math – National Science Foundation will hold a meeting tomorrow at 1:00 p.m. of the Advisory Committee for Mathematical and Physical Sciences to study data, programs, policies, and other information pertinent to the National Science Foundation and to provide advice and recommendations concerning research in mathematics and physical sciences.

BPC Forum to Look at Ukraine – The Bipartisan Policy Center (BPC) will hold a discussion tomorrow at 2:00 p.m. on Ukraine democracy, geopolitics, economics and energy.  Our friend and former Undersecretary of State for Democracy and Global Affairs Paula Dobriansky will speak along with Ambassador of the Republic of Poland to the United States Ryszard Schnepf and Angela Stent, director of the Center for Eurasian Russian & East European Studies at Georgetown University.

Brookings Event to Look at US, Japan Energy – The Energy Security Initiative at Brookings will host a discussion tomorrow at 2:00 p.m. on the overall energy security implications for Japan resulting from the hydrocarbon “renaissance” in the U.S. Panelists will include Mikkal Herberg, research director in the Energy Security Program of the National Bureau of Asian Research; James Jensen, principal of Jensen Associates, Inc.; Hidehiro Muramatsu, general manager of the Washington Office of Japan Oil, Gas and Metals National Corporation; and Shoichi Itoh, senior researcher of the Institute of Energy Economics, Japan. Senior Fellow Charles Ebinger, director of the Energy Security Initiative, will provide introductory remarks and moderate the discussion.

MIT Grid Series Continues – The MIT Club of Washington will continue its US electric grid series tomorrow at 7:00 p.m. featuring Western Electricity Coordinating Council Synchrophasor Program Manager Vickie VanZandt.  A modernized grid enables the use of renewables, which are part of the strategy to reduce the reliance on fossil fuels and reduce our carbon footprint. The discussion will focus on how the grid will incorporate the diversity of sources that may arise from our research into distributed production techniques and renewable energy possibilities.

Chamber Energy Group to Roll out Agenda – The US Chamber’s 21st Century Energy Institute will roll out its 2014 agenda on Wednesday morning.

ACCCE, RCP to Host Energy Policy Event – The American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity (ACCCE) and Real Clear Politics will host an event on Wednesday at Noon at the Newseum looking the road ahead on U.S. Energy Policy.  The event features a keynote by Senator Joe Manchin, and a panel discussion moderated by Carl Cannon of Real Clear Politics. Panelists will be Ross Eisenberg of the National Association of Manufacturers, Daniel Kish of the Institute for Energy Research, Peter Ogden of the Center for American Progress and William Yeatman of the Competitive Enterprise Institute.

Webinar to Tackle Key Energy Issues for 2035 – Energy Outlook 2035 webinar will be held Wednesday at 10:30 a.m. The Energy Outlook 2035 examines the wider debate on global energy issues by asking key questions.

UN Climate Chief to Address Investor Action – Global financial leaders gather in New York at the United Nations to discuss climate change and investor actions that are needed to mitigate economic risks Wednesday.  At 1:00, they will hold a news conference to discuss the agenda.  Among those speaking will be UN Framework Convention on Climate Change Executive Secretary Christiana Figueres and Bloomberg New Energy Finance President Michael Liebreich.

B&V to Release 2014 Energy Market Perspective – Black & Veatch holds a briefing on Wednesday at 5:00 p.m. at the National Press Club to preview the 2014 Energy Market Perspective. The report provides an integrated long term outlook of the U.S. energy market.  Dean Oskvig, CEO of Black & Veatch, will speak.

World Bank to Hold Transportation Conference – The World Bank and EMBARQ, the sustainable transport program of the World Resources Institute, will co-host the 11th annual Transforming Transportation conference at the World Bank in Washington, DC on Thursday and Friday.  The event provides a unique opportunity for the global transport community to discuss how to achieve large-scale and widespread adoption of sustainable solutions.  This year’s conference will look at opportunities for business to help advance the sustainable transport agenda for cities.

AGA to Release New NatGas Study – On Thursday at 9:30 a.m., the American Gas Association will release a new IHS CERA study on the availability of domestic natural gas and its impact on consumers, businesses and industries.   AGA President Dave McCurdy, Chris Johns of Pacific Gas & Electric and IHS CERA gas/coal/renewables expert Tim Gardner.    The event will be held at 101 Constitution Ave.

