Hope everyone had a great Passover and Easter. It is not that rare that the religious dates occur in the same weekend and in fact 2015, this year, next year and 2020 all feature the Passover/Easter dates in the same weekend.
There is a new hero for NCAA Final Four lore: Notre Dame’s Arike Ogunbowale. The Notre Dame junior sunk UConn on Friday night in OT with a last second shot, then yesterday hit a fade away 3-pointer at the buzzer to sink Mississippi State, giving Notre Dame the national title. Meanwhile, Villanova dominated Kansas with outstanding shooting and Michigan ended Loyola’s miracle run by erasing a 10-point second half deficit to set up tonight’s title match in San Antonio. Tip-off is at 9:20 p.m. Finally, it is Master’s Week. Practice rounds today and tomorrow, Par 3 Contest on Wednesday, tee off on Thursday. See the full schedule here. Finally, on Thursday, the puck drops on the NCAA’s Frozen Four in St. Paul, MN with Michigan taking on Notre Dame and Ohio State facing off with Minnesota-Dulute (I know it is Duluth, but that’s how you say it!).
White House Easter Egg Roll today but still some action despite Congress being on the District Work Period for another week. EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt is expected to formally announce a change in the Obama-era fuel economy standards. Pruitt will likely make the announcement at an event at Pohanka Chevrolet in Chantilly, Va.—a dealership that’s part of the Pohanka Automotive Group led by Geoffrey Pohanka, a member of the National Automobile Dealers Association‘s board of directors. My colleague Ed Krenik is working with NADA and he is a former EPA Congressional affairs liaison. Also, if you are covering the fuel economy issue, my friends at SAFE are also a great resource on the topic. Call Bridget Bartol at SAFE at 202-461-2361 or c: 954-594-0689.
Also, starting tomorrow, offshore wind energy executives will dive into how the industry is growing both in the U.S. and globally at the International Offshore Wind Partnering Forum in Princeton, N.J. Among the speakers are Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke and NJ Gov. Phil Murphy.
Finally, more than 20 energy groups including our friends at Clearpath, the Chamber’s Global Energy Institute and the Bipartisan Policy Center sent letters today to Senate and House Appropriations leaders to urge them to establish strategic goals for DOE’s energy innovation programs in the FY 2019 budget, specifically calling attention to research and development.
Call with questions. Best,
c. (202) 997-5932
“The robust global economy pushed up energy demand last year, which was mostly met by fossil fuels, while renewables made impressive strides.”
Dr. Fatih Birol, IEA’s Executive Director announcing its Global Energy and CO2 Status Report, 2017
ON THE POD
Bracewell Podcast Focuses on Trade – The latest Bracewell podcast is live on Stitcher, iTunes, SoundCloud, and Google Play Music. Former top college debater and PRG Researcher Ezra Louvis joins The Lobby Shop for the first time to discuss last week’s National Debate Tournament and the world of policy debate, a competitive activity that is a feature on the resumes of many Congress Members and top lobbyists. Josh Zive – one of the NDT judges, also peppers in quick updates on the newly imposed steel and aluminum tariffs, which we’ll cover in-depth in the coming weeks.
WSJ Weighs in on CPSC—The Wall Street Journal says in an editorial that Senate should restore some balance by confirming Consumer Product Safety Commissioners Ann Buerkle and Dana Baiocco to give the Republicans its majority on the Commission. The WSJ Ed board says they should do it before the agency does more harm.
USA Today: Experts Say AVs Will Improve Safety – In an opinion piece in the USA Today, former National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) Mark Rosenker and Securing America’s Future Energy (SAFE) Autonomous Vehicles and Mobility Innovation expert Amitai Bin-Nun argue the tragic accident in Arizona, when an Uber self-driving car killed a pedestrian, highlights complex ethical questions that companies face as they develop self-driving cars in an environment that lacks a detailed federal framework.
IN THE NEWS
China Hits Back on Tariffs – China is moving forward today with a plan to counter President Trump’s new tariffs on steel and aluminum, levying duties on more than $3 billion in U.S. exports to the country, including agricultural Products and ethanol. The Chinese government said it would impose the retaliatory tariffs on 128 products including a 15% tariff increase on goods including American fruit and nuts and a 25% tariff on pork, recycled aluminum and other goods.
