Energy Update: Week of September 11th

Friends,

This week, we first start with thoughts of the importance of 9-11, remembering the loss of that day 16 years ago, and thinking about how it changed us.

Now, we face our latest challenge at the peak of hurricane season (which was yesterday), Hurricane Irma, which slammed into Florida Saturday.  We still are unsure of what the full damage will be but it looks like it may be better than expected given the initial size and speed of the storm, as well as the damage in caused in the Caribbean.  Still another day or so to go as it moves up into Georgia and South Carolina.  Just as we did with Harvey and refinery outages, we will likely be able to help with impacts as it moves into Georgia.  Let me know if you need anything.

As we deal with Irma, we are still helping with Harvey in Texas.  I wanted to pass along the good work of the Charitable Foundation of the Energy Bar Association, which has set up a relief fund for energy-related needs of Harvey’s victims.  CFEBA is working with the EBA’s Houston chapter to assure the money all goes straight to helping people. Any and all tax deductible contributions are appreciated can be made to the CFEBA’s Relief Fund through the CFEBA online store or by mail or fax using the Hurricane Harvey Relief Donation Form.  There are many opportunities to help both Texas and Florida through the Red Cross and others, so please do.  Texas oil and gas companies have contributed $27.3 million toward Hurricane Harvey relief efforts with Valero among the donors.

Back in DC, official Washington really cranks back up this week.  Last week, Congress easily cleared a package today to provide more than $15 billion in disaster aid for victims of Hurricane Harvey, raise the debt ceiling and fund the government for three months.   This will likely clear to decks for a discussion of tax reform which is expected to see behind-the-scenes work at least until around Columbus Day.  Energy issues will play a role in the discussions and we will have all the bases covered.

After last week’s FERC nomination hearing for Kevin McIntyre and Rich Glick, it seems we may have a vote on them in the Senate Energy Committee as soon as late this week.  We also saw Bill Wehrum finally being named to head EPA’s Air Office late last week.  My colleague Jeff Holmstead is happy to discuss Wehrum should you need background and comments.  He also sent a letter to the Senate Environment Committee Leadership recommending Wehrum.  (Can forward if you haven’t seen it.) Remember, Wehrum worked for Jeff when Holmstead headed the EPA Air Office.

On the hearing slate, tomorrow, House Energy holds the biggest action in a hearing about the electric grid reliability.  The follow up to the recent DOE grid study will feature an all-star cast of energy sector experts, as well as FERC Chair Neal Chatterjee, DOE’s Pat Hoffman and NERC’s Gerry Cauley.  Other hearings include Senate Energy on the National Labs tomorrow and House Energy looking at small business energy reg reform, Senate Commerce looking at AV Trucks and Senate Energy on carbon capture, all on Wednesday.

If you are following trade, tomorrow at the National Press Club at 2:00 p.m., the leading voice for the steel supply chain, the American Institute for International Steel, will release a new report that measures the impact of the 232 steel tariffs on the US economy, including impacts on manufacturing and agriculture.  And, on Thursday at 10:00 a.m., the CSIS Energy and National Security Program will host Ian Mead, Assistant Administrator of EIA’s Office of Energy Analysis, to present the EIA’s International Energy Outlook 2017.  POLITICO also holds it Pro Policy Summit all day Thursday.

Speaking of trade petitions, I’m sure the solar trade petition will be a hot topic at the biggest event outside the Beltway, Solar Power International, which runs in Las Vegas today through Wednesday.  The event is the solar Industry’s biggest event and given Friday’s Q2 installation success story and  the Axios blurb about the White House leaning toward imposing solar tariffs (which mind you, seems to be a bit premature), folks should have a lot to talk about out in Vegas.

As many of you know, our friend Scott Segal has launched on a long-term Europe/Israel excursion. While he is out, (we will hear from him occasionally), please note that our full team is available for comment, political/policy insight and background.  Call with questions.  Best,

Frank Maisano

(202) 828-5864

  1. (202) 997-5932

 

FRANKLY SPOKEN

“Bill is well-respected and well-liked by the career staff at EPA – and by anyone who has ever worked with him. During his almost 6 years at EPA, he worked closely with career staff on a wide range of issues and was known for rolling up his sleeves and getting involved in the details of the Agency’s regulations and permitting programs. From his work as an environmental engineer, his time at the Agency, and his many years of counseling clients, he has a comprehensive understanding of EPA’s regulatory programs and the many technical issues involved in implementing the Clean Air Act.”

Former EPA Air Administrator and Bracewell partner Jeff Holmstead in a letter to Senate Environment Committee Chair John Barrasso and Ranking Member Tom Carper supporting Bill Wehrum to be EPA Air Administrator.

“This report shows once again that solar is on the rise and will continue to add to its share of electricity generation.  Last year, solar companies added jobs 17 times faster than the rest of the economy and increased our GDP by billions of dollars. We are going to continue to fight for policies that allow the industry to continue this phenomenal growth.”

SEIA president and CEO Abigail Ross Hopper, speaking about GTM Research’s Q2 report on solar installations.

IN THE NEWS

Wehrum Nominated to Head EPA Air Office – The White House nominated Bill Wehrum to serve as the Assistant Administrator for Air and Radiation at EPA.  My colleague Jeff Holmstead, who has known Wehrum for more than 20 years, worked with him previously at EPA when he headed the Air Office previously.  Holmstead said praised Wehrum as the only person ever to have worked on Clean Air Act issues as an environmental engineer at a major chemical plant, a young attorney in private practice, a senior policy maker at EPA, and the head of the environmental group at a major law firm.  On Friday, Holmstead sent a letter to Capitol Hill (which I can send): “Bill is committed to the goals of the Clean Air Act and to the rule of law. He is also a person of the highest integrity. I am confident that, within the framework established by Congress, he will work to protect public health and the environment while at the same time pursuing regulatory reforms that will reduce unnecessary regulatory burdens.  Truly, there is no better person to serve as the Assistant  Administrator of EPA for Air and Radiation.”

Q2 Report: Solar Growth Strong, Trade Barrier Puts Growth At Risk – GTM Research and the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) said the US solar market continued its years-long expansion in the Q2 of 2017 as the industry installed 2,387 MW of solar photovoltaics (PV), the largest total in a second quarter to date. This tops Q1’s total and represents an 8% year-over-year gain, said in the latest U.S. Solar Market Insight Report.  All three U.S. solar market segments – commercial, residential and utility-scale – experienced quarter-over-quarter growth in Q2. The U.S. installed 2,044 MW of capacity in Q1. The non-residential and utility-scale market segments also posted year-over-year growth. The report did not change its forecast that the American solar industry would triple cumulative capacity over the next five years.  However, trade relief, which is being considered by the International Trade Commission, could radically affect the solar outlook and “would result in a substantial downside revision to our forecast for all three segments,” the analysis said.

Oil, Offshore Industry Pushes Back on MD Offshore Wind Amendment – Oil and Offshore groups are pushing back against an amendment from Maryland GOP Rep. Andy Harris to a Congressional spending bill.  Harris’ amendment would bar the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management from processing site assessment plans and construction and operation permits for offshore wind projects that would fall within 24 miles of the Maryland shoreline. These groups have joined opposition from wind groups who see the Harris effort as a NIMBY move.  The Harris amendment faces opposition from Senate Democrats and may not make it into a final spending deal at the end of this year.  But the oil industry worries that it will create a troublesome precedent for the sanctity of federal offshore leases. The National Ocean Industries Association, for one, says if Congress interferes at this late stage in the process (years after BOEM issued leases for the projects) it could have a definitive effect on the wind industry — and broader energy industry as a whole — that is looking to develop in federally controlled waters. “If Congress can simply decide that the valid leaseholders’ rights can be violated by a whim, you have billions of dollars of investment that” may be at risk, said Tim Charters, NOIA senior director of governmental and political affairs.

Conaway Preps Carbon Capture Bill – Texas Rep. Mike Conaway is preparing to introduce bipartisan legislation this month that would extend and expand the Section 45Q tax incentive for carbon capture facilities. Sens. Heidi Heitkamp (D-N.D.) and Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.) are leading a similar effort. The bipartisan push is a crucial part of a multi-pronged financing effort for carbon capture projects that also includes private-activity bonds that would be authorized in bills from Sens. Rob Portman (R-Ohio) and Michael Bennet (D-Colo.) and Reps. Carlos Curbelo (R-Fla.) and Marc Veasey (D-Texas). While the bonds provide low-cost financing for carbon capture development, the 45Q credit can further complement that by driving equity investment in the projects. Together, these incentives have the potential to dramatically boost commercial carbon capture deployment in the U.S., which can lead to significant increases in enhanced oil recovery and other economic benefits.  Conaway’s bill would increase the value of the credit for new projects, while limiting eligibility to projects that would begin construction within seven years or who haven’t yet received the credit, according to his Sept. 6 letter to colleagues. The bill would also expand the range of projects that could receive the credit to also include carbon monoxide capture and other facilities.

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

Solar Power International Set for Vegas – Solar Power International (SPI) will be held today through Wednesday at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center in Las Vegas, NV.  SPI is a four day conference packed with education sessions, networking events and a wide range of exhibitions. The education sessions are led by industry leaders who share their expertise and ideas on prominent topics in the industry. As solar continues to evolve, SPI will keep you up to date on emerging technologies and policy changes.

Mayors to Look at Climate Locally – Today at 3:00 p.m. in 122 Cannon, the National League of Cities (NLC) and the Environmental and Energy Study Institute (EESI) will host a briefing about what cities throughout the United States are doing to protect their communities by investing in resilience. In addition to providing security, their actions are resulting in multiple side benefits: lower monthly expenses for households, businesses, and the city itself; the protection and restoration of natural resources; and local economic growth and job creation.  This briefing’s speakers will showcase some of the defensive actions their cities are taking to reduce the impacts of extreme weather, as well as lessons learned.  Speakers include Pittsburgh mayor William Peduto, Flagstaff (AZ) Sustainability Manager Nicole Antonopoulos Woodman and Cooper Martin, Program Director of the Sustainable Cities Initiative at the National League of Cities.

Book Focused on NatGas Geopolitics – Tomorrow at 9:00 a.m., the Atlantic Council will host a launch of Dr. Agnia Grigas’ new book, The New Geopolitics of Natural Gas.  As the world’s greatest producer of natural gas moves aggressively to become a top exporter of liquefied natural gas (LNG), the US stands poised to become an energy superpower—an unanticipated development with far-reaching implications for the international order. In this new geopolitics of gas, the US will enjoy opportunities, but also face challenges in leveraging its newfound energy clout to reshape relations with both European states and rising Asian powers.  In her new book, Dr. Grigas examines how this new reality is rewriting the conventional rules of intercontinental gas trade and realigning strategic relations between the United States, the European Union, Russia, China, and beyond.

UN Climate Meetings in NYC – The United Nations hosts its 72nd General Session starting tomorrow and as usual, climate change discussions will likely be part of the conversation.

CSIS to Look at NAFTA – Tomorrow at 9:00 a.m., CSIS and the George W. Bush Presidential Center host an event on the future of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).  Speakers will discuss how lowering economic barriers has enabled North America to outperform other regions, and examine how an updated NAFTA could further improve the continent’s trade and competitiveness.  Keynote speaker will be Sen. Rob Portman, while a panel discussion, led by Andrea van Vugt, Sergio Gómez Lora and Matthew Rooney, with CSIS expert and Scholl Chair of International Business Scott Miller, will examine the potential impact of the ongoing NAFTA negotiations on the Americas and present key policy recommendations.

House Energy Panel to Look at Grid Reliability – The House Energy Subcommittee hold a hearing tomorrow on electric grid reliability. Witnesses include Acting FERC Chairman Neil Chatterjee, Acting Assistant Secretary for the Office of Electricity Patricia Hoffman, NERC CEO Gerry Cauley, API’s Marty Durbin, Enel’s Kyle Davis (for SEIA), AWEA’s Tom Kiernan, ACCCE’s Paul Bailey, NEI President Maria Korsnick and a National Hydropower Association rep Steven Wright.

House Science to Tackle Grid Resiliency – The House Science Committee holds a hearing on electric grid resiliency tomorrow at 10:00 a.m.  Witnesses include Carl Imhoff of the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Bill Sanders of the University of Illinois, Gavin Dillingham of the Houston Advanced Research Center and Walt Baum of the Texas Public Power Association.

Forum to Look at Carbon Pricing – The Center for Climate and Energy Solutions releases a new brief and hosts a webinar featuring business leaders on how and why companies are putting an internal price on carbon emissions. The webinar will also review key opportunities, benefits, experiences, and challenges drawn from the upcoming C2ES report, The Business of Pricing Carbon: How Companies are Pricing Carbon to Mitigate Risks and Prepare for a Low-Carbon Future.

ELI to Look at Hydro Energy – The Environmental Law Institute host a forum tomorrow at 12:00 p.m. on the future of hydrokinetic energy in the United States.  While off to a slow start in the United States, ocean energy technologies (wave, tidal, and current hydrokinetic energy) are already at an advanced phase of development in other parts of the world.  Wave and tidal energy developers claim that federal subsidies and tax cuts are insufficient to promote research and development, and some of the most successful ocean energy companies have moved overseas.  Though the current cost of hydrokinetic energy is higher in the US .compared to other fuels, and harnessing tidal and wave power poses technical challenges, some backers assert that tides are a more predictable source of renewable energy. Should more resources and subsidies be put into hydrokinetic energy research? What environmental impacts do these technologies pose compared to other renewable energy sources? What regulatory barriers need to be addressed to support the development of the hydrokinetic technology sector in the U.S.?  Panelists will include FERC’s Annie Jones, Meghan Massaua of the Meridian Institute and Seán O’Neill of Symmetrix Public Relations & Communication Strategies.

Steel Users Group To Release Tariff Impacts Report – Tomorrow at the National Press Club 2:00 p.m., America’s leading voice for the steel supply chain – the American Institute for International Steel – will release a new report that measures the impact of the 232 steel tariffs on the US economy, including impacts on manufacturing and agriculture.  Drawing from a newly released report, economist John Martin will detail the impact that steel tariffs pose for U.S. ports, which make an outsized contribution to the U.S. economy. According to Martin’s report, 1.3 million jobs are currently supported by port activity related to imported steel, feeding nearly $240 billion in economic activity, or 1.3% of U.S. GDP in 2016.

Senate Energy to Tackle Energy Labs – The Senate Energy Committee’s Energy Subcommittee holds a hearing tomorrow at 2:30 p.m. looking at fostering innovation from contributions of DOE’s National Laboratories.  Witnesses include WVU Energy Institute director Brian Anderson, Argonne National Laboratory interim director Paul Kearns, Duke Energy’s Anuja Ratnayake and NREL associated lab director Bill Tumas.

API Hold Discussion on State NatGas, Oil Industries – The American Petroleum Institute holds an event Wednesday at 8:30 a.m. on the natural gas and oil industry’s impact in all 50 states. State-specific information will be provided along with brief remarks on the current state of the industry from API President and CEO Jack Gerard.

Senate Enviro To Look at Carbon Capture – The Senate Environment Committee will hold a hearing on Wednesday at 10:00 a.m. focused on expanding and accelerating the deployment and use of carbon capture, utilization, and sequestration. Witnesses will include NRG’s David Greeson, Wyoming Gov. Matt Mead policy adviser advisor Matthew Fry and former DOE official Julio Friedmann, now with former Energy Secretary Moniz’s Energy Futures Initiative.

Senate Commerce Looks at AV Trucks – The Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation will convene a hearing on Wednesday at 10:00 a.m. looking at automated trucks and our nation’s highways.” The hearing will examine the benefits of automated truck safety technology as well as the potential impacts on jobs and the economy.  Including or excluding trucks, buses, and other heavy duty vehicles has been a topic of discussion in ongoing bipartisan efforts to draft self-driving vehicle legislation. Witnesses include Colorado State Patrol Chief Scott Hernandez, Navistar CEO Troy Clarke, Ken Hall of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, National Safety Council CEO Deborah Hersman, and American Trucking Associations CEO Chris Spear.

House Energy Panel to Look at Small Business Energy Reforms – The House Energy and Commerce Environment Subcommittee holds a legislative hearing on Wednesday at 10:00 a.m. focused on relief for small business.  The legislation focuses on reducing regulatory burdens on small manufacturers and other job creators.

House Resource to Mark Up Native American Energy Legislation – The House Committee on Natural Resources will meet on Wednesday at 10:00 a.m. to markup several bills including to facilitate the development of energy on Indian lands by reducing Federal regulations that impede tribal development of Indian lands, and for other purposes.

Groups Aim to Save EPA – A group of Environmental activists will hold a press briefing on Wednesday at Noon in the Zenger Room dubbed National “Save the EPA” Day.  The effort will be led by AFGE National Council 238 President John J. O’Grady, who will serve as the national spokesperson for the Save the U.S. EPA campaign. In addition to O’Grady, speakers will include Rep. Debbie Dingell, Mary Anne Hitt of the Sierra Club’s Beyond Coal Campaign and NWF CEO Collin O’Mara.  After the event, they will march to EPA.

National Biodiesel Board Holds BioFry event on Hill – The National Biodiesel Board holds its annual BioFry event Wednesday at lunch on Capitol Hill.  D.C. food trucks will serve french fries and provide information about how the oil used to cook the fries can be recycled to make clean-burning biodiesel.

TNC to Discuss Electric Grid – On Wednesday at 1:00 p.m. in 106 Dirksen, the Nature Conservancy holds a stakeholder dialogue to explore critical issues on the future of the electric grid.  Within the past decade, the electricity sector has seen advances in renewable energy, energy storage, electric vehicles, microgrids and other new options for planning and operating the grid. These tools and resources are attracting hundreds of entrepreneurs – as well as their investment and jobs – into the electricity industry while increasing reliability, enhancing efficiency, and integrating modern distributed energy resources. As a part of our series of regional forums, we will explore the impact these changes are having on how we deliver electricity in the 21st Century.

Forum to Look at Japanese Nuclear Industry – CSIS will host a conversation on Wednesday at 1:00 p.m. with Japanese Diet members and US experts on Japan’s plutonium policies, their regional implications, and the prospects for continued US-Japan nuclear cooperation beyond 2017.  Speakers will include Kyodo News Senior Editorial Writer Masakatsu Ota, House of Councillors Member Masashi Adachi, House of Representatives Member Seiji Ohsaka and former Acting Under Secretary for Arms Control and International Security Thomas Countryman.

House Panel to Look at Venezuela Crisis – The House Foreign Affairs Panel on the Western Hemisphere will hold a hearing on Wednesday at 2:30 p.m. looking at the crisis in Venezuela and its impacts, one of which is energy related.

POLITICO Hosts Pro Policy Summit – On Thursday at the Omni Shoreham, POLITICO holds its first Pro Policy Summit which will bring together key players from the executive branch, federal agencies and Congress as well as key innovators whose technologies are driving large-scale policy shifts. Among the Speakers will be our friends Lisa Jacobson of the Business Council for Sustainable Energy, Mike McKenna, Energy Editor Nick Juliano and many others.  A full agenda for the event is here and a list of speakers is available here.

Senators to Address CO2 Capture Forum – The Center for Climate and Energy Solutions (C2ES) will host a forum Thursday in 902 Hart Senate on innovations on carbon capture and use.  Experts will provide updates on these breakthrough technologies, and lawmakers will discuss ways to speed up their deployment.  Speakers will include C2ES President Bob Perciasepe, Sens. Heidi Heitkamp, Sheldon Whitehouse, Shelley Moore Capito, John Barrasso and former DOE official Julio Friedmann, among many others.

EPA Panel Tackles NAFTA Issues – The EPA holds a meeting of its National Advisory Committee and the Governmental Advisory Committee Thursday and Friday to provide advice on trade and environment issues related to the North American Agreement on Environmental Cooperation.

Great EE Day Set – The Alliance to Save Energy will host the Great Energy Efficiency Day (part II) on Thursday morning at the Columbus Club.  The event will reconvene energy efficiency’s leading influencers for another full day of advocacy and education.  Our friends Ben Evans of ASE, Daiken’s Charlie McCrudden and GM’s Advanced Vehicle Commercialization Policy Director Britta Gross will also speak, as well as keynoter Greg Kats, former Director of Financing in DOE’s EERE office.

CSIS to Host EIA Outlook – On Thursday at 10:00 a.m., the CSIS Energy and National Security Program will host Ian Mead, Assistant Administrator of EIA’s Office of Energy Analysis, to present the EIA’s International Energy Outlook 2017 (IEO2017).  The IEO2017 includes long-term projections of world energy demand by region and primary energy source; electricity generation by energy source; and energy-related carbon dioxide emissions. Among other topics, Dr. Mead will discuss EIA’s view on long-term petroleum and other liquids fuel supplies, prospects for global natural gas markets, regional energy demand growth, and key uncertainties that may alter long-term projections.

USEEE to Look at Battery Storage – The US Assn of Energy Economists will hold its monthly lunch on Friday at Carmines that will feature Jason Burwen, Policy & Advocacy Director of the Energy Storage Association.  While battery energy storage has long been sought as a “game-changer” for the power sector, rapid cost declines and increasing deployment in recent years suggest that the game is already changing.  Burwen will provide a general overview of the U.S. battery energy storage market and economics, as well as describe the core services and value to the electric grid that storage provides. Jason will also discuss the policy barriers to greater storage deployment, both in RTOs/ISOs and at state PUCs, and offer some thoughts on future policy discussions for enabling the power system to realize the full value of flexible battery storage.

IN THE FUTURE

National Drive Electric Week – Launches Sunday, September 17

TX Renewable Summit Set – On September 18th – 20th, the Texas Renewable Energy Summit will be held in Austin at Omni Southpark.  The summit will offer the latest insights into the market and hear from key players about the key trends impacting renewable energy project development, finance and investment in Texas.  The falling price of solar panels is driving a surge in interest by public utilities and corporate customers in contracting for solar power, while a huge queue of wind projects is forming. As much as 16 GW of new wind and solar projects could come to fruition in Texas.  However, development and financing challenges must be surmounted to assure project success and bankability. Large quantities of solar may drive the dispatch curve and market prices in unpredictable directions.

IEA World Energy Report to be Detailed – The CSIS Energy & National Security Program will host Laszlo Varro, Chief Economist at the International Energy Agency (IEA), next Tuesday to discuss the IEA’s World Energy Investment 2017. Energy investment in 2016 totaled 1.7 trillion dollars, around 2.2 percent of the global economy. The report covers critical details about energy investment across various energy sectors, sources, and regions. It also includes a special focus on a wide array of topics, including how digitization is impacting investment and employment, global investment in innovation, and the impact of emerging business models. The report assesses the importance of energy policy driving investment into energy efficiency and into facilities that ensure adequate levels of energy security.

WCEE Event to Feature Marriott Leader – The Women’s Council on Energy and the Environment’s Women in Leadership (WIL) Committee will hold a reception next Tuesday at 6:00 p.m. At the Brattle Group featuring Dominica Groom, Senior Director, Global Sustainability and Supplier Diversity at Marriott International, the world’s largest global lodging company.  Dominica provides global leadership through strategic direction, planning and execution for these important operational platforms. In 2016, she was recognized as one of the top “Leading Women”, under the age of 40, in the state of Maryland for her tremendous professional accomplishments, community involvement and commitment to inspiring change. Additionally, she was also recognized as a “Top Influential Leader in Diversity” by the National Association for Minority Companies for her unwavering commitment to diversity & inclusion. Domenica will share her insights on her path to leadership, and some of the “lessons learned” for women in the sustainability and supplier diversity sector.

Forum to Look at Shale, Energy Security – On Wednesday, September 20th at 4:00 p.m., the Institute of World Politics will host a lecture on the topic of “Energy Security: New Market Realities” with Sara Vakhshouri of SVB Energy International.  The rise of North America’s shale oil and gas production has changed the market dynamics, energy trade flow, and the elements of energy security.  In this talk, Vakhshouri will cover the changes in market fundamentals, energy trade flows, energy prices and policies, and their broader impact upon global and regional energy security. We will also touch upon the current political risks treating the oil and gas supply from countries such as Qatar, Iran and Saudi Arabia.

ITC Solar Trade Petition Injury Determination – September 22

Statoil to Focus on Climate Roadmap – On Friday, September 22nd at 10:00 a.m., the CSIS Energy and National Security Program will host Bjørn Otto Sverdrup, Senior Vice President for Sustainability at Statoil, to present Statoil’s Climate Roadmap. The roadmap explains how Statoil will develop its business in support of the ambitions of the Paris Climate Agreement. Statoil believes the needed energy transition to a low-carbon society represents business opportunities, and Sverdrup will discuss how the company is reducing emissions, growing in renewables, and developing the portfolio and strategy to ensure a competitive advantage in a low-carbon world.

EMA Sets Annual Forum – The Environmental Markets Association holds its 21st Annual Meeting on September 27-29 at the Renaissance Nashville Hotel.  The event focuses on trading, legislation and regulation of environmental markets. The agenda includes panel sessions covering Carbon / RGGI, what’s next after the Clean Power Plan, update on current developments and trends in other existing environmental markets such as the SO2 and Nox programs and a general REC Market Overview that provides an update on supply and demand as well as estimates on potential growth as the market faces pricing pressure.

WAPA to Feature Ford Product at September Event – The Washington Automotive Press Assn and the staff of Ford’s Washington, D.C. offices will hold a networking event that highlights Ford’s best-selling vehicle on Thursday, September 21 from 5:30 p.m.at Ford’s offices are located at 801 Pennsylvania Avenue in Suite 400.

CSIS to Host Statoil on Climate Roadmap – On Friday, September 22nd at 10:00 a.m., the CSIS Energy and National Security Program will host Bjørn Otto Sverdrup, Senior Vice President for Sustainability at Statoil, to present Statoil’s Climate Roadmap. The roadmap explains how Statoil will develop its business in support of the ambitions of the Paris Climate Agreement. Statoil believes the needed energy transition to a low-carbon society represents business opportunities, and Sverdrup will discuss how the company is reducing emissions, growing in renewables, and developing the portfolio and strategy to ensure a competitive advantage in a low-carbon world.  This event is part of the Climate Change and the National and Corporate Interest series, featuring speakers to foster insightful discussions on a variety of corporate and country perspectives on the costs and benefits of their respective climate strategies.

NATIONAL CLEAN ENERGY WEEKSeptember 25-29th.  Hosted by Citizens for Responsible Energy Solutions, the American Council on Renewable Energy, Advanced Energy Economy, the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA), the Business Council for Sustainable Energy, the Biomass Power Association, Clean Energy Business Network, the Nuclear Energy Institute, the National Hydropower Association, and the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA).

AEE Holds Michigan Energy Future Conference – The Advance Energy Economy will hold its 4th Annual Michigan Energy Future Conference on September 25th College for Creative Studies in downtown Detroit.  The global market for mobility solutions is growing rapidly, building on innovation, information technology, and new transportation business models. Focusing on this convergence, the event, sponsored by our friends at DTE Energy, will dive deep into the intersection of energy, telecommunications, and transportation. While other conferences have explored these issues independently, the Michigan Energy Future Conference will be the first comprehensive look at the synergies between sectors, exploring opportunities for the U.S. to benefit as the pace of convergence between these sectors accelerates.

Ideas Conference Set – The Atlantic and the Aspen Institute holds its 9th annual Washington Ideas conference on September 26-28.  “Washington Ideas” convenes the nation’s leaders in politics, business, health, science, technology, arts, culture and journalism for three days of can’t miss conversation and connections. In the heart of the nation’s capital, we will tackle the most consequential issues facing the country and the world.

Coal Event to Hear from Alpha CEO – The 40th annual Coal Marketing Days forum will be held on September 26-27 at the Omni William Penn Hotel in Pittsburgh.  The event hosts a variety of coal suppliers and buyers, coal transport companies, and industry-wide analysts who exchange in-depth knowledge on the current state of the global and domestic coal-producing markets and focuses on the current trends and challenges shaping the business. Alpha Natural Resources CEO David Stetson is the keynote.

PA Shale Conference Set SHALE INSIGHT 2017 will be held on September 27th and 28th at the Pittsburgh Convention Center.  The event holds the most important discussions on shale development, featuring some of the most prominent industry and government leaders. Influential industry executives and innovative thought leaders will work through two days of technical and public affairs insight sessions, major keynote addresses, and a dynamic exhibit hall featuring all the major shale players.

CSIS, Fortune Smart Women Conference to Feature Ernst – On Friday September 29th at 9:00 a.m., the Smart Women, Smart Power Initiative holds a conversation with Senator Joni Ernst (R-IA).  The topics will include North Korea, Syria, Afghanistan, and other global hotspots with Senator Ernst, a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee. She is the first female combat veteran elected to the U.S. Senate.  The event is – as always – moderated by Nina Easton of Fortune.

Geothermal Conference Set for Utah – The Geothermal Energy Association (GEA) is holding GEOEXPO+ on October 1-4th at the Salt Palace in Salt Lake City, UT.  The meeting will be held in conjunction with the GRC Annual Meeting.

SEJ Set for Pittsburgh – Speaking of Pittsburgh, SEJ’s 27th annual conference is set for October 4-8 in Steel City.

Vets in Energy Forum Set – Veterans In Energy will hold a forum on October 5th through 7th 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.

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.

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 July 24

Friends,

It was an exciting close to the 146th Open Championship at Royal Birkdale in Southport England with Jordan Spieth and Matt Kutcher dueling over the final 18 holes. Trailing for the first time all weekend after a 13th-hole bogey, Spieth shot 5-under over the final five holes to pull away to win his first Claret Jug.  Not as exciting, but certainly no less impressive, Chris Froome rode into Paris and closed his 4th Tour de France victory after three grueling weeks.

A quick update on our summer concert road trip series: Adam, Hannah and I finished the effort with a weekend visit to Brooklyn to see Iron Maiden close its US Book of Souls tour.  While in NY, we hit Joe’s Shanghai in Chinatown and I made Adam order for us in Chinese (after his two years of taking Chinese at his school and living with a Chinese roommate).  And he was great, as we got all the right food and weren’t tossed out of the restaurant.  Just prior, we drove up to Camden to see Incubus, which was also a great show.

Much has been speculated and now reported on the expected nomination of Andy Wheeler (EPA #2) and Bill Wehrum (air office).  We expect to hear more about that this week, as well as CPP action at OMB and in EPA’s forthcoming review that will propose revoking it.  My colleague Jeff Holmstead is back in the saddle after shaking off an illness last week.