Senate Environment to Look at Climate Plan – The Senate Environment Committee will hold a hearing on Thursday at 9:15 a.m. looking at the President’s Climate Action Plan.  Panel one witnesses will include EPA’s Gina McCarthy, CEQ Chair Nancy Sutley, GSA Administrator Dan Tangherlini and Dan Ashe, Director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.  On panel two, witnesses include former Colorado Gov. Bill Ritter (who directs Colorado State’s Center for the New Economy, Andrew Dessler of Texas A&M, NRDC’s Dan Lashof, Georgia Tech’s Judy Curry and Kathleen Hartnett White of the Texas Public Policy Foundation.

Senate Banking to Look at MAP 21, Pubic Transportation – The Senate Banking Committee will meet in open session to hold a hearing on Thursday at January 16th at 10:00 a.m., providing a progress report on public transportation under MAP-21.  Witnesses will include Federal Transit Administration Administrator Peter Rogoff and GAO’s Director of the Physical Infrastructure Team, David Wise.

USEA to Host State of Energy – On Thursday starting at Noon, the US Energy Association will host its 10th Annual State of the Energy Industry Forum at the National Press Club.  Distinguished leaders from the most influential and active energy trade associations will present the priorities, issues, trends, and challenges affecting the industry in 2014.  See more here.

Brookings to Look at Mexico Energy Reform – The Brookings Institution will host a forum on Thursday at 3:30 p.m. in the Falk Auditorium to look at the future of energy reform in Mexico.  Energy is the most contentious and challenging reform for the Mexican government.  Accordingly, the Latin America Initiative and the Energy Security Initiative at Brookings will host Dr. Fluvio Ruiz Alarcón, professional counselor (independent director) on the executive board of PEMEX, for a discussion on the opportunities and challenges facing the Mexican government as it moves towards introducing future reforms. Dr. Ruiz Alarcón will be joined by Arturo Sarukhan, former Mexican ambassador to the U.S. and distinguished affiliate at Brookings. LAI Director and Senior Fellow Harold Trinkunas will provide introductory remarks and moderate the discussion.

McGinn to Focus on Powering Navy Energy Future – On Thursday at 3:30 p.m. at the U.S. Naval Heritage Center, Dennis McGinn will discuss what steps can be taken to enhance the department’s energy posture and improve operational effectiveness.  McGinn was recently confirmed as the Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Energy, Installations, and the Environment.

Transportation, PHMSA Meeting Set to Look at Future Research – Given the recent incidents, more people might be interested in the 8:30 Friday meeting hosted by the Transportation Department (DOT); Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) that will present the results of recently completed and current research projects and to solicit comments relative to potential new research projects which may be considered for inclusion in its future work.

 

FUTURE EVENTS

WCEE Forum to Look at Stakeholder Involvement – The Women’s Council on Energy and the Environment and the National Capital Area Chapter of the Society for Risk Analysis will hold a forum on Monday, January 20th at 5:30 p.m. on stakeholder’s involvement through scientific reasoning.  José Palma-Oliveira, Ph.D., University of Lisbon will be the speaker.  Palma-Oliveira will focus on ways to help stakeholders without using risk communications.  The way risk communication is usually conceptualized and implemented has stakeholder persuasion as its main focus. This has failed in many cases resulting in significant stakeholder unease and stress. This talk will focus on alternative approaches of bringing stakeholders on board in projects where risk is a significant driver for decision.

EPA Science Committee Meeting Set to Discuss GHG Concerns – EPA’s Science Advisory Board will hold a teleconference on Tuesday January 21st from 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. to conclude its discussion about questions board members had about the science backing EPA’s proposed greenhouse regulations for new power plants.  Late last year, the SAB raised concerns about whether EPA appropriately reviewed the issue before deciding that carbon capture and sequestration is commercially available for new coal-fired power plants.  House Science Chair Lamar Smith and other committee members highlighted the problems in a recent letter to EPA Administrator McCarthy.  Specifically, the Committee members pointed out that any EPA rule requiring the capture of carbon must address where the carbon is stored.

BGov to Hold Auto Policy Briefing – Bloomberg Government will hold Its 2014 Auto Policy Briefing on Tuesday, January 21st at 8:00 a.m.  American auto sales last year were the highest since 2007, but 2014 will bring new challenges and opportunities, especially on the regulatory front. From fuel-economy standards and infrastructure spending to the prospect of improved export opportunities through new trade deals, policymakers in Washington will have a major impact on the course of the U.S. auto industry.  BGov analysts will offer a detailed look at the policy and regulatory issues facing this important industry in 2014.