DTE to Expand Renewable – DTE Energy has submitted its 2018 Renewable Energy Plan to the Michigan Public Service Commission (MPSC) proposing approximately 1,000 additional megawatts of carbon-free electricity from new wind and solar projects in Michigan scheduled to be completed by 2022. If approved, these new renewable energy projects would drive investment of more than $1.7 billion in Michigan and double DTE’s renewable energy capacity from 1,000 megawatts to 2,000 megawatts – enough clean energy to power over 800,000 homes. The company in June 2016 also outlined plans to close eight coal-fired units at three of its Michigan sites over the next seven years. In 2016, the company supplied 60% of its power from coal. DTE’s new renewable plan includes about 1,000 additional megawatts of zero-carbon electricity, including several new wind parks slated to come online in the next few years. The utility also intends to add 15 megawatts of solar power in Michigan over the next three years.
Gerard Heads to Salt Lake City, Mormon Church – A number of us predicted this, but API President Jack Gerard said he will be moving to Salt Lake City to take a senior position with the Mormon Church when he steps down from the oil industry trade association in August. Gerard will serve as General Authority Seventy of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the church announced this weekend. Gerard said the position will require him to relocate his family to the church’s headquarters in Utah.
IEA Carbon Report Shows Progress – The International Energy Agency (IEA) issued its assessment, Global Energy and CO2 Status Report, 2017 Report. The IEA reviews aspects of global energy use and greenhouse gas emission rates annually. The Report finds that, for 2017 world-wide demand for energy increased 2.1% over that for 2016. CO2 emission rates derived from that demand increased by 1.4%. Interestingly, it is once again showing that energy intensity is improving. Finally, the Report also shows Oil demand grew by 1.6%, more than twice the average annual rate seen over the past decade, driven by the transport sector (in particular a growing share of SUVs and trucks in major economies) as well as rising petrochemical demand. Natural gas consumption grew 3%, the most of all fossil fuels, with China alone accounting for nearly a third of this growth, and the buildings and industry sectors contributing to 80% of the increase in global demand. Coal demand rose about 1%, reversing declines over the previous two years, driven by an increase in coal-fired electricity generation mostly in Asia. Renewables had the highest growth rate of any fuel, meeting a quarter of world energy demand growth, as renewables-based electricity generation rose 6.3%, driven by expansion of wind, solar and hydropower. Electricity generation increased by 3.1%, significantly faster than overall energy demand, and India and China together accounting for 70% of the global increase. Energy efficiency improvements slowed significantly, with global energy intensity improving by only 1.7% in 2017 compared with 2.3% on average over the last three years, caused by an apparent slowdown in efficiency policy coverage and stringency and lower energy prices. Fossil fuels accounted for 81% of total energy demand in 2017, a level that has remained stable for more than three decades.
Gallup Poll Interesting Climate Views – A new Gallup climate change survey shows that Americans’ concerns about global warming are not much different from the record-high levels they were at a year ago. However, the views of some partisans have shifted, creating larger gaps than what Gallup saw last year across all questions about global warming. Gallup’s annual survey about the environment, conducted March 1-8, found that Americans’ opinions about global warming, like many other issues, have increasingly become politically polarized.
New Report Look at Nuclear Power Challenge with Russia, China – The Atlantic Council’s Global Energy Center on March 29th will release its newest report US Nuclear-Power Leadership and the Chinese and Russian Challenge. The report examines the challenges facing the US nuclear industry and the geopolitical implications for the United States presented by domestic and international nuclear developments in China and Russia, while identifying key policy issues ripe for further work. The report author is Dr. Robert F. Ichord, Jr., Nonresident Senior Fellow at the Global Energy Center and former deputy assistant secretary for energy transformation.
ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK
Offshore Wind Partnership Forum Set – The Business Network for Offshore Wind hold its 2018 International Offshore Wind Partnering Forum today through Wednesday in Princeton New Jersey. The IPF is the leading technical conference for offshore wind in the United States and is dedicated to moving the industry forward. Among the speakers will be BOEM’s Walter Cruickshank and James Bennett, Statoil’s Sebastian Bringsværd, U of Delaware’s Jeremy Firestone, NYSERDA’s Greg Lampman, Recharge’s Darius Snieckus Deepwater’s Jeff Grybowski and NWF’s Collin O’Mara.
Oklahoma Pipeline Expo Set – The Pipeline and Energy Expo is being held at the Cox Business Center in Tulsa tomorrow through Thursday. The conference sessions and panel discussions are presented by leading industry experts who share insights and real world applications of recent developments in pipeline technology, maintenance and operations integrity.
EPRI to Offer Assessment – The Electric Power Research Institute holds a news conference tomorrow at Noon at the National Press Club looking at its U.S. National Electrification Assessment. EPRI leadership will review key findings and discuss implications in the context of EPRI’s Efficient Electrification Initiative. A preview of the study is available here.