This week, Congress continues to roll on budget issues (with the full House taking up Energy Approps) and hopefully moving some nominations (PLEASE….) as health care issues seem temporarily to be moved to the background.  What isn’t happening this week is the mark up of Sen. Fischer’s ethanol expansion legislation S.517.  Lots of back and forth on that issue last week, including more union opposition and an interesting letter from former House Energy Chair Henry Waxman urging Senate Environment Committee Dems to oppose the legislation.  On the hearing front, House Science will take up ethanol tomorrow with Emily Skor, Heritage’s Nick Loris and folks from Energy labs.  Also tomorrow, Senate Environment look at advanced nuclear and CCS and on Wednesday, the seven major grid operator come to House Energy to testify on security. (Watch for discussions of the recently released NAS report on vulnerabilities)

Much more fun will be several energy events this week around town, including a major new study on advanced nuclear rolled out at NEI tomorrow (speaking of advanced nuclear) and the discussion of new carbon tax legislation from Sens. Whitehouse and Schatz at AEI.  Wednesday has CSIS forum on NAFTA energy issues and Thursday, the US Energy Association hosts its 10th annual Energy Supply Forum at the Press Club.

Finally, I close this week with the saddest of sad notes.  My friend and great editorial writer for the Wall Street Journal Joe Rago passed away completely unexpectedly late last week in NYC.  Joe was a great guy; and really the kind of guy you wanted to share a beer or a cab with because you would always learn something new.  To honor Joe, the WSJ board wrote a moving tribute here and also highlighted some of his best work here.  We will miss him…

Call with questions.

 

Best,

Frank Maisano

(202) 828-5864

(202) 997-5932

 

FRANKLY SPOKEN

“Protectionism is never the solution for an inability to compete globally. Our country’s trade laws should never be co-opted into causing widespread pain for the broader U.S. economy.”

Bill Gaskin, former President of the Precision Metalforming Association on its participation in the new Energy Trade Action Council, a groups that will oppose the ITC solar tariff petition.

 

“Tariffs meant to protect one industry can, and often do, have significant damaging effects on other domestic industries. Imposing tariffs under Section 201, as Suniva and SolarWorld request, would be a step backward by adding another layer of federal subsidies which is something the Heritage Foundation opposes in all instances.”

Tori K. Whiting, Research Associate at The Heritage Foundation.

 

“The solar case is an example of the worst kind of trade protectionism. We’re delighted to stand for freedom and free markets.”

Eli Lehrer, president of the R Street Institute.

 

“The Section 201 solar industry trade case will undermine one of the fastest growing “all-of-the-above” Energy jobs sectors in states across the country, solar energy installation.  We must avoid rewarding this opportunistic use of U.S. trade laws.”

Sarah E. Hunt, Director of the Center for Innovation and Technology at ALEC.

 

IN THE NEWS

Coalition to Fight Solar Petition Activates – The Energy Trade Action Coalition (ETAC) was launched today to fight the misuse of trade remedies with an initial focus on the Section 201 trade petition on imported solar components.  Filed by two heavily indebted solar companies, the 201 trade petition asks the Trump Administration to impose a drastic mix of tariffs and a floor price that would double the price of solar equipment and damage the U.S. solar industry.  The Section 201 Petition seeks a tariff of 40 cents per watt on all foreign-made solar cells and a floor price of 78 cents per watt on all foreign-made panels, doubling the price for the basic ingredients of the broader U.S. solar industry.  The $23 billion U.S. solar industry employs 260,000 American workers in good-paying jobs across the country.  If successful, this petition would slash demand for new projects and make solar less competitive with other sources of power. A recent study showed that an estimated 88,000 jobs, about one-third of the current American solar workforce, would be lost if trade protections proposed in the petition are granted.  ETAC will actively engage with the Trump administration, Congress, the media and public to raise awareness of the importance of maintaining access to globally priced products to support American energy industry competitiveness, sustain tens of thousands of good-paying American manufacturing jobs and preserve the principles of free trade in a global marketplace. The Coalition membership will consist of a variety of trade associations, companies and groups, covering utilities, co-ops, manufacturers, supply chain suppliers, solar companies/developers, retailers, local union workers, small businesses, venture capital groups and conservative free-trade advocates. Please see the press release online here.   For regular updates and more background, follow the Coalition on Twitter at @EnergyTradeAC

House Science Comms Head Moves to Chevron Chem – Communications director for the House Science, Space and Technology Committee Kristina Baum leaving to join Chevron Phillips Chemical, a joint venture between Chevron Corp. and Phillips 66.  Before moving to the House, Baum was the communications chief in the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee under Sen. Inhofe.

Waxman Blasts S.517 in Letter to Senate EPW Dems – Former House Energy Committee Chair Henry Waxman urged his fellow Democrats on the Senate Environment Committee to oppose S.517.  Waxman says he is committed to addressing climate change and protecting the environment. Unfortunately, supporting S.517 would expand markets for corn ethanol – now known to drive major land conversion and to have little if any carbon reduction advantages – while also undermining efforts to craft broad legislative reform of the Renewable Fuel Standard.  He added the 2007 RFS that he supported but have failed to significantly materialize. Waxman encouraged committee members to oppose S. 517 and to instead back broad change on biofuel policy, change that is in line with the climate and environmental protections they have so consistently supported.  Can send letter if you want to see it.

Unions Weigh in Against Ethanol Expansion – Last week, two major international unions weighed in against the E15 expansion legislation sponsor by Sen. Deb Fischer. Last week, Mark McManus, General President of the United Association of Journeyman and Apprentices of the Plumbing and Pipefitting Industry said “rather than pushing through an increase in the ethanol concentration in gasoline, Congress should consider reforming the RFS to rectify the threats to domestic refining jobs and address the skyrocketing cost for credits needed to comply with the RFS that have put refining jobs, particularly on the East Coast, at risk. One refinery has already laid off employees and cut benefits in part due to these costs. This creates a serious concern that others could follow suit.”  Another key international union group also weighed in when the North American Building Trades Unions (NABTU) President Sean McGarvey said in a letter to Sens. Barrasso and Carper that the skyrocketing costs for credits needed to comply with RFS has already put East Coast refining jobs at risk.  “Congress should consider reforming the RFS to address the threats to domestic refining jobs in the Northeast and across the nation before rolling back Clean Air Act restrictions to allow for fuel with Greater concentrations of ethanol.”  I can forward the letters if you want to see them.

Cap Crude Look at Ethanol Issues – Speaking of ethanol and E15, on this week’s Platts Capitol Crude, RFA’s Bob Dinneen talks with Brian Schied about the future of the Renewable Fuel Standard under the Trump administration, the state of Brazilian biofuels trade and future sales of E15 gasoline.

Lawmakers Give Big Vote For Small Hydro – House lawmakers made a big move for small hydropower in approving a bill from Reps. Richard Hudson (R-N.C.) and Diana DeGette (D-Colo.) that would expedite federal reviews of conduit (or energy-recovery) projects. There is enormous potential in these projects to provide clean and reliable power. The Promoting Conduit Hydropower Facilities Act (H.R. 2786), approved 420-2, aims to aid projects that are typically low impact because they are constructed as part of existing water infrastructure, such as irrigation canals and pipes that deliver water to cities and for industrial and agricultural use.  Sen. Steve Daines is expected to introduce a Senate version of a bipartisan push to expedite federal reviews for small conduit (or energy-recovery) hydropower projects later this week.

National Academies Report Finds Grid Vulnerable to Cyber, Physical Attacks – A new report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine concludes the United States’ electric grid is vulnerable to a range of threats, including terrorism or natural disasters that could potentially cause long-term and widespread blackouts. The report, commissioned by Congress, called on DOE and Homeland Security to work with utility operators and other stakeholders to improve cyber and physical security and resilience.  Expect more on this when grid operator come to Capitol Hill on Wednesday.

Senate Appropriators Stress Energy Innovation – Senate appropriators included language in their Energy Department spending plan for next year stressing that advanced nuclear technologies “hold great promise for reliable, safe, emission-free energy and should be a priority for the Department.” Specifically, the department is directed to provide Congress a strategy “that sets aggressive, but achievable goals to demonstrate a variety of private-sector advanced reactor designs and fuel types by the late 2020s.” The committee also expressed support for “grid-scale field demonstration of energy storage projects” and encouraged the department to prioritize research that resolve key cost and performance challenges.” The Senate spending bill specifies that these efforts “should also have very clear goals.” Our friends at ClearPath have been specifically pushing for federal goals of demonstrating four different private advanced nuclear reactor technologies and three advanced energy storage solutions by 2027.

NRC Approves Safety Platform for NuScale Small Modular Reactor – NRC has approved the highly integrated protection system (HIPS) platform developed for NuScale Power’s small modular reactor, saying it is acceptable for use in plant safety-related instrumentation and control systems.  The HIPS platform is a protective system architecture designed by NuScale and Rock Creek Innovations. The hybrid analog and digital logic-based system comprises the safety function, communications, and equipment interface and hardwired modules.  The platform also uses field programmable gate array technology that is not vulnerable to internet cyber-attacks.  NuScale is planning to use the HIPS platform – which does not utilize software or microprocessors for operation – for the module protection system of its SMR.

 

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

Aspen Energy Forum Kicks Off – The Aspen Institute’s Forum on Global Energy, Economy, and Security kicks off in Colorado today through Wednesday.  The event is an annual convening to discuss changes in global energy markets and the strong links between energy and national economic and security concerns. This year, the forum will focus on: international oil and natural gas markets, resource development and transportation, geopolitical issues, and many other topics. This year, the forum will be co-chaired by Mary Landrieu, Senior Policy Advisor for Van Ness Feldman and former United States Senator, and Marvin Odum, former President of Shell Oil Company.

House Grid Innovation Expo Set – The Edison Electric Institute, GridWise Alliance and National Electrical Manufacturers Association host Grid Innovation Expo in the Rayburn Foyer tomorrow starting at 9:30 a.m. in conjunction with the U.S. House Grid Innovation Caucus.  The hands-on House Grid Innovation Expo will feature the latest innovative technologies and projects that are transforming the energy grid. Exhibitors will include; ABB, American Electric Power, CenterPoint Energy, Florida Power & Light Co., G&W Electric, General Electric, Innovari, Itron, Pacific Gas & Electric Company, Rappahannock Electric Cooperative, S&C Electric Company, Siemens, Southern California Edison, Tesla, Vermont Electric Power Company, Xcel Energy, and others.

Report to Highlight Advanced Nuclear Opportunities – The Nuclear Energy Institute (NEI) is hosting a session tomorrow at 10:00 a.m. to explore findings of the report from the Energy Innovation Reform Project (EIRP) and Energy Options Network (EON) on the potential cost of advanced nuclear technology.  Panelists, including representatives from the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) and Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), will join authors from EIRP and EON.  Innovation within the nuclear industry is opening the imagination for tomorrow’s advanced technologies that promise improved performance, safety and economics. Yet questions remain about what it will take to get new technologies to commercialization, including the costs of new reactor designs. The report analyzes data received from a number of advanced reactor companies using a standardized cost model that normalizes the collected data.

House Science Panels Look at Ethanol – The House Science Committee panels on Energy and Environment will hold a join hearing tomorrow at 10:00 a.m. to explore the balance between federal biofuels research and the impact of federal intervention in energy markets   Witnesses will include Paul Gilna, director of BioEnergy Science Center (BESC) at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory; John DeCicco of the University of Michigan Energy Institute (UMEI) Growth Energy’s Emily Skor and Heritage’s Nick Loris.

House Committee Tackle “Sue, Settle” – The House Oversight and Government Reform Subcommittee on Intergovernmental Affairs and Subcommittee on Interior, Energy and Environment will hold a joint hearing tomorrow at 10:00 a.m. on the so-called sue-and-settle phenomenon that Republican lawmakers have challenged during the previous administration.

Senate Enviro Panel Dives Into Nukes CCS – The Senate Environment panel on Clean Air and Nuclear Safety will examine carbon capture and advanced nuclear technologies tomorrow at 10:00 a.m. The panel will hear from representatives from national labs and state groups to “inform potential future legislative proposals and review regulatory activities.  Among those testifying is Jason Begger, executive director of the Wyoming Infrastructure Authority, which oversees the Wyoming Integrated Test Center. Other witnesses include WVU Energy Institute director Brian Anderson, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory Global Security E-Program manager Steve Bohlen, Oak Ridge National Laboratory’s Moe Khaleel and Kemal Pasamehmetoglu, associate laboratory director for the Nuclear Science and Technology Directorate at the Idaho National Laboratory.

Grid Evolution Summit Set – The Grid Evolution Summit is set for tomorrow through July 25th through Thursday at the Washington Hilton.  The event, sponsored by the Smart Electric Power Alliance, will be a conversation of industry stakeholders that will determine how the electric sector evolves, modernizes the grid and better integrates distributed energy resources.  Speakers will include Rep Paul Tonko, House Energy Committee Counsels Rick Kessler and Tom Hassenboehler, PSE&G Renewable VP Courtney McCormick, Xcel’s Doug Benvento DOE’s Eric Lightner, Maryland PSC Chair Kevin Hughes, Kit Carson Electric Co-op CEO Luis Reyes and Utility Dive Editor Gavin Bade.

Forum to Look at Clean Energy Innovation – On Wednesday at 10:00 a.m., the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation (ITIF) will release a new report assessing recent federal efforts to overcome Clean Energy Development challenges and consider how this record might be extended and improved upon in the future.  Transformational clean-energy innovations are required to achieve the nation’s economic, environmental, and national security goals. Smart grids that can integrate massive distributed resources, power plants that can capture and sequester carbon emissions, and other advanced technologies must be demonstrated at scale before they can be fully commercialized. Public-private partnerships are needed to cross this “valley of death” between prototype and commercialization and strengthen investor confidence in the affordability, reliability, and practicality of such innovations. Speakers will include William Bonvillian, Former Director of the MIT Washington Office; Joseph Hezir of the Energy Futures Initiative, Rice University Baker Institute’s Christopher Smith and our friend Sam Thernstrom, Founder and Executive Director of the Energy Innovation Reform Project.

Grid Operator Testify at House Energy Panel – On Wednesday at 10:00 a.m., The House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Energy will hold a hearing featuring senior officials at the seven major grid operators as they evaluate the current state of electricity markets.  The executives, whose organizations oversee and manage the country’s electricity markets and transmission systems, will give their takes on issues including grid reliability and transmission planning.  Witnesses include Southwest Power Pool CEO Nick Brown, Cal ISO CEO Keith Casey, Midcontinent ISO CEO Richard Doying, PJM exec Craig Glazer, NY ISO CEO Brad Jones, ERCOT exec Cheryl Mele and ISO New England CEO Gordon van Welie.

CSIS to Look at NAFTA Energy Issues – On Wednesday at 10:00 a.m., CSIS will hold a forum on renegotiating NAFTA, looking at energy challenges and opportunities.  The event will feature CSIS experts Dave Pumphrey and Scott Miller.

CAP to Discuss Trump Reg Agenda – The Center for American Progress will host a discussion on Wednesday at 10:00 a.m. to detail how in their mind, the Trump regulatory agenda hurts people.  Not much new there.  DC Attorney General Karl Racine and a panel of experts will discuss the implications.

Community Solar Forum Set for Denver – The Coalition for Community Solar Access will host the first annual National Community Solar Summit in Denver on Wednesday through Friday.  A few highlights for Denver include energy company CEOs including Tom Matzzie of CleanChoice Energy, Jesse Grossman of Soltage, Zaid Ashai of Nexamp, Rick Hunter of Microgrid Energy and Steph Spiers of Solstice.  Other speakers include energy company leaders Hannah Masterjohn of Clean Energy Collective, Dan Hendrick of NRG Energy, Adam Altenhofen of US Bank, Adam Capage of 3 Degrees and Lori Singleton of Salt River Project.

USEA Energy Supply Forum Set – On Thursday, USEA will hold its 10th Annual Energy Supply Forum in the Ballroom of the National Press Club in Washington, DC.  This annual gathering brings together the country’s top energy industry and policy leaders to examine the current state of energy exploration and production, electricity generation, and global and domestic fuel supply. Detailed agenda coming soon.

INGAA Chair to Address NatGas Roundtable – The Natural Gas Roundtable will host INGAA Chair Diane Leopold as the guest speaker at its next luncheon on Thursday at Noon. Leopold is an executive vice president of Richmond, Virginia-based Dominion Energy, and is the president and chief executive officer of the company’s Gas Infrastructure Group.

 

IN THE FUTURE

Texas EnviroSuperConference Set – The 29th annual edition of the always educational and entertaining Texas Environmental Superconference will be held on Thursday and Friday, August 3rd and 4th in Austin at the Four Seasons Hotel.  The Superconference will cover an engaging array of practice areas and topics including air and water quality, endangered species, and environmental aspects of infrastructure projects and legal issues associated with oil and gas activities. Timely presentations from current and former government officials will give key insights on latest developments and priorities at state and federal agencies, and compelling ethics topics will include internal investigations and climate change.

Trade petition Hearing Set – The US International Trade Commission will hold its first hearing on the injury phase of the Solar 201 trade petition filed by Suniva on August 15th beginning at 9:30 a.m. at the USITC in Washington, DC. In the event that the Commission makes an affirmative injury determination or is equally divided on the question of injury in this investigation, a second hearing on the question of remedy will be held beginning at 9:30 a.m. on October 3rd.

Platts Forum to Look at Pipeline Issues – Platts will hold its 12th annual conference in Houston at the Houstonian on September 7th and 8th looking at pipeline development and expansion.   During the conference, my colleague George Felcyn and our friend George Stark of Cabot will be featured on a panel on building pipeline support from the grassroots.   This workshop will focus on ways for pipeline companies to build public support, shape media coverage, influence regulators and successfully see their planned projects through to completion.

TX Renewable Summit Set – On September 18th – 20th, the Texas Renewable Energy Summit will be held in Austin at Omni Southpark.  The summit will offer the latest insights into the market and hear from key players about the key trends impacting renewable energy project development, finance and investment in Texas.  The falling price of solar panels is driving a surge in interest by public utilities and corporate customers in contracting for solar power, while a huge queue of wind projects is forming. As much as 16 GW of new wind and solar projects could come to fruition in Texas.  However, development and financing challenges must be surmounted to assure project success and bankability. Large quantities of solar may drive the dispatch curve and market prices in unpredictable directions.

Energy Update: Week of July 17

Friends,

How about a cheer for the old folks as Roger Federer continues to amaze with another Wimbledon title, his record breaking 8th victory.  And while Venus Williams came up just short in her 20th Wimbledon at age 37, they both deserve kudos for another great Grand Slam performance.   While I was working on the update last night, my house was abuzz with talk of the season premiere of Game of Thrones.  It sounded in the post-show discussion like the season opener didn’t disappoint.

This week, we will probably finally see the DOE Grid Study.  On Friday, our friends at Bloomberg got a draft which says renewables are not risking the grid.  The DOE and others say just wait for the report.  Sect. Perry is slated for a NPC event tomorrow morning, so that may be it.

Also in case you missed it on Sunday, with potential action soon in the Senate on incentives for nuclear power on the agenda, former Constellation nuclear executive Mike Wallace had an op-ed in the Baltimore Sun over the weekend urging focus on the nation’s nuclear current and future nuclear fleet and the important role It will play in providing reliable power, improving National Security and reducing emissions.

Capitol Hill this week is abuzz with budget items.  Senate Approps marks up Interior, AG and Energy/Water budgets.  Tomorrow, a House Energy Panel looks at the state of the electricity industry  and Senate Energy will discuss North American energy and security issues.  House Resources looks at Alaska oil and gas while on Wednesday, House Science looks at energy innovation.  Finally, on Thursday, the Senate Energy Committee takes up Interior and DOE Nominations, including our friend Mark Menezes at DOE.

A number of good other energy events also this week in DC led by Wednesday’s CSIS event on the RFS featuring our friend Kevin Book and Friday’s USEEE event with BP’s Mark Finley to discuss their 2017 Energy Outlook.

Congrats to our friend Bill Murray, who joined R Street Institute as federal energy policy manager after editing the RealClearEnergy website for two years.

Finally, on Thursday evening, Bracewell will host the Women’s Energy Network Summer Networking Happy Hour at 5:30 p.m. WEN DC is an organization that prides itself on supporting the professional development and advancement of women in the energy industry through relationships and networking. Come enjoy great food, networking, and policing wonkery with folks from across the energy industry.

Call with questions.

 

Best,

Frank Maisano

(202) 828-5864

(202) 997-5932

 

FRANKLY SPOKEN

“I think there has been way too much build up (regarding the DOE Study). The study has been built up the point no matter what it says it is likely to disappoint everybody.”

Tom Pyle, head of the American Energy Alliance commenting in a Bloomberg news after obtaining a draft of the long-awaited, upcoming DOE Grid Study.

 

IN THE NEWS

Bloomberg: Grid Study Says Not Much Impact From Renewable – Bloomberg reports that the new DOE Grid Study will say wind and solar power don’t pose a significant threat to the reliability of the U.S. power grid according to Energy Department staff members.  “The power system is more reliable today due to better planning, market discipline, and better operating rules and standards,” according to a July draft of the study obtained by Bloomberg.  The findings are still under review by the department’s leadership.

Advanced Nuclear Highlighted in Op-Ed – Over the weekend, former Constellation exec and nuclear Power expert at CSIS Mike Wallace penned an op-ed in the Baltimore Sun extolling the importance of protecting our current nuclear fleet while expanding opportunities to develop new plants.  In the piece, Wallace argues that “an integrated nuclear energy infrastructure is necessary for geo-political relevance for any meaningful country in the 21st century. It is a fundamental strategic national asset, and just like the Pentagon, or the Interstate Highway System, it provides broad-based benefits to the whole country, including domestic energy, grid reliability, support for advanced academic physics and engineering programs, manufacturing, training programs for skilled labor, and providing geo-political influence on global standards for safety, security, operations, emergency response and nonproliferation.”

Groups Asks for Expedited Review of Projects – The Center for LNG and the Natural Gas Supply Association is asking DOE to speed up reviews for LNG applications.  The groups submitted comments to DOE, who is reviewing regulations. “Regulatory certainty is essential for the U.S. LNG industry and we are thankful that DOE is looking at the regulatory process. Our recommendations provide a framework for a more certain future for American LNG and the billions of dollars in investment and thousands of jobs it entails,” they wrote.

 

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

Forum to Discuss Self-Driving Cars – The R Street Institute will host an afternoon panel today at 2:00 p.m. featuring a discussion of policy questions surrounding self-driving technologies Self-driving vehicles have yet to be deployed en masse on America’s streets. But their potential to reduce auto fatalities drastically and free our morning commutes makes expediting this process and providing a permissive regulatory framework a top priority. In the halls of Congress, members of both the House and Senate are actively grappling with what enabling legislation is needed to deliver our autonomous future safely and securely. Panelists will include Paul Brubaker of ATI21, Paul Lewis of the Eno Center for Transportation, Daimler’s Jessica Nigro and David Strickland of the Self-Driving Coalition for Safer Streets.

Perry to Discuss Global Security, Grid Study – Tomorrow morning at 8:45 a.m., DOE Secretary Rick Perry and Dr. Fatih Birol will participate in a news conference on global security in the National Press Club’s Murrow Room.

House Energy to Discuss State of Electricity Industry – The House Energy and Commerce Committee’s Subcommittee on Energy will convene a hearing tomorrow examining the state of the electric industry through market participant perspectives.  Witnesses will include Duke’s Alex Glenn, NextEra’s Joe Kelliher, PSEG’s Tamara Linde, Lisa McAlister of American Municipal Power, Old Dominion Electric Cooperative head Jackson Reasor, Ken Schisler of EnerNOC and Steven Schleimer of Calpine.

Senate Energy Looks at Energy, Security Issues – The full Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources will convene a hearing tomorrow at 10:30 a.m. to examine the status and outlook for U.S. and North American energy and resource security.

House Appropriations Committee Marks Interior Budget – Tomorrow at 10:30 a.m., the Full House Appropriations Committee will markup the FY2018 Interior Appropriations Bill.

RFF to host Webinar On Cali Cap/Trade – Resources for the Future and other experts will hold an interactive online panel discussion tomorrow looking at the proposed changes to California’s cap-and-trade program, potential implications for the state’s carbon market, and the potential effects on linkage with the programs in Quebec, Ontario, and other jurisdictions that might consider linkage in the future.  Speakers include RFF’s Dallas Burtraw, James Bushnell of UCal-Davis, Stewart Elgie of the uOttawa Institute of the Environment, Jan Mazurek of the ClimateWorks Foundation Duke Nicholas Institute expert Brian Murray and Dave Sawyer of EnviroEconomics.

WCEE to Host Sustainable City Event – Tomorrow at Noon, the Women’s Council on Energy and the Environment (WCEE) will host a forum with National Geographic’s Senior Manager of Sustainability, Susan Kolodziejczyk. Kolodziejczyk will present an interactive exploration of the intersection of urbanization and sustainability, what that means in terms of society’s choices and priorities, and examples of successful, innovative city solutions around the world.

House Resources to Look at Alaska Oil, Gas Issues – The House Natural Resources Committee’s Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources will hold an oversight hearing tomorrow at 2:00 p.m. on: promoting oil and gas development in Alaska.  Witnesses will Include Gary Dixon of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters Local 959 Alaska, Richard Glenn of the Arctic Slope Regional Corporation and ConocoPhillips Alaska’s Scott Jepsen.

Senate Approps Panel Marks Energy/Water Budget Bill – The Senate Appropriations Committee’s Subcommittee on Energy and Water Development will meet to markup the Energy and Water Development and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2018 tomorrow at 2:30 p.m.

Webinar to Focus on NJ Solar Issues – Utility Dive is hosting a webinar tomorrow at 2:00 p.m. focused on the PSE&G approach to proactively studying and accommodating the impacts of DER on the PSE&G system.  NJ is experiencing some of the strongest solar PV growth in the U.S. NJ-based Public Service Electric and Gas (PSE&G) takes an active role in understanding feeder and substation capacity to accommodate solar PV, and to avoid negative impacts to grid reliability, voltages, thermal capacity, flicker and more. The webinar will cover PSE&G’s method to study and accommodate the impacts of DER, in collaboration with Siemens PTI. An overview of the study and its methodologies and the distribution system at PSE&G, available DERs, challenges, the need for the study and the results.  Speakers include PSE&G’s Ahmed Mousa and Siemens PTI’s Hugo Bashualdo.

AGA to Discuss NatGas Supply – The American Gas Association (AGA) and the Potential Gas Committee (PGC) will hold a press conference on Wednesday at 9:30 AM EDT, to release the major findings of the PGC’s year-end 2016 biennial report: Potential Supply of Natural Gas in the United. The report is expected to reveal that domestic estimates of undiscovered natural gas resources continue to grow, due largely to the existence of technologies that continue to unlock energy resources from shale and other producing formations.  Alexei V. Milkov, director of the Potential Gas Agency, Colorado School of Mines and AGA’s Chris McGill will speak.

Forum to Look at RFS – CSIS will host an update on the U.S. Renewable Fuel Standard on Wednesday at 10:00 a.m.  The event will feature Harvard’s James Stock and our friend Kevin Book of ClearView, a Senior Associate of the CSIS Energy & National Security Program.

Cramer to Headline Forum on Innovation – Microsoft and the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions (C2ES) will hold a conversation on Wednesday looking at clean innovation and why it makes business sense. The discussion will bring together stakeholders from industry, government and civil society to discuss the business drivers for innovation in clean energy and low-carbon technologies across a broad range of industries.  Keynoter will be Rep Kevin Cramer, while a panel lead by Bob Perciasepe, will explore the business drivers and challenges associated with clean innovation across multiple sectors and geographies.  These issues include growing customer demand, competitiveness concerns, cost pressures, efficiency gains and enhanced performance.

House Science to Look at Energy Innovation – The House Committee on Science will convene a hearing on Wednesday at 10:00 a.m. looking at energy innovation and letting technology lead.  Witnesses will include Jacob DeWitte of Oklo, UCLA’s Gaurav Sant, Harvard’s Venky Narayanamurti and Kiran Kumaraswamy of AES Energy Storage.

Atlantic Forum to Look at Russia Sanctions – The Atlantic Council’s Global Energy Center will hold a conversation about the recently Senate-passed legislation on Russia sanctions on Wednesday at 3:30 p.m. The ongoing discussions in Congress provide an opportunity to take stock of existing sanctions policy, discussed the proposed legislative changes, and assess the current and future impact of sanctions on Russia’s energy sector.    Speakers will include the Atlantic Council Dinu Patriciu Eurasia Center’s Ambassador Daniel Fried, Atlantic Council Global Energy Center Senior Fellow David Mortlock,and Jeffrey Turner of Squire Patton Boggs.

Forum to Look at Energy, Transportation Systems – The Johns Hopkins University SAIS will hold a day-long conference on Thursday looking at the Atlantic Basin’s four ‘continental’ energy and transportation systems. This conference seeks to explore the drivers, dynamics and limits of this Atlantic Basin energy and transportation world, and to map its contemporary technical, economic, social and political contours. Current status quo configurations (geographical, technical, market, policy) and business-as-usual trajectories of these five transportation regimes – four ‘continental’ terrestrial systems and one pan-Atlantic Basin maritime transportation system which links them together – will be examined, along with the new types of energy policy and transportation infrastructure requirements (and new transnational and pan-Atlantic collaboration mechanisms) that could be demanded by any future Atlantic Basin pathways consistent with the Paris Accord’s objective to defend the 2-degree guardrail.

Senate Energy Holds Hearing on Energy Nominees – On Thursday, Senate Energy Committee will convene a hearing to consider new energy nominations.  They include Brenda Burman of Arizona to be Commissioner of Reclamation of the Department of the Interior; Susan Combs of Texas to be an Assistant Secretary of the Interior (Policy, Management and Budget); Paul Dabbar of New York to be Under Secretary for Science of the Department of Energy; Doug Domenech of Virginia to be an Assistant Secretary of the Interior (Insular Affairs); David Jonas of Pennsylvania to be General Counsel of the Department of Energy; and Mark Menezes of Virginia to be Under Secretary of the Department of Energy.

Senate Approps to Mark up Budgets – On Thursday at 10:30 a.m., the full Senate Committee on Appropriations will meet to markup the Energy and Water Development and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2018 as well as the Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies Act, 2018.

Forum to Feature BP’s Finley on Energy Report – The US Association for Energy Economics, National Capital Area Chapter (NCAC-USAEE) will host BP’s Mark Finley for its July luncheon on Friday at the Chinatown Garden.  Finley will present the just-released 2017 BP Statistical Review of World Energy.