Early Stage Tech Webinar Set – ARPA-E will hold a webinar on Tuesday January 21st at 1:00 p.m. that will identify path to market for early-stage technologies.  In early 2013, ARPA-E partnered with NSF for a pilot program that put several ARPA-E project teams through the rigorous I-Corps program curriculum. I-Corps guides applied research teams through an iterative customer and business model discovery process aimed at identifying a path to market for early-stage technologies. Join us for an informative discussion about the i-Corps process and its value to researchers.  ARPA-E Program Director and Senior Commercialization Advisor Dr. Ilan Gur will moderate a session featuring first-hand accounts by Dr. Anita LaSalle, NSF I-Corps Program Officer, and Sri Narayan, Professor of Chemistry at the University of Southern California and recent I-Corps graduate.

Policy Auto Show Locked In, Ford COO to Keynote – Following Detroit, the Washington Auto Show, the automotive industry’s annual public policy show and the largest public show held in Washington, D.C., will be held on January 22nd through February 2nd.  This year, Mark Fields, chief operating officer of Ford Motor Company, will deliver the keynote address at the Newsmaker Breakfast on Wednesday to launch the event.  The Newsmaker Breakfast – co-sponsored by Washington Automotive Press Association (WAPA) and the International Motor Press Association (IMPA) – is part of the show’s Public Policy Days. The breakfast follows the Policy Days’ kickoff event on Capitol Hill. For more information about The Washington Auto Show, please visit www.washingtonautoshow.com

DOE’s Kenderdine Addresses ICF Breakfast Series – ICF International’s Energy Breakfast Series continues on Thursday, January 23rd at 8:00 a.m. when it hosts DOE’s Melanie A. Kenderdine as the keynote speaker.

Iowa to Hold Public Session on EPA Ethanol Regs – Gov. Terry Branstad is hosting a public hearing on Thursday, January 23rd in Des Moines to give Iowa citizens a chance to comment on the EPA proposal that would reduce the amount of ethanol in the nation’s fuel supply.  Wonder what they’ll say?

BPC to Look at Arctic Oil Issues – The Bipartisan Policy Center will hold a forum on Thursday, January 23rd at the Washington Court Hotel focused on navigating the oil frontier that will focus on the implications of the tight oil boom on Arctic and ultra-deepwater oil development. The topics include disaster response and spill cleanup, Arctic climate change adaptation, and the specific challenges of the Arctic’s unique geology and environment.

WRI to Look ay On-Grid Renewable Resources – The World Resources Institute will launch the first publication in the 10 Questions to Ask series on Thursday January 23rd at 4:30 p.m. The “10 Questions to Ask About Scaling On-Grid Renewable Energy” is a framework designed to facilitate multi-stakeholder engagement for improving renewable energy policy. The authors will present the framework, and WRI partners from India, Brazil, South Africa and Kyrgyzstan will discuss its relevance to their respective countries. A wine reception will follow.  By the end of 2012, 138 countries worldwide had introduced renewable energy (RE) targets, and investments in new RE capacity totaled US$244 billion that year. Globally, RE is gaining momentum, with over 480 gigawatts (GW) of installed renewable power capacity. RE is now at the forefront of many national energy development plans.  The progress made in many countries has also highlighted the complexities of increasing the rate of RE deployment at the national level. Deploying renewable energy on an economy-wide scale requires solutions to a range of short- medium- and long-term challenges. These include resolving economic questions about how the costs of new RE generation will be distributed among electricity consumers, investors, taxpayers, and other stakeholders, and technological challenges such as accommodating intermittent supply, upgrading or adding transmission and distribution grids, and addressing knowledge gaps.  Speakers will include report authors Davida Wood and Sarah Martin of WRI and Shantanu Dixit of Prayas Energy Group, India.

SEJ to Host Forum to Look at Year Ahead in Energy, Environment – The Society of Environmental Journalists, the Wilson Center and the Global Sustainability and Resilience Program will host a panel on Friday, January 24th at 3:00 p.m. at the Wilson Center to look at the year ahead in environmental and energy issues. A panel of veteran journalists will offer their thoughts on what will be the biggest environment and energy stories in the U.S. and around the world. Bloomberg BNA’s Larry Pearl will kick off the discussion with an overview of the key legislative, regulatory, and legal developments expected in 2014, followed by a roundtable with six top journalists covering local, national, and international environmental issues.  Others panelists will include Douglas Fischer of The Daily Climate, NYT’s Coral Davenport, Dennis Dimick of National Geographic Magazine, The Guardian’s Suzanne Goldenberg, Cheryl Hogue of Chemical & Engineering News and Andy Revkin, New York Times Environmental Blogger (Dot Earth) and Pace University Journalism professor.

Energy Summit Set – The 2014 American Energy Summit will be held on January 27 – 28, 2014 in Arlington, Virginia and will focus on the hundreds of billions of dollars being spent on new energy projects by the federal government, state and local governments, and by private industry.