JHU Forum to Look at State Actions – The Johns Hopkins University hosts the Power of Process forum tomorrow to look at state capacity and climate policy actions featuring JHU’s Jonas Nahm. State capacity is central to the provision of public goods, including environmental protection. In an article titled the same, drawing on climate policymaking, Nahm (and Meckling) argue that the division of labor between the bureaucracy and legislature in policy formulation is a critical source of state capacity. In cases of bureaucratic policy design, the legislature sets policy goals and delegates policy design to bureaucracies. This division of labor shifts distributional conflict to autonomous bureaucracies, allowing for effective policy design.
Energy Week Events Set at Carnegie Mellon – Carnegie Mellon University’s Wilton E. Scott Institute for Energy Innovation hosts Energy Week tomorrow through Friday. The three-day symposium, which is free and open to the public, will include nationally-recognized thought leaders as speakers and panelists, a new “CMU Energy + Cleantech Investors Forum,” a celebration for the Sherman and Joyce Bowie Scott Hall’s LEED Gold Recognition, and a regional collegiate competition supported by the Department of Energy which will award more than $60,000 to student teams during the final session.
GWU Looks at FEMA Strategic Plan – The George Washington University’s Center for Cyber and Homeland Security holds a discussion on Wednesday at 10:00 a.m. looking at FEMA’s recently released “2018-2022 Strategic Plan. FEMA Deputy Administrator Dr. Daniel Kaniewski will speak.
Wilson Center Looks at Arctic Science — The Woodrow Wilson Center Science and Technology Innovation Program hosts a discussion on Wednesday at 10:30 a.m. on engaging the public in Arctic Science. WWC’s Scholars’ Science and Technology Innovation Program, Serious Games Initiative, and Polar Initiative will host a panel on the public communication of environmental sciences in Alaska.
Former NRC Commissioner Heads Discussion of Commercial Nukes – The Global America Business Institute hosts a forum with Bill Ostendorff, former Commissioner of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission on Wednesday at 12:00 p.m. Ostendorff will look at the national security implications of the U.S. commercial nuclear industry.
Forum to Look at Farm Bill Energy Titles – The Environmental and Energy Study Institute (EESI) and the Agriculture Energy Coalition hold a briefing on Wednesday examining the outsized positive impact on rural America of the investments made through the Energy Title and how to make its suite of innovative programs even stronger. Speakers for this forum are our friend John Shaw of Itaconix, DuPont’s John Sagrati, ReEnergy’s Sarah Boggess, Jim Duffy for the Distributed Wind Energy Association and several others.
WCEE to Focus on Women Energy Boards – The Women’s Council on Energy and the Environment (WCEE) hosts a forum on women on boards in the energy and environment sectors on Thursday at noon. The panel will discuss pathways for women to secure positions on both corporate and non-profit boards in the energy and environment sectors, and the importance of board diversity. Come meet mentors and experts who will be open and frank about their own journeys to these positions. Use these panelists’ personal and professional life experiences to guide you as you make your own way.
Columbia Energy Center Holds Forum on Digital Tech, Energy – Thursday evening in NYC, Columbia’s Center on Global Energy Policy hold a presentation and discussion with Dave Turk, IEA’s Acting Director for the Sustainability, Technology and Outlooks Directorate and Head of the Energy Division, who co-led this new IEA analysis and will present the report’s key findings. Following Mr. Turk’s presentation, Patricia Culligan, Robert A.W. and Christine S. Carleton Professor of Civil Engineering and member of the Data Science Institute’s Smart Cities Committee at Columbia University, will join him on a panel to engage in a discussion on the fascinating confluence of digital technologies and energy. CGEP Fellow, John MacWilliams will moderate the conversation.
Water Forum Set at UDC – The American Water Resources Assn holds its 2018 National Capital Region Water Resources Symposium Friday morning an at UDC and will look at resilient solutions for Water Management in Urban Environment, including advances in research, technology, financing and policy. The agenda will include a keynote address and invited panelists who will discuss the symposium theme, and breakout sessions featuring submitted oral and poster presentations in response to call for abstracts.
Forum to Look at Nuclear Waste – On Friday, the Stimson Center and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences’ Global Nuclear Future Initiative are hosting a public seminar on “Solving the Unsolvable: Nuclear Waste Solutions for the New Millennium.” Led by experts from academia, government, NGOs, and the nuclear industry, the panels and discussions will examine the existing interim storage facility proposals as well as opportunities and challenges that lie ahead.
Waste-to-Energy Tour Set – Young Professionals in Energy DC host an afternoon tour of Covanta’s Energy-from-Waste facility in Alexandria, Virginia on Friday at 9:30 a.m. Covanta is one of the world’s largest providers of Energy-from-Waste solutions. The tour will start with a discussion and time for Q&A before we put on our hard hats and walk through the facility to see how their technology works.