 

IN THE FUTURE

Grid Evolution Summit Set – The Grid Evolution Summit is set for July 25th through 27th at the Washington Hilton.  The event, sponsored by the Smart Electric Power Alliance, will be a conversation of industry stakeholders that will determine how the electric sector evolves, modernizes the grid and better integrates distributed energy resources.  Speakers will include Rep Paul Tonko, House Energy Committee Counsels Rick Kessler and Tom Hassenboehler, PSE&G Renewable VP Courtney McCormick, Xcel’s Doug Benvento DOE’s Eric Lightner, Maryland PSC Chair Kevin Hughes, Kit Carson Electric Co-op CEO Luis Reyes and Utility Dive Editor Gavin Bade.

Forum to Look at Clean Energy Innovation – On Wednesday, July 26th at 10:00 a.m., the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation (ITIF) will release a new report assessing recent federal efforts to overcome Clean Energy Development challenges and consider how this record might be extended and improved upon in the future.  Transformational clean-energy innovations are required to achieve the nation’s economic, environmental, and national security goals. Smart grids that can integrate massive distributed resources, power plants that can capture and sequester carbon emissions, and other advanced technologies must be demonstrated at scale before they can be fully commercialized. Public-private partnerships are needed to cross this “valley of death” between prototype and commercialization and strengthen investor confidence in the affordability, reliability, and practicality of such innovations. Speakers will include William Bonvillian, Former Director of the MIT Washington Office; Joseph Hezir of the Energy Futures Initiative, Rice University Baker Institute’s Christopher Smith and our friend Sam Thernstrom, Founder and Executive Director of the Energy Innovation Reform Project.

CSIS to Look at NAFTA Energy Issues – On Wednesday July 26th at 10:00 a.m., CSIS will hold a forum on renegotiating NAFTA, looking at energy challenges and opportunities.  The event will feature CSIS experts Dave Pumphrey and Scott Miller.

Community Solar Forum Set for Denver – The Coalition for Community Solar Access will host the first annual National Community Solar Summit in Denver on July 26 – 28.  A few highlights for Denver include energy company CEOs including Tom Matzzie of CleanChoice Energy, Jesse Grossman of Soltage, Zaid Ashai of Nexamp, Rick Hunter of Microgrid Energy and Steph Spiers of Solstice.  Other speakers include energy company leaders Hannah Masterjohn of Clean Energy Collective, Dan Hendrick of NRG Energy, Adam Altenhofen of US Bank, Adam Capage of 3 Degrees and Lori Singleton of Salt River Project.

USEA Energy Supply Forum Set – On Thursday, July 27th, USEA will hold its 10th Annual Energy Supply Forum in the Ballroom of the National Press Club in Washington, DC.  This annual gathering brings together the country’s top energy industry and policy leaders to examine the current state of energy exploration and production, electricity generation, and global and domestic fuel supply. Detailed agenda coming soon.

INGAA Chair to Address NatGas Roundtable – The Natural Gas Roundtable will host INGAA Chair Diane Leopold as the guest speaker at its next luncheon on Thursday July 27th at Noon. Leopold is an executive vice president of Richmond, Virginia-based Dominion Energy, and is the president and chief executive officer of the company’s Gas Infrastructure Group.

Texas EnviroSuperConference Set – The 29th annual edition of the always educational and entertaining Texas Environmental Superconference will be held on Thursday and Friday, August 3rd and 4th in Austin at the Four Seasons Hotel.  The Superconference will cover an engaging array of practice areas and topics including air and water quality, endangered species, and environmental aspects of infrastructure projects and legal issues associated with oil and gas activities. Timely presentations from current and former government officials will give key insights on latest developments and priorities at state and federal agencies, and compelling ethics topics will include internal investigations and climate change.

Energy Update: Week of April 18

Friends,

With all the action last week, one might think that official Washington was trying to get everything possible it can done before Memorial Day.  Man, a lot of stuff happened last week including the FAA bill losing its energy/tax wings, the “other long-suffering” energy bill springing back to life, the final well control rule, GHG opposition briefs, a new/final-er (I know, it’s not a word) mercury rule and API outlining its items for the Party Platforms this summer.

The demise of the FAA tax credits was offset late last week by the sudden resurgence of the Senate Energy legislation.  The FAA failure seemed to catch too many headwinds after it just kept taking on more luggage/passengers than it could handle.   As for the new/old energy bill, many of the controversial provisions were just yanked out, so it appears that it may now be headed for final approval as early as next week.

I know many of you are following yesterday’s OPEC meetings in Doha, where 18 OPEC and non-OPEC nations gathered to try and freeze oil production at January levels – only to see talks collapse over Saudi Arabia’s insistence that Iran join the agreement.  Our friends at SAFE can speak to a number of the issues.  Check in with Ellen Carey at 202-461-2381.

It is a busy week on Capitol Hill.  Tomorrow, Senate Environment is hosting Gina McCarthy on the EPA Budget, Senate Energy Looks at oil/gas price determinations and House Homeland Security Looks at Pipeline Security.  USFWS head Dan Ashe talks ESA Designations/de-listing challenges as both House Oversight and House Resources hold three separate hearings on the topic this week (my colleague Eric Washburn is excellent on this topic: 202-412-5211).

On Wednesday, the Christian Science Monitor hosts another breakfast with DOE Secretary Moniz and Wilson Center talks hydrogen society/vehicles with Japanese experts while the Hudson Institute looks at Rural Broadband issues (something our friends at NRECA know very well).  On Thursday, POLITICO hosts a great energy event featuring my colleague Scott Segal, who will join Sen. Angus King and Rep. David McKinley on a panel to discuss the future of energy.

And so while Friday is Earth Day, it is also the big day for Secretary of State John Kerry when he will join other world leaders in New York to sign the Paris Climate agreement.  Sounds Like Gina McCarthy may not join him because she may have to be at the Senate Indians Affairs field hearing in Phoenix.

Finally, as I mentioned last week, today is the last day to file your taxes for 2015, so don’t forget since they gave us 3 extra days…And the Interior Five-Year Offshore Drilling Plan public hearing started this morning in NOLA.  Here are the GEST Comments from Lori LeBlanc.  Another hearing is Wednesday in Houston and then next Tuesday in DC.

 

Call with questions.

Best,

Frank Maisano

(202) 828-5864

(202) 997-5932

 

IN THE NEWS

Well Control Rule Released – BSEE released its long-awaited well control rule on Friday, just days before the six-year anniversary of the Deepwater Horizon accident.  The rule seeks to address safety concerns unearthed in the aftermath of the BP spill.  Interior claims to have addressed the concerns of industry enumerated by API and other groups in extensive comments on the proposed rule but that remains unclear.  issued a year ago.  The rule will go into effect 90 days after it is published in the Federal Register.

GEST LeBlanc: Rule Raises Significant Concerns – Lori LeBlanc, head of the Gulf Economic Survival Team (GEST) said their experts are currently reviewing the final Well Control Rule to determine what changes BSEE has made and whether industry’s recommendations were incorporated into the final rule.  “GEST shares BSEE’s intent of adopting a rule that enhances safety and environmental protection and we hope that this final rule will have addressed those technical flaws that would have resulted in unintended consequences and could have made offshore operations less safe,” said GEST Executive Director Lori LeBlanc.  “We are very disappointed to see the Interior Department release such a major rule without resubmitting it for public comment and consultation. Given how far off the mark the previous version was, the sheer complexity of the issues at hand, and the lack of substantive dialogue with industry experts during this process, we are concerned that this rule may not be ready for prime time.  LeBlanc added that GEST remains concerned about the economic impacts of the rule if several of the provisions have not been corrected, which could result in Gulf energy companies that operate globally deciding to shift investment and jobs to other parts of the world.

WoodMac Study Shows Rules Likely Impacts – Remember, earlier this year, Wood Mackenzie analysts study the rule’s impacts on drilling activities and the economic impacts and the results were not so good.  The study found that if the rule as proposed could reduce industry investment in the Gulf by up to $11 billion annually; reduce government tax revenues up to $5 billion annually through 2030, jeopardizing coastal restoration efforts; and place over 100,000 jobs at risk by 2030.  “We are concerned that Interior’s decision to go forward with this rule will lead to stranded assets in the Gulf, harming U.S. energy security while dealing a potentially devastating blow to Gulf communities stung by the industry downturn,” said LeBlanc.

Court: BSEE Can’t Hold Contractors Liable – In other offshore drilling news from late last week, a Federal court in New Orleans ruled definitively that BSEE cannot enforce against offshore contractors.  BSEE’s claimed authority over offshore contractors that have no leasehold or other rights from the federal government has been in serious contention since the Macondo incident.  That’s when BSEE reversed decades of consistent practice and policy to try to regulate entities that Congress never intended.  Several offshore contractors have disputed BSEE’s arrogation of enforcement authority and pursued the matter through administrative appeal and federal court action.  This decision marks the first federal court decision on the question, and it definitively states and explains the limitations of BSEE’s authority.  This decision brings the agency back to core principles of Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act (OCSLA) and puts to rest the many uncertainties raised by BSEE’s abandonment of longstanding legal policy and precedent.  My colleague Kevin Ewing (202-828-7837) can address the issue in depth.

Opposition Reply Briefs Filed in GHG Case – While it is headed for oral arguments in June, another round of briefs from opponents of the rule were filed on Friday.  Petitioners representing the 28 states and numerous trade groups and industry supporters responded in the D.C. Circuit on Friday to EPA’s defense of the Clean Power Plan. Most argued the rule isn’t legal saying “EPA ties itself in knots, torn between touting the Rule’s significance and downplaying the extraordinary nature of what it seeks to do. On one hand, EPA describes the Rule as ‘a significant step forward in addressing the Nation’s most urgent environmental threat,’ necessary for ‘critically important reductions in carbon dioxide emissions’ from fossil fuel-fired power plants.  On the other hand, EPA claims the Rule is not ‘transform[ative],’ because ‘industry trends’ will result in ‘significant reductions in coal-fired generation … even in the Rule’s absence.'”   Intervenors representing six corporations, including the bankrupt Peabody Energy, and the Gulf Coast Lignite Coalition, a group of power and coal companies, filed an intervenor reply brief outlining some similar arguments.

NRECA Weighs In – Rural Coops filed a reply brief with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit concerning the Clean Power Plan litigation.  NRECA Jeffrey Connor said the EPA has crossed a line by assigning itself vast regulatory authority that surpasses anything ever contemplated by Congress. “The agency wants to have it both ways, touting the Clean Power Plan as a major environmental milestone, while downplaying to the point of absurdity the rule’s unprecedented legal overreach. The fact is that EPA didn’t produce a rule simply to reduce emissions—it crafted a radical plan to restructure the U.S. power sector.”

Mercury Rule Finished by EPA – EPA today issued its Supreme Court-ordered fix for an error in its 2012 mercury pollution regulation.  The new “appropriate and necessary” finding – this time factoring compliance costs into EPA’s considerations – still concludes it’s proper to regulate mercury emissions from power plants. EPA would have written essentially the same regulation if it had made that finding when it originally considered the issue, it says, and thus the mercury rule will stay in place.

Read the finding here.  My colleague Jeff Holmstead said as expected, EPA responded to the Supreme Court’s decision in the MATS case (known as Michigan v EPA) with a new regulatory finding:  even taking into account the $9.6 billion a year in regulatory costs, it is “appropriate” to regulate coal-fired power plants under the air toxics provisions of the Clean Air Act.  In the Michigan case, the Supreme Court struck down EPA’s earlier finding because the Agency had refused to consider the cost of regulation when it determined that it was “appropriate” to regulate.  EPA said that the price tag is still a bargain because MATS will provide public health benefits of at least $37 billion a year.  But there is likely to be litigation over this new finding because virtually all of these claimed benefits come from reducing a type of pollution that EPA is not authorized to regulate under the air toxics provisions – so called “fine particle pollution.”  Holmstead says the Clean Air Act provides a very detailed regulatory process for regulating fine particles – a process that places clear limits on EPA’s authority.  He adds that opponents of last week’s finding are expected to argue that EPA is trying to circumvent those limits by using MATS to require reductions in fine particles that go well beyond what EPA is authorized to do under the fine particles provisions of the Clean Air Act.

Legal Group Claims Internal Emails Show Coordination by AGs on Climate –New York AG Eric Schneiderman and other politically-aligned AGs secretly teamed-up with anti-fossil fuel activists in their investigations against groups whose political speech challenged the global warming policy agenda, according to e-mails obtained by the Energy & Environment Legal Institute (E&E Legal).  E&E Legal released these emails on the heels of a Wall Street Journal report about a January meeting, in which groups funded by the anti-fossil fuel Rockefeller interests met to urge just this sort of government investigation and litigation against their political opponents.  After the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI) criticized these AGs’ intimidation campaign, the U.S. Virgin Islands’ Claude Earl Walker — one of the AGs working with Schneiderman — subpoenaed 10 years of CEI records relating to the global warming issue.  The e-mail correspondence between Schneiderman’s staff, the offices of several state attorneys general, and activists was obtained under Vermont’s Public Records Law, and also show Schneiderman’s office tried to obscure the involvement of outside activists.  His top environmental lawyer encouraged one green group lawyer who briefed the AGs before their March 29 “publicity stunt” press conference with former U.S. Vice President Al Gore not to tell the press about the coordination.  At that event the AGs announced they were teaming up to target opponents of the global warming agenda. The AGs went as far as trying to claim privilege for discussions and emails even with outside groups in this effort to go after shared political opponents, including each state that receives an open records request immediately alerting the rest to that fact.  In that case, according to the Schneiderman office’s draft, every state was to immediately return any records to New York.  To its credit Vermont objected to that as, naturally, being against state laws.  See the full slate of issues and emails here.

 

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

5-YR Plan Public Meetings Start—The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) will hold public meetings in New Orleans and Houston today and Wednesday on its five-year plan.  There will be another in Washington next Tuesday on April 26th.  Recently, Interior rolled out the new five-year plan for drilling which set the scope of drilling for the years between 2017-2022. Gulf Economic Survival Team Director Lori LeBlanc said continued energy production in the Gulf of Mexico and support of American energy workers who fuel this nation is essential during a news conference hosted by the Consumer Energy Alliance. “The total economic impact of Gulf energy is immense.  It creates jobs in every state in the U.S., with some 430,000 jobs nationwide estimated to link to Gulf energy activity, along with tens of thousands here in Louisiana alone. Those of us on the Gulf Coast are proud to produce the energy to fuel America and we recognize that Gulf oil accounts for nearly one-fifth of our nation’s oil production. The U.S. Treasury directly benefits to the tune of over $5 to $8 billion dollars each year from energy production in the Gulf — making it one of the largest revenue streams for the federal government.”

CEI to Discuss Green Climate Fund – Today at Noon, the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI) will host a lunch on Capitol Hill to discuss what can be done about two Obama administration efforts to circumvent Congress and push its climate agenda: the Paris Climate Treaty and the Green Climate Fund.  The Obama Administration announced it will sign the Paris Climate Treaty along with 130 other nations at the United Nations Headquarters in New York City on April 22, 2016. The State Department also announced that the United States will officially become a party to the agreement later in the year. How can the United States become a party to the agreement without going through “its own national legislative requirements” to ratify it, as specified by the UN? CEI experts will discuss what is wrong with this agreement and how Congress can respond.  Congress did not appropriate any money for the Green Climate Fund (GCF) for FY 2016. Nonetheless, in March the State Department re-programmed $500 million from the Economic Support Fund account to the GCF. Initial contributions by the United States and other developed countries are meant to prepare GCF for full funding of $100 billion per year beginning in 2020. CEI experts will discuss what the Green Climate Fund is and why Congress should not fund this initiative.

JHU to Look at Enviro Diplomacy –Tonight at 6:00 p.m., the Johns Hopkins SAIS program will host a forum on what environmental diplomacy entails and how it differs from standard notions of American diplomacy.  The forum will also look at the tactics necessary within negotiating historic agreements.  Speakers featured include former State Dept negotiator Dan Reifsnyder and SAIS alum Lynn Wager.

Conference to Look at PA Drilling – Shale Directories will host Upstream 2016 tomorrow at the Penn Stater in State College, PA to look at action in PA.  Despite cutbacks in budgets, there are still opportunities for this and next year and Cabot, Seneca and others will be there to discuss when Drilling may ramp up again, what you can do to help the industry and how to prepare for the growth. As well, Faouizi Aloulou, Senior Economist with the Energy Information Agency, will give a presentation on the uncertainties of shale resource development under low price environment.

Forum to Look at California EV, Grid Connections – Infocast is holding its 2nd Annual EVs & the Grid Summit in Long Beach Marriott in Cali tomorrow looking at transport and power convergence.  Automakers will share their views on the market, latest models, and how to overcome adoption hurdles.  Third-party solution providers will assess partnership opportunities and requirements for equipment, software, energy storage & conversion and on-site renewables.  Policy-makers & utilities will hash out potential business models for capturing new value streams from electrification and a digital, distributed grid.  Port & airport authorities, municipalities, fleet managers and commercial building owners will share perspectives and explore partnering opportunities with solution providers.

Senate Enviro to Look at EPA Budget – The Senate Environment Committee will hold an oversight hearing tomorrow at 10:00 a.m. examining the President’s FY 2017 budget request for EPA.  The hearing will feature EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy.

Senate Energy to Look Oil, Gas Price – The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee will hold an oversight hearing to examine challenges and opportunities for oil and gas development in different price environments.  Witnesses with include Columbia Energy expert Jason Bordoff, Oren Cass of the Manhattan Institute, Michael Ratner of CRS and several others in the oil/gas industry.

House Resources/Oversight to Look at ESA – The  House Committee on Natural Resources will hold an oversight hearing tomorrow on recent changes to Endangered Species Critical Habitat Designation and Implementation.  The hearing will feature Fish and Wildlife Service Director Dan Ashe.  My Colleague Eric Washburn is a great resource on the topics.  Also on Wednesday and Thursday, the House Oversight Committee looks at barriers to ESA de-listing after a species has recovered.  That hearing will be at 2:00 p.m. Wednesday and 9:00 a.m. Thursday in 2154 Rayburn.

House Homeland Security to Look at Pipeline Security – The House Homeland Security Committee will hold a hearing tomorrow at 2:00 p.m. on how the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) works with pipeline stakeholders to secure this critical infrastructure.  Witnesses will include our friend Andy Black of the AOPL, as well as DHS TSA security official Sonya Proctor, National Grid’s Kathleen Judge for AGA and CRS Energy/Infrastructure expert Paul Parfomak.

Jewell to Speak on National Park Week – Tomorrow at 2:00 p.m. at the National Geographic Society, Interior Secretary Sally Jewell will deliver a major speech on the Obama Administration’s approach to conservation and the need for a course correction in order to ensure healthy lands, water and wildlife for the next century of American conservation. Following Jewell’s remarks, Editor in Chief of the National Geographic Magazine Susan Goldberg will hold a one-on-one conversation with the Secretary on threats facing public lands and Jewell’s vision for the future of conservation. National Park Service Director Jonathan B. Jarvis will offer opening remarks to celebrate the 100-year milestone of America’s national parks, focusing on connecting with and creating the next generation of park visitors, supporters and advocates. As part of National Park Week (April 16-24), visitors can enjoy all national parks – from iconic landscape parks like Acadia National Park in Maine to urban cultural sites like San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park in California – for free.

Forum to Look at European Energy Security – Reuters will host a forum tomorrow at 6:00 p.m. on Europe’s Energy Security.  From worries about Russia to the collapse of global energy prices and the rise of renewables, what will Europe’s energy security picture look like in the years to come? This event will be contacted under Chatham House rules.  Reuters global affairs columnist Peter Apps will Moderate a panel that includes Roric McCorristin of the Heinrich Böll Foundation, energy analyst Patricia Schouker and Belgian deputy Chief of Mission Thomas Lambert.

Moniz to Headline CSM Breakfast – Following its last breakfast with EPA’s Gina McCarthy, the Christian Science Monitor hosts a live interview with U.S. Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz on the impact of COP21 on Wedensday at 8:30 a.m. at the St. Regis.  The theme of the event will be the state of global energy and climate four months after last December’s historic summit in Paris, and just days before leaders convene in New York City for the official signing ceremony.  The talk with the Secretary will be followed by an expert panel featuring WRI President Andrew Steer, Georgetown’s Joanna Lewis, WRI’s Andrew Light, and C2ES’s Elliot Diringer.

Forum to Look at Rural Broadband – The Hudson Institute will host a discussion on Wednesday at 9:15 a.m. about closing the urban-rural economic gap through enhancing rural broadband. Hudson Senior Fellow Hanns Kuttner will present a new Hudson report, The Economic Impact of Rural Broadband. Joining him to discuss the industry’s impact and prospects will be.  There will also be a panel featuring  Shirley Bloomfield, CEO of NTCA; Nancy White, CEO of a rural broadband company in Lafayette, Tenn.; and rural broadband consultant Leo Staurulakis.

Senate Approps Panel Looks at EPA Budget – Following up on Senate Enviro’s review of the EPA budget, the Senate Appropriations panel on Interior/Environment will take Its turn with EPA head Gina McCarthy.

House Science Looks at Fusion – On Wednesday at 10:00 a.m., the House Science Committee’s Subcommittee on Energy will convene a hearing that will be an overview of Fusion Energy Science.  Witnesses will include Dr. Bernard Bigot, Director General, ITER Organization; Dr. Stewart Prager, Director of the Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory; and Dr. Scott Hsu, Scientist at the Los Alamos National Laboratory.

NRC Commissioners Head to House Energy Panel – The House Energy & Commerce Committee’s Subcommittee on Environment and the Economy will hold a hearing Wednesday at 10:00 a.m. looking at the NRC Fiscal Year 2017 budget.  Commissioners will testify.

WCEE to Look at Solar Power Growth – The Women’s Council on Energy and the Environment (WCEE) will hold a discussion on Wednesday looking at solar power growth over the next 25 years.  Forecasts for US solar power penetration in the next 25 years range from almost inconsequential levels to an exponential progression in which solar accounts for nearly all power generation. While these are two extremes and the actual path is likely somewhere in between, WCEE will look “under the hood” at some key projections and the assumptions behind them, based on the Deloitte Center for Energy Solutions’ paper of US Solar Power Growth through 2040.  Following that,  the event will take an up-close look at what the DOE’s SunShot initiative is doing to reduce the soft costs of solar and ensure that solar is fully cost-competitive with other energy sources by 2020.   Speaker will include Suzanna Sanborn of Deloitte Center for Energy Solutions and Elaine Ulrich, Program Manager of DOE’s SunShot.

Forum to Look at Electricity Pricing Issues – The CSIS Energy and National Security Program will hold a panel discussion on Wednesday at 1:00 p.m. looking at time-variant electricity pricing as part of our ongoing series, “Electricity in Transition.” For a century, the retail rate structure in the United States has remained virtually unchanged. Nearly all retail customers in the U.S. pay a flat rate regardless of the time of day or the actual cost of electricity. While this pricing structure insulates consumers from price volatility, it may also lead to inefficiency in resource allocation. Enabled by the increasing deployment of smart meters, some states have been experimenting with new retail rate designs that reflect the fact that wholesale electricity prices vary over the course of the day. Time-variant pricing allows utilities and regulators accurately reflect market dynamics for customers, encouraging more efficient resource distribution. But do consumers actually respond to changing prices and Can time-variant pricing impact the adoption of new distributed energy technologies?   The panelists will discuss the objectives of moving to time-varying electricity rates, including the advantages and disadvantages of different rate structures, the distributional impacts of time-variant pricing, and the broader energy, environmental, and economic impacts of time-variant pricing. In addition, panelists will discuss recent experiences with time variant rates in different jurisdictions.

Segal, McKinley Headlining POLITICO Energy Forum – POLITICO hosting a forum Thursday, April 21 at 8:30 a.m. at the W Hotel focused on America’s Energy Agenda.  The event will look at new prices and new policies and examines the future of energy. Topics will include fluctuating energy costs and the calculus for Washington regulators and innovation.  Strategic priorities for building energy infrastructure and potential changes for a new administration.  Featured speakers include Sen. Angus King, Rep. David McKinley and my colleague Scott Segal, as well as BLM’s Neil Kornze, former AWEA head Denise Bode and BCSE’s Lisa Jacobsen.

Forum to Look at Hydrogen Economy – On Thursday at 9:00 a.m., the Woodrow Wilson Center and the Embassy of Japan will host a forum on hydrogen.  Dubbed “the energy of the future” by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, Japan has been investing heavily on the potential of hydrogen as an alternative energy source. With zero emissions, it is an element that is plentiful, and the prospect for hydrogen-powered cars and hydrogen fuel-cell use at home is alluring. But from advancing the technology to developing the needed infrastructure, the cost to make hydrogen society a reality is high. The event will be a discussion ahead of Earth Day on the prospects of using hydrogen energy, and the outlook for cooperation between the United States and Japan to make hydrogen society a reality.

Panel to Look at Advanced Nuclear Reactors – The Senate Environment Committee’s Subcommittee on Clean Air and Nuclear Safety will hold a hearing Thursday at 9:45 a.m. on enabling advanced reactors and legislation targeting advancing It.  Witnesses will include NRC’s Victor McCree, former NRC commissioner Jeff Merrifield, NEI’s Maria Korsnick, and several others.

USEA to Host Penn St Expert on CO2 Transformation – The US Energy Assn will host a discussion on Thursday at 10:00 a.m. looking at turning CO2 into sustainable chemicals and fuels.  Capturing CO2 and converting it into chemicals, materials, and fuels using renewable energy, is an important path for sustainable development and a major challenge in 21st century. Concentrated CO2 can be used for manufacturing chemicals (lower olefins such as ethylene and propylene, methanol, and carbonates), and fuels (such as liquid transportation fuels or synthetic natural gas). Penn State expert Chunshan Song will be the featured speaker.

NGV Leader to Address NatGas Roundtable – On Thursday, the Natural Gas Roundtable will host Matthew Godlewski, President of NGVAmerica will be the guest speaker at its next luncheon at the University Club. Godlewski’s topic will be: “Natural Gas Vehicles in Today’s Marketplace.”

Forum Look at Enrichment, Processing – On Thursday at 1:00 p.m., the Center for Strategic and International Studies will hold a forum on limiting enrichment and processing of nuclear materials.  The United States has long had a policy of discouraging the further spread of dual-use technologies that can be used either to make fissile material for nuclear weapons or for peaceful uses like reactor fuel – that is, uranium enrichment and spent fuel reprocessing.   The international community, on the other hand, has long resisted serious limits on enrichment and reprocessing beyond restraining nuclear trade.  And yet, the case of Iran illustrates just how close a country can get to a latent nuclear weapons capability in the absence of legally binding restrictions.  In light of these challenges, how well is the U.S. policy working?  What additional tools might we expect to employ in the coming years? Speakers will include Thomas Countryman, Assistant Secretary of State and Edward McGinnis, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Energy, among several others.

EARTH DAY April 22 – Not only is this Earth Day, but it is expected to be the UN Paris Climate Agreement signing day in New York.  Secretary of State John Kerry is expected to be in New York as the President will be overseas.

Senate Indian Affairs Field Hearing to Blast EPA – While McCarthy was originally expected to join Kerry, there is rumor that she may have to be in Phoenix at the Senate Indian Affairs field hearing at 12:30 p.m. examining EPA’s unacceptable response to Indian tribes.  I guess Sen. McCain is the spoil sport on the signing.  While McCarthy may not come, EPA’s assistant administrator of Land/Emergency Management Mathy Stanislaus will for sure attend.  Navajo President Russell Begaye, Navajo Council member LoRenzo Bates and Hopi Chairman Herman Honanie, whose reservation is also downstream from Gold King Mine, will also testify.

 

FUTURE EVENTS

Water Power Conferences Set for DC – The all-new Waterpower Week in Washington will present three events in one, showcasing the entire world of waterpower.  The National Hydropower Association Annual Conference, International Marine Renewable Energy Conference and Marine Energy Technology Symposium will all take place at the Capital Hilton in Washington, D.C., April 25-27.

Forum to Look at Energy Policy In the 2016 – Election The CSIS Energy and National Security Program will host a day-long seminar on Tuesday, April 26th looking at U.S. Energy Policy in the 2016 Elections.  The event will feature panel discussions on the importance of bipartisan Energy Policy, oil/natgas production, distribution and refining, the electric power sector, the future of transportation and State and City leadership. Each election cycle affords policymakers an opportunity to assess the state of the nation’s energy sector in the context of shared objectives and within the context of a dynamic global energy landscape.  U.S. energy policy is driven by economic, security, and environmental priorities, but fundamental tensions continue to exist between those priorities and among the various constituencies involved in the nation’s energy sectors. The purpose of this conference is to inform the current debate on U.S. energy policymaking and assess what areas are ripe for action.

CSIS to Look at Financing Production Resilience – On Thursday, April 28th, CSIS Energy and the National Security program will host a conversation with former Vice Chairman of NY Mercantile Exchange Albert Helmig, Energy Intelligence Energy Casey Sattler and Betsy Graseck of Morgan Stanley, moderated by our friend Kevin Book.  Oil and gas producers have responded to six consecutive calendar quarters of price weakness by high-grading production, downsizing workforce and paring back capital spending. Financial investors’ continuing appetite for oil industry debt – and, more recently, equity – has continued to support U.S. production, too. Unexpectedly resilient output and stubbornly low commodity prices continue to erode corporate resources, however, raising several imminent questions.

Pollution Agencies to Host Spring Meeting – The Association of Air Pollution Control Agencies’ will hold its 2016 Spring Meeting on April 28th and 29th at the Columbia Marriott in Columbia, South Carolina. The event will feature panels and presentations related to multipollutant planning, NOx controls, the Clean Power Plan, NAAQS implementation, Clean Air Act cost-benefit analysis, and legal updates.

BPC to Focus on Water/Energy Book – On Thursday, April 28 at 10:00 a.m., the Bipartisan Policy Center holds a book session on “Thirst for Power: Energy, Water and Human Survival” by author Michael Webber and a discussion about the interconnections between energy and water, their vulnerabilities, and the path toward a more reliable and abundant future for humanity.  Although it is widely understood that energy and water are the world’s two most critical resources, their vital interconnections and vulnerabilities are less often recognized. A new book offers a fresh, holistic way of thinking about energy and water—a big picture approach that reveals the interdependence of the two resources, identifies the seriousness of the challenges, and lays out an optimistic approach with an array of solutions to ensure the continuing sustainability of both.

Forum to Look at LNG – The Atlantic Council hosts the US LNG Exports and European Energy Security Conference on Thursday April 28th.  The event takes place shortly after the inauguration ceremony of Cheniere’s Sabine Pass LNG export terminal in Louisiana and will discuss the implications of US LNG exports on European energy security in the context of climate action post Paris COP21 and changing global energy markets.  There is an excellent list of great speakers, including a wide array of Foreign ministers from European countries on a panel moderated by our FP friend Keith Johnson.  A second panel moderated by our friend Amy Harder of the Wall Street Journal will include API’s Marty Durbin and DOE’s Paula Gant among others.