STATE OF THE UNION, January 28th – President Obama will deliver his State of the Union Address to Congress on Tuesday, January 28th.  While healthcare and job creation are expected to get top billing, Energy is expected to play a prominent role.

SNL Conference On Energy M&A Set for NYC – SNL Energy’s 27th Annual Exnet Power and Gas M&A Symposium – an national energy conference will be held on January 28th and 29th  at the Ritz-Carlton in New York.  The Symposium is the annual go-to event for industry executives, as well as financial and legal advisors who are concerned with strategic planning, business development and the economics of the sector. The speakers and audience are comprised of industry decision-makers, plus heads of power and utility practices at leading investment banks, law firms and consultancies.

Maisano to Headline Media Seminar – For those of you focused on media relations and policy communications, I will be participating in a webinar on February 4th focused on creating a successful media strategies for the policy environment.  We will look at the nexus between policy communications and government affairs, as well as crisis management.  Finally, we will offer some of the tools of the trade.  We can also help you with a discount if you want to join in.

Bracewell to Host Environmental Symposium in Houston – On February 11th, Bracewell & Giuliani will host a forum on environment issues in Houston.  More on this in the upcoming weeks.  While it will not be open to the media, it will feature B&G experts in a series of briefings and discussions about the most challenging environmental legal issues facing the energy and heavy industries today.

Chamber Sets Transpo Summit – On February 20, the U.S. Chamber will gather leaders and experts from all sectors of transportation for the second annual Let’s Rebuild America Transportation Summit-Infrastructure Intersection-to examine the important role transportation infrastructure plays across major sectors of America’s economy. At the summit, presenters will explore five key infrastructure intersections-Energy, Manufacturing, Agriculture, Technology, and Healthcare-and how each sector requires well-functioning transportation infrastructure systems to realize its full potential.

Vilsack, Ag Economist Glauber, Trade Rep Froman to Headline USDA Forum – The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) will hold the 2014 Agricultural Outlook Forum on February 20th and 21st at the Crystal Gateway Marriott Hotel, Arlington, Va.  Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack will moderate two general session panels on the Future of Agriculture.  Speaking in the first panel will be Administrator of the U. S. Agency for International Development Rajiv Shah; President of the Produce Marketing Association Cathy Burns; and Kellee James, founder and CEO of Mercaris, a market trading platform for organic agricultural commodities.  The second panel focuses on young farmers and includes Executive Director of the Farmer Veteran Coalition Michael O’Gorman; Joanna Carraway, a young Kentucky farmer who won the 2013 Top Producer Horizon Award; Greg Wegis, who operates a 17,600-acre vegetable and nut farm in California; and the Interim Director of the National Young Farmers Coalition, Emily Oakley.  USDA’s Chief Economist Joseph Glauber will deliver the 2014 Agricultural & Foreign Trade Outlooks. The Forum’s dinner speaker will be U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman.

Methanol Forum Set – The Methanol Institute, the Institute for the Analysis of Global Security and the U.S. Energy Security Council will host the 2014 Methanol Policy Forum in Washington, D.C. on March 18th at the Hyatt Regency on Capitol Hill.  The event will bring together industry leaders, energy policy experts, executive branch officials, Members of Congress, academics and the media to share information about methanol’s potential as a liquid transportation fuel. Against the backdrop of the shale gas revolution and a resurgence of domestic methanol production.  The event will kick-off with a panel of CEO’s representing the growing number of methanol producers opening plants in Louisiana, Texas and beyond. It will provide the most up-to-date information on methanol fuel blending around the globe, with experts from China, Israel, Australia and Europe. Officials from the Department of Energy and the Environmental Protection Agency will join with technology innovators to discuss how to unlock our vehicles to methanol. Plus, there will be a special luncheon discussion with members of the U.S. Energy Security Council — a “who’s who” of Washington policy leaders — on fuel choices.

Energy Update Week of May 28

Friends,

I hope everyone enjoyed the long Memorial Day Weekend.  It is always special to honor those heroes who paid the ultimate price for our freedoms.  It must always be honored with our highest regard.  At the same time, while we honor our fallen heroes with the day, it is also a great time to thank those are still fighting every day to protect us.

The weather has been a little crazy for our friends in the middle of the country, and you are in our thoughts.  While we try to help however we can, it is also important to note that the hurricane season starts on Saturday.

Fortunately, the weather in our area was absolutely beautiful this past weekend, leading to great relaxing, parade watching, barbequing and lacrosse watching.  By the way, in case you missed it, the NCAA Women’s lacrosse final at Villanova featuring North Carolina and Maryland was a genuine classic.  The Tar Heels won the epic 3-OT battle, 13-12, bringing UNC its first national title ever.  It was every bit as exciting to watch as well.  You can see the replay here.  On the men’s side, Duke hammered Syracuse in a much less thrilling game (other than if you were a Dukey).  College Baseball and Softball championships and NCAA Track & Field Championships are next on the agenda.

For those of you that are footballers, the power shifts continued in the Champions League with the first ever all-German final on Saturday.  Bayern Munich beat Borussia Dortmund 2-1 at Wembley to become champions of Europe. Arjen Robben, who missed a penalty in last year’s final, scored the winning goal in the 88th minute.

No Congress means catching our breath in the hopes of getting ready for the next battle, which will feature a schedule that will likely have energy efficiency legislation and Gina McCarthy’s EPA nomination on it.  Interestingly, Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin last week said he didn’t know if there were 60 votes for McCarthy, but that seems like an early assessment.  We’ll see more as EPA/McCarthy address more concerns and time moves us closer to the next session.  In the meantime, EPA also extended its Tier 3 sulfur rule comment period after industry complained that they were limiting the comment period for the rule to just 23 days.  It is now extended to July 1st.

Finally, our friend Chris Frates at National Journal has a great piece on Marty Baron, the new executive editor at the Washington Post today.  It is a quality look at his M.O. and where he hopes to take the paper.

We’re trying to catch up on lunches, new business/marketing and old e-mails this week.  Call with questions…

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

 

IN THE NEWS

House Approves Grid Reliability Legislation – The House approved legislation from Pete Olson late last week to ensure that electric generating facilities can comply with Energy Department emergency orders that require companies to maintain grid reliability without opening themselves up to potential lawsuits for violating environmental laws.

 

GOING ON THIS WEEK

Webinar to Look at Military Biofuel Use – DOE will present a live webcast titled “Biomass and the Military” tomorrow at 12:30 p.m.  The Energy Department’s Bioenergy Technologies Office staff members will discuss the joint efforts between the Energy Department and U.S. Navy to use biopower and biofuels in military vehicles. The webinar will provide an overview and recent updates on the plans and goals laid out by the Defense Production Act and the Innovative Pilot- and Demonstration-Scale funding opportunity. Both funding projects will develop novel processes and provide extensive opportunities to prepare for eventual commercialization, helping the Energy Department meet its goals of creating reliable, sustainable, domestic biofuels to increase U.S. energy independence.

EPA to Feature SC Johnson, Coke Experts on Renewable Use – EPA’s Green Power Partnership will host a free webinar tomorrow at 1:00 p.m. looking at on-site renewables and lessons learned from idea to implementation.  Organizations across the country continue to make direct investments in on-site renewable energy generation, indicating a long-term commitment to using renewable energy and securing the benefits of reduced electricity price volatility. This webinar will feature two EPA Green Power Partners, SC Johnson and Coca-Cola Refreshments, that have invested in on-site projects powered by landfill gas and wind, respectively, and highlight the companies’ experiences from initial investigation of on-site systems to the results obtained once the projects were brought online.  Speakers will include EPA’s Blaine Collison, SC Johnson Chief Sustainability Officer Kelly Semrau, and Richard Crowther, Manager of Sustainable Energy at Coca-Cola Refreshments.

AEI to Release Paper on Solar Radiation Issues – AEI will host a forum and paper discussion on tomorrow at 4:30 looking at solar radiation policy issues.  As hopes for curbing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions wane, interest in solar radiation management (SRM) continues to rise. A number of experts speculate that SRM might offset some of the harm from climate change by slightly enhancing the reflectiveness of Earth’s atmosphere. As the controversy over climate policy has grown, it has been said that GHG control is too hard but SRM is too easy.  A new paper by Lee Lane of the Hudson Institute and J. Eric Bickel of the University of Texas at Austin probes the truth of these propositions. The paper shows the potential economic benefits of SRM but also explores its risks. It argues that effective GHG control is likely to remain elusive but that barriers in international governance will probably impede hasty action on SRM, leading to hard bargaining and gridlock.  AEI’s discussion of this new research will include the authors and Nobel Laureate Thomas Schelling.

ANGA Head to Address NatGas Roundtable – The Natural Gas Roundtable is hosting Marty Durbin, President and CEO of America’s Natural Gas Alliance, as the guest speaker at the next luncheon at the University Club on Thursday at Noon.  Durbin recently took over as head of ANGA, overseeing ANGA’s work with industry, governmental and consumer stakeholders to promote the increased use of America’s natural gas resources for a cleaner and more secure energy future.

Better Buildings Summit Set – This year’s Better Buildings Summit for State and Local Communities will be held on Thursday and Friday at the Renaissance Hotel and will feature state, local, K-12 education leaders, and other decision-makers on effective actions and policies to build a clean energy economy in states and local communities. Participants will learn innovative strategies, policies, and models for adopting and implementing clean energy solutions in their communities that save money, create jobs, increase energy security and protect the environment.   The U.S. Department of Energy will also be recognizing the achievements of Better Buildings Challenge Partners and Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant Program grantees and creating a forum for peer exchange and networking. Our 2012 conference was a great success, hosting nearly 300 participants with presentations and discussions featuring former Colorado Governor William Ritter, and EERE Assistant Secretary Dr. David Danielson. The annual conference attracts attendees from the federal, state, local, non-profit, and private sectors as well as representatives from K-12 school districts.

Cato Forum to Look at Enviro Costs of Farm Bill – The Cato Institute will hold a forum on Thursday at Noon in B-340 Rayburn looking at the 2013 Farm Bill and ways to reduce its economic and environmental costs.  Congress may pass a major farm bill reauthorization this year for the first time since 2008.  Farm bill supporters claim that draft bills in the House and Senate would save taxpayers billions of dollars, but that isn’t the case. The bills would eliminate so-called direct payments to farmers, but the savings would be plowed into new subsidy programs and higher guaranteed prices for certain crops  A panel of speakers will discuss the impact of farm programs on taxpayers and the environment and suggest possible reform steps.  Speakers include Cato’s Chris Edwards, Scott Faber of the Environmental Working Group, R Street Institute’s Andrew Moylan and Josh Sewell of Taxpayers for Common Sense.

USEA to Host Forum on Philippines Emissions Strategies – The U.S. Energy Association will host a forum on Friday looking at low emission development strategies in the Philippines.  The Philippines is partnering with the U.S. government to better integrate low-carbon growth into long-term planning as part of the Enhancing Capacity for Low Emission Development Strategies program.  The key to success has been the work of the Philippines Climate Change Commission. This commission has served as a coordinating body for departments involved in low-carbon planning and deployment of clean technologies. This partnership is supporting climate-smart development planning in the Philippines by improving the quality of the GHG emissions inventory, the quality of the data and analysis used as a basis of low-emission planning, and supporting the deployment of clean energy technologies and the reduction of GHG emissions from deforestation and land-use change.  Speakers will include USAID’s Eric Postel and Gregory Beck,  Philippines Ambassador Jose L. Cuisia, Jr. and Secretary Mary Ann Lucille L. Sering, Vice Chairperson and Executive Director of the Climate Change Commission in the Philippines.

 

FUTURE EVENTS

Schneider to Host Efficiency Forum – Schneider Electric will host its ‘Xperience Efficiency 2013’ EXPO on Tuesday-Thursday, June 4-6th at the Hilton Alexandria Mark Center.  “Experience Efficiency” is a free, unique interactive event engaging local business leaders, organizations and the U.S. federal government in highlighting our nation’s energy dilemma and the immediate opportunities we have to develop effective solutions. Designed to bring together customers and partners to collaborate and educate on energy management issues, Schneider Electric will also showcase the latest developments in systems, solutions and technology in an interactive marketplace.

Forum, Report to Look at Reducing GHGs With NatGas – The Center For Climate and Energy Solutions and the University of Texas will host a forum on a new report that addresses leveraging natural gas to reduce greenhouse gas emissions on Tuesday, June 4th at 9:00 a.m. at 101 Constitution Ave, NW, 9th Floor Rotunda.  The event will begin with a conversation featuring C2ES President Eileen Claussen, Darryl Banks of the Center For American Progress, Dominion CEO Tom Farrell, and AGA President Dave McCurdy.  A second panel exploring sector-level recommendations will feature UT Energy Institute’s Michael Webber, Bruce Hedman of the Institute For Industrial Productivity, Thomas Massaro of New Jersey Natural Gas, Waste Management’s Susan Robinson and Branko Terzic of Deloitte’s Center For Energy Solutions.

Senate Energy Tackles Wildfires, Interior Activity – The Senate Energy Committee will hold hearings on Tuesday June 4th at 10:00 a.m. on to explore ways to improve federal wildland fire management.  On Thursday, June 6th at 9:30 a.m., they will host Secretary Sally Jewell to review programs and activities of the Department of the Interior.