IN THE FUTURE
Energy Economists Hold Conference – The National capital area chapter of the US Association for Energy Economics holds its annual NCAC-USAEE conference on April 12th at GW University. The keynoters are Gil Quiniones, CEO of NYPA, and Mark Mills of the Manhattan Institute.
Atlantic Report to Look at Oil Theft – Next Tuesday, April 10th at 9:00 a.m., the Atlantic Council holds a forum and releases new report on oil and fuel theft. “Oil on the Water: Illicit Hydrocarbons Activity in the Maritime Domain” report authors Dr. Ralby and Dr. Soud will provide an overview of the report, after which panelists will discuss the various modalities of oil theft in the maritime domain and what steps companies, policymakers, and other stakeholders can take to combat it.
SAFE Hold Forum on Auto Efficiencies – Next Tuesday, April 10th at 10:00 a.m. at The Willard Hotel, Securing America’s Future Energy will hold a forum on Vehicle fuel issues. SAFE has identified a path forward that meets the interests of all stakeholders by reforming the off-cycle credit program to create an opportunity for automakers to accelerate initial mass deployment while quantifying the fuel efficiency benefits of emerging autonomous vehicle technologies and other advanced driver assist systems. Integrating these technologies into the fuel economy regime, along with extending the timeline of the standards, enables the federal government to save lives, save fuel, and create the regulatory certainty that automakers need to achieve fuel efficiency goals. Join us for this exciting conversation. The expert panel will former Director of National Intelligence Admiral Dennis Blair, Tom Darlington of the Air Improvement Resource and Mobileye’s Gene Gurevich. SAFE’s Amitai Bin-Nun will make opening remarks.
GU Forum to Feature World Bank Expert – Next Tuesday at 12:30 pm – 2:00 pm at Georgetown’s Walsh School of Foreign Service, the Mortara Center will hold an energy and climate policy research seminar featuring the World Bank’s Stephane Hallegatte. He will discuss measuring resilience to natural disasters.
McCarthy Headlines Forum – The World Resources Institute and the National Geographic Society are hosting an event on Wednesday April 11th at 9:00 a.m. looking at how current trends in data, technology, media and human networks can inform decision-making around natural resources. The event features keynote speeches by Former Astronaut Dr. Mae Jemison and former EPA head Gina McCarthy, as well as speakers representing government, technology, science and media.
Eni Head to Address Forum – Next Wednesday at 5:00 p.m., the Atlantic Council hosts a conversation with Mr. Claudio Descalzi, Chief Executive Officer of Eni, as part of the Global Energy Center’s CEO Series. Eni is a leader in oil and gas development all over the world and has adopted a bold, comprehensive strategy to respond to an increasingly complex energy system. Mr. Descalzi will discuss how Eni is navigating the profound structural changes in the energy system, including the future of the oil industry, the role of OPEC and US shale in shaping the market, and the significance of potential gas development in the Eastern Mediterranean.
USEA Hosts Annual Policy Forum – The U.S. Energy Association is hosting its annual membership meeting and policy forum on Thursday April 12th at the Reagan Trade Center. Over 150 USEA members and other energy stakeholders, including Administration officials, thought leaders, lawmakers, diplomats, and journalists come together to discuss the latest energy policy developments and share industry updates.
House Approps Hosts MilCon Heads – The House Appropriations Committee’s Subcommittee on Military Construction, Veterans Affairs and Related Agencies will convene a FY 19 Budget Oversight Hearing on Energy, Installations, and Environment on Thursday April 12th. Witnesses Lucian Niemeyer, Assistant Secretary of Defense for Energy, Installations, and Environment – OSD; Lieutenant General Gwen Bingham, Assistant Chief of Staff for Installation Management – U.S. Army; Vice Admiral Dixon R. Smith, Deputy Chief of Naval Operations, Fleet Readiness and Logistics –Navy; Major General Vincent A. Coglianese, Commander, Marine Corps Installations Command and Assistant Deputy Commandant, Installations and Logistics (Facilities) – U.S. Marine Corps ; and Major General Timothy S. Green, Air Force Director of Civil Engineers, Deputy Chief of Staff for Logistics, Engineering and Force Protection –U.S. AF.