Sustainable Factbook to Be Released – On Friday, April 29th at Noon in B-338 Rayburn, the Environmental and Energy Study Institute (EESI) and the Business Council for Sustainable Energy (BCSE) will hold a briefing that will provide information on the rapid changes occurring in the U.S. energy sector. The findings of the “2016 Sustainable Energy in America Factbook” show that the U.S. energy sector, and the power sector in particular, have experienced unprecedented growth in newer, cleaner sources of energy.  The briefing will feature an overview presentation by Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) on the findings from the Factbook, followed by a moderated industry panel with senior executives from a range of clean energy industries.  Speakers for this forum include BNEF’s Colleen Regan, BCSE’s Lisa Jacobson, AGA’s Kathryn Clay, SEIA’s Katherine Gensler, Owen Smith of Ingersoll Rand, Covanta’s Paula Soos, Mark Wagner of Johnson Controls and Jeff Leahey of the National Hydropower Association.

WCEE to Look at Paris Implementation – The Women’s Council on Energy and the Environment (WCEE) will hold a discussion on Friday, April 29th at Noon on the role of states in implementing the Paris Climate Agreement.  Maryland Public Service Commissioner Anne Hoskins, DOE Deputy Director for Climate, Environment & Energy Efficiency Judi Greenwald and EPRI’s Steve Rose  will all , Senior Research Economist, Electric Power Research Institute all look at the options states considering to continue de-carbonizing the electricity generation sector and what role of regulators will play in achieving these goals.

IEEE to Host Transmission Technology Conference – IEEE will hold its annual Transmission PES Conference in Dallas at the Convention Center May 2-5.  The electric grid is undergoing transformations enabled by the integration of new technologies, such as advanced communication and power electronic devices and the increasing penetration of distributed generation. Such changes introduce a new paradigm in the cultural infrastructure of power systems, which requires a great deal of cooperation between utilities, power generation companies, consumers, governments and regulators.

 

EIA to Present International Energy Outlook – The CSIS Energy and National Security Program will host Adam Sieminski, Administrator of the Energy Information Administration (EIA) on Wednesday May 11th at 9:30 a.m. to present the EIA’s International Energy Outlook 2016 (IEO2016).  The IEO2016 includes projections of world energy demand by region and primary energy source through 2040; electricity generation by energy source; and energy-related carbon dioxide emissions.  Among other topics, Sieminski will discuss EIA’s view on long-term petroleum and other liquids fuel supplies, prospects for global natural gas markets, energy demand growth among developing nations, and key uncertainties that may alter the long-term projections.

Solar Summit Set For AZ – On May 11 and 12 in Scottsdale, Arizona, the 9th annual Solar Summit will dive deep into a unique blend of research and economic market analysis from the GTM Research team and industry experts. This year’s agenda will feature themes from Latin America to BOS to the Global Solar Market.   DOE’s Lidija Sekaric and ERCOT’s Bill Magness lead a large group of speakers.

 

CSIS to Hold Development Forum – The second annual Global Development Forum (GDF) at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) on May 19. The GDF will feature over 40 speakers, including key stakeholders from U.S. government agencies, leading multilateral and non-governmental organizations, foreign governments, and the private sector.  The 2016 GDF seeks to address the complex issues highlighted by the recently adopted Sustainable Development Goals. Participants will examine the role and purpose of official development assistance against a backdrop of global trends including rising incomes, rapid urbanization, uneven economic growth, and widespread unemployment. In particular, discussions will explore ways in which official donors and key partners, including the private sector, civil society, and multilateral institutions can improve livelihoods, strengthen governance, and facilitate access to key resources including food, energy, and infrastructure.

 

Oil, Gas Forum Set – US Energy Stream will hold a Washington Oil & Gas Forum on June 8th and 9th at the Cosmos Club in DC.  More on this as it gets closer, but you can go here: http://www.energystreamcmg.com/

 

 

 

Energy Update: Week of March 16

Friends,

This is a busy week on a number of fronts.  First, think Green on St. Patrick’s day tomorrow, then St Joseph’s Day for us Italians (which is essential knowledge if you are selling your house), then Friday is the first day of Spring (think Green again) with the vernal equinox falling at 6:45 p.m.

But the big news today is NCAA Hoops March Madness starting tomorrow with 16-seeds Manhattan and Hampton tipping off at 6:40 and 11-seeds BYU/Mississippi live at 9:10.  16s N Florida and Robert Morris and 11s Boise State and Dayton play-in on Wednesday.  The heavy action starts Thursday just after Noon.   It looks like a great tournament with Kentucky, Wisconsin, Duke and Villanova taking the top seeds.  Each is very strong, but Kentucky seems to have an added edge going into the tournament undefeated.  Although the last team to finish undefeated was the 1976 Indiana Hoosiers led by Kent Bentson and Quinn Buckner.  Look out for Arizona who has also been strong all year.   With Justin Anderson a little rusty from his latest medical issues, I would not put a lot of gold on UVa, while North Carolina will likely have its hands full with Harvard.

Some sleeper teams to watch include 11-seed Texas, the always tough/tourney-savvy Michigan State, first-time tourney team Buffalo coached by former Duke floor general Bobby Hurley and Wyoming, who won the Mountain West and plays a controlled pace that will keep them in most games.  As you know, we at Bracewell always have experts for you and we are no different on college basketball, where our trade/campaign finance expert Josh Zive also doubles as a great resource for your NCAA pool.  I am certain that he will only take a small fee and percentage of your earnings should you need his hoops knowledge.

On the Women’s side, top seeds will be determined tonight on ESPN, but most seem to think Maryland, Connecticut, Notre Dame and Baylor, maybe South Carolina are the likely top seeds.   Everything concludes in early April with Men’s Final Four in Indianapolis and Women’s in Tampa.

The craziness translates to Congress as well with a jam-packed hearing schedule in DC – especially given that Thursday most people will be watching basketball.  I have been promised though that all action will cease just after Noon on Thursday!!!!   I’m sure the Senate Majority Leader will want to watch both Louisville and top-seeded Kentucky…but which one will he really root for???

That being said, there are several very important hearings in the House Energy & Commerce Committee this week including tomorrow’s climate legal issues hearing featuring Harvard legal eagle Laurence Tribe, who recently wrote that his protégé President Obama is wrongly using the Clean Air Act on climate issues; a legislative hearing on the bipartisan Coal Ash legislation on Wednesday and a Thursday hearing on thermal water heaters and DOE energy efficiency rules that will feature AHRI member Stephen Koep of Vaughn Thermal Corporation in Massachusetts.

Other important hearings will include a House Science Committee hearing on Ozone impacts tomorrow and the House Small Business Committee on Wednesday looking at regulations and their impacts on small businesses.  The hearing will feature a significant discussion on DOE’s slew of regulations moving forward in the next two years.  AHRI member Vicktor Anderson, of Western Michigan’s Structural Concepts Corporation will be testifying  that the new regs will severely impact his ability to retain current employees and economically produce cost-effective, energy efficient and environmentally friendly refrigeration products.  Keeping the regulations theme, Senate Homeland Security/Govt Affairs will discuss overhauling the government regs’ rulemaking process featuring former OIRA head and Dean at Indiana U’s School of Environment and Public Affairs John Graham.  Senate Energy will focus on grid upgrades and security tomorrow featuring transmission experts like FL PSC/NARUC head Lisa Edgar and EPRI’s Mike Howard.  Senate Energy takes up crude exports with refiners’ Charlie Drevna and CP CEO Ryan Lance on Thursday and tomorrow state officials will be at House Transportation to discuss the highway bill and its importance to state and local officials, led by NC Gov Pat McCrory and Salt Lake City Mayor Ralph Becker.  Finally, the Senate takes up Sportsmen legislation on Wednesday and our resident expert, Eric Washburn can comment (202-412-5211).

Budget hearings this week include tomorrow’s hearings featuring Ag Secretary Vilsack (where ethanol questions will likely come up), offshore’s BOEM and BSEE; National Park Service chief Jon Jarvis, and DOE subcabinet officials and science folks.  Transportation Secretary Foxx goes on Wednesday and Federal Highway, Federal Transit, NHTSA and Maritime Administration officials on testify Thursday.  FWS head Dan Ashe is tomorrow and Thursday, while DOE’s Environmental Management issues are heard on Wednesday.  Forest Service Chief Tom Tidwell also goes Wednesday and NOAA’s Kathryn Sullivan will be at House Approps Wednesday and House Resources Thursday.  Probably missed a hearing or two in there so keep checking.

If you can pull yourself away from the Hill before Thursday, Interior Secretary Sally Jewell visits CSIS tomorrow at 1:00 p.m., WCEE holds a forum on Wednesday at the National Grange looking at energy storage and Thursday morning, The Energy Times will hold an executive energy briefing focused on utilities and how they are changing featuring PSE&G CEO Ralph Izzo and NH Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, among other.

Finally, I noticed again this morning that The Analysis Group, headed by Sue Tierney, seem to be the only folks  that think the EPA Clean Power Rule will be no problem for grid operators like PJM, who have expressed serious concerns about reliability.  I’m sure Jeff Holmstead and Scott Segal would be happy to offer thoughts regarding the topic.

Clear the decks for Thursday and Friday and get those NCAA pools in to your administrator soon…Call with questions.

Frank Maisano

(202) 828-586
(202) 997-5932

IN THE NEWS

Wash Post Fact Checker on Climate Taken to TaskThe Washington Post Fact Check is usually a pretty reasonable place to check the verity of the back and forth in the policy, political or advertising battles.  On Friday, it published a piece last on what they called Sen. Inhofe’s “Misleading Statements on Carbon Emission Rule.”  WPFC took Inhofe’s comment: “EPA also intends to pursue a legislative proposal for an additional $4 billion in mandatory spending for EPA to enforce its climate change regulations … which 32 states oppose and will result in double-digit electricity price increases in 43 states” and applied its scrutiny.  Unfortunately, while claiming to not take a position on the Clean Power Plan, the WPFC in fact advocated several positions in favor of the CPP, hyperlinked to an NRDC site supporting it and didn’t make a similar link to the widespread available links that oppose the plan.  As well, WPFC downplayed state opposition by claiming not all the states really oppose the rules because they have some agencies considering how to implement them.  Of course, that assumption is suspect given the that regulators will always consider what has to be done to comply.  The fact is, the 32-state figure IS as dramatic as it sounds.

ACCCE Fires Back – The American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity (ACCCE) pushed back on the WPFC saying they conducted analysis showing widespread opposition from state officials to the EPA proposal. ACCCE also commissioned a detailed economic analysis of the CPP by NERA Economic Consulting (NERA).  Both analyses have been cited in Congressional hearings and were referenced in the WPFC piece.  The article disputed ACCCE’s analysis of state opposition to the EPA proposal, as well as NERA’s economic analysis. However, the Fact Checker did not check any facts with either ACCCE or NERA. The Fact Checker got facts wrong in the article and omitted other important facts. Applying the Fact Checker’s own criteria to the article, ACCCE says the article deserves at least three Pinocchios for “significant factual errors,” as well as bias.  See the full Fact Check Response here.

Drones Moving into Energy Space – The rage over drones are not just for weddings or the White House lawn.  The energy industry is also recognizing the economic and safety benefits of deploying unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) or “drones” for tasks such as pipeline surveys, pipeline inspections or even tracking ice and aquatic life movement prior to drilling offshore.  Taking it further, FAA recently released  a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking focused on the Operation and Certification of Small UAS, which my colleague Mike Weller has discussed in a recent blog.  The FAA is accepting comments on its proposal through April 24, 2015 and in the meantime continues to process case-by-cases requests for authorization under exemptions, which Mike has discussed in another recent blog here.  The blogs are on the record if you are covering this issue.  Should you have questions, you can also talk to Weller at 202-828-5812 or Mike.Weller@bgllp.com

Fallout from RFS Reform Splash Last Week – At the ABLC annual forum last Wednesday, Advance Biofuels head Mike McAdams made a giant splash when he declared that the current dysfunctional RFS program needed fixing.  The comments were the first breech of the ethanol side and the starch ethanol gang respond with volumes of fire and vitriol.  Of course, they only people who are trying to maintain the current program as it clearly is not working.  With a lot expected on this issue this summer, I thought I would forward the text of McAdams speech which make some strong points about the need for RFS reform.  Whatever happens, expect this to be a major fight.

Durbin Introduces Innovation Legislation – Sen. Dick Durbin introduced legislation today that would lift federal budget caps to increase funding for basic scientific research.  Durbin cited China’s outpacing the United States in such spending during the past decade as the main reason for stepping up to issue.  Five programs are targeted by Durbin’s bill: the Department of Energy Office of Science, the National Science Foundation, the Department of Defense Science and Technology Programs, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration Science Directorate and the National Institute of Standards and Technology Scientific and Technical Research.

SoCo CEO Fanning already Talking Energy Innovation – Speaking of Innovation, Southern Company CEO Tom Fanning made that the centerpiece of a discussion at the Atlantic Council last week.  Fanning highlighted the company’s effort to drive energy innovation including the development of new clean coal technologies in Mississippi, new nuclear in Georgia, advanced renewables across their portfolio and the largest biomass plant operating in Texas, among a number of other initiatives.

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

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

OMB Talks Budget at House Approps – The House Approps panel on Financial Services and General Government  will hold a hearing today at 3:00 p.m. on the budget for the Office of Management and Budget featuring OMB head Shaun Donovan.

Ashe to Look at Fish/Wildlife Budget – The House Appropriations Interior subpanel will host US FWS head Dan Ashe and budget office Chris Nolan tomorrow at 9:00 a.m.  Ashe will also appear before House Resources on Thursday at 9:30 a.m. in 1334 Longworth.  Of course, our own Eric Washburn can discuss issues like Sage grouse listings that will likely be part of the discussion.

Senate Energy to Focus on Electric Grid – The Senate Committee on Energy & Natural Resources will hold a hearing tomorrow to evaluate the state of technological innovation related to the electrical grid.   Witnesses will include AEP’s Transmission’s Lisa Barton, Florida PSC Commissioner and NARUC President Lisa Edgar, EPRI CEO Michael Howard, Argonne National Laboratory Director Peter Littlewood and Jeff Taft of Pacific Northwest National Laboratory.

House Transpo to Look at State Impacts – House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee will hold a hearing on the surface transportation reauthorization looking at the state and local impacts of transportation on economic growth and job creation.  The hearing will feature Gov. Pat McCrory, D-N.C., on behalf of the National Governors Association; Ralph Becker, mayor of Salt Lake City, Utah, on behalf of the National League of Cities; and John Cox, director of the Wyoming Department of Transportation, on behalf of the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials.

House Energy Panel to Look at Power Plan Legal, Cost Issues – Tomorrow at 10:00 a.m., the House Energy & Commerce Committee’s Subcommittee on Energy and Power will hold a hearing on legal and cost issues with EPA Clean Power Plan.   Harvard Legal Expert Laurence Tribe, who recently wrote that his protégé President Obama is wrongly using the Clean Air Act on climate issues, will testify while NYU’s Richard Revesz will counter Tribe.  Revesz responded to Tribes’s Wall Street Journal piece with one in The Hill attacking Tribe.  (publications tell you a little about their target audiences don’t they).  Hunton’s Allison Wood, Florida PSC Chair Art Graham, Maryland PSC Commissioner Kelly Speakes-Backman,

Ohio EPA head Craig Butler, North Carolina DENR Secretary Donald van der Vaart will also testify.

House Science Looks at Ozone Rule Issues – The House Science Committee will hold a hearing tomorrow on EPA’s proposed ozone standard, its impact and achievability.  Witnesses include Harry Alford of the National Black Chamber of Commerce, Ray Keating of the Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council, Harvard Medical School’s Mary B. Rice and Eldon Heaston of the Mojave Desert and Antelope Valley AQMD.

Resources to Look at Offshore Agency Budgets – The House Resources Energy and Mineral Resources Subcommittee hold a hearing tomorrow at 10:00 a.m. to review the missions and spending priorities of the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement, and Office of Natural Resources Revenue.  BOEM head Abbie Hopper, BSEE head Brian Salerno and Office of Natural Resource Revenue head Greg Gould will testify.  Expect questions on the recently announced 5-year leasing/drilling plans.

Sportsmen Legislation on Tap in Senate EPW Panel – The Senate Environment’s Fisheries, Water and Wildlife Subcommittee will hold a hearing tomorrow on Sportsmen legislation to protect and enhance opportunities for recreational hunting, fishing and shooting.  Witnesses will include Jeff Crane, president of the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation; Dale Hall, CEO of Ducks Unlimited; and Wayne Pacelle, president and CEO of the Humane Society of the United States.  And our resident Sportsman, Eric Washburn can address all your questions (202-412-5211, eric.wasburn@bgllp.com)

Vilsack Hit Senate Approps – The Senate Appropriations Committee’s Ag panel  will host USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack on the proposed budget estimates and justification for FY2016 for the Agriculture Department.  Vilsack will be joined by Chief Economist Robert Johansson and Budget Officer Michael Young.  Expect some ethanol discussion here.

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

Aviation Forum to Feature Blakey – The U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation is hosting its 14th Annual Aviation Summit tomorrow 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.

Jewell to Address Public Lands, Water – Tomorrow at 1:00 p.m., CSIS will host Interior Secretary Sally Jewell for a public address on Interior’s energy priorities for the next two years. The Department serves as a significant steward of the nation’s public lands, managing one-fifth of the landmass and 1.7 billion acres of the Outer Continental Shelf.

Members Launch of House Caucus on Carbon, Enhanced Oil Recovery – Tomorrow at 4:00 p.m., a group of bipartisan members will launch a Congressional caucus to educate members on the energy security, economic, and environmental benefits of enhanced oil recovery using carbon dioxide. Speakers at the event in 1302 Longworth include organizers Reps. Michael Conaway, Gregg Harper and Marc Veasey, as well as Keith Bowman of Tellus Operating Group, Sasha Mackler of Summit Power, Domenico Parisi of the National Strategic Planning & Analysis Research Center, Bob Perciasepe of the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions, John Risch of SMART (formerly the United Transportation Union), and Kyle Simpson of Hogan Lovells.

Senate Moves on TCSA Legislation – The Senate Environment Committee will hold a hearing on legislation to amend the Toxic Substances Control Act to reauthorize and modernize the act.  Witnesses will include EPA’s Jim Jones, EDF’s Richard Denison, March of Dimes Foundation chief medical officer Edward McCabe, GWU Milken Institute School of Public Health dean Lynn Goldman, EWG’s Ken Cook and new MD AG Brian Frosh.  Sen. Tom Udall (D-N.M.) and Bonnie Lautenberg will also deliver statements.  The legislation aims to update the Toxic Substances Control Act of 1976 and has 7 Democrats and 9 Republicans as sponsors.

House Energy Panel to Look at Coal Ash Rule, Legislation – The House Energy & Commerce panel on Environment will hold a hearing tomorrow on Rep McKinley’s legislation “Improving Coal Combustion Residuals Regulation Act of 2015.”

Foxx, Transpo Officials Hit Hill Approps – The Senate Approps panel on Transportation will host DOT Secretary Anthony Foxx on Wednesday at 10:00 a.m. in 562 Dirksen for a budget hearing.   Meanwhile the next day,  Federal Highway Administration acting administrator Gregory Nadeau, Federal Transit Administration acting administrator Therese McMillan, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration administrator Mark Rosekind and U.S. Maritime Administration administrator Paul Jaenichen will testify before the House Approps Transportation panel at 10:00 a.m. in 2358-A Rayburn .

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

House Small Biz Tackles Regulations, Impacts – The House Small Business Committee will hold a committee hearing at 11:00 a.m. on Wednesday on regulatory red tape and the challenges for small manufacturers. Those testifying include AHRI member Viktor Anderson, director of engineering for Structural Concepts in Muskegon, Michigan, who will say that new regulations will severely impact his ability to retain current employees and economically produce cost-effective, energy efficient and environmentally friendly refrigeration products.  Other also on the panel include Cynthia Reichard of Arylessence Inc., Janis Herschkowitz of PRL in Cornwall, Pa., representing the American Foundry Association and James Goodwin at the Center for Progressive Reform.

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

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

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

Forum to Look at Ex-Im Bank – On Thursday at 9:00 a.m., the CSIS Project on Prosperity and Development will host a reschedule forum  on the Export-Import Bank’s contribution to the U.S. economy, future directions and challenges, and ways the U.S. Congress continue to support the Bank. Since 2009, the Export-Import Bank has helped create 1.2 million private-sector jobs by financing small business exporters. Over the last five years, it has generated $2 billion more than the cost of its operations. However, the Bank is currently operating on a short term extension of its charter which expires on June 30, 2015. Given the forthcoming deadline, a conversation on the role the Bank plays in growing American jobs and its contribution to the global economy is needed to spur further support from the U.S. government.   Illinois Rep. Robert Dold will make keynote remarks, while Other speakers will include Export-Import Bank Chairman and President Fred Hochberg, Ex-Im Advisory Committee Member Don Nelson, World Trade Center of Greater Philadelphia President and Former Ex-Im Vice Chair Linda Conlin and NAM’s Linda Dempsey.

House Energy Panel to Look at Water Heater Efficiency – The House Energy panel  of the Energy & Commerce Committee will hold a hearing on legislation to modify the efficiency standards for grid-enabled water heaters.  NERCA and AHRI members are expected to participate, including AHRI member Steve Koep of Vaughn in Massachusetts.

PSE&G’s Izzo, Sen. Shaheen  to Headline Energy Briefing – On Thursday morning, the Energy Times will hold an executive energy briefing focused on utilities and how they are changing. Innovators and policymakers will be speak including PSE&G CEO Ralph Izzo, NH Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, NY State PSC Chair Audrey Zibelman and NIST’s Steven Busby.

Sen Energy to Tackle Crude Exports – The U.S. Senate Committee on Energy & Natural Resources will hold a hearing to receive testimony on U.S. crude oil export policy on Thursday at 10:00 a.m.   Last year at this time, Murkowski offered her thoughts on crude exports at CERA Week.  Witnesses will include former State Dept official Carlos Pascual, ConocoPhillips CEO Ryan Lance, Jeff Warman of Monroe Energy and our friends Elizabeth Rosenberg of the Center for a New American Security and AFPM President Charlie Drevna.

Senate Govt Comm Look sat Rulemaking Improvements – The Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee has a hearing Thursday at 10:00 a.m. to explore some ways to revamp the government’s rulemaking process. The committee will hear from experts including John Graham, who led the White House regulatory review office during the George W. Bush administration, as well as Neil Eisner, senior fellow at the Administrative Conference of the United States; NAM’s Drew Greenblatt and former executive director of the Consumer Product Safety Commission Pamela Gilbert.

NCAA Games Start – 12:10 p.m. Thursday.

FUTURE EVENTS

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.

Forum to Look at Indigenous People, Industry – The CSIS Project on Prosperity and Development will host a forum on Wednesday, March 25th at 10:00 a.m.  that will look at maximizing partnerships between indigenous communities and the extractive sector.  The discussion will focus on ways companies in the extractive industry engage indigenous communities in their areas of operation. Many extractive companies find themselves operating in close proximity to indigenous people and their territories. Working constructively with these communities is now a major business priority. The panelists will offer their perspectives on how both companies and indigenous communities can benefit from greater cooperation, whether through creating new education opportunities, offering extractive industry-related job training to potential indigenous employees, and by encouraging local economic growth.  The panel features Simon Boyce of the Navajo Nation, BHP Billiton’s Maria “Malala” Recart and former Canadian House of Commons Member Gary Merasty.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Energy Update: Week of December 8

Friends

 

So can we just agree that there should at least 8 teams that qualify for the NCAA football playoffs?  The top 4 teams will play off starting on New Year’s Day when Oregon and Florida State meet in the Rose Bowl and Alabama and Ohio State meet in the Sugar Bowl in NOLA.   The winners will meet on January 12th in Arlington Texas.  Unfortunately, Baylor and Texas Christian (TCU) were left outside looking in.  While Baylor and TCU won’t get to play for a national championship, both teams will play in “New Year’s Six” bowls involved in the inaugural College Football Playoff.  The No. 5 Bears will play No. 8 Michigan State in the Cotton Bowl Classic, while the No. 6 Horned Frogs will face No. 9 Ole Miss in the Peach Bowl.  No. 7 Mississippi State will play No. 12 Georgia Tech in the Orange Bowl. No. 20 Boise State and No. 10 Arizona will meet in the Fiesta Bowl.  Why can’t we just let all the winners keep playing?  See the full Bowl schedule here.

 

So while many are on edge over Bowl slighting (I suspect that my friend and TCU alum Craig Felner of Valero is at the top of that list), I will have time to mull it over while on jury duty starting tomorrow in Annapolis.  So finally, after nearly 30 years as a registered voter, the jury task has finally caught up to me.

 

If I manage to get out, I will be hosting a great Newsmaker on Wednesday at 2:00 p.m. in the National Press Club’s Zenger Room, featuring former Obama IP Czar Victoria Espinel, Commerce Deputy Secretary Bruce Andrews and other industry experts.  Other great events this week include WCEE hosting Interior Secretary Jewell tomorrow, WCEE on offshore wind in Maryland Wednesday featuring our friend/MEA head Abby Hopper, and on Thursday, AGA hosts an event on the winter gas outlook and ICF hosts NERC and NIST experts to discuss cyber threats and reliability.

 

As Congress runs to the end of the lame duck session this week, they focus on the “CRomnibus” legislation that is expected to keep the government open until next year as well as several key hearings.  The Senate Energy Committee with move the nomination of FERC Commissioner Collette Honorable after last week’s nomination hearing as well as the expected full Approval Senate.  In Committees, the House Oversight Committee tackles EPA management (or mismanagement )of the RFS, House Energy will look back at energy legislation of 1975 and Senate Commerce will look at the future of nuclear power.

 

Next week we also expect the coal ash rule to move forward.  The action is picking up as a long-awaited 60 Minutes piece on Coal Ash issues in North Carolina ran yesterday, while NPR’s Diane Rehm Show will take up the topic on Thursday featuring our friends Manny Quinones of E&E News and Jim Rouwer of USWAG, along with Earthjustice’s Lisa Evans.   Remember our experts, former EPA General Counsel Lisa Jaeger and Waste Management coal ash recycling head Harry Lamberton can address your questions.

 

DOE’s new Furnace rule is also expected shortly and has sparked some controversy among those that suggest the rule will create disincentives to make energy efficiency upgrades.  My colleague Salo Zelermyer (202-828-1718), a former DOE Senior Counsel and energy efficiency technology expert can provide valuable insights.  Stay tuned and call when the rule breaks.

 

Finally, you may have seen the latest tome in the New York Times by our friend Eric Lipton focused on Attorneys General working on energy issue.  While the  conclusion seems more like discovering that there is gambling in Casablanca, we should remember that the self-same NYT pointed out last fall that NRDC wrote the actual 111d rule.

 

Sorry, I didn’t include any reporting on Kate/Will and their schedule (yes, I pronounced it said-u-al).  Call with questions.

 

Frank Maisano

(202) 828-5864

  1. (202) 997-5932

 

IN THE NEWS

 

State Air Agencies Weigh in Against EPA Rule – A number of state environmental agencies are disputing any alliance among state agencies to implement the EPA rule.  The Association of Air Pollution Control Agencies head Clint Woods has collected most of our member states’ 111(d) comments at: http://www.csg.org/aapca_site/news/111dComments.aspx   In addition, they’ve been racking up a few of the other state environmental agencies on Twitter too: https://twitter.com/search?f=realtime&q=%40AAPCA_States%20%23CleanPowerPlan&src=typd Clint is happy to discuss the EPA rule and Its challenges for states.  You can reach him at 859-244-8040 or cwoods@csg.org.

 

SAFE Issues Iran Report – Securing America’s Future Energy (SAFE) released a new Intelligence Report assessing the latest oil market dynamics and their impact on ongoing negotiations between the P5+1 and Iran over the country’s nuclear capabilities.   Last week, Iran and the P5+1 negotiators announced that they would again extend talks aimed at halting Iran’s nuclear weapons program, with a proposed final framework due by March 1, 2015, and a final deal due by July 1.   Since the previous 2014 extension, oil markets have undergone a significant shift. With global oil demand growth proceeding at a manageable pace, non-OPEC oil production surging, and Libyan output back online, the market is extremely well supplied. Prices have dropped by $40/bbl since June as a result.  These developments could play an important role in the negotiations going forward. If current market dynamics persist, Iranian oil export revenue will decline by 25 percent year-over-year in 2015 to roughly $40 billion—the lowest level since 2004 and well short of a projected budget requirement in excess of $60 billion. While most of Iran’s oil revenues are captured in escrow accounts abroad, this drop in earnings should increase Iran’s desire for a deal.   Yet, Iran finds itself in a catch-22: revenues are falling and sanctions are stressing its economy; but any incremental barrels it brings to the market will simply add to the glut, further depressing prices and offsetting any revenue gains.  Meanwhile, a more flexible global oil market should make the P5+1 more willing to maintain current sanctions levels, which are now essentially cost-free. Moreover, our analysis suggests that oil market conditions throughout 2015 will make it possible for the P5+1 to credibly threaten to strengthen sanctions if needed without risking economically-destructive oil price volatility.

 

Cassidy Sweeps Past Landrieu on LA Senate Runoff – The Republican sweep of 2014 is now complete as Republican Bill Cassidy  trounced Sen. Mary Landrieu in a Saturday runoff 56-44 percent.  Cassidy’s victory is the 9th Senate seat picked up by the GOP in this year’s elections.  Landrieu, the three-term incumbent who chairs the Senate Energy Committee was already in trouble after the two Republican candidates come together after the November election.  According to most experts and senate watchers, she was hurt by her failure to pass legislation to move forward with the Keystone XL pipeline in the lame-duck session last month.  Cassidy, a medical doctor first elected to a Baton Rouge-area congressional seat in 2008, served on the House Energy and Commerce Committee.

 

MD Rep Legislation Looks to Carbon Tax – Maryland Rep. John Delaney introduced legislation designed to help states combat climate change and meet new Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) requirements on greenhouse gas emissions. In June, the EPA proposed new regulations for existing power plans under section 111(d) of the Clean Air Act. The State’s Choice Act mandates that the EPA allow a state level excise tax as a compliance option.  The legislation requires that the EPA offer states the option of imposing a state level excise tax on greenhouse gas emissions from regulated sources as a way to comply with regulations under section 111(d) of the Clean Air Act.

 

Eagle Ford Shale Rolls On – Our friend Ryan Holeywell writes in the Houston Chronicle’s FuelFix that the billionth barrel rolled out of the Eagle Ford Shale formation last month.  The report comes from analysts at the Wood Mackenzie research firm that said the number of barrels they calculated include crude oil and condensate and that more than 70% of them have been produced in the past two years.   The report says the Eagle Ford Shale formation is likely to stay profitable as long as prices stay above $50 per barrel. Wood Mackenzie projects that about $30.8 billion of the $139.3 billion in onshore spending in the United States will be invested into production and exploration in Eagle Ford next year — more than any other area.

 

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

 

UN Climate Meeting Set for Lima, Peru – The UN continues its annual climate meeting in Lima, Peru starting this week. The 20th session of the Conference of the Parties and the 10th session of the Conference of the Parties serving as the Meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol will run through Saturday.

 

ACEEE to Hold Behavior, Climate Conference – On Sunday through Wednesday at the Grand Hyatt – Washington, ACEEE will host the 8th annual Behavior, Energy and Climate Change conference (BECC) which will focus on understanding individual and organizational behavior and decision-making related to energy usage, greenhouse gas emissions, climate change, and sustainability. BECC 2014 will build on the overwhelming success of previous BECC conferences, at which 700 participants discussed innovative policy and program strategies, shared important research findings, and engaged in building dynamic new networks and collaborations.  The BECC Conference is convened by the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy (ACEEE), Precourt Energy Efficiency Center (PEEC), Stanford University, and California Institute for Energy and Environment (CIEE), University of California.

 

USEA to Look at Social Cost of Carbon – The U.S. Energy Association will host a forum today at 2:00 p.m. on the social cost of carbon (SCC). The USG SCC estimates are the result of significant aggregation across many dimensions: time, socioeconomic scenarios, uncertain parameters, world regions, damage categories, and models. This study presents an in-depth examination of the three models underlying the current USG SCC estimates (DICE, FUND, and PAGE) as well as the overall USG approach. Our assessment reveals significant variation across models in their structure, behavior, and results and identifies fundamental issues and opportunities for improvements. The objective of this work is to improve understanding of SCC modeling and estimates in order to inform and facilitate public discussion, future SCC modeling and use, and future climate research broadly.  The speaker will be Steven Rose, EPRI’s Senior Research Economist for Energy and Environmental Research.

 

CSIS Forum Locked on NatGas Methane Emissions – The CSIS Energy and National Security Program and the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) co-sponsor an event this morning addressing fugitive methane emissions across the natural gas value chain. The U.S. unconventional oil and gas revolution that reversed decades-old trends of fossil fuel production declines in the U.S. has had ripple effects globally. Expansion of natural gas resources and production has inspired a rigorous environmental debate about the regulation of these new resources. As the primary component of natural gas and a potent greenhouse gas, the regulation of fugitive methane emissions has moved to the forefront of national regulatory debates. In order to address these issues, the event will feature two panels: one addressing the science around the significance of methane as a potent greenhouse gas and the second looking at what is being done by government and industry (upstream and downstream) to reduce emissions and leakage.  Participants included EPA’s Janet McCabe, UT’s David Allen, Shell’s Greg Guidry, EDF’s Steven Hamburg and AGA’s Dave McCurdy among others.

 

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

 

Jewell to Host Interior Secretary – Tomorrow morning at the Capitol Hill Club, the Women’s Council for Energy and the Environments (WCEE) will host an informal conversation with Interior Secretary Sally Jewell to discuss her path to success and the opportunities and challenges she faces in her current role as Secretary of the Interior.

 

New Republic Forum Focus on Climate Progress – The New Republic and LeadingGreen will host a program tomorrow morning at the Newseum that will focus on the future of climate progress in the United States.  Editors with New Republic editors and guest speakers will present and analyze poll data on the midterm elections, projecting how climate will play into the 2016 presidential election, and shedding light on the current Administration’s environmental policy.  Speakers include former WSJ reporter Jeffrey Ball, who is Scholar-in-Residence at Stanford University’s Steyer-Taylor Center for Energy Policy and Finance; the New Republic’s Jonathan Cohn; Democratic pollster Geoff Garin and our friend Amy Harder at the Wall Street Journal.

 

Canadian Embassy, NatGas Roundtable to Talk LNG – The Embassy of Canada and the Natural Gas Roundtable of Washington are hosting the Natural Gas and North American Energy Security Forum tomorrow at 4:00 p.m.  The event will include a moderated dialogue focusing on new natural gas market and technology opportunities, production advancements to unlock new supply and access international LNG markets. The focus will be on areas where government policy and industry can be coordinated to advance bi-national priorities on the economy, emissions and natural gas opportunities.  Speakers will include AGA CEO Dave McCurdy, NGSA CEO Dena Wiggins and Canadian Gas Association CEO Tim Egan.

 

House Oversight to Look EPA’s Management of RFS Program – The House Oversight Committee’s Subcommittee on Energy Policy, Health Care and Entitlements will hold a hearing on Wednesday at 9:30 a.m. examining EPA’s management of the RFS program.  EPA Air Chief Janet McCabe will testify.

 

Senate Energy Committee to Move FERC Nominee – On Wednesday at 10:00 a.m., the Senate Committee on Energy & Natural Resources will convene a business meeting to consider the pending nomination of Colette Honorable to be a Member of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.  Last week, Honorable cruised through her nomination hearing and is expected to be approved before Congress adjourns.

 

CMU Forum to Look at Energy Innovation Methods – On Wednesday at Noon at 121 Cannon, the Center for Clean Energy Innovation and Carnegie Mellon University’s Scott Institute for Energy Innovation will hold a forum to learn how CMU is trying to bridge the valley of death and how its efforts can translate to other government and university programs. A panel of CMU-born start-ups and technology transfer experts will discuss their recent successes as well as shed light on continued challenges to scaling up energy breakthroughs into transformative products.  A major challenge in bringing down the cost of clean energy technologies is bridging the so-called “valley of death” – the state of technology development where many promising discoveries die because they are not sufficiently advanced to attract private sector partners or venture funding even though they may hold tremendous potential impact.  Positively, some universities and research laboratories have successfully reformed their technology transfer capabilities to better address the valley of death and more efficiently transfer innovations to the market. For example, Carnegie Mellon University’s (CMU) faculty and students have leveraged their technology transfer prowess to spin out more than 130 companies over the past five years and have attracted approximately $400 million of outside investment.

 

Forum to Look at Energy Behaviors in Developing Countries – The Ecologic Institute in Washington, DC will hold a forum on Wednesday at Noon looking at energy behaviors, focused on developing country households.  Energy frequently accounts for a high portion of expenditures by households in developing and emerging economies. Climate change mitigation, household welfare, and energy security are just some of the pursuits which may benefit from energy efficiency. Yet, implementation lags globally.  Aurelia Figueroa of the German Development Institute / Deutsches Institut für Entwicklungspolitik (DIE) will present path breaking research on behavior-informed design to increase the uptake of energy efficient technologies drawing upon a randomized control trial (RCT) conducted in the informal settlement of Kibera in Nairobi. The event is hosted by Ecologic Institute and will be moderated by Ecologic Institute’s Max Gruenig.

 

Senate Commerce to Look at Passenger Rail – The Senate Commerce Committee’s on Subcommittee on Surface Transportation will hold a hearing on Wednesday at 2:30 p.m. on the future of and investments in passenger rail.  This hearing will focus on the current state of intercity passenger rail in the United States, the need to invest for future growth, and implications for future legislative action.

 

WCEE Forum Looks at Offshore Wind – The Women’s Council on Energy and the Environment (WCEE) will hold a forum on Wednesday at Kaye Scholer to look at offshore wind energy innovation.  In October this year, the potential for Maryland to be one of the leaders in the development of offshore wind became a reality.  The Maryland Public Service Commission gave final approval to a set of regulations designed to implement Maryland’s Offshore Wind Energy Act of 2013 (OWEA).  A panel of prominent speakers who were closely involved in the genesis, creation and design of Maryland’s offshore wind program.  Our panel will discuss the history of OWEA and innovative use of offshore renewable energy credits (ORECs) as a means to finance the development of offshore wind, the Commission’s role in the competitive selection process, the issuance of the important OREC Order that will enable offshore wind projects to be financed and the structure of the financing mechanisms built into the regulations that will enable offshore wind to be financed on a stable long-term basis.  Panelists include MEA Director Abigail Hopper and Maryland PSC Commissioner Kelly Speakes-Backman.

 

Newsmakers Committee to Discuss Data – The National Press Club Newsmakers Committee will host government and industry software experts to address data advances and innovation at a Newsmaker forum in the Club’s Zenger Room at 2:00 p.m. Wednesday.  The group will hold an expert discussion about how data really works, the promise of continued innovation and the need to foster a policy environment that ensures society captures the maximum possible benefit.  Innovative new software, vast computing power and connected devices have taken us to a new era of data innovation, changing the way the world identifies and solves problems. The benefits of this innovation extend to nearly every aspect of business, the economy and modern society, but the increasing abundance of data also has raised questions for many people, and it has fed misperceptions.  Newsmaker speakers at this event will include former Bush Administration Intellectual Property czar Victoria Espinel, currently President & CEO of BSA | The Software Alliance; Bruce Andrews, Deputy Secretary of the US Department of Commerce; John Nesi, VP Market Development at Rockwell Automation; and Dr. Jane Snowdon, Chief Innovation Officer at IBM.

 

AGA to Discuss NatGas Issues for 2015 – The American Gas Association (AGA) will hold a media roundtable on Thursday at 10:00 a.m. with its incoming AGA Board Chairman Terry D. McCallister, chairman and CEO of WGL Holdings, Inc. and Washington Gas Light Company in Washington, D.C., and Dave McCurdy, AGA president and CEO.   McCallister and McCurdy will discuss the vision for natural gas in 2015, and how we can secure natural gas as America’s new energy foundation, providing economic, environmental and energy security solutions for the nation. They will also address AGA’s legislative and regulatory priorities for 2015.

 

NERC, NIST Experts to Discuss Security – ICF International will host NERC’s Fred Hintermister and NIST’s James St. Pierre on Thursday at an Energy Breakfast in Washington D.C. at the National Press Club.  The content of this breakfast event will include threats and concerns from our power system and how they plan to keep us safe.  In recent months, there’s been reports of attacks on both the physical energy infrastructure and on the other cyber elements of the grid.

 

House Science Looks at Future of Nuclear Energy  On Thursday at 10:00 a.m., the House Science, Space & Technology Committee’s Subcommittee on Energy will hold a hearing on the future of Nuclear Energy.  Witnesses will include Peter Lyons, DOE’s Assistant Secretary of Nuclear Energy, Ashley Finan of the Clean Air Task Force, NuScale Power’s Mike McGough, Transatomic Power’s CEO Leslie Dewan and NEI’s Dan Lipman.
EIA Head to Talk Energy History, Status at House Energy Panel – On Thursday at 10:00 a.m., the House Energy & Commerce Committee’s Subcommittee on Energy and Power will hold a hearing on the first energy legislation from 1975 and Our current status. Witnesses will include EIA’s Adam Sieminski, Lucian Pugliaresi of the Energy Policy Research Foundation (EPRINC), Charles Ebinger of the Brookings Institution and Deborah Gordon of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.

 

DC Bar to Look at Climate Justice, Burdens, EPA Plan — On Thursday at 12:30 p.m., the D.C. Bar will hold a forum looking at a new Look at the Climate issue as a panel of environmental justice activists try to explain why climate issues are justice issues for overburdened communities. The panelists will discuss how communities, environmentalists, and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) are addressing climate justice concerns, including concerns about EPA’s proposed regulations for existing power plants – the “Clean Power Plan.”

 

Forum to Look at DoD, Climate Adaptation – The American Security Project will hold a forum on Friday at Noon looking at Department of Defense efforts on Climate adaptation.  In October, the Department of Defense issued its landmark Climate Adaptation Roadmap that detailed how the military is planning for climate change. As the Department of Defense’s lead climate official, Acting Deputy Under Secretary of Defense Conger will discuss how the Department plans to implement the roadmap in the years ahead.

 

FUTURE EVENTS

 

Forum to Look at Additional Social Cost of Carbon Issues – Next Monday, December 15th at 10:00 a.m., the U.S. Energy Association will host a second forum issues related to the social cost of carbon (SCC).  This presentation assesses the benefits of CO2 and compares these to estimates of the social cost of carbon (SCC) that have been published by the Federal government.  CO2 is the basis of life on Earth, and the successful development of fossil fuels, which generate CO2, facilitated successive industrial revolutions, created the modern world, and enables the high quality of life currently taken for granted.  There is a strong causal relationship between world GDP and CO2 emissions over the past two centuries, and this relationship is forecast to continue for the foreseeable future.  The presenter, Roger Bezdek, will compare the CO2 costs and benefits (on a normalized per ton basis) using the SCC estimates and find that the current and future CO2 benefits clearly outweigh any hypothesized costs by, literally, orders of magnitude.

 

WCEE Forum to look at 2015 Congressional Agenda – The Women’s Council on Energy and the Environment (WCEE) will hold a Brown-bag Luncheon Series   forum on next Monday , December 15th at Noon at AGA.  2014 did not see much legislation passed on the Hill, but it was nonetheless an active year for the energy sector.  FERC approved three LNG export terminals in 2014 and the first US LNG exports are expected to begin in 2015.  The debate over whether to repeal a 39-year old oil export ban ramped up as US oil production increased significantly. Amidst this abundance of natural gas and oil, the US solar industry has taken off as solar prices begin to come in line with traditional forms of energy. Speakers will address what 2015 will hold for the US energy market and how is the new Congress expected to help or hinder energy policy.  Presenters will include Bill Cooper of the Center for Liquefied Natural Gas, API’s Rayola Dougher, SEIA’s Emily Duncan and EPRI’s Barbara Tyran.

 

Forum to Focus on Integration, Deployment of Renewables – The Global America Business Institute (GABI) and the Korea Institute of Energy Research (KIER) are co-hosting an event, next Tuesday, December 16th at 8:30 a.m. on overcoming challenges to increasing integration and deployment of energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies.  Key R&D areas focusing on grid integration, renewable energy reliability, and the role of energy efficiency will be discussed.

 

CSIS to Release Climatescope Report – Next Tuesday, December 16th at 9:30 a.m., the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) Energy and National Security Program hosts a presentation of the recently released Climatescope 2014. The Climatescope is a unique country-by-country assessment, interactive report and index that evaluates the investment climate for climate-related investment worldwide. It profiles 55 countries and evaluates their ability to attract capital for low-carbon energy sources while building a greener economy.  The Climatescope is a snapshot of where clean energy policy and finance stand today and a guide to where clean energy can go. Presenting the report will be Ethan Zindler, Head of Policy Analysis at Bloomberg New Energy Finance and CSIS Energy Program non-resident senior associate, followed by a panel discussion on low carbon energy-related investment in developing countries. Sarah Ladislaw, Director and Senior Fellow at the CSIS Energy and National Security Program, will moderate the discussion.

 

Third Q Solar Report Released – Next Tuesday, December 16th at 1:00 p.m., SEIA and GTM Research will hold a webinar covering the highlights of the U.S. Solar Market Insight: Q3 2014 Report.  The U.S. solar industry continued to grow rapidly in Q3 2014, with impressive year over year growth led by strong performances from both the residential and utility PV sectors. The webinar highlights trends in Q3, both at the national level and in some of the top state markets. The discussion will also include detailed PV and CSP market forecasts for the rest of 2014 and beyond.  Cory Honeyman of GTM Research and Shawn Rumery of SEIA will speak.

 

CSIS Conference to Look at Role of Coal – The CSIS Energy and National Security Program will host an event in the afternoon of December 17th examining the key factors that affect coal usage in major economies as well as the current state of clean coal technology deployment. Over the course of the conference, speakers will examine coal from economic competitiveness, development, energy security and climate perspectives, thus providing insights into the future role of coal.While the robust development of shale gas and the proposed regulation on greenhouse gas emissions from existing power plants challenge the viability coal in the United States, the forecast for coal demand remains strong for developing parts of the world for decades to come as economic development continues to drive their energy and electricity demand. Simultaneously, the worldwide momentum to address climate change and the continued growth in coal consumption—primarily outside the United States—make the development and deployment of clean technology pressing.

 

Gerard to Address  State of Energy – API will hold its 2015 State of American Energy luncheon on Tuesday, January 6 at the Ronald Reagan Building.  API head Jack Gerard will speak.

 

Detroit Auto Show to Roll Out New Vehicles – The 2015 North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) will open for Press Preview January 12-13th at Cobo Center in Detroit.  Now in its 27th 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.  On January  16th, rock legend Steve Miller Band will perform at the largest single night fundraiser in the world: the North American International Auto Show’s Charity Preview.

 

DC Policy Auto Show Set – The 2015 Washington Auto Show Public Policy Days are set for Wednesday, January 21st in the Cannon House Office Building and Thursday, January 22nd at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center.    The annual Sneak Peek Reception, the highly anticipated social and networking event held before Washington’s largest public show opens to attendees, offers automotive industry thought leaders and decision maker’s exclusive early access to the most impressive new models and technological innovations on display at the 2015 Washington Auto Show.  Set for Thursday, January 22, from 5-8 p.m. the Sneak Peek Reception marks the finale of the 2015 Public Policy days, which brings together executives and legislators who influence the automotive sector to address the key issues affecting the industry, its employees and customers, including energy conservation, the environment, and consumer safety technologies.  The Show opens on January 23rd and runs through February 1st.

 

 

Energy Update Week of July 21

Friends,

Amazingly, yesterday was the 45th anniversary of Neil Armstrong’s first steps on the Moon.  “One small step for man, one giant leap for mankind” was the lasting memory of the epic Apollo 11 flight that landed the first humans on the moon and safely returned them to Earth. Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin ventured out on the moon for 21.5 hours before taking off from the lunar surface to meet up with fellow astronaut Michael Collins in the command module, and then return to Earth.

For the golf fans among us, this weekend’s British Open was pretty amazing as well.  With two potential eagle opportunities in the last few holes, the race to the Claret Jug was a thrill even with 25-year-old ace Rory McIIroy holding the lead wire to wire.  Sergio Garcia and Rickie Fowler kept the pressure on but McIIroy made good for the win (and a big payout for his father, who made a 2004, 500-1 futures bet with the betting House Ladbrokes on McIlroy winning the Open Championship within 10 years.)   He has immediately been targeted by Tom Steyer as a potential source of funds.

Despite the difficult news about Ukraine and Gaza attracting most of the news energy, we still have two big items on the plate in Washington with two weeks to go to the mid-term election year August recess.   Both the Highway Trust Fund and the President’s greenhouse gas rules for existing power plants with continue to draw the major attention in Congress.

On highways, this could be a decisive week for highway and bridge building if the Senate can pass a bill providing funding.  The current bill expires on August 1st and runs out of money at the end of August.  Last week, the House passed its version of the bill that would keep money flowing to state transportation projects through nest May.  But controversies over the short-term nature and closely-related items like Davis-Bacon remain and could trip it up.  The topic and expectations regarding highway funding is sure to be a topic that Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx at the National Press Club today at 1 p.m. (just finished on C-SPAN)

The other big item is next week’s EPA public hearings in Atlanta, Denver, Washington and Pittsburgh.  My colleagues will be in all four cities to relay concerns about technology, reliability, power costs and other items.  I’m sure our friends in the environmental community will be there as well (hopefully with the inflatable power plants they like to bring to these showcases or a stroller brigade or something similar)

This week on the rule there are a number of excellent hearings including a Wednesday Gina McCarthy performance at Senate Environment, our friend Bud Weinstein Thursday at House Energy/Commerce on the economic impacts of state energy policies and tomorrow House Foreign Affairs takes up the international role of the U.S.   As well, the Senate Energy Committee will look at revenue and natural resources issues, tomorrow.

Finally on the policy side, our friends at the Bipartisan Policy Center are gathering experts, business leaders, academics and policymakers to assess the state of American energy innovation and new approaches to drive more resources into it tomorrow at the Renaissance Washington.  Energy Secretary Moniz leads the discussion.  Our friends Steve Mufson, Ben Geman and Jim Snyder moderate panels.

From the news, our friend Cliff Krauss in on A1 of the New York Times with how the greater sage grouse’s potential addition to the endangered species list has brought together an odd coalition.  My colleague Eric Washburn helped bring this one to light.

Lastly, last night, the Queen revival rolled into Merriweather Post and I mention it because it is the second report I have received about how good former Idol star Adam Lambert has been standing in for the late and irreplaceable Freddie Mercury.  They play all the classics and it is a fabulous show.  While I missed Queen, I will head to Merriweather Thursday to see Beck.  Where it’s at….Call if you have questions.

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

 

IN THE NEWS

Still Not Moving Needle on Environment Concern – The same ol’ story in more polling this week from our friends at POLITICO:  Just 4% of respondents in POLITICO’s new poll of likely voters in competitive Senate states and House districts identified the environment as the national issue that concerns them the most, beating out other issues like taxes, terrorism and foreign affairs. The highest ranking concerns were the economy and jobs, which were chosen by 21% and 10% of respondents, respectively.

Industry Groups Propose Crude Train Car Limitations – Our friend Jim Snyder of Bloomberg had a great piece last week on industry proposals to phase out older rail cars that haul crude.   The plan calls for slightly thicker walls for new cars to make them less vulnerable to puncture who asked not to be identified discussing private communications. The parties agreed to scrap a fleet of thousands of DOT-111s within three years if manufacturers agree they can replace or retrofit the tank cars in that period.  While API and AAR have rolled this effort forward, refining industry, who lease a majority of the crude cars on the rails today raised concerns and says they were not part of the deal.  The Department of Transportation will outline a comprehensive plan for oil train safety in the coming weeks.

Enviros, Google to Map Methane Leaks from Pipelines – The Environmental Defense Fund and Google’s Earth Outreach program are going to map natural gas leaks in Boston, Indianapolis and New York’s State Island.  The interactive maps are the first step of a pilot project to use Google’s Street View cars to measure environmental indicators.  EDF says it worked with utilities to validate the findings.   Our friends at the American Gas Association said only a small fraction of produced natural gas leaks from local utility pipelines, and that utilities have lowered emissions by 22% since 1990. CEO Dave McCurdy said in their attempt to raise the awareness of natural gas emissions, the EDF campaign understates that utilities are working with state and local policymakers to effectively reduce emissions by adopting innovative rate mechanisms to upgrade, replace and modernize natural gas distribution pipelines for safety and economic reasons.

NYT Features Christy as Well – With all the fun stories last week about Tom Steyer, his coal interests and his response, there was another NYT piece by Michael Wines that was equally interesting on longtime climate skeptic John Christy.  Often one of most credible skeptics, Christy is an outlier on what the vast majority of his colleagues consider to be a matter of consensus: that global warming is both settled science and a dire threat.  The article says he regards it as neither and not because the earth is not heating up. It is, he says, and carbon dioxide spewed from power plants, automobiles and other sources is at least partly responsible. But in speeches, congressional testimony and peer-reviewed articles in scientific journals, he argues that predictions of future warming have been greatly overstated and that humans have weathered warmer stretches without perishing.

TX, CO Efforts to Block NatGas Drilling (not Fracking) Hit Roadblock – Two separate efforts to limit natural gas drilling in Texas and Colorado hit road blocks last week.  The Denton, Texas City Council rejected a ban on further permitting of hydraulic fracturing in the community.  The north Texas city sits atop the Barnett Shale, one of the largest natural gas reserves in the country.  The City Council members voted down the petition 5-2 after eight hours of public testimony, sending the proposal to a public ballot in November.  In Colorado, the organizer of Initiative 75, the grassroots anti-drilling (not fracking) measure said the statewide campaign failed to collect enough signatures to reach the ballot.  Lead organizer Cliff Willmeng said supporters were not on pace to gather the requisite 86,105 valid signatures needed by the August 4 deadline.   Initiatives generally need about 125,000 signatures to clear the petition hurdle, given that many signatures are inevitably found to be invalid by the Secretary of State’s office.  Initiative 75, the Colorado Community Rights Amendment, would have allowed localities to supersede state authority in order to ban corporate activity within their borders, including anti-drilling laws.  Still, these are not the two other anti-drilling initiatives sponsored by Democratic Rep. Jared Polis.  Initiative 88 would expand the state’s setbacks rule from 500 to 2,000 feet, while Initiative 89 would create an Environmental Bill of Rights.

Other Pro-NatGas CO Measures on Pace to Make Ballot – Coloradans for Responsible Energy Development (CRED) said two statewide ballot measures have garnered a majority of signatures needed to qualify for Colorado’s statewide ballot and deemed both valuable to the conversation and education of voters this November.  Ballot Initiative #121 is a fair, commonsense approach and something all Coloradans can support in acknowledging those impacted by energy development should be fairly compensated and likewise, those that ban oil and natural gas activities – such as fracking – shouldn’t financially benefit from an industry it has essentially boycotted. In that same vein of fairness, Ballot Initiative #137 would require the financial cost of a successfully passed ballot measure be disclosed up front and during the ballot signature gathering process. Ballot Initiative #121 has garnered over 55,000 signatures, while Ballot Initiative #137 has acquired more than 59,800 signatures and both measures will likely appear before voters this November.

Interior to Offer NJ Offshore Wind Leases – Our friends at Energy Guardian report that there are enough companies interested in building wind farms off New Jersey’s coast for the Interior Department to go forward with its third state leading effort.  Already, BOEM has offered to sell wind leases off the coasts of Massachusetts and Maryland and awarded five more in New England, Delaware and Virginia.  Now they are preparing to offer leases for nearly 344,000 acres in an offshore area that could generate 3,400 megawatts and power about 1.2 million homes.  BOEM said 11 firms already have expressed an interest in the New Jersey leases, which begin in an area about seven nautical miles off the coast of Atlantic City.  A formal notice for the proposed sale will be posted in the Federal Register today.

NHL, NRDC to Reduce GHG Impacts – I am usually talking about hockey in the intro, but today, the NRDC and NHL have teamed up for a report that help the league reduce its greenhouse gas footprint.  Each hockey game emits 408 metric tons of CO2 — the equivalent output of about 900,000 gallons of gasoline, according to EIA figures. That’s approximately 56 pounds per attendee, though that doesn’t include fans’ transportation to the game, according to the report. In the report, the NHL lays out its first carbon inventory, which details the greenhouse gas emissions associated with the many facets of our operations, including energy and water use, waste and travel. While NHL hockey games are energy intensive, the league says that the geographic locations of our Clubs require a substantial amount of travel over the course of a season. Like the other professional sports, these business operations affect the air and our supplies of clean, fresh water. But the league has implemented programs to reduce that output — including some venues participating in demand response programs; more efficient lighting and industrial equipment; and on-site solar power and other renewables.

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

DOE Looking for R&D Insights – Tomorrow 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.

Senate Energy to Look at Energy Resource Revenue – The Senate Energy Committee will convene a hearing tomorrow at 10:30 a.m. to examine leveraging America’s resources as a revenue generator and job creator, focusing on the state and local government benefits in terms of revenue generated and jobs created from natural resource production.  Witnesses will include Interior’s Gregory Gould who directs the Office of Natural Resource Revenue, as well as Lafourche Parrish President Charlotte Randolph, Paul Pearce of the National Forest Counties and Schools Coalition, Joel Webster  of the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership, Quest Offshore’s Sean Shafer,  Utah’s Director of Energy Development Laura Nelson and Duane Taylor of the Motorcycle Industry Council.

ELI Forum to Focus on Energy Performance – The Environmental Law Institute will hold a forum tomorrow 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.

Senate Foreign Relations Tackles Climate – The Senate Foreign Relations Committee’s Subcommittee on International Development and Foreign Assistance, Economic Affairs, International Environmental Protection, and Peace Corps will hold a hearing tomorrow at 3:00 p.m. in 444 Dirksen on U.S. security implications of international energy and climate policies.  Witnesses will include Amos Hochstein of the State Department, US AID’s Eric Postel, DoD’s Daniel Chiu, retired Rear Admiral David Titley, of the CNA Military Advisory Board, former State Department official David Goldwyn, former EIA official Mary Hutzler and Michael Breen of the Truman National Security Project.

BPC Forum to Focus on Innovation – On Wednesday, 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.

Senate Environment to Host McCarthy on New Rule – The Senate Environment Committee will hold a hearing Wednesday featuring EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy.  The hearing will focus on EPA’s proposed carbon pollution standards for existing power plants.

House Energy Panel to Look at States, Modernizing Rules – The House Energy and Commerce panel on the Environment will hold a hearing Wednesday at 2:00 p.m. to hear from state regulators and the business community on how the federal government and states could work together to modernize environmental regulations.  Witnesses will include Henry Darwin, director of the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality; David Cash, commissioner of the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection; Teresa Marks, director of the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality; and William Kovacs, senior vice president for environment, technology and regulatory affairs at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

Webinar to Address CHP in NY, Cali – The Combined Heat and Power (CHP) Association will hold a webinar on Wednesday at 3:00 p.m. looking at CHP Programs in California and New York.  The discussion will center on CHP incentive programs and their practical applications, comparing those in New York with those in California.  The webinar will feature speakers on the programs from NYSERDA and the California Self Generation Incentive Program, as well as speakers from manufacturers of CHP equipment.

House FA Look at Energy Dominican Republic – The House Foreign Affairs Committee’s Subcommittee on the Western Hemisphere will convene a hearing Wednesday at 2:00 p.m. in 2255 Rayburn bolstering economic growth and energy independence with the Dominican Republic.  Witnesses will include AES CEO Andrés Gluski, former OAS Ambassador of the Dominican Republic Roberto Álvarez  and Santiago Canton, Executive Director of RFK Partners for Human Rights.

Resources to Look at Mineral Resources – The House Natural Resources Committee’s Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources will hold an oversight hearing on Wednesday at 2:00 p.m. focused on American metals and mineral security.  The hearing will be an examination of the domestic critical minerals supply and demand chain.  Critical and strategic metals and minerals are fundamental components of technologies and everyday items ranging from cell phones, computers, medical equipment, renewable energy products, high-tech military equipment, building materials, and common household products. The timely and environmentally responsible development of our Nation’s vast supplies of strategic and critical minerals will create good-paying mining jobs, boost local economies, and provide security to America’s economy. This hearing further underscores the need for the Senate to approve H.R. 761, the National Strategic and Critical Minerals Production Act, which passed the House last September and allows the United States to more efficiently develop its strategic and critical minerals that are vital to America’s economic competitiveness.

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.   WCEE will also hold an Energy Happy Hour the night prior at OYA at 777 9th Street.

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.

Former State Official  to Address Carnegie – on Thursday at 9:30 a.m., the Carnegie Endowment will host Ambassador Carlos Pascual to share his perspectives on some of the key energy issues during his tenure at the Bureau of Energy Resources at the State Department, as well as ongoing energy challenges.  Other speakers will include Jessica Tuchman Mathews, Deborah Gordon and Bruce Jones.

CO’s Gardner to Headline Energy Forum – On Thursday at 10:00 a.m., the Heritage Foundation will host Rep Cory Gardner Of Colorado to lead a discussion in how open energy markets will create more opportunities for Americans, promote economic prosperity at home and abroad.  Expanding domestic energy production over the past few years has provided a welcome boost to the American economy. The federal government, however, has constrained the economic benefits by significantly limiting companies’ ability to trade energy freely around the world.  Other speakers include Jamie Webster of IHS, NAM’s Ross Eisenberg and Cato’s Scott Lincicome.

Energy to Hold Nomination Hearing for Dep Energy Sect – The Senate Energy Committee will hold a hearing on Thursday at 10:00 a.m. to examine the nomination of Elizabeth Sherwood-Randall, of California, to be Deputy Secretary of Energy.

House Energy Panel to Look at State Economic Impacts – The House Energy and Committee Committee’s Energy and Power panel will hold a hearing on Thursday at on the economic impacts of state energy policies.  Witnesses will include our friend Bernard Weinstein of the SMU Maguire Energy Institute, as well as Paul Polzin of the University of Montana’s Bureau of Business and Economic Research, Tom Tanton of the Energy and Environment Legal Institute, Manhattan Institute fellow Fred Siegel, Steve Clemmer of the Union of Concerned Scientists and Steve Nadel of the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy

USEA to Focus on China, CCS – On Thursday 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.

CSIS Forum/Study to Look at EPA Rule – On Thursday at 12:30 p.m., the CSIS Energy and National Security Program and the Rhodium Group (RHG) will release the preliminary results from their study on the economic and energy system impacts of EPA’s proposed 111(d) rule – the Clean Power Plan – regulating carbon dioxide from existing power plants. The results from the study will be compared with the economic impacts in the EPA’s regulatory impact analysis, highlighting areas where the modeling results diverge.  CSIS and RHG have partnered to do an initial assessment of the economic impact of future emissions standards that accounts for these broader energy market dynamics and maps impacts by region of the country to help inform key regional and industry stakeholders. The study focuses on the changes to the electric power and energy production that are likely to under the EPA’s proposal, as well as price, demand expenditures and other impacts. The analysis provides a balanced and measured set of estimates of national and regional results to inform ongoing policy deliberations both in Washington and in the states.

Forum to Look at Climate Impacts – The Environmental and Energy Study Institute will hold a briefing on Friday morning in 562 Dirksen to examine the current and projected impacts of climate change in the Northeast and regional efforts to manage these risks. The Northeast is home to approximately 64 million people and is one of the most built-up environments in the world.  The Third National Climate Assessment (NCA), which was released on May 6, projects that climate change will further threaten the region’s environmental, social, and economic systems. While many of the states and municipalities in the Northeast have developed plans to mitigate and adapt to the threats of climate change, implementation is still in the early stages. How have federal, state, and local government initiatives acted to increase resiliency against current and future impacts of climate change? What more can and should be done to reduce these risks?  Speakers for this forum are Radley Horton of the Northeast Climate Science Center (also Convening Lead Author, National Climate Assessment Chapter on the Northeast), HUD advisor Scott Davis, NYC Director of the Office of Recovery and Resiliency Dan Zarrilli and Sam Carter of the Rockefeller Foundation.

FUTURE EVENTS

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.

Chamber to Look at Transportation Sector, Data – Next Monday, July 28th at noon, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce will hold a forum to explore how data is being used in the transportation sector.  the event will feature presenters from both the public and private sectors that utilize data to provide unique services, engage their customers, promote safety and efficiency, and move the world in a different and better way.

DOE to Hold Biomass Forum –  DOE will hold its 7th annual conference Biomass 2014 next Tuesday and Wednesday, focusing on growing the future bioeconomy. Co-hosted with Advanced Biofuels USA, this year’s conference will take place at the Washington Convention Center. As in past years, Biomass 2014 will bring together top government officials and members of Congress—with industry leaders and experts from across the bioenergy supply chain—to continue ongoing dialogue about the critical challenges and key opportunities for the industry. The event will focus on the innovative technologies, priority pathways, financing strategies, and public policies needed to grow the bioeconomy of the future.

McCabe to Speak at NatGas Roundtable – The Natural Gas Roundtable will host Janet McCabe, Acting Assistant Administrator for EPA’s Office of Air and Radiation, at its luncheon Tuesday July 29th.  McCabe will present an overview of the EPA’s Proposed Clean Power Plan.   Immediately following lunch, the Natural Gas Roundtable will host the Washington, DC premier of the film “Breaking Free: How the U.S. is Reducing its Carbon Footprint while Increasing its GDP.” The director of the film, Robin Bossert, will be available to provide background and answer audience questions.

Forum to Look at Climate National Security – Next Tuesday, July 29th at 2:00 p.m., the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars will hold a forum on Climate Change and national security.  The briefing will focus on the key recommendations and consensus points that emerged from June 4th discussion on the topic and highlight the next steps for action.  Speakers will include Craig Gannett of the Henry M. Jackson Foundation, former White House official Alice Hill, Ian Kraucunas of the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, King County, WA Council Chair Larry Phillips and Jonathan White, Oceanographer and Navigator of the Navy and Director of the Navy’s Task Force Climate Change.

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.

CANCELLED Press Club to Host Nigerian President – The National Press Club event hosting Nigeria President Goodluck Jonathan at a NPC luncheon on July 31st has been cancelled because of scheduling conflicts.  Jonathan was to discuss the prospects of Africa’s largest oil producer.

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.

SEJ Conference Set for NOLA – On September 3-7,  the Society of Environmental Journalists will hold its annual Meeting in New Orleans.  Usually later in October, this year the conference comes in early September due to scheduling and availability.  Nonetheless, it will be a great time and feature all the usual events, including the famous Bracewell reception on Thursday night.  Tours will include natgas drilling, chemical corridor, offshore drilling, marshlands and many other tours.  Look for broad panel discussions on the EPA’s GHG rules as well as lots of other great stuff.

Reid Clean Energy Summit Set – Harry Reid’s 7th annual National Clean Energy Summit will bring together clean energy visionaries and leaders, public officials, business executives, energy policy experts, entrepreneurs, investors, citizens, and students, to discuss empowering Americans to develop our massive clean energy supplies, secure greater energy independence, and create jobs.  The day-long clean energy summit will be cosponsored by Senate Majority Leader Reid, the Center for American Progress, the Clean Energy Project, MGM Resorts International, and the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.

 

Energy Update Week of June 16

Friends,

Happy Father’s Day to all out there.  I hope it was a good day for you.  I spent my Father’s Day where else:  a lax tourney.  But yesterday, I was officiating rather than just watching Hannah.  I did make it home in time to watch Martin Kaymer cruise to his big victory at the US Open.   Wow, that Friday the 13th full moon did wonders for him as he delivered a second 65 that led him into the weekend with a nice cushion.  BTW, the last time a full moon on Friday the 13th hit together was in 2000 and it won’t occur again to 2049.

Not to be overshadowed, the LA Kings and San Antonio Spurs won the NHL and NBA championships in 5 games.   The NY Rangers battled hard but the Kings had just two much luck and skill taking 3 OT games.  Meanwhile, the Spurs, a Bracewell Giuliani client mind you, just hammered the two-champ Miami Heat, taking their last three victories by wide margins.  Congrats to my colleague Tullos Wells in San Antonio who gets his 5th NBA championship ring.   Kind of makes all the contract negotiating pains worth it.

This week starts to the run up to the summer solstice, which hits Saturday at 10:51 a.m.  The summer solstice day has the longest period of daylight of the year and is often a day to see how many rounds of golf you can get in in one day.  The week also marks 20 years ago tomorrow since the OJ Simpson slow speed chase occurred, setting off a media reality onslaught/celebrity trial like we have never seen before.

The first round of hearings on the Administration’s new GHG plan for existing power plants begins this week with the Senate Environment hosting former Republican Administration EPA leaders and State AGs, while the House Energy subpanel is hosting current EPA Air Chief Janet McCabe.  And thank goodness, the President mentioned climate change at his UC-Irvine commencement speech because that is want college graduates really want to hear.  Finally on Wednesday, Senate Energy gets to the controversial FERC nomination votes of Cheryl LaFleur and Norman Bay, as well as a vote on Landrieu’s Keystone XL  fast-track bill.

For those of you interested, the Firefly Festival is this weekend in Dover, DE.  Firefly is a 3-day/4-night music extravaganza that this year will feature Foo Fighters, Outkast, Jack Johnson, Imagine Dragons, Beck and many more.  My wife will be attending all 4 nights/3 days with her friends,  leaving me to get the three kids to their lax tourneys in Richmond, Bel Air, MD and Poolesville.  Is it possible they could be any further apart?  I will need to have a lot of the new Godsmack single 1000 Horsepower (just out this past week) to get everywhere I need to be.

Finally, there will likely be no update next week (at least on Monday/Tuesday) because I will be running around like a mad man over the weekend and then will head to Pittsburgh Monday morning early to attend the Society of Environmental Journalists’ Shale Energy Reporting Institute at Carnegie Mellon University.  It will be a great event that includes a great drilling process site tour on Tuesday.   Call with questions.

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

Poll Shows Concerns Over EPA Rule – As you know, I often say polls on climate issues really don’t mean much, especially as my friends In the environmental community have recently touted polls that show overwhelming support for the President’s plan.  Well, the National Mining Association also released a poll last week showing that most Americans (76%) are at least somewhat worried that new regulations proposed by EPA to remove coal-powered electricity from the nation’s energy mix will lead to higher prices for consumers.  The results are consistent with other findings that price increases are a significant driver of Americans’ sentiment about EPA regs and electricity.   I’m just sayin’…

CU Water Studies Look  at Needs, River Basin Impacts – The Colorado University Law School’s Getches-Wilkinson Center for Natural Resources, Energy, and the Environment (GWC) has released two new studies prepared by the GWC’s Colorado River Governance Initiative.  Restoring Sacred Waters: A Guide to Protecting Tribal Non-Consumptive Water Uses in the Colorado River Basin is a detailed review of strategies available to tribes seeking to protect non-consumptive uses of their federal reserved rights. It surveys potential legal and political hurdles that tribes may encounter when applying their rights to instream flows and offers practical strategies derived from case studies the advice of tribal officials on how to surmount these hurdles. Strategies outside of the application of Indian federal reserved rights are also explored, including how federal environmental laws and conservation easements have been used to create additional flows in reservation streams.  The second, Research Needs in the Colorado River Basin, is a synthesis of ideas gained from interviews and reports assessing the state of research post Basin Study, identifying those areas where additional progress is most needed to aid the policy discussions.  Embedded in this effort is an assessment of the role that the academic community can play going forward in addressing any shortcomings.

TX LNG Facility No Impact – FERC said in a draft review on Friday that Cheniere Energy’s proposed liquefied natural gas export terminal in Corpus Christi, Texas, will not cause widespread environmental impact. Public comments on the review will be accepted until August 4th.   The Corpus Christi project will result in a permanent loss of 25 acres of wetlands, but FERC said measures Cheniere plans to take will minimize any further disturbance on wetlands.

State Dept Official to Head to Columbia U – The Center on Global Energy Policy at Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA) said Ambassador Carlos Pascual will be joining the Center in the Fall as a Fellow and Senior Research Scholar.  As a Fellow during the upcoming Fall semester, Pascual will teach a course to students in Columbia’s School of International and Public Affairs as well as generate original research on the geopolitics of energy, including the implications of the recent increased US energy production. He will also help maximize the Center’s policy impact, which in its first year has emerged as a key resource for policymakers, industry, NGOs, and the wider public seeking to get beyond the polarization that often threatens to overwhelm energy debates. Pascual joins Columbia from his most recent position as Special Envoy and Coordinator for International Energy Affairs at the US Department of State. Prior to his appointment by US Secretary of State Clinton, Pascual served as the US Ambassador to Mexico.

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

EIA Head to Keynote International Energy Conference in NYC – Tonight in New York, Adam Sieminski, administrator of the Energy Information Administration will address the international implications of the U.S. energy renaissance at the 37th annual International Association for Energy Economics conference at the New Yorker Hotel.  The conference goes through Wednesday and also features thought leaders across business, government and academia including representatives from Statoil, National Renewable Energy Labs, IMF, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, UC Davis, Baker Hughes, Citi Research, SunEdison and many more. See the Detailed conference schedule here.

Energy to Hold Hydrogen, Fuel Cells Program Merit Review – All this week, the U.S. Department of Energy holds its 2014 Annual Merit Review and Peer Evaluation Meetings (AMR) for the Hydrogen and Fuel Cells Program and the Vehicle Technologies Office at the Marriott Wardman Park.

Public Power Conference Set – The American public Power Assn hold its annual Conference in Denver through Wednesday.  The program features leading political, economic, business and public policy thinkers and public power leaders addressing the critical issues, including the new GHG rules for existing power plants.  ABC News White House correspondent Jon Karl, former Steeler Merril Hoge and former White House CIO Theresa Payton will speak.

Forum to Look at Renewable NatGas Use – Tomorrow, the Greater Washington Region Clean Cities Coalition and Energy Vision will hold an all-day forum discussing extracting value and vehicle fuel from waste using natural gas.

Forum to Look at OAS Climate Issues – The Worldwatch Institute will hold a policy roundtable event tomorrow focused climate change: challenges and opportunities for the Americas.   WWI’s 59th OAS Policy Roundtable will encourage the exchange of experiences to address various issues related to climate change adaptation strategies and its mitigation.

Senate Ag to Highlight Bio-based Products – The Senate Ag Committee will hold a hearing tomorrow at 10:00 a.m. to showcase companies leading the way in manufacturing plastics, chemicals and other materials from plants. The hearing will be followed by an event at which more than 30 companies will showcase technologies that turn biomass into usable materials.  Witnesses will include Scott Vitters of Coca-Cola, Lear’s Ashford Galbreath , Cargill’s Kurtis Miller and Adam Monroe of Novozymes North America among others.

ELI Forum to Discuss US GHG Efforts, Paris – Tomorrow at Noon, the Environmental Law Institute will hold a discussion that will look at likely greenhouse gas reduction efforts for the United States to propose at the 2015 Paris Climate Summit. The expert panel will identify where the United States is in progress towards our current target and how that target might be adjusted in the lead up to the 2015 Paris negotiations. Our panel will also examine the process by which the EU reached its target and ask whether it might be illustrative for the White House and Congress.  Panelists will include former EPA official Bob Sussman, NAM’s Ross Eisenberg, UN Environment Program’s Hilary French, Ned Helme of the Center for Clean Air Policy and WRI’s David Waskow.

Holmstead, Tierney to Address GHG Rule at BPC Forum – On Wednesday at 10:00 a.m., the Bipartisan Policy Center will hold a forum on the new EPA rule on GHGs for existing power plants.  The panel, hosted by our friend and WSJ reporter Amy Harder, will feature my colleague Jeff Holmstead, former Assistant Administrator for Air at EPA, and Sue Tierney, former Assistant Secretary for Policy at DOE.

Forum to Tackle Grid Innovation – The Environmental and Energy Study Institute and the National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA) will hold a briefing on Wednesday at 10:00 a.m. in 428 Russell looking at innovation in electric grid technologies and the opportunity being provided by the Department of Energy’s Quadrennial Energy Review (QER). The QER was launched this January to advance a 21st century energy policy that, among other things, seeks to improve electric grid resilience. The electric grid faces unprecedented threats in the United States, including extreme weather, cyberattack, and physical vulnerabilities which urgently need to be addressed.  Speakers from the Department of Energy (DOE), G&W Electric, Siemens, and Commonwealth Edison will discuss the concept and purpose of the QER and the need to reform our energy policy to strengthen the nation’s electric transmission and distribution grid, as well as the technologies available today that are making it happen.  Speakers for the forum include Rep. Jerry McNerney and DOE’s Karen Wayland, of Energy, among others.

ACORE to Look at Middle Market Renewables – ACORE will hold a teleconference on Wednesday at Noon to discuss investor plans to take advantage of such rapid growth in the renewable energy middle market growth sector.   The renewable energy market is intensifying in 2014 with much of the project development expected in the $10-$100 million middle market range. Investors recognizing the attractive risk and return profile of renewables in this asset class are increasingly deploying infrastructure capital. The webinar will focus not only on percentage returns but will critically detail the fine print; the terms and conditions these investors tie to their capital for renewable projects. The presentation will include recent equity, tax equity and debt pricing and will further describe how all these types of capital are successfully deployed.

Senate Enviro Panel to Host Former EPA Heads, AL AG – The Senate Environment panel  on Clean Air and Nuclear Safety will hear from former EPA chiefs, two academics and Alabama’s attorney general on climate change and the new GHG rules for existing power plants.  Former EPA Administrators Bill Ruckelshaus, Bill Reilly, Lee Thomas and Christine Todd Whitman will join Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange, UCSB Professor Dan Botkin and LSU economist Joe Mason.

House Resources to Look at American Energy Jobs – On Wednesday at 2:00 p.m., the House Resources Committee’s panel on energy will convene an oversight hearing focused on opportunities for states and localities in creating energy jobs.  America’s surge in energy production is fueling an employment boom that’s creating much-needed economic growth in states and local communities. In the past decade, 30 states have experienced a 50 percent surge in jobs indirectly relating to oil and natural gas production and it’s estimated that by 2035 unconventional oil and natural gas production will bring in $2.5 trillion in combined state and federal revenue. For example, revenues from North Dakota’s oil and natural gas production gave the state a $1.6 billion budget surplus in 2012. Witnesses include DeSoto Parish, La. sheriff Rodney Arbuckle, Utah School and Institutional Trust Lands Administration director Kevin Carter,  Lea County, NM vice chairman Commission Ron Black and Phil Hopkins, director of economic and country risk consulting at IHS Global.

House Energy Panel to Look at New GHG Rule – The House Energy and Commerce subpanel on Energy will hold a hearing on President Obama’s new GHG standards for existing power plants on Thursday at 9:30 a.m.  EPA Air Chief Janet McCabe will testify.

Senate Energy Looks at NatGas – The Senate Energy Committee will hold a hearing on Thursday at 2:30 p.m. on natural gas and how to harness the resource for export, domestic consumption, and transportation fuel.    The hearing will address issues surrounding natural gas and would likely feature a mix of government and private-sector witnesses.

API Expert to Discuss Crude Exports – ICF hosts its June Energy Breakfast on Thursday morning at the National Press Club featuring API’s Kyle Isakower, who will address the future of petroleum imports and exports. The discussion will focus on the oil production boom in areas such as the Eagle Ford and Bakken plays, and the potential for increasing U.S. exports and decreasing imports.

Boston Journos to Discuss State of Investigative Journalism – On Thursday, Boston NPR station and WGBH and the New England Center for Investigative Reporting will hold a forum in Boston looking at the role of investigative journalism in today’s rapidly changing media landscape.  A distinguished panel of award-winning journalists will discuss the importance of investigative journalism for our democracy, the lessons learned from Watergate, the role journalists played in exposing the sex abuse scandal in the local Catholic Church, and more.  The panel includes Frontline’s Raney Aronson-Rath, New England Center for Investigative Reporting executive director and managing editor Joe Bergantino, Boston Globe Spotlight Team editor Thomas Farragher and WGBH investigative reporter Phillip Martin.

 

FUTURE EVENTS

SEJ to Host Shale Reporting Seminar – The Society of Environmental Journalists in partnership with Carnegie Mellon will host a shale reporting education seminar at CMU June 22-24th.  The goal of the whole event is to provide a focused group of journalists who cover shale issues with the latest/balanced info. on shale issues.  On Monday, the conference will here from academics, environmental advocates and industrial folks to discuss the many details of the current Shale boom.  The following day they will head out on a rig tour of drilling, production and compressing sites.  See more here.

FERC Commissioners to Address Regional Regulators Conference – The Mid-Atlantic Conference of Regulatory Utilities Commissioners (MACRUC) will hold its 19th  Annual Education Conference on June 22nd through 25th at the Hotel Hershey.  Speakers will include FERC Commissioners John Norris and Phil Moeller, as well as NARUC head Colette Honorable, New Jersey Natural Gas CEO Laurence Downes, Bill Colton of ExxonMobil, Walter Lynch of American Water and Exelon Utilities CEO Denis O’Brien.

Summit to Target Crude By Rail Issues – American Business Conferences will hold a Crude By Rail summit on June 24-25 in Houston to focus specifically on how each stakeholder can cost effectively optimize safety in their operations to restore confidence and promote reliability.  As the only crude by rail event specifically focused on optimizing safety, the Crude By Rail Safety Initiative 2014 host speakers from every key stakeholder group, including regulators, shippers, railroad operators, transloaders and refiners to quantify the cost-impacts of improving the safety of crude by rail operations.  Expert speakers will breakdown railroad strategies for improving safety and shipper strategies for crude testing, classification and transloading, provide a cost-analysis of railcar upgrades, clarify how the emerging regulatory landscape will impact each stakeholder and examine best practice emergency response and hazmat training.

Dingell to Address Press Club Luncheon – The National Press Club will host Rep. John Dingell, the Michigan Democrat who holds the record as the longest-serving U.S. House member ever, for his farewell address on Friday. Dingell announced he will retire at the end of his current term, having been a member of the U.S. House for 58 years, serving alongside 11 presidents. He served as chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee and helped pass legislation including Medicare, the Clean Air Act and the Endangered Species Act.

July 4th Holiday

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.

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.

Energy Update Week of March 24

Friends,

Pools, Pools Pools….Well, in my two pools, I managed to pick every game correctly, except Duke-Mercer.  The problem is some are on one and the rest are on the other… making them average.  A lot of the talk last week was about the Buffett Billion Dollar Challenge which really only took 25 games to blow it up.  The only way anyone would get a perfect bracket this year (or maybe any year nowadays) would be to use the Doc Emmett Brown DeLorean Time machine with the Sports Almanac in it.  Regardless, it was an exciting first four days though with some great surprises.  Back on the horse starting Thursday evening in Memphis with #10 seed Stanford taking on #11 seed Dayton, guaranteeing at least one double-digit seed into the Elite 8. The game to watch may be Friday’s Michigan State-Virginia matchup.

NCAA Hockey brackets for the Frozen Four were announced on Sunday with Minnesota getting the top seed, Boston College, Union (NY) and Wisconsin getting the other regional seeds.   Familiar names (Vermont, Ferris State, Notre Dame, North Dakota, UMass-Lowell, Denver) are in with a couple of surprises like Pittsburgh’s Robert Morris, Colgate and Providence.  Big names are also missing this year including Michigan, Miami, Yale and Boston U.   Action starts Friday in Division I.  Congrats to Green Bay’s St. Norbert College who won the Division III hockey title over the weekend (its third in 4 years) beating UW-Stevens Point 3-1 in Maine.

With Congress returning from a Spring Work period, the hearing schedule is very heavy this week, especially with the usual budget appropriations meetings (there are 11 including visits from Interior’s sally Jewell, EPA Gina McCarthy, NASA, DOE Science and APRA-E and many more).  The policy hearings start tomorrow with Senate Energy holding new Chair Mary Landrieu’s first hearing on energy export issues featuring EIA.  Meanwhile, in the afternoon, the House Energy panel will hold a hearing on Rep. Cory Gardner’s LNG export bill focused on Russia.  On Wednesday, House Foreign Affairs will look at the geopolitical potential of the U.S. oil and gas boom featuring Adm. Dennis Blair and refiner Harold Hamm, and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Director Dan Ashe will be at House Resources to discuss Wildlife and energy.  And Thursday, the Committee’s energy panel will hold a hearing on earthquake science.

For energy policy education, ELI will begin a three-part series tomorrow looking at the legal and regulatory framework and issues in domestic energy production, energy distribution, and energy consumption.  My colleagues Heather Corken and Kirsten Gibbs are among the presenters.  As well, for energy policy fun, WCEE will hold its 33rd Annual “Woman of the Year” event on Wednesday at the Capital Hilton.  GE’s Deb Frodl will be honored and Bracewell has a table(which is rumored to feature Scott Segal).

Finally, two big policy events on Friday.  ACORE will hold its Renewable Energy Policy Forum on Capitol Hill with Energy Secretary Moniz (hosting by our friend Joe Desmond of BrightSource Energy)and EPA’s Gina McCarthy topping the bill.  As well, prior to their NCAA sweet 16 game, the University of Michigan Institute for Manufacturing Leadership and U of M’s Energy Institute will host a forum at the Press Club to discuss the way shale gas is changing the American energy economy, energy security policy and the environment.   The event will be over with plenty of time to watch the game.

Finally, kudos to my friends at Cabot Oil & Gas, who were named #5 on Forbes 2014 list of “Most Trustworthy Companies.” (See below)  Also, this week is the 22nd Environmental Film Festival in Washington, DC.  The theme of the 2014 Festival, “Our Cities, Our Planet,” will examine the challenges posed by Earth’s urban environments and the efforts of the world’s cities to balance environmental and economic needs.

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

 

IN THE NEWS

Forbes Praises Cabot as #5 on Most Trustworthy Companies – Late Friday, Forbes released its list of America’s most trustworthy companies and at #5 on the list (right behind UnderAmour) is Cabot Oil & Gas.  The list was developed James Kaplan, director of proprietary ratings for investment adviser GMI Ratings, after the failure of corporate superpowers Enron and WorldCom.   Each year, GMI Ratings provides Forbes with a list of the 100 Most Trustworthy Companies in America. To develop the ranking, GMI reviews the accounting and governance behaviors of more than 8,000 publicly-traded companies in North America. In assessing each company, GMI considers factors including high risk events, revenue and expense recognition methods, SEC actions, and bankruptcy risk as indicators of a company’s credibility.  Cabot scored #5 just one point behind UnderArmour.  Tops on the list was oil and gas equipment developer Oceaneering International.  Other familiar names include Accenture, Wynn resorts, Tyson Foods and Nordstrom.

SEJ Leaders Hammer EPA over Transparency – Our friends at the Society of the Environmental Journalists unloaded on EPA last week in an op-ed that raised serious concerns about communication delays by EPA in responding to media requests.  SEJ executive Director Beth Parke and FOIA expert Joe Davis wrote: “Journalists frequently report waiting for days and in some cases weeks to get EPA to respond to routine requests for information or interviews.  Parke and Davis added members of the SEJ often are the reporters on the front lines trying to pry information from EPA. They say they have seen an agency that for much of the 1980s and 1990s was considered one of the most open in the federal government become incredibly secretive, especially under the Obama Administration.  “As we celebrate “Sunshine Week,” it’s worth noting that nowadays EPA in many cases simply fails to answer questions posed by journalists on behalf of the public – even some that are routine and non-controversial. When the agency does respond, a favorite tactic is to wait until just before or even after a reporter’s deadline and then mail a short written statement that does not answer the questions.”  Ouch…

New Study Reveals Billions in Higher Energy Costs, Millions of Lost Jobs Analysis from the National Economic Research Associates (NERA) estimates that NRDC’s proposal to reduce carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from existing power plants under Section 111(d) of the Clean Air Act could cost consumers billions in higher energy prices and millions of jobs.  NRDC’s proposal, released in late 2012 and updated last week, has received attention as an approach EPA might follow to regulate CO2 emissions from power plants.  The NERA analysis found that NRDC’s plan could cost consumers $13 billion to $17 billion per year in higher electricity and natural gas prices.  Ratepayers in most states could face double digit electricity price increases.  NRDC’s updated analysis now projects no costs at all.  NERA also found that NRDC’s proposal could cause job losses totaling as high as 2.85 million between 2018 and 2033.  By comparison, NRDC projects that its proposal would increase jobs.  NERA’s projections regarding natural gas also are at odds with NRDC’s analysis.  NRDC projects very little change in natural gas prices, whereas NERA found prices could increase by as much as 16 percent.  As a result, families and businesses could pay as much as $54 billion more for natural gas between 2018 and 2033.  The NERA analysis, sponsored by ACCCE, relies on data and information from the EIA, EPA, North American Electric Reliability Corporation, National Renewable Energy Laboratory, National Environmental Technology Laboratory and MIT.

Experts Debate Divestment Movement – I mentioned another rejection letter from Hamilton College  last week in the fossil fuel divestment debate.  In case you missed it because you were watching NCAA hoops last Thursday, out friends at Yale Environment 360, take on the topic of universities divesting their stock holdings in companies that produce oil, natural gas, or coal? In a Point/Counterpoint debate, activist Bob Massie and economist Robert Stavins face off on this controversial issue. Massie, who heads a group pushing for divestment, argues that because our leaders have repeatedly failed to take action on climate, divestment is one of the few effective strategies remaining. Stavins, a Harvard professor, counters that having universities divest from fossil fuels is merely a feel-good measure that would do nothing to address the problem of climate change. Read their Point/Counterpoint debate.

Heitkamp to Promote CCS Legislation – ND Senator Heidi Heitkamp introduced new major legislation to support a viable path forward for coal.  Heitkamp unveiled the Advanced Clean Coal Technology Investment in Our Nation Act to provide a path forward for coal-fired power well into the future which provides the United States with almost 40% of its electricity. According to Heitkamp, unlike recent proposals by the Obama Administration, the bill helps make it affordable for coal plants to lower their carbon pollution through the use of advanced clean coal technologies. Our friends at POLITICO looked at the bill and say it allocates $2 billion of DOE’s Loan Guarantee Program for fossil energy to coal projects and removes legal barriers keeping companies from getting multiple types of federal assistance. The bill would also boost tax credits for carbon sequestration and set up price supports for companies that sell CO2.

Bozzella to Head Global Automakers – The Association of Global Automakers has selected John Bozzella as its new president, replacing our long-time friend and auto industry veteran Mike Stanton announced his plans to retire early last year.  Bozzella joins the Association from Cerberus, bringing 20 years of experience as a public policy executive with Chrysler and Ford Motor Company.  Prior to his time at Cerberus, John spent five years at Chrysler and DaimlerChrysler leaving as Senior Vice President of External Affairs and Public Policy in 2009.  He is credited for playing a major role mobilizing government support for the significant restructuring of Chrysler.  John also spent 10 years at Ford Motor Company in positions in government and community relations from 1994-2005.

Khosla Venture Failure Undercuts RFS – Vinod Khosla–led KiOR, which makes cellulosic biofuels using woody biomass and non-food feedstocks, will not likely reopen its plant in Columbus, Mississippi it said late last week.  The announcement is another setback for the industry and its efforts to prevent rollbacks in the RFS.  KiOR was expected to make 9 million gallons this year towards RFS goals of 17 million gallons of cellulosic biofuels.

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

Appropriations:

Tomorrow

  • House Approps energy and water panel on DOE’s applied energy funding.  9:30 a.m.  DOE Asst Sects. Smith, Hoffman, Lyons and Danielson testify.
  • House Approps Interior panel on Interior’s budget. Secretary Jewell testifies.  1:30 p.m.
  • House Approps energy and water panel on DOE’s science budget.  2:00 p.m.
  • House Resources’ water and power panel on the budgets of the Bureau of Reclamation, the power marketing administrations and the U.S. Geological Survey’s water program.  2:00 p.m.

Wednesday

  • Sen. Environment on EPA’s budget.  McCarthy Testifies.  10:00 a.m.
  • Sen. Approps Interior panel on Interior’s budget. Secretary Jewell testifies.  9:15 a.m.
  • House Approps energy and water panel on the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers budget. 10:00 a.m.
  • House Science Committee on science agency budgets. OSTP Director John Holdren testifies.  10:00 a.m.
  • House Approps energy and water panel on the Bureau of Reclamation budget. 2:00 p.m.

 

Thursday

  • House Science Committee’s space panel on NASA’s budget.  9:00 a.m.
  • House Approps Commerce Justice Science panel on the National Science Foundation budget. 10:00 a.m.
  • House Approps Interior-EPA panel on EPA budget. EPA’s McCarthy testifies. 10:00 a.m.

Former LLNL Director to Address Nuclear Weapons Challenges – The Nuclear Policy Talks and the Center for International Science and Technology Policy will hold a forum today at 4:00 p.m. at GWU on the nuclear stockpile and modernization challenges facing the Department of Energy.  Parney Albright will speak.  He served as Director of the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) from 2009 – 2013. As director, he was responsible for the management of the Laboratory and also served as President of Lawrence Livermore National Security, LLC. Dr. Albright has extensive experience in executive leadership; policy direction; strategic planning; Congressional and Executive branch interactions; financial and personnel management of large mission-focused science and technology organizations; and research, development, testing, and evaluation of national security technologies and systems. He has a broad and deep understanding of U.S. and international civilian and military requirements, functions, and processes in the national security arena.

Refiners Meeting to Hear from McChrystal, Dobbs – The American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers (AFPM) will hold its annual meeting in Orlando next Sunday through Tuesday. The meeting is the world’s premier refining meeting, assembling key executives and technical experts from refining and marketing organizations worldwide, as well as representatives from associated industries. The general session features high profile speakers who will address current issues of widespread importance to the refining industry. During management and technical sessions, leading industry experts share valuable insights with attendees on major issues, including energy and environmental initiatives, and the latest technological developments impacting refining and petrochemical industry management and performance.  Speakers will include former Commander of U.S. and International Forces in Afghanistan General Stanley McChrystal and Fox News host Lou Dobbs, among many others.

Landrieu to Hold First Hearing on Energy Exports – The Senate Energy Committee will hold new Chair Mary Landrieu’s first hearing tomorrow focused on energy exports. Those testifying include EIA Administrator Adam Sieminski, Lithuanian energy minister Jaroslav Neverovic, NERA’s David Montgomery, former State Department official David Goldwyn and CSIS expert Edward Chow.

House Energy Panel to Discuss Gardner Export Legislation – Speaking of exports, the House Energy panel of the Energy and Commerce Committee will hold a hearing tomorrow at 1:30 p.m. on Rep. Cory Gardner’s bill to approve pending permits to export liquefied natural gas.  Gardner’s bill would immediately authorize approval of export applications currently filed at the Energy Department and expedite future permits. Many supporters are focusing on LNG exports in an attempt to undercut Russian natural gas exports to Ukraine and other countries in Central and Eastern Europe.  Doe’s Paula Gant, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Oil and Natural Gas will testify, as will former Rep. Jim Bacchus, Hungarian Ambassador-at-Large for Energy Security Anita Orbán, Dave Schryver of the American Public Gas Association, CRA’s Ken Ditzel and Montgomery of NERA.

ELI Series to Tackle Energy Issues Framework – ELI will begin a three-part series tomorrow looking at the legal and regulatory framework and issues in domestic energy production, energy distribution, and energy consumption.  The energy market continues to evolve, and this evolution brings with it business opportunities and risks. But energy growth and environmental impacts are increasingly intertwined through complicated federal and state regulations.  The series is a collaborative effort between the American Law Institute and the Environmental Law Institute (ELI) and will include forums on April 8th on Getting Energy to Market and April 22nd on Electricity Consumption.  Tomorrow’s forum will be on the regulatory framework of domestic energy production and will look at the infrastructure and regulatory framework of energy in the US. The session will focus on the federal regulations at play in oil and gas exploration and production, pipeline regulation, and electricity generation. The session will also examine how natural resources are affected during domestic energy production and transportation via pipelines. State analogues to the federal laws at play will also be touched upon.  Panelists will include by Bracewell colleagues Heather Corken Palmer (who will moderate) and Kirstin Gibbs, as well as EEI’s Emily Sanford Fisher, and NRDC’s Noah Long and Kate Sinding.

House Resources to Look at Wildlife, Energy – On Wednesday, the House Committee on Natural Resources will hold an oversight hearing on oversight of the Obama Administration’s enforcement approach for America’s wildlife laws and its impact on domestic energy. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Director Dan Ashe will testify.

House Foreign Affairs to Look at Energy – Also tomorrow, the House Foreign Affairs Committee will hold a hearing at 10:00 a.m. on the geopolitical impacts of U.S. energy.  Admiral Dennis Blair CFR’s Michael Levi and Continental refining head Harold Hamm are among those testifying.

Brookings Panel to Look at Arctic Oil, Gas – The Energy Security Initiative at Brookings will host a discussion on Wednesday at 2:00 p.m. to launch the release of its Policy Brief on how the U.S. can meet the challenges posed by this activity, especially as it assumes Chairmanship of the Arctic Council in 2015.This Policy Brief is the result of a year of research including over 80 interviews with leading Arctic specialists (government, industry, academia, native leaders, and NGOs) across the region.  Heather Conley, director of the Europe Program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies will moderate a discussion with two co-authors of the Brookings policy brief: Charles Ebinger, senior fellow and director of ESI and John Banks, nonresident senior fellow at ESI.

Forum to Look on Transmission – The Environmental and Energy Study Institute and WIRES will start a series of important briefings on Wednesday at 2:00 p.m. in Senate CVC 209 focusing on the modernization of the nation’s critical network of high-voltage transmission. Designed and built well before the digital age to serve more localized customer loads, the “grid” is struggling to support active and increasingly competitive wholesale power markets that now operate regionally. It is often congested or inadequate to deliver domestic energy resources that are not close to customers. Its aging facilities have acknowledged weather and cyber vulnerabilities. Moreover, the planning and regulation of this fundamental infrastructure is complex, often uncoordinated, and slow to produce results. However, despite the combined effects of the recession and greater energy efficiency, the grid will be called upon to serve 30 percent more electrical demand over the next two decades.   Modern transmission is the fundamental enabler of competition, new technologies, and our high standard of living. Upgrading and expanding the system is a priority. Transmission 201 will provide a basic understanding of how the high-voltage system works and then move to key issues affecting the grid: economic regulation; actual siting and permitting of the facilities; the regional markets that transmission supports; and the range of diverse economic, environmental, and operational benefits that transmission provides to the whole electric system and electricity consumers.

POSTPONED – Press Club to Host Philly Mayoral Frontrunner – The National Press Club Newsmakers Committee meeting with Pennsylvania State Senator and leading Philadelphia Mayoral candidate Tony Williams for Wednesday has been POSTPONED because of scheduling conflicts.

Former EIA Director to Address Georgetown – Georgetown University will host former EIA director Jay Hakes to promote his new book A Declaration of Energy Independence on Wednesday at 4:00 p.m. at its Edward Bunn Intercultural Center to discuss has long-term U.S. energy policy been a success or a failure.  Hakes served as director of the Energy Information Agency in the 1990s and recently retired as head of the Carter Presidential Library.   The book takes a nonpartisan approach to fundamental questions and obliterates the political and economic myths.  Hakes combines real facts and solid science with historical context to ask the right questions and propose the best answers. He also adds a seven-point plan for breaking free from the costly energy trap and enhancing American influence abroad. This is an important and timely book for all Americans.

WCEE to Honor GE, Deloitte Energy Leaders – The Women’s Council on Energy and the Environment will hold its 33rd Annual Woman of the Year Reception and Dinner Gala on Wednesday at the Capital Hilton Hotel in Washington DC. WCEE said that its members have voted to honor Deb Frodl, Global Executive Director at GE, ecomagination as WCEE’s 2014 Woman of the Year.  Frodl leads GE’s business strategy and commitment to “accelerate innovation and growth in a resource constrained world through efficient and resilient solutions.”  Committed to encouraging the success of women in her field, Frodl also serves as Executive Champion of the Minneapolis GE Women’s Network and is a member of the Executive Steering Committee for GE Commercial Women. WCEE is also honoring Greg Aliff, Vice Chairman and Senior Partner of Energy Resources at Deloitte LLP, is WCEE’s 2014 Champion.

Chamber Women in Business Summit to Look at Challenges, Leadership – The US Chamber of Commerce’s Center for Women in Business will hold its 3rd annual summit on Thursday at the Chamber to celebrate the successes of businesswomen around the country while also discussing their unique challenges.  The summit will address the importance of finding supportive and reliable networks necessary for success, as well the common roadblocks that women face in accessing and using capital—one of the most common reasons why women’s business dreams lag in comparison to men’s.   Speakers will include Schnitzer Steel CEO Tamara Lundgren, Barnard College President Debora Spar and Kat Cole of Cinnabon, among many others.

Senate Environment Starts Transportation Legislation Review – The full Senate Environment Committee will hold a hearing on Thursday at 9:45 a.m. looking at MAP-21 Reauthorization focusing on state and local perspectives on transportation priorities and funding.

Senate FR to Discuss Power Africa Initiative – The Senate Foreign Relations Committee’s Subcommittee on African Affairs will hold a hearing on Thursday at 10:30 a.m. on the Power Africa Initiative.  Those testifying will include USAID Administrator Earl Gast, Ex-Im Bank Africa Director Rick Angiuoni and OPIC exec Mimi Alemayehou, among others.

LaFleur to Address NatGas Roundtable – The Natural Gas Roundtable will be hosting Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Acting Chairman Cheryl A. LaFleur at its next luncheon at the University Club.  LaFleur was nominated by President Barack Obama to serve as a member of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission in 2010 and confirmed by the U.S. Senate for a term that ends in June 2014. She became Acting Chairman on November 25 of last year

Forum to Look at 5 Years of BC Carbon Tax Policy – Climate Desk, Climate Access, and Bloomberg BNA are partnering to present “The Carbon Tax Return: Lessons Learned From British Columbia’s First Five Years of Taxing Emissions.” A distinguished panel, preceded by a cocktail reception, will take place on Thursday at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre Salon C in Vancouver, British Columbia with doors opening at 5:30 p.m. PDT.  Speakers will include Spencer Chandra Herbert, Environment Critic and Member of the BC Legislative Assembly; Merran Smith, Director, director of Clean Energy Canada; Ross Beaty, Chairman Alterra Power Corp.; and Jeremy Hainsworth, contributor to Bloomberg BNA (BBNA) and the Associated Press.  Our friend Chris Moody will moderate.

McCarthy, Wellinghoff, Trade Assn Heads Headline ACORE Forum – The ACORE National Renewable Energy Policy Forum will be held on Friday in the Kennedy Caucus Room in the Russell Senate Building.  After an opening reception Thursday night at Union Station, the event will feature keynote remarks from EPA’s Gina McCarthy, discussions about policy innovations with Rep. Sander Levin and Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse and outlooks from trade association heads including our friends Michael McAdams of the Advance Biofuels Coalition, Ted Michaels of the Energy Recovery Council, SEIA’s Rhone Resch, AWEA’s Tom Kiernan and several others.   Finally, our friend Joe Desmond of BrightSource Energy will moderate the afternoon keynote session featuring former FERC Chair Jon Wellinghoff, Sen. Mazie Hirano and NV Energy CEO Michael Yackira.

University of Michigan to Host Shale Gas Symposium at Press Club – The University of Michigan Institute for Manufacturing Leadership and the University of Michigan Energy Institute will host a group of leaders in American government agencies, industry, NGOs and academia at the National Press Club on Friday to discuss the way shale gas is changing the American energy economy, energy security policy and the environment.   Shale gas as an energy source poses a huge potential boon to American manufacturers of all stripes, but the relationship between the shale gas boom and U.S. manufacturing competitiveness needs clearer understanding.  The forum will craft recommendations aimed at increasing American manufacturing competitiveness with the utilization of affordable, U.S.-produced shale gas. With an emphasis on the chemical industry and energy-intensive manufacturing sectors, the symposium will also include the perspective of recent studies on price, environmental and health impacts, technology and public acceptance.  The symposium will feature a keynote by Norman Augustine, former Chairman and CEO of Lockheed Martin Corporation. Representatives from the American Chemistry Council, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, steel, aluminum and paper industries, the American Gas Association, the White House, Department of Energy, and the Environmental Defense Fund will also speak.  The forum will end by 4:00 p.m. because the Wolverines play at 7:00 p.m. in the NCAA Midwest Regional Semifinal against Tennessee.

Forum to Look at Renewables, EE Budget – Also on Friday at 3:00 p.m. in 215 Capitol Visitor Center (House side), EESI, in partnership with the House Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Caucus, will hold a briefing on the energy efficiency and renewable energy implications of the fiscal year (FY) 2015 budget proposal released by President Obama on March 4. The $3.9 trillion budget proposal reflects the Administration’s “all of the above” energy strategy as well as its focus on climate change, following the unveiling of the President’s Climate Action Plan in June 2013.  Speakers from the Department of Energy and the Congressional Research Service will give an overview of the budget requests for various clean energy programs, explain budget priorities, and provide context on how these priorities and trends compare to prior years. Speakers include DOE’s Jason Walsh of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, CRS Energy Policy Specialist Fred Sissine and our friend Scott Sklar.

FUTURE EVENTS

CEA Head Furman to Talk Taxes at AEP Forum – Next Monday morning, AEP will hold a forum on the economic effects of territorial taxation.  Council of Economic Advisors head Jason Furman will keynote eth event.  As Congress deliberates business tax reform options, the international aspects often prove most complex. All Group of Eight countries other than the United States have territorial tax systems that exempt 95 to 100 percent of qualified dividends repatriated from foreign subsidiaries.  This half-day conference, cohosted by AEI and the International Tax Policy Forum, will explore the economic effects of territorial taxation. Panelists will use their international experience to examine the effects of international tax rules on base erosion and profit shifting, repatriation of foreign profits, and cross-border mergers and acquisitions and headquarters location. The conference will conclude with a luncheon address by Jason Furman, chairman of the White House Council of Economic Advisers.

Transportation Summit Set – The Transportation Energy Partner’s Energy Independence Summit 2014 will be held on Sunday, March 30th to Wednesday, April 2nd at the Hyatt Regency Crystal City at Reagan National Airport.  The Summit will feature educational sessions and presentations from the nation’s leading clean transportation experts on Federal funding and incentives to promote alternative fuels, vehicles and infrastructure; successful alternative fuels and vehicle projects across the country; and innovative state and local policies and programs that are advancing markets for cleaner fuels and vehicles.

Forum to Look at Converting Fleets to Alt Fuels – EESI and WIRES will host a briefing coordination with Transportation Energy Partners (TEP) and NAFA Fleet Management Association on Tuesday, April 1st at 8:30 a.m. in the CVC Auditorium about the strides public and private sector vehicle fleet managers in nearly every state are making in converting to alternative fuels (e.g., biofuels, electricity, natural gas, propane). This is a chance to learn first-hand about why they are converting their fleets, the challenges they face, and the importance of federal and state incentives in overcoming these challenges.

NIEHS to Hold Forum on Vehicle Emissions – The National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) and the Institute of Medicine are holding a symposium on Tuesday, April 1st at the National Academy of Sciences focused on the health effects of fine particles from vehicle emissions.  The forum will bring together leading researchers and other experts on the sources, extent, mechanics, and health implications of ultra-fine airborne particles to discuss their origins, nature and potential health effects, and to help researchers identify remaining questions. Please join us to learn about the growing body of research that links petroleum-derived particle pollution to a variety of ever larger serious health problems and premature death. While there has been significant research into the origins and effects of larger particles, there is much less known about the nature and effects of ultra-fine particulates (UFPs).

Climate Action Goes to Washington (State) – Continuing its Northwest swing, Climate Desk will host a forum on State action in Washington featuring Governor Jay Inslee on Tuesday April 1st at the University of Washington in Seattle.  The recent agreement between Washington state, British Columbia, Oregon and California to harmonize their climate and energy policies has the potential to not just accelerate greenhouse gas reductions but also catalyze a strong, clean, and resilient economy.  Inslee, along with distinguished industry and climate science leaders will discuss the future of clean energy as part of Climate Desk Live, a partnership between the University of Washington’s College of the Environment, Climate Access, and Climate Desk, sponsored by Bloomberg BNA. Hosted by Chris Mooney, the discussion will cover a range of key climate policy issues from coal terminals, to fuel efficiency standards, to carbon pricing, with an eye toward innovation and new energy solutions.

WAPA Forum to Look at Nissan Cab – The Washington Automotive Press Assn and Nissan North America will host the April WAPA lunch on Wednesday, April  2nd hosting Peter Bedrosian, Senior Manager, Product Planning for a background session to discuss the all-new Nissan NV200 Taxi. You’ll hear how the NV200 made it to service in New York City in October 2013 and also learn about its passenger-friendly features, including USB charging, anti-fatigue seats, panoramic roof with sky views of the city, reduced odors, improved leg room, more cargo space and other conveniences.

Forum to EESI Climate Risks in SW – EESI will hold a briefing on Wednesday April 2nd examining the current and projected impacts of climate change in the Southwest and regional efforts to manage these risks. The Southwest is already the driest and hottest region in the United States, and California is in the midst of a historic drought. The draft Third National Climate Assessment (NCA) – the final version is expected soon – projects that the region’s climate may become even more severe. These changes are having substantial adverse effects on the regional economy and quality of life, forcing local leaders to develop creative solutions to combat drought and other extreme conditions. How can the Southwest best address current impacts while also building climate resiliency to manage risk and foster long-term prosperity?   Speakers for this forum are Eleanor Bastian, Legislative Director for Rep. Diana DeGette; Patrick Gonzalez of the U.S. National Park Service; Chris Treese of the Colorado River District; Margaret Bowman of the Walton Family Foundation and Louis Blumberg of The Nature Conservancy.

WSJ to Host ECO:nomics Forum The Wall Street Journal will host its ECO:nomics Green Business Forum on April 2-4th at the Bacara Resort in Santa Barbara.  Speakers will include AEP‘s Nick Adkins, Edison International’s Ted Craver, Statoil’s Helge Lunde, DOE Loan Guarantee expert Peter Davidson and many more.  Moderators will include our WSJ friends Joe White, Kim Strassel, Russ Gold and Jeff Ball.

Forum to Look at Regional Transmission Issues – Americans for a Clean Energy Grid will hold a series of regionally-focused webinars starting Wednesday, April 2nd at 2:00 p.m. on what’s going on in the world of transmission running from Fall 2013 to Winter 2014. Each webinar will span one hour, featuring presentations by transmission experts from the region in question and a discussion of environmental, economic, and political issues including planning, siting, and cost allocation.  The next webinar in Americans for a Clean Energy Grid’s series of regionally-focused webinars will focus on the West.  Presenters will include NRDC’s Director of Western Transmission Carl Zichella and Xcel’s Stephen Beuning.

Forum to Discuss Greenland, Energy Development – On Thursday, April 3rd at 4:00 p.m., GWU’s IERES and Department of Geography will host Inuuteq Holm Olsen of the Embassy of Denmark to discuss Greenland’s goals with Arctic Energy development and its future plans.  Largely, but not only, due to the effects of climate change, the Arctic is becoming a hot spot on the global agenda. Similarly along those lines, Greenland is seeking to develop its natural resources as it develops politically. In that context, the forces of globalization have reached the Arctic including new emerging powers.

Chamber to Hold Aviation Summit Featuring Airline CEOs – The U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation is hosting 13th Annual Aviation Summit on Thursday, April 3rd in the Walter E. Washington Convention Center.  This forum will bring together top experts and leaders from all sectors of aviation to discuss critical issues facing the industry. This year we will examine one of the least understood topics in aviation: the true costs of flying.  Among the many confirmed speakers will be Delta CEO Richard Anderson, Spirit CEO Ben Baldanza, JetBlue Airways CEO David Barger, former FAA Administrator and Aerospace Industries Association head Marion Blakey and Sir Richard Branson of Virgin Group, among many others.

Forum to Discuss Tax Reforms – AEI and the Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center will hold a forum on Friday, April 4th at 9:00 a.m. focused on the US corporate income tax.  Most argue the tax is deeply flawed, particularly in its treatment of foreign-source income. At this event, Eric Toder of the Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center and AEI’s Alan D. Viard will present a report, funded by the Peter G. Peterson Foundation, explaining that the current corporate income tax system bases tax liability on two concepts that defy easy definition — the source of corporate income and the residence of corporations. Toder and Viard call for structural reform that would either find an internationally agreed-upon way to define those concepts or restructure the tax system so that it no longer relies on them. They will outline two options: seeking international agreement on how to allocate multinational corporations’ income among countries or replacing the corporate income tax with taxation of dividends and accrued capital gains of American shareholders at ordinary income tax rates. Martin A. Sullivan of Tax Analysts and Pamela Olson of PricewaterhouseCoopers will discuss the strengths and weaknesses of both ideas.

House Resources to Look at California Energy Independence – On Friday, April 4th at 9:30 a.m. in 1334 Longworth, the House Natural Resources Committee’s Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources will conduct an oversight hearing on domestic opportunities to reverse California’s growing dependence on foreign oil.  Since 2000, California has experienced a surge in foreign oil imports. Today, California gets 50% of its oil from foreign sources and half of those imports come from the Middle East through the Strait of Hormuz. California’s unemployment is higher than the national average at 8.7 percent, energy prices in California are among the highest in the nation, and California is in the midst of a fiscal crisis. The U.S. Energy Information Administration estimates that California’s Monterey Shale contains over 15 billion barrels of oil – more than estimates of North Dakota’s Bakken Shale.

Energy Bar Conference to Focus on Secure Energy – The Energy Bar Association will hold Its Annual Meeting & Conference on April 8th and 9th in Washington.  The conference will focus on the challenges of generating and delivering energy securely.

FirstEnergy CEO to Address Chamber Leadership Series – The Institute for 21st Century Energy and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation will host its CEO Leadership Series luncheon on Tuesday, April 8th at 11:30 a.m. featuring FirstEnergy President and CEO Anthony Alexander.  The electric utility industry is in a time of unprecedented change.  Alexander’s remarks will focus on some of the regulatory challenges and mandates that are making it more difficult for electric utilities to provide reliable, affordable service to customers.  He also will emphasize the importance of a national energy policy that drives economic expansion, creates jobs, and recognizes the high value that customers place on the use of electricity.

Book Forum To Discuss Sci-Fi Thriller – On Wednesday, April 9th, the Future Tense Book Club will meet at the New America Foundation to discuss Shovel Ready. The novel, by New York Times Magazine culture editor Adam Sternbergh, imagines a near-future New York City that is decaying while the wealthy who remain take refuge in an alternate reality. Our guide to Sternbergh’s engrossing dystopia: a garbage man turned hit man. In a conversation on Slate, Sternbergh’s editor, Zack Wagman, described the book as “noir, detective, sci-fi world-building, speculative dystopia, and just out-and-out thriller.”

Center for Offshore Safety Holds Forum – On April 9th and 10th, the Center for Offshore Safety will hold its 2nd annual safety forum in Houston at the Westin Memorial City.  The Center is focused on promoting the highest levels of safety and environmental protection for offshore drilling, completions and production operations in deepwater Gulf of Mexico. The forum’s agenda has been created to provide an update on progress made by the Center and its cross-industry work groups. The agenda is complemented by interactive panel sessions regarding SEMS implementation and industry, auditor and regulator experiences with the recent SEMS audits. Additionally, senior leadership from the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement and U.S. Coast Guard will provide keynote presentations. The forum is an excellent opportunity to gain an insight and understanding of SEMS, SEMS implementation, SEMS auditing and the work being undertaken by the COS.

UC-Boulder Forum to Look at Climate, Extreme Weather – On April 16th, the University of Colorado-Boulder will hold a forum on how scientists can forecast where extreme events will occur and their severity.   Kathleen Tierney, Director of the CU Boulder’s Natural Hazards Center and Kevin Trenberth from the Climate Analysis Section at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) will join facilitators Dr. Anne Gold of CIRES and Deb Morrison of University Colorado Boulder in an interactive panel discussion.  These experts will cover what communities and governments can do to increase resiliency to extreme weather events and how the scientific community can help prepare citizens and government.

INGAA Head Santa to Discuss Report – ICF International will host our friend Don Santa, President and CEO of the Interstate Natural Gas Association of America (INGAA), on April 17th for its April Energy Breakfast.  Santa will discuss the INGAA Foundation’s new report on dynamics and issues affecting midstream infrastructure development. The report discusses the needs for midstream pipeline infrastructure in North America through 2035 to meet the booming production of natural gas, natural gas liquids (NGL), and petroleum.

FWS to Hold Final Wind, Wildlife Training – On April 23rd at 2:00 p.m., U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will host its final bimonthly training broadcast covering emerging issues and providing direction for wind energy facility planning, development, and operations to avoid impacts to wildlife and their habitat.  The final broadcast of the series will focus on the latest and greatest in research. Host Christy Johnson-Hughes will be joined by Cris Hein of Bat Conservation International and Chad Le Beau and Wally Erickson of WEST, Inc. to share research results and conclusions related to bats, grassland birds, and sage grouse.

PBF, Valero Speaker to Headline Platts Conference – Platts will hold its 3rd Annual North American Refined Products conference in Houston at the Marriott West Loop on May 20th and 21st.  The event explores supply and demand for refined products from the North American PADD regions and the opportunities and challenges in those markets.  Keynote speaker will be Todd O’Malley of PBF Energy.  Other speakers will include Valero’s Richard Grissom.

Kasparov to Speak at Cato Dinner – The Cato Institute will announce its Milton Friedman Prize for Advancing Liberty at its 2014 Biennial Dinner on May 21st at the Waldorf–Astoria Hotel in New York City.  The keynote address will be presented by Garry Kasparov, former Chess champion, Russian Pro-Democracy leader and Global Human-Rights activist.  The Milton Friedman Prize for Advancing Liberty, named in honor of perhaps the greatest champion of liberty in the 20th century, is presented every other year to an individual who has made a significant contribution to advance human freedom. The prize carries a cash award of $250,000.

Energy Update Week of February 3

Friends,

I know many of you are probably just as disappointed as me today after that Super Bowl last night.  What an incredible surprise that Seattle dominated the game as much as they did.  Perhaps the best stat: it is the second consecutive Super Bowl that the 2nd half kickoff was returned for a TD.   And even the Super Bowl commercials seemed to come up a little short, except, as a teenager of the 80s, I though the Radio Shack ad was pretty awesome.  I actually could identify every one of the characters (perhaps I shouldn’t admit that).   I also did think Bruno Mars actually was very good (although I’m still wondering if Anthony Kiedis owns a shirt), but perhaps it was just because the game was so bad.  At least the Caps-Red Wings national TV game earlier in the day was super exciting, with the Caps taking it 6-5 in OT.

The Winter Olympics start on Friday and the international debate over sports, social issues and security rages on.  Some exciting games’ stories will be new events in team figure skating, track star LoLo Jones trading her track spikes for Bobsled ice spikes and excitement of international hockey tournaments featuring many of the world’s best players.   As for Security and Social issues, expect a steady stream of reporting even if no controversies occur.

While the Friday afternoon Keystone decision took a lot of the air out of everything, we now move to the next stage of waiting.  Enough said…by everybody on this issue.   As for something actually much more important, it looks as if this week (as soon as tomorrow), Max Baucus will be confirmed to be the next Ambassador to China, leave the Senate and set off Senate Committee Leadership switch that will move Mary Landrieu to the top spot on Senate Energy, a position she has long coveted (and I’m sure Senate Leaders and environmentalists are a little concerned about).

Lots of good events this week (see below) including a House Energy hearing on TSCA featuring our friend Charlie Drevna, a House Science Committee hearing on Texas and EPA, a Senate EPW hearing on the WV spill and an ELI debate on Thursday focused on regulating emissions outside the facility fenceline under Clean Air Act that features B&G’s Jeff Holmstead and Scott Segal.

Finally, while it was cold and snowy in most of the country, our friends at Waste Management were enjoying beautiful weather in Scottsdale at the WM Phoenix Open, won by Kevin Stadler (his first PGA tour Victory) in a shootout with Bubba Watson over the last few holes.  More importantly, GreenBiz partnered with Waste Management last Thursday to bring together environmental experts and industry pioneers to look at recent innovations that can open new avenues for sustainability.  See the replay here, including a great opening from our friend Barry Caldwell of WM.  Call with questions.

 

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

 

IN THE NEWS

Groups Rollout New Energy Coalition to Track GHG Regs – Executives from a broad cross-section of the U.S. economy launched a new coalition late last week to ensure the Administration’s greenhouse gas regulatory agenda does not harm American jobs and the economy. The event will be at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce featured comments from Chamber Energy Institute Head Karen Harbert, NAM head Jay Timmons, ACCCE CEO Mike Duncan, Mining Assn head Hal Quinn, Portland Cement Assn CEO Greg Scott, Chris Jahn of the Fertilizer Institute and AGA CEO Dave McCurdy.   The coalition to date includes more than 40 members and will be co-chaired by the National Association of Manufacturers and the Chamber of Commerce. Thursday’s conversation will feature perspectives from a variety of industries and stakeholders who will be impacted by the regulations.

Segal on Why Coalition is Necessary, Timely – ERCC Director Scott Segal say the coalition is important and timely, and is glad to be a part of it.

Manufacturer led: While the proposed and soon to be proposed EPA carbon rules are addressed to the power sector, this coalition is led by manufacturing interests who can testify first hand to the essential fact that affordable and reliable power are essential to economic recovery and job creation.

GHG Regs Increase Energy Prices: There is no doubt that carbon regulations will increase energy prices.  Simple math: power plants that capture carbon cost at least 75 percent more than those that do not.  In the past, EPA has held that technologies which increase cost structure by 25 percent are not “adequately demonstrated,” the legal test under the Act.  President Obama was not wrong in 2008 when he said the under certain carbon controls “electricity rates would necessarily skyrocket.”

Income Inequality Matters on Energy: The President was clear about addressing income inequality in the State of the Union address and other speeches.  And yet, the White House-directed effort of impose inflexible carbon caps results in very regressive impacts on those in society least able to afford it.  A March 2009 report presented by the National Community Action Foundation, the National Consumer Law Center, Public Citizen and Friends of the Earth found that under most carbon controls, “there will be a proportional shift among the consumer groups based on fuel and location.” Bills paid by the consumers with significant coal resources “will rapidly become the most expensive. Electric bills make up the majority of low-income household expenditures today.”

Cold Weather Shows Urgency for Reliability:The current cold snap offers a bleak warning to those that would back coal out of the mix entirely, clearly the goal of many in the activist community.  As cold weather continues to bear down on much of the country, the very coal-powered facilities targeted for closure under last year’s EPA rule on toxics have been running at full capacity. Without coal in the marketplace – in other words, if the polar vortex had occurred as soon as next year – inflexible EPA rules might well have caused rolling blackouts at the most dangerous time for families to be without power.  Meanwhile, even with coal accounting for the largest current amount of generation, natural gas prices on the spot market have skyrocketed; imagine the consumer impact if when a cold snap occurs after the EPA carbon rules for the existing plants are in place.

NREL Study Shows Increased Reliability From Wind – Running counter to some past perceptions about wind power, a new National Renewable Energy Laboratory study, in collaboration with the Electric Power Research Institute and the University of Colorado, found that wind power increases grid reliability and brings economic benefits via wind facilities’ active power control. “The study’s key takeaway is that wind energy can act in an equal or superior manner to conventional generation when providing active power control, supporting the system frequency response, and improving reliability,” said Erik Ela, NREL analyst.  Analysts studied multiple power system simulations, control simulations, and field tests at NREL’s National Wind Technology Center to determine how if wind could provide ancillary services in wholesale electricity markets, how wind farms affect system frequency in the Western U.S. grid system, and if using wind farms to actively provide power control to the grid affects turbine performance and structural integrity.  The study adds wind energy can not only support the grid by ramping power output up and down to enhance system reliability, but that using wind farms to provide active power control is economically beneficial, all with negligible damage to the turbines themselves.

DC Think Tanks Rank High on Go To List – Several DC-based think tanks rank high on The Global Go-To Think Tank Index, published by the Think Tanks and Civil Societies Program (TTCSP) at the International Relations Program of the University of Pennsylvania.  The index is the result of an international survey of over 1,950 scholars, public and private donors, policy makers, and journalists who helped rank more than 6,500 think tanks using a set of 18 criteria developed by the TTCSP. It has become the gold standard for think tanks around the world and is widely cited by governments, donors, journals and policymakers as the foremost profile and performance of think tanks in every region of the world.

Top Rankings:  The Brookings Institution ranked top of the Global Think Tank list for the 6th consecutive year, while DC’s Carnegie Endowment for Peace (3rd), Center for Strategic and International Studies – CSIS (4th), Woodrow Wilson Center (10th), Heritage (17th), Cato (18th) and AEI (24th all hit the top 25.  NY’s Council on Foreign Relations (7th) and California’s Rand (8th) each landed in the top 10.

AZ Republic: Feds Looking at Solar Project – With the last couple mentions of solar in our update, our friend Ryan Randazzo at the Arizona Republic reminded me of the interesting reporting they are doing on the Solana Generating Station, the largest solar power plant in Arizona, a few miles west of Gila Bend.  Ryan is reporting that U.S. Department of Labor and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement are investigating subsidiaries of Abengoa, the Spanish company that built the project Randazzo reports that the company faces complaints from more than 20 subcontractors who say they were not paid promptly for roughly $40 million of work building the plant. The Solana Generating Station was completed last year and sells electricity to Arizona Public Service Co., using the proceeds to pay off a $1.45 billion federal loan guarantee.

Heritage Says Coal Jobs Will Hurt States – In recent research, The Heritage Foundation found that in 10 years, employment would fall by 600,000 jobs as a result of higher energy costs. Manufacturing could lose up to 270,000 jobs and the overall gross domestic product would decrease by $2.23 trillion if the Obama Administration follows through with its war on coal.  Breaking down the economic impact at the state level, as the Heritage paper does, shows that much of the country will suffer and America’s manufacturing base will take a huge hit. In fact, manufacturing job losses account for 50% or more of total job losses in seven of the 10 hardest hit states.  Most affected states include West Virginia, Wyoming and Kentucky, but also states like Alabama, Ohio, Iowa and Michigan.

Letter:  22 Sens Raise Concerns About EPA Reg Costs – On Friday, a bipartisan group of 22 U.S. Senators sent a letter to President Obama urging him to consider the enormous costs to American ratepayers as his Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) crafts its carbon standard for existing coal-fueled power plants, a draft of which is expected in June. The letter highlights the significant threats the new regulations pose to American families’ livelihoods, while achieving no foreseeable benefit or gain in addressing global climate change:  “The goal will nonetheless cost consumers in the form of increased prices for energy and anything made, grown, or transported using energy. These new costs will result in less disposable income in families’ pockets. That means less money to spend on groceries, doctors’ visits, and education. In short, low cost energy is critical to human health and welfare.”  New data from the American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity (ACCCE) shows that rising energy costs are indeed disproportionately impacting the most vulnerable and poorest U.S. families. Consider that in Senator Roy Blunt’s (R-MO) home state of Missouri, 200,000 families live well below the poverty line yet spend 66 percent of their income on energy costs. Likewise in Senator Joe Manchin’s home state of West Virginia, 80,000 families live well below the poverty line and spend a staggering 70% of their meager income on energy costs.

Bay Nominated for FERC – Again passing over current commissioners, the President nominated Norman Bay to be the next FERC chair.  Bay is the Director of the Office of Enforcement at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), a position he has held since 2009.  Prior to this, Mr. Bay was a Professor of Law at the University of New Mexico.

AWEA Sees Drop In Capacity – Our friend and know NY Ranger-fan Mark Del Franco at North American Windpower reports as many predicted, the fallout from policy uncertainty led to a big drop in new installed wind capacity in the U.S. last year. AWEA released its U.S. Wind Industry Fourth Quarter 2013 Market Report which showed that 1.084 GW of wind will come online in 2013, a 92% decrease from the 13.131 GW of new capacity installed during the record-breaking year of 2012.  AWEA also said there were more U.S. wind power megawatts under construction than ever in history: Over 12,000 MW (or, 12 GW) of new generating capacity were under construction in 2013, with a record-breaking 10.9 GW starting construction activity during the fourth quarter. The report notes the wind projects under construction could power the equivalent of 3.5 million American homes, or all the households in Iowa, Oklahoma and Kansas.

 

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

Maisano Media Seminar Postponed to February 25 – For those of you focused on media relations and policy communications, I was supposed to be conducting a webinar tomorrow at 1:00 p.m. focused on creating a successful media strategies for the policy environment.  Fortunately or unfortunately, I have had events arise that will cause it to be postponed until Tuesday February 25th.  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.

BGov Transportation Forum to Feature LaHood, Rendell – Bloomberg Government and Building America’s Future will hold a conversation tomorrow at 8:00 a.m. about the transportation challenges in Washington and across the country.  Speakers will include Congressman Bill Shuster (R-PA), Chairman, House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure and Victor Mendez, Acting Deputy Secretary, U.S. Department of Transportation.  Panelists will include former Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, former PA Gov. Ed Rendell and former VA DOT Secretary Sean Connaughton.

Senate Environment Panel to Look at WV Spill – The Senate Environment and Public Works Committee’s water panel will hold a hearing on last month’s West Virginia chemical spill.  The hearing will focus on the safety and security of drinking water supplies, as well as legislation introduced by WV Sen. Joe Manchin and Chair Barbara Boxer.  Witnesses will include West Virginia Secretary of State Natalie Tennant,  WVDEP Secretary Randy Huffman, NRDC’s Erik Olson, Brent Fewell of United Water, Putnam, WV Public Service District GM Michael W. McNulty  and International Liquid Terminals Association rep Peter Weaver.

House Energy Panel to Look at TSCA – The House Energy and Commerce Committee’s Environment and the Economy panel will hold a hearing tomorrow on chemical testing and the reporting and retention of information under the Toxic Substances Control Act.  Witnesses will include American Fuel and Petrochemical Manufacturers President Charles Drevna, Beth Bosley of Boron Specialties, Jerry Paulson of the American Academy of Pediatrics and NRDC scientist Jennifer Sass, among others.

Forum to Look at State of Chesapeake Bay – The Environmental Law Society will hold a forum at American University’s Washington College of Law tomorrow at Noon to look at the state of the Chesapeake Bay.  In 2010, the EPA embarked on an aggressive cleanup effort aimed at limiting the amount of nutrient pollution that flows into the Chesapeake Bay. The farming industry challenged the EPA’s authority under the Clean Water Act to require “pollution diets” in addition to procedural challenges. Panelists will comment on the litigation, the EPA’s expanding role in managing watershed and pollution diets, and the implications of a positive ruling on the implementation of similar plans in the Mississippi Delta

Forum to Look at Wind, Smart Grid –The Johns Hopkins University’s African Studies program will hold a Forum tomorrow at 12:30 p.m. on wind power, smart grid and the evolution of the U.S. electricity system.  Elizabeth Wilson, associate professor of energy, environmental policy and law at the University of Minnesota, will present.

Rogers, Binz Headline Brookings Utility Forum – The Brookings Energy Security Initiative will host Brookings Trustee and former Duke CEO Jim Rogers and ESI Nonresident Senior Fellows Mike Chesser and Ron Binz tomorrow at 1:00 p.m. to discuss the future of the electric utility industry, including regulatory challenges, implications for customers and impact on utility strategy.   The existing utility business model is under threat globally. Major transformative trends in the U.S., Europe, Australia and elsewhere are affecting the relationship between utilities and customers, creating opportunities for a wide array of new, non-utility players. Some call this “disintermediation” or “edge power,” where services such as data analytics, distributed generation, storage, demand response, energy efficiency, and financing are provided by non-utility entities along the value chain from generation to customer end-use. How are utilities reacting and what future utility business models could emerge?

NASEO Policy Outlook Conference Set for DC – The National Assn of state Energy Officials will hold its 2014 Energy Policy Outlook Conference at the Fairmont on tomorrow through Friday.   The conference will focus on the energy and economic opportunity in modernizing the nation’s energy infrastructure—electric grid, pipelines, buildings, and transportation—to achieve a more resilient, sustainable, and energy efficient future.   The need to modernize our aging energy infrastructure is among the most important global competitive challenges facing the United States.  Our energy system is being stressed in order to meet complex operational demands, such as grid integration, shifts in resources and energy flows, cybersecurity, and an infusion of digital technologies across every sector of the economy.

ACORE Forum to Look at Alcohol Fuels – The American Council on Renewable Energy will hold a forum tomorrow at 2:00 p.m. looking at the Alcohol Fuels Alliance.  Last November, at the Bloomberg Fuel Choices Summit, Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced with senior representatives from the US, China and Brazil the creation of the Joint Alcohol Fuels Alliance (JAFA) with the goal of advancing cooperation among alcohol fuel producing and consuming countries in all matters related to alcohol fuel blending. The creation of JAFA followed the recommendation of the US Energy Security Council’s report “Fuel Choices for American Prosperity” advocating stronger multinational collaboration among the major alcohol fuel blenders – the US, China and Brazil.

Press Club Congressional Dinner Set – The Washington Press Club Foundation holds its 70th Annual Congressional Dinner on Wednesday in the evening at The Mandarin Oriental Hotel’s Grand Ballroom Concourse.

House Science to Discuss Texas, EPA Battle – The House Science Committee weighs into EPA-Texas battle this week with a hearing Wednesday  on the science of the EPA’s effort.  Witnesses will include Texas Railroad Commissioner David Porter, TCEQ Chair Bryan Shaw, Chairman, Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, Texas Farm Bureau President Ken Dierschke, EDF’s Elena Craft, and SMU Maguire Energy Institute Associate Director Bernard Weinstein.

ELI Panel to Look at 2014 Enviro Agenda – The Environmental Law Institute will hold an ELI Research Seminar Wednesday at Noon to discuss of what effects the next Obama Administration will have on environmental law, policy, and practice in 2014. Four expert practitioners will have an “inside-baseball” discussion about upcoming policies and regulatory agendas at the Environmental Protection Agency, the Department of Justice, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, and the Department of Interior, among other regulatory agencies.  Panelists will include former EPA GC Scott Fulton, former White House CEQ expert Gary Guzy, former FERC enforcement expert Sheila Slocum Hollis and Bill Meadows of the Wilderness Society.

RFF to Discuss Unconventional Ideas For Resources – Resources For the Future (RFF) will hold its February First Wednesday Seminar on Wednesday at 12:45 p.m.  Demographers emphasize that the population growth rate has steadily declined over the last four decades and is expected to continue declining at a rapid rate. What does this demographic phenomenon signify for demands on natural resources and ecological systems? What other factors may concurrently come into play? This moderated panel discussion will draw on the emerging insight that humankind may be in the era of the “Anthropocene,” prompting us to reconsider interrelationships among people, resources, ecology, and the way public policies shape these linkages. The State Department’s Jack Bobo will discuss some of the key demographic trends. UMBC Professor Erle Ellis, who has developed the still more recent concept of the “anthrome,” will discuss implications for ecological systems, including whether the potential to conserve biodiversity may, paradoxically, be increased by rapid urbanization and more intensive use of agricultural land. Roger Sedjo and Joel Darmstadter will emphasize the joint influence of markets and policy intervention, particularly in the cases of forests, agriculture, and energy.

Brookings to Focus on Energy, Security – On Wednesday, the Energy Security Initiative (ESI) at Brookings will host a forum on energy and security strategies featuring former State Dept official David Goldwyn, Chevron’s  Jan Kalicki, Phillip Van Niekerk and Charles McPherson.  They will share their views on the new edition of the Woodrow Wilson Center Press and Johns Hopkins University Press Energy and Security: Toward a New Foreign Policy Strategy, a policy primer focusing on all aspects of energy policy.  The panel will address topics such as energy governance and transparency and new developments in African energy. Senior Fellow Charles Ebinger, director of ESI, will provide introductory remarks and then moderate a discussion..

POLITICO Forum to Discuss 2014 Energy Issues – POLITICO will host an in-depth look at the landscape for energy policy in 2014 and the implications for Congress and the administration on Thursday at 8:00 am at the Hyatt Regency Capitol Hill.  Special Guests will include Sens. John Barrasso and Sheldon Whitehouse as well as Reps. Joe Barton, Diana DeGette, Gene Green and John Shimkus.

Brookings to Look at China, Clean Energy – On Thursday at 10:00 a.m. , the John L. Thornton China Center at Brookings will host a panel discussion to evaluate China’s changing energy priorities and policies, their implications for U.S.-China energy cooperation and the growing demand and prospects for China’s energy future.   Speakers will include Charles Ebinger of Brookings, WRI’s Sarah Forbes, Tufts University’s Kelly Sims Gallagher and CSIS expert Jane Nakano.

Sustainable Energy Factbook Released – Bloomberg New Energy Finance & the Business Council for Sustainable Energy will release the 2014 Sustainable Energy in America Factbook on Thursday, February 6th at Noon.   Over the past five years, the US economy has continued its shift to the increased production and consumption of lower-carbon energy. Join Bloomberg New Energy Finance and the Business Council for Sustainable Energy for the release of the Sustainable Energy in America Factbook to find out more about what happened in this complex US energy transformation in 2013 and the reasons why.  In 2013, some clean energy technologies solidified their market shares and gained traction while others were stymied by stalled policy activity that could have propelled further growth. The second edition of the Factbook will detail this and other trends while offering fresh analysis of the “state of sustainable energy” in the United States.  The Factbook includes new data on 1) Clean energy investment and deployment levels in the states; 2) Energy efficiency, biomass, biogas, and waste-to-energy industries ; 3) Smart technologies that aim to improve productivity and lower costs for consumers and businesses; and 4) Emerging trends such as “resilient” energy infrastructure and distributed generation.  The Factbook is an objective and quantitative report that provides up-to-date (through year-end 2013), accurate market intelligence about the broad range of industries – energy efficiency, renewable energy and natural gas – that are contributing to the country’s rapid shifts in energy production, distribution and use.  These sectors are no longer sources of “alternative” energy, but are quickly embedding themselves into the mainstream fabric of the US energy economy.

Segal, Holmstead Featured in ELI Debate on GHG Issues – The Environmental Law Institute will host a debate on Thursday at 12:00 p.m. regulating emissions outside the facility fenceline under Clean Air Act Section 111. Whether U.S. EPA and states can regulate emissions outside the facility fenceline is a critical factor in shaping the regulatory response to climate change using Clean Air Act Section 111. There has been much rhetoric about the ability of states and EPA to create regulatory tools such as a emissions trading of greenhouse gasses, but policy experts and professionals need a more definitive answer.  To address this topic, ELI announces its second seminar in a debate format. Loosely following an academic debate structure, two expert teams will argue the resolution, ask questions of the other side, and identify points of agreement and disagreement. Following the debate, the discussion will open to audience questions. We hope this format will help to crystallize issues and separate fact from rhetoric.  Debaters in the AFFIRMATIVE include Megan Ceronsky of EDF and NRDC’s David Doniger while debaters in the NEGATIVE will include Bracewell’s Jeffrey Holmstead and Scott Segal.

Panel to Look Russia, Arctic – George Washington University’s Institute for European, Russian and Eurasian Studies (IERES) will hold a forum on Thursday at 4:00 p.m. on Russian’s Arctic strategies.  The purpose of Russia’s Arctic Strategies and the Future of the Far North is to offer a comprehensive assessment of Russia’s strategy in the Arctic including climate change, territorial disputes, military prestige, economic resources, and regional development. It investigates the multiple facets making Arctic questions a revelatory prism through which to view Russia’s current changes and future challenges, and attempts to assemble them into a coherent whole.  Panelists include Heather Conley of CSIS, Caitlyn Antrim of the Rule of Law Committee for the Oceans and Timothy Heleniak of the American Geographical Society.

 

FUTURE EVENTS

NARUC Winter Meetings Set – The National Assn of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC) will host its Winter Meetings on February 9th through 12th at the Renaissance Washington Hotel.  Five U.S. senators and two cabinet secretaries will address a gathering of State utility regulators.  Sens. Lamar Alexander of Tennessee, Mary Landrieu of Louisiana, Joe Manchin of West Virginia, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, and Mark Pryor of Arkansas will speak during the morning general session on Tuesday, February 11th. U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx will deliver a keynote address at the Opening General Session Monday, February 10th.  Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz will speak at the closing session on Wednesday, February 12th. Dan Utech, director for Energy and Climate Change at the White House, will join Secretary Moniz. Also, EPA Air office head Janet McCabe will participate in a panel discussion on Tuesday.  Other speakers include EPRI CEO Mike Howard, Edison Electric Institute Executive Vice President of Business Operations David Owens, NRDC Energy Program Co-Director Ralph Cavanagh, and many more.  The cross-cutting agenda will feature discussions on net-neutrality, climate policy, energy efficiency, renewable energy development, gas pipeline safety, telecommunications legislative policy, and distributed generation and the smart grid, among other topics.

NARUC, FERC to Discuss Resources – In addition to the NARUC Winter meeting, the NARUC and Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Sunday Morning Collaborative will discuss resource adequacy issues on Sunday, February 9th. FERC commissioners will also join the NARUC Committees on Electricity and Energy Resources and the Environment for a joint meeting Tuesday, February 11th.

CSIS to Look at Oil Exports – The CSIS Energy and National Security Program will a conference next Monday morning at 9:30 a.m. to examine the impact of surging domestic crude oil production on the potential for changing current policy restricting crude oil exports. As the price differential between domestic and international crudes remains wide, producers have become more vocal about their desire for a less restrictive export system. Recently, leading producer appeals have been joined by calls for reform from Washington, including from Ranking Member of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee Lisa Murkowski, and Senate Democratic ENR Committee member Mary Landrieu.   As the debate about crude oil exports heats up, many questions remain. Why have crude exports become an issue, and what are the consequences of inaction? The panelists will present their assessments of the market impact restricting or allowing crude exports.  They include our friend Kevin Book of ClearView Energy and several others

Cato to Hold Event on Oil Exports – The Cato Institute will hold a forum next Monday at 10:00 a.m. on oil exports featuring former Rep. James Bacchus, International Trade Attorney Scott Lincicome and Mark Perry, Professor of Economics, University of Michigan–Flint.  Cato’s Daniel Ikenson will moderate.  , Director, Herbert A. Stiefel Center for Trade Policy Studies, Cato Institute.  A once-in-a-generation supply shock is transforming global energy markets, lowering crude oil and natural gas prices, and quickly making the United States the world’s largest producer of oil and gas. But energy politics threatens to short-circuit this American economic boom. Of immediate concern are federal regulations — in particular, discretionary export-licensing systems for natural gas and crude oil — that were implemented during the 1970s, an era of energy scarcity. By restricting exports and subjecting approvals to the whims of politicians, the current licensing systems distort energy prices and deter investment and employment in these promising sectors of the U.S. economy. They also irritate global trading partners, likely violate U.S. trade treaty obligations, and undermine other U.S. policy objectives.

Good Job, Green Jobs Conference Set – The Alliance to Save Energy will hold Its Good Jobs, Green Jobs Conference in Washington at the Washington Hilton Hotel next Monday and Tuesday.  It is the event where jobs and the environment meet, and it will feature keynote speakers, informative workshops, and opportunities to network with people from around the country making a difference in their communities tackling climate change and creating jobs.  This year’s Conference is focused on repairing the systems Americans rely on every day. Whether getting us back and forth to work, supplying our power, keeping us safe from storms and floods, communicating with police and fire during emergencies, or ensuring the institutions where our children learn are safe and healthy, we need to repair these systems today to create quality, family-sustaining jobs, to address the threat of climate change, and to ensure the health and safety of our workplaces and our communities.  Speakers will include Gina McCarthy, Sens. Amy Klobuchar and Jeff Merkley, AFL-CIO head Richard Trumpka, NRDC’s Frances Beinecke, Sierra Club’s Michael Brune and Leo Gerard of the United Steelworkers, among others.

Forum to Look at Conservative, Environmental Issues – The R Street Institute will Hold a half-day forum on Monday, February 10th at The Loft on Conservative Environmentalism. Twenty-five years after President Reagan left office, conservatives find themselves in an often bitter fight with the left over environmental policy. From green energy to the Keystone pipeline to public land management, the right and the left are frequently at odds over the best approach to secure both wise environmental stewardship and strong economic growth.   At this half-day conference, two panels will examine these questions. The first will discuss President Reagan’s environmental legacy, including the Coastal Barrier Resources Act, the 1986 Water Resources Development Act, and Reagan’s public lands designations. It will draw out the president’s guiding principles and examine the positive and negative aspects of each policy.  The second panel will discuss free-market solutions to today’s issues, including energy research, stormwater runoff, the state of the Coastal Barrier Resources System, and the Gulf Coast in the wake of the BP oil spill. How should federal and state officials think about these problems? The conference will end with a lunch keynote by environmental policy expert and Reagan historian Steven Hayward.

Market Experts to Tackle Crude Exports Question – CSIS’s North American Oil and Gas Infrastructure Working Group will hold a forum on Monday, February 10th at 9:30 a.m. looking at crude oil export market drivers and near-term implications.  This session will examine the impact of surging domestic crude oil production on the potential for changing current policy restricting crude oil exports. As the price differential between domestic and international crudes remains wide, producers have become more vocal about their desire for a less restrictive export system. Recently, leading producer appeals have been joined by calls for reform from Washington, including from Ranking Member of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee Lisa Murkowski, and Senate Democratic ENR Committee member Mary Landrieu.  As the debate about crude oil exports heats up, many questions remain. Why have crude exports become an issue, and what are the consequences of inaction? The panelists will present their assessments of the market impact restricting or allowing crude exports. A discussion will follow with speakers Roger Diwan of IHS Energy Insight, Citi Research’s Ed Morse, Kevin Book of ClearView Energy Partners and Michael Cohen of Barclays.

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.

Markey to Speak at Film Festival on Uranium – The Heinrich Böll Foundation and the Goethe-Institute are hosting the International Uranium Film Festival in Washington DC on Monday and Tuesday.  Climate change, energy security and demographics continue to determine the global development agenda well into the twenty-first century. At the same time, the nuclear industry portrays nuclear as a viable and secure solution to those challenges, and mining companies are constantly looking for new uranium deposits. Yet, nuclear accidents do happen, and when they do, have most devastating effects on local and regional populations. The featured movies will highlight some of those personal stories and will include the film Nuclear Savage, footage never seen before in the US.  The International Uranium Film Festival is the first festival of its kind that addresses the problems and challenges related to nuclear and radioactive issues. After premiering in Rio de Janeiro in 2011, the festival has traveled to major cities around the world, including São Paulo, Recife, Salvador & Fortaleza in Brazil; Lisbon and Porto in Portugal; Berlin and Munich in Germany; and ten major cities in India including New Delhi, Hyderabad and Mumbai. The festival is now – for the first time – coming to Washington DC.  Screenings will take place on three consecutive nights, followed by a panel discussion featuring film directors and policy experts, including Sen. Ed Markey.

Forum to Look at Solar Jobs – The Environmental and Energy Study Institute (EESI) will hold a forum on Tuesday February 11th at 2:30 p.m. looking at the Solar Foundation’s National Solar Jobs Census 2013, which found record growth in the U.S. solar industry.  The Census, which is based on over 75,000 phone calls and emails to solar industry employers, determined that the solar industry grew at ten times the national average last year, creating 24,000 new jobs. Survey respondents cited declining equipment costs as the primary driver behind the industry’s remarkable growth and were optimistic about creating new jobs in 2014. Since the start of the annual Census in 2010, U.S. solar industry employment has increased 53 percent and now employs more than 142,000 Americans. Speakers will include Rep. Anna Eshoo, Andrea Luecke of the Solar Foundation, Amit Ronen of the GW Solar Institute and DOE’s Jason Walsh.

Moniz, The Fray to Open Ivanpah Solar Project – NRG Energy, BrightSource, Google and Bechtel will hold a grand opening of the Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System on February 12th and February 13th in Las Vegas.  Ivanpah, the world’s largest solar thermal project, which is located in the Mojave Desert near the California-Nevada border, uses 347,000 sunfacing mirrors to produce 392 Megawatts of electricity – enough clean energy to power more than 140,000 California homes.  The event will feature a first look at Ivanpah during the two-day event.  There will be a dinner on Wednesday followed by tour, ribbon cutting and lunch on Thursday.  U.S. Secretary of Energy Dr. Ernest Moniz will be the keynote speaker and there will be an appearance by Grammy-nominated band The Fray. Images used in the lyric video for “Love Don’t Die,” the first song released from the Fray’s album, Helios, were shot at Ivanpah.

GreenBiz Forum Set for AZ – The GreenBiz Forum 2014 will be held on February 18-20th at the Montelucia Resort & Spa in Arizona.  Presented in partnership with The Sustainability Consortium and ASU’s Global Institute of Sustainability, the sixth annual GreenBiz Forum defines the trends, challenges and opportunities in sustainable business now. The Forum is framed by the annual State of Green Business report, the seventh annual edition of GreenBiz’s acclaimed accounting of key sustainability metrics and trends.

RFA Conference to Tackle Challenges to Ethanol – The Renewable Fuels Association will hold the 19th annual National Ethanol Conference at the JW Marriott in Orlando, Florida on February 17th through 19th.  Among the number of issues panels and forum, on Tuesday, February 18th, Led Zeppelin 2, a premier Led Zeppelin cover band, will play at the event.

CSIS to Tackle NatGas Supply, Demand Issues – The CSIS Energy and National Security Program will hold a forum on Tuesday February 18th offering a reassessment of gas supply and demand prospects as well as a discussion of the path forward. More efficient drilling, new technologies, and a deeper geological understanding have not only increased access to domestic gas resources but have also allowed for the development of an updated profile of the resource itself. The rapidly evolving nature of U.S. unconventional gas development has rendered resource estimates made only a few years ago already out of date. At the same time, opportunities for new demand growth have also increased. Yet challenges to realizing the full potential of this resource remain.

Moniz to Address Press Club Luncheon – U.S. Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz will speak at the National Press Club Luncheon on Wednesday, February  19th at 12:30 p.m.  Moniz, the former MIT faculty member and this years designated SOTU “survivor” is wrestling with the challenges posed by unprecedented domestic supplies of energy and the demands in some quarters to push for more exports.  He will address that and many other topics.

Chamber Sets Transpo Summit – On February 20th, 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.

Interior Sects, former WY Gov Headline CO Law Forum – The University of Colorado Law School will host the inaugural Martz Winter Symposium on February 27th and 28th in Boulder.  People from different disciplines and backgrounds will discuss the specific challenges confronting efforts to operationalize sustainability in the context of natural resource industries. The symposium will discuss the idea of sustainability and how it is taking shape in particular places and sectors; rigorously explore current efforts to re-organize certain business practices under the rubric of sustainability; and endeavor to identify practical, meaningful actions to deepen ongoing efforts to make sustainability a central tenet of our economic, social, and environmental future.  Speakers will include Jeff Bingaman, former Chair of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee and U.S. Senator from New Mexico, Deputy Secretary of the Interior Designate Michael Connor, former Governor of Wyoming Dave Freudenthal, former Interior Secretaries Gale Norton and Ken Salazar.

CA Clean Energy Roundtable Set – The Environmental Markets Association and PG&E will hold the first Thought Leader Round Table of 2014 on Friday, February 28th in San Francisco at the offices of PG&E.   EMA’s Regional Round Tables are designed to promote open discussions between industry professionals and regulatory officials. With 30-50 attendees at each of the Round Tables, presenters and attendees come away with a new knowledge and understanding of issues and potential solutions.

AWC Speakers to Address Offshore Wind Conference in Boston – The 5th annual Green Power Offshore Wind Conference will be held in Boston, Mass on February 26th and 27th at the Hynes Conference Center.  Speakers will include AWC exec Bob Mitchell and AWC funder John Breckenridge of Bregal Energy.  Other speakers are Interior’s Tommy Beaudreau and DOE’s Dan Poneman and Peter Davidson, as well as Jim Gordon of Cape Wind, Jeff Grybowski of Deepwater and Abby Hopper of the Maryland Energy Administration.

CERA Week Set – March 3-7th will be CERA week in Houston.

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. Speakers will include former Louisiana Sen. And Energy Committee Chair  J. Bennett Johnston, former National Security Advisor,  Robert McFarlane and  former President of Shell John Hofmeister.