Solar Trends Report Set for Release – The Interstate Renewable Energy Council’s (IREC) will release its highly anticipated annual report, “U.S. Solar Market and Installation Trends 2013,” on Tuesday, June 4th at 2:00 p.m..  The report compiles and analyzes public data on U.S. solar installations by technology, state and market sector for 2012. Now in its sixth year, IREC’s 2013 Solar Market Trends Report covers solar technologies that produce electricity, including photovoltaics (PV) and concentrating solar power (CSP).  The release will be in a webinar that will feature information about PV installations in 2012, including growth trends by sector and state rankings for installations. If you’re involved in the solar industry, or wish to become involved, this webinar will provide valuable information about the rapidly changing solar market in the U.S.

Forum to Highlight State Clean Energy Programs – The Environmental and Energy Study Institute and the Clean Energy States Alliance will host a briefing Tuesday, June 4th at 3:00 p.m. in 562 Dirksen about energy innovations at the state level. The briefing will investigate the significant role states are playing by implementing novel policies and effective approaches that reduce the cost of generating clean energy. Many state governments view clean energy as a foundation of their environmental and economic development strategies and have taken leadership roles in demonstrating the business case for renewable energy initiatives.  The briefing will discuss the role and value of federal-state partnerships on innovative clean energy investments and provide state-specific examples. This is a chance to hear first-hand from officials implementing new approaches for clean energy projects across the county.  Speakers for the forum include Senator Chris Murphy (D-CT), Sarah Fisher-Goad of the Alaska Energy Authority, CEC’s Andrew McAllister,  Janet Joseph of NYSERDA, Clean Energy Finance and Investment Authority CEO Bryan Garcia, Andy Brydges of the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center, Anne Eisele of the Maryland Energy Administration and Clean Energy Group President Lewis Milford.

Forum to Look at Defense, Climate Challenges –The Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars will host a forum on Thursday, June 6th at 9:00 a.m. looking at the challenges and opportunities for Transatlantic security.  North America and Europe’s continued reliance on imported oil makes these regions vulnerable to volatile global prices, risky supply lines, and unpredictable foreign governments. At the same time, consumption of oil and other fossil fuels contributes to climate change, which poses growing serious risks to infrastructure, livelihoods, and national security on both sides of the Atlantic. Join us in a discussion of the key findings and recommendations from “The Energy and Climate Nexus: Challenges and Opportunities for Transatlantic Security” a policy report jointly written by CNA and the Royal United Services Institute.  Speakers will include Christian Burgsmüller of EU’s Delegation to the United States, DoD’s Daniel Chiu, Ralph Espach of the CNA Center for Strategic Studies, UK’s Special Representative for Climate Change Rear Admiral Neil Morisetti and CNA’s Sherri Goodman.

AWC Expert to Address EnergyOcean Conference – The 10th Annual EnergyOcean International Conference and Exhibition will be held on June 10th to 12th in Providence/Warwick , RI.  Hundreds of industry stakeholders representing every aspect of the offshore renewable energy industry will unite for EnergyOcean International’s technical program which offers the latest in offshore ocean energy technological advances, updates on what is happening in the industry, along with regulatory issues and policy.  Among the speakers will be our friend Kris Ohleth of the Atlantic Wind Connection, who will address challenges to permitting offshore transmission systems.

RFF to Focus on Ice Sheets on the Move – While it will actually be the second Wednesday, Resources for the Future will hold its First Wednesday Seminar on Wednesday, June 12th at 12:45 p.m.  on ice sheets.  The ice sheets covering Antarctica and Greenland pose both the largest risk and uncertainty for sea level rise, which is considered to be one of the greatest hazards from future climate change. Together, the two regions contain enough ice to increase sea level by over 60 meters. Predicting the effect of climate change on the ice sheets is challenging because of poorly understood processes and multiple, complex feedbacks among the ice sheets and the rest of the climate system. Policymakers urgently need numbers for future sea level rise and, in particular, an understanding of the uncertainties that come with such predictions. Recently, new initiatives for science-based uncertainty quantification have been launched, revealing mounting concern for ice sheet instability. Panelists at this First Wednesday Seminar will characterize the state of the science, methods for quantifying uncertainty, and the potential consequences of abrupt sea level rise.  RFF’s Roger Cooke will moderate a panel that includes Willy Aspinall and Jonathan Bamber of the University of Bristol, RFF’s Carolyn Kousky and Princeton’s Christopher Little.

Congressional Renewable Expo Set – The 16th Annual Congressional Renewable Energy & Energy Efficiency EXPO + Forum will be held on Wednesday – June 12th from 9:30 am – 4:30 pm in the Cannon Caucus Room.  Speakers will be announced as we get closer.

BPC to Discuss Global Oil, Gas Politics – The Bipartisan Policy Commission will hold the first in series of four events starting on June 12th to discuss the new geopolitics of petroleum and natural gas.  The forum will focus on the geopolitical impacts of the U.S. tight oil boom, the implications for OPEC and the U.S. strategic posture.  Only a short number of years ago, it was projected that the United States would be increasingly dependent on foreign sources of oil, as domestic production appeared to be in permanent decline.  Dramatically, this trend has reversed since horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing technologies have been applied to the production of both natural gas and oil from shale formations.   Recent reports by the International Energy Agency (IEA) and others have estimated that the United States, given its newfound tight oil wealth, will surpass Saudi Arabia as the world’s largest oil producer by the end of this decade.  This session will explore the realistic implications of what the tight oil boom means for the country in both economic and geopolitical terms, with David Goldwyn of Goldwyn Global Strategies, LLC, former State Department Special Envoy and Coordinator for International Energy Affairs moderating.   Other speakers will include Sen. Lisa Murkowski, our friend Paul Sankey of Deutsche Bank, former Sen. Bennett Johnston and EIA Administrator Adam Sieminski.

Women Leaders Discuss Burning Fossil-Fuel Environmental Issues – WCEE will host a lunch on Thursday, June 13th to look at the environmental challenges in the fossil-fuel industry.  It  has always been the target of environmental agencies and environmental public interest groups.   At this WCEE lunch, hosted by Bingham McCutchen, three women charged with managing environmental issues in the fossil-fuel industry will highlight the pressing issues for the industry as they see it on a daily basis.   Speakers include CONSOL’s  Katharine Fredriksen, Marie McGowan of ExxonMobil  and ANGA’s Amy Farrell.

Public Power Conference Set for Nashville – The 2013 APPA National Conference, public power’s largest annual gathering, will be held in Nashville, TN, June 14th through 19th.  At conference, utility leaders and policymakers explore innovative ideas, developing trends and new technologies; learn about the national issues influencing our industry; and connect with hundreds of utility board and city council members, mayors, utility executives, senior managers, and industry partners.  The program features leading political, economic, business and public policy thinkers and public power leaders addressing the critical issues shaping our industry’s future, to help you think strategically about your utility’s future.

EIA Conference Set For DC – The 2013 EIA Energy Conference will be held on June 17-18th at the JW Marriott in Washington, DC.  The conference has become a premier forum for addressing energy issues in the United States and around the world.  The conference will explore current and future challenges facing domestic and international energy markets and policymakers.  Session topics include a global natural gas outlook; renewable, storage, and grid integration; and many other topics.

Aspen Clean Energy Conference Set – The Aspen Institute’s Energy and Environment Program is hosting its 4th annual Aspen Institute Clean Energy Forum in Aspen, CO on June 20-23rd.  The co-chairs for the Forum are Roger Ballentine, President, Green Strategies, and Andy Karsner, CEO, Manifest Energy.  The objective of this Forum is to highlight and further develop new ideas that merge the collective desire for a clean energy future with current systemic political, technical and economic realities.

Reid, Wellinghoff to Address Geothermal Summit – The National Geothermal Summit will be held on June 26-27th at the Grand Sierra Resort and Casino in Reno, NV.  The event will feature Keynote remarks by Ashley Carrigan, State Director, Senator Dean Heller’s Office, Karen Edson of California ISO and FERC Chair Jon Wellinghoff.  There will also be a video Keynote Address by Senator Harry Reid.

NARUC Summer Meetings Focus on Cyber, Broadband, Climate, Safety Policies – Cyber security, broadband adoption, climate policy, pipeline safety, and much more will take center stage during the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners’ Summer Committee Meetings July 21-24 in Denver.  The meetings will bring in federal and State policymakers, industry officials, consumer advocates, and many critical stakeholders to the Denver Sheraton Downtown. The agenda, still under development, is available online.  Topics under discussion include: measuring cybersecurity; national broadband policies; integration of renewable energy; addressing climate mitigation and adaption; electricity and gas interdependencies; and much more.  Featured speakers include Federal Communications Commission member Jessica Rosenworcel, National Telecommunications and Information Administration Administrator Larry Strickling, Xcel Energy Chairman, President, and CEO Ben Fowke, and Questar Chairman, President, and CEO Ron Jibson. A complete list of speakers confirmed to date is available online.

AGU Science Conference Set – The American Geophysical Union will hold its second annual Science Policy Conference on Monday, June 24th to Wednesday, June 26th at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, D. C.  the event will host hundreds of Earth and space scientists, students, policymakers, and industry professionals as they discuss key Earth and space science topics that address challenges to our economy, national security, environment, and public safety. This meeting will focus on the science that helps inform policymakers’ decisions related to energy, natural hazards, technology and infrastructure, climate, oceans, and the Arctic.