JHU Features Canadian NatGas Energy Forum – Ahead of the World Gas Conference being hosted in Washington this June, the Canadian Gas Association is sponsoring a half-day conference on the challenges and opportunities for Canada’s natural gas sector and their implications for the United States. The event is being hosted by Johns Hopkins University’s Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies. Energy sector experts representing the academic, public and private sectors assess the challenges and opportunities in the Canadian market, including technology, export market changes, infrastructure, carbon pricing and social license and aboriginal consent in the context of the changes occurring in the United States, Canada’s largest energy export destination. Topics addressed by speakers will include U.S. and Canadian energy policy priorities, whether Canada and the United States will become Partners or Rivals in Global Markets, and natural gas opportunities and how Canadian firms are responding.
Perry, FERC to Head to House Energy Panel – The House Energy and Commerce Committee today announced Energy Secretary Rick Perry will testify before the Energy subcommittee on April 12th on Budget and oversight hearings. They will also host all FERC commissioners to testify before the same subpanel on April 17th.
AEI to Host Discussion on Climate Lawsuits – AEI will hold a forum on Tuesday, April 17th at 1:30 p.m. for a discussion on the legal and scientific issues raised by the lawsuits against major fossil-fuel producers and the underlying implications for the municipal bond market. Speakers will include Niskanen’s David Bookbinder, Andrew Grossman of BakerHostetler, Michael MacCracken of the Climate Institute, Cato’s Patrick J. Michaels, Stephen Winterstein of Wilmington Trust Investment Advisors and AEI’s Ben Zycher.
Forum to Look at Future of Renewables – POLITICO hosts a happy hour deep-dive conversation on April 17th at 5:00 p.m. looking at how private businesses are stepping up to address the future of clean energy and how they can work with the government to build a more sustainable future.
Refiners Security Conference Set – The annual AFPM Security Conference will be held on April 23-25 in New Orleans and presents current topics of vital importance to critical infrastructure, keeping security professionals up to date on security issues, policies, and future regulations. The event will relay the latest information on security regulations from DHS and the Coast Guard. This year’s conference will also go beyond just the regulations with sessions on hurricane response efforts, environmental NGO activism, cybersecurity and other emerging security and terror threats.
Pruitt Heads to House Energy – The House Energy and Commerce Committee will host EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt on the agency’s budget request April 25th.
Water Symposium to Feature Perdue, Vilsack – Colorado State University hosts a “Water in the West” Symposium on April 26 & 27th featuring experts, policymakers, researchers, and investors. The event features the latest around water challenges, collaborate with experts, and create a roadmap for water research, innovation, education, and policy. The Symposium will take place at the Water Resources Center, the first building to be constructed at the future National Western Center, a 250-acre redevelopment in north Denver. More than 20 confirmed expert speakers to-date including Secretary of the U.S. Department of Agriculture Sonny Perdue, and Tom Vilsack, Former Secretary of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
NHA holds Washington Waterpower Week – The National Hydropower Assn holds Waterpower Week in Washington on April 30 to May 2nd. Waterpower Week is comprised of three co-located conferences rolled into one: NHA’s Annual Conference, International Marine Renewable Energy Conference (IMREC), and Marine Energy Technology Symposium (METS). This 3-day jam packed event provides you the opportunity to network, learn about legislative and regulatory initiatives, and discuss the issues impacting hydropower and marine energy industry.
WINDPOWER Set for Chicago – The American Wind Energy Assn (AWEA) will hold WINDPOWER 2018 in Chicago from May 7th to 10th. The industry closed 2017 strong, delivering 7,017 megawatts (MW) of new wind power capacity. That new capacity represents $11 billion in new private investment. There are now 89,077 MW of wind power installed across 41 states, enough to power 26 million American homes. The wind industry is expected to continue its growth into 2018. WINDPOWER is where the industry comes together to plan for the future and keep this success story growing.
Hydrogen, Fuel Cell Forum Set for DC – The Fuel Cell and Hydrogen Energy Association will be hosting a full-day forum and exposition on Tuesday, June 12 in Washington, D.C. at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center with leading executives, experts, and policymakers on fuel cell and hydrogen technology. The forum will bring together key federal and state policymakers, including the Department of Energy and White House, as well as the broader environmental, transportation, and energy communities to raise awareness of the benefits of fuel cell and hydrogen technology. This event will precede the Department of Energy’s 2018 Annual Merit Review.
Young Professional Program for World Gas Forum Set – The Young Professionals Program (YPP) will hold a special forum during the World Gas Conference June 25-29 in Washington, DC. YPP will provide a great opportunity for promising young professionals in the energy sector to learn from top leaders in the natural gas industry and network with their peers throughout the world. More on this as we get closer.
Clean Energy Forum on Schedule – The 2018 Congressional Clean Energy Expo and Policy Forum will be held on July 10th and brings together up to 45-55 businesses, trade associations, and government agencies to showcase renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